Category Archives: Great War

21st April 1915 Embarkations from #Folkestone

On the 20th of April, the following embarked at Folkestone

Tuesday 20th April 1915

Head Quarters 149th Infantry Brigade. Left Folkestone 8:15 pm. They arrived in Boulogne at 9:40 pm. 1

1/4th Northumberland Fusiliers, part of the Northumberland Brigade, 50th Division.2

1/5th Northumberland Fusiliers, part of the Northumberland Brigade, 50th Division. At 8:45 pm the battalion embarked on the S.S. Victoria. They arrived at Boulogne at 10:30 pm..3

1/6th Northumberland Fusiliers, part of the Northumberland Brigade, 50th Division after a train journey of nearly 12 hours from Blyth the battalion arrived in Folkestone at 10 pm and 10:45pm. They embarked on to the S.S. Onward and arrived at Boulogne at 12:45 on the 21st April .4

1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers, part of the Northumberland Brigade, 50th Division. Embarked at 11 pm, on the S.S. Invicta arrived in Boulogne at 2 am on the 21st. The crossing was very calm.5

11th (Service) Battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment, (Pioneers). A K1 battalion in 14th Division. The Battalion entrained at the Government sidings in Aldershot on two trains they arrived in Folkestone at 12 mid night and 12:20 am. The Battalion then embarked on the Princess Victoria which sailed at 1 am.6

1149th Inf Brigade War Diary

2 1/4th Battalion War Diary.

3 1/5th Battalion War Diary

4 1/6th Battalion War Diary.

51/7th War Diary.

611th Battalion war Diary.

Due to the timing of embarkations and sailings, the Army Pension records  record some of the men embarking on the 21st.

This is what happened to just a few of the men from the 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers.

21st April 1915

Lance Corporal 205 Walter Gair, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. He is wounded in action on the 26th of April. Promoted Sergeant in July 1915. Returns to England Time expired on the 7th April 1916.1

Private 2277 James Hogg, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. He is wounded in action on the 26th of April. Transferred back to England on the Hospital Ship Valdivia, 3rd May 1915.2

Private 2743 Thomas Gray Palmer, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. Accendently wounded on the 3rd (?) August. This probably when he was wounded by a gunshot to the right foot, on the 3rd (?) August. He transferred back to England on the 12th of August 1915. He will embark again for France on the 27th of October from Southampton. Appointed paid Lance Corporal 24th November 1916. Allotted a new Regimental number, 290719 in March 1917. Promoted to Corporal on the 20th of March. Appointed paid Lance Sergeant, 27th November. Accendently wounded in the field on the 6th April 1918, scald left ankle and gassed, Mustered Poisoning. Transferred back to England on the 18th of April. Discharged on the 18th October 1918 as Time Expired.3

Private 2029 Michael Quinn, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. 26th April he is admitted to 10 Casualty Clearing Station, Hazebrouck, with a gunshot wound to a hand. A day later he is admitted to No.9 Stationary Hospital Harve. On the 30th he is transferred back to England on the Hospital Ship, Carisbrooke Castle.4

Private 2747 Adam Scott, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. He is wounded in action on the 26th  of April. The following day 26th he is admitted to (10 Casualty Clearing Station?), Hazebrouck, with a gunshot wound to his left hand. Scott is transferred back to England on the 5th of May.5

Corporal 809 Ralph Watson, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. Time expired 1st April 1916. He is discharged from the Army on the 26th April 1916.6

1 Walter Gair’s Army Pension Record.

2 James Hogg’s Army Pension Record.

3 Thomas Gray Palmer’s Army Pension Record.

4 Michael Quinn’s Army Pension Record.

5 Adam Scott’s Army Pension Record.

6 Ralph Watson Army Pension Record.

S.S. Sussex March 1916 #FWW #FOLKESTONE

24th March 1916

There are no troopship sailings on this day. However one ship was allowed to sail, the S.S. Sussex.

While crossing from Folkestone to Dieppe the S.S .Sussex is torpedoed. Manliffe Francis Goodbody, Enrique and Amparo Grandados, Prince Bahram Mirza Sardar Mass’oud, Maurice Planckert +others were all killed.

Maurice Planckert is buried in Folkestone Old Cemetery, “Victime de la Catastrophe du Sussex.”

IMG_8971 (1)

(Photo Peter Anderson)

The following is an extract from Papers relating to the torpedoing of the S.S. Sussex. United States. Published by the Washington, Government. Print. Office.1916.

From the deposition given by Edna Francis Hilton. (File Number 851.857Su8/50)

“Q. Are there any more remarks you would like to make?

  1. There was a sailing boat coming and then going. There was nothing done to save the lives of the passengers. The lifeboats were in awful condition, there were three holes in the one I was in and there were only four of them. I saw a number of British steamers within the harbor of Folkestone, which I was told were being held on account of the presence of submarines in the channel. It therefore surprises me that the Sussex should have been sent out without escort.

Edna F. Hilton.

Subscribed and sworn to before me, Arthur Hugh Frazier, Second Secretary of the Embassy of the United States of America, at Paris, this 28th day of March,” (1916)1

On the 16th June 1916 in a letter to his sister, Captain E,H.L. Southwell wrote;

“ And oh, I saw the Sussex at Boulogne, with all her bones stove in, without a trace of emotion. I have seen too many ruins before now in this game, and one is very like another; a house that is no house has too often been an everyday sight. And so, when I came here, I found this billet a shade more demolished than anything I thought possible, the whole air rather more triste and sinister; but that was all. I could stand all that, and even the piano (shade of Ivor Atkins !) shattered o bits, and the keys choked with brick-dust; but one ting was just a fraction too much, and when I saw it I confess I caught my breath for a moment; it was a child’s marble, chipped, and past all hope of rolling. . . .”2

1 From the copy held by the Cornell University as reproduce online by the Hathi Trust.

2 Page 196-197 Two Men a Memoir, Oxford University Press 1919.

12/13th December 1916. Australians Embark from Folkestone. #FWW

The Canadians are remembered as embarking from Folkestone in the First World War. Less well known is Australians also embarked from Folkestone, as did Americans in Australian Service.

12th December 1916

Private 5792 George Frost, Australian Imperial Force, 18th Reinforcements 15th Battalion. Crossed from Folkestone on the SS Arundel. George was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA in 1876. A sailor he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on the 15th November 1915 at the Rifle Range, Queensland. Tried by Field General Courts Martial for Desertion on the 6th October 1917. He went absent while on active service on the 21st June 1917 until the 17th July 1917 and going AWOL while under arrest 17th August until the 20th August 1917. Found Not Guilty of Desertion, but Guilty of being Absent Without Leave. He is sentenced to 9 months Imprisonment with Hard Labour in the Military Prison at Rouen. George returns to duty on the remission of the remainder of his sentence on the 12th June 1918 and returns to the 15th Battalion on the 17th June 1918. Reported absent on the 21st July, rearrested 16th August, absent 28th August, traced 15th September, absent 30th September, and again reported absent 15th October. On the 14th January 1919, he is sentenced to 15 months Hard Labour. Some of the sentence is served at No.10 Military Prison Dunkirk. On the 23rd July 1919, he is transferred to prison in Oxford. He embarks at Calais on the “Maid of Orleans” and disembarks at Folkestone, under escort. The remainder of his sentence is remitted from the date of his departure for Australia, 22nd September 1919.

13th December 1916

A reinforcement draft from 6th Training Battalion Australian Imperial Force crossed on the S.S. Princess Henrietta

Private 4683 Walter Benjamin Brown, Ex 5th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. He crossed to France on the SS Golden Eagle. Part of 12th Reinforcements 17th Battalion Walter is taken on Strength by 17th Battalion on the 18th December 1916. Walter was born in Philadelphia, USA. He enlisted on the 29th of February 1916. Returned to Australia in June 1919.

Private (Acting Corporal?) 6006 James Digby Fowell, Ex 1st Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. 19th Reinforcements 2nd Battalion. Australian Imperial Force. James crossed on the SS Arundel. He arrived at the Australian Division Base Depot on the 14th and joined the 2nd Battalion in the Field on the 18th December.

Private 5322 Ivan Walker Drane, Ex 7th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of the 14th Reinforcements for the 25th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Drane sailed on the SS Victoria. Ivan is killed in action on the 20th September 1917.1 He is buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery, the inscription on his grave reads:
“LOYAL UNTO DEATH”

Private 5343 Crichton Ivie Gordon, Ex 7th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of the 14th Reinforcements for the 25th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Crichton sailed on the SS Victoria. Crichton Ivie Gordon died of wounds on the 16th April 1918.

Private 6062 Harry Robert McGuire, Australian Imperial Force, crossed on the SS Arundale. Part of 19th Reinforcements/1st Battalion. He arrived at 1st Australian Division Base Depot the following day. Taken on Strength of 1st Battalion in the Field on the 18th December. Harry Robert McGuire born in St Louis, USA, he enlisted when he was 45, on the 27th January 1916, in Cowra, New South Wales, Australia. Harry is admitted sick to hospital on the 18th April 1917. Invalided home to Australia suffering from Rheumatism and Age. On the 1st of May 1917.
Private 5643 John Henry Moore, Australian Imperial Force, crossed to Boulogne on the SS Princess Henrietta. Part of 15th Reinforcements/23rd Battalion he arrived at 2nd Australian Division Base Depot the following day. Taken on Strength by the 23rd Battalion on the 18th December. John born in Sacramento, California, USA. Enlisted in Melbourne Australia, on the 22nd April 1916, he was 44 years old. John survived the war.

December 4th. The Changing Face of Embarkations

On the 4th December 1915 a spy and a battalion embark

Marta Hari, Crossed to France on the SS Arundel

The 15th Service Battalion of the Welsh Regiment embark. including Private 20373 Joseph Thomas Walch, and Private 20198 John Whelan,

A year later it was mostly Drafts, Returning Wounded and Reinforcements.

4th December 1916

Private 1427 Romany Roy Gray, 3/1 Norfolk Yeomanry. Joined 17 Infantry Base Depot. Posted to the 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, allotted a new number 29660. Romany had first embarked to France on the 8th October 1915. Wounded in action he became a Prisoner of War in 1918.

Sergeant 29768 William Walker, Norfolk Regiment. A pre-war, William first enlisted in 1908. From 17 Infantry Base Depot William is posted to the 7th Battalion.
Private 34136 Arthur Westhead, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Posted to the 6th Battalion he joins them on the 12th.

Private 40974 Albert Arthur Wadhams, King’s Own Scottish Borderers. In April 1917 Albert is transferred to the 1st Dragoons.

Private 40975 James Adolphis Warrier, King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Arrived at 21 Infantry Base Depot the following day. Posted to the 9th Service Battalion, he joins them on the 13th January. Attached to the Sanitary Section on the 1st January 1917.

Sapper 2154 John Hunter Brown 8th Field Company Australian Engineers, Australian Imperial Force. He is returning to active service after being hospitalised because of wounds. John is discharged from the Australian Army as being medically unfit in 1919.

Private 2397 Wallace Roy Crichton Australian Imperial Force, ex 12th Training Battalion. Part of 5th Reinforcements 46th Battalion. He proceeds to Boulogne on the SS Princes Victoria. Captured by the Germans, he becomes a Prisoner of War on the 11th April 1917. Badly wounded, his right Leg is amputated. He is repatriated via Holland in January 1918.

21st November 1915 Nature’s Peace.

Just a few of the men from the Royal Warwicks (Birmingham Pals) who embarked from Folkestone on the 21st November 1915
“ “ La paix de la grand nature”
We are taught labouriously to make sorrows for one another and to tear up and harass the earth, but after a single spring, the traces of the past are overwhelmed by a riot of growth “which Labours not,” and in their place spring up the poppies of oblivion. The trenches which in February were grim and featureless tunnels of gloom, without colour or form are already over arched and embowered with green. You may walk from the ruins of a cottage, half-hidden in springing green, and up the Front line trenches through a labyrinth of Devonshire lanes. Before the summer comes again children will play between the trenches as in a garden, hide in strange hollows where old fragments of iron peep out from a wilderness of poppies and corn-flowers. Even the shapeless ruins, where for the moment we are living, you may look up and see a swift dart from a cranny; and all is well…”
(Second Lieutenant Stephen Hewett)
Although it is not known if Second Lieutenant Stephen Hewett crossed to France with the 14th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Hewett did was serving with them, when he was killed in action on the 22nd July 1916. Second Lieutenant Stephen Hewett has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

Company Sargeant Major 14/1052 William Black, 14th Battalion (1st Birmingham Pals) The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. William first enlisted in 1892 and served for 21 years. He re-enlisted on the 25th of September 1914. Suffered from an Inguinal Hernia from the end of April to the first middle of May 1916. Admitted to 45 Casualty Clearance Station 29th August with Myalgia. Invalided back to England on the Hospital Ship St Patrick on the 31st. Transferred to the 2/1st Queens Own Worcester Hussars 30th September 1918. His new Regimental Number is 68299. Demobilised in February 1919.

Private 14/1014 Maxwell Arrowsmith Weston, 14th Battalion (1st Birmingham Pals) The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Wounded in Action 29th July 1916.

Private 16/1223 Samuel Adams, 16th Battalion (3rd Birmingham Pals) The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, crossed with the Battalion. Samuel survived the war but was wounded in 1917 and discharged as no longer being physically fit for war service in April 1918.

Remmemberance Day 2019

I am not a fan of the Quasi-Official Remembrance Day Commemorations. Preferring to visit War Graves/ Memorials in my own time. Continued My father served in the Army for over thirty years so remembrance has always been close to the heart.
Visiting graves memorials and monuments has been a bit of a passion. In Singapore, Malaya, Indonesia, USA, Germany, Poland, Israel, Oman, as well as France, Belgium and the Netherlands I have seen quite a number both great and small.
One of the graves I visit has a First World War connection and it is in Denton, just up the road from Folkestone, Kent, England. It is the grave of Robert William Goddard.
So who was Robert William Goddard?
Before I tell you who he is:
A lot of people will be familiar with the poem by E.A. Mackintosh,
In Memoriam,
Private D. Sutherland
killed in action in the German Trench 16 May 1916,
and the Others who Died.
So you were David’s father,
And he was your only son,
And the new-cut peats are rotting
And the work is left undone,
Because of an old man weeping,
Just an old man in pain,
For David, his son David,
That will not come again.
Oh, the letters he wrote you,
And I can see them still,
Not a word of the fighting,
But just the sheep on the hill
And how you should get the crops in
Ere the year get stormier,
And the Bosches have got his body,
And I was his officer.
You were only David’s father,
But I had fifty sons
When we went up in the evening
Under the arch of the guns,
And we came back at twilight
O God! I heard them call
To me for help and pity
That could not help at all.
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.
Happy and young and gallant,
They saw their first-born go,
But not the strong limbs broken
And the beautiful men brought low,
The piteous writhing bodies,
They screamed “Don’t leave me, sir,”
For they were only your fathers
But I was your officer.
David was in the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders
He was killed in action at the German trench during a raid in May 1916. There are at least two accounts of the raid. one is in the War Diary.
” In the evening at 8:10 pm after an artillery preparation, two raiding parties under 2lt Mackintosh and 2Lt Mackay entered German Lines on both sides of the Salient at pt(?)127. 7 Germans were killed by either shot or bayonet +5 dugouts full of Germans were bombed. Also, one dugout was blown up by RE, All our party returned except 1 man who was left dead in German lines  It is estimated German casualties must have been between 60 and 70 Our casualties were 2Lt Mackay slightly wounded, 2 men killed +14 wounded. Two of the wounded have since died”
Another account was written by Ewart Mackintosh and published in
War : the liberator, and other pieces : with a memoir by E A Mackintosh, in 1918
This account describes the death of David.
” I believe we have to leave him” Charles said “He’s a dying man” Charles Macrae looked up with his hand on the boys heart ” No he isn’t”, he said “he’s dead”. They rose and left him lying there on the German parapet; from the right as they ran for the old trench came the clatter of a machine gun.
The account ends with
“”Whats up Tagg? ” said the Major
“I’m going back to give those swine hell Major” he yelled, and was knocked sideways by a vigorous clout on the head. “You young fool” said the Major “What you want is drink”and led him down to HQ where his men were already assembled. First of all he went to the dressing station and found there men lying and sitting, to hear from one that he had bayonetted two Germans, from another that he had bombed such dugouts, and to realise that the raid had really succeeded although it was a while before they found out how well.
At HQ was Sgt Godstone sitting on the steps with his head in his hands-it was from his section that the dead had come The Co gave them both strong whiskies…”
Sgt Godstone’s real name was Robert William Goddard MM and Bar.
Robert survived the war. He lived in Denton, near Folkestone, Kent where he was a farmer. Robert lived to be 90 years old and died in 1982. As far as I know, the Goddards still have a farm there, near where Robert is buried.

img_8152

The SS Sussex #FWW

An extract from my ongoing research

24th March 1916

There are no troopship sailings on this day. However, one ship was allowed to sail, the SS Sussex.

While crossing from Folkestone to Dieppe the SS Sussex is torpedoed. Manliffe Francis Goodbody, Enrique and Amparo Grandados, Prince Bahram Mirza Sardar Mass’oud, Maurice Planckert +others were all killed.

Maurice Planckert is buried in Folkestone Old Cemetery, “Victime de la Catastrophe du Sussex.”

IMG_8971 (1)(Photo Peter Anderson)

The following is an extract from Papers relating to the torpedoing of the S.S. Sussex. United States. Published by the Washington, Government. Print. Office.1916.
From the deposition given by Edna Francis Hilton. (File Number 851.857Su8/50)
“Q. Are there any more remarks you would like to make?
A. There was a sailing boat coming and then going. There was nothing done to save the lives of the passengers. The lifeboats were in awful condition, there were three holes in the one I was in and there were only four of them. I saw a number of British steamers within the harbor of Folkestone, which I was told were being held on account of the presence of submarines in the channel. It, therefore surprises me that the Sussex should have been sent out without escort.
Edna F. Hilton.
Subscribed and sworn to before me, Arthur Hugh Frazier, Second Secretary of the Embassy of the United States of America, at Paris, this 28th day of March”, (1916)