Sunday, 10 May 2015

Bethune Town Cemetery - 10th May 1915

Bethune Town Cemetery would increase its grave count by 33 as a result of the actions of 10th May 1915 and the days immediately preceding it. The following men are all buried there; 33 men out of a total 701 British Army officers and men who lost their lives one hundred years ago today on the 10th May 1915.

S/7354 Private John Abercrombie 2nd Bn, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
5/1887 Serjeant John Henry Barrett 5th Bn, Royal Sussex Regiment
18472 Private J P Boote 1st Bn, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
1366 Serjeant Arthur Henry Brabrook 3rd Bn, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)
16515 Private W Brand 2nd Bn, Highland Light Infantry
L/10159 Private George Thomas Brazil 2nd Bn, Royal Sussex Regiment
13770 Private W T Brewis 1st Bn, South Wales Borderers
9142 Rifleman James Castledine 2nd Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps
5137 Corporal J Cremen 2nd Bn, Royal Munster Fusiliers
11435 Private Herbert Dearden 3rd Bn, Coldstream Guards
Captain John Eric Evans 4th Bn, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
2855 Private A Forse 24th Bn, London Regiment
9677 Private W French 2nd Bn, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Lieutenant Thomas Martin Garrod 3rd Bn, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
26177 Gunner Charles Groves 7th Mountain Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery
12947 Private Bert Hodson 1st Bn, Northamptonshire Regiment
Second Lieutenant Frederick Holmes Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
L/SR/2249 Private W Hopper 2nd Bn, Royal Sussex Regiment
3/2069 Lance Corporal William Kerr 1st Bn, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
12661 Private Robert Charles Kidman 1st Bn, Northamptonshire Regiment
9864 Private P J Liddington 1st Bn, Northamptonshire Regiment
13849 Private W J Lloyd 1st Bn, South Wales Borderers
14073 Private S H Matthews 1st Bn, South Wales Borderers
L/10330 Private Walter Message "C" Coy, 2nd Bn, Royal Sussex Regiment
S/3014 Lance Corporal Joseph Milton 1st Bn, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
9842 Corporal Hugh Morton 1st Bn, Cameron Highlanders
9865 Lance Corporal William Mckay "D" Coy, 1st Bn, Cameron Highlanders
4611 Lance Corporal John Nagle 3rd Bn, Royal Munster Fusiliers
10134 Private Bertram Nind 1st Bn, Gloucestershire Regiment
10183 Private Michael O'Donnell 2nd Bn Royal Munster Fusiliers
3/6300 Private D Prentice 1st Bn, Cameron Highlanders
1029 Private A Rattray 1st Bn, Seaforth Highlanders
32831 Private David Rees Williams 1st Bn, Welsh Regiment

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Remembering the 2nd Buffs at 2nd Ypres - 3rd May 1915

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission 629 British Army officers and men lost their lives on the 3rd May 1915, one hundred years ago today.

The 2nd Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) lost particularly heavily on this day with 143 men paying the ultimate sacrifice. Of these 141 men, only six have known graves, the remaining 135 men all commemorated by name on the Menin Gate.

The 2nd Buffs who died that day are all listed below and their regimental numbers show a range of experience - or inexperience.  The L/ prefix men are all regular soldiers, career soldiers like the first L/ man on this list, George Allen who had arrived in France on the 7th October 1914.

George's number reveals that he had joined The Buffs in August 1903. This was at the time when regular terms of enlistment into the infantry were for three years with the colours and nine on the reserve. In all probability then, George had been transferred to the Army Reserve in August 1906 (or perhaps August 1907 had he been serving abroad). Men joining at the same time as George did had seen the usual service at the regimental depot and then with the home battalion before shipping out to South Africa in 1905. Getting back into khaki and army routine seven or eight years after they had last shouldered a rifle would have been a challenge for a lot of men.
The vast majority of the men killed on 3rd May 1915 were career soldiers. The newest recruit was 21 year old Charles Williams who had enlisted for seven and five after Britain went to war in August 1914, while Privates William Ward Sunderland and Charles James Burns had originally joined the regiment in 1894. Both had seen service in India and both held the India General Service Medal with a clasp for the Punjab Frontier 1897-1898.
The men with an S/ prefix are men of the Special Reserve and there are two number series in play here. The low two digit and three digit S/ numbers are men who joined the Special Reserve for wartime service only. Their numbers are often presented on attestation papers as SR/EK/GS or Special Reserve / East Kent / General Service. The men with four and five digit S/ numbers have service ranging from 1908 to August 1914.
G/ prefix men are Kitchener volunteers, men who answered the call for King and Country. There are 37 of these men whose regimental numbers indicate that they enlisted between August 1914 and March 1915. The CWGC notes that Thomas Twyman's number is G/14651. This can't possibly be correct as the number would not be issued until much later in the war. His number was G/4651.

G/4851 Private Ernest Charles Adams
G/5015 Private Harry Thomas Akhurst
L/7633 Private George Allen
G/5019 Private Arthur Edward Appleton
G/4953 Private William Walter Appleton
S/10530 Private Henry Baker
G/1008 Lance Corporal James Alfred Bell
L/9669 Private William James Blewitt
L/7677 Private William Bolton
L/9225 Lance Corporal Albert Broughton
G/146 Lance Corporal John Brown
L/8140 Private E Brunger
G/4406 Private Herbert Edward Burcham
S/684 Private Thomas Burgess
L/4672 Private Charles James Burns
L/8476 Private William Butcher
L/8306 Private Charles Carr
S/60 Private John Carthew
L/8489 Private Albert James Clark
G/1381 Private Spencer Arthur Collins
S/10704 Private Thomas George Collins
G/4831 Private Joseph G. Cork
L/8242 Private Ernest Augustus Corry
G/4478 Private John Henry Coulbeck
S/849 Private Thomas James Couzens
L/9337 Corporal William John Cremer
L/8657 Private George Albert Crickett
G/4677 Private James Stanley Croft
L/10144 Private Ernest D'Oyley
G/4601 Lance Corporal A Day
L/8254 Private John Wildman Dennis
S/585 Private Richard Dray
L/8367 Corporal Arthur Percy Duckworth
L/9888 Private Christopher Elliott
L/9418 Private Frank Erridge
L/7072 Private G F Excell
S/10765 Private Frederick Albert Fallowes
L/7529 Private William Francis Fendom
S/357 Private John Finn
L/8707 Private John Thomas Fishenden
L/9231 Private John Edward Flick
G/676 Private Robert Folley
G/4763 Private John Henry Fordham
L/7991 Private Frank Brook Foster
L/9653 Private Frederick William Fowler
L/9651 Private James Henry Fremlin
L/9894 Lance Corporal Thomas Edward Fruin
L/9112 Private Edward Gambell
L/8361 Serjeant Harry Goddard
L/9092 Private William George Thomas Gouge
S/491 Private Charles Gurr
L/9365 Private William George Hall
S/307 Private Joseph Edward Hambrose
G/5107 Private George William Hance
G/4624 Private George Henry Handy
G/5449 Private Michael Nicholas Hannon
L/9371 Private Alfred William Harlow
L/8406 Serjeant John Harris
S/9151 Private Arthur Charles Reginald Hart
S/10274 Private Benjamin Thomas Hawkins
L/8436 Private William Hayward
S/52 Private Ernest William Hazeldin
G/1008 Private Ernest Head
S/8398 Lance Corporal Henry Thomas Hines
G/5815 Private George Hird
L/9716 Private George Hoare
L/9067 Private Thomas Hoare
G/4679 Private George William Verney Holmes
S/605 Private William Thomas Hope
S/9594 Private Arthur Hoper
L/10176 Private Joseph Horrigan
L/9021 Private Leonard Ingram
G/5186 Private Arthur John Jarvest
G/4657 Private Ernest Jones
L/9031 Lance Corporal Edgar Judd
S/802 Private Alfred Charles Kendall
G/889 Private Arthur William King
L/9139 Private William Charles Knight
L/8011 Serjeant Percy George Lancaster
S/10688 Private Harry Lane
G/3429 Private Henry Arthur Leslie
S/10662 Private William George Lewis
L/9799 Private Bernard William Francis Lott
G/4595 Private William John Maloney
G/5731 Private Richard Mannings
L/8430 Private Frederick Charles Manser
L/9420 Private Harold Masey
L/8971 Private Percy William Millard
L/7548 Lance Corporal Percy James Mills
L/9166 Corporal Maurice Mitchell
L/9380 Private Bernard Moore
L/9601 Private William James Mount
G/1092 Private Patrick Michael Valentine Mccarthy
G/4404 Private Owen Mcnamara
S/673 Private Charles Oclee
L/10204 Lance Corporal John Palmer
L/9246 Corporal Henry Pankhurst
G/787 Private William Parker
L/8300 Private Hedley Parsons
L/9784 Private John Francis Payne
S/10780 Private John George Pearson
L/8632 Serjeant Ernest Henry Petts
G/4680 Private Sidney Pippard
L/9473 Private George Potter
L/8750 Private Louis Frederick Quittenden
L/9251 Bandsman William Stephen Redman
L/8505 Private Vincent Daniel Richardson
L/6030 Private Alexander Ridlington
L/5668 Private Alexander Rowe
S/10560 Lance Corporal John Henry Russell
L/8715 Private Edward Rye
S/414 Private A C Saxby
L/8416 Private George John Scotchbrook
S/9609 Serjeant William Richard Semark
L/9570 Private Edward George Shorter
L/8397 Lance Corporal John Shrubsole
L/10036 Lance Corporal Arthur Thomas John Smith
G/4912 Private Frederick Smith
L/9391 Private William Thomas Smith
L/9098 Lance Corporal Albert James Stuckey
L/4621 Private William Ward Sunderland
L/9989 Private George Taylor
L/8421 Private Edward Terry
L/8780 Private Leonard Terry
L/9419 Private George Tomlin
G/4693 Private Henry Thomas Tompsett
G/4878 Private William Charles Twinn
G/4651 Private Thomas Twyman
G/1380 Private James Veness
G/831 Private Arthur John Vincent
L/7239 Private James Edward Waghorn
L/8624 Private William James Richardson Ward
S/229 Private Benjamin Watson
G/885 Lance Corporal Horatio Edwin Weeden
L/10316 Private Charles Williams
L/8239 Private Wesley Wise
L/9065 Private Alick Henry Wood
S/10736 Private Bernard Joseph Woodward
L/9071 Private Alexander William Wotherspoon
L/8540 Lance Corporal George Alexander Wyatt
L/6570 Lance Corporal John Wynder

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
The image on this post is The Second Battle of Ypres by Richard Jack. Medal index card, courtesy of Ancestry. For help making sense of regimental numbers in the British Army, visit my Army Service Numbers blog or drop me a line.

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