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  • keithmroberts

    How NOT to use blogs

    By keithmroberts

    This area is not for queries but for ongoing blogs. if you want to ask for help, please go to the appropriate sub-forum in the main part of the GWF. You have been asked to make your first post in a specified location. Once you have done that, your query can be raised in the various sections of the forum. If you previously posted a request for help or information in this area, it is likely to be deleted at some point in the next few weeks or months. So if you have a reply, please make a note o

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  1. FW Battman 1DCLI

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    My grandfather almost certainly was with 1DCLI from 1908 until the mobilisation for WW1 where he was in Curragh, Ireland.

    BUT I have a photo of the DCLI 3rd Battalion marching to Tregantle in 1913, Mygrandfather played the base drum.

    On 12th August 1914 he was aCorporal in the ‘Peace Detail’. Presumably in the rear party leftbehind at the Curragh when the Battalion entrained for Dublin, and thence toFrance on the following day.

    Anybody have ideas as to why my grandfather, attached to the 1st battalion would suddenly appear in DCLI 3rd in Tregantle?

    And also what 'Peace detail' means in the context of WW1 mobilisation in 1914.

    Would love to hear from you or any others who had relatives in 1DCLI in August 2014 in Curagh.


  2. First World War History's Blog

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    There weretwo primary reasons for me building the Web Site, one, to Remember the Lost Innocenceof Youth, during the 1914 – 1918 Conflict, and two, hopefully, to Educatepeople about the First World War. And I do suppose there is a third reason, Iam very passionate about the First World War, and have been to manyBattlefields in France and Belgium. There are many, but these are some I havebeen fortunate to visit, The Somme, Ypres, Passchendaele, Arras, Vimy Ridge,Messines Ridge, Mons, Loos, Verdun, and many British and Commonwealth WarCemeteries.

    I am a 56Year old man, and live in Lincolnshire. I was a Managing Director of an OfficeSupplies Business for 30 Years, and also a Director of a Buying Consortiumbased in Sheffield. I took early retirement at 50, and now try to Design Website'sunder my Company Name of Smart Solutions UK.

    I was alsovery fortunate to be invited to the Burial of the 6 "Grimsby Chums". TheseBoys, were found in a Mass Grave near Arras, and the Ceremony was held at Pointdu Jour Cemetery in 2002.

    I designedand built this Website for the purpose of People who are interested in TheHistory of the First World War. This is by no means a Full and Comprehensiveover view of the War, but a quick preliminary overview.

    It can beused by anyone who is interested in First World War History, Students atSchool, and even University Undergraduates who wish to gain a betterunderstanding of moments in history which have affected this Country.

    On the Siteyou will find information relating to the Battles of Ypres, Passchendaele, TheSomme, Marne, Retreat from Mons, Loos, and again many more, the life's of the"British Tommy" in the Trenches, how they lived and how they died. The gasattacks at the Second battle of Ypres, and many more other interesting facts.

    So please ifyou would like to learn more about the First World War, visit my Site www.firstworldwar-history.co.uk,

    I hope youmay be pleasantly surprised, and like the work I have done.

    If you wouldlike to contact me with any comment, I would be happy to receive your views,and can be contacted at, gordon@firstworldwarhistory.co.uk

    Thank youfor taking time to read my Blog.


  3. John FP's Blog

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    I am currently researching the life of Fergus Mackain, Great War soldier-artist who drew many postcards for sending home from the front by soldiers. All information is most welcome, including interesting messages on these postcards and dates of sending before January 1918. Happy to share research with others also interested.

  4. Eva Ernst's Blog

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    Hi Jadzia/ Vanessa. I think Joseph was my Nans brother. If your Grandparents were called Joe and Della we are distantly related. I know most of the information you are looking for. Georgina Bristol U.K

  5. robinone's Blog

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    Alexander Robert Davidson Kemp was a 2nd Lt.Com. Labour Corps in Trinidad and Tobago 1918, other than this there is no information found. Although after WW1 he was said to be in Military Intelligence and lived in Peru by 1921.

    I would be interested in any direction to take this search.

  6. bbradymn's Blog

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    We just this month found a long lost box of me Grandfathers who was on the SS Aragon when it was sunk. in it was letters to his mother about the sinking, his watch which was stopped at 11:20, news paper articals & more. We are looking for info about what regiment number he was in or ANY info about them. With luck we are going to dive on the Aragon this year. THANKS in advance!

  7. Rifleman S/26148 Thomas Edwin Capers 8th Rifle Brigade, DOW 13/04/1917 VII. F. 9. WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY


    courtesy of Jim Smithson, Dec. 2010

    Thomas Edwin Capers was born and brought up in Ibstock, he was 26 and single at the outbreak of the Great War. Thomas was the youngest of three brothers and had two sisters, all born in Ibstock to parents Thomas and Sarah where the family had lived since about 1880. All the males of the family had worked either in the Ibstock Colliery or brick works.

    Thomas Capers papers have not survived, in fact the papers of men in the number block S/26000 to S/26200 are few and far between. But combining what information there is with their medal index cards gives some idea of Thomas Capers' dates of joining, etc. Many of the men in this block first joined the KRRC before being transferred to the Rifle Brigade while still in the UK. These men are in alphabetic order through this small number range. Scattered amongst them are others who were first posted to the 5th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade and were then posted to either the 8th or 9th Battalion after completion of basic training and on arrival in France. All of them appear to have attested under the Derby Scheme in late November or Early December 1915, and were not called up until May and June of 1916. Thomas Capers does not fit into the alphabetical grouping of ex. KRRC men, and so it is likely he was first posted to the Rifle Brigade's 5th Battalion before being sent to France around October 1916, where he would have joined the 8th Battalion.

    Easter Day in 1917 fell on the 8th of April. The 8th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade was in the Arras sector. Two celebrations of Holy Communion took place in the cellar of battalion HQ and they had moved to the Christchurch caves by nightfall. The following day the 1917 Arras offensive was launched, and the battalion had left the caves at 9am and initially moved to the reserve line. With many German prisoner coming back from the front and large numbers of British Cavalry moving forward news came that the first and second Brigade objects have been taken. There is some snow overnight, and on the 10th April 1917 the 8th Battalion moves forward several miles South East of Arras and by 4.30pm receives orders to “clear up the situation in the direction of Wancourt and the high ground south west of the village”. The Battalion advances in a heavy snow storm coming under a light barrage and machine gun fire. As the snow stopped, leading companies found themselves in an exposed position and suffered casualties from machine gun fire coming from the direction of Wancourt and Hill 90.

    The attack on Wancourt is pressed home on the 11th April, with the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade in support of the 7th KRRC. But they are caught in machine gun cross fire, the 7th KRRC suffer badly, and the 8th RB suffer one officer wounded and 20 OR casualties. They are relieved from their forward position by the 7th RB that night, during another heavy fall of snow.

    In the early hours of 12th April “B” coy. patrols get as far as Wancourt and Marliere. Easterly patrols establish that the enemy holds Guemappe in strength. While “C” coy. captures a 77mm field gun in the vicinity of Marliere. At 11am orders are received to attack the high ground South East of Wancourt, with the 8th KRRC on the right crossing the Conjeul river to the south of Wancourt, and the 8th RB on the left crossing the river to the north of Wancourt. But this would have meant passing in front of the enemy at Guemappe for about a mile. By 2.30pm the orders for the attack had changed. Both 8th KRRC and 8th RB were to cross the river to the south of Wancourt. The assault was to take place at 5.30pm, but by 5pm only three companies had managed to cross the river after wading through very deep and sticky mud. An alert enemy put down a heavy barrage on the Conjeul valley from Wancourt to Heninel, and before the attack even started the whole area was subjected to heavy machine gun fire. Advance was impossible and the attack was abandoned. The 8th RB was relieved that night and by the 13th April had returned to billets in Arras. The total casualties for these few days are: 5 Officers wounded; 25 other ranks killed, 5 other ranks missing and 68 other ranks wounded.


    courtesy of Jim Smithson, Dec. 2010

    Private 26148 Thomas Edwin Capers is one of those wounded during these few days, he is evacuted as far as a CCS at Warlincourt, but dies of his wounds on the 13th April 1917. In fact, the Battalion seems to have lost track of him at one point, as his name appears on the Battalion's casualty figures as being KIA on the 12th April.

  8. Sun. Aug 15th/15. I left Heliopolis today, for Alexandria. I am not sorry to say goodbye to Luna (tic) Park. On arrival at Alexandria we embarked on H. M. Hospital Ship "Ghoorkha". This is a very good boat. The sisters & doctors are English, but all the orderlies are natives of India. Some of them are very nice fellows, & I spend many an hour talking to them in Hindustani. Mon. Aug. 16th/15. We had a man die in our ward today. One man suffering from dysentery, is nothing but a mere skeleton. Aug. 18th/15. We arrived at Malta. We left Malta the following morning about 6 o'clock, & arrived at Gibraltar on Sun. Aug, 22nd/15. We saw two sharks & shoals of flying fish & porpoises on the way from Malta. Tues. Aug. 24th/15. We saw two whales last night, & another this morning, quite close to the boat. Thur. Aug. 26th/15. We anchored off Netley Hospital. Fri. Aug. 27th/15. We disembarked at Southampton, & entrained for London, where we were met by motor ambulance & conveyed to the King George Hospital, Stamford St. What a treat the nice green fields were to our eyes, after the burning & glaring sands of the Egyptian desert, & the shell ploughed & bullet swept veldt of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Thur. Sep. 9th/15. We had a very excitable time last night. The Germans made another air raid on London. They started dropping bombs between 10pm & 11pm. They passed over the hospital & we saw two fires not far from here. The anti-aircraft guns were firing all the time, & we could see the shells bursting all around the Zeppelin, but they could not hit it; worse luck. Mon. Sep. 13th 1915. I left the King George Hos. & proceeded by motor to the Orchard Military Convalescent Hos. Dartford, Kent, where I am put on the staff; being temporary unfit for active service. I am ward orderly here, in charge of one of the wards. I am also a member of the hospital military band (cornet) & the hospital string band (violin)

    P. Brown.

  9. EdK's Blog

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    OK, stick with me as we travel together the rocky road of creativity (or at least documentation). I will try to do periodic updates of my progress in writing my book which is largely based on the 80 or so letters my grandfather wrote back to his wife in 1916/1917 from the UK. I have at least got the title for the book, I think.

    Here is my draft front and back pages for the book:

    Front cover:






    The WW1 letters of Thomas Kermode

    Bombing Instructor

    1916 - 1917

    [insert image here - re bombing school, Hurdcott - see next bit of blog by me ...]

    Back cover:

    "Not this hell of strife & bullying & perpetual alarms. Nothing secure, nothing stable. Violence tonight, the whole week long, & month after month of it. Bayonet & bomb & bullet. All desperate murder & killing till it becomes sickening."

    So writes Thomas Kermode on 12 December 1916 as his inner struggle intensifies and he hardens his resolve to find a way back home to wife and kiddies. Amidst the uncertainty of his fate, Thomas's stands firm and ultimately triumphs. But is it really a triumph? Was Thomas Kermode, DCM & King's Corporal in the Boer War, a hero or a coward in WW1? Or, like all of us, a bit of both? As you read Thomas's story, you will form you own view. We could never know the truth, not even if we were Thomas himself. This book takes us as close as we ever could be to standing in his muddy boots on Salisbury Plain, retrieving an unexploded grenade.

    In some 80 letters Thomas records events and his emotional rollercoaster experiences literally (at times) as they happen. The camaraderie, the grind, the pride, the disillusionment, the spirit, the apprehension, the awe, the anger, the guilt, the longing, the "grin and bear it" determination, the heartache, the humour. And much more. Thomas's WW1 experience was unlike most other participants. His war was within himself and against the army system.

    The book is often in subject order using Thomas's own words. The letters are published complete as an appendix.


    And here is my draft of the first chapter:


    by Ed Kermode

    Chapter One

    Introduction: This book tells a simple story. Yet it has layer upon layer of complexity to it. The main character is Thomas Kermode, my grandfather. The book is based largely on the letters he wrote home in 1916 and 1917.

