Monday, March 16, 2009

Gloucestershire Regiment soldiers

I've just posted some army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the regular battalions of the Gloucestershire Regiment on my Army Service Numbers blog. That provides me with a good enough excuse to draw attention to a couple of Gloucestershire Regiment soldiers on my Chailey 1914-1918 website, and also to draw attention to the Soldiers of Gloucestershire website.

Reginald Pimble and William Fryer Washbourne both served with the Gloucestershire Regiment (Reginald with the 1st Battalion and William with the 1/5th Battalion) and both spent time at Hickwells and Beechlands recovering from wounds. The two men are easily located on the Soldiers of Gloucestershire database which contains details of over 40,000 WW1 Gloucestershire regiment men; a very handy resource indeed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chailey Heritage during WW1

Chailey Heritage's role during WW1 has always been beyond the scope of my research project. (I have researched Hickwells and Beechlands VAD hospitals but never Chailey Heritage). I do however, have some notes on Chailey Heritage during WW1 and today, quite out of the blue, I received this undated photograph of the "interior of the Princess Louise Military Wards, Heritage Colony, Chailey."

The following from my notes and transcripts of contemporary newspaper articles:

Friday June 11th 1915 [East Sussex News]
[Report that the Haywards Heath Band, accompanied by a number of the bandsmen of the 2/9th Manchester Battalion, visited the Heritage, North Common on Saturday, to play for the wounded soldiers and crippled boys there.]

March 14th 1916 - Page 7 [Mid-Sussex Times]
The Heritage Schools Chailey
Among the war problems which are becoming increasingly pertinent, is that of the industrial position of the wounded soldier after the war. As it is obvious that a solution cannot be left until the fighting is over, an experiment in educative convalescence for our gallant, but maimed, lads has been originated at the Heritage Craft Schools for Crippled Children at Chailey, which are carried on in connection with The Guild of Brave Poor Things. Here are situated the Princess Louise Military Wards for wounded men, and the effort on behalf of their inmates has proved to have an enormous value. It has brought out the unique opportunity of testing the men in the use of new limbs and unaccustomed artificial apparatus in the workshops side by side with crippled boys similarly afflicted. The suggestiveness of the Scheme bears the hall mark of genius as well as novelty, but unquestionably the men learn much, unconsciously, from the attitude of the boys.

I have other photos of Chailey Heritage during WW1 tucked away somewhere and in due course I'll scan these and post them here.

My thanks to Jim Type for a) remembering me and b) sending me the photo that I've used on this page. Jim's relatives, Albert Heasman, Frederick Heasman and Gilbert Heasman, and Henry Downing all have pages on the main Chailey 1914-1918 website.

British Army WW1 Records

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The War Graves Photographic Project

I thought I'd give a plug to The War Graves Photographic Project for no other reason than I think it's an excellent initiative. I am a volunteer for the project and have taken photographs at Kirkee in India. Sadly, I don't travel very much and so this has been my only contribution so far - and that, some years ago now - but the project has volunteers located across the globe, and a photographic archive of over 1.1 million names.

My great uncle, John Frederick Nixon, killed in action in October 1918 and commemorated at Vis-en-Artois is one of those names, as is Ernest Whitcomb who was a frostbite patient at Hickwells in 1915. He transferred to the Labour Corps and died on 10th December 1918 in what is now Kalamaria, Greece. He is buried in the Mikra British Cemetery.

British Army WW1 Records

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Chailey School - Cricket Team 1934

Following on from recent posts concerning Newick School cricket team circa 1907 and the Chailey School cricket team in 1938, here are some of Chailey's boys in 1934.

Back row, left to right:
Peter Douch, Harry English, Unknown, Ray Campbell, Russel Munnings, Unknown, Dennis Kimmins, David English

Front row:
Stan Hales, Unknown, Harold Williams, John Tompkins

On 15th November 1943, Russel Charles Munnings was one of 114 ratings killed when the ship on which he was serving - HMS Dulverton - was attacked by German planes five miles of the coast of the Greek Island of Kos. Three officers were also killed. The ship was badly damaged and was scuttled by HMS Belvoir. Russel Munnings is not commemorated on the Chailey War Memorial on the village green. His entry in the Commonwealth War Graves register notes that he was the son of Charles Aldous Munnings and Dorothy Kathleen Munnings of Horsted Keynes, Sussex.

My thanks again to David Gordon for sending me this photograph.