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Neil Clark

1/5th Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

33 posts in this topic

Thought that forum Buffs buffs might want to see this rare photo of what appears to be a war memorial at Kamptee India where the 5th Buffs were at during the first few months of the Great War. As far as I know this is the first time it has been documented and this photo is the only one of it's kind in existance. Any information regarding it would be helpful. Does it still survive? If not then what happened to it?

Neil

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Hi Neil

Excellent photo.

I think William Van Campbell is the named on the Headcorn War Memorial.

Regards

Steve

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Interesting Neil

I wonder why the Regiment decided to inscribe East Kent Regt (The Buffs) rather than the official The Buffs (East Kent Regt). Trivial matter I know but you know what us Buffs Buffs are like !

Mick

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Your right Mick, I didn't even notice that.....

I suppose I should ensure that the museum gets a copy of it. I think you have more formal relations with the various Buffs organisations etc. If you agree, I shall send you a scanned copy by PM/email or snail mail. Don't worry about copyright and all that nonsense, it's nearly 100 years old. As far as I'm concerned the more people with a copy the less the likelihood of it being lost forever. Pity that some people treat finds like this as their own property...

Three of the men listed here are Ashford men. Even from an Ashford viewpoint this is an important find.

Steve, Yes your right re W Van-Campbell. He's also on Ashford's civic tribute.

Anyone else know anything about this memorial?

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Cheers Neil

I'll pm you

Mick

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Steve

Herewith a photo of William Van-Campbell

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And Claude Reginald Tapsfield -

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and A.E Burchett

Mick,

I have photos of many Ashford Buffs men. If you want copies of these for your records I would be happy to send you them on CD. You will have to PM your snail mail cos there's quite a few and it's too large for emails. I take it you are only interested in Buffs? I can let you have the photos in alphebetical order in a file entitled Ashford Buffs Men (Surnames then Initials)...

Neil

post-2961-1176331750.jpg

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Steve

Herewith a photo of William Van-Campbell

Neil

I've just come across your posts concerning William Van Campbell. I've been trying to find out about William for my next door neighbour who is Williams youngest daughter, she was born Kathleen May Campbell in 1912. A couple of years ago I was sent a copy of the Memorial Photo you postedalong with another of a squaddie leaning on a shovel next to some newly filled in graves, the inference being that the graves were in some way connected to the photo of the memorial!!!

Can I ask where you obtained the photo of William from and is it possible to obtain a copy as I'm sure kathleen has never seen it.

Steve

Herewith a photo of William Van-Campbell

Neil

I've just come across your posts concerning William Van Campbell. I've been trying to find out about William for my next door neighbour who is Williams youngest daughter, she was born Kathleen May Campbell in 1912. A couple of years ago I was sent a copy of the Memorial Photo you postedalong with another of a squaddie leaning on a shovel next to some newly filled in graves, the inference being that the graves were in some way connected to the photo of the memorial!!!

Can I ask where you obtained the photo of William from and is it possible to obtain a copy as I'm sure kathleen has never seen it.

Regards

Mick

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Looking for some help from all the Buffs buffs out there!

The 1/5th Buffs arrived in Mesopotamia on 1st December 1915, disembarking in Basra. However, according to the Medal Rolls, several men from the Battalion entered the theatre somewhat earlier, on 14th August 1915. I've tracked down the service records of a couple of these men, but there is unfortunately no further explanation, other than the fact that they joined "Expeditionary Force D".

Can anyone explain what was going on? Why did these men arrive four months before the rest of the 1/5th Buffs? What did they get up to in the intervening period?

Thanks!

Richard

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Further to my previous post, the Medal Rolls show the following men of the 1/5th Battalion, East Kent Regiment entered theatre (5a) Asiatic on 14.8.15. I’m sure there are others. Does anyone know what they were up to?

591 / 240034 L/Cpl William Brunger

999 / 240067 Pte R J Butcher

1080 / 240098 Pte John Edward Reeves

1117 / 240119 Pte M J Richardson

1128 / 240132 Pte H G Hatcher

1209 / 240179 Pte F S Reed

1344 / 240260 Pte Walter Standing

1350 / 240263 Pte James Wenman

1417 / 240309 Pte Frederick Lancaster

1440 / 240328 Pte Gerald Alfred Body

1447 / 240331 Pte Cecil Wallace Laurie

1483 / 240346 Pte Ernest Moore

1635 / 240405 Pte P A Smith

1666 / 240425 Pte W J Head

1696 / 240446 Pte Charles Samuel Elkins

1754 / 240480 L/Cpl Harry Obbard

1784 / 240499 Pte Philip Christopher Simmons

1787 / 240501 Pte A Ottaway

1817 / 240519 Pte E T Penfold

2342 / 240668 Cpl W J Shelley

2372 / 240690 Pte Arthur B Fearn

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My father was pte G A Body in the above list in 1920 he volunteered for The Royal Ulster Constabulary being a 2nd Ltd in the Buffs.Then became a cadet and was on sentry duty when the IRA attacked the N W and London Railway hotel North Wall Dublin on the 21st April 1921. Received £180 compensation.

