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Remembered Today:

Captain Harold Mortimore MGC


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Capt HW Mortimore commanded D1 - the first tank in action at the battle of Flers/Courcelette. Trevor Pidgeon has a photo on him in his wonderful book "The Tanks at Flers".

He is not listed on the CWGC site so I assume he survived Can anyone confirm what happened to him?

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hello

if you dont get a reply - start a new thread and ask some one to check the army lists for you - I have found that how you word the title really makes a huge differance to whether or not you get a reply. I have asked the same question just worded it another way and got a result

Have you tried the London Gazette ?

Ian

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In the London Gazette in 1919 he apparently resigned his commission but the announcement was cancelled. It may be that he either did not retire or he was not alive. No reason given. I'll try and post the entries later...

Steve.

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From the London Gazette 7-3-1919 (Publ. 4-3-1919)

TANK CORPS.

Temp. Capt. H. W. Mortimore relinquishes his commission on account of ill health contracted on active service, 8 Mar. 1919, and retains the rank of Capt.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...&selHonourType=

then the LG of 3-4-1919 (1-4-1919) carried this:

TANK CORPS.

The relinquishment of his commission by temp. Captl. H. W. Mortimore, notified in Gaz. 7 Mar. 1919, is cancelled.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...&selHonourType=

What it all means is unclear. Did he die or did he get better?

There was this earlier in the War for the record.

LG 11-9-1916 (8-9-1916)

MACHINE GUN CORPS (HEAVY).

The undermentioned to be temp. Capts.: —

Lt. G. B. H. G., Lord Rodney (2nd Dns.). 10 Aug. 1916.

Temp. Lt. H. W. Mortimore, from M.G.C. (Motors). 11 Aug. 1916.

Temp. 2nd Lt. G. Nixon, from M.G.C'. (Motors). 12 Aug. 1916.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...&selHonourType=

Hope this helps,

Steve.

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London Gazette Continued...

19-4-1920 (16-4-1920)

TANK CORPS

Temp. Capt. H. W. Mortimore relinquishes his commission on completion of service, 22 Mar. 1920, and retains the rank of Capt.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...&selHonourType=

He did survive.

Steve.

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Thanks to all of you for your help - I will get the other MIC and see where that leads. That he started in the RN Div and then was commissioned through the Motor MG Corps is interesting; good to hear that he surived ; know I only need to fidn out what he did next.

The use of the London Gazette as a source is something new to me entirely; I must learn more.

"Look wide, oh Wolves"

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Good news; the trail is warm again.

He was posted to F Bn where he was adjutant to Col Frank Sommers (formerly OC D Coy) but had to stand down due to ill-health in 1917

Looking for more

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  • 8 months later...

Long time for a trail to be dormant but... there is good news: Mortimore was interviewed by John Foley in the late 1950s juts prio to the publciation of his book "The Boiler Plate War". From this, and other links I have ascertained the following:

Capt Harold William Mortimore- born Chiswick 1891 had rre-war territorial service with City of London Yeomanry. On the outbreak of war, he joined RN Div and served at Antwerp, then with RNAS and later with an anti-aircraft unit. Learned to fly with RNAS. Later commissioned into the Moto Machien Gun Service. Promoted t/Lt on 15 May 1916 and t/Capt 11 Aug 1916 with D Coy Heavy Section of the MGC. Initially a Tank Park officer; offl-loaded tanks on arrival in France. Sect Comd (D1, D3, D4 and D5) on 15th Sep 1916. In Jan 1917 appointed Adjt of F Bn at Bovington; his CO being Lt Col Frank Summers who commanded D Coy on the Somme. He deployed to France in mid 1917 but was forced to return to the UK in July 1917 due to ill-health. He served for the remainder of the war in the UK and relinquished his commission, “on grounds of ill health contracted whilst on active service” 8 Mar 1919 and retained the rank of Capt. This was cancelled on 3 Apr 1918. Known as “Morty” he married Mary and retired to Torquay - his picture is in Trevior Pidgeon's excellent book "The Tanks at Flers.

Thanx to all who helped on the journey :)

Stephen

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