THE FIRST TANK CREWS

The life stories of those who crewed the first tanks in September 1916


JNCOs and Crewmen A to G

Lance Corporals

32483 LCpl Robert George Carruthers; pictured to the right

Born at Ashby de la Zouch 1 Sep 80, he was the son of a draper Robert Johnson Carruthers and his wife Maria.  Robert initially studied chemistry at Birmingham University but later studied geology. In 1903, Robert joined the British Geological Survey (BGS) and soon came to prominence through studies of the impact of geology on Scottish economics. He wrote a series of critically acclaimed papers over the 12 years. As the war broke out, Robert’s main area of study – economic geology –became even more important to the British economy as the demands for rare materials increased. Robert’s work, on the identification of carboniferous deposit, was essential to the maximization of coal as well as identification of shales which provided fertilizers as a by-product of oil production. Robert’s twin brother Walter volunteered for service with the RAMC and deployed to France in Sep 15. On 27 Apr 16 Robert was enlisted into the MGC (Motors). At just under six feet tall, 36 years old and almost twelve stone in weight, his maturity and intellect made him stand out and, after less than 3  weeks service, he was appointed local (i.e. unpaid) lance corporal. Posted to C Coy on its formation on 27 May, Robert deployed to France where he initially served as a gunner. In Feb 17, Robert was awarded the biennial Bigby Medal awarded by the BGS for outstanding scholarship. He was not able to return to London to receive the medal as C Bn was preparing new tanks and crews for operations at Arras. However Robert’s carefully crafted response, which was delivered in his absence, was a model of self-deprecation. He later retrained as a tank mechanic but was mainly used as a draughtsman where his graphical skills must have been of great use to his company reconnaissance officers in the essenital role of map making . Robert served with 3rd Lt Bn until the end of the war and completed his service as a corporal. Whilst on Christmas leave, he again gained a post with the BGS in Edinburgh. When he was sent his medals, he refused to accept them which is an unique occurrence amongst the First Tank Crews He did not however forget his former comrades, as in 1925 when he was working at the Geological Museum at Jermyn Street in London, he became a member of the C Battalion Old Comrades Association (OCA). Robert later moved from London to Stocksfield and, in 1930, published a study of the geology of Alnwick area. In the summer of 1933, Robert married Lucy Askew and they had two children, Sarah and Robert. Lucy, who was twenty-three years younger than her husband, died shortly after her son’s birth in 1936. Robert then married Janie Angus the following year at Keighley in Yorkshire. He continued his illustrious career after they returned to Stocksfield and, in the 1950s, lived at High Barn. Janie died in 1962 and Robert died at Stocksfield, aged 84 on 24 Mar 65. 

38063 LCpl John Charles Adam Farquharson born 20 Feb 1882 Aberdeen son of John Farquharson. Attended Aberdeen University 1900-02 and studied Arts. Deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. Later 205112 Pte Tank Corps and commissioned 2nd Lt in Tank Corps on 23 Oct 18.  Medal application form returned 31 Mar 25; `home address shown as 8 Halsey House, Red Lion Square London WC where he ran his own publishing house. Married Margaret Adams in Apr – Jun 1928 in St Giles Middx, their daughter Margaret A Farquharson born in Spring 1933 in St Marylebone.  JCAF then lived South Corner Pachesham Pk Leatherhead  1933 - 1938; then Eden Lodge Tilford near Frensham from 1958 to 1981.  Died at Chichester in 1976.   

2777 LCpl George H Marchant deployed to France on 24 Aug 16 and served with the Tanks for the rest of the war.

2726 LCpl CE Spurgeon deployed to France on 16 Aug 16.  Continued to serve with C Bn and was a member of the crew of a Tank commanded by Lt J C Cameron which included Pte Maurice Voile Cpl and Gnr James Newell.  They fought their way though the Harp feature; the tank being hit from the front by direct fire which killed Gnr Voile.   Awarded MM For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the Battle of Arras, on April 9 17, this NCO showed great devotion to duty in extracting wounded comrades from a wrecked tank, attending to their wounds under heavy fire. Possibly 205593 Cpl Charles E Spurgeon Tank Corps and commissioned 20 Dec 17. 

Gunners

2211 Gnr Harold George Adams – enlisted MMGS then transferred to MGC.  Deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. Later 310699 Gnr RE possibly a signaller. 

