Category Archives: The US

Four From October #FWW Embarkations from #Folkestone

It is actually to remind me I am on page 750 of my notes. All four are little known. The notes on each short.

From October 1915.

Private 111020 Kennedy Gideon Francis Baldwin 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles. Born in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada. His parents are recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as John E. and Annie W. Baldwin, of 11, Tetlow St., Boston, Mass., U.S.A. Although his attestation papers give an address in New Brunswick for his mother. Known to have been at Shorncliffe, he was temporarily promoted to Acting Lance Corporal while there. He reverted to Private before going to France. Transferred to 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles on the 2nd January 1916. Promoted to Corporal in the field on the 17th November 1915. He is killed in action on the 2nd June 1916. Corporal 111020 Kennedy Gideon Francis Baldwin is buried in Bedford House Cemetery, Belgium.

1916

Private 27964 Thomas Smith, The Royal Scots. Returning to France after being Shell Shocked. He had first embarked from Folkestone on the 7th June. This time he joins 20th Infantry Base Depot on the 12th posted to the 13th Battalion.. On the 27th October he is posted from 20th Infantry Base to the 16th Battalion and joins the Battalion in the Field on the 1st November. Reported missing on the 28th April 1917 and a Prisoner of War from the same day on the 4th September 1917. Thomas, age 22, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Smith, of 20, Marketgate, Arbroath, Forfarshire dies on the 11th December 1918 while a Prisoner of War at Lumburg in Germany. He is buried at Berlin South-Western Cemetery.

1917

Private 108436 Narcissus Walker, Machine Gun Corps. Narcissus attested on the 10th December 1915 in the King’s Royal Rifles and was posted to the reserves the next day. It was not until the 1st May 1917 that he was Mobilised and posted to the Depot at Winchester. On the 2nd August 1917 he is transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. Embarking for France at Folkestone on the 8th October he joins the Machine Gun Corps Base Depot at Camiers the next day. Posted to 237 Company Machine Gun Corps he joins them in the Field on the 11th October. Narcissus is buried by a shell explosion on the 7 November 1917 and injures his head. Evacuated via the casualty evacuation train back to England he is discharged as physically unfit for war service in June 1918

1918.

Private 33481 Edward Nolan, Grenadier Guards. Edward Nolan married Mary Jane Bradburn on the 7th March 1914. They were to have three children before the end of hostilities, John born 4th February 1914, Frances born 23rd August 1915, and, Walter born 29th June 1917. Before Nolan enlisted on the 10th December 1915 he was a Police Constable. At first he was posted to the Army reserves and not mobilised until the 25th April 1918. Nolan was posted to the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards on the 29th October 1918 the same day he embarked from Folkestone to Boulogne. Nolan at first joined the Guards Division Base Depot on the 31st October 1918. The next day he was with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards at the front. He returned to the UK with the Battalion from Dunkirk on the 4th March 1919. On the 12th April 1919 Nolan was demobilised and transferred to the reserves. He was discharged from the reserves 31st March 1920. Edward Nolan was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

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Four From September #FWW Folkestone.

All for men embarked from Folkestone inSeptember

From September 1915.

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.1 Macgregor was awarded the D.C.M. For an action on the 8th April 1917 during the preliminaries to the Battle of Vimy. 2 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.”3
(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. 4 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) 5

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.

From September 1916

Private 13790 John Weir, who had attested on the 9th September 1914. He first embarked from Folkestone on the 10th July with his battalion, the 10th (Service) Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) A K2 Battalion, which was part of 46th Brigade 15th Division. They had arrived in Folkestone at 10:45 pm. and embarked on the S.S. Victoria. Within days of his arrival at the front he forfeits 3 days pay, then on the 15th. In August 1915 he was awarded 6 days Field Punishment No.2. On the 25th September 1915 he was wounded, a gun shot wound to the back. On the 27th he was sent back to England. John is now returning to France. He is transferred to the 11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles on the 20th October with a new Regimental Number, 40271, and joins them in the field on the 30th. Awarded 7 days Field Punishment No.2 on the 21st November he is posted to the 8th Battalion on the 2nd December. Illness/sickness sees John in and out of the Field Ambulance until finally he is transferred back to England on the 10th May 1917. He is discharged on the 15th March 1918 as no longer physically fit for war service. His Pension Record is stamped “Deceased” but no date is given. There is also no indication of an award of a pension either although his length of qualifying service for a pension is given.

September 1917

Private 208995 Arthur Crabb, Labour Corps. Arthur Crabb was called up a month before his 39th Birthday the last week of June 1917. Posted to France he embarked from Folkestone on the 8th September. For five days he was at the Labour Corps Base Depot before being posted to 744 Employment Company, Scottish Command Labour Centre. It is thought that this company was involved with battlefield salvage. Five months later on the 19th February 1918, he is admitted to 16 Field Ambulance with Epilepsy. Admitted to 45 Casualty Clearing Station the same day and No.1 (Australian?) General Hospital Rouen on the 22nd. He is also discharged to duty on the same day by the Medical Board at Rouen. . Less than three weeks later on the 10th March he is a admitted to 49 Casualty Clearing Station with Epilepsy. This time he is taken by Ambulance Transport No. 6 to 5 General Hospital Rouen and back to Southampton on the Hospital Ship Carisbrooke Castle 16th March 1918. His Medical Report on the 26th April records that Crabb had epileptic fits all his life. The record also states “he is very deaf and dense, with weak general intelligent.”. Makes one wonder why he was enlisted in the first place. On the 1st May 1918 Crabb is recommended for discharge. He is discharged on 17th June, no longer fit for war work. He is given a weekly allowance of just over 8 shillings (40 pence) for 30 weeks.1 Arthur Crabb is awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal, and the Silver War Badge.

…and one who embarked in September 1918.

Gunner 28312 William Penniston Gallup, Australian Imperial Force. Born in Pueblo, Colorado, USA, and became a naturalized Australian on the 2nd June 1914. first crossed to France from Folkestone on the 6th June 1917, then he arrived at the Australian General Base Depot on the 9th June 1917. He was Taken on Strength of 6th (Army) Brigade, Australian Field Artillery on the 21st June and posted to 17th Battery. Wounded in action on the 22nd March 1918, he was sent back to England. He is now returning, and rejoins 6th Brigade, ex-wounded, on the 28th September. William survives the war and is known to have been still alive in the early 1940s.

Four From July. Embarkations #Folkestone #FWW

The connection is July, and all four embarked from Folkestone during the First World War. They came from, Connecticut USA, Folkestone England, Grantown-on-Spey Scotland, and  not known, but in Scotland.

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

Second Lieutenant Jack Fellows Lambert 9th (Service) Battalion The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own)the eldest son of Ernest and May Lambert, 23 Terlingham Gardens, Folkestone is burned to death by liquid fire shortly after 3:15 on the 30th July 1915, at Hooge. This was the first use of liquid fire by the Germans and Jack was one of the first British soldiers killed by Liquid fire. His body could not be identified and he was listed as missing until March 1916. Jack has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate. Before the war Jack managed a coconut estate in the Malay States.

Two who embarked in July are;

On the 8th July 1915.

Duncan Mackintosh

Duncan Mackintosh was born in Grantown-on-Spey on the 19th November 1883. He was the eldest surviving son of of Peter and Margaret Mackintosh of Rosemont, Grantown-on-Spey. Duncan enlisted in Inverness during October 1914 and joined the 7th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in Glasgow. He arrived in France with the battalion on the 8th July 1915. Duncan took part in the Battle of Loos in 1915 where on the 25th September 1915 he was wounded in the shoulder. After his recovery he went on to serve in Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq. He was reported in the Strathspey Herald, as being dangerously ill, on the 1st June 1916. During the Battle of San-I-Yat a bullet entered his left lung and exited through his spine. After a tiring journey by boat down the river Tigres, he was transported by Hospital Ship to Bombay in India. Here he lost his left lung. Eventually Duncan returned to Scotland and married Mary Robertson. They lived at 5 Kings Street Coatbridge. Duncan worked as a Master Watchmaker. Eleven years after being shot Duncan Begg Mackintosh died on the 21st June 1927. His death certificate records that he died from “Gunshot Wounds” On the Family Memorial in Inverallan burial ground, Duncan is commemorated as “Dying from the effects of wounds received in 1917.” He was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal, the Victory Medal, and the Silver War Badge.

20th July 1917.

Patrick Weir

Private 21171 Patrick Weir. 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
First Enlisted, 26th November 1897
Declared a Deserter from the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 4th December 1909
Granted King’s Pardon on re-enlisting, 12th August 1914
Posted as “Private” 3rd Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 16th August 1914
Transferred to 1st Garrison Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, 15th July 1916
Transferred to 12th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, 10th August 1916
Transferred to 11th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, 28th August 1916
Deserted 42nd Training Reserve Battalion, 11th September 1916
Rejoined 22nd February 1917
Tried by District General Courts Martial sentenced to 9 months detention.
Posted to 9th Training Reserve Brigade as “Private” 8th March 1917
Transferred to 4th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 8th June 1917
Posted to 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 20th July 1917
(British Expeditionary Force)
Transferred to Labour Corps, Prisoner of War Company, 9th July 1918.
Transferred to Z class reserves (Demobilised), 27th August 1919.

 

Four and a Company, from Folkestone in the FWW, June.

The connection between the four people who embarked from Folkestone in the First World War is “June”, as is the connection with the Company.

The first man, embarked on the last day of May 1915. The poem was published in June.

Charles Hamilton Sorley crossed with the 7th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment. He would be killed in action on the 13th October 1915.

Cast away regret and rue,
Think what you are marching to,
Little give, great pass.
Jesus Christ and Barabbas
Were found the same day.
This died, that, and went his way
So sing with joyful breath.
For why you are going to death.
Teeming earth will surely store
all the gladness that you pour.
(From, Over the Hills and Vales Along, by Charles Hamilton Sorley, June 1915)

Robert Graves in “Goodbye To All That”, describes Charles Sorley as, “one of the three poets of importance killed during the war. (the other two were Isaac Rosenberg and Wilfred Owen.) Charles did mention the Folkestone-Boulogne crossing. Not in a poem but in prose,
“I hate the growing tendency to think that every man drops overboard his individuality between Folkestone and Boulogne, and becomes on landing either ‘Tommy’ with a character like a nice big fighting pet bear and an incurable yearning and whining for mouth-organs and cheap cigarettes: or the Young Officer with a face like a hero and a silly habit of giggling in the face of death.”

From the 28th June 1915

Mary Dexter. Mary wrote to her mother on her arrival at the Ambulance Jeanne d’ Arc in Calais on the June 28, 1915, 4 P.M.
“Dearest Little Mother:- Here I am, safely over-after a rough crossing. There were only a dozen soldiers onboard-British and Belgian-returning to the Front-and I was the only woman. The fuss to get off from Folkestone,-armed with a passport and forty permits and passes for going through Belgium lines!”

From the 29th June 1916

Private 414 John William Wheatman, K Company, 2nd R.B.S.A.S. Scottish (2nd Reserve Battalion South African Scottish) embarked on the “Golden Eagle”. He joined 9 Infantry Base Depot on the 30th. Promoted to unpaid Lance Corporal in the field on the 13th September. Wounded in action on the 12th October. He returned to France from Southampton on the 13th May 1917 rejoining his unit a month later. Wounded in action in August 1917 he is transferred back to England in September. Discharged at Bordon in the United Kingdom on the 20th May 1918. John from Hammersmith in London, had enlisted at Potchefstroom, South Africa on the 16th August 1915 in the 4th South African Infantry. On his attestation papers he gives his wife’s name and address as, Margaret Wheatman, PO New Primrose Germiston. A city in the East Rand, South Africa. His Award Sheet disablement pension, records his wife’s maiden name as “Clara Elizabeth Kitchen”. John had served for 4 and a half years in the East Lancashire Regiment and for a year in the South African Police. On his discharge papers alongside Campaigns, Medals and Decorations he has written, German South West Africa 1914-15, and France 1916 and 1917. His Military History Sheet records his service as;
Home 9-8-15 to 24-9-15
En route 25-9-15 to 12-10-15
England 13-10-15 to 28-6-16
France 29-6-16 to 20-10-16
England 21-10-16 to 13-5-17
France 14-5-17 to 25-9-17
England 26-9-17 to 20-5-18

4th June 1917

Corporal 7227 Alexander James Dean ex-4th Training Battalion Now 24th Reinforcements for 15th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Born in Advie, Scotland, Alexander had settled in Australia where he was married with 5 children. He decided to enlist on the 3rd August 1916. Twice wounded in July 1917, the second time self inflicted. Alexander is discharged from the Australian Imperial Force because of defective vision on the 22nd December 1917.

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. They 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.

 

 

So who did march down the Road of Rememberance? #FolkestoneRT

So who did march down the Road of Rememberance?

Not easy to say. The usual glib answer I give is relatively few. Relatively being a somewhat vague, now go away  answer. People, I realise, tend to want more.

The relative is compared to the total number of soldiers who left from Folkestone

How many left from Folkestone?

It depends who you ask.

You are asking me?

Oh, 2.5 to 3 million. If you think there were more, then in proportion the “Relatively few” is fewer.

So who were the few?
Drafts I am open to debate the issue-heck not really, I do know when and which regiments of more than a few, well at a guess about 200. plus the majority of Australian, British, Canadian, American, Indian,  Units that did, (and a South African Unit-that may have)  embarked from Folkestone)

Units that marched down Slopes Road and Dates  are as follows:-

On the 7th May 1917
Maybe
2/1st Shropshire RHA, 158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery1
2/1st Berkshire RHA, 158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery2
380 Battery RFA ,158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery3
381 Battery RFA, 158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery

The 30th May 1917 Maybe

No.5 Base Hospital US Army4

11th June 1917

No.12 Base Hospital U.S Army, after arrival No 12 Base Hospital operated British General Hospital No. 18. This unit did march down Slopes Road5 On the 20th May 1917 the day following the units departure for England, a gunnery accident killed Nurses Helen Wood and Edith Ayres injuring a third nurse. The bodies of Wood and Ayres were returned to the US and given military funerals. They were the first United States Army Casualties of the First World War.
22nd? May 1918
Maybe
117th Infantry, 30th division U.S. Army.

Maybe

Exact date unknown, but Maybe
120th Infantry “3rd North Carolina” 30th Division, U.S. Army. The regiment crossed from Boston on the HMT Bohemia and the HMT Miltaides. To Liverpool and then by train to Folkestone and Dover. The men from the Militiades crossed from Dover, those from the Bohemia Folkestone, both disembarked at Calais All the men from the regiment had completed their journey to France on or just before the 5th June.

2nd June 1918 Sounds possible

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. They 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.

11th June 1918

311th US Infantry crossed to Calais where they arrived about 4 o’clock.7 Some companies had embarked for France earlier in the month.
Maybe
312th US Infantry. The 312th had marched from Dibgate camp to Folkestone the day before, and had spent the night in vacant hotels in Folkestone. The 312th crossed to Calais on the SS Marguerite.8 On arrival at Calais they marched to Rest Camp No.6.9

3rd July 1918

Maybe 41st Brigade HQ.  sailed with the 29th DLI and half of 33rd London Regiment on the first ship at 9:30 am.
Maybe 18th York and Lancaster Regiment.
For sure 33rd (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment, Billeted previous night in Folkestone at No. 3 Rest Camp. Half of the battalion sailed at 9:30 am, the other half at 1 pm.
Maybe 29th Battalion Durham Light Infantry the Battalion arrived in Folkestone at 5 am., they arrived in Boulogne at 11 am. Four hours later.

5th July 1918

Maybe
15th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

These did.
20th Battalion Middlesex Regiment. On the 4th July the battalion consisting of 39 Officers and 623 Other Ranks. left Bullswater Camp in two parties on two trains one at 10:35pm, the other at 11:00 pm, for Folkestone. The last of the two trains arrived at Folkestone at 3 a.m. on the 5th. Both parties marched to Number 5 Rest Camp. Officers were billeted in surrounding hotels. Those officers staying in the Grand being excessively charged. The battalion paraded at 8 a.m. To march to the harbour and embark for Boulogne on two boats.
12th Suffolk Regiment. The Battalion left Pirbright on two trains, the first left at 11:45 p.m. On the 4th July 1918, the second at 12:15 a.m. On the 5th July 1918. On arrival in Folkestone the whole battalion was billeted at No. 3 Rest Camp. The battalion left for Boulogne at 4:30 p.m. on the 5th July.
10th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry. Now part of 43rd Brigade 14th Division. On the night of the 4th-5th July the battalion entrained on two trains for Folkestone. On arriving at Folkestone the battalion was billeted at Number 3 Rest Camp. At 16:30 hours on the 5th July the 10th Highland Light Infantry sailed for Boulogne.

31st July 1918

Likely some of these did

48th Brigade 16th Division, the brigade arrived in Folkestone between 3 and 5 a.m. and proceeded into a rest camp. Later on that morning at 8 a.m. They embarked as follows:
Brigade Head Quarters
22nd Battalion The Northumberland Fusiliers, and the
11th Battalion Princess Victoria’s Royal Irish Fusiliers
on the S.S. Onward.
18th Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), and the
48th Trench Mortar Battery
on the S.S. Princess Victoria. The Brigade disembarked in Boulogne at 11 a.m.

1st August 1918
These did.
11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) Hampshire Regiment. The battalion left Aldershot on two trains. After a three hour train journey the first train arrived at Shorncliffe at 4 a.m., and the second train at 4:30 a.m.. From Shorncliffe station the battalion was marched to Number 3 Rest camp. Here the men were billeted and served breakfast plus a haversack ration. Just before 8 a.m. The battalion was paraded and marched down to the harbour where they embarked on the S.S. Onward at 8:30 a.m. The S.S. Onward sailed at 9 a.m. and arrived at Boulogne at 10:45. From Boulogne harbour the battalion march up to Ostrahof Rest Camp. While here at Ostrahof the battalion saw their first action of their return to France. There was an enemy air raid at 11 p.m. There were no casualties in the battalion.
Maybe these did.
The Reconstituted 6th (Service) Battalion, Prince Albert’s Own (Somerset Light Infantry), now part of 49th Brigade 16th Division.
18th Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment part of 49th Brigade, 16th Division.
34th (City of London) Battalion The London Regiment.

Did they stop on the way down the road to remember their dead?

If they did, it should be called the Road of Premonitions.

Americans and others #Folkestone May 1917 #FWW

It is known that Americans went to France during the First World War long before America officially joined the fray in April 1917. The American people very often do the right thing long before the American Government gets around to it. Clarence V. Mitchell an American who went 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 in October 1914. Richard Norton the founder of the American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps, also known as the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps also crossed from Folkestone in October 1914. At the end of May 1917 America was in the war as an Associate Power fighting along side the British and French.
One of the first US military organisations to embark from Folkestone after the declaration of war was the United States Military Railway Commission to England and France. The commission had travelled down to Folkestone from London by rail and crossed to Boulogne on the SS London. The following day the Commission continued their journey to Paris by motor car. One of the first US Army units to go to France via Folkestone was, No.5 Base Hospital US Army. Not yet known if they went directly to the harbour or if they spent sometime in one of the rest camps. Both the Commission and No.5 Base Hospital crossed towards the end of May.

Soldiers with an American connection who embarked from Folkestone during May include:

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

Private 3156 Earle Nelson Gates, 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. Walter also embarked from Folkestone but not in May 1917.

Private 6785 John Charles Marchant, ex 2nd Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, he arrived at 1st Australian Division Base Depot the following day. Taken on Strength by 7th Battalion ex 22nd Reserves/7th Battalion on the 28th May. He is killed in action on the 4th October 1917 during an attack on Broodsiende Ridge near Zonnebeke. It is believed that 1st Divisional Burial Party, buried him. His grave can not be found and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate. John’s widow Mrs. Q. U. M. Marchant, lived at 822, Prarie Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois, U.S.A.

Other non American or Australian Units and men that crossed from Folkestone in May 1917 include man from an Artillery Brigade.
Mamiel Vincent Uzzell, farm carter and ploughman, he worked with his farther at Lower Barn Farm, Chaddleworth before his enlistment. He enlisted in the Royal Berkshire Regiment on the 12th February 1916. He is posted to the 3rd Reserve Battalion 20th January 1917. After training he is sent to France on the 7th May. The first eleven days in France are spent with 46 Infantry Brigade Depot before being posted to the 1st Battalion. Uzzell is reported missing on the 30th November 1917. He was most likely captured by the Germans on either the 29th or 30th . On the 29th the 1st Battalion is west of Bourlon Wood during an advance of 200 yards by C Company. The next day from about 8:45 am the, Sugar Factory where the Headquarters of 1st Battalion is the centre of a box barrage. During the barrage the Germans attacked the rest of the Battalion along the line Bourlon Villiage Quarry Wood. The attempted breakthrough is stopped by a combination of artillery and Machine Gunfire. Although the Germans continue attacks on the battalion all through the afternoon. For Uzzell the war is over. He is to spend the rest of it as a Prisoner of War. It is not until the 10th December 1918 that he is repatriated to. It will be another 10 months before he is demobilised and transferred to the reserves an the 12th October 1919. Mamiel Vincent Uzzell is awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal

 

Private 90681 Alfred Babbage, Machine Gun Corps. Alfred lived in. Dartford. He first enlisted in the 22nd Battalion London Regiment on the 2nd June 1915. He was then discharged on the 21st January as being “Not likely to make an efficient soldier. On the 18th December 1916 Alfred Babbage is enlisted into the Machine Gun Corps. He is 21 years old. At first he is posted to the Rifle Depot in Winchester. Two months later he is posted to the 5th Battalion Rifle Brigade. A year later on the 3rd April 1917 he is transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. Following this he is posted to France and embarks from Folkestone on the 26th May. After spending just under a fortnight at the Machine Gun Corps base Depot at Camiers he is posted to 152 company in the field. On the 13th July 1917 when cleaning his rifle he “negligently discharged same. Thereby wounding himself.” He is to be tried on the 25th for neglect to the prejudice of good order and military discipline. Before the trial Babbage is sent at first to 61 casualty Clearing Station then 5 days in hospital. Babbage is found guilty at his Field General Courts Martial and sentenced to 60 days Field Punishment No.2. This is commuted to 28 days by the General Officer Commanding 51st Division. On the 5th September he is sent to 35 Field Hospital with an “old” gun shot wound to his left hand. The 8th sees him at 63 Casualty Clearing Station, the 9th at 14th General Hospital and on the 11th he is sent back to England on the Hospital Ship St David. Babbage spends the next two months at the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington, Kent. His pension record also shows him as been posted from No.1 Northern General Hospital Newcastle to Somewhere on his journey between his unit and his release from hospital the second finger of his left hand is amputated. His last posting appears to be to the Base Depot at Grantham. On the 25th April 1918 he appears before N0.2 TMB (Temporary Medical Board?) Grantham. Apart from the Gunshot wound to his left hand he has some mental problems, described in his records as “mental deficiency” Three months later Babbage is discharged as being physically unfit to be a soldier. Alfred Babbage is awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Plus others. Research is on going and proceeds as fast as funds and mugs of tea allow.

Why some American Troops went to France Via Folkestone in the #FWW

At the end of January beginning of February 1918 a series of conferences and discussions were held with the Americans over the transport from America  and the training of six American divisions by the British.  To serve with the British Army. The letter is from the GHQ. AEF (General Headquarters of the American Expeditionary Force.)

 

G-3. GHQ. AEF: Fldr. 685: Letter
Transport of American Divisions
121/Transport/893 (S.R 1.) March 7. 1918.
Sir:
I am directed to refer to the question of the transportation and arrival in France of American divisions and other troops to be carried in British tonnage. You will be aware that the arrangements made at Versailles is as follows: (a) The British Government are to carry in British tonnage or in tonnage provided by Britain. 12.000 American troops per months destined for the American army direct. (b) The British Government are to carry in British tonnage or in tonnage provided by Britain the personnel of 6 divisions (American) totalling 150.000 men. to France. the infantry of which are for training with the British army. A provisional program of the shipping available has been drawn up. which shows that from march 15 to April 15. there should arrive on this side. vessels with a total carrying capacity of about 42.000 all ranks.

