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Royal West Kent Regiment in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Royal West Kent Regiment

Want to know more about Royal West Kent Regiment?

There are:34650 pages and articles tagged Royal West Kent Regiment available in our Library

Those known to have served with

Royal West Kent Regiment

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Abbey Arthur. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.21st Jul 1917)
  • Ames Ernest Thomas. Pte. 11th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Anderson Albert Edwin. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.4th Oct 1917)
  • Anstiss Harry Sidney Augustus. Pte. 11th Btn. (d.15th Sep 1916)
  • Anstss Harry Sidney Augustus. Pte. 11th Battalion (d.15th Sept 1916)
  • Balls Daniel Methuen French. Pte. 10th Battalion
  • Bance George. Pte. 10th Battalion
  • Barrow Arthur Walkey. Pte. 7th Btn.
  • Bell John Peter. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.19th Sep 1918)
  • Boar Albertine Thomas. Pte. 6th Btn (d.3rd July 1916)
  • Bone Henry. Pte.
  • Bowler Edward. Pte. 1st Btn.
  • Brian Reginald. Pte. Infantry (d.16th April 1917)
  • Bromfield T. A.. Sgt. 8th Btn.
  • Bugden Thomas. Pte.
  • Button Frank. (d.1915)
  • Chambers Frank David. Pte. 10th Battalion, "C" Company (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Cockerell Harry. Pte. 4th Battalion
  • Cole Cecil. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.8th October 1915)
  • Comer Frederick G. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.27th Aug1918)
  • Conroy Martin Joseph. Pte. 10th Battalion (d.21st Sep 1917)
  • Cook Augustus Charles. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.10th Jul 1917)
  • Cook Augustus Charles. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.10th Jun 1917)
  • Cox Herbert Ernest. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.8th Aug 1918)
  • Davison Aylmer Allsworth. Pte. 1/28th (Artists Rifles) Btn. (d.25th June 1918)
  • Evans John Henry. Private 2nd Btn.
  • Frick Oscar. L/Cpl. 2nd Bn. attd. Connaught Rangers (d.8th July 1916)
  • Glover Richard Henry. Pte.
  • Goldup Thomas Alfred. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.26th Jul 1915)
  • Hammond Herrbert. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.4th August 1916)
  • Harris Thomas. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.21st Jun 1915)
  • Harris Thomas James. Sgt. 6th Btn. (d.9th Aug 1918)
  • Hart Henry George Rueben. Pte. Att. 1/20th Bn. London Regiment (d.1st Sep 1918)
  • Heath Ernest Frank.
  • Highams Thomas William. L/Cpl. 10th Btn. (d.21st Sep 1917)
  • Highgate Thomas J.. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.8th Sep 1914)
  • Hillier William Watson. Pte. 8th Btn.
  • Hills Reginald Howard. Pte. 10th Bn. (d.8th June 1917)
  • Horton Cyril Stephen. Pte.
  • Houghton Edmund Tyrer. Pte. 7th Btn (d.3rd May 1917)
  • Keating Albert James. Pte. 11th Btn.
  • Kemp Charles Henry. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.11th Oct 1916)
  • Kemp Fred. Pte. 6th Btn.
  • Kent William. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.31st Jul 1917)
  • Laing Frederick. L/Cpl. 10 Btn.
  • Maloney J. D.. Pte. 6th Btn (d.24th Aug 1915)
  • McKenzie Herbert. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.8th Oct 1917)
  • Metcalfe Digby. Pte. 2/20th Btn. (d.31st Aug 1918)
  • Morley Arthur Victor Donald. 11th Btn.
  • Norton Horace John. Pte. 11th Bn. (d.20th Sept 1917)
  • Ostler Sydney William. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.15th Jun 1917)
  • Packer William Job. L/Cpl 8th Btn. A Coy. (d.6th April 1916)
  • Parish James Harold. Pte. 11th Btn (d.1st Aug 1917)
  • Pickard William Victor. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.3rd July 1916)
  • Piggott Frank. Pte. 1st Battalion
  • Poet James Henry. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.15th July 1916)
  • Poet James Henry. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.15th July 1916)
  • Read William Thomas. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.10th Feb 1917)
  • Reynolds Alfred. Sgt.Mjr. 1st Btn. D Coy.
  • Rosendale Sydney. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.22nd January 1915)
  • Rosendale William. Sgt. 1st Btn. (d.22nd January 1915)
  • Santon James William. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.21st Sep 1918)
  • Sewell Cecil Howell. Lt. 3rd (Light) Tank Bn. (d.29th August 1918)
  • Skilton Arthur William. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.21st Jul 1916)
  • Sontag Hughie James. Pte. 1st Btn., D.Coy. (d.20th July 1916)
  • Sontag Hughie James. Pte. 1st Battalion, D Coy (d.20th July 1916)
  • Sontag Hughie James. Pte. 1st Btn. D Coy. (d.20th July 1916)
  • Spain George C. Pte. 1st Btn.
  • Sprigge Ralph Abner. G/8779 10th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Stroner George. Pte.
  • Swan Thomas Edgar. Pte.
  • Taylor Thomas William. Pte. 11th(Lewisham)Btn. (d.7th Oct 1916)
  • Tullett Henry William. Pte. 11th Btn. (d.15th Sep 1916)
  • Walford Charles. Pte 11th Btn. B Voy. (d.15th Sep 1916)
  • Warner James George. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.3rd July 1916)
  • Wilkin George. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.27th Sep 1918)
  • Williams Robert. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.12th December 1915)
  • Withall John. Pte. 10th Btn. A Coy. (d.30th Mar 1918)

