Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Gorre British and Indian Cemetery
This cemetery contains a total of 929 Commonwealth burials (830 from the UK, 1 Australian, 2 South African and 96 from India) + 8 from Germany and 1 from France.
Of the Commonwealth burials 28 are “Known Unto God“.
The Cemetery contains 2 named soldiers of the Cheshire Regiment who both died of wounds received whilst trying to take La Bassée on 19th October 1914. The cemetery is in the south-east corner of the grounds of Gorre Chateau, and was begun in the Autumn of 1914 and used until April 1918.
Use the links below to read a little more about each man and see where he is buried.
Grave: 1.E.2. Died of Wounds: 19 October 1914 Age: 27
Personal: Richard was born in the September quarter 1887 in Elton, Sandbach, Cheshire the second son of William (‘Agricultural Labourer‘ in 1891, ‘Railway Platelayer‘ in 1901)) and Hannah (née Latham ?) Ashley, of The Fields, Elton.
He had an elder brother Joseph and seven younger siblings George, Edith, Elizabeth, Sarah, Jonathan, Charles and James. (1901 Census RG 13/3353 and 1911 Census RG 14/21751) In 1901 Richard was employed as an ‘Agricultural Labourer‘.
Richard’s ‘Register of Soldiers Effects’ shows that a sum of £13 12s 5d (£13.62 – equivalent to about £1100 today – 2020) was paid to his father, William, in January 1915. A War Gratuity of £8 (about £360 today) followed in June 1919.
Military Service: Richard enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment at Chester. Currently his Army records are unavailable, probably destroyed in Second World War bombing.
As a Reservist he was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and his Medal Card shows he entered France 16 August. He fought under Captain Jones on the right flank of the Battalion’s action at Audregnies on 24th August.
Richard was one of the 9 men killed during the action to take La Bassée on 19th October. The War Diary states:
“10.0 a.m. Attempted to occupy LA BASSEE, and came under heavy fire of each arm. Finally entrenched 450 yds in front of former positions.”
His ‘Register of Soldiers Effects’ states that Richard died in the “15th Field Ambulance, Nr. Violaines“. He was presumably taken there suffering from wounds and died shortly afterwards as Field Ambulance were to found close to the front line.
Grave: 1.E.1. Died of Wounds: 20 October 1914 Age: 19
Personal: John Evans was born in St Mary’s Parish, Nantwich, Cheshire, in December 1894, the oldest child of John, deceased in 1907, (a Farm Labourer) and Annie Evans of Well Lane, Nantwich. He had a younger sister, Florence. (1901 Census: RG 13/3362) In 1911 (Census RG 14/21810) he was living at 6 Second Wood Street, Nantwich with his widowed mother, both employed as ‘General Domestic Servants‘.
At the time of his enlistment he was employed as a ‘Casual Labourer‘. When he joined the Cheshires he was 5’ 4″ tall (1.63 m.), weighed 112 lbs. (8 st. 0lbs.) had a ‘fresh’ complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. His religion was Church of England.
According to his Service papers John did not marry, nor did he have any children. At the time of his death his mother is listed as next-of-kin who by then had moved to 16 Second Wood Street, Nantwich.
John’s ‘Register of Soldiers Effects’ shows that a sum of £6 9s 2d (£6.46 – equivalent to about £510 today – 2020) was paid to his mother, Annie, in February 1915. A War Gratuity of £5 (about £225 today) followed in June 1919. She was also awarded a Pension of 10 s. per week (50p – about £25 today) effective from 24th October 1918.
Military Service: George enlisted at Nantwich, Cheshire on 5 February 1913, aged 18 years 2 months, having previously been in the 7th (Special Reserve) Battalion (Private 9183), which he joined on 1 January 1912.
His terms of service were 7 + 5 (i.e. 7 years active service + 5 years reserve). He was posted to the 1st Battalion in Londonderry on 12th February 1913, from where he sailed to France at the outbreak of War.
His Medal Card shows he entered France 16th August and he would have seen action at Audregnies on 24th August. However, his name does appear on the published members of the Original 1st Battalion. He died on the 20th October 1914, one of the 24 men wounded on that day. In total he served 1 year 257 days with the Regiment.
His Casualty Report Form, dated 21st October, states that he died:
“In 15th Field Ambulance of wounds received in action near Violaines
(Gunshot wound head).”