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cstm

Salonika flu victims

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cstm

A friend's grandfather is listed as dying in Salonika on November 4th 1918 from influenza.  He is interred, however, in the Stagliano Cemetery in Genoa, Italy.

It seems obvious that he would not have been transported so far after his death and I wonder if it is possible that he might not have actually died in Salonika but perhaps died on a hospital ship or one of the trains the British Army ran from the French Channel ports to Macadonia on his way to Britain. Would anyone have any views on this?

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Maureene
Posted (edited)

It seems as though Genoa was on the train route used by the British Army, although it was not one of the main Rest Camps,  see an article in the following link "Forces Postal History Society Journal No 300 Summer 2014"  "Overland Route to the East 1917-1919: Andrew Brooks  pages 179-186 (which is about the 7th page)

http://www.forcespostalhistorysociety.org.uk/journal_archive/journals-current---291/journal-300o.pdf

 

I think it is most likely the friend's grandfather died, or was taken off, a train going back to England. If he died on a hospital ship I think it would be more likely he would be buried at sea.

Edited by Maureene

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Gardenerbill

Hi cstm, welcome to the forum.

This is and odd one; as Maureen says Genoa was on the route from Salonika back to England via Italy and France that had been opened up to minimise the U-boat threat in the Mediterranean. If your friends GF had been taken ill with influenza in Salonika I believe he would have been admitted to one of the General Hospitals near Salonika. What seems likely here is that he was on his way home, perhaps in a leave party, when he was taken ill whilst in Italy. If you know his unit there may be records of leave parties in the battalion war diary. However a trip to Kew would be required to view the diaries as the Salonika ones have not been digitised. 

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cstm
10 hours ago, Gardenerbill said:

Hi cstm, welcome to the forum.

This is and odd one; as Maureen says Genoa was on the route from Salonika back to England via Italy and France that had been opened up to minimise the U-boat threat in the Mediterranean. If your friends GF had been taken ill with influenza in Salonika I believe he would have been admitted to one of the General Hospitals near Salonika. What seems likely here is that he was on his way home, perhaps in a leave party, when he was taken ill whilst in Italy. If you know his unit there may be records of leave parties in the battalion war diary. However a trip to Kew would be required to view the diaries as the Salonika ones have not been digitised. 

 

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cstm

Thanks to all for the prompt and interesting material. While I was looking into this, I noticed that the CWGC record of the WW! burials in Stagliano Cemetery were those of men form various units, almost all of them having died in 1918 and many of those  during October and December of that year. Because I was aware that my friend's grandfather Sgt. Thomas Walker, no. 19964, 12th Bn. DLI, died of influenza it seemed to me that most of the others in the cemetery might also have been 'flu victims. 

I would like to mention that I only recently discovered the Great War Forum and find it fascinating. I have a great interest in that conflict and the militaryu in general, my father having served  at Gallipoli with the 8th Manchester Regiment, 42nd East Lancs Division .

I myself am in my 90's and now live in Ottawa, Ontario, being a former member of the Merchant Navy in the UK and  the Royal Canadian Artillery (Milita)

Thanks again 

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Gardenerbill

I would recommend you have a look at the parent site 'The Long Long Trail' lots of useful information there, for example the 12th Battalion Durham Light Infantry served in France from August 1915 and moved to Italy November 1917, no mention of Salonika. Where did you get the Salonika information from?  

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8055Bell
11 hours ago, cstm said:

I have a great interest in that conflict and the militaryu in general, my father having served  at Gallipoli with the 8th Manchester Regiment, 42nd East Lancs Division .

I myself am in my 90's and now live in Ottawa, Ontario, being a former member of the Merchant Navy in the UK and  the Royal Canadian Artillery (Milita)

Thanks again 

Soldiers Effects often provides the specific location of death.  If you provide the DLI man's name, I'd be happy to see what's there if you don't have access to UK records.

I'd be very interested to learn more about your Manchester Regiment father.  Probably best to start a new thread though. You'd also be very welcome to raise questions on the seperate forum too.  You wouldn't be our oldest member!

Tim

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cstm

After Thomas Walker's death in 1918, his son was taken to the Quarrier Homes Scotland  and eventually sent to Canada to work for a farmer under one of those orphan systems common in those days. His son joined the RCAF during WW2 and served in the UK.

