Lane, Bertram Charles. Died 13th Oct 1917

An Apology – this article was originally scheduled to be posted on 9 November 2017, but the subsequent discovery of an article in the Rugby Advertiser published today, showed that Bertram Lane died somewhat earlier than originally believed. That article also provided some further information which allowed the biography to be updated before its tardy publication.

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Bertram Charles LANE was born in Watford in 1892/3, near Rugby, but in Northamptonshire. His birth was registered in Q1, 1893 in Daventry [3b, 113].   He was baptised on 26 February 1893 in Watford. His father was a ‘wagoner’.

He was the third of three sons of William and Fanny, née Collett, Lane, and he also had two younger sisters. His parents were both from Kingham in Oxfordshire and had married in mid 1888, and had moved to Watford before 1889 when their first son was born.   In 1901 they were living in Home Lane, Watford and William was a ‘Timber wagoner’

Bertram’s father died before 1911, when Bertram was with his widowed mother and the family and they were living at 76 Bath Street, Rugby. He was then working as a ‘clerk’ for an ‘electrical engineering company’, probably BTH, as just before the war he was working in the BTH Drawing Office.

A later memorial notice suggested that he joined up ‘… at the beginning of the War, …’[1] This was not clear in the Service Records that survive for Bertram. He enlisted as a Rifleman, No.Z2331 in the Rifle Brigade.

It is not known into which Battalion he was initially posted.   However, the date of 30 April 1915 on one Medal Card, for his Silver War Badge, was probably his last date on ‘Home Service’, as he went to France on 1 May 1915. Three Battalions of the Rifle Brigade all went to France in May, and it seems likely that Bertram was in either the 7th, 8th or 9th Service Battalion which were in the 41st, 41st and 42nd Brigades respectively and all in the 14th (Light) Division.

The 7th, 8th and 9th Service Battalions were all formed in Winchester on 21 August 1914, went to Aldershot, moved elsewhere for training and then back to Winchester. In May 1915 they moved to France and landed at Boulogne. At some date Bertram was promoted to Lance-Corporal.   In 1915 the three Battalions were all involved when the Germans made their gas attack at Hooge, and the 9th Bn. also took part in the Battle of Loos. In 1916, the 7th and 9th Bns., took part in the Battle of Delville Wood (15 July – 3 September 1916), and the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (15 – 22 September 1916), both during the Battle of the Somme – the 8th Bn. was also involved at Flers-Courcelette.

A later article records ‘…On September 11, 1916, he was severely wounded in the head by shrapnel, and after spending a considerable time in a base hospital in France and King George’s Hospital, London, …’.[2]   This suggests that he was wounded during the constant ongoing actions and shelling on the Somme, between the dates of the above two main battles.

He survived, and as confirmed above, would have been evacuated through the casualty clearing system, to a French Base Hospital and then to UK. On 25 April 1917 he was discharged under ‘King’s Regulations Para 392 (xvi) – No longer physically fit for service – Wounds’.   A note on his Medal Card refers to ‘see B E Lane for SWB’ – that was the Silver War Badge which was awarded to injured soldiers who could no longer serve and this avoided the harassment that was received by those men out of uniform that the public thought should be joining up and serving their country.

Bertram Charles Lane was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star. His War Medal had to be returned for correction as it had been incorrectly stamped. As mentioned, he also held the Silver War Badge as he had been wounded.

Bertram had ‘… enjoyed fairly good health until a fortnight before his death, …’ which occurred on Saturday, 13 October 1917, at St Cross Hospital, Rugby,[3] his death being registered in Q4 1917 [Rugby, 6d, 681]. He was 24, ‘the son of Mrs. Lane, Eardaley House, Bath Street’. He was buried in grave ref: J552 at Clifton Road Cemetery.[4] As he had died later and in UK, it seems that his grave was not marked nor his death listed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, although he probably should have been on the CWGC lists as he was reported to have ‘died as a result of wounds received in action’ and he should perhaps still be included.[5]

Bertram Charles Lane was 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.[6]

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Bertram Charles Lane 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, July 2017.

