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Major w c french 3rd Ghurkas kia Neuve Chapelle what regt was he in in 1907


arantxa
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looking for info on him before 1915

thanks

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Harts 1908 Annual List , (“correct” to the end of 1907), shows a William Cotton French under reference 435, according to the Index.

That reference covers Captains in the Indian Army. William Cotton French was then 2nd Battalion, 3rd Goorkhas having originally been Lancashire Fusiliers. He had 18 years of service.

2nd Lieutenant 29th October 1890
Lieutenant 15th June 1892
Captain 10th July 1901. https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/100881234

It’s difficult to make out on the MiC but I believe he is shown as Major W.C. French 2/3 Gurkha Rifles – National Archive have indexed it as 210 Gurkha Rifles. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D2248283

Hope that helps,
Peter

Edit - CWGC also has him as 2nd Battalion, 3rd Gurkhas.

Edited by PRC
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i have a lot of photographs newspaper cuttings i also have a pile of photos that could be him as in same album dated 1907 but i think royal engineers 

i can id him in the newspaper cuttings and the  ones with the 3rd ghurka badge but the others 1907 is like a flaming grenade badge  if its him maybe those are a relative

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1 hour ago, arantxa said:

flaming grenade

Which could be Lancashire Fusiliers, his old regiment. 

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I’m sure his surname is French F5B830B9-4F70-45F3-AC01-0D9DE93FD886.jpeg.7b434b82a81ff3f544973e4e602e71b3.jpeg

DB085ECF-372C-4BEB-815B-7DB881BF9A45.jpeg

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That photograph not only clearly shows the Fusilier badge on his collar, but his Fusilier cap sitting on the table beside him. He looks quite young. Do we know when he actually went to the Gurkhas ? 

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Sorry are you saying it’s the same man 

75EA3D62-5B41-4971-96EE-14D7D29EA2AD.jpeg

image.jpg

image.jpg

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2 hours ago, arantxa said:

but the others 1907 is like a flaming grenade badge

The 1908 Harts entry also cross references to a note about his War services. This was with the Chitral Expedition of 1895 and he was already then serving with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Goorkhas. So if it's the right man then neither a Lancashire Fusilier or a Royal Engineer in 1907. He received the Medal and Clasp for the campaign.

CWGC shows him as aged 44 when he died on the 12th March 1915 and the “Son of the Rev. Frederic and A. M. French, of Worlingworth, Framlingham, Suffolk; husband of Evelyn Mary French, of Stayer House, Eye, Suffolk.” https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/261698/william-cotton-french/

(William is not on either the civic or church memorial at Eye).

The birth of a William Cotton French, mothers’ maiden name Davis, was registered with the civil authorities in the Hoxne District in Q1 1871.

On the 1871 Census of England & Wales, as William C French aged 2 months, at The Rectory, Worlingworth, Suffolk. That address fell within the Hoxne Civil Registration District. Brothers at home are:-

Thomas Harvey French, K.S. Eton College….aged 11
Hugh Davis Day French……………………aged 8     
Francis C French………………………………aged 2
All three were born Worlingworth.

On the 1881 Census of England & Wales the 10 year old William C French, born Worlingworth, was a boarding school pupil at Little Wymondley, Hertfordshire.

By the time of the 1891 Census of England & Wales the 20 year old William C. French was back living with his parents at The Rectory and recorded as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. (Harts shows him as commissioned on the 29th October 1890). He was the only one of the sons in the household.

He does not appear to be on the 1901 Census of England & Wales, but if he was in India after the Chitral Expedition, that is to be expected.

British Army garrisons around the world were in scope for the 1911 Census of England & Wales. As William doesn’t appear to be recorded the most likely explanation is that by that time he was on the strength of the Indian Army – which again is borne out by his entry in the 1908 Harts Annual Army List.

Working through his brothers from the 1871 Census:-

The last entry I can find for Thomas is on the 1891 Census when he was a 31 year old married Preparatory School Master M.A and living with his in-laws at The Vicarage. Iwerne Minster, Dorset.

Hugh D. French turns up on the 1881 Census as an 18 year old Pupil at a School at Little Ealing, but then disappears.

On the 1911 Census the married Francis Coope French, 42 and born Worlingworth, turns up with his wife Geraldine as visitors in a household in Bournmouth. Francis is described as employed by the Indian Civil Service.

There are memorials to the French family in the church at Worlingworth. A set on Flickr includes this in the general write up about the church.

A more recent century has given brass plaque memorials to two men of the French family, rich patrons of this parish, who were killed in action during the First World War. Reverend Frederic French was the Rector of this church, and he lost a son and a grandson, less than a fortnight apart. Noel Lee French, the only son of the Rector's oldest son, Edward, who might one day have been heir to the French family fortunes, was killed in Egypt on the 27th of February 1915. As if this was not unbearable enough, the Reverend French's youngest son, William Cotton French, was killed near Neuve Chapelle thirteen days later, on the 12th of March. The plaques are set apart in the chancel, a large medieval consecration cross keeping one of them company. Other French memorials on the south side of the chancel include one to another son of the Rector, Hugh Davis Day French, a Conservator of Forests for the Indian Forestry Service, who died in Lucknow in 1903, and another to his brother Thomas Harvey French, who also died in India five years later.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/norfolkodyssey/37378870866

Private 1115 Noel Edward Lee French was 27 years old when he died on the 10th February 1915 serving with the 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Westminster Dragoons) he was the son of the late Sir Edward Lee French, K.C.V.O., and of Lady French. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/112627/noel-edward-lee-french/

Given the locality @George Rayner may have had cause to research him.
Cheers,
Peter

Edited by PRC
Typo
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So with your info maybe this is the brother but maybe he’s too young ?

7728F216-4F68-4C64-A202-CE0838DDEAD1.jpeg

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it has lots of photos and paintings of the church at Worlingworth and some super pics in India 

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5 minutes ago, arantxa said:

So with your info maybe this is the brother but maybe he’s too young ?

7728F216-4F68-4C64-A202-CE0838DDEAD1.jpeg

He’s dressed as a typical mounted soldier (rather than officer) so that aspect would fit with the brother (Edward) in the Westminster Dragoons (Yeomanry).  It might well be in Egypt. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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I’m not sure where this chap comes into the equation or this chap 

D08F856E-3B4E-4D70-B7D7-824820369296.jpeg

7E215121-A7C4-4398-9ACA-7E66F1BF1B4A.jpeg

image.jpg

image.jpg

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I can’t make out the cap badge (possibly RMC Sandhurst?) or any rank insignia in the first photo, but it’s an officer’s service dress.  The absence of a Sam Browne belt in favour of a plain leather waist belt suggests that he is in officer cadet under training.

The second photo shows an officer of Rifle Volunteers in a grey coloured uniform.  As the date is annotated as 1900, then we know it will be a Volunteer Battalion (of one of the regular line infantry regiments) that has retained a uniform style associated with its discrete origins, rather than of its then parent regiment.  I think that the latter is the Suffolk Regiment and I know that one of their VB (the 2nd) did indeed wear grey.  It became a TF battalion in 1908 and fought throughout WW1.  See: 

 

 

313BCF91-4D6B-4F17-9F9F-8F1317F67383.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Major Woolnough commanded the Eye Rifle Volunteers, a company of the Norfolk's, I think. Edit see later on- my thinking and geography wrong, SB Suffolk's.

Edited by charlie962
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4 minutes ago, arantxa said:

So with your info maybe this is the brother but maybe he’s too young ?

Would seem potentially a good match for Private Noel Edward Lee French, who was Major William Cotton French's nephew.

I see Major W C French is stated to have seen active service in the South African War - strange that doesn't get a mention in Hart's. Hope I haven't given you a red herring.

The man in the picture from (I suspect) The Sphere has two campaign medals, whereas the picture dated 1897 has just the one - which is presumably the one for the 1895 Chitral Expedition.

703954161_MajorWCFrenchsourcedGWFthreadarantxa.jpg.e90941b209b8d2412f59a6b8b2565f5b.jpg1196056438_WilliamFrenchpossiblesourcedGWFthreadarantxacrop.jpg.19ab30d743e9d485f33d5a5118316d70.jpg

The sash and medal is interesting - I don't know if anything can be interpreted from that, but would seem a big co-incidence if they are not the same man. Certainly his helmet seems to support him being with the 3rd Gurkha Rifles by 1897.

1434803747_WilliamFrenchpossiblesourcedGWFthreadarantxacrop2.jpg.037a7513f6fca82132ce2daa936ee08e.jpg

So again likely to be the same man (or a very similar looking British Officer serving with the same unit !)

Cheers,
Peter

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image.jpg

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Thats the connection cosd the second album has a big chunk about Eye

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3145773B-4300-4F23-A47B-C2D75D606A3A.jpeg

E63C438E-4D20-496D-AEF2-DE8DE486324D.jpeg

FACE5130-1E29-445A-B770-1798CDCB3175.jpeg

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Unfortunately I cannot find any decent imagery relating to the Norfolk Rifle Volunteers unit concerned.

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51 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

Major Woolnough commanded the Eye Rifle Volunteers, a company of the Norfolk's, I think.

Suffolks I believe - certainly the company of the Territorial Force based at the Eye Drill Hall post 1908 was Suffolk Regiment. It would be the most natural fit as that is the county the town is in.

Cheers,
Peter

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Some interesting pre-war snippets on the British Newspaper Archive, (via FindMyPast) - the full articles will be available via subscription.

377823924_FindMyPastScreenshot180222.png.a6c20a86ed121d5cb7cc19bf469ff0d0.png

Image courtesy FindMyPast

1901 - Gives up position of Quartermaster with the 3rd Gurkha Rifles.
1907 - birth of a child at Landsdowne Cantonment to the wife of Capt. W.C. French, "213" Gurkha Rifles - as what he was doing in 1907 is where this thread started:)

Lots of other mentions through the 1900's of him attending Gurkha Brigade dinners.

Cheers,
Peter

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