William Frederick Faulds VC. MC.

Private William Frederick Faulds (19/02/1895 – 16/02/1950), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Battle of Delville Wood on 18 July 1916.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29740, Page: 8870 reads:

For most, conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. A bombing party under Lieut. Craig attempted to rush across 40 yards of ground which lay between the British and enemy trenches. Coming under very heavy rifle and machine gun fire the officer and the majority of the party were killed or wounded.

Unable to move, Lieut. Craig lay midway between the two lines of trench, the ground being quite open.

In full daylight Pte. Faulds, accompanied by two other men, climbed over the parapet, ran out, picked up the officer, and carried him back, one man being severely wounded in so doing.

Two days later Private Faulds again showed most conspicuous bravery in going out alone to bring in a wounded man, and carrying him nearly half a mile to a dressing-station, subsequently rejoining his platoon. The artillery fire was at the time so intense that stretcher-bearers and others considered that any attempt to bring in the wounded men meant certain death. This risk Private Faulds faced unflinchingly, and his bravery was crowned with success.

As a temporary Lieutenant, he was also awarded the Military Cross for actions at Hendicourt on 22 March 1918. This citation, for the Military Cross reads:

“In the retirement from the line east of Hendicourt, 22 March 1918, he was commanding one of the platoons which formed the rear-guard. He handled his men most ably, and exposed himself freely. Though the enemy pressed hard, he, by his fearless and able leadership, checked them, and enabled the remainder of the battalion to withdraw with slight loss”

He died on 16 February 1950 and was buried in Pioneer Cemetery, Harare, Zimbabwe

WF Faulds VC Memorial Stone.  National Memorial Arboretum
William Frederick Faulds VC Memorial Stone. National Memorial Arboretum

DRW © 2016-2020. Created 08/08/2016. Gallaher cigarette card by Card Promotions © 2003. First issued 1918.

Delville Wood Cross at St John’s College, Houghton

St John’s College in Houghton has a rich history and tradition of military service, and as a result memorials to masters and boys of the college are very prevalent at the school.  I was fortunate enough to visit on two occasions, and was finally able to photograph the Roll of Honour Plaques in the chapel and to view the memorials that relate to the school. This blog post really has to do with the Delville Wood Cross in the Crypt Chapel of All Souls.

The Delville Wood Cross
The Delville Wood Cross

There is another Delville Wood Cross at the headquarters of the Transvaal Scottish, but sadly they will not let anybody take photographs of it. This cross may also tie into the SOE Memorial at Patterson Park. The chapel is inscribed with the names of masters and old boys of the school who gave their lives in the World Wars.  I have finally completed transcribing the The World War 1 Roll and it may be viewed here

Google Earth co-ordinates for St Johns is:   26°10’34.42″S,  28° 3’26.28″E

© DRW 2012-2018.  Created 24/09/2012. Updated 27/10/2012. Moved to blog 02/01/2014, updated with ROH link 26 November 2018

Delville Wood Memorial in Pretoria

My late maternal grandfather was a Delville Wood survivor, having been wounded on the 18th of July 1916. He never really spoke much about his experience at the battle, and if he had I probably would not have been able to comprehend the horror and slaughter of this battle. As a result of his service I have an interest in the memorials, and there are 2 specific memorials that I have in mind. The first being at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and the second at the sight of Delville Wood in France.

Delville Wood Memorial at the Union Buildings
Delville Wood Memorial at the Union Buildings

The original images I had were taken by Terry Cawood, but I have since visited the memorial and have replaced most of them. Unfortunately, photographing the memorial properly from the front has just never been possible due to sun and light conditions.

The memorial above has a central group of figures representing the theme of physical energy (represented by the war horse) and  two nationalities of South Africa, British and Boer, with one hand clasped over the horse’s back in friendship. This theme is present too at the Memorial at Delville Wood in France, and in a similar Memorial in Cape Town. The bronze by Alfred Turner represents Castor and Pollux, Greek and Roman mythological figures of the twins who had one mother and two different fathers, one mortal and one immortal, making Castor mortal and Pollux immortal.

Castor and Pollux bronze on the memorial arch.
Castor and Pollux bronze on the memorial arch.

The story of the battle is not an easy one to tell because so much was happening, however I do recommend reading Delville Wood: Gethsemane for the South African Brigade by I.S. Uys. I also recommend visiting the Delville Wood website, especially if you are researching a casualty.

Unfortunately, many of the bronze plaques and fittings have fallen to theft, but so far Castor and Pollux are safe on their memorial arch.

© DRW 2007-2018. Updated 24/05/2012. Images replaced 14/07/2012. Moved to blog 19/01/2014

Cosy Corner Wall of Remembrance

The Cosy Corner MOTH Shellhole Wall of Remembrance.

When I originally saw what was left of the The Garden of Remembrance in Brakpan in 2007, I could just throw up my hands in dismay at what I then called “The wreckage of remembrance”.   In August 2008 I was informed that the name plaque which was on the memorial had been removed, little knowing that the story did not end there.

What was left of the "Garden of Remembrance" in Brakpan in 2007
What was left of the “Garden of Remembrance” in Brakpan in 2007

On 13 November 2011 I was contacted by Joe Borain who explained that the name plaque had been removed from the derelict memorial and a new Wall of Remembrance was erected at the Cosy Corner Moth Shellhole in Brenthurst, Brakpan, and the plaque had been installed there. I was able to visit the Shellhole in December 2011 and discovered a veritable museum that has come about at this Shellhole.

The new Wall of Remembrance at the Cosy Corner Shellhole in Brakpan
The new Wall of Remembrance at the Cosy Corner Shellhole in Brakpan
The former Roll of Honour
The former Roll of Honour

My primary target was the rededicated Wall of Remembrance, but there was so much more to see at this Shellhole, especially if you have an interest in Delville Wood.  These images are just a small portion of what I saw, and the Shellhole is worth a visit if you have an interest in veterans affairs or warfare. Special thanks must go to Joe Borain for taking his time out to show me around and accompany me on a gravehunting expedition in Springs.

© DRW 2011 – 2018. Created 14/12/2011. Moved to blog 18/01/2014