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dante

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  1. Single “engraved” 1915 Star, with the correct details to Captain Charles Edward Colbeck Royal Engineers Later awarded the Military Cross for the defence of Kut-al-Amara while serving with an Indian Imperial Service company, the Sirmoor Sappers and Miners and later was the driving force in developing a modern “Greek Fire” for defending Britain’s beach defenses before WW2 Being more than interested in the “Shingle Street” conspiracy I was surprised to find Colonel Colbeck moving to the area just before the war…I shall leave you to ponder if it is is more than a coincidence. 1881; was born on the 11th April 1881 in Harrow, the son of Mary and Charles. He had one brother and two sisters. His father Charles was a master at Harrow (died 1903), 1895; Charles Edward entered Harrow (Midsummer) 1895 as an Entrance scholar, became a Monitor in 1899 and passed for RMA Woolwich in 1898 but did not enter Winston Churchill was at Harrow 1888-1892 1900; He became an Engineering student Royal Indian Engineering Collage at Coopers Hill 1903; Commissioned 1st September 1903 1906; Promoted Lieutenant 1911; Served Royal Engineers attached to the 1st K G O Sappers & Miners and noted as attending the 1911 Delhi Durbar as Special Service Officer to the Maharaja of Sirmoor 1914; Assistant Inspector Imperial Service, Sappers 1914; 27th August, 1914 promoted Captain as Senior Special Service Officer to the Sirmoor Company, Sappers and Miners belonging to the Maharaja Amar Parkesh of Sirmoor 1914; 17th November deployed with the company to Mesopotamia 1915; In his Book in Kut with the Sixth Division and Captivity, Major Sandes MC RE mentions Major Colbeck three times; First is building a bridge a mile downstream then moving it closer to Kut; “While these three boats were being placed in the bridge I went down again to the two long sections of gissara (type of boat used in Turkish and Arab bridges). bridging moored by Captain Colbeck, R.E., above the fort, where we cut loose two more gissaras and brought them up also to be placed in the new bridge. This was very slow and laborious work”. The third mention is a trench raid; "It was evident that the Turks intended to assault the fort, and, by December 17th, the garrison feared that the enemy had begun mining from his sapheads. Our sappers had sunk a shaft opposite the east point of the fort and another in the north-east bastion, and had run-out some short listening-galleries. As water was encountered only 13 feet below ground-level there was no fear from deep Turkish mines, but to ascertain if hostile mining was actually in progress and to check the enemy, two sorties were planned for the early morning of December 18th 1915. To commence with, two parties of Sirmoor Sappers crept out after dark on December 17th and cut two ways through the remains of our barbed wire, and stacked light bamboo pyramids of barbed wire close at hand ready to close the openings if required. A red Verey light (part of our aeroplane equipment) was to be fired as a signal for the sorties, whereupon our guns were to shell the Turkish support trenches, and all the machine guns and rifles in the fort were to add their quota to the storm of bullets. The sorties were timed to start an hour or so before dawn, as soon as the moon went down. No. 1 Sortie Party (fifty men of the 103rd Mahratta Light Infantry) was led by Lieutenant Hinds, 103rd Mahrattas, with four bombers from the 1st Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, accompanied by Captain C. E. Colbeck, R.E., with six Sirmoor Sappers carrying explosives for destroying mine-shafts. This party dashed for the nearest hostile sap from the north-east bastion. No. 2 Sortie Party, similarly composed, but with men from the 119th Infantry and led by Lieutenant Haddon of that regiment, with Jemadar Durga Singh in charge of the sapper party, rushed out at the same time from our trenches outside the east point of the fort. The Turks were taken completely by surprise while at work and were bayoneted before they could get their rifles. The sortie parties then worked down the Turkish trenches and saps with bombs, sending back about a dozen prisoners and a quantity of rifles and entrenching tools. A fierce fight ensued with a party of Turks trapped at the third sap opposite the north face, but this sap was eventually cleared by bombing. Five sapheads were next examined and found to show no trace of mining work, so the two sortie parties returned to the fort just before dawn on December 18th, having killed about forty of the enemy and with only one man of the two parties slightly wounded. The garrison of the fort was much relieved to know that the Turks were not mining towards the walls, and jubilant at the complete success of the sorties”. A bound photocopy of typescript diary, 29 April-30 June 1916 is held http://www.worldcat.org/title/ce-colbeck-papers/oclc/54867177 (I have not obtained a copy) 1916; Captured by the Turks, his diary (57pp) describing their surrender to the Turks on 29 April 1916 relates to his experiences during a sixty day journey in May and June on foot and by boat, rail, donkey, lorry and cart across Asia Minor from Kut to the officers' prisoner of war camp at Yozgad and conditions in the camp, July - December 1916; together with two congratulatory addresses to Colbeck and another officer in the Sirmoor Sapper Company from the Indian soldiers under their command is held in the imperial war museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1030002076 He is also mentioned in the Book “The Road to En Dor” by Jones, the story of an the escape from Yozgad . Charles was the person that made the table which the Ouija Board was used 1916; Mentioned in Despatches 5th April and 19th October 1918; 1st Sept 1918 Promoted to Major 1919 Capt. (now Maj.) Charles Edward Colbeck, R,.E. awarded the Military Cross for distinguished service in connection with the defence: of Kut-al-Amara. 1915 Star, War and Victory 1925; Chief Instructor School of Electric Lighting 1929; Promoted Lt Colonel 1933; Promoted to Colonel 1936; Appointed to the Royal Engineers and Signals Board (the aim of which was to trial new equipment) 1937; Colonel Colbeck proposed to the Admiralty’s scientific branch the idea of “blocking or burning” enemy landing craft by distributing petrol over the water and on the beaches, it appears that a number of experiments were undertaken at Weymouth and Christchurch using a number of different delivery methods, by 1938 by reasons of secrecy the experiments appear to have been dropped, nothing more was undertaken on the project and his work was reportedly never looked at. Information taken from “Burn the Sea: Flame Warfare, Black Propaganda and the Nazi Plan to Invade England” by James Hayward 1938; 11th April 1938 relinquishes his appointment as a member of the Royal Engineers and Signals Board and retired with the rank of Colonel 1940, Shingle Street (taken from another site) "However many eye witnesses have maintained an attempted landing took place at night in a part of Suffolk known as Shingle Street at the end of August 1940. Shingle Street at the time was in the process of being heavily fortified as it had been recognized as a likely place for a German landing. With the lack of heavy guns and equipment new ideas were being thought up on how to defend British beaches and ports. A cheap, simple and quick solution was devised in the way of a kind of water placed flame thrower. Pipes were laid at the low tide level with outlets to spray flammable liquid onto the surface of the ocean; this would then be set on fire literally cooking landing craft. Many believe that a German invasion was attempted with a number of landing craft sent from Belgium. During that night witnesses recall the church bells ringing which was the invasion warning. A dance taking place at Aldeburgh was stopped by military officers and soldiers were re-called to duty and vehicles commandeered. Any events if they did happen that night are now very mysterious. Some witnesses say they saw the ocean burning and others they heard explosions and voices of people in pain on the beach. The next witness statements take place over the next few days when they saw badly burned bodies wearing German uniforms wash up on beaches and in ports as far down as Felixstowe. The estimate of numbers range from a few to several hundreds and other wit-nesses claim they were buried in a large mass grave on the beach under the Shingle or trans-ported further in land”. 1941; Having attained the age limit of liability to recall, Charles ceases to belong to the Reserve of Officers 1941-45; No note of war service other than on a number of (Airforce) lists he is still noted as a member of the Royal Engineers and Signals Board but this could be an oversight. 1947-49 In 1947 Charles became Mayor of Aldeburgh about 20 miles from Shingle Street 1957; He died in 1957 at the age of 76. He was an avid sportsman playing Cricket for the Royal Engineers as well as being the president of the Royal Engineers Golf club; he published a small booklet “Coastal Erosion at Aldeburgh” by C. E. Colbeck and helped found the “Aldeburgh Festival” He lived in Thellusson lodge Aldeburgh a grade II listed town house which was part of the mansion built by the Marquis of Salisbury at the end of the 18th century later he moved to "Berwick Berners" Victoria Road, Aldeburgh
  2. Thank you Simon, would you have any photographs of the good Colonel
  3. Just traded this for a British WW1 medal group (?75), I am sure that the medals do not come with....but very tight fit, however its purported to have been together since being picked up in Germany by a Brit in 1945....as ever welcome your thoughts
  4. If anyone could add to this most excellent research by Rick & Glenn I would welcome it..as ever many thanks, Paul
  5. I am trying to ascertain the forenames and medal entitlement to Oberst Niemoller also confirm war time service Leutnant 14.01.93 Oberleutnant 16.01.01 Qq Hauptmann 10.09.08 O4o Major 18.04.15 Ww charakterisiert Oberstleutnant aD, alive in 1926 to Oberst Niemöller , Infantry Regiment 69 in 1914 Joined the German army 19 September 1891 and transferred to the Marines 2 July 1900. Presumably back to the army when promoted to Captain in 1908 (still Marines in the Navy 1908 Rank List as Oberleutnant) Leutnant 14.01.93, Oberleutnant 16.01.01, Hauptmann 10.09.08, Major 18.04.15, Charakterisiert Oberstleutnant aD, alive in 1926 1900: II. Replacement Sea Battalion, Wilhelmshaven (steel medal for waving bye bye to China expedition), 1902: detached from II. Sea Battalion to Ships' Boys Division, 1905: II. Sea Battalion, 1906: III. Sea Battalion with the East Asian Occupation forces, Tsingtau, 1907: still on duty with III. Sea Battalion in Tsingtau, China, 1908: same but back home with the Stamm III. S.B, 1909-13: commander 3rd Company Infantry Regiment 69, 1914: as mentioned above. Final WW1 wartime position: Commander of Infantry Regiment 347 in 87th Infantry Division. Any photos or biographical details gratefully received .
  6. Glenn, been after this for years....really really appreciate this...
  7. Nice group to a Gefreiter in 3rd Marine Brigade Lowenfeld, welcome your thoughts
  8. Nice group to Franz Langheinz Leutnant Grenadier-Regiment 2, wounded and POW...awarded Hessian medal and EK2 & 1, if anyone has any further details on Herr Langheinz please let me know ? as ever many thanks, Paul
  9. dante

    French Croix de Guerre WWI

    Name:Calvin S. Hildreth Birth Date:11 Apr 1896 Birth Place:Dalton, Massachusetts, USA Serial Number:41373 Residence Place:Hallowell Military Date:31 Mar 1919 Comments:Enl: RA Ft. Slocum, N. Y., June 1/17. Pvt; Pvt 1st cl Jan. 7/18. Org: Co D 48 Inf to Aug. 14/17; MG Co 2 Inf to disch. Eng: St Mihiel; Aisne-Marne; Meuse-Argonne; Defensive Sector. Received citation. Awarded French Croix de Guerre. Wounded in action: About Oct. 5/18. Overseas: Sept. 7/17 to Feb. 2/19. Hon disch on demob: Mar. 31, 1919.
  10. dante

    French Croix de Guerre WWI

    Will post more later....but here is an interesting citation
  11. Great stuff as ever Dave, I appreciate you taking the time to clarify.....now I know you have a picture......
  12. Many years ago Rick assisted me in identifying a pair of binoculars I have named to “Graf Anton Kerssenbrock” he was killed in action with Infantry Battalion 702 in Palestine on the 29 March 1918 i am looking for any further information or mention in any period historys and if possible a photograph of him....as ever many thanks, Paul PS I have found his service record online which confirms the award of the EK2 ANTONIUS Graf von KORFF genannt Schmissing-Kerssenbrock was born 30 June 1895 at the family estate in Brinck, son of former Vatican Guard Lieutenant and eventually Papal Privy Chamberlain "di spada e cappa" (that bit's beyond me, alas) Xaver Graf von Korff genannt Schmissing-Kerssenbrock and his second wife, Anna Reichsgräfin von Spee (living at Brinck in 1921)... as Leutnant der Reserve from Prussian Garde-Jäger Bataillon, detached to one of the infantry so-called battalions of the Palestine front, where he was killed in action 29 March 1918 at El Kafre, north of Jerusalem. Antonius's older brother Joseph (born 1886) had been killed in action in Italy in 1917 as a Lt dR in Garde-Schützen Bataillon. Surviving siblings were: Anna and Mathilde (both nurses for the Order of Malta during the war), Karoline (a Red Cross sister in the war), Maria and the unfortunately named Cunigundis-- in convent school (I presume, being too young for nuns) at Kloster zum guten Hirten, and Elisabeth, Aloysius, and Agnes at home with their mother. NOW, there WAS another branch of the SAME prolifically Catholic family who went by ONLY Graf von Korff genannt Schmissing, PERIOD, so it is POSSIBLE that at family gatherings wherein a LOT of binoculars might have been left in the summerhouse, Hypen-Kirssenbrock might have helped. I've seen weirder chop jobs on paragraph long monikers. "Graf Anton" is rather more worrying, since I'd have expected "Anton Graf." (NOBODY would expect Antonius... child abuse, that). As far as awards, there is nobody (above to the contrary ) more "invisible" than a wartime Prussian Lt dR. But since I also have all 20 years of the Bund der Asienkämpfer magazines, I'll keep a lookout for any mention of his death in my periodic browsings of the articles, 1918-38.
  13. can I also add this to the mix....without going against Ricks research...here is another.....Kerrsenbrock of the same regiment...could this also be "Anton"...???? given the date of 1915 on the binos https://www.trinity.ox.ac.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/TrinityReport_WEB.pdf
  14. dante

    Researched Cross of St George

    Glenn many thanks really thats appreciated...
  15. A friend in Russia has just researched a St George cross of mine...how do I research the regiment...any help gratefully received..thanks, Paul This cross was awarded to: Soldier Mikhail EFREMOV 9th Emperor Peter the Great's Ingermanland Infantry Regiment, 3rd Kaluga Infantry Division For distinction in combat 8.03.1915
  16. Almost impossible to research WW1 Indian medals, at best a google search of the regiment
  17. dante

    Purple Heart

    This has been researched to death by various British medal groups...no British service personnel have never been awarded the PH, however many British and foreign born US service personnel have...nor if by some fluke would they be allowed to except or wear it
  18. dante

    WW1 Uniforms...all nations

    Few of mine
  19. WW1 Victory medal to 9/2143A, L/Cpl A.V. Andersen N.Z.E.F, . Arthur Valentine Andersen AKA Anderson, served with the 15th (NZ Company) Imperial Camel Corps from July 1916 (under Capt Tolmer (5 officers 125 men) until Sept 1917 when he was found unfit and returned to New Zealand (discharged January 1918). He enlisted along with his brother George from the New Zealand Mounted Rifles He took part in the battle of Magdhaba in the Sinai On returning home he went back to his work as a farmer in WW2 he tried to enlist twice once in 1940 and 1942 both times found to be unfit, he died in 1957 from his war time injuries aged 61
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