Le Touret F-N

Officers, N.C.O.s & Men of the 1st Battalion, Commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial

Surnames: F to N:

Le Touret Cemetery and Memorial

The Le Touret Memorial commemorates 13,479 British soldiers who fell in the fighting from October 1914 until 24th September 1915 and who have no known grave. 

This Memorial commemorates 85 Officers and men from the Cheshire Regiment, all of whom were killed in October 1914, principally during the Battalion’s action around Festubert and La Bassée.

Read more about .. about Le Touret Memorial

Cheshires Names on Le Touret Memorial

On October 13th and 14th 1914 the remnants of the original 1st Battalion attempted to take Festubert and the names of 11 of those killed appear on the Memorial. In addition, 55 Officers, N.C.O.s and men were reported missing, presumed captured. Some died in captivity of their wounds or illness.

Between the 17th and 20th the Battalion attacked La Bassée, (14 names) and tried again on 21st/22nd. 53 of the Memorial names represent those killed at Violaines on the 22nd alone.

The little village of Voilaines occupies an important place in the history of the 1st Battalion”          (‘Ever Glorious’ – Bernard Rigby)

Of the 85 men commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, 24 were of the original 1st Battalion who sailed for France on 14th August 1914, the others had arrived later as reinforcements.

Read more about .. about those with surnames G to N by CLICKING the names below.

The two Officers, named below, were not part of the original 1st Battalion, but did lead Companies into Battle after joining later.

  ….. the men of the original 1st Battalion – Surnames: A to F

  ….. the men of the original 1st Battalion – Surnames: O to Z

 

Private 7052 Frank William FARRANT (A.R.) –         ‘D’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  19 October 1914      Age: 32

Personal: Frank was born at Eden Road, Haverhill, Suffolk, in the September quarter 1882 (although his Service papers suggest March). He was the son of Harry (Silk worker) and Amelia (née Cole) Farrant and had an older sister, Lily (died in infancy), an older brother, Harry, two younger sisters, Selina Flora and Lilly Violet (1891 Census RG 12/1435), and a younger brother, Cyril. (1911 Census RG 14/10502)

At the time of his enlistment Frank’s stated occupation was ‘Mat Maker‘. He was 5’ 10¾” tall (1.80 m.), weighed 149 lbs. (10 stone 9 lbs) had a ‘fair‘ complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. His stated religion was ‘Independent Protestant‘.

Frank was not married, nor did he have any children. After leaving the Army he returned to the family home at 34 Vine Cottages, Haverhill, and was employed as a ‘Hair Weaver‘. (1911 Census RG 14/10502)

Frank’s father, Harry, had his total effects returned to him in May 1915, amounting to £7 6s 5d (£7.32, equivalent to about £600 today). The War Gratuity of £5 (about £225 today) was paid in June 1919. At that time Frank’s parents were living at 34 Vine Cottages, Haverhill.

Pt Farrant’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Frank enlisted into the 2nd Battalion at Haverhill, Suffolk, stated age 20 years 10 months, on 5th February 1903 on a 3 + 9 period of service (i.e. 3 years Active Service followed by 9 years in the Reserve.)

He served initially with the 2nd Battalion, from 11th February 1903. He was convicted by the Civil Authorities in Aldershot of theft of 8/- (40p) and served one month in jail (20th August – 20th September 1903).

After six months back on duties he transferred to the 1st Battalion on 18th March 1904, then was posted to India to serve with the 2nd Battalion, arriving on 1st October 1904. Frank returned from India on 10th March 1906, being transferred to the Reserve List the next day.Read more about ..

As a Reservist he was recalled at the outbreak of War and sailed from Belfast with the 1st Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘D’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain E.R. Jones.

Army Form B.103, dated 28th October 1914, confirmed that Frank was “Killed in Action in the field” (List 5294). Frank was one of the 9 men killed in action at Violaines on 19th October 1914, the second day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée. In total he had served 4 years 288 days with the Regiment.

The War Diary for that day states:
10.0 a.m. Attempted to occupy LA BASSÉE, and came under heavy fire of each arm. Finally entrenched 450 yds in front of former positions.
Casualties: 2/Lieut. Andrews, 2/Lieut. Sidebotham, 2/Lieut Napier wounded, 9 men killed, 20 wounded. Battalion on outposts.

