Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Private Joseph R Fish, 86th Aero Squadron, USA

Joseph R Fish was an American serviceman who was nursed at Beechland House in 1918.  His entry in Nurse Oliver’s album reads:

June 20-6-18             

Pte Joseph R Fish
86th Aero Squadron

He shares this page with entries from 235377 Private A Wearing of the 3rd Worcestershire Regiment, 205445 Private Joseph H Richards of the 11th East Yorkshire Regiment and 8451 Private Joseph Spruce of the 8th North Staffordshire Regiment.

The 86th Aero Squadron was formed on 17th August 1917 and served as part of the zone of advance in France during the latter part of the Great War.  The squadron has been redesignated several times since then and today operates as the 43rd Electronic Squadron Combat.

Nothing further is known of Joseph Fish and he appears to be the only US serviceman in Nurse Oliver’s album.

5363 Private W Ferguson, 3rd Border Regiment

Little is known about this man other than that he was an early arrival at Hickwells as a convalescent.  The first arrivals to the home came on 26th March 1915 and Private Ferguson’s entry in Nurse Oliver’s album is dated less than a month after that.  It reads:


5363 Pte W Ferguson

3rd Border Regt                                     M
Shoeburyness                                       Ay
Essex                                                   Sc

He shares this page in the album with entries from 19740 Private Joseph Leigh of the 3rd Border Regiment, W Wallace of the 1st Border Regiment and 50082 Driver James Gilbert of the Royal Field Artillery.

Nothing further is known about this man and I have been unable to find a medal index card for him.

22782 L/Cpl Ernest Fairbrother, 10th Loyal North Lancs

Lance-Corporal Ernest Fairbrother was a patient at Beechland House, Newick.  His entry in Nurse Oliver’s album reads:

L. Cpl E Fairbrother 22782
10th Batt Loyal North Lancs Regt

Wounded on 15th Nov 1916 on the
Ancre.  Also at Givenchy May 1915.
“Make new friends & keep the old”

He shares this page with 1366 Lance-Corporal Ernest Ladd of the 5th East Kent Regiment and 25442 Private Norman Wigston of the 4th Worcestershire Regiment.

The 10th Loyal North Lancs Regiment was a Kitchener (K3) battalion which was formed at Preston in October 1914.  It was initially attached as Army Troops to the 22nd Division but in April 1915 joined the 112th Brigade in the 37th Division.  It is possible therefore that Ernest was wounded at Givnecy On the day on which Ernest was wounded, Chris McCarthy in his book, The Somme - The Day by Day Account has this to say:

Wednesday 15th November
V Corps - 37th Division

“The major concern of 37th Division, which had begun the relief of 63rd Division, was the linking up with 51st Division on their left.  The 13th Rifle Brigade (111 Brigade) bombed up Beaucourt Trench towards Munich Trench before 9am, but it was not until 10am that the link was established.  On the right, Beaucourt was shelled all day.  63 Brigade sent out a patrol and found Muck and Railway Trenches abandoned by the Germans.  Muck Trench was found to be full of mud.”