    Here is the sequence of events, in broadest terms:

    Decorated Boer War veteran enlists and leaves for the UK

    He regrets it almost immediately

    Despite some early positive experiences

    The situation deteriorates for various reasons

    He inwardly rebels against the army

    He loses his sergeants stripes and extra duty pay over a trivial matter

    As a result, he openly rebels against the army

    He succeeds in efforts to be classified Ciii (unfit for duty)

    This occurs only after a period of great uncertainty, worry and stress

    He returns home to South Australia as an AMC (Army Medical Corps) personnel on troopship/hospital ship Pakeha

    Decorated Boer War Veteran enlists and leaves for the UK

    Thomas Kermode (born 29 March 1879) was a young man and single when he fought in the Boer War. He enlisted in Adelaide, South Australia as Trooper Kermode of the 5th IBC (Imperial Bushmen's Contingent) with army number 495 (as per the Australian War Memorial Nominal Roll).

    [insert photo here with caption "Corporal Thomas Kermode (photo taken in 1902 on return from South Africa)"]

    He fought in various engagements including at Graspan - Reitz (6th June 1901) and at Grootvlei Farm (1st/2nd August 1901, where he was awarded a DCM and was promoted in the field to King's Corporal. The citation for the DCM reads as follows: "South Australian Mounted Inf. --- 495 Trpr T. Kermode (promoted Corpl.); for conspicuous gallantry in attack on Grootvlei, Aug. 1; he was first man into the farm and bayonetted the first man, and although wounded in three places, continued to fight" - London Gazette: 10 September 1901; page 5980, position 2. He was also mentioned in despatches - London Gazette: 15 November 1901; page 7384, position 1.

    He returned to civilian life in rural South Australia and at the time of enlistment for WW1 he was married with three young children and owned a farm at Pyap, near Loxton. Enlistment was at Mitcham (check this) on 4 February 1916 (attestation date). Army Service No. 3581. Rank Acting Sergeant. Unit: 8th reinforcement/32nd Battalion AIF. Thomas was 36 yrs and 10 months old. He stood 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed about 14 stone. He trained at Mitcham Camp (eastern suburb of Adelaide City) until embarkation at Adelaide on 12 August 1916, some 6 months.

    Mitcham training etc (passing mention of, in his letters):

    8/9/1916 Ballarat (ship) - Orderly Sergt on a troopship is something similar to what I had to do at Mitcham.

    22/9/1916 Ballarat (ship) - I miss the taste of the food at home. Mitcham camp was tasteless enough …

    1/10/1916 Codford No. 13 Camp - A very intense system is in vogue & men are made soldiers, not by playing like we did at Mitcham.

    8/10/1916 Codford Camp - Many men are paraded for things overlooked at Mitcham.

    18/10/1916 Codford Camp - but all the same, Mitcham education is not to be despised.

    20/10/1916 Codford No. 13 Camp - We still are pursuing our studies. It is almost like the N.C.O. school at Mitcham again

    1/11/1916 Codford Camp - We cannot escape like I used to at Mitcham

    3/11/1916 Codford Camp - All the subjects taught at Mitcham were very good & they certainly don't do any better here.

    3/11/1916 Codford No. 13 Camp - Saluting & coming to attention is smarter but anything else is the same.

    3/11/1916 Codford No. 13 Camp - It (Sgt's position) is several times worse than Mitcham for fighting for place.

    13/12/1916 Hurdcott - Nobody goes for trips to Adelaide in the Mitcham electric car & char-a-bancs.

    28/12/1916 Hurdcott - I am orderly sergt today, tho' it is nothing so easy as Mitcham

    30/12/1916 Hurdcott - (re discipline and winning respect of the men) although it was tough going at Mitcham & on the boat it won at last & they highly loved me.

    8/4/1917 Fovant Hospital - Huts built like those we had at Mitcham, only with sides & windows

    4/8/1917 Hurdcott - I am still wearing the same hat that I did in Mitcham


    20/09/1916 (on the Ballarat) Your face was Oh so sad the last I saw of it, at the Outer Harbor. You realized then, my dear, what was happening. You were blanched with loneliness & tears were hanging like a cloud in your eyes.

    13/07/1917 Hurdcott It will be 12 months next month since I last saw you at the Outer Harbour & waving that doll & big tears in your eyes. I saw you until the crowd became one blur & could see you no more. That was a long while ago.

    [That's it, so far - what do you think? By the way, I have entered all the letters onto a database, over 4,000 records. An awful long way to go before the whole story is told in Thomas's and/or my words.]


    And here is a snippet of some of the subjects recorded in that database:

    Attitude - figuring out ways of getting home again

    attitude - patriotism subjugated, this is the only chance of return home

    attitude - to entertainers

    attitude - to entertainers (reminds Thomas of May and home)

    Attitude compared with Boer War

    Attitude pessimistic

    Attitude positive/philosophical

    Attitude positive/philosophical/hopeful

    Attitude re Germans in Australia voting on conscription

    Attitude to African natives

    Attitude to army discipline

    Attitude to army discipline etc - pride dealt a blow as private

    Attitude to army lectures/orders

    Attitude to being at

    Attitude to Belgians

    Attitude to censors reading his letters to May

    Attitude to chances of avoiding France

    Attitude to chances of return home

    Attitude to chances of return home - first mention of Weymouth

    Attitude to chances of return home - to go to Weymouth in two days time

    Attitude to christianity

    Attitude to civilian men who have not enlisted

    Attitude to conscription

    Attitude to courage of nations involved in the war

    Attitude to death

    Attitude to discipline etc

    Attitude to England

    Attitude to England compared with Australia

    Attitude to English & Australians, hostile

    Attitude to English upper class

    Attitude to English women

    Attitude to enlisting

    Attitude to enlisting - origional feeling/reason to do so still with him

    Attitude to excess

    Attitude to farm if not sold

    Attitude to farm life wheat etc

    Attitude to French/France

    Attitude to future

    Attitude to German neighbours

    Attitude to Germans in Australia who have not enlisted

    Attitude to Germany

    Attitude to Germany U-boats

    Attitude to his situation

    Attitude to his situation - a "self-putdown"? &/or signifying a change in his perception of self and his situation? IMP?

