First World War

Rev Thomas Henley Flynn

Tom Flynn was born in Falmouth on 11 Jan 1889 the son of Rev Canon John Stephen Flynn. He attended Harrow School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, matriculating in 1908. He was a life long friend of Noel Downing who was a contemporary of him at both Harrow and Oxford.  Continue reading →
Last updated on October 13, 2018 by JJ Morgan

The Pow-Wow: Unofficial Journal of U.P.S. Brigade

The Pow-Wow as defined by its creators was The Unofficial Journal of the Universities and Public Schools  (U.P.S.) Brigade (118th and later 98th). The intention was both to chronicle training in Epsom, Ashtead, Leatherhead, Woodcote, Clipstone and Tidworth and to amuse “two or  three thousand members of the Brigade for a few minutes each Friday”. Noel Downing treasured a complete set of 38 numbers issued from 18 Nov 1914 to 3 Sep 1915. Continue reading →
Last updated on October 15, 2018 by E Morgan

Balfour Anthony Trotter

Balfour Anthony Trotter was born on 12 Jan 1888, the son of a solicitor. He went to Harrow School 1902-1907 and matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford in 1907 the same year as Noel Downing. The two were life long friends. Continue reading →
Last updated on October 23, 2018 by JJ Morgan

21st Battalion (4th Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Noel Downing enlisted and joined the 21st Battalion (4th Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers. In early Oct 1914 he arrived in Ashtead, Surrey where he was billeted. Noel kept a series of postcards that illustrate the new recruits’ arrival and early training and the construction of a vast encampment of huts in Woodcote Park, Epsom. Continue reading →
Last updated on October 22, 2018 by E Morgan

Wilmot Evans’s Service Records, 1909-1916

This is a timeline of Wilmot Evans‘s military career. He was commissioned into the South Staffordshire Regiment at the age of 19. He served in Gibraltar and South Africa during peacetime and fought on the battlefields on the Western Front during the First World War until he was killed at the age of 25. Continue reading →
Last updated on March 20, 2018 by E Morgan

Joseph Dezitter’s Pictures of Bergues

During the First World War, Joseph Dezitter (1883-1957), a Flemish artist, was mobilised and participated in the Belgian campaign where he was seriously wounded in 1914. After recovering he joined the ambulance auxiliary services in Northern France. Travelling between military hospitals, he took the opportunity to paint the places he visited. Continue reading →
Last updated on January 24, 2018 by E Morgan

Friends’ Ambulance Unit, Dunkirk

The Quakers ran the Friends’ Ambulance Unit including the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Dunkirk for most of the duration of the First World War. One of its purposes was  that members of the Society of Friends should be able to carry out their patriotic duty without having to serve in the Military on conscientious grounds. However, it also recruited from beyond the Quaker community. Continue reading →
Last updated on January 24, 2018 by JJ Morgan

Noel Downing to Mother Letter, Mar 1915

This is the only war letter that has survived written by Noel Downing to his mother Hannah Pitt Downing.   It has no date but it seems to recount his early experiences at Ashtead as a private with the Royal Fusiliers and that would make it most probably around Mar 1915. It would seem to post date the other letter address-headed Ashtead to his sister Mary as the Public School boys are being moved from billets (like Mrs Drew) into the new camp.  Continue reading →
Last updated on October 14, 2018 by JJ Morgan

Ladas Lewis Hassell

Ladas Lewis Hassell was a fellow officer and good friend of Wilmot Evans in Jersey throughout May 1915 to early 1916. Lieutenant Hassell was born in Kent in 1894 and joined the army via the Jersey Militia. The first and second battalions of the  South Staffordshire regiment that were torn apart in October 1914 were replenished with new recruits in 1915 and new battalions were formed. The fourth was reconstituted in Jersey in 1915 and both Lieutenant Hassell and Lieutenant Wilmot Evans recuperated back at St Peters Barracks Jersey. Continue reading →
Last updated on October 8, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Richard Hellier Agard Evans

Richard Hellier Agard Evans, known as Hellier, was born on 19 Jan 1898 in Saxony, Germany, the son of Ernest Agard Evans and Jean Playfair Gow-Gregor. He was a great grandson of Richard Evans and Mary Shaw-Hellier. He is recorded as being at boarding school in Clifton in Bristol in the 1911 census. His only brother Archibald Agard Evans was born in 1906. Continue reading →
Last updated on September 30, 2017 by JJ Morgan