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Remembered Today:

2nd Norfolk Regiment and Kut al amara, just a thought.


beestonboxer
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I am lucky enough to have just become the new owner of an outstanding photograph album , looks to be possibly an official album of the 2nd Battn Norfolk Regiment dated 1913, 46 amazing photographs my brain is overloading with trying to take in all that lays in front of me, a ton of research ahead which I am going to need big help with ...... :) anyway with all that the photographs have portrayed up to 1913 and all the medals on show, my thoughts turned to the Great War and what lay ahead for the men in the photos, my initial thought was Kut Al Amara and the losses the Battn suffered during and after the siege, how many of the faces I am looking at suffered and paid the ultimate price. Does anyone know the official numbers of Norfolk men lost during and after the siege of Kut ?

After the Christmas Holidays are done and dusted I will post a few of the photos. ( Christmas always a good excuse to treat yourself )

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Waiting with bated breath! Have one two men from 2nd Bn that I'm interested in.

Lionboxe

If you have anything to help me out I will try and get anything related posted tomorrow , rank for example or company.

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I would be very interested if there is any mention of a Hubert Strowger (8514 Private to Lance Sergeant ) -

Attested 2nd Norfolk Regt 1911

Captured Kut-al-Amara 29th April 1916

Died in captivity c.April-Dec 1916.

Mark

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I would be very interested if there is any mention of a Hubert Strowger (8514 Private to Lance Sergeant ) -

Attested 2nd Norfolk Regt 1911

Captured Kut-al-Amara 29th April 1916

Died in captivity c.April-Dec 1916.

Mark

No names are mentioned on the photographs but there are group photos of officers , sergeants , Cpls , and all companies are individually photographed , think the photos could be of use to people who may be able to pick someone out through existing photos.

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I have an image of Capt George Barons Northcote from the de Ruvigny Roll of Honour (see attached) who was in India from sometime in 1913. Maybe he appears? Although judging from the first image posted nearly everyone looks alike! Incidentally I found this link to a history of the regiment useful when researching Capt Northcote and it does include casualty numbers during the siege at Kut.

http://lib.militaryarchive.co.uk/library/infantry-histories/library/The-Norfolk-Regiment-1685-1918-Vol-2/HTML/index.asp

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I have an image of Capt George Barons Northcote from the de Ruvigny Roll of Honour (see attached) who was in India from sometime in 1913. Maybe he appears? Although judging from the first image posted nearly everyone looks alike! Incidentally I found this link to a history of the regiment useful when researching Capt Northcote and it does include casualty numbers during the siege at Kut.

http://lib.militaryarchive.co.uk/library/infantry-histories/library/The-Norfolk-Regiment-1685-1918-Vol-2/HTML/index.asp

Thanks for the link very helpful . I have a contender in the album for the mentioned Officer, like you say not easy as they do look alike I will add a photo over the next couple of days, if it is him he appears in the group photo of B Coy .

Regards Tim

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Roger, not sure what significance the clock had maybe its in the Norfolk Regiment Museum im planning a visit soon so will keep my eyes open.

Found another photo with Captain Northcote in it , could be a clue in the activity , seems like he was an outdoor chap the clipping you provided mentions " was a keen sportsman, hunting shooting and fishing spent most of leave in India big game shooting"

The photo is of the regiment Trekking team B Coy .

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Excellent. Thanks again. If you get to the museum I understand that they have Captain Northcote's medals and an album of photos that he took in Mesopotamia. I haven't made it myself yet.

Regards

Roger

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  • 2 months later...

Just joined as was looking for info on George Barons Northcote and WOW am not disappointed.

Have proof that his mother requested his medals be sent to her after his death. Pleased to see

they are not lost and are at the museum! Thank you all

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Anbro,

I have done some research into Captain Northcote - his name appears on my local war memorial. I'd be happy to share what I have if it's of interest. If so, you may like to contact me using the Personal Messenger facility giving a private email address and we can communicate 'off-line'.

Roger

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I have been able to identify another of the Officers from one of the photos in the album Major Francis Cecil Lodge. He commanded the 2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment at the time Kut was surrendered and was taken as a prisoner of war. I have confirmed the image of him in the album by way of contact with his Grandson Alastair Lodge who has kindly allowed me to post an article he wrote about his Grandfather......

In many ways, the part of the family story that I find hardest to write is that which I am most closely related. There are a number of reasons for this, not least that my grandfather Francis Cecil Lodge was quite long in the tooth when my father was born, and had died at a ripe old age quite some time before I was born. I was very young when my rather distant seeming grandmother died, but I do recall her trying to elicit a certain kind of pride showing me a photograph of a man in old fashioned Khaki and telling me this was my grandfather. I dont quite know whether she could be forgiven for the slight exaggeration in saying that he had been a General, but I suppose the distinction between that and Lieutenant Colonel would have been considered rather subtle for a four year old. As a child who had never known a grandfather on either side, I think that even that concept had been a bit beyond me.

When my grandmother died, various small treasures came our way (though very little of significance for family history I think; my father after all was the youngest of three children). Among these things was a display case full of miniature medals. I never thought to ask about them at first, and possibly when I was older, my interests were with aircraft rather than soldiering, and I had probably assumed that they were from the Second World War. Later still, I gathered that they had in fact been awarded to my Grandfather in the Boer War and the First World War, and it was about that time that I realised how my fathers father had been from a totally different era.

There were one or two stories that circulated about my grandfather however. One was that his horse had bolted at Queen Victorias funeral procession when the artillery salute was fired.

Another was possibly connected with the two swords which came to our house. (At this point, animal lovers would be best advised to move on to the next paragraph). My father tells a tale of one evening in a campaign tent when my grandfather had been discussing plans with other officers. At the successful conclusion of the meeting, either he or another exited the tent brandishing a sabre in a rather gung-ho manner unintentionally bisecting one of the bats which had been circling around. Then there was the camp bed which the family still used, which was much more comfortable than the more up to date ones we had, but nevertheless had the unmistakeable brown stain of some undisclosed wound. It is strange, as a boy, that I was not more curious, but I think I made do with the knowledge that my grandfather had been a professional soldier with the army in India, and that retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, he had made enough progress to merit an entry in Whos Who. Other than this he was not much discussed at home.

Perhaps it is the onset of middle age which makes one more curious about the past, but in my case I think reading Sebastian Faulkes novel Birdsong that got me wondering more. I was beginning to suspect that my grandfather could easily have been among the Donkeys leading Lions, and the image of General Melchet in Blackadder, advancing the officers drinks cabinet did spring to mind. Anyhow it seemed time to find a copy of Whos Who or at least Who Was Who to face the past. Here is the entry:

Lodge, Lieut.-Colonel Francis Cecil, C.M.G 1918; D.S.O. 1917; late Royal Norfolk Regiment; b. 1868; s. of Colonel F. Lodge late R.A; m. Nora Margaret, of late A. Bryans, Holmwood Cottage, S. Holmwood, Dorking, Surrey; two s. one d. Served South African War, 1899-1902 (despatches, Queens medal and 3 clasps, Kings medal and 2 clasps); European War (Mesopotamia) 1915-1918 (despatches, C.M.G., D.S.O.); retired pay, 1921. Address; Cull lane Cottage, New Milton Hants. T. New Milton 1208. [Died 12 Jan. 1951.

Focusing on the First World War part of his career, the next step was to find out what the Norfolk regiment was doing in Mesopotamia. The story was an intriguing one especially in the context of the present Gulf Conflict. To summarise briefly, the sideshow offensive in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) was designed to secure the oilfields of Basra from the control of the Turkish Empire. To this end, the Norfolk and Dorset regiments were dispatched from India under the command of Colonel Townsend. They did very well at first, doing more than just securing the field. In the light of the disaster of Gallipoli, the War Office felt it would be a good propaganda coup to send this battalion to capture Baghdad. The question of supplies, which were already stretched, was raised, but the War Office replied that there would be plenty of supplies in Baghdad when they got there.

When the Turkish resistance to the offensive grew stronger, the army was pushed back to Kut el Armarah, a small town on the river Tigris, where they awaited reinforcements. Various rescue attempts were made, but in the end the siege of Kut became the longest lasting siege in British Military History.

The troops suffered extreme privation, and a soldiers diaries joke about the delights of starling on toast. It was not so easy for the Indian soldiers, whose religious prohibitions meant that they succumbed to starvation illness and death to a greater extent than the English nationals. When all attempts at relief failed, the war office told the besieged soldiers to seek terms of honourable surrender. The Turkish would not accept any conditions, and so in the end, the British, after destroying everything of military value made an unconditional surrender. For the ranks, the nightmare was far from over, as they were forced to march overland to prison Camps in Turkey, and many did not make it. The officers, on the other hand (including, presumably my Grandfather) were shipped up river to Istanbul to captivity there. For these, the war was over. An excellent description of this campaign can be found at http://www.1914-1918.net/meso_bat8.htm. and also http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/battles/mesopotamia.htm

I found from the National Record of Archives that the war diaries of my grandfather were among the records held by the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum at Norwich. I must admit to having somewhat skimmed through this museum a couple of years before I discovered my grandfathers connection with the regiment, having found the militaria of no interest to me whatsoever. It seems ironic that such a museum should have been of direct relevance to me. I will quote the letter written to me by the Assistant Keeper Social History (Military) , following my enquiry:

I apologise for the delay in writing to you following your enquiry regarding your grandfathers diaries of the First World War.

It is my regret that I have never seen these diaries. The Norfolk Museums and Archaeology service took over the regimental collection in 1990 and the diaries were not present at that time. I still hope that one day they will turn up in regimental headquarters. However, we do have your grandfathers Boer War diaries, which you would be most welcome to come and read. They give an insight into the daily life of an officer and are of great value to us, as he regularly names individuals. We have indexed the diaries by name.

I also enclose records of various photographs we have where your grandfather is one of the named subjects. I am very sorry not to be the bearer of better news, but I hope the enclosed is of some interest to you.

Information given in Regimental Officers Book

LODGE, FRANCIS CECIL CMG. DSO

Militia 27 Oct 1888 27 Oct 1891

2nd Lt 12 March 1892

Lt 1 Jan 1895

Capt 6 Jun 1900

Adjt 28 Nov 1901 27 Nov 1904

Major 15 Nov 1911

Lt Col 12 Jun 1917

Retired Pay 16 Mar 1921

Born 29 Nov 1868

Died 12 Jan 1951

South African War 1899 -02 Operations in the Orange Free State Feb to May 1900 including actions at Karee Siding, Vet River (5-6 May) and Zand River. Operations in the Transvaal in May and June 1900 including actions near Johannesberg and Pretoria. Operations in cape Colony, South of Orange River. Operations in the Transvaal, 30 Nov 1900 to 3 May 1902.

Despatches 10 Sept 1901, 29 Jul 1902. Queens Medal and 3 Clasps: Kings Medal with two clasps.

First World War

Despatches 5th Apr, 13 Jul, 19 Oct 1916

1914 15 Star, British War Medal victory Medal. CMG DSO

Wounded at Ctesphone, Mesopotamia. Taken Prisoner at fall of Kut-el-Armarah whilst in command of 2nd Bn, April 1916

Commanded 1st Bn in Ireland, 1919-21

I have yet to revisit the museum. Strangely, the almost invisible thumbnail pictures enclosed made me feel even more distant from the character of my grandfather. He was from first to last a professional soldier, which is about as alien a career for me as one could get. There must be more stories in here, such as what kind of war did he have in South Africa? What was colonial life in India like? Why did he end up in the Norfolk Regiment and not in his fathers regiment, and was this to do with his mother, Emma Matchetts family? Just what was his role in Ireland in those turbulent years after the First World War, and are there any echoes of the experience of his own grandfather, the Reverend Oliver Lodge in the events that shaped that country? All of these have yet to be answered.

Alastair Lodge

photo2

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Strowger1

I would be very interested if there is any mention of a Hubert Strowger (8514 Private to Lance Sergeant ) -

Attested 2nd Norfolk Regt 1911

Captured Kut-al-Amara 29th April 1916

Died in captivity c.April-Dec 1916.

Mark

Morning. I would be very interested in any information about Hubert Strowger he was my Uncle. My father Victor Harry Strowger his younger brother served in France 1916. John strowger.

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Morning. I would be very interested in any information about Hubert Strowger he was my Uncle. My father Victor Harry Strowger his younger brother served in France 1916. John strowger.

PM sent with reference H.Strowger
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  • 1 month later...
Guest Gilliwon

Hello, my Grandfather was a regular in the Norfolks and was one of the survivors of the Siege at Kut. He was the QSM and his Medals and Diaries are in the Norfolks Museum, which, now appears to be just an archive. I went to Norwich Castle in March thinking their museum had moved into there. How disappointing, just an exhibition. However, there was/is a photo of my Grandfather with other NC Officers and Officers. His name was Frederick Charles Hudson. I wonder if there is a mention of him in the papers etc that you have. Also, I'm researching a chap from my Grandads Village who did not survive the siege, he was Private Phillip Walter J Durrant, I wonder if there is a mention of him. He was presumed dead by the Ottoman Red cross on the 15th February 1917

Thank you.

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I have just had a quick look on ancestry and can see a medal index card for what looks to be your Grandfather, but unable to find any other related documents online, I might be able to pick him out in the photos I have in my album if you can post a photo of him. I haven't been to the museum yet myself but have sadly heard similar disappointing stories like yours. I haven't had a look at Philip Walter J Durrant yet perhaps his service papers have survived. What Village did the men come from ?

Sorry to say the album contains no named men and I personally don't have any extensive research in to individuals who were there. Please feel free to add any information you have on him here I am sure others would be very interested to learn more about your Grandfather. It would certainly help bring a little more attention to the terrible events that took place there.

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Guest Gilliwon

Thanks Tim, I'll try and look out a photo of my Grandfather. He and Phillip Durrant all came from Wrentham, in Suffolk, just on the A12 south of Lowestoft.

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Philip Walter Durrant 2nd Bn Norfolk Regiment service number 7452.

Medal index card and service record on Ancestry.

Died of disease whilst POW at Angora Turkey.

Died 15th Feb 1917 cause of death Malarial cachexia.

commemorated on the Baghdad Northgate Cemetery Angora Memorial. Survived the forced march back to Turkey only to have fell through the hardships and disease. A brave soul.

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  • 1 month later...

Morning,

I am currently reading the Kut and captivity, 6th Indian Division book that is available to digitally download via archive.com pdf (good maps but slow) or e-book format, its interesting and goes into small details and it was written by a Royal Engineer so it includes technical info as well. I also have Kut 1916 Patrick Crowley.

My link 86th Heavy battery RGA, Capt Claude Lionel Garnett died of wounds Dec 1915. Will be happy to keep an eye out for names etc, however I would recommend the book anyway, read maybe 1/4 so far.

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Morning,

I am currently reading the Kut and captivity, 6th Indian Division book that is available to digitally download via archive.com pdf (good maps but slow) or e-book format, its interesting and goes into small details and it was written by a Royal Engineer so it includes technical info as well. I also have Kut 1916 Patrick Crowley.

My link 86th Heavy battery RGA, Capt Claude Lionel Garnett died of wounds Dec 1915. Will be happy to keep an eye out for names etc, however I would recommend the book anyway, read maybe 1/4 so far.

Thanks for the info regarding some reading on Kut I would definitely like to have a read of Patrick Crowleys book I will have to get myself a copy.

Regards Tim

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Tim,

I have been using book depository (web), they have Kut 1916 P Crowley's book at £19.75 which includes postage (EEC maybe worldwide) versus the jacket price of £25, takes to Ireland 5 days or so, maybe UK is quicker.

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