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Those Who Served


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Gnr. Willis Rabjohn .     British Army Royal Field Artillery   from Sheffield

David Brown

Pte. Horace Samuel Raby .     British Army 2nd Btn. Sherwood Foresters   from Lichfield

(d.8th Nov 1918)

Horace Raby was a regular soldier who went to France in Sept 1914 with his regiment, the 2nd Btn Sherwood Foresters. Sadly he was captured on the 20th October 1914 at Ennetieres. He remained in German prisoner of war camps for the next four years and died three days before the Armistice. I have no photographs of this man, my gt. uncle other than a group photo taken at his sister's wedding where there is a head and shoulders pic of a young lad who I am told is Horace. I am trying to piece together his life story and have so far written several thousand words.

Maggie Williams

Pte. Horace Victor Race .     British Army 2nd Btn. Suffolk Regiment   from Creeting St. Mary

(d.28th April 1917)

Horace Victor Race was my great uncle, who I never knew, but during my research into my family history, I discovered that he had been killed in 1917 in the Battle of Arras,and has no known grave.

In 2013 I visited Arras and went to the Arras memorial and found his name inscribed on the wall alongside the many thousands of others who gave their lives, I found it a very moving experience to walk in the area that he may have fought and died in.

Eric Cross

Pte Alfred Rackley .     British Army 6th btn Bedfordshire Regiment   from Watford

(d.7th Oct 1917)

Alfred Rackley was my great uncle, born Croxley Green, Hertfordshire.

Editor's Note:- At the time of his death, the 6th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment were part of the 37th Division which was involved in the 3rd Battle of Ypres. The war diary for the Battalion records that, on that day, they lost 10 O.R. (other ranks) killed and 15 O.R. wounded through artillery shelling. Alfred is interred at Hooge Crater Cemetery.

Mr Allen

George Stevens Rackstraw .     British Army 6th Res Battery Royal Field Artillery

My uncle, George Stevens Rackstraw served with the Royal Field Artillery, alongside my father Robert, who transferred from the 2/4th Royal Scots to serve with him.

Charles Rackstraw

Dvr. Robert Baxter "Racka" Rackstraw .     British Army 6th. Reserve Battery Royal Horse Artillery   from Sunderland, Durham

Robert Baxter Rackstraw ( 2nd Right )

My father, Robert Baxter Rackstraw, was in France for part of the war, he was in the 2/4th Battalion Royal Scots No 4973, 4th Res and was transferred to the Royal Field Artillery, No91930 driver, 6 Res Battery, after being claimed by his older brother, George Stevens Rackstraw. Date of the transfer was 16th July 1916. When he was in the Royal Scots he was based at Terling Camp, Witham and when the transfer was complete he was based at Forrest Row, Sussex.

George Stevens Rackstraw(Sitting Hat On) & Robert Baxter Rackstraw (Standing Hat On).

C.H. Rackstraw

Asst. Stwd. Robert Henry Radford .     Merchant Navy SS Cape Corso (d.2nd May 1942)

Robert Radford lost his life when the SS Cape Corso was sunk.

Pte. Thomas Radford .     British Army 11th Btn. Sherwood Foresters   from Buxton

(d.1st July 1916)

My Great Uncle Tommy Radford was killed on the first day of the Somme but has never been forgotten. He came from Buxton in Derbyshire. He has no grave just a name on a memorial. He was awarded the victory medal and British war medal.

L Kadevski

Pte. Charles Radley .     British Army 7th (Service) Btn. York & Lancaster   from Mexborough

(d.30th Jun 1918)

My Great Uncle Charles Radley enlisted in 1914 when he was 17 yrs old. The only details I have are that he died of wounds on the 30th June 1918 in "France & Flanders" and he is buried in the Herissart Communal Cemetery. I have photographs of the cemetery and his grave. There is a memorial to him and others in Adwick village where he came from.

Glyn Cutts

Cpl. Edward Kingsford Radley .     British Army 8th Btn. A Coy. Somerset Light Infantry   from South Bermondsey

(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

Pte. Allan Rae .     British Army 8th Btn. Border Regiment   from Parton, Cumbria

(d.5th July 1916)

Allan Rae was my great uncle. He had no known grave, but is commemorated at Thiepval. My father, his nephew, always intended to visit the memorial but never managed to do so. My brother & I hope to visit in 2016 for the centenary, but in the meantime would be grateful for any information on how to track down his service record (we have drawn a blank at the obvious sites) to determine where he was killed.

