Category Archives: Executions

#Folkestone #Shorncliffe on the 4th July

Americans and Folkestone in the First World War.

Fore Notes.

1)Apart from beating the Canadians at Baseball in Folkestone, there is a largely ignored history of Americans and Folkestone in the First World War.

2)Americans were American by Birth or Immigrants.

3) A large number of America enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. On the whole, they are not included here. (Some Are)

4) A number of men born in Folkestone, such as Bertram Charles Goddard,  registered for the Draft in America. They are not included here.

5) The dates are the date of embarkation from Folkestone during the War.

6) There are some photos and, there are Footnotes.

7th October 1914

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.1a

27th November 1914

Doctor Rose, Colin Heerle and, Ernest Percy Bicknell of the Rockefeller Foundation War Relief Commission embark for Flushing.1b

31st May 1915

Private G/609 James Norman Hall, an American citizen he served in the 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, The French, Escadrille Lafayette. , U.S. 103rd Aero Pursuit Squadron., 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron, United States Air Service., and US Aviation Head Quarters, Paris. Wrote “Kitchener’s Mob Adventures of an American in the British Army” Died 6th July 1951. (James Norman Hall War Pension record national archives Kew and The Lafayette Flying Corps, by Dennis Gordon, Schiffer 2000 ISBN 0-7643-1108-5)
15th July 1915

Dr Rudd an American Doctor embarked on the SS Sussex to work for the American Ambulance Service.

11th March 1916

Ray Baldwin, George Hollister, Philip C. Lewis2, Bert Williams, Harvard volunteer ambulance drivers for the American Ambulance Service They crossed from Folkestone to Dieppe on the “Sussex”.

26th March 1915
Ernest Percy Bicknell of the Rockefeller Foundation War Relief Commission3

26th December 1916

Private 11197 Fredrick James Felton, Hertfordshire Regiment4, disembarks at Calais. He arrives at 17 Infantry Base Depot, on the same day. Posted to 3rd Entrenching Battalion on the 10th January 1917. He is made “Company Clerk” and on the 1st February awarded 6d per diem additional pay. Appointed Acting Company Sergeant Major on the 30th March. Allotted a new Regimental number, 235206 in February 1917(?). Transferred to the 4th (Territorial Force) Reserve Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers and posted to the 16th Battalion on the 2nd July 1917. Joining them in the field on the 6th. He reverts to the rank of Private on completion of his duties with the 3rd Entrenching Battalion. Killed in action on the 31st July 1917. Mentioned in, The Foreign Burial of American War Dead, by Chris Dixon, as he was married to E. L. Felton, of 4056, Oakenwald Avenue, Chicago, U.S.A. Frederick is buried in Artillery Wood Cemetery, in Belgium. The inscription on his grave reads5
“THY WILL BE DONE”

28th December 1916

Private 2166A Charles Lathorp Gray, ex-4th Reinforcements/48th Battalion Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force. Crosses to Boulogne on the SS Princess Clementine. He arrives at 4th Australian Division Base Depot the next day. Taken on the Strength of 48th Battalion on the 16th February 1917. Born in Ithica, USA Charles enlisted at Adelaide, Australia on the 27th April 1916. Wounded in action in April 1917. He is medically discharged from the Australian Imperial Force on the 14th January 1918.6
Corporal 2517 Walter Theodor Hass, 48th Battalion Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force. He is killed in action 12th October, Aged 21. His brother Albert crossed to France from Folkestone on the 14th May 1917. Both have no known grave and are commemorated on the Menin Gate.
They are the sons of Peter Heinrich Hass, of Peterborough, South Australia, and the late Lisette Hass (nee Lohmann). Both were born in Greenville, Wisconsin, USA.7

31st December 1916

Private 204 Arthur Jones, Australian Imperial Force crossed to France on the SS Princess Victoria. Born in California, USA, Arthur was a pastry cook by trade. He lived in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia, on the 23rd February 1916. He embarks for England on the 17th May 1916, returns home on the 14th May 1919. Arthur is taken on the strength of the 41st Battalion ex 53rd Reinforcements/41st Battalion from 3rd (Australian) Division Base Camp on the 5th January 1917.8

4th January 1917

Driver 14865 George Thomas Bowden, Australian Engineers, Australian Imperial Force. Crossed to Boulogne on the SS Princess Clementine. Marched into the Australian General Base Depot, Etaples the same day. Transferred to 13th Field Company, Australian Engineers. on the 10th. He joins them in the field on the 12th. Born in Warwick, USA, circa 1871, George died 28th June 1949.9

16th January 1917

Private 4615 James Albert Phillips10, 45th Battalion Australian Imperial Force, crossed on the SS Princess Clementine. James is returning to his battalion after recovering from wounds. James was originally from Chicago USA.

24th January 1917

Private 2660 Richard Lindop, Ex Pioneer Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Taken on the strength of 4th Pioneer Battalion on the 7th March. He is killed in action on the 22nd June, age 43. Richard was the son of William and Eliza Lindop and the husband of Frances Lindop, of 1821, Cliff St., McKeesport, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. And a native of Staffordshire, England.11 He is listed in The Foreign Burial of American War Dead, by Chris Dickon.

