From September 1914 British recruits mainly from Wales, Scotland, Liverpool, Lancashire, Manchester, Cheshire and Staffordshire started to assemble at South Camp (Chyngton Camp), Seaford. They were assigned to the 22nd Division of Kitchener’s new army.
Many lived under canvas by day but had to walk through thick mud to sleep in unfinished huts by night. They were prepared to endure these conditions for three months when, in November, a brigade of the 22nd, mainly composed of Welsh miners, went on strike. The solution, until sufficient huts could be built, was billeting. Those that could not be housed in public buildings were assigned to live with the local population in Seaford, Eastbourne and Lewes. Letters sent to Seaford residents by the young men while serving abroad and after the war suggest that they were made to feel welcome and even pampered.
The men of the 22nd Division were sent to France in September 1915 but stayed only six weeks before embarking for Salonika. They stayed in this theatre for the rest of the war taking part the retreat from Serbia, the battle of Horseshoe Hill, the battle of Machukovo and three battles of Doiran. The Division suffered casualties of 7,728 killed, wounded and missing.
Many other men from all parts of Britain passed through South Camp and North Camp during W.W.1.
The writer of the above postcard was 2nd Lieutentant (later Captain & Adjutant) Quintin Bone who was commissioned on the 5th of January 1915 into the 9th (Service) Battalion of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Bone served throughout the war with the battalion, until he was killed in action on the 19th of September 1918 in the final push of the campaign in Macedonia.
The above postcard was the starting point into my research for Seaford Museum into men from the same regiment who lived at Seaford Camp during 1914/15 and trained in the area before being sent to the Salonica/Macedonia theatre of war.
Seaford Museum is housed in the Martello Tower on Seaford esplanade. Website link: http://www.seafordmuseum.co.uk/
CAPTAIN QUINTIN BONE MC of the 9th, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
Quintin Bone (Military Cross) Captain and Adjutant: 9th (Service) Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Age 23.
Born 1894 at Perth, Scotland. Son of Robert John Bone and Jessie (Craigie) Bone of Halmyre, Gelston. Enlisted September 1914 in Cameron Highlanders. Promoted from the ranks and commissioned in the 9th King’s Own. During WW1 he served in the Macedonian Theatre as part of the 65th Brigade. The award of the Military Cross was announced in the London Gazette 3/6/1918 p.6505.
He was killed in Action on the 19th of September 1918 in the attack on Pip Ridge, Lake Doiran, Macedonia and is buried in Karasouli Milita.
For many more Sir Thomas Harley WW1 photographs of the 9th (Service) Battalion KORLR during WW1 link to: http://www.kingsownmuseum.com/ww1-9korlr.htm
If you are interested in learning more about the Salonica/Macedonian front try the following link: https://awayfromthewesternfront.org/
The 9th (Service) Battalion, King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment was raised at Lancaster in October 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Third New Army and joined the 65th Brigade, 22nd Division. The division assembled for training in the area of Eastbourne and Seaford, with the artillery based at Lewes, Sussex. In April 1915 the infantry underwent two weeks entrenchment training at Maidstone. They proceeded to France in early September 1915, concentrating near Flesselles. In October they moved to Marseilles by train and embarked for Salonika on the 27th. 6th Brigade, 9th Borders, 68th Field Ambulance and the Advanced Divisional HQ saw their first action in the second week of December in the Retreat from Serbia. In 1916 the division fought in the Battle of Horseshoe Hill and Battle of Machukovo. In 1917 they were in action during the Battles of Doiran. In mid 1918 a number of units transferred to France, the remainder for the division again being in action at Doiran just before the Armistice with Bulgaria was signed at the end September 1918. By the 20th of October the Division was at Stavros and embarked on destroyers to attempt a landing at Dede Agach, but rough weather forced abandonment and the infantry finally landed on the 28th and reached Makri before the Armistice with Turkey. Demobilisation began at Chugunsi and was complete by the end of March 1919.
The entrenchment training in Maidstone in April 1915 may well explain the postcard (dated 3rd May) being sent by Quentin Bone to Master Haynes at College Road, Maidstone. Master Haynes may well have met 2nd Lieut. Bone and Private Charles Bailey at that time possibly they had become acquainted as a result of either one or both soldiers being billeted at the Haynes’ residence!
On the 21st April Charlie Bailey’s conduct record shows he was confined to barracks and fined for being drunk and for causing a disturbance at his billet about 9.45 p.m. The postcard then takes on a new meaning and appears to be Quentin Bone trying to show master Haynes that Charlie was, normally, a “nice” man and Quintin also would have wanted to protect the reputation of the regiment. Unusually, although Quintin Bone’s military records were destroyed by fire during WW2 along with so many others, we do have a first hand account of the circumstances of his death. This was during the first phase of the attack on Grand Couronne and Pip Ridge fought against the Bulgarians on the 19th of September 1918. By the 30th of September the war in this theatre was over and so Captain Bone who had served from 1914 was killed in the last battle.
The account was written by Captain Thomas Cumberland of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC).
He describes how on the 17th of September the battalion was given notice to move at an hour’s notice and that night there was a heavy bombardment with an attack to be launched early next morning. Only the Commanding Officer, his second in command Adjutant (i.e. Quintin Bone) and the company commanders were to see official plans.
The bombardment continued on the 18th and Capt. Cumberland went to Kalebacck Rock to watch the attack on Pip Ridge. At 13.00 Cumberland took a lorry to Table Hill where the Commanding Officer informed the 65th Brigade that the attack the next morning was to be led by the 9th King’s Own Lancaster Regiment. The Battalion strength was just 16 officers and 440 other ranks much reduced due to the flue outbreak.
The order of battle was received by the CO at Pillar Hill from General Monty Bates while Cumberland remained with Battalion HQ staff. The companies left Pillar Hill at 02.00 and travelled along a mule track to take positions between Jackson Ravine and Pip Ridge. The CO stepped out to see the boys off shaking hands with each of the officers. He then followed the men at the head of the HQ Company along with Quintin Bone the Adjutant. Before long it was evident that the enemy had spotted the forthcoming attack as Cumberland soon met the first wounded men at Doldzeli Ravine. Having instructed the walking wounded to go to the Field Ambulance post at Pillar Hill he then ran to catch up with the CO to find out where to set up his aid post.
The enemy was shelling the entire front, the cries of the men could be heard as they were hit, and when Cumberland got to within fifteen feet of the CO a shell fell right beside him. Cumberland heard it coming and flattened himself to the ground and when he arose, dazed, the wounded surrounded him crying and screaming with pain. Stepping across twisted bodies he came to two men sitting on the torn ground and discovered that they were the CO and Quintin Bone. Bone had a broken leg and the CO was badly wounded about the hip and his thigh was broken. As Cumberland started to dress the CO’s wounds he heard a second shell and flattened himself over the CO. It exploded beside them. There were many more wounded and Captain Bone had been hit by shrapnel in the stomach. Cumberland, seeing that Bone was dying gave him no further treatment but treated the other wounded men dressing fifteen stretcher cases and giving them all half a grain of morphine. He dressed fractures using the puttees taken from the dead as bandages to hold the splints in place.
The CO asked about Captain Bone and Cumberland told him he was dead and lying nearby. Lieutenant Colonel Jackson, the CO, sent a runner to tell Captain Whitehead to take command of he Battalion.
The shells screamed overhead, mortars burst, machine guns rattled, guns roared, the cries and moans, curses and prayers of men could be heard all around and still the time allotted for the attack, 04.00, was yet to come. A and C Companies were in the first wave, B and D in the second. They moved towards the objectives under a heavy barrage. The barrage did not lift and yet the men attacked. At 05.57 the order was given to withdraw as there was no chance of success. 1 officer had been killed (Quentin Bone) and another was missing, another 11 were wounded. 38 other ranks were killed with a further 185 wounded and 29 missing. None of the missing were ever found. So, of the original 456 members of the Battalion, only 4 officers and 168 other ranks were left. The Battalion was formed into a Company and placed under the command of the Officer Commanding the 8th South Wales Borderers in a composite Battalion.
The Battalion later learned that the time of the lifting of the barrage had been changed but the order from HQ had not been received by the Battalion for another 48 hours.
Cumberland records that on the evening of the 21st he and two other officers walked up to Oxford Cemetery to attend Captain Bone’s funeral. He had been wrapped in a blanket and lowered into the grave. A short ceremony followed which was simple and very impressive. The wooden cross that they had carried from camp was erected above the grave. Four clergymen also attended. He states that he was grateful that one of his old companions was buried here rather than in a shell hole on the battlefield where he was killed. Quentin Bone’s body had been recovered from the battlefield and taken to Oxford Camp by QB’s Servant and a Headquarters’ Runner.
In the following days the Allies prevailed and the battle was won. After the Armistice British and French Staff Officers, who examined the area, declared the sector attacked by the 9th to have been the strongest position occupied by the enemy on any front during the war!
1. An Adjutant in the British Army is usually a senior captain (sometimes a major). As the colonel’s personal staff officer, he was in charge of all the organisation, administration and discipline for battalion or regiment.
2. Quentin Bone was 23 when he died on the 19th September 1918 and is buried in Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece. Bone enlisted in the Cameron Highlanders in September 1914 and was promoted from the ranks and commissioned in the 9th Battalion KORLR as 2nd Lieutenant on the 5th of January 1915. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 10th August 1916 and became Temporary Captain on the 9th October 1917.
3. On the 11th of June 1918 the War Diary records the award of the Military Cross to acting Captain Quentin Bone.
4. On the 9th July of 1918 Captain Cumberland records that he had spotted a tarantula spider on Quentin Bone’s chest while Bone was chatting to the Commanding Officer. Cumberland gave QB a blow on the chest and dislodged the tarantula. They thought at first that Cumberland had lost his mind until he showed them that the monster was of a very poisonous species.
5. On the 17th August 1918 Cumberland records that a lot of clothing was on display in the officer’s canteen brought from England by Captain Bone and was offered to any officer requiring it.
6. Lieutenant Colonel Basil Archer Jackson MC was the Commanding Officer (CO) who was seriously wounded at the same time as Quintin Bone was killed. Jackson’s wounds meant that he had to relinquish his commission. He lived with his disabilities until his death in 1965 aged 79 years.
7. Captain Thomas Daly Cumberland RAMC had served at Ypres, the Somme and Fircourt on the Western Front before being posted to the Macedonian Theatre. After spending time in Salonika he was posted to the 9th KORLR as MO on 6th March 1918. Recommended for a Military Cross the GOC decided that Medical Officers should not receive “fighting” medals! After lobbying by Lieut. Col. Jackson he belatedly (June 1919) received an OBE (military) for his considerable front line service but he would have much preferred the MC.
8. The summary above is taken from “9th Battalion King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in Macedonia March 1918 to October 1918 from the War Diary of Captain Cumberland RAMC with additional details from the Official Battalion War Diary”. It is edited by Peter Donnelly the Curator King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum, Lancaster. The full version is well worth a read and may be purchased from the museum. Link to: http://www.kingsownmuseum.com/shop01.htm
An account of the part played by the 22nd and 26th Divisions in the Second Battle of Doiran (18th & 19th September 1918).
The following report from one involved gives some idea of what the men went through. By ‘An Unprofessional Soldier’ on the Staff of 28th Division. He entitled his paper: “I saw the Futile Massacre at Doiran”. It is from Issue 46 of “I Was There” published 1938/9 The Battle of Doiran is now a forgotten episode of the Great War.
There was no full contemporary account of the Battle in any British Newspaper. Sir George Milne’s dispatch was not published and did not appear in the Times until January 23rd 1919, and then only in truncated form. The very name of the battle is unknown to most. Yet, in singularity of horror and in tragedy of defeated heroism, it is unique among the records of British arms. The real work of the assault was entrusted to the men of the 22nd and 26th Divisions, who were to attack the Doiran hills, co-operating with the Cretan Division of the Greek Army and a regiment of unreliable Zouaves.
