The World War I & II Forum (Page 15)

How To Contact Someone on this forum Please Read
To find your Own Messages search for the name you originally used.
This forum supports the Royal British Legion so please donate.
Please reply to anyone you can help or assist.

The forum has 316 pages containing 3152 messages
-10   Prev Page   11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19   Next Page   10+

Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Saturday 24th September 2016 at 10:19 AM
Dear Alan
Thank you very much for the latest information sent to me about Corporal Batchelor. It made fascinating reading.
The next soldier that I am interested in finding out further information about is;-
Private G Hockley ( or it could be Frockley) 12052 1st Worcestershire Regiment. He gave no further information in the book.
Best wishes
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 24th September 2016 at 9:58 PM

Dear Judith,
This was George Thomas Stockley who was a Regular Army soldier who would have enlisted in the 1st Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment when he was aged about 18, in 1910. The Battalion was stationed at Albany Barracks, Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight in 1911. The birth of George Thomas Stockley was registered in Birmingham in January 1892 . He might have been born late in 1891. From the censuses, George appears to have been the son of John and Jane Stockley of Buckingham Place, Tudor Street, St Cuthbert’s, Birmingham. He initially worked as a tube-drawer in a Birmingham foundry.
The 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment went to Egypt between 1911 and 1914 where it was stationed at Alexandria and Cairo. After the outbreak of war, the Battalion embarked on Hired Military Transport “Deseado” (Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, 1911) at Alexandria and sailed for Liverpool. Someone in the Battalion probably recalled the ship’s name because she had been in the headlines earlier in 1914 when on a voyage from Liverpool to Rio one of the ship’s Portuguese passengers, Alberto Olivierio Coelho, 32, walked into the lounge with a loaded revolver and shot dead his wife. He was arrested and at Liverpool Assizes on 24th April 1914 he was sentenced to death.
The 1st Battalion Worcesters docked at Liverpool at 9.15 p.m. on October 14th 1914. Families, who had sailed on a separate ship, were sent home while the men prepared to entrain for Winchester at 4.30 a.m. on the 17th. The train stopped for 30 minutes at Birmingham where the men had hot coffee and sandwiches. How George might have wished he could call in at home. The period October 17th to 4th November was spent at Hursley Park Camp which was established in the deer park of Hursley House near Winchester. There the Battalion joined the 24th Infantry Brigade in the 8th Division. Each man had two days’ leave before departing for France. On November 5th 1914, the Battalion marched to Southampton to embark on H.M. Transport “Maidan” for Le Havre. “Maidan” was an adapted a cargo vessel with converted holds. Water was boiled by the (black) ship’s cooks by injecting steam into vessels of cold water so the tea tasted only of oil from the boilers. They sailed at night but had to spend two days in the outer harbour at Havre waiting for a berth. They disembarked on November 8th and then started marching to the Front over the coming days. On November 14th at 6.30 p.m. they went into the trenches alongside the Estaires to La Bassee road at the hamlet of St. Vaast west of Neuve Chapelle. Neuve Chapelle was held by the Germans and had been fortified. The Worcesters’ trenches were rudimentary defences which were heavily fired on by rifle-fire from both the German front and the flanks. In the first five days in the trenches the 1st Battalion lost 20 men killed and 51 wounded. The trenches were so narrow the stretcher-bearers could not move down them with a stretcher and the wounded had to be carried or supported. The dead were buried by their colleagues at the rear of the trench.
The Battalion remained in these trench lines until March 1915, suffering in the freezing cold and wet of the winter of 1914/1915. They were billeted at La Gorgue some six miles to their rear when not in the trenches which were known as “A” Lines that were along the Rue du Bois to the west of Neuve Chapelle and “B” lines along the Rue de Tilleloy in the north of the village of Neuve Chapelle. The trench lines formed a dog-leg along what is now the D171 (Rue du Bois) crossing the D947 and then onto the D170 (now Rue de Carnin). The co-ordinates ‘50°35'04.8"N 2°46'05.5"E’ identify the centre of their position, which can be pasted into Google maps. There is a later 1915 map that shows the Worcestershire’s trenches of 1914 in the larger of the two lines of red rectangles at:
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/nchap.jpg
At 5 p.m. on Christmas Day 1914, the 1st Battalion Worcesters relieved the 2nd Northamptonshire Regiment in “B” Lines on the Rue de Tilleloy. The Northamptonshire Regiment had arranged a truce with the Germans which the Worcesters kept. Their war diary for December 25th 1914 recorded: “There was a certain amount of shouting and remarks between the Germans and ourselves, and the Germans sang English and German songs most of the night which were applauded by our men. In spite of the armistice our sentries were kept as much on the alert as usual” (WO95/723/1). Boxing Day was quiet apart from some occasional British shells being fire and the truce ended on the 27th December 1914 when firing resumed between the Worcesters and the Germans.
As a reminder that these were early days of the war for George and the Worcesters, the Battalion came up with “Archibald” which was an improvised mortar tube that fired two-pound tins of explosive. The tins previously had held plum jam. These tins were of Tickler’s plum and apple jam from Grimsby, which became famous, or notorious, during the war. (Tickler had a huge contract with the War office and the men joked the officers got strawberry jam, while the men got the down-market, surplus, plum and apple which could be made from excess crops.) See the Bruce Bairnsfather cartoon:
https://thehumourofthegreatwar.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/brucebairnsfather12.jpg
Early in the New Year of 1915 the Battalion had to endure gales, snow storms, and rain. The trenches were flooded and had to be pumped free of water. At one point the Battalion considered filling-in the flooded trenches so they could not be occupied by any advancing enemy. During this period of wet and cold trench routine, between 19th December 1914 and 4th March 1915 the Battalion lost 45 men killed and 111 wounded.
Casualties averaged one a day caused by rifle and shell fire. Among those casualties on 8th or 11th February 1915 was George Stockley who would have been wounded in “B” Lines, Rue de Tilleloy, Neuve Chapelle. The official casualty list dated 4th March 1915 recorded under Wounded: - “Stockley, 12025, G. Worces.” (“Scotsman” 4th March 1915 © Johnston Press).
George was returned to England with a “Blighty” wound. The 1st Battalion actually went into battle for the first time a few days later when they attacked from the sunken lane at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle (10th – 13th March 1915). But by then George was in hospital.
No individual service record has survived for George Stockley. However, the medal rolls recorded he next served with the 10th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and the casualty lists again included his name on 4th September 1916. He would have been wounded in August 1916 whilst with the 10th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. “Last Night’s Casualty Lists: Worcesters: Stockley 12052 L-Cpl G.T. (Birmingham)” (Birmingham Daily Gazette, 5th September 1916 © Trinity Mirror).
The 10th Battalion was in the Ypres sector at Dranoutre (now Dranouter) Flanders, Belgium. In July 1916 they had suffered 347 casualties at La Boiselle then in August 1916 they spent some weeks in Brigade Reserve at Daylight Corner (Wulverghem), Flanders, and Airfield Farm. While in trenches at Dranoutre, six men were wounded and two killed between 10th and 14th August 1916, then on 29th August 1916 at 11 a.m. three men were wounded when “The Bullring” was shelled. The “Bullring” was a trench named by the Lincolnshire Regiment after a district of Grimsby where many of the men came from. It was in the area of Kemmel and Dranoutre. Once again, George had been wounded in the daily exchanges of trench warfare and he returned to England for treatment.
His next posting was shown as 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment which would have been the depot unit that administered him while he was in hospital in 1916.
George Stockley was in Birmingham in October 1917. He married May Lowe, the daughter of Reuben Lowe, fruiterer, of 24 High Street, Deritend, at St John the Baptist Church, Deritend, on 27th October 1917. George was described as a 25-year-old bachelor, soldier, son of John Stockley, iron dresser, deceased.
Deritend was a crossing point of the River Rea before Birmingham became significant. It has the only surviving medieval building in Birmingham city centre. An iron dresser was a foundry worker employed in trimming metal castings after they had been removed from their sand moulds.
George Stockley ended the war as an acting Sergeant with the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. He probably served with them in France in 1918 when they were with 88th Brigade in the 29th Division fighting in the advances in Flanders. The 29th Division occupied the Rhineland and crossed the Belgian - German frontier at Malmedy on 4th December 1918. They settled in Cologne five days later. Demobilization of the 29th Division began in March 1919, although as a regular soldier, George might have continued to serve in the Army.
George Stockley qualified for the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
As a footnote to the start of George’s war, the history of the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment recorded: “The first days of 1915 were notable, so far as Regimental officers and men were concerned, for the opening of short leave to England. Not since the Peninsular days [1807–1814] had it been customary for leave home to be given to troops on active service, and the idea was so novel, to officers and men alike, as to be received with strangely mingled feelings. To many brought up in the old school of duty to their Regiment it seemed little better than absolute desertion to proceed on leave when their Battalion—their Company or Platoon—was going into the trenches, into danger. In January that feeling was general, and the first batches to proceed on leave were almost shamefaced as they left their billets. Later the feeling wore off, and leave home was accepted as part of the nature of that strange new warfare” (http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/bat_1_1915.php).
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Mark Parlour {Email left}
Location: Ayr
Date: Friday 23rd September 2016 at 9:21 AM
Hi Alan
I was researching my grandfather, George Percy Wilson Howard (allegedly born 30 Oct 1882 in Manchester) on the web and found your correspondence of Saturday 2nd January 2016 at 8:29 PM with Lesley regarding Thomas Howard born 28 Sept 1882 in Buckingham who had gone AWOL and reenlisted.

There is some talk that my grandfather had done undercover work in France during the war and been accused of going AWOL but exonerated when his role was recognised - but this may be just another colourful story; he had many. It does seem to be similar in some ways to the Thomas Howard story. He died in 1975 so it'll be difficult to find out the truth.

I was certainly impressed by the level of detail in your response to Lesley and I wonder if you might be able to help me.

The documentation that I do have says George Percy Wilson Howard was born 30 Oct 1882 in Manchester (from Passport, medical and death certificates).

His driving license gives his address (on 21 July 1915) as 46 Hampstead Road Dorking. He was not the owner of the house - this was George Upfold (bricklayer) and his wife Alice Sarah Upfold who lived there many years before and afterwards (according to the electoral polls and census data etc.). I have built their entire family tree, too, in case there were any links - but none is obvious; sadly. These were large houses (next door had 4 young nurses lodging) and so could easily been used for troops in 1915.

Interestingly enough, his driving license also recorded a previous conviction - “fined 50/- and 14/6 costs at Stony Stratford PC on 22 May 1914 for driving a motorcycle at a speed dangerous to the public”. Incidentally, Stony Stratford is in Buckingham where Vincent Howard (surgeon) and family lived (Vincent was a member of Stony Stratford masons) and this may be a link to the original Thomas Howard of your earlier correspondence. Of course Stony Stratford, is probably on the main road from London to Manchester, too.

On 21 July 1918, George Percy Wilson Howard married Vera Florence West (1896-1939) daughter of John Andrew West (1867-1934) and Florence Challacombe (1870-1955). There he states that his age is 35; his own occupation is an accountant, and that his father was Thomas Alexander Howard, occupation Director (retired); deceased. Searches for a suitable Thomas Alexander Howard bring up very few possible matches. There’s a shipwright in Liverpool and a Cattle breeder from up north. You would think with names as precise as these they’d be easy to find!

George was a fluent French speaker and may have worked with Michelin in France before the war then in Paris after WWI as an accountant for Pricewaterhouse from around 1920-1925. I have many photos of him in around 1920 walking round the ruined towns of northern France, or on the beach. In 1927 George lives at Ranmore Lodge, Effingham, Dorking (from the electoral register) for a couple of years so there is a strong connection to the area. Of course, Ranmore Common, Dorking is famously where the troops did exercises in 1915. Equally, there is also a very significant historical Howard connection with Effingham. He then lives in Broomfield, Hollingbourne Kent in 1930, Cambridge in 1936, The Priory Mildenhall Suffolk in 1938, and on 29 Sept 1939 at Swaffham, Norfolk.

Anecdotally, it has been suggested that GPW Howard was in the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) who were typically based in Hamilton, Lanark (near to where I am at the moment). This doesn't really make sense if he was born in Manchester and lived the rest of his life near Dorking then Norfolk; but anything is possible.

I have various photos of him wearing the Silver War Badge in civvies (naturally) in 1919 and this was only awarded (amongst the Howards of the Cameronians) to a George H? Howard a CSM of the Cameronians. However, there were other SWB recipients called George Howard, belonging to the RAMC and the Artillery etc - who, of course, were definitely in Dorking around 1915. Service and pension records are not helpful: there are only two George Howards: one died; the other from Southampton had all the wrong criteria (I understand that many service records were destroyed by fire) so I’ve looked at the SWB records which I believe are intact.

These are all likely George Howards who were SWB recipients (no George Percy/Wilson Howard!):
Badge Regiment Reg.No Rank Enlisted Disch S/W Os Location
491870 Royal Artillery (RFA) 710984 Sgl/L/Br 10/5/15 8/4/19 S Y Charlton
78773 East Surrey 8896 Pte 13/3/15 1/12/15 S Y Hounslow
447028 Manchester 375482 Pte 3/9/14 2/9/18 S Y (35) Preston
35260 London (4th) 6918 Pte 2/11/16 2/3/17 S N London
161178 London (9th) RAMC 3780 LCpl 21/11/14 14/10/16 S Y London
B284738 Royal Army Med. Corps 779 Pte 1/10/06 23/3/19 S Y Woking
B349808 Cameronian (1st Sc. Rifles) 39538 CSM 5/8/05 19/11/19 S (32) Hamilton

I'm assuming that he was in Dorking as a temporary lodger and was there because of billeting in the town.

The Dorking Museum site suggests that the only regiments in town at the time of (after the Surrey Yeomanry in late 1914) January 1915 were the 179th Brigade of the 60th (2/2nd London) Division of territorials which included units of the London Scottish, the Civil Service Rifles and the Queen’s Westminster Rifles; and the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Field Artillery.

Other web research suggests that the following regiments were in Dorking at that time:
Surrey Yeomanry Nov 1914
60th (2/2nd London) Division of territorials. January – Feb 1915
2/14th (County of London) Bat (Ldn Scottish) & 179th Br/ 60th Div Jan -Feb 1915
2/15th (County of London) Battalion (Prince of Wales's Own Civil Service Rifles)

And those billeted in Dorking:
2nd Battalion London Scottish January – 28 February 1915
13th (Reserve) Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders April – June 1915
Royal Field Artillery October 1915 – January 1916
Royal Army Medical Corps 1915 billeted in the Dorking for several months of training

Incidentally, I did find on the web an old photo of 4 army motorcyclists from the Argyles going down a street in Dorking at about the right time…
I have a lot of information about his later life and lots of information about George Howards in the Manchester (Lancashire/Yorkshire/Cheshire intersection sadly!) in earlier life. The correct war story will hopefully link them up!
If you could shed any light on this I’d be most grateful.
Kind regards
Mark Parlour
Reply from: Mark Parlour
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016 at 9:06 AM

Hi Alan
further to my last message, I've managed to get hold of George Percy Wilson Howard's Old Contemptibles Association certificate (as G Wilson Howard) which puts his regiment as 1st Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). However I can't seem to find any matching wartime records on Ancestry.
I do know that he was a recipient of the SWB as I have many photos where he is wearing it.

The ONLY Howard SWB record on ancestry that is remotely similar is for a GH? Howard who was a CSM in the 1st Cameronians. I also have a continuing education certificate from Hamilton School Board 1911 (aged 28) - but it doesn't state it is Hamilton Lanarkshire home of the Cameronians.

Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.
kind regards
Mark Parlour
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016 at 5:29 PM

Dear Mark,
The actual War Badge roll entry for “G. H. Howard” shows he was, in fact, J. H. Howard, M.M., 39538, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). He enlisted in the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) in 1905 and served until 1919. He had transferred to the Cameronians in 1917. His service record showed he served as John Henry Howard which was an alias for his real name which was John Schiffman. The 1891 Scotland census shows he was probably the son of John Schiffman who was born in Stralsund, Germany.
If George W. Howard was a member of the Old Contemptibles he must have served in France and Flanders between August and November 1914 and qualified for the 1914 Star with “Mons” clasp which showed the dates: 5th Aug – 22nd Nov 1914. The 1914 Star medal rolls show a G. Howard, 9189, Lance-sergeant, of the 1st Cameronian (Scottish Rifles) who qualified for the 1914 Star and “Mons” clasp. The correct regimental number appears to have been 8198 shown on his War Badge and other medal rolls entry. His medal index card showed him as George W. Howard 9189 and 8189 and recorded his name was included in the War Badge rolls. The War Badge rolls on the Ancestry website indexed him as George W. Howard, South Wales Borderers (sic) 8198, but the entry itself shows him as George W. Howard, Depot Scottish Rifles. He enlisted on 3rd October 1903 and was discharged because of sickness on 8th October 1915. There does not appear to be any further surviving record for him and it has not been possible to identify him with any biographical details or to establish what the initial W. stood for.
The “Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press” of 30th May 1914 reported the cases at Stony Stratford Petty Sessions of May 22nd 1914. They included a George Howard of Dorking, a commercial traveller, who was convicted of riding a motorcycle and sidecar dangerously. It was stated George Howard travelled 25,000 miles a year by motor. (© Johnston Press via British Newspaper Archive). The 1st Cameronians were stationed at Glasgow Garrison at the time. The Battalion went to France on 15th August 1914. The medal card for George W. Howard showed he entered France on 15th August 1914, so he would most probably have been a serving Regular Army soldier or reservist in August 1914.
Unless you have his regimental number from family sources it will not be possible to make a positive identification of his wartime records.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Mark Parlour
Date: Friday 14th October 2016 at 9:05 AM

Hi Alan
Thanks very much indeed for your excellent research - it does all seem to tie up with what I have and I've since managed to download three original documents relating to his awards (Victory Medal and British War Medal) etc. based on a regimental number of 8198.
There's an entry at the right of the medal table that says IVRI 1955 [presumably this can't imply died in 1955??] df 26.2.24 AS d/110.
The individual campaign record for 1914 shows the VM and BM with clasp and roses 3.8.11 df 3.5.28 and the SWB list D/24S72. qualifying date 15 8 14 once again marked AS/D/110. it reaffirms 8198 corporal but also states 9198 above it with L/Sgt 1 Sco Rifles.
The SWB record table confirms the enlistment and discharge dates and his reg no as 8198.
At the moment, as you say, I can't find any service record or pension record as I have for other family members (as these give lots of family and education details) - I wonder if these were lost of have simply not been transcribed yet - a couple of the sites talk about adding new records each day.
My uncle, George's son, did go to Kew many years ago and found a record which also tied up with the enlistment and discharge dates, and rank and regiment, as you suggest.
I'm still not sure why he was at 46 Hampstead Road Dorking as of 21 Jul 1915 - he would have to be lodging with the Upfold family but I can't see any obvious link.
I'll now try and find some records for his time at Hamilton Barracks, Lanarkshire from 1903 to 1914.
Your help has been invaluable. Many thanks!
Kind regards
Mark Parlour

Posted by: Howard Barkell {Email left}
Location: Lydford Devon
Date: Thursday 22nd September 2016 at 7:55 AM
Dear Alan,

I shall be pleased to receive any information you can give me about 96425 Private Aubrey Down, 4 Bn Tank Corps who died on 22 April 1918. Thank you in advance!

Howard
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 22nd September 2016 at 5:48 PM

Dear Howard,
The birth of Aubrey Down was registered in the last quarter of 1898. He was the second of four sons of George and Ellen Down of East Halse Farm, Bow, near Crediton in Devon. He would have enlisted voluntarily under-age as he first went to France on 9th July 1915 when he would have been 16 years-old. He first served with 78th Supply Company Army Service Corps, as a private numbered S/4/039759. According to the medal rolls, 78th Company was with 15th Division. The 15th Division did go to France in July 1915 but it has proved very difficult to find any information about the 78th Company A.S.C..
Significantly, the drivers of the tanks were all A.S.C. mechanical transport volunteers, so it would appear that Aubrey volunteered to joined the Tank Corps, although the Corps itself did not come into existence until July 1917 being known before then as the Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps. D Company HBMGC became 4th Battalion Tank Corps by March 1918. Their tanks all had Chinese eyes painted on them. For an explanation, and their history, see:
http://4and7royaltankregiment.com/1916-1918.html
No individual service record has survived for Aubrey Down, so it is not possible to state when he transferred to the Tank Corps. He did not have an M.G.C. regimental number, so it appears his Tank Corps number, 96425, was allotted after the Corps was formed in July 1917.
Aubrey was killed in action, aged 19, on 24th April 1918 near Hazebrouck. The date is better known for the first ever tank-against-tank battle at Cachy during the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux. Aubrey is buried at Morbecque Cemetery near Hazebrouck which was used by the 5th and 29th Divisions. The cemetery was started in April 1918 when the Lys Offensive saw the second German advance between 9th and 29th April 1918.
Aubrey qualified for the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
His brother, Percy Down, served with the Royal Field Artillery and was awarded the Military Medal for “gallantry in saving some big guns during the retreat of March 1918”.
The Western Times of Friday 31st May 1918 published photographs of the two boys (British Newspaper Archive).
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Friday 23rd September 2016 at 8:08 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you once again for a prompt, informative, interesting reply. It is surprising how just a little amount of information can conjure up such vivid images. I guess it must have been pretty awful working and fighting in such a primitive machine, but perhaps the volunteers didn't see it that way.

With many thanks

Howard
Posted by: Chris Savory {Email left}
Location: France
Date: Wednesday 21st September 2016 at 5:42 PM
Hi Alan

My grandfather, Private Ernest Savory(625087),1/19th London Regiment, attested for service on 10 December 1915 in Poplar London.He began his active service on 4 January 1918, do his attestation records survive and what would he have been doing during this period between attesting and landing in France?

Also, he was discharged from the army on 1 November 1918,as a result of contracting T.B. probably as a German POW,are there any TNA records that provide any information on his hospitalisation , discharge or pension?

Regards.

Chris Savory
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 21st September 2016 at 8:12 PM

Dear Chris,
No individual service record has survived for Ernest Savory so it is not possible to state his service in detail. There is no information about medical details or discharge. Those would have been with his individual file. In general, hospital medical records have not survived. However, one Red Cross document recorded his admission to hospital when he was re-patriated (see below).
The date he attested was significant as it was towards the end of the three month “Derby Scheme” of deferred enlistment. This enabled a man to volunteer before December 15th 1915 and to be called-up for service at some later date. The scheme was in anticipation of compulsory conscription being introduced in March 1916. In theory, as a married man, Ernest would have been called up after single men, but that did not always work out. He went abroad to France on 4th January 1918. Given perhaps six months’ basic training, the latest he would have been called-up would be about June 1917. However, he could have been called- up before then and remained in the U.K. in one of the reserve battalions that provided reinforcements.
It is possible he served in the 3rd/19th Battalion London Regiment which was a reserve battalion that trained at Winchester, Chisledon, and Blackdown, Sussex. However, he might have been posted to the 1st/19th Battalion London Regiment once he had arrived at a base camp in France, as the Battalion had been in France since 1915. The Battalion war diary for January 1918 stated that on 19th January at Bertincourt, a draft of two officers and 109 other ranks joined the battalion in the afternoon.
The date Ernest was taken prisoner, 24th March 1918, is relevant as it was during the German advance of Spring 1918 (Operation Michael) when many British prisoners were taken. The 1st/19th Battalion London Regiment was with 47th Division and was caught in the Battle of Bapaume March 21st – 23rd 1918. By 24th March 1918, the 1st/19th Battalion had retired from the front line to the third line of defence (which didn’t really exist other than on paper and was known as the Green Line). At midnight on 23rd/24th March 1918 the Battalion moved into an old trench system in the village of Rocquigny, Somme, seven miles from Bapaume, with the 18th London Regiment to their left. But their patrols that went out all night could find no-one on the right flank. At 8 a.m. on 24th March they identified there was a gap of some 800 yards to their right before they could find other British soldiers of the Notts and Derby Regiment. German patrols had also identified the gap. In the morning of March 24th they attacked the 1st/19th London Regiment through the gap. The fighting to defend the trenches was severe but by 1 p.m. the Germans had broken through and occupied the south-west corner of Rocquigny. The Battalion withdrew into the village where they fought for 30 minutes before they withdrew further to High Wood and waited for stragglers. For the next three days they withdrew to Contalmaison Ridge, Vauchelles, Toutencourt and eventually Senlis where they got a night’s rest on March 28th 1918. The Battalion’s losses between March 21st and March 26th 1918 were 17 killed; 82 wounded and 310 missing.
Ernest Savory was among the missing. He was captured during the fight at Rocquigny “nicht verwundet” (not wounded). He was taken eventually to Kriegsgefangenenlager Munster II, Westphalia (P.o.W. Camp Munster 2). He appeared on their register dated 2nd May 1918. On 12 June 1918 he was transferred to Kriegsgefangenenlager Minden, Westphalia. He was repatriated “sick – severe”.
He did give a statement on his return which was not published. Approximately 750 pages of interviews and reports on First World War Prisoners of War are known not to have survived. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C9218415
The German prison camp admission registers are held at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. They can be searched and viewed online, free. Enter the surname and “validate” it as British on the next page. The records were indexed phonetically, not alphabetically, so the start-page in the central results window will show “Savage”. Scroll right down the page using the light tan coloured button on the extreme right of the page to find Savory towards the end of the long list of cards. Hover over the index card and click on the red box that appears. Of the five references, only PA 25725; PA 22840 and R 51509 have survived. There is a good deal of scrolling down required to find the PA page numbers in the results windows. The R 51509 entry is a list of repatriated prisoners of war who were admitted to King George Hospital, Stamford Street, Waterloo, London on 18th August 1918. Search the records at:
http://grandeguerre.icrc.org/
The King George was a Red Cross hospital in a requisitioned warehouse. See:
http://ezitis.myzen.co.uk/kinggeorgestamford.html
Private Ernest Savory qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was granted a War Badge for being discharged through sickness.
For more on the Derby Scheme see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/derbyscheme.html
For an article on the lack of medical records see:
http://www.scarletfinders.co.uk/125.html
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Chris Savory
Date: Wednesday 21st September 2016 at 8:26 PM

Alan

Thank you so much for your painstaking and informative prompt reply.

Regards and very best wishes.

Chris Savory
Posted by: Becca {Email left}
Location: E Yorks
Date: Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 10:58 AM
Hello again Alan, I wonder if you could do some detective work for me please?
Thomas Loyd Randelhoff Smith born 16 Jun 1909 in India. He married our Rosina Derrick in Leeds in 1930 and died there in 1951.
He was baptised on 4 Jul 1909 in Muree, Bengal. His mother was Ada
This is all that I know about him, and wondered if you could supply me with his father's details - thinking that he must have been in the Army, and any other information you may find about the family.

