Commemorating ancestors who were involved in World War 1, including -

Private 602, Edward Samuel BRIDGEMENT (Australia),
Rifleman 17/1344, Herbert McWILLIAMS (Ireland) and
Private 7395, Robert P MULHOLLAND (Ireland).

Monday, 26 March 2018

Remembering Private Robert P Mulholland, Le Touret Memorial, Richebourg, France

On the weekend of 17th & 18th March 2018,  I went on a trip to northern France and Belgium. The purpose of this trip was mainly to honour my mother's Uncle Ted, who had been killed in action, 100 years ago on the 18th March 1918. You can read my blog post about my visit to the La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery here.

When preparing for this trip I remembered that I had another relative that served in the First World War, that was buried nearby, this time from the Mulholland family. My great grandfather's nephew Robert P Mulholland. Robert was born in Randalstown, County Antrim, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) on 3rd August 1886, the first son of Robert and Martha (nee Lynn) Mulholland. Robert followed in his father's footsteps and according to the 1901 Census of Ireland was an apprentice Power Loom Tuner, in Caledon, County Tyrone. By the time the 1911 Census of Ireland was recorded, he was 24 years of age, single and employed as a Power Loom Tuner in Figullar, County Monaghan.

Robert enlisted on 3 November 1913 and at that time resided at 73 Rosetta Road, Peebles, Peebleshire, Scotland. Robert was enlisted as No. 7395, 8th Battalion, Royal Scots. At that time he was employed as a weaver by Messrs W. Thorburn Bros. in Peebles. According to his Statement of Services, he participated in annual training from 19 July 1914 - 2 August 1914 and in Embodied Service from 5 August 1914 at Peebles until 3 November 1914 and then in France from
4 November 1914 until he was killed in action on 16 May 1915.

I struck gold when I searched the Internet Archive otherwise known as the Way Back Machine, Book I of the  "The Book of Remembrance for Tweeddale. [Roll of honour of Peebleshire men killed in the Great War, 1914-1918. With portraits.]" included not only details about Robert Mulholland but also a portrait and some of his poetry.

Cover page
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.

by Dr Gunn
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920), 
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : 
accessed 7 December 2014).

Title page
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.

by Dr Gunn
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920), 
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).

The following are pages from the book which mention Robert and also include some of his poetry.

Page 2
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.

by Dr Gunn
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  2
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).

Page 3
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.

by Dr Gunn
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  3
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).

The next page icludes a poem "In Memorium - Private Thomas Wilson" written by Robert Mulholland.
Page 26
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.

by Dr Gunn
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  26
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).

The following page includes a portrait of Private R.P Mulholland.
Page 64
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.

by Dr Gunn
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  64
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).

 The following page remembers Private R.P. Mulholland who was killed in action 16 May 1915.
Page 65
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.

by Dr Gunn
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  65
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).

The next two pages include "A Shirt, A Lady and A Drop" and "The Glorious Tweed" written by Robert Mulholland.

Page 66
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.

by Dr Gunn

Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  66
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).

Page 67
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.
by Dr Gunn


Burgh & Parish of Peebles 
Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  67
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, 
The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).


Page 69
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.

by Dr Gunn

Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  69
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).


Page 79
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.
by Dr Gunn
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  79
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).



Index
The Book of
Remembrance
For
Tweeddale
Burgh & Parish of Peebles
Book 1.
by Dr Gunn
Source: Dr Clement Bryce Gunn, The Book of Remembrance For Tweeddale 
Burgh & Parish of Peebles Book I (Peebles, Scotland: Allan Smyth, Neidpath Press, 1920),  Index
digital images, The Internet Archive (https://archive.org : accessed 7 December 2014).


We arrived at the Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, Richebourg, France about 2.15 pm on the 17th March 2018.

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery,
39 Rue du Bois, 62136 Richebourg, France
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

It was bitterly cold, and luckily I quickly located the panel listing the Royal ScotsRobert was listed as a PrivateMULHOLLAND R.


Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery,
Panels including the Royal Scots
© Geoff Mulholland 2018
Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, 
Panels including the Royal Scots 
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, 
Panels including the Royal Scots 
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery,
Panels including the Royal Scots 
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018
Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, 
Memorial Register
© Geoff Mulholland 2018
Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, 
Part 2 Garratt-McWilliam
1914 - 1918
The Ward Dead of The Commonwealth
Le Touret Memorial
Pas de Calais
 Commonwealth War Graves Commission
© Geoff Mulholland 2018
"Part 2 Garratt-McWilliam, 1914 - 1918, The Ward Dead of The Commonwealth, Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais", page 201, lists Private Robert Mulholland, 7395, 8th Bn. Royal Scots.

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, 
Part 2 Garratt-McWilliam
1914 - 1918
The Ward Dead of The Commonwealth
Le Touret Memorial
Pas de Calais
Page 201,
 Private Robert Mulholland, 7395, 8th Bn. Royal Scots
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, 
Cemetery Register
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, 
Visitors Book
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, 
Visitors Book
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
© Geoff Mulholland 2018
I signed the Visitors Book -
Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, 
Visitors Book
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Here I am at the entry to the Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery, Richebourg, France.


Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery,
39 Rue du Bois, 62136 Richebourg, France
photo used with kind permission of
Kyan Mortazavi © 2018
Links:

Cemetery Plan - Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery

Commonwealth War Graves Commision - Le Touret Memorial and Military Cemetery


© Geoff Mulholland 2013 - 2018

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Remembering Uncle Ted, Private 602 Edward Samuel Bridgement



On the weekend of 17th & 18th March 2018,  I went on a trip to Northern France and Belgium. The purpose of this trip was mainly to honour my mother's Uncle Ted. My mother had never met her uncle but often spoke of him. Uncle Ted had been remembered in family discussions, as he had volunteered to serve his country in the First World War.

During the war, Ted kept in regular contact with his family back in Sydney, Australia, and a number of his letters and postcards to his mother, father, sisters and brother were treasured by the family and eventually handed down from his mother Annie Josephine (nee Gillham) Bridgement to his sister Vivian Doris (nee Bridgement) Munton, to her daughter Doris Anne (nee Munton) Horsburgh and some time after Doris' death, her husband William Frank Cooper Horsburgh passed the letters on to my mother, Patricia Ann (nee Frost) Mulholland. Ted or Private E.S.Bridgement as he was known, was wounded in action in France on 20th July 1916, he had sustained gun shot wounds to both thighs. In a undated letter, of which only one page survives, he described the circumstances when he was wounded -

           "... each hand under heavy artillery machine guns & different others was weapons I reached their [there] safely but our job was to come back and carry more Bombs and back we started. I might tell you that only 5 out of our section reached their[there]. I got about 10 yds from the Germans trench coming back when I got hit so you can guess it was not to[too] easy a job to get back a distance of nearly 500 yds when I was wounded in both thighs but thanks God I managed to struggle their[there]. It took me over a hour. It was not to nice crawling along seeing dead men lying all around you and shells bursting only yds away from you when I got back into our trenches the stretcher bearers where [were] very busy so I crawled into a dug out and found 15 more wounded comrades there was hardly room to move. I waited all night and could not get a stretcher bearer so I decided to struggle down to the dressing station It was about a mile from where we where[were]"

Page from an undated  letter
 written by Private E.S.Bridgement,
presumed to have been written to
his parents in either late July or
early August 1916.
Digitised by G.J. Mulholland.


He was admitted to the Ambulance Train and then to the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, later he was transferred to the Hospital Ship "St David" and finally admitted to Ontario Military Hospital, Orpington Kent, England on the 22nd July 1916.


In a letter to his mother dated 9th August 1916, Ted writes ..."I told you in my last letter about how I got wounded I also told you I would be up and about in a few days. I was up out of bed for over a week getting about on Crutchers then I started to hobble about without them and I felt something under my knee every time I walked so I told the doctor, and he sent me to the X Ray and the next day he told me that there was a scrappnel Bullet there and so I had to get him out, went under the Operation yesterday morning about 8 o'clock and I did not wake up till 3 o'clock. I never felt a bit sick when I woke up it was just like waking out of a sleep. I believe the Bullet was in very deep the orderly told me that they where[were] about 1 hour & half getting it out. I suppose I will have to stop in bed for about a week or two until the wound eals[heals] up. I am a very lucky fellow Most of the lads feel very sick for a couple of Days after a operation but thanks God I am feeling just as well has[as] ever. My temperature was never above normal and I felt very Hungary[hungry] when I woke up I got something to eat the same night so there was nothing wrong with me"

Page from a letter dated
9th August 1916 written
by Private E.S.Bridgement
to his mother.
Digitised by G.J. Mulholland.


Ted was eventually discharged and proceeded on furlough. During his furlough he was admitted to the State Apartments, Windsor Castle, on Tuesday 13th March, 1917.

Private E.S.Bridgement's admission card
to the State Apartments, Windsor Castle,
13th March 1917. This card was sent with
a letter written by Ted Bridgement to his parents.
Digitised by G.J. Mulholland

Reverse side of Private E.S.Bridgement's
admission card to the State Apartments,
Windsor Castle, 13th March 1917.
Digitised by G.J. Mulholland


In a letter to his father dated 21st March 1917, Ted writes ..."I have been having a great time lately been into London 6 times in the last fortnight seeing different theatres & I also went to see Windsor Castle it was very interesting and I saw everything that was to be seen from the throne down to the stables Oh Dad when I have the luck to get home again I will be able to tell you all about it and about different other places I have saw[seen]."


Page from a letter dated
21st March 1917 written by
Private E.S.Bridgement to his father.
Digitised by G.J. Mulholland.




Private E.S.Bridgement rejoined his unit in France on 31 August 1917.

The letters and postcards that Ted sent were especially important to the family as on the 18th day of March 1918, at approximately 10 am, Private E.S.Bridgement was killed in action.

Amongst the collection of Ted's letters, was a letter dated 28th August 1918, from the Australian Red Cross Society to his mother Mrs. A Bridgement, notifying her that seven reports of Private E.S.Bridgement's death had been sent to the Australian Red Cross.
  • "He was in "C" Company. I did not see the casualty, but he was killed at the same time as Capt.  Adams, M.C., by a shell, that landed on Company Headquarters at Warneton. He was batman to Lieut. Haviland, who was wounded by the same shell. He, I think, is in England at the present time and would refer you to him for further particulars. I think he would be buried in the Cemetery at Wulverghem."


Informant - Sergeant G.Wrapson,
30th Battalion, Headquarters,
3rd Australian Auxilary Hospita[l]
Dartford.
Note. Written Lieut. Haviland, 14/6/18.
London, 17/6/18.

  • "He was in a dugout with Capt. Adams, to whom he was batman, at Messines, when a shell dropped into the dugout and killed both Capt.Adams and Bridgement. Capt. Adams was buried in Douve Cemetery, behind Messines Ridge, but I do not know if Bridgement was buried there. I was just behind the dugout when it happened. Lieut. Haviland was also, in the dugoug[dugout], and was badly wounded."

Reference - Private A. Barbour, No.2496
No.47 General Hospital, 27/5/18.
Le Treport,7/6/18.





  • "Re No.602, Private E.S.Bridgement, "C" Co., 30th Battalion. He was with me when he was killed 18/3/18, at Messines. He and I and Capt. Adams (who was killed) were in the Co. Headquarters dugout, and Fritz was strafing heavily. A 6" shell blew in the dugout at about 10 a.m. and a piece of shell struck Bridgement, killing him instantly. He was buried at Petit Douve Cemetery near Messines, and a Cross was erected, and I believe the grave was registered. He was buried beside Capt. Adams, who was killed at the same time. Bridgement was always reliable, and about the coolest man under fire I have ever seen. He was a general favourite throughout the Battalion. He was always ready and willing to do any job that was offered. His kit effects will have been sent by the War Office to his people"


Letter from - Lieut. Haviland, The O.C., 
France 24/6/18.
London, 28/6/18.

  • "I helped to bury him in March, 1918, in "La Petite Douve" Cemetery, Messines, close to the grave of Capt. Adams, 30th Battalion, who was buried the same day. Each grave was marked with a little peg with the name on the field card, but the Crosses had not been made when we left. we were relieved by the 2nd Division. He was the only Bridgement in the Battalion, or Company, but I did not know him personally."

Informant - Private W.H.Berry, no.3404,
30th Battalion, Headquarters, 
Harefield.
London, 20/6/18.

  • "I knew Bridgement well, he was in "C" Co., he was short, rather stout, dark, clean shaved, about 25. On the 18th March we were in front of Warneton, holding the line. During the night I heard he was killed by shell explosion, with Capt. Adams. At dawn next morning I saw the bodies of Capt. Adams and Bridgement carried out for burial. There was a Cemetery near the first Casualty Station nearby. The Battalion Headquarters would know where they were buried."
Informant - Private A.Clarke, No.289,
30th Battalion, "C" Co., 12th pltn
Australian Camp, Rouelles.
Havre, 21/6/18.

  • Capt. Adams and Private Bridgement were both in a dugout in the front line, near Messines, when a shell came and blew in the dugout, killing both. I am not sure where they were buried, but the bodies were carried to Bethleinen Farm. Private P. Weston, No.4121 was one of the Stretcher Bearers, and might be able to give further information."
          Eyewitness - Yes.
          Description. Medium height and stout, had a split lip.
Informant - C.S.M. Leonard Bickerton, No.2283,
30th Battalion, "C' Co., Headquart-
Military Hospital,                ers
Devonport.                         
           Home Address - West Maitland,                           
                                               N.S.W.                               
           Note.    Written Private Weston, 29/6/18.
London, 21/6/18.

  • I saw him being brought out at the same time as Capt. Adams of the same Battalion. I also saw his grave which is situated right next to Capt.Adams' in a Cemetery at Wulverghen."
Informant - Private J.O'Connow, No.730,
30th Battalion,
Dartford.
London, 5/6/18.

Page 1 of  a letter from the
 Australian Red Cross Society
dated 28th August 1918 to
Ted's mother Mrs A Bridgement.
Digitised by G.J.Mulholland

Page 2 of  a letter from the
 Australian Red Cross Society
dated 28th August 1918 to
Ted's mother Mrs A Bridgement.
Digitised by G.J.Mulholland

Page 3 of  a letter from the
 Australian Red Cross Society
dated 28th August 1918 to
Ted's mother Mrs A Bridgement.
Digitised by G.J.Mulholland



We arrived at the side road leading to La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery at approximately 9:45 am on Sunday 18th March 2018, and there was a bitterly cold wind

© Geoff Mulholland 2018
there was a sign at the side of the building stating that this was a private road, 

© Geoff Mulholland 2018
so we decided to walk down towards the farm and cemetery

© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Private road leading to La Plus Douve Farm and Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

La Plus Douve Farm,
the Cemetery to the right is the Ration Farm Annexe,
La Plus Douve Farm Cemtery is actually located behind
the farm buildings. 
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

La Plus Douve Farm
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Entrance to La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018
 A few minutes before 10:00 am, on the 100th Anniversary of the death of Uncle Ted, I placed a bouquet of flowers next to Ted's grave. His grave is located near the wall, at the rear of the Cemetery, in Section III, row D, grave No. 11.
Australian Imperial Forces
602 Private
E.S.Bridgement
30th Bn.Australian Inf.
18th March 1918 Age 22
Greater Love
Hath No Man Than This
He Laid Down His Life
For His Friends
III D 11
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Australian Imperial Forces
602 Private
E.S.Bridgement
30th Bn.Australian Inf.
18th March 1918 Age 22
Greater Love
Hath No Man Than This
He Laid Down His Life
For His Friends
III D 11
© Geoff Mulholland 2018
Australian Imperial Forces
602 Private
E.S.Bridgement
30th Bn.Australian Inf.
18th March 1918 Age 22
Greater Love
Hath No Man Than This
He Laid Down His Life
For His Friends
III D 11
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Australian Imperial Forces
Captain
E.Adams M.C.
30th Bn.Australian Inf.
18th March 1918
III D 12
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

Australian Imperial Forces
602 Private
E.S.Bridgement
30th Bn.Australian Inf.
18th March 1916 Age 22
III D 11
&
Australian Imperial Forces
Captain
E.Adams M.C.
30th Bn.Australian Inf.
18th March 1918
III D 12
© Geoff Mulholland 2018


La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery
© Geoff Mulholland 2018
La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery, Cemetery Register
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery.
I can be seen here signing the Visitors Book,
Commonwealth War Graves Commission,
photo used with kind permission of
Kyan Mortazavi © 2018


La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery, Visitors Book
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery Visitors Book
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
© Geoff Mulholland 2018

La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery Visitors Book
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
© Geoff Mulholland 2018
I had taken a digitised copy of Ted's letters to his family and a few of their letters to him, with me to the cemetery. It was my intention to read a few of them at his graveside. However, it was bitterly cold and had started to snow, so I decided it was time to make our way home. 

I am also pleased to publish this blog post on the 21st Anniversary of my mother's passing 21st March 2018. 

Links:








© Geoff Mulholland 2013 - 2018