Friday, January 30, 2009

George Saunders

I've added a little more information about George Saunders. Having spent a considerable amount of time researching army service numbers between 1881 and 1918, I can say with reasonable certainty that George joined the Royal Sussex Regiment on about 29th December 1905.

I had previously guessed that he joined in 1906 and that he was probably a Reservist at the time Britain war with Germany in 1914. However, the man who was given the number after George - L/8390 - joined on 29th December 1905 for 9 years with the Colours and 3 on the Reserve; so too did other men enlisting with The Royal Sussex Regiment at this time.

So it think, in the absence of a surviving service record, that it is reasonable to assume that George also joined up for 9&3 and that therefore he had a little under five months left to serve with the Colours when Britain went to war on 4th August 1914. Eight days later, he was shouldering a rifle in France and preparing to meet the might of the German Army.

George was killed in action on 17th August 1916 and is commemorated on the memorial at Thiepval. His brother, Henry Alfred Saunders, was killed in action seven weeks later on 7th October 1916. He too is commemorated on the Thiepval War Memorial on the Somme. Both brothers are commemorated on Chailey's war memorial.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chailey's men amended

I've amended the pages for Chailey men Harold Campbell, Frank Chatfield, William Day, Alfred Cottingham and Alfred Cottington.

Harold Campbell lost his arm whilst serving with the Welsh Guards, but came home to Chailey and somewho still managed to milk his cow.

Frank Chatfield served with the Middlesex Regiment and the Labour Corps and he's one of the few men for whom I have a photograph.

Alfred Cottingham was a regular soldier with the Coldstream Guards and arrived in France nine days after war was declared. He later served with the Army Cyclist Corps.

Alfred Cottington remains a bit of an enigma. The Cottington and Cottingham families though, were certainly related. It's possible that he and Alfred Cottingham are one and the same.

William Day attested in 1916 and then served with the Norfolk Regiment.

Read their stories on Chailey 1914-1918.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tingley - Chailey

I've updated the pages for William George Tingley DCM, Croix de Guerre, his brother Benjamin Tingley (RFA), their cousin William Henry Tingley (latterly Royal Engineers) and another William Henry Tingley who was probably the first William Henry Tingley's father. That's a lot of Tingleys for one morning and I hope I've got it right. Watch this space!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Edward Manville

Thanks to correspondence received from Edward Manville's great niece, I have updated his page on my site. Edward was one of fourteen children. Two of his brothers were career soldiers and one of these, Henry Manville, died of wounds in 1914.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fresh images - home page and Chailey's men

I've uploaded fresh images on some of the main landing pages of Chailey 1914-1918.

On the Chailey 1914-1918 home page, courtesy of Seaford Museum, is a great Southdowns recruiting poster from 1914. I don't know if anybody has ever researched the effectiveness of different types of recruiting practices during WW1 but this one, I suppose, would probably fall into the scaremongering category. Others would be labelled "guilt" - the "What did you so in the Great War, Daddy" type posters; then you'd have those appealing to the patriotic spirit; blackmail in the form of white feathers or lion and unicorn buttons dropped into pockets; many, many inducements which, all combined, saw that Kitchener well exceeded his call for a hundred thousand men. A number of Chailey's men served with Southdowns battalions. I wonder if any of them joined up as a result of the Chichester poster (reproduced here).

On a lighter note, I've also added some comic images to the pages for Chailey's men. Here they are:

Chailey's Men A-D
Chailey's Men E-L
Chailey's Men M-R
Chailey's Men S-Y

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Friday, January 23, 2009

230970 Private Alfred R Braysher, 21st Dorset Yeomanry

Chailey Parish Magazine notes a Private A R Braysher serving with the Dorset Yeomanry in England in April 1916.  Nearly two years later, in January 1918, that information is updated to note that Driver A R Braysher is serving with the 21st Dorset Yeomanry. 

This latter information is clearly incorrect.  There was no 21st Dorset Yeomanry but rather a 2/1st which was formed at Sherborne in September 1914.  In October 1915, the 2/1st Dorset Yeomanry was stationed at Lewes which is possibly where A R Braysher got to know of them.  The unit though, never went overseas and was broken up in 1916 to become a cyclist unit. 

A R Braysher served throughout the war and gets a final mention in the August 1919 edition of the Chailey Parish Magazine.  The National Archive lists him as 230970 Private A R Braysher of the 2/1st Dorset Yeomanry. 

An Alfred Braysher is recorded on the 1891 census of England and Wales as a two year old pauper inmate at the Lewes Union workhouse.  His place of birth is recorded as Lewes but there are two other Brayshers listed who were born at Chailey – Sarah Ann Braysher (aged 27, single, working as a char woman) and Edith Braysher (aged six).  

It seems likely that the two children were Sarah’s.  Alfred appears on the 1901 census as the 12 year old step son of 58 year old Alfred Trasly (the surname is difficult to read on the census so this may be an inaccurate spelling).  Alfred is noted as being blind and no occupation is recorded for him.  His wife is Sarah (aged 39), presumably the Sarah Ann of 1891.  Alfred’s surname is spelt Brayzer.  The family was living at 2 Edward Street, Lewes.  There is no mention of Edith who would have been 16 or so and presumably at work elsewhere.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Richard Snelling - Royal Fusiliers regular

I've updated Richard Snelling's page on the Chailey 1914-1918 website. Richard was born in Reigate but was living in Chailey when Britain declared war on Germany in 1914. He enlisted as a regular soldier with the Royal Fusiliers and served throughout the First World War, latterly moving with the regiment to India and Iraq.