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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Pte. Robert Williams 6th Btn. Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) (d.12th December 1915)

Robie Williams died of wounds on 12th of October 1915, aged 20 and is buried in the Lillers Communal Cemetery in France. he was the son of Robert Henry and Emma Williams, of 108, Hertford Rd., Enfield Wash, Enfield, Middx.

According to the family Robbie had been given some R&R leave and was behind the lines when the area was hit by Artillery fire. Robbie was hit in the stomach by shrapnel and died some 10 days later; a few days after his 20th birthday. His mother, Emma, was apparently very distressed for a second time when she received his birthday presents back un-opened.

s flynn


Sgt. Thomas James Harris VC. MM. 6th Btn. Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment (d.9th Aug 1918)

Thomas Harris was killed in action on the 9th of August 1918 and is buried in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension in France.

An extract from The London Gazette, No. 30967, dated 18th Oct., 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in attack when the advance was much impeded by hostile machine guns concealed in crops and shell-holes. Serjt. Harris led his section against one of these, capturing it and killing seven of the enemy. Later, on two successive occasions, he attacked single-handed two enemy machine-guns which were causing heavy casualties and holding up the advance. He captured the first gun and killed the crew, but was himself killed when attacking the second one. It was largely due to the great courage and initiative of this gallant N.C.O. that the advance of the battalion was continued without delay and undue casualties. Throughout the operations he showed a total disregard for his own personal safety, and set a magnificent example to all ranks."

s flynn


Lt. Cecil Howell Sewell VC 3rd (Light) Tank Bn. Tank Corps (d.29th August 1918)

Cecil Sewell was killed in action on 29th August 1918 aged 23 and is buried in the Vaux Hill Cemetery in France. He was the son of Harry Bolton Sewell and Mary Ann Sewell, of 26 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London. His brothers Harry Kemp Sewell and Herbert Victor Sewell also fell.

An extract from The London Gazette, No. 30982, dated 29th Oct., 1918, records the following:- "When in command of a section of Whippet Light Tanks in action this officer displayed most conspicuous bravery and initiative in getting out of his own Tank and crossing open ground under heavy shell and machine-gun fire to rescue the crew of another Whippet of his section which had side slipped into a large shell-hole, overturned and taken fire. The door of the Tank having become jammed against the side of the shell-hole, Lt. Sewell, by his own unaided efforts, dug away the entrance to the door and released the crew. In so doing he undoubtedly saved the lives of the officer and men inside the Tank as they could not have got out without his assistance. After having extricated the crew, seeing one of his own crew lying wounded behind his Tank, he again dashed across the open ground to his assistance. He was hit in doing so, but succeeded in reaching the Tank when a few minutes later he was again hit, fatally, in the act of dressing his wounded driver. During the whole of this period he was within full view and short range of the enemy machine guns and rifle-pits, and throughout, by his prompt and heroic action, showed an utter disregard for his own personal safety."

s flynn


Pte Charles Walford 11th Btn. B Voy. Royal West Kents (d.15th Sep 1916)

Charles Walford served with the 11th Btn. Royal West Kents and was killed on 15th September 1916.

John Cookman


L/Cpl. Thomas William Highams 10th Btn. Royal West Kent Regiment (d.21st Sep 1917)

Tom was my uncle and as far as I can gather was first posted to France in May 1916. He was allowed leave from the front to attend the funeral of his young wife who had died of T.B in February 1917. He returned to the front only to be killed in action during the Battle of the Menin Road in September. He is commemorated on the memorial wall at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

Tom Highams


Pte. William Thomas Read 1st Btn. Queen's Own Royal West Kent Rgt. (d.10th Feb 1917)

William Read was killed in action during the raid on Givenchey, 10th February 1917.