The Quarrier Homes, still in existence, furnished his granddaughter with details of her father's  history. This contained the information that her grandfather died in Salonika on November 4, 1918. We do know he was in the DLI ( his grave marker confirms this) and we do know he is interred in Stagliano Cemetery, Genoa.

 

 

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Gardenerbill

There's a medal index card for 19964 Sjt Thomas Walker (free to view on Ancestry) that shows his date of entry in theatre France 25.8.15 this ties in with 12th Bn DLI arriving in France August 1915. 

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8055Bell

Sorry for my confusion.

Thomas Walker was admitted to 39 CCS and then 69 Fd Amb on 25/1/1918. He died from Influenza & Broncho Pneumonia in 11 Gen. Hospital Genoa.

Widow Christina (married 1911), received Medals in 1919/20 and pension with no allowance for the children as she had moved in with another man and they were in Linmore Childrens Home, Aberdeen; later Orphans Home, Bridge of Weir.

Children Georgina Low Walker (1911), Thomas Low Walker (1912) & David Miller Walker (1914). They were all relocated to Ottawa on 21/05/1919 and had funds invested until they were 18. Another son Frederick (1915) was not included in Effects.

Thomas had been a fishworker in Aberdeen prior to enlistment in DLI on 09/09/1914. He was promoted Sgt on 16/11/1917 and served exclusively with 12th DLI. Mentioned in Despatches 30/05/1918.

With such a sad story, it's great to hear Georgina had a full life.

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cstm
On 04/07/2020 at 11:46, 8055Bell said:

Sorry for my confusion.

Thomas Walker was admitted to 39 CCS and then 69 Fd Amb on 25/1/1918. He died from Influenza & Broncho Pneumonia in 11 Gen. Hospital Genoa.

Widow Christina (married 1911), received Medals in 1919/20 and pension with no allowance for the children as she had moved in with another man and they were in Linmore Childrens Home, Aberdeen; later Orphans Home, Bridge of Weir.

Children Georgina Low Walker (1911), Thomas Low Walker (1912) & David Miller Walker (1914). They were all relocated to Ottawa on 21/05/1919 and had funds invested until they were 18. Another son Frederick (1915) was not included in Effects.

Thomas had been a fishworker in Aberdeen prior to enlistment in DLI on 09/09/1914. He was promoted Sgt on 16/11/1917 and served exclusively with 12th DLI. Mentioned in Despatches 30/05/1918.

With such a sad story, it's great to hear Georgina had a full life.

Many thanks for this, very impressed  about the Mention in Despatches, didn't know about it

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cstm

Not to smart without the technical support of my granddaughter so I am not sure if I have already sent the following:
Many thanks for this, very impressed about the Mentioned in Despatches, didn't know about it

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cstm
On 04/07/2020 at 06:55, 8055Bell said:

Soldiers Effects often provides the specific location of death.  If you provide the DLI man's name, I'd be happy to see what's there if you don't have access to UK records.

I'd be very interested to learn more about your Manchester Regiment father.  Probably best to start a new thread though. You'd also be very welcome to raise questions on the seperate forum too.  You wouldn't be our oldest member!

Tim

 

On 04/07/2020 at 06:55, 8055Bell said:

Soldiers Effects often provides the specific location of death.  If you provide the DLI man's name, I'd be happy to see what's there if you don't have access to UK records.

I'd be very interested to learn more about your Manchester Regiment father.  Probably best to start a new thread though. You'd also be very welcome to raise questions on the seperate forum too.  You wouldn't be our oldest member!

Tim

As previously mentioned somewhere, my technical knowledge is severely limited so I am not sure how to start a new thread as you suggest (unfortunately none of my grandchildren, my teachers, are available)

My father joined the Territorials prior to WW1. He was born in 1894 and enlisted with the 8th  Battalion, known locally as "the Ardwicks" due to the location in the Manchester district where many of the members lived. I have tried to find his number on his medals, but they are court mounted  and  I am reluctant to separate them. From the part I was able to see, I think the number could be 1669. On a very faded certificate of discharge (Army Form B2079)  Serial number732 appears while the certificate number appears to be 300124 The certificate shows his rank as corporal and that he served four years with the colours and two with the Territorials. I still have (again faded)  a 1921 invitation to my mother to attend the unveiling of the memorial on Ardwick Green by Sir Ian Hamilton.

Things I remember about my father include visits to the Sergeant's mess when I was a small boy and being allowed to play on a full sized rocking horse used to train riders while my father had a couple of pints with his old comrades. is best friend, John Comerford, was killed at Gallipol but, while John's name is contained in the CWGC records, the history of the 42nd Division does not include it.

While the Ardwicks seems to have been an infantry unit, my dad wore spurs and a leather ammunition bandoleer with what appeared to be riding britches. As it happened, my father's father died while Day was only a few months old and my grandfather owned a couple of cabs making my father very familiar with horse handling.  Unfortunately, my father was killed on Dec. 23, 1940 when my house was destroyed by a so called land mine during the Manchester

Blitz.  After we lost our home, one neighbour, who I think had served with the Ardwicks and lost a leg while doing so, moved from his damaged house to live with his son and gave my mother the entire furnishings of his house.

I do recall, both from my dad and his friends at the barracks, quite a few tales about Gallipoli and 

Egypt, some of which I am sure were black humour.  

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cstm

Add: Ironic that having survived the Great War, my father should die in the second round, earning a listing in the CWGC web and being in a private grave , together with three other family members who died in the raid, which is tended to this dy by CWGC.

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8055Bell

Pte 1665 Charles Stuart Morton disembarked in Egypt with 1/8th Manchesters on 25/9/1914, prior to service in Gallipoli. Charles was re-numbered as 300124 in Feb 1917 and promoted to Cpl. He continued serving after hostilities, re-numbered as 3511889 receiving the Terrirtorial Efficiency Medal on 30/04/1925. He was then resident at 10 Sidney St, off Brook St, Manchester.  Charles died on 23/12/1940 as a victim of the Manchester Blitz at 8 Livingstone Street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock. Husband of Nellie Doris Morton.

My Grandad, formerly 17th Bttn, was on top of the Town Hall on the night Charles died, putting out a fire from incendiary bombs.  He was hospitilised for months after, due to smoke inhalation.

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cstm
1 hour ago, 8055Bell said:

Pte 1665 Charles Stuart Morton disembarked in Egypt with 1/8th Manchesters on 25/9/1914, prior to service in Gallipoli. Charles was re-numbered as 300124 in Feb 1917 and promoted to Cpl. He continued serving after hostilities, re-numbered as 3511889 receiving the Terrirtorial Efficiency Medal on 30/04/1925. He was then resident at 10 Sidney St, off Brook St, Manchester.  Charles died on 23/12/1940 as a victim of the Manchester Blitz at 8 Livingstone Street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock. Husband of Nellie Doris Morton.

My Grandad, formerly 17th Bttn, was on top of the Town Hall on the night Charles died, putting out a fire from incendiary bombs.  He was hospitilised for months after, due to smoke inhalation.

Thank you for the above: somewhere I have an attestation form showing that he signed up for a national emergency (possibly a general strike?)

As for the Blitz on Dec 22/23 1940, I was buried for more than 8 hours and ended up in the Manchester Royal, incidentally with a ward full of  burned firemen. My grandmother (Isabella Wright, , her cousin, Andrew Jackson and a son-in-law Peter Brown ( RASC on leave) also died in the raid.

Do you have any information as to why my father wore the spurs and bandolier of a horseman while in an infantry regiment? Perhaps there were mounted infantry in the unit. I do recall him telling me that on his return to Egypt after Gallipoli he was engaged in the desert and assigned to guard a water cart with instructions to shoot anyone attempting to steal the water.

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8055Bell

Hi Charles,

I only found out on Thursday that the Manchester Territorials had old style webbing, designed for both Infantry and Cavalary.  It seems 42nd (E Lancs) Div on Garrison duty in Egypt didn't justify the new kit and they entered Gallipoli without the updated equipiment.  THis excellent presentation by Taff Gillingham explains more. I can't explain the spurs. Do you have photos?

The record on George Cogswell's site is incredibly powerful. Your testimony of the Manchester Blitz is outstabding and should be published more widely, including your Father's service..

Tim

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KGB

I thought Salonika wounded went from Salonika via Malta to Gibraltar then Southampton? 

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cstm
10 hours ago, 8055Bell said:

Hi Charles,

I only found out on Thursday that the Manchester Territorials had old style webbing, designed for both Infantry and Cavalary.  It seems 42nd (E Lancs) Div on Garrison duty in Egypt didn't justify the new kit and they entered Gallipoli without the updated equipiment.  THis excellent presentation by Taff Gillingham explains more. I can't explain the spurs. Do you have photos?

The record on George Cogswell's site is incredibly powerful. Your testimony of the Manchester Blitz is outstabding and should be published more widely, including your Father's service..

Tim

Hi

 Thanks for your research; Don't have any pictures of the spurs but had the actual items at home untll I came to Canada. I also had his tin hat with the nickname "Nippy" painted inside the rim. My dad burnished the helmet and had it hanging on the wall with his medals and a bronzed frame containing a picture of his friend, John Comerford, who was killed at Gallipoli. In 1940, when he joined the LDV , later Home Guard, my mother sewed a cloth cover for  his helmet so he wouldn't have to paint over his polish.

I also know my dad's horse was at Ardwick Barracks when my sisters went there in the twenties. The bandoleer , incidentally, was worn over the shoulder across the chest.

In my technical ignorance, can you tell me how I reach George Cogwell's site?

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8055Bell

Hi Charles,

I'm no expert on uniforms. It sounds like you father may have been ,mounted Infantry.   Here's the link to your records on George's site http://www.greatermanchesterblitzvictims.co.uk/index.php?sold_id=s%3A12%3A%221095%2Cvictims%22%3B&letter=M&soldier=Morton&district_id=

I've added this as an Addendum to my father's record of the Blitz, including a photo from Findagrave https://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/afterwards/a-fire-watcher-on-the-town-hall-in-the-manchester-blitz/

Tim

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8055Bell

Pte 1678 John Comerford and your father, 1665 enlisted in 8th Bttn at a similar time in 1912/13.  They were similar ages .  John was killed at Gallipoli on 14 May 1915 serving with D Coy, aged 20.  He was the son of Edward and Mary Comerford of 21, St. Luke's St., Chorlton-on-.Medlock. Commemorated on the Helles Memorial & Holy Name of Jesus RC Church.

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cstm
On 04/07/2020 at 11:46, 8055Bell said:

Sorry for my confusion.

Thomas Walker was admitted to 39 CCS and then 69 Fd Amb on 25/1/1918. He died from Influenza & Broncho Pneumonia in 11 Gen. Hospital Genoa.

Widow Christina (married 1911), received Medals in 1919/20 and pension with no allowance for the children as she had moved in with another man and they were in Linmore Childrens Home, Aberdeen; later Orphans Home, Bridge of Weir.

Children Georgina Low Walker (1911), Thomas Low Walker (1912) & David Miller Walker (1914). They were all relocated to Ottawa on 21/05/1919 and had funds invested until they were 18. Another son Frederick (1915) was not included in Effects.

Thomas had been a fishworker in Aberdeen prior to enlistment in DLI on 09/09/1914. He was promoted Sgt on 16/11/1917 and served exclusively with 12th DLI. Mentioned in Despatches 30/05/1918.

With such a sad story, it's great to hear Georgina had a full life.

Thank you for so much information. Thomas Walker's descendants are most impressed and appreciative/ You note that Thomas was mentioned in despatches; the family have no knowledge of that and oddly, the medals the family have are missing the Victory medal  (where I would assume the  ribbon would include he oak leaf insignia). Perhaps you can tell me where I can find confirmation of the ward.

Thanks again, take care!

2 minutes ago, cstm said:

Thank you for so much information. Thomas Walker's descendants are most impressed and appreciative/ You note that Thomas was mentioned in despatches; the family have no knowledge of that and oddly, the medals the family have are missing the Victory medal  (where I would assume the  ribbon would include he oak leaf insignia). Perhaps you can tell me where I can find confirmation of the ward.

Thanks again, take care!

award

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8055Bell

The MID is noted in Thomas' Service Record.  You can probably find it by searching in the London Gazette.  The indexing is challenging for such a common name.

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cstm
4 hours ago, 8055Bell said:

The MID is noted in Thomas' Service Record.  You can probably find it by searching in the London Gazette.  The indexing is challenging for such a common name.

Thanks, good to learn of the various sources you have provided

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