The Wartime Memories Project

- 5th Battalion, Berkshire Regiment during the Great War -

skip to content

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.

If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.

    Site Home

    Great War


    Add Stories & Photos


    Allied Army

    Day by Day

    War in the Air

    Prisoners of War

    War at Sea

    Training for War

    The Battles

    Those Who Served


    Civilian Service

    Women at War

    Life on Home Front

    Central Powers Army

    Central Powers Navy


    World War Two


    Add Stories & Photos

    Time Capsule


    Help & FAQ's

    Our Facebook Page




    Contact us

    Great War Books



World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great

5th Battalion, Berkshire Regiment

   The 5th (Service) Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment was a Kitchener Battalion, raised at Reading on the 25th August 1914. They underwent training at Shorncliffe, Folkestone and Malplaquet Barracks at Aldershot. They proceeded to France on the 31st of May 1915 and served with 35th Brigade in 12th (Eastern) Division on the Western Front. They underwent instruction withthe more experienced 48th (South Midland) Division and took over a section of the front line at Ploegsteert Wood on the 23rd of June 1915. They were in action in The Battle of Loos from the 30th of September, taking over the sector from Gun Trench to Hulluch Quarries consolidating the position, under heavy artillery fire. On the 8th they repelled a heavy German infantry attack and on the 13th took part in the Action of the Hohenzollern Redoubt, capturing Gun Trench and the south western face of the Hulluch Quarries. During this period at Loos, 117 officers and 3237 men of the Division were killed or wounded.By the 21st they moved to Fouquieres-les-Bethune for a short rest then returned to the front line at the Hohenzollern Redoubt until the 15th of November, when they went into reserve at Lillers. On the 9th of December, 9th Royal Fusiliers assisted in a round-up of spies and other suspicious characters in the streets of Bethune. On the 10th the Division took over the front line north of La Bassee canal at Givenchy. On the 19th of January they began a period of training in Open Warfare at Busnes, then moved back into into the front line at Loos on the 12th of February 1916. In June they moved to Flesselles and carried out a training exercise. They moved to Baizieux on the 30th June and went into the reserve at Hencourt and Millencourt by mid morning on the 1st of July. They relieved the 8th Division at Ovillers-la-Boisselle that night and attacked at 3.15 the following morning with mixed success. On the 7th they attacked again and despite suffering heavy casualties in the area of Mash Valley, they succeeded in capturing and holding the first and second lines close to Ovillers. They were withdrawn to Contay on the 9th July. They were in action in The Battle of Pozieres on the 3rd of August with a successful attack capturing 4th Avenue Trench and were engaged in heavy fighting until they were withdrawn on the 9th. They moved north and in 1917 were in action at Arras in The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux and The Third Battle of the Scarpe. They remained in the Arras sector until the 30th of October when they moved to Hesdin for the Cambrai offensive in which the Division suffered heavy losses. On the 6th of February 1918 rhe 5th Berkshires transferred to 36th Brigade still with 12th (Eastern) Division. In March 1918 they moved by motor lorry from Busnes to Albert and were in action in The Battle of Bapaume and spent the spring engaged in heavy fighting a the enemy advanced across the old Somme battlefields. On the 1st of July 1918, they attacked Bouzincourt. but were repelled by the enemy. They were relieved on the 10th and moved to the area south of Amiens. They were in action in The Battle of Amiens and were engaged in heavy fighting from the 22nd pushing the enemy back and capturing Meaulte, Mametz, Carnoy, Hardecourt and Faviere Wood with in a week. In September they were in action in a successful attack on Nurlu and pursued the enemy back to Sorel Wood. They were in action during The battles of the Hindenburg Line, including The Battle of Epehy and The Battle of the St Quentin canal. In October they fought in The Final Advance in Artois reaching the Scheldt Canal by the 27th. They were withdrawn for rest on the 30th and after the Armistice moved to the area east of Douai and were engaged in battlefield salvage and sports until demobilisation began.

25th Aug 1914   5th Battalion, Berkshire Regiment is raised at Reading, a part of Kitchener's first army, they join 35th Brigade in 12th (Eastern) Division.

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Items from the Home Front Archive

Do you have any photos, postcards, documents or memorabilia relating to this unit? Please add to this archive.

Those known to have served with  5th Battalion, Berkshire Regiment during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Betteridge Frederick Alfred James. Pte. (d.25th Oct 1916)
  • Birkby Henry Alexander. 2nd Lt. (d.20th Apr 1916)
  • Birkby Henry Alexander. 2nd Lt. (d.20th Apr 1916)
  • Blight Thomas Henry. Pte. (d.26th Aug 1918)
  • Costello Thomas. Pte.
  • Eyles Thomas Charles. Pte. (d.15th Oct 1916)
  • Fellowes Basil Hamilton Abdy. 2nd Lt. (d.22nd March 1917)
  • French William. Pte. (d.24th June 1917)
  • Godfrey Albert. Pte. (d.18th June 1918)
  • Goodwin William Alfred. Pte. (d.30th Nov 1917)
  • Hansford Frederick Henry John. Pte
  • Mount Francis. Capt. (d.13th Oct 1915)
  • Parker Edmund. Pte.
  • Swain John. Pte. (d.11th Aug 1918)
  • Tambling Frederick Gilbert Billings. Pte. (d.17th March 1917)
  • White Sidney Albert. Pte. (d.12th May 1918)
  • Whiting William Jesse. Pte. (d.30th Nov 1917)

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

Looking for help with Family History Research?   

Please see Family History FAQ's

We are unable to provide individual research free of charge, but do offer a paid service at competitive rates, the small profit from these services will be put towards the costs of keeping this website running. For more information please see our Research Services Leaflet

Can you help?

The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors.

If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.

If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.


  • The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website

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

  • We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

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

We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates, add a comment or ask a question.

If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.

Dec 2017

    Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 237716 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.


Pte. Thomas Henry Blight 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.26th Aug 1918)

I came across Pte Blight's death plaque in a junk shop. I believe he served with the 5th batt Royal Berkshire Reg.

C. Smith


Pte Frederick Henry John Hansford 5th Btn.

Before being transferd to the Royal Berks my Father, Frederick Hansford was in the Somerset Light Infantry and his last Regiment was the ROAC.

Michael Hansford


2nd Lt. Basil Hamilton Abdy Fellowes 2nd Btn att 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.22nd March 1917)

Basil Fellowes died on 22 March 1917 at age 19 at France, from wounds received in action. He is buried at Avesnes le Comte, Arras, France

S. Flynn


Pte. John Swain 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.11th Aug 1918)

Pte. John Swain served with the Royal Berkshire Regiment 5th Battalion. He was executed for desertion on 11th Sugust1918 and is buried in Montigny Communal Cemetery and extension, Montigny, France.

He absconded after he'd been warned that he'd be going to the trenches, and found hiding in a cornfield several miles away the next day. When apprehended, he gave a false name and had removed all identifying badges. He was shot on 11th August 1918.

s flynn


Pte. Sidney Albert White 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.12th May 1918)

Sydney White served with the 5th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment and died on 12th May 1918.

Elaine Mitchell


Pte. Frederick Alfred James Betteridge 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.25th Oct 1916)

Frederick Betteridge was the son of Mrs E. M. and the late W. R. Betteridge, of 13 Bexley Terrace, Clewer, Windsor, Berkshire. He was a distant cousin of mine who served and died of wounds aged 24, remembered with pride. He is commemorated on the Clewer War Memorial, and is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Roger Betteridge


2nd Lt. Henry Alexander Birkby 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.20th Apr 1916)

Henry Alexander Birkby was killed in action on the 20th of April 1916, aged 26 and is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery, France.

s flynn


Pte. Edmund Parker 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment

Pte. Edmund Parker, notebook

We came across this information in a notebook when my mother died.

Steve Vickers


2nd Lt. Henry Alexander Birkby 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.20th Apr 1916)

Henry Alexander Birkby was killed in action on the 20th of April 1916, aged 26 and is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery, France.

s flynn


Pte. Frederick Gilbert Billings Tambling 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.17th March 1917)

My granddad Fred Tambling was born on 14th December, 1887 in Moorfields, Gloucester and was only 29 when he was killed in action in Arras on 17th March, 1917.

The information I have has been told to me by his surviving relatives. He lived in Bristol for most of his life and married his wife, Kate Bascombe on 12th July, 1908, when he was 23 and she was 24. He was very much loved and missed by his wife who was left on her own to bring up their three small children, the youngest of which was my father, who was three when my grandfather died. Apparently she was granted 18 shillings and 4 pence a week for her pension as a war widow. My grandfather had a variety of jobs before he was conscripted, including working as a railway porter, for a chocolate manufacturer and for a watchmaker. He used a bike for cycling to and from his workplaces. The family eventually emigrated to South Africa where his widow died having never remarried.

Pauline Bowler


Pte. Thomas Charles Eyles 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire (d.15th Oct 1916)

Thomas Eyles is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme.

Heather Maryson


Capt. Francis Mount 5th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.13th Oct 1915)

Francis Mount was the great uncle of Prime Minister David Cameron. The 5th Battalion, Royal Berkshires attacked with 35th Brigade against the Quarries as part of the final offensive action during the Battle of Loos on the 13th of October 1915. They had to cross a large area of open ground while under fire from German trenches in front and from positions on the flanks. Despite the heavy rifle and machine gun fire the 35th Brigade secured 250 Yards of German trench which became known as the ‘Hairpin’. This small success was however overshadowed as the Divisions elsewhere were repulsed and little other ground was taken. Captain Mount was killed in this action and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

65 men of the 5th Btn Royal Berkshire Regiment are recorded as killed on the 13 of October 1915. 58 were never identified and are commemorated on the Loos memorial. 5 others are buried in Dud Corner. 2 further burials were made elsewhere.

Max Dutton


Pte. Albert Godfrey 5th Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (d.18th June 1918)

Pte Albert Godfrey died as a result of illness during his time as a prisoner of war at Peronne in France.

Colin T Dixon

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.


    Suggest a link

    The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

    This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

    If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.

    Hosted by:

    The Wartime Memories Project Website

    is archived for preservation by the British Library

    Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
    - All Rights Reserved