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Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum (Page 128)

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Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex
Date: Tuesday 1st January 2013 at 6:49 PM
Hi Alan
Today my wife bought round to Dinner an old lady of 95 ! for dinner
who she looks after as a Carer,She was talking about a Boarding
School she was put in when she was 8 it was called Royal Victoria
Patriotic building in Trinity Road Wandsworth she had a great
memory of her time there.My son Luke said it was used as a Hospital
for injured WW1 Soldiers and that up to 1500 at any time were there
is this correct ? and do you have any other info on this place is there
somewhere maybe i can get the School records of Pupils ? i think
that would make her day her name is Alice Whithead Born 1917 and
she was put into that place about 1923.Is Luke right on this ?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 1st January 2013 at 9:00 PM

Dear Jonboy,
The Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum was paid for by HRH Prince Albert's "Royal Patriotic Fund" and the foundation stone was laid by Queen Victoria on 11th July 1857. The asylum building was intended for the 'Education and Training of three hundred Orphan Daughters of Soldiers, Seamen and Marines who perished in the Russian [Crimean] War, and for those who hereafter may require like succour'.
The first phase was completed in 1858.
In anticipation of war, certain public buildings were identified as being suitable for conversion to hospitals if so needed. The Royal Victoria Patriotic School at Wandsworth was among those selected. It was to be operated by the Territorial Forces nursing service mobilized on August 5th 1914. All the commandeered hospital buildings were expanded during the war with the addition of Auxiliary Hospitals and annexes. They were staffed by a mixture of TF Nursing Service personnel and volunteers from various charitable organisations. The RVP school was originally designated to take 806 officers and 224 other ranks although during the war the grounds were laid out with a tented camp to increase the numbers to 1,800 in total at any particular time. The Hospital became known as the 3rd London General Hospital. The school re-opened after the war as a girls' school which remained there until it was evacuated to Wales in 1939. School records would be held by either Wandsworth Council Archives at Battersea Library, Lavender Hill, Wandsworth or The London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HB which has RVP school log books dated 1913 to 1935 in catalogue reference Girls LCC/EO/Div 9/ROY/LB/1 1913 - 1935
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Wednesday 2nd January 2013 at 10:39 AM

Hi Alan
Thanks for that, my son Luke wins again its amazing whats stored in his head.

Posted by: Luke Jonboys Dad {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex
Date: Monday 31st December 2012 at 5:11 PM
Hello alan
i dont no if you remember me but i am son of my dad jonboy and i want to study
world war 1 and 2.how can i learn as much as you know i go through all you letters and#]
and asweres and i keep thinking i will never know as much as you and i realy do want
to i have another three yeers before i leave school and go to college but my teachers
dont think there is a future in what i want to do what do you think please
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 31st December 2012 at 11:23 PM

Dear Luke,
Of course I remember.
If you are really determined to achieve something you will do it; come what may. In the future, people will always have an interest in the First and Second World Wars as well as the Korean War; Falklands War; Kuwait; Iraq; Afghanistan. So, there will always be a need for historians to research those wars. But historians don't always earn much money. I think your teachers are probably looking ahead to the time when you will need to earn sufficient money to live on. They're warning: you will not be able to survive life if you are just a one-trick pony.
Military history is something of a specialised subject and it is not a skill that employers place high on their list of preferences, so, unless you intend to teach it as a subject you might need other, more profitable, skills in addition to your interest in military history. Mind you, Richard Holmes managed to make a good life out of it. See:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/may/01/richard-holmes-obituary

I became interested in military history through my studies in genealogy which was my hobby before I began to do full-time research. However, I had always had other work to pay the bills and to get me to the stage I am at now. Like you, I had a genuine enthusiasm for military history. If you are enthusiastic about something, you'll ensure you can achieve it - and become the best at it. Professor Holmes did that, but only after quite some time doing other work as well. Even for Professor Holmes, teaching, lecturing, and writing articles or presenting TV programmes about military history all required additional skills in life's tool-box as well as researching history. But, he loved his subject, and that was what drove him on to be the best. He might have had to conjugate irregular German verbs at school, but he knew where he was heading with military history.
While you are at school, everything just "is".
This website is here. Alan is an expert. Tea is ready. Soccer is cancelled. In fact, everything evolves over a given period of time. Someone else built and manages this website, because I wouldn't have a clue how to do that. I have had various jobs since leaving school and have studied the First World War for years and I am still studying it. Someone else made the tea which another person had bought previously and which someone else had imported from India last year. It had rained for a week, so the soccer pitch was waterlogged this afternoon. Dad was never my age - he couldn't have been.
Time is like a spiral staircase in a castle: you can't see the beginning or the end of it, but you keep taking one step.
When I was at school I had no clear idea of what I wanted to do for a living but I think I knew what I would not want to do. I always wondered how grown-ups knew what they appeared to know (and why Granny looked like a sheep in a frill). It all comes together with experience in time. It's a bit like driving a car through the darkness. The headlights only show the next 50 yards, but you can safely undertake a journey of hundreds of miles that way.
Study to the best of your ability; strive to be the best; help others and you'll not go far wrong.
As General Sir Michael Jackson told cadets at RMA Sandhurst: "Be true to yourself. Honesty and integrity are absolutes but you will need more. You will need the determination and the courage to see matters through even when fainter hearts have [submitted to] their fears. You will need to take uncertainty in your stride; and, vitally important, you will need a sense of humour.
"You will need the strength-of-will and confidence to take the right road when it is not an easy one. You will need to be undeterred by disappointments. Grasp your opportunities with both hands. Meet the challenges. I wish you all success and good fortune."

It's January. Time to get up.

Alan
Reply from: Jonboy Luke
Date: Tuesday 1st January 2013 at 11:00 AM

Thankjou alan
i have printed this of will read it many times,but iam determined this is what i want to do ienjoy helping my dad on nhis tree and also reading all your pages as it gives me so knowledge on the history of ww1 thankyou for your advice.
lukie

Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex
Date: Monday 31st December 2012 at 4:41 PM
Hi Alan
May i wish you a Very Happy New Year and thank you so much for
all the effort you have put in to helping me on my ancestors.Hope
you can carry on with this in the New Year.

Kind Regards
John Nicholls
Posted by: Becca {Email left}
Location: East Yorkshire
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 8:30 PM
Here I am again Alan wondering if you can give me more information on this man - still with the Folland family
Boer War 1899-1902 - Soldier details Name: FOLLAND, W Pte No 3130
Unit: 1 Battalion The Oxfordshire Light Infantry

Casualty details:
Wounded on 16 Feb 1900 at Klip Drift (Official casualty roll location: Klip Drift)
Unit: 1 Battalion The Oxfordshire Light Infantry

Source:
South African Field Force. JB Hayward & Sons

I am wondering if it could be our Walter Frederick Folland who would have been old enough though very young.

Kind regards

Becca
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 8:49 PM

Dear Becca,
It is not possible to identify these entries from the Second Anglo-Boer War unless the man's regiment and regimental number are already known from another, usually private, source.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Becca
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 9:03 PM

Thank you Alan.
Posted by: Jms1943 {Email left}
Location: Perth Wa
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 3:55 PM
Thomas Stephen HENNESSY and his father Thomas HENNESSY both earned the Military Cross during WWI and, I understand, were invested together at Buckingham Palace by the King in 1919. I have found out a bit about the action of the younger with the Seaforth Highlanders on the Western Front.

However, Iknow very litlle about the senior, other than he re-enlisted after service in India and joined a Territorial Brigade and served in the Balkans.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who knows anything about these men or about this unusual occurrence.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 8:33 PM

Dear JMS,
Officers' service records are held at The National Archives so it is not possible to provide conclusive details for an individual based solely on his name. Therefore any mistakes in the following are entirely mine.

The son: Thomas Stephen Hennessy (also recorded as Hennesey) served with the 1st Battalion The Seaforth Highlanders. A Thomas Stephen Hennessy (also Hennessey) was born at Sabathu, in the Himalayas, India, in 1890. Sabathu was a hill depot created by the British Army in the mid-19th Century for the families and some of the troops to escape to in the hot season. Sabathu sits on the ridge of wooded hills about 20 kms into the Himalayas on the road between Chandigarh and Simla. Simla was the summer capital of the British in India. Thomas's birth was registered with the 78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot at Simla. (GRO Regimental Birth Indices; HENNESSY Thomas S; 1890; volume: 205; Page: 51. Also: GRO Army Birth Indices; HENNESSEY, Thomas Stephen; Simla, 1890; Page: 256).
The 78th Highlanders had actually amalgamated in 1881 with the 72nd Highlanders to form the 2nd Battalion of The Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's). As a young man,
Private T. Hennessy, 8735, 1st Bn Seaforth Highlanders qualified for the 1908 India General Service Medal with the clasp "North West Frontier 1908" for participation in the Bazar Valley and Mohmand Expedition against the Zakka Khel and Mohmands. In 1911, Thomas Stephen Hennesey (sic), born 1890 at Sabathu, was recorded as a private soldier and a bandsman, serving with the 1st Seaforth Highlanders at Chaubattia, India. In August 1914 he was a corporal and he was commissioned into the 1st Battalion during the war but appears to have been attached to the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. The 1st Battalion left Agra, India, and went to France in October 1914. It moved to Mesopotamia in December 1915 and later served in Palestine. Thomas junior qualified for the 1914 Star with Mons clasp and was one of the Old Contemptibles in France. The award of the MC was announced in the "London Gazette" on 7th March 1919 to "2nd Lt. Thomas Stephen Hennessy, 1st Bn.Seaf. Highrs., attd. 5th Bn., T.F.". As the MC was for gallantry in France, Thomas was probably attached to the 5th Battalion when he was commissioned. The 5th Battalion served with 152nd Infantry Brigade in the 51st Division. The Military Cross was awarded: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the operations at Avesnes-le-Sec on 13th October, 1918. He was in command of a platoon, which successfully withstood all enemy counter-attacks in the advanced position which it had reached. This enabled the remainder of the battalion to be reorganised behind. That the platoon was able to maintain its position is due to his fearless and able leading, and to the example of personal gallantry which he showed". (London Gazette, 3 October 1919). Thomas had been promoted from Second-lieutenant to Lieutenant on 29th December 1918. He retired with a gratuity on May 7th 1920.

The father: A Lance-corporal Thomas Hennessy 2693 of the 2nd Battalion the Seaforth Highlanders qualified for the Egyptian Medal for service in The Anglo-Egyptian War which occurred in 1882 between Egyptian and Sudanese forces under Ahmed Orabi and the British. A Thomas Hennessy (senior) had married Mary Clane Connell at Meerut in India in 1886. (GRO Index to Army Marriages 1886 page 161). This appears to have been at Fyzabad, or Faizabad, a city, district and division of British India in the United Provinces. The city stands on the left bank of the river Gogra, 78 miles East of Lucknow. In 1895 the 2nd Battalion (78th Foot) was at Ferozepore.
A Thomas Hennessy was appointed a Captain in the Territorial Force Reserve in September 1914 and served with the Rifle Brigade in the UK. This would have been Thomas senior. He was posted to the 22nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade and served as an acting Major while second in command of the battalion. On 19th February 1920: "22nd Bn., Rifle Brigade.—Maj. T. Hennessy, M.C., having attained the age limit, is retired and retains the rank of Maj.." ("London Gazette").
The 22nd Battalion (Wessex and Welsh) The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own) was created on 28th November 1915 from supernumerary Territorial Force companies which employed reservists employed on guarding vulnerable points: bridges; railways; gas works; railway stations. These "old guard" soldiers were based at the local Territorial Army Drill Halls in London. The 22nd Battalion was then selected to serve abroad as a Garrison battalion doing similar duties. The Battalion sailed for Alexandria on Hired Transport "SS Olympic" and Thomas Hennessy arrived in Egypt on 3rd January 1916 with the 22nd Battalion Rifle Brigade and remained there until November 1916 when the battalion was sent to Salonika. While in Egypt he held the rank of acting Major from July 1916 and reverted to Captain on October 24th 1916 on being posted to Salonika with the Battalion. He was promoted to Major on 23rd December 1917. At Salonika the 22nd Battalion Rifle Brigade served as Army Troops attached to the 28th Division in Macedonia and eventually came face to face with the enemy, the Bulgarian army. The 28th Division had just captured Barakli Jum'a. The 22nd Battalion later became part of the 228th Infantry Brigade which was formed on 26 February 1917.
The 28th Division fought at the capture of Ferdie and Essex Trenches (near Barakli Jum'a) on May 15th 1917; the capture of Barakli and Kumli on 16th October 1917; the Battle of Doiran 18th-19th September 1918 and the pursuit to the Strumica valley between 22nd and 28th September 1918. The 228th Infantry Brigade came under the command of the Greek "Crete Division" in Macedonia from 30th September 1918 and was broken up on 4 October 1918. The 22nd Battalion Rifle Brigade was near Doiran in Macedonia when the fighting with Bulgaria ceased on September 30th 1918. The 28th Division was sent in November 1918 to Gallipoli to occupy the Dardanelles Forts. On 14 November Divisional HQ was established at Chanak.
For a little more history of the 22nd Battalion see:
http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=135336

A Thomas Hennessy was Mentioned in Despatches in November 1917. The award of the Military Cross was announced in the London Gazette on 1st January 1918. The citation is not immediately obvious.
The "London Gazette" can be searched online at:
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search

Use "Thomas Hennessy" and "T. Hennessy" as search terms as well as variations in the surname. His service record should be at the National Archives and a copy can be ordered online (charges apply). It is probably the one entitled Major T Hennessy. See:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=916666&CATLN=6&Highlight=%2CHENNESSY&accessmethod=0

and for his son, the record is probably the only other T Hennessy listed:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=1665153&CATLN=6&Highlight=%2CHENNESSY&accessmethod=0

Click on "ordering and viewing options" and then click on "Order printed or digital copies of this record".
If you get lost in the system, see the search advice at:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/officerbritisharmyafter1913.htm

GRO birth and marriage records can be ordered online at a cost of £9.25 each. The applications should be marked as an "overseas event" See:
http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp

In 1920 Thomas Hennessy senior had a postal address at "Meadowcroft", Kings Somborne, Hampshire.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: John Sanders
Date: Monday 31st December 2012 at 6:15 AM

Fantastic work Alan. Thanks very much.

Hennessy Snr died in Kings Somborne, UK in 1940. Hennessy Jnr migrated to Australia and died in Perth in 1963. He was my ex wife's grandfather. I never met him but I am intrigued by the challenge of finding out more. He played the clarinet in bands in later life around Perth.

Is it possible the MID was upgraded to an MC?

They mustn't have talked to each other much, family lore has it that the investiture at Buckingham Palace was a surprise to each!
Posted by: Kate Everitt {Email left}
Location: Bedfordshire
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 11:56 AM
Hello again Alan, I see looking back it's over 2 years since you helped me out with my relatives. I'm hoping you can give me some information on my husband's Grandfather, Leonard Stephen Everitt. He served with The Durham Light in WW1. My husband visited his father (age 96) over the Christmas and he relayed tales of both bravery and pacifism relating to his father.
If you can decifer the records that would be enormously heplful, and anything else you can add much appreciated.
Many thanks Kate.
Reply from: Kate Everitt
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 12:03 PM

Sorry Alan I forgot to mention Leonard is said to have rescued a Lietenant Cronk from no-man's-land. I don't know if there's any truth in this.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 4:04 PM

Dear Kate,
Leonard Stephen Everitt enlisted in the Army under the Derby Scheme which was the last call for men who had not yet volunteered to do so before compulsory conscription was introduced in 1916. Leonard had married Anna May Nutland in 1912 and in December 1915 Anna was three months' pregnant. Leonard enlisted on December 10th 1915. The deadline for enlisting was December 15th 1915, although men would not be called up until required. Leonard's son, Gordon Arthur Leonard, was born on June 24th 1916. Leonard was called up on 20th November 1916 at Kingston upon Thames. He was posted to the 25th Provisional Battalion and then to the Durham Light Infantry where he was given the regimental number 376319 and trained with the 5th Reserve Battalion before being posted to France on December 1st 1917. Once in France, he was posted to serve with the 19th Battalion Durham Light Infantry on 4th December 1917. In January 1918 he was admitted to hospital suffering from trench foot and he was treated at hospital and convalescent depots in France until March 1918. From 8th February 1918, the 19th Battalion DLI served with the 104th Infantry Brigade in the 35th Division. The Division fought at the First Battle of Bapaume on 24th – 26th March 1918, in the Somme region, and then moved north to join the Final Advance in Flanders, which became a war of movement as opposed to static trenches. The Division fought at The Battle of Ypres; The Battle of Courtrai and The action of Tieghem before establishing a bridgehead over the River Scheldt near Berchem. By November 11th 1918 they were at Grammont on the River Dender. In December 1918 they were at Eperlecques. In January 1918, Leonard returned to the UK and was demobilized on January 28th 1919. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
There is no record of an officer called Lieut Cronk in the DLI. A private soldier called Albert Edward Cronk from Brixton Hill, London, was called up on the same date as Leonard also at Kingston upon Thames. He was the same age. He had the regimental number 376323 (Leonard's was 376319). He trained with Leonard and joined the 19th Battalion DLI on the same date as Leonard. Albert Cronk returned to the UK on 14th June 1918, so he would most likely have been wounded a few days before that. He survived the war.
The war diary of the 19th Battalion DLI from February 1918 onwards is available to download online from The National Archives (cost £3-36). It is contained in a file with some other war diaries. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C4555635

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kate Everitt
Date: Monday 31st December 2012 at 10:50 PM

Thankyou Alan, a great answer from you once again.
I've paid for and downloaded the diary from The National Archives and it's fascinating stuff.
Happy New Year to you and thanks again. Kate.
Posted by: Becca {Email left}
Location: East Yokshire
Date: Saturday 29th December 2012 at 6:53 PM
Dear Alan,
I wonder if you can help me with this family, which is a real mystery as we know there is some connection with Canada, but just what we are not sure.
Henry Philip Folland the Folland Gnat Aircraft designer had, I believe, a brother Albert born 1900 in Birmingham, and who may have been killed in France - No 557111 Died 16th May 1918 Killed in Action Theatre of War France and Flanders. Rifleman A Folland enlisted Birmingham into London Corps Battalion 16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster) Residence Sutton Coldfield. The Folland family lived in Birmingham at that time.

Have also found this Albert VICTOR Folland born 14th May 1897 Birmingham, occupation farmer. Attestation paper for Canadian Soldier WW1. He gives as next of kin first his sister then that is crossed out and he gives brother Harry instead.( Henry was often called Harry at home) The names of the next of kin are similar to that of Henry Philip's siblings.
I should be most grateful if you are able to give more information on these two Alberts, and so sort out our mystery for us.

With many thanks and best wishes for 2013,

Regards

Becca
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 29th December 2012 at 7:42 PM

Dear Becca,
They were two different people.
Albert Victor Folland was born Aston, Birmingham, on or about 14th May 1899. He went to Canada in June 1910 under the Home Children scheme and spent some time at the Middlemore Home at Fairview Station, Halifax NS. In the 1911 census of Canada he was shown as a domestic servant at Brighton New Brunswick, aged 12. In November 1915 he stated his May birthday had been in 1897 (to make him appear to be18) and enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He survived the war, married a Margaret and moved from Canada to America. In the 1950s he was still crossing the Atlantic by ship and by aeroplane. He died in August 1980 at Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.

Rifleman Albert Folland, 16th London Regiment, lived at The Croft, 52 Highbridge Road, Wylde Green, Warwickshire. He was probably born in 1883. He was a chief clerk in the Birmingham Corporation gas department who had married May Lucy Ethel Hulley in 1909. He was killed on May 16th 1918.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Becca
Date: Saturday 29th December 2012 at 9:47 PM

Thank you so much Alan for a very rapid reply to my query. May I ask if there is any more information on their military careers?

Kind regards

Becca
Reply from: Becca
Date: Saturday 29th December 2012 at 9:51 PM

Sorry Alan I forgot to ask how and where I can obtain details of Albert Victor's travels? I have Find my Past but have not found him on there? Am I searching in the wrong places?

Becca
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 12:54 PM

Dear Becca,
Albert Victor's service record is held at the Library and Archives Canada as: FOLLAND, ALBERT VICTOR Regimental number(s): 709860 Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 3172 – 3 Date of Birth: 14/05/1897. You can see the front and back of the first page by searching (free) at:

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-100.01-e.php

Click on "front of form" and "back of form".
To establish where he served throughout the war you would need to pay for his complete service record. They charge your credit card per page, so you have to give them a credit card authority. Click on: "How to consult a file on-site or order a copy of the complete file" when you see his record displayed in the results page. See:

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=401030&interval=20&&PHPSESSID=lk1c98s5hej8ohck2lqc95l6o0

Once you know his regiment, you can download the regiment's war diaries (free) at:

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/archivianet/020152_e.html

Albert V Folland's travels are detailed on the ancestry.co.uk website. You would require a "worldwide" subscription.
For the other Albert there is little to go on. He qualified for the British War and Victory Medals. Therefore, he did not serve overseas until after January 1st 1916, as he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915. He served with 16th (County of London) Battalion (Queens Westminster Rifles) which fought in the 169th Infantry Brigade in the 56th Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/56div.htm

He was killed in action on May 16th 1918. He was buried at Dainville British Cemetery on the western outskirts of Arras.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Becca
Date: Sunday 30th December 2012 at 5:45 PM

Many thanks Alan for the further information you have sent me. I shall be sending a donation to the British Legion to show my thanks
for all the hard work you have put in on my behalf.

Best wishes for 2013

Becca
Posted by: Les {Email left}
Location: Leeds
Date: Friday 28th December 2012 at 10:27 PM
Hi alan, my grandfather horace pankhurst served with the leeds rifles 1/8th battallion, on the somme, trying to find out the date in enlisted in the army, service no 4272, i think he must have been conscripted, he was 31 when he dow , at theipval, lipzig redought, married with 5 children, cannot find any service records, recieved only two medals, and the death placque, it would be a great help to find his enlistment date, thanks les pankhurst.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 29th December 2012 at 7:44 PM

Dear Les,
Horace's regimental number was a four-digit Territorial Force regimental number so it is unlikely that he was conscripted. Conscripted soldiers from 1916 onwards generally had five-digit numbers. He therefore probably enlisted in the 2nd/8th or 3rd/8th Battalion Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) which provided replacements for the 1st/8th Battalion. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not serve overseas until some occasion after January 1st 1916. He died of wounds on 16th July 1916 and has no named grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. As there is no individual service record for him it is not possible to say when he enlisted.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Les
Date: Saturday 29th December 2012 at 10:09 PM