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, 20 October 1917.

[2]       Rugby Advertiser, 20 October 1917.

[3]       Rugby Advertiser, 20 October 1917.

[4]       From a list of names on the RFHG CD of Monumental Inscriptions and the RFHG website.

[5]         http://www.infromthecold.org/war_grave_criteria.asp

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

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Cowley, Henry Moses. Died 19th Oct 1917

Henry Moses COWLEY was born in about 1883 in Rugby. He was the son of Henry Walter [b.c.1863, Clifton] and Anne/ie [b.c.1859, Swinford], née Turland, Cowley.

Their marriage, in late 1882 or early 1883, was registered in Q1, 1883 in Lutterworth [7a, 17] and their first child, Annie E Cowley, was born at Swinford in 1883 – Annie had probably returned home for the first birth. Henry Moses was born in Rugby, two years later, and was baptised on 12 October 1883 at St Andrew’s church, Rugby; his father was a joiner and they were living in South Street, Rugby.

In 1891 the family were living at 3 Alfred Street, Tamworth, probably Henry’s work as a carpenter had taken him there. In 1901, when Henry was about 17 or 18, his father was still a ‘carpenter’; and they were back in Rugby, living at 48 Claremont Road.   Henry was a clerk for the railway, and his elder sister Annie was a clerk for the Cooperative Society. By 1911, when Henry was 28, he was still single and an Engineering Clerk for an Electrical Manufacturer. The family were now living at 46 Claremont Rd Rugby. His father was listed as a ‘carpenter and joiner’. His sister was not at home.

Henry’s Service Records survive among the ‘Burnt Records’, however, there are not all legible, but provide some details of the complexity of his military service.

He enlisted at Rugby, and took the oath of attestation at Rugby on 19 November 1915 and this was approved on 23 March 1916. He was then 32 years and three months old, a clerk, and enlisted for ‘Garrison Duty’.   He was 5ft 5½ inches tall – and his service reckoned from 22 March 1916 when he now seemed to be 33 years and 90 days old! He had shrunk somewhat and was now only 5ft 4½ inches tall and weighed 122 lbs.

His father, Henry Walter Cowley, is mentioned on Henry’s Service Record, and in 1915, he was nominated as Henry’s next of kin and was then living at 111a Clifton Road, Rugby. However his father’s death, aged 53, was registered in Rugby [6d, 812] in Q4, 1916.

Henry seems to have had various numbers including No.5932 [or indeed No.5931] on forms from 5th Bn., the Royal Warwickshire Regiment [RWarR] and there is also an Army Ordinance Corps document and a Royal Engineers form with Henry’s number as 503775, where he was recorded with ‘trade and special qualifications’ as ‘Proficient’ and a ‘Clerk’. This posting to the Royal Engineers as 503775 is confirmed on his Medal Card.

He did not receive the 1915 Star, which also confirms that he did not go to France until 1916. His Service Record shows that he went to France/Belgium with one of the RWarR Battalions, but the actual date of his embarkation at Southampton and of his subsequent disembarkation cannot be read, but he transferred to the 1st/8th Bn., RWarR on either 14 July 1916 or 31 July 1916.

He suffered some illness and on 25 November 1916 he was at 1/1 SMFA [probably South Midlands Field Ambulance] suffering from Diarrhoea having been admitted to 3CRS[1] on 22 November 1916. He rejoined his unit on 1 December 1916.

He seems to have had a further medical problem and was at ‘CRS IFA’[2] on 6 April 1917 but was back ‘to Duty’ on 20 April 1917.

On 7 June 1917 he was transferred to the 1st/8th Bn. RWarR, which had, on 13 May 1915, become part of the 143rd Brigade in the 48th (South Midland) Division and then on 7 September 1917 he was transferred again to 10th Bn., RWarR, which was in the 57th Brigade in the 19th Division, and was his final Battalion, where he served as No.307605, and this number was used for issuing his medals.

