Sometimes we look but we don’t really see – a local link to Egypt

On a recent visit to the graveyard at All Saints church in Grasby, North Lincs I was very surprised to see the recent addition of a Commonwealth War graves sign – indicating the presence of a war grave. A quick consultation of the CWGC app revealed the name Arthur Frank Wescott of the Royal Field Artillery who died on the 13th of November 1918. Now I’ve … Continue reading Sometimes we look but we don’t really see – a local link to Egypt

Private Ernest Donald Gow

Private Ernest Donald Gow 4th Bn, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. Died: 03.02.15 (Double Pneumonia, Mena Hospital, Cairo, Egypt) Age: 24 Headstone Inscription: ‘At Rest’ Son of William and Minnie Gow, of Ulmarra, New South Wales. Born at Wollongong. Ernest Donald Gow (Service No. 1207) was one of the first men from the Illawarra to die in World War 1. He was born in Wollongong in 1890, … Continue reading Private Ernest Donald Gow

‘The problem is not an easy one’ … cemetery construction, horticultural schemes and the Egyptian climate

In 1948 Hubert Worthington, the Principal War Graves Commission  Architect for Egypt and North Africa was busy adding his comments to the sketch plans, estimates and reports for the new cemetery construction at Tel-el-Kebir. The war memorial cemetery at Tel-el-Kebir, 110 kilometres north-north-east of Cairo, was used from June 1915 to July 1920 and increased after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other sites, including … Continue reading ‘The problem is not an easy one’ … cemetery construction, horticultural schemes and the Egyptian climate

‘One of the Best’ Private W.Vincent Rumbelow – Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

A few months ago I was lucky enough to find the Great War medals belonging to 240221 Private William Rumbelow of the 1st / 5th Bn Suffolk Regiment for sale on E Bay. I was really pleased to be able to purchase the medals and began to undertake some research into the life of their owner and the circumstances surrounding his death. After the Second … Continue reading ‘One of the Best’ Private W.Vincent Rumbelow – Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

Stories from the Hadra War Cemetery (Egypt): Staff Nurse Ella Cooke

In the winter of 1914, Ella Cooke was looking forward to a grand adventure. The Auckland-born nurse and her twin sister Lily had just departed New Zealand in a boat bound for Vancouver, New York and finally England. She was looking forward to seeing the sights, and eventually a working holiday in London, or maybe Paris. The outbreak of war in July 1914 dashed all … Continue reading Stories from the Hadra War Cemetery (Egypt): Staff Nurse Ella Cooke

‘A gallant and erudite Soldier’ – The Funeral of Major William Throsby Bridges

William Throsby Bridges was born at Greenock, Scotland, on 18 February 1861. As a youth he moved to Canada, where he later entered the Royal Military College but failed to graduate. In 1879 Bridges moved to Australia and joined the civil service, working in Braidwood, Murrurundi, and Narrabri. He returned to military life in 1885, taking a permanent commission in the artillery, and that same … Continue reading ‘A gallant and erudite Soldier’ – The Funeral of Major William Throsby Bridges

The Ethics of Collecting Medals – ‘Private James Tilbury’ of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Military medals are becoming increasingly valuable, but its the story of courage behind the award that ultimately counts. Whenever I  have seen personal medals for sale either at a dealers or for sale on sites such as eBay I have often wondered about the circumstances that brought them to be for sale. Over the years many sets are bequeathed to Regimental Museums or Associations however … Continue reading The Ethics of Collecting Medals – ‘Private James Tilbury’ of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment

‘Egypt’ The Interwar Years: The Funeral of Richard Gurney Peckover

For most of its operational life R.A.F Abu Sueir near Port Said in Egypt was associated with training. Opening in September 1917 the station hosted the No 4 Flying Training School from 1 April 1921 which remained at Abu Sueir until 2 September 1939 when it moved to RAF Habbaniya in Iraq. The images I received this week are from the funeral of Pilot Officer Richard Gurney … Continue reading ‘Egypt’ The Interwar Years: The Funeral of Richard Gurney Peckover

Lieutenant General Vyvyan Vavasour Pope CBE DSO MC and Bar (Cairo War Memorial Cemetery)

Vyvyan Vavasour Pope was born on the 30th of September 1891 the only son of James Pope and Blanche Holmwood (nee Langdale) Pope. He was educated at Ascham St Vincent School in Eastbourne and at Lancing College where he was in Seconds House from September 1906 to December 1910. He was a member of the Football XI in 1910 and was a Sergeant in the … Continue reading Lieutenant General Vyvyan Vavasour Pope CBE DSO MC and Bar (Cairo War Memorial Cemetery)

Staff Nurse Louisa Bicknell ‘As brave as any fighting soldier’

Louisa Bicknell was the first Australian nurse to die whilst on active service in Egypt. ‘Louie’ as she was known, was born at Elmore in 1879 to Eliza Bicknell of Abbotsford, Victoria.  She departed from Sydney on HMAT Kyrarra A55 on the 13th of April, 1915 for Egypt and was posted to the No. 1 Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis.  Within a few weeks of her arrival … Continue reading Staff Nurse Louisa Bicknell ‘As brave as any fighting soldier’