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Friday, 28 October 2016

A pile of sketchbooks

This week we have a post from Steve Shannon.
Watercolour illustration, by Robert Mauchlen, of animal transport lines in open countryside [in France], [1917] (D/DLI 7/920/11(3))
D/DLI 7/920/11(3) Watercolour illustration, by Robert Mauchlen, of animal transport lines in open countryside [in France], captioned Transport, n.d. [1917]
People often arrived at the reception desk at the DLI Museum carrying bags or small boxes of family treasures that they wished to donate. Amongst the most memorable were two bags brought in one morning by an elderly lady, who had, some fifteen years before, generously donated her father’s Military Cross and First World War campaign medals. 

She explained that whilst preparing to move to a smaller house, she had found some items belonging to her late father and asked if the museum would be interested. She then emptied the contents of the two carrier bags on to the table.

Would the museum be interested?
Watercolour illustration caricature, by Robert Mauchlen, of an officer, n.d. [1917] (D/DLI 7'920/11(15))
D/DLI 7'920/11(15) Watercolour illustration caricature, by Robert Mauchlen, of an officer, captioned T.O. [Transport Officer], n.d. [1917]
On the table were her father’s sketchbooks with pencil and coloured sketches drawn in the trenches and behind the front line. I turned over the pages and discovered ‘The Colonel’ – Roland Bradford – asleep in a deck chair; soldiers drinking rum; the interiors of dug outs; studies of French civilians; and views of ruined buildings and shattered landscapes. There were also vivid coloured sketches of British soldiers sheltering from the rain in a ruined trench; of a frightened German soldier being taken prisoner; and of infantry attacking the infamous Butte de Warlencourt.

Would the museum be interested? 
Colour pencil sketch, by Robert Mauchlen, of soldiers gathered around a table in a courtyard, n.d. [1915] (D/DLI 7/920/8(20))
D/DLI 7/920/8(20) Colour pencil sketch, by Robert Mauchlen, of soldiers gathered around a table in a courtyard, captioned Signallers at HQ, n.d. [1915] 
Robert Mauchlen’s sketchbooks were one of the most significant donations of Great War material to the museum in my time there. I used his sketches in the museum’s new display, opened in 2000, and in a Somme exhibition in 2006; Harry Moses used them in his book The Gateshead Gurkhas; and they featured in the University of Durham’s major Somme exhibition of this year. And, no doubt, his sketches will be used over and over again whenever more than just photographs are needed to illustrate the First World War.
Captain Robert Mauchlen, photo from the DLI Collection
Born in Newcastle in 1885, Robert Mauchlen was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 9th Battalion DLI in October 1914 and served with that battalion until late 1916. On 1 October 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, he was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery in an attack near Eaucourt L'Abbaye under very heavy fire. It was in this action that his Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Roland Bradford, gained his Victoria Cross. 

For the rest of the war, Robert Mauchlen was at the Army’s Lewis Gun School. When the 9th Battalion reformed in 1920, Major Mauchlen rejoined, before finally retiring in 1924. 

Robert Mauchlen was an architect in civilian life and much of his work, especially in Northumberland, still survives. He also designed the War Memorial lychgate at St Cuthbert’s Church in Bellingham. 

Whilst serving with 9 DLI, Robert Mauchlen designed in 1916 two wooden memorial crosses. The first, originally erected in High Wood, is now in the DLI Collection. The second, originally on the summit of the Butte de Warlencourt, is now in the DLI’s Regimental Chapel in Durham Cathedral.

Robert Mauchlen died in 1972. His son, Douglas, died in North Africa serving with the RAF. He was 20 years old.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Five Durham cycling pals pay a visit of remembrance to the Somme and Ypres (Part Two)

This week we have the final part of David D's account of his cycling tour of France and Flanders.

Day two of our trip began with every indication that it was going to be a clear, warm and still day which would be perfect for cycling. We set off after breakfast to ride the kilometre or so into the centre of Ypres to visit the Menin Gate Memorial. We found our first experience of riding in an urban area to be a very positive one, with dedicated cycle lanes along roads where space allowed, and light controlled crossings at busy intersections. In the town centre I was glad to see it was permitted to cycle either way along the one way streets, as some of our party are prone to do this even where it isn't permitted!

The Menin Gate proved to be an impressive monument to the fallen. It was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. We learnt it bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. One of the names is that of John Henderson, a coal miner from Shield Row, Stanley. He enlisted in the Yorkshire Hussars in 1916 and served as Private 39174. He died somewhere in Flanders on 7 June 1917 at the age of 24. We planned to return to the Menin Gate for the evening service at 8pm, and as we had been warned that it would be very busy after the service, we booked a table in a restaurant in the square next to the Cloth Market.

We saddled up and left town eastwards on the Zonnebeekseweg (N332), connecting Ypres to Zonnebeke. We soon came to the Ypres Town Cemetery Extension on the right hand side of the road. There are 604 Commonwealth casualties buried or commemorated in the extension, 141 of the burials are unidentified. We had researched one of the known casualties as it seemed appropriate to honour a member of the Army Cyclist Corps on our trip. We chose Cecil Christopher Iley, a draper and gentlemen's outfitter from Gateshead, who served as Private 20982 in VII Corps Cyclist Battalion. He disembarked in Boulogne, France in May 1917 and was posted to his battalion in June. Cyclists were employed in combat but during trench warfare were found to be generally ineffective. However, when the deadlock of the trenches was overcome in 1918 cyclists proved invaluable in a reconnaissance and messenger role. Cecil died in action on 29 September 1918.

We continued our journey and for the first and only time the cycling became a bit fraught as we rode along a short but busy narrow road with cars parked on both sides. At times the space the overtaking cars left was less than desirable so we were glad to come to a dedicated cycle route going our way. 

I'm sure banter played an important role for the troops just as it does for our band of cyclists. I happened to confuse my words when reading the map and instead of saying either cycle track or bicycle way I came out with "bicleway". Needless to say the other four in our group found the opportunity to drop that new word into conversation at every possible opportunity, and I fear will now do so well into the future.
At the village of Zonnebeke we turned off the main road onto quiet country lanes which we followed to the Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial. This was the busiest site we visited on our entire trip which we noticed immediately when we saw the parked coaches, minibuses, and cars, as we put our bikes into racks. However, even though it was busy, the atmosphere was perfectly respectful as befits the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in the world. We learnt the Tyne Cot Cemetery has 11,961 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated with 8373 of the burials unidentified. The adjacent memorial commemorates a staggering 34,887 soldiers from the United Kingdom and New Zealand who died in the Ypres Salient after 16 August 1917 and whose graves are not known. One thing we found especially poignant was that as you walk along the path to the visitor centre, a quiet female voice calls out a name every few seconds on a continuous speaker system. Each of the names is for one of the soldiers commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing.

We visited the grave of Private 3283 Henry Mather of the Royal Marines Medical Unit who had a direct family connection to one of our group. He was a coal miner living in Craghead when he joined up at the age of 29. As a member of 149th Field Ambulance he would have been in the thick of things, and he was killed in action on 26 October 1917. He was originally buried on the battlefield with a cross bearing his name and service details. Mather's body was exhumed after the Armistice, identified by means of the cross and a disc he was wearing, and reburied with full military honours in Tyne Cot Cemetery, next to another member of his Field Ambulance unit who died in the same action.

The cyclists at Tyne Cot Cemetery (photo David D)
The cyclists at Tyne Cot Cemetery (photo David D)
In researching Henry's details before our trip, we learned that he was one member of a group from the Craghead Division of the St John's Ambulance Corps who joined up at around the same time. Miners trained in first aid were highly valued by the Field Ambulances for both their medical knowledge, their experience of dangerous situations, and their strength to be able to carry wounded men over broken terrain. We were amazed to find that within our small party we had links to two other Craghead members. One was a great uncle who served and died of illness in Gallipoli, and another was a grandfather who applied to return to coal mining duties at his colliery manager's request, and who survived the war. Henry was one of five Craghead St John's Ambulance men who died in the war. We paused for a while to consider their sacrifice.

