35th Signal Company Royal Engineers
George had seen twenty three months of active service when he died of wounds on November 29th 1917, he was nineteen years old. His unit was the 35th Signal Company of the Royal Engineers. This unit was raised in Reading and was held in high esteem by the town. George was the son of Mr and Mrs W. Abery of 54, De Beauvoir Road, Reading. He is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Westvleteren, Poperinge West-Vlaanderen Belgium. Grave XV. E. 12.
Poperinge was used by troops for rest and relaxation from the Ypres battle front. Casualties from the front would pass through the area on the way to trains and home to “Blighty”. Dozinghem was one of a trio of cemeteries, the other two being Bandagem and Mendingham, named by British troops to sound like local Flemish names, which served the casualty clearing stations and field hospitals around Proven which was the British Army rail centre. We do not know exactly the extent of the wounds George received but about the time he was injured one of the worst battles of the whole war was taking place at Passchendaele. For over three years, the Germans held the ridge, until, on November 6th 1917, the rubble which had once been the village was captured by the Canadian Corps. Many of his colleagues from the school were less lucky and had no known graves, instead they are commemorated on the walls of the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing on Passchendaele ridge which is on the site of the largest Commonwealth Military cemetery any where in the world, Tyne Cot British Military Cemetery.
William Henry Achurch
2nd/5th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
William Henry Achurch was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Achurch, of 90 Cardigan Road, Reading. He died of wounds received on the 6th December 1917, aged 25. The Reading Chronicle of the 14th December 1917 carried an obituary. The article states that he had been badly wounded in the chest. The British launched a surprise attack at Cambrai on the 20th November 1917. Ten days later the Germans attacked the salient and penetrated the British lines. This was followed a few days later by a withdrawal from the area around Bourlon Wood and the eventually checking of the enemy. The Battle of Cambrai officially ended on the 7th December 1917. William Achurch is buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt, Somme, France. Location VI. D. 14.
Rocquigny and Equancourt are two villages in the Department of the Somme, some 13 kilometres north of Peronne and 12 kilometres south-east of Bapaume. Rocquigny and Equancourt are approximately 8 kilometres apart and the Rocquigny-Equancourt British Cemetery lies about halfway between the two villages on the north side of the road just west of the crossing road from Etricourt to Ytres. Etricourt was occupied by British troops at the beginning of April, 1917 during the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. It was lost on the 23rd March, 1918, and regained at the beginning of September. The cemetery was begun in 1917, and used (mainly by the 21st and 48th Casualty Clearing Stations, posted at Ytres) until March, 1918.
William Achurch joined the Yeomanry soon after the outbreak of war. He was transferred to the Worcesters, promoted to the rank of Sergeant whilst on the Somme. Later he was commissioned to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, returning to England to train in Oxford. He had been back at the front for four months when he was killed. He had seen a great deal of fighting.
William Achurch was a member of Wycliffe Chapel, a Sunday School teacher and Scout Master. Before the war he worked for Messrs. Sutton and Sons.
J. H. Adams
3rd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regt.
Private Adams died 2nd November 1918, aged 31. He was the son of John and Elizabeth Adams and the husband of Frances E. Adams, of 20, St. John’s Hill, Reading. He had been born at Bermondsey, London. A personal communication from a Gill Read has given information stating that John Adams died in Portobello Military Hospital, Dublin, Ireland of pneumonia syncope.
He has a CWGC war pattern headstone, grave number 5058.