Jump to content

Remembered Today:

MISSING FROM CWGC & SDGW


mrfish
 Share

Recommended Posts

After attending my local Remembrance Day service a couple of years ago, I decided to try to find out more about the 214 men listed, by name only, on the town’s War Memorial. For the majority of the men listed on the Andover Cenotaph, it was a ‘simple’ case of trawling through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, Soldiers Died in the Great War and a few other readily accessible sources, to match up the details with the names on the war memorial.

However, the task proved more difficult to complete than I had expected, as I could not specifically identify twelve of the men listed. I tried Winchester Records Office to see if they had any information about the memorial, and they were able to provide me with a programme from the unveiling of the monument on the 5th May 1920, which also included all the names commemorated, but had no further details of the men listed. I did think about trawling the local newspapers of the day, but given I have to work and support a young family, this is not an ‘easy’ option at the present time (hopefully one day though, and this may fill in the gaps and provide additional biographical information and possibly even photographs of some of the men?).

So my hope of identifying any of the twelve ‘missing’ men had faded for the time being, when I decided to take one last look on the Ancestry website. I had previously looked through their so called ‘British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920’, in the presumption that, if a soldier had died during the war, his papers (had they survived the Blitz) would be there, but to no avail. However, for some reason I decided to check the site’s ‘British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920’, just in case.

Bingo! Out popped a name familiar to me - Walter Sivier, a name so unusual I felt sure that this must be the same Walter M. Sivier listed on Andover’s Cenotaph, but who was not recorded on the CWGC Debt of Honour Register or listed in SDGW. So I looked through the papers and discovered that indeed Walter was from Andover and had been a pre-War Territorial who had fought in France during First Ypres. His papers also showed that he was discharged from the Army in 1915 as a result of sickness contracted on active service and that he had received an Army pension. One thing the papers did not show, however, was that he had died.

Another look at Ancestry provided the answer. Walter M. Sivier died in Andover in the second quarter of 1916, so I sent for the death registration from the General Register Office. This revealed that he had died as a result of the same illness that had lead to his discharge from the Army a year earlier.

Next I traced his grave to Andover Cemetery, thanks to the help of a rather nice lady at Test Valley Borough Council. When I found it, it proved to be unmarked in any way, but I was grateful to be able to find it at all, and left one of the British Legions’ poppy crosses.

So, armed with this information I decided to contact the CWGC to find out if he could possibly be a candidate for inclusion on their Debt of Honour Register, which would not only mean he would appear on their website, but should also be eligible for the usual Portland stone memorial on his grave, a permanent reminder of his sacrifice.

Having sent off all the information I could gather (service papers, medal index card, birth and death registrations, burial information) a few weeks ago, I recently heard back from the CWGC to state that they have now sent off all the information to the Ministry of Defence for their consideration as to whether Walter Maurice Sivier should be “commemorated by the Commission”. They have warned me that this may take a while.

Given I am rubbish at waiting, for anything, I thought I would post Walter’s story here and see what other Pals thought. Is Walter worthy of commemoration by the CWGC? The people of Andover evidentially thought that he had died as a result of his war service and included him on their War Memorial. But he died a year after he had been discharged, so is this why he fell through the cracks of the then, Imperial War Graves Commission? His pension would have stopped on his death, so I wonder why the Army Pensions service did not inform the IWGC (although I suspect at the time they were just too busy, Walter having died only a few weeks before the opening of the Somme Offensive!)?

It also begs the question, how many other men are there, discharged from military service and who subsequently died of wounds received or illnesses contracted on active service during the Great War, who are today are lying in unmarked or poorly kept graves and who could be worthy of permanent commemoration?

Hopefully for Walter at least, there will eventually be a fitting memorial for his war service and ultimate sacrifice. Until then, here is his story…

------------------------------

Walter Maurice Sivier was born at Windwhistle, Wherwell, near Andover, Hampshire on the 9th April 1890. He was the son of hawker, Thomas Keeping Sivier, and Emma Williams and was baptised at St Peter and Holy Cross Church, Wherwell on the 13th July 1890. His family moved to Andover in the 1890’s and were living at 155 New Street at the time of the 1901 census.

After his education, Walter went on to work as a labourer before enlisting into the Territorial Force of the Army in Andover on the 30th December 1907, becoming Private 2013 of the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion Hampshire Regiment. He was discharged on the 21st June 1908 (no reason is given on his service papers), but re-enlisted later that year on the 28th December, and became Private 2393, again of the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion Hampshire Regiment. He attended annual camp with the 3rd Battalion each summer from 1909 to 1914, reaching the rank of Sergeant by the time that war was declared on the 4th August 1914.

Walter was mobilized on the 8th August 1914 and a month later, at his own request, reverted to the rank of Private. He transferred to 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment on the 19th September and crossed to France to join the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the 21st September 1914. The main body of the 1st Battalion had landed at Le Havre almost a month earlier, on the 23rd August, and Walter formed part of a draft of reinforcements of two officers and 174 men who arrived at the front on the 23rd September, replacing the casualties received in the first weeks of fighting.

At the time the 1st Battalion, as part of 11th Brigade in 4th Division, was occupying a position on the front line about 1,500 yards from the enemy on high ground at La Montagne Farm, north of the village of Busy-le Long (about 3 miles east of Soissons) in the Aisne Valley. They were in action engaged in what would later become known as the Battle of the Aisne (13th to 28th September 1914). According to the battalion war diary, however, Walter arrived at a relatively quiet time, where the Hampshires were able to spend a fortnight “improving defences, unmolested by the enemy”.

On the 6th October, orders were received that the 1st Hampshires were to be relieved in the front line by the French and that evening they crossed the River Aisne and proceeded South via Venizel to Villemontoire, five miles due south of Soissons, arriving at midnight. They spent the next day resting before moving again that evening to Billy-sur-Ourcq, arriving at 4.00am (8th). After 12 hours rest, they were on the move again, marching north-west via Villiers Cotteret to Vez. The march continued on the 9th as they moved to Bethisy-Saint-Martin, then on to Moyvillers (10th) finally arriving at Estrees-Saint-Denis on the 11th October, where they entrained and proceeded via Amiens, St Roche and Montdidier to Wizernes, about 24 miles south east of Calais, where they detrained at 10.00pm and marched two miles to billets at Oiselle. The next evening, the battalion was conveyed by lorry to Hondeghine before moving off the next morning to Caestre to Flêtre. On the 14th they moved via Meteren to Bailleul on the France-Belgium Border.

On the 15th October, the battalion marched south east along the Bailleul to Armentières road, with the objective of capturing the village of Nieppe. Despite coming under heavy machine gun fire from the houses, they managed to clear the enemy and dug into positions around the captured village. The next day the battalion was in action again, attacking and taking the bank of the River Lys before consolidating and improving their position, which consisted mostly of fortifying houses.

On the 18th, the Battalion crossed the Lys by the Pont de Nieppe and went into billets at the Goods Station in Armentières. They had to march out of town the next day to avoid being shelled by the Germans, but returned to their billets that evening. On the 20th the battalion marched out of town again, this time to the east, to take up supporting positions, before marching north into Belgium the next day, and into billets in Ploegsteert.

At 2.00am on the 22nd, the battalion were ordered to relieve the King’s Own at Le Touquet cross road, south east of Ploegsteert. They had difficulty finding their way and did not arrive until daybreak and as they did so, came under heavy rifle fire from the enemy, but by 5.00am had successfully occupied the trenches without casualties. At dusk, they marched to the Châteaux, due north of St Yves where they bivouacked in the Bois-de-Boulogne.

The 1st Hampshires spent the next four days improving the reserve trenches and it was probably during this time that Walter left the battalion suffering from tuberculosis, no doubt exacerbated by the strenuous night marches his unit had endured over the previous days. He was sent to No.3 General Hospital at St. Nazaire, arriving on the 28th October 1914, where he spent nearly three weeks before being invalided back to the UK on the 17th November 1914. After three weeks convalescing in Cheshire he was sent on nine weeks leave, before returning to duty at Winchester, where unfortunately his condition deteriorated to such an extent that he was finally discharged from the Army as “no longer fit for active service” on the 27th March 1915 and returned home to 107 New Street, Andover, Hampshire.

At a final medical prior to him leaving the Army, conducted on the 24th March 1915, the reason for his discharge was recorded as being because of “Tuberculosis of the Lung…Result of active service, exposure and fatigue. Permanent”.

After working in Andover as a hawker for the next twelve months, Walter unfortunately died from “Phthisis” (an antiquated term for tuberculosis of the lung) on the 17th April 1916 at his home, 107 New Street, Andover. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Andover Cemetery (which lies behind the Parish Church of St Mary’s) on the 22nd April. His brother, Albert is in the grave next to him (I haven’t yet sought the reason for his death), while his parents are also buried nearby. All are in unmarked graves.

------------------------------

Please note: I am a complete armature at this sort of thing, so I apologise to all the aficionados out there for any glaring errors, mistakes or down right stupid statements I may have made in my account of Walter’s military service and/or the 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment’s time in France while he was with them. I’m more than happy to receive any corrections or additional information that may add to Walter’s story. I’m hoping that if he is accepted for commemoration then the local newspaper may take up the story when his headstone is erected. It goes without saying that I will let you all know as soon as I hear anything from the CWGC

For interest, here are the other men listed on Andover War Memorial who I can not pin down any specific details for…

HENRY ANNETT

EDWARD CARTER

JOSEPH DAVEY

WILLIAM DOWLING

ALFRED HARRIS

ALEC J. LAVERTY

REGINALD MOORE

EDWIN MUTTER

HAROLD OAKLEY

FRANK READ

CHARLES WARREN

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're right. Under the the usual rules applying, he's likely to be entitled to inclusion in the debt of Honour Register. Post discharge, the key information is the link between cause of death, cause of discharge AND the cause of discharge being caused or aggravated by service.

As you indicate that his service papers clearly state that his TB was a "result of active service", I'd presume that the MoD will be pretty quick in coming to its decision.

You pose the question as to how many similarly discharged men died before 31 August 1921 and are entitled to commemoration but are not commemorated. We'll never know as it would be impossible to establish such information.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the following be one of your men ? :- HERBERT HENRY ANNETTS 2nd Hampshires 7791 kia 3-9-1916 on CWGC. Another possible ? ERNEST MUTTER 2/4TH Hampshires kia 23-7-1918 number 200330 enlisted Andover. Ralph.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, both.

I have a few possible for some of the eleven left, with slightly different details, name etc. It's making the exact link between the memorial name and someone in SDGW or on CWGC that has proven difficult. I think this is where the local newspaper will eventually help.

Interestingly, I've just checked the unveiling programme and Henry Annett is listed as 'Henry AJ Annett', but has no middle initials on the memorial. May have been too long to fit?

Ernest Mutter was, I believe, Edwin's brother. He is listed on the memorial along with John Mutter. I believe they are three brothers all killed in the war (Edwin born Taunton, Somerset in 1882), but have no way of linking the chap on the memorial with any recorded death!

One of the other men, Alec J. Laverty could be this chap...

581 Private Stewart Alexander Laverty, 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers

Killed in action in France on the 24th August 1914. Born in Acton, London, lived in Hammersmith, London and enlisted in Winchester Hampshire. Also commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, France. Additional Information: Son of Robert J. and Margaret Laverty. His family moved to Andover a year after he was born and in 1891 and 1901 are shown living at the Borough Arms, where his father Robert was the publican. In 1901 Stewart was working as a barman in the pub.

Seems like a really good possibility, and I'm almost convinced, but the names are different, so it's a case of how to prove it? Same for some of the other chaps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can confirm all the details regarding Sivier. The 1914 Star Medal Roll states he disembarked France 20 Sep 1914 and was Discharged Medically Unfit 27 March 1915.The history as quoted is also correct.

The Dec 1914 Regimental Journal page 280 states

Sivier W hospital in France 28. 10. 1914.

Also page 282 states

Sivier W Home Sick Manchester 19. 11.1914.

Another avenue which you may wish to explore, and I hasten to add I do not know the criteria for inclusion apart from the normal ie KIA, DOWs etc, is the Book of Remembrance in Winchester Cathedral and whether Sivier is in that.

Good luck on the rest of the names.

Roger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking at the service papers for Walter Sivier I would say that there is a good case for him to be accepted for commemoration.

One thing that you may wish to correct is that Walter attested to the Militia / Militia Reserve on 30th December 1907, not the Territorial Force. The Militia was replaced as part of Lord Haldane's reforms with the Special Reserve with which Walter attested on 28th December 1908. Walter's regimental number as shown on the Medal Index Card / medal roll(s) is 3/2393 - the 3/ prefix indicates a Hampshire Regiment Special Reservist.

As you have indicated, I would definitely recommend consulting the local papers of the day for relating articles, obits etc. A hard trawl, but worth the effort.

Marc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

William DOWLING is likely to be:

424370 Pte Joseph William DOWLING

756th Labour Company, Labour Corps

formerly 19528, 13th Bn, Hampshire Regiment

Age: 42

Date of Death: 17/11/1918

Son of Joseph and Mary Dowling, of Lower Clatford, Andover; husband of Florence E. C. E. Dowling, of 21, Rack Close, Andover, Hants.

Buried: II. D. 5. ST. POL BRITISH CEMETERY, ST. POL-SUR-TERNOISE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roger/Marc

Thanks very much for the additional information/corrections, that's absolutely fantastic. I will definately check out the book of rememberance in Winchester Cathedral when I'm there next.

Marc, I think you're right regarding JOSEPH William Dowling. Couldn't find him in SDGW though. Another one down, thanks. Just 10 to go!

mrfish

><(((((*>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I note that there is an E CARTER listed on the Smannell War Memorial (Christchurch Churchyard) so it may be worth investigating from this angle.

Marc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 years later...

I was just researching my Great Grandad for a WW1 project with my son and stumbled upon this forum. I just thought I would confirm that you are correct, the William Dowling on the Andover Cenotaph is 424370 Pte Joseph William Dowling. He was my Great Grandad, so if you need any further information, I would be happy to help if I can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 years later...
On 19/07/2009 at 14:37, mrfish said:

For interest, here are the other men listed on Andover War Memorial who I can not pin down any specific details for…

HENRY ANNETT

EDWARD CARTER

JOSEPH DAVEY

WILLIAM DOWLING

ALFRED HARRIS

ALEC J. LAVERTY

REGINALD MOORE

EDWIN MUTTER

HAROLD OAKLEY

FRANK READ

CHARLES WARREN

 

Four of the above, if identification is still needed:

 

Pte Edward Carter D/24713 Derbyshire Yeomanry, died 26 October 1918; husband of Alice Carter, 14 Little London, near Andover: https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/368576/E CARTER/

 

A/S Reginald Moore J/41044 HMS "Princess Alberta" Royal Navy, killed 21 February 1917; son of Annie Moore, 94 Junction Road, Andover (presumably she moved to Guernsey later): https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/3041385/REGINALD MOORE/

 

Spr Frank Read 6155 4th Field Coy. Australian Engineers; died of wounds 8 December 1916; native of Andover: https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/272282/FRANK READ/

 

Pte Charles Arthur Warren 79380 9th Royal Fusiliers, killed in action on 28 August 1918; son of Matilda Jane Warren, 65 South Street, Andover: https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/550508/C A WARREN/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul

 

Thanks for the post. I eventually found them all...apart from Charles Warren!!!! So I just checked on the Pension Ledgers and it’s him. I can’t thank you enough. You’ve managed to positively identify that last man on Andover cenotaph for me. I serialised all the others (215 plus 20 additional) in the local news paper between August 2014 and March 2019. And I sort of stopped looking after that. These new pension records have been a Godsend, but I hadn’t cross checked for him! I can now finish the series off with Charles. Absolutely brilliant, thank you.

><(((((*>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...