2nd February 1917

Private 2283 Francisco Aceituno, Australian Imperial Force. Born in Key West, Florida, USA. Francisco was now a farmer in Australia. He enlisted in May 1916. He crossed to France on the SS Invicta and marched into 3rd Australian Base Depot the same day. Taken on the Strength of 44th Battalion Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force ex-4th Reinforcements/44th Battalion on the 8th. It was not until May 1936 that Francisco received his medals.12

6th March 1917

Private 277330 Emile Cyr, Manchester Regiment. Emile Cyr was a sailor who enlisted at Birkenhead on the 7th August 1916. The first eight months of his army service was spent at home before he was posted to the British Expeditionary Force. Embarking from Folkestone with the 2/7th Battalion on the 6th March 1917. On the 9th October, he is at the 2/7th Field Ambulance “Sick”. Moved through the casualty evacuation chain he is transferred by hospital ship back to England on the 20th October. The next four months are spent back in the United Kingdom until on the 20th March 1918 he again embarks from Folkestone to Boulogne. After three days at “H” infantry brigade depot in Etaples, he is posted to the 2/5th Battalion Manchester Regiment and serves with them in the Field from the 6th April. Cyr is attached to 66th Division Head Quarters for a short while from the 15th May possibly followed by a stint at 199 Infantry Brigade Head Quarters, Posted to 1/5th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the 30th September he does not join them in the Field until after the Armistice on the 22nd November. Between the 30th September and the 22nd November, he spends 23 days at “H” Infantry Brigade Depot and 30 days at “K” Infantry Brigade Depot. On Christmas day 1918 he is granted 14 days leave in the United Kingdom. Shortly after his return, he is ordered to proceed to the United Kingdom for reparation to the USA. He embarks for England from Dunkirk on the 2nd February 1919. .He was transferred to “Z” class reserves on the 21st June 1919. Emile did not qualify for a pension or gratuity. After his discharge from the army, he moved to Maine in the USA where his mother resided.13 Emile Cyr was awarded the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal.

13th March 1917

Private 1685 William Charles Gordon, Australian Imperial Force. Taken on Strength by 19th Battalion, Ex 56th Battalion Reinforcements. In July he is transferred to the 5th Light Trench Mortar Battery. Wounded in Action he survives the War. William was born in Seattle, USA.14

Private 2763 Walter Summerton, Walter was born at Crystal City, Missouri, USA. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. As his place of birth, he gave his parent’s address, Settler, Alberta, and his occupation as Labourer. Now ex 12th Training Battalion he is embarking for France from Folkestone. The following day he will join 4 Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples. Marched out to join his unit on the 17th. He joins 46th Battalion in the Field on the 18th. At first, he was presumed killed in action on the 11th April, but on the 7th of May, he is listed on the Prisoner of War List P.M 116. He died while a Prisoner of War in Senna Germany on the 28th October 1918. Walter, age 31, was the son of John and Annie Elizabeth Summerton. He is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery Kassel, Hessen, Germany.15

13th April 1917

Sapper 16219. Alexander Charles McDermott16, Australian Imperial Forces, he arrived at Australian General Base Depot the next day. Joined 12th Field Company Australian Engineers, in the Field, on the 27th April. Alexander Charles McDermott, born on Rhode Island, USA. Alexander enlisted at Melbourne, Australia, and survived the war.

19th April 1917

Private 1025 James Thomas Donnelly, 1st Reinforcements/41st Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, Ex-11th Training Battalion Larkhill. He is Taken on Strength of 41st Battalion, ex 3rd Australian Division Base Camp on the 10th May. James was born in Colorado, USA, and enlisted at Brisbane Queensland, Australia, in February 1916.17

25th April 1917

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.18

9th May 1917

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.”
George has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.19

14th May 1917

Private 3156 Earle Nelson Gates,20 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.21

30th May 1917

No.5 Base Hospital US Army. Marched down Slopes Road, now known as the Road of Remembrance. They “crossed the Channel in a crowded packet in a dense fog, surrounded by growling destroyers we could not see,”22 Crossed to Boulogne on the SS Princess Victoria. They take over the British Expeditionary Force General Hospital No.11, situated between Dannes and Camiers. Serving with the No5. Base Hospital is Lieutenant William Fitzsimmons, Private Oscar C Tugo and, Miss Eva Parmelee. William Fitsimmons will become the first American, in the American Expeditionary Force, to be killed by enemy action in the Great War. He is killed in an air raid on the Base Hospital on the 4th September 1917. Oscar Tugo is also killed in the air raid. He is the first American enlisted man in the American Expeditionary Force to be killed by enemy action. Eva Parmelee is on duty during the air raid. Escaping with only minor injuries despite her dress being holed by shrapnel, remained at her post. Throughout the raid Eva stayed calm, she collected, cared for, and comforted both the newly wounded and others. For her actions during the raid, General Pershing gave her an honorary mention and King George V presented her with the first Military Medal awarded to an American nurse.23 Other accounts record Eva being awarded the American Distinguished Service Cross.24 25

(More American Units marched down Slope Road (The Road of Remembrance) than Canadian and possibly British Units.)

29th June 1917

Mr Mowry of the American Bolling’s Aeronautical Commission to Europe, and 63 men from the Civilian Motor Mechanics Group. The Group were in Europe to study British and French aircraft production techniques.26

13th June 1917

U.S. General “Black” Jack Pershing.27 He crossed on the SS Invicta. Shortly after their arrival General Pershing’s aide, Colonel Charles Stanton, on the 4th July 1917 made the following remark, “Nous voila, Lafayette” (Lafayette, we are here!“) at Lafayette’s tomb.

8th August 1917.

11th Engineers Regiment, (Railway),28 an American regiment raised from railway workers. They were sent over to France to help maintain the railways in Northern France. Sergeant Matthew Calderwood and Private William Branigan were wounded when the Unit came under shell fire on the 5th September 1917. They were the first United States Army casualties on the Western Front. 29

17th September 1917

Private M/322950.Victor Holman, Army Service Corps. Posted to 974 Motor Transport Company, 5th Heavy Repair Shop. Victor stated he was born near Colorado in the USA. Attested on the 1st September 1914 and gave his age as 19yrs and 345 days. He had served in France before. Embarked from Southampton when serving with the Kings Royal Rifles as Private Y861, in October 1915. Then he was sent back to England, on the 28th March 1917, for being “Under Age”.30

1st March 1918

Corporal 374A Thomas Oscar Miller, Australian Imperial Forces. Ex-Machine Gun Training Depot, Grantham. Returning to France, he arrived at the Machine Gun Base Depot, Camiers the next day. Rejoining the 21st Machine Gun Company in the Field on the 7th March. On the 1st April 1918, the 21st Machine Gun Company’s designation is changed to the 1st Machine Gun Battalion. Thomas Oscar Miller, born in Boston, USA. Enlisted in Adelaide, Australia. He survived the war.31

15th April 1918

Private 6765 Arthur Henry Banninger, Australian Imperial Force, Ex-20th Reinforcements/24th Battalion. Arrived at New Zealand Base Depot on the 17th. He is taken on strength of 24th Battalion on the 26th April 1918. Born in Hanover, Washington County, Kansas, USA. Wounded in action in July 1918, he survives the war.32

Private 3241 Richard William England, Australian Imperial Force, ex-9th Training Battalion. Marches into No.3 Base Depot, Etaples two days later. He is taken on Strength 40th Battalion, ex 7th Reinforcements/40th Battalion on the 26th April. Richard was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He enlisted in Claremont, Tasmania. On the 9th November 1916.33

Private 6904 Gustav Albert Mahle, Ex 6th Training Battalion. Australian Imperial Force. He arrived at the New Zealand Base Depot on the 17th. Taken on the strength of 23rd Battalion ex (20) reinforcements on the 20th April. Born in Mobile Alabama, USA. Gustav was an American Subject who lived with his wife, Kathleen Monica Mahle, in Richmond, Victoria, Australia. Wounded in action he survived the war.34

2nd June 1918

Company B, 311th US Infantry. The 311th had crossed from the USA on the “Nestor”. After arriving at Liverpool they entrained for Folkestone arriving at 2 a.m. on the 1st June. The history of Company B, 311 Infantry records they spent the night in an Embarkation Camp at Folkestone in “a large empty stone house in a row of similar ones” Sixty men from the 311th had left for France from Folkestone on the 1st June.35

8th July 1918

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 of 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 of 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.36

15th July 1918

Private 7026 Daniel H Burchfield, Australian Imperial Force. An American born in Tennessee enlisted on the 31st October 1917. He Arrived at the Australian Infantry Base Depot Harve on the 18th. Marched out to the 45th Battalion the next day. Transferred to the 34th Battalion from the 45th ex Australian Infantry Base Depot and Taken on Strength by the 34th on the 21st July. Wounded in Action on the 8th August 1918. A Gun Shot Wound to the heart. He is transferred through the evacuation train back to England via 5 General Hospital, Rouen. He dies from his wound on the 18th of November 1918. He is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery. Daniel is probably the Daniel Horatio (Sp?) Burchfield in Knoxville Tennessee. There seems to be a close match in signatures, as well as in name.37

29th July 1918

Private 7958 William Robert Christian38. Born 9th September 1895 in Leadville, Colorado, the son of Evan and Sarah Christian, he is an American Citizen. William enlisted in Tasmania, where he lived with his wife, in October 1917. After basic training, he embarked from Australia for Liverpool on the 28th February 1918 and joined the 1st Training Battalion at Sutton Veny on the 20th April. Taken on Strength by 12th Battalion ex 27th Reinforcements 4th August 1918. Wounded in Action, Wounds caused by a shell, back and legs. On the 26th of August. He died from the wounds on the 30th August at 41st Casualty Clearing Station. Buried at Daours Communal Cemetery Extension. The inscription on his grave reads:

“HE DIED DOING HIS DUTY MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE”

8th August 1918

Private 7378 Ernest Thompson, Australian Imperial Force, ex 12th Training Battalion. He arrived at the Australian Infantry Base Depot the next day. Taken on Strength by 51st Battalion on the 16th August. Ernest was born in Omaha, USA. An American subject he enlisted in Narrogin, Western Australia, on the 18th December 1917. He survived the war.39

30th August 1918

Driver 16202 Isard Zeltner, Australian Imperial Force, he arrived at the Australian General Base Depot on the 1st September. Joined 3rd Motor Transport Company, ex Australian General Base Depot on the 5th September. Born in St Louis, Missouri, an American Subject. He enlisted on the 26th November 1917 at Melbourne Australia.40
8th August 1917.

“Nous voila, Lafayette”.
Americans also stayed at No.3 Rest Camp on the Leas before marching down Slope Road to the harbour and the ships waiting to take them to France. Two soldiers from the United states 11th Engineering Regiment (Railways) who were to become the first casualties from the A.E.F. were at the rest camp on the Leas. There is also another almost forgotten connection with the United States.
The United States is well known for the respect Americans pay to their war dead. American Great War Cemeteries are impressive places. They are very proud of the role their soldiers played. Yet there is a lost almost forgotten army of American dead. Those that fought in other nations uniforms. They are buried in cemeteries all over the world and ignored by Americans. For some the connection to the United States begs the question of, how do we define nationality, and does it matter? Others there is no doubt of their nationality. These are the Folkestone/Shorncliffe dead with an American connection. All are buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery, all are listed in The Foreign Burial of American War Dead by Chris Dickon.

IMG_8054
James Desmond McNulty Born in Valley City, North Dakota. killed in the Air Raid 25th May 1917.

IMG_8051

John Lucius Rumsdell The husband of Letitia M Ramsdell, Brooklyn New York.

IMG_8049
George Bates, Son of Norman and Sally Bates of Arkansas. Served in Mexico, presumably with the US Army. Married and lived with his wife in Vancouver. After his enlistment, his wife moved to North Wales.

IMG_8047
David Gordon, died of wounds received in France. Born in Belfast, he was the son of James Gordon of 1 Bunker Hill Court, Charleston, West Virginia.

IMG_8046
Ottawa Gladman, Born in Canada and lived in Chicago. Died of Meningitis.

IMG_8045
Charley Hanson, Born in Norway, lived in Saskatchewan, married to Caroline Hanson of Fairchild Wisconsin, USA. Dad to six children. Charley had arrived in England on the SS Scandinavian. on the 5th of February 1917. He died from an illness.

IMG_8044
David Gray, Married to Annie Gray of Detroit, Michigan. Wounded on the Somme, he died at Manor Court Hospital, Folkestone.

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Bert Arbuckle, Born in Indiana. Injured in the air raid on the 25th May 1917, he died of wounds the next day.

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George Wheeler Armstrong.An American Eagle of the First World War. lots of references to the Americans who flew in the Lafayette Escadrille, few for those who flew with the RAF during the war. Born in the US Virgin Islands. Died in an accident while flying a Bristol F2b.

Also at  Shorncliffe Military Cemetery is the grave of May Arnold. A victim of the Folkestone Air Raid in May 1917. May’s husband was Freddie Arnald an American serving in the Canadian Army. Freddie was executed, by the British Army, for desertion on the 27th July 1916 at Le Portel. He is possibly the only American executed by the British in the First World War.

img_8221May Arnold’s grave.

Addendum

Other notable Americans who embarked from Folkestone in the First World War include:

Richard Norton1 Founder of the American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps, also known as the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps, embarked 20th October 1914,(Arlen Hanson, Gentlemen Volunteers, New York: Arcade, 1996. quoted in, http://www.ourstory.info/2/a/Norton.html accessed 10/02/2018) and Glenna Lindsey Bigelow, an American who was living near Liege Belgium. Embarking for Calais. Glenna worked as a nurse throughout the war. Embarked on the 9th of November. (Liege on the line of March, Glenna Lindsey Bigelow, John Lane Company 1918.)

Footnotes.

1a) Unpublished article by Peter Anderson.
1b)In War’s Wake, 1914-1915; the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Red Cross Join in Civilian Relief by Ernest Percy Bicknell. Hathi Trust Digital Library online 12/01/2019.
2)Page 205 The Harvard Volunteers in Europe Edit by M.A. DeWolf Howe, Cambridge Harvard University Press. 1916
3)In War’s Wake, 1914-1915; the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Red Cross Join in Civilian Relief by Ernest Percy Bicknell. Hathi Trust Digital Library online 12/01/2019.
4)Frederick J Felton’s Medal Card.
5)Fredrick J Felton’s Army Pension Record, and his listing on the CWGC Website.
6)Charles Lathorp Gray’s Army Service Record.
7)Albert and Walter Hass Army Service Records and CWGC Web page.
8)Arthur Jones’s Service Record.
9)George Bowden Army Service Record.
10)James Albert Phillips Army Service Record.
11)Richard Lindop’s Army Service Record. And listing on the CWGC Website.
12)Francisco Aceituno Army Service Record.
13)Emile Cyr Army Pension Records.
14)William Charles Gordon’s Army Service Record.
15)Walter Summerton’s Army service record and Medal Card,
16)Alexander Charles McDermott’s Army Service Record.
17)James Thomas Donnelly’s Army Service Record.
18)Mayo Carlton Clark, Army Service Record.
19)George Joseph Richard Brown’s Army Service Record and his CWGC Website Listing
20)Earle Nelson Gates’s Army Service Record.
21)Albert and Walter Hass Army Service Records and CWGC Web page.
22)The story of U.S. Army base hospital no. 5, web retrieved 05/04/2017

23)http://www.ourstory.info/library/2-ww1/hospitals/bh5a.html retrieved 12/91/2019
24)http://www.thefamilyparmelee.com/f-x01-0500evajean-nurse.html
25)http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/medals.html
26)Gorrell’s History AEF Air Service Sheet 8 History of Bolling’s Mechanics
27)Yanks, by John S.D. Eisenhower, and, http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/arrival.htm
28)Jones, Raymond W , WW1 Officer Experience Reports AEF
29)http://www.webmatters.net/france/ww1_cambrai_us.htm 95/05/2016
30)Victor Holman’s Army Service Record.
31)Thomas Oscar Miller’s Army Service Record.
32)Arthur Henry Banninger’s Army Service Record.
33)Richard William England’s Army Service Record.
34)Gustav Albert Mahle’s Army Service Record.
35)Pages 14-15 The history of Company B, 311th infantry, in the world war. Edited … Colonna, Benjamin Allison. Hathi Trust online book, 04/02/18
36)Norman Crumpler Frederick’s Army Service Record.
37)Daniel H Burchfield, Army Service Record, Tennessee Draft card on Fold3, CWGC web listing.

38)William Robert Christian’s Army Service Record and CWGC listing.
39)Ernest Thompson’s Army Service Record.

40)Isard Zeltner’s Army Service Record.

 

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#FWW Japanese Troops in Singapore

Almost simultaneously with the attacks on the Americans on the 7th December 1941 the Japanese attacked British Malaya. The successful invasion of Malaya led in February 1942 to the fall of Singapore. This was not the first time Japanese troops had been in action in the British colony of Singapore.

27 years earlier the Japanese had helped to quell the Singapore Mutiny. Accounts of how helpful and/or successful the Japanese were vary. There is an account in the book Nasyo Yori, Koji Tsukuda. An extract from this book translated by the Foreign Office appears in Secret Documents on Singapore Mutiny By Dr TR Sareen, parts of which are reproduced below.

The British had asked the Japanese for assistance.

“Up until now slighted both by the British and native and regarded as contemptible in trade, it is now devolved on us to protect the feeble and pitiable British” Around a hundred Japanese volunteers elected to undertake this task.

Two Japanese warships arrived at Singapore. The first the “Otawa” on the 17th February 1915 and the second the “Tshushina” the next day. Two hundred marines disembarked from the two ships. By midday, they had taken over Alexander Barracks.

” At noon on the same day, they were reported to have taken possession of the rebel’s Headquarters i.e. Alexander Barracks. That is to say that our landing party at once broke up the main strength of the enemy and these were able to take possession of their Headquarters”

The British General Staff in Singapore took a not surprisingly different view.  They felt the Japanese volunteers did not do anything and the best thing to do was disband them. The marines according to the GeneralStaff only went to Alexander Barracks after it had been reoccupied by the British.  That all the Japanese did was sit around and indulge in the odd suspected bit of looting. An eyewitness to the handing back of Alexander Barracks by the Japanese to the British recorded in 1927 that when we arrived the Japanese were already drawn up on the parade ground. The British marched on, the Japanese marched off. No words were exchanged. (page 811(1))

A few days later on the 25th February, there was a parade known as the Japanese Parade to thank and honour the Japanese for their assistance. The Governor of Singapore expressed his thanks for the “excellent and valuable work”(2) carried out by the Japanese officers and men. he also mentioned that no Japanese had been killed or wounded. A statement contradicted by the press Bureau in a Reuters Telegram London February 28th that states, “some Japanese were wounded”(1) Reports in the Japanese press do state there were no Japanese wounded.  In closing, the Governor said, “Now, admiral, I again on behalf of this Colony thank you, your officers and men, and I know well that the Colony will always remember the good ships which came to our assistance and will welcome them warmly whenever they may honour us by visiting this port.” (page 830 (1)) What a difference 27 years would make to this feeling.

The Japanese press did report on the mutiny, for example, The Japan Times described the execution of two of the publicly shot mutineers as “A Grim Example” (page 844, (1)

(1) Secret Documents on Singapore Mutiny. Sareen

(2) Strait Settlements Times 26th February, viewed online.

 

#FWW WWI WW1 Reading List 2017// Wish List Reblog

Three books deleted from the list, none added. An addition to the list of Material

Books

Anthony Milner The Invention of Politics in Colonial Malaya

Charles Townshend, When God Made Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914–1921,

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Material on Henry Wade

Material on Soldiers embarking from Folkestone

Material on the Singapore Mutiny

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Information on Ireland in FWW, just general things.

Information about the sailors on SMS Emden.

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Thank you for reading my blog. Likes, comments, Ignores, all appreciated.

Religious, Racial Profiling and S.A.D #FWW #WW1 #WWI

This blog has its origins in a book. Death sentences passed by military courts of the British Army 1914-1924, revised edition edited by Julian Putkowski with a forward by Andrew Mackinlay MP.  2005, ISBN 1 903427 26 6. If you are interested in the men Shot at Dawn, it is a must read. Along with its companion book, British Army Mutineers 1914-1922, also by Julian Putkowski. They are should have books for anyone with more than a passing interest in the soldiers executed. Combined they not only give a good comparison between Sentences passed, and Sentences carried out.  They contain a guide to other sentences the Military Courts passed and where.

“There has always been public disquiet about the fate of the men who were sentenced to death during the First World War”  Andrew Mackinlay MP, the opening sentence of his forward in  Death sentences passed by military courts of the British Army 1914-1924

The closing sentence of his forward reads “It would also be to the credit of those given to sustaining the officers’ version of military justice if, as a consequence of studying this book, they were to advance a more generous measure of compassion to the condemned, and to acknowledge the misery and grief simultaneously inflicted on the innocent families and dependents of the men whose names are recorded herein.”

It gives the impression that the book represents a complete list of those executed by the British Army. A plea of compassion for the men and recognition that their families were innocent victims of the war. Which they were.

However, not all Commonwealth Soldiers who were executed are listed in the book, at the memorial, or on the Commonwealth War Graves Registers. Which purports to list all those soldiers who died in the first World War regardless of how they died. It is as though they never existed. The books list only one man sentenced to death in Singapore. Private Chadwick, 1st Battalion King’s Own YorkshireLight Infantry. sentenced to death for cowardice on the22nd September 1914. His sentence was quashed. There is also a list of the number of executions by each offence.  55 Soldiers convicted of mutiny, 15 of whom were executed. At the back of the book, Appendix 2 p122, there  are the number of condemnations executions by Division. The final group of entries on the page is headed Dominion Forces and other Formations. The last entry is ” Indian Army  54 (Condemnations) 5 (Executions)” It is by no means complete. It does establish that at least in some cases Capital sentences in Singapore were recorded by the Army and also by the Indian Army. Further evidence is contained in the book British Army Mutineers 1914-1922 that sentences for Mutiny were recorded in Singapore in March 1915. Malay SG (States Guides) Bty Gnr Ahmad Sultan Singapore 11/03/15 3 years Penal Servitude for Mutiny, Commuted to 18 months imprisonment. He is one of four listed on p120.

So the others, the soldiers sentenced to death and executed? It is difficult to acknowledge their deaths, or the misery, grief and shame imposed on their families if we do not know who they are. It seems if you want to erase history, first delete their names.

Two Shot on the 23rd February. Notice by his excellency Brigadier General DH Ridout, These men were found guilty in the act of shooting at peaceful citizens and has been tried by a properly constituted Court Martial (1) These two men were executed in public at the rear of Banda Prison. They were executed by a firing squad of Scots soldiers. Two volleys were required to kill one of the men. After the execution  and the removal of the bodies,  some of the crowd rushed forward to search the blood soaked ground for  the bullets. (3) The nationality of the crowd, Singapore was as it is now a cosmopolitan country is not known. It is known that there was not a lot of disquiet amongst them on that day.

Two unknown were shot on the 28th February,  (2)

Now it is possible to name some of the others.

Dunde Khan, Chiste Khan, Rahmat Ali, Hakim Ali, and Abdul Ghani. Sentenced on 22nd March 1915.  The men along with others were marched out of Outram  Prison that afternoon. Just before 5:10 pm. The five condemned men were tied to posts and the verdict of the Court Martial was read out. in front of a well behaved crowd estimated at around 6,000 of mostly Asians by Major Hawkins. “These five men, Subadar Dunde Khan, Jemadar Chisti Khan, 1890 Havildar Rahmat Ali, 2311 Sepoy Hakim Ali, and 2184 Havildar Abdul Ghani have been found guilty of stirring up and joining a mutiny and are sentenced to death”

Moments  later Lieutenant Vyner of the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) gave the command. The firing squad of 25 men from the RGA commanded by Vyner and a sergeant fired. All five men executed slumped to the ground. From being marched to their execution posts  the whole proceedings had taken just a couple of minutes.(4)

On the 25th March 1915, 22 were executed. 2112 Naick Munshi Khan, 1933 Naick Zaffar Ali, 2463 Sepoy Mahomed Baksh, 2715 Sepoy Rahim Dad, 2462 Sepoy Suliman Khan, 1886 sepoy Nawab Khan, 2406 Sepoy Suliman, 2457 Sepoy Jamal, 2457 Sepoy Jamel, 2574 SepoyBahar Ali, 2819 Sepoy Shafi Mahomed, 2544 Sepoy Faiz Mahomed, 2770 sepoy Umrad Ali, 2885 Sepoy Suleiman, 3048 Sepoy Lai Khan, 2824 Sepoy Shamsuddin, 2997 Sepoy Said Mahomed, 2652 Abdul Ghani, 2649 Bashart, 2982 Sepoy Rafi Mohamed, 2904 Sepoy inayat. 2856 Sepoy Moman, and 3113 Sepoy Nur Mohamed.(5) As with the executions on the 22nd March,  the men were marched out of Outram Prison and tied to posts. The time was 5.25pm the order to fire was given at 5.30. This time the crowd numbered around 15,000 and consisted of Europeans as well as Asians. The firing part were 110 men from the Singapore Volunteer Corps. While the firing party was moving off Captain Fraser Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) examined each body. Several had to be finished off by a shot from a revolver. it is not known who fired the revolver. No other person was reported as accompanying Captain Fraser. There is at least one photograph of this execution. none of the men are wearing blindfolds. It is almost certain that no blindfolds were offered.

The Straits Times 3 April 1915 (6) list another six, 1905 Sepoy Ismail Khan, 1499, Sepoy Nathe Khan, 3051 Sepoy Nishan Ali Khan, 1754 Havildar Ibrahim Khan, 1352 Havildar Murid Khan, 2058 Sepoy Taj Mohamed Khan. All as in the previous cases tried in open court and executed in public in front of 1,000s.

Taj Mohamed was identified by a German prisoner of war detained at Tanglin Barracks. (6)

On the 19th April the Straits Times (7) gives the names of three more men executed. This time on the 17th April, Havildar Samand Khan, 2637 Lance Naick Feroz, and 2102 Lance Naick Fazel Ali.

Fazel Ali was badly wounded and he was shot inside the walls of Outram Prison. the other two men were executed outside in public. The two firing squads fired at the same time. No verbal order was given the executions were carried out on the lowering of a flag.(7)

In all 39 men were executed for their part in the Singapore mutiny, 38 shot and one hanged. The Imperial narrative describes the causes of the mutiny as dissatisfaction with their officers. Discontent over a promotion/rations, or a riot (8).  Anything but a rebellion. All soldiers deserve to be named on the Commonwealth War Graves Register regardless of how or why they died. it is a gross error of admission for the men of the 5th Light Infantry who died as a result of the mutiny not to be included. Regardless of whose side in the mutiny they were on.

These men were not suffering from Post Traumatic Stress when they mutinied.  Some but not all committed terrible crimes including murder, but so did some of the men pardoned and commemorated by the Shot At Dawn Memorial.  This article is not about righting wrongs or part of a lost debate over should those  executed be pardoned or not.  It is about fairness. If others are commemorated so should they. Religion or race should not be a factor. They were part of the British Indian Army. It is time to prove we commemorate all regardless of race or religion and do it.

If you think that it was a rebellion, remember this. They died for freedom-this I know those that bade them fight told them so.(apologies and thanks to WN Ewer  and his poem Five Souls)

(1) page 827 Secret documents on the Singapore Mutiny 1915 Dr TR Sareen

(2) page 826 Secret documents on the Singapore Mutiny 1915 Dr TR Sareen

(3) Japan Times 19th march 1915. Translation of which p 844.

(4) Straits Times, 23rd March 1915, p7 viewed on the web.

(5) Straits Times, 26th March 1915, p7 viewed on the web.

(6) Straits Times 3rd April 1915 page 10, viewed on the web

(7) Straits Times 19th April 1915 page 10, viewed on the web

(8) Introduction Secret documents on the Singapore Mutiny 1915 Dr TR Sareen

Saying Goodbye to Joseph’s Dad and Ireland 1916.

Joseph Mallin was two and a half when he said goodbye to his dad in 1916. Joseph’s mum, granny, brothers, uncle, they were all there. His granny told Joseph’s dad she was proud of him. It takes a lot for a mother not to be proud of her son. Like many farewells, it was a tearful event. All knew they would not see Joseph’s dad again. Holding your loved ones and knowing it is for the last time must have been heartwrenching. It was the 7th May 1916/

Joseph’s dad was not going off to war. Nor was he dying of wounds. Joseph’s dad was not a soldier. He had been in the Army. He had served for twelve years in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. Joined up as a Boy Bandsman. After 12 years spent mostly in India. During which there was a spell in South Africa fighting the Boer.  Joseph’s dad had left the army as a serjeant.

Joseph’s dad had been tried by a British Army Court Martial two days earlier, on the 5th May.  There were three judges. Colonel E.W.S.K. Maconchy, Lieutenant Colonel A.M. Bent, and Major F. W. Woodward. Joseph’s dad was prisoner number Seventy-eight. He was charged with: 1) Did an act to wit did take part in armed rebellion and in waging of war against His Majesty the King, such an act being of such a nature as to be calculated to be Prejudicial to the Defence of the Realm and being done with the intention and for the purpose of assisting the enemy. 2) Did attempt to cause disaffection among the civilian population of His Majesty.

Found not guilty of the second charge. He was found guilty of the first charge and sentenced to death.  He was executed by firing squad sometime between 3.45 and 4.05 am on Monday 8th May 1916

Today we would call Joseph’s dad a terrorist, and a very important one at that. (1)

He was second in command of the Citizen Army, along with the Irish Republican Brotherhood, one of the predecessors of the IRA.

Prisoner 78 was one of 15 men executed as being leaders of the 1916 Rising in Dublin.

Up until the executions of the leaders, there seems to have been very little support for the rebellion in Ireland. -It was suppressed very quickly.

The executions changed all that. It turned the men into Martyrs. Martyrs become heroes in the popular psyche.  Frozen in time they are regarded much in the same way as the Rebel Alliance is in the Star War Films.  Underdogs fighting the technologically superior evil  empire.

The ideas behind the rising got turned into stone and stopped evolving.  you can’t have a conversation with, Marx  because Marx is dead. death is the point the individual’s ideas stop, but the words and actions live on.

When the leadership of an organisation is taken out you have no idea who is going to take over.  It is the middle that runs a war. The Top Directs. Without the middle, direction is lost. Without the Top the middle just promotes itself. Then the war just goes on.

In 1916 Britain won the 1916 Irish insurrection but ultimately lost the Republic, and the war continued for generations in the North.

References and notes

Joseph is Joseph Mallin, who is still alive and will be 103 years old tomorrow 13th September 2016

Joseph’s Dad was Michael Mallin

(1) In the Irish Republic, he is remembered as a “Freedom” Fighter. The difference between “Terrorist” and “Freedom” Fighter is down to are they shooting, or throwing bombs at you, or are they shooting or throwing bombs away from you.-If you are with them they are “Freedom” Fighters, if you are against them, they are terrorists.

(2) Charges and judges are from “The Secret Court Martial Records of the Easter Rising, by Brian Barton

(3) Information about Joseph and his dad is from various Web Sites

#FWW #WW1 The Man Who Sells Coffee.

Singapore as a child was a magical place. Seemingly full of little stalls and shops owned and run by people from everywhere. The food from the eateries was quite simply amazing in many ways it was the commonwealth in miniature. None of the big multinationals here,  there was but as a kid I never noticed. No Starsucks, or Cafe Zero. it was small independent, self made traders who stopped and chated to their customers. Despite the Japanese occupation Singapore was relatively unchanged from the Great War. Then it was a microcosm of Empire. An Empire ruled by and large by bluff, or power by proxy. occasionally this system broke down, the bluff was called. The Empire would called for help and as in the case of the Singapore Mutiny, foreign help would duly appear. In this case, French, Japanese and Russian warships with their marines. After the incident a few trials and British rule would be seen to be reimposed. There would be stories told of the valour of British soldiers, and a few heros added to books about deeds that thrilled the empire. Few mention the guy that sells the coffee, in Singapore that man was Kassim Mansur.

Mansur was a successful coffee shop proprietor from Bombay. He also own a small estate on the side of Pasir Panjang Road. His coffee shop was very popular with soldiers from India. A touch of home in a foreign land. On the way home in his gharry Mansur used to stop at the small guard and often went inside to talk to the troops. He also chated to the troops in his coffee shop. All good customer service. This small acts were very much part of service during those days and were good for business. Mansur also wrote letters on behalf of the soldiers. Very probably he never gave much thought to those letters. He would write them, they would sign them, and almost certainly post them.  One of these letters,   posted on the 28th December 1914, was intercepted by the authorities. on the 23rd January 1915 Mansur was arrested.(1) He was held at the civilian prison on Outram Road awaiting trial.

On the 15th February a few hours before they were due to sail, half of the 5th Light Infantry, Indian Army, mutinied. The mutiny itself had two ringleaders Subadar Dunde Khan and Jamadar Christe Khan. Both of the 5th Light Infantry. Christe is recorded as ending his talks to his men with the phrase, “You take care, there is very little left of the English kingdom now.” The plan for the mutiny was to seize the principal military centres of Singapore. These were the barracks at Alexandra and Tanglin. after capturing the Guard Room at Alexandra some of the mutineers marched on Tanglin. At Tanglin they released the Germans, mostly sailors from the SMS Emden, held in the Prisoner of War Camp. if there was an expectation the Germans would help the mutineers it did not materialise. The Germans did help the wounded British soldiers and civilians. Several did escape to Java and Sumatra. Apart from that the Germans gave no help to the mutineers. The rapid deployment of other soldiers rapidly contained the threat posed by the mutiny. Perhaps the crucial part was the capture of a practice trench on Keppel Road by the mutineers. Here they stayed awaiting the arrival of a German Warship. A British survey ship, the Cadmus, arrived instead.  90 marines disembarked and made their way in lorries to Keppel Road. After a brief skirmish the mutiny was effectively over. Although clearing up operations with the help of French, Japanese and Russian marines were to last for just over a month. The mutineers were also detained in Outram Road Prison.