Peter James Read


Sgt. William Rosendale 1st Btn. Royal West Kent Regiment (d.22nd January 1915)

My paternal grandfather's brother. He died 3 weeks before his brother Sydney - who was in the same Regiment, who also died on 3 Feb 1915.

We are visiting their graves in May 2016 to pay our respects

Jeanette Mansworth


Pte. Sydney Rosendale 1st Btn. Royal West Kent Regiment (d.22nd January 1915)

Sydney Rosendale was my paternal grandfather's brother Sydney died 3 weeks before his older brother William - a sergeant in the same regiment.

We are off to visit their graves in May 2016

Jeanette Mansworth


L/Cpl. Frederick Laing MM & Bar. 10 Btn. Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Frederick Laing was born in 1897 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He died on 20 November 1920, Perth, Scotland. He is buried in Arngask New Cemetery, Glenfarg, Perthshire, Scotland, with a grey granite war grave pattern headstone, and I have always been intrigued as to how a man of Kent came to his grave in a small village in Scotland. Although he died after the conflict had ended, it seemed to me that he was as much a casualty of the war as those others who, like him, are buried far from their homes.

His Commonwealth War Graves Commission graves registration documents note that it is a private grave and "Next of kin reside in Tunbridge Wells. The grave was purchased with deceased's own money, and deeds should be with Messrs Macgregor Mitchell & Co, solicitors Perth. Plan at the Inspector of Poor's office, Milnathort, Perthshire. (Sgd) H.G. McCoy Area Inspector Edinburgh Area".

Frederick Laing was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the son of Fanny Saunders Laing who was the daughter of John and Ellen (née Hill) Laing, and who, herself, was born 26 October 1869 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Her son Fred Laing's birth was registered between July and September 1897.

The 31st March 1901 census shows him living, aged 3, with his maternal grandparents John (aged 73, a retired gardener) and Ellen (aged 66, a launderer/washerwoman) Laing and with his mother, Fanny S. Laing (aged 31, also a launderer) at 9 Rochdale Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

The next census, 2 April 1911, shows him, now aged 13, in the household of George Hillman (aged 49, a builder's labourer), whom Fanny Laing married in 1902. Fanny Hillman (aged 42) now has two other children, May and Dorothy Hillman aged 6 and 1 respectively, but Frederick is listed as Frederick Laing, not Hillman. Also living in the household is John Edward Laing (aged 34, town postman) described as 'brother': presumably Fanny's brother. They are living at 9 Rochdale Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent: the same address as his grandparents' in 1901.

No enlistment records survive for Fred Laing, but at the outbreak of WW1 he would have been 17, possibly just 18, and therefore eligible to enlist. The 10th (Service) Battalion (Kent County) Royal West Kent Regiment to which Frederick belonged, was formed in Maidstone on 3 May 1915 by Lord Harris, Vice Lieutenant of Kent, at the request of the Army Council. It consisted of men primarily from the south of England.

Firstly, in July 1915, attached to 118th Brigade in the 39th Division, it was transferred in October to 123rd Brigade in the 41st Division and moved to Aldershot in January 1916. The units of the Division moved to France between 1 and 6 May 1916 and by 8 May they were concentrated between Hazebrouck and Bailleul. It remained on the Western Front until, in November 1917, it moved to Italy and took over a sector of the front line behind the River Piave, north west of Treviso between 30 November and 2 December 1917.

In March 1918 Frederick Laing's Division was back in France and on 23 March 1918 at Vaulx Vraucourt, near Bapaume (the battles of St Quentin, Bapaume and Arras – the first phases of the battles of the Somme 1918) during heavy fighting to hold back a German attack (the 'Spring Offensive'), L/Cpl Laing won his (first) MM.

His medal record card "Awarding The Military Medal", shows that he was awarded a bar to that on 13th of November 1918. When the Armistice brought fighting to an end, Frederick Laing's division was selected to join the army of occupation and on 15th March 1919 was retitled the London Division. These units were gradually dissolved leaving, by February 1920, only regular army units in place.

It seems that, on demobilisation, Frederick Laing went to Glenfarg, Perthshire, at the invitation of a Captain James Aubrey Lilburne Hopkinson to work for him as a groom at Duncrievie House, Duncrievie, Glenfarg. Capt. Hopkinson had himself served in WW1 with the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment and it is possible that the two men came across each other whilst on active service – both their regiments served as front line troops in the 123rd Brigade 41st Division.