Many thanks alan for your reply, it means a lot to me to find his enlistment date, like to wish you and yours happy new year, and good health, les.
Posted by: Jeremy Thornton {Email left}
Location: France
Date: Friday 28th December 2012 at 7:35 AM
Alan,

Recently you have helped me with my research into my grandfather Vernon Thornton who was in the KOYLI in the 12th, 2/5th, 1st & 5th battalions of the 3rd Army, 62nd West Yorkshire division, 184 Brigade in WW1. I have just discovered from a cousin who lived in the same household as Vernons widow, that Vernon was gased (chlorine) whilst going to try to rescue an injured officer. Due to the gassing this was unsucessfull and the officer later died of exposure. There is no medal for this act possible as it was not succesful. Vernon died in 1922 at the age of 41 as a result of the affects of this gassing.

Is it possible that you may be able to find any record of this action?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 28th December 2012 at 10:30 PM

Dear Jeremy,
It is not possible for me to identify a specific incident from an anecdotal account.
Archived official records, such as war diaries, would not record such detail although it may have been the type of incident that would have been mentioned in a private diary or memoir. Such unpublished sources are part of miscellaneous collections rather than part of a true archival group. Miscellaneous sources might have survived in the regimental museum at Doncaster, Yorkshire, England.
The wounding and deaths of officers was commonplace – officer losses were disproportionately high with 37,500 officers killed in the First World War. The 2nd/5th Battalion KOYLI lost four officers killed and seven wounded on one day alone in 1917 (Bullecourt, France, on May 3, 1917). As it is not known where Vernon Thornton was at any given time it would not be possible to identify one incident. Truth in oral history often proves difficult to substantiate.

Attempts by men who had not been wounded themselves to help wounded officers during battle could have been considered an act of cowardice because, by stopping in the advance, they were avoiding closing with the enemy. An officer would have ordered such a man to move on. Thus, it was often after an engagement had been fought, and the men had taken cover in trenches, that such rescue attempts were made to rescue an officer and "bring him in" from No-man's Land. John Lewis-Stempel, writing "Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War" (London, 2010), devotes part of chapter eight to such acts of rescuing officers, saying that the gold standard was set by Lance-corporal William Fuller of the Welch Regiment who advanced one hundred yards under fire and then carried his officer back under heavy fire (page 284). Corporal Fuller was awarded the Victoria Cross. Such incidents required "most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy." (Being gassed does not prove a man was under fire in the presence of the enemy: Chlorine gas is heavier than air and could have loitered in a shell hole, catching a man by surprise). The medal nomination also required the recommendation of a regimental officer who witnessed the act and the testimony of three other witnesses. The death of the officer, or even darkness, could mean the act went un-witnessed. Fifteen per cent (95) of the 633 Victoria Crosses awarded during the Great War were awarded to men who saved their officers' lives (Lewis-Stempel; page 284).
The KOYLI lost 9,447 men killed in the First World War. The regimental museum may have some details of officers' deaths with the circumstances surrounding them. The museum's e-mail address is shown at:
http://www.armymuseums.org.uk/museums/0000000055-King-s-Own-Yorkshire-Light-Infantry-Museum-Collection.htm

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jeremy Thornton
Date: Saturday 29th December 2012 at 8:04 AM

Thanks Alan for this information. Looks like my next thing to do is go to Doncaster and visit the KOYLI museum. I will do this the next time I am in the UK in March and let you know if I managed to find anything out.

Keep up the brilliant work during 2013.
Posted by: Kevin {Email left}
Location: Stoke On Trent
Date: Thursday 27th December 2012 at 6:41 PM
I have two autograph books that have been in my family for a longtime, they have poems ,drawings ,funny dities by soldiers who were at chadderton hospital 1918 , my farthers aunty (Dora willson) was a nurse , i wondered if you have any information concerning these books or know of anyone that may have , or if anyone has any intrest .There are a few names of soldiers foreign , english and welsh .

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