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Labour Corps in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Labour Corps

Want to know more about Labour Corps?

There are:9 articles tagged Labour Corps available in our Library

Those known to have served with

Labour Corps

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Adamson William Anthony. A/Cpl.
  • Airson Paul. Sjt.
  • Ashcroft Walter. Pte. (d.10th Nov 1918)
  • Balls Daniel Methuen French. Pte.
  • Balmer Edward. Pte. (d.18th Mar 1917)
  • Barber Henry William. Pte.
  • Barrett Christopher. Pte. (d.13th Oct 1918)
  • Barton George Henry. Pte
  • Beakley Walter . Lt.
  • Beck Frederick Charles. Pte.
  • Bennett Charles Pinder. Pte.
  • Bentley Thomas Harold. Pte.
  • Bligh John. Pte. (d.17th Mar 1918)
  • Bolger Peter. Sgt. (d.1st Nov 1917)
  • Bone Henry. Pte.
  • Boos F.. Pte (d.15th Oct 1918)
  • Bowler Edward. Pte.
  • Brewin Charles. Pte.
  • Buck James William. Pte.
  • Bullock Reuben Zinzendorf.
  • Burberry Frederick. Pte.
  • Burfield William Thomas Riley. Pte.
  • Burkey John.
  • Byrne M.. Pte. (d.21st November 1918)
  • Callan J.. Pte. (d.12th July 1920)
  • Campbell Duncan . Pte. (d.20th Oct 1918)
  • Campsie William. Piper. (d.19th April 1920)
  • Cannadine William. Pte.
  • Carstang Robert. Pte. (d.18th Oct 1918)
  • Charlton George. Pte.
  • Clarke William. Pte.
  • Clint John Alexander Spence. Pte.
  • Coakley Joseph Lynch. Capt. (d.19th Oct 1917)
  • Coghlan Daniel. Capt.
  • Coleman Arthur Joseph Ethelbert. Pte. (d.16th Oct 1918)
  • Coulson John Thomas. Pte. (d.18th Sep 1918)
  • Cunningham M.. Pte. (d.29th September 1919)
  • Davids Abraham. Pte. (d.26th Aug 1919)
  • Davies James.
  • Davies Joseph. Pte. (d.15th November 1918)
  • Davies William George. QMS.
  • Dillworth William Cheetham. 2nd Lt.
  • Downie Thomas. Sgt.
  • Farrell Michael. Pte.
  • Fielder J. W.. Pte. (d.25th Aug 1917)
  • Flack Herbert James. Pte.
  • Flanagan Edward. Sapper (d.13th August 1918)
  • Fleming Harry. Pte.
  • Fox Frederick. Pte. (d.28th Sep 1918)
  • Frank John Thomas. Pte.
  • Fridlington George. Pte.
  • Garfin George William. Pte.
  • Garstang Robert. Pte. (d.18th Oct 1918)
  • Giblin Daniel. Pte.
  • Gilleeney John. Pte.
  • Goode Joseph Edward . Sgt.
  • Green Leslie.
  • Gurr Arthur Henry. Rflm.
  • Hammond Thomas James. Cpl.
  • Harding William. Cpl. (d.London)
  • Hardy William. Gnr.
  • Harris Willie P.. Pte. (d.26th Aug 1919)
  • Hei Chi Mming. Coolie (d.21st Feb 1920)
  • Henderson Andrew. Pte. (d.9th/10th August 1918)
  • Hepburn Robert. Pte.
  • Heron Lewis. Pte.
  • Hillary Albert. Pte.
  • Hillier William Watson. Pte.
  • Hilton Ernest. Pte.
  • Hopkins Austen. Pte.
  • Horseman Frederick. Pte.
  • Howe Abraham Edward. Pte.
  • Hughes Joseph Henry. CSM. (d.1919)
  • Hull Henry. Pte.
  • Humpherys Thomas Henry. Pte. (d.11th Jul 1918)
  • Ikin William John. Pte.
  • Irvine Benjamin Bichan. Colour Sgt.
  • Johnson William Northcroft. Sjt. Mjr.
  • Jones Arthur Thomas. Sgt.
  • Jones Ernest. Pte.
  • Jones Evan. Sgt. (d.29th September 1918)
  • K'ung C. H.. Coolie (d.21st Feb 1920)
  • Kane P.. Pte. (d.3rd March 1919)
  • Kay William Henry. Sgt. (d.19th May 1918)
  • King Thomas William. Pte.
  • Lawson James William. Sgt. (d.28th Jun 1918)
  • Lewis Frank. Pte. (d.25th May 1918)
  • Mahoney J.. Pte.
  • Matthews T.. Pte.
  • McConaghy John. Sgt.
  • McDonald John Christopher. L/Cpl (d.24th Feb 1919)
  • McGaughery E. S.. Pte. (d.6th March 1919)
  • McHale Joseph. Pte.
  • McKenzie Herbert. Pte. (d.8th Oct 1917)
  • Messenger George Joseph. Pioneer
  • Messenger Herbert. Pte.
  • Miller John. Gnr. (d.30th Oct 1917)
  • Mitchell Sidney. Pte.
  • Mooney Michael. Pte
  • Morgan William John. Dvr.
  • Moses I.. Cpl. (d.26th February 1919)
  • Neilen John. L/Cpl. (d.28th Aug 1918)
  • Nelson Albert. Pte.
  • Norris James Thomas. Pte. (d.12th Aug 1918)
  • Oldershaw Walter. Pte.
  • Page James. Pte.
  • Palmer George . Pte.
  • Parker James. Pte.
  • Parker Robert Thomas. Pte.
  • Parrott William Henry. Pte.
  • Peake George. Pte.
  • Pitts John Anthony. Pte. (d.26th Sep 1918)
  • Preece Richard. Sgt. (d.5th Nov 1918)
  • Quartly Alfred. Pte. (d.5th Oct 1918)
  • Quigley Hugh. Driver
  • Quinn Anthony. Pte.
  • Quinn William. Pte.
  • Quinton James. CSM
  • Rattray Frank. Pte.
  • Rider Kenyth Westley. Pte.
  • Riding William. Sgt.
  • Rilley James Henry. Pte. (d.14th Feb1918)
  • Robertson David. Pte.
  • Saxon Joe. Pte.
  • Scott George Arthur. Pte. (d.9th November 1918)
  • Sefton Joseph. A/Cpl
  • Shaw Percy. CSM..
  • Shepherd Joseph. Pte.
  • Sillery R.. Pte.
  • Sinclair William Frederick. Pte.
  • Slavin James Francis. Pte.
  • Spencer John Edmund. Pte.
  • Spriggs Daniel. Pte. (d.18th Feb 1918)
  • Steel Francis Cranston. Pte.
  • Storey Daniel.
  • Sturman Henry William. Pte.
  • Taylor Charles Richard . Pte.
  • Taylor Joseph Cuthbert. Pte.
  • Thorpe John Frederick. Pte.
  • Timmins Joseph John. Sgt.
  • Turner Richard. Pte. (d.8th Jul 1918)
  • Underwood Walter. Pte.
  • Walker Charles Henry . Pte.
  • Walker William Henry. BQSM.
  • Walraven William. Pte.
  • Walsh Patrick. Pte. (d.6th October 1917)
  • Wan Fayou Y.. Coolie (d.15th Feb 1919)
  • Wang Ch'un Ch'ih. Coolie (d.8th May 1919)
  • Ward James. Cpl. (d.7th Jul 1918)
  • Warren Joseph Cecil. Pte.
  • Webb George Thomas. Pte.
  • Whelan Daniel Joseph. Pte. (d.12th October 1918)
  • Williams Bertie. Pte.
  • Williamson Althol. Sjt.
  • Wilson Joseph Bowes. Pte. (d.25th May 1918)
  • Wilson Joseph Harold. A/Sgt.
  • Wilson Thomas. Pte.
  • Wood Harry Clifford. Pte.
  • Woodward Thomas. Sgt.
  • Wright Walter Arthur. Pte. (d.4th May 1918)
  • Wykes Albert Arthur. L/Cpl (d.18th Jun 1917)

All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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    This website has been running for 18 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.

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Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.

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Feb 2018

    Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 239080 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.


Gnr. John Miller 177th Bde. Royal Field Artillery (d.30th Oct 1917)

Gunner John Miller, 31509 177th Royal Field Artillery was my Great-Grandfather who died whilst serving in Ireland. He is buried in the Curragh Cemetery, just outside Dublin. John was transferred to the 320th Home Service Company Labour Corp at some point and he was serving with them at the time of his death.

I have always been told that John had visited the doctor a number of times complaining of headaches, only to be sent away without further investigation. Sadly, on 30th October 1917, John died whilst on duty and it was discovered that he had suffered a brain haemorrhage. John's wife Ellen was a strong lady and having just lost her husband and having a young daughter, Kathleen, must have kicked up a bit of a stink as she was taken over to Ireland for John's burial on the Curragh in 1917.

At the bottom of John's headstone, there is the inscription "Always remembered, never forgotten" and he hasn't been. I visited his grave for my 30th birthday in 2000 and plan to go back soon - hopefully, 2017. I know that the Curragh Barracks were handed back to the Irish in 1922 but feel very sad that the War Graves in the Curragh Cemetery are not tended with the same respect and dedication that I have seen in every other war cemetery (both WWI and WWII) that I have visited. It appears sufficient to chuck a couple of sheep over the wall and leave them to keep the grass under control, but this piece is about John's story.

Caroline Bonner


Pte. Arthur Joseph Ethelbert Coleman 3rd Bn. London Regt (d.16th Oct 1918)

My Great Grand Uncle served the 3rd Bn. London Regt (Royal Fusiliers). His Army records may have been destroyed during the bombing of the second world war as cannot find them.

He was injured and sent home to the UK and was put into the 318th Home Service Employment Coy. Labour. later he died as a result of his wounds on 16 October 1918. He was 31. He is buried in the Fulham Cemetery in London with other war dead. He left his wife Mary Ann. I cannot find out any more information which for me is very sad as these men sacrificed everything.

David Coleman


Sgt. William Henry Kay 10th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.19th May 1918)

William Henry Kay was from a large family that originated in Kimberworth, Yorkshire, having 11 brothers and sisters. He was married to Sarah and they had three children, James, Noah and Jane. He was a blast furnaceman in Middlesbrough before the war and they lived in Grangetown.

He started his military career in September 1914, when he joined the newly formed 10th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps. In June 1916 he was promoted to Sergeant. In Aug 1916 he transferred to the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment then in September to the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

In March 1917 he was transferred again to the Durham Light Infantry, but was soon moved to the Labour Corps, probably due to ill health. By May 1918 he was back in DLI barracks in Newcastle where he died of a heart attack on the 19 May 1918. His son James, who was 14 when war broke out, also served, but I can not find any details. He survived the war but died in an accident a few years later.

Andrew Coles


Pte. John Frederick Thorpe 3rd (Reserve) Btn Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment

John Frederick Thorpe served with the 3rd Btn, Royal West Kent Regiment and the Labour Corps. We are researching our grandfather’s military service but we have limited information and would appreciate any further help on his regiment and where they were stationed. He married our grandmother in Suffolk in the early part of 1918 so may have been injured and had to cease military service. The battalion we think he was in was 3rd (Special Reserve). The photograph was taken in Chatham Kent on 16th September 1916 Thank you to anyone who can help us further our research.

Margaret Hardwick


Pte. Charles Brewin Labour Corps

My grandad Charles Brewin was in the Labour Corps from August 28th 1914 to January 1919. He wounded, a gsw to right knee area. His birth place was Bulwell in Nottinghamshire.

Peter Brewin


Pte. Joe Saxon Kings Liverpool Regiment

My Great Grandfather Joe Saxon wearing his Kings Liverpool Regiment uniform. I believe his family kept this photo on the wall of the dining room of their home whilst Joe was away. Joe was transferred to the Labour Corps and was in France where he served from 1917-1918 before returning home to his family in Cheshire.

Susan Ferguson


James Davies Yorks & Lancs Regt

The above post card was sent to my Grandmother from her husband. His regiment was the Yorks and Lancs, number 1538 He finished his army career in the Labour corps due to shrapnel in his legs and came home after the war. I am sure that one of these is Grandad James Davies.

Joyce Davies


Pte. R. Sillery Labour Corps

Private Sillery was 40 when he died on 23rd March 1919 and is buried in Grave E.322 in the Drumconrath New Catholic Cemetery, Drumconrath, Co. Meath, Ireland.

S Flynn


Pte. J. Mahoney Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Private Mahoney was transferred to the (364010) Labour Corps.

He was 43 when he died on 9th April 1919 and is buried near the west boundary of the Drimoleague Old Graveyard, Drimoleague, Co. Cork, Ireland.

S Flynn


Capt. Joseph Lynch Coakley Labour Corps (d.19th Oct 1917)

Captain Joseph Coakley, late Rifle Brigade, is buried near the north east boundary of Donoughmore Catholic Churchyard, Co. Cork, Ireland.

S Flynn


Pte. John Thomas Frank Northumberland Fusiliers

My maternal, Grandfather John Thomas Frank, served in both the Northumberland Fusiliers and the Labour Corps during World War 1.

He was taken as a prisoner of war in 1918 after having been gassed. Family legend has it that he was badly treated by his captors, due to his German surname, but he was Geordie born and bred, and his family were at least 3rd generation British. Surprisingly he was fourty four in 1914, but I believe he was called up because of his previous military experience. John had been a Northumberland Fusilier during the Boer War.

John Thomas survived both these conflicts and was still alive during World War 2, but unfortunately was run over by a bus and died as a result of his injuries. The accident occurred during the black-out while he was on his way home from the pub.

David Darling


Pte. Frederick Burberry 1st Btn. West Yorkshire Regiment

Frederick Burbery signed his attestation Paper on the 18th of Feb 1907 to join the Army and was assigned to the West Yorkshire Regiment. Regimental No. 8376.

He was an Officer's servant (valet) for 3 years and of good character. He married Selina Barker on the 16th of August 1913

A Court of Inquiry 9 October 1909 found that: On the 13 September 1909 Private Frederick Burbery, was on army manuoeuvres on a bicycle with other members of his unit, when the front wheel broke off and he was thrown over the handlebars hitting his head and bleeding from his ear. Found not to be at fault.

Fred was mobilized on the 5th of August 1914, and went to France on the 8th of September 1914, He was reported missing killed in action in Sept 1914 according to his soldier's papers. But he was later reported as a POW in Oct 1914. Taken prisoner 20 September 1914 and confirmed held at Kessel POW camp, from ICRC and was released and arrived on 9th January 1919 to the UK.

He was transferred to 46th Labour Corps, Regimental No. 27086, and received back pay of 64 pounds 6 shillings and 6 pence, which was used to purchase Saving Certificates (84). He was discharged on the 31st of March 1920 and received his war medals, the 1914 Star and clasp Aug - Nov, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Martin Smith


Pte. T. Matthews 4th Bn. transf. to (174810) Labour Corps Royal Irish Regiment

Private Matthews died on 15th June 1920 and is buried in the west part of the Colmcille's Graveyard, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.

S Flynn


Pte. Joseph McHale Connaught Rangers

Joseph McHale was transferred to the Labour Corps. He was the Son of Thomas and Annie McHale and was aged 34 when he died. He is buried in the left part of the Old Ground in the Castlebar Catholic Cemetery, Co. Mayo, Ireland.

s flynn


Pte. M. Cunningham Royal Irish Regiment (d.29th September 1919)

M. Cunningham served with the Royal Irish Regiment, then with the Labour Corps and Royal Defence Corps. He is buried north east of the Cathedral in the Cashel (Rock of Cashel) Graveyard in Co. Tipperary, Ireland.

