ROTD AUG 15 LARGE

 

The Western Front Association rembers soldiers who served and died, from the Allies and Central Powers, during the First World War.

 

There will usually be a picture, though not always. There is a short personal biography: when and where they were born and what they did before the war, followed by their enlistment, training, and service.

 

All WW1 forces, all sides, on all fronts, east to west remembered as individual soldiers, nurses, labourers and others on the home front, their lives, service, their loss, burial and commemoration. 

 

Some can be more detailed than others. Included will be their final action or cause of death and their final resting place. 

 

Research by David O'Mara.

 

Readers are invited to add their comments and to submit ideas for people to feature.

21 July 1916 Pte Thomas Rigby13780 Pte Thomas Rigby, 10th Bn Duke of Wellington's (W Riding) Regt.

Born in Sawley, Yorkshire in 1890, Thomas, a farmer in civilian life, enlisted into the newly formed 10th battalion of the West Riding Regiment in Chatburn in September 1914. He arrived in France in August 1915 and was employed as a stretcher bearer until he was invalided back to the UK after suffering poisoning caused by infected drinking water. After 11 weeks in hospital, Thomas returned to France and resumed his former duties with his battalion until being struck down by shrapnel in the arm during the battle of the Somme. Invalided back to the UK for treatment again, Thomas was recovering well until complications set in. He died in Frensham Hospital, Surrey, but was buried closer to home in St.Ambrose Churchyard, Grindleton.

21 July 1916

Research by David O'Mara

 

 Black and white photograph of Alex McKenzie killed in action 20 July 1916
 Alex McKenzie

 

1797 Pte. Alexander McGregor McKenzie, 32 nd Bn.AIF

Alexander McKenzie was born at Talia, South Australia on 11 January 1891; he was a farmer.

He enlisted at Keswick, South Australia on 7 May 1915 and embarked on overseas service from Adelaide on 23 June 1915.

After serving at Gallipoli with the 27th Bn AIF from September 1915, Alexander moved to Egypt.

After a period of illness, he transferred to the 32nd Battalion and moved to France, arriving at Marseilles on 23 June 1916.

On 19 July 1916, the 32nd Bn took part in their first major engagement at Fromelles. Alexander was posted as missing in action the following day.

Missing until the recent discovery of a mass grave, Alexander’s name is commemorated on the Australian Memorial at VC Corner, Fromelles. His remains were discovered – amongst 250 British and Australians – in a mass grave at Pheasant Wood in 2008.

Through a combination of anthropological, archaeological, historical and DNA information, a number of these remains were identified.

Alexander’s remains were amongst those identified and he now lies in a marked grave in the newly created Pheasant Wood CWGC cemetery at Fromelles.

20 July 1916 killed in action

 

Research by David O'Mara

References:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (www.cwgc.org)

Australian Service Records (National Archives of Australia): ( http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/ )

Australian War Memorial (War Diaries, Embarkation Rolls, Roll of Honour, etc.) ( https://www.awm.gov.au/ )

18 July 1916 Lance Corporal Eugene Walter LinleyLance Corporal Eugene Walter Linley, 5th Battalion, Cameron Highlanders.

Lance Corporal Linley of B Company was reported missing on 18 July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Born about 1893 in Inverness. The 1901 census records him living at Muirfiled Road, Inverness, with his parents Fred [b.1859 Huddersfield?, Yorkshire] and Ellen Louise [b.1861], brothers Fred Kay [b.1890], Richard Musgrave [b.1898] and a domestic servant.

His younger brother Richard Musgrave Linley also served in the Great War, with 4th Btn London Regiment [London Scottish], Pte 8029 London Rgt, and was wounded on 30th April 1918 and again in October 1918 and was twice gassed later the same month.

The 5th (Service) Battalion Cameron Highlanders was formed at Inverness in August 1914 as a  battalion of volunteers responding to Kitchener's call to arms. The Battalion was in 26 Brigade in 9th (Scottish) Division. They moved to train in Aldershot and in February 1915 were in Bordon. The 5th Camerons went to France on 10 May 1915.

Lance Corporal Linley was in 'B' Company in July 1916 when XIII Corps was committed to capturing the high ground at Longueval on 14 July. The attack was led by 26 Brigade with 8th Black Watch and 10th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders leading, supported by 9th Seaforth Highlanders, with 5th Cameron Highlanders in reserve. The plan envisaged 26 Brigade seizing Longueval whereupon 27 Brigade would pass through to capture the dominating ground of Delville Wood to the north-east.

The assaulting troops quickly fought their way into Longueval where they became involved in brutal close-quarters hand-to-hand action, into which 27 Brigade were introduced in support. On 15 July, with all but the northern quarter of Longueval in British control, the South African Brigade was moved up to capture Delville Wood. The Germans stubbornly defended the wood for three days defying every attempt to drive them out - the fighting degenerating into a hideous struggle amongst the burning and blasted tree stumps. At daybreak on 18 July heavy enemy shelling which went on all day heralded a determined counter attack by the German 8th Infantry Division. The surviving elements of 26 Brigade attempted to reinforce the South Africans who held on until 3rd Division entered the battle to relieve the survivors on 20 July. By this time British, South African and German corpses were strewn throughout Longueval and Delville Wood. The situation had become quite desperate; German snipers made it impossible even to bring up drinking water; casualty evacuation was only achieved at huge risk and there was no possibility of recovering the bodies of the dead.

18 July 1916

Source : IWM Collections and Faces of the First World War

German WW1 soldier Otto Stadler died on this day 16 July 1918
Otto Stadler

 

U/Offz. Otto Stadler, 4. Komp. Kgl. Bay. 28. Inf, Regt.

Born in Biederwinkling, Bavaria in May 1895, Otto was a housekeeper in his civilian life. Called into service in March 1915, he saw frontline service from July 1916.

Fighting in Rumania through 1916 and 1917, Otto was a recipient of the Iron Cross 2nd Class and moved to the Western Front in May 1918 in time to take part in the 2nd Battle of the Aisne.

Killed in action near Neuville during the attacks towards Epernay, he is now buried in the ‘Kameradengrab’ of the German Military Cemetery at Marfaux, Marne.

16 July 1918

 

Research by David O'Mara.

 

References:

Histories of 251 Divisions of the German Army which Participated in the War US General Staff, Pub.1920

Schlachten des Weltkrieges (Band 34 – Der Letzte Deutsche Angriff, Reims 1918)) – Pub: Berlin 1930

Schlachten des Weltkrieges (Band 35 – Schicksals Wende ..von der Marne bus zur Vesle 1918)) – Pub: Berlin 1930

Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (www.volksbund.de)

Verlustlisten 1.Weltkrieg (http://des.geneology.net)

19_july_1916_corporal_john_beresford_brysonCorporal John Beresford Bryson, 53 Battalion, Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force (AIF).

John was from of New South Wales, Australia, and he was the son of James and Emily Bryson, of Huskisson, New South Wales. He enlisted on 1 August 1915 and he embarked from Australia on 2 November 1915. John was killed at Fleurbaix on 19 July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He was aged 25 at the time of his death. He is buried at Rue-du-Bois Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix.

19 July 1916

Source : IWM Collections and Faces of the First World War

 Sgt Omer US AEF died of a brain tumour 17 July 1918
 Omer Albert Huntzinger

 

Sgt Omer Albert Huntzinger, 15 Co, 2nd Regiment, Signal Corps

Born at Anderson, Indiana on 7 September 1894, Omer enlisted into the army at Newcastle, Indiana on 7 December 7 1917.

Trained at Fort Thomas, Kentucky and Camp Merritt, New Jersey, he embarked for service with the AEF in March 1918 but fell ill within weeks after arrival.

Moved into US Hospital No.4 in France, Omer died of a brain tumour on 17 July 1918.

His remains were returned to the USA post-war.

17 July 1918 died of a brain tumour

 

Research by David O'Mara.

 

Reference:

Gold Star Honor Roll (Indiana Historical Collections, World War Records) Pub. 1921

American Battle Monuments Commission (www.abmc.gov)

Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War Pub. 1931-1949, reprint 1988

Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication) . ( www.archives.gov )

Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C ( www.archives.gov )

15 July 1917 Pte Fred Crabtree32157 Pte Fred Crabtree, 10th Bn York and Lancaster Regt.

Born in Burnley. Lancashire in 1888, Fred was employed as a Loom Over-Looker at the Rake Head Shed, Burnley before the war. Originally serving as 267421 in the Army Service Corps from November 1916 (after being on the reserve and still at home since December 1915), he was transferred to the West Yorkshire Regiment (10th Bn) in March 1917, with whom he arrived in France later that month. In April 1917, Fred was allocated to the 10th York and Lancs but was wounded in the face on 26 April and was destined to spend the next months in hospital. He rejoined his battalion on 26 June 1917 but was killed in action just 19 days later on 15 July.

Fred is now buried in Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium.

15 July 1917

Research by David O'Mara 

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