Search results for Royal Engineers.

Two Wheels to War. A tale of twelve bright young men who volunteered own motorcycles for the British Expeditionary Force 1914 at War

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My only experience of motor-cycling is as pillion passenger on a trip to Ypres 20 years ago. Since, as a mode of travel, it was uncomfortable, boring and slightly worrying, I was bemused when I received a book about motorcyclists to review. Nothing daunted, I sat down and set to. I need not have worried. In essence, this is a reprint of Adventures…


Major 'Alastair' Soutar, M.C.

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One of the well known 'classic' accounts of the First World War is 'Twelve Days' published in 1933 (and more recently republished as 'Twelve Days on the Somme') by Sidney Rogerson, an officer on the staff of 23 Infantry Brigade (part of the 8th Division). Less well known is his second book, about his experiences in May 1918 on the Aisne. This accou…


2 January 1918 : Spr William Balderstone

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Parents William and Susan Balderstone. A general labourer like his father before the war, William married to Mary Ann (née Abra) in 1907. Four years later they adopted a son, George who was 4 years old when his father enlisted. William died, aged 35, of dysentery whilst serving in Egypt. He is now buried at the Hadra War Memorial Cemetery in Alex…


14 January 1917: 2nd Lieut. George Allan Exley

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Only son of John Exley of Farr Road a pharmaceutical chemist and his wife Mary Elizabeth. George was living on Cemetery Road, Holbeck (1901 Census) and then at the 1911 Census, on Farr Royd, Burley-in-Wharfedale. George went to Ilkley Grammar School, and was a student at the London College of Pharmacy, Clapham at the outbreak of the war. He had…


The Contemptible Little Army, 1914 -1918

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By Alex Saunt   The story of the expansion and development of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) 1914-1918 and how the Contemptible Little Army became a huge, effective machine.   BEF AND THE START The possible conception: In 1904 King Edward, having decided our pretty frosty relationship with France should be improved, went to Paris with the…


25 March 1915 : Lieut. Eric Robert Meade Odling, Royal Engineers

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Parents Charles and Alice (née Meade). Charles Odling was the chief engineer for the India Public Works Department.  At the 1901 Census, age 7, Eric was living with his parents, older sister Winifred and a domestic servent in Frimley, Surrey.  At the 1911 Census, age 17, Eric was a boarder at school in Cheltenham College. In a sheet of 29 names…


5 July 1918 : Brevet Lt Col William Bovet, Royal Engineers

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2nd son and eldest child of 5 of Frederick Bovet of London and Shanghai, China Merchant and Mary Love (née Haden).  Educated at Grosvenor School and University College School, Gower Street, London and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich,  Gazetted 25 July 1893, 1895 Bombay Sappers, Commander, Royal Engineers, Mekran Opetation 1898 ; 1 April 1896…