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Posted by: Jeremy Thornton {Email left}
Location: France
Date: Tuesday 9th April 2013 at 8:44 AM
Alan,

I have followed your advice and downloaded the only War Diary available to me which is for the Kings Liverpool Regiment where my Great Uncle Julian Thornton served. Whilst some of the handwritten text is difficult to read, I think that I have found the months when Military Medals were awarded. As Julian did not embarke to France until 10th Feb 1917 then it would appear that he could only have been one of the 17 awarded on the 1st August 1917. I need to re-visit the diary now to see which battle it was.
My question is, when would this award likely to have been printed in the local press? Could it have been within days or weeks of the diaries being submited where the award was noted, or is it more likely not to have been done until it was Gazetted? The library in Dewsbury are looking through the local press archives around the Gazetting date in July 1919 but so far has found nothing. This is surprising as Julian was the son of a prominent member of the local buisiness comunity and a local councellor.

Whilst looking through the diaries I have come across a couple of terms which I do not understand. 'Bustle positions' and also 'O.B.L' Any ideas?

Jeremy Thornton
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 9th April 2013 at 12:50 PM

Dear Jeremy,
The battle may have been The Battle of Pilkem Ridge (31 July - 2 August 1917) when the 55th Division attacked in the area of Spree, Pond and Schuler Farms, up to August 4th. The rest of the month was spent refitting. "Bustle Positions" would have been a place. All positions were given English names, the origins of which are now sometimes obscure, but sometimes obvious, such as those named after brands of cigarettes or London streets. I haven't seen the diary, but "Bustle Positions" appears to have been some trench positions near the canal in the Givenchy Cuinchy Le Preol area. OBL was the "Old British Line": a former trench line that would have been known to all.
Local newspapers would have taken their information from the London Gazette so the newspaper publication dates would be in the week or so following publication in the Gazette.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jeremy Thornton
Date: Tuesday 9th April 2013 at 7:55 PM

Thanks again Alan. Not sure how much further I will get into nailing down just where and what action my great uncle got his Military medal for, but I certainly have a lot more information now than a few months ago, mainly thanks to you.
Posted by: Julie {Email left}
Location: Brighton
Date: Monday 8th April 2013 at 4:43 PM
Hi Alan
I have stumbled across this site today whilst trying to find more information on my Great Grandfather. I have read the stories here with great interest and wonder if you can help me at all. My Great Grandfather was Frederick Walter Timbs, born Holloway September 1891, he died in Brighton in 1969. He was, I think, in the ASC Reg No 048516. If there is anything you could add I would be most grateful, he died before I was born and I am very interested in finding out about his life.
Many thanks in anticipation.
Julie
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 8th April 2013 at 8:57 PM

Dear Julie,
It is only possible to give a generalised record of Frederick's service because it is not always immediately clear where a particular ASC company was based at various stages of the war. That would require further research for each unit.
Frederick Walter Timbs enlisted as a volunteer at Whitehall on 2nd February 1915 and joined the mechanical transport (MT) section of the Army Service Corps (ASC) at Grove Park, Greenwich on February 8th 1915. He was 23, 5ft 6ins, married and a motor driver by occupation. In the ASC, the MT depot was based in the old workshose at Greenwich. See:
http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Greenwich/
Frederick also did basic training at Crystal Palace and at Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, and was posted to 178th Company ASC which was also known as "15th Ammunition Sub Park Company" which served in 17th Corps area of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France and Belgium, with the 15th (Scottish) Division. Frederick arrived in France on 10th July 1915 and was posted to 178 Company which was then in the Ypres salient and was anticipating the Battle of Loos in September 1915. The sub park company was designated to handle ammunition at a rail-head: the end of the line. The ammunition was carried as far forward as possible by train to a rail-head in the rear of the battle area. From there, motor transport took it as far forward as possible by road where it was transferred to a dump for the horse-drawn transport of the Divisional ammunition column to take it forwards to the guns nearer the front, or to airfields.
Frederick was assigned as a "motor driver" and to "general duties". He was "reliable, intelligent and sober" and a "good driver".
It is not clear when he was posted away from 178 Company ASC but it was about the end of September 1915, after the Battle of Loos. He then served with 16th Auxiliary Omnibus Company ASC from September 1915 to 31st January 1917 as a driver of one of the commandeered omnibuses used to transport troops. The 16th Auxiliary Company was formed in August 1915 (apparently from the former Royal Marine Transport Company as it was the Royal Navy and Admiralty who first used London buses for transporting Royal Marines in France and Belgium and the bus drivers became enlisted as Marines). No 16 Company had both Daimler double-decker buses and Daimler single-deck charabancs. There is more on this famous company at:
http://archive.iwm.org.uk/server/show/nav.3213

The Imperial War Museum says a total of 1,300 London motor buses saw service in France. The buses were used for transporting complete battalions or brigades of soldiers (25 men with their kit in each bus), or for ambulance work. By the autumn of 1916, the Army Service Corps had organised the bus drivers into Auxiliary Omnibus Companies with 50 vehicles in each and a total compliment of one thousand eight hundred officers and men. The Army Service Corps became the Royal Army Service Corps in 1918 and its collective Auxiliary Omnibus Park was granted a Mentioned In Despatches for its operational work in Spring 1918 during the German Offensive.
On 31st January 1917 Frederick was posted to No 50 Auxiliary Omnibus Company as a "Daimler bus driver". He was awarded a good conduct stripe on 2nd February 1917, for two years' unblemished service. It was worn on the lower left sleeve. No. 50 Company had been formed at St Valery in the Somme region on 20th Dec 1916. On 23rd February 1918 Frederick was admitted to hospital for an undisclosed reason. He could have been wounded or suffered an ailment. It wasn't serious enough to be returned to England and after four weeks in hospital he spent some time at No 1 Base Depot in France and returned briefly to his unit before being moved to "general duties" at "MTRVP" on 1st July 1918, which I believe to be Mechanical Transport Reserve Vehicle Park (Northern) BEF, which might have been in the Calais area.
After the Armistice, Frederick continued to serve overseas and worked as a lorry driver for 5 Corps Troops Mechanical Transport Company. He moved with the occupying army to Germany and served with the British Army of Occupation on the Rhine with 2nd Army and 365 Motor Transport Company until his return to the UK for discharge from Woolwich on 11th June 1919.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 8th April 2013 at 9:00 PM

In paragraph 2, "workshose" should read "workhouse".
Reply from: Julie Webber
Date: Monday 8th April 2013 at 9:15 PM

Dear Alan
Thank you so very much, you have given me more information that I could have ever hoped for. I can't wait to show my Mum, she is going to be amazed. WOW.
Kindest Regards
Julie

Posted by: Jeremy Thornton {Email left}
Location: France
Date: Sunday 7th April 2013 at 11:00 AM
Alan,

I read your posts regularly and have noticed that in your reply to Yvonne on the 6th April, you gave her a link to the War Diaries at the National Archives.
As a result I have looked to try and find the diaries for my grandfather Vernon Thornton who served in WW1 in the 12th, 2/5th, 1st & 5th Battalion of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and also for my great uncle Julian Thornton who served in the 10th, 2/10th (Scottish) Battalion the Kings Liverpool Regiment with attachment to the 1st Army Musketry Camp, Matringham, then back to the 10th Kings Liverpool Regiment (1st & 2nd Battalions) However, I seem unable to enter the correct details to find any information. Are you able to help me? As my planned visit from France to London in October to visit the National Archives in person is now looking unlikely, I was wondering if there is another way to try and find out more details. Your help would be appreciated.

Jeremy Thornton
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 7th April 2013 at 12:10 PM

Dear Jeremy,
The UK National Archives has some, not all, war diaries available to purchase online. Diaries that are not online can only be seen at the National Archives itself at Kew. The National Archives does not provide a copying service for war diaries. They do intend to put all war diaries online in the future.
The diaries are catalogued in series WO95 and are filed in order of hierarchy by Theatre of War, Division then Brigade. If a battalion served in more than one division, it will have more than one diary covering the period of war. Some battalions therefore have part of their diary online and part that is not. The online search engine used to be called "Documents Online" and is now called "Discovery" because it now shows more than just the documents available online. On the homepage
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Home/OnlineCollections

the search box is additionally tabbed "All Collections" and "Online collections". To search for war diaries you need to remove the "st" or "th" from the title, so, for example, 12th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry becomes "12 Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry" (within quotation marks). This battalion's war diary is not within the online collection. If you click on "all collections" there are two entries for the battalion, as it served in two theatres of war.
The book "The KOYLI in the Great War" by R.C. Bond is readily available and will provide the information on all the battalions in less detail but easier to read and easier to place within context. It can be ordered online (£22 presently offered at £17.60) from the publishers, the Naval and Military Press.
http://www.naval-military-press.com/

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jeremy Thornton
Date: Sunday 7th April 2013 at 3:02 PM

Alan,

Thank you for this advice. I will buy the book and see how I get on.

Jeremy Thornton
Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex England
Date: Sunday 7th April 2013 at 9:26 AM
Hi Alan
Im in a bit of Pickle on this on hopefully you could throw some light on this as ive tried all my pay sites to no avail.
I have my Gt Gt Grandad Walter Sidney Bartlett B1865 in the Grenadier Guards service no 12391 of which you
gave me info on his record.But then when i search for his Son (my Grandad) Walter Sydney Bartlett (spelt with a "Y")
it came up on a medal rolls index card as the same service no as his Fathers.But on the card it only states Walter
S Bartlett.Is there anything you could do on this one please.I do know that my Grandfather Walter Sydney was in the
Grenadier Guards.He was born 1890 in Hounslow Died 1935 in Brentford.He was married to Alice Philippa Louise Franklin.
Regards
Jonboy
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 7th April 2013 at 3:02 PM

When we first looked at a record for Walter Sidney Bartlett born 1865, the only record was a medal index card showing a Walter S Bartlett served in the Grenadier Guards with the number 12391. It was noted that he would have been 49 years old, which was quite old to be going to war.
If there was a second Walter S. Bartlett who served in the Grenadier Guards, only one of them could have qualified for the medals earned by Grenadier guardsman 12391.
As medal cards do not provide biographical information it is not possible to further identify the soldier without referring to his service record with that regimental number. The Grenadier Guards keep their own records of former soldiers, so application would need to be made to them to identify the two guardsmen.

The spelling of Sidney with an "i" or a "y" was interchangeable and the marriage record for Walter Sydney Bartlett recorded him as Walter Sidney Bartlett who married Alice Phillippia Louise Franklin at St Faith's Church, Brentford, on August 5th 1916. He was described as a bachelor, aged 27, of 104 Murray Road, South Ealing. His occupation was "soldier" and his father was described as Walter Sidney Bartlett, occupation: "soldier".
So in 1916, there appears to have been two "soldiers" both with the name Walter Sidney Smith.
It seems probable that Walter senior did not serve overseas in the First World War and that the medal record refers to Walter junior.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Sunday 7th April 2013 at 7:21 PM

Thanks Alan
Walters Son (my Uncle) is still alive his memory is not good though but he does know his Dad was in the Grenadiers,so maybe ill take a visit to the Grenadiers see what they can come up with it would make my Uncle Jims day asb he is now 80 and would love to know.Thanks for your help on this one Alan.
Regards
Jonboy
Posted by: Yvonne {Email left}
Location: Barnet Herts
Date: Saturday 6th April 2013 at 12:33 PM
I am trying to find out how my Great Uncle died on the 3rd Oct 1917 in Flanders . He is buried at the Mendinghem Mititary Cemetery . Was he killed in the Battle of Polygon Wood ?. His name was Private Alfred James Whiteland from Dalston , London . He was one of 13 children . He was in the Royal Fusiliers (London Regiment ) 2/10th County of London Bn (Hackney) Territorial Force . Was formed in London in sept 1914 which joined the 175th Brigade , 58th Division . I would like to go over and visit his grave this year but cannot get any further than the date he died . I would love to know what was happening to him and his group on that day , or was he already laying in a clearing station dying of an illness or earlier wound ? His two younger brothers Arthur and William also joined up and survived. I seem to be collecting lots of numbers but no information about him . Many thanks .
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 6th April 2013 at 7:52 PM

Dear Yvonne,
You would be fortunate to find the level of detail you are seeking about Alfred's death because most of the peripheral records have not been retained. But there are still some avenues to search. As you have discovered, there are many records with numbers, but few with details of individuals. Numbers are crucial to discovering and deciphering military documents and the Army was good at keeping those records from Battalion level upwards. But personal events were not the wider Army's concern and unless an individual service record retained a medical record sheet, details of the cause of death may prove elusive. There is no surviving individual service record for Alfred Whiteland.
He served in "The London Regiment", not The Royal Fusiliers whose regiment was subtitled "The City of London Regiment" (see below).
The CWGC Debt of Honour recorded that Alfred James Whiteland was buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery on October 3rd, 1917. There were three categories for recording deaths and "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded that Alfred Whiteland "died" on October 3rd 1917. That suggests he died from a non-combat cause such as disease, sickness or accident and not "died from wounds" or "killed in action". However, the description "died" was not applied consistently. But it does imply he was not "killed in action" which makes it difficult to identify a specific event. The fact that he was buried in a marked grave at Mendinghem reinforces the belief he had been receiving medical treatment, as Mendinghem was the made-up name of a Casualty Clearing Station at Proven, near Poperinghe. "Mending hem" was a pun on "mending them" and the Flemish "hem" for village. By October 1917, there were four casualty clearing stations at Proven required for the offensive which became known as The Third Battle of Ypres or "Passchendaele", which was fought between June and November 1917 to attempt control of the ridges of high ground south and east of Ypres in West Flanders. Nos.12, 46 and 64 Casualty Clearing stations (CCS) were grouped together close to a railway siding at Proven. They consisted of huts and canvas tents.
The death record provides evidence that, on the day he died, Alfred Whiteland was serving with the 2nd/10th (County of London) Battalion (Hackney) The London Regiment. The fractional title came about because this was the second battalion, raised for wartime service only, of the 10th (County of London) Battalion (Hackney) The London Regiment, formerly the Paddington Rifles. They were a part-time Territorial Army unit which had originated as the 18th Middlesex Volunteer Battalion of the Rifle Brigade and during the First World War the battalion remained affiliated to The Rifle Brigade. The first four City of London battalions of The London Regiment, and not the County of London battalions, were affiliated to the Royal Fusiliers. The Royal Fusiliers, which was a regiment in its own right, also took the sub-title "The City of London Regiment" which was different to "The London Regiment" (Clear as mud isn't it? Think of "The City" being the stockbrokers in the actual City of London or the Square Mile administered by the City of London Corporation, and "London" as being the 28 surrounding metropolitan boroughs of inner London administered as newer County of London in 1908, the same year as The London Regiment was formed). The 10th (County of London) Battalion's drill hall was in The Grove, Hackney, in August 1914, although the original battalion, disbanded in 1912, had been the Paddington Rifles based on Harrow Road, Paddington. It reformed (between 1912 and 1914) as the 10th (County of London) Battalion of The London Regiment at Hackney.
After the declaration of war, the original 10th Battalion was mobilised, eventually to serve at Gallipoli and in Palestine. The "second/tenth" was raised in September 1914 and moved to Crowborough, Sussex, in November 1914 to train with the 175th Infantry Brigade. In June 1915 they moved to Ipswich and in May 1916 they moved to Bromeswell Heath near Woodbridge on the Suffolk Coast and a month later they moved to Longbridge Deverill near Warminster on Salisbury Plain.
The reason for raising a second battalion was to provide reinforcements for the "first tenth" after the original battalion had gone abroad and started to suffer casualties. The second battalion would also undertake coastal defence duties whilst training in the UK. However, the nominal roll of the second battalion was never constant because trained men were drafted abroad frequently to the first battalion as casualty replacements. As Alfred died in Flanders, he was not drafted as a casualty replacement for the 1st/10th Battalion in Palestine. By January 1917, it became clear the 2nd/10th Battalion was going to have to serve abroad as a fighting unit in its own right. It would be supported and reinforced by a "third/tenth" Battalion that was raised in 1915 and which was based at Aldershot from April 1917.
The 2/10th Battalion London Regiment was sent to France on 4th February 1917. The 2/10th Battalion was Alfred's "family unit" which could fight as a battalion, taking instructions from a brigade commander. Three (or four) battalions fought and lived alongside each other as an Infantry Brigade. Brigade commanders took their instructions from Divisional HQ and three (or four) brigades fought as part of a Division. Each brigade was numbered and belonged to a numbered division. In any set-piece battle, one third of the brigade (one third of each battalion) was Left Out Of Battle, as reserves, to form the experienced nucleus of any necessary reinforcements, should the number of casualties have been excessive.

The surviving records are generally those of the Divisions, Brigades and Battalions, which is why it is necessary to know their numbers before searching for more detailed information.
An Army medal rolls index card recorded Alfred qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service abroad before December 31st 1916, he did not go abroad until some date after January 1st 1916. The regimental number of Alfred Whiteland when he went to France was 420844. These six-digit regimental numbers in the Territorial Force (TF) were allotted in early 1917 when all TF soldiers were re-numbered as part of a general re-organisation of the TF numbering system. The numbers 420001 to 450000 were allotted to the 10th Battalion London Regiment, which included the first, second and third battalions with that title. That proves that Alfred Whiteland went abroad with the 2/10th Battalion after he had been allotted his new number early in 1917. The battalion went abroad in February 1917 so it is probable that Alfred Whiteland went to France with the Battalion when it deployed as a fighting unit.
However, it was also possible he could have trained with the 3rd/10th Battalion and might have been sent to France as part of a draft of reinforcements for the 2nd/10th Battalion after February 1917.

The individual soldier, 420844 Whiteland A.J., served with 2/10th Battalion The London Regiment in the 175th Infantry Brigade which was part of the 58th Division. This Division was a London division (actually known as the 2nd/1st London Division, but that's even more numbers). They had formed-up in France in the area around Lucheux by February 8th 1917 and were later deployed in the Ypres Salient. They had major engagements at The Pursuit of the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line (17 - 28 March 1917); The Battle of Bullecourt (4 - 17 May 1917); The Actions of the Hindenburg Line (20 May -16 June 1917); The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (20 - 25 September 1917); The Battle of Polygon Wood (26 - 27 September 1917) and, after Alfred had died, The Second Battle of Passchendaele (26 October - 10 November 1917).
The war diary of "2/10 Battalion London Regiment" is available to download from the National Archives' website for a charge of £3.36. It is part of a larger set of diaries contained in "58 DIVISION, 175 INFANTRY BRIGADE: 1/9 Battalion London Regiment etc." (WO95/3009) See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C4556160

Wartime death certificates often stated nothing more than "died on active service". It is just possible that because he appears to have been undergoing medical treatment that his cause of death may have been recorded on his death certificate. The certificate can be ordered online from the GRO (http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/) in the normal way for a charge of £9.25. The certificate you require is WHITELAND, Alfred J., Private; Regimental Number: 420844; Unit: London Regiment; GRO War Deaths - Army Other Ranks (1914 to 1921); Year: 1917 Volume I.84; Page no. 385.

A Casualty Clearing Station was not a place for a long-term stay as it was a medical post further back from the front line than the regimental aid posts and the RAMC Field Ambulances. By their nature, CCS were based adjacent to railway lines so that hospital trains could evacuate the wounded to a Base Hospital on the French coast or in the UK. Therefore, it seems likely that Alfred had been admitted shortly before the day he died, as he had not yet been evacuated by train.
Another source of information would be local newspapers of the time which will be held by the local studies library of the town in which he lived. They may have published an obituary. The official published Casualty Lists for 1917 can be searched on The Genealogist website (charges apply) (http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk).
Kind regards, Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 6th April 2013 at 9:03 PM

Yvonne,
One minor error to do with numbers: The qualifying date for the 1914-15 Star should read December 31st 1915. I accidentally typed 1916.
Alan
Reply from: Yvonne
Date: Tuesday 30th April 2013 at 11:58 PM

Dear Alan,
Your knowledge has blown me away and I thank you for all the information you have given me . I sent off for Alfreds death certificate and found out that he died of wounds . I also sent off for the war diary and through this I came close to that group of men . The officers entries began in very neat hand writing , 27.3.17, Halloy, training and refitting and then working parties at different destinations. On 5.5.17 the marches late at night began in order to relieve other battalions , the casualties also began and the officers hand writting became rushed . Bullecourt 27.5.17 , considerable shelling , 6 O.R killed, 24 O.R. wounded . Havringcourt Wood 16.7.17 situation normal , 20.7.17 continuous shelling , raided at 10.30 pm , 1 officer wounded , other ranks 7 killed, 30 wounded . So it continues and on the 24.8.17 they moved to Proven , Dirty Bucket camp , other names , Aviatic Farm , Quebec and Strop Farm , attack beaten off by rifle and Lewis gun fire . California Drive , Cheddar Villa and Juliet Farm and a few days later , Hackney Villa , Winnipeg Road , wounded , killed , gassed . 27.9.17 morning very quiet , two companies from St Julien relieved and moved back to Canal Bank and hence to Dambre Camp . Two companies from front line were relieved and reached Dambre Camp at 4.30 am on 28.9.17 , 6. O.Rs wounded . My uncle died in a cassualty clearing station on the 3rd Oct . I am now looking for a trip to this area and to Mendinghem. Thank you again Alan.
Reply from: Martin
Date: Monday 25th August 2014 at 12:17 PM

Hi Yvonne
Alfred James Whiteland was my Great Uncle too. His brother - my Grandad Frederick Francis Whiteland - was also in the London Regiment - the 13th Battalion (Kensingtons) but fortunately he survived the war and died in 1971. I went to Mendinghem and saw Alfred's grave with my dad (Roy Frank Whiteland) a few years ago. Although I never knew him personally, I found it an incredibly moving experience and would definitely recommend a visit if you haven't done so already. I have recently been trying to find out some information myself about the circumstances surrounding Alfred's death, but other than the fact that he may have been killed during the Battle of Polygon Wood I hadn't found any further details, so the information provided by Alan and the other material you found in the war diary was very interesting.
Regards
Martin
Reply from: Yvonne Whiteland
Date: Wednesday 5th November 2014 at 10:53 AM

Dear Martin ,
I have just visited Great Uncle Alfred 's grave at Mendinghem and the surrounding area where Alfred was wounded . I would be very pleased if you use the "Contact Editor Link " giving permission to release your e mail address to me and my e mail address to you . It seems that we are doing the same family research so perhaps we can share information and photos ?
Best wishes from your cousin Yvonne Whiteland
Reply from: Linda
Date: Sunday 9th November 2014 at 11:26 PM

Hi Yvonne and Martin.
I have just been reading your messages regarding Alfred James Whiteland.
Alfred was also my great uncle. My grandfather Charles William Whiteland was one of his elder brothers.
I have both of Alfred's war medals given to me by my late mother Ivy Whiteland.
Best wishes from yet another cousin. I also have a sister Carol.
Regards Linda
Reply from: Yvonne
Date: Monday 10th November 2014 at 10:49 AM

Dear Linda , Martin and Carol ,
I have just read your message and was fascinated to hear that you have Uncle Alfred 's medals and would be grateful if you would let me look at them . While I was in Ypres I visited Talbot House in Poperinghe . It was rented from 1915 as a "soldier 's club , a home from home , a haven from hell " a house where soldiers of any rank could have a cup of tea and sit in the living room or kitchen relaxing and chatting . Upstairs was a little theatre and also a chapel for the soldiers, many of whom would go to a service before going back to the front and never return . At Talbot House is a museum and part of it has photos of Mendinghem when it was a Clearing Centre for hundreds of wounded soldiers before it became the Military Cemetery . There were photos of the American surgeon who was in charge of the farm house , wooden huts and canvas tents that made up the hospital were Uncle Alfred died . Opposite is a muddy track and when Alfred died he would have been taken along that track ( its still there) to be buried in the grave yard which became Mendinghem .
Martin's Grandfather Frederick Frances was the family member who liased with the Imperial War Graves Commiaaion . Most of Alfred's brothers ( including your grandfather ) father and Grandfather were wood carvers but Alfred was a tailor .
My Grandfather was his younger brother William who was conscripted and sent to Turkey and then Ireland as a "Black and Tan " . When the war ended they were all waiting in Ireland to be demobbed but he went AWOL back to his mum Phoebe's house in Dalston , London . He just wanted to get on with his life and marry my grandmother Edith . The local policeman knocked on Great Grandma Phoebe 's front door and told her that if Will was there tell him to get back to his regiment in Ireland which he did and lost a few days pay as punishment .
I am trying to work out how to get your e mail address from the Contact Editor Link or to give you mine . I have also been trying to find addresses for Martin and his father and would like very much to meet up with you all .
Best wishes from Yvonne , my sister Patricia and my nephew Adam James Whiteland
Reply from: Site Editor
Date: Friday 14th November 2014 at 8:03 PM

Hi Yvonne,
Anyone replying to any message does not leave a email address, so unless Martin reads this message again, it's not possible to contact him.

Regards, Bob (site Editor).
Reply from: Martin
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 3:40 PM

Hi Linda
I am now in touch with Yvonne by e-mail. It would be good if we could contact you as well. My e-mail address is (martin.whiteland at yahoo dot co dot uk) if you want to get in touch.
Regards
Martin
P.S. Apparently this website automatically converts e-mail addresses to the unusual format above to provide protection from automatic spambots so please use the usual address format when e-mailing.

Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex England
Date: Friday 5th April 2013 at 4:58 PM
Hi Alan
Re Walter Sidney Bartlett born 1867,of which you kindly gave me the info on him,i have just found out he had a full
Military Escort to his resting place in South Ealing Cemetry,still cant figure out why the Escort though but i have a
copy from the Funeral Directors dated 1928.Hearse,one car plus full military escort = £27 15s.
Regards
Jonboy
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 5th April 2013 at 9:01 PM

Dear Jonboy,
In Britain, there were various types of funeral depending on the family's wishes and whether the soldier died while in service or died as a veteran. Walter must have been very highly regarded and probably had kept in touch with his comrades in the decade following the war.
Funerals could be those organised by the regiment at which the soldiers' family attended, or they could be organised by the family's own clergyman and to which the military were invited or incorporated into the parish arrangements with the help of the regimental chaplain to ensure "a fitting and dignified service".
In general, a military funeral (today called a "Service Funeral" as opposed to a "Private Funeral") involved the coffin being draped with the Union Flag and borne by six uniformed, hat-less, coffin bearers, known as the bearer-party. The soldier's headdress and medals were placed on top of the coffin as it was borne into and out of the church. The medals and hat were returned to the family. There may also have been a lining-party to line the street or the entrance to the church. During the church service, a military funeral included the singing of a Regimental Hymn with the saying of the Regimental Collect. A collect is a short prayer assigned to an occasion or organisation. A member of the regiment would read a lesson or reading. Military Honours would involve the firing of a salute by a firing-party of six men who fired three volleys at the graveside or outside the church entrance. The salute required the lowering of any banners being carried, which determined the need for additional space and the requirement for rehearsals to ensure the respect and dignity of the occasion. The "military honours" were those of the soldier's regiment honouring their departed comrade. The expression "with full military honours" implied that the funeral procession was predominantly military in nature; with the coffin borne on a gun-carriage or hearse and followed by the regiment at the march or lining the street, with the civilian family members further to the rear. A gun salute would have been fired. Any relevant flags would have been flown at half-mast from sunrise to sunset on the day.
A "military escort" at a funeral suggested that the funeral was a service at which a uniformed bearer-party carried the coffin and may have marched alongside the hearse. The bearer-party might have consisted of other veterans, such as members of the Grenadier Guards comrades' association or the Royal British Legion or the "Old Contemptibles" whose members were those who held the 1914 Star with Mons clasp.
The Regimental Collect of the Grenadier Guards is:
"O God grant that thy servants, The Grenadier Guards, may ever be mindful of their proud and costly heritage; that continuing to guard what is right, and fighting for what is just, they may so serve Thee here in this life that they may be counted worthy to join those who now continue their service in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen". The collect was generally followed by the Lord's Prayer. Typical hymns were "Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven"; "He Who Would Valiant Be" and "Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer".
The regimental quick march is "Grenadier Guards" and the slow march is "Scorpio", although, at funerals, "Grenadiers Return" could be played after the church service. It is the Grenadier Guards who, today, provide the bearer-party at the state funeral of a sovereign.
Walter Sidney Bartlett appears to have lived at Murray Road, Ealing, which is opposite the South Ealing Cemetery.
"Once a Grenadier, Always a Grenadier".
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Saturday 6th April 2013 at 7:47 AM

