This Weeks New Research

The Four new research pages this week in WW1 Lives are, a Balloonist in the Flying Corps, a Royal Scot War Hero, a Naval ‘Destroyer’ Officer and a Warwickshire Yeomanry Shoeing-Smith. Click on the Description Heading to discover more on their lives.

Patrick Nangle, 1st Royal Scots

Military Medal

Patrick Nangle had a tough upbringing in Edinburgh. When he left school he joined The Royal Scots in 1906 aged 16 years. He went on to serve both in the Great War where he was awarded the Military Medal and the Croix de Guerre, and WWII. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

Family Grave at Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex – © Steve Grimwood (Find a Grave)

Christmas Day

Herbert Dudley Pashley was from Norfolk and a Professional Soldier having served previously as a Legal Clerk. Serving with The 23rd London Regiment, he was to transfer to the Royal Flying Corps in July 1916. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

Letter of Explanation

Submarine Attack

Frank Wallis was a young officer in the Royal Navy when he was allocated to the ship H.M.S. Pasley a new Destroyer. During his service on this vessel it was involved in a friendly fire incident with the British Submarine G9. He was later transferred to the Coastal Motor Boat ’33A’ which was involved in an attack on Zeebrugge and Ostend. To find out more of his story, click the above heading.

Warwickshire Yeomanry Cap Badge

A Blacksmith at War

Wallace Stacey was from Westonzoyland, Somerset where he had been a Blacksmith. He was to join the Warwickshire Yeomanry as a Shoeing Smith, where he found himself in Egypt in 1917 attached to the 5th Mounted Brigade, Australian Mounted Division. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

This Weeks New Research

There are Four new research pages this week in WW1 Lives, a Balloon Observer, a Royal Artillery War Hero, a Royal Scot and a Royal Dragoon from Bedfordshire. Click on the Description Heading to discover more on their lives.

British Kite Balloon © Air Force Museum of New Zealand

An Observer

Stanley Craigmore Pinhay from Falmouth, Devon had a career in the Post Office prior to the Great War, Following his attestation into the Royal Flying Corps, he eventually found himself as an observer, suspended beneath a balloon in a wicker basket. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

Cap Badge of 1st Royal Dragoons

A Double Serjeant-Major

Ernest James Buck who was from Biggleswade, Bedfordshire was a Professional Soldier having served in India and South Africa before the Great War in the 1st Royal Dragoons. Serving early in France he was later transferred to the 17th Royal Scots. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

Grave of Alexander Mann – © Philippe Degroote

Returned Home to Fight

Alexander Mann had been in America for four years, and came back to Scotland on the outbreak of hostilities, He was recently married and was about to adopt his wife’s first born son when he was killed in an attack by the 11th Royal Scots on the enemy trenches. To find out more of his story, click the above heading.

Anthony Chaworth-Musters.

A Chaworth-Muster

Anthony Chaworth-Musters was from a notable English family. He was was educated at Rugby School before gaining a commission in the Royal Field Artillery prior to the Great War. At the start of hostilities he was sent onto the continent and was soon in the think of the fighting. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

This Weeks New Research

There are Four new research pages this week in WW1 Lives, a Flying Sergeant, a Royal Artillery War Hero, a Young Gordon Highlander and a Royal Dragoon from Bedfordshire. Click on the Description Heading to discover more on their lives.

Serjeant Robert Stovell Evans – Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: (HU 121824)

Destined To Fly

Londoner Robert Evans was clearly keen to fly, paying for lessons prior to going to war, on receiving his flying certificate at Hall School, Hendon, he was to join the Royal Flying Corps first with 45 Squadron then 70 Squadron. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

Cap Badge of 1st Royal Dragoons

A Narrow Escape

George Arthur Buck who was from Biggleswade, Bedfordshire was caught up in an artillery explosion causing the death of those around him, as a result he was reported dead. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

Grave of Douglas Chaworth-Musters – © Kevin Martin

Military Cross & Bar

Douglas Chaworth-Musters was descended from a long line of aristocrats, many of whom gave great service in the Great War, Douglas was one such officer. To find out more of his story and why he was awarded his two Military Crosses, click the above heading.

Alexander Grant

A Young Gordon

Young Alexander Grant from Keith, Banffshire was involved in a major attack against the enemy between the 20th-24th July 1918 with the 7th Gordon Highlanders, it was to be a tough 4 days of fighting. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

This Weeks New Research

There are Four new research pages this week in WW1 Lives, a young Boy Sailor, a 2nd Dragoon Boer War hero, a Teacher who was to win the Military Cross and a Yeomanry Major who survived a U-Boat attack. Click on the Description Heading to discover more on their lives.

John Hugh Matheson

A Military Cross Winner

John Hugh Matheson was a teacher who was born in Avoch, Ross and Cromarty, joining the Gordon Highlanders early in the war as a Private soldier, he was soon commissioned into the same regiment. Following the capture of enemy soldiers during an attack, he was awarded the Military Cross. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

John Neville Chaworth-Musters D.S.O.

U-Boat Attack

John Neville Chaworth-Musters was to serve in Salonika, Palestine, Egypt and Gallipoli and his ship was also attacked by a U-Boat. Awarded a Distinguished Service Order, to find out more about his story click on the above heading.

Grave of Percival Sudworth – © Billy Muir

Boer War Hero

Percival Sudworth was born in Wigan, Lancashire. He joined the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) in 1888 in Ireland. He was to serve in The Boer War of 1899 – 1902 and was awarded numerous medals. During the Great War he was to see service with the Lanarkshire Yeomanry. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

Letter of Request

A Boy Servant

Young Wilfred Roberts had a very difficult upbringing when his mother died at the age of 3 years and he was brought up by his aunt and educated at an Industrial School. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

This Weeks New Research

There are Four new research pages this week in WW1 Lives, two cavalry soldiers, an officer from the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and a soldier from the Suffolk Regiment. Click on the Description Heading to discover more on their lives.

Robert Chaworth-Musters

A Victim of a Pandemic

Robert Chaworth-Musters was a well educated Officer from Nottinghamshire who enlisted early in the war. Rewarded for his bravery, his young life was cut short a month before the end of the conflict by a hidden enemy. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

The Grave of Thomas ‘Tommie’ Gillan at Tomintoul – © Vincent Stuart

Southampton War Hospital

‘Tommie’ Gillan was in his early 20’s when he joined the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), a cavalry regiment, sometime before the start of the war, his unit was one the first to go to France / Flanders and shortly thereafter he was under fire. He fought for several years, until he was wounded south-west of Cambrai, France and evacuated to the Southampton War Hospital. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

Charles Arthur Bates Swingler

An Irish Dragoon

Birmingham born Charles Swingler was a Sign-Writer before he answered the call to arms. He was to die before a major attack. His mother later moved to Canada along with many of her children. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

Harry Briggs – © Stephen Briggs

A Suffolk Farm Boy

Harry Briggs, was born and brought up at Chelmondiston near Ipswich, Suffolk. His father died at 5 years old and his mother later re-married. He joined the 2nd Suffolks in 1914 and received a ‘Blighty’ wound around June 1915. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

This Weeks New Research

There are Four new research pages this week in WW1 Lives, two are related, one is a Minister and the other an Old Contemptible. Click on the Description Heading to discover more on their lives.

Gordon Highlanders Tartan

A Felled Woodcutter

Corporal Robert Reid was a former Woodcutter from Boharm in Banffshire, but was a Professional Soldier, joining in 1901. When war broke out in 1914, he soon found his way into action. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

The Last Flight of Captain Ball by Norman Arnold ©IWM Art 1488

In the Shadow of an Ace

Roger was an officer in the Leicestershire Regiment when he volunteered for service in the Royal Flying Corps. As a member of 56 Squadron, he was confronted by Werner Voss. To read more of his story, click on the title above.

Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters

Trench Mortar Officer

Nottinghamshire born Philip Chaworth-Musters was a young officer who had been educated at Rugby School, he became a Trench Mortar Officer in the Royal Field Artillery but tragically he was to follow in the footsteps of several member of his family. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

Marshall Merson – ©Aberdeen Weekly – dated 3 September 1915

A Reverend in the Trenches

Marshall Merson, the son of a Fishcurer from Buckie, was a former student of Aberdeen University who took to the cloth, volunteering for the Gordon Highlanders as a Private before he was commissioned into The Royal Scots Fusiliers. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

This Weeks New Research

There are Four new research pages this week in WW1 Lives, two brothers who were officers and two cousins who were both in the Seaforth Highlanders. Click on the Description Heading to discover more on their lives.

Mackenzie Tartan

A Speysider at Arras

Alexander Burgess was a former Farm Servant living at Bogmoor, near Spey Bay, Banffshire when as part of the 6th Seaforth Highlanders their task was to capture 3 German Trenches. To find out more of his story click the above heading.

Cambrai Front

19 year old William Burgess was involved in the British advance on the Cambrai Front along with his regiment the 5th Seaforth Highlanders, a month before the end of the war. During the battle this resulted in 36 Other Ranks Killed, Wounded 170, Missing 6, Died of Wounds 5. To read more of his story, click on the title above.

Patricius George Chaworth-Musters

Friendly Fire

Norwegian born Patricius who was educated at Rugby School took a commission on leaving school, wounded in 1914 and sent home to recuperate, on his return he was hit by Friendly Fire. To learn more click on the heading.

Norfolk Regiment Cap Badge

Brave But Troubled

Richard Hammond Chaworth-Musters was a Lieutenant in the Norfolk Regiment having previously been in the Royal Irish Rifles, when he was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery in attacking the enemy. To find out more about his story click on the above heading.

This Weeks New Research

There are Four new research pages this week in WW1 Lives, three junior officers in Infantry units, two of whom are brothers and a Nursing Sister in Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service. Click on the Description Heading to discover more information.

Royal London Hospital

Anaesthetist

Thomas Burdock Vaile, was an anaesthetist in the Royal London Hospital when he answered the call to service and was sent to the Mesopotamian Theatre of War.

Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Rifles

Arthur Lancelot Bonner Plunkett was a an engineer who in his career assisted in the planning of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Born in India he was to join the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Rifles as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Edward Vaile

Sanctuary Wood

Edward Ernest Vaile, was a 24 yer old who had initially followed his brother into the Honourable Artillery Company as a Private soldier before being commissioned into the 3rd Worcestershire Regiment where he fought at Sanctuary Wood.

Nursing Sister Caroline Maud Edwards

A Terrible Explosion

Caroline Edwards was a nursing sister when she was invited aboard the cruiser H.M.S. Natal anchored on the Cromarty Firth to watch a film, when during the evening a terrible explosion occurred on the vessel.

This Weeks New Research

There are Four new research pages this week in WW1 Lives, three junior officers in Infantry units and a Private in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Click on the Description Heading to find out more on them.

Training Accident

Philip Amyas Vaile (22), a 2nd Lieutenant in the London Regiment. Following injury at the Front Line in Flanders, he thought he was safe training others to fight.

John Henry Willis

John Willis was a British born soldier from Portsmouth who had gone to Canada to find a new life. At the start of the Great War, he answered the call to arms and joined the 24th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Quebec Regiment) as a Private. To find out more about his life click on the photo title.

Mesopotamia

Havelock Arthur Terence Plunkett, a young 19 year old Lieutenant, born and brought up in India, who joined the the 2nd Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) and who faced strong Turkish forces in Iraq.

Gordon Highlanders outside the ruined Cathedral in Arras, 24 January 1918. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: (Q 7261)

A Pill-Box in France

George Stewart Duncan (26) a 2nd Lieutenant, in the 6th Gordon Highlanders. A farmers son from Banffshire, who along with others, sought shelter from the artillery in a Pill-box.

Private, 46948, William Sayers (18) – Died of Wounds

19th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, 29th September 1918 

Grave of William Sayers at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. – ©International Wargrave Photography Project.

Military and Civilian Research

  • William Sayers was born in the first quarter of 1900 at Pendleton, Lancashire. His Army Attestation Record has his date of birth as 4 December 1899. (I’m not convinced this is the actual birth date, he may have given an earlier date in order to join the army earlier.)
  • 11 July 1900 – He was baptised at Stowell Memorial Church, Salford.
  • 13 August 1917 – He enlisted at Rotherham and was placed on the Reserve. At that time his description was given as follows :- Height – 5’8″, Weight – 123lbs, Chest – 36″ with 4″ expansion, Hair – Brown, Eyes – Brown, Complexion – Fair, Religion – Church of England. He gave his occupation as Screen Hand.
  • 4 January 1918 – He joined the Regular Army and was re-examined at Pontefract, West Yorkshire and was placed into the 53rd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry and given the service number 170443. This was a battalion for (Young Soldiers) who had reached the age of 18 years and 1 month. They conducted their basic training before moving onto a (Graduated) battalion where they completed their training. This training was held at Rugeley Camp, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.
  • 19 April 1918 – Transferred to the 52nd (Graduated) Battalion, Durham Light Infantry to complete his training at Stockton-on-Tees.
  • 26 July 1918 – He transferred with his battalion to France from Folkstone to Boulogne.
  • 2 August 1918 – He joins the 19th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry as number 46948.
  • 29 September 1918 – He died from wounds at No.2 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, Anvin, France and was buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. He had been in ‘Z’ Company, 19th Durham Light Infantry.
  • His property containing Letters, Photos, a religious book, 2 postcards, a charm and pencil were returned to his mother following his death.
  • In the Register of Soldiers Effects, his mother Sarah was the sole legate to the compensation payments for his death.
CASUALTY CLEARING STATIONS (CO 3151) A panoramic photograph showing wounded British and German soldiers as they await treatment in the sunshine outside a Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) near Duisans, September 1918. On the left, a large tent can be seen and several huts are visible on the right. Copyright: © IWM.

Family

William Sayers was born at Pendleton, Lancashire, in the first quarter 1900. The following family information is taken from the 1911 Census and his Army Service Record.

His family is shown as follows :-

  • Father – William Sayers, born c.1879 at Salford, Lancashire. – Brewery Labourer.
  • Mother – Sarah Jane Sayers, born c.1880 at Langdale, Yorkshire.
  • Sister – Lydia, born c.1902 at Pendleton, Lancashire.
  • Brother- Farry, born c.1906 at Weaste, Salford, Lancashire.
  • Brother – Thom, born c.1908 at Langdale, Yorkshire.
  • Sister – Frances, born c.1911 at Salford, Lancashire.
  • Sister – Ada, born c.1913
  • Brother – Frank, born c.1914
Family Grave of William Sayers at St. Leonard New Church, Rotherham, South Yorkshire. © Mark Pepper

Addresses

  • In July 1900 at the time of his baptism his address was given as 10 Embridge Street, Salford, Lancashire.
  • The 1901 Census gives William and his family’s address as 13 Ashantee Street, Pendleton, Lancashire.
  • The 1911 Census gives the family address of William Sayers as 35 Robinson Street, Regent Road, Salford, Greater Manchester.
  • The Parental address during his attestation into the army in 1917 and following his death was given as 28 Doncaster Road, Whinney Hill, Rotherham.

Medals

William Sayers was awarded the, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.

Memorials

William Sayers is honoured and remembered on a number of memorials. They are as follows :- 

  • Thrybergh Working Mens Club, Roll of Honour, Thrybergh, Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
  • St. Peters, Whinney Hill Conventional District Memorial Window and Tablet, Thrybergh, Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
  • Dalton Main Colliery Ltd, Silverwood and Roundwood Collieries Memorial Column. Previous location – near Silverwood Colliery, Thrybergh, Rotherham. Current Location – Thrybergh Parish Hall, Park Lane, Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
  • Thrybergh Parish Hall, Roll of Honour, Park Lane, Thybergh, Rotherham.

Links to Additional Information

References

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Medal Index Card.
  • Soldiers Died in the Great War.
  • Register of Soldiers Effects.
  • Find a Grave – William Sayers.
  • Medal Roll – Durham Light Infantry – Victory and British War Medal.
  • 1901 Census.
  • 1911 Census.
  • Stowell Memorial Church, Salford – Baptisms.
  • Military Pension Cards – William Sayers
  • Weekly Casualty List dated 5 November 1918.
  • British Army Service Record.