The 10th Bn. RWarR were involved in many of the actions in the 3rd Battle of Ypres in 1917: the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (20 – 25 September 1917); the Battle of Polygon Wood (26 September – 3 October 1917); the Battle of Broodseinde (4 October 1917); the Battle of Poelcapelle (9 October 1917) and the First Battle of Passchendaele on 12 October 1917. Presumably Henry took part in and obviously survived all these. There was then a period of comparative calm before the Second Battle of Passchendaele which started on 26 October 1917.

From 14 October 1917 over the last few days before he was killed, the Battalion had been in the trenches, but had had a quiet relief. For the next few days they were in reserve and the days were ‘quiet’ – although ‘quiet’ typically meant that one or two men were wounded each day.

The 10th Battalion War Diary[3] noted:

Thursday 18 October – the Battalion were again ‘in trenches’ and were ‘lightly shelled’ throughout the day and night. ‘Posts & ground were generally in a very bad state.’

Friday 19 October – ‘At night the Battalion was relieved … Quiet but very slow. Relief reported complete at 4.50am on 20th. On relief Coys. proceeded to camp … (Beggers Rest).

Casualties: 3 killed.

Saturday 20 October – ‘Boys had baths. … Working parties in afternoon & evening.’

It seems that Henry Cowley was one of the ‘3 killed’ from the 10th Battalion on Friday 19 October. He was 34. The other two men were Private Carl Rudolf Wedekind, No.2536, aged 19, from Birmingham; and Private Arthur Morton, No.41676.

Their bodies were either never found or not identified. Henry and his two comrades are remembered on Panels 23 to 28 and 163A of the Tyne Cot Memorial. The Tyne Cot Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. Whereas those who died before 16 August 1917 are remembered on the Menin Gate, the United Kingdom servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot. Henry is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road,

Henry Moses Cowley was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.

After his death the Army was instructed that his effects were to be passed to his mother care of H. L. Reddish (Solicitors), 6 Market Place, Rugby, and these were sent on to her on 17 April 1918.

Henry’s Administration was in London on 21 February 1918 to his mother, Anne Cowley, widow, now of Rockingham House, 111a, Clifton Road, Rugby in the amount of £137-0-7d. Various payments were made to his mother by the army: £3-10-10d and 12/2d owing in back pay was paid as £4-3-1d on 6 April 1918 and a further War Gratuity of £6-10s was paid on 15 November 1919.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Henry Moses COWLEY 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, July 2017.

[1]       CRS – Camp Reception Station – When away from the Front Line, the doctor’s post was known as the Camp Reception Station [CRS] or Medical Inspection Room [MI Room] and contained 2 – 6 beds for short term holding for those needing rest but not sick enough to be evacuated, see: https://www.ramc-ww1.com/chain_of_evacuation.php

[2]       Probably – ‘Camp Reception Station – 1st Field Ambulance’.

[3]       The National Archives, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Piece 2085/3, 10 Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, July 1915-March 1919.

Meaddows, Albert Edward Sharp. Died 14th Oct 1917

Albert Edward Sharp Meddows was born in the third quarter of 1889 and was baptised 1st November 1889 at St. Botolph’s Church, Newbold-on-Avon, Warwickshire. He was the first child of William Henry and Mary Ann Meddows. His father’s occupation is put as a Carman. The small family appears on the 1891 census and their address is Old Wood Yard, Newbold on Avon, Rugby William Henry is a Carrier and Post Office Worker. By the time of the 1901 census the family has grown with the addition of five more children, Percy Samuel, Horace Charles, Elsie Mary, Harold Thomas and finally in 1900 William Henry. Their address is Grocers Shop, Newbold Village, Newbold on Avon, Rugby, Warwickshire, and William is down as a Postmaster Grocer, working on his own account, Mary Ann is Post Mistress and the children are all at school.

In 1903 Mary Ann died, and was buried 12th March 1903 in St. Botolph’s churchyard Newbold on Avon leaving children aged from 2 to 13 years of age. 1911 census gives William as a widower, with Percy assisting his father in his business. Horace and his sister, Elsie, are wheeling daub to the drying shed at the cement works. Albert is not with the family, he is living at Ashton Hayes, Near Chester. On the census paper the first name Albert is slightly smudged and you can only see the “lbert” Edward Sharp Meddows born Newbold- on-Avon, Warwickshire. He is working as a Stableman/Groom and is 21 years old.

