Wolfe, Sidney George. Died 22nd Oct 1917

Sidney George Wolfe was born in Sun Street on the 14th February, 1890, to George (Railway Engine Cleaner) and Julie Wolfe and was baptised at St. Andrew’s Church on the 28th March. George James Wolfe was born in Shakerstone, Staffordshire, in about 1869, and married Julie Mary (née Wing), who was born the same year, in Stretton-on-Dunsmore, in Rugby in 1889.

In 1891 the family was living at 854 Old Station Square,[1] Rugby and they had a lodger, Walter Wing, an engine cleaner, who was Julie’s younger brother.

In 1901 the family had moved, or had possibly been renumbered, and was living at 809 Old Station Square, Rugby. George J Wolfe was still a Loco Fireman, and that night they were putting up a two year old nephew, Raymond Wing.

Sidney would have entered Elborow School in 1897/98, under Mr Walker, but the first appearance in the records is in August, 1901, at the Sports Day, competing in the 440 yards flat race, the 100 yards flat, and also the fun-event ‘Coach & Horses’ where thrills and spills abounded. He commenced duties as a Pupil Teacher in September, 1906, transferring to the Lower School VI Form. He made his mark on the sports field, playing regularly for the school football team as well as the occasional cricket match, and was appointed ‘Monitor’ in Lent Term 1907; by July he had become Head of Town House. In December ’07, he gave a lecture on “The World on Wheels” to the Literary & Scientific Society, and in 1908 he was awarded the Old Laurentian English Prize. He returned to Elborow towards the end of the Summer Term to complete his Pupil-Teachership, having taken, and passed, his Oxford Senior Locals exams. He then went on to Saltley College, Birmingham, to gain full qualifications for a teaching career.

By 1911 he was in Sheffield, working as an Assistant Teacher in an (unknown) Elementary School, but returned to Elborow as an Assistant in June 1912, contributing to the School Magazine in July that year. He was, at this time, also appointed ‘Lieutenant’ in the new Elborow branch of the Rugby 1st Company Boys’ Brigade. At that year’s Annual Concert he played the double bass in the Orchestra, but also arranged the ‘Physical Culture’ display by the Junior boys. By November, he had been admitted into the Coventry Rugby Club’s team in September as “a forward with a good reputation”, and on 23rd October he was selected to represent the East Midlands against South Africa at Leicester on November 9th.

2nd Lt. S G Wolfe, Apr 1916

On the outbreak of war, Sidney enlisted in the 7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He joined up on the 2nd September, and signed his Attestation papers on the 3rd. By 31st October had been promoted to Acting Sergeant, a rank that was confirmed ‘in full’ when he was transferred to the Divisional Cycle Company in January 1915 before embarking for France (Le Havre) in March. After serving in the 48th Divisional Cycle Company for almost a year, Sergeant Wolfe was temporarily attached to the 28th London Regiment in February, 1916, pending a course of instruction at Cadet School, and was then granted a Commission, with promotion to Temporary 2nd Lieutenant on 30th April. Transfer to the 10th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers followed.

Unfortunately, Lieutenant Wolfe had only been ‘in post’ a couple of weeks when he was seriously wounded:

“Regret to inform you that 2nd Lieutenant S. G. Wolfe Lancashire Fusiliers admitted Red Cross Hospital Le Torquet May 13th suffering from gunshot wound face severe. Will wire any further news.”
(War Office Telegram)

The Rugby Advertiser for the 27th May 1916 reports:

“WELL-KNOWN FOOTBALLER WOUNDED
Lieut. S G Wolfe, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, the well-known Rugby, Coventry and Midland Counties footballer, has been wounded at the front. Lieut. Wolfe gained a commission after eighteen months’ service in the trenches, and he had only been with his new unit a week when he was caught by a German machine gun while he was helping to repair barbed wire entanglements in front of the firing line. The nature of his injuries are not known locally, except that he received two wounds in the neck and one in the face. Lieut. Wolfe was successively a pupil, student teacher, and assistant master at Elborow School, and was selected to play for the Midland Counties against the South Africans.”

Back in the UK, he was very ill for many months, but recovered in hospital and convalesced at home under the care of his wife Nellie (nee Smith), whom he had married just after enlisting; he no doubt took great pleasure in watching the antics of his baby son, Roland, who was born in mid-1916. Nevertheless, he returned to France in May, 1917, receiving a promotion to 1st Lieutenant with the Fusiliers.

His unit was in the Ypres Salient, and was involved in the 1st Battle of Passchendaele which began on October 12th. The British had planned to capture the ridges south and east of the city of Ypres, but after a dry spell in September, rains began on 3rd October and conditions became very difficult. The evening of the 21st October was dry until after midnight, when it began to rain and a thick mist rose and it became impossible to see more than a few yards by the time the advance began on the 22nd. Despite a drying wind for several days, the ground in most places was a morass.    

The attack on 22 October 1917 is described in four pages of the Battalion Diary. The Battalion formed up at 2.30am, and zero hour was at 5.35am and they moved forward close to the barrage, which was ragged and too slow and caused several casualties. They encountered heavy machine gun fire, and later in the afternoon had to repulse a German counter attack which was done successfully.

That day, three officers were killed, including Lt. S G Wolfe, and 27 Other Ranks (ORs); one officer and 42 ORs were wounded and missing; and seven officers and 174 ORs were wounded.

‘He was leading a company into action and was unfortunately killed during the advance. He had scarcely advanced more than 75 yards when an enemy shell fell close and he was killed instantaneously.’[2]

The telegram below was sent to Mrs Wolfe on the 29th October:
“Deeply regret to inform you Lt. S. G. Wolfe, Lancashire Fusiliers, was killed in Action October twenty second. The Army Council express their sympathy.”

The Rugby Advertiser reported his death in the 30th October issue:
“Followers of Rugby football will regret to learn that Lieut. S G Wolfe, Lancashire Fusiliers, the well-known Midland forward, was killed by a shell while leading his men into action on October 22nd. Lieut. Wolfe, who was about 26 years of age, was a native of Rugby, and when he enlisted in August 1914, was employed as senior assistant at the Elborow School, where he had formerly been a pupil. At first he devoted his attention to Association football, and played for Bablake School and afterwards Rugby Lower School. He subsequently became a convert to the handling code, and it is by his exploits in this game that he will be best remembered by many. Of fine physique, he was an excellent forward, and played for both the Rugby and Coventry XV’s. He also played for the Midlands on several occasions, notably against the South Africans at Leicester, and while he was living in Sheffield he was in the Yorkshire County Trial match. He was for a time a lieutenant in the 1st Rugby Co. Boys’ Brigade, and he joined the Army as a private, being subsequently granted a commission. He had been previously seriously wounded in France.”

Part of an article in The Midland Daily Telegraph, for Wednesday, 31st October 1917, states:
Deceased was an Old Bablake boy, and after staying at Saltley College for a period of scholastic training he became an assistant master at a school in Rugby. He was a well-known footballer in Coventry and district, having played for Coventry F.C. and regularly for the Midland Counties as a forward. A good all-round sportsman, he was universally popular.
In a letter addressed to Mrs. Wolfe, and just received from a comrade, it is stated that he deceased officer was leading a company into action, and was unfortunately killed during the advance. He had scarcely advanced more than 75 yards when an enemy shell fell just close, and deceased was killed instantaneously, whilst his servant was badly wounded. “it came as a terrible blow to me,” the writer of the letter states, “and I cannot realise that I shall not see him again. He will be a great loss to the battalion, and he will be missed by all who knew him. As a soldier I cannot speak too highly of him, and as a man I had the greatest affection for him. He was always cheery, whether in the line or out, a great sportsman, and always thoughtful for his men. I should like to offer you my deepest sympathy in the great loss you have sustained.”

His body was either not recovered or not identified. Sidney is remembered on one of the Panels 54 to 60 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.

As well as at Tyne Cot, Sidney is commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby. He is also remembered on the St Peter’s College, Coventry Memorial Tablet,[3] and also on the Bablake School Memorial in Coundon Road, Coventry.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal and also the 1915 Star. His Medal Card and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records, confirm that he was ‘Killed in Action’ on 22 October 1917. His widow is recorded as Mrs S G Wolfe, who at that later date, lived at 55 Berkeley Road Earlsdon, Coventry.

His formal address when probate was awarded on 15 January 1918 at Birmingham was 157 Westwood Road, Coventry and probate awarded to his widow, Nellie Maud Wolfe, was in the sum of £101-10-6d.

The birth of his daughter (Iris) was recorded in the same column of the newspaper[4] as notice of his death.

BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, AND DEATHS.
BIRTH. Wolfe. – On November 1st, at Earlsdon to the wife of the late Lieut. S. G. Wolfe, a daughter.
DEATHS. Wolfe. – Killed in Action. Oct. 22nd, Lieut. S. G. Wolfe, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, aged 27 years.   Leaves a wife and two children.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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

Information about Elborow School Career is © Howard Trillo

[1]       Industrial Housing in Rugby – L.N.W.R. Railways – To operate and maintain a railway requires people to work at places spread all along the line, often far from existing settlements. At places where stations are built accommodation for many staff are needed from opening day. People had to live within walking distance of work, and it was useful to the railway to be able to get hold of staff if something unexpected happened. By providing houses for their staff, the railway solved all these problems and the London and Birmingham Railway built several hundred houses along the line for the opening. The houses were each given a number and the earliest in Rugby were in the 700’s. They were all near the new station in Newbold Road, on the west side both north and south of the railway.

[2]         https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/4842770.

[3]       Following the closure of the college, the two WWI memorial tablets have been moved from St Peter’s College to St Saviour’s Church, St Saviour’s Road, Saltley, Birmingham B8 1HW.

[4]       Coventry Evening Telegraph, Friday, 2 November 1917.

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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

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

 

 

Allen, Isaiah Humphries. Died 9th Oct 1917

Isaiah Humphries Allen was born in Farthingstone, Northamptonshire and baptised there in October 1886. His parents were Harry Allen, a labourer and Sarah, nee Humphries (spelt Humphriss on the marriage certificate), a school mistress. They married on 14th April (Easter Day) 1884 at Nether Heyford.

By 1901 the family had moved from Farthingstone to Nether Heyford, where Harry was a brick burner and Isaiah was also working in the brickyard at the age of 14. The family was still there in 1911, but by then Isaiah was in India, a Lance Corporal in the 13th Hussars.

It is not known how long he served in India but on 6th December 1913 he married Elizabeth Clarke, a widow (maiden name Hill). They lived at 7 New Station, Rugby. They had two daughters, Annie in 1914 and Kathleen in early 1915.

As a reservist, Isaiah was called up in August 1914 and in 1915 went to France. he took part  in the Battles of Ypres and the Somme. He moved from the Hussars (no 5375) to the 16th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment ( private, no 32885). He was reported missing and is believed to have been killed in action near Ypres on the 9th October 1917.

He is listed on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM