Everything posted by Ian Parsons
I have my Grandfather's medals but not my Great Uncle's. I have obtained from National Archives the records for my Great Uncle which include a copy of his Enlistment document. These all survived as he received a disability pension until his death in 1981. St Dunstan's helped him and he had a successful practice as a Physiotherapist. This is what I have discovered about his War Service from those records and the relevant Battalion War Diaries. I would like to do the same for my Grandfather. On 2nd September 1914 Cyril enlisted at Redcar for General Service in the Cavalry. He was 21 and gave his occupation as a Clerk. He was posted to the 11th Reserve Cavalry Regiment C Squadron which was based at Tidworth as a Private. At Tidworth he was admonished a couple of times in April 1915. Once, for being absent from early morning parade and again for being absent from riding school parade. The Reserve Cavalry Regiment trained men for various Cavalry Regiments including the Hampshire Yeomanry. On 1st June 1915 Cyril was transferred to the 3rd Bn. Hampshire Regiment presumably because the need for Cavalry had diminished. On 27th July 1915 He joined the BEF in France embarking from Southampton. He transferred to the 1st Bn Hants part of the 11th Infantry Brigade on 1st August 1915. The Battalion were in reserve at Mesnil alternating weekly in the line at Hamel, with a monthly week’s rest at Hedauville. It was a fairly quiet sector occasionally having German bombardment. He was made Lance Corporal on 16th October 1915. The Brigade moved to Beaudricourt on 18 February 1916 where it trained and had Sports competitions until 20th March. Cyril went to Cadet School at GHQ France for officer training. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 21st Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers on 19th March 1916. On 26th March 1916 He joined them near La Chappell d’Armentieres. The Bn. was in reserve providing working parties for the front line. On 30th March they were in the line until 7th April. The Bn. then marched to Nordausques where training for trench attacks commenced. They then moved to La Houssoye where further training at Brigade and Corps level continued until 1st June. They then relieved front line troops at Becourt Chateau. Between 3 – 4 June there was considerable enemy artillery activity followed by trench raids by the enemy. At 11pm 5th June after a pre-arranged strafe a trench raid was carried out by the Battalion. This was unsuccessful and the casualties were 5 OR killed, 4 Officers and 44 OR wounded, one being Cyril who received shell shrapnel wounds to both eyes and left arm. He had been an officer for just 10 weeks. He was transferred to No 2 Red Cross Hospital at Rouen and returned to Southampton on SS St Patrick on 1 Aug 1916 and then went to 24 Park St Hospital Mayfair. He was admitted to St Dunstan’s 4th July 1917 and transferred to After-Care 26th Nov 1917. After treatment he returned to Redcar receiving a disability pension of £200 pa. He was totally blind but could just distinguish between day and night. Much today is made of the terrible loss of life during WW1 but we now forget the tremendous number of the injured as they have now gone. I remember well how often in the 1950's one would see limbless people trying to make their way around. I suspect that my Grandfather enlisted after The Somme. He was training to be an accountant so perhaps was conscripted. I am intrigued how it is that two well educated brothers served, One as an Officer and the other as a Ranker.
I had a Grandfather N H Bulman and Great Uncle, C R Bulman, both from Redcar, who served in the Northumberland Fusiliers in WW1. I have discovered the war service of my Gt Uncle, he was commissioned in 21st Battalion on 19th March 1916 and blinded on 5th June 1916 near La Boiselle. My Grandfather served as a private. I have his service number, 58023 and believe he was in 24/27th Battalion, then 25th and 12/13th. I know he was gassed and he died in 1956. I do not know when he enlisted and would like to trace his service record through the batallion war diaries. His name does not appear in John Sheen's history of the Tyneside Irish. I have a photo of him, possibly at the tme of his enlistment. I would like some help in tracing my Grandfather's war service. He was married in early 1916 and after the war was company secretary for Garnetts in Middlesbrough, the soft drinks and confectioners.