William Henry the father died 2nd February 1915 aged 52 years, leaving a will; probate was granted to John Martin the elder, farmer 23rd February, Effects £327 16s 6d.

Albert E. S. Meddows married Constance Foster in Richmond, Surrey in 1914. Two children were born, Albert V. Meddows 1914 and Edward Meddows 1916 registered in Richmond, Surrey, mother’s maiden name Foster. Albert enlisted at Bristol in 1914 giving his place of residence Mortlake, Surrey.

Albert served with The Army Service Corps, Royal Engineers and the Royal Field Artillery

Albert has service numbers R40/87534, 202420 and number313019. At the time of his death Albert was a sapper with 5th HQ Signal Company attached to the 34th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery. He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres (Ieper), Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen) Belgium.

Grave Reference: Plot: V. A. 46.

He was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal. His name is on both the Rugby Memorial Gates Hillmorton Road and on the Newbold War Memorial at St. Botolph’s Church Newbold on Avon

Albert’s two younger brothers Horace and Harold both served in WW1.

Harold Thomas was baptised at St Botolph’s 28th May 1898, and he also served in the war with the Royal Warwickshire Regt., Service Number 21114. He enlisted 10th August 1916 and was discharged 4th December 1917 due to sickness and received the Silver War Badge 22nd January 1918.   The Silver War Badge was given to men discharged from active service, due to wounds or illness. Harold died 26th March 1919 aged 20 years, and was buried in Clifton Road Cemetery Rugby. He has a Commonwealth War Grave Headstone which also has written on it “also his sister Elsie Mary wife of George Arthur Creed 13th June 1968 age 73”. The British War Medal and The Victory Medal were also awarded to him.

Harold Thomas is on both the Newbold War Memorial at St. Botolph’s Church and on the Rugby Memorial Gates Hillmorton Road Rugby.

Horace Charles was born in 1894 and was baptised 13th May 1894.   Horace was with the Worcestershire Regiment, enlisted 2nd March 1916, Service Number 35171. He was discharged 29th January 1919.   He was 24 years old, and received the Silver War Badge 3rd March 1919, and also the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He married Frances D. Doyle in 1922. He lived until 1950 and died in Rugby, Warwickshire aged 56 years.

The youngest brother of all, William Henry, born 8th August 1900, baptised 16th September 1900. William enlisted the Royal Air Force 22nd August 1918, Service Number 287077; and on his entry papers his next of kin was Elsie M Creed, his sister. He died in 1971, his death registered in Kidderminster.

Percy Samuel married Annie L. Redgrave in 1919, marriage registered in Medway, Kent. On the 1939 Register they are living at 35, Churchfield Road, Bexley, Kent and Percy is a Police Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force. He died at the age of 68, his death registered at Sidcup Kent.

Elsie Mary, the only sister, married George Arthur Creed 24th July 1915 at Newbold-on -Avon and is buried with her brother Harold in Clifton Road Cemetery. Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Willard, Kenneth Hugh. Died 12th Oct 1917

Kenneth Hugh Willard was born 23rd July 1898 to Thomas Webb Willard and Tryphena (Renshaw) at Rugby, and was baptised at St Andrews Church, Rugby 7th August 1898. Kenneth was their second child, his elder brother, James Donald, was born at Leamington in 1897, followed by Cynthia Violet Mary born Birmingham, Colin Gerald born Wolston and Rupert Alan born Rugby and another brother, Frederick, was born in 1900 but died the same year aged 4 months.

