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Beersheba War Cemetery


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Some further photographs from pre-November 1917

BeershevaTurkishgardensandcolumn.jpg

BeershevaTurkishgardensandcolumnII.jpg

BeershevaTurkishgardensandcolumnIII.jpg

The very same spot was later used for the Allied monument to General Allenby. Today it is still called 'Allenby Garden.' The (Turkish) pillar was then topped by a bust of the Field Marshal done in white stone, however at some time the pillar was replaced by a square stone plinth bearing the name 'Allenby' and the dates in Arabic & English 1917-1918. [One version of events has it that the original white stone bust of Allenby was destroyed during Arab riots in the 1930s.] In any case, in the last couple of years the too long vacant plinth has once again been topped off with a bust of Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, as seen in post #19, on page I

Acknowledgements:

The above photographs are from the Matson Collection at the LoC (USA)

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To add to the varied list of Armenian, Australian, British, and New Zealanders buried in this cemetery, must be added at least one representative from the western hemisphere;

Cecil Bruce, who, as his headstone proudly announces, hailed from Barbados

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: British West Indies Regiment

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 28

Date of Death: 09/08/1917

Service No: 3123

Additional information: Son of Richard Bonnett Bruce and Emily Bruce, of Station Hill, St. Michael, Barbados.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

BeershevaCecilBrucesheadstone0001.jpg

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Hi there Michael,

Thank you so much for putting up this post.

It's a real credit to you, taking the time, effort and care to do this.

The caption on the headstone of Private Henry Bennett 22nd Bn London Regiment.

"Rest my darling..." It really got to me...beautiful, and touching words.

Cheers

Wig

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  • 3 weeks later...

Spr William George TWIST

Son of George and Elizabeth Twist, of Knapp St. Valley, Brisbane, Queensland. Native of Erdington, Birmingham, England.

BeershevaSprTwist.jpg

The lone grave of 1348 Sapper William George Twist, 2nd Signal Troop of Valley, Qld., who was killed in action at Shellal on 17 April 1917 aged 39 years. Spr Twist enlisted on 21 August 1915 at Valley, Qld., and had been born at Erdington, Birmingham, England. Spr Twist was later reburied in Beersheva

BshevaAustralianSprWGTWIST.jpg

His record may be seen at http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=8395821

Before enlisting William George Twist had been a bridge builder. He died from a bomb wound to the head. Taken first to the 1st LH Field Ambulance at Shellal, he died the same day and was later buried near there by Chaplain M. R. Mailey, at map ref: Bearing 163 from Hill 300, Tel-el-Farah, and 364 from Hill 360.

After his son's death William George's father suffered from heart problems, was hospitalized and died early. William George's mother dealt with the aftermath of their son's death mostly by herself. In 1919, she enquired if it was possible for her son's body to be repatriated to Australian. That same year, 1919, she received a (very) small package of his effects. They were; 1 shirt, 2 certificates, 2 pairs of socks, 1 balaclava and 1 badge.

In July 1922 she received a letter explaining that two versions of an inscription for the headstone had been received, but that there was room on the stone for only one of the versions. Mrs Elizabeth Twist, received her son's memorial scroll and the King's Message on 13th November 1922. Mrs Twist received the Memorial Plaque on 15th January 1923. On 8th February 1923 she received her son's Victory Medal. In 1941 she wrote about a replacement Nearest Female Relative Badge and was advised that such a replacement badge would cost her 6/4d. In 1942 she wrote enquiring about a pension.

On some of the letters her address is given as 'Gaza Cottage.' At the end of the file one is left with the impression of a lady, left with only memories, lost and without help or advice following the death of the son. How many times must such a tale have been repeated throughout the empire?

This is what the Female Relative's Badge would have looked like; photograph from the AWM

FemaleRelativesBadgeAustralian.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Michael superb pictures and topic ,

May I ask if amongst your pictures is there one of the grave of Pte E(Ernest) Maiden, 267374, 1/6th RWF he is buried in the Beersheba war cemetery in grave F.57 and is amongst the 200+ men who I am researching who came from Dawley in Shropshire.

DJ,

I'm pleased to be able at last to add the photograph below showing the headstone of Private E. Maiden

If you can add any detail here regarding Pte Maiden, then please do so

(and if you require a copy of the original 6+MB file then please PM me with your e-mail address)

P1010257.jpg

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Michael ... superb photos and research to your project. As an aside to the headstone inscription and meaning I read a while ago a wonderful description of inscriptions and the fact that there does not seem to be a central repositry (availableto the general public) of headstone inscriptions .. he thought that "It is perhaps appropriate that they are not available on a database - but only to the visitor to the graveyard as a sort of personal and intimate whisper from the past."

A few years ago I embarked on a project to photograph and describe the graves and cemeteries that the 300 boys from my old school, Sydney Grammar School (Sydney, Australia), who were killed in WW1. Unfortunately I doubt I will get to Beersheva, and there are three boys there:

Tibby Cotter (31/10/1917) .. D.50

Mervyn Woodd (31/10/1917) .. D.46

Frederick Guthrie (03/11/1917) .. C.30

I would appreciate it immensely if you could get photos of these boys. Tibby Cotter is already mentioned and I know, from school records, that Tibby and Mervyn were well known to each other. Perhaps you could get a photo of Tibby and Mervyn's grave together?

Kindest Regards

Philip Creagh (SGS '59 - '66)

Philip,

Below please find the photographs you requested of Mervyn Woodd's and Frederick Guthrie's headstones

I regret that I was not able to get a useful one of Cotter's and Woodd's together. As you will recollect, Cotter already appears earlier in this thread. If you can add some further details here about these three men, then it would be very nice to have that.

(If you require a copy of any of the three original 6+MB photo-files, then please PM me with your e-mail address)

P1010205.jpg

P1010203.jpg

edit: For further details on Guthrie and Woodd, please see Philip's post #111 below

Edited by michaeldr
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Hi Michael,

Thank you so much for the photo of E.Maidens grave, I have tried to PM you my e-mail address but your e-mail box is full I will try again later.

Dave (Dawleyjockey)

DJ,

I'm pleased to be able at last to add the photograph below showing the headstone of Private E. Maiden

If you can add any detail here regarding Pte Maiden, then please do so

(and if you require a copy of the original 6+MB file then please PM me with your e-mail address)

P1010257.jpg

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Pte Ernest Maiden, 267374, 1/6th battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Ernest was one of five sons of William & Emily Maiden and at their time of enlistment where living at 25 Beech street, Manchester. They had however been born in Dawley, Shropshire, living at Sandy Row, Doseley, Dawley district, where they had attended the National school.

Two of Ernest's brothers also lost their lives for King and Country; Arthur aged 25 was KIA on February 17th 1917 on the Somme whilst serving with the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Ply/1029, 1st battalion) and the second son Eli aged 22,DOW at the Amara hospital on the 15th May 1917 whilst serving with the Cheshire Regiment ( 3/33455, 8th Battalion).

Ernest aged 21, was KIA on the 6th November 1917 whilst with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, He had originally enlisted in the Cheshire Regt (4074) in early 1916 and was posted overseas to his new battalion in Palestine later in the same year. In the early hours of Nov 6th his battalion formed up for an attack on the Turkish positions at Tel el Khuweilfeyi and after a short bombardment at 4:00 am they attacked immediately behind the bombardment gaining their objectives by 4:55am, the Turks counter-attacked with support of light machine guns on the flanks of the fusiliers causing the RWF to fall back 200yards, The RWF then reattacked three times at the point of the bayonet but eventually had to retire to their second position, Casualties ammounted to 50% of the Officers and 30% of the men being killed or wounded.

Ernest's two other brothers Albert and Elias survived the war although Elias was discharged after being gassed.

All the brothers who fell are remembered on the Stockport war memorial as well as in Dawley.

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

Philip,

Below please find the photographs you requested of Mervyn Woodd's and Frederick Guthrie's headstones

I regret that I was not able to get a useful one of Cotter's and Woodd's together. As you will recollect, Cotter already appears earlier in this thread. If you can add some further details here about these three men, then it would be very nice to have that.

Greetings Michael

thanks very much for the photos, and yes I would appreciate copies of the originals to use in my project, if that is satisfactory to you. Your photos would be suitably attributed to yourself.

I have been extremely busy with farm work and other issues that seem to hit recently retired folk and have not advanced much further with my project. I purchased a rather expensive classic car at the end of 2009 and this scuppered plans for another visit to France/Belgium in 2010, and possibly 2011 LL

I do have some material for your archives, hopefully more school memories later. I have found little material on Mervyn Wood

Regards

Philip Creagh

Cotter, Albert 'Tibby'

Born 3rd December 1884, in Phllip St. Sydney, went to Sydney Grammar School in 1899/1900. There he excelled in Cricket, taking 6 for 53 and 7 for 57 in two matches against Melbourne Grammar. HE played against England in two series in England, 1905 and 1909, South Africa in 1910/11. His cricket career ended, together with Victor Trumper & M.A Noble in a disagreement with the cricket board of control in 1911.

He was described as " strikingly handsome and beautifully proportioned; always cheerful and modest, he was generous in his praise of others. Very fast, but often erratic, he had a slinging action and could make the ball lift high from a good length on the plumbest of wickets without recourse to bumping; he could keep his feet on a wet pitch (important in those days), bowl for long spells and was a good fieldsman. His happy nature and comportment on the field endeared him to all lovers of the game"

He enlisted in 1915 and went to Gallipoli, with the 1st Light Horse, then with the 12th Light Horse from February 1916 to Palestine. He was promoted lance corporal in May 1917, but soon after reverted to trooper at his own request. He was killed on 31 October 1917 at the third Battle of Gaza. He is the only Australian Test Cricketer to be killed in WW1.

His brother was killed in France on 4th October 1917, legend has it that Albert was told only a few days before the third Battle of Gaza.

Guthrie, Frederick Alexander

Born July 1893, enlisted August 1914 and to Gallipoli in 1915 with the 1st Australian Light Horse, and on to Palestine in 1916. He was appointed Lieutenant December 1916. On 3rd November 1917 he was killed after the Beersheba charge as the troops were pushing into Gaza itself.

The following appeared in the School magazine (The Sydneian), written by another old boy (Capt. Molesworth) . "On November 3 1917 we got into a very hot corner, an absolute death trap, and only managed to get out after dark. We had 20 killed and 43 wounded .. it was there that an Old Grammar boy, Lt. Frederick Guthrie, was killed. He was a splendid soldier .. and the men under him had the greatest respect and admiration for him."

Woodd, Mervyn Cyrnos

Born in Bega NSW (only 50kms from where I live now) in 1888. He enlisted as a drover in 1915, and arrived in Gallipoli with the 12th ALH. He met up with Cotter in February 1916, and was promoted L/Corp. in May 1917.

Killed on the charge at Beersheba, together with Albert Cotter on 31st October 1917.

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I have found little material on Mervyn Wood

Philip,

You mention that you have little information on Mervyn C. Woodd

In case you have not been there yet, the 82 pages of his file are freely available on-line from the National Archives of Australia

Since you have a school connection with him, then it will be if interest to note that amongst his effects was found a couple of school magazines (see page 30)

Best regards

Michael

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Greetings Michael .. my mea culpa is an xs amount of farm work at the moment. I have as yet not got to Mervyn on the NAA, he is a 'W' :)

I did notice that his christian names are spelt out on the stone. Something which I have rarely found elsewhere ... noting that neither Maiden, Twist, Cotter or Guthrie have christian names in full (Bruce has one in full).

I have seen a few interesting school photos, that will take a bit of tracking down to get in a digital format .. Old boy reunions in Palestine etc.

Finally on the photo of Tibby Cotter, with others, lying dead on the road on page 3 (post 58). I have seen in a larger format with much more detail. I find it incredibly disturbing for some odd reason .. especially seeing the boy on Albert's right, stuill with his felt hat on.

In North Africa and Ethipia in the mid '70s I saw quite a lot of man's inhumanity to man and found it disturbing .. for the first time in many years I was disturbed again.

Philip C

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have viewed this forum with interest of the past few months looking at all the details that others have left regarding this Cemetery.

I was wondering whether anyone had details or pictures of the grave of R.H Burrow (though in some places it is Burrows) who died of wounds 21st October 1917. I believe that it is in area B 52.

Reginald Hadderton Burrow moved from Staffordshire to New Zealand at some point

Thanks

Jon

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Jon,

from the CWGC's Debt of Honour list

Name: BURROW, REGINALD HADDERTON

Initials: R H

Nationality: New Zealand

Rank: Trooper

Regiment/Service: Auckland Mounted Rifles, N.Z.E.F

Unit Text: 4th

Age: 30

Date of Death: 31/10/1917

Service No: 31065

Additional information: Son of Richard E. and Emily L. Burrow, of Plopio, Te Kuiti, Hamilton, New Zealand. Native of Staffs., England

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 52

Cemetery: BEERSHEBA WAR CEMETERY

Note that the date of death is given as the 31st October (not the 21st)

You will find that his name also crops up in this thread here

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=49972

I photographed some headstones at this cemetery only last month, and it is not clear when I will be able to get there again. When I do get down there then I will try and remember to include one of Trooper Burrow's; I just cannot say when that might be right now

regards

Michael

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Jon,

from the CWGC's Debt of Honour list

Name: BURROW, REGINALD HADDERTON

Initials: R H

Nationality: New Zealand

Rank: Trooper

Regiment/Service: Auckland Mounted Rifles, N.Z.E.F

Unit Text: 4th

Age: 30

Date of Death: 31/10/1917

Service No: 31065

Additional information: Son of Richard E. and Emily L. Burrow, of Plopio, Te Kuiti, Hamilton, New Zealand. Native of Staffs., England

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 52

Cemetery: BEERSHEBA WAR CEMETERY

Note that the date of death is given as the 31st October (not the 21st)

You will find that his name also crops up in this thread here

http://1914-1918.inv...showtopic=49972

I photographed some headstones at this cemetery only last month, and it is not clear when I will be able to get there again. When I do get down there then I will try and remember to include one of Trooper Burrow's; I just cannot say when that might be right now

regards

Michael

Thanks Michael,

My mistake I had meant 31st October 1917 as detailed on an old family tree I have a copy of.

Regards,

Jon

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The most unusual stone in Beersheva War Cemetery is shown in this black and white photograph (from a collection at the LoC, USA) which was probably taken shortly after the monument was re-erected in early 1918; the inscription at the foot of the panel reads – "THIS MONUMENT generously erected to one of them by their enemies, was discovered and restored by their friends, January 1918"

Beershevasairmen.jpg

A similar photograph in the collection of the AWM has a caption indicating that the memorial was re-errected at Sheria before being moved to Beersheva

This second picture was taken a couple of years back using my previous camera (my apologies for the intrusive date stamp)

BeershevaAirmenMemorial0001-1.jpg

The airmen remembered here in Beersheva, in this somewhat unconventional manner, are also officially named on the Jerusalem Memorial as their graves have been lost.

Name: BEVAN, FRANCIS HARRY VAUGHAN

Initials: F H V

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Unit Text: 14th Sqdn

Age: 22

Date of Death: 19/04/1917

Additional information: Son of Henry Crook Bevan and Fanny Eleanor Bevan, of Maeseithin, Newcastle Emlyn, South Wales

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 10

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

Name: STEELE, NORMAN LESLIE

Initials: N L

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Australian Flying Corps

Unit Text: 1st Sqdn

Age: 21

Date of Death: 20/04/1917

Additional information: Son of Philip John and Johanna Albertina Steele, of 195, Swanston St., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 60

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

From a local newspaper, The Argus (Melbourne, Victoria) Saturday 5 May 1917

"MISSING – Flight-Lieutenant Norman Leslie Steele is officially reported 'missing' since April 20. He was vice-captain of Melbourne Grammar School*, captain of football and cricket, and captain of Ruslen (? - illegible) House. He is a brother of the late Captain Fred Steele, of the Royal Fusiliers, who was killed in action; Lieutenant Rupert Steele who died of wounds; and Corporal Cyril Steele who is returning to Australia."

* Over 200 Melbourne Grammar School old boys fell in the Great War

Norman Leslie's brothers were:

Name: STEELE, FREDERICK WILBERFORCE

Initials: F W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers

Unit Text: 4th Bn

Age: 29

Date of Death: between 25/10/1914 and 27/10/1914

Awards: Twice Mentioned in Despatches

Additional information: Son of Philip John and Johanna Albertina Steele, of Grange Rd., Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His brothers Philip John Rupert and Norman Leslie also fell

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 6

Memorial: LE TOURET MEMORIAL

and

Name: STEELE, PHILIP JOHN RUPERT

Initials: P J R

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Australian Field Artillery

Unit Text: 4th Bde

Age: 27

Date of Death: 08/01/1917

Additional information: Son of Philip John and Johanna Albertina Steele, of 195, Swanston St., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Officers, B. 3. 32

Cemetery: ST. SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN

returning to the airmen listed at Beersheva

Name: BRASELL, JACK STANLEY

Initials: J S

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Australian Flying Corps

Unit Text: 1st Sqdn

Age: 24

Date of Death: 25/06/1917

Additional information: Son of William and Ada Marion Brasell, of St. Mildreds Court, Eastbourne, Sussex, England. Native of Wanstead, Essex, England

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 60

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

Name: BROOKS, CHARLES ALFRED

Initials: C A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Unit Text: 67 Sqdn

Secondary Regiment: Wiltshire Regiment

Secondary Unit Text: and

Age: 29

Date of Death: 08/07/1917

Additional information: Son of George and Alice Brooks, of Windene, Winsley, Bradford-on-Avon. Previously wounded, twice in France

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 44

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

[note the unusual reference to his having been previously wounded twice while in serving in France]

Name: PAGET, GERALD LEWIS

Initials: G L

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Date of Death: 13/07/1917

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 10

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

Name: SEARLE, ARCHIBALD HENRY

Initials: A H

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Australian Flying Corps

Unit Text: 1st Sqdn

Age: 29

Date of Death: 13/07/1917

Additional information: Son of William Cecil and Jessie Hannah Searle, of "Woorayl," Grenville St., Hampton, Victoria, Australia. Native of Epsom, Bendigo, Victoria

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 60

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

Name: THOMAS, ROBERT NEWTON

Initials: R N

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Unit Text: 14th Sqdn

Secondary Regiment: General List

Secondary Unit Text: and

Date of Death: 23/07/1917

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 10

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

from 'Flight' of 2nd August 1917

[see http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/vie....%20N.%20Thomas]

Captain R. N. THOMAS, R.F.C., was killed in action on July 23rd while serving with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. For eleven months he was in France, and was recently awarded the Croix de Guerre. He left England only a few weeks ago. Captain Thomas was the eldest surviving son of Brigadier-General Sir Owen and Lady Thomas, Cemaes, Anglesey, and was one of three brothers who served under their father in the Welsh Army Corps in 1914-15, being transferred to the R.F.C. in 1915. He was in the South African War as trumpeter in the Prince of Wales's Light Horse, a regiment which was raised and commanded by his father. His youngest brother, Lieutenant Trevor Thomas, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was killed in action in France in January, 1916, and his only surviving brother is a flight commander in the R.F.C.

It seems probable that this is his brother Trevor

Name: THOMAS

Initials: T

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Unit Text: 16th Bn

Date of Death: 10/01/1916

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. L. I

Cemetery: ST. VAAST POST MILITARY CEMETERY, RICHEBOURG-L'AVOUE

Name: HOWELLS, JOHN WESLEY

Initials: J W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Lancashire Fusiliers

Unit Text: 7th Bn

Age: 30

Date of Death: 23/07/1917

Additional information: Son of William and Sarah Jane Howells, of Arch House, St. George St., Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 18

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

[note that there is no reference here to his serving with the RFC]

Edited by michaeldr
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  • 5 months later...
Julian Hancock

I have a portrait picture of Gerald in his Northumberland fusiliers uniform prior to him being attached to the 1st Australian flying corps. His daughter (My grandmother) retained the photograph in a family chest which was forced open by wehrmacht troops in the second world war (she married a Dutchman). The photograph still has boot imprints on it.post-73462-0-59679400-1308332786.jpg

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Name: THOMAS, ROBERT NEWTON

Initials: R N

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Unit Text: 14th Sqdn

Secondary Regiment: General List

Secondary Unit Text: and

Date of Death: 23/07/1917

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 10

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

from 'Flight' of 2nd August 1917

[see http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/vie....%20N.%20Thomas]

Captain R. N. THOMAS, R.F.C., was killed in action on July 23rd while serving with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. For eleven months he was in France, and was recently awarded the Croix de Guerre. He left England only a few weeks ago. Captain Thomas was the eldest surviving son of Brigadier-General Sir Owen and Lady Thomas, Cemaes, Anglesey, and was one of three brothers who served under their father in the Welsh Army Corps in 1914-15, being transferred to the R.F.C. in 1915. He was in the South African War as trumpeter in the Prince of Wales's Light Horse, a regiment which was raised and commanded by his father. His youngest brother, Lieutenant Trevor Thomas, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was killed in action in France in January, 1916, and his only surviving brother is a flight commander in the R.F.C.

It seems probable that this is his brother Trevor

Name: THOMAS

Initials: T

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Unit Text: 16th Bn

Date of Death: 10/01/1916

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. L. I

Cemetery: ST. VAAST POST MILITARY CEMETERY, RICHEBOURG-L'AVOUE

Michael,

Just picked up on this part of the Beersheba thread. Robert Newton Thomas was the second of three brothers, sons of Brigadier-General Sir Owen Thomas, to die in the war. As his younger sibling Trevor was killed by a sniper in the Richebourg sector, the first officer of his battalion to die in action, so the last surviving brother Owen was killed in a night flying accident in the UK on 29 July 1918 and is buried at Coopersale Churchyard, Essex. Their father, who was a local figurehead engaged in raising units of the 113th Brigade of the 38th Welsh Division during 1914-15 became MP for Anglesey in 1918 and died in 1923 at Henley.

Robert N. Thomas was piloting a BE2e no. A1803 of 14 Squadron when it received a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire southwest of Gaza. He and 2nd Lieut. J.W.Howells were killed. Thomas, who had served as a boy bugler in his father's regiment during the Boer War, was commissioned in the 15th RWF in November 1914. He was awarded the French Croix de Guerre.

post-12434-0-04406300-1308348715.jpg

Photo shows the General, with (l to r) Trevor, Robert, & Owen. I'm intrigued as to which airman the "generous enemy" was honouring as per the memorial caption, but thanks for posting this interesting picture.

LST_164

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About 22 years ago the medals of the all three Thomas boys who paid the ultimate sacrifice were in the care of a collector in Dublin. I'm fortunate enough to be looking after Brigadier General Sir Owen Thomas' QSA awarded to him as Lieutenant Colonel of the Prince of Wales' Light Horse.

Aled

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  • 3 weeks later...

Julian, LST_164 & Aled,

I've just returned on-line and am very pleased to see the latest contributions above. Many thanks

Michael

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  • 8 months later...

Michael - I am a student at Ben Gurian University and am writing a paper on the epitaphs at the cemetery. Took about 200 pics there, and would like to share them with you. Would also like to correspond about some questions I have for my research. Kathi

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