Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Alfred Redfern Adams

photo courtesy Mike McQuaid
Alfred Redfern Adams was born in 1898, the son of Alfred and Eleanor (nee Ledsham) Adams of Willaston. Educated at Willaston Council School, Alfred enlisted with Cheshire Yeomanry (No. 1297) in October 1914, aged 16.

Through 1914-1916 Cheshire Yeomanry were on home defence duties on the Norfolk and Suffolk Coast. Alfred had two older brothers, Joseph and Frederick, both of whom served with the 1/7th Bn. Cheshire Regiment and were posted overseas in 1915. During leave in November 1915 had Alfred told his father that he did not want to be left in England with his two brothers serving abroad.

On 26 November Alfred returned to his regiment via train from Crewe, bound for Suffolk and his lodging at Lowestoft. He subsequently wrote to his father. On the evening of 4 December, he returned to his lodgings at 7.25pm. About 20 minutes later his landlady, Mrs. Caroline Gardiner, heard a gunshot from Alfred’s room.

Alone in the house at the time, Mrs. Gardiner ran across the road to seek assistance. Trooper William Frederick Scott (No. 1565, Cheshire Yeomanry) entered Alfred’s room and found him lying across his bed with his rifle and bayonet at his side and a wound by his heart.

The Coroner at his inquest in Lowestoft during December returned a verdict of accidental death.

Alfred Redfern Adams was the earliest casualty of Cheshire Yeomanry in the First World War. He is buried at the church of St Mary the Virgin in the village of Wistaston, Cheshire.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Tournai, November 1918

The city of Tournai in western Belgium was occupied by German forces in August 1914. It remained under German occupation for the rest of the war.

With the British advance in October 1918, the Germans lines had fallen back to Tournai. By mid-October the 15th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Bn. Suffolk Regiment were in the line to the east of Orcq, on the outskirts of Tournai, the village being strongly held by machine guns. The British dug their own line of resistance, and the Battalion spent a few days in the trenches followed by similar period in billets. In the latter part of October these were at Marquain, just 2000 yards from the front line. When billeted the Battalion carried on with a certain amount of training with Lewis guns and in gas drill.

A British soldier
demonstrates a
small box respirator
In the early hours of October 29th about 600 gas and high explosive shells fell in Marquain, and the men were required to wear small box respirators. The chief target had been artillery batteries there. Intermittent gas shelling on the front and support lines continued through the day.

On the evening of October 30th the 15th Suffolks were relieved by the 10th Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, and they moved to billets in Haudion, south west of Marquain. 2nd Lieutenant T.B. Minshall 15th Bn. Suffolk Regiment may have come across some old pals at this time, having served with 10th Bn. KSLI in Egypt and Palestine, prior to his Commission and transfer to the Suffolks in December 1917.

The first few days of November were spent in training and working on the line of resistance – at this time Private Charles Sydney Stevens (No. 51856) 15th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Bn. Suffolk Regiment was killed from artillery fire. The Battalion was also sent to the baths at Baisieux on 3/4 November.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Outpost Encounters

Early in October 1918 the 74th Division took over from the 19th Division a sector of the front line in northern France nearly three miles in length with Neuve Chapelle, in the centre. By then the Germans were in retreat towards Lille, about 15 miles away to the north-east. On the evening of 3 October the 15th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Bn. Suffolk Regiment moved up on to the Aubers Ridge line, as the main line of resistance.

230th Infantry Brigade Order No. 72, dated 2 October 1918, required after arrival on the Aubers Line that patrols should be pushed out. It further required that “Patrol Leaders must show more enterprise. Once the objective is given cumbersome orders only complicate the task and delay operations.”

At 0500 on 4 October the Battalion moved out passing through the positions held by the 10th Buffs and 16th Sussex; two companies were in the front line and two in support, with the 10th Kings Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI) on their left and Liverpool Scottish the right. The first objective was met by 0915. The advance continued, but was halted at 1030 due to shelling, which wounded six men. The lines were consolidated taking up a defensive position covering the villages of Lattre and Wavrin, with B, C and D Companies in the line and A Company in support. Through the afternoon the Battalion experienced heavy shelling, and patrols sent out encountered enemy machine gun posts about 400 yards ahead. Night patrols also met with considerable opposition from enemy machine guns.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Cheshire County Memorial Project

Cheshire County Memorial Project is creating a single source Memorial Roll to the estimated 26,000 men from the County who fell during the Great War 1914-18 and around 10,000 from WW2 1939-45, and now all conflicts since. They are also adding stories of those who served and came home.

If your relative fell or if you have pictures, documents or any information on any of the men and women from the County the Project would like to hear from you.

The Roll is based on pre 1974 County Boundary changes so it does include parts of what is now South Manchester and the Wirral.

Make contact via the web site: www.cheshirecountymemorialroll.com
or the Project Facebook Page

News release, 3 October 2018

Cheshire County Memorial Project is delighted to announce three major changes to the Roll of Honour. These new features now make the county roll open to all those who have served in our armed services in conflicts since 1914.

1. We are now expanding the roll to cover all conflicts since 1914 to the present day. These conflicts will include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • Gulf War
  • Kosovo
  • Falklands
  • Northern Ireland
  • Malayan Conflict
  • Suez Crisis
  • Korean War

2. A roll of honour should include those who served and came home. In all these conflicts and of course including the Great War and WW2 we also want to know the stories of those who returned.

3. There is now a members section where you can now add your relatives story or any one you have researched. Simply click on the sign in tab on the home page create your account and then add your pictures and stories, these can be from any of the conflicts, if you want to add more than one person simply click the icon again to add another. If the soldier is already listed on the roll you can search edit his/her information. The information will then be approved by an administrator before publishing on the website.

This is a massive expansion to the county roll of honour, one that is unique as it now includes all conflicts; no other county is doing anything like this. If your relative came from the county, we want to ensure they are remembered.