On the 1901 census Kenneth and his brother James are with their mother at 26 Bilton Road Rugby, their father is not with them, their mother is given as Wife of Thomas Webb Willard. On the 1911 census the family are all together and are still living at 26 Bilton Road Rugby, and their father’s occupation is Architect and Surveyor to the District Council. With the family are also a Governess, Mary Elizabeth Schineider and a Servant, Florence May Smith. Kenneth attended Lawrence Sheriff School and entered Rugby School in 1912 and left there in 1914 and went into his father’s office and in September 1916 he went to R. M. C. Sandhurst. He became a 2nd Lieutenant and in May 1917 he was assigned to the York and Lancaster Regiment and went to Reading, Castle Bromwich and Shrewsbury for his training for the Royal Flying Corps as a Pilot. Kenneth went to France on 6th October 1917 and was attached to the 45th Squadron R. F. C. 8th October 1917. On 12th September he was on patrol with others and they encountered German planes. He was then reported missing 12th October 1917.

An official list, published in Germany and republished in FLIGHT 1918, of British machines in which the Germans claim fell into their hands during October 1917, lists 37 single – seater  Sopwith machines, giving details of the pilots, one of which is Lieut. K.H. Willard wounded.

His parents were informed that he was missing but he had died later that day.
He is buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery: Grave Reference XI. A. 18.

Rugby Advertiser 20th October 1917
SECOND-LIEUT K.H. WILLARD MISSING
Second Lieut Kenneth H. Willard, York and Lancaster Regiment, attached to the Royal Flying Corps, second son of Mr. T. W. Willard 26 Bilton Road, has been officially informed reported missing as from October 12th. In a letter to Mr. Willard a fellow officer writes “He went out with six other machines on the 12th inst. to do a patrol, the leader being one of our best pilots. About 15 to 20 enemy machines were encountered, and a general mix-up ensued, in which your son was seen handling his machine and fighting in a most efficient manner. Although our machines were greatly outnumbered, they put up a great fight, but on returning to the aerodrome it was discovered that your son was missing. No one saw him go down, and it is just possible that he may have been hit in the engine, and had to descend in the enemy lines.” Lieut. Willard was educated at Rugby School and Sandhurst, and visited his parents a fortnight ago on his final leave before proceeding to the front.

Rugby Advertiser 17th November 1917
DEATHS
WILLARD – In proud and loving memory of KENNETH HUGH WILLARD, 2nd Lieut., York and Lancaster Regiment attached to R. F. C. Killed in action on the Western Front on October 12th 1917; second son of T. W. And Tryphena Willard Rugby aged 19.

The Midland Daily Telegraph Saturday October 20th 1917
RUGBY OFFICER MISSING
Mr T. W. Willard, Surveyor to Rugby District Council, Has been officially notified that his second son, Second Lieut. Kenneth H. Willard is missing. He visited his parents so recently a fortnight ago on his final leave before proceeding to the front. It appears he was fighting with six others when they encountered about 20 enemy machines Second Lieut. K. H. Willard was educated at Rugby School and Sandhurst.

Rugby Advertiser 15th October 1920
IN MEMORIAM
WILLARD – In proud and loving memory of Kenneth Hugh Willard, 2nd Lieut. York and Lancaster Regt. (attached Royal Flying Corp) killed in action on October 12th 1917. Buried in the Cemetery of Honour at Rumbeke Belgium.

Lieut Kenneth Hugh Willard’s name is recorded at Rugby School in the Memorial Chapel on the East Wall South Transept, on the Rugby Memorial Gates, in Volume VII of Memorials of Rugbeians who fell in the Great War with his photograph, also recorded in the Old Laurentians (former schoolboys of Lawrence Sheriff School) who died during the First World War.

Memorials of Rugbeians who fell in the Great War VII

Second Lieut. K. H. Willard entered School in 1912 and left 1914.   For about 18 months after School he was in his father’s offices and then went to R. M. C. Sandhurst September 1916.   On passing out of Sandhurst in May 1917, he was gazetted to the York and Lancaster Regiment, and then went to Reading, and afterwards Castle Bromwich and Shrewsbury for his training for the Royal Flying Corps.

He went to France on October 6th 1917 and was attached to 45th Squadron R. F. C. He was flying with a patrol Squadron of seven machines to Houthulst Forest when they met a Squadron of German machines, fifteen to twenty strong. Two of our machines, of which he was one, failed to return and it was afterwards learned he had died in the hospital at RUMBEKE on the same day, October 12th 1917, age 19.

His captain wrote “Although your son was with us a short time, he gave every proof of being an exceptionally capable and well trained Pilot, who would have given a splendid account of himself, Although our machines were greatly outnumbered, they put up a great fight, and your son was seen to be handling his machine and fighting in a most efficient manner. We all feel his loss very much.”

Lieut. Kenneth H. Willard was entitled to receive the Victory Medal and The British War Medal. His parents would have been sent The Memorial Death plaque after the war which commemorated all of the war dead.

When his mother died in 1964, and was buried in Clifton Road Cemetery Rugby, the inscription on her headstone reads “In proud and loving memory of KENNETH HUGH WILLARD 2ND Lt York & Lanc Regt R F C killed in action Oct 12th 1917 aged 19years. Buried at Rumbeke, Belgium. In loving memory of TRYPHENA WILLARD died March 20 1964 aged 89 years.   In loving memory of FREDERICK DOUGLAS MARK WILLARD died August 27 1900 aged 4 months. “Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade.” In loving memory of THOMAS WEBB WILLARD died December 28 1940 aged 78 years.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

 

Hayes, George Hinde. Died 10th Oct 1917

George Hinde was born in Brinklow in 1884 and baptised there on 3rd August 1884. He was the second son of Charles and Elizabeth (nee Hinde) Hayes who married in 1881. Charles was an Agricultural labourer and in 1891 the family was living with Elizabeth’s father John W Hinde, a carpenter in Brinklow.

In 1901, the family was living at 51 Pinfold Street, New Bilton and George, his age wrongly given as 18, was a labourer at the cement works. By 1911 Charles was a gardener, living at 80 York Street Rugby and George (26) was still living at home. He worked as a railway carter.

By 1914 George Hinde Hayes was a shunter and driver at B.T.H. and joined the Territorials on 27th April. He arrived in France in April 1917 as Company Sergeant Major in the 7th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was wounded on 4th October 1917 at Paaschendaele and died on 10th of that month at no 11 General Hospital, Wimereux.

His Captain wrote:
“I am grieved to think that George has lost his life doing his duty to his country. As an officer of E Coy, I knew him well, and what an excellent N.C.O. he was, as well as a popular and cheerful comrade to all the other boys. I was not at all surprised to hear of his promotion to Coy. Sergt.-Major, as I know of his excellent qualifications for the appointment, and he is just the stamp of man I would have chosen for such a responsible duty myself.”

and his Coy. Quartermaster-Sergt.:
“We are sorry to lose your son, for he was always ready for duty, and the officers all join me in sympathy; we have lost both a good soldier and an ever-cheerful comrade.”

Coy.Sergt.-Major Hayes was awarded the military Cross, because when the advance was held up by a strong enemy machine-gun position, and all the officers became casualties, he took command, and crawled to a flank under direct fire from the post to a position from which he killed several of the enemy. He then led his men in an attack on the post, which he captured with ten prisoners and a machine gun; he showed splendid courage and initiative.

He was buried at Wimereux communal Cemetery. The inscription on his grave reads:

WAITING FOR THE DAWN
TO BE REUNITED
HIS DUTY DONE
R. I. P.

He is also listed on the BTH War Memorial, together with his brother Frank Hinde Hayes, who died on 19th July 1916.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Jones, Charles Bradlaugh. Died 9th Oct 1917

Charles Bradlaugh JONES’s place of birth was recorded variously as being in Leyton, Poplar or Stratford, London. He was born some while after the April 1881 census. His father Frederick was a cooper.

In 1891 he was enumerated as aged eight and was living with his widowed father and four siblings at 285 High Street, Stratford, London.

By 1901 his father had also died and Charles and his younger siblings were living at 11 Durham Row, Ratcliffe, London, the home of their married elder brother Henry and his wife Elizabeth and baby daughter Lillian. Two of Elizabeth’s younger siblings were there also.   Charles and his elder brother were both working as hairdressers.

