Thursday, 17 August 2017

Workmen


Yesterday morn I was greeted by sunshine reaching through the kitchen window, starlings squabbling over the feeders and above streaks of blue mixing with white clouds.
Today I find gray clouds cover the earth, the streets damp with rain and at eight in the morning contractors using power drills and small JCBs to dig up the neighbours paved front garden! 
How am I supposed to hear Radio 3 with that cacophony in the background?
I sit here in the drawing room filled with the emanations from the rubbish bin that has required emptying for a while as four (Polish?) workmen do their best to make as much noise as they can while attempting to ensure the job lasts long enough to claim overtime.  I notice the woman next door has not yet appeared, either she did not expect them and is hiding in the back of the house or she is back in bed with her head under a pillow trying to avoid the noise.  
It is a small front of a bungalow and this was concreted over a while back to allow cars to park, possibly she wishes to amend this either to improve the house and raise the selling price or turn this back into a garden.  Either way it ought to be done when I am elsewhere I say.


Lunchtime has passed, the work next door has not completed yet.  If you take a large tin, fill it with stones and rattle it back and forward for thirty minutes, stop for five then begin again over and over then you will begin to understand what I have endured cheerily this morning. 
In spite of this I have continued to work (HA!) and even exercised as I must in a vain attempt to put life back into this fat bloated hulk of mine.  I was encouraged in this by the nurse, an adorable ex-Stasi Commandant, who offered me a choice of one hours exercise a day or twenty four hours of death a day, tact not being an attitude taught back in Berlin.
I therefore exercised for a while, straining and stretching and aching all over.  All this while the rattling stones outside bounced in their tin.  The small JCB has piled some of the concrete into a pile to be dumped in someones back lane when no-one is about while as yet the woman of the house has not shown her face.  It did strike me that these men possibly have arrived at the wrong house while she is on holiday.  This will give her something to boast about later will it not if that is the case?
It will soon be over, sooner if I find a shotgun!


Funnily enough in spite of the cacophony to my right I found myself accidentally falling asleep after a very healthy lunch (there were no pizzas left), strange how that happened but there you are.  Then as the noise continued I found work hard to cope with and, again accidentally, came across some Euro Champs League football on BTS which I had to watch.  Endure might be a better word as games at this period of the competition are often poor and mean little, especially with teams who's name you cannot pronounce and have not the foggiest where they come from.  
This passed the time until this big green lorry appeared and I knew the noise was about to abate.  He had arrived to remove the rubbish thrown up by the workers and as he left, narrowly avoiding the woman attempting to overtake him, the sound died away.  Now I feel like I have gone deaf as there is no sound, not even from the passing traffic which usually fills the air with rubbish and loud music while they queue up in the rush hour.  The mess left behind is a wonder to behold, mud stains the pavements, loose stones and earth lie all around.  I look forward to tomorrows toil, though in the meantime I had  look to see if they had brought down any of our walls, not yet they haven't.



Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Tuesday Tittletattle


At a rough estimate I reckon two thousand children, all screaming, shouting, yelling, came through the museum today.  This does not include the mums, grans, grandads, dads, aunts, uncles and others who accompanied them, screaming, shouting, yelling and crying out for coffee or gin and tonic!  
Kids get away with much more when with the indulgent old people than when with mum and dad.  They therefore play this to perfection and it is rare to see a grandad, always a grandad, pay for something in the shop.  Sometimes I am amazed at the energy levels of the old folks although I realise that once the kid is back with mum they will be taking another week to get over it!  
The kids are loving this exhibition, the ones doing the workshops are also enjoying themselves and I have noticed that all too often it is the mums who enjoy this most.  Either they enjoy being among the exhibits or they are enjoying the craft workshops.  Others of course just enjoy a couple of hours without the kids bothering them!  One told me she had cleaned the entire house, the first time since the holidays had started!  
She refused to do mine... 

   
Before I limped out the door I went through the prodedure to discover which 'House' I was now in.  This did not take long and I appear to be in 'Gryffindor.'
Whatever that means!



Monday, 14 August 2017

Hooked!


I'm hooked!
I have been watching these 'cab rides' for days now and cannot get enough of them.
So far this weekend I have been from Kings Cross to Edinburgh via Newcastle, Cannon Street to Hayes (wherever that is?) and Baker Street to Amersham.  This afternoon I travelled in the comfort of my chair all the way from Waterloo to Southampton without once worrying about new people entering the train and annoying me.  How about that!
Now you may say this is all very anorakish and rather silly and I must say you will have a point. However I find train travel very relaxing and these videos, of which there are millions on YouTube, offer similar relaxation.  For one thing as I once travelled regularly on the Kings Cross line it is interesting to see things from the drivers viewpoint, sight seen from the side are different when seen from the front.  As the videos are recorded at different times the scene around you changes as time passes and much of the area I once knew has long since gone.  
The trip allow my mind to wander as it does when in a train (without distractions) and the passing scene offers items to cogitate upon as we travel, it is no different on these videos.  Many topics arise as we hurtle through stations all of which appear to be called 'gentlemen' and the mind muses on the sights seen around the track as we pass through a wide variety of landscapes.  I find myself asking where this or that line curving away leads us to, I ask what are the men in orange suits supposed to be fixing on our line and will the track fail as we pass?  How come trains leaving London and heading south across the river travel over such a complex and messy area while those leaving Kings Cross appear to be in a much tidier part of the line?  The journey from Liverpool Street to Enfield Town does reveal just how filthy London can be if you allow human beings to live there.   
Even trips on the Underground across London reveal sights that while known are different when noted as we leave the tunnel and emerge into the light.  Sights and smells return even if sitting comfortably at home and memories of the stress of London life also rise to greet you as you pass from one area to another, the smiling happy passengers (sorry 'customers') bringing joy into the life around.
Naturally I have done nothing else.
I suppose I can do those things tomorrow...




Friday, 11 August 2017

Frittering Away Friday


Having spent all Wednesday in futile wait for delivery, well at least it arrived so it wasn't actually futile, I spent all day Thursday catching up on things undone.
Friday has been a day where my brain closed down altogether.
Some say no change has been noted.
I tried out my new and exciting (they say) exercise regime and indeed this made a difference.
I woke up, my brain began to work anew, my breathing was considerably deeper and my body responded by aching in all the right places and soon afterwards I fell into a deep slumber.
On waking I found nothing of interest anywhere in the world and have slowly returned to the state of sloth that I found at 07:30 hours this morning.
It's been that sort of a day.

 
I could have read some of the books piled up in various places around the house but did not have sufficient vim to concentrate on them for long.  (By 'vim' I mean 'energy' not the old scouring powder we used to use.)  There was a thought that hoovering the floor might be a good idea, that was soon pushed aside.  Instead I watched a video of a train crossing the country in the snow at a pace that my brain could follow.  

 'Borrowed' from facebook.

How relaxing train journeys can be!  I can really enjoy a trip by rail, provided it is not overcrowded.  I have endured a commuter train on occasion and this was not a pleasant experience, outside that however such travel is comfortable and relaxing.  
Out side the window we see parts of the country we often miss when travel is by car, railways offer country views as well as the rear end of industrial sights which can on occasion offer something to contemplate also.  Comparing the 'Blue Circle' Cement works (If it is still called that) to the view if the Firth of Forth that lies on the other side of the track is worth comprehending.  While cement has its uses the view of the open sea refreshes in a way a concrete bridge never shall.
Quaint country rail stations can be glimpsed often decorated with flowers by the staff.  These are becoming rarer as cost cutting now offers a bare efficient platform and a glorified bus shelter all to often.  When I used Dunfermline station (Lower, not Upper) there was a complete set of buildings on both sides.  Today while the entrance remains extant the far side platform has a bus shelter for the commuters to Edinburgh and while a view can be seen now quite clearly the absence of proper station buildings is disappointing.  I believe Dunfermline Upper is now a  supermarket or a B&Q!
Maybe I ought to get on a train tomorrow, I better check the weather.

 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Amazon UK Delivery Shambles!


I've spent the day looking through this window for the delivery from Amazon.  Using 'Amazon Logistics' whatever that is, they have my book out last night for delivery today (hooray!).  This means sending it to the local carrier at Basildon  (a hundred miles away) and then he leaves the depot just after ten in the morning to deliver.  This sounds acceptable even if the depot is clearly too far away.  The 'OPD' vans come from Chelmsford thirty minutes drive away!   Recalling my delivery experience I know he would arrive here around lunchtime so I await developments.
Now 'OPD' offer a guide on the laptop indicating what time the van will arrive and this I have found works near perfectly.  Amazon do not offer this.  The tracking on the laptop indicates he has left the depot and 'it's out for delivery.'  It gives no indication of time.
Clearly 'OPD' win hands down.
Royal Mail deliver between nine in the morning until lunchtime, though often it can be much later, and with the sorting office being in town it can be reached if I was out and had to collect. There is no chance of getting to Basildon!  



Late afternoon I go on to Twitter and bleat re non delivery from Amazon.  Short time later an answer from Amazon Help " Our couriers deliver until 21:00! Please keep us posted on the delivery! ^MT"
Deliver up till 21:00!!!!  
You expect me to wait until NINE at NIGHT for a delivery!!!???
I sent my deliver no to them and got the reply that Amazon Help do "not have access to account info on Twitter!"  Then what is the point of being on Twitter or being Amazon Help?
I made it clear that of it is not delivered by Six the door will remain closed and I will cancel the order.  I can get books from elsewhere and have them delivered on time.
Tonight I will be watching the Dundee Derby and do not expect to be taken out of my bed (where I will watch it in comfort) to answer the door to a drookit delivery man offering me a parcel in the dark.



A quick search for 'Amazon Logistics, Basildon' reveals a whole host of complaints about bad delivery, non delivery, lies re delivery and another failing company taking on more work than it can handle.  It has too few drivers, too many inexperienced men and far too big a delivery round for them to complete.  In short a shambles and it is all Amazons fault!  Incompetence at the top using a company on the cheap and not equipped or competent enough to do the job.  This ought to have been sent out on Monday (I ordered the book on Sunday) and it would have arrived today by post if Royal Mail was used.  This is a gift for another and that makes it worse.  If I realised both Amazon and Amazon Logistics (previously called APLE) were such cheapskates I would have gone into town and bought one from Waterstones!   If they insist on using this inept company I will never use them Amazon again! 

It's coming up to six O'clock and I am off to prepare for football!


Addendum!
I had just posted this and settled back to work out the grub situation when there was a knock on the door.  My knees and I struggled down while again the door was rapped yet when I got there he was off up the road again!  I called far from cheerily and he returned with my precious book. 
It was as he struggled in the rain to get his failing computerised device to register that I began to feel sorry for him.  A recent immigrant I thought, desperate for legitimate work, being used by the employer and now knowing the grumpiness of the public!  I found it difficult to abuse him however I will be reluctant to use Amazon Logistics ever again as the link on Amazon UK to complaints covers several years and clearly nothing is being done about this. 

Still now I feel relaxed, at 18:15 hours!


