The following all have a connection to the 22nd December. All but one returns home.
Private Samuel Watson 5th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry, joined 20 Infantry Base Depot the following day. Transferred to the Royal Scots and posted to the 17th Battalion Roll on the 22nd December 1916 with the number 40660. He is then posted to the 13th Battalion, also on the 22nd December 1916. (yep two battalions on the one day.)
Embarked from Folkestone on the 22nd December 1916. Private 28401 Peter Anderson,(not me) Durham Light Infantry. On arrival at Boulogne Peter was stationed at 35 Infantry Base depot. From here, the next day, he is posted to the 20th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. A fortnight later Peter is again posted this time to the 14th Battalion. He is reported missing presumed killed on the 20th April 1917 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial to the Missing.
Embarked from Folkestone in June 1917. Corporal 7227 Alexander James Dean ex-4th Training Battalion Now 24th Reinforcements for 15th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Born in Advie, Scotland, Alexander had settled in Australia where he was married with 5 children. He decided to enlist on the 3rd August 1916. Twice wounded in July 1917, the second time self inflicted. Alexander is discharged from the Australian Imperial Force because of defective vision on the 22nd December 1917
Embarked from Folkestone on the 7th December 1917. Private 34595 Thomas George Waller, 3rd Battalion Essex Regiment. Not the first time Thomas has crossed to France. He had crossed on the 22nd December 1916, and before joining the 9th Battalion had joined 15 Infantry Base Depot. Indicating a possible crossing from Folkestone then. This time Thomas arrived at 15 Infantry Base Depot the next day, 8th December 1917. Posted to the 1st Battalion Essex Regiment. Thomas joins them in the Field on the 15th December.
Private 3/11414 William Merral West, Leicestershire Regiment. William enlisted in June 1914 and had already served in France. The first time he joined the 1st Battalion in the field on the 28th April 1915. After becoming sick in June 1915 he was transferred to the 8th Entrenching Battalion. Gassed in August 1915, and admitted to 18 Field Ambulance in December 1915 he was transferred back to England on the 5th January 1916. He is now returning to the front. He joins 12 Infantry Base Depot on the 22nd December 1916 and is posted to the 1st Battalion Leicester Regiment. He joins them in the field on the 9th January. Appointed paid Lance Corporal in May 1917. He will be wounded in action on the 13th March 1918. Gun shot wound to the face, chest, arms and legs, and his left leg fractured. Relinquishing his lance rank on admission to hospital. Transferred back to England on the Hospital Ship Causebrook Castle on the 7th April. He is discharged on the 13th February 1919, No Longer Fit For War Service.
Embarked on the 22nd December 1917. Private 50731 Andrew Buchan Watson, Royal Scots, he joined Scots Base Depot the following day. Posted to 17th Battalion Royal Scots he joins the Battalion in the Field on the 27th December. Wounded in action, gun shot wound to the back and neck on the 6th February 1918. He returns to duty on the 11th March and is wounded in action for the second time on the 24th March.
2nd Lieutenant W. G. R. Murphy
(Chinese) Labour Corps
William Murphy was born in the Parish of Northwood on the Isle of Wight. His father was a Scot from Edinburgh. On his attestation papers his nationality would be listed as “English”. Educated at Northwood and Newport William moved to Shanghai and worked as a Merchant’s assistant in a firm of importers. At Shanghai William and his wife settled down as ex-pats. After the outbreak of war in 1915 William joined the Shanghai volunteers. He remained a member of the volunteers for 2 years before he crossed to Canada on the 22nd December 1916, at his own expense, and attested in the Canadian Army Service Corps in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force at Vancouver, British Columbia on the 25th January 1917. After basic training in Canada Private W. G. R.. Murphy No. 200222 was posted to Shorncliffe, near Folkestone. Here on the 4h August 1917, William applied for a Commission in the Chinese Labour Corps. On his letter of application he listed his qualifications as follows:
“5 1/2 years business experience in
Shanghai during which period I
personally supervised a large
staff of native workpeople.
2 years Shanghai Military Vol-
unteers through which I frequently
worked with the native company both
on Parades and in camps.
I have a fair knowledge of Mandarin
and am conversant with the best methods
of producing results from these people.”
His certificate of recommendation was signed by Major General steel who was the Major General Commanding Troops, Shorncliffe, on the 17th August 1917. The Certificate of Nomination to a Particular Unit was signed by the Officer in Charge, Chinese Section, Labour Concentration Camp, Folkestone. Upon acceptance William Murphy was to be discharged from the Canadian Expeditionary Force enabling William to take up his commission. He was appointed temporary Second Lieutenant on the General List for employment with the Chinese Labour corps with effect from the 7th of September 1917, and was struck off the strength of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada on his Commission in the Imperial Army on the 8th September 1917. 2nd Lt W. G. R. Murphy first crossed to Boulogne, on the 26th of September 1917, when he was posted to Labour Corps Base Depot at Boulogne. On the 18th December 1917, while at Aberville, William was admitted to hospital with Bronchitis. A long standing perforation of the tympanic membrane, not caused by shell shock was also diagnosed. He was granted leave to an Officer’s Hospital from the 29th December 1917 until the 4th March 1918. He embarked from Le Havre on the 29th of December and disembarked at Southampton on the 30th December 1917. William survived the war and was released from service on the 31st May 1919 and relinquish his commission. He was to retain the rank of Lieutenant. William’s claim for travel expenses, presumably, from and to Shanghai, was deemed time barred in 1919.