    Attitude to his situation - could make a go of it if May were here with him

    Attitude to his situation - leaving Hurdcott

    Attitude to his situation - leaving UK etc

    Attitude to his situation - pleased at own decision not to have operation

    Attitude to his situation - predicts will be home for Christmas dinner

    Attitude to his situation - professes to not feel guilty in going home to Australia

    Attitude to his situation - raring to go, after spell at Tidworth & in Fovant hospital

    attitude to his situation - reasons why he should NOT stay

    Attitude to his situation - reasons why he should NOT stay, sop to conscience

    Attitude to his situation - reasons why he should stay

    Attitude to his situation - states preference for France but knows that is unlikely

    Attitude to his situation - still uncertain

    Attitude to his situation - strategy/actions were so Thomas could get home sooner to May & kids

    Attitude to his situation - works the system

    Attitude to home life, etc

    Attitude to home life, etc

    Attitude to his age.

    Attitude to horses

    Attitude to hospital

    Attitude to Irish

    Attitude to legal protection/agreements

    Attitude to marrying May

    Attitude to May's letterwriting

    Attitude to meeting up with

    Attitude to money

    Attitude to news that May helped by neighbours

    Attitude to officers

    Attitude to process of getting back home

    Attitude to process of getting back home - settled and "in control"

    Attitude to process of getting back home - undecided but "in control"

    Attitude to prostitutes

    Attitude to rank & file

    Attitude to rumours

    Attitude to smoking

    Attitude to the sea

    Attitude to theft and profiteering

    Attitude to Thomas K

    Attitude to Thomas K & vice versa

    Attitude to time-wasting

    Attitude to troops in France

    Attitude to unmarried troops' situation

    Attitude to VD

    Attitude to war - determined

    Attitude to war - did not matter who started it

    Attitude to war

    Attitude to wheat growing

    Attitude to women

    Attitude to work

    Attitude to work dodging &seeking warmth

    Attitude to, by British

    Attitude towards

    Attitude towards coalminers, wharf-lumpers, etc

    Attitude/response to May's letterwriting

    Austerity measures

    Austerity measures - Government backdown

    Australia affirmed

    Australian troops affirmed by

    Australian, proud of being

    Ballarat (travel in)ballarat sinking - Thos sends newspaper article to May

    Ballarat's progress

    Ballarat's seaworthiness


    Battalion Orderly Sergeant today

    Battalion parade - Major falls on his bum due to icy ground

    Been in UK 15 months, seen no fighting, just lucky

    Befriends Sergt Major of Mons (Ware)


    Behaviour - emotional bank invested towards May

    Behaviour new years eve

    Behaviour of Ballarat ship's company towards

    Behaviour on night prior to departure

    Behaviour, ribald

    Bijou Theatre vaudeville performance by

    Bluff and combativeness

    Bombing display - two men hospitalised

    Bombing sergeants, only ones left with Thomas

    Bombing work, believed in by


    Bought item lost on holidays while sober

    Brave face kept despite fears

    Burial at sea prompts morbid thoughts from


    Buys mementoC iii mates

    cable - suggests May cable him every 8 weeks or so

    Cable address of, sent to May

    Cable sent by - well, after hospital stay, and not to France yet

    Cable sent by - will May answer it

    Cable to be sent when leaving Weymouth

    Cables worth the money

    Camp (Hurdcott) becoming empty due to lack of reinforcements (crucial change?)

    Camp (Hurdcott) practically empty (cause = ?) on Thos return from leave

    Camp address, exact given to May

    Camp conditions described

    Camp conditions described - C company merged with B company

    Camp conditions described - camaraderie

    Camp conditions described - daylight saving time means getting up an hour earlier

    Camp conditions described - daytime activity

    Camp conditions described - disease

    Camp conditions described - early morning routine

    Camp conditions described - food

    Camp conditions described - icy slippery ground: hard to keep one's footing

    Camp conditions described - lack of good cheer

    Camp conditions described - lice

    Camp conditions described - nice quiet day

    Camp conditions described - no washing facilities or hot water (camp only new)

    Camp conditions described - short of men, need more recruits

    Camp conditions described - slack atmosphere due to Christmas etc

    Ed K

  10. pc57's Blog

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    Our story begins in the townlands of Aughtermoy, Ballinamallagh near Dunnamanagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland. A rural, mainly bog or marshy land, with pockets of grazing pastures for both dairy and beef cattle. Farmsteads were mostly small with a few acres attached and on the whole were owned by Roman Catholic farmers.


    James Carlin marries Margaret Bridget Rodgers, both full age and residing in Aughtermoy. The marriage took place in the Roman Catholic Church at Killena, Dunnamanagh, by the Rev D Doherty. James's Father, Hugh Carlan was a labourer, as was Hugh Rodgers, Bridget's Father. The witnesses to the marriage were: Joseph White and Rose Rodgers. James was a," labourer" and Bridget was recorded as a, "Servant". They have six children: Catherine (1878), Bridget (1880), John (1881), Jane (1884), Hugh (1885) and finally William in (1887).


    Within three miles of Aughtermoy, is the townlands of Meendamph and Ballinamallagh. Here on 12th February 1888, Charles Mc Cullagh married Mary Slevin. Both were full age, Charles resided at Meendamph while Mary resided at Ballinamallagh, Charles's occupation was a labourer. Both fathers; Charles Mc Cullagh (Deceased) and James Slevin, were "Farmers" and the witnesses to the marriage were: Michael Mc Grinder and Rose Donaghey. The marriage was preformed by the Rev B Mulholland cc. The marriage produced 4 children: Charles (1899), Annie (1892), twins Rosey & Minnie (1896). When Charles Snr died, Mary's Mother Mary moved into the Charles and Mary's house in Ballinamallagh.


    James Carlin passed away on 12th June 1893 aged 41, suffering from Phtlusis for years. His death was registered by his Father Hugh Carlin who was present at the death at Bunowen in the townland of Ballynenor on the 15th June 1893. He was survived by his wife Bridget and family of six.


    John Carlin joins the Enniskillen Fusiliers in 1898 aged 17years and 6 months. He served in a number of countries and had a lengthy military record. He returned home and married Ellan Melaugh on 6th July 1908.


    Bridget Carlin ( James & Margret`s Daughter), married Robert Boyle in the RC Church on Strabane. Robert was an "Adult" and Bridget was 19 years old, a Bachelor and Spinster. His occupation was a "Heckler" and Bridget a "Mill Worker". Robert was residing at Bearney Strabane and Bridget at Carrigullen Strabane. Robert`s Father was Neal Boyle and Bridget`s : James Carlin. Both Father`s are recorded as " Labourers". The witnesses to the marriage were: John Howard and Annie Howard( her mark). The marriage was conducted by Rev Joseph Bradley CC.


