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.

Sdt 2Cl Jacques Eugen Valfort 9 May 1915Sdt 2 Cl Jacques Eugène Valfort, 17e R I.

Born at Roanne, Loire on 21 October 1894, Jacques was in preparation for his compulsory military service when war broke out. Called up into the 17th Infantry Regiment at Epinal in September 1914, he was soon serving at the front and, by the end of 1914 was located in the Artois sector where he was to remain for his entire service.

Jacques was killed in action during the intensive battle to seize the Lorette spur on the first day of the 2nd Battle of Artois – 9 May 1915 – and has no known grave.

9 May 1915

Research by David O'Mara

 

8 May 1917 Pte Arthur Chatterton27209 Pte Arthur Chatterton, 8th Bn East Yorkshire Regt.

Born at Theddlethorpe, Lincolnshire in 1881, Arthur was working as a wool sorter in the USA at the time of the outbreak of war. Upon the declaration of war, he returned to the UK and worked as a munitions worker near Glusburn, Yorkshire before enlisting into the East Yorkshire Regiment at Cross Hills, Yorkshire in early 1916.

He was sent on active service to the Western Front in November 1916 and first saw action on the Ancre following the Battle of the Somme. Arthur was next in action during the Battle of Arras in April 1917 where he was severely wounded (gun shot wound to the left leg) during the Battle of Arleux towards the end of the month. He died of wounds in one of the General Hospitals at Camiers on 8 May 1917 and is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais.

8 May 1917

Research by David O'Mara

6 May 1918  Pvt Joseph William WelshPvt Joseph William Welsh, Co G, 18th Infantry, US Army.

From Greensburg, Indiana, Joseph was born on 13 November 1894. He enlisted into the US regular army at Greensburg on 16 April 1917 and was sent to Douglas, Arizona where he was assigned to the 18th Infantry Regiment.

After being sent overseas in June 1917, he fought at Sommerville, Toul, Cantigny and Chateau-Thierry where he was wounded in action. He died of these wounds on 6 May 1918; he was the first soldier from Decatur County to be killed in the war. Joseph's body was repatriated post-war.

6 May 1918

 

Research by David O'Mara

 

Capt Godfrey Henry Ermen 4 May 1915Capt Godfrey Henry Ermen, 2/6th Bn Duke of Wellingtons (W Riding) Regt.

A general manager for the English Sewing Cotton Company, Godfrey was born at Barton upon Irwell, Lancashire in 1877. Having seen previous service with the 6th Manchester Regiment in the Boer War, he applied for a commission immediately upon the outbreak of war in August 1914, which was granted into the reserve battalion of the West Riding territorials based at Skipton.

Soon (October 1914) promoted to Captain, Godfrey was appointed adjutant whilst at Doncaster but fell ill and had to return home on sick leave. During this leave, Godfrey died at home (Milton House, Gargrave) and was buried with full military honours at St Andrew's churchyard, Gargrave soon afterwards.

4 May 1915

 

Research by David O'Mara 

 Photograph of Herbert or the Royal Fusiliers killed in action 7 May 1916
Pte Herbet Curran

SP/2101 Pte. Herbert Curran, ‘C’ Coy, 24th Bn Royal Fusiliers

Herbet was born at Shankhill, Antrim in 1895. He enlisted at Belfast in 1914.

After training in London and Hornchurch, Herbert arrived in France on 15 November 1915.

He served on the Artois front for trench aclimatisation.

He was killed in action on 7th May 1916 near Fosse 10, Sains-en-Gohelle after his dug-out was hit by a German shell killing four of the occupants.

Herbert was buried in Tranchee De Mecknes Cemetery, Aix Noulette.

7 May 1916 killed in action.

Research by David O'Mara

References:

Ancestry.com. British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:

Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Army Medal Office. WWI Medal Index Cards. In the care of The Western Front Association.

The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls; Class: WO 329

The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; First World War and Army of Occupation War Diaries; Class: WO 95

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (www.cwgc.org )

Soldiers Died in the Great War – HMSO 1921

Greater Burnley Roll of Honour Pub: Burnley 1920

Photographic source: Inst in the Great Warr http://www.instgreatwar.com/index.htm (accessed 3 May 2016)

Plant Tommy's Rose to remember a soldier who fought and died during the First World War.

Pte Herbert M Wightwick 5 May 1915Pte Herbert M Wightwick, 5th Bn CEF.

Born in Hastings, Sussex on 27 August 1885, Herbert emigrated to Canada where, at the time of the outbreak of war, he was employed as a clerk in Red Deer, Alberta. He enlisted at Red Deer into the Canadian Army and was attested at Valcartier on 22 September 1914.

With the 5th Bn CEF, Herbert sailed from Quebec on 3 October 1914 and after harbouring at Plymouth, England, disembarked at Devonmouth on October 20 1914. After spending the next few months in training on Salisbury Plain, he arrived in France (St.Nazaire) on 14 February 1915, soon afterwards moving to the front-line area near Armentieres. Following on from initial frontline experiences in that area in March 1915, Herbert's unit was moved into the Ypres Salient – just prior to the start of the 2nd Battle of Ypres.

After being heavily involved in action during this battle from the first days, Herbert was killed in action during a bombardment of his position on the Canal Bank to the north of Ypres on 5 May 1915.

He is buried in Duhallow ADS Cemetery, Ypres.

5th May 1915 killed in action

Research by David O'Mara

3 May 1917 Pte William Burton37746 Pte William Burton, B Coy 18th Bn Durham Light Infantry

Born in Nottingham in 1888, William was living at Silsden, Yorkshire – where he was employed as a gardener – at the time of the outbreak of war. A married father of two, he was conscripted into the army (4/DLI) at Halifax on 9 August 1916 and served on the Western Front from the 22 November 1916.

Transferred to the 18th Battalion in December 1916, William took part in operations on the Ancre before being killed by a German shell whilst moving into the front line on 3 May 1917 during the Battle of Arras. William is now buried in Canadian Cemetery No 2 at Neuville St Vaast.

3 May 1917 killed in action 

Research by David O'Mara

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