Read, Charles George. Died 15th Dec 1916

Charles George Read “joined up” in 1914 aged 19, giving his birth as 1895. His service number was 11383 in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps.

Charles George Read

Charles George Read

The 2nd battalion King’s Royal Rifles took part in most of the Battle of the Somme. The last action was the Battle of Morval which ended on 28th September 1916. Charles George must have died in later shelling, as he has no marked grave.

Charles George Read died on 15th December 1916 and is remembered on the Thiepval Monument.

Charles George Read was born Q2 1894 in Great Bowden, Market Harborough Leicestershire. His parents were Charles John and Minnie Read nee Howarth.

His parents marriage was registered 1893 Q4 Billesdon Leicestershire.

His father Charles John Read and his mother Minnie nee Howarth had 7 children between 1893 and 1911, their first child was Charles George born 1894 Great Bowden Market Harborough, James William born 1895 Great Bowden Market Harborough, Colin Edmund born 1897 Great Bowden Market Harborough, Gladys Maud born 1898 Great Bowden Market Harborough, Herbert born 1901 Great Bowden Market Harborough, Ivy Marion born 1904 Rugby, and Reginald Stanley born 1907 Rugby.

In 1901 UK census Charles J Read age 30 is living 5 Station Road Great Bowden Leicestershire and was a railway engine stoker with his wife Minnie age 31 and 4 children:- Charles G age 6, James W age 5, Colin E aged 3 and Gladys M aged 2.

By 1911 Charles and his family had moved to live at 46 Rokeby Street Rugby, father Charles was still a railway locomotive stoker living with his wife Minnie age 41 and 7 children, Charles George was age 16 and a railway engine cleaner his brother James William aged 15 was a winder in electrical works, his other brother Colin Edmund aged 13 was at school and also a newsboy the 3 additional children all born after 1901 are Herbert born 1901 Great Bowden, Ivy Marion born 1904 Rugby and Reginald Stanley born 1907 Rugby.

Taking a step backwards to 1891 UK census we find his father Charles J Read age 20 single and a lodger who is a Railway Engine Cleaner born North Crawley Buckinghamshire lodging at Station Road Great Bowden the home of Elizabeth Sharpe aged 30 a widow and her family + 3 lodgers a railway carman, a railway shunter and railway engine cleaner.

Going back even further to 1881 UK census we find Charles age 10 living in a shepherds lodge in Castle Ashby Northamptonshire with parents James age 35 and who is a shepherd and his mother Ann Read age 32 and 4 siblings, William age 8, Emma age 6, Herbert aged 4 and George aged 1 + visitor Mary A Smith aged 22 born North Crawley Buckinghamshire. In 1871 UK census Charles John Read aged 3 months living High Street North Crawley Buckinghamshire with parents James age 25 a bricklayers labourer and Ann Read age 22 a lace maker.

And in 1891 UK census Minnie Howarth aged 21 single and a servant born Brighton Sussex living Northampton Road Little Bowden Leicestershire working for William Symington age 81 a widow and coffee merchant and his family.

Going back even further to 1881 UK census we find his mother Minnie Howarth aged 11 living with parents James and Eliza Howarth and sister Maud Eliza Howarth aged10 living Alma Road Reigate Foreign Surrey together with 2 lodgers William Adey age 23 under gardener domestic born Reading Berkshire and Jesse Hawkins aged 24 groom domestic born Nutfield Surrey and a gardener servant Walter Cainfield age 27 born Brighton.

In 1871 UK census Minnie Howarth age 17 months is living North Bruton Mews St. George parish of Hanover Square London with parents James and Eliza Howarth plus her sister Maud E Howarth aged 5 months, her father James is a coachman, we find James Read born abt 1867 Cranfield Bedfordshire his parents are Joel and Ann Read.

The 1939 register tells us that his father Charles J Read was age 69 giving his date of birth as 19th July 1870 and a retired railway engine driver and his wife Minnie aged 70 giving her date of birth as 23rd December 1869 and unpaid household duties and living 46 Rokeby Street Rugby.

His father died in 1946 in Rugby, his mother Minnie in 1954 in Rugby.

Charles George Read’s parents published an announcement in the Rugby Advertiser in 1921. on the anniversary of his death.

In loving memory of Charles George Read, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Read of 46 Rokeby Street, 2nd K.R.R., who was killed in action in France, Dec. 15th 1916, aged 22 years. “Until the day dawn, and the shadows flee away.” – From his loving Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

 

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Reynolds, John Henry Gilbert. Died 20th Nov 1916

John Henry Gilbert Reynolds was born in Long Lawford, near Rugby in late 1891. His father was Tom Reynolds and his mother Emma Julia (nee Burnham). They had married in Church Lawford parish church in 30th August 1897. John Henry Gilbert (known as Jack) was the second of four sons. At the time, Tom was a bricklayer living at 3 Burnham Cottage, Long Lawford.

Emma died two years later in 1899, at the age of 33. Tom remarried in 1900 to Maria Bagnall. Together they had three more children, two girls and then another boy.

In 1901 the family were living in Campbell Street, New Bilton. By 1911 they had moved to 18 Dunchurch Road. Tom was a Builder/Bricklayer working on his own account. Jack was not with the family. He was in the Metropolitan Police Force. By the time the war started he was expecting promotion.

It is not known when Jack enlisted, probably early 1915 (he was awarded the 1915 star medal) He was mentioned as “a London policeman, being a corporal in the Grenadier Guards” in an article in the Rugby Advertiser in June 1915. His brother Frank had been reported missing at this time.

According to his Medal Roll card, he arrived in France on 6th November 1915. When he died, just aver a year later he was a Lance Corporal in the 5th Reserve Battalion, Grenadier Guards. This battalion spent the war on home soil, at Chelsea. Perhaps Jack was transferred to the 1st or 2nd Battalion, both of which took part in the final actions of the Battle of the Somme – The Battles of Flers-Courcelette and Morval in September 1916.

On 7th October it was reported that he had been seriously wounded and was in Chichester Hospital. He died there on 20th November and was buried in Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.

He is listed in the order of service for service at Westminster Abbey on 17th May 1919 “In Memory of the Officers and Constables of the Metropolitan Police, who in the Great War have laid down their lives for their King and their Country”
He is listed there as P.C. 893 Reynolds J. H. G. of N Division

His brother Frank died in 1915 and Herbert had died only a few weeks before on 5th September 1916. Two cousins also died in the war.

Picture from Rugby Advertiser 10th Mar 1922.

Picture from Rugby Advertiser 10th Mar 1922.

 

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Bending, Stanley Emberson. Died 18th Nov 1916

Stanley Emberson Bending was born in Chelmsford, Essex. His father, Frank Bending, was born in Somerset. His mother Annie Bansor came from Chelmsford and they must have met in Hastings, where, in 1881, Frank was working as a tailor and Annie was an assistant in a draper’s shop. They married in Chelmsford the following year and Stanley was born there in 1889, the youngest of five children. In 1891 they were living at 5 Critchell Terrace, Rainsford Road in Chelmsford. Frank was a tailor’s cutter. A few years later the family moved to Tunbridge Wells in Kent and two more children had joined the family.

Frank Bending died in 1908 at the age of 54 and in 1911 Annie was still living in Tunbridge Wells, with her daughter and four younger sons. Stanley was aged 21 and a salesman in the boot trade. The oldest son was married and lived nearby; the other, Percy Greenway Bending was also married and living at 16 Plowman Street, Rugby. He was a police constable.

This must have been what brought Stanley Bending to Rugby. When the war started he was a workman at Willans and Robinson and he enlisted at the start of September 1914. He joined the 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry No. 23406 and at the time of his death his rank was lance corporal. He arrived in France on 3rd August 1915.

In 1916 the K.O.Y.L.I. took part in the Battle of the Somme and in November, the final stage, the Battle of Ancre.

KOYLI Way Diary.Pagefrom 18th Nov 1916

KOYLI Way Diary. Page from 18th Nov 1916

Transcription

Beaumont-Hamel

18-11-16

At 5.15 am on the 18th inst the battalion was drawn up on an advanced line which had been marked out by the R. E’s. running due North and South and we dug in.

The order was A. B. C. D. from right to left, our right was in touch with the 11th Borders and our left ran towards LARGER TRENCH occupied by the Manchester Regt.

The companies were drawn up in company column. All four battalions of the brigade were in the line, our front originally allotted was 300 yds but it was afterwards reduced to 225 yds. The conditions were bad, it started snowing just before the attack and therefore observation was very difficult, but at zero which was at 6.10am our barrage was intense and apparently very effective, consequently the enemy sent up numbers of very lights this with the white ground lit up all the surroundings. The line advanced with MUNICH TRENCH as their first objective, the left half of the battalion was able to push forward and reach their first objective. but the right half was held up by intense machine gun and rifle fire so they took up a position in a line of shell holes in front of the German wire. Meanwhile our left went on and gained their final objective after heavy fighting and mopping up as they advanced. At this period Capt H. Whitworth O. C. the left company who was wounded and forced to retire / confirmed the report that his company had gained their first objective and were about to advance on to their second. After this we got no definite news of the two left companies, but believing that they must have advanced with their right flan unprotected, all reinforcements that could be found, including a platoon which was extricated after being involved with the 11th Border Regt; were sent to support them and to take up bombs. At about 5-30 pm 2 Lieut H. R. Forde who was O. C. the right company came back to report the situation. Still there was no news of the two left companies so with no line to hold and with their left flank unprotected, and on the right the 11th Borders had retired, the Commanding Officer decided to withdraw to the original line. At about 6-30pm the battalion took up the old line; at that time it consist of the Colonel, Adjutant, Intelligence Officer, 2 Lieut H. R. Forde and about 170 O. R’s

At zero the following were the officers in action. [10 missing, 2 shell shock, 2 wounded]

19-11-16

In the evening at about 10-0 pm the 16th Lancashire Fuss: relieved the battalion in the line, when it retired to billets in MAILLEY-MAILLET

20-11-16

The battalion rested.

This is probably the action in which Stanley Emberson Bending was killed.
He is buried in the Ten Tree Alley Cemetery, Puisieux.

 

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Batchelor, Ernest Andrew. Died 24th Oct 1916

Ernest Andrew Batchelor was born in 1887 and baptised in October 1887 at St Andrews Church in Rugby.

At the time he lived at 13 Chapel Street Rugby. He was the son of Andrew Batchelor who was born in 1855 in Rugby and died in 1931 in Rugby, and Elizabeth Batchelor (nee Quinney) born 1856 and died 1938 in Rugby. Andrew Batchelor was a labourer.

In 1891 the family still lived at 13 Chapel Street, and Ernest lived there with his parents and his sisters Lucy and Frances and brothers William, Albert and Arthur.

In 1901 the family had moved to 2 Little Elborow Street and he now had two more brothers Walter and Frank and two more sisters Ethel and Fanny. Later his parents moved to 35 Worcester Street. He attended St Matthews School in Rugby and later worked at a firm in Birmingham.

Ernest enlisted in the First World War at Birmingham and served as Private No 18519 in the 10th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment. The 10th Battalion was formed in Worcester in September 1914 as K2 and came under the orders of the 57th Brigade in the 19th `Western Division. They landed in France on 18th July 1915

He enlisted originally on 26th August 1907 but discharged due to sickness on 30th December 1914. He later rejoined the Regiment and served in France & Flanders. During 1916 the Regiment fought in various battles, the Battle of Albert, the attacks of High Wood, the Battle of Pozieres Ridge and the Battle of Ancre Heights. Ernest died on 24tlr October 1916 in the Battle of Morval during the Battle of the Somme, and his body was not recovered. He is commemorated on Pier & Face 5A and 6C of Thiepval Memorial.

