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Somerset Light Infantry in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- Somerset Light Infantry during the Great War -

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Somerset Light Infantry

Want to know more about Somerset Light Infantry ?

There are:34650 pages and articles tagged Somerset Light Infantry available in our Library

Those known to have served with

Somerset Light Infantry

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Atkin Walter Edward. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.9th August 1916)
  • Beck Frederick Charles. Pte. 7th Battalion
  • Bevan Thomas. L/Cpl. 7th Battalion
  • Bingham Robert James. Sgt. 1st Battalion (d.1st July 1916)
  • Blenkiron Alfred Victor. 2nd Lt.
  • Bolsom J. H.. Pte. 12th Btn. (d.6th Nov 1917)
  • Bolsom J. H.. Pte. 12th Btn. (d.6th Nov 1917)
  • Bond Charles Nesbitt. Lt. 3rd Btn. (d.30th Jun 1916)
  • Brace Douglas. Pte. 6th Btn (d.28th Sep 1916)
  • Carcary Arthur Henry. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.6th July 1915)
  • Champion Henry John. Sgt. 1st Battalion (d.31st October 1914)
  • Chick Eli George. 1st Btn.
  • Clarke Harold Edward. Pte. 1st/5th Btn. (d.7th Aug 1916)
  • Clist Leslie William John. 2nd Lt. 2/4th Btn.
  • Coram Wilfred Jacob. Pte 8th Btn
  • Crook James. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.29th June 1916)
  • Curry Arthur Frederick. Sgt. 1st Btn. (d.26th August 1914)
  • Davis Henry. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Daymond Frederick Stanley. Pte. 7th (Service) Battalion (d.22nd Sept 1917)
  • Dolman Richard. 2nd Lt.
  • Down John. Sgt. 8th Btn. (d.3rd March 1918)
  • Drew Frederick Charles. Pte. 11th Battalion (d.16 August 1917)
  • Durman C H. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.29th June 1916)
  • Durnford Henry Charles. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.16th September 1916)
  • Eades Robert Alfred. Pte. 12th (West Somerset Yeomanry) Bn. (d.2nd September 1918)
  • England Albert Ernest. Sgt. 1st Btn. (d.9th Aug 1916)
  • Fenwick Andrew Lees. Sgt. 8th Btn. (d.15th May 1916)
  • Garland James Henry Hill. Pte. 6th Btn.
  • Gilbert Alexander Thomas. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.25th September 1915)
  • Gregory Walter Stanley. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.1st July 1916)
  • Griffin Arthur. Pte. 6th Btn.
  • Griggs A. E. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.29th June 1916)
  • Hansford Frederick Henry John. Pte
  • Hewlett William. Sgt. 6th Btn.
  • Hill Herbert John. Pte. 12th Btn. (d.27th Dec 1917)
  • Hobbs Victor. Sgt. 6th Btn.
  • Holden Wilfrid. L/Cpl. 12th (West Somerset Yeomanry) Bn (d.2nd September 1918)
  • Horne Allen Ernest. Sgt. 8th Battalion (d.28th Dec 1917)
  • Horne Edwin Percy Lott. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.17th July 1917)
  • Hunt William George. Sjt. 7th Btn. A Coy (d.16th Sep 1916)
  • Impson William. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.25th Sep 1915)
  • Jarman Arthur George. Pte. 1st Battalion, D Coy. (d.2nd June 1915)
  • Jefferies Alfred L.. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.1st Nov 1916)
  • Johnson Thomas James. 1st Btn.
  • Keetch Austin Job. L/Cpl. 8th Battalion (d.19th Nov 1916)
  • King Victor Charles. 8th Btn.
  • King W H. Cpl 8th Btn. (d.29th June 1916)
  • Knightbridge Arthur William James. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.31st July 1917)
  • Lake Ernest Henry. Pte. 8th Btn (d.4th Oct 1917)
  • Lawrence Reginald Harry. Pte. 7th Battalion
  • Legg Thomas John. Pte. 1st Btn.
  • Lewis Joseph. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.29th Jun 1916)
  • Mail William James. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.20th Sept 1916 )
  • Marlow Archibald. Pte. 11th Btn.
  • McMurtie G. D. J.. Capt. 6th Btn.
  • Milton Joseph John. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.16th Sept 1916)
  • Morris Arthur Edwin. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.1st July 1916)
  • Musselbrook Frank. Pte. 11th Btn.
  • Newman William John. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.26th Aug 1914)
  • Nicholls Arthur. Pte. 8th Btn.
  • Packe Edward Alexander. Capt.
  • Padfield Edwin John. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.30th Jun 1918)
  • Painter H J. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.29th June 1916)
  • Phillips Louis. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.19th Aug 1915)
  • Pike John. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.30th Jun 1918)
  • Poole Thomas Henry. Pte. 6th Btn.
  • Priddice Edward Edwin. Sjt. 1st Btn. (d.3rd May 1915 )
  • Prout Lee. Cpl. 8th Btn. A Coy. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Radley Edward Kingsford. Cpl. 8th Btn. A Coy. (d.31st Jul 1917)
  • Reynolds Henry. L/Sgt. 3rd Btn.
  • Roberts Thomas. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.26th Aug 1914)
  • Rousell Henry. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.20th Oct 1916)
  • Shevels Robert Henry. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Skrine Henry Langton. Capt. 6th Btn. (d.25th Sep 1915)
  • Smith G. L/Cpl. 8th Btn. (d.29th June 1916)
  • Summers William. Pte. 5th Battalion
  • Tavener George William. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.22nd Aug 1916)
  • Taylor Gilbert Charles. Pte. 2nd/4th Btn. (d.23rd Feb 1919)
  • Thomas Robert Dixon Hardy. Pte. 8th Battallion (d.5th Sep 1915)
  • Tomkins Ernest Daniel. Pte. 2/6th Btn. (d.29th Jan 1918)
  • Trevelyan Sidney John. Pte. 12th Battlion (d.6th Nov 1917)
  • Venning William Edwin. Sgt. 1st Btn.
  • Webber Joseph. Sgt 8th Btn (d.25th Sept 1915)
  • Wood Charles Henry. Pte.
  • Wood Charles. Pte
  • Young Wesley George. Pte. 7th Battalion (d.7th Oct 1916)

All 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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June 2017

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


Cpl. Edward Kingsford Radley 8th Btn. A Coy. Somerset Light Infantry (d.31st Jul 1917)

Edward Kingsford Radley

Edward Radley enlisted on 8th September 1915. Ed was in 'A' company of the 8th Battalion of the Somerset Light infantry engaged in 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). He was killed in action on 31st July 1917 and his body was never found. His name is engraved on Panel 21 of Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium.

The 8th Battalion of Somerset Light Infantry was under the command of the 63rd Brigade which joined the 37th Division on 8th July 1916 (thought to be part of 2nd Army). The Somersets fought with the 8th Btn. of Lincolnshire and 4th Btn. of Middlesex Regiments in the 63rd Brigade at the Battle for Pilckem Ridge which commenced at 0350 on 31st July 1917. This was the 1st of 6 phases of the 3rd Battle of Ypres. In the terrible conditions of heavy enemy fire and thick Flanders mud Ed never survived the first day.

CWGC certificate

John Morriss


L/Cpl. Wilfrid Holden 12th (West Somerset Yeomanry) Bn Somerset Light Infantry. (d.2nd September 1918)

Wilfrid Holden died on the 2nd September 1918, aged 27 and is buried in the Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension in France. He was the son of Edward and Catherine Holden, of Gainsborough, Ribbleton Avenue, Preston.

s flynn


Pte. Walter Stanley Gregory 8th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry (d.1st July 1916)

One of the tasks of the 8th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry on 1st July 1916 was to assist in the capture of Lozenge Alley and part of Lozenge Wood. Private Gregory was killed north of Fricourt on that day in action with the 21st Division. It seems that 144 soldiers of his division were killed that day.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He was one of 168 Old Boys of Taunton School who gave their lives in the Great War - three of whom died on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Somme. They will be especially remembered at the School Commemoration this year, which falls on 1 July, the centenary of the battle. Unfortunately, few details of Walter Gregory's schooldays are known and there is no photograph. He attended Taunton School, probably as a boarder, from 1896-98 when the school was still known as Independent College.

John Brown


Pte. Herbert John Hill 12th Btn. Somerset Light Infantry (d.27th Dec 1917)

Herbert John Hill is listed on the Creech St Michael war memorial. I am researching all the names as the parish has no record of the men who served in the armed forces and I want to fill an important gap in the history of the village. Can anyone provide any information.

Eric Chown


Pte. Arthur Henry Carcary 6th Btn. Somerset Light Infantry (d.6th July 1915)

Although Arthur Carcary was from Kent, he enlisted in Taunton. He died, accidentally drowned, believed in Yser Canal, on 6th July 1915. His name is inscribed on the Menin Gate, Ypres. He was the son of David and Christina Carcary.

Dan Green


L/Cpl. Thomas Bevan 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry

Thomas Bevan served with the 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. He was injured in lower leg by shrapnel on the 29th of May.

Darran Hughes


Sgt. Arthur Frederick Curry 1st Btn. Somerset Light Infantry (d.26th August 1914)

Sgt. Curry was killed at Le Cateau on 26th August 1914.

Kim Scratchley


Capt. G. D. J. McMurtie 6th Btn. Somerset Light Infantry

Captain McMurtie was a prisoner at Graudenz POW Camp.


Pte. Edwin Percy Lott Horne 1st Btn. Somerset Light Infantry (d.17th July 1917)

Edwin Horne served with the 1st Btn Somerset Light Infantry.

Martin Reeves


Pte. Frederick Charles Beck 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry

Frederick Beck was my grandfather. He and three of his brothers John Samuel, the eldest born 1882, Charles and George. All enlisted together in Taunton on the 23rd September 1914. The four brothers were assigned to the newly formed 7/SLI.

On the 24th July 1916, the Battalion moved by train from Amesbury to Southampton, sailing for Boulogne that evening. Of the four brothers on board the ship, all assigned to the Battalion's B Company, one would be killed within two months.

On the evening of Monday 12th of September, the Battalion held the front line just east of Cordonnerie Farm, close to the hamlet of Petillon, and about five miles south west of Armentieres. This was the very first occasion on which 7/SLI held the line in its own right. The Germans exploded two closely spaced mines directly under the men of B Company, creating a forty yard crater. Five men were killed and seventeen injured. Intense shelling and mortar fire continued for the next three days, on 14th of September George Beck was killed. He was 29, and is buried in the Rue Petillon Military Cemetery, just a mile or so from where he fell.

Frederick Beck was wounded in action on 1st of October, on which date 7/SLI made a daring advance at Le Transloy (Somme area). According to his medical record, Frederick was buried by a shell, suffering injuries to his wrist and knee, after long spells in hospital, Frederick was graded as 'C3' meaning no longer considered fit for active service overseas. He then served with Agricultural Companies of the Labour Corps, firstly with No. 449 Company. Then No. 445 Company.

I don't know much about his brothers Charles and John Samuel, as their records were destroyed by fire. They both returned home to Somerset after the war. Frederick returned home to his wife and eight children. He passed away in 1974 age 91

At the time his brothers sailed to France, Harry Beck their younger brother, still only sixteen, perhaps a wilful attempt to prove himself the equal of his brothers, had already enlisted himself. Drafted to join 8/SLI on 4 October. Amongst a contingent of 248 NCOs and men as that Batallion refitted in the French town of Borre. Surely reflecting on the wisdom of his decision to enlist. Knowing as he would have done of his brothers death. His father wrote a letter: I have a son in France, his age being sixteen. Perhaps you may kindly consider the case as all my sons(five) has been sent to the front, one being killed in France. Army bureaucracy meant that Harry was not finally discharged until 25th of February 1916.

Andrea Beck


Pte. Thomas John Legg 1st Btn. Somerset Light Infantry

Thomas Legg arrived in France on the 21st of August 1914. He was taken prisoner of war in August 1914 to and held throughout the conflict.

s flynn


Thomas James Johnson MC & bar. 1st Btn. Somerset Light Infantry

My great uncle, Thomas Johnson joined up as a boy soldier in the Somerset Light Infantry. He won a MC at Mons in 1914 then another (his bar) in 1917. He survived the war and went on to fight on the home front as a training officer in WW2. If anybody has any information please get in touch.

Ian Johnson


Sgt. William Hewlett 6th Btn. Somerset Light Infantry

William Hewlett served with as a Signaller with the 6th Service Battalion (Prince Albert's) Somerset Light Infantry. Clearing my late mothers home we found a photo taken at Aldershot April 1915

Bernard Hewlett


Pte. Arthur Nicholls 8th Btn. Somerset Light Infantry

I don't have a lot to say about my grandad's involvement in WW1 as he did not speak about it too much, however I have found records of his involvement. Arthur Nichols enlisted with the Somerset Light Infantry on the 29th Sept 1914 and was discharged on the 18th April 1917 as he was no longer physically fit for service. He was in the 8th Battalion, and I was led to believe that he was at the Somme, it was also mentioned that on three separate occasions he was left to die in a room with others and that each time he was the only one alive in the morning: needless to say he had a very low opinion of doctors.

He married and lived the rest of his life in Birmingham where he had 4 children (my father being the youngest) and 8 grandchildren. He passed away in 1988 at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, where both my daughters were born.

Discharge certificate

Stephen Nicholls


Pte. Thomas Henry Poole 6th Btn. Somerset Light Infantry

The only story I know about my Uncle Harry Poole's war service is that he was taken as a prisoner of war at Benay near St Quentin on 21st of March 1918 when most of the 6th Battalion was wiped out by a German offensive. He survived to live until the 1970s.

Roger Poole


Pte. Joseph John Milton 6th Btn. Somerset Light Infantry (d.16th Sept 1916)

Joseph John Pope Milton born on 23 October 1876. He was my great grandfather. The streets the family lived in in Bridgwater were not the most salubrious and the living was poor, so this may have been why in 1894 Joseph enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry. Joseph never left England, although other battalions of the SLI fought in South Africa. In October 1901 he was discharged from the army at Devonport as medically unfit to serve, perhaps thatís why he never went abroad. In March 1902 he married Jane Watling, a widow with one son and between then and 1915 when he went to war they had 9 children, the oldest son was my grandfather. During the latter part of this period at least Joseph worked for Sully & Co in Bridgwater.

Joseph rejoined the SLI (6th Battalion) and went to France in March 1915 at the age of 39 and went directly to Ypres then Loos and then Delville Wood and, finally, for Joseph, Flers Courcelette. On 16th of September 1916 the day after tanks were first used, they were to take Gird Trench but the barrage had very little effect and through misinformation the SLI suffered appalling casualties, mown down by German machine guns. One of the men hit was Joseph. Joseph appears to have been taken to a clearing station where he died and was buried but later reburied at Les Beoufs.

On 16th of September 2006 we were at his graveside and we will be there again, God willing, in 2016.



Pte. John Pike 8th Btn. Somerset Light Infantry Regiment (d.30th Jun 1918)

John Pike is buried at Couin New British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Doug Lake.


Pte. Henry Davis 8th Btn. Somerset Light Infantry (d.1st July 1916)

Henry Davis was born in Bristol and was killed in action on the 1st day of the Somme.

Jeremy Davis


Pte Wilfred Jacob Coram MM. 8th Btn Somerset Light Infantry

My grandfather Wilfred Coram won the Military Medal serving with the 8th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry and was previously in the Wiltshire Regiment. He was originally from St Helier in Jersey and returned there after the war only to be evacuated out from the island (along with the whole family including my father Edwin Coram)in 1940 to Stockport Cheshire where he again enlisted in the 2nd world war, he subsequently died in 1953 of TB at the age of 53.

I would love to know why he won the MM - what for and any other information regarding his time in the war

Steve Coram


Pte. William Summers 5th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment

William Summers enlisted on the 2nd of Sept 1914 joining the Somerset Regiment under false name. His real name was William Edmund Larner Semmence he was over 21 years of age. He was transferred to Royal Irish Regiment, 5th Battalion in Longford. He was moved to Basingstoke in England 1915 and sent to Gallipoli where he landed at Suvla Bay on the 7th July 1915 on A-Beach.he was sent to Salonica on the 4th of Oct 1915 and moved to Egypt in Sept 1917 and took part in the 3rd Battle of Gaza. Then in April 1918 he was transfered to France until 1919.

Want to know more about Somerset Light Infantry ?

There are:34650 pages and articles tagged Somerset Light Infantry available in our Library
  These include information on officers, regimental histories, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.

History of the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's) 1914-1919

Everard Wyrall

Wyrall arranges his record of the regiment in chronological order, following the course of the war from the arrival of the1st Battalion in France. As he describes the operations and events he indicates in the margin the date of the action he is writing about with the identity of the battalion involved; operations in other theatres have their own chapters. Appendices list, by name, Honours and Awards including Mention in Despatches, promotions for service in the field, summary of other rank casualties (deaths) in each battalion (officers are totalled together) and brief records of service.
A Strange War

C P Mills

A Strange War, by C.P.Mills, covers the History of the 2/5th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry.
More information on:

A Strange War


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