105 years ago#Folkestone.

At the end of March 1915 soldiers started to embark at Folkestone. Working out exact numbers is not as easy as it appears. No complete battalions embarked. Battalion Advanced Parties, Battalion Transport, and Heavey equipment, such as Machine Guns, embarked at Southampton.

Private 2245 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),1 and commemorated on the Newport Pagnell War Memorial.2 He was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.3

1CWGC Website.

3Medal Card.

Many would return wounded, soldiers such as,

Private 2447 Frederick Watkins, 1/7th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment, (Gloucester & Worcester Brigade) 48th (South Midlands) Division. Due to chronic dyspepsia, Frederick returned to England on board the Hospital Ship “Anglia” on the 24th September 1915.1

1Frederick Watkins Army Pension Record.

Some would return from the war early as time expired, men such as,

Private 660 Charles White, 1/7th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment, (Gloucester & Worcester Brigade) 48th (South Midlands) Division. White returns to the United Kingdom, Time Expired 18th March 1916.

Many would not return at all, men such as

Private 2245 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),1 and commemorated on the Newport Pagnell War Memorial.2 He was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.3

1CWGC Website.

3Medal Card.

Some appear to have a charmed life, men such as,

Private 1930 George Thomas Abel. 1/7th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment, (Gloucester & Worcester Brigade) 48th (South Midlands) Division. Enlisted in March 1913 and, discharged from the Army March 1919.1

1 George Thomas Abel’s Army Pension Record. Not yet fully researched, so open to be challenged.

Embarked on the 30th of March 1915.

1/7th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment, (Gloucester & Worcester Brigade) 48th (South Midlands) Division. The battalion sailed on the S.S. Onward.1 2 3

144th Infantry Brigade Head Quarters, they crossed with the 1/8th the Worcestershire Regiment on the S.S. Invicta.4

1/8th the Worcestershire Regiment, part of the 144th (Gloucester & Worcester Brigade) 48th (South Midlands) Division.5

1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion, (Territorial Force) Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Regiment, part of 145th (South Midland) Brigade, 48th (South Midland) Division. The Battalion crossed on the SS. Invicta6

1/4th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment) (Territorial Force) (The Biscuit Boys), part of 145th 7 (South Midland) Brigade, 48th (South Midland) Division. The battalion arrived at Folkestone at 10:00 pm and embarked on the S.S. Onward.8 9 They sailed at 11:40 pm and arrived at Boulogne at 1:00 am 31st March 1915. They disembarked on arrival and marched to the Rest Camp. 10

1Wartime Memories Project

2144th Inf Brigade War Diary gives time the battalion entrained at Maldon for Folkestone as 6 pm., and 6:30 pm..

4 144th Infantry Brigade War Diary.

5 1/8 War Diary gives date of arrival in Boulogne as 1st April 1915.

61/1 Oxs and Bucks War Diary, and, 145th Brigade War Diary.

7145th Brigade War Diary.

8Battalion War Diary.

9British Regiments 1914-1918, page 89, gives date of landing at Boulogne as 31.3.15

101/4th War Diary.

Embarked on the 31st of March 1915

1/4th (City of Bristol) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, 144th (Gloucester & Worcester Brigade) 48th (South Midlands) Division.11/6th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment Territorial Force, 29 officers 975 men. Part of 144th (Gloucester & Worcester Brigade) 48th (South Midlands) Division. 2

11/4th Gloucestershire War Diary

21/6th Gloucestershire’s War Dairy gives the date and time of arrival in Boulogne 12:45 am. 1/4/15

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