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I thought I'd share some family history.


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I thought I'd start off this sub-section with my family history, beginning with the First World War, on my fathers side to begin with. Well my Great Grandfather, Arthur Lewis, fought with the 1/4th Battalion Royal Leicesters, and also the Royal West Kents, between 1916-1921, on the Western Front and Northwest Frontier, we believe he signed up early war, and was sent over to France in early 1916 after their disastrous losses at Loos, where they attacked the most heavily defended area in Loos, the Hohenzollern Redoubt, so my Great Garndfather would've been a replacement, or as some of the surviving BEF guys would call them, 'Coffin Fillers'. We know he was the company Sharpshooter, Marksmen or Sniper, as he had the marksmen badge, so he was the best shooter in his company out of 120 men. From research, we believe he fought on the Somme, where he was wounded when a bullet richocheted off of his spade and into his back , and when recovered he was sent the the RWK in Sep 1916. From there he fought throughout the war and in mid-late 1918 was sent to Mesopotamia to guard Ottoman POWs. After war finished he was sent up to the Northwest Frontier, to put down a rowdy rebellion by a local tribe. He was married and a fireman by 1922. He died in the 80s.  

I also recently found out about my Great Great Uncle, Frank Lewis, Arthur Lewis' little brother, who was 15 when war broke out, and saw his brother go off, and must've felt some national pride, and signed up in 1918. He was drafted into the Drake Battalion, 63rd Naval Division, and landed in France in 1918. On the 25th May 1918, they took over from the Hood Battalion on a stretch of trench line at a place called Mesnil on the Somme. The following day at 4pm, the Germans bombarded their trenches, this was their war diary for that day: "Enemy heavily bombarded  our front line with trench mortars - artillery on the main line of resistance...S.O.S sent up by Right Brigade, but no infantry action followed". During the bombardment, my Great Great Uncle was wounded in the face and leg, and didn't recover until very late on in the war. 

Now onto my mother side in WW1. The only one we know of, as there could be more, is my Great Great Grandfather Samuel Riley. He joined up very early war, maybe just before, and was in the 1/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, he spent a lot of time in England due to bad health and was sent over on 17th July 1916, possibly as a reeinforcement for the losses at Gonmecourt, but was instead sent to the 4th Entrenching Battalion, before he was again hit with bad health and sent home. It wasn't until late 1918 when he was sent back to the Western Front, and fought at Le Cateau with the 11th Sherwood Foresters.

Now onto WW2, where my dads side is shorter and my mums side longer. So on my dads side there is my Great Uncle Frank, yes I know both my Great Uncle and Great Great Uncle are called Frank Lewis, he fought in the late stages of WW2 and Palestine post war, he was a Driver in a Tank. 

On my mums side there was my Grandmas 3 uncles, Derrick was an infantryman, Fred was a RASC driver, who fought in all theatres except the Pacific, and was once driving when a bullet came through the windshield and hit his friend who was next to him and subsequently died in the passengers seat. And finally there was Clifford, who was a chauffeur for the top brass, and by pure chance he was in Italy during WW2, he was going one way, and by pure chance who was coming the other way, Fred his brother!

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  • 5 years later...

Wow what a cool story loved it. Ps my grandpa served in Germany during the 60s and my great grandfather a WW2 VET STILL ALIVE TODAY although very sick he’s alive we are going to visit him next week I’m excited to hear his story’s at least one more time!!!

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