Whilst Capt. Hopkinson had been born in Kensington, London (Feb/March 1895), both his grandmother and mother (Charlotte and Mary Lilburne respectively) were born at Pittenweem in Fife and lived at Duncrievie House, Duncrievie, Glenfarg. In 1893 his mother married Samuel Day Hopkinson and he and his sister (Marian Charlotte Lilburne Hopkinson b. 3 May 1896) lived with their parents at 41 Campden Hill Road, Kensington, London W8. His father died in 1903 aged 44, and the 1911 census shows his mother and grandmother (both widows) at that address, but there is no sign of James. The London Gazette of 7 August 1914 notes the confirmaton of James A. L. Hopkinson's rank to Second Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. Capt. Hopkinson's medal index card shows that he entered the theatre of war in France in May 1915 and in 1921 it records that he had changed address from 78a Lexham Gardens, London W8 to Duncrievie House, Glenfarg, and requesting that his medals be sent there.

By that time however, Frederick Laing was dead. He died on 20th November 1920 in Perth Royal Infirmary of 'Sub-acute Nephritis and Uraemia'. His occupation was described as 'Barman' and his usual residence as The Glenfarg Hotel, Glenfarg.

From the Perthshire Advertiser 1 December 1920, page 3:

Military Funeral

The remains of ex-Lance Corporal Fred Laing, West Kents, were laid to rest with military honours in Arngask Cemetery. Deceased, who was only 24 years of age, died in the Perth Royal Infirmary, after an illness of five weeks' duration. He was a native of Tunbridge Wells, England, and on being demobilized came to this district as a groom to Captain Hopkinson, Duncrevie [sic], and was latterly employed as a barman at Arngask Hotel. Corporal Laing was of a quiet and unassuming nature, and was much repected by all who knew him. The coffin was conveyed from Arngask Hotel to the Cemetery by a military escort, and after being lowered the piper played the lament, and the Last Post was sounded.

Jen Lindsay


Pte. Edmund Tyrer Houghton 7th Btn Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment (d.3rd May 1917)

Edmund Houghton was the son of Henry and Lydia Houghton of Broadleys, Denbigh.

Richard Roberts


Sgt.Mjr. Alfred Reynolds MC, MSM. 1st Btn. D Coy. Royal West Kent Regiment

Alfred Reynolds was a Pre-War regular who had joined up in 1896 and fought in the 2nd Boer War earning a Queens Medal with 3 Clasps and Kings Medal with 2 Clasps.

He fought with the 1st Battalion throughout the Great War and he was awarded the MC in Feb 1915: "As Sergeant Major of "D" Company, did exceptionally good work, especially when his Company was commanded by a very junior officer."

He ended the war as a Warrant Officer 1st Class and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1918: "His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased on the occasion of His Majesty's Birthday, to approve of the award of the Meritorious Service Medal to the under mentioned Warrant Officers, Nora-commissioned Officers and Men in recognition of valuable services rendered with the Forces in Italy." He retired in 1920.

Sami Williams


Pte. Aylmer Allsworth Davison 1/28th (Artists Rifles) Btn. London Regiment (d.25th June 1918)

Aylmer A. Davison was my maternal grandfather. He was the son of Robert & Frances, born Rainham, Kent 1890. Brother to Eliza (b 1882) & George (b 1885). Husband of Ethel Alice (nee Conley). Father of Kathleen, Edith (later West).

Aylmer enlisted at Newington, 1917, aged 26. He was originally posted to 11th (Lewisham) Batn, Royal West Kent Reg, Private G/25239. He served in France then Italy. On 16th March 1917 Batn was disbanded and Aylmer was reposted Private S/48484 1/28th Batn London Reg (Artists Rifles).

He was killed, or died of wounds on 25th June 1918, aged 27, at Albert, France. He is buried in Mailly-Maillet Cemetery, Picardy.

Peter West


Pte. J. D. Maloney 6th Btn Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment (d.24th Aug 1915)

I know absolutely nothing about my Great granddad, J D Maloney, but would love to know as much as possible.

Michelle Adams


Pte. James Henry Poet 7th Btn. Royal West Kent Regiment (d.15th July 1916)

James Poet is buried in Corbie Communal Cemetery Extension, France. Corbie was a town 20 km from the frontline during the Somme and became a medical centre. The majority of soldiers buried in the extension died of injuries sustained during the Battle of the Somme.


Pte. Hughie James Sontag 1st Btn. D Coy. Royal West Kent Regiment (d.20th July 1916)

Hughie Sontag was my great uncle and I uncovered the events leading to his death through my family history research at the regimental museum. I am indebted to their archivists and Jonathan Saunders in particular for providing me with some of the details.

