The Military Army Blog


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.

United club together to support soldier charity with press-up …

OXFORD United has challenged its Yellow Army to dig deep and get stuck into the #22PushUpChallenge to help raise money for a veterans mental health charity. Head coach Michael Appleton and the boys stepped up to the challenge to take on for 22 press ups. Joining them were soldiers Corporal Paul Ingham, Warrant Officer Danny Hirst, Captain Josh Conway and Corporal Jamie Dudding, who have been working with the club to fundraise for the Combat Stress as well as the Oxford United[1] Community Trust.

Among the U s players and staff taking part was skipper John Lundstram, he said: “It only takes a few seconds to do the press ups but it helps get the message out there and we would love fans to get involved.

“Everyone saw the impact that the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ had a while back and this is another really good way of challenging your mates and having a bit of a laugh while actually doing great work for a great cause.”

The fundraising craze has been sweeping social media with many people uploading videos of themselves doing 22 push ups and donating to Combat Stress. The challenge hopes to raise awareness of PTSD and Combat Stress, with statistics showing 22 veterans commit suicide every day. The veterans charity works to support those up and down the country facing mental health problems.

The challenge originated from the United States and Oxford United took it on as part of its fundraising efforts with the army. The team most recently supported four soldiers taking on the 800-mile cycle in aid of both charities and upon return got stuck into the #22PushUpChallenge at the Kassam Stadium[2]. Head coach Michael Appleton said: The whole club took part- coaches, players, backroom team and office staff because we all believe it’s a great cause.

“Our challenge then was to every Oxford fan out there to have a go, get involved and help spread the word.”

Cpl Ingham also took the opportunity to lay the gauntlet down to local rival Swindon Town and challenged them to take part too.

To take part post a video of your challenge on social media using the #22PushUpChallenge and donate 5 to Combat Stress by texting PTSD22 to 70004.


  1. ^ Oxford United (
  2. ^ Kassam Stadium (

Whatsapp remarks: British Army probe racist social media messages

Whatsapp Remarks: British Army Probe Racist Social Media MessagesSWNS

SOCIAL MEDIA The offending Whatsapp message at the heart of the allegations

Armyrats © Military police have launched an investigation into members of The Blues and Royals over slurs sparked by the selfie taken at Combermere Barracks near Windsor. Cavalryman Ashley Parker posted the selfie posted a selfie, which showed seven black soldiers eating around the table behind him on a Whatsapp conversation. It had the caption: “What’s going on here then! Band of brothers.”

But a friend “Neil” then answered with the N-word and the others add comments about the black soldiers from The Life Guards.

Withing minutes, ‘Halstead’ replied about how he had apparently overheard the men taking about “how little money they get paid”.

“Neil” replied: “Better than being back home walking 20k for water”.

Whatsapp Remarks: British Army Probe Racist Social Media MessagesSWNS

PROBE: Top brass say “this is a very serious allegation”

I think these messages are disgusting and something needs to be done

Black ex-soldier

It is understood appalled colleagues of the soldiers became aware of the photo, and reported it to a superior. A friend of one men in the background said he was furious but that his pal felt powerless to do anything about the racist remarks. The black ex-Army pal said: “It has been reported and they guys are being dealt with, and the police are involved.

“It is exactly why I left the army.

“I loved my job, and all of these guys do, but I could not stand the racist remarks.

“I think these messages are disgusting and something needs to be done.”

Whatsapp Remarks: British Army Probe Racist Social Media MessagesNC

MESSAGE: Ashley Parker posted the message and the pal posted an allegedly offensive reply

The photo was taken at a leaving do attended by the Household Cavalry the two most senior regiments of the British Army formed by the Blues and Royals and the Life Guards. There is no suggestion that Mr Parker made any offending comments. The MOD Police are investigating, and Army bosses warned the men involved faced potential dismissal from the forces.

Brigadier John Donnelly, head of Army Personnel Services Group, said: “This is a very serious allegation which is subject to an on-going Service Police investigation, and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

“However, I want to make it very clear that the Army will not tolerate this type of behaviour, and anyone who is found guilty of committing such an offence will be punished in accordance with our disciplinary processes, which can include dismissal.”

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