Thursday, 17 July 2014

Book Review At War in Distant Waters by Philip G. Pattee

At War in Distant Waters-British Colonial Defence in the Great War
Philip Pattee

The naval story of the First World War is so often told in relation the the North Sea and the war in Europe, but in this new book the author concentrates on the Royal Navy’s offensive operations further afield and argues that they were not, as often portrayed, unnecessary sideshows but absolutely critical to Britain’s very survival.

These expeditions fulfilled the important strategic purpose of protecting British trade where it was most vulnerable. Trade was not a luxury for Britain; it was essential for maintaining an island nation’s way of life and, indeed, for prosecuting the war in Europe. The empire’s global trade was both a valuable and vulnerable target for Germany’s various commerce raiders and U-boats and had to be defended not just in home waters but further afield.

This new book argues that the several combined military and naval operations against overseas territories constituted parts of an overarching strategy designed to facilitate the Royal Navy’s gaining command of the seas. For instance, in Mesopotamia expeditions directed against the Ottoman Empire were launched to protect communications with India and British oil concessions in Persia; the operations against German territories exterminated the logistics and intelligence hubs that supported Germany’s commerce raiders.

What is frankly more amazing is how atrocious British policy was in home waters, given the wonderful expeditions further afield.

A finely researched and written book for both naval enthusiasts and historians.



At War in Distant Waters: British Colonial Defense in the Great War by Phillip G Pattee
ISBN: 9781612511948
Published: 4th February 2014

RRP £30.00 (24.00 on offer on 17-7-14)
Hardback

Available from http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

Book Review ''With the Kaiser's Army in 1914'' Sven Hedin

Sven Hedin was an internationally renowned explorer and adventurer from Sweden who made a grand tour with the German army in 1914.
In his introduction of this mammoth book he asserts that he as a neutral, he could write an unbiased account that said and done his Germanophilia shines through. 
He educates the reader through his travels into a pictuiresque  Germany at the start of the War and a visit with the Kaiser whose character belies some, to my eyes at least a touch of  schizophrenia.

Hedin was German educated as he points out, he obviusly loved the place, and he sides with the Germans fighting ''to save their country at any cost''-their soldierly humanity, and a just cause to defend German culture; he quite tellingly states that the collapse of the country would mean the end of a great era, country and would reshape the destiny of Europe. 

A great insight into the future, but my favourite parts of reading the book are his meetings with soldiers, German, French, British, and the fault of the firing of ancient towns such as Louvain being the Belgians doing it themselves and German firemen being fired upon hmmm-a likely story.  Liekwise he sees no evidence of atrocity or any wrong doing by the wonderful officers and men of the Kaiser's forces. 
Along the way he meets the Kaiser, Prince Rupprecht, staff officers medics, and aviators among many on what was a whistlestop tour just in safety-no doubt the atrocities he didn't see were in places he was not allowed to go, as Count Moltke pointed out to him.
There is a chapter on antwerp after its defence by British Marines and it's fall, and a chapter on British Prisoners of War. 


He admires the French for their soldier like qualities and assesses them in more polite terms than their British allies.  He meets German-British and French alike and there are some touching moments when the war has caught up with them in the field hospital.  ''....but nothing can match the strapping Germans....''. At points he is disparaging about the colonial troops that the British armed forces recruited into the field, arguing that Kultur must win. Strange that such a well travelled man should hold such views.
any doubts aside and there should be few, , this is a marvellous book, and it takes the ''Allied Forces'' reader into a new world.
 It is lively dotted all over with vivid portraits of town and country scenes as you would expect from an adventurer, plus the obligatory photos and sketches .  I am glad that the German army ''side'' has come into print, the first for a long time even it has come from a somewhat biased Swede!



With the Kaisers army in France A Neutral Observer in Belgium & France
Pages: 517
ISBN: 9781783463183
Published: 31st May 2014
Price £20.00 at presnt normal price £25 on 17-7-2014
Hardback.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Book Review David Bilton The Home Front in The Great War

The Home Front in the Great War Aspects of the Conflict 1914-1918 by David Bilton isbn 178346177-2

Firstly,  I confess wholeheartedly to being a fan of David Bilton herefore it is with some bias that I review The Home Front which holds a degree of fascination, despite preoccupation with the war in the trenches, and other theatres of war.
If the reader labours under the illusion that the Home Front was merely about shell production and lonely wives and widows, be prepared for a journey imto the bigger picture. 
I feel the subject is often neglected, however if the women and children of this island had not been so resolute I their own determination to see things  through, a resolutiom that was to be tested to the hilt by growing casualty lists and starvation,  then surely the war could not have gone on, in light of Britain being essentially a belligerent power in the struggle for European domination. 
This is a difficult enough story to tell,  and it could dangerously slip into mediocrity but it is a story that needs telling and telling well; in his respect David Bilton has produced a book for everyone whether a student of the Great War or not. What is immensely satisfying is the city at war section, that badly dents the image that wars are fought and won from London....the capital is not neglected in this book but Hull is played up for what it really is/was a major European city port and a massive contributor to Britain's war effort.  I would have liked to have seen a chapter on tank production, as it is such a major story on its own, perhaps his is the reason it was missing.
The illustrations are lively as are the cartoons of the period. The book is heaving with facts, from the scarcity of matches to the decline of the popularity of the top hat in the war owing, Bilton says, to its wearers being unable to sit in non requisitioned public transport...Id have hough in part because it's wearers were in droves at the front. However, get this book, it is I'm sure going to be a classic in WW1 history.

Price £14.99 from www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Another Barton Soldier not listed- Pte G H Hewson

After a recent email I came across the following soldier.  Although he is not a First World War casualty but he is of interest as he died or was killed on or around 1st March 1919. Private George Anthony Hewson lived at 11 Brigg Road, Barton.
His service number was 18966 and he was married to Ruth.  He had lived in Bonby in 1913. He was 29 years old at the time of his death and is buried at Brookwood in Surrey.
Brookwood was used for many casualties of the Irish war from 1919 to 1921 and there was a website that gave a full timeline into the Irish War but this is off air. Whether he was a casualty of the war in Ireland (The Lncolns were certainly there) I do not yet know. I shall be doing some more research to find out more about George.

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/398553/HEWSON,%20GEORGE%20ANTHONY


Book Review Command and Morale on The Western Front by Gary Sheffield

The following books are published by media company specialising in military books, Pen & Sword and are due for release this summer.

                                                                 http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/




Command and Morale The British Army on the Western Front 1914-1918

Gary Sheffield

Published by Praetorian Press

ISBN 9781-78159-021-8 

This book is a series of  academic papers and essays that the author has written and over thirty years and gives the viewpoints of politicians Generals, junior officers and apparently, other ranks.

Gary Sheffield is the Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton who has a vast experience as a writer and a lecturer.


The book intends to ''essential reading'' to give a ''broader understanding'' of the subject of the Great War on the Western Front.

There is much fine referencing in it, and useful further reading sections at the end of each chapter.

It is divided into two distinct sections-Command-and secondly Morale, as the title implies. 

The roles of supreme command men such as the controversial Sir Douglas Haig and the questionable Sir Henry Rawlinson, and the laughably bad Sir Hubert Gough occupying their  own chapter paint an interesting picture of the types of men who marshalled the B.E.F. during the conflict.

A picture emerges of latent mutiny not within the ranks but within higher command circles by 1917, resignations and the blame game, backtracking coming to the fore.

For all Haig's faults, and there are many, a scene emerges of an army of many components that was undergoing metamorphosis to something resembling perfection in 1918 by which time a number of bad commanders had been whittled out, (apart from the old boys network allowing Rawlinson back into the fold)  after Gough had been sacked in 1918, the latter's poor career at Loos (see my chapters on Hohnezollern Redoubt) on the Somme becoming all too apparent. Rawlinson himself had tried to shift blame onto one of his divisional commanders, for which he himself lost reputation and almost his job after backtracking when rumbled. Sacrificial pawns on the altar of career-nothing changes.


The hot subject of coalition comes under scrutiny, with all its shortcomings and pitfalls, the lack of diplomacy in some circles, and the surprisingly skilful diplomacy of others, as well as a chapter dedicated to the Australians and their progressive command on the Somme; Vimy Ridge and Arras in 1917, and finally
''British Troops-the indespensable factor in 1918'.

In ''Indespensable Factor'' I take issue with ''the performance of the 46th Division at Gommecourt.''  (The Somme 1916)
The Commander Sir Montagu Stuart Wortley and Haig had an emnity that went back to at least 1915 when Stuart Wortley rightly criticized Haig's handling of the battle of Loos, who was then corps commander.  Haig like the elephant never forgot, and it after Wortley stood down the 46th Division on the Somme he was duly reprimanded and sacked, spending the rest of his life attempting to clear his name, something it appears a few commanders had to do.

There were several charges against the division-drunkenness, aimed also at Wortley, and ''lack of fighting verve'' from Haig.  Just to clear things up here is an excerpt from what happened to the 46th Division and in particular the Lincolns-(not from this book)

 137th Brigade - The Brigade's attack was already at a standstill and desperate messages were being sent up and down the mud-filled, casualty strewn communication trenches as officers desperately tried to reorganise for a new advance. Those that were able to had crawled back from the German wire to huddle in the muddy advanced trench and others found refuge in the shell holes and long grass of No Man's Land.

For our Lincolns alone 333 men and officers were killed on the 1st day of the Somme. 
The performance may have been bad but bravery was not lacking, and what Wortley most likely did was to save a whole lot of men from extinction.

At least as the book dictates it was the 46th who took the Hindenburg line in 1918, as a much improved fighting force. 

Tactics are discussed for the layman to easily understand from the old style (hopefully we can use cavalry again soon) to the new strategies which were espoused by Sir Herbert Plumer, Sir john Monash a professional engineer and part time soldier and Arthur Currie, who had started life as a militia gunner, and who had gone bust as a real estate salesman.

The intrigues, backbiting, backslapping, sycophancy  and ruthlessness of politics within the army command and the political masters are quite well shown. At times you may wonder that the war was won. We only see glimpses of the player's characters though, bah!

Sir Henry Wilson's role in hiring and firing of senior commanders, as well as his renowned and eternal trouble making, until his death at the hands of a one legged IRA man (a veteran of the Great War)  in Eaton Square is overlooked in the chapter on Sir Henry Rawlinson and other commanders-a passing nod. 

Both were involved in the Curragh mutiny that nearly bought down the 1914 Government and the effect that this was to have on the war of 1914 may have been more far reaching than is recognized in terms of the internal political struggles within the machinations of the Imperial General Staff.

The Command section is a vast subject to tackle.  Many valuable and distastrous commanders nowadays are forgotten in the mesmerising melee of books that are available today.  What comes to light is that Haig had got shot of many of the bad apples by 1918, hired talent, yet not quite used them to their full potential in his first two years of command-or was still plugging gaps-and reminded others they were ''not fighting Bashi-Bazouks now''; that the British army and the colonial force  was evolving and had become a supreme fighting entity by the war's end, with leaders properly educated in the ''art of warfare''.



In the ''Morale'' section, the general morale of the British army in 1914-1918, the operational role of the Military Police, (Redcaps) Officer to Man Relations in the 22nd London Fusiliers, (taken as an example as the relationships between colonial officers and working class men) and the effects of the War on so called class relationships in Britain is taken on.
I enjoyed reading this chapter, and it shows how the the sheltered lives of the privileged, their comings and goings from the colonies came down to earth with a huge thump when they were existing shoulder to shoulder, observing at close quarters the comings and goings of working class fellow man under the same shellfire and the the same bullets and mud lice etc that the war was throwing at them, how much they relied on these men to help them through their own war.

However there is not so much of a reciprocate, the views of the men on their officers. In fact the reciprocate comes from middle to upper class men who chose humbly, to become privates. However the brotherhood if you like of the trenches is portrayed by the OCA (the old comrades)  who were still helping each other out in hard times as late as 1970 and I would say a little beyond came as a slight surprise.

Also there is a very interesting chapter on Major Christopher Stone, DSO MC (22nd Royal Fusiliers again) who eventually became the first personality DJ ''The first Gentleman of Radio'', an unusual slant on a gentleman officer who fought, and whose whole outlook on life and people changed significantly as a result of his experiences. This is a wonderful pen portrait and shows Stone's conversion from never questioning his belief that he was in the position he was in in the structured middle class to a social awakening after rubbing shoulders with ''the workers'' and their common endurance in the trenches. Sheffield asserts that Stone was not alone in this manner of thinking, and that the 1930s were a time of awakening social responsibility despite the rise of Hitler.


This is another book that is certainly biased and based around the capital, so if you are looking to something more than that it was London and the South East and Aussies that decided the outcome of the war from the British Army viewpoint, it is a trifle off putting.

The relevance of characters within the pages such as H.H.Munro or Saki who remains eternally on the fringe of British literature is a little questionable.  I would have liked to have seen a little more on recognizable figures such as Siegfried Sassoon, who lived a controversial life after the Great War and held some fine opinions on it. This would have given the book a more popular appeal.

Why is the rest of the country so neglected by the academics when it comes to discussion on the Great War? 
 
This is a book for an academic-if you are looking for hyperbole, the usual extravagant claims, of i.e. bloodcurdling stories of Commanders thoughtlessly sending men to their doom, or are starting to gain an interest in the Great War, it is wiser to look elsewhere, or to see Doctor Sheffield at one of his lectures, unless you have a particular interest in a couple of the subjects. 

A good read  for the middle to advanced war researcher, what I find invaluable is the book listings and plenty of  new information that is within these pages.  Also there are all the new leads, when a name pops up, I found myself fervently googling.

Perhaps we shall see one day more research done on some of the characters within this book such as Brigadier General Joey Davies who fought Rawlinson's machine when his own career was threatened.

I do have the slight suspicion that anyone who is familiar with Doctor Sheffield's works might be already be familiar with some at least of what is written but that does not remove the fact that it is entertaining to a great degree.


For me its a 4.5 out of 5

Please see here for more information on Professor Sheffield and his publications.

http://www.garysheffield-historian.com/



Saturday, 29 March 2014

MR HERBERT BEACROFT




Herbert Beacroft of the Royal Engineers. 


Herbert was originally enlisted on October 25th 1916 into the 2nd/4th KOYLI (Kings Own Yorks Light Infantry) Private 9613  and later Private 359486. 

