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Is this Cosham Hospital?

36 posts in this topic

KR-Thank you-  Thankfully,as a Plymothian, I have never visited Portsmouth- but I suspect that given it's location Cosham may have been surgical hospital drawing on the strong service medical experience all around Pompey

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On 7/12/2017 at 12:30, voltaire60 said:

I have a local casualty, Serjeant Thomas Beddall Newman, 23rd Royal Fusiliers, died at Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Cosham- Cosham is on Soldiers Effects, QA is on his Probate in Ipswich, January 1919.

   Would anyone know what type of military hospital this was???  Notes for my man-plus odd references above suggest this was a main surgical hospital, doing general surgery along the lines, say, of a base hospital at Rouen on the Western Front.

  (Hope SeaJane or Keith Roberts know the answer)

 

My man died 16th May 1917 but I have a reference to him being in hospital at the beginning of March, with shrapnel wounds in the leg (wounded in France, 17th January) So, 5 weeks after being wounded in France, he was in hospital at Cosham. Could this possibly have dealt with more complex surgical cases???  My suspicion is that Serjeant Newman's condition worsened and he died of complications from shrapnel wounds in his legs..

 

I have the following info on Newman: "Wounded in action 17.2.17. Trans. U.K. 1.3.17. Subsequently died of wounds Alexander Hosp., Cosham, 16.5.17."

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1 minute ago, wbremner said:

 

I have the following info on Newman: "Wounded in action 17.2.17. Trans. U.K. 1.3.17. Subsequently died of wounds Alexander Hosp., Cosham, 16.5.17."

 

   Thanks for that info-  I should be able to add to it in due course. Your info comes from a note in "Essex Newsman" on BNA. Unusual in giving a date of wounding in France. Newman lived in Wanstead (whose Roll I do)  - Essex Newsman is a scaled down version of the Essex County Chronicle, which is also on BNA. Most of it's local information (Well,certainly for metropolitan Essex) comes from suburban newspapers,which have been plundered for local news by the county newspapers. There is a local newspaper specific to the area he hailed from-just near Braintree, of which I have ordered up the 1917 volume from the Newspaper Library at BL.

      You are more than welcome to whatever info. I have. What I have not done is to use his service number to work out exactly when he enlisted-perhaps you have a better idea than me on this. And-on the blindingly obvious- I have no idea whatsoever if he actually had any sporting connections- To have a low-ish number in the Sprotsmans-that is, when the first call for sportsmen came, suggests he may have had some sporting prowess but if he did then it is unknown to me. I have found no info. on anything-hope the Braintree newspaper may elucidate. Also, he is 42 when DOW-so quite old for a spotsman, evn more so for the 1914 enlistment.

 

      Pip,pip

 

             Mike

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8 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

What I have not done is to use his service number to work out exactly when he enlisted-perhaps you have a better idea than me on this. And-on the blindingly obvious- I have no idea whatsoever if he actually had any sporting connections- To have a low-ish number in the Sprotsmans-that is, when the first call for sportsmen came, suggests he may have had some sporting prowess but if he did then it is unknown to me. I have found no info. on anything-hope the Braintree newspaper may elucidate. Also, he is 42 when DOW-so quite old for a spotsman, evn more so for the 1914 enlistment.

5

 

Thanks. Some additional observations about Newman:

 

1. His service number was SPTS/446, which means he likely enlisted with the Sportsman's Battalion in mid-September at the Hotel Cecil. A couple of weeks later, the Battalion became the 23rd Royal Fusiliers, and, in early October, official army Attestation and Medical Examinations started. So without his actual army papers, we don't know for sure his official Attestation date, but I am confident that his Enlistment date was mid-Sept 1914.

 

2. The sporting connections are a bit of a red herring, in that the number of full-time sportsmen (professional or amateur) who enlisted in the Sportsman's Battalion around the time was in the minority, i.e. about 1 in 10 as far as I can tell. That said, many others who joined were from a public school or college background and played sports at those establishments. Probably a more accurate name for the unit would have been the "Sportsmanlike Battalion", since Mrs Cunliffe-Owen's intent was to hire a certain type of person rather than a specific profession or skill. 

 

3. Many sportsmen joined early on, but just as many were solicitors, bankers, stockbrokers, farmers, newspapermen, entertainers, miners and engineers. The person who enlisted just ahead of Newman, SPTS/445 - TP Mallorie, was a solicitor. SPTS/451 - H Burton, was a "well-known comedian".

 

4. His age is not at all surprising. Mrs Cunliffe-Owen's prime goal for the Battalion was to have a place for men who wanted to "do their bit" but were over the maximum age as dictated by the army. Kitchener granted the Battalion approval to form and enlist men up to 45 years in age as long as it was a full-strength unit. 

 

5. I have noticed that many of the older men who enlisted (and quite a few were older even than 45) were formerly in the army, and may have served in Africa or India. Have you looked into his other potential earlier service history? 

 

Hope that is all helpful!

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2 minutes ago, wbremner said:

 

Thanks. Some additional observations about Newman:

 

1. His service number was SPTS/446, which means he likely enlisted with the Sportsman's Battalion in mid-September at the Hotel Cecil. A couple of weeks later, the Battalion became the 23rd Royal Fusiliers, and, in early October, official army Attestation and Medical Examinations started. So without his actual army papers, we don't know for sure his official Attestation date, but I am confident that his Enlistment date was mid-Sept 1914.

 

2. The sporting connections are a bit of a red herring, in that the number of full-time sportsmen (professional or amateur) who enlisted in the Sportsman's Battalion around the time was in the minority, i.e. about 1 in 10 as far as I can tell. That said, many others who joined were from a public school or college background and played sports at those establishments. Probably a more accurate name for the unit would have been the "Sportsmanlike Battalion", since Mrs Cunliffe-Owen's intent was to hire a certain type of person rather than a specific profession or skill. 

 

3. Many sportsmen joined early on, but just as many were solicitors, bankers, stockbrokers, farmers, newspapermen, entertainers, miners and engineers. The person who enlisted just ahead of Newman, SPTS/445 - TP Mallorie, was a solicitor. SPTS/451 - H Burton, was a "well-known comedian".

 

4. His age is not at all surprising. Mrs Cunliffe-Owen's prime goal for the Battalion was to have a place for men who wanted to "do their bit" but were over the maximum age as dictated by the army. Kitchener granted the Battalion approval to form and enlist men up to 45 years in age as long as it was a full-strength unit. 

 

5. I have noticed that many of the older men who enlisted (and quite a few were older even than 45) were formerly in the army, and may have served in Africa or India. Have you looked into his other potential earlier service history? 

 

Hope that is all helpful!

 

      Exceptionally helpful-  For each of my locals, I like to have a bit of family background (Not exhaustive for what every brother or sister did), the man's education and civil work, his army service-and,if possible, some stuff on how he met his end.  Newman was a commercial traveller in both the 1901 and 1911 Census-in 1901 he was listed as a rep. for jewellery. I cannot as yet get his end,as the relevant war diary -which exists-just won't show itself on Ancestry no matter what-so I will read it on-screen at Kew. I have a slight concern that he may have recovered from wounds, returned to France and then been killed- but the medal roll s do not give a different period of service-and the local parish magazine is silent- I suspect complications from shrapnel in the legs-most likely an amputation-hence return to Cosham-and then downhill to "DOW". hence my query as to what type of hospital it was. BUT he is on Daily Casualty List as "wounded" only at 20th March 1917, and DOW at 9th July 1917-that "wounded" is very late Usually DCL runs about 2 weeks behind the wounding, not 2 months) and suggests he may well have gone back to France and been subsequently killed.

    No trace of previous military service. He did attend a public school-Cranleigh-Very surprised when that came up on Google-Newman was the son of a prosperous Essex brewer and maltster.  It is just the outside edge of possibility that he was a Boer War man-but he would have to have been back in Hackney for the 1901 Census-OK, true for a lot of the 1899 men but I have no knowledge he was one of them (But-a reminder to me-I have not done the Boer War medal rolls yet,just to check). Essex Newsman reference also  says he was more or less continually in the line from May 1915- and specifically that he went through Delville Wood-which I presume is a reference to the Somme 1916.

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3 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

Essex Newsman reference also  says he was more or less continually in the line from May 1915- and specifically that he went through Delville Wood-which I presume is a reference to the Somme 1916.

2

 

Yes - the 23rd were very active in Delville Wood on July 27th, 1916. In one day they lost 124 men.

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10 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

I cannot as yet get his end,as the relevant war diary -which exists-just won't show itself on Ancestry no matter what-so I will read it on-screen at Kew.

3

 

I have the 23rd War Diaries and will take a look. But don't expect much ... they were terse at best. 

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14 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

I cannot as yet get his end,as the relevant war diary -which exists-just won't show itself on Ancestry no matter what-so I will read it on-screen at Kew.

2

 

The 23rd Battalion's War Diary for Feb 17th reads as follows:

 

attack. ZERO. 5.45am. RED LINE REACHED. Casualties: 

                                                                                             Officers Killed: 8

                                                                                                ..  Wounded: 4

                                                                                                ..     Missing: 1

                                                                                                                     13

                                                                                             Other Ranks:

                                                                                                          Killed: 30

                                                                                                    Wounded: 165

                                                                                                       Missing: 32

                                                                                                                     227

 

The 2nd Division, of which the 23rd was part, was engaged in the Battle of Miraumont that day. Here's a related post: 

Given the number of casualties, I suspect that your man was wounded in that engagement.

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On ‎14‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 14:05, wbremner said:

 

The 23rd Battalion's War Diary for Feb 17th reads as follows:

 

attack. ZERO. 5.45am. RED LINE REACHED. Casualties: 

                                                                                             Officers Killed: 8

                                                                                                ..  Wounded: 4

                                                                                                ..     Missing: 1

                                                                                                                     13

                                                                                             Other Ranks:

                                                                                                          Killed: 30

                                                                                                    Wounded: 165

                                                                                                       Missing: 32

                                                                                                                     227

 

The 2nd Division, of which the 23rd was part, was engaged in the Battle of Miraumont that day. Here's a related post: 

Given the number of casualties, I suspect that your man was wounded in that engagement.

 

     Agreed-   But what did for him was a bit of a surprise on closer examination-  Served France from October 1915, went through everything unscathed until Feb17, including Delville Wood on the Somme.  What did for him was his hospital ship, Glenart Castle was torpedoed in the Channel on 1st March 1917-Although she was not sunk, his existing injuries were worsened.

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20 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

What did for him was his hospital ship, Glenart Castle was torpedoed in the Channel on 1st March 1917-Although she was not sunk, his existing injuries were worsened.

 

Thanks. According to uboat.net, the Glenart Castle hit a mine on 1/3/17, and was later torpedoed (and sunk) on 26/2/18.

 

20 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

Served France from October 1915

 

One slight correction is that he went over to France in November 1915 (actually Nov 15/16th) with the rest of the 23rd Royal Fusiliers.

 

20 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

What did for him was his hospital ship, Glenart Castle

 

Do you have any records on this? I'd be interested to see!

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