Monthly Archives: March 2010

World at War event at Fort Nelson this weekend

Fort Nelson

Originally uploaded by dalyhistory2010

Theres a World at War event going on at Fort Nelson, near Portsmouth this weekend on Sunday and Monday.

British, American, Russian and German soldiers will battle for control of the ramparts, featuring Machine Guns, Pyrotechnics, Artillery and gun firing and Armoured Vehicles. I’m a big fan of these kinds of events, they’re great for bringing history alive.

At £5 per adult, £2.50 for children and £12 for a family ticket, its a bargain.

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Youtube picks

Heres my latest selection of interesting clips, courtesy of youtube:

Sailor – The 1976 TV series on the old HMS Ark Royal

The Tank Museum featured on BBC’s The One Show

Archive footage of The Battle of the Somme

Bruce Springsteen (featuring Tom Morello) – The Ghost of Tom Joad


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Sapper Charles Cuff

Hot on the heels of my review of Underground Warfare 1914-1918 by Simon Jones, I’ve been doing some research into the only Portsmouth tunneller that I have discovered so far.

Sapper Charles Cuff was 22 and from 22 Chance Street, Landport. He was serving with the 250th Tunnelling Company of the Royal Engineers. He was killed on 17 June 1916, and is buried at Lindenhoek Chalet Miliary Cemetery in Belgium, a few miles South West of Ypres.

The 250th Tunnelling Company was formed in Rouen in October 1915, and dug the deep-level mines (Petit Bois, Peckham and Spanbroekmolen) under the Messines ridge in the winter of 1915 and Spring of 1916. Its hard to tell whether Cuff was killed in action, by an accident or illness. There are documented collapses in 250th Company’s tunnels in Jones’s book. If Cuff has been killed in a collapse, its probable that he would have no known grave.

Out of almost 1,000 men I have analysed so far, Cuff is the only Sapper-Tunneller I have found from Portsmouth. Does his suggest that most of the tunnellers came from traditional mining areas? It should be interesting to find out.

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70 years ago this year: Churchill, Dunkirk, the few and the blitz

We’re coming up to the time when a lot of Second World War 70th anniversaries will be taking place. As usual you can expect to read about all the anniversaries, books, and special events right here. I will also be looking at local stories, and the experiences of local people, including my own family.

April marks 70 years since Nazi Germany invaded Denmark and Norway. In May 1940 Winston Churchill became Prime Minister, and the very same day Germany invaded Belgium, France and Holland. After being outwitted the British fell back to Dunkirk and were evacuated, and France reached an armistice with the Nazis. As a prelude to the planned invasion of Britain, the Luftwaffe fought Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain. Ater the Germans failed to gain air superiority the Luftwaffe resorted to Bombing towns and cities, in what became known as the Blitz. So many momentous events in such a short space of time. How I tend to think of 1940, is that although winning the war came much later, in those dramatic days we didn’t LOSE the war. And if you lose a war, you’ve no chance of winning it in the end at all!

There are some fantastic books due to be released later this year to mark the anniversaries. As always you can expect to read reviews here on Daly History.

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Underground Warfare 1914-1918 by Simon Jones


We’ve all heard of the Hooge crater – an explosion that could be heard from London. But this book by Simon Jones sheds new light (pun not intended) on the countless other underground activities during the First World War, most of which remain little known to the general public.

While it was only really in the twentieth century that warfare expanded to fighting in the air, fighting underground has a much longer heritage. There are countless examples of medieval armies tunnelling underneath enemy fortresses in attempts to break the deadlock of siege warfare. And once the war on the Western Front settled down into stalemate in 1914, taking the war underground soon became an option for breaking the deadlock. It’s a common theme in military history that when maneouvre warfare beds down into stalemate, commanders invariably look for leftfield options to re-energise the offensive.

The British Army began the First World War with less experience and expertise in underground warfare than France and Germany, both of which had more experience of continental siege warfare. Apart from a few experimental exercises in the early years of the twentieth century, the only expertise in underground warfare was that borrowed from the north-east mining community. Jones tells us of an amusing encounter where a north-east MP demonstrated to Lord Kitchener – himself an Engineer, who might have been expected to understand more than most – what a mole was. The British mining operations were, essentially, learnt on the job. The BEF did very well to control mining at Army level, ensuring that effort was concentrated and not wasted, and the military made good use of civilian capabilities. On this last point, Jones argues that the British tradition of amateur military service enabled civilians to contribute more to the military than in the rigidly professional German army.

