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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.

25 July 1917 Lieutenant Arnold MarcusLieutenant (Junior Grade) Arnold Marcus, US Navy

Arnold Marcus was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on 26 June 1892. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy between 1909 and 1913 and was commissioned in the rank of Ensign upon graduation. He subsequently served in the armored cruiser Pittsburgh in the Pacific Fleet and, beginning in 1914, with the Asiatic Fleet in the gunboats Pampanga and Helena and the monitor Monadnock. The latter was tender to submarines stationed in the Philippines and, in April 1917, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Marcus became Commanding Officer of the submarine A-7. On 24 July of that year, while on patrol in Manila Bay, A-7 suffered an internal gasoline explosion and fire that fatally injured several of her crew. Despite his own injuries, Marcus attempted to beach the damaged submarine and refused medical care until his men had been treated. He died the following day at the nearby Canacao Naval Hospital.

The destroyer Marcus (DD-321), 1921-1935, was named in honour of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Marcus.

25 July 1917

Source, courtesy: US Naval Historical Centre

24 July 1917 Pte Albert Hart

Pte Albert Hart

32230 Pte Albert Hart, 6th Bn Bedfordshire Regt.

Born and residing in Studham, Albert enlisted in Hertford. Initially enlisting into the 4th Battalion, he was later transferred to the 1st before finally being transferred once more to the 6th.

 

A seasoned soldier by the time of his death, Albert had served in France from 27 April 1915 and had been wounded at least once.

 

He was killed in action by shellfire whilst manning trenches in the southern Ypres Salient on 24 July 1917. Albert is now buried in Cabin Hill Cemetery, Belgium.

 

24 July 1917 killed in action

Research by David O'Mara.

 

22_july_1916_major-general_ingouville-williams
Major-General Ingouville-Williams

Major-General Ingouville-Williams, 34th Division.

In 1914 Brigadier General Edward Ingouville-Williams went to France as a commander of 16 Infantry Brigade (6th Division). He was promoted to Major-General, in June 1915, when he took command of the newly formed 34th Division, which he took to the front in January 1916. The Division lost heavily on 1 July 1916 when it attacked at La Boiselle. The Division was in the fighting line until 19 July when it was withdrawn.

Major-General Ingouville-Williams (known as "Inky Bill" to his troops) paid the following tribute to his division:

" My men did glorious deeds. Never have I seen men go through such a hell of a barrage of artillery. They advanced as on parade, and never flinched. I can't speak too highly of them. They earned a great record. But, alas, at a great cost. I am very sad at losing all my brave fellows, but so glad that their grand work is appreciated by the Corps Commander, Army Commander and Sir Douglas Haig. My brave men had to face a long advance to reach their objective ... They did their duty nobly. Never shall I cease singing the praises of my men, and I shall never have the same grand men to deal with again. I think they have done their part well, and their attack made all the subsequent success possible."

On 22 July Major-General Ingouville-Williams went with his ADC to the Bois-de-Mametz to make a personal reconnaissance of the ground where he was to take his Division into action the following week, south-west of Mametz Wood. After walking back from Contalmaison around the south side of the wood to meet his car, which was at Montauban, he was caught in an artillery barrage.

He was hit by a piece of shrapnel which killed him instantly. He was 54 years of age.

22 July 1916 killed in an artillery barrage.

Research by David Tattersfield, WFA Development Trustee

Photo 1 - courtesy Worcester Regimental Museum.

Photo 2 below - grave at Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension

ingouville-williams-grave

 

 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/ )

23 July 1917 Pte George Clement Sutcliffe
Pte George Clement Sutcliffe

Pte George Clement Sutcliffe, 1/4th KOYLI.

The 49th (West Riding) Division had, following the Battle of the Somme, moved to the Neuve Chapelle area; the division stayed in this sector until 13 July 1917 when it was ordered to proceed to Bethune railway station. After de-training at Dunkirk, the division moved up the coast, taking over the coastal defences at Nieuport on 18 July.

The 1/5th KOYLI took over part of the front line with the 1/4th KOYLI in support of them. The  KOYLIs soon discovered that this was not a quiet sector. On 19 July the Germans launched an attack but were beaten off. German artillery heavily bombarded the British positions on 20 July and again on the night of the 21/22 July, using a new type of gas shell. This gas, called mustard gas, caused blistering both externally and internally and, because it was colourless and virtually odourless, gave little warning of its presence. The only sign of the gas was a faint smell of garlic or mustard which was to give the gas its name. Upon coming into contact with it, there would be a slight irritation of the nose and throat followed by sneezing and vomiting; eyes became inflamed and painful, leading to temporary blindness. Coughing continued in survivors for a week.

The immediate effect of the bombardment of 21/22 July in the 1/4th KOYLI was seven men killed and nine men wounded. However this does not include those who had become poisoned by gas; nine officers and 413 men had been affected. The following day, there were a further three officers and 73 men who became affected by the lingering gas. (Casualties in the 1/5th  KOYLI , although bad, were not as high as the 1/4th KOYLIs.)

With casualties as heavy as these the 1/4th KOYLI were withdrawn. However the full results of the gas attack only became apparent over the next few days. One man died of gas poisoning on 22 July and two on the next day. Over the course of the next five days, 82 men died of the effects of the gas; the rate at which the men died then began to diminish, with 20 men succumbing over the subsequent four days.

One of the early gas casualties was George Clement Sutcliffe. George was born in Mirfield on 18 March 1884 to Mr and Mrs James Sutcliffe. Educated at Mirfield Parish Day School, he followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a waterman, being employed by Sam Schofield of Lower Hopton to carry coal by barge between Brighouse and Wakefield. George was married with three children, living at 751 Huddersfield Road, Ravensthorpe and he was a member of the Wesleyan Chapel in Ravensthorpe. Before the war George had joined the territorials (possibly the Duke of Wellington's) but, in January 1914, he transferred to the Yorkshire Dragoons (a Yeomanry Regiment based in Wakefield); the reason for him arranging this transfer is possibly due to his barge run terminating in Wakefield.

The newspapers describe George as "...not being of robust constitution..." which is the likely reason for him not being sent to France until December 1916, despite volunteering four times. This posting to France necessitated another transfer, this time to the KOYLI. After spending a few days' home leave and ten days' training, George joined the locally-raised 1/4th Battalion.

Amy Sutcliffe, George's wife, received a telegram on Tuesday, 31 July 1917 informing her that George had died of gas poisoning on Monday, 23 July. George is buried in Adinkerke Churchyard Extension, on the Belgian coast. Two British Casualty Clearing Stations were here in July 1917, and the graves from these two stations, which number just 70, were made at the rear of a Belgian military cemetery.

23 July 1917 died of gas poisoning

Research by David Tattersfield, WFA Development Trustee.

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

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

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