In the early light of an almost unclouded morning the British and Greek forces advanced in order of battle. The noise of our guns had abruptly ceased before daybreak, and there came that awful pause in which defenders and attackers are braced up to face the ordeal, with fear or desperation, with cool courage or with blazing ardour. Slowly the pale grey smoke lifted in layers of thin film above the ridges, blue shadows deep in every fold or hollow and a dim golden glow on scrub, rock and heather. No one could tell what had been the effect of our gunfire upon those fortified hills. The infantry soldier relies upon the guns behind him, trusting in their power to smash a way for his advance by killing or demoralizing the enemy and cutting up his defences. In this case, if he had any hopes or illusions, the infantry soldier was quickly undeceived.
Our attack on ‘Pip Ridge’ was led by the 12th Cheshires. The battle opened with a crash of machine-gun fire, and a cloud of dusty smoke began to blur the outline of the hills. Almost immediately the advancing battalion was overwhelmed in a deadly stream of bullets which came whipping and whistling down the open slopes. Those who survived were followed by a battalion of Lancashire men, and a remnant of this undaunted infantry fought its way over the first and second lines of trenches – if indeed the term “line” can be applied to a highly complicated and irregular system of defence, taking full advantage of every fold or contortion of the ground. In its turn, a Shropshire battalion ascended the fatal ridge. By this time the battle of the “Pips” was a mere confusion of massacre, noise and futile bravery. Nearly all the men of the first two battalions were lying dead or wounded on the hillside. Colonel Clegg and Colonel Bishop were killed; the few surviving troops were toiling and fighting in what appeared to be inevitable and immediate death. The attack was ending in a bloody disaster. No orders could reach the isolated cluster of men who were still trying to advance on the ridge. Contact aeroplanes came roaring down through the yellow haze of dust and smoke, hardly able to see what was going on, and even flying below the levels of the Ridge and Grand Couronne. There was only one possible ending to the assault. Our troops in the military phrase of their commander, “fell back to their original positions”. Of this falling back I will say nothing. There are times when even desperate heroism has to acknowledge defeat.
Other attacks were also taking part along the front.
The Franco – Serbian Armies were also attacking in better conditions further to the east and, in spite of desperate fighting by the Bulgarians and their Austrian allies, a gap was opened in the Bulgarian line and the Serbian, French and British cavalry followed up the Bulgarian retreat and captured Kosturino and Strumitsa. Following the breakthrough the Bulgarians sued for peace.
Many thanks to Malcolm Fergusson for this information (via The Long, Long Trail)
Private Charles Bailey of the 9th, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
The photographic postcard (top of blog) has long been a favourite of mine. Taken in Seaford in the early months of 1915, it shows a black soldier and the message asks “Doesn’t Bailey look nice”. I have always imagined Bailey was that black soldier on the far right and so it proved!
This was confirmed while I was researching another soldier from the same regiment, John (Jack) Rowley, when I noticed a photograph of Charlie Bailey while on active service with the 22nd Division along with one of the writer of the postcard, Quintin Bone.
With the full name, Charles Bailey, I was then able to find his war records which, although burnt and water damaged, were largely complete and make interesting reading and from this information I was able to look up the 1911 census record which shows that he had travelled from Baltimore in America.
Baltimore, in the late 19th century, despite being in a northern state of the U.S.A. was being run largely by white supremacists who did not believe in educating its black population. Charlie, in fact, could not read or write as is shown by him having to make his mark, an X, on census and army forms.
It seems to me that Charles Bailey was in fact a ‘West Indian’ explaining the army form recording “British” as his nationality. As a major port, Baltimore, had a long tradition of trade with the West Indies. If Charles had signed on to work his passage or had been a merchant sailor his last port of call before arriving in Wales could easily have been Baltimore explaining the Census record. He is more likely to have signed up to fight being W.I. British than if he was an American. Having met and fallen for Agnes Lambert in Wales he may well have decided to stay and become a miner.
The 1911 Census shows that 27 year old Charles Bailey was a “Collier Hewer Underground”, was from “Baltimore America” and lived at “4 Water Street, Bridgend, Glamorgan”. He had a 33 year old wife Agnes (nee Lambert) who was from Risca, Newport, Monmouthshire. They had married 9 years earlier and now had 4 children. Amelia was 8 and had been born in Abertillery, Lily was 6 and was born in Blaercwm, Glamorgan, 4 year old Mary had been born in Aberbargoed, Monmouthshire and Charles was only 8 months old born in Bridgend. A further child had since died. Charles signed with an ‘X’ witnessed by a J.E. Daniel.
Charles Bailey volunteered (attested) in Preston on the 10th of September 1914. To the question “Are you a British subject?” he replied “Yes”. His address was at Risca, near Newport , Monmouthshire. He was 32 years old and records his profession as “Miner”.
His description on enlistment was, Height 5 ft 8.5 inches, Girth expanded 38.5 in., Range of expansion 2.5 in.,
Complexion: Black )
Eyes: Black ) Negro
Hair: Black )
He is recorded as “Church of England” but other forms show his religion as “Roman Catholic”.
He was initially considered fit for service in the Royal Regt. of Artillery R.H.H & R.F.H. with a Regimental No. 34834. His age is recorded on the original form as 22 year and 2 months (in fact he was 32 years old!). I think he must have been found out and passed on to the Infantry!
On his Short Service Form he is assigned to The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment and assigned the Service No. 13993. He was in ‘C’ Company.
His medical on enlistment which took place in Fleetwood on the 14th Sept. 1914:
His Apparent Age 32.
Complexion is described as “coloured man”, Eyes—Dark Brown and Hair—Black. He has a “Scar below right knee”
His religion is now recorded as “Roman Catholic”
On his Medical History Form (examined Preston 10th of Sept. 1914):
His birthplace is recorded as Risca—Newport (which is incorrect!)
