IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden

The visit of Commonwealth graves in Communals Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

TOURNAI Communal Cemetery (Hainaut Belgium)

Page 1 The Pictures

Page 2 List of Casualtie

Lt. Charles George Gordon Bayly and Sec. Lt. Vincent Warterfall
First Royal Flying Corps casualties killed in action in the Great War.
Private Richard Bertie Yates 27/09/1917 Age 27
Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regt.)
for Anthony Bagshaw Mansfield Woodhouse (U.K.)
Captain D. W. Edwards, M. C. (II.J.6)

In 1914, D. W. Edwards volunteered, as did many Old Perseans, for duties in
France as a dispatch rider. His offer was accepted and later in that year he
arrived on the Continent as a rider with the Royal Engineers. He was
promoted to Corporal and wrote the following letter to The Pelican:
'Much has been written concerning dispatch riding at the front, and most
people have the impression that it is a life of constant excitement and
adventure. This is incorrect to a certain extent as it is only occasionally
that the dispatch rider comes under fire. But when he does he cannot take
cover and must go straight on, disregarding all the bullets and shells.
'The work may be dreadfully dull at times. There are weeks of monotonous
riding between headquarters, hospitals and other places, when one feels as
though the work is only that of an ordinary telegraph boy. But after such
work the reward is reaped in a ride to a very heavily shelled position.
'Personally I only had about half-a-dozen really fine rides during the
whole three months during which I was attached to the Lahore Division; but
these few experiences were well worth the weeks of monotonous waiting.
Perhaps my best trip was from Bethune to Givenchy about December 20th, with
a dispatch for a General "viewing operations under cover and possibly in the
trenches." I set out on my B.S.A. at high speed, and after passing through -
I simply flew along four or five kilometres of fairly good pave. But on
reaching the outskirts of Givenchy I had to slow down owing to shell holes,
heaps of bricks, etc., in the road. Every house along the road had been
holed and some had their fronts blown out. Indeed, curiously enough, the
furniture was generally in its right place, with the pictures on the wall.
After crossing Pont Fixe over the La Bassée Canal, the noise of the shells
was simply deafening. I stopped to ask the only man in sight where the
General was. He said I should find him in the farmyard near by. A shrapnel
shell burst on the house behind him, so we bolted for the farmyard. Leaving
my machine in the road, I went into the farmyard where I found the General
on his hands and knees as he peeped with his glasses round a corner of a
hayrick. One or two staff officers were likewise engaged peeping round other
corners. Having received an answer I rescued my bike and set out for home.
It was the fastest ride I have ever had, and my machine rose to the
occasion. En route I ran over a dead man lying across the road. Later on in
the day when I went out there again our guns had silenced the German
In February 1915 he was promoted to Second Lieutenant and transferred to
the Army Service Corps. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps was
promoted to Captain, and won the Military Cross (Gazetted 2nd June 1916). He
was serving as an air observer with No. 45 Squadron when he was killed when
his Sopwith Strutter biplane was shot down on Friday, 6th April 1917, during
what became known to the R.F.C. as 'Bloody April'. He left behind a widow:
Mrs. C. G. K. Edwards, of 31, Hatherley Grove, Westbourne Grove, London.

From the book “The Perse School Book of Honour 1914 – 1919”
by H. C. F. Pattenden.

The photo (headstone) and the text about Captain D. W. Edwards,
are not free of copyright .
They are property of Mr H. C. F. Pattenden and can not be used for any usage.

The webmaster thanks Mr Pattenden for his permission to use them.
Cpl Christopher Henry Hancock MM 07/11/1918, aged 26.
He was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry after the Battle of High-Wood.

For his greatson John Hancock(London UK).
Pte Arthur Cummings 04/09/1917 aged 22
He died of typhus Pulmonary Tuberculosis in a P.O.W. camp.
Arthur enlisted 28/12/1914, served in Gallipoli from Sept-Dec 1915, was wounded at Beaumont Hamel 01/07/1916; returned to the field 02/1917 and was captured unwounded at Monchy-le-Preux 14/04/1917.
For Philip Arthur Saunders of St.John's, Newfoundland. His mother, Sadie (nee Cummings) was Arthur's sister.
Capt William Stead Brayshay 06/04/1917 aged 29
Pte William Middleton 08/12/1918 aged 25
L/Sjt George Ernest Kinsey 22/02/1919
George was born in Willenhall to James and Florence Kinsey later of 2, Short Street, Walsall.
He died post war from bronchial pneumonia only ten days after returning to his battalion from home leave.
for Graeme Clarke and the people of Walsall
L/Cpl Harry Shepard 24/04/1918 aged 22
The eldest son of James Edward and Charlotte Shepard of 252, Wednesbury Road, Pleck.
Harry’s father was a Police Sergeant in the Walsall Borough Police acting as Coroner’s Officer.
He was employed at the Dunlop Rubber Works at Aston, Birmingham when he enlisted in the Army.
Harry was wounded and captured by the Germans during their spring offensive and removed to Tournai for treatment however succumbed to his injuries.
for Graeme Clarke and the people of Walsall
L/Cpl Frederick J. Grisley 01/1/1918
Pte Frederick Albert Hawkins 23/10/1918 aged 18
He was the son of James and Mary Ann Hawkins of 92 Sandhurst Road, Catford.
He was educated at the Sandhurst Road School, and prior to joining the army, he was employed in the printing works of the Catford Journal and Bellingham Weekly News.
Frederick was on his way to the front, and had not been in the trenches when he was killed.
His chaplain wrote:
“It occurred on Tuesday night, October 22. We had just been moving up, and a number of the troops had been billeted in the barn of a farm. There were 19 of them. A shell came and killed 9, wounded nine, and only one escaped”.
Frederick is commemorated on a war memorial at St. Andrew’s Church on Torridon Road in Catford.
His brother Rfm George Alexander Hawkins 18/06/1917 is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
for Kevin Loughnane (Catford Roll of Honour)
2nd/Lt Herbert Henry Ankrett 11/07/1918 aged 18
Herbert was the eldest son of Thomas and Emily Ankrett of 19, Victor Street, Caldmore, his father being a metal pattern maker in an iron foundry.
He enlisted in the Army Service Corps two days after his 18th birthday and was commissioned in the Royal Air Force on Wednesday 30/01/1918.
Notification of his death was relayed to his parents by several persons.
The Comité International De La Croixe-Rouge initially notified the family who also received a rather hopeful letter from his commanding officer which stated:
“The machine was apparently hit by anti-aircraft fire and went down in a spin, but was reported to be in control when last seen.
We have not had any news since, and can only hope your son is a prisoner.”
At the time of his death he had been serving as an observer for five weeks in a DH.9 aircraft, serial number C2182, in a day bomber role.
His pilot was Lt James Drue Cook, a 24 years old Canadian.
Three German pilots of Jasta 29 made claims this day:
Leutnant E. Siempelkamp at Molembaix at 9.15am;
Leutnant H. Nebelthau at north Marquain at 9.15am;
Leutnant G. Wackwitz at Pecq near Tournai at 9.20am.
It would therefore appear that Herbert was shot down.
Lt James Drue Cook is buried alongside Herbert.
for Graeme Clarke and the people of Walsall


699 casualties

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Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium