Powell, Horace. Died 25th Sep 1915

Horace POWELL was born in Long Eaton, Derbyshire and his birth was registered in Shardlow at the end of 1895. His father, Henry, was born in about 1862, in Coventry and was a machine tool maker. His mother, Alice, was born two years later in Emscote, Warwick. The family appear to have moved around, indeed, Horace’s elder sister, Alice, was born in Germany in 1891, although his eldest sister was born in Coventry in 1885.

In 1901, Horace was only five years old, and the family were living in Coventry. By 1911, the family had moved to 106, Craven Road, Rugby and Horace, now 15, was working as a ‘turner in iron industry’ ‘engineering’.   It is assumed that he was already working at BTH, where he is known to have been working in the BTH Tool Room prior to enlisting.

He joined up as a rifleman, number Y/531, in the 9th Bn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps.

The 9th (Service) Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps was formed at Winchester in August 1914 as part of K1 and came under orders of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division. They moved to Aldershot, going on to Petworth in November and in February 1915 returned to Aldershot.

The 9th Bn. landed at Boulogne on 20 May 1915, although it seems that Horace did not arrive until slightly later, as his medal card showed that he arrived in France on 13 August 1915.

The Battalion had fought in the action at Hooge Crater, being in the first Division to be attacked by flamethrowers. ‘The loss of the Battalion in this short action was 17 officers and 333 other ranks. … The Battalion took no further part in any important fighting until the Battle of Loos on September 25th, where they again experienced very hard fighting, lost heavily, but won further credit for their gallant services.’[1]

On 25 September 1915, the 9th Bn. were in action in one of the main diversions for the Battle of Loos, the Second Attack on Bellevarde [see separate article in Rugby Remembers]. Bellevarde Farm was only about 500m north of Hooge. On this day, another eight Rugby men, from the 5th Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, were killed in action, with none having a known grave. The 9th Kings Royal Rifle Corps were in action to the left of the 5th Ox. and Bucks.

Before the date of his final action, Horace was promoted from Rifleman to acting Corporal, but was reported missing, presumed killed, on the first day of the attack on Bellevarde Farm, on 25 September 1915.

Horace was originally buried as an ‘unknown soldier’, probably near where he fell as the given Map Reference: 28.I.11.b.15.49. was near Railway Wood, some 500 yards north-west of Bellevarde Farm. His unnamed body was recovered after the war and he was identified by his ‘titles and boots, stmp. [stamped] 531’, and that part of his boot was ‘forwarded to base’.

 Powell - map-exhumation-railway

 Above: Map with 25 yard square I.11.b.15.45 (marked in green), locating the small cemetery. The site of Horace’s exhumation, 28.I.11.b.15.49, would be a few yards immediately north of the green square on the map, and thus probably part of that same small battlefield cemetery in the disused railway cutting.

The marked square on the trench map was the location of a small battlefield cemetery to the west of Railway Wood in the middle of the disused railway cutting – it is today the route of the N37 Zuiderring road from Ypres to Zonnebeke, near where it crosses Begijnenbosstraat.

Several soldiers were buried initially in this cemetery, including, notably, the alleged youngest casualty of WWI, the fourteen year old John Condon, who was killed on 24 May 1915, and who was reburied in Poelcapelle Cemetery, where his is the best known and most visited grave of any soldier who died in the Great War, although some researchers now suggests that Condon was actually 20 years old, and indeed it is argued that his body may have been misidentified and a completely different soldier, Patrick Fitzsimmons, who had the same number in another regiment, may well be buried there![2]

Horace Powell was also reburied in Poelcapelle British Cemetery, in Grave Reference: LIV. F. 7. This cemetery is located some ten miles north of Bellewaarde, and was built after the war, and many individual burials and the burials in several smaller cemeteries were concentrated into the Poelcapelle British Cemetery, which is located 10 Kms north-east of Ieper town centre on the Brugseweg (N313), a road connecting Ieper to Brugge in west-Vlaanderen.

Horace was awarded the British and Victory medals and the 1915 Star.

[1]       http://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/library/Documents/archive/chaplin_krrc_extract.pdf

[2]       http://www.jackclegg3.webspace.virginmedia.com/Condonevidence.htm

 

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Goffin, William Frederick. Died 25th Sep 1915

William Frederick was born June Qtr 1893 in Rugby, the 3rd child & 2nd son of Frances Humphries & Harry Goffin, (Married 18th December 1887 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk) a Boot Maker from Great Yarmouth, the family moved to Rugby between 1890 and 1891. William Frederick and the 4 youngest children were born in Rugby, In 1911 the family were living at 35 Pennington Street, William was 18 years of age and a Boot Repairer, probably working with his father.