Thanks Alan
Strange realy as i was brought up i in Ealing and i suppose being a young kid didnt take much interest in familys.I only remember visiting my nan etc at 104 Murray Road in Sth Ealing,if only i took interest then i could have gained so much information.
Regards
John
Posted by: Helen {Email left}
Location: Sevenoaks
Date: Thursday 4th April 2013 at 10:50 PM
Dear Alan,

My Great Great Grandfather was Henry Charles Ford (known as Harry), he served in the First Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during World War I and was awarded the military cross (and then subsequently also the bar) for an attack on a machine gun post at some point before 1917. Apparently, so my Grandfather used to tell me, as he was over 6" tall the king had to stand on a stool to award him the cross! I have just been informed that his military cross is on display in Carmarthen Castle so the answer to my question may well be there but I shall have to organise a visit. I would very much like to know where he was when this attack on the machine gun post took place and if there is any additional information available about him please.
Many thanks and kind regards

Helen
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 5th April 2013 at 1:37 PM

Dear Helen,
The regimental museum may be able to help with the citations for the Military Cross and the events surrounding them. It appears that Henry Charles Ford did not go to France at the outbreak of war. An Army medal rolls index card for a Company Quartermaster Serjeant Henry Charles Ford, 21549, Royal Welsh Fusiliers recorded he arrived in France on 3rd December 1915 which was a year or more after the arrival of the two regular battalions, the 1st and 2nd RWF. He was discharged to commission (became an officer with the rank of Second Lieutenant) on 26th June 1917. A Company Serjeant Major Henry Charles Ford, 21549 Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was awarded the Military Cross. The award was published in the official publication "The London Gazette" on 29th December 1916 (http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/29886/supplements/34) which was dated 1 January 1917.

At that time the medal was "in recognition of distinguished and meritorious services in time of war". In 1917 the award became restricted to gallantry under fire. The citation in "The London Gazette" for the award of the MC in December 1916 is proving elusive.
The award of a bar to the Military Cross, with a citation, was published on 16th September 1918 and can be seen in "The London Gazette" at
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30901/supplements/10889

None of the above entries provides verifiable biographical detail to identify the entries named Henry Charles Ford as one and the same person. After the war, in 1921, the former Serjeant-major stated his address was 29 Silverdale, Sydenham, SE 26.
His service record would be held at the National Archives at Kew. You can do a free surname search online, and then order a copy (charges apply) See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/officerbritisharmyafter1913.htm

The war diaries of the 1st Battalion RWF are held at The National Archives but you would need to have seen Harry's service record first to establish in which battalions he served at any particular time. As an officer, his activities should be recorded in the battalion war diaries, and his promotions published in "The London Gazette".

