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Remembered Today:

Anyone recognise these soldiers?


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Good photos, Paul.

I live right next to the Heath, where the pre-war guys had a rifle range and drank in the Hare public house.

I have been meaning for a while to improve my knowledge of the 20th Londons for some time. Do you know about the TF group; one of its members is studying this unit. Look at TF Group

There is a meeting in January. Why don't you come along...?? If you're local to Blackheath, I'll gladly give you a lift.

What's your interest in the 20th Londons....??

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Nice photos; I have a particular interest in the 20th Londons as well. I would say these are all either post-1914 or early 1914, and so will be 1/20th Londons. Hope to meet you at the TF Study group!

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Hello Paul, Hello Racingteapop,

Thank you for your kind words concerning the pictures. I have some paper clippings and other pictures in my collection. They all concern the 1/20th London.

The TFGroup sounds real interesting. The problem is that I now live in the United States (I move here 4 years ago). I really wish I could attend the meeting, it really is an amazing subject to study.

My interest in the 1/20th is due to the fact that my great uncle served with the regiment until he was KIA on the day of May 26th 1915 in Givenchy, France. His name was Alexander Jules Etheridge. His title within the regiment was "Drummer". Apprently now known grave exists.

If anyone would like the additional pictures, then email me at pleach@wfubmc.edu

Also, if anyone has any pictures, whether it be single or group pics, then I would love to see them. My ultimate goal oneday would be to write a book decicated/about to the regiment.

Who is the TFGROUP member that is interested in the 1/20th? please contact them and give them my email. Lastly, why are you all interested in the regiment aswell?

once again, thanks for the kind words and offer for a lift.

all the best

Paul

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Paul

Here are your man's details, which I'm sure youo have:

Name: ETHERIDGE, ALEXANDER JULES

Initials: A J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: London Regiment

Unit Text: 1st/20th Bn.

Age: 21

Date of Death: 26/05/1915

Service No: 1776

Additional information: Son of Eldred and Emily Etheridge, of 158, Milton Court Rd., New Cross, London.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panels 45 & 46

Cemetery: LE TOURET MEMORIAL

On the Soldiers Died Great War CD Rom it states that Alexander was born in St James, Hatcham.

He enlisted in Blackheath

He was living in New Cross.

I live just five minutes drive from new Cross, so I would be happy to take a photo of Eldred and Emily's house - if you want it......?

The post code is SE14 6JR. If you tap that post code into a website called www.multimap.com you can see where the road is. There is also the facility to look at an aerial map - you'll see how built up this area is.

Pete

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Hi Peter,

thanks for thinking of me and sharing the information. I had the information already, but it never hurts to double check. Thanks mate. In regards to 158 Milton Court Road (home of Eldred and Emily Etheridge), the house is no longer there. If you were to drive up Milton Court Road, 158 use to be right at the top on the right hand side, about the 3rd house along. I believe the house was destroyed sometime around 1944 by a german land mine. It's such a shame really, both sides of my family tree originate from Deptford, Bermondsey and Walworth areas of London, but most of the places where my family lived are no longer around.

There are a couple of places that I would be interested in seeing a picture of. The place is Alex's first home in Deptford, the address is 25 Knoyle Street. I don't know where the road is, and I don't know if it's still around, maybe you know. Also one of the major employees of my family back then was the mazzawatte tea company. I have a lovely picture of Alex's other brother Albert standing next to a Mazzawatte tea company horse and cart along Milton Court Road. We probaly all know the the Mazzawatte tea company is no longer in Deptford (or even in business infact), but is the warehouse still there?

I'll attach the pic to this message. It's always good to get a image of how the soldiers lived/worked.

Will write more later, and if you would like to see a picture of Alex in the drummers uniform, I have that too. Also I have the 1930 reunion photograph of the 1/20th.

all the best

Paul

post-1-1071895123.jpg

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I live there too ! often wondered about local regty etc, I'm sure Lewisham Loc Hist Centre would be too. What / where is this TF group - local ??, if so I'd like to join

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If anyone ever discovers that one of these soldiers is John William Christopher Smith - I kiss you. I own John's last letter home and a few effects, found at a car boot sale in Herefordshire and purchased for a princely £1.

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Paul - great photos.

I agree that they are pre-war or 1914. Bourley Camp in 1912 was in fact used as the Brigade camp for 5th Inf Bde, 2nd London Div. My own particular battalion, the 19th London Regiment, were there at the same time and I have similar photos. The bell tents in the background of one of the photos make it look like a prewar scene. By late 1914 both the 1/20th and 2/20th Londons would have been in billets. (Coincidentally the 2/19th and 2/20th Londons were both billeted within about 3 miles of where I live in Surrey from 1 Jan to mid March 1915.)

The chap researching the 20th is called Neil Bright and goes to my WFA branch meetings. He lives close to Blackheath and is building a database of all who served in the 20th. He is not currently on the forum as he has moved both house and job in recent weeks. I will send you his email off forum.

I have an interest in the 20th as its battalions were in the same brigade as those of the 19th Londons. I have also found that 12 of my 19th London officers were commissioned from the ranks of the 20th, so I am trying to find out more about them.

JulianB - the TFSG has a meeting on the 17th Jan at Cobham in Surrey. There is more here (click here). Hope you can make it.

Charles

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Hi Charles,

The photo at the top of the page, and the direct one below were actually taken at Mertsham Trenches (just outside of Reigate)in february 1915. The others I don't know, so your'e probably right.

thanks again.

paul

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My grandfather joined the 1/20th Londons in September 1912 (sadly he is not in any of the photos) and went to France in August 1915, fighting at Loos. Whilst researching him I came across this web site which may be of interest:

http://www.larigan.com/diary/Diary.htm

It is the very detailed 1915 diary of 2nd Lieut. Robert Peyton Hamilton of the 1/20th. It includes lots of information about training near Dorking etc. in the winter. He was at Givenchy. 2nd Lt Hamilton was killed on the first day of the Battle of Loos.

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The photo at the top of the page, and the direct one below were actually taken at Mertsham Trenches (just outside of Reigate) in february 1915.

If they were taken at Merstham then these are of 2/20th. (2/2nd London later 60 Div).

The brigade had moved from the Reigate area in mid March 1915. It went up to the St Albans, Herts area, taking over billets from the first line division (2nd London, later 47 Div) which had moved to France earlier in March 1915.

I will have to check the 180 Bde war diary to see if I can work out where the 2/20th were billeted. The house in the background of the first photo might be identifiable.

I have found what looks to me like a stretch of trench lines at the top of Reigate Hill. A logical place to dig them as they would have overlooked the road to London.

Your man's service no 1776 looks like a late pre-war number (1913 or early 1914).

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The 20th (reserve) battalion (2nd/20th) were formed on 3rd September 1914 under Col. E J Moore, the 1st/20th having reached war strength soon after the declaration of war.

The men initially lived at home around Greenwich, parading daily and trained and exercised by day (and night) in Greenwich Park. The big day eventually came when they marched to the Tower of London to collect rifles and bayonets. Col Moore went to Hatfield to take over the 1st/20th and Lt. Col H A Christmas took command. Officers and NCOs were trained at Hythe and Chelsea, the more experienced officers and NCOs filing out the 1st/20th. Early in the new year they moved out of London joining with the reserve 17th, 18th and 19th battalions (which had been billieted around White City. They were billeted at Betchworth in Surrey.

A company were at the rambling Wanham Manor; B coy. at Brockham (they trained in Brockham Park); C coy at Buckland and D coy at Brockham Green with battalion HQ at Betchworth House. For some of the time they were engaged in digging trenches at Merstham, parties travelling daily by train from Betchworth.

The entire division were inspected by Kitchener at Epsom in February.

Reinforcements were called upon for the 1st/20th and a party of 5 officers and men travelled from Betchworth to St Albans on March 7th (actually the 8th). The 1/20th embarked at Southampton on 9th March under Lt. Col A E Hubback who had assumed command a few days earlier and continued in command until shortly after the battle of Loos.

The 5 officers were 2/Lt C E Hamilton (I believe this is actually R P Hamilton); 2/Lt Colin Holt Hooper (who had been at Oundle School); 2/Lt T Gardner; 2/Lt C E Gray and 2/Lt H C Taylor. Hamilton and Hooper had been particularly popular officers in the reserve battalion and both died in September; Hamilton killed at Loos on 25th and Hooper dying on 29th Sept at Le Treport (in hospital) of wounds received on 25th when the battalion advanced in the tracks of the 18th Londons eventually sweeping through the 18th past Loos cemetery and on the Loos Garden City and the end of the chalk pit.

Peter Trafford's book "Love and War" gives an insight into the 1st/20th and their first few months in France.

The 2/20th in turn moved up to St Albans in April 1915.

One interesting tale attaches itself to A coy. whilst at Wanham Manor. Not one NCO or ranker could be found who had any experience as a cook. Eventually the oldest man in the battalion, still professing total ignorance of cookery, volunteered to try his hand at making the company stew. It was a great success and on the strength of this success Pte F T Bottom took on the role and was rapidly promoted to Sergeant and served as Regimental Sergeant-Master Cook. Though more than sixty years of age he fulfilled his duties without a break until the spring of 1918 when the heat of Palestine forced him to accept less exacting work at the Base. By that time he had assembled an unrivalled band of cooks around him.

Hoping this throws a little more light on matters.

Martin

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My Grandfathers friend was in the 20th County of London Battalion. I can't tell you if he is in any of the photos but any information anyone could tell me about him would be gratefully recieved. I have a letter he wrote to my grandfather in Dec 1914 and then there are just brief mentions of him in a couple of letter. I believe he got wounded about 8 times before finally being killed in 1918.

Corporal Richard Walker (died .01/09/1918) 631127 20th County of London Battalion. Lived at 6 Derrick Gardens, Anchor & Hope Lane, Charlton

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My Grandfathers friend was in the 20th County of London Battalion. I can't tell you if he is in any of the photos but any information anyone could tell me about him would be gratefully recieved. I have a letter he wrote to my grandfather in Dec 1914 and then there are just brief mentions of him in a couple of letter. I believe he got wounded about 8 times before finally being killed in 1918.

Corporal Richard Walker (died .01/09/1918) 631127 20th County of London Battalion. Lived at 6 Derrick Gardens, Anchor & Hope Lane, Charlton

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Some of these photos are pre-war, though; the one of H Company for sure, and possibly the one above them. Are these all from the same source or have you collected them?

I the history of the 2/20th Londons if you ever want anything looked up.

My own interest in the unit dates from when I collected medals; I had (still have) quite a few groups to the 20th.

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Hi Paul,

some of these pictures are from the Reigate area, around Feb 1915.

Two of the pictures are in my private collection, the others have been kindly given to me by people I have contacted on the net. I would love to see the letter, and any pics that you may have of the 20th. I am trying to gather as much information concerning the 20th as possible. If I find out anything concering Corporal Walker, then you will be the first person I shall contact.

all the best, and merry christmas,

Paul

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Hi Paul

Here is the letter we have from Richard Walker. The rest of the letters can be seen on my website (see signature link below). I haven't read all the letters yet so they maybe more details about Dick that I haven't discovered yet. I have a few photos of unkown soldiers that my dad had, one may be Dick so I will see if I can regonise the 20th Cap Badge

Matt

Mr R Walker

23 Lerrick Gardens

Anchor & Hope Lane

Charlton

Dec 13-1914

Dear Lionel

I am writing you a few lines in answer to your postcard that you sent me some time back. I have not been able to write to you before as I have been busy enlisting in the 20th County of London Battalion at Blackheath. Me and a friend from work went up on Tuesday 8th Dec passed and sworn in on Wednesday. I asked John if he would come up and join but he said not while I have a job but I think that he is afraid.

On Friday when it was wet our Company had a lecture on out-post duty in the Thames Iron works Deptford. I had a terrible time getting my pullies right the first time but I can do them alright now.Our Company will be going away in a day or so trench digging and come back Christmas Day. If you get leave I suppose I will see you at Christmas. Well you don't know really what they are going to do with you so you cannot really say. I only hope that we are all home for Christmas so that we can go out and get {drunk} on Lemonade and Port wine. I am not going to go about with the kids like Bill Gaits and the rest.I go about with some of the Territorials. Perhaps you would not believe it but Bob Russell has joined the Army Service Corps and is going away tonight Sunday. Excuse me but I must bring my letter to a close as the hands of the clock are going round and I shall soon be thinking about going on parade.

I remain your sincere friend

Dick

Excuse the writing as the love one is shouting the baby to sleep.

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Dear mathew,

thanks for the letter, I really love the humour at the bottom about "love one shouting the baby to sleep"

I will check out your website in a moment. BTW. Do your King relatives originate from the Deptford area?

all the best

Paul

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