Author Topic: Respite from the Front Line!  (Read 13996 times)

Offline grandarog

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Respite from the Front Line!
« on: Thursday 19 June 08 18:48 BST (UK) »
Hello All,
            Thought you would be interested in this photo of my Father and his mates of the West Kents.
Alledgedly taken outside an Estaminey ( my Spelling)some where behind the lines north of Ypres late in 1917.During their standown period.
        You never know one of you might spot your dad or grandad on the pic. My dad is the chap seated front centre.
         Scrim or one of the other Experts on uniforms may enlighten us about the "cutoffs " as dad called them worn by the two chaps flanking the photo. Dad seemed to think they were only worn on Doctors chit for scabby knee ulcers or trench foot.I have never found any info to corraborate or deny.
                          Best Wishes ,
                                            Rog
   
WAGHORN/E
KENWARD
HARRIS
DIXON
MARSHALL
MERCER
CARE
FAGG
RUSSELL
WOODRUFF      

 All these  Families were Born and Bred in Kent

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Offline scrimnet

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Re: Respite from the Front Line!
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 19 June 08 20:39 BST (UK) »
The cut offs were indeed that...trousers that had been cut off for summer wear...They were quite normal in the sweltering heat of a Flanders summer, and the only nod towards a "summer scale" of kit. So probably around August time...

Interestingly, they can't be too far behind the line, as they all have their PH Hood haversacks with them. These were an early form of gas mask. They continued in usage well after the respirator with tube and canister were issued, as they countered the "persistent" forms of gas.
One more charge and then be dumb,
            When the forts of Folly fall,
        May the victors when they come
            Find my body near the wall.

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Offline scrimnet

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Re: Respite from the Front Line!
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 19 June 08 20:45 BST (UK) »
BTW

It's a really good picture!

The chap at the back with the "big" hat is wearing a "Gor Blimey", known as such because, gorblimey! what a mess!

They all have the belt from te 1914 Leather Equipment...from the Slade Wallis set...So I would presume a Kitchener bn
One more charge and then be dumb,
            When the forts of Folly fall,
        May the victors when they come
            Find my body near the wall.

Offline Flakdodger

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Re: Respite from the Front Line!
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 19 June 08 23:11 BST (UK) »
Great photo Rog. Scrim thanks for commentary. What about the Lance Corporal, he appears to be wearing a cap with ear flaps?
Dave
The only free cheese is in a mousetrap

Offline grandarog

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Re: Respite from the Front Line!
« Reply #4 on: Friday 20 June 08 00:18 BST (UK) »
Thanks Scrim,
                     I knew you would come up with the answer. Maybe dads Captain didnt approve and only allowed his chaps to wear cut offs under duress.   Regarding the Kitchener bit .I dont have your knowledge of that.
To fill you in a bit  Dad orriginally enlisted as a regular in the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles (or as he called it the Yeomanry)in 1914.
 I know he was in C Squad, Wardershare Troop at Maresfield Park Uckfield for a big Parade in 1915 with them. I have an orriginal photo of his C/O Lt/Col Mackeson identical to the one on the reg. History site. Also a  long distance photo of the parade line up.I think it was the disbandment parade,    
    Cavalry was not required in trench warfare ,so he was posted to Royal West Kent Infantry and sent to the front. He was a Lewis Gunner (not wearing the sleeve emblem in the photo)
    Early on in the conflict he had a bullet wound, his webbing pouch with gun cleaning kit on his chest saved him,was not serious  .
   Shortly after the photo was taken his gun pit was hit be a shell ,his 1 and 2 were killed and dad was riddled all down his left side with shrapnel and casavaced to Cumberland to convaless ,after emergency field surgery to dig the biggest bits out. He then went back out into the trenchs until the Armastice.
  He was then transferred to the Labour Corps and spent a further year at Crystal Palace demobilising the conscripted men until he completed his service .
      I still have his Pip Sqeak and Wilfred. Plus his Wounded Silver Badge and Disabled scroll from the King ,his spurs, two wound bars EKMR and RWK cap badges and LG flash and Good conduct stripe.
       He said he kept his Wk cap badge on all the time he was with the Labour Corps as apparently did a lot of regular soldiers . I dont think they approved of what they considered a down grade.
         Although he was blinded in his left eye and had holes and bits of black and blue under the skin all down his left side and distorted fingers on his left hand he was not considered elegible for a war pension . He then worked on the same farm for the rest of his time until 65 . Finally leaving us at the grand age of 90 in 1986.
        I have put a photo on of his yeomanry days.When he looks much younger!
                         Thanks for the interest.
                                                               Rog
PS I recall him saying once they were alternating in the trenches with an Irish reg passing each other in the communication trenchs and he said one time none of the irish came back when his lot went forward again. He regaled my sons with some horrific stories of the appalling things  in his last few years. He said he only had one long break from the trenche s and spent the time in a place called Popering which was near by, I cant remember all the placename but Cambra woods and Dicky bush Alley were spoken of but he always said he was all over Ypres and a lot of his mates  litterally were spread all over!!
WAGHORN/E
KENWARD
HARRIS
DIXON
MARSHALL
MERCER
CARE
FAGG
RUSSELL
WOODRUFF      

 All these  Families were Born and Bred in Kent

Offline grandarog

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Re: Respite from the Front Line!
« Reply #5 on: Friday 20 June 08 00:20 BST (UK) »
Dads Picture ,it didnt upload just now.
WAGHORN/E
KENWARD
HARRIS
DIXON
MARSHALL
MERCER
CARE
FAGG
RUSSELL
WOODRUFF      

 All these  Families were Born and Bred in Kent

Offline grandarog

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Re: Respite from the Front Line!
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 06 September 08 21:38 BST (UK) »
Hello All,
Just a nudge up in case you have any Relatives on the Picture you might recognise,
                                                          Regards Rog.
WAGHORN/E
KENWARD
HARRIS
DIXON
MARSHALL
MERCER
CARE
FAGG
RUSSELL
WOODRUFF      

 All these  Families were Born and Bred in Kent

Offline forester

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Re: Respite from the Front Line!
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 06 September 08 22:54 BST (UK) »
Hello Rog,

Thanks for giving the thread a nudge; I must have missed it first time round.

Maresfield is one of the camps I have a strong interest in, especially the Artillery and Yeomanry that were there.
If I've managed to attach it, this is the front entrance to the park in 1915.

Phil

Sussex: Satcher (Hamsey) and Gatton (East Grinstead)
Leicestershire: Pratt
South Wales: Evans (Neath)
Poland: Gonet, Deren

Forest Row: War Memorial and Camp WW1
Lewisham War Memorials & WW1 Graves

Census information is Crown Copyright  http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline forester

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Re: Respite from the Front Line!
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 06 September 08 23:02 BST (UK) »
This one might interest you Rog:

Sussex: Satcher (Hamsey) and Gatton (East Grinstead)
Leicestershire: Pratt
South Wales: Evans (Neath)
Poland: Gonet, Deren

Forest Row: War Memorial and Camp WW1
Lewisham War Memorials & WW1 Graves

Census information is Crown Copyright  http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk