Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
aliecoco

Brothers who died on the same date!

Recommended Posts

aliecoco

Hi,

Still enjoying reading the replies, and thanks to John for his stats! WOW! I did ask what the odds were and then deviated in the text bit of my actual post!!

This could be a silly question, but when the family were being informed of their deaths, particularly if the brothers or father/son lived at the same address, would they have been told about both via one telegram? Or maybe the 'system' did not work that way?

Cheers

Alie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Ian Bowbrick

Reading this thread certainly brings you down to earth with a bump!

Forgetting the crass pedantics of KiA or DoWs, spare a thought for a Mother or Father who suddenly find out that not one but two of their sons have been killed and more or less at the same time.

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
armourersergeant

It puts you in mind of the part in 'Saving Private Ryan' where the mother collapses to the ground as the padre/preist gets out of the car. As a father i cant think of anything worse than the loss of a child let alone two or more.

Arm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch

and as a father, by my reckoning the most poignant inscription, seen on the Somme

"would to God I could have died in your place, my son"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David_Bluestein
It puts you in mind of the part in 'Saving Private Ryan' where the mother collapses to the ground as the padre/preist gets out of the car. As a father i cant think of anything worse than the loss of a child let alone two or more.

Arm.

That movie sequence stands out in my mind as probably one of the top three most powerful sequences I have ever seen. No matter how many times I have seen Saving Private Ryan, that scene still brings tears to my eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Geoff S

I understand that the 14th Battalion A.I.F had twins killed on the same day during the War. I cannot locate more details as yet.

Steve- Interesting note you make about the A.I.F allowing family members to serve together in the same unit.

Have found reference to an attack by the 16th Btn on Mouquet Farm on Aug 29-30, 1916 where 4760Pte F.B Burrows, age 57, was a member of "B" Company, led by his son, Lieut. W. H. Burrows, M.C. and Bar.

Interesting reversal son commanding the father, pretty unusual I would bet!

Regards

Geoff S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Pete Wood

In memory of Captain Clayton Ratsey and Captain Donald Ratsey, both killed on the 12th August 1915, 8th Hants (Isle of Wight Rifles) in Gallipoli; sons of Thomas and Lucy Ratsey of "Granville", Cowes, Isle of Wight.

The Ratsey family were, for hundreds of years, the premier sail makers of England.

The youngest of the three brothers, Lieutenant Stephen Ratsey, of the same regiment, was killed on 19th April 1917 at Gaza.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AndrewThornton

Six sets of brothers are known to have died on 13th October 1915 while serving with 137th (Staffordshire) Infantry Brigade – one pair with 1/5th South Staffords and four pairs and one set of three brothers in the 1/5th North Staffords. There are also two men who may have been brothers - 2873 Lance-Corporal Reginald Tonks and 2872 Private Roland Tonks. Both men came from Willenhall and have consecutive regimental numbers, but in the absence of any further information to confirm any relationship this has not been proven. The names of five sets of brothers can be found together on the memorial:

1/5th South Staffords:

9303 Private John Stephens

9302 Private Richard Stephens

The brothers came from Wimblebury, a village near Cannock. Both men had worked as miners before the war.

1/5th North Staffords:

2486 Private Alfred Barlow

3699 Private Thomas Barlow

Sons of Matilda Barlow and the late Thomas Barlow of 30 Meir Hay Road in Normacot

1323 Private Ernest Flannagan

3478 Private James Flannagan

2075 Private William Flannagan

All three brothers lived in Longton.

2207 Private Arthur Glover

1000 Private Graham Glover

Sons of W. G. Glover, who lived at 65 Old Road in Stone.

3022 Private George Parr

3277 Private Reginald Parr

Sons of Harry and Sarah Ellen Parr, of 28 West Street in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

1550 Private Arthur Dale and 1541 Private Fred Dale, two brothers from Kidsgrove, were also killed on 13th October with the 1/5th North Staffords. An obituary notice for Fred Dale appeared in the “Staffordshire Weekly Sentinel on 13th November 1915:

“Unofficial information was received a few days ago that Private Fred Dale, 1st-5th North Staffordshire Regiment, son of Mr. M. Dale, School-lane, Kidsgrove, was killed in action on October 13th. The parents, however, continued to hope, but on Thursday the suspense was removed by official intimation that he had been killed. Pte. Dale was a member of the 1st-5th North Staffordshire Regiment at the outbreak of the war, and was then mobilised. His brother Arthur was also in the same regiment, but no tidings of him have been received from him since October 13th. Another brother, Charles, is in a Welsh regiment and is at present on furlough from France.”

Fred Dale has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, but the body of Arthur Dale was found and identified after the war and is buried in the No. 2 Canadian Cemetery at Neuville St Vaast, (Plot VIII, Row G, Grave 3).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul Reed
This could be a silly question, but when the family were being informed of their deaths, particularly if the brothers or father/son lived at the same address, would they have been told about both via one telegram? Or maybe the 'system' did not work that way?

A telegram was sent for each casualty; I know for sure the Pannell family from Worthing, who lost three sons on 30th June 1916, had a telegram for each one of them, and a fourth for the one who was Missing, believed POW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aliecoco

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the reply, now I know!

Alie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will O'Brien
There are also two men who may have been brothers - 2873 Lance-Corporal Reginald Tonks and 2872 Private Roland Tonks. Both men came from Willenhall and have consecutive regimental numbers, but in the absence of any further information to confirm any relationship this has not been proven.

Andrew - No i'm pretty sure these were not brothers

1901 census shows 1 Rowland Tonks in the Willenhall area - son of Enoch & Hannah of 35 Temple Bar, Willenhall

Also shows 2 Reginald Tonks neither have parents corresponding to the above

Reginald number 1 son of Charles & Sarah of Thompson Street, Willenhall

Reginald number 2 son of Clara of Heath Villa, Clothier Street, Willenhall

Will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jacky Platteeuw

Another 3 examples on the Menin Gate.

OLLARD, Private, BENJAMIN THOMAS, L/13473. "D" Coy. 3rd Bn. Middlesex Regiment. 3rd May 1915. Age 22. Son of Henry and Amelia Ollard, of 9, Chester Rd., Lower Edmonton, London.

OLLARD, Private, WILLIAM JOHN, 3509. "C" Coy. 3rd Bn. Royal Fusiliers. 3rd May 1915. Age 30. Son of Mr. H. and Mrs. A. Ollard, of 9, Chester Rd., Lower Edmonton, London; husband of Daisy W. H. Clark (formerly Ollard), of 13, St. Mary's Rd., Lower Edmonton, London.

HEDGES, Private, HARRY, 8514. 2nd Bn. Wiltshire Regiment. 24th October 1914. Age 23. Son of the late Isaac and Hester Hedges.

HEDGES, Private, THOMAS, 8450. 2nd Bn. Wiltshire Regiment. 24th October 1914. Age 28. Son of the late Isaac and Hester Hedges.

BATCHELOR, Private, HENRY WILLIAM, 5098. 3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales' Own). 31st October 1914. Age 28. Son of Joseph and Eliza Batchelor, of 42, Tucker St., Watford; husband of Alice Maud Batchelor of 46, Tucker St., Watford, Herts.

BATCHELOR, Private, JOSEPH, 2484. 3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales' Own). 31st October 1914. Age 29. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Batchelor, of 42, Tucker St., Watford, Herts; husband of Mrs. J. Batchelor, of 94, Kilravock St., Queen's Park Estate, North Kensington, London.

Maybe it would be a good idea to collect this thread and put it into an article on Chris main website ?. How about it Chris?. This would give everybody the opportunity to add names to the article as I am sure other(s) will be found in the future. Personally I am only half through the research of the Menin Gate so it is most probable that I will find other ones. Problem with the DF is that once the subject is not 'hot' anymore it tends to be forgotten. Articles do have, in my opinion, a more permanent character. May I also draw your attention, in this perspective, to the: www.silentcities.co.uk site which certainly will mention such cases

Jacky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aliecoco

Hi Jacky,

That sounds like a great idea! So many people have contributed to this thread with interesting information and statistics, it would be great to create a more permanent place for it all.

Alie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AndrewThornton

Will

Thanks for looking up the information on the two Tonks for me. You have cleared up a long-standing query I had about them.

Thanks again

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hedley Malloch

And there are a pair of Kiwi Anzacs, the Holz brothers, buried in Motor Car Corner Cemetery, Ploegsteert. They enlisted together, died together and are buried together.

Also the Fisher brothers, three killed in two days at Gallipoli and commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Geoff Parker

Last year I saw the headstones for two brothers buried in Maple Copse Cemetery side by side and if memory serves me correctly they both died on the same day, and they had sequential service numbers. However I cant remember the surname nor the Regt. To this day I regret not photographing the headstones, and I wondered at the time what the odds were, judging by the posts above not as great as I thought.

Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hedley Malloch
Therefore, the odds of brother number one being killed on any given day is 1:1449.

The odds of brother number two being killed on any single day is also 1:1449.

To work out the odds of both being killed on the same day the calculation is 1449 x 1449 = 2,099,601 to 1.

As I see it the maths work like this:

There are 1449 days in the war.

Brother A is killed on any day in the war. It does not matter when this date occurs.

The chances of brother B being killed on the same day are 1449 to 1.

Therefore the chances of two brothers being killed on the same day are 1449 to one. Quite high, really.

The sheer number of cases reported in this thread suggest that we are not looking at a one in two million phenomenon. Given that there were 725,000 fatalities in the British Army then working on a one in two million probability, the chances of finding one pair of brothers killed on the same day would be small. As it is we have quite a few.

Any other offers on the maths/stats front?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch

I agree the Hartley big number, not the Malloch version, but with my proviso that you have to say "given that they were both killed in the war". The fact that we come up with a goodly [badly really] number of examples is that we are not talking "all other things being equal" here. Brothers did tend to join same units, and so were exposed to same risks on same days. If they had gone slightly separate ways, one or the other could have been peeling potatoes 10 miles behind lines.

Oh, and it is not 1449 days, I think. Depending on when you say go! it is about 1540 [and don't forget the Leap Year].

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John_Hartley

LB - Alie's original post was about the odds of two brothers who died on the same day, which obviously excludes all cases where two brothers served and did not die on the same day.

Hedley - I stand by the basis for my statistical calculation. You're right that the odds of each brother dying on a certain day is 1449:1 (or however many days there were). It's when you calculate the odds of it happening twice on the same day that you multiply them together.

Using the figures of 725000 casualties and 1500 days, gives an average of some 480 deaths a day. Think of the odds that, out of all the soldiers, two of these 480 on a given day would be brothers. It's why statistics are even better than smoke and mirrors for concealing the reality of a situation - which is why governments publish so many, so often (he said, speaking as a civil servant).

David's observation about brothers often being in action together is the sad reality that my statistics do not try to hide.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hedley Malloch

John - think about it this way. You were born on one of 365 days the year. What are the odds on the person next to you having the same birthday? Are they 365:1 or (365x365):1 They are 365:1. In the same way here the odds of the second brother dying on the same day as the first are 1449:1.

Come at it another way. Let's keep the figures simple. Assume 800,000 KIA in the British Army. How many were brothers? I don't know, but let's say 10%. That gives us 80,000 brothers KIA. Using a big probability of 2,000,000:1 of a pair being killed on the same day, how many would we expect to find in a population of 80,000?. Well,, that's 80,000/2,000,000 = .04. In other words if the big probability is right we would be extremely lucky to find one pair of brothers killed on the same day. In fact we have quite a few.

Do the same calculation with a small probability of 1449 (say 1500). 80,000/1500 = 54 deaths or 27 pairs of brothers. This seems to be much nearer the mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Annette Burgoyne

In my post about the Wellings brothers of K.S.L.I. I mentioned there being another set of bothers in the Regt. which I thought died on the same day. I have now founded them but I was wrong about them being killed on same day. Their details are still interesting as one Died of wounds on 2/4/16 and the other was killed in action the following day. The odds of this must be on the slim side. Here are their details for those who are interested.

FRANCIS, Private, William Orlando, 18036. Born Montgomery. 7th Bn. King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Died of wounds 2nd April 1916. Age 25. Son of Thomas and Susannah Francis, of The Outtrack, Craven Arms. Burn LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY - Poperinge.

FRANCIS, Private, THOMAS, 18035. Born Montgomery. 7th Bn. King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Killed in action 3rd April 1916. Age 23. Son of Thomas and Susannah Francis, of The Tally Ho, Boulden, Diddlebury, Craven Arms. His name is on the Menin Gate.

I wonder if Thomas knew of Williams death ?

I know the address of parents is different but The Outtrack may be the nick name of The Tally Ho, which I think was and may be still is a pub ?

Annette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Alie,

Two brothers killed on the same day to add to the above list:

The sons of George R. and Theresa J. Wright of Birkenhead

David Henry Wright

AB., RNVR

Serv. No. Mersey/4/18

aged 19

and

Alfred Wright

AB., RNVR

Serv. No. Mersey/4/22

aged 17

Both died on 13 January 1915 when HMS Viknor sank off Tory Island (N. Ireland) after hitting a German mine in heavy seas. HMS Viknor sank with all hands (22 officers and 273 ratings - Commander E. O. Ballantyne). She was an Armed Merchant Cruiser, originally the Blue Star Line's 5386 ton vessel 'Viking' and served as part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron.

I came across their names in Fevyer & Wilson's book "The 1914 Star to the RN and RM." They were both entitled to the 1914 Star having served with the Nelson Battalion of the RND at Antwerp in that year. The are commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Regards

Michael D.R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BMoorhouse

Two brothers killed on the same day (3rd September 1916 - in tha capture of Guillemont) were the Porter brothers (Charles and Thomas) from Enmore in Somerset. Both were serving with the 7th Somerset Light Infantry.

One was killed going to the assistance of the other that had become a casualty.

I am not surprised at the high number of relatives killed on the same day - given that at the beginning of the war volunteers were kept together so far as possible. If a particular platoon was hit by a shell or machinegun fire then grouped casualties are much more likely. There are also situations, as above, where a man having been hit (ie he was in a dangerous place) was then helped by a relative who puts himself in the same situation.

Brendon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jim_davies

Pte Sidney Archiblad Copp, 20042, 2nd Devons. Age 22.

Pte Thomas Copp, 20402, 9th Devons. Age 32.

Both KIA on 1 Jul 1916. Sons of William & Polly Copp, of mount Pleasant, Brannich, Devon.

2nd Lt Arthur Wright Bosworth, 8th Lincs. Age 30

Lt Philip Charles Worthington Bosworth, 8th Lincs. Age 30

Both killed 26 Sep 1915. Sons of Thomas Jones Bosworth & Annie Bosworth.

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Pete Wood
2nd Lt Arthur Wright Bosworth, 8th Lincs. Age 30

Lt Philip Charles Worthington Bosworth, 8th Lincs. Age 30

Both killed 26 Sep 1915. Sons of Thomas Jones Bosworth & Annie Bosworth.

Jim

Were they twins....??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...