9 September 2011

Leicestershire Regiment - Soldiers Died - October 1914


It can be a depressing exercise trawling through the lists of WW1 casualties. All of these Leicestershire Regiment died in October 1914 and this snapshot will endeavour to determine when they joined up.

4887 Frank Ridley
6089 John Morrigee
6457 William Henry Moreby DCM
6515 Joseph Turner
6531 Joseph Simpson
6533 Harry Briggs
6560 Arthur Goodman
6586 Percy Bowley
6602 Albert Swan
6644 John Barker
6666 Harry Gilbert
6853 Ernest Bailey
6854 Thomas Edwards
6857 William Dawes
6879 George Spriggs
6930 William Hallam
6970 Ernest Sharpe
6971 Frederick Oakley
7018 Harry Price
7153 Frederick Shaw
7187 John Bosworth
7197 John Oswin
7217 Joseph William Atkin
7218 Albert Waddams
7268 Albert Thorpe
7297 William Elmore
7357 Harry Stevenson
7372 William Arthur Routlege
7471 Dairmid Macdonnell
7600 William Robert Bradford
7605 Robert Bell
7635 Harry Smitten
7648 Harry Charles
7659 William John Nixon
7680 George Groom
7694 Frank Wood
7704 William Curtis
7719 Arthur North
7764 Wilfred Carter
7819 John Riley
7924 John William Ellis
7973 Matthias Summerland
7997 George Willcocks
8036 Arthur Eagle
8040 Wilfred Walker
8084 Albert Edwin Hannay Ball
8390 Robert Frank Hough
8401 Stephen Hunt
8405 Sidney Robert Bewshea
8456 Bernard Kelagher
8514 Albert John Mead
8562 Ernest William Ward
8605 Rowland Frank Walter Edge
8855 Arthur George Prater
8861 Cecil Edward Bacon
8875 Arthur Sharp
8935 Henry Victor Reed
8971 Edward Albert Relf
9088 Gilbert Frederick Erwood
9109 Alfred Charles Mills
9259 Thomas Groocock
9282 Arthur Elks
9324 Frank Claude Freeborough
9411 Eric Rushton Cooke
9415 William Jeffs
9438 George De Bow
9540 William Frederick Mercer
9555 Herbert Elson
9561 James Bostock
9585 Henry Cecil Wharfe
9653 Harry Wragg
9660 Albert Hoult
9699 Frank Clay
9721 John Henry Deacon
9760 Robert Ernest Boulton
9840 James Crawford Eaglesome Mackinnon

In addition to these NCOs and men, the following Leicestershire Regiment officers also died in October 1914:

Thomas Henry Bowley
William Henry Gordon Dodds
Francis Le Maistre Gruchy
Theodore Prain
Cecil Smeathman
Lancelot Barrington Crofte Tristram

At the Going Down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

What do the men's numbers tell us?

Assuming that they were all regular soldiers from the 1st and 2nd Battalions, this is when they joined the Leicestershire Regiment. John Morrigee died at home whilst with the 3rd Battalion but may have been a regular soldier posted to the depot.