Leaving Tyne Cot we headed along Schipstraat,  and as we noted elsewhere on our rides, we found that one of the major benefits of cycling the routes is that you notice the slight rises in the ground that must have been so important during the war. The land we crossed was so generally flat that every piece of higher ground took on enormous significance. At the first crossroads we came to was the New Zealand Memorial, a white obelisk with the following dedication "This monument marks the site of Gravenstafel which on October the 4th 1917 was captured by the New Zealand Division as part of the general advance towards Passchendaele".

We continued ahead to Vancouver Corner and the St Julien Canadian Memorial. Known as “The Brooding Soldier”, this immense sculpture commemorates the Canadian 1st Division in action in April 1915. The Canadian division held its position after the German Army launched the first ever large-scale gas attack. Over a few days the Canadians were involved in heavy fighting, with some 2000 killed, wounded or missing. Today, on a beautiful early afternoon, the soldier looked down on a group of visiting schoolchildren having their lunch on the grass.
St Julien Canadian Memorial (photo David D)
St Julien Canadian Memorial (photo David D)
Throughout our second day's ride we could see the spires of Ypres in the distance and we now prepared to loop back on ourselves to complete our circuit. We made one final stop at New Irish Farm Cemetery where there are 4719 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated. One of them is William Coxon, a house painter from Stanley. who served as Private 2694 in the 8th Battalion DLI, and lost his life on the 2 March 1916 at the age of 26.

We passed under the N38 on an underpass and made our way back to our hotel. After freshening up we made our way down to Ypres town centre and settled down for refreshments outside a cafe in the town square. At about 7pm we heard stirring music and saw a band lead a party to the front of the Cloth Market. We later found out this was the visiting Ardrossan Winton Flute Band who we followed to the Menin Gate in time for the moving service of remembrance which was held there at 8pm. This simple service, which is held every day, was an eloquent tribute witnessed by a large crowd which immaculately respected the request to observe the service with quiet dignity.

When the service finished we took a meal at our leisure when we tried the Belgian national dishes of moules, or mussels, cooked with onions and celery, and carbonade flamande - a Belgian beef stew - similar to the French beef bourguignon, but made with beer instead of red wine. We finished our trip by trying some Belgian beers in a very unusual, but welcoming, bar called De 12 Apostels that was crammed with religious pictures and statues, and reflected on our trip.
The cyclists enjoying a beer (or few) (photo David D)
The cyclists enjoying a beer (or few) (photo David D)
We found that cycling between sites is an excellent way of appreciating the lie of the land that was so important in the various phases of the battles. Cycling meant we could get to some quieter sites off the beaten track. The local people and tourists we met were almost unfailingly friendly, courteous and interested to hear what we were doing. The Commonwealth War Grave sites are immaculately kept and truly honour the soldiers buried and commemorated there. The distances we cycled were less than we usually cycle on our rides but there was so much to see it would have been wrong to go further and spend less time at the various sites. Belgian beer is a lot stronger than British beer and needs to be treated with respect. Bicleway is quite a good word!

When we arrived home we saw in the local press that a Durham Pals bench that was a partner to the bench we saw at Thiepval had been unveiled on the Racecourse in Durham. We will cycle there to remember the Durham Pals, our relatives who served, soldiers from our home town of Stanley and all who served and were lost in the war - we will remember them.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Five Durham cycling pals pay a visit of remembrance to the Somme and Ypres (Part One)

This week we have the first of two blogs by Durham at War volunteer David D, giving an account of his cycling tour of remembrance.

On Wednesday 21 September 2016 our small group of five cycling friends set off from Stanley to travel to Hull to catch a ferry to Zeebrugge. Our plan on arriving in Belgium was to drive to the Somme to carry out a circular tour of some of the key First World War memorials before driving to Ypres for a further tour of sites in Flanders. Two of our party have ancestors from three generations ago buried in France and Flanders who we planned to honour. It also seemed appropriate as a group of friends from County Durham to pay remembrance to the Durham Pals and other members of the Durham Light Infantry (DLI). We had also identified men in other regiments who had travelled to war from our home town of Stanley to pay our respects to.

Our journey to the Somme was more direct than that made by the 18th Battalion of the DLI which was raised in Durham on 10 September 1914 as a Pals battalion. After action at home at Heugh Battery, Hartlepool when a German naval taskforce bombarded the town in December 1914 the 18th DLI set sail for Egypt in December 1915 to defend the Suez Canal. The 31st Division, of which they were a part, transferred to France via Marseilles in March 1916 in preparation for the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. They took over the front line opposite the village of Serre, the northern most point of the Somme line. By contrast we had a two and a half hour drive in a comfortable minibus, were on the ferry by 5pm and enjoyed a convivial meal before turning in for the night.

The ferry docked just after 8am and within an hour we were on our way to the starting point for our first ride. As we crossed the border into France we began to see signs to memorials that became increasingly frequent. By mid-morning we had pulled into Thiepval and set off on foot to visit the famous Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. We already knew that it bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme and have no known grave, but we all felt that actually seeing the memorial truly emphasises the scale of this loss.

Our research had picked out two Stanley men to bring the scale of the numbers of missing down to a more understandable human level. Second Lieutenant Cuthbert Green of the 2nd Battalion DLI was a student for the civil service when war broke out. He was the son of the Registrar of Births and Deaths in Stanley. He was reported missing presumed dead on the 15 October 1916 at the age of 23. Harry Falgate, a coal miner from South Moor, joined the 19th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers shortly after his 18th birthday. He served as Private 19/1467 landing in France on 29 January 1916. He was killed in action on 11 July 1916 at the age of 19.

After locating these names on the piers and faces of the memorial and a subdued walk among the 300 British and Commonwealth and 300 French graves at the foot of the memorial our group made its way back to the visitor centre. Between the memorial and the entrance we paused at the bench commemorating the Durham Pals that had been unveiled 3 days earlier on 19 September. This bench faces the now beautiful and peaceful landscape towards Pozières and Mouquet Farm, and is a tranquil spot for a time of quiet reflection on their sacrifice.
Four of the five cycling pals at the Durham Pals memorial bench (photo David D)
Four of the five cycling pals at the Durham Pals memorial bench (photo David D)
After a brief visit to the visitor centre we saddled up our bikes in beautiful sunny weather and set off. Our first stop came almost immediately at Connaught Cemetery on the Thiepval-Hamel road (D73). Here we learned there were 1268 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in the cemetery. Almost directly opposite, about 500m up a rough track, we saw the Mill Road Cemetery where 1304 Commonwealth servicemen are buried or commemorated. This is where we realised that it would be impossible to visit every site in the locality in the time available to us. We made our way the short distance to the imposing Ulster Memorial which stands 70 feet tall and is a tribute to the men of Ulster who gave their lives during the First World War. Here we stopped for a quick lunch to the sound of accents from Northern Ireland from the staff and visitors.

Suitably refreshed, we set off towards the village of Pozières which during the war was at the centre of the British sector of the Somme. Our next stop was at the entrance to Mouquet Farm which we learned from information boards was known as "Mucky Farm" to British troops and "Moo Cow Farm" to Australian troops. Heavily fortified by the Germans, it was of strategic importance as it commanded high ground with views over the Allied trenches. It was the site of fierce attacks and counter attacks between July-September 1916.

The Australians were major participants in the Battle for Mouquet Farm as they were in other areas in and around Pozières. This explains the First Australian Division Memorial at our next stop. Here we learned that the fighting in this small area was at a huge cost to the Australians and that in six weeks of fighting they suffered 23,000 casualties which was almost as many as in eight months at Gallipoli. The excellent information panels also informed us that Australia provided the greatest military contribution of all the British dominions supplying 331,000 volunteers out of a population of less than five million. At this memorial a raised viewing platform gave us clear views across the Somme battlefields. Nearby there were also the remains of a large German bunker which was known as Gibraltar.

We rode through Pozières on the D929 and after about 1.5km came to the Tank Memorial at the foot of a radio mast with satellite dishes that had been a useful guidepost to us throughout our ride so far. This spot is close to where tanks first went into action against the Germans on 15 September 1916. Almost directly opposite we saw the grassed over remains of the German reinforced position know as the Windmill which was the scene of bitter fighting and is now a preserved battlefield site.

