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- 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the Great War -

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2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment

   2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment was in Malta when war broke out in August 1914. They returned to England, arriving on the 19th of August 1914 and joined 22nd Brigade, 7th Division. After training they proceeded to France, landing at Zeebrugge on the 6th of October 1914.

20th Sep 1914   At Lyndhurst, the 2nd Battalion Queens West Surrey Regiment formed part of the 22nd Infantry Brigade under the command of the Brigadier General, consisting of 2nd Battalion The Queens, 2nd Battalion of The Warwicks, 1st Battalion of The Royal Welch Fusiliers & 1st Battalion of the South Staffords. Captain James was Brigade Major and the Brigade formed part of the VII Division under the command of Major General Capper.

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Items from the Home Front Archive

BACK FROM GERMANY: Repatriated Soldiers sent to 3rd London General.
BACK FROM GERMANY: Repatriated Soldiers sent to 3rd London General.

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Those known to have served with  2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Brain Albert. Pte. (d.21st Nov 1914)
  • Brain Albert Edward. Pte. (d.21st Nov 1914)
  • Cressall Frank . Lance Corporal (d.04 Sept 1916)
  • Cresswell Percy. L/Cpl. (d.25th Sep 1915)
  • Hands Henry. Sgt
  • Hickling Samuel. Pte. (d.25th Sep 1915)
  • Shaw Frederick. Pte (d.5th Sep 1917)
  • Taylor Ellis . Private (d.22nd Mar 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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Private Ellis Taylor 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regt (d.22nd Mar 1915)

He joined the militia in 1901 as a boy soldier and transfered to the teritorial and volunteer force in 1908. His regular job was as a waggoner working for the LMS railway at New Street Station in Birmingham. At the beginning of the war he was transferred to the 2nd battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment which had recently returned from Malta. They were sent to Belgium as part of the 7th division to assist in the defence of Antwerp, landing at the port of Zeebrugge on 6th October 1914. They arrived too late for their intended task as Antwerp had already fallen and they were transferred in to the Ypres area where they helped to stop the advance of the Imperial German Army in the action known as the first battle of Ypres. Ellis was wounded in the leg and was brought back to Englang around the 1st of November to the Countess of Suffolk hospital in Malmesbury where he stayed until after Christmas. He died of pneumonia on the 22nd of March, 1915 whether this was caused by his wound is unclear. He is buried in Witton cemetery and his name is included on the war memorial there, on screen wall 30 05213.

Will Taylor


Lance Corporal Frank Cressall 2nd Btn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment (d.04 Sept 1916)

Frank Cressall, my Great Uncle was born in 1892 in Handsworth, Birmingham, to George Cressall and Louisa Cressall, nee Leather. Frank was killed in action in the Somme, on 4 September 1916, aged about 24, He was buried in Plot 2, Row C, Grave 9, Corbie Communal Cemetery, Somme, France.

Joy Reynolds


Pte. Albert Brain 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (d.21st Nov 1914)

Albert enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire regiment at Coventry whilst living in Banbury. The date of enlistment is not known but the 1911 census records taken on Sun 2nd April 1911 show that he was then serving overseas in Bombay with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire regiment. The 1st battalion sailed for England on December 11th 1912 arriving there on 2nd Jan 1913. It was then based at Shorncliffe, near Folkestone. The battalion was in the 10th Brigade 4th Division.

On 8th Aug 1914 the battalion travelled by train to Yorkshire (to assist in countering any threatened German invasion). From Yorkshire it moved to Southampton. On 22nd August the battalion sailed on the SS Caledonian disembarking at Boulogne on 23rd August.

Sadly, Albert was killed on 21st November 1914 whilst serving with “A” Company of the 2nd battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium. Albert’s death certificate states that he was ‘Presumed Killed In Action’. The certificate also states his rank as Lance Corporal. Therefore, sometime between 21st January 1913 (when the First Battalion arrived back in England) and 21st Nov 1914 Albert transferred from the First Battalion to the Second Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

The Second Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire regiment was in Litchfield from 1908-1911. Then for a short time at Shornciffe then Portland until it sailed for Malta on December 22nd 1912. It remained in Malta until 19th August 1914 when it left for England landing there on September 19th 1914. Based in Lyndhurst the battalion was then attached to the 22nd Brigade 7th Division and the battalion subsequently left for Flanders landing at Zeebrugge on 6th October 1914.

Unfortunately the true manner of Albert’s death is unlikely to ever be known but it is very probable that he was killed whilst the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwicks was being relieved by the 2/Queens (Royal West Kent) Battalion.

Keith Brain


L/Cpl. Percy Cresswell 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (d.25th Sep 1915)

Percy Cresswell was born 6 September, 1888, at Dunnington Salford, Warks, to parents, Lucy & Walter Cresswell. It is not known when Percy joined the Army, but he did enlist at Warwick, and because he had a three figure Army number, it seems likely that he was a pre-war regular. He appears in the Medal Roll of the India General Service Medal 1908, with Northwest Frontier Clasp, which shows he was serving with the 1st Battalion R.W.R., in India, and was in action in April & May 1908. The Medal Roll shows that the then, Private Cresswell served against the Mohmands and also in action at Matta.

After the Great War began, Percy, still with the 1st Battalion, is recorded in the Birmingham Daily Post, dated, 30th November 1914, as `Missing` then, in the same paper, dated 11th October 1915, he is recorded as `Rejoined`. Finally, now with the 2nd Battalion, again the same paper, dated 21st October 1915 he is reported `Killed`.

This was at the Battle of Loos. Percy was killed sometime between 6.30am, when the Battalion advanced, and Midnight, when they were in position in a support trench 400 yards west of the "Quarries". On the 1st September 1915, the Battalion Diary records a strength of 24 Officers and 936 Other Ranks . At Midnight on the 25th September, it records; Missing, 273 - Wounded, 171, and, Killed, 64. The Battalion could only muster (No figure,) Officer and 140 Men.

Like many, many other poor souls, Percy`s body was never recovered, but he is commemorated on Panel 22 - 25 at the Loos Memorial.

To All Who Gave Their Lives ~ R.I.P.

Paul Cresswell


Pte. Albert Edward Brain 2nd Btn. Royal Warwickshire (d.21st Nov 1914)

Albert enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment at Coventry whilst living in Banbury. The date of enlistment is not known but the 1911 census records taken on Sun 2nd April 1911 shows that he was then serving overseas in Bombay, India with the First Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

The 1st Battalion sailed for England on December 11th 1912 arriving there on 2nd Jan 1913. It was then based at Shorncliffe, near Folkestone. The battalion was in the 10th Brigade 4th Division. It is probably safe to assume that Albert was transferred to the 2nd Battalion at some time on or after 6th October 1914 the date when the Second Battalion landed in France. So Albert was possibly with the First Battalion in France from 23rd August to 6th October. We cannot, of course, be certain of this since, for some reason, he may have stayed behind in England and did not travel to France with the First Battalion but travelled with the Second Battalion from England. It is possible to ascertain the events leading up to Albert’s death on 21st November 1914 from the 2nd battalion’s war diaries. The 2nd Battalion was not engaged in an actual battle i.e. major offensive at this time. It had been withdrawn from the Ypres Salient on 7th November before the First Ypres Battle ended on November 17th 1914. Trench warfare then took over. On the 10th Nov the Battalion was in Bailleul. On the 11th to 12th Nov it was in Merris. Four hundred and eight new drafts arrived during the stay at Merris. We cannot tell if Albert was one of these.

On the 15th to 20th Nov they were in trenches at La Boutillerie near Fleurbaix. On the 20th Nov the Battalion was relieved by the 2/Queens (Royal West Kent) Battalion. It then marched to billets at Rue de Bataille in Fleurbaix.

Another draft of 98 OR’s under Lt B. Bernard joined on that day, presumably, whilst in the billets. The Battalion remained here up to the 23rd Nov when it returned to the trenches near Fleuraix. So, curiously, it appears that the Battalion was in billets on 21st November 1914 when Albert died. What is known is that the relief of a regiment/battalion usually took place overnight, for obvious reasons. They were often protracted affairs, consequently, this relief could have spilled into the early hours of the 21st November. The 2/Queen’s war diary states that they started to enter the trenches at 4.45 pm on the 20th. Men were put at risk as they were leaving the front line. It was likely, therefore, that Albert was killed during the relief of the battalion. Albert is commeorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.

Keith Brain


Pte. Samuel Hickling 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (d.25th Sep 1915)

Samuel was killed in action on the 25th Sept 1915, during the battle of Loos, and is commemorated on the wall at the Loos Memorial for the fallen whose resting place has not been identified. He left behind a wife and five children.

Samantha Hill


Sgt Henry Hands Royal Warwickshire Regiment Machine Gun Corps

Henry Hands was born 1893 enlisted in the army at age 15 in 1908, he was serving in Malta when the Great War broke out. He fought with the regiment until he was wounded at the battle of the Somme 1916 - shrapnel wound to the mouth and jaw. He recuperated supplied with false teeth (they lasted him until his death 1985). He joined the MGC as a Sgt in 8 Battery. He spoke of the retreat to the Marne as fighting in a different direction. On over the top his best friend was wounded with a bullet in the foot, it was sticking out and if it was removed he could of walked, but they weren't allowed to stop to help the wounded, he never saw his friend again. He said the regiment lost 400 men in 20 minutes.

Wife, 1st born and family

Frank Hands


Pte Frederick Shaw 6th Btn Royal Warwickshire Regiment (d.5th Sep 1917)

Recently found a medal whilst clearing out my dads house, I googled the number that was on it and found out it was for my great uncle, Frederick Shaw who served with 2nd and 6th Battalions, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, brave chap, he ended up being killed on the 5th of September 1917 by the Germans dropping a bomb on the hospital that he was recovering in.

R.I.P Fred Thanks for giving your life so that others can live. I wish I had a photograph to put up

James Shaw

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