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Having patrolled up the Khyber Pass on 11 April 1916 to Landi Kotal Fort, 22nd Battery Motor Machine Gun Service returned to Peshawar the same day, a distance of 75 miles. Sgt Fielder commented in a letter to the Motor Cycle magazine, "The road was very dangerous, being twisty and right at the edge of the cliffs. On the 12th we were inspected by the Chief Commissioner, who was very satisfied with our work. On the 13th we went to Chubcudda [I cannot determine where this might be - can anyone help
These are the categories that I have on my computer in bookmarks. I will update this page on a regular basis, particularly during the early phase of the "sorting into categories".
These are ONLY for the British cases here on the GWF. They do not include any of the cases on the CEFSG (here).
I was initially posting this information for the benefit of GWF PALS that wanted to investigate the case further and possibly take it to the reporting stage. I was not familiar enough
Today, 13 April, marks the 100th anniversary of the Armitsar Massacre.
On 10 April 1919, there was a protest at the residence of the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar. This was to demand the release of two popular leaders of the Indian Independence Movement. For the next two days Amritsar was quiet, but violence continued in other parts of the Punjab. Railway lines were cut, telegraph posts destroyed, government buildings burnt and Europeans murdered. By 13 April, the British government had
Having stopped at Nowshera on 6 April 1916, 22nd Battery's North West Frontier familiarisation patrol continued on 7 April. They moved 60 miles up to the frontier, in the Himalaya Mountains. In his letter to the Motor Cycle magazine, Sgt Fielder recalls, "it was a fairly stiff climb". On 8 April the Battery went field firing. This was to; "put the fear of God into the native chief and tribesmen, which we fairly succeeded in doing, returning afterwards to Mardan; distance fifty miles. In the even
During the Petersfield Museum’s closed period last winter I was asked if I’d be interested in researching material for the planned commemoration of the end of the First World War. My starting point was the existing Roll of Honour and I began working my way through, plotting last known addresses and adding information that was available online. I was able to contact several family members via the internet, all of whom proved extremely willing to let us use photographs and add to what we already k
Having arrived in Rawalpindi in late March 1916, 22nd Motor Machine Gun Battery were not given much time to settle in. Despite the heat they were soon out on a month long 1000 mile familiarisation patrol on the North West Frontier. The Battery Mechanic Sergeant was Sgt Alfred Fielder. He recorded in a subsequent letter to the Motor Cycle magazine that the Battery left Rawalpindi on 5th April and drove/rode to Nowshera, a distance of eighty miles. On the way they passed Attock, the confluence of
A few have asked to be kept informed as to the publication of my diary, so here you are. It is available from Amazon as an ebook as well as in paperback format. It can be bought from Waterstones in Newcastle upon Tyne, Morpeth and Hexham, also at Cogito Books in Hexham or direct from firstname.lastname@example.org for £6.99 + p&p. It is available in the Newcastle City Library, The Newcastle University Library, and the Lit & Phil Library in Newcastle. So far it is being read in the US,
Around this time 103 years ago, late March 1916, 22nd Motor Machine Gun Battery arrived in their new home, Cambridge Lines, Rawalpindi. We know the Beltana docked on 20 March. Gunner John Manton Travell Gough later recalled that " On landing at Bombay we were met with the information that we had four days railway journey to Rawalpindi. We arrived safely, but before there was time to settle down we were called out for inspection, very shortly afterwards proceeding on a tour of the N.W. Frontier".
The SS Beltana, the ship carrying 22nd Motor Machine Gun Battery, arrived at Bombay 103 years ago today on 20 Mar 1916. The Battery commanding officer was Major Alexander Molony, attached to the Machine Gun Corps (Motors) from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The Battery Sergeant Mechanic was a well known pre-war motorcyclist, Sgt Alfred Fielder; he had ridden for the Hudson Motor Company. Amongst the soldiers were 'Bill' Macro, JP Jamieson and Walter Patrick. Once the Beltana had docked there would
At least one member of 22nd Motor Machine Gun Battery was not destined to sail to India with his comrades 103 years ago. Instead he was to travel to the battlefields of northern France as one of the very first tank commanders. Herbert George Pearsall, known as George, was born at Smethwick on 17 July 1888. When war broke out George enlisted at Dewsbury on 6 April 1915 and joined the Motor Machine Gun Service at Bisley on 14 May. He was promoted corporal on 18 June and then serjeant on 14 August
At about this time 103 years ago in 1916, the SS Beltana, passed through the Suez Canal as she carried the officers and men of 22 Motor Machine Gun Battery to India. Whether the men were allowed to go ashore at either Alexandria or Port Said is not recorded, although having been onboard for 2 weeks since sailing from Devonport on 26 February, it would be nice to think they had the chance to stretch their legs. At least the Beltana was a modern, oil fired ship, so the troops were spared the miser
In February 1919 the men of 22 Motor Machine Gun Battery were taking part in a Machine Gun Concentration and Demonstration Camp in Gondal, to the North of Bombay. On the evidence of A/Sjt Macro's photo album this also seems to have also involved air-ground cooperation and familiarisation training with aircraft of the RAF. These were almost certainly from 31 Squadron, and despite the caption, they were BE2E's, not BE2Cs. Given the soldiers had been in India for nearly three years, and the war in
Onboard the SS Beltana, 103 years ago in late February 1916, lifejackets were worn until the ship cleared the U-boat danger area of the Western Approaches.
The SS Beltana was Clyde built, by Caird & Co. of Greenock and launched in 1912, for the P&O Branch Line. She had carried up to 1100 passengers on the UK to Australia route via Cape of Good Hope.
Thanks to JP Jamieson, grandson of Gnr (later A/Cpl) James Petrie Jamieson, for the photo.
103 years and 1 day ago, on 26 February 1916, the SS Beltana sailed from Devonport. Onboard were 5 officers and 68 men of 22nd Motor Machine Gun Battery. Among then was my grandfather Ernest William "Bill" Macro. Also onboard were the Battery's 19 motorcycle combinations, 8 motorcycles and 8 cars. I assume their Vickers Machine Guns were also onboard! It was the start of a journey which would take the Battery to Bombay and then Rawalpindi. The next three years were then spent on the North West F
There were few ‘home comforts’ for British soldiers in the mud-filled trenches of Northern France in the Great War.
John Francis ‘Frank’ Roberts, of Rackenford, was enjoying one of them on the morning of September 9, 1916 – a mug of hot tea.
He was taking a well-earned break after a series of ferocious encounters with the German army on the Somme.
Without warning, a shrapnel shell burst over his trench, firing its lethal load into him.
Frank, described by his commandi
Since the Sergeant returned from WW1 in February 1919 until his passing in 1979, he had always dreamed of having his Diary of his days as a POW published. Well I am pleased to say that 100 years after the events, that has now happened. His Diary is available from Amazon in Kindle ebook form, and will shortly be available in paperback. It has been number 2 in the best sellers for Biographies, in WW1 and has done reasonably well. If you are a "Kindle Unlimited" subscriber, you can read it for free
Wednesday 1st January 1919
So finally we were marched off, and at Lamsdorf station boarded the train.
A different kind of train it was this time, none of the cattle trucks in which we came here in, but instead real carriages with properly upholstered seats. So with eight men in a carriage we rolled away in the direction of a seaport on the Baltic Sea called Stettin.
At the end of our train were two vans with two days supply of food which was issued at intervals alon
Tuesday 31st December 1918
The day begins as usual, and still we wait.
In the evening orders are issued that all officers, NCO’s and men will parade outside the orderly room at 2pm tomorrow dressed ready for marching off, greatcoat and one blanket over the arm
I might say that all men were ready before the appointed time, and when we did parade and were just about to march off it was found that there was one man to be left in the camp. That one man was our Serbian f
Sunday 29th December 1918.
Orders are issued that the camp must be closed by the 1st January 1919. The excitement is great and we all start packing our little wooden boxes in readiness for the journey.
Then we wait.
Monday 30th December 1918.
Still we wait.
Sgt. Thomas William Chisholm (POW),
The Northumberland Fusiliers
5th Battalion, B Company
Lager 3A, Barrack
Tuesday 24th December 1918
As a special treat today we have been given a large amount of sausage, from the Germans but I may say that very little of it was eaten as we have any amount of our own food now. I suppose that this was sent as a peace offering owing to it being Xmas eve. Also included in the gift were two packets of tobacco and a Xmas card. The tobacco proved only to be dried oak leaves, and the card we discovered had been intended for one in England, for on the side us
Thursday 19th December 1918
My birthday, I am 22 today and I am very miserable indeed for I had thought to spend it in dear old England, but not so, but I had a talk with the cooks and it ended up in a nice little spread in our hut where we celebrated very well indeed under the circumstances.
There are rumours again of another transport on Sunday to include in it all cripples and every two days after that.
Sgt. Thomas William Chisholm (POW),