1916: Broadway Man Sergeant William Hopkins Awarded Military Medal

In December 1916, Sergeant William Hopkins, who was serving with the Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment was awarded the Military Medal.

William, born in Stanton, Gloucestershire, in 1871, was the son of Mrs Mary Wallace (née Barnett) of Bury End, Broadway, by her first husband, the late John Hopkins1 who died in 1891. At the time of his father’s death, William was living with relatives in Bakewell, Derbyshire. William initially joined K Company of the 2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment and was awarded the Military Medal whilst serving with the Sherwood Foresters:

Sergeant Hopkins has been Transport Sergeant since the Battalion came on active service, has constantly conducted transport to the trenches when exposed to rifle or shell fire, notably in the Ypres salient and has consistently displayed courage and good judgement.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

Notes:
1. John Hopkins, a member of the Patriots Benefit Society, Broadway, worked as a loader for Mr Burrows of Broadway and was killed in an accident whilst loading corn in Stanway. His funeral took place in October 1891 at St Eadburgha’s Church, Snowshill Road, Broadway, where he was a bellringer. John is buried in the churchyard at St Eadburgha’s.

Remembered Today: Pte Wilson Keyte’s Bravery in Salonika on 24th April 1917

Private 30818 Wilson William Keyte enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment during the early days of the First World War. Wilson was born in Broadway in 1885 and prior to his enlistment worked for Mr T. Bayliss in the village. He served in Salonika with the 11th Battalion and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the Battle of Doiran on 24th April 1917.

On that first day of the battle, Wilson was serving as a stretcher bearer and carrier of the medical chest. Whilst under heavy shell and rifle fire, grenade and trench mortar attacks he dressed the wounded and carried a wounded officer for 200 yards up the rocky bed of a ravine under fire until a stretcher was found. During the whole of the operations he acted courageously encouraging the wounded whilst carrying out his duties.

Wilson was later awarded the Greek Military Cross in July 1919 for his actions during the campaign.

 

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: Two cousins Pte 15372 Albert H. Clarke, 11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and Pte 29206 George T. Handy 9th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

Albert Henry Clarke, was born in Broadway in 1893, the third son of Albert and Emma Mary Clarke. After leaving school, Albert worked for Thomas Bayliss, grocer, corn and offal dealer of Sheldon House, Broadway. Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Albert enlisted with Kitchener’s Army in Broadway in September 1914 and joined the Worcestershire Regiment. After a period of training on Salisbury Plain, Albert was posted to Gallipoli in June 1915. During his time in Gallipoli, Albert was injured by a kick from a horse and was transported back to England where he recuperated in a hospital in Stockport, Cheshire.

Albert later rejoined his regiment and in August 1916 was posted to the 11th (Service) Battalion in Salonika. The following year, during the night of 24th/25th April 1917, the Battle of Doiran, Albert, who had just turned 24, was killed in action. He is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, Greece, and the Broadway War Memorial.

Two of Albert’s cousins also fought in Salonika. His cousin George Thomas Handy, known as Thomas, was born in Broadway in 1880. After leaving school Thomas was apprenticed as a baker and after his marriage to Clara Porter in 1901, moved to Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, where he set up his own bakery and was greenkeeper at Moreton-in-Marsh Golf Club. Thomas enlisted with the 9th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment and was also killed during the night of 24th April 1917 when he was hit by a shell. Thomas is buried in Karasouli Military Cemetery, Polykastro, and he is commemorated on the Moreton-in-Marsh War Memorial as ‘Thomas G. Handy’.

Cousin Wilson William Keyte was born in Broadway in 1885. Wilson enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment and served with Albert with the 11th (Service) Battalion in Salonika. Wilson was awarded the Military Medal for stretcher-bearing duties during the Battle of Doiran and after the end of the war was awarded the Greek Military Cross. Wilson died, aged 64, in 1949.

 

Doiran Memorial, Greece (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Doiran Memorial, Greece (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

 

Albert is one of 48 commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial. Further information about Albert, his cousins and 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

© 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Tunnellers – The First World War Underground

Second Corporal 86297, Edgar Cook MM, of Broadway, Worcestershire (born Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 1888), enlisted with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He transferred to the 254th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers, and was wounded in action and died on 29th October 1917. Edgar is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

Operation War Diary

Imagine the Western Front – planes wheeling overhead in dogfights, artillery barrages whistling in to pulverise the trenches, infantry waiting for the whistle blast that would send them over the top and into the teeth of the waiting machine guns.

The war that went on beneath their feet is often forgotten, although it has left some of the deepest scars on the old battlegrounds. From the Somme to the Messines Ridge, and all points in between, the presence of the Royal Engineers Tunnelling Companies can still be seen in the massive craters their mines left behind.

Manned mainly by coal and tin miners and men with experience of civilian tunnelling work, ‘the Moles’ came into their own during February of 1915, when Major John Norton-Griffiths, a civil engineer by trade, shut down a tunnelling scheme eighteen of his employees were working on in Liverpool. The very next day, these same…

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