Category Archives: Shorncliffe

Games at #Shorncliffe, Bomb-Ball Game.

Sports in the Army have always been popular and are a useful training exercise. They discipline, quick thinking, fitness, no wonder I hated sports at school, and break the monotony of routine P.T.

Bomb-Ball was introduced during the FWW and almost certainly been played at Shorncliffe. It is mentioned and recommended in “Notes for Commanding Officers” a publication for those who attended the Senior Officers School in Aldershot.

The game is intended to use the muscles used in a bombing and, helps develop fast and accurate throwing. Throwing quickly and with a high degree of accuracy are skills a bomber needs to have. The game was normally played on a football pitch.

Most games involved two teams of eleven, The book “Notes for Commanding Officers” illustrates the position of the players in the 5 forwards, 3 midfield, 2 backs, position. A small canvas bag filled with sand or shot the weight of a Mills Bomb is used instead of a ball. Much like a beanie bag. In the rest of this narrative, it will be referred to as a ball.

The game seems to need a referee, however, the book doesn’t state whether the referee needs to be blind or make reference to the person’s parentage.

The ball is passed from player to player by throwing. The throw can be in any direction. Two methods can be used to throw the ball. By putting as in Shot putting, or overarm as in Grenade throwing as shown in army training manuals on bombing. The ball can be caught by using both hands but, thrown by only one hand. The throwing hand can be changed by the referee every ten minutes.

There is no running with the ball, as soon as it is caught the ball must be thrown. If the ball is dropped it must be picked up and thrown immediately.

To score a goal the ball must land on the ground in the goal.

The offside rule applies.

If a ball goes behind or into touch and a corner or throw in is awarded the ball must be thrown in or the corner is taken with one hand.  Penalties or fouls result in a free throw of the ball, again with one hand, from where the foul occurred.

Fouls are awarded when rough play takes place, (the grabbing of another player). A player runs with the ball,  the ball is thrown by another method then the two methods previously described, or being off-side.

The game consists of two halves, each half being between 20 to 30 minutes long.

Hopefully a game will once again be played at Shorncliffe in 2018.

 

 

 

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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.

A few #FWW Commemorations in #Folkestone Old Cemetery. #Shorncliffe

In the cemeteries in the UK, there is a wealth of memorials to the dead of the First World War. These are just a few from Folkestone’s Old Cemetery. There are many more in this cemetery too.

IMG_8558 Commemorated on this grave stone is Colonel Herbert Stoney Smith. H Stoney Smith commanded the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. He crossed to France as a Major with the Battalion From Southampton in  September 1914. By October 1915 he was their Commanding Officer.  On the 22nd October 1915 at 11:10 am he was mortally wounded by a sniper while walking the trenches. He died at 11:30. The Medical Officer said the cause of death was a bullet through the body. The M.O was uncertain but thought it was just the one bullet. H Stoney Smith’s body was conveyed to Vlamertinghe that night and buried in Poperinghe Military Cemetery at 12:30 pm on the 23rd. General Congreve VC and Captain Barrington Boyd from 16th Infantry Brigade attended the funeral. From the 2nd Leicestershire Regiment only three Officers and, one man from each company could be spared from the trenches. 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry Regiment lent their bugles to the 2nd Leicestershire’s for the occasion.

IMG_8562 Sidney Thomas Pittock is commemorated on this stone. Sidney enlisted in Dover on the 24th April 1917. After training, he crossed to France on the 2nd April  1918. Sidney was killed on the opening day of the Third Battle of the Aisne, (27th May 1918) while serving with the 2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment.

IMG_8565 Harold Wall was a trooper in the 3rd (King’s Own) Hussars. At the beginning of August 1914, the regiment was stationed at Shorncliffe. On the 17th August, they crossed to Rouen from Southampton, probably on the Troopship Minnesota. Harold was almost certainly killed in a counter attack by the 3rd Hussars near Zandvoorde

#Shorncliffe’s other Air Raid Victims #FWW #Folkestone

The story of the bombing on the 25th May 1917 is well known. The burials of the Canadian Soldiers killed led to the Canadian Day Memorial Service now held annually at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. Not quite as well known is that 13 other Canadian Soldiers all from theCanadian Field Artillery who were killed in an earlier air raid were buried there. I say were because only the remains of 12 still lay buried at Shorncliffe. Sgt 42623 Edward Charles Harris’s remains were repatriated and now rest in St Catherines Cemetery Toronto.

The air raid occurred on the 13th October 1915 at Otterpool Camp. Zepplin L14 dropped four bombs on the camp killing 14. Another soldier 86687 Harry James Rixon died on the 15th, he is buried at Easthamstead. One other soldier 86398 Pringle Borthwick is buried in Wilton Cemetery, Hawick.

The soldiers killed in the air raid on the 13th October 1915 at Otterpool and are buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery  are:

IMG_8547.JPGCharles Boeyckens, a Belgian from Antwerp who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Buried apart from the other soldiers killed, he is buried very close to the Belgium plot in the cemetery in Plot C.123

The others are buried in Plot O numbers O.303-O.313 inclusive. They are:

IMG_853086372 David John Philips. Plot O.303

IMG_853186436 Sydney George Lane who was born in Burgate Hampshire. Plot O.304

IMG_853286503 Ernest William Bayes who hailed from Walthamstow in Essex. Plot O.305.

IMG_853386463 Richard Dyer Simpson. Plot O.306

IMG_853486474 Richard Stewart Truscott. Plot O.307

IMG_853586676 Charles Gordon Peterkin Plot O. 308

IMG_853686658 Wilfred George Harris. Plot O.309.

IMG_853786552 Samuel McKay. Plot O.310.

IMG_853886791 Thomas Dickson. Plot O.311

IMG_853986777 Henry Adrian Horn. Plot O.312. The epitaph reads “Fear not them who can kill the body but are not able to kill the soul.”

IMG_8542400004 Douglas Routledge Johnston. Plot O.313. The epitaph reads “Till the morning breaks and the shadows flee away”.

Sources

Surrey History Forum

Kent History Forum

CommonwealthWar Graves Commission Website

Service Records of Canadian Soldiers WW1

 

Postcard to Mum Down Under From, #Folkestone #FWW #WWI

A dreich morning, it is the only way of describing it. I am cold, wet and miserable standing here by Williams grave. My hands are a ghostly shade of pale. The camera is soaking and I have the shivers. My head is close to the dark place it often haunts. A bad morning and the photo is crap, but the day and I are in paradise compared to William’s last morning ninety-nine years ago today. The morning of the 17th April 1917 was to be William’s last.  An Australian Infantryman he was due to return to France from Folkestone that day.  He had been wounded in action in October 1917. On the 12th April, he had gone A.W.L. from Tattoo for three days. He was to receive 14 days Field Punishment No.2 (F.P.2) and forfeit 17 days pay for this crime. F.P.2  the prisoner was placed in irons or fetters, subjected to hard labour and had to carry out all normal duties. It is during these last few days that William wrote a postcard to his mum.

“Dear Mother The military has sent me over to France to be wilfully murdered as I knew to much for them I gave them the best snye system the world could ever be produced ending up with their ruin writing”

He gave the card to another soldier to send. on the 17th William went to the medical offices at No.3 Rest Camp Earls Avenue Folkestone

Not long after 9 a.m.  on the 17th William went to the medical offices at No.3 Rest Camp, Earls Avenue, Folkestone. Sometime after 9:20 the medical orderly left the room to go into the medical officer’s room next door. The orderly, Lance Corporal Hooke, stated at the inquest “I heard a noise as in a man in a fit. I went back into the room and saw deceased. he was lying down on the bed, his head rather inclined the blankets kicked over part of his face, he was kicking his legs up and throwing his arms about. I saw that he had cut his throat.”IMG_8393

William was given a military funeral at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. His coffin was draped in a Union Jack. The Canadians provided a firing party and played the Last Post, Australian representatives from the Australian Imperial Force in London were in attendance.

William’s parents were informed by letter, that he had committed suicide while temporarily insane and, that they had buried him on the South side of the garrison church.

Source: William Burn Gemmell’s service record.

#Shorncliffe and the Great #Folkestone Air Raid 25th May 1917. #WW1 #FWW

This blog is only concerned with the burials in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. Bombs were dropped in various places. One person was killed in Ashford, two in Hythe. Other places throughout Kent were also bombed on the same day.

Six bombs fell on the Army Camp at Shorncliffe. Eighteen people were killed by these bombs. There are five other victims buried in the cemetery there. Two are civilians. May Arnold and Francis Harry Considine, they are included in the list. The people who died were from America, Belgium, Canada and England. The five victims of the bombings elsewhere are; May Arnold(Folkestone), Francis Considine(Cheriton), George Bloodworth(Folkestone), Constante Houdard(Folkestone) and, Hyppolite Verschueren(Folkestone). Houdard and Verschueren are buried in unmarked graves in the Belgium plot in the cemetery.

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An American citizen he was born in Indiana. His attestation papers record he attested at Windsor Ontario on the 22nd December 1916 Injured in the air raid on the 25th May 1917. he died of wounds at 9pm the next day.

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May Alexandra Arnold age 21, the widow of Freddie Arnold a Canadian soldier who was shot at dawn. May was wounded by the bomb that hit her home, 19 Bouverie Road East. Taken to the hospital at Moore Barracks Shorncliffe, May died of her wounds later that day.

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George Henry Bloodworth was born in Lee in Kent. Injured by one of the bombs that fell on Bouverie Road East he died at West Cliff Hospital with injuries to the Head and Heart.(Details are from http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=7293.0;wap2 25/11/2016)

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William Brown. His service record shows he attested on the 18th October 1916. He was taken on strength at Shorncliffe on the 30th April 1917. there does not appear to be a record of his promotion to Sergeant.

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James Alexander Bruce attested on the 5th December 1916 in the Draft Siege and Heavy Artillery. There is a note on his attestation papers that he was too small for the Heavy Artillery. He was awarded the British War Medal.

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Little Frances was killed by the bomb that fell on Cheriton. Buried in Shorncliffe because his father was in the Canadian Army.

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Jules Benjamin Alfred Desaleux was born in London, England. He lived with his wife Alice in Winnipeg Manitoba. Prior to emigrating to Canada Jules had served for a year in the 24th Battalion City of London Royal West Surrey Regiment. He attested on the 8th January 1917 in Winnipeg and he arrived at Schorncliffe on the 22nd April.

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Arthur Doig the son of Andrew and Maggie Murray of Birtle Manitoba, attested on the 7th March 1916. Hee arrived in England on the 4th May and was taken on strength at Shorncliffe on the 15th.

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The Screen Wall at the Belgian Plot at the Cemetery on which Constante Houdard’s name is inscribed.(see Below)

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Houdard C Belgian Soldier no other details are known.

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Oron Alfred Jenner enlisted in the “Bantams” on the 23rd February 1916. On his attestation papers, it is recorded that he had previously served in the Q.O.R (Queens Own Rifles) for five years. Oron arrived at Liverpool on the 29th April 1917 and taken on strength of  the 3rd Reserve Battalion Canadian Infantry at West Sandling on the 30th. He was still on the strength of the 3rd Reserve Battalion when he was killed at Shorncliffe.

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James McArthur. (As of 24/11/2016 service record not yet available online)

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Robert MacDonald attested on the 5th March 1917 at Winnipeg Manitoba.

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Hugh McNair (Records not available 24/11/16)

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James McNulty born in Valley City, North Dakota. He is listed in The Foreign Burial of American War Dead: A History by Chris Dickon. James lived in Edmonton Alberta. Prior to enlisted on the 1st December 1916, he had served with the 101st Edmonton Fusiliers a Militia Unit. The Militia in Canada were traditionally the Canadian Reserve.

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Charlie Marshall was born in London England in 1894. He attested in Crystal City Manitoba on the 8th April 1916. Initially recorded as killed in action May 25th 1917 his service record was altered to died from wounds May 26th 1917. He bequeathed his real estate and personal estate to Miss Nattie Maybe, Port Rowan, Ontario. He arrived at Shorcliffe  on the 30th April. On the 18th May he attended the West Cliff Canadian Eye  and Ear hospital in Folkestone for an eye test. The Senior Medical officer 2nd Canadian Reserve Brigade confirmed on the 25th May that glasses had not been ordered.

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Albert William Merchant was born in Little Oakley in Essex. He attested in Winnipeg where he lived with his wife Lillian, on the 26th March 1916. He arrived at Shorncliff on the 30th April 1917.

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John Miller, the son of Agnes shaw, attested in the 2/4th BattalionSouth Lancashire Regiment on the 22nd March 1916. Just under eleven moths later on the 16th February 1917, he crossed with the battalion to France from Folkestone. On the 31st March, he is admitted to 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station with Haemorrhage of the Lung. April the 5th and he is on the Hospital Ship “Princess Elizabeth bound for Dover. From Dover, he is transferred to Hospital at Shorncliffe. His discharge papers were signed on the 21st May and he is awarded a Silver War badge. John’s discharge was to be on the 1st of June as being no longer  physically fit for war service.  His British War and  Victory Medals are sent to Mrs Elizabeth Show Lyon Street Warrington on the 1st February 1922.

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Frank Padley was born in Nottingham, England. His parents Harry and Elizabeth Padley, lived in, Carrington, Nottingham, England.  He lived in Antler Saskatchewan where he was a farmer. Frank attested in Winnipeg on the 30th May 1916. He was unmarried.

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Ralph Pelluet was born in London. The family emigrated to Canada as  his father lived in Athabaska in  Alberta. Ralph worked as a bank clerk and lived in North Battleford Saskatchewan. He attested in Winnipeg on the 26th May 1916.

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Jack Sutherland was born in Bradford Ontario and lived at Palmer House Regina in Saskatchewan. He worked as a CPR Checker (Canadian Pacific Railways?) attested in Winnipeg on the 10th April 1916.

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Ernest Tennyson worked as a Lumberman. gave Mansion House Winnipeg as his current address on his attestation papers. Next to “Next of Kin” is the word “None” crossed out J F Davidson is handwritten  “Friend” is also handwritten next to “Relationship to next of kin”. Ernest was 37 when he died.

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Looking across part of the older section of the cemetery to the screen at the Belgian Plot on which Hyppolite Verschueren’s name is inscribed.

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Hyppolite Verschueren resided in sandgate Road. He died as a result of the bombing of Tontine Street, no other details known.

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Lloyd Garfield Yeo was born in St Thomas Ontario in 1898. Prior to being attested into the Canadian Mounted Rifles in October 1915, Lloyd had served a year in the 25th Regiment.

Notes on Sources

Names of Soldiers and some are from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site.

Other details where possible were taken from the soldier’s service records

May Arnold and Little Francis Considine’s information came from their gravestones, th free page on ancestry about the Air Raid

Name checks were carried out by referring to the companion volume to A Glint in the Sky by Martin Easdown with Thomas Genth.

All photographs, no matter how bad, were taken by myself, no one else shares any responsibility for them, what so ever.

 

 

#Folkestone American died of wounds received on the Somme 1916 #Somme100

David Gray  an American by marriage. He is listed in The Foreign Burial of American War Dead by Chris Dixon. An American by marriage. He could have stayed out of the war. Like thousands of others, he chooses not to. David’s parents lived in Ontario, Canada. This may have influenced his decision to join. Whatever the reason David attests on the 8th February 1916 at London, Ontario. Born in 1875 he is forty years old. He gives his wife address as London Ontario, although they both lived  in Hinkley Avenue, Detroit. The Ontario address was that of David’s mother so perhaps they were both staying there while David completed his training. Time for the both of them was rapidly running out. David boarded the SS Lapland at Halifax on the 24th April 1916, three days short of his 41st Birthday. He arrives at Liverpool on the 5th May and is transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe. From here he is posted to the Canadian (General?) Base Depot in France

Immediately after  his arrival in France, he is taken on the  strength of the 18th Battalion. Eleven days later on the 29th August, he joins them in the field. Just over two weeks later the 18th Battalion is at the Brickfields and the Battle of Fler-Courcellette it is the 15th September. For such an important battle, part of the wider battle of the Somme. The 18th Battalion’s war Diary gives very little away.

“The Battalion moved in fighting order from Brickfields. Took up position on the right  of frontage allotted to 4th Can Inf Bgde viz 18th right 20th centre 21st left.

6:24 am Battalion attacked German front and second lines to a depth of 1200 yards and held the position gained(both objectives gained)”

David Gray was shot in the head, the bullet entered the right ear and exited the right cheek, another gunshot  resulted in a compound fracture of his right femur.  At first, he is admitted to 13th Stationary Hospital Boulogne. On the 19th October, he is transferred to the Manor Court Hospital in Folkestone. By now David is seriously ill and his condition is deteriorating.

At 4:15 am 23/11/1916 David dies.

He is buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery

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He was 41, not 37 when he died.