Mike Turner

Pte. John Rae .     British Army 21st Btn Durham Light Infantry

Served with 18th DLI

Pte. William Rae .     British Army Royal Irish Fusiliers   from Scotland

(d.8th May 1915)

Our present family did not know anything about William Rae. It is through family history research we have found him. We discovered that during WW1 he served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers but, sadly, he was killed in action on 8th May 1915 in France. He is buried in the Commonwealth Grave Cemetery - Bailleul, Communal Cemetery Extension. His great grandson is a serving army officer and recently visited William's grave in November 2011 with William's great grandson. Although we have tried to find William's service records we have not yet been able to do so. However, now that we have found out some information we will always remember him for his bravery in WW1.

Mary McGovern

Pte. William Rae .     British Army 2nd Btn Royal Irish Fusiliers   from Glasgow

(d.8th May 1915)

I am researching the possibility that William Rae served as a firefighter before he joined the colours, can anyone provide any information?

I work with the Fire Services National Museum in Northampton plus with the Firefighters Memorial London. I have been researching almost for two years for Firemen that joined the colours in WW1 & WW2 and were killed in action. We have at this moment approx 500 firemen on our list. If you know of anyone that may of been fireman and killed in action, please get in touch. Thank you for your time.

Malc Tovey

Pte James Raeburn .     British Army 2nd Btn Durham Light Infantry (d.28th April 1916)

Jamie Raeburn-Brown

Pte. Thomas Alexander Raffan .     British Army 51st Sanitary Section Royal Army Medical Corps   from Aberdeen, Scotland

(d.23rd Dec 1918)

Thomas A. Raffan Jr. served in the RAMC Sanitary Section of the 51st Highland Div. He died of pneumonia on the 23rd December 1918 most likely from influenza. His parents lived at 62 Urquhart Rd. Four years after his death his family moved to Toronto, Canada

Pte. H. Rafferty .     British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers


Pte. R. Raffle .     British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

R Raffle was discharged in 1919


Cpt. James Patrick Rafter MC & Bar..     British Army 12th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps   from Liverpool

My Great-Uncle, James Rafter, was a doctor who served in France during WW1 after the cessation of hostilities he was the ship's doctor on the Mauretania but fell ill en route to New York, he died in New York on 5th October 1919. I have a copy of a letter he wrote to his sister whilst on the front line.

Mike Rafter

Pte. Peter Raftery .     British Army 10th Btn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers   from Galway City

(d.13th Nov 1916)

Peter Raftery has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Noel Griffin

Pte. Alexander Railton .     British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers   from Gateshead

(d.1st July 1916)

Alexander Railton is named on the Thiepval Memorial


Pte. John Railton .     British Army 2nd Btn. Durham Light Infantry (d.30th May 1916)

John Railton enlisted in Sunderland and served in the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry. He died on the 30th May 1916 aged 34 and is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

John was born in Jarrow 1882, son of Margaret Ann Railton nee Robinson of Blyth and the late James Railton. He is married to Evelyn Beatrice Railton nee Watson and in the 1911 census the family is living at 14 Hume Street, Millfield, Sunderland with John(29), a ships plater helper and his wife of 3 years, Evelyne Beatrice Railton nee Watson and their infant son John who is 6 months old.

Vin Mullen

Pte. Frank Raine .     British Army 18th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

Lt. G. K. Raine .     Army 18th Btn. Durham Light Infantry (d.2nd Jul 1916)

Lt Raine was killed on the 2nd of July 1916 he was 19 years old.

Pte. George Cuthbert Raine .     British Army 18th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

Pte. John Thomas Raine .     British Army 18th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

Able.Sea. Robert Raine .     Royal Navy Hawke Btn. Royal Naval Division (d.29th Jun 1915)

Robert Raine, served in the Hawke Battalion of the Royal Naval Division and died age 19 on the 29th June 1915 he is remembered at the Jarrow Library and at the Helles Memorial.

Robert was born in Hebburn 1895, son of Mary Jane Raine nee Fuller and the late John Raine. In the 1911 census the family is living at 10 Fir Street, Hebburn with John Raine(44), an underground pumping engineer at the coal mine and his wife of 20 years Mary Jane. They had 5 children of which 4 survived and 3 are still living at home. Ena (19)- a domestic servant, Robert (15)- a belt boy at surface of coal mine and Jack Keers who is 5 years old.

Vin Mullen

Dvr. Thomas Francis Rainer .     British Army 103rd Brigade Royal Field Artillery (d.5th October 1917)

Pte. R. Rainey .     British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers   from Bedlington

R Rainey was wounded in Oct. 1916


Cpl. Robert Boyd Rainey .     British Army 9th Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers   from Newtownards, Co. Down.

(d.7th Jun 1917)

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