So who did march down the Road of Rememberance? #FolkestoneRT

So who did march down the Road of Rememberance?

Not easy to say. The usual glib answer I give is relatively few. Relatively being a somewhat vague, now go away  answer. People, I realise, tend to want more.

The relative is compared to the total number of soldiers who left from Folkestone

How many left from Folkestone?

It depends who you ask.

You are asking me?

Oh, 2.5 to 3 million. If you think there were more, then in proportion the “Relatively few” is fewer.

So who were the few?
Drafts I am open to debate the issue-heck not really, I do know when and which regiments of more than a few, well at a guess about 200. plus the majority of Australian, British, Canadian, American, Indian,  Units that did, (and a South African Unit-that may have)  embarked from Folkestone)

Units that marched down Slopes Road and Dates  are as follows:-

On the 7th May 1917
Maybe
2/1st Shropshire RHA, 158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery1
2/1st Berkshire RHA, 158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery2
380 Battery RFA ,158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery3
381 Battery RFA, 158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery

The 30th May 1917 Maybe

No.5 Base Hospital US Army4

11th June 1917

No.12 Base Hospital U.S Army, after arrival No 12 Base Hospital operated British General Hospital No. 18. This unit did march down Slopes Road5 On the 20th May 1917 the day following the units departure for England, a gunnery accident killed Nurses Helen Wood and Edith Ayres injuring a third nurse. The bodies of Wood and Ayres were returned to the US and given military funerals. They were the first United States Army Casualties of the First World War.
22nd? May 1918
Maybe
117th Infantry, 30th division U.S. Army.

Maybe

Exact date unknown, but Maybe
120th Infantry “3rd North Carolina” 30th Division, U.S. Army. The regiment crossed from Boston on the HMT Bohemia and the HMT Miltaides. To Liverpool and then by train to Folkestone and Dover. The men from the Militiades crossed from Dover, those from the Bohemia Folkestone, both disembarked at Calais All the men from the regiment had completed their journey to France on or just before the 5th June.

2nd June 1918 Sounds possible

Company B, 311th US Infantry. The 311th had crossed from the USA on the “Nestor”. After arriving at Liverpool they entrained for Folkestone arriving at 2 a.m. on the 1st June. They history of Company B, 311 Infantry records they spent the night in an Embarkation Camp at Folkestone in “a large empty stone house in a row of similar ones” Sixty men from the 311th had left for France from Folkestone on the 1st June.

11th June 1918

311th US Infantry crossed to Calais where they arrived about 4 o’clock.7 Some companies had embarked for France earlier in the month.
Maybe
312th US Infantry. The 312th had marched from Dibgate camp to Folkestone the day before, and had spent the night in vacant hotels in Folkestone. The 312th crossed to Calais on the SS Marguerite.8 On arrival at Calais they marched to Rest Camp No.6.9

3rd July 1918

Maybe 41st Brigade HQ.  sailed with the 29th DLI and half of 33rd London Regiment on the first ship at 9:30 am.
Maybe 18th York and Lancaster Regiment.
For sure 33rd (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment, Billeted previous night in Folkestone at No. 3 Rest Camp. Half of the battalion sailed at 9:30 am, the other half at 1 pm.
Maybe 29th Battalion Durham Light Infantry the Battalion arrived in Folkestone at 5 am., they arrived in Boulogne at 11 am. Four hours later.