Your grandfather's fire-side story does not take into account that the sovereign kings of England did not usually climb onto stools to award medals to soldiers. It was customary for soldiers to bow to their Sovereign. King George V was said to be 5ft 6ins or 5ft 7ins tall so it is unlikely to have been necessary for him to ascend to your ancestor to hand him a medal. However, grandfather's story probably improves with the telling and if it has become part of the family's history it should be preserved as an anecdote. It certainly serves to vividly illustrate that your great great grandfather was very tall.
Citations for the Military Cross were given with the medal. References to the award of the Military Cross and for his temporary promotions can be found online by searching "The London Gazette". Henry Charles Ford acted as a Captain while commanding a company between October 1917 and February 1918; and again in September to October 1918. To search the Gazette, see:
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search

Select the First World War from the events and search using forenames and also with initials (H.C. Ford). The 1st Battalion RWF served in France and Italy with the 7th Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/7div.htm

Contact details for the museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers are shown at:
http://www.rwfmuseum.org.uk/contacts.html

It won't be easy to trace all his movements in the different records, but with some persistence the story can be pieced together.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Helen
Date: Friday 5th April 2013 at 6:00 PM

Dear Alan,

Thank you ever so much for providing me with this information and with the links to the various contacts, it is ever so kind of you to take the trouble to do this and I greatly appreciate it. I shall now set about piecing his story together as I find it fascinating and I am certain that I shall find the search an enjoyable and rewarding task.

Many thanks again.

Kind regards,

Helen
Posted by: Helen {Email left}
Location: Sevenoaks
Date: Thursday 4th April 2013 at 10:31 PM
Dear Alan,

My Great Great Grandfather was Henry Charles Ford (known as Harry), he served in the First Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during World War I and was awarded the military cross (and then subsequently also the bar) for an attack on a machine gun post at some point before 1917. Apparently, so my Grandfather used to tell me, as he was over 6" tall the king had to stand on a stool to award him the cross! I have just been informed that his military cross is on display in Carmarthen Castle so the answer to my question may well be there but I shall have to organise a visit. I would very much like to know where he was when this attack on the machine gun post took place and if there is any additional information available about him please.
Many thanks and kind regards

Helen
Posted by: Alastair Macdonald {Email left}
Location: Reuters London
Date: Thursday 4th April 2013 at 5:52 PM
Would you like to share your experience of tracing your relatives' service in the First World War?
I'm a journalist with Reuters news agency in London and am working on a story related to next year's centenary of the outbreak of the conflict. I would very much like to hear from anyone who has been researching the war records, whether for years or just a few days, to hear what motivates you, what you have found out and what you think is important about the memory of the fighting as the 100-year mark approaches. If you are interested, please drop me an email at (alastair.macdonald at thomsonreuters dot com) .
http://blogs.reuters.com/alastair-macdonald/
Twitter: @macdonaldrtr
Posted by: David Blithing {Email left}
Location: Harrow Middlesex
Date: Wednesday 3rd April 2013 at 6:03 PM
Hi Alan, i am researching my grandfather who sevred in ww1 with the 1st Battalion The East Kent he join the East Kenst in 1903 age the age of 16 years I think? any other information will be a big bonus
Regards
David Blithing
Reply from: David Blithing
Date: Wednesday 3rd April 2013 at 6:04 PM

Hi Alan
Sorry it does help His name is Percy William Blything
Regards
David
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 3rd April 2013 at 7:44 PM

Dear David,
There are no surviving military records in the name of Percy William Blything (or variations). He appears to have enlisted under the name of William Blything. In the 1901 census he was recorded as a 14 year old butcher's shop assistant at Brook Street, Erith. In the 1911 census he was recorded living with his mother as "no employment" ex-Army reserve. He could have served seven years with the colours and five in reserve which was a typical term of engagement. "Ex-Army" reserve could be interpreted that he was "ex-Army" and in the reserve, as opposed to being a former Army reservist. Consequently, in 1914 he would have been recalled from the reserve to serve in the war.
An Army medal rolls index card recorded a W. P. Blything who served with the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs) as L/7242, where the L pre-fix stood for local enlistment. He later served with the Army Service Corps as a serjeant M2/202503. His term of engagement ended on 24th May 1916, which may have been at the end of 12 years' service with the colours and the reserve, suggesting enlistment in about 1904. Engagements that ended while a man was serving overseas were extended by one year, which would give the date of enlistment as 1903. In that year the 1st battalion The Buffs returned from a tour in India.
William Blything qualified for the 1914 Star with Mons clasp; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He served overseas from 7th September 1914. The 1st Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) landed at St Nazaire with the 6th Division on 10th September 1914. They fought in the 16th Infantry Brigade. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/6div.htm

It is not possible to state when he transferred to the ASC. The M2 prefix to his number indicated Mechanical Transport.
A brief service record for a William Blything born in Hatcham who enlisted in the Rifle Brigade and then transferred to the East Kent Regiment is available at the National Archives which is free to visit at Kew, Surrey, or via the findmypast.co.uk website (pay as you go; 30 credits required). Copyright law prevents me from transcribing information from the Findmypast website.
The regimental records are held at The Buffs, Royal East Kent Regiment Museum Collection, National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HT.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: David Blithing
Date: Wednesday 3rd April 2013 at 8:44 PM

Hi Alan thank you for you very quick reply most helpful
kindest Regards
David

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