Official Military Blog Posts

Fallen Stone soldier's photo found in Cornwall shop

Last May, we posted a request for information regarding the soldiers of Stone commemorated on memorials in the town. Since then we ve heard from Dr David Walsh, who told us while he was on a camping holiday in Cornwall, he visited a bric-a- brac shop in Newlyn, where he purchased a framed photograph of a First World War soldier. While the frame is admittedly the worse for wear, David carried out some investigations, and has since discovered it s a picture of 2nd Lieutenant Nigel Fyfe Watson Bishop from Stone, who died in Loos. David informed us the picture has been published elsewhere, and may well be known to Stone Historical Society. After browsing the web, David was able to identify the insignia on the uniform in the photo, and the evidence was confirmed when he found a reprint of the same photo in Memorial of Rugbeians who fell in the Great War Volume 2 . This is what it says SECOND LIEUTENANT N.F.W. BISHOP 5TH BATTALION THE PRINCE OF WALES S (NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT) T.F. School House NIGEL FYFE WATSON BISHOP was the youngest son of James Watson and Adelaide Mary Bishop, of Oulton House, Stone, Staffordshire. He entered the school in 1906, and left in 1909. He learned farming for three years, and then entered the business of Bishop and Stonier, of Hanley. He had been just two years in business, working very hard, when war broke out, and he enlisted in the 5th Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment early in September 1914, and received his Commission in the following November. He went to France in July 1915, and was moved up to the front at the end of August. The Battalion suffered a heavy bombardment on September 17th, after which his Colonel wrote home, saying Nigel Bishop did splendidly . He fell in the charge of the North Midland Division on the Hohen-zollern Redoubt, when the 5th North Staffords gallantly led the attack, on October 13th, 1915, aged 23. His Captain wrote that he had the fullest confidence that anything he asked him to do would be faithfully carried out and his brother Officers affirmed that they could not have loved him more had he been their own brother . David informed us Nigel s father was significant in the pottery industry. David has since had the frame reassembled, and it now hangs pride of place in his cottage. The question that remains unanswered is how did the picture end up in deepest Cornwall? Can any readers enlighten David? Continue reading

In Jerusalem’s Romema, the Turks surrendered to a British cook… four times

No doubt you have heard, perhaps more than once, how the Turks surrendered Jerusalem to a British army cook in 1917. But did you know that there were actually four surrenders? Three of these historic events took place on more or less the exact spot, at the time an open field on the highest hill in Jerusalem. Called Allenby Square, it is situated in the heart of what would soon become Romema, established in 1921 as the first Jerusalem neighborhood founded during the British Mandate in Palestine. Intended as a classy neighborhood of 24 houses, Romema was far from the noise of the town and situated between the Arab villages of Lifta and Sheikh Bader. Unlike many other Jerusalem neighborhoods, it was built with private funding. It also differed in a distinct dearth of planning, so it lacks parks and any kind of homogeneity. In the end and apparently for lack of money, just over a dozen grandiose buildings were constructed. The initiator of the project was Turkish-born attorney Yom Tov Hamon, a district court judge and an expert in Ottoman law and issues concerning land ownership. He was often called in to arbitrate in disputes between Arab landowners in the region. When there was a disagreement about ownership of the land on this hill, Hamon decreed that the plot should be sold and it was thus made available for a Jewish neighborhood. The home built by Romema s founder, Yom Tov Hamon (Shmuel Bar-Am) The name Romema was taken from the Psalms: The Lord s right hand is lifted high (romem) Indeed, at the time this was the highest hill in Jerusalem somewhere between 810 and 830 meters above sea level. Most of the original streets were named for the Hebrew newspapers in print at the time: they included Eliezer Ben Yehuda s Hatzvi, and HaOr, and renowned Rabbi Ben Zion Koainkh s HaMeasef. Most of the houses in Romema that were built after the establishment of the State of Israel are drab and lacking in character. But a few of the elegant original buildings still stand and often have been artfully preserved. The Allenby guest house (Shmuel Bar-Am) Allenby 2 is both an address and the name of the establishment across from the Square. Two floors added in the 1950s destroyed much of the original house s charm, but it still boasts lovely window frames and a magnificent entrance. For the past 20 years or so, it has served as a guesthouse conveniently located near the Central Bus Station. Across from the Central Bus Station on HaTzvi Street stands a house built by Hebron-born lawyer Aharon Mani, scion to a long line of famous Iraqi rabbis. Built in 1925, the ambiance has been disturbed by later additions. But the porch and staircase are magnificent, and fit charmingly onto the corner of the street. The Mani house (Shmuel Bar-Am) Its nearest neighbor is an elegant domain built by pioneer hotelier Yehiel Amdurski. Absolutely gorgeous, the house was constructed out of red stone brought from quarries in Hebron. Twin porches are held up by Doric pillars, and their inner ceilings are covered by large paintings. The Amdurski house (Shmuel Bar-Am) Next door to the Amdurski house stands a dwelling that belonged to the Hefetz family from Bukhara. Less grandiose than some of the others, it has one unique feature: a lintel whose decorative blue and white tiles with a windmill design were brought home by family members after a trip to Holland. Windmills at HaTzvi 6 (Shmuel Bar-Am) Parallel to HaTzvi Street, Ariel Street has several magnificent structures of its own. One of them boasts four Tuscan (smooth) columns, and a gable above the entrance. The date of construction 1923 and the name of architect A. Balog are engraved in large letters (and numbers) on the wall. A tiny synagogue for Jews from Kurdistan is found at the front of the edifice next door. Four families live in the building, enough, we were told, to meet the minimal requirements for daily worship. Apparently because the synagogue is so small, the women sit out on the porch during prayers. Romema s Kurdistani synagogue and apartments (Shmuel Bar-Am) Adorable people-shaped shutter holders on the windows of this building and several others on the street are collectors items today. Brought to this country by German Templers, the iron holders are known by their Yiddish name of menchelach . One of many menshelach on Ariel Street, Romema (Shmuel Bar-Am) Moldova-born Rabbi Fishman-Maimon erected the unusual house across the street. One of the first to appear in Romema, it boasts a unique fa ade, with a Star of David engraved in stone above the entrance. The date 1922 and the rabbi s first name Yehuda are written inside and around the Star of David. Rabbi Fishman-Maimon was one of the founders of the religious-Zionist movement Mizrahi . It was at his urging that David Ben-Gurion established a Ministry of Religious Affairs during his first term as prime minister. The home built by Moldova-born Rabbi Fishman-Maimon (Shmuel Bar-Am) Following the fall of the both First and Second Temples, sages declared that every new building must carry a reminder of that destruction. That reminder was to be an unpainted area one cubit by one cubit (46 centimeters by 46 centimeters) in size. Many observant Jews take this edict literally and leave an unplastered black square on their walls. Rivers of Babylon tiles at the Romema home built by Moldova-born Rabbi Fishman-Maimon (Shmuel Bar-Am) Inside this building and at the top of the stairs, a picture is embedded into the walls on a black background measuring one cubit by one cubit. Its ceramic tiles depict the River of Babylon, weeping willow, harp and all and the text reads: In Memory of the Destruction: If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget (from Psalms 137). Romema s HaAdrichal (the architect) Street refers to German-born Ricard Kaufmann, who designed over 150 of Israel s towns, farming communities and garden neighborhoods, but not a single building in Romema. Some say that residents hoped the sign would tempt Kaufmann into developing their neighborhood. One of the street s residences was recently demolished and replaced by an ultra-modern structure. The original house was built by Altar Levine, a pioneer in the insurance business who wrote poems under the pseudonym of Asaf HaLevy. Altar Levine was found hanging on a palm tree in the yard of his home in 1933, with nary a word of explanation. A solution to the mystery of his sudden demise may have been found in 1991, where a forgotten journal in an Istanbul library contends that Levine was a spy. According to the journal, written by a Turkish commander in Jerusalem, Levine assisted the British during World War I and helped bring about the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Possibly, say some, Levine s death was an act of revenge carried out long after the war s end. Romema s founder, Yom Tov Hamon, built the fabulous house on the corner of HaAdrichal and Hamon Streets. Recently renovated, the exterior exterior is a feast for the eyes and features ornamental balconies, a pyramid-shaped metal top, and a roof lined with little pillars. The Romema water tower (Shmuel Bar-Am) The tallest structure in Romema is a water tower erected by the British at the beginning of their mandate in Palestine. This was the highest point in the city at the time, and gravitational forces sent water from the adjacent pool into pipes all over the city. But over the years, Jerusalem developed so quickly that the city required far more water than it had available. From 1934-1936 the British prepared an extensive water system that tapped a few of the Yarkon River s springs and pumped this life source to Jerusalem. Water was thrust upward to Jerusalem s main reservoir through a number of pumping stations a total distance of 62.5 kilometers. Arabs blew up one of the pumping stations during Israel s War of Independence in 1948, and the pipeline was effectively taken out of action. Under Arab siege for months, Jerusalem was without access to water and returned to the system used for hundreds of years: collecting water in barrels on their rooftops. - Aviva Bar-Am is the author of seven English-language guides to Israel [1] . Shmuel Bar-Am is a licensed, tour guide who provides private, customized tours in Israel for individuals, families and small groups [2] . References ^ seven English-language guides to Israel ( ^ private, customized tours in Israel for individuals, families and small groups ( Continue reading

Tabbed Out: 1st Sgt. Anthony Y. Montalvo « the TOG blog

In 1st Sgt. Anthony Montalvo, the Old Guard gains a capable voice on the ground for helicopter operations, a seasoned instructor, and a soldier with a reverence for military history. Montalvo arrived at the Old Guard just about four months ago. Montalvo has earned several prestigious honors: a Pathfinder badge in July of 2007, he has worked as a drill sergeant from 2005 to 2007, and in 2004 he was inducted in the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club. The Pathfinder school is a three-week course that teaches soldiers how to establish and operate drop zones for helicopters. Other tasks include providing air traffic control to both rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft, and conducting sling load operations for moving equipment in and out of an area. The challenge that I faced is its not a physical course, said Montalvo. Its more of a mental course. You have to do a lot of thinking. You have to do a lot of mathematics. The biggest challenge of Pathfinder school was memorizing large amounts of information, Montalvo said. I m not very good at math, said Montalvo. I went there with a clear head, willing to learn some new stuff. It was a pretty challenging course, but a rewarding course. Montalvo said Pathfinder certification is valuable since he could be called upon to perform drop zone duties as part of contingency operations in the national capital region. Montalvo was a Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Montalvo wasn t necessarily thrilled with his orders to become a Drill Sergeant at for mainly support jobs. Once again, an open mind allowed him to succeed. I m an infantryman, and I was stationed at Fort Jackson, said Montalvo. I was a young staff sergeant, so I wanted to train infantrymen. But I realized that here in the future, the same soldiers that I am training here are going to be my soldiers. Montalvo decided that he would train support occupations like cooks and clerks with the same level of enthusiasm as infantrymen. Drill Sergeant School once again challenged his ability to memorize the modules to teach basic trainees, Montalvo said. The orders to be a Drill Sergeant however did prove to be rewarding. It s a great honor or a privilege to be able to teach the new recruits coming in the Army the basics, said Montalvo. Those soldiers coming in, their family is entrusting you to train for whatever they see in the future. You ll get a soldier who s been hand fed his entire life, said Montalvo. You will watch them grow from civilian, slowly transitioning to a warfighter. Montalvo said it was extremely rewarding on family day and graduation when he would meet parents of recruits that didn t recognize their son or daughter because the transition was so encompassing. Montalvo had to develop his study habits for entry into the Audie Murphy Club. A lot of studying, he said. You must be well versed in everything being a member of that prestigious club. Remaining open to possibilities allowed Montalvo to succeed. I was a horrible student, said Montalvo. That (memorization) came with time. All of the accolades he has earned since his enlistment in 1998 have brought him to his new post as first sergeant of Delta Company 1-3. The Old Guard has really opened my eyes, said Montalvo. The attention to detail in this unit is outstanding. Montalvo said he finds an influx of older, more mature soldiers has been joining lately. Montalvo said the Army is transitioning into more of a profession. The soldiers coming in today have the ability to think on their own, he said. To think outside the box. Montalvo said one of the bigger adjustments he s had to make is giving out more responsibility to the members of the Old Guard. I entrust my young specialists and sergeants to go to the sergeant major of the Army s house to set up a flag mission, said Montalvo. Where if I was in a regular infantry battalion, that may be a tasking for a staff sergeant or a sergeant first class. With everything he has accomplished, Montalvo looks at the Old Guard as his career highlight. Our mission is high vis (visibility), said Montalvo. We re doing great things for the fallen s family. We re giving the proper respect and proper burial. Montalvo has been enriched by his ability to keep an open mind and stretch beyond his comfort zone. The impact is very good, Montalvo said. Going to these courses, bettering myself, my soldiers can see, Hey, First Sergeant has been to this course, lets ask him about it. My career so far has been a great one for me, said Montalvo. I ve done just about everything that I set out of my own goals. Like this: Like Loading... Related . Continue reading