Frank is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

Back to Top of Page

 

Private 8380 John FIRTH (A.R.) – ‘C’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  22 October 1914      Age: 25

Personal: John was born in August 1889 in Levenshulme, Manchester, the son of John (Gardner) and Jane Firth, He had an older brother, William, and five younger brothers and sisters, George, Harry, Elizabeth, Mary and Minnie. (1911 Census RG 14/21410) After the War the family lived at Broadstone Lane, Reddish and New Bridge Lane, Stockport.

At the time of his enlistment John’s stated occupation was ‘Rope Maker‘. He was 5’ 5″ tall (1.65 m.), weighed 125 lbs. (8 stone 13 lbs) had a ‘fresh‘ complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. His stated religion was Church of England.

John was not married, nor did he have any children. After leaving the Army he returned to the family home at 16 Anne Street, Stockport. After his death John’s father, John Snr., had his total effects returned to him in May 1916, amounting to £6 15s 3d (£6.76 equivalent to about £460 today – 2020). The War Gratuity of £5 (about £200 today) was paid in January 1920 to Jane Firth, John’s mother.

After having their first request for an Army Pension refused in July 1916, John’s parents were finally granted a Pension of 7s 6d (37½ p) per week, from 24th July 1919. [Equivalent to about £18 per week today.]

Pt Firth’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: John enlisted into the 1st Battalion at Stockport, Cheshire, stated age 18 years 5 months, on 16th January 1907 on a 7 + 5 period of service (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years in the Reserve.) Before then he was serving with the 4th (Militia) Battalion, into which he had enlisted at Macclesfield on 4th April 1906.

After an initial period in Chester, he was posted to the 1st Battalion at Lichfield on 14th May 1907. After a month at Bordon he was posted to Belfast, 23rd September 1909 and to Londonderry on 10th January 1913.

His conduct was said to be “Very Good“, he had earned two Good Conduct (GC) badges and was a “First Class Shot“. The first GC badge, earned on 14th January 1910, was forfeited on 19th October that year, but restored 11 months later. The forfeiture was for using abusive language to and ‘interfering with the duties of‘ an NCO, for which he received 8 days CB (Confined to Barracks).

Previously, on 27th September 1907 he had received 5 days CB for drunkenness and abusive language, and on 9th January 1908 overstayed his furlough – 10 days CB. (This was the day before being posted to Ireland!)

Nevertheless, Captain Dugmore wrote of him, in September 1913, “An intelligent and very reliable groom. Would make an excellent coachman in civil life.” He also received a ‘Sobriety Certificate‘ to show he had not been drunk in the last three years of his Service. On the expiration of his period of Army Service John transferred to the Reserve List ‘B’ on 16th January 1914 and to List ‘A’ on 24th February 1914. Read more about ..

As a Reservist he was recalled at the outbreak of War and sailed from Belfast with the 1st Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘C’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain Dugmore. On 27th September 1914, John received 14 days Field Punishment No. 1 for being ‘deficient of equipment‘. His surviving Service Papers confirm that he was reported missing from 22nd October (List 5294)

On 16th February 1916 the Army Council decreed that John had been killed “on or since” 22nd October 1914 and that next of kin should be notified accordingly. His father had written as early as 28th October 1914 asking for information on John’s whereabouts. In total he had served 7 years 280 days with the Regiment – reduced to 266 days for his 14 days FP in September 1914.

John was killed on the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée. The War Diary for that day states:
5.10 a.m. Enemy made heavy attack, and took the trenches at the point of the bayonet. Battalion retired to RUE DU MARAIS under very heavy fire. Manchesters came up in support.
8.0 p.m. Battalion withdrawn and went in bivouac at last E of RUE DE BETHUNE.
Casualties: Captains Shore, Rich, Hartford, 2/Lieuts Atkinson, Leicester, Greenhalgh missing, Captain Forster, 18 N.C.O.s & men wounded, 200 N.C.O.s & men missing including Sergeant Major.
CAPTAIN MAHONY died in hospital. Lieut. T L Frost took over command of the Battalion.

John is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

Back to Top of Page

 

Corporal 9690 Thomas GOODWIN – ‘A’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  13 October 1914      Age: 21

Personal: Thomas was born in St Michael’s Parish, Macclesfield, Cheshire, in the June quarter 1893, the son of James (Cab driver) & Emma (née Perry) Goodwin of Charles Street, Macclesfield. He had three older siblings, Annie, Emily and James, and three younger brothers and sisters, Florrie, Albert and Harriett. (1901 Census RG 13/3312)

In 1911 (Census RG 14/21466) the family was living at 37 Duke Street, Macclesfield, and 17 year old Thomas was working as a ‘Carter For Corn Firm‘. Older brother James is listed as a ‘Horse Soldier‘. (See: Footnote below)

Thomas did not marry, nor did he have any children. The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that James’ father, James, was his sole legatee and in February 1915 he received his total assets of £11 5s 10d [£11.29 – equivalent to about £900 today – 2020]. In June 1919 he also received a War Gratuity of £8 [£375 today]. At that time Thomas’ parents were living at 23 Charles Street, Macclesfield, and although they applied for a Pension, none was granted.

Cpl. Goodwin’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Thomas enlisted into the Regiment at Macclesfield, Cheshire. His Service Records are unavailable and were probably destroyed by Second World War bombing.

However, his service number would suggest he enlisted in September 1913 probably on a 7 + 5 period of service (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years in the Reserve) if joining the 1st Battalion, alternatively a 6 year engagement if joining the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion.

Battalion records list Thomas as one of the original 1st Battalion who sailed for France at the outbreak of the War, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘A’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the left flank under Captain A.J.L. Dyer.

The War Diary for the day Thomas was killed, 13th October, shows it was the date when the Battalion was in the trenches at Festubert, on the first day of the Battalion’s action to take Violaines.
4.45 a.m. ‘A’ Coy made dawn attack on Rue D’Ouvert without success, casualties Major Vandeleur, 2nd Scottish Rifles, Major Young, Captain Harbord, D.S.O., Lieut. Harrington, 2nd Lieut Thomas, 55 N.C.O.s & men missing, 8 N.C.O.s & men wounded.”

Of those reported missing six were eventually deemed to have been killed in action: Pt. 7064 W.G. Bartlett; Pt. 8202 L. Bradley; Pt. 7982 H. Hewitt; Pt. 9054 W. Holmes and Pt. 8406 W. Cartlidge, plus Thomas. None have a known Grave and all are Commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

Thomas is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial. He is also commemorated on the War Memorial in the church of St Michael and All Angels, Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Thomas’ older brother, Pt. 27920 James Goodwin, served as a “Groom” with the Army Service Corps, enlisting on 4 November 1908.

He had previously served with the 5th (Special Reserve) Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. He was transferred to the Army Reserve on 28th July 1909 and discharged as “Medically Unfit (Insane)” on 30th September 1913.

Back to Top of Page

 

L/Corporal 7290 James HOLDER (A.R.) – ‘D’ Coy.

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  19 October 1914      Age: 39

Personal: A number of Family History sites show that James was the son of Titus James (Carpenter) and Hamutal (née Linford) Holder and that he had a total of 8 siblings.

However, subsequent records – below – do not support this genealogy. The Census of 1911 (RG 14/21870) shows James enumerated with the 220 Officers, NCOs and Other Ranks of his Regiment at Chester Castle, Major D.C. Boger, Commanding. His age is recorded as ‘30‘ meaning his date of birth would be 1880/1, but this conflicts with his earlier Service Papers. When James enlisted on 25th November 1908 he gave his age as 23 years 3 months, i.e. born c. August 1885.

No relevant Census records can be found for him in any of the three Censuses between 1881 ans 1901.

At the time of his enlistment in 1903 James was 5 ft. 6 ins. [1.68 m.] tall, weighed 9 st. 3 lbs. [58.5 kgs.], had a ‘fresh‘ complexion, hazel eyes and light brown hair. His stated occupation was ‘Labourer‘ and stated Religion ‘ C. of E.‘.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that James’ left a “Will in favour of Mrs. Ethel Tushingham” and as his sole legatee in January 1915 she received his total assets of £7 16s 4d [£7.82- equivalent to about £635 today – 2020]. In June 1919 she also received a War Gratuity of £5 [£225 today]. Her address at this time was 76 Edgerton Street, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire – the address to which James was discharged to the Reserve in 1912.

His Service Papers also show that Mrs Tushingham took possession of all of James’ personal possessions, applied for his medals etc. IF he had had such a large family (see para. 1 above) this seems rather a strange arrangement for none of them to be involved. James’ Service Papers are blank on the page reserved for family members.

In a letter in his Service Papers Ethel Tushingham (née Jones) states that James “… had no relatives whatsoever and made his home with us“. If this is the case, it might be expected that he would have been enumerated with the Jones/Tushingham family in 1891 (Census RG 12/2862) and/or 1901 (Census RG 13/3369) at 7 Suffolk Street, Chester, which he was not.

N.B. Ethel Tushingham was the mother of Pt. 10276 Edward Tushingham, 1st Battalion, who died of disease in Soltau prisoner-of-war camp on 4th December 1918, aged 22. He is buried in Grave VI.D.7., Hamburg Cemetery. Edward’s Medal Index Card shows he was posted to the 1st Battalion in France on 2nd January 1915. P.o.w. Records make no mention of him, nor where he was taken prisoner.

L/Cpl Holder’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: James enlisted into the Regiment at Chester, Cheshire, on 25th November 1908, on a 3 + 9 period of service (i.e. 3 years Active Service followed by 9 years in the Reserve) he gave his age as 23 years 3 months.

He was posted to the 2nd Battalion on 7th January 1904, and returned to ‘Depot’ on 5th November 1905. In April 1906 James extended his ‘Active’ Service to 9 years.

On 14th May 1906 he was promoted to Lance Corporal, but reverted to Private on 16th February 1908. At the completion of his Active Service James transferred to the Reserve on 25th November 1912.

As a Reservist he was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and sailed from Belfast on board the S.S. Massilia, entering France on 16th August 1914, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘D’ Company James saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain Ernest Rae-Jones or Captain W.S. Rich. He was one of the 199 Officers and men who answer roll call that night.

On 3rd October 1914 he was restored to the rank of (Acting) Lance Corporal. James was one of the 9 men killed in action at Violaines on 19th October 1914, the second day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée. In total he had served 4 years 288 days with the Regiment.

The War Diary for that day states:
10.0 a.m. Attempted to occupy LA BASSÉE, and came under heavy fire of each arm. Finally entrenched 450 yds in front of former positions.
Casualties: 2/Lieut. Andrews, 2/Lieut. Sidebotham, 2/Lieut Napier wounded, 9 men killed, 20 wounded. Battalion on outposts.

James is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

Back to Top of Page

 

Private 10000 Clarence JOWITT – ‘C’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  28 October 1914      Age: 21

Personal: Clarence was born in November/December 1892 in Slater Street, Manchester, the youngest son of Joseph (Machine Tool Fitter) and Margaret Ann (née Stead) Jowitt. He had 10 older brothers and sisters, James, Harry, Arthur, Alfred, Joseph, Amy, Leonard, Mable, Annie and George William. (1891 Census RG 12/3243 and 1901 Census RG 13/3750)

Brother Arthur was killed at St Julien in 1915. Brothers Harry, and George all served in the Army and survived the War. (See: Footnotes below)

Joseph Jowitt died in the October 1909 (buried 1st November) and in 1911 (Census RG 14/23709) Clarence, employed as an ‘Errand Boy‘, his widowed mother, Margaret, and sisters Mabel and Annie, were living at 37 Parker Street, Ardwick, Manchester, the home of elder sister Amy, now married to Frederick Hodgson (Insurance Collector).

On his enlistment Clarence was 5’ 6″ tall (1.69 m.), weighed 108 lbs. (7 stone 10 lbs) had grey eyes and brown hair. His stated religion was Church of England. Clarence was not married, nor did he have any children.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that his total assets amounted to £5 18s 8d [£5.93 – equivalent to about £480 today – 2020] Clarence’s mother, Margaret, received £4 7s 2d [£4.36 – £350 today] of this in October and November 1915. 10s 9d [£0.54 – £45 today] went each to sister-in-law, Mary, and Ethel Sarah Jowitt (his late brother, Arthur’s widow – see below].

In August 1919 his mother also received a War Gratuity of £5 [£225 today]. At that time she was living at 156 Tipping Street, Ardwick, Manchester. Clarence’s Pension Records show that from 10th October 1916 his mother also received a ‘Supplementary Allowance‘ of 3s. [15p] for another soldier, her son: “Pt. 9687 G. Williams, 1st Cheshires” (see Footnote below).

Pt Jowitt’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Clarence’s surviving Service Papers are in extremely poor condition, but before joining the Cheshires he was serving with the 8th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Private 1519), which he had joined on a 4 year engagement on 8th February 1912.

He enlisted into the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, at Chester, Cheshire, stated age 19 years 9 months, on 21st August 1912, (Private 9632).

Clarence transferred to the 1st Battalion on 21st November 1912 on a 7 + 5 period of service (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years in the Reserve.) He was posted from Chester to Belfast (date not known) then to Londonderry on 10th January 1913.

As a regular soldier Clarence was serving with the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and sailed from Belfast, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘C’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain W.E.L.R. Dugmore. He was one of the 6 Officers, a Warrant Officer and 199 men to answer roll call in Bivouac at Les Bavay that night.

