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Remembered Today:

Private William Henry Akester


gary hull
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Hi everyone im new on this site and wondered if any of your good selves could direct me on the right path to find out more on my great grandfather.

I know he served in the Kings Liverpool regiment after transferring from the East Yorkshire regiment

He was killed by the Bulgarians on August the 30th 1917

Any other information such as photographs or diaries would be greatly appreciated

many thanks

Private William Akester (36)
Liverpool Regiment, is officially reported to have been killed at Salonika on August 30th 1917
He joined in November, 1914 the East Yorks, and was transferred into the King's Liverpool.
He was in France ten months until he was wounded in July 1916 on the Somme
After recovering he was transferred to the Liverpool regiment and was sent to Salonika where he was reported injured two or three times.
Each time he was sent back into the trenches
Lieutenant Watts in a letter states that Private Akester was killed during an attack on the British trenches by Bulgarians on August the 30th,
And that deceased attacked after the neighbouring posts had been driven in.
Deceased was shot through the head . In the regiment he had the reputation of being a good soldier.
Another letter from his platoon officer says that Private Akester had fine qualities and that he showed unfailing good humour and cheerfulness under trying circumstances.
He was of the type that forms the backbone of England
The Company Commander also says that he has lost one of his best men.
The Chaplain, in a beautiful sympathetic message to Mrs Akester
Says that he was on outpost duty and was killed outright by a shell and was buried in a pretty cemetery near the spot where he had fallen.
Before the war the deceased was a lighterman and was well known on the Old harbourside
He has left a widow and four children, the eldest 13.
Whose home is 8 Albany Terrace Williamson Street Hull

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Gary, if you look on the parent site 'The Long Long Trail' under formations, British Divisions, you will find the 14th Kings (liverpool) in 22nd Division who were on the Doiran front between Lake Doiran and the River Varda.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Gary

Your soldier's service papers have not survived so reliance has to be placed on inferences drawn from the papers of soldiers with comaprable service numbers.

Fred Armstrong 14796 East Yorks attested on 6 November 1914 and was posted to the 9th Battalion on 12 November 1914 for training, undoubtedly with your g.grandfather.

The 9th Battalion was a Reserve Service Battalion that was never sent overseas. Fred Armstrong happened to be posted to the 6th Battalion on 21 September 1915 and your g.grandfather was transferred to the 8th Battalion around the same time and was eventually sent to F&F on 17 October 1915 as per his date of entry on his MIC. He was probably in a draft of reinforcements to make good the losses suferred by the Battalion during the Battle of Loos.

The KLR Roll Medals for the BWM & Victory confirm service with the 8th Battalion albeit with the figure 8 typed over the figure 9.

He was, in all probability, wounded on 14 July 1916 during the opening of the Bazentin Ridge phase of the Somme when the Battalion suffered 120 fatalities. He would have been shipped back to the UK for treatment and must have recovered sufficiently for him to be transferred to the KLR in the last week of September 1916 - Percy Ingham was allocated the service number 56112 on posting on 26 September 1916.

The War Diaries available from the National Archives of both Battalions for the relevant periods will provide you with much greater detail.

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Gary

This is a transcription of Wyrrall kindly provided by 'Joseph' on this thread:

 

Battle of Bazentin Ridge

1st July 1916

The 8th Battalion (Lieut.-Colonel B. I. Way) had entrained for the Somme on 1st July, having spent the intervening weeks, from 10th April (when they reached the Berthen area from the front line, south-east of Ypres) either out of the line resting or training at La Clytte, Mt. Kokereele and St. Martin-au-Laert .areas, or in the front line east of Dickebusch. These weeks were uneventful and few casualties were suffered.

1st to 12th July 1916

The Battalion reached Candas at about 8 p.m., and, after detraining, marched to Franqueville, thence in stages to Flesselles, Cardonette, Corbie, Les Celestins Wood and Carnoy, billeting in the latter place until 12th. The Battalion was now in Brigade Reserve, the 8th Brigade having relieved the 53rd Brigade (18th Division), on the night of 7th in the front line north of Montauban, the 3rd Division having been ordered to take over the Caterpillar Wood sector.
From 8th to 12th the 8th East Yorkshires were engaged in carrying duties, moving ammunition and stores up to the Quarry-to form a Brigade dump for the coming operations. The Battalion also sent out reconnoitring patrols each night, gaining general information as to the conditions of the enemy's wire and other necessary details concerning his positions.
The fighting strength of the Battalion at this period was approximately 20 officers and 800 other ranks.

13th July 1916

At 4 p.m. on 13th July, final orders concerning the attack were issued, and Zero hour was fixed at 3.25 a.m. on 14th.
At 9.30 p.m. the assaulting troops began to move up to their assembly positions. They moved in file along the Carnoy-Mont-auban road, skirting Montauban to the west and north and assembled in Caterpillar Wood. Valley in complete silence, with only one man wounded. A screen of picquets, consisting of half a platoon per Company, with all the scouts of the assaulting Battalions, under the Brigade Intelligence Officer, had been put out to within 200 yards of the German line and were established there by 10.30 p.m. Under cover of this screen the 8th Brigade assembled in the following formation : 8th East Yorkshires on the right, 7th K.S.L.I, on the left. The 1st R.S. Fusiliers were in support, half the Battalion in rear of each assaulting Battalion. The 2nd Royal Scots were in Brigade Reserve.
The Divisional objective ran roughly from (and including) the centre of Longueval village to (and including) the village of Bazentin-le-Grand. The 76th Brigade was attacking on the right, the 8th in the centre and the 9th Brigade on the left. The objec¬tives of the 8th Brigade were the German front and support trenches about half-way between the two villages.

14th July 1916

The 8th Brigade, having assembled on the northern slopes of the valley just north-east of Caterpillar Wood, advanced to the positions of deployment, the road running east and west, south of the German positions. At 2.05 a.m. the Brigade reported “Brigade deployed position." In accordance with orders from Divisional Headquarters the line now began to creep forward, each line placing out markers 15 yards every quarter of an hour, then creeping up to the new alignment. At 3.15 a.m. the leading line of the assaulting troops was about 120 yards only from, the German trenches.
At 3.20 a.m. an intense bombardment was placed on the German wire and trenches, though a large number of shells fell short, causing casualties amongst the two front lines of waiting troops. At 3.25 the whole of the assaulting lines and supporting lines advanced with, a rush on the German trenches. But the first row of the enemy's wire was found cut in only a few places, the second row, consisting of zigzag pattern wire (very formidable) was hardly damaged at all. On the right only two platoons of the 8th East Yorkshires managed to get through, and on the left one or two desperate parties of the 7th K.S.L.I., led by their gallant Colonel, crawled through gaps. The remainder of the assaulting lines took shelter in shell holes in front of the German trenches or fell back to the line of the Sunken Road, which they began to consolidate.
The Diary of the 8th Battalion describes the action in dis¬jointed sentences, and it is difficult to fill in the gaps: “Battalion held up by uncut wire. Enemy sent up many flare lights. Machine gun and rapid rifle fire opened on our men by enemy. Men returned to place of assembly under the bank and dug in, some remained taking cover in shell holes. Commanding Officer wounded whilst in enemy wire." Lieut.-Colonel Way had been shot in the leg and in the arm, and about 6.45 a.m. Major F. B. Brewis arrived and took over temporary command of the Battalion.
About 7.15 a.m. news came through that the 9th Brigade on the left had captured Bazentin-le-Grand and the 2nd Royal Scots (less two Companies) were ordered up to attack the German line nest to the point where the 9th Brigade had broken through. Two bombing attacks, one by the 2 R. Scots and the other by the 1 R.S. Fusiliers, assisted by machine-gun fire, had the desired effect, and by 1 p.m. the German first and second lines were captured with 400 prisoners and six machine guns. The Diary of the 8th Battalion, thus describes this bombing episode : " 12.15 p.m. Bombing party of 2nd Royal Scots appeared on our left. They advanced quickly and carried all before them. As they advanced our men joined in and the fight was over at once. But of the two platoons of the 8th East Yorkshires, who had penetrated the enemy's wire in the initial attack, nothing further is recorded. Perhaps there was no more to tell than that they died gallantly fighting to the very last.
The position was now consolidated. At 2 p.m. the Battalion began to reorganise and count its losses, the latter were terrible. “The following," records the Diary, " were the known casualties. Officers: killed 8, wounded 11. Other ranks: killed 81, wounded 218, missing 141. Total 19 officers and 440 other ranks."

14th to 21st July 1918

Until the close of the Battle of Bazentin Ridge, and until the 20th July, the 8th East Yorkshires held on to their position, but the only account given is in these words: " Holding our new position. Heavy bombardment by enemy of our trenches and back area. Gas and Lachrymatory shells. Many casualties. Special attention paid by enemy to Quarry, roads leading from the Quarry and Montauban." On the night 20th/21st the Battalion was relieved and moved back to trenches just north of the Quarry.

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