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Captain Noel Irwin - Essex Regiment


condronjames

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Good evening 

 

I’m after information about Captain Noel Irwin of the 2nd Essex. He would appear to have been the Captain of the Company that my Great Great Uncle, Herbert Guiver, served with. When Herbert was killed Captain Irwin wrote to his widow describing him as “one of my keenest non-commissioned officers”. I wonder if anyone could tell me which Company Captain Irwin commanded as I’ve never been able to work out which Company of the 2nd Essex Herbert was in.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

James 

Edited by condronjames
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Hi Alf

 

I have the full diaries of the 2nd Essex transcribed into a Word document. Captain Irwin is mentioned multiple times, but it is never mentioned which company he is in.

 

I’ve seen a separate mention on this forum of a book he wrote called Infantry Officer; but can’t see a copy online. Maybe someone on the forum has it?

 

James 

Edited by condronjames
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As a Lieutenant he is mentioned a couple of times - 'in charge' of 3 platoons in A company (May 2nd 1915) and again on May 13th in charge of A company. On page 113 his entry is "2/Lt NMS Irwin to England sick 13.10.14. Returned 24.12.14. Military Cross Temporary Captain 09.05.15", which explains why he was in charge of a company, normally the Captain's role. He's also a Temp Captain when M.I.D (London Gazette 1.1.16).

 

Mike

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12 minutes ago, Langdon said:

As a Lieutenant he is mentioned a couple of times - 'in charge' of 3 platoons in A company (May 2nd 1915) and again on May 13th in charge of A company. On page 113 his entry is "2/Lt NMS Irwin to England sick 13.10.14. Returned 24.12.14. Military Cross Temporary Captain 09.05.15", which explains why he was in charge of a company, normally the Captain's role. He's also a Temp Captain when M.I.D (London Gazette 1.1.16).

 

Mike

You’re better than me Mike - I didn’t see the reference to A Company. My relative was killed on 16 Feb 1916. Do you think it would be too bold to assume he was in charge of A company on that date? Thank you so much for your help 

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I don't see why not. I stopped looking in April 16 knowing your relative's KIA date...

Fair conclusion but not definitive!

M

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1 minute ago, Langdon said:

I don't see why not. I stopped looking in April 16 knowing your relative's KIA date...

Fair conclusion but not definitive!

M

There’s a separate thread on this forum where his Grandaughter has posted as a guest indicating he wrote a book called Infantry Officer about his WW1 experiences. Seems to be impossible to get hold of, and I have no way of contacting his Grandaughter as she was only a guest. 

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15 minutes ago, sadbrewer said:

Not about Irwin, but a clip from the British Newspaper Archive you may find interesting.

 

 

Screenshot_20200417-111021.jpg

Thank you very much! 

14 minutes ago, Langdon said:

I had not. I will pay a visit to the British Library post lockdown! Thanks 

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GUIVER, Herbert,

Sergeant, 6648

 

Born at Chadwell Heath, Sergeant Guiver lived at "Ceylon" Honiton Road, Southend-on-Sea. He had served in the Boer War, and was called upon as a Reservist in August 1914. He was killed by a shell on 18th February 1916 aged 33 after nine months at the front. He was serving in the Borough Police Force at the outbreak, and had also been stationed  at Shoeburyness under the Rochford Hundred Police Force. When he enlisted  he was a first class constable. He was described by his officer as "One of the keenest non-commissioned officers". His name was on the Roll of Honour displayed during the memorial service held at St. Erkenwalds church in 1917 and is commemorated on the St. Erkenwalds War Memorial.

 

Se Southend Standard 21/2/1916 & 29/2/1916 for obit. 9/3/1916, photo. 5/4/1917 memorial service.

Edited by stiletto_33853
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43 minutes ago, stiletto_33853 said:

GUIVER, Herbert,

Sergeant, 6648

 

Born at Chadwell Heath, Sergeant Guiver loved at "Ceylon" Honiton Road, Southend-on-Sea. He had served in the Boer War, and was called upon as a Reservist in August 1914. He was killed by a shell on 18th February 1916 aged 33 after nine months at the front. He was serving in the Borough Police Force at the outbreak, and had also been stationed  at Shoeburyness under the Rochford Hundred Police Force. When he enlisted  he was a first class constable. He was described by his officer as "One of the keenest non-commissioned officers". His name was on the Roll of Honour displayed during the memorial service held at St. Erkenwalds church in 1917 and is commemorated on the St. Erkenwalds War Memorial.

 

Se Southend Standard 21/2/1916 & 29/2/1916 for obit. 9/3/1916, photo. 5/4/1917 memorial service.

Thanks for this - much appreciated. What is the photo referred to at the bottom for 9/3/1916. And are there any additional details of the memorial service please?

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Some of the pictures in the Southend Standard are not very good quality, but he has a picture in the paper.

The details of the memorial service are also in the paper.

Once this lockdown is over I will pop into Southend Library where they keep the rolls of film of the Southend Standard and see what's there for you. St. Erkenwalds Church was an imposing structure in Southchurch Avenue, now demolished, however the memorial stone was rededicated in Sutton Road Cemetery.

The write up in post 13 came from the Southend Standard.

One other thought, Southends Police Station has a memorial to local Policemen during the war, will check if he is on that for you.

 

Andy 

Edited by stiletto_33853
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From the IWM site memorial register

Screenshot 2020-04-17 at 17.37.55.png

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1 hour ago, stiletto_33853 said:

Some of the pictures in the Southend Standard are not very good quality, but he has a picture in the paper.

The details of the memorial service are also in the paper.

Once this lockdown is over I will pop into Southend Library where they keep the rolls of film of the Southend Standard and see what's there for you. St. Erkenwalds Church was an imposing structure in Southchurch Avenue, now demolished, however the memorial stone was rededicated in Sutton Road Cemetery.

The write up in post 13 came from the Southend Standard.

One other thought, Southends Police Station has a memorial to local Policemen during the war, will check if he is on that for you.

 

Andy 

Thank you ever so much! I visit the Sutton Road memorial often. I was lucky enough to inherit his medals last year too. I’d love to see the photo in the paper. I only have 2 photos of him and would love another 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

I have a copy [actually a photocopy] of Noel Irwin's book, which covers his military service and includes his early career with the 2 Essex. I will try and copy the pages for you. His son, also wrote a book about his experiences as a platoon commander in 2 Essex, but his service was in WW2 [I also have a copy of this]. For some reason I think Irwin junior wrote his book first and then Noel Irwin decided to get in on the act.

A retired police officer from Essex recently [last five years] wrote an article about fallen police officers in WW1, I have a copy somewhere.

I almost wrote my dissertation on 2 Essex and have given a talk to the Southend and Essex Western Front Associations about the battalion, so have various bits of information at home. Drop me a private message with your email address and I'll try and send anything that I find over to you.

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On 30/04/2020 at 09:29, Ali Hollington said:

Hi,

I have a copy [actually a photocopy] of Noel Irwin's book, which covers his military service and includes his early career with the 2 Essex. I will try and copy the pages for you. His son, also wrote a book about his experiences as a platoon commander in 2 Essex, but his service was in WW2 [I also have a copy of this]. For some reason I think Irwin junior wrote his book first and then Noel Irwin decided to get in on the act.

A retired police officer from Essex recently [last five years] wrote an article about fallen police officers in WW1, I have a copy somewhere.

I almost wrote my dissertation on 2 Essex and have given a talk to the Southend and Essex Western Front Associations about the battalion, so have various bits of information at home. Drop me a private message with your email address and I'll try and send anything that I find over to you.

I cannot tell you how grateful I would be if you could find a way of sharing Irwin senior’s book. Thank you so much. I’ll send you a PM now 
 

James 

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I can now no longer find the document which mentions Captain Irwin as the officer who described my Great Uncle as “one of my finest non-commissioned officers”. I know for a fact I’ve seen it, and have it somewhere. It’s driving me mad. Does anyone happen to know where it’s mentioned? Not looking to break any forum rules, so if it’s on a pay site I’ll happily pay to access 

 

James 

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No Worries, glad to help.

Stay safe.

Gareth

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25 minutes ago, travers61 said:

Some years ago Essex Police Museum were very helpful to me & were interested in their officers WW1 service. Maybe they have a photo from his Police Service file.

https://www.essex.police.uk/police-forces/essex-police/areas/essex-police/au/about-us/museum/research/

I have been in touch with them too and they were very helpful indeed. They managed to track down a second photo of Herbert which was fantastic. Thank you for the tip though 

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