Monday, 7 August 2017

The Benefits of the Wireless


Now OK, I realise most folks call it a 'radio' today but I always find the word 'wireless' appearing in my head and so I might as well use it.  When young we did indeed have a 'wirelss,' a great big box with an aerial that looked like a bent birds cage which hung outside the window do obtain a good reception.  I wonder if this was obtained second hand or possibly through my aunt who worked in 'Jenners' Edinburgh's principal shop, the one where all the rich women spent much time drinking tea with their pinkie sticking out and discussing the merits of other women's lives.  My mother did not have the cash for that pleasure and merely gossipped with the neighbours.  
Anyway I recall, possibly before I began school, a large 'Radiogram' appearing in the corner.  This vast cupboard had a lid which when lifted exposed the large dial for the wireless on one side and a record layer (ten '45's at one go!) on the other.  This my elder brother and sisters much enjoyed though I also took happily to their choice of 'Rock & Roll.'  
On the large dial, over a foot in length and several inches wide, there was a list of foreign places from far away.  I cannot mind now but I suppose both Long, Short and Medium wave were available on their however if we listened to the radio we most probably only had three stations at that time, the BBC 'Home Service, the BBC 'Light' programme and Radio Luxembourg which in those days played music young people wished to listen to, the BBC remained rather stuffy until the pirate radio ships gave them a shove in the 60's.  I spent many a Sunday afternoon with my head up against the speaker listening to the 'Billy Cotton Band Show,' 'The Goons' with their 'pictures in the mind' and other comedy shows that abounded in the afternoons.  During the week the 'Tony Hancock Show' brought in an audience of 25 million!  This of course before TV was common and then did similar when transferred to the telly later on.  Those days have long gone and even the dreadful 'soaps' only get 13 million by adding the two showing of the programmes together.


The Internet has been a blessing regarding listening to the wireless as the BBC iplayer allows me to catch programmes I usually miss and indeed many of those programmes once hear while munching mums salad rolls on Summer Sunday afternoons.   Now we possess the updated (though the names do need updating once again) Radio's 1,2,3,4, plus 5Live, the rather juvenile station, plus the World Service once the best of them all now dumbed down and as PC as the rest of the BBC and Radio 4 Extra, a station that plays old programmes, mostly sad to say dramas, stories and pap.  However via the iplayer I can catch some wonderful programmes and today I have been working my way through the Radio 3 excellent 'Essay' series.  In particular I have been enjoying some of the 'Free Thinking' programmes, I listened to the 15 minute ones where one person spouted their opinion on a topic (many wide and varied) and dis so in an intelligent and thoughtful manner.  I did not always agree, some were spectacularly wrong, but I had to listen and wanted to hear more.  There are so many talk shows on Radio 4 that are decidedly middle calls and usually aimed at women with problems that when you hear grown up women talk on Radio 3 you wonder if it is not time for a change in the programming layout somewhere.  Maybe the Radio 3 audience is more open to reason?


I must confess that I have had a fill of thinking talk for a while and may well retire to the West Wing and place my dull ear to the speaker again and listen out for something that either takes me out from this box or makes me laugh, I don't as yet now which.  Either way it will be better for me that glueing my face to the box in the corner where 50 channels, when they work, offer me little of value.  Once again there I must reach for the TV iplayer and seek something worthy.  


Friday, 4 August 2017

Memory Loss


I wandered around the gardens this afternoon attempting to lose the stiffness caused by my intense exercise session this morning.  At least ten minutes is intense enough for me!  Having got there my memory failed me as I forgot the kids were out and about with mum making use of the gardens to fill in the time.  


With most of the flowers now fading away and a few new ones appearing it showed the garden staff were thinking about what was being planted and making a good effort to provide variety and colour all the time.  
As I wandered and took a picture here, a picture there, knowing when I got home I could either attempt to improve them or delete them as required I also considered appropriate words to go with them.  On realisation that the sun was beginning to hide itself once again I took a wander round the town, stopped off at Tesco and trudged my way home. 


It was while watching the first half of the Sunderland v Derby game that I realised that all the fine words I came up with earlier had been forgotten.  I had also forgotten to attempt to post them as stuffing my fat face took priority.  Now, with the score standing at 1-1, I am straining to finish this before the game restarts, and have failed.  Had I written this earlier it would have made some sense, or so I say anyway.




Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Nothing Happened Again Today.


Trapped indoors by the rain that has fallen continually since late this morning I can tell you truthfully nothing has happened.  Wullie the wood pigeon sits on the aerial also enduring the rain and does not look too happy about it.  Surely he is old enough to know this is 'summer' and this is how 'summer' is every year.  Nothing on the news today as politicians are either on holiday sunning themselves in foreign climes or on 'fact finding trips' at the public's expense.  I wonder if any 'fact' they find comes to fruition somewhere in the nation?  
Some consider Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, retiring from his duties worthy of comment.  To me the benefit scroungers of the royal family possibly all ought to retire or find themselves something useful to do all day.  At least this man, born on a kitchen table to a deaf and dumb mother somewhere in Greece, did at least keep up a good record of the 'public duties' he undertook.  He opened events, named railway engines and paraded around factories asking all the right questions and feigning interest as he ought.  The fact that he called Chinese folks 'slitty eyed' and questioned Scots workers drinking abilities at work is of course not relevant.  He often said what others wished to say and we must respect a man who endured many a 'Variety Command Performance' without once producing a shotgun and ending all of the tat that appeared on stage to the benefit of all of us.
Some women are heard grumbling about the changes to their pension and whine about the struggle they endure.  They appear in the paper, they are on TV and radio constantly grumbling that they are losing out.  I note none of them grumbled about men working until 65 while women retired at 60!  This went on from the early 50's until recently and not one objection was made then, possibly this was neither 'sexist' or did not upset 'equality' not that men ever get any of that.

 
Searching the cupboards I think I have found something that might help us cope with the kids and mums at the museum.  Either make use of it early and smile your way through the day or wait until home and then indulge for a while as the cares and bruises of the day slink away into the past.  However after six weeks of this I suspect some folks might become addicted so possibly this is not really a long term answer after all.  I might try it later and see if it works.


So the Heart of Midlothian reach another historic moment.  The departing Ian Cathro brought a breath of fresh air to the stilted Scots football world, received abuse from jealous failures and in the end failed to get his message across and obtain the results his style deserved.  Either he or the players failed, it is difficult to know which.  We now await the new man, whoever he is, and hopefully he will be attack minded and capable of leading from the front.  We await with trembling nerves.


Monday, 31 July 2017

Passchendaele





Passchendaele

‘The Battle of Passchendaele’ was the last battle of the 
1917 battle knownmore correctly as 
‘The Third Battle of Ypres.’

To stem the German advance during 1914 the British army held a salient around the Belgian town of Ypres with dogged determination in the knowledge that losing the town would allow the German army to capture the ports of Dunkirk and Calais and possibly put Britain out of the war.  Such British determination during the ‘First Battle of Ypres’ cost the Germans dear with over a hundred and fifty thousand casualties.  The ‘Second Battle of Ypres’ during April and May 1915 in which the Germans advanced making the first use of Chlorine Gas also failed costing the Germans also large numbers of casualties.  The British however were left defending a salient in which the ridges of higher ground to the south and east were held by the German army allowing the enemy to observe all movements in the salient and pour artillery and machine gun fire into the occupied area thus making movement during the day impossible and life hazardous.
During 1915 the then Commander in Chief of the British forces Sir John French had wished to mount an operation in the Ypres area but was dissuaded by the war cabinet in London who were in admiration of the French generals and ordered instead to follow the French lead and attack at Loos.  This London order led to the loss of many casualties yet led to Sir John French being replaced by General Sir Douglas Haig.  Haig also wished to fight at Ypres during the 1916 offensive but was again instructed by London to follow the French lead and fight at the unsuitable Somme area.  By 1917, with Admiral John Fisher despairing due to the success of the German ‘U-boat’ fleet in sinking merchant vessels Haig reintroduced the idea of fighting at Ypres to free the Belgian coast and reach the submarine pens at Ostend.  This required victory over the higher ground around Ypres, reaching the railway at Roulers and disrupting the German supply system, so the ‘Third Battle of Ypres’ was launched.    
The Battle of Messines fought by General Plumer’s Second Army between the 7th and 14th of June had been an outstanding success but the momentum was lost due to the logistical difficulties in transferring artillery and preparing men before the main attack of the battle at Pilkem Ridge began on July 31st.

