As mentioned in my previous post I've looked up the records of the eight Yeoman Riflemen buried in Heilly Station Military Cemetery and there are also two officers already researched. There were two casualty clearing stations at Heilly at this time, 36 and 38.
First, the five who died of wounds after Flers (15th September 1916).
C/12614 Heap, H Ref IV. E.20
Corporal Herbert Heap died of wounds in Casualty Clearing Station 36 on 19th September 1916. He had been in B company, as a West Riding man - a woollen (shoddy) manufacturer in Leeds, unmarried and living at home with his widowed mother and siblings. He enlisted at Bradford at the age of 29 years 8 months (1 Dec 1915), was tall (5’11½”) and well-built, and his only recorded medical problems as a soldier before Flers were with his dentures. He had been promoted Lance-Serjeant on 1st June, but reverted to Corporal on 25 July at his own request.
C/13027 Hearsum, Harry Ref IV. D.12
Rifleman Harry Hearsum died of wounds in Casualty Clearing Station 38 on 16th September 1916 (SDGW, confirmed by the casualty form in his record). He had been in D company, as a Derbyshire man; he was a horse driver, son of David and Hannah Hearsum of Brook Houses, Hayfield; his mother, by 1919, had been widowed and moved to Huddersfield. He attested at Glossop (Buxton according to SDGW).
C/12284 Ridsdale, F Ref II. H.34
Rifleman Frank Ridsdale died of wounds on 17th September 1916. His military record survives, and shows he was in B Company, as expected for a West Riding man. He gave his name only as Frank, his occupation as shop assistant and his age as 19 years 5 months, a year older than he was, when he attested in Ripon in November 1915 (approved in York). The son of Thomas (farmer) and Annie Ridsdale of Sicklinghall, Wetherby, West Riding, his full name was Francis Burton Ridsdale and he was 19 when he died at Casualty Clearing Station 36 (casualty form).
Frank had been made unpaid Acting Corporal on 30th May, when the battalion was at Ploegsteert Wood, and moved to 124th Brigade/1 Trench Mortar Battery. In late July, after being admitted to the medical facility for a week with scabies, he went back to the battalion and reverted to Rifleman at his own request. He had a week with the TMB again in early September but had gone back to the battalion on 9th September, less than a week before the battle in which he was fatally wounded.
His parents, three brothers and four sisters survived him. I have been unable to find any entry on SDGW, oddly, despite trying with both ‘Frank’ and ‘Francis’.
R/11968 Wigley, Joseph Charles Ref IV. E.7
Joseph Charles Wigley was a Londoner born and bred in Clerkenwell, and had joined the 21st Battalion in the field at Ploegsteert Wood on 21st June 1916, by which time they had sustained losses though not in any major action. He had enlisted at Cockspur Street and joined the KRRC at Winchester in April 1915, when he was 18, though he gave his age as 19; he then spent a year in England with the 6th Battalion.
Joseph’s birth was registered in January 1897, but he was baptised at the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, on 29 November 1896. His father William and mother Catherine had a large family. William was a type founder’s caster in 1911; his sons included a brass founder and a warehouseman and one daughter was a cardboard maker. Joseph, aged 14, was an errand boy, and by 1915 he described himself as a shop porter.
Joseph, whose company does not seem to be mentioned on his record, died of his wounds sustained at Flers in Casualty Clearing Station 36 on 18th September 1916. His mother was advised of his death by letter, though it is not clear whether she received it. The post-war form for relatives was not filled in, and letters remain in his file marked ‘Gone Away’.
Another young Clerkenwell man of the same age with a very similar record (enlisted in April 1915 and joined the 21st battalion in the field on 21st June 1916) was Albert Edward Hull, R/11808: he died a week after Joseph, on 26th September, after returning home on the hospital ship Asturias, and is buried in Islington Cemetery. His company is given as A, not surprisingly as A company had suffered a higher number of early casualties than any other (i.e. before going into the line, so that new men arrived to replace the originals), and this may well have been Joseph’s too.
C/12639 Young, S Ref IV. D.53
Rifleman Sidney Young, aged 19, died of wounds on 17th September (SDGW and CWGC) or 16th according to his casualty form, at Casualty Clearing Station 38. Born in North Somercoates, Lincolnshire, he was an accountant/clerk living with his family in Skirlaugh, East Riding, when he attested at Hull, and was in C company. Though C Company was originally said to be for men from Northumberland and Durham, we know from Gerald Dennis's account that a number of Hull recruits were posted into it rather than A as might have been expected. His father Robert was a bricklayer, who with his wife Florence and Sidney’s elder sister and two younger brothers survived him.
2/Lt Jones, Philip Allsworth Ref IV. G.36
I have written about Lt Jones in some detail already on this thread, when going through the officers of the battalion on the Aldershot photograph (p.7)
I'll post separately about the Gird Ridge casualties.
Edited by Liz in Eastbourne, 09 June 2012 - 11:05 AM.