Morris, Richard. Died 30th Nov 1917

Richard W MORRIS was born at Newbold in 1894, the son of Richard W Morris (b.c.1862 at Harborough Magna, Warwickshire,) and his wife, Fanny, née Walker, Morris, who had married at St Andrew’s church, Rugby on 7 October 1886, when he was living at 780 Old Station, Rugby, and she was also living in ‘Old Station’.

By 1901, when Richard was 7 years old, the family had moved to live at Newbold and his father was a labourer at a ‘cement works’. By 1911 the family was living at 86 Abbey Street, Rugby.   Richard’s father was now a ‘Blacksmith’s Striker’ at the ‘BTH Works’ and Richard was the fourth of six children aged between 13 and 24, who were all living at home – three of his siblings had died before 1911. Richard was a ‘labourer’ and like his father was also at the ‘BTH Works’.

There are no extant military Service Records, only Richard’s Medal Card which shows that he went into the French ‘theatre of war’ on 16 June 1915. He had joined up as No.Z/258, Rifleman R. Morris in the 11th Battalion [Bn.] of the Rifle Brigade.   However he doesn’t appear to be under that name or number in the December 1915 to January 1916 Roll Book.

The 11th (Service) Battalion of the Rifle Brigade was formed at Winchester in September 1914 as part of K2 and came under command of the 59th Brigade in the 20th (Light) Division. They moved to Blackdown, going on in February 1915 to Witley and then in April to Hamilton Camp (Stonehenge). On 21 July 1915 the Battalion landed at Boulogne which appears to be a month or so after Richard is recorded as having arrived in France – maybe he was initially in another unit.

On 20 November 1917, after having taken part in various actions earlier in the Battle of 3rd Ypres, the 11th Battalion were part of the British Third Army which launched an attack towards Cambrai. The method of assault was new, with no preliminary artillery bombardment. Instead, a large number of tanks were used in significant force. However, having started well, with large gains of ground being made, the German reserves brought the advance to a halt. Ten days later, a counter-attack regained much of the ground.

It was probably during this German counter-attack that Richard Morris was killed in action on 30 November 1917. His Medal Card declares that he was ‘Acc[epted] as Dead’ as his body was either never found or never identified. He is remembered with his fellow Riflemen on Panels 10 and 11 of the Cambrai Memorial which is located an elevated terrace in the Louverval Military Cemetery, Louveral, France, 11 kms north of Arras. The monument commemorates more than 7,000 servicemen from Britain and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai and whose graves are not known.

Richard MORRIS was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star. He is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby; on the BTH List of ‘Employees Who Served’; and on the BTH War Memorial.[1]

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Richard MORRIS was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, October 2017.

[1]       The List is that published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921.

Advertisements

Green, George Bernard. Died 30th Nov 1917

George Bernard Green was born on the 24th April and baptised on 12th June 1898 at St Barnabas Church in Oxford. His father Frederick was an iron moulder and lived at 11 St Barnabas Street. He and George’s mother Louisa Greenfield (nee Palmer) had married in Stockbridge RD (Hampshire). Louisa was from nearby Bowerchalke, in Wiltshire and Frederick from Oxford.

The family moved several times, with children born in Oxford, Stoke on Trent and the two youngest, Margaret Ann and John Palmer, five and two in the 1911 census, in New Bilton. George Bernard, aged 12, was still at school at this point and the family was living at 4 Gladstone Street. Frederick was still working as an iron moulder.

George’s older brother, Frederick John, signed up at the start of the war and was wounded in the Battle of the Somme and died in September 1916.

George Bernard would have enlisted later – he was only 16 in 1914 and he received only the British and Victory Medals. He joined the Montgomery and Welsh Yeomanry, part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. In January 1917, reorganisation caused am amalgamation of regiments and on 4th March 1917 it became 25th (Montgomery and Welsh Horse Yeomanry) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers and joined the 231st Brigade of the 74th (Yeomanry) Division which took part in the Second Battle of Gaza (17-19 April 1917). Tis was an unsuccessful attempt to capture the town of Gaza. After a summer of stalemate they took part in the Third Battle of Gaza (27 Oct – 7 Nov) which resulted in the Turks abandoning the town and a rapid British advance to capture Jerusalem (8-9 December).

It must have been during this advance that Private George Bernard Green (no 60104) was killed. His body was not identified and he is remembered on the Jerusalem Memorial, which stands in Jerusalem War Cemetery, 4.5 kilometres north of the walled city and is situated on the neck of land at the north end of the Mount of Olives, to the west of Mount Scopus.