An officer of the Regiment wrote to Ernest’s parents that – “He was one of our best bombers, and always cheerful and good-hearted”.

At least three of his brothers enlisted to fight in the First World War. Frank Batchelor, born 1893, enlisted in 1911 in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and served in the war from 4th October 1914 and discharged 6th February 1920. During 1911 two other brothers, Arthur Batchelor and Walter Batchelor enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment

 

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Wilkins, Reginald Gerald. Died 12th Oct 1916

Reginald (Reg) was the elder son of William Alfred Wilkins and his wife Emma nee Satchell who were married in Rugby district in 1892. He was born in Rugby in 1895, and had an older sister Florence Gertrude born in Helidon Northants, and a younger sister Winifred Maud also born in Rugby. A brother Harold Cecil born in Leicester completed the family.

His father William born in Dunchurch was a general corn dealer working on his own account in 1901 when the family were living at 287 Welford Road, Leicester. His mother Emma had been born in Rugby and was baptised at St Andrews Church on 5 October 1883, daughter of George Satchell, a labourer, and Emma of Gas Street.

William died in Rugby early in 1911; in the census of that year Emma a widow was living at 377 Clifton Road, Rugby with her children Florence, 17, working in the Mazda Lamp Dept at British Thomson Houston (BTH), Reginald, 16, a shop assistant with W H Smith, Winifred, 14, also a shop assistant (at Hortons Bazaar), and schoolboy Harold, 10. Although she says she was married for 17 years, and had six children, five living, I have been unable to find any other children than these four.

Reginald joined the 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment as Private 16008, but there are no records of his service other than his medal card showing he was awarded the British War and Victory Medals, and the register of Soldiers’ Effects. His mother received his outstanding pay of £5.13s.4d in 1917 and a £3 War Gratuity in 1919.

Reginald was killed in action on 12 October 1916, and is buried in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval. He was originally “presumed dead” on the Soldiers Effects register, but the grave register details have been amended. The regimental number had been misread as 16006, with the name H Wilkins of the Black Watch.   Reginald’s date of death has also been added. The CGWC citation records his parents’ address as 22 Cannon Street, St Albans, where Emma must have moved after the war. Caterpillar Valley was originally a small cemetery made in 1918, but after the war the bodies of 5,500 from a number of smaller cemeteries and the Battle of the Somme were re-interred here. However there are only 1773 named graves, the rest are unknown soldiers.

An In Memoriam appears in the Rugby Advertiser in 1921 from his mother, brother and sisters, but there appears to be no mention of his death at the time.

 

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Turner, Arthur James. Died 19th Sep 1916

Arthur James Turner was born in 1874 and baptised in Ditchingham in Norfolk on 27th September 1874. His parents were James and Hannah (nee Dodman) who had married in 1868. Hannah died and was buried in Hedenham, Norfolk on 22nd October 1880. She was aged 34 and left a husband and five children. Arthur James was aged only six.

Times must have been hard for the family. James was an agricultural labourer and in 1883 was summoned to the Petty Sessions in Loddon by the School Attendance Officer, for neglecting to send two children to school. He was fined 2s 6d in each case. Perhaps they were need to work in the fields.

We have been unable to find the family in the 1891 census. Arthur James would have been sixteen by this time. Around March 1894 he joined the army. He sent time in India with the Royal Field Artillery and was drafted to England to train recruits during the Boer War. In 1902 he married Lizzie Gertrude Stanley. Their first child, Cyril Arthur Stanley Turner was born in Ireland in 1903 and Leslie Alan followed in 1905 and Vera Evelyn in 1907. The family were living at Bulford Camp, in Wiltshire at the time. Their fourth child, Urban H Turner was born in Rugby in 1912.

Arthur James had been was appointed Battery Sergeant-Major and Instructor in Gunnery to the Rugby Howitzer Battery in March 1910.

According to the report in the Rugby Advertiser 7th Oct 1916

“After the general mobilisation in August 1914, Sergt-Major Turner was appointed to the Divisional Ammunition Column. He finished his term of 22 years in March last, but signed on again for the period of the war, and was transferred to another Division.”

At his death he served in “B” Bty, 95th Bde, Royal Field Artillery (No 3291)

He “was killed in action on September 19th. Mrs Turner has not received official news of her husband’s death, but the Chaplain of the Division to which he was attached has written saying that her husband’s battery had been in action where the fighting was hottest, and he was one of the brave men who had given their lives for his King and country. The Chaplain added that he had read the Burial Service over his grave, near the Battery position. B.S.M. Turner who was 42 years of age, had served 22 years in the R.F.A.

He is buried at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, west of Longueval, where many of the dead from the Battle of the Somme were buried.

He is also remembered on the Croop Hill War Memorial in Rugby. His widow lived at 64 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton. She died in 1947, aged 76.

 

Cleaver, Gregory Joseph. Died 18th Sep 1916

Gregory Joseph Cleaver was born in Rugby in 1890. His father was Thomas Howlett Cleaver and Jemima Mary (nee Vickers). Thomas met his wife in Alton, Staffordshire where her father worked at the stone quarry there. Thomas was a clerk and they married in 1870. By 1881 the family was living in Caldecote, near Nuneaton and Thomas was a Builder’s Agent; a job which involved a lot of travel judging by the birth places of his children. By 1890, when Gregory, their youngest child (of nine, two others had died) was born, they were back in Rugby and in 1901 Thomas was a Builder’s Surveyor living at 51 Victoria Street. Gregory Joseph was aged 11.

Gregory Joseph cannot be found in the 1911 census. He would have been with the army in India. His mother had died and is father was a publican at the Horse and Jockey Inn in Lawford Road.

By the start of the war, Gregory Joseph Cleaver returned to England with the 3rd Bn, Kings Royal Rifle corps. They arrived on 18th November 1914 and as a regular soldier probably helped to train the new recruits. He arrived in France in 2nd Feb 1915, private no 7792 in the 12th Bn KRRC.

He was wounded in two different engagements. Perhaps it was while recovering from one of these that he met and married Agnes Daisy Richardson. They married in the Ipswich registration district in the June quarter of 1915. A daughter Zita A Cleaver (named after Gregory’s sister) was born a year later, but died soon after.

In August/September 1916, the 12th Bn, Kings Royal Rifle Corps was in the trenches of the Somme. From the beginning of September they moved from Carnoy to Guillemont, back to Carnoy, then Corbie and Meaulte. On the 15th Sept they arrived in Carnoy again. At 3am on the morning of the 16th they moved up to Waterlot Farm and on the 18th they were in the front line “in front of Ginchy

The War Diary reports that at 2.30 pm:
“Enemy counter attacked in force. “B” Company forced to give way a little but our being reinforced immediately drove enemy back to his own trenches, inflicting considerable loss.”

It is in this action that Rifleman Gregory Joseph Cleaver must have died.

He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

His death was reported in the Rugby Advertiser of 14th October 1916.

“Rifleman Gregory Cleaver Killed.
Mr T H Cleaver, late of the Horse and Jockey Inn, Rugby, has just received official information that his youngest son, Rifleman Gregory Cleaver, of the King’s Royal Rifles, was killed in action on September 18th. Rifleman Cleaver came from India, where he had served six years, after the War commenced. He had been wounded in two different engagements, and had only returned to the trenches a month   when he was killed.”

 

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