I haven't yet got round to finishing the account of the Somme cemeteries where I visited Yeoman Riflemen's graves in May. So here's the last one.
Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval
is a concentration cemetery and the five riflemen of the 21st KRRC buried here, two from September, three from October 1916, must have been brought from other small cemeteries in the Flers area, or from the battlefields, after the war.
Killed in action at Flers 15th September 1916
Memorial sites give 17th September because of the bureaucratic practice of writing ‘15/17.9.1916’ where the circumstances of death were unclear. As previously noted, the death of any man who was killed in action must have been on 15th. It is impossible to be certain what happened in most cases.
C/12550 Jaques, Ralph Ref XXXI.E.9
Ralph Jaques (no 'c' before the 'q') was a farmer’s son from Crowle, Lincolnshire, aged 28 and working as a bottling manager in a brewery when he attested at Crowle on 21st November 1915.
As would be expected of a Lincolnshire man, he was in D Company, stated on his (clean) conduct sheet, originally signed by RC Robinson (an officer who did not accompany the battalion to France, see my earlier account http://1914-1918.inv...25#entry1565049
). He had been in hospital in Aldershot from 18 February to 30 March 1915 with influenza, according to his record, but there is no evidence of any other problem before he was killed in action near Flers on 15th September.
Both CWGC and SGDW give 17th Sept 1916 as his death date, as explained above. His mother and father, Jane and Walter, three brothers and two sisters survived him, and his sister, Mrs P. Farthing, asked for his disc in 1925: it had been found when his body was exhumed for reburial in this cemetery.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Crowle, recorded on the Roll of Honour and Lost Ancestors websites.
C/12162 Thompson, C F W Ref XXI.E.5
Charles Frederick William Thompson was born in Easingwold in 1895, lived there (probably at his parents’ home in Long Street) and enlisted in York. His parents were both from villages near Easingwold: George, District Road Surveyor, was born in Stillington, and Rose Ada (nee Batty), his wife, in Coxwold. He was 21 when he died, and as he was recorded as a 16-year-old student in the 1911 census, and his service record does not appear to have survived, his occupation is unknown.
Both CWGC and SDGW say he died on 17th September 1915, but again if as stated he was killed in action this must have been 15th September.
He is commemorated on the Easingwold War Memorial, along with Charles Kirbyson, C/12427, a haycutter who lived in High Street (Uppleby), Easingwold. Kirbyson was in A Company, as Thompson is almost certain to have been too, and was killed in action at Gird Ridge, probably on 7th October (SDGW and CWGC give 10th – date discrepancies discussed previously). Kirbyson is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
There's also another Yeoman Rifleman on the Crowle memorial - I'll post separately about him.