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Remembered Today:

The earliest war death and where the burial is?


Tom Morgan
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Does anyone know the identity of the person who has the earliest date of death in the CWGC records? (Not counting mistakes!) The earliest it could possibly be is August 4th, of course. But who was the very first?

Tom

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There is this chap in the East Surreys buried in Landrecies communal cemetery, the original register (which Dad has) I think gives cause of death.

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...casualty=581543

Michelle

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Thanks, Michelle. I have two soldiers who died in an accident in the UK on 12th August and was wondering if they might be the first.

Tom

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Hi Tom

Technically there are many, from the 5th onwards, who qualify for CWGC status, being service men who died after War was declared - mostly 'Died at Home' or in India.

Last year we were at St Symphorien Cemetery which purportedly has the grave of the first k.i.a. - Pt John Parr, 4th Bn., Middlesex Regt. who was killed by a German patrol at Obourg, NE of Mons on the 21st. SDGW has others listed for 17th and 18th, e.g. Joseph Nixon (17th) but not supported by CWGC records, so probably wrong year.

Graham

post-37838-1246978771.jpg

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Hi Tom

Technically there are many, from the 5th onwards, who qualify for CWGC status, being service men who died after War was declared - mostly 'Died at Home' or in India.

Graham

Absolutely, Graham, and I'm including these men in my question. I'm after the first qualifying death, from whatever cause or location.

Tom

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There is this chap in the East Surreys buried in Landrecies communal cemetery, the original register (which Dad has) I think gives cause of death.

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...casualty=581543

Michelle

SDGW gives cause of death as 'Died'. The first match-up I can see where SDGW and CWGC agree is Pt Thomas Forrester, Kings Own Scottish Borderers, who died at home on the 5th, and is buried in Larbert Cemetery.

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I think (a long time since I saw the register) that he drowned.

Michelle

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There's a cemetery in Mons with burials for the last 4 men to be killed and 4 (or 5) of the first men..... right next to each other. I only know this from having watched a Timewatch prog recently about the "Last day of the war" (it had our own Paul Reed in it!!)

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2nd Lt Edward Molyneux Cohan died 05/08/1914 while serving in the Royal Field Artillery [West Lancashire Brigade] he is buried in my local, churchyard St Nicholas Halewood. He died when his Horse bolted after being startled by a Steam Traction Engine the Horse caught its Hoof in a Rabbit hole and threw the officer who later died of his injuries.

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Tom.

I understood the first & last to be kia are buried in St. Symphorien , Mons. the records should show this. Or are you looking for the earliest death, regardless of cause?

Colin.

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Tom.

I understood the first & last to be kia are buried in St. Symphorien , Mons. the records should show this. Or are you looking for the earliest death, regardless of cause?

Colin.

That's right, Colin, the earliest death qualifying for War Grave status, regardless of cause.

Tom

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Thanks Tom for clarifying the position, I suppose I knew that you would be aware of the kia aspect, I was guilty of the usual problem, not reading previous posts!

Cheers.

Colin.

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Thanks Tom for clarifying the position, I suppose I knew that you would be aware of the kia aspect, I was guilty of the usual problem, not reading previous posts!

Cheers.

Colin.

I'm often guilty of that too, Colin. there's just too many new threads to take in sometimes!

Tom

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Have a look at this one http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...casualty=359590

This man is my great uncle, he was with the transport section and was killed in an accident with a horse during mobilization.

The coroner took the unusal step of allowing written statements from the witnesses, as the men had by the time of the inquest already been mobilized.

By the way if anyone has the opportunity the photogragh his grave in Aldershot I will be very grateful.

Many thanks.

Stuart

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Have a look at this one http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...casualty=359590

By the way if anyone has the opportunity the photogragh his grave in Aldershot I will be very grateful.

Stuart, not brilliant but I'm reasonably certain that the 2nd headstone up in the column to the extreme left is your Gt. Uncle's grave (it corresponds to the AF1711 location given by the CWGC and does, as far as its possible to tell, look like the Coldstream Guard insignia)

post-5512-1247045586.jpg

Here's a detail of the headstone taken from it. Unfortunately not sufficient detail to make out the name even when magnified; next time I'm in the area I'll endeavour to get a better shot - not sure when that'll be at the moment though.

post-5512-1247045610.jpg

NigelS

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Hello,

Two members of the RFC, probably killed in a flying accident on 16 Aug 14, lie near Amiens. They were 2/Lt Copland-Perry and 2nd Air Mech Parfitt.

Old Tom

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The earliest RFC men killed (and earliest RFC officer) were Airman RK Barlow & Fl.Lt. R Skene when their fully laden plane crashed shortly after take off from Netheravon enroute for France on August 12th. (as can be seen below, Barlow's CWGC entry gives his death as the 11th, but as both men were killed together, and reports indicate that the accident happened on the 12th not the 11th, any claim that Barlow was the earliest RFC man to be killed shouldn't be taken too seriously.)

Name: SKENE

Initials: R R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Date of Death: 12/08/1914

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: West of Church.

Cemetery: SEND (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD

Name: BARLOW, RAYMOND KEITH

Initials: R K

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Airman 1st Class

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Unit Text: 3rd Sqdn.

Date of Death: 11/08/1914

Service No: 331

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. 4. 9.

Cemetery: BULFORD CHURCH CEMETERY

I would be interested to see a picture of Barlow's grave if anyone could oblige - here's one of Skene's

post-5512-1247072936.jpg

It's a pity that Geoff's '14-18 Search Engine can't be accessed at the moment; it might have helped to determine the earliest deaths listed by the CWGC

NigelS

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Poulton is recorded in the coldstream register for those killed - his name being added to the top of the list - confirms he died accidentally but cant read the rest

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Here is a candidate - a TF officer at annual camp, recalled to mobilise with his Brigade, accident.

Name: COHAN Edward Molyneux

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery

Unit Text: West Lancs. Bde.

Date of Death: 05/08/1914

Grave Ref: N. New. 11/12.

Cemetery: HALEWOOD (ST. NICHOLAS) CHURCHYARD, near Liverpool

D

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Name: VILES, JOSEPH

Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Somerset Light Infantry

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 27

Date of Death: 04/08/1914

Service No: 7297

Additional information: Son of Joseph and Sarah Viles.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: O. B. 2.

Cemetery: BATH (ST. JAMES'S) CEMETERY

Surely this chap has to be in with a shout. I know his name has cropped up several times in the past..

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Surely this chap has to be in with a shout. I know his name has cropped up several times in the past..

In with a shout, that's a bit of an understatement - more of a scream I would have thought :lol: !

I can't better that, but the CWGC give an earlier one than that of Poulton (8th) at Aldershot Military Cemetery at discussed in posts #16 & 17

http://www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_detail...8800&mode=1

There are 690 First World War graves in the cemetery, the earliest bears the date 5th August 1914, and the latest 11th August 1921. Many of these graves are in plot AF

and here he is:

Name: WHITTINGTON, ARTHUR JAMES

Initials: A J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Serjeant

Regiment/Service: Army Service Corps

Unit Text: "A" Coy.

Age: 33

Date of Death: 05/08/1914

Service No: S/15790

Additional information: Son of John and Kate Whittington, of 4, Broadway Cottages, Sandown, Isle of Wight.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1710.

This is the first of the graves in the left hand column of those shown in #17 (ie immediately in front of Poulton's), as before, apologies for the quality. Here's the detail:

post-5512-1247080791.jpg

It looks as if the earliest WW1 graves at Aldershot are almost in chronological order, running up the hill, in the left hand column: following on from Whittington, they run:

Name: POULTON

Initials: E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Coldstream Guards

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Date of Death: 08/08/1914

Service No: 9836

Additional information: Brother of Herbert Poulton, of 34, Grove Rd. West, Enfield Wash, Enfield, Middx.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1711.

Name: STOWERS, FREDERIC

Initials: F

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Age: 30

Date of Death: 10/08/1914

Service No: 7070

Additional information: Husband of Emma Prudence Stowers, of 173, Holland Rd., Kensington, London.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1712.

Name: WADD

Initials: B A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Army Service Corps

Unit Text: "A" Coy.

Date of Death: 14/08/1914

Service No: S/32281

Additional information: Son of Mr. T. Wadd, of Kings Cliffe, Peterborough, Northants.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1713.

Name: HAY

Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Royal Army Medical Corps

Unit Text: Depot,

Date of Death: 17/08/1914

Service No: 8157

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1714.

Name: AYRES

Initials: W T

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Reserve Cavalry Regiment

Unit Text: 3rd

Date of Death: 07/09/1914

Service No: 18282

Additional information: Brother of Mrs. S. Allen, of 54, Linford Rd., Wood St., Walthamstow, London.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1715.

Name: EWINGS, HAROLD WILLIAM

Initials: H W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)

Unit Text: 4th Bn.

Age: 19

Date of Death: 20/08/1914

Service No: 1534

Additional information: Son of George Thomas and Sarah Jane Ewings, of 21, Russell Rd., Holloway, London.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1716.

Name: BOYLE, ROBERT HAMILTON

Initials: R H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Sapper

Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers

Unit Text: 1st Signal Coy.

Age: 29

Date of Death: 11/09/1914

Service No: 13740

Additional information: Son of Mr. R. H. and Mrs. Sarah Anne Boyle, of 13, Portland Rd., Gillingham, Kent. Native of Chatham. His brothers, Alec and John Thomas, also died in service.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1717.

Name: ALLEN, WILLIAM

Initials: W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Rifleman

Regiment/Service: Rifle Brigade

Unit Text: 7th Bn.

Age: 47

Date of Death: 29/09/1914

Service No: B/252

Additional information: Son of Fred Allen; husband of Alice Edith Allen, of 3 Court, 7 House, Adam St., Birmingham.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1718.

Name: MIDDLETON, GEORGE

Initials: G

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: The King's (Liverpool Regiment)

Unit Text: 11th Bn.

Age: 38

Date of Death: 19/09/1914

Service No: 12606

Additional information: Husband of Mrs. M. Middleton, of 18, Hodson St., Salford, Manchester.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: AF. 1719.

NigelS

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Two more for Aug. 4th 1914 from Naval-History.net (Don Kindell)

RMLI, Chatham Division

 DAVIES, George, Private, RMLI, 8671 (Ch), illness in UK CWGC Link

 

Victory

 BRACKLEY, Ernest A, Boy Servant, L 4914, illness. CWGC Link

Cheers, Terry

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Hi NigelS,

Many thanks for the photos, and if you do get the opportunity to take a photo of his headstone next time you are there I will be very grateful.

All the best.

Stuart

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