2694 Gnr Edward Lawrence Appleby was born  May to Jun ‘96 (registered Wincanton, Dorset) the son of John Appleby & Harriet Richards (married 1885) of South St, Castle Cary Somerset; enlisted at Coventry on 24 Nov 15 aged 19 yrs 190 days a Grocers Traveller. CofE Height 5 ft 5 in with a 32 inch chest. Authorized at Bisley 25 Nov 15 in to MMGS; transferred to MGC on 1 Dec 15 then to HS 4 May 16 then to C Coy on 27 May 16. Deployed to France on 16 Aug 16; posted to C Bn on 18 Nov 16; later served with 9 Coy; later 200570 Tanks Corps. Attended driving course at Wailly from 16 to 19 Jun 17, he remained with C Bn taking only 2 periods of leave (the last 21 to 25 Dec 18) then back to the UK (as a Pte from 3rd Bn) on 13 Feb 19 and transferred to Z Reserve on 16 Mar 19. Clean regimental conduct sheet; did not claim a pension due to injury.  In 1925 he was still living in Castle Cary.  Married Kathleen Marianne Wyatt 1903-1994 in Wincanton in the Summer 1928; son Alan W born Oct Dec 1931 Possibly died in 1953; registered at Bournemouth.  .

32096 Gnr John Armitstead.  Born Nov 1884 the son of farmer John Armitstead. A non conformist London Education Authority schoolmaster, he was living at 9 Temple Fortune Hill in Golders Green when on 20 Mar 1913 he married Barbara Steel at St Ninians Presbyterian Church on Finsbury Rd Golders Green. They had one son John Anderson Armistead born 23 Jan 15. John enlisted on 27 Nov 15 and was attested 4 April 16 into the MMGS. He was 5 ft 4 in tall with 37 in chest.  The family was living at 15 Willifield Way, Golders Green London.  In May he was posted to C Coy HSMGC at Elveden.  He deployed to France on 16 Aug 16.  He remained with C Coy and joined C Bn in Nov as it formed in France. On 14 May 17 he was posted, as a cook, to the 2nd Tank Bde 6lb Gun School and then, having returned for 2 days to C Bn. was posted to HQ Tank Corps as a cook on 16 Jun 17.   On 20 Jul, he was posted to the Reinforcement Depot in France and was granted 10 days leave in the UK in Aug 17.  He then moved to HQ Tank Corps where he was again employed as cook in the Officers Mess. He was allocated a new personal number 201293.  On 11 Jan 18, he was admitted with an abscess on his thumb to 56th Casualty Clearing Station and from there, evacuated to Hosp at Abbeville 2 days later. Despite a month's treatment, the wound turned septic and the he was sent back to the UK on 12 Feb 18. He was treated for 3 months in Hosp before being approved as fit for duty. He was granted leave from 10 to 19 May 18 before returning to duty on 22 May. Appointed acting Lance Corporal on 31 Aug, he remained in the UK for the remainder of the war at the Tank Depot at Wareham and later in Swanage, where he served with B Coy of the Tank Depot. He was transferred to the Reserve on 16 Jan 19 and returned to his family in Golders Green, possibly died in Uckfield in early 1962..

1374 Gnr WH Armstrong and deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. (possibly 200499 Pte William Armstrong or 205377 Pte William H Armstrong Tank Corps).

38002 Gnr RC Bailey deployed to France on 16 Aug 16 no RofH entry

40272 Gnr Ralph W Baker deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. Later Cpl Tank Corps BWM and Victory Medal Awarded.

2928 Gnr H Barraclough deployed to France on 24 Aug 16. Wounded on 15 Sep 16.  – no obvious MIC poss 201295 Harold Barraclough.

32401 Gnr W Benson deployed to France on 16 Aug 16 (7 x Bensons found – none match) - no RofH entry

1845 Gnr Sydney Binks deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. Later 201707 Pte Tank Corps BWM and Victory medal awarded

2747 Gnr SJ Birch deployed to France on 16 Aug 16probably 200597 Pte Sampson J Birch Tank Corps- no RofH entry; possibly born ‘84 at Shenton in Staffs; two marriages - one to Symcox at Stoke Mar 1913 and then to Hill in Leek, Staffordshire.  Died Jan to Mar 1945 in Stoke on Trent

2936 Gnr EH Bissett – and deployed to France on 24 Aug 16.  No obvious MIC. Still living in 1925 (OCA list).

2757 Gnr Leonard Blackshaw – MMGS RA then MGC deployed to France on 24 Aug 16 discharged to Z Reserve 10 Feb 1919 as a Pte MMGS.

2605 Gnr Wilfred E Bolingbroke, born West Norwood c ’96 son of Alfred Bolingbroke and Sarah Ann Gessey; in 1901 living at 59 St Julian’s Farm Rd in West Norwood. Father shown as a monumental engraver; three elder sisters; one younger and a younger brother. Enlisted Bisley and deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. Later 200552 he continued to serve with C Bn.  KIA dated 22 yrs on 8 Oct 18 during major assault by 3rd Bn to the south of Cambrai, of 20 tanks deployed only 10 returned.  Son of Alfred Bolingbroke of the Homestead 142 Connaught Rd, Brookwood and buried at Busigny Communal Cemetery extension.  Message sent to ancestry  31 Oct 11.

32086 Gnr James Alfred Booth was born in St Helens Lancashire c Mar 1890 – the son of bricklayers’ labourer Isaiah and Harriet BoothIn 1901 the family was living at 3 Colcloughgate Milnerow.   Married to Beatrice Rose Goss on 9 Nov ’12 at St Clement Parish Church Scotland.  A 25 year 7 months old cotton weaver Enlisted in Rochdale on 10 Dec 1915 and transferred to the Army Reserve, Living at 199 Rochdale Rd, Milnerow in Rochdale -  Nok  wife Beatrice Rose North.  He was examined in Coventry on 21 Mar (Weight 102 lbs; height 5ft 3”); called up on 23 Mar and enlistment approved at Bisley by Capt Cunningham on Apr 16. Posted to C Coy on 27 May and deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. Posted to C Bn on formation.  His son Kenneth James born in Rochdale 3 Dec16. Granted UK leave 30 Dec to 9 Jan17. Detached to HQ 3 Tk Bde from 17 to 26 May17. Redesignated 200631 on formation of Tank Corps.  Granted leave in the UK from 14 to 28 Dec; rejoined on 30 Dec 17.   Attached to HQ 1 Tk Gp on 4? Nov18. Posted from No 3 Bn to HQ 1 Tk Gp on 24 Dec 18.  Disability statement signed on 4 Feb 1919 shows units as 1st Tk Carrier Coy which was part of 1 Tank Gp undertaking occupation duties in Germany.  He returned to the UK for demob on 11 Feb19’ processed at Press Heath on 13 Feb 19, after one months leave was transferred to Z Reserve 13 Mar19.  Medals awarded 25 Jun21. Possibly died in 1976 in Manchester

40016 Gnr Raymond Edwin (Edmund? According to medal roll) Bothway about Mar ‘96 - Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, England; eldest son (two elder daughters) of William E Bothway, a farmer, and his wife Annie E Bothway, and deployed to France on 24 Aug 16. Later Cpl Tank Corps.   Married Beatrice Elizabeth Attoe at Norwich Apr – Jun 1920 – no children found.  In 1925 he was living in Ashwellthorpe. Died on 11 Jul 1927; living at Canal House Ashwellthorpse (this is a very large house). Probate granted to his wife - £442. Beatrice remarried in 1930 at St Martin London to Gylby Hairsine; she died at Norwich in 1985.

32485 Gnr John Joseph Bowker b Jun - Sep ‘96 the youngest son of farmer John Bowker and his wife Mary, living at the Hall in Burwardsley near Tattenhall Cheshire. Enlisted as a 19 year old Cycle Shop manager - his next of kin was his mother. Height was 5 ft 5 in.  Approved at Bisley on 18 May 16 and deployed to France on 16 Aug 16.  From 16 to 23 Jun 17, he attended a driving course at Wailly, then returned to C Bn; from 5 to 16 Jul he was admitted to 12th Stationary Hosp at St Pol. later 201461 Cpl Tank Corps. On 27 Jul he was detached to G Bn and then posted to that Bn two days later.  He was Clified as a Cl 1 trades-man (date unclear) and awarded leave in the UK in Jan 18. He was demobilised by Feb 19 and returned to Burwardsley, in Feb 19. He died of influena, aged 23 yrs, on 17 Apr ‘20, and buried in St John the Divine Churchyard in Burwardsley. (listed on CWGC site). Probate granted to Edith Willacy Bowker living at Prospect House Ingleton Yorkshire. Vale £170.  His service record shows widowed mother was considered for pension. Howard Williamson holds his medals).

2725 Gnr Harry Broster born Tamworth Jan to Mar ‘95 in Staffordshire; the son of a railway signalman John Broster and his wife Hannah. In 1901 living at 23 Shrewbury Rd Stafford with four elder siblings (but likely many more).   Attested 3 Dec 15 in Stafford; a 20 year 11 months 5 ft 3 inch chauffeur, living at home with his father John Broster at 23 Shrewsbury Rd, Stafford, approved on 5 Dec in 15 at MMGS Depot Bisley and appointed to the MMGS RFA and RGA, transferred to HSMGC on 1 Apr 16; posted to C Coy on 27 May 16 then 16 Aug 16 to France. Posted to C Bn on its formation on 18 Nov 16; later 200575 in Tank Corps continued to serve with 3rd Bn. Appointed Paid LCpl and then Cpl on 26 Oct 18; discharged on 17 Mar 19 after 3 yrs 117 days service.  Possibly married Edith M Baugh in Summer 1923; In 1925, he was still living at 23 Shrewsbury Rd.  Possibly four children  Mabel JL born early 1925; Ronald CH born early 1927; Mary EO Broster born early 1930 and Margaret R born Spring 1931, all registered in StaffordProbably died, aged 71, at Stafford in Autumn 1966.  service record found

32034 Gnr Frank Charles Bull MGC – born Pokesdown Hants Jan to Mar ‘91, son of Gilbert and Ada Bull. In 1901, living in 163 Cromwell Rd, Pokesdown Bournemouth with father (a painter and writer), mother and three elder siblings.  Enlisted Bridport and deployed to France on 16 Aug 16; KIA 28 Sep 16, aged 25 and buried at Grove Town Cemetery; Meulte (note the C Coy war diary states died of wounds). His parents living at 103, Firle Rd, Eastbourne. Recorded on CWGC web site as Pte 206149 Tank Corps.

40274 Gnr John Bernard Callaghan was born (17 Nov 93?) in Glossop, Derbyshire, the third son (fifth child) of William and Mary Callaghan, A dairyman/ shop manager, he enlisted on 7 Dec 15 aged 22 yrs and 1 month.  At Sherry’s dairyHeight 5 ft 7 1/2 in; weight 125 pounds and 37 1/2 chest (expanded) his NOK was his mother, Mrs Mary Callaghan of 7 Green Squire. Glossop.  He was a Roman catholic. Called up 18 May 16, he deployed to France on 16 Aug and was accidentally burnt in a tank fire at the Loop on 11 Sep 16, injuring his face and both hands. He was admitted to 1st Cdn Gen Hosp at Etaples on 13 Sep.  He was evacuated to the UK on HS Brighton (15 Sep) and admitted to Grayling Well Mil Hosp at Chichester.  He was discharged from there on 11 Nov 16. After 10 days sick furlough, he was posted to the Tank Depot on 21 Nov and then posted to H Bn.  Promoted LCpl May 17, he deployed back to France with H Bn on 22 Aug 17; his active service records show he served with 22 Coy of H Bn.  He drove tank H7 “Harrier” (commander 2Lt Joseph Hassell) which was destroyed by one of the German field guns on the eastern side of Flesquieres.  On 29 Nov, when waiting to be entrained at what was perceived to be the end of action, he and Hassell were tasked by Comd 2 Tk Bde to deploy against the German counter –attack.  On 30th Nov, he drove the tank in support of the assault on Gauche Wood.  He then pressed on towards Villers Guislain but the tank stalled crossing a small trench, with its nose in the air.  It took seven minutes to achieve and then Hassell directed the tank withdraw to a rally point; its being only one of four so to do.  Promoted Cpl 2 Dec 17 then reduced to LCPL in Apr 18, He went sick with PUO (often used to describe Spanish flu) on 20 Jun at Merlimont (the tank gunnery school). He was admitted to 20 Gen Hosp at Dannes-Camiers on 11 Jul. He recovered the rank of Cpl on 24 Jul 18; appointed A/Sgt and Sgt on the same day but was evacuated to the UK on SS Cambria on 25 Jul to 1/5 Northern Gen Hosp at Leicester.  He was discharged on 27 Sep and granted furlough until 4 Oct after 10 days. He was then posted to the RA and Tank Corps Command Depot at Catterick and Clified at B2 on 11 Nov 18. He was then posted to the Tank Corps Deport on 3 Dec 18. Later classified as a 1st Cl tank mechanist, he was awarded DCM for service with 8th Bn; He has done admirable work in many tank actions, both before operations by his devotion to duty in keeping his tank fit, and during operations, by his extreme coolness and skilful driving under heavy fire. His conduct was of the highest order and he has set a fine example to all. He transferred to Z Reserve 23 Feb 19. Home Address: St Mary's Rectory Glossop.  On 1957 living at Woodview Sheffield Rd, Glossop. Died and registered in Glossop Jan to Mar 1970. 

2248 Gnr James Candlish MMGS, born c Sep 1892 a Presbyterian 22 year old (341 days) clerk from Benvue. Bridge of Weir attested on 8 Aug 15 at Paisley; approved and enlisted into MMGS on 17 Aug at Bisley. He was almost 5 ft 8 in tall, with a 34 inch chest and a scar on his right buttock.  His next of kin was his father, also James Candlish and also of Benvue.  On 1 Dec 15 he was transferred to the MGC serving with 27 Bty from 1 Jan 16; he was transferred to 4 May 16 to the HSMGC and posted to C Coy on 25th May. He deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. His full service record in illegible, later 200536 Pte Tank Corps his dispersal certificate shows he was a Corn factor and left the Army, as a LCpl on 20 May 19 for Newland Glasgow.

32365 Gnr OJ Clarke Born C Oct 1893Enlisted 9 Dec 15 and deployed to France on 16 Aug 16; later Pte Tank Corps (same personal number), Discharged 15 Nov 17 and SWB awarded (wounds) 274498 aged 24 yrs 1 m

2598 Gnr FW Cole MMGS deployed to France on 24 Aug 16; possibly 201279 Pte Frederick W Cole Tank Corps.

2315 Gnr A Collie MMGS deployed to France on 16 Aug 16

1752 Gnr Stanley John Conder born Jun ‘92 in Chesterton Cambridgeshire; eldest son of John Samuel Conder, an agricultural builder and his wife Edith, In 1901 the family were living in Cherry Hinton, Cambs.  Enlisted 14th Jul 15 aged 23 yrs and 17 days.  Recorded as CofE. Allocated to MMGS. He served with C Coy, embarking for France on 24 Aug 16.  He attended a 6lb gunnery course at No 2 Tk Bde school from 14 to 19 May 17, then attended a course a Wailly from 16 to 23 Jun 17.  On 22 Aug he was wounded (possibly GSW to right thigh), whilst serving with 8 Coy during an attack near Hill 35 and was returned to the UK.  He returned to France and rejoined C Bn on 27 Dec 17.  On 2 Mar 18 he was detached to 13th Bn as an instructor, he was graded 1st Cl Tank Mechanic on 13 Mar 18 and returned to 3rd Bn on 4 May 18.  Promoted Lance Cpl on 11 Aug 18.   On 19 Oct he was transferred to the Home Estb (UK) and he was demobilised. During his leave, on 29 Dec 18, he admitted himself to No 4 London General Hosp RAMC (T) where on 13 Jan 19 have having part of a bullet removed from his right thigh.  He was discharged on 23 Jan 19; his home address is given as 324 Maryfrinton? Rd in Cambridge. Married on 17 Feb 1921 to domestic economy instructor Margaret Annie Bailey – 25 year old daughter of a coal merchant – at St Barnabus’ parish church in Clapham Common.  In 1925 he was living at 15 Mons Ave, Baldock Herts. Probably died in Jan to Mar 1956 in NE Surrey.

2600 Pte Arthur Corlett MGC deployed to France on 24 Aug 16. Medals listed under MGC Motors.

32497 Gnr J Culshaw deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. Probably 200653 Pte James Culshaw Tank Corps enlisted 26 Feb 1916 and awarded SWB on discharge resulting from sickness on 15 April 1919.

 40176 Gnr George WF Currie possibly born 1879; deployed to France on 24 Aug 16.  Later Pte Tank Corps; possibly died (aged 85) Oct to Dec 1964 in Barton Lancashire.

2734 Gnr Daniel James Dean MMGS; oldest son (second of four children) of Daniel Henry Dean and wife Clara. Born Aston Manor Ladywood Birmingham in Feb – Mar 1897. A motor driver and engineer, he enlisted at 19 yrs 10 months whilst living at Lime Tree Ave Stafford, attested 10 Dec 1915 at Stafford recruiting office; reported at Bisley on next day. Height 5 ft 2½ I in    Usual transfer dates; deployed to France on 16 Aug 16 later 200577 Pte Tank Corps – served with C Bn then 3 Light Bn until injured by shrapnel in the right leg. Admitted to Chester Aus Hospital from 26 Aug for one month. Granted furlough from hospital 28 Sep to 4 Oct; sent to Command Depot at Catterick  on 15 Oct 1918; served with K Coy – again granted leave from  23 to 29 Nov 1918. Father seems to have died – NOK shown as mother.   Later served in B Coy 24Bn at Wareham – absent on 30-31 Dec 1918 – admonished (only offence during service). Detached to Bovington for 15 days in 9 – 23 Jan 1919.  Protection cert issue Chiseldon on 15 Feb 1919 to 26 Cooperative St Stafford. In 1925 living at same address.  (service record found)

38194 Gnr George Ernest Dean. Born Shepherds Bush Oct ‘97. Employed at the outbreak of war by the Gas Light and Coke Coy of Horseferry Rd, Westminster W1. Attested on 10 Jan 16 aged 18 yrs 3 months  whilst working as a clerk; home address  69 Mill Hill Rd, Acton Middx; height 5ft 7in; weight 117lbs with a 36 ½ chest.  Transferred to Army Reserve 11 Jan and then mobilised 16 Mar. Transferred to HS MGC on 5 Apr then to C Coy on 4 May; approved by Capt A Graham Woods, Adjt 1st Bn HS MGC at Bisley on 5 May 16. Deployed to France with C Coy 24 Aug and transferred to C Bn on its formation 18 Nov. Appointed LCpl (unpaid) on 18 Jan 17.  Appointed ACpl (paid) on 5 Jul later 200672 MGC then Tank Corps.  Granted UK leave on 18 to 29 Dec 17.  Promoted A/Sgt (unpaid) 12 Feb then Paid Sgt on 29 Apr 18. Remained with C Bn when it reformed as 3rd Lt Bn, equipped with Whippets. Granted UK leave 2 to 11 Nov; returned to Unit on 14 Nov; granted further leave 15 to 29 Dec 18; demobilised whilst on leave having been offered the post of Superintendent of Machine Operators with the Gas Light and Coke Coy on 23 Dec. Struck off strength and directed to report to Wimbledon Demobilisation centre, Medical Disability Check completed on 27 Dec at Wimbledon. Transferred to Z Reserve on 24 Jan 19; home address remained 69 Mill Hill Rd, Acton Middx. Awarded BWM and Victory Medal. In 1925 he was living at 159 High St, Notting Hill Gate N1.

3205(8?)3 Gnr James Henry (Jimmy) Dodd born 3 Feb 1888 in Hoylake, Cheshire, the eldest son of James and Betty Steens Bird (he had ten younger siblings). Christened on  Bought up in Hoylake, he married Mary Bestwick in 9 Mar 1909  / Jun 1910 at Leek where he worked at the golf club  – he is recorded as working there in April 1909 and was both groundsman and professional on a wage of £1 a week in 1913.  Their elder daughter Eileen Bestwick Dodd was in 1910 at Hoylake (she died in 1993).  Jimmy was elected to the PGA on 9 Sep 1910. He was conscripted in 1916 and was paid 12/6 a week by the golf club to supplement his army pay.  Deployed to France on 24 Aug 16. he continued to serve with C Bn, Arras April 17, awarded MM. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the action on April 23, 17, he did great execution with his Lewis gun. When his tank came under very heavy hostile machine-gun and artillery fire, although wounded, he continued to carry on and fire his gun with great effect.  His Card of Honour records his deliberate and straight shooting.   Promoted Sergeant he was wounded on 22 Aug whilst with the tank Curiosity.  He was probably sent back to the UK and this is when he was pictured with Mary.  Renumbered Sgt 205637 Tank Corps.  He was demobilised in Jan 1919 and returned to Leek Golf Club after the war as the professional and his pay was increased in September to £2/10/- .  A second daughter Marjorie was born in 1923 (she died in 2004 at Cinderford Glos).  In 1925 he was living at 47 Leonard St, Leek Staffs; it was in this year that Jimmy was awarded a gold Albert watch and chain and £10 for his work since the course had been extended to 18 holes. A founder member of the PGA, he worked as the golf professional at Leek until 1933 when he moved to Sweden to work as the pro at Djursholm Golf Club in Stockholm. He was appointed Club Professional at the Saltsjobadens Golf Klubb in 1934-5 and he stayed there until 1948 when he appears to have joined the Djursholm Golfklubb. The record card offers the view that he was made an Honorary Member of one or both of the Klubbs at that time. Apparently when he played golf he always wore a beret with 2 badges on, one of which was for the tank corps. Jimmy Dodd died on 26 October 1973. 

