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The Worcestershire Regiment
The Worcestershire Regiment was formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot and the 36th (Herefordshire) Regiment of Foot.
Battalions during the Great War.
- 1st Battalion
- 2nd Battalion
- 3rd Battalion
- 4th Battalion
- 5th Battalion
- 6th Battalion
- 7th Battalion
- 2/7th Battalion
- 3/7th Battalion
- 8th Battalion
- 2/8th Battalion
- 3/8th Battalion
- 9th Battalion
- 10th Battalion
- 11th Battalion
- 12th Battalion
- 13th Battalion
- 14th (Severn Valley Pioneers) Battalion
- 15th (Transport Workers) Battalion
- 16th (Transport Workers) Battalion
- 17th Battalion
- 1st Garrison Battalion
Items from the Home Front Archive
Francis Burt POW letter - 8 July 1918
Francis Burt POW letter - 15 July 1918
Francis Burt - 1st Worcestershire Regiment
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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 215679, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
Those known to have served with The Worcestershire Regiment during the Great War.
Select a story link or scroll down to browse those stories hosted on this site.
- L/Sgt. Alfred Arculus (d.26th Sep 1915.) Read their Story.
- Pte. Arthur Leonard Beedham (d.27th May 1918) Read their Story.
- Pte. Henry Walker Benson (d.19th Aug 1917) Read their Story.
- L/Cpl. Richard Leonard Blakeman DCM. Read their Story.
- Pte. V. Brettle (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Pte. Francis William Bullen (d.17th July 1915) Read their Story.
- Pte. Henry Francis Cleaver (d.17th Jun 1918)
- Edward Coates Read their Story.
- Pte. John Cooper Read their Story.
- Private William Henry Dixey (d.22nd August 1918) Read their Story.
- T/Capt. Charles Duly DSO. Read their Story.
- Pte. Howard Ellson (d.2nd July 1916) Read their Story.
- Pte. Charles Rupert Farmer (d.10th Aug 1917)
- Pte. William Ford Read their Story.
- A/Cpl. William Gibbs (d.25th Apr 1917)
- Pte. John Greenway (d.7th Nov 1914) Read their Story.
- Pte. Thomas Daniel Hammond (d.5th Sep 1916) Read their Story.
- L/Cpl Victor Henry Hawkins MM. (d.28th Apr 1918) Read their Story.
- Pte. Sidney Parry (d.23rd Apr 1917)
- Charles Thomas Porter (d.6th Sep 1917) Read their Story.
- L/Cpl. George Potts (d.28th Jun 1915) Read their Story.
- Pte Frank Rastall (d.19 Oct 1918) Read their Story.
- Private Edward Ray (d.4th Sep 1917) Read their Story.
- Pte. John Shearon (d.26th September 1917) Read their Story.
- James Harold Smith
- Lt. Douglas B. Stimson Read their Story.
- Sgt. Arthur Whittall Read their Story.
- Cpl. Walter John Winters Read their Story.
- Pte. Bertram Wood (d.12th Aug 1918) Read their Story.
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 get in touch.
Lt. Douglas B. Stimson Worcestershire RegimentDouglas Stimson served in both World Wars. He enlisted into Honourable Artillery Company and was commisioned as a Lt into the Worcestershire Regiment on the 12th of May 1917.
His brother Montague also served with the Honourable Artillery Company and was killed whilst serving with the 10th Btn. East Surreys, attached to the 8th Btn. Younger brother Eric was killed whilst serving with the Rifle Brigade.
Private William Henry Dixey 4th Battalion Worcestershire Rgt (d.22nd August 1918)William H Dixey was my Great Uncle. I know that he is buried in the Borre British Cemetery in Northern France nr Hazebroeck.Unfortunately I do not know where or how he died. His war record appears to be one that did not survive the second world war bombing!
L/Cpl Victor Henry Hawkins MM. 3rd Btn. Worcestershire Regiment (d.28th Apr 1918)Victor Hawkins was my great uncle, we have only just found out about him recently. He was killed in action during the Battle of Kemmel. He's buried at La Clythe Military Cemetery in Belgium. Rest in Peace.
T/Capt. Charles Duly DSO. 11th Battalion Worcestershire RegimentCaptain Charles Duly DSO (b. 1875) of the Worcestershire Regiment, 11th Battalion, was my grandfather. We have researched, that his commission was relinquished on the 9th July 1915 due to ill health, having fallen from a horse resulting in sustained head injuries. Our family have been trying in vain to track his whereabouts since this date - but to no avail.
