Visiting Ypres

For the past four and a bit years I’ve been immersed in the commemoration of WW1 as part of the team running this site, as a volunteer at the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum and due to my own interest in this period of history.

Back in September 2014 I made a visit to France which included visiting the Etaples Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery but since then I haven’t had the chance to go back to the Western Front., however as entered the last month of the centenary commemorations I had the luck to visit Ypres for along weekend.

Well aware how easy it is to become overwhelmed by trying to see too much in a short period of time we decided to visit fewer places for longer periods of time and coupled with the glorious weather encouraging us to enjoy the European cafe culture we had a wonderful, if moving weekend.

Our first stop was at the tucked away Underhill Military Cemetery where there are graves of two Norfolk Regiment men who died 100 years to the day before our visit.

Private George and Private Moran, died 12th October 1918

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Remembering George Thomas Dawson

With many thanks to the Wood Norton Remembers project for this post, As ever if you or your local history group have any research to share please do get in touch.

George Thomas Dawson was born on the 28th January 1878, the second son of James and Sarah Ann Dawson.  He was baptised on the 5th June 1881, in Wood Norton parish church (see Figure 1).

 

Figure 1 : Extract from the Wood Norton Baptisms, 1881

The British Army WW1 Service Records 1914-1920 do not appear to have survived for George, but from extant records it can be seen that George was serving with the 14th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) (see Figure 2).[1]

Figure 2 : Medal Roll Index Card,
George Thomas Dawson

The 14th Battalion was one of three Labour Battalions (13th, 14th and 15th), formed between July and September 1916.  It was formed in Crawley, and went to Salonika in September 1916.  The Royal Warrant of 21 February 1917 sanctioned the formation of a Labour Corps, and the 13th, 14th and 15th Labour Battalions of The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment)  were transferred to the Labour Corps in June 1917; the 14th Battalion became the 95th and 96th Companies of the Labour Corps, and new regimental numbers were issued to the servicemen (the 95th Company being issued the regimental numbers 56401-57000).[2]

The new Labour Corps would have continued to support the troops (the British Salonika Force) as part of the Salonika Campaign, allied troops having been sent to support the Serbs against the German, Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian armies in October 1915.  A second offensive in the spring of 1917 made little impression on the Bulgarian defences, and the front line remained more or less static until September 1918 and the launch of a third offensive culminating with the surrender of Bulgaria on the 30th September 1918.  Soldiers on both sides faced each other for three years across challenging terrain, through extremes of climate in summer and winter.  Much effort was expended on improving the local road network and in constructing light railways, but even so, many parts of the front could only be reached by pack mules. [3] The Register of Soldiers’ effects for George records that he died on the 19th September 1918 of ‘illness’;[4] disease, in particular malaria, proved endemic throughout the campaign, and this may have been the cause of his death. The British Salonika Force alone suffered more than 160,000 cases of malaria, particularly in the Struma Valley; at the time, the region was one of the worst malarial areas in Europe.[5]  The Register of Soldiers’ Effects notes that an amount of £7 4s 4d was paid to George’s mother, Sarah Dawson as sole legatee in March 1919, with a War Gratuity of £9 being paid to her in December 1919.   George is buried in the Mikra British Cemetery, and his headstone bears the inscription We Shall Meet Again, chosen by George’s mother.[6]

Further research into George’s family reveals that his father, James Dawson, was born on the 6th December 1847, and baptised on the 17th January 1847 in South Creake parish church, the son of John and Alice Dawson.[7]  James Dawson married Sarah Ann Buckingham on the 27th October 1874, in Wood Norton.[8]  Sarah was born in 1846 in Stibbard, the daughter of Thomas and Susan Buckingham.[9]  It is possible that James died in 1914 aged 68,[10] as George’s Register of Soldiers’ Effects lists his mother Sarah as sole legatee in 1919.  Sarah Ann died in 1928, aged, 81, and is buried in Wood Norton.[11]

The 1911 census for Wood Norton records that James and Sarah had four children, of which only George was recorded as still living with them:

Name Born Died
John 1876, Wood Norton.  Baptised 4th June 1876.[12]

In the 1911 census for Wood Norton, John is aged 34 and a fitter’s labourer (railway worker), married with one child.  He married Emily Louisa Hill on the 17th March 1900, in Wood Norton.[13]

1956, aged 79.  Buried in Wood Norton.[14]
George Thomas 1878, Wood Norton.  In the 1911 census, George is aged 33, and a farm labourer. 19th September 1918, Salonika
Benjamin 17th December 1880, Wood Norton. Baptised 5th June 1881 (with his brother, George Thomas).[15]

In the 1911 census for Fulmodeston, Benjamin is aged 30 and a railway worker, and newly married (he married Florence Emerson in the spring of 1911).[16]

1944, aged 63.[17]
Susanna 22nd October 1884, Wood Norton.  Baptised 16th May 1886.[18]

Susanna married Thomas James Jenkinson in 1908.[19]  In 1911 she is living with her husband (a farm labourer) and three children in Bulwell, Nottingham.[20]

1971, aged 86, in Derbyshire.[21]

 

The Wood Norton War Memorial lists two other related Dawson men: Frederick and Herbert, brothers who both survived the WW1 conflict, who were the sons of William and Elizabeth Dawson.[22]  William and George were cousins whose fathers, William (aged 76) and James (aged 65), were brothers and both living in Wood Norton at the time of the 1911 census[23] (see Figure 3).

Figure 3 : Family relationship – Frederick, Herbert and George Thomas Dawson

[1] British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[2] See The Long, Long, Trail, The British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918, http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/queens-royal-west-surrey-regiment/; and Army Service Numbers 1881-1918, The Formation of the Labour Corps in 1917, http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/formation-of-labour-corps-in-1917.html

[3] Salonika Campaign Society,1915-1918, The Campaign https://salonikacampaignsociety.org.uk/campaign/; CWGC, Salonika, https://www.cwgc.org/history-and-archives/first-world-war/campaigns/salonika

[4] UK, Army of Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[5] CWGC, Salonika, https://www.cwgc.org/history-and-archives/first-world-war/campaigns/salonika

[6] CWGC commemoration and headstone schedule (www.cwgc.org)

[7] Baptism Register, South Creake, 1847 (www.ancestry.co.uk); FreeBMD Quarter to December 1846, Docking, Vol.13, p.53 (www.freebmd.org.uk); 1851 census, South Creake (p23) (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[8] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1874, Aylsham, Vol.4b, p.253 (www.freebmd.org.uk); Transcript and Index to Wood Norton, Norfolk, Parish Registers, compiled by Keith and Shirley Howell (February 2000), Marriages, 1874 (p.95)

[9] FreeBMD, Quarter to June 1846, Walsingham, Vol.13, p.350 (www.freebmd.org.uk); 1911 census, Wood Norton (Schedule 196) (www.ancestry.co.uk); 1851 census, Stibbard (p.1) (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[10] FreeBMD, Quarter to March 1914, Aylsham, Vol.4b, p.123 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[11] Transcript and Index to Wood Norton, Norfolk, Parish Registers, compiled by Keith and Shirley Howell (February 2000), Burials, 1928 (p.131)

[12] FreeBMD, Quarter to June 1876, Aylsham, Vol.4b, p.77 (www.freebmd.org.uk); Baptism Register, 1878, Wood Norton (www.familysearch.org)

[13] 1911 census, Wood Norton (Schedule 148) (www.ancestry.co.uk); FreeBMD, Quarter to March 1900, Aylsham, Vol.4b, p.135 (www.freebmd.org.uk); Transcript and Index to Wood Norton, Norfolk, Parish Registers, compiled by Keith and Shirley Howell (February 2000), Marriages, 1900 (p.99)

[14] FreeBMD, Quarter to March 1956, N. Walsham, Vol.4b, p.705 (www.freebmd.org.uk); Transcript and Index to Wood Norton, Norfolk, Parish Registers, compiled by Keith and Shirley Howell (February 2000), Burials, 1956 (p.133)

[15] FreeBMD, Quarter to March 1881, Aylsham, Vol.4b, p.79 (www.freebmd.org.uk); Baptism Register, 1881, Wood Norton (www.familysearch.org)

[16] 1911 census, Fulmodeston (Schedule 28) (www.ancestry.co.uk); FreeBMD, marriage, Quarter to Mach 1911, Walsingham, Vol.4b, p.437 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[17] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1944, Fakenham, Vol.4d, p.272 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[18] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1884, Aylsham, Vol.4b, p.83 (www.freebmd.org.uk); Baptism Register, 1886, Wood Norton (www.familysearch.org)

[19] Transcript and Index to Wood Norton, Norfolk, Parish Registers, compiled by Keith and Shirley Howell (February 2000), Banns, 1908 (p.60); FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1908, Nottingham, Vol.7b, p.570 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[20] 1911 census, Bulwell (Schedule 21) (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[21] FreeBMD, Quarter to March 1971, Derby, Vol.3a, p.749 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[22] 1911 census, Wood Norton (Schedule 197) (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[23] 1911 census, Wood Norton (Schedules 172 and 194) (www.ancestry.co.uk)

 

Remembering Stanley Sadler

With many thanks to the Wood Norton Remembers project for this post, As ever if you or your local history group have any research to share please do get in touch.

Stanley Sadler was born in Ridlington on the 19th February 1898, the fourth son of Robert and Rebecca Sadler’s ten children.[1]

Stanley enlisted in the Royal Navy on the 26th October 1916, for the ‘hostilities’, as his card records.  He gave his place of birth as North Walsham (which is about 5 miles from Ridlington), and his occupation as blacksmith.  From the 26th October 1916 to the 30th March 1917 he was a Stoker (2nd class) and based at Pembroke II, a shore establishment at Sheerness.  On the 31st March 1917 he moved to HMS Hibernia (based at Sheerness) and remained there until the 15th October 1917, when Hibernia was moved to Chatham Dockyard as an overflow accommodation ship.   Stanley had been promoted to Stoker 1st class on the 19th July 1917.  He returned to Pembroke II until the 27th December 1917, when he was moved to HMS Dido (a depot ship), from where he joined HMS Scott (see Figure 1).

HMS Scott was the first of a new destroyer class built to be flotilla leaders for the V- and W- class destroyers.  She was launched on the 18th October 1917, but less than a year after entering service she was sunk off the Dutch coast on the 15th August 1918.  It is assumed that a German U-boat torpedoed her, but it is also possible that she hit a mine (the R-class destroyer HMS Ulleswater sank in the same incident).  The German submarine U-71 which had been patrolling and mining the area is usually credited with Scott’s sinking. The wreck of HMS Scott lies approximately 20 nautical miles (23 miles) off the Dutch coast, lying upright with the stern in 35 metres (115 ft) of water, and the bow in 28 metres (92 ft).[2]

Figure 1 : HMS Scott

The Naval records for Stanley record that his widow, Agnes, was informed of his death on the 16th August 1918, and the address on the record is given as 8 Langthorne Street, Stratford (East London).[3]

Stanley is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, which records those members of the Royal Navy who died in WW1 (and WW2) and have no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea where no permanent memorial could be provided; 8,517 sailors of the First World War are commemorated on the memorial.

Further research in Stanley’s family reveals that his father, Robert Sadler, was born on the 8th August 1865 in Honing, the son of James and Hannah Sadler, and baptised on the 22nd August 1869, in Honing parish church.[4]  Robert married Rebecca Bacon in 1893.[5]  She was born in Honing in 1872,[6] the daughter of Charles and Mary Bacon.[7]  In 1901, Charles and Mary Bacon were living at Raw Hall, Wood Norton; Charles was a farmer.[8]  He died in 1901, aged 70, and is buried in Wood Norton.[9]  Mary Bacon continued to live at Raw Hall with her son Robert John Bacon and his family.[10]  Robert Sadler died in 1922, aged 56, and is buried in Wood Norton.[11]  Rebecca Sadler died in 1955, aged 82, in Hoxne, Suffolk, but is buried in Wood Norton.[12]

In the 1911 Census for Tunstead records Robert (a farm labourer) and Rebecca Sadler with nine children:

Name Born  Died
George c.1895, Honing.[13]

In the 1911 census, George is aged 16, and a farm labourer.

19th February 1916, aged 20, Carlton, New York, USA.[14]
Fred 14th October 1895, Ridlington.[15]

In the 1911 census, Fred is aged 15, and a farm labourer.  Fred married Anna Tebble in July 1916 in Wood Norton (Stanley Sadler was a witness), and he served in WW1.[16]

1974, aged 79, Essex.[17]
Robert 1896, Ridlington.[18]

In the 1911 census, Robert is aged 14, and a farm labourer.

1912, aged 16.[19]
Stanley 19th February 1898, Ridlington.

In the 1911 census, Stanley is aged 13, and a farm labourer.

15th August 1918, the Dutch coast.
Arthur 4th June 1899, Ridlington.[20]

In the 1911 census, Arthur is aged 11, and at school.  He served with the Royal Navy in WW1, and married Ivy Alice Pointen in October 1929 in Wood Norton.[21]

1985, aged 85, Norwich.[22]
Edward 1901, Salhouse.[23]

In the 1911 census, Edward is aged 9, and at school.  Edward served with the Royal Marine Light Infantry Division in WW1, and emigrated to Australia in 1922.[24]

1976, aged 75, Australia.[25]
Elsie Mary 1903, Salhouse.[26]

In the 1911 census, Elsie is aged 7, and at school.  She married George Bacon in 1924.[27]

1982, aged 79, Suffolk.[28]
Sidney 1905, Tunstead.[29]

In the 1911 census, Sidney is aged 5.  He spent time working in Canada in the 1920s and 1930s.[30]

Charles 1907, Tunstead.[31]

In the 1911 census, Charles is aged 3.

1993, aged 85.[32]

Their last child, Herbert William Sadler, was born on the 30th August 1912.[33]  He married  Gladys M. Warnes in 1937.[34]  Herbert died in 2011, in Fakenham, aged 99.[35]

Fred, Arthur and Edward Sadler are all commemorated on the war memorial in All Saints, Wood Norton, which records the servicemen who served and died, as well as those who survived, the WW1 conflict.  Stanley Sadler’s name also appears on the war memorial at Bawdeswell, church (approximately 6 miles from Wood Norton), but the link with Bawdeswell is not yet known.

We have been fortunate to be able to contact Stanley Sadler’s relatives, who have provided us with information on the Sadler family, including photographs of Stanley and his wife (see Figure 2), and his Memorial Plaque (see Figure 3).

Figure 2 : Stanley Sadler and his wife, Agnes.
The hat band bears the name HMS Scott.

Figure 3 : Stanley Sadler’s Memorial Plaque

[1] UK, Royal Navy Register of Seamen’s Services, 1848-1939 (www.ancestry.co.uk); UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriages and Death Records, 1730-1960 (www.ancestry.co.uk); FreeBMD, Quarter to March 1898, Smallburgh Vol.4b, p65 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[2] Wikipedia, HMS Scott (1917) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Scott_(1917)); Wrecksite, HMS Scott +1918 (https://wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?4880)

[3] UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriages and Death Records, 1730-1960 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[4] FreeBMD, Quarter to September 1865, Tunstead, Vol.4b, p.45 (www.freebmd.org.uk); 1911 census, Tunstead (Schedule 47) (www.ancestry.co.uk); Baptisms, Horning, 1869 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[5] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1893, Smallburgh Vol.4b, p105 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[6] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1872, Smallburgh, Vol.4b, p51 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[7] 1881 census, Honing (p.12) (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[8] 1901 census, Wood Norton (p.1) (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[9] Transcript and Index to Wood Norton, Norfolk, Parish Registers, compiled by Keith and Shirley Howell (February 2000), Burials, 1901 (p.130)

[10] 1911 census Wood Norton (Schedule 195) (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[11] FreeBMD, Quarter to March 1922, Aylsham, Vol.4b, p.120 (www.freebmd.org.uk); Transcript and Index to Wood Norton, Norfolk, Parish Registers, compiled by Keith and Shirley Howell (February 2000), Burials, 1922 (p.131)

[12] Transcript and Index to Wood Norton, Norfolk, Parish Registers, compiled by Keith and Shirley Howell (February 2000), Marriages, 1898 (p.132)

[13] 1911 census, Tunstead (Schedule 47) (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[14] U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-current (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[15] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1985, Smallburgh, Vol.4b, p.56 (www.freebmd.org.uk); England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[16] UK, Royal Marines Registers of Services Index, 1842-1925 (www.ancestry.co.uk); War Memorial, All Saints, Wood Norton

[17] England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[18] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1896, Smallburgh, Vol.4b, p.64 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[19] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1912, Walsingham, Vol.4b, p.316 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[20] FreeBMD, Quarter to September 1899, Smallburgh, Vol.4b, p.65 (www.freebmd.org.uk); UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1848-1939 (www.ancestry.co.uk); England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[21] UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1848-1939 (www.ancestry.co.uk); FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1929, Aylsham, Vol.4b, p.253 (www.freebmd.org.uk); Transcript and Index to Wood Norton, Norfolk, Parish Registers, compiled by Keith and Shirley Howell (February 2000), Marriages, 1916 (p.105)

[22] England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[23] FreeBMD, Quarter to June 1901, St. Faiths, Vol.4b, p.105 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[24] UK, Royal Marines Registers of Services Index, 1842-1925 (www.ancestry.co.uk); Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839-1923 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[25] Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[26] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1903, St. Faiths, Vol.4b, p.97 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[27] FreeBMD, Quarter to June 1924, Walsingham, Vol.4b, p.626 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[28] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1982, Ipswich, Vol.10, p.2308 (www.freebmd.org.uk); England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[29] England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, Quarter to December 1905, Smallburgh, Vol.4b, p.50 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[30] Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[31] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1907, Smallburgh, Vol.4b, p.49 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[32] England and Wales, Death Index, 1916-2005, Registration August 1993, North Walsham,

[33] FreeBMD, Quarter to December 1912, Aylsham, Vol.4b, p.150 (www.freebmd.org.uk); England and Wales, Death Index, 2007-2015 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

[34] FreeBMD, Quarter to June 1937, Walsingham, Vol.4b, p.639 (www.freebmd.org.uk)

[35] England and Wales, Death Index, 2007-2015 (www.ancestry.co.uk)

Branching out into Suffolk (slightly)

We’ve been contacted by another blog reader looking for some help filling out the final details of some family history research which has led him from Suffolk to Norfolk.

 

My grandfather, Albert Holmes from Newmarket Suffolk, was born in  1883.  Albert was a Bricklayer before he joined up to the B Company of the 2nd Btn Suffolk Regiment. He was born in Exning (nr Newmarket) and lived in Newmarket. He married just before he joined up and his widow (my grandmother) never remarried but lived until 1971 aged 88 –  much of the time in the house they moved into after the marriage!

We know he was home on leave late 1916/1917 as I have a photo of him with his wife and my mother – who was born in April 1915.

Albert with wife Edith and daughter Beryl.

He is recorded on the War memorial in Newmarket but until I contacted the Suffolk Regiment Museum with a photograph I did not know that he was in the Norfolk Regiment.  More research has let us know that Albert died of his wounds on 6th Aug 1918 and was buried in North Gate Cemetery in Baghdad.

Albert is believed to be the man in the front row of seated privates on the immediate left of the central officer.

I knew from my grandmother that he was buried in the Middle East  but I don’t know if she even knew exactly where. I have two requests:

Does anyone have any photos of his grave or memorial in the North Gate Cemetary? At present I don’t know if he even has a grave or if this cemetary is still in existance.
Also I would also love to know is more about his service, things like when he returned from leave (which would more positively date my family photo),  when he joined the Norfolks, when he arrived in the Middle East, when and where he was injured and in hospital.

I know that other readers of this blog have helped fill in the gaps for other people and I hope the same comes true here – thank you in advance, Mike Browne.

As ever if you can help tell Albert’s story please do drop us a line (norfolkinworldwar1@gmail.com), leave a comment here or reach us on Twitter (@Norfolkinww1).

Responding to the Living Memory project

In October we posted about the Commonwealth War Graves Commission project #LivingMemory where a call was made to remember the World War One graves located in the UK. One of our readers in Kent saw this post and made his own trip to a local grave to pay his respects.

 

October 31st was a beautiful day in Kent and so I decided to go and look for any World War One graves and memorials in the local church, St. Mary’s in Kennington.

I found one gravestone

kennington

Researching the name a little I have discovered that Edmund Marrable was stationed at Wye Aerodrome and was flying as an observer in an Astro Trainer when it was involved in a mid-air collision near the Golden Ball (now the Old Mill) on 25 April 1918. He was 25. All three airmen involved were killed. Edmund’s home was in Dorchester and his mother, sister and brother-in-law travelled to Kennington for the funeral.

After leaving poppies on the headstone I went into the church and found that there were two World War One commemoration plaques on the wall, both of which had already been decorated with poppies – it is nice to see that these people are still remembered.

church-plaque-1

church-plaque-2

 

If like our correspondent you would like to locate any war graves near where you are then the Cemetery Search feature on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site is really useful.