Category: World War 1

Royal Naval Division Memorial in London

The Royal Naval Division Memorial is located on Horse Guards Parade in London, but unfortunately is almost lost in the space as it is such a modest structure. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was unveiled on 25 April 1925.

The Royal Naval Division (RND) was created by Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty at the time, and it was manned by sailors, Royal Marines, and naval and marine reservists who were not required at sea.  Although it was a land based division it  was known for its strong maritime traditions, including the use of naval ranks and terminology. After serving in the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign it was deployed to the Western Front in late 1916 until the armistice in 1918. It lost 10,737 officers and men during the war; while 30,892 were wounded.

The Admiralty Citadel partly obscure the poem by Rupert Brooke 1887–1915 which is inscribed on the one side of the memorial. Brooke, a member of the Hood Battalion of the RND, died of disease while en route with the division to Gallipoli in April 1915

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!

There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,

But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.

These laid the world away; poured out the red

Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be

Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,

That men call age; and those who would have been,

Their sons, they gave, their immortality.

The memorial was removed from its original site when work was started on the citadel, and it was eventually erected in a number of places before being re-installed in its original site on  13 November 2003. It is designated a grade II listed building.

In my opinion the glowering and overgrown citadel really overshadows the memorial, leaving it to look more like a feature as opposed to a proper memorial. 

DRW 2013-2018. Created 14/10/2018

Updated: 15/10/2018 — 06:07

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial: Kimberley

72nd (Griqualand West) Siege Battery: Clyde ‘n Terry Museum Kimberley

These photographs of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial 72nd (Griqualand West) Siege Battery: Clyde ‘n Terry Hall of Militaria n Kimberley were taken in January 2018 by Diane Van Tonder and are used with permission.

The inscription is followed by the names and ranks of the 167 men who died in the Great War.

This 6-inch 26-cwt howitzers is one of 6 brought back from France and Flanders to be part of the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery that were established in major centres in South Africa.

The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery can be found in: (Open in new page)

DRW © 2018. Created 14/09/2018. Images courtesy of Diane Van Tonder. 

Updated: 14/09/2018 — 08:54

Swindon Railway Works Plaques

The plaques in this post were photographed at Steam. Museum of the Great Western Railroad that I visited in 2015. Unfortunately my images did not come out well, it really has to do with camera shake and long exposures associated with not using a flash. I have sharpened them as much as possible. 

The Great Western Railway had it’s engine works in this railway town, and even built housing for its workers there, it was the biggest employer too and the Museum tells the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway. In wartime the works would have played a major part in maintaining the steam engines and in some cases using their heavy industrial facilities for wartime production. The labour force of men would have been affected by volunteering and conscription, and women began to play a role in keeping the works running. The carnage of the Western Front would have also affected the men who worked here, and a number of plaques have survived, commemorating those who never returned.​

 

DRW © 2015-2018. Created 27/08/2018

Updated: 27/08/2018 — 07:41

William Kenny VC

William Kenny (24/08/1880 – 10/01/1936) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery on 23 October 1914 near Ypres, Belgium.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29074, Page: 1699 reads: 

“6535 Drummer William Kenny, 2nd Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders.
For conspicuous bravery on 23rd October, near Ypres, in rescuing wounded men on five occasions under very heavy fire in the most fearless manner, and for twice previously saving machine guns by carrying them out of action.
On numerous occasions Drummer Kenny conveyed urgent messages under very dangerous circumstances over fire-swept ground”

He died at Charing Cross Hospital, London on 10th January 1936. and was buried in the Corps of Commissionaires Section of Brookwood Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:28

Cyril Hubert Frisby VC

Cyril Hubert Frisby (17/09/1885 – 10/09/1961) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 27 September 1918 at the Battle of Canal du Nord, near Graincourt, France.

