Frederick William John SHRUBSOLE

B 1894 Folkestone, Kent, England

D 1976 Collinsville, Queensland, Australia

We have a lovely history of Frederick, who emigrated to Australia in 1912, written down by his daughter Valda, which gives us a brilliant snapshot of his life up to the end of the First World War, when he returned to Australia in March 1919.   This can be seen here on Frederick’s page.

In the photo Frederick is the one standing in the uniform of the Australian Infantry whilst his brother Arthur, who is sitting, is in the uniform of the London Artillery.  This photo was taken when on leave in 1916.

Australian Army 25th Battalion

The 25th Battalion was raised at Enoggera in Queensland in March 1915 as part of the 7th Brigade. Although predominantly composed of men recruited in Queensland, the battalion also included a small contingent of men from Darwin. The battalion left Australia in early July, trained in Egypt during August, and by early September was manning trenches at Gallipoli.

At Gallipoli the 7th Brigade reinforced the depleted New Zealand and Australian Division.  It left the peninsular on 18 December 1915.

After further training in Egypt, the 25th Battalion proceeded to France. Landing on 19 March 1916, it was the first AIF battalion to arrive there. Now fighting as part of the 2nd Division, it took part in its first major battle at Pozières between 25 July and 7 August in the course of which it suffered 785 casualties. After a spell in a quieter sector of the front in Belgium, the 2nd Division came south in October to attack again in the Somme Valley. The 25th Battalion took part in two attacks to the east of Flers, both of which floundered in the mud.

Arthur Walter S SHRUBSOLE

B 1898 Cheriton, Kent

D 1965 Folkestone, Kent

The photo taken in January 1916 is of Arthur (sitting) & his brother Frederick.  Arthur is in the Royal Field Artillery & Frederick is in the Australian infantry.

Arthur enlisted 11-10-1915 giving his age as 19 years and 180 days;  this would make his year of birth 1896, however we know that his was born in 1898, so he was probably only 16 + years old when he enlisted!  We also know that his brother, who had emigrated to Australia & had joined the Australian army for the war, had been wounded in Gallipoli & evacuated to hospital in England & after his discharge from hospital at the end of Jan 1916, spent a couple of weeks with his parents & siblings in Folkestone.  It was during that time that Frederick travelled back to London & tried to persuade Arthur to get discharged from the artillery because of his age, but Arthur refused to cooperate or come home.   Arthur was home in England on leave, hence the reason both brothers were able to see each other.

Arthur's military records are also so difficult to decipher that I can't figure out exactly where he was stationed & when, but I can clearly see France on two of his posting records, both in 1916 with 124 Brigade RFA & again in 1917.  From his medal roll I have established he was a Driver in the R.F.A.   Fortunately Arthur was not a war casualty & continued to live in Folkestone after the war until his death in September 1965.

 If his step daughter Ann ever reads this I would love for her to get in touch with me.

Ernest Arthur SHRUBSOLE


B 1889 Lympne, Kent

D 1934 Folkestone, Kent

Ernest Shrubsole joined the Flying Corps in 1917 and was later transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps until his discharge in 1921 leaving with the rank of Seargant.

Henry George SHRUBSOLE

B 1899 Sellindge, Kent

D 26th April 1918 Killed in Action in France

(Henry) George Shrubsole enlisted in the army, 4th Bn the Buffs 1st Nov 1915 giving a false age.  After a letter from his father & production of his birth certificate he was discharged on 17th Feb 1916.  He was born 3rd Jun 1899 so was only 16 years and 5 mths when he enlisted!

Presumably George, (real name Henry George but he always called himself George), couldn't wait until he was old enough to enlist legally, as by
26th April 1918 he was a casualty of the 1st World War and had died at the tender age of 18 years + 10 mths.  I don't know when he enlisted again but he was 18 years old by June 1917 & eligible.  His death records show he was with the 18th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers.  I believe the Lancashire Fusilers 18th (Service) Battalion (2nd South East Lancashire) became absorbed into the 5th army fighting in France, and as we all know the conditions were appalling.  

His death is commemorated at Poziers, Somme, France, and also on the Sellindge War Memorial.

The Sellindge War Memorial is in the form of a plaque hanging on the wall inside the Parish Church.  It is constructed of English Oak with an ornate bronze plinth.

Pte Herbert George SHRUBSOLE

B 1892 Folkestone, Kent

D 1958 Folkestone, Kent

Private Herbert George Shrubsole had previously served in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) from 1908-1910 before rejoining the army 14th Febrary 1915 as a driver in the Army Service Corps.  He served in France from 26 February 1915 until 9th May 1919 with three periods of leave, where he returned to England;  his last period of leave was 28th September 1918 to 12th October 1918 & his 4th child Herbert George was born the following July.  I can't begin to imagine what his life was like during those years in France.  He joined the 46th Divisional Supply Column on 3rd December 1916, was awarded his first Good Conduct badge 8th May 1917 & promoted to Lance Corporal on 12 March 1918.  He was awarded the 1914/15 Star Medal, The British War Medal & The Victory Medal.

The Army Service Corps of 1914-1918

The organisation of the ASC :  The ASC was organised into Companies, each fulfilling a specific role. Some were under orders of or attached to the Divisions of the army; the rest were under direct orders of the higher formations of Corps, Army or the GHQ of the army in each theatre of war.

The British Army was the most mechanised of all in the Great War when it came to using motor vehicles for transport. A large total of ASC Mechanical Transport Companies eventually existed, in the following categories.

The ASC MT Companies in the Divisional Supply Columns:  Each Division of the army had a certain amount of motorised transport allocated to it, although not directly under its own command. The Divisional Supply Column Companies were responsible for the supply of goods, equipment and ammunition from the Divisional railhead to the Divisional Refilling Point and, if conditions allowed, to the dumps and stores of the forward units. Used, of course, where loads were heavy. A Company initially comprised 5 officers and 337 other ranks of the ASC, looking after 45 3-ton lorries, 16 30-cwt lorries, 7 motor cycles, 2 cars and 4 assorted trucks for the workshop and stores of the Supply Column itself. All Companies served in France.

46th Army Service Corps  - 2nd Cavalry Division.

On 6 September 1914, the 3rd Cavalry Brigade (then under 1st Cavalry Division) and 5th Cavalry Brigade (an independent command) were placed under orders of Brigadier-General Hubert Gough. A week later they were formed into the 2nd Cavalry Division and other units required to make up the divisional structure were added as they arrived. The Division remained on the Western Front in France and Flanders throughout the war. It took part in most of the major actions & from December 1916 when Herbert joined them it included the following:


The First Battle of the Scarpe (9 - 11 April, a phase of the Arras Offensive)
The Tank Attack (20 - 21 November, a phase of the Cambrai Operations)
The capture of Bourlon Wood (24 - 28 November, a phase of the Cambrai Operations)
The German counterattacks (30 November - 3 December, a phase of the Cambrai Operations)

The Battle of St Quentin (21 -23 March, a phase of the of the First Battles of the Somme in which the Division was engaged until 1 April)
The Battle of Hazebrouck (14 - 15 April, a phase of the Battles of the Lys)
The Battle of Amiens (8 - 11 August)
The Battle of Albert (21 - 23 August, a phase of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918)
The Second Battle of Bapaume (31 August - 3 September, a phase of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918)
The Battle of the Canal du Nord, St Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir Line & Cambrai, between 27 Sept & 9 October 1918 - all phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The Pursuit to the Selle (9 - 12 October)
The Final Advance in Picardy (17 October - 11 November, including the Battle of the Sambre (4 November) and the capture of Mons (11 November))

The Division was selected to advance into Germany as an advance screen for Fourth Army and form part of the Occupation Force. The move began on 17 November, Cinet and Rochefort were reached five days later and the 5th Cavalry Brigade crossed the German border south of St Vith on 1 December. The Division ceased to exist at midnight 31 March / 1 April 1919.

After the war Herbert ran his own Taxi company in Folkestone.  His nickname was Snowball.

Pte Peter John SHRUBSOLE

B 1886 Folkestone, Kent

D 1951 Folkestone, Kent

Peter was in the Army Service Corps