The Western Front Association rembers soldiers who served and died, from the Allies and Central Powers, during the First World War.


There will usually be a picture, though not always. There is a short personal biography: when and where they were born and what they did before the war, followed by their enlistment, training, and service.


All WW1 forces, all sides, on all fronts, east to west remembered as individual soldiers, nurses, labourers and others on the home front, their lives, service, their loss, burial and commemoration. 


Some can be more detailed than others. Included will be their final action or cause of death and their final resting place. 


Research by David O'Mara.


Readers are invited to add their comments and to submit ideas for people to feature.

 Serg-Farrier Paqué


Serg-farrier Frans Raymond Paqué, 8e Linie Regiment (Belgian Army).


Frans was born at Dendermonde, a small town outside Brussels on 1 May 1884.

He enlistment in Dendermonde in August 1914.

He was killed 60 miles to the south at Boninne, outside Namur, on 23 August 1914.

That September half of Dendermonde was utterly destroyed by the invading German army.


Originally buried at Boninne, his body was repatriated to Dendermonde post-war where he still is today (civil cemetery).


23 August 1914 killed in action

Research by David O'Mara


For more on this day, 23 August 1914, readers will find the WFA Diary of the War of interest.

Readers interested in the plight of Belgium during the First World War will be intersted in this article 'Making Sense of the War (Belgian)' 


Dendermonde. First World War. Wikipedia (accessed 23 August 2016)

22 August 1914 Lt Vincent WaterfallLt Vincent Waterfall, RFC

Lt Vincent Waterfall (formerly East Yorkshire Regiment, and a native of Brighton, Sussex) together with his observer Lt Charles George Gordon Bayly (formerly Royal Engineers, and a native of Cape Town, South Africa) was flying an Avro 504 when he was brought down by enemy ground fire on 22 August 1914. They had departed on a reconnaissance mission at 10.16am that morning from Mauberge in order to monitor the advance of the Germans. At 10.50am they observed a line of horsemen, flying over the column they were shot down by ground fire.

The loss of this aeroplane was the RFC's first combat loss in the Great War. The wreckage of the machine was the first indication to the Germans that the BEF had arrived at the Front.

Lt Waterfall (along with Lt Bayly) is buried in Tournai Communal Cemetery Extension, Belgium.

22 August 1914

Photo Source courtesy: Médecins de la Grande Guerre

Test source courtesy: Great War Forum

Research by David Tattersfield, WFA Development Trustee

 21 August 1918 Sgt Sebastian Mitterhofer
 Sgt Sebastian Mitterhofer

Sgt Sebastian Mitterhofer, 7 Komp, Kgl Bay 10 Inf Regt ‘König'.

An office worker from Weisenberg, Bavaria, Sebastian was an active reservist at the outbreak of war and, therefore, he saw service from the very earliest days of the war.

He was in action from August 1914 in Lorraine, then on the Meuse, at Verdun, the Somme, Arras, Third Ypres, Cambrai, Dixmude and Verdun (1918) to August 1918.

During August he moved up to the frontline near Roye where, on 16 August 1918, Sebastian was severely wounded by a shell splinter.

Transferred to Bavarian Feldlazaretten Nr 20, he died there of his injuries on 21 August.

 buried in the grounds of the hospital in 1918, Sebastian's body was later lost so, as a result, he has no known grave today.

21 August 1918 died of his injuries. 

Research by David O'Mara

 Colour photograph of Abeele Aerodrome Military Cemetery, Commonwealth War Graves Commission
 Abeele Aerodrome Military Cemetery, Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Image Footnote(1)

1211487 Corporal Paul I McLeod, Company I, 3rd Battalion 107th Infantry Regiment


Corporal Paul I McLeod was born in 1894 in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont to Mr. and Mrs. Donald McLeod. (2) In civilian life he was an employee of the Chatham and Phenix National Bank of New York. (3) Paul enlisted with the 7th New York Infantry shortly after the United States declared war on Imperial Germany.


After training at Camp Wadsworth, South Carolina with his regiment (now designated 107th Infantry Regiment), Paul shipped out for France aboard the U.S.S. Susquehanna on May 9, 1918. (4) Upon arriving in France, the 107th Infantry, along with the other regiments and machine gun battalions of the 27th Division, began intensive combat training under British supervision.

On 30 June the 27th Division was ordered to move to the Ypres salient in Belgium.

On 9 July the division organised to defend a portion of the East Poperinghe Line in the Dickebusch Lake area. (5)


Shortly after midnight on 18 August Company I was assembled and inspected on Dickebusch road near ‘Indus Farm’ before moving up to ‘Ridgewood’ near Dickebusch Lake. Companies I and K were to relieve elements of the 105th Infantry occupying forward trenches east of the lake. The relief went without incident and 2nd Platoon of Company I settled into defensive work.


Captain Claude Leland explains what happened next.


On the night of the 19 August the 3rd Platoon to Leland’s left ‘…shoot up what seemed to be a party of Boches mending wire or establishing a new post’. The troops, new to combat unleashed ‘several pans of ammunition’ from their Lewis guns; thus informing the Germans that the trenches to their front were occupied by fresh and inexperienced troops.


‘At stand-to the dawn came up like thunder as a salvo of trench bombs landed in our immediate vicinity. The minenwerfer bomb is a sheet iron cylinder full of T.N.T., projected at a high elevation to drop into a trench and wreck things by concussion although its fragments make a nasty wound. It makes a frightful racket – a metallic ringing explosion. The particular lot landed just outside our trench, one on the parapet, several over it, but not one in it, thank God! None was hit although several were groggy from the shock of the explosion. After the bombardment appeared to be over I took stock and was breathing easier when a runner came tearing in from Jessup’s trench, saying that a shell had exploded in a fire bay and killed or wounded a whole squad – McLeod’s. He asked me to send him a stretcher and our first-aid man, which I did. Corporal Paul McLeod and (Private) George Leary were killed outright…. (the) severely wounded had to lie on the trench bottom until night before they could be taken out’. (6)


Corporal Paul I McLeod was killed in combat on 20 August 1918.

Paul was buried in Abeele Aerodrome Military Cemetery, Belgium: plot 3-C-7. (7)

20 August 1918 killed in action



Research by LTC (Ret.) Brian J. Murphy

Facebook: The Long Trail: The Making of a Combat Division@27thDivisionUSA



(1) Abeele Aerodrome Military Cemetery, Commonwealth War Graves CommissionCommonwealth War Graves Commission, [ / find-a-cemetery/cemetery/9003/ABEELE%20AERODROME% 20MILITARY%20CEMETERY] (accessed 31 July 2016)

(2) ‘Heard During the Day’ The Caledonian-Record, 1 October 1918, [ image / 174574005/ ?terms=Paul%2BMcLeod%2BCompany%2BI%2B107th%2BInfantry] (accessed 31 July 2016)

(3) ‘Roll of Honor of American Bank and Trust Company Men Killed in Action and Who Died in Service’ Trust Companies, Vol 27, December 1918, [ O7dGAQAAIAAJ&pg= PA579&dq=Corporal+Paul+I+McLeod&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj60tLStJ7OAhUGqB4KHb_ECHAQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=Corporal%20Paul%20I%20McLeod&f=false] (accessed 31 July 1918)

(4) John F. O’Ryan, The Story of the 27th Division, Vol I. (New York, New York, Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., 1921), 146.

(5) 27th Division Summary of Operations In The World War (Washington, DC, American Battle Monuments Commission), 4.

(6) Claude G LeLand, From Shell Hole to Chateau with Company I: Personal Recollections of a Line Officer of the 107th U.S. Infantry, 27th Division in France, 1918. (Privately published by The Society of Ninth Company Veterans 7th Regiment, N.Y.N.G., 1950), 136 – 137.

(7) O’Ryan, Vol II, 1079.


22 August 1914 S/Lt Luc Pierre Paul Pinta719 S/Lt Luc Pierre Paul Pinta, 132e Regiment d'Infanterie.

Born in Paris on 6 January 1894, Luc was a graduate of St Cyr in 1912. Already in barracks in Reims at the time of the general mobilisation, Luc took part in the very earliest clashes, seeing defensive action at Heudicourt and Vieville before going on the offensive in the Battle of the Ardennes on 21 August 1914.

He was killed in action on 22 August 1914 in the vicinity of Doncourt-lez-Longuyon, reported as ‘missing'. His body never having been identified, he still has no known grave. In his short service, Luc was mentioned in divisional dispatches and was also awarded a posthumous Legion d'Honneur.

22 August 1914

Research by David O'Mara

Nurse Nellie Spindler
Nurse Nellie Spindler


On this day 100 years ago (August 21, 1917), Nellie Spindler, a nurse from Wakefield in Yorkshire, was resting in her tent after a hard night-shift at the No.32 British Casualty Clearing Station in Brandhoek, Belgium, when a German shell fragment  pierced the canvass, hit her and killed her.


The sacrifice of Nellie Spindler, and nurses in the First World War in general, has been the focus of a recent project involving the folk experimentalists and storytelling trio Harp and a Monkey – and they have released a video today (which you can view here) to mark the anniversary of Nellie’s death.


Martin Purdy, the band’s frontman and a WW1 historian, said: “Recent events to mark the centenary of the opening of the Third Battle of Ypres, or ‘Passchendaele’, have focused on the soldiers, but it would seem fitting today to spare a thought for the nursing staff, many of whom – like Nellie Spindler - were never too far from danger.”  


‘Clean White Sheets’ (The Nellie Spindler Song) was inspired by the work of secondary school children from Nellie’s home town, who worked with Professor Christine Hallett (from Manchester University), to remember the sacrifices of their local heroine, who was only in her mid-twenties when she died.



As well as performing their standard shows, Harp and a Monkey have spent the past two years highlighting different aspects of the First World War, and challenging stereotypes about it, by performing in unusual venues related to the conflict on home shores. This has seen the Lancashire trio perform to the inmates of a prison that once housed conscientious objectors; disabled veterans on a community purpose-built for the maimed in 1919; at the scene of a Zeppelin attack in the middle of the West Pennine Moors; at the former parish church of the most decorated WW1 clergyman; inside the pithead of a mine that was crucial to the war effort; in front of the railway van that brought home the body of the Unknown Warrior; and on the site of a former WW1 aerodrome.


In coming weeks they will perform two more free shows open to the general public:


The first show will be on Sunday, September 10 inside a First World War military hut in a farm field in Suffolk.  More than 800,000 volunteers needed housing around the country after the outbreak of the war in 1914, and providing the huts to do so became the biggest building project of its kind ever undertaken. After the conflict, many of the huts went on to have useful lives and some are still found in communities around the country today under the guise of scout huts, churches, church halls and the like. A project is now underway (courtesy of the Khaki Devil organisation) to restore and preserve a number of these huts and build a museum around them, and it is this collection that will provide the backdrop to the Harp and a Monkey show at Brook Farm, Bells Lane, Hawstead, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP29 5NW.  The show starts at 2pm, is free and suitable for all ages.


The second show will be on Saturday, September 30 at the Heritage Centre in Crossgates Library, Leeds. This is the community that housed the Barnbow munitions factory during the First World War in which there was a huge explosion in December 1916 that killed 35 of the female workers and injured many more. Sadly, many of the dead could only be identified by discs with their names on that they wore around their necks. Because of the censorship at the time, the explosion was kept secret and production started again soon afterwards in the affected workroom. It would be six years after the end of the war before the story was made public. The memorial to the dead is near to the heritage centre on Farm Road, which also hosts an exhibition about the event. The show starts at 1pm, is free and once again suitable for all ages.


The performances include field recordings and interviews with veterans, new songs and re-workings of traditional and contemporaneous songs. The shows are tied to the band’s critically acclaimed third album ‘War Stories’, which was described by the likes of The Observer as “bold and brilliant”.

 Black and white photograph of Sgt Frederick Hobson VC killed in action 18 August 1917
 Sgt Frederick Hobson


Sgt Frederick Hobson VC


Frederick was born 23 September 1873 in London.

Frederick served in the British Army during the Boer War and then emigrated to Ontario, Canada.

When Frederick enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in November 1914 he lied about his age, he was 41, too old.


Sgt Frederick Hobson was awarded the Victoria Cross when, during an enemy counter-attack, a Lewis gun crew in a forward post in a communication trench leading to the enemy lines was buried. Seeing the importance of the post Frederick got out of his trench, dug out the gun but found it jammed. Leaving it to a surviving wounded gunner he rushed out towards the advancing enemy and single handed held them off until he was shot. By now, the Lewis gun back in action, the enemy were held off and reinforcement were able to come forward.


Frederick was killed in action 18 August 1917 at Hill 70, Lens, France.


Sgt Hobson has no know grave. 

He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.

18 August 1917 killed in action.


From the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.




Archive Commemoriating overseas recipients of the Victoria Cross. (accessed 17 August 2016)

Reproduced here under Open Government Licence v3.0









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