By 1911, Charles was now ‘30’ and boarding with the Hessian family at 65 Grosvenor Road, Rugby, and that was no doubt where he met his wife to be, Ellen Daisy Hessian, one of the daughters of the house. Her father was an engine driver.   Charles was then still working as a hairdresser.

Some time before the war Charles seems to have had a change of occupation, going to work at British Thompson Houston (BTH) in their Lamp Factory. Then in 1914, when he was about 33, he married Ellen, now 29; the marriage was registered in Rugby [Rugby, Q3, 1914, 6d, 1551].

It is uncertain exactly when Charles ‘joined up’.   There are no surviving Service Records, but as he did not win the 1915 Star, it was probably after late 1915.   Various men from BTH with the name Jones joined up and served in 1914,[1] however an item in the Rugby Advertiser[2] stated, ‘Jones, Charles, 36 Sandown Road, Rugby’ ‘… enlisted at the Rugby Drill Hall under the Group system’, in late 1915, and this confirms the approximate date when he joined up.

As noted, Charles was living in Rugby, but records also suggest that he enlisted initially in Warwick, as Private, No.32852, in the 1st Battalion (Bn.) of the Gloucestershire Regiment. The 1st Bn. had been at Bordon in August 1914, as part of the 3rd Brigade in the 1st Division, and landed in France at Le Havre on 13 August 1914, well before Charles joined up. The 1st Battalion probably continued to act as a recruiting, training and reinforcement centre in UK.

Charles would later be posted to the 1st/6th Bn. of the Gloucestershire Regiment. The 1st/6th Bn. had been at St Michael’s Hill, Bristol, in August 1914 as part of the Gloucester and Worcester Brigade of the South Midland Division. On mobilisation they moved to Swindon and very soon after to Maldon in Essex. On 30 March 1915 the Battalion landed at Boulogne, and on 15 May 1915 became part of the 144th Brigade in the 48th (South Midland) Division.

It seems likely that Charles was posted to the Battalion as part of the reinforcements at some date in 1916 and may soon have been involved on Western Front, possibly in the Somme offensive of July 1916, and then may have taken part in the pursuit of the German Army in their retreat [or ‘tactical withdrawal’] to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917.

Later in 1917, the 1st/6th Battalion was involved several of the actions making up the Third Battle of Ypres from 31 July to mid-November including: the Battle of Langemarck; the Battle of Polygon Wood; the Battle of Broodseinde and the Battle of Poelcapelle (9 October 1917).

The Battalion War Diary[3] gives details of their later movements and actions. From the beginning of September 1917, they had been at School Camp, in St Jan Ter Bizen, to the west of Poperinge, Belgium, not far west of Ypres. Then on 18 September the Battalion travelled west to Zutkerque, France – suffering various delayed trains – to take part in Divisional and Brigade training until the end of the month. At the end of September 1917, the Battalion’s ration strength was 802 men.   The diary continued:

1 October – ‘Battn. … moved by Rail to Brake Camp.   Entraining Staion Audricq.   Detraining Station Vlamertinghe … ‘C’ Company working party buried cable …’.
‘C’ Company continued burying cable for the next two days.

4 October – ‘Battn. Moved to Canal Bank …’

5 October – ‘ Battn. moved to Dambre Camp in the morning.’

6 October – ‘In Camp.’

7 October – ‘Battn. Moved to Irish Farm 8.30am.   Heavy rain afternoon and evening.   Battn. Moved back to Dambre Camp 4.30pm.’

8 October – ‘Battn. Moved to Front Line and relieved 1/1 Bucks …’

This was in all in preparation for the Battle of Poelcapelle (9 October 1917) one of the actions of the Third Battle of Ypres.

9 October – ‘Battn. Attacked 5.20am. See Appendix ….’

The Appendix gives copies of both the Orders and a Report on the attack on the morning of 9 October 1917. Brief extracts from the Report are given below:

First Wave – ‘A’ Company on the Right, ‘B’ Company on the Left. Second Wave – ‘C’ Company on the Right, ‘D’ Company on the Left. … two platoons of each Company being in each line.