5th July 1918

Maybe
15th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

These did.
20th Battalion Middlesex Regiment. On the 4th July the battalion consisting of 39 Officers and 623 Other Ranks. left Bullswater Camp in two parties on two trains one at 10:35pm, the other at 11:00 pm, for Folkestone. The last of the two trains arrived at Folkestone at 3 a.m. on the 5th. Both parties marched to Number 5 Rest Camp. Officers were billeted in surrounding hotels. Those officers staying in the Grand being excessively charged. The battalion paraded at 8 a.m. To march to the harbour and embark for Boulogne on two boats.
12th Suffolk Regiment. The Battalion left Pirbright on two trains, the first left at 11:45 p.m. On the 4th July 1918, the second at 12:15 a.m. On the 5th July 1918. On arrival in Folkestone the whole battalion was billeted at No. 3 Rest Camp. The battalion left for Boulogne at 4:30 p.m. on the 5th July.
10th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry. Now part of 43rd Brigade 14th Division. On the night of the 4th-5th July the battalion entrained on two trains for Folkestone. On arriving at Folkestone the battalion was billeted at Number 3 Rest Camp. At 16:30 hours on the 5th July the 10th Highland Light Infantry sailed for Boulogne.

31st July 1918

Likely some of these did

48th Brigade 16th Division, the brigade arrived in Folkestone between 3 and 5 a.m. and proceeded into a rest camp. Later on that morning at 8 a.m. They embarked as follows:
Brigade Head Quarters
22nd Battalion The Northumberland Fusiliers, and the
11th Battalion Princess Victoria’s Royal Irish Fusiliers
on the S.S. Onward.
18th Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), and the
48th Trench Mortar Battery
on the S.S. Princess Victoria. The Brigade disembarked in Boulogne at 11 a.m.

1st August 1918
These did.
11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) Hampshire Regiment. The battalion left Aldershot on two trains. After a three hour train journey the first train arrived at Shorncliffe at 4 a.m., and the second train at 4:30 a.m.. From Shorncliffe station the battalion was marched to Number 3 Rest camp. Here the men were billeted and served breakfast plus a haversack ration. Just before 8 a.m. The battalion was paraded and marched down to the harbour where they embarked on the S.S. Onward at 8:30 a.m. The S.S. Onward sailed at 9 a.m. and arrived at Boulogne at 10:45. From Boulogne harbour the battalion march up to Ostrahof Rest Camp. While here at Ostrahof the battalion saw their first action of their return to France. There was an enemy air raid at 11 p.m. There were no casualties in the battalion.
Maybe these did.
The Reconstituted 6th (Service) Battalion, Prince Albert’s Own (Somerset Light Infantry), now part of 49th Brigade 16th Division.
18th Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment part of 49th Brigade, 16th Division.
34th (City of London) Battalion The London Regiment.

Did they stop on the way down the road to remember their dead?

If they did, it should be called the Road of Premonitions.

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Embarking from #Folkestone update 05/06/2018.

A little on June 1918. Found another draft for the Welsh Guards, Draft No.33. drafts 35 and 37 also embarked from Folkestone, Although not in June.

At least one draft for the Guards Machine Gun Regiment  crossed this month.

American Infantry also embarked from the town

The 3rd North Carolinars, they disembarked at Calais

Sub units from the 311th Infantry.  Company B, 311th US Infantry being one of them. . The 311th had crossed from the USA on the “Nestor”. After arriving at Liverpool they entrained for Folkestone arriving at 2 a.m. on the 1st June. They history of Company B, 311 Infantry records they spent the night in an Embarkation Camp at Folkestone in “a large empty stone house in a row of similar ones”

The 312th US Infantry, The 312th had marched from Dibgate camp to Folkestone  and had spent a night in vacant hotels in Folkestone. Perhaps they stayed on the Leas and marched down Slopes Road. The 312th crossed to Calais on the SS Marguerite. On arrival at Calais they marched to Rest Camp No.6

Two Americans who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force are known to have embarked at Folkestone in June:

Private 2367 Thomas Canty, 9th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Returning to the Western Front after becoming ill while on furlough in England. Born in New York State, USA, Thomas enlisted in Rockhampton, Queensland Australia on the 3rd August 1915. Wounded in action on the 22nd July 1916, and again on 26th February 1917. Thomas survived the war and was known to be alive in 1963.

