A Little Campaign Lost in A Great war.

This is the least viewed of all the blogs I have published up to today in 2017.

Scarce heard among the guns. (Blogs about WW1)

In April 1915 an old man with a beard went to pay his land tax. Tired of waiting he went home and urged the peasants who looked up to him and admired him by following suit and doing the same. The event started a rebellion.

The place was Kelantan in Malaya. A new tax had been introduced in the Unfederated Malay States by the British. It was a “Land” Tax Land ownership would now be taxed. The tax was to replace the tax on produce. What the land produced and the quantity now no longer mattered. The new tax was not explained it was just imposed. On page 27 0f (7) Kheng, Cheah Boon points out  that John Maxwell the acting Colonial Secretary blamed  the Kelantan Government for not pointing out the differences and the benefits of Land registration. The Malay peasants around Pasir Puteh seemed to think it was an…

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Games at #Shorncliffe, Bomb-Ball Game.

Sports in the Army have always been popular and are a useful training exercise. They discipline, quick thinking, fitness, no wonder I hated sports at school, and break the monotony of routine P.T.

Bomb-Ball was introduced during the FWW and almost certainly been played at Shorncliffe. It is mentioned and recommended in “Notes for Commanding Officers” a publication for those who attended the Senior Officers School in Aldershot.

The game is intended to use the muscles used in a bombing and, helps develop fast and accurate throwing. Throwing quickly and with a high degree of accuracy are skills a bomber needs to have. The game was normally played on a football pitch.

Most games involved two teams of eleven, The book “Notes for Commanding Officers” illustrates the position of the players in the 5 forwards, 3 midfield, 2 backs, position. A small canvas bag filled with sand or shot the weight of a Mills Bomb is used instead of a ball. Much like a beanie bag. In the rest of this narrative, it will be referred to as a ball.

The game seems to need a referee, however, the book doesn’t state whether the referee needs to be blind or make reference to the person’s parentage.

The ball is passed from player to player by throwing. The throw can be in any direction. Two methods can be used to throw the ball. By putting as in Shot putting, or overarm as in Grenade throwing as shown in army training manuals on bombing. The ball can be caught by using both hands but, thrown by only one hand. The throwing hand can be changed by the referee every ten minutes.

There is no running with the ball, as soon as it is caught the ball must be thrown. If the ball is dropped it must be picked up and thrown immediately.

To score a goal the ball must land on the ground in the goal.

The offside rule applies.

If a ball goes behind or into touch and a corner or throw in is awarded the ball must be thrown in or the corner is taken with one hand.  Penalties or fouls result in a free throw of the ball, again with one hand, from where the foul occurred.

Fouls are awarded when rough play takes place, (the grabbing of another player). A player runs with the ball,  the ball is thrown by another method then the two methods previously described, or being off-side.

The game consists of two halves, each half being between 20 to 30 minutes long.

Hopefully a game will once again be played at Shorncliffe in 2018.

 

 

 

With the Yanks at Cambrai 1917

On the 8th August 1917, a train pulled into the Harbour Station on the Mole in Folkestone. The soldiers on board detrained and embarked on one of the small ships waiting to take them to France. They were an American unit, the 11th Engineers Regiment (Railway).(1) Two men from the Regiment Sergeant Matthew Calderwood and Private William Branigan, became the first American Army Casualties on the Western Front when they were wounded by shellfire on the 5th September 1917. Also on the train and an officer in the regiment was Lieutenant Paul McLoud.

The regiment was on there way to help maintain, repair and expand the railway system prior to the Battle of Cambrai. The railway was used to bring the tanks forward to the assembly points prior to the attack. On the arrival of the tanks at the railhead the 11th Engineers  helped to assemble them. (2)

On the 3oth November 1917 the 11th were working on the railway line between Villers (Plouich) and Epethy when the Germans broke through. Retreating back to their camp to collect their weapons, a group of men from the 11th under the command of Lt Mcloud fought a fighting retreat and rear guard action near Gouzeaucourt.  For his part in the action Lt Paul Mcloud is awarded the American, Distinguished Service Cross. His citation reads:

Awarded for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Corps of Engineers) Paul McLoud, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 11th Railway Engineers, A.E.F., at Gouzeaucourt, France, November, 30, 1917, in remaining under shell fire until the escape of his men, who had been caught unarmed by the German attack, was assured. First Lieutenant McLoud then assisted in leading troops to the trenches, directing the procurement and distribution of ammunition, and displaying coolness, and judgment while continually under fire.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 129 (1918)

Action Date: 30-Nov-17

Service: Army

Rank: First Lieutenant

Regiment: 11th Railway Engineers

Division: American Expeditionary Forces (3)

Paul was also awarded the Military Cross from the British for his bravery on the 30th November. Unable to find his citation, but came across this;

paul mcloud(4) Clearly shows Paul Mcloud’s awards.

