The World War Forum (Page 27)

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Posted by: Alison Pirouet {Email left}
Location: Chesham
Date: Sunday 12th June 2016 at 8:02 PM
I have been trying to trace my mums great uncle William Wallace, of the Royal Naval Division,. He was born in West Hyde, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire in July 1884 (thereabouts). He was award the DSM after Siege of Antwerp - His no. 211130. Thats is it, if you can help would be appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 13th June 2016 at 4:26 PM

Dear Alison,
Record index cards of the Royal Naval Division are not very forthcoming and naval service records are rarely more than a list of ships and dates, which in the case of William Wallace would cover some 24 years of service, so it is only possible to provide basic details of the service of an individual.
William Wallace was born on 29th July 1884 and worked as a labourer before joining the Royal Navy at Devonport as a Boy Second Class at the age of 16 on 21st August 1900 when he was allotted the Official Number: Devonport (O.N. Dev) 211130. He trained at the naval school establishment known as HMS “Impregnable” at Devonport (which was on board the actual vessel HMS “Howe” from 1885 to 1911) until 11th December 1901. He then served on a dozen or more ships in peacetime with periods ashore. His full time service as a man had begun on his 18th birthday in 1902; signing on for the usual 12 years’ continuous service as an adult (National Archives Catalogue reference: ADM/188/369/ 211130).
When William Wallace joined the Royal Navy in 1902 he was 5ft 4ins tall with light brown hair, grey eyes, and a sallow complexion. By 1914 he had grown to 5ft 9ins. Towards the end of his 12 years, on 29th July 1914, five days before the war began, he had been posted to the Royal Naval Reserve in London on July 25th 1914 where he then stayed on for war service and on 19th September 1914 he joined the Royal Naval Division which was a force of infantry soldiers created from the large surplus of reserves of Royal Navy men who were without postings to ships’ crews. At the outbreak of war, William had passed a training course for Executive Warrant Officer in Seamanship at Devonport (HMS “Vivid I”). In 1914 he held the rank of Petty Officer that had been awarded on 1st February 1913. On 19th September 1914 William joined the Nelson Battalion of the Royal Naval Division as a Petty Officer. The Royal Navy Division had been raised to form two Naval brigades of surplus Naval Reservists which joined the Brigade of Royal Marines to produce a composite Royal Naval Division, of three brigades. Some Petty Officers and ratings were transferred from the Navy to provide leadership but most of the recruits were reservists or men who had volunteered at the outbreak of war. The Royal Naval Division fought on land as infantry soldiers and first participated in the week-long British contribution to the defence of the Belgian city of Antwerp from October 4th 1914 under the command of Major General A. Paris. Chris Baker’s website, the Long, Long Trail has details of the siege: See:
The poet Rupert Brooke served at Antwerp with the Royal Naval Division.
William Wallace was Mentioned in Despatches on 5th December 1914. See:
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal “after operations round Antwerp from 3rd to 9th August 1914”. The D.S.M. was instituted in October 1914 as a gallantry award for naval ratings and Royal Marines who distinguished themselves in time of war. See the list in the London Gazette of 29th December 1914 at:
This supplement to the London Gazette was dated 1st January 1915, so his award of the D.S.M. is dated 1915 in the Navy List of April 1915.
William Wallace DSM was later awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre, for bravery in the defence of Antwerp (Royal Navy medal and award rolls; foreign decorations; page 78). The award was announced after the war in the London Gazette of 2nd September 1921: “Admiralty, 2nd September, 1921. The following decorations have been conferred by His Majesty the King of the Belgians on the undermentioned Officers and Men of the British Naval Forces in recognition of their services during the War: — Has Majesty the King has given unrestricted permission to the Officers and Men concerned to wear the decorations in question” (London Gazette 2nd September 1921 page 6944).
The Royal Naval Division was despatched to Gallipoli and sailed on February 28th/March 1st 1915 but the day before that occurred William Wallace was posted on land at Devonport on his promotion to acting Gunner. This meant that as a Petty Officer he was a warrant officer of the executive branch given training as an Instructor on ships’ armaments. On ship he would be in charge of the guns. On land, he was stationed at HMS “Vivid II”, which was the Royal Naval Barracks at Devonport, from 27th February 1915. He appears to have served as the Gunner on HMS “Ostrich”, a torpedo boat destroyer, from October 1915 (Navy List, October 1915). On 2nd March 1918 he was issued with the ribbon of the 1914 Star which was sent to the officer commanding HMS “Ostrich”, so he was still with “Ostrich”. HMS “Ostrich” operated in Home waters with the Channel Fleet as part of the Portsmouth Instructional Flotilla. She had been based at Chatham in 1914 and had moved to protect Scapa Flow. By November 1918 she was assigned to the Nore local flotilla and was based at Lowestoft where she provided local defensive patrols and escorted merchant vessels. William Wallace remained with “Ostrich” until she was decommissioned in 1919.
After the war William Wallace served as Gunner on the sloop HMS “Hollyhock” which was recommissioned at Devonport on 9th January 1920. From 25th November 1922 he was posted ashore and was recorded at the shore establishment HMS “Pembroke” for barrack duties at Chatham in the Navy List of July 1924.
His Royal Naval Division record card can be downloaded for a fee of £3.45 from:
His early service record can be downloaded for a fee of £3.45 from:
As William Wallace continued to serve after the war, his full service record would still be held by the Ministry of Defence and is not in the public domain.
Acting Chief Petty Officer William Wallace qualified for the Distinguished Service Medal; the Belgian Croix de Guerre; the 1914 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 13th June 2016 at 9:38 PM

In the third paragraph "When William Wallace joined the Royal Navy in 1902" should read 1900.

Posted by: Youngbuzzard {Email left}
Location: Newton Abbot
Date: Monday 6th June 2016 at 11:22 AM
Hello Alan,
Today I am trying to find details of a Charles Vincent, 2 service numbers 6664 and 26360, he was a sergeant in the Somerset Light Infantry, and this is about all I know. He did survive the war, and I am particularly interested in where he died and is buried, I don't know how much you will be able to help, but, as usual thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
Cheers. David.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 6th June 2016 at 2:45 PM

Dear David,
There is no obvious record for Charles Vincent other than a medal roll which indicated he served with the 6th Battalion Prince Albert’s Somerset Light Infantry. He was with the Battalion when it went overseas on 21st May 1915. He had probably been in the army before the war as a sergeant, with the original number 6664, as he was discharged on 31 October 1915, perhaps at the end of his term of engagement. He re-joined the Battalion on 13th July 1916, with a new number 26360, and ended the war as an acting Warrant Office Class I (Regimental Sergeant Major). He was discharged on 7th April 1919. There is no record that identifies him with any biographical detail.
With kind regards,

Posted by: John Nicholls {Email left}
Location: Harlow
Date: Monday 6th June 2016 at 11:12 AM
Hi Alan
Hope all is well with you, chatting to my Son Luke the other night talking about WW1 Medals and he says that there were 3 War Medals that they used to call Pip, Squeak, and Wilfred, is this correct ? as ive never heard or read about this before.
Kind regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 6th June 2016 at 2:45 PM

Dear Jonboy and Luke,
The first campaign medal of the First World War was The 1914 Star for soldiers who served in France and Belgium and came under fire from August 5th up to November 22nd 1914. These were members of the original British Expeditionary Force who fought at Mons and then the First Battle of Ypres which ended on November 22nd. This medal was sometimes called the Mons Star. After the war had ended, three other campaign medals were introduced: The 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. When the 1914 Star and the British War Medal and the Victory Medal started to be issued they were dubbed “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred” after the characters in a popular Daily Mirror comic strip written by “Uncle Dick”, Bertram J. Lamb, which was first published in May 1919 . Pip was a dog, Squeak a penguin and Wilfred a rabbit. The characters were hugely popular until the series ended in 1959 and the use of their names for any trio was widespread. The medals were worn in the order: 1914 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal.
When only the British War Medal and Victory Medal were worn they were sometimes known as Mutt and Jeff: again characters in a syndicated cartoon strip first published in 1907. Mutt and Jeff were working class, drinking men who were amiable losers. One was tall the other short.
Strictly speaking, the words Pip, Squeak and Wilfred when referring to the medals are monikers: single words that described succinctly something with a longer title. Nicknames are often considered desirable suggesting acceptance, but in the army, nicknames are often diminutive suggesting contempt. The 1914 Star with Mons Clasp was the only campaign medal awarded for being under-fire. The other campaign medals were issued for simply being overseas. In the case of First World War Veterans, many thought that demeaned their significance and the nicknames suggested: “Is this all we get?”
With kind regards,
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Monday 6th June 2016 at 3:59 PM

Thanks Alan for that so lukie was right i rely thought he was trying to wind me up, not bad for a 16 year old boy.
Posted by: Peter {Email left}
Location: Billingham
Date: Sunday 5th June 2016 at 8:01 PM
Dear Alan hope you are fit and well. is it possable to find two men from a photograph sent by a pal, the names on the back of the photo are George Albert Harrison Lower Wood Farm Church Stretton Shropshire and Henrey Griffiths from Broseley Shropshire hope you can put me on the right track.
Best Regards Peter
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 6th June 2016 at 2:44 PM

Dear Peter,
Unfortunately, I have been unable to make a positive identification of either of these names.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Diane Roberts {No contact email}
Location: Kenley Surrey
Date: Friday 3rd June 2016 at 8:03 PM
Hi Alan. I've come to a dead end in my efforts to find more information about my Grandfather's time in the Royal Field Artillery in WW1 and I'm hoping you can help me move things on. I know that finding information about Gunners in the RFA isn't easy as there were so many of them but any suggestions would be very welcome!

I have tracked down 3 documents but none of them provide any clues as to which brigade he was attached to or where he served etc.

His name was George Harrison, he lived in Aston, Birmingham, and his regiment number was102269. His Short Service Attestation paper has 2 dates, 10/08/1915 and 13/08/1915. He was awarded the Victory medal but the page from the roll of honour gives no more information other than A/Bdr after his regiment number. The Medal Index card only gives the reference to the roll of honour.

He survived the war, but died in 1954. I have vague recollections of overhearing stories about him when I was young, and that he suffered as a result of mustard gas inhalation. However, as my research into my family tree progresses I've found that family stories are sometimes fairy tales!

Yours hopefully
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 3rd June 2016 at 11:53 PM

Dear Diane,
George Harrison was a cycle maker, aged 23, working for Kynoch Ltd, Lion Works, Birmingham. He volunteered at the Recruiting Office, James Watt Street, Birmingham on August 10th 1915. He would have been given a rail warrant to travel to Hilsea where he joined the Royal Field Artillery (R.F.A.) on 13th August 1915 at the R.F.A.’s No 3 Depot for basic training. He was posted to No.17 Reserve Battery in 3B Reserve Brigade R.F.A. which was at Topsham Artillery Barracks, Exeter. On 26th October 1915 he was appointed an acting bombardier although he reverted to the rank of “gunner” or private soldier on 22nd November 1915. In January 1916 he was posted to active service overseas and sailed the Mediterranean to join 56 Brigade R.F.A. (also known formally as LVI Brigade in Roman numerals) at Port Said, Egypt, which had recently arrived in Egypt having fought at Gallipoli. On the 8th February 1916, the 56 Brigade moved to Mesopotamia (Iraq) to serve with 13th (Western) Division for operations in Mesopotamia. By 27th March 1916, the Division was near Sheikh Sa'ad under the Tigris Corps and took part in the unsuccessful attempts to relieve the besieged British force at Kut el Amara on the River Tigris. By July 1916 the 56 Brigade R.F.A. had joined the 7th (Meerut) Division before moving with that Division to Palestine, sailing on 21 December 1917 and arriving on January 11th 1918. On 1st April 1918, 56 Brigade was transferred to the 52nd (Lowland) Division at Moascar and then moved with the division to France on 12th April 1918. On 29th April 1918 the Division moved to Aire and took over a sector of front line near Vimy in France on 6th May 1918. Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail says the 52nd Division then fought at The Battle of Albert 1918 (August 21st – 22nd 1918); The Battle of the Scarpe 26th to 30th August 1918); The Battle of the Drocourt-Queant Line (September 2nd – 3rd 1918). Then, George was granted ten days’ leave to the U.K. on 20th September 1918 for ten days so he missed The Battle of the Canal du Nord (27 September – 1 October 1918) but he showed his romantic side by marrying Annie Randall at St Peter’s Church, Warwick, on 28th September 1918. He returned to France on 5th October 1918 in time for The Final Advance in Artois and on the last full day of the war George Harrison was gassed on November 10th 1918, but a later medical board recorded there was no lasting effect and a claim for a pension was rejected on the grounds of “no disability”.
George Harrison qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and was discharged on 1st February 1919 from the artillery dispersal centre at Chiseldon, Wiltshire.
His service record is available online via subscription websites such as and although you have to click on the forward arrows to see it all. The pages are hard to read and have been burnt around the edges after the London Blitz of September 1940.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Diane Roberts
Date: Saturday 4th June 2016 at 12:13 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you so much for your help with this - you are marvellous! . I've got an Ancestry subscription so will persist in clicking through the pages to find his service record.

My grandparents marriage certificate states his occupation as soldier but I couldn't establish if he was till on active service, so It's lovely to hear that he was given time out to marry Annie. Reading through what you've discovered has triggered a few memories of other overheard information from the family, eg that he was in the Middle East.

Thank you!

Best wishes
Reply from: Diane Roberts
Date: Saturday 4th June 2016 at 12:47 PM

I forgot to say that I've made a donation. I wish there was a facility to link the donation to your good work!

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 4th June 2016 at 8:00 PM

Dear Diane,
Thank you for making a contribution to the Royal British Legion.
Posted by: Sharon Hannant {Email left}
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Date: Thursday 2nd June 2016 at 1:17 PM
Hi Alan. My search isn't regarding a soldier or anyone connected to the military but quite frankly I don't know where else to try. You've been so helpful to me in the past, I hoped you may be able to help me again with a bit of a family poser. My great aunt, who was called Dorothy Hewson, was born on 9th October 1905 in Leeds, Yorkshire. Her fathers name was Arthur Hewson and her mothers name was Lily Bullock. She was never actually brought up in the family. For unknown reasons, she was abandoned as a baby in Leeds Station, and brought up in the workhouse. She went into service at a very young age. Somehow, she was reunited with her family 20 years later, and although she had a relationship with her sister, it was strained and she never really got to know other members of her immediate family eg mother, father etc. My cousin and I have only recently discovered this secret through reading some letters sent to my cousins grandma (my great aunt, a different one), my dad who was Dorothys' nephew has passed away, would never talk about his family at all, and any other relatives who may have known something of this, have long since passed away. I would love to find out more about my aunt Dorothy, which workhouse she was sent to, was there any newspaper article written about her abandonment, how did she know where to find her birth family, was she abandoned with a letter stating her name.....There are so may unanswered questions. I have already contacted West Yorkshire Police to see if this would have been reported, but apparently it was not then regarded as a crime. Yet another brick wall!! If you can shed any light here, or point me in some direction where to look I'd be very, very grateful.
Many thanks Sharon
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 2nd June 2016 at 6:47 PM

Dear Sharon,
The records of the Leeds workhouses are held by the West Yorkshire Archive Service at Morley, West Yorkshire, and include Guardians' Minutes (1844-1930); Admissions and discharges (1843-7); Adoptions register (1895-1948); B*stardy register (1844-1930). Records that are not more than 100 years old may remain closed. See:
There is no General Register Office entry for a birth of a Dorothy Hewson in Leeds about 1905, nor of a Dorothy Bullock, so it is possible she went by another name or the birth was never registered or she was born elsewhere.
Arthur Hewson did not marry Lily Bullock until 1907 at Kirkby Overblow, near Wetherby.
In the 1911 census they were recorded living in Barnsley stating they had had no children. The GRO birth index records an Olive Hewson, born Barnsley in 1912 and Arthur born Barnsley 1919 with the mother’s maiden name Bullock.
It is possible that Dorothy was adopted; however formal adoptions in England and Wales did not begin until 1927. Some pre-1927 adoptions were arranged by adoption societies such as the Church of England Children's Society. Workhouse Boards of Guardians, as mentioned above, also prepared reports before 1927 but very few remain. There are no adoption records online.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Helen Devine {Email left}
Location: Manchester
Date: Wednesday 1st June 2016 at 2:28 PM
Dear Alan
I would appreciate any information regarding Walter Norman Evans Private 6739 in the 16th battalion of The Manchester Regiment. I know he died on 1st July 1916 possibly at The Somme.
Kind Regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 1st June 2016 at 8:24 PM

Dear Helen,
No individual service record has survived for Walter Evans, 6739, so it is not possible to state his wartime service in detail. However, an army medal roll recorded he served with the 16th Battalion Manchester Regiment (1st Manchester City Pals) and first entered France on 8th November 1915. That was the date the 16th Battalion entered France, so it seems certain Walter had been with them from the beginning.
The 16th Battalion was raised by the Lord Mayor of Manchester from 28th August 1914 at Heaton Park, Manchester. In April 1915 the Battalion moved to Belton Park near Grantham, Lincolnshire, where it joined the 90th Infantry Brigade in the 30th Division. In September 1915 they moved to Larkhill on Salisbury Plain and travelled from Amesbury railway station on November 7th and November 8th 1915 to the coast to Folkestone and Southampton to sail for France.
Their first major action other than defensive trench routine was on July 1st 1916 in the Battle of Albert (The First Day of the Somme) where they fought to capture the village of Montauban which was held and fortified by the enemy. The Battalion moved up to the assembly trenches at 8.30 a.m. on July 1st 1916 and advanced under the protection of the British artillery barrage. Unfortunately, while they had the 17th Manchesters on their right, there were no supporting troops on their left and they were fired upon by the enemy from that direction forcing them to come to a halt at 9.20 a.m.. At 10.5 a.m. the leading friendly troops to their left arrived and the advance was resumed. By 10.30 a.m. the 16th Battalion had successfully entered Montauban Alley and consolidated the area they had captured.
At night on the 1st/2nd July, the enemy counter-attacked at 9.30 p.m. on July 1st and 3.30 a.m. on July 2nd, while continuing ceaseless shelling on the British positions holding Montauban. The 2nd Wiltshire Regiment sent men to support the 16th Battalion in fighting off the enemy and the Germans withdrew at 4 a.m. on July 2nd.
The 16th Battalion was then withdrawn later on July 2nd by 1.30 p.m.. The 16th Battalion had lost 81 men killed on the day, which for the First day of the Somme was a comparatively small number, and they had achieved their objective for the day.
Walter Evans was killed in action on July 1st 1916 and has no marked grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His legatee was his sister Dorothy Evans.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Helen Devine
Date: Wednesday 15th June 2016 at 1:13 PM

Thank you Alan that is so enlightening will make a donation
Posted by: L Miller {No contact email}
Location: Greater London
Date: Tuesday 31st May 2016 at 9:02 AM
Hello Alan
I would appreciate any information you can find out about Rifleman Arthur Warr, He was a rifleman his wifes name was Eliza,his parents names were Richard and martha Warr,I think his family lived in London, He had at least two children namedArthur and Albert. I think he died serving in Belgium He would have been in his 30s.Any info you can find will be appreciated.
Thank You and have a great day.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 31st May 2016 at 1:32 PM

Dear L Miller,
Very few military records have survived that provide biographical information and so it is not possible to positively identify a serviceman’s records from his name only. There were a dozen men named A. Warr who were killed in the First World War and the most likely person named Arthur Warr served in the Rifle Brigade. Private soldiers in the Rifle Brigade were known as riflemen. Arthur Warr 6/7480 had been born at Islington and resided at Spitalfields.
He trained with the 6th Battalion Rifle Brigade and served with the 3rd Battalion Rifle Brigade in France and Flanders from 23rd October 1914. He was killed in action on 7th March 1915 and has no marked grave. He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial which commemorates more than 11,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Pleogsteert sector during the First World War and have no known grave.
Arthur Warr qualified for the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Reply from: L Miller
Date: Wednesday 1st June 2016 at 10:35 AM

Thank you so much for this information.
kind regards
Reply from: Greg Rogers
Date: Thursday 1st September 2016 at 12:50 PM

Greetings from Australia.