The higher ridges to the east of Ypres had to be taken individually.  Normal weather patterns may well have enabled a success in a battle lasting only a few weeks however the unusually heavy rainfall in August plus determined defending by the German forces made movement for both sides almost impossible.  Fighting had been continuous in the salient since 1914 yet rainfall such as this was unprecedented.
Both General Gough’s Fifth Army and General Plumer’s Second Army participated in the opening day of the battle for ‘Pilkem Ridge’ on the 31st July, the rain began the same day. The vast array of British artillery, over 3000 guns, now available for the British was unleashed to devastating effect firing over four million shells breaking German defences but also the drainage systems that lay throughout the area leaving water filled shell holes.
A series of difficult battles followed ‘Pilkem’ at ‘Gheluvelt’ plateau and ‘Langemark’ as the British Empire forces slowly struggled forward.  General Plumer’s 2nd Army used a ‘Bite and Hold’ approach at the ‘Menin Road,’ ‘Polygon Wood’ and ‘Broodseinde’ to slowly make their way towards the final ridge on which the remains of ‘Passchendaele’ itself littered the ground. 
The advance entailed a struggle with conditions more than with the enemy.  Both armies became bogged down in the morass with untended wounded men lying in shell holes filling with dirty rainwater, with no-one able to aid they slipped under the rising tide.  Exhausted men struggled to move artillery in the mud, railway sleepers laid to form roadways through the theatre were constantly under fire from an observant enemy making passage difficult.  Weary men fell from these wooden pathways into the mire and equally weary men had not the strength to retrieve them, walking wounded stumbled for miles over the wet ground to the casualty clearing stations more dead than alive.  Medical teams in muddy conditions carried out operations hour after hour all the time with the danger of loose shells arriving beside them.  Men remained under constant fire from artillery, mustard gas, machine gun and rifle bullets, sometimes from their own side.  When the rain cleared there were few days when the sun was noticed and never enough to affect the ground.  The foolhardy use of tanks, against advice, saw them slither into the mud where they say some might still remain. 
Passchendaele itself was taken by General Plumer’s Canadians on the 6th of November slithering over the slope and into the ruins of the church atop the ridge.  This over three months after the battle began.  Success had been achieved yet both sides suffered, the British well over 300,000 casualties, the Germans possibly around 250,000, on both sides morale reached a new low, and exhaustion was the order of the day.  This battle rightly or wrongly came to represent how Britain saw the entire war.
It is thought that both General Gough and the well respected General Plumer wished the battle to be brought to an end as both knew well the conditions the troops endured but army generals do not carry the responsibilities of Commander in Chiefs and Field Marshall Haig had wider fears to contend with.  Not only had Admiral Fisher revealed his worries re the German submarine attacks but Haig was well aware the French army had mutinied.  The General Nivelle offensive had failed at great cost and the French army, badly paid, badly fed and once again suffering great loss saw morale break down completely and in many areas whole Brigades refused orders.  In Haig’s mind the weakened French could not be trusted to defend if the Germans attacked, also with the Russians leaving the war this allowed Ludendorff the German army commander the opportunity to transfer a million men to the western front, some of whom arrived at the end of this battle, to Haig this meant capturing the high ground was vital.