REFERENCES

  1. Jones, Raymond W, WW1 Officer Experience Reports AEF
  2. http://www.webmatters.net/france/ww1_cambrai_us.htm
  3. http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=13549
  4. The original source for this image was http://www.archives.nysed.gov/. This copy from Fold3. Image url: https://www.fold3.com/image/591030625
    Publication Title: New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919
    Content Source: New York State Archives

Frederick Milton

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Private Frederick Milton is commemorated on this gravestone in Folkestone Old Cemetery. Killed in action as part of a ration party, while collecting rations.  He was the only soldier from the 8th Battalion the Buffs East Kent Regiment killed on the 12th September 1917. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. This memorial is the large screen at the top of Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium.  Frederick was killed at Jackson’s Dump which was to the best of my knowledge somewhere west of a line from Clapham Junction on the Menin Road to Pappotstaat. His epitaph reads

“Little we thought we he bade us good bye                                                                                       He had left us forever he left us to die                                                                                                When we look at the picture and think how he died                                                                     A faithful British Soldier for all of us he died

His life was full of sunshine                                                                                                                 To all a joy and pride                                                                                                                              Far away in that foreign climate                                                                                                      A hero’s death he died

They miss him most that loved him best.

His service record does not appear to have survived. Relatives of Frederick still live in Folkestone.

#Shorncliffe’s Other Graves and Memorials.

Site Title

In the run-up to Remembrance Sunday 2017, here are a few of perhaps the lesser known graves and memorials at the Military Cemetery there. The first is Richard Antony Kay. Richard, born at Shorncliffe, died in Malaya in 1961. His father was a Captain in the Royal Engineers attached to 656 Air Observation Post, Army Air Corps. Richard fell and badly bumped his head at the Armed Forces Swiming Pool in Kuala Lumpur.  He was two years old.

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The next picture is the grave of William West Orr, died 29th December 1916.IMG_8873.JPG

If it had been the grave of Harold Orr CAMC every July the 1st a flower would have been placed here. Harold did ok. He became a Lt Colonel, was awarded the OBE, Mentioned in Dispatches, survived the First World War and died in Saskatchewan in 1952. Apparently, he died a single man. Which is strange because he married Margeret West in February…

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Private 61613 William Habberley #Went to France via Folkestone #FWW

Border Regiment

Born in Warrington. He became a plumber before he enlisted in the Army at Liverpool on the 4th February 1913 at the age of 19 years and 2 months. He first joined for duty Joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The same day he is sent to Carlisle. Here he is attached to the Border Regiment at their Depot. 8th February 1913 he is transferred to the Border Regiment at Carlisle. 28th April 1913 he is drunk in barracks this time he is admonished. This is probably due to being posted to the 2nd Battalion at Pembroke Dock the next day.

24th May 1913, Drunk in Barracks he was fined 2/6 and Confined to Barracks for 7 days. It was to be the first of many Confinements to Barracks and fines for drunkenness in his time in the Army. 29th May 1913, Irregular Conduct, 10 Days Confined to Barracks. 6th September 1913 breaking out of barracks after tattoo, being drunk in Water Street at around 10:25 pm, 14 Days Confined to Barracks. 29th November 1913 Posted to 2nd Battalion. Then on the 10th February 1914, he is posted again this time to the 1st Battalion. He embarks on the Troopship Plassy to India. Hebberley arrived in India on the 5th March 1914. Sailing onwards to Rangoon on the Troopship Northbrook. Reaching Rangoon on the 13th March. After Rangoon, the battalion moved to Maymyo where it was based when war broke out. Returning to with the Battalion to Calcutta on the troopship HMT “Novara” on the 21st November 1914 they arrived in Calcutta on the 25th November 1914. Here they spent just over a fortnight before embarking on the Troopship HMT “Corsican” for Rugby via Avonmouth. The 1st battalion arrived at Rugby on the 11th January 1915. While at Rugby, 13th February 1915 Not complying with (an order? Writing on change sheet not clear) and insolence to an NCO, 8 Days Confined to Barracks. 16th February 1915. Drinking in the Globe Public House while on duty.168 hours detention. The battalion was posted to Gallipoli via Egypt and left from England on the 16th March 1915. During his time in the Dardanelles Hebberley continued his low level of insubordination and on the 25th July 1915, he was awarded 7 days FP No.2 for an improper reply to NCO. A month later on the 25th August 1915, he is wounded in action a severe wound in abdomen three weeks later on the 14th September 1915 his father is notified. From Gallipoli, he is sent on the 28th September 1915 to 15th General Hospital Alexandria, and on the 25th October embarked on HMH Mauritania at Alexandria for England. After a stay in hospital he is posted on the 11th November 1915 to the Regimental Depot at Carlisle. 23rd December 1915. he overstayed his furlough from tattoo until 9 pm on the 29th December, (5 days and 23 hours ). He is Confined to Barracks for 7 days.1st January 1916 he is posted to 3rd Battalion. On the 3rd May he embarked from Southampton for France. The first three weeks were spent at 7 Infantry Base Depot Le Havre before being posted to the 2nd Battalion. He joined them in the field on the 25th. On the 1st of July he receives a wound to his left wrist. Evacuated home via 23 Field Ambulance, 38 Casualty Clearing station, 3 Stationary Hospital Rouen, and the Hospital Ship “St Patrick” to England. Reaching on the University Hospital in Gower Street, London on the He will spend 30 days in Hospital before being released on the 3rd August 1916 (posted to Depot) On the 15th September 1916 he is transferred to the 5th Garrison Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. At Beblington on the 7th October 1916 he is Absent from Tattoo, (until 8th October), and he is again Confined to Barracks for 7 days. Then at Leasowe Castle on the 9th December 1916 he is charged with Absence from Police Duty and Insolence to an NCO. As a result, he was sentenced on the 11th December 1916, to 21 days FP No.2 for misconduct. Later at Aintree on the

