Thursday, 29 October 2015

Research


I was offered a small pack of letters and info one of our regular visitors found among his fathers paperwork.  These concerned one or two chaps who's names appear on the High School Memorial and some other bits from the second war.  Today I got around to checking out the two brothers who fell, one with the London Regiment north of Beersheeba and the other while with the Canadian Cavalry.  The one with then Canadians had emigrated at 18 years or so to Canada and enlisted at 21 at Calgary.  he went on to have many adventures in France and by October 1918 must have been longing to get the war over and done with.  The Canadian Division ended the war at Mons in November 1918 the place British forces first encountered the Germans in 1914.  It was south of there that our man was killed, the letter claims killed outright but who knows.
His brother enlisted Jan 1915, entered war in France during June 1915 with the Essex Yeomanry.  Most Yeomanry were country boys and their father ran a farm not far from here.  
During the Battle of Arras during April 1917 the village of Monchy was situated on high ground giving a clear view of the surrounding area and therefore a desperate fight evolved to capture this village.
The Essex Yeomanry along with another squadron were instructed to make for the village and join troops already attempting to occupy the ground.  In the charge to make the village they came under heavy machine gun fire from the enemy trenches.  Once in the village the survivors helped take possession and with the crowded conditions and under fire a decision was taken that the two squadrons should charge forward against the enemy to clear the area.  This they did while the enemy had already taken opportunity to set defensive positions.  The cavalrymen suffered from murderous machine gun and rifle fire causing heavy casualties.  A courageous and foolhardy attack
Our man was one of the many seriously wounded but Monchy was held.   However shrapnel in his brain left him paralysed with no speech.  Hospitalised 18 months and sent home but later returned to hospital in Holborn where he died 27th November 1918, one month and a day after his brother. 
A third man mentioned and on the High School Memorial was with the London Regiment as they fought the last Gaza battle, their part being attacking Beersheeba, and in the days following chasing the Turkish forces up the Hebron road.  This included some tough fighting, Turkish forces often being far stronger than they are given credit,and at a place called Huj he was wounded in the shoulder and died a few days later of his wounds quite unexpectedly.  He was Batman to the 2nd Lieutenant and about to go for a commission himself.  Knocked down while under shellfire as they attacked the strong point.

So I have sat here all day scouring sites and wishing it would stop as my head is exploding!  Worse still I did not have my siesta and what remains of my brain is slowly turning into mush.  I am glad I searched for this however, the question now regards why did this mans father have these letters and other information?  I suspect he was the one organising the memorial himself.  Anyway I am off to rinse out my skull. 


8 comments:

Jenny Woolf said...

So very sad to think of these lives cut short in a pretty senseless war.

Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Your efforts to honor the veterans are quite remarkable.

Lee said...

Cherished pieces of history...I just wish they were of happier moments. The letters, again, are proof that nothing ever changes.

You should be applauded for the good word you do.

Adullamite said...

Jenny, Not sure the war was senseless from our side. It was always going to happen.

Jerry, Not really, hundreds do similar.

Lee, The letters are the best bits.

carol said...

Sounds like you have inherited a lot of work, and as Jerry said your dedication to this cause IS inspiring. Rule 1 ~ never miss your afternoon nap, that is the best part of life.

Mo said...

The personal stories are more interesting than the global story in many ways. The past couple of days I've been listening to stories of the East End (London) as told by Octogenarians. We need to hear more of such tales.
A wee aside, that pop up ad is hiding some of the words in your post.

Adullamite said...

Carol, It's not a lot of work, I''m just slow...

Mo, Personal stories, and getting them to write them down and deposit them in museums is important!
Do you use adblockpro? That gets rid of ads.