Richard's service record does not appear to have survived, but his medal index card carries a good deal of information and there would doubtless be additional information to be gleaned from the medal rolls.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Harold Parkinson - Bronchial Billy

I've updated the page for Harold Parkinson who was another patient at Beechlands. He almost certainly appears in a photo (above) that is pasted next to his entry but as there is no indication of where he is in that photograph, I am unable to put a face to the name.

Harold was a Londoner and served with the Post Office Rifles (8th London Regiment). Read more about the 8th Londons and the army service numbers issued to them, on my army service numbers blog.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

George Thomas Bourne Grounds

Chailey man, George Thomas Bourne Grounds and his sisters Marina Edith Bourne Grounds and Unis Reta Bourne Grounds, all did their bit for King and Country during the First World War. Marina and Unis nursed at the local Chailey VAD detachment while George, a long-serving Territorial (and pre 1908 volunteer) served with the East Kent Mounted Yeomanry and later, the 10th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). He never went overseas but nevertheless he still "did his bit".

George's service record survives in the WO 363 series at the National Archives and I've now fully written up his service history.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Charles Sabourin - updated

Charles Sabourin is one of those rarities - as I discovered late on Friday - who has surviving papers in both the WO 363 and WO 364 series at the National Archives. I already had copies of his badly burned and water damaged papers from the WO 363 series but was surprised to see that I'd missed pension records in the WO 364 series.

Charles, a serving militia man with the 3rd East Surreys, joined the Regular East Surrey Regiment in November 1900, saw service in the Boer War, spent five years in India and was then recalled as a reservist when the First World War was declared. Severely wounded on 23rd August 1914 - the first real day of fighting involving British troops - he was captured by the Germans, had his right leg amputated as a result of a shrapnel wound, and was repatriated as a Prisoner of War in February 1915. He then spent many months at Hickwells and, I think, Beechland House. As his pension records reveal, Charles continued to receive an army pension certainly up until 1952, by which time he would have been seventy years old.

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Charles's WW1 service with the East Surrey Regiment was brief to say the least. The two-volume title below, covers the history of the regiment from 1914 through to 1919, a period which saw the regiment sustain 6,750 casualties and win eight VCs.

In August 1914 the East Surreys comprised two Regular (1st and 2nd), one Reserve (3rd), one Extra Reserve (4th) and two Territorial battalions (5th and 6th); the Regimental Depot was at Kingston-on-Thames. As the war went on further battalions were added: eight so-called ‘Service’ battalions (7th to 14th) in Kitchener’s New Armies and a second and a third line battalion for each of the Territorial battalions for a total of eighteen battalions of which only nine saw active service overseas, and it is their war record which is the subject of this history.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

George Seaney Hicks

I've updated the page for George Seaney Hicks who was a patient at Hickwells and Beechland House. Thankfully, 47 pages of his service record survive in the WO 363 series at the National Archives and so I have a far fuller picture of him and his war service. Remarkably, having attested with the Bedfordshire Yeomanry, he ended up serving in at least five battalions of The Bedfordshire Regiment, went overseas three times, was wounded twice and gassed once. He also found time to get married exactly one year before the war ended. All this and a stay in Nurse Oliver's company as well. That's him sitting far left, his hand resting on his leg. The photograph was taken in June or July 1916 whilst George was at Beechlands.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

When did Chailey's patients enlist?

Using information from my army service numbers database, I've been able to update the records for more patients. It's a laborious process but a necessary one. I have updated enlistment/joining date information for Joseph French, John Gale, John Griffiths, Charles Harrald and William Haydon.

The photo above shows convalescent soldiers at Beechlands, circa June 1916.

For more information on British army service numbers and the dates on which these were issued to British soldiers, check my Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 blog.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

More patient updates

I've updated the records for William H Baddock (addition of first name), Thomas George Clarke (correction of regiment), James Cowley (home address noted on medal index card), John Dicks (information concerning the Essex regiment) and Martin Donnelly (correction of battalion). All of these men were patients at Hickwells and Beechland House. Further updates will follow in due course.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Soldier patients updated

I've updated the pages for Ernest Whitcomb, William Thomas Wallace, Robert Vinton and Joseph Spruce. All four men were patients at Hickwells or Beechlands and all except Robert Vinton were career soldiers who had enlisted before the First World War broke out. Robert Vinton attested under the Derby Scheme and may well have been in a category which exempted him form being immediately called upon. Certainly his number indicates that he probably didn't joined the West Yorkshire Regiment until 1917. Nevertheless he was still with them long enough to be wounded and to be discharged as a result of these wounds. 120x60

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The 1911 Census

The 1911 census for England - the majority of it at least - has today been published on line. Most of the men and women mentioned on my Chailey 1914-1918 site will be on the 1911 census somewhere but it's going to take me a month of Sundays to update all the pages - and it's time (and a subscription to find-my-past) that I don't currently have. If anybody can add any 1911 census details for any of the individuals on the site, I'll be pleased to update the relevant pages.

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