The fate of the other officers of the 1st Hampshire 1914 & 1915

The archive of the Royal Hampshire Museum has provided quite of a bit of information and photos on the other officers who served with ARG in the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment in 1914 and the first half of 1915 and whose names have become familiar to me from the Battalion War Diaries. The following list is in no specific order and by no means covers all the officers, only a few. I may add to it in time.

Lieut. Colonel F.R.Hicks – Died of wounds 12.6.15

RJ Jul15 p199

Major GH Parker – Killed in Action 19.12.14

Maj GH Parker - Ploegsteert Church

Lieut. Colonel the Hon. L.C. Palk DSO – Killed in Action 1.7.16 (First Day of the Somme) He walked calmly in front of his men carrying only his stick.

LC PalkObituary LC Palk - RJ Aug16 p150Maj Palk, Keeper's Cottage

Major GF Perkins – survived the war, later Lt. Col. GF Perkins DSO

GF Perkins

Captain G.A.C. Sandeman – Killed in Action 26.4.15

Obituary GAC Sandeman - RJ Jun15 pp172-3Obituary GAC Sandeman - RJ Jun15 pp172-3

Captain Le Marchant – Died of wounds 29.10.16

Le Marchant

“CAPTAIN E. H. C. LE MARCHANT Hampshire Regiment / The Head Master’s. / Son of Colonel E. H. Le Marchant, the Hampshire Regiment, and of Mrs. Le Marchant.  / Cricket XI, 1913. Football XI, 1912.  / On leaving Harrow Captain Le Marchant was intending to go to Sandhurst, but ultimately took a Commission direct in his father’s old Regiment.  He was wounded at Ypres in October, 1915, and, after a brief spell of leave, again returned to the Front and was gazetted Captain in July, 1916. He died on October 29th, 1916, of wounds received in action six days before. Many messages were received by his mother both from British Tommies and French soldiers, some of these writing with the warmth of personal regard, and others expressing sorrow for the loss of one whom they knew and admired as a soldierly personality.” from

“CAPT. EDWARD HERBERT CHARLES LE MARCHANT (Hampshire Regiment), who died of wounds on October 29, aged 22, was in the Harrow Eleven in 1913, being a useful batsman and change bowler. Against Eton he scored 0 and 14 and took one wicket for 34 runs.” from Wisden – Deaths in the War, 1916

Captain F. Fidler – Killed in Action 24.5.15

Capt F Fidler

Obituary F Fidler - RJ Jun15 pp172 Obituary F Fidler - RJ Jun15 pp172

Captain JDM Beckett DSO –  wounded at Second Ypres. Later Lt. Col, and OC 10th Hants in Salonica, Greece – killed in an accident during bombing training in February 1918. Buried in Mikra Military Cemetery in Kalamaria, a suburb of Thessaloniki (formerly Salonika).

Capt Beckett            Lt Col JDM Beckett DSO

Captain LFU Unwin – Killed in Action 27.4.15

Capt Unwin

Captain C.F.H. Twining – Killed in Action 3.5.15

Obituary CFH Twining - RJ Jun15 pp173Obituary CFH Twining - RJ Jun15 pp173

Captain H.J. Cromie – Killed in Action 23.10.16

H Cromie

Captain A.T. Bonham Carter –  Killed in Action 2.7.1916 (2nd day of the Somme) – mentioned in ARG’s fishng diary for 1914/1915

Obituary Capt AT Bonham Carter - RJ Aug16 p150

Captain A.P. Knocker – Killed in Action 7.2.15

RJ Mar15 p75  Capt AP Knocker - Ploegsteert Church

2nd Lieutenant Newnham – survived the war, later Lieut. Col. HCC Newnham DSO, MC

HCC Newnham


“Awards and Citations

Distinguished Service Cross The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Horace Claude Charles Newnham, Royal British Army, for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy while serving with the Army of the United States. Near Sidi Nsir, Tunisia, on 26 February 1943, Colonel Newnham so conducted the defense of his position against overwhelming odds that the delay caused the action to be ultimately influenced in our favor. His heroic and fearless behavior, and disregard for his own safety were an inspiration to his troops, and reflect the highest traditions of the military service. General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 69 (1943) Action Date: February 26, 1943 Service: Foreign Rank: Lieutenant Colonel Regiment: U.S. Army (Attached) Division: Hampshire Regiment” from

Captain K.A. Johnston  – survived the war, later Major K.A. Johnston DSO

KA Johnstone

Lieutenant and fellow member of A Company in February/March 1915 (but absent from the photo of Keeper’s Cottage). Hospitalised on 19 March 1915. Rejoined the Battalion on 27/28 April. Seconded for service in Colonial Office 1920: . Retired 1928:


Identifying the men in ARG’s photos of the trenches

I have not had much luck identifying the men in ARG’s photos of the trenches which I believe were taken in Ploegsteert Wood and Le Gheer in February/March 1915. ARG was in A Company at this time between his return from sickness in February 1915 his wounding at Second Ypres in June 1915. But the naming of persons in photos, and the lists of who was in each respective company, in the Regimental archive and Journal focuses on the officers. However I believe I may have made one possible match:

unknown soldier 1 - ARG photo 1915 5 (copyright 1915 GillIWMGill, all rights reserved) Sergeant Budden

The photo on the right, from page 297 of the Regimental Journal for Sept 1915, identifies the man as Sergeant Budden. The Regimental History records that Sergeant W.M. Budden was later awarded the DCM in the New Year Honours list of 1916 (along with Sergeant Ley, who had led the counter attack of A Company on the night of 25th/26th April in Second Ypres, Colour Sergeant Shearing, and Privates Eldridge and Harden).

I have not been able to find any more information on Sergeant Budden. But I have found the following information on Sergeant Ley on this website dedicated to the Roll of Honour on the war memorial in Windlesham, Surrey –

LEY Ernest George

Company Quartermaster Sergeant – 8017 Quartermaster Sergeant Ley, DCM, of the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment was on leave in Windlesham where his parents lived when war was declared.  He received a telegram calling him back to Colchester, which place he left the next day to put up his Regiment’s colours at Winchester, and bring back reserves mobilised for war from Harrow.  Sergeant Ley took part in the retreat from Mons an fought in both battles in Ypres gaining the Distinguished Conduct Medal.  He was fatally wounded at the first battle of the Somme 1st July 1916 before Beaumont Hamel.  He had seen eight years continuous service prior to the war.  Lt. Col. Garcia commanding his Regiment wrote after his death:  “He was my platoon sergeant in the winter of 1914/15 and I soon learned to appreciate his extraordinary worth.  My attention was first drawn to him when a reconnaissance had to be carried out and the scouts selected for the job felt nervous about going and both asked for Sergeant Ley to be allowed to go with them.  I then discovered that the men had a child-like confidence in him and trusted him and would do anything for him.  I became very attached to him and felt his death very much.  I shall always treasure his memory as a very brave soldier and loyal non-commissioned officer who never thought of himself.  He was one of the most gallant NCOs the 1st Battalion ever had….. there was nothing he could not do with his men.  The Regiment lost a splendid soldier when he fell in the battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916”.  Ernest Ley was born in Longworth, Berkshire in 1886 and was the son of Samuel and Emma Ley of Windlesham (1901 census).  He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

His name is also recorded on the war memorial at Upton in Cheshire: and I also found this information on an auction website where his DCM was sold in 2007:

A British War Medal named to 8017 C.SJT. E.G. LEY. HAMPS. R.  Ley won the Distinguished Conduct Medal, which was gazetted in the London Gazette of 11 March 1916 with the following citation: 8017 Serjeant E. G. Ley, 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. For conspicuous coolness and resource.When his company commander and platoon commander were killed he collected the men nearest to him and opened fire on the enemy who were enfilading his trench from some houses near, tby keeping down their fire during the construction of a barricade. He saved a difficult situation by his promptness. Ernest George Ley was later killed in action on the 1st day of the Battle of the Somme (1 July 1916) .  He has no known grave, and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Unfortunately I do not have access to the citation for the DCM for Sergeant Budden, but if any reader who stumbles across this posting does, I would be very grateful for a copy.

ARG recommended for distinguised service at Second Ypres

I found the following extract from the Regimental Journal which records that ARG was recommended for distinguished service for ‘bold reconnaissance’ during the 2nd Battle of Ypres between 25th April to 4th May.

Click the image to enlarge:
The Hampshire Regimental Journal - June 1915 p180The Hampshire Regimental Journal - June 1915 p181

Further information on this difficult period for the 1st Battalion can be found in previous posts: Second Battle of Ypres – April, May 1915 and Battalion War Diary – April & May 1915. The Regimental History records “good patrolling by Lt. Gill had helped to clear up the situation and gain touch with the troops who were now filling up the gap” in the confusion of the night of 27th April.

It was during this period that many of ARG’s colleagues in A Company were to become casualties.  Captain Sandeman and Captain Chapman (attached from the E. Surrey) were killed and 2nd Lieutenant Le Marchant wounded on the night of 25/26th April in the confusion of trying to find touch with the Royal Fusiliers and fill the gap whilst the battalion was desperately trying to dig in and gain some cover before dawn. The incident is recorded in the account of Major Hicks and the following from the Regimental History pp58-59:

“While the digging was going on a large party was detected approaching on our right.Calling out that they were Royal fusiliers, they deceived and knocked out a too credulous patrol, but Captain Beckett was not to be caught  and C Company quickly and effectively disposed of the intruders. A Company on the left fared worse: it had occupied some houses on the flank, but Germans, approaching in the mist, rushed them, dove the survivors of their garrison in on top of the men digging way at the trench and tried to roll up our line from the flank. A confused struggle followed. Captain Sandeman, a Special reserve officer of ten years’ service, was killed in rallying the men and preparing for a counter-attack and with him fell Captain Chapman (attached from the E. Surrey), but Lt. Le Marchant headed a party of bombers, among them Lance Corporals Field and Hare and Pte. Winter, and checked the rush, holding on at a traverse, and Sergeant Ley led a counter-attack which drove the enemy back and restored the situation. A barricade was thrown up and the flank secured.”

The Regimental Journal in May 1915 published a number of letters from the front for April 1915.

Letters from the Front, April 1915 - RJ May 1915 p137Letters from the Front, April 1915 - RJ May 1915 p138Letters from the Front, April 1915 - RJ May 1915 p139Letters from the Front, April 1915 - RJ May 1915 p140Letters from the Front, April 1915 - RJ May 1915 p141Letters from the Front, April 1915 - RJ May 1915 p142

There is a casualty list for April 1915 published in the Regimental Journal which includes details of the NCOs and men, but it does not state to which companies they were attached. It is interesting to see that whilst the 1st Bn were having a rough time of it at Ypres, the 2nd Bn were at Gallipoli.

Roll of Honour April 1915 - RJ May 1915

Further information about the photo at Keeper’s Cottage, Ploegsteert Wood 1915

From information found in the Regimental Journal of the Hampshire Regiment on my recent visit to the Museum of the Royal Hampshire, I believe that the photo of Keeper’s Cottage in ARG’s collection was  principally a photo of A Company, 1st Hampshire, probably taken in February or March 1915.

The following extract of page 112, in the April edition of the Journal lists the arrangement of the officers at battalion headquarters and the respective companies on March 16. It shows that ARG was in A Company at that time. The ranks are incorrect and out of date for March 1915 but all the officers of A Company are in the photo except for Lieutenant Johnson. Capt. Sandeman was company commander. The additional figures in the photo are the person in the centre I believe is the farmer, and Major. L.C. Palk, who is recorded as Senior Major in this extract and was to take command of the battalion shortly afterwards.

Gill, A Coy, March 1915

Other photos in the Journal of Keeper’s Cottage show the officers of different companies also pictured at the hut, so I wonder if Keeper’s Cottage was the dug out for the officers of the company that was being held in support, close behind the front line trenches, during the battalion’s long period in Ploegsteert Wood in the winter of 1914-15.

I believe there is also further information on the origins of Keeper’s Cottage in the Regimental Journal. From the location of “Keeper’s Hut” marked on the trench map of 1917, I believe that this is the same as the farm indicated by the letter “f” shown on the sketch map on page 27, and described as a chosen point d’appui  in the penultimate paragraph of page 28, of the Journal for January 1915. This is a published extract from a Diary of an Officer of the Regiment for the time of the battalion’s arrival in Ploegsteert Wood in November 1914. Unfortunately, it is unattributed, which was standard practice for all letters and personal accounts from the front published in the Journal. (Unfortunately my photo of one of the pages is blurred but I will ask the Museum if they have a clear copy and post it later).

Regimental Journal p.26 Jan 1915Regimental Journal p.27 Jan 1915Regimental Journal p.28 Jan 1915Regimental Journal p.29 Jan 1915Regimental Journal p.30 Jan 1915

The Officers of the 1st Bn Hampshire Regiment – August 1914 and August 1915

At the R.Hants archive I also found this photo of the 1st Battalion taken the day before they left for the front in August 1914.

Officers of 1st Bn Hampshire Regiment, Aug 1914

It is interesting to compare with this next photo of the officers of the 1st Hampshire taken on the front line, on the first anniversary in August 1915. I believe that only the Hon. L.C. Palk remained, now Lt.-Col, Commanding Officer, and DSO.

Officers of 1st Hants, Aug 1915, 1 year anniversary

ARG’s handwritten service record

Also just received from Tasmania – written by ARG.

Although these two separate documents only cover the dates up to 1932 and 1935 respectively, they provide a lot of detail on ARG’s movements in the EA and SDF and so very usefully complement his MOD service record and the one engraved on his cigarette case.

ARG handwritten service record to 1932 - pt1

ARG handwritten service record to 1932 - pt2

ARG handwritten service record to 1935 - incl. school pt1

ARG handwritten service record - incl. school pt2

ARG’s service record – on the inside of a cigarette case

Just received from Tasmania these photos of ARG’s cigarette case, in which he engraved his service record. This is extremely useful and adds many more names of places to the MOD service record, especially for his later career.

I understand the hallmark is dated 1930/31 but the engraving looks to be all in the same hand, so we assume all done at the same time, which would date the engraving to be post  the last entry of 1954.ARG cigarette case - frontARG cigarette case - inside left 2

ARG cigarette case - inside right 2