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  • keithmroberts

    How NOT to use blogs

    By keithmroberts

    This area is not for queries but for ongoing blogs. if you want to ask for help, please go to the appropriate sub-forum in the main part of the GWF. You have been asked to make your first post in a specified location. Once you have done that, your query can be raised in the various sections of the forum. If you previously posted a request for help or information in this area, it is likely to be deleted at some point in the next few weeks or months. So if you have a reply, please make a note of it, If not, can you re-post it in the appropriate part of the forum, which is likely to get you a quick response. Keith Roberts for the GWF team

Our community blogs


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    Recent Entries

    This area is not for queries but for ongoing blogs. if you want to ask for help, please go to the appropriate sub-forum in the main part of the GWF.

    You have been asked to make your first post in a specified location. Once you have done that, your query can be raised in the various sections of the forum.

    If you previously posted a request for help or information in this area, it is likely to be deleted at some point in the next few weeks or months. So if you have a reply, please make a note of it, If not, can you re-post it in the appropriate part of the forum, which is likely to get you a quick response.

    Keith Roberts

    for the GWF team

  2. I am on vacation in Perth and return to work in Kazakhstan next week. Good news is I am working my notice and will return to a new job in Perth in December! Spent the holiday consolidating my collection and indexing it all. Some things will be on ebay soon! Collected my new bike from the dealer today. Planning a road trip from Perth to Melbourne. Working on setting up a website dedicated to 7th Beds Rgt.

  3. Paul Johnson's Blog

    Latest Entry

    Thanks to Simon Cawthorne the final bits have been added to the WO364 Missort database and it has been sent to Chris Baker. Hopefully, if all goes well, you should be able to search through it in the very near future.

    The database contains details of the 156 Service Records that were recorded out of sequence in the WO364 files.

    I hope anyone who uses it finds it helpful.


  4. jmmalone's Blog

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    Latest Entry

    "Haileybury College, Inter-House Team Race, 1915,L.E.B. Wimbush." These words areengraved on an antique pewter beer mug that somehow foundits way from England 7,280 miles across Europe and Asia to an antiques flea marketin Jalan Surabaya, Jakarta, Indonesia, where it was found, purchased andpresented to me by my wife sixty-two years later in 1977. The mug gathered duston various shelves as we continued to travel the world until we finally retiredand came to rest in the mountains of Western North Carolina in 2001. It was there, one longwinter evening about four years ago, that I happened to take it down from theshelf and re-read the inscription. My curiosity was aroused. Who was Wimbushanyway, and why might this trophy of his have found its way into my possession?Was there perhaps an interesting story waiting to be told? Would I be able tofind some information about him on Google? That evening I began a fascinating internet"paper chase" which, over many more evenings, gradually enabled me to piecetogether almost the entire life history of young L.E.B. Wimbush as well as awealth of background information about the people, times and places he musthave encountered.

    This is the true story behind the mysterious mug, consisting mostly of documented facts from internetsources or published histories but partly of my own imaginings. It is a story of heroism, love, irony and tragic death; a story about a handsome youngEnglishman who volunteered to fight the Germans in the skies above Franceduring the Great War; a story I felt strongly compelled to discover, research and write, not out of mere curiosity but almost as if called to the task frombeyond the grave by young Wimbush himself.

    Haileybury College, originally founded in 1805 as "East India Company College" and subsequently renamed "Imperial Service College" (1845) and later "United Services College" (1874), has traditionally servedas an elite preparatory school for the upper ranks of military and civilian leadershipof the British Empire,both at home and abroad. Seventeen Haileybury alumni have received the VictoriaCross, placing Haileybury a close third among British "public schools," rightbehind Eton and Harrow. And more than 1,400 Haileyburyalumni have given their lives while serving their country in the military.

    Try to imagine L.E.B.Wimbush as a handsome, dark-haired, rosy-cheeked, seventeen year old Englishschoolboy in running shorts and singlet. He stands in the center of a similarly-clad group of schoolboys. It would be early fall in 1915, and they gather on the terrace behind "The East India College Arms," the oldestpublic house in the tiny village of Hertford Heath, just a convenient six hundred yards from the four Haileybury College Quad Houses. As a sixth former and house prefect, Wimbushis allowed by the House Master of Melvill to drink "small beer and cider inmoderation." He lifts his new trophy, not yet engraved with his name, tocelebrate his team's victory. He drains the beer, burps with satisfaction,licks his lips and smiles beatifically at his teammates.

    It is the afternoon of the annual Inter-House Team Race. They have just defeated their traditionalrivals from Bartle Frere House across the Quad, captained by Barker, Wimbush's best friend and greatest rival ever since they attended Berkhampstead Grammar School together. Bartle Frere actuallyfinished the course just ahead of Melvill, but were disqualified for failing to touch hands at one of the relay points along the course.

    "Remember, chaps, we Melvillians are always good sports. Moreover, we only won the race by sheerluck, not by running faster. So let's not rub it in when we meet the Bartle Frere boys. If I hear of any ungentlemanly behaviour, there will be lots oflines to write! Understood?"

    The other boys reply to their house prefect in unison, "Yes, Wimbush."

    Later, Wimbush meetsBarker on the Quad, and they shake hands.

    "Hard luck, Barker!Your boys ran a fine race."

    "Thanks, Wimbush. Decent of you to say so. But let me ask you, if I may be so bold: Do you reallyintend to display that ridiculous little tin cup you won?"

    "I see your point,Barker. No, I rather think I will just keep the handsome pewter mug in my room as a reminder of the importance of my continuing good fortune. But I really must take issue with your calling it a 'little tin cup.' That's a bit unfair,isn't it, old man? After all, the inter-house team race has been Haileybury'sfavorite athletic event ever since it was first run eleven years ago. Apartfrom rugger and cricket, that is."

