Morris, Richard. Died 30th Nov 1917

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

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

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

Advertisements

Williams, Harry Cecil. Died 26th Oct 1917

Whilst an ‘H C Williams’ is on the Rugby Memorial Gates and it must be presumed that the H C Williams on the BTH Memorial is the same man – there was initially insufficient ‘checkable’ information as to exactly whom he might be.

However, among the many soldiers named H or H C Williams on the Commonwealth War Graves data-base is a Harry Cecil Williams who was born in about 1897 and was the son of Harry and Florence Williams of 1, Market Street, Rugby.   This provided a man with a connection to the town.

Census data seemed to have no obvious records of either of these two Harry Williams in Rugby, and there was no place of birth to make searching easier. However, searching the various pre- and post-war Rugby Directories suggested that a Henry Williams, an ‘Engraver’ came to Rugby in about 1908, and in the 1909 Directory was living at 9 Lawford Road, Rugby.   Before 1911 he had moved to 66 Pennington Street, Rugby, and by 1913 onwards he was listed at 1 Market Street, Rugby, the address that was given on the CWGC site.

However, with no obvious birthplace to search, neither he nor his son appeared to be listed by the 1911 census! Fortunately searching for Harry’s mother, Florence, produced better results!

In 1901, the family had been at 8 Houston Road, Whiston, Lancashire.   Harry senior was a ‘watch engraver’ which also provided a ‘match’ to his occupation in Rugby. The children, Florence E and Harry C were five and four respectively and were both born in Prescott, Lancashire. Harry senior was born in Coventry [b.c.1871] so there was a connection with the area and his wife was from Norwich [b.c.1877]. Harry junior was born on 29 April 1897 and his birth was registered in Q2 1897. He was baptised as Harry Cecil on 7 July 1897 in Prescot, Lancashire, and his father was then also a ‘Watch Engraver’.

A 1911 census entry could now be found. The family had indeed moved to Rugby and were now in a four room house at 66 Pennington Street, Rugby, which fits with one of the earlier Directory entries. Harry senior was now working as an ‘Electric Meter Repairer, Engineer Works’, although the Directories still listed him as an engraver throughout the war – there may not have been staff to check – but he was still living in Market Street until at least 1920. In 1911, Harry Cecil was 13 and still at school, and his elder sister, Florence Eva was 15 and worked in the ‘Electric Insulating Dept., Engineer Works’.

It seems that Harry Junior would go on to work at BTH – and that was probably the ‘engineer works’ where his father and sister were working in 1911.

There are no extant military Service Records for Harry Cecil Williams, except for Medal Cards – but once again there is some confusion.

The Harry Williams with parents in Rugby is listed by the Commonwealth War Graves data-base as being in the 1st Battalion, the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) with a Number G/23882.

However, from the Medal Cards, the Harry Cecil Williams who was born in about 1897 with the number G/23882 would appear to be in the Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex) Regiment, however there is no indication of his Battalion which makes tracing his movements during the war virtually impossible.

There is also a Harry Williams who was indeed in the 1st Battalion, the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) in the CWGC database.   However, he had the number S/173, went to France on 27 December 1914 and died on 12 March 1915 and is buried in Enclosure No.2. IV. A. 46., in the Bedford House Cemetery having been concentrated [moved] from the Asylum Cemetery – both in the Ypres area.

Regimental numbers were not unique, indeed the CWGC database includes five soldiers who had the number 23882, from five different Regiments, as well as a Harry Williams. Soldiers could be renumbered when they were posted to a different Regiment as happened when losses in action had reduced a Battalion to insufficient fighting strength.

In tracing ‘our’ Rugby ‘Harry Williams’, one has to make a decision as to likelihoods. The Army was in contact with his parents, so his date of death was likely to have been correct, and probably also his Regiment. He may have had more than one number – and perhaps that is the least important fact, and is less crucial to finding his story, in the absence of any Service Records. So what is the story of the 1st Bn, the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kents)?

The 1st Battalion was in Dublin in August 1914 as part of the 13th Brigade in the 5th Division and on

15 August 1914 they landed at Le Havre. During 1914 they took part in the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat; the Battle of Le Cateau; the Battle of the Marne; the Battle of the Aisne; the Battles of La Bassee and Messines 1914 and the First Battle of Ypres. During 1915 they were engaged in the Second Battle of Ypres; and the Capture of Hill 60.

When Harry joined up is unknown, it was probably not until he was 18 in 1915.   When he went to France and joined his battalion is also unknown, but there is no record of him receiving the 1915 Star, so it was probably not until sometime in 1916, by which time he would have received some training in UK, and he would have reached the age of 18 or 19.   In 1916 the Battalion participated in the Attacks on High Wood; the Battle of Guillemont; the Battle of Flers-Courcelette; the Battle of Morval and the Battle of Le Transloy.

During 1917 the Battalion was in the Battle of Vimy; the Attack on La Coulotte; and the Third Battle of the Scarpe, which was part of the Battle of Arras.   They were then involved in several actions of the 3rd Battle of Ypres: the Battle of Polygon Wood; the Battle of Broodseinde; the Battle of Poelcapelle and the Second Battle of Passchendaele.

The 1st Bn. Royal West Kents were involved in an assault on 26 October 1917, on the first day of the Second Battle of Passchendale in the Gheluvelt area. In this southern area, X Corps supported the operation by attacking Gheluvelt which was almost due east of southern Ypres, to secure Tower Hamlets ridge, east of the Bassevillebeek as a diversion.

The Battalion War Diary[1] describes the attack on that first day: After withdrawing slightly to allow battery fire on the enemy positions, the enemy retaliated and shelled the areas behind the previous British positions causing heavy casualties. That day the War Diary noted that 2 officers were killed, 10 wounded and one was missing; and that 14 men were killed; 111 wounded and that 211 were missing. The writer of the reports stated: ‘The large number shown as “missing” are accounted for by the following facts: 1. Heavy shelling which must have buried many men. 2. Condition of ground which made it impossible to search ground properly for dead and wounded. 3. Complete lack of information from two assaulting Coys after zero hour.’ The report was on notebook pages, and written by the Lt. Col., whose papers and diaries had been sent back with a lance-corporal who was now missing presumed killed.

The CWGC records some 117 men of the Royal West Kents who died on that day, 26 October 1917. Some were buried in small burial grounds and later moved [concentrated] to the Hooge Crater Cemetery, but the majority have no known grave and are commemorated at Tyne Cot.

It is assumed that sometime during that costly assault on 26 October 1917, Harry C Williams was deemed to have been ‘Killed in Action’.

He was probably one of the many reported ‘missing’ and his body was either never found or not identified. He is remembered on one of the Panels 106 to 108 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.

Harry Cecil Williams 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.[2]

Harry was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.

His father’s death at 71 was registered in Rugby in Q1 1943.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Harry Cecil WILLIAMS 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]       The National Archives, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, 5th Division, Piece 1555/1-2: 1 Battalion, Queen´s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment, July 1917 – April 1919.

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

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.

= = = =

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

– – – – – –

 

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.

Deakin, Arol. Died 16th Aug 1917

Arol DEAKIN’s birth was registered in about 1889 in Eccleshall Bierlow RD in the border district of Derbyshire and Yorkshire. He would later state that he had been born in Sheffield. He was the second of three sons of Benjamin Deakin, a rolling-mill labourer(born c.1864, in Sheffield), and his wife,Sarah A, née Horsfield,(born c.1869, also in Sheffield).

In 1891, when Arol was one year old, and his elder brother, Arthur, was four, they were living at 155 Burgoyne Road, Sheffield; his mother’s sister, Martha H Horsfield and a niece were with them.

In 1901, the family were still at that same address in Sheffield. Arol’s father was now an ‘enquiry agent’ and the eldest son, Arthur, now 14, was working as a ‘screw turner’. There was now another younger brother, Benjamin, who was six years old. Arol was enumerated as ‘Ar/nold’ which raises the question of his true name – as this entry would have been by his father and not added by an enumerator or an official. Although he was Arol on most documents, it may be that this was an oral transcription of ‘Arnold’, or indeed ‘Harrold’ without its H or D. We will probably never know, but Arol was the name he used when joining the army and in his short later life.

It seems that on 7 November 1907, Arol’s elder brother, Arthur Deakin emigrated to America on the S.S.Ivernia from Liverpool to Boston, USA. He was 21 and an ‘engineer’. This seems to have been an exploratory visit, as he must have returned, and he then emigrated again on the same ship on 15 June 1909.   He was followed a few months later by their father, Benjamin, who travelled from Liverpool on the S.S.Merion to Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, USA, arriving on 27 December 1909, whilst his wife remained at 21 Channing Street, Sheffield. His final destination was stated as Boston, USA. In 1911, Arol’s mother was still at 21 Channing Street, Sheffield, with their youngest son, Benjamin, now 16 and an apprentice bricklayer. However, by 1917, Arol’s mother and his younger brother, Benjamin, had also moved to join the family in Ontario, Canada.

Before 1911, Arol had moved to Rugby, presumably for work. On 2 April 1911, although a boarder, Arol filled in and signed the census form for the Wright household at 32 Lawford Road, New Bilton, Rugby.   He was then aged 21 and a ‘stenographer’ working for an ‘electrical engineers’. His landlord, John William Wright was an ‘electrical engineer’, also working for an ‘electrical engineers’. Arol was latterly working in the BTH Contracts Department.

Later, in the 3rd quarter of 1911, Arol’s marriage with Dinah Ethel Wright was registered in Rugby [Rugby, Q3, 1911, 6d, 1078]. They had a daughter, Eileen in 1913, and a son, John Arol in about early 1916.

At some date after war was declared, Arol enlisted in Rugby. He was not awarded the 1915 Star, and there is no date of ‘entry into theatre’ on his Medal Card, so it is unlikely that he joined up early – indeed as he was married, he was probably exempt for a time, and probably went to France in 1916, or even as late as earlier in 1917.

He was initially a Gunner, No.186, in the Territorial Royal Field Artillery, where he was later promoted to the rank of Corporal. He was later renumbered as No.840016 in the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, and was posted into the 2nd/4th (South Midland) Heavy Trench Mortar Brigade.

Heavy trench mortars provided support to the infantry, and were generally stationed much closer to the front line than much of the artillery. As he died just behind the Ypres salient, it is most likely that he was in action providing support just prior to or during the Battle of Langemarck (16 – 18 August 1917), which was one of the actions of the Third Ypres offensive. He probably came under counter-battery fire from the German artillery and was wounded.   There do not appear to be other members of his unit in the cemetery, but on that same day 87 men of the Royal Field Artillery were killed in action or died of wounds at various points on the front, most of them in the Ypres salient.

It seems likely that Arol was transferred to Mendinghem casualty clearing station, which was about 10 miles north-west of Ypres. He did not recover and died of his wounds on 16 August 1917.   He was buried in the adjacent Mendinghem Military Cemetery in Grave Reference: IV. E. 38.

The Mendinghem Military Cemetery is just beyond the village of Proven. Mendinghem, like Dozinghem and Bandaghem, were the popular names given by the troops to casualty clearing stations in the area during the First World War. In July 1916, the 46th (1st/1st Wessex) Casualty Clearing Station was opened at Proven and this site was chosen for its cemetery. The first burials took place in August 1916. In July 1917, four further clearing stations arrived at Proven in readiness for the forthcoming Allied offensive on this front and three of them, the 46th, 12th and 64th, stayed until 1918.[1]

The Register of Effects[2] confirms Arol’s rank, number and place and date of death. His back pay of £22-2-6d was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Dinah E, on 8 December 1917, and his War Gratuity of £14-10-0d was paid to her on 19 January 1921.

Arol Deakin was awarded the British War and Victory Medals. He is commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby and also listed on the New Bilton War Memorial.[3] He is listed on the role of BTH Employees who served in the 1914-1918 war, and also as ‘DEAKIN, Arol’, on the BTH War Memorial.[4]

His death was listed as one of the ‘Local Casualties’ by the Sheffield Daily Telegraph in his former home town:   ‘Corpl. Arol Deakin, R.F.A., son Mr. and Mrs. B. and S. A. Deakin, Toronto, Canada, died of wounds August 16th.’[5]

This confirmed that his mother had joined his father, and that they were now living in Toronto, Canada. It seems that his youngest brother went with them, as a Benjamin Deakin, now 30 and a ‘silver polisher’, married with Edith Dickinson, a ‘box maker’, on 26 May 1925 at the Riverdale Methodist church in York, Ontario. His father died aged 58 on 20 August 1918 in York, Ontario, Canada and was buried there at Saint John’s Norway Cemetery.

Arol’s widow, Dinah, remarried with John Edwards in Rugby in 1919; they had three children registered in 1920, 1925 and 1931. After John’s death aged 55 in mid 1932, she married for a third time with Henry Chaplin in mid 1933. Dinah died aged 69 in Rugby in 1960.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Arol Deakin 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, August 2017.

[1]       Information edited from: www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/… .

[2]       UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929.

[3]       The war memorial is by the chapel in Croop Hill Cemetery, Addison Road, Rugby.

[4]       This is from a list of the names on the BTH War Memorial when it was unveiled, and is taken from the list published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921.

[5]       Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, 11 September 1917.

Hudson, Henry John Gerrard. Died 20th May 1917

Henry John Gerrard HUDSON, was born on 11 November 1873 in Whitechapel, Middlesex. He was the son of John Gerrard Hudson, who was a ‘Paper Stainer’.

Henry was apparently already working as a ‘Paper Stainer’, like his father, when at the age of 16, he joined the Navy and with the number: 147608, first served from 5 to 9 January 1889 on HMS Impregnable, a training establishment at Devonport, and then on HMS Ganges, another training establishment.   He later returned to HMS Impregnable and then was posted to HMS Ruby, a composite screw corvette launched in 1876.   HMS Ruby was at Sheerness when Henry was enumerated, aged 17, for the 1891 census.

Over the next ten years his Navy Service Record shows he was on some eight different ships or shore stations. In 1892 he became an Able Seaman, and in 1897 a Leading Seaman, but then was dropped back to Able Seaman. He does not seem to appear on the 1901 census, but his Record shows that he was on HMS Caesar, a Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship and had regained the rank of Leading Seaman.

Over the next couple of years he served on a further four different ships, and then seems to have left the Navy on 13 May 1902, presumably having completed the 12 years service that he signed up for.

He probably returned home to London, as some five years later he married Alice Emily Martin on 13 January 1907 at All Souls, Newington, Southwark.   He was 33 and she was from Bermondsey and was 28.

They seem to have remained in London for a while as their first two children were born there: Nancy Hudson was born in Walworth in about 1909, and Gladys Hudson in Camberwell the following year. However, by 1911 the family was living at 13 Southview Road, Weymouth, Dorset, and Henry was again associated with the sea, being a ‘Motor Boat Driver, General Providers’.

At some date between 1911 and 1914 the family moved to Rugby, and it is likely that they had a further child, a son, John G Hudson who was registered in Q2 1914. By 1914, Henry was working at BTH, in the Wiring Dept.   ‘Hudson’ was listed among the latest recruits from the BTH Works in September 1914.[1]

Henry Hudson’s Service Record notes that he rejoined HMS Victory on 2 September 1914; he was later posted to Eastern Gorleston, President IV [possibly mis-numbered – it was a London accounting base from 1918] and lastly Pembroke I on 12 April 1917

HMS Pembroke was the name given to a shore barracks at Chatham. It was commissioned in 1878, moved ashore in 1903 and was paid off in 1983. The buildings, designed by Sir Henry Pilkington, now house the University at Medway. A number of ships were renamed Pembroke while serving as base and depot ships for the establishment: HMS Trent was HMS Pembroke from 1905 until 1917.

Leading-Seaman Henry Hudson died, aged 43, on 20 May 1917 ‘… at R N Hospital Chatham, after a serious operation’,[2] although another record suggests that he ‘Died from disease’. This was probably part of the shore based HMS Pembroke and became the Royal Naval Hospital in Windmill Road – which is still known as the Medway Maritime Hospital.

He was buried in Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery in Grave Ref: Naval. 27. 1421. The cemetery has a large naval section reserved by the Admiralty and that section contains most of the war graves as well as burials of the pre-war and inter-war years.

Henry probably only served on land stations during WWI, as he was already a ‘Leading Seaman (retired)’, but he was awarded the British War Medal – the criteria being 28 days mobilised service, but without a requirement for overseas service.   There is no record of him receiving the Victory Medal for which recipients had to be mobilised and to have entered a theatre of war.

At the end of the war his widow’s address was noted as 1, Bakehouse Lane, New Bilton, Rugby.

Henry John Gerrard Hudson is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate.   He is also remembered on the New Bilton War Memorial, by the chapel in Croop Hill Cemetery, Addison Road – the Memorial reads ‘In the Great War these died for England 1914-1919’.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Henry John Gerrard HUDSON was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, May 2017.

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, 26 September 1914.

[2]       Rugby Advertiser, Deaths, 26 May 1917.

Knight, William Albert. Died 13th May 1917

Albert as he was known in the family, was born in 1895, and baptised at St Paul’s Church, Northampton on 2 June. His parents, George Walter Knight and Sarah Dudley Markham, were married in Northampton Registration District in September Quarter of 1892. George was born in Wilby Northants and Sarah in Buckingham.

They had three other children, George Walter jnr born 1893, Ernest James born 1897, and Dora Elizabeth born 1899. All four were baptised at St Paul’s; their father was a labourer, and the family were living first in Burleigh Street, Northampton when their eldest child was born, then at 6 Richmond Terrace where Albert was born. They were still there in 1901.

By 1911 they had moved to 107 Winfield Street, Rugby. George snr was unfortunately now an invalid, but his three sons were all working, George jnr and Albert at an electrical works (British Thompson Houston) and Ernest an errand boy for a boot shop. They must have thought work opportunities to be greater in Rugby than Northampton.

107 Winfield St, Rugby

Albert enlisted at the outbreak of war at Rugby as William Knight, and joined the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, No 18263. He was sent to France on 4 December 1915, qualifying him for the 1915 Star as well as the British War and Victory medals. This is confirmed by the report of his death in the Rugby Advertiser on 2 June 1917.

The South Staffs formed part of the 7th Division which saw action all through the Battle of the Somme in 1916. In 1917 they fought throughout the German retreat to the Hindenberg Line during the Arras offensive.

On 13 May 1917 the Regiment along with the Australians was ordered to attack the heavily fortified village of Bullecourt. It was believed to be weakened by days of heavy bombardment but this was not so, and a vicious battle ensued. The Regiment was caught in crossfire at a location known as the Red Patch. After three days Bullecourt was taken with the loss of 2 officers and 37 men killed.

It was probably during this action that Albert was killed aged 22, but he may have been wounded and died later, as Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery where he is buried was occupied from April 1917 by two casualty clearing stations.

Achiet le Grand cemetery entrance

The list of Soldiers Effects records that he “died in the field” rather than was “killed in action”.   His mother as his sole legatee received his back pay of £8.18s.11d, and War Gratuity of £12.10s. His father had died in 1914.

He is commemorated on the BTH memorial in Rugby (as A W Knight) as well as the Memorial Gates.     The above notice of his death also records “He enlisted at the outbreak of war, and prior to that was employed in the BTH Winding Department. He had been in France a year, and some time ago distinguished himself by saving the life of an officer at great personal danger to himself”.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Hipwell, George William Ward. Died 3rd May 1917

George William Ward Hipwell was born in Old Basford, Nottingham on 9 April 1885, and was christened in New Bilton, Warwickshire on 9 December 1885.   His parents were George Henry Ward Hipwell, born in Ullesthorpe in 1859 and Annie Elizabeth, born in about 1862 in Long Lawford. In 1911 George Henry was a cabman living at 27 King Edward Road, Rugby, they had ten children and nine were still living, and living with them, in 1911.

George William was the eldest of those ten children and in 1911 he was an Electrical Engineering Fitter at BTH works in Rugby.

George William enlisted in Rugby, as a Private, No.11894, in the 5th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He probably joined up at the same time as many other men – many from Hillmorton – who also joined the 5th Battalion. He went to France with his Battalion on 22 July 1915.

He must have had leave as his marriage with Bertha Frances A. Ingram was registered in Rugby in the first quarter of 1916 [Rugby Q1, 1916, 6d, 1383].

George was killed in action on 3 May 1917.   The action on that day was recorded the following day, by Lieut.-Colonel, H. L. Wood, who was commanding the 5th Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

RECORD OF THE 5th (SERVICE) BATTALION.1st July 1916 to 30th June 1917.

The movements of the 42nd Brigade to positions of assembly on “Y” day and “Y”/”Z” night had been previously notified, thus:

The 5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry from N.14.b via Brigade H.Q.(N.15.d.4.4), N.22 central, N.23.d.8.4, along the bank and via the railway. The Battalion will move by platoons in file at 3 minutes’ interval. The leading platoon to arrive at Brigade H.Q. at 8 p.m. Water will be issued to men requiring it, under Brigade arrangements at Brigade H.Q. The Battalion will be clear of Cross Roads N.22.a by 9.15p.m., and will proceed in file to their Assembly Trenches. All trenches have been labelled. All units (less 9th K.R.R.C.) will report by runner to Advance Brigade H.Q. in the Stag as soon as they are in their positions of assembly. As soon as Battalions are in their Assembly Trenches an issue of hot tea and rum will be made under Brigade arrangements. The Assembly Trenches were named “zoologically,” and the Battalion assembled for the assault in portions of the Ape, the Boar, the Buck, the Lion, and the Bison. ‘Z’ day was 3rd May and zero hour 3.45a.m. The following is Lieut.-Colonel H.L. Wood’s Official Report of action of the Battalion:

 —

At zero the Battalion was formed up as follows: A and C Companies in the front line, A on the right, C on the left; B and D Companies in the second line, B on the right, D on the left; each company in two lines of two platoons. The front line was on the taped line, the second line in Ape Trench. The German artillery and machine-guns opened fire within 3 minutes of our barrage commencing; most of the artillery fire was between Ape and Bison. Until the advance commenced at zero plus 18 there were only a few casualties from artillery fire in Ape, and none in the companies in front. On the other hand, the machine-gun fire was very heavy and accurate, and came from the left flank (either from St. Rohart Factory or from the Quarry in 0.15.c) and front (from the Quarry at 0.21.b.8.0 or from Triangle Wood).

At zero plus 18 the advance commenced and reached a line about 50 yards west of New Trench, beyond which it was found impossible to advance farther on the left. On the right of the line 2nd Lieut. Peel (A Company) found it possible to avoid the machine-gun fire by crawling, and he got a few men forward and occupied part of New Trench. As touch had been lost with the 8th K.R.R.C., 2nd Lieut. Peel brought up the reserve platoon of A Company on his right flank, and gained touch with them. This was about 4.30 a.m. About this time the remainder of A Company and part of D Company managed to get into New Trench on the left of A Company. The Germans who had been holding New Trench retired to a line about 40 yards in rear, from which they heavily bombed and opened fire with two machine-guns on New Trench. These were, however, soon silenced by rifle and Lewis-gun fire. It was, however, found impossible to advance owing to the very accurate and unceasing machine-gun fire from the left, and also to a certain extent from the front. The artillery fire also became fairly heavy about this time. The situation now was as follows: about 50 men of all companies in New Trench, and parties of B and D Companies (about two platoons in all) in a line of shell-holes about 40 yards behind. This party tried to consolidate, but found it impossible to work owing to the incessant machine-gun fire, snipers, and heavy Vane-bomb fire, which came from the left flank, probably from Hillside Work. The situation remained unchanged until about 10.45a.m., New Trench being shelled continuously, while a very heavy barrage was maintained on the Assembly Trenches. At about 10.45a.m. the troops on our right were observed retiring, and a strong enemy counter-attack in 6 or 7 waves (each estimated by those in the front line at about 150 to 200 men) was launched against New Trench. Fire was immediately opened on them with all available rifles, Lewis-guns, and two Vickers which had come up, and many casualties were inflicted, but without stopping the counter-attack. When the enemy had got within 50 yards of New Trench, and our ammunition was practically all expended, the remnants withdrew to the Assembly Trenches, bringing back as many Lewis-guns as possible. The two Vickers had to be abandoned.

… The casualties were: A Company (Right leading) 75, out of 129 who attacked. C Company (Left leading) 84, out of 118. B Company (Right Support) 57, out of 123. D Company (Left Support) 62, out of 123. H.Q. 13, out of 30, including bombers who went over behind the leading company.[1]

Of the 12 officers and 523 N.C.O.s and Men who went into action on 3 May 1917, 8 officers and 291 N.C.O.s and Men became casualties.

George William Hipwell’s body was not found and he is remembered on the Arras Memorial at Faubourg-D´Amiens Cemetery, Arras.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article  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, May 2015.

[1]         http://www.lightbobs.com/5-oxf–bucks-li-1916-1917.html