Remembering 9348 CQMS Frederick William Jones Killed in Action 29/30th July 1916

XIV Pln D Coy - Book of HonourCompany Quartermaster Sergeant Jones enlisted in the 17th Battalion on 23rd February 1915. This was during the drive for further recruitment when the Pals Battalions were seeking a fifth E Company. Recruitment was opened up to men with skills or trades suited to Army life. This was a significant extension to the original requirement of being a clerk or warehouseman.  His Service Record helps build a picture of the men in his Battalion.

Arthur Bell recognised the importance of these men. “Throw a lot of clerks and countermen into a complex organisation like an army, with only a few ex-Boer War men, and where are you?  No wonder an invitation was issued to bakers, candlestick-makers and coppers to join up.”
Frederick was an experienced carpenter, who had a reference provided by Peace V Norquoy Limited of New Islington Works, Union Street, Ancoats. He had been employed with them for five years and had earlier served in the Royal Navy.
At 37 years and six months, Frederick was much older than the average recruit; with the majority of recruits being single, it was also an exception for Frederick to be married with children. He had married Nellie Shutt at Weslyan Chapel, Grosvenor Street on 15th July 1905. The couple and three children, Wilfred, Doris & Frederick William, lived at 1 Roseneath Avenue, Levenshulme. His mother Mary Fox Jones lived at 12 The Crescent, Levenshulme with younger brother Harold Thomas and Sister Constance Gertrude Jones. The elder brother Edwin Ernest lived at Bramhall.
Previous military experience, maturity and his trade experience led to Frederick’s early promotion to the post of Pioneer Sergeant. He trained with XIV Platoon in D Company. The Battalion’s assault on Montauban led to significant losses, especially among the NCOs. Frederick was promoted CQMS on 1st July, as a replacement for one of these casualties.
CQMS Jones was Killed in Action on 29th or 30th July 1916, during the advance on Guillemont. He is buried in PERONNE ROAD CEMETERY, MARICOURT. Grave registration suggests he died on 29/7/1916, which could relate the evening before the assault on Guillemont when the Battalion moved up from Cambridge Copse and assembled between Bernafay and Trones Woods. Frederick had originally been buried close to the track leading to Carnoy from Maricourt and the southern end of Talus Bois. Therefore it’s possible he was killed in the initial assembly positions at Cambridge Copse. Alternatively he may have been wounded later and there may have been a Casualty Clearing Station close to his original burial place. SDGW specifies Killed in Action, rather than Died of Wounds, but these records are regularly inaccurate. Most initial 30th July burials were more than 1 mile to the north east.
Nellie received Frederick’s Effects in September 1917. This included a tobacco pouch, Cigarette Case, wrist watch, purse, pipe and pipe lighter. Nellie thought some items were missing. The War Office awarded her a Pension of 22/ per week in February 1917.

Flanders 2015 – Lance Corporal Alf Ridge and other places

Somme Tour 2015 – Keeping a teenager interested.


Remembering 9519 Private Ruben Schofield 17th Manchesters KiA 1/7/1916

Roll of Honour showing the names of the men in the Platoon.   This includes Arthur Bell and Robert Schofield.  Ruben joined the Battalion soon after.

Roll of Honour showing the names of the men in the Platoon. This includes Arthur Bell and Robert Schofield. Ruben joined the Battalion soon after.

This blog regularly returns to the original recording and notes of 8055 Private Arthur Bell. Efforts continue to be made to identify the people and places referred to in Grandad’s notes. This post concerns the identification of 9519 Ruben Schofield as the brother of 8284 Private Robert Schofield of III Platoon. Ruben was killed at Montauban on 1st July 1916. Here’s Arthur Bell’s note about his return to happy valley on 3rd July 1916:-
“Our lot were under canvas, and we were told what heart-breaking roll-calls there had been. One particular man in our platoon had lost the younger brother whom he had been at great pains to have transferred from another battalion.”
Service Records show Ruben transferred to 17th Manchesters on 11/4/1915. The Military History Sheet identifies Service at Home from 1/10/1914. This is the date he enlisted as No. 10611 in the “1st Salford Battalion” Lancashire Fusiliers (LF). This became the 15th Service Battalion or the Salford Pals and had been training in Conway. The records confirm Ruben was transferred to serve with his elder brother. He had been 20 years 9 months old, employed as a compositor and is noted as being qualified Res Transport. His Disciplinary Sheet records offences for being dirty on parade at Belton Park in July 1915 and overstaying Leave by almost two days at Lark Hill on 10/10/1915. Sergeant Joseph McMenemy was a Witness. This was probably his final visit to Manchester before Ruben had embarked for France with his brother and the rest of 17th Manchesters, arriving in France on 8/11/1915. Serving in the Maricourt sector he was attached to 90th Brigade Headquarters on 3/3/1916, returning to his Battalion on 20th March.
Ruben’s father, Robert Senior was next of kin and recipient of his son’s effects. Robert and his wife Mary lived at 9 Thomas Street, Brewery Street, Salford. There were no personal items and Robert acknowledged his son’s BWM & VM medals in 1922 His 1914-15 Star was returned. Ruben had Robert as a brother in 1919, with sisters Elizabeth and Mary. His religion is noted as Jewish.
Records show the Schofield family was decimated in the period of the War. Two elder sons died in England (as civilians) in 1915 and Ruben’s third brother, Thomas died of wounds six days later on 7th July 1916 serving as No 19946 with 1st Bttn Kings Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment. 43 year old Thomas left behind his widow Florence Schofield, of 13, Barton Street, Lumley Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancs. He had entered France after December 1915 and is buried in ABBEVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY. In 1911 Thomas had been a paper ruler living at 18 Hanover St Cross Lane. Salford.
Robert was the final surviving son of 5 brothers alive in 1914. Robert served in 17th Manchesters and later transferred to 13th and 9th Battalions prior to discharge fit for duty on 21/3/1919. He had been a cloth warehouseman.
Notes from Manchester forum report that Ruben Worked for A.C. Lindley, 12 Albert St, Manchester.

John William Womersley

Originally posted on St Chrysostom's Church Blog:

On 4th June 1915, one hundred years ago today, John William Womersley, a member of St Chrysostom’s Church, wass killed in the Battle of Krithia, on the Gallipoli peninsula. He was 31 years old.

John Womersley was born on February 3rd 1884, the eldest son of Frederick and Emily Womersley of The Olives, Anson Road, Victoria Park. (Very near St Chrysostom’s Church). He was educated at Mill Hill School in north London. As a young man he became a partner in his father’s accountancy firm, Womersley and Sons of King Street, Manchester. He took an active interest in the local community and was a member of St Chrysostom’s congregation, later a sidesman at the church.

Womersley Group WW1 Officers of the 8th Battalion the Manchester Regiment. John Womersley is 8th from the left on the back row.

John enrolled in the 8th (Ardwick) Batallion of the Manchester Regiment before the war broke out…

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Private Louis Francois Hillebrand – 17th Manchester’s Dutchman Died 22/5/1918

Having contributed to the Flickr account of the Manchester Regiment Group’s Photostream, new opportunities continue to be found to build the photographic collection of graves and commemorations for men who served in the Manchester Regiment.

These trips correspond with social or family obligations, but I recently took a 17 year old on a driving lesson to a cemetery in north west London and passed by the former home of the man concerned. The memory of every man who lost his life in WWI is important, but Louis Hillebrand is certainly different.

Louis Hillebrand was born in Amsterdam in 1878. His father Johannas is noted as a locksmith and his mother was Dorothea Hulna D’Enville.  At some stage Louis moved to Britain, resident at  52 Market Place, Hyde Park when he was naturalised a British Citizen and noted as a hairdresser.  On 29th July that year he married Selina Young in St Michael and All Angels Church, Paddington.  Selina was a school teacher and two years older than Louis.  Limited records suggest the couple had two boys in 1912, Felix Francois and Stephen Louis.  The family 12 Conniningham Road, Golders Green, NW11were living at 12 Conningham Road, Golders Green in 1918.

At the outbreak of the Great War, Louis would not have been an average recruit.  His employment as a hairdresser in his mid 30s with two children explains why he was not in the first groups of men to enlist.  The date he joined the Army is not known, but records show Louis enlisted in Cricklewood.  He may have been held in reserve for some time and probably arrived in France in 1917.  At this stage he will have been attached to the Manchester Regiment and transferred to 19th Battalion, receiving the number 51183.*1

The 19th Battalion took part in numerous actions during hostilities, many corresponding with their 17th Battalion comrades.  Louis’ Roll for his British War Medal and Victory Medals indicates  service in both of these Battalions.  This probably relates to the 19th Battalion being absorbed in the 16th or 17th Battalions in February 1918.  This transfer renders it difficult to seek to identify an enlistment date, but analysis of the Regimental Numbers suggests men with this sequence probably first saw action at Ypres on 31st July 1917.*2

51183 Louis Francois Hillebrand 17th Bttn Paddington Old Cemetery, KilburnAs some stage Louis was wounded and evacuated Home.  He was being treated in Brook War Hospital, Shooters Hill in south London when he died of wounds on 22nd May 1918.  He is buried in Paddington Old Cemetery, Kilburn – a few miles south of the family home in Golders Green.  It’s possible he suffered wounds earlier, but most likely this was during the withdrawal from St Quentin during the German spring offensive of March 1918 or the Spoil Bank at Ypres in the next month.

*1 The Manchesters did not recruit in London and it’s likely Louis arrived at Etaples Infantry Brigade Depot to find himself promptly moved to the 19th Manchesters who will have been in need of replacement drafts of men who regularly joined them through 1916-1918.  He may have originally enlisted for General Service, Middlesex Regiment or other London based Regiment.

*2 There is one casualty in the number sequence who was killed 31/3/1917.