Hughie enlisted on 10th of September 1914, five days after the publication of Lord kitcheners famous poster and opted for service in the Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment. On 26th of May 1915, after completion of his training, Hughie was posted to D Coy, 1st Battalion in France and Flanders.

After various engagements the Battalion later arrived on the Somme on 17th of July 1916 to take part in the great offensive that had commenced on 1st of July. On 19th of July the Battalion was ordered up to support positions. Before entering the trenches, eleven officers and a proportion of NCO's and men were detached, in accordance with Army orders, and sent to remain with the transport. (Experience in the past had shown the necessity for making sure of a nucleus of survivors, should the unit suffer very heavy losses). Hereafter this was always done before going into action, and those left behind were called the "dumped personnel". They then moved up to High Wood, which was jointly held by the British and Germans.

The Battalion marched soon after noon that day to Mametz, crossing the old German front line, thus seeing the country that most of the officers and men had looked longingly towards in 1915. A and B Companies dug themselves in between Bazentin and Longueval in support to the KOSB, while C and D Companies occupied an old German trench north of Montauban. There was considerable artillery activity during the day and night, but the Battalion only suffered two casualties.

On the night of 19th-20th, troops in the front line attacked, with the result that the Germans were slightly pressed back, and High Wood (Bois des Foureaux) was partly occupied. The Battalion moved into the front line after dark on the 20th. A and B Companies occupied the track running from the south corner of High Wood in a South Easterly direction, D Company was in support, and C in reserve. The Germans put a heavy barrage behind the front line after dark, and D company was "badly caught" when moving up.

In all, the 1st Battalion suffered 14 fatalities killed in action on 20th July 1916 (this does not include wounded or wounded who later died of wounds). Hughie was 24 years old, his body was never found and his death was recorded as missing in action. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

David Sontag


Pte. Cecil Cole 6th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment (d.8th October 1915)

My great uncle Cecil, died aged 19 years at Loos, on the 8th October 1915. I have his medals.

His younger brother, my grandfather, Frederick William Cole, was born on 11th November 1905, and I don't believe he ever really recovered from the loss, being 9 years old at the time. My great uncle's body was never recovered or buried as an individual as far as I am aware.

Nicholas Cole


Pte. Sydney William Ostler 10th Btn. Royal West Kent Regiment (d.15th Jun 1917)

Sydney Ostler was the son of William and Mary Ostler, he was my mother-in-laws uncle. He was previously with Northamptonshire Regt, no.22423. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

Stamford and Rutland News reported on the 11th of July 1917: "Killed in Action. - The sad news has been received announcing that Private Sidney Ostler, Queen's Royal West Surreys, eldest son of Mr and Mrs W Ostler, Station Road, Helpston, was killed in action on June 15th. He was formerly employed at the Helpston Paper Mills and joined up in October 1915, going to France in May 1916. His Commanding Officer writing to the bereaved parents states: "He was killed in the trenches on Thursday during a heavy bombardment of our positions by the enemy. he was a good soldier and we thought a lot of him. He was buried just behind our trenches. I ask you to accept the sincere sympathy of officers, NCOs and men of this company."

Emrys Jones


Pte. Thomas Bugden Royal West Kent Regiment

My father Thomas Bugden served from 1914 to 1918 in the Royal West Kent Regiment In October 1914 they moved to India then transferred to the Jhansi Brigade In March 1916 they transferred to Rawalpindi Brigade. A year later in March 1917 they returned to the 5th (Mhow) Division. The battalion went to Mesopotamia in December 1917 and joined the 54th Brigade During his service in the Mesopotamia & Persia War Campaign they were attached to the Tigris Corps and involved action at the Fat-ha Gorge & little Zab River also the battle of Sharquat during October 1918, the division remained in Iraq until 1920.

My Father never spoke to me regarding any of his time in the war.

Jennifer Pomphrey


L/Cpl. Oscar Frick 2nd Bn. attd. Connaught Rangers Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) (d.8th July 1916)

Oscar Frick died on the 8th July 1916. He is buried in the Amara War Cemetery in Iraq.

s. flynn


Pte. Thomas William Taylor 11th(Lewisham)Btn. Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment (d.7th Oct 1916)

Update - At the time of his death, his Battalion were part of the 41st Division and engaged in the latter stages of the Battle of the Somme.

He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 11C.

Want to know more about Royal West Kent Regiment?

There are:34650 pages and articles tagged Royal West Kent Regiment 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.

Invicta: With the First Battalion The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment in the Great War

C.V. Molony


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