    In the 1901 census of Ireland, We find Bridget Carolan living in No. 15 Carrigullen Rd in the townland of Edymore, Camus, Strabane. In the household at the address we have:

    Bridger Carolan (head of Family) aged 46, Roman Catholic and a widow.

    William Carolan male son aged 15, a Roman Catholic, "Spreader" in spinning mill, not married and he can read and write.

    Hugh Carolan male son aged 17, Roman Catholic, "Spreader" in spinning mill, not married, he can also read and write.

    Bridget Boyle female daughter aged 20, Roman Catholic, "Reeler" in spinning mill, married and she can read and write.

    Mary Boyle female Grand Daughter aged 1 year, Roman Catholic, not married and cannot read nor write.

    In the Townland of Ballinamallagh, at a house owned by a John Donnell, we find the Mc Cullagh Family. Head of the Family is Charles aged 40 and a Farmer. His Wife Mary, a Seamstress aged 30, her mother Mary, a Widow aged 70, Charles his Son a scholar aged 12, all can read & write. Next we have Annie, his Daughter aged 9 along with Rosey and Minie the twins aged 5, neither can read nor write. The entire family are Roman Catholic.


    On Monday the 10th October 1904, Annie Mc Cullagh( McCollugh), left the quiet townland of Ballinamallagh and travel the 14 or so miles to Derry.At Derry port she boarded the SS Columbia and sailed off to Philadelphia USA, she was 11 years old. . We believe she traveled with a "Annie Rodgers", possibly a cousin,their destination in Philadelphia was: 2133 Mountroserose St,where she was staying with her Aunt also called Annie Mc Cullagh. From family stories that have been passed down and one photograph, it was said she disliked it so much she returned some (2 ) years later in 1908,sailing from New York to Derry on board the White Star liner the "Laurentic", vowing never to return! On her arrival back in Ireland she took up work as a servant and We find her working for the Dick family in Douglas Burn in the Townland of Knockannilar, Legfrodrum Strabane in 1911.


    William Carlin service No.8509, joined the Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers on the 28th January. He served a total of 9 years and 163 days and was posted to: France, Crete, Malta, China and finally took part in the expeditionary to France on the 28th April 1914. He was discharged on medical grounds with "inflamation of the middle ear" on the 20th June 1915.


    John Carlin married Ellen Melaugh in the RC Church in Strabane. Both were "Full Age", John is recorded as a Labourer. Both are residing at Bearney Strabane. James Carlin is John`s Father and Christopher Melaugh is Ellen`s Father. The ocupation of both Father`s is recorded as Labourer`s and the witnesses to the marriage were : John Melaugh and Jane Carlin( her mark). The marriage was preformed by Rev Peter Tracy CC.


    Bridget Carlin is residing at an address 18 Bearney Glebe, Strabane. Her age is given as 67 and a widow. With her in the house is:

    Jane Carlin 21, Daughter, a "Spinner" in local flax mill, single and

    George Carlin 1 year, Grandson.

    At 17 Bearney Glebe, Strabane, we have Bridget`s Son, Hugh Carlin 25 with an occupation recorded as "Navy". With Hugh is:

    Susan Carlin 26 Wife,

    Cassie Daughter 3 and Annie Daughter 2


    Charles Mc Cullagh joined the Leciestershire Regiment cycle corp on 16th March 1913. He made the rank of Lance Corporal and fought in the batttle of Bailleul in Belgium. It was here that Charles is beleived to have died. What followes is a discription of his regiments movements and battle details for the date of his death, we can only assume he was involved in this battle in some manner:


    On the 12th October 1913, Hugh Moan married Jane Carlin in St ary`s RC Church Melount, Strabane. Both were "Full Age" and Both resided at Ballyfatton, Sionmills. Hugh was a Labourer and Jane a "Mill Worker" The names of their Fathers were: Hugh Moan and James Carlin and their occupations were both Labourer`s. The withnesses to the arriage were: Bob Ward and Teresa Mc Cay. The service was prefored by the Rev P O Doherty CC.

    1ST Leicester War Diary

    The 1st Leicester's 15.04.1918

    The war diary for today records that the Battalion were in the front line in the Neuve Eglise sector. Patrols sent out throughout the night, no definite information gained. One prisoner a German Officer captured on Neuve Eglise – Dranoutre Road. At 10.30am Operational Order number 300 received from Brigade placing one Company of 9th Norfolk Regiment hitherto attached to us under order of Officer Commanding 9th Norfolk Regiment. Quiet morning, Brigade Major and Brigade I. O. called at 12 o clock and went round line with Commanding Officer. At 1.30pm very heavy shelling of area held by Battalion commenced. The shelling gradually increased in intensity and reached its climax about 3.00pm. Telephone lines to Brigade held until about 3.15pm and from communications heard it was gathered that 9th Norfolk Regiment on our right had been attacked and driven back. A counter attack temporally resolved the situation, but remaining troops were not sufficiently strong to hold the line. This made the position of our right Company somewhat precarious, but they held on although a runner reported at Battalion HQ's that they had left some of their trenches at 3.15pm. A defensive flank was formed valley in S. 12.d. by one platoon of B Company and Battalion HQ's. Later reports indicated that A company were compelled to evacuate their trenches about 4.30pm owing to very heavy shelling and in order to get touch with 9th Norfolk Regiment on right, who had withdrawn to the line of the railway S.12.a. At 4.25pm D Company on left reported that everything was all right, casualties slight. B Company reported frequently during bombardment 1.30 to 3.30pm about which time the intensity of the bombardment considerably decreased. At 5.00pm the enemy brought up a field gun to within a few hundred yards of the front line which commenced firing point blank at our trenches. At 6.30pm a message was received from A Company advising that their line ran as follows: - S.12.d. 20.50 (12 men), S.12.d. 30.70 (6 men), S.12.d. 50.80 (7 men). Enemy at S.12.c and advancing, nobody visible on right. One platoon of C Company under 2nd Lt. Sims had been sent to support A Company about 4.30pm. At 7.15pm situation advised to Brigade as follows: - Left Company as usual. Left centre Company as usual except for one platoon in reserve sent to reinforce right Company. Right centre Company strong point T.7.a. 15.80 to S.12.d. 90.60. A Company and one platoon of C Company, HQ's S.12.d. 75.50 to S.12.d. 30.50 facing east-south, one platoon at S.12.a. 70.60. Still in reserve one platoon left centre Company. Battalion HQ's established at T.7.a. 15.00. Enemy believed to be at S.12.d. 70.20 and S.12.c. 20.20. At 7.50pm remaining reserve platoon sent to assist right Company to hold their line. Instructions sent to A Company not to retire except under pressure and to join up with 9th Norfolk Regiment holding line of railway in S.12.a. if need be. At 8.00pm A Company reported enemy concentrating for an attack on their front and more men urgently needed to help hold his line, all available servants and orderlies were sent forward pending arrival of 12 men asked for from C Company. Eventually enough men were obtained to hold the line continuously, the support platoon of D Company being called upon to fill the gap. Barrage was put down by the artillery and the attack came to nothing. Officer Commanding B Company reported all quiet at 9.20pm. At 9.00pm Brigade Operational Order number 301 was received informing us to hold on to our positions. Casualties, other ranks A Company 3 killed, 25 wounded, 8 missing. B Company 11 wounded. C Company 2 killed, 7 wounded, 1 missing. D Company 2 killed, 1 missing. Casualties, officers Lt. A. Hill killed, Lt. W. Clancey wounded.


    On the 1st August William Carlin married Annie Mc Cullagh in the RC Church in Strabane. Both were "Full age" and a Bachelor and a Spinster. William was a Labourer and Annie a Servant. William is residing at Bearney Strabane and Annie at Liskey Strabane. James Carlin and Charles Mc Cullagh are the respective Fathers and both are recorded as Labourers. Witnesses to the Marriage were: William Moan and Minnie Mc Cullagh. The couple were married by the Rev Hugh Mc Glynn CC.


    On Thursday 5th June, at Bearney crossroads, John Carlin had returned from a fair in Strabane Town. He climbed a tree and was showing a number of people arcobatics that he had witnessed that day in Strabane. He fell out of the tree and died 2 days later on Saturday 7th from a fractured scull. He was 38 years old. At his funeral he was accorded a full military funeral with a band from the Royal Inniskillen Fusiliers playing.

  11. mortimer's Blog

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    When I was three years old I told my mother I was going to be a soldier, so it came to pass fifteen years later. But that was all a lifetime ago. When I was nine I bought my first medals at school. That was the begining of a lifelong interest in warfare & militaria. Now I'm a war pensioner with three medals of my own & a BA (Hon) in War Studies. No longer a soldier I still work for the MOD in phaleristics.

    From time to time I use the GWF professionally, as do many of my co workers, we all find it a boon to research. I'm the first to admit I certainly don't know all the answers & there are MANY people on the GWF have a knowledge of the conflagration that is second to none.

    SADLY I find, from time to time, resistance, when other members of the GWF discover I collect medals, usually evident from my question. I suppose I could say my grandfather was Gunner 'so in so' & pretend I'm after a bit of info on his unit etc but my conscience wouldn't allow it. To many, the medal collector, in general, is little better then a thief. That is very sad. True there are unscrupulous 'collectors'. But most are facinated by the man & history behind the medals & why they were awarded. I try to add as much research to a man/medal I can & if It turns out later that I dispose of the medal, not for the first time back to the family, my heart is cheered.

    What the uninitiated should remember is that medals left veterans for MANY reasons, usually economic. At one stage in the 1920's Manchester pawn brokers refused to accept pledged medals. It is a little known fact that only around 10% of WW1 medal issued still exist! If it had not been for collectors this figure would now be even less! Many of the base metal medals were thrown away after being rejected by the 'pop shop'. Ever wonder why one can see an MM/BWM for sale minus Star/Victory medal - the former two were often bought by a collector. After the Great War parades of rightly disgruntled veterans could be seen, some wearing the pawn ticket where their medals should be, a source of national guilt, some land fit for a hero 'eh. There are at least two sides to every story. I work with the public every day & nine times out of ten they admit the family no longer have their relatives 'gongs'. I always advise them to advertise on one of the various medal reuniting sites on the net.

  12. spiritbird's Blog

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    I never knew my Grandfather, he died before I was born

    On a battle field in Flanders, on a late September morn

    A young man in his prime was he, who never raised his son

    No part of him was ever found, when battle it was won

    But I bear his name with pride because, a heo still is he

    Who gave his life for everyone, especially you and me

    He speaks to me from spirit, though I never hear his words

    He talks to me in sunlight, in animals and birds

    I feel his very presence, his hand upon my arm

    His guidance and protection, still keeping me from harm

    Like those who went before him and those who followed on

    He lives within the spirit, of every fathers son

    Like him I know your loved ones, are with you every day

    Their love for you is endless, it nevr goes away

    They are reaching out to touch you, To comfort and to guide

    Never ever leaving, but walking by your side

    So remember those in spirit, as they remember you

    Give honour to their memory

    In everything you do.

  13. Royal's Blog

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    I always think it strange in a way that all four oldest brothers (great great great uncles) went to France and returned. 3 out of the 4 were RAMC.

    One was gassed but still lived until the early 1970's with his wife in a little chocolate box cottage.

    One was Maj Gen Sir Smith Dorien's batman. After Smith Dorien lost favour with high command and was sent to Gibralter as Governor, my great great great uncle went with him and never saw action again.

    The other two....i dont know about.

    On the other side of the family, one of my great great great uncles was killed in his barrack room in Belfast by a friend after returning at the very end of 1918. They had been on the ranges and his friend had not cleared his rifle. As he was taking it apart, he fired off the round and shot him in the back. So sad to go through all of the hell of France and die in such a tragic way. I have a photo postcard of his funeral with full military honours in Nottingham plus newspaper clippings, his Victory medal and death plaque. Needless to say i check my rifle properly when firing live rounds!!

    Has anyone else had brothers etc that went to war and both or all returned?

  14. Ordinary Joe's Blog

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    My first entry into Blog world. I will learn as I go. The usual, ken?

    Am very interested in anything Great War, particularly concerning the Village and environs of Aberfeldy Perthshire, and the men from the Burgh, who served and fell in the Great War.


  15. gerrytell's Blog

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    I am looking for information and photographs of 2 men that died near Ieper Christopher Owen O'Brien and Richard Rennicks they were both killed in action on the same date today 8th march 1915 and 1917, Thats todays date spooky or what. I am going to Belgium next week and intend to plant some shamrock on their graves. Christopher was a distant cousin and Richard is from near where I live and his grand nephew is my brother in law. Nobody in my family knows anything about either men. It's like they went to war and were erased from memory. I would love to know how they died and get a photo of them, I know there were many men from my area who died in WW1 but I would like to research these first. If anyone can help it would be great.

  16. memorialhunter's Blog

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    I have just emailed Ordnance Survey and asked WHY War Memorials are not listed on their maps and if they have any intention in the future to list them.

    Nice as it may be, to have Public Houses listed, surely War Memorials are equally (if not more) important. Wouldn't it be nice when on holiday, to be able to stroll and pay respects at a local WM which you have just noted on your map.

    If any of you feel as strongly as me re this, drop me a line.


  17. Sherpamick's Blog

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    Hi all, I am posting this as a blog, because I feel it does not fit any of the forums catagories. I am presenting a talk on the Royal Irish Regiment at Le Pilly (Oct 1914) and I have a Powerpoint presentation, but I want to produce 5no maps showing troop movements over the 3 day period of the battle. I am looking for ideas on what symbols I should use and what style it should have. I have pre-1914 OS maps of the area and Google earth maps as well as modern day photos of the area. Any ideas would be greatfully accepted.


  18. Simon Harley's Blog

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    By my reckoning 197 men served as Flag Officers on the Active List of the Royal Navy from August, 1914 to November, 1918. Only a small number of those are well-known, and by no means not all of them served afloat or ashore but were unemployed or were placed straight onto the Retired List. If anyone has any photos of flag officers lurking that they'd like to "share", or any other material for that matter, I'd be very interested in having a look at it. The ultimate aim is to collate a biographical dictionary of British Flag Officers, online and in print.

  19. Odds and Ends

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    Latest Entry

    The Globe had to print a correction today -- instead of the previously reported eighteen thousand volunteers, to date at least eighty thousand men have come forward to volunteer for the Canadian overseas forces.

    News from Europe isn't promising as fifty-five of the seventy miles to the Belgian frontier has been taken by the Germans already. Still some resistance at key points (Liege, Antwerp, etc.), but no reports of either French or British troops in Belgium to help check the German advance.

    Another note of interest tucked away at the bottom of page two -- The New England Fat Man's Club had their annual trip to Montreal scheduled and a number of people backed out because they were worried that they'd find themselves in the middle of an armed conflict once they entered Canada! Or at least that's what some of the 125 brave souls (both members and their wives) who made the trip reported to the Canada Press. Tongue in cheek reporting perhaps?

  20. Ancestry put service records online ...

    I had no great hope of finding any relative's service papers when the A-C records went online at Ancestry, only about 30% of records having survived WWII bombs, and only 2 known Clay ancestors of an age to be eligible for service - and one of them, Grandad Charles Henry Clay, had, I'd already found with help from GWF Pals, almost certainly served in the Volunteer Training Corps, the Great War fore-runner of 'Dad's Army'.

    So, I was intrigued when I found records for a Thomas Clay. Could this be Grandad's half-brother?

    What a wonderful place this internet is ...

    Well. yes, it could. He wasn't using his middle name, Archibald and the papers recorded his mother's name as Hannah, not Ann as on all other records I'd seen. But the points which convinced me this was our Thomas were his age - only two Thomas Clays of the right age appeared in the freeBMD index to birth registrations - our Thomas Archibald, registered in Warwick, and a Thomas Henry, registered in Chesterfield; his location - Leamington Spa, where he had been born in 1892; the fact that his mother was living in Birmingham, where his father had died in 1912; and his trade - he was a tailor, like his Grandfather and at least one uncle before him.

    Thomas enlists under the Derby Scheme

    Like millions of other Britons, Thomas had not enlisted in the initial surge of patriotic fervour. As more and more men were needed for the front as the War moved into its 15th month, and insufficient numbers were volunteering, the newly appointed Director-General of Recruiting, Lord Derby, took steps to remedy the situation; Lord Derby was appointed D-G on 11 October 1915 and his programme for raising the numbers, known as the Derby Scheme, which required men to attest with an obligation to come if called up, was quickly put in place. A detailed description of the Derby Scheme can be found on The Long, Long Trail

    Thomas attested at Leamington Spa on 11 December, 1915. His attestation form (below) appears to show that he was initially assigned to the RAMC, service number 16592 (but other papers indicate he was assigned to the Royal Warwicks) but, before posting to the BEF, he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, with new service number 36360.


    Having attested, and been assigned to the Army Reserve, Thomas returned home to await mobilisation. This came just a few weeks later - on 9 February 1916, he was posted to the depot of 3rd Battn, Royal Warwickshire Regt at Warwick, where he underwent time-honoured enlistment procedures. He was medically examined on 10 February and the Medical History form (below) shows that he was a man of slight build - 5 ft 4 1/2 tall, weighing 8 stone 5 lbs and with a surprising entry under 'marks indicating ... previous disease' - he was absolutely bald, due to alopecia areata.


    Thomas remained at Warwick until 17 July, undergoing training, but on 13 May was transferred from the RAMC (or the RWR) to the MGC. On 17 July he was posted to the BEF in France, and was assigned to 100 Coy, MGC on the 21st. Thomas was at war.


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    Before we get going, this is what the papers said of Sgt Skinner:

    This extract comes from Kentish Express and Ashford News February 9 1918

    For Their King and Country

    "Mr & Mrs Joseph Skinner of the Street, Great Chart have received official news of the death of their eldest son , Sergeant Albert Skinner of the Royal West Kents. Sergeant Skinner joined the Buffs in October 1914 and proceeded to
    where he was attached to the Royal West Kents. Leaving the Dardanelles he went to
    and was wounded in the attack at
    El Arish
    . After being in hospital for several months he rejoined his unit and was killed by a shell at Tel el Khuweil-Feir, north of
    . In a letter received from the Colonel it stated “Sergeant Skinner was killed while advancing against the Turks on 4th November. He was buried where he fell in a little valley below the hill which was eventually taken from the enemy. Not only his own platoon but the officers and men of the whole battalion lost a great friend when Sgt Skinner was killed. He was with the battalion from the formation and was always so cheery and good hearted even in the hardest times.