S Flynn


Pte. Austen Hopkins 41st Agricultural Coy. Labour Corps

Austen Hopkins was the son of Mrs. Helen Hopkins, Larganbay, Ballyharris, Co. Mayo. He died on the 1st June 1919 and is buried south-west of the Abbey in the Ballyhaunis (Abbey) Cemetery in Co. Mayo, Ireland.

s flynn


Pte. E. S. McGaughery 3rd Btn. Seaforth Highlanders (d.6th March 1919)

Private McGaughery was 25 when he died and is buried in the north-west corner of the Ballintra Cemetery in Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

s flynn


Sapper Edward Flanagan transf. to (291501) Labour Corps Royal Engineers (d.13th August 1918)

Sapper Flanagan was the Husband of Mary Flanagan, of Latnakelly, Annayalla.

He was 52 when he died and is buried in the south-west corner of the Annayalla (St. Michael) Catholic Churchyard. Co. Monaghan, Ireland.,%20EDWARD

S Flynn


Pte. Ernest Jones Devonshire Regiment

Ernest Jones took the Queens shilling at Palatine buildings in Manchester. Volunteered Sept 1914. Believed to have served as a regular soldier prior to WW1 with the Devonshire Regiment. Saw action in Gallipoli and landed at Anzac beach. Took part in fierce fighting and was severely wounded at Suvla bay (most likely awaiting evacuation when the Turkish snipers and artillery took advantage of the exposed troops). Believed to have been rescued by an ANZAC and carried to safety. He was invalided to Cairo and returned to England. Then served in the Labour Corps and one news article at time of his death says he was wounded at Poperinghe, France. Unsure if this is a mistake in the article or not.

He holds the 1914-15 Star, General Service and Victory medals. Also the silver war badge. Mum and her sisters remember dressing his knee wounds which weeded until his death aged 92 in the 1970s. He was a very tough man always immaculately dressed and wore a glove. Mum says he was so soft and warm hearted and very kind but had a tough side which required 3 men to get him into an ambulance as he fought so hard.

His son, also Ernest, married a German girl aged 19 and he took her as his own and taught her English when all other women refused to speak to her. Funny story of him marching off to the butcher and threatening him as he refused to serve my German Gran. He was a dedicated Christian and carried a prayer written by his Vicar on the back of a card of 2 tommies in uniform walking down a road when the Angel of Mons appears. A cross is formed in the clouds.

A newspaper article on his death says 'he saw service in many lands' and "after toasting the Monarchs health several times with the colour sergeant still had twopence change." Wished I could have met and heard his stories.

David Baylay


Cpl. I. Moses MID The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) (d.26th February 1919)

Corporal Moses was transferred to (82659) the Labour Corps.

He was the son of Solomon and Jane Moses of 67 Teesdale St., Bethnal Green, London.

He was 27 when he died and is buried in the Bocklemund New Jewish Cemetery in Germany, Grave V. 23.(Little right of the entrance).

S Flynn


Cpl. William Harding 7th Btn. Middlesex Regiment (d.London)

William Harding was born on 7th July 1889 in Purandhar, India where his Father was CSM in the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers. The family returned to England just before the start of the Boer War, as William Snr had finished his period of service. They lived in various addresses in the Kensington area of London. William Jnr was apprenticed to a firm of printers as a compositor. In July 1908, he joined 2nd Battalion, 1st London Brigade of the Royal Field artillery. This was as a Territorial soldier and he served until July 1912, reaching the rank of Bombardier. He re-joined the TA in Sept 1913 agreeing to serve abroad with the 7th (Imperial Service) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. He was promoted Corporal in Feb 1914 and was posted to Gibraltar between Sept 1914 and Feb 1915. After a brief spell in England, he was posted to France on 12th of March 1915.

He was wounded in the leg on 10th July 1915 and evacuated to England on 22 July 1915. He was promoted Sergeant in Dec 1915 and recuperated until Oct 1915 when he was declared fit for duty. He served in England until August 1917 when he was promoted CQMS and posted to the Labour Corps where he served until Feb 1919 when he was demobilized. He returned to London and lived in Bromley, marrying and having three children. He returned to his printing job until he retired. He served in the Home Guard in WW2 and died in 1968. My mother was his eldest daughter and he was the upright military grandfather I loved as a child.

Adrian Hadden


Leslie Green 4th Btn. Royal Fusiliers

Ive just received some of my grandfather Leslie Green's bits and bobs and his paybook is included.

Peter Chilcott


Pte. William John Ikin 18th (1st Public Works) Battalion Middlesex Regiment

I believe William Ikin was gassed at the Battle of the Somme and spent 6 months in the Middlesex hospital before being transferred to the Labour Corps in October or November 1917, he was demobbed on the 11th of June 1919

John Ikin


Pte. William Henry Parrott 8th Btn. York and Lancaster Regiment

Bill Parrott possibly signed up in November 1916. He served in France with the 8th Battalion from February 1917. Also served with the 9th and 1/4 Battalions. Possibly wounded whilst during battle. Later transferred to Labour Corps and Royal Fusiliers. He was demobilised in May 1919. Prior to (and after) the war he was a miner. Bill died in 1980.

Mark Keeling


Pte. Henry William Sturman Labour Corps

My grandfather enlisted in the Royal Engineers at Camberwell in May 1917. At that time he and his family were living in Lewisham. He had nine children. He was 41 years old. From July 1917 to February 1919 he saw service in France as a Sapper. Prior to going to France he was appointed to the Inland waterways and docks at Sandwich Kent.

Henry was discharged in June 1919, and immediately signed on for Short Service with the Labour Corps at the Buffs Depot in Canterbury. He was 43 years old. He had a new regimental number 696787.

During this period he returned to France and was finally discharged in March 1920.

Clara Richards


Sgt. John McConaghy 9th (Tyrone) Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

John McConaghy, was the elder of two sons of William and Martha McConaghy of Sion Mills, Co. Tyrone, Ireland. He enlisted in the 9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, The Tyrones, on 2nd October 1914.

He took part in the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916, receiving machine gun bullet wounds to his right arm extending from elbow to wrist. These wounds left him unsuitable for front line service and after recovering in a hospital in Sheffield he was eventually transferred to the Labour Corps Serial No. 627449, where he served as a Guard with No. 200 P.O.W. Coy. He also served in the Royal Defence Corps and the Monmouth Regiment. On 9th December 1919 he was transferred to the Army Reserve with the rank of A/C.S.M.

I well remember, as a child sitting on my father's knee, running my fingers down the groove left by the bullet wounds on his right arm, he never talked about it! He died, at the home of his eldest daughter, in Kidderminster, Worcs., England on 19th May 1950.

2 unknown NCO's & A/CSM John McConaghy

Pencil Drawing of 14516 John McConaghy

John McConaghy


Pte. Henry Hull Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

My grandfather, Harry Hull, served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusaliers. His medal index shows 1914/1920. He was transferred to the Labour Corps, when or why we do not know and have no idea where he served. I remember him as an old man who suffered from shell shock. If anyone can offer more information we would love it.


Pte. Albert Nelson 2nd Btn. Lincolnshire Regiment

My great grandad, Albert Nelson from Hull, served with the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment and 41st Labour Corps, 717 Company. He enlisted on 27th February 1917 aged 37 and embarked on 12th March at 1917 Folkestone. He disembarked on the 12th at Boulogne and saw action in France and Germany. He was demobilised at Coln on 5th March 1919.

Albert died in 1927 in Sculcoates, Hull, East Yorkshire.

Allan Emmett


Pte George Henry Barton Royal Fusiliers

George Barton is my Maternal Grandfather and I know little about him except what I have gleaned from online research and family anecdote which suggests he may have been a Bomber in a tunneling team at some point of the war. I was told that he had been discharged because the chemicals he handled in the course of setting explosive charges had caused him ill health but he was not discharged until 26th March 1919 which would probably have been his natural discharge date on a short service attestation.

David Owen


Sgt. Joseph John Timmins 7th Btn. Leinster Regiment

Joseph Timmins, my grandfather, left his wife and three sons to enlist in Fermoy (why Fermoy? He lived in Belfast) on a short service engagement on 20th November 1914. He was immediately posted to the 7th Battalion, Leinster Regiment. He transferred to the Army Cyclists Corps and was posted to the 16th Battalion on 16th January 1915. He then transferred to the Royal Inniskilling Fuseliers and was posted to the 7th Battalion. Posted to no. 54 POW company of the Labour Corps on 15th April 1917 as a corporal. He was promoted to sergeant on 15th July 1918.

Joseph was discharged due to ill health. He died of rheumatic fever on 29th August 1919 at a military hospital in Hilden, Lisburn. He caught the fever in the trenches. Joseph had different service numbers at different times - 4820, then 29533, and finally 569393. It was recalled that at his funeral, his coffin was draped with the Union Jack on a gun carriage and the last post was played at his graveside. He is buried in Milltown cemetery. His reasons for joining up are a mystery.

Catherine Timmins MacMahon


Pte. Charles Richard Taylor 14th Btn. Gloucestershire Regiment

My grandfather, Charles Richard Taylor (born on 15th January 1895) and his younger brother Thomas (born on 7th December 1896) joined the Gloucestershire Regiment. (Their mother died of consumption in 1898 and they lived for a time in a children's home until their father remarried.) They were in the shipment of 'bantams' sent to France who were medically deemed not to be 'A1', i.e. they weren't strong like the miners and field workers who initially made up the Bantams. Consequently, they were transferred to 194th Coy of the Labour Corps. Thomas died in front of his brother Charles's eyes on the battle field. There is no record of my great uncle Thomas Taylor. His family and I would dearly like to find where he is placed to rest and make an honorary visit to his grave site.



Pte. Harry Clifford Wood 20th (5th City) Btn. Manchester Regiment

Harry Clifford Wood was my grandfather, he died in 1958. I believe he was wounded by shrapnel and hidden by a farmer somewhere near Bethune. He was also in the Labour Corps, number 277075. I assume he was transferred due to his injury.

Gillian Warr


Pte. William Thomas Riley Burfield 6th Btn., D Coy. Somerset Light Infantry

William Burfield was born on 1st of October 1877 in Blaenavon in Wales, but moved to Taunton (and later Yeovil) as a boy with his family. In 1903 he married (Florence) Ethel Hockey in Norton-sub-Hamden and they had five children: Wilfred b.1903, Daisy b.1906, Leslie b.1910, Nora b.1914 and (Stanley) Norman b.1919.

William was a painter and decorator by trade and signed up for the Yeovil Territorials before WW1 started. The Yeovil Territorials were incorporated into the 6th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry when war broke out and, despite already being 37 years old, William joined up (he may have lied about his age and claimed to be 34 in 1914 and not 37 as he really was). William was a very fit man for his age and he first saw action in France in August 1915 in D company, and he fought on the Western front for two years before being invalided out of the Somerset Light Infantry in August 1917 at Ypres at the age of 39.

Thereafter he served out his time in the Labour Corps before returning home to Montacute where he died of pneumonia on 1st March 1921, aged just 43. According to his son Wilfred, William's lungs were damaged in the Great War (presumably by gas) and this may have been a contributory factor in his death at what was a relatively young age.

John Burfield


A/Sgt. Joseph Harold Wilson 29th Brigade, 143rd Bty. Royal Field Artillery

Joseph Harold Wilson - Back row on the left sitting on the wheel of an 18 Pounder Field Gun

My grandfather, Joseph Harold Wilson, served with the Royal Field Artillery and the Labour Corps throughout the First World War. He was born in Leeds in 1888, the son of Thomas and Margaret Elizabeth Wilson. He enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery about 1905 aged seventeen as a regular soldier (presumably for the standard period of twelve years). In 1911 he was with 143rd Battery, RFA stationed at Royal Artillery Barracks, Aldershot, Surrey, as a Gunner Fitter.

His medal card indicates he was a Fitter serving with 29 Brigade, RFA a unit of Britains pre-war regular army under the command of 4th Division which went to France as part of the expanded British Expeditionary Force in late August 1914. He was a lance corporal (probably at the outbreak of the war) and became a full corporal in August 1915. His medal card also indicates he was attached to the Labour Corps, presumably sometime during or after 1917, with the rank of acting sergeant. He was wounded in the leg by shrapnel in 1916 which might be why he was transferred to the Labour Corps and was eventually demobilised from the army in 1919. He received the 1914 Mons Star, British War and Victory Medals.

On the outbreak of the Second World War he rejoined the Royal Artillery with the rank of sergeant and served with the home forces until he was invalided out in 1942. He had married Ethel Georgina Barker of Hampsthwaite at Hampsthwaite Parish Church in December 1910 and had eight children, the youngest being my father. Joseph Harold died at Hampsthwaite in October 1967.

The extracts were published in the Harrogate Herald in 1915 referring to Joseph Harold:

3rd March -

Fitter Wilson, whose home is at Hampsthwaite, is "fit" and joined his depot on the 2nd March.

H Breare (Editor) letter:

Fitter Wilson, of Hampsthwaite, called in to see me on Friday. He is invalided home with a bad throat. He belongs to the artillery, and those chaps are not billeted in the towns and villages, therefore they have to get in where they can and rather further away from the comforts of civilisation. You know what the weather has been and how much there has been of it. Well, he had to sleep over an intensely rural pig sty that had not received attention for - well - ages. He has never had trouble with his throat before, but under these conditions it came, an abscess formed. He was so bad they sent him to a Manchester hospital, where he had an operation. He is nearly well now and will be returning to the Front by the time you read this. Wilson is thoroughly enthusiastic about the artillery, and remarked that if the young men at home only knew the life and conditions of the artillery branch of the service they would rush for it. No trench business. It is life. Full of excitement and satisfaction. Like the rest of the boys he was chock full of admiration and good feeling towards his commanding officer. It was with a regretful voice he told me they were losing him. He has been made a colonel. They had met with very few casualties. This he attributed to the extreme care the officer took of his men. They could and would follow him anywhere. It was nice to hear Wilson speak thus of his major, and he said it with all the enthusiasm of conviction.

"If any man tells you he wants to go back to the Front, don't you believe it; he's trying to make himself think so. Now, I wouldn't be kicked out of the artillery. I like it; but I'd rather be at home, and so would any man if circumstances permitted it".

The above is what Wilson said to me. I quite understand it. You boys have no wish to creep out of your responsibility. You are, like every other Briton; determined to see the thing successfully through. Like everybody else, you will be glad when it is over; but you are not going to say you prefer war to peace, or the battlefield to the dear home for which you are fighting. You also know that upon your success depends not only the peace and prosperity of the world, but the freedom and protection of the weak against the strong.

22nd December -

Corporal Fitter H Wilson writes:

I take the greatest of pleasure in writing you a few lines to thank you once more for your paper, which I have received regularly every week. You will see that I have been made full Corporal. I was promoted last August. Since my last letter some months ago we have had some rough times of it at Ypres and Neuve Chapelle. The last "scrap" our Division was in was at Loos, and we got a severe bending. Since then we have been moving about getting reorganised, as you will see by the change of address. We shall be going up amongst it again very shortly. Xmas is drawing close. I never thought last Xmas that I should have another one out here, and I am afraid we shall have a few more on service somewhere yet. Anyhow, the first five years will be the worst. Probably I may be home on short leave in a few weeks' time, so I will call in and tell you more then, as they are getting stricter in censoring our letters. Do you mind obliging me by thanking the people at my village for a very nice, welcome parcel I received from them, and a card enclosed. It was from the people at Hampsthwaite. I thank every one of them for their kindness to us who are doing our duty either at home or abroad or on the sea or land, or in the air, and may they all have a merry Xmas and a very prosperous New Year. Anyhow as happy as may be expected in this terrible crisis. Thanking them once more for their kindness as it shows we are not forgotten. I will close, wishing you and your paper every success, also with the old Yorkshire saying, "A merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year to you".

Joseph Harold Wilson - Second from the right holding paint tin.

Shaun L Wilson


Pte. William Quinn 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

William Quinn served with the Tynside Irish and later transferred to the Labour Corps.



Pte. Ernest Hilton 95th Coy. Machine Gun Corps

Ernest Hilton was transferred into the Machine Gun Corps from the 5th Battalion, City of London Rifles, a Territorial regiment. He enlisted into the 5th battalion on 1st March 1915, agreeing at the same time to serve outside the United Kingdom. He transferred into the Machine Gun Corps on 26th July 1916, being posted to the BEF in France on 13th August that year. He joined the 95th Company, MGC on 21st August 1916 and remained in France until 11th October 1916, during which period the company saw action on the Somme as part of 95th Brigade, 5th Division. After a period at home, he was posted to the 224th Company MGC, BEF, France on 25th April 1917, remaining out there until 17th September 1917, during which period the company saw action around Arras as part of the 63rd (Naval) Division.

He spent the remainder of the war in Britain, being posted to 15th Company, MGC on 14th March 1918 and posted Category Bii on 29th August 1918. A short attachment to 421 Agricultural Company, Labour Corps, Warrington then followed (26th September to 27th November 1918) before he was posted to 6th Reserve Battalion, MGC on 22nd February 1919. After transfer to the Army Z Reserve on 5th April 1919, he was discharged from the MGC on 20th April 1921, under paragraph 392 (xvia) of King's Regulations "being surplus to military requirements having suffered impairment since entry into the service." He was later awarded a pension, backdated to 5th April 1919, for Neurasthenia (a common diagnosis for "shell shock"), attributable to his war service, with the "degree of disablement" being given as 50%. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Anthony Jordan


Pte. Joseph Shepherd King's (Liverpool) Regiment

My grandfather, Joseph Shepherd, enlisted in 1916 into the King's (Liverpool) Regiment. He subsequently transferred to the Labour Corps. He was injured in late 1918 or early 1919 whilst working in the Labour Corps on clean-up operations on the battlefields by an unexploded bomb going off. He lost a finger & suffered severe shrapnel wounds to his leg. He was invalided out and sent to Shotley Bridge Hosptital in Durham suffering from his injuries and Neuresthenia.

Cathy Shepherd


Pte. Robert Hepburn Middlesex Regiment

Robert Hepburn was my Grandmother's brother and therefore my Grand Uncle. He had five brothers and three sisters. He was a potter by trade, living with his mother aged 27 and never married.

He returned from the war with what I believe to be 'Shell Shock'. He lived in Tottenham for a few years moving from place to place. Eventually taken into Napsbury Military Hospital. He did try to escape a couple of times, but was caught by the police and returned. He died in Napsbury in 1951 aged 65. I and my siblings attended his funeral, although not realising at the time as we played in a meadow with an aunt.

Vicki Pluckrose


Pte. George Arthur Scott Labour Corps (d.9th November 1918)

George Scott was buried at St Michael's Church, Horton, Berks on 11th November 1918. He enlisted at Slough, Bucks and died aged 24 years, at home on 9th November 1918. He appears on the Horton War Memorial, The Green, Stanwell Road, Horton.

He was born c 1895 at Hounslow, Middlesex and before the war worked as an assistant to his father, Arthur Scott, in the plant nursery business. (A E Scott and Son 1907 - 1915) George was formerly in the Beds. Regiment, number 8150.

Fiona Snowdon


Pte. M. Byrne 1st Btn. Leinster Regiment (d.21st November 1918)

Private M. Byrne was transferred to the Labour Corps #568645.

He was 27 years old when he died and he is buried in near the North-West corner of the Athy (St. Michael's) Cemetery, Co. Kildare

s flynn


Pte. P. Kane Leinster Regiment (d.3rd March 1919)

Private P. Kane was transferred to (119546) Labour Corps.

He is buried in the North-West corner of old church in the Athlumney Old Graveyard, Cp. Meath.

s flynn


Pte. J. Callan Labour Corps (d.12th July 1920)

Private J. Callan was the husband of Mary McKenna (formerly Callan), of Railway St., Ardee.

He is buried in the south-east corner of the Ardee (St. Mary) Church of Ireland Churchyard. He was 32 when he died.

s flynn


Pte. Daniel Joseph Whelan Army Service Corps (d.12th October 1918)

Daniel Joseph Whelan was transferred to (298351) 662nd H.S. Employment Coy. Labour Corps. He was 41 years old when he was killed and is buried Near the cemetery wall, South-East of the ruins of the Ardcroney Old Graveyard, Co. Tipperary

s flynn


Pte. Patrick Walsh South Lancashire Regiment (d.6th October 1917)

Patrick Walsh was transferred to the Labour Corps. He is buried in the South-West part of the Ardagh Old Graveyard, Co. Cork.

s flynn


Pte. William Clarke 5th Btn. Manchester Regiment

William Clarke was born about 1874. His wife was Mary Hannah (nee Edwards) who was born about 1871. They had six children. William was employed at Nasmyth and Wilson, Bridgewater Foundry, Patricroft, Eccles as a labourer and crane driver. He volunteered for Army service at the Drill Hall, Cromwell Road, Eccles, and joined the Lancashire Fusiliers as Private No. 5056. He transferred to the 5th Manchesters and was renumbered 4197.

He embarked on the Empress of Britain to Egypt via Gibraltar arriving on 17th September 1916. William had various postings around Egypt. He left Egypt for the Western Front in March 1917 and saw action at Arras, Ypres, Passchendaele and various engagements during the retreat and advance in 1918.

William was demobilised in April 1919 with no injuries. He was awarded two medals: the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, which he received in 1921. He returned to his family at Eliza Ann Street and resumed work with Nasmyth Wilsons.


Pte. David Robertson Gordon Highlanders

David was born in 1881, fought in the 2nd Boer War, then worked in a local iron foundry before joining the 821st Area Employment Company of the Gordon Highlanders. My research indicates this was 1917, but I have been unable to verify this without a nominal roll. David married in 1918, and moved to Australia in 1924, where he lived until his death in 1947.

Dianne Robertson


Pte. Henry William Barber Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Henry Barber died on the 24th of November 1920. He served with the Dublin Fusiliers and the Labour Corps.

Ann Farrow


Pte. George Fridlington 6th Btn. East Yorkshire

George Fridlington was probably born on 16 September 1880 in Sculcoates, Hull. His parents were William James & Agnes Cordelia Fridlington. In 1881 he his living with his family and his Father a general labourer. By 1891 his father was a gas works labourer On the 28th of May 1896 George joined the East Yorkshire Militia (3rd Bttn. East Yorkshire Regiment) aged 17 years 6 months. At teh time he was employed as a labourer for a Mr Madden of Hull. He can sign his name He follwoing day a Medical was held at Beverley. He described as 5' 5" tall, weighs 8 stone and has blue eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion. During 1896 he took part in the annual militia training and then left to join the Royal Navy on August 19th 1896.

George doesn't in fact join the Royal Navy until 16th of September 1897 when he signs up for 12 years. He has grown by an inch or so and now has grey eyes! He also has some tattoos now - 3 faint dots on his left forearm, a Maltese Cross on his right forearm and a sailor and flag on the back of his right hand.

The Royal Navy quotes a different birth date of 16th September 1879. However his birth registration is Q4 1880, which ties in with census details, so 16th September 1880 is probably correct.

He served on the following ships

  • HMS Caledonia - 18 August 1896 to 26 Oct 1897 -conduct very good.
  • HMS Pembroke I - 16 September 1897 to 18 January 1898 - conduct very good.
  • HMS Prince George - 19 January 1898 to 6 February 1899 - conduct good, but then spends 7 days in cells. 14 February 1899 to 26 June 1899 - conduct -fair.
  • HMS Pembroke I - 27 June 1899 to 5 September 1899 conduct good.
  • HMS Jupiter - 6 September 1899 to 9 November 1899 conduct fair.
  • HMS Majestic - 10 November to 17 November 1899 - no conduct rating, and he is back in the cells for 14 days. 2 December 1899 to 10 December 1899 no rating given.
  • HMS Jupiter - 11 December 1899 to 20 June 1900 no rating given. 21 June 1900 to 25 June 1900 now ranked as Able Bodied Seaman.
  • HMS Pembroke I - 26 June 1900 to 11 October 1900 - no rating given
  • HMS Colossus - 12 October 1900 to 4 November 1900 - no rating given
  • HMS Pembroke I - 5 November 1900 to 28 January 1901 - conduct good, then noted as Run. 3 December 1901 to 30 December 1901 conduct fair. 31 December 1901 to 21 January 1902 no rating given
  • HMS Grafton - 22 January 1902 to 11 May 1902 conduct very good, then noted as Run.
  • HMS Pembroke I - 12 July 1903 to 26 September 1903 conduct cant be deciphered, but record ends with Run again.
On the 4th November 1903 he was discharged. In 1906 he marries Mary Ann Ryan. O the 2nd of April 1911 he is living at 5 Johns Place, York Street in Hull with his wife Mary Ann and children Emily and John. His younger brother, John, and a lodger are also living in the property, which consists of just three rooms.

On the 14th of December 1914 George enlists in the 3rd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment. He is now aged 34 years and two months, and is a coal trimmer. He has grown to a height of 5' 8". Now has two tattoos - hands and heart on his left wrist and a sailor on his right hand. His address is 7 Ash Grove, Dalton Street in Hull and the date of his marriage is given as 15th December 1906 and it took place at St Silas Church Sculcoates, Hull. He was two children are noted:- Emily Ryan, born on November 24th 1902. She is crossed out and a note has been added - illegitimate - she was born 4 years before the marriage. John Francis Fridlington was born on 25th of April 1907. On the 17th of December 1914 the vicar of St Silas Church certifies that Emily Agnes was the infant daughter of George Fridlington and Mary Ann Ryan, was baptised on 7th of December 1902, and their parents subsequently married, thus legitimising her. The Adjutant replies stating he must have actual birth certificate. Given the note mentioned above, it appears the original certificate was not forthcoming and thus a dependant allowance was not made for her.

On the 28th of January 1915 George forfeits 6 days pay and was given 10 days detention due to absence from 23rd January 1915 to 24th January 1915 and from the 25th January 1915 to the 28th January 1915. On the 13th of February 1915 he deserted. But on the 30th of March 1915 he rejoined after being arrested and awaiting trial. On the 12th of April 1915 George was tried by the Divisional Courts Martial, and was convicted of desertion & deficiency of kit, and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment (9 months remitted). All his former service is forfeited and entitlement towards pension now restarts from this date.

On the 19th of August 1915 he returns to duty. He had presumably been released from prison before the end of his net 6-month sentence. But on the 17th of September 1915 he forfeits 6 days pay due to absence from this date to the 22nd of September. He is absent again and on the 6th of October 1915 he forfeits 8 days pay for a seven-day absence. Again on the 6th of November 1915 he forfeits 6 days pay for a three-day absence.

On the 15th of November 1915 George is transferred to the 6th Battalion and moves with battalion to Gallipoli and then to France On the 30th of January 1917 he was posted to 3rd Battalion at Home Depot and on the 1st of March 1917 he was reported absent. On the 24th George was declared a deserter but on the 26th he returned and forfeited seven days pay for a six day absence. On the 18th of April 1917 he forfits thirteen days pay for a twelve-day absence and the following day was also awarded 14 days detention. On the 18th of June 1917 Georges was tried and sentenced to 56 days detention, forfeiting all ordinary pay for the same period, and also put under further stoppage of pay until he had made good the loss of equipment worth 3s 1d.

On the 7th of July 1917 he was posted to the 6th Battalion. and on the 1st of November 1917 he transferred to the Labour Corps 753rd Area Employment Company the reason for transfer is given as benefit of service. On the 7th of July 1918 he is posted to 742nd Area Employment Company. On the 2nd of June 1919 he re-enlists for a further period in the Labour Corps for a short service until 30th of April 1920. On the 2nd of July 1919 he was posted to the Base Depot of the BEF as part of the 723rd Labour Coy., and then proceeds overseas as part of the Graves Exhumation team. On the 21st of October 1919 he was deprived of one days pay but no reason is stated on his records. On the 7th of November 1919 George embarks on the SS Princess Henrietta for transport to the UK as unfit . He is discharged on the 11th of November 1919. His conduct is quoted as indifferent. He gives an address of 6 Eleanors Terrace, Oxford Street in Hull. He also has rheumatism due to active service but it is not thought to be permanent. But on the 23rd of November 1919 he is granted a pension of 6s 10d per week for 72 weeks due to rheumatism (not attributable to military service). He has a 15% degree of disablement.

George had served in the Mediterranean theatre from November 15th 1915 to July 2nd 1916 and then in France to January 29th 1917. After a spell back in the UK, he was in France again from July 7th 1917 to December 16th 1918 before returning to the UK through to June 1st 1916. He qualified for the 1915 Star as well as the usual British War & Victory medals.

Unusually, transcripts of his trial are in his service record. It seems he was caught by a policeman whilst working in civilian clothes at Messrs Storey and Wittys Wharf at Wincolmlee. A corporal was sent to escort him back to the barracks and both of them and the receiving officer gave evidence. George opted to have no defence lawyer and asked the witnesses no questions , an air of inevitability, perhaps?

Whilst on active service, he received treatment in the field (from a Field Ambulance) for piles, but a few days later he was admitted to the 11th Casualty Clearing Station at Le Treport in France suffering from haemorrhoids, which led to treatment at a military hospital in the UK.

In October 1918 he was admitted to a medical post suffering from scabies George died in Hull in late 1940, just over a year after his wife.

David Ingleby


Pte. Anthony Quinn 276 Brigade, C Bty. Royal Field Artillery

My Grandad enlisted in August 1915. He arrived at Bolougne on the 4th of April 1916. He was part of D Battery 3rd West Lancashire Brigade, RFA. This merged into C Battery 278 Brigade on 24th of May 1916. Then A battery on 6th of October 1916. My grandad was posted to C/276th Brigade on 13th of February 1917.

He was wounded in action on 25th of June 1917. It looks like he was in the battles of Messines, but need some further evidence of this. He got transferred back to the UK on the 16th of July 1917 for treatment for a gunshot wound to the chest. His medical records show he got shot in the back with an exit wound through his chest. He was disembodied from the Army in 1919. He also served with 78th Coy. Labour Corps.

Martin Quinn


Sgt. Richard Preece 9th Btn. Loyal North Lancs Regiment (d.5th Nov 1918)

Richard Preece is my paternal great grandfather. He was born in Dudley on 23rd July 1887 to Richard and Harriet. On the 1901 census he is living with his parents in Dudley and is a labourer in an ironworks. By 1910 he has moved to Bolton, Lancs and is married to Maud Miller (from Bolton) aged 22. In the 1911 census he is living in Tong Street, Bolton with his wife Maud - he is a gravedigger and Maud is a drawing frame tenter. In 1913 they have their first child, a daughter Harriet Maud Preece (1913-1990).

Sometime in 1914 he joins the war effort and arrives in France on 25th September 1915 with the 9th Loyal North Lancs just three months before his twin daughters are born (Emma and Sarah - 28/6/1915). Sadly Emma dies in July 1915. His battalion fought on the Somme in 1916 at Bazentin, Pozieres and the Ancre Heights, then in the Battles of Messines Ridge and Pilkem Ridge in 1917.

As Richard's soldier's papers did not survive, we cannot be sure which of these battles he fought in. It is likely he was wounded at some stage, and was not sufficiently fit for front line duty on his recovery. He was transferred to the 14th Company, Labour Corps, which was a prisoner of war company, guarding prisoners of war. In late 1918 they were in the Conches-en-Ouche area, about 35 miles south of Rouen. The German prisoners here were engaged in forestry work.

As Richard is recorded as having died it is possible that he was a victim of the 1918 influenza pandemic. He is buried at Conches-en-Ouche Communal Cemetery. He was 31 years old and left his wife Maud (32) and daughters Harriet Maud (5) and Sarah (3) - he never met either of his daughters.


Sgt. Evan Jones Royal Welsh Fusiliers (d.29th September 1918)

Evan Jones was a Sergeant in WWI. He was in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 5th Bn. then transferred to (464420) 76th Coy. Labour Corps. He was killed in battle, hit by shrapnel from a shell. He is buried at Louverval Military Cemetery, Diognies in France. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

He was born in Flint, Wales, and worked as a labourer at an Ironworks. He was beloved by his sister Mary Elizabeth.

Jenna Fullerton


Pte. Joseph Davies 9th Btn. Royal Welch Fusilisers (d.15th November 1918)

Joseph Davies was my paternal great uncle, and served with the 9th Btn. Royal Welch Fusiliers. I am currently trying to piece his war history together, with some difficulty.

Joseph was apparently transferred to the Labour Corps 258063 at some stage later in the war. He contracted pneumonia whilst serving in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. Sadly he died on 15th November 1918 in Clonmel and is buried there in a war grave.

Janet Lowe


Dvr. William John Morgan 291st Brigade Royal Field Artillery

My Great-Grandfather, William John Morgan, enlisted voluntarily in the Royal Field Artillery at Bargoed, Wales on 11/01/1915. His previous occupation was as an underground haulier at Bargoed Colliery in the South Wales coalfield. He was 37 years of age when joining up and was enlisted as a Driver (of a team of horses) as in his occupation as an underground haulier he worked with horses hauling coal, so was used to working with these beautiful creatures. He was assigned to the 38th Welsh Division and landed in France on Christmas Eve 1915 - two days before his 38th birthday. Unfortunately, his records have not survived the destruction of WW2 when many records were burned.

He was probably attached to the 122 Brigade RFA when landing in France as that unit landed on that specific day. Sometime in 1916/17 he was reassigned to 291 Brigade, where on 31/8/17 he appears on a list of casualties evacuated to the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital at Doullens, France. After hospitalisation he was transferred to the Labour Corps due to his injuries where he served until demobilisation in January 1919.

He suffered for the remainder of his life for his service in the Great War and died of a heart attack in Bargoed Colliery on 2/11/1925, aged 47 years. The report of his death in the local newspaper states that he was an accomplished half-back for Aberbargoed Rugby Football club and that he had received "serious injuries" in France whilst serving his country. He left a widow and 3 young children and was buried in an unmarked grave. His wife never remarried and was buried with him upon her death 53 years later in 1978.

Casualty list 291 Brigade 1917

Neil Phillips


Pte. Frederick Charles Beck 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry

Frederick Beck was my grandfather. He and three of his brothers John Samuel, the eldest born 1882, Charles and George. All enlisted together in Taunton on the 23rd September 1914. The four brothers were assigned to the newly formed 7/SLI.

On the 24th July 1916, the Battalion moved by train from Amesbury to Southampton, sailing for Boulogne that evening. Of the four brothers on board the ship, all assigned to the Battalion's B Company, one would be killed within two months.

On the evening of Monday 12th of September, the Battalion held the front line just east of Cordonnerie Farm, close to the hamlet of Petillon, and about five miles south west of Armentieres. This was the very first occasion on which 7/SLI held the line in its own right. The Germans exploded two closely spaced mines directly under the men of B Company, creating a forty yard crater. Five men were killed and seventeen injured. Intense shelling and mortar fire continued for the next three days, on 14th of September George Beck was killed. He was 29, and is buried in the Rue Petillon Military Cemetery, just a mile or so from where he fell.

Frederick Beck was wounded in action on 1st of October, on which date 7/SLI made a daring advance at Le Transloy (Somme area). According to his medical record, Frederick was buried by a shell, suffering injuries to his wrist and knee, after long spells in hospital, Frederick was graded as 'C3' meaning no longer considered fit for active service overseas. He then served with Agricultural Companies of the Labour Corps, firstly with No. 449 Company. Then No. 445 Company.

I don't know much about his brothers Charles and John Samuel, as their records were destroyed by fire. They both returned home to Somerset after the war. Frederick returned home to his wife and eight children. He passed away in 1974 age 91

At the time his brothers sailed to France, Harry Beck their younger brother, still only sixteen, perhaps a wilful attempt to prove himself the equal of his brothers, had already enlisted himself. Drafted to join 8/SLI on 4 October. Amongst a contingent of 248 NCOs and men as that Batallion refitted in the French town of Borre. Surely reflecting on the wisdom of his decision to enlist. Knowing as he would have done of his brothers death. His father wrote a letter: I have a son in France, his age being sixteen. Perhaps you may kindly consider the case as all my sons(five) has been sent to the front, one being killed in France. Army bureaucracy meant that Harry was not finally discharged until 25th of February 1916.

Andrea Beck


Colour Sgt. Benjamin Bichan Irvine 9th Btn. Royal Scots

Benjamin Irvine, son of William Bichan Irvine and Euphemia Gray Cundill McIntosh, was born 26 October 1893 at 34 Caledonian Crescent, Edinburgh, and was working as a scientific instrument maker in the photographic department of A. H. Baird, 39 Lothian Street, Edinburgh when he enlisted in the 9th Royal Scots (Highlanders) Territorial Force on 14 September 1914.

This battalion was known as “The Dandy Ninths”. After training in Scotland he left for active service in France on 23 February 1915. Bennie progressed through the ranks to become a Sergeant. He received a gunshot wound in the head on 27 May 1917 (latter stages of the battle of Arras) resulting in damage to his right eye.

After he spent a few days in the Liverpool Merchant’s Mobile Hospital at Etaples, (No.6 Hospital British Red Cross) he was posted to the 835 Area Employment Company of the Labour Corps, based at Dannes, about 10 kilometers north of Etaples. This was a large ammunition depôt. Bennie was promoted Company Quarter Master Sergeant, later Colour Sergeant, and remained there until 3 February 1919 when he returned to the United Kingdom to be discharged on 6 March 1919 having served a total of 4 years and 174 days.

Ben married Margaret (Meg) Hutcheon Munro, daughter of David Hutcheon Munro and Johanna Grace Mouat of 17 Willowbrae Road, Edinburgh, on 16 September 1927, at the Church of Scotland Manse in Duddingston, Edinburgh. At that time Ben was a photographic dealer and Margaret was a photographer. Margaret’s father, deceased at the time of the marriage in 1927, had been a photographer also, and it is possible that Ben and his wife carried on his business.

Ben was living at 25 Craiglockhart Park, Edinburgh in August 1949 when he registered the death of his mother, and later in 1961 when he registered the death of his brother William. Ben died on 16 January 1968 at 1 Glenlockhart Road, Edinburgh, a rest home/hospital. His occupation was given on his death certificate as “X-ray Assistant (Retired)”.

John Johnston


Pte. J. W. Fielder 14th Btn. Devonshire Regiment (d.25th Aug 1917)

J.W. Fielder was the son of William and Elizabeth Fielder of Batheaston and husband of Alice Fielder, of Batheaston, Bath. He was enrolled in the Devonshire Rgt but transferred to (92556) 155th Coy. Labour Corps. He was killed on 25th August 1917, aged 37 and is buried in the Adinkerke Military Cemetery in Belgium.

s flynn


Pte. Sidney Mitchell 6th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

Private Sidney Mitchell’s six-digit regimental number falls within a group allocated to new recruits of the 1/6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry during the first week of March 1917. His birthday fell in late April, so it is fair to say he enlisted close to his birthday.

He was wounded in his upper right back by grenade and had lung damage because he was gassed. He also had a machine gun wound in his ankle and shrapnel in his abdomen. He was transferred to the Labour Corps in July 1918, as the date fits with when his additional regimental number (631581) was issued. He served his final war days out with the 12th Labour Corps in France until demobbed.

Ralph Halse


Pte. James William Buck Devon Regiment

We have the 1914 and Victory Medals and cap badge belonging to our great uncle James William Buck (born 1880) who was the elder brother of our grandfather who served with the Northumberland Fusiliers (and survived) and the youngest member of the family, Sgt James Cox Buck who served with our Home regiment the Somerset Light Infantry and who died in Flanders in 1916.

Attached to the medals is a handwritten note saying that James William was unable to live a civilian after the war. We do not know where he lived after the war and when he died. I have a note that he was also known as William so it is possible that any marriage record or death record could be recorded as William and not James. Having just read about the formation of the Labour Corps it seems possible that James was transferred from the Devon Regiment because he was not fit to fight and by the time the war ended was not able to lead a civilian life as the note states.

We are looking for help on where James might have lived post war and when he died. It's possible he married in 1910 under the name of William James Buck but we cannot be sure (still researching).

Andrew Paisey


Pte. Francis Cranston Steel Highland Light Infantry

My grandfather was Francis Steel, born on 20th April 1908 in Paisley, Scotland. He worked in a cotton factory and served in France. His date of entry to the army was 1st June 1915. Initially in the Highland Light Infantry, Private, Army No. 8533, he then entered the Labour Corps as a Private, Army No. 511382.

So far I've found no trace of his army history. I have a photo of him in army uniform but there are no distinguishing marks to indicate what branch of the army he was in. After the war he went to the USA for a time but it is believed he had to leave after causing a fire in a factory. He died in Scotland in 1960.

Jim Steel


Pte. Bertie Williams 12th Btn. East Yorks Regiment

Bertie Williams was my maternal grand-father. He was shot in the leg during WW1 and sent back to recover in the Canadian hospital at Orpington, Kent. He was not fit for further action and therefore joined the Labour Corps.

Although I cannot be 100% certain I understand that soldiers 36568 Johnson and 36560 Swain were both killed on the 3rd of May 1917 at Oppy Wood and therefore it is likely that Bertie was wounded at Oppy Wood too.

Robert Hudd


Pte. John Gilleeney 4th (Extra Reserve) Btn Kings Liverpool Regiment

My great grandfather, John Gilleeney, had previously fought in the Boer War as part of the 1st Bn Kings (Liverpool) Regiment and was injured during that campaign. He remained in the reserves until the 4th March 1914 when, aged 44, he enlisted in the 4th (Special Reserve) Battalion, Kings Liverpool Regiment. The reserve regiments consisted of many soldiers with experience of the war in South Africa. In March 1915 the regiment was sent to France and assigned to the Sirhind Brigade of the Lahore Division. As part of the Sirhind Brigade the KLR served with the 1st Bn. Highland Light Infantry, 15th Ludhiana Sikhs, 1/1st Gurkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment) and 1/4th Gurkha Rifles.

John is reported as being injured during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle but he remained with the division until they were transferred, in February 1916, to the 98th Brigade of the 33rd Division. John was injured again in September 1917 and deemed unfit for active service and was transferred to the Labour Corps (413665). He served with the Labour Corps until given an honourable discharge on 6th March 1919.

Phil Lomax


Pte. Joseph Cuthbert Taylor 1st Btn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment

I know little about Joseph Taylor except that he and generations of his family before him worked the land in and around Warwickshire and Worcestershire. His father was Joseph John his mother was called Marian.

He joined the Labour Corps in 1915, for what reason I do not know, whether he was injured, wounded or just not A1 I do not know. He survived the war, came home and received his war medals. That is all except that the very fact that he came home is something of a victory.

Diane Jones


Pte. Robert Carstang Labour Corps (d.18th Oct 1918)

Robert Carstang died of dysentery on the 18th of October 1918 and was buried in the Kirechkoi-Hortakoi Military Cemetery in Greece. He was the husband of Emily Garstang of 6 Albany Terrace, Burnley.

s flynn


Pte. Lewis Heron 4th Btn. Gordon Highlanders

Lewis Heron, son of James Gilbert Heron and Maggie Foreman, was born 25 January 1897 in Slains Parish, Aberdeenshire. Prior to joining the Army, he was in the service of Mr. William Bruce, dairyman, Cassiegills, Ellon, Aberdeenshire.

He served in the First World War initially with the 4th Gordon Highlanders. According to the UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920, he embarked for France on 4 September 1915. He was wounded very shortly after embarking for France in October 1915; the Aberdeen Journal carried a brief item on Friday, 15 October 1915, page 3 which stated that his parents had received notification that "Pte. Lewis Heron 4th Gordon Highlanders has been wounded in the recent severe fighting." Lewis was subsequently transferred to the Labour Corps. He survived the war and was awarded the 1914-15 Star as well as the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

After the war, he became a police constable in Bishopbriggs, Argyle. Lewis married Elizabeth McPherson, daughter of Peter McPherson (fisherman) and Elizabeth Gillespie (deceased) on 17 November 1922 at Loch Fyne, District of Tarbert, Argyll. Lewis died in 1966.

Patsy Javor


Pte. Abraham Edward Howe Essex Regiment

Abraham Howe was born in Lawford, Essex in 1877, was married to Florence Bull in 1901 and enlisted in 1914. He was subsequently transferred to the Labour Corps with a change of Service Number to 414874. He died in Ardleigh, Essex on the 27th November 1955.

Kenneth H Bennison


Pte. Robert Thomas Parker 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers

Robert Parker born in 1892 was the son of Ambrose Parker and Mary Ann Leeworthy. He joined the South Wales Borderers on the 8th September 1903 as 8222 Pte Robert Parker. He married Sarah Amy Esling on the 2nd of July 1912. He was recalled from the reserve 4th August 1914 at Bordon Hampshire and travelled to France. Arriving at Le Havre on the 13th August 1914 with the 1st SWB. He was wounded in the face and lower jaw on the 30th of September 1914, but we do not know where. Robert served time in the Labour Corps with 552 Home Service Employment Corp. Regt No 266475 in July 1917 and also served with the 16th Btn. South Lancashire Regiment. Regt No 64665. in 1918. He was transferred to reserve on the 25th February 1919, listed as Medical Category B11 and holding a Qualification 3rd Class certificate.

Laurence Spring


Sgt. Arthur Thomas "Jo" Jones MM & Bar. 6th Btn. Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry

Born in Oxen 1896, my Father, Arthur Jones was badly wounded in the last period of 1917 possibly winning the bar for his MM (gazetted 9/12/1916)& 12/11/1917) and was hospitalized. He was given a silver shoulder blade, and once fit enough, returned to light duties as a prisoner of war guard. We know at the end of the war (or sooner) he joined the Labour Corps as a Sergeant with the Army number 443711. He ended his service as a Quarter Master Sergeant in 1921.

We are trying to find out more details of which hospital, where and with what type of wounds? where he went next, When he joined the Corps and where did he serve, plus the date of de-mob.

To end the story he re-enlisted in the RAF in 1922 as a Sergeant 351512 and served through-out the Second World War & was awarded the MBE in 1942, retiring in 1951 as a Wing Commander. He died on 12th of July 1972

Colin Arthur Jones


Pte. John Anthony Pitts 3rd Btn. Suffolk Regiment (d.26th Sep 1918)

John Pitts served in the 3rd Battalion the Suffolk Regiment before being transferred to the 714 Coy, Labour Corps. He was married to Anna (nee Baldwin) and they had one child.

Andy Moore


Cpl. Thomas James Hammond 3rd Btn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Thomas James Hammond was my great grandfather. From 4th of August 1914 until 13th Sept 1917 he served as a Private with the 3rd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. From the 14th of Sept 1917 until the armistice and worked some clean-up after end of war, he was a Corporal with the 28th Coy. Chinese Labour Corps. He also was injured in action and spent time in hospital. This shrapnel is what eventually led to his leg being amputated and his death in 1957 in Hendon, London, Middlesex, England. After the clean-up duty, he came home from the war and found out about the death of his wife- Julia Bruder from scarlet fever, which she had contracted at the war-end party.

I would love to find more information about his duties, war job and his injury!

Corporal Chinese Labour Corps Card

Injured At War- Hospital

Injured At War- Hospital

Greggory Daniell


Pte. Alfred Quartly Labour Corps (d.5th Oct 1918)

Alfred Quartly was born in 1897, son of Frank and Ellen Elizabeth (nee Dascombe) a family of farmers. He enlisted as Private 21288 in the Royal Berks Regt. Alfred was killed in action whilst serving with the Labour Corps on the 5th of October 1918, he is buried in Queant Road Cemetery, Buissy in France.

Martyn Rundle


Pte. John Edmund Spencer Labour Corps Army Service Corps

John Edmund Spencer lied about his age and joined up in Aldershot in September 1915. Instead of putting his real age of 52, he said he was 47. He lasted less than three months - he went AWOL twice, for nine days and thirty four days, and finally left Aldershot for good. A Court of Inquiry in January 1916, records his desertion on December 10th and gives a list of all the things he left with that belonged to the Army. So far, no further trace of him has been found.

Susan Lightfoot


Pte. George William Garfin 12th (Service) Btn Cheshire Regiment

George William Garfin, second from right 1916.

George William Garfin joined the Army on 9 November 1915 Age 26. He attested in Manchester and was residing at 17 Gordon Street Leigh. His trade on enlistment was Cotton Spinner. He embarked from Southampton on 26th Oct 1916 and joined The 12th Battalion The Cheshire Regiment. he disembarked at Salonica 6th Nov 16 and fought in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Greece and Bulgaria. Pte George Garfin was charged on 28 Nov 1916 in Salonica. The charge was that “While on Active Service being deficient of a Mackintosh Cape value 15/1” He was subsequently deprived 14 days pay, made to pay for the Cape and was awarded 10 days Confined to Camp.

He was reported Wounded in the Field on 25th of April 1917 and was admitted to 42 General Hospital with a Gun Shot Wound to his right thigh. He was then moved on 6th Jan 1918 by 68 Field Ambulance after admission to 29 General Hospital. He was then medically reclassified as B2X and on 5th Mar 18 he was transferred to the Labour Corps and served in 976 Company and 999 company. On 10 August 1918 he was posted to the Lewis Gun School as his specialist military qualification was a Lewis Gunner. He embarked for the UK on 10th of August 1918 and was discharged on 25th March 1919. Pte Garfin was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal and was awarded a 20% Disability for deafness on discharge.

Judith Burke


Piper. William Campsie 15th Bn. Royal Scots (d.19th April 1920)

William Campsie served with 15th Btn. Royal Scots as a piper and later to 156th Labour Coy. Labour Corps. I have been to his grave in Logie Stirling and seen his name on the memorial in Bridge of Allan.

I may have a photograph of him but I am not sure what his uniform would look like - I have the family photographs of the Campsies who lived in Bridge of Allan including one of his father's shop. I would love to know where he was and what he did, we share the same first name - presumably from the same ancestor

William Smith


Pte. Daniel Methuen French Balls 10th Battalion East Kent Regiment

Daniel Balls enlisted at Tottenham in 1915 at the age of 15 in the 10th Battalion, West Kent Regiment at Maidstone. On the 01/01/1916 he was transferred to The Machine Gun Corps at Grantham until 15/02/1917 when he was transferred to The Army Cyclist Corps at Chiseldon. On the 14/09/1917 he was transferred to The 2nd/12th Mt. Brigade at Chiseldon. By 02/01/1918 he was with The Leicestershire Cyclist Regiment at Tonbridge and by the 04/03/1918 was with The 67th Division Cyclist at Sutton. On the 25/05/1918 he was transferred to 3rd Battalion East Kent Regiment in Palestine.

He was then sent to France to join the 10th Battalion, East Kent Regiment as part of the 74th Yeomanry Division which took part in the Flanders Advance, 2nd Battle of The Somme, Battle of the Hindenberg Line, Battle of Ephey and The Advance to Artois although I have no knowledge if he took part in any of these actions.

He was gassed on the 03/11/1918 but survived his injuries. On the 30/12/1918 he was transferred to No.86 Labour Coy number, 5 Infantry Section with a new number 419356. He was demobilised at Nottingham on the 23/02/1919 where he was transferred to Section "B" Army Reserve.

Cliff Goodman


QMS. William George Davies Army Service Corps

My great grandfather, William George Davies, was born in Shoreditch, East London in 1882. His father was a baker and had a shop at 509 Seven Sisters Road, Tottenham where William worked as a baker alongside his father and brother. He married my great grandmother in 1910 and they were running a bakers in Green Street, Bethnal Green in 1911. On 8th April 1915 he joined the army, leaving his wife in Bethnal Green with their 3 small daughters aged between 4 years and 5 months old. By the time of his death he would also have 2 sons born in 1918 and 1920, the youngest just 5 months old when he died.

He joined the Army Service Corps at Aldershot and by June 1915 they were in France. His discharge records say he was of very good character but on 8 November 1916 he was reprimanded for being drunk in town without a pass. In May 1917 he was transferred to the Labour Corps where he was a Quarter Master Sergeant but by August 1918 he was already being treated for shell shock and was formerly discharged as being unfit for service on 11 Sept 1918 ('melancholia due to AS'). He was sent to the Belfast War Hospital which was a specialist mental health unit set up in 1917. Across the top of his discharge papers is written by hand 'Mental case'. He was discharged with a new suit, £1 and his Silver Badge.

At some point after August 1918 he arrived at the Royal Victoria Military Hospital, Netley where his treatment for shell shock continued. He died there on 27 June 1920. My grandmother, Florence Ada Davies, told me a story that he died from blood poisoning after being bitten by a goat - my dad and I used to laugh at this, dismissing it as another of her funny stories. His service records show that his wife gave his cause of death as 'blood poisoning' and also mentioned Army Farms 2067 and 2079 so perhaps there was some truth in it after all....

William George Davies is buried in the Netley Military Cemetery. He was 39 years old when he died and was survived by his wife Annie; daughters Edith, Mary and Florence; sons Billy and Bert. He is remembered by his grandchildren and great grandchildren.



Pte. Frank Lewis 3rd. Labour Coy. Devonshire Regiment (d.25th May 1918)

Frank Lewis was my great uncle. I have always had great admiration for my great grandmother, Rosamond Lewis. She was married to Alfred John Lewis, who served in the Metropolitan Police Force, and who was invalided out after 10 years. Their son, Frank, was killed at the Somme in May, 1918, just before hostilities ceased. Another son, John Perrin Lewis, who was in the Royal Garrison Artillery, was severely gassed early on in this war, and was affected for the rest of his life. There was a third son who also served, Oliver Lewis, but I have no details of his service. So, Rosamond had quite a lot to put up with, but managed to survive for 86 years. I served in the Cornwall Constabulary, but only found out about my Police great grandfather and his wonderful family recently.

Peter Brew


Pte. William Watson Hillier 8th Btn. Royal West Kent Regiment

Born at Witham Friary, Somerset in 1891, William Hillier worked in London as a Dairy Man. Volunteered in August/September 1914 and arrived in France 30th August 1915. He took part in the Battle of Loos and was lucky to survive. He was with the Battalion at the Battle of Messines and was wounded by shrapnel possibly early August 1917 during Battle of Passchendaele. He returned to UK for hospital treatment and returned to France as 589661 Labour Corps.

He was discharged in 1919 and worked on the Railways as a Signalman, married Dorothy Thornhill Whiting of London and settled at Kemsing, Kent. He is my paternal grandfather.

Barry Hillier


Pte. Walter Ashcroft Kings Own Lancashire Regiment (d.10th Nov 1918)

Walter was my paternal great uncle. He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery having died of bronchil pneumonia on the day before the armistice. I do not know when he enlisted nor where he served. His regiment was absorbed into the Labour Corps. He left a wife whom he had married in 1917 but they had no children.

His younger brother Tom was my grandfather. I believe that he too tried to enlist but was refused because he has a 'starred occupation'. I do not know what that was but he worked at the famous Dick Kerr's factory later. I have the armband which he was given to wear which identified him as excempt from military service.

I am trying to discover more information about Walter to honour his memory. I visited his grave at Etaples in 1979 and plan to return for his anniversary.

Margaret Huggon


Pte. Edward Bowler 1st Btn. Royal West Kent Regiment

My Grandfather Edward Bowler was a regular soldier before WW1 started. He was mobilised and fought at Mons, Hill 60, Vimy Ridge, Arras, etc He also went to Ireland after he was bayoneted in a trench in France, to fight the IRA. He met Mary his future wife in a hospital in the London area, when he had the bayonet wound. They had Frank & Rene Bowler after the war

From information on his Medal Card Private Edward Bowler served with the following units: 1st Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment, Machine Gun Corps, Labour Corps, Lancashire Fusiliers. He was awarded the 1914 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

Kevin Bowler


2nd Lt. William Cheetham Dillworth

2nd Lt. Cheetham Dillworth served with the Chinese Labour Corps.

Myra Hurley


Pte. George Peake 1/19th Btn. London Regiment

My Father George Peake attested on 11th Deember 1915 in Camden Town for the 19th Battalion London Regiment, probably under the Derby Scheme. He was in the Battle of High Wood and I don't know when he was wounded but it must have been after that. I have found his name listed in the St. Pancras Chronicle of 27th October 1916 under wounded. He was sent to Whalley Hospital in Lancs and I think was there for about six months. He was then sent back to France and was with the Regiment at the Battle of Messines as I remember him saying he saw Hill 60 go up. He had a further wound and was transferred to the Labour Corps in March 1919 to escort duties to POW Coy 109 and was demobilised in September 1919. I have been on visits to France over the years with the OCA of the 19th but am still trying to fill in the place where the POW 109 Coy was situated. I thought it may have been in France, but I understand that it could have been in the UK.

V. Lawrenson


Pte. Robert Garstang Labour Corps (d.18th Oct 1918)

Robert Garstang served with the 975th Area Employment Company, Labour Corps during WW1 and died of dysentery on the 18th October 1918. He is buried in the Kirechkoi-Hortakoi Cemetery in Greece. Robert (T4/220181) was with the Army Service Corps, 606th Mechanical Transport Company prior to his transfer to the Labour Corps. He was the husband of Emily Garstang, of 6, Albany Terrace, Burnley.

S Flynn


Pte F. Boos 1st Cape Btn. (d.15th Oct 1918)

Pte. F. Booth served with the 1st Cape Btn, Coloured Labour Regiment. He was executed for murder, on 15th October 1919 aged 19 and is buried in Y Farm Military Cemetery, Bois-Grenier, France.

s flynn


Pte. Willie P. Harris 1st Cape Btn. Coloured Labour Regiment (d.26th Aug 1919)

Willie Harris served with the 1st Cape Btn, Coloured Labour Regiment. He was executed for murder, on 26th August 1919 aged 49 and is buried in Y Farm Military Cemetery, Bois-Grenier, France.

s flynn


Pte. Abraham Davids 1st Cape Btn. Coloured Labour Regiment (d.26th Aug 1919)

Abraham Davids served with the 1st Cape. Btn, Coloured Labour Regiment. He was executed for murder on 26th August 1919 aged 24 and is buried in Y Farm Military Cemetery, Bois-Grenier, France.

s flynn


Coolie C. H. K'ung (d.21st Feb 1920)

C. H. K'ung served with the Chinese Labour Corps. He was executed for murder on 21st February 1920 and is buried in St Sever Cemetery Estensionm, Rouen, France.

s flynn


Coolie Chi Mming Hei (d.21st Feb 1920)

C.M Hei served with the Chinese Labour Corps. He was executed for murder on 21st February 1920 and is buried in St Sever Cemetery Estension, Rouen, France. He and another Coolie were convicted for wounding two French prostitutes and the murder of a British Army sergeant at a brothel near Le Havre.

s flynn


Coolie Fayou Y. Wan (d.15th Feb 1919)

F.Y. Wan served with the Chinese Labour Corps. He was executed on 15th February 1919 for murdering two people and is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extesnion, Rouen, France.

s flynn


Pte. George Thomas Webb 7th Btn Leicestershire

My Grandfather George Thomas Webb joined the Regiment on 2nd April 1917. He was a Lewis Gunner in the front line trenches at Ypres. On 20th April 1918 he was gassed, he was transported back to England where he spent 6 months in Spalding Hall, Hendon, he was then sent to Eastbourne to recouperate. After which he was transferred to the 95th Company Chinese Labour Corps. He passed away in September 1968.

Michael Webb


Coolie Ch'un Ch'ih Wang (d.8th May 1919)

Wang Ch'un Ch'ih served with the Chinese Labour Corps and was executed for murder on 8th May 1919. He is buried in the Poperinghe Old Military Cemetery in Belgium. In the courtyard outside stands a very grim reminder of the Great War - the post to which at least one soldier was tied before he was executed. Wang Ch'un Ch'ih, who was convicted of murder and executed here on the 8th of May 1919 - after the Armistice but still during what was officially designated wartime. The execution post stands next to a large silvered panel on which a few words from a Kipling poem (The Coward) are inscribed - including the words 'blindfold and alone' - also the title of an excellent book on the subject of executions during the First World War

s flynn


Sgt. Peter Bolger Labour Corps (d.1st Nov 1917)

Peter Bolger enlisted as Pte. 4613, Connaught Rangers. He died at home in Dublin from wounds received whilst serving with the Connaughts.

s flynn


Pte. John Bligh Labour Corps (d.17th Mar 1918)

John Bligh was born in Dublin and enlisted South Shields, Durham as Pte. 709, Northumberland Fusiliers. He died of wounds at home.

s flynn


Pte. Christopher Barrett Labour Corps (d.13th Oct 1918)

Christopher Barrett served initially with the Royal Army Service Corps and subsequently with the Labour Corps. He died of wounds at home in October 1918.

s flynn


Pte. Edward Balmer First Labour Company Royal Irish Regiment (d.18th Mar 1917)

Edward Balmer was formerly 8631, Royal Irish Rifles. He died in Flanders.

s flynn


L/Cpl John Christopher McDonald Labour Corps (d.24th Feb 1919)

John Christopher McDonald served with the Gordon Highlanders then transferred to the Labour Corps. He was the son of Henry and Mary Bridget McDonald of Jarrow and was born in Jarrow in 1889. On the 1911 censusm John Christopher McDonald age 22 Rivetters Heater in Shipyard is listed as living with his parents Henry and Mary Bridget McDonald at 38 Union Street, Jarrow.

John is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph (brass plaque on west face) Jarrow and on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Sgt. James William Lawson Labour Corps (d.28th Jun 1918)

James William Lawson first served in France on the 25th of August 1915 with the Durham Light Infantry. He was born in North Shields 1884, son of Matthew S. and Mary Lawson. He lived and enlisted in Jarrow. His death is recorded in Sep quarter of 1918, James W. Lawson 33 Castle W. 10b 411. He is buried in Jarrow Cemetery and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church, Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Pte. Richard Turner 752nd Coy. Labour Corps (d.8th Jul 1918)

Richard Turner died aged 26. He was born in 1892 Jarrow, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Turner of 20 Queen's Road Jarrow. In the 1911 Census Richard Elliott Turner, age 18, a Coal Hawker, is recorded as living with his Parents, Thomas & Elizabeth Turner & his siblings at 180, High Street, Jarrow. He enlisted in Jarrow and served in the 6th Battalion, & 7th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment before transferring to the Labour Corps. He first served in the Balkans on the 29th of September 1915.

Richard is buried in Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


Pte. Joseph Bowes Wilson 10th Btn. Lincolnshire Regiment (d.25th May 1918)

Joseph Bowes Wilson, Private 46891, enlisted in Jarrow and served in the 10th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. He was later transferred to the 49th Company, Labour Corps (No.29282)and died age 38 on the 25th May 1918. He is remembered at St. Paul's Church and is buried in Querrieu Cemetery. It is not known at what date Joseph was transferred to the Labour Corps and where he would have been serving at the time of his death however the Cemetery is in the Somme area near most of the areas involved in the final Somme offensive. His medal card records the award of the War and Victory Medals and requests effects form 118a in respect of his death (21st Feb 1923).

Joseph was born in Leamside, Durham 1880 son of William and Mary Wilson of Boldon Colliery. He was married to Mary Agnes Wilson nee Miller of 40 York Street, Jarrow. In the 1911 census they are living at this address with Joseph(31) an assistant ironmonger and Mary(28) his wife of 7 years having 3 children, James 6, Richard 4 and John is 1 year old.

Vin Mullen


Cpl. James Ward Durham Light Infantry (d.7th Jul 1918)

James Ward served in the Durham Light Infantry and was transferred after being wounded twice to the Labour Corps, 360 Employment Company. He died age 27 on the 7th July 1918 and is remembered at St Paul's Church. He is buried in Jarrow Cemetery. His medal card shows the award of the 1914 Star, War and Victory Medals.

James was born in Jarrow 1890, son of Bernard and Elizabeth Ward nee Bruce of 22 North Street, Jarrow. In the 1911 census James is listed amongst the soldiers at the Durham Light Infantry Depot in Jesmond, Durham. His parents Bernard(44), a labourer at rolling mills and Elizabeth(42) are living at 68 Gray Street, Jarrow with his sister Ellen(19) and his younger brother James Bernard who is 6 years old. James is recorded on the army returns as being 21 and married.

Without knowing which Battalion James served in, it is normally difficult to determine where he served, however the inscription on his headstone records that he was wounded at the Battle of Aisne and later at the Somme. His transfer to the Labour Company would indicate he was classed as unfit for front line action from a medical assessment. Labour Corps records are almost non-existent but it seems he must have died eventually from his wounds back in the UK.

Vin Mullen


Pte. Andrew Henderson 109th Coy Labour Corps. (d.9th/10th August 1918)

Andrew Henderson was 28 when he died. Born in Jarrow in 1890, he was the son of Andrew and Mary A. Henderson (nee Boyle) of 57 Monkton Road Jarrow. Andrew Henderson age 23 Labourer in Steelworks is with his parents Andrew and Mary A. Henderson at 19 Cambrian Street, Jarrow on the 1911 census. He enlisted at Newcastle.

Andrew is buried in Gonnehem British Cemetery. He is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph (plaque on west face) Jarrow and on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Pte. John Thomas Coulson 2nd/6th Btn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) (d.18th Sep 1918)

John Coulson died aged 21 whilst serving with the Labour Corps, he had previously served with the 2nd/6th Btn Cameronians. He was born at Hebburn Quay, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Coulson of 12 Station Lane, Hebburn New Town. On the 1911 census he is recorded as John Thomas Coulson age 13 at School living with his mother Elizabeth Coulson and family at 36 Charles Street back, Hebburn Enlisted Newcastle.

John is buried in Hebburn Cemetery and is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph (south face) Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Pte. George Charlton Labour Corps

George Charlton was aged 33 when he died on 25th January 1921. He served with the Labour Corps. Born and living in Jarrow, he was the husband of Mary Charlton of 55 Charles Street Jarrow. George is buried in Jarrow Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


L/Cpl. John Neilen 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (d.28th Aug 1918)

John Neilen's Medal Index Card

John Neilen enlisted in the 6th Btn Lincolnshire Regiment and was transferred to the Labour Corps and given No. 26432. (This was usually due to illness or wounds leaving soldier unfit for front line service.) It is not known at what date he was transferred to the Labour Corps but it was set up in January 1917. Almost all records were destroyed in the Blitz during WW2 and it is almost impossible as few if any war diaries exist and those that do rarely name other ranks. He was the son of James Neilen of 111 Western Road, Jarrow and the late Elllen Neilen nee Finnegan. On the 1911 census form he is shown as a boarder at 48 Monkton Road, Jarrow, single aged 22 and working as a General labourer in the shipyard.

John was promoted to Lance Corporal and died on the 28th August 1918. He is remembered on Palmers Cenotaph and is buried in Beaurains Road Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


Pte. Michael Farrell 5th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

Aycliffe Village Local History Society


CSM. Joseph Henry Hughes 5th Btn. Durham Light Infantry (d.1919)

My grandfather Joseph Henry Hughes transferred from DLI 5Th Reg to the Labour Corps, I have been trying to find out why. Unfortunately, all of his history seem to have died with him. Any help would be appreciated.

Editor's note: Such a transfer was usually the result of an injury or illness which rendered him unfit to return to an infantry unit.

John W Ayre


Rflm. Arthur Henry Gurr 12th Btn. London Regiment

Arthur Henry Gurr my Grandfather, was born January 1892 in Camberwell, London and attended Boundary Lane School in Southwark. He began his working life as an ‘envelope addresser’. Arthur enlisted in the 12th London Regiment and it seems likely from available documents and photographs that he was in No.10 Platoon, C Company. The Battalion was transferred to Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire and occupied huts at Longbridge Deverill. They were engaged in training and digging trenches for an artillery practice range and earned "an enhanced reputation for good work and soldierly conduct under discomfort". On 5th February 1917 the Battalion left for France and by the 14th they joined Battalions of the 146th Infantry Brigade who were holding the front line in front of Bailleulmont.

Early Autumn 1917 saw the Battalion advancing to the Yser Canal, Ypres. The Battalion moved up to assembly positions on the 25th September preparatory to the attack on the ridge N.E. of St. Julien. This being part of the Third Battle of Ypres. Following a heavy artillery barrage on the morning of the 26th September at 0530hrs ‘B’ Company of the 12th London’s advanced with the 2/9th London’s (Queen Victoria Rifles) The 2/9th found it difficult to maintain the correct direction due to heavy fog, boggy ground and taking heavy fire from a German trench and machine guns in a nearby pillbox. There were many casualties. They pressed on, neutralising both positions. However they stopped 1/4 mile short of their objective. ‘B’ Company of the 12th took its objective but having failed to make contact with the 2/9th Battalion pulled back to secure its flanks. Arthur and his comrades of ‘C’ Company went ‘over the top’ at 0611hrs and were tasked with attacking an enemy pillbox positioned on the ridge. ‘C’ Company was "magnificently led" by Captain Hardy, and after a sharp fight captured the German pillbox, together with "numerous prisoners". The action of Rifleman Ratcliffe was noted as "exceptional" having found himself in charge of the remnants of No 10 Platoon, being one of only four survivors (another being Arthur) collected a few men who had strayed from another Battalion (possibly 2/9ths), including a Company Sergeant Major and a Lewis Gun party and took up a position covering the flank of his Company. Together with the remaining No 10 Platoon men this disparate group held the flank with the aid of a captured German machine gun. Rifleman Ratcliffe was awarded the Military Medal. Communication with Battalion HQ was achieved by 22 year old Lance-Corporal Fred Aldridge within 15 minutes of ‘C’ Company reaching its objective (see the related post on this web site).

A family story has it that Arthur was at some point gassed and had also suffered a hernia carrying a Lewis Gun ‘over the top’. It may have been due to Arthur’s medical problems that in about February 1918 he was transferred to the Labour Corps. Arthur survived the War and returned to the printing trade. In 1926 he married Annie Neaves, whose brother James, an Artillery Gunner, had been killed near Ypres in 1918. Arthur died in Lambeth, London in 1943 at the age of 51.

Richard Gurr


Pte. Charles Pinder Bennett 6th. Batallion Royal Sussex Regiment

My Grandfather, Charles Pinder Bennett, (b.1876 d.1944) joined the Royal Sussex regt. June 15th. 1916 and was then transferred to 6th Batallion SLI 24th October 1916. He received gun shot wounds to his face abdomen and thigh on 21st October 1917

He was then classified as permanent base and transferred to 74th company Labour Corps from 27th November 1917 I woulld be grateful if you could give me any further information

Peter Poulton


Pte. Walter Arthur Wright 23rd Inf. Labour Coy. Labour Corps (d.4th May 1918)

Walter Wright was my Grandfather. He joined as a private in March 1917. He would have been aged 39 at that time. He was sent to France and was present during the Battles of Arras, Vimy Ridge, Bullecourt and Ypres (III), and was gassed on the Somme. He was invalided to Scotland, but unfortunately died in May 1918 as a result of gas poisoning. This is all the information I have found. I have not been able to trace his service records.

Jean Brooks


Pte. Charles Henry Walker 6th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment

My great uncle Charles Henry Walker enlisted in Middlesbrough on the 26th August 1914 as Private 11228, 6th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. He arrived in France on the 12th of July 1915, was wounded on the 27th of October 1915 and again on the 11th of July 1916. He transferred to the Labour Corps (397879).

Paul Bollands


Pte. Herbert James Flack 27th Coy. Labour Corps

I am the grandaughter of Herbert James Flack and looking for his army record I came across this article from the New Statesman dated 29th October 1918. It was a question asked in Parliament by private notice:

Mr. Alden (by private notice) asked the Secretary of State of War whether he was aware that private H.J. Flack, 121 Durham Rd, White Hart Lane, Tottenham now attached to 27 Labour Corp, No 47695 formerly No 2242 19th Middlesex Regiment who was discharged in 1914 and joined up again on 22 April 1915 and has served in France since 1 August 1916 has lost 1 eye and that the other is very seriously affected, so he is almost blind and cannot see at night. He also has a compound fracture of the leg which unfits him for active service, that he has 7 children at home, 1 who is paralysed and whether he is aware that the man under orders to leave for France Wednesday and what action he proposes to take. Mr.Macpherson's instruction have been issued that Private Flack should not be sent overseas pending a further medical exam, which will be arranged shortly.

I lived with my grandparents as my Dad was in the 2nd World War and my Mum looked after them as Nan was frail and Gramps could not see far.

Patricia Tims


Pte. William Walraven Labour Corps

William Walraven was my great grandfather. I never knew much of him as my father and was put into care at a young age and there is nothing known of the Walraven family I am trying to find out information about him or his service history. If anyone can help please contact me.



Pte. Thomas Wilson Royal Marine Labour Corps

Thomas Wilson served with the Royal Marine Labour Corps, he was wounded and received the silver war badge.

Lyn Barnes


Pte. Thomas William King 12th Btn. Suffolk Regiment

Tommy King was my wonderful father who was born in Bermondsey (London's East End) on March 25th 1894. He was educated at Holy Trinity Church school and his mother, Elizabeth King (nee Carr), cleaned the church most of her adult life. His father, John James King, was a Hop Porter. Dad used to talk about Peak Freans, Oxo etc. who were based in the East End too. Dad worked at some time on the docks. He was also (after the war) a wood block floor layer with a firm called Hollis Brothers from London.

Because he was scarcely five feet tall I suspect that he was in the Bantams. Following a brief period of training dad was sent to France in about October 1916 and was posted to Loos. He was severely injured when a grenade went off in his hand causing severe damage to his back and side, and the loss of a finger. Following emergency first aid on the front line he was brought back to England and spent some time at the Red Cross Convalescent home at Newlands Corner,near Guildford. From there he went with other soldiers to Shoreham. When the military staff considered that he was fit enough again they put him to work in the Labour Corps.

Barbara Izzard


Pte. James Francis Slavin 1st Btn. Cameronians

Private James Slavin of the 1st Cameronians was one of a large number of men who were wounded during a very heavy shrapnel bombardment on the 17th July 1916. They had withdrawn to positions 1,000 yards behind the village of Bazentin Le Petit and taken shelter in some small caves scooped out of a high bank. Packed in 2 or 3 men to each cave it offered some shelter from the rain, but they could not pull their legs, then the bombardment started and moved down the line hitting man after man.

Private Slavin was moved to Rouen and eventually sent back to Scotland. He was never able to bend his leg again. Transferred to the Labour Corps he was invalided out of the Army in October 1917.

Information gathered from; The Hell They Called High Wood by Terry Norman, Bazentin Ridge by Edward Hancock and A Very Unimportant Officer. Diaries of Captain A Stewart 5/6th Scottish Rifles 1915/1918. A photograph in the book by Edward Hancock on page 146 and 147, taken on the 16th July 1916 south east of Bazentin Village shows a large body of men settling in to caves on a high bank. Believe this to be his regiment in the location that they to be wounded in.

Michael Scott


Pte. John Alexander Spence Clint 9th Btn Highland Light Infantry

My father, John Alexander Spence Clint, first served in WWI with the Glasgow 9th Battalion Highland Light Infantry (he referred to it as the Boozy Fourth!). At some point, he was sent back from France to a hospital in Bradford, W Yorkshire, to be patched up, but whether wounded or suffering from "shell shock" is undetermined. He was then sent back to France to serve with the Labour Corps 12-12-1915. He was discharged 31-10-1918. He received a small pension, but though up until he died at the age of 60 and his hands shook so that he could not hold a cup of tea without spilling it, he was considered by the pensions board to be a "malingerer," with the threat of his pension being reduced or cut off. Between 1918 and 1943 he did not have steady employment, until he got a job as an engine slinger during WWII, at which he worked until his death in 1952. My father was a quiet, gentle soul, and I can just imagine how his experiences in WWI, trench warfare, shell bombardment, etc., must have played havoc on his mental/emotional well-being. Go to Google and read how over 300 soldiers were shot, though most were likely suffering from shell-shock and the hazards of warfar were just too much for them. I think we have come a long way in understanding post traumatic stress as it is referred to nowadays.

Maisie Clint Egger


Pte. Walter Oldershaw 4th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders

My grandfather, Walter Oldershaw, enlisted in 1915 at the age of 38 years old. He was sent to France to the front, where I don't know.

He was wounded and then transferred to the Labour Corp. What did the Labour Corp do? Where did they operate? He remained in France until, I think, 1919. He died in 1941 I was 2 years old.

Henry Oldershaw


Pte. Joseph Cecil Warren 3rd Battn Kings Own Scottish Borderers

Joseph Warren's war record shows he was with the BEF, being sent to France 15.6.1916. He was wounded 29.9.1915 and sent to Lord Derby Hospital Warrington. Joseph returned to the front and was again wounded (gassed) on the 28th of June 1916 and evacuated from France via Etaples (Le Torquet) via 24th General Hospital on the 1st of July 1916.

David Harvey


Pte. James Henry "Jas" Rilley 18th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles (d.14th Feb1918)

This is my great grandfather's story, he was 39 years old and was married with eight children, one of these children was my granny (Annie Rilley)

"Mrs. J. H. Rilley, 114 Mill Street, New­townards, has received news, but so far non-official, of the death at the front of her husband, Private J. H. Rilley, of the 183rd Labour Company, who originally enlisted in May, 1916. On being transferred to the Labour Company he proceeded to the Front in March, 1917, with which com­pany he was until he made the supreme sacrifice, leaving behind his wife and eight young children.

He was for three or four years before enlisting a labourer in the employment of Mr. Robt. M’Burney, Ballyhenry, Comber. His mother resides in Killyleagh. Rev. Roland H. Streatfield, C.F., writing to Mrs. J. H. Rilley states that on the morning of 15th February he received a message that the Labour Company had been shelled on the previous night, and several men hit, among whom was her husband. He was sure she would prefer to hear from him rather than have the news sent to her on a formal War Office notification. Her husband’s death was absolutely instan­taneous, so he never suffered at all. All his officers and comrades spoke highly of him, and I realise that the company has lost one of its best soldiers. He was buried in a quiet little cemetery with military honours, the Union Jack cover­ing him, and his comrades at the grave­side sang “Abide with Me” and “Sun of my soul” as his remains were lowered to their last resting place,” which would be marked with a neat wooden cross, on which his name and date of death would be inscribed. He hoped to get the grave photographed later. He accorded his deepest sympathy with Mrs. Rilley and her children."

Captain H. E. Vivian Kynak also writes, telling Mrs. Rilley that her husband, Private J. H. Rilley (No. 109,545), of his company, was instantaneously killed by heavy shell fire. Private Rilley was very popular with all his comrades, and a brave and honest soldier. He asked Mrs. Rilley to accept his sincere sympathy, and requested her acceptance of a cheque. Lieutenant Edwin M. Kemp, of the same company, writes describing the de­tails of Private Rilley’s death as above. In Private Rilley, he adds, they had an excellent and willing worker; in fact, one of the best, and his loss was keenly felt by all ranks. After expressing deep sympathy with Mrs. Rilley and family he concludes, “I assure you that his memory will always beheld sacred by all who knew him, for he lead a life to the full.

The Chronicle 23rd March 1918 page 5

For King and Country

Rilley. Killed in action on 14th February, 1918, Private James H. Rilley, 183rd Labour Company, dearly-beloved husband of Mary E. Rilley, 114 Mill Street, Newtownards. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing Wife and little Children

The Chronicle, 20th April, 1918 page 1.

Sean Napier


Pte Michael Mooney 8 Bn Yorks. Regt

Enlisted Sept 1914 from Smith's Dock as part of 'Pals Battalion'. Wounded and awarded Silver Wound Badge. Transfered to Labour Corps (change of number) (1917?). Holder of 'Pip. Squeak and Wilfred'. Bn trained near Tring Herts. Served on Western front (France/Belgium 1915 to 1918). Discharged to Y List 1919.

Ken Mooney


Pte. Kenyth Westley Rider 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment

Kenyth Westley Rider was my grandfather, I did not know him that well as he died when I was a child and suffered a terrible stammer brought on from shell shock. According to the military records he enlisted into the Essex Regiment on 6th September 1914 and was posted to the 3rd battalion. On 9th October 1914 he was then posted to the 12 battalion before finally being posted to the 2nd battalion on 27th July 1915. I understand he was mobilised for France on the same day. He was later transferred to the labour corps on 15th July 1918 (33rd prisoner of war company) and them moved into the reserve on 15th June 1919 before being discharged on 31st March 1920. I understand he served in France between 27th July 1915 - 17th May 1919.

John Scale


Pte. Harry "Bill" Fleming 12th Battalion Royal Fusiliers

Harry Fleming was my father. He served throughout WW1. He was with the 12th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers from 1914 until they were disbanded in 1918. He then served in another RF Battalion and then in the Labour Corps, eventually returning from France/Belgium in July 1919. He fought at Loos, Arras, the later part of The Somme, Messines, and at the Third Battle of Ypres. Harry survived the war and died in 1954. I have been researching 12RF for over a decade and have many thousands of items in my archives and am happy to share the information with anyone connected with 12RF.

Barry Fleming


Capt. Daniel Coghlan 8th Btn. Royal West Surrey Regiment

Records found to date show that Daniel Coghlan enlisted as a private in the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment and was sent to France on 23rd February with the British Expeditionary Force. He applied for a commission in April 1917 and was commissioned to the rank of 2nd lieutenant in July 1917 at which time he was transferred to the 116th Labour Corp., Bologne. He was promoted to the rank of acting Captain in July 1918. Records show service in Bologne, Passchendale and Flanders. The records go on to state that when the war ended, he commanded a company of men who were charged with the task of exhuming the bodies of soldiers who had been buried in the field and re-interring them in the official war graves. This company was the 126th Labour Corps which was subsequently re-named "E" Company, Graves Registration and Enquiries in January of 1921. He was de-mobbed in France on 31st March 1921 and given the rank of full Captain. In 1923 he went back to Belgium and married a girl from Poperinghe that he had met during the war. They were married in Ypres Town Hall and he took her back to Ireland with him. He was to become a King's Messenger and to serve as military attache in Paris , Brussels and Petrograd. He was awarded the O.B.E., Croix de Guerre and French Medaille d'Honneu.


CSM.. Percy Shaw DCM. 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade

My grandfather, Percy Shaw enlisted at Sandown, Isle of Wight on 2nd June 1894. He was initialy sent to Penninsular Barracks in Winchester and then, after training posted, funnily enough, to the 1st Battalion at Parkhurst Barracks on the Isle of Wight. After postings to Malta and Singapore his battalion was posted to South Africa. His battalion were involved in much fighting throughout the Boer war including the relef of Ladysmith (Mentioned In Despatches), Tugela Heights, Colenso and the battle of Monte Cristo. It was while defending a baggage train (F company-v-300 Boers)that he was wounded and put forward for the D.C.M. The medal being gazetted in 1900. He was wounded one more time before the battalion was sent back to U.K. in 1902. Then followed what appears to be the normal round of peactime postings one of which was Dublin.

Then four million Germans came over the horizon!! Still with F compny, 1 Rifle Brigade he embarked for France. My mum, his second daughter, being born at Colchester Garrison 2 weeks after he left. The Battalion's actions during the War are a matter of record. During an action near Mons he rescued an officer who was wounded on a bridge and still under fire, a recomendation was made for a V.C. but the officer concerned died at the regimental aid post and the rules then were an officer must witness the deed or action. After being wounded twice more he was posted at the end of hostilities to the Labour Corps finally being repatriated to the U.K. from Le Havre in 1919 when he was reunited with the four and a half year old daughter he had never seen.

He continued in the Army serving 25 yrs and 65 days. He then worked at the Army School of Equitation untill ill health forced him to retire in 1933. He died in Worthing in 1936. And as of this date 30 January 2012 the daughter he never saw untill she was nearly 5 is still alive and is 97.

Gary Brocklebank


Sgt. Thomas Woodward Labour Corps

I want my great uncle, Thomas Woodward, to be remembered because as a man with a crippled foot he could have used it as a very good excuse to avoid the war altogether, but he didn't. The Labour Corps was vital to the war effort and they were working for days in dangerous environments, going ahead of the troops, preparing the way. It could be a thankless and underrated task.

Tom was born in 1887 in West Derby, Liverpool, but had Irish blood in his veins through his mother. He was, according to the 1911 census, a labourer in Bibby's Oil Cake Mills and lived in 42 Webb Street. He had four brothers and five sisters, 2 of those brothers died in two of the bloodiest battles of WW1; the Somme (Deville Wood - 1916) and Passchendaele (the 3rd Battle of Ypres - 1917).

He joined up in 1914 at the age of 27 and survived through to the end. Tom went back to the family home in Liverpool, he never married and finally passed away in 1969 at the grand old age of 81 and a half. Unfortunately, we are unable to get any real intimate details of his army service, we only have a half burnt attestation.

Brian G Woodward


BQSM. William Henry Walker Royal Field Artillery

William Henry Walker was born in 1871 - he served in the RFA from 1892 to 1906, during which time he served in India from 10 Oct 1894 to 8 April 1900. He married in 1894 before he left and his bride waited at home for 6 years. Her father was also in the Army and they had met at the church in the Barracks in Woolwich. Their first four children were born in Ireland, two in Fermoy and two in Cork. In 1906 he left the army and returned back to Sheffield, where he and his wife raised another three children.

When WW1 broke out he was called up as a special reservist - the family say he said he would rejoin if he could get his old rank back and the authorities agreed if he passed fit. He was 48 years 169 days old when he reenlisted. He was in England with the 1st Division RFA until 29th of August 1914 and during that time he was made up from driver to corporal on the same day he enlisted. By the end of August 1914 he was promoted to sargent.

On the 24th of October 1914 he was then transferred to the 13th Division then attached to the 209 Bh(?) on the 26th. On the 9th of Feb 1915 he was promoted to BQMS with the 66th Bde. On the 14 June 1915 his record says he was serving in Mesopotamia but the statement of service says posted 9th Sept 1916 so I am a little confused here? He left Mesopotamia on the 26th Jan 1916 and was sent to Egypt where he stayed until 5 Nov 1916.

On the 5 Nov 1916 they were sent to Salonika where he stayed until 25 March 1919 and was serving back in England between 26 March 1919 and 24 April 1919 (But the military history sheet says he embarked for England on the 11 March 1919 - so once more I am confused?) It would also seem that he was transferred to the Labour Corps on the 12 Jan 1918 and there is a note before this saying classified PB 25th Oct 1917 - (I have no idea what this means?)

He had served with the Royal Artillary a total of 14 years 12 days which of course qualified him for a pension. I find it amazing that he survied the complete WW1 and returned to his family, obviously well and fit as he went on to father two more children.

He died on the 13 Sept 1944 - I am currently trying to put together a family history book for him and am investigating what battles were fought and gathering illustrations when and where I can.

John alfred henry, William Henry, Jane Alice, Jane Alice Elizabeth. Taken in Ireland possibly Fermoy prior to leaving in 1906

This was taken between 1915 (when he was promoted to Sargent) and 1917 when the girl to the far right died.

Dorothy Walker


Pte. Frederick Fox 23rd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers (d.28th Sep 1918)

Frederick Fox was born and enlisted in Sheffield. He was a wartime enlistee joining the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1917. Posted to France in 1918 he joined the Labour Corps. He then moved to 23rd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers in May 1918 as it became part of the 40th Division. He was involved in the Final Battles of Flanders being wounded near Nieppe on the River Lys. He died from his wounds and is buried at La Kreule Military Cemetery near Hazebrouck.

Brian Hutson


Daniel Storey Labour Corps

Daniel Storey was my maternal grandfather, who unfortunately I never met. He died in 1939 of Rheumatoid Arthritis. When she was a child, my mother remembered him as an invalid. According to her mother, Daniel went to France or Belgium immediately after the First World War to 'bury the dead'. I've since discovered his service record which shows he did this in 1920. Apparently the sights he witnessed were truly appalling, and he came back from Europe a changed man. The family attributed the onset of his condition to the trench gases.

Marilyn Fountain


Sgt. Joseph Edward Goode MM. 6th Battalion London Regiment

My grandfather, Joseph Goode enlisted in "The Cast Iron" Sixth (also known as the Printers Pals) on the 6th September 1914 at the age of 34. From the 3/6th (Reserve Batt) he was absorbed into the 1/6th as an Acting Sergeant on the 19th April 1916. Within 3 weeks he was a full Sergeant and by November he was Acting Quarter Master Sgt (A/QMS) in "D" Company. He relinquished the "cushy" post in January 1917 and reverted to Sgt.

The verbal family history is that he won the Military Medal for capturing six drunk Germans. In fact his was one of 14 MM's that were awarded for the most successful raid in the whole of WW1. A total of 24 medals were awarded for the capture of 1 Officer, 117 ORs and 5 machine guns, and the destuction of 3 mine shafts and the opposing trenches south of Hill 60 in the Ypres Salient. The Battalion suffered 76 casualties including 14 killed and 2 missing. As the action took place on the 20th Feb 1917 and weeks were spent practicing behind the lines it would seem that Grandad gave up the A/QMS role to be in on the raid.

He stayed with the 1/6th until they were disbanded in February 1918 and spread around other Battalions. He was posted to the the 2/6th and was with them when the Germans launched their last ditch attack on the 21st March. On the 4th April the Battalion was in support of the Australian outside Villiers Bretonneux and were called forward to fill a gap in the line and it was during this action that Granddad Goode got his "Blighty wound" a shrapnel injury to his left hand, right arm and head. On the 16th he was back in England at No. 1 War Hospital, Reading from where he was discharged on the 1st June.

He was then passed fit and returned to the Reserve Battalion but not for front line infantry service and in November was transferred to 358 Coy. Labour Corp escorting prisoners of war. Because of his meritous service he was allowed to keep his infantry rate of pay. He was demob'ed on the 14th Feb 1919 and was awarded 6s-6d (65p) a week for 52 weeks for his injuries. He died in 1947 when I was 8 years old and as the eldest son of the eldest son I should have inherited his medals but the story goes he gave them away to one of his drinking mates. I do however have his Gold half-hunter watch that was presented to him by his employer for winning the Military Medal.

D.J. Goode


Driver Hugh Quigley 9th Divisional Ammunition Column Royal Field Artillery

Dedicated to my great grandfather, Hugh Quigley, born in Govan, Lanarkshire on 29th September 1883 and died in Glasgow on 29th October 1955. On the 23rd June 1915 Hugh enlisted with Royal Field Artillery - Regimental Number: 96527 - Rank: Driver. On the 20th November 1915 Hugh was sent with the British Expeditionary Forces to France. On the 21st March 1918 Hugh suffers mild gunshot wound to face and is taken to hospital in Le Treport then to a hospital in Havre. On the 28th May 1918 Hugh is transferred to the Labour Corps - Regimentall Number: 580865 - Rank: Driver. On the 18th April 1919 Hugh is demobilized with a Class 5 Pension. Disability: Gunshot Wound to Face and Neurasthenia (shell shock). Before enlisting Hugh was employed as an Iron Forge Furnaceman and also a Dock Labourer, when he left the Army one of his first jobs was a Ship Stoker onboard SS Nortonian at Vercruz in Mexico the ship belonged to the Leyland Steamship Company.

Colin Quigley


Sgt. William Riding South Lancashire Regiment

So far I have found out, with the help of my dad, about my great grandfather, William Riding. On the 8th Jan 1890 he had a medical at Warrington & was pronounced fit for service in the South Lancashire Regiment at the age of 20. Regiment number 2990. Prior to this he had spent 83 days with the Liverpool Regiment 3rd Battalion . He was appointed L/corporal on 28.4.1891, Corporal 13.4.1892, Lance Sergeant 3.9.1895 and Sergeant on 6.2.1896. During this time he served in Gibralter, Malta, Egypt, India & South Africa. He was then transferred to the reserve 7.11.1897 being recalled on 13.11.1899 for the 2nd Boar War. He sailed on R.M.S Canada on the 1.12.1899 arriving at the Cape around the 20.12.1899 with the 1st Batt South Lancashire Regiment. With them was the 2nd Royal Lancaster, 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers & 1st York & Lancaster Regiment. They formed the 11th Brigade under Major General Woodgate & where part of the 5th Division under Lt General Sir Charles Warren. In 1902 he was discharged on completion of 12 years service.

On the 7th September 1914 he had a medical at Southport & again passed fit for service in the South Lancashire Regiment, Regiment number 627154. He joined as a Private but on the same day he was promoted to Corporal then Sergeant. He was posted to Seaford near Brighton with the 10th Battalion.

He was posted to France on the 1.12.1914. He was then transferred to the Chinese Labour Corps 5.12.1918 & discharged from active service on 22.3.1919 as no longer physically fit from Stoke on Trent Military Hospital. He was 49 years old when he finally finished military service having served over 16 years.



Pte. Herbert McKenzie 10th Btn. Royal West Surrey Regiment (d.8th Oct 1917)

My Great-Grandfather Herbert McKenzie was born in Bury, Lancashire in 1885. He enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment 10th Battalion in 1916. He was transferred at some point to the 10th Queens' (Royal West Kents) and in October 1917 he was in the 118th Coy, Labour Corps.

He was killed by enemy artillery fire, south of Ypres on the 8th of Oct 1917 and is buried in Poperinghe New Military Cemetery.

Michael Deakin


Pioneer George Joseph "Joseph" Messenger 7 Labour Battalion

George Joseph Messenger was my great grandfather. He enlisted on 8th September 1915 and gave his age as 46. Later in his war papers he also gave his wife's name as Kate New and date of marriage as 16/07/1876. I have a copy of his marriage certificate which confirms this. I also have a copy of his birth certificate showing he was born on 24/12/1852 Therefore he must have been at least 62 years of age at enlistment and "pulled the wool" over the enlisting officers eyes. He embarked to France on 17th September 1915 and was returned home on 24/04/1916. He was discharged 02/06/1916 as no longer fit for active service - hardly surprising given his age. He was awarded 1914 -15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal

Derek Messenger


L/Cpl Albert Arthur Wykes 2nd Btn. Black Watch (d.18th Jun 1917)

Albert Wykes was a 2nd Cousin of my wife. It would appear he served in the Royal Field Artillery No 99081 and also the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) No s/10238. He is shown as having died from his wounds.

Can anybody explain why he would have served in 3 different Regiments? I understand that some men who had been wounded or were unfit for Front Line Duty transferred to the Labour Corps, but I am unable to work out in which order he served in the RFA and the Royal Highlanders and how would a cockney come to be in the Black Watch, any suggestions please.

Editor's Note: As Albert's record on CWGC shows him as being with the Black Watch, and transferred to the 13th Coy Labour Corps, it is reasonably safe to assume that he was with the Artillery as his first unit. It is quite common for men to serve with more than one unit, if injured and taken out of the front line for treatment, their place in the regiment would have to be filled by another man to maintain unit strength. On returning to duty they would be assigned to which ever unit required additional personne, so the regional identity of the regiments soon became muddled. Or a man with specialist skills might be transferred from one unit to another if there was a shortage of skilled men in another unit. The Labour Corps was largely made up of men who were not fully fit for front line fighting, so it is possible that Albert was injured or taken ill whilst with the Black Watch and transferred to the Labour Corps for a period of recovery.

Dennis Walker


Pte. William Cannadine The Labour Corps

William Cannadine was my grandfather and he served in The Labour Corps during the First World War. Sadly he died in 1946 aged 50, after a very long illness, never having met any of his grandchildren. We know very little about him and even though 2 of his children are still alive we have never even seen a photo of him. We would love to find out some information about him if possible.

Diane Hall


Gnr. William Hardy 1st Lowland Battery Royal Garrison Artillery

William was my Granddad. He died before I was born but had survived the War. He joined up in August 1914 serving with the 1st Lowland Battery and suffered a shrapnel wound to his right leg on 28/3/1918 which shattered bone. On his discharge from hospital William was transferred to Unit 185 Labour Company where he remained until the end of the war. He "proceeded to Purfleet for Demob" on 12.01.1919 (Long Service). His date of transfer to reserve is listed as 17.02.1919 This is about as much as I could glean from Grandad's service records. Most of the records were held at the War Office Building at Arnside Street in London which was destroyed by fire resulting from a German air raid in 1940. Well over half the records there were lost and many that did survive were damaged by smoke and water (as with my grandad's). Happily, part of his record had been copied to the Pensions Office - I obtained copies of the burnt and unburnt records via

James Knight


Pte. William Frederick Sinclair Welsh Regiment

William Sinclair enlisted 10th March 1911 and entered Theatre of War France on 16th Jan 1915, he was discharged due to wounds 21 August 1919. He was married with one son also named William Frederick Sinclair,born 1911. After the War he never returned home and joined the Fleetwood Fishing Fleet serving on the MV 'Rachel' registered at Fleetwood. He complained of constant 'Gas' attacks to the crew, unfortunately whilst docked at Milford Haven on the 25 August 1924 other crew members heard him complain of a 'Gas' attack he went up top and was being sick when they heard a splash and he disappeared believed having fallen over board. After a search his body was found the next day. An inquest was held on the 4th September 1924 and a decision of accidental death was recorded with the War being a contributing factor.

A very sad and familiar story of a regular Soldier stationed in India before the War who went to war and suffered as a result of 'the Gas' unfortunately his son (my father) never knew his father and I never knew my grandfather. It took many years to even trace who he was and where he went, I am still unable to trace where he was buried. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British war medal,Victory Medal I have never seen a photograph of him but through the search to trace him I have seen photo's of his Grandfather.

Update I have since learnt that in 1921 I believe bigamously he married a Mary Richardson in 1921 in Blackpool, I can find no trace of any children.

G J Sinclair


Pte. Thomas Henry Humpherys West Yorkshire Regiment (d.11th Jul 1918)

Thomas Humpherys is the invisible man, son of Thomas Henry Humpherys and Mary R. Thomas Henry Humphreys was born in the year 1897, South East Holbeck Leeds West Yorkshire. There seems to be no death certificate or place of death given or cause. I have tried all avenues but noone seems to know anything.

Thomas was a Private Soldier in the 1914-18 War serving in the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own). Regimental number 49025. He also served in a secondary Regiment called the Labour Corps, number 545169. This Labour Corps was formed in the year 1916 in Millington, France. Thomas died whilst on active service in France on the 11th of July 1918. Casualty type. Commonwealth War Dead General Number 6817.

It is possible he died in Ireland in the Mater Hospital. He is the son of Thomas Henry Humphrey's and Mary Rebecca Humphreys nee Atkinson. He is in Grave Number 6817 General Inscription Grave Holbeck Cemetery, Leeds, West Yorkshire.I have gone through the French B M D,+ Leeds B M D,to no avail can anyone help me close this? Did he die from the Flu epademic?

Leeds Holbeck Cemetery. This Cemetery’s locality is in Leeds, West Yorkshire within the United Kingdom. The Historical information highlights the use it was put to during the Great War in 1914-18.

The major hospitals in Leeds were the 2nd Northern General with 1,800 beds and the East Leeds War Hospital with 1900. Leeds was also one of the Principal hospital centres in Yorkshire during the Second World War. Leeds (Holbeck) Cemetery contains 65 First World War burials and 21 from the Second World War, all scattered. A Cross of Sacrifice stands by the cemetery entrance. The number of Identified Casualties is 86. The figures quoted include Foreign and Non World War Graves in CWGC care.

During the two World Wars, the United Kingdom became an island fortress used for training troops and launching land, sea, and air operations around the Globe. There are more than 170,000 Commonwealth war graves in the United Kingdom, many being those of service men and women killed on active service, or who later succumbed to wounds. Others died in training accidents, or because of sickness or disease. The graves many of them privately owned and marked by private memorials, will be found in more than 120,000 cemeteries and churchyards.

I have searched for 3 months. Nce Aspera Terrent.(Nor do difficuties deter)

Trevor Geoffrey Holmes


Pte. Walter Underwood 4th Btn Hampshire Regiment

Before the war Walter worked as a Carter for the Urban Borough Council. He was married to Violet and had 9 children. He joined the army on 14/7/1916, joining the Hampshire Regiment before being transferred to the Labour Corps. He served in France from 14/8/1917 until 12/3/1919

Stephen Underwood


Lt. Walter Beakley 5th Btn. Sherwood Forresters

My grandfather Walter Beakley could not talk about the war I know he was wounded in the arm as he was not able to play the flute after the war I know he trained at Halton near Wendover Buckinghamshire. I believe he fought at the Somme with the 5th Sherwood Forresters and also served with 194 Coy, Chinese Labour Corps.

Patricia Beakley


Reuben Zinzendorf Bullock Sussex Regiment

Reuben Bullock was my great-grandfather. He had been employed as a gardener at Penlynn Castle before the war, he continued this when posted to France. We have some of his records showing detailed accounts relating to the growing of various crops whilst serving in the Labour Corps.

He was also with the Royal Sussex Regiment. Paperwork lists his role as a scout, which earned him a mention in dispatches. He was awarded a number of medals, which we are currently researching.

Jodie Knight


Sjt. Althol Williamson 6th Btn. Highland Light Infantry

My Grandfather Althol Williamson was honourably discharged on the 30th November 1917

He was so badly injured during one battle that his friend hitched him to a gun carriage by his kilt. He was taken back behind British Lines where he was laid out under a sheet as he was presumed dead. We have no further details on this as my grandfather died in 1965. He didn't really want to talk much about this.

My grandfather told me that whilst he was lying on the battlefield, someone or something was moving from the bodies lying on the field and when it came to him it told him he would be aright. He said it was a bright light in the form of a man.

He was sent home, and used to sleep between his mother and father owing to the severe shellshock

One day he went out in London where he then lived using his crutches, he got onto a bus and sat on one of the side seats, the conductor took his crutches and put them under the stairwell. A couple of stops later a woman got on the bus, she was wearing a hat with white feathers in it, she took one of the feathers and put it in my grandfathers lapel. He did nothing, when he got to his stop the conductor gave him his crutches, he looked at the woman, my grandfather said he would never forget her face. He kept the feather in an England's Glory matchbox for many years, and told me he wished he could find that woman to give her back the feather

He remembered waiting in the trenches with the german machine gun bullets pinging on the top of the trench. All waiting for the officer to blow the whistle knowing that as they climbed the ladder to the top of the trench some of them would be instantly killed, my grandfather told me that even with them knowing this no-one faltered and up that ladder they went.

He was 6' 6" tall and cut himself out a special place when they were in the trenches, one day when he came back from a sortie, someone was using my grandfathers special cutout, my grandfather commented to the other soldier but he stayed in my grandfathers cutout. As my grandfather moved along the trench a shell exploded above his cutout and the occupant was killed.

Philip A Jenkins


Pte. Duncan Campbell Labour Corps (d.20th Oct 1918)

Duncan Campbell was the youngest son. Two of his older brothers, Thomas and David, both also served in WWI but, although wounded, they survived. David was with the Canadian Army. I have been unable to find out in which unit Thomas served. Duncan is buried in Grevillers British Cemetery.

Valerie Campbell Ackroyd


A/Cpl Joseph Sefton South Lancashire Regiment

I have done some research on my Grandfather Joseph Sefton I have a record from stating he was regt no 2029 on attestation to the 1st Btn South Lancs in Oct 1886, but it mentions that he had served with the 4btn Liverpool Regiment (saying at the age of 18). I also have several other Regt numbers appearing on his records. 124 (1901 record) 8109 (1905 record) and 267813 (1914 record). He was discharged in Oct 1898, re joined in 1901 given Regt no 124. He subsequently went to to Gibralter, Malta, Egypt and South Africa and was discharged in 1906.

He then joined up once more 1/10/1914 He lied about his age and said he was 44 when he was 46, he had six children (one my mother) He was posted to South Lancs and also served in the Labour Corps (I think) and stayed in until Feb 1919.

Unfortunatly I have been unable to gather any information regarding the following: What(if any) medals would have been awarded for all or any of his service? Was he actually in the Liverpool Regiment? Are there any photgraphs of the South Lancs? I Would love to find out more about him or the South lancs. Can anyone help?

Bob Scott


Pte. George Palmer MSM. 30th Coy Labour Corps

George Palmer was my grandfather who died in the year of my birth 1949. As a child I was told that he won his medal saving the life of a fellow soldier who had fallen into a frozen river in 1917. I love to be able to confirm this but in any event would welcome any details as to where and if his battalion saw action during WW1.

Kevin Palmer


Pte. James Page 12th (Service) Battalion Cheshire Regiment

In researching my grandfather's WW1 career, we would like to know how much a private soldier was paid, and how he managed to send money to his wife and young baby. My grandfather enlisted in September 1914, was sent to Salonika in 1915 and was not discharged until 1919. In 1918 he suffered from malaria, stated to have 20% disability and was transferred to the Labour Corps. I should be grateful to know about his pay, as I can find nothing online on this subject.

Ian Buckley


Sjt. Paul Airson 19th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

19th Durham Light Infantry

Paul Airson was a miner, he enlisted at Hartlepool on the 1st of March 1915, requesting to join "Bob's Durham Bantams", he is described as being 5 feet 2 inches tall and 29 years old. He was married with two young daughters and a son. He emarked for France from Southampton on the 31st of January 1916. He returned to Britain suffering from Influenza and was later transferred to 188th Coy. Labour Corps and returned to France, possibly based at Bologne.


Pte. Thomas Harold Bentley West Yorkshire Regiment

Fantastic website! It has helped me research my maternal grandfather's Army service in WW1. He was Pvt Thomas Harold Bentley who served in the West Yorkshire Regiment, KOYLI, Labour Corps,RF. He served on the Western Front. Also the site has helped me research my great uncle: Pvt George Eaddie, RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps). He served in Eqypt, Sulva Bay, Dardernelles, and the Western Front. God Bless you both.

Keith Renicor


Pte. Herbert Messenger West Yorkshire Regiment

Herbert served with the West Yorkshire Regiment, The Royal Engineers, The Labour Corps and the Scottish Rifles.


Sjt. Mjr. William Northcroft Johnson 6th Btn. Essex Regiment

William Johnson was badly wounded at Gallipoli, having landed tehre on teh 11th of August 1915 with the 6th Essex. His name is listed amongst the wounded published in the Essex Chronicle on the 17th of Sept 1915. He was evacuated to Alexandria. He is mentioned in a letter from Sergt. Jack Brady of the 1/6th Essex Regiment, sent from Alexandria in 1916 “The ex-hospital men here (several of whom are Essex) are improving in health wonderfully, and some are quite well again. Sergt-Major Johnson, who did such good work on the Peninsula, where he was severely wounded, is looking well in the circumstances, and after the day's duties are finished he keeps the boys alive with a ventriloquial entertainment, and as a ventriloquist he is excellent.” William later served as CSM with an employment company of the Northamptonshire Regiment and on the 30th of May 1917 he was commissioned as Temp. 2nd Lt. into the Labour Corps and commanded and Area Employment Company as Acting Captain on the 11th of May 1918.

Want to know more about the Labour Corps?

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No Labour, No Battle: The Labour Corps in the First World War

John Starling & Ivor Lee

From 1917 British Soldiers who were unfit or too old for front line service were to serve unarmed and within the range of German guns for weeks or even months at a time undertaking labouring tasks. The vital, yet largely unreported role played by these brave soldiers was crucial to achieving victory in 1918. For this book John Starling and Ivor Lee have brought together extensive research from both primary and secondary sources. It traces how Military Labour developed from non-existent in 1914, to a Corps in November 1918 some 350,000 strong, supported by Dominion and foreign labour of more than a million men. The majority of the Labour Corps did not keep war diaries, therefore this work provides vital information for those wishing to acquire information about an ancestor who served in the Corps.


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