Category Archives: Empire

Australians, Embarking from Folkestone. #FWW

I collect stories about the soldiers who embarked from Folkestone in the First World War. Some apart from their name I know nothing about. Others a wee bit more. All of these soldiers served in the Australian Imperial Force. All embarked at the Harbour Arm on the 25th April 1917. Some were killed in action. Some survived the war. Some have no known graves others have known graves. At least two could claim to be Americans by birth. One from San Francisco, the other from Colorado.

Private 4632 Roy Arthur, ex 8th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Part of 12th Reinforcements 30th Battalion. Marched into 5 Australian Division Base Depot on the 26th, and joined 30th Battalion in the Field on the 30th April.2

Private 2537 Arthur James Beal, ex 11th Training Battalion Australian Imperial Force, part of part of 5th reinforcement 43rd Battalion.3

Private 6286 James Jack Brown, ex 5th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 18th Reinforcements 20th Battalion. Joined 20th Battalion in the Field on the 2nd May 1917, and is killed in action on the 27th April 1918.4 James was the son of Emily Brown, Darling Street, Cowra, New South Wales, Australia, and George Brown. He was born in San Francisco, and is buried in Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery, Albert. The inscription on his grave reads:
“IN MEMORY OF THE DEAR SON OF EMILY AND THE LATE GEORGE BROWN OF COWRA”

Private 2815 Mayo Carlton Clark, Australian Imperial Force, he arrives at 4th Australian Division Base Camp the following day. Taken on the strength of 4th Pioneer Battalion ex-6th Reinforcements/4th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, on the 16th May 1917. Mayo was born near Denver, Colorado, USA. Married to Jane Reid of New Zealand, his mother lived in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. He enlisted on the 10th January 1916 in Brisbane. Hospitalised in July 1918 suffering from Trench Fever.5

Private 2541 Charles Valentine Crichton, ex 10th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 5th Reinforcement 39th Battalion.6

Private 6977 David Maynard Crichton, Ex 2nd Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 23rd Reinforcements/8th Battalion.7

Private 3200 Charles David Cunningham, Ex 14th Training Battalion Australian Imperial Force. Arrived at 5 Australian Division Base Depot the following day. Taken on Strength 54th Battalion ex 8th Reinforcements on the 13th May. Wounded in action on the 17th October.8

Corporal 3055 Edward Grant, 54th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Edward, was born in Willesden near London and emigrated to Australia before the outbreak of war. He enlisted in the 10th Reinforcement 2nd Battalion on the 6th July 1915. Taking his oath of allegiance on the 12th Grant was taken on strength 2nd Battalion from the 10th/2nd at Tel-el Kebir 5th February 1916. Transferred to the 54th Battalion eleven days later. Appointed Lance Corporal while in Egypt on the 31st May 1916. The 54th sailed from Alexandria on the 19th June bound for Marseilles and the Western Front on the 19th June 1916. Grant is wounded in action on the 20th July.. He receives a gunshot wound to his right leg. He is admitted to No.2 Australian Casualty Clearing station the same day. From there he is sent via No.8 Stationary Hospital and the Hospital Ship St David to England. Admitted to the military Hospital at Edmington. He is to remain there for just over three weeks.. His first posting from Hospital is to No. 1 Command Depot. October No.3 Command Depot, beginning of November 1916 No.4 Command Depot. Three weeks later his Commanding Officer awards him 168 hours of detention and the forfeiture of 20 days pay for being in Absent Without Leave for 13 days. On the 5th December 1916 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital. The 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital. Is a V.D. Hospital for mainly Australian soldiers, Grant has syphilis. He spends the next 61 days in hospital. Three days after his discharge from hospital he is posted back to No.1 Australian Depot. It is now the 5th February 1917. On the 24th February Grant goes absent without leave. He returns at 6:45 pm on the 23rd March and forfeits 28 days pay. A month later he is posted overseas and returns to France via Folkestone on the 25th April. Spending just under a month at the 5th Australian Base Depot at Etaples he rejoins his unit, the 54th Battalion on the 20th May. Promoted Corporal on the 8th June. Grant must have been a reasonably good soldier. He is again wounded. He sprains his ankle, this time playing football. The 54th Battalion were playing the 53rd. His service record records, “ This man was injured in a Football Match between 53rd Bn and 54th Bn. At Beaulancourt on 13/6/17 He was not to blame.” He spends a day over a fortnight in hospital. Wounded in action on the 25th September, the 7th November his record has him listed as “Wounded and missing on the 25th September. It was decided by the court of enquiry on the 21st March 1918 that he was Killed in Action on the 25th.9Edward Grant has no known grave his name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.10

Private 3143 George Arthur Laidlaw, Australian Imperial Force. Arrived 5th Australian Base Depot ex10th Training Battalion the following day. Joined 54th Battalion Ex 8th Reinforcements/54th Battalion in the Field on the 13th May. Killed in Action 26th September 1917. George, the son of Mitchell and Alice Mary Laidlaw has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.11

Private 7075 Frederick McCabe, Australian Imperial Forces, ex 23rd Reinforcements/2nd Battalion. Arrived at 1st Australian Base Depot the next day. Taken on Strength by the 2nd Battalion on the 11th May 1917. Frederick is killed in action on the 22nd September 1917. Private McCABE, FREDERICK 7075. Born in Sofalla, USA. The son of Son of James Warwick McCabe and Emily Maria McCabe, of Hudson St., Granville, New South Wales. Is buried at Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood. the inscription on his grave reads:12
“THOUGH LOST TO SIGHT TO MEMORY EVER DEAR”

Private 2362 John Crichton McLean, Australian Imperial Force, Ex 11th Training Battalion, part of the 4th Reinforcements for the 42nd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. John was born in Glasgow but his family had emigrated to Australia and John enlisted in Brisbane. He survived the war and returned to Australia.13

Private 7025 Andrew Edward McNair, 23rd Reinforcements/8th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Marched into 1st Australian Division Base Depot on the 26th. Taken on strength of 8th Battalion on the 13th May. He is killed in action on the 25th October 1917.

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(from Fold3/Australian Archives)
Andrew Edward Henry McNair, 8th Battalion Australian Imperial Force. Killed in action age 27. The son of Son of Andrew Sneddon McNair and Lena McNair, of Morwell, Victoria, and a native of Melbourne. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

Private 2691 Herbert George Rider, Australian Imperial Force. Ex-9th Training Battalion. Taken on Strength 33rd Battalion, ex 5th Reinforcements/33rd Battalion on the 1st May.14

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More from Folkestone Old Cemetery.

 

 

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Before he enlisted in 1916 Thomas was an errand boy.

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Memorial to Major Edward Hale Lewin 46th Punjabis. Killed in action at the Battle of Dujaila. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial in Iraq

 

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Memorial Inscription to Captain Charles Philip Lysaght Marwood. He was attached to the 1st Battalion Nigerian Regiment, West African Frontier Force. Almost certain he was killed in action in one of the skirmishes towards Yaoundé along the Kribi-Yaoundé Road in the Cameroons. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Zaria Memorial.

 

Americans and others #Folkestone May 1917 #FWW

It is known that Americans went to France during the First World War long before America officially joined the fray in April 1917. The American people very often do the right thing long before the American Government gets around to it. Clarence V. Mitchell an American who went 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 in October 1914. Richard Norton the founder of the American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps, also known as the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps also crossed from Folkestone in October 1914. At the end of May 1917 America was in the war as an Associate Power fighting along side the British and French.
One of the first US military organisations to embark from Folkestone after the declaration of war was the United States Military Railway Commission to England and France. The commission had travelled down to Folkestone from London by rail and crossed to Boulogne on the SS London. The following day the Commission continued their journey to Paris by motor car. One of the first US Army units to go to France via Folkestone was, No.5 Base Hospital US Army. Not yet known if they went directly to the harbour or if they spent sometime in one of the rest camps. Both the Commission and No.5 Base Hospital crossed towards the end of May.

Soldiers with an American connection who embarked from Folkestone during May include:

Lance-Sergeant 1145 George Joseph Richard Brown M.M., 28th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Returning to the front after being wounded. George joins the Australian General Base Depot the following day. Marched out to 3rd Australian Division Artillery, Rouillers, on the 2nd June. He is taken on Strength, Division Trench Mortars, 6th June. Transferred to, and taken on strength of 28th Infantry Battalion on the 10th August. George is killed in Action on the 4th October 1917. George was the son of George and Mary Brown, born in Concord, Northampshire, USA. He was married to Alice Oliver Brown who lived at, 129 Brighton Road, Surbiton. His Military Medal was Gazetted on the 27th October 1916:
“HIS MAJESTY THE KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned non-commissioned officer:- No. 1145 Corporal GEORGE JOSEPH RICHARD BROWN.” He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

Private 3156 Earle Nelson Gates, ex 15th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Taken on Strength 57th Battalion ex 8th Reinforcements/57th Battalion. Born in Allegahanny City, Pennsylvania USA, enlisted in Broadmeadows, Victoria, Australia on the 17th October 1916.

Private 6948 Albert Fred Hass, ex 3rd Training Battalion, 10th Battalion. Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force. The son of Peter Heinrich Hass, of Peterborough, South Australia, and the late Lisette Hass (nee Lohmann). Born in Greenville, Wisconsin, U.S.A. He was killed in action between the 20th and 21st September, Aged 24. and has no known grave. His brother, Walter Theodor Hass also of the Australian Imperial Force was also killed in action and also has no known grave. Both are commemorated on the Menin Gate. Walter also embarked from Folkestone but not in May 1917.

Private 6785 John Charles Marchant, ex 2nd Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, he arrived at 1st Australian Division Base Depot the following day. Taken on Strength by 7th Battalion ex 22nd Reserves/7th Battalion on the 28th May. He is killed in action on the 4th October 1917 during an attack on Broodsiende Ridge near Zonnebeke. It is believed that 1st Divisional Burial Party, buried him. His grave can not be found and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate. John’s widow Mrs. Q. U. M. Marchant, lived at 822, Prarie Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois, U.S.A.

Other non American or Australian Units and men that crossed from Folkestone in May 1917 include man from an Artillery Brigade.
Mamiel Vincent Uzzell, farm carter and ploughman, he worked with his farther at Lower Barn Farm, Chaddleworth before his enlistment. He enlisted in the Royal Berkshire Regiment on the 12th February 1916. He is posted to the 3rd Reserve Battalion 20th January 1917. After training he is sent to France on the 7th May. The first eleven days in France are spent with 46 Infantry Brigade Depot before being posted to the 1st Battalion. Uzzell is reported missing on the 30th November 1917. He was most likely captured by the Germans on either the 29th or 30th . On the 29th the 1st Battalion is west of Bourlon Wood during an advance of 200 yards by C Company. The next day from about 8:45 am the, Sugar Factory where the Headquarters of 1st Battalion is the centre of a box barrage. During the barrage the Germans attacked the rest of the Battalion along the line Bourlon Villiage Quarry Wood. The attempted breakthrough is stopped by a combination of artillery and Machine Gunfire. Although the Germans continue attacks on the battalion all through the afternoon. For Uzzell the war is over. He is to spend the rest of it as a Prisoner of War. It is not until the 10th December 1918 that he is repatriated to. It will be another 10 months before he is demobilised and transferred to the reserves an the 12th October 1919. Mamiel Vincent Uzzell is awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal

 

Private 90681 Alfred Babbage, Machine Gun Corps. Alfred lived in. Dartford. He first enlisted in the 22nd Battalion London Regiment on the 2nd June 1915. He was then discharged on the 21st January as being “Not likely to make an efficient soldier. On the 18th December 1916 Alfred Babbage is enlisted into the Machine Gun Corps. He is 21 years old. At first he is posted to the Rifle Depot in Winchester. Two months later he is posted to the 5th Battalion Rifle Brigade. A year later on the 3rd April 1917 he is transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. Following this he is posted to France and embarks from Folkestone on the 26th May. After spending just under a fortnight at the Machine Gun Corps base Depot at Camiers he is posted to 152 company in the field. On the 13th July 1917 when cleaning his rifle he “negligently discharged same. Thereby wounding himself.” He is to be tried on the 25th for neglect to the prejudice of good order and military discipline. Before the trial Babbage is sent at first to 61 casualty Clearing Station then 5 days in hospital. Babbage is found guilty at his Field General Courts Martial and sentenced to 60 days Field Punishment No.2. This is commuted to 28 days by the General Officer Commanding 51st Division. On the 5th September he is sent to 35 Field Hospital with an “old” gun shot wound to his left hand. The 8th sees him at 63 Casualty Clearing Station, the 9th at 14th General Hospital and on the 11th he is sent back to England on the Hospital Ship St David. Babbage spends the next two months at the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington, Kent. His pension record also shows him as been posted from No.1 Northern General Hospital Newcastle to Somewhere on his journey between his unit and his release from hospital the second finger of his left hand is amputated. His last posting appears to be to the Base Depot at Grantham. On the 25th April 1918 he appears before N0.2 TMB (Temporary Medical Board?) Grantham. Apart from the Gunshot wound to his left hand he has some mental problems, described in his records as “mental deficiency” Three months later Babbage is discharged as being physically unfit to be a soldier. Alfred Babbage is awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Plus others. Research is on going and proceeds as fast as funds and mugs of tea allow.

ANZAC Day #Folkestone 1917.

As it is ANZAC Day, the following are just a few of the men who embarked at Folkestone for France on the 25th April 1917.

 

25th April 1917

Private 4632 Roy Arthur, ex 8th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Part of 12th Reinforcements 30th Battalion. Marched into 5 Australian Division Base Depot on the 26th, and joined 30th Battalion in the Field on the 30th April.1

Private 2537 Arthur James Beal, ex 11th Training Battalion Australian Imperial Force, part of part of 5th reinforcement 43rd Battalion.2

Private 6286 James Jack Brown, ex 5th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 18th Reinforcements 20th Battalion. Joined 20th Battalion in the Field on the 2nd May 1917, and is killed in action on the 27th April 1918.3 James was the son of Emily Brown, Darling Street, Cowra, New South Wales, Australia, and George Brown. He was born in San Francisco, and is buried in Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery, Albert. The inscription on his grave reads:
“IN MEMORY OF THE DEAR SON OF EMILY AND THE LATE GEORGE BROWN OF COWRA”

Private 2815 Mayo Carlton Clark, Australian Imperial Force, he arrives at 4th Australian Division Base Camp the following day. Taken on the strength of 4th Pioneer Battalion ex-6th Reinforcements/4th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, on the 16th May 1917. Mayo was born near Denver, Colorado, USA. Married to Jane Reid of New Zealand, his mother lived in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. He enlisted on the 10th January 1916 in Brisbane. Hospitalised in July 1918 suffering from Trench Fever.4

Private 2541 Charles Valentine Crichton, ex 10th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 5th Reinforcement 39th Battalion.5

Private 6977 David Maynard Crichton, Ex 2nd Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 23rd Reinforcements/8th Battalion.6

Corporal 3055 Edward Grant, 54th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Edward, was born in Willesden near London and emigrated to Australia before the outbreak of war. He enlisted in the 10th Reinforcement 2nd Battalion on the 6th July 1915. Taking his oath of allegiance on the 12th Grant was taken on strength 2nd Battalion from the 10th/2nd at Tel-el Kebir 5th February 1916. Transferred to the 54th Battalion eleven days later. Appointed Lance Corporal while in Egypt on the 31st May 1916. The 54th sailed from Alexandria on the 19th June bound for Marseilles and the Western Front on the 19th June 1916. Grant is wounded in action on the 20th July.. He receives a gunshot wound to his right leg. He is admitted to No.2 Australian Casualty Clearing station the same day. From there he is sent via No.8 Stationary Hospital and the Hospital Ship St David to England. Admitted to the military Hospital at Edmington. He is to remain there for just over three weeks.. His first posting from Hospital is to No. 1 Command Depot. October No.3 Command Depot, beginning of November 1916 No.4 Command Depot. Three weeks later his Commanding Officer awards him 168 hours of detention and the forfeiture of 20 days pay for being in Absent Without Leave for 13 days. On the 5th December 1916 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital. The 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital. Is a V.D. Hospital for mainly Australian soldiers, Grant has syphilis. He spends the next 61 days in hospital. Three days after his discharge from hospital he is posted back to No.1 Australian Depot. It is now the 5th February 1917. On the 24th February Grant goes absent without leave. He returns at 6:45 pm on the 23rd March and forfeits 28 days pay. A month later he is posted overseas and returns to France via Folkestone on the 25th April. Spending just under a month at the 5th Australian Base Depot at Etaples he rejoins his unit, the 54th Battalion on the 20th May. Promoted Corporal on the 8th June grant must have been a reasonably good soldier. He is again wounded. He sprains his ankle, this time playing football. The 54th Battalion were playing the 53rd. His service record records, “ This man was injured in a Football Match between 53rd Bn and 54th Bn. At Beaulancourt on 13/6/17 He was not to blame.” He spends a day over a fortnight in hospital. Wounded in action on the 25th September, the 7th November his record has him listed as “Wounded and missing on the 25th September. It was decided by the court of enquiry on the 21st March 1918 that he was Killed in Action on the 25th.7Edward Grant has no known grave his name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.8