Private 6801 Joseph Francis McGlone, Australian Imperial Force, returning to France after being wounded in action. Arriving at an Australian Infantry Base Depot on the 28th, and re-joined the 18th Battalion on the 7th July 1918.
Born in Philadelphia, USA. Joseph Francis McGlone enlisted in Sydney, Australia.

A difficult month to research, still far too many gaps. Hopefully will add plenty more in the near future.

 

Embarking from #Folkestone #FWW

The list continues to grow, so does the word count, over 90,000 words. The working title is misleading, “Poppies to Oblivion” the vast majority returned.

Most detrained at the Harbour Arm, but not all. It is known that American Units marched down Slopes Road, The Road of Remembrance,  as well as others, including the

11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) Hampshire Regiment. The battalion left Aldershot on two trains. After a three hour train journey the first train arrived at Shorncliffe at 4 a.m., and the second train at 4:30 a.m.. From Shorncliffe station the battalion was marched to Number 3 Rest camp. Here the men were billeted and served breakfast plus a haversack ration. Just before 8 a.m. The battalion was paraded and marched down to the harbour where they embarked on the S.S. Onward at 8:30 a.m. The S.S. Onward sailed at 9 a.m. and arrived at Boulogne at 10:45. From Boulogne harbour the battalion march up to Ostrahof Rest Camp. While here at Ostrahof the battalion saw their first action of their return to France. There was an enemy air raid at 11 p.m. There were no casualties in the battalion.

Unexpected adds to the list included a man from the, Reserve Battalion South African Scottish. Not yet known if he was on his tod, or part of a draft.

A trooper from the Life Guards posted for about a month to Paris.

Not added any Americans in the last week.

Have added a few Australians including Noel D Vann

Private 3222 Noel Douglas Vann, Australian Imperial Force, ex 12th Training Battalion. 21st June he is taken on strength 46th Battalion ex 8th Reinforcements/46th Battalion 4th Australian Base Depot. On the 11th September he is found, Not Guilty of desertion, but guilty of being absent without leave from the 2nd August to 11th August 1917, and sentence to 6 months Imprisonment with Hard Labour. The unexpired portion of the Sentence is remitted on the 19th February 1918. On the 23rd April, he is found guilty of desertion between the 25th March and the 30th March and sentenced to 5 years Penal Servitude. On the 23rd June 1918 found Not Guilty of desertion, but guilty of being absent without leave between the 27th May to 3rd June. He is sentenced to 2 Years Imprisonment with Hard Labour. Sent to Winchester Prison in Hampshire from No.1 Military Prison on the 4th August, arriving back in the United Kingdom on the 5th. Noel is returned to Australia on the “Somali” on the 1st June 1919 to serve the remainder of his sentence. Discharged by 5th Military District 19th July 1919. He forfeited all his medals, and on the 29th February 1940 his Returned Serviceman’s badge is returned unissued by 5th Military District to base records.

Must press on.

 

 

Embarking from #Folkestone May 1918

These are just a few of the Units and personnel who embarked at Folkestone Harbour for the Western Front in May 1918.May 1918

Draft for the Guards Machine Gun Regiment. (Cavalry)

117th Infantry, 30th division U.S. Army.

On the 6th May

Private 3290 Charles Ambrose De Leon, Australian Imperial Force marched into the New Zealand Base Depot the following day. He is taken on the strength of 38th Battalion ex 8th Re-enforcements 38th Battalion on the 9th May. Charles was born in New York in 1888, he enlisted at Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in December 1917. Accidentally injured on the 24th July 1918. At the Court of enquiry a witness gave the following statement. Report on No. 3290. Pte De Leon C.A. (Burnt about the face and hands)
“On 24th July last, Pte De Leon was on outpost duty when the company was holding the line in the Hamel sector The enemy was shelling very heavily in the region of his post, and a fragment of one shell hit one phosphorus bomb which was amongst some Mills grenades. The phosphorus bomb burst into flames and De leon who was standing close to the parapet where it burst was burnt about the face and hands, also his clothing and equipment was burnt. Lieut Baxter after the flames were extinguished ordered De Leon to proceed to the Aid Post”
(Sgd) Pte F Binion No. 598.
Charles returned to his unit on the 11th October 1918.1

Private 6862, Edwin McMillan, 22nd Battalion Australian Imperial Force. Edwin McMillan was born in Folkestone, Kent, England. It is not known when he emigrated to Australia. It was there on the 29th July 1917, at the age of 18 years and 10 months he joined the Australian Imperial Force. After his medical he was appointed to 20/22nd Battalion reinforcements. Embarking on HMT Nestor at Melbourne on the 17th November 1917. 22nd January he is taken to the Camp Hospital at Taranto on the HMT Kashgar. On the 2nd February 1918 he marched into 6th Training Battalion at Fovant. While at Fovant he is absent from an 8:30 pm parade. He is confined to camp for 14 days and forfeits 4 days pay. From Fovant McMillan is posted to France via 5th Training Battalion, and the boat from Folkestone on the 6th May. He is wounded in action on the 19th May 1918. A gun shot wound to the head. At first he is treated at 5 Australian Field Ambulance, 5 Casualty Clearing Station, 2nd Canadian General Hospital, finally at the Australian Hospital Le Havre. He returns to the 22nd Battalion on 22nd June. He is wounded again on the 3rd October. A gun shot wound to the right thigh which shatters his right femur. Five days later he is admitted to No.8 General Hospital Rouen. 2nd February 1919 McMillan is invalided back to England. After being treated at the 2/1st Southern General Hospital Birmingham he is transferred to the 1st Australian General Hospital, Sutton Veny. He returns to Australia on the Hospital Ship “Karoola” 6th May 1919. Edwin McMillan died on the 9th July 1989.

Also in May 1918 wounded soldiers were being sent back to the front line, including this American who sereved in the Australian Imperial Force.

Private 2151 Andrew John Joseph Durkin, Australian Imperial Force. First crossed to France on the SS Princess Henrietta on the 28th November 1916. He returned to England in February 1918 suffering from Trench Fever On the 28th May Andrew is returning to the Western Front. Born in New York he lived in Brisbane with his wife Kathleen and three Children. He enlisted on 6th May 1916. In 1948 James was living at 520 Bay Street, Staten Island, New York.

Charles Hamilton Sorley #FolkestoneRT #FWW

Scarce heard among the guns. (Blogs about WW1)

Charles Hamilton Sorley, born 19th May 1895

In May 1915 the 7th (Service) Battalion the Suffolk Regiment. A K1 battalion, in 35th Brigade, 12th Division. Embarked on the S.S. Invicta and the S.S. Queen.

Charles Hamilton Sorley was a soldier with the 7th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment. Charles would be killed in action on the 13th October 1915.

Cast away regret and rue,
Think what you are marching to,
Little give, great pass.
Jesus Christ and Barabbas
Were found the same day.
This died, that, and went his way
So sing with joyful breath.
For why you are going to death.
Teeming earth will surely store
all the gladness that you pour.
(From, Over the Hills and Vales Along, by Charles Hamilton Sorley, June 1915)

Charles did mention the Folkestone-Boulogne crossing. Not in a poem but in prose,

“May they not take it too seriously! Seein’ as ‘ow the training…

View original post 169 more words

Americans and others #Folkestone May 1917 #FWW

It is known that Americans went to France during the First World War long before America officially joined the fray in April 1917. The American people very often do the right thing long before the American Government gets around to it. Clarence V. Mitchell an American who went to be a volunteer Ambulance Driver. He wrote, With a Military Ambulance in France, which is a collection of letters he sent to his parents. Crossed to France on the SS Sussex in October 1914. Richard Norton the founder of the American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps, also known as the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps also crossed from Folkestone in October 1914. At the end of May 1917 America was in the war as an Associate Power fighting along side the British and French.
One of the first US military organisations to embark from Folkestone after the declaration of war was the United States Military Railway Commission to England and France. The commission had travelled down to Folkestone from London by rail and crossed to Boulogne on the SS London. The following day the Commission continued their journey to Paris by motor car. One of the first US Army units to go to France via Folkestone was, No.5 Base Hospital US Army. Not yet known if they went directly to the harbour or if they spent sometime in one of the rest camps. Both the Commission and No.5 Base Hospital crossed towards the end of May.

