Remembered Today: Private Reginald B. Hill 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Remembered Today: Private Reginald Bertram Hill, 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed in action on the Western Front on 4th July 1915. Reginald, who was born in Broadway in 1894 and grew up at Bury End on the outskirts of the village. Reginald, an apprenticed as a baker after leaving Broadway Council School and enlisted with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in December 1914. Reginald is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Belgium, and is commemorated on the war memorial in Broadway.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

Pte Wilford Figgitt writes home from the Western Front, July 1915

Wilford Figgitt of Broadway, who served with the 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment on the Western Front from May 1915, regularly wrote letters home with news from the trenches. In July 1915 he wrote:

We have had a pretty rough time during the last week and that a few men; sixty out of one company were killed or wounded. Last Wednesday I had a job carrying rations up to the Royal Scots in the middle of an attack, and shall not forget it in a hurry. The shells fell like hail and the bullets whistled like hell. The sights I shall never forget, for there were piles of dead and wounded to walk over, some with their heads blown off. We had a bit of amusement on Saturday. Our artillery and French started shelling the German trenches and you could see nothing but smoke and sandbags flying up in the air. It just pleased the Canadians, and they started throwing ladders over the top of their trenches to make believe they were going to attack, and as soon as the Germans showed their heads over theirs they opened on them with machine guns and yelled themselves hoarse. The time before when we got in their trenches we found a German boy, not more than thirteen years old, red-haired and wearing big jack-boots. He had probably been sent to throw bombs at us and got shot. I could tell you heaps more, but haven’t any paper to write on.

Pte Wilford Figgitt, son of Wilford John and Tryphena Figgitt, of Church Street, Broadway, was killed in action, aged 23, on 25th September 1915. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, and the Broadway War Memorial on the green in the village where he grew up.   Debbie Williamson Broadway Remembers

Broadway Remembers Gallipoli

The Gallipoli Campaign began 100 years ago today on 25th April 1915. This year, the hundreds of thousands of men from across the world who fought and died at Gallipoli a century ago are being remembered and we remember the following men of Broadway who died during the campaign, part of the Middle Eastern Theatre of the First World War. All of the following Broadway men are commemorated on the Helles Memorial on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula:

  • Private 19218 Richard K. Handy 9th Battalion Worcstershire Regiment, born in Broadway in 1883, who was killed in action, aged 32, on 4th November. Private Handy is also commemorated on the Evesham War Memorial.
  • Private 21387 Wilfred G. Scrivens 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, born in Broadway in 1885, who was killed in action, on 6th August 1915 and is also commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial.
  • Private  19365 Walter E. Spiers 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, born in Broadway in 1884, who died at sea, aged 31, on 31st August 1915. Private Spiers is also commemorated in St Peter’s Church, Inkberrow, Worcestershire.
  • Private 10754 Wilfred G. Tandy 9th (Service) Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, born in Broadway in 1885, who was killed, aged 30, by enemy fire whilst refilling his water bottle at a nullah on 7th August 1915. Private Tandy is also commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial.

 

Helles Memorial (Commonwealth War Graves Commission0

Helles Memorial (Commonwealth War Graves Commission

 

Further information about the men from Broadway commemorated on the war memorial on the village green can be found in ‘Broadway Remembers’ (a not-for-profit publication published to coincide with the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by the Imperial War Museum. Proceeds to the Poppy Appeal).

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

© Debbie Williamson and Broadway Remembers, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Debbie Williamson and Broadway Remembers with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Remembered Today: Private 37889 Arthur H. Goddard, 1/5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry

Arthur Harold Goddard, known as Harold, was born in Cow Honeybourne, Worcestershire, in 1899. Harold’s father, George, worked as a farm labourer and the family moved from village to village as George moved from farm to farm in search of work. By 1911, the family had settled in Broadway and Harold found work as a labourer in the employ of Mr H. Roberts at nearby Buckland.

Aged 18, Harold enlisted in Worcester in August 1917 and he joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Harold was posted to the Western Front on 3rd April 1918 joining his battalion just before they took part in the Battle of Estaires. From the 12th April 1918 the battalion was involved in the Battle of Hazebrouck which lasted four days and it was on the first day of the battle that Harold was reported as missing in action. It was later reported by letter to his parents that Harold had been killed in action on either 12th or 14th April and that he had been buried between Estaires and Le Grand Pacault. It was later confirmed that Harold had been killed in action on the 14th and Harold is commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium, which is about 15 miles away from where he was originally reported to have been buried.

Harold’s older brother, Frederick, served with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Frederick served with the 1st Battalion and was posted to the Western Front from where he wrote frequent letters home from ‘somewhere in France’ recounting his experiences of being in the trenches including surviving a gas attack on 24th May 1915. Frederick was wounded in the shin by an explosive bullet whilst on listening patrol on the Western Front on 31st October 1915. After months of hospital treatment, Frederick eventually lost his leg and he was honourably discharged with the Silver War Badge on 16th December 1916. Frederick re-enlisted with the Army Pay Corps in September 1918 and served in Nottingham until he was transferred to the Army Reserve on 9th March 1919.

Harold is one of 48 commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial. Further information about Harold, Frederick and their fellow men from Broadway commemorated on the memorial can be found in ‘Broadway Remembers’ (a not-for-profit publication published to coincide with the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by the Imperial War Museum. Proceeds to the Poppy Appeal).

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

 

Broadway Soldier, Pte Joseph L. Badger, declared missing during the Action at Bourlon Wood on 24th November 1917

Broadway Remembers: Corporal 30883 Joseph Lawrence Badger, MM (1896-1983)
14th Service Battalion Machine Gun Corps
formerly 3rd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment

During the First World War, 98 year ago today, 24th November 1917, Broadway soldier, Pte Joseph Lawrence Badger, who was serving with the Machine Gun Corps, was declared as missing in action during the action at Bourlon Wood during the Battle of Cambrai. Joseph was found in the snow and the mud the following day with gunshot wounds to his left knee and elbow and transported back to England where he was treated at the Kitchener Hospital, Brighton, and the Seaside Hospital, Sleaford, before re-joining the corps at Alnwick in early 1918.

Pte Badger was shot four times during the First World War. He enlisted, aged 18, with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in Stratford-upon-Avon on 4th December 1914. He was posted to the Western Front with the British Expeditionary Force on 2nd May 1915. Just over two weeks later on 19th May 1915 he received a gunshot wound to the head at Ypres. After a period of treatment and recuperation Pte Badger returned to his regiment and was posted to Gallipoli with the 9th (Service) Battalion at the beginning of September 1915. Within a few weeks, on 13th October 1915, Pte Badger received a gunshot wound to the left thigh at Suvla.

Pte Badger transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in May 1916 and trained at Belton Park near Grantham before being posted back to the Western Front the following month. Whilst back at the Front, in April 1917 Pte Badger was treated for trench fever and then on 24th November 1917, he was declared missing whilst at Bourlon Wood. After Pte Badger recovered from his gunshot wounds he again returned to the Corps and France where he was promoted to the rank of Corporal on 9th November 1918, two days before the Armistice.

Corporal Badger returned to England in February 1919 and he was demobilized the following month. He returned to Broadway the was awarded the Military Medal (London Gazette 17th June 1919). Joseph married Elizabeth Dunn the same year and died, aged 86, in Broadway in 1983.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers (ISBN: 978-0-9929891-0-1) proceeds to the Poppy Appeal
A not-for-profit publication to coincide with the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by IWM

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Age for War – Broadway’s Boy Soldier

The minimum age for which men were authorised for service with the colours during the First World War was 19 and no man was supposed to have been accepted unless he gave his age as 19 or over. Orders were given to the recruiting officers not to accept a recruit unless he had the physique of his declared age or they had had sight of a birth certificate.

However, if a recruit declared his age to be 19 or over but was actually under age it was not sufficient evidence for the War Office to discharge the recruit from the army. Soldiers who were below the age of 19 but had the physique of a man of 18 years and 6 months could be sent overseas. A soldier with the physique considered to be below that of 18 years and 6 months were retained for service and were trained at home until they reached the required standard. Soldiers under the age of 17 could be discharged provided that the application was made to his commanding officer whilst serving at home.

Broadway soldier, Frank Phillips was 17 years and 3 months old when he enlisted in Stratford-upon-Avon with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment at the beginning of December 1914. Frank trained on the Isle of Wight before he was posted with the 1st Battalion to the Western Front on 2nd May 1915 where he served until he was taken prisoner in May 1917. Frank was released from prison at the end of the war and he returned home to Broadway where he died, aged 96, in 1993.

Frank is one of the many soldiers whose biography has been published in ‘Broadway Remembers’ (ISBN 978-0-9929891-0-1) a not-for-profit publication raising money for the Poppy Appeal.

Debbie Williamson
August 2014

Remembered Today: Pte 9562 George Barnett, 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment

George Barnett was born in Broadway in 1886, the youngest son of William and Mary Ann Smith Barnett. George enlisted with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in Stratford-upon-Avon on 4th December 1914. He served with the 1st Battalion and was posted to the Western Front on 2nd May 1915. George was killed in action, aged 28, on 9th July 1915, whilst his battalion were fighting to capture the International Trench at Boesinghe near Ypres.

Pte George Barnett is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial and the Broadway War Memorial.