    The scene shifts. It is now June, 1916, and the war is going badly for the Allies, with Hindenburg'sarmy advancing deep into northern France along the valleys of the Somme and the Oise. Wimbush graduates from Haileyburyand is now a man of eighteen years, volunteering, along with most of hisclassmates, to fight the Germans. He and the other brand new Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenants (temporary) have purchased their uniforms, kissed theirparents and girlfriends good-bye and arrived to learn how to fly at the Eastbourne Royal Naval Air Station, perched on the low cliffs above the beachtwenty miles east of Brighton. Wimbush carefully unpacks his kit and places the pewter mug on a shelf above his bed in the room he will be sharing with Barker.

    "You still seem inordinately proud of that little tin cup of yours, Wimbush. Does it possessmagic powers?"

    "I'm hoping so, Barker.I'll probably need a lucky talisman over there in France. But you still sound envious. Are you?"

    In reply, Barker shies his pillow at Wimbush's head, missing. "See, Barker? It's working already!"

    Ever since losing the race Barker has kept up a badinage about Wimbush's trophy, superficiallygood-natured, but with undertones of bitterness. Wimbush wonders if Barker is still hoping for a chance to even the score somehow. The rivalry soonre-emerges as the two accumulate hours of instruction and practice in theungainly MF7 "Longhorn" flight trainers. Then, a few days ahead of Barker,Wimbush is cleared for solo flight. On the 23rd of August, having accumulated atotal of 353 hours at the controls, Wimbush takes his final qualifying flightwith his instructor in the old MF7 and is certified ready for advanced trainingin fighting aeroplanes. He is confirmed in his rank as a Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant and given a week's leave to visit his familyat 13 Pembroke Gardens in Kensington before reporting to RNAS Chingford for advanced training.

    One evening during his leave, after rather a lot of Champagne at the Elysée Restaurant inPicadilly, where they might have watched a cabaret performance by a handsome young dancer named Noel Coward, Wimbush and his sweetheart – let us call her "Barbara"– become engaged. Barbara loves the way he looks in his smart navy blue uniform with the gold braid on the sleeves. He loves the way she French kisses.

    As it happens,Chingford Naval Air Station is on the northern outskirts of London, only fourteen miles from Wimbush'shome in Kensington. He will be able to get weekend passes to go home, spend Saturday evenings dancing, drinking and French kissing with Barbara and enjoyhis Dad's good claret and a thick slice of his Mum's Sunday joint before going back to another week of the food at the Chingford mess.

    Even before arriving at Chingford,Wimbush has heard a lot about the revolutionary new Sopwith Triplane he and theothers would be flying there. Nothing quite like it has ever been built for military purposes. The Triplane layout was adopted in order togive the pilot the widest possible field of vision, and to ensure manoeuvrability.The central wing is level with the pilot's eyes and obscures very little of his view, and the narrow chord of all the mainplanes ensures that the top andbottom wings interfere less with his outlook than the wings of a biplane. The narrow chord aids manoeuvrability, for the shift of the centre of pressure withchanges of incidence is comparatively small; this permits the use of a short fuselage. At the same time, the distribution of the wing area over threemainplanes keeps the span short and confers a high rate of roll. The Triplanehas a maximum speed of 117 mph at 5,000 ft. and can stay in the air for two and three quarters hours without refuelling. Its service ceiling is 20,500 ft. Itcarries only one synchronized Vickers .303 machine gun mounted centrally on topof the fuselage, firing forward.

    The prototype Triplane, serial N500,first flies on the 28th of May, 1916, with Harry Hawker, a Sopwith test pilot, at the controls. Within three minutes of takeoff, Hawker startlesonlookers by looping the aircraft three times in succession, the daring "tripleloop" manoeuvre. The Triplane is very agile, with effective, well-harmonisedcontrols.When manoeuvring, however, the Triplane presents an unusual appearance. Oneobserver notes that the aircraft looks like "a drunken flight of steps"when rolling.

    N500 flies to France in mid-June, 1916 to undergo service trials with Naval "A" Fighting Squadron at Furnes. No time islost in testing it in action against the Germans, for it is sent up on an interception within a quarter of an hour of its arrival at Furnes. TheTriplane's combat debut is highly successful. The new fighter's exceptionalrate of climb and high service ceiling give it a marked advantage over the Albatros D III, though the Triplane is slower in a dive and carries only onemachine gun. The Admiralty quickly issues orders for the construction of 147more Triplanes for the RNAS.

    Unfortunately, after a near-fatal accident during advanced pilot training at Chingford, the Triplanealso gains a reputation for structural weakness because the wings sometimes threaten to collapse in steep power dives. This defect is attributed to the useof light gauge bracing wires in the first 46 aircraft, built by subcontractorClayton & Shuttleworth. Several pilots use cables or additional wires tostrengthen their Triplanes.

    Wimbush receives orders to join the recently formed No. 8 Naval Air Squadron inFebruary 1917 and is granted a fortnight's leave before leaving for France and the war. The night before his departure, he takes Barbara back to the Elysée Restaurant where they firstdecided to become engaged during his last leave in September. The Elysée is the only decent London nightspot still open since the Zeppelin bombing attacks on Britishcities began the year before. Again they have lots of Champagne, watch the cabaret performance and dance the night away, holding each other close. Barbara is tipsy. She kissesthe lobe of Wimbush's ear and whispers.

    "Darling, Mummy and Daddy are down at the country house this weekend, and the servants have thenight off. I've had enough Champagne and dancing. Take me home and take me to bed. That's an order, Lieutenant!" Wimbushquickly pays their bill and they don their coats and rush out into the freezingcold night to find a taxicab.

    In the back of the taxion the way to Barbara's house they kiss hungrily, exploring each other's bodieswith eager hands under their heavy woolen coats. By the time they reach their destination they are both mad with desire. Once inside the front door, theymarch straight up the stairs to Barbara's bedroom, where the servants haveturned down the covers and lit the gas fireplace before leaving for the night. Wimbush has drunk a lot of Champagne, but he hasn't forgotten his packetof three "French letters" issued to him by the Royal Navy "for disease prevention only" as he was going on leave. He does not want to make Barbarapregnant, should anything awful happen to him in France.

    Wimbush reports to hisnew Squadron Commander, G.R. Bromet, in early February in Dunkirk where the squadron is resting andbeing re-equipped with new Sopwith Triplanes, none of them from the originalClayton and Shuttleworth order. Naval 8's surviving pilots have already been inaction since November and have seen seven of their comrades killed, wounded or captured by German pilots flying vastly superior Albatros D III's. With thearrival of the new Triplanes, however, they will finally be a match for the Germans. On February 15th they proceed to the aerodrome at Furnes in West Flanders, ready to go back to war.

    Just before dawn on the 9th of May, 1917, the alert siren at Squadron No. 8's aerodrome now relocated near thecoal mines and slag heaps of Auchel, wails insistently. Wimbush wakes andsearches groggily for his flying gear. It is still dark in his blacked-outroom, and his precious beer mug has disappeared somewhere. He looks for it hurriedly until the twenty-one year old Flight Commander puts his head aroundthe door and shouts at him, "Get moving, Wimbush, you lazy sod, Bob Little is waitingfor you out on the flight line!" Leaving on a patrol without his lucky charm for the very first time, he stumbles outside and boards the waiting lorry.

    On the short ride from his billet in town to the flight line he fights to get control of his frazzlednerves. His rank body smells rise to his nostrils from within his heavy flight jacket, tinged with the animal scent of fear. So what if this is the first combat mission without my lucky mug, isn't it just superstition to hang on to it? He knows lots of other pilots who have objects they rely on to keep them safe: pictures of their sweethearts orof the Sacred Heart of Jesus, unwashed socks, women's undergarments. Many ofthem, he knows, have gone down in flames in spite of their trusted talismans. Other pilots don't indulge their superstitions and come back safely time after time. So where's the luck in that? When your number's up, it's up. And yet…Oh, what the hell. Let's have a drink. He reaches in the pocket of his jacket and pulls out his silver flask. Almost full, thank God! At least he can still rely on this old friend, and a good stiff drink will put him right, hethinks. Silly to get so upset over a"little tin cup," as Barker used to call it. Poor Barker. He was one of the first to die when his squadron went up against the bloody Albatros D-III's.He shudders as he gulps the raw whiskey, feeling its fire all the way down tohis privates. Please, God, don't let this be the day my number comes up. Later, as he boards his Sopwith Triplane,number N5458, with "Barbara" painted in big white letters on the side of the fuselage just beneath the cockpit, he feels strangely lighter. Is it thewhiskey, or is he perhaps finally liberated from the power of the pewter mug?He misses Barbara.

    Auchel aerodrome is a bad one. It is surrounded by huge slag heaps and other obstructionsand its surface is very rough. On one side there is a miniature precipice. Ahead of him for takeoff is Australian pilot Bob Little, Naval 8's leading "Ace,"already credited with an impressive number of kills. Little is flying his ownTriplane N5493, nicknamed "Blymp." At 07.05 hours, Little, Wimbush and oneother Triplane bump down the runway and leave Auchel on offensive patrol acrossthe Vimy Ridge and the Hindenburg Line to the German stronghold of Lens.

    Thirty miles to the east, in a tiny village on the outskirts of Douai, another siren has sounded.Vizefeldwebel Carl Menckhoff of Jagdstaffel 3, Royal Prussian Luftstreitkräfte,climbs into the cockpit of his new Albatros D-III with a big black M painted onthe fuselage and takes off toward the west to meet the British patrol, already crossing the Hindenburg Line into German-held territory.

    At 07.30 hours,Menckhoff sees the three Sopwiths approaching in the distance, signals to twoof his squadron to proceed toward them at a low altitude as decoys and quickly climbs higher with the rest of the squadron so they can dive down on top of theSopwiths directly out of the bright morning sun. As they come within range, hecocks the twin 7.92 mm Spandau machine guns mounted on the nose of his Albatros just in front of thecockpit and swoops down like a giant falcon on the British patrol.

    Little's log book contains the following entry: Whilst on patrol at 0730 hrs in company withtwo other Triplanes, I observed two hostile aircraft east of Lens, steeringwest. At the same time all three Triplanes attacked them, but we were set uponby a large number of scouts from above. One Triplane had to break off thecombat owing to a jammed gun, and the hostile aircraft diving past me attacked Lieutenant Wimbush, who was about 200 feet below me. He fought with them verywell until his engine was shot and he himself was wounded. He escaped and made a forced landing near Koleuse-les-Mines.

    After wounding Wimbush and disabling his engine, Menckhoff follows the crippled Triplane, which isleaving behind a sour-smelling trail of dark brown smoke, as it glides to earth. He sees it land bumpily in the distance on the other side of thetrenches, and takes a victory roll as he turns back to look for the otherSopwith. Wimbush is his fifth victory. In the meantime, Little has attacked the two German decoys from above and shot down one of them. Alone and badlyoutnumbered, he heads south to the aerodrome at St. Eloi to findreinforcements.

    After managing to land his disabled Sopwith in a field behind the Allied trenches, Wimbush is found andrescued by three Canadian soldiers, who give him first aid for his wounded left leg, splintered by one of Menckhoff's machine gun rounds. He is then carried ona stretcher to a nearby advanced dressing station and from there by motor ambulance to the casualty clearing station in Barlin and by rail to the basehospital in Boulogne for treatment and evacuation by sea to England. His good luck still seems to be with him.

    During the summer Wimbush is released from hospital in England, promoted to full flight lieutenantand, after a month's leave, assigned to temporary duty with No.19 Training Squadron back at Chingford. He spends the weekends with Barbara and hisparents, but he is not content to while away the rest of the war living in thelap of luxury while his friends are fighting and dying in France. As long as there is any chance that he might be back in harm's way again, he decides not to marry Barbarauntil the war ends. It would be so unfair to die and leave his beloved Barbara a young war widow. He knows several such women. Their prospects are bleak.

    Having recovered sufficiently from his wound to walk without a cane, he is now an assistantinstructor, teaching newly certified pilots to fly fighting aeroplanes before sending them into battle. Naval 8's remaining Sopwith Triplanes have all beenbrought back from France to Chingford, replaced inoperations by sturdy, powerful Sopwith Camels, dangerous aeroplanes, not onlyfor their enemy opponents but also for novice pilots who haven't learned how tohandle them.

    Ever since leavinghospital, Wimbush has been trying to return to active duty in France, making a nuisance of himself byrepeated transfer requests to the Admiralty and letters to Wing Captain C. L.Lambe at RNAS Headquarters in Dover. If only he could meet Menckhoffagain, he thinks, maybe he could even the score. And what a score thereis! Menckhoff continues to shoot downAllied pilots at an awful rate. Wimbush learns from naval intelligence that hisnemesis downed his 20th Allied aeroplane, a British SE5a, on February 4th nearPoelcapelle in Flanders. One week later Menckhoff was promoted to Captain and put in command ofJagdstaffel 72, and the tally continues to rise. The man is like a bloody machine! Wimbush is determined to seek himout in single combat and shoot him down.

    In March the Navy finally agrees to transfer him back to his old squadron, which has just comeback to England on March 3rd and is awaiting orderswhile enjoying a well-earned month's rest at Walmer, near Dover. Two thirds of the squadron havebeen granted leave.

    Then, on March 21st,with forty added divisions freed by the surrender of Russia, General Ludendorff suddenlylaunches massive surprise attacks at five different points along the Western Front, penetrating far into France. All leaves are cancelled. Naval 8is quickly recalled to duty as part of the newly formed "Royal Air Force" andbecomes RAF 208 Squadron, scheduled to begin operations at La Gorgue aerodromein France on the first of April. Wimbush is ordered tojoin them on March 30 at Teleghem on their way to the front lines. At last, he thinks, I get my wish.

    In late March, Wimbush receives a telephone call at his parents' home from the head of Berkhampstead Grammar School, which he and Barker attended untilthey were twelve. They would like him to make a patriotic speech at the school's annual Speech Day on the village green on March 27th, two days beforehis departure from England, to an audience of students,teachers, alumni and their families. Wimbush is embarrassed by the thought ofspeaking before such a large crowd. Instead, he proposes to borrow a Sopwith Triplane from Chingford and put on an exhibition of aerobatics to entertain theaudience. It would be his last chance to fly a Triplane before going back to France to fly a new Sopwith Camel.

    On the morning of the27th, he drives to Chingford and checks out one of the Triplanes parked on thetarmac, number N5351. It has been based there at Chingford on training duty since leaving the Clayton & Shuttleworth factory in 1916. Like me, he thinks, it's a survivor.

    The crew chief warn shim, "Watch out for that one, sir. She's seen a lot of rough handling bytrainees here at Chingford, so do be careful when you dive. Some of these old low numbered tripes try to shake off their wings."

    "I'll be careful,Chief. It wouldn't do to get knocked about two days before reporting back in France, would it?" The chief salutes andgives him thumbs up for takeoff. As the old Sopwith rumbles down the runway, he thinks, Look out, Menckhoff, you bloodybastard, here I come!

    He arrives over Berkhampstead on schedule, buzzes the cheering, waving crowd assembled in thebright sunshine on the village green and begins a series of aerobatics. For his grand finale he chooses the risky "triple loop." It is a particularlyspectacular stunt when performed in a Sopwith Triplane, as the aeroplane hangssuspended upside down almost motionless at the top of each loop before diving backward into the next loop. He easily completes the first two of the loops anddives backward into the third. Just as he reaches the bottom and applies full power to pull back up, he suddenly hears the discordant sound of breaking wires.The Triplane's wings collapse above him, and it plummets to the ground like a stone in full view of the crowd of horrified onlookers.

    Wimbush dies inhospital with Barbara and his parents at his side the following day. It is just two months before his twentieth birthday. He is buried in Islington Cemetery.

    Several months later,the RAF finally issues a technical order for the installation of a spanwise compression strut between the inboard cabane struts of all the surviving Sopwith Triplanes.

    After receiving Germany's highest military award, the coveted "Blue Max" medal, for his 39 air combatvictories, surviving wounds and forced landings on twooccasions and miraculously escaping from a year in a French POW camp to a new life in Switzerland, Menckhoff dies in 1948 at the age of sixty-five, asuccessful businessman, mourned by his wife and two children.

    In 1924, a new owner purchases the Elysée Restaurant and renames it the "Café de Paris." In spite ofreceiving a direct hit from two deadly 50 kg German "landmines," killing 80 patrons, performers and staff and wounding many others on the night of March 8th,1941, the Café de Paris still survives today as London's favorite venue for therich and famous to watch cabarets, drink champagne and dance the night away.

    What happened to the mug? I wish I knew. Perhaps it was foundunder Wimbush's bed in Auchel by a French charwoman while cleaning his room forthe next occupant. Maybe she then gave it to her alcoholic husband, possibly a wounded veteran with a croix de guerre who might have used it to drink his daily ration of rough-tasting, cheap red wine.At some point, however, it must have begun its long, mysterious journey to the flea market in Indonesia – and to me!

  5. bantamdob's Blog

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    blog-0189712001393589707.jpgI have a picture of my Grandad when he served in the great war.......It is a group picture He served i believe with the 17th Yorks & Lancs Which were a labour corp.......In the group picture there seems to be a mixed bag of regt's looking at the cap badges...I was wondering if any member's had maybe seen this picture before or could give any idea's on it.....
  6. magicpom's Blog

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    Would anyone believe it has taken me over 2 hours to get this far with my first blog.... didnt even know what one was til now!!

    I am working with the World war 1 project for Tynemouth ROH, and thought it might me good if I could research some of the soldiers. My husband was in the army but doesnt know anything about research or computers, so I need some kind person to help me out.

    Thank you in advance


  7. Hello everyone, updating my blog for you all if your interested,

    I fell ill beginning of September and spent 4 hours an my A&E twice lol

    as long as i keep taking the tablets i am ok and dont get too breathless.

    Police have my lappy and computer cos the friend i took in has made threats to both herself and me as if it was her ex and they proved it wasnt him, he had an alibi! am now waiting for her to go court, 6 months on and she is still walking the streets!!!!!!!

    Seb has now gotten into so much trouble he is on a supervision order but at least the magistrate has orded him to get anger management so hopefully he will get calmer as the months pass,

    Bex is still not working and doesnt want too so have given her till the end of the month to sort it out or she has to go live elsewhere!

    good news is i have found a true friend across the road who looked after me and the kids while i was ill, if she hadn't i dont know where we would be now, she fed and watered us every day for 6 weeks! we pooled resourses and did the shopping together, i cooked if felt good but wasnt a problem if i didint.

    well thats it in a nut shell, feeling much better now just need my lappy back and i will be ok!

    Ok thats it for now,

    thanks for reading,

    love you all



  8. 147 pte / 2nd lt Hubert Joseph Foley R. Warwicks and S. Staffs

    Born 30 October 1894 (Cradley Heath)

    01 census Corngreaves Road , Cradley Heath

    Joseph E. Foley 28 carter

    Laura Foley 29

    Hubert J. Foley 6

    Norman Foley 4 months

    Enlisted 21st September 1914 (Moseley) into 16th Warwicks (3rd Birmingham Pals)

    Address 114 Grainger's Lane , Cradley Heath

    Occupation- insurance clerk

    landed France 21/11/15

    during the attack on Falfemont Farm on the 3rd September 1916 he was wounded g.s. wound right arm

    went back to France 18/1/17

    posted to 15th Warwicks 5/2/17

    during the attack on Vimy Ridge 9th April 1917 he was wounded g.s. wound left thigh

    Appointed to temp. commision with the 3rd South Staffs (London Gazette 18th March 1918)

    wounded again ! with 4th S. Staffs 29th May 1918 (g.s. wound head!)

    placed on retired list on account of ill-health caused by wounds 25/2/19

    applied in 1955 for a pension because of his wounds. He states ' A bullet penetrated lobe of right ear and passed throught head leaving partial paralysis and limited movement of head'

    Hubert Joseph Foley died in the Stourbridge area in the Oct.Nov.Dec quarter 1969

  9. Command on the Western Front: A reminder for me to re-read the 27th - 29th Sept 1918 attack around St Quentin Canal. Consider Prior & Wilson's comments in view of Terraine's argument that Haig improved. Also in view of my own concensus that Rawlinson generally learnt from his mistakes.

  10. Desmond7's Blog

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    Chapter one ... had to have a go. If you want more .. I'll blog it. Don't ask me what happens .. don't know myself .. yet. If anyone doesn't want their name ripped off in the text. ... gimme a PM.

    WHEN you boil the whole thing down, family history is a pain in the backside. Literally.

    Ever spent an afternoon straining your eyes at a microfiche machine? Felt the pins and needles as the hand you are using to wind on the reel becomes an unfeeling stump? And worst of all, the seats provided in most libraries could have played a vital role in the activities of the Spanish Inquisition.

    As they say … no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition. But you should be prepared for some mild torture during a trek along the twisting road that leads from mild curiousity to fully fledged obsession.

    And, as I flexed my numb hand, arched my acheing back and rubbed my weary eyes that day in Mudcaster Local Studies Library, the sad truth hit me hard. I was an anorak.

    In fact, I was in danger of becoming a NATO-issue Parka.

    Blame it on World War One.

    Let me tell you a story about it.

    HERBERT Samuel McCallion is one of those names which gladden the heart of any war memorial researcher. Smyth,Smith,Thompson, Thomson, Johnston, Johnstone, on the other hand are the names of nightmare. You try searching the average database for a few of these. You’ll know what I mean when you are throwing pens at the rubbish bin and barking loudly at the computer screen.

    Good old Bertie McCallion. I found him straight away with a swift delve into the wonderful on-line records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

    You see, I’d been fascinated with Mudcaster’s First World War Memorial since infancy. What child of the Japs’n’Jerries era would not be intrigued by a six feet high bayonet wielding statue? I certainly was.

    But, as any Great War buff will tell you, a simple name,rank and number just ain’t enough. We’re the anorak equivalent of a well known lager – we reach the parts that other researchers don’t.

    And that’s why I was spending a sunny Saturday afternoon in the silent city which is Mudcaster Reference Library. They’ve got the old papers you see. Loads of ‘em all scanned and filed and ready for punters just like me.

    True to form, there he was. Good old Bertie. Two column inches of New Century Schoolbook in eight point bold type.

    Or rather there was young Bertie. He was only 21 when he bought his ticket in the fields outside the Belgian town of Ypres. He didn’t die in a gallant charge with bayonet fixed and a battlecry on his lips.

    Bertie’s brains were blown out by a very skillful bloke from Germany who had just been waiting for some careless Tommy to show himself for a brief moment above the trench parapet. He was a run-of-the-mill casualty, another statistic noted as ‘one OR killed’ in his unit’s war diary.

    The Mudcaster Bugle reported:

    The father of Rifleman Herbert McCallion has received intimation that his oldest son, who is serving with the 7th (Service) Btn. of the Mudshire Rifles has been killed in action. Deceased as only 21 years of age and prior to enlistment in June 1915 had been an employee of Baird’s Spinning Mill. He was a keen amateur footballer. His father, Mr. John McCallion of Princes Street, Mudcaster has another son, Rfn. William McCallion with the colours.

    2nd Lt. John Hartley wrote to the family: "Your son was a good boy and a brave soldier. His death was painless as he was shot through the head and died instantly."

    Notch another one up, says I. Think again, said the annoying voice in my head.

    An obituary without a picture is like Yorkshire pud wihout gravy. And the years had not been kind to Bertie McCallion’s head and shoulders portrait. It was one of those old paper pics that fall into the useless category. Some of them you can just about justify. Others are pretty good. Bertie’s was a horlicks.

    But needs must and sometimes you have to think ‘outside the box’ as my managing director keeps telling me. Pisses me off but that’s a different story altogether.

    Having a mate on the local rag is handy in my line of work and Chris Baker and I went back a long way. Mudcaster Comprehensive’s lone punk had dumped his safety pins and DMs in favour of a pin stripe suit and some bloody awful ties, most of them coffee stained.

    "What you looking for now?" sighed Baker, as I entered his cramped little office, which was seperated from the rest of the local hacks by a dodgy door and a wafer thin partition which sported some retro 70s wallpaper – except it wasn’t retro.

    "Wee story for you me old son," said I, pulling out the fags.

    "I’m off them. Coffee too. Drink next," he muttered.

    "Good for you," I grinned. "Health kick?"

    "Don’t start," said Chris. "No smoking here by new company rule. No coffee on doc’s orders and the beer’s getting the big E until I lose the spare tyre."

    Pleasantries exchanged, we got down to business. And Baker knows my little World War One stories attract a lot of interest. Local history, local people, local sales … you know it makes sense.

    If you’ve been there and done that, you know the score. My little letter requesting more information was duly printed and, a week or so later, I received a very interesting phone call.

    "Mr. Blackheader?" asked the lady on the other end of the blower.

    "Near enough," I laughed. "I’ve been called worse. How can I help you."

    "It’s about that request for an old picture of Hebert McCallion … the letter in the paper ..you were asking if anyone had one?"

    "Oh yes, great to hear from you," I gushed in my best gushing tone. "Are you a descendant?"

    And do you have a pic, I said to myself.

    Thankfully, she did. And I could call round to hers and pick it up anytime.

    Rules of the game. Be nice, be helpful but DON’T go rushing around immediately. It puts people off. Do the decent and print ‘em out a little piece about their ancestor, preferably on a nice piece of sepia toned card. A nice illustration of a cap badge and a little bit about the battalion also goes down well when you arrive on the doorstep.

    Which is where I found myself the next day.

    And what a doorstep it was. It took me three minutes to walk up the gravelled drive to get to it. And that was after I had identified myself to a minion at the other end of the gateside intercom.

    The door opened and an aproned six footer looked down on me.

    "I’m Blackadder. Here to see Mrs. Kate Wills?" I explaind, pointlessly.

    "I’m aware of that," sniffed the minion. "Follow me please."

    A swift glance around the décor of this mansion was enough to signify that the McCallion ancestors had come a long way from their terraced house in grimy old Princes Street.

    I’d been expecting some dowager, but I don’t know why. So when Mrs. Wills turned from the window overlooking the bleedin’ county which she called a garden, it was all I could do to stop my freshly after-shaved jaw from dropping.

    To put it plainly, Mrs. Wills was a bit of all right. Well maintained, suitably upholstered and just the wrong side of 40 .. which was fine by me.

    "Pleased to meet you Mrs. Wills," said I, advancing with extended hand.

    "Oh Kate is fine .. and you are Des? Is that right?" she countered.

    Without waiting for an answer she produced a tin box. Huntley’s biscuits it was and a bit of an antique according to David Dickinson. He didn’t tell me that by the way … it’s just amazing what you learn by watching ‘Bargain Hunt’.

    Eagerly, I opened the lid. Boxes are good. Plastic bags are a sign of bottom drawer documentation. When someone hits you with a box, you know it’s treasure. Plastic bags and ragged envelopes are indicative of old paper clippings you’ve already seen.

    And there it all was. A super portrait of the bold Bertie and another bloke. The backside of the picture identified him as brother William. Two for the price of one .. not that I pay for this stuff … I’m strictly a scan man. Unless they want to dump the stuff on me.

    Cap badge, a bundle of letters, a silk postcard, shoulder strap and an audio cassette.

    When Mudcaster Rovers beat the Arsenal in one of the great giant killing exploits in FA Cup history, my heart skipped a few beats. Seeing that audio cassette had a similar effect.

    Mrs. Wills sipped from the delicate China coffee cup which the aproned minion had silently delivered to what I assumed was the drawing room.

    She knew my next question. People like that always do.

    "Yes. It’s an old recording made by my brother of our grandfather William. He never really talked about the war but John finally got him to speak about it just before he passed away," she said.

    "Perhaps you’d like to hear it?" she enquired, taking the cassette from my sweating paws and inserting it in a rather dated stereo system.

    "I think you’ll find the story he has to tell rather interesting."

    End of chapter One

  11. Today the Northamptonshire Branch will have a small remembrance ceremony for Anzac Day.

    We have nine Australians who lay in Towcester Road Cemetery and another who rests at Dallington. The other who initially lay inside county boundries now lies outside, at Peterborough.

    Hoping to get some DVD cam recordings of the event.

  12. Ozzie's Blog

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    Recent Entries

    Latest Entry

    Well, long time, no post.

    My story is about to hit print.

    Not through some glamorous publisher, but by my own devices, and the help of friends in the profession.

    You see, some of what I have written is now, not PC. They wanted me to change things. That is changing history. You can't do that, because that is how it was.

    I have been a member of this forum for a while, and have not contributed with the dollars.

    So, I get this idea to donate some of my books to it, when they are printed, so that the forum can get the funds.

    I submitted this idea, as it turned out, when Chris was handing over to the new team. It seemed to have got lost. But communication with Admin restored and all looks good.

    Low and behold, someone else had the same idea. Good on him, maybe others could do the same, so as to raise more funds for the forum.

    Yeh, I know , mine's not there yet, but it is acoming!!!.

    In my wandering jottings, I realise just how much I owe to this and another forum. To the members who answered my naive questions, who picked me up when I was down, who inspired, goaded, and stretched me.

    To the cyber friends I have made, sharing their joys and losses, their day to day lives, their knowledge, it has helped to biuld a better understanding of those from foriegn countries, and to cement a fact, that although we live thousands of miles apart, our problems are very similiar, and our ability to overcome, and share, can help others. As members have helped me to do.

    Putting this story in print means I must move on, to another era, and yet, I find I can't. Such has been the power of those whose lives were torn asunder by WW1, I find I keep returning, and wondering, and appreciating their efforts, and sacrificies.

    Nearly a year ago, I went on a journey. A journey that exceeded my wildest expectations.

    Walking the ground that the men of WW1 fought over, being shown, by holes in the earth, rows of cold stone, new woods;... the loss, the waste.

    Of present day people who remember and appreciate the efforts of two- three generations ago, of good friendship from strangers.

    A group of Aussies who were strangers at the airport, but through the experiences of the battlefields have reached a special understanding, becoming so close, in some ways, closer than parteners, or brothers and sisters, because we know what the other feels, when those about us have no idea why we are drawn to people and events of 90 so years ago, we were brought together by such intense emotions, shared and supported on those old battlefields.

    So in my meandering jottings, I wish to thank all those who have helped me, in posting, and PM's and emails.

    It is what makes this forum such a great resource, an extended community, and a haven from that mad, mad world. (That we Skindler's so often , .....well, we know, don't we?)

    End of meandering thoughts.


  13. allanpeter's Blog

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    My step-grandfather served in 5th Bn. The London Rifle Brigade. He kept a diary from 2nd August 1914 until he was wounded and repatriated on 1st July 1916. I am publishing it as a series of day-by-day entries on www.robinlodge.com He refers as much to how he spent his time outside the trenches as to time spent in the front line.

  14. old-snowdropo's Blog

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    My great uncle Raymond King Harvey enlisted in the RGA in about 1910, after initial training he was posted to 83 company RGA Hong Kong and in 1911 was an acting bombardier. In 1915 Raymond was posted to Egypt where he was promoted to sergeant. After posting home to England he joined 84 Brigade RGA in France about March1916 where he won the military medal and was commissioned in the field, posted to 77th siege battery. Raymond was ultimately promoted to captain and retired from the army in 1921. I am not able to get out and about much and wondered if any members can help me with the following information.

    (1) When I search the London Gazette I can only obtain Raymonds promotion from sergeant to 2nd lieutenant and cannot find any other reference in the gazette for any further promotions.

    (2) When an NCO was given a field promotion did he instantly become a 2nd lieutenant or posted back to England for officer training.

    (3) As stated previously cannot get out and about much so am reliant upon the internet for my information. Can anyone help with the unit diary for the 77th siege battery and or the history of the battery written by captain F W Walter published by Spottiswood I think. I really would be extremely grateful for any help fellow members can give me. Dick Harvey.

  15. august's Blog

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    I have a 57 page document written by General Hermann von Francois, o/c 1st Army Corps, 8th Army. He tells about his involvement in the battles of Stallaponen, Gumbinnen and Tannenberg during August 1914. My problem is that it is written in Gothic German and I wish to have it translated into English. Does anyone know where this can be done?

  16. Demir's Blog

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    The Turkish War Medal - Harp Madalyası - Eiserner Halbmond - Gallipoli Medal

    AUTHOR : M. Demir Erman, ANKARA/TURKEY

    correspondence address: exe1exe@gmail.com

    Book Published by: Matsa Printing

    English and Turkish

    for pictures:


    172 pages total. 65 pages English, 46 pages Annex color pictures, 61 pages Turkish


    Preface and Acknowledgements 6Very Brief History of the Ottoman Empire 9World War I 12Gallipoli War 13Palestine, Caucasus and Galicia Battles 16Independence War and the Republic 17War Medals of the Ottoman Empire 18The Regulation of the War Medal dated 1915 21Amendments on the War Medal Regulation 24The Effective Dates of the War Medal Regulation and Amendments 31Ministry of War and Army Orders About the War Medal 34Law of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and theDecree of the Council of Ministers 36First Type of the War Medal Which was DesignedAccording to the Regulation but Never Produced Due to aShape and Metal Change 39The War Medal 41The War Medal and the German Iron Cross 44The Certificate of the War Medal 46The War Medal Ribbon 49The Package of the War Medal 53War Medal Miniatures, Ribbon Bars And Pins 55 War Medals of the German and Austrian Make 56No Name Medals 58Views on the War Medal 59SOURCES 62ANNEX 66

  17. redhorseengineers' Blog

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    Looking for Info.

    John McNally Serv. # 18155 RFA 3rd. Class Master Gunner. Born 14 July, 1850 Baltinglass, Ireland. Enlisted 1869 at Dublin with the 87th Irish Fusiliers and transfered to RFA 1870. India service 1876-1879 and 1880-1885. G.C. Medal awarded Army Order 137 April 1888.

    Edward Hugh McNally (Son to Above) Serv. #20857 RFA 3rd Class Master Gunner. Born 6 June, 1879 Poonamallee, India. Enlisted 1893 Kirkee, India RFA. Medals WWI Victory, British and 14 Star (qual 11 Sept. 1914).

    Now this is my Great-Grand father and Grand-Father. My Grand-Father left India early 1900 and was stationed in Cork, Belfast and then Waterford Ireland. They left Ireland around 1909 for India. He was with the 38th battery, 7th Brigade RFA Rawalpindi, India. He left India with one of the Indian Divisions as the 7th Brigade stayed in India. I researched the 3rd and 7th Indian divisions and believe he hitched a ride with the 7th Meerut Div. but this is just a "hunch". The Ministry of Defence thought it peculier that he went in this fassion. Doing more research I discovered that the Batterys in Cork, Belfast and Waterford, where he married during is stay in Ireland, went to France Aug. 1914 and I am wondering if he pulled some strings and when he got to France Oct. 1914 He caught up with the 24th or 34th RFA Battery that was stationed Waterford, Ireland. His wife and family(Cuddahy) were from Waterford and Edward Hugh stayed at the Waterford Barracks before marring??? We know he was Gassed in france and when he got discharged they lived in Waterford, Ireland till he passed away in 1925 of cancer at the Waterford Hospital. He tryed to get a Pension but both the British Gov. and the Ireland Gov. passed the "Buck" saying that the other should pay for his pension and medical bills. Sounds familuer!!!! I am A Vietnam vet. and I have gooten the run around with the US Gov. for the last 9...yes 9 years and still waiting. OK thats about all. If someone knows where I can get any info. on my Grand-Father during WWI that would be great. P.S. I don't see "spell-check" so what you see is what you get :blush: . Thanks Howard Rogers

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  18. James Galvin's Blog

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    Recent Entries

    Latest Entry

    Hi all, just joined the forum so looking for some support and assistance!!