Kind regards and thank you once again.

Becca
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 12:15 PM

Dear Becca,
The English BMD indexes and census returns show the family of Thomas Loyd Randelhoff Smith born in 1853 in Lancashire; his marriage in Leeds in 1875; the birth of a son Thomas Loyd R. at Leeds in 1875; the son’s marriage in 1904 at Hampstead; and then your Thomas L.R. Smith born India 1909.
Service records for Thomas Smith born Leeds 1875 are available on the Findmypast.co.uk website. Findmypast do not permit transcription of their records on an internet forum such as this.
Birth certificates from the armed forces in India are available from the England and Wales GRO as an “overseas event”. They are indexed on the Findmypast website.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Monday 19th September 2016 at 2:24 PM
Alan
Thank you so much for the information regarding William Storey and for your kind offer of help to us. The British Legion is a charity close to my heart. My Father who fought in WWII was the Rainhill Poppy Appeal Organiser for many years and of course, I was draughted in to help each year. Therefore it will be a pleasure to send a donation to them in due course.
The next soldier that I have been looking for information about is Cpl W Batchelor No 2303 from 9th Battalion East Surry Regiment. his address was 184 Portnall Road, Paddington, London. He was wounded at Loos on 26th September 1915.
regards
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 3:12 PM

Dear Judy,
There is little surviving evidence for Corporal Batchelor.
He was William Henry Batchelor who served with the 9th Battalion East Surrey Regiment which had been formed at Kingston-upon-Thames in September 1914. The Battalion moved to Shoreham in the 24th Division and then went into billets at Worthing for the winter. In April 1915 it returned to Shoreham and then moved to Blackdown, Sussex, in June 1915. William went to France with the Battalion on 1st September 1915. The Battalion went into training at Humbert, Pas de Calais, until September 24th 1915 when they moved to Bethune. The next day, Saturday 25th September 1915, they marched to Vermelles but because of a lack of orders they couldn’t proceed from there. At 4 a.m. on Sunday 26th September 1915, the 9th Battalion East Surrey Regiment was ordered to take cover in some enemy trenches that had been captured the day before. The Battalion tried to get some rations forward for the men but did not succeed. At 10.20 a.m. they were ordered to attack the enemy at 11 a.m.. This was their first day in battle and they were given 40 minutes’ notice to attack. The enemy’s line was from Hullock to Cité St Auguste. When the attack went in, they discovered the wire had not been cut and they were pinned down by machine gun fire which caused heavy casualties at Hill 70. The Battalion took a quarry from the enemy but were unable to hold it. They were ordered to retire to their start line in the former enemy trenches. By 5 p.m. they were back in their start line but had been heavily shelled all day. Those who were not casualties or were slightly wounded were either wounded again or killed by the shelling. The Battalion was relieved at 1 a.m. on Monday September 27th having suffered 444 casualties – almost half their strength. The Battalion had to be re-built (War Diary WO95 2215/1).
The local Surrey newspaper, the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, published the casualty lists on Saturday 30th October 1915, including 9th Battalion: Cpl. W. Batchelor.
The London Gazette of 23rd August 1916 recorded the Military Medal had been awarded to “2303; Cpl. W. Batchelor, E. Surr. R.”. The award of the Military Medal was published without citation.
The 9th Battalion had been in the Ploegsteert Wood area in Belgium, North of Armentieres, France, in the Spring of 1916 and moved to the Somme late in July 1916, arriving at Morlancourt on 1st August 1916 after having to wait for 12 hours for an overdue train at Mericourt station. In June 1916 the 9th Battalion spent ten days in trench routine in the Front line at Red Lodge, Ploegsteert; and Stinking Farm, Messines (Mesen) Flanders; followed by a few days’ in rest billets at Meteren. The enemy shelled their trenches on numerous occasions and the occasional patrol went out to harass enemy working parties. The Battalion war diary recorded “the following awards were made in June”. There followed: one Military Cross; one Distinguished Conduct Medal and five Military Medals, including 2503 (sic) Corporal W.H. Batchelor.
No other information was recorded in the diary, but the citation in The London Gazette for Sgt W. Summers’ D.C.M. stated “For conspicuous gallantry on several occasions, notably when after the bombing officer had been killed, he took charge, visiting all the squads under very heavy fire and supervised a fresh bomb supply. On another occasion, when on patrol, he entered the enemy trench, shot one man, and brought back valuable information” (London Gazette 27th July 1916).
[2nd Lt L.G. Haddenham was wounded on 17th June 1916 at Messines and died the next day]
The citation for the Military Cross for 2nd/Lt Frank Ridley Ingrams, 9th Battalion East Surrey Regiment, stated: “For conspicuous gallantry. When in charge of front line trenches, which were destroyed by heavy enemy shells, he re-organised the defences under shell fire, rescued the buried and arranged for fresh supplies of ammunition and bombs” (London Gazette 27th July 1916).
Corporal Batchelor would have been involved in one of these events while in the trenches at Ploegsteert or Messines. This entry in the war diary reveals he had returned to the 9th Battalion in Flanders by June 1916.
His name appeared in a second casualty list dated 11th July 1916, which would have detailed casualties in June 1916, suggesting he was wounded on the occasion he was awarded the Military Medal - most probably for gallantry at Ploegsteert or Messines.
William Batchelor was re-numbered at some stage in the war after 1916, when he was allotted the wartime general-service style five-digit number, 39202 in the East Surrey Regiment. This suggests he might not have served with the 9th Battalion at the end of the war as the East Surrey numbers beginning 392xx appear to have been allotted by the 3rd (Depot) Battalion East Surrey Regiment late in the war, many to men who had served in various other regiments previously. Many of them were posted to the 8th Battalion in 1918. William was demobilized on 28th March 1919 and was transferred to the ‘Z’ Reserve which was for men who would be re-called if the Armistice with Germany did not hold. This indicated he was still in service at the end of the war.
Corporal William Henry Batchelor M.M. qualified for the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The address 184 Portnall Road, Paddington, London, was shown in the 1901 census as a house in multiple occupation as flats or rooms.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Alan Jermyn {Email left}
Location: Falmouth
Date: Sunday 18th September 2016 at 8:39 PM
Hi
I am trying to find out about my Nans brothers both died in th First World War , Joseph Jordan was in the Royal horse artillery 256 Brigade and died in October 1918, his elder brother Alexander was killed in Iraq ( Messopotania) serving with the Kings own Lancaster regiment 6th battalion , I would love to know where they are buried and some idea of where they fought .

Kind regards
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 19th September 2016 at 4:18 PM

Dear Alan,
Joseph Jordan served with the Royal Field Artillery (R.F.A.). He served with 256 Brigade for less than a month and spent much of his war with another brigade.
Joseph enlisted at Wigan on 6th August 1914, the second day of the war. He was an iron dresser, aged 22; 5ft 6 ins tall. He was first posted to 212 Battery R.F.A. on 9th September 1914 and then to 278 Battery on 14th October 1914 for basic training. On 23rd January 1915, Joseph was posted to ‘A’ Battery 89th Brigade R.F.A.. On 22nd May 1915, this battery was moved and became ‘D’ (Howitzer) Battery 86 Brigade R.F.A. (LXXXVI Brigade R.F.A. in Roman numerals) in the 19th (Western) Division.
On 18th July 1915, Joseph went to France with 86 Brigade R.F.A. and the 19th (Western) Division and served with them until October 1917. The engagements of the Division can be seen on Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail. See:
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/19th-western-division/
On 6th August 1917, Joseph was promoted to Bombardier.
In October 1917, Joseph was thrown by his horse and fractured his skull. He was returned to the U.K. and moved to Scotland where he was treated at 1st Scottish General Hospital, Aberdeen, from October 14th 1917 to 28th December 1917. He was treated for concussion and was later prescribed spectacles. He was allowed home leave for a week on 28th December 1917 and was then posted to the Royal Artillery convalescent depot at Catterick, Yorkshire, where he was exercised back to fitness. On 2nd March 1918 he was posted to No. 4 Reserve Depot at High Wycombe.
On May 21st 1918 Joseph returned to France and passed through a base depot. On 31st May 1918 he was posted via the Divisional Ammunition Column of the 5th Division to 27 Brigade R.F.A. in the 5th Division. For 5th Division’s engagements between June and September, see:
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/5th-division/
Joseph left 27 Brigade on 6th September 1918 when he was posted to an unspecified base depot.
From there he would have joined 256 Brigade R.F.A. (51st Highland) Division which was fighting in the Operations at Cambrai, where he would have been wounded, dying of wounds on 13th October 1918.
Joseph was buried at Ramillies British Cemetery, near Cambrai, France, in row D grave 4. The village of Ramillies was captured by the Canadian Corps on the night of 8th – 9th October 1918. The original cemetery contained 93 graves dating from 30th September to 17th October. Joseph Jordan was a bombardier aged 26 when he died.
Joseph Jordan qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Alexander Jordan was two years older than Joseph. He was 5ft 8 ins tall. He was a shop assistant at Wigan where he enlisted on 16th February 1916. Alexander was posted to the 10th (Reserve) Battalion The King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) for basic training at Wareham, Dorset. Alexander was appointed a Lance-corporal on 16th April 1916 and was additionally trained in grenade throwing.
On 8th July 1916, Alexander was posted overseas to the 6th Battalion K.O.R.L. which was serving in Mesopotamia at the time, with the 13th (Western) Division. The 6th Battalion K.O.R.L. was instrumental in the relief of Kut and in capturing Baghdad in March 1917. See:
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/13th-western-division/
While in Mesopotamia in March 1917 Alexander suffered “I.C.T. Feet” (inflamed connective tissue) which was a form of suppurating skin disease (Pyoderma) caused mainly due to parasitic infection. He was treated at 39 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. at Amara.
On 28th July 1917 Alexander was admitted to 31 British Stationary Hospital Baghdad suffering from the effects of heat. He was seriously ill on admission and “all treatment was unsuccessful”. On 2nd August 1917, he was reported “dangerously ill”. Two days later, on 4th August 1917, he died in hospital of pneumonia “due to Field operations” i.e. the extreme heat endured by the soldiers.
Alexander was buried at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, plot XI, row K, grave 10. For war graves information see:
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx
Alexander qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Jermyn
Date: Monday 19th September 2016 at 10:24 PM

Hi Alan

Thank you so much for this amazing report on the two brothers , I am so grateful to you for the detail and information , it really gives me an insight into the ordeals they must have gone through .
Thank you once again for your prompt response and effort .

Kind regards
Alan
Reply from: Alan Jermyn
Date: Monday 19th September 2016 at 11:04 PM

Hi Alan,
Is it possible for your help in giving me some idea of my Grand fathers life in the boer war his name was Harry Jermyn whose father was Henry Jermyn who they lived initially in Altringham ,Manchester Harry was a bandsman who went to SAfrica and l believe he was at Lady Smith during the siege by the Boers.

Kind regards
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 12:14 PM

Dear Alan,
I do not research the Second Anglo Boer War on this forum. Army records from the period are available on the Findmypast.co.uk website (pay as you go from about £6). The records are copyright of Findmypast.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Jermyn
Date: Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 3:08 PM

HiAlan

Thank you I will try that site , is it possible in the future to ask you about my wife's Grand father who served in the 1st world war

Kind regards

Alan
Reply from: Alan Jermyn
Date: Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 8:12 PM

HiAlan

Thank you I will try that site , is it possible in the future to ask you about my wife's Grand father who served in the 1st world war

Kind regards

Alan
Reply from: Dear Alan
Date: Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 8:58 PM

Yes, of course. I have access to First World War records that can be transcribed. The First World War is my subject - and one war is enough!
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Alan
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Saturday 17th September 2016 at 3:15 PM
Many thanks for the fantastic amount of information about L. Corporal Reedman. So much information so quickly. Your knowledge is amazing.
We have been looking for information about L Corporal W Storey No 1318 with little success. He was in the 5th Border Regiment - Machine Gun Section and part of the BEF. He was wounded at Armentiers on 27th September 1914. In the Autograph book it also says GPO London and Cumberland Terriers
We would be grateful for anything you can add to this
Regards
Judy Lowe.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 18th September 2016 at 1:30 PM

Dear Judy,
This was William Storey, born on 9th November 1890 at Whitehaven, Cumberland. It is not possible to be definite about his parents because there were two births in the name of William Storey registered at Whitehaven in 1890. He appears to be the William Storey who died in 1950 who named a brother as James, which indicated from the censuses that William and James were the children of Samuel Storey, a coal miner, and his wife Margaret, of New Houses, Front Row, Preston Quarter, Whitehaven. William Storey became a coal miner and in 1911 was recorded with his parents and siblings at Kells, Whitehaven, as a 20 year-old bogie-hand working below ground (census and probate records).
At the age of 21, William Storey, a coal miner, enlisted in the Territorial Army. This was the part-time Home Defence force that had been created in 1908 from the former Volunteer battalions. One of their nick-names became “the Terriers”. On 24th May 1911, William joined the 5th (Cumberland) Battalion of The Border Regiment at Whitehaven. The Battalion was administered by the Cumberland and Westmoreland Territorial Association. William was a private with the regimental number 1318.
At 7.30 p.m. on July 29th 1914, a week before war was declared, the 5th Battalion HQ at Workington, received the telegraph message “Mascot” which caused the special service section to be despatched to their war stations for coastal defence at Barrow-in-Furness. These were men of the Territorial Force who had already agreed to serve overseas in the event of a state of national emergency.
At 6 p.m. on August 4th 1914, the 5th Battalion received orders to mobilise and 24 hours later, by 6 p.m. August 5th, the Battalion was at Barrow-in-Furness on coastal defence duties. They remained there until October 1914.
There is some question about the date William Storey was wounded. The records show that William Storey was not wounded in September 1914. Firstly, he hadn’t yet left for France. Secondly, an official casualty list of October 10th 1915 recorded him as wounded. This was published in the English and Scottish newspapers on Wednesday 20th October 1915: “5th Border Regiment, Storey, 1318, L.-Cpl W.; wounded” (© Johnson Press). Some medical notes stated he was wounded in France in September 1915. The Battalion was at Armentières in September 1915.
The machine gun section of a battalion consisted of twelve men commanded by one junior officer. They had two Maxim machine guns, which were already dated having been invented in 1883. The Maxim guns were increased to four by February 1915. There was a machine gun school at Wisques in France established by the British Expeditionary Force (Source: Chris Baker at http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/machine-gun-corps-in-the-first-world-war/ ).
William Storey went overseas as a Lance-corporal. The 5th Battalion sailed from Southampton in the early evening of 25th October 1915 on board the S.S. “Manchester Engineer” and landed at Havre the same evening where they went into No 1 Rest Camp. On 2nd November 1914, the Battalion HQ moved to Rue Raspail, Havre, where their rôle was as Lines of Communication troops to undertake fatigues; guard duties; and to escort German prisoners-of-war to England. The companies and part-companies of the Battalion were based in out-stations at Havre, Boulogne, Rouen, Abbeville, and Dieppe. By April 1915, they had escorted 2,000 prisoners across the Channel.
In a remarkably vitriolic note in the Battalion’s war diary, the author wrote: “Owing to the unwillingness of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Association T.F. [Territorial Force] the Battalion proceeded abroad badly clothed but the efforts made by the Battalion itself remedied this to a great extent. For a future guide it would be as well for the County Association to store clothing, boots etc. instead of trying to hoard money” (5th Battalion Border Regiment war diary; 2nd November 1914; WO95/2831; sheet 3).
For a senior field officer to commit that to writing indicated the extent of his anger; yet it illustrated the concern that Territorial Army officers did have for the well-being of their men while on active service during winter months.
On April 5th 1915 the Battalion’s guard duties came to an end and the Battalion moved to Arques near St Omer where the British Expeditionary Force HQ was situated. The Battalion went into training for a month. The war diary was left uncompleted for the month of April 1915, but is it feasible William Storey, as a machine gunner, went to the machine gun school at Wisques. Having gone through their exercises the Battalion then moved by motor buses on May 5th 1915 from Arques to a cross-roads village called Droglandt (Droogland) which is just over the Belgian border in France, 8km West of Poperinghe, Ypres. There the Battalion became designated part of 149th Infantry Brigade in the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. By May 12th 1915, they were at Brandhoek, Flanders, near Ypres, where they came under shell-fire for the first time while they were busy filling sandbags. There were no casualties. The weather was very wet, and on 13th May the Battalion moved into huts one mile West of Ypres, on the road to Vlamertinghe. The next day (May 14th 1915) they were attached to and came under the command of 10th Infantry Brigade in the 4th Division. On 16th and 17th May 1915, companies of the 5th Border Regiment went into the trenches for the first time near Vlamertinghe. On May 24th the Battalion was attacked by the Germans who used chlorine gas. This was their first major engagement and occurred during the Second Battle of Ypres. The Battalion repulsed the attack but became split-up and suffered heavy gas casualties. They had 305 casualties (19 killed) out of a strength of some 920 men.
The Battalion spent the summer of 1915 in trench routine with 149th Infantry Brigade in the Ypres sector. In September 1915, they were in the area of Houplines, Armentieres. On 27th September 1915 the Battalion was in trenches that were shelled by 50 Whizz-Bangs between 2-15 p.m. and 3 p.m.. Whizz-bangs were German 77 millimetre shells that were fired from a short range and with a low trajectory so the shells arrived and exploded as soon as anyone could hear them, with a whizz and a bang.
A medical record for William Storey stated he had shrapnel wounds to the scalp and a leg, received in September 1915. After the war he stated he suffered headaches and a medical board recorded he was “tremulous and nervous”.
There is no individual record that relates to his wartime postings in England. His file was mislaid by 1920 as a later document was marked “certified no further information forthcoming” by the assistant adjutant of 5th Battalion Border Regiment.
After recovering from treatment William Storey was posted to the 4th Battalion Border Regiment. He later had the regimental number 240064 which was allotted by the 5th Battalion in January 1917, so he seems to have spent a time in the 4th Battalion before joining the 3rd/5th Battalion. This would have been with the reserve 3rd/4th Battalion which, alongside the reserve 3rd/5th Battalion, was based at Ripon, Yorkshire, in 1917, and then at Hunmanby near Scarborough before ending the war at Filey. The surviving records are scant but it appears William did not return to France. William ended the war as an acting Corporal.
William Storey appears to have married Tamar Johnson at Whitehaven in the first quarter of 1918. William was demobilized on 10th January 1919. He qualified for the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His post-war address was 9, Plumblands Lane, Whitehaven.
He continued to serve in the Territorial Army. He renewed his enlistment in the 5th Battalion Border Regiment and was given a new service number, 3589305, in July 1920. He attended annual camps at Fleetwood in August 1920; Carnarvon (Caernarfon) in August 1921 and Fargo Camp, Salisbury Plain, in June 1922. He was discharged on 16th July 1922.
William Storey died at Whitehaven in 1950.
“G.P.O. London” [care/of General Post Office, London] was the postal address of the G.P.O. central sorting office at Mount Pleasant in London. Amongst other G.P.O. services, it was used for sending mail to ships where the sender did not know the location of the vessel. The G.P.O. received daily listings of ships in ports at home or in foreign waters and forwarded mail accordingly. The G.P.O. address could also be used as a poste restante address where mail would be held until collected by the addressee. “Cumberland” was the sub-title of the 5th Battalion Border Regiment and “Terriers” was a nick-name for the Territorial Army, so Cumberland Terriers could be a forwarding address or perhaps the registered telegraphic address for the 5th Battalion Border Regiment.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Thursday 15th September 2016 at 4:17 PM
Dear Alan
Once again thanks for the fantastic information regarding Private W Jones. It is beyond anything that I could have found out.
Also thanks for agreeing to help us with our research. It is very much a long term project but hope that it will be complete in 1918.
The next man we are interested in and who wrote a poem in the book is L. Cpl Reedman No 14929 of 7th Northamptonshire Regiment who was wounded at Loos on 27th September 1915.
Regards
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 16th September 2016 at 2:15 PM

Dear Judith,
L. Cpl Reedman No 14929 who wrote the poem was George Harry Reedman who was born in 1893 at Wittering, a village on the Great North Road near Peterborough. He was the son of William Wade Reedman, a farm horse-keeper, and his wife Mary. George became a butler to Captain G. Hannay of Wittering Grange Farm, Wansford, near Peterborough. George was recorded there in the 1911 census and gave that address in 1916.
(If the name Hannay seems familiar, it was the surname of the semi-fictional hero Richard Hannay of “The Thirty-Nine Steps” written by John Buchan in 1915. Captain G. Hannay was retired from the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, having been twice Mentioned in Despatches in South Africa. The fictional Hannay character was based on William Edmund Ironside an acquaintance of Buchan in the South African War (1899-1902). Ironside later planned Britain’s invasion defences in 1940 as Commander-in-Chief Home Forces before Churchill replaced him. Ironside was Stellenbosched* and was made a Field Marshall in August 1940 and raised to the Peerage in January 1941.)
In 1914, George Reedman stated he was a farm labourer working for W. Sharpley. This would have been William Sharpley of Elms Farm, Wittering. George Reedman enlisted in the Army at Peterborough on 9th September 1914 during the height of the volunteer recruitment campaign instigated by Kitchener. George was posted to the 7th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment. He was 21 years old; 5ft 6ins tall.
The 7th Battalion was formed at Northampton in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Third New Army. In 1914 George would have trained with the Battalion on the South Downs before going into billets for the winter at Southwick, Sussex, from November 1914 to April 1915. George Reedman was appointed a Lance-corporal on 27th April 1915.The Battalion then moved to Inkerman Barracks, Woking, for the summer of 1915. It was there that they were warned on 21st August 1915 that they were to sail shortly for service in France. The Battalion left Brookwood railway station on 1st September 1915. The companies were ordered to be at the station two hours before the departure of their trains from 7.15 p.m.. It was pouring with rain and everyone got soaked to the skin standing in the open. The trains arrived at Folkestone by 11 p.m. and the men sailed at 11.25 p.m. arriving at Boulogne two hours later. The next day, on September 2nd 1915, after a rail journey from Boulogne and a route march to the South, they arrived in the evening at the villages of Torcy and Crequy, Pas-de-Calais where they were to be billeted for the next eight days. They then took part in Brigade exercises with the 73rd Infantry Brigade (24th Division) before moving to L’Ecleme, North of Bethune, on 22nd September 1915.
On the evening of 24th September 1915 the 7th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment marched through the night to Beovry, North of Loos-en-Gohelle, arriving in the early hours of 25th September 1915. Later that morning, they were ordered to march to Vermelles where they were to relieve one of the three Scottish battalions that had just captured and occupied the German trenches in front of the Hohenzollern redoubt. This redoubt was named “Hohenzollernwerk”, in German, and was a defensive strongpoint near Loos-en-Gohelle.
The 7th Battalion went into the Front line for the first time in the newly-captured trenches on 25th September 1915. At 8 p.m. that evening the Germans wanted their trenches back and they counter-attacked, shelling the Northamptonshire’s trench all night. All through the next day the shelling continued from both sides and another counter-attack by the Germans was repulsed at 7 p.m. on the 26th September 1915. At 6 a.m. on the 27th September 1915 the Germans counter-attacked en-masse and managed to regain their original trench, forcing the 7th Northamptonshire Battalion to move back to a secondary line 100 yards to the rear. This line was taken and re-taken numerous times during a day of incessant fighting on September 27th 1915. The Battalion managed to hold their second line and a relief took place at 11 p.m. on September 27th without the 7th Battalion losing the line. George Reedman was struck on the right ear and temple by a shrapnel ball from the shelling during September 27th 1915. He had been in battle for just 48 hours after arriving in France a fortnight earlier with no time to acclimatise to the trenches. He was treated at 19 Field Ambulance and moved to No 11 General Hospital at Rouen before being transferred to Britain on the Hospital Ship “Asturias” on or about 2nd October 1915, exactly one month after he had arrived in France. He was treated at Rainhill for a one-inch square missing from the top of his right ear. The shrapnel ball had grazed his temple but did not break the bone.
On 24th February 1916, George Harry Reedman, soldier, aged 23, address given as Wittering Grange, Wansford (where he had been a butler) married Annie Elizabeth Saunders, aged 24, daughter of the late Harry George Saunders, a butcher. Annie lived at 7 Ford Road, Tower Hamlets. The ceremony was by license at the parish church of St Paul, Old Ford, St Stephens Road, Tower Hamlets, London.
(During the First World War, Sylvia Pankhurst lived in a house next-door to the Lord Morpeth pub, which was nearby on Old Ford Road. Sylvia Pankhurst organised the East London branch of the suffragette movement from a meeting room there.)
After hospital treatment, George Reedman was posted to the Eastern Command Depot at Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex in April 1916. This was a convalescent depot for wounded soldiers. In September 1916 he was transferred to the Labour Corps with the new regimental number 232110 and served with 607 (Home Service) Employment Company, Labour Corps. It appears that once he had recovered at the Shoreham he had joined the permanent staff of the convalescent depot at Shoreham-by-Sea. He was promoted to Corporal on 16th June 1917. George Reedman returned to the Northamptonshire Regimental depot on 22nd January 1919 and was demobilized on 7th March 1919. He gave his intended address as 19 Diana Road, Walthamstow.
George Reedman qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
George’s younger brother, Ernest Wade Reedman, born in 1899, served in the 7th Royal Fusiliers. He was assumed dead on 27th March 1918 during Operation Michael, the German advance of 1918 in which the British Army was forced to retreat quite some distance in confusion. Ernest Reedman has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
George survived the war. He died, aged 80, on 4th October 1973 at Loughton, Essex.
With kind regards,
Alan

*Stellenbosch was a farm in South Africa (Second Anglo-Boer War 1899 – 1902) where hopeless officers were despatched to look after horses without losing their rank. It became an Army euphemism as a verb for a senior officer being put out to grass.
Posted by: Jean Graham {Email left}
Location: Canada
Date: Thursday 15th September 2016 at 12:44 PM
Hi Alan,

I just discovered your website this week, and you are now on my "favourites."
You may be interested to know that ancestry.co.uk are making available, military records free today until midnight GMT. It is possible to view enlistment records, medal records, pay due to casualties and who their next of kin was, as well as war diaries written as the campaign progressed.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 15th September 2016 at 12:57 PM

Dear Jean,
Thank you for the information about ancestry.co.uk today. I am pleased we are now among your favourites.
With kind regards,
Alan

The forum has 316 pages containing 3152 messages
-10   Prev Page   11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19   Next Page   10+

Don't forget to SAVE this page to your FAVORITES.