The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
Group Photographs and Biographies from the Herts Regiment
Below are a series of 7 great photos courtesy of Mark McKibbin from Australia, who's Great Grandfather was Henry George Killington, who started life in the Bedfordshire Regiment as a 14 year old 'Boy' and rose to become a Captain Quartermaster in a career spanning five decades. Henry's bio can be seen here
The first in the series appears to be from between 1908 and 1911 and was the front of a postcard, as was the case with all of the photos. A group of veteran Sergeants with more stripes, medals and trade badges between them than you are likely to see on any photos, probably all former Regular soldiers from the Bedfordshire Regiment! Henry is almost certain to be one of them, although which one is uncertain.
The second and third are un-named Hertfordshire Territorials, presumably at one of the annual Summer Camps. The similarities suggest they may be the same young man but the absence of Sergeant stripes and other such regalia appear to eliminate the chance of it being Henry Killington himself.
The following photos are varying groups of young Territorials, also presumably at one or more of the Summer Camp(s). Some faces look familiar both in general and also when compared to others in the series, but anyone able to identify any for certain, please say so!
Officers in October 1914, Bury St. Edmunds.
This photograph comes from the Royston Crowe, edition 20th November 1914. It shows the officers from the 1st/1st battalion and their senior officers and was taken at Bury St. Edmunds before they deployed to the Western Front. Basic ranks, surnames and some initials came with the photograph but any corrections or full names have been identified from my own files. Therefore, please contact me if any are incorrect.
Top row: Lieutenant Geoffrey Ernest WHITFIELD, Captain Aylmer G. CLARK DSO, MC, Captain Edgar Montague JONES, Lieutenant Phillip Lucas RANSOM, Lieutenant John Henry BEVAN MC, Lieutenant Harcourt John SNOWDEN, Lieutenant Wilberforce O. TIMES
Second row: Lieutenant Arthur J. DAISH, Lieutenant Bernard Jasper Nicholas GRIPPER, Captain Phillip Elton LONGMORE [eldest son of Sir Charles Longmore, C.O. of the 2nd/1st battalion], Captain A.C. [possibly Alexander Charles] BOYD, Captain Eric Charles Malcolm PHILLIPS, Lieutenant Vernon Hugh PALMER [who had recently been fined for driving without lights in Bury St. Edmunds!]
Third row: Lieutenant M. BROWN, Chaplain Reverend W. CROFTON, Major Henry Page CROFT CMG MP, Captain the Honourable N.C. GATHORNE-HARDY (Adjutant), Lieutenant Phillip DRAYSON, Captain Frank PAGE, DSO & Bar,
Bottom row: Lieutenant Thomas Richard BEVAN, Lieutenant Booker MILBURN DSO MC, Major Herbert BAKER, Major HAIG, Colonel Viscount Thomas Walter HAMPDEN CMG (in command of the Regiment), Brigadier General De WINTON, Captain Daniell [possibly John Claremont DANIEL OBE?], Major RUDYARD, Captain Lovel Francis SMEATHMAN MC.
Sergeants in June 1915
This group photograph carries the caption 'Noeux-les-Mines, 6th June 1915'.
That day the battalion spent their final rest day there before moving closer to the lines at Cambrin, which seems to support the time and place in the caption as being where and when the photograph was taken. Based on the initials and surnames provided in the caption, my own files tell me who the men are:
Back row: Sergeant 1285 Frank Ernest YOUNG (later Second Lieutenant Frank YOUNG, VC), Sergeant 2550 Arthur E. SANDELL (later a Lieutenant in the 6th Signals Company, Royal Engineers).
Front row: Company Sergeant Major 1 Edward George CRAWLEY (later Captain and Quartermaster in the 4th/1st Herts and 1st/4th Northamptons), Regimental Sergeant Major 3292 Frank YOUNG (father of Frank Young in top row), Orderly Room Sergeant C.A. Hall (Sergeant 83 Ernest Alfred HALL).
Wormhout, 3 June 1917
During a spell in reserve, platoon photographs were taken, this being No.7 Platoon from Number 2 Company.
Many of these men would be killed, wounded or posted as missing weeks later, when they assaulted Sint-Juliaan (St. Julien) on 31 July 1917, giving this photo and the one below added poignancy.
Back row, second from the left is Harry King, who was among the long list of wounded.
Middle row, second from the left is David King who was posted as missing, later presumed to have been killed that day.
Group photographs from David and Harry King's collection, 1916 / 1917
Taken from the King brothers' collection, here are some of the men of the 1st Hertfordshires outside a hut, either during training in 1916 or whilst in reserve around Wormhout in June 1917 ca. When compared to the platoon photograph (above), none seem to be the same men
Two Hertfordshires and three Bedfordshires, presumably taken the same time as the above photograph. These men are likely to be from the Apsley, Hemel Hempstead or surrounding areas and known the the King brothers, although that is purely speculation on my part.
[With thanks to Chris Jones for permission to include these on the site]
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