Tag Archives: Royal Welsh Fusiliers

CWG: Private Anthony Mountjoy

Private Anthony Mountjoy

Anthony Mountjoy was born in the Somerset village of Clutton in the spring of 1895. One of eleven children, his parents were William and Sarah. William worked as a hewer in a local coal mine, and this is a job into which Anthony and at least two of his brothers went.

War was coming to Europe and, while there is limited documentation relating to his military service, a newspaper report on his funeral sheds some light into his life.

The funeral took place at Midsomer Norton on Monday afternoon of Private Anthony Mountjoy, 2nd Royal Welch Fusiliers, who died at the Bath Pensions Hospital… at the age of 25 years. Private Mountjoy… enlisted in the army on January 22, 1916, and went to France in July 1917. He was gassed and wounded at Passchendaele in March 1918, and arriving in England was take to the Tusehill Military Hospital, Carlisle in June. He was transferred to Bristol in April, 1919, and from there to Bath Pensions Hospital in November of the same year. He never recovered from the effects of active service.

Somerset Guardian and Radstock Observer: Friday 16th July 1920

Private Anthony Mountjoy died on 7th July 1920. He was laid to rest in the family grave in the graveyard of St John the Baptists Church in Midsomer Norton.

CWG: Corporal Cyril Allen

Corporal Cyril Allen

Cyril Starr Allen was born on 15th June 1891 in the village of Baughurst, near Tadley in Hampshire. He was the second youngest of five children to Charles and Martha Allen. Charles was a rate collector, and the family moved around the county during Cyril’s early years.

By the time Cyril left school, Charles had become an assistant bursar in Wootton, near Basingstoke. Cyril, meanwhile, had found similar administrative employment and was working as a clerk for a local land agent.

At the start of 1911, Cyril enlisted in the British Army. He joined the 4th Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment as a Private and was soon based on Salisbury Plain. His service records confirm that he was 19 years and 7 months old, and stood at 5ft 5ins (1.65m) tall. Private Allen served for his initial term of four years, before being remobilised.

In November 1915, Cyril married Mabel Young. She was a printer’s daughter from Wiltshire, and the couple married in Salisbury, before settling down in Frome, Somerset. They went on to have a child, a daughter they called Kathleen.

Remobilised in the autumn of 1915 Private Allen received a series of promotions – to Lance Corporal, Corporal, Lance Sergeant and Sergeant, and, by June 1917, he found himself at the Front.

On 22nd April 1918, Cyril was injured, sustaining gunshot wounds to his shoulder and left arm. He was invalided back to England for treatment, and was hospitalised in the north of the country. He was then transferred to the Royal Welch Fusiliers with the rank of Corporal and sent to Ireland to continue his recovery and work light duties.

While in Ireland, Corporal Allen contracted influenza and was admitted to the Buttevant Hospital in County Cork. Sadly, in his weakened state, it was something he was to succumb to, and he passed away, with Mabel at his bedside, on 15th November 1918. He was just 27 years of age.

Cyril Starr Allen’s body was brought back to England; he was laid to rest in the graveyard of Christ Church in Frome, Somerset.

Corporal Cyril Allen (from ancestry.co.uk)

After the loss of her husband, Mabel went on to live her life. In 1923, she married James Burr, a draughtsman from Frome; they went on to have a child – a brother for Kathleen – called James.

Cyril’s two brothers, Winthrop and Charles, also fought in the First World War.

(from ancestry.co.uk)

Winthrop had emigrated to North America in 1911, but returned to Europe as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force when war broke out.

Lance Corporal Charles Allen served with the 15th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. He fought on the Western Front and was killed near Kemmel Hill in Belgium on 4th September 1918. He was just 21 years old. Charles is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Zonnebeke, Belgium.

CWG: Lance Corporal Reginald Foot

Lance Corporal Reginald Foot

Reginald Robert Foot was born at the beginning of 1888 in Shaftesbury, Dorset, the oldest of three children to Robert and Annie Foot. Robert was a tailor from the town, who brought up his young family in the comfort of well-known surroundings.

When he left school, Reginald found work as a carpenter and joiner. He was a keen, if over-eager, sportsman, and played for Shaftesbury FC. In May 1906, he was reported for ‘cheeky’ behaviour towards the referee in one match.

In the lead up to the Great War, he also spent some of his his spare time in the Territorial Army and, when war broke out, he was keen to continue doing his bit. He joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers as a Private in December 1915 and, by the time he was shipped out to France in January 1917, he had been promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.

After a year on the Western Front, Reginald returned to the United Kingdom and, once the Armistice had been declared, his unit was shipped to Ireland. He fell ill while he was out there, and, in January 1919 was admitted to a military hospital in Ireland.

Sadly, the lung conditions he had contracted – influenza and pneumonia – were to get the better of him, and he passed away on 7th February 1919. Lance Corporal Foot was 31 years old.

The body of Reginald Robert Foot was brought back to Dorset; he lies at rest in the Holy Trinity Churchyard in the town of his birth, Shaftesbury.

CWG: Private William Vickery

Private William Vickery

William George Vickery was born in the summer of 1894, the youngest of three children to George and Mary Vickery. George was a labourer in a brickyard, and this is work that his son followed him into once he left school.

William seems to have progressed with work as, by the time he enlisted for military service, he was recorded as a miner, working in the collieries of South Wales. Initially joining up in February 1916, is seems like his job gave him a level of protection for a couple of years at least; he was not formally mobilised by the Royal Welch Fusiliers until May 1918.

Initially serving on the home front, Private Vickery was shipped to France in September 1918, serving two months there, before returning home. William was eventually discharged from the army on medical grounds; having contracted tuberculosis while on active duty.

There is little information about William after his discharge. It seems likely that his health deteriorated, however, as he died just a year later, on 28th November 1919. He was just 26 years of age.

William George Vickery lies at rest in the Wembdon Road Cemetery in his home town of Bridgwater, Somerset.

CWG:Private Richard Elcocks

Private Richard Elcocks

Richard William Elcocks was born in Wellington, Shropshire, the second son of foundryman Thomas Elcocks and his wife Emma. Born in June 1883, he was one of nine children.

After initially becoming a printer’s apprentice, he enlisted in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in May 1903. After his initial training and service, Private Elcocks was transferred to the Army Reserve in 1911.

In January 1914, Richard married Charlotte Shenton. Charlotte was a widow ten years his senior, and had two children, Albert and Fred.

When war broke out, Private Elcocks was again called up and shipped to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. His records confirm that he received a gunshot wound to the left arm on 31st October 1914; the injury was enough for him to be shipped back to the UK for treatment.

He was treated in the Yeatman Hospital in Sherborne, Dorset, and appears to have been there for some time. His records state that he died on 26th June 1915 from an ‘intestical [intestinal?] obstruction following gun shot wound of left humerous’. He was 32 years of age.

Private Richard Elcocks lies at rest in Sherborne cemetery.