18974887 Frank Ridley, 1st Bn
19016089 John Morrigee, 3rd Bn, died at home
19026457 William Henry Moreby DCM, 1st Bn
6515 Joseph Turner, 1st Bn
6531 Joseph Simpson, 1st Bn
6533 Harry Briggs, 1st Bn
6560 Arthur Goodman, 1st Bn
6586 Percy Bowley, 1st Bn
6602 Albert Swan, 1st Bn
6644 John Barker, 1st Bn
6666 Harry Gilbert, 1st Bn
19036853 Ernest Bailey, 1st Bn
6854 Thomas Edwards, 1st Bn
6857 William Dawes, 1st Bn
6879 George Spriggs, 1st Bn
6930 William Hallam, 1st Bn
6970 Ernest Sharpe, 1st Bn
6971 Frederick Oakley, 2nd Bn
7018 Harry Price, 1st Bn
7153 Frederick Shaw, 1st Bn
7187 John Bosworth, 1st Bn
7197 John Oswin, 1st Bn
7217 Joseph William Atkin, 1st Bn
7218 Albert Waddams, 1st Bn
19047268 Albert Thorpe, 1st Bn
7297 William Elmore, 1st Bn
7357 Harry Stevenson, 1st Bn
7372 William Arthur Routlege, 1st Bn
7471 Dairmid Macdonnell, 1st Bn
7600 William Robert Bradford, 1st Bn
7605 Robert Bell, 1st Bn
1905
7635 Harry Smitten, 1st Bn
7648 Harry Charles, 1st Bn
7659 William John Nixon, 1st Bn
7680 George Groom, 1st Bn
7694 Frank Wood. 1st Bn
7704 William Curtis, 1st Bn
7719 Arthur North, 1st Bn
7764 Wilfred Carter, 1st Bn
7819 John Riley, 1st Bn
19067924 John William Ellis, 1st Bn
7973 Matthias Summerland, 1st Bn
7997 George Willcocks, 1st Bn
8036 Arthur Eagle, 1st Bn
8040 Wilfred Walker, 2nd Bn
19078084 Albert Edwin Hannay Ball, 2nd Bn
1908
8390 Robert Frank Hough, 1st Bn
8401 Stephen Hunt, 1st Bn
8405 Sidney Robert Bewshea, 2nd Bn
8456 Bernard Kelagher, 1st Bn
8514 Albert John Mead, 1st Bn
8562 Ernest William Ward, 1st Bn
8605 Rowland Frank Walter Edge, 2nd Bn
1909
8855 Arthur George Prater, 1st Bn
8861 Cecil Edward Bacon, 1st Bn
8875 Arthur Sharp, 1st Bn
1910
8935 Henry Victor Reed, 1st Bn
8971 Edward Albert Relf, 2nd Bn
9088 Gilbert Frederick Erwood, 1st Bn
9109 Alfred Charles Mills, 1st Bn
19119259 Thomas Groocock, 1st Bn
9282 Arthur Elks, 2nd Bn
9324 Frank Claude Freeborough, 1st Bn
1912
9411 Eric Rushton Cooke, 1st Bn
9415 William Jeffs, 1st Bn
9438 George De Bow, 2nd Bn
9540 William Frederick Mercer, 1st Bn
9555 Herbert Elson, 1st Bn
9561 James Bostock, 1st Bn
9585 Henry Cecil Wharfe, 1st Bn
9653 Harry Wragg, 1st Bn
9660 Albert Hoult, 1st Bn
9699 Frank Clay, 1st Bn
19139721 John Henry Deacon, 1st Bn
9760 Robert Ernest Boulton, 1st Bn
19149840 James Crawford Eaglesome Mackinnon, 1st Bn

I've not checked all the medal index cards for the men above but all the 1st Battalion men that I have checked, arrived overseas in France on the 9th September 1914. All of the 2nd Battalion men arrived in France on the 12th October 1914. There was a certainly a wealth of military experience represented above.

6457 William Moreby DCM, would have joined the regiment in August 1902 and would have signed up either for 12 years' Long Service, or more likely 3 years with the colours and 9 in the Reserve. The majority of the men therefore, with numbers in the range 6457 to 8084 (Albert Edwin Hannay Ball) would have been reservists, some of these men with no active soldiering for nearly nine years. Some of these men could have extended the period of their service and so may have still been serving with the Colours when Britain went to war in 1914. For those men though who had been on the Army Reserve for almost a decade, marching along those long, straight cobbled roads of Belgium in August 1914 would have been an incredibly arduous task.

The man with the least experience was James Mackinnon who had joined in the first half of 1914 and therefore had had less than a year's active soldiering with the Leicesters when he was killed.
In 1981 I met and interviewed a 1st Leicestershire Regiment man, Stan Brown. His photo is on my post about Leicestershire Regiment numbers, and he also appears in a photograph of Chelmsford's Old Contemptibles. I've also just recently added a small account about Stan on my World War 1 Veterans' blog. Stan's number was 9732 and he'd joined the regiment in July 1913. He recalled:

"On the march it was Bob Hough and myself and I was only a kid. I was only seventeen when I got wounded. As far as I was concerned, it was an extremely wonderful period for me as a youngster. I was enjoying myself. I'd met Bob before we was put out and I suppose we was classed as scouts. We went in front and if we saw anything, one of us had to go back and tell the officer. He was an old stager really, not in terms of age but in soldiering. He seemed to me to be the boss. He was a wonderfully fit bloke."

Bob Hough is 8390 Robert Frank Hough, listed above, who had joined the regiment in 1908 and who would have therfore been coming to the end of his seven years with the Colours when Britain went to war. He may have seemed like an old stager to Stan, but he was still only 22 when he was killed in action on the 24th October 1914. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, pictured at the top of this post.

I've borrowed the photo on this post from the History of Skelton-in-Cleveland website. Leicestershire Regiment service records here: British Army Service Records 1760-1915

I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.

No comments: