Tag Archives: England

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.

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#Folkestone #Shorncliffe on the 4th July

Americans and Folkestone in the First World War.

Fore Notes.

1)Apart from beating the Canadians at Baseball in Folkestone, there is a largely ignored history of Americans and Folkestone in the First World War.

2)Americans were American by Birth or Immigrants.

3) A large number of America enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. On the whole, they are not included here. (Some Are)

4) A number of men born in Folkestone, such as Bertram Charles Goddard,  registered for the Draft in America. They are not included here.

5) The dates are the date of embarkation from Folkestone during the War.

6) There are some photos and, there are Footnotes.

7th October 1914

Clarence V. Mitchell an American who went to France 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.1a

27th November 1914

Doctor Rose, Colin Heerle and, Ernest Percy Bicknell of the Rockefeller Foundation War Relief Commission embark for Flushing.1b

31st May 1915

Private G/609 James Norman Hall, an American citizen he served in the 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, The French, Escadrille Lafayette. , U.S. 103rd Aero Pursuit Squadron., 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron, United States Air Service., and US Aviation Head Quarters, Paris. Wrote “Kitchener’s Mob Adventures of an American in the British Army” Died 6th July 1951. (James Norman Hall War Pension record national archives Kew and The Lafayette Flying Corps, by Dennis Gordon, Schiffer 2000 ISBN 0-7643-1108-5)
15th July 1915

Dr Rudd an American Doctor embarked on the SS Sussex to work for the American Ambulance Service.

11th March 1916

Ray Baldwin, George Hollister, Philip C. Lewis2, Bert Williams, Harvard volunteer ambulance drivers for the American Ambulance Service They crossed from Folkestone to Dieppe on the “Sussex”.

26th March 1915
Ernest Percy Bicknell of the Rockefeller Foundation War Relief Commission3

26th December 1916

Private 11197 Fredrick James Felton, Hertfordshire Regiment4, disembarks at Calais. He arrives at 17 Infantry Base Depot, on the same day. Posted to 3rd Entrenching Battalion on the 10th January 1917. He is made “Company Clerk” and on the 1st February awarded 6d per diem additional pay. Appointed Acting Company Sergeant Major on the 30th March. Allotted a new Regimental number, 235206 in February 1917(?). Transferred to the 4th (Territorial Force) Reserve Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers and posted to the 16th Battalion on the 2nd July 1917. Joining them in the field on the 6th. He reverts to the rank of Private on completion of his duties with the 3rd Entrenching Battalion. Killed in action on the 31st July 1917. Mentioned in, The Foreign Burial of American War Dead, by Chris Dixon, as he was married to E. L. Felton, of 4056, Oakenwald Avenue, Chicago, U.S.A. Frederick is buried in Artillery Wood Cemetery, in Belgium. The inscription on his grave reads5
“THY WILL BE DONE”

28th December 1916

Private 2166A Charles Lathorp Gray, ex-4th Reinforcements/48th Battalion Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force. Crosses to Boulogne on the SS Princess Clementine. He arrives at 4th Australian Division Base Depot the next day. Taken on the Strength of 48th Battalion on the 16th February 1917. Born in Ithica, USA Charles enlisted at Adelaide, Australia on the 27th April 1916. Wounded in action in April 1917. He is medically discharged from the Australian Imperial Force on the 14th January 1918.6
Corporal 2517 Walter Theodor Hass, 48th Battalion Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force. He is killed in action 12th October, Aged 21. His brother Albert crossed to France from Folkestone on the 14th May 1917. Both have no known grave and are commemorated on the Menin Gate.
They are the sons of Peter Heinrich Hass, of Peterborough, South Australia, and the late Lisette Hass (nee Lohmann). Both were born in Greenville, Wisconsin, USA.7

31st December 1916

Private 204 Arthur Jones, Australian Imperial Force crossed to France on the SS Princess Victoria. Born in California, USA, Arthur was a pastry cook by trade. He lived in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia, on the 23rd February 1916. He embarks for England on the 17th May 1916, returns home on the 14th May 1919. Arthur is taken on the strength of the 41st Battalion ex 53rd Reinforcements/41st Battalion from 3rd (Australian) Division Base Camp on the 5th January 1917.8

4th January 1917

Driver 14865 George Thomas Bowden, Australian Engineers, Australian Imperial Force. Crossed to Boulogne on the SS Princess Clementine. Marched into the Australian General Base Depot, Etaples the same day. Transferred to 13th Field Company, Australian Engineers. on the 10th. He joins them in the field on the 12th. Born in Warwick, USA, circa 1871, George died 28th June 1949.9

16th January 1917

Private 4615 James Albert Phillips10, 45th Battalion Australian Imperial Force, crossed on the SS Princess Clementine. James is returning to his battalion after recovering from wounds. James was originally from Chicago USA.

24th January 1917

Private 2660 Richard Lindop, Ex Pioneer Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Taken on the strength of 4th Pioneer Battalion on the 7th March. He is killed in action on the 22nd June, age 43. Richard was the son of William and Eliza Lindop and the husband of Frances Lindop, of 1821, Cliff St., McKeesport, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. And a native of Staffordshire, England.11 He is listed in The Foreign Burial of American War Dead, by Chris Dickon.

2nd February 1917

Private 2283 Francisco Aceituno, Australian Imperial Force. Born in Key West, Florida, USA. Francisco was now a farmer in Australia. He enlisted in May 1916. He crossed to France on the SS Invicta and marched into 3rd Australian Base Depot the same day. Taken on the Strength of 44th Battalion Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force ex-4th Reinforcements/44th Battalion on the 8th. It was not until May 1936 that Francisco received his medals.12

6th March 1917

Private 277330 Emile Cyr, Manchester Regiment. Emile Cyr was a sailor who enlisted at Birkenhead on the 7th August 1916. The first eight months of his army service was spent at home before he was posted to the British Expeditionary Force. Embarking from Folkestone with the 2/7th Battalion on the 6th March 1917. On the 9th October, he is at the 2/7th Field Ambulance “Sick”. Moved through the casualty evacuation chain he is transferred by hospital ship back to England on the 20th October. The next four months are spent back in the United Kingdom until on the 20th March 1918 he again embarks from Folkestone to Boulogne. After three days at “H” infantry brigade depot in Etaples, he is posted to the 2/5th Battalion Manchester Regiment and serves with them in the Field from the 6th April. Cyr is attached to 66th Division Head Quarters for a short while from the 15th May possibly followed by a stint at 199 Infantry Brigade Head Quarters, Posted to 1/5th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the 30th September he does not join them in the Field until after the Armistice on the 22nd November. Between the 30th September and the 22nd November, he spends 23 days at “H” Infantry Brigade Depot and 30 days at “K” Infantry Brigade Depot. On Christmas day 1918 he is granted 14 days leave in the United Kingdom. Shortly after his return, he is ordered to proceed to the United Kingdom for reparation to the USA. He embarks for England from Dunkirk on the 2nd February 1919. .He was transferred to “Z” class reserves on the 21st June 1919. Emile did not qualify for a pension or gratuity. After his discharge from the army, he moved to Maine in the USA where his mother resided.13 Emile Cyr was awarded the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal.

13th March 1917

Private 1685 William Charles Gordon, Australian Imperial Force. Taken on Strength by 19th Battalion, Ex 56th Battalion Reinforcements. In July he is transferred to the 5th Light Trench Mortar Battery. Wounded in Action he survives the War. William was born in Seattle, USA.14

Private 2763 Walter Summerton, Walter was born at Crystal City, Missouri, USA. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. As his place of birth, he gave his parent’s address, Settler, Alberta, and his occupation as Labourer. Now ex 12th Training Battalion he is embarking for France from Folkestone. The following day he will join 4 Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples. Marched out to join his unit on the 17th. He joins 46th Battalion in the Field on the 18th. At first, he was presumed killed in action on the 11th April, but on the 7th of May, he is listed on the Prisoner of War List P.M 116. He died while a Prisoner of War in Senna Germany on the 28th October 1918. Walter, age 31, was the son of John and Annie Elizabeth Summerton. He is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery Kassel, Hessen, Germany.15

13th April 1917

Sapper 16219. Alexander Charles McDermott16, Australian Imperial Forces, he arrived at Australian General Base Depot the next day. Joined 12th Field Company Australian Engineers, in the Field, on the 27th April. Alexander Charles McDermott, born on Rhode Island, USA. Alexander enlisted at Melbourne, Australia, and survived the war.

19th April 1917

Private 1025 James Thomas Donnelly, 1st Reinforcements/41st Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, Ex-11th Training Battalion Larkhill. He is Taken on Strength of 41st Battalion, ex 3rd Australian Division Base Camp on the 10th May. James was born in Colorado, USA, and enlisted at Brisbane Queensland, Australia, in February 1916.17

25th April 1917

Private 2815 Mayo Carlton Clark, Australian Imperial Force, he arrives at 4th Australian Division Base Camp the following day. Taken on the strength of 4th Pioneer Battalion ex-6th Reinforcements/4th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, on the 16th May 1917. Mayo was born near Denver, Colorado, USA. Married to Jane Reid of New Zealand, his mother lived in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. He enlisted on the 10th January 1916 in Brisbane. Hospitalised in July 1918 suffering from Trench Fever.18

9th May 1917

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.”
George has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.19

14th May 1917

Private 3156 Earle Nelson Gates,20 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.21

30th May 1917

No.5 Base Hospital US Army. Marched down Slopes Road, now known as the Road of Remembrance. They “crossed the Channel in a crowded packet in a dense fog, surrounded by growling destroyers we could not see,”22 Crossed to Boulogne on the SS Princess Victoria. They take over the British Expeditionary Force General Hospital No.11, situated between Dannes and Camiers. Serving with the No5. Base Hospital is Lieutenant William Fitzsimmons, Private Oscar C Tugo and, Miss Eva Parmelee. William Fitsimmons will become the first American, in the American Expeditionary Force, to be killed by enemy action in the Great War. He is killed in an air raid on the Base Hospital on the 4th September 1917. Oscar Tugo is also killed in the air raid. He is the first American enlisted man in the American Expeditionary Force to be killed by enemy action. Eva Parmelee is on duty during the air raid. Escaping with only minor injuries despite her dress being holed by shrapnel, remained at her post. Throughout the raid Eva stayed calm, she collected, cared for, and comforted both the newly wounded and others. For her actions during the raid, General Pershing gave her an honorary mention and King George V presented her with the first Military Medal awarded to an American nurse.23 Other accounts record Eva being awarded the American Distinguished Service Cross.24 25

(More American Units marched down Slope Road (The Road of Remembrance) than Canadian and possibly British Units.)

29th June 1917

Mr Mowry of the American Bolling’s Aeronautical Commission to Europe, and 63 men from the Civilian Motor Mechanics Group. The Group were in Europe to study British and French aircraft production techniques.26

13th June 1917

U.S. General “Black” Jack Pershing.27 He crossed on the SS Invicta. Shortly after their arrival General Pershing’s aide, Colonel Charles Stanton, on the 4th July 1917 made the following remark, “Nous voila, Lafayette” (Lafayette, we are here!“) at Lafayette’s tomb.

8th August 1917.

11th Engineers Regiment, (Railway),28 an American regiment raised from railway workers. They were sent over to France to help maintain the railways in Northern France. Sergeant Matthew Calderwood and Private William Branigan were wounded when the Unit came under shell fire on the 5th September 1917. They were the first United States Army casualties on the Western Front. 29

17th September 1917

Private M/322950.Victor Holman, Army Service Corps. Posted to 974 Motor Transport Company, 5th Heavy Repair Shop. Victor stated he was born near Colorado in the USA. Attested on the 1st September 1914 and gave his age as 19yrs and 345 days. He had served in France before. Embarked from Southampton when serving with the Kings Royal Rifles as Private Y861, in October 1915. Then he was sent back to England, on the 28th March 1917, for being “Under Age”.30

1st March 1918

Corporal 374A Thomas Oscar Miller, Australian Imperial Forces. Ex-Machine Gun Training Depot, Grantham. Returning to France, he arrived at the Machine Gun Base Depot, Camiers the next day. Rejoining the 21st Machine Gun Company in the Field on the 7th March. On the 1st April 1918, the 21st Machine Gun Company’s designation is changed to the 1st Machine Gun Battalion. Thomas Oscar Miller, born in Boston, USA. Enlisted in Adelaide, Australia. He survived the war.31

15th April 1918

Private 6765 Arthur Henry Banninger, Australian Imperial Force, Ex-20th Reinforcements/24th Battalion. Arrived at New Zealand Base Depot on the 17th. He is taken on strength of 24th Battalion on the 26th April 1918. Born in Hanover, Washington County, Kansas, USA. Wounded in action in July 1918, he survives the war.32

Private 3241 Richard William England, Australian Imperial Force, ex-9th Training Battalion. Marches into No.3 Base Depot, Etaples two days later. He is taken on Strength 40th Battalion, ex 7th Reinforcements/40th Battalion on the 26th April. Richard was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He enlisted in Claremont, Tasmania. On the 9th November 1916.33

Private 6904 Gustav Albert Mahle, Ex 6th Training Battalion. Australian Imperial Force. He arrived at the New Zealand Base Depot on the 17th. Taken on the strength of 23rd Battalion ex (20) reinforcements on the 20th April. Born in Mobile Alabama, USA. Gustav was an American Subject who lived with his wife, Kathleen Monica Mahle, in Richmond, Victoria, Australia. Wounded in action he survived the war.34

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. The 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.35

8th July 1918

Private 3629 Norman Crumpler Frederick. Born in Key West Florida USA he became a farmer and lived with or near his parents in Victoria Australia. He enlisted on the 2nd of December 1917. Now he is part of the 10th Reinforcements/57th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Taken on Strength by 57th Battalion on the 24th. Wounded in Action on the 2nd of September 1918. Six months later on the 3rd March 1919, Norman is detached from the 57th Battalion for duty with the Australian Graves Registration Unit.36

15th July 1918

Private 7026 Daniel H Burchfield, Australian Imperial Force. An American born in Tennessee enlisted on the 31st October 1917. He Arrived at the Australian Infantry Base Depot Harve on the 18th. Marched out to the 45th Battalion the next day. Transferred to the 34th Battalion from the 45th ex Australian Infantry Base Depot and Taken on Strength by the 34th on the 21st July. Wounded in Action on the 8th August 1918. A Gun Shot Wound to the heart. He is transferred through the evacuation train back to England via 5 General Hospital, Rouen. He dies from his wound on the 18th of November 1918. He is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery. Daniel is probably the Daniel Horatio (Sp?) Burchfield in Knoxville Tennessee. There seems to be a close match in signatures, as well as in name.37

29th July 1918

Private 7958 William Robert Christian38. Born 9th September 1895 in Leadville, Colorado, the son of Evan and Sarah Christian, he is an American Citizen. William enlisted in Tasmania, where he lived with his wife, in October 1917. After basic training, he embarked from Australia for Liverpool on the 28th February 1918 and joined the 1st Training Battalion at Sutton Veny on the 20th April. Taken on Strength by 12th Battalion ex 27th Reinforcements 4th August 1918. Wounded in Action, Wounds caused by a shell, back and legs. On the 26th of August. He died from the wounds on the 30th August at 41st Casualty Clearing Station. Buried at Daours Communal Cemetery Extension. The inscription on his grave reads:

“HE DIED DOING HIS DUTY MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE”

8th August 1918

Private 7378 Ernest Thompson, Australian Imperial Force, ex 12th Training Battalion. He arrived at the Australian Infantry Base Depot the next day. Taken on Strength by 51st Battalion on the 16th August. Ernest was born in Omaha, USA. An American subject he enlisted in Narrogin, Western Australia, on the 18th December 1917. He survived the war.39

30th August 1918

Driver 16202 Isard Zeltner, Australian Imperial Force, he arrived at the Australian General Base Depot on the 1st September. Joined 3rd Motor Transport Company, ex Australian General Base Depot on the 5th September. Born in St Louis, Missouri, an American Subject. He enlisted on the 26th November 1917 at Melbourne Australia.40
8th August 1917.

“Nous voila, Lafayette”.
Americans also stayed at No.3 Rest Camp on the Leas before marching down Slope Road to the harbour and the ships waiting to take them to France. Two soldiers from the United states 11th Engineering Regiment (Railways) who were to become the first casualties from the A.E.F. were at the rest camp on the Leas. There is also another almost forgotten connection with the United States.
The United States is well known for the respect Americans pay to their war dead. American Great War Cemeteries are impressive places. They are very proud of the role their soldiers played. Yet there is a lost almost forgotten army of American dead. Those that fought in other nations uniforms. They are buried in cemeteries all over the world and ignored by Americans. For some the connection to the United States begs the question of, how do we define nationality, and does it matter? Others there is no doubt of their nationality. These are the Folkestone/Shorncliffe dead with an American connection. All are buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery, all are listed in The Foreign Burial of American War Dead by Chris Dickon.

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James Desmond McNulty Born in Valley City, North Dakota. killed in the Air Raid 25th May 1917.

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John Lucius Rumsdell The husband of Letitia M Ramsdell, Brooklyn New York.

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George Bates, Son of Norman and Sally Bates of Arkansas. Served in Mexico, presumably with the US Army. Married and lived with his wife in Vancouver. After his enlistment, his wife moved to North Wales.

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David Gordon, died of wounds received in France. Born in Belfast, he was the son of James Gordon of 1 Bunker Hill Court, Charleston, West Virginia.

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Ottawa Gladman, Born in Canada and lived in Chicago. Died of Meningitis.

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Charley Hanson, Born in Norway, lived in Saskatchewan, married to Caroline Hanson of Fairchild Wisconsin, USA. Dad to six children. Charley had arrived in England on the SS Scandinavian. on the 5th of February 1917. He died from an illness.

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David Gray, Married to Annie Gray of Detroit, Michigan. Wounded on the Somme, he died at Manor Court Hospital, Folkestone.

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Bert Arbuckle, Born in Indiana. Injured in the air raid on the 25th May 1917, he died of wounds the next day.

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George Wheeler Armstrong.An American Eagle of the First World War. lots of references to the Americans who flew in the Lafayette Escadrille, few for those who flew with the RAF during the war. Born in the US Virgin Islands. Died in an accident while flying a Bristol F2b.

Also at  Shorncliffe Military Cemetery is the grave of May Arnold. A victim of the Folkestone Air Raid in May 1917. May’s husband was Freddie Arnald an American serving in the Canadian Army. Freddie was executed, by the British Army, for desertion on the 27th July 1916 at Le Portel. He is possibly the only American executed by the British in the First World War.

img_8221May Arnold’s grave.

Addendum

Other notable Americans who embarked from Folkestone in the First World War include:

Richard Norton1 Founder of the American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps, also known as the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps, embarked 20th October 1914,(Arlen Hanson, Gentlemen Volunteers, New York: Arcade, 1996. quoted in, http://www.ourstory.info/2/a/Norton.html accessed 10/02/2018) and Glenna Lindsey Bigelow, an American who was living near Liege Belgium. Embarking for Calais. Glenna worked as a nurse throughout the war. Embarked on the 9th of November. (Liege on the line of March, Glenna Lindsey Bigelow, John Lane Company 1918.)

Footnotes.

1a) Unpublished article by Peter Anderson.
1b)In War’s Wake, 1914-1915; the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Red Cross Join in Civilian Relief by Ernest Percy Bicknell. Hathi Trust Digital Library online 12/01/2019.
2)Page 205 The Harvard Volunteers in Europe Edit by M.A. DeWolf Howe, Cambridge Harvard University Press. 1916
3)In War’s Wake, 1914-1915; the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Red Cross Join in Civilian Relief by Ernest Percy Bicknell. Hathi Trust Digital Library online 12/01/2019.
4)Frederick J Felton’s Medal Card.
5)Fredrick J Felton’s Army Pension Record, and his listing on the CWGC Website.
6)Charles Lathorp Gray’s Army Service Record.
7)Albert and Walter Hass Army Service Records and CWGC Web page.
8)Arthur Jones’s Service Record.
9)George Bowden Army Service Record.
10)James Albert Phillips Army Service Record.
11)Richard Lindop’s Army Service Record. And listing on the CWGC Website.
12)Francisco Aceituno Army Service Record.
13)Emile Cyr Army Pension Records.
14)William Charles Gordon’s Army Service Record.
15)Walter Summerton’s Army service record and Medal Card,
16)Alexander Charles McDermott’s Army Service Record.
17)James Thomas Donnelly’s Army Service Record.
18)Mayo Carlton Clark, Army Service Record.
19)George Joseph Richard Brown’s Army Service Record and his CWGC Website Listing
20)Earle Nelson Gates’s Army Service Record.
21)Albert and Walter Hass Army Service Records and CWGC Web page.
22)The story of U.S. Army base hospital no. 5, web retrieved 05/04/2017

23)http://www.ourstory.info/library/2-ww1/hospitals/bh5a.html retrieved 12/91/2019
24)http://www.thefamilyparmelee.com/f-x01-0500evajean-nurse.html
25)http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/medals.html
26)Gorrell’s History AEF Air Service Sheet 8 History of Bolling’s Mechanics
27)Yanks, by John S.D. Eisenhower, and, http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/arrival.htm
28)Jones, Raymond W , WW1 Officer Experience Reports AEF
29)http://www.webmatters.net/france/ww1_cambrai_us.htm 95/05/2016
30)Victor Holman’s Army Service Record.
31)Thomas Oscar Miller’s Army Service Record.
32)Arthur Henry Banninger’s Army Service Record.
33)Richard William England’s Army Service Record.
34)Gustav Albert Mahle’s Army Service Record.
35)Pages 14-15 The history of Company B, 311th infantry, in the world war. Edited … Colonna, Benjamin Allison. Hathi Trust online book, 04/02/18
36)Norman Crumpler Frederick’s Army Service Record.
37)Daniel H Burchfield, Army Service Record, Tennessee Draft card on Fold3, CWGC web listing.

38)William Robert Christian’s Army Service Record and CWGC listing.
39)Ernest Thompson’s Army Service Record.

40)Isard Zeltner’s Army Service Record.

 

5 Embark in August, #FWW Folkestone

This is to remind me I am now on page 740 of the who and when people embarked from Folkestone in the First World War. The project will be edited down to around 350 pages. That though is a long way off. So here are Five From August.

Sergeant 3/10133 Arthur Frederick Saunders V.C. (1878-1947), 9th (Service) Battalion The Suffolk Regiment, embarked in August 1915.

“No. 3/10133 Sergeant Arthur Frederick Saunders, 9th (Service) Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery. When his officer had been wounded in the attack he took charge of two machine-guns and a few men, and, although severely wounded in the thigh, closely followed the last four charges of another battalion, and rendered every possible support. Later, when the remains of the battalion which he had been supporting had been forced to retire, he stuck to one of his guns, continued to give clear orders, and by continuous firing did his best to cover the retirement.”

In August 1916

Company Quarter Master Sergeant 9094 Lorraine Gabbitas, Sherwood Foresters, (Notts and Derby Regiment). He joined the 10th Battalion in the Field on the 6th September 1916. Promoted to Company Sergeant Major on the same day. Lorraine had served in the Balkans prior to 31st December 1915, (Medal Card), certainly he was at Gallipoli on the 30th July (Service Record). He was invalided back to England on the 30th November 1915. He will return to France where he is killed in action on the 23rd March 1918. At the time of his death he is the Regimental Sergeant Major of the 10th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). Lorraine, the Son of William Gabbitas, of 21, King Street., Newark; husband of Harriet Gabbitas, of 111, Tunnard Street., Grimsby. Lorraine is 33 years old and has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Sergeant 241275 Frederick Gabb, 5th Battalion North Staffs. He attested August 16th 1915 at Birmingham. A qualified Musketry Instructor. He reverted to the ranks when he embarked from Folkestone on the 14th August 1916. The transport ship taking them to France docks at Calais not as is usual at Boulogne. Two days after arriving in France he became Platoon Sarjeant. On the 24th May 1917 he was wounded in the face. On his statement of disability he records this as “GSW (Gun shot Wound)1 to jaw and left should caused by shell.” He was treated at 13 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne and for 52 days at Gosforth War Hospital. After the war he received a small gratuity and a pension because of this wound. Gabb was demobilised on the 19th February 1919

Sometimes little is known about a person such as this man who embarked in 1917

Private 82775 Joseph Wegg, Royal Army Medical Corps. He embarked with No.69 Reinforcements. Arrives at Cyclists Base Depot Rouen on the 6th. He serves in France for 60 Days. Discharged as No longer physically fit for War Service on the 4th January 1918.

Embarked in 1918, an old soldier who on his discharge had very nearly done his 22 years service.

Trooper 3336 Harry White, Life Guards. Harry enlisted on the 17th November 1914, at Windsor, when he was 29 years 5 months old. He joins the 2nd Life Guard Battalion in the field on the 6th August 1918. 5th September he is in Paris returning to London on the 2nd October. Harry’s pre war occupation was a clerk. Prior to this he had served for ten days short of 14 years in the 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment leaving them on the 11th of February 1914. The 13 years 355 days he served with the 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment is deem eligible towards his pension. When he is discharged as no longer required on reduction of establishment on the 9th October 1922, as 299294 Lance Corporal Musician, he had completed 7 years 327 days engagement with the Life Guards and 21 years 317 days pensionable service. He is awarded the Silver Long Service and Good Conduct. War , and the Victory Medal

 

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 From May Embarkations from Folkestone #FWW

Four men who embarked from Folkestone. One from each year 1915-1918.

1915.

No. S/1456, Donald Fraser, Piper.
7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, the Duke of Albany’s)
Killed in action, 25th September 1915, age 27.

Donald Fraser was born in Nethy Bridge the son of Donald and May Fraser of Station Cottages, Blair Athol, Perthshire. Nephew of Mr and Mrs Gordon of Ardverikie, Kinguissie. He enlisted at Fort George. Donald arrived in France on the 10th of May 1915 with his battalion. In the 7th Battalion Pipers piped the soldiers into the attack. and Donald was killed in action during the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt by the 7th, in the Battle of Loos. He was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal. He was one of five pipers from the 7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders killed, or dying of wounds, during the battle.

Today brings back sad memories,
Of one who was called to rest,
And those who think of him today,
Are those who loved him best.
(In Memoriam, Strathspey Herald. Date unknown (1921?)
Inserted by his Aunt, Uncle and Cousins at Ardverkie) 1 2 3WW

1916

27th May 1916

Private 21860 Walter Abson, York and Lancaster Regiment. Walter Abson lived in Bolton on Dearne. He attests at Pontefact on the 7th December 1915 and is posted to the reserves. He is mobilised 2 months later on the 8th February 1916, and posted to the 11th (Reserve) battalion before being posted to France. He embarked from Folkestone on the 27th May 1916. Absom joined the 8th Battalion in the field on the 23rd June. Just over a week later on the 2nd July he received a gun shot wound to the back and is admitted to No.3 casualty clearing station. After treatment at Le Treport he is sent back to England on the Hospital Ship St David He spends 40 days in Wharncliffe War Hospital in Sheffield. On his release from hospital he is posted to the 3rd (Reserve) battalion at Sunderland. Three months later on the 7th December he is posted back to France and again embarks from Folkestone. He spends the first three days at 34 Infantry Brigade Depot before joining the 2nd Battalion. Around the middle of December (15th?) Abson is admitted to 2/1 (London?) Field Ambulance, followed by 42 Casualty Clearing Station and then by Hospital Ship to England. He is taken to Naunton Hospital, Cheltenham, and spends 57 days there. On the 4th March 1918 he is posted back to 3rd Battalion at Sunderland. The following month he is again posted to France and again embarks from Folkestone. This time on the 13th April. He spends five days at the 34th Infantry Brigade Depot at Etaples before joining 13th Battalion in the field. He is transferred to the “Z” Reserves and demobilised on the 15th February 1919.

May 1917

16th May 1917

Private 226113 Harold Ralph Laidler, 9th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment. Harold Ralph Laidler enlisted on the 8th April 1915. On the 16th May 1917 he embarks for Boulogne from Folkestone. Laidler arrives at the 15th Infantry Brigade Depot the next day. The 10th June 1917 sees him posted to the 5th Reserve Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, and later that day posted to the 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He is appointed unpaid lance Corporal six days later on the 16th June 1917. On the 22nd September 1917 Laidler is wounded in action. Gun shot would to left buttock, left knee and the left calf. In Laidler’s Pension Record, the gun shot wound to the left calf is described as trivial in nature. He reverts to the rank of private when he is transferred to England on the 7th October 1917. On the 1st January 1918 Laidler is posted to the Reserve Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Later in March 1918 he breaks his left leg during training. Laidler’s broken leg is treated in the 2nd Eastern General Hospital Brighton. He is posted to the 9th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment on the 6th August 1918. Laidler is demobilised on 17th February 1919.

May 1918

6th May 1918

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

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

Two more Units added since this blog was last posted.

So who did march down the Road of Remembrance?

Not easy to say. The usual glib answer I give is relatively few. Relatively being 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 on 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 27th of February 1917                                                                                                              2/7th Sherwood Foresters                                                                                                                     2/8th Sherwood Foresters

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

The 30th May 1917 Maybe

No.5 Base Hospital US Army

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 unit’s 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. The 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 of 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 of 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 marches up to Ostrahof Rest Camp. While here at Ostrahof the battalion saw the 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.

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.

 

US Out takes

Due to various reasons, time, dead lappy, cost, etcetera. There is the odd bit of research that has died a death. So this is sort of a what once would have been, and what might be when days of the future are past. They are not enough on their own to blog about individually. Hence the waffle.

Edgar Allan Poe had a brother who is commemorated on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner. John P Poe, Black Watch. The Poe brothers are related to the Edgar Allan Poe who wrote The Raven. They are also American.

Tired of what about the….  This guy covers American, Australian, Chinese, and died in England. Cadet 2695 Charles Frederick, Australian Flying Corps, died 4th February 1919. His parents lived in Peking, China. Charles was born at Spokane, Washington, U.S.A.

Talk of Anniversaries of trips to the Battle Fields, Henry Williams, not an American, neither was Tarka the Otter, but anyway…  He said that when he returned to Ypres there was also someone else there. There was the Henry Williamson now, but also there was the Henry Williamson who was the soldier who fought there.

First Gold Star Mothers visit. 1930  They went to Paris, laid a wreath at the tomb of the French unknown soldier. Visits to the main American Cemeteries followed, along with a sightseeing trip around Paris.

The American unknown soldier was one of four unknown Americans, one each from the Aisne-Marne. Meuse-Argonne, Somme, and St Mihiel Cemeteries. Their grave details were destroyed before one of the coffins was picked, so no one knows which cemetery the soldier came from. The three who were not selected are buried at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. Block “G”, Row 1, graves 1,2,and 3.

One day I might returned to the above, that day is not today.