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Remembered Today:

Steven Broomfield

Sjt W H Laverty, KRRC

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Steven Broomfield

Idle curiosity, really. I saw this grave at Magdalen Hill Cemetery, Winchester, and wondered about Serjeant William Henry Laverty. From the CWGC, I find he is buried at Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt, having been 'concentrated' there post-war. He was a long service Regular, No 1218, in the 3rd Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps, having had service in the South African War (all from his CWGC record); total service was 18 years.

 

Anyone have any information on him? No need to go rooting through too many records; it really is only an attempt to put a bit of flesh on the bones, so to speak.

 

 

P1020118.JPG

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johnmelling1979

His body was found originally at MAP 57D R 11 ?

 

Which if I'm right ! is just south of  PETIT MIRAUMOUNT , in the field and Regina Trench CWGC is further South

 

 

But his headstone at Regina Trench  was originally .. an "Unknown British Soldier" 

According to the CWGC

 

Interesting to see that several "Unknown British Soldier"  headstones had also managed to be eventually identified :thumbsup:

 

John

 

Edited by johnmelling1979

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Mark1959

There is a report in the Penrith Observer about Laverty. This refers to his Boer War Service. Indicates was in India at outbreak of war. Returned to Uk was posted at Winchester. Used as instructor. Several brothers serving. Went overseas 11 months before his death. A report a week earlier shows the father was originally from Penrith but left there 30 years before (probably more as WHL appears to have been born in Winchester 1Q 1883). 
Normal reservations regarding newspaper reports apply.

Looks like he was 1 of 11 children

Edited by Mark1959

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Steven Broomfield

Thanks.

 

Once we're released from house arrest I might see what more I can find in the Rifles/Green Jackets archives.

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Alan24
On 25/03/2020 at 09:35, Steven Broomfield said:

Thanks.

 

Once we're released from house arrest I might see what more I can find in the Rifles/Green Jackets archives.

 

Steve,

 

William Henry Laverty was from a well known family of cabinet makers from Winchester. Among their notable contributions to Winchester were the carved Great Screen in Winchester Cathedral  and the original Black Swan which hung off the Hotel of the same name at the end of Southgate Street. Until recently the Black Swan Buildings which now stands on the site of the hotel had a reproduction of the wooden carved Black Swan. 

 

William Henry is listed in the Winchester War Service Record which gives his rank as Sjt, Major. 3rd Btn KRRC living at 1 College Street, Winchester.

Son of James Thomas & Margaret Laverty of 2 College Street, Winchester. 

Joined KRRC in 1898 at Gosport (Rifle Depot having burnt down in 1894) he served in the Boar War and taken POW then released 10 Dec 1899 at Stormberg and wounded 10 Dec 1901 at Wepener. EDIT: This info from 'Debt of Honour' has now been proved to be a different W Laverty of the 2nd RIR. 

 

He is remembered inside St Swithun-upon-kingsgate church which is about 20 yards from where 1 College Street stood.

 

He had two brothers who served in the Great War, Arthur A who joined the American Army, serving at Home and John R who joined the Rifle Brigade.

 

The WWSR shows 7 Laverty's serving all with the address of 1 College Street.

 

The picture here shows the church and No.1 stood where the gardens are on the right.

 

The workshop of the Laverty's is described as having a large plate glass window which was spared during the gun riots in 1908.

 

The gun being a Russian canon captured at Sevastopol in 1854(IRRC) by the Rifle Brigade.

 

Alan

kgs.JPG

gun.JPG

wwsr.JPG

Edited by Alan24

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Steven Broomfield

Alan - thank you so much.

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Don Regiano
2 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

Alan - thank you so much.

 

Steven.

 

According to Trevor Pidgeon in "The Tanks at Flers", his brother (Reginald N presumably as no initials given) was actually in tank D9 "Dolly".  Apparently it only got a few hundred yards on 15 September (on the N edge of Delville Wood) before becoming locked into D14 when trying to extricate it from a collapsed trench.  It was dug out later that day.  It was part of the group including Hastie in D17 "Dinnaken" which was the subject of the famous report of a tank being seen trundling down the main street of Flers.

 

On 16 September, it is believed that Laverty's tank was along Grass Lane (on the N side of Flers and which passes the current day entrance to the AIF cemetery) when it was hit by a shell, having already had its prismatic mirrors and periscopes shattered and two port side gunners killed.  Laverty was suffering from shock but with the other 5 wounded (including 2Lt Huffam) eventually managed to get back to the British lines.

 

Reg

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Steven Broomfield

Reg, thanks to you, too.

 

Interesting story and all from a random grave 

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Alan24
41 minutes ago, Don Regiano said:

 

his brother (Reginald N presumably as no initials given) was actually in tank D9 "Dolly". 

 

That's a nice addition to the Winchester Story, Reg. Thanks.

 

The book 'Debt of Honour' suggests that Augustine, Donald & Reginald were nephews to WHL. 

I've not checked that out, but shouldn't be too difficult to verify using the 1901 & 1911 census. 

 

Regards

 

Alan.

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Don Regiano

Steven, Alan, you're both welcome and thanks for the clarification of my "assumption" regarding family relationship. 

 

There's quite a bit on that tank in Pidgeon's book.  It is one of my favourite reads, well-researched, great maps and I always remember the stories when we pass through Flers on our very frequent visits to Bapaume.  I even used the book to prove to our French friend who was born in Flers that the tanks actually were on the eastern side of the village as well as the west and centre as he didn't think that was the case!  He still has his parents' former house just off the main street through the village.  It sort of brings things back to life a little.

 

Reg

Edited by Don Regiano

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Alan24
51 minutes ago, Don Regiano said:

Steven, Alan, you're both welcome and thanks for the clarification of my "assumption" regarding family relationship. 

 

Reg,

 

Looks like you were right all along! To be honest, there are a few errors in that book.

 

All 7 are Brothers. Born Winchester. Probably makes the story better. There's also a sister Ethel.

 

Address in 1901 is 43 Bar End, Winchester. Trade for father & elder son, Edwin, is Wood Carver & Wood Carver's apprentice, which is nice as he appears to be the ship's (HMS Monarch) carpenter later!

 

Father was born Woolwich, Mother Margaret born Cumbria. 

 

This is list from 1901 census - WHL & JRL obviously had moved away at that point. We know WHL was serving by then.

 

Regards

 

Alan.

 

EDIT: given the other errors in the book, I'd probably need to check that JRL really was a brother before saying all 7 were brothers.

 

 

1901 lav.JPG

Edited by Alan24

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Alan24
1 hour ago, Don Regiano said:

 

Steven.

 

According to Trevor Pidgeon in "The Tanks at Flers", his brother (Reginald N presumably as no initials given) was actually in tank D9 "Dolly".  Apparently it only got a few hundred yards on 15 September (on the N edge of Delville Wood) before becoming locked into D14 when trying to extricate it from a collapsed trench.  It was dug out later that day.  It was part of the group including Hastie in D17 "Dinnaken" which was the subject of the famous report of a tank being seen trundling down the main street of Flers.

 

On 16 September, it is believed that Laverty's tank was along Grass Lane (on the N side of Flers and which passes the current day entrance to the AIF cemetery) when it was hit by a shell, having already had its prismatic mirrors and periscopes shattered and two port side gunners killed.  Laverty was suffering from shock but with the other 5 wounded (including 2Lt Huffam) eventually managed to get back to the British lines.

 

Reg

 

Reginald Ninian Laverty has a service record HERE

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Don Regiano
1 hour ago, Alan24 said:

 

Reginald Ninian Laverty has a service record HERE

 

Thanks Alan.

 

Service record ties in with the date D company arrived in France.  Interestingly, just before I notice he had been a naughty boy being awl in may and July.  The interesting bits are the locations.  One says BH Farm and the other, Canada Farm.  Now they are places I associate more with Belgium but I assume these must have been close to Bisley?

 

Reg

 

Meant to add here is a photo of the AIF burial ground.  I'm stood on Grass Lane.  Must have been close to where the tank was hit.

 

 

DSC04187.JPG

Edited by Don Regiano

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Alan24
4 hours ago, Alan24 said:

EDIT: given the other errors in the book, I'd probably need to check that JRL really was a brother before saying all 7 were brothers.

 

 

Now confirmed that all 7 were brothers from the 1891 census.

 

This list from 1891 when added to the 1901 list now hows a total of 8 Brothers and 3 sisters which tallies with 1911 census which shows 11 children.

 

Presumably the eldest brother (James T Junior.) may have been too old to serve.

 

Alan.

1891c.JPG

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Alan24

A little more digging has flagged up another serious error in the 'Debt of Honour' book.

 

The soldier listed as POW and wounded at Wepener was not our WH Laverty in this thread at all...it's this man!

 

William Laverty 2 Battalion The Royal Irish Rifles service number 5017.

Prisoner of War on 10/12/1899 at Stormberg

Released on 06/06/1900 at Waterval

Self-inflicted - Wounded on 10/12/1901 at Nr Wepener

(Source: Find my Past)

 

Checking the QSA & KSA Medal Rolls shows that...

William Laverty 3 KRRC number 1218 was awarded;

QSA with clasps Cape Colony/Orange Free State/Transvaal...3 KRRC didn't get the Wepener clasp.

He must have arrived too late to take part inn the Relief of Ladysmith and the action at Spion Kop which 3KRRC took part.

KSA with clasps SA1901/SA1902

 

Regards

 

Alan.

Edited by Alan24

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