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Samuel WALLS

1888-1970


Samuel enlisted 15th January 1915 as a driver in the Royal Field Artillery.  He spent  a good part of his service in France and was awarded the 1914/15 Star, The British War Medal & the Victory Medal.


On 27th January 1917 he had 7 days pay docked for dangerous driving when he killed a mule.  One wonders whether his dangerous driving was out of necessity being as he was in the war zone at the time!


He was discharged in March 1920 & returned to live in Stone in Staffordshire.

QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT

WHERE RIGHT & GLORY LEAD US

Gunner William Ernest LOCKLEY

B 1895 Walsall, Staffordshire


William Ernest Lockley joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a gunner in November 1915 at the age of 22.  He spent time in France in 1917 & then was in hospital for 18 days from 31.12.17.  He was transferred to the 13th Siege Battery of the RGA as part of the British Expeditionary Force in May 1918.  The 13th Siege Battery RGA had been deployed to France in February 1915.

He was awarded the British War Medal & the Victory Medal & was discharged in February 1919.


The Royal Garrison Artillery came into being in 1899 and was an arm of the Royal Artillery that was originally tasked the the manning of the guns of the British Empire's forts & fortresses, including coastal artillery batteries, the heavy gun batteries attached to each infantry division, and the guns of the siege artillery.


The RGA retained the badge & dress uniform of the Royal Regiment of Artillery.

[The corps name was discontinued in 1924, when the RGA was re-amalgamated into the Royal Artillery.]


From 1914 when the army possessed very little heavy artillery, the RGA grew into a very large component of the British Forces on the battlefield, being armed with heavy, large-calibre guns and howitzers.  


The Siege Batteries (such as the 9th Siege Battery at the Battle of the Somme), had the largest guns and howitzers, mounted on railways or on fixed concrete emplacements.  They were deployed behind the front line, tasked with destroying enemy artillery, supply routes, railways and stores and had immense destructive power.


[A Howitzer is a type of artillery piece characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellant charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories, with a steep angle of descent.]

QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT
WHERE RIGHT & GLORY LEAD US

QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT
WHERE RIGHT & GLORY LEAD US

Gunner Percy J COVENEY

B 1886 Cheriton, Kent


Percy was a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery & awarded the Victory Medal & the British War Medal.

Sadly his records appear to be amongst the 60% destroyed by fire in the London bombings of WWII

HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE

EVIL TO HIM WHO EVIL THINKS

L/Cpl George LEADBETTER

b 1884 Stafford, Staffordshire

d 1956 Stafford, Staffordshire


George enlisted with the Royal Engineers 18th Nov 1915.  He was an experienced telegraph linesman, age 30, married with two children, living in Stone, Staffordshire.
He was promoted from a Sapper to Lance Corporal in May 1916.  He embarked to join the British Expeditionary Force with BL Cable Section 6th June 1916.  He was attached to 4th Army H.Q. Signals on 16th June 1916.
The 4th Army was a field army mainly of civilian volunteer 'pals' regiments & those who had risen to Kitcheners rallying cry to join up, that formed part of the British Expeditionary Force during the First World War.  It was formed on 5th Feb 1916 under the command of General Sir Henry Rawlinson to carry out the main British contribution to the Battle of the Somme.
By 1916 the B.E.F. consisted of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Armies.  During 1917 it was involved in the Flanders offensive (that became the Third Battle of Ypres) & as the Ypres fighting became bogged down the fourth army divisions were drawn off as reinforcements until the army was effectively disbanded.  It was reformed again in 1918.
George was transferred to the 5th Army H.Q. Signal Co. of the R.E. in November 1917, presumably as the 4th army had effectively disbanded.  The 5th Army was continuing the fighting of the battle of Ypres in 1917 when George was attached to them.  Where exactly he was is not known, but there were several battles from November 1917 when he joined them, to the end of the war in which the Signal company of the R.E. were involved,  including the Battle of Passchendaele, St. Quentin, Bapaume, Rosieres and finally at the end the Battle of Mons.
He was demobilized 28th Feb 1919 & awarded the British War Medal & the Victory Medal.
George had two children when he joined up but only one when he was demobbed.  Sadly his son George had died at the age of 3 on 18th June 1917 of Diptheria, just 12 days after George had embarked for France.  

HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
EVIL TO HIM WHO EVIL THINKS

Lance Corporal Leonard CHESWORTH

B 1886 Stone, Staffordshire

Leonard was in the Yorkshire Regiment (The Green Howards) from 10th Dec 1915 to 6th June 1918 &
was awarded the British War Medal & the Victory Medal.


The Green Howards
Alexandra Princess of Wales’ Own Yorkshire Regiment (19th foot)

During the first World War twenty four batallions of the Regiment were raised, and the Regiment took part in most of the principal battles and campaigns of the war.

Over 65,000 men served in the ranks of the Regiment and of these over 7,500 were killed and nearly 24,000 wounded.

Twelve Victoria Crosses were awarded during World War I.

QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT
WHERE RIGHT & GLORY LEAD US

Gunner Frank Albert CONVENEY

B 1887 Cheriton


Frank was a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery and was awarded the British Medal & the Victory Medal.
Unfortunately his military records appear to be amongst the 60% that were destroyed in the bombing of London during WWII, so we shall never know exactly what battles he was involved in.

The Royal Field Artillery was the most numerous arm of the artillery, and was responsible for the medium calibre guns and howitzers deployed close to the front line & was reasonably mobile.  It was organised into Brigades.

49,076 men of the Royal Regiment of Artillery gave their lives between 1914 - 1919, so Frank was lucky to survive, but one wonders how many comrades & friends he’d lost & what nightmares he may have come home with.   One can only hope that life improved dramatically for him.

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HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
EVIL TO HIM WHO EVIL THINKS

Lance Corporal Joseph Henry Ernest LOCKLEY

B 1895 Llanelli, Wales


Originally a private in “The Tigers”, 1st battalion of The Royal Leicestershire Regiment, he was promoted to Lance Corporal.
He was awarded the British War Medal, The Victory Medal and the 1914 Star.

This is yet another of the family whose military records appear to be missing, presumably amongst the 60% of military records destroyed in the bombings of WWII, so to be sure exactly where Joseph was at any given time is impossible.

I have therefore tried to find out some history of the 1st Battalion of the Regiment.

The Royal Leicestershire Regiment was an infantry Regiment of the British Army and at the outbreak of the First World War the 1st Battalion were in Ireland and the 2nd Battalion in India.  During the war the Regiment increased from 5 to 19 Battalions which served in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia and Palestine.  The Regiment lost approximately 6,000 soldiers in the four years of war.

The 1st Battalion was the first to go into action and was continually fighting in the 6th Division throught the critical Autumn of 1914.

Here is a list of the battles that the 1st Battalion were involved in.       

4th Aug 1914

Stationed at Fermoy, Ireland

19th Aug 1914

Moved to Cambridge

10th Sep 1914

Mobilised for war and landed at St. Nazaire & engaged in several actions on the Western Front including:

1914

The actions on the Aisne heights

1915

The action at Hooge

1916

Battle of Fleurs - Courcelette


Battle of Morval


Battle of Le Transloy

1917

Battle of Hill 70


The Cambrai Operations

1918

Battle of St Quentin


Battle of Bailleul


1st Battle of Kemmel Ridge


2nd Battle of Kemmel Ridge


Advance in Flanders


Battle of Epehy


Battle of St Quentin canal


Battle of Beaurevoir


Battle of Cambri 1918


The pursuit to the Selle


Battle of the Selle

11th November 1918

Ended the war in France - Bohain.

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