Trade: Collier, Height 5ft 8.5 in., Weight 161 pounds, Chest (expanded) 38.5 in., Expansion range 2.5 in., Physical Development and Pulse Rate—Good, When Vaccinated—Infancy, Vision 6 over 6 in both eyes.
Charles (Charlie) Bailey—Short History/Timeline:
Born c. 1882 to Father: William (Bailey?). Mother: Mary.
Unknown date: Charles Bailey arrived in Wales from Baltimore, America.
Unknown date: Became a coal miner at the Risca Coal Company near Newport.
9/11/1901: Married Agnes Lambert at St. Mary’s Catholic Ch., Newport, Mon. Wales.
5/09/1902: Daughter Amelia born in Abertillery (‘Mary’ shown on army form!)
5/10/1904: Daughter Lily born in Blaencwm, Glamorgan.
??/??/1906: Daughter Mary born in Aberbargoed, Monmouth.
??/07/1909 Son Charles
?02/04/1911: Address at 1911 Census: 4 Water Street, Bridgend.
13/02/1914: Twins born (names/sex not shown) in Risca, Newport, Monmouthshire.
14/09/14: Enlisted in Army with 9th (Service) Batt’n, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regt. (Ser. No. 13993).
Address: 3 Din Y Graig [Danygraig] Cottage, Risca, Newport, Monmouthshire.
14/09/14 to 3/09/15: Home Service / Training at Seaford, Eastbourne, Maidstone and Aldershot.
4/09/15 to 26-10/15: France (Expy Force). Concentrated near Flesselles.
27/10/15 to 31/08/18: Mediteranean Expeditionary Force.
8-13/12/15: First action in the Retreat from Serbia.
9-18/8/16: The Battle of Horseshoe Hill. (Doiran) Attacks on 9,10,15,16 & 18th August. Repulsed and allies retreated to original positions with heavy casualties.
13-14/9/16: Battle of Machukovo
22nd April to 9th of May : Battle of Doiran (1917). 22nd April to 9th of May allied attacks were repulsed by Bulgarian forces with heavy allied casualties.
18 & 19/09/18: Battle of Doiran (1918). Similar to previous battles allies failed and suffered heavy casualties.
10/10/18: Attempted landing at Dede Agach (abandoned due to rough weather) and finally landed at Makri on the 28th. No more action due to imminent armistice with Turkey.
01/09/18 to 21/10/18: Journey to and from Furlough (Leave) in the UK.
22/10//18 to 5/11/18: Return journey to Salonica.
6/11/18 to 8/01/19: Disembarked in Salonica to rejoin regiment.
19/01/19 to 27/05/19: Home in UK (Total Service 4 Year and 256 Days)
28/05/19 to 31/05/19:Re-enlisted to Labour Corps (68 Lab. Coy. Serial No 694046)
7/07/19 to 12/11/19: On Western Front for Grave Exhumation Work
13/11/19 to 26/11/19: Return to UK to date of Discharge from Army being medically unfit. (He served 184 days in Labour Corps giving a total service of 5 Yrs and 75 Days)
He received 3 medals: the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.
July 1921 he joined the 1st Monmouthshire Regiment, a Territorial force.
We have no information about Charlie Bailey after July 1921.
Charles Bailey’s Conduct record is extensive!
Note: All charges start with the words “While on Active Service”
EASTBOURNE 25th January 1915
Drunk and disorderly in the town.
Punishment—8 days C.B.
EASTBOURNE 20th February 1915.
1. Drunk on Parade
2. Insubordination to a N.C.O.
Punishment—168 hours detention from 20/2 to 27/2 plus 2/6 fine.
EASTBOURNE 28th March 1915
Drunk & committing a nuisance in Latimer Road.
Punishment – 8 days C.B. from 29/3 to 5/4 plus 10/- fine.
MAIDSTONE 6th April 1915
1. Drunk in the Town.
2. Absent from parade at 7p.m.
His punishment was 10 days C.B. from 7th to 16th April plus 10/- Fine
MAIDSTONE 21st April 1915
2. Causing a disturbance in his billet about 9.45 p.m.
His punishment was 8 days C.B. from 24th April to 1st May plus a 10/- Fine.
SEAFORD 23rd May 1915
Drunk and creating a disturbance
His punishment was 10 days C.B. from 24/5 to 2/6.th and 10/- fine.
SEAFORD 24th May 1915
1. Breaking out of Camp whilst a defaulter
2. Remaining absent until apprehended at Haywards Heath 25/5/15.
His punishment was 168 hours detention from 27/5 to 3/6 and forfeits 2 days pay.
ALDERSHOT 24th June 1915
1. Absent from tattoo until apprehended by the Civil Police at Newport 7/7/15.
2. Being in possession a forged pass.
Punishment – 14 days detention from 15 to 29th July and forfeits 14 days pay.
ALDERSHOT 29th August 1915
Overstaying his pass from 11 a.m. until 9.30. p.m.
Punishment—7 days C.B. from 2nd Sept. to 8th Sept. forfeits 2 days pay.
EMBARKED FOR FRANCE 4/9/15.
FRANCE 15th September 1915.
?????????? ???????? ?? the fire trench.
Punishment—7 days C.B.
FRANCE 25th October 1915.
1. Absent from his billet . Breaking his arrest & remaining absent until apprehended by the police.
2. Drunk (Noted as the 7th time he had been drunk)
Punishment 7 days Field punishment No. 2 and Fine 7/6.
FRANCE 31st November 1915.
1. Absent from his billet.
2. Breaking his arrest and remaining absent until apprehended by police.
Punishment—7 days Field Punishment No. 2 plus fine of 2/6.
EMBARKED FOR BALKAN FORCES MARSEILLES 27-10-15.
LANDED IN SALONIKA 7/11/15. (to fight the Bulgarian Army)
I.T.F. (IN THE FIELD) 26th January 1916.
Punishment—3 days C.B.
I.T.F. 18 May 1916.
Being deficient from Iron ration.
Punishment—3 days C.B.
Note: The so-called ‘Iron Ration‘ comprised an emergency ration of preserved meat, cheese, biscuit, tea, sugar and salt carried by all British soldiers in the field for use in the event of their being cut off from regular food supplies.
I.T.F. 14th June 1916.
Causing his equipment to be damaged by neglect.
Punishment—Pay for damaged equipment.
GRANTED PROFICIENCY PAY— II Class 3d per diem Po 213.76
I.T.F 14th November 1916.
Disobeying an order
Punishment—3 days C.B.
IN THE FIELD 20th May 1918
????????? and insubordinate? to an N.C.O.
Punishment— 5 days C.B.
IN THE FIELD 5th June 1918
Wilfully striking and injuring a comrade (Pte Kerridge?)
Punishment— 14 days Field Punishment No. 1.
PROCEEDED BY TRAIN TO THE UK 29-8-18 (FURLOUGH).
EMBARKED BY SEA TO TARANTO 1-9-18.
Awarded 21 days Ration allowance whilst on furlough.
ADMITTED TO ????? HOSPITAL TARANTO 2-9-18
& DISCHARGED 9-9-18.
NOTE: CHARLIE WAS ON LEAVE DURING THE 2ND BATTLE OF DOIRAN IN WHICH SO MANY OF HIS BATTALION WERE KILLED & WOUNDED.
???? CAMP 3rd November 1918.
1. Out of bounds contrary to C.R.O.?
1. Absent from Camp.
2. Not being in possession of A.B.64.
Punishment—Forfeits 7 days pay.
DIEMBARKED FROM LEAVE IN UK IN ISTHEA? 6-11-18.
SALONICA 23rd November 1918
1. Absent from13.30 hrs 22-11-18 until apprehended by the military police in Sede ??? About 22.10 hrs same date (8 hrs)
2. Improperly dressed.
Punishment—Deprived of 14 days pay.
DEMOBBED JANUARY 1919.
RE-ENLISTED 28-5-19. (Service No. 694046) IN THE LABOUR CORPS FOR GRAVE EXHUMATION WORK.
EMBARKED FOR WESTERN COMMAND LABOUR CENTRE 31-5-19
POSTED O/SEAS FOR GRAVE EXHUMATION WORK (68th Lab. Coy) 7-7-19.
YPRES 5th September 1919.
Losing his Kit by Wilful neglect.
Punishment—28 Days Field Punishment No. 2.
EMBARKED TO UK FROM CALAIS – UNFIT – 12/11/19. (Date of casualty 3/11/19)
17/11/1919 Medical report that in 1915 Charles Bailey had serious frost-bite in his feet while in Serbia: “Has had serious frost-bite during Serbian winter. Enlisted under ??? for Graves Exuhumation but was unable to stand the exposure to damp and cold.
Despite this when he appeared before the Medical Board two days later he was marked as having “no disability”. The report describes Charlie as “West Indian negro – well developed- well nourished”. It says “no disability now present”!
Note: These discharge papers show Charlie’s address as 7 (not 3) Dan Y Graig Cottages, Risca. It is possible that his in-laws lived at number 3 as recorded as the address of his next-of-kin William (Father) and Mary (Mother) in his attestation forms. We know that his wife Agnes was born in Risca so these may be her parents?
At this point Charles Bailey had served for five years and 75 days, but he went on in July 1921 to join the 1st Monmouthshire Regiment, a Territorial Force, so ending up with four regimental numbers: Artillery 34834, KORLR 13993, Labour Corps 694046 and Monmouth Regt 4071751.
C.C. – Confined to Camp.
C.B. – Confined to Barracks
Field Punishment No. 1. – A most humiliating form of punishment which continued into the late 1920s, Field Punishment No.1 saw the soldier in question attached standing full-length to a fixed object – either a post or a gun wheel – for up to two hours a day (often one hour in the morning and another in the afternoon) for a maximum of 21 days. During the early part of World War I, the punishment was often applied with the arms stretched out and the legs tied together, giving rise to the nickname “crucifixion”. This was applied for up to three days out of four, up to 21 days total. It was usually applied in field punishment camps set up for this purpose a few miles behind the front line, but when the unit was on the move it would be carried out by the unit itself. It has been alleged that this punishment was sometimes applied within range of enemy fire. During World War I Field Punishment Number One was issued by the British Army on 60210 occasions
Field Punishment No. 2.– Field punishment number 2. differed from No. 1. only in the fact that the soldier was not tied to a fixed object.
Sergeant Jack Rowley of the 9th, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
Formed at Lancaster October 1914. To Eastbourne in 65th Brigade, 22nd Division. November 1914 to Seaford and in December to billets in Eastbourne. April 1915 to Maidstone for entrenchment training and then back to Seaford. June 1915 to Aldershot. September 1915 landed in France. October 1915 to Salonika, landing on 7.11.15. On 30.9.18, in Macedonia, north of Lake Doiran.
The third of our soldiers from the 9th Battalion of the KORLR who visited Seaford in 1914/15 is John (Jack) Rowley a sergeant who wrote to his niece about a walk he went on on the 25th of October 1914.
He left camp and walked over the South Downs to Litlington and then on to Alfriston and ending in Berwick telling Blanche about what he saw and who he met plus a little bit about camp life.
We do not have a photograph but do have some of his army records for when he was on active service in Salonica and Serbia.
In April 2016 we intend to follow Jack’s footsteps during the inaugural ‘Great War Walk’.
Letter from John Rowley dated 25th of October 1914 to his nine year old niece Miss Blanche Hesselden while he was in Seaford Camp:-
[AT THE CAMP]
I have been on sick leave since Thursday afternoon. We all had to be inoculated against Typhoid Fever or (Enteric). The doctor lifts the skin of your left arm just below the elbow on the inside. Then he presses a hypodermic syringe (I think you spell it this way, you see we have no dictionaries here) about ½ an inch into your arm under the skin and injects a germ which fights the typhoid germ that tries and sometime gets into your body then in about 3 hrs it commences to stiffen your arm and gradually creeps all over your body affecting you in different ways. When evening came the chaps in our tent couldn’t undress themselves, nor make their beds, so I made about 8 beds and helped to undress 3 or 4 as well as lace the tent, and when we got into bed they felt so ill and sore that I read the morning paper and afterward started them singing, so that they wouldn’t feel the pain so much, you see they haven’t learnt our doctrine of being hard. Now that is a thing I want you to do, when you are in pain, don’t show it so that when the greater ailments of life come you will be able to bear them easily, and when sorrow comes, you can bear yours and help others as though you had none yourself. Learn and practice this.
One of the men against our tent was very ill and when he wanted to go anywhere two of his mates had to link their arms in his so that he might walk. Another man didn’t get out of bed until Saturday. One man had St. Vitus Dance and when he got his dinner he started to dance again and spilt his dinner so they sent him home for fear he might die of starvation. Another man, I saw today, has one side of his face swelled up through it. (I’ve just got grandma’s letter). You should just see us all holding our left arm up like Fido holds his foot if anyone treads on it and if you go near some of them they shout out, “mind my arm I’m inoculated”.
I’m quite well. Now it was miserable in Camp on Friday, they wouldn’t let you out. They told you if you was fit to walk to Seaford you was fit to go on Parade! Of course you wasn’t (only that was their excuse). We are going to have some roast-beef today! We’ve soup for dinner every day in barracks and camp but they are building ovens now. The way they roast here is ———they put the fire in the oven and when it gets hot they pull all the fire out and shove the meat in and then pile soil outside to keep the heat in.
[THE WALK (SEAFORD)]
Yesterday I had a fine walk. We have Saturday afternoon holiday now, we started yesterday. So off I started for a long walk. There is a churchyard outside our camp field and in it a fine piece of sculpture is to be seen. It is a crucifix in white marble over a Catholic priest’s grave. On past the cemetery you come to an old farm house thatched with a foot of straw over the red tiles. You can easily tell the new houses they have roofs of slate like ours. Now I walked across a field (they have no hedges here) and then down one of the steepest inclines I have ever trod on, it’s all chalk, there’s 12” of soil anywhere. When I got to the bottom I was in the Cuckmere Valley (from the top it is a lovely view, it’s just like standing on the edge of a great big Basin and looking down the side). I walked along the bank of the R. Cuckmere looking for plants that I didn’t know the name of. There is hardly anything here we haven’t got at home only I noticed a greater variety of trees bearing berries. The Privet was loaded with small black berries, and Sloes the same color only larger was strongly in evidence. But to see the Hawthorns is lovely, one mass of red, and the brambles are just as full of blackberries and the hillsides are one mass of heather and the gorse bush is just breaking into flower and the golden bells [forsythia] fairly dazzle in the sun. It’s nothing like the Lake District but it’s pretty on account of the human agents that have been at work during the centuries because you know this place is very old in historic associations.
Crossing a bridge that spans the Cuckmere I entered the quaint little village of Litlington and if you had that guide I sent home you will be able to follow my ramble. I won’t say this is the quaintest because there are so many quaint things here. There was a well about 50 feet deep with a windlass to lift the bucket. In this village they have a very fine garden, they call it, it’s more like a park, and in little corners shielded off by trees are arbours where from 2 to 20 might sit round and have refreshments. And such a lovely plant, it’s like ostrich plumes on the end of a thin cane and is white, I think they call it Pampas Grass, I don’t know, you must find out it stands alone. I don’t know of anything like it.
Now what do you think they do with apples that fall to the ground? They let them lie so I started to show them what they ought to do and I picked up about a dozen. They were very sweet. And I walked off and by and by I came to the church. I always look round a churchyard to see if there are any curiosities about. Whilst I was looking the parson came and spoke to me. Then he went in and started to ring the bell. He said he rings the bell at 1 o’clock every day so that all in the village might pray at that hour for the soldiers and sailors who are fighting. Very good you see even in England prayers are ascending at all hours to the throne of God. I think the reason I am so strong is because so many are praying for me both at home and also here. I hope you never forget me.
Afterwards he had showed me some of the interesting things in his church. The [drawing of window here] long narrow window that the Normans had built when they made the church 700 years ago and the seats built into the wall, where the clergy used to sit when they had communion services, the little place for washing the chalice, and nave door made from an old oak rafter, when they repaired the roof, and the fine stained glass window.
I walked further afield to a delightful place called Alfriston where Bathurst trained Mrs Langtry horses for racing. And another church that was high, it had all the characteristics of the other church with many additions. It was very roomy and high, it had no pillars to obstruct the view and was built in what they call cruciform style that is [drawing of cruciform shape here]. They had an altar and two candles, also statues on the altar, of St Andrew & of St. Alpheaus. The altar was white marble. It was nothing elaborate as altars go but in all village church’s I’ve ever been in it was beyond doubt the most advanced. There was a lovely embroidered cloth hanging in front of the altar and above the altar was a magnificent window, Jesus crowned in regal costume with the world balanced in his hand in the centre. On either side was were saints that I don’t know of. St. Christopher, Alpheaus, Alfred, Joseph, and round the head of Jesus was 5 cherubs heads and, at his feet, 4 Virgins. It is a very big window and at the top is a picture of Joseph and the Virgin Mary. And at a side window is a stained window of the legend of St. Christopher carrying a child on his back across the river. And in each wing there is another stained window, one side is a study of Jesus curing the multitude of diseases. On the other side is a genealogical picture of Jesus in 4 jumps [?] i.e. Abraham, David the Singer, David the Psalmist and Jesus the Saviour.
Coming out of the Church I gave a nanny goat, that was feeding on the village green, 2 apples, and didn’t it enjoy them, rather! Then I walked down the street. There’s only one street in any of these places. There was one place built of wood and I think it must have been a Chinese Shanty. Outside of one corner was a huge idol, it must have been a God of War or Revenge by its expression and it was painted red with teeth like a lion and little idols were stuck all around the place and you had to keep looking to see them all. There was a man fighting a dragon. I don’t know whether it was supposed to be St. George or not. There was a green snake with a head either end spitting fire. It was a long snake 2 or 3 Chinese faces carved in wood and on the water spout the date was 1706 so that the house is over 200 years old. Just across in the centre of a forked road [drawing of fork in road here] was the market cross, the place where they used to hold court and all public functions, whipping serfs or ducking shrews and executing sheep thieves. I forgot to mention about a very big tree. It would take 8 men stretching arms to encircle the trunk. Its big branches were propped up by big branches, the middle was quite hollow and two or three people could easily get inside.
Walking out of Alfriston I set across the fields to Berwick and I got to know what the word means. Seeing the church spire towering above the trees I made my way hither because I knew I should find the main road. Then I heard the Choir practicing, only young women, I think all the men must have enlisted. So I went into the church, there is no porch to this church, when the choir came out. The parson waved to me so I went up and spoke to him. I asked if he had anything of interest in his church. He said “not much” but, when he started to point things out, I thought he had many things to show. 1st there was the Baptism Font, built into the wall, 2/ windows and between the altar and communion rail, it was paved with red and blue marble. You cannot get Sussex blue marble, now it all has a red tint in it.
Then he took me into the Vestry and on one of the flags it said “Here lies the body of John Hall [actually Rev. George Hall] who was famous for all learning”. They made a pun on his name and then some prose about him and his son. Then it said “Here reposed the body of the said Father unborn” which meant ‘dead’. The Vicar said he had never seen the word ‘unborn’ used before for ’died’.
Then when he went out he took us on top of a mound and said it was the grave of a chief long before Boadicea lived. And he said they used bury their chiefs (those early Britians [Britons]) always with the feet to the south and they used to build a tomb round and leave the south end open so that when the sun shines it might warm the soul and make it live again & then pile heaps of earth on the top so that it is a landmark for miles. This clergyman told me he intended to have the mound opened to see if there was anything in it. The Berwick or Bare means a chiefs grave. They are all ancient terms.
[BACK TO SEAFORD]
I had tea at Berwick and then walked back to Seaford where I attended a soldiers’ service in the Baptist chapel.
Now I started to write this in the Y.M.C.A. tent. I am finishing it in a private house a lady has kindly offered us the use of. I attended 7 o’clock communion this morning and church service.
I have a very busy job this week, I’m Orderly Corporal and I have to be up first and in last. I must get the coffee & biscuits for all the company, make their orderlies draw their rations, make out lists against the prisoners and see every body washes himself and cleans his tent out. I’m Postman, Policeman, stand all thro and lock up the mess.
I’m the worst man in the company
I’m the best man in the company
I’m everything, I’m nothing
It depends on the mood of the men and officers.
I remain your affectionate
Note 1. A letter from Myrtle Yeoman, Jack’s daughter, to Mrs (Penny) Ellis of Litlington dated 28th January 1984 recalls a “pilgrimage of love” Myrtle made to see the places her father had been to when he joined up and was training before being sent to war.
She describes how the long letter to his niece nine year old Blanche Hesselden Myrtle describes how her father felt very deeply for Blanche; almost as though she was his own daughter, her own father having been abroad for many years.
Jack survived and married in 1919 and his own daughter, Myrtle, was born in 1920.
She says that her cousin Blanche had “preserved this letter through all the vicissitudes of her long life”. Blanche gave the letter to Myrtle to offer her comfort at the death of her Son.
Myrtle visited the Seaford / Eastbourne area with her husband and said it was like accompanying her father and felt that everything was unchanged. She records that her father was trying to pass on his philosophy of life and his love of enquiry and discovery to a little, serious, much loved nine year old.
Note 2. John (Jack) Rowley belonged to the:
King’s Own Royal Lancaster Fusiliers i.e. King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) – 9th (Service) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Lancaster as part of the Third New Army and moved to Seaford as part of the 65th Brigade of the 22nd Division.
January to March moved to Eastbourne (in billets).
April was spent in entrenchment training in Maidstone.
At the end of April 1915 they returned to Seaford
June to August 1915 they moved to Aldershot.
Sept 1915 Mobilised for war and landed in France.
Oct 1915 Deployed to Salonika landing on 07.11.1915 and engaged in various actions against the Bulgarian Army including;
1916 The Battle of Horseshoe Hill, The Battle of Machukovo.
1917 The Battles of Doiran.
1918 The Battle of Doiran.
30.09.1918 Ended the war north of Lake Doiran, Macedonia.
The military record for a soldier named John Rowley with the Regimental No. 18517 is almost certainly the member of the 9th Battalion of the K.O.R.L.R who wrote to his niece Blanche describing his walk from Seaford to Berwick on the 25th of October 1914.
He was born in the parish of Cambuslang in the county of Lanarkshire and enlisted at Barrow-In-Furness on the 5th of September 1914 aged 30 years. His address is recorded as Croft House, Broughton Beck, Ulverston. His occupation was’ Iron Planer’, he was of good physical development although only 5 feet 2.5 inches tall and weighing 137 pounds and a chest measurement of 34.5 inches. He is recorded as Sergeant promoted on the 13th of August 1915.
He trained in Seaford, Eastbourne, Maidstone and Aldershot and served in France from 4th September 1914 to 11th October 1915 and then embarked for to The Balkans on the 27th October arriving at Salonica on the 7th of November 1915.He embarked for the U.K., at the end of the war, on the 18th of March 1919. His unit was dispersed at Crystal Palace on the 4th of April 1919.
He was medically examined in Salonika (2/3/19) before returning to the UK at which time he had recurrent malaria. He reported that he had malaria, faulty vision, exposure during Serbian Retreat in December 1915 and general condition of work. He had been in a Canadian hospital in September 1916 and the 29th Stationary hospital in May 1917.
His Casualty Form shows the typical medical experience of soldiers in the Balkan theatre of war i.e. mostly Malaria and other fevers plus frost bite:
27/10/15 EMBARKED FOR BALKAN FORCES MARSEILLES
7/11/15 Disembarked at Salonica
18/9/16 admitted to 66 Field Amb. from 18/9/16 to 13/10/16 with Pyrexia and Malaria
13/10/16 Re-joined Unit.
28/12/16 Admitted 68 F.A. (N.Y.K).
31/12/16 Re-joined Unit.
5/9/16 He was granted proficiency pay at 6d per diem.
10/5/17 68 F.A. then admitted to 31 C.C.S. to 11/5/17.
12/5/17 admitted28th Genl. Hosp. ( N.Y.D). Salonika
19/5/17 to No 1. C. Depot (Malaria Section)
1/6/17 to ????? Hospital (Malaria)
16/6/17 to No. 1. C. Depot
28/5/17 Marked I.C.? recommended for re????.
26/7/17 No.2. C. Depot
5/8/17 Re-joined Unit.
11/12/17 Appointed Acting C Q.M.S. (Paid)& promoted Colour Sergeant and C.Q.M.S.(Company Quarter Master Sergeant)
24/9/18 Admitted to 64 F.A. Field Ambulance then 63rd Gen. Hospital, then 82nd G.H. with recurrence of Malaria.
16/10/18 Re-joined Battalion
24/10/18 37 Leave Party. Proceeded by train
27/10/18 Embarked Itea for leave to U.K.
Granted 21 days Ration allowance while on furlough.
18/12/18 Disembarked Thea after leave in U.K.
21/12/18 A?? Salonica after leave in U.K.
21/12/18 Re-joined Battalion
3/1/19 Proceeded to Command Paymaster in Salonica
18/3/19 Embarked Salonika for U.K. via Taranto for demobilisation
4/4/19 Dispersed unit at Crystal Palace.
3/5/19 Transferred (class ‘Z’) to Army Reserve.
Captain Robert Bethune of the 9th, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
Robert Thomas Bethune was promoted 2nd Lieutenant on the 24/12/1914 and Lieutenant on the 15/3/1917 and to Captain on the 25/5/1918 and left the army in June 1920.
He is mentioned in Cumberland’s diary as follows:
15/5/18 “Invited to a dinner put on by Lieut. Bob Bethune. The Adjutant (Quintin Bone?) cautioned it would be a wet affair and that the objective was to put me under the table. By Jove It was a wet dinner!
8/6/1918 The Battalion won 1st prize in Infantry Officers Charges class. Bob Bethune won third prize.
March 1919 “My friend Bob Bethune, 9th King’s Own, about to leave
Liverpool for his home in Canada.”
KORLR Museum Accession Number: KO1853/39
Notice the change from the photo of a carefree Bob Bethune while in Seaford Camp in 1914!
Great War Walk
THE GREAT WAR WALK follows the route taken by Jack Rowley on the 25th of October 1914. Jack’s original walk started at his Camp (Seaford Cemetery gates today) then to Litlington, on to Alfriston and then to Berwick Village returning to Seaford being a total of over 12 miles. To reduce the distance to under 6 miles we will start at High and Over (Car Park) and end at Berwick Church.
It would be a wonderful walk if you visit the area but the following photographs will give you some idea of the lovely countryside which Jack Rowley, his colleagues, and all of the soldiers from North & South Camps Seaford would have enjoyed while in training during WW1.
At The Camp
Starting our walk from High and Over (Hindover) Car Park we can see some of the best views in Sussex i.e. across and along the Cuckmere Valley and out to sea by Cuckmere Haven.
The first downland village he came to on his walk on the 25th remains very much as it was a hundred plus years ago. The tea gardens are still very popular among locals and visitors alike and the church is much the same inside and out. The Plough and Harrow public house is also busy at all times of the year.
This is Litlington as Jack would have seen it. A pleasant change from camp life. Although most of the soldiers would have walked this way at some time a little peace could be found to reflect and to to explore and discover the delights of the Sussex countryside.
Litlington Tea Gardens are just as popular today, the waitresses continue the tradition in style of dress although somewhat updated. The numbered arbours are less formal but visitors continue to have cream teas and other treats. There is also a plant nursery and little shop.
Alfriston is much the same as it was when Jack wrote about it on the 25th of October 1914 although it now attracts hundreds of visitors every day during the summer months.
Berwick is a very small farming village with a church better known today for the murals by members of the Bloomsbury Group. The murals are colourful but are not of high artistic merit and seem rather disjointed when viewed as a whole (the opinion of art critics). These were not painted until after Jack’s visit i.e. during WW2. Although there was strong opposition to the project from local parishioners their feelings were over-ridden by the support given by well placed and long time personal friends of Duncan Grant i.e. Fredeick Etchells and Sir (later Lord) Kenneth Clark.
Many thanks to Peter Blee who has just sent photographs of the inside of the church before the murals were painted just as locals, Jack and other WW1 soldiers and other visitors would have seen it.
The greater part of Berwick is outside the original old village and it has a railway station but this is some distance from our walk location.
The irony of artists and members of the upper middle class Bloomsbury Set from London, including Duncan Grant, becoming ‘farmers’ at Charleston, just a few miles from Seaford Camp, to avoid serving in WW1 should not be lost here. We can only imagine what Jack and the rest of the soldiers would have made of it had they known.
The Cricketers PH is a good place to finish our walk with a drink and something to eat and to wait for one of the infrequent buses back to High and Over car park.
Anyone interested in vintage photography and in particular Eastbourne photographer Ellis Kelsey please see another of my blogs: http://dryplate2colour.home.blog/
Also you may be interested in another blog recording Mrs Lambe’s Recipes and Remedies from 1790 to 1862. The link is: Mrs Lambe’s Recipes and Remedies
You may also be interested in local Ornithology from 1846 to 1869. Link to: https://sussexbirds.blogspot.com/
Many thanks for reading this blog. Although the photographs are the copyright of the respective owners you may copy the written content freely on condition that both myself, “Brendon Franks”, and “Seaford Museum” are credited if any part is re-published. Ben Franks
I hope that you enjoyed my blog – Ben Franks.
A Seaford Museum project.
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