NOVEMBER

Lance Corporal Frank Butler 11152 8th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

The 8th Gloucesters were involved in the last stages of the Battle of the Somme in cold wet weather, moving from near Orvillers towards the notorious Schwaben Redoubt . Frank Butler was killed n fighting with artillery, gas shells and snipers on November near Grandcourt. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

 

Frank was the fifth child of postman Ernest Buler and his wife Lilian, who ultimately had 16 children. They lived in Hailes Street, and later Coates Mill. Ernest later became a gardener and Frank, who left school at 13, worked with him as a gardener's boy. He volunteere for the army in 1915, aged 18. There is some confusion over the details of his death.

Thiepval Memorial

Private Arthur Clements 7460 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.

The 1st Gloucesters were among the first to land in France in 1914, fighting around Mons before the retreat to the Marne . They then moved to Ypres, involved in continuous fighting until November, Arthur Clements died near Herontage Wood, on November 4,1914, before any systematic recording of casualties. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

 

The Clements family were farm labourers, who had worked on several farms. Arthur Clements was married with two children and living in Didbrook, when the war started.

The Menin Gate Ypres

Private Alwyn Green 19217 12th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.

The 12th Gloucesters had taken part in the fighting for Vimy Ridge led by Canadian troops, and moved towards Arras. They were involved in heavy fighting with heavy shelling, in rain and mud , attacked again by the Bavarian 5th Division. The battalion suffered very heavy losses. Alwyn Green is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

 

Alwyn worked as an under carter on the fruit farm. He lived with his widowed mother, Emma in Toddington. The year before, his only brother, Percival had also been killed. Emma placed a small memorial to her sons in Toddington Churchyard, which has now been taken.

Memorial to the Missing in Arras Emma Green’s missing memorial cross

Drummer Frederick Whittingham L/8356 2nd battalion The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment

The regiment arrived in Belgium involved in fighting and exhaustive marches before arriving at Ypres, which the Germans were trying to take.They were still involved in daily conflict with often heavy fighting and chaotic organisation, suffering regular losses in cold wet weather. They were involved in the vital battle at Gheluveldt to keep the Germans from taking the city at the end of October - Fred Whittingham was killed on November 1, 1914, just as this phase of the fighting came to an end. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

 

Fred Whittingham had been a boy soldier , who joined as messenger at 14, when his parents were living in Cheltenham. He served in England until 1909, when he was 19, then served in Gibraltar and South Africa. He was allowed a week at home in September 1914, by which time his family had moved to the Unicorn in Winchcombe,

The Menin Gate

Gunner John Wiggett 14303415 Royal Artillery with the 5th Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders Anti-tank Regiment

The Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders had taken part in the D Day landings and hada taken part in fighting across Belgium and Holland towards the River Maas.John Wiggett waskilled in an accident on his motorbike as he returned to HQ on November 26, 1944. He was buried in the small cemetery at Mierlo, in Holland, where Dutch children were reported to have brought flowers.

John Wiggett was the oldest of the six children of Fred and Ethel Wiggett, who lived in Hailes Street.

He had worked at Sudelely before the war.

Mierlo Cemetery, Holland