First World War

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 16 March 2019 by E Morgan

Wilmot Evans’ Service Records, 1909-1916

This is a timeline of Wilmot Evans‘ 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 8 October 2019 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 4 October 2019 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 12 August 2019 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 14 October 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. Continue reading →
Last updated on 16 January 2019 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 30 September 2017 by JJ Morgan