Welcome to East Chinnock
East Chinnock and World War 1
Part 8
by Jeremy Churchill
Summer 1915
As far as the British were concerned summer of 1915, on the Western Front and in Gallipoli, saw a temporary lull in the fighting to rebuild units who had suffered severe casualties during the major attacks of spring and early summer.  Also a chance to incorporate fresh troops arriving from their winter training camps in the UK. The men from East Chinnock who were either in the Regular Army on the outbreak of War or who had volunteered subsequently and were now considered to be sufficiently well trained to be posted abroad were as follows:

Private/Scout Charles Andrews
(Regimental No. 14839), 7th (Service) Battalion Somerset Light Infantry. Posted to France 24/07/1915. Private Andrews, of 440 College (now “Church View Cottage”) was the brother of Cyril, son of Joseph & Elizabeth Ann (who were to lose 2 of their 4 sons – but also had 3 daughters).

Gunner George Axe (Regimental No. 109510), 527th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. According to “Kelly’s Directory of Somerset” for 1914, one George Axe was the carrier for the village before the War, making trips daily to Yeovil.

Private Gilbert Frank Axe (Regimental No. 92070), Royal Army Medical Corps. Enlisted 01/02/1915 and served throughout the War.

Driver Herbert Axe (Regimental No. 53374), 123rd Battery Royal Field Artillery. Enlisted 01/12/1908, posted to Egypt 01/04/1915 as part of 29th Division. Served in 17th Artillery Brigade as a Saddler from 6/11/15 and transferred to the Division’s Ammunition column from 13/5/16. The Division landed at Cape Helles on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Driver Axe, of 416 Carter’s Lane, was the grandson of Alice (widow), son of Nathaniel (widower), brother of Alfred, Frederick & Elizabeth) and was 24 in 1915.

Sergeant Maurice Axe (Regimental No. 14282), Royal Field Artillery Enlisted 29/01/1901, posted to France 4/09/1915.

Private (Stanley) William Axe (Regimental No. 516), 5th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers), Royal Irish Regiment, 29th Brigade, 10th (Irish) Division; sailed from Liverpool 07/07/1915, to Gallipoli via Mudros. Landed Suvla Bay 07/08/1915. Private Axe, of 410 New Buildings, was the grandson of Sarah (widow) and was 19 in 1915.

Private Gerald Dane (Regimental No. 590553), 7th (Service) Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, posted to France 24/07/1915. Private Dane, of 430 College, was the son of George & Betsy, brother of Stanley, Albert & Percy, and was 27 in 1915.

Private Percy Dane (Regimental No. 9003), Somerset Light Infantry. Private Dane, of 430 College, was the son of George & Betsy, brother of Stanley, Gerald & Albert, and was 22 in 1915.

Driver Herbert Hallett (Regimental No. 57687), 14th Reserve Battery, Royal Field Artillery.

Driver Thomas Rendell (Regimental No. 14283), Royal Field Artillery.

Gunner Thomas F Rockett (Regimental No. 59200) 15th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, posted to France 30/08/1915.

Private Arthur Frederick Shire (Regimental No. 14838), 7th (Service Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Posted to France 24/07/1915. Private Shire (then living at 469, Fordhay) is mentioned on p. 59 of “Village Echoes”.
Driver Harold Taylor, Army Service Corps of The Rookery (Son of John & Elizabeth, brother of Robert & William George. 25 in 1915.

Gunner Robert Taylor (Regimental No. 54047), 134th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Enlisted 29/12/1908, posted to France 13/05/1915. The brother of Harold, Robert was 23 in 1915.

Gunner John Trask (Regimental No. 17391), Royal Garrison Artillery. Posted to France 10/08/1914, brother of George and William.

Company Quarter Master Sergeant William Henry Trask (Regimental No. 91623), Royal Garrison Artillery. Brother of George and John.

Private Charles Vagg (Regimental No. 19865), 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards. Posted to France 27/07/1915 to prepare for the coming battle of Loos. Living at 466, “Near School” (probably now 466 Hyde Park).

Sapper Edward James Vagg (Regimental No. T1049, later 496166), Royal Engineers. Sent to France 31/03/1915, but discharged wounded (Silver War Badge) date unknown.

Farrier Sergeant/Acting Staff-Sergeant Albert George Cooper Warr (Regimental No. T4/042488) Army Service Corps. 437 College (later “Peace Lea”), grandson of Giles & Sarah Cooper. 20 in 1915.

Private Frederick Giles Cooper Warr (Regimental No. GS11549), 9th Lancers. Posted to France 01/06/1915, aged 23, to join his regiment. In “Village Echoes”, pp. 100-101, Mr Reg Warr remembers his father Frederick Giles Cooper Warr enlisting in the 9th (Queens’ Royal) Lancers which was “the only regiment to effect a cavalry charge against the enemy in France”. By 1915, fighting of this sort was fading fast; the cavalry were used to man trench systems to give the hard-pressed infantry a chance of a rest. Private Warr was the older brother of Albert.

Private William Bartlett Young (Regimental No. 995) 1/1st West Somerset Yeomanry. Posted to Gallipoli 23/09/1915, again, to fight without their horses. 19 in 1915.

Some, however, were rejected by the Army. Sapper Stanley Dane (Regimental No. 67310), Royal Engineers, 43rd Welsh Army Corps. Then Private (Regimental No. 31097), 19th Pioneer Battalion, Welsh Regiment. Enlisted at Abergavenny 2/2/1915, address given as Dinas (birthplace East Chinnock). Listed as Sapper in Royal Engineers of Welsh Army Corps. 9/4/1915 transferred to Welsh Regiment as Private. Promoted Lance Corporal 1/5/1915 but then discharged as “unlikely to become an efficient soldier” 26/7/1915., Son of George & Betsy (430 College), brother of Gerald, Albert & Percy) 29 1915.

Similarly, Gunner (Ernest) John Shire (Regimental No. 47139), 44th Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Gunner Shire, of 452 Weston Street, volunteered on the 19/10/1914, only to be discharged 13/04/1915 “Not likely to become an efficient soldier” (gastritis).


Part 9
Autumn 1915