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Remembered Today:

Herbert Read question


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I can't find any reference as to when he went to the front.

He was with the Green Howards I think. I am almost sure he didn't serve on the Somme, just Ypres. Can anyone confirm for me?

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Herbert Edward Read MC, DSO. Medal index card states 16/11/1915 France. Green Howards.


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From his entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

"In 1915 Read was commissioned as a second.lieutenant in a battalion of the Yorkshire regiment, the Green Howards. He found his fellow officers, mostly masters and senior boys from Eton and other public schools, less sympathetic than the private soldiers under his command. As he experienced the horror of trench warfare, he discovered that men of imagination like himself were the men of courage (Read, Annals, 147). He drew and painted in a vorticist manner and his intense analytical letters from the western battlefront were addressed to a fiercely intelligent Leeds science student, Evelyn May Roff (1894-1972), whom he married on 7 August 1919; they had one son, John Read (1923-2011), later a pioneering documentary film-maker. Read left the army a captain, a convinced pacifist, a war poet, and a youthful war hero who had been awarded the Military Cross (1917) and the DSO (1918)."

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My notes (partly from Hugh Cecil The Flower of Battle) say:

Commissioned Yorkshire Regiment January 1915,

to France November with 7th Bn,

accidentally injured in March 1916 returned to the UK,

April 1917 posted to 10th Yorkshire Regiment,

awarded MC for trench raid August 1917,

In October 1917 OC C Company,

February 1918 10th Bn disbanded,

transfers to 2nd Yorkshire Regiment.

Ends war as battalion commander DSO, MC.

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Thank you all.

Simon, that answers my question - he was not on the Somme sector at any time during the July-November offensive.

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