Soldiers with an American connection who embarked from Folkestone during May include:

Lance-Sergeant 1145 George Joseph Richard Brown M.M., 28th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Returning to the front after being wounded. George joins the Australian General Base Depot the following day. Marched out to 3rd Australian Division Artillery, Rouillers, on the 2nd June. He is taken on Strength, Division Trench Mortars, 6th June. Transferred to, and taken on strength of 28th Infantry Battalion on the 10th August. George is killed in Action on the 4th October 1917. George was the son of George and Mary Brown, born in Concord, Northampshire, USA. He was married to Alice Oliver Brown who lived at, 129 Brighton Road, Surbiton. His Military Medal was Gazetted on the 27th October 1916:
“HIS MAJESTY THE KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned non-commissioned officer:- No. 1145 Corporal GEORGE JOSEPH RICHARD BROWN.” He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

Private 3156 Earle Nelson Gates, ex 15th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Taken on Strength 57th Battalion ex 8th Reinforcements/57th Battalion. Born in Allegahanny City, Pennsylvania USA, enlisted in Broadmeadows, Victoria, Australia on the 17th October 1916.

Private 6948 Albert Fred Hass, ex 3rd Training Battalion, 10th Battalion. Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force. The son of Peter Heinrich Hass, of Peterborough, South Australia, and the late Lisette Hass (nee Lohmann). Born in Greenville, Wisconsin, U.S.A. He was killed in action between the 20th and 21st September, Aged 24. and has no known grave. His brother, Walter Theodor Hass also of the Australian Imperial Force was also killed in action and also has no known grave. Both are commemorated on the Menin Gate. Walter also embarked from Folkestone but not in May 1917.

Private 6785 John Charles Marchant, ex 2nd Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, he arrived at 1st Australian Division Base Depot the following day. Taken on Strength by 7th Battalion ex 22nd Reserves/7th Battalion on the 28th May. He is killed in action on the 4th October 1917 during an attack on Broodsiende Ridge near Zonnebeke. It is believed that 1st Divisional Burial Party, buried him. His grave can not be found and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate. John’s widow Mrs. Q. U. M. Marchant, lived at 822, Prarie Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois, U.S.A.

Other non American or Australian Units and men that crossed from Folkestone in May 1917 include man from an Artillery Brigade.
Mamiel Vincent Uzzell, farm carter and ploughman, he worked with his farther at Lower Barn Farm, Chaddleworth before his enlistment. He enlisted in the Royal Berkshire Regiment on the 12th February 1916. He is posted to the 3rd Reserve Battalion 20th January 1917. After training he is sent to France on the 7th May. The first eleven days in France are spent with 46 Infantry Brigade Depot before being posted to the 1st Battalion. Uzzell is reported missing on the 30th November 1917. He was most likely captured by the Germans on either the 29th or 30th . On the 29th the 1st Battalion is west of Bourlon Wood during an advance of 200 yards by C Company. The next day from about 8:45 am the, Sugar Factory where the Headquarters of 1st Battalion is the centre of a box barrage. During the barrage the Germans attacked the rest of the Battalion along the line Bourlon Villiage Quarry Wood. The attempted breakthrough is stopped by a combination of artillery and Machine Gunfire. Although the Germans continue attacks on the battalion all through the afternoon. For Uzzell the war is over. He is to spend the rest of it as a Prisoner of War. It is not until the 10th December 1918 that he is repatriated to. It will be another 10 months before he is demobilised and transferred to the reserves an the 12th October 1919. Mamiel Vincent Uzzell is awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal

 

Private 90681 Alfred Babbage, Machine Gun Corps. Alfred lived in. Dartford. He first enlisted in the 22nd Battalion London Regiment on the 2nd June 1915. He was then discharged on the 21st January as being “Not likely to make an efficient soldier. On the 18th December 1916 Alfred Babbage is enlisted into the Machine Gun Corps. He is 21 years old. At first he is posted to the Rifle Depot in Winchester. Two months later he is posted to the 5th Battalion Rifle Brigade. A year later on the 3rd April 1917 he is transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. Following this he is posted to France and embarks from Folkestone on the 26th May. After spending just under a fortnight at the Machine Gun Corps base Depot at Camiers he is posted to 152 company in the field. On the 13th July 1917 when cleaning his rifle he “negligently discharged same. Thereby wounding himself.” He is to be tried on the 25th for neglect to the prejudice of good order and military discipline. Before the trial Babbage is sent at first to 61 casualty Clearing Station then 5 days in hospital. Babbage is found guilty at his Field General Courts Martial and sentenced to 60 days Field Punishment No.2. This is commuted to 28 days by the General Officer Commanding 51st Division. On the 5th September he is sent to 35 Field Hospital with an “old” gun shot wound to his left hand. The 8th sees him at 63 Casualty Clearing Station, the 9th at 14th General Hospital and on the 11th he is sent back to England on the Hospital Ship St David. Babbage spends the next two months at the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington, Kent. His pension record also shows him as been posted from No.1 Northern General Hospital Newcastle to Somewhere on his journey between his unit and his release from hospital the second finger of his left hand is amputated. His last posting appears to be to the Base Depot at Grantham. On the 25th April 1918 he appears before N0.2 TMB (Temporary Medical Board?) Grantham. Apart from the Gunshot wound to his left hand he has some mental problems, described in his records as “mental deficiency” Three months later Babbage is discharged as being physically unfit to be a soldier. Alfred Babbage is awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Plus others. Research is on going and proceeds as fast as funds and mugs of tea allow.

Charles Hamilton Sorley #FolkestoneRT #FWW

Charles Hamilton Sorley, born 19th May 1895

In May 1915 the 7th (Service) Battalion the Suffolk Regiment. A K1 battalion, in 35th Brigade, 12th Division. Embarked on the S.S. Invicta and the S.S. Queen.

Charles Hamilton Sorley was a soldier with the 7th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment. Charles would be killed in action on the 13th October 1915.

Cast away regret and rue,
Think what you are marching to,
Little give, great pass.
Jesus Christ and Barabbas
Were found the same day.
This died, that, and went his way
So sing with joyful breath.
For why you are going to death.
Teeming earth will surely store
all the gladness that you pour.
(From, Over the Hills and Vales Along, by Charles Hamilton Sorley, June 1915)

Charles did mention the Folkestone-Boulogne crossing. Not in a poem but in prose,

“May they not take it too seriously! Seein’ as ‘ow the training is all washed out as soon as you turn that narrow street corner at Boulogne, where some watcher with a lantern is always up for English troops arriving, with a “Bon courage” for every man.
A year ago today-but that way madness lies.”
(Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley from a letter to the Master of Marlbourgh, in War Letters of Fallen Englishmen, edited by Laurance Houseman, Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1930)

“I hate the growing tendency to think that every man drops overboard his individuality between Folkestone and Boulogne, and becomes on landing either ‘Tommy’ with a character like a nice big fighting pet bear and an incurable yearning and whining for mouth-organs and cheap cigarettes: or the Young Officer with a face like a hero and a silly habit of giggling in the face of death.”
(Charles Hamilton Sorley)

Robert Graves in “Goodbye To All That”, describes Charles Sorley as, “one of the three poets of importance killed during the war. (the other two were Isaac Rosenberg and Wilfred Owen.)