Search results for Pension Card.

8 November 1914 : Sgt Martin Brennan

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Son of Martin and Elizabeth Brennan, he came from a large family.  Age 17 months in 1881 the infant Martin lived with his Irish born father Martin, his mother Elizabeth ‘May’ and grandmother, two older children aunt and no fewer than five lodgers. All the adults worked in the woollen industry. Age 11 in 1891 Martin lived with his parents at 21 As…


14 April 1918: Pte Wade Stubb

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Parents: Wade (a time keeper and store keeper) and Emily (née Rogers, from the Isle of Man) They lived at 38 Walsingham Rd, Coulton Walsey. At the 1901 Census, age 5, Wade was at home with is parents and two siblings.  Education: St. Margaret’s Higher School, Anfield. Wade was a member of the choir, along with his brother Edgar, at St. Ma…


Biggles, the Battle of the Flowers and the RAF in the First World War

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In the rarely visited Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Charmes (some 25 miles due south of the city of Nancy) are several graves of men from the RAF. The reason for this is this was the area from which the Independent Force (sometimes called the Independent Air Force) operated against Germany in the later stages of the First World War…


The Battle of Mughar Ridge: One soldier's story

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By the autumn of 1917, the allied forces had advanced from Egypt and were on the verge of advancing into Palestine. Two attempts had been made earlier in the year, but a third attack under General Allenby was planned. On 27th October 1917, the British started a bombardment of Gaza. The Turks had been fed reports indicating that a third frontal atta…


SS Laurentic: A story of Gold Bullion, Crime and Intrigue and loss of life that helped change the course of WW1.

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This story begins with an ordinary Pension Card that relates to a 20 year old Royal Marine named Frederick Went. Frederick Arthur Moat Went (CH/18255) served with the Royal Marine Light Infantry on H.M.S. 'Laurentic'. He lost his life on 25 January 1917 when his ship sank. He was the son of Frederick and Eliza Went and is commemorated on the Chath…


Devils in Skirts: The Story of George Findlater VC

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The tradition of pipers leading soldiers into battle was not a Great War phenomenon. It had developed during the 19th Century with pipers playing a role in a number of battles and skirmishes, some of these ‘devils in skirts’ would go on to enlist in the First World War, as was the case with George Findlater VC. On the outbreak of war in 1914, Geor…


'A Grant to Buy a Drum' what Acting-Sergeant Jesse Byford's Pension Card Reveals

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Acting-Sergeant Jesse Byford was given a pension when he was discharged on the 31st October 1917, as “no longer physically fit for War Service”. He was 44 years old and with the Road Troops Depot of the Royal Engineers, although he had been a regular soldier for many years before the war. Prior to enlisting in February 1917, he had worked for two y…


George Horey's Parents’ Pilgrimage to the Somme 1923

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Some of the most moving photographs in the 40-year archive of The Western Front Association are those featuring the bereaved – the people forced to pick up the pieces and continue with their lives having lost a loved one in the war. Their pain all too often appears visceral. That is very much the case with these pictures of London tram conductor G…


From ceremonial duties to First Ypres and beyond: The 1st Life Guards and their single worst day of the war

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This is a brief account of one cavalry regiment's war which reached its nadir in very unlikely circumstances whilst they were in a supposedly very safe location on the French coast re-training for a new role. The story starts and ends at Etaples Military Cemetery. The cemetery is – as those who have visited it – a vast and (for its size) relativel…


A Liverpool Lad at Ypres Pte Joseph Gough KIA 31 July 1917

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“The Valley of the Shadow, 31 July 1917. Down in the valley the Steenbeek flows, A brook you may cross with an easy stride, In death’s own valley between the rows of stunted willows om either side. You may cross in the sunshine without a care, with a brow that is fanned by the summer’s breath, Though you cross with a laugh, yet pause with a pr…


The 'fake' French Aristocrat at Etaples

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In the vast expanse of Etaples Military Cemetery are thousands of headstones. Each of these represents the last resting place of a casualty of the war. No doubt all stories are unique, but to misquote George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, some are 'more unique than others'.   Above: Etaples Military Cemetery Below is the image of a headstone of what wo…


A Century Old 'Thank you' : Frederick Clark KIA 21 March 1918

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The events of World War I have burned themselves into the national consciousness - especially during the past four years, when every battle, every incident, every death has had its 100th anniversary. With the centenary of the end of the war in sight, many are the stories that have been told and are waiting to be told. This is just one. My father […


Swanky Syd and the Bunny Girl

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Last summer [2021] a friend gave me a copy of Bombshell: The Night Bobby Kennedy Killed Marilyn Monroe (London: Ad Lib Publishers, 2021). This is not a book I would have bought myself, but I make it a point of honour to read anything gifted to me.  I’m glad I did.  I have no idea whether Bobby Kennedy killed Marilyn. The case is based on hearsay…