Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Philip Henry Burt Fitch 177 RFA - Military Cross 1917 - KIA


Ivor Anderson

Recommended Posts

Ivor Anderson

 

Philip Henry Burt Fitch birth reg. Barton Regis, Gloucestershire on 22nd April 1897.

Parents Albert Edward Fitch (b.1868) and Bride Harris Burt had married in 1894 in Wellington, Somerset.

Grandparents: Thomas Birch Fitch & Anne Tryphena Fitch, living 27 Victoria Road, Tamworth in 1911.

 

1901 Census

Mill House, Bolehall and Glascote Warks (now part of Tamworth)

Father: Albert E Fitch age 32 b. Congerstone Leicestershire 1868. Firelighter Manufacturer -Employer

Mother: Bride Harris Fitch age 30, born Camelford Cornwall

Sister - Irene Jane age 5  b. Clevedon Somerset       Philip H B age 3  b. Bristol Gloucs.

 

1911 Census at 25 Wyndham Road Edgbaston

Albert E age 42 is a Manufacturer of Firelighters, Boot and Metal polishes (Managing Director of Fitch Ltd).

Bride Harris Fitch is 40, Irene Jane 15, Philip Henry Burt 13.

 

Philip educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Nuneaton to June 1911; then King Edward’s School, Birmingham (founded 1552) from 1911 to 1915

 

Commissioned as 2nd Lieut., RFA (TF) in the 3/3rd South Midland Bde, RFA (TF) on 23 December 1915. Posted to D Battery, 77th Brigade, RFA on 7 Dec 1916. 77th Bde and 177th Bde, RFA were both part of the 16th (Irish) Divisional Artillery and Fitch probably transferred to D/177th Bde, RFA on 22 Feb 1917 when 77th Bde became an Army Brigade and its D (H) Bty was broken up to bring D/177 and D/180 up to six gun batteries.

 

Philip was awarded the Military Cross for action in May/June 1917 around the Wytschaete and Messines Ridge, south of Ypres. Battle of Messines was 7-14th June 1917. The Medal is dated 29th May 1917. Citation: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in accompanying another officer and a sergeant into a gun emplacement in which a serious explosion had taken place, bringing out the killed and wounded and extinguishing a fire caused by the explosion amongst the ammunition.”   LG 16th August 1917

 

Philip was killed while engaged in night-firing by a german shell on 23 July 1917, aged 20. He is buried in Brandhoek Military Cemetery west of Ypres in grave I.N.15.

He was postumously promoted full Lieutenant in London Gazette 22 October 1917.

 

Philip’s father Albert Edward died at 16 Goldhurst Terrace, Finchley Road on 16th December 1935. Will probate to Thomas Birch Fitch £9844.

Philip’s mother Bride Harris Fitch (nee Burt) widow died 10 January 1941 aged 70, of 3 Bradhurst Gardens, Hampstead, Middlesex Probate Birmingham to Irene Jane Fitch spinster and Thomas Birch Fitch solicitor. Effects £1617. Thomas Birch Fitch (Philip’s uncle, b.8-2-1883, d.1943) applied for Philip's medals in 1919.

 

DSC_0536.jpg

Fitch, PHB 1-1.jpg

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 07.46.48.png

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 07.47.21.png

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 19.43.06.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ivor Anderson

Photos: 1. Military Cross award mentioned 20-06-1917 in War Diary - D/177 (note that he went on leave on the 17th June).

              2. Grave in Brandhoek Military Cemetery (West of Ypres) I.N.15.

              3. Death on 23 July 1917 reported in Tamworth Herald on 4 August 1917 (177th RFA July 1917 war diary missing?).

 

FITCH 20-06-1917.png

CWGC Grave for Philip Fitch.PNG

Aug 1917 Death.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
The Inspector

Hi

If you leave a message on the MIC section on Ancestry, "write a comment," then anyone viewing his MIC will see it and could get in touch with you. It works, that is how I found my wife's uncle's medals and did a swop with the collector who had left the message.

Regards Barry

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ivor Anderson

Thanks for the tip Barry.

I left a message on his fold3 MC record too. The medals were together not that long ago. This photo is on the King Edward School, Birmingham site:

 

Fitch, PHB.  Medals.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ivor Anderson said:

The medals were together not that long ago. 

 

Fitch, PHB.  Medals.png

That's annoying.

The curse of the greedy seller strikes again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
Ivor Anderson
Posted (edited)

The Military Cross Index Card for Lt. Philip Henry Burt Fitch from the National Archives WO 389/13/4 shows the MC was posted on 12th November 1917:

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 04.06.42.jpg

Edited by Ivor Anderson
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ivor Anderson
Posted (edited)

The 'other officer' mentioned in FHB Fitch's MC citation seems to be 2 Lt. Robert Ramsay, also of D177.

Their MCs are mentioned together in the WD on the 20th June 1917, and Ramsay's MC citation is almost identical to Fitch's.

Ramsay's MC citation appears in LG 30204 on 26 July, and Fitch's in LG 20234 on 16 August.

Also attached is the 177 RFA WD entry for 30-05-1917 (Fitch's MC has 29 May 1917 engraved on it). It records: 'our back areas were shelled last night'

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 16.44.02.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 17.16.14.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 16.39.32.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ivor Anderson
Posted (edited)

2 Lt. PHB Fitch went on leave from 17 June 1917 (just prior to the WD entry re. his MC on 20 June).

His MC award was reported in the 'Tamworth Herald' on 30 June 1917, the day after a major investiture at Buckingham Palace on 29th June 1917.

Perhaps he was presented with his MC when home on leave? Investiture report in 'Birmingham Mail of Sat. 30th June 1917.

However his MC card says 'Sent 12/11/1917' (to his parents?). Tragically he had been killed by an enemy shell on 23rd July 1917.

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 16.06.33 2.jpg

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 16.01.51.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ivor Anderson
Posted (edited)

The Sergeant mentioned as assisting these two officers (in both MC citation) could well be Sgt. J. Moore of D177 who's MM is listed in the WD on 16 June 1917.

He must be the 24066 Sjt. J. Moore, RFA listed in LG 30188 on 17 July 1917:

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 17.47.37.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 18.02.02.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ivor Anderson
Posted (edited)

Sergeant Joseph Moore MM died of wounds on 8th July 1917. Unfortunately the 177 RFA's WD for July 1917 is not available!

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 19.42.39.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Ivor Anderson

Closer detail of the rear inscription which was probably engraved at the request of his parents:

 

DSC_0856.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...