The Citation, recorded on the London Gazette of Supplement: 31034, Page: 14039, reads:

“Gds. (S.R.). attd. 1st Bn.
For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and devotion to duty in action on the 7th September, 1918, across the Canal Du Nord, near Graincourt, when in command of a company detailed to capture the Canal crossing, on the Demicourt-Graincourt road. On reaching the Canal this leading platoon came under annihilating machine-gun fire from a strong machine-gun post under the old iron bridge on the far side of the Canal, and was unable to advance, despite reinforcing waves. Capt. Frisby realised at once
that unless this post was captured the whole advance in this area would fail. Calling for volunteers to follow him, he dashed forward, and, with three other ranks, he climbed down into the Canal under an intense point-blank machine-gun fire and succeeded in capturing the post with two machine guns and twelve men.
By his personal valour and initiative he restored the situation and enabled the attacking companies to continue the advance.
Having reached and consolidated his objective, he gave timely support to the company on his right, which had lost all its officers and sergeants, organised its defences, and beat off a heavy hostile counter-attack.
He was wounded in the leg by a bayonet in the attack on the machine-gun post, but remained at duty throughout, thereby setting a splendid example to all ranks.”

He died on 10th September 1961 aged 75 in Guildford, Surrey and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:28

William Robert Fountaine Addison VC

Reverand William Robert Fountaine Addison (18/09/1883 – 07/01/1962) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his conspicuous bravery on  9 April 1916 at Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia,

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29765, Page: 9417, reads: 

“Rev. William Robert Fountaine Addison, temp. Chapl. to the Forces, 4th Class, Army Chapl. Dept.
For most conspicuous bravery. He carried a wounded man to the cover of a trench, and assisted several others to the same cover, after binding up their wounds under heavy rifle and machine gun fire.
In addition to these unaided efforts, by his splendid example and utter disregard of personal danger, he encouraged the stretcherbearers to go forward under heavy fire and collect the wounded.”

He died on 7th January 1962, aged 78, in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:28

Bristol Cenotaph

The Cenotaph in Bristol may be found at  Google Earth co-ordinates 51.454987°,  -2.596391°. in Magpie Park, Colston Avenue, Bristol. I believe the area around the cenotaph as recently been remodelled so everything is in a reasonably good condition.  War Memorials Register entry

It was unveiled on 26 July 1932, attended by: Field Marshall Sir William Birdwood. There are no names on the memorial, and only two commemoration panels. The panel on the face above is:

SACRED TO THE MEMORY
OF BRISTOL’S SONS AND
DAUGHTERS , WHO MADE
THE SUPREME SACRIFICE.
THEY DIED THAT MANKIND MIGHT LEARN TO LIVE IN PEACE

The opposite side panel reads:

“O VALIANT HEARTS WHO TO YOUR GLORY CAME,
THROUGH DUST OF CONFLICT AND THROUGH BATTLE FLAME:
TRANQUIL YOU LIE, YOUR KNIGHTLY VIRTUE PROVED,
YOUR MEMORY HALLOWED IN THE LAND YOU LOVED:
SPLENDID YOU PASSED THE GREAT SURRENDER MADE.
INTO THE LIGHT THAT NEVERMORE SHALL FADE.
ALL YOU HAD HOPED FOR, ALL YOU HAD, YOU GAVE
TO SAVE MANKIND, YOURSELVES YOU SCORNED TO SAVE.”

There are no names on the Cenotaph.

DRW 2018. Created 22/07/2018

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:28

Chasetown Saint Anne’s Church War Memorials

St Anne’ Church in Chasetown has become the caretaker of 4 plaques that were sited at the colliery pits where many of the men from the area worked. They commemorate men from 2,3,8, and 9 pits who lost their lives in World War 1.  The four plaques are mounted on the exterior wall of the church.

Unfortunately for most of the time that I was in Chasetown the church was surrounded in scaffolding and I only discovered these memorials towards the end of my stay so was never able to find out much from the people at the church.

Even though the plaques are in a good condition they are difficult to read. 

To the Memory of the Men from No. 2 Pit who fell in the Great War

Thomas Brookes • John Rochelle • Enoch Hancox
William Deakin • Alfred Ross • George H Evans
William A Elson • Enoch Smith • Albert Fairfield
Alfred E Fisher • Charles E Williamson • Walter Reynolds
John Rushton • W Harrold Williamson • Reginald Lees
Ernest Craddock • Frederick Crutchley

To the Memory of the Men from No. 3 Pit who fell in the Great War

Harold Spencer • Thomas Lewis • Albert Lees
Bert Gozzard • Joseph Robinson • Arthur Wright
William Buckley • Joseph Witton • William Daker
Horace Derry • Thomas Downing • Charles Beach
Arthur Heath • Walter Evans • Henry Griffin
John Kelly • Thomas Rose • William Robinson
William Robinson • Percy Bradshaw • William Fellows

To the Memory of the Men from No. 8 Pit who fell in the Great War

Alfred Bradshaw • John Dolman • Richard Stevens
Frederick Bailey • William Longdon • Herbert Nicholls
Edward Bills •  Albert Meaton • Enoch Bedow
William Day • Nonnie Pritchard

To the Memory of the Men from No. 9 Pit who fell in the Great War

Harry B Yardley • Roland Foster • Samuel Evans
Hubert Millard • Joseph W Roberts • Noah Lysons
Henry Duffield • Eli Bott • Bert Roper

DRW ©2015-2018. Retrospectively created 11/07/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:10

Former St Peter’s Cheltenham War Memorial

I first spotted the church from the 41 bus going to Cheltenham and was always tempted to climb out and take a closer look. The building just has the impressive look about it. However, do not be deceived because it is no longer a church, and it has not been since after 2008. The building  is situated on the south side of the Tewkesbury Road (Google Earth co-ordinates:  51° 54.525’N,  2° 5.445’W) . It is now sign boarded as being a part of “The Rock Youth Charity“.  I took my first images of the church and War Memorial in June 2016.

The memorial can just be seen amongst the trees on the left of the photograph above. It was in a very poor condition and the names were almost illegible.

I went past there once more in October 2017 and there was light at the end of the tunnel as an official notice advised that the memorial was to be refurbished.  In December 2017 work was underway and I made a  mental note to get around there in the new year. That only happened at the end of May 2018 by which time the restoration was complete, the inscriptions and name panels were once again legible and the memorial was looking infinitely better than when I had last seen it.

More importantly it was now possible to read the names on it.

And, the inscription.

The memorial is referenced on the War Memorials Register of the Imperial War Museum.

Alas, our English weather tends to do it’s deed in all seasons and parts of it were already taking on a green hew, but the main thing is that hopefully it will once again become a focus for commemoration and no longer a stone object hidden amongst the trees.

DRW © 2018. Created 03/07/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:10

William Ratcliffe VC. MM.

William Ratclifffe (18/01/1884 – 26/03/1963), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 14 June 1917 at Messines, Belgium, 

The Citation, published in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30215 Page: 7907, reads:

“No. 2251 Pte. William Ratcliffe, S. Lane. E. For most conspicuous bravery.
After an enemy’s trench had been captured, Pte. Ratcliffe located an enemy machine gun which was firing on his comrades from the rear, whereupon, single handed and on his own initiative, he immediately, rushed the machine gun position and bayoneted the crew. He then brought the gun back into action in the front line. 

This very gallant soldier has displayed great resource on previous occasions, and has set an exceptionally fine example of devotion to duty.”

He is commemorated on the Liverpool Heroes Statue in Abercromby Square in Liverpool

Liverpool Heroes Statue. Inscription

And there is a Commemorative Plaque for him at the Hall of Remembrance in Liverpool City Hall

Commemorative Plaque, Hall of Remembrance, Liverpool City Hall

Outside the Hall of Remembrance is a framed list of names that are connected to Liverpool and he is also listed on it.

A paving stone was unveiled for him at the Liverpool Parish Church on 15 June 2017. 

William Ratcliffe VC. MM. died on 26 March 1963, and is  buried in  Allerton Cemetery in Liverpool.

DRW © 2018. Created 20/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:10
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