Mansur could hear the sound of the mutineers being executed, but it did not seem to worry him. He was being charged with 9 counts of treason, 1 charge of giving away intelligence to the enemy, and 1 charge of attempting to wage war against his majesty the king. He had Vincent Devereux Knowles in his defence team.

Mansur was eventually brought before the Field General Courts Martial on the 3rd May 1915 for his trial, confident he would be acquitted. He was after all just the man who sold coffee. His defence team argued that Mansur was a civilian and the court had no jurisdiction over him. They also argued they had no knowledge of the grounds on which the charges were based. During the trial the 9 charges of treason were dismissed. Then the letter that was to hang  Mansur was produced.

The letter was with other letters to his son. There was a covering slip in Mansur’s own handwriting asking his son to take care unless the handwriting could be traced back to him. Addressed to his son with a request for it to be forwarded to the Turkish consul in Rangoon the letter was written in Urdu and translated as follows;

“There is a regiment here belonging to the English in Singapore called the Malay States Guides. In it is a mule battery, and all the members are Mohammedans and are not willing to serve the English.                                                                                                                                                                                 They say “We want to join the Turkish Forces, and we want someone to be kind enough to enable us to join the Turkish Forces. We have the money to meet our travelling expenses, and do not want one pie even for expenses, but we want someone to show us the way whereby we may reach Turkey. That is what we want. ”                                                                                This letter is written to you as on your side Ahmad  Madin is the Turkish Consul, so as to enable that gentleman to write to the German Consul at Bombay on direct to Stamboul in order that a man of war may be sent to Singapore.  Then the sepoys can board the Turkish man of war and be ready to fight in the battle of Europe.                                                         The manager of the German firm of Behn, Meyer and Company was the German Consul in Singapore, but as all the Germans have been arrested and imprisoned on a hill opposite Singapore, so that they are helpless.                                                                                               Those Mohammedan sepoys are prepared to risk there lives. If the Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment tries to exert his authority by force, at once we are prepared to fight. But we do not desire to fight against the Turks on behalf of the English. On behalf of Turkey we are willing to fight both the English and the Russians. Therefore, they entreat some Mohammedan to help them for God’s sake and enable them to reach the Turkish Forces.. All we ask is not to let us fall into the hands of the English while leaving Singapore.                                                                                                                                                                                 Accordingly as you are the Turkish Consul, kindly let us know by which way these sepoys my leave Singapore and where they might go. You sir will get much honour. if we fight against the English on behalf of Turkey and die then we will become martyr. Therefore be kind enough to pay attention to our petition and reply soon. Address as follows to write to us.”

The address was for a Bengali baker who lived in one of the houses on  Mansur’s estate in Pasir Panjang.     It was signed by two “Havildars” from the Malay States Guides, Osman Khan and Sikandar Khan.

It was enough for the court to find Mansur guilty of the charge of  guilty of the charge of    attempting to wage war on the King. (2) He was hanged at 8 am on the 31st May 1915.

Kasim Mansur in all probability was a simple man caught up in complicated times, he sold coffee, and befriended Indian soldiers. He was from Bombay, so what. Apart from serving them coffee he had no connection to the mutiny by the 5th light Infantry. this was the second time the 5th had mutinied the first was in 1857 when the regiment was known as the 42nd Bengal Native light Infantry. coincedently half the regiment mutinied then to. This is the reason it was not disbanded. After the Singapore Mutiny the regiment fought in Africa.

Mansur also appears to have no connection to the leading Indian Independence activist and member of the Ghadar movement Nur Alam Shah   although he may have attended the mosque where    Shah was Iman.    Nur Alam Shah was not put on trial, but was detained and then deported. was there a Ghadar conspiracy? doubtful although the enquiry into the mutiny suggests there was. It is more likely the mutiny was caused by distrust of the officers and a refusal to believe they were being sent to Hong Kong but to Europe.   It is not good policy to hang Iman’s. and the British needed someone to hang to make it seem that their authority had been reimposed .  Apart from which Mansur was only the man who sold coffee, no one would really miss him, or start another rebellion if he died.

Notes

Behn Meyer and Co was founded in 1840 by two men from Hamburg. It is still in business today.                                                                                                                                                                     Ghadar Movement, militant indian independence movement founded on the west coast of America. May have had links to Irish Nationalists.                                                                                 Gharry, horse drawn cab.                                                                                                                  Jamadar, Junior officer in Indian Army                                                                                        Vincent Devereux Knowles,  Knowles  was a well respected defence lawyer. His book  “Evidence in Brief” is still readily available in the second hand book market. knowles had once successfully defended a  pawang, accused of trying to poison two suspected thieves in a poor Indian part of Singapore.  Perhaps this is how Munsar had first heard of knowles.  Malay States Guides, refused to serve overseas as their terms of enlistment was for alaya only. After the mutiny they were sent to the north of Malaya were they forcibly put down a local rebellion in Kelantan. They pioneered many of the techniques used in modern counter insurgency. The insurgents were Muslims.                                                                                Pawang,  magician/shaman  type figure.                                                                                    Subadar, officer in Indian Army.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1915_Singapore_Mutiny. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19371121-1.2.110.aspx

References

(1) Between 2 Oceans (2nd Edn): A Military History of Singapore from 1275 to 1971. By Malcolm H. Murfett, John Miksic, Brian Farell, Chiang Ming Shun, page 130                                (2) http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19150531-1.2.56.aspx