William served as a Private with the 5th Bn Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry, and was just 22 years old when he died on the 25th September 1915 and is remembered in Ypres, Menin Gate and Rugby Memorial Gates.

He received 3 medals for his service in France; Victory Medal, British Medal & 15 Star. Theatre of War. (1) France. Date of Entry 20th May 1915. So he was not there for long.

 

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Summers, Frederick John. Died 25th Sep 1915

Frederick John Summers’ birth was registered in the third quarter of 1893 in Rugby. He was baptised on 4 February 1894 at St Matthews Church. The baptism record shows his parents were Frederick Henry (born 1864 in Eathorpe) and Mary Ann Summers. They lived at 5 Bridget Street, Rugby and his father’s profession was entered as grocer’s warehouseman. Mary Ann was born Mary Ann Stevens in 1868 in Rugby.

In 1901 the family were living at 4 Bridge Street and father was still a grocer’s warehouseman. In 1911 they were at the same address and father was a white metal moulder, and Frederick John was a driller.

Frederick John Summers enlisted with the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Regimental number 11077 at the end of August 1914. Formed at Oxford as part of K1 and placed under orders of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division they landed on 21 May 1915 at Boulogne.

Frederick was a Private fighting in the action to capture Bellevarde Farm, a diversionary action for the Battle of Loos, on 25 September 1915 and was initially reported as missing in action. (See more about the Battle of Bellevarde Farm and the Battle of Loos on Rugby Remembers.)

The Rugby Advertiser dated 6 November 1915 reported:

Private Fred Summers Missing

General regret is expressed in St Matthew’s district at the news that Pte Fred Summers, 5th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry has been missing since the great advance in September.   Pte Summers, who enlisted in August 1914, is a son of Mr F H Summers of 4 Bridget Street and when the war broke out he was employed at the Rugby Conservative Club. He was an old St Matthew’s boy, Secretary of the St Matthew’s Boys Club, a keen athlete and prominent junior footballer and cricketer.   He was also a former member of the lst Rugby Company Boys Brigade. Of   bright and cheerful disposition, he was popular with all who knew him, and the hope is universally expressed that ere long his anxious parents may have news of him. He was 21 years of age.

Frederick was killed in action and was awarded the British War, Victory and 1915 Star Medals awarded

Frederick John Summers is remembered on Panel 37 and 39 of Ypres Menin Gate Memorial and on the Rugby War Memorial.

 

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Page, Wilfred. Died 25th Sep 1915

Wilfred Page’s birth was registered in the third quarter of 1894 in Rugby. He was baptised on 9 December 1894 at St Andrews Church.   Wilfred’s parents were John Page born 1853 in Norton, Northants and Emma born 1854, in Northampton. Father John was a Railway Engine Driver and the family lived at 43 Cambridge Street in both the 1901 and 1911 censuses. Wilfred was described as a Winder at BTH, in the 1911 census.

Wilfred Page enlisted with the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Regimental number 11075 at the end of August 1914. Formed at Oxford as part of K1 and placed under orders of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division they landed on 21 May 1915 at Boulogne.

He was a Private fighting in the action to capture Bellevarde Farm, a diversionary action for the Battle of Loos, on 25 September 1915 and was killed in action. (See more about the Battle of Bellevarde Farm and the Battle of Loos on Rugby Remembers.)

The Rugby Advertiser 30 October 1915 reported:

Wilfred Page photo

Bugler Page Killed

Last week Mr J Page of 43 Cambridge Street received official information that his youngest son, Bugler Wilfred Page, of the 5th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, was killed in action on September 25. Bugler Page, who was only 20 years of age, was an old Murrayian and was formerly a member of the lst Rugby Co Boys’ Brigade and also of the BTH Boys Scouts.   He joined the Army at the end of August 1914, at which time he was employed in the L & N W Ry erecting shop. As a mark of respect the flag was flown at half mast from the pole at the erecting shop. Another son of Mr Page is on a torpedo boat operating in the Mediterranean.

Wilfred Page is remembered on Panel 37 and 39 of Ypres Menin Gate Memorial and Grave K678 in Clifton Cemetery and on the Rugby War Memorial.

 

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Barber, Frederick. Died 25th Sep 1915

Frederick’s birth was registered in the third quarter of 1889 in Rugby.

Frederick was the fifth son of Mary Ann (née Wiggin) and Orlando George Barber. In 1891 they lived at 41 Union Street but later moved to 9 Oliver Street. Fred’s father Orlando was a Builders Foreman and he was born in Lamas in Norfolk around 1846 and his parents were Charles Barber and Eleanor Taylor who married in Jun 1842 in Aylsham, Norfolk. Mary Ann and Orlando had 8 children in all.

Fred Barber attended St Matthew’s School Rugby and, suitably with his name, became a barber. In 1911 he was living with his parents, aged 21. Fred’s father Orlando Barber died on 26 June 1913.

Fred enlisted into the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Regimental number 11043 on 4 August 1914. The battalion was formed at Oxford in August 1914 and placed under orders of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division. Following training, he would have left for France on 20 May 1915. He was fighting in the action to capture Bellevarde Farm, a diversionary action for the Battle of Loos, on 25 September 1915 and was killed in action. (See more about the Battle of Bellevarde Farm and then the Battle of Loos on Rugby Remembers.)

His body was buried close to where he fell and later his body was moved to the New Irish Farm Cemetery.

Fred was awarded the British, Victory and 1915 Star Medals.

Frederick Barber is also remembered on the Rugby War Memorial.

 

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Stent, Percy Victor. Died 25th Sep 1915

Percy Victor Stent was born on the 25 June 1892 in Thames Ditton, Surrey. He was baptised on 28 August 1892 at St Nicholas Church, Thames Ditton.

Percy’s father George was born in Morden Surrey and his mother, Elizabeth, in Sunbury, Middlesex.

Three of Percy’s siblings had also been born in Thames Ditton Surrey between 1891 and 1895.   This is where Willans and Robinson had The Ferry Foundry works, before moving to Rugby in 1896. Percy’s father obviously moved the family to Rugby and in 1901 the family were living in 25 Windsor Street, Rugby. Percy’s father George was an Electric Machine Driver in a Foundry (no doubt at Willan’s Victoria Works).

In 1911 Percy lived with the family at 28 Worcester Street, Rugby and his father was a Labourer in the Engineering Works. Percy was a coremaker and his elder brother, Thomas, was an iron moulder (again possibly all at the Willans Victoria Works).

Percy enlisted into the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Regimental number 10555. The battalion was formed at Oxford in August 1914 and placed under orders of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division. Following training, he would have landed with his Battalion in France on 20 May 1915.   He was fighting in the action to capture Bellevarde Farm, a diversionary action for the Battle of Loos, on 25 September 1915 and was killed in action. (See more about the Battle of Bellevarde Farm and the Battle of Loos on Rugby Remembers.)

At some stage Percy was promoted to Acting Corporal. Percy was awarded the Victory, British and 1915 Star Medals.

Percy Stent is remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial and on grave no. N169 in Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby. He is also remembered on the Rugby War Memorial.

 

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Barnett, Samuel George. Died 25th Sep 1915

Samuel George Barnett’s birth was registered in September 1894 and his christening was on 7 September at St Andrew’s Church Rugby.

In 1901 he was living with his widowed mother Mary Ann Barnett and 4 siblings. Mary Ann had firstly been married to Henry Lee in September 1875 and they had had two children. Widowed, Mary Ann then married James Barnett, a Brick Layer’s Labourer, in December 1885. Mary Ann and James had three children, Samuel being the third. By 1901 Mary Ann was again widowed and married Walter J Sansom and they had one son.

In the 1901 and 1911 censuses the family were living at 5 Gas Street, Rugby. In 1911 Samuel was employed as a Meter Magnetiser in the BTH Electrical Engineering Department.

Samuel Barnett enlisted with the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Regimental number 10554 on 11 August 1914. He became part of the Machine Gun Section. The battalion was formed at Oxford in August 1914 and placed under orders of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division. Following training, he would have left for France on 20 May 1915.

He was a Lance Corporal fighting in the action to capture Bellevarde Farm, a diversionary action for the Battle of Loos, on 25 September 1915 and was killed in action.

There is no Service Record for Samuel except for a Register of his Effects. His mother Mary Ann Sansom, sole legatee was sent his pay of £5 17s 2d in 1917 and a gratuity of £3 10s 0d in 1919.

Samuel George Barnett is remembered on Panel 37 and 39 on Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, in the BTH Memorial Dedication Book and on the BTH War Memorial and also on the Rugby War Memorial. He is also remembered on gravestone K302 in Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.

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