Private Scrivens, who was serving with the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in Gallipoli in August 1915, was initially reported as missing in action but was later declared as having been killed in action, aged 27 on 6th August 1915. William George Scrivens, known as George was the second son of Thomas and Harriet Scrivens of Broadway. Prior to his enlistment George worked for Messrs. Steward and Company as a builders labourer. He enlisted in January 1915 and after training with the 5th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment had been transferred to the 4th Battalion.
George was posted to Gallipoli spending a short time en-route in Alexandria, Egypt. On 22nd July 1915, he wrote home:
“We have landed at the base after a splendid voyage, but very hot. This is a rum place, it is shoe-top deep in sand, and with the wind blowing you can’t see half the time. We have to sleep in the open with one blanket, so you can tell it is no picnic. I wish you can see the warships it is a fine sight; you can hear their guns going as I write. This is a somewhat different country to England; all you can see is bare sand. You would laugh if you could see us. We have cut off our trousers at the knees, and with helmets on look like boy scouts. Excuse the dirty paper; between sweat and sand I can’t keep it clean.”
George further wrote on 3rd August:
“This is a rum place and a rum life. If you get any money there is nothing to buy. The worst job is getting something to drink. We are given two cups of tea a day, and that is not much. I should like to get hold of a pint of beer or cider and a good plate of cabbage and sprouts out of the garden. There’s nothing of that here, but all tinned stuff, and that salty, but it is no good grumbling. I should like some of them that sit in the pubs at home and talk about how it should be done to be out here.”
Three days later Private George Scrivens was killed in action. He is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and the Helles Memorial on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula.
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
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 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 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.
George Sandel was born in Broadway in 1885, the son of James Sandel, an agricultural labourer, and Sarah Ann Sandel. George had three brothers and five sisters and grew up at Bury End on the outskirts of the village. As a boy he attended Broadway Council School and after leaving school worked as a farm labourer.
Aged 18, George joined the army and served with the Worcestershire Regiment in South Africa. George married Mabel Luker in 1910 and they moved to Leamington Road, Broadway, where their daughter Lilian was born in 1915. Following the outbreak of the First World War, George re-enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment but was discharged from the army in October 1915 due to ill health.
George died of tuberculosis on 8th December 1917 and his funeral was held at St Eadburgha’s Church, Snowshill Road, Broadway, four days later. George is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial, Broadway Council School Memorial Board and in the Worcestershire Regiment Roll of Honour.
Further information about George and 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 IWM. Proceeds to the Poppy Appeal).
Broadway War Memorial, 4th August 2014
At 2pm yesterday afternoon a crowd gathered at the war memorial, Broadway, for a service of remembrance and rededication of the war memorial. The names of the war dead were read out by David Folkes MBE, Chairman of the Broadway branch of The Royal British Legion, after which there was a 2 minutes’ silence and wreaths and remembrance crosses were laid around the memorial.
Broadway War Memorial, 4th August 2014 after the rededication service.