Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hospital Photos.

Photos of my Granddad when he was recovering from his wound.
John seated far left.

John second from right

John on the left, seated on bed,

Monday, May 1, 2017

My Granddad returns to England 1st May 1917.

A cross channel Hospital Ship - the St David.

On the cross channel Hospital Ship going home, there was a real fear of submarine attack.  They had a drill in the event of an attack.  During the drill the Doctor said to Jack, ‘Could you walk to that door?’ Jack replied, ‘I would crawl if I had to’.
He returned to England on May 1st 1917 [22 days after he had been wounded] and was sent to a hospital in Plymouth (4th Southern T.F. General Hospital - 193 beds for Officers and 1,029 for OR’s).  Before the war this was the Salisbury Road School, it then became a Territorial Force Hospital.

Plymouth Hospital.

1/5/17 is recorded on his medal roll saying that was the date he left the war zone.
He did not go to any other theatre of war after that, all his service was done at ‘Home’.
He was transferred to the RDC at some time after it was formed in August 1917.  So between May 1917 and August, he was recovering from his wound and must have spent some time in the Labour Corps [or just have been assigned to it], in this country.

Salisbury Road Junior School in 2012. Opened in 1903.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

No:3 CCS and No:23 Ambulance Train

My Granddad was admitted to No: 3 Casualty Clearing Station on the day he was wounded [8/4/1917].
His wound was recorded as 'Wound type IX4'.  Gunshot wound of lower extremities, compound fracture of.
His notes say this made him eligible for a wound stripe to wear on his uniform.
There is also a note '500 units of anti-tetanus serum administered on 8/4/1917'.
He was then transferred on to No: 23 Ambulance Train on 11/4/1917.  This train would have taken him to one of the Base Hospitals at one of the channel ports.

No: 23 Ambulance Train.
3CCS was located at Aveluy just north of Albert [back down the road near where he joined the battery].  It had been there a month and was packing up ready to advance again with the army, to Grevillers just west of Bapaume.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Easter Sunday (8th April) 1917

Here for the following two weeks they were occupied in wire-cutting and bombardments on the Hindenburg line with 106 fuses. There is no specific entry on the 8 April concerning 140 SB just a general wire-cutting and bombardment continued. 
Tactical: Bombardment of the Hindenburg line 3-11 April. Casualties: (for the month) 8 Killed. 2 Officers and 26 OR’s wounded.

He was seriously wounded on Easter Sunday (8th April) 1917.  The battery he was with moved forward for a surprise attack at dawn.  They were having breakfast in the kitchen of an old farmhouse when a German spotter plane came over and saw them.  The Germans then shelled them first.  The farm suffered a direct hit and he was standing by a window and was blown out of it.  He was the only survivor of his party.  He had a piece of shrapnel go through the top of his right thigh and into his left. 
  He was seriously wounded and could not walk.  The piece of shrapnel was later removed and he kept it on his bedside table in hospital until someone pinched it. 

No:3 CCS records state. 12 casualties that day.  3 KIA, 5 DOW and 4 survived. 

The three killed were.   Corporal Edward Brittan (8028), from Wolverhampton, age 30,  Thomas Carter (70697), from London, age 30  and Walter Haylett (79091), also from London.   They are all buried together at the Achiet-le-Grand cemetery, 19km south of Arras [grave refs I C 6, 7 & 8].   

One report states.  Guns in action, 9 (for the whole group). 2 Gunners of 194 SB injured by shellfire’. [2 killed Martin & Kay].

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Howitzer Film

A short bit of film from Youtube of the type of howitzer used by 140 SB.

Note the number of gun crew involved [10 men].

Also note the roof tiles falling off the barn, due to the concussion, when the howitzer fires near the end of the film.

14 HAG actions April 1917.

April 4th.  34 SB, also at Morchies, had 7 men killed and 9 wounded.
April 6th.  1194 SB had 2 howitzers destroyed.
April 7th.  The whole of 14 HAG fired about 1,000 rounds on the Hindenburg Line. Wire cutting, grazing type shells, in preparation for the 5th Australian Divisions attack.

Locations of the 4 Siege Batteries in 14 HAG.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Fourth Battery Move.

140 Siege Battery RGA.  3rd April 1917.

14 HAG is now 34 SB, 88 SB, 140 SB and 194 SB.
The battery moved forward about 3 miles, to the small village of Morchies.
Another over night move in heavy snow.
All in action and targets registered by dawn.

Morchies today.