D13 in Delilah. No 548 (Female) was the
2Lt Bill Sampson. Born 1 Jan 90 at
Cpl JE Harper
Gnr William Phipps Chandler. Born Dec 91 at Wandsworth. Enlisted at age of 22 years 4 months, height 6ft and 1/2 inch. Wounded during action at High Wood; awarded MM for replacing sponsor door which had been lifted off hinges by tree stump. He later served with No 10 Coy (D Bn) and was wounded on 29 Sep 18. He was admitted to
Gnr Edwin Frank Dival – wounded and survived. Born in Feb 87 near Tonbridge Wells, Frank Divall was a chauffeur and electrician. He joined D Coy in late May 6 and married Winifred Maybanks four days before he deployed to France. Injured in the legs as he made his way to safety through High Wood, he was evacuated to Oxford and then to Chipping Norton where metalfragments were removed from his legs. A letter to his sister Edith published in newspapers gives a lengthy description of the attack at High Wood. During the summer of 1917, he retrained as a driver and then joined 12th battalion where he served in the same company as his firmer skipper Bill Samspon. Frank fought with the unit until the end of the war, eventually reaching the rank of sergeant. After the war he moved to Rugely and later remarrried. He and his new wife Alice Samuel had three children; sadly their duaghter Joan did not survive infancy. Frank moved to Bovingdon in Hertfordshire in the early 1930s and ran the local stores and sub postoffice until his death in Hemel Hempstead in early 1965.
Gnr Mayo or Mays – wounded with burns to eyes. Possibly 205470 Pte Frederick C Mays.
Gnr Peck – wounded
Gnr Yates - possibly Harry Ironfield Yates. Born in Preston in 1886, where he worked as a postman. Later moved to Blackpool, where he married Christine Heppanstall on 25 Jun 1913. In 1918, whilst serving with 4th Bn, he was awarded both the MM and DCM. After the war, he returned to Blackpool.
LCpl Alfred P Bloomfield ASC; a “diminutive Geordie staff car driver” according to Bill Sampson. Third son of George and Isabella Bloomfield, born in Willington in 1877 and living in Wallsend. Rebadged to Tank Corps, he died on 31 Jan 19 whilst serving with the Central Tank Wksps and buried at St Pol Military Cemetery. Recorded as being a resident at Rosehill, Willington Quay, Northumberland.
Section Commander - Capt Stephen Scott Sellick
D14 (No 534 Female). D14 failed to reach the start line on 15 Sep as it ditched in a support trench; it was recovered after a great deal of effort. On 16 Sep the crew were tasked to support 21st Div as they fought from Flers towards Gueudecourt. Court advanced some 1,100m before his tank was forced to stop at Grid Trench, a site which was to be the scene of continuous fighting for the next week. As two crew (the sergeant and driver) got out, to work out how to cross the obstacle, D14 was hit by artillery fire. In the subsequent explosion, all those in the tank were killed and those outside mortally wounded.
Sgt Robert Baden Pebody; born in Warwick in 1896, lived with uncle post office clerk John Thomas in Rugby in 1901 at
Gnr William Henty Barber. Born in Mar 81 at Harborne, in 1901 he was working as a music teacher and living at
LCpl Thomas Cromack B South Hackney 1879, probably the son of Edwin Cromack, a carpenter and Charlotte. In ‘81 he was living with both parents at 39 Eaton place Hackney; by 91 his father was dead; the 1901 census shows he was a bus conductor and the family were living in
Gnr Joseph Elliot Crowe was born Jul to Sep 92 in Towlaw, County Durham the son of George and Jane Ann Crowe (1901 census shows this as Low West House) The 1901 census shows him living with his grandmother at 23 Bridge St Towlaw; in 1911 he was working as a rope guider at a colliery. He initially served with MGC (Infantry) and was KIA on 16 Sep 16 aged 29 years. Body not found, commemorated on Thiepval Memorial
32486 Pte Andrew Charles Lawson. Born 18955 in Kingsland Middx eldest son of fancy box manufacturer Andrew Thomas and Eliza Lawson; in 1901 living at
40019 Pte George Monro Mann. born at Burn Farm at Avoch in Ross on 13 Mar 92, the son of Christine Mann - a farmer’s daughter. In 1901 they were living with her mother at Burn Farm. He studied to become a chartered engineer at the Royal Technical College at
D15 (No 537 Female). D15 was one of 3 tanks (with D19 Capt Sellick and D2 (Lt Bell) were tasked to move through the centre of Flers. Sellick and
Lt Jack Bagshaw. Born in Uttoxeter in 1896; the youngest child (fourth son) son of William Bagshaw an auctioneer and valuer (who also ran the Red Lion pub in the Market Place) and his wife Mary Ann (William was later Chairman of Uttoxeter Urban District Council). Jack initially joined the MMGS as a private (No 1395) and was commissioned into MMGS 10 Oct 15. Bagshaw was wounded in the action on 15 Sep. Later served with
LCpl Charles Frederick Jung MGC later Cpl Tank Corps. Possibly born Parkstone Poole in April to Jun 89. the youngest of five children (third son) of Frederick Jung, a Silesiean brickmaker and his wife Sarah. In 1891 living in Cranborne. Married Bridget E Enright at Alverstoke, Hants in early 18. Awarded emblem (MID?) Their son Terence CE Jung was killed whilst serving in the RAF during WW2.
Gnr Charles Edward Bond. Born Sep 1888 and registered at Bridgewater Somerset. Possibly from Wembdon, he was working as a jeweller in Bournmouth when he enlisted into the MMGS. Mobilised on 10 Mar and deployed 1 Sep 16; Wounded in action and returned to
Gnr Cyril William Coles born at Canford Dorset Apr to Jun 1893 the son of a corn miller; Five generations of the Coles family were corn millers in the
Gnr Charles William Hoban, born Leamington Spa Oct – Dec 1887 son of Charles and Kate Hoban. An outfitter's assistant, he married Caroline Collins in
Gnr Arthur Smith later served as Pte Tank Corps (same number)
Gnr Tom Fleming Wilson born near
Albert George Rowe ASC. Born C 1889 in Kensington. Enlisted as an ASC special reservist as a motor mechanic. Home was
D16 “Dracula” (No 538 – Female). Dracula was tasked to take part in the assault on the German position to NW of Flers in concert with D18; the tank successfully made way to the objective and used machine guns to chase the defenders away. During a lull in the battle, both crews were able to cook breakfast but this calm was interrupted as the tanks were spotted by a German observation balloon, located to the north of Flers, who directed artillery fire upon them. They then moved along the edge of the village, where Arnold and Pearsall (D11 – Die Hard) helped Nixon’s crew put out the fire in his tank (D12). At noon, they lead an assault at the NW of the village where there was a substantial German defensive position. They provided close fire support to infantry, causing significant casualties amongst the Germans who were unable to respond, and the position was over-run. The tanks then assisted in beating off the inevitable German counter attack, using their machine guns to destroy the German infantry as they advanced from Factory Corner. Later
Lt Arthur Edmund Arnold. Born Llandudno.
Second in command Cpl E A White who did not go into action on 15 Sep. Could it be Ernest A White Tank Corps 206212 commissioned 26 Jun 17 later Captain Tank Corps 27 Dec 18; not listed in 1920 Army List. Address
32468 Pte Cecil J(?) Frost born Oct – Nov 1886 at Tiverton Devon; in 1891 lving at the Boards’ head pub in Bampton St Tiverton . A theatrical manager from
Gnr Jacob Glaister Jnr was born at Whitehaven in
Gnr J Mackenzie Born in
Gnr F J Roberts was awarded the MM for his action on 2 Oct 1916
Pte Samuel Workman ASC who was the youngest son of Samuel H and Rosanne Workman, and who was born in Nailsworth, Glos, in Oct to Dec 1892. He remained in ASC. Married Miss Winifred Florence Bird in Stroud in Summer 28. Possibly a son Jeffrey R Workman born in 1931 and married Adrienne Aldum in 1956, Died on 14 Feb 41 whilst living at Hill Cott Hayes Rd Forest Green in Nailsea. Probate granted to winow value £1000/15/6
Later: D16 was destroyed during an attack at Eaucourt l'Abbaye on 1 Oct 16
D17 Dinnaken (No 759 male). D17 Dinnaken which was tasked to enter the
Stuart Henderson Hastie was born in
Cpl Edward J Sheldon (Sgt 205193); no RofH record
Gnr Eric Blake was born in early 1889 in Putney. Educated in London he became a clerk, working for the London branch of the Canadian Bank Of Commerce (CBC). He married Dorothy Thompson on 22 Nov 1913 and their only child Betty Blake was born 8 Aug 14. Eric enlisted into the MMGS on 16 Jan 1916. He went into action for the first time on 15 Sep and afterwards wrote a letter to his colleagues at the CBC which was later published. The letter mentions a soldier being killed around 25 Sep 16 by shell-fire; this was Gnr Fred Horrocks who is now buried near Montauban. The medal rolls confirm Eric was eventually promoted sergeant; the CBC Roll of Honour also states he was wounded twice during the war. After the war, he re-enlisted in Tank Corps as a Regular soldier and was not discharged until 26 Nov 46 when he would have been 57. He settled at 1 Duncan Crescent at Bovington Camp and on his death, aged 67 years old, was buried at Wool Church on 20 Jul 1954
Gnr Percy Boult possibly born 1897 in Stoke on
Gnr Fred Gomersall. born May 1894. An accountant, he enlisted, aged 21 years on 22 Oct 15 at
Gnr Sugden operating on the port side –wounded (blinded) by flakes from interior of tank hull from German gunfire. This was probably Gnr William Sugden who later served with the Tanks as a sergeant and who commissioned in October 1918. He lived in Wilmslow in Cheshire.
Pte Charles A Wescomb was the son of lighthouse keeper. Born on the Isle of Wight, his family later moved to County Kerry but later returned to Bembridge where Charles worked a as a gardener After the war, in 1922, Charles married Lilly Tourle and they had a son named Peter in 1926, Sadly Charles did not see his son become a teenager; he died aged fifty, on 30 October 1937 at the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill .
Afternote: Until she was recovered, “Dinnaken” was used by various Infantry Brigades HQs during the continued fighting north of Flers
D18 (No 743 Male). D18; attacked area to NW of Flers in concert with D16 (
2Lt Len Bond. Born 1892 or 1895 and born in
Cpl Paul – wounded
38026 Gnr Arthur Race. Born in Jun 1893
Gnr Thornton - probably Pte George Thornton who enlisted 12 Dec 1915. Later renumbered 200895, he served in 11 Coy (Watsons) and may have fought at the 1st Battle of Bullecourt. He was a member of the crew of Damon II (skipper - Lt John Coghlan) and was injured on 9th Oct 1917 during an attack IN Poelcapelle. Coghlan wrote an article after the war which says that
Gnr Sydney Wenmoth. Born in 1879 in Launceston, he was a self employed electrician and telephone engineer. Injured at Thiepval on 25 Sep, he as treated at Rouen where he caught influenza and was evacuated to Cork for treatment. Later served in the workshop Coy of E Bn, he was transferred to the Central Wksps at Erin in Jan 18 then latrer with 1st Adv Wksps. Transferred to the Sch of Engineering in Oct 18, he was demolished in Spring 1919. Married in 1939 to Gwenllian Rhys. he died in Tenby in Feb 1953; his wife dying 10 months later. Website member Geoff Martin identified Sydney - he holds a book by Phillip Gibbs in which Sydney records he was in action at High Wood on 20 Sep and was wounded four times at Thiepval.
M2/191132 Pte Frederick Burrows ASC Rebadged MGC then Tank Corps (Private 75057); Tank Corps RoH shows he was KIA/DoW and lived in