Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

IlluminatiRex

Henry T. Couchman, possible T.F. Artillery Officer

Recommended Posts

IlluminatiRex

Hello!

This past memorial day I walked my town's cemetery visiting the graves of each veteran. Little did I expect that in small town New England that there would be the grave of a British veteran of WWI. The grave marker is certainly not original (both from how old the marker looks, and even more telling is the use of "WWI").

 

IMG_5886.thumb.JPG.fbaad6558192bd20d4eb889995ab36b0.JPG

 

I've done some preliminary research on this gentleman, and the closet match I can find for a Henry T. Couchman is in the London Gazette. Specifically on November 16th, 1915 where a Henry Theodore Couchman was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. I have not yet found any town record giving his middle name, so while I do feel that is likely the man buried in my hometown I am not 100% certain yet.

 

That issue of the Gazette also reveals that he was a member of the Royal Field Artillery. More specifically the "Midland's Brigade" (though which specific one is not mentioned, as I discovered there were a total of four 1st Line Midland Brigades). This puts him as a member of the Territorial Force as well. He was seemingly mentioned again on December 7th, 1917 where he was promoted to Lieutenant - however only his first two initials and last name are revealed there, and no specific unit. Only Royal Field Artillery, Territorial Force. My gut says that is the same man as Henry Theodore Couchman from 1915 due to the continuity of rank, time, and branch.

 

I was able to get a look at a town record-book yesterday morning, and it seems prior to his death in 1928 he had released 4 properties in town (Along with a sister or wife or mother, Ida, who had released a single property). From those records, I shall be visiting the town hall this week to look at the actual records (the book I viewed was an index of what books records were kept in, so it does point me in a good direction) and hopefully have a look at our church's records as well (since he is buried in the church cemetery). With information from those sources I should hopefully be able to say for sure if the Henry Theodore Couchman mentioned in 1915, is the same one that who was buried in my hometown in 1928.

 

However, from there, my research as been a bust. I checked medal citations, and a cursory glance at ancestry and their British WWI Records and found nothing (though that does not surprise me, as his records were probably lost in fire). Looking for any help in more research, especially in other places to look and in any information at the various Midland Brigades that were part of the Royal Field Artillery, what battles they participated in, etc...

 

Cheers!

 

 

Edited by IlluminatiRex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rflory

Captain: Henry Theodore Couchman served with 4th Staffordshire Battery, 3rd North Midland Brigade, RFA (TF). He joined the Inns of Court OTC as Private (4959) on 19 July 1915 and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 10 November 1915.  His home address at the time was Frogmoor House, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. Promoted Lieutenant on 1 July 1917.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IlluminatiRex

Thank you very much rflory! I'll update the thread again once I check the local town records.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mandy hall

Officer's service records for those that served during WW1 and did not extend their service beyond the end of the war, survive at The National Archives, at Kew.  

Ask on the forum and someone might, go and have a look for you.  Some of the members on here are regular visitors.

Mandy

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=Henry+Theodore+couchman&discoveryCustomSearch=true&_cr1=WO+339&_cr2=WO+374&_hb=tna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IlluminatiRex
52 minutes ago, mandy hall said:

Officer's service records for those that served during WW1 and did not extend their service beyond the end of the war, survive at The National Archives, at Kew.  

Ask on the forum and someone might, go and have a look for you.  Some of the members on here are regular visitors.

Mandy

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=Henry+Theodore+couchman&discoveryCustomSearch=true&_cr1=WO+339&_cr2=WO+374&_hb=tna

-scratch that-

 

took a closer look at the forum and found the correct location, cheers!

Edited by IlluminatiRex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HarryBrook

He was appointed to the post of Adjutant, with the acting rank of Capt., on 6 March 1919 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31364/supplement/6625

Relinquished the appointment of Adjutant and acting rank of Capt. on 12 October 1919 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31666/supplement/14791

Relinquished his commission on 30 September 1921 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/32556/supplement/10458 the heading showing the date and 3rd N. Mid. Bde. is on page 10457 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HarryBrook

His death was announced in The Times on Thursday 31 May 1928

COUCHMAN - On May 17 1828, at Yantic, Connecticut, U.S.A., suddenly, HENRY THEODORE, second son of HENRY BOTELER COUCHMAN, of Ricmansworth, Herts., aged 32 years.

 

His English probate record gave his address as Hillside Farm RFD.2, Yantic, Connecticut, U.S.A.  The administrator of his estate was given as Ida Evelyn Couchman, widow.

 

Edit to add:- Henry Theodore Couchman married Ida Evelyn Jacques in the Paddington District of London in 1923.

Edited by HarryBrook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IlluminatiRex

Thank you very much Harry! Yantic is right next door to my town, and is a neighboorhood of Norwich which at the time was still a relatively major player of a city in the region. My town at one point was also part of Norwich, but hadn't been for near on 150 years in 1928 (and had its own congregation for about 200). Which for me begs the question of why he ended up being buried in my town and not in Norwich. I would suspect he was attending church in my town (Franklin), but I wouldn't know why if he lived in Yantic, especially since there would have been an abundance of churches close to him there. But as well, town records here seem to indicate that he lived in Franklin. His notice of death in the land records states that he last dwelt in Franklin. As well, it seems that Ida moved to France after his death, the land records here indicate that in 1929 she released a plot of land, and the records and such of her releasing land was done through the American Consulate in France (It specifically states she moved to Menton, Alpes Maritimes, South France). Within that specific record, she states that her prior residence was in Franklin as well.

 

As the mystery starts to become unraveled, only more questions arise.

 

Edit: Discussed this with my mother, according to her Franklin and Yantic used to be fairly intertwined in terms of school systems and such, so it may have to do with that situation.

Edited by IlluminatiRex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gracc

Hi.  I am Henry’s granddaughter and I have some information and would love to connect with what you have found especially the information about the land in Connecticut.  Is it possible to be in direct contact?  Henry Theodore died when my father was 3 and he and his mother subsequently moved to France.  I believe Henry Theodore and Ida went to the United Sates after Ida left her husband and children in England, to marry Henry.  I have a photo of them, apparently chicken farming in Connecticut. Henry died of poisoning with cyanide - a common pesticide used in chicken farming although my father concluded that he had taken his own life.  I wondered how much of a toll the war had taken and would be interested to know about his service. I’m not very experience at this type of research. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IlluminatiRex
On 15/07/2019 at 08:47, Gracc said:

Hi.  I am Henry’s granddaughter and I have some information and would love to connect with what you have found especially the information about the land in Connecticut.  Is it possible to be in direct contact?  Henry Theodore died when my father was 3 and he and his mother subsequently moved to France.  I believe Henry Theodore and Ida went to the United Sates after Ida left her husband and children in England, to marry Henry.  I have a photo of them, apparently chicken farming in Connecticut. Henry died of poisoning with cyanide - a common pesticide used in chicken farming although my father concluded that he had taken his own life.  I wondered how much of a toll the war had taken and would be interested to know about his service. I’m not very experience at this type of research. 

 

Yes it is! I'll send you a private message :)

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...