Some Tingewick men who appear in the British Army records 1914-1920
[last update: 1st Sept 2014]
Albert John Aris, ‘Canteen Steward’, born 1880, son of John and Maria (Greaves): Royal Garrison Artillery: signed up 13 Oct 1914: discharged (having been promoted several times, finally to rank of Sgt) 26 June 1919. He must have been an impressive sight – relatively tall at 5 ft 10½ and weighing 182 lbs when he enlisted, he had a 42 in chest and a number of tattoos – “flags on inside of left arm, & figure of General Butler on forearm & faith home & charity, also figures on right arm, Lord Kitchener &c”. He appears to have joined the army for 6 years in 1898, which he extended for a further 6 years in August 1905 while serving as a gunner in Gibraltar. He also served in Sierra Leone, South Africa and Malta, finally discharged from the regular army in 1913, after nearly 16 years’ service, during which he had been promoted to Bombardier but had reverted to Gunner at his own request!
Thomas George Barnes, labourer, born 1880, son of Joseph and Mary Ann: enlisted 10 Nov 1914 but two weeks later: “Discharged – not being likely to become an efficient soldier under para 392(111)(c) Kings Regulations” – signed by the colonel commanding the 8th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. He appeared before a medical board but there is no record of any physical disability.
William Ambrose Cross Neale, shoemaker, born 1879, son of Elizabeth Neale enlisted 30th June 1915 in the Army Services Corps. His army record shows his ‘physical development’ was ‘poor’ and he wore glasses. He sailed to France aboard SS ‘Lydia‘ in July 1915 and joined 16 Labour Coy at Rouen: he was absent from roll call in November and lost 3 days’ pay. He was invalided to England (T.S. ‘Panama‘) on 12 March 1916 and admitted to Manchester Western Hospital suffering from ‘Debility‘ caused by diarrhoea and vomiting, and with sleep problems. Six weeks later he was discharged from hospital with his weight regained and sleep improved but on 21st June 1916 he received a “Discharge being no longer physically fit for work” and was awarded a pension of 4/8d per week. His medical notes also show that he had a slight heart murmur.
George Alfred Richardson, clerk, born 1890, son of James and Louisa was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. His citation reads:
“265046 CSM G.A. Richardson MM 1/1st Bn. TF (Tingewick) (ITALY)
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion
to duty during the attack north of
Asiago on 1st November 1918, when in
face of heavy machine-gun, rifle and
shell fire he did magnificent work in
reorganising the men on the various
objectives and leading them forward.
By his cheerfulness and coolness he set
a very fine example to all about him.
Reginald George Benjamin Steeden, farmer, born 1884, son of James and Jane (nee Paxton) enlisted at Bletchley Recruiting Office on 14 December 1915 and was appointed to the 96th Territorial Reserve Battalion – perhaps because of his occupation. However, he appears to have seen at least one spell in the British Expeditionary Force at the end of September 1917.
James Arthur Stuchfield, railway porter born 1891, son of George and Elizabeth (Lucas) joined the Grenadier Guards 31st August 1908 and was discharged into the Reserves after three years service. He was mobilised as part of the Expeditionary Forces on 5th August 1914 – the day after war was declared. He was wounded in the leg in September 1916 and returned to the UK where he remained until he was again transferred to the reserves in June 1918.
Abel Townsend, platelayer with the L & N W railway, was a relative newcomer to the village. He was born in Mixbury but his family had moved to Finmere before the 1891 census, and he had presumably set up home in Tingewick when he married. His daughter Beatrice had been baptised at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in October 1906. He was attested in December 1915 but was medically classified “B1” and kept ‘on reserve’ until March 1917, when he was finally posted to Egypt with the Railway Company, Royal Engineers, as a platelayer / sapper. He was transferred out in April 1919 with “Lumbago & Sciatica, following Dysentery (attributed)” – 40% disablement and awarded a pension – initially – of 11/- per week. He appears to have contracted Amoebic Dysentery in Palestine in October 1918, when he was admitted to hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting.
The items in his possession on admission to hospital in Cairo were inventoried as: 1 pair drawers, 1 pair gaiters, 1 pair putties, 2 flannel shire, 3 pairs socks, 1 towel, 1 pair trousers, a fork, a holdall, a clasp knife and a table knife and a spoon, a haversack, boots with laces, braces, shaving and tooth brush, cap with badge, hair comb, tropical helmet, and razor in a case. His medical notes are also quite comprehensive – perhaps a little too graphic, considering his ailment, but fascinating as a window into that aspect of life in the Great War. They even include his temperature chart!
William Ball, born 1881, enlisted in the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1903 and served in South Africa. In 1906 he married Martha Jane Stuchbury at Hillesden: she lived in Tingewick, and her daughters (Celia May and Ethel) were born there in 1903 and 1908. William served in France in 1914 and 1915: he was severely wounded / gassed on 25th September 1915 and was discharged 30 March 1916.