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Grenadier Guards

Reference Library – Infantry Regiments – Grenadier Guards

Paying tribute for the ultimate sacrifice…

THANKS to help from Marigold Cleeve and a small number of researchers from the Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum, we have been commemorating the brave men from Loughborough and the surrounding areas who lost their lives during the First World War. Here, we continue to remember the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in August 1916:

Frederick Arthur William Hague was born in Loughborough in 1890, the eldest son of William Goodacre Hague and his wife Emma. William, a hosiery machine fitter, and Emma had nine children, eight of whom survived to adulthood.

Frederick had five sisters Edith, Carrie, Gertrude, Florence and Hilda, and two brothers Leonard and Everard. In 1891 and 1901 the family lived at 3 Cobden Street, Loughborough, but by 1911 had moved to 1 Forest Road. Frederick attended Holy Trinity Church in Loughborough.

Frederick, who in 1911 was a clerk in the timber trade in the offices of Messrs, J. Griggs and Co. in Loughborough, went to Australia in 1913 to take up farming. By 1915 he was living at 145 Blythe Street, Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and was employed as a farm labourer. Frederick enlisted in Melbourne on August 4, 1915.

As Private 2669 he embarked in Melbourne, Australia, on H.M.A.T. Ulysses on October 27, 1915, with the 6th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion, of the 6th Australian Infantry Brigade (Australian Imperial Force). In Egypt he was initially sent to the 6th Training Battalion at Zeitoun but was taken on the strength of D Company of the 7th Battalion of the Australian Infantry at Serapeum, Egypt, on February 24, 1916. Frederick embarked in Alexandria, Egypt, to join the British Expeditionary Force on March 26, 1916, disembarking in Marseilles on March 31.

Upon arrival, his battalion was sent to Morbecque, west of Armenti res, and it was in this area that the men entered the front line trenches for the first time on May 3. The battalion s first major action in France was at Pozi res in the Somme valley where it fought between July 23-27 and August 15-21, 1916. Frederick was wounded in action on August 17, 1916.

He was admitted to the 1st Australian Field Ambulance suffering from a gunshot wound to the neck on August 19, 1916. He died from his wound on the same day, aged 25, and was buried in Becourt Armyrats © Military Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, near Albert, by the Officer Commanding the 1st Australian Field Ambulance on August 19, 1916. A package of personal effects was forwarded to his father and included a religious book, eight coins, two photos, a stud, two pieces of ribbon and a linen bag.

His brother Leonard, who was with the 8th Leicesters, was killed in 1917. His brother Everard, who served with the London Territorial Engineers, survived the war.

Eric Ivo Jacques was born in 1891 in Barrow-upon-Soar, the son of Robert William Jacques, a bricklayer, and Rose Jacques. Eric was one of ten children. He had three brothers Robert William (Junior), Arthur, and Harold and four sisters Ann, Harriet, Mabel and Sarah. Two other siblings, Frank and Mary, had died young. In 1901 the family was living at 23 Gordon Street, Loughborough, but by 1911 had moved to 53 Morley Street.

Prior to the war, Eric worked as a moulder at Messenger and Co. and was a member of the Old Loughburians Football Club. For a number of years he was a Drummer in the St. Peter s Church Lads Brigade, and latterly a teacher in the Woodgate Baptist Sunday School. Eric came from an old soldiering family. He had a great-grandfather who was in the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) who fought at Waterloo and had three horses shot under him, and a grandmother who was born in Windsor Barracks.

An uncle once walked from Barrow (where the family came from) to Chatham to enlist. Eric enlisted on September 4, 1914, at Loughborough and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment on September 24 as Private 14953. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on November 7, 1914.

From the Depot he was sent firstly to Aldershot for training and then to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915. In April 1915, Eric s battalion became part of the newly established 37th Division of Kitchener s 2nd New Army and the Division began to concentrate on Salisbury Plain. On July 22 the Division began to cross the English Channel and Eric travelled from Folkestone to France on July 29, 1915.

Initially the 37th Division concentrated near Tilques. The 8th Battalion then moved via Watten, Houlie, St. Omer, Eecke and Dranoutre to Wulverghem and Berles-au-Bois, a short distance from the front line. In the 11 months that followed, the battalion was mainly based in the area of Bienvillers and Bailleulmont, a short distance from the front line south-west of Arras.

They did tours in the trenches, the 6th Battalion alternating with the 8th Battalion who relieved them. On April 9, 1916, he injured his ankle in bayonet fighting at the Brigade Sports Ground, while attacking trenches and scaffolds and was admitted to No. 6 General Hospital in Rouen three days later. He was discharged on April 29 and sent to convalesce at Etaples.

He rejoined his battalion in the field on May 20. Eric was promoted to Corporal on December 10, 1915, to Lance Sergeant on February 6, 1916, and to Sergeant on June 26, 1916. At the beginning of July, the 8th Leicesters were sent to the Somme.

On July 14 the battalion was in action at the Battle of Bazentin Ridge. After the battle the battalion withdrew to Ribemont and then to M ricourt, and having entrained for Saleux, marched to Soues. From Soues the battalion moved to Longeau, Gouy-en-Ternois, Lattre St. Quentin and then to Arras where they went into the trenches on July 29.

Casualty figures for the battalion in July had been high: 17 officers and 415 other ranks had been killed, wounded or were missing. The battalion went into Divisional Reserve at Agnez-les-Ouisans on August 8 but went back into the trenches on August 18 where they were on the receiving end of trench mortar bombs and heavy shells. Eric was wounded on the following day by a shell which exploded and damaged his jugular vein before he could take cover.

He was taken to No. 30 Casualty Clearing Station and died on the following day, August 20, aged 24. He was buried at Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, Grave I. E. 8. Eric s brothers Robert William (Junior) and Harold and Eric s sister Mabel emigrated to the USA and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

John Gregory Chambers was born in Breedon-on-the-Hill in 1874, the eldest son of John Chambers, a publican at Griffydam, and his wife Clara.

By 1891 the family had moved from Griffydam to Oxford Street, Alvaston, Derbyshire, and John Chambers was now a labourer and John Gregory Chambers, aged 17, was a forge boy. By 1901 the family had moved again, this time to 85 Storer Road, Loughborough, and John Chambers was a railway labourer while John Gregory Chambers was a furnace man. Between 1901 and 1911 John Gregory s parents moved from Loughborough to 70 Taylor Street, Osmaston, Derbyshire.

John Gregory, unmarried, moved with them and was employed as an iron worker on the Midland Railway while his father was employed in the gas works. John Gregory Chambers had seven brothers William, Charles, Thomas, Peter, Henry, Gerald and George and two sisters Maria and Emma. When the Chambers family moved to Osmaston, Maria Chambers, now Mrs. Joynes, remained in Loughborough and lived at 1 Albert Promenade.

John joined the 11th (Service) Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment as Private 20858. The battalion was raised in Chester on September 17, 1914, as part of Kitchener s Third New Army and joined the 75th Brigade, 25th Division of the Army. John s battalion sailed for Le Havre on the H.M.T Mona Queen on September 26, the division concentrating on arrival in the area of Nieppe, north of Armenti res.

From the beginning of October 1915 to the end of January 1916, the battalion was in the area of Ploegsteert Wood, where working parties improved the trench defences while being subjected to shelling and sniping by the enemy. A month in Strazeele followed, after which they moved to Nedonchelle, Valhuon, Tinques and Chelers. In May 1916 they were in the front line at Neuville-St.-Vaast and Ecoivres in defence of the German attack on Vimy Ridge.

In June the battalion was at Mingoval, Tinques and Bernoval before moving on to the Somme at Toutencourt. The battalion joined the Somme Offensive just after the main attack, making a costly attack near Thiepval on July 3. The battalion was also in action at the Battle of Bazentin and the Battle of Pozi res.

It is not known when and where John was wounded by a bullet which went through his head but he was brought back to England and died of his wounds, aged 42, in Grantham Camp Armyrats © Military Hospital, Lincolnshire, on August 26, 1916. John is buried in the churchyard of St. John the Baptist Church, Londonthorpe, Grantham. A newspaper report of the time entitled A Proud Record noted that: Of a family that included seven brothers, six have served in H.M. Forces of whom at the present only two are living.

That is the proud record of the brothers of Mrs. Joynes 1 Albert Promenade, Loughborough, who this week learned that her brother, Pte. John G. Chambers of the Cheshire Regt, died on Saturday in hospital at Grantham from a bullet wound, which entered the side of his head and made its way out on the other side.

He was buried at Grantham on Wednesday.

At the latter end of last year another brother Q.M.S. Peter Chambers a regular of the Royal Scots Fusiliers was killed in action while since then Pte. Thomas G. Chambers of the Northumberland Fusiliers has died of wounds while a prisoner of war at Cologne.

A fourth brother after serving 12 years in the K.O.S.B. recently died in Canada, while another George is at present in hospital having been wounded some 12 months ago.

The only brother still on active services is Gerald of the Grenadier Guards who was wounded early in the war and has since returned to duty.

The only brother of the family who has not served with the forces is at present living in Canada.

Mr and Mrs. Chambers the parents of this family of fighters will be remembered by many residents for they kept the Griffin Inn Ashby Road for a number of years.

John Waldron (or Waldrom or Waldram) was born in Shepshed in 1866 or 1867, the son of William Waldron, a framework knitter of cotton shirts, and his wife Anne, a hosiery seamer.

He had two brothers Thomas and John and two sisters Kate and Anne. By the time he was 16, in 1881, he had left home, had become a framework knitter, and was lodging with the Thurman family in Forest Street, Shepshed. He married Eliza Smith in 1887 and the couple set up home in Charnwood Road, Shepshed.

John and Eliza had fourteen children, thirteen of whom survived to adulthood. In 1911 the family was living in Leicester Road, Shepshed, but at some point after 1916 moved to 17 Salmon Street, Loughborough. John enlisted at the Drill Hall in Loughborough on September 14, 1914, and said that he was aged 34, when in fact he was aged 48.

On September 5 he joined the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 12393. His two eldest sons also enlisted. In April 1915 the 7th Battalion became part of the 37th Division of the Army and concentrated at Cholderton on Salisbury Plain.

While he was at Perham Down, a rumour went round that his battalion would shortly be sailing for France. When all leave was cancelled, John managed to escape and made his way to Shepshed for a quick visit to his wife and family. He was caught by the police, returned to Wiltshire under escort and fined three weeks pay for misconduct and a further 13 days pay for being absent without leave between July 2-14.

John went to France on August 25, 1915, where his battalion gathered with the 37th Division at Tilques, near St. Omer. In September the 7th Battalion was sent to the area of Berles-au-Bois, south-west of Arras. The battalion remained in this area around Bienvillers and Bailleulmont until April 1916 and was engaged in localised operations seeking a tactical advantage.

When not in the trenches being subjected to enemy shelling, the 7th Leicesters received intensive training in bombing, Lewis gunnery, visual signalling and a host of other activities. In April 1916 they were moved to the Doullens area and formed working parties to cut down trees and prepare brushwood for the front line as well as preparing the support trenches in the area. In May they worked on building a new railway line between Le Bret and Bienvillers-au-Bois.

Towards the end of May the battalion returned to the trenches in the Bienvillers-Bailleulmont area. At the beginning of July, the 7th Battalion moved on to the Somme. They were at Fricourt on July 13 and at Mametz Wood and in the attack on Bazentin-le-Petit on July 14.

After Bazentin the battalion moved north to the trenches near Arras, supposedly for post-battle recuperation. On August 29 John was one of a working party detailed to excavate chalk pits near the village of Duisans west of Arras. When heavy showers interrupted their work, John and two other men took shelter from the rain under a chalk outcrop.

The overhang unfortunately collapsed on the three men and buried them in chalk rubble. Two of the men were rescued but John s neck was broken and he could not be saved. A verdict of accidental death was returned at the Court of Enquiry on August 30.

John was aged 50 when he died. He is buried in Duisans British Cemetery Grave VII. C. 41. His two sons survived the war.

William Ernest Powell was born in Walthamstow, Essex, in 1897, the son of William Henry Powell and his wife Florence Ada. In 1901 the family was living at 14 North Road, Walthamstow, and William Ernest s father was a stationer s bookkeeper.

William Ernest s father died in 1904, aged 29. By 1911, Florence Ada Powell was earning her living as a monthly nurse. She and a daughter Elsie Florence, aged 7, were resident in the Turner household at 86 Shernhall Street in Walthamstow.

William Ernest, meanwhile, was with his grandparents Henry and Mary Ann Ganderton at 46 Barrett Road, Walthamstow. Aged 14, he had left school. William Ernest s mother subsequently moved with William Ernest and his sister Elsie to 2 Russell Street, Loughborough. When war broke out, William Ernest enlisted in London and joined the 12th (Service) Battalion of the King s Royal Rifle Corps as Rifleman R/13928.

The battalion proceeded to France on July 22, 1915, landing at Boulogne and the Division concentrating in the St. Omer area. The battalion then moved to the area of Fleurbaix for trench familiarisation. In September 1915 they were in the trenches south of Laventie, north-east of B thune.

In February 1916 William s battalion was in the front line trenches east of the Yser Canal. The battalion was in action at the Battle of Mount Sorrel in the Ypres Salient (June 2-14) in which the Division, along with the Canadians, recaptured the heights. In August 1916 they were in action again on the Somme in the Battle of Delville Wood (July 15 September 3).

William was killed in action, aged 19, on August 27, 1916.

Recently qualified British Army mounted musician Kendell Lewis from Redditch takes part Trooping the Colour parade

A REDDITCH woman has achieved her dream of becoming a mounted musician in the British Army- recently taking part the procession in the Trooping the Colour parade for the Queen’s 90th birthday. Kendell Lewis, aged 23, who joined the army four years ago and completed three years with the Band of the Grenadier Guards, finishing her training in May. On Saturday, June 11, her parents Scott and Edwina Lee of South Street, Smallwood, proudly watched Mrs Lewis in the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

Last month, to mark the end of her training, Mrs Lewis took part in a passing out parade and less than 24 hours later she joined her new husband, already a mounted musician, and performed in the first full scale public rehearsal for the Queen’s official birthday parade. Mrs Lewis has also performed at the annual remembrance celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall and theThe Cenotaph, Whitehall, and at royal garden parties. The course, which includes 16 weeks of intense horse training, is widely regarded as one of the hardest training courses in the British Army.

Why Did The IRA Assassinate This American?

Peter Ashmun Ames was a Pennsylvania kid who joined MI5 because he couldn t find a job. His career as a spy didn t last long, as the IRA was hunting men like him. Famed in sentimental ballads as Ireland s fair city, during the 1919-1921 Irish War of Independence Dublin was anything but. In the countryside what is also known as the Anglo-Irish War was largely a guerrilla conflict, waged by the Irish Republican Army[1] against the British-controlled police and Crown Armyrats © military forces. The rural fight was characterized by ambushes, attacks on isolated outposts and reprisals against civilians by army auxiliaries known as Black and Tans. In Dublin the struggle was a shadow war, a lethal game of cat and mouse in which the British sought to capture or kill IRA members[2] who, in turn, attempted to neutralize the police and army through assassination, intimidation and covert penetration. It was a brutal urban conflict in which pistols were the preferred weapon, battles were fought at close range, and quarter was rarely given.

In the spring of 1920 Pennsylvania-born Peter Ashmun Ames joined the fight in Ireland on the British side. It was the worst decision of his life.

Ash Ames was born June 10, 1888, in Titusville, a town north of Pittsburgh that was then the center of America s oil industry. His father worked for Standard Oil and by the time of the elder Ames s death at age 40 his widow and the couples four children were financially set for life. Mrs. Ames promptly moved the family to Morristown, N.J., where Ash and his siblings grew up in wealth and privilege. Though raised Roman Catholic the children attended secular schools, and following high school Ash earned an engineering degree from Stevens College. In 1912, at 24, he moved to London to take a position his mother had arranged through her social contacts. In 1917, before America s entry into World War I, Ames renounced his U.S. citizenship and joined the British army s elite Grenadier Guards. As a second lieutenant he fought in France at Passchendaele and Cambrai, and was lightly injured by mustard gas. In April 1920 Ames relinquished his commission and attempted to reintegrate himself into civilian life. Part of that reintegration was a blossoming romance in London with Millicent Orr Ewing, an aristocratic young woman he d met through Terence Langrish, a former Irish Guards officer engaged to Millicent s best friend, fledgling writer Barbara Cartland.

Handout/The Illustrated London News

Victims of “The Murder Gang.” Ashmun Ames is shown in the center, bottom row.

Though Ames s romantic life was going well his professional life wasn t. He was among thousands seeking postwar work and was unable to secure anything commensurate with his skills or social standing. Ames and Langrish who was also finding gainful employment elusive therefore volunteered for service in Ireland. Embroiled in an increasingly violent war with Irish nationalists, the British government was recruiting veterans for undercover operations in Dublin as part of a small, hush-hush sub-unit of Armyrats © Military Intelligence known by the suitably cryptic designation MO4(x). The work paid a very generous 600 per year, and also offered men bored with civilian life the chance to again serve king and country by helping defeat a nationalist movement many saw as a threat to the cohesion of the Empire. While both Ames and Langrish had undertaken traditional Armyrats © military intelligence activities on the Western Front, neither was conversant with the skills required of a covert agent. They and scores of other volunteers therefore underwent training at a spy school run by MI5 (the United Kingdom s domestic security service) at London s Hounslow Barracks. Upon completion of the course the volunteers were appointed Class II temporary army lieutenants and assigned special duty as MO4(x) case officers.

Following his September arrival in Ireland, Ames was partnered with another Roman Catholic, Lt. George Bennett, and the two were given leadership positions in the covert effort. The MO4(x) men lived in rooming houses and hotels scattered throughout Dublin, trying to pass as businessmen, academics and even tourists. Their attempts to remain anonymous were futile, however, for IRA agents within British headquarters at Dublin Castle quickly discovered the identities and lodgings of most of the undercover officers. The information gathered by the MO4(x) men was generally of only marginal value, but their continuing efforts to penetrate the republican movement prompted the IRA s director of intelligence, Michael Collins, and several of his colleagues to devise a bold plan to cripple MO4(x) in one sudden, brutal blow. At approximately 9 o clock on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 21, 1920, teams of IRA gunmen[3] launched simultaneous attacks around Dublin targeting some 30 known or suspected members of MO4(x). Not all of the men on the IRA hit list were actually members of the covert British intelligence unit several were army legal officers, one was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary police, a few were former soldiers simply living in Dublin and at least two were innocent civilians. Nor did all of the hit teams eliminate their assigned targets. But unfortunately for Ames and Bennett, the IRA s plans for them came to tragic fruition.

The day before the attack the two MO4(x) officers had been warned that the small hotel in which they had been staying was no longer safe, and they had moved to separate rooms in a boarding house at 38 Upper Mount Street. When the IRA gunmen arrived on Sunday morning they encountered a maid named Catherine Farrell who willingly or under duress, it s not clear which pointed out the British officers rooms. The leader of the hit squad sent men to fetch Bennett, then led several others through a flimsy folding door into Ames s chamber. The American-born officer was still in bed, and vainly attempted to reach a .45-caliber Colt automatic hidden beneath his pillow before being pulled upright and made to stand facing the wall. As the IRA men searched his rooms for valuable documents others brought Bennett in and stood him next to Ames; moments later both were killed by a fusillade of bullets. A British post-mortem report noted that Ames was hit a total of six times, with wounds to the right side of his chest and center of his back likely being the cause of death. The IRA attacks that grim Sunday morning were less successful than Collins had hoped. Of the targets the teams managed to locate, 14 were killed outright or died of wounds, four were wounded but survived and the others escaped. Yet Bloody Sunday, as it soon became known, was a psychological blow that ultimately helped convince the British government to sign the December 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty that a year later led to the creation of the Irish Free State. Thank You!

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In a cruel irony, on the day Ames died the New York Times carried a notice of his engagement to Millicent Orr Ewing. She was understandably shattered when told of his death by Barbara Cartland, who had received the news in a telegram from Terence Langrish. Three weeks after Bloody Sunday a Requiem Mass was held at Westminster Cathedral for Ames and Bennett, after which both were interred in London s St. Mary s Roman Catholic Cemetery.

On August 22, 1922, Michael Collins the primary architect of Bloody Sunday was himself gunned down, killed by IRA members for supporting the 1921 Treaty, which left the six counties of Northern Ireland as part of Britain, which they remain to this day.

Stephen Harding, editor of Armyrats © Military History magazine, is the author of the New York Times best seller The Last Battle[4] and the forthcoming The Castaway s War[5].

References

  1. ^ Irish Republican Army (www.thedailybeast.com)
  2. ^ IRA members (www.thedailybeast.com)
  3. ^ IRA gunmen (www.thedailybeast.com)
  4. ^ The Last Battle (www.amazon.com)
  5. ^ The Castaway s War (www.amazon.com)
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