This means that there will be 12,000 men for the American army area, and about 30,000 Americans for the British army area arriving between these dates. This information has been communicated to the authorities in America who have been asked to inform us of the designations of the divisions, the units comprising them, and their order of despatch. As soon as these particulars are received, you will be informed accordingly. The principles being followed in shipment is that as far as possible the men both for (a) and (b) shall be taken direct to France. This is practicable at present only to a limited extent, but it is hoped to increase the numbers carried direct, month to month, Arrangements have been made for such vessels as can go direct to France, up to a total cany1ng capacity of 12,000 men per month, to take American troops for the American army area, and to discharge at Brest. During the period March 15 to April 15 referred to above, two vessels with a total canying capacity of about 3,000 men will be sent direct to Brest, the remainder of the vessels coming first to ports in the United Kingdom. The two vessels should arrive at Brest about the end of March, and as indicated above will cany troops destined to go direct to the American army. With regard to the onward despatch from England of the American troops which are brought first to this country, the numbers destined for the American army direct (in the period referred to above, say 9,000) will be sent as hitherto via Southampton-Le Havre. It is also proposed to use this route as far as possible for the 6 divisions destined for training with the British army, but it is possible that the limitations of this route may render it necessary to send some of these troops via Folkestone-Boulogne in order that their undue detention in England may be avoided. I am therefore to request that you will inform me whether you foresee any difficulty in this arrangement which would, as far as possible, be confined to those formations destined for attachment to the northern line. In this connection I am to ask that as soon as you receive the desIgnations of the formations comprising these 6 divisions you will communicate with this office as to the allocation of the various formations in order that this principle may be followed. A copy of this letter is being sent to Brigadier General C. M. Wagstaff, C. I. E., D. S. 0., R. E., British Mission attached American Expeditionary Force.
lam,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
The Field Marshal                                                                     SAM FAY.                                            Commanding-in-Chief,                                                             Director of Movements                    British Armies in France.

(Letter reproduced from Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War Volume 3 “Training and use of  American Units with the British and French”)

As can be scene from the letter, the intention was to use the Folkestone-Boulogne route as a temporary back up to the main movement of American troops through the United Kingdom. With the eventual aim of moving all American troops directly to France from the continental United States.

In the event the following four units are known to have been transported to France via Folkestone, after March 1st 1918, under this arrangement: (1)

The 117th Infantry, part of 30th division U.S. Army.

120th Infantry “3rd North Carolina” 30th Division, U.S. Army.(2)

311th US Infantry.  (78th Division?)

312th US Infantry. (78th Division?)

Were the French happy with this too? It appears not. The French could not understand why the Americans seemed to be so eager to help the British. At the time.  The American special relationship was with the French not the British. This was vocalised by Colonel Charles Stanton the year before,  “Lafayette, nous voilà”. Petain said on the 28th April 1918, Recorded in a letter sent by Major Paul Clark, AEF. to the Commander in Chief, AEF from the French General Headquarters, Sarcus, Oise.
“With regard to the first if General Pershing or the American Government see fit to send those six divisions to the British Army. it is not my affair. There is no doubt but that those divisions will contribute to the general need of the Allies. As for the second question General Pershing has believed stories that are not true. I know what I am talking about. The British should have a million more men in France now than they have. Why did Gen. Robertson resign? Because his government would not send over the 500.000 men asked for by Gen. Haig and Gen. Haig would have resigned at the same time if he had known …,  … Look at the map. Here is the French front (indicating). here is the British front (indicating). the British have 48.000.000 people in England. Scotland. Wales and Ireland. and the French have 39.000.000 in France. and think of all the British colonies. and yet France can put 1.000.000 more men on the front than Britain. Why? Because we make more effort. because in England a man is excused from service upon slight cause. whereas in France he is not excused for slight cause. ”

“If they are not soldiers they ought to be. The men are there. but Lloyd George and the others are afraid to act. Ask Gen. Pershing if he does not recall the day at the Supreme War Council when Gen. Foch made a comparative statement of the effort made by the two countries. It was illuminating. even Mr. Lloyd George said it was convincing. No “Jamais. jamais. jamais” (with emphasis) England has not made the effort that France has made. She has produced only about 1/2 of the soldiers that France has produced. though she has 10.000.000 more population and her colonies to draw from.
The General spoke with emphasis. even feeling. and while perfectly polite gave the impression of one who is profoundly sure of what he said. He looked in perfect physical and mental condition. I plan to come to Chaumont tomorrow a. m.
PAUL H. ClARK. Major.

By the Armistice nine American Divisions had been trained either entirely or in part by the British, these were

4th, 27th, 28th, 30th, 33rd, 35th, 77th, 78th. and the  80th.

Three American Divisions served operationally in British Armies, these were the:

27th Division which served in the Second, and in the last few weeks of the war, Fourth Army.

30th Division with Second and Fourth Armies

33rd Division with Fourth Army.

 

(1) Information about other units welcome.

(2) The 120th went into the line on the night of the 17thth-18th August.