Home » First World War

Category Archives: First World War

Frederick Curnow

We’ve recently received a note from Kieran Saunders about his great uncle, Rifleman Frederick Curnow, who was killed in France during May 1916:

“My Great Uncle Frederick James Curnow was with the London Irish Rifles in the First World War and was killed in action on 11th May 1916, aged 21. I have attached a photo of him in uniform and also a group photo including other unknown comrades, he is standing second from left. I believe his body was not found and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

He was the eldest son of Frederick & Annie Curnow born 1895 in Chelsea, London and the family say his mother was so broken hearted that her son was killed that she died just 9 months later.”

Quis Separabit.

Sergeant EJ Murray

We were recently contacted by the grandson of 591441 Sergeant Ernest John Murray, who served with the London Irish Rifles during the First World War.
In his note, Glenn Murray told us:
“My grandfather, EJ Murray, served with the 1/18th Battalion London Irish Rifles during the First World War and whilst looking on the internet in an attempt to get some information about the battles which he may have been involved in, I came across your website. My grandfather was awarded the Military Medal as a result of escaping from a prisoner of war camp in 1918.
Whilst looking at your website, I noticed a link to a list of those soldiers that were awarded the Military Medal during the First World War whilst serving with the 1/18th Battalion and I was surprised to see that his name is not included.”
We are now so pleased to correct our website to include Ernest Murray’s details – the London Gazette confirmation of the MM award is dated 30th January 1920 –  and we also attach here an account of his escape from Prisoner of War Camp.
A most remarkable story indeed.

Rifleman George Grist

We were recently visited by Paul Grist, the nephew of Rifleman George Grist, who was killed on 31st August 1918 while serving with the 1/18th Battalion in France and is buried at Rancourt CWGC Cemetery.

Rifleman Grist, who was 19 years of age when he was killed, had joined the Royal Irish Rifles in 1917 and it seems he had been attached to the London Irish Rifles along with a number of others following the heavy casualties suffered by the battalion during March/April 1918.

During his visit, Paul Grist shared with us some very moving letters that had been received by his family in London following his uncle’s death, a remarkable testimony to a brave man.

Quis Separabit.


 

CSM Richard Fuller DCM

We were delighted to be visited recently at the museum by Stephen Foot, the grandson of CSM Richard Fuller who served with the 1/18th Battalion on the Western Front during the First World War.

Stephen kindly brought along his grandfather’s Distinguished Conduct Medal, which was awarded to him for his remarkable actions at “Happy Valley” in France on 22nd August 1918.

Rather unusually CSM Fuller was also awarded the Belgian Order of Leopold, which was only given to three men in total from the 47th London Division.

Following his distinguished service with the London Irish Rifles, Richard Fuller joined the Royal Irish Rifles and served for several years with that Regiment – he even joined up again with the Home Guard in 1939.

A remarkable man and we have now some most remarkable memories to treasure.

Quis Separabit.


 

Rifleman Arthur Oscar Berling

We recently received a note recently from Richard Berling about his grandfather Arthur, who was killed during September 1917.
“My grandfather was listed as a rifleman who died whilst serving with the London Irish Rifles. He died on the 2nd September 1917 at Ypres and is buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery. His regimental number was 6924 later 593990.
Rifleman BERLING, ARTHUR OSCAR

Service Number 593990

Died 02/09/1917

Aged 35

18th Bn.  London Regiment (London Irish Rifles)

Son of Andrew Berling, of 15, Albert Square, Clapham, London; husband of Dora Annie Berling, of 9, Rue Fontaine, Paris.

We only have one photo of him within the family and if it is of any interest for your archive collection I enclose it for your consideration. The reason for my grandmother’s French address is that two of her sisters had married Frenchmen and when she received news of her husband’s wounds she went across to France. I was wondering if someone within the Association can help me with another small matter. I enclose a poor photo taken many years ago of an honour roll and on the original I can just make out the name Berling A O. Years ago I was told it was taken at the Chelsea HQ long before it’s redevelopment? “
 
Quis Separabit.