Private 3143 George Arthur Laidlaw, Australian Imperial Force. Arrived 5th Australian Base Depot ex10th Training Battalion the following day. Joined 54th Battalion Ex 8th Reinforcements/54th Battalion in the Field on the 13th May. Killed in Action 26th September 1917. George, the son of Mitchell and Alice Mary Laidlaw has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.9

Private 7075 Frederick McCabe, Australian Imperial Forces, ex 23rd Reinforcements/2nd Battalion. Arrived at 1st Australian Base Depot the next day. Taken on Strength by the 2nd Battalion on the 11th May 1917. Frederick is killed in action on the 22nd September 1917. Private McCABE, FREDERICK 7075. Born in Sofalla, USA. The son of Son of James Warwick McCabe and Emily Maria McCabe, of Hudson St., Granville, New South Wales. Is buried at Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood. the inscription on his grave reads:10
“THOUGH LOST TO SIGHT TO MEMORY EVER DEAR”

Private 2362 John Crichton McLean, Australian Imperial Force, Ex 11th Training Battalion, part of the 4th Reinforcements for the 42nd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. John was born in Glasgow but his family had emigrated to Australia and John enlisted in Brisbane. He survived the war and returned to Australia.11

Private 2691 Herbert George Rider, Australian Imperial Force. Ex-9th Training Battalion. Taken on Strength 33rd Battalion, ex 5th Reinforcements/33rd Battalion on the 1st May.12

Also decided to add this gentleman, Gunner 2422 Charles George Waller, Australian Imperial Force. Ex Reserve Brigade Australian Artillery, Larkhill. Four days after arriving in France Charles is in 26 General Hospital, Etaples, sick. 20th March he is transferred to 24 General Hospital with Suspected Cerebro Spinal Meningitis. Cerebro Spinal Fever is confirmed on the 2nd April. Charles dies on the 13th April. He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.13 His parents, Alfred George and Ellen O’Regan Waller, of Gympie, Queensland, had the following inscription put on his grave,

“THE BUGLES OF ENGLAND WERE CALLING & HOW COULD I STAY”

For those who wish to pay their respects there are Australian Soldiers commemorated in Folkestone Cemetery and also a few ANZACs are buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery.IMG_8400

Zen and the Act of Remembrance.

Of the following, the first three soldiers all left for the Great War from Folkestone on the same day. The first two would have known each other, as did the last two.  Three were killed in the Great War. Two have Commonwealth War Grave Headstones. One is on a Memorial to the Missing. One has a private Headstone. One had a Lament written for him. One had a poem. One fell like a soldier, another we miss. One is in a local graveyard, the others are not and these are just four soldiers in total. Look for one type of remembrance and you will fail to remember the rest.

Sergeant 1011 Charles Stewart McKenzie
1/6th Seaforth Highlanders

No. 1011 Charles Stewart McKenzie, Sergeant in the 1/6th Seaforth Highlanders, born in Elgin on the 15th November 1882. The son of Alexander and Annie Mackenzie of Collie Street, Elgin. Charles crossed with his battalion. He was severely wounded in the arm and later killed in action on the 9th April 1917 at Vimy Ridge during the Battle of Arras. He is the only soldier of the Great War to have a lament written for him.

“Ains a year say a prayer faur me
Close yir een an remember me
Nair mair shall a see the sun
For a fell tae a Germans gun”
(From Sgt Mackenzie by Joseph Kilna McKenzie)

Charles is buried in Highland Cemetery Roclincourt. His epitaph reads “HE LIKE A SOLDIER FELL”

Private 1010 James Wood “D” Coy. 1st/6th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders the son of George and Mary Wood, of 5228, 70th St. South East, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. Killed in action on the 20th December 1915. Before the war James was a joiner at Morven on Sea, Lossiemouth, Scotland. The inscription on his grave at Authuille Military Cemetery, Authuille reads: “WE MISS YOU DEAR JAMIE”

Private 3499 Robert William Goddard
1/5th Seaforth Highlanders.

Olympic trialist in 1908,4 Robert William Goddard embarked for France from Folkestone on the 1st May. We know this from the date on his medal card. Like Charles McKenzie of the 1/6th Seaforth Highlanders Goddard became a Sergeant. Goddard eventually became a Company Sergeant Major. Sadly Goddard’s Army records do not survive. It is known from the London Gazette that he was awarded the Military Medal and Bar. On his tombstone it is recorded “M.M. Beaumont Hammel 1916”, but the citations seem to have been lost and there is no record of the award of a second M.M. -apart from the mention in the London Gazette of a prior award. From his tombstone we also know he married. Because of the age of his wife, Dorethy, almost certainly after the war. He also became a farmer and farmed at Denton in Kent for sixty years. Robert William Goddard MM and Bar, died on the 24th June 1982. He is buried in Denton Parish Churchyard, Denton, Kent.

img_8152Robert William Goddard’s Gravestone. (Photo) Peter Anderson)

Robert Goddard was David Sutherland’s Sergeant.

Private 2943 David Sutherland, Died 16/05/1916, 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders.

“Oh, never will I forget you,
My men that trusted me,
More my sons than your fathers’,
For they could only see
The little helpless babies
And the young men in their pride.
They could not see you dying,”
And hold you while you died.

(From the poem  In Memoriam
by Ewart Alan Mackintosh)

David Sutherland’s death was the inspiration for the poem In Memoriam.

 

US Out takes

Due to various reasons, time, dead lappy, cost, etcetera. There is the odd bit of research that has died a death. So this is sort of a what once would have been, and what might be when days of the future are past. They are not enough on their own to blog about individually. Hence the waffle.

Edgar Allan Poe had a brother who is commemorated on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner. John P Poe, Black Watch. The Poe brothers are related to the Edgar Allan Poe who wrote The Raven. They are also American.

Tired of what about the….  This guy covers American, Australian, Chinese, and died in England. Cadet 2695 Charles Frederick, Australian Flying Corps, died 4th February 1919. His parents lived in Peking, China. Charles was born at Spokane, Washington, U.S.A.

Talk of Anniversaries of trips to the Battle Fields, Henry Williams, not an American, neither was Tarka the Otter, but anyway…  He said that when he returned to Ypres there was also someone else there. There was the Henry Williamson now, but also there was the Henry Williamson who was the soldier who fought there.

First Gold Star Mothers visit. 1930  They went to Paris, laid a wreath at the tomb of the French unknown soldier. Visits to the main American Cemeteries followed, along with a sightseeing trip around Paris.

The American unknown soldier was one of four unknown Americans, one each from the Aisne-Marne. Meuse-Argonne, Somme, and St Mihiel Cemeteries. Their grave details were destroyed before one of the coffins was picked, so no one knows which cemetery the soldier came from. The three who were not selected are buried at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. Block “G”, Row 1, graves 1,2,and 3.

One day I might returned to the above, that day is not today.

 

 

Stories from the Harbour Arm #Folkestone

Occasionally I get asked what it is I’m doing. “God knows” is the usually reply. However I have been collecting stories of the soldiers who left from Folkestone in the First World War. Stories such as:

Captain John Macgregor V.C., M.C and Bar. D.C.M.
2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles

Born in Cawdor, in Nairnshire Scotland, John Macgregor would have made a worthy thane. His mother still lived at Newlands of Murchang, Cawdor.  Prior to the war John had emigrated to Canada where he worked as a carpenter.

Macgregor was awarded the D.C.M. For an action on the 8th April 1917 during the preliminaries to the Battle of Vimy.

The citation for his Distinguished Conduct Medal (awarded when John was a Sergeant) reads:

116031 Sjt. J. MacGregor, Mounted Rifles. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He single-handed captured an enemy machine gun and shot the crew, thereby undoubtedly saving his company from many casualties.
(Supplement 30204 to The London Gazette 24 July 1917 page 7663)

John was awarded his Military cross for two reconnaissance missions on the 28th December 1917, and for his part in a trench raid on the 12th January 1918.

The Citation for his Military cross reads:

Lt. John Macgregor, D.C.M., Mtd. Rif. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Whilst he was assembling his men prior to a raid, the enemy bombed the trench. He, however, changing his point of attack, led his men over the wire into the enemy’s trench, and successfully dealt with the garrison of the trench and three concrete dug-outs, himself capturing one prisoner. He then withdrew his party and his prisoner successfully to our trenches. Before the raid he, together with a serjeant, had made several skilful and daring reconnaissances along the enemy wire, which materially assisted in the success of the enterprise.
(Supplement 30845 to The London Gazette, 13 August 1918, page 9569.)

The citation for the award of the Victoria Cross:

T./Capt. John MacGregor, M.C., D.C.M., 2nd C.M.R. Bn., 1st Central Ontario Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and self-sacrificing devotion to duty near Cambrai from 29th September to 3rd October 1918. He led his company under intense fire, and when the advance was checked by machine guns, although wounded, pushed on and located the enemy guns. He then ran forward in broad daylight, in face of heavy fire from all directions, and. with rifle and bayonet, single-handed, put the enemy crews out of action, killing four and taking eight prisoners. His prompt action saved many casualties and enabled the advance to continue. After reorganising his command under heavy fire he rendered most useful support to neighbouring troops. When the enemy were showing stubborn resistance, he went along the line regardless of danger, organised the platoons, took command of the leading waves, and continued the advance. Later, after a personal daylight reconnaissance under heavy fire, he established his company in Neuville St. Remy, thereby greatly assisting the advance into Tilloy. Throughout the operations Capt. MacGregor displayed magnificent bravery and heroic leadership.
(The Edinburgh Gazette .10 January 1919, No. 13384 page 200)

The citation for the bar to his Military Cross reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and leadership from 5th to 8th November, 1918, at Quievrain and Quievrechain. Through his initiative the bridges over the Honnelle River were secured. His personal reconnaissances and the information he derived from them were of great use to his commanding officer. His prompt action in seizing the crossings over the river did much -towards the final rout of the enemy.
(Supplement 31680 to the London Gazette, 9 December 1919, page15312)

John Macgregor died in British Columbia on the 9th June 1952.

and…

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. Gun Shot Wound left thigh.
30th September 1915. Returns to 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 Larnarkshire 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 pensions 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 know where David Adams is buried. Hopefully he managed to return to the family home at 12th Nile Street, Greenock.
As well as the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal David received the Silver War Badge (No. 389532). He is commemorated on Broomhill War Memorial.

Also…

Private 3290 Charles Ambrose De Leon, Australian Imperial Force marched into the New Zealand Base Depot the following day. He is taken on the strength of 38th Battalion ex 8th Re-enforcements 38th Battalion on the 9th May. Charles was born in New York in 1888, he enlisted at Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in December 1917. Accidentally injured on the 24th July 1918. At the Court of enquiry a witness gave the following statement. Report on No. 3290. Pte De Leon C.A. (Burnt about the face and hands)
“On 24th July last, Pte De Leon was on outpost duty when the company was holding the line in the Hamel sector The enemy was shelling very heavily in the region of his post, and a fragment of one shell hit one phosphorus bomb which was amongst some Mills grenades. The phosphorus bomb burst into flames and Deleon who was standing close to the parapet where it burst was burnt about the face and hands, also his clothing and equipment was burnt. Lieut Baxter were extinguished ordered De Leon to proceed to the Aid Post”
(Sgd) Pte F Binion No. 598.
Charles returned to his unit on the 11th October 1918

Now the question is, “What will I do with the Stories?  the answer is, “God  knows.”