Category Archives: kent

More from Folkestone Old Cemetery.

 

 

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Before he enlisted in 1916 Thomas was an errand boy.

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

 

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

 

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Embarking from #Folkestone May 1918

These are just a few of the Units and personnel who embarked at Folkestone Harbour for the Western Front in May 1918.May 1918

Draft for the Guards Machine Gun Regiment. (Cavalry)

117th Infantry, 30th division U.S. Army.

On the 6th May

Private 3290 Charles Ambrose De Leon, Australian Imperial Force marched into the New Zealand Base Depot the following day. He is taken on the strength of 38th Battalion ex 8th Re-enforcements 38th Battalion on the 9th May. Charles was born in New York in 1888, he enlisted at Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in December 1917. Accidentally injured on the 24th July 1918. At the Court of enquiry a witness gave the following statement. Report on No. 3290. Pte De Leon C.A. (Burnt about the face and hands)
“On 24th July last, Pte De Leon was on outpost duty when the company was holding the line in the Hamel sector The enemy was shelling very heavily in the region of his post, and a fragment of one shell hit one phosphorus bomb which was amongst some Mills grenades. The phosphorus bomb burst into flames and De leon who was standing close to the parapet where it burst was burnt about the face and hands, also his clothing and equipment was burnt. Lieut Baxter after the flames were extinguished ordered De Leon to proceed to the Aid Post”
(Sgd) Pte F Binion No. 598.
Charles returned to his unit on the 11th October 1918.1

Private 6862, Edwin McMillan, 22nd Battalion Australian Imperial Force. Edwin McMillan was born in Folkestone, Kent, England. It is not known when he emigrated to Australia. It was there on the 29th July 1917, at the age of 18 years and 10 months he joined the Australian Imperial Force. After his medical he was appointed to 20/22nd Battalion reinforcements. Embarking on HMT Nestor at Melbourne on the 17th November 1917. 22nd January he is taken to the Camp Hospital at Taranto on the HMT Kashgar. On the 2nd February 1918 he marched into 6th Training Battalion at Fovant. While at Fovant he is absent from an 8:30 pm parade. He is confined to camp for 14 days and forfeits 4 days pay. From Fovant McMillan is posted to France via 5th Training Battalion, and the boat from Folkestone on the 6th May. He is wounded in action on the 19th May 1918. A gun shot wound to the head. At first he is treated at 5 Australian Field Ambulance, 5 Casualty Clearing Station, 2nd Canadian General Hospital, finally at the Australian Hospital Le Havre. He returns to the 22nd Battalion on 22nd June. He is wounded again on the 3rd October. A gun shot wound to the right thigh which shatters his right femur. Five days later he is admitted to No.8 General Hospital Rouen. 2nd February 1919 McMillan is invalided back to England. After being treated at the 2/1st Southern General Hospital Birmingham he is transferred to the 1st Australian General Hospital, Sutton Veny. He returns to Australia on the Hospital Ship “Karoola” 6th May 1919. Edwin McMillan died on the 9th July 1989.

Also in May 1918 wounded soldiers were being sent back to the front line, including this American who sereved in the Australian Imperial Force.

Private 2151 Andrew John Joseph Durkin, Australian Imperial Force. First crossed to France on the SS Princess Henrietta on the 28th November 1916. He returned to England in February 1918 suffering from Trench Fever On the 28th May Andrew is returning to the Western Front. Born in New York he lived in Brisbane with his wife Kathleen and three Children. He enlisted on 6th May 1916. In 1948 James was living at 520 Bay Street, Staten Island, New York.

Zen and the Act of Remembrance.

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

Sergeant 1011 Charles Stewart McKenzie
1/6th Seaforth Highlanders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Goddard was David Sutherland’s Sergeant.

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

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

(From the poem  In Memoriam
by Ewart Alan Mackintosh)

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

 

Stories from the Harbour Arm #Folkestone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Citation for his Military cross reads:

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

The citation for the award of the Victoria Cross:

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

The citation for the bar to his Military Cross reads:

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

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

and…

Private David Adams 4th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. This is not the first time Private Adams had crossed to France but the first and only date on record of him crossing from Folkestone.
Home Service from the 3rd September 1914 to the 27th July 1915.
3rd September 1914. Enlisted 3rd Battalion Royal Scots.
26th September 1914. Posted 14th Battalion Royal Scots.
21st July 1915. Posted 13th Battalion Royal Scots.
France from the 28th July 1915 to the 30th September 1915.
28th July 1915. France -not known from where he sailed.
29th September 1915. Gun Shot Wound left thigh.
30th September 1915. Returns to UK.
Home Service from the 1st October 1915 to the 1st January 1916.
1st October 1915. Depot Royal Scots.
30th November 1915. Posted to 14th Royal Scots.
1st January 1916. 13th Battalion Royal Scots.
France from the 2nd January 1916 to the 10th April 1917.
2nd January 1916. France, not known from where he sailed.

In March 1916 David was in the Hulluch Sector when he was blown up by a High Explosive Shell he is knocked unconscious and suffers from concussion. On a Medical Report dated 24th April 1918 from Glenlomond War Hospital it is stated that this is when his Neurasthenia started.

Home Service from the 11th April 1916 to the 18th April 1917.
11th April 1916 Posted for record purposes to the Royal Scots Depot, David is recovering in the Duchess of Connaught’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Taplow. He stays at the hospital until the 22nd May 1916.

7th August 1916. Posted to 14th Battalion Royal Scots.
1st September 1916 . Transferred to 3rd Reserve Battalion.
20th October 1916. Posted to the Larnarkshire Yeomanry.
2nd December 1916. 10th (Works) Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.
31st December 1916. Transferred to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
It is known from his Pension Records that David was a patient at the 2nd Scottish General Hospital. Craigleith, Edinburgh from the 9th January until the 24th February 1917.
19th April 1917. Posted to the 10th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
France from the 20th April 1917 to the 14th July 1917. (Pension Medical Record states 19th April.)
20th April 1917. Leaves Folkestone for France.
21st April 1917. Joined 19 Infantry Base Depot.
Home service from 15th July 1917 until the 10th May 1918.
15th July 1917 Taken on Strength Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Base Depot Sterling.
It is known from his Pension Records that David was a patient at Merryflats War Hospital, Glasgow from the 15th July until the 15th August 1917.
27th August 1917. Posted to 4th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
3rd November 1917. Posted to 250 Reserve Company Royal Defence Corps.
From his pensions we know that David was at Glenlomond War Hospital, Kinross in April 1918.
10th May 1918 Discharged as, “No Longer Physically Fit for War Service”.
15th May 1918 Died.

It is not know where David Adams is buried. Hopefully he managed to return to the family home at 12th Nile Street, Greenock.
As well as the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal David received the Silver War Badge (No. 389532). He is commemorated on Broomhill War Memorial.

Also…

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

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

 

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.

#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.

 

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