Heroes everyone


Harry Bereton Hampson was a corporal in one of the public school’s battalions of the Royal Fusiliers when this portrait was taken on the 25th November 1914.

Like so many of these men with PS/ numbers, he would later be commissioned and would serve as a lieutenant with the Manchester Regiment and later still would serve as a captain with the RFC and RAF.
Born on the 20th October 1893 he would have been twenty-one years old when this photo was taken and, happily, he would survive the war.
The 1939 Register records him working as a chemist under-manager at a calico print works in Bury, and he would die in 1966.

100 years ago today ….

L/Cpl. Joe Woodhead #46769, Durham Light Infantry from Holmfirth, West Riding of Yorkshire.
Died in Passchendaele, 18 April 1918.

Private Ernest Sykes VC
27th (4th Tyneside Irish) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers

Victoria Cross Awarded for:
“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty (near Arras, France) when his battalion in the attack was held up about 350 yards in advance of our lines by intense fire from front and flank and suffered heavy casualties. Private Sykes, despite this heavy fire, went forward and brought back four wounded, he made a fifth journey and remained out under conditions which appeared to be certain death, until he had bandaged all those who were too badly wounded to be moved. These gallant actions, performed under incessant machine gun and rifle fire, showed an utter contempt of danger.”

His investiture took place at the Palace on 21 July 1917, when King George V decorated him with the Victoria Cross.

Born 4 April 1885
Mossley, Lancashire
Died 3 August 1949 (aged 64)
Lockwood, West Yorkshire

Major Harry Meshack Parsons DSO.

Born near Inman Valley, South Australia, 22 March 1880. Enlisted 9th Light Horse Regiment 28 September 1914. Landed at ANZAC Cove 22 May 1915. Returned to Australia to convalesce 1916. Returned to Egypt later in 1916.
Awarded DSO for distinguished services in the field in connection with military operations culminating in the capture of Jerusalem, 1 January 1918. Mentioned in dispatches for distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty by General Sir E.H.H. Allenby, Commander in Chief Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 3 April 1918.
Died South Australia 25 March 1957.

George Joseph Dubock was descended from a Huguenot family that arrived in the East End of London in 1706.
He was born on 5 December 1878 in Eastfield St., Limehouse, and his family moved shortly after to Mile End Old Town.
George worked as a Dock Worker and a Road Sweeper for the Local Council.
He entered military service on 2 September 1915 as a Private #14373 in the 6th Dorset Regiment. He was a victim of a gas attack and discharged on 26 July 1916.
He suffered from post-traumatic stress after the war but became a Master Cabinet Maker, ending his days working restoring old furniture in Newbury, Berkshire.
He died on 3 November 1951.

“Lost Digger” Portrait of s/n.27 Sergeant (Sgt) Edward John ‘Tiny’ Falloon MM, 2nd Field Company Australian Engineers, 2nd Brigade (Vic), 1st Division, AIF

An electrician from Richmond, Victoria, Sgt Falloon served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front and was awarded the Military Medal twice, first in October 1916 and again in March 1917.

He was killed in action at Ploegsteert Wood, Belgium, on 12 April 1918 aged 30 whilst serving as a Warrant Officer Class 2 of the 1st Field Company Engineers.

Full-length portrait of Private Trotman with the 9th Reinforcements, — A Company. Possibly Henry Leonard Trotman, Reg No 12/3849, who is in the nominal roll with the 10th Reinforcements. Killed in action in France on 2 October 1916 at the Battle of Transloy Ridge.

Major Henry Gervais Lovett Cameron MC — 56th Battalion, 5th Division AIF. ca 1917
(1880 -1966)

He enlisted in April 1915 and was given the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the 5th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements. They set sail from Sydney on 25 June 1915, on board HMAT Ceramic A40, for Egypt and the Gallipoli Peninsula. He arrived in September 1915 and remained until the evacuation in mid-December. On his return to Egypt, he was transferred to the 57th Battalion and was promoted to Captain on 14 April 1916. The 57th Battalion then transferred to France, embarking on HT Transylvania 17 June and landing at Marseilles on 25 June. From here, they were transferred to the battlefront and, as part of the 5th Division, went almost immediately into the front lines at the battle of Fromelles. The 5th Australian Division suffered 5,533 casualties.

There are two testimonials to Henry Lovett Cameron’s leadership at Fromelles. One was from Brigadier General ‘Pompey’ Elliott: ‘At Petillon on 19/20 July 1916 Capt. Cameron took parties both day and night to rescue wounded and by his coolness and daring was instrumental in rescuing a large number of wounded.’ The other was from Lt. Col. J Duigan ‘… he personally led many rescue parties into No Man’s Land to recover wounded men and salvage although continually sniped at with rifles and machine gun fire.’ He was awarded the Military Medal.

On 19 August, Henry Lovett Cameron was again transferred, first to the 58th Battalion as Captain, then on to the 60th Battalion on 15 September. He was promoted to Major in the 60th Battalion on 23 September 1916. By the next month, he was in the hospital, first at Camiers, then, having been transferred back to England, at the 3rd London General Hospital, suffering from tonsillitis. On 14 December, he was released from the hospital and sent to the №1 Convalescent Depot at Perham Downs. returning to France on 13 January 1917. He rejoined the 6oth Battalion on 26 January, but in March 1917, was sent back to England to attended the Officers School at Aldershot. In May, he was again in the hospital, but finished the course on 16 June and was granted two weeks leave, then sent to 5th Division Headquarters as a Liason Officer, finally rejoining the 6oth Battalion on 5 October 1917.

Henry Lovett Cameron served again in the front line with the 60th at the 2nd battle of Bapaume and at Polygon Wood on 26 September 1917. The battalion was also engaged at Villers-Bretonneux on 25 April 1918. Again, the casualties were extremely high, and again, Henry Lovett Cameron showed enormous bravery. Major General J. Talbot Hobbs wrote of him ‘At Villers-Bretonneux on 26 April when the Commanding Officer and a large portion of his staff had become casualties and the enemy had broken through our line, Major Cameron took charge of the Battalion and after a personal reconnaissance … formed a flank with his battalion, thereby saving the situation.’

With senior officers dead and wounded, Henry Cameron must have been a valuable member of the Brigade. He was transferred to the 56th Battalion with the temporary rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He reverted to Major when his command of the 56th ended. He took part in the final offensive of 8 August, the 100 Day Offensive, and remained until the armistice of 11 November. He was mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette of 31 December 1918 and on 1 January 1919, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

He left France on 4 April 1919 and returned to Australia on 3 September, where his army service was terminated on 3 November 1919. In 1934, he gave his address as Djaul Island, Kaviery, New Guinea. Glimpses of him in the post-war years are limited: he does not appear on the Electoral Roll for some years, but from 1943–1949, he and his wife, Thyra, were living at Lorne, Victoria, first at Fern Avenue, then at Lower Marine Parade. In 1949, however, they moved inland to 14 Manifold St., Colac. Thyra died the following year, on October 5, 1950. Henry Gervais Lovett Cameron died on 9 February 1966.

The Nixon brothers go to war

This photograph of, from left to right: Edgar Albert, Alfred (Alf) Arthur and Walter Leonard Nixon, almost certainly dates to the second half of 1916.

Alf had been an Essex Regiment Territorial since before the war, his brothers were almost certainly Derby Scheme recruits, now mobilised. Two other brothers; Sidney Herbert and John (Jack) Frederick, also Derby Scheme men, were serving with the Rifle Brigade. All men would serve overseas. Three would be wounded, one would desert, and Jack would be killed in action in October 1918. Only Edgar, the airmen, would come out physically unscathed.
In many respects, this photograph, possibly taken near their home in Stoke Newington, represents the calm before the storm.

Lieutenant Harry Sackville Lawson. Unit: Royal Field Artillery, attached to the Royal Garrison Artillery.
Death: 5 February 1918, Western Front. He is buried at Montescourt-Lizerolles Communal Cemetery.

CWGC family information: son of Robert and Mary Lawson, of Weston-in-Gordano, Somerset; husband of Janet Kathleen Lawson, of “Margaretts,” Haslemere, Surrey. The headmaster of Buxton College, Derbyshire, 1911–1917.

A British Cavalryman using his greatcoat for comfort on the frost-covered grass somewhere near the front-line, whilst opening his Princess Mary Gift Tin, Christmas 1914.

(Note the rubberised Wellington boots worn with the leather spur straps)

British troops serving on the Western Front in 1914 received Princess Mary boxes from the Royal Family. These were metal cases engraved with an outline of the princess and filled with chocolates, sweets, cigarettes and tobacco. Great efforts were made to distribute the gifts in time for Christmas, and huge demands were made on an already stretched postal service.

More than 355,000 boxes were successfully delivered before 25 December. The boxes also included a picture card of Queen Mary and a copy of King George V’s greeting to the troops which stated ‘May God protect you and bring you safely home’.

Here is something you don’t often see.

These are soldiers from what is now Thailand. When these soldiers served in World War 1, Thailand was called Siam

A trench message dog of the 5th Battalion, Manchester Regiment stands on a sandbagged wall as he waits for an officer (left) to complete the note he is writing, Cuinchy. 26th of January 1918. Yes even dogs were heroes

British tank officers relaxing around a gramophone player with their pet dogs, in their camp at La Lovie, a town north of Poperinge, Belgium. 26 September 1917.

Major Richard Cooper, (seated) Captain Wilfred Wyatt, Lieutenant Gerald Edwards, Second Lieutenant Gerald Butler and (seated) Lieutenant Edward Sartin.
(They all survived the war) which is nice to see as many World War 1 officers only had a life expectancy of just two weeks when sent to the Front.

British officer and his dog at the Wavans War Cemetery where Major James McCudden is buried, 13 July 1918.
McCudden remained in England until July 1918, but soon was given command of №60 and returned to France. On the morning of 9 July 1918, he travelled to the home of his fiancé, Miss Alex-Tweedie in Whitehall Court. While there, McCudden told her he wanted to surpass von Richthofen, the Red Baron, who had been killed in action a few months before. McCudden set out across the English Channel. Flying in heavy mist he decided to head to Auxi-le-Château, France. Around 90 seconds after take-off from Auxi-le-Château, his plane plunged into the ground. Corporal W.H. Howard fought through the fire to free McCudden, lying next to one of the wings, for he had not worn his safety belt. James McCudden died at 20:00 on 9 July 1918 of a fractured skull, from which he never regained consciousness. McCudden’s remains were then buried at the Wavans War Cemetery, with barely three dozen graves, in the Pas de Calais, France.

An incident at an advanced field dressing station during a recent allied push. A British Chaplain saying a prayer over a dying German, near Epehy in France, 18 September 1918.

The German appears to be wearing a Medic’s ‘serpent’ patch on his sleeve.

The Battle of Épehy was fought on 18 September 1918, involving the British Fourth Army (under the command of General Henry Rawlinson) against German outpost positions in front of the Hindenburg Line. The village of Épehy was captured on 18 September by the 12th (Eastern) Division.

A group of Royal Marine Artillerymen, 63rd (Royal Naval) Division by a dump of 15-inch howitzer shells near Ypres, November 1916. On one of the shells in front of the group is written ‘RMA Guarantee for Peace’.

The action of Outtersteene Ridge.
Wounded of the 27th Brigade, 9th Division, at a regimental aid post near Meteren following the formation’s successful attack on Outtersteene Ridge, 18 August 1918.

British troops eating their Christmas dinner in a shell hole, Beaumont Hamel, 25th December 1916

We are so lucky in this day and age, none of us has to do what those men up above had to do. They did it not knowing that in a 100 years time how ungrateful the young in the UK and also how ungrateful the rest of Europe would be.

They did it not for the glory as there is no glory in war as many people seem to think, It’s true though that many did it for the adventure they would have, many in the first few months thought it would all be over by Christmas. The dates 6–12 September 1914 put an end to those thoughts because 6–12 September 1914 was when the Battle of the Marne began and ended. 39 French divisions 6 British divisions 1,071,000 soldiers pitted against 1,485,000 soldiers,27 German divisions which saw 250,000 French casualties (including 80,000 dead)along with 13,000 British casualties (including 1,700 dead) along with 250,000 (including 67,700 dead)Germans.

It was never going to end well and the casualties saw that neither side could now back down. Blood spilt meant that even more blood would be spilt the dye had been cast. It was here that the Trenches and dugouts would be built and a new age of warfare would begin. It was to the backdrop of this that for four years those men up above fought and died.

Everyone a hero




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Sir Ron Harrison

Sir Ron Harrison


What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.