WE'RE continuing to pay tribute to the local heroes who died in First World War conflicts including the Third Battle of Ypres and the Mesopotamian Campaign.
Thanks to Weymouth historian Greg Schofield we've been able to name the fallen heroes who returned from the colonies to fight for the allies.
Before continuing Greg's list, we should mention the maternal grandfather of Looking Back reader Anna Owen of Wyke Regis, Weymouth.
Serjeant Albert Cook, 7625, 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, fought and lost his life at Ypres and the Army Graves Service were never able to locate his grave.
He died on May 8 1918 aged only 28, leaving his wife, (Anna's grandma) and two young children, (Anna's mother and uncle).
Albert Cook is commemorated with his name on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele, Belgium, along with his fellow soldiers from the Wiltshire regiment. He is also named on the cenotaph on Weymouth Promenade and on the memorial at Holy Trinity Church.
Greg says the Third Battle of Ypres was a by-word for mud, misery, suffering and bitter fighting. During that campaign three Weymouth men from the colonies died
RICHARD LUTHER GEDDES, aged 37, Lieutenant in Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment), was killed by a sniper on September 7, 1917. He had been promoted from the ranks, and his father, was an Abyssinian War veteran, and RE officer at Nothe Fort(Died July 1917). He had two brothers serving in a Labour Battalion and the Dorset Yeomanry.
ALEC LOWE, aged 26, private in Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment), died November 6, 1917. Only son of Mr & Mrs Lowe, 4, Gloucester Terrace.
HENRY ERNEST WHETTAM, aged 28, 2nd Corporal Australian Engineers, was killed in action on October 24, 1917. His brother, Frank Charles Whettam in the Royal Engineers, also died. They were the sons of John and Annie Whettam, ‘Elmhurst’, Carlton Road.
In the Middle East, fighting the Turks in the Mesopotamian Campaign, ARTHUR EDWARD LE MESURIER, aged 21, 2nd Lieutenant 6th Gurka Rifles, died 9th March, 1917. Son of Haviland and May Le Mesurier.
In Africa the brilliant German General, von Lettow with his Askari army and using German East Africa as a base, tied down hundreds of thousands of British and Commonwealth troops for the duration of the war. During that fighting, ARTHUR ROWLAND CARTER, aged 35, a Serjeant in 2nd Rhodesian Regiment, was killed in action on February 12, 1916. He had spent his boyhood in Weymouth, served in the Boer War, and then joined the South African Police for 10 years. In 1914 he bought Odzi Rapids Farm in Rhodesia, and then signed up again with a colonial regiment fighting in a German Colony. He was the eldest son of ‘Deputy Surgeon General’ Rowland and Louisa, Carter, ‘Hadley House’, 11, Dorchester Road.
Also killed in that year, in what was chillingly known as ‘natural wastage’ was ARTHUR FREDERICK JACKSON, aged 24, Private in Canadian Cycle Corps. He died on January 19, 1917 at Tranqueville, British Columbia, from the effects of gas poisoning at Hill 60. Son of James and Kathreen Jackson, 7, Dorchester Road.
This year was marked by huge campaigns and a change from static trench warfare to return to a war of movement. It began in March with two huge German attacks, during the course of which the allied lines retreated to breaking point, but were ultimately to hold. During those retreats, JAMES FINCH NOBBS, aged 25, a Driver in 2nd Australian Infantry, died 13th March, 1918. Son of the late John Nobbs and Jessie, ‘Egerton House’.
The Germans having run out of steam, the British and French launched a series of coordinated counter-attacks which culminated in the brilliant breaching of the Hindenburg Line. During those attacks six Weymouth men from the colonies died:-
ARTHUR JAMES BAGGS, aged 23, Private (Bugler) in 12th Australian Infantry, died 25th August, 1918.
CHARLES HENRY BRANSON, aged28, Private in 41st Australian Infantry, died of wounds 14th October, 1918. Only son of Henry and Marion Branson, Glendinning Avenue.
WILLIAM GEORGE BRINKLEY, aged 26, Private in Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Canadian), killed in action 9th October, 1918. Only son of George and Mary Brinkley, 43, Brownlow, Street.
GEORGE EATON GROVES, aged 27, a Private in 10th Australian Infantry, died 31st July, 1918. He was recommended for the Military Medal on 13th July, 1918 and it was awarded on 21st October, 1918, nearly 3 months after his death.
JAMES ROBERT HARRIS, of 3rd Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment) Medical Corps, was killed in action by a sniper whilst on a mission of mercy on 30th August, 1918. Only son of Mr & Mrs Harris, 2, Eldon Villas, Westham.
SYDNEY PERCIVAL HUMPHREY, aged 31, Private in the Canterbury Regiment NZEF. Killed in action on 4th September, 1918. He relinquished a good position and prospects at the Penang Straits settlement and enlisted at Wellington, NZ.
*Thanks to Greg for the poignant tributes to these men.
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