This is a photo of my 2nd cousin once removed then Captain Body and the whole picture is of staff and workers of Wittersham Farm and Wittersham Court previously College farm and farmhouse Wittersham. Who looked after the farm and Wittersham cricket ground I have no idea? Female servants must have looked after the house. His sargeant to his right died in Iraq in 1916.

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Colonel John Body entry into Irag after defeating the Turks 1917

Military: Entry Into Baghdad

1917Iraq

Posted by ivorjbodyDelete


Baghdad occupied by the Ottorman Empire. Ruled by the Turks for 300 years without a break. 10th March the British Army then advancing and at 14.30 hrs just 5miles (6km) West Of Baghdad. Whilst attcking both Turkish Cavalary, some infantry and many Arabs a really bad Sandstorm started and the advance had to stop. 02.00 hrs on March 11th the infantry on both East and West found the Turkish positions abandoned. Dawn the advance began again. 09.00 hrs Baghdad was entered when the East Kent Regiment under Colonel John Body crossed the river in Gufars and were the first troops to enter the city. Officers G K Harrison hoisted the Union Jack on the Citadel. The Flag now hangs inCanterbury Cathedral.


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Service Tenterden Memorial

service

service

service

service 2

service Tenterden Memorial

Tenterden Memorial

TenterdenKent memorial

unveiling

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I too have an interest in one of the 1/5th Buffs who reached Mesopotamia four months before most of the battalion. P C Simmons was a footman at Ladham House in Goudhurst, Kent before the war, and George Jessel, the son of the master of the house, was one of the officers among the main body of the battalion on its journey to India and then to Mesopotamia. It seems improbable - but unfortunately true - that master and servant were separated during 1915.

A report in the local newspaper in January 1917, says that Simmons was actually among those besieged inside Kut, was taken prisoner by the Turks and died as a result of the hardships. So he was apparently on the inside while his mates were trying to get in. His official date of death was 28th September 1916.

Sorry that this does not go any way towards explaining the mystery, unless something I have said rings bells elsewhere.

GJ

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Hi GJ It is more information, but does not explain what they were doing there? The most amazing thing is that my father must have known and been involved in the same skirmish as pte P C Simmons. Someone sent me pictures of all my cousins from Gibbets Farm Tenterden the other day and it is called Goudhurst to Tenterden.Two of these cousins died in Mesopotamia and are on the Tenterden memorial opened by Col. John Body their cousin. I will ask if there is anything in the book about Ladham House? The Other thing there is a James Wenman in the same group above and a cricketer by the name of Wenman played on Col. John Body's cricket ground in the 2nd Wittersham cricket match of the century. The fist being in 1834 and the 2nd 1936. Two professionals took on the Isle of Oxney X1 and both times beat the eleven. It is on the web if you put in Wittersham cricket match of the 20th century and you are interested?

ivor

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Ivor & GJ

Many thanks for the interesting posts. The information about Private Simmons is particularly fascinating. The 6th (Poona) Division of the British Indian Army left Basra in September 1915 in an advance towards Baghdad, but was besieged in Kut by 7th December 1915. So, Private Simmons must have joined the expeditionary force very soon after he arrived in Mesopotamia, on 14th August 1915. But, why didn't his comrades from the 1/5th Buffs also end up in Kut? I'd love to know what was going on.

Richard

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This is a reply from rootschat:-

Hi ivorjbody.

I assume that you are searching for the reason these men from 5th Buffs were early arrivals in Mesopotamia. My grandfathers experiences with the East Surrey explains why.

1n the early months of the war the 5th East Surreys, along with other territorial battalions, travelled to India to release the regular battalions. Due to become time-expired at the end of 1915, grandfather was, being a young man, probably bored and frustrated at missing the fighting. So, when a call was made in the early summer of 1915 for 50 volunteers (a platoon) from most of each, if not all, of the territorial battalions in India for service in Mesopotamia, grandfather was one of those volunteers from the East Surreys.

The troops arrived in Mesopotamia in August, and grandfather's group of 50 were attached to the 2nd Norfolk battalion. Grandfather participated in the battle of Ctesiphon in late November, and had he not been slightly wounded and requiring time in hospital, he would have been besieged inside Kut with the 2nd Norfolks.