32124 Gnr Francis John Dyer Born in Curry Rival c 21 April 1880 was the second son (third child of six) of plumber and glazier James Dyer and Leah Pippen; in 1911, he was recorded as being a house builder and an employer; he was the head of the house which included his mother and two younger sisters   Lillian (29 years) who was a clerk and Gertrude (aged 22) who was a teacher.  Francis was a builder and contractor, a Baptist enlisted 10 Dec 15; first joined at Coventry 13 Mar 16, medical examination aged 35 yrs and 310 days on 15 Mar; 5 ft 6 e/s in; weight 129 lbs and 35 1/2 in chest (expanded), Embarked with C Coy 16 Aug 16 for France. Employed as a Gunner. Wounded on 25 Sep 16 (Gueudecourt / Morval)  GSW to right buttock; evacuated through 14 Div then 24 CCS on 30 Gen Hosp on 1 Oct before being evacuated on HS Cambria to the UK on 13 Oct. Evacuated to Liverpool (14 Oct to 25 Nov 16). On 4 Dec 16, posted to G Bn at Wool (then forming). Admitted Wool Hosp 19 to 27 Feb 17 with bronchitis. Renumbered 201367 Gnr MGC (H).  On 24 May 17, embarked from Southampton for France. On 4 Jun, proceeded to 1st Tank Bde Signals Coy. On 16 Jun 17, posted to Wireless Depot Com. on 27 Jul transferred to Royal Engineers 310452. On 27 Aug 17, posted to 2 Tk Bde Sig Coy.  On 29 Jan 18 granted leave in UK for 14 days. Appointed A/LCpl (unpaid) 23 Jun 18 on 26 Jun 18 graded Telegraph Operator B.  Then A/LCpl (paid) on 1 Jul 18. Appointed L/Cpl on 1 Jul. Granted 14 days leave in UK on 24 Nov 18; Claimed pension for "hit by shell on shoulder and piles" whilst at Malmedy in Feb 1919. - not awarded Posted to HQ Tank Signal Coy on 23 Mar 19. Later served with Sig Depot Cologne, returning to 2nd Tank Bde Sig Coy on 18 Jun 19. Granted a further 14 days UK leave on 6 Jul 19. Discharged 2 Sep 19 aged 39 yrs to Curry Rivel Somerset.  Married near Wimborne Dorset in Apr – Jun 1922 to Olive Beatrice Watts (d 1892 at Dorchester - 1975), they had five children.  Possibly died aged 87 in Apr to Jun 1958 and registered at Taunton.

2227 Gnr Philip John Evans was born at Blackheath in ‘96 the son of John and Annie Elizabeth Evans, enlisted Coventry into the MMGS; recorded as a native of Chester. Deployed to France on 16 Aug 16 and continued to serve with C Bn after its formation.  Later 206127 MGC (HS). Dow? On 4 Jul 17, at 21, and buried in Gwalia Military Cemetery near Poperinge. Probate shows address as 88 Gloucester St in Belgrave Rd, Westminster and granted to Annie Elizabeth Evans (widow) – value £86; rank shown as Corporal.   

40415 Gnr Percy John Fordham was born in Ipswich Suffolk in May ‘96 the sixth child (youngest son) of Robert and Sarah Ann Fordham. In 1901 Robert was employed as a blacksmith’s hammer man; the family living at 181 Spring Rd, Ipswich. A tailor and cutter employed by Coborn and Co, wholesale clothiers and bespoke tailors of 5 Brushfield St, Bishopsgate London. Attested aged 19 yrs 7 months, on 21 Nov 15.  Address shown as 28 Union Square, Packington St, Islington, North London.  NOK father shown living at 161 Spring Rd, Ipswich.  Initially allocated number 67615 then 40415. Approved at Dover on 14 Nov 15 and served with Royal Garrison Artillery posted to 42 Coy on 20 Nov then to 45 Coy on 17 Feb 16. Transferred to MGC on 18 Mar; posted to C Coy on 27 May 16 and deployed to France on 16 Aug 16. Duplicate Attestation form countersigned by Cpl J B Battell (see list of C Coy NCOs and retrospectively authorised at Elvetham on 21 Sep 16. Embarked for France 16 Aug 16 with C Coy; his regimental conduct sheet (blank) was signed by Capt RE Williams. Transferred to C Bn on its formation (18 Nov 16). Returned to Base Depot at Lamilliers on 24 Jan arriving on 26 Jan.  Renumbered as 73817. Transferred to Infantry Branch MGC on 22 Jun 17; joined 149 Coy MGC in the field on 8 Jul. Granted UK leave in Nov 17. Joined 149 Coy MGC in the Field on 5 Jan 18; fined 3 days pay and 14 days Field Punishment No for overstaying leave in UK from 27 to 29 Dec. Recorded as missing , whilst serving with 50 Bn MGC, on 27 May 18; confirmed as a POW, interred at Cassel POW camp, in German report dated 28 Sep 18. Repatriated through Hull on 22 Jan 19. Offered reemployment by Coborn and Co the same month. Transferred to Z Reserve on 28 Feb 19 having medically examined 29 Jan and did not make a claim for a pension. He married Kate Frances Stebbings in Islington, London on 07 Aug 1920. Awarded BWM and Victory Medals received on 20 Apr ’24. He died in late 1971 in the Spen Valley area of Yorkshire.   Contact made with Liz “bparkin111” who has Percy in her “hidden” ancestry tree

2323 Gnr A Gibson MMGS and deployed to France on 24 Aug 16. Wounded during action on 15 Sep 16. possibly Pte Adam Gibson later Tank Corps 202103

32476 Gnr Wilfred Vernon Giddins MMGS born 6 Mar 1897 and registered at Stamford.  Son of George William Giddins living at East St Crowland near Peterborough. An ironmonger’s apprentice, he was attested 10 Dec 1915 at Lincoln aged 18 yrs 9 Months. He was 5’ 6 ½” tall and had a 29½” chest. He was mobilized in 26 Apr 1916 and posted to C Coy on 27 May 1916.  Deployed to France on 16 Aug 16, he remained with C Bn on its formation and later served with 3rd (Lt) Bn during its re-roll to whippets. Redesignated 200648 he qualified as a Hotchkiss gunner never promoted but his regtl and coy conduct sheets are blank.  He attended a driving course at Wailly between 10 and 19 Jun 1917 and was granted UK leave after the Battle of Cambrai between 10 and 24 Dec 1917 – rejoining his unit on Boxing Day. He was again granted leave between 12 and 26 Dec 1918, rejoining on 28 Dec.  Returning for demobilization on 5 Feb he did not make a claim for a disability pension and was demobilised from the Army on 12 Mar 1919. His medals were issued in Jun 1921, his address being shown as Bridge House East St Crowland near Peterborough. Possibly married to Miss Kate P Annible at Peterborough in Jul – Sep 1922, son Geoffrey H born summer 1926 and registered at Peterborough. His Tank Corps ID discs held at Tank Museum. Died in Stamford in Lincolnshire in early 1972

2614 Gnr Vincent George Harold Greaves – born 2 or 3 Jan ‘84 in Hanley, Stoke on Trent, eldest son (second child) of a draper Edwin and Martha Greaves. Baptised at Hope Staffordshire in Mar 1884. In 1901 the family was living at 16 Bridge St, Newcastle under Lyne.  A pottery "modeller and designer", and a single man, he enlisted 11 Nov 15 at Stoke on Trent into the MMGS aged 31 yrs 10 Months.  A member of the CofE he was 5ft 3½  in tall, with a 34 inch chest, brown hair, brown eyes and a fresh complexion. He joined at Bisley on 18 Nov 15, was transferred to the MGC on 1 Dec; transferred to the Armd Car Sect on 1 Apr and to the HS MGC on 4 May 16. Posted to C Coy on 27 May; his Regtl Conduct sheet signed by Capt RE Williams and Coy Conduct sheet signed by Capt H. H. Hiscocks show no entries. He deployed to France on 18 Aug and was hospitalized with PUO or Spanish flu on 26 Aug. He returned to C Coy on 10 Sep. After the first action he continued to serve with C Bn. Later 200553 Pte Tank Corps, in Aug 17, he was sent to Hosp as a batman for three days.  He was granted leave in the UK from 18 Dec. In 19 he appears to have been detached to an Allied School on 16 Sep and rejoined C Bn on 26 Oct 18. He was granted Christmas leave in the UK from 13 to 26 Dec 18.   Eventually served with B Coy of 3rd Bn. He returned to the UK on 2 Feb; did not submit pension claim.  Transferred to Z Reserve 8 Feb 19 and returned to home to Bank House, Chamberlain Ave in Stoke on Trent.   Possibly married in Apr – Jun 1938 to May E Goodhall in Stoke. Died in Oct to Dec 1978 aged 94; registered in Stoke.

40178 Gnr Lionel Ignatius Leslie Griffin born St Paul’s Bristol ‘86/7 (DOB to be confirmed); the son of Joseph and Ellen Griffin.  In 1901 the family was living at 89 Richmond Rd, St Andrews, Bristol.  Ellen is shown as a boarding house keeper; Joseph has no employment shown; Lionel is shown as a pupil teacher with three younger siblings (Percy, Claude and Cecil). He later married Beatrice Griffin (dom to be confirmed). SDGW states he enlisted in Dundee.  Deployed to France on 24 Aug 16, he continued to serve with C Bn, after its formation in Nov 16. He was KIA/ DoW on 31 Jul 17, (aged 31 yrs), during the 3rd battle of Ypres. His gravesite is unknown and he is commemorated on Panel 56 of the Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper and on the Scottish National Memorial.   CWGC site gives family address details as Son of Joseph and Ellen Griffin, of 20, Cornwallis Crescent, Clifton, Bristol; husband of Beatrice Griffin, of 52, Seymour Rd, Bishopston, Bristol; 4 possible tanks in use