Tag Archives: Australia

CWG: Lieutenant Frederick Liardet

Lieutenant Frederick Liardet

Frederick Charles Evelyn Liardet was born in Brighton, now a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, in 1888, and the eldest son of Wilbraham and Eleanor Liardet.

There is little further information about Frederick’s early life, but, when war broke out, he wanted to play his part for King and Country, and enlisted in the Devonshire Regiment.

He had an adventurous career… Having been twice wounded while on active service in France, he was appointed an instructor in the Balloon Section of the Royal Flying Corps.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette: Tuesday 18th December 1917

On 23rd October 1915, Frederick married Kathleen Norah Liardet in Highweek, Newton Abbot, Devon. She was the daughter of a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, and may have been a cousin (while their surname is unusual enough for there to be a connection, I have been unable to identify a specific connection). The couple went on to have a daughter, Barbara, who was born in 1917.

In 1916, while on a night flight with the Royal Flying Corps, the now Lieutenant Liardet was involved in an accident and badly injured. He returned to England to recover, he and Kathleen living with her family. While his health initially improved, he relapsed and passed away on 13th December 1917, aged just 29 years old.

Frederick Charles Evelyn Liardet was laid to rest in the graveyard of All Saints Church in his adopted home of Highweek, Devon.


CWG: Private Herbert Spiller

Private Herbert Spiller

Herbert George Spiller was born in 1881, the second of four children to George and Emily Spiller. George was a timber merchant and ironmonger, born in Taunton, Somerset, who raised his family in his home town.

When Herbert left school, he found work as a clerk in a solicitor’s office, and this was the trade he followed, eventually becoming a solicitor in his own right.

In March 1907, he married Winifred Lewis, an outfitter’s daughter, and the couple soon emigrated, arriving in Perth, Australia, later that year. They had two children in Australia; a son, who sadly passed as a babe in arms, and a daughter. Within three years, however, the Spillers were back living in England again and went on to have four further children, three of whom survived infancy.

War had arrived, and Herbert enlisted on 11th December 1915, but was initially placed as a reserve. He was finally called to do his duty for King and country on 6th September 1917 and joined the 28th Battalion of the London Regiment. After initial training, Private Spiller was sent out to the Front, arriving in France in April 1918.

Herbert was back on home soil after three months, suffering from albuminaria (a disease of the kidneys) and served in territorial depots until he was demobbed in December 1918.

At this point, Herbert disappears from the records. It seems likely that his illness was the cause of his passing, but this cannot be confirmed. Either way, Herbert George Spiller died on 7th May 1920, at the age of 39 years old. He lies at rest in the St James Cemetery in his home town of Taunton, Somerset.


Please note: While Private Spiller was afforded a Commonwealth War Grave, his exact burial location is not identifiable. The image at the top of this post, therefore, is of the other family graves in the cemetery.


Herbert Spiller (from findagrave.com)

CWG: Deck Hand Leonard Tucker

Deck Hand Leonard Tucker

Leonard Francis Tucker was born in 1898, the middle of three children to Arthur and Frances Tucker. Arthur was a tailor from Taunton, Somerset, and this is where he brought his young family up.

Sadly, little documentation remains of Leonard’s life. His grave confirms that, when war came, he served in the Royal Navy, and, at the time of his death, he was a Deck Hand on HMS Vivid.

His Commonwealth War Graves Records confirm that his parents were living in Melbourne – his pension ledger confirms Arthur as his next of kin, with an Australian address. There is nothing to confirm their emigration, or whether Leonard emigrated as well.

Leonard’s young life is summed up in a short notice in the local newspaper, which has the simple comment “Tucker – Sept. 28th, at 10 Westgate-street, Taunton, Leonard Francis Tucker, aged 20.” [Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser: Wednesday 9th October 1918]

Slightly more confusing is the next name on that list: “Tucker – Sept. 29, at 10 Westgate-street, Taunton, Frances Ellen Tucker, aged 44.” It would seem that Leonard’s mother was in England, not Australia, at the time of his death, and that she passed away a day after him.

Combined with when Leonard died, it would suggest both he and his mother died from one of the respiratory conditions running rampant through England at the time, possibly influenza or pneumonia. There is nothing to confirm this outright, but it seems the likeliest outcome for the poor mother and son.

Leonard Francis Tucker lies at rest in St Mary’s Cemetery in his home town of Taunton.


As an aside to this, there is no record of where Frances was buried, but it is likely that she too was laid to rest in St Mary’s Cemetery.


CWG: Driver Ernest Smith

Bruton

Ernest John Smith was born in 1883, one of seven children to John Smith and his wife Sarah Jane. John was a coal merchant, and the family lived in the Somerset town of Bruton. When Ernest initially left school, he worked as a farm labourer, but at some point, a sense of adventure caught him, and he emigrated to Australia. Sadly, details of his travels are not available, but he left England at some point before 1915.

When war broke out, however, he was still keen to do his bit. He was living in Queensland when he enlisted on 26th October 1915, and was assigned to the Australian Army Medical Corps.

Driver Smith’s battalion left Australia for Europe in March 1916, and served in France for the duration. He was dogged by ill health, catching pleurisy a couple of times, and had a number of fibromas operated on.

In October 1918, he was appointed Lance Corporal, but was shipped back to England later that year with ongoing fibroma issues. He was admitted to Torquay Hospital as dangerously ill in December of that year, and spent most of the next nine months in hospital, initially in Torquay, but then when he was able to be moved, he was transferred to the 1st Australian General Hospital near Warminster.

Sadly, the cysts Driver Smith has developing were malignant, and he passed away on 8th October 1919. He was just 36 years old.

Ernest John Smith was brought back to his home town for burial, and lies at rest in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church in Bruton.


CWG: Private Henry Morgan

Private Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan was born in 1892 in Bridgwater, Somerset. He was the oldest of two children, both boys, to Charles Morgan and his wife Ellen. Charles managed the local collar works, making collars for shirts.

While Henry’s younger brother, Herbert, followed his dad’s business, according to the 1911 census, Henry was learning the farming trade. This was to stand him in good stead, and in 1912, he emigrated to Australia, to become a farmer.

Henry settled in Gunnedah, New South Wales, but was called up when war broke out. He enlisted in May 1916 and joined the Australian Machine Gun Corps. His troop left Australia on the ship Borda in November 1916, arriving in Plymouth two months later, and he finally reached France in March 1917.

Initially part of the 9th Machine Gun Battalion, Private Morgan transferred to the 3rd Machine Gun Corps in April 1918. Involved in the Allied defence of the German Spring Offensive, he was caught up in a gas attack and injured.

Wounded on 17th April 1918, Henry was evacuated back to England and admitted to the Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital in Cheltenham. Sadly, Private Morgan was not to recover, and he died from his injuries on 8th May 1918. He was just 25 years old.

Henry Morgan lies at rest in the Wembdon Road Cemetery in his former home town of Bridgwater, Somerset.