Yes there was more than one Arthur Warr only one who served with The Rifle Brigade The soldier so named as having spouse Eliza is connected to my family genealogy. After Arthur was killed, Eliza married an Australian soldier in December of 1916 who was convalescing from wounds received in the Moquet Farm offensive on 4 Sept 16. That soldier's name was Sidney Leonard Deacon.

Deacon was discharged in England 1917 as not fit for service due to injuries. They migrated to Australia sometime after 1918.

Arthur Warr's WW1 medal entitlement was posted on militaria site here in 2009. I tried unsuccessfully but contact the person who acquired the lot. They probably came to light as a garage find from the estate of Eliza who died in 1978.

Message to L. Miller: I have some content for Warr antecedent history on my tree under Rogers/Goldsborough. Key in Sidney Leonard Deacon to find me. You can contact me from there if you so wish.

Kind regards,
Posted by: Pete {Email left}
Location: East Yorkshire
Date: Monday 30th May 2016 at 6:41 PM
Hello again Alan, trust you are well. I hope you are going to be able to solve a mystery for me.
Recently a nephew made a surprise visit, bringing with him a wonderful parcel of various family history documents, which I had no idea existed.
Amongst them is a photograph of a memorial headstone to Abraham Hawes and another comrade.
The wording is "To the memory of Pte. Abraham Hawes K O YL I died 13 May 1918 aged 31 years 4 months, and Pte C Bishop, R I F died May 9 1918 aged 24 years. After a verse are the words
Erected by his comrades" His Service number was 8501
Abraham was born 14 December 1886 in Norwich.

I am wondering why his comrades would erect such a lovely headstone. Did he perform some brave deed to warrant this? From what I have gleaned, it appears he was in a German P O W camp in 1915, so what happened for him to be remembered in 1918?
I should be most grateful if you can tell me more about him, and in doing so solve my mystery.
I know nothing about Pte. C Bishop.

With kindest regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 31st May 2016 at 12:06 PM

Dear Peter,
A memorial to two men from different regiments who died on separate dates can only mean the men were in the same location in similar circumstances when they died and were amongst colleagues who were capable of erecting a memorial at the time or at a later date.
Abraham appears to have died on May 19th 1918 not May 13th.
In the 1911 census Abraham Hawes was recorded as a 24-year-old widower with a three-year-old son at 138 Woodcock Street, Hull. His housekeeper was his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Fox, single, aged 18. He married a Mary Elizabeth Fox in the Pocklington district in 1912. Abraham Hawes was a police constable employed by Hull Corporation.
At the outbreak of war he was with The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and served in the 2nd Battalion. A 1914 Star medal roll suggested he embarked for France on 1st September 1914 but this is probably incorrect as a separate roll listed his name in numerical sequence with the 2nd Battalion, so it is likely he served with them from the outbreak of the war either as a reserve or a regular soldier. The 2nd Battalion, which had been in Dublin in 1914, had sailed to France on 16th August 1914, and was with 13th Infantry Brigade in the 5th Division. Abraham would have fought at The Battle of Mons and the following retreat, including the Action of Elouges and then The Battle of Le Cateau and the Affair of Crepy-en-Valois where he was probably captured.
International Red Cross records show Abraham Hawes was first recorded as a prisoner of the German Army at St Quentin, France, on 31st August 1914 at a time when that French town was occupied by the German Army.
On the night of 26th August 1914, the French and British withdrew from Le Cateau to St. Quentin and the French Army with British support was counter-attacking St Quentin on 29th August. On August 31st, in retreat, the 2nd K.O.Y.L.I. and 13th Infantry Brigade marched 23 miles to Crépy-en-Valois destined for the defence of Paris. The 13th Brigade held Crépy-en-Valois during the night of 31st August/1st September 1914 when the Germans launched an attack at 6 a.m. on September 1st, but the British withdrew and two days later crossed the River Marne on September 3rd 1914.
The records in the archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva include prison camp registers that show Abraham Hawes, geboren (born) 14th December 1886, Norwich; heimat (homeland) Hull, was first imprisoned at Gefangenenlager Crefeld (Prison camp Crefeld). Since 1929 that city has been known as Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. On 23rd June 1915 Abraham Hawes was registered at Munster Camp II. On March 3rd 1916 he was attached to Munster Camp I and employed at Neuenkirchen on detachment. On 29th April 1916 he returned to Munster II. On 30th November 1917 he was moved to Kriegsgefangenenlager Chemnitz (Prisoner of War camp, Chemnitz), Franzosenlager, Chemnitz, Saxony. Chemnitz was known as Karl-Marx-Stadt from 1953 to 1990 in East Germany. At some point in 1918 Abraham was admitted to the Reservelazarett (Reserve Infirmary) at Borna in Saxony. On 19th May 1918 he died “as a result of pneumonia” (“infolge lungenentzundung gestorben”). Abraham Hawes was buried in Friedhof Borna (Borna Cemetery) [Leipzigstrasse 4, Borna, Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany]. His next-of-kin was Elizabeth Hawes of 2 Keldspring, Barmby Moor. [Pocklington].
Abraham qualified for the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
C. Bishop R.I.F. has not been positively identified but a German register of deaths recorded a Charles Bishop 2nd Infantry Regiment (sic) who died at Reservelazarett Borna on 9th May 1918. This was probably Charles Arthur Bishop, 42472, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers who had first gone to France in November 1915. He was single with his sole legatee his mother, Elizabeth and died on 9th May 1918.
The Prisoner records for Abraham (in German) are arranged phonetically and can be accessed online by searching under the name Haw for his named index card and then searching each PA number from the card at:
For a picture, see also:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Pete
Date: Friday 3rd June 2016 at 9:16 PM

Hello Alan, I want to thank you for the wonderful report into Abraham Hawes' military record. It amazes me as to how quickly you are able to come up with such detailed information. As I mentioned in my letter, my nephew brought a parcel of documents, and I have now found another piece of paper, which I am interested in, and would like your help.

It gives details of James Fox No 134I who enlisted in October 1870 at Sheffield, where he had been born in 1849. At some time he deserted. On Find my Past there are 4 pages related to him, but I wondered if you would be able to give me in more detail where he actually served and in what unit.
With many thanks
Kind regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 4th June 2016 at 8:03 PM

Dear Pete, retain the copyright of documents they have digitized and so records from their site cannot be transcribed on the internet, including this forum.
However, some background information will help illustrate James Fox’s service and to interpret his service records that you already have. The 1st Battalion 14th Regiment of Foot was associated with Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire until 1881 when it became known as the West Yorkshire Regiment and established a depot at the Barracks on Fulford Road in York. It was part of the 10th Brigade which had a Depot at Bradford that supplied recruits within the Northern Military District, whose District HQ was based at York. James Fox served in Great Britain for 45 days before being sent to India from November 1870 to February 1875. The 1st Battalion 14th Regiment’s service in India saw detachments serving seasonally in various places including Allahabad (1871) and a battalion headquarters at Cawnpore. Their role was to police the empire and they were not engaged in any war during James’s time. On his return to England on 25th February 1875 he served in Great Britain. The 1st Battalion 14th Regiment remained in India until 1879/80, so James would have served in the 2nd Battalion once he was back in the U.K.. The 2nd Battalion 14th Regiment served in the 3rd Infantry Brigade and was at Aldershot when James returned from India in February 1875. In June 1875 the 2nd Battalion moved to Devonport, Plymouth. The 2nd Battalion was warned in June 1876 it would be moved to Ireland in July (“Hampshire County Advertiser” June 14th 1876 © British Library Board via British Newspaper Archive). That news might have prompted James to desert in June. With James absent, the battalion’s move to Belfast actually took place on 12th November 1876 sailing from Devonport to Belfast. In May/June 1877 the 2nd Battalion moved from Belfast to the Curragh Camp, Ireland. In 1878, the 2nd Battalion sailed for India arriving at Bombay about 8th November 1878 to proceed to Lucknow (Second Afghan War).
James was later detained in October 1879 and was imprisoned until 22nd February 1880. He then served one year and four months in Great Britain which would have been with the 1st Battalion 14th Regiment which by then was back in England and garrisoned at Parkhurst, Isle of Wight, in 1880. They moved to Portland, Weymouth, in February 1881. James transferred to the Army Reserve on 25th August 1881. Reservists maintained their commitment to be re-called in an emergency and received three shillings and sixpence a week Reservists’ pay in addition to any civilian earnings.
The Anglo-Egyptian War of 1882 saw Reservists called-up in the U.K. in August 1882 but after four days of being recalled to the West Yorkshire Regiment, James Fox volunteered for the Commissariat and Transport Corps (C.T.C.) and served on active service in Egypt with them from August to December 1882. They were the fore-runners of the Royal Logistics Corps.
The Anglo-Egyptian conflict of 1882 was caused after the Egyptian Army had mutinied as a result of not being paid, while Arabs attacked the Europeans in anti-Christian raids at Alexandria. Britain and France sent warships in May 1882 to demand law and order because they were reliant on the Suez Canal. France withdrew and then the Royal Navy bombarded Alexandria, destroying much of the city. In August, a British force of over 40,000 men commanded by Garnet Wolseley invaded the Suez Canal Zone and cleared the country of rebels. British troops then occupied Egypt until the Anglo–Egyptian Treaties of 1922 and 1936.
The original medal roll for the Egypt Medal 1882 ( listed Private J. Fox, 97, No. 1 Company Commissariat and Transport Corps as qualifying for the 1882 medal without the clasp for Tel-el-Kebir, which is contrary to the note in his service record. No 1 Company C.T.C. served in Egypt in the Second Division under Lt Gen Sir Edward Hamley. James returned to England and went back to the Army Reserve in December 1882 until February 1887. James volunteered to extend his Reserve commitment in the D Section Army Reserve for four years with the reserve of the Commissariat and Transport Corps between March 1887 and 1891, thus continuing to receive the three shillings and sixpence a week.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Pete
Date: Monday 6th June 2016 at 7:21 PM

Thank you Alan for the great insight into James' life in the service. It has given me a lot to think about and I shall look up this information you have given me - (“Hampshire County Advertiser” June 14th 1876 © British Library Board via British Newspaper Archive).

I shall be sending off a donation to our local British Legion, to show my thanks for all this hard work done for me.
Many thanks again, it is much appreciated.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 6th June 2016 at 8:12 PM

Dear Pete,
Thank you for making a donation to your local Royal British Legion.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Julie Bell {Email left}
Location: Bradford
Date: Monday 30th May 2016 at 6:00 PM
I forgot to mention - Joseph Bell lived in George Street, Saltaire; Shipley West Yorkshire in 1911 - he + wife Emily ( Picker ) might HV lived there at time of ' Enlistment ' in 1914 but in 1918 he + wife Emily ( Picker )might hv lived at Herbert Street - he migty Hv might lived there at time of ' Enlistment ' in 1914
Joseph married Emily in 1911
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 30th May 2016 at 8:27 PM

Dear Julie,
Unfortunately, very few military records have survived that provide biographical information and so it is not possible to identify a serviceman’s records from his name only. There is no obvious surviving individual army service record for a Joseph Bell from Saltaire, but most of those types of records were destroyed in 1940 during the London Blitz so the survival rate is very low. To identify any other surviving records it is necessary to know in which service (Army; Navy; RAF) he had enlisted and his regimental number, as the services recorded details by surname, rank and number within a regiment.
With kind regards,

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