His son, also Charles Duly, was born 1919 in Glasgow. We believe that his father Charles Duly stayed with the family until circa. 1922/23 in Glasgow before separating from them. His whereabouts since this time have been a mystery. The son, (my father) Charles Duly, now Charles Duly Blount - (mother remarrying a gentleman by the name of Blount) served in WW2 with the Lanarkshire Yeomanry/Argyle & Southern Highlanders/5th Parachute Regiment. He also attained the rank of Captain as per his father (also at the end of WW2 Temp. Major).
There is some confusion with another Charles Duly DSO who served in East Africa he was born 1870 (5 years before my grandfather.) We are trying to establish details of my Grand Father's life after 1922/23 up until his death. Is there anyone out there who can help us with this information?
L/Cpl. Richard Leonard Blakeman DCM. 1st Battalion Worcestershire RegimentRichard Blakeman was my Grandfather and served during The Great War from 5th November 1914, when he would have been just 19 Years old and was discharged injured on 8th June 1917. According to information I have from my Aunt he rescued two comrades at The Battle of Neuve Chappell. I have very little other information of my Grandfather but do have his DCM which bears his rank name and Service Number, it seems for his bravery he was promoted to Lance Corporal.
I have searched Ancestry.co.uk records but only have basic information and cannot find any record of his DCM award other than the fact I have the medal in my possession. It would be lovely to find out more.
Editors Note: Medal awards are listed in the London Gazette, which will give you the date of the action.
Charles Thomas Porter 1/7th Btn Worcestershire Regiment (d.6th Sep 1917)I would love to have a better story than just facts about my Great Uncle Charlie. I have a few of his letters home to my Grandparents as well as the psychic's letters to them too! The psychic passed on messages to my grandparents from Charlie long after he was dead. I was the first to visit his grave in Wimereux, Northern France but prior to me finding his grave, the exact location was unknown all those years. How can I find out where he died or even how? Did he die right away? Those buried in Wimereux would perhaps have been fighting a certain battle? I think there was a hospital there, so does that mean he was alive at first? And where did his Battalion train? How can I find out the date he would have enlisted and even when he went to France? His cousin "Stinty", Wilfred Stinton Hudson, died in the 'Great War' too... how sad it is but I vow to keep them alive in our lives. Thank you for any help you can give me to find out more about Uncle Charlie.
L/Cpl. George Potts 4th Btn Worcestershire Regiment (d.28th Jun 1915)George Potts was my great uncle. He was killed in Gallipoli on the 28th of June 1915, pobably during the attack on Gulley Ravine but, little more is known. He served in the 4th Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment. George had an unusual history. His parents, George Benjamin and Clara Potts, were both from Kent being born in Faversham and Barming (near Maidstone) respectively. The Potts family, near Faversham, were numerous. It is understood many converted to the Mormon faith during the second half of the 19th Century. This faith lead them to emigrate to the USA. George and Clara Potts did live near the Salt Lake City in the USA. Their son also named George was born there in 1890. For reasons unknown, George and Clara left the USA, settling back in England eventually moving to Maidstone Kent. Their son George was registered in the 1901 census as being born in the USA. George Potts (Junior) was thus a US citizen and may have been the first to have died in the Great War. We would like to know more but, the above is all that is known.
Edward Coates 3th Btn. Worcestershire RegimentTed Coates was my paternal grandfather, he was based at Tidworth, Hampshire before deployment to France. Awarded the Mons Star and bar for those who served underfire and volunteered. I would love to know more about him.
Pte. William Ford 2/1 Btn. Queens Own Worcestershire HussarsMy grandfather, William Ford, joined the Queens Own Worcestershire Hussars in February 1917. I know this for 2 reasons. I have his diary for 1917. He kept very brief notes of where he was in 1917 and I tracked him to 2/1 Battalion. He had his photograph taken in uniform in April of that year and his cap badge is that of Queens Own Worcestershire Hussars. His diary states he was "draughted" to France on the 19th of August 1917 at 8am. He was wounded in France. A bullet passing through his right arm into his left leg and he was missing for some days. His diary states that he was "removed to Manningtree" on 20 October. No mention of being wounded or where he had been. Family tradition has it that he was on the French/Belgium Border. The problem is I can't find a record of his battalion serving in France or any other details of where he might have been wounded.
Editor's Note: Many of the Cavalry regiments were split up and troops transferred to other units in 1917, or he may have been draughted to another unit in France, so it is likely he would have been with another regiment when he was wounded.
Pte. John Greenway 3rd Btn. Worcestershire Regiment (d.7th Nov 1914)John Greenway was my Great Uncle by marriage. I don't, unfortunately know much about him, except that he was married to my Great Aunt Laura Willetts for less than a year before he was killed in action. His name is included on the war memorial which is situated in Quarry Bank Park. He is buried in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France. I know nothing else about his death.
He left behind a little girl, also called Laura or 'Little Laura', who sadly died at the age of 5 in 1919, possibly due to the Spanish flu epidemic. I do have a photograph of John's little daughter, but unfortunately, not one of John himself. I have discovered this information in my quest to trace my family history and would love to contact any relatives of John Greenway. I just wonder if any of his friends or family have ever visited his grave in France.
Cpl. Walter John Winters Army Service Corps (Remounts)My grandfather, Walter Winters signed up to the Army Service Corps (Remounts) on the 19th November 1916 at Budbrook Barracks, Warwick. The Approving Officer on his Army sign up form is the Colonel (looks like Carter), Commandant Remount Depot, Shirehampton.
He was transferred to the 6th Batt. Worcester Regt on the 17th August 1917. His records show he was in Belgaum on the 7th October 1917. He disembarked in Bombay on the 26th October 1917 and was again in Belgaum from the 8th April to 18th April 1918 with Impetigo. They also show he disembarked in Basra on the 3rd November 1918. On the 2nd July 1919 he was in Baku. He did not speak to us about his time in the Army.
Pte. Arthur Leonard Beedham 1st Btn. Worcestershire Regiment (d.27th May 1918)Len Beedham, could have missed the war and lived a life. He was a farm hand at a farm near were he lived at a small village in the Isle of Axholme of Westwoodside. But he enlisted in the army at Retford & did his training at Cannock then moved to Ashford, Kent were he was stationed till sent to France in May 1918?.
Len, was a skinny 9 stone something, after his army training he had put a few pounds on and filled out and became a handsome young man. After his training at Cannock he went to Ashford in Kent, were he had the photo taken. He was on ten shillings a week he was doing some sort of extra duty that gave him a few bob more in his army pay. Len and thousands like him were not sent to France, Lloyd George kept the troops in the UK but when the German spring offensive 1918, took place he was sent to France.
Unfortunately for him he was sent to the 1st Battalion the Worcesters, who were reforming and resting after the attack by the Germans in April around the Somme area as reinforcements. As things turned out this area, under French military along the Chemin des Dames, was the next area attacked by the Germans the Worcesters were sent up the line in defence. When the Germans attacked on the 27th May the battalion was decimated. Len was one of many killed on this day reported as missing. He and many others who were sent to the Regiment as reinforcement never stood a chance, by Bruchmullers bombardment. They did not get to learn any thing of trench war. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end! He was in France a matter of days then dead. His brothers, sisters, mum and his dad only got to know he was killed reported missing near Riems the largest town near to the action. He is named on a memorial in Soissons.
Over the years my mums cousin, Ron Shipley, [great aunt Mabels lad] did extensive research and found out more which Len's parents, brothers and sisters never had any idea of. Its thanks to Ron that we have more on poor Len Beedham 42285 1st Worcesters. He received a soft victory medal for his endeavours, it was in my grandads [Lens youngest brother Alf] wardrobe for many a year, bent and a little battered, now gone! Grandad sat me on his kneed and told me all he knew about Len as told to him by his mum and sisters & brothers Mabel, Blanche & Horace.
Pte Frank Rastall 1/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (d.19 Oct 1918)Frank Rastall was the youngest son of Elisha and Harriett Rastall, born in Broadway in 1890.
Sgt. Arthur Whittall 3th Btn. Worcestershire RegimentArthur Wittall is my Grandfather. He lost a leg and a hand in the Battle of Messines, plus 17 other critical injuries. His life was in the balance for several months and he was in hospital for 3 years after the war. He then became a Labour Councillor in his home town of Kidderminster, fighting for ex servicemen, those in the work house and for better housing conditions. Whittall drive in Kidderminster is named after him.