He was born in Scawby in 1876 the son of Mark and Rebecca; his siblings were Emily and Ernest E Beacroft, and Harry Daubney who may have been adopted. Herbert was married on 31st January 1897 in the Primitive Methodist Chapel to Helen Gouldthorpe with whom by the time of war he had had six children with Edith 11-05 Ethel Dec 8th 1910 Vera Feb 23-1912 Lionel? (illeg) Herbert and Ernest born in 1900.The family lived at Clifford's Avenue 6 Pasture Road. 


Men of this category were called up a little later in he drafts, though he could consider himself a little hard done to considering his age to be called up. 
Men had been invited to put their names down into what was called the group scheme. The group scheme declared that you had offered your services and in the unlikely scenario, that you were called up you would be obliged to go into the military. There were points systems.  If you were married you got knocked down the list, if you had children you got knocked further down the list-in theory. So he was called up rather quickly, and by late 1916 after the bloody disasters on the Somme, just about no-one was exempt. 

Herbert worked at the Farmer's Co. (ACC Chemical Works etc) and had not done military service previously. He was attested at Lincoln. He had also done some time at the brickyards. 

His medical notes picture him as 5.ft 7in.,131lb, (9 odd stone) of good physique. 

As he was in a 2nd line company, initially he would in theory have been in the rear lines mostly. Herbert remained on home duty until 14-1-17 when he was sent out with the Expeditionary Force, to France.
He transferred to the Royal Engineers on 26-2-17 as a Sapper 359486 in the 252 Tunnelling Company. This tunnelling was actually fraught with danger. The mine shafts were dug out in silence under the enemy lines so that ammonal could be planted and the enemy blown sky high.  However the Germans were doing the same, and the chance of a meet in the middle was high enough, the risk of tunnels falling in and a counter mining incident all too common. He would have been 42 years old by then. It is plausible that his experience with chemicals was an asset to the work involved. 

Upon leaving the army he was still eligible for call up despite his age and army trade and he would have been compelled to go to Newark to re-enlist. 

So Herbert made it through the war. But as he was leaving, Ernest aged 18 was going to guard the Rhine in a Youth Battalion.

He had listed into the 53rd Youth Battalion Sherwood Foresters and had gone overseas  in September 1918. He had been home from the Watch on The Rhine, returning and drowning six days later while swimming at Cologne.  He is buried in the same cemetery, Cologne Southern as Alfred Taylor Woodcock of Barton. 
He had been back from leave at home for 6 days when he met his end. 
 
Interestingly Ernest had a deformity of his femur, which was due to an old fracture and possible disease. 

Ernest was one of the names missing until recently from the Barton Cenotaph and one of the first that I identified as missing through the Parish Magazines that the Late Hugh Varah let me study. according to family the omission broke his mother's heart.

Now thankfully this has been put right.

Despite the rigours of war, Herbert passed away in 1936 at the age of 60 not long after his wife Helen who predeceased him in December 1935. Hebert was buried in August 1936 his address then being Whitecross Street.


 

Many thanks to the Beacroft family for the loan of this photo

Friday, 28 March 2014

MR ELIJAH FOSTER LEICESTER REGIMENT

Elijah Foster was born in 1893.  He was the son of William and Mabel (nee Simpson) of North Killingholme and were living at 1892 census at Dinsdale's Brickyard at Pasture Road, Barton.
William was foreman of the yard by 1901. Elijah being the 4th son of 7 siblings, the other sons, George Bemrose, , Arthur, and John  the two daughters being Ethel and and Maud.

Elijah was married to his wife Mabel (nee Simpson S.Killingholme) for 60 years, she preceding him in 1974. The family lived at Windmill Pond House, midway between Barrow Haven and New Holland from 1920 until 1950s, they then moved to ''Allisdair'' Ferry Road, Barrow Haven for the rest of their days.


Elijah enlisted into the Leicester Regiment most likely though not definitely as a volunteer with the Regimental number 45953.

Not much is known about Elijah's service.  He was posted as missing in 1918, after the Great German offensive, near to Vaucelette Farm in the North Somme area.

What is known at the time the 6th 7th 8th and 9th battalions of the Leciesters were present and a composite battalion of 1st Lincolns, 12th and 13th Northumberland Fusiliers, 4th South Africans made a valiant stand against overwhelming forces of Germans on March 21st at Epehy.

Vaucelette Farm, which is still there, is just a couple of kilometres to the North of Epehy, in the Northern Somme region.

Elijah had been out on reconnaissance as a scout/sniper with a couple of pals only to come back a while later to find their regiment had been wiped out and that the German front line was now advanced beyond them.  They now had to make their way through enemy territory, which was increasing at a huge rate for three months, and back to the relative safety of the British lines, with possibly a lot of explaining to do., after which he was shipped home.  Mrs Foster was pregnant at the time, and when the child was born Mabel named her Vaucelette.

They had 7 children together; 5 daughters Ivy Evelyn 1914-2011, Ruth Maud 1916-1920, Vaucelette 1918-2002, Sylvia May 1923-2005, and Eva Winifred 1931-2002 and 2 sons Thomas 1920-1971 and Kenneth 1922-1995. 

Most of the dead from the action appear to be remembered on the Pozieres Memorial and the large majority have no known place of burial.
Elijah passed away in 1983 at 90 years of age. 

Elijah's medal index card.


The card shows that Elijah was entitled to the British War and Victory medal.  There is a note which says at the top 24-5-16 which could allude to his entry into the army, despite it being in the wrong slot. Another date shows 7-6-16 which could account for his overseas service. 


Much gratitude to Elijah's family for the information. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

MORE BARTON SOLDIERS-Photos from Relatives


Elijah Foster was the fourth son of William Foster who was married to of Eccles Brickyard.  He enlisted into the 4th Battalion the Leicetershire Regiment which meant he was in the same brigade, the 138th, as the Barton Company.  His regimental number was 45953. Elijah. was a tile maker by profession.  He was born in 1893 and lived to the ripe old age of 90, passing on in 1983. He has his own chapter elsewhere in the blog.




Many thanks to the family of Elijah Foster for the photo and information 




THOMAS NEWMARCH


Thomas served his time in the Royal Field Artillery. He was born around 1892.
Likely his horsemanship would serve him in the Artillery, as he was enlisted as a driver. As you can see in the photo he has the bandolier and lanyard of a driver. 
The boots are also particular to the horse driver, with the heavy flap on the front. 
The photo was taken by Bertram Parker.
Thomas went out to France with the Royal Field Artillery Driver 85604 on 1st August 1915 as a driver. This qualified him for the medal trio, 1915 star.This is an early date, and indicates previous service, (reserve)  Territorial, or an emergency where they needed horsemen quickly. 
Thomas lived himself at Poor Farm which has strong connections to the Bluecoat charity. He was the son of John and Mary Newmarch, and had a big family as was typical for a farm, with brothers, George, Joseph, John, Thomas, and sisters, Alice and Mary (L) ranging in ages from 22 to 6 in the '01 census.

Many thanks to the family of Thomas Newmarch for the photo shown here




 Private Alfred Turgoose Barton Company 3230 and 360086 Lincolnshire Regiment 1892-1956   He was in the first batch that went out on 1st March 1915 and he was wounded at the Hohenzollern Redoubt.  Many thanks to Alfred's family for this photo.


Sergeant Jack Gouldthorpe probably West Yorkshire Regiment.  No further info at present. This is a Bertram Parker photo.  


Herbert Gouldthorpe of the Private 4495 and 202072 West Yorkshire Regiment.
He qualified for BWM and Victory Medal, hence putting him in the war after 1915. 
Notice the ammunition pouches this appears to be 1908 issue.  The camp is most likely in the UK. 

Many thanks to the families of Jack and Herbert for these wonderful photos.


Herbert Beacroft of the Royal Engineers.Many thanks to the Beacroft family for the loan of this photo



Charles Danson in what appears to be an Australian contingent.  I shall do some further investigation into thus man very soon.

Many thanks to the Danson family for the loan of this photograph

  

William Robinson of the Staffordshire Regiment (North possibly)  He was as the legend shows, a prisoner of war for a long time. 


If you have any further information on the Barton men, village men, or Barton at war in general please contact 

Sean at barton.company@yahoo.co.uk 

or Laurie,  at larobinson44@yahoo.co.uk




 


Saturday, 15 March 2014

MR JOHN WILLIAM LEANING

John William Leaning



Jack Leaning, in Tropical field dress, complete with pith helmet, and note the highly polished boots.  The photo was taken in Nubar Pacha Studio, Street 10.  Nubar Pacha is not a place but the name of an Egyptian premier.


 


  • Born on 27th December 1893 his parents were Joseph and Anne Leaning. He had a sister called Kate Eveline. The family home was 44 Pasture Road, Barton.
  • John went to church school from 5 years and left at 14 years.

  • After school he worked on several local farms and chemical works to earn a living.

  • Jack was enlisted in Hull on 9th November 1914 in the Territorial Force of the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry at the age of 21 years and 11 months.  This was a cavalry unit.

  • For anyone that wants to track his army progress his two army numbers were 1812 and when he transferred into the machine gun core 95925 his final rank was lance corporal (one stripe).

  • After training he embarked Southampton on October 27th 1915 arriving at Alexandria November 10th 1915.

  • Jack saw service in the areas of Gaza-Alexandria,Cairo,Abu-Gandia, (Abu Jandir is to the South of Cairo) and Karoun-which appears to be in Modern Iran, a river delta. He had one of “by the grace of God I go” moments when a shell landed feet away from his position but did not explode and that was at a place called Bear-Azis.

  • After training he transferred into the machine gun corps on 27th February 1917 seeing service in the same area of the middle east in these days mainly Egypt. He was promoted on the 27th January 1917 into 18 Squadron Machine Gun Corps.

  • He embarked Port Said on 9th February 1919 and was demobbed in Clipstone 25th February 1919.

  • He qualified for medals as detailed pack-Victory, British and 14/15 star.

  • After the war Jack rejoined his family home then at 44 Pasture Road, Barton
  • Note from his medical record, he was hospitalised for fever this potentially turned into a lifetime recurrence of malaria for which he took regular medication.

  • He bought his war time horse “Captain” and his first occupation was leading coal from Barton railway station to the gas works.  Captain could count himself lucky, lots of British horses were sold off to the French meat market until a campaign in the newspapers stopped the export.

  • He married Maud Bingley in spring 1920 and by 1924 had their only son Norman. They set up home in Ferriby Road (now Towncliff) then referred to as Jubb's pit.

  • During World War two Jack joined the Barton Platoon of the home guard and also towed the fire pump for the local ARP and fire brigade. He also started his own career as a councillor and helped many fund raising efforts during and after the war.

  • He started his love of farming by renting a farm on the Humber Bank (now the yachting club) and started building a herd of milking cows by this time he started employing local men and women to deliver milk in bulk around Barton. This method uses churns on bikes and barrows and ladles to measure 1 pint or 1 quart to the customer's jugs or receptacle.

  • Jack bought Eagle House on Fleetgate in the late 1940's after the house had been used as an army billet. The next move in the milk business was to build a bottling plant (building still there on the right hand side of Eagle House entrance).  Sadly the building was recently burnt out but as yet is standing.

  • He made his way in politics and was a councillor on the now disbanded Barton Urban District Council and was chairman in 1956/1957. He served on the council committee for the first swimming pool in Barton and was a key figure in justifying the spend in the town again with fund raising events to support the case. The Humber Bridge was a far off vision in the 1950s but Councillor Jack could see the benefits and sat on the committee both side of the river. During his council career charity to help others was his drive and he chaired the Barton blue coat and grey coat organisation.

  • Back to his farming career he took on the tenancy of Glebe Farm on Barrow Road and Field Farm on Ferriby Road. Both in the 30's when land was being let cheaply after the great depression that followed the great war. This provided a unit of approx 400 acres. The milk business (point 8) developed but was sold to Prescott's dairy in the early 50's and by now he had taken his son Norman into the family business trading for 50 years as J.W.Leaning & Son.


  • He was chairman of the National Farmer Union (North Lincolnshire Branch) in 1944-1945 and was keen to see fair and just prices for farmers in sugar beet, potatoes, cereal and livestock. The farm unit supported a mixed animal combination of cows and sheep. Many changing fashions in beef rearing were championed by the farm – grass land being used throughout Lincolnshire to support the herd. Jack could also be seen regularly at markets in Barton (Saturday), Brigg (Thursday) and Barnetby (Tuesday) and was always keen to be involved how our stock yielded at the butcher's block to ensure his sheep/lambs and particularly beef stock demanded a premium at market. He sat on the Barton Fatstock Society Committee again mainly to see fair play.

  • A fire at Glebe was a setback in the 1940's. The full yard of wheat/barley and oat stocks all went up in smoke. All the animals were saved but winter feed and bedding were a crippling blow. Many local farms sent trailers of straw and hay to help save the situation, all without being asked. He was forever grateful of such generosity.

  • Jack (grandad by this time) was keen to pass on his knowledge and experience to his now extended family. Agricultural Techniques of crop rotation, animal husbandry were his favourite topics and had Norman (son) sent to farming college at Askham Bryan (York). He undertook all of the administration tasks associated with the running of the farm. His love/hate relationship with any tax related communications was well known in the farming community. The other skill was his first aid skill which he passed onto his son, this was (WW1) based on iodine, every scratch/wound/graze was duly cleaned and dabbed with this yellow stinging fluid.

  • Jack never retired, he died on 3 August 1974 aged 81 years. Think for a moment what this generation saw in the way of change from horses being the main mode of transport to seeing a man on the moon. Two world wars, but massive change in living standards. Norman his son died in 1999 but his grandsons still reside in Barton and Barrow.

    Excerpts from Jack Leaning's diary-this will be updated frequently owing to the volume of writing. 

    Left England 26th October 1915 called at Malta 24 hours. Is it possible Jack heard of Barton's terrible losses at Loos prior to leaving?

    13.11.15 Arrived Alexandria (now Istanbul)

    Left Alex for Mina Camp under the pyramids at Cairo.

    Moved out Monday midday for Fayoum arriving at Arab Camp 2 a.m. I was put on guard and then had a week of duty.

    Moved to Abu Gandir. (Abu Jandir) (This place lies to the East of the desert and is located in modern Egypt.)

    Moved out about 12.2.16 to rejoin Regimental HQ. At Abu Gandir we had a good stay and several camsoon? winds also got 3 days CB. (confined to barracks)
    Had to move campoout onto the desert owing to a plague in the village so we camped on a hill called Medinet Mardle where we also has some very bad sand storms and some very hot weather too.

    Went on leave to Cairo 28/5/16 for 3 days and stayed at Ansar.
    Went into Field Ambulance for about 10 days then onto Abassaru for about a  week and then rejoined the Regt at the same camp as I left.

    Moved onto camp Afun 4.8.16 then out again to Karoun, (Lake Qaroun) a long way into the desert but a very nice camp to the salt lake where we bathed.

    14.9.16  Finished outpost and returned to Arab.

    Went to Zaytoun (this is a very long journey through the country about 2 and a half hours these days)   for a machine gun course. stayed 3 weeks had a good time passing out as a QI. (This could be quartermaster-instructor)
    In the meantime the Brigade had moved acros the canal at Daida (probably Dawadah) and had a very nice time there considering the ruin. 


    7-1-17 MG section left the Regt for Bahareya and formed the squadron the next day.

    12-1-17 I was promoted to Lance Corporal which I managed to keep although the rank didn't grow to present day!

    28-1-17  Trucked to Abd (could well be Abd el Nayeem Giza) arrived there with no rations and the train broke down for 2 days.  (You can well imagine that a broken train meant a strong chance of ambush from what we now call insurgents)   

    7-2-17 Five days truck to El Arla  then onto Shek Loward?  where we stayed for about 10 days. 

    23-2-17 Moved out to Rafa (Rafah) beach (in modern Israel)  We stayed until the night of 24th March when we moved out about midnight along the beach to Bellah (Dayr al Ballah) and then out on reconnaissance.
     
    We returned about 11 o'clock and moved out again to the East of Gaza and had a bit of trouble from planes, (possibly Turkish Air Force) getting the order to attack Gaza from the North East at 2pm we did so, getting into action about  five times on the way to the top of the hill outside Gaza.  


    At about 3.30 we withdrew and at about 6.30 marched all night no one knowing were finding ourselves at daybreak at Shellal-a short break at that camp until 8.30 going along the beach to Wadi Guzzy (Whadi Ghuzze) hills overlook Gaza possibly, and stayed for the night.  We rejoined the ERY (East Riding Yeomanry) and went further up the beach returning at night and very pleased to hear we were going into this camp this being 
    Thursday 29th March.  
    Stayed here about three weeks going out on 24 hour outposts once a week. 
    Moved out of camp on the night on the 16th April marching on Shellal. (Al Shallal Red Sea?)
     Had breakfast in Wadi Guzzy (Whadi Ghuzze) and stayed there for the night. Moved out about 08:30 the Australian pulling in where we pulled out being bombed about half an hour after and lost several men and horses we marched out toward the furthest part of the line having little trouble from planes and little to do all day until about 430 when we had to take our two guns to cover the advance point while they withdrew back to the Wadi. during the night and put lines down, rested all day on the 18th so the infantry were resting before attacking Gaza. 
    I had  narrow shave-a bomb dropped about 10 yards away but nothing happened. 
    Moved on early on the 19th to Shallal where the Turkish cavalry and guns came out; had a bit of wind up but nothing much happened only a few shells. 
    At one of Johnnies (Johnny Turk)  old lines of trenches and came out covered all over with flies and came back about a ??? possibly some ailment! and had about 3 days reast, grazing the horses on young crops. Now Shellal is a good trot away along the Red Sea.  If you notice from maps the route takes in either coastal, lake, or rivieras. This was crucial for the horses and men alike.  

    Take a look at the map here to see how far Jack and his regiment had travelled.

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Lake+Qaroun/Abu+Jandir,+Abu+Gandir,+ATSA,+Faiyum,+Egypt/Faiyum,+Qesm+Al+Fayoum,+Al+Fayoum,+Faiyum,+Egypt/Zaytoun,+17+souk+el+khait+st.%D8%8C+EL+MANSHEYA%D8%8C+ALEXANDRIA%D8%8C+Egypt%E2%80%AD/Rafah,+Qism+Rafah,+North+Sinai+Governorate,+Egypt/Al+Shallal+Theme+Park,+Al+Shaty,+POBox+118985,+Jeddah+21312S,+Saudi+Arabia/@26.3551542,30.5084532,1484345m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m38!4m37!1m5!1m1!1s0x145968cde9c10527:0xf5824db951045a46!2m2!1d30.6545022!2d29.4840214!1m5!1m1!1s0x145bd8684339d5d5:0x8653a3327fbca2de!2m2!1d30.680402!2d29.239836!1m5!1m1!1s0x1459792fa8bf0013:0xa698b3d528236f63!2m2!1d30.8428497!2d29.3084021!1m5!1m1!1s0x145840659ca40185:0xeb380cb890f1095b!2m2!1d31.247994!2d30.081388!1m5!1m1!1s0x14fd9486011a1d1d:0xaef6d7fc0c29f2c!2m2!1d34.2401914!2d31.2802667!1m5!1m1!1s0x15c3db286bd1be5b:0x5fe0e2c958a2b510!2m2!1d39.111108!2d21.568062!3e0

       
     
     
    Guns to beat the Hun! PArt of Barton's war effort in WW2, spearheaded by the Council members, was to raise money for the Artillery. Jack is at the rear to the left.  The fund succeeded and a giant howitzer was paraded in the drill hall before being sent out to the armed forces.

We continue with the diary.

Moved out in a hurry on the 24th crossing the Wadi and marching nearer Gaza-had a rough two or three days and marched back out to to camp for a rest once again the turks having held Gaza-
had 4 days rest , having to go 4 miles for water, the horses twice a day some sent 16 miles with about 3 horses pulling youir arms out through clouds of dust.
1st March 1917 we moved out to Tel el Fara to do outpost and then about a fortnight in camp then outpost for a fortnight then back to camp.
Went on a 48 hour stunt to blow up Johnny's railway (Johnny Turk) about the end of May.
Left there the next morning then cam back for our horses, watered and set off for Bier Shea (sic) Beersheba getting there about 8 o'clock at night watered at an old well, pulled out other side and saddled off afor about 1.5 hrs. then off again to Kuwilly? (sic) where the infantry werem having a fight with Jacko-did nothing much all day.  Got shelled heavily at night and went to some trenches with ERY (East riding Yeomary-Cavalry from Hull) and the horses went back to Bier Sheba and moved next mornign to the staff. Yea (Stafford Yeomanry?) and had to (oblit) our straps.
Stayed there that day, Next day and morning got our led horse up and moved off again after Jacko while he held up on another lot of hills; after that we went to Sharira to water.  Off saddled until the morning then off again to .......  Stayed the night then finding ourselves after 2 nights at Medgil? to water again but they would not drink, it was all mud.  Moved out next morning in a terrible state the horses were beat for want of water, but that night we got on the sand dunes and got plenty of water and the horses picked up again.
Marched out next mronign this being 13 Nov. to Acre and we found it about 1 o'clock-we got the order to pull down our chinstraps and away we went across the big green patch.
The shells were dropping all around but we were lucky and when we got to the next hill the Turks were off across the other side and we helped them on a bit.
The E.R.Y. drew their swords and away they went-well we stayed on the hill and then on again  we pushed on through the next village and into Acre where we bought bread and wine but we soon forgot about the wine when they said mount and away, and we went again into another mad gallop through the shells and onto the next village where we lost few men-we were very pleased to get back to BHQ (Battalion Headquarters) for a few hours rest but only while daylight then off again with the ERY toward Satrium (sic)
We spent 2 days round there then back to Parleh? then moved to the next village Ludd? fpr a rest but we didnt get very long as we were forced out the next day about 11 o'clock and marched up to the hills north of Jerusalem. When we got to the hills we dismounted and walked for two days, loading our horses, staying one night in the Wadi and the next in a village called An Arik? were it poured down with rain-next morning moved up the hill getting there about midday where we lined the ridge-Jacko had the next sp we had a bit of a rough time and we lost a lot of horses.  About midnight we got the order to retire and we went out of th hills for about for about half a day..... we went down to  Ludd.We was ther about 2 weeks then we fetched the boys out and went back to Durain?   We stayed at camp there about 10 days then moved to Mejdil where we stayed over Christmas. Moved from there 2nd January 1918 down to Bedlara staying one night in Gaza and we had a good time there until we moved out the middle of February to Gaza? where we were cleaaning the wire.  We moved out from here to Aucrea taying a night at Di Senad. We stayed at Sumerea? about 3 weeks having to move camp once on account of the rain then we got the order to move to Belleai?
Again after the beginning of April where the Yeomanry went to France, adn we waited for the Indians then we moved out May 2nd for the Jordan Valley going by Di Senaid? Junction Enale Terta al Dunn. and down into the valley on June 1st. I went to Cairo for 7 days leave got back in time to do a fortnight on outpost.  Left the valley for Bethla?m (Bethlehem?) 1sty July but I went in the dock 4th of ??? Jerusalem for a week in Gaza.

I think all will agree that Jack's story is a unique insight into the earlier war in the middle East with the cavalry, probably the last time it was successfully used in action.





Many thanks to Mr J.W.Leaning (Junior) for all the information.  

Many thanks to Denise Atkin for a hard days slog at the keyboard!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Mr HOODLESS GOULDTHORPE MM DCM CROIX DE GUERRE

Hoodless Gouldthorpe MM DCM CdeGuerre was born on 5th November 1892, and died 4th January 1969, having lived most of his life in Barton.

In 1911 he was working on a farm, for an Arthur and Caroline Spilman at Northorpe as a farm labourer and in another column on the census a servant.

He was 22 years old when the war broke out and he joined the 5th Lincolns in France on 1st March 1915 with the first contingent. He was to see much fighting at the Hohenzollern Redoubt and many of his comrades, and fellow NCOs fell in that battle.

He was married in 1921,when he was 28 to Minnie Welton, of Appleby, who was then 22 and who survived him by 13 years.








Sergeant Hoodless Gouldthorpe, mud still on his boots, earlier on in the war, putting his feet up and relaxing for a photo most likely taken in Flanders behind the lines.  Notice how he still has the match and cigarette in his hand. Past caring? or someone who didn't care much for convention of the time?


Private 2093 and Sergeant 240329 H. Gouldthorpe holder of Victory, British, and 1915 Star having gone out with the Barton contingent on 1st March 1915. Interestingly his address-29 Barrow Road. on his Medal Index Card.
Hoody is listed as a Private on one card under both numbers but this is incorrect detail-not uncommon on military documents of the time.
He was a Sergeant although at the beginning of the war, he might have been of lower rank. His part 2 Medal Index Card refers to him as a Sergeant in the 5th Lincolns T.F.  (Territorial Force)  and having been having been awarded the DCM on 1st January 1918, the traditional date for the Kings New Years Honours.
 The citation for his award of the DCM is as follows-''For courage and devotion to duty when all officers were killed he led with skill and great courage'' London Gazette.

He worked at the Farmers Company, later A.C.C. or Albright and Wilson's.  He was well known for getting veterans work when the seasonal tile yard had closed for the winter, from when the last swallow flew, until the arrival of the first.  Hoody as he was widely known was a foreman, and was involved in unloading boats at the landing stage.





In this photo all the men have got some rank, and some have been wounded several times. There is a sprinkling of Scots Regiments, Camerons and Gordons, Manchesters, and East Yorkshires, Scots Greys, and of course, Hoody fourth from right second row in his Lincolns cap badge.  As to what this occasion was, is only guess work, but it is most likely NCO training or an officer selection process-not a field hospital as not one of them appears to be wounded.  Note Sgt. Gouldthorpes ribbon medals, hazy but just discernible is the ribbon of the DCM,  second only to the VC.  He is the only one wearing ribbons so he would have had plenty of enquiries as to how he got them.
The Military Medal ribbon would sit next to it, and his Croix de Guerre, a foreign decoration inaugurated by the French in 1915 would sit to the left of his British awards.

This photo has the legend on the reverse, NCOs of 'C' Company Sergeants, 5th Lincolnshire Regt. Hoodless is 3rd left at the rear, with his hands on his fellow NCOs shoulders.

Hoody at work unloading a boat at the Farmers Market Landing Stage, date unknown, between the 1920s and 50s?

 After the war, Hoody worked at the Farmer's Company as I have already stated. He went into the Home Guard in the 2nd World War, ready to defend his country, not once, but like so many others like him, twice.








Hoodless' retirement party after a lifetime at the Farmer's Company after a lifetime of bravery and helping others in keeping hunger from the door during hard times.
He died fairly young at the age of 76.







All photos and some information shown here kindly loaned by Trina Dunderdale, granddaughter

Contact details of blog Sean at barton.company@yahoo.co.uk  



Saturday, 1 March 2014

Mr WILLIAM DAVID TOOGOOD

William David  Toogood was  born  at number 2, Priestgate on 20th September 1884.
He was married on Christmas Day  1906  at St. Peters to Emily Phoebe Handson and given away by George her brother. They made their home in Hungate. They had two children George Gilbert and Ada. William was a brake maker at Hoppers Cycles in the 1911 census and was living at 41 High Street.Later in life they were at number 37. He was 29 when the war broke out. 

William's service record shows he was enlisted on 6th February 1915 regimental number m2/290461 on mechanical transport in the 74th division which was Yeomanry, under the command of formed in Egypt in 1917 out of three dismount brigades,  under the command of General Archibald J Murray.  due to gas inhaled in the war, but was also a survivor on the ship Transylvania which was torpedoed on its way to Salonika in 1917 and water in his lungs was also a probability.  In all likelihood he was in the Yeomanry prior to the formation of this division on foreign soil.


The SS Transylvania formerly a Cunard liner, 14348 tonnes sailed out from Marseilles under the escort of two Japanese destroyers the Matsu and the Sakaki. The liner had been requisitioned by the military which doubled her capacity as a troop ship to over 3000.    In the gulf of Genoa she was hit by a torpedo from a sub U-63, commanded by Otto Schultze on May 4th, one day into her journey. 
The Matsu came alongside to take on troops from the stricken vessel, while Sakaki circled to keep the submarine from attacking; this did not deter Schultze who fired again, and the Matsu in turning hard astern to avoid being hit, allowed the Transylvania to be hit once more.  Schultze was one of the most successful U Boat commanders and he survived the war, and got to high command in the German navy.
410 men lost their lives, and many of the recovered bodies are buried at Savona, in the gulf of Genoa where there is apparently a memorial to the dead.



The Division was involved in the battles of Jerusalem, 2nd Gaza, Beersheba, and Tel-Asur.  The division was transferred to France for the battles of Epehy and the 2nd battle of Bapaume. 






The Barton branch of the British Legion were out in force for the funeral, with veterans George Boyce, also a neighbour, Dennis Goodson, Dove, probably Preston Dove, and Mr R Wood being present.Note Mr and Mrs. Leaning also.


William died on 16th February 1933 from the effects of pulmonary TB. and gassing, while living at 37 High Street, at what is now or was Spencer Molloys shop with the loading bay on the first floor.   Emily survived him and lived to the age of 77. She died in 1961. 




Posing in a photo somewhere in possibly Salonika, William Toogoodand a companion bare chested, in tropical dress.


Much gratitude to the family of William Toogood for this information







A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

This blog was conceived after a long research 25 years into the history of Barton upon Humber in the Great War.  I started it at school in 1984, when our class teacher Norman Warriner, sent us out, armed with cameras to find out a little about local history. Finding little of value, that was of interest to 17 year olds, I hit upon the idea of going into an old people's home and ''bothering grannies'' for some idea of what the town was like back in the day.  The museum had nothing much to speak of at that time; the trials and tribulations of that institution need no introduction!

I was shown around the Willows, the retirement home off Pasture Road, which features heavily in this work, by a lady who was very helpful, Mrs Caroline Manchester; she directed me to an old fella who sat on his own named Harry Hewson.  Although not from Barton he had settled in Broughton after the Great War.

I sat astonished as he informed me of going to the doctors in the middle of the night some 75 years previous, on bare horse back for his dying father's medicine, then his enlistment into the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry; the very name of the regiment had a Napoleonic ring to it, a world of cavalry charges and fledgling biplanes-yet they went into the trenches of 1914-to a static warfare of barbed wire trenches and machine guns, along with all the other horrors invented by mankind-I was hooked by this.

I was to meet Jack Thompson, Jack Aldridge and Bertie Mills through my travels, and many others not connected with Barton. 

I sat and listened and recorded for hours-I still have the original notes 30 years on. 

Another thing that got me hooked  was the War Illustrated. This was a weekly newspaper which was bound into volumes at the end of the War. It was full of propaganda, spy paranoia, a bit like the Sun of today-nothing much changes, but as years have gone by I found that the contents for the most part were not that far from the truth.  The most interesting thing about these volumes for me personally is that they taught my grandfather Josef Bukacek, how to speak English.  He was on the run from the Nazis and he and his comrades formed the nucleus of  the Czech Free Army.  His friends who had travelled with him went on to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich the Hitler appointed governor general of Czecholovakia, but that is another story and I digress, the books have a special place for me from the two angles, despite the fact that they take up a great deal of room.

Third and finally was an old photo, seen in this blog, of the Barton men assembled in khaki, half of them boys, outside the Butts Road drill hall en-masse in 1914, ready for the biggest journey of their lives, from which some obviously would never return.  I was given a clandestine copy of this from the printers, and I asked lots of people who were the men in the photo, without at first much success.  It became a lifetime work, to find out who they were, what they id, were they fought, and several journeys, to the old peoples homes, France and Flanders bore fruit, if only moderate amounts.
More photos were to come, with names attached the bulk of it only many years later.

Fourthly I made contact with the late Reverend Hugh Varah, and his lovely wife who supplied me with his his study, his documents and a lot of cuppas, and Brian Peeps who supplied me with the Parish magazines, a myriad of lists and photos, personal memories-a veritable treasure trove. One common denominating factor is that everyone connected with this has a very patient wife!

By 2003 a lot of information was coming out on the internet. The London Gazette where I got a lot of the information about Colonel Wilson, the medal winners , the Wargraves Commission and other bodies had ploughed a massive amount of detail ont onto the internet-A CD Rom ''Soldiers Died in the Great War'' appeared on the Great War scene, which was more or less taking a back seat owing to work commitments and it was on these that I discovered that there were 30 names missing from the Barton Cenotaph, as seen in a separate chapter.

It intrigued me as to why and when the names were chosen for the Cenotaph.
There was, according to the late Ted Appleyard MBE in a 4 hour phone call I had with him one night! money changing hands and the usual political shenanigans. One lady who donated £200 for her sons name, who had only visited Barton once.  And as Barton Cenotaph was one of the first to be erected in Britain, it was possible that the rush to get the names down, accounted for the misplaced names.   

I thoroughly researched the names that were missing and checked the details were correct.  When Ancestry came on the scene I found that the details were correct and that the names had been omitted for whatever reason.

By about 2007 then I had information galore to go on with, acres of it. I produced my own CD Rom having visited various people including a new face, retired teacher Nigel Land, who was working on his own book about Hoppers Cycle Works. He put the Hopper threads together for me along with Chris Bailey and Steve Bramley, whom he had introduced me to, and who, had unbeknownst to me had been doing exactly the same as I had, taking tape recorders on their bikes across the Wolds to interview/bother pensioners!

A lot of stuff had come together and the CD Rom was serialized in the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph for a week.

All went quiet and I thought I could knock the whole project on the head, until in 2012 I found an old email that I had somehow missed among the flurry of those I had received from Laurie Robinson. I replied to it with apologies for not getting back sooner.

I was given marching orders to come up and visit him in Barrow Road, and since then the information has been coming non stop.  Laurence with his myriad of contacts in Barton, poured a whole new lease of life into the project.  His own photos of his family and mementos and his vivid recollections of his Granddad Jim Knight added a real dimension to the work. 
He himself has been knocking on doors and the stuff he has bought back to the blog has been incredible, as well as his own personal memories of old Barton.

Reading the chapter on the missing names he was shocked as I initially was that the men and woman  had been omitted from the memorial and together, after working on the repair of Colonel Wilson's grave we founded the Barton upon Humber Living Memorial Trust.  Although I do not play an active part in the organization. I feel somewhat proud to be connected with it. 

Finally after a couple of years of Lawrence's grit and determination, his fund raising, and badgering the council, with the effort and information put in by Mike Hemblade, two new memorial stones have been made to be placed on the cenotaph so that the men and the one woman who fell in the Great War from Barton are rightfully and permanently remembered.  This all came together in the Barton museum in a ceremony which was attended by local dignitaries and from further afield, a religious service was held and the last post was sounded; the museum which Laurie and Brian have breathed new life into, with the long hours of research and typing alo put in by Prudence Gaughan, Donald and Marjorie Ball.
I am told that 'Pru' is a driving force at times and that all have made outsatnding contributions to the venture.  On its first day, the Great War exhibition at Barton had 300 visitors.

Hopefully the Trust will be copycatted and other areas will up the ante, as Lawrence himself said, ''Given the nature of mankind, we know there are going to be more names added to it in the future.''

So we go on. I can never say ''it's finished'' because it isn't, you never know what's round the corner and what you can unearth.

Sean W J Scholfield 1st March 2014 

Contact myself Sean at barton.company@yahoo.co.uk  or Laurence Robinson at 






Tuesday, 18 February 2014

MR JOHN MARSHALL ''JACK'' ANDREW

John ''Jack'' Marshall Andrew was a young farmer of Ninety Acre farm at Elsham, the son of Everitt and Elisa Andrew.   He was born 19th April 1897. The Andrews lived at Elsham Top Farm, his father being the foreman for a Mr. Duncan Dodds at the princely wage of £25 per annum. Hack attened the village school until he was 12 years old, and then went to work on the land, sevring time as a gamekeeper.


Jack was enlisted at 19 years old  into the 4th South Staffordshire Regiment, giving his trade as a general labourer living at Elsham Lines.  He was a tall lad for the time,
being 5 ft and 9 in.
The record for him reads.
Attested 12-2-16
Army Reserve 13-2-16
Mobilized 27-2-17
Posted 27-3-17
He was to be transferred most likely from this reserve, into the 2nd Battalion Linciolnshire Regiment, a regular battalion.  He never actually served in the 4th Staffords, and was only on the nominal roll for this unit, should he be called up; when he went it was in the county regiment.In any case, he trained at Grimsby and Belton before leavign for France.
A booklet from Elsham village described him as being in severe fighting around Ypres and the neighbourhood, and at Passchendaele ridge.

Farming was a reserved occupation and it is probably because of this  Jack was kept back for a year.  The Government reviewed their farmers scheme and finally sent a lot to France in the Autumn of 1916.  This short sighted policy led to harvests not being sewn nor reaped, among the other tasks facing the older fathers and grandfathers left on the farms, and the policy was eventually rescinded.  Those that had survived were by and large returned home to work their farms in 1918.  This was a complete policy failure that helped to starve Britain which was already suffering from the submarine campaign of Admiral Tirpitz.

There is very little on Jack in his military records apart from these bare items.



He went into the Lincolns aged 19 in late 1917, and according to his papers was posted to Cork, in Ireland.  This was just a year after the Easter Uprising in Dublin.  Cork was not a completely safe place to be for British soldiers.  It was to become known as ''Rebel Cork'', the homeland of Michael Collins, though in 1917, the strong military presence there probably annulled too much rebel activity.  Much worse was to come in 1919/20 but at this time it was reasonably quiet.  Bandon was the main military centre for the British Army.  Cork was very loyal during the war, giving a lot of men as volunteers and winning a lot of medals for bravery, but the milk turned sour when the war ended.  Many soldiers who enlisted from 1916 on got a spell in Ireland prior to embarking for Flanders.

Jack was a sniper and had the crossed rifles of a marksman on his sleeve. He had after all been a gamekeeper prior to the war in his farming life so he new how to handle and use a rifle. 

A patrol was sent out one evening to locate a German sniper; a Sergeant and a handful of men. Within so many yards, there was only Jack Andrew and the sergeant remaining, who took cover in a shell hole.   The Sergeant said, ''Wait while it gets dark and we'll make a run for it.'' Duly the sergeant arose from the shell hole they were sitting in and was taken instantly by a bullet. John Andrew told me, ''My father was a patient man, and he sat and waited; he could see an embankment, a railway and caught the gleam of a scope. Finally after several hours this German rose from his spot and was stretching himself.  Jack took the chance and felled him with his rifle. He crawled over to the embankment and took the German's dog tags. The sniper's position was between two sleeper under the rail, (which was most likely war damaged) hence he was so hard to place. He bought the tags back to the officer and explained what happened. The officer told him he would be recommended for a medal, but he was killed himself before the report was submitted. John Andrew told me that it ''troubled my father in later life that he had killed a man, but he had saved a lot of lives by killing this sniper.''


Jack wrote home to his family in March 1918, to say that he had ''got out alright...not as bad as expected..'' without the loss of any men in his battalion.  This would have been the beginning of March.

 ''In the battle some of them lost their heads and soon got ''cappued'' (shot, killed)  ...I enjoyed sniping at Hun but...oh those shells and gas...''

His luck was to run out as he was wounded in action in the legs and back, in five places in total. also being gassed later on 21st March 1918, at Cambrai; he was now a prisoner of war. This was the first day of the great German offensive. 
He was transferred to Poland to a large POW camp that contained many Russians.
 He worked in the hospital section of the 'Lager' or prison that he was confined in.
It seems he was a man of letters as he learned to peak Russian, which is a difficult language to pick up.
 In later years it seems he was a little anti-war at least.  One one occasion he lifted up his shirt to show young national servicemen the scars he had gained in battle at his farm..
''That is what you get for fighting lost causes.'' he told them.
Jack returned to farming post war at Ninety Acre Farm.
He again became a gamekeeper on the Elsham estate, and was then at Wrawby Moor. From 1920 to 1946 he was a special contable. In 1922 he married Elisabeth Huttoft.  They had two sons, Tom born in 1924, and John born in 1929.
In 1937 he moved to Barton to join his father and brother famring at Grange Farm.
During WW2 he trained a small auxiliary unit ready to hassle the Germans, had they succeeded in invading Britain. After the second war, he became well known as a breeder of shire horses.  He passed away in 1972.



                          Jack in the uniform of the 5th Lincolns shortly after his return to England



POW. Jack shown with possibly a German surgeon (his son says this man was probably a cook-and a Russian POW; Jack is on the right in a Russian uniform
 Bear in mind he had been severely wounded and his own uniform would have been cut from him as he received treatment.  His son, John showed me a piece of the shrapnel removed from his body, an inch of what would have been hot steel.
The Russian in the centre was stealing food for the prisoners at night, he was very adept.  He must have been stealing it of the Germans, as all they had was cabbage soup normally. He would have been shot if he had been caught.  We can only speculate as to what happened to him after the war, returning to Stalin's Soviet Republic.

Camp life was hard; disease, harsh treatment by the enemy, starvation, and lice.  Life was slightly easier for the British prisoners, the Russians were treated very harshly by their captors. Still many died after their return to their home countries.
However Jack recounted that the treatment he received from German surgeons was very good.

When Jack returned to England his invalid status showed him to have GSW (gunshot wounds) to abdomen back and thigh. This gave him a 40% disability rating but this was reviewed to 20%.  This entitled him to 11 shillings per week for 26 weeks which was then cut to 5 shillings and 6d (pence) for a further 26 weeks.



He was to write in an undated letter, which is contained in his military papers;

Dear Sir,  I have been talking to a man yesterday who was a prisoner of war and I understand that he got two months leave with ration allowance besides his 28 days mobilization leave. Well now I was a prisoner of war and I only got 25 days leave and never got a penny for being a prisoner.  Will you be kind enough to let me know where to apply for it and oblige.
Yours truly
31654 Private J M Andrew 2nd Lincs Regt.

He received a negative response however, with Army command in Lichfield informing his that his allowance was not given as he had been admitted to hospital upon arrival back in Britain.  Therefore he was penalized for being wounded.

After the war Jack returned to his farm.  He was a great runner, very keen on sports, and won the 100 metres hurdle at the Elsham races seven times running.  He found it difficult to do greater distances because of the effects of poison gas on his chest. 


Many thanks go to the family of Jack Andrew for the loan of photos and information from Mr. John Andrew.