Objectives – First Wave … gun pit … special parties to capture 2 Mebus … and redoubt, … special parties to capture Vacher House and gun pit … Second Wave … Berks Houses … assist 7th Worcesters in capture of Mebus … assist 4th Gloucesters in capture of Berks Houses.

Three hours before Zero, the whole Battalion was in position … about half an hour before Zero, enemy shelled Winchester line fairly heavily but this fell just behind second wave and only four casualties occurred.

Zero – 5.20am First wave got away well with the barrage, followed at about 300 yards by second wave. Enemy at once opened M.G. fire all along the line, …

Considerable detail followed, and the assault appears to have been comparatively successful with considerable numbers of the enemy and their equipment captured, however the Report also noted:

Estimated casualties of ‘B’ Company … 1 officer … 45 other ranks … Estimated loss of ‘A’ Company … 2 Officers … 50 other ranks … Estimated losses of ‘C’ Company … 2 Officers … 55 other ranks …

The War Diary noted on the next day:

10 October – ‘Battn. Relieved by 26 Brigade … Returned to Siege Camp via temporary shelter at Irish Farm.’

Overall during October the Battalion had lost 56 men killed or died of wounds and 153 were wounded and 42 missing. Despite the Battalion receiving a ‘draft’ of 79 new men during the month, by the end of the month the Battalion ration strength had dropped from 802 to 633.

Charles Bradlaugh Jones was one of 141 men from the Gloucestershire Regiment who died on 9 October 1917, most of them from 1st/6th Bn. during the attack, and the fighting of the Battle of Poelcapelle. Like so many others, his body was either never found, or was not identified.

He is remembered with his comrades on one of the Panels 72 to 75 of the Tyne Cot Memorial. The Tyne Cot Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. Whereas those who died before 16 August 1917 are remembered on the Menin Gate, the United Kingdom servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot. Charles 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.[4]

On 7 February 1918, Charles’s Widow, Ellen, received £1-7-9d owing to her husband, and then a War Gratuity of £3-0-0d on 9 December 1919.

Charles’s Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Charles Bradlaugh JONES 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, June 2017.

[1]       Men named ‘Jones’ were listed in Rugby Advertiser, 5 and 26 September 1914 – probably others of the same name.

[2]       This was under the Lord Derby’s Recruiting Scheme, he is listed in Rugby Advertiser, 27 November 1915.

[3]       The National Archives, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Gloucestershire Regiment 48th Division, Piece 2758/2: 1/6 Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment (1915 Apr – 1917 Oct).

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

Amos, Harry Thomas Ernest. Died 9th Oct 1917

Harry Thomas Ernest Amos was born in the second quarter of 1880 and baptised on June 13 1880 in St Andrews Parish Church, he was the fourth child of George and Mary. George was originally from Elmstead and Mary was born in France a British citizen. In 1881 they lived in 13 Little Pennington Street the rest of the family consisted of Nancy 8, Bertha 5, George W 3 and baby Harry under 11 months, George came to Rugby area to be a groom at the rectory in Birdingbury and married Mary Ann Collier in June quarter 1872 ,

Harry married Clare Kate Coleman in the third quarter of 1902 in Market Harborough. In the 1911 census they were living at 13 Lodge Road with three children Edna 7, Francis 3 and Phyllis 5 months old. Harry was employed at the post office as a letter carrier.

He enlisted at Budbrooke barracks and was placed in the Gloucester regiment service number 32829 he was in the 1st battalion and also the 1st /6th battalions according to the regimental medal rolls and was awarded the Victory and British medals.

Harry Thomas Ernest Amos was killed in action on the 9″‘ October 1917 whilst his battalion was in action in the third battle of Ypres. The battalion’s orders according to the war diary for that date was to capture 3 MEBUS Vacher House and Berks House this was all on the Poelcappelle map. (For more details about this battle see the biography of Private C B Jones, who died the same day.)

He is listed on the Tyne Cot Memorial and CWGC information is “Son of George William Amos, of 25, Old Station Square, Rugby; husband of Clara Kate Amos, of 41, Lodge Rd., Rugby. Postman, 26 years’ service.”

His widow Clara lived in Rugby until her death in 1950.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM