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Archive for October, 2008


One of the things I’ve come to realise since starting this blog is that war holds no respect for so called social rank and class.Initially I thought that an error had been made in the Register at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetry as Major Barnes is entered in his surname and I could find no grave with this in the plot indicated.I was becoming exasparated and as I consulted the book I realised that his gravestone was inscripted with his Baronnial title.

Maj HG Barnes,2nd Baron Gorell DSO,KIA 170117

Maj HG Barnes,2nd Baron Gorell DSO,KIA 170117

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Sapper James was part of an anti-aircraft section formed from within the ranks of the Royal Engineers to combat German night time bombing raids.He was killed during a raid on a rest camp near Poperinghe.

 

Sapper Sydney Herbert James,24th AA Searchlight Sect,RE,030118

Sapper Sydney Herbert James,24th AA Searchlight Sect,RE,030118

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Took a few pics of this as it is adjacent to Essex Farm Cemetery.

 

 

 

49th Division obelisk

49th Division obelisk

 

Inscription on Memorial.

Inscription on Memorial.

 

Inscription on Memorial.

Inscription on Memorial.

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It seems apt in this case to simply quote directly from the book: “Very little is known of Valentine Joe Strudwick,other than the fact he was just 15 years old when he was killed in fierce fighting on the banks of the Yser Canal near Boezinge. In reality there is little more that needs to be known or  that can be meaningfully said.”

 

Rfn VJ Strudwick(aged 15),Essex Farm Cemetery

Rfn VJ Strudwick(aged 15),Essex Farm Cemetery

Due to Rfn Strudwick’s age his grave is obviously visited very often and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have laid mesh near his and other graves to stop any damage,particularly in the wetter periods of weather.

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Sgt Crouch was wounded perhaps due to the extreme conditions which prevailed during the winter of 1916-17.Shells which might normally have exploded buried in the mud now went off on contact with the icy hard ground,and also as the slush and water froze in the trenches this raised men a few inches above the parapets thus increasing the risk from snipers.

 

Sgt AHL Crouch,1 Bn Cambridgeshire Regt,Essex Farm Cemetry

Sgt AHL Crouch,1 Bn Cambridgeshire Regt,Essex Farm Cemetry

Sgt Crouch was carried to the Dressing Station at Essex Farm and may even have been tended to in this room before succumbing to his wounds.

 

Inside the Dressing Station at Essex Farm.

Inside the Dressing Station at Essex Farm.

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Gunner Charles Howard Nurse came from Adelaide and worked as an engineering surveyor before joining up in October 1916.He was the victim of a direct hit on his gunpit which caused ammunition to explode killing Nurse and 2 comrades.

 

Gnr CH Nurse,Kemmel Chateau Mil Cem,21 Mar 1918

Gnr CH Nurse,Kemmel Chateau Mil Cem,21 Mar 1918

A sad footnote to Gunner Nurse’s story is that his personal effects,which were being returned to his family,were lost when the ship carrying them was sunk.In 1921 his mother,having met his former comrades,enquired about a medal nomination for her son.He had got ammunition through to guns during the fighting at Hellfire corner when they were nearly out. She was informed that the authorities held no such recommendation far less a medal being awarded.

So,no effects for a woman to remember her son by and no medal to remember his deeds by.

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Lt Col Guy Louis Busson Du Maurier DSO was the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion The Royal Fusiliers.He was killed when his dug-out was shelled. He was a veteran soldier and also dramatist,as quoted in the book which inspired this blog he “was a member of his country’s intellectual and social elite”.

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