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Help with a soldier from the Wiltshire Regiment


bcerha
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Last weekend I took a party of 28 TA soldiers to Mons and Ypres for a Battlefield Study.

Whilst there one of the soldiers found the name of one of her Great Uncles on panel 53 of the Menin Gate. He was 10475 LCpl A J Berrett of the Wiltshire Regiment. Further investiagtions have shown that he was killed on 22 Jun 1915 aged 28. He came from Steeple Ashton in Wiltshire from where the family still hails. Subsequently we discovered his brother, 1587 Sgt R (robert) Berrett was also killed serving with the Wiltshires some 5 months later on 22 Nov 1915, but he is listed on the BASRA memorial in Mesopotamia (now Iraq). Ironically this soldier served in Iraq in 2004 and visited the Basra War Memorial unaware that her Great Uncle was listed there.

My query is can any Pals who may have an interest in the Wiltshires help with identifying where the respective battalions were on those two dates and what, if any, significant actions took place in which they may have been killed or wounded.

An added bonus to this is that LCpl Berrett kept a diary throughout 1914 and I now have it in order to research the period Aug to Dec and transcribe what looks to be a very good account of the life of a soldier who volunteered at the start of the war. With the Berretts family permission I will post the details on here once I have completed that task.

In the maentime I and they would be very grateful for any additional details that Pals might be able to supply with regard to these two lads.

Many thanks in advance.

Regards as ever

David

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David,

There is also a Tom BERRETT listed as dying in 1917, also from the Wilts:

Regiment, Corps etc.: Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment)

Battalion etc.: 1st Battalion.

Last name: Berrett

First name(s): Tom

Initials: T

Birthplace: Wilcot, Wilts

Enlisted: Devizes, Wilts

Residence: Pewsey, Wilts

Rank: PRIVATE

Number: 18340

Date died: 01 September 1917

How died: Died of wounds

Theatre of war: France & Flanders

Here is your Arthur aged 4 in 1891, with his parents, sister and a brother called Tom, might just be a coincidence or there might be a link

BERRETT, Walter Head Married M 27 Wheelwright

Steeple Ashton

Wiltshire VIEW

BERRETT, Caroline Wife Married F 26

Shepton Mallet

Somersetshire VIEW

BERRETT, Frances Daughter F 5 Scholar

Steeple Ashton

Wiltshire VIEW

BERRETT, Arthur Son M 4 Scholar

Steeple Ashton

Wiltshire VIEW

BERRETT, Thomas Son M 2

Steeple Ashton

Wiltshire

HTH

Grant

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Grant,

Many thanks, brilliant. We know that by the start of the war there were 5 children in all. We are not sure if Robert (Bob) was a son or a cousin. There was certainly a brother Tom as we have seen, but he is believed to have served in the Canadian Army, there is a post war photo showing him in CF uniform. The other Tom (who died) is believed to be a cousin from nearby Pewsey. We are still drawing the strands together but this most definately helps.

Many thanks indeed.

Regards

David

PS can we get hold of the details for 1901 and 1911 yet?

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David,

the 1901 is out, ancestery online have it (for a fee :-() or if your anywhere near kew in London it's in the records office for free.

There was another BERRETT killed in 1916, is he related ?

Regiment, Corps etc.: Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment)

Battalion etc.: 6th Battalion.

Last name: Berrett

First name(s): William John

Initials: W J

Birthplace: Overton, Hants

Enlisted: Birmingham

Residence: Micheldevan Station. Hants

Rank: PRIVATE

Number: 17593

Date died: 13 September 1916

How died: Died of wounds

Theatre of war: France & Flanders

Supplementary Notes: FORMERLY 13054, DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY.

Happy Hunting

Grant

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David

I have two Berrett brothers on their Attestation Papers for the Canadian Expeditionary Force they gave their birth place as Steeple Ashton.

1 Eli Fred Berrett Regimental No 40931 1st Bde Canadian Field Artillery. NOK Mrs E F Berrett

Church Street, Helperton, Trowbridge Wilts. DOB May 15th 1874, Trade Shoeing Smith. He was medically examined by Maj John McCrae CAMC (Flanders Fields Poem) Co of Unit Lt Col EWB Morrison. Ht 5ft 8 3/4 ins Complexion Dark Eyes Blue Hair Brown to Black. Religion Wesleyan.

2 Walter J Berrett Regimental No 50518 NOK Mrs J W Berrett Steeple Ashton England. DOB 21 August 1888 Trade House Painter Ht 5ft 5 ins Complexion Fair Eyes Blue Hair Brown

You can get copies of their attestation papers on line.

John

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  • 2 weeks later...
Grant,

Many thanks, brilliant. We know that by the start of the war there were 5 children in all. We are not sure if Robert (Bob) was a son or a cousin. There was certainly a brother Tom as we have seen, but he is believed to have served in the Canadian Army, there is a post war photo showing him in CF uniform. The other Tom (who died) is believed to be a cousin from nearby Pewsey. We are still drawing the strands together but this most definately helps.

Many thanks indeed.

Regards

David

PS can we get hold of the details for 1901 and 1911 yet?

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Last weekend I took a party of 28 TA soldiers to Mons and Ypres for a Battlefield Study.

Whilst there one of the soldiers found the name of one of her Great Uncles on panel 53 of the Menin Gate. He was 10475 LCpl A J Berrett of the Wiltshire Regiment. Further investiagtions have shown that he was killed on 22 Jun 1915 aged 28. He came from Steeple Ashton in Wiltshire from where the family still hails. Subsequently we discovered his brother, 1587 Sgt R (robert) Berrett was also killed serving with the Wiltshires some 5 months later on 22 Nov 1915, but he is listed on the BASRA memorial in Mesopotamia (now Iraq). Ironically this soldier served in Iraq in 2004 and visited the Basra War Memorial unaware that her Great Uncle was listed there.

My query is can any Pals who may have an interest in the Wiltshires help with identifying where the respective battalions were on those two dates and what, if any, significant actions took place in which they may have been killed or wounded.

An added bonus to this is that LCpl Berrett kept a diary throughout 1914 and I now have it in order to research the period Aug to Dec and transcribe what looks to be a very good account of the life of a soldier who volunteered at the start of the war. With the Berretts family permission I will post the details on here once I have completed that task.

In the maentime I and they would be very grateful for any additional details that Pals might be able to supply with regard to these two lads.

Many thanks in advance.

Regards as ever

David

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Last weekend I took a party of 28 TA soldiers to Mons and Ypres for a Battlefield Study.

Whilst there one of the soldiers found the name of one of her Great Uncles on panel 53 of the Menin Gate. He was 10475 LCpl A J Berrett of the Wiltshire Regiment. Further investiagtions have shown that he was killed on 22 Jun 1915 aged 28. He came from Steeple Ashton in Wiltshire from where the family still hails. Subsequently we discovered his brother, 1587 Sgt R (robert) Berrett was also killed serving with the Wiltshires some 5 months later on 22 Nov 1915, but he is listed on the BASRA memorial in Mesopotamia (now Iraq). Ironically this soldier served in Iraq in 2004 and visited the Basra War Memorial unaware that her Great Uncle was listed there.

My query is can any Pals who may have an interest in the Wiltshires help with identifying where the respective battalions were on those two dates and what, if any, significant actions took place in which they may have been killed or wounded.

An added bonus to this is that LCpl Berrett kept a diary throughout 1914 and I now have it in order to research the period Aug to Dec and transcribe what looks to be a very good account of the life of a soldier who volunteered at the start of the war. With the Berretts family permission I will post the details on here once I have completed that task.

In the maentime I and they would be very grateful for any additional details that Pals might be able to supply with regard to these two lads.

Many thanks in advance.

Regards as ever

David

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According to the Wilts War Diaries on The Wardrobe site...

1st Wilts 22 June 1915 were at Hooge

Fine and hot. A Coy took up position in HOOGE trenches. 2 platoon in C1 and C trench from tunnel to ISLAND POST. B Coy in trenches N of ZOUVE Wood to support A Coy. Bombardment took place 7.30 - 8p.m. At 8p.m. No 1 & 3 platoons attacked but were held up by Machine gun fire. The two officers leading attack were shot and the men returned to our fire trenches. The action was broken off. The German parapets appeared to be little damaged.

Casualties. 2nd Lieut A N Mclean killed. 2nd Lieuts A C W Broadhurst and N L Carrington wounded. Other ranks, 24. About midnight the Battn was relieved and returned to billets near VLAMERTINGE.

Sgt R Berrett 2nd/4th Wilts - no war diary listing on the site.

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Hello David. The 1901 census for High Street Steeple Aston shows

Walter Berrett 37 Carpenter and Wheelwright working at home on his own account Born Steeple Aston

Caroline " 36 " Shepton Mallet

Aurther " 14 Carpenters Apprentice

Thomas " 12

Edward " 9

Robert " 7

Evelyn " 5

Geoffrey " 5m

All of the children were born Steeple Aston. Tread carefully with this research. Ther are two families in Steepls Aston, both with sons called Arthur and Robert Berrett. Incidentally the spelling of arthur/aurther above is as it was on the original census entry. Hope that this helps. Sue S

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Dear David, I've tried to send this before but I think I've hit the wrong button. hope this works!

