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Royal Engineers

Want to know more about Royal Engineers?

There are:738 articles tagged Royal Engineers available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, regimental histories, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Those known to have served with

Royal Engineers

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Aherne Jeremiah Francis. Acting Corporal
  • Airs William Glennie. Spr.
  • Alderson Robert. Driver
  • Alexander Frank George. Pte. (d.21st Nov 1918)
  • Allen Joseph Frederick. S/Sgt. (d.4th Nov 1916)
  • Allen Michael. Pte.
  • Ambler George. Spr. (d.7th Sep 1916)
  • Ames Henry Richard Thomas. Pte.
  • Ames Henry Richard Thomas. Pte.
  • Anderson William John. Spr. (d.21st Mar 1918)
  • Anson Alexander. CSM.
  • Archibald Adam. Spr.
  • Armstrong George Eric.
  • Armstrong George. WO.
  • Arnold Edward Percy. Spr
  • Ashby Albert. Spr. (d.29th Oct1918)
  • Ashmore Harold. Spr. (d.23rd Sep 1917)
  • Ashton Henry. L/Cpl.
  • Atkins John Charles. 2nd Cpl.
  • Atkins John Charles. Cpl
  • Atkins Percy Thomas. Sapper
  • Atock Arthur George. Lt. (d.13th Sep 1918)
  • Austin Arthur Ernest Clifford. Spr. (d.11th Aug 1916)
  • Avery Frederick. Spr. (d.18th Feb 1918)
  • Axtell George. Sgt.
  • Baile George Frederick Cecil. 2nd Lt. (d.9th Nov 1917)
  • Baile Robert Carlyle. Lt. (d.16th Oct 1915)
  • Bailey Edward William. Act.L/Cpl. (d.21 December 1918)
  • Baird David B.. Spr. (d.27th Apr 1915)
  • Baker Clement George. Pnr. (d.27th Oct 1918)
  • Ball . Spr.
  • Barber Arthur William. Pte.
  • Barbour John. Spr. (d.6th Apr 1916)
  • Barker J.
  • Barnett William James. Pte.
  • Bassett Cyril Royston Guyton. Cpl.
  • Bates Robert. A/Sgt. (d.20th July 1916)
  • Beal Alfred Ernest. Sapper (d.27th June 1916)
  • Bearco Quince Noble.
  • Beckett Francis Xavier. L/Cpl. (d.7th Nov 1918)
  • Bedford Walter Edward. Dvr. (d.10th Sep 1916)
  • Beeby E.. Pioneer. (d.9th Dec 1916)
  • Beeby R.. 2nd Cpl. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Begbie David Gibson. Spr. (d.20th Jun 1916)
  • Bell Robert William. Sapper (d.2nd March 1919)
  • Bell Robert R.. Spr. (d.22nd May 1918)
  • Bence Paul Alfred. Cpl. (d.6th May 1917)
  • Bentham Robert. Sapper
  • Billington Frederick James. Dvr.
  • Bishop John Frederick. Spr. (d.17th Jun 1916)
  • Blackburn A.. Spr.
  • Blackmore Charles Henry Claude. Sapper (d.30th Sep 1918)
  • Booker John Alexander. Spr.
  • Booth John. Spr. (d.6th Nov 1917)
  • Booth John. Spr. (d.6th Nov 1917)
  • Bootle H.. Spr. (d.10th Aug 1917)
  • Bothick John Richard. Spr. (d.28th Sep 1917)
  • Bottomley Herbert. Spr.
  • Bradstreet Gerald Edmund. 2nd Lt. (d.7th Dec 1915)
  • Bramley Thomas. Spr. (d.13th Jan 1917)
  • Bray Francis. Spr. (d.16th May 1915)
  • Briers Herbert. Spr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Bromley Frank Darcy. Gnr.
  • Brook Alfred Henry. Spr.
  • Brookes Bert. Spr. (d.30th Dec 1917)
  • Brown Arthur R. Spr.
  • Brown Horace Frederick. Spr. (d.1st Jun 1917)
  • Brown John. Spr. (d.23rd Mar 1916)
  • Burdett John Wallace. Spr.
  • Burford Ben. Saper (d.12th May 1916)
  • Burrows William. Spr.
  • Butterworth Thomas. 2nd Lt.
  • Callow Joseph. Pte. (d.19th Dec 1915)
  • Campbell Hugh. Spr. (d.24th Jul 1916)
  • Candy James Lewis. Sapper.
  • Carlile Samuel Edgar. (d.22nd November 1915)
  • Carman Frank. Spr.
  • Carpenter Sydney David. Spr.
  • Case Monague Vaughan. Spr. (d.18th Nov 1918)
  • Chamberlin Arthur William. Cpl. (d.8th June 1918)
  • Chilcot Arthur Frederick. Sapper
  • Chisholm Alexander. A/Cpl. (d.17th May 1915)
  • Christian Fred Albert. Sgt.
  • Church Thomas Walter. Spr. (d.5th Aug 1917)
  • Church Thomas Walter. Spr. (d.5th Aug 1917)
  • Clarkson W. J.. 2nd Cpl. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Clasper Thomas Stoker. Spr. (d.24th July 1917)
  • Claxton Thomas Kilwick. (d.4th Oct 1917)
  • Cloutman Brett Mackay. A/Mjr.
  • Cloutman Wolfred Reeve. Lt. (d.21st August 1915)
  • Cockburn Malcolm Charles. Spr. (d.4th April 1916)
  • Coffin Clifford. Maj.Gen
  • Coggen Frederlick William J. Sapper
  • Connor G.. T/Lt.
  • Cook Frank. Sjt.
  • Cook Frank. Sgt.
  • Cook William. Sgt.Mjr. (d.20th Mar 1919)
  • Copeland David. Cpl. (d.12th Jan 1917)
  • Copeland John. Sapper
  • Corbett Joseph Henry. Cpl. (d.7th Aug 1916)
  • Coyle Peter. Spr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Crockett Frederick. Spr. (d.24th July 1917)
  • Crusher Robert Barker.
  • Cunningham William. Sapr. (d.12th Jul 1915)
  • Dane Harold Geoffrey.
  • Darnbrough James Frederick. 2nd Lt.
  • Davies John Henry. L/Cpl. (d.20th June 1915)
  • Davis John George Edgar. Pnr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Dawson James Lennox.
  • Deas Walter. Spr. (d.2nd Sep 1917)
  • Delves F. G.. Driver
  • Denney Edward. Spr.
  • Devaney George. Spr. (d.4th Nov 1916)
  • Devlin Hugh. Spr.
  • Diamond James. Spr.
  • Dick D.. Pnr. (d.6th Apr 1917)
  • Dick Edwin Forbes. Spr. (d.4th Oct 1916)
  • Dick G.. Cpl. (d.16th Aug 1916)
  • Dick J.. Spr. (d.29th Dec 1915)
  • Dick J.. Spr. (d.26th Jun 1916)
  • Dick James. Spr. (d.4th Jun 1915)
  • Dick T.. Spr. (d.25th Sep 1915)
  • Dick W.. Pnr. (d.14th Jul 1918)
  • Dickson Robert. Spr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Dowling Henry. Dvr.
  • Draper Charles Gilbert. Spr. (d.18 August 1916)
  • Duffy John. Pte. (d.31st Jul 1917)
  • Duffy John. L/Cpl.
  • Duffy Joseph. Spr.
  • Duffy Matthias. Spr. (d.14th July 1917)
  • Duffy Matthias. Spr. (d.4th Jul 1917)
  • Duncan William. Spr.
  • Dunmill Joseph. Spr. (d.20th Sep 1917)
  • Dunmill Joseph. Spr. (d.20th Sep 1917)
  • Dunn William John. Spr. (d.12th May 1915)
  • Eastley Edwin. Spr. (d.18th Nov 1918)
  • Eastley Edwin. Spr. (d.18th Nov 1918)
  • Ellery Peter. Spr. (d.17 May 1917)
  • Ellis James Graves St. John. 2nd Lt. (d.11th Oct 1915)
  • Etheridge Edward Percy. Spr. (d.29th May 1917)
  • Evans Fred. Spr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Evans William. Spr. (d.24th Aug 1917)
  • Fairley Thomas. Sapper (d.2nd Nov 1917)
  • Farrell Michael. Pte.
  • Ferguson John. 2nd Lt.
  • Finch Colin Augustus David. Spr. (d.20th Sep 1917)
  • Findlay Angus. Spr.
  • Findlay Angus. L/Cpl.
  • Findlay George Edward. Spr. (d.27th Sep 1918)
  • Fisher Isaac. Pte.
  • Foley Jack James. Quarter Master Sjt.
  • Forfar James Honney. Spr.
  • Forsyth Samuel. Sgt. (d.24th Aug 1918)
  • Foster Arthur.
  • Foster George. Pte. (d.22nd Aug 1917)
  • Foulkes Charles Henry. Spr.
  • Fretwell Fred. Sapper (d.26th June 1917)
  • Fry H. J.. Spr.
  • Furneaux Ernest Charles. Pte.
  • Furniss Harold West. Pte.
  • Garland Clifford. L/Cpl. (d.28th Aug 1917)
  • Geary Arthur Thomas. Pte.
  • Geary James. Spr. (d.16th Nov 1918)
  • George James Wyatt.
  • Giles Lewis Howell. Sapper (d.12th Oct 1918)
  • Gillott O. C.. 2nd Lt. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Gowan Arthur Blackwood. Lt. (d.14th Jul 1916)
  • Graham Adam. 2nd Cpl. (d.15th June 1916)
  • Graham William Mitchell. Spr. (d.23rd Aug 1916)
  • Grayson Robert. Spr.
  • Greaves Maurice. Driver (d.9th Dec 1915)
  • Greer William. Spr. (d.8th Oct 1915)
  • Gush Archibald Walter. Cpl. (d.17th Nov 1918)
  • Hackett Albert Edwin. Spr. (d.2nd July 1916)
  • Hackett William. Spr. (d.27th Jun 1916)
  • Haggertay Harry Jack. CSM.
  • Hallatt John Walter. Spr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Hammond Arthur William. Lt.
  • Hampton Jesse. Spr. (d.18th May 1918)
  • Hansford William.
  • Harding Christopher. Sapper
  • Harding James. A/Cpl. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Harper Charles.
  • Hawes A. S.. Spr.
  • Hawker Lance George. Mjr. (d.23rd Nov 1916)
  • Hay Ralph. Pte.
  • Hayes John. Spr. (d.12th April 1918)
  • Hayes William.
  • Heard Albert. Sapper. (d.15th May 1918)
  • Heath George. Spr. (d.13th Jan 1918)
  • Heseltine Tom Oldman . Spr.
  • Hillery Joseph. Pte. (d.25th Jul 1917)
  • Hoaen George.
  • Holbrook A.. Spr. (d.30th Sep 1916)
  • Howard Arthur. Spr. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Hoy John. (d.17th Aug 1915)
  • Hughes Robert Thomas. Sarper
  • Hulme Tom. Spr.
  • Hulme Tom. Sapper
  • Ingham Joseph. Pte. (d.26th Jun 1917)
  • Irving James. Spr. (d.29th Apr 1917)
  • Irwin Samuel. Spr.
  • Jack John M.. Spr. (d.13th/14th June 1917)
  • Jackson Frederick. Spr. (d.26th Apr 1918)
  • James Benjamin. Sapper (d.2nd July 1915)
  • James Benjamin. Spr. (d.2nd July 1915)
  • James David John. Sapper (d.28th Dec 1917)
  • James Francis Trevor. Lt.
  • James Thomas Francis. Pte.
  • Jarvis Charles. L/Cpl.
  • Jeater Henry William. L/Cpl.
  • Jeffree William Herbert. Spr.
  • Johnson Frederick Henry. Maj. (d.26th Nov 1917)
  • Johnston William Henry. Mjt. (d.8th Jun 1915)
  • Joyce Michael.
  • Juggins William Edgar. Sjt.
  • Kane Patrick. Cpl. (d.18th Oct 1916)
  • Keith James. Spr. (d.31st Mar 1917)
  • Kennedy Charles. Spr. (d.17th June 1917)
  • Kent George Edmund. Spr.
  • Kerry Fred. Cpl.
  • Key Herbert. Sapper
  • King Frederick. Sapper (d.30th June 1917)
  • King Sidney. Spr. (d.23rd July 1917)
  • Kinrade John Thomas. Spr.
  • Knowles L. J.. Spr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Lascelles William. Spr. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Lawer Albert M.. Cpl.
  • Leah John Edward. Spr. (d.23rd Aug 1918)
  • Leckie Walter Alan. Lt. (d.21st Feb 1916)
  • Ledingham George. L/Cpl. (d.12th Aug 1917)
  • Lester Ernest Wyndham Arthur. Sjt.
  • Lewis Lewis. Spr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Little Samuel. Spr. (d.17th Dec 1914)
  • Loach John Henry. Spr.
  • Lock John James Mansfield. Tpr.
  • Mackenzie Charles Roy. Lt.
  • Maggs Bertram. Spr.
  • Malyon Frederick. Spr. (d.4th Apr 1917)
  • Mannock Edward. Mjr. (d.26th July 1918)
  • Mantova John Steven. Pte.
  • Martin Rankin. 2nd Lt. (d.12th July 1918)
  • Mason Henry. Spr.
  • Maude George W.. Dvr. (d.2nd Jan 1918)
  • Mayell James Richard. Spr. (d.20th May 1917)
  • McAlpine Gilbert Clarke. Spr. (d.5th Aug 1917)
  • McBain Robert William Smith. Driver (d.15th Dec 1916)
  • McCabe Francis J.. Spr. (d.25th Feb 1918)
  • McCarthy William Cuthbert. Spr. (d.3rd Dec 1918)
  • McDougall John. Dvr. (d.1st Mar 1918)
  • McDowell John. Cpl. (d.1st Aug1917)
  • McFarlane Daniel. Sapper (d.24th Feb 1917)
  • McInnis Ronald Alison. Lt.
  • McKenna Thomas Patrick. Cpl. (d.10th Nov 1917)
  • McMillan Andrew. Pte.
  • McPhie James. Cpl. (d.14th October 1918)
  • Meek Francis Reginald. Cpl. (d.17th Jun 1917)
  • Melvin Robert. Spr. (d.31st Oct 1918)
  • Melvin Thomas. Spr. (d.4th Nov 1918)
  • Messenger Herbert. Pte.
  • Metcalfe Edgar Seaton. Spr. (d.24th Jun 1917)
  • Millar Robert. Spr.
  • Miller Alfred Henry.
  • Miller Godfrey Lyall. Lt. (d.14th Sep 1914)
  • Mills Alfred. Fus.
  • Mitchell Charles. Carew. Pnr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Moffatt William James. 2nd Lt.
  • Montgomery R.. Sjt. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Morris Albert E. L/Cpl (d.27 April 1915)
  • Morris James. Sapper (d.8th Aug 1916)
  • Morris James Walter. Spr. (d.8th Aug 1916)
  • Moxon Enoch. Sapper (d.20th April 1916)
  • Murphy John Thomas. Sgt.
  • Murray Francis. Pte. (d.1st Oct 1916)
  • Musson Thomas. Spr. (d.19th Sep 1915)
  • Naylor Abraham Alexander.
  • Neilly William. Act/Cpl.
  • Nelson Frederick Augustus. Spr. (d.5th Apr 1918)
  • Ness John. Spr.
  • Niddrie John Edward. Spr.
  • O'Connell Jeremiah. Pte. (d.6th Oct 1916)
  • O'Donnell Frank. L/Cpl. (d.4th June 1915 )
  • O'Neill Francis James. Spr.
  • O'Sullivan Jeremiah.
  • O'Sullivan Jeremiah. Cpt.
  • Odwell Arthur. Spr. (d.12th Feb 1919)
  • Owen Henry. (d.11th February 1917)
  • Owen Henry. Pte. (d.17th Feb 1917)
  • Owens William Brabazon. 2nd Lt. (d.25th June 1916)
  • Owens William Brabazon. 2nd Lt. (d.25th June 1916)
  • Oyns A. P.. Spr. (d.20th Oct 1917)
  • Paddock John William. L/Cpl.
  • Page Charles William. Spr. (d.25th Mar 1918)
  • Palmer Henry. Dvr.
  • Parker Stanley John Ernest. Pioneer (d.9th October 1915)
  • Payne Arthur Warnford. Spr.
  • Peacock George Alfred. 2nd Lt.
  • Pells . Spr.
  • Pemberton Harry. Sjt.
  • Percival Frederick. Spr. (d.3rd Oct 1917)
  • Percy George R..
  • Perks Joseph John. Spr.
  • Perks Joseph John. Spr.
  • Peters Henry. Spr. (d.10th Apr 1918)
  • Peterson John Christopher. Sgt. (d.20th Jul 1917)
  • Pilkington George William. Spr.
  • Potter Herbert. Spr.
  • Potts Luke. Private (d.31st Jul 1916)
  • Rankine Robert. Spr.
  • Revill James William. L/Cpl. (d.9th April 1917)
  • Riddell James William. Cpl.
  • Riley Samuel. Lieutenant Corporal
  • Rimmer George Atkin. Sjt.
  • Roberts Robert Cadwaladr. Spr.
  • Robertson James Henry F S. Spr. (d.12th April 1917)
  • Robertson John Dodd. Sapper
  • Robins Arthur. Sgt. (d.14th Oct 1918)
  • Robinson John Thomas. Pte.
  • Ronaldson Thomas. Sgt. (d.17th Apr 1917)
  • Rosen Frederick George. Spr. (d.5th March 1919)
  • Ross William Houston. Spr. (d.14th Oct 1917)
  • Roy John. Sgt
  • Rushton Norman James. Spr.
  • Ryan Edward. Spr.
  • Rymell Stanley. Spr. (d.21st Feb 1917)
  • Saunders Herbert Edward. Spr. (d.15th Oct 1917)
  • Sayce Roger. Lt.
  • Scott Charles Rutherford. L/Cpl.
  • Scott Walter Robert. Pte.
  • Scott William. Spr. (d.30th Nov 1917)
  • Sexton John. Spr.
  • Seymour Alfred John. Sgm.
  • Shaw Charles Felix. Pte.
  • Shaw Henry. Sgt.
  • Shipley Harry. Pnr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Signals Joshua Margerison.
  • Smale Stanley. (d.21st March 1918 )
  • Small Frederick Trouton. Lt.
  • Smith Alfred Frank. Sapper (d.14th June 1917)
  • Smith Robert. Spr. (d.25th Apr 1918)
  • Smith Sydney.
  • Smith Walter Ernest. Sjt. (d.16th Aug 1917)
  • Stanbury George Wyndham . Cpl.
  • Stavert William David. Capt.
  • Steele James. Sapper
  • Strong Thomas. Spr. (d.6th Apr 1916)
  • Stroud Henry George. Spr.
  • Swainston Edward. L/Cpl. (d.12th Nov 1917)
  • Swallow Alfred Bailey. CSM. (d.21st Mar 1918)
  • Swallow Alfred Bailey. C.S.M (d.21 March 1918)
  • Taylor William. Cpl. (d.14th May 1916)
  • Terrington Arthur. Spr. (d.26th Sep 1915)
  • Thomas Ivor Cecil. Cpl.
  • Thomas Richard. Spr. (d.1st Dece1915)
  • Thompson Charles Arthur. CQMS (d.3rd Mar 1919)
  • Thompson Thomas John. Pte. (d.28th Oct 1918)
  • Thornton John Thomas. L/Cpl. (d.20th Jun 1917)
  • Tiddy William Isaac Stanley. Spr.
  • Tighe James. L/Cpl. (d.25th July 1917)
  • Todd Herbert William. Spr. (d.29th Jun 1916)
  • Tooley Thomas. Spr. (d.28th Mar 1918)
  • Toomer S. G.. Spr. (d.8th Oct 1918.)
  • Trafford John. Pioneer. (d.6th June 1918)
  • Trumper Henry Thomas. Sgt.
  • Tucker Alfred Ivan. Cpl
  • Verschoyle Francis Stuart. 2nd Lt. (d.25th April 1915)
  • Waghorne Sydney James. Sapper
  • Waghorne Sydney St.James. Spr.
  • Walker Harry. Spr.
  • Walker Robert Allan. Cpl. (d.27th Nov 1919)
  • Wallett Thomas John. Spr.
  • Walmsley John. Spr. (d.20th August 1915)
  • Walton John George. Dvr. (d.30th Sep 1916)
  • Want William Harold James. Spr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Wardle Herbert. Spr. (d.31st Jul 1917)
  • Wardle Herbert. Spr. (d.31st Jul 1917)
  • Waring Arthur.
  • Watson George Robert. Spr. (d.4th May 1917)
  • Watts .
  • Websdell George Anthony. Cpl. (d.18th Aug 1918)
  • Weir Thomas Henderson. Mjr. (d.8th May 1918)
  • Wellesley Edward Victor Colley William. Maj. (d.2nd Octo 1916)
  • Wells Alfred George. Cpl. (d.26th Jun 1917)
  • Whalen John N..
  • White James. Spr. (d.25th March 1918)
  • Whitlam Joseph. Spr.
  • Whitlock A. A.. Sjt. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Williams James Henry. Spr. (d.23rd June 1916)
  • Willis Fredrick John. Dvr.
  • Wills Allan. Spr.
  • Wilson J.. Pte.
  • Winter Wilfred Ewart. Sapper
  • Woodruff John.
  • Wright G. A.. Spr. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Wright Theodore. Cpt. (d.14th Sep 1914)
  • Wright Theodore. Capt. (d.14th Sep 1914)
  • Yates William George Frederick.

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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.


Sapper Herbert Key Royal Monmouthshire Engineers.

My Grandfather Herbert Key served as a reservist in both the 2nd campaign of the Boer War in Africa and WW1. I don't know where he was situated in either instance, however I do know that he joined the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers to fight in WW1.

He was discharged and sent home in June 1916 suffering from TB, he died on 1st December 1918 and is buried in Eclleshall's Holy Trinity Churchyard. However he does not have his name on his grave and to add insult to injury another man was buried on top of him in error. I wrote to the vicar of the church last year asking if we could place a small name plaque in his memory on the grave but I didn't receive a reply. How shameful for a man who served his country and gave his life through disease probably contracted in the trenches to be treated so shabbily, but I don't give up easily.

Marlene Burdett-May


Spr Edward Percy Arnold Royal Engineers

This story was told by my grandfather Percy Arnold to one of his grandsons who has retold it.

Grandad Percy was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers this would have been an appropriate role for Grandad Percy as in civilian life he was a employed in heavy manual work. Like many of his generation he didn't talk much of his time in the war but as he was laid up poorly one time his daughter asked her son to talk to Grandad and this is one story he told. "

Jacqueline Rushton


Mjr. Lance George Hawker VC, DSO. 24 Sqdn (d.23rd Nov 1916)

Lance hawker was killed in action on the 23rd of November 1916, aged 25. Commemorated on the Arras Flying Services Memorial in Arras, France, he was the son of Mrs Julia Hawker, of 5 Victoria Terrace, Eastbourne and the late Lieut. Henry Colley Hawker, R.N.

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 24th Aug., 1915, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and very great ability on 25th July, 1915. When flying alone he attacked three German aeroplanes in succession. The first managed eventually to escape, the second was driven to ground damaged, and the third, which he attacked at a height of about 10,000 feet, was driven to earth in our lines, the pilot and observer being killed. The personal bravery shown by this Officer was of the very highest order, as the enemy's aircraft were armed with machine guns, and all carried a passenger as well as the pilot."

s flynn


Sgt. Henry Thomas Trumper 497 Field Coy. Royal Engineers

Sergeant Henry Thomas Trumper served with 497 Field Company Royal Engineers during WW1.

Phil Trumper


Cpt. Theodore Wright VC Royal Engineers (d.14th Sep 1914)

Theodore Wright was killed in action on 14th September 1914 aged 31 and is buried in the Vailly British Cemetery in France. He was the son of the late William Walter and Arabella Wright, of Talgai, Albury, Guildford.

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 16th Nov., 1914, records the following :- "Action for which commended :- Gallantry at Mons on 23rd August in attempting to connect up the lead to demolish a bridge under heavy fire; although wounded in the head he made a second attempt. At Vailly, on 14th September he assisted the passage of the 5th Cavalry Brigade over the pontoon bridge and was mortally wounded whilst assisting wounded men into shelter."

s flynn


Sapper Lewis Howell Giles 38th Div. Signal Company Royal Engineers (d.12th Oct 1918)

Sapper Lewis Howell Giles

Lewis Giles died 12th October 1918, aged 24 and is buried in the Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery in France.

s flynn


Lt. Francis Trevor James MC. 466th (North Midland) Field Company Royal Engineers

original WW1 dog tag

I remember my Grandmother kept a citation on her dressing table. I read it when I was very young and knew it was important. When Gran died my father was very upset because the citation went missing along with the medal it referred to - my cousins lived locally and had stripped the house..... Recently my brother discovered a dog tag and it turned out to belong to Trevor James, Bampy (as we called him) I did some research and discovered Bampy won the Military Cross and details were published in The Gazette.

Gazette issue 31480 7/29/1919. Military Cross; "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the crossing of the St Quentin Canal, near Bellenglise, on September 29th, 1918. Though early stunned by the blast of a shell, he got to the canal in time to supervise the repairing of bridges for the infantry. He afterwards took charge of the repair of a demolished heavy bridge, and made it passable for artillery, under shell and machine-gun fire. His fine example inspired his men."

Carys Kilkelly


Lt. Wolfred Reeve Cloutman MID 178th Coy. Royal Engineers (d.21st August 1915)

Wolfred Cloutman was killed on 21st Aug. 1915 whilst rescuing a Sgt. whom he carried on his shoulder 45 feet up a ladder from the bottom of a mine. As soon as the Sgt. was lifted off, this officer, overcome with foul gas, fell to the bottom. He was 25 and born at Wealdstone, Harrow, Middlesex. He was Twice mentioned in Despatches and is buried in in the Norfolk Cemetery in France.

s flynn


Cpl. James McPhie VC 416th (Edinburgh) Field Company Royal Engineers (d.14th October 1918)

James McPhie died of wounds on 14th October 1918 aged 24 and is buried in the Naves Communal Cemetery in France. He was the son of Allan and Elizabeth McPhie, of 112, Rose St., Edinburgh

An extract from The London Gazette, No. 31155, dated 28th Jan., 1919, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery on the 14th October, 1918, when with a party of sappers maintaining a cork float bridge across the Canal de la Sensee near Aubencheul-au-Bac. The further end of the bridge was under close machine gun fire and within reach of hand grenades. When Infantry just before dawn were crossing it, closing up resulted and the bridge began to sink and break. Accompanied by a sapper, he jumped into the water and endeavoured to hold the cork and timbers together, but this they failed to do. Cpl. McPhie then swam back, and, having reported the broken bridge, immediately started to collect material for repair. It was now daylight. Fully aware that the bridge was under close fire and that the far bank was almost entirely in the hands of the enemy, with the inspiring words " It is death or glory work which must be done for the sake of our patrol on the other side," he led the way, axe in hand, on to the bridge and was at once severely wounded, falling partly into the water, and died after receiving several further wounds. It was due to the magnificent example set by Cpl. McPhie that touch was maintained with the patrol on the enemy bank at a most critical period."

s flynn


Spr. Herbert Edward Saunders 225th Field Coy Royal Engineers (d.15th Oct 1917)

Herbert Edward Saunders was the husband of Mary Dinah and father of my Grandfather Kenneth Edward Saunders. According to the Captains War Diary 13th October 1917, Herbert was at Pompier rest camp wounded - quoting "Much pain all day. At 7.10pm, 15th October 1917 - Pompier Camp was attacked by an aeroplane - 7 bombs dropped. 4 in camp 3 outside. Casualties 4 killed-24 wounded-1 missing. 18th October 1917 day spent repairing air-raid damage. Buried the killed at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetry."

Vicky Rees


Spr. Sydney St.James Waghorne 1/1st Kent Field Coy. Royal Engineers

Sydney Waghorne, my Grandfather, enlisted on October 19th 1914 at the age of 19 years. His brother and him joined the 1/1st Kent Field Royal Engineers. Their first action was in October 1915 Gallipoli. While shipping over to the war front from Malta, the HMS Hythe was sunk during tragic accident. My grandfather lost many of his childhood friends even before he saw enemy. By the time he reached Sulva Bay, Gallipoli had already become a lost cause.

As a lineman for communications, it was a nightmare. The lines were in the trenches with the men often being trampled on and broken. Dysentery was decimating the troops and a surprise winter storm and days of rain, many died. During the evacuation in mid December, grandfather was one of those affected loaded until a hospital ship and taken back to Malta and then Gibraltar to recover from Dysentery.

Due to the tragedy of the HMS Hythe, he was reassigned to the 1/3rd Kent Field Company as a replacement under the London Signal Corp and the 29th Division. During the Battle of Ypres he was injured by a German shell while repairing a line. After another brief stay in the hospital, he served out the reminder of the war and marched into Germany with the 29th Division. He served 4 years and 127 days and earned the British 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. Months after the war, he set sail to Canada and eventually settled in Wichita Falls, Texas until his day of passing in 1950.


Spr. William Glennie "Bill" Airs Royal Engineers

My father, Bill Airs, must have been one of the few who served all four years in France during WW1. He was demobbed eventually and became an engineer with Scottish Omnibuses in Edinburgh. He never spoke about his war experiences but just dismissed it all with the words if your number was on it (the shell/bullet etc) then that was it. For him, thankfully, it never was. I vaguely remembered my father chatting to his nephew Flying Officer Wilfred Airs during the second world war.

Gordon Airs


Spr. Joseph John Perks 82nd Field Company Royal Engineers

Jack Perks enlisted on the 12th of December 1914, he was wounded on the 6th of February 1918 and demobbed on the 11th of April 1920.

John Cole


Spr. Albert Ashby 59th Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.29th Oct1918)

Albert Ashby died on the 29th of October 1918 and is buried in the Etaples Military cemetery in France. He was the son of Arthur and Hannah Ashby. Native of Birmingham

s flynn


Spr. John Thomas Kinrade 128th Field Company Royal Engineers

John Kinrade served with the 128th Field Company, Royal Engineers



Sjt. Walter Ernest Smith MM & bar. 475 Field Coy Royal Engineers (d.16th Aug 1917)

Sergeant Walter Ernest Smith MM & bar died from injuries from exploding shell on the 16th of August 1917.

Andrew Paisey


Spr. William Burrows DCM 70th Field Coy Royal Engineers

Sapper William Burrows 41929 (my Grandfather) together with Sapper Whitlaw of 70th Field Company RE won the DCM near "the Quarries" for regaining and holding a trench by throwing "bomb" all through the night.

Colin Burrows


Pte. Frank George Alexander Signals Sub Section Royal Engineers (d.21st Nov 1918)

Private Alexander – RGA and Royal Engineers domiciled at 14 Castle Street East, Banbury has died in the Number 9 General Hospital (Lakeside USA) Rouen, France. He was working as a butcher before the war, again probably at his Uncles shop in Warwick Road. No records exist save for a couple of postcards and the existence of a photograph of his memorial at Rouen, Northern France taken by a relative before the stone grave markers were erected.

249631 Private Frank George Alexander served with the Royal Garrison Artillery and the Royal Engineers during WW1 and died on the 21st November 1918, aged 26, in hospital at Rouen. He is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France. He was the son of Mrs. Ada Makepeace, of 15, Castle St. East, Banbury, Oxon.

He was serving with the Royal Engineers Signals Sub Section possibly attached to the headquarters of 41st Brigade RFA part of 2nd Division Troops. Alternatively if initial reference to RGA is correct then it was likely to have been 41st Siege Battery RGA as the Brigade and Battery names were interchanged during the course of WW1.


Maj. Frederick Henry Johnson VC. 73rd Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.26th Nov 1917)

Frederick Henry Johnson was killed in action on the 26th of November 1917, aged 27 and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial in France. Native of Streatham, London

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 16th Nov., 1915, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the attack on Hill 70 on 25th Sept., 1915. Second Lieutenant Johnson was with a section of his company of the Royal Engineers. Although wounded in the leg, he stuck to his duty throughout the attack, led several charges on the German redoubt, and at a very critical time, under very heavy fire, repeatedly rallied the men who were near him. By his splendid example and cool courage he was mainly instrumental in saving the situation and in establishing firmly his part of the position which had been taken. He remained at his post until relieved in the evening."

s flynn


L/Cpl. James Tighe 170th Tunnelling Coy. Royal Engineers (d.25th July 1917)

James Tighe died of wounds on the 25th of July 1917, aged 22. Buried in the Bethune Town Cemetery, France, he had formerly served as Pte. 17588 of the Scottish Rifles. He received serious gunshot wounds on 24th of July 17 and died the following day in hospital. He was the son of Michael and Maria Tighe, of 39, Lyndhurst Rd., Burnley. His brother John Tighe also fell a fortnight later. He is buried at Noeux-les-Mines Communal Cemetery

s flynn


2nd Lt. Rankin Martin MM. 176th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.12th July 1918)

Martin Rankins was killed in action on the 12th of July 1918, aged 31 and buried in Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension in France. He was commissioned from the ranks having previously served as a sergeant with the Royal Fusiliers. He was the son of Mr and Mrs Robert and Isabella Martin, husband of Mary Blakely, of 6 Radnor Street, Kelvingrove, Glasgow.

s flynn


Mjr. Edward Mannock VC, DSO, MC. 85 Sqdn (d.26th July 1918)

Edward Mannock was killed in action on the 26th of July 1918, aged 31. Commemorated on the Flying Services Memorial in Arras, France, he was the son of Mrs. J. Mannock, of 24, Lozells Rd., Six Ways, Birmingham. Major Mannock was involved in the downing of at least 23 further aircraft, but because others might well have assisted in their destruction these were not added to the total in his VC Citation.

An extract from the London Gazette, dated 18th July, 1919, records the following:- "On the 17th June, 1918, he attacked a Halberstadt machine near Armentieres and destroyed it from a height of 8,000 feet. On the 7th July, 1918, near Doulieu, he attacked and destroyed one Fokker (red-bodied) machine, which went vertically into the ground from a height of 1,500 feet. Shortly afterwards he ascended 1,000 feet and attacked another Fokker biplane, firing 60 rounds into it, which produced an immediate spin, resulting, it is believed, in a crash. On the 14th July, 1918, near Merville, he attacked and crashed a Fokker from 7,000 feet, and brought a two-seater down damaged. On the 19th July, 1918, near Merville, he fired 80 rounds into an Albatross two-seater, which went to the ground in flames. On the 20th July, 1918, East of La Bassee, he attacked and crashed an enemy two-seater from a height of 10,000 feet. About an hour afterwards he attacked at 8,000 feet a Fokker biplane near Steenwercke and drove it down out of control, emitting smoke. On the 22nd July, 1918, near Armentieres, he destroyed an enemy triplane from a height of 10,000 feet. Major Mannock was awarded the undermentioned distinctions for his previous combats in the air in France and Flanders:-Military Cross, gazetted 17th Sept., 1917; Bar to Military Cross, gazetted 18th Oct., 1917; Distinguished Service Order, gazetted 16th Sept., 1918; Bar to Distinguished Service Order (1st), gazetted 16th Sept., 1918; Bar to Distinguished Service Order (2nd), gazetted 3rd Aug., 1918. This highly distinguished officer during the whole of his career in the Royal Air Force, was an outstanding example of fearless courage, remarkable skill, devotion to duty and self-sacrifice, which has never been surpassed. The total number of machines definitely accounted for by Major Mannock up to the date of his death in France (26th July, 1918) is 50 - the total specified in the Gazette of 3rd Aug., 1918, was incorrectly given as 48 instead of 41."

s flynn


L/Cpl. Clifford Garland 61st Div. Signal Coy Royal Engineers (d.28th Aug 1917)

Photos courtesy of

Clifford Garland was accidentally killed on 28th of August 1917, aged 22. He is buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in Belgium. Son of Agnes E. Garland, of 34, Hampton Rd., Redland, Bristol, and the late Harry Garland.

s flynn


Spr. John Alexander Booker 233rd Field Company Royal Engineers

Served with the company, was shot in the thigh and wounded. German red cross picked him up and he was then a POW at Crossen an Der Oder POW camp until end of the war.No dates available as yet

Chris Booker


Spr. Peter Ellery 128th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.17 May 1917)

My Great, Great Uncle went to war with his brother Reginald. I know he served with 128th Field Coy RE at the time of his death which I believe places him in Flanders immediately before the Battle of Messines. I would like to find out how he died and where, although looking again at the date it was before the battle. I believe he was wounded four days before he died and was evacuated to the military field hospital near to the present day Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery where he is buried.

Richard Fox


Pte. J. Wilson 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

J Wilson Served with the Tyneside Irish and transferred to the Royal Engineers



Pte. Michael Allen 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

Michael Allen transferred to the Royal Engineers



Pte. Arthur William Barber East Yorkshire Regiment

My grandfather, who had moved to America to find employment a couple of years earlier, felt compelled to fight for England in WWI. He returned to England and enlisted with the Royal Engineers on 20th October 1916. He was transferred to the East Yorkshire Regiment for a short time. While with this regiment he sustained a severe gunshot wound to his back, but survived. He was transferred to the Royal Engineers and served proudly through until 25th March 1919.

Linda Dutcher


Sapper David John James 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.28th Dec 1917)

This man was not a relative of mine, but I am a medal collector and I have his three 1st WW medals, plus memorial plaque and scroll in an old frame, together with his picture. I have recently purchased these. I have over 60 pages of documents on his army career.

Ceri Stennett


Michael Joyce 170 Tunnelling Coy Royal Engineers

My great uncle, Michael Joyce, was a sapper in the Royal Engineers in 170 Tunnelling Company.

Gwen Joyce


Spr. Walter Deas 179th Tunneling Company Royal Engineers (d.2nd Sep 1917)

Walter Deas served with the 179th Tunneling Company, Royal Engineers.

David Ramsay


Sapper Benjamin James 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.2nd July 1915)

Benjamin is not a relative of mine, I am researching family history, his widow is my wife's grandmother, who re-married in 1919. At the time of Benjamin's death his wife was left with three young children.

Colin Beynon


Spr. Benjamin James 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.2nd July 1915)

Benjamin James' widow is my wife's grandmother, who re-married in 1919. At the time of Benjamin's death his wife was left with three young children.

Colin Beynon


Sapper Alfred Ernest Beal Royal Engineers (d.27th June 1916)

Alfred is my 1st Cousin twice removed.

Mike Edwards


Lt. Roger Sayce CdG. 421st (W.Lancs) Field Coy. Royal Engineers

I understand that Roger Sayce served through the entirety of the war, but afterwards never spoke about what happened with either his son or myself as a grandson.

John Sayce


Spr. William Duncan 250th Tunnelling Coy Royal Engineers

William Duncan was one of my grandfather's elder brothers. He enlisted in 1916 and was wounded in September, 1917. He married the same year, survived the war, immigrated to Australia where he died in the 1950s in poverty it would seem.

John Duncan


Sarper Robert Thomas Hughes 400th Field Coy Royal Engineers

Robert Hughes was my great grandfather who survived the Great War. He was married to Jane Ann at the Brooms Church in Leadgate. They had five boys then five girls.



Pte. Thomas Francis "Taff" James att. 258 Tunn. RE Monmouthshire Regiment

My grandfather Thomas James served during the first war with the Monmouthshire Regiment and his role, so I am led to believe, was that of a tunneller, infantryman and quite possibly member of a three man machine gun team.

He suffered from the after effects of gas attacks but died in the early forties by drowning after a bout of coughing which caused him to slip into a feeder pond. He was a well known character in Nantyglo and was a ringleader in a resistance type movement which was set up to resist a local government action concerning the residents of a certain area within his hometown.

I have a few pictures taken of him in uniform and I have one that is of particular interest to me, and possibly others, as it shows him and two of his mates outside a farm somewhere in the theatre of war. They are seated on chairs, presumably taken from the farm building to their rear. If anyone recognises the soldiers I would love to learn of their records and possible family members still alive. I am an active member of a forces charity and along with my wife and colleagues I visit the places where my grandfather served. I am fortunate because he kept a record in a series of handwritten exercise books. I also served for six years in the regiment that was formed out of my grandfather's regiment.

Terry Gravenor


Sapper Charles Henry Claude "Claude" Blackmore 150th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.30th Sep 1918)

Charles Henry Claude Blackmore was the son of Frederick Charles and Alice Blackmore who were farmers. He was one of 9 children. He served as a Sapper in the 150th Company Royal Engineers in both France and Belgium. He died of his wounds on the 30th September 1918 at a clearing station near Ypres and is buried in Haringhe Cemetery, Bandaghem, Belgium. He was was 22 years old.

All through my childhood he was spoken of, by my Grandmother Melvina Annie Blanche Manning (nee Blackmore), as he was her much loved younger brother. All his sisters had a poster-sized framed photograph of him on their walls. They were very proud of him but also very sad that he died so young. As far as I know no one ever managed to find out where he was buried.

Last year I started looking for him and had great difficulty as there seemed to be no trace of him. This was probably because we were looking in records for Claude Blackmore the name he preferred to be known as, and not the correct name he enlisted by.

Having discovered our mistake it was relatively plain sailing after this and in May 2015 my husband and I travelled to Belgium to visit his grave at the Military Cemetery of Haringhe in Belgium. It was a very moving experience and one none of us will forget.

Haringhe Cemetery

Judith Withycombe


2nd Lt. Francis Stuart Verschoyle Royal Anglesea Coy. Royal Engineers (d.25th April 1915)

2nd Lt. Francis Verschoyle in refusing to retire and defending his trench to the last, gave his life at the battle of Ypres 25 April 1915. He was born on the 9th of April 1896.

s flynn


2nd Lt. James Graves St. John Ellis Royal Engineers (d.11th Oct 1915)

2nd Lt James Ellis died of wounds on the 11th of October 1915 aged 28. He is buried at Anafarta Sagir, Gallipoli

s flynn


Maj. Edward Victor Colley William Wellesley MC. 178th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.2nd Octo 1916)

Edward Wellesley was accidentally killed in France.

s flynn


Sgt. John Thomas Murphy 420th Field Company Royal Engineers

My grandfather, Jack Murphy, grew up in Widnes, Halton, Cheshire, son of Irish immigrants and he enlisted in Army I believe before WWI. He served Egypt, Gallipoli and Macedonia. He was proud to have been a sapper and told many a story about pre-invasion time in Egypt, Achi Baba, trenches, erecting hand grenade screens. He was evacuated with dysentery. One story was that he was standing sentry duty outside a large tent in which the brass was having an officer's function with meat and alcohol. He could hear inside, one officer said to another "if the Turks could only see us now!" He would tell that story and others with a chuckle and some resentment until his death!

He emigrated to US in 1920s and lived to be 96. Spending his last years in Rancho Cucamonga California. The San Gabriel Mountains 10,000 foot tall are right there. He would sit outside, smoke his pipe and drink his whiskey and reminisce about never getting to Achi Baba. I am trying to find info about his war service.

Thomas Schrettner


Sapper Alfred Frank Smith 18th Light Railway Train Crew Royal Engineers (d.14th June 1917)

Alfred Frank Smith was born in 1896 to Frank and Kate Caroline (nee Farley) Smith in 1896. One of 9 children, he had 6 sisters and 2 brothers. The eldest sister was Elsie, my Grandmother. They resided at 5 Bolney Street. Dorset Road, South Lambeth.

He was a sapper in the 18th Light Railway Royal Engineers and embarked for France on the 6th Feb 1917. Alfred didn't see action for very long. He was killed in action on the 14th June 1917 on the last day of the Battle of Messines in Belguim West Flanders. He was just 21 years of age. He is buried at Saint Quentin Cabaret Militiary Cemetery Burial or Cremation Place: Heuvelland, Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium. Engraved on Alfreds grave: "Gone from us but never shall the memory fade."

Brenda Mansworth


Lt. Arthur William Hammond MC. Royal Flying Corps

Arthur Hammond was born on 29 August 1890 in Walton on the Hill, Lancashire. He was the son of Henry and Alice (née Kincaid) Hammond. His father was a Master Mariner. Hammond joined the Royal Horse Guards as a trooper, but in October 1915 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and was attached to the Royal Flying Corps as an observer in the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 biplane. Whilst the prime purpose of his duties was reconnaissance, he was also the aircraft's gunner and engaged in ground attack.

Hammond received the Military Cross for action on the 22nd of April 1918 “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When acting as observer on photographic work, though his machine was attacked by six enemy aeroplanes, he with great coolness shot down two of these. On two later occasions a large number of hostile battery positions were photographed, engaged and successfully silenced, as well as some of our long range batteries calibrated on hostile targets. The eminently satisfactory manner in which all these tasks were accomplished is due to this officer's keenness, conscientiousness and devotion to duty."

He was awarded a bar to his Military Cross for action on the 26 July 1918: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in aerial fighting. Whilst attacking hostile troops at about 500 feet he was encountered by eight triplanes, which dived from all directions, firing their front guns. He fired bursts at each machine in turn, shooting three of them down out of control. He was wounded himself six times, but continued the action until his machine caught fire. The pilot, although wounded five times, with great skill and coolness managed to climb to the left hand bottom plane and controlled the machine from the side of the fuselage, side-slipping to the ground. The machine crashed in "No Man's Land," and the pilot managed to extricate Hammond from the flames and dragged him to a shell-hole, from which they were rescued by the infantry." His pilot on this mission (mentioned in this citation) was Alan McLeod, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for the same action. Hammond lost a leg due to his wounds and left the RFC. At the end of the war, he emigrated to Canada. In the Second World War, he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

He died in Victoria, British Columbia, on 22 December 1959, aged 69


Spr. Albert Edwin Hackett 92nd Field Company Royal Engineers (d.2nd July 1916)

Albert Hackett enlisted in Stafford. He was sent to France to join the British Expeditionary Force on the 28th of July 1915 and was killed in action on the 2nd of July 1916, aged 27. he is buried in Carnoy Military Cemetery, Somme, France and was the son of John Hackett and Florence of Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire

s flynn


Spr. Norman James Rushton 95th Field Coy. Royal Engineers

Norman James Rushton served as Sapper 95th R.E. Field Company. I've been researching his service in Working with R.E. Sappers Museum. I have the War Diary leading to their orders transferring them to Italy and N.J. Rushton's military record.

Chris Merkel


John Hoy 68th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.17th Aug 1915)

My great-grandfather, John Hoy, was killed in Gallipoli on the 17th of August 1915

Barbara Groves


Tpr. John James Mansfield Lock Crewkerne Sqn 1st/1st West Somerset Yeomanry

698 Private John James Mansfield Lock was a Trooper with the 1st/1st West Somerset Yeomanry and Sapper 229th Brigade Signals Section, Divisional Signals Company Royal Engineers, 74th (Yeomanry) Division

Jack Lock joined the West Somerset Yeomanry on the 3rd March 1913 at Crewkerne, Somerset. He attended two summer camps, with his own horse on Salisbury Plain in May 1913 and at Porlock in May 1914. The Regiment was embodied on the 5th August 1914 and was soon deployed to Essex on anti-invasion duties. The WSY finally deployed overseas in the infantry role, landing at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on 9th October 1915.

They were evacuated from Gallipoli with the rest of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force the WSY landed at Alexandria, Egypt on 31st of December 1915.

The WSY served in Eygpt against a native rebellion and it was in January 1917 that the WSY became the 12th Battalion, The Somerset Light Infantry. On the 21st February 1917 Jack was transferred to the Royal Engineers as a member of the Brigade Signals Section. The 74th (Yeomanry) Division served with distinction in General Allenby’s Palestine campaign against the Turks and was still engaged in operations there when the German March 1918 offensive was launched on the Western Front. The Division was moved to France and part of the desperately needed reinforcements from Palestine. The Division was fully engaged in the final 100 days.

Jack was discharged from the Army in July 1919 and returned to Somerset to become a farmer as many generations of his family had done before him. He passed away peacefully in his sleep in Sept 1979 when I was 12 years old. He talked briefly to me about his experiences, showing me a few photos from his time in Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine. He never spoke of his service to my father his son and gave me his three campaign medals, still in their boxes having never been worn. He lost many of his good friends and was clearly deeply effected by his experiences, my Grandmother said he often experienced dreadful nightmares. As a Linesman in the Signals Troop it would have been his job to have repaired severed telephone lines, cut by artillery fire, often whilst still under fire.

Nick Lock


Spr. Malcolm Charles Cockburn 90th Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.4th April 1916)

Malcolm Charles Cockburn (born in 1897 in Bermuda) joined the Royal Engineers at the start of the First World War at the Curragh Camp, Co Kildare. Malcolm was in the 90th Field Company Royal Engineers and was killed on 4th April 1916 and is buried at Gunner's Farm Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Their father Alexander Cockburn, joined the Royal Engineers on 25th July 1890 at Stirling in Scotland and who was discharged from the 33rd Company of Royal Engineers as Sergeant Alexander Cockburn 24997 on 24th July 1911 at Fort Camden, Co Cork. Their Grandfather, William Cockburn, was also in the Royal Engineers, joining at Fort George, Inverness on 13th February 1879 and arriving at Brompton Barracks, Chatham on 13 March 1879. He served for 21 years and 25 days, being discharged in 1900 as Corporal William Cockburn.

Malcolm's brother Stuart William Cockburn (born in 1894 in Bermuda) served as Acting Lance Corporal 2306248 in the Royal Corps of Signallers lived through the war to be discharged as insane on 4th March 1921 in Chatham. I have never been able to find out where he was sent or where he died but because he was still in the army in 1921 he may have signed for longer service than just the length of the war.

The above are my grandfather, great grandfather and my two uncles.

Pam Chetland


Pte. John Steven "Monty" Mantova 12th Btn. Manchester Regiment

My grandfather John Stephen Mantova was half Italian. He was a private with the 12th Btn Manchester Regiment from 1914. He served in many places including the Somme. We know little about his war-time story as he didn´t like to talk about it. His number was 4343, but he was sent home on several occasions with wounds to his arms, legs, chest and back. Some of these were massive holes that a cloth could be put through to clean the wounds.

Eventually in 1915/16 he was transferred as unfit for active duty to the Royal Engineers, working out in Mesopotamia (Iraq) helping build new roads, probably using prisoners or war and deserters. His number there was 251026.

Before the war he trained as a stone mason, but when he returned home and was demobbed in 1919, he was unable to carry out his trade as he could no longer lift or use the tools. From 1919 until 1960 he gave 41 years of faithful service to the City Corporation of Liverpool as a tram conductor, for the last three years as a bus conductor when the City scrapped its trams the last one going out of service in 1957. He was awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1914/15 Star, but these later were stolen. He died in October 1980.

Anthony J F Mantova


Arthur Foster 12th Btn. att RE 131st Tunneling Coy. Kings Royal Rifles

In Arthur Foster's military pension record copy there is a letter from the County Police Office, Rawtenstall stating that he was serving with the King's Royal Rifle Regt, attached to the Royal Engineer's 131st Tunneling Co in France with the REF. His service number is recorded as 8951. He had previously been discharged from the East Lancs Regt (Serv No 12352).

Derek Whittaker


Driver Robert Alderson 31st Signal Company Royal Engineers

Robert Alderson volunteered in May 1915, serving the signal section of the Royal Engineers as a driver. He served in Egypt (Cairo and Alexandria) and later transferred to France, where he was a driver for the signal section of RE in Ypres, the Somme, Albert, Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. He was demobbed in June 1919 holding the 1914-1915 Star and General Service and Victory Medals


WO. George Armstrong Royal Engineers

George Armstrong served with the Royal Engineers

George Armstrong, pre WWI with family


George Eric Armstrong 62 Field Coy. Royal Engineers

George Eric Armstrong was the oldest son of George and Florence Armstrong of Ilford, Essex. His father was already in the British Army, also in Royal Engineers, at the outbreak of WWI. George had finished school and studied typing and shorthand in preparation for secretarial work. The first firm he worked for soon closed its doors as its factory was converted to manufacturing for military purposes. The new firm he worked for soon followed suit. Young George, still only 16 decided it was pointless to look for a third job so put his age up and enlisted. His father eventually heard the news that his first-born, a very baby-faced, fair haired, blue eyed lad had enlisted. The French women running the cafe he and his father frequented whilst serving in France noted his youthful looks and would them 'La pomme and enfant' referring to his father's rosy cheeks, like an apple and his baby looks.

After the war he found it hard to settle down and rode his pushbike around England at every chance before finally emigrating to Australia in 1924. After a difficult few years during the Great Depression, George wasted no time in enlisting on the news of the outbreak of WWII. This time he served with the 1st Garrison Battalion, Australian Armed Forces, guarding military installations in the Brisbane area. He was sent to Cowra, New South Wales for clean-up operations after the Japanese P.O.W. outbreak. He considered the WW2 years some of the best as he did not smoke or drink and would swap his ration cards for fuel rations enabling many happy camping trips with his teenage children. He would never march on Anzac Day and only mentioned the Great War when he was much older.

Ivy Murphy


Spr. Francis James O'Neill 38th Field Company Royal Engineers

My paternal grandfather, Francis James O'Neill, a plumber's apprentice enlisted before WW1 at Maryhill Barracks in Glasgow. I have his brass cigarette box issued in Christmas 1914 so I believe he was with the First BEF. He also named my father, middle name Ypres, pretty unusual for someone then living in North Wales so I presume from that and the unit movements he was involved in the Second Battle of Ypres.

After service life he was custodian/caretaker of some of the Army camps in North Wales which were used seasonally, notably the Horse Artillery Camp at Bronaber near Trawsfynydd NW.


Spr. Thomas Strong 178th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.6th Apr 1916)

One of my mothers ancestors was Tommy Strong, a Sapper serving with the Royal Engineers 178th Tunnelling Company. He died in the Fricourt area of the Somme. We are trying to find out more about his death as the family said he was "blown up".

Hilary Shuter


L/Cpl. John Henry Davies 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.20th June 1915)

John Davies was born on the 1st April 1880 at Newcastle upon Tyne, the eldest son of Charles Davies, and his wife Ellen. John married Esther Ann of 15 Vernon Street North, Barnsley at Morcott, near Uppingham, Rutland, on the 13th April 1903. They had three sons John, born 12th July 1904, Charles, born 7th May 1908 and George born 18th September 1910. They moved to Barnsley at some stage and John enlisted in the 13th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, in September 1914, and trained at Silkstone Camp. He was transferred to Royal Engineers. He was killed on the 20th June 1915 whilst working near Hill 60. Sapper E. Roberts wrote:- "We have lost one of the finest men who came out of Newhall Camp, Silkstone. There was not a more willing or better lived man in the camp. A man who did his duty thoroughly and everyone thought the world of him, and all that we can say is that he died a noble death."



Sapper. James Lewis Candy 10th Australian Field Company Royal Engineers

Lewis Candy was born on the 18th of February 1878 in Street, Somerset, England, 2nd born of 10 children of Richard (1848-1915) and Caroline Elizabeth Deane (1852-1929). Lewis married Evaline Foley on the 18th of September 1909 and they had one child, Richard Foley Candy (1914-1981) Lewis died in November 1939 in Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia.

Ellen Georgieff


Spr. George Heath 96th Field Coy Royal Engineers (d.13th Jan 1918)

George Heath from Wincham (near Northwich) Cheshire, was serving with 96th Field Coy R.E. He died from wounds aged 38 on 13 Jan 1918. He is buried in Railway dugouts Burial Grounds (Transport Farm) Cemetery, Ypres. Before the war George was a locomotive fireman (1901 census), then a stationary engine driver (1911 census).

Paul McHugh


Spr. John Sexton 11th Divisional Signal Coy Royal Engineers

John Sexton was a great uncle of my mother and was from Newcastle West in Limerick, Ireland. He died on 4th March 1919 whilst serving with the 11th Divisional Postal Section and is buried in Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery. I'm trying to find out why and how he died after the war was over.

Andy Matthews


Sapper Arthur Frederick Chilcot att 3rd Canadian Tunnelling Company

Arthur Chilcot joined the NZ Expeditionary Force on 24th of December 1915 and was posted as a rifleman to 4th Btn. 3rd NZ Rifle Brigade on 20th of June 1916. Arthur was detached to the 3rd Canadian Tunnellers on 4th of May 1917, and was wounded (gunshot wound right leg) on 7th of June 1917. Arthur was sent to convalesce in Codford, UK, until 15th of November 1917 where he was transferred as a Sapper to 5 (NZ) Light Railway Operating Section.

Lyle Holt


Spr. S. G. Toomer Railway Operating Div. Royal Engineers (d.8th Oct 1918.)

S. G. Toomer died on the 8th of October 1918 and is buried in the Ramleh War Cemetery in Israel.

s flynn


Spr. Edwin Eastley 10th Div. Sig. Coy Royal Engineers (d.18th Nov 1918)

Edwin Eastley died of pneumonia on the 18th of November 1918, aged 34 and is buried in the Ramleh War Cemetery in Israel. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Eastley; husband of Fanny (later Mason) of 129, Abel St., Burnley, Lancs.

s flynn


Spr. Arthur Ernest Clifford Austin 93rd Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.11th Aug 1916)

Clifford Austin died at Longueval on 11th of August 1916, on the eleventh day of his last front line posting as the 17th Division fought over the village of Longueval and Delville Wood. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Nigel Roberts


Spr. A. Holbrook 1st (Wessex) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.30th Sep 1916)

Sapper A Holbrook died on the 30th of September 1916, aged 34 and is buried in the Struma Military Cemetery in Greece. He was the brother of F. Holbrook of 5, Hanover Terrace, Snow Hill, Bath.

s flynn


Spr. John Walmsley 66th Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.20th August 1915)

John Walmsley died on the 20th of August 1915, aged 21 and is buried in the Portianos Military Cemetery in Greece. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Walmsley, of Burnley, Lancs.

s flynn


Spr. Monague Vaughan Case XVI Corps Signals Royal Engineers (d.18th Nov 1918)

Montague Case died on the 18th of November 1918 and is buried in the Mikra British cemetery in Kalameria, Greece. He was the son of the late William Benjamin and Sarah Marion Elizabeth Case, of Hill St., Poole.

s flynn


Sapper John Copeland MM 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers

John Copeland was my grandad, although I never met him because he died before I was born.

He originally joined the Scottish Rifles (Cameronians)on 19 August 1914 and, presumably because he had been a miner prior to joining up, was first attached to the 171st Tunnelling Company in January 1917. He later transferred fully to the 171st and remained with them until his discharge from the army at the end of WWI.

I started to research my grandad's war record last year, (a fitting time given the 100 year anniversary of the Great War), which is when I discovered that he had been awarded the Military Medal in July 1917. Unfortunately, I have not yet managed to find out what action gave rise to the award. From older family members, I have been told that my grandad, like so many of his comrades, did not talk about his experiences during the war. No-one in the family even knew about his Military Medal.

On leaving the army, he returned to work as a miner, where, tragically, and somewhat ironically after surviving the war with distinction, he was killed in an accident down the mine. A stone hit him in the temple and he died a few hours later. He was only 45 when he died, and had left a widow and 8 young children. My father was the 2nd youngest, and was only 5 when his dad died.

Charlotte Howe


Sapper Thomas Fairley 250th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.2nd Nov 1917)

Thomas Fairley's name appears on the Queensferry War Memorial, West Lothian, Scotland. He died of wounds on 2nd November 1917.

Norma brown


Sgt John Roy DCM, MM 250th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers.

John Roy was my Great Grandfather. A miner to trade, he arrived in France in 1915 at the age of 41. He served with the 250th Tunneling Company for the duration of the war. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal during this time.

Extract from the London Gazette, 2nd February 1919 "121813 Sjt. J. Roy, 250th Tunneling Coy., R.E. For the last three years he has shown consistent gallantry and devotion to duty during a long period of active mine warfare, when employed on the erection of concrete pill-boxes and in the search for enemy-land contact mines. On 25th June, 1918, he, with six sappers, loaded and transported over 30 tons of concrete to a required site and unloaded. During this operation the party was subjected to particularly severe machine gun fire. It was entirely due to his personal example and determination that the emplacement was erected in time."

Stephen Hunter


Cpt. Jeremiah O'Sullivan MID. 155th Field Company Royal Engineers

Gerry O'Sullivan, was my grand uncle by marriage. I think I only met him once. A quite man he worked as a civil engineer before and after the war. He is described in Tom Johnstone's book "Orange Green and Khaki" as commanding the building artillery pits in the run up to Messines.

John Donovan


Spr. William Greer 37th Army Troops Company Royal Engineers (d.8th Oct 1915)

William Greer died on the 8th of October 1915, aged 26. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli in Turkey.

s flynn


Sapr. William Cunningham 1st/1st Bn. (Lowland) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.12th Jul 1915)

William Cunningham died on the 12th July 1915 and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.

s flynn


Stanley Smale 12th Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.21st March 1918 )

Stanley Smale of 12 Field Company Royal Engineers was killed in action on the 21st of March 1918 at Moncy-le Preux, South East of Arras. My assumption is that this company was at Monchy at the start of Operation Michel

Steve Rawlings


Sjt. Ernest Wyndham Arthur Lester DCM 468 Field Coy. Royal Engineers

During the attack at the Hohenzollern Redoubt Captain James Selby Gardner was wounded in the neck. Serjeant Ernest Wyndham Arthur Lester took command and went on to rescue several men from 'no-man's land' whilst under constant sniper-fire. For this gallantry he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

John Randall


L/Cpl. John Duffy MM Royal Engineers

Michael Duffy


Spr. Charles Henry Foulkes 104th Field Company Royal Engineers

My Grandfather, Charles Henry Foulkes served with 104 Field Company. Royal Engineers. At present I do not have his Service record even though I have searched for it on Ancestry. What I do know is that my Grandfather was a small man of height and stature. I was also told by my Aunt that a French lady shouted at him when he was leaving, 'English go home', after what he had been through it seemed an insult to him.

Sheila Clarke


Sgt. Henry Shaw DCM. 250th Tunnelling Coy. Royal Engineers

Herny Shaw was My Great-Grandad. He is featured in a Musselburgh News report, published on Friday, 18th of January 1918:

Musselburgh Man Wins the D.C.M.

Sergeant Henry Shaw, of the Royal Engineers, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He joined the colours in September 1915, and previous to that had been engaged as a mining contractor at Carberry Colliery, and later with the Niddrie and Benhar Coal Company at No 13 Pit. His wife and family reside at 174 High Street, Musselburgh.

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a long period while engaged in offensive mining operations under repeated hostile bombardments. On one occasion his courage and determination undoubtedly saved many lives when a sudden inrush of water endangered the mine." Details provided by, Major J Cowley OBE DCM The Gallantry Medallists' League, published in The London Gazette, 17th April 1918

Brian Hay


Spr. Robert Rankine 54th Field Company Royal Engineers

My Grandfather, Robert Rankine, enlisted in the Royal Engineers in 1913. He was unaware at that time that his sweetheart Agnes was pregnant with my father who was born in June 1914. Robert landed in France on 5th October 1914. I cannot begin to imagine what horrors he and his comrades experienced and witnessed but he was invalided out through Dykebar on 21st March 1918. He was said to have dementia praecox. He married Agnes on 4th April 1918: sadly she died in February 1919 of Spanish 'flu.

On 6th October 1919 Robert enlisted in the The King's Own Scottish Borderers where he served for 4 years and 96 days. He was invalided out in February 1923 with dementia praecox and malaria (from 2+ years in India).

Robert went on to enlist in the Merchant Navy but was discharged in 1936. He enlisted again in October 1939 when he joined the Duke of Wellington's regiment. He was immediately transferred to the Pioneer Corps. In June 1940 he was evacuated from St Nazaire. His ship picked up survivors from the stricken Lancastria. In May 1941 he was discharged as unfit for service suffering from paraphrenia. From 1941 - 1943 he passed through various institutions and ended up in Roslynlee, which was then an asylum. This was in July 1943. He died there on 24th November 1966.

A sad, sad story which I'm sure is repeated many times in your records.

Marina Eaton


John N. Whalen Royal Engineers

My Grandfather, John Whalen, enlisted for Short Service for the duration of the war. It is listed as R.E. Signal Corps, which I believe is Royal Engineer. It is also handwritten Pioneer next to R.E.S.C. Enlarging the picture, I believe I can make out a 22 on his shoulder. I would love to find out more.

Gayle Carrier


Jeremiah O'Sullivan 155th Field Company Royal Engineers

Gerry O'Sullivan survived the war and returned to civilian life as a civil engineer in Ireland. In 1915 he married Mary Josephine Donovan and they lived in 'Liosgorm' Salthill, Co. Galway, Ireland. They are both buried in Bohermore Cemetery, Galway City, Ireland.

John Donovan


Cpl. George Wyndham Stanbury 250th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers

My grandfather, George W Stanbury, was with the 250 Tunnellers in the Royal Engineers I'm proud to say. My father, his son, is now 91 and remembers him tell the story of how they dug out a huge cavern under Hill 60 and carried explosives in their stocking feet to fill it up. My father also remembers Australian cap badges on display next to my grandfather's in their house growing up, no doubt of his comrade tunnellers. George was originally in the 9th East Surreys, but as he was a miner in South Wales he soon became attached to the 250's

If you have anymore info on my grandfather I would love to be able to relay this to my father.



Pte. Joseph Callow 7th Battalion Border Regiment (d.19th Dec 1915)

Held by Andy Barnes

Joseph Callow was born 6th February 1881 at 73,Strand Street, Whitehaven, Cumberland and was baptised on 16th April 1881 as recorded in Holy Trinity Registry Whitehaven, Cumberland England. On 8th April 1905 he married Cordelia Jones at the Registry Office, Whitehaven, Cumberland England.

On 3rd September 1914, my grandfather, Joseph Callow, aged 31 years 7 months, while living with his wife, Cordelia and their children, Tom, Joseph, Jessie, Sarah and Margaret, enlisted in the Border Regiment for the period of the War. He was 5ft 5 1/2 inches height with Pale complexion, Blue Eyes and Light hair and Moles on left side of chest. His Religion is listed as Church of England. This left Tom at aged 9 years the eldest child at home to help his mother.

As a sapper in the Border Regiment (who have their headquarters at Carlisle Castle) 7th Battalion, he was attached to the 182nd Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers. He was killed in action on 19th December 1915 in a crater between Ypres and Ploegstreet in Belgium. His body was never recovered and he is remembered on the nearby Ploegsteert Memorial.

I have a copy of a letter from War Office, London, dated 7th May 1916, which states that the unofficial report of his death cannot be confirmed. I also have copy of Army Form B 104 – 82A, No 19550/17 dated 28th October 1916 which states that: - No further news relative to No 12763 Pte Joseph Callow 7th Border, missing since 19th Dec 1915. Conclude he is dead and death took place on the above date. (or since)

The group soldiers photograph including Joseph Callow shows 459 Borders written on bottom of it. Iain Cogle had a reply from curator Border regiment museum at Carlisle. "The 459 is simply the photographer’s reference number and has no military connection whatsoever. The photograph is a typical group photograph and shows the men wearing the stop-gap blue uniform issued, due to the acute shortage of khaki, to many New army units in the early stages of the War".

I have a letter from Joseph dated 21st Oct 1914 addressed to Mrs Callow, No 1 Richardson Cr, Scotcheath, Whitehaven, Cumberland. It is on a postcard showing lots of tents far off in the distance. On the front is printed Staffs Borders Lulworth: - Dear Wife Just a few lines hoping you and the children is in best of health as I am in the ……………………present. Our Captain read a letter that came from Prestson (??) and he said that our wife’s who had not got there ………………………money all would be settled……………………Wednesday next. I have marked the ………………….sleeping in he as not got the ………………….parades

He was awarded the British War Medal 1914-1920 (110,000 issued), the Victory Medal 1914-1919 (5,725,000 issued) and the 1914 Star and 1914-1915 Star (3 medals total) known as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

My father Tom Callow's nephew Andy Barnes (in England) has a copy of Joseph's Soldiers Small Book which details Joseph enlistment details and Next of Kin.

Held by Andy Barnes

Joseph with his family

Joseph Callow in Border Regiment Photo

Family sent Postcard to Joseph Callow

Anne Carter


Spr. Henry Mason 42nd AT Coy Royal Engineers

Henry Mason with his daughter Hilda May

Henry Mason enlisted in Shrewsbury on 1st April 1915. At that time he was 38 and worked at the local tile works. He was married with 1 daughter (a son was born in May 1915) and living in Hockley Bank, Broseley. He was noted as a Proficient Carpenter and (I believe) served with the RE until the end of the war. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

I'm his great grand-daughter and am trying to find out more about him as have no living relatives who remember him.

Sarah Taylor


L/Cpl. James William Revill Royal Engineers (d.9th April 1917)

James William Revill, known as Jimmy, was born in Sutton in Ashfield, Notts in the summer of 1891, son of Frederick William and Hannah Revill. In the 1911 census, Jimmy was living with his family at 37 Morley Street, Sutton In Ashfield, and his occupation was recorded as professional footballer. He was at Tibshelf FC when he moved to play professionally for Sheffield United FC from 1910 until 1915. His debut was against Woolwich Arsenal on 10th September 1910 which was drawn 0-0. His position was outside left – a winger in the modern game – and one of the fastest in his era. His rather strange nickname was “Old aeroplane legs”, probably due to his speed. Jimmy, however, could not gain a consistent place in the side during his time at the club, only filling in for the favoured Bob Evans when he and others were injured. His club stats are:- games played - 71, goals scored - 4. Hee played his last league match for them on 15th January 1915 in the 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

Jimmy was a member of the Sheffield United team which reached the semi-final of the FA Cup in the 1913-14 season, narrowly losing 1-0 to Burnley in a replay. He was also in the team that in the following season won the FA Cup against Chelsea, 3-0 at The Crystal Palace. He did not play in the final, but still received a winners medal, attached to a pocket watch and chain. The 1915 FA Cup final was the only final ever to be played in wartime, and the FA were criticised for letting the 1914-15 season continue following the outbreak of the First World War.

Jimmy married Olive Shore on 6th November 1915 and they had a son, Jack, who was born 1st August 1916. They were living at 11 Charnwood Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield, when he enlisted in the Royal Engineers in February 1916. His occupation on the recruitment form was bricklayer, which was probably his trade prior to turning professional in 1910.

He was based at Chatham from March until 20th August 1916 when he was posted to France. It is probable that Jimmy was working with the Royal Engineers in the area of Arras, digging tunnels and defences. On the first day of the Battle of Arras, on 9th April, he was fatally injured by a gunshot wound to the back and spine. 108670 Lance-Corporal James William Revill of the Royal Engineers, is buried in the town cemetery in Bethune, northern France.

As the only player from Sheffield United to be killed in the War, on 12th January 1918 the club played a benefit match between a Sheffield United XI and Hadfield’s in aid of Olive and Jack. Jimmy’s name appears on the war memorial in the cemetery in Sutton in Ashfield. A book telling the story of the only wartime cup final, entitled “Red, White and Khaki” by Matthew Bell, is dedicated, along with others, to Jimmy.

Olive was remarried in 1921 to Herbert Hildreth. His son Jack married in 1940 and had at least one daughter Judith, Jimmy's grand-daughter, who it is believed, is still alive and living in the Worksop area. Jack died in Carlton in Lindrick near Worksop in 2006.

A Taylor


Charles "Jock" Harper 237th Field Company Royal Engineers

My father Charles "Jock" Harper is 95 years old. I am trying to piece together his war record.

Charles Harper Jnr.


Saper Ben Burford 237th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.12th May 1916)

Ben Burford was born in 1876 and was married to Amilia Gadd. They had 8 children. He is buried in Oxford

Mark Burford


Spr. John Hayes 104th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.12th April 1918)

John Hayes was my fathers's uncle.

Tim Hayes


Spr. John Booth 171st Tunneling Coy. Royal Engineers (d.6th Nov 1917)

John Booth, born 1870, was a miner at Coppull, Lancashire and was married with four children. He enlisted initially in the 1/4th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and served in France and Belgium. He was gassed, sent to Scotland to recuperate, thence to the South of England. John was seconded to the RE (171st TC) He was killed by shellfire, and is buried at Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery in Belgium, he was 47 years old.

Peter Booth


Spr. Charles Kennedy 99th Field Coy (d.17th June 1917)

Charles Kennedy was killed in action at Salonika and buried in Karasouli Military Cemetery. His two first cousins Denis and James Brophy were also killed in action in France and Palestine respectively. All three are from the small village of Killasmeestia, Ballybrophy, Co. Laois, Ireland.

James Fitzpatrick


Spr. Herbert Bottomley 461 Field Coy Royal Engineers

I have a notebook from my Grandfather Sapper Herbert Bottomley detailing his movements from 13th of January 1917 until 30th January 1919. According to his records he originally of 461 Field Coy regrouped to the 446 Field Coy in 1918. Personally I find it difficult to decypher the (neat) 'copper plate' handwriting.

Richard Bottomley


Spr. Henry George "Harry" Stroud 475 (South Midland) Field Coy. Royal Engineers

George Henry Stroud was the husband of Lillian May Stroud of 7 Walker St. Kingsdown, Bristol and both were born at Bristol. Together they had a son Charles and twin daughters Doris and Flora. Doris was my grandmother and her stories of George were that he was a handsome funny man who used to come home from service and carry both his daughters upon each shoulder up and down the street. In his lifetime, both his daughters were alive but in 1927, Flora died of meningitis. Doris lived until her 90's. Doris always said Henry was actually called "Harry". He died of wounds on 21st November 1920, aged 39.

Paul Glinn


Dvr. Fredrick John Willis 210th Field Coy. Royal Engineers

Nothing known about my granddad, Fred Willis, who came through WW1, but never told of his memories.

John Ball


Capt. William David Stavert 7th Field Coy Royal Engineers

William David Stavert was my Grandfather. I do not know anything about his wartime experiences as I think the records may have been lost.

Editor's Note:- Captain Stavert was serving at the start of the war as he was part of the initial Expeditionary Force, arriving in France on 23rd August 1914.

James Stavert


CSM. Harry Jack Haggertay MiD. 12th Field Coy Royal Engineers

Harry Haggertay was my Grandfather. He served in the 38th Field Coy in the Boer War. He fought in WW1 and was Mentioned in Despatches by Sir John French.

Rod Haggerty


Sapper. Albert Heard 9th LRO Company Royal Engineers (d.15th May 1918)

Sadly I know very little about my brave Great Uncle, Albert Heard. We have one photo of Albert in civilian attire but nothing else.

Lindsay Andrews


2nd Lt. John Ferguson Royal Engineers

Jack Ferguson was my Great Uncle who served with the Royal Engineers. He served in Iraq and was mentioned in dispatches. He was awarded a military MBE. I don't know anything more about him but he went back to India after the war and died in 1929 aged 43.

Fiona Gayther


Spr. Arthur Terrington 73rd Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.26th Sep 1915)

Arthur Terrington's Grave

My great-grandfather was Pioneer Arthur Terrington. He was married to Charlotta Bradshaw, and fought and died in the Battle of Loos in 1915.

Claire Terrington


Pioneer. John Trafford 81st Field Company Royal Engineers (d.6th June 1918)

John Trafford was a pioneer in the Royal Engineers who is remembered at Marfaux British Cemetery in France. I am researching the stories of the men who left the Moss Side area of Leyland and would be very grateful for any details of John Trafford.

D Kazer


Cpl. Albert M. Lawer MM. 81st Field Company Royal Engineers

Albert Laweris not a relative but I have his Military Medal. He came from a mining area. Was he a miner and was the 81st a Company involved in Tunneling?

Editor's Note: Like the Pioneers, the Field Engineers would have assisted with the Divisions offensive and defensive preparations. The Division had 4 Field Companies. It is more likely that if he were involved in tunneling in a major capacity he would have been with one of the RE Tunneling Companies and not a Field Company doing more general engineering (trenches, railways, roads etc. but also some tunneling)

Simon Fanthorpe


Sgt. George Axtell Royal Engineers

George Axtell, my wife's great grandfather, broke his arm "running and slipping on duck boards in a trench" on Christmas Eve in 1918 (I just hope he was having fun!). He was taken to 12 Stationary Hospital in St Pol, near Arras, and from their to the Military Convalescant Hospital, Woldingham from where he was discharged in 1919

Tim Jones


Quince Noble Bearco Royal Engineers

Qin Bearco was born in 1878 in Bedfordshire, son of Reuben Bearco & Rosa Kate Noble, brother of Alice Maud May Belgrove nee Bearco. He married in 1913 to Winifred Morriss & he died 1970 on the Isle of Wight.


Lt. Charles Roy Mackenzie MC. 250th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers

Charles Roy Mackenzie won a Military Cross while serving with the 250th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers. Members of the Blacktown & District Historical Society are researching the soldiers who served in WW1 from Blacktown NSW Australia, can anyone provide more details?

Carol Horne


Dvr. George W. Maude MM. 446th (1st/1st Northumbrian) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.2nd Jan 1918)

My mother knew that at least one of her great uncles George Maude had died in the Great War but she was never quite sure because none of the family really talked about it. After some digging around I found that he had been killed on 2nd January 1918, but this information then led me to find two other brothers, Ernest and John Blackburn Maude, sadly none of them survived the War. George W died of bomb wounds on the arm and thigh at a Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in January 1918 aged just 23 he is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. He did win a Military Medal but unfortunately I have no idea how, that has been lost forever in history. Ernest was the younger brother, aged just 18, he joined the Northumberland Fusiliers in 1915 he was wounded by a bullet to the head after just five days in France, he died a year later in the Northern Hospital, Liverpool, he was transported home to Newcastle where he is now buried. I have actually found his war grave and now it is tended to frequently. L/Cpl. John Blackburn was the eldest at 28 years, he was in the 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers he was killed in action on Monday 26th February 1917 with a few ofhis comrades. He is buried in Vermelles, but remembered on Blaydon Cemetery Memorial.

That is about as much as I have been able to gather. The information has now dried up, their service records being destroyed by incendiary bombs during WW2. I have no photographs to see what they looked like, nothing to suggest what their personalities were like but at least we have found them and they are no longer forgotten which to me is very very precious.

Lynn Ternent


2nd Lt. Thomas Butterworth 12th Btn. Royal Engineers

Thomas Butterworth enlisted into the East Lancashire Regiment Territorial Force on 17th of February 1910 aged 18. He was discharged & re-enlisted into the Royal Engineers on 9th January 1912 and posted to Training Battalion C Company. On 9th September 1912 he was posted to the 12th Battalion, appointed unpaid Lance Corporal on 28th Mach 1914 and paid Lance Corporal on 26th June 1914. Discharged on appointment to a Commission on 29th October 1914. He was commissioned as 2nd Lt. in The 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers and he retired on Retired Pay on 11th November 1917 and died at Kilworth, Co. Cork, Ireland on 12h February 1958.

Robert Butterworth


Spr. John M. Jack 86th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.13th/14th June 1917)

John Jack was killed when a shell exploded about ten yards from him whilst working at Main Bosche dump. The company HQ was at a farm NE of Kemmel at the time. He was buried in Dranoutre Cemetery, a cross being erected by his comrades. He is now in the Military Cemetery of Dranoutre. He had been with the company for less than six months.

A Clough


Spr. Joseph John Perks 82nd Field Coy. Royal Engineers

Joseph Perks enlisted on 12th December 1914. He served with the 82nd Field Company, Royal Engineers. He was wounded on 6th February 1918 and was demobbed on 11th April 1920

John Cole


Spr. William John Dunn 171st Tunnelling Coy Royal Engineers (d.12th May 1915)

I am not sure were William Gill was killed but his memorial is at Ypres (Menin Gate). He was the son of Jane Anne Gill (formerly Dunn) and would have been my Grand Uncle.

A T Swift


William Hansford J Dep Coy. Royal Engineers

My grandfather William Hansford seved with the Royal Engineers J Dep Coy. in WW1. He worked on the railway before the war and was I presume seconded to the Railway Division. I have a photo of him in uniform an a postcard from Kent saying he was fine. I cannot find out any more about him except that thankfully he survived and thus we have memories of him.

Maureen Newman


Spr. Frank Carman 68th Field Company Royal Engineers

Frank Carman was born in 1888 and served with the Royal Engineers. He attested on 26th August 1914 with the Royal Engineers, (Pioneer) atChester (living 12 Trafford Street, Newtown, Chester) On 1st September he transferred to 68th Field Coy. Pioneer 24 June 1915 with 68th Field Coy, Sapper Frank Carman. No. 41527 was tested as Pioneer Platelayer at Milford Camp, Milford Station. Three days later he embarked for the B.E.F. in France. On 19th of August he was wounded in France and on the 1st of September he was transferred to R.E. S.C. Newark.

On 27th June 1916 he transferred to 201 Field Company and Embarked to G Base depot in France. On 31st October 1917 he is recorded as being at A Depot Camp. R.E. Conway, Morfa Camp and again on 16th April 1918 he is at A Depot Camp, R.E. Conway. He returns to France on the 25th of April 1918 to rejoin the B.E.F. He is demobilised on 22nd February 1919 and assessed for a war pension on the 4th April 1919 :Frank Carman. Single. aged 33 of James Street, Newtown, Chester. Rank: Sapper: Disability: Dysfuntion of the heart. Attributed to War Service. Regimental No. 282333. Unit and Corps: R.O.T.D. Royal Engineers, (Transportation Branch)

Frank Carman


Spr. Sydney David Carpenter Royal Engineers

Sydney Carpenter was a friend of my father who was a horse driver in the Royal Engineers and I wonder how they met. It may be that my father drove a limber with signals equipment etc. My father's No. was 136633 so he joined at a different time and as Syd had spent five years at college doing scientific photography before 1914 he must have had different interests. In 1917 Syd went over to the RFC and eventually the RAF. He learnt to fly and do aerial photography and spent time in and out of hospital in England due to a complaint received in service. His records with the RFC from 1917 are on line but what he did in the sappers. My father was Alfred Henry Williams and kept in touch with Syd who had a small photography shop in Liverpool.

Alan Williams


Spr. John Ness 1st Lowland Field Coy. Royal Engineers

Sapper John Ness from Airdrie was in the 1st Lowland Field Company attached 1st Brigade, 1st Ind. Division, British Expediitionary Force. He enlisted on 28th October 1914 and went to Bridge of Allan for training before leaving for france on Sunday 27th March 1915 as reinforcements. As train passed through Coatbridge he saw his mother and father on the platform.

John Love


Spr. Arthur Howard 2nd/1st (West Riding) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.1st Jul 1916)

Arthur Howard served with the 2nd/1st (West Riding) Field Coy. Royal Engineers. He died on 1st July 1916.



Spr. Herbert Wardle MM. 234th Coy. Royal Engineers (d.31st Jul 1917)

Herbert Wardle was my Great Uncle and won the Military Medal in August 1916 for "going over the parapet three times and rescuing three wounded comrades". He served with the Royal Engineers 234th Company and died on 31st July 1917.

Margaret Steen


Spr. James Richard Mayell 222nd (Tottenham) Field Company (d.20th May 1917)

James Richard Mayell was my grandmothers first husband. Her name, prior to her marriage was May Hurlock. They married on Christmas day in 1913 and in March 1915, their son, Bernard James Mayell was born. Sadly, the child died in a tragic accident a year later and then James Richard Mayell was killed in action on 20th of May 1917.

My grandmother went on to emigrate to Canada and married and had a life in Canada. She never spoke about this time in her life. I do not have any photos of her husband or child and would love to connect with anyone in the Mayell family who may be able to provide more information.

Linda Mannix


Spr. Colin Augustus David Finch 2nd Australian Divisions Signals Coy (d.20th Sep 1917)

Sapper Colin Finch served with the 2nd Australian Divisions Signals Coy

This 10 page letter to his brother Malcolm, found recently during our family history research - we think may be of interest to you. Some words in italics are not deciphered yet. Malcolm would have been 17 in 1916.

Addington Park War Hosp.

Croydon, London

Thurs. 14th Sept 1916

My dear old Malc, Ten minutes ago I received your letter from Scotch College dated 12th June. By jove it did me good to get such a fine long letter from my fat old brother .I hope you’ll write again soon, as it’s deuced good to get letters, especially from one’s little “brovers”. At present its so blessed cold, that I can go hardly push this old pen along, but as five other letters have just come along from the Base, in answer to my notes of appeal, I must get a move on.

These are the first I’ve had now for months. Two from “Koromiko”, one from George Mc D, one from Joan Hurst. & the last from Miss Hunt in Melbourne. But you see I’m answering your letter first, being the most important. The last letter I got from home, before these two, was one written while I was on my way to Egypt. I don’t know where all the others are tho? for there must be many more somewhere. I’m very glad that you are once again at school, for I know you will like it!! I can well imagine how you feel about the tucker; especially as you are used to having nearly all you want in “plenty’.

As regards meat, I think that one can very easily eat too much for his health. A good feed of meat once a day should be plenty provided that you have any amount of vegetables & other foods to fill up the cracks. I’ve been in some places in Egypt where one can get little else to eat except eggs & meat, but I often used to go hungry to bed rather than fill up on boil eggs. Two (or more) eggs for breakfast & tea, with half a chicken or so for a mid day meal was too much for me in hospital & I was very soon a mass of pimples. At this place, the trouble is the reverse, as some gets a miserable bit of bacon on a bit of bread, (sometimes with porridge, without milk or sugar) for breakfast, with a fair dinner & for tea, bread & marmalade. But we manage to get along very nicely.

You don’t say whether you like the school or not, but I’m sure, you can make yourself fairly comfy, where ever you are, which is just as well.

I’m sure you would like to be here for a little while, as there is such a lot of very interesting places & things to be seen, everywhere you go. This house is a beautiful old stone building, & was built in time of Henry V!!!, when the old rogue used to come here & make love to some of his 6 wives! We are only a few miles out of London, altho’ neither leave or money is given to us.

When I came from Egypt, I happened to have a sovereign in my pocket, so I’ve been able to slip out & go into London. Three times I’ve been in, & would soon be in again if I had any money left, but 20/- does not go far when there are two to spend it. My friend & I have been all through St Pauls Cathedral, & Westminster Abbey, also through the magnificent Houses of Parliament, where the two Parliaments sit, - The Lords & Commons. It is wonderful! We’ve also been up to Piccadilly, Strand, Trafalgar Sq. Whitehall, Hyde Park, St James Park & Green Park, also the King’s Palace at Buckingham & many other wonderful sights & places. We’ve been very lucky & on all three trips into town managed to dodge the M.P.’s (Military Police).

We left Egypt nearly five weeks ago. I came up to Southampton in N0. 2 Australian Hospital Ship, where we had a great old time for a fortnight, calling in Malta & Gibralta on our way. We had a lovely trip & very few Were sick. I wasn’t.

A comfortable Hospital Train met us at the Pier & brought us here, & now we’ve been here nearly three weeks. We expect to leave shortly now though & after a little necessary buzzing round to get our furlough, (I think six weeks) when I hope to go up to Scotland & perhaps to Ireland, & call in & see Auntie Kit, on my way back. I intend to have a good time while I’m about It, as it is quite probably that it will be my last. Amongst other things I hope to bust up a quid or so in going up in an aeroplane.

I’m all anxious to get over to France to join up my old unit where all my old friends are, or where were. Some of them are dead I’m sorry to say, but I hope that most of them are still as lively as of yore. So you see, a fellow might just as well have a good time when the chance offers, for when his time comes he’ll be dead a jolly long while, you know.

Well, old chap, I must finish as I have five more letters to answer as well as others to write. Cheer up, old boy, & keep smiling, & don’t forget that you have a skinny old brother who is always so glad to hear from you, even if it is only a very short letter, so don’t forget to remember!

Give my love to Mum & dad. When you write & with much love from myself, your affectionate brother Colin.

Helen Benoy


T/Lt. G. Connor 101st Field Company Royal Engineers

My Grandmother had an original Bollaartbeek battlefield survey belonging to G. Connor. No idea how she came by it.

Roger Griffith


Spr. John Booth 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.6th Nov 1917)

The following is the memorial to him by the town of Chorley.

John Booth enlisted in the 1/4th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (svc no.156). He served in France and Belgium, in October 1915 was gassed. He was then sent to Scotland, then the South of England to recuperate. By this time he had been seconded to the Royal Engineers and joined the 171st Tunneling Company. He is buried at Vlamertinghe.

He was in civilian life a coal miner at one of the many pits near Coppul in Lancashire. Six weeks after returning to the 171st, John was killed by a shell, about a mile behind the lines. He was aged 47 years. He left a widow and four children.

In passing, - one of his sons, my Grandfather Alex, also joined the Loyals, was wounded twice and finished the war in the South Wales Borderers. My French Grandfather served in the 233 Regiment d'Infantrie served on the Somme, and Verdun.

Peter Booth


Spr. James White 228th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.25th March 1918)

James White's name is on the memorial tablet in Kirkdale Minster. I am a member of the Ryedale Family History Group working on the local war memorials. He has been very hard to trace and any info would be welcome.

Martin Knight


Spr. John Wallace Burdett 81st Field Coy Royal Engineers

John Wallace Burdett was my grandfather, who I never knew as he died in 1934. His army service began in April 1915 when he volunteered. I find it extraordinary that he did so at the age of 36 with five young children, including my father who was 10. He served with the Royal Engineers, 81st Field Company I know little about his service except that he was taken prisoner at Messines on 10th April 1918.

Michael Burdett


Alfred Henry "Pops" Miller Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Alfred Henry Miller was born 1883 in London, England. He and his wife, Beatrice Anne Woods, immigrated to New Westminster, British Columbia with their young children in the 1920's. After immigrating to Canada, Alfred worked for the CN Railway.

Alf or 'Pops" as all his grandchildren called him, was a slight man of 5 foot 2 inches, and he fought in 12 battles in the Great War. He was wounded by gunfire in the leg and hip, recovered and returned to battle. He lost a finger during battle. Pops was a happy gentleman, especially when he was surrounded by his loving children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He often sang us sweet Cockney songs like 'Apples and Pears, up the Stairs" and "up came the nurse with a red hot poultice....".

Alfred is remembered by his surviving grandchildren in British Columbia.

Ronda Tuyp Miller


Spr. William Isaac Stanley Tiddy 9th Field Company Royal Engineers

Stanley was a regular who joined the army in 1908, he served with 9th Field Company, Royal Engineers during WW1. He seems to have been wounded in 1915 and in 1917 he was returned to the UK as class W to work as a shipwright later that year receiving a Silver Badge. Although his discharge does not mention shell shock, he was sectioned in June 1917 as being of unsound mind, having attempted suicide and unable to look after himself. He then seems to have spent the remaining 40 years of his life in Oakwood Hospital in Kent.

Shaun Cornish


Spr. Richard Thomas 183rd Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.1st Dece1915)

Richard Thomas was killed in action 01/12/1915. He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing in Belgium.

s flynn


Spr. William Hackett VC. 254th Tunnelling Coy. Royal Engineers (d.27th Jun 1916)

William Hackett served with the 254th Tunneling Company, Royal Engineers during WW1 and was killed in action on the 27th June 1916, aged 43. He is commemorated on the The Ploegsteert Memorial to the missing in Belgium. He was the son of the late John and Harriet Hackett, of Nottingham; husband of Alice Flinders (formerly Hackett), of 53, Cross Gate, Mexborough, Rotherham.

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 4th Aug., 1916, records the following:-

For most conspicuous bravery when entombed with four others in a gallery owing to the explosion of an enemy mine. After working for 20 hours, a hole was made through fallen earth and broken timber, and the outside party was met. Sapper Hackett helped three of the men through the hole and could easily have followed, but refused to leave the fourth, who had been seriously injured, saying, I am a tunneler, I must look after the others first. Meantime, the hole was getting smaller, yet he still refused to leave his injured comrade. Finally, the gallery collapsed, and though the rescue party worked desperately for four days the attempt to reach the two men failed. Sapper Hackett well knowing the nature of sliding earth, the chances against him, deliberately gave his life for his comrade.

S Flynn


Mjt. William Henry Johnston VC MID. Royal Engineers (d.8th Jun 1915)

William Johnston served with the Royal Engineers as Brigade Major in 15th Infantry Brigade, 5th Division during WW1 and died on the 8th June 1915, Age: 34. He is buried in the Perth Cemetery (China Wall) in Belgium . He was the son of Mary Johnston, of 36, Cathcart Rd., South Kensington, London, and the late Maj. William Johnston.

An extract from the Supplement to The London Gazette, No. 28985, of 25th Nov., 1914, records the following:-

At Missy, on 14th Sept., under a heavy fire all day until 7 p.m., worked with his own hand two rafts bringing back wounded and returning with ammunition; thus enabling the advanced Brigade to maintain its position across the river.

S Flynn


J Barker Royal Engineers

I have come by a photo of a J Barker of the Royal Engineers (I think by his cap badge but not 100% sure and he looks as if he is no more than 25 years old ). The photo was taken at the arcade studios of JE Savile in Mexborough and on the reverse is the pencilled inscription "J Barker 25 St Georges Road" My house is of middle Victorian build and my wife and I have decided to keep the interior decor in keeping with Edwardian WW1 era. I wondered if anyone could shed any light on his service record and if he survived the war at all.

Phil Wakeman


L/Cpl. Frank O'Donnell 1st/2nd (East Lancs) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.4th June 1915 )

Frank first joined up on 12th July 1897: The Royal Lancaster Regiment.18 years and 9 months 5'7 1/4 weighting 120 lbs. He had red hair, a ruddy complexion, and a cross tattooed on his right forearm. He was in for 48 days and on the 28th August 1897 paid £10 to get himself discharged. He joined again 5 months later on the 24 January 1898. His record says that he was 19 years and 3 months, 5ft 7 3/4 tall, 130 lbs, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and red hair. It also says he had slight knock knees!! Did he want to join up again when he heard the regiment was being posted overseas? On 21st January 1898 he was 'attested' and 'posted' on 1st June 1898. He was transferred to the 7th Dragoon Guards on the 18th October 1899 and was transferred to South Africa on 8th February 1899 to fight in the Boer War until 8th July 1900. He was discharged as medically unfit on 30th September 1900 at Woolwich. His medals were ----- Queens, clasp ?? At the time of his discharge he was stated to be 5'11 so he had grown 4 inches while serving in South Africa. He had his 3rd finger of his left hand amputated and his other fingers were useless. His conduct while with the colours was described as 'very good'. He was entitled to one good conduct medal. On 3rd May 1899 he got a 3rd class certificate of education and on the 29th June 1899 he got a 2nd class certificate of education.

Frank joined up 2nd September 1914 and served as a sapper in the 1st/2nd (East Lancs) Field Coy. Royal Engineers. On 10th September he embarked from Southampton for Egypt. On 5th May 1915 he embarked at Alexandria for the Dardanelles. Died 4 June at the Third Battle of Krithia 4 June 1915 Gallipoli. He was lance corporal when he died On 19th October 1916: 1 pocket book, letters and a certificate were in existence and returned to his widow Alice. Alice was awarded a pension of 23 shilling a week.

Lyn Thornton


L/Cpl. Edward Swainston W Corps Signal Coy Royal Engineers (d.12th Nov 1917)

Edward Swainston, formerly of the Border Regiment, served with the Royal Engineers and was attached to W Corps Signal Company during WW1. He was killed by lightning on the 12th November 1917, aged 22, and is buried in the Gaza War Cemetery in Gaza.

S Flynn


Spr. Edwin Eastley 10th Div. Sig. Coy Royal Engineers (d.18th Nov 1918)

Edwin Eastley served with 10th Division Signal Company, Royal Engineers during WW1 and died of pneumonia on the 18th November 1918, aged 34. He is buried in the Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Eastley; husband of Fanny Mason (formerly Eastley), of 129, Abel St., Burnley, Lancs.

S Flynn


Spr. John Henry Loach Royal Engineers

I know very little about John Harry Loach. My wife came across his Victory Medal in clearing out her dad's house. We do not know if he was any relation.

John Gregory


Gnr. Frank Darcy Bromley Royal Garrison Artillery

Frank Bromley married a relative from my Family, a Great Great Great Aunt. I am just trying to find some more information about Mr Bromley the only information I have regarding his war records are from the Medals awarded page in Ancestry which states he served with The Royal Garrison Artillery and The Royal Engineers.


Spr. Robert R. Bell 123rd Field Company Royal Engineers (d.22nd May 1918)

Robert Bell served with the Royal Engineers 123rd Field Company. He was executed for murder on 22nd May1918 aged 29 and is buried in Toutencourt Communal Cemetery, Somme, France

s flynn


Spr. Frederick Malyon 12th Field Company Royal Engineers, att Royal Field Artillery (d.4th Apr 1917)

Frederick Malyon was executed for desertion 04/04/1917 and buried in Noeux-les-Mines Communal cemetery, Noeux-les-Mines, France.

s flynn


Pte. Francis Murray 9th Btn. Gordon Highlanders att. Royal Engineers (d.1st Oct 1916)

Pte. Francis Murray was executed for murder 1916-10-01 and buried in Noeux-les-Mines Communal Cemetery, Noeux-les-Mines, France.

s flynn


Spr. Joseph Whitlam 25th Divisional Signal Coy Royal Engineers

Joseph Whitlam was my grandfather. He served with the Royal Engineers 25th Divisional Signal Company, and I would welcome any information on where this company served in France.

Eric Whitlam


Spr. Henry Peters 130th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.10th Apr 1918)

Henry Peters was my mother's Uncle. His father came from the West Indies, his mother came from Wem, Shropshire. He served with the Royal Engineers 130th Field Company. Apparently on his death in April 1918 his mother was so distraught she destroyed everything of his, including anything associated with his service in the army.

Kim Tozer


Sapper Daniel McFarlane 250th Tunnelling Coy Royal Engineers. (d.24th Feb 1917)

Daniel McFarlane was my father's oldest brother who served in the military on two separate occasions. His ultimate sacrifice came about in Feb 1917 while he was serving with the Royal Engineers 250th Tunnelling Company.

Denise McFarlane Osowick


A/Cpl. Alexander Chisholm 20th Army Troop Company Royal Engineers (d.17th May 1915)

Alexander Chisholm was executed for Murder 17/05/1915 age 31 and buried in Chapelle-d'Armentieres Old Military Cemetery, La Chapelle-d'Armentieres, France.

S. Flynn


Pioneer. E. Beeby 212th Company Royal Engineers (d.9th Dec 1916)

Pioneer E Beeby served with the Royal Engineers 212th Company. He was executed for desertion on 9th December 1916 and is buried in the Albert Communal Cemetery, in Somme, France

s flynn


Spr. A. P. Oyns 50th Search Light Coy. Royal Engineers (d.20th Oct 1917)

A.P. Oyns served with the Royal Engineers 50th Search Light Company. He was executed on 20th October 1917 for murder and is buried in Coxyde Military Cemetery, Belgium.

s flynn


Lt. Frederick Trouton Small 9th Infantry Battalion

Frederick Trouton Small was born on 20 May 1888 in Brisbane, Queensland. An engineer before the war, Small enlisted on 4 September 1914 and was assigned to the 9th Battalion. He embarked with the 3rd Field Company Engineers on 22 September 1914 from Melbourne aboard HMAT Geelong.

He served on the Gallipoli peninsula transferring to the 5 Field Company Engineers and won a recommendation for a French Croix De Gurre. His part in the evacuation of Gallipoli can be read in Volume II of the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918, The Story of ANZAC from 4 May, 1915, to the evacuation of the Gallipoli Peninsula By Charles Bean. He was discharged from the Australian Imperial Force in 1916 due to illness and returned to Australia on board the HT Nestor.

Frederick Small married Mary Call after the war and they moved to the United States in 1924. They first lived in Maryland where he worked as an Engineer before retiring to Florida. An avid stamp collector, Small was the owner of the world's most expensive stamp which he sold in 1970 for US$280,000. He died on 6 August 1971 in Broward, Florida.

S Flynn


Sgt. Arthur Robins MM. 89th Field Coy Royal Engineers (d.14th Oct 1918)

In memory of a brave man. Sgt. Arthur Robins was the son of George & Emily Robins of Chatham, Kent, & the husband of Mary Elizabeth Robins of Mill Hill, North Shields. On the outbreak of war, he enlisted as a Sapper into the Royal Engineers at North Shields, being posted to the 89th Field Company, R.E, initially part of 23rd Division, but 14th (Light) Division from January 1915.

He arrived in France in late May 1915, & soon saw his first action at Hooge where the German army first used Flame throwers. He later fought (I use that term, as the R.E were just as busy as the infantry) on the Somme at Delville Wood & Flers-Courcelette in 1916, at Arras & Passchendaele in 1917, & the fighting of the German offensive in March 1918. By this time he had been promoted to Corporal. Casualties had been so heavy that the 14th Division returned briefly to England between 17th June - 2nd July 1918 to re-equip. Back on the Western front, the tide was turning and Acting Serjeant Robins was back in the dreaded Ypres Salient, near the village of Wulverghem (Messines area).

The Battle of Ypres began and Robins & his section of 89th Field Company went forward, in the attack on Germans positions east of Wulverghem. During the bitter fighting, he must have done a very brave deed to be brought to official notice. It also cost him his life. During the performance of this, he was killed in action on 14th October 1919 aged 29. In the London Gazette of 19th May 1919, the following appeared: 'For Bravery in the field' - The award of the Military Medal to:- Royal Engineers 12812 Cpl. (A/Sgt.) Robins. A., 89th Fd. Coy. (North Shields). His Military Medal is named 12812 CPL-A-SGT. A. Robins R.E.

Peter Gillman


Lt. Ronald Alison McInnis 26th Infantry Battalion

Ronald Alison McInnis was born near Mackay, Queensland, on 20th November 1890. Educated at Maryborough Grammar School, he trained for several years as an apprentice surveyor in Mackay and also qualified as a computing draughtsman. On 8th October 1912, McInnis was registered as an authorised surveyor. The 24-year-old enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 21st May 1915 and left Brisbane with the 26th Infantry Battalion aboard HMAT Ascanius on 24th May 1915.

McInnis was deployed to Gallipoli in September that year and spent the next two months rotating in and out of the trenches before being tasked with surveying the extensive tunnel system at Quinn's Post. Gallipoli was evacuated before he could finish his plan for the tunnel system, and during December 1915 he was transferred to the 8th Field Company of the Royal Australian Engineers. McInnis finished his plan for Quinn's Post early the following year and in June was sent to the Western Front. In September he was made an officer and on the same day as his promotion was transferred to the 53rd Infantry Battalion. From then on McInnis served at the front line with the battalion, his duties including trench construction and repair, and acting as a liaison officer to other battalions. His diary entries describe in great detail the battles in which he participated. One such entry depicts McInnis' brush with death in October 1916 while at the front. He was about to take a rest when a salvo of shells landed nearby. As McInnis looked to see where they had landed he noticed the wall of the trench he was in falling towards him. At first he struggled to free himself from the soft earth, but as it settled and compressed he realised it was slowly crushing him. Fortunately, members of his unit saw what had happened and managed to dig him out. In 1917 he attended several training courses, received a promotion to lieutenant, and participated in the battle at Passchendaele. McInnis' last major action on the front would be at the pivotal battle of St. Quentin Canal in September 1918.

After the Armistice McInnis went to London, and on 23d March 1919 he left for Australia. He later married and went on to have an extensive career in town planning. Ronald McInnis died at Hobart, Tasmania on 8th May 1982.

s flynn


Sjt. George Atkin Rimmer MM. 2nd Field Coy. Royal Engineers

1916 enroute to India.

George Atkin Rimmer served with the Royal Engineers. He was was originally from Widnes, the son of James Rimmer and Jane (nee Beech). He enlisted at Wolverhampton on 15th July 1912 and was discharged on 14th July 1928. He was awarded the Military medal in 1916 with his name appearing in the London Gazette on 11th November 1916, the reason for him being awarded the medal, at this moment, is unknown. He was also awarded the India General Service medal with a clasp for the Third Afghan war of 1919.

After leaving the army he became a civil engineer working in Sierra Leone for a number of years building bridges. On the 8th February 1932 he married Phyllis Mary Jones at Birmingham Registry Office, they had one son, John George Rimmer (my wife’s father) He died on the 1st February 1939 from Tuberculosis.

Ian Round


CQMS Charles Arthur Thompson MID. Royal Engineers (d.3rd Mar 1919)

My Grandfather Charles Arthur Thompson was a railway clerk by profession, originating from the Wakefield area of Yorkshire but at the outbreak of war was with the Midland Railway in Bristol.

Not a lot is known about his front-line service but he served as a Company Quarter Master Sgt. in the Staff of the Royal Engineers. He seems to have been at Boulogne for some time, presumably involved in the disembarkation of troops and material for the Royal Engineers. He sent home several postcards of Boulogne. However he must have seen some action as he was mentioned in dispatches. While at Boulogne he edited a garrison magazine, 'Les Vagues', of which I have three editions. Tragically he had to stay on in Boulogne to help with the repatriation of men and materials, but was taken by the Spanish Flu outbreak in March 1919 just a week before he was due to be repatriated.

Brian Hubble


Spr. Bert Brookes 96th Lt. Railway Operating Coy. Royal Engineers (d.30th Dec 1917)

Bert Brookes was born in Dublin and enlisted in Hammersmith, Middlesex. He served with the 96th Light Railway Operating Company of the Royal Engineers and was killed in action in Egypt in December 1917.

s flynn


Spr. Francis Bray 11th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.16th May 1915)

Francis Bray was born in Dublin and enlisted at Tralee, Co. Kerry. He served with the Corps of Royal Engineers, 11th Field Company and was killed in action in May 1915.

s flynn


2nd Lt. Gerald Edmund Bradstreet 72nd Field Company Corps of Royal Engineers (d.7th Dec 1915)

Gerald Bradstreet was born Algiers, the son of Sir Edward Bradstreet, 7th Bart., of Castella, Clontarf. Gerald held a B.A. (T.C.D.). and was a Special Reservist. He is listed in Irish Life "Our Heroes" published 28/01/1916. He was killed in action aged 25 in Gallipoli and is buried in Azmak Cemetery, Suvla, Turkey. He is remembered on the memorials at St. John the Baptist, Church of Ireland, Clontarf and on the Engineering School and main memorials at Trinity College, Dublin

s flynn


Spr. Edward "Teddy" Denney 4th Signals Coy. Royal Engineers

Pte Denney 15th Hussars c1897 in full dress uniform

My Grandfather, Edward Denney, was born 1st April 1882, in Earls Road, Camberwell, South London. The 1901 census has him living in East London with his Mother and is listed as a Horse Keeper and Groom. He joined the 15th Hussars circ.1902 as a Private, Groom, Reg 4497.I know that on 3rd June 1908, he was based in Ampala, India, he was doing a Military course in Telegraphy, apparently he could do 20.4 words in Open circuit, 20.8 in Closed circuit and send 20.9 words by Morse code, no idea if that's good but he passed. He was also trained as a Linesman and telephone operator. On 16 Apr 1909, he was in Dehli, India, taking a Signalling test, this is according to his Pay Book, which has the 15th lined through and replaced with the 13th Hussars at some unknown time. Sometime during his time aboard with the regular Army, he contracted Malaria. In the early part of the 20th Century both the 13th Hussars and the 15th Hussars were stationed in India. The 15th left for South Africa on October 30th 1909,it is possible that grandfather either remained in India with the 13th or more likely returned from South Africa around March 1911. His Pay book is missing entries from Oct 1909 to April 1911 and my Mum remembered having a pressed flower, which only grows on Table Top Mountain, SA. The 15th returned to England from SA, Jan 1913. On the 20 Aug 1910, he was in Trimulgherry, India. (from his Telegraphy Instruction Certificate. In the 8th of Mar 1911 he was in Meerut, India with 13th Hussars, Reg. No.4838. On the 2nd Apr 1911 in Meerut he is recorded on the Census as with the 13th Hussars. On the 3rd of Jun 1911 he is at Roorkee, India.

Grandfather is not listed with the 13th in 1914; His RE service number 23697, would suggest he joined the Royal Engineers in late 1912. On the 22nd Aug 1914 he was with the BEF, 4th signals Coy Royal Engineers Reg No.23697 and on the 8th of Sep 1915, he was discharged after thirteen years service.

Abt. 1916 he re-enlisted with the Royal Engineers, his new Reg No.165507 On the 3rd of Mar 1917, wearing his Royal Engineers Uniform, he married Ethel Foster, a Postwoman from Hornsey, in Christ Church, Hornsey, North London. They had first met around 1912 and Ethel always said she had fallen for his very smart Hussars uniform, I have photos of him in Dress Blue and White Tropical uniforms and I can see why. In August 2010 one of their wedding photos appeared in The Daily Mirror newspaper as an example of 1910s wedding fashions.

After the war he joined the GPO as a telephonist, well, being a signaller, I suppose that would be a good move. Edward was one of the lucky ones, in so much as he lived through the war and died in Romford, December 1950. I say this but he was never really a well man after the war.

He was a member of the Old Contemptibles Association. The "Old Contemptibles" title was adopted by the men of the BEF who saw service before 22nd November 1914. The honourable title comes from the "Order of the Day" given by Kaiser Wilhelm to exterminate first the treacherous English; and walk over General French's contemptible little Army." Unfortunately, unless someone knows better, his records must have been destroyed during the bombing of London in WW2 as I cannot trace either service or pension records for him.

Robin Stanbridge


Dvr. Walter Edward Bedford 12th Signal Coy Corps Of Royal Engineers (d.10th Sep 1916)

Walter Ernest Bedford was born in Dublin, lived in Finchampstead, Berks and enlisted in Marylebone, Middlesex. He died of wounds and is buried in Corbie Communal Cemetery Extension.

He was the son of Lydia and the Late Alfred Bedford, of Oak Cottage Finchampstead, Berks and was 24 when he died. In the 1911 census he was an assistant in a Furniture Shop and was described as a nephew living with the Squelch family at 1 Nursery Cottages, Surly Hall Road, Clewer, Windsor.

S Flynn


L/Cpl. Francis Xavier Beckett Bed. A Signal Depot Corps of Royal Engineers (d.7th Nov 1918)

Francis Beckett was formerly No. 300176, Manchester Regiment. Born in Dublin, he was the son of Charles and Mary Beckett, of 15, Buxton St., West Gorton, Manchester. He died of wounds at home age 21 and is buried in Kempston Cemetery, Bedfordshire

Update: Lance Corporal Francis Xavier Beckett was born in Dublin c. 1897 and had moved to Manchester by the time of the 1901 census. In the 1911 census he was a Butcher's assistant. He enlisted at Manchester in 1913 at the age of 17 and joined the Manchester Regiment. By then he was an iron turner. He died at the military hospital, Bedford from bronchial pneumonia following influenza at 4.30 am.

S Flynn


A/Sgt. Robert Bates 59th Field Coy Corps Of Royal Engineers (d.20th July 1916)

Robert Bates, the son of Matthew and Catherine Bates, of Newbridge Lodge, Donabate, Co. Dublin died of wounds age 38 and is buried at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz.

S Flynn


Sapper Sydney James Waghorne 1/1 Kent Field Company

Sydney James Waghorne enlisted with the 1/1st Kent Royal Engineers on 10/19/1914 at the age of 19. After training, on October 15th 1915, their field company was sent to Egypt and then on to Gallipoli attached to the 2nd Mounted Division. He was one of many evacuated in December with dysentery and recovered in Malta and then Gibraltar. Released by the Army doctors on 9/11/1916, Sydney was reassigned to the Western Front near the Somme River. His main duty was laying and keeping communications lines opened between the front and G.H.Q. While repairing 1 line up on a pole, a German shell exploded at the base and blew him off the pole. It was joked by his buddies that the only reason he didn't suffer serious injury or even death, was because he landed on his head. Sydney served until 2/22/1919. He moved to Wichita Falls, Texas to seek his fortune. Eventually, he moved his widow mom and 5 sisters there to live with him. During the Great War, Sydney passed time writing poetry, drawing cartoons of his commander.

James Kent Waghorne


George Hoaen 2nd Btn. Cheshire Regiment

My father always said my Grandfather George Hoaen, who was in the Cheshires his number was 9204, was shipped from India in 1914 straight into battle still in their tropical kit. My Grandfather was fortunate to come through the war alive, though not uninjured he had a 20% disability pension. Subsequently, he served in the Royal Engineers, and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, before being demobbed in 1919.

Andrew Hoaen


Pnr. Clement George Baker British War Dog School Corps of Royal Engineers (d.27th Oct 1918)

Clement Baker was born in Malahide, County Dublin, at the time of his enlistment he lived in Saint-Louis de ­Poissy, France. He enlisted in Southampton, Hampshire. Before joining the Royal Engineers he was 261463, Royal Field Artillery. He died at home from wounds, and is buried in South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard, Essex.

S Flynn


Lt. Robert Carlyle Baile 76th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.16th Oct 1915)

Robert Carlyle Baile was the son of Rev. George William Baile. Educated in Athlone School and Trinity College, Dublin, he was Resident Engineer to the Great Western Brazil Railway. He enlisted in the Royal Naval Division and transferred to the Royal Engineers. Gazetted Royal Engineers, November 1914. Listed in Irish Life "Our Heroes" (26/11/1915). Robert is remembered on memorials at the Engineering School and on the main memorial at Trinity College, Dublin. His brother George Frederick Cecil Baile was also killed in WW1

s flynn


2nd Lt. George Frederick Cecil Baile Royal Engineers (d.9th Nov 1917)

George Baile, the son of Rev. George William Baile, died of wounds. He was educated in Mountjoy School and Trinity College, Dublin. He was gazetted Royal Engineers in November 1914 and wounded inDecember 1915. He is remembered on Memorials at Mountjoy School; Engineering School and main memorial, Trinity College, Dublin. His brother Robert Carlyle Baile was also killed in WW1

Update: He is buried in Kensal Green (All Souls') Cemetery. His father, Rev George Baile, Chaplain 4th Class attached to 64th Casualty Clearing Station died from natural causes on 27 January 1918. He was 52. He was buried in Étaples Military Cemetery. His only surviving son Captain J Baile, Royal Engineers was present at his funeral. He had spent 14 years as a Chaplain in Pernambuco, Brazil.

S Flynn


Lt. Arthur George Atock MC. 155th Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.13th Sep 1918)

Lieutenant Arthur Atock was the son of Arthur M.D. and Marion L. Atock, of Inchicore, Dublin. Growing up he attended Mountjoy School and Trinity College, Dublin. In March 1916 he enlisted with The Black Watch, and in December that year received his commission as Lieutenant in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. A year later in December 1917 he transferred to 155th Royal Engineers, which had joined the 16th (Irish) Division in August 1915.

Arthur Atock was killed in action in France aged 20, and is buried in Houchin British Cemetery. He was twice awarded the Parchment Certificate for bravery in the field, and was also awarded the Military Cross. He is commemorated on the Great War Memorial inside Trinity College, Dublin. His framed photograph can be found on the right-hand staircase inside the School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin's Museum Building.

S Flynn


S/Sgt. Joseph Frederick Allen 34th Signal Coy Royal Engineers (d.4th Nov 1916)

Joseph F Allen was born in Castle Knock, Co. Dublin and enlisted at Chatham, Kent. He died in Turkey

S Flynn


Cpl. Thomas Patrick McKenna 528 Field. Coy. Royal Engineers (d.10th Nov 1917)

Thomas Patrick McKenna served with 528th Field Company, Royal Engineers and died of wounds on the 10th November 1917. He is remembered at St. Paul's Church and is buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery. His medal card shows the award of the 1915 Star, War and Victory Medals. His younger brother William of 22nd Brigade RFA was also among the fallen.

Thomas was born in Jarrow. son of William and Elizabeth McKenna nee Watson of 48 Charles Street, Jarrow. He was married to Minnie McKenna nee Storey of 15 Frederick Street, Jarrow. In the 1911 census Thomas(24) a ships plate rivetter is living at 9 Gibson Street Jarrow with his wife of 2 years Minnie(23) and they have a son Thomas Edward who is two years old.

Vin Mullen


Dvr. John McDougall 57th Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.1st Mar 1918)

John McDougall served with 57th Field Coy. Royal Engineers. He was aged 26 when he died on 1st March 1918. He was born, lived and enlisted Jarrow, the Son of Archibald McDougall and brother of Archibald McDougall of 13 Bell Street East Jarrow. On the 1911 census he is recorded as John McDougall age 19 Labourer in Shipyard is with his father Archibald McDougall and stepmother Rose Ann McDougall and family at 205 High Street, Jarrow.

John is buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


Spr. William Cuthbert McCarthy MM. 206th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.3rd Dec 1918)

William Cuthbert McCarthy served as a Sapper with the 206th Field Company Royal Engineers and was awarded the Military Medal. He was aged 23 when he died on 3rd December 1918. Born in Westoe in 1895, he lived in East Jarrow. On the 1911 census he is recorded as William Cuthbert McCarthy age 15 Colliery Worker above ground living with his parents Robert and Margaret Ann (nee Gray) McCarthy and family at 25 Simonside Terrace, East Jarrow.

William is buried in Soumoy Communal Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Francis J. McCabe 102nd Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.25th Feb 1918)

Francis J. McCabe served with the 102nd Field Coy. Royal Engineers. He was aged 27 when died on 25th February 1918. Born in Jarrow in 1890 he was the son of John and Mary McCabe. On the 1911 census Francis McCabe age 20 Seagoing Fireman is with his wife Winifred McCabe (nee Riley) and daughter at 13 South Street back, Jarrow. He enlisted in Jarrow.

Francis is buried in Giavera British Cemetery Arcade and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Driver Robert William Smith McBain Signal Depot (Fenny Stratford) Royal Engineers (d.15th Dec 1916)

Robert William Smith McBain was serving as a Driver at the Signal Depot in Fenny Stratford with the Royal Engineers when he died on 15th December 1916. He was aged 24. Born in Hebburn in 1892 he was the son of John and Mary McBain. He enlisted in Jarrow. On the 1911 census, Robert William Smith McBain age 19 is a Driver with the 26th Field Company Royal Engineers at the Borden Camp in Hampshire.

Robert died in Newcastle and is buried in Hebburn Cemetery. He is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph (south face) Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Gilbert Clarke McAlpine 106th Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.5th Aug 1917)

Gilbert Clarke McAlpine served with 106th Field Coy. Royal Engineers. He was aged 39 when he died on 5th August 1917. Born Dumbarton, he was the son of Gilbert and Isabella McAlpine and husband of Emily Annie McAlpine (nee Dunn) of 52 Cobden Street Jarrow. On the 1911 census Gilbert Clarke McAlpine age 32 Architect Surveyor is listed as with his parents Gilbert and Isabella McAlpine and family at 15 New Knowles Road, Fulwell, Sunderland. He enlisted in Jarrow.

Gilbert is buried in Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Robert Melvin 102nd Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.31st Oct 1918)

Robert Melvin served in 102nd Field Company, Royal Engineers and died on the 31st October 1918. He is remembered at St. Paul's Church and is buried in Giavera British Cemetery Arcade. His medal card records the award of the 1915 Star,War and Victory Medals. He was also awarded the Military Medal for Gallantry.

Robert was born in Jarrow 1892, son of Robert and Annie Melville nee Dunleavy of 11 Dunn Street, Jarrow. In the 1911 census the family is living at that address with Robert(63) a dock labourer - shipbuilding and his wife of 23 years Annie(43). They had 10 children, 9 survived and all are single and living at home. James(22)a fruit merchants clerk, Robert(18) ships painter and Thomas(16) a rivetter heater. The remaining children are at or below school age, Mary Ann(11), Annie(8), Catherine(5), Julia(3) and Marie is 10 months old. His younger brother Thomas was also one of the fallen.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Thomas Melvin Durham Fortress Company Royal Engineers (d.4th Nov 1918)

Thomas Melvin served in Durham Fortress Company, Royal Engineers and died on the 4th November 1918. He is remembered at St. Paul's Church and is buried in Jarrow Cemetery. His medal card records the award of the War and Victory Medals. It also records that he retired from the Territorial Force under Kings Regulations 1923 ref 8426/Adjutant. So he may have retired on medical grounds and died at home.

Thomas was born in Jarrow 1895, son of Robert and Annie Melville nee Dunleavy of 11 Dunn Street, Jarrow. In the 1911 census the family is living at that address with Robert(63) a dock labourer - shipbuilding and his wife of 23 years Annie(43). They had 10 children, 9 survived and all are single and living at home. James(22)a fruit merchants clerk, Robert(18) ships painter and Thomas(16) a rivetter heater. The remaining children are at or below school age, Mary Ann(11), Annie(8), Catherine(5), Julia(3) and Marie is 10 months old. His older brother Robert was also one of the fallen.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Edgar Seaton Metcalfe 218 Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.24th Jun 1917)

Edgar Seaton Metcalfe enlisted at Jarrow and served in 218th (Glasgow)Field Company, Royal Engineers. He died from wounds age 26 on the 24th June 1917 and is remembered at St. Paul's Church, He is buried in Coxyde Military Cemetery. His medal card records the award of the 1914 Star, War and Victory Medals also that he died from wounds.

Edgar was born in Jarrow 1891, son of Edgar Seaton and Rosine Metcalfe nee Slevin of 29 Donkin Terrace, North Shields. In the 1911 census Edgar(19) is lodging with the Schmeiter family at 34 Hugh Street, London working as a Pantryman at a hotel.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Samuel Little 1st/2nd Durham Fortress Company Royal Engineers (d.17th Dec 1914)

Samuel Little died at Hartlepool aged 20, he was born in Jarrow in 1894, son of Walter and Susan Little (nee McDonald) of 8 Clyde Street Jarrow. In the 1911 Census he is listed as Samuel Little, age 16, an Apprentice House Plumber, living with his parents Walter & Susan Little & siblings at 8, Clyde Street, Jarrow-on-Tyne. He lived and enlisted in Jarrow

Samuel is buried in Jarrow Cemetery and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Lt. Arthur Blackwood Gowan 1st/3rd Durham Field Company Royal Engineers (d.14th Jul 1916)

Arthur Blackwood Gowan served as a Lieutenant in the 1st/3rd Durham Field Company, Royal Engineers. He was aged 19 when died on 14th July 1916. Son of Arthur Byram Gowan and Agnes Jane Gowan of 7 Brandling Park Newcastle, His father Arthur Byram Gowan was Managing Director of Palmer Shipbuilders in Jarrow.

Arthur is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, on the Palmer Cenotaph (north face) Jarrow. He is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow and at Christ Church in Jarrow. A ferry that crossed the River Tyne from Jarrow to Howdon was named after him, the A.B.Gowan.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Sidney King 22nd Light Railway Train Crew Company Royal Engineers (d.23rd July 1917)

Sidney King served with 22nd Light Railway Train Crew Company and was aged 19 when he died on 23rd July 1917. He was born in Jarrow, son of Frederick and Mary A. King (nee Thurston) of North Eastern Gas Works House, Castle Eden County Durham. On the 1911 census he is listed as Sidney King age 12 at School living with his parents Frederick and Mary A. King at North Eastern Gas Works, Ferryhill

Sidney is buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


L/Cpl. George Ledingham 526th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.12th Aug 1917)

George Ledingham, died aged 25. He was born in Jarrow in 1892, son of Benjamin and Margaret Ledingham. In the 1911 Census he is listed as George Ledingham, age 18, a Joiner on Buildings, living with his parents Benjamin & Margaret Ledingham & his siblings at 58, Russell Street, Jarrow.

George is buried in Mindel Trench British Cemetery, St. Laurent-Blangy. and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church, Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. William Lascelles 526th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.1st Jul 1916)

William Lascelles died aged 22. He was born in Jarrow in 1892 son of Joseph Harker and Janet Lascelles (nee Robertson) of 49 Ferry Street Jarrow. In the 1911 Census William Lascelles, age 19, a Coal miner in Hebburn Colliery, lived with his parents Joseph Harker & Janet Lascelles at 49, Ferry Street, Jarrow. He was the husband of Catherine Potts (formerly Lascelles nee Taylor) of 2 Bell Street East Jarrow. His older brothers James and Joseph were also of the fallen

William is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. James Keith 61st Field Company Royal Engineers (d.31st Mar 1917)

James Keith Served with 61st Field Company Royal Engineers, he was aged 34 when he died on 31st March 1917. Born Jarrow 1883, he was the son of Alexander and Mary Ann Keith of Jarrow and husband of Elizabeth Keith (nee Thurston) of 40 Cumberland Street West Hartlepool. He enlisted in West Hartlepool. On the 1911 census he is listed as James Keith age 28 Electrical Labourer in Electrical Works living with his wife Elizabeth Keith and children at 83 Albert Road, Jarrow.

James is buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Thomas Musson 174 Tun. Coy. Royal Engineers (d.19th Sep 1915)

Thomas Musson, Sapper 102486, enlisted at London and served with the 174th Tunneling Company, Royal Engineers. He was killed in action age 34 on the 19th September 1915 and is remembered at Jarrow Library. He is buried in Point 110 Old Military Cemetery Fricourt. E10. His medal card records the award of the 1915 Star, War and Victory Medals and that he was killed in action.

Thomas was born in Jarrow 1881, son of Edward and Frances Musson nee Pincher of 17 California Street, New Seaham, Durham. He was married to Catherine Musson nee Clasper. In the 1911 census Thomas(30), a coal miner was living at 18 Mount Pleasant, New Seaham, with his father-in-law Thomas Clasper(63)widower, a colliery lamp examiner (surface). Thomas had been married for 7 years to Catherine(26). They had 6 children but only 2 survived. Thomas (7) and William Bell aged 4.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Thomas Tooley 526th Corps Royal Engineers (d.28th Mar 1918)


Thomas Tooley died aged 22, born in Smethwick in 1895, son of George Henry Tooley of 6 Oldbury Road West Smethwick Birmingham and Sarah Ann Tooley (nee Darby). In the 1911 Census Thomas E Tooley, aged 16, a Labourer in a Brass & Copper works, is recorded as living with his Uncle Edgar Martin & Aunt Lena Martin at 13, Russell Street, Jarrow-on-Tyne. He enlisted in Jarrow and served in France from 18th September 1915.

thomas is buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun. He is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph Jarrow and on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Herbert William Todd 1st/3rd Durham Field Company Royal Engineers (d.29th Jun 1916)

Herbert Todd died age 22. He was born in Wallsend in 1894. In the 1911 Census, he is listed as Herbert William Todd, age 16, an Apprentice Blacksmith in Ship Repairing, living with his parents, Henry & Anna Mary (nee Horsborough) Todd & family in Wallsend. He had enlisted in Walker with the Northumberland Fusiliers. He was the husband of Kate Dorothy Young (formerly Todd - nee Harris) of 48 Nansen Street Jarrow.

Herbert is buried in South Shields (Harton) Cemetery and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


L/Cpl. John Thomas Thornton 3rd Durham Fort Company Royal Engineers (d.20th Jun 1917)

John Thornton died aged 31. He was born in Boldon Colliery. In the 1911 Census he is listed as John Thomas Thornton, age 25, a Coal Miner & Hewer, living with his new wife Mary (nee Hutchinson) in Station Road, Boldon Colliery. He enlisted in Jarrow. John is buried in Bolden Cemetery and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Pte. Thomas John Thompson 1st Battalion, B Coy. Gloucestershire Regiment (d.28th Oct 1918)

Thomas John Thompson died aged 33 whilst serving with 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, he had formerly served with the Royal Engineers. Born in Penshaw Durham in 1885, son of William and Ellen Thompson (nee Aittis). In the 1911 Census he is listed as Thomas John Thompson, age 26, a Piano & Organ Commercial Traveller, living with his parents William & Ellen Thompson & siblings at 2, Oak Street, Jarrow-on-Tyne. He was the husband of Eleanor Barber Thompson (nee Stockman) of 42 Walter Street Jarrow. He enlisted in Aldershot.

Thomas is buried in Hebburn Cemetery and is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Cpl. William Taylor No. 2 Depot Company (Newark) Royal Engineers (d.14th May 1916)

William Taylor died aged 28, he was born in Jarrow in 1888 and was the son of John and Mary Jane Taylor (nee Forrest) of 45 Canon Cockin Street Hendon Sunderland. In the 1911 Census he is listed as William Taylor, age 23, an Iron Moulder in an Engineering firm, living with his parents John & Mary Jane Taylor & his 2 brothers at 5, Birch Street, Jarrow-on-Tyne He enlisted in Sunderland and first served in France on the 30th of August 1915.

William is buried in Sunderland Ryhope (Ryhope Road) Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


Cpl. Patrick Kane 1st/3rd Durham Field Company Royal Engineers (d.18th Oct 1916)

Patrick Kane serbed with the 1st/3rd Durham Field Company Royal Engineers, he was aged 36 when he died on 18th October 1916. he was born in Jarrow in 1879,son of Thomas and Ellen Kane of 175 Cuthbert Street Hebburn (natives of Galway). On the 1911 census, Patrick Kane age 30 Bricklayer at Steel Works is with his parents Thomas and Ellen Kane and family at 175 Cuthbert Street, Hebburn.

He died in Bradford and is buried in Hebburn Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


Spr. William Scott 422nd Field Company Royal Engineers (d.30th Nov 1917)

William Scott was born and was living in Jarrow when he enlisted South Shields. He is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval and is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Cpl. Alfred George Wells 175 Tunnel Coy. Royal Engineers (d.26th Jun 1917)

Alfred George Wells, Corporal 102244, enlisted London and served in 175th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers. He was killed in action age 38 on the 26th June 1917 and is remembered at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. His medal card records the award of the 1915 Star, War and Victory Medals and that he was killed in action.

Alfred was born in Jarrow 1879. He was married to Dorothy Durey (formerly Wells nee Wandless) of 8 Mears Terrace, Burradon, Dudley, Northumberland.

Vin Mullen


Mjr. Thomas Henderson Weir MC. 526(1st Durham) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.8th May 1918)

Thomas Henderson Weir, Major, MC. served with 526 (1st Durham) Field Company, Royal Engineers and died age 35 on the 8th May 1918. He is remembered at Jarrow Cemetery and Chocques Mlitary Cemetery. IV.A.15. His medal card records the award of the 1915 Star, War and Victory Medals. He was also awarded the Military Cross.

Thomas was born in Hartlepool 1882, son of James Johnstone Weir(Physician and Surgeon)and Maria Cameron Weir of Jarrow. He was married to Alice Weir nee Rumbelow of 91 Rusthall Avenue, Bedford Park, London. In the 1911 census his parents were living at Crayil Lea, Jarrow with his sister Maria(31) single, a dispensing chemist, also a neice and a boarder. His parents had been married for 36 years having eight children, but only 3 were still living. Thomas was living in London at his wife's address above.

Vin Mullen


Spr. George Robert Watson 89th Fld. Coy. Royal Engineers (d.4th May 1917)

George Robert Watson enlisted at Jarrow and served with 89th Field Company, Royal Engineers. He died on the 4th May 1917 and is remembered at St. Paul's Church and on the Arras Memorial. His medal card shows the award of the War and Victory Medals.

George was born in Jarrow 1888, son of David and the late Annie Watson of 81 McIntyre Street, Jarrow. In the 1911 census the family are living at that address with David(62) widower, a fitter in shipbuilding. There had been 8 surviving children, with 4 single and still living at home. George(24) was a plumber in shipbuilding William(21)also a fitter in shipbuilding, Agnes(19) a bookkeeper and Harold(13) at school.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Frederick Jackson 526th Field Coy Corps Royal Engineers (d.26th Apr 1918)

Frederick Jackson who died aged 23 was born in Gateshead in 1894. He lived and enlisted in Jarrow. He was the son of Thomas and Jane Ann W. Jackson (nee Matthews) of Jarrow. Frederick Jackson age 17 Painter in Shipyard is with his parents Thomas and Jane Jackson and family at 39 Howe Street, Hebburn on the 1911 census.

Frederick is buried in Chocques Military Cemetery and is also commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Dvr. John George Walton 225 Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.30th Sep 1916)

John George Walton enlisted at West Hartlepool and served in 225th Field Company, Royal Engineers. He died age 20 on the 30th September 1916 and is buried at Englebelmer Communal Cemetery. His medal card records the award of the War and Victory Medals. John was born in Jarrow in 1895, son of John and Elizabeth Walton of Belmont Elwick, West Hartlepool.

Vin Mullen


Spr. A. S. Hawes 30 Coy. Royal Engineers

I have a copy of Wood Finishing - A book owned by and signed Sapper A S Hawes, 30th Coy Royal Engineers, Elphinstone Barracks, Plymouth dated 2.10.16

Michael Wooldridge


Spr. James Irving 69th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.29th Apr 1917)

James Irving was born and enlisted into the army in Jarrow. He was the husband of Margaret A Irving (nee Bonner). The 1911 Census shows James being 29 years of age and living with his wife and children at 2 James Street, Hebburn Quay. At this time he was a Platers Helper in the Shipyard.

He died aged 34 and is buried in Feuchy British Cemetery where the CWGC record has his surname as Irwin, he is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Cpl. Robert Allan Walker MM. Royal Engineers (d.27th Nov 1919)

Robert Allan Walker served in the Royal Engineers and died age 30 on the 27th November 1919. He is buried at Jarrow Cemetery. His medal card shows the award of the War and Victory Medals. He was also awarded the Military Medal.

Robert was born in Jarrow 1889, son of the late Frederick and Sarah Walker nee Redhead. He was married to Maud Mary H Walker nee Frost of 23 Charles Street, Jarrow. In the 1891 census Robert(2), Amelia(3) Leah (1 month) are visiting with their mother Sarah(32).

Vin Mullen


Sgt. Thomas Ronaldson 526 (1st Durham) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.17th Apr 1917)

Thomas Ronaldson, Sergeant 470095, enlisted at Jarrow and served in the 526th (1st Durham) Field Company, Royal Engineers. He was killed in action age 27 on the 17th April 1917 and is remembered at Palmer Cenotaph, St. Paul's Church and is buried in Hervin Farm British Cemetery, St Laurent-Blangy. His medal card records the award of the 1915 Star, War and Victory Medals also that he was killed in action.

Thomas was born in Jarrow 1889 and was married to Edith Ronaldson nee Biddle of Jarrow. In the 1911 census they were living at 79 Croft Terrace, Jarrow. Thomas(22) was a brass tube caster's helper in a brass and copper tube works. His wife Edith(19) of under one year was born in Birmingham. They had no children and his mother-in-law Sarah Jane Biddle(46) widow was staying there as well.

Vin Mullen


Spr. James Henry F S Robertson 129 Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.12th April 1917)

James Henry F.S. Robertson, Sapper 145094, enlisted at Blyth, served in 129 Field Company Royal Engineers and died age 23 on the 12th April 1917. He is remembered at Arras Memorial. Bay 1. His medal card records the award of the War and Victory Medals.

He was born in Jarrow 1893.

129th Field Company Royal Engineers was in 24th Division from April 1915.

  • 24th Division in 1917
  • The Battle of Vimy Ridge, a phase of the Arras offensive 1917
  • The Battle of Messines
  • The Battle of Pilkem Ridge***
  • The Battle of Langemarck***
  • The battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres
  • The Cambrai Operations (the German counter attack)

Vin Mullen


Spr. Frederick George Rosen Royal Engineers (d.5th March 1919)

Frederick George Rosen, Sapper 470065, served in the Royal Engineers and died age 32 on the 5th March 1919. He is remembered at Jarrow Cemetery.II.C.441. His medal card shows the award of the 1915 Star, War and Victory Medals.

Frederick was born in Pembroke 1887, son of Frederick George and Mary Ann Rosen nee Collins of Jarrow. He was married to Elizabeth Ann Swinbank (formerly Rosen nee Ramshaw). In the 1911 census the family is living at 37 Charles Street, Jarrow with Frederick(47)a boilermaker in shipbuilding and his wife of 25 years Mary Ann(45). They had 10 children all living with 8 at this address. The two eldest Florence(25) and Frederick(23) are both married, entered on the form and crossed out obviously on forms at their own addresses. Florence has no further details entered but Fred is shown as married for 15 months and with 1 child.

Vin Mullen


Spr. William Houston Ross 528 Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.14th Oct 1917)

William Houston Ross enlisted in Jarrow and served in 528 field Company, Royal Engineers. He is remembered at Palmer Cenotaph and is buried in Railway Dugouts Burial ground. His medal card shows the award of the 1915 Star, War and Victory Medals also that he was killed in action on the 14th October 1917.

William was born in South Shields 1894, son of William and Frances Ross nee Edwards. In the 1911 census the family are living at 25 Rosa Street, South Shields with William(55), a special railway porter for North Eastern Railways and Fraces(54), his wife of 33 years having 12 children of whom 10 survived. Seven, all single, are living here, George(26) assistant clerk to Justice, Walter(22) solicitors clerk, Harold(20) gasfitters shop assistant, Helen(18) Drapers shop assistant, William Houston(16)Grocers shop assistant, Gladys(15) and Norman(13) at school. There is also an adopted daughter Amy Ross who is 4 years old.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Stanley Rymell Royal Engineers (d.21st Feb 1917)

Stanley Rymell, Sapper 205328, served in the Royal Engineers and died age 21 in a Military Hospital on the 21st February 1917. He is remembered at St. Paul's Church, Jarrow Library and in Jarrow Cemetery. T.205. His medal card shows the award of the 1915 Star, War and Victory Medal.

He was born in Jarrow 1895, son of Joseph Rymell of 65 Catherine Street, Jarrow and the late Alice Rymell nee Miller. In the 1911 census the family is living at that address with Joseph Rymell(49) widower, a steel worker and 6 sons. There is also a house keeper Margaret Chorley(36) widow. Three of the sons are working, Joseph(20), Frank(17) both Enginemen at the Steelworks and Stanley(15) an apprentice fitter at the shipyard. The three younger sons, Oswald(12), Lawrence(10) and Vincent (9) are all students.

Royal Engineers - It is difficult to establish where he served and what injury or illness led to his death in a military hospital without knowledge of the Company in which he served.

Update: From Stanley's Service Record on Ancestry we can see that he was an apprentice boilermaker aged 18 years and 5 months when he enlisted into the Durham Fortress Royal Engineers from 17/4/1913. He was 5 feet 3 inches in height and had good health and physique. He was in France19/9/1915-28/9/1915. He was admitted to a Field Ambulance with scabies on 25/9/1915.

By December 1916 he had transferred too IWTRE Corps (Inland Waterways & Docks). He was admitted to Hill House Military hospital in Kent with appendicitis on 21/12/1916 having been unwell for 3 months. Just prior to that his records state that on 10th December he would be "kept under close arrest whilst under hospital investigation as he broke out of isolation camp in barracks whilst suffering from infectious disease". On 18/2/1917 he was transferred to Military Hospital, Shorncliffe with increasing peritonitis symptoms and on 21st he sank rapidly and died at 10 pm.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Robert Millar Royal Engineers

My great-uncle Bob Millar served as a Sapper during WWI. He was born in Newbattle Edinburgh on 7th Aug 1886 and died on the 27th Jan 1975 in Bowhill, Fife. He never married and had no offspring. I have his war medals. I knew him very well but he never talked about being in the war. His brothers were also Sappers but as they had children and many descendants they will be remembered. He was very tall at least 6'4" so how he tunnelled under enemy lines to plant bombs is astounding. He worked as a miner all his life. I only have a couple of photos of him sadly and none in uniform. But I do have his medals which are in a shadow box along with my dad's WWII medals.

Elaine Tayefeh


A/Cpl. James Harding 1st/3rd (Durham) Fld Coy Royal Engineers (d.1st Jul 1916)

James Harding was born in Jarrow, he was the son of William Harding and the late Sarah Jane Harding of Jarrow. On the 1911 census he is listed as James Harding age 21 Apprentice Blacksmith in Shipyard is lodging at 5 Blindburn Street, Hebburn His father and stepmother William and Annie Harding are living at 9 Connaught Terrace, Jarrow on the 1911 census.

He enlisted at Jarrow and died aged 26 he is buried in Dantzig Alley British Cemetery. Mametz and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church, Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Joseph Duffy Inland Water Transport Royal Engineers

Joseph Duffy served with the Inland Water Transport, Royal Engineers. He was aged 40 when he died on 23rd March 1921. Born in Sunderland he was the husband of Catherine Duffy of 10 Parkeson Street Felling.

Joseph is buried in Heworth (St. Mary) Churchyard and is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph (south face) Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Sgt. John Christopher Peterson 526 (1st Durham) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.20th Jul 1917)

John Christopher Peterson enlisted at Jarrow and served in 526 (1st Durham) Field Company, Royal Engineers. He died on the 20th July 1917 and had been awarded the Bronze Medal for Valour (Italy). John was the son of John Christopher and Mary Elizabeth Peterson of 9 Bridge Street, Jarrow and in the 1911 census he was living with his widowed mother Mary (35). John was 17 and a general labourer at a brass and copper tubing factory. There were 3 younger sons and 3 younger sisters all of school age. John also has service with the Royal engineers Territorials Service No.494. His medal card shows he was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

John is remembered at Palmer's Cenotaph, St. Paul's and St. Mark's Churches. He is buried in Crump Trench British Cemetery, Fampoux.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Frederick Percival 526 (1st Durham) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.3rd Oct 1917)

Frederick Percival enlisted at Jarrow and served in 526 (1st Durham) Field Company, Royal Engineers. He also had service in the Royal Engineers Territorials - Service No.541. Frederick's medal card shows entitlement to the British War and Victory Medals. He was the son of John and Catherine Percival having been born at Jarrow in 1892. He had lived in West Hartlepool.

Frederick died on the 3rd October 1917. He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery and remembered at St Paul's Church

Vin Mullen


Cpl. Joseph Henry Corbett 528th Div Field Coy Royal Engineers (d.7th Aug 1916)

Joseph Corbett died aged 27 of wounds whilst serving with the Royal Engineers. He was baptised in St Paul's Jarrow on 4th April 1889 son of Jane Corbett (nee Mackay) and William Corbett. He is recorded as Joseph Henry Corbett age 22 Ships Steward in Mercantile Marine is with his widowed Jane Corbett and family at 49 High Street back, Jarrow on the 1911 census. He was born, lived and enlisted Jarrow.

Joseph is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church, Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Cpl. David Copeland 1st/3rd (Durham) Coy Royal Engineers (d.12th Jan 1917)

David Copeland died aged 19 whilst serving with the Royal Engineers. He was born in Plansworth, Durham, Son of Charles Smith Copeland and Eleanor Copeland. The 1911 census lists him as David Copeland age 13 at School living with his mother Nellie Copeland and family at 52 Pitt Street, Jarrow. He lived and enlisted in Jarrow.

David is buried in Puchevillers British Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


Sgt.Mjr. William Cook 16th Tyne Fortress Works Coy. Royal Engineers (d.20th Mar 1919)

Sergeant Major William Cook served with the 16th Tyne Fortress Works Coy. Royal Engineers. He was awarded the MSM (Long Service and Good Conduct Medal) He had been born in Burslem Staffordshire and served in the South African War. He was the son of Joseph and Annie Cook of Southsea Hampshire and husband of Christina Cook (nee Lydon) of 13 Holly Street Jarrow. On the 1911 census he is listed as William Cook age 30 Sergeant Major Instructor of Territorial Force, living with his wife Christina Cook and mother in law Elizabeth Lydon at 2 Nixon Street, Jarrow

William died aged 37 on 20th March 1919 and is buried in Jarrow Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Charles William Page 228th Field Coy Royal Engineers (d.25th Mar 1918)

Charles Page was my grandfather, he is buried in Beaulencourt British Cemetery. He and my grandmother wrote to each other during his time away We have these in the family, I have transcribed these as they are hard to read.

Teresa Heselden


Spr. Hugh Campbell 1st/2nd Durham Fortress Coy. Royal Engineers (d.24th Jul 1916)

Hugh Campbell was aged 31 when he died on 24th July 1916 whilst serving with the 1st/2nd Durham Fortress Coy. Royal Engineers. He was born, lived and enlisted Jarrow, the son of William and Elizabeth Campbell of Jarrow. Hugh Campbell age 25 Steel Works Furnaceman is recorded as living with with his widowed mother Elizabeth Campbell and family at 87 Buddle Street, Jarrow on the 1911 census.

Hugh is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph (west face) Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


James Wyatt George 506 Field Coy Royal Engineers

My grandfather Jimmy Wyatt got 7 days CC (Confined to Camp) under close arrest for being 1 hour late returning from leave. Never met him as he died before I was born, but everything I have learned about him tells me he was well turned out, punctual and very strict, so to find out that he was late surprised me greatly.

Andrew James George


Spr. John Edward Niddrie Tyne Electrical Engineers Royal Engineers

John Edward Niddrie Medal Index Card

John Edward Niddrie, Sapper 412 attested on the 26th February 1912 and joined Tyne Electrical Engineers. Royal Engineers at Cliffords Fort in North Shields. He was 17 years and 6 months old and a Marine Plumber with Northumberland Shipbuilding. He also became a highly qualified Electrical and Telephone Engineer during his military service.

His service record shows the following postings: 4th Mar 1912 to 4th Aug 1914 Home Service in reserve, 5th Aug 1914 to 20th Aug 1915 Home Service embodied (mobilized), 21st Aug 1915 to 30th Aug 1916 France and Flanders embodied, 1st Sep 1916 to 14th April 1917 Home Service. From the 9th September until his release on 14th April 1917 he was on Civilian Employment attachment to Northumberland Shipbuilders due to his marine electrical and plumbing abilities and his earlier employment with them.

He was born in Jarrow on the 8th July 1894 and his parents were Robert Hutchin and Isabella Neddrie (nee Linsley) He married Margaret Blenkey in Gateshead on the 1st September 1917.

He re-enlisted on a 90 day emergency service agreement on the 12th April 1921 with his old unit TEE-RE with Service No. 465105. At that time he was living at 4 Orchard Place, Dunston-on-Tyne with his wife Margaret and their two young sons, Robert Hutchin, b 29th Oct 1919 and John William, b 4th April 1918. John Edward Niddrie is recorded as having died during the quarter Oct - Dec 1922.(Gateshead Records)

Triptych (left panel) in St. Mark's Church Jarrow (it is no longer a Church)

Vin Mullen


Spr. Thomas Bramley 1st/3rd (Durham) Field Company Royal Engineers (d.13th Jan 1917)

Thomas Bramley died aged 22 on 13th January 1917 whilst serving with the 3rd (Durham) Field Company Royal Engineers. (formerly 470560 RE). He was born in 1895 the son of William and Annie Bramley (nee Evans) of Jarrow. On the 1911 census he is recorded as Thomas Bramley age 16 Junior Clerk in Stockbrokers living with his parents William and Annie Bramley and family at 48 Albert Road, Jarrow. He was born and enlisted Jarrow and is buried in Varennes Military Cemetery. Thomas is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church, Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. John Richard Bothick 126 Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.28th Sep 1917)

John Richard Bothick served with the 126th Field Company Royal Engineers. He was aged 34 when he died on 28th September 1917. He was the husband of Mary Davinson Bothick (nee Pearson) of 133 High Street Jarrow, where he is recorded as living withhis wife and children on the 1911 census, he was then age 27, working as a Ship Plate Rivetter in the Shipyard He was born and lived Jarrow and enlisted in Aylesbury.

John is buried in Lijssenthoek Military 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


Sapper Robert Bentham Royal Engineers

Robert Bentham Medal Index Card

Robert Bentham who served with the DLI and Royal Engineers died on 1st January 1920 age 38. He was born and lived Jarrow. Son of Matthew and Mary Anne Bentham (nee Cain) of 61 Buddle Street Jarrow and husband of Beatrice Bentham (nee Jackson) of Jarrow. His brothers James and Thomas were also of the fallen. On the 1911 census he is listed as Robert Bentham age 28 Ship Plate Rivetter at Cammel Lairds and is lodging at 19 Broughham Street, Birkenhead Robert is buried in Jarrow Cemetery.

Robert Bentham CWGC headstone in Jarrow Cemetery

Vin Mullen


Sapper Robert William Bell Tyne Electrical Engineers Royal Engineers (d.2nd March 1919)

Robert William Bell's Medal Index Card

Robert William Bell died on 2nd March 1919 aged 35. He served with the Tyne Electrical Engineers, Royal Engineers. Born in Jarrow, he was the son of James and Mary Bell of the Paper Mill Jarrow and husband of Elizabeth Bell (McIntosh) of 54 Prince Consort Road Jarrow. Robert is buried in Jarrow Cemetery and is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph (plaque west face) Jarrow and on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Robert William Bell CWGC headstone at Jarrow Cemetery

Vin Mullen


Spr. David B. Baird 107th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.27th Apr 1915)

David B. Baird Medal Index Card

David B. Baird served with 107th Field Company, Royal Engineers, he was aged 40 when he died on 27th April 1915. Born in 1874 in Sunderland, he was the son of Mary Jane Baird and husband of Elizabeth Baird (nee Langlands) of Jarrow. He enlisted in Jarrow. David is buried in Salisbury (Devizes Road) Cemetery and is is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church, Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. Frederick Avery 93rd Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.18th Feb 1918)

Frederick Avery's Medal Index Card

Frederick Avery served with 93rd Field Coy. Royal Engineers. He was aged 29 when he died on 18th February 1918. He was born and enlisted Gateshead, the son of John and Mary Ann Avery of Gateshead. Frederick is buried in Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery. Mananourt and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church, Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. William John Anderson 12th Fld. Coy. Royal Engineers (d.21st Mar 1918)

William John Anderson enlisted at Newcastle and served with the 12th Field Company Royal Engineers, attached to 6th Division. He died age 43 on the 21st March 1918 and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow and is remembered on the Arras Memorial.

William was born in Hebburn, the son of Edward and Catherine Anderson (nee Fairley) and was married to Sarah Jane Anderson (nee Hutchinson) of 202 High Street Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Spr. George Ambler 1st/3rd (Durham) Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.7th Sep 1916)

George Ambler Medal Index Card

George Ambler served with the 1st/3rd (Durham) Field Coy. Royal Engineers. He was aged 28 when he died on 7th September 1916. He had enlisted in Jarrow. George is buried in Delville Wood Cemetery. Longueval and is commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph (west face) Jarrow.

Vin Mullen


Pte. Michael Farrell 5th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

Aycliffe Village Local History Society


Spr. James Geary Durham Fortress Company Royal Engineers (d.16th Nov 1918)

James Geary was the son of Patrick and Ellen Geary(nee Finnigan)of 245 High Street, Jarrow. From the 1911 England and Wales census, James was aged 15 and working as a shipyard heater. His father was aged 42 and a shipyard plate riveter, born in Jarrow. His mother was aged 36 and also born in Jarrow.

James died aged 25 on 16 November 1918 and is buried in Jarrow Cemetery.

Vin Mullen


Spr. George Edward Findlay B.S. Cable Section Royal Engineers (d.27th Sep 1918)

George Edward Findlay enlisted at Newcastle and served in the B.S. Cable Section, Royal Engineers. He died age 22 on the 27th September 1918 in Egypt. He is buried in Ramleh War Cemetery.

George was born in Jarrow, son of Edward and Sarah Emily Findlay (nee Tuck) of 40 Holme Avenue Walker Gate, Newcastle and the family is living at that address in the 1911 census with Edward(40) a House Painter and his wife of 16 years Sarah Emily. They have 5 children, George Edward(15) who works as a telegraph messanger, Doris Margaret(12), Tom Stanley(10) and Florence Emily(8) are at school. Robson is 4 years old. also living here are Sarah's father George Tuck (78) Pensioner and his wife Margaret Tuck who is 74.

Vin Mullen


Sapper Wilfred Ewart "Tom" Winter 101st Field Company

It would appear my Grandfather Tom Winter served as a Territorial in the 101st Field Company. He is known to have served in the Somme and Passchendeale where he was injured. I believe one of his duties was out placing barred wire at night. Repatriated he recovered and we think went to Egypt although Italy is more likely. I have spent 10 years searching and I hope I have found something to ice the cake. Any more information would be a real bonus as I would like to take the car and trace some of the places concerned.

Robin G Winter


Pte. Henry Richard Thomas Ames Gloucestershire Regiment

Henry Richard Thomas Ames was the grandfather I never knew, having died in 1963 when I was only 2 years of age. From my father I was able to obtain some insights into Harry's war, including being gassed and buried alive twice, eventually surviving the war and emigrating to Australia in 1921.

From my research I have been able to obtain his medal card and medal roll details and also find out a lot of extra information including Harry's older brother William, who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and I was able to obtain his (William's) full service record from the Canadian Archives. Harry went on to become one of the first life members of the Campsie RSL in Sydney and I believe one of the only British Army members to become a member of the Australian RSL. Harry's wife, Vera, was also actively involved with the RSL until her death in 1958. I hope someone who reads this maybe able to fill in some of the "blanks" regarding The Royal engineers, The 2nd South Midlands etc.

Editor's Note: His medal record does mention the Gloucester Regiment twice with different Regimental Numbers 1718 and 240173 also Royal Engineers Regimental Number 497926. He was discharged on the 15th April 1919. It is not obvious which Battalion(s) of the Gloucesters he served in. The mention of 2nd South Midlands is more likely to refer to : 61st (2nd South Midland) Division. Within this Division Battalions of the Gloucesters served in two of the Brigades; 183rd (2nd Gloucester and Worcester) Brigade had 2/4th and 2/6th Battalions Gloucesters and 184th (2nd South Midland) Brigade had the 2/5th Battalion Gloucesters. The Royal engineers item may refer to an attachment to an RE Company in the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division.

Wayne Ames


Cpl John Charles Atkins 5th Divisional Signals Company Royal Engineers

My grandfather, 2nd Corporal Jack Atkins, was a Londoner, a career soldier and an "Old Contemptible"; he was born in the City of London although his family subsequently moved to Lambeth. He served for seven years in the infantry before transferring to 5 Signals Company in 1913. The Company provided communications for 5 Divisional HQ and for each of the three infantry brigades of the division.

In August 1914 the Division left Carlow in Ireland to join the BEF in France, and Jack experienced the rigours of the Retreat from Mons. Next came the hard-fought Battle of Le Cateau on 26th August, the engagement which famously saved the BEF and fatally slowed the German advance into France. Jack is believed to have been part of the HQ Section Signallers based at the village of Reumont, and during the morning was sent to lay a cable between 5 Div HQ and the 19th Brigade to their north. The unit War Diary says "Sgt Holmes and his cable det. were detailed to lay a cable line to the 19th Brigade, but were evidently captured by the Germans for his party (men, horses and wagon) has not been heard of since. The cable line was last seen running through a line of German infantry."

He spent the rest of the war as a POW in Germany and then, in 1918, Holland to which neutral country he was repatriated as suffering from "barbed-wire fever". On his return to Britain at the end of the war he learned that two of his three younger brothers had been killed in May 1915 (coincidentally both on the same day - 26th - although one, Herbert, was at Gallipoli with 2nd Royal Fusiliers and the other, William, in France with 1/23rd London Regiment).

Jack reenlisted and served with the Royal Signals as it became until the end of his enlistment in 1927 by which time he was a Quartermaster Sergeant. He settled in Brighton with his wife and young family, returning briefly to the Colours in the next war as a Company Sergeant Major. A quiet man, he never spoke of his brothers or of the Great War except to say that they'd been kept very hungry in captivity. He died in Brighton in 1955, just two weeks after the death of his wife.

Paul Atkins


Spr. Matthias Duffy 447th Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.4th Jul 1917)

My Grandfather, Matthias Duffy of Burnopfield Co Durham, served with the 447th Fld Coy RE. He was killed in action near Cherisy on the 4th of July 1917.


Spr. Hugh Devlin 179th Tunnelling Coy. Royal Engineers

My Grandfather, Hugh Devlin, served in 179th Tunnerlling Coy, Royal Engineers for the duration. He was recruited from Blantyre, Lanarkshire when he was a coal miner, with many more from the village.

Terence Devlin


William George Frederick Yates 2nd Btn. Essex Regiment

My Great Grandfather, William George Frederick Yates, served with the 2nd Essex Regiment, BEF and I believe he was shot and wounded at Ypres on the 12th of November 1914. I have some of his army cards, photos and possessions. After this he was transferred to the Royal Engineers and survived the war. Following the Great War he served in India in the 1920's.

Dan Shadrake


Spr. Edward Percy Etheridge 517th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.29th May 1917)

Edward Etheridge was the son of Arthur & Mary of Islington. He served overseas after 1st January 1916. Edward was killed in action but has no known grave, he is remembered with honour at Chester Farm Cemetery.

Mark Morgan


Dvr. Henry Dowling 233rd Field Company Royal Engineers

This information is from my Grandfather's enlistment papers, his name was Henry Dowling, I recall that his medals were marked 'driver' and he told me he was a mule driver.

Bob Dowling


Spr. Thomas John Wallett 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers

Thomas Wallett joined the militia 3rd Shropshire Light Infantry on 27/1/1900, enrollment number 4236 a month later his number was changed to 6274 4 KSLI. He was shipped out to the Boer war 1900 to 1903 and was a reservist till 1914 when he join the Royal Engineres number 86410 3rd pro co his discharge date is 12/10/17 due to sickness he was awarded the SWB number 1137. I never met my grandfather as he died 3 days after I was born. I have never seen his medals and until 2012 had no idea what he looked like but in 2012 I was sent a photo of a wedding in 1927 in which he is pictured.

Graham Thomas


Cpl. Paul Alfred Bence MM. 95th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.6th May 1917)

Paul Alfred Bence, Cpl. 45357 R.E. (95th Field Co.) Entered France 25.5.15. He was killed in Action on the 6th May 1917 and is commemorated on the Arras memorial to the Missing.

Paul Bence was born in Twerton, Bath in 1886, the son of Walter and Ellen Bence a stonemason. In the early years of the 20th Century Paul moved to the Rhondda like many others in search of work in the newly developing coalfield. In 1910 he married Bertha Louisa……… and by 1911 was living at 33 Upper Gynor Terrace in Ynyshir. His occupation was given as a Coal Rider (underground). At the time of his death he was described as a Banksman at the National Colliery. He was the fifth man from Ynyshir to win the Military Medal which was described in a newspaper report of January 1917 (20th). He won his MM during the battle of the Somme while a L.Cpl.. Unfortunately he was killed by a shell on May 6th 1917, during the battle of Bullecourt. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

During 1916 the 95th Field Company was attached to the 7th Division and was heavily involved during the battle of the Somme, Albert, Bazentin, Delville Wood, Pozieres, Guillemont, and Ginchy. His wife received a letter from his C.O. which was quoted in the Rhondda leader. She was then living at 53 William St. Ynyshir.



Spr. Joseph Dunmill 94th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.20th Sep 1917)

Joseph Dunmill was my grandfather. He married my grandmother Miriam Louise Pawsey in St. John's Church, Waterloo Road, London in 1903 when they were both 19. He had five children with my grandmother, William b.1904, Rosetta b.1905, Beatrice b.1908, Joseph b.1911, and my mother Violet b.1912.

My mother could remember her father and said he looked like the film star Ronald Coleman. Joseph (son) died of diphtheria in 1915. My grandmother still spoke sadly of his death when she was in her nineties. After the death of Joseph (her husband) I understand she took in washing and ironing to earn a living. In November 1918 she married a widower with four children and had a further two children, Albert,(Ossie) a paratrooper who was killed at Arnhem in WW2 and a much loved Aunt Doris. Joseph and Miriam's family were close, with many shared celebrations such as weddings. My grandmother always lived near us and we saw her practically every day until she died, in her own bed in 1980, aged ninety six.

Sylvia Woodward


Cpl. John McDowell 404th Highland Field Company Royal Engineers (d.1st Aug1917)

My grand father, John McDowell served with the 404th Highland Field Company, I would like to get his service record and find out which battles he fought and the circumstances of his death.

James F McDowell


Spr. Allan Wills MM. 19th Divisional Signal Company Royal Engineers

Allan Wills served with the 19th Division signals. He was wounded twice and twice returned to front line. In the divisions rag time band. Awarded the military medal between 11th and 18th August 1918 in the Kemmel Hill area. He maintained communications on the front line. believed he crawled out and reconnected communication wires. Close friend killed on top of him when diving for cover. He lived a good life afterwards. However nightmares and distinct memories which haunted him for all his life.

Dave Alexander


Spr. Robert Cadwaladr Roberts 128th Field Company Royal Engineers

My Great Grandfather Robert Cadwaldar Roberts, volunteered for military service on 3 Feb 1915 at Wrexham,Denbighshire, Wales. He was Born 1886 in Yspytty, Denbighshire. North Wales. At time of joining up he was a married man with 3 young children. 5 Blast Road, Brymbo, Nr Wrexham. Wales. And a Master Carpenter/Waggon Maker.

By the 12 Feb 1915 he was with the Royal Engineers at Chatham for training. He remained with the same unit until after the war. Was not sent home until 18/3/1919 and discharged on to reservists list 30/3/1919. Between 4/11/1916 and 18/3/1919 his service records show he was only sent home to the UK on leave once. between 6/11/1918 to 20/11/1918.



Spr. Samuel Irwin MSM. 121st Field Company Royal Engineers

Samuel Irwin enlisted in the Royal Engineers on 8 February 1915 at Cavan, Co. Cavan, Ireland. His family know he was serving in 121st Field Company when he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM), it is understood for his work in mining at Messines and subsequently. His present family in Ireland knew nothing of his service during WW1 until recently and are hoping to hear from anyone who can add to their knowledge.

M Standish


Cpl. Francis Reginald Meek 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.17th Jun 1917)

Francis Meek is my gg Uncle, son of Beriah and Tryphena Meek originaly from Dyrbrook in the Forest of Dean where they all worked as miners. He is brother to my Great Grandfather Charles Henry James Meek who is remembered at the Ploegsteert Memorial. We visited them both to pay our respects 13/02/13.

Nigel Marshall


Cpl. James William Riddell 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers

Our family has only just become aware that my great grandad, James Riddell received a mention in dispatches on 1st July 1919 for gallant and distinguished services in the field. We have found the dispatches note and would really love to get extra information about 171 company and the war and also anything about him. If you have any other information about 171 we would really like to know more.

Charlotte Moreland


2nd Lt. James Frederick Darnbrough 94th Field Company Royal Engineers

James Frederick Darnbrough was married to Annie Ainsworth Inglis. He appears to be commissioned in September 1917 and survived the war



Thomas Kilwick Claxton 250th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers. (d.4th Oct 1917)

Thomas Kilwick is buried at Etaples.

JC Bearn


Lt. Godfrey Lyall Miller 11th Field Coy Royal Engineers (d.14th Sep 1914)

Lieutenant Godfrey Lyall Miller was killed in action at Port Arcy. He left a diary later published privately detailing his military service from the start of the war.

Peter Bishop


Spr. James Walter Morris 257 Tunnelling Coy. Royal Engineers (d.8th Aug 1916)

Sapper James Morris was a miner at the Sirhowy Pit when he enlisted with the Royal Engineers and was posted to Flanders with 257 Tunnelling Co. He was killed on 8th August 1916 by a sniper. I have 4 trench letters, witness statement by Commanding officer Capt Stanley La mare, Padre's letter and War office notification. James was 43 and the father of 6 children. His widow and family were forced to leave their miner's cottage and return to Brecon Mid Wales where they had met and married. James had previously served with the South Wales Borderere for 12 years, 6yrs abroad.

I have given several talks on James in Brecon and Devon but I need a photograph and more details of his unit and their service. Can anyone help about 257 TC please?

Tony Simpson


Sapper Percy Thomas Atkins Royal Engineers

The youngest of four brothers who served in the war, Percy Thomas Atkins was only 17 when he arrived in France in June 1915 as a Royal Engineers sapper - I don't know much about him or his service, but he must have misled the recruiting board to get overseas at that age! Of Percy's three brothers two were pre-War regular soldiers and one a Territorial so perhaps he just thought he didn't want to be left out? Unlike Herbert and William, who were killed, and John, who was made POW, Percy survived the war; he went on to have a family, and lived in Barnet.

Pat Atkins


2nd Cpl. John Charles Atkins 5th Divisional Signals Company Royal Engineers

A Londoner, my grandfather, John Charles Atkins joined the South Lancashire Regiment in 1906, transferring to the Royal Engineers in 1913. He was a member of 5th Divisional Signals Company, and went to France with the Division in August 1914 - part of the famous "Contemptible Little Army" of the BEF. After the retreat from Mons, he took part in the Battle of Le Cateau on 26th August where he was taken prisoner in the fierce fighting which stemmed the German advance. His only mention of the btn.'s later years was to say he was captured by Uhlans, the German lancers. Two of his younger brothers, William and Herbert, were killed in May 1915; his youngest brother Percy joined the Royal Engineers and survived the war.

John also survived the war but was a POW until repatriation in 1918, when he returned to the Royal Engineers and later the Royal Corps of Signals. At the end of his period of service in 1927 he settled in Brighton, Sussex, having reached the rank of Quartermaster Sergeant. In 1939 he was recalled to the colours to train mobilised troops for the Second World war, being discharged on completion of this role in 1940 as a Company Sergeant Major. Three of his sons fought in this war, one in each of the Services.

Pat Atkins


2nd Lt. William Brabazon Owens Royal Engineers (d.25th June 1916)

William Brabazon Owens served as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Engineers. he was the eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. W.H. Owens, born 24th November 1895. He was wounded in France on the 30th of March 1916 and died at Hazeldene, Limerick on 25th of June 1916.

S. Flynn


Driver F. G. Delves 497th Kent Field Company Royal Engineers

I have a couple of postcards sent to Driver Delves from his wife; one from July 1917 and one from Feb 1918. He appears to have survived the War. I know this RE Company was involved in the HMS Hythe disaster and wonder if he survived that too - if so, a very lucky man.

R Walker


2nd Lt. William Brabazon Owens Royal Engineers (d.25th June 1916)

William Owens was wounded in France on the 30th of March 1916 died at Hazeldene, Limerick on the 25th of June 1916.

S. Flynn


CSM. Alfred Bailey Swallow 470th Field Coy. Royal Engineers (d.21st Mar 1918)

My great grand father was killed on the 21st of March 1918 during the German Offensive on the Cambrai-St Quentin Front. He was Company Sergeant Major Alfred Bailey Swallow 470th Field Coy Royal Engineers, 59th div

Peter Swallow


Spr. Robert Grayson Royal Engineers

I know little about my maternal grandfather Robert Grayson's military service other than that he was discharged at some point on medical grounds. The pension records are indecipherable. I know he served in Egypt from 23rd December 1915. He was a solicitor's clerk before The Great War in Ormskirk, near Liverpool and returned there to become an estate clerk. He married my grandmother in 1923. He was, apparently, a very good cricketer and played for Ormskirk Cricket Club. He died the year before I was born in 1957; his fondness for a wee dram did not help his longevity. I gather his business with local farmers on market days was usually undertaken in the great number of pubs in Ormskirk. Any information about him would be greatly appreciated.

Robin Moore


Cpl Alfred Ivan Tucker MID. 37 Div. Signal Coy

Ivan Tucker in 1915

Ivan Tucker enlisted in Nov. 1914. He refused a commission as he was formerly with the Marconi Marine as Wireless Operator on Mauritania then Lusitania.

Ivan Tucker in 1918

David Tucker


Sapper James Morris 257 Tunnelling Coy Royal Engineers (d.8th Aug 1916)

Sapper James Morris is my grand father and was a member of the 257 Tunnelling Co. According to his CO Capt Stanley de la Mere he died on 8th August 1916 while attending to a crater in no man's land.

He was unusual in that being age 43 he had no need to re-enlist due to his age and his reserved occupation. He left a widow, Florence with six children. The family were reduced to poverty and lost their mining cottage and had to return to her family in Brecon. Florence and my mother became anti war as I am. James had been a professional soldier with 24 SWB from 1894-1906. He was a miner until 1916 when he re-enlisted with his brother Jo who went to SWB. James is buried at Pont du Hem cemetery near La Gorgues, Armentiere which I have visited.

I have 4 letters from the trenches, COs letter, Chaplain's letter, cap badge and other artifacts including a notebook of Flo's visit to his graveside in 1922. I give talks on the Tunnelling Companies and James Story and will be doing so in 1914.

Harley Simpson


Pte. Ernest Charles Furneaux Royal Engineers

Ernest Charles Furneaux was my great uncle. He was born in 1888 in Swansea and married Esther Hughes from Llanelly in 1911. They had 3 children, none of whom lived for more than 6 months. At the time of the 1911 census, Ernest was a labourer in a colliery. I'm not sure exactly when he joined the army but he qualified for the 1914 Star on 10 September. In January 1915 a letter he sent home was published in the Cardiff Western Mail describing his experience of the Christmas Truce in the trenches. Later on, Ernest suffered badly as a result of a gas attack. Although Ernest survived the war, he died in 1929 at the age of 41. His wife had predeceased him in 1920, aged only 30. If anybody has any further information or knows the whereabouts of his medal trio, please contact me.

Carol Furneaux


Pte. William James "Titch" Barnett 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment

My father, William Barnett joined the Militia in 1899 as a 15 year old. He then transferred to the regular army in 1902 when he signed on for a 12 year engagement with the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment when his Regimental number was 7039. He served in Egypt and for two years then did Home Service until 1914 when WW1 was declared.

His regiment was sent to France on 12th August 1914 where they landed at Rouen. They were involved in action for almost the whole of the rest of 1914 and 1915. He was wounded in March 1915 and then for a second time at the Battle of Loos in September of 1915. This battle is known for the fact that the British used gas for the first time. It was a disaster as the wind changed and blew the gas back to the British lines. It is also known as the battle where the the son of Rudyard Kipling was killed. My father's wounds were bad enough for him to be sent back to Blighty where he underwent treatment at Tooting Hospital in London. He was there for 10 weeks by which time his 12 year engagement ended on 31 December 1915.

This story now becomes rather sketchy. He was awarded the 14 Star, British Medal and Victory Medal. On his medal Index Card at the National Archives at Kew the first two medals are shown as awarded while he served with the Royal Berkshire Regiment but the last, the Victory Medal was awarded while serving in the R.E. This must mean that he volunteered again after serving his 12 year engagement but I have been unable to find out anything about this. I have tried researching his R.E. number of 163123 without success so if their are any kind souls out there could point me in the right direction I would be forever grateful.

Sid J Barnett


Spr. Arthur Warnford "Joe" Payne Royal Engineers

My grand father Joe Payne, enlisted 16.6.15, his occupation on his army papers is Post Office Telegraph he had joined the Post Office aged 14 in 1911 i think he was in a reserved occupation being a telephone engineer and the reason for his later enlistment. He joined the R.E as a telegraphist and seems to be based in Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire. He enlists at Fenny Stratford (Blechley), the post card with him and horse says its sent from 26 Pennywinkle Lane, Hitchin, he ends up in Bedford Military Hospital and is discharged from Dunstable Signals Depot. Enlisted for only 265 days, he spoke to me about being trained to ride a horse and night time exercises, the horses had been trained not to step on fallen bodies, so that if they went over a tussock they'd jump a little, the unwary, tired rider could soon find themself unseated. They had an ex fire horse in there troop that would break into a gallop at the slightest sound of a bell.

He spoke about being camped in tents in a Park, which one I do not know, but its possibly where the group photo was taken. They had to take hundreds of mules from there to ferries on the south coast, possibly Southampton, and from there to Boulogne, the only time he'd ever been abroad was the few hours he stood on the docks before the mules were unloaded and they had to return. He described this as "being just like cowboys" and I think one of the most enjoyable experiences for him. I did have a picture of him on an early triumph motorcycle all muffled up and in uniform but alas this has gone missing. He said that the army dentist took his top set out one week and the bottom the next!

In November 1915 a plane went over the park and spooked hundreds of mules into a stampede, they were tethered together charging in roped lines. he said that he shouted to a friend to jump the ropes, the first two he managed and then he decided to try and get on the back of a mule, thats the last he remembered before waking up in an open hospital with ice on his blanket from his breath. He remembered my Aunt coming to look after him? Was that possible? And the other patients in this open hospital being gas casualties. His 'medical report on an invalid' says In 'November 1915 he was kicked on the top of his head by a mule, and since that date he has had continual discharge from his ears. He was discharged 16.03.16 for 'Chronic inflamation of middle ear.' Although hard of hearing and eventually deaf in one ear our family has a lot to thank that mule for. He went on to marry Florence Cull, they had one daughter my mother and my son Joe continues the family name.

Fergus Durrant


Spr. Matthias Duffy 447th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.14th July 1917)

My grandfather, Matthias Duffy, born in Whickham, Co Durham, was a miner and joined as a war-time volunteer as a territorial soldier and joined the Royal Engineers in 1914. He was posted to 447th Field Company part of the 50th Northumbrian Division.

He crossed to France on 27th August 1915, serving at Ypres and on the Messines sector in 1915-16. In August 1916 he was in action on the Somme at Martinpuich, Le Sars and Eaucourt. He was then in action on the Arras front in battles at Wancourt and Cherisy. He died during a trench digging operation near Cherisy on 14th July 1917. "Lt Forster and 4 sappers worked on a new front line in front of Bullfinch Support between Dead Bosche Sap and Byker Sap in heavy rain at night." In an attack he was killed, Sapper Carlin and Lance Corporal Ankell were wounded. He is buried in Heninel Communal Extension Cemetery, plot C7. He is commemorated on the Burnopfield War Memorial and the memorial in St Joseph's RC Church.

Michael Duffy


Pte. Henry Owen 9th Btn Devonshire Regimengt (d.17th Feb 1917)

Harry Owen was with the 9th Battalion Devonshire Regt., which was raised at the Depot in Exeter from 15 Sept 1914 as part of Lord Kitchener's Second New Army ("K2"). It was part of the 20th (Light) Division at various locations in Aldershot, also Bisley, Haselmere and Bordon till April 1915. Then went overseas via Le Havre 28 July, joining the 20th Brigade, 7th Calonne-sur-la-Lys on 8 August 1915.

The 7th Divn. were engaged at the Battle of Loos 25 Sept-8 Oct 1915. Possibly as a result of involvement in the latter end of this battle he left France with a gunshot wound to the neck on 12th October for a Scottish hospital. On recovery he was posted to the 11th Devons, a Reserve battalion which never left the UK, and was part of 10th (Res.) Brigade at Wareham. Returned to France & the 9th Battn. on the 17 Dec 1915, there were no major battles at that time. Harry seems to have fallen ill and been returned to the UK on the 2nd of May 1916 (and so missed the opening of the Battle of the Somme).

He was posted again to the 11th Btn on recovery, but shortly after applied for posting to the Tunnellers RE, effected on 10 August. After due training at Clipstone Camp, Notts. as a "Tunneller's Mate" he was sent back to France 3 October 1916 joining 254th Tunn. Coy. on 16 November 1916 and remained with them till mortally wounded by an explosion from a shell or countermine? before dying of wounds on 11th February 1917.

W Davies


Pte. John Thomas Robinson Sherwood Foresters

John Robinson was my grandad. He joined as a Sherwood Forester, and later transferred to 182 Tunnelling Company. I have a copy of his diary, which is now at the Foresters Museum in Chilwell, Notts and some photos of him in uniform. I would be pleased to share any information with anyone who is interested.

Paul Robinson


Sapper Tom Hulme 257 Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers

My father-served June 1916-Dec 1918.Recruited at Mansfield Notts.

Peter Hulme


Sapper James Steele Tunnelling Co. Royal Engineers

James Steele is my paternal grandfather. The following I have taken from James' letter dated 19th December 1920 to Army (I changed the first person to 2nd person) It was after his medal 1914-1915 star, which he was later awarded. James Steele Joined up in the colours on 25th Sept 1915 at the recruiting office in Douglas Street, Dumfermline, Scotland, then proceeded to Chatham on the night of 27th September 1915, landing in St Marys Barracks, Chatham next day 28th.

He then proceeded on the draft leave on 3rd October 1915. Returned back for the draft on the 7th, the draft leaving on the 8th October. He landed along with the draft at Rouen on 9th October 1915, was a fortnight at No. 4 General Base, Rouen. James fell sick and was admitted to hospital being sent back to England and proceeded North in the hospital train to Glasgow being admitted to ?bhill hospital on the night of 26th October 1915. He then proceeded on 10 days sick leave, returning to Chatham some date in November. He then again embarked for France on 31 December 1915 and ws there until he was wounded on 2nd June 1917. His WW1 Army Discharge paper reads:- Serial No. 8801 Certificate of discharge of No. 132130 (Rank) Sapper (Name) James Steele (Regiment) Royal Engineers who was enlisted at Dumfermline on the 25 Sept 1915. He served 2 years, 311 days with the colours He was discharged in consequence of being no longer fit for war service. Para 392 He was 24 years and 10 months old on discharge 5ft 6inches Complexion fresh Eyes Inky Hair dark brown On discharg he was sent home from Edmonton Military Hospital to his home at 14 Quakerfield, Taylor Building, Bannockburn, was given one pound advance in money, a suit of plain clothes and an overcoat. Stories I can recollect hearing from James and his children. He remembers with horror digging tunnells to lay mines under the enemy. He said that it felt like being in a coffin and he always worryed that the tunnell might collapse. Fighting the enemy from the trenches. Watching his friends being killed, running over dead bodies. And of course, Plum jam. Plum jam in his tea, for breakfast, lunch and tea - many times. When he came to live with us (I was a child), us children loved plum jam but grandpop always waxed lyrical about plum jam during the war and would never eat it. He also told us about the time, a Scots, dressed in his kilt, big black hat, played his bagpipes early one morning in the mist. He said that the enemy, hearing this strange noise and seeing in the mist a giant of a man, turned tail and fled. (probably a furfy but still sounds feasable.) James had been shot in the leg by shrapnel from a hit that killed the man next to him in the trench. He eventually had his leg amputated below the knee while living in Australia. I believe that he got the RSL in Australia to pay for taxis for limbless ex-soldiers to be taken to and from medical appointments. James married in Scotland and emigrated to Australia in 1926 with his wife and five children on board "Ballarat". His first job in Australia was as a miner in the coal mines at Cessnock, NSW. He was amazed that the tunnells were so high that he was able to stand up straight, not have to crawl along like in the mines in Scotland. Eventually he had many positions here as a worker and moved around NSW many times, not being able to settle. He died 16th July 1971. On the day he died, his last words that day were of the horros of WW1, of gassed men turning yellow, officers shooting their own men, and plum jam.

Jennifer Grant


Cpl. Cyril Royston Guyton Bassett VC. New Zealand Divisional Signal Company

Cyril Royston Guyton Bassett was 23 years old, and a corporal in the New Zealand Divisional Signal Company, New Zealand Expeditionary Force when he was awarded the VC.

On 7th of August 1915 at Chunuk Bair Ridge, Gallipoli, Turkey, after the New Zealand Brigade had attacked and established itself on the ridge, Corporal Bassett, in full daylight and under continuous fire, succeeded in laying a telephone line from the old position to the new one on Chunuk Bair. He also did further gallant work in connection with the repair of telephone lines by day and night under heavy fire. He is quoted "I was so short that the bullets just passed over me"

S. Flynn


Maj.Gen Clifford Coffin VC, DSO. Corps of Royal Engineers

Major General Clifford Coffin VC, CB, DSO & Bar was a temporary Brigadier General in the Corps of Royal Engineers, with 25th Infantry Brigade when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On the 31st of July 1917 in Westhoek, Belgium, when his command was held up in attack due to heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, Brigadier-General Coffin went forward and made an inspection of his front posts. Although under the heaviest fire from both machine-guns and rifles and in full view of the enemy, he showed an utter disregard of personal danger, walking quietly from shell-hole to shell-hole, giving advice and cheering his men by his presence. His gallant conduct had the greatest effect on all ranks and it was largely owing to his personal courage and example that the shell-hole line was held.

He later achieved the rank of major general and was Colonel Commandant Royal Engineers. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Engineers Museum in Chatham, Kent.

S. Flynn


Spr. Robert Smith 490th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.25th Apr 1918)

My Great Grandfather Robert Smith was killed in action aged 37 and has no known grave but is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial on the Somme. He was born in Glasgow, enlisted there and had a wife and children in Glasgow.

Bruce Smith


Spr. James Henry Williams 172nd Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.23rd June 1916)

I am sorry but the only information I have of my Grandfather, James Henry Williams is that he served with the 172nd Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers and was killed on the 23rd June 1916.

Patricia Crabb


Spr. William Mitchell Graham 106th Coy. Royal Engineers (d.23rd Aug 1916)

Will Graham emigrated to Canada before the war and homesteaded in Saskatchewan (then Northwest Territories) living in a sod shack. He sold the farm and returned to Lewknor, Oxfordshire in England to enlist once war broke out.

Will died leading a forward night-time infantry trenching party, killed by an exploding German shell which fell nearby, August 23, 1916. He is buried in Authuille Military Cemetery, Authuille, France.

Oddly, Will is buried in the same cemetery as Lt. Gerald Spring-Rice, who was a farm landlord from Pense, Saskatchewan, with whom Will worked prior to homesteading himself. Gerald Spring-Rice, also returned to England to fight serving with the Londsdale Battalion, Border Regiment and died in May 1916. Their final resting place in Authille cemetery seems almost certainly to be purely coincidental.



Sgt. Frank Cook Royal Engineers

Frank Cook was my father, I know he served in WW1 in the Royal Engineers. As far as I know he was on barges in Northern France, but I know little else. He died in 1973.

Vernon Cook


Spr. Frederick Augustus Nelson 76th Field Coy. Corps of Royal Engineers (d.5th Apr 1918)

Frederick Nelson died on his 29th birthday and is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.

Jean Driver


Spr. Jesse Hampton 179th Tunnelling Coy. Royal Engineers (d.18th May 1918)

Jesse Hampton was my GG Uncle on my Dad's side of the family. He was born December 1897 to Emma and Thomas Hampton in a small mining village called Ogley Hay in Staffordshire. His family were miners and had been for generations. He joined the army and was sent underground with the 179th Tunnelling Company. This was a very dangerous job, and I assume he was chosen because he would have already had a few years experience as a miner back in England. He was killed by the effects of gas on the 18th of May 1918 and is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. Q.III.H.5.

Wendy Gates


L/Cpl. Angus Findlay MM. 101st Field Company Royal Engineers

My Grandpa Angus Findlay was born 1890 in Balham, South London. He was a carpenter by trade and joined the RE in May 1915. He saw action at the Somme, Hill 60 and Messines Ridge and was posted to Italy in late 1917. On October 27th/28th he received a Military Medal for actions whilst he was constructing a pontoon bridge over the River Piave, saving his comrades from being drowned, he was also wounded in the knee.

L Findlay


Spr. Tom Hulme 257 Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers

My father, Tom Hulme was in 257 Tunnelling Company from Jun 1916 to the end of WW1. I know that in his first year of service they were in the Bethune area of Northern France and in 1918 around Nieuport in Belgium. Does anybody know the movements or activities of this unit in more detail?

Peter Hulme


Cpl. George Anthony Websdell 182nd Tunnelling Coy. Royal Engineers (d.18th Aug 1918)

George's tunneller's certificate stating he was qualified to work underground.

George Websdell is buried close to where he fell at Marcelcave, on The Somme. He worked as a miner and was married to Lydia with a one year old son named George. He had enlisted with the 6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry at Bishop Auckland on the 11th of Sepetmber 1914, his medcal records describe him as being 22 years and 11 months old, 5'11" with brown hair and blue eyes. George joined the 14th Battalion and arrived in France on the 12th of September 1915.

George transfered from the 14th DLI to the 182nd Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers as a Sapper for Tunnelling duties on the 21st of Feb 1916, his mining skills being required to help sink tunnels beneath enemy lines. He must have returned to England for training as George and Lydia had a daughter Violet born in May 1917, who sadly died aged just 11 months, two months before her father was killed in action.

Angela Higgins


CSM. Alexander Anson 1/5th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

My Grandfather, Alexander Anson joined the 1st VB DLI on 16 March 1906 at Castle Eden. He progressed up the ranks and by the outbreak of WW1 he was a Colour Sgt. He was appointed CSM C Company 1/5th DLI on 30 January 1915 and went with the Regiment to France on 17 April 1915. He was involved in the 2nd Battle of Ypres at the Battle of St Juliaan that month and then in the Battle of Bellewaarde ridge at Sanctuary Wood. He was gassed on 24 May 1915 and invalided home. He was sent to St John Red Cross Hospital in Weymouth to recover and subsequently joined 3/5th DLI at Catterick and was appointed Acting RSM. He was then transferred to the Inland and Waterways Royal Engineers at Port Richborough in Kent for the remainder of the war. (He had been a plater in a shipyard before the war and they needed his skills) He was demobbed in 1919 WO1.

Richard Askew


Spr. George William Pilkington Royal Engineers

George Pilkinton fought on the Somme and was gassed, leading to an honourable discharge.

Aline Reeve


Pte. Ralph Hay Royal Engineers

Ralph Hay served with the Royal Engineers. He and his family moved to Australia in 1923 and he served in The Australian Army in WW2, along with his two sons.

Belinda Hay


Cpl. Ivor Cecil Thomas Glamorgan Yeomanry

My father, Ivor Thomas, joined the Glamorgan Yeomanry the day war was declared in 1914. He was sent to France and transferred to the Royal Engineers when policy scattered county regiments among other units to disguise casualty rates.

As a child I met a fellow Yeomanryman, a Mr Williams, then a coal merchant in Porthcawl, who had also served in GY. He had transferred into Transport Corps and ran mule trains in the Balkans where he saw his first Negro, driving a mule train in the opposite direction. Since Cardiff (30 miles away) had a sizeable black population at that time it shows how little people traveled before WWI.

Gabe Thomas


Pte. Joseph Hillery 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (d.25th Jul 1917)

Joseph Hillery was my Grandmother's uncle, from a long line of miners living in the north east of England, based around the Durham, Consett, South Shields area. He enlisted with the territorials in the 9th Btn prior to the Great War, but doesn't appear to have deployed to France until the 20th of April 1915 according to his record card.

At some point, thereafter, he was attached to the 171st Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers, but further details are sketchy (My Gran not knowing very much and being very ill at present). It is assumed this attachment was because of his mining background prior to the war. Tunnelling was to be his undoing, as from the records I have, he was killed in action 25th of July 1917 during a mining expedition aged just 23, during preparations for the 3rd Battle of Ypres. Being laid to rest at Poperinghe New Military Cemetery.

Chris Harris


Pte. Andrew "Darky" McMillan 2nd Btn. Seaforth Highlanders

8428 Private Andrew McMillan. My Grandfather served with 1st Seaforth Highlanders in India and trained as Mounted Infantry at Bangalore April –June 1903. Served with Mounted Infantry in Somaliland 1903-1904 (unit unknown). Was discharged from 2nd Seaforth Highlanders at Edinburgh Castle September 1908. Coalminer in civilian life. Recalled to 2nd Seaforths in August 1914 and went to France with 10th Brigade, 4th Div. Transferred to Royal Engineers as 156462 Private Andrew McMillan on 1st June 1916 and served with 252 Tunnelling Coy until discharged. 252 Tunnelling Coy is shown as being with British Third Army on 11 November 1918. I cannot find any documentation as to when he was discharged but he returned to being a coalminer.

George Reid


Sgm. Alfred John Seymour Royal Engineers (Signals)

My grandfather Alfred Seymour was an "old Contemptible" and was in the Signals. I have a copy of his war records but sadly not his medals.

He worked his way up to Sgt Major but had a stripe taken away for a period of time for smoking in the barracks in bed. He married in 1917 but was widowed in 1919 whilst he was stationed on the Rhine. He met and married his second wife (my grandmother) in 1921 and they married in the Garrison Church in Cologne in 1922. I have photos of the wedding and I have donated lots of photos of the WW1 battlefields and his battalion photos to the Royal Signals Museum. He went on to be stationed in Hong Kong and left the Signals when stationed back at Bulford Camp (36 Sling Cottages)

J Seymour


John Woodruff 564 Signals Coy. Royal Engineers

My dad, John Woodruff served in India and Burma. He was in charge of pigeons used to send signals to and from the front line. I would be greatful if anyone could give me any information regarding where the pigeon lofts were and if they had any relatives in the same squad which was 564

Stephen Woodruff


2nd Lt. George Alfred Peacock att Royal Air Force. Northumberland Fusiliers

My father George Peacock served in the First World War and was promoted from the ranks of the Royal Engineers in France to 2nd Lt in the Northumbrian Fusilliers. While serving with the Fusiliers he was attached to the RAF as flying Officer and sent to a School of Aeronautics where he flew a Bi Plane over Salisbury Plain. Probably an RE8/9 target spotting or towing. He was latter promoted a Lt. The family used to have a picture of him standing next to the plane together with a roll of Gun Camera film, so we know it is fact.

I am desperately trying to find out more about the SofA and the RAF connection and have obtained his Officer Service Records from the national archives.

G A Peacock


Spr. Herbert Potter 208th Field Coy. Royal Engineers

My Great Grandfather was Herbert Potter, Sapper 84711, 208th Field Company, 34th Division the Royal Engineers. on 10 August 1916 he was wounded (shell shock) near Pozieres / Bazentin-le-Petit, Somme, France. He was under the care of 104th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps until 17 August 1916 when he rejoined his unit.

Simon Potter


2nd Lt. William James Moffatt

On 31st July 1916, The Irish Times carried the following report on page 6:

Second Lieutenant W.J. Moffatt, Royal Engineers, only son of Mr and Mrs William Moffatt, Drumgoff, Stillorgan Park, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, is reportedly wounded. He was educated at Avoca School, Blackrock, afterwards entering Trinity College, Dublin, where he took his BA and BAI (Hon). He got his commission in September last, and has been at the front since December of last year. He was wounded on the 12th July, and is now in hospital in Lincoln. He is in the twenty second year of his age. His captain wrote regretting he had been knocked out, and saying he had done most excellent work at the front.

Turtle Bunbury


Pte. Harold West Furniss 6th Btn. Northamptonshire Regiment

Harold Furniss enlisted 7/9/14 at Northampton, and joined 6th Northamptonshire Regiment as a private, he trained on Salisbury Plain to May 1915. He landed in France 26/07/15, and was posted near Le Cateau. Harold was wounded in the field on 4/07/16, and sent back to England on 17/07/16, where he was admitted to the Lord Derby War Hospital until 22/07/16 for a neck injury. He was posted to France 28/09/16 and rejoined his Battalion 10/10/16. He transferred on 1/03/17 to the Royal Engineers as a Pioneer (Roads and Quarries). Harold survived the war and returned home via Purfleet on 28/01/19, and transferred to army reserve on demobilization on 25/02/19.

Nigel Furniss


Pte. Charles Felix Shaw Royal Engineers

My grandfather Charles Felix Shaw enlisted on 3 May 1915 at Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green and was given an immediate medical. His war record file at Kew shows he was aged 37 and was enlisted in the Royal Engineers. His trade at that time was a "pianoforte finisher". He was sent to France in Feb 1916 and received gunshot wounds on 1 July 1916. He was operated on in France and sent back to England on 18th July 1916. He seemed to be transfered between hospitals in Ipswich, Seaford and Thetford. Whilst in the latter hospital he was diagnosed as having a heart condition and was eventially dischanged as permanently unfit for active service on 7 Nov 1917. He was granted a weekly pension of £1 7s 6d. He brought up 3 children including my father Leonard. He died in London in 1947 of pulmonary tuberculosis

Brian Shaw


Private Luke Potts 174 Tunn. Coy. RE Royal Engineers (d.31st Jul 1916)

I am afraid that I do not know anything about Luke Potts. He was my father's older half brother. I would love to know more about him. Our family do not seem to have any photographs of him either and we would love to have one. In the family altogether there was 17 children as gran and grandpa had both been married before then when they married and they had a family together.

He must have been highly regarded by he fellow friends in the village as they presented him with a bible inscribed:-

'Presented to Sapper Luke Potts 174 Coy. Royal Engineers by the workmen and inhabitants of Kibblesworth as a mark of appreciation of his self sacrificing duties to his country cause. 30th December 1915.' I have this bible and treasure it very much.

He is burried at Auchonvillers Military Cemetary, France and my cousin has visited his grave on many occasions and finds it very moving every time he goes.

Catherine Cowing


L/Cpl. Henry Ashton Cheshire Regiment

Henry Ashton (seated)

My father Henry Ashton, served with the Cheshire Regiment, Transports then transferred to the Royal Engineers and then back to the Cheshire Regiment. If anyone has any information about his service, I would love to hear from you.

William Ashton


Pte. John Duffy att. 258 Tunnelling Company RE. Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.31st Jul 1917)

I am trying to trace details of my grandfather's service in the First World War prior to him being killed in action 31-7-1917. I have only recently found paper work that indicates he was attached to the 258th Tunnelling Company. I am now researching 258 Tunnelling Company and found this web page. I would be grateful if you could give me any information on the 258th Tunnelling company regards

james duffy


George R. Percy 255th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers

I have found a charming little album with WW1 drawings and poems and writings, trying to trace one of the inserts, this is what it says......

Here's wishing you all that you wish, Good luck to all at No 4! (from one of the West Riding boys) signed Geo. R. Percy 255th Coy R.E 21st June 1916.

I would love any info on anything to do with this. Many thanks.

Editors Note:

This type of album was often kept by nurses, the sketches and poems being from the patients in their ward, often as a parting message. There were several hospitals with No.4 in the name, including the 4th Northern General Hospital at Lincoln.

Jo Smith


Sjt. Harry Pemberton 23rd Field Company Royal Engineers

He was my Grandfather and was a regular who sailed to France on 23rd August 1914 and served there for the duration of the war. He was wounded in the arm and evacuated to England but later returned to his unit.

In WWII he served as an instructor in the Scots Guards.

I served in 1985 - 1991 and 2001 - 2003 in the same unit in the Royal Engineers - 23 Amphibious Engineer Squadron and went to war with them to Iraq when I was serving as their Quartermaster in 2003.

Major Stuart Pemberton


Harold Geoffrey Dane The Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabiniers)

My father Harold (born Jan 16 1884)was an apprentice joiner in the shipyards, with John I Thornycroft. He enlisted Aug 4 1914, seeking adventure, and served initially in the Cavalry, seeing action in France. Group C, Southampton was disbanded and the members placed in the infantry.

However, dad had proved himself valuable with his carpentry skills and was given additional training (in 1916?) and assigned to Number 6 Observation Group, Field Survey Company, Royal Engineers, British Expeditionary Force, France (sapper #521715).

He spent the remainder of the war at the front, including 18 months at Paschendale.

His lucky number was 2: he was promoted from the ranks twice, and demoted twice; he was mentioned in dispatches twice, and he was a witness at two court-martials, and the accused were declared innocent in both cases (amazingly, the witnesses saw nothing).

Dad credited his survival to his Captain, an "upper-class" man who stood up for his men, persuading his superiors that they were too valuable to risk on full offensives, although they did do duty as scouts. I have in my possession a map of the Front, Belgium and Part of France, dated September 29, 1918 (Sheet 28 SW) complete with mud and dad's reference marks and notations. Following the war, armed with glowing references from his Captain, dad rejoined Thornycroft and completed his training, becoming a Master Joiner. However he had, in today's jargon, post-traumatic stress, and was unable to hold a job although he had many opportunities including a stint building airplanes. Shortly after the war he attended the Carabinier's reunion, and concluded that he was the only survivor of Group C.

Dad emigrated to Canada in 1920, joined his brother on his homestead on remote northern Vancouver Island, and after a year of isolation "was cured".

Les Dane


Spr. James Diamond 179th Company (Tunnel) Royal Engineers

My Great Grandfather who was a coal miner in Rutherglen, Glasgow, Scotland who had 6 children and 3 later dying along with his wife of TB. He joined in 1915 to the Tunneling Company as they needed trained men for this task. He was born 1865 in Glasgow.

Lawrie Edwards


Pte. George Foster 19th Battalion. D Company (d.22nd Aug 1917)

George Foster enlisted at Cocken Hall, 14.06.1915. He was killed in action on the Western Front, 22.08.1917 at 13.10 local time. He served with the D.L.I and 173 Company (Tunnellers) Royal Engineers.

He was the brother of Matthew Foster, (Enlisted D.L.I, 30.09.1914) and Joseph Henry Foster (Enlisted -1914- Northumberland Fusiliers + 172 Company (Tunnellers), Royal Engineers. KIA Western Front, 18.04.1915.

Matthew Foster


Lt. Walter Alan Leckie 90th Field Coy. (d.21st Feb 1916)

Are there any hospital records about my great uncle, Walter Leckie? He was wounded at Armentieres, his brother (my grandfather) went to a London hospital to see him before he died.

Update: Red Cross records are currently being digitised and will be available in the not too distant future/

Elizabeth Chen


Quarter Master Sjt. Jack James Foley Royal Engineers

Jack Foley enlisted at Suffolk St, Birmingham Recruitment Office in 1916 aged 17. He was discharged 23rd Oct 1919.

Brett Bates


Acting Corporal Jeremiah Francis Aherne Royal Engineers

Jeremiah Aherne was attested as a sapper on 3 January 1910 in the trade of carpenter in the Royal Engineers. He served at home from 1910 to 1914, then in Bermuda from January to October 1914 and finally in France in 17 Field Company and then the 32nd Railway Operating Company from 20 November 1914 until July 1918 when he returned home as he had applied and been recommended for a commission. By the end of the War he was an acting Corporal. Having started his Officer training he was told that commissions were being suspended because the War was over. All cadets were offered the choice of returning to their units or continuing training, but they would be discharged immediately on commissioning and would not receive any uniform allowance or pay as an Officer. Jeremiah chose the latter option and was appointed to a temporary commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Munster Fusiliers on 5 March 1919 and immediately discharged to the Reserve. At the outbreak of WWII he returned to military service. In 1943 he was listed on the Regular Army Reserve of Officers in the Auxiliary Pioneer Corps as a Class II 2nd Lieutenant 18 January 1940 (War Substantive Captain 22 July 1941). He subsequently attained the rank of Major. His family believes that he oversaw the construction and development of coastal defences during WWII and that he was based in Aberdeen, Scotland.

John Brennan


L/Cpl. John William " " Paddock MM & Bar. 173rd Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers

John Paddock was my Granddad, he survived the war but was discharged because of his wounds, he was blinded in one eye. He was decorated but would never say why. He always maintained that his medals really belonged to the lads that never came home. He was a bit of a lad and was relieved of his stripe on a couple of occasions, or so I am led to believe. I would appreciate any light anyone could throw on his military escapades I do not expect there is much you could tell me but we live in hope.

My granddad died many years ago I loved him dearly but was in awe of him he told me many stories sadly the passing of the years as dimmed my memory of these.However I do remember him rolling up at our house at the time of the Suez crisis. He was in full battle dress and had his old army rucksack on his shoulder. He was slightly the worse for drink but had called in to say bye bye as he had to get to Egypt to save the Suez as he put it. He was deadly serious and rather annoyed that although in his seventies the army considered him to old to join in the current fighting.

Jack Thompson


William "Sailor" Hayes Royal Engineers

To be honest, all four of my grandparents have proved challenging as far as family research is concerned but, from the days when a polite letter and an SAE to The ministry of Defence prompted a personally typed reply, at least I have a chronological account of the military service of my maternal grandfather, 17123 Driver William Hayes - Royal Engineers. In essence it is probably no more or less remarkable than many such records. He enlisted in Poole 20.1.1908, was transferred to Reserve 20.1.1910 and was mobilised 7.8.1914, serving until 22.12.15 in the Expeditionary Force France.From 23.12.1915 to 7.8.1919 he was a member of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, during which time, in 1916, he joined No 2 Train Transport Company. Along with many others, he was awarded the 1914 Star, the British war Medal and the Victory medal. But, was he really serving with the 3rd Dorsetshire Regiment Militia upon attestation? ... the record contains no details of this previous service. Where did he buy the beautiful postcard he sent to my mother during the war? What exactly did he do in No 2 Train Transport Company? Where and when was he buried alive? .... members of which other regiment dug him out? Perhaps a Scottish one judging by the photo! Incidentally, his pay was stopped when he went missing and, although reinstated upon his reappearance, not made up! My grandmother, with five small children to care for, was not impressed! Did he at some point really serve with the Gurkhas? Certainly my mother and my Aunt could remember a friend called Gopal Singh visiting the house .... and what about 'The Turban Photo'? Oh .. and the nickname 'Sailor'. Well, it seems that his early life was rather fraught, culminating in a bit of a set-to with his stepfather after which my grandfather ran away to sea, later jumping ship and changing his name. To me, of course, he was just my grandfather. Someone who took me to the pictures, bought me a snow shaker and trusted me to play with the beautifully carved wooden figures in the cabinet. I wish I had asked my grandfather the kind of questions the anwers to which would have solved the mysteries, but I was a child so I didn't. And would he have told me? He didn't even talk about it to my Nan and my Mum. Like so many other 'unremarkable men' he just got on with it.

Angela Heaviside


Driver Maurice Greaves 1st West Riding Field Company Royal Engineers (d.9th Dec 1915)

Maurice Greaves enlisted in Sheffield in the 1st West Riding Div. Field Company of the Royal Engineers. Although he enlisted as a driver, he was involved fully in active service in the first major assault of the Gallipoli campaign, and he is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery. His name is on the roll of honour of Cammell Laird and Co of Sheffield, where he had been employed. In early 1915, his company of the Ist West Riding Div. Field Company Royal Engineers became one of the units in the newly constituted 29th British Army Division. As usual for a “Division”, this consisted of units of all ground forces: infantry, artillery, engineers, transport, signals, medical, training units, etc. The 29th Division included troops from Ireland, Scotland and the north and south of England. Maurice Greaves’s West Riding company of Royal Engineers was the only company of engineers in the overall force of the Division, which contained about 17,000 men. The Division was initially earmarked for the Western Front, but was then selected for the campaign in the Dardanelles which included the Gallipoli campaign. In due course, eleven British and Commonwealth Divisions were involved in that campaign over eight months, but this Division was the only one assigned for the initial major assault. Training and mobilisation took place in the Midlands (in the area Warwick-Leamington-Nuneaton-Rugby) between January and March 1915.

A History of the Gallipoli Campaign says: “The 29th Division was probably the best British division that served at Gallipoli, and one of the best of any nation in the campaign. Although brand new as a division it had the advantage of containing a large number of professional soldiers who had not yet been worn out on the battlefields of the Western Front. The 29th can thus be considered as a crack division of well-disciplined and well-trained men. The Division’s historical performance in the campaign also bears witness to the division’s resilience, as the 29th was to attack again and again on the Helles Front, losing heavily in the process, but nevertheless always seemed to be able to spearhead one more push. When the 29th Division first set out for Gallipoli they were 17,000 strong. Over the next 9 months they suffered 34,000 casualties. So in other words they were effectively wiped out twice in nine months. The casualties of this one British Division were more than the total casualties of the whole Australian and New Zealand forces.” The Gallipoli campaign eventually involved a total of 468,000 British, Commonwealth troops and French troops, and there were a further three Australian/New Zealand (ANZAC) divisions. The British and Commonwealth casualties (dead, missing and wounded) totalled 119,400. The ANZAC casualties were 26,000. The Campaign The eight month campaign in Gallipoli was fought by British, Commonwealth and French forces in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front in France and Belgium, and to open a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea. The Dardanelles were a fifty-mile long strait separating the Aegean Sea from the Sea of Marmara and on to the Black Sea. Turkey controlled both sides of the Dardanelles at that time. Gallipoli was the name of a Turkish town (Gelibolu) near to where the main attack took place, and its name became later adopted by the British and their allies for the whole campaign. The intention was that a series of major naval attacks on the fortifications in the Dardanelles from 19 February onwards would soften up the defences and make it relatively easy to invade with land forces. However, this was abandoned as the major strategy in late March after some ships were lost to mines. The commanders shifted the emphasis of the operations from a mostly naval to a military orientation. The naval attacks had forewarned the Turks who were able to fortify and strengthen their defences for two months before the assault by military forces. Of the British troops, only one army division – the 29th Division – was available for a difficult and dangerous assault on well-defended terrain, together with a naval division, a French division and the ANZAC contribution. The original intention had been that this relatively small force (with other allied troops) would be sufficient to attack and hold an area already defeated by naval battering. This proved to be significantly over-optimistic. The 29th Division and its part at Gallipoli Setting off on their journey from Britain, on 16 March 1915, the 29th Division sailed from the port of Avonmouth, landing in Alexandria in Egypt two weeks later. On the medal card of Maurice Greaves (obtained from the National Archives), the date of his entry into “theatre of war (3)” is given as 30 March 1915.

The “theatre of war (3)” was Egypt, a British protectorate which was the base for all British military operations in the Near East and Middle East at that time. A contemporary account from a soldier stated: “We arrived in Alexandria and boarded trains bound for Abbassia Barracks just outside of Cairo. These barracks were nothing more than four walls with a roof. Here we stayed for 4 days. Next, we were on to Polygon Camp. This camp consisted of tents that the Regiment set up themselves. The tents were designed for the desert heat, having a double roof that provided some insulation from the scorching sun. But nothing could relieve us from the flies that came by the thousands and tormented the men constantly during the day. The men switched from their "heavy" uniforms to the "desert" shorts and sun helmets. We trained daily and paraded often.” Early in April, the 29th Division set off on their route towards the place of battle, starting with a train journey to the port of Alexandria. The troops then embarked onto ships, and headed for the main transit base of Mudros on the Greek island of Lemnos. The sea trip took nearly four days. Here they waited for the invasion force to be assembled, and did more training, including training in disembarking from ships for military assault on land.

The force now gathered was called the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. It consisted of 77,000 Allied troops. They were, principally, the British 29th Division, the 1st Royal Naval Division, the Indian Division, the 1st French Division and ANZAC troops.

On 23 April at 5 pm, the transport ship Caledonia left Lemnos with the troops, and on 24 April had reached the Greek island of Tenedos where the troops transferred to the assault ships.

The 29th Division had been allocated five main assault beaches on the peninsula: Beaches S, V, W, X and Y. These were all around Cape Helles. Two other assault beaches were allocated to the ANZAC troops and one to the French. The 1st West Riding Company (Royal Engineers) were among the 2,000 troops allocated to “V” Beach which proved to be one of the most difficult beaches for assault. (The area was named Sedd-el-Bahr by the Turks) The ship which carried most of the troops for “V” Beach was the SS River Clyde, an old 4,000 ton converted coal freighter. The troops were mainly carried in the coal holds, and some openings had been cut in the upper hull to allow the men to embark via gangways. SS River Clyde The troops on board SS River Clyde for the invasion were recorded as: No. 1 Hold (upper deck). 'X', 'Y' and 'Z' companies, Royal Munster Fusiliers. No. 1 Hold (lower deck). 'W' company, Royal Munster Fusiliers. One company Royal Dublin Fusiliers No. 2 Hold. 1st West Riding Company Field Engineers. Two companies Hampshire Regiment. Nos. 3 and 4 Holds. Two sub-divisions Field Ambulance. One platoon 'Anson' Battalion Royal Naval Division. One signal section The assault took place on the morning of Sunday 25 April. (A soldier on board reported that they had been provided with iron rations to cover three days - biscuits, canned bully beef and half a pint of water per day - and that all men had been issued with cocoa the previous evening.) V Beach was about 300m (330yds) long at the base of a steep incline. The beach had been sealed off at both ends by fortifications and cliffs. The beach was combed with trenches and barbed wire entanglements and strongly defended. As the first wave of troops made their way to the beach, for a considerable distance the bottom had been strewn with barbed wire and as the soldiers leapt into the water they found themselves entangled in the wire and were shot down where they stood. Turkish fire ravaged their numbers and caused severe casualties. Six Victoria Crosses were awarded on the first morning.

Those troops reaching the shore alive took shelter beneath the sandhill at the water's edge and could not move. Turkish fire prevented any movement inland as well as any attempt to reinforce the survivors on the beach. The British forces held until nightfall when firing died down and the rest of the troops on board (including the West Riding Company in this second wave) could make it ashore. Fighting resumed the next day again with severe casualties, but 29th Division troops were able to seize their first-day objectives and establish a continuous line between the separate landing beaches. A further three Victoria Crosses were earned. V Beach was handed over to the French eventually, in whose hands it remained for the remainder of the campaign. One of the French troops who joined the assault left this account: “On April 28th, 1915, we landed on Gallipoli. We were the first French troops to do so. We went ashore on V beach just beside the River Clyde, the ship from which the British had landed a few days before. The sea was full of dead bodies.

The English had cleared the way and our landing was without incident, That day we started marching and in the afternoon (the 29th) the real fighting began. We were holding the right of the line farthest from the sea with the British on our left. It was chiefly hand-to-hand bayonet fighting and we were up against what seemed to be an inexhaustible force of Turks. It was terrible to see the way our men were slaughtered. We lost about half the battalion and three-quarters of our officers were killed.” The battles throughout the peninsula dragged on for eight months with much loss of life.

Essentially, the two sides - Allied and Turkish - were left in a state of deadlock. It was reported that they faced each other, sometimes only metres apart, in a state of increasing discomfort. Searing heat and the swarming flies (made worse by unburied corpses in no man's land) tormented the men. The conditions were exacerbated by water shortages. In October and December 1915, winter storms caused much damage and human hardship. Disease flourished in the insanitary conditions. Of the British casualties on Gallipoli in the trench warfare conditions, over half were due to diseases. Chief causes were dysentery, diarrhoea, and enteric fever. Total Allied withdrawal of its troops and abandonment of the entire campaign – after so many deaths and casualties - took place by January 1916.

Maurice Greaves did not survive the war; he died of dysentery. He was not buried in the military cemeteries on the Gallipoli peninsula itself, which suggests that he was transported by ship in his illness to hospital and died there. The bodies of those who died on the hospital ships on the way to Egypt were consigned overboard for reasons of health for the remaining patients. The Cairo War Memorial Cemetery was the main cemetery used for those who died in the military hospital in Cairo. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record is: Name: GREAVES Initials: M Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Driver Regiment: Royal Engineers Unit Text: 1st West Riding Div. Field Coy. Date of Death: 09/12/1915 Service No: 936 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: D. 212. Cemetery: CAIRO WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY There is another source of information about the service record of Maurice Greaves. The National Archives hold the First World War Campaign Medal Cards of many service men and women. Following the First World War, campaign medals were awarded to those who had served in the War. Maurice Greaves was awarded posthumously the Victory Medal, the British War Medal and the 1914/15 Star. 1914/15 Star Authorised in 1918, the 1914/15 Star was awarded to those individuals who saw service in France and Flanders from 23 November 1914 to 31 December 1915, and to those individuals who saw service in any other operational theatre from 5 August 1914 to 31 December 1915. British War Medal The British War Medal 1914-1920, authorised in 1919, was awarded to eligible service personnel and civilians alike. Qualification for the award varied slightly according to service. The basic requirement for army personnel and civilians was that they either entered a theatre of war, or rendered approved service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Service in Russia in 1919 and 1920 also qualified for the award. Victory Medal The Victory Medal 1914-1919 was also authorised in 1919 and was awarded to all eligible personnel who served on the establishment of a unit in an operational theatre. Medal Card of Maurice Greaves, obtained from the National Archives.

Tony Jackson


Samuel Edgar Carlile Royal Engineers 78th Field Coy (d.22nd November 1915)

Sapper Samuel Edgar Carlile was born in Bradford, Manchester, the son of Robert & Lavinia Carlile. He died at age 25 and is buried at Divisional Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium.

Jules King


Henry Owen 254th RE Tunneling Co Royal Engineers (d.11th February 1917)

Henry Owen 175870, 254th RE Tunneling Co Killed 11/02/1917 Date: 13 November 2009 10:29 Hi,   I would like to inform you that while researching my great granfather Sapper Henry Owen 175870 in WW1, it came to my attention that he was in the 254th Tunneling Co, he was killed onm the 11th Feb 1917 aged 34. He was from Llanddyfnan, Anglesey   Regards Will Davies

Will Davies


Cpl. G. Dick Royal Engineers (d.16th Aug 1916)

Corporal G. Dick is remembered in Edinburgh Eastern Cemetery.


James Lennox Dawson VC. 187th Field Coy. Royal Engineers

James Dawson enlisted into the 5th Cameronians in November 1914 and transferred to the Royal Engineers in March 1915. He was awarded the VC as a Corporal in the 187th Company, Corps of Royal Engineers, he was 23 years old. His citation reads:

"On 13 October 1915 at Hohenzollern Redoubt, France, during a gas attack, when the trenches were full of men, Corporal Dawson exposed himself fearlessly to the enemy's fire in order to give directions to his sappers and to clear the infantry out of sections of the trench which were full of gas. Finding three leaking cylinders, he rolled them well away from the trench, again under heavy fire, and then fired rifle bullets into them to let the gas escape. His gallantry undoubtedly saved many men from being gassed."

He was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in December 1916 and demobilised as a Major in 1919. After graduating from Glasgow University he was commissioned in the Army Education Corps in 1920, but transferred to the Indian Army Ordnance Corps in 1931 and later achieved the rank of colonel.


A/Mjr. Brett Mackay Cloutman VC. 59th Field Coy. Royal Engineers

Acting Major Brett Cloutman was commanding the 59th Field Company, Royal Engineers, when he won his VC, he was 26 years old.

His citation reads:

"On 6 November 1918, at Pont-sur-Sambre, France, Major Cloutman, after reconnoitring the river crossings, found the Quartes Bridge almost intact but prepared for demolition. Leaving his party under cover he went forward alone, swam across the river and having cut the 'leads' from the charges returned the same way, despite the fact that the bridge and all the approaches were swept by enemy shells and machine-gun fire. Although the bridge was blown up later in the day by other means, the abutments remained intact."

This was the last act to win a VC in the First World War.

Brett Cloutman later achieved the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He served in The Second World War and in 1947 became Senior Chairman of the War Pensions Tribunal. He eventually became His Honour Lieutenant Colonel Sir Brett Cloutman VC MC. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham, Kent.


Spr. Adam Archibald VC. 218th Field Coy. Royal Engineers

Adam Archibald enlisted with the 7th Durham Light Infantry in 1915. He transferred to the 218th Field Company, Royal Engineers during the Second Battle of the Sambre. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for action while his unit was attempting to bridge the Sambre–Oise Canal, he was 39 years old. He received his medal from King George V at Buckingham Palace in May 1919.

His citation reads:

"On 4 November 1918 near Ors, France, Sapper Archibald was with a party building a floating bridge across the canal. He was foremost in the work under a very heavy artillery barrage and machine-gun fire. The latter was directed at him from a few yards distance while he was working on the cork floats. Nevertheless he persevered in his task and his example and efforts were such that the bridge which was essential to the success of the operations was very quickly completed. Immediately afterwards Sapper Archibald collapsed from gas poisoning."


Spr. John Brown 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.23rd Mar 1916)

I know nothing of John Brown other than he is remembered on the Kingswinford war memorial of which I am researching with the aid of the heritage lottery funds with a view to having a non profit making remembrance booklet printed in their memory.

Joy Marshall


Spr. Angus Findlay MM. 101st Field Company Royal Engineers

My Grandpa Angus Findlay enlisted into the RE on the 3rd of May 1915 at Wimbledon, S London, his occupation being a carpenter and joiner. He was the third eldest of 5 sons of William and Mary Findlay, all of whom enlisted at some point. Malcolm, the eldest, enlisted into London Scottish and died at Hebuterne 1st July 1916.

Grandpa also was at the Somme fighting at Contalmaison 4th July 1916 and fought on twards November that same year. In 1917 he went to Messines and helped to excavate Hill 60 and later fought at Passchendaele. In November that same year he was posted to Italy, when in Oct 1918 he received a Military Medal whilst he was constructing a pontoon bridge over the River Piave across Papadopoli Island.

Lynda Findlay


Sgt. Fred Albert Christian 156th Field Company Royal Engineers

Fred Christian was my 1st cousin twice removed. I have a photo of him in uniform, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Jake Sales


Spr. Thomas Walter Church 150th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.5th Aug 1917)

Thomas Church was my great grandfather. I have only recently discovered this information about him. His name is listed on the War Memorial in the church in Beeston. A great many of his relatives still live in the Beeston area of Nottingham. We have a letter which his commanding officer to wrote personally to his wife regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.

Glenn Palmer


Pte. Isaac Fisher 250th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers.

Isaac Fisher was my grandfather and was a miner who originated from Tipton in Staffordshire. Around the turn of the century he moved with his mother and father to Atherton in Greater Manchester. Prior to the Great War Isaac was married and had my father in 1908, but his wife died in 1911. Throughout his army career, so his war records tell us, he was frequently reported as AWOL, I'm unsure if this was due to his responsibilities towards his son or not. He had two service numbers 265326 and 442540 we think the second number was when he was transfered to the 250th tunneling company. His records are not always clear to read but we think he was a casualty at Bethune. If anyone can help to decipher records it would be very much appreciated.

Ernest Fisher


Spr. Bertram Maggs Machine Gun Corps

Bert Maggs in the 3rd Glosters

My Grandfather Bert Maggs served with the Royal Engineers, then with the 3rd Glosters and transferred to The Machine Gun Corps in 1917.

Bertram Maggs in the MGC 1917.jpg

My Grandfather is in the back row first right.

Peter Maggs


Spr. H. J. Fry 4th Div Signals Coy. Royal Engineers

This photo was found amongst a number of postcard photos of Bill Watford in a WW1 POW camp.

Phil Watford


Cpl. Fred Kerry MID. 105th Field Company Royal Engineers

Fred Kerry was the son of a well established Nottingham family who joined in late 1914 and went to France in 1914 with 105th Field Coy RE 25th Div. He was a driver but as he also was a trained butcher (his father own a farm and bred poultry & horses) so must have been a useful chap to have around. He was gassed three times and had scars on his legs where the gas had crept through his puttees, lucky he was on horseback not in the trench at the time. He was wounded twice and got married in Jan 1917 on a Christmas leave. He remained in service with 105th Field Coy until 1919.

A photo of him in uniform on his wedding day.

A copy of his MID which he was awarded in the Kings birthday honours list 1919, this was signed by Winston Churchill.

Two very small photos of him with his troop.

He rarely spoke about the war as he lost many of his friends. If anyone has any information of 105th Field Coy to share I would be really interested.

Martin Kerry


Spr. Joseph Dunmill 94th Field Company Royal Engineers (d.20th Sep 1917)

Joseph Dunmill was my grandfather Jesse's brother. Jesse was also a member of the Engineers, was gassed but survived the war. Joseph was the son of William John Dunmill & Elizabeth Dunmill nee Moston, born 15th September 1884, Lewisham Street, Westminster, Middlesex. He married Miriam Louis Pawsey (Winnie) on the 25th of December 1903 and had 4 children, William, Beatrice, Joseph & Rosetta.

Brian Edward Dunmill


L/Cpl. Henry William "Bob" Jeater MM. 518th Field Company Royal Engineers

Henry William Jeater was my maternal Grandfather, he was reported killed in action on 21st or 22nd March 1918 but was in fact wounded and captured and survived the War.

Trevor Davies


Lieutenant Corporal Samuel Riley Military Medal 18th Division 80th Field Company Royal Engineers

My father, Samuel Riley was awarded his M. M. at Thiepval on the 26th of September 1916 for "Gallant conduct and devotion to duty in the field" by Major General F. J. Maxse, Commanding Officer 18th Division at the battle of Thiepval. My Father was a L/Cpl. in the 80th Field Company Royal Engineers. He died some years ago and I have his medals. Like most of his colleagues he would not talk about his experiences. I would very much like to find out the reason for the award of his medal. Can anyone help?.

Christopher Riley


Spr. Ball Royal Engineers

Sketch in an autograph book by Spr Ball

This is a extract from an Autograph Book which at a guess belonged to a nurse who treated wounded soldiers in various hospitals in the UK between 1913 and 1917. My Mother rescued the book which was about to be thrown away with the rubbish in 1968.

Sapper Ball served with the Royal Engineers, unfortunately we don't know who "Darky" is.

Pat Lawlor


Sydney Smith Royal Engineers

Sidney Smith, serving the The Royal Engineers, he was from South Hackney, London, photographed on 21st March 1917.

A group of Royal Engineers 7th June 1916.


Joshua Margerison Signals Royal Engineers

This is the story was told me by my father pictured above, I have used poetic licence in telling it, but it truly happened.

Boots, Boots, Boots.

Bloody boots! Thought John as he stamped his feet. They were hurting him badly where the leather had rubbed the skin from his heels. He'd tried every trick in the book to make the leather softer, including peeing in them and leaving them to soak all night, but they still hurt. He wriggled his toes and stamped his feet again. He ought not to grumble. His platoon had drawn a week behind the lines and all he had to do was make sure the colonel's horse was groomed and ready for its owner. But even on a cushy job like this his feet gave him gyp. Like a lot of the lads he was convinced that the only cure for his foot problems was to find himself a pair of decent boots, and by decent boots he meant a pair of German officer's knee boots. Some of his mates had managed to get hold of a pair and to hear them talk you would almost believe that such footwear was created by God's Holy Angels.

He heard the colonel approaching so he put down his currycomb, straightened up, and saluted. The Officer smiled at him as he took the horse's reins.

"You've done a good job there, Private, but it's time you were off to breakfast. I won't be needing you for the rest of the day."

John put away the curry brush and walked quickly across to the barn, which served as mess for his platoon. He pushed open the door and was greeted by a loud shout of laughter which came from his mates who were sitting round inside. Quickly he held out his mess tin to Cookie, who slapped in a dollop of porridge and two thick slices of bread, which looked stale as usual. He longed to be home enjoying an oven bottom cake straight from his mother's oven. Army bread was always stale. He made his way to the table he raising an inquiring eyebrow to ask what the laughter was about. His expression was enough to set the men off spluttering again.

It turned out that they were laughing at Alf, the platoon scrounger, who'd been to the nearby farm to try to beg, borrow or steal a fresh egg from the French widow woman. As he'd gone through the gate he'd noticed two of her cows were loose. Slapping the nearest one on the rump he'd attempted to drive them back into the yard, all the while yelling at the top of his voice, "Madam, la leche promenade, la leche promenade." Despite his muddled French Madam knew exactly what he meant. She'd gathered her long skirt up at the waist and yelling French swear words at the top of her voice joined in the chase. Once the cows were behind the rail the widow had shown her gratitude with a fine reward.

"She gave him that egg there," shouted Taffy pointing to Alf's mess tin, which was smeared with the remains of an egg yolk. "Lucky bastard."

John finished his porridge and reached for the tin of Tickler's raspberry and apple jam; a jam that owed its existence more to turnip fields than the raspberry canes. Some of the lads reckoned the pips were made from bits of wood. He chewed with a gusto, it softened the stale bread and filled the emptiness in his stomach.

His best mate, Bert, was nattering about some German boots he'd spied as he was coming away from the trenches that morning. Bert, the company dispatch rider, had owned a market stall in civvy life, and he still kept his eyes skinned for a bargain. It was amazing what he 'found' on his errands. He spent most his time with his head down looking for something to half inch. It was a wonder he didn't crash his bike. Though to be honest you couldn't really blame him, there's nothing more enticing to a sniper than a head in the sights of his gun.

Bert described how gob struck he'd been when a fine pair of German boots lying side by side in a rut at the edge of the track. He reckoned he'd get at least five bob for them from one of the lads. He'd balanced the bike and rushed across to grab them.

At this point Bert's story came to a sudden halt. He reached for his mug and took a great gulp of tea.

"Get on, with the story, lad," begged Taffy. Like all the rest he was determined that one day, he too, would own such a pair. John was busy working out whether he'd enough money to make a bid. Pay day was tomorrow, surely Bert would wait till then, after all they'd been best mates long before they left Blighty. He just hoped they'd fit him.

Slowly Bert lowered his mug and gazed one by one at the men sitting at the table. "Don't get too excited like," he announced, " I ain't got no boots."

A groan went up from the group.

" But, you said you found some this morning. Where are they? Why haven't you got them? Oh, don't tell me you've sold them already?" shouted John in disgust. "Some pal you've turned out to be, you could have given me first chance at them. I thought we was mates."

"Now hold on a minute lad," replied Bert. "I haven't finished yet. I haven't sold nothing, them boots are still where I saw them. If you're that damned keen to have them go and fetch them yourself."

The men at the table fell silent at this remark; it wasn't like Bert to get shirty, he was usually the most placid of men. It took the Duty Sergeant's cry of, "Any complaints?" to rouse them, and for once there were no smart Alec replies.

"Well if you've nothing to complain about you'd better get the hell out of here. You're like a lot of Chelsea Pensioners sitting around enjoying retirement. Get a shufti on or I'll arrange for some pack drill keep you busy."

As they piled out of the barn John caught up with Bert.

"If they didn't fit you, you could have brought them back for me. You know I've always wanted a pair."

"Brought them back for you," echoed Bert as he kicked the dust up under his feet and looked anywhere except at his mate. "If you want the damn things lad, you can fetch them for yourself. I don't mind saying that you're welcome to them! They'll still be there, if you want them, about half a mile back down the track. I don't think they'll have walked away on their own."

"Thanks for nothing." shouted John looking back over his shoulder. "Don't count on me for any favours in future."

Bert's choked reply brought him to a sudden halt. "Ah, John, believe me, I'm still your mate lad, but for Christ's sake watch out. Treat them with respect. You see the poor bugger's feet and legs are still inside them!"

Kath O'Sullivan


Sapper Enoch Moxon 182nd tunnelling Company Royal Engineers (d.20th April 1916)

A member of my family from this company was killed in action. He was Spr. Enoch Moxon, 182nd Tunnelling Company, died 20/04/1916.

Andrea Moxon


Pte. Herbert Messenger West Yorkshire Regiment

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

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Sapper Martin: The Secret Great War Diary of Jack Martin

Richard Van Emden

Praise for The Soldier's War 'Thousands of books have been written about the Great War, but perhaps none so vividly evocative as Richard van Emden's The Soldier's War ... an extraordinary homage to a lost generation' Daily Mail 'A remarkably distressing yet uplifting book ... these descriptions from a Tommy's eye-view have a gut-wrenching immediacy' Daily Mail 'In The Soldier's War, Richard van Emden has toiled in archives and hunted down caches of letters to tell the story of the war chronologically through the eyes of the Tommies who fought it, recording their days of tedium and moments of terror' The Times Jack Martin was a thirty-two-year-old clerk at the Admiralty when he was called up to serve in the army in September 1916. These diaries, written in secret, hidden from his colleagues and only discovered by his family after his return home, present the Great War with heartbreaking clarity, written in a voice as compelling and distinctive as Wilfred Owen or Siegfried Sassoon and


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