Historians will forever debate the rights and wrongs of his decisions, none of these have ever had to make such a decision knowing that the lives of his men depended on his conclusion.  Haig was not an uncaring brute disinterested in his men as some claim, nor was he infused with a sense of sacrifice he was however a soldier who obeyed the order to fight the enemy and accepted his responsibilities whatever the cost.
Some 750,000 Scots, Welsh and Irishmen died during the Great War and the responsibility for this was laid on Haig and the generals by Lloyd George in his memoirs, memoirs which appeared after Haig and the generals had died and were unable to answer.  This was to avoid blame being laid on   Lloyd George’s shoulders, he after all was merely the Director of Munitions, a member of the war cabinet and from late 1916 Prime Minister!  He also encouraged the Gallipoli campaign which failed spectacularly!  Had the Field Marshall lived to answer his critics and had as many friends in the press as Lloyd George we may well have had a different view of the burden he carried during these years and a clearer understanding of reasons for the ‘Third Battle of Ypres,’ the battle better known as Passchendaele!





Men named on the Braintree and Bocking Great War Memorial 
who died during the Third Battle of Ypres.

July 31st

The first day of the Battle of Pilkem Ridge, the beginning of the 'Passchendaele' battle.



Amos W.G. Private William George Amos. 269512. 'B' Coy. 1st Bat. Hertfordshire Regiment. 118th Bde, 39th Div. Died 31st July 1917 age 24. Track X Cemetery. Ypres. Son of Charles William & Louisa Amos, 13 Coronation Avenue, Braintree. 

Kellick T. Shoeing Smith Corporal T KELLICK 75909. 8th Div. Ammunition Col., Royal Field Artillery. Died age 22 on 31 July 1917. BRANDHOEK NEW MILITARY CEMETERY. 31st July 17. Brother of Julia Holmes, of Rose Cottages, Coggeshall Rd., Braintree.

Rix A.C. Private Arthur Charles RIX 225291. 1st Bn. London Regt. (Royal Fusiliers) 167th Bgde, (56th Division) Died on 31 July 1917. Reburied in Hooge 2nd May 1919 after being identified by his disc. HOOGE CRATER CEMETERY. Ypres. 1891 father Charles a Baker, mother Anna living New Street. Elder sister Winifred one year older.




AUGUST

Cooper. G. Rifleman George Cooper 41213. 10th Battalion. Royal Irish Rifles. 107th Brigade. 36th (Ulster) Division. Died 5th Aug 1917. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. Battle of Langemark. Son of Joseph Cooper, 57 South Street, Braintree.



Benham F.J. Rifleman Frederick James Benham 41282. 10th Batt. Royal Irish Rifles. (formerly 31899 Essex Reg) Died 6th Aug 1917, age 34. Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Killed by German shell. Father William a butcher in Bradford Street (Benham & Sons).



Beresford. F. Private Frank Beresford. 43515. 10th Batt. Essex Regiment. 53rd Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. Died 11th August 1917. Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, Ypres.  Died of wounds. Born Bethnal Green, son of a silk weaver and worked at Warners.



Edwards W.H. Private William Henry 60358. 11th Batt. Royal Fusiliers. 54th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. Died 10th Aug 1917. Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Wife Elsie Beatrice (nee Cooper) Edwards. A groom at the White Hart before enlisting, married at Black Notley Church 3rd Oct 1912.



Archer E.C. Driver Edward Charles Archer L/4883. 'C' Battery. 153rd Brigade Royal Field Artillery.  Died 12th August 1917. Age 33. Born Surbiton, son of Thomas & Lucy Archer, of Bocking, Essex. Husband of Rose Ellen Archer, of Staines Road, Sunbury, Middx. Butchers assistant by profession. Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial



Newman E. L/Corporal Ernest Newman G/29708, 16th Battalion. Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment.  Died 19th August 1917, age 35. Tyne Cot Memorial. A boarder at Bradford Street, Bocking. He was single and working as a Miller.

Wise W.W. Lance Corporal WILLIAM WALTER WISE. G/42790. 16th Bn., Middlesex Regiment. (Public Schools) XIV Corps. 86th Bde. 29th Division. ex 8th East Surrey Regiment. Died age 18 on 19 August 1917.