17th February 1917 he is Absent from Tattoo for two days. Yet again he is Confined to Barracks for 7 days. 7th May 1917 he is transferred to 3rd Battalion Borders Regiment. In October he is posted to France. He embarked from Folkestone 19th October 1917 arrived Boulogne and joined 25 Infantry Brigade depot at Etaples the same day. He joins the 2nd Battalion in the field on the 30th October 1917. 10 days later the battalion moves to Italy. 11th March 1918 he is admitted to 23 Field Ambulance, then 37th Casualty Clearing Station and on 13th March 1918 11 General Hospital Genoa due to sickness. After which he spent a week at the Convalescent Depot in Genoa before being posted back to the Base Depot at Arquata on the 26th April 1918. Posted to 14 Corps Reinforcement camp on the 5th May. He went absent from his billets on the 30th June 1918 for which he was awarded 7 days FP No.1. 4th August 1918 he is posted to 24th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Pioneer Battalion). Another posting follows on the 14 February 1919 this time to the 22nd Battalion Manchester Regiment. Hebberley unsurprisingly never seemed to have been promoted. That was to change on the 22nd April 1919 when he is appointed unpaid Lance Corporal. Being promoted does not last long. The 6th May 1919 sees him in Egypt still with the 22nd Battalion. On the 12 May 1919 he is deprived of his Lance/Corporal stripe for drunkenness, while on active service, and absent until apprehended by the Military Police. There is a break from the routine duties of being a soldier in Egypt when on the 10th June 1919 he embarked from Alexandria for Constantinople on escort duty. Back to his old ways on the 11th November 1919, fined 7/6 for drunkenness in Cairo. 7 days Confined to Camp. 29th November 1919 Absent in town without a pass while on active service. 14 days confined to barracks. After 7 years in the Army, he embarked at Alexandria for the UK to be demobbed on the “Panama” 3rd March 1919. As far as is known William Habberley survived into the 1970s.

He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Insanity at #Shorncliffe. #FWW

“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)

It somewhat surprises me that I can quote from a War Poet, for whenever I’m asked about the War Poets the default answers is “Not a fan”. It is not that I don’t like them. They wrote some of the finest poetry ever written in English. They wrote a lot of crap too, but we won’t dwell on that today. It is just they are shite historians. They are part of the history of the Great War, but they did not write that history. I remember Mr Millinship, one if not the best teacher I ever had reading Dulce et Decorum Est and asking me what I thought of it. Don’t think he was too impressed with my reply, I said something along the lines of. “It took him three years to come up with war is hell. My dad’s a soldier don’t you think I don’t already know that?” I was 11 at the time, an easy going child in a difficult world. Back to Sorley. Sorley was for a time at Shorncliffe but the madness he was writing about was not the madness at Shorncliffe but the madness of war.

Someone who will never be as famous as Owen or Sorley, basically because he wasn’t a War Poet but who dealt with insanity, his own, at Shorncliffe was Private 513212 William Anderson, Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot. (CASC TD)

William was born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England. After serving in the Inniskilling Fusiliers He emigrated to Canada it was here he enlisted at Petawawa, in No.2 CASC TD. he was 37.

William sailed to England on the SS Olympic arriving in England on the 28th December 1916 and is taken on the strength of the CASC TD at Shorncliffe on the 29th. On the 5th May 1917, William was posted to the 7th Reserve Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, (Eastern Ontario Regiment). (PPCLI (EOR). Six months later he is admitted to 44 Casualty Clearing Station suffering from Trench Feet, a condition caused by standing with unprotected or badly protected feet in unsanitary water.  Sent back through the evacuation train to England and the General Military Hospital in Colchester. January 1918 sees William at the Military Convalescent Hospital Epsom and on the 28th at the Manor War Hospital Epsom. May 16th and William is back at Shorncliffe. This time he is at 11 Canadian General Hospital and diagnosed with Dementia Praecox (Schizophrenia). On the 28th May, his diagnoses is changed to Exhaustion Psychosis, which is an abnormal mental state in which the patient is restless, illusional, and has severe communicational problems. At 11:30 pm on the 14th June 1918, William Anderson’s madness ends.

William is buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery.