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Major Caddick 8th Royal Warks kia 1/7/16


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A friend has told me he is related to following and has asked if I know anything about him etc, anyone help?

Major Caddick

Alfred Armstrong

Royal Warwick regiment

8Th Bn

Died 01/07/1916


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From the war diary

1/8th Royal Warwickshire Regt

1st July

2.0 a.m. Battalion reported present in forming up trenches.

4.3 a.m.-7.0 a.m. Reported that everyone had a good breakfast. Artillery bombardment was intense and not a lot of retaliation from Bosch. Artillery increased in intensity. Enemy replying with field guns and 15 cm.

7.0 a.m. Very intense artillery on both sides.

7.25 a.m. Enemy machine guns opened all along line. Three minutes later our troops are lying on parapet ready to advance.

7.30 a.m. Advance begins. Enemy first line reached and passed very quickly also was the second. Only in one or two cases were any enemy seen in these two lines. Having plenty of casualties from machine gun fire in enemy third and fourth lines. At the third line we were temporarily held up my machine gun fire but took it by rushes. From this point the fighting was all with bombs along trenches. We reached our objective probably 35-40 minutes from zero hour (7.30 a.m.) and at once commenced consolidating and cleaning rifles under the direction of Capt Martin and 2nd Lt Turner. By this time the next battalion was arriving but had had so many casualties that they could not go through us so helped consolidating. This happened with all battalions following us. Many times we were bombed from this position and regained it until bombs ran out. We had to retired to their 3rd line parapet and hold on with machine and rifle fire. Parties were detailed to collect as many bombs as could be found (both English and German) and when we had a good store we again reached our objective. No supply of bombs coming from rear so could not hold on and returned again. Enemy machine guns and snipers were doing a great amount of damage all the while. Enemy artillery opened but fortunately their range was over. Held on to this position until relieved by a battalion from the rear. All through the action no troops were seen on our right or left. This had a great deal to do with the inability to push past our objective.

11 p.m. Arrived at Mailly Maillet and were put into billets.

2nd July

Resting except Roll Call. Casualties arrived at from Roll Call.

Officer casualties


Lt Col E A Innes

Maj A A Caddick

Capt S W Ludlow

Lt R Adams

Lt J G Fussell

Lt C Hoskins

Lt & Adjutant A Procter

Lt F W Wareham

2nd Lt E R Shuttleworth

2nd Lt F B Key


Lt D R Adams

Maj J N Townsend

Lt L W Auster

Lt H M Jones

2nd Lt J Teague

2nd Lt S W Pepper

2nd Lt F H Heath

2nd Lt R H Fish

2nd Lt L Griffiths

Lt H V Nash, RAMC

Wounded and missing:

2nd Lt F B Freeman

Wounded and Prisoner of War

2nd Lt G A Brettell

Other Ranks

Killed 57

Wounded 255

Missing 251

A Short Description of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, July 1st 1916

Brig Gen W R Ludlow, CB




It will be no doubt of interest to the many relatives and friends of the 1/6th and 1/8th Battalions of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment for me to give an account of a visit I paid to the Somme Battlefield about a week before the Germans commenced their great thrust for Amiens. The object in view was to endeavour to locate the grave of my son and those of the many officers and men of the 1/8th Battalion who fell in action on July 1st, 1916, and a description of the part taken by these two battalions on that memorable day can now he made public. The position is best illustrated by the diagram below :—



31st Division 1/8th R.W.R. 1st Rifle Brigade. 29th Division.

1st East Lancs. .

1/6th R.W.R. 1st Somerset L.I.

1st Hampshires.


1st R.W.R. 1st Essex.

1st Dub. Fus. 1st Seaforths.

In support were the 12th Brigade, with the 48th Division in rear. It will thus be seen that the two Birmingham battalions were allotted the place of danger and of honour, there being eight Regular battalions of the Old Contemptibles in the two brigades. On the right of the position to be attacked was the village of Beaumont Hamel, and on the left the hamlet of Serre. The ground rose gradually for about 2,000 yards to these villages, and was honeycombed with a series of deep chalk pits, giving every advantage, both of grazing and overhead fire, while an acute salient, known as the quadrilateral, gave a flanking fire along the whole position, which bristled with machine guns. A previous air recon¬naissance provided a most accurate map of the position, showing every detail, and every officer and a proportion of the N.C.O.s had a map served out to them. The enemy’s trenches were everywhere protected by wire, and the nearest trench was about 800 yards distant. At that stage of the war the artillery had not been brought to such a pitch of perfection as it is to-day, and the preliminary bombardment only partially destroyed the enemy’s wire or cut broad lanes through it. The 1/8th Battalion, as were each of those engaged, was about 800 strong, while 200 were in reserve manning the original trenches in case of a counter-attack. The total storming infantry in the 10th and 12th Brigades were nearly 8,000 men, and the frontage of the objective near the quadrilateral was 400 yards. There was not a vestige of cover between the German trenches and our own, but there was a slight rise in their direction. The objective was Pendant Copse. On the previous night all front battalions were moved back to the fourth line of trenches, the first three being lightly held. The reserve division was in the vicinity of Mailly Maillet.

On looking at the position to be attacked from our first line of trenches marked with a board ‘Old British Line’, it seemed an impossibility for any troops to attack it successfully, and well might the officers say as they strung over the top, “We are in for it this time, by Jove!” The Germans opened with a terrific bombardment of the three front-line trenches. The battalion moved off to the assault at 7.30 a.m. on July 1st in eight successive waves of skirmishers at three paces apart, rifles being carried at the port and bayonets fixed. All the officers were in line with the men, and each carried three bombs, as well as 170 rounds of ammunition, entrenching tools, and spade or pick. In addition, between each of the four double companies in the rear were ten men carrying bombs. No other equipment was carried by the men, except a haversack with two days’ rations and water bottle. The first, second, third and fourth lines of German trenches were carried by 7.50 a.m., and at that hour two or three officers found themselves in possession of the position with about 20 unwounded men, which number was subsequently increased by various regiments of the Regular brigade to between 150 and 200. Other parties of men and officers had penetrated into the village of Serre and to the outskirts of Beaumont Hamel. The position was held tenaciously until half-past one, but the 29th and 31st Divisions, having failed to reach their objectives, Beaumont Hamel and Serre, the 4th Division was ordered to retire. Our aeroplanes did magnificent work, and drove off the Germans, and messages were constantly sent back for reinforcements, more ammunition and bombs, but such was the intensity of the artillery fire kept up by the enemy on No Man's Land that the 6th Battalion, which fol¬lowed, suffered heavily, arriving in the wake of the 8th with only about 25 men, and was unable to render any effective aid beyond helping to consolidate the ground already won.

The object of this assault was to occupy the German our- and the attention of the enemy while the French and ourselves were taking a position at Pozieres, but the real value was that this great attack served to keep the German forces busy and prevented the French from being crushed at Verdun. In the opinion of officers I have seen and talked with, it was this offensive which saved Verdun and probably Paris. It was a gain of the utmost value. The 10th and 12th Brigades were unable to relieve the 11th in consequence of the intensity of the fire. The brigadier was killed early in the action when in the act of crossing No Man's Land by moving his Brigade Headquarters front the Old British Line trenches to the German trenches taken by the 8th Warwicks and while leading and cheering on the 1/8th Battalion in the assault; prior to this he christened the 11th Brigade the ‘stone wall brigade’ on account of its gallantry, courage, and determination. The distance between the successive waves of the advance was 100 yards, and eye-witnesses have described it as being just like an advance on an Aldershot field day, the distance kept and the dressing of the men being remarkable. As there was no prospect of the supporting troops coming up in sufficient numbers to hold the position, and the advance of 29th and 31st Division being stopped, the Germans in the afternoon organised a strong counter-offensive, and large numbers of wounded and dead officers and men of the 1/8th Battalion had to be left behind in the German lines. Several officers were killed and wounded when they had taken the position at the final stage of the objective by Germans who came out of dugouts behind and threw bombs among them.


90 per cent. in the 1/8th.

In those days there were no ‘mopping up’ parties regularly told off to clear out these nests of the enemy left behind in the course of our advance, and this accounted for the enormous number of casualties. Very few prisoners indeed were taken on either side, and it was only those who were wounded who fell into the hands of the Germans, and as far as could be ascertained only one officer and four men of the 8th were taken prisoners, and these were all severely wounded before capture. All the officers were dressed as nearly as possible like the men and took their place in line with them, but did not carry rifles. One officer, however, carried a Winchester Repeater shot gun, with which he did good execution on arriving in the German trenches. It was originally intended that the 1/6th Warwicks were to have gone through the 8th, and taken the fifth and sixth lines of German trenches, which were on higher ground in front of the village of Serre, but they were decimated before they got to the position. The consequence was that front the bombing and machine-gun fire front the German trenches in the fifth and sixth lines, and the high ground beyond, the casualties were so heavy that the remnant who got to the fourth line of German trenches were forced with the 8th to retire in the shell holes and craters in No Man's Land, where they lay until it was dark and could retire in comparative safety into their own lines. There are several large craters on the ground to-day, three of them being within 100 yards of each other on the road to the Mailly Maillet Serre Road, and they would be 60ft. to 80ft. in diameter, while there are others in different parts of the lines, and it was due to the existence of these craters made by our mines that the survivors of the two gallant Birming¬ham battalions escaped. The other battalions forming the 11th Brigade suffered almost in the same proportion.

The splendid heroism displayed by these two Territorial Battalions was the admiration of the Regular Brigade to whom they were attached. Well may Warwickshire and the City of Birmingham be proud of their fine discipline and glorious sacrifice, which have added another immortal page in the history of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

ROSTER of Officers of the 1/8th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment who took part in Attack on German Trench System known as the Quadrilateral, N. of Beaumont-Hamel. July 1st, 1916.


Lieut Col E A Innes, CMG Killed

Major J N Townsend DSO Wounded

Lt and Adjutant A Proctor, MC Killed

Signalling Officer Lt H M Jones Wounded

Medical Officer Lt F N Walsh Wounded

A Company

Capt C W Martin DSO Wounded

Lt L W Auster Wounded

Lt J G Fussell Killed

2nd Lt J Richards (In reserve)

2nd Lt R H Fish Wounded

B Company

Lieut. C Hoskins Killed

Lt H Block (In reserve)

2nd Lt E R Shuttleworth Killed

2nd Lt S H Anstey Wounded

2nd Lt L Griffiths Wounded

2nd Lt J Turner MC Wounded

2nd Lt S W Pepper Wounded. Killed in subsequent Action

C Company

Capt Stratford W Ludlow Killed

Capt D R Adams Wounded

Lt R Adams MC Killed

2nd Lt F Heath Wounded

2nd Lt E A Brettell Wounded and Prisoner

2nd Lt F F Freeman Killed

2nd Lt Laing

D Company

Major A A Caddick Killed

Capt S N Coxon MC Wounded

2nd Lt J Teague Wounded

2nd Lt F W Wareham Killed

2nd Lt F B Kay Killed

2nd Lt J Dennison Killed in a subsequent action

Transport Officer

2nd Lt W Durand


Lieut C Harding.

The casualties among the rank and file were 573 out of 600 who took part in the assault, exclusive of officers. There were only five prisoners out of the casualties, one of whom was an officer, and all severely wounded.


To All Officers, N.C.O.s and MEN of the VIII Army Corps

In so big a command as an Army Corps of four Divisions (about 80,000 men) it is impossible for me to come round all front line trenches, and all billets, to sec every man as I wish to do. You must take the will for the deed, and accept this printed message in place of the spoken word.

It is difficult for me to express my admiration for the splendid courage, determination and discipline displayed by every Officer, N.C.O., and man of the Battalions that took part in the great attack on the Beaumont Hamel-Serre position on the 1st July. All observers agree in stating that the various waves of men issued from their trenches and moved forward at the appointed time in perfect order, undismayed by the heavy artillery fine and deadly machine-gun fire. There were no cowards nor waverers, and not a man fell out. It was a magnificent display of disciplined courage worthy of the best traditions of the British Race.

Very few are left of my old comrades, the original ‘Contemptibles’, but their successors in the 4th Division have shown that they are worthy to bear the honours gained by the 4th Division at their first great fight at Fontaine-au-Pire and Ligny, during the great Retreat and greater Advance across the Marne and Aisne, and in all the hard fighting at Ploegsteert and at Ypres. Though but a few of my old comrades, the heroes of the historic landing at Cape Helles are still with us, the 29th Division of to-day has shown itself capable of maintaining its high traditions, and has proved itself worthy of its hard-earned title of ‘The Incomparable 29th’.

The 31st New Army Division and the 48th Territorial Division, by the heroism and discipline of the units engaged in this their first big battle, have proved themselves worthy to fight by the side of such magnificent regular Divisions as the 4th and 29th. There can be no higher praise.

We had the most difficult part of the line to attack. The Germans had fortified it with skill and immense labour for many months; they had kept their best troops here, and had assembled North, East, and South-East of it a formidable collection of artillery and many machine-guns.

By your splendid attack you held she enemy forces here in the North, and so enabled our friends in the South, both British and French, to achieve the brilliant success that they have. Therefore, though we did not do all we hoped to do, you have more than pulled your weight, and you and our even more glorious comrades who have preceded us across the ‘Great Divide’, have nobly done your duty.

We have got to stick it out, and go on hammering. Next time we attack, if it please God, we will not only pull our weight, but will pull off a big thing. With such troops as you, who are determined to stick it out and do and do your thing. duty, we are certain of winning through to a glorious victory. I salute each Officer, N.C.O., and Man of the 4th, 29th, 31st and 48th Divisions as a comrade in arms, and I rejoice to have the privilege of com-manding such a band of heroes as the VIII Corps have proved themselves to be.


4th July 1916 Lt Gen

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Thanks, that is fantastic stuff!


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Major Alfred Armstong Caddick, commanded D Coy, 1/8 Royal Warwicls (TF)...

Killed in the assault on the Quadrilateral, Beaumont-Hamel July 1st 1916 but posted as missing for nearly one year before death conceded. Mother made newspaper appeals for news of her son. Aged 44. On the Thiepval Memorial. Mentioned in despatches late 1915 (Bham Weekly Post 8.1.1916)

Eldest son of Alfred Cadddick (solicitor and for many years Town Clerk of West Bromwich) and Annie Jessie Caddick of The Firs, Ockford Road, Godalming, Surrey. Birmingham Weekly Post 22.7.1916 gives the address as Glenfield, Manor Road, Sutton Coldfield.

The Major was well known in the West Bromwich district where he practices as a solicitor. For many years Deputy Town Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the Peace at West Bromwich.

Brothers - Major C.J.Cadddick of Walsall wounded some time ago (i.e. from mid 1916) and RSM Caddick.

Bham Weekly Post 16.6.1917 noted a Birmingham Council tribute attended by his wife.

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Thanks for all info, fantastic as usual! will pass this on to his relative,


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A friend has told me he is related to following and has asked if I know anything about him etc, anyone help?

Major Caddick

Alfred Armstrong

Royal Warwick regiment

8Th Bn

Died 01/07/1916


Alfred Armstrong Caddick was a solicitor in Birmingham. He was the son of Alfred Caddick (b. 1841 West Bromwick) and Annie Jessie Armstrong (b. abt 1843 Gravesend Kent). He was born 30 Mar 1872 in West Bromwich.

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A friend has told me he is related to following and has asked if I know anything about him etc, anyone help?

Major Caddick

Alfred Armstrong

Royal Warwick regiment

8Th Bn

Died 01/07/1916


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Alfred Armstrong Caddick was a Solicitor in Birmingham. He was born 30 Mar 1872 in West Bromwich. his parents were :- Alfred Caddick (b. 1841 West Bromwick) and Annie Jessie Armstrong (b abt. 1843 Gravesend KenT0

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  • 3 weeks later...

I passed this info to my friend last night and he was thrilled, thanks again for help.


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Alfred Armstrong CADDICK was also a Freemason and Past Master of LEGGE Lodge No 2784 in Staffordshire. The lodge still exists and is located in Walsall. He was mentioned in despatches and I have a record that he studied at London University.

Hope this adds to the story


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