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Liz in Eastbourne

21st Battalion KRRC - the original Yeomen

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Liz in Eastbourne

Continuing now to the aftermath of Flers. Feversham' s body was not found and just before the battle of Gird Ridge - three weeks later - many other bodies were stlll lying near Flers; a party sent to bury the dead on Oct 4th itself suffered casualties. Dennis, p 94, records how

'Shortly after the remnants from the first stunt returned to the base camp, a very small party of our men had been sent down the line to find our dead Colonel's body, but they were unsuccessful. This was quite understandable for the night was a very dark one, there was no recognised line of trenches and not one of the party could pick out the spot where he had fallen amidst the corn in the fields. The men returned very disappointed that they could not find the body.'

During this period Col. Foljambe seems to have been quite fatherly towards Eden, who must have been greatly affected by the death of Feversham, since he had known him and his family since childhood (though of course Feversham was about 18 years older). Eden writes about this on pp 102-3 of 'Another World':.

EDIT I have cut my original quote for copyright reasons.

'Foljambe would not allow me to stay working in our orderly-room tent every afternoon, and an occasional summons to an hour or two's riding over the down and stubble behind our camp was a welcome delight.

...

Charlie had owned an Irish wolf-hound called 'Con' which was very much a one-man dog and moped miserably as the days passed and his master did not appear. Partly to exercise Con, Foljambe would take him with us and occasionally give him a run after a hare. This was not really allowed, but as we never saw a living soul, French or English, on any of our rides we soon forgot that, the more so as our activities could not conceivably have done any harm at that time of year. Con was rarely successful but on one of the few occasions when he was, he nearly landed us in trouble. '

He goes on to relate how they met the corps commander and staff while the junior officer in the party was carrying Con's hare:

'A glance by the general at junior and another at Con who had flopped down exhausted with his tongue hanging out, but nothing was said.' .

So the dog remained alive and well, though pining, after Feversham's death. The detail in Eden's account should convince anyone that he really remembers this. Though less detailed overall about everyday life than Dennis, he writes of certain intense episodes in detail, the ones that made most impression on him.

More soon.

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne

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Liz in Eastbourne

And now to the burial of the Earl of Feversham.

The battle of Gird Ridge 7-9 October 1916 resulted in more terrible losses for the Yeoman Rifles, and Eden says it may well have been only Foljambes's vigorous protests that prevented the battalion being involved in a further attack which was thought to be on the cards because the battalion had just (9th October) received a large number of drafts. They were not from the reserve battalion or from the KRRC at all, but new volunteers enlisted in 'an Eastern counties regiment' ,with no experience, 'bewildered and alarmed at being led up to and through some of the heaviest artillery fire the war had seen so far'. The atmosphere was miserable, fearful and anxious and they were not sorry to be leaving their headquarters at Factory Corner on the evening of 10th October.

EDIT I have substantially cut this quote for copyright reasons, but it is on pp 116 -117 of 'Another World': Eden describes how a gunner officer called in at Factory Corner and told them he had found the body of a dead rifles officer, and Foljambe detailed Eden to head the burial party to go out that night.

'I selected Tom Dale,  EDIT My mistake, not Eden's, earlier inserted 'Jim' (his brother) for Tom Dale our pioneer sergeant, who had been brought up on the Feversham estate and who was devoted to Charlie, Bob Iley and two other riflemen. Dale contrived during the night to make a small wooden cross from materials he had got hold of, I don't know where, and had carved Charlie's name on it.'
They had no luck at first but
' just as I was deciding that I must accept failure, one of our party, I think it was Sergeant Dale, who was furthest forward, called out that he had found the colonel. Then I understood that Charlie had led his men even further towards the enemy lines on that September 15th than we had thought possible. His body lay on the forward slope of a lip in the ground where he had fallen, as his and Oakley's weakened battalions advanced upon that 'next objective', still virtually intact. Sadly we set about our task. I read a few lines from the burial service, which someone had lent me at headquarters, Dale set up the wooden cross, we gave our commanding officer a last salute and turned away, leaving him to Picardy and the shells.'

:poppy:

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne

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MBrockway

Lt Col Charles William Reginald Duncombe, Earl of Feversham, Officer Commanding 21st (Service) Battalion (Yeoman Rifles), King's Royal Rifle Corps

Killed in Action 15th September 1916

:poppy:

post-20192-013344600 1285230041.jpg

A wooden lychgate was erected over his grave, which was still signposted from the road in 1937. He was not moved into the AIF Cemetery until after WW2.

Mark

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Liz in Eastbourne

Mark, thank you so much for posting that photograph of Feversham. I had never seen it

Just to finish my case for the correction of the story in Holmes' Tommy with the aftermath of the colonel's burial.

Con the wolfhound was still alive and well in the weeks before Christmas. I'm still quoting from Anthony Eden's book, Another World, 1897-1917 (Allen Lane 1976) - the previous passage describing the burial was pp116 -7, this is p 121:

'Conditions at battalion headquarters near the old Brasserie were slightly better [
than those of the men]
, but not the rats. My mother had sent me out a handsome box of chocolate peppermint creams from Morrell Brothers, Cobbett and Son, the fashionable confectioner of those days. I decided to keep it for Christmas and so put the box on a rough shelf at the foot of my bunk in the dug-out with Con, the wolf-hound, sleeping on the floor beside it. In the morning every single chocolate in the box had been nibbled and we never tasted one. These rats were more like buck rabbits in size , revolting to sight and touch. Even Con had been sated, which perhaps explained why the chocolates went undefended.'

I have found nothing more about Con.

EDIT I have cut a quote here to avoid copyright infringement by over-long quotes.

The TImes Court Circular of 25 September 1920 reported:

'At Helmsley, near Malton, yesterday, Lieutenant-General Sir Ivor Maxse unveiled a Calvary cross erected to the memory of the late Earl of Feversham and 33 men of Helmsley who fell in the war. '(
There follows a list of those present.
)

Dennis writes about Feversham's grave (A Kitchener Man's Bit, p 104):

'After the war, timber from the Earl's estate was sent there and a wooden cross was made and a sort of lych gate put over the grave. Later still a bell from a church in the district of his home was used there as a flower vase.'

In 1928 two parties of old Yeoman Riflemen visited the cemeteries where their friends were buried (pp 248 - 252:

'We walked along the road to Flers and at the top of a hill turned left, walked across a field of crops - with permission from a farmworker - and came to the Colonel's grave, all alone in its glory and just where he had fallen on September 15th, 1916. We solemnly placed our wreaths against the cross, above which was a tiled roof on four wooden posts.'

As Mark has stated, the Earl of Feversham's body now lies in the AIF cemetery at Flers.

As far as I can discover it, mainly from these two invaluable books, this is the true story of the death and burial of the Earl of Feversham and the way in which the Yeoman Rifles did their utmost to pay their respects to him, even in the horrible conditions of the Somme - and also of how they looked after his wolf-hound Con.

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne

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Liz in Eastbourne

I am sorry this is a bit of a monologue at present. Too much text. Mark's picture was brilliantly timed - thanks again, Mark.

I have as usual found a little footnote to add from the notes to Dennis's book. Wilf Allen (QMS), who was in A Company, is said to have described Lord Feversham's death exactly as Dennis did 'adding that the body was recovered by McEwan, Lord Feversham's former estate worker at Duncombe Park.' If he's correct, I assume that McEwan was one of the two riflemen who accompanied Eden, Iley and Dale.

McEwan's name was Thomas; I could not find his military record on Ancestry except for the Medal Rolls Index Card, where it is stated that his number is C/12003, rank ARSM and he enlisted on 9 September 1915 - very early. He was discharged wounded 19 March 1917. Can anyone find his record?

Liz

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MBrockway

McEwan's name was Thomas; I could not find his military record on Ancestry except for the Medal Rolls Index Card, where it is stated that his number is C/12003, rank ARSM and he enlisted on 9 September 1915 - very early. He was discharged wounded 19 March 1917. Can anyone find his record?

Liz

Liz,

Thomas McEwen was quite a prominent figure in 21/KRRC. As a CSM (Company Serjeant Major) he was awarded the DCM in 1916. Here's the citation from the London Gazette ...

post-20192-044978700 1285551105.jpg

[LG #29760 p.9297 publ 22 Sep 1916]

This was during a Raid on enemy trenches opposite T113 in the Ploegsteert Wood area led by 2/Lt Law on the night of 10/11 Jul 1916. The party was 2/Lt Law, CSM McEwen, 6 other NCOs and 26 riflemen. Law won the MC for his bravery on the same raid. McEwen would have been the 2 i/c for the Raid.

This 2/Lt RW Law, MC is the same man as Temp/Capt RWE (or RWR) Law mentioned as being wounded at Flers above.

There was a special report covering this raid added as an Appendix to the July War Diary but frustratingly only page 4 of 4 seems to have been digitised by the National Archive. It would be worth checking the original WD next time you visit Kew to see if the complete report is with the paper copies.

Luckily this section written in Feversham's own hand survives ...

post-20192-001101100 1285555061.jpg

McEwen was later promoted to Acting Regimental SM before being discharged due to wounds on 19 March 1917 with a Silver War Badge. His SWB was number 146144.

He is mentioned on the Pickering Roll of Honour as having served and survived.

McEwen is also in the group photo in Dennis's book third from the left in the front row. Jim Dale is also there. Incidentally, if you can send me a high resolution scan of that 03 May 1916 photo, I could post it here for you and perhaps add close-ups of some of the men mentioned in this thread.

Cheers,

Mark

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Liz in Eastbourne

Many thanks, Mark!

I completely forgot to look both at the photograph of the 'Helmsley and district' men of A company, and at the war diary and related material I got from Kew, and didn't remember the mention of McEwen. Thanks too for the citation in the Gazette. I realise the note in the Dennis book and the MIC record (though that does say 'McEwen' above) spell the name wrongly as McEwan but this doesn't seem to be what has prevented me finding the main military record on Ancestry - I still can't find it. Anyway, this is a lot more info.

It would be great to have enlargements from that photo of all the men we've mentioned so far here - your Feversham picture made such a huge addition to bringing his story to life. However, the photograph is only in that 2006 KRRC journal article by Stuart Anderson online, accessible via the link I posted before. It's not in the Dennis book and I haven't got a copy. So perhaps the quality isn't good enough? I'd been meaning to ask you where you thought the original might be held, and whether other group photographs taken at the same time might be available. Now that I think Hardcastle was in B Company I'd love to find one of them.

I took a copy of that 4-page report of Feversham's on the July 10/11 raid, all in his handwriting, when I was at Kew, but it was online - I didn't ask to look at the originals. I find it easier to look at hard copies and I knew I'd probably have trouble finding it again.

So if there's a difficulty in retrieving it I will send it to you. I think a bit of off-forum technical advice may be necessary here. I haven't got a scanner but could ask a neighbour to help.

But I can also transcribe it here later - might help me to grasp it. It's got more about McEwen, too. I just haven't assimilated all this information the way you have, good job you're here to direct operations.

Liz

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MBrockway

I've been experimenting with the picture from Anderson's KRRCA article and think I've managed to get a reasonable version for posting:

21 KRRC - group photo incl Earl Feversham, officers & ORs - 03 May 1915 KRRC Ass Journal 2006.jpg

21 KRRC - group photo incl Earl Feversham, officers & ORs - 03 May 1915 KRRC Ass Journal 2006 - names.jpg

Unfortunately I had less success making the list of names presentable!

CSM McEwen is third from left on the front row.

Sjt Jim Dale is the right hand end of front row

 

[Edits 11 Oct 2016:

for 'L/Cpl W Ford' at right hand end of second row back, read 'L/Cpl W Todd' - source: Pal Jane Heyburn, grand-daughter of Bill Todd. See posts 518 &ff. further down this topic for further details

for 'Lt GE Porter' immediately to the left of the Countess in the front row, 'Lt GE Potter' - source: discussions lower down this topic passim]

Cheers,

Mark

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
Correction from relative & advice from Liz

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Liz in Eastbourne

This is wonderful - now everyone can see the Helmsley and district 'core' of A Company with the Earl and Countess of Feversham without going off the forum. But - neglecting the riflemen for a moment - you can see why some people call this 'the Countess photograph'. Eden describes 'falling under her spell' as a child with his brother Nicholas, when she took the trouble to look at their guinea pigs at the far end of the garden, and says she was even more beautiful than her mother, a noted society beauty. Feversham was killed in September 1916 and she married again in November 1917 - sad to think of that looking at them here in May 1916 just before the battalion left Aldershot for France*.

The riflemen we've mentioned (but not necessarily at length) are GR Trenholme (back row, right) who was wounded on 1st June at Plugstreet when A company was hit by shells, and came back with 12th Bn KRRC to be killed on 7 October - he's the one I got wildly wrong on p 2 of this thread!; J W Collier, second to back row, left, who was killed on 1st June; next to him, AC Agar, wrongly called RC Agara here, and third row second left Harry Thompson; and then as you say, Mark, CSM T McEwen third from left front row and on the far right Sgt Tom Dale next to his brother Jim (Dennis mentions them as both being professional soldiers).

EDIT In my previous post I originally misquoted Eden as saying Jim Dale was the sergeant who helped to bury the Earl of Feversham - I'm sorry, it was Tom. The photograph captions in the KRRCA journal also have the brothers the wrong way round.  On the extreme right is Tom.  Next to him on his right, our left, is Jim. This can clearly be seen if you compare the photo with the one of Eden opposite p 65 of Another World, with Tom Dale on his right. 

McEwen looks pretty tough here, doesn't he?

Some fine moustaches. I only discovered through this research that soldiers were actually ordered to grow moustaches at this date. Dennis couldn't grow one, Foljambe according to Eden simply ignored the order - 'none of the repeated ordinances of those days would induce him to grow a moustache.'

I'll post more shortly on the raid McEwen was involved in, and decorated for, that Mark mentioned a couple of posts ago.

Liz

EDIT Biographical note

The Countess of Feversham married her late husband's brother-in-law, Sir Gervase Beckett (whose wife, Feversham's sister, had died), so that her stepchildren were her nephews and nieces by marriage.

One of these, Beatrice, married Anthony Eden in 1922. They were divorced in 1950, partly as a result of the strain of their eldest son Simon being KiA in the RAF in 1945. When she died in Yorkshire in 1957 her stepmother, Lady Marjorie Beckett, previously the Dowager Lady Feversham, was present at her funeral and the Yeoman Rifles Association sent a representative. (The Times, July 8 1957 - TT digital archive) .

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
To try to clear up confusion between the two Dale brothers.

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Stebie9173

Is this the same Foljambe family that the book "A Family at War" is about? (apologies if someone has asked already)

Steve.

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Liz in Eastbourne
On 9/27/2010 at 03:46, MBrockway said:

Liz,

Thomas McEwen was quite a prominent figure in 21/KRRC. As a CSM (Company Serjeant Major) he was awarded the DCM in 1916. Here's the citation from the London Gazette ...

post-20192-044978700 1285551105.jpg

[LG #29760 p.9297 publ 22 Sep 1916]

This was during a Raid on enemy trenches opposite T113 in the Ploegsteert Wood area led by 2/Lt Law on the night of 10/11 Jul 1916. The party was 2/Lt Law, CSM McEwen, 6 other NCOs and 26 riflemen. Law won the MC for his bravery on the same raid. McEwen would have been the 2 i/c for the Raid.

This 2/Lt RW Law, MC is the same man as Temp/Capt RWE (or RWR) Law mentioned as being wounded at Flers above.

There was a special report covering this raid added as an Appendix to the July War Diary but frustratingly only page 4 of 4 seems to have been digitised by the National Archive. It would be worth checking the original WD next time you visit Kew to see if the complete report is with the paper copies.

Luckily this section written in Feversham's own hand survives ...

post-20192-001101100 1285555061.jpg

McEwen was later promoted to Acting Regimental SM before being discharged due to wounds on 19 March 1917 with a Silver War Badge. His SWB was number 146144.

As I have hard copies of these four pages - Feversham's handwritten report on the raid carried out on the night of 10th -11th July 1916 when the Yeoman Rifles were in Ploegsteert Wood - I am transcribing them here for other people's interest. The first three pages were not too difficult as Feversham's handwriting was good, but the last page is very faded especially at the top. Fortunately that's the one Mark has, so he has been able to help me with that and we have also consulted about the rest, though I haven't yet been able to send the originals to him. After that, as they say, any errors are my own responsibility, but I have checked the whole thing carefully. The numbers in brackets are the original page numbers. I can't quite get the spacing as I intended - the original is densely written without spaces but with clear side-headings as here.

(1)

From Officer Commanding 21stKRRC
To Head Quarters 124th Infantry Brigade
Sir;
I have the honour to report that in accordance with your order No.25, a minor enterprise with the intention of capturing prisoners and doing as much damage as possible to the enemy was carried out by the Battalion last night 10/11th July against the hostile trenches opposite Trench 113.
Strength of party 1 officer, 7 NCOs & 26 men. Nominal Roll attached.
Disposition.
The party was divided into three groups of 9 numbered X.Y.Z. Each group was further subdivided into sections of 3, in accordance with orders issued by me, already submitted.
At 11.45 p.m.
the party paraded in Gap G, their equipment was carefully checked, it consisted of 4 men with rifles and swords, remainder bombs in bombing waistcoats and knobkerries. NCOs knobkerries and revolvers. 9 men with wire-cutters in addition to arms. 9 men with electric torches, hands and faces were blackened with burntcork. Steel helmets were not worn, all titles, identity discs and all marks of identification were left behind. 9 men took scaling-ladders.
12.20 am
The first man, the leader of the party, 2nd Lieut. RWR Law, went over the parapet in bay of T113. The remainder of the party followed in single file, the last man passing over at 12.34 am.
12.41 am
The signal of one Very light was fired from Picket House in the direction of the Birdcage. On this signal the party advanced in line of 3s, at about 3 yards interval creeping through the grass. Our Machine Gun fire was applied intermittently on the enemy's parapet all the evening, with a view to preventing the mending of the wire.
(2)
At this time (12.41) our machine guns increased their fire in accordance with my instructions, the object being to drown the noise of the party creeping through the grass. The artillery bombardment and the signal for the push into the enemy's trenches was timed for
1.0.am.
The bombardment commenced at 12.59 & was followed half a minute later by the firing of the signal "2 Very lights from Picket House". This signal was very easily distinguished by the party, who knew exactly from which part to expect them. During the advance through the grass, 2nd
Lt. Law heard a hostile wiring party in front of him and at the signal of the two Very Lights, the whole party got up and pushed for the trench. They had reached the enemy's wire before being fired at, while they were negotiating the wire, they were greeted with machine gun, rifle fire, & bombs.
CSM McEwen succeeded in getting through the wire, rather in front of 2nd Lt Law, and got on to the enemy's parapet. He was distinctly able to see the enemy's machine gun emplacement and some Germans in the trench, but at this time he was knocked over by the explosion of a hostile bomb, into a pit full of wire, but escaped injury.
2nd Lt. Law had considerable difficulty with the wire, but emptied his revolver into the enemy. As they went over the parapet into the trench, the remainder of the party retaliated vigorously with revolvers, rifle fire and bombs, discharging approximately 110 bombs. They heard a good deal of yelling on the part of the Germans, and are confident that a considerable number of their bombs took effect. One man was on the point of bayoneting a German close to his own parapet, when he was wounded and the German escaped. At about 1.6 am seeing that it was impossible to enter the trench, as the majority of the party were held up by the wire, they gradually withdrew to a ditch in front of our own wire and laid down in the grass,
(3)
and awaited instructions to come in over the parapet. The signals to return were duly given as arranged for at 1.8 am and were observed without difficulty. By 1.45 am the majority of the men had come in. Search parties under 2nd Lt Hervey and Sgt Salmon who both did very useful work went out of the trenches to look for the remainder, and to help with the wounded. By 2.20am the last man who at first was reported as missing had been brought up.
As previously stated the artillery bombardment commenced at 12.59 am and as far as can be ascertained the accuracy of the shooting was quite satisfactory. The enemy retaliated very slightly, sending over only one large shell, or possibly Trench-mortar, which fell somewhere near the support line of T113.
Enemy's Machine-gun Emplacement
CSM Mc Ewen states, that the enemy's machine-gun emplacement appeared to consist of a concrete platform in front and behind a steel plate with a loophole. He is of opinion that the gun was firing through the loophole, and suggests that the emplacement was so designed that a screen can be easily drawn over it.
Enemy's wire
In spite of some rather narrow gaps having been made in the wire two days previously by the Artillery, the party found that the wire confronting them was a considerable obstacle. In addition to knife-rests which had been demolished in front of the right hand section, there appeared to be ditches full of wire, which sank under pressure,and were difficult to get out of. There also appeared to be pits and holes full of wire. In some places the wire was a thick tangled mass.
(4)
Enemy's bombs
These appeared to be ineffective as several exploded quite close to the leader of the party & he could hardly have escaped if the bombs had been of the same quality as ours.
Conclusions
From the observations of the officers, NCOs and men who took part in the raid, it appears that undoubtedly a strong working party was present in the section of the trench attacked, and it is possible that as there had been a lull in the machine-gun firing between 12.0 and 12.20 the working party was covered by bombers and had just started to repair the gaps in the wire. It is not clear whether the retirement to their own trench was due in the first instance to their having detected the raiders or to the fact that our machine-gun fire had again become active. I consider that the raid was well led and well carried out by all ranks. When faced with one of the alternative situations which was contemplated in their orders they acted in accordance therewith. I would like to draw your attention to the good work done by the leader of the party CSM McEwen, Sgt Campbell, Rfmn Stabler, Rfmn Bell and Rfmn GF Curry.
Casualties
C/12164 Rfmn BELL, TW. killed (carried in by Sgts Baker & Robinson).
C/12564 Rfm WOOD W. wounded. C/12592 Rfm STABLER, S wounded.
R/13078 Rfm HOLT, W, wounded (all evacuated). C/12360 Rfm, EMMERSON, G R and C/13001 Rfm FAIL, R (slightly & at duty).
In accordance with your letter 124.IB/G615 ordering that in minor enterprises
an officer should be detailed as O.C. Enterprise to remain in the trench, I assumed that position and established my Head Qrs at Coy Hd Qs - where the artillery F.O.O. was in telephone communication with his battery.
I have the honour to be,
Sir, your obedient servant
Feversham
Lt-Col 21stKRRC (Yeoman Rifles)
END OF DOCUMENT
(part of NA cat.ref. WO/95/2643 Image Reference 251)
Some (incomplete) notes
C/12164 Bell, Thomas William, aged 19 when he died, student at Leeds University, son of George and Annie Bell, Wakefield (CWGC). Father brickyard labourer in 1901 (Census). West Riding - probably B company.
EDIT: confirmed as B Coy by Feversham's Nominal Roll (see Mark's post following this one for link forward.)
C/12592 Stabler, Stephen, aged 27, gardener, from Dunnington near York, East Riding . Enlisted at Beverley. Was in hospital at Gravesend 13 July –21st
August 1916. Killed in action serving with 4thBn KRRC, 18 October 1918. (CWGC, SDGW) Medical history form on Ancestry states A Company 21st KRRC.
EDIT: A Coy Confirmed (NR).
R/13078 Holt, William of Oldham, Lancs, cotton spinner,aged 20, enlisted May 1915, was in D Company (declaration of service at end of war), discharged wounded 4.9.1917, then re-enlisted Oct 1918 ASC MT Sydenham. Survived.
EDIT: D Coy confirmed (NR)
C/13001 Faill, Robert (Bob) mentioned by Dennis as from Rothbury, Northumberland in training at Aldershot. MIC suggests Dennis is correct in spelling 'Faill' with two ls.
EDIT: not on NR .
C/12360 Emmerson, George R.MIC and Silver War Badge roll entry. Enlisted 18 Nov 1915, discharged due to wounds on 30 May 1918 aged 25 years 254 days.
EDIT: A Coy (NR)
EDIT: The word 'several' at the top of p 4 is illegible on the digitised version but just decipherable on the original document at the NA.
 
Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
To correct formatting disturbed by forum upgrade.

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MBrockway

Wow! Excellent to get such a complete anatomy of a trench raid eh?

I should point out that swords in the KRRC and RB means bayonets - regimental tradition dating back to the Baker rifle 100 or more years earlier.

Many thanks to Liz for taking such pains to transcribe all this for us. A lot of effort but really appreciated :)

Cheers,

Mark

[Edit: as a postscript, we've now located the missing Nominal Roll for this Trench Raid and it's further on in this Topic here: Feversham's Nominal Roll for 10-11 Jul 1916 Trench Raid. It had been misfiled by NA and scanned with the October War Diary - grrr!]

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MBrockway
On 29/09/2010 at 22:36, Stebie9173 said:

Is this the same Foljambe family that the book "A Family at War" is about? (apologies if someone has asked already)

Steve.

Steve,

Your query has spurred me on to clear up some loose ends and research properly how the two Foljambe branches are connected!

A Family At War is centred on the diaries of T/Capt Robert Francis Thorn FOLJAMBE, RHA, known as Francis, a professional soldier commissioned into the RFA in 1912 and out in France with the Old Contemptibles. He was MiD in LG 04 Jan 1917 p.207.

Francis was the grandson of the Rt Hon Francis John Savile FOLJAMBE (1830-1917) of Osberton, near Scofton, Notts.

As an interesting aside, this elder Francis Foljambe suceeded the grandfather of Charlie Duncombe, Earl Feversham, as MP for Retford.

Francis's father, George Savile FOLJAMBE (1856-1920), had commanded 8th Sherwood Foresters from 1908 up to the War and then was OC 3rd/8th SF until Dec 1915 after which he served in France with the Red Cross until 1917.

Francis's uncle was Major Hubert Francis Fitzwilliam Brabazon FOLJAMBE who was KiA on 14 Sep 1914 on the Aisne with 2/KRRC and is mentioned above, and since we're unfolding the Foljambes, I think I'm now justified in posting Hubert's picture from the 1914 2/KRRC officers' group:

post-20192-036009700 1285821176.jpg

Francis's elder brother, Ted, Capt Edmond Walter Savile FOLJAMBE, 1/RB, was another professional soldier and Old Contemptible. He was reported wounded and missing at the Battle of Cateau, but re-appears and ends his war at the Southern Army Infantry School. Ted was not, as mentioned earlier in the Topic, Hubert's brother but rather Hubert's nephew - my apologies!

Returning to the head of the Osberton branch, the Rt Hon Francis John Savile FOLJAMBE had a younger brother Cecil George Savile FOLJAMBE, 1st Earl of Liverpool, (1846-1907) who heads up the junior branch who held the estate of Ollerton in Notts.

Cecil's son by his first wife was Arthur William de Brito Savile FOLJAMBE, the 2nd Earl of Liverpool (1870-1941), who served in the Boer War also as a captain in the RB. Arthur Foljambe spent the war as Governor-General of New Zealand and raised the New Zealand Rifle Brigade while out there.

Cecil's sons by his second wife were ...

Lt Col Gerald William Frederick Savile FOLJAMBE, 3rd Earl of Liverpool (18781962), who we have already seen taking over as Officer Commanding 21/KRRC after Charlie Duncombe was killed at Flers on 15 Sep 1916. Yet another professional soldier (Eton and Sandhurst), at the outbreak of the war an OBLI Major with service in the Boer War. He appears to have been MiD more than once and was awarded the DSO. If any of the Pals can find his LG citations I'd be very grateful ;-)

Lt Col Gerald Foljambe, 21/KRRC was in fact the cousin of Maj Hubert FFB Foljambe of 2/KRRC, KiA on 14 Sep 1914 and great uncle to Capt Francis Foljambe, RHA/RFA the diarrist.

Brevet Major Hon. Josceline Charles William Savile FOLJAMBE (18821916), killed in action on 06 April 1916 with 1/OBLI.

Robert Anthony Edward St Andrew Savile FOLJAMBE, future 4th Earl of Liverpool (18871969). I haven't found any Great War service for him yet, but he was an Inspector in the East Riding Special Constabulary 192645!

Hon. Bertram Marmaduke Osbert Savile FOLJAMBE (18911955) another professional soldier who went out on 06 Nov 1914 with the 2nd West Yorkshire Regiment and was awarded the MC.

Hon. Victor Alexander Cecil Savile FOLJAMBE (18951975). I haven't found any Great War service for Victor yet.

To complete the circle, the editor/author of A Family At War, Brigadier Jolyon Jackson, is a cousin of Francis Foljambe, the diarist gunner, and is another rifleman of note. He was commissioned into the Royal Green Jackets in 1976, later officer commanding 1st Battalion, the Royal Green Jackets (King's Royal Rifle Corps) from 1996-98. He is now a senior staff officer.

With nearly all the family's service in the OBLI, the KRRC or the Rifle Brigade, both branches of the Foljambes could also most definitely be termed Green Jackets!

Incredible interconnections!

Cheers,

Mark

FOLJAMBE, Maj HFFB - detail from 2 KRRC - Officers group 1914 KRRC Chronicle 1914.jpg

Edited by MBrockway
Point size of text mysteriously shrunk after Board softwareupgrade in 2016. Corrected by resetting to 14pt.

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MBrockway

And here specially for Andy :ph34r: is a picture of Arthur William de Brito Savile FOLJAMBE, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, and elder half brother to Lt Col Gerald WFS Foljambe, 21/KRRC, in his Rifle Brigade uniform while Governor-General of New Zealand:

post-20192-019769500 1285834904.jpg

Do any of the Oxfords experts or other Pals have a picture of Gerald Foljambe? It'd be great to include him here as the Foljambe most relevant to the Yeoman Rifles!

:D

Cheers,

Mark

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high wood

I have a photograph of C/12274 Rifleman Harry Osborne Moseley of D Coy who was Kia 15th September 1915 according to information on the back of the photograph or 17th September according to CWGC. He came from Hugglescote in Leicester. I am happy to post a copy.

I also have original photographs or ephemera relating to the following men with C prefixs:

C/857 Pte Peter Yates. 16th Btn. KiA 20-5-1917. Memorial plaque & KRRC scroll.

C/3143 WO2 Edward A Upton. 16th Btn.

C/3687 Pte Harold F Appleby. Dog tag.

C/4126 Pte James Pearson. 17th Btn. Vic.

C/6900 Cpl Wilson Hartley. 18th Btn. DoW 7-10-1916.

C/7693 Pte Cyril Cuthbert. 20th Btn.

C/9922 Pte Tom H Eayrs. 2nd Lieut Beds & Herts Regt.

C/12715 Rfn Robert William Cordukes. 21st Btn. KiA 20-9-1917. (York).

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Liz in Eastbourne

Steve,

Your query has spurred me on to clear up some loose ends and research properly how the two Foljambe branches are connected!

Steve, it looks to me as though you are responsible for a night of Foljambe-sorting-out here! This is wonderful, Mark. I now feel quite ashamed of having been so unaware of the importance of the Foljambes to the Rifles regiments before. I don't think the men of 21st Bn were aware of that either from one or two references in my favourite books, but it's clear Gerald Foljambe was hugely respected. That point you made about 'swords' meaning bayonets reminded me of another very good story from Eden's Another World (did I happen to mention how much I like that little book? still available second-hand online, quite cheap, I see!) concerning Foljambe.

EDIT It's on p 104; I have cut the long quote to avoid copyright infringement.

I hope we find a photograph of him.

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne

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Liz in Eastbourne

I have a photograph of C/12274 Rifleman Harry Osborne Moseley of D Coy who was Kia 15th September 1915 according to information on the back of the photograph or 17th September according to CWGC. He came from Hugglescote in Leicester. I am happy to post a copy.

I also have original photographs or ephemera relating to the following men with C prefixs:

<snip>

C/12715 Rfn Robert William Cordukes. 21st Btn. KiA 20-9-1917. (York).

It would be great to see a photograph and any details of Mosley. That 15/17 Sept date variation for men killed in action at Flers is common and has been discussed in this thread Accuracy of dates of death on CWGC site , previously mentioned here, because the battalion was in action on 15th but not 17th September. I have since noticed on several original records '15/17 Sept' as date of death.

I don't think any of the others can be 'original 21st Bn KRRC' men (but correct me if I'm wrong) except Cordukes in whom I'd certainly be interested. I did look up his record and census details before, because he is mentioned in the notes to Dennis's book A Kitchener Man's Bit . He was born in Kelfield and lived in Riccall, near Selby, Yorkshire. In 1901 his father was a farmer at Kelfield House farm, and in 1911 Robert was a clerk living with his widowed mother. He enlisted at York early in December 1915, approved at Helmsley 7th December. His elder brother George Buckle Cordukes also died, with the Northumberland Fusiliers. Anything you've got on Robert would be interesting here.

There is another Cordukes mentioned by Dennis - Fred, C/12196, who was hit on the head by the nose cone of an anti-aircraft shell early in June 1916 and had to have his helmet cut off his head at the Casualty Clearing Station. He's possibly unrelated but it's an unusual name. He was Frederick Henry Cordukes, apparently known as Henry to his family as this is how he appears in the 1901 census, born in Sheriff Hutton, near York, apparently brought up by grandparents there, and died in 1980. Dennis gets his other name wrong (puts 'Arthur' for Henry) but mentions he worked for Rowntree's Cocoa Works before enlisting and this confirms that it's the same man as the 1911 census gives his occupation as 'Commercial clerk, Cocoa, chocolate and confectionery'. I found his MIC but not his record on ancestry.

Liz

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high wood

Here is C/12715 Rfn Robert William Cordukes. The picture comes from a series of postcards published by Outhwaites, Market Street, York commemorating the fallen heroes of York.

post-6480-093883500 1286013804.jpg

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high wood

This is Rfn Harry Osborne Moseley, born Hugglescole, Leicestershire, Enlisted Coalville, Leicestershire and resided at Donnington-Le-Heath, Leicestershire. As mentioned before, SDGW states KiA 17th September 1916, whilst MIC states 15th September.

post-6480-018190700 1286014091.jpg

post-6480-044360800 1286014141.jpg

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Liz in Eastbourne

Thank you very much for sharing these, high wood, they're great.

Despite declaring a few weeks ago that I wasn't going to do a full search on all these men yet, now that I've got the hang of the ancestry military records better than I had then, I am trying to do a reasonable search on as many as possible - and also to check the 1911 census. So these are the extra bits I found on Moseley (you probably did too). I know I may be duplicating some of Perth Digger's work too but at least we can eventually compare notes.

Harry Osborne Moseley was the son of a farmer, and though he was an engineering apprentice at 16 in 1901, he was an assistant on the family farm with his two brothers at Donnington le Heath nr Leicester on the 1911 census, after his father's death. That was still the address in the 1920s (his two brothers and sister are mentioned as surviving relatives on the statement form), but when he enlisted he was at Monk's Barn, Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire (Newstead Abbey was famous as Byron's place, earlier). His mother too died in 1916. The CWGC entry is the same as the SDGW one , except for the additional information that he is buried/ commemorated in the Guards' Cemetery, Lesboeufs.

After he enlisted at Coalville on 15th Nov, his attestation was approved at Helmsley on 18th Nov and I think that signature is Gerald Foljambe's - although it's faded, it compares with the one on the War Diaries.

I wonder if there are more of those postcards like the one of Robert Cordukes in circulation, showing 21Bn KRRC men from the York area?

Thanks again!

Liz

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Liz in Eastbourne

The riflemen we've mentioned (but not necessarily at length) are <snip> AC Agar, wrongly called RC Agara here, and third row second left Harry Thompson <snip>

Going back to the 'Countess' photograph, I realise I ought to post a warning that these two are slightly out of the Helmsley heartland and particularly in the case of Harry Thompson, who was from Goole, between Hull and Leeds, there could be someone closer at hand with the same initial and surname. There are dozens of Yorkshire Harry Thompsons and some (though not nearly as many) with other names beginning with H. I haven't yet found a candidate in the military records but I often have trouble finding men who survived and so are not in the CWGC and SDGW records. It would be a disappointment to Trenchtrotter if this wasn't his man after all but I guess we should face the possibility! That photo does appear to be intended to be not just any group of A company men but Helmsley district men (including e.g.Oswaldkirk, Ampleforth, Malton and Pickering). This means where they and their families belong, not where they happen to be when they enlist. One man in the picture, Frank Hildrick, enlisted in London, where he was working, but was from a Helmsley family.

Alfred Agar is from closer, Wetwang near Driffield, but still not in the Helmsley district. The caption in the article by Stuart Anderson said 'RC Agara'. There is no such surname in the records of the time that I can find. The other copy I was sent from a family tree said 'AC Agar' and gave the Wetwang details. But the records don't give Alfred (C/12492) the middle initial 'C'. I don't know what the status is of either of these sets of captions - who wrote them and when.

I did find another Yeoman Rifles Agar, though certainly not a better candidate for the man in the photograph.

He is Herbert Agar, born in York late 1887,an engineer/fitter living at Plantation House, Hull Road, York in 1911 with his father, Joseph (company secretary to a leather merchant), mother, Sarah Elizabeth, and brother, Joseph Whittaker Agar, a farmer. Plus a cook and housemaid so they were comfortably off.

His CWGC record states that he was in D Coy, 21st Bn KRRC, and his parents had moved later to Harrogate. He was killed in action 8 July 1916 (when they were at 'Plugstreet' before Flers). The old city of York itself was officially outside the Ridings set-up, I think, but areas outside the city are in West or East Riding so he would normally (though not always!), if a 1915 recruit, have been in A or B. However, his service no was R/20045. Mark will know what that indicates. Was he a reservist in the first place who enlisted earlier? I found his SDGW record but not his military record.

Liz

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MBrockway

Going back to the 'Countess' photograph, .....That photo does appear to be intended to be not just any group of A company men but Helmsley district men (including e.g.Oswaldkirk, Ampleforth, Malton and Pickering). <snip>

Sorry Liz - I meant to report on this earlier ...

A count of the men in the Countess photo gives ...

24 - Riflemen

5 - L/Cpl

3 - Cpl

4 - Sjt

1 - CQMS

1 - CSM

1 - Lieut

1 - Lt Col

This does not match any discrete unit within a battalion, so I agree: this is not a unit within the battalion but more likely a group of men connected by some other factor in common. Being attached to Duncombe's estate seems likely to me. It's also possible therefore that those in the photo come from different companies.

I did find another Yeoman Rifles Agar ... Herbert Agar ... ... his service no was R/20045. Mark will know what that indicates. Was he a reservist in the first place who enlisted earlier?

Liz

Without doing any specific checking in detail, this most likely points to Rfn Agar R/20045 being a Derby Scheme recruit from late 1915 or an early MSA conscript. Either way, he is likely to have been called up in the early months of 1916 and sent out as a replacement draft once he had completed training.

Cheers,

Mark

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Liz in Eastbourne

<snip>

This does not match any discrete unit within a battalion, so I agree: this is not a unit within the battalion but more likely a group of men connected by some other factor in common. Being attached to Duncombe's estate seems likely to me. It's also possible therefore that those in the photo come from different companies.

Yes, or having a previous long-term connection to it: the estate had just shrunk a bit as a result of death duties (Times, Dec 16 1915: 'Lord Feversham's estate - Eleven farms sold for £36,000: ...The Helmsley property included shops and dwelling places...The chief feature of the sale was the offer of 13 farms in and about Harome...'.)

But I'd be prepared to bet that they were all in A Company, being such a core group, and at this early stage. (I must be feeling rash this morning, sticking my head above the parapet to be blown off!) I know there are exceptions to the schema which I'll repeat here as it's so long ago in the thread that we stated it:

A Company North and East Ridings

B " West Riding

C " Northumberland and Durham

D " Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Norfolk.

But the exceptions are either men not in the usual recruitment pattern of the Yeoman Rifles or specifically stated by Dennis as not where they should be, thus suggesting that the schema was a generally correct guide at this early stage in the battalion's life.

Mark - you remember you quoted the case of Cpl Jim Ducker, who was in A Coy although from Canklow, Rotherham, in the West Riding? Well, he enlisted on 23 March 1915, reg. no. R11189, and was not posted to the 21st KRRC until 16 June 1916. It isn't surprising he was sent to A Coy then because as we know they had had more casualties than other companies as a result of shells exploding during a rifle inspection on 1st June (when Rfn Collier and Hickes and Sjt* Seward were killed and several men wounded, e.g. Trenholme).

Dennis records details of who was in which Companies in great detail. He says his group of 9 from 'a certain East Riding (of Yorkshire) College for the Training of Teachers' (Hull) joined the Yeoman Rifles at about the same time in late November 1915 (he and his friend thought it was a cavalry unit and also the KRRC recruiting serjeant* looked smart). They went to Helmsley as 'a group of about sixty-three men and boys' on 6th December by train.

'The Earl had built around the edges of the park some straw huts, like African kraals, for the first recruits, chiefly of 'A' Coy. A surprise fall of snow in October made them unsuitable for billets and they were condemned as unfit for use. The men were brought down to the town Workhouse, whose inmates were transferred to Kirkbymoorside. As more recruits arrived, 'A' coy. men were removed to billets at Beadlam and Sawton, two charming villages a few miles from Helmsley. All further recruits were put into billets in the town - 'B' and 'D' Coys. in the Workhouse, in High Street, Castlegate and Station Road. Of the nine of us from the College, three were put into 'A' Coy and six into 'C'.

He also mentions a man called Lance Wakefield who was transferred from C to D Coy before they went to Aldershot because he said his friends were all there. I haven't checked yet whether he was on a county border.

He writes of the time after Gird Ridge ( started 2pm 7 Oct 1916 - 94 years ago this afternoon) that

'Six of us (the nine from Hull) had survived so far, probably because we were spread out in different companies, whereas the thirteen boys from Spennymoor who were all in my old company had suffered badly.'

He had been moved from C to D and demoted just before Gird Ridge:

'I missed the men of the Northern Counties and found myself with men from South of the Humber.'

So my case is, m'lud, that the exceptions were noteworthy and the geographical spread of the four Companies held until the battalion started to suffer casualties.

Liz

* I've decided to follow you and use the 'Serjeant' spelling. I see this is an old Forum topic! Both the Dennis and Eden books spell it with a 'g' (editorial decision, I assume) but since I discovered that the 'j' is correct current Rifles practice as well as common in WW1 I decided I'd better follow suit.

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MBrockway

Liz,

Re the Company allocations: I agree with you - the division by Ridings would have been near 100% consistent for the original volunteers and would only have broken down as the battalion began to experience losses and men, both existing and new recruits, were juggled to fill the gaps.

Exceptions could have been officers, where depending on the man's personality, it might have been more prudent to separate him from leading men who knew him from home. This was probably rare though as I suspect the background of the Yeoman Rifles usually meant it would have been a distinct advantage to have the young officers leading men from their own locality. Dennis's book seems full of that.

Also for senior NCOs and Warrant Officers, a man's leadership skills would have held primacy over their locality wen it came to filling such key roles.

Moreover I stress that I agree with you - the overwhelming probability is the men from the Countess photo are indeed all from A Coy ... or at most from A Coy and Battalion HQ.

Re Cpl Jim Ducker, R/11189

It turns out Jim enlisted into the KRRC at Attercliffe, Sheffield on 23 March 1915 well before the idea of the Yeoman Rifles was mooted. He then appears to have attested at the Rifles Depot in Winchester before being posted to 6/KRRC at Sheerness where he was trained. The evidence as to whether he physically went to Winchester or not is unclear.

He only joined 21/KRRC out in France on 31 May 1916 a few days after the btn had itself embarked on 04 May 1916. I imagine he would have been very pleased to have been among so many men from his wider home area even if they were from a different Riding. He does seem to have had some trouble with his NCOs early on though - two incidents of Field Punishment for insolence/insubordination to NCOs in summer of 1916 - so certainly no Good Conduct chevron for Jim!

Re Sergeant vs Serjeant

As you say, this is a hoary old chestnut here on the Forum - LOL! Rifles tradition uses serjeant, but I understand the War Office *official* spelling at the time was sergeant, so KRRC official usage in e.g. Rolls of Honour, War Diary, MICs, London Gazette etc. is usually sergeant, but less formal records such as diaries, letters etc. generally have serjeant.

I'm confident the preferred usage in the RB and KRRs was serjeant and sergeant was most likely used under sufferance! I always transcribe sources exactly as I find, but use serjeant where there's a choice.

Cheers,

Mark

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Liz in Eastbourne

Mark - glad I am not out of line then! I did wonder about the officers; as you say, coming from the same area as the men seems to have been regarded as a strength in the Yeoman Rifles. That old 'yeoman' loyalty to the landowning classes seems to have been a positive factor here - and the landowners and sons of landowners who were the officers seem to have been a decent lot. There were many men who didn't fit that stereotype at all and were neither farmers nor sons of farmers (Dennis, a trainee schoolteacher, for example) but most seemed to like the ethos, as he did. But possibly not everyone.

Re Cpl Jim Ducker, R/11189

It turns out Jim enlisted into the KRRC at Attercliffe, Sheffield on 23 March 1915 well before the idea of the Yeoman Rifles was mooted. He then appears to have attested at the Rifles Depot in Winchester before being posted to 6/KRRC at Sheerness where he was trained. The evidence as to whether he physically went to Winchester or not is unclear.

He only joined 21/KRRC out in France on 31 May 1916 a few days after the btn had itself embarked on 04 May 1916. I imagine he would have been very pleased to have been among so many men from his wider home area even if they were from a different Riding. He does seem to have had some trouble with his NCOs early on though - two incidents of Field Punishment for insolence/insubordination to NCOs in summer of 1916 - so certainly no Good Conduct chevron for Jim!

I noticed his misdemeanours in the three weeks before Flers. Do you know what those punishments are? '10 days FP No 2' on 16th August and ' 7 days FP No 1' on 8th Sept (that'd take him up to Flers but perhaps he was one of those kept out of it). I saw from the census records that he was a coalminer, and son of a coalminer, and thought his social attitudes might well be a bit less tolerant of hierarchy than those of the farmers. But one never knows the details. Dennis had a run-in with authority in exactly the same period and reverted from unpaid Lance Corporal to Rifleman.

Ducker's casualty form said he was posted to BEF France on 31 May - more than three weeks after the btn, who (to be annoyingly pedantic) had gone to France on 5 May - and to A Coy 21 KRRC on 16 June; that's why I thought the posting made sense, after the casualties to A Coy of 1 June, while they were at Ploegsteert Wood.

BTW the other exception I mentioned from Dennis, Lance Wakefield, who moved from C to D Coy early on, turns out to be another one with a different recruitment background, though I haven't found his full record. He survived, and became a Dewsbury doctor, according to the notes to Dennis. He was from a Lancashire family who had moved to Dewsbury, father a chemical manufacturer, and his reg no was R/19241 according to his MIC. So he doesn't detract from the general theory either.

Liz

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