Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lt William Hilder Charles Strange Royal Irish Rifles


Recommended Posts

Good evening. I have recently started researching my family tree and have come across a few people that have served in the British and US armed forces.

My interest has been peeked by a Cousin Lt William Hilbert Charles Strange who served in 6th Battalion the Royal Irish Rifles and was killed in action on 31 October 1916 aged 20 whilst the battalion was at Salonika. He is buried in the Struma Military Cemetry in Greece.

Before I go trying to get hold of his military record (and probably spending money) I thought I would ask here if anyone knows anything about William. One of the things I wanted to find was how does a young lad from a family from Tunbridge Wells, Kent end up in a battalion that was formed in Belfast.

I know the battalion was a Gallipoli and that it was nearly wiped out but I don't yet know if William was there or was a replacement afterwards.

So far he is the only relative I have found that died during WW1.

Any information will be gratefully received.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You should read two files at Kew,they are not on line so you have to arrange some way of seeing the contents in situ there:

WO339/68739 Service Papers STRANGE W

WO374/65999 Personal File 2/Lt STRANGE W.

The latter file would normally hold the details of the administration of a deceased Officer's military affairs,and often has detail on earlier service etc. I would say this is your man's file,maybe both are, but probably the latter.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Info you might have already.

Hope this might help.



UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

about William Hilbert Charles Strange

Name: William Hilbert Charles Strange

Death Date: 31 Oct 1916

Rank: 2/Lieutenant (T)

Regiment: Royal Irish Rifles

Battalion: 6th Battalion

Type of Casualty: Killed in action


Initials: W H C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Irish Rifles

Unit Text: 6th Bn.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 31/10/1916

Additional information: Son of Charles Hilbert Strange and Emilie Elizabeth Strange, of 20, Dudley Rd., Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. J. 14.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simple commission? Where the need is greatest?


Welcome to the forum by the way!

Edited by Alan Curragh
MIC image removed
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for the response guys.

Most of the information I already had from other sources but I didn't know he had been promoted from the ranks.

Thanks for the photo of the headstone.

I will get in contact with Kew (would it help if I turned up there with a camera team?) :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shame it isn't "So you think you're Royal"

I just found another cousin (Ernest Victor Brooke Strange) who served as a Private in the East Kent Regiment and was commissioned into the Royal West Kent Regiment. There are a few other Strange's in the Royal West Kents, not abolutely sure if they are also related to Ernest and William. Ernest survived the war and died in 1949.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Note the medal card is for West Kent YEO (Yeomanry)

This from Cyril Falls' history of Royal Irish Rifles

We were not yet fully established upon the railway, and there was a further advance to be made from Jenikoj, astride the Seres road. This was carried out on the morning of October 31st by the 5th Connaught Rangers on the right and the 6th Royal Irish Rifles on the left. There was a " preliminary bombardment " at 7 a.m., which consisted in fact of a few ranging shots only. At 9 a.m. the troops went forward. Some of the spirit seemed to have gone out of the Bulgar infantry after their recent defeat. There was considerable shelling and musketry fire, but the fact that there were no casualties is conclusive proof that the latter was not at short range and that the enemy did not wait till our troops came to close quarters. The Connaught Rangers occupied the railway embankment south of Seres, and the Royal Irish Rifles, which had advanced as far as the Prosenyk Stream, the other side of the railway, was later withdrawn to the same line on the left. The advance had been conducted with good leadership, and the fact that it had been made with slight loss was due to its steadiness and even progression. The Bulgar may not be a first-class fighting man, like the Turk at his best, as the latter was seen on the Gallipoli Peninsula, but he is a sturdy enough peasant soldier, quick to act upon signs of hesitation in his opponent. Had he been in this campaign fighting with his heart in the business he would doubtless have been far more formidable and more like what he had been in the First Balkan War. The Battalion had 2 officers Killed, 4 wounded, 4 other ranks killed and 24 wounded, the names of the officer casualties not being given.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that Desmond.

Until two days ago I had never heard of William Strange, he is a distant cousin, and yet I feel such sadness at his death. I hope he was a good brave soldier and a real leader of men.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Does anyone have a photograph of William Hilbert Charles Strange (1896-1916) son of Tunbridge Wells architect Charles Hilbert Strange(1867-1956).Also anyone have his service records?I see his regimental number is 745 but what is his enlistment number.I have written an article about him but missing a few things to complete the storey.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ernest Victor Brooke Strange (1888-1936) son of Frank Strange(1853-1933) and Alice Elizabeth Roberts(1856-1924).Had two siblings Frant Reginald Strange(1876-1936) and Florence Ethel Annie Strange.

Ernest married Rose 1909,Kent.Had daughter Lilian 1910.See probate for other children born later.

London Gazette Sept 24,1918 says that on Sept 11,1918 Ernest Victor Brooke Strange was a cadet made temporary 2nd Lieut in Regular Forces, Infantry, East Kent Rifles.

London Gazette Sept 6,1932 announced Ernest Victor Brooke Strange appointed Superintendent of Works in the Office of Works.(This will be the son E.V.B.Strange jnr)

Probate records give Ernest Victor Brook Strange of 23 Farcombe Road,Tunbridge Wells, died August 24,1947 (not 1949).Estate of 2072 pounds 10s 2d to Executors May Florence Brooke Strange,spinster and Ernest Victor Brook Strange,civil servant

Anyone got an image of Ernest's medal index card? Couldnt find one on Ancestiory.UK


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
Guest ruthsussex

If silverbuglewomble is still interested - William Hilbert Charles Strange - is a distant relation of mine also. I have a photo somewhere. How are you related? (what part of 'Strange' tree?). I also have 2 postcards he sent from Egypt before going to Greece.

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

  • Create New...