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

Rifleman Percival Green R/14360 1st Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Percival volunteered in July 1915, and after training arrived in France in May 1916. His unit was involved in the Battle of the Somme from July and took part in the second attempt to take Beaumont Hamel in November between Frankfurt Trench and Munich Trent in fierce fighting. Some men were separated behind German lines, and the date of Percival's death is unceratin - November 10 or 14, 1914. He is buried in Frankfurt Trench Cemetery, formed by Corps V Collecting and buryin the dead.

 

Percival had moved to Llansamlet to work on the railway. Their second child died shortly before him, Lilian was forced to ask for help to buy mournng clothes, and visit her widowed mother-in-law in Toddington. His mother's little memorial has quite recently been stolen from the churchyard there.

 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

Winchcombe  Museum, High Street,

Winchcombe, Cheltenham, GL54 5LJ

 

Charity no: 1173052

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site updated 10th April 2021