Category Archives: Folkestone

With the Yanks at Cambrai 1917

On the 8th August 1917, a train pulled into the Harbour Station on the Mole in Folkestone. The soldiers on board detrained and embarked on one of the small ships waiting to take them to France. They were an American unit, the 11th Engineers Regiment (Railway).(1) Two men from the Regiment Sergeant Matthew Calderwood and Private William Branigan, became the first American Army Casualties on the Western Front when they were wounded by shellfire on the 5th September 1917. Also on the train and an officer in the regiment was Lieutenant Paul McLoud.

The regiment was on there way to help maintain, repair and expand the railway system prior to the Battle of Cambrai. The railway was used to bring the tanks forward to the assembly points prior to the attack. On the arrival of the tanks at the railhead the 11th Engineers  helped to assemble them. (2)

On the 3oth November 1917 the 11th were working on the railway line between Villers (Plouich) and Epethy when the Germans broke through. Retreating back to their camp to collect their weapons, a group of men from the 11th under the command of Lt Mcloud fought a fighting retreat and rear guard action near Gouzeaucourt.  For his part in the action Lt Paul Mcloud is awarded the American, Distinguished Service Cross. His citation reads:

Awarded for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Corps of Engineers) Paul McLoud, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 11th Railway Engineers, A.E.F., at Gouzeaucourt, France, November, 30, 1917, in remaining under shell fire until the escape of his men, who had been caught unarmed by the German attack, was assured. First Lieutenant McLoud then assisted in leading troops to the trenches, directing the procurement and distribution of ammunition, and displaying coolness, and judgment while continually under fire.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 129 (1918)

Action Date: 30-Nov-17

Service: Army

Rank: First Lieutenant

Regiment: 11th Railway Engineers

Division: American Expeditionary Forces (3)

Paul was also awarded the Military Cross from the British for his bravery on the 30th November. Unable to find his citation, but came across this;

paul mcloud(4) Clearly shows Paul Mcloud’s awards.

REFERENCES

  1. Jones, Raymond W, WW1 Officer Experience Reports AEF
  2. http://www.webmatters.net/france/ww1_cambrai_us.htm
  3. http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=13549
  4. The original source for this image was http://www.archives.nysed.gov/. This copy from Fold3. Image url: https://www.fold3.com/image/591030625
    Publication Title: New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919
    Content Source: New York State Archives

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Frederick Milton

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Private Frederick Milton is commemorated on this gravestone in Folkestone Old Cemetery. Killed in action as part of a ration party, while collecting rations.  He was the only soldier from the 8th Battalion the Buffs East Kent Regiment killed on the 12th September 1917. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. This memorial is the large screen at the top of Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium.  Frederick was killed at Jackson’s Dump which was to the best of my knowledge somewhere west of a line from Clapham Junction on the Menin Road to Pappotstaat. His epitaph reads

“Little we thought we he bade us good bye                                                                                       He had left us forever he left us to die                                                                                                When we look at the picture and think how he died                                                                     A faithful British Soldier for all of us he died

His life was full of sunshine                                                                                                                 To all a joy and pride                                                                                                                              Far away in that foreign climate                                                                                                      A hero’s death he died

They miss him most that loved him best.

His service record does not appear to have survived. Relatives of Frederick still live in Folkestone.

Private 61613 William Habberley #Went to France via Folkestone #FWW

Border Regiment

Born in Warrington. He became a plumber before he enlisted in the Army at Liverpool on the 4th February 1913 at the age of 19 years and 2 months. He first joined for duty Joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The same day he is sent to Carlisle. Here he is attached to the Border Regiment at their Depot. 8th February 1913 he is transferred to the Border Regiment at Carlisle. 28th April 1913 he is drunk in barracks this time he is admonished. This is probably due to being posted to the 2nd Battalion at Pembroke Dock the next day.

24th May 1913, Drunk in Barracks he was fined 2/6 and Confined to Barracks for 7 days. It was to be the first of many Confinements to Barracks and fines for drunkenness in his time in the Army. 29th May 1913, Irregular Conduct, 10 Days Confined to Barracks. 6th September 1913 breaking out of barracks after tattoo, being drunk in Water Street at around 10:25 pm, 14 Days Confined to Barracks. 29th November 1913 Posted to 2nd Battalion. Then on the 10th February 1914, he is posted again this time to the 1st Battalion. He embarks on the Troopship Plassy to India. Hebberley arrived in India on the 5th March 1914. Sailing onwards to Rangoon on the Troopship Northbrook. Reaching Rangoon on the 13th March. After Rangoon, the battalion moved to Maymyo where it was based when war broke out. Returning to with the Battalion to Calcutta on the troopship HMT “Novara” on the 21st November 1914 they arrived in Calcutta on the 25th November 1914. Here they spent just over a fortnight before embarking on the Troopship HMT “Corsican” for Rugby via Avonmouth. The 1st battalion arrived at Rugby on the 11th January 1915. While at Rugby, 13th February 1915 Not complying with (an order? Writing on change sheet not clear) and insolence to an NCO, 8 Days Confined to Barracks. 16th February 1915. Drinking in the Globe Public House while on duty.168 hours detention. The battalion was posted to Gallipoli via Egypt and left from England on the 16th March 1915. During his time in the Dardanelles Hebberley continued his low level of insubordination and on the 25th July 1915, he was awarded 7 days FP No.2 for an improper reply to NCO. A month later on the 25th August 1915, he is wounded in action a severe wound in abdomen three weeks later on the 14th September 1915 his father is notified. From Gallipoli, he is sent on the 28th September 1915 to 15th General Hospital Alexandria, and on the 25th October embarked on HMH Mauritania at Alexandria for England. After a stay in hospital he is posted on the 11th November 1915 to the Regimental Depot at Carlisle. 23rd December 1915. he overstayed his furlough from tattoo until 9 pm on the 29th December, (5 days and 23 hours ). He is Confined to Barracks for 7 days.1st January 1916 he is posted to 3rd Battalion. On the 3rd May he embarked from Southampton for France. The first three weeks were spent at 7 Infantry Base Depot Le Havre before being posted to the 2nd Battalion. He joined them in the field on the 25th. On the 1st of July he receives a wound to his left wrist. Evacuated home via 23 Field Ambulance, 38 Casualty Clearing station, 3 Stationary Hospital Rouen, and the Hospital Ship “St Patrick” to England. Reaching on the University Hospital in Gower Street, London on the He will spend 30 days in Hospital before being released on the 3rd August 1916 (posted to Depot) On the 15th September 1916 he is transferred to the 5th Garrison Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. At Beblington on the 7th October 1916 he is Absent from Tattoo, (until 8th October), and he is again Confined to Barracks for 7 days. Then at Leasowe Castle on the 9th December 1916 he is charged with Absence from Police Duty and Insolence to an NCO. As a result, he was sentenced on the 11th December 1916, to 21 days FP No.2 for misconduct. Later at Aintree on the

17th February 1917 he is Absent from Tattoo for two days. Yet again he is Confined to Barracks for 7 days. 7th May 1917 he is transferred to 3rd Battalion Borders Regiment. In October he is posted to France. He embarked from Folkestone 19th October 1917 arrived Boulogne and joined 25 Infantry Brigade depot at Etaples the same day. He joins the 2nd Battalion in the field on the 30th October 1917. 10 days later the battalion moves to Italy. 11th March 1918 he is admitted to 23 Field Ambulance, then 37th Casualty Clearing Station and on 13th March 1918 11 General Hospital Genoa due to sickness. After which he spent a week at the Convalescent Depot in Genoa before being posted back to the Base Depot at Arquata on the 26th April 1918. Posted to 14 Corps Reinforcement camp on the 5th May. He went absent from his billets on the 30th June 1918 for which he was awarded 7 days FP No.1. 4th August 1918 he is posted to 24th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Pioneer Battalion). Another posting follows on the 14 February 1919 this time to the 22nd Battalion Manchester Regiment. Hebberley unsurprisingly never seemed to have been promoted. That was to change on the 22nd April 1919 when he is appointed unpaid Lance Corporal. Being promoted does not last long. The 6th May 1919 sees him in Egypt still with the 22nd Battalion. On the 12 May 1919 he is deprived of his Lance/Corporal stripe for drunkenness, while on active service, and absent until apprehended by the Military Police. There is a break from the routine duties of being a soldier in Egypt when on the 10th June 1919 he embarked from Alexandria for Constantinople on escort duty. Back to his old ways on the 11th November 1919, fined 7/6 for drunkenness in Cairo. 7 days Confined to Camp. 29th November 1919 Absent in town without a pass while on active service. 14 days confined to barracks. After 7 years in the Army, he embarked at Alexandria for the UK to be demobbed on the “Panama” 3rd March 1919. As far as is known William Habberley survived into the 1970s.

He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Insanity at #Shorncliffe. #FWW

“May they not take it too seriously! Seein’ as ‘ow the training is all washed out as soon as you turn that narrow street corner at Boulogne, where some watcher with a lantern is always up for English troops arriving, with a “Bon courage” for every man. A year ago today-but that way madness lies.”

(Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley from a letter to the Master of Marlbourgh, in War Letters of Fallen Englishmen, edited by Laurance Houseman, Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1930)

It somewhat surprises me that I can quote from a War Poet, for whenever I’m asked about the War Poets the default answers is “Not a fan”. It is not that I don’t like them. They wrote some of the finest poetry ever written in English. They wrote a lot of crap too, but we won’t dwell on that today. It is just they are shite historians. They are part of the history of the Great War, but they did not write that history. I remember Mr Millinship, one if not the best teacher I ever had reading Dulce et Decorum Est and asking me what I thought of it. Don’t think he was too impressed with my reply, I said something along the lines of. “It took him three years to come up with war is hell. My dad’s a soldier don’t you think I don’t already know that?” I was 11 at the time, an easy going child in a difficult world. Back to Sorley. Sorley was for a time at Shorncliffe but the madness he was writing about was not the madness at Shorncliffe but the madness of war.

Someone who will never be as famous as Owen or Sorley, basically because he wasn’t a War Poet but who dealt with insanity, his own, at Shorncliffe was Private 513212 William Anderson, Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot. (CASC TD)

William was born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England. After serving in the Inniskilling Fusiliers He emigrated to Canada it was here he enlisted at Petawawa, in No.2 CASC TD. he was 37.

William sailed to England on the SS Olympic arriving in England on the 28th December 1916 and is taken on the strength of the CASC TD at Shorncliffe on the 29th. On the 5th May 1917, William was posted to the 7th Reserve Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, (Eastern Ontario Regiment). (PPCLI (EOR). Six months later he is admitted to 44 Casualty Clearing Station suffering from Trench Feet, a condition caused by standing with unprotected or badly protected feet in unsanitary water.  Sent back through the evacuation train to England and the General Military Hospital in Colchester. January 1918 sees William at the Military Convalescent Hospital Epsom and on the 28th at the Manor War Hospital Epsom. May 16th and William is back at Shorncliffe. This time he is at 11 Canadian General Hospital and diagnosed with Dementia Praecox (Schizophrenia). On the 28th May, his diagnoses is changed to Exhaustion Psychosis, which is an abnormal mental state in which the patient is restless, illusional, and has severe communicational problems. At 11:30 pm on the 14th June 1918, William Anderson’s madness ends.

William is buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery.

#Shorncliffe, #Labour_Corps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes

(1) Soldiers details from the CWGC website.

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

 

Annie Spiezer #FWW #WWI #WW1 #Folkestone.

Some of this blog I have posted before. Time has also been spent on working out how to write about Annie. Annie has been hinted at in two previous blogs.  One of London’s spoiled doves and  Annie was one of many, Their stories are seldom told. There are a part of the history of war, just as Annie is a part of Lewis Gedalovitch’s story.

Private 557540 Lewis Gedalovitch

Labour Corps

Lewis Gedalovitch a Russian subject and a Registered Alien. A barber by trade, married Annie Spiezer in the last quarter of December 1915, although his service record gives the date of the marriage as 25th May 1916.

He is brought under escort to enlist on the 21st September 1917, and is called up to serve on the 13th June 1918. Ten days later he is posted to the 8th Labour Battalion. Then, on the 15th July to 102nd Labour Company at Sevenoaks. Posted overseas he embarks from Folkestone on the 4th August 1918 arriving in Boulogne on the same day. Like the wives of all married soldiers Annie is granted a Separation Allowance. This allowance is stopped in August. Form F.S.A. 6 from the Ministry of Pensions dated August 1918, divulges the reason as follows

Sir, I am directed by the Special Grants Committee to inform you that, no further issue of Separation Allowance will be made to Mrs Annie Gedalovitch 12 Saville Street, Tottenham Court Road, the wife of No. 557540 Pte Lewis Gedalovitch, Labour Corps, on account of her conviction on August 15th of being a common prostitute.”

There is a follow up letter in Gedalovitch’s records from the Ministry of pensions dated October 1918. The following is taken from this letter,

…the stoppage of the Separation Allowance was authorised on evidence which satisfied the Special Grants Committee the the woman is unworthy…”

He is granted two weeks leave back to the UK on the 5th October. Before he could return Gedalovitch is admitted to Endell Military Hospital. His leave is extended to the 25th October. Gedalovitch again spends time in hospital. This time from 21st December, rejoining his company on the 11th January 1919. In March he is again sent to Hospital. Posted to the clearing Office on the 23th March 1919. he returns to the UK the following day. The 20th April sees him posted to the 9th Russian Labour Battalion. Gedalovitch was punished by being confined to barracks for three days the first time On the 24th April, the second on the 22nd May. Both times for brief periods of absence. Gedalovitch was punished by being confined to barracks for three days the first time On the 24th April, the second on the 22nd May. Both times for brief periods of absence. While operating a bread cutting machine he cuts off the tip of his left thumb and is admitted to hospital for 24 days on the 30th June 1919.1 He is discharged from A company 9th Russian Labour Battalion on the 1st November 1919 being no longer physically fit for war service.2

He is awarded the British War Medal, The Victory Medal, and the Silver War Badge. 3

1920 Lewis Gedalovitch petitioned for divorce.4

1 Lewis Gedalovitch Pension Record.

2Lewis Gedalovitch Service Record additional details from Pension Record.

3 Medal Card

4 National archives web site.

Notes on crossing from #Folkestone #FWW, #WWI

The 11th Engineers Regiment (Railway) crossed to France from Folkestone in August 1917. Two soldiers from the regiment, Sergeant Matthew Calderwood and Private William Branigan became the first American Army casualties on the Western Front during the First World War. The 11th were working on the railway near Cambrai on the 5th September 1917, when they came under shell fire.  For his part in an action on the 30th November 1917, Lieutenant McCloud of the 11th received the British Military Cross. (1)

Also in August 1917, James McCudden crossed to Boulogne on the SS Victoria. He was to die in a flying accident in July 1918. James was probably the most highly decorated British Ace. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order and Bar, Military Cross and Bar, Military Medal, and the French Croix de Guerre.

At the beginning of August 1918, Lewis Gedalovitch crosses to France from Folkestone. Lewis a Russian subject and a registered alien. Brought under escort to enlist in September 1917, he is called up in June 1918 to serve in the Labour Corps. Just over a year later while serving in the 9th Russian Labour Battalion in 1919, he accidentally cuts off the top of his left thumb. On the 1st of November 1919, he is discharged as being no longer physically fit for war service.

…and a crossing from Boulogne to Folkestone. Not known when exactly this soldier crossed to France, nor when she returned.  Two reasons she deserves a mention though. She was in the trenches, and in her memoirs of the First World War, she mentions the Folkestone Harbour Canteen.  Her name is Dorothy Lawrence. Dorothy desperately wanted to be a journalist and by guile and subterfuge joined a Royal Engineers Tunneling Company at Albert in 1915.

1.http://www.webmatters.net/france/ww1_cambrai_us.htm