Clarence also survived the Battalion’s action at Violaines on 22nd October 1914, the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée. He was, however, killed 6 days later at Neuve Chapelle on 28th October 1914. In total he had served 1 year 342 days with the Regiment – the last 74 days in France with the BEF.

The War Diary for that day states:
5.0 a.m. Battalion in support to attack on Neuve Chapelle, came into firing line at 3 p.m. Entrenches on East side of Estaires – Neuve Chapelle road at Pont Logy. Battalion on outposts with ‘B’ Company in reserve.
Casualties: 2/Lieut. Woodhead wounded, 1 Sgt, 1 Private killed, 4 wounded, 5 missing. Enemy opened fire, which was returned about 9 p.m.

Clarence is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

Joseph and Margaret had four other sons who served in the Army in WW1, namely Harry, Arthur, Leonard and George.

Pt 40441 Harry Jowitt D.C.M. also served with the 15th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment until his retirement on 29th August 1923. He was born in the December quarter 1874 and died in Bolton in the March quarter 1926. It is not known for what action he was awarded the D.C.M.

Lt. Arthur Jowitt served with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was killed in action on 25th April 1915. He was a Boer War veteran whose medals and citation are displayed in the Regimental Museum in Warwick. Arthur was born in the June quarter 1877 and in the June quarter 1908 married Ethel Sarah Harwood.

Lt Arthur Jowitt was killed in action at St Julien in 1915; the Royal Warwickshire Regimental history relates “Lieutenant Jowitt had charged at the head of his platoon right up to the German trenches, but every man save one was killed, their gallant leader (Jowitt) falling on the very parapet.”. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (pictured right).

Sgt. 34487 Leonard Jowitt (left) served in the Royal Field Artillery. He was born in the March quarter 1886 and married Emily Jane Bayley in 1909.

They had 3 children and their eldest son, Leonard (Len) was killed in action during the Battle of Britain on 20th July 1940.

Sgt. 562160 Leonard Jowitt, RAF, 85  Squadron, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

Pt. 9687 George William Jowitt (Williams) served with the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. He was born in the December quarter 1891 and on 24th February 1917 he married Jane Hogg at St Catherine’s Church, Collyhurst, Lancashire. They had 7 children, all of whom had the surname “Williams“. George died in 1967. It is not known why he changed his name and no Medal Index Card has been found, suggesting he did not serve abroad.

Back to Top of Page

 

Private 6508 Edward Francis LOWE – ‘D’ Coy.

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  22 October 1914      Age: 31

Personal: Edward was born on born 19th July 1883 at 55 Lockhill Street, Monks, Copperhall, Nantwich, Cheshire, the son of James and Maria (Misey) Agnes (née Day) Lowe. Edward had four older brothers, Salisbury, Harold, George and Jeremiah J., two younger brothers, John and Howard, and a younger sister, Annie (1891 Census RG 13/2851).

The family had a considerable military background. Father James is believed to have been in 53rd Regiment of Foot and brothers Salisbury, Harold and Jeremiah all served. Harold was attached to 2nd Battalion S/Lancs. Regiment (456889) and was wounded at La Bassée on the same day as Edward. [see Footnotes below]

On 5th August 1905 Edward married Selina Smith and they lived at 96 Albert Street, Crewe. At the time of his marriage he was working as a “Goods Labourer for the Railway“. The 1911 Census (RG 14/21773) the family had moved to 13 Frank Street, Crewe, and had two children, George Alexander, born 5th February 1906, and Annie, 28th December 1909. Later they had John Jack, born 27th February 1912, and Nellie, who was born 27th May 1914, but died just over a year later, 4th June 1915.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that his total assets amounted to £1 6s 6d [£1.32 – equivalent to about £90 today – 2020] and this was returned to Edward’s widow, Selina, in March 1916. In August 1919 she also received a War Gratuity of £5 [£225 today].

With effect from 5th July 1916 Selina received a Pension of £1 0s 6d [£1.02 – about £70 today] for herself and the children. On 26th May 1917 she remarried Archibald Peachey, and a month later was awarded the “Remarriage Gratuity” of £33 19s 8d [£33.98 – equivalent in modern terms to about £1,900].

Pt. Lowe’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Edward enlisted into the 1st Battalion at Manchester. His Service Records are unavailable and were probably destroyed by Second World War bombing.

However, his service number would suggest he enlisted in 1901/02 on a 7 + 5 period of service (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years in the Reserve.) This would tie in with his date of birth, making him 18 years old at the time.

As a Reservist he was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and sailed from Belfast on board the S.S. Massilia, entering France on 16th August 1914, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘D’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain Ernest Rae-Jones or Captain W.S. Rich.

[N.B. Edward’s name was not in the Original Battalion published list, but his MIC clearly shows he entered France with the original Battalion as part of the B.E.F.]

Edward was on of the 53 NCOs and men killed in action on 22nd October 1914 at Violaines on the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée. He was initially reported as missing, and his pension records later amended to: “22-10-14 Death Presumed“.

The War Diary for that day reads:
5.10 a.m. Enemy made heavy attack, and took the trenches at the point of the bayonet. Battalion retired to RUE DU MARAIS under very heavy fire. Manchesters came up in support.
8.0 p.m. Battalion withdrawn and went in bivouac at last E of RUE DE BETHUNE.
Casualties: Captains Shore, Rich, Hartford, 2/Lieuts Atkinson, Leicester, Greenhalgh missing, Captain Forster, 18 N.C.O.s & men wounded, 200 N.C.O.s & men missing including Sergeant Major.
CAPTAIN MAHONY died in hospital. Lieut. T L Frost took over command of the Battalion.

Edward is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

James and Maria had four other sons who served in the Army in WW1, namely Salisbury, Harold, George and Jeremiah.

Pt James Lowe – the father of the family – served with the 53rd Regiment of Foot. The 1881 Census (RG 11/4727) shows him, his wife, Maria, and three oldest sons, living at The New Infantry Barracks, Fulford Road, York. James and Maria had married in Bantry, Ireland, in 1874, and eldest son, Salisbury, was born there. George, however, was born in Faizabad, India, in 1877, so the family must have been posted there, briefly, as when Jeremiah was born in 188o, they were in York. James had presumably left the Army by 1884, when Edward was born in Nantwich, Cheshire.

Pt. 25658 Salisbury Lowe enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment on 22nd March 1915, aged 38. He was discharged as medically unfit just 2 days later. He had married Kitty Atarwise Kitty Claws on 26th April 1903.

Gnr. 133558 George Lowe enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery on 23rd December 1916, aged 39. He was discharged to the reserve at the end of the War. On 18th May 1902 he married Annie Hall and they had four children.

Pt. 456889 Harold Lowe enlisted in the 2nd Battalion South Lancs. Regiment on 3rd October 1910. He was wounded, whilst attacking, at La Bassée [Wound to the spine and shell shock“] on the same day as his brother Edward was killed. Harold was discharged on 17th January 1916 as No longer physically fit for War Service“. He re-enlisted in the 3rd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, on 15th August 1917.

On 14th March 1918 Harold was posted back to 2nd S. Lancs. Regiment (Pt. 32673) and his Service Papers show he was wounded again on 23rd March 1918 [“Machine Gun Bullet – abdominal wall“]. He was invalided back to England and was a patient at Horton War Hospital from 25th March to 1st May 1918. He was recorded as “Deserted” on 5th June 1918.

Pt. 5584 Jeremiah Lowe enlisted in the 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, on 26th December 1897. He served in India from 27th October 1899, until 1904. He re-enlisted in the 6th Battalion on 8th February 1910. Exactly four years later he was “Discharged at Termination of Engagement (Section D)“. Jeremiah re-enlisted again at the outbreak of War, in the East Lancs Regiment (Pt. 28298) and was posted to France on 15th January 1915.

Back to Top of Page

 

Private 8587 Henry McRETH – ‘C’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  22 October 1914      Age: 23

Personal: Henry was born in December/January 1888/9 in Barrowford, Lancashire, the youngest son of Allan (Stonemason) & Mary Ann (née Trusdale) MacKereth (sic) (1901 Census RG 13/3865) of Barrowford, Lancashire. He had 4 older brothers and sisters, Agnes, Robert (k.i.a. 16th May 1915, See Footnote below), Elizabeth and Mary, and three younger siblings, Edith, Bertha and Allan.

Their father, Allan Snr., died in the September quarter 1905 at Burnley, Lancashire. Sister Elizabeth died in 1906 and sister Edith in 1913. In the June quarter 1911 Mary Ann re-married Samuel Frederick Birtwistle.

On his enlistment Henry was 5′ 5¾” tall (1.67 m.), weighed 114 lbs. (8 stone 2lbs). His stated religion was Church of England. Henry was not married, nor did he have any children. After the War his Memorial Scroll was sent to his mother at 3 Angle Street, Burnley, Lancashire.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that Henry’s total assets amounted to £11 18s 11d [£11.95 – equivalent to about £820 today – 2020] and this was returned in May 1916, split into 6 portions, ⅓ [£3 19s 7d – £3.98 – about £270 today] to his mother Mary Ann (Birtwistle), for herself and youngest son, Allan, and ⅙ [£1 19s 10d – £1.99 – about £135 today] each to his surviving sisters, Bertha, Agnes (now Mrs Watson), Mary (now Mrs Lynch) and sister-in-law Maria McReth ((née Hargreaves – widow of brother Robert). In August 1919 Mary Ann also received a War Gratuity of £5 [£225 today].

Pt. McReth’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Henry enlisted into the 1st Battalion on 15th August 1907 at Blackburn, Lancashire, stated age 18 years 7 months, on a 7 + 5 period of service (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years in the Reserve.)

He was posted from Chester to Bordon on 1st November 1907, until 24th September 1909 when he transferred to Belfast.

From his surviving Service Record his time with the Battalion was not without difficulty, though all fairly minor.

After some discipline problems in 1908 (now lost), on 19th July 1908 he was confined to barracks (CB) at Borden for 3 days for drunkenness; in December he received further periods of CB for a dirty rifle on the 5th and overstaying his furlough by 18 hours on the 31st. on 11th February 1909 he “hesitated to obey an order” (7 days CB); 5th April – dirty kit (3 days); 7th July – inattention on parade (2 days).

After being posted to Belfast, on 16th October he was absent from medical inspection (3 days). On 26th March 1910 he was ‘2 hours 35 mins’ late from a pass (2 days). That seems to be all until 1911 – 15th April, absent from church parade (2 days CB); 30th June – overstaying his pass by 35 mins. (2 days) and the same again on 29th March 1912, by 1 hour 25 mins (2 days CB).

As a regular soldier he was serving with the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War (just 11 days short of the end of his 7 years regular service) and sailed from Belfast, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘C’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right of the action under Captain W.E.L.R. Dugmore.

Henry was on of the 53 NCOs and men killed in action on 22nd October 1914 at Violaines on the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée. He was initially reported as missing, and his pension records later amended to: “22-10-14 Death Presumed“.

The War Diary for that day reads:
5.10 a.m. Enemy made heavy attack, and took the trenches at the point of the bayonet. Battalion retired to RUE DU MARAIS under very heavy fire. Manchesters came up in support.
8.0 p.m. Battalion withdrawn and went in bivouac at last E of RUE DE BETHUNE.
Casualties: Captains Shore, Rich, Hartford, 2/Lieuts Atkinson, Leicester, Greenhalgh missing, Captain Forster, 18 N.C.O.s & men wounded, 200 N.C.O.s & men missing including Sergeant Major.
CAPTAIN MAHONY died in hospital. Lieut. T L Frost took over command of the Battalion.

Henry is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

L/Cpl. 14638 Robert McReth – enlisted in the 1st Bn, Royal Welch Fusiliers. He was killed in action on 16th May 1915.

L/Cpl. 14638 Robert McReth was posted to France to join the BEF on 11th January 1915 and was killed in action just 4 months later. Like his brother Henry, Robert has no known grave and is also commemorated on Le Touret Memorial, on the adjoining Panel 14.  On 23rd May 1907 he had married Maria Hargreaves at St Andrew’s Church, Burnley, and they had one son, Alan, born in July 1907. Maria re-married Joseph Lee in 1919.

Back to Top of Page

 

Corporal 7435 Fred NEWHOUSE – ‘C’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  22 October 1914      Age: 27

Personal: Fred was born in the June quarter 1888 in Birkenhead, Cheshire, the youngest son of Matthew (Foreman ‘South Wales Coal Trade’. Former: Police Officer) and Elizabeth Audrey (née Barnes) Newhouse, and had 9 older siblings, Samuel, Elizabeth Ann, Thomas, John William, Joseph, Martha Jane, Charles, Annie Allison and Winnie.

In (1891 (Census RG 12/2893) the family was living at 438 Beckwith Street, Claughton with Grange, Cheshire. Ten years later (1901 Census RG 13/3400) they had moved to 3 Station Road, Bidston, Cheshire.

When Fred attested in 1904 (stated age 18 years 2 months, though likely 2 years younger) he stood 5 ft. 6 ins. [1.68 m.] tall, weighed 8 st. 10 lbs. [55.3 kgs.], had a ‘fresh‘ complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

Fred’s father, Matthew, died in the December quarter 1903, aged 61, and in 1906 Elizabeth emigrated to Canada, with her daughter Minnie (Mrs. Bowyer). Elizabeth died on 18th December 1925, aged 83, and  is buried in Woodlands Cemetery, London, Ontario.

By 1911 (Census RG 14/34980) Fred was serving with the Cheshire Regiment and was enumerated at Jubbulpore, India.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that his total assets in June 1916 amounted to £10 3s 9d [£1.32 – equivalent to about £700 today – 2020]. This was divided equally between his mother and 9 siblings (or their estates), at £1 0s 4/5d each. In October 1919 James’ mother also received a War Gratuity of £6 [£275 today].

Cpl. Newhouse’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: When Fred attested into the Cheshire Regiment on 3rd March 1904 at Chester, stated age 18 years 2 months, he was already serving with the (3rd Militia) Battalion. However, from his Birth Records (above) it is unlikely he was yet 16.

His Terms of Service were a 3 + 9 period of service (i.e. 3 years Active Service followed by 9 years in the Reserve.) Later extended to 8 years on ‘Active’ Service.

Fred was posted to the 2nd Battalion in India, returning home on 17th January 1912, when he transferred to the Reserve.

As a Reservist Fred was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and sailed with it from Belfast, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘C’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right of the action under Captain W.E.L.R. Dugmore.

Such was the attrition rate in the Battalion, Fred was promoted to Lance Corporal on 5th September 1914, and full Corporal on the 30th. He had qualified as a ‘Stretcher Bearer, 1st Aid, Sanitation‘.

Fred was on of the 53 NCOs and men killed in action on 22nd October 1914 at Violaines on the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée. He was initially reported as missing, and the ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ reads: “22-10-14 Death Presumed“.

In total Fred served 10 years 234 days with the Colours, the final 76 days with the BEF in France.

Back to Top of Page

 

Corporal 7699 Francis Charles NORMAN – ‘A’ Coy

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  14 October 1914      Age: 31

Personal: Francis was born in the September quarter 1883 at 33 Alcombe Road, Northampton. He was son of Henry (Leather Currier) and Catherine (née Patrick) Norman, and had three older sisters and brothers, William, Mary Elizabeth, and George H., and five younger siblings, Joseph, Catherine, John, Agnes and Rose.

In 1891 (Census RG 12/1198) the family was living at 33 Alcombe Road, Northampton. They were at the same address in 1901 (Census RG 13/1421) and Francis (Frank) was working in the family business as a “Boot Custer“. The 1911 Census (RG 14/8403) sees Frank and most of his family still at 33 Alcombe Road, where they lived for at least 30 years (1881 Census RG 11/1550). 27 years old Frank had returned from the Army and had rejoined the family, working, like his father, as a “Leather Currier“.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that his total assets in March 1916 amounted to £6 14s 0d [£6.70 – equivalent to about £460 today – 2020]. This was repaid to his father, Henry. In October 1919 Henry also received a War Gratuity of £6 [£275 today].

Cpl. Norman’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: From his Service Number (7699) Frank attested into the Cheshire Regiment in the latter part of 1904. His Terms were probably a 3 + 9 period of service (i.e. 3 years Active Service followed by 9 years in the Reserve.)

Others enlisting at that time were posted to the 2nd Battalion for service in India.

He would, therefore, have returned to England and posted to the ‘Reserve List’ in 1907.

As a Reservist Frank was recalled at the outbreak of War an joined the 1st Battalion in Londonderry, Ireland. With the rest of the Battalion Frank sailed from Belfast on the SS Massilia for Le Havre on 14th August 1914.

Frank arrived in France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘A’ Company, he  saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the left of the line under Captain A. J. L. Dyer. He was one of the 199 men of the Battalion to answer roll-call at the end of that day.

The War Diary for 13th October shows the Battalion was in the trenches at Festubert:
4.45 a.m. ‘A’ Coy made dawn attack on RUE D’OUVERT without success, casualties Major Vandeleur, 2nd Scottish Rifles, Major Young, Captain Harbord, D.S.O., Lieut. Harrington, 2nd Lieut Thomas, 55 N.C.O.s & men missing, 8 N.C.O.s & men wounded.”

On the 14th the War Diary says: “Remained in same position – 2 men wounded – Battalion on outpost duty at night – Enemy’s night attack repulsed.” Records name Frank and 4 others killed in action or died of wounds on the 14th October 1914.

Francis is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial. He was initially reported as missing, and the ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ reads: “On or since 14-10-14 Death Presumed“.

Back to Top of Page

 

This entry was posted in Le Touret F-N. Bookmark the permalink.