  22. styles' Blog

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    Ernest Stanley Styles joined the Essex Yeomanry in 1914 and served until his discharge in 1919. He was an OR and survived his horrendous ordeal without serious wounds. In about 1972 his grandchildren perseuded him to write his story about the war. This he did in great detail from his date of enlistment until his discharge. A copy of this record is in the War Museum, London and also locally in the Essex War Museum.

    The overwhelming feeling when one reads his story is of the futility of the whole affair. As with many others he has avoided writing about his comrades and their frequent deaths but has portrayed the conditions of the battles etc.

    Ernest died in 1984 aged 91 and was a much loved kind and gentle man.

  23. 147 pte / 2nd lt Hubert Joseph Foley R. Warwicks and S. Staffs

    Born 30 October 1894 (Cradley Heath)

    01 census Corngreaves Road , Cradley Heath

    Joseph E. Foley 28 carter

    Laura Foley 29

    Hubert J. Foley 6

    Norman Foley 4 months

    Enlisted 21st September 1914 (Moseley) into 16th Warwicks (3rd Birmingham Pals)

    Address 114 Grainger's Lane , Cradley Heath

    Occupation- insurance clerk

    landed France 21/11/15

    during the attack on Falfemont Farm on the 3rd September 1916 he was wounded g.s. wound right arm

    went back to France 18/1/17

    posted to 15th Warwicks 5/2/17

    during the attack on Vimy Ridge 9th April 1917 he was wounded g.s. wound left thigh

    Appointed to temp. commision with the 3rd South Staffs (London Gazette 18th March 1918)

    wounded again ! with 4th S. Staffs 29th May 1918 (g.s. wound head!)

    placed on retired list on account of ill-health caused by wounds 25/2/19

    applied in 1955 for a pension because of his wounds. He states ' A bullet penetrated lobe of right ear and passed throught head leaving partial paralysis and limited movement of head'

    Hubert Joseph Foley died in the Stourbridge area in the Oct.Nov.Dec quarter 1969

  24. Our Growing Departments

    With our ever-increasing beds, all the departments in the hospital increase accordingly. In the early days we had R.A.M.C.T. men entirely in the offices, stores, post office, etc. Now nearly all – or at least the greater proportion – of the men have disappeared. Some have gone abroad with the R.A.M.C., others have transferred to fighting units, and many are on hospital ships. Then the problem was, who was to replace them?

    I remember, a very long time ago, one of the heads of the Red Cross Society coming down and discussing with us how women could be employed. Gradually a scheme evolved, and the first military hospital to try it was the 3rd London.

    The lady orderlies came, were approved of, and proved the greatest help to us; gradually, lady clerks, typists, postwomen, enquiry department, linen storekeepers, steward store assistants, telephone operators, cooks and charladies became installed; and today the ever green picture, “Can Women do our Work?” is answered, I think, by everyone concerned – Yes.

    From a Matron’s point of view I looked on the influx of women with a sinking heart. I already had over 300 women for whom I was responsible; and when the War Office decided that all women employed in a military hospital should come directly under the Matron I nearly wept – and felt certainly that it was more than one could bear. Now when I look back over all those changes I still marvel how it was done. But the fact remains today that we have somewhere about 500 women employed in the different departments of the hospital; and, apart from this making my office work very heavy, I do not feel the responsibility any greater. This in itself, I think, speaks volumes for the loyal help we get.

    The different departments all run smoothly. The Quartermaster’s office has two lady clerks, the C.O. has one, the Matron one, the Registrar’s office has many. I shall never forget poor Captain Gosse’s face when he first heard that ladies were going to be admitted into his office. He looked hopeless. And until the day he went away he always referred to them as “the little bits of fluff in my office.”

    Two ladies are responsible for the card index where, within a few minutes, you can look up any patient who has ever been in the hospital. Another does the typing, another helps with the discharges. Three ladies answer all enquiries in the front hall, and seem to me to spend half their time directing people to the D corridor. I often hear, “Yes; left, right, left, right, then you had better enquire again”; and I wonder whether the visitor ever finds his way to D at all.

    We have two ladies on the telephone and four in the post office. The postal arrangements are to my mind perfect, and hardly ever is there complaint of letters going astray of being misdirected, which is wonderful, considering the thousands of letters and parcels that pass through this office. Then in the pay office we have a lady clerk. Next along the passage is the massage room. I see that a very excellent article has already been sent about this department, so there is no need for me to say anything. I hope, however, it won’t be long before Miss Layton and her helpers will get their new room.

    Then we come to the stores. All clean linen is given out by ladies who work under the supervision of the Quartermaster, much of the work is now done by ladies, who all come under what we call the General Duty Section. The kitchens too, now have many women replacing men. In the general kitchen we still have the staff-sergeant cook, who is responsible, but in the sick officers’ kitchen there is a V.A.D. cook, and also in the orderlies’ kitchen.

    The scrubbers are also a great feature – and it is astonishing how easily they lose themselves in this huge place and what a lot of finding they require sometimes!

    I feel that this article sounds rather like an essay on “Women’s Rights.” I am not a suffragette, and no one will welcome men back to their old jobs more than I shall, but I do feel that women have shown how much they can help, in this war, as well as men. And I know they will continue as long as they are needed. When we are not needed, then we shall just let the men have their own back again, and look after us as they used to – and it will be very pleasant to be looked after again, I think!

    Edith Holden, Matron.

  25. Dec 31st

    Relieved by K.R.R’s and marched back to 49th Division Camp at Vlmertinghe arriving about 12.30am 1-1-16 absolutely knocked up, so we saw in the new year marching along a Belgium road in a pretty exhausted condition, but we managed to welcome it with a song or two nevertheless.


    **********End this diary/blog where it began.....20 blog pages ago....marching along a Belgium road pretty exhausted but welcoming the new year with a song of two***************

    Dedicated to the memory of my grandfather....


    If anyone wants a word version of this diary just let me know and I will email it. It is also available at the Imperial War Museum IWM -ref: 82/11/1


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