BERRETT BROTHERS SERVING IN 1914 -1918 WAR

There were four sons of Francis Walter Berrett (b 06 12 1863), Wheelwright of Steeple Ashton, Wilts, who served. They were

Walter Thomas Berrett (b 16 09 1888) Walter had emigrated to Canada and joined the Canadian Army. I do not know the regiment. He survived, his daughter married a US bomber pilot and Thomas lived until 1980 in Phoenix Arizona.

Arthur James Berrett (b 29 11 1886) Arthur joined the Wiltshire Regiment and was killed in France 22 06 1915 and commemorated on the Menin Gate.

Robert Berrett (b 30 07 1893) Robert joined the Wiltshire Regiment and was killed in Mesopotamia 22 11 1915 and commemorated on the Basra Memorial.

Edward Berrett (b 25 05 1891) The following is my recollection of what my Father told me. Edward joined the Wiltshire Yeomanry. He had been apprenticed as a Mechanical Engineer and prior to departure for France was sent to the Wolsley factory in Birmingham to help set up War Production. He always wore a Wiltshire Regiment badge during the war. During the Hitler war he worked on Armament production inspection and was involved in the development of the Sten Gun, particularly a very cheap method of producing rifled gun barrels. He died 12 01 1998.

Francis Walter was my Grandfather, Arthur and Robert would have been my Uncles, and Edward was my Father.

The village of Steeple Ashton has many 'Berretts' in several branches.

I hope this clarifies things. Thank you very much for your interest, Brian.

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  • 7 years later...

After leaving school, Arthur Berrett worked as a wheel right in the family firm based in Steeple Ashton (Wiltshire). Their shop backed on to their house and though the house is still there, another home has since been built on the site of the shop. He also rang the bells in his village church.

On 30th August 1914, Arthur Berrett was the first to answer a call to arms speech given Walter Long the local MP, in Steeple Ashton village hall and marched out of the village to the accompaniment of the band to Devizes Barracks where he underwent formal recruitment..

Following training he disembarked in Le Havre on 12th December 1914 joining 1st Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment on 18th December 1914 who were then in the trenches at Kemmel.

On 10th January 1915, Arthur was admitted into the field dressing station at Locre suffering from the effects of cold and 6 days later was repatriated from 12 General Hospital in Rouen back to England suffering from frostbite and myalgia.

He remained in England until 4th May 1915 when he again disembarked at Le Havre joining his regiment on 9th May who had since moved to the trenches at Elzenwalle.

On 22nd June 1915 Arthur Berrett, now at Hooge, took part in an attack on a German redoubt. He moved from the rear area through the communication trenches, which led under the Menin Road, to the fire trenches immediately beyond the road and awaited the engagement. A description at the time describes the preceding artillery bombardment as having so little ammunition allocated to it, it did little more than announce the forthcoming attack to the Germans. The result was inevitable and as soon as the Wiltshires went over the top, at about 8pm, they came under heavy machine gun fire and the attack was quickly abandoned but not before Arthur Berrett was seen to fall wounded. Although there is some evidence he lived through midnight, it could not be confirmed and he is officially declared as “Wounded, missing believed killed” on 22nd June 1915. His body was never recovered and he is remembered on Panel 53, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

The German redoubt, which Arthur attacked, may well have formed part of the fortifications destroyed by the Hooge mine.

Arthur Berrett was remembered on 3rd October 2014 at the Tower Of London when his name was included in the reading of The Roll Of Honour.

In January 1910 Arthur presented to his school, a sign in illuminated script quoting “The Pen being Mightier than the Sword” which is recorded as still being there in February 1973.

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Hi

In the Wardrobe Museum website there is a Photograph of the signal section of the 2nd/4th Battalion in India. One of those shown is Sergeant BERRETT. (Keyword BERRETT or 7625). The 2nd/4th never opened a War Diary as they were in effect a Garrison Battalion in India, but did supply drafts to other front line battalions such as the 1st / 4th Wilts after 1917 and the Dorset's.

Also in the same site are some images of the 1st Wilts in the trenches at Kemmel late 14, early 15 which maybe of interest.

Hope that helps

Cheers

MAC

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  • 2 years later...

A photograph of a football team shows Arthur Berrett from which we have identified him in a photograph taken on the day when the group left for training.

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