Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Alister

Unidentified unit S.A.R.E.

Recommended Posts

Alister

As part of my ongoing research into the men (and two women) from Wrexham who lost their lives as a result of the Great War, I have come across Driver Charles Thomas KEATING on the Wrexham Borough War Memorial which gives his unit as S.A.R.E. He was one of three brothers who died in the war; the other two, John and George, were both commissioned officers in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and died on the same day in 1915 and are buried alongside each other in Spoilbank Cemetery, Belgium. I have drawn a complete blank with trying to find what S.A.R.E. could be the initials for. A check with the RE Museum resulted in no unit existing called the South African Royal Engineers. Has anyone else ever come across this? Charles Keating does not appear in the CWGC list of the dead, nor in Soldiers Died in the Great War.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sw63

413995_150401141705_T998A_zpsrodpae7m.jp

But may be of a later date?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ron Clifton

Possibly a mistake for R A R E, the Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers. This was a Special Reserve unit which provided several companies to serve abroad.

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
asanewt

Possible typos in records for him. Only suggesting 'cos the brothers are Cheshires not RWF on CWGC. Will keep looking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Strawbridge

You mention two women casualties from Wrexham. I have six women with Wrexham connections - Florence Caton, Amy Curtis, Elsie Hewitt, Elsie Maddox, Mary Smith and Alice Wardle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

Jim,

Alice Wardle (unless there are two of them) died 1918 was from Bronington, in present day County Borough of Wrexham but Flintshire in those days. It lies a good 15 miles from Wrexham town centre.

I think we've corresponded about her before?

Clive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Strawbridge

Clive, You are, of course, right. I took the broader view that the postal address is Bronington, Wrexham, Clwyd. I was just trying to be helpful to the original poster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alister

Possible typos in records for him. Only suggesting 'cos the brothers are Cheshires not RWF on CWGC. Will keep looking.

THANKS FOR THE RESPONSE. THE TYPO IS MINE AND MINE ALONE. YOU ARE QUITE CORRECT, BOTH BROTHERS WERE IN THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT NOT THE RWF.

You mention two women casualties from Wrexham. I have six women with Wrexham connections - Florence Caton, Amy Curtis, Elsie Hewitt, Elsie Maddox, Mary Smith and Alice Wardle.

Thanks for the response. Our project is confined to the urban area of the town of Wrexham. The two women are: Florence Caton and Agnes Pugh, both nurses. One died in Salonika and the second in Wrexham as a direct result of the Gotha bombing of Liverpool Street Station in 1917. Are the other women on your list from outside the town – if they are from the town itself, I would be interested to know more. I note that Clive has picked up on Alice Wardle being from Bronington.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eastindia

Charles Keating was my great uncle. He was the son of John Keating who served with the RWF most of his life. His eldest son William served in the RWF but survived the war, Charles had a chequered army career but was re enlisted for the South African War. He stayed on in South Africa after the war as a miner, but enlisted again with the South African army and served in France. He was according to the family gassed and died but he was in fact  sent back on a hospital ship to South Africa. The army records say he was invalided on account of bronchitis. He survived the war and returned to mining but died in the early 1920s. My grandfather 2nd Lieutenant George Keating and his brother Lieutenant John Keating were killed within twenty minutes of each other each leading a charge over the top. Both had risen through the ranks gaining their commissions at the outbreak of war

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
W. Alister Williams

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I  have been unable to make much progress with the project to record all the Wrexham casualties and have only just noticed your post of 5 October 2016. I am intrigued by what happened to Charles Keating and have amended my notes accordingly. Do you know the date when he died? I am uncertain whether he should be included in the entries for the proposed memorial book which is scheduled for publication early next year. At the moment, he is to be included as his name appears on the town war memorial and it seems likely that his 'bronchitis' may have been caused by the gassing. Any information would be appreciated.

 

I am, of course, including George and John Keating. Do you or any family members hold any photographs of these three men that might be included in the project? You mention that you are the grandson of George; to you have the names and years of birth of his children?

On 05/10/2016 at 17:26, Eastindia said:

Charles Keating was my great uncle. He was the son of John Keating who served with the RWF most of his life. His eldest son William served in the RWF but survived the war, Charles had a chequered army career but was re enlisted for the South African War. He stayed on in South Africa after the war as a miner, but enlisted again with the South African army and served in France. He was according to the family gassed and died but he was in fact  sent back on a hospital ship to South Africa. The army records say he was invalided on account of bronchitis. He survived the war and returned to mining but died in the early 1920s. My grandfather 2nd Lieutenant George Keating and his brother Lieutenant John Keating were killed within twenty minutes of each other each leading a charge over the top. Both had risen through the ranks gaining their commissions at the outbreak of war

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

Alister,

This may be a red herring, but there is a Pension Record Card for a Charles Thomas Keating, no.3337 Driver with the "African Signal Company" who died 10 Feby. 1928.  The pension beneficiaries were his widow Elizabeth Keating and a child Arthur Charles Keating. 

 

These records are only fully available via the Fold3 website, or as a member of the Western Front Association.  I haven't got the full access under either heading at present.  

 

Member Eastindia is current, seems to have last visited this site on 6 November. 

 

Clive 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
26 minutes ago, W. Alister Williams said:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I  have been unable to make much progress with the project to record all the Wrexham casualties and have only just noticed your post of 5 October 2016. I am intrigued by what happened to Charles Keating and have amended my notes accordingly. Do you know the date when he died? I am uncertain whether he should be included in the entries for the proposed memorial book which is scheduled for publication early next year. At the moment, he is to be included as his name appears on the town war memorial and it seems likely that his 'bronchitis' may have been caused by the gassing. Any information would be appreciated.

 

I am, of course, including George and John Keating. Do you or any family members hold any photographs of these three men that might be included in the project? You mention that you are the grandson of George; to you have the names and years of birth of his children?

 

Alister,

I assume your query is aimed at Eastindia?

It might be best for you to send a personal message to him/her, as who knows when or if he/she will ever return to the forum.

Hover your cursor on their profile picture, that will bring up a pop-up which contains a 'Message' icon. take it from there.

 

I also see that you have only recently spotted Jim Strawbridge's helpful reply even though he posted it in 2015.

I'm sure Jim would appreciate a 'Thank You ' message, however belated it might be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maureene

You can request a South African service file for free, although at times may be very slow,  see 2018 details posted by Chris Baker

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/262976-south-african-service-papers-ww1/?do=findComment&comment=2666411

"On 4 July 2018 they wrote saying Kindly note our new email address is archive@dod.mil.za

 

Department of Defence
Command and Management Information System Division
Documentation Centre
Private Bag X289
Pretoria
0001

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 08:00 – 16:00

Reading Room Hours: Tuesday – Thursday, 08:00 – 16:00

Telephone: (+27) 012 670 8000

Facsimile: (+27) 012 670 8001  "

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

 

Edit Have just found this link, which although headed South African Forced World War II, is about World War I

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/SouthAfrica/Sappers-I/Sappers-1.html

 

"When consideration was given to sending a South African contingent overseas, an Engineer signals company was suggested and accepted by the Imperial authorities and Maj. N. Harrison, whose Post Office personnel had attended to the army's landline communications throughout the South West African campaign, was called upon to raise the company for overseas service after the German surrender in South-West in July 1915. During August and September some 230 highly qualified specialists concentrated at Potchefstroom under his command. The G.P.O. and electrical engineers from the Reef filled all officers' posts, and on 17 October 1915 the S.A. Signal Company, R. E., sailed from Cape Town in the Kenilworth Castle with six officers and 229 other ranks.

 

 

The company reached Bordon Camp, Hants on 4 November 19156 and was reorganised as a Corps Signals Company, which trained at Bedford.

 

Maj. Harrison was already in France when his signals company on 10 April 1916 sailed from Southampton. They landed at Le Havre on 21 April and then moved to Vignacourt village in the Somme valley. Lt.-Gen. Home had his XV Corps headquarters there, and Harrison was appointed his Staff Officer Signals, or Assistant Director of Army Signals. The company, wearing brass shoulder titles "South Africa--R.E.--Signals Service"7 on their tunics and a distinctive cap badge with a springbok's head in the centre, became XV Corps Signals Company and served with the same corps for the rest of the war, during which its members gained a number of awards and a fine commendation from Gen. Sir J. P.  Ducane...."

 

 

Edited by Maureene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
W. Alister Williams

Maureene, many thanks for this very useful link. Hopefully it will not take too long to get a response.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

I think it can take as long as a year to get a response, but the service is free of charge. If you can locate a researcher, they can go to the archives, order it, and take copies sooner, but you have to pay for their time and resources.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Strawbridge

Response to note above of May 2015

Thanks for the response. Our project is confined to the urban area of the town of Wrexham. The two women are: Florence Caton and Agnes Pugh, both nurses. One died in Salonika and the second in Wrexham as a direct result of the Gotha bombing of Liverpool Street Station in 1917. Are the other women on your list from outside the town – if they are from the town itself, I would be interested to know more. I note that Clive has picked up on Alice Wardle being from Bronington.

                                                                                      _________________________________________________

 

Missed this at the time. However I can expand the list but not necessarily resrticted to urban Wrexham.

 

Sarah H. BAGNALL - born and died at Moss, Wrexham

Florence Missouri CATON - from 1870 to at least 1891 the family were living at 1 Bryn Draw Terrace, Wrexham.

Amy CURTIS - worked in Liverpool but gave her address as Railway House, Gwersyllt, Wrexham.

Elsie Jane HEWITT - lived at Oldam but qualified as a state registered nurse ay Wrexham Infirmary.

Gladys Corfield HUGHES - from Shropshire but educated at Grove Park Boarding School, Wrexham.

Catherine JONES - from Wheatsheaf, Gwersyllt, Wrexham.

Ethel and Mary Frances ROBERTS - infants that died in a war related accident at Moss, Wrexham.

Mary Elizabeth SMITH - from Dolgelley but enlisted as a QMAAC in Wrexham and she died in Wrexham Infirmary.

Alice Amy WARDLE - VAD, buried in Bronington, Wrexham.

Gwendolen WILLIAMS - VAD, lived at Egerton Lodge, Wrexham.

Violet WILLIAMS - born and died (from a bomb) in Moss, Wrexham.

 

Where I got Elsie MADDOX from I do not know. She was a casualty but no connection with Wrexham.

Edited by Jim Strawbridge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
W. Alister Williams

Thanks for the update. Most of these ladies fall outside our remit which we have had to restrict to the Wrexham Borough urban area of the town as it was in 1914, excluding the surrounding Wrexham Rural area.

 

Gladys Corfield Hughes, however, does fit into our area as the Grove Park Schools were located in the town centre. The Boy's schools have their own war memorial which still stands, but nothing was erected for the Girls schools. For this reason, I think Ms Hughes should be included. I have today managed to find quite a bit of information about her from the National Archives.

 

Gwendolen Williams' home at Egerton Lodge also places her within the town and I will look into including her — I cannot find her on the VAD list of Red Cross nurses and, although I have located her grave in Wrexham Borough Cemetery. She was the wife of a local GP and surgeon but I have been unable to locate any information surrounding her death (which occurred at home in November 1918), If you have any further information about her, I would be delighted to hear from you again.

 

Again, many thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Strawbridge
18 hours ago, W. Alister Williams said:

Gwendolen Williams' home at Egerton Lodge also places her within the town and I will look into including her — I cannot find her on the VAD list of Red Cross nurses although I have located her grave in Wrexham Borough Cemetery. She was the wife of a local GP and surgeon but I have been unable to locate any information surrounding her death (which occurred at home in November 1918), If you have any further information about her, I would be delighted to hear from you again.

 

Again, many thanks.

 

She died of influenza as stated on her BRCS record card

 

https://vad.redcross.org.uk/Card?sname=Williams&hosp=Wrexham&id=227920

 

What I do not have is her grave information so I should be grateful for cemetery, plot number, etc. please so that I can add to my photograph requirements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
W. Alister Williams

Many thanks for this extra information. The Red Cross records had the wrong spelling of her name; I should have thought of searching for variations.

 

Aged 33, she was buried in Wrexham Borough Cemetery, Ruabon Road, Wrexham on 6 November 1918 (interestingly, the Red Cross card states that she died in September). Grave number 01237, which is shared with Sarah Jones, who died in 1889, aged 48, also at Egerton Lodge. I have yet to find the link between Gwendolen and Sarah. Gwendolen, born in Brymbo, was the daughter of mining and civil engineer John Henry Darby, a member of the noted family of ironmasters of Ironbridge and Brymbo.  Her husband, Dr Richard Geoffrey Williams, MRCS (1876–1926) was a GP in Wrexham and served as the Medical Officer for Roseneath Auxiliary Hospital. They had one daughter, Isabel Nightingale Williams.

 

I shall be visiting the cemetery later this week and will try to take a photograph of the grave and send it to you.

 

If you are interested in having further details about either Florence Missouri Caton or Agnes 'Cissy' Pugh (the latter is not included in your list of local nurses), please let me know and I can send details and photographs to you.

 

Again, many thanks for your assistance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
W. Alister Williams

I managed to get to the cemetery today while the rain had stopped. Two photos attached, one showing the whole grave and one a close-up of the plaque. You will notice that the conflicting information on the VAD records about her death is cleared up – the card shows her as having died in September 1918, the grave plaque clearly shows her death to have occurred on 2 November 1918.

 

I hope these are of some use to you.

 

 

GWENDOLEN WILLIAMS 1.jpg

GWENDOLEN WILLIAMS 2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Strawbridge

Thank you. Much appreciated. I am messaging you direct about Agnes Pugh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...