William Henry Pomeroy, born 22nd September 1884
William Henry, born 22nd September 1884 at 20 Torrens Buildings, Torrens Street, Clerkenwell, Islington (if at home). Baptised William Henry on 2nd November 1884 at the Parish Church of St Peter's Clerkenwell.
Reprise of youth
William Henry was born to Charles and Charlotte Elizabeth Pomeroy. Charles Pomeroy was a Police Constable. He was their first child surviving beyond infancy, and became the big brother to his subsequent siblings.
The family moved when William was under 5 years old, to 104 St John Street, on the junction with Clerkenwell Road. Only 3/4 miles from Torrens Street, and now only just under 1/2 miles from St Peter's Church on St Cross Street / Great Saffron Hill.
Not long after, there was another move to 18 Palmerston Buildings, which was in City Garden Row, City Road, Angel, Islington, Middlesex.
William was last recorded with the family on the Census 1901 at 6 Beaconsfield Terrace as a 16 year old Groom. On 1st April 1902 he joined the Army, the Middlesex Regiment at Hounslow.
Perhaps the family moved to the Prince Albert Public House in 1901/2, or not, as the papers list next of kin as William's parents, Charles and Charlotte of 6 Beaconsfield Villas, Fulwell Road, Teddington, with two brothers, Edward and Albert. There appears to be a change of address to 2 Albert Villas, Princes Road, Teddington.
Service with Middlesex Regiment
Service with Middlesex Regiment
There is even a physical description of William as a 19 year old as part of the sign-up and medical. He was passed fit for service on 5th April 1902.
He is 5 feet 91/4 inches tall, (1.75895 m) with blue eyes and brown hair. This is above average height for the period by about two inches.
His religion is stated as being Church of England, which excludes all the other Protestants as well as Roman Catholic.
He was posted on 6 June 1902 and granted GC Badge o n 1 April 1904, both still with the Middlesex Regiment. Is this a Good Conduct badge?
The badge photo is not of his badge but a general Middlesex Regiment collar badge of the Victorian Period.
William transferred to the Army Reserve on 20 February 1905, after serving 2 years 10 months 19 days in the regulars..
According to his service record he was discharged, the termination of first period of engagement, as a private, from the Army Reserve on the 31 March 1914.
Total service towards engagement to 31 March 1914, 12 years, and to pension 2 years 236 days.
It seems that he was posted to Dublin during part of his service. Ireland was considered "Home" at that time.
The Norman invasion in 1169 of resulted in a partial conquest of the island and marked the beginning of more than 800 years of English political and military involvement in Ireland. Initially successful, Norman gains were rolled back over succeeding centuries as a Gaelic resurgence reestablished Gaelic cultural preeminence over most of the country, apart from the walled towns and the area around Dublin known as The Pale.
Reduced to the control of small pockets, the English Crown did not make another attempt to conquer the island until after the end of the Wars of the Roses (1488).
Attempts to impose the new Protestant faith were also successfully resisted by both the Gaelic and Norman-Irish. The new policy fomented the rebellion of the Hiberno-Norman Earl of Kildare Silken Thomas in 1534, keen to defend his traditional autonomy and Catholicism, and marked the beginning of the prolonged Tudor conquest of Ireland lasting from 1534 to 1603. Henry VIII proclaimed himself King of Ireland in 1541 to facilitate the project. Ireland became a potential battleground in the wars between Catholic Counter-Reformation and Protestant Reformation Europe.
In 1916 the Easter Rising succeeded in turning public opinion against the British establishment after the execution of the leaders by British authorities. It also eclipsed the home rule movement. In 1922, after the Irish War of Independence most of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom to become the independent Irish Free State.
Therefore, William's Army record records only 'Home' service, at least during this first period of engagement.
Whilst in Dublin he was given instruction and passed in Transport Duties, on 3 December 1903. Was this learning to drive an internal combustion engine vehicle? Perhaps steam driven, or more likely, horse drawn.
The Imperial War Museum has a section entitled The British Army lorries prior to the First World War.
THE BRITISH ARMY LORRIES PRIOR TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR © IWM (Q 72862)
THE BRITISH ARMY LORRIES PRIOR TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR © IWM (Q 72869)
THE BRITISH ARMY TRACTORS PRIOR TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR © IWM (Q 72860)
Also whilst in Dublin he was given an education was awarded a 3rd Class Certificate of Education on 26 April 1904.
Both the Transport and Education awards where achieved whilst he was in the Middlesex Regiment regulars.
William's Military record also has the following additional information added over time.
William married Kathleen Mary Josephine O'Dowd at the Registry Office Kingston, Surrey, on the 6 March 1907. The witnesses were Charles Pomeroy and Charlotte Elizabeth Pomeroy. As their first child was born in May of the same year, one has to assume that she was pregnant at the time of the marriage, and that was the reason for the Registry Office instead of a Church. Presumably, William met Kathleen in Dublin. Their wedding was after he transferred to the Army Reserve on 20 February 1905, but as he was in the Reserve, it was added to his Military Record.
John Henry Charles was born on 19th May 1907 at Teddington, Middlesex.
William Patrick was born on 4 October 1908 at Teddington, Middlesex.
Edward George was born on 14th May 1910 at Teddington, Middlesex.
Whilst there is space to record baptisms in the Military Record, done have been entered.
William was not recorded as having spent time in hospital as an inpatient.
The end of the Military Record.
The marriage is recorded on the indexes for Q1 of 1907.
William Henry Pomeroy married Kathleen Mary J O'Dowd, registered in Kingston, Volume 2a page 656.
Baptism of John Henry Charles Pomeroy
John Henry Charles was born on 19th May 1907 at Teddington, but I have not found a baptism record in this Parish. However, it appears that it was just missfiled in Ancestry.
This Baptism record is on page 184 of the Baptism Book for St James Hampton Hill, Middlesex, but is filled under Shepperton, 1907-1913. I found it because their first daughter, also Kathleen is in the same block of the book.
The block of lost pages are; 184-185 (1907), 190-191 (1908), 194-195 (1908-1909), 218-219 (1911-1912), 222-223 (1912), 226-227 (1912-1913), 250-251 (1916-1917), images 1-7.
Knowing what to look for, flicking through the St James, Hampton Hill 1864-1916 Baptism book online, I am able to confirm the above pages are missing from the proper section.
John Henry Charles was Baptised on 14th July 1907, to Harry and Kathleen Pomeroy, at St James Church, St James Road, Hampton Hill. The family's abode was White Cottage, Wellington Road, Twickenham. Harry's occupation is recorded as Labourer. Harry was, at the date of this baptism, still in the Army Reserve until the 31 March 1914, hence, his birth being recorded in the Military Record.
William Henry Pomeroy was nearly 24 years old when his and Kathleen's first child was born and Baptised.
I suspect that I would have questioned whether this was a relevant record as the father's name is Harry instead of William Henry, as in the other information including other Baptism records. A search for White Cottage, Wellington Road, Twickenham, does not reveal a White Cottage, but Wellington Road, Twickenham, is the same road in Fulwell, Hampton Hill, and Teddington. There are other Wellington Roads in London, but not in the immediate vicinity.
However, the child's name matches the Military record and the abode matches later information precisely, combined they give me confidence that it is the correct record.
Baptism of William Patrick Pomeroy
This Baptism record is also for the Parish of Hampton Hill.
William Patrick was born on 4 October 1908 at Teddington, Middlesex, from earlier data. He was Baptised on 8th November 1908, to William Henry and Kathleen Mary Josephine Pomeroy in St James' Church, Hampton Hill. The Church is in St James Road and the family abode was White Cottage, Wellington Road. William Henry Pomeroy described his profession as being Army Reserve. The previous Baptism recorded the same address but occupation of labourer.
Saint James Church, Hampton Hill
The church in Hampton Hill was built in 1863, it is in the early English style and consists of nave and chancel, with bell turret.
What was to become Hampton Hill was originally the southern corner of Hounslow Heath, used as common land to graze animals. It was a haunt of highwaymen and footpads, with a gibbet for the punishment of these criminals on the corner at the Hampton Hill end of Burton’s Road. The Commons Enclosure act of 1811 allowed parts of this heathland to be enclosed and the land, which is now between St James’s Church and Hampton Hill High Street, was converted into glebe (land providing income for a clergyman) for the benefit of St Mary’s Church, Hampton.
During the early 1860s the Thames Valley Railway Line was extended, the Hampton Water Works was built and the local nursery trade developed. These projects brought an enormous number of rowdy, hard drinking labourers and artisans into an area with terrible conditions, many people living in “miserable hovels”. They helped to increase the number of public houses in the district to thirteen, these being the scenes of not a few “public affrays”. There were no facilities or services in the area and consequently poverty, drunkenness and violence were widespread. The shacks in which these people lived gradually developed into a community on the common and it was described as “a wilderness with a number of habitations of the most wretched kind, inhabited by a still more wretched class of people”.
Despite the Church being a different parish from his parents the location is very close to both the Fulwell Road and Prince's Road homes. Wellington Road crossing at the top of both roads. Inspection of the Ordnance Survey First Edition maps in the Teddington section suggests that Wellington Road is one of the original roads of the area.
The church and the whole village of Hampton Hill was new and constructed between the Ordnance Survey First Edition and the OS 25" Map.
Baptism of Edward George Pomeroy
Another Baptism record is for the Parish of Hampton Hill.
Edward George was born on 14th May 1910 at Teddington, Middlesex, from earlier data, his father's Military Record. He was Baptised on 5th June 1910, to William Henry and Kathleen Mary Josephine Pomeroy in St James' Church, Hampton Hill. The family abode was as the last baptism, White Cottage, Wellington Road, Twickenham. William Henry Pomeroy described his profession as being Coffee stall keeper.
William Henry was, at the date of this baptism, still in the Army Reserve until the 31 March 1914, hence, his birth being recorded in the Military Record.
The information here correlates with previous data and the upcoming 1911 Census.
William Henry Pomeroy and his family of five lived at the White Cottage, Wellington Road.
William Henry is aged 27, been married for 4 years and works as a coffee stall keeper. His calculated year of birth is 1884, in Clerkenwell, both of which match previous information.
His wife Kathleen Mary Pomeroy, aged 28 was born in Dublin.
From his military record his children are;-
- John Henry Charles was born on 19th May 1907 at Teddington, Middlesex.
- William Patrick was born on 4 October 1908 at Teddington, Middlesex.
- Edward George was born on 14th May 1910 at Teddington, Middlesex.
All this also matches.
White Cottage does not appear to be in Wellington Road on the 1901 Census, but is adjacent Slade Farm and Fulwell Golf Club House, in the 1911 Census.
Perhaps White Cottage was part of the Slade Lodge complex, if not part of the Farm. Either way, it is very close to 6 Beaconsfield Villas, where he spent some of his childhood.
Baptism of Kathleen Mary Josephine Pomeroy
Another addition to the family after the 1911 Census, this time a daughter. Surprisingly this child is not recorded in his Military record despite being born before William Henry Pomeroy's discharge for the Army Reserve on the 31 March 1914.
Kathleen Mary Josephine was given her mother's name, Baptised at St James Church, Hampton Hill, on 14th July 1912. The abode is still the White Cottage, Wellington Road, but this time Hampton Hill. The same place as previous, even if with an ending of Twickenham. Again William Henry Pomeroy occupation is Coffee Stall Keeper. I wonder where this was and how far his commute was each day. Mass travel was now available, so everything did not need to be within walking distance.
This record is one of the misplaced ones as described for her eldest brother, page 222.
Baptism of Albert David Pomeroy
By 1914, and the birth of their next child, the family had moved to 7 Rosedale Avenue. Albert David was born on 20th March 1914 and Baptised in the Parish of Hayes on 21st June 1914, to William Henry and Kathleen Mary Josephine Pomeroy and the father's occupation was recorded as labourer.
Google Streetview gives this as 7 Rosedale Avenue, Hayes. Number 7 has the climber around the window. The datestone on the next house indicates Rosedale Avenue but no date.
The more recent photo has lost the climber, gained a porch and shows the brickwork to be yellow stock.
Hayes is adjacent to Colham Green, and Rosedale is about 1 1/2 miles away from the Prince Albert Pub where William Henry Pomeroy father was recorded as living in the 1911 Census.
William Henry was back as being a labourer. I wonder what had happened regarding the Coffee Stall Keeper?
William Henry was nearly 30 years of age when Albert David was born and Baptised.
As an aside, and jumping forward to between the wars, the family were still living at 7 Rosedale Avenue for the 1936 Register of Electors. Although from the codes to the left of the names, not all are equal.
World War 1
The Great War - Overview
The Great War
The First World War began when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, on 28 June 1914. Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum 23 July 1914 and quickly declared war when Serbia failed to respond. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire formed the Triple Alliance, while Russia, France, and the United Kingdom formed the Triple Entente.
Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia, and approved partial mobilisation after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade, which was a few miles from the border, on 28 July 1914.
Full Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; the following day, Austria-Hungary and Germany did the same, while Germany demanded Russia demobilise within twelve hours. When Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on Russia on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, the latter following suit on 6 August; France ordered full mobilisation in support of Russia on 2 August.
Germany's strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to rapidly concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within 6 weeks, then shift forces to the East before Russia could fully mobilise; this was later known as the Schlieffen Plan. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France. When this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day; the Belgian government invoked the 1839 Treaty of London and, in compliance with its obligations under this treaty, Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914. A rapid escalation from an assassination to Britain becoming embroiled in war in just 37days. On 12 August, Britain and France also declared war on Austria-Hungary; on 23 August, Japan sided with Britain, seizing German possessions in China and the Pacific. In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of Austria-Hungary and Germany, opening fronts in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in (and drew upon) each power's colonial empire also, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe. The Entente and its allies eventually became known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary, Germany and their allies became known as the Central Powers.
Great Britain sent troops to both the Eastern and Western Fronts, where they faced the realities of life in the trenches and a war that lasted longer than expected. Despite heavy losses, the Allies were able to resist German advances and eventually forced Germany to accept the armistice on 11 November 1918, ending the war.
William Henry Pomeroy had only left the Army Reserve on 31 March 1914, but within 4 months 4 days, or 18 weeks 0 days, or 126 days, Britain was at war. The Great War had commenced, and would ultimatly lead to his death.
His Service Records
British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920 (Soldiers)
There were about 6-7 million soldiers (Other Ranks and Non-Commissioned Officers) who served with the British Army in the First World War. Each soldiers’ record of service was stored by the War Office after the First World War was over.
Unfortunately about 60% of the soldiers’ Service Records were irretrievably damaged or lost completely as a result of enemy bombing in 1940 during the Second World War. The exact number of serving British soldiers is not known because of the loss of the records.
However, about a third, approximately 2 million, were saved from destruction. These records are known as the “Burnt Records”. Officially they are classed as WO 363 records, which is the reference number given to them by the National Archives.(The “WO” in the classification code stands for “War Office”.) As a result of the loss of so many of the First World War Service Records, there is now only a 40% chance that the Service Record of the individual you want to trace will be available to examine.
The surviving 2 million “Burnt Documents” Service Records are for soldiers who were discharged, demobilized at the end of the war, who died between 1914 and 1920 and who were not eligible for an Army pension. Some soldiers who were in the regular army before the outbreak of war in August 1914 may, however, be included in this class of records.
The Service Records will not include soldiers who continued to serve in the military after 1920. Their records are not available for public access.
A search of the National Archives led to William Henry Pomeroy medal record.
If this is the same William H Pomeroy, Regimental number 50422, why was he in the Suffolk Regiment when previously he was in the Middlesex regiment?
I found an article about 'Why a Soldier did not Serve with his Local Regiment'. This explains in part why he appears to be in the Suffolk Regiment instead of rejoining the Middlesex Regiment.
The lack of being able to find an image of the Attestation Papers (enlistment) is a set back in the categorical identification of this being the same William H Pomeroy as the one who enlisted on 1st April 1902 to the Middlesex Regiment. The physical details recorded as well as personal data would have a firm identification.
So let us see what we can find to improve the circumstantial evidence that Private 50422 is the same person.
Starting with an Extract of Soldiers' Effects, Payment Centre Warley.
From this we can ascertain that Private 50422 was with the 12th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment and that he died on the 5 May 1917, No 55 C.C.S France. The widow and sole recipient of the pension was Kathleen M J, not explicitly but presumably Pomeroy. There is another entry in the same column which is dated 20/10/19 with Kathleen M J and Johnson, beneath that. Is that a new surname of the signature of the authorising officer. Given that above, in the Electors register of 1932, Kathleen Mary Josephine Pomeroy was living at the previously known address.
It appears from the adjacent recruitment poster from WW1 that the 12th Battalion was a Bantam Battalion with a Standard of Height requirement of 5ft to 5ft-2, and Chest Measurment 33in expanded.
From the 1902 Attestation Papers our William Henry Pomeroy was 5 feet 91/4 inches tall, (1.75895 m) with blue eyes and brown hair. His chest messurement was minimum 33" and expanded 35".
It seems strange that he would end up in a Bantam Battalion. Perhaps it was something to do with his age or health.
His age at death on 5th May 1917 would have been 32 years 7 months 13 days, or 391 months 13 days, or 1701 weeks 5 days, or 11,912 days.
In the first few months of 1916 the Military Service Act was passed by the British Government, rendering all fit males of military age liable for call up. The act specified that single men aged 18 to 40 years old were liable to be called up for military service unless they were widowed with children or ministers of a religion. Married men were exempt in the original Act, although this was changed in June 1916. The age limit was also eventually raised to 51 years old.
Again, not having the WW1 Attestation Papers, means we don't know the date he joined up, nor where or under what circumstances.
At this stage the connection is unreliable
Now onto the records held by Forces War Records and the search for William Henry Pomeroy. Unfortunately it is a transcribed record and not an image. This means that any information not transcribed is not available and there is not the opportunity to check the transcription. Findmypast has the same information.
The Suffolk Regiment Collar Badge appears to be a castle.
WW1 Troop Movements and ORBATS for William Henry Pomeroy
Orders of Battle (ORBATS) are documents produced by the military to show the hierarchical structure, command organisation and disposition of units for particular engagements of the British Military. At the highest level they show a breakdown of the units involved in entire conflicts, the First World War in this case, including Divisional and Brigade commanding officers, the organisation of the divisions right down to the battalion level along with their attached units from for example, the Royal Artillery. With the ORBATS you are able to determine exactly where units were on a given date and the battle, action or event they took part in.
If William Henry Pomeroy stayed with Suffolk Regiment, 12th Battalion, this map shows where they would have fought.
12th (Service) Battalion (East Anglian)
July 1915 Formed at Bury St. Edmunds as a bantam battalion and then moved to Bordon and joined the 121st Brigade of the 40th Division and then moved to Pirbright.
06.06.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of the Ancre.
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The capture of Fifteen Ravine, Villers Plouich, Beaucamp and La Vacquerie, The Cambrai Operations.
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck.
06.05.1918 Reduced to cadre.
16.06.1918 Transferred to the 14th Division.
17.06.1918 Returned to England and moved to Pirbright to reconstitute with the 16th Battalion and join the 43rd Brigade.
05.07.1918 Returned to France and landed at Boulogne and once again engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; The Battle of Ypres 1918.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Molembaix north of Tournai.
The 12th Battalion move to France on 27th May 1916 having completed its training in Blackdown, Pirbright, and Working area. Perhaps the training area holds a clue as to why William Henry Pomeroy ended up enlisted in an East Anglia Bantam Battalion.
Troop Movements for Suffolk Regiment, 12th Battalion 1916
Move To France - 27/05/1916
Location: Lillers. Having completed its training in the Blackdown, Pirbright and Woking area, in May 1916, 40th Division was warned that it would soon move to France. On 25th May the Division paraded on Laffans Plain for inspection by King George V and began its mobilisation on 27th May.
Entrainment began on 1st June with disembarkation at Le Harve between 2nd and 6th June, and by 9th June the Division had completed its concentration around Lillers.
Battles Of The Somme - Battle Of The Ancre - 14/11/1916
Location: Hebuterne area. British victory. The attack of the British Fifth Army against German First Army along the River Ancre between Thiepval and Beaumont Hamel was the final large scale British attack on the Somme before winter set in.
Troop Movements for Suffolk Regiment, 12th Battalion 1917
German Retreat To The Hindenburg Line - 14/03/1917
Location: Allaines. German tactical victory. Known to the Germans as 'Operation Alberich', this was a strategic German withdrawal to a series of fortifications that had been planned and built during the winter of 1916-1917.
Built on the highest ground possible and following an alignment 45km shorter than the current trench lines, it would require less troops to garrison as losses on the Eastern Front led to troop transfers. To complete the withdrawal the Germans carried out a 'scorched earth' policy to ensure that anything which might be useful to the Allies was destroyed.
Buildings were demolished, roads and railways mined, bridges blown up and water courses poisoned. When the German retreat began, 40th Division in XV Corps, Fourth Army were holding a sector of the front between Bouchavesnes-Bergen and Clery-sur-Somme.
120th Infantry Brigade and 121st Infantry Brigade in the front line, 119th Infantry Brigade in reserve. News of the German withdrawal from other parts of the line reaching the Division on 14th March, patrols were sent out to reconnoitre the German trenches on their front, finding them still occupied.
Further patrols sent out during the night of 17th -18th March reported the Germans beginning to withdraw, and 120th Infantry Brigade and 121st Infantry Brigade moved forward in pursuit. Crossing the Canal du Nord on 19th March, the Division halted at Allaines.
119th Infantry Brigade relieving 120th Infantry Brigade during the afternoon of 20th March. Relieved from these positions on 25th March, 40th Division passed into XV Corps reserve around Bouchavesnes-Bergen and Curlu.
Capture Of Fifteen Ravine - 21/04/1917
Location: Fifteen Ravine. British victory. Whilst Third and Fifth Armies were engaged in the major offensive against the Hindenburg Line east of Arras, to the south Fourth Army also attempted to advance their positions via a number of small attacks and skirmishes.
During the night of 12th-13th April, 8th Division had captured Gouzeacourt and on 21st April, 8th Division and 40th Division in XV Corps, Fourth Army, were to advance the lines further towards Gonnelieu and Villers-Plouich. 8th Division attacking Gonnelieu whilst 40th Division would advance towards Villers-Plouich, 120th Infantry Brigade on the left, 13th East Surrey Regiment and 11th King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) the lead battalions, 119th Infantry Brigade on the right, 12th South Wales Borderers and 19th Royal Welsh Fusiliers the lead battalions.
The objective of 12th South Wales Borderers was a position known as Fifteen Ravine, south of Villers-Plouich, so called because it had fifteen trees flanking it. Whilst 120th Infantry Brigade advanced with little difficulty, 119th Infantry Brigade, in particular 12th South Wales Borderers faced much more serious opposition, capturing its objective only after a stiff fight.
The cemetery known today as Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery is actually in Farm Ravine, Fifteen Ravine itself being the feature on the opposite side of the Gouzeacourt to Villers-Plouich road.
Capture Of Villers Plouich - 24/04/1917
Location: Villers Plouich (Villers-Plouich). British victory. Whilst Third and Fifth Armies were engaged in the major offensive against the Hindenburg Line east of Arras, to the south Fourth Army also attempted to advance their positions via a number of small attacks and skirmishes.
Having advanced their position from Gouzeacourt towards Villers-Plouich with the capture of Fifteen Ravine on 21st April, on 24th April, 40th Division in XV Corps, Fourth Army were to stage a much larger attack to capture the villages of Villers-Plouich and Beaucamps. 119th Infantry Brigade on the right were to attack the ridge between Gonnelieu and Villers-Plouich, whilst 120th Infantry Brigade on the left were to capture the villages of Beaucamps and Villers-Plouich.
The attack of 119th Infantry Brigade, 17th Welsh Regiment and 18th Welsh Regiment leading, 19th Royal Welsh Fusiliers in support, met little opposition and had cleared it's objectives by 07.00am. However 120th Infantry Brigade faced much stiffer resistance in the two villages.
On the right 13th East Surrey Regiment, supported by 14th Highland Light Infantry, moved out from Fifteen Ravine at 04.15am. Clearing the German trenches and several strong points south of Villers-Plouich, the two battalions reached the outskirts of the village by 05.30am.
Here they were halted for a time by heavy fire from a well entrenched machine-gun post, until this was finally cleared by 13th East Surrey Regiment. Pushing on 13th East Surrey Regiment had cleared and captured the village by 06.30am, although both they and 14th Highland Light Infantry came under heavy artillery fire during the day whilst securing it.
To the left 14th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, supported by 11th King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), had more problems in attacking Beaucamps. Although having little difficulty in getting through to the village, they found it impossible to hold due to machine-gun fire from Bilhem Farm and were forced to withdraw.
The Germans reoccupying the village following the withdrawal, a second attack at 14.00pm failed to retake it. Corporal E.
Foster, 13th East Surrey Regiment, was awarded a Victoria Cross for his actions during the attack on Villers-Plouich.
Capture Of Beaucamp - 24/04/1917
Location: Beaucamp (Beaucamps). British victory. Whilst Third and Fifth Armies were engaged in the major offensive against the Hindenburg Line east of Arras, to the south Fourth Army also attempted to advance their positions via a number of small attacks and skirmishes.
On 24th April, 40th Division attempted a large scale attack to capture the villages of Villers-Plouich and Beaucamps. With 120th Infantry Brigade leading the attack on Beaucamps and Villers-Plouich.
Whilst 13th East Surrey Regiment were successful in capturing Villers-Plouich, 14th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, supported by 11th King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), had been unable to hold Beaucamps due to machine-gun fire from Bilhem Farm. Receiving news during the evening that 20th Division had captured Trescault and Bilhem Farm, it was decided to continue the attack on Beaucamps the following morning.
Meeting little resistance the attack, led by 11th King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), was entirely successful.
La Vacquerie - 05/05/1917
Location: La Vacquerie. British victory. Whilst Third and Fifth Armies were engaged in the major offensive against the Hindenburg Line east of Arras, to the south Fourth Army also attempted to advance their positions via a number of small attacks and skirmishes.
During the night of 5th -6th May, 8th Division and 40th Division in XV Corps, Fourth Army, undertook a large scale raid on German positions around Gonnelieu and La Vacquerie. 8th Division attacking strong points north of Gonnelieu, 40th Division had as their objective the village of La Vacquerie and trenches north-west of it.
121st Infantry Brigade on the left, 20th Middlesex Regiment and 12th Suffolk Regiment leading, were to raid the trenches, whilst 119th Infantry Brigade on the right, 12th South Wales Borderers and 17th Welsh Regiment leading, 19th Royal Welsh Fusiliers in support and 18th Welsh Regiment in reserve were to attack La Vacquerie. The infantry holding the position as 224th Field Company, Royal Engineers, moved through the village blowing up the houses and clearing cellars.
Setting off at 23.00pm, 12th South Wales Borderers came under heavy machine-gun fire from the village but had entered it by 23.20pm. 224th Field Company completing their work, all the units withdrew on time at 01.00am.
William Henry Pomeroy, Private 50422 died of his wounds on 5th May 1917, either incured in the battle at La Vacquerie or at a previous battle.
From the records found so far we have William Henry Pomeroy, Private 50422, left a widow Kathleen M J, he was born in Clerkenwell of an unknown date or age, and he resided in Hayes. I think that is probably enough correlation to make them the same person, i.e William Henry Pomeroy, son of Charles Pomeroy and Charlotte Elizabeth Pomeroy, born 22nd September 1884 at 20 Torrens Buildings, Torrens Street, Clerkenwell, Islington (if at home). Baptised William Henry on 2nd November 1884 at the Parish Church of St Peter's Clerkenwell. Before the commencement of World War 1 he was living at 7 Rosedale Avenue, Hayes, as confirmed by the Baptism Record of his son Albert David on 21stJune 1914.
The death card, provided by somebody on Ancestry has the relevant information, including the families address.
Going back to Ancestry I find another copy of the Medal Record. The National Archives have been working with some selected partners to rescan the collection.
A worthwhile exercise, I think.
Another Ancestry record states that Private 50422 Enlisted in Hayes, unfortunately without a date.
Some people on Ancestry have also posted photos regarding William Henry Pomeroy.
The headstone at La Chapelette British and Indian Cemetery, of 50422 Private W H Pomeroy Suffolk Regiment 5 May 1917.
The two images of Private William Henry Pomeroy were posted on Ancestry by Elizabeth Reynolds. Looking at the collar badge of the uniform with him standing I would estimate this photo to be from his period of service with the Middlesex Regiment, commencing in 1902.
The mounted image is circa 1916, with the Suffolk Regiment.
William Henry (Harry) Pomeroy 1884-1917
1st cousin 3x removed
William Henry Pomeroy
b 22 Sep 1884 20 Torrens Buildings, Torrens Street, Angel, Islington, Middlesex, England
d 5 May 1917 • La Vacquerie, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
m 6 Mar 1907 Kingston, Surrey, England, to Kathleen Mary Josephine O'Dowd
19 May 1907 - John Henry Charles Pomeroy
4 October 1908 - William Patrick Pomeroy
14 May 1910 - Edward George Pomeroy
19 May 1912 - Kathleen Mary Josephine Pomeroy
20 March 1914 - Albert David Pomeroy
White Cottage, Wellington Road, Teddington, Middlesex
7 Rosedale Avenue, Hayes, Middlesex