Pte. John Cooper 3th Btn. Worcestershire RegimentJohn Cooper, my grandfather,served in the Worcestershire Regiment from 29 July 1900 to 19 July 1908 in the 2nd battalion and then from 5 August 1914 to 31 March 1920 in the 3rd battalion. He died shortly after his discharge on 28 August 1920. I have his 'small book' which gives lots of detail on his first period of service. He served in the Boer War (I have his Queens South Africa medal with clasps), Ireland, Ceylon and India but alas no details on his WW1 service except his medals; Mons Star, British and Victory medals.
Pte. Thomas Daniel Hammond 3th Btn. Worcestershire Regiment (d.5th Sep 1916)Thomas Daniel Hammond was my grandfather serving with 3rd Battalion Royal Worcester Regiment. Thomas died of wounds on 05/09/1916, being initially wounded by machine gun on 03/09/1916. He was treated at a field post then he was transferred to Etaples where he died of his wounds, he is buried at Eastern Cemetery,Boulogne
Pte. Bertram Wood 3th Btn. Worcestershire Regiment (d.12th Aug 1918)Bertram Wood was my grandfather, I have photograph and a paper from the war office informing his mother of his death.
Private Edward Ray 3th Btn. Worcestershire Regiment (d.4th Sep 1917)Edward Ray was the husband of Ellen Grainger, of 2 Back, 42, Whitmore St., Hockley, Birmingham. They had three sons (Jack, Albert and Edward John) and one daughter, Lilly. He died of multiple shell wounds on both legs and thighs in No.3 Canadian CCS and is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. I would like to know where he fought and when he was wounded.
Pte. John Shearon 2nd Btn. Worcestershire (d.26th September 1917)My gt. grandfather, John Shearon, was born in Stourport-on-Severn around 1884. He worked as a chimney sweep in the Worcester area and was also a tic-tac man on Worcester racecourse. He married my gt. grandmother, Jane Kershaw, at St.George's Chapel in 1911, then moved to Liverpool later that year. His elder brother Edward was also in the Worcesters (service no. 48426)and was killed in India on 3rd December 1917 aged 43.
Pte. Francis William Bullen 1st Btn. Worcester Regiment (d.17th July 1915)Francis William Bullen (18193). A young gardener and son of Benjamin Bullen, he lived at The Shah Pub on the corner of what is now Picknage Road. Enlisting in Royston he was transferred to Worcester where he was a Private in the 1st Battalion, The Worcester Regiment. Killed in action in the Somme area 17th July 1915, he was aged just 18.
Pte. Howard Ellson 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (d.2nd July 1916)Howard Ellson was born 20th January 1887 in Birmingham and was killed in action on 2 July 1916 near Cuincy, Pas-de-Calais, France. Howard was married at Aston, Warwickshire in abt June 1909 to Laura Luke. Howard is the sixth child and third son of Thomas Ellson and Jane (nee Wilkinson) He appears at the age of 4 years in the census return of 1891. The family is at 134, Vaughton Street, Deritend, Birmingham. In the household is Thomas (44) as its head and a whip thong maker. Jane (39) his wife and their children. Louisa (18) a milliners apprentice; Alice (15) an umbrella maker; Jane (9); Thomas (5); Howard (4) and Warner (1)
By 1901 the family had moved to 18 Bissell Street, St Martin’s, Birmingham. Thomas (54) is still employed as a whip thong maker; Jane (49) is now listed as a shopkeeper “working on her own account from home“. (The 1889 Kelly’s Directory lists Thomas as a shopkeeper at this address) Jane (19) is a Japaneeser; Thomas (15) a tank riveter and Howard (14) a wire worker. Warner (11) is at school where he has been joined by a sister, Dora (8). Also in the household is their mother’s niece, (also) Jane Wilkinson (aged 12). Like her aunt, this Jane was born in north London. Howard married Laura Luke in abt June 1909. The couple appear on the CR of 1911 at 1/30 [one back of thirty] Highgate Street, Highgate, Birmingham. Howard (24) is a wire worker and Laura (22) the mother of a daughter, Winifred (b. 1910 in Birmingham and d. 1911 aged 1 year). Also in the household was a boarder, Matilda Harris, a tin plate worker aged 21 years. Howard and Laura had three other children, all sons. They were: William Howard, Bernard) and Leslie.
In the Great War, Howard served as a Private in the 2nd Battalion, Worcester Regiment. At the date of his enlistment, on 27 July 1915, Howard was living at Court 8, house 2 Darwin Street, Highgate, Birmingham. He was 28 years old. A brief description tells us that he was 5’ 7” tall and of fair complexion with blue eyes and light hair.
Howard Ellson is my paternal grandfather. It was in pursuit of Howard that I began this journey. I have set out his story from enlistment on 27 July 1915 to his death on 2 July 1916 in a booklet 'Somewhere Beneath a Sea of Mud' (2007). Family legend has it that Howard was killed on the opening day of the Battle on the Somme - 1 July 1916. This is supported by a memorial card which the family had printed, probably in about May 1917. It was not until 24 April 1917 that there was official confirmation from the War Office of his death. The letter read: "It is my painful duty to inform you that no further news having been received relative to (No) 24058 Pte Howard Ellson (Regiment) 2 Battn. Worcestershire Regt. who has been missing since 2-7-16, the Army Council has been regretfully constrained to conclude that he is dead, and that his death took place on the 2-7-16 (or since). I am to express to you the sympathy of the Army Council with you in your loss." It seems likely that the memorial card will have been produced shortly after receipt of this letter. The relevant part of the card reads "In loving memory of Pte Howard Ellson No 24058 2nd Worcesters Killed 1st July, 1916, at the Battle of the Somme".
Neither of these 'facts' proved to be true. He was killed on 2 July 1916 whilst serving with the 2 Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment in the area of Bethune which is some 48 kilometres (30 miles) north of Bapaume - the most northerly point of the Somme battle area. He was with 2 battalion serving in C Company. At the time of his death he was in a raiding party on enemy lines at Auchy-les-la-Bassee. His death should have been commemorated on the Loos Memorial but he is one of the thousands named on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. The record of 2 battalion gives the place of his death as Cuincy, a village midway between Bethune and La Bassee and the nearest village in British hands. Within a few days of his death the battalion had been moved, rather hurriedly south, to the Somme. It seems likely that all deaths after 1 July were attributed to that campaign. There is further confusion over his actual unit. Whilst most contemporary records place him with 2 battalion, those produced subsequently put him with 1 battalion. This includes those of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Pte. Henry Walker Benson 1/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (d.19th Aug 1917)Henry Walker Benson died on 19th August 1917 at the age of 41 whilst serving with the 1/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. He was formerly 242289 Norfolk Regiment. Born in Jarrow, son of William and Mary Ann Benson (Anderson) of Southampton, he lived Brighton and enlisted in Southampton.
Henry is buried in Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No. 3.
L/Sgt. Alfred Arculus 2nd Btn Worcestershire Regiment (d.26th Sep 1915.)What I know of Alfred Arculus is taken from records I have come across while researching my ancestors but I think I would have liked him. He actually volunteered for the Army Reserve as a Special Reservist on 6th March 1914, aged 18 yrs 171 days. A farm labourer, he was 5ft 4 inches tall and weighed 128lbs, not exactly a strapping lad but he was willing.
At the outbreak of war he was promoted to Lance Corporal; by the 5th October he was a Corporal and in March 1915 he became L/Sergeant. Then in June he lost his stripe, the reason, curiosity! On the 3rd April at the back of his billet at Essars two R.E officers exploded an aeroplane bomb. A group of men including Alfred watched the proceedings and after the explosion started picking up fragments. Alfred found the nose of the bomb and as the R.E officers had declared the area safe he proceeded back to his billet with his mates and the fragment. This is where his curiosity got the better of him. He started to take the nose of the bomb apart and as witnessed by others it blew up and badly injured his left hand. A court of enquiry came to the conclusion that 'having considered the evidence Alfred was wholly to blame for the accident, and he was not in performance of military duties when injured'.
A month later on the 2nd May he was pronounced fully fit and back with his mates on the 4th. On the 8th September he's again a L/Sgt. On the 26th September 1915 he was killed in action at Vermelles. From what I have now found he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, originally buried at Barts Alley Cemetery, Vermelles (this cemetery was destroyed in later battles and the remains scattered - what was found taken to Loos and reburied). Of his effects only his identity disc remained. This was sent to his mother, Eliza. She received it in 1916.
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