Mining itself is a pretty hazardous profession at the best of times, but in a wartime context the dangers were multiplied. There was always the risk of collapses, and on occasion British and German tunnels inadvertantly merged, resulting in underground firefights. Sapper William Hackett was awarded the only tunnelling Victoria Cross of the war, for a deed on 22 and 23 June 1916, near Givenchy. In a collapse Hackett was trapped along with several other sappers. When rescuers managed to finally reach them, Hackett refused to leave the remaining seriously injured tunneller, saying, “I am a tunneller, I must look after the others first”, a phrase that epitomises the spirit of miners. According to Jones the military authorities initially feared the socialist tendencies of the miners, but found that they had extremely strong values of cameraderie and dedication.

There were frequently misunderstandings between different Corps about the strengths and weaknesses of underground warfare. In particular the infantry and engineers seem to have found it difficult to find a consensus on how to co-ordinate exploding mines with infantry attacks. In some cases infantry officers feared that falling debris would injure their men – fears that were largely unfounded. In fact, delaying infantry attacks until long after the explosions lost the vital element of surprise – much the same as lengthy and heavy artillery barrages merely alerted the enemy to an impending advance.

As well as mines and offensive tunnelling, engineers also went underground to build secure accomodaton and communications – I can remember visiting Thompson’s Cave at Arras, a huge underground area that housed a main dressing station.

Jones makes ample use of original trench maps, and in particular some illustrations taken from contemporary publications – British, French and German – that demontrate mining tactics, equipment and instruments. Some impressive research has obviously gone into this book. This is not purely a ‘history of first world war tunnelling’, but places it in the larger context – historically and geologically – of military history.

Underground Warfare 1914-1918 is publised by Pen and Sword


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Connected Histories: a new search engine for historians?

The Institute for Historical Research has launched a new project, dubbed a new search engine for historians. Connected Histories will create a joint search facility for a wide range of sources relating to early modern and nineteenth century British history.

Reading between the tecno-speak on the IHR’s website, it looks like the project will create a catalogue that remotely links sources from other sites. A collabarative workspace will allow users to document the connections between documents. In total, Connected Histories will provide access to 14 major databases of primary source texts, containing more than 412 million words, plus 469,000 publications, 3.1 million further pages of text, 87,000 maps and images, 254,000 individuals in databases, and over 100 million name instances.

A large amount of sources have been made available online by universities, archives and the commercial sector. Many are under-exploited, simply because historians are not aware that they exist. In the first phase Connected Histories will incorporate sources from the Old Bailey Online 1674-1913, Plebian Lives and the Making of Modern London, the Burney Newspaper Collection, the Origins Network, Parliamentary Papers, Clergy of Church of England Database 1540-1835, Strypes Survey of London, the Charles Booth Online Archive and Collage.

I have used several of these sources myself, especially the Old Bailey Online, Parliamentary Papers and the Charles Booth Archive. Its good to see that the Historical community is finally waking up to the possibilities that the internet presents – its funny how history can be so slow to evolve and adapt! I can imagine I will make a lot of use of it, whereas without the search facility, I might not bother. The ability to ‘tag’ linked documents sounds interesting too – almost like a wiki.

Connected Histories is definitely a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go. Several years ago the Access 2 Archives project did a lot of good work in producing an online catalogue of the holdings of virtually all of the archives in Britain. You could search them all in one place, and see what documents were held in what archives. Then the funding ran out, and the search engine was moved to the National Archives website. The search engine is not as powerful, and it is much harder to use. Definitely a step backwards.

Another aspect where the historical community is slow at using technology is making documents themselves available online. The National Archives has seriously curtailed its digitisation programme on the grounds of cost. Which means that if you want to look at a document, chances are you will have to go to Kew. Even if its commonly used. Plenty of documents are becoming availabe on sites such as Ancestry and findmypast, but personally I think it is quite sad that you have to pay to become a member to access our heritage. Other countries manage it.

I can’t wait to see the Connected Histories project progress. But lets hope that it is sustainable, and that more historical institutions take note and up their game.

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RSM Frederick Frampton and Gunner George Frampton

Given the large number of men who died in the First World War, sadly its not surprising that in some cases fathers and sons were killed in action.

Frederick Frampton, 46 and from North End, was Regimental Sergeant Major of 65th Heavy Group of the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was killed on 24 August 1917, and is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery in Belgium. Bard Cottage is located in the Ypres Salient, and Frampton was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele. At the time of his death more heavy Artillery was being brought up in order to support the attack. To reach the rank of RSM Frampton was almost certainly a career soldier.

His son, Gunner George Frampton, must have followed his father into the RGA. He was 19 when he died on 29 September 1918, serving with 355th Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery. Siege Batteries were equipped with large, heavy Howitzers in order to take on the enemy’s artillery. Gunner Frampton is buried at Doingt Cemetery, France. Doingt was captured by Australian forces on 5 September 1918, during the 100 Days offensive leading up to the Armistice. The front line had moved on by the time of Frampton’s death. It would seem therefore that he died whilst at either the 20th, 41st or 55th Casualty Clearing Stations, which were near Doingt at the time.

Marion Frampton, of 291 Chichester Road, North End, would have received two War Office Telegrams in just over a year. She may in fact have received more than one, as an S.H. Frampton appears on the Portsmouth War Memorial. There is no trace, however, of anyone with this name on the CWGC database.


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Using War Diaries

As background for my research into Portsmouth’s WW1 dead, earlier today I downloaded the War Diary of the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment, from 1914 to 1918. Many other WW1 War Diaries are available to download, for the small sum of £3.50, from the National Archives’s Documents Online website. This is a fantastic resource – without it, I would have to make a trip to Kew to photoraph nigh on a thousand pages!

I’ve used War Diaries before – I’ve looked at the 11th Parachute Battalion and the 10th Berkshires, from the time my Granddad was serving with them in the second world war. I’ve also had a look at the War Diaries of the Grenadier Guards in the First World War, when conducting some research into Boy Browning.

A few things are noticeable from glancing over the War Diaries. When the 1st Hampshires embarked for France, the war diary was written by hand, in an almost flowery – some might say officer-like – manner. But what it does do is describe the fighting in a lot of detail. In some places they also contain extracts from officers and even mens diaries. By 1916, however, the war diaries become more formal. The are typewritten, on official forms. They also become very matter of fact – I guess by that stage in the war going up to the line was nothing special to the Adjutant writing the diary.

The War Diaries tend to give a lot more information about officers than men. At the end of each month a return was made of the officers in the Battalion, which had been admitted to or discharged from Hospital, who was on leave, and who had been killed, wounded or reported missing. The same information is recorded for other ranks, but only in terms of numbers. The only time that other ranks were mentioned was when they were awarded Gallantry Medals.

As well as giving us an idea of when a Battalion was attacking, when it was in line or in reserve, the war diary tells us so much more. We can see when Platoon Football Leagues were held. In terms of training, we see when companies took part in Bayonet training, for example. We can also see when they carried out work parties. The Diary also contains orders that have been archived, and maps. The problem with maps, however, is that they often have code names for locations, instead of their real names!

Another thing that is noticeable, is the losses among officers. Commonly the Battalion seems to have been commanded by a Major, and Companies by Lieutenants. If officers got more coverage in the war diary, they also got a lot of attention from the enemy.

I will post more excerpts and observations from the 1st Hampshires War Diary as I read through it.

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Contract signed for next phase of Type 26 warship project

The MOD has recently signed a contract with BAE systems for the Assessment Phase of the Royal Navy’s planned Type 26 combat ship, the next generation of British warships.

A joint BAE-MOD team will work on designs for the Type 26 class, which are due to replace the Type 22 and Type 23 Frigates by the end of the decade. The Type 26 nomenclature has been used, as the Type 24 and Type 25 Frigates were projects that never left the drawing board. By giving the project a formal Type name, the MOD is making it seem that much more of a reality.

According to the official MOD press release, the purpose of the Assessment phase will be to ensure ‘…that the necessary capabilities identified during the Strategic Defence Review are incorporated into the Type 26 design’.

The published key design aims for the Type 26 are for a ship that is:

• Versatile – able to undertake a number of roles;
• Flexible – to adapt to the changing needs of defence;
• Affordable – both in build and support through its service life;
• Exportable – designed with the international market in mind.

I have long thought that these ships will be very important to the future of the Royal Navy. The design aims seem to be broadly sensible, and of course affordability will be important in the current economic climate. That the Assessment phase is largely dependant on the Strategic Defence Review may seem worrying, but it is also pragmatic – there is no sense in forging ahead with a project that may be cancelled or radically altered. And ship design and procurement needs to work within the broader strategic context.

The Royal Navy is currently far behind many of its allies where smaller escort ships are concerned – the Danish Absalon and the Swedish Visby classes are examples of this. Its crucial that the Type 26 is delivered.


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The Machine Gun Corps 1914-1918

One of the new aspects of the First World War was the Machine Gun. Although it had a lineage going back to the American Civil War, it was in the static, trench warfare conditions of the Western Front that the Machine Gun began to have a decisive effect.

At the start of the First World War in 1914 British Army infantry battalions each had a machine gun section of two maxim guns, manned by a junior officer and 12 men. However, experience in 1914 and 1915 suggested that the Army would need many more Machine Guns, and that they would need to be manned by dedicated units, using specialist tactics and organisation. On 2 September 1915 a proposal was submitted to the War Office to create a specialist Machine Gun Company per each infantry brigade, instead of Machine Guns being operated by the battalions themselves. These Companies were organised into a new Machine Gun Corps.

The re-organisation was completed by the start of the battle of the Somme in July 1916. Shortly after the Machine Gun Corps was create the Maxim was replaced by the Vickers. Infantry battalions were given the Lewis light machine gun to increase their firepower.

With their rate of fire, machine guns could generate as much fire as hundreds of rifles, and could seriously hamper attacking infantry. This was shown on the first day of the Somme on 1 July 1916 – if Machine Guns were set up along the line, with interlocking fields of fire, the attacking troops would face a death trap.

A total of 170,500 officers and men served in the Machine Gun Corps, of which 62,049 were killed, wounded or missing. A number of them came from Portsmouth.

Lance Corporal Owen Bugden, 20 and from Fratton, was serving with 163rd Company of the Machine Gun Corps when he was killed on 19 April 1917. He was supporting 54th Division in Palestine, and is remembered on the Jerusalem Memorial.

Machine Guns played a critical role in defending against German attacks at Arras. Sergeant Nathaniel Cranley, 40 and from Cosham, was killed on 3 May 1917. He was serving with 93rd Company, who were supporting 31st Division. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial in France. Private Henry Blackman, 21 and from Landport, was serving with 100th Company when he was killed on 20 May 1917. 100th Company were suporting 33rd Division. He is also remembered on the Arras Memorial.

Private J.E. Burridge was killed on 13 March 1918. He was serving with 2nd Battalion, who were supporting 2nd Division. He is buried in Neuville-Bourjonval War Cemetery, France. Also of 2nd Battalion was Private Dennis Cake, 19 and from Southsea, who was killed on 28 July 1918. He is buried at Bienvillers War Cemetery, France.

Private Herbert Exell, 19 and from Copnor, was a member of 49th Company when we was killed on 25 April 1918. 49th Company were supporting 16th Division. He has no known grave, and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

Private Arthur Bone, 19 and from Kingston, was killed on 27 September 1918. He had originally enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment, and then transferred to the 5th Battalion of the MGC, who were supporting the 5th Division. He is remembered on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France.

Private Frederick Coward, 28 and from North End, was killed on 2 October 1918, seving with the 2nd Company of the Australian MGC. He is buried in Bellicourt War Cemetery, France.

Private Albert Evans, 19 and from Powerscout Road, was serving with the 19th Battalion of the MGC when he was killed on 6 November 1918, only five days before the end of the war. 19th Battalion were supporting 19th Division. Evans is bured in Cross Roads War Cemetery, France. His brother Charles Evans, a Gunner, was also killed in 1918.

What can we tell from this small sample of casualties? Firstly, how young these men were – 6 of the men named above were 20 our younger. Secondly, given that they all died in 1917 and 1918, it seems that the British Army only began using Machine Guns in serious numbers – and incurring losses in Machine Gunners – from 1917 onwards.


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In the ranks of death: The Irish in the Second World War by Richard Doherty

Hot on the heels of Bloody Belfast, I received another book on Irish History, this time focussing on the contribution of Irish people and Irish units to the Second World War.

Irish History really is like trying to untangle a particularly nasty ‘birdsnest’ on a fishing reel. Particularly if we are looking at Anglo-Irish History – its a prime example of how history can be affected by past and indeed future events. Cromwell’s campaigns in Ireland affected the path towards Irish nationalism, as much as the Easter Rising and the Troubles affect how Cromwell is seen today. Somewhere in amongst this passionate and complex historiography, we have the fact that a significant number of Irishman have fought for the British Crown over hundreds of years. Perhaps one of the best – although fictional – examples is that of Sergeant Harper in Sharpe.

But that is not all. Add into the equation the many thousands of Irish diaspora, particularly people who left during hard times to seek work, and joined the British Armed Forces. This leads us to consider one crucial question – why would Irishmen, particularly from the south, serve the British Crown? Doherty offers a number of reasons – hardship being one, alongside a desire to defend Democracy. Tellingly, however, Doherty tells us that in the post-war years when the Troubles were at their height, many Irish veterans had to use hardshp as an excuse for joining the Royal Navy or the British Army. A prime example of how current events can shape our understanding of the past.

This book by Richard Doherty sheds new light on this fascinating aspect of the War. In particular the first chapter uses some extensive research and statistics to challenge previous work on Irish participation and losses. The rest of the book follows a chronological path, detailing Irish units and Irishmen who took part in key actions. Medal winners are well documented, as are some typically Irish anecdotes – including the Protestant Northern Irish CSM who met the Pope wearing his Orange Order sash.

Its only after reading an account like this that you realise just what a contribution the Irish, from North and South, made to the British war effort. So many Generals seem to have had Irish connections – Dill, Brooke, Alexander, Montgomery, Horrocks and O’Connor to name but a few. And then there was a plethora of other officers who distinguished themselves- Blaire ‘Paddy’ Mayne (DSO and 3 Bars, CO of the SAS and an Irish Achilles if ever there was one), Brigadier Hackett of Arnhem fame, Colonel Otway of Merville Battery, and Joe Vandeleur, CO of Irish Guards in the frantic dash up the corridor to Arnhem. As well as men, we are informed about some fine units, including the Inniskilling Fusiliers, the 8th Kings Own Royal Irish Hussars, the Royal Ulster Rifles and the Irish Guards.

On the downside, it is sometimes difficult to follow the Irish thread in amongst the broader strategic picture. Admittedly, Irishmen took part in virtually every battle and served on board most ships, so it must have been difficult to keep to the Irish thread. But this is a fantastic book, with thorough research complementing an analytical and well scoped approach.

In the ranks of death is published by Pen and Sword


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Private George Abbott

The First World War came at a point when the British Empire was at its height. As a result, many of the older men who fought and died between 1914 and 1918 had also fought in various imperial wars around the globe.

Private George Abbott, 51 and from East Street, Southsea, died on 12 November 1916. He is buried in Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth.

Abbott was serving with the 6th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment at the time of his death, according to the CWGC. According to the Long Long Trail website there was not actually a 6th Bn of the Hants, athough there was a 2/6th Battalion. This was a Home Service unit that was based locally in the Hampshire area.

Abbott had a fine record of military service around the world, having also served in the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885, and the Boer War between 1899 and 1902.

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The three Dugan brothers

The First World War exacted a heavy toll on the Dugan family from Portsea.

Private Wesley Dugan was part of the 15th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment, a Portsmouth New Army ‘Kitchener’ unit. He was killed on the Somme on 15 September 1916. He has no known grave, and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. The 15th Battalion suffered incredibly heavy losses on this day the first day of the battle of Flers-Courcelette – an attempt to renew the Somme offensive that had started in July 1916.

His brother Private James Dugan was killed just under a year later. Serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment, he died on 21 August 1917 at the age of 43. He has no known grave, and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. He was killed during the battle of Passchendaele, between the battle of Langemarck and the battle of the Menin Road.

The third Dugan brother fell in the spring of 1918. Private Edwin Dugan killed on 19 April 1918 in the Ypres Salient, while serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. He is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial. This was during the Kaiser Offensive, the German’s last -ditch attempt to turn the tide of the war on the Western Front in 1918.

Thus the Dugan family lost three sons in 18 months of bloody fighting. As tragic as this seems, apparently some families in Britain lost as many as 5 sons between 1914 and 1918.


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Tracing Great War Ancestors – the DVD


I’m well into the swing of reviewing books now, having been working on my blog for almost 9 months. But it was a pleasant surprise to receive a copy of this brand new DVD from Pen and Sword. In fact, im surprised that its only now that this concept is taking off!

The DVD is broken down into three sections, and follows Richard Hone as he sets off on a journey of discovery, looking to find out more about his Uncle Bill who died in the First World War. In the first part genealogist Simon Fowler shows Richard how to get started. Armed with these details, in the second part Tim Saunders takes Richard to visit the Battlefields in France and Belgium where his Uncle Bill fought, from Loos, via the Somme and Passchendaele, to where he was killed in the Ypres Salient in 1918. Finally, medal expert Phil Mussell explains about First World War campaign medals.

There are also some pretty nifty extras, including a printable family tree planner, a full-colour magazine and book extracts. This aspect of the product is something that could be developed more in the future – would it be possible to include digital examples of documents, for instance? Maybe even film clips and/or music? I’m not sure how licensing would work, but its a thought…

It makes a very pleasant change indeed to be watching a DVD on family military history, rather than reading a book – it brings it to life so much more vividly. I can imagine it being a lot more friendly too if you want to research your family history but are not into reading. It is structured very well, with a nice gentle introduction. I am a big fan of getting out there to ‘smell the battlefield’, so it’s very pleasing to see that the viewer is encouraged to do just that. The use of a case study is a sound idea, and adds a nice personal touch. At the moment I am researching the men of Portsmouth who died in WW1 and watching this DVD has given me plenty of inspiration.

In some respects the presentation is rather rusty, however. Some of the editing is less than crisp in places, and we hear Tipperary and one other WW1 era song throughout. Also, it might make an interesting sideshow to run a sweepstake as to precisely which British Army regiment Tim Saunders was an officer in! But these are issues of style: the substance is all there.

I think we can expect to see a lot more DVD’s like this in the future. I must admit it has got me thinking too: how about some DVD’s in a similar vein, but aimed at younger people?

Tracing Great War Ancestors is available from Pen and Sword


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Pompey’s WW1 Guardsmen – A to C

Between 1914 and 1918 four men from Portsmouth with surnames from A to C were killed serving with the Foot Guards Regiments.

The Guards Regiments were considered to be elite of the British Army’s infantry. The Guards had no territorial battalions and no ‘Kitchener Battalions’ of the New Army. They did eventually expand and raise new battalions of their own, taking in duration-only volunteers and conscripts. These were however very much proper Guards Battalions, and maintained the pre-war standards of efficiency.

Englishmen normally joined either the Grenadier Guards, or the Coldstream Guards if they happened to come from a county on the route that the forefathers of that regiment marched fromn Coldstream to London. Although in wartime these conventions were less strictly enforced, most Portsmouth Guardsmen seem to have been Grenadiers.

The Guards Division fought in the first battle of Passchendaele. Lance Corporal G.A. Bignell, from Copnor, was killed on 9 October 1917. He was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards, who at the time were part of the Guards Division. He is buried in Artillery Wood Cemetery, Belgium.

The Guards suffered heavily during the Battle of Cambrai. Private Harry Bower, 31 and from Hertford Street, Portsmouth, was killed on 27 November 1917. He was serving with the 3rd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. They were also part of the Guards Division. He has no known grave, and is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, France. Private James Chant, of the 4th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, was killed on 1 December 1917. They were part of the Guards Division. He is also remembered on the Cambrai Memorial.

Private Robert Arnold, 20 and from Newcome Road, Fratton, was serving with the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards when he was killed on 27 August 1918. They were also part of the Guards Division. He is buried in Mory Abbey Cemetery, France. Tragically this was during the last battle of the Somme, just months before the end of the war.

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