- 7th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps during the Great War -
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7th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps
7th (Service) Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps was raised at Winchester on 19th of August 1914 as part of Kitchener's First New Army and joined 41st Brigade, 14th (Light) Division. They trained at Aldershot, moving to Grayshott in November and to Bordon in February 1915, returning to Aldershot in March 1915. They proceeded to France, landing at Boulogne on the 19th of May 1915. They fought in the The Action of Hooge, being the first division to be attacked by flamethrowers. They were in action in The Second Attack on Bellewaarde. In 1916 they were on the Somme seeing action in The Battle of Delville Wood and The Battle of Flers-Courcelette. In 1917 they fought in The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First and Third Battle of the Scarpe at Arras, The Battle of Langemark and The First and Second Battle of Passchendaele. On the 2nd of February 1918 they transferred to 43rd Brigade still with 14th (Light) Division. In 1918 they returned to the Somme and were in action during The Battle of St Quentin and The Battle of the Avre, suffering very heavy casualties with almost 6,000 men of the Division killed or injured. The Division was withdrawn from the front line and were engaged building a new defensive line to the rear. On the 25th of April, the 7th KRRC was reduced to a training cadre and on the 16th of June they transferred to 49th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division and returned to England for re-establishment and were absorbed by 34th Battalion, London Regiment at Clacton.
30th Jul 1915 In an attack at 03:15 in the front line at the Hooge Crater, the Germans employed a flame thrower against troops of the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade and 7th Kings Royal Rifle Corps.
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Those known to have served with 7th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps during the Great War 1914-1918.
- Anderton Alfred Reuben. L/Cpl. (d.6th December 1917)
- Barratt Frederick Martin. Rflmn. (d.10th Jul 1917)
- Dibsdale Reginald Morden. Pte.
- Donald William Alexander. Pte. (d.15th Sep 1916)
- Dry James Robert. Rflmn. (d.20th Sep 1917)
- Giles Charles Elvin. Rfm.
- Glover Humphrey William. Pte. (d.4th December 1917)
- Heath George Robert. Rfmn.
- Heaver Harry Robert. L/Cpl. (d.15th Sep 1916)
- Hollis Arthur. Pte. (d.30th July 1915)
- King J.. Rflm. (d.16th Mar 1917)
- Lee Harry. Rfm. (d.11th May 1917)
- Lee Harry. Rifleman (d.11th May 1917)
- Lee Harry. Rflmn. (d.11th May 1917)
- Mann Herbert Henry. Sgt (d.1915)
- McIntosh Robert. Rfn.
- Medhurst Arthur William. Sgt. (d.30th July 1915)
- Mills Walter. Rfmn. (d.21st Mar 1918)
- Nicholson Wilfred. Pte. (d.2nd Apr 1918)
- Parker Albert E.. Rfmn. (d.15th May 1916)
- Petty Silvester. Rflmn. (d.26th Aug 1916)
- Pritchard John David. Rflmn.
- Quarmby James Arthur. Rifleman (d.15 Sep 1916)
- Ramsay Keith Winton. Lt. (d.3rf May 1916)
- Rennie George Arthur. Brig.Gen.
- Sedgwick Joseph. Rfm. (d.6th Jul 1915)
- Smith Ernest. CSM (d.11th Oct1917)
- Tomlinson William. Rflmn. (d.23rd April 1917)
- Townsend John. Rflmn. (d.2nd Sep 1915)
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
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Rfm. Joseph Sedgwick 7th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.6th Jul 1915)Joe was my Grandma's brother who she never met. I'm going through the family history and trying to gather as much information as I possibly can. A long shot but can anyone give me any information on what or where Joe could have been. What battles? All we've got is Flanders France, like so many others there is no body no grave. Please email me..Natasha
Rifleman Harry Lee 7th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.11th May 1917)My great uncle, Harry Lee died along with two other men, he was on parade when a shell landed close to the battalion HQ ending his life. I like to think that he was killed instantly and didn't suffer. I don't know what happened to the other two men. He is remembered at London Cemetery Wancourt Road No 2 Memorial Panel 3 .I wish I knew what he was like as a person so I could really add to his story
Rfm. Charles Elvin Giles 7th Battalion, B Coy, No.6 section King`s Royal Rifle CorpsI am in possession of my father's army pay book and note book in which he has listed the men in his section,as follows:
Number 6 section B coyHe also lists the soldiers in Sections 5,7 and 8 if these are of any interest I can send them on.
- 8207 L/sgt. Lane L
- R?986Cpl ?
- R6264 L/cpl Giles C
- R13492 Rfl. Adams. A
- R18696 Rfl. Albam ?
- R34487 Rfl. ??ing
- R27375 Rfl. Lemon
- R18040 Rfl. Butler
- R21664 Rfl.Austin
- R13104 Rfl. Lacy.C
- Rl1731 Rfl. Lee.H
I am seeking the relevant war diary covering my father's service. I can tell you he was wounded twice.On one of these occasions whilst convalescing he was sent to Ireland to help with the Troubles there. I remember him saying he would prefer to have been in France where you could be shot from the front and not in the back!Alan Charles Giles
Pte. William Alexander Donald 7th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.15th Sep 1916)William Alexander Donald born 1886, was working as a footman before joining the KRRC in August 1914, he went out to France in May 1915, he was Cpt Morice St Aubyn's Batman.
The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting which his sister kept in between the pages of her diary: "Mr. & Mrs Donald have been informed that their son, Rifleman William Donald, has been posted as wounded and missing after an engagement on the 15th ult. William enlisted at the outbreak of war and went to France the following March. Captain St Aubyn, who was wounded at the same time, writes as follows to Mrs. Donald "I am afraid that there is now no alternative but to presume that your son was killed in action on September the 15th, he was my servant for over a year, he was always cheerful even when things were most uncomfortable, when I was wounded he assisted me back to the nearest trench, which was a few hundred yards distant. We crossed the open ground all right and were within a few yards of the trench when he was hit by a bullet, which went through his back, it must have pierced his lung. Regular medical parties come up as soon as possible after a position has been captured, and had he been alive when they arrived they would have brought him in."Patricia Evans
Rfn. Robert McIntosh MM. 7th Bn Kings Royal Rifle CorpsMy grandfather was Robbie McIntosh, a signaller in the 7th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. He joined up on the 1st Sep 1914 (under age) in Crystal Palace and survived until the end of the war. He won a Military Medal for gallantry on 2nd June 1917 which was awarded by Captain M.J. St. Aubyn. We believe the medal was given when he volunteered to keep the communication lines open and crawled for many days in the mud of No Man's Land. He ran out of food and was disorientated from the shelling. He was lucky to survive. I am in possession of his papers and the award notification.
Robert McIntosh also had an older brother, Charles (Chas), who served in India (North West Frontier Expedition Medal) and France (the Retreat from Mons on the 15th July 1914, with Kitchener's Army). He became a Sgt Major, also won the Military Medal, and was apparently Mentioned in Despatches.
I also have a copy of a sad poem, "Egypt Lost", that has both my grandfather's name and that of Rifleman J.C. Lapworth, 8th Battalion written on the paper. My grandfather did not write the poem and we concluded that Rfn. Lapworth wrote it, but are not certain.
Tell me not in mournful numbers
Egypt’s but an empty dream
And the Staff that often blunders
Is the washout that they seem.
Mugs we are, as Mugs returning
To the trenches as before
With out hearts in anger burning
We, the Scapegoats of the Corp.
From the trenches, East of Ypres
We returned and blessed the day
And we mocked the Hunnish Snipers
As we West-ward wound our way
Off we went our hearts all joyous
Going to a brighter land
Where we hoped they’d soon employ us
Digging trenches in the sand.
Gladly did we send our spare kit
To the Quartermasters store
Full of Souvenirs we packed it
For we hoped we’d see no more
You; You land of Mud and Water
And it made the fellows smile
For they thought that Pharaoh’s daughter
Called them to the Sunny Nile.
But the shining vision vanished
When the order came to stay
And our fondest hopes were banished
That we’d ever get away.
Mugs we are, as Mugs returning
To the trenches as before
Doomed to rot in mud and water
Till the Hun has Lost the War.Pamela Brunswick
Rflm. J. King 7th Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.16th Mar 1917)Rfm. J. King served with the King's Royal Rifle Corps 7th Battalion. He was executed on 16th March 1917 and is buried in the Berneville Communal Cemetery in Pas-de-Calais, Frances flynn
Rfmn. George Robert Heath 7th Batallion Kings Royal RiflesMy grandfather, George Robert Heath (no A1426), who lived in Borrowdale Road, Northfield, Birmingham served with the 7th Battalion of the Kings Royle Rifle Corp (KRRC). He signed up on 22nd August 1914 (his 20th birthday). After initial training in the UK he arrived in France on 18 May 1915 and went to the front line around the Belgium town of Ypres. He was involved in the trench warfare there – notably on the 30 July 1915 he was in the unit in the trenches at Railway Wood (opposite Bellewaarde Farm) where flamethrowers were first used against British forces. In the battle that took place his Battalion incurred heavy casualties (13 officers and 289 men out of around 1000 in the battalion). He spent from May 1915 to February 1916 fighting in the Ypres area before then being moved down to Arras where he was based until 29 July 1916. At this time the 7th Battalion KRRC moved to billets around Albert ready to join the Battle of the Somme.
At the Somme my grandfather was involved in major conflicts on the 18th August and the 15th September. On the 18th August the 7th Battalion KRRC attacked and captured, suffering heavy casualties (3 officers and 42 men killed and 3 officers and 174 men wounded), the German Orchard Trench which was in the notorious area of Delville Wood. After this they were taken out of the front line in order to bring new recruits to the Battalion and to give those soldiers, involved in the conflict since they entered France, a much needed rest. Some of the soldiers were taken, in two groups of 30, to Ault on the French coast. They returned into action on the 15th September 1916, again in trenches by Delville Wood, to take part in the notorious Battle of Flers- Courcellette. This is of note since it is the first time that tanks were used in the war. The tanks were used to good effect and much ground was taken. It was, however, at this Battle where my grandfather was shot and wounded. He remained in no-mans land for a period of days before he was recovered and, expected to die, returned to hospital in the UK. Whilst suffering permanent injury to his shoulder and chest he did in fact survive and was invalided out of the army, declared unfit for active service on the 29th od May 1917. During this Battle the of Fler-Courcellette casualties for the Battalion were again high with 34 killed, 189 wounded and 120 missing.
Eventually after his return to the UK he married Emma Gittins on 8th February 1919. Emma had two children, Charles and Margaret, from her previous marriage to Charles Anthony Gittins. Charles Gittins served in the 2/6 Batallion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was killed in action on 26th August 1917 in Flanders. His grave is at Zonnebeke. George and Emma went on to have 5 children, George, Joan, Olive, Sid and John and in total of 12 grandchildren.John Andrews
Rflmn. Frederick Martin Barratt 7th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.10th Jul 1917)Frederick Barratt served with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps 7th Battalion. He was executed on 10th July 1917 aged 23 and is buried in Louvencourt Military Cemetery, Louvencourt, France.
The private, suffering from severe shell shock, was examined by a doctor, who recommended that he return to his line. It would be an understatement to say that the medic failed in his duty. Rifleman Fred Barratt said at his trial for desertion that on one occasion he had been wounded and left unattended for five days. His constitution never recovered, and he became terrified when under fire. Nevertheless he was executed on 10th July 1917s flynn
Rfmn. Albert E. Parker 7th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.15th May 1916)Albert Parker was executed for desertion 15/05/1916 age 35 and is buried in Warlus Communal Cemetery, Warlus, France.S Flynn
CSM Ernest Smith 7th Btn. King's Royal Riffle Corps (d.11th Oct1917)Ernest Smith served with the 7th Battalion, King's Royal Riffle Corps and died on 11th October 1917.
Rflmn. Silvester Petty 7th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.26th Aug 1916)Silvester Petty served with the 7th Kings Royal Rifle Corps.Sandra Nuttall
Pte. Wilfred Nicholson 7th Btn King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.2nd Apr 1918)Wilfred Nicholson served with the 7th Btn King's Royal Rifle Corps and the 7th Btn King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
Rflmn. Harry Lee 7th Battalion Kings Royal Rifles Corps (d.11th May 1917)Harry Lee is my great uncle. He was born in 1894 his dad was also Harry Lee, his mum Ada Lee nee Martin married Samuel Wilde and had other children. I am not sure when Harry enlisted, and I don't know much of what he did in the war but I do know he died on the 11th of May 1917. He was on parade at unit HQ in Flanders when he and two other men were hit by a shell and blown up. I think it really sad that he died so young I hope he had some fun before he died. I feel for my great grandmother she must have been really devastated. His name is on the Memorial Panel in Wancourt Road Cemetery.B Downs
Rflmn. John Townsend 7th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.2nd Sep 1915)Jack Townsend served with the 7th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle CorpsAngela French
Rflmn. John David Pritchard 7th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle CorpsJohn Pritchard was my grandfather. He died just before I was born, so I never had the privilege of meeting him. He enlisted on 10th April 1915 but was discharged because of "sickness" on 23rd July 1916. He was married to my grandmother, Phoebe (nee Chatwin) when he enlisted.
There is some confusion - his records say he did serve overseas, but his regiment, the 6th Btn. is recorded as spending the war in Sheerness.
Editor's Note: John enlisted with the 6th KRRC but served overseas with the 7th Battalion.Glenys Adkinson
Brig.Gen. George Arthur Rennie DSO MID 7th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle CorpsMy grandfather, George Rennie DSO, commanded 7 KRRC throughout much of the First World War. He fought at all the major battles and was one of the few to survive. He did not like Germans! I rember him well. He had 8 mentions in Dispatches as well as a DSO from the Boer War. Died in 1951Anthony Stansfeld
L/Cpl. Harry Robert Heaver 7th Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.15th Sep 1916)Harry Heaver is listed as wounded in December, 1915. He died in Epping, Essex on 15th September 1916, very likely in St Margaret's Hospital and probably from wounds sustained in France or Belgium.Ken Hatfield
Pte. Reginald Morden Dibsdale 7th Btn.My grandad, Reginald Dibsdale was a butcher by trade in the district of Kensington, London, then the Great War was announced. He enlisted and was drafted to the King's Royal Rifle Corps at Winchester. He was sent to France, Ypres, and fought there with his fellow soldiers. He was wounded in the face and was discharged because of those injuries.
I never met him. Unfortunately, he died from his injuries a few years later. However, I would like to understand his time in the Corps a little better. His son (my dad) Ronald Morden Dibsdale, fought in WW2 in the RAF, and was out in Egypt with Monty. I know his dad would have been proud of him. If there is anyone who can give me any more information, I would love to hear from them.Mandy Russell
Sgt. Arthur William Medhurst 7th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.30th July 1915)Arthur Medhurst died of wounds, probably inflicted by German flame throwers which were used for the first time on 30th of July 1915. He was a regular soldier attested in 1898.P B Bird
Rflmn. James Robert Dry 7th Battalion Kings Royal Rifles (d.20th Sep 1917)My grand father, James Dry served with the 7th Battalion Kings Royal Rifles, was sadly he was killed in action on 20th of September 1917. I have been researching for a few years the whereabouts of my Grand father's grave and in November 2014 visited his grave in the Perth Cemetery (China Wall) just outside Ypres. Such a sad and first meeting in nearly 100 years, by one of his ancestors. My father (a veteran of the Burma campaign in WW2) never met his father, as he was born a few months after my grand father was killed in action.
Unfortunately, my father passed away some time ago taking with him all the horrific memories that he had from the WW2 and any information as to the circumstances of where in the Ypres area the 7th Battalion KRRC were engaged and how my Grand father paid the ultimate sacrifice. I intend to return to his grave with my children to pay our respects next September being the centenary year of his death. If any one could guide me as to where the information would be stored as to that fateful day (20.09.1917)so I can complete my record of ancestry that I want to make sure my family and grand children never forget the sacrifices that were made in both the world wars of the 20th century, so that we can enjoy freedom.
'Lest we forget'Howard Dry-Parker
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