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HARRY JAMES SHRUBSOLE

1875-1942


Harry already had a military history by the time of the outbreak of World War I.

He had lied about his age and enlisted with the Royal Artillery in 1890.

He was discharged in 1909 after serving 18 years and 15 days & during his service he did two tours of India 1892-1898 & 1898-1906.

He was awarded a pension for life of 16d per day.

He joined up again in September 1914 with the Royal Field Artillery and was discharged 16th September 1916 due to sickness.

He was posted to France July 1915 - Feb 1916, when I presume he was returned home until his discharge.  His records state on

January 15th 1916 that he was suffering from shell shock.

He was awarded the UK Silver War Badge and received the 1914/15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal 1919.


The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery (R.A.), is the artillery arm of the British Army.  Despite it’s name it comprises of a number of regiments.

The Royal Field Artillery, which Harry had joined, was the largest arm of the artillery.  It was responsible for the medium calibre guns and howitzers deployed close to the front line and was reasonably mobile.

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QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT
WHERE RIGHT & GLORY LEAD US

JOHN ALFRED SHRUBSOLE

1900- 1917

HMS Calypso was built by Hawthorn Leslie and launched 24th January 1917 and completed June 1917. HMS Calypso joined the 6th Light cruiser squadron in June 1917, and on the 17th November 1917 (when John was killed), took part in the Heligoland Bight engagement.

During World war two HMS calypso served in the Home Fleet 1939 and Mediterranean fleet 1940; she was torpedoed and sunk on the 12th June 1940 by the Italian Submarine Bagnlini, south of Crete

The Second Battle of Heligoland Bight was a naval engagement during the First World War.  On 17 November 1917 German minesweepers clearing a path through the British minefield in the Heligoland Bight near the coast of Germany were intercepted by three British light cruisers, HMS Calypso,  Caledon & HMS Galatea performing counter-minesweeping duties.  The German ships fled south toward the protection of the battleships SMS Kaiser and Kaiserin, commanded by Real Admiral Ludwig von Reuter.  The three cruisers engaged the German battleships, while their own screening force of the battle cruisers  HMS Tiger, Renown, Repulse, Courageous and Glorious were coming up to assist.  All personnel on the bridge of Calypso, including her captain, were killed by a 12 in (305mm) shell.  Repulse, under Captain William Boyle, briefly engaged the German battleships, but the Germans made it back to the safety of their own minefields with the loss of only one minesweeper.

QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT

WHITHER DUTY & GLORY LEAD

FRED SHRUBSOLE

1884 - 1916


Private Fred Shrubsole was born in 1884 in Deal, Kent, the son of James & Selina Shrubsole & brother of Helena & Fanny Shrubsole.  The family originally came from Sellindge, Kent.  Fred was a journeyman miller before joining the Royal West Kent Regiment in November 1915.

Fred died on 7th October 1916 and if one reads the battalion history then it must have been hell.  The British had recently taken Flers and now wished to advance the line.  The attack which commenced on 7th October had followed days of delay due to heavy rain.  Not only were the men in mud but the whole area was still littered with dead bodies.  It was impossible to walk without treading on dead bodies, whilst the parapets and parados were, to a great  degree, formed of them.   One can only imagine the morale of the men as they waited, in this horror & stench with constant shelling, for the attack to begin.  Some had not even had the experience of  going 'over the top', whilst many of the new draft had never even been in the line before.  It was against this background that the advance started on 7th October 1916 at 1.35pm.  They came under devastating fire and the losses were enormous – three out of every four had been hit, including all the company officers except one.  Fred was obviously amongst those that were hit that day, and whilst his death, along with others is really sad, what somehow seems worse is the living nightmare they must have been in leading up to this battle.

His father James collected & signed for his medals in 1919.  I do hope his parents & sisters were really proud of Fred as well as grieving for him.

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