Angell, William Henry, Died 15th Jun 1918

William Henry Groves ANGELL was born in Deptford, Kent, in late 1889.  He was the second son of John Groves Beasley Angell, who was born in ‘Bow Road’, London City, in about 1862, and Mary, née Sullivan, Angell, who was born in Deptford, Kent and who was also born in about 1862.  

In 1891, the family had just moved to live in Clump Meadow, Queen’s Road, Thames Ditton, Kent.  William was one year old and had an elder brother, John, who was five,[1] and an elder sister.  He would later have another sister, Amy, and a much younger brother, Fred born in 1898.  William’s father was a ‘moulder’.  It seems that both William’s father, and his uncle, had moved to Queen’s Road, Thames Ditton, before the 1891 census, and both must have worked for the Willans Company, as both families moved to Rugby when the Willans Company expanded and moved there in 1897.

So before 1901 the family had moved to live at 43 Victoria Avenue, Bilton, Rugby, and then before 1911, William’s parents and the family had moved to 166 Lawford Road, New Bilton, Rugby.  His father was still an Iron Moulder.  His sister, Katherine, had married, Rugby born, Alfred Glenn, who was a Groom and they were also living with the family.  William was not at home on census night, and has not been found elsewhere at present, unless he was the ‘core maker’ – a somewhat similar trade to that of his father – who was a boarder at 425 Shields Road, East Heaton, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

There are no surviving military Service Records for William.  He joined up in Bristol, initially as a Sapper, No:2168, in the Royal Engineers.  His Medal Card states that he went ‘overseas’ to France/Belgium on 6 June 1915.  He was latterly a Sapper No: 494519 in the 477th South Midlands Field Company, Royal Engineers (R.E.s).

The 2/1st South Midland Field Company, R.E.s was formed in September 1914, and later moved independently to France as the renamed 477th Field Company, R.E.s, and joined 48th Division in June 1915.  William would have gone to France with his Field Company.

A War Diary exists for their period in France/Belgium.[2]  They had entrained for Portsmouth on 6 June and crossed to Le Havre arriving on 7 June and then spent several months with Sections working on different projects in different areas and also training – including the use of pontoons and bridging.

As an example of their work, on 18 May 1916, 9.30am, they started to supervise the digging of trenches,
‘… 915 yds of trench in all & including [two] traverses, 1220 yds of digging. Trench dug 5ft wide at top & 3 ft at bottom, 3ft 6in deep = 14 sq ft.  Strength of digging party 650 & 1 section of Sappers supervising approx 80 cu.ft per man.  19 May – 2pm – Digging complete.

In November 1916, their Field Company typically had a strength of 10 officers and about 220 other ranks.  They would have been working on a variety of construction projects, trenches and strong-points, supporting the 48th Division during the rest of 1916 and for most of 1917.

In May 1915, the Italians had entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria.  Commonwealth forces were later transferred to the Italian front between November 1917 and November 1918.   48th Division HQ received orders on 10 November 1917 for a move to Italy.  Entrainment began on 21 November and all units had detrained around Legnano (Adige) by 1 December.  The Division then moved north to the area allotted to XI Corps.

In March 1918, XIV Corps (the 7th, 23rd and 48th Divisions) relieved Italian troops on the front line between Asiago and Canove, the front being held by two Divisions, with one Division in reserve on the plain.[3]

The 48th Division relieved 7th Division to hold the front line sector at the Montello between 1 and 16 March.  It then moved west, to the Asiago sector.  The front had been comparatively quiet until the Austrians attacked in force from Grappa to Canove in the Battle of Asiago (15-16 June 1918).  The Division took part in the fighting on the Asiago Plateau.  The Allied line was penetrated to a depth of about 1,000 metres on 15 June, but the lost ground was retaken the next day and the line re-established.[4]

It is likely that William was wounded either just prior to, or during, the Battle of Asiago, and died of wounds during the day at one of the South Midlands Field Ambulances, which were attached to the 48th (South Midland) Division.  Mount Cavalletto was the site of an Advanced Operating Station where urgent cases from the front were treated, as the journey from the mountains to the main hospitals on the plain was long and difficult.

William Henry Angell ‘died of wounds’ on 15 June 1918, and was buried in the nearby Cavalletto British Cemetery, in grave reference: Plot 1. Row E. Grave 11.[5]  His family later had the inscription ‘A Noble Sacrifice for his Country’s Honour’ added to his memorial stone.  The contact for the inscription was ‘Mrs F R Angell, 714 Fishponds Road, Bristol’.  This would appear to be William’s cousin, Florence R Angell, who had married in 1913 and whose husband died in 1918.  She seems to have used her unmarried name for correspondence with the CWGC.  She later re-married.

Cavalletto British Cemetery is one of five Commonwealth cemeteries on the Asiago Plateau containing burials relating to this period.  It contains 100 First World War burials.  It is 12 kilometres south of Asiago (in the province of Vicenza, Veneto region), … and 45 kilometres from Vicenza in the commune of Calven.

In October, the 7th and 23rd Divisions were sent to the Treviso area of the River Piave front. The 48th Division, which remained in the mountains as part of the Italian Sixth Army, later played an important part in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto (24 October-4 November 1918) in which the Austrians were finally defeated.

William Henry Angell was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1914-1915 Star.  He is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on William Henry ANGELL 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, March 2018.

[1]      His brother John was mentioned in the Rugby Advertiser, on 5 May 1917.  See Rugby Remembers.  ‘2nd Lieut. J P Angell, R.F.C, eldest son of Mr and Mrs J Angell, 166 Lawford Road, has been awarded the French Military Medal for Distinguished Service while he was Sergt. Major, and has received congratulations from His Majesty the King.  Mr Angell has two other sons serving with the Colours.’

[2]      WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Royal Engineers, 48th Division, TNA Ref: Piece 2751/3: 477 South Midland Field Company Royal Engineers (1915 Jun – 1917 Oct).

[3]      Edited from: https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/69804/cavalletto-british-cemetery/.

[4]      Edited from: https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/69804/cavalletto-british-cemetery/.

[5]      Shared by ‘parkgrove1’ on www.ancestry.co.uk on 19 September 2015.

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Handyside, John Robert. Died 19th May 1917

John Robert HANDYSIDE was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1886, the son of John and Jane Handyside.   He was baptised on 15 September 1886 at St Anne’s, Newcastle on Tyne.

In 1901, John’s father was a ‘Blacksmith’s Labourer’ and the family lived at 15 Rippenden Street, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne. John was then 14 years old and had five younger siblings.

In 1911, John, now 25 and still single, was a labourer in an engineering works and still at home with the family. A family of eight in a three roomed house would have been somewhat crowded.

Sometime between 1911 and 1914 John moved to Rugby to work ‘… at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, and lodged at the house of Mrs Hayward, 43 Lodge Road, Rugby’.[1]

‘His enlistment was reported in the September 1914, ‘Supplementary List, No. 3.’ from Willans & Robinson Ltd.[2] By January 1916, ‘The employees from Messrs Willans and Robinson’s with the colours consist of 15 officers (including one staff-captain) and 233 men, 248 in all.   Of these, two officers and ten men have already been killed, …’[3]

A later report confirmed that John ‘… enlisted as a gunner on September 3rd, 1914, and has now been promoted to the rank of Corporal.’[4] He enlisted initially as No. 11029 with ‘D’ Battery, 71st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. 71st Brigade was part of the New Army K2 and its service is summarised below.[5]

‘LXXI Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, made up of 223, 224 and 225 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column served with 15th (Scottish) Division. 15th (Scottish) Division was formed in September 1914, as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army. In February 1915 the three six-gun batteries were reorganised to become four four-gun batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D. 71 Brigade proceeded to France in the second week of July 1915. They were in action in the Battle of Loos in 1915.

In spring 1916, they were involved in the German gas attacks near Hulluch and the defence of the Kink position. On the 22nd May 1916 the Brigade Ammunition Column merged with other columns of the divisional artillery to form the 15th Divisional Ammunition Column. On the 7th of June 1916 D Battery exchanged with C Battery, 73 (Howitzer) Brigade of the same division, each adopting the others name. 71 Brigade were in action during the Battles of the Somme, including the Battle of Pozieres, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette and the capture of Martinpuich, The Battle of Le Transloy and the attacks on the Butte de Warlencourt.   The brigade was reorganised in early December 1916. C Battery was split between A and B Battery to bring them up to six guns each. B Battery, 73 (Howitzer) Brigade joined and was renamed C Battery, 71 Brigade. On the 22nd of January 1917 a section of two howitzers from 532 (Howitzer) Battery, 72 Brigade joined to make D (Howitzer) Battery up to six guns.

In 1917 they were in action in the First and Second Battle of the Scarpe, including the capture of Guemappe during the Arras Offensive. They then moved north to Flanders and were in action during the Battle of Pilckem and the Battle of Langemark.’

One of John’s three Medal Cards shows that he went to France on 8 July 1915, which agrees with the above 71st Brigade history.

During his earlier period in France, a later report mentioned,
‘Bombardier Handyside had been previously brought to notice for coolness and bravery on the 25th September near Loos, when he repeatedly volunteered to repair wires under very heavy fire, although he was suffering from the effect of gas fumes at the time.’[6]

This may have been the occasion when, as a Corporal, another Medal Card noted that he was ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’.[7]

Sometime before the end of November, whilst he was an Acting Bombardier and still in ‘D’ Battery, 71st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and there were several [similar] reports.

‘ANOTHER RUGBY MAN AWARDED THE D.C.M.
‘Amongst those who have recently been awarded the D.C.M is Bombardier J R Handyside, D Battery, 71st Brigade Royal Field Artillery. He received the distinction for conspicuous gallantry from the 26th September to the 14th October, 1915, during which time his battery was in the open and constantly under a very heavy fire. He frequently volunteered to mend telephone wires under heavy fire, thereby successfully maintaining communications.’[8]

‘11029 Bombardier J. R. Handyside, ‘D’ Battery, 71st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. For conspicuous gallantry from the 26th September to the 14th October, 1915, during which time his battery was in the open and constantly under a very heavy fire. He frequently volunteered to mend telephone wires under heavy fire, thereby successfully maintaining communications. Bombardier Handyside had been previously brought to notice for coolness and bravery on the 25th September near Loos, when he repeatedly volunteered to repair wires under very heavy fire, although he was suffering from the effect of gas fumes at the time.[9]

In addition, he was also awarded the Medaille Militaire,[10] and was subsequently promoted to Sergeant and it might have been during the reorganisation of the 71st Brigade in early December 1916, that he was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to ‘C’ Battery, 70th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

70th Brigade was also part of the New Army K2, and also in the 15th Division, indeed the 70th, 71st and 72nd Brigades were largely working together and in May 1917, were generally in the Feuchy to Tilloy areas to the East of Arras. This was during the aftermath of the Battle of Arras which had been in progress from 9 April to 16 May 1917, with the 70th Brigade in the Tilloy area.

‘C/70 came up into the line’ on 15 May and the 16, 17 and 18 May were ‘quiet all day’ with an attack at 8.20pm on the 18 May which did not gain its objective. On 19 May, the War Diary recorded,
‘Quiet day.   Preparation for attack. A/70 came into the line for the attack.   Attack by the XVII corps.[11] Our batteries assisted by shelling the enemy’s defenses on the Brigade front.’

Some time during this ‘Quiet day …’, 19 May 1917, John Handyside was ‘Killed in Action’.

John was buried in the Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, Arras in Grave: V. F. 13.   There was no additional inscription on his headstone.

The Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery is the main CWGC cemetery in the western part of the town of Arras. The Commonwealth section of the cemetery was begun in March 1916, behind the French military cemetery established earlier. It continued to be used by field ambulances and fighting units until November 1918.

John R HANDYSIDE was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 1915 Star. He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates and in St. Philip’s Church, Wood Street, Rugby.
‘The memorial takes the form of a stone tablet framed in light oak, and bears the figures of our Lord, St John, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is in the south chancel of the church, and by its side, as a part of the memorial, is another picture of the entombment of our Lord. The Tablet bears the following inscription:- Like as Christ was raised from the dead even so should we also walk in the newness of life.’[12]

His mother as Sole Legatee received John’s outstanding pay of £41-0-11d on 11 September 1917; then a further £1-2-0 on 13 October 1917; and a War Gratuity of £15-10-0 on 24 October 1919. She received a further Gratuity for his D.C.M. of £20-0-0d on 28 September 1921.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on John R HANDYSIDE 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, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915.

[2]       Rugby Advertiser, 5 September 1914; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 5 September 1914.

[3]       Rugby Advertiser, 1 January 1916; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 1 January 2017.

[4]       Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915.

[5]         http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/fartillery.php?pid=9943.

[6]       Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915.

[7]       The Medal Card mentions ‘London Gazette, 1/1/16 p.19 [or 9]’ although this has not been found.

[8]       Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915.

[9]       The London Gazette, 26 November 1915, Supplement: 29384, Page: 11896; also The Edinburgh Gazette, 1 December 1915, Issue: 12878, Page: 1822; also Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 1 January 1916.

[10]     Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915; also Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 1 January 1916.

.

[11]     In April 1917, XVII Corps attacked east of Arras near the River Scarpe, but was bogged down in rain and snow.

[12]     From a report of the unveiling, Rugby Advertiser, 12 November 1920, see http://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/rugby-st-philips-church. It is not known if the Memorial in St Philip’s Church still exists.

Dunn, James. Died 13th Feb 1917

James was born in the Registration District of West Bromwich, Staffordshire, to Silas and Maria Dunn, born Ward. They married in Dudley, Staffordshire in the last quarter of 1884. James had an elder brother, Joseph born in 1886.

In the 1891 Census the family are living at 9, Tunnel Road in the Hill Top Ward of West Bromwich, Silas is a General Labourer. Silas died in June 1894 aged 30, in West Bromwich.

In the 1901 Census, Maria is a Boarder, and Charwoman, at 51, Old Meeting Street, West Bromwich, with Rose Harriet Silk as Head of the Household. Joseph, 15 is a General Labourer, James is 12, and a new brother, George is 8.

By 1911 James had moved to Rugby and was working for Willans and Robinson Engineering Works, in Leicester Road, Rugby. He played football for Long Lawford.

He married Clara Sutton in Rugby in December 1914. Clara was the daughter of Amos and Maria Sutton. Her mother was born Maria Burbury. Clara was born in Frankton, Warwickshire in 1889, and baptised at Frankton Parish Church on 13th of October, 1889. . The 1891 Census records Clara living in Frankton with her parents and 4 older siblings. In the 1901 Census, the family are living in Chapel Street, Long Lawford, Amos is a Quarryman at the Rugby Cement Works.

Clara gave birth to a son, Joseph S, his birth is recorded   in the September quarter of 1915, in Rugby.

James’ Service Records have not survived, but information shows that he joined up as a Private in The Royal Warwickshire Regiment service number 20446. The report of his death in The Rugby Advertiser in March 1917 says he signed up for the colours 6 months before his death.

He then transferred to The 196th Company of The Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Why was this?

At the start of World War 1 each Battalion had 2 machine guns, some were old and unreliable Maxim guns. The Army brought in a programme to change to the Vickers design. And in February 1915 they increased the number to 4 per Battalion. Vickers struggled to meet not only this increase, but the ever-growing number of Territorial Battalions. They agreed to place contracts with American Companies for production under licence.

Following a review of the problems encountered at the First Battle of Ypres, a decision was made to form specialist Machine Gun Battalions. Heavy Machine guns and their crews, four per gun were transferred to the new specialist Battalions, Infantry, Cavalry and Motor. A Vickers Gun could fire 500 rounds per minute, which is the equivalent of 40 trained Riflemen. Concentrating the fire over wide range was copying the technique which had been so devastating to the British Army in the early battles.

To train the Battalion gunners to be part of a much larger Corps of Machine Gunners, a training camp was set up in northern France at Wisques, near to the port of Dunkirk. (In the Second World War a V2 rocket launch platform was sited close to Wisques.)

A team of four were allocated to each gun. It took two men to carry each gun, the gun barrel weighed 28.5 lbs, the water cooled jacket 10lbs and the tripod 20lbs.

A total of 170,500 officers and Men served in the Machine Gun Corps, during the war. 62,049 were killed or wounded. There is a Memorial to the Corps in Hyde Park, London.

The 196th Machine Gun Corps joined the 55th Division on 22nd December 1916.. The Division had relieved the 29th Division in October 1916. For the first half of 1917 the front near Ypres was officially considered to be relatively quiet, if being surrounded on three sides by the enemy can be considered relatively quiet!

In early February 1917 James was wounded and transferred to a French Hospital west of Ypres. He had suffered severe wounds in the leg and was suffering from shock and loss of blood. The surgeon was initially inclined to amputate the leg, but was concerned that the shock of an operation might kill James. He asked for volunteers to donate blood to help James to recover strength. Private T Carter of The Royal Sussex Regiment donated blood. James recovered sufficiently to stand up, but his body had become infected and without modern drugs he died on the 13th of February 1917.

He was buried in The Liyssenthoek Military Cemetery, which is 12 kilometres west of Ypres between Ypres and Poperinge. It is situated between the Allied military base camps and the town of Ypres. The Cemetery has 9,801 graves of men killed in World War 1.

James’ widow, named as Mrs J Dunn was awarded 1s 1d as the value of James’ effects in 1920. She also received his Victory and British War Medals, these were actioned on 25th February 1920.

James’ son, Joseph S Dunn died aged 8 in 1923.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

20th Jan 1917. No Grain for Pheasants

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

THE NEW FOOD ORDERS.
NO GRAIN FOR PHEASANTS.

An 81 per cent wheaten loaf will come into existence by order of Lord Davenport, the Food Controller, on January 29.

Unless the loaf be made of wheat milled to the extent of 81 per cent, the flour must be
mixed with oats, maize, barley, or rice up to that percentage.

Other Orders made by Lord Devonport on Thursday last week were :

Wheat must be used only for seed and floor.
No grain food must be given to pheasants or game birds.
Sweet-making must be reduced by half.
No chocolates may be sold dearer than 4s a lb, and no other sweets dearer than 2s 6d a lb.
No sugar-covered or chocolate-covered cakes must be made.
No milk must be used for milk chocolate before April 1st next.
Export of oats from Ireland is prohibited.
The wholesale price of 1916 potatoes (those now in use), will be £8 a ton—i.e, a shade less than [?] a pound.
Prices are fixed for seed potatoes to plant now.
Very soon Lord Devonport will issue Orders as to the control and distribution of bread, meat, sugar, and milk.

PIG KEEPING.

All pig-keepers, notwithstanding the present high price of feeding stuffs, are urged to make every possible effort to maintain the supply of pigs. Sows with access to shelter will pick up a considerable part of the food they require out of doors. Where grass is scarce, a few swedes or mangolds, together with a pound or two of beans or finely-ground palm kernel cake, will serve to carry most sows through till farrowing time. For fattening pigs, 8 pounds of swedes, boiled, are equivalent to one pound of cereal meals or offals. Small or blemished potatoes are twice as valuable as swedes for feeding purposes ; but these should be reserved for the later stages of fattening.

To supplement roots, the cheapest and most suitable foods at the present time are finely ground palm kernel cake, bean meal, maize gluten feed, and dried grain. Later on, clover, sainfoin, and lucerne, will be available in place of roots, and small holders should consider whether they can find space to add these to their crops.

Edible domestic refuse should be reserved as far as possible for pig-feeding. The pig pail should be kept free from brine, lemons, corks, tins, wire, and other injurious substance.

For fuller information and guidance the Board Leaflet No. 298, on Pig Keeping (free by poet on application), should be consulted.

THE L & N.W & ALLOTMENTS.—The L & N.W Railway Company announce that they will consider applications for the use during the present emergency of vacant land both inside and outside the railway fences, subject to a short agreement and the payment of a nominal rent of 1s per annum. Applicants should address their inquires to the nearest station-master.

LOCAL AID FOR ALLIES’ FARMERS.—According to the latest list issued by the Agricultural Relief of Allies Fund (16 Bedford Square, London, W.C) the central counties of England are credited with the following contributions to the fund :—Notts, £2,608 ; Shropshire, £2,581 ; Northants, £1,847 ; Warwickshire, £1,124 ; Leicestershire, £1,092 ; and Worcestershire, £189.

PRESENTATION.—On Friday evening last week, at the Peacock Hotel, Mr F T Lambert was presented with a gold watch, suitably inscribed, by the soldier munition workers (numbering over 100) employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s Works, in recognition of services rendered. Gunner Townsend made the presentation, and the recipient suitably replied. The remainder of the evening was spent in harmony.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Among those mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatches published was Lieut C H Shaw (Hussars), only son of Mr J F Shaw, of Bourton Hall.

Lieut R C Herron, M.T, A.S.C, son of Mr R Herron, of Great Bowden, and formerly of Rugby, was among the list of names mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s recent despatch.

PRISONERS OF WAR.

Two more local men have recently fallen into the hands of the Germans. Private A Goodwin, of Rugby, 1st South Staffordshire Regiment, has been interned at Dulmen, and Private E Rollins, of Newton, Oxford & Bucks L.I., is interned at Wahn. In both cases Mr Barker has made arrangements for the men to receive the regulation food parcels. Goodwin will be “ adopted ” by his Regimental Care Committee and Rollins by the Rugby Committee.

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Lieut. Geoffery H. T. Wanstall, Dorset Regiment, brother of the Rev H C Wanstall, Vicar of Wollaston, Stourbridge, has been severely wounded in France, and is now in a Red Cross Hospital at Le Touquet.

MR J E COX’S SON WOUNDED

News was received from the War Office (Tuesday) morning that G H Cox, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, son of Mr and Mrs J E Cox, of Lodge Farm, Lawford, was wounded in Egypt on January 9th. Further particulars are not known.

ANOTHER B.T.H MAN KILLED.

News has been received at the B.T.H this week that Pte C B Crossby, of the 11th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on November 16th from wounds received whilst acting as a stretcher-bearer. Before the War Pte Crossby was employed in the Carbon Lamp Department.

SOLDIERS’ GRAVES.

The Cemetery Committee had considered the question of setting apart a portion of the Burial Ground for the interment of Rugby soldiers dying through the war and brought home for interment. They recommended that, owing to the lack of room in the Cemetery, no portion be set apart for such interments, but that a selected grave be provided free in every case.

THE REV. C. T. BERNARD McNULTY ON HIS ARMY EXPERIENCE.
BROTHERHOOD IN THE RANKS.

The Rev C T Bernard McNulty, vicar of Holy Trinity, Leamington, and formerly vicar of Dunchurch, has returned to his parish, after an absence of two years and a half at the front as Territorial Army Chaplain.

Preaching on Sunday, he said that in the ranks there was real brotherhood. Men and officers were liable to the same fear, the same anxieties, and the same sorrows and the officers thought first of the men and the men first of the officers.

“ There is no brotherhood so wonderful as the brotherhood which exists in the Army, and once a man puts on khaki he is admitted into that brotherhood. I have learned this lesson in the last two and a half years : Whether you are rich or whether you are poor ; whether you are high or low Church; whether you are Church of England, Roman Catholic, or Nonconformist, or whether you are orthodox Christian or not, when you come to face death, when you come down to the bedrock of the real thing that matters there is nothing much to choose between any of us.”

“ THE EMPIRE’S FIGHTERS.”

This famous war film, for which Mr B Morris paying the largest fee ever paid by a Rugby Cinema proprietor, is being shown at the Empire this week and on Monday there were full “ houses ” at each show. The photographs were taken by Mr H D Girdwood, B.[?] F.R.G.S, geographer and historical photographer to the Indian Government, in many instances under hostile shell fire. The film gives a very vivid impression of life at the front, and of the excellent work which is being done by the gallant British regiments and their brothers-in-arms from India. English Lancers, Jacob’s Horse, Jodhpur Lancers, King’s Dragoon Guard, Gurkhas, Indian and English Artillery, are all shown together with the necessary but often underestimated work of the A.S.C and the R.A.M.C. Several actual incidents in the firing line are depicted, including capture of a German trench by the Gurkhas and the work of consolidating the position, which is shown to be not the simple process many have imagined. Another striking scene is a charge by the Leicesters, who are seen to fall in all directions, but who doggedly had their way through the barbed wire and capture the position. The film is accompanied by Mr Girdwood and his explanations of the incidents add greatly to the interest. Mr Morris has invited the soldiers at the local Red Cross Hospitals to visit the Empire free of charge, and arrangements have also been made for the children attending the Elementary Schools to see the film.

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]

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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.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Greenhill, Douglas Stanley. Died 4th Oct 1016

Douglas Greenhill was born on 22nd November 1883 in Rugby. He was the second son and fourth child of Alfred George Greenhill born in Rugby and Ann Hedges born in Rowington, Warwickshire.

In the 1891 Census, Alfred is a Surveyor/ Architect and the family are living at 28th North Street, Rugby.

Two years later Alfred died aged 40 in Rugby.

Douglas attended Rugby Lower School, and in the 1901 Census is living at 30, Princes Street, Rugby, with his widowed mother, Ann. He is a Fitter Apprentice at Willans Works off Leicester Road. His siblings are: Frederick aged 21, Assistant Town Surveyor, Ethel A is 14 and Angela M is 11. He continued to work as an engineer after his apprenticeship. During his leisure time he played football and played for the Northern Counties.

Douglas enlisted in late 1914, in the 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards. After his initial training, he started preparation for service in France. The War Diary does not commence until the 15th of August 1915, when the Battalion had arrived in France. This records a draft of 25 NCO’s and men joining from Base. Over the next 10 days the Diary records Officers going home on leave and returning from leave, including 2nd Lt. Lascelles from Harewood House in Yorkshire.

On 1st September after days of drill, they marched from Wizernes to Wayrans, south west of St. Omer. Wood fighting practice was followed by a route march culminating in a series of marches to Loos, arriving on 27th September, where they occupied the German 2nd Reserve trenches, west of Loos. On the 29th 3 Officers and 59 other ranks were wounded and 2 days later Major Nichol DSO died of wounds.

The first 2 weeks of October, saw heavy shelling by the Germans with 52 casualties. On the 29th, the Brigade moved to billets in Sailly La Bourse and the rest of the month was quiet.

On the 9th November they moved to Merville, between Hazebruck and Bethune. After a steady drill, they entered trenches on 17th, which were very wet, with a great deal of work needed. The rest of the month was quiet.

By the middle of December, the 3rd Guards Brigade were in route march and practice drill daily, and held in reserve. On the 22nd they moved into trenches at Dicentie. Their Christmas dinner was finally held on 3rd January 1916. Their routine until mid-February became 1 day in front line trenches, followed by time in billets and 2 days in reserve trenches.

On 16th February a big change, the Battalion entrained to Calais. Lt. H R The Prince of Wales and Captain Lord C Hamilton joined, and they all marched to camp. 22nd heavy snow prevented drill. On the 26th they moved by train to Kierken Port near Wormhouldt in Belgium.

On the 11th March 30 Officers and 240 OR set to work n the Kaaie Salient, north of Ypres. Captain Viscount Lascelles was slightly wounded by a bomb when instructing the company.

Early September was a quiet time: Divine Service, an Inter-Battalion Regimental Boxing competition, and training. On the 6th they moved to Cernoy where the French had broken through the German line. 8/9th they repaired the road from Cernoy to WEDGE ROAD., under incessant artillery fire.

The 9th saw them move up to Front Line Trenches (FLT) by the 13th they had moved to HAPPY VALLEY in Fricourt. The big attack was launched but was not a success. 48th and 167th Brigades reached their target, the 47th didn’t. They were relieved by the 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards, at Ginchy. Phone communication with HQ was cut by heavy shelling. Active sniping by the enemy kept them from attacking. and whole trenches were obliterated. 3 Officers were killed.

Sargeant Greenhill was wounded on 15th September and died of wounds at No. 21 Casualty Clearing Station. There is no entry for 15th September in the War Diary so we do not know how he was wounded. He is buried in La Neuville British Cemetery, Corbie 11 F 29.

He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals and the 15 Star.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Lewis, Gerald Stanley. Died 7th Jul 1916

Gerald Stanley Lewis’s is another soldier whose life story is virtually unknown. [He was born in New Zealand – see Comments. There is a picture of him here.] He was probably one of the many who migrated to Rugby to work in the engineering businesses, before the First War, and thus are not recorded in the town for the 1911 census. He is recorded on the Willans and Robinson Drawing Office Memorial Plaque and was no doubt working there before the war.

Whilst known as ‘Gerald Stanley’ on the Willans Memorial, he was ‘Gerald S’ on his Medal Card, and as ‘Gerald Sydney’ on the CWGC records. However, with matching army numbers, it appears that they are the one individual.

Gerald Lewis joined up and served as a Private, No.16365, in the 9th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. The activities of the Battalion are recorded below:[1]

 9th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) was raised at Hounslow on 21 August 1914 as part of Kitchener’s First New Army and joined 36th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. 36th Brigade underwent training at Colchester then final training was undertaken near Aldershot from 20 February 1915, with the cavalry, motor machine gun battery, sanitary and veterinary sections joining. The Division proceeded to France between 29 May and 1 June 1915 landing at Boulogne, they concentrated near St Omer and by 6 June were in the Meteren-Steenwerck area with Divisional HQ being established at Nieppe.

Gerald S Lewis’s Medal Card shows that he was in France from 20 July 1915, so he crossed over to France some six weeks after his Battalion, possibly he was still under training, but could have arrived in time to take part in the Battle of Loos.

They [the Division] underwent instruction from the more experienced 49th (South Midland) Division and took over a section of the front line at Ploegsteert Wood on 23 June 1915. They were in action in the Battle of Loos from 30 September, taking over the sector from Gun Trench to Hulluch Quarries consolidating the position, under heavy artillery fire. On 9 October they repelled a heavy German infantry attack and on the 13 October took part in the Action of the Hohenzollern Redoubt, capturing Gun Trench and the south western face of the Hulluch Quarries. During this period at Loos, 117 officers and 3237 men of the Division were killed or wounded. By 21 October they moved to Fouquieres-les-Bethune for a short rest then returned to the front line at the Hohenzollern Redoubt until 15 November, when they went into reserve at Lillers. On 9 December, 9th Royal Fusiliers assisted in a round-up of spies and other suspicious characters in the streets of Bethune. On 10 December, the Division took over the front line north of La Bassee canal at Givenchy. On 19 January they began a period of training in Open Warfare at Busnes, then moved back into the front line at Loos on 12 February 1916. In June they moved to Flesselles and carried out a training exercise.

The Battalion was then involved in the Battle of the Somme.

They moved to Baizieux on 30 June and went into the reserve at Hencourt and Millencourt by mid morning on 1 July. They relieved the 9th Division at Ovillers-la-Boisselle that night and attacked at 3.15 the following morning with mixed success. On 7 July they attacked again and despite suffering heavy casualties in the area of Mash Valley, they succeeded in capturing and holding the first and second lines close to Ovillers. They were withdrawn to Contay on 9 July.[2]

It was presumably during the action in Mash Valley that Gerald was ‘Killed in Action’ on 7 July 1916 as recorded on his Medal Card. He is listed as ‘Gerald Sydney Lewis’ by the CWGC, as one of those killed or missing on 7 July 1916 and whose body was not found or identified. He is remembered on Pier and Face 8C, 9A and 16A, of the Thiepval Memorial.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 1 August 1932.

He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates, and on the Willans Drawing Office Metal Memorial Plaque.

Gerald Stanley Lewis was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Gerald Stanley Lewis 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, June 2016.

[1]         http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/battalion.php?pid=6896

[2]       Edited from: http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/battalion.php?pid=6896