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April 8, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Private Harry Eastwood Bingham, 1st/4th Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, died from wounds received the previous day during the fighting near Ypres.

One of five children of a corm miller, after school he was employed as a book-keeper at Messrs. John Hawkins & Sons, a cotton spinner and manufacturer. He was also a promising footballer and played for Fleetwood Town football team during the last pre-war season.

On the 15th of September in 1914, Private Bingham enlisted, and on the 4th of May in 1915 he left Folkestone on board S.S. Onward, bound for Boulogne. During the fighting on the 7th of April in 1917 he was shot in the head and chest and taken to 17 Casualty Clearning Station, but his wounds were too grievous and he died the following day.

One of his superior officers wrote to his parents: “He was a splendid type of soldier. He had been an officer’s servant for a long time, and we all thought a great deal of him. He was always...

April 7, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 1918, Private John Ewart Foord, 5th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales’ (the Royal Berkshire Regiment), died of wounds received in action in France. 

He was educated at Willowfield School, then appenticed to Messrs. Peerless, Dennis & Caffyn’s Aeroplane Works.  A promising footballer, he had also been a military cadet in the Royal Gloucesters.  Private Foord, being the youngest, was the fifth and last of the sons in his family to enlist.  He joined the the 23rd Training Reserve and then transferred to the Royal Berkshire Regiment, serving on the Western Front from the 10th of March, 1918. 

In April of that year his battalion was in a defensive position at Bouzincourt Ridge, near the town of Albert, during the last big push of the German Spring Offensive.  On the 6th of the month, Private Foord was grievously wounded and taken to the 6th Military Field Hospital in Frevent.  He could not be saved and died the following day....

April 6, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1945, Captain Cecil Francis Burney Rolt, 23rd Hussars, the Royal Armoured Corps., was killed in action near Stolzenau in Germany.

Born in South Africa, Captain Rolt was the son of the Very Reverend Cecil Henry Rolt, Dean of Cape Town. Educated at Lancing College in West Sussex , he went on to study at Grenoble University, after which he attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He was commissioned in the Royal Armoured Corps in December of 1940.

The 23rd Husssars arrived in Normandy in January of 1945. Two months later they crossed the German border at Velno, and after crossing the Dortmund/Ems canal they advanced to the River Weser. Captain Rolt lost his life near the town of Stolzenau when his tank was hit during an enounter with enemy units. He is buried in the Becklingen War Cemetery in Lower Saxony, Germany, and is remembered on the memorials at Sandhurst and Terling in Essex.

Cecil, raised in South Africa and Terling, was 24 years old a...

April 5, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 1917, Corporal Harry William Hyett, 1st/5th Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment, was killed in action at Lempire in France.

One of eleven children of a baker, he gew up living with his grandparents, and after leaving school was employed as a clerk in the office of the Ind Coope brewery in Gloucester.  He enlisted in September of 1914 and volunteered for service overseas, while his father enlisted in the Army Service Corps and served on the home front.

On the 29th of March, 1915, Corporal Hyett arrived in France with his battalion.  He saw action during the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and in April of 1917 his battalion pursued the enemy as they made a strategic withdrawal towards the Hindernberg Line.  On the day of his death the Germans made a stand, and Corporal Hyett’s battalion was involved in an attempt to capture the village of Lempire.  Although successful, the battalion suffered fifty-seven casualties, one of whom was Corporal Hyett.  I...

April 4, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Private Thomas David McGregor White, 15th Battalion, the Highland Light Infantry, died from injuries received three days earlier during the fighting near St. Quentin in France.

The son of a domestic coachman, Private White was educated at Hillhead School in Glasgow before attending the University of Glasgow. He studied Divinity, Constitional Law and History, Latin, Geography, History, Greek, Logic and Higher History, graduating in June of 1914 with a Master of Arts degree and several prizes and certificates of distinction.

He became a missionary with the Barony United Free Church and then enlisted with the 15th Battalion (the Glasgow Boys Brigade), the Highland Light Infantry. After training the battalion arrived in France in November of 1915 and fought on the front lines in France and Flanders, and saw action at the Battle of the Somme.

Private White was wounded in action on the 1st of April, 1917. The British line had advanced to within two m...

April 3, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, war poet Captain Arthur Graeme West, 6th Battalion, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, was killed in action in France.

The son of a former missionary, he was educated at Highgate School, Blundell’s School and Balliol College, Oxford. When he returned to Oxford in the autumn of 1914 he found that his friends were gone, preparing for war. He had become detached from the world and hardly ever read a newspaper, so he was shaken by the war preparations at Oxford, even though he had belonged to the Officers’ Training Corps. By Christmas the enthusiasm had reached him, and he applied for a commission. Because of his eyesight he was turned down, so in January of 1915 he enlisted as a private in the 16th Battalion (Public Schools) of the Middlesex Regiment, with a sense of duty and feeling patriotic. In November of that year he was sent to France and was soon in the midst of the fighting.

Captain West found that he abhorred army life,...

April 2, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Private Alexander Petrie, the Army Service Corps, died at home of pulmonary tuberculosis, active service having been shown to exacerbate his condition and contribute to his death.

Private Petrie enlisted in the Army Service Corps on the 4thof March, 1915, at the age of seventeen. From the 12th of April, when he arrived in France, he served as a horse team driver, delivering supplies and ammunition to infantry and artillery personnel.

In February of 1916 he began to suffer from a cough which worsened over several months, yet he was kept on duty until the end of September. Two months later he was medically discharged from the army and sent home, where it was expected he would die. His father and mother having already passed away, his step-mother cared for him as his illness worsened until his death. The army’s medical board’s report documents his condition and its progress, and concludes “Constitutional tendency aggravated by exposure during 18...

April 1, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2003, Lance Corporal Karl Shearer was killed in a road accident in Iraq.

He had been travelling in a Scimitar armoured vehicle when it overturned, killing him and injuring Lieutenant Alexander Tweedie, who died three weeks later as a result of his injuries.  They had been on a mission to rescue another unit at the time – their vehicle slid down a bank and overturned, trapping Lance Corporal Shearer and Lieutenant Tweedie inside.  The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death while on active service.

The Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Mark van der Lande OBE, issued a statement about Lance Corporal Shearer:  “My sympathy and that of the whole Regiment goes out to his widow…at this difficult time…Karl was a popular and very able soldier whom I had recently promoted.  He demonstrated the very best of what it is to be a soldier of the Household Cavalry and will be greatly missed.  Both Karl and Lance C...

March 31, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 1917, Captain the Honourable Charles Thomas Anderson Pollock, Inns of Court Officers’ Training Corps, attached to 1st/4th Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action in France.

The son of the 1st Viscount Hanworth, he was educated at Wellington College and Trinity College, Cambridge.  He had joined the Inns of Court Officers’ Training Corps, and at the outbreak of the Great War was commissioned in that corps and served as an instructor.  In 1916, Captain Pollock was sent to France to instruct on the Lewis Gun, and the following year was Mentioned in Despatches.  He was then attached to 1st/4th Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment, and in March of 1917 took over command of the battalion after the colonel was wounded. 

In early April Captain Pollock was reported as having been missing since the 31st of March, and it was assumed that he had been taken prisoner.  The details of his death were not known until his servan...

March 30, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 1976, Corporal Donald Traynor, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was killed in Northern Ireland.  He lies buried in the Swinton Cemetery in Lancashire.

On the day of his death he was part of an army and R.U.C. team searching for weapons in the Orange Hall in Ballygargan, near Lurgan in County Armagh.  A woman had anonymously phoned in a hoax claiming that her husband was involved in an assassination plot and that weapons were stored in the hall.  During the search, Corporal Traynor opened the trap-door leading to the roofspace, and was killed instantly by the IRA bomb which had been set there.  Two colleagues were seriously injured but survived. 

Donald, from Worsley, Manchester, was 28 years old. 

March 29, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1918, 1,306 members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces lost their lives in the Great War. Among them were:

Top row: Major Harold Frederic Barker, Royal Garrison Artillery; Second Lieutenant Jackson Webster Parr, 2nd/4th Battalion, the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry; Private Richard Hulme, 9th Battalion, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Lower row: Lieutenant Basil Joseph Bernard Butler-Bowdon, the Lancashire Fusiliers; Private Gomer Davies, 7th Battalion, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers; Serjeant William James Fowler, 1st Battalion, the Rifle Brigade.

Major Barker was the son of a solicitor and educated at Gresham’s School in Holt, Norfolk. His brother, Captain Charles Barker M.C., the Durham Light Infantry, had been killed five days earlier. Major Barker qualified as a solicitor a few months before the outbreak of the Great War. He was killed by a shell while at a forward observation post. From Ryehope, Sunderland, he was 27 years old and married.


March 28, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1918, 3,749 members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces lost their lives in the Great War. Among them were: Lieutenant Eric Betley, the Royal Garrison Artillery, attached to 82nd Squadron, the Royal Flying Corps; Corporal Martin William Dodds, 19th Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers; Captain Eric Wollaston Rose, the London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade); Second Lieutenant Philip Southwell Preeston, 1st Battalion, the Royal Field Artillery; Lieutenant Joseph Norman Roster, 2nd/7th Battalion, the Manchester Regiment; and Captain Ralph Windsor Parker, 3rd Battalion, the Grenadier Guards.

Lieutenant Betley was educated at Manchester Grammar School, and was Scholar Elect at Hertford College, Oxford. Commissioned in the Royal Garrison Artillery in July, 1916, he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an Observer shortly before his death. Lieutenant Betley’s plane was shot down by the Red Baron and he has no known grave – he is rememb...

March 27, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Lance Corporal Peter Edward Craddock, 1st Battalion The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, died in a road accident in Lashkar Gah, Southern Afghanistan.

Before joining the army he had travelled extensively, to Egypt, Israel, and the Himalayas, and at one point teaching English in Cambodia. His family described him as a free spirit, cheeky and cheerful, a unique person full of energy and life. He had enlisted in the army in January of 1998 and served in Northern and Kosovo as well as Afghanistan. Extremely popular, he is remembered as a calm and professional soldier who was doing a job he loved.

Lieutenant Colonel David Brown said of him: “You do not get soldiers any better than Lance Corporal Craddock. His loss on his multiple’s final patrol before completion of their 6-month operational tour of Afghanistan is an utter tragedy. We all felt numb at news of his death. ‘Tinhead’ [because of his love for tins of biscuits] epi...