I feel it is almost certain a similar course of events affected your men from the 5th Buffs.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Scobie

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Ivor

Many thanks for getting hold of the information. It goes some way to explaining things, but (and there's always a but!) I don't think it's the whole story. The men I originally posted about seem to have ended up as follows:

591 / 240034 L/Cpl William Brunger, discharged 17.5.19

999 / 240067 Pte R J Butcher

1080 / 240098 Pte John Edward Reeves, died of wounds 18.2.17

1117 / 240119 Pte M J Richardson, discharged 20.5.19

1128 / 240132 Pte H G Hatcher, discharged 20.3.19

1209 / 240179 Pte F S Reed, discharged 24.4.19

1344 / 240260 Pte Walter Standing, discharged 7.5.19

1350 / 240263 Pte James Wenman, discharged 7.5.19

1417 / 240309 Pte Frederick Lancaster, discharged 25.4.19

1440 / 240328 Pte Gerald Alfred Body

1447 / 240331 Pte Cecil Wallace Laurie, died of wounds 19.1.17

1483 / 240346 Pte Ernest Moore, discharged 25.4.19

1635 / 240405 Pte P A Smith, discharged 6.5.19

1666 / 240425 Pte W J Head, discharged 1.4.19

1696 / 240446 Pte Charles Samuel Elkins, discharged 25.4.19

1754 / 240480 L/Cpl Harry Obbard, discharged 26.4.19

1784 / 240499 Pte Philip Christopher Simmons, died PoW 28.9.16

1787 / 240501 Pte A Ottaway, discharged 25.4.19

1817 / 240519 Pte E T Penfold, discharged 8.4.19

2342 / 240668 Cpl W J Shelley, discharged 26.3.19

2372 / 240690 Pte Arthur B Fearn

So, most of these men were discharged at the end of the war. Only one (Private Simmons) seems to have died as a Prisoner of War. If they were all beseiged at Kut, wouldn't more of them have suffered the same fate as Private Simmons? I'm sure Scobie is right to suggest that these men were from a platoon of the 1/5th Buffs who volunteered for service in Mesopotamia, but they don't appear to have joined Townsend's expeditionary force.

Richard

Edited by RichardC

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Why was my father so lucky and not to be discharged? Could it have been because he signed on for the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Buffs gave him a rank of lieutenant so he received a higher RIC pay, which I think was the case? How unlucky was Pte Simmons and how was he inside? I guess we will never know? Oh to turn the clock back 25 years when my father was alive!!

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Ivor and Richard

Thanks for the continuing information. I was especially interested in the reply from your contact on rootschat. It does seem to be a possible explanation as to why P C Simmons ended up in Kut.

GJ

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Greetings to everyone here and to Susan F for kindly advising me of the fact this thread has been reserected from the dead.

My feeling regarding the early movement of these men from India is that they were a kind of PIONEER element of 1/5 Buffs.

Their job was probably to carry out work before the rest of the battalion arrived.

These men were probably valued members of the battalion who posessed unusual/hard to find skills. It would be interesting to see exactly what kind of work these men did before engagement?

A couple of names of the list jog my memory although I can't remember exactly which KENT civic war memorial their names are on. I think William BRUNGER was an Ashford man (therefore close to my heart).

The name BODY also jogs my memory too. Have a look at my work at CRUNDALE/WYE regarding JAMES GLEAVE DFC

I suspect they must have been led by a junior Buffs officer (Lt or Captain probably).

Apart from this, I can't really think of a reason why a small (but select) band of men would be sent a great distance before the battalion arrived.

Perhaps my good friend Dave Hughes will be able to help out regarding the reason these men arrived so early? If anyone knows it's likely to be him.....

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Cadet 72825 James Chubb GLEAVE DFC. Royal Irish Constabularly (RIR). Formerly (Lieutenant) Royal Air Force (RAF). Murdered by the I.R.A 28th November 1920 in the Kilmichael Ambush, Cork, Ireland. James was born in Worcester. Son of William and Kate A Gleave of 60 Mount Park Avenue, South Croydon, Surrey. Buried locally in the Wye (SS Gregory and Martin) Graveyard, Wye, Ashford, Kent. James headstone at Wye states clearly “Killed in the Kilmichael Ambush, Ireland”. The headstone requires urgent restoration. The lettering can now hardly be read. Once the letters have disappeared all trace of poor James will have gone!

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I to have a intersted in this Bn, my grandad was posted to them after recovering from being wounded on the Somme.

What I could not work out is how he went from Mesopotamia, to the North West Front in Afghanistan and India in 1919.

I have the answer to that which i will paste in:

"I have him on a medal roll as 1/5 Battalion The Buffs and attached to the 1st Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. He was entitled to the India General Service Medal with clasp Afghanistan, North West Frontier 1919. Quite a few of the 1/5th men carried on their service out there after the war."

Why would he go to india to carry on his service when he enlisted in August 1914?

Does any one know why they did that.

Joe

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