Tag Archives: wounded

CWG: Serjeant William Syms

Serjeant William Syms

William George Syms was born in in the spring of 1889, the oldest of two children to George and Rose Symes (both spellings are recorded). George was a postman from Devon, and the family were born and raised in Highweek, Newton Abbot.

When William left school, he followed in his father’s footsteps becoming a postman in his home town. Life was not without its ups and downs, however, and the 1911 census record him as an inpatient, convalescing from an unknown illness in Exmouth.

In the summer of 1913, William married Amelia Oliver, a gardener’s daughter, who also from Highweek.

When war broke out William was eager to play his part, and enlisted in the early months of the conflict, alongside a number of his colleagues. He joined the Royal Engineers, and was assigned to the 1st (Wessex) Division Signal Company. He was sent to France on 22nd December 1914 and was involved on the Front Line from early on.

By the spring of 1915, he was fighting at Ypres, and was badly injured, fracturing both legs and suffering from the effects of being gassed. Serjeant Syms – as he was by then ranked – was medically evacuated to England for treatment. He was admitted to the Auxiliary Military Hospital in Manchester, but died of his injuries on 12th May 1915. He was just 26 years old.

William George Syms’ body was brought back to Devon for burial. He was laid to rest in the graveyard of All Saints Church in his home town of Highweek. Tragically, he was never to see his son, also called William, who had been born just two months before.


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 Arthur King

Private Arthur King

Arthur Thomas Rendell King was born early in 1896, the oldest of six children to Thomas and Bessie King. Engine driver Thomas had been born in London, but, after marrying his wife the year before Arthur was born, he settled in Highweek near Newton Abbot, Devon.

When he left school, Arthur followed his father in working for Great Western Railways, working as a carriage cleaner at the town’s depot. War was on the horizon, however, and he enlisted in the Devonshire Regiment shortly after conflict was declared.

Private King was assigned to the 1st/5th Battalion and sailed for India in October 1914, arriving in Karachi a month later. After nearly three years, his regiment moved again, this time to Egypt, in advance of action in the Middle East.

Involved in the Battle of Nebi Samwil in November 1917, Arthur was badly wounded – and initially recorded as missing, presumed dead. However, he was found, and evacuated to England. Tragically, within hours of being admitted to a hospital on home soil on 31st January 1918, Private King died of his injuries. He had just turned 22 years of age.

Arthur Thomas Rendell King’s body was brought back to Devon for burial. He was laid to rest in the family grave in the graveyard of All Saints Church, Highweek.


Private Arthur King
(from findagrave.com)

CWG: Private Mark Ford

Private Mark Ford

Mark Ford was born early in 1881 in Wellow, near Peasedown St John in Somerset. He was the youngest of eleven children, and the son of Thomas and Ellen Ford. Thomas was a coal miner, and this was a trade that his seven sons, including Mark, went into.

The 1901 census recorded Mark as boarding in a house in Abertillery, Monmouthshire, learning his trade. Within a few years, however, he was back in Peasedown St John. In the summer of 1910, he married local woman Emily Tucker and the couple set up home in Wellow, where then went on to have four children: George, Phyllis, Hubert and Ethel.

War was coming to Europe and, while records are scarce, it’s possible to build up a picture of the service Mark undertook. He initially enlisted as a Private in the Royal Berkshire Regiment, and was assigned to the 10th (Labour) Battalion. They were sent to France in June 1916, although it is not possible to confirm if Mark went at the same time.

His battalion became the 158th and 159th Labour Companies in April 1917, and it seems that Private Ford transferred to the former and, at this point, was definitely serving in France. That summer, he was wounded in the hip and head by an exploding shell and was medically evacuated to England for treatment.

Private Ford was admitted to the Military Hospital in York, where he lay injured for some time; long enough, thankfully, for Emily to make the journey to be with him. Sadly, his wounds were to prove too much: he passed away at the hospital on 28th October 1917, at the age of 36 years old.

Mark Ford’s body was brought back to Somerset for burial He was laid to rest in the churchyard of St John the Baptist, in Peasedown St John.


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: Rifleman Frederick Partridge

Rifleman Frederick Partridge

Frederick George Partridge was born on 26th May 1890 in Kingsteignton, Devon. He was one of ten children to clay cutter George Partridge and his wife, Anna. George passed away in 1903, but Frederick left school, and also found work as a cutter, helping to pay his way at home.

When was came to Europe, Frederick was keen to play his part. He enlisted on 18th November 1915, and was assigned to the King’s Royal Rifle Corps as a Rifleman. His service records show that he stood 5ft 9ins (1.75m) tall and weighed 145lbs (66kg). He was of good physical development, but had slightly flat feet.

After his initial training, Rifleman Partridge was sent to France, arriving in April 1916. His regiment soon found itself on the front line and, that summer, was firmly ensconced at the Somme. Sadly, Frederick was not to escape injury – he received a gun shot wound to his left thigh on 2nd September.

The wound was serious enough for him to be medically evacuated back to England for treatment. He was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley, near Southampton, but died of his injuries on 12th September 1916. He was just 26 years of age.

Frederick George Partridge was brought back to Devon for burial. He was laid to rest in the graveyard of St Michael’s Church in Kingsteignton.


CWG: Bombardier Harold Cornall

Bombardier Harold Cornall

Harold William Cornall was born on 16th August 1890 in Kingsteignton, Devon. He was the oldest of six children to William and Elizabeth Cornall. William worked as a carter and labourer for a tannery in the town, and, when he left school, this was where Harold also went for work.

In the autumn of 1912, Harold married Hilda Potter, from nearby Newton Abbot. The couple set up home and went on to have one child, a daughter called Winifred.

War broke out and, on 29th August 1914, Harold enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery. He was assigned to the A-Battery of the 90th (Howitzer) Brigade and was given the rank of Bombardier. He soon found himself in the thick of battle, as the brigade was sent to The Somme.

Bombardier Cornall was injured in the spine by some shrapnel, and medically evacuated to England in June 1916. Sadly, his injuries led to him becoming paralysed, and he passed away at the King George’s Hospital in London on 20th August 1916. He was just 26 years of age.

Harold William Cornall’s body was brought back to Devon; he was laid to rest in the graveyard of St Michael’s Church in his home town of Kingsteignton.


CWG: Private William Warren

Private William Warren

William Norrish Warren was born in Ashburton, Devon, on 24th April 1882, one of eight children to William and Irena Warren. William Sr worked as a woodsman and a farm labourer, and agriculture was a trade into which his son also went. There is a record that he found work as a railway porter, but this seems to have been only for a short while, and he soon resigned.

In the spring of 1915, William Jr married Olive Emmett, a carter’s daughter from the town. The couple went on to have a son, Alfred, who was born the following year.

War was on the horizon, however, and William enlisted, joining the 9th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment by October 1915. He was given the role of Private, and, while full service details are not available, he definitely spent time abroad.

Private Warren was fighting on the Front in the spring of 1916, when, on 10th March, he was badly injured. He was medically evacuated to England and admitted to the Netley Hospital near Southampton for treatment. Sadly, his internal wounds proved too severe and he passed away from his injuries on 1st April 1916. He was just 33 years old.

William Norrish Warren’s body was brought back to Ashburton for burial. He was laid to rest in the graveyard of the town’s St Andrew’s Church.


CWG: Senior Reserve Attendant George Cain

Senior Reserve Attendant George Cain

George Cain was born on 27th December 1896, and was one of eleven children to Edward and Florence Cain. Edward was a house painter from Richmond in Surrey, who passed away when George was a child, leaving Florence to raise the family. She found work as a shopkeeper in the town, and, when he left school, George was apprenticed to a printer to help bring in some extra money.

He had moved on to compositing – setting type – when war broke out. With conflict raging in Europe, George felt the need to play his part and, on 31st July 1915, he enlisted in the Royal Navy. His records show that he was 5ft 7ins (1.7m) tall, had dark brown hair, brown eyes and a pale complexion.

George was given the rank of Junior Reserve Attendant, supporting medical staff in the navy’s sick bays. After a couple of weeks at HMS Pembroke, the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, he was posted to the town’s main hospital, where he remained for just under two years, and where he received a promotion to Senior Reserve Attendant.

In July 1917, George was reassigned to HMS Pembroke. That summer was particularly busy for the base, and temporary accommodation was set up in the Drill Hall; this is where George found himself billeted.

On the night of 3rd September 1917, Chatham suddenly found itself in the firing line as a wave of German aircraft bombed the town. The Drill Hall received a direct hit, and Senior Reserve Assistant Cain was injured. He was admitted to the hospital at which he had worked just weeks before, but died of his wounds the following day. He was just 20 years old.

George Cain was laid to rest in the Woodlands Cemetery in nearby Gillingham, along with the other servicemen who had perished during the Chatham Air Raid that night.


CWG: Artificer 4th Class Claud McIntyre

Artificer 4th Class Claud McIntyre

Claud Millar McIntyre was born on 3rd June 1895, and was the youngest of three children to Alexander and Margaret McIntyre. Both of Claud’s parents – and his two older siblings – were born in Scotland, but the family moved to London in the early 1890s, and it was in Plaistow that Claud was born.

Alexander worked as an engineer at the Thames docks, and, when Claud left school, he followed his father into the same line of work. War was coming to Europe, however, and Claud was very keen on playing his part.

On 22nd December 1914, he enlisted in the Royal Navy. His boiler work obviously stood him in good stead, as he was employed as an Engine Room Artificer (ERA) 4th Class. Claud’s service records confirm that he stood 5ft 8ins (1.72m) tall, had dark brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. The document also gives his year of birth as 1893, which suggests that he may have lied about his age to get into the action.

The same record gives an indication of the harshness of the work Claud has been doing before joining up. Under Wounds, Scars or Marks, it was noted that he had a scar on the outside right thigh and on his right little finger. He also had lost the fingertip of his right hand.

ERA McIntyre’s training took place at HMS Pembroke, the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent. He was soon given a posting, however, and served at HMS Acteon, the shore-based establishment in Sheerness, for just over a year.

In August 1916, after a brief return to HMS Pembroke, ERA McIntyre was given a second posting, this time on board Q12, one of a number of the war’s most closely guarded naval secrets. The Q-boats (a code name referring to their home port of Queenstown in Ireland) were vessels designed to look like an easy target, but which actually carried hidden armaments. Understandably, little is known about the ship on which Claud served, or his time aboard; all that is documented is that he was assigned to her from 28th August 1916 to 30th April 1917, at which point he returned to HMS Pembroke.

Chatham Dockyard was particularly busy that summer, and the large number of extra servicemen meant that Claud was billeted in temporary accommodation in Chatham Drill Hall.

On the 3rd September 1917, the first night air raid carried out by the German Air Force bombarded the town, and scored a direct hit on the Drill Hall; ERA was injured that night, but died of his wounds the following day at the Fort Pitt Military Hospital. He was just 22 years of age.

Claud Millar McIntyre was laid to rest, along with the other victims of the Chatham Air Raid, in the Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham.