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.

29 February 1916 Smn Nathan Mugford1171X Smn Nathan Mugford, Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve.

Born at Port de Grave in 1892, Nathan was serving on HMS Alcantara at the time of his death. A former ocean liner, the Alcantara had been armed in 1915 but encountered the German armed merchant cruiser SMS Greif in the North Sea on 29 February 1916. During the action, the Alcantara was crippled by torpedoes and the Greif severely damaged by exploding ammunition. Both ships had to be abandoned and the Alcantara was sunk (the abandoned Greif being later sunk by the Comus and the Munster). 72 men died on the Alcantara and 187 on the Greif, Nathan being one of them. As he has ‘no grave but the sea', Nathan is commemorated on the Beaumont Hamel Newfoundland Memorial.

Research by David O'Mara

1 March 1917 A B Tom HowarthJ/31132 A B Tom Howarth, Royal Navy

Born in Burnley, Lancashire on 8 April 1897, Tom was employed as a weaver at Lancaster's Mill, Burnley prior to enlisting in the Royal Navy during the summer immediately before the outbreak of war.

At the time of the declaration of war, Tom was already serving on a destroyer in the North Sea and soon saw action against the KMS Bluecher following the second 'Scarborough Dash'.

Further action followed during Tom's service on HMS Defender at Jutland and (on another vessel) off Salonika.

After being a crew member on board a crippled ship that managed to limp into Belfast after a week in the open sea, Tom was transferred to the relatively newly built HMS Pheasant which struck a mine off the Orkney Islands on 1 March 1917 and sank with the loss of all 87 hands on board.

Having no grave but the sea, Tom is commemorated on the Plymouth Memorial.

 

1 March 1917 died on this day.

Research by David O'Mara

28 February 1917 Sgt John James Campbell163258 Sgt John James Campbell, 75th Bn CEF.

Born in Birmingham, England on 28 March 1882, John served for two years in the Durham Light Infantry before emigrating to Canada in 1907 where he gained employment as a carpenter in Toronto. Enlisting at Toronto on 4 August 1915, John embarked for overseas service in June 1916 and he took part in the Battle of the Somme where he was severely wounded by a shell on 18 November 1916. After being evacuated to the UK, he had to have his right arm amputated in December 1916. Transferred to Edmonton Hospital, John made good progress but he suddenly fell ill after contracting an infection and he died on 28 February 1917. To compound the grief for his wife, John's infant son had died in Canada a week earlier. He is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey.

28 February 1917

Research by David O'Mara

 Photograph of Corporal Edward Struck
 Cpl Edward Struck 

 

Cpl. Edward E.Struck, Co.I. , 18th Infantry Regt.

A machinist from South Bend, Indiana, Edward was born on 8 June 1897.

Edward enlisted into the US Regular Army at South Bend on 23 December 1918.

After training at Columbus Barracks, Ohio, Edward was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas until receiving orders to proceed overseas with the American Expeditionary Force.

Sailing for France on 14 June 1917, Edward saw service in Alsace and Lorraine while on attachment to the French Army.

Cpl Struck was posted as ‘missing in action’ in the Toul Sector on 1 March 1918.

Edward’s remains were never recovered and his name is now commemorated on the ‘Tablets of the Missing’ at St.Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, Meuse.

1 March 1918 killed in action.

Research by David O'Mara.

REFERENCES:

 

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

American Battle Monuments Commission (www.abmc.gov)

History of the 1st Division during the World War 1917-19 Pub. 1922

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

27 Feb 1918 Pte Harold Layfield19748 Pte Harold Layfield, 2nd Bn East Lancashire Regt.

Born at Bramhall, Cheshire in August 1894, Harold was a weaver in Burnley, Lancashire prior to enlistment. He enlisted at Crewe in August 1914 and, after training, was sent on active service in France on 3 March 1916.

A veteran of the Battles of the Somme and 3rd Ypres, Harold was severely wounded by shellfire whilst engaged in a working party on the Bellevue spur near Passchendaele village on 27 February 1918. Dying of his wounds in a Casualty Clearing Station near Poperinghe later the same day, he is buried in Nine Elms British Cemetery, West Flanders.

27 February 1918

  

Research by David O'Mara

25-feb-1918-gnr-george-thistlewaite171932 Gnr George Thistlewaite, 226 Siege Battery RGA.

Of Austwick, near Settle, George was 20 years old when he was mortally wounded. He was to die of his wounds at Remy Farm hospital, near Poperinge on 25 February 1918 and is now buried in the attached Lijssenthoek Military cemetery (where his date of death is recorded as 18 February).

25 February 1918

Research by David O'Mara

Back to top