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Remembered Today:

Remembering 13/10/1915


Moriaty
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Remembering the poet Charles Hamilton Sorley of the 7th Bn Suffolk Regiment, killed, aged 20, near the Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13 October 1915. Commemorated at Dud Corner, Loos

"There, where the rusty iron lies,

The rooks are cawing all the day.

Perhaps no man, until he dies,

Will understand them, what they say.

The evening makes the sky like clay.

The slow wind waits for night to rise.

The world is half-content. But they

Still trouble all the trees with cries,

That know, and cannot put away,

The yearning to the soul that flies

From day to night, from night to day."

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The Song of the Ungirt Runners

We swing ungirded hips

And lighten’d are our eyes,

The rain is on our lips,

We do not run for prize.

We know not whom we trust

Nor whitherward we fare,

But we run because we must

Through the great wide air.

The waters of the seas

Are troubled as by storm.

The tempest strips the trees

And does not leave them warm.

Does the tearing tempest pause?

Do the tree-tops ask it why?

So we run without a cause

’Neath the big bare sky.

The rain is on our lips,

We do not run for prize.

But the storm the water whips

And the wave howls to the skies.

The winds arise and strike it

And scatter it like sand,

And we run because we like it

Through the broad bright land.

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Probably Sorley's two best-remembered poems evocative of the war are "All the Hills and Vales Along", perhaps written in August 1914, and "When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead", probably his last poem. Sorley featured in a 2002 Imperial War Museum exhibition of poets of the Great War, which displayed a signpost from Poulton Down, two miles north east of Marlborough. This was a replacement, which in 1985 was said to have been “recently” erected, for an original post mentioned in several of Sorley's poems ("Lost", "I have not Brought my Odyssey"and the first of "Two Sonnets", originally titled "Death – and the Downs", written four months before he died) and featured in a 1938 watercolour, also in the IWM exhibition, by Julian Bickersteth. Sorley often passed the spot (map reference 209717) on “sweats”(cross-country runs) when at Marlborough College; his name is on a plaque in the college chapel.

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He is also commemorated at the signpost that Moonraker mentions. There's a rough-shaped stone at the base of the signpost, and carved into it is

C. H. S.

1895-1915

Tom

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  • 1 month later...

I'm looking at the names on the memorial in the village where I grew up. On 13th October 1915 Haddiscoe lost two of it's sons, plus another from the next village. All were in A Company of the Norfolk Regiment. Here are there names and some notes, some of which were only gathered today.

16606 Private Victor Beevor

A Company, 7th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment died age 21 on 13th October 1915. Son of Victor and Martha Beevor of Haddiscoe. Remembered with honour Loos Memorial. 7th (Service) Battalion was formed at Norwich in August 1914 as part of K1, the first of Kitcheners Armies. In August 1914 it was attached to 35th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. This was one of the first New Army divisions to be formed and was assembled around Colchester, the divisional artillery nearby at Shorncliffe, from late August 1914. Divisional training was completed near Aldershot from February 1915, and the Division moved to France between 29th May and 4th June 1915. Privates Beevor, Flaxman, and Wigg (the latter was from Toft Monks) were all in A Company and were all killed in the same action. A letter was sent to Reverend Lawson, then the incumbent at Haddiscoe, informing him of their deaths.

CO: Lt Col J Caroll. 30 Officers and 954 Other Ranks, embarked Invicta at Folkestone for Boulogne 30th May 1915. 1st Kitchener Battalion raised by Norfolk regiment, formed at Shorncliffe. Shortage of equipment. 1,114 killed during First World War. Took over trenches 113-120 at Ploegsteert Wood on 4th July 1915.

12th October 1915 the Battalion moved from billets to a line in front of the St Elie Quarries, taking over from the Coldstream Guards. The attack was planned to go ahead under a smoke cloud with the Norfolks closing on the German trenches from both ends of their position thus straightening their line, their trenches being in a semi-circle. The left side of the Battalion was also tasked with bombing a German communications trench. The artillery bombardment began at 12:00 and was intensive by 13:45. The smoke barrage went wrong and ceased by 13:40, twenty minutes before the attack was launched at 14:00. German machine gun fire from opposite the Norfolks right flank enfiladed their attack. In the Battalions first serious engagement they lost 5 Officers killed or died of wounds and 6 wounded, and 66 other ranks killed, 196 wounded and 160 missing.

16608 Private Absalom Clayton Flaxman

7th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment died on 13th October 1915. Remembered with honour Loos Memorial.

16618 Private Freeman Wigg

7th battalion, Norfolk Regiment died on 13th October 1915. Remembered with honour Loos Memorial.

I knew Absaloms son or nephew, I forget now. I know Victors nephew, he was named after the other brother, Harold, killed 4th October 1917 with the Warwickshires. Harold is wearing the hat, Victor isn't.

I've never looked at the Great War before, I'm too involved in a WW2 fighter Squadron. My God what a contrast. Best wishes, Mark

post-9260-1132871707.jpg

post-9260-1132871723.jpg

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  • 2 years later...
... Sorley featured in a 2002 Imperial War Museum exhibition of poets of the Great War, which displayed a signpost from Poulton Down, two miles north east of Marlborough. This was a replacement, which in 1985 was said to have been “recently” erected, for an original post mentioned in several of Sorley's poems ... Sorley often passed the spot (map reference 209717) on “sweats”(cross-country runs) when at Marlborough College...

I was walking in this locality today, and cursing the weather people who had promised lots of brightness with the risk of a light shower; I had several hours of light rain which prompted me to take a short cut towards where I'd left my car. It turned out to be a long cut, as I took a wrong turning, there was no sun to indicate which way I was walking, and none of the farms I passed had name-boards. So I was pleased to spot this signpost almost in the middle of nowhere; not only had I visited it several times before, but its name-boards indicating the ways to four villages allowed me to orientate myself.

Moonraker

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  • 8 years later...

I paused at the Sorley signpost today on a walk in more pleasant weather than in 2008. (Frightening: nine years since my damp walk.) A wreath had been placed on the concrete slab with "C.H.S" carved on it, and a poppy tacked to one of the arms.

 

Not by design, my walk took in a variety of military sites spanning the centuries, but rather than go off topic I'll just mention walking along the route of the Midland & South Western Junction Railway, whose mostly single track conveyed thousands of soldiers from the Midlands to camps in the Tidworth area, both before the Great War (when the passengers were mostly from Volunteer and Territorial battalions) and during it. I diverted to wander around the site of Chisledon Camp, the subject of various GWF threads.

 

Moonraker

Edited by Moonraker
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  • 4 years later...

This morning I passed by the replica Sorley signpost again. The sheet of paper in the plastic envelope is a well-meant DIY effort. A pity that something more permanent couldn't be installed. I'll suggest it to Marlborough College.2010860258_Sorleysignpostleaflet.jpg.05a46a07268abc39e810da5339848187.jpg1624025956_Sorleysignpost.jpg.c7d3133ba3fe6b62b253bb8636731e91.jpg

Note the "C.H.S" on the stone.

Pedant's footnote: "Mildenhall" is usually pronounced "Minal", and further on I walked on a permissive path arranged, a board informed me, by "Minal Parish Council".

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  • Admin

I rather like the simple stone at the base with just CHS 1895-1915

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good morning,

here is the name on the wall to the Dud Corner :

IMG_20210904_120647.jpg.f1c6dd161ff6c40cdde3e8056358eb83.jpg

regards

michel

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