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Remembered Today:

Major R. Done - 1st Norfolk Battalion, 15th Brigade, 5th Division 1914-15


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Hi all, 

I wonder if anyone can help me locate a photograph and /or some information on Major R. Done of the 1st Norfolks. I can see from the battalion diary that he took over from Colonel Ballard in November 1914 but can't seem to find out much else about him. 

Thanks all.


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Assuming I have the right R DONE, 1NR ...

MIC seems to be in the name of Herbert Richard DONE [and a very busy MIC it is too!]


The IWM Lives of the First World War site has several entries under Herbert Richard DONE and H R DONE

This one has a photo and other links.


:-) M



The London/Edinburgh Gazette is likely to have/has lots on him - see:







I'll leave you to sort out the chronology!

Edited by Matlock1418
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Thank you Matlock and IPT .... That's perfect  - really good photo and it seems he was awarded a DSO in 1915.    Extra interesting too about George Povey. 

So grateful and especially for the rapid response!

Best wishes, 


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As well as the Battalion War Diary he gets some mentions in "The Doings of the 15th Infantry Brigade" by Edward, Lord Gleichen.

It can be read \ downloaded from Project Gutenberg. https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22074


September 15th 1914.


After writing out orders for the attack next day we went to bed, dog-tired; and I was routed out again at 12.45 A.M. by Malise Graham, who had come with a message from the Divisional Commander that he wanted to see me at once at the broken bridge at Missy, a mile off through long wet grass in pitch darkness. It was not good "going," but we got there eventually and crossed the river, sliding down steep slippery banks into a punt, ferried across, and up the other side. Cuthbert eventually turned up from somewhere, and we had a pow-wow in the dark, resulting in fresh orders being given for the morrow's work.


This involved new orders being written, and it was 4 A.M. by the time we turned in again for an hour's sleep.


A careful reconnaissance was made by Done and some other Norfolk officers as soon as it was light; but the result was not promising.
Fresh German trenches had been dug commanding the open space, and more wire had been put up during the night.


October 3rd 1914.


For most of the next day we had a good rest, and I stayed in bed to doctor my cold; but orders soon came to move on, and the Brigade started in the evening for Long Pont, a village about twelve miles off, getting there about 11. The Divisional Commander had kindly sent a motor-car for me; and Done, of the Norfolks (who was also rather seedy), and Tandy, R.A., a person of large knowledge and always interesting, accompanied me; so we arrived at Long Pont a long time ahead of the troops.


October 8th 1914.


We were not allowed to detrain at Abbeville till 9.30 P.M., as the platforms were already occupied by other troops. It was wretchedly cold and pitch-dark by the time we had got away from the station, and we marched in dead silence through the town at 12.30 A.M. Not a soul was in the streets, not even a policeman from whom to ask the way, and we nearly lost our direction twice.


Our orders, which we received from Dunlop (5th Divisional staff), who was ensconced in a red-hot waiting-room in the goods yard, were to the effect that we were to billet near Neuilly, a village about six miles off. Done (Norfolks) had been sent ahead on the previous day to prepare the billets, but when we got near the village, after a cold march with a clear moon, Done was nowhere to be seen; and I nearly ordered the battalion to "doss down" in the road, as all the houses near were full of men of other brigades. However, Weatherby rode on, and eventually found Done in bed at the Mairie, he having been officially told that the Brigade would not be in till the following day. He had had a trying time, having been deposited by his train at a station about ten miles off, and having to make his way across country (riding) without a map and with very vague ideas of where he was to go. However, he had already told off billets for all the Brigade Area, and the troops trickled in independently by battalions and batteries, arriving by different trains and even at different stations, up to 10 A.M. in the morning.


Early March 1915 - Lord Gleichen leaves to take up new command.


Of all the regimental officers and men who had left Ireland with me on the 14th August 1914, six and a half months previously, I could count on my ten fingers the
number of officers left:--  Norfolks--Done and Bruce (both ill in hospital from strenuous overwork), Megaw (killed later), Paterson.


Hope that is of interest,



P.S. Here's him signing off the July 1915 War Diary entry.



Edited by PRC
Typo and formatting
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I've only just seen this addition - as always thank you very much PRC.  Some fascinating detail there. I had the Gleichen memoirs on my list to seek out but hadn't realized they were published as part of the Glutenberg Project.  Many thanks.


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