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Bedfordshire WW1


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Its been very interesting to read the post here and look at the photos. My great grandfather was born in Bedford and lived at 3 Castle Hill. John was a Private in the 5th Bedfordshire Regiment during the Great War, according to the National Roll of Honour: "He was mobilized with the Territorials in August 1914 and retained at home on various important duties before being drafted to France. There he took part in the battle of Ypres, Arras, Cambrai and the Somme (11) and other engagements during the retreat and advance of 1918. He was demobilized in March 1919, and holds the General Service Medal and the Victory Medal". John worked at WH Allen`s Engineering Works, Bedford as an Iron Moulder and in the evening went to the County Theatre [Midland Road] where he would work as a scene shifter or acting extra.

Mike

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Who was he Mike - I may have somethign on him if he was a 5th Btn man?

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Hi

Oops I fogot to list his name. My great grandfather was John James Lovell. He had quite a large family and had a brother in the same battalion and another in the grenadier guards.

mike

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Hi Mike.

Firstly, I guess 3 Castle Hill, where your Gt Grandfather lived and 3 Castle Hill Cottages where Dring lived were different addresses. they must have lived close by though and also known each other.

Secondly, the NRGW is not always too accurate. The 5th Battalion never served in Europe so the record for J J Lovell is at odds with him being with this battalion.

Perhaps he was with the reserve 5th Battalion and transferred to another battalion of the Beds. I will do some checking.

Cheers.

Now I have done the checking!

As I suspected, Pte 3107 later 200111 JJ Lovell was with the 3/5th Bedfordshire Rgt (Reserve Territorial). He was transferred to the 7th Battalion from the 1st to the 18th June 1917, he then transferred to the 2nd Battalion with whom he completed the war.

Let me do more digging as I have researched this man for some reason that currently eludes me!

Cheers.

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hi,

i will look up the copy of his army file that i have after work today. i know it says he was too old to go to france with the first wave of troops. i somehow have the idea it may have been the 1st battalion when he was overseas but i will look it up. 3 castle hil was where my grandmother was born. i believe it was near a brewery which is now bedford museum. she had 3 brothers, chris, reg & archie who were boxers in the 1920's/30's. I have an old newspaper article about them too.

will let u know more when i look uop the records.

mike

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Raster Scanning,

Thanks for noticing my article in the Gallipolian. Rest assured there will be more about Bedford in the history I am writing. There was a genuine mutual fondness that developed between the Highlanders and the people of Bedford that is mentioned in many letters, journals and diaries.

Mike Morrison

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As a follow up to my last post-taken from a disability claim:

John James Lovell No. 200111, Rank: Private 3rd Battalion Bedfordshire.

-Joined TA 5 July 1913.

-Annual training with 5th Battalion in 1913. Original No. 3107

-Called up 4th August 1914. Didnt go with battalion to Gallipoli due to his age.

-8-7-1916: Posted 3/5th Battalion due to his age.

-To France to join the 7th Battalion (for record purposes only) and then the 2nd Battalion A-Company 18-6-1917.

-In hopstial.

-Posted to England with 3rd Battalion - England 20-3-1918 Ampthill Depot & then Languard Camp.

-discharged 9 April 1919 aged 41.

Living at 3 Castle Hill Bedford.Occupation: Iron Moulder at WH Allens Works.

He was in and out of hospital quite often it would seem with rhuemetism (spelling) and a dose of the clap :unsure:

I would be interested to know more about the 2nd & 3rd Battalions from 1917 on.

Mike

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Mike, If it helps, the War Diaries are all here - http://www.bedfordregiment.org.uk/

There was also a Cpl 3695 J Lovell and a Pte 204608 FC Lovell (formerly 2071 RAMC) in the 5th at Gallipoli - any relation?

My Gt Grandfather and his Brother in law were both 5th Btn men, the former in the Reserves until called on for service on Gallipoli and the latter served from 1910. Chances are they all bumped into each other.

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Mike.

Now I remember!

I suspect it was me who did the research for you at Kew, when I was working in the UK for a short time in 2002.

Cheers.

John

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There was a genuine mutual fondness that developed between the Highlanders and the people of Bedford that is mentioned in many letters, journals and diaries.

Mike Morrison

I have just finished reading two different short accounts of the time the Highland Brigade were in Bedford,

One in Alexander Rule. "Student Under Arms" (Aberdeen Uni Press) Rule was part of U Coy 1/4th Gordons

and the second in W N Nicholson "Behind the Lines" (Johnathan Cape 1939)

I am awaiting delivery of another account from a U-Coy man (Sgt Forbes) and I expect that may have something in there too.

This summer I hope to spend some time collecting the local paper accounts of the period the Highland Brigade were in the town. (some are reproduced in McConachie's "student soldiers" mentioned much earlier in this thread.)

I was just thinking, 3 books written about 1 particular company ('U" Coy 1/4th Gordons TF - which with the doubling became part of D Coy) that must be some sort of record.....

As the great grandchild of a Gordon and a Bedford Lass - I will confirm the mutual fondness!

Chris

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Another Bedford picture - and one that is personal to me (photographer A Solomons)

This is James McDonald, his wife "Dolly" and their son (my granddad, born 1918 and who also worked at WH Allens from his return from the far east in 1946 until his retirement in the 80s) Probably taken sometime in late 1918/1919 as granddad was born in Feb '18, and James DOW in Cambridge (Eastern Hospital) in July 1919 - he appears to be in hospital blues in the picture.

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Hi John,

Yes it was you who did the research for me. what a small world it is. I lost your email address.

The other Lovells could have been JJ Lovells brothers or cousins. He had a brother called Harry who was also in the army.

Mike

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Mike (Morrison).

An interesting article that I enjoyed reading.

Best wishes.

John.

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John.

A fascinating and very interesting thread. The link between the People of Bedford and the Scottish Lads must have been exceptional, something special indeed.

I still live in hope to see some photographs of the Lads of the 'Shiney' 7th Bn Bedfordshire Regiment pop up on the Forum. My Great Uncle 30864 Pte Edwin Tidey served with them (My Signature) and was killed In Action at Glencorse Wood, Ypres, on 10th August 1917. I shall be in the Salient on the 90th Anniversary of his death to Honour him, his Comrades and all who fell.

Great stuff John, more please!

Regards.

Terry W.

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He had a brother called Harry who was also in the army.

Was he H.S. Lovell initially a Private / Drummer, later a Sgt Drummer? Service No 200081, later 5944271 after the war? If so, he earned a TFEM, and I have the Roll for it (not the medal unfortunately!). If its any use to you, let me know & will email to you.

John; BTW, if you are still doing a 7th book, I have a snippet for you. Not much but may be interesting. Stumbled across it folded into 8th Btn Orders today at Kew. A note scrawled by Cpt Keep at 5.50am 3rd May 1917 when they were pinned opposite Fontaine Trench. Refers to Kydd from memory but I was rushing to squeeze more in before getting booted out so cannot recall too much. Give me a yell if you want it.

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Give me a yell if you want it.

Yes please!

Thanks Steve.

Terry.

I will keep my eyes open for any mention of your Gt Uncle. Most pictures I have relate to before they went abroad and up to July 1916, I do have some pictures of them in the trenches in 1917, one of which I think I sent to you?

If not you, I will send a copy.

At no time were the 7th Bedfords (as a unit) in Bedford so no pictures here I am afraid.

Best wishes

John.

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Interesting mix of kit there John,

They seem to have 08 belts/pouches but oddly also the earlier '03 "satchel" with its broad strap. This seems to be in addition to the 08 small pack on the right? (looks too large to be waterbottles). Initially this made me wonder if they were fulfilling some specific function and the satchel contained the tools of this (signallers?, bombers? stretcher bearers?). Any idea what the white band signifies? I have some pictures of training courses with similar bands. The rifles are "Long" MLEs rather SMLEs and to my inexpert eyes the horses look like fairly heavy draft animals rather than ponies.

Chris (ps another great picture)

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John, that photo of Highland Troops is a puzzler. No bandoliers that would signify Artillery and none of the faces look familiar. The white bands were used in Officer Training were they not? Another possibility is they are going out to (or coming back from) a sham battle of which I have read they had several while at Bedford. The horse and wagon are something I haven't seen in any of the photos I have seen, however, there were three other Artillery Brigades which were conventional RFA in the Highland Division, so it could have come from that. Still - no bandoliers.

Interesting (as they all are).

Mike Morrison

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John.

Thankyou for your reply.

Yes you did send me those pictures..but for some unknown reason, I was unable to download them.

I would be gratefull if, when you have time, you would send them to me again.

In recent times the practice of wearing White Armbands is continued by 'Umpires' wearing them during military Exercises.

Keep up the good work.

Terry W. :)

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The white bands were used in Officer Training were they not? Another possibility is they are going out to (or coming back from) a sham battle of which I have read they had several while at Bedford. Mike Morrison

Mike - thanks for that I knew I had seen white bands somewhere - I have pics of officer training courses with them on, but I am sure it wouldn't have clicked in a month of Sundays. In this context (given the number in the picture) I think "enemy forces" is a better bet.

Rule has an account of a "sham battle" or rather a series of marches and mock engagements (apparently the powers that be were still planning on mobile warfare), where the Gordons left Bedford and marched to Irchester, seemed to spend much of the time in the pub there overnight, before heading off to Harrold (where after yet another night in the pub) they were "ambushed and captured by the enemy forces" - this was fascinating to me as I grew up in Rushden and know all the areas referred to well - If you do not have access to Rule and would be interested in it as background I would be happy to send it - just PM me.

Chris

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No picture but I was searching the Scotsman's Digital Archive this weekend and found a couple of Bedford related articles, 2 about an inspection by the king, then three relating to one incident, summarised (the names are included but I omitted them here):

Private of the 4th Camerons remanded on a charge of murdering another private of the same Co. The victim died in hospital two days after being stabbed with a Bayonet in a quarrel on a Friday night....

The subsequent report of the trial indicates that both were "under the influence of drink" and that the victim had fallen on the bayonet. The jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter. The victim made a statement from hospital before he died indicating that they were on friendly terms, had no quarrel and only remembered being stabbed. The 19 year old culprit was sentenced to 15 months hard labour.

and subsequently (perhaps related?)

a note that the powers that be in Bedford had ordered all establishments selling alcoholic beverages to close by 2pm on New Years eve. An idea sufficiently shocking it seems, to have made Scotland's national paper!

There was also a letter to the editor on Dec 24th 1914 from 4th Seaforth Reserve Bn Orderly Room at 33 de Parys Avenue citing a shortage of recruits and asking volunteers to apply directly to the Orderly Room.

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http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k116/ras...anning/Bute.jpg

This picture is captioned 'Bute Artillery. Church Parade'.

It shows (in the distance) the Bute Artillery being piped down Cardington Road close to the junction of Bedesman's Lane. The building on the corner was then The Blacksmith's Arms and is now the Bedford Conservative Club, St Mary's Church (now redundant) can be seen in the background.

Is there a way to get a good copy of that photo? I have a photo of the Bute Pipe band before they left.

Mike Morrison

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Mike.

Of course there is.

Email me and we can make arrangements.

I leave Australia to return to Kazakhstan today, so it may be a couple of days before I get back to you.

Chris, Interesting reading. This must be the incident mentioned on page 12 of 'Students Under Arms'.

33 De Parys Ave was occupied (according to my 1914 Kelly's Directory) by Maurice and Humphrey Hime.

It would be good to try and get a picture of no 33 as it is now.

One more job to add to the list.

Cheers.

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