    I am researching my Gt Grandfathers service life who served with the 4th Middlesex from 1914 - 1918.

    His name was Pte George Munns S/7250. From his medal index card i can see he was awarded the 1914 star and he first entered theatre on 22-10-14, I believe the regiment was involved in heavy fighting around Mons at the time. Unfortunately i know very little about what happend to him or the regiment after this date save for his discharge papers.

    He was discharged in March 1918 owing to injuries and wounds he had sustained, and given the silver war badge to wear.

    As he was awarded the 1914 star, would this imply he only served for the initial period of the war, or is it likely he could have served into 1915, 1916, 1917, and finally discharged in 1918? Like many family's i have been told he was at the "Somme"

    Can anybody advise please??

  19. Higgy's Blog

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    Recent Entries

    Hello I'm new to this, my post is about Mesopotania

    My wife's grandfather was 17787 Pte Henry Higgingbottom 2nd Batt Leicester Reg serving with the (Meerut) Div arriving in Mesopotania in Dec 1915, In Apr 1916 He was twice wounded and left for dead after the battle of Sanniyat, Later on the British Red Cross & the Cresent Red Cross came out to look for the wounded, from the story that has been passed down because he was a young and good looking chap, one of the nurses looked at him a second time and noticed that he was still alive, got him to the field hospital he was then evacuated by ship before the fall of Kut, and came back to england. I have His Discharge Certificate signed by the King stating that he Served with honour and was disabled in the great war, Honourably discharged on 18th Dec 1916.

    Could any out there tell me the name of the ship he might have been evacuated on and also the hospital he would have been sent to both overseas and here in England

    Would there have been any other medals other than the 1914 star, the Defence Medal, & the Victory Medal he would have been entitled too

  20. Gorton19's Blog

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    Recent Entries

    Yesterday 27/2/13 I found the remains of a World War One soldier In a field in pozieres I have declared the remains to the gendarmerie and passed on the personal effect I found which incl :-

    A spoon

    A fork

    A ring

    An Australian badge

    A button

    And some little beads ??

    I believe the remains have been recovered today from the field and I await their findings , i am hoping they will find some indication as to who this soldier is

  21. Bob Wells' Blog

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    Recent Entries


    I am researching my father's military record. He was 5045 CSM H P Wells of the Royal Irish Regiment. I have an attestation from the ICRC listing him as being captured at Cambrai or Bertry or "Apincourt sic" on 27-08-1914. He is then listed as a POW at the following camps: -

    Senne 03-10-1914

    Sennelager 16-01-1915

    Dulmen 22-07-1916 coming from Mannheim

    MINDEN 30-04-1917

    Soltau 17-10-1917 coming from Minden II

    He was then repatriated to Hull 18-11-1918.

    He was awarded a DCM in 1920, which I can only assume was for something that happened whilst a POW.

    If anyone can help with my research I would be very grateful

    Many thanks

    Bob Wells

  22. Norrette's Blog

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    Recent Entries

    Twitter is based on 'Followers' (those who can see your tweets); and those you 'Follow' - those whose tweets you see on your home page.

    Postings are limited to 140 characters, though long urls will automatically be given a short name.

    The Hashtag is like a reference code so anyone who has a twitter account can put this in the search box and see all tweets which have that hashtag in the text (eg #Arras95 - it's not case sensitive) even from people they are not following. This is very useful when you have a new twitter account and not many people are following you (i.e. no-one knows you exist) That way everyone who has an interest in Arras95, say, will see your postings and then hopefully will 'follow you'

    Retweeting is the way of spreading someone's posting so that your own followers can see them. Move your cursor over the item to be retweeted and you will see the options: Reply , Retweet etc.

    To find people to 'follow', click on your 'Followers' and see who is following them. Then click on the userid and you will be given an option to follow.

    Here's a basic screenshot to show where everything is:


    This is just the basics to get anyone started - if you get lost - just click on 'Home' at the top.

  23. Helen Ball's Blog

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    Recent Entries

    I am trying to discover my grandfather's First World War record. I have discovered that he was in the 16th Queen's Lancers. I have tried the National Archives and Ancestry, and I can only find one entry, and that is for the Medal Rolls Index, and I have no confirmation that it might be him. I have contacted the 16th Queen's Lancers museum, and they have only one record of an A Carpenter. My grandfather never spoke of his time in the war, and I only have a photograph of him in uniform. I have scanned the photo, unfortunately my computer is in for repair, and cannot attach. His name was Charles William Carpenter, who was born on the 28th May 1893, at the time he enlisted he was a miner in Ferndale, in South Wales. Any help would be grately appreciated.

  24. munchkin's Blog

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    Recent Entries

    Latest Entry

    LZ64/L22 Bombed Sheffield in the UK, on the night of 25th/26th September 1916.

    29 People died, although only 28 names are known. The memorial lists "10 Women, 10 Children & 9 Men", this would suggest that the 29th person is Male, because i have all 10 women, all 10 children but only 8 Men.

    Possible 29th person:- Mabel Adsetts, John Bacon. Dont think Mabel Adsetts is the 29th Victim. John Bacon died 4th Oct 1916 in the Union Hospital Sheffield. Why i think that Jhn Bacon could be 29th victim - well, his son lived on one of the streets that was bombed, and a police report confirms that a man "died from injuries recieved, Writtle St". Maybe John was visiting his son on this night ?. the only male we can find who died on this day in Sheffield is John Bacon, and with connection of his Son living on Writtle st, seems that this could be our man.