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6th Innsikillng Dragoons


Simon_Fielding
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I'm puzzled: One of the casualties on the Bewdley war memorial is:

Private William BOW 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons attached “C” Squadron, 1st Life Guards b. Wrelesford Bewdley Worcs. e. Kidderminster (Bewdley) 4425 killed in action France and Flanders Friday 30th October 1914

 Aged 30

 Son of George and Emma Bow of 10 Welch Gate Bewdley

 Husband of Maud A. Bow of 20 Pleasant Place, Dog Lane, Bewdley

 Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaandren, Belgium

 Panel 5

 from “Offence Renewed: October 30th 1914” Ypres 1914 - Death of an Army AH Farrar-Hockley Pan (1967) London

 ‘...The heavy shelling from 6.45 to 8AM which fell upon the Gheluvelt defences proceeded in parallel to the south where the 1st and 2nd Life Guards manned trenches with the machine gun of the Blues below the hillock of Zandvoorde. The high explosive fell and blew and blasted amongst the squadrons, some of whose trenches were dug in echelon across the valley to the bank of the Ypres-Comines canal...Those on the slope of Zandevoorde hill faced west and the 400 men, the sum of two regiments, who had stood to at dawn had been reduced to 320 by eight o’clock. The brigade commander then saw a mass of Germans approaching - two regiments of the 39th Division and three battalions of jager. He decided that his regiments must be moved back before they were overwhelmed and sent these orders to the two commanding officers. But the squadrons on the slopes and the section of machine guns could not get out; the enemy guns had already fired on the target of their trenches many times and the moment they were seen in the open, shrapnel was added to the high explosive. They were annihilated. The Life Guards belonged to the 7th Cavalry Brigade in the 3rd Cavalry Division”

Which seems fine...but the 1914-1918 site says:

6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons

August 1914 : in Muttra,India, part of the Mhow Cavalry Brigade. Moved to France, landing Marseilles 14 December 1914.

14 December 1914 : Brigade joined 2nd Indian Cavalry Division

September 1915 : Brigade moved to 1st Indian Cavalry Division

10 March 1918: moved to 7th Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division

6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (Service Squadron)

November 1914 :formed in Enniskillen, as Divisional Cavalry for 36th (Ulster) Division

June 1916 : transferred to X Corps

Mid 1917 : unit broken up, personnel moved to 9th (Service) Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers

How did he come to be at Ypres? The unit was either in India or in Ireland....or was he transferred to the Life Guards while on leave?

Simon

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If you would Conor - that would be great.

Simon

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All the sources I have also say that the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons were in India on the outbreak of war.

However, "Soldiers Died in the Great War" lists 18 men from the the 6th who died on 30th October 1914. Checking them against the CWGC database reveals that they were probably all attached to the Life Guards. (I say "probably" because the CWGC records that some of them were, but this information isn't included for all of them.)

The 6th Dragoons lost a total of 33 men between the outbreak of war and 14th December 1914, when the unit arrived in France from India, all being killed in action or died of wounds in France/Flanders.

There was was also one officer, Capt. Herringham who was killed on 31st October. He was attached to the 5th Dragoon Guards.

So - there seems to have been a number of 6th Dragoons in France rather than in India, and they must have been in the UK for some reason and been sent straight out to France attached to the Life Guards. Some of them may have been recent recruits who would normally have been sent out to India. Not all were, though. Of the 33, 21 were Privates and two were sergeants. One man had served in the South African war.

Hope this helps!

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Really helpful Tom: thanks a lot.

Simon

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  • 6 years later...

I am related to William Bow by marriage. Upon his death in 1914, William left behind not just a widow, Maud Agatha (who was Irish, her maiden name being O'Shea), but also two young daughters, Ella (born 1909) and Doris (born 1911). Ella later married my maternal grandfather, after the premature death of his first wife. In fact, Ella is still alive as I write this, her 100th birthday having passed just yesterday - but she is in a very frail condition in a nursing home and her life is gradually slipping away. She is no longer able to communicate.

Maud married again in 1936, and the military photograph (in either Boer War or Great War uniform) on her Coventry prefab wall in the 1950s must have been an image of her second husband, John W. H. Jones. I never heard her talk about William Bow. But amongst Ella's possessions are at least two photographs of William - one in what I take to be dress uniform and the other not. The dress uniform photograph is also used as the basis of a framed commemorative plaque that has survived to the present day.

It would be interesting - given the history - to work out precisely which uniform William is wearing in the photograph, and to post details of the inscription. I'm not in a position to do that today (I'm back home in Yorkshire, and the photograph is at my sister's house in Warwickshire), but in due course I must supply that information.

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Hello all

There are two plausible explanations, though in fact they are linked:

1. He was a recalled cavalry reservist in 1914, not needed by his own regiment and so held at one of the six Cavalry Depots, two of which served all the Dgn Guards and Dragoon regiments. He was then sent out to France as a reinforcement for cavalry regiments in general.

2. He was a batman to one of the staff officers of the Cavalry Div or a Cav Brigade (these men were mostly cavalry reservists) and went to a Household Cavalry regiment from there.

In the second case, the date of entry into theatre, shown on his medal index card, may indicate that he was in France before the bulk of 1st Life Guards. (The H Cav formed a composite regt in Aug 1914, with one squadron from each regiment,. This was broken up when the three regts were sent to France, the squadrons rejoining their respective parents.)

Ron

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Coincidentally, there has been an enquiry on the "ask away" part of the Long, Long Trail this week, about a 6th Dragoon KIA on 21 October 1914. I also concluded that he was attached to the 2nd Life Guards, but without being able to tell why. The "reservist" theory might hold good, I guess.

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  • 5 months later...
Guest angela.wrench
I am related to William Bow by marriage. Upon his death in 1914, William left behind not just a widow, Maud Agatha (who was Irish, her maiden name being O'Shea), but also two young daughters, Ella (born 1909) and Doris (born 1911). Ella later married my maternal grandfather, after the premature death of his first wife. In fact, Ella is still alive as I write this, her 100th birthday having passed just yesterday - but she is in a very frail condition in a nursing home and her life is gradually slipping away. She is no longer able to communicate.

Maud married again in 1936, and the military photograph (in either Boer War or Great War uniform) on her Coventry prefab wall in the 1950s must have been an image of her second husband, John W. H. Jones. I never heard her talk about William Bow. But amongst Ella's possessions are at least two photographs of William - one in what I take to be dress uniform and the other not. The dress uniform photograph is also used as the basis of a framed commemorative plaque that has survived to the present day.

It would be interesting - given the history - to work out precisely which uniform William is wearing in the photograph, and to post details of the inscription. I'm not in a position to do that today (I'm back home in Yorkshire, and the photograph is at my sister's house in Warwickshire), but in due course I must supply that information.

Hi

I was very interested to find this forum when I googled William Bow....he is my great great uncle....my fathers mother(Dorothy Bow) father (James Bow 1875-oldest child of George and Emma, and older brother to William) brother...

I am undertaking my family history...I saw that he was killed in action but didnt know whether he go married etc...so your info regarding Ella proved very interesting...is she still alive?...its so strange as my sister called my niece Ella aswell....

James Bow, my great grandad (Worcestershire Reg Royal Engineers-Sgt Reg No.199/ 79762) also served as a seargent in WW1 France but cannot find any records only his medal card...am in process of writing to the Worcestershire Reg for any info where exactly he served etc..

Regards

Anj

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  • 1 year later...

Hello, Anj. I haven't been here for a long time, so I've only just seen your post. I'm having trouble understanding the connections, given the way you typed them out. Please have another go. In the meantime, sadly Ella died just a short while after I posted that message.

I now realise that I should have said "Dorothy", not "Doris".

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm puzzled: One of the casualties on the Bewdley war memorial is:

Private William BOW 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons attached “C” Squadron, 1st Life Guards b. Wrelesford Bewdley Worcs. e. Kidderminster (Bewdley) 4425 killed in action France and Flanders Friday 30th October 1914

 Aged 30

 Son of George and Emma Bow of 10 Welch Gate Bewdley

 Husband of Maud A. Bow of 20 Pleasant Place, Dog Lane, Bewdley

 Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaandren, Belgium

 Panel 5

 from “Offence Renewed: October 30th 1914” Ypres 1914 - Death of an Army AH Farrar-Hockley Pan (1967) London

 ‘...The heavy shelling from 6.45 to 8AM which fell upon the Gheluvelt defences proceeded in parallel to the south where the 1st and 2nd Life Guards manned trenches with the machine gun of the Blues below the hillock of Zandvoorde. The high explosive fell and blew and blasted amongst the squadrons, some of whose trenches were dug in echelon across the valley to the bank of the Ypres-Comines canal...Those on the slope of Zandevoorde hill faced west and the 400 men, the sum of two regiments, who had stood to at dawn had been reduced to 320 by eight o’clock. The brigade commander then saw a mass of Germans approaching - two regiments of the 39th Division and three battalions of jager. He decided that his regiments must be moved back before they were overwhelmed and sent these orders to the two commanding officers. But the squadrons on the slopes and the section of machine guns could not get out; the enemy guns had already fired on the target of their trenches many times and the moment they were seen in the open, shrapnel was added to the high explosive. They were annihilated. The Life Guards belonged to the 7th Cavalry Brigade in the 3rd Cavalry Division”

Which seems fine...but the 1914-1918 site says:

6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons

August 1914 : in Muttra,India, part of the Mhow Cavalry Brigade. Moved to France, landing Marseilles 14 December 1914.

14 December 1914 : Brigade joined 2nd Indian Cavalry Division

September 1915 : Brigade moved to 1st Indian Cavalry Division

10 March 1918: moved to 7th Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division

6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (Service Squadron)

November 1914 :formed in Enniskillen, as Divisional Cavalry for 36th (Ulster) Division

June 1916 : transferred to X Corps

Mid 1917 : unit broken up, personnel moved to 9th (Service) Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers

How did he come to be at Ypres? The unit was either in India or in Ireland....or was he transferred to the Life Guards while on leave?

Simon

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Hi,

In answer to you question,all 6th inniskilling reservists recalled in 1914 were posted to either the Life guards or the 2nd dragoon guards(The Queens Bays).My Grandfather and his brother both 6th innis.reservists were sent to Willems barracks Aldershot, then posted to the 2nd dragoon Guards landing in France 8th October 1914.

Mel.

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Not sure if anyone would be interested, but I have a picture from the Belfast Evening Telegraph (January 1915) of Service Squadron, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons.

If interested, drop me a PM with email address.

Regards

Nigel

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  • 1 month later...

Hi AnjW

Sorry to have neglected you - have been absent from the forum due to illness but I promise to respond soon!

Simon

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Simon

4425 PTE WILLIAM BOW 6th Inniskilling Dragoons of Bewdley served in S Africa and was award the Queen's Medal with the clasps CC,OFS,Trans.S A 1901 S A1902

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Hi - There is a good account of Inniskilling Dragoons being drafted into the Life Guards. The very readable "Troop Horse and Trench" by R A Lloyd (1st Life Guards) - the experiences of a British Lifeguardsman of the Household Cavalry fighting on the western Front during the First World War 1914-1918. http://www.amazon.co...04412772&sr=8-1 page 72 an account of the mobilisation in August 1914:

"
Owing to our scanty reserves, the authorities decided to build the three Houshold Cavalry regiments to war establishment with line-cavalry reservists. Accordingly we filled up with Dragoons and Dragoon Guards, the 2nd Life Guards with Lancers and the Blues with Hussars. Our Dragoons began to arrive almost immediately in batches from twenty to a hundred, and within a week or so we had reached the full compliment of six hundred men. ABout 70 per cent of the whole number were Inniskillens (for some reason or other, which I never ascertain, spelt 'Inniskillings'). The next largest faction came from the 1st King's...... A merry dance they led us for a time. The 'Skins' being the most numerous section regarded mobilisation as a reunion and an occasion for great and prolonged jollification. Their high spritits were understandable to me at least.Most of them were Irishmen but of the Liverpool, Glasgow and Tyneside varieties. Only comparitively few came from the 'old country' and there was the never failing sprinkling of cockneys. All of them had served together for seven years in India, except for a short spell in Egypt on the way out. For about a year on average they had been home on the reserve and had not quite settled down to the comparatively drab existence as civilians. Now here they were, quite unexpectedly collected together again in one place, as if by magic. No wonder they felt inclined to make merry. Their NCOs were few and feeble. Naturally the 'Skins' were not going to send us their best NCOs....
"

Edit: It goes on for a few more pages describing the rowdiness of the Skins and how they resented being sent to the Life Guards. There are four pages on the Action of 30th October and he describes C Sqn as being almost wiped out..."Both A and D Sqns had sustained losses but C Sqn had with the exception of Charlie Wright and six or seven men been absolutely wiped out. Charlie and his little bunch were not in the same section of line with their Sqn, but in close touch with D Sqn. When the order to retire was given, it did not reach the main body of C Sqn owing to its position being slightly detached from, and in front on the left of, the rest of the Regiment. Lord Hugh Grosvenor, C Sqn leader was not the man who would retire without orders, so they just fought it out and died where they stood. No trace of Lord Huch and his hundred odd men was ever found....". Interestingly, four Officers of the Life Guards died that day. In addition to Maj Hugh Grosvenor (son of Lord Grosvenor), Lt The Hon Gerald Francis Ward (son of the 1st Earl odf Dudley), Capt Edward Denis Festus Kelly and Lt John Charles Closebrooks were Killed in action. Looks to me like most of a whole Sqhn's Officers - OC, 2IC and 2 of the 4 Troop Leaders.

EDIT: There are 14 men from the 1st Life Guards KIA on 30th Oct 1914 and 19men from the 6th Dragoons (Inniskillings) KIA on 30th Oct 1914 of which 5 are specifically mentioned as being attached to the 1st Life Guards of which 3 specifically were attached to C Sqn 1st Life Guards (including William Bow). A further 5 men of the 1st Life Guards and 2 men of the Skins were KIA on 31st October 1914 (possibly DOW, or late reports as the Regt was pulled out on 30th Oct). AlI except one of the 21 'Skins' are commemorated on the Menin Gate. I suspect at least 20 of the Inniskillings were attached to the 1st Life Guards and it would see from R A Lloyd's account that C Sqn took the brunt of the German attack on that day. With a wounded & Missing -to-Killed ration of 2, say, one can easily see how well over a hundred men could be accounted for as casualties that day..... Regards MG

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Simon

Not sure if this will be of interest, but I have a photo of Officers & NCOs of Service Squadron, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. It is a copy of a photo that was printed in the Belfast Evening Telegraph on 28th January 1915 and it names the source as "Nicholls, Enniskillen".

PM me if you want a copy of the image.

Nigel

Oops, looks like I had already mentioned the picture earlier in the thread.

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Thank you Martin - this is great material. Copy of the book on order!!

Simon

Hi - There is a good account of Inniskilling Dragoons being drafted into the Life Guards. The very readable "Troop Horse and Trench" by R A Lloyd (1st Life Guards) - the experiences of a British Lifeguardsman of the Household Cavalry fighting on the western Front during the First World War 1914-1918. http://www.amazon.co...04412772&sr=8-1 page 72 an account of the mobilisation in August 1914:

"
Owing to our scanty reserves, the authorities decided to build the three Houshold Cavalry regiments to war establishment with line-cavalry reservists. Accordingly we filled up with Dragoons and Dragoon Guards, the 2nd Life Guards with Lancers and the Blues with Hussars. Our Dragoons began to arrive almost immediately in batches from twenty to a hundred, and within a week or so we had reached the full compliment of six hundred men. ABout 70 per cent of the whole number were Inniskillens (for some reason or other, which I never ascertain, spelt 'Inniskillings'). The next largest faction came from the 1st King's...... A merry dance they led us for a time. The 'Skins' being the most numerous section regarded mobilisation as a reunion and an occasion for great and prolonged jollification. Their high spritits were understandable to me at least.Most of them were Irishmen but of the Liverpool, Glasgow and Tyneside varieties. Only comparitively few came from the 'old country' and there was the never failing sprinkling of cockneys. All of them had served together for seven years in India, except for a short spell in Egypt on the way out. For about a year on average they had been home on the reserve and had not quite settled down to the comparatively drab existence as civilians. Now here they were, quite unexpectedly collected together again in one place, as if by magic. No wonder they felt inclined to make merry. Their NCOs were few and feeble. Naturally the 'Skins' were not going to send us their best NCOs....
"

Edit: It goes on for a few more pages describing the rowdiness of the Skins and how they resented being sent to the Life Guards. There are four pages on the Action of 30th October and he describes C Sqn as being almost wiped out..."Both A and D Sqns had sustained losses but C Sqn had with the exception of Charlie Wright and six or seven men been absolutely wiped out. Charlie and his little bunch were not in the same section of line with their Sqn, but in close touch with D Sqn. When the order to retire was given, it did not reach the main body of C Sqn owing to its position being slightly detached from, and in front on the left of, the rest of the Regiment. Lord Hugh Grosvenor, C Sqn leader was not the man who would retire without orders, so they just fought it out and died where they stood. No trace of Lord Huch and his hundred odd men was ever found....". Interestingly, four Officers of the Life Guards died that day. In addition to Maj Hugh Grosvenor (son of Lord Grosvenor), Lt The Hon Gerald Francis Ward (son of the 1st Earl odf Dudley), Capt Edward Denis Festus Kelly and Lt John Charles Closebrooks were Killed in action. Looks to me like most of a whole Sqhn's Officers - OC, 2IC and 2 of the 4 Troop Leaders.

EDIT: There are 14 men from the 1st Life Guards KIA on 30th Oct 1914 and 19men from the 6th Dragoons (Inniskillings) KIA on 30th Oct 1914 of which 5 are specifically mentioned as being attached to the 1st Life Guards of which 3 specifically were attached to C Sqn 1st Life Guards (including William Bow). A further 5 men of the 1st Life Guards and 2 men of the Skins were KIA on 31st October 1914 (possibly DOW, or late reports as the Regt was pulled out on 30th Oct). AlI except one of the 21 'Skins' are commemorated on the Menin Gate. I suspect at least 20 of the Inniskillings were attached to the 1st Life Guards and it would see from R A Lloyd's account that C Sqn took the brunt of the German attack on that day. With a wounded & Missing -to-Killed ration of 2, say, one can easily see how well over a hundred men could be accounted for as casualties that day..... Regards MG

Hi Nigel -

Sorry to have missed this - I'd love a copy of the picture and will PM you.

Cheers

Simon

Simon

Not sure if this will be of interest, but I have a photo of Officers & NCOs of Service Squadron, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. It is a copy of a photo that was printed in the Belfast Evening Telegraph on 28th January 1915 and it names the source as "Nicholls, Enniskillen".

PM me if you want a copy of the image.

Nigel

Oops, looks like I had already mentioned the picture earlier in the thread.

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Thanks Corona - could you clarify the abbreviations? Orange Free State? Cape Colony?

Simon

Simon

4425 PTE WILLIAM BOW 6th Inniskilling Dragoons of Bewdley served in S Africa and was award the Queen's Medal with the clasps CC,OFS,Trans.S A 1901 S A1902

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Thank you Martin - this is great material. Copy of the book on order!!

Simon

Simon - I think it interesting that your man died in action with (arguably) Britian's richest heir (Grosvenor) I assume Grosvenor's batman was in the thick of it dying on his feet and staring the enemy in the eye. All flesh is grass. It reminds me of (Kipling's I think) epitaphs on the Equality of Sacrifice and to A Servant;

Equality of Sacrifice.

A: I was a Have

B: I was a Have Not

Together: What hast Thou given, which I gave not?

A Servant

We were together since the war began

He was my servant - and the better man.

I have probably misquoted these but you get the idea. A richer earth indeed. MG

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry for the late reply to this thread - yes, a sobering reminder of the 'great leveller' - and aren't those Kipling Epitaphs absolutely soul-wrenching?

Simon

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  • 2 years later...

Simon,

A very interesting thread. I am off to Zandvoorde next week on a recce as the Household Cavalry are conducting a memorial service on 26 October and possibly a march through either Zandvoorde or Zonnebeke. I know some families are planning to join us. Drop me a line if you want some more details. Regards, Brian

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Hi Brian,

Living in Zonnebeke and an ex-cavalryman, I'd like to know more details about the Household Cavalry Memorial 'doings' around 26th October.

Regards,

Wayne

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Sorry I didn't pick this up Brian - I would love to hear your plans. I was in Zandevoorde in 2010. Still inching towards publication! Bow and the Life Guards is still one of the most striking 'memorial' stories I've encountered. I'll post some bits and pieces...firstly a good photo of Bow circa Boer war from the local paper:


Zandervoorde memorial...

post-50-0-52681100-1392162838_thumb.jpg

post-50-0-64160600-1392162938_thumb.jpg

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