From Pozières we took the D73 road towards Bazentin and almost immediately after turning on to this road saw a memorial to Lieutenant George Sainton Kaye Butterworth MC the famous musician and composer of 13th Battalion DLI. It informed us that he died in sight of this spot on 5 August 1916 aged 31. We continued along this road which became increasingly quiet and rural and we began to see shells left by farmers at the edges of fields after they surfaced through ploughing. 
Shell left at the side of the road (photo David D)
Shell left at the side of the road (photo David D)
Before long we came to Flat Iron Copse Cemetery. We were the only visitors to this cemetery at the time of our visit and it was immensely peaceful with no passing traffic. Flat Iron Copse was the name given by the British Army to a small plantation a little to the east of Mametz Wood. When it was captured on 14 July 1916 an advanced dressing station was established at the copse and a cemetery was begun later that month. It remained in use until April 1917 and after the Armistice more than a thousand graves were brought in from the neighbouring battlefields and from smaller cemeteries. There are now 1572 buried or commemorated here. One of them is Private 17308 John George Donkin then serving with 15th Battalion DLI. He was an iron foundry labourer from Hartlepool who died on 17 July 1916 aged 25.

Continuing on our way the road turned in to a dirt track until we reached the Welsh Memorial which is a striking sculpture of a red dragon holding barbed wire in its claws. It honours the Welsh Division who attacked Mametz Wood several times losing over 4000 men before finally clearing the German resistance. Poignantly we noticed several Welsh flags and other tokens to lost men attached to trees in the wood across the fields in front of the memorial. Passing through the village of Mametz we made our way to Fricourt and visited the second largest German Military Cemetery on the Somme with 17,072 graves.

We continued on the D147 to La Boiselle where we turned off to the Lochnagar Crater which is described as follows in the words of the owner . "The largest crater ever made by man in anger is now a unique memorial to all those who suffered in the Great War. It is dedicated to peace, fellowship and reconciliation between all nations who fought on the Western Front." A very helpful volunteer gave us some of the facts about the crater and the role it played in the Battle of the Somme and the work that volunteers do to keep vegetation at bay and fight erosion. He also helpfully gave us directions to Ovillers our final destination of the day on our way back to Thiepval.

We wanted to visit Ovillers Military Cemetery because amongst the 3440 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in the cemetery was the great grandfather of one of our group. This was Joseph Thomas Fenwick, a pit deputy from Greencroft, who served as Private 22/371 in the 3rd Tyneside Scottish (22nd Service Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers). He died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme at the age of 36. Because we shared this connection and it was our last stop of the day were shared a dram from a hip flask with him and reflected on the generations of his family that he didn't get to see.
Gravestone of Private Joseph Fenwick (photo David D)
Gravestone of Private Joseph Fenwick (photo David D)
Taking our leave all we had to do was to make our way back to Thiepval, and as seems to happen on every bike ride we do, the last couple of miles were up the steepest hill of the day! However because of the visibility of the Thiepval Memorial we were able to plan a shortcut and avoid the main route which went downhill before turning back up hill. We crossed a field on a rough farm track and went through a small plantation before emerging on the road in front of the memorial. We acknowledged the Durham Pals bench again as we passed knowing more about their role and the terrain they fought in than when we set off. Returning to our vehicle we loaded up our bikes to drive to Ypres and our accommodation for the night.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Echoes of Loos

This week we have a blog post by our Record Office colleague Gabriel.

Earlier this year Durham County Record Office was contacted by a member of Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (TWSMRT), who, together with two other team members, takes part in surveying and excavating First World War trenches near Loos in France.

Together with members of the Durand Group that specializes in surveying and investigating First World War underground installations, they made several very interesting discoveries last year. They found various artefacts including rusty explosives and degraded black powder, various items used by soldiers during the digging and military operations underground, and several examples of graffiti pencilled on tunnel walls including names, service numbers and regiments. Even remains of the soldiers themselves have been found and efforts were made to identify them to find their living descendants, so they could take part in full honours burials. To find out more about the Durand Group and other projects they are involved in, please visit the association’s website: www.durandgroup.org.uk

We were given three images of graffiti on tunnel walls showing the names and service numbers of three soldiers from the Durham Light Infantry in the hope that we can find more about them and their families, which might lead to finding living relatives. This is what we started with:
Graffiti at Loos with kind permission of members of TWSMRT
Photographs with kind permission of members of TWSMRT
As the Record Office holds the Durham Light Infantry’s regimental collection, Durham at War (www.durhamatwar.org.uk) volunteers were able to establish some facts about their military service and interesting intelligence reports from actions on the front line, as found in the war diaries. Also, census records and parish registers were very helpful in establishing who the soldiers were before they enlisted, and their family background.

Making sure that we were following the right person was very tricky in the post-war period, and the fact that the soldiers’ names were also among the most common ones, only made the task more laborious.

We hope that by reading this article someone can identify the soldiers or any of their family members and help us contact their living descendants. We would be delighted, if you could participate in connecting the story from the past with a living person!  Here is what we have learnt about each of them so far:

20/857 Pte. Rrt Slater, 14 DLI
Private Robert Slater (D/DLI 2/20/5/45)
D/DLI 2/20/5/45 Private Robert Slater
Robert married Hilda Ruddock of Ryhope in 1918. We think they had a son born in 1920, who married Margaret Williams in 1943 and had two children born in 1945 and 1947, but this requires confirmation.

During the search in various parish records we also found a family of Slaters in Cornforth, Coxhoe and Ferryhill, all connected with a Robert Slater.

The following is what we have managed to establish about Robert’s siblings:
  • William Jobson was born 1891 in Ryhope Colliery and worked as a boot repairer for his father before going to war. He married Jane Worrall in 1912, settled in Thornley and had at least three children that we know of: Elsie born 1912, William born 1915, and Jennie born 1917. 
  • George, born 1894 in Ryhope Colliery and died 1896 in Thornley Colliery
  • George Tearson, born 1898 in Thornley Colliery
  • Albert, born 1901 in the same place
  • Dorothy, born 1905 in the same place; we found that she married Ernest Cunningham in 1929
  • Elizabeth Alice, born 1907 in the same place, married Arthur Edwin Morgan in 1929
  • Norman, born 1910 in the same place, died in 1915 at home

’55 L/Cpl R.G. Walker, 2 DLI
This one was particularly tricky to find, as he scribbled only the last two digits of his service number on the wall, so we first had to establish which RG Walker he was as, again, it is a common name. After comparing several records we finally believe he is Private Reginald George Walker, 27955, who enlisted in Consett on 10 November 1915, aged 19. He initially joined 18th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, but a few weeks later was transferred to 2 DLI. 

In 1917 he applied for an unpaid post as a Lance Corporal and was sent to a signalling course. Walker did not serve long, as he suffered from acute appendicitis and spent months in various hospitals in France and in England due to complications that occurred during the treatment. Eventually he was transferred to the reserve in August 1918 as medically unfit for active service and completely discharged in April 1919. He was awarded the Silver War Badge.

From the 1911 census we know that he was born in Sacriston in 1897 to Joseph Walker, a coke yard foreman, and Dorothy. Reginald’s occupation is given as joinery apprentice and had four brothers: 
  • John Robert, born in Sacriston in 1887, colliery joiner
  • Joseph, born in the same place in 1891, colliery blacksmith
  • Frederick, born in the same place in 1896, pit heap token boy
  • Arthur, born in Winlaton in 1905
  • They all lived at 5 Greenhead Terrace in Chopwell in 1911 
After the war Reginald married Dora Turnbull in 1922 in Chopwell and had a daughter, Josephine in 1925. We know that not long afterwards, in 1927, he emigrated to Fremantle in Australia on board SS Baradine. On the passenger list his address is given as 9 Nelson Terrace, Chopwell and he travels alone as a miner. He died in Perth in 1966. We don’t know what happened with the rest of the family, whether they followed him to Australia or not.

9533 Pte J. Brown(e), 2 DLI
Unfortunately we do not know much about this soldier. He enlisted in September 1914 and was discharged in March 1919 due to the same reasons as the two above soldiers (medically unfit for further service). He was awarded the Silver War Badge, Victory Medal, British War Medal and 1914 Star. We don’t know where he lived before enlistment and what his life’s circumstances were after the war. 

All these soldiers served in France, they all left their names in tunnels under Loos and all three were discharged due to becoming medically unfit for further service. 

If you can identify any of the soldiers mentioned above, or their family members, please contact Gabriel at the Record Office: