- 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers during the Great War -
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2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers
2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) were in Calcutta, India when war broke out in August 1914. As soon as a territorial unit arrived to take over the garrison, they departed for England, arriving in December and joining 86th Brigade, 29th Division at Nuneaton. They were training for France when orders arrived to prepare to depart for Gallipoli. They embarked from Avonmouth between the 16th and 22nd March 1915 sailing via Malta to Alexandria then on to Mudros in April. They landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli on the 25 April 1915 and were involved in heavy fighting until the evacuation on the nights of the 7th and 8th of January 1916 when they returned to Egypt. In March they were sent to France, sailing to Marseilles and travelling by train to concentrate in the area east of Pont Remy by the end of March. In July they went into action in the Battles of the Somme. In 1917 they were in action in the The First, Second and Third Battle of the Scarpe during the Arras Offensive, then moved to Flanders and fought in the The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of Broodseinde and The Battle of Poelcapelle. Before moving south for The Battle of Cambrai. In 1918 they were in action in The Battle of Estaires, at Messines and The Battle of Hazebrouck including the defence of Nieppe Forest and The Battle of Bailleul. They were involved in The Action of Outtersteene Ridge, The capture of Ploegsteert and Hill 63 during the Advance in Flanders. At the Armistice the 29th Division was selected to march into Germany to occupy the Rhine bridgehead, they crossed the Belgian-German border at Malmedy on the 4th of December 1918. Demobilisation began in December.
11th Jul 1915 The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusilers sailed from Dover for Devonport enroute to the Dardanelles.
13th Jul 1915 The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusilers sailed from Devonport for Malta enroute to the Dardanelles.
21st Jul 1915 The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusilers arrived Malta enroute to the Dardanelles.
22nd Jul 1915 The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusilers sailed from Malta enroute to the Dardanelles via Alexandria.
25th Jul 1915 The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusilers land in Alexandia enroute to the Dardanelles.
27h Jul 1915 The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusilers sailed from Alexandia for Lemnos enroute to the Dardanelles.
30th Jul 1915 The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusilers arribed at Lemnos Harbour and transferred to HM Gunboat Newmarket, setting sail for Cape Helles, arriving at midnight.
31st Jul 1915 The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusilers landed at Cape Helles from HM Gunboat Newmarket and went straight into the lines.
1st Aug 1915 The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusilers attack the Turks at H12 from the 1st to the 5th of August,
6th Aug 1915 The 1st Essex and 88th Brigade went over the top at Calle Helles, supported by the 86th Brigade including the 2nd Royal Fusilers. They were heavily repulsed and forced to retire.
20th Aug 1915 The 2nd Royal Fusilers proceeded from Cape Helles to Cape Sulva.
21st Aug 1915 The 2nd Royal Fusilers were under heavy fire from the Turks at Cape Sulva, a bombardment which lasted three dats.
9th Sep 1915 The 2nd Royal Fusilers left Chocolate Hill and proceeded to Imbross aboard HMS Usmanier for a period of rest
21st Sep 1915 The 2nd Royal Fusilers departed from Imbross and returned to the firing line the following day.
16th Oct 1915 The 2nd Royal Fusilers made an unsucessful attack on a sap.
17th Oct 1915 Ten men and Sergeant of the 2nd Royal Fusilers made another attack on the sap, this time capturing it succesfully.
18th Dec 1915 The evacuation from Gallipoli to Imbros took place over the nights of 18th & 19th December 1915.
17th Jan 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers sailed from Mundros aboard the Empress of Britain bound for Alexandria.
20th Jan 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers arrived at Mustapha Pasha from Alexandria.
18th Feb 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers entrain at Mustapha Pasha for Port Jewfick, Suez.
2nd Mar 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers embarked from Port Jewfick aboard the Alaunia, sailing through the Canel to Port Said.
16th Mar 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers embarked from Port Suez for Marseilles via Malta.
22nd Mar 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers arrived at Marseilles from Port Suez and entrained for Port Remy.
24th Mar 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers arrived Port Remy by train from Marseilles and marched 15 miles to Coulon Villiers.
4th Apr 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers left Coulon Villiers and marched to Beauval, then to Englebelmer.
21st Apr 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers arrived at Auchonvillers and were engaged in trench work at Beaumont Hamel.
18th May 1916 The 2nd Royal Fusilers went into the trenches near Mally-Maillet.
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Those known to have served with 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers during the Great War 1914-1918.
- Arkwright Alfred Stanley. Pte. (d.25th Apr 1915)
- Atkins Herbert Ernest King. Pte. (d.26 May 1915)
- Bowie Edward John. Lt.
- Brooks Henry William. Pte. (d.25th November 1916)
- Bulbeck Henry Edmund. Lt. (d.6th Nov 1916)
- Cooper David. Pte. (d.27th October 1916)
- Davis Percival James. Pte. (d.16th Oct 1916)
- Doughty Alfred John. Pte.
- Draper G. Pte
- Ellse Ogden. Pte.
- Farr William Charles. (d.9th Oct 1917 )
- Firmston William. Sgt (d.13th April 1918)
- Goodhand George. Cpl.
- Higginson Arthur. Pte (d.12th Aug 1917)
- Hill Edward John. Pte. (d.28th Feb 1917)
- Hobbs Thomas William. Pte. (d.26th Oct 1917)
- Holloway John E.. Lt. (d.7th May 1915)
- Joel Joseph Henry. Sgt.
- Kiff Henry Arthur . Pte (d.25th April 1915)
- Lloyd F. J.T.. QMS (d.26th September 1915)
- Mitchell Geoffrey Arthur Nevett. Cpl.
- Munden Marwood Mintern. Lt.
- Nice Frederick William. Pte. (d.24th April 1917)
- Smallwood Rowland. Pte.
- Spry William T.. Pte. (d.14th June 1918)
- Tonge Reginald Severn. L/Cpl. (d.17th Feb 1917)
- Wells Hurleston Vesey. Capt. (d.12th April 1918)
- Williams Charles Edward. Cpl. (d.27th Oct 1916)
- Willis Henry. Pte. (d.1st July 1916)
- Wood Monthem Frank. Pte.
- Wright William Albert. Staff Sgt. (d.7th Dec 1917)
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Lt. John E. Holloway 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, City of London (d.7th May 1915)John 'Jack' Richardson, born in 1893, was the son of the headmaster of Shaftesbury Road Elementary School in Forest Gate, East London. After the outbreak of WW1 he battled red-tape to be allowed to fight, despite a heart problem.
"The battalions now at Malta are going to France. Were I only there! But for evermore will I pity the unemployed."
He managed to join the newly formed 2nd Batallion of the City of London Fusiliers as a Lieutenant, and embarked for France on 17th March 1915. "We passed torpedo boats at Portsmouth and minesweepers. Cruisers and one submarine going on the surface with a long trail of black smoke coming out of the back - it looked uncanny creeping along, like a long, black water snake."
He wrote regular letters to his fiancée, May Larby (my grandmother - the daughter of a local police constable) which have been published as "There Are No Flowers Here", available from www.lulu.com. All the quotes I have included are from this book.
Here are some excerpts that might be of interest. "My dear girl, I am writing this on Sunday morning with the British shells passing over our heads, the German snipers occasionally potting at us and aeroplanes sailing round and being followed by white puffs from the smoke bombs fired by the anti-aircraft guns. These white puffs look for all the world like pieces of cotton wool. I came into the trenches for four days last night about 6.30. We marched along a railway line and then a road with just one or two bullets whistling here and there but with no casualties. We got safely into our breastwork and then followed a continual fusillade from the German trenches 400 yards in front of us, rifles, star bombs, and a search light. The result was nothing as far as we were concerned. Still, it was a fine experience. I, with a second lieutenant and two men were employed in building a bombproof shelter with sandbags and boards, corrugated iron etc.. The 2/Lieut.,to whom I am, of course junior, and I went on duty of inspection of the whole line of the trenches from 1-3 p.m.and got to sleep at 3.30, to be roused at 5.0 this morning by the “Stand To” when every man has to stand by his arms for an hour. The Germans giving us quite a rifle bombardment as a “reveille”. They keep this up more or less all day and night. They are just waking up again now. The rest of the morning we have had nothing in particular to do except fire sometimes at the Germans and keep our heads below the parapet. The British 4.7 guns have just started sending shells over us on to (one just gone) the German lines. The last just burst over their trench. The Germans are using a trench mortar now, but not on us, on the trenches to our right. The whole of the country here is desolate - the farms mere skeletons and the fields ploughed with earthworks. But, do you know May, I don't feel at all strange - almost exactly as if all the shots were blank and we were on field manoeuvres. I thought I should feel fearfully funky, but some how I don't. Besides it's such lovely weather today and the fellows here are jolly decent. I've even begun sketching the ruined houses etc. I must send you them when I manage to do some worth the transit. We stay here in the trenches 4 days and then have 4 in billets. The latter are quite nice and we live in comparative luxury, although shells come quite close and knock corners off houses and break windows.( We just rushed into a dugout because an aeroplane coming over our trench was shelled and we're afraid of the shrapnel pieces - however none came). What strikes me most is that the natives still stay with their homes and work in the fields even in the zone of fire. In the town the majority of the shops are open again, but it has a desolate look. My love, I musn't tell you where I am, because my letters are not read and they trust me not to say anything censorable. But I can say we have Germans in a horseshoe round us and we are in one of the most advanced trenches of the Allied line. Swank!
My dear, this letter is very incoherent but I am writing things down as they occur to me. I am too lazy today to compose. Still, I hope you will find it interesting. And, comrade, do not be more anxious about me than you can help. There is really very little danger here and I am thoroughly enjoying myself. The business doesn't seem nearly so horrible now I am here. I'm in that frame of mind which is prepared to take the whole thing as a game, and a good one too. Anyhow I'm glad I'm not funky. Comrade, please write to me soon and tell me all about yourself and how you are and what is happening. Now I am here I know nothing about the war!"
"It's now 11.30. The Maxims are going all along the line tonight and they make a fearful din. Last night was quite exciting. A sergeant and I crawled along in front of the trench to inspect the barbed wire entanglement - and it was cold - the ground all frosty and sparkling in the moonlight. Fortunately the enemy were quiet and we got very few shots, though they must have been able to see us quite plainly. Later I took out half a dozen men to put up some fresh wire and still few shots came our way. Very considerate of the Saxons who are opposite. During the night we were shouting across to them and they to us! “how do you do,” said they - many of them speak English; they wanted a game of football on Easter Monday. “Bully beef” was another cry of theirs. These “conversations” went on for quite an hour and not a shot fired. They woke up today however and plenty of sniping has gone on, and they at Maxims tonight."
"Yesterday we had a little diversion. Two German and two British aeroplanes were over us at once and the sky was literally filled with bursting shells - over a hundred were counted at one time. One of the Germans was hit, but he got back to his own lines. We heard today that another had been brought down in our “Billets” town itself. The change of pencil in this letter was due to my rushing out to see if a passing biplane was English or German. If it is an enemy we all fire and drive him off - otherwise he finds our range and shells come over later. It was British." "But my dear, I've got a splendid sergeant just come back from hospital of the name of Macleod. He's the son of an Indian judge and as mad as a hare, though awfully useful and full of ideas and energy. We two went out last night to prospect the German front and we have plans against their snipers and listening post. Of this, more anon. Unfortunately he is likely to get a commission and I shall lose him."
"Yesterday afternoon I spent some time sniping from a plate at the Germans and I think I managed to worry them. You see we have square iron plates put in the parapet with a hole just big enough to put a rifle through and they form jolly good loopholes. After putting several through the German sniping hole opposite me and splitting the sandbags round about I got a reply - and this was rather too good. It caught the stock of my rifle and sent the splinters and pieces of earth through my loophole and they caught my left hand slightly. However, very little damage was done and after getting it dressed by the stretcher bearers, to whom I went, I walked down to the Field dressing station and got it seen to again. I returned to the trench but the Captain insisted on my going down to see the Medical Officer in the evening and so spoiled my plans with Sergeant Macleod of which I told you." "While I was away our artillery gave them five minutes rapid shrapnel fire and our men blazed off rapid rifle fire. The sergeant I spoke about got so excited that he jumped up on top of the parapet to fire at the Germans. Luckily he wasn't hit nor did we have any casualties. Of course it would be my luck not to be there, but I expect we shall repeat the experiment later on." "The night before last I went out with Macleod and a private to look at a wagon standing in front of the German lines, in which we thought there was a sniper. We crawled out about 250 yds. along the side of a ditch - very, very cautiously and lay and watched. But there was no sniper - only German shells came flying overhead, though of course they couldn't do us any harm. To make sure I then crawled on for 20 yds. or so and just as I got flat on the ground the “Bosches” sent up a flare which fell quite close to me - of course they saw me and when I turned to go back to the other two, shots began to come our way, though you know it is very difficult to aim in the dark with any certainty so there wasn't really very much danger. We all slid into the ditch and then a machine gun opened fire on us, or rather where they thought we were. We slowly made our way down the ditch, and the mud and water came up over the thighs, and the Germans, thoroughly alarmed, for they could hear our splashing as we went, sent up flares and rattled off with rifles and machine gun. Half way down the ditch was a bridge, and here they thought we should have to come out of the ditch and crawl along to pass, so they set the machine gun on it. Fortunately they were wrong - there was about 2 ft. between the top of the water and the top of the bridge, so we could just get through and make our way right to our own trench, accompanied with flares and musketry. So worried were the Germans that they sent up a red flare which is a signal to their own men an attack is expected! There's quite a “Three Musketeers” touch about that, isn't there? But we cost them quite a lot in ammunition etc. and quite annoyed them. More than this there has been little happening - we had some fifteen shells over two nights ago, two of which slightly damaged the trench but there was no harm done. Since we've been up I think there have been two casualties in the whole Battalion. You know we're nearly as safe as you who cross London streets daily."
"Really my dear, Macleod is a very useful man and I'd rather be out at night with him than anyone. He is not the sort who would get jumpy and let off his gun at awkward moments or do things like that."
On Sunday April 25th. 1915 Jack was wounded while reconnoitering at night in front of his trench with his sergeant. He died of these wounds on Friday May 7th. 1915. He was 22 years old.Paul Holloway
Staff Sgt. William Albert Wright 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers (d.7th Dec 1917)My Grandfather William Wright was killed at Cambrai on the 7th December 1917 and his name is on the memorial at Cambrai, but if there is anymore information anyone can give me I would be very appreciative.Pauline Leahy
Pte. Monthem Frank "Monty" Wood 6th Btn. Royal FusiliersMonty is listed as Frank Wood in all official records, apart from the local Booklet: Southall Men Enlisted 1915 where he is listed on page 59, serving with the Royal Fusliliers, 6th Battallion, No 14737 Pte Wood, M. F.April Wood Ashton
Pte. Thomas William Hobbs 2nd Btn. Royal Fusiliers (d.26th Oct 1917)Tommy Hobbs was my wife's grandad. He was 24 years old when he died leaving a wife and 3 children, one whom he never saw. He died in the 3rd Battle of Ypres and is commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial.R.Rosewarn
Pte. Percival James Davis 2nd (City of London) Battalion Royal Fusiliers (d.16th Oct 1916)Percival Davis was born at Dursley Gloucestershire in 1894, son of Charles Edward Davis and Fanny Beata (Smith). He enlisted at the Mansion House London. He died of wounds and is buried at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen.Martyn Rundle
Pte. Rowland Smallwood 2nd Battalion Royal FusiliersMy Gt. Uncle, Rowland Smallwood, joined the Royal Fusiliers in 1896. He saw action in the Boer War during the Relief of Ladysmith. Further tours of duty took him to Burma, the East Indies and India.
At the start of WW1, Rowland was recalled from India and posted with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to Gallipoli. He returned to England in September 1915, prior to the remnants of his Battalion in January 1915. His medical history is missing from his service record, so it is not known if he was wounded. Rowland was then posted with the British Expeditionary Force to France in February 1916, where he was wounded. He was then based in England from March 1916. Rowland was transferred to the E.C.D, then the 5th Battalion, and finally to the 11th Battalion of the Bedford Regiment. In February 1919 Rowland was discharged, no longer physically fit for war service.
In 1956 Rowland entered the Royal Hospital, Chelsea as an in-pensioner, where he died in 1965, aged 86 and was buried in the Royal Hospital, Chelsea plot at the Brookwood Cemetery, Woking.Val Kent
Pte Arthur Higginson 2nd Btn. Royal Fusiliers (d.12th Aug 1917)This is taken from diary that was returned to his family after his death with several other papers and war poems, all of which have been donated to the Imperial War Museum London.
Diary of Private A. Higginson 12622.
I enlisted on the 10th of February 1915. Left Stoke for Hounslow on the 13th and arrived the same day. Left Hounslow and arrived at Dover on the 20th of February. I had there, 3 months recruit drill then went in the training quarters. Went on 6 days leave on June 25th, but did not return until July 3rd. Warned for a draft for the Dardanelles on July 6th.
Left Dover July 11th and arrived at Devonport July 12th. We then embarked for the peninsula on the S.Simla. Left Devonport harbour July 13th midnight. We passed the rock of Gibraltar at midnight July 17th. Steamed into Malta July 21st. Left Malta on the 22nd and landed into Alexandria July 25th. Left Alexandria on the 27th July and arrived at Lemnos Harbour July 30th.
Left Lemnos on His Ms Gunboat Newmarket on the 30th and arrived at Cape Helles midnight. We landed in support on the 31st of July. Went in the firing line the same day. On the 1st of August preparations were made for an attack on H12. Our light artillery and the naval guns bombarded the Turks on the 1st,2nd,3rd,4th, and 5th of August. We were relieved by the Essex of the 88th Brigade on the 5th.
On the 6th of August the batteries opened out a rapid fire and the 88th Brigade went over the top under heavy fire, being reinforced by us the 86th. But we were heavily repulsed and had to retire. We were relieved from the firing line and went to the beach for a relief on the 7th August. We left Cape Helles and proceeded round to Cape Sulva on the 20th.
On the 21st of August we had a very rough time of it for the Turks made an attack on us. This lasted for 3 days. Settled down on August 24th. Relieved to the supports on the 31st. Left Chocolate Hill on the H.M.S.Usmanier and proceeded to Imbros for a rest on the 9th of September. We arrived at Imbros the following day.
Left Imbros on the 21st midnight and arrived in the firing line on the 22nd. Went to supports Sep 28th. In the firing line again on Oct 13th. On the 16th of Oct we made an attack for a sap but had to retire and we had to go for it again on the 17th but we managed to capture it. Ten men and a Sgt. The Sgt was awarded the D.C.M. In the capturing of this sap I was wounded in the eye and shoulder by bomb splinters.
I left the peninsula on H.M.H.S.Dongola on the 18th of Oct. landed at the 3rd Aust. Gen Hospital Oct 19th. Where I had small splinters taken from eye and shoulder blade. Discharged from Hos Nov 15th. Joined Details on the 15th. Left Mundros on the Empress of Britain on Jan 17th 1916 Drew into port at Alexandria.
Proceeded to Mustapha Pasha arriving there Jan 20th. Entrained at Mustapha on the18th of Feb and arrived at Port Jewfick. Suez on the 19th. Went up to Al Cubery for outpost. Feb 21st Returned to Suez Camp. Mar 2nd. left Suez and embarked at Port Jewfick on the Alaunia. Mar 14th. sailed through the canal and arrived at Port Said. Mar 15th.
Left Port Said 16th and proceeded. Via Malta to Marseilles. We arrived at Marseilles Mar 22nd. Entrained at Marseilles and proceeded to Pont Remy arriving there Mar 24th. Marched to Coulon Villiers same day. 15m. Left Coulon and marched to Beauval on the 4th April and marched to Englebelmer.
Left Englebelmer on the 4th April for a course of trench mortar arriving at Valheureax same day. Left Valheureax and arrived at Mailly-Maillet on the 14th. Left MM and arrived at Auchonvillers April 21st. Carried on trench work at Beaumont Hamel. Relived from trenches on the 28th and went back to Louvencourt. Left Louvencourt and arrived at M-M May 8th. Went in the trenches on the 18th.
Whilst on listening post on the morning of the 19th. we were nearly caught by a German sniper. Went back into supports May 23rd. Relieved from trenches and arrived at Louvencourt on the 7th of June and arrived at M-M. Left M-M and arrived at Auchonvillers ther I joined the trench mortar on June 11th. On the 21st of June while in trenches, hit on the arm by a small piece of shrapnel. Left Auchonvillers and went back to Acheaux on the 23rd. Preparations were then being made for an advance. The bombardment started on the 23rd. Went up trenches under bombardment to remove gun boxes on June 27th. The bombardment still continued on 28th. 29th. 30th. but it got heavier as it went along. Left Acheaux and went into supports to await advance on the 30th. On the morning of the 1st of July the bombardment was at its worst.
Every gun spitting out fire as fast as they possibly could. At 7 o'clock in the morning we blew up a mine in the German front line and at 7-30 the great advance started to capture Beaumont Hamel every man going over the top like one, under heavy shrapnel and machine gun fire. I was hit in leg with bit of shrapnel.
It was a terrible sight to see. Once again we had to retire with heavy losses. Beaumont Hamel was one of the strongest fortifications on whole front. We were relieved from the trenches and arrived at M-M on July 4th. Left M-M and proceeded to Hamel where we carried on trench work July 9th. On the 20th we went in front to try and put Minnenwerfer out of action. Relieved from trenches and arrived at M-M July 23rd.
Left M-M on the 23rd to proceed to another part of the line. We arrived at Bus the same day. Left Bus and arrived at Beauval July 24th. Left Beauval and entrained at Doullens on the 27th July, arriving at Esquelbecq same day. Left Esquelbecq and arrived at Wormhout on the 27th. Left Wormhout and arrived at C.Camp July 30th. Left C.Camp on the 8th of August and arrived at St.Jean midnight.
Just as we landed in Ypres a violent bombardment started and the Germans made a gas attack on us. Only a few being gassed. On the 14th we went in the trenches at St. Jean. On the 17th of August the Germans made another gas attack on us. Left St.Jean and went in the trenches at Railway Wood on the 18th. Relieved from trenches and arrived at C.Camp Aug 29th.
The Germans made 2 more gas attacks on the 29th of August and the 2nd of September. Left C.Camp and arrived in the trenches again Sep 8th. Relieved from St.Jean and arrived at Ypres Sept 18th. Left Ypres and went to Railway wood Sept 25th. Relieved from the trenches and arrived at Ypres Sept 28th. On the 31st we had to take our guns up to the trenches again for a bombardment which proved successful.
Left Ypres and arrived at C.Camp Oct 1st Left C.Camp to proceed down to the Somme. Entrained at Poperinge and arrived at Wormhout Oct 4th. Left Wormhout and arrived at Proven on the 6th of Oct. Left Proven on the 7th and arrived at Amiens midnight. Left Amiens and arrived at Durnancourt 3 miles from Albert Oct 10th. Left Durnancourt on the 13th of Oct and arrived at Mametz Wood.
Left Marmetz Wood on Oct 22nd and arrived at Delville Wood. Carried on trench work at Gueudecourt. Left Gueudecourt and Delville Wood on the 30th of Oct and proceeded to Meaulte. Left Meaulte on the 31st and arrived at Ville-sous-Corbie. Left Ville-Sous-Corbie and arrived in the town of Corbie Nov 1st. Left Corbie and arrived at Meaulte on the 16th of Nov.
Left Meaulte and arrived at Ginchy Nov 18th. Left Ginchy and proceeded in the trenches the extreme right of the British line on the 24th of Nov. Relieved from the trenches at Les Boefs on the 27th and arrived at Ginchy same day. Left Ginchy and arrived at Montauban 28th Nov. Carried on trench work at Les Boefs. Left Ginchy and proceeded to Mealte arriving on the 9th of Dec.
Left Meaulte on the 15th of Dec and arrived at Picquigny same day. Left Picquigny on the 10th Jan and arrived at Corbie the same day. Left Corbie and arrived at Mericourt Jan 11th. Left Mericourt on the 15th of Jan and arrived at Carnoy same day. Left Carnoy to proceed on leave on the 16th Jan.
Entrained at Mericourt 12-30. 17th and arrived at Le Havre same night. Left rest camp at Le Havre and boarded the S.S.Antrim on the 19th of Jan. Landed at Southampton on the 20th of Jan. Left Southhampton and arrived at Waterloo same day. Left for Wakefield on the 20th and arrived at my destination same day.
Left Westgate Station Wakefield on the 31st of Jan and arrived at Southampton same day. Left Southampton on the 31st and arrived at Le Havre on the 1st of Feb. Marched to the Ne1 camp and arrived there same day. Left Ne1 camp and arrived at the Docks Rest Camp on the 4th of Feb. Left Le Havre en route for the firing line on the 11th of Feb.
and arrived at Corbie Sunday Feb 12th. Left Corbie on the 18th of Feb and arrived at Meaulte same day. Left Meaulte and arrived in reserves at Combles on the 19th of Feb. Left Combles for the trenches on the 20th and arrived at Sailly-Saillisel same day. Left the trenches at Sailly-Saillisel and arrived at Foegicourt on the 23rd of Feb.
Stayed there for one night then proceeded to Bronfay Farm on the 24th arriving there same day. Left Bronfay Farm and arrived at Combles on the 26th. Left Combles on the 27th and went into the trenches at Sailly Saillisel. On the morning of the 28th at 5-30 our artillery opened out a rapid barrage fire.
The troops going over the top at 5-35. It was two days continuous scrapping but we gained our objective. Relieved from Sailly-Salisel on the 1st of Mar and stayed in supports for one night then proceeded to Bronfay Farm on the 2nd arriving there same day. Left Bronfay Farm and arrived at Ville on the 3rd of Mar.
Left the Batt and joined the Brigade F.M and arrived at Treax Mar 12th . Left Treax on the 15th for a course of trench Mortar and arrived at Vaux-en-Amienois same day. Left Vaux-en-Amienois on the the 26th and arrived at Abbe a Chaucer. Left Abbe a Chaucer and proceeded via Hangest to Yeaux on the 29th Mar.
Left Yeaux proceeded via Flixecourt and Bettencourt to Berteaucourt arriving there on the 30th Mar. Left Berteaucourt on the 1st of April and arrived at Besaincourt the same day. Left Besaincourt and proceeded via Doullens to Pommera on the 2nd of April. Left Pommera and arrived at Sus St. Leger on the 5th of Apl. Left Sus St. Leger and proceeded via Humbercourt and Saulty to Bavincourt arriving there on the 8th of Apl.
Left Bavincourt and proceeded via Simencourt to Beaumetz-Les-Loges on the 12th Apl. Left Beaumetz and proceeded via Dainville to Arras on the 13th Apl. Left Arras on the 14th and proceeded to the next village. Carried on trench work at Monchy. Relieved from Monchy on the 19th and arrived at Arras the same day.
Left Arras on the 22nd and arrived at Monchy Le Preax the same day. At 5-0'clock on the morning of the 23rd the artillery opened out a rapid bombardment which enabled the boys to go over shortly after. Advancing about 2000 yards. At 4-o'clock on the afternoon of the 24th our brigade were launched to the attack taking there objective this being the wood at Monchy. Also a ridge.
Later in the afternoon Fritz made a counter Attack and recaptured the wood. Our artillery cease fired because they could not get in communication so the enemy took advantage. We were relieved from Monchy the same night and arrived at Arras. Left Arras on the 25th and arrived at Bernville. Left Bernville and arrived at Wanquetin on the 26th Apl.
Left Wanquetin and Proceeded via Humber camp and St.Amand to Souastre arriving there on the 27th of Apl. Left Souastre and proceeded via Humbercamp to Couy-en-Artois arriving there the 1st of May. Left Couy-en-Artois and arrived at Arras on the 2nd of May. Left Arras on the 4th and arrived at Bernville same day. Left Bernville and arrived at Arras on the 15th of May.
Left Arras and arrived at Monchy on the 25th. At 11 o'clock on the night of the 30th of May our troops were again launched to the attack. The Middlesex gained there objective and stuck to it. The Lancs also gained theirs but had to retire with only 30 men. The prussian guards were our opponent. About 3 o'clock on the morning of the 31st on account of not having enough men the Middlesex were taken prisoners and the Lancs had to retire.
We were relieved from Monchy on the 31st and arrived at Arras the same day. Left Arras and arrived at Bernville on the 2nd of June. Left Bernville and entrained at Beaumetz for Pernois arriving there on the 3rd of June. Left Pernois on the 26th June and entrained at Candas for Andecote arriving there on the 27th.
Left Andecote on the 5th July and arrived at Proven the same day. Left Proven and arrived at the canal banks on the 12th of July In supports. Went in trenches on the St.Julian sector on the 13th. Relieved from the trenches on the 20th and arrived at Crombeke the same day. Left Crombeke and arrived at Proven on the 24th of July.
Went in the trenches at Boesingle on the 6th of August.1917.
Pte. A Higginson was Killed in Action at 1 am on the morning of the 12th of August 1917. 86 L.F.M. Battery 29th Division. B.E.F.Peter Chapman
Pte. Herbert Ernest King Atkins 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers (d.26 May 1915)One of four brothers from London who fought in the First World War, Pte Herbert Atkins was a Regular soldier with 2nd Royal Fusiliers who took part in the Gallipoli campaign from its commencement until he was killed aged 23 on 26th May 1915 - the same day as his younger brother, William Frederick Atkins, was killed in action aged 20 at Givenchy in France. Herbert survived the initial landings and subsequent fierce fighting, but after a month of combat was shot in the head by a sniper after he and some of his comrades had climbed onto a trench parapet to avoid flooding. He is commemorated on the Helles memorial at Gallipoli, having no known grave.Pat Atkins
Pte G Draper 2nd Batallion Royal FusiliersI have a copy of my grandmother's autograph book. She lived in London and worked in Burlington Arcade during WW1. On one page of the book is written: Kindest regards to all Pte G Draper 2nd Batt Royal Fusiliers. 27-12-15 Sick from Dardanelles 28 Sept Arrived in England 23 Oct I do not know anything about this man but thought it might be of interest to someone.Sylvia Robbins
Pte. Alfred Stanley Arkwright 2nd Btn. Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (d.25th Apr 1915)Alfred Stanley Arkwright was born in Charlton, enlisted in Stratford and lived in Dublin. He was killed in action in Gallipoli.s flynn
Cpl. Geoffrey Arthur Nevett Mitchell 4th Light Horse RegimentGeoffrey Arthur Nevett Mitchell was born at Ballarat in 1894 and was a student at Melbourne University when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. Mitchell joined the 4th Light Horse Regiment on 24th August 1914 and departed Australia aboard HMAT Wiltshire on 19th October 1914. Geoffrey Mitchell's previous military experience came from his time as a senior cadet at Geelong College and a short period with the University of Melbourne Rifles.
Mitchell remained in Egypt with the 4th Light Horse until April 1915 when he was discharged from the AIF and proceeded to England to join the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 29th Division in July 1915. He served with this unit at Gallipoli until being wounded in August 1915. After recovering from his wounds, Mitchell joined the Royal Flying Corps, quickly rising through the ranks to become a lieutenant in the 13th Balloon Company by late 1916. Mitchell's service with the Royal Flying Corps continued until mid-1918, when, as a major, he returned to England to take command of the Richmond Park Transport Depot.
After demobilising in 1919, Mitchell settled in Malaya, working on a rubber plantation until 1931. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force during the Second World War and remained in Victoria after the end of the war. Geoffrey Arthur Nevett Mitchell died at Lancefield, Victoria on 23rd July 1973.s flynn
Pte. William T. Spry 2nd Btn. Royal Fusiliers (d.14th June 1918)William Spry was executed for desertion 14/06/1918 age 29 and buried in Morbecque British Cemetery, Morbecque, France.s flynn
Sgt William Firmston 2nd Btn. Y Coy. Royal Fusiliers (d.13th April 1918)William Firmston was the son of William Henry and Emily Emma Firmston, of 9 Schoolhouse Lane, Teddington, Middx. He is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing and also served in Gallipoli.Peter Firmston
L/Cpl. Reginald Severn Tonge 22nd Btn, Royal Fusiliers (d.17th Feb 1917)Reginald Tonge was killed in action the 17th of February 1917, aged 37 and is buried in Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension in France. He was the son of Julia Tonge, of Raby Lodge, 35 Oliver Grove, South Norwood, London.s flynn
Cpl. Charles Edward Williams 2nd Btn Royal Fusiliers (d.27th Oct 1916)Charles Williams is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial
Pte. Alfred John Doughty 2nd Btn Royal FusiliersAlfred Doughty was known as Jack and served with the 2nd Btn Royal FusiliersStephen Doughty
Pte Henry Arthur Kiff 2nd Btn Royal Fusiliers (d.25th April 1915)Henry Kiff was born in 1891, son of Thomas and Ann Kiff of Southall, Middlesex. He died in action in Gallipoli on the 25th of April 1915, aged 24. He was my Great Great Uncle, I only learnt of his existence today as I sailed past his memorial in Gallipoli, 100 years to the day since he passed. I will endeavour never to forget him.Simon Gee
Pte. Frederick William Nice 2nd Btn Royal Fusiliers (d.24th April 1917)I discovered the name of Nice F.W. on the memorial at the Arras. Some very basic investigation has identified Frederick Nice as a distant family relative, that no one in living memory within my immediate family was aware of. A chance glance at a wall full of names of our brave boys lost 100 years ago, lest we forget.Vince Nice
Lt. Edward John Bowie 2nd Battalion Royal FusiliersEdward John Bowie was my maternal grandfather He was born 31st December 1892, Ely Place, Holborn, of Scottish descent (parents alleged to have walked from Rosehearty to London 1891). He would have been educated locally to homes in Hammersmith and then Chiswick. His father was a shop manager. In 1907/08 joined the Crown Agents in the City of London, aged 15/16. On the 15th February 1912 left the Crown Agents with a certificate of exemplary service after four years. and worked from 1912 as Bank Clerk at Alexander's Discount House, 24 Lombard Street.
On the 17th of October 1914 Edward joined the RNVR AA Division based at HMS President, St Katherine's Dock, service no AA97 and served in the Anti Aircraft Corp of Royal Naval Air Service. Rank unknown. He may have spent time serving in The Dover Patrol (discharge papers addressed from Connaught Barracks, Dover). On the 8th of June 1915, he was discharged from RNVR having being commissioned in the Army. Character VG. On the 29th of June 1915, commissioned, 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry. He was in 2nd Royal Fusiliers, part of the 29th Division. served in Gallipoli and was wounded. I have photographs of him in Suez dated 1915 though whether before or after Gallipoli I cannot say; nor can I say if he left Gallipoli in January 1916 with the 29th Division and travelled directly to France or not.
In 1916 he was in France with the 29th Division and on the 15th May 1916 he was promoted to lieutenant. After this, on the Somme, he received a very serious head wound (which resulted in him having steel plate for rest of his life) and was buried alive; he was dug out and at first taken for dead He suffered from severe claustrophobia for the rest of his life. He was in Ward B Millbank Hospital, London in July 1916 (again I have photographs). On the 19th November 1917, he was invalided out of army due to his wounds. I have photographs of him in uniform on horseback convalescing at Torquay in November 1917. He returned there on honeymoon in 1922.
In 1917/18, he returned to Alexander's Discount House and by WWII was the general manager. During WWII, as the head of a discount house, he was in a reserved occupation under the Bank of England. Because of claustrophobia he could not travel on trains; he used a gas powered car (with a balloon on top) to drive to London. After Alexander was blitzed in November 1940 he lived in the rubble of the office for a few days to protect the premises (more photos). My Mother and her sister were evacuated to the home of Edward's brother, Douglas Bowie, in Canada in July 1940 a few weeks before SS Benares was torpedoed. Their house in Wallington, close to the fighter station at Croydon, was badly bombed in late 1940 and a tree in the garden took a direct hit from a doodlebug on 11th December 1944, blowing Edward out of bed and the ceiling collapsing on my grandmother. Edward died on 22nd January 1946 in St George's Hospital from pancreatic cancer and the long term effect of his wounds; this was three days before the girls got back from Canada. They were told on the boat and Edward was buried before they got home.Douglas Denham St Pinnock
William Charles Farr 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers (d.9th Oct 1917 )My Great Grandfather Charlie Farr who died in service aged 24. I am going to visit his memorial at Tyne Cot and would love to know about any related information.Rebecca Butler
Sgt. Joseph Henry Joel MM. 1st Btn. Royal FusiliersJoseph Joel served with the 1st Btn. Royal Fusiliers during the Great War. My Grandfather appears to have been in various battalions of The Royal Fusiliers over the years.
He was in the1st Battalion for Tibet in 1903-4 and by 1911, he was definitely in the 2nd Battalion in India for the 1911 Census.
He got married to my Grandmother in Colchester on 1 Dec 1914, so it looks like he returned to England earlier than the rest of the 2nd Battalion
His medal card shows that his first theatre of war was France and he arrived there 1st June 1915. (The dates indicate that he was probably in 8th Battalion after he returned from India) which is backed up by his record card which shows a discharge date of 5th Dec 1918 as a Sgt and his unit is showing as 8/R. Fus
My Grandfather was awarded the MM. Whilst we have found the entry in the London Gazette where the MM was awarded, we haven't yet found the citation.
It appears in the London Gazette dated 19th March 1918 (published on 15th March 1918). A very brief entry on page 3465. If anyone could help me track down the corresponding citation I would be hugely indebted to you.Gerry Chandler
Pte. Henry William Brooks 2nd Btn. Royal Fusiliers (d.25th November 1916)Henry Brooks was the second of four children born to Wilfred Brooks and Ellen (nee Sharp). He was born on 17th June 1894 at home at 3 Meon Road Acton the house is still there. By 1911 the family had moved to Strand-on-the-Green near Chiswick to 29 Geraldine Road again the house is still there. Coincidentally the next road to their home at this time is Brooks Road. Anyway, back to Henry. Sadly his service record did not survive the enemy bombing of the War Office which destroyed around two thirds of WW1 service records. It is fair to assume that he was conscripted under the 1916 Conscription Act sadly Henry was of the right age (over 19 and single) and he joined the 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) attached to 29 Division, 86 Infantry Brigade.
Lt. Henry Edmund Bulbeck 16th Btn., att. 20th Btn. Royal Fusiliers (d.6th Nov 1916)Teddy Bulbeck as my mother's cousin. He was wounded at Gallipoli in June 1915 while serving with the 2nd Royal Fusiliers. He was shot through the head and buried where he fell between Lesbouefs and Transnoy whilst manning a bombing post.
QMS F. J.T. Lloyd 2nd Bn. Attn. Corps of Military Staff Clerks Royal Fusiliers (d.26th September 1915)Quartermaster Serjeant Lloyd earned the King George's Delhi Durbar Medal.
He is buried in the Ootacamund (St. Thomas) Cemetery in India, Plot F. Grave 125.S Flynn
Lt. Marwood Mintern Munden CdeG. Royal Army Medical CorpsBorn at Ilminster, Somerset on 13th of June 1885, Marwood Mintern Munden (always called Mintern by the family) was the seventh of eight children, and third son, of Dr Charles Munden and Jane Lucy nee Poole, of Silver Street, Ilminster. His father was a General Practitioner and Surgeon: Mintern had three brothers, all four of whom fought in France during WW1, one in the RAMC, one driving ammunition trucks, and the third with the Somerset Light Infantry. Three of the four, including Mintern, returned home safely. His unusual names came from a previous family surname (a distant relative Thomas Cuff married an Ann Mintern in 1773) and from the name of the doctor (Dr Charles Hawkes Marwood Mules) to whom Mintern's father was articled when first training in the late 1850s.
The 1891 Census shows Mintern still living at home with his parents, aged 5, described as a scholar. By 1901 he was attending (with his brother Henley, also later a doctor in the RAMC) the Misses Alston and Rawes Boys and Girls Preparatory School, at Mary Street House in Taunton (this was also the school that his two other brothers Charles George and William Poole Henley attended, as noted in the 1891 Census). He later attended Crewkerne Grammar School before deciding to follow his father into the medical profession . I have an address for him, from the address book of his brother, Charles George Munden, which shows him at Medical School, living in Honour Gate Park and then Stondon Park, in London SE23. In 1911, Mintern completed his medical training at Guys Hospital (as had his father in the 1860s), qualifying MRCS Eng. and LRCP (London), and registering as a Medical Practitioner on 10 November 1911, becoming a house surgeon. In 1912 he married with Alice Archer, daughter of Mrs Emily Keith Archer and the late Henry Archer of Alfaxton, Holford, Somerset, taking up a general medical practice at Chalford, Gloucestershire in 1912 - though the 1913 Medical Directory still shows his address as Silver Street, Ilminster.
Mintern and Alices first child, Charles Harry Munden, was born on 10 May 1913, but died before his first birthday, on 18 March 1914. Kellys 1914 Directory shows him as physician and surgeon, medical officer and public vaccinator Sapperton District, Cirencester Union and 5th district, Stroud Union. His address was Wickham Grange, Chalford: a photograph of him and his two sons (see following page), taken in c1919, appears to be on the steps at the front of the Grange, suggesting he lived there for some years. A second child, Richard Cuff Munden, was born on 22 October 1915. (Richard died in Egypt in 1950 ).
In 1916 (according to family stories) Mintern joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in France in 1916 and went to France with the Royal Fusiliers though the Army List and the London Gazette show he was commissioned Temporary Lieutenant on 12 February 1918 and resigned his commission on 20 December 1918. We know very little about the specific detail of his time in the Army. The Guys Hospital Reports records that he served in the 89th Field Ambulance (29th Division) in 1917 and with 2nd battalion of the Royal Fusiliers from 1917 to 1918 (again, I have been unable to confirm these details. Although I have obtained access to copies of the War Diary for 2nd Royal Fusiliers, there is no mention by name to Mintern. I have yet to obtain access to the War Diary for the 89th Field Ambulance.
A short description of the functions of the Field Ambulance, and the movements of the 29th division, to which the Royal Fusiliers belonged, is detailed at Appendix 1 to this document).
During this time he won the Belgian Croix de Guerre, reportedly for evacuating Belgian wounded under shell-fire (but note that I have not been able to find official corroboration of this award being made). This award had been instituted on 25 October 1915 to recognise formally acts of heroism performed by individuals of any of the Allied powers during World War I, whilst on Belgian soil. The medal was awarded for Mention in Dispatches by differing levels of command, which was shown by the attachment to the ribbon (bronze palm = awarded by the army; bronze lion = regiment; gold lion = land forces). The ribbon was red with five green stripes.
After the War, Mintern returned to Chalford. As rents had increased considerably, he bought ï¿½The Triangleï¿½ at Eastcombe, modernising it to incorporate a new surgery. This property had previously been a small-holding with a number of outbuildings and the new surgery was actually built from a converted pigsty. His telephone number was Brimcombe 45. Two further children were born after the War: John Mintern Munden on 23 April 1918 and Lucy Joyce Munden, on 17 January 1921. Both were born at Chalford.
As well as running the practice on his own, Mintern kept up an interest in sport. A family photograph in 1893 shows him with a cricket bat; in 1908 he played three matches for Somerset (Wisden shows 3 matches, 5 innings, total 31 runs, highest score 11, average 6.2, but no bowling figures); he had played rugby and cricket for Guyï¿½s and had toured overseas with its rugby team. After the war he ran the Gloucester Gypsies cricket team, recruited from Cheltenham College, and used to take them on a fortnightï¿½s tour of the West Country, playing club and ground at Taunton and Devonshire Dumplings at Plymouth. He was also a member of the Stroud Cricket Club which he captained for some years and was President after he finished playing; and was a founder member of the Cheltenham Steeplechase Club.
He also had an interest in field sports: a fine fly fisherman, he held various stretches of river in the district, enjoyed shooting over farms of patients and syndicates and also went on fishing holidays with the family. In the early 1930s he was whipper-in for the South Cotswold Beagles and the family used to walk beagle puppies. During this time he collaborated with Dr Patrick Playfair Laidlaw, who had been at Guyï¿½s Hospital with him. Dr Laidlaw was awarded the Royal Societyï¿½s Medal in 1933 for his work on diseases due to viruses and who started the inoculation for distemper in dogs (see Appendix 1 for a description of this work). Mintern used to inoculate all his own dogs, and those of his friends, as well as the Cotswold Beaglesï¿½ pack, and would advise Dr Laidlaw of the results. He was also a Freemason, and according to his family practised his speeches in the bath. From 1939 to 1945, Mintern was President of the local British Legion and Medical Officer to the local Home Guard.
Mintern died on 8 March 1952 at Eastcombe, Gloucestershire, aged 66, having worked in the practice until a few days earlier ï¿½ he had always said that he would never retire. His estate was announced in the London Gazette on 22 April 1952. His wife and two of their four children survived him: one son had died young in 1914, and another son (in the Gloster Regiment) died of polio whilst serving with the Army in Fayid, Egypt, in 1950. After Minternï¿½s death, his wife built a bungalow on some land adjoining the practice and lived there with her daughter Joy. Mrs Alice Munden died in 1973.James Mintern Munden
Capt. Hurleston Vesey Wells 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers (d.12th April 1918)Hurleston Wells is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial.Peter Vesey Wells
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