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RegHannay

"Only With Honour" Diaries of medical officer 1915 1916 7th battalion East Surrey Regiment

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RegHannay

The WW1  daily diary of Reginald Hannay Fothergill a medical officer 36th field ambulance.. 7th battalion East Surrey Regiment.. 134th Field ambulance 39th division.. 29th May 1915 - 28th August 1916.

Reggie received a white feather and so felt obliged to do his duty and volunteer, entering France in late May 1915.

At the beginning you feel his excitement of adventure in his writing, then disillusionment with the leadership and horrors of war. He writes with humour, desperation for the welfare of the "Tommy"

The reading of Theosophy to fight the demons of his sexuality and the loneliness of his life. His anger with "Jack" for resigning his commission when things got tough, while all the time wishing himself "to get out with honour".... The wartime accounts of a medical man at the front are rare.

 

Saturday 29th May 1915

Set out from Twesledown camp with field ambulance at 5:30 am. Arriving Farnborough at 10:30 am where we en-trained at 11:20 am in two trains, I went in first train. At Southampton, we put our men, horses and equipment on-board S.S City of Lucknow and set sail about six pm. Escorted by two destroyers we passed along the south of Isle of Wight. Jack slept in first officers bunk and I on floor of saloon. Sea absolutely calm, a third destroyer joined us in the small hours and warned us of a recent minefield on our course, this necessitated a detour of 35 miles. Arrived Havre at six am. Disembarked without injury to animals, we had to wait until the evening, we were not allowed to go into town. Took advantage of a most excellent cafe on the station run by some ladies at cost price.

We got all our equipment etc on one long train and steamed away about 8:00 pm. Had a most excellent night being only disturbed at 2:00 am by some well meaning people who sent round coffee at some station or other. Passed through Abbeville, Noyen and Boulogne. Beautiful green fields, so fresh and green.

 

If there are any GWF forum members interested in any of the field ambulance and the Surrey Regiment Please contact me and I will try and Help

 

SS City of Lucknow. 3,677 tons - Torpedoed by U.21(Otto Hersing) carrying onions from Alexandria to Liverpool. Sank Sunday 30th April 1916, sixty miles east of Malta. The 42 man crew survived and were rescued by H.M.S Rifleman.

Edited by RegHannay
added info

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charlie962

I see you first posted on this thread but did not obviously get a response. I'm sure there are people interested in what you have done and good of you to share your work.

 

Where are you now with your searches on background for RHF and what help do you need from us ?

 

Charlie

 

 

Edited by charlie962

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RegHannay

Hello Charlie. Thanks for your response. I have completed transcribing the Doctors diaries but where do you finish researching!!! The diaries cover the Battle of Loo's, Hohenzollern Redoubt, The Quarries and many of the surrounding areas including the fighting in the resulting craters. And Early August 1916 near Albert.

I have researched the names of the casualties for the 7th battalion and some others including brothers killed on the same day Friday 6th August 1915. 1379. Pte. Cardy. R.-- 49. Corp.Cardy. M. - Royal Fusiliers. Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentiers  "A shell burst in the H.Q of a regiment in town today and did much damage. among them were two brothers and they were brought to the hospital 36th F.A. The one who was more severely injured entreated his brother to look after his wife and children. He died two hours later. And now this afternoon the remaining brother has followed him. What terrible suffering there must be at home." These entries give the men not just a date of death but a time, place and sometimes how they may have died or did die. Such as 5901. L.Cpl Sapsford. Edward Thomas. Loos memorial. Wednesday 10th Nov 1915. Right of Redoubt.  "We were relieved at 1:00 pm by the Queen's, made our way down the trenches while violent shelling by the enemy was still in progress but non of their crump's found our trenches until after we had gone, when one fell and overturned one of our machine guns killing the corporal." Edward was the only fatality recorded that day for the 7th battalion, so the chances are that was the cause of his death.

There is so much interesting information in the diaries, much will have not been seen before. My intention is to upload parts of the diary on a regular basis, even the quiet moments playing tennis etc !!

Of course, only if this is permitted on the Great War Forum.

Dave

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charlie962
46 minutes ago, RegHannay said:

only if this is permitted on the Great War Forum.

If it's Great War then surely no problem!

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RegHannay
32 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

If it's Great War then surely no problem!

Thank you Charlie962, would it be better if i started again using a Blog as it will be an ongoing thing

Dave

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kenf48
46 minutes ago, RegHannay said:

Thank you Charlie962, would it be better if i started again using a Blog as it will be an ongoing thing

Dave

 

It’s a matter for you, but personally I would recommend a blog.  I was delighted to follow this account of the war in Salonika

and looked forward to each posting https://georgeswarletters.wordpress.com

 

An account such as this is likely to get lost in the posts on here.  There is no reason within the forum rules why you should no post on here, but a blog is more practical.

 

Ken

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RegHannay

Thank you Ken, being a bit green to this forum thingy I am happy to take the advice of a 6,000 plus posts man.

Thanks again

Dave D

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kenf48
9 minutes ago, RegHannay said:

Thank you Ken, being a bit green to this forum thingy I am happy to take the advice of a 6,000 plus posts man.

Thanks again

Dave D

 

It was Charlie who asked for the mods opinion, basically we’re ‘not fussed’.  I for one will follow whatever you decide.

 

Ken

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charlie962

Thanks Ken. I haven't a clue frankly! charlie

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Michelle Young

I think we've had this before , when a blog entry is posted, the member puts a link to it on the thread.

Michelle 

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RegHannay

Thank you all, I will endeavour with a blog and try and link it on the- thread ?? 

Dave D

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kenf48

 

29 minutes ago, RegHannay said:

Thank you all, I will endeavour with a blog and try and link it on the- thread ?? 

Dave D

 

Sounds like a plan - good luck 😉 

 

Ken

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charlie962

I see the Edinburgh University Roll has this for him:

Repton. MB, ChB 1906. R. A.M.C., Lieutenant January 1915; Captain 1916. Wounded 1916. Dispatches January 1916.

 

As a result of that wounding there is a (surviving) Hospital Admissions record to No 3 CCS :

RAMC 134 FA, Capt Fothergill RH, GSW VIII 1, admitted 28/8/16, to sick convoy 30/8/16, 28 Army Train

 

I like this 'Ancestry style' mistranscription of his MB doctor's qualification by National Archives:

506760237_GWFFothergillRHMBperNA.JPG.ebe75f1dd2be5101e18fb5f14e8de2fb.JPG

 

Charlie

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RegHannay
1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

I see the Edinburgh University Roll has this for him:

Repton. MB, ChB 1906. R. A.M.C., Lieutenant January 1915; Captain 1916. Wounded 1916. Dispatches January 1916.

 

As a result of that wounding there is a (surviving) Hospital Admissions record to No 3 CCS :

RAMC 134 FA, Capt Fothergill RH, GSW VIII 1, admitted 28/8/16, to sick convoy 30/8/16, 28 Army Train

 

I like this 'Ancestry style' mistranscription of his MB doctor's qualification by National Archives:

506760237_GWFFothergillRHMBperNA.JPG.ebe75f1dd2be5101e18fb5f14e8de2fb.JPG

 

Charlie

 

1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

I see the Edinburgh University Roll has this for him:

Repton. MB, ChB 1906. R. A.M.C., Lieutenant January 1915; Captain 1916. Wounded 1916. Dispatches January 1916.

 

As a result of that wounding there is a (surviving) Hospital Admissions record to No 3 CCS :

RAMC 134 FA, Capt Fothergill RH, GSW VIII 1, admitted 28/8/16, to sick convoy 30/8/16, 28 Army Train

 

I like this 'Ancestry style' mistranscription of his MB doctor's qualification by National Archives:

506760237_GWFFothergillRHMBperNA.JPG.ebe75f1dd2be5101e18fb5f14e8de2fb.JPG

Thanks Charlie for all this info, I found the medal card for the doctor, I believe the mountain batteries were maybe a type of reservist Corps and that he may well have been a volunteer (gentlemen's club) before the outbreak of the great war. something to do with the return of mountain/field guns returned from India I believe. 

Charlie

1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

I see the Edinburgh University Roll has this for him:

Repton. MB, ChB 1906. R. A.M.C., Lieutenant January 1915; Captain 1916. Wounded 1916. Dispatches January 1916.

 

As a result of that wounding there is a (surviving) Hospital Admissions record to No 3 CCS :

RAMC 134 FA, Capt Fothergill RH, GSW VIII 1, admitted 28/8/16, to sick convoy 30/8/16, 28 Army Train

 

I like this 'Ancestry style' mistranscription of his MB doctor's qualification by National Archives:

506760237_GWFFothergillRHMBperNA.JPG.ebe75f1dd2be5101e18fb5f14e8de2fb.JPG

 

Charlie

 

 

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petestarling

I am sure the Museum of Military Medicine would love a copy of the transcription.

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RegHannay
  • Good morning Pete, it is something I certainly have thought about. I am seriously considering putting in print on a small run for family and friends then I will see if they want a copy.
  • In the meantime I have started a blog with excerpts from the diary but each add on seems to open in a different page. If you would like to follow the doctor the blog is called "Only With Honour" on this forum. Enjoy.
  • Dave D

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charlie962
12 hours ago, RegHannay said:

Thanks Charlie for all this info, I found the medal card for the doctor, I believe the mountain batteries were maybe a type of reservist Corps and that he may well have been a volunteer (gentlemen's club) before the outbreak of the great war. something to do with the return of mountain/field guns returned from India I believe. 

I'm afraid it is a simple misunderstanding that MB, the Doctor's qualification, has been mis-read as MB, Mountain Battery by someone who should have known better. The Mountain Batteries were serious outfits!

Charlie

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RegHannay

Charlie, Yes that makes sense, thanks again. I have started the blog under "Only With Honour" two entries so far. At least it will all be in one place and easier to follow for those interested.

I will do extracts from the diary covering the day to day and the fighting along with his personal thoughts and his feelings for "Jack". It is a fascinating story. Looking at getting it printed up eventually, just a few copies for family and friends.

Dave D

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