Historian and author Steve Smith got in touch with us recently to share this new collection of images he’d just been shown:
Recently, after a conversation on Facebook, I met up with Gill Sidell to discuss her Father, Private 2063 George Leonard Bindley, who served in the 1/4th Battalion Norfolk Regiment in the Great War.
I helped Gill piece together a few things about George who served with them all through the war, officially serving in a theatre of war with them from the 9th August 1915 onward when the battalion transferred from HMTS Aquitania to the SS Osmaniah to land Gallipoli on the 10th August. Having served in that campaign he eventually ended up in Egypt when the Gallipoli Campaign ended in December 1915 and also served in Palestine. One of the postcards records the fact that the battalion marched past General Allenby is Cairo
and the note on the back states, ‘Our Coy marching past Gen Allenby in Cairo look for me.’
I am certain that he was wounded on 19th April 1917 when the 1/4th Battalion took part in the 2nd Battle of Gaza and it is said that he spent time with the Camel Corps helping to transport supplies across the desert.
George sent a number of postcards to his Mother and Brother whilst serving overseas and also collected photographs of men who served with him. Some of these are named but many are not and remain unidentified. Looking at the men all either served in the 1/4th or 1/5th Norfolk Regiment.
These are a snapshot into another time and show a number soldiers in different poses who went to serve their King and Country. Some were taken prior to the Norfolks shipping out to Gallipoli but a number of them show men who were serving in the Middle East.
One of the images is quite poignant and you can see that what happened to the lad affected George.
On the back of a circular photo it notes,
‘In Loving Remembrance of Pte E Bubbings 1/5 Norfolk Regt who gave his life for his country in Palestine 1917.’ “Greater love hath no man than this that he gave his life for his friends.”
The soldier in question can be identified as Private 240868 Edward Arthur Bubbings who was the son of W.G. and Alice Bubbings of 91 Harley Road in Great Yarmouth. Edward was only 18 when he died of wounds on 14th July 1917 serving with the 1/5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment. During this period both the 4th and 5th Battalions were in trenches spanning from the Gaza-Cairo road over Sniper’s Post and Samson Ridge and then ending up by the sea at Sheikh Ajlin. Their war diary and history notes that casualties for this period were caused by Turkish shelling. Edward is now laid to rest in Deir El Belah War Cemetery in Palestine.
Another postcard image simply states,
‘Rout Red Sea’
This can be traced to Private 241000 Daniel Rout who served in the 1/5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment. Looking at the 1911 Census and the age of the soldier I would say this is Daniel Rout who was born in West Lynn in 1898 who was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Rout. Daniel had worked as a Farm Labourer prior to joining up and the picture would have been taken when he was about 18 or 19 years old. Daniel survived the war.
One other postcard notes ‘Mr A Brighty No 9 Eton Village.’
This can be linked to Private 1852 Arthur George Brighty who initially served in the Royal Army Medical Corps landing at Gallipoli on 4th October 1915 before becoming Private 204670 Brighty in the 1/4th Battalion Norfolk Regiment. He survived the war and was disembodied on 4th April 1919. Arthur was born in Eaton in 1896 and was the son of Amelia Brighty who was living at 4 Branksome Road in Norwich during the 1911 Census.
Luckily George also survived the war and was disembodied from the Army on 4th April 1919.
We are very grateful to Gill who has given permission for these images to be displayed here in the hope that we might be able to identify the unknown men and if you feel you can help with that then please contact the blog team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gill has kindly shared many more pictures with us and we will be posting them both here and on the @Norfolkinww1 Twitter stream over the next few weeks and months, should you recognise anyone in the images please do get in touch as we’d love to know more.