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Four in April. Folkestone Embarkations. #FWW.

All of the four men in this blog embarked from Folkestone during the First World War. Each little biography dates from a different year. There is one from each year soldiers embarked from Folkestone. The only other connection is the month of April.

William Holland may have been the first soldier who embarked from Folkestone to die on the Western Front.

No. 2245 Private William Holland
Killed in Action 8th April 1915

The entry for the 8th April 1915 in the 1st Buckinghamshire, Battalion Oxford shire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, gives the location of it’s companies undergoing training by 12th Brigade 4th Division. A company is undergoing instruction, that night, by the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. B Company, by the 2nd Battalion the Monmouthshire Regiment. C Company by the 2nd Battalion the Essex Regiment. D Company by the 1st Battalion the King’s Own (Lancashire) Regiment in billets and the Royal Engineers in the rear trenches. One man, in D Company, is recorded as being wounded and dying later of his wounds.
There is only one man from the 1st/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as dying that day. He is Private William Holland. William Holland is also thought to be the first soldier who crossed from Folkestone to die on the Western Front in the Great War.. He was the son of Charles and Ann Jemima Holland of 13 Chicheley Street Newport Pagnell Buckinghamshire. Private William Holland is buried in strand Military Cemetery, south of Leper (Ypres), and commemorated on the Newport Pagnell War Memorial. He was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Embarked at Folkestone on the 10th April 1916.

Private 27752 James Grant, Royal Scots. James was born at 13 South Street, Grantown-on-Spey, on the 17th June 1886. He worked as a mason. He enlisted on the 7th January 1916. James was part of 15th Reinforcements for the 11th Battalion Royal Scots. While at 9 Infantry Base Depot he is awarded 14 days Field Punishment No.1 and forfeits two days pay for being absent from draft. Joins the (11th?) battalion in the field on the 20th May. Under arrest from the 16th September to the 1st October. He is sentence to two years Hard Labour for using insubordinate language to a superior officer and striking a person in whose custody he was. placed. Sentence suspended by General Officer Commanding 4th Army on the 13th October.. Admitted to 45 casualty Clearing Station on the 18th October with pyrexia of unknown origin. Because of this he is transferred back to England in November. He returns to France in April 1917 as part of the 67th Reinforcement draft to the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots. 3rd May he is wounded in action. Under arrest from 25th August to the 3rd September. On the 4th, he is tried by Field General Courts Martial for a Civil Offence. “That is to say, shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm feloniously unlawfully discharging a loaded rifle.” He is sentenced to two years Hard Labour. Taken to Prison on the 30th. On the 24th September 1918 he is released and rejoins his battalion. The balance of his sentence suspended. Wounded in action a few days later on the 28th. James the son of William and Jane Grant died of wounds on the 18th October 1918. He is buried at Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte, Pas de Calais, France. His death was reported in the Strathspey Herald on the 24th October 1918. (as reproduced in Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey)
“Died of Wounds”
“ Mr Wm Grant, mason, South Street, is mourning the loss of another member of his family, his eldest son James, who was in the Royal Scots, having succumbed to wounds. A brother was previously killed in action, another was recently discharged from the Army and the youngest son serving in the Navy. Mr Grant’s son-in-law, Private W. Little, Canadians is reportedly killed in action.”

 

Embarked on April 5th 1917

Private 2893 Robert Alexander Gamble, Australian Imperial Force. Part of 7th Reinforcements 60th Battalion. Joined 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples on the 7th. Taken on strength 60 Battalion in the Field on the 15th, Born in Washington, USA. Roberts parents are Alexander John and Margaret Jane Gamble, of “Ellersley,” Queen St., Concord West, Sydney, Australia. He is regarded as a Native of Inverell in New South Wales. He enlists on the 25th September 1916. Robert embarks from Sydney on the A19 “Afric” on the 3rd November 1916. Arriving at Plymouth England on the 9th January 1917 and joins the 15th Training Battalion at Hurdcott. While on board ship he is charged with stealing bread and given 7 Days detention. Shortly after joining the 15th Training Battalion he hesitates to obey an order from a NCO and forfeits 4 days pay. After joining the 60th Battalion in July 1917, Robert attend a Pigeon Course for three days. He is wounded in the left leg and right arm on the 25th September and dies of wounds on the 26th. Robert Alexander Gamble is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. The epitaph on his gravestone reads.
“GOD BE WITH YOU TILL WE MEET AGAIN THY WILL BE DONE”

Embarked 5th April 1918.