He is also remembered, with his brother on the Croop Hill Memorial

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Lissimore, Hugh Harold. Died 28th Nov 1917

Hugh was the youngest of the four sons of Thomas Lissimore and Hannah Mary nee Roberts who were married in Wellingborough Registration District, Northamptonshire, in April Quarter 1891.   His brothers were Ernest John b 1893, Cecil Joseph b 1895, both at Wellingborough, and Arthur Thomas b 1897 at Stanwick Northants; Hugh was born in 1899 at Higham Ferrers, Northants.

In 1901 the family was living in Irthlingborough, Northants, Thomas was a cement works manager born in Tividale near Dudley Staffordshire, his wife Hannah came from Chesterfield.   Perhaps his occupation was the reason for coming to Rugby to work at the cement works here, but in 1906 Thomas died at Dudley aged only 38. Was he on a family visit or did Hannah have ties with the town? Certainly Hannah was at 45 Jubilee Street in New Bilton in 1907 when all four of her sons were baptised at Bilton Church on 17 February, their father is noted in the register as “deceased”. It has not been established whether she came to Rugby before or after her husband’s death.

Hannah was still at Jubilee Street in 1911, with just the two youngest boys Arthur and Hugh – she says she is “on an allowance”.

According to Soldiers Died in the Great War Hugh enlisted at Warwick and joined the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards as Private 19339.   He was killed in action on 28 November 1917, his death was reported in the Birmingham Daily Post on 21 December when his mother was living at 23 Lodge Road. Hugh is described as a former scholar of St Matthew’s School in Rugby who had only been at the front for a few months.

Hugh is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louvreval, France. His mother and sole legatee received his back pay of £5.14s.8d and a War Gratuity of £4. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission citation, she was living in Coventry Road, Dunchurch when the memorial was set up. She died in 1962, her Executor was her son Cecil, a retired Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy.

Hugh was awarded the Victory and British War Medals. As well as being commemorated on the Memorial Gates, his name appears on the memorial at St Philip’s Church, Wood Street, although as this church is now closed, it is not known if the memorial is still there. The names were recorded by The Rugby Advertiser on 12 November 1920 when it was unveiled.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

Neville, Frank Septimus. Died 24th Nov 1917

Frank was the youngest of the nine children of Thomas Johnson Neville and his wife Lilian nee Lord who were married at St Paul’s Chiswick, Middlesex on 18 March 1872.   Thomas and Lilian returned to Thomas’s birthplace of Dunchurch after their marriage where he was a butcher and farmer.   Although Lilian was born in Hoxton Middlesex, her father Richard was also born in Dunchurch.

Frank was baptised in Dunchurch on 25 October 1891, his birth being registered in December Quarter of that year.

In 1901 Frank was aged 9, living with his parents and five older siblings in Dunchurch, but by 1911 he was 19 and had become a teacher in Stamford. This is confirmed by his detailed obituary in the Rugby Advertiser of 1 December 1917. This records that he was educated at Dunchurch School, then at the Lower School in Rugby (now Lawrence Sheriff). He was a member of the Howitzer Battery in Rugby, and “being a well-set up young fellow, was selected as one of the Guard of Honour when King Edward visited the town” in 1909.   He left Stamford for a post as assistant master at St Matthews School in Rugby where he took a great interest in the new Scout movement.

Just before war broke out he passed high in a Civil Service examination which enabled him to become a member of the Inns of Court Officers’ Training Corps (OTC) as Private 1013.   He was transferred to the Northampton Regiment as 2nd Lieutenant in 1914, posted to France on 26 July 1915 and was gazetted as Temporary Captain on 4 January 1917. He was involved in heavy fighting at the Somme in July 1916 in which his brother Captain George H Neville  was killed and Frank severely wounded. He was invalided home for nine months and had command of a cadet corps during his recovery.

He returned to France about August 1917 and went through a lot of heavy fighting. He died from a bullet wound in the abdomen on 24 November 1917 and is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery near Poperinghe to the west of Ypres. Although this area was outside the front held by the Commonwealth forces in Belgium during the war, groups of casualty clearing stations were placed at three positions in July 1917. These were called by the troops with typical dry humour Mendinghem, Dozinghem and Bandagem.   3309 casualties are buried at Dozinghem, Frank’s grave is no XIII.E9 in the section to the extreme left in front of the Stone of Remembrance.

He received the Victory and British War medals and the 1915 Star. He is commemorated on the Old Laurentian Roll of Honour and Dunchurch War memorial as well as Rugby’s Memorial Gates.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Holmes, Bertie. Died 20th Nov 1917

Bertie Holmes was born in Leicester in 1894 and baptised on 3rd June at St Lukes, Leicester, to William and Sarah Ann (nee Facer).

In 1901 he was living at 18 Union St., Rugby with his parents and 2 siblings. William was a bricklayer’s labourer.

By 1911 Bertie was with his with his mother at 26 New St., New Bilton. His profession was given as “Bore-maker Cylinder” and he was aged 16. Sarah Ann, a char woman, is listed as married, although William is not with the family. Perhaps he had died, as in early 1912 she married George Etherington.

Bert must have signed up at the start of the war, joining the 1st battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (service no. 1664) a letter written to the Rugby Advertiser on 24 July 1915 states that he had been in France from November 1914:

A REQUEST FOR RAZORS.
Pte H Holmes, 1664 B Company, 1st Royal Warwicks, serving with the British Expeditionary Force, whose home is at 47 Wood Street, Rugby, has written us stating that there are twelve or more men in the regiment to his knowledge without razors, and if any of our readers have old razors that will shave the men referred to would be glad of them. We understand that all men have razors served out to them as part of their equipment, but apparently the men Pte Holmes refers to have lost theirs. Our correspondent informs us that he went out to France on November 11th last year, and has been in hospital twice. He adds:” We are out of the trenches now for a longer rest. Our regiment took part in that affair on July 6th. We were called up on the night we were going to be relieved, but had to stop owing to the Germans keeping on counter-attacking. The Old Warwicks helped to hold them back well.”

 

Another report on 18th September 1915 records a letter sent to his old schoolmaster at Murray School:
“I have been in hospital myself with gas poison, but it was not very serious. The first time they gassed us was about the 27th of April, and we lost a terrible number of men. The time I got the gas was last Whit-Monday morning (it was not so bad that time). The gas seems to take all the use out of your body, make your eyes smart and run, and your throat sore. It is rotten stuff. We had only got respirators then, but now we have got gas helmets, which are very good, as no gas can get through for two hours. So now we are prepared for it, but on the first occasion we had nothing at all for it. The next time we stepped into the mud again was on the 8th of July, when the Rifle Brigade took the trenches alongside of the Yser Canal. The order came up for us to reinforce the Lancashires because the Germans continued to make counter-attacks. On the 10th they made seven attacks, but they were no good, because a German officer and 26 men were made prisoners, and he said they were all that were left of 600. I have met both lots of Rugby Territorials. We have had the Infantry on the left of us in the trenches, where we are now, and we have had the Battery firing on the trenches in front of us.”

He would have fought in most of the battles on the western front and was awarded the DCM with the following citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Acting as a company runner for two years, he has been in the majority of the actions in which the battalion has taken part. He has always proved himself most reliable, and on many occasions has taken messages through very heavy fire, displaying singular devotion to duty.

He died in the aftermath of Passchendaele. His death is “officially accepted to be” on 20th November 1917.

His name is listed on the Arras Memorial.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

Patchett, William Ivens. Died 14th Nov 1917

William Ivens Patchett was born on 4th July 1880 at Clifton on Dunsmore, second son of Bethuel Patchett and his wife Sarah nee Ingram who were married in the June quarter 1877 in Rugby district. He was baptised on the 29th August 1880 at Mary’s Clifton and in the register it states his father as a farmer. In the 1881 census they lived on the Rugby Road in Clifton along with his older brother, his father’s occupation was a milk dealer. By 1891 they were living in Sharps Villa Clifton. He had five brothers and his Father was the assistant overseer of taxes. By 1901 they were still at Sharps Villa, William was a printer by this point still living with his family, his father was the collector of local taxes and he resided with seven siblings four brothers and three sisters.

William married Ellen Colton on June 13th 1904 at St Mary’s parish church Clifton, and in the 1911 census he is living at 7 Manor Rd, Rugby. It states they have been married for seven years and have two children, Nellie 6 and William C.H. 5 month

From the Rugby Advertiser dated November 24th 1917 it stated:
Mrs Patchett of 7 Manor Road has received official information that her husband, trooper W.I.Patchett of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, died of wounds received in the recent fighting on November 14th. He was the eldest son of Mr Bethuel Patchett, and was 38 years of age. A compositor by trade, he was apprenticed at the “Midland Times” office. For a time subsequently he was employed at the Rugby Advertiser Works; and when he enlisted in August 1915 he was employed by Messrs Frost & Sons. He is the tenth employee of this firm to be killed. He was a keen sportsman and played for the Rugby Onward Cricket Club and Clifton Cricket Club, of which he was captain for a time; and also for Rugby Football Club .He leaves a widow and two children.

There was also a notice in De-Ruvigny’s roll of Honour as follows:
Patchett William Ivens Trooper, No 3100976, 1st Warwickshire Yeomanry (T.F.) s. of Bethuel Patchett, of 36, Kimberley Road, Rugby, by his wife, Sarah, dau.of Charles Ingram; b Clifton, co.Warwick, 4th July, 1880; educ.St Matthew’s School, Rugby; was a Compositor by trade, and for a time captain of the Clifton Cricket Club; joined the Warwickshire Yeomanry 1st August 1915; served with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in Palestine from 13 Feb. 1916, and died at Beersheba 14 Nov.1917 of wounds received in action there. Buried at Beersheba. He m. at Clifton, 13 June, 1904 Ellen (7, Manor Road, Rugby) dau.of Edwin Colton, and two children: William Charles Herbert, b, 26th Oct.1910, Nellie, b 8th Sept.1905.

His medal card form the National Archive has him receiving the Victory and the British medals, but has two regimental numbers one for the Warwick. Yeo as 3061, the second for C of Hrs. as 310976.

He is buried at Beersheba War Cemetery in Plot C29 and on his headstone is the following:
Patchett Pte. William Ivens   1st/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry 14th November   1917, Aged 38. Husband of Ellen Patchett 6, Rowland St, Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

Perry, Victor Charles. Died 31st Oct 1917

Victor Charles Perry was the sixth of the ten children of George and Sarah Perry, born in Aston, Birmingham in Sep Quarter 1897. His father was born in Dublin, his parents according to the 1911 census had been married for 27 years, probably in Ireland as their five eldest children were born in Co Waterford. The couple moved to Birmingham around 1893, between the births of their fifth and sixth children.

George seems to have been prosperous. In 1901 he was aged 41, living with his wife, nine children aged 9 months to 15 years, and three servants at Oakfield House, Yardley Road, Aston.   His occupation is given as the “director of a gin distillery and rectifier of British wines”.

In 1911 they are in Stechley, at “Home Lea”, Richmond, a very large house with 14 rooms. George was a self-employed wine merchant, assisted by his sons William and George. Victor was 14, but no occupation is given.

Victor’s connection with Rugby has not as yet been uncovered, but as he is remembered on the Old Laurentians Roll of Honour it seems he attended or had connections with the school after 1911. He did enlist at Warwick according to Soldiers Died in the Great War, and must have done so before September 1915 when his medal card records that he was sent to Egypt. He joined the 1st/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry as Private 2530, but later became Trooper 310565 in the Corps of Hussars.

The Yeomanry fought at Gallipoli as unmounted troops in August 1915, and suffered heavy losses.   Victor maybe joined these forces after this as he arrived in Egypt in September, and the regiment was withdrawn in October. Perhaps he never reached Gallipoli but remained in Egypt.   The Warwickshire Yeomanry was assigned to the Australian Mounted Division in February 1917 where it served as cavalry in Palestine. It was part of the XXI Division, 5th Mounted Brigade of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) led by General Allenby, to regain territory in Egypt (then a British Protectorate) and Palestine and drive back the Ottoman forces with the aim of capturing Jerusalem from the Turks. It saw action in the First and Second Battles of Gaza in the spring of 1917.

The EEF had already decided to invade Ottoman territory before the first battle of Gaza, on the basis of Britain’s three major war objectives: to maintain maritime supremacy in the Mediterranean, preserve the balance of power in Europe, and protect Egypt, India and the Persian Gulf. Despite the EEF’s defeats during the first two battles of Gaza (with about 10,000 casualties), Allenby planned an advance into Palestine and the capture of Jerusalem to secure the region and cut off the Ottoman forces in Mesopotamia from those in the Eastern Mediterranean and on the Arabian Peninsula. The capture of Gaza, which dominated the coastal route from Egypt to Jaffa, was a first step towards these aims.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Beersheba_(1917) – cite_note-27

The Battle of Beersheba, on the edge of the Negev Desert and some 75km from Jerusalem, took place on 31 October 1917, and it was here that Victor lost his life. It was a very intense attack, with much shelling and mortar fire, and close fighting to take the enemy trenches. The mounted divisions which included the Warwickshire Yeomanry suffered artillery and aeroplane attacks, causing a great deal of confusion among the men and horses.

The town was eventually taken by the Desert Mounted Corps.   There is a good account of the battle on wikipaedia.

Victor was buried in the Beersheba War Cemetery, established after the battle. His back pay of £8.10.5d and a War Gratuity of £13.10s were forwarded to his father George.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM