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Remembered Today:

23rd (County of London) Battalion, the London Regiment


westkent78

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Hello Matthew ,  I wonder if you can help with any detail about Private 2321 John William Parry . He was a translator and dispatch rider in the 23rd London Regiment .

 

Regards Dawn

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Gunner 87

 

Hello Dawn, welcome to the forum. It appears Matthew @westkent78 hasn't visited in over a year so I thought I'd take the liberty of providing some information about Private John William Parry 2321 who served with the 1/23 (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment. I'm sure you may know the majority of this but in case you didn't, thought it would be of interest.

 

JW Parry's Army Registers of Soldiers Effects, found on Fold3, record he died on the 16th November 1915 at Etaples where there was a British Military Hospital, with the CWGC adding John died of wounds and is now buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, headstone location, III. F. 22A.  John was the son of William and Charlotte Parry of Maes Llwyn, Newton Street, Llanberis, Carnarvonshire and as such is also commemorated on the Llanberis War Memorial Cross, see attached, care of the JM Briscoe at the IWM, both of which are readily available online. The Medal Index Card, again found on Fold3 or available for free download at the National Archives at  https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D4530746 record he was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal, British War Medal and 1914 - 1915 Star for service in France. 

 

The War Dairy for the 1/23 London Regiment is also available for free download at the NA covering from March 1915 to May 1919 at https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354570 The events proceeding John's death are covered in detail though it is unlikely to mention him by name. 

 

I also include a link to the article in the Yr Herald Cymraeg which I understand relates to his death https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3460335/3460341/64/Private parry London regiment

 

I'm sure many of our experts on the forum will be able to add further. 

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Edited by Gunner 87
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Hi Dawn,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

I think that John was numbered 2312, rather than 2321. and that he probably attested at 27 St Johns Hill, Clapham Junction on 28th August 1914. Surviving service papers for some near number men from his Battalion show:

 

2310 Dickson - attested 28.8.1914

2311 Roberts - attested 28.8.1914

2312

2314 Spencer - attested 28.8.1914

2321 Bedward - attested 29.8.1914

2327 Tisdall - attested 29.8.1914

 

Read in conjunction with the Battalion war diary his medal roll records suggest that he left St Albans and embarked at Southampton on 14th March 1915, and disembarked at Le Havre the following day.

 

If you would like one, British War Graves may be able to send you a digital image of his grave, on a free of charge basis - link.

 

Regards

Chris

 

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Pat Atkins

The War Diary doesn't mention him by name, of course, and the battalion suffered a fairly steady drip of fatal and wounded casualties around the end of October/beginning November 1915, mostly it seems from shellfire.

 

On 1st November they were in the line in Section B2 somewhere NW of Lens, and over the next 3 days prior to relief suffered 9 dead and 11 wounded. On 6th/7th they left the reserve trenches, having avoided further casualties, for billets at PHILOSOPHE. On the afternoon of the 10th November, "C Coy lost 7 men killed and 7 men wounded by a shell which struck billet." Obviously, there's no way of knowing from this evidence when John Parry was wounded, but it is certainly possible it happened on the 10th - if we knew his company, it might aid speculation.

 

Cheers, Pat

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Gunner 87

The newspaper article appears to mention Loos. I don't speak Welsh though the relevant parts regarding John Parry were highlighted hence the inclusion. Would any member be able to precis the relevant parts? I'm wondering if Private Parry was wounded in September, transferred to Etaples where he then succumbed to his injury. @Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

 

https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3460335/3460341/64/Private parry London regiment

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Thank you Gunner 87.

 

The relevant paragraph from  'Yr Herald Cymraeg', of 7th December 1915, page 6 reads:

 

"He went through Battle of Loos (25/9 - 8/10) unscathed, but seems to have fallen victim to a stray shot in early November while carrying dispatches. He was taken to the American Hospital in Etaples (November 4th). At First it was thought that his wound was only slight. Then it was seen that the bullet had sunk into his spine, and despite all medical attention, his life could not be saved, and he died on Tuesday night, 16th of November. He was buried in Etaples cemetery. One of the last to see him alive, and one of the ones who accompanied his remains to their final resting place, was Nurse Owen, daughter of Revd. J. Evans Owen, Llanberis."

 

(Earlier it mentions he joined up in the ranks, even though he was a captain in the school Cadet Corps, and could have earned a commission if he'd waited. This was in keeping with his egalitarian/republican beliefs. He crossed over to France with his regiment 'late last winter', and that he had been in France some 9 months before 'the final call came'.)

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Gunner 87
1 hour ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Thank you Gunner 87.

 

The relevant paragraph from  'Yr Herald Cymraeg', of 7th December 1915, page 6 reads:

 

"He went through Battle of Loos (25/9 - 8/10) unscathed, but seems to have fallen victim to a stray shot in early November while carrying dispatches. He was taken to the American Hospital in Etaples (November 4th). At First it was thought that his wound was only slight. Then it was seen that the bullet had sunk into his spine, and despite all medical attention, his life could not be saved, and he died on Tuesday night, 16th of November. He was buried in Etaples cemetery. One of the last to see him alive, and one of the ones who accompanied his remains to their final resting place, was Nurse Owen, daughter of Revd. J. Evans Owen, Llanberis."

 

(Earlier it mentions he joined up in the ranks, even though he was a captain in the school Cadet Corps, and could have earned a commission if he'd waited. This was in keeping with his egalitarian/republican beliefs. He crossed over to France with his regiment 'late last winter', and that he had been in France some 9 months before 'the final call came'.)

 

Thank you Dai Bach y Sowldiwr for the taking the time to translate the article. It really brings home the tragic but all too familiar account of Private John William Parry's final few days. Interestingly, Gladys Noale Owen who, by her address, The Manor Llanberis, N Wales, was almost certainly the Sister that cared for John at Etaples. https://vad.redcross.org.uk/en/Card?sname=owen&hosp=etaples&id=164984&last=true Both John and Glady's were the same age and as Llanberis is a very small village would surely have known of each other. 

Edited by Gunner 87
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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
1 hour ago, Gunner 87 said:

Thank you Dai Bach y Sowldiwr for the taking the time to translate the article.

No problem.

Interesting to get the back story behind some of the names on our village memorials.

 

1 hour ago, Gunner 87 said:

Both John and Glady's were the same age and as Llanberis is a very small village would surely have known of each other

Yes undoubtedly.

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Pat Atkins

Speaking of backstory, I wonder if he was living/working in South London on the outbreak of war? As he joined the (at-this-point-still-very-local TF) battalion late August 1914, I assume he was in some manner local at that point. Not very important, nor perhaps discoverable, but personally I'm interested in the pre- and early-war composition of 23rd Londons (my father's uncle William Atkins - KIA Givenchy - being one of them), and this thread seems an appropriate place for that occasional discussion.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
59 minutes ago, Pat Atkins said:

I wonder if he was living/working in South London on the outbreak of war? As he joined the (at-this-point-still-very-local TF) battalion late August 1914, I assume he was in some manner local at that point.

Yes he was.

There is a potted biography here.

Thanks to Gunner 87 who sent me this link:

https://www.bangor.ac.uk/archives/memorial/InMemoryofthefallenfromtheUniversity-PJHall.php.en

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Pat Atkins

Nice one, thanks Dai.

 

Edit: wonder why he joined 23rd Londons rather than a battalion local to him in either Richmond (work) or Gunnersby (residence)? Anyway, doubt we'll ever know!

Edited by Pat Atkins
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Hello,  I was wondering if you can help with any detail about Private 3379 Private Frank Lionel Wealthy? I've recently started looking through my family tree and he was my great grandfather. I would love to know if there is anything about him out there. I know he survived the First World War but I would quite like to know which battles he was involved in if possible.

 

Thanks in advance,
Sam
Edited by Sam98
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Gunner 87
1 hour ago, Sam98 said:

Hello,  I was wondering if you can help with any detail about Private 3379 Private Frank Lionel Wealthy? I've recently started looking through my family tree and he was my great grandfather. I would love to know if there is anything about him out there

 

Thanks in advance,
Sam

 

Hello Sam, welcome to the forum. Fold3 have Frank's Territorial Force Attestation recording the date of his medical examination as the 18th November 1914 and enlistment as the 22nd November 1914 with address as 65 Northcote Road, Croydon. A brief look at his record shows he served in France from 1916 which is supported by the Medal Index Card, found at the NA in addition to Fold3, listing the Victory Medal, British War Medal. and Silver War Badge. Also held on Fold3 are Franks Pension Ledgers recording his regimental number as 3379 and 700927. 

Edited by Gunner 87
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Hi Sam,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

If you have access to Ancestry, what's left of his service file is here*. His medal index card is here, his medal roll record here, and his Silver War Bade record here. It might be worth looking at the Long, Long Trail (link) which gives very good advice on how to research a soldier, and how to interpret the records that you find. It also explains why Frank had two service numbers (link).

 

* Findmypast also has a copy of the record, where (for me) their images are easier to read - link.

 

Whilst it is unlikely to mention him by name, the war diary for 1/23 London Regiment is available as a free download from the National Archives - link. If you would like more context to the events recorded in that diary it would be worth considering downloading the Division HQ, and Brigade HQ diaries as well - link and here. There is help on how to read map references here.

 

There is a potted history of 47 Division here.

 

Good luck with your research.

 

Regards

Chris

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