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.

Advertisements

Neurasthenia, David Adams and his War. #FWW #CrossedfromFolkestone.

20th April 1917

Private David Adams 4th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. This is not the first time Private Adams had crossed to France but the first and only date on record of him crossing from Folkestone.

Home Service from the 3rd September 1914 to the 27th July 1915.

3rd September 1914. Enlisted 3rd Battalion Royal Scots.

26th September 1914. Posted 14th Battalion Royal Scots.

21st July 1915. Posted 13th Battalion Royal Scots.

France from the 28th July 1915 to the 30th September 1915.

28th July 1915. France -not known from where he sailed.

29th September 1915.  He receives a Gun Shot Wound to the left thigh.

30th September 1915.   He returns to the UK.

Home Service from the 1st October 1915 to the 1st January 1916.

1st October 1915. Depot Royal Scots.

30th November 1915. Posted to 14th Royal Scots.

1st January 1916. 13th Battalion Royal Scots.

France from the 2nd January 1916 to the 10th April 1917.

2nd January 1916. France, not known from where he sailed.

In March 1916 David was in the Hulluch Sector when he was blown up by a High Explosive Shell he is knocked unconscious and suffers from concussion. On a Medical Report dated 24th April 1918 from Glenlomond War Hospital, it is stated that this is when his Neurasthenia started.

Home Service from the 11th April 1916 to the 18th April 1917.

11th April 1916. Posted for record purposes to the Royal Scots Depot, David is recovering in the Duchess of Connaught’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Taplow. He stays at the hospital until the 22nd May 1916.

7th August 1916. Posted to 14th Battalion Royal Scots.

1st September 1916. Transferred to 3rd Reserve Battalion.

20th October 1916. Posted to the Lanarkshire Yeomanry.

2nd December 1916. 10th (Works) Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.

31st December 1916. Transferred to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

It is known from his Pension Records that David was a patient at the 2nd Scottish General Hospital. Craigleith, Edinburgh from the 9th January until the 24th February 1917.

19th April 1917. Posted to the 10th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

France from the 20th April 1917 to the 14th July 1917. (Pension Medical Record states 19th April.)

20th April 1917. Leaves Folkestone for France.

21st April 1917. Joined 19 Infantry Base Depot.

Home service from 15th July 1917 until the 10th May 1918.

15th July 1917. Taken on Strength Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Base Depot Sterling.

It is known from his Pension Records that David was a patient at Merryflats War Hospital, Glasgow from the 15th July until the 15th August 1917.

27th August 1917. Posted to 4th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

3rd November 1917. Posted to 250 Reserve Company Royal Defence Corps.

From his Army Pension Records, we know that David was at Glenlomond War Hospital |Kinross in April 1918.

10th May 1918 Discharged as, “No Longer Physically Fit for War Service”.

15th May 1918 Died.

It is not known where David Adams is buried. Hopefully, he managed to return to the family home at 12th Nile Street, Greenock. David is commemorated on the Broomhill War Memorial.

As well as the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal David received the Silver War Badge (No. 389532)

Only 14 years old, youngest soldier buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery

I really only do the First World War. Can barely afford that, without embarking on another war. So this is less of a blog than just an observation. Often when talking about the FWW the subject gets around to boy soldiers and John Condon. I have no idea of how many 14-year-olds enlisted to fight for the empire in the FWW or indeed the reasons why. I do know that John Condon was at least 18 when he died. The soldier in John Condon’s grave is almost certainly not him either.  That said people do go and pay their respects and the grave is easily found just by looking for a large number of poppies and crosses placed in front of the gravestone.  It is one of the things that is quickly learnt on visits to the Commonwealth war cemeteries. Lots of poppies and or crosses mean it is a VC holder, Shot at Dawn, or a Boy Soldier.  It tends to be something we only think of Over There. I regularly visit Shorncliffe Military Cemetery and get to learn quite a bit from other visitors. Know where the Gurkhas are buried or remembered. Who was killed by the IRA, Military Intelligence failures, died in Afghanistan, Malaya, walk along the wall at the lower end and say “I knew him” or “I worked with him”. I also find the youngest.

In Shorncliffe the youngest soldier buried there is only 14, the same age as John Condon was thought to be. The name of the soldier is Antony B Croucher, (Boy) he died in Winchester on the 20th November 1939. I have no idea how he died. No poppies or crosses on his grave, no bus companies do tours to visit him, very few people arrive to pay their respects. After all, he is not a FWW soldier and we don’t think of Boy Soldiers in the Second World War.

21985652_10155765357189190_903861371_o(Photo, Joni Anderson)

In my haste, I forgot to thank Annie Petrie (@annepetrie6) for letting me know that Antony died in Winchester, and for the time spent trying to find out more for me. Humble apologies, and many thanks.

 

#Shorncliffe, #Labour_Corps

Recently the Shorncliffe Trust held their annual Light in the Darkest Hour. Hopefully, this years ceremony will encourage people to visit the graves of the Labour Corp in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. The Closing ceremony was the placing of lanterns at the Chinese Labour Corps graves, (CLC) of which there are six all close together in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. This was also part of the Big Ideas Company’s Unremembered  (An awful name if they mean “Forgotten” they should just say so.) Project.  Apart from the CLC, there are two men from the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLC) and eleven men from the British Army’s Labour Corps buried in the cemetery.  Photographs of the graves of the SANLC and the Labour Corps men follow.IMG_8384

Piet Malinge of the South African Native Labour Corps. In April 1917 a tented camp was pitched east of Hill Road, Cherry Garden Avenue in Folkestone. Designated the Labour Concentration Camp, it was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel F. Hopley and could accommodate 2,000 Chinese (Chinese Labour Corps CLC) or South African Native Labourers. (South African Native Labour Corps, SANLC) Opposite on the west side of the road another tented camp was erected. This camp could contain another 2,000 Asian or African Labourers. During the summer of 1917, the CLC built hutments of reinforced concrete and the camp became known as the Cherry Garden Camp. This was really two separate camps with Kitchens and Hospitals. 1,500 men could be housed here. It is likely that Piet was part of the SANLC housed in one of these aforementioned camps. Busalk Mvinjelwa would also have been there.

IMG_8385

IMG_8838.JPG

Private 331158 H.A. Baker served in the 18th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment before he was transferred to 242nd Works Company Labour Corps.

IMG_8829

Private G/78845 J Baker, 29th Battalion Middlesex Regiment before being transferred to the 389th Home service Employment Company Labour Corps. The 29th (Works) Battalion was formed as a labour battalion hence the (Works) atMill Hill the entire battalion was transferred to the Labour Corps and retitled the 5th Labour Battalion in April 1917. (2)

IMG_8842

Private 76316 R Bedford also served in the 29th Battalion Middlesex Regiment before being transferred to the 389th Home Service Employment Company Labour Corps.

IMG_8830

Private G/78071 George Henry Bloodworth. Another soldier from the 29th Battalion Middlesex Regiment before he was transferred to the 5th Battalion of the Labour Corps. The son of George Henry and Mary Bloodworth of 18 Banstead St Nunhead, London was killed in the Folkestone Air Raid on the 25th May 1917.

IMG_8841

Private 28527 G.W. Graves, the husband of Lilie Gertrude Parkinson (formally Graves) served in the 9th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment before being transferred to the Labour Corps.

IMG_8839

Private 267099 Samuel Beckerleg Hall the son of Mrs Evelina Hall of 21 Church Street, Helston, Cornwall. He served in the 2nd/1st Kent Cyclist Battalion before he was transferred to the 426th Company Labour Corps.

IMG_8832

Private 293210 T Marshall Served in the 2nd/7th Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) before he was transferred to 342nd Works Company Labour Corps. Marshall died on the 10th November 1918, one day before the war ended.

IMG_8831

Henry Gordon Prince the son of Mrs Charlotte Prince of 3 Evergreens, South Bersted, Bognor, served in the 1st Infantry Labour Company Northamptonshire Regiment.

IMG_8840

Private 37998 A.H. Slater is another soldier who served in the 29th Battalion Middlesex Regiment before being transferred to the 241st Works Company Labour Corps.

IMG_8837

Guardsman 18439 J.W. Taylor served in the Coldstream Guards before being transferred to 437th Company Labour Corps.

IMG_8844.JPG

Private 5417 Robert Williams served in the 2nd/6th Battalion Cheshire Regiment before he was transferred to 317th Works Company Labour Corps.

Notes

(1) Soldiers details from the CWGC website.

(2) Details about the 29th Battalion from the Long Long Trail Web site. A website that can not be recommended too highly. If you are even remotely interested in the British Army in the First World War bookmark and use the LongLong Trail website.

 

John Donohue, #Ireland

IMG_8814

The photo is John Donohue’s Commonwealth War Grave’s Commission’s headstone.  John served in the 2nd Battalion The Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) from October 1915 they were part of 24th Division, John must have joined them after that date as he was not awarded the 1914 1915 Star.  He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.Prior to the First World War, he had served in the South African Campaign and on the North West Frontier in India. From his grave, there is a fabulous view over the surrounding countryside. John would have known this view well, it is his homeland. John Donohue died while at home in Cashel, Ireland, age 52 and is buried on the Rock of Cashel.

A few #FWW Commemorations in #Folkestone Old Cemetery. #Shorncliffe

In the cemeteries in the UK, there is a wealth of memorials to the dead of the First World War. These are just a few from Folkestone’s Old Cemetery. There are many more in this cemetery too.

IMG_8558 Commemorated on this grave stone is Colonel Herbert Stoney Smith. H Stoney Smith commanded the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. He crossed to France as a Major with the Battalion From Southampton in  September 1914. By October 1915 he was their Commanding Officer.  On the 22nd October 1915 at 11:10 am he was mortally wounded by a sniper while walking the trenches. He died at 11:30. The Medical Officer said the cause of death was a bullet through the body. The M.O was uncertain but thought it was just the one bullet. H Stoney Smith’s body was conveyed to Vlamertinghe that night and buried in Poperinghe Military Cemetery at 12:30 pm on the 23rd. General Congreve VC and Captain Barrington Boyd from 16th Infantry Brigade attended the funeral. From the 2nd Leicestershire Regiment only three Officers and, one man from each company could be spared from the trenches. 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry Regiment lent their bugles to the 2nd Leicestershire’s for the occasion.

IMG_8562 Sidney Thomas Pittock is commemorated on this stone. Sidney enlisted in Dover on the 24th April 1917. After training, he crossed to France on the 2nd April  1918. Sidney was killed on the opening day of the Third Battle of the Aisne, (27th May 1918) while serving with the 2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment.

IMG_8565 Harold Wall was a trooper in the 3rd (King’s Own) Hussars. At the beginning of August 1914, the regiment was stationed at Shorncliffe. On the 17th August, they crossed to Rouen from Southampton, probably on the Troopship Minnesota. Harold was almost certainly killed in a counter attack by the 3rd Hussars near Zandvoorde

#Shorncliffe, #Folkestone the South African Connection

Scarce heard among the guns. (Blogs about WW1)

Shorncliffe is justifiably proud of its Canadian Connection. Every year on at least one occasion tributes are paid to the Canadians buried there. The cemetery’s First and Second World War graves being extremely well cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The word “Commonwealth” replaced the original “Imperial” to reflect the changing times at the end of Empire. With the change of title people’s views changed and the different nationalities became important. The Imperial part was lost.  Also fading with the loss of the word “Imperial” was the idea of an Imperial Army. It was this “Imperial ” Army that went to war in August 1914. An Empire at war. Now we think of Brits in the Royal Air Force, Canadians in the Royal Canadian Air Force, South Africans in the South African Air Force. A hundred years ago they were part of an Imperial Family and served regardless…

View original post 443 more words