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Remembered Today:

14th Royal Warwickshire, 29 July 1916


John_Hartley
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Does anyone have a copy of the war diary, battalion/regimental history and can let me have details of the day. I was unable to access the diary at the NA being told that it was "unavailable as with a member of staff".

I'm particularly looking for mention of 2nd Lt Alfred Stanhope O'Dwyer. The local newspaper reported that he sent a postcard home on this date saying he was well (so, presumably killed later in the day?).

TIA

John

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Does anyone have a copy of the war diary, battalion/regimental history and can let me have details of the day. I was unable to access the diary at the NA being told that it was "unavailable as with a member of staff".

I'm particularly looking for mention of 2nd Lt Alfred Stanhope O'Dwyer. The local newspaper reported that he sent a postcard home on this date saying he was well (so, presumably killed later in the day?).

TIA

John

Although the Roll of Honour in the history records 2/Lt A S O'Dwyer as having died on 29th July 1916, the narrative shows the Battalion as having been at Pommier Redoubt until orders were received on the 29th to move into the line in front of Longueval ".....Moving up without a single casualty, we relieved the 15th Brigade in front of Longueval by 2am on the 30th."

They were involved in an attack at 5.50pm on the 30th with casualties of 6 Officers and 165 OR's. The only possibility is that O'Dwyer was wounded on the 22nd July and succumbed on the 29th perhaps a few hours after writing the postcard.

On 22nd July the Battalion had losses of 16 Officers, of whom 7 wounded, and 469 OR's, when they attacked from a position from the Longueval-Martinpuich road to the right of High Wood

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Pal Terry Carter's excellent book 'Birmingham Pals' contains a full account of the actions fought by 14th battalion during this period. A quick scan did not reveal O'Dwyer's name and there is no index. Probably unlikely that he died of his wounds as he is commemorated on Thiepval. I would have thought that he is more likely to have been killed in the night attack on 29th/30th July and although H-Hour was 0200 on the 30th, date of death was recorded as 29th July. I'm sure that I've come across similar incidents before.

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John

I have the report, from the war diary, concerning the attack written by the CO of the 14th RWR, Lt Col Murray. I can scan and email it you. I must warn you however, I am very slow at getting motivated, but send me your email and I will eventually do it.

A week before this attack on a section of Wood Lane, the 14th advanced on the evening 0f the 22/23 July and were decimated, suffering 485 casualties. As I have no mention of O'Dwyer in the war diary, I reckon he must have been a replacement officer after 23 July. The second attack on 30 July took place in daylight. This was also a failure but not as many casualties were sustained because as the men crossed No Man's Land, under enemy machine-gun fire, they sheltered in shell holes waiting for darkness to return to our trenches. The 14th had 14 officers and 454 other ranks in the 30th july attack and ended up with 8 officers and 289 other ranks. Of the 80 officers and men that were killed 55 are commemorated on Thiepval.

Terry

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Thanks for the responses. Terry - I'll access your book at the library and I'm sure there'll be sufficient detail to write-up O'Dwyer's story (if not, I'll PM you for the report.)

For info, his service file contains little information and hasnt added much to what I know of him from the newspapers. But just to put it into the record:

He'd been born in Cheadle Hulme on 1/7/1897, the son of Stanhope & Maud. At the 1901 Census, the faily was living at 111 Withington Road, Whalley Range (then a very upmarket area of Manchester). Stanhope was a an "office & bank fitter" - which underplays his social position as they could afford a servant.

Alfred was educated at Macclesfield and Manchester Grammar Schools before attending another school in Sandbach, where he gained a scholarship to Bangor University, where he was studying to become ordained. Joined the Uni OTC in 1915 and received his commission on 26/7/15, going overseas 8/3/16. The family had moved to Bramhall some years before and worshipped at the parish church & Alfred was a patrol leader in the church scout troop. As mentioned, the newspaper reported that, on 29/7, he'd sent a letter home saying he was well.

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  • 6 years later...
Guest southwell75

Alfred Stanhope O'Dwyer was a cousin of my mother, his father being Stanhope O'Dwyer, mother's uncle. Stanhope lasted long enough for me (born 1929) to know him and his wife Maud, but of course Alfred was a shadowy figure, died in 1916.

I have a post card sized photo of Alfred, written on the back in his father's handwriting is

Alfred Stanhope O'Dwyer at the age of 18 (1915)

Sec. Lieut. 12th Royal Warwickshire Regt

Killed in action in France July 29/16

There has been some discussion in this forum as to his unit and date of death.

It seems likely that he was in the 14th Btn at the time of his death (as there were no deaths

in the 12 Btn in July 1916) and that his death was on 30th July rather than 29th July (there were

deaths in the 14th Btn on both dates).

I appreciate the attention given to Alfred both in this forum and by Conor Reeves of

Sandbach School who has paid his respects to Alfred at the Thiepval Memorial.

Sincerely, Mary Southwell (Australia)

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Any chance of posting the photo Mary? My great grandfather (see signature) was killed with the 14th on the 29th August...

Best

Simon

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First name(s)

Last name

Relationship to household head

Marital condition

Gender

Age

Birth year

Occupation

Birth place

Stanhope

O Dwyer

Head

Married

Male

48

1863

Branck Manager Office Bank Fitters

Lancs Prestwich

Maud

O Dwyer

Wife

Married

Female

38

1873

-

Lancs Liverpool

Alfred Stanhope

O Dwyer

Son

Single

Male

13

1898

School

Cheshire Cheadle Hulmes

Lois

Hollis

Servant

Single

Female

54

1857

General Servant Domestic

Derbyshire Yerclgreave

First name(s)

Alfred Stanhope

Last name

O Dwyer

Relationship to household head

Son

Marital condition

Single

Gender

Male

Age

13

Birth year

1898

Occupation

School

Birth place

Cheshire Cheadle Hulmes

Address

Glencoin Bramhall Lane Bramhall Near Stockport

Parish

Hazel Grove and Bramhall

Registration district

Stockport

County

Cheshire

Country

England

Subdistrict

Hazel Grove

Enumeration district

8

Census reference

RG14

Census reference

RG14PN21318 RG78PN1268 RD443 SD1 ED8 SN182

Piece number

21318

Record set

1911 Census for England & Wales

Category

Census, land & surveys

Record collection

Census

Collections from

Great Britain

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Liverpool Echo 14th Aug 16

Manchester Courier 26th Aug 1913

post-50-0-64753400-1404987083_thumb.jpg

post-50-0-12850000-1404987097_thumb.png

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Hello Mary

The 12th RWR was a Reserve battalion and therefore never left the UK. Alfred's medal index card show that he entered a theatre of War on 4 March 1916. That would also be the date he was posted to the 14th Royal Warwicks. On that date the 14th were in isolation at the village of Vaux sur Somme due to an outbreak of German Measles. The battalion left Vaux sur Somme on the 10 March and began a four day march, with overnight stops, to Agnez les Duisans, a village behind the lines on the Arras sector of trenches. For the next three months or so, as a member of 13th Infantry Brigade, they did their tour of trench duties, front line, support line etc in the trenches north of Arras near the vicinity of Roclincourt.

Terry

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Guest southwell75

Thanks to Simon Fielding and Terry Carter for their replies about Alfred Stanhope O'Dwyer.

I have two photos of A S O'Dwyer, being the face and reverse of a post card (1915).

Also for his father, Stanhope O'Dwyer, there are 3 photos, two were taken above Coniston

(1938) showing Stanhope O'Dwyer and his wife Maud, George Winfield and his wife Eileen, and

me (Mary)as a nine-year old. Stanhope was a favourite uncle to my mother Eileen.

Stanhope O'Dwyer was a researcher on the Roman Roads of the north of England and Wales.

He and his wife Maud and, I expect, Alfred as a boy, spent the years from 1910 to his

death in 1944 tramping the moors and the dales searching for signs of roman artifacts or the

pavements of old roads.

Having trouble attaching the photos so felt I should explain and shall try again later.

Mary Southwell

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If you email me a copy of the pictures, I'll happily do it for you Mary - withnail1967ATgmail.com AT=@

Really touching detail about another name and face of 1916.

Simon

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Thanks Mary:

post-50-0-32159700-1405096017_thumb.jpg

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Poem to follow

post-50-0-31090300-1405118631_thumb.jpg

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Title: Christ's All!
Author: John Oxenham [More Titles by Oxenham]

Our Boys Who Have Gone to the Front


("Be christs!"--was one of W. T. Stead's favourite sayings. Not "Be like Christ!"--but--"Be christs!" And he used the word no doubt in its original meaning,--anointed, ordained, chosen. As such we, whose boys have gone to the Front, think of them. For they have gone, most of them, from a simple, high sense of duty, and in many cases under direst feeling of personal repulsion against the whole ghastly business. They have sacrificed everything, knowing full well that many of them will never return to us.)


Ye are all christs in this your self-surrender,--
True sons of God in seeking not your own.
Yours now the hardships,--yours shall be the splendour
Of the Great Triumph and THE KING'S "Well done!"

Yours these rough Calvaries of high endeavour,--
Flame of the trench, and foam of wintry seas.
Nor Pain, nor Death, nor aught that is can sever
You from the Love that bears you on His knees.

Yes, you are christs, if less at times your seeming.--
Christ walks the earth in many a simple guise.
We know you christs, when, in your souls' redeeming,
The Christ-light blazes in your steadfast eyes.

Here--or hereafter, you shall see it ended,--
This mighty work to which your souls are set.
If from beyond--then, with the vision splendid,
You shall smile back and never know regret.

Or soon, or late, for each--the Life Immortal!
And not for us to choose the How or When.
Or late, or soon,--what matter?--since the Portal
Leads but to glories passing mortal ken.

O Lads! Dear Lads! Our christs of God's anointing!
Press on in hope! Your faith and courage prove!
Pass--by these High Ways of the Lord's appointing!
You cannot pass beyond our boundless love.

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  • 3 years later...

With reference to the 1911 Census return for the O'Dwyer family, my GGAunt was the Lois Hollis listed as the Domestic Servant.

I don't know if she was still working for the O'Dwer family at the time of Alfred's death - she would have been 61 when Alfred died.

My mother always spoke about Lois as being the kindest, sweetest person you could wish to meet.  I'm sure that Alfred would have been well looked after by her in his youth.

Lois died in 1930 at Romiley, Cheshire.

The attached photos are from c1890 and sometime nearer to her passing.

LOIS HOLLIS.jpg

LOIS.jpg

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Great images that really add to the story...

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