Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Jacqueline Allen

Signaller Alfred Hensher Machine Gun Corps 17 th Division

Recommended Posts

Jacqueline Allen

My grandfather was in the second battle of the Somme and I have retraced his footsteps to Havrincourt Hindenburg Dugout  by the Canal du Nord.  His name was Alfred Hensher and he survived.  He was in the Battle 21 st March 1918 and finally received the armistice message in a small village called Bechant.  He was in the D Coy 17 th Machine Battlaion  17th Division.  I would be grateful for any connections. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sadbrewer

Jacqueline, do you have more information...where he was from, date of birth, regimental number...on the rim of his medals if you have them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sadbrewer
10 minutes ago, sadbrewer said:

Jacqueline, do you have more information...where he was from, date of birth, regimental number...on the rim of his medals if you have them.

Edit....looks like 124057

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

He was trained as a signalman in Grantham and he was 18 when he went to the front line in the latter part of 1917 he had already been in the army under age 

I have this writing about him I will attach as photos 

A3D6E5CD-8BC8-46B7-A9A1-4F3ECA21AC94.jpeg

A2FF1C72-6DE5-4E4D-B69C-BD609807584B.jpeg

7010A1C0-0D3F-424F-97F5-77311CD00C66.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sadbrewer

I assume the above came from this book?

 

 

Screenshot_20200728-182347.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

No it wasn’t from here o have my grandfathers writing but Lyn Holiday who is a relative wrote this about my grandfather but she had his Book too! So I sent you her account because she has researched around the writing of my grandpa 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

That is very helpful I will order the book! 

At the moment I am travelling back from Havrincourt 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

5A7BBD36-4FBE-40FE-908F-7A2BD2CF5D0C.jpeg

692A4A5E-375D-4F62-9E34-2DD8116E9DA3.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

This is the last couple of pages of my grandpas writing of the war! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sadbrewer
2 hours ago, Jacqueline Allen said:

That is very helpful I will order the book! 

At the moment I am travelling back from Havrincourt 

 

I've just ordered a copy myself!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

I am so moved by the sacrifice of so many young men! It will be interesting to hear their accounts.  Interestingly my grandfather never described any violence at all but he must have seen dreadful things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

How can I find out his army number to get his war records!?  Do you know? His date of birth is 02/10/1898 and he was born in Bethnal Green London

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sadbrewer
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jacqueline Allen said:

How can I find out his army number to get his war records!?  Do you know? His date of birth is 02/10/1898 and he was born in Bethnal Green London

 

Jacqueline, the majority of soldiers records were lost in the blitz.

His regimental number is posted above, although some soldiers had more than one throughout their service.

Edit....His service record appears to be amongst those lost.

If you click the link below you can set up an account and download his medal card....it's all free...but doesn't tell you that much (usually).

 

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D6409796

 

Edit 2....If I were you I would consider myself incredibly fortunate to have the pages above and hopefully some extra information in the book.

Andy

Edited by sadbrewer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

Thanks Andy That is helpful! I had figured out the number and I have joined NPRC vetrecs at £8.95 per month but from what you are saying there won’t be much! My partner has a Grandfather called Alfred Whitwell who was in the WW1 he was born in 1892 but not sure if birth date because his dad died and they were out in the poor house until they were adopted and he never spoke of the war but was in the trenches and from my search it looks like he might have been in the machine gun corps too but it’s not possible to check the DOB which might clarify it! Anyway amazingly he survived intact being in the war for the whole time! It’s just beyond imagination! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sadbrewer

I have a 160251 Alfred Whitwell, Machine Gun Corps.

You might consider starting a new thread purely around Alfred...just add as much information as you can and I'm sure the good people on here will be able to provide some good information. 

This is his medal card.

 

Edit...I've just found an adopted Alfred, Frank and Florence Whitwell in Hull in the 1911 census...could that be him?

 

Screenshot_20200801-174415.jpg

Edited by sadbrewer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

Thanks Again Andy!  I will call up his granddaughter and check that! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

So he had two medals? Am I reading that correctly? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

I have checked and that is him! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48
On 28/07/2020 at 17:54, Jacqueline Allen said:

he was 18 when he went to the front line in the latter part of 1917

That comment is at odds with the posted text which shows him joining the 17th Battalion MGC which was not formed, as noted in the text until 24th February 1918.  On the 1st March 1918 the Battalion received the first draft of 9 other ranks from the base, men were transferred into the Battalion from the infantry brigades of the Division but there are no other drafts from the base at Camiers shown until six more on the 14th March.

If he arrived in France before the formation of the Battalion in the latter part of 1917, as suggested then it is likely he was posted to 236 Company which became  'D' Company  of the 17 Battalion MGC on the 1st March 1918.

 

Assuming this is the same man, according to the register of births Alfred Hensher (mother’s maiden name Misell) was born in the last quarter of 1898, therefore if it is the same man he was nineteen when posted on active service with the MGC.  He could legitimately join the Territorial Force, i.e. the 2/5 RWK at seventeen for service at home (which included Ireland).  Neither the TF nor the Army required proof of birth so at sixteen he may have added a few months to his age.  After National Registration in 1915 it was more difficult to misrepresent age.

 

His MGC number indicates a transfer into the Corps on or around 20 October 1917 which would be around his nineteenth birthday.  In this period the Army did not send men on active service overseas until they were aged nineteen.  He would have received additional training as a signaller which in all probability took him beyond his birthday.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

You are right I think I am attaching his writings which have a bit missing sometimes at the bottom of the page so there is another photo of the bottom of the page.  

D2BDBC2D-F63F-4ACD-9A88-95D6E4C45D4F.jpeg

2BED266D-4EE9-4F6B-849B-92E7ECEE2A95.jpeg

6C423C1C-5E01-49D6-969F-282AF8A469A9.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

88CF2348-E964-44AF-8052-D0D6AFAE1F0F.jpeg

399575E4-A8CB-4EC7-A878-C5476B5D7BA1.jpeg

53B7D7CE-F36E-405B-B6F2-C6C401D85EE6.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacqueline Allen

100BB63D-F557-48C5-8A07-B5DF57F579F7.jpeg

That is as much as I can upload and as I am uploading from my Campervan on the Normandy Coast it’s far fro

perfect! 

Share this post


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...