TYNE COT MEMORIAL. Ypres. Son of Walter and Laura Wise, of Green Lane, Bocking, Essex.



SEPTEMBER

Shelley T.R. Private Thomas Shelley 26238. 3rd Bn. Grenadier Guards. 2nd Guards Brigade. Guards Division. Died 19th Sept 1917. TYNE COT MEMORIAL. Family living in Coggeshall Road, Bocking.



Pickering F.W. Second Lieutenant Frank W. Pickering, 287th Siege Bty. Royal garrison Artillery. Died 20th Sept 1917. Pojitze Chateau Lawn Cemetery. Ypres. Prior to war worked as chemist at Crittalls Manufacturing Co, and was a patrol leader with the Braintree Boy Scouts.



Sargent H.W. Private HERBERT WALTER SARGENT G-24038. 7th Bn. The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 55th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. 5th Army (Gough). Died age 37 on 30 September 1917. NINE ELMS BRITISH CEMETERY. Third Ypres.  Husband of Mrs. Lily Rosina Sargent (nee Handley), of 66, Coggeshall Road, Braintree.



OCTOBER

Butcher. F. Driver Frederick Butcher 55727.28th Bty. 124th Bde. Royal Field Artillery. Died 9th Oct 1917. Age 25. Born Braintree. Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le-Treport.  Worked horse pre-war at Straits Mill Farm, Bocking. "He was winner of regimental cup for best team of horses" Cup awarded for driving the gun team he had at Mons through three years of war without accident. Hit by shell and died of wounds.



Fuller. F.H. Rifleman FREDERICK HAROLD FULLER. S/28579, "A" Coy. 7th Bn., Rifle Brigade. (The Prince Consorts Own) 41st Brigade. 14th(Light) Division. XV Corps. (Formerly R/24061, K.R.R.C.) Died age 19 on 15th October 1917.  TYNE COT MEMORIAL. Son of Frederick James and Annie Fuller, of "Alwyne," Coggeshall Rd. Braintree.

Sibley F. Private Frederick Sibley 46615. 11th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment. (Midland Pioneers) Attd. 6th Division as Pioneers. Formerly 213958, Royal Engineers. Died 15th Oct 1917. Braintree. MENIN ROAD SOUTH MILITARY CEMETERY. Ypres. Married Gladys Radley in 1913 and worked at Hope Laundry, Rayne Road.



Turpin F. Private Frank Turpin 10118 (?) 1st Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment. 91st Bde. 7th Division. Died 22nd Oct 1917. Rayne. ST SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN. Father & Eldest brother were Blacksmiths, and Frank an Iron Fitter.



Andrews, Horace Clive, G/68253. Private Royal Fusiliers posted to 2nd/4th Bn. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). 173rd Brigade, (58th Div). (XVIII Corps). Date of Death: 26/10/1917. CEMENT HOUSE CEMETERY. Passchendaele. Killed during advance either by bullet or shrapnel while with two others.  Lance Corporal checked him and then continued forwards.  The three wounded men remained in water filled shell holes.  Mud knee deep and walking difficult. Body recovered September 1919

Butler S.A. L/Corporal Sebastian Alfred Butler 295156. 2/4th London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) Died 26th Oct 1917. Tyne Cot Memorial. Married Maud Elizabeth Rayner of Bocking at St Mary's Church, Bocking.

Townsend E.S. Private Ernest Sydney Townsend 67769. Posted to 2nd/4th Bn. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). 173rd Bde. 58th (2/1st London) Div. Died 26 Oct 1917. TYNE COT MEMORIAL. Born White Notley, moved to Braintree where his father, now a widower, was horseman on farm. Attended Old High School.



NOVEMBER

Jings, no-one!



Battle ended when Canadian troops took the Passchendaele Ridge on 
November 6th and consolidated the ridge by the 10th.