Charles Edward Ibbetson
West Yorkshire Regiment

Charles Edward Ibbetson attested just before his 18th birthday on the 7th August 1917. At first he is posted to the reserves and not mobilised until the 13th September 1917. arriving at the 6th Young soldier Battalion at Rugely. On his Army Form B 103 this is recorded as “Posted to 6th T.R.B. Rugely” At Brocton he is transferred to the 51st Graduated Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, on the 11th February 1918. He is posted to France and embarks from Folkestone on the 5th April 1918. His first week in France is at “E” Infantry Brigade Depot, Etaples. Posted to the 8th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment he joins them in the Field on the 13th. On the 28th July Charles is wounded in action, a Shot Gun Wound to the right thigh. At first he is admitted to 48 Casualty Clearing Station From there he is sent to 8 General Hospital and on the 17th August back to England. Charles Edward Ibbetson is discharged as “No Longer Physically Fit for War Service” on the 28th February 1919.

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Embarkations Folkestone 30 August 1915

The pages I work on each day depend on the date the first soldier I find embarked on. So the order of posting may appear random it isn’t.

30th August 1915

1Headquarters 24th Division. 2
9th (Service) Battalion The Norfolk Regiment, a K3 battalion, part of 71st Brigade, 24th Division.
9th (Service) Battalion The Suffolk Regiment, a K3 battalion, part of 71st Brigade, 24th Division.3
11th Battalion The Essex Regiment, a K3 battalion, part of 71st Brigade, 24th Division. 4

Sergeant 3/10133 Arthur Frederick Saunders V.C. (1878-1947), 9th (Service) Battalion The Suffolk Regiment

“No. 3/10133 Sergeant Arthur Frederick Saunders, 9th (Service) Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery. When his officer had been wounded in the attack he took charge of two machine-guns and a few men, and, although severely wounded in the thigh, closely followed the last four charges of another battalion, and rendered every possible support. Later, when the remains of the battalion which he had been supporting had been forced to retire, he stuck to one of his guns, continued to give clear orders, and by continuous firing did his best to cover the retirement.” 5

Private 19949 Ernest Leonard Whitaker 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He is gassed and, transferred back to England on the 24th December., Returning to France in August 1916. He will be wounded in April 1917 and gassed again in March 1918.6

Private Arthur Fisher 11th Battalion The Essex Regiment. Arthur enlisted on the 2nd September 1914, and discharged on the 15th March 1919. Wounded in action on the 5th May 1917. Transferred to England on a hospital Ship on the 9th. Arthur did return to France, not from Folkestone, for 24 days in April 1918. Returning to England with Inflamed Connective Tissue in Right Hand. His final gratuity on his discharge from the Army was £105.7

#Embarkations 4th September 1915 Folkestone

The starting page today is the 4th September 1915

Head Quarters 22nd Division.
Head Quarters 65th Infantry Brigade
9th (Service) Battalion The King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). A K3 Battalion part of 65th Brigade, 22nd Division.  Have the Battalion crossed on the TS Queen with the 9th East Lancashire Regiment.
12th Lancashire Fusiliers The two trains carrying the battalion arrived in Folkestone at 11:20 p.m. At 11:50 p.m the battalion embarked on the S.S. St Seiriol. They disembarked at Boulogne at 2 a.m. The next day. (5th September)
14th Battalion The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
9th (Service) Battalion East Lancashire Regiment  The Battalion Crossed on the TS. Queen.

Private 14890 Patrick Finnigan, 9th (Service) Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. On the 28th October Patrick sailed from Marseilles to Salonica. He returned to the United Kingdom suffering from Malaria in March 1918. Demobilised in March 1919.

Private 14040 Ellis Watson, 9th (Service) Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. Ellis survived the war and was transferred to the reserves on the 25th March 1919.

Private 14597 Samuel Weaver, 9th (Service) Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. On the 28th October he sailed from Marseilles to Salonica.

Includes a V.C. recipient 20/09/15.

Yes, I know I need an editor. Last page for today. Embarkations from Folkestone 20th September 1915. 20th September 1915

10th (Service) Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), 1 Part of 26th Division2
12th (Service) Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 3
11th (Service) Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), a K3 battalion part of 77th Brigade in 26th Division.4
8th Royal Scots Fusiliers 5
HQ 78th Infantry Brigade 6
9th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.7
11th Worcestershire Regiment. 8

Private S/17799 John Finnie Seaforth Highlanders. On the 13th November he embarked at Marseilles for Salonika. 9

No. 17324 Private Francis George Miles V.C.. 1/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment. Francis Miles first crossed to France as a private with the 9th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, leaving Folkestone on the 20th September 1915. Francis was wounded and sent back to England to recover. After his recovery he was posted to the 1/5th Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment. Francis served with the battalion in Italy. 10 In September 1918 the 1/5th Battalion left the 48th Division in Italy and joined the 25th Division on the Western Front. 11 It was here on the 23rd October 1918 Private F. G. Miles took part in the action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The citation as recorded in, “The 25th Division in France and Flanders” by Lieut-Col. M. Kincaid-Smith, page 391 reads.
“No. 17324 Pte. F. G. Miles, 1/5th Bn. Gloucestershire Regt.

For conspicuous gallantry and splendid initiative in attack. On the 23rd October, 1918, during the advance against the Bois L’Eveque, his company was held up by a line of machine guns in the sunken road near the Moulin L. Jacques. Pte Miles alone, and on his own initiative, made his way forward for a distance of 150 yards under exceptionally heavy fire, located one machine gun and shot the man firing the gun. He then rushed the gun, and kicked it over, thereby putting it out of action. He then observed another gun firing from 100 yards further forward; he then advanced alone, shot the machine-gunner, rushed the gun and captured the team of eight. Finally he stood up and beckoned on his company, who, following his signals were enabled to work round the rear of the line, and capture 16 machine guns, one officer and fifty other ranks.
The courage, initiative and entire disregard of personal safety shown by this very gallant private soldier, was entirely instrumental in enabling his company to advance at a time when any delay would have seriously jeopardised the whole operation in which it was engaged.
Awarded……….V.C.”

Private 4690 James Warren, 12th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. On the 13th November he embarked for Salonica from Marseilles, arriving in Salonica on the 26th November 1915.12

Private 14213 James Waterson 8th Royal Scots Fusiliers on the 13th November embarked for Salonica from Marseilles.13

Private 15550 Frank Peters Webb, 9th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment. On 11th November left with the Battalion from Marseilles for Salonica. Frank is discharged from the Army on the 3rd January 1919.14

Page 508 #FWW #Folkestone

Getting  back into this since the circus has left town. I did say I could edit this down to 350 pages. I’m now on page 508. These gentlemen embarked at Folkestone on the 8th July 1918.

8th July 1918

Private 3628 Thomas Crichton Australian Imperial Force. Ex 14th Training Battalion, he is part of the 10th Reinforcements 57th Battalion Australian Imperial Force.1

Private 3629 Norman Crumpler Frederick. Born in Key West Florida USA he became a farmer and lived with or near his parents in Victoria Australia. He enlisted on the 2nd December 1917. Now he is part of the 10th Reinforcements/57th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Taken on Strength by 57th Battalion on the 24th. Wounded in Action on the 2nd September 1918. Six months later on the 3rd March 1919 Norman is detached from the 57th Battalion for duty with the Australian Graves Registration Unit.2

Private 200998 Stephen Finnemore, Machine Gun Corps. Date not clear might have embarked on the 9th. Stephen had previously embarked from Folkestone possibly on the 25th February 1917, again the date is not clear. Joined 31 Battalion Machine Gun Corps in the field on the 26th July. Originally enlisted into the North Staffordshire Regiment in March 1915. At some point he is renumbered, his new number being 153499. He returns to England on the Princess Victoria from Dunkirk on the 15th December 1918. Believed to have been demobilised at Shorncliffe on the 12th January 1919.3

Private 16839 Sidney Herbert Wallis, Coldstream Guards. Not the first time Sidney had been to France, he was wounded in September 1917. Sidney joins the Guards Division Base Depot at Harfluer on the 9th. Posted to the 4th Battalion he joins them in the field on the 18th.4

Private 22504 Edwin Waterhouse 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. He joins the Guards Division’s Base Depot on the 13th and his unit in the Field on the 29th. Wounded in action on the 21st September.5

Folkestone Embarkations at the end of the war.

Often told that 89% of soldiers who served in the Great War came home. 60% unwounded. Judging by the numbers who joined the Old Contemptable Association many served from the beginning. There are though, problems with the numbers people bandy about. Where did they serve, On the firing line or in support, at home or in theatres away from war zones? When did they enlist/attest, or were called up? Men were still embarking for France in the list fortnight of the war. (They were still embarking after the end of the war.). The Welsh Guards for one had a draft that embarked from Folkestone on the 10th November 1918. Lots have been written about the Old Contemptables, the Pals, Kitchener’s Volunteers. Those in from the beginning, fought on the Somme. Here are just a few who embarked at the end.  Lists are mind numbingly boring. They are also part of the evidence as to when drafts embarked. Where they went on arrival in France. When they joined their battalion in the field. Here is a list, just part of my evidence on which units embarked from Folkestone in the First World War, and when. This list is for the last fortnight. As I mention lists are boring so feel free to  look away now.
29th October 1918

Private 31864 John Charles Adams, Grenadier Guards. John attested on the 10th September 1916 at 17 years 345 days old. He joined for duty on the17th April 1918. Embarking from Folkestone on the 29th he joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October. Posted to the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards he joins them in the field on the 4th November. He returns to the United Kingdom  with the Battalion on the 24th February 1919. John is discharged on demobilisation on the 8th March 1918.

Private 33481 Edward Nolan, Grenadier Guards. Edward Nolan married Mary Jane Bradburn on the 7th March 1914. They were to have three children before the end of hostilities, John born 4th February 1914, Frances born 23rd August 1915, and, Walter born 29th June 1917. Before Nolan enlisted on the 10th December 1915 he was a Police Constable. At first he was posted to the Army reserves and not mobilised until the 25th April 1918. Nolan was posted to the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards on the 29th October 1918 the same day he embarked from Folkestone to Boulogne. At first he joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October 1918. The next day he was with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards at the front. He returned to the UK with the Battalion from Dunkirk on the 4th March 1919. On the 12th April 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to the reserves. He was discharged from the reserves 31st March 1920. Edward Nolan was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Private 32126 Joseph William Wain, Grenadier Guards. Joseph at first joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October 1918. On the 4th November he joined the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards in the field.

Private 33001 George Hillman Wakelin, Grenadier Guards. George at first joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October 1918. The next day he was with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards at the front.

Private 33660 Dennis Walker, Grenadier Guards. Dennis at first joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October 1918. The next day he was with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards at the front.

Private 32523 Charles William Warttig, Grenadier Guards, Charles at first joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October 1918. The next day, 1st November, he was with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards at the front.

Private 33590 Charles William Watson, posted to 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards. He arrives at the Guards Base Depot on the 31st.6

Private 32125 William Watson, Grenadier Guards, arrived at the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st. Posted to the 2nd Battalion he joins them in the Field on the 4th November.

Private 34330 Arthur William White, Grenadier Guards. Arrived at the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st. Posted to the 3rd Battalion and joined them at the front on the 1st November.

Private Ernest Frederick Wheeler. 29th Battalion London Regiment. Joins “F” Infantry Base Depot and is posted to the 1st Battalion for record purposes. Compulsory transferred to the Labour Corps, given a new number, 374687, and posted to 70 Labour Company on the 7th November 1918. Ernest had previously served in France with the Royal Fusiliers. Then his Army Number was 6777.

Private 32150 Issac Whitehouse, Grenadier Guards. Arrived at the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st. Posted to the 3rd Battalion and joined them at the front on the 1st November.

Private 32146 Herbert Alfred Whittaker, Grenadier Guards. Arrived at the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st. Posted to the 2nd Battalion. He joins them in the field on the 4th November. Returns to the United Kingdom from Dunkirk on the 24th February 1919.
30th October 1918

Private 575580 William Gray, 10th Battalion London Regiment. Joined “B” Infantry Base Depot and posted to the 2/10th Battalion London Regiment on the 2nd November. Demobilised in November 1919. William died on the 25th November 1920.
November 1918

1st November 1918

Private 33988 George Abbott, Grenadier Guards.
Private 32205 Uriah John Abbott, Grenadier Guards.
Private 32562 Harry Brook Addy, Grenadier Guards.
Private 32468 Luther Brook Addy, Grenadier Guards.
Private 33991 Thomas Williamson Adkins, Grenadier Guards.
Private 32668 Leonard Wainwright. Grenadier Guards.
Private 34182 Alfred Harry Ward, Grenadier Guards. Arrived at Guards Division Base Camp on the 5th, he joined the 3rd Battalion at the Front on the 17th November.
Private 32784 Wilfred Sidney Ward, Grenadier Guards. he joined the Guards Division Base Camp on the 5th November and the 3rd Battalion at the front on the 7th November 1918.
Private 31006 William Charles Weatherhead, Grenadier Guards. Posted to 2nd Battalion he arrives at the Guards Division Base Camp on the 5th, joins the battalion in the field on the 9th.
Private 31002 Sydney Austin White, Grenadier Guards. Joined 2nd Battalion in the field on the 9th.

Private 26373 Walter Smedley Wagstaff, Coldstream Guards Provisional Battalion. Posted to 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards.
Private 23355 James William Wain, Coldstream Guards Provisional Battalion. Posted to 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards.
Private 26196 Wilfred Albert Walmsley, Coldstream Guards Provisional Battalion. Posted to the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. He joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 5th November and the Battalion in the Field on the 12th November.
Private 25323 John Henry Warrington, Coldstream Guards Provisional Battalion. Posted to 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards. He joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 5th November and the Battalion in the Field on the 8th November.
Private 25846 James Weir, Coldstream Guards Provisional Battalion. Posted to 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards. He joined the Battalion in the field on the 9th November.
Private 26417 Kenneth V.J. Welsh, Coldstream Guards Provisional Battalion. Posted to 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards. He joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 5th November and the Battalion in the Field on the 8th November.
Private 24483 James Thomas Westmoreland, Coldstream Guards.28
Private 25795 William Worthy Whitaker, Coldstream Guards. Arrives at the Guards Base Depot on the 5th. Posted to the first Battalion he joins them in the Field on the 12th.

Private 18034 Alexander Allan, 3rd Battalion Scots Guards. Joined Guards Division Base Depot on the 4th. He is posted to the 1st Battalion he joins them in the Field 8th November 1918.
Private 17737 Charles Balfour, Scots Guards. Joined Guards Division Base Depot on the 4th. He is posted to the 1st Battalion he joins them in the Field 8th November 1918.31
Private 17912 William Kay, Scots Guards. Joined Guards Division Base Depot on the 4th. Posted to the 1st Battalion he joins them in the Field 8th November 1918. Returns to the United Kingdom on the SS Yale on the 4th January 1919.
Lance Corporal 15643 George Mackie, Scots Guards. Joined Guards Division Base Depot on the 4th. Posted to the 1st Battalion he joins them in the Field 8th November 1918. George first embarked for France from Southampton in January 1917. Then he was wounded in action on the 31st July and transferred back to the United Kingdom. He is now returning.
Private 14505 Reuben Wallbank, Scots Guards. Joined Guards Division Base Depot on the 4th. Posted to the 1st Battalion he joins them in the Field on the 8th November 1918.
Private 17688 Thomas Watson, Scots Guards. Joined Guards Division Base Depot on the 4th. Posted to the 1st Battalion he joins them in the Field on the 8th November 1918.
Private 11187 Robert Weir, Scots Guards. Joined Guards Division Base Depot on the 4th. Posted to the 1st Battalion he joins them in the Field on the 8th November 1918. Robert enlisted on the 21st September 1914. He had first crossed to France from Southampton on the 6th March 1915, and was wounded in action in July 1915.

2nd November 1918

Private 33848 Henry Ernest Watts, Grenadier Guards he joins the Guards Division Base Depot on the 5th November. On the 8th he joins the 4th Battalion in the field.1

3rd November 1918

Private B/23452 Henry Guy Weeks, Royal Fusiliers. Henry had first gone to France in July 1916 and served with the 7th Battalion. He receives a gun shot wound to the left shoulder on the 13th November 1916 and he is sent back to England. This time on returning to France he arrives at “J” Infantry Base Depot at Etaples on the 4th, and again is posted to the 7th Battalion. He joins them in the field on the 6th November.

4th November 1918

Private 12008 William Thomas Campbell Ward, Irish Guards. He is Posted to 1st Battalion.2

7th November 1918

Private 27515 James Edward Wallwork, Coldstream Guards Provisional Battalion. Posted to 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, James arrives at the Guards Division Base Camp on the 11th November, and joins the Battalion on the 14th.

10th November 1918

Guardsman 4758 Evan Lewis Adams, Welsh Guards. Evan from Merthyr Tydfil enlisted on the 11th December 1915. Posted to the Army Reserves the next day, he was not mobilised until the 20th April 1918 reporting for duty on the 22nd. On the 10th November he left Folkestone for the Western Front. Arriving at Boulogne the same day Evan joins his battalion on the 17th. Returning to the UK on the 4th January. 1919 he had spent 56 days as part of the British Expeditionary Force. Evan is awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. 1

Guardsman 5305 William James Warren, Welsh Guards. William enlisted on the 24th April 1918. He joins his Battalion on the 17th. William returns to the United Kingdom on the 3rd January 1919. He is awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.2

Guardsman 5246 Arthur Willie Whitelock, Welsh Guards. Arthur enlisted on the 11th December 1915. Discharged on demobilisation on the 1st February 1919.

 

#Charles_Sorley and #Folkestone #FWW

Charles Hamilton Sorley Died of wounds on the battlefield. Loos 13th October 1915.

At the start of the war Sorley was interned in Germany. Released after one night he was told to leave the country (Germany). He returned to England.

Sorley embarked from Folkestone for France  on the 30th May 1915 with the 7th Battalion Suffolk Regiment.

He did mention the Folkestone-Boulogne crossing. Not in a poem but in prose,
“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.”

“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)

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)

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

#FWW #Embarkations #Folkestone #October.

Folkestone did not become a military Port until the end of March 1915, but it was still a port and a main route to France. Most men who embarked are relatively lesser known. The following are all extracts from a more extensive piece, covering the entire war, currently nearly 800 pages long.

Often ignored in the town is the American contribution to the war, and the number of Americans who embarked for France from here in Folkestone. Two notable Americans embarked from Folkestone in October 1914. They were –

On the 7th October, Clarence V. Mitchell an American who went to France 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.

and on the 20th, Richard Norton. The founder of the American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps, also known as the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps.

In October 1915 two Brigades, the 107th and the 108th from 36th (Ulster) Division embarked.

Including on the 4th October the,

11th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, (South Antrim Volunteers) The battalion formed up on the parade ground at St Lucia Barracks on the 4th October 1915. From St Lucia barracks they marched to Borden station. 108th Brigade Headquarters, Battalion Headquarters, A, and B companies entrained on the first train which left at 5:10 p.m., C, and D companies entrained on the next train which left at 5:35 p.m.. The blinds were drawn and with only one stop, location unknown, the trains headed for Folkestone harbour. At the harbour the battalion embarked on the S.S. Onward. At 9:35 p.m. the Onward headed for Boulogne.

On the 9th,

49th Battalion ( Edmonton Regiment) Canadian Infantry, 3rd Canadian Division, crossed on the S.S. Golden Eagle. Two other Canadian Battalions also embarked from Folkestone in October 1915. They were the 4th and 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles. Both fought as unmounted Infantry.

Among the individuals who left from Folkestone were,

On the 2nd October,

Lance Corporal 9149 Robert Urquhart, Cameron Highlanders. Robert first embarked for France from Southampton in August 1914. Not known why he returned to the United Kingdom but he is now returning to France. He  Wounded in Action in August 1916 and again in April 1917. After the war he served in India.

On the 4th.

Private 3887 Cunningham Gray, 13th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.. Posted to the 11th (Service) Battalion. On the 8th of May he is admitted to Hospital with P.U.O. (Pyrexia of Unknown Origins) and is transferred back to England on the Hospital Ship St Andrews. He will embark again from Folkestone, for France once more on the 4th August 1916.

The 12th,

Private S/9079 William Weir, 3rd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. Possibly posted to the 10th Battalion. He joined (10th?)Battalion in the field on the 15th. Invalid back to the United Kingdom on the Hospital Ship Ian Brydel with “Sprained Ankles” on the 6th November 1915. He is discharged on the 7th February 1916 because he made a mis-statement as to his age on enlistment.(Army Form B 178)

The 25th,

Private 111020 Kennedy Gideon Francis Baldwin 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles. Born in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada. His parents are recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as John E. and Annie W. Baldwin, of 11, Tetlow St., Boston, Mass., U.S.A. Although his attestation papers give an address in New Brunswick for his mother. Known to have been at Shorncliffe, he was temporarily promoted to Acting Lance Corporal while there. He reverted to Private before going to France. Transferred to 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles on the 2nd January 1916. Promoted to Corporal in the field on the 17th November 1915. He is killed in action on the 2nd June 1916. Corporal 111020 Kennedy Gideon Francis Baldwin is buried in Bedford House Cemetery, Belgium.

In October 1916

Units include the 184th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery.

Individuals include

On the 3rd

Private 5456 James Grant, 6th (Reserve) Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment. He joined 34 Infantry Base on the 4th. Transferred to the 4th (Reserve) Battalion York and Lancs. Posted to the 13th Battalion. Wounded in action on the 11th September 1917. A gun shot wound to the right buttock. He is transferred to the United Kingdom on the 16th September.

The 6th

Private 8399 George Waterhouse, 5th (Reserve) Battalion Durham Light Infantry. He joins 5th Battalion in the Field on the on the 22nd October. Gassed by Gas shell and wounded in a leg on the 29th October 1917 he is transferred to England at the beginning of December 1917. On 18th July 1918 he will again embark from Folkestone.

The 11th

Private 27964 Thomas Smith, The Royal Scots. Returning to France after being Shell Shocked. He had first embarked from Folkestone on the 7th June. This time he joins 20th Infantry Base Depot on the 12th posted to the 13th Battalion.. On the 27th October he is posted from 20th Infantry Base to the 16th Battalion and joins the Battalion in the Field on the 1st November. Reported missing on the 28th April 1917 and a Prisoner of War from the same day on the 4th September 1917. Thomas, age 22, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Smith, of 20, Marketgate, Arbroath, Forfarshire dies on the 11th December 1918 while a Prisoner of War at Lumburg in Germany. He is buried at Berlin South-Western Cemetery

The 17th

Lance Bombardier 67823 Arthur Gaddes, Royal Garrison Artillery. Served in 185th Battery. Demobilised June 1919.

In 1917 Individuals including

One the 1st

Private 12338 E Urquhart, Seaforth Highlanders. Previously served in the Middle East and invalided home in December 1916. Posted to France on the 25th May 1917 he joined 18 Infantry Base Depot and is posted to the 1/6th Seaforth Highlanders on the 10th June. Sent back to the United Kingdom near the end of July suffering from Pyrexia of Unknown Origin. He is embarking to France for the final time. Discharged from the Army on the 14th March 1918.

The 8th

Private 108436 Narcissus Walker, Machine Gun Corps. Narcissus attested on the 10th December 1915 in the King’s Royal Rifles and was posted to the reserves the next day. It was not until the 1st May 1917 that he was Mobilised and posted to the Depot at Winchester. On the 2nd August 1917 he is transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. Embarking for France at Folkestone on the 8th October he joins the Machine Gun Corps Base Depot at Camiers the next day. Posted to 237 Company Machine Gun Corps he joins them in the Field on the 11th. Narcissus is buried by a shell explosion on the 7 November 1917 and injures his head. Evacuated via the casualty evacuation train back to England he is discharged as physically unfit for war service in June 1918.

The 13th

Private 106939 George Cameron Whyte, Machine Gun Corps. George had already served in France. He had arrived there on the 12th August 1914. When he embarked at Southampton, as Driver 29727, Army Service Corps. Transferred back to England on the Hospital Ship Cumbria on the 30th December 1916 suffering from Vicarious Veins. He was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in June 1916. This time he joins 188 Company, Machine Gun Corps in the field on the 2nd November 1917. Admitted to 150(?) Field Ambulance with NYD (Not yet Diagnosed). He is transferred back to England on the Hospital Ship St Denis on the 9th December 1917. Illness diagnosed as “Myalgia” when hospitalised in the United Kingdom.

The 14th

Private 38923 Harry Ibberson, York and Lancaster Regiment. Prior to enlistment Ibberson worked as a bottle maker. He enlisted on the 11th December 1915 at the age of 29 years and 3 months. Ibberson, was not mobilised until the 20th November 1916. The reason for this is not known. Perhaps it was because of his flat feet and bad teeth which were recorded when he enlisted. Two days after Ibberson’s mobilisation he was posted to the 3rd Reserve Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment. The 3rd was a training battalion for the York and Lancaster’s. On the 10th of February 1917 Ibberson is posted to the Base Depot of the British Expeditionary Force in France. He embarked from Folkestone on the same day arriving in Boulogne later in the day. The following day he was posted from the 34th Infantry Brigade Depot at Etaples to the 8th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment. On the 1st March Ibberson was again posted, this time to the 7th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment. On the 12th June he fell ill with a “Not Yet Diagnosed” fever. By the 22nd of June this had turned into mild influenza and he was at No.3 Canadian Stationery Hospital. After being transferred to No.2 Canadian Stationery Hospital Ibberson is sent back to England on the 28th June 1917. From the 13th September 1917 until the 22nd he is under arrest for desertion. Found guilty by District General Courts Martial he is sentenced to detention for one year. The balance of the sentence is remitted by the General Officer in Command Northern District on the 12th October 1917. On the 14th October 1917 he is again posted to France and once again he embarks from Folkestone. Harry is also posted to 34 Infantry Base Depot arriving there on the 15th October. This time though he is transferred to the Army Ordnance Corps on the 7th November 1917. On 2nd October 1918 Harry is granted leave to the UK via Boulogne so quite possibly returns to France from Folkestone on a third occasion on the 16th October. He returns home from Calais for the last time 16th February 1919.

The 31st

Private 205095 George Frederick Tidey, 3rd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. George Frederick Tidey enlisted in the 3rd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, at Watford, on the 25th May 1917, he is 37 years old. After training he is set overseas and embarks at Folkestone on the 31st October. He spends two weeks at 17 Infantry Brigade Depot, Etaples, before joining the 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He is allocated a new number 41211. He develops Trench Feet in January 1918 and is sent back to England on the 26th January. Sent up to Edinburgh he will spend 46 days in the Edinburgh War Hospital. The rest of his army service is spent in England. He is demobilised on the 4th February 1919

During October 1918

On the 10th

Private 57723 Alexander Stuart Raeburn, Hampshire Regiment. Posted to the 15th Battalion on the 31st. Joins the Battalion in the field on the 5th November. Accidentally wounded, a gun shot wound to the right foot on the 27th November 1918.

The 13th

Private 23030 Edward Albert White, 3rd Reserve Battalion. Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Posted to “D” Infantry Base Depot which he joined on the 15th. Posted to the 2nd Battalion on the 18th. He joins “B” Company 2nd Battalion in the Field on the 20th. Edward had first embarked to France from Southampton in 1916 and had been transferred back to England at the beginning of June 1918 suffering from Trench Fever. He is now returning to the Front-line.

On the 29th a draft for the Grenadier Guards embarked from Folkestone.

Private 33481 Edward Nolan, Grenadier Guards. Edward Nolan married Mary Jane Bradburn on the 7th March 1914. They were to have three children before the end of hostilities, John born 4th February 1914, Frances born 23rd August 1915, and, Walter born 29th June 1917. Before Nolan enlisted on the 10th December 1915 he was a Police Constable. At first he was posted to the Army reserves and not mobilised until the 25th April 1918. Nolan was posted to the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards on the 29th October 1918 the same day he embarked from Folkestone to Boulogne. At first he joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October 1918. The next day he was with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards at the front. He returned to the UK with the Battalion from Dunkirk on the 4th March 1919. On the 12th April 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to the reserves. He was discharged from the reserves 31st March 1920. Edward Nolan was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Private 32126 Joseph William Wain, Grenadier Guards. Joseph at first joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October 1918. On the 4th November he joined the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards in the field.1

Private 33001 George Hillman Wakelin, Grenadier Guards. George at first joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October 1918. The next day he was with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards at the front.