Bertie Bond's Diary
The last few months of the war through the eyes & pen of my grandfather Bertie Bond, sailor on board HMS Fury
His personal diary
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William George Hopcraft and Bertie Smallbone
William George Hopcraft joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as a private. According to the contributor William was held as a prisoner of war in Baghdad and died there. It is not clear if he was still a prisoner of war when he died aged 25 years. Bertie Smallbone was a private in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He served in France and was gassed. As a result he suffered from asthma for the rest of his life which is what is believed to have killed him. || Photocopy of a photo of 3 soldiers, of which William Hopcraft is in the middle. Photocopy of William's medals: The Victory Medal, the British War Medal and the Star. Postcard of Bertie in uniform Postcard of Bertie(second from left) in a line up with a man on a stretcher at the front Photocopy of and the original photograph of Bertie's regiment with Bertie on the 2nd row from the top, 3rd from the left. Document detailing Bertie receiving the Victory Medal & British War Medal with the regiment number.
John Breed | Diary and Training diary
Before the war John Breed worked in a mill in Leeds that made flags and banners. This was the family mill (E.Riley and Co Ltd, Marsh Lane, Leeds.) His address was 4 Methley Mount, Chapeltown, Leeds. According to his war diary, John Bennington Breed arrived in Le Havre on 30th January 1917 with the Royal Garrison Artillery, 236th Siege Battery. He kept a daily diary of his experiences, including on every page how many shells were fired every day as he was in charge of armaments. He talks about the gas and the planes and airships going over and talks about shooting them down. He was killed on 31st July 1917 - after he had made a last entry in his diary at around 9pm. He was 35 when he was killed. He is presumed to have joined earlier due to his age. It is likely that he enrolled around 1915 as his training diary is dated 1915-16 and includes lots of drawings of guns, ammunitions and instructions for firing distances. He was a Second Lieutenant when he died. A memorial service was held in York on the 12th November, 1921 at Elmfield College York. A memorial card shows that he was buried in Klein Vierstarrt Cemetery, South West of Ypres. He left three children of which the contributor's mother was the middle one, aged seven when he died. The diary makes sad reading due to the references to people getting killed and gassed. Occasionally he got a weekend off in a local town for rest and recouperation. In one exert the general tells them off for shooting when he was passing on his horse and he intends to report them. John Breed wrote that he would tell someone first. There is a great deal in the diary about conditions in the trenches over the 6 month period near Ypres on the Western Front. || Daily trench diary, 1917, Training diary, dated 1915-16, Memorial Service Sheet 1921, Photograph of John Breed, Bronze memorial plaque, Buckingham Palace letter that accompanied the Bronze memorial plaque. Black edged Memorial card || || Following images are of pages from the trench diary kept by John Breed in 1917 || Trench Life || John Breed || Diary || John Breed's daily trench diary || || John Breed || Letter sent by Buckingham Palace (with George R.I. signature) to John Breed's family to accompany the bronze Memorial plaque. || Letter from Buckingham Palace to John Breed's family || Letter || || John Breed || Memorial sheet detailing the service and death date of John Breed, together with the location of his grave. || John Breed memorial sheet || Memorabilia || || Black edged memorial sheet (reverse) for John Breed detailing family's thanks for sympathy on their loss. Dated September 1917. || John Breed || Memorabilia || John Breed memorial sheet (reverse) || || 2 images of the Order of service for the ceremony to unveil a memorial to the WWI dead of Elmfield College, York. The service took place on Saturday November 12th, 1921 at 2pm. || Deutsch || Elmfield College, York war memorial service sheet || Memorabilia || Elmfield College, York service sheet || || Next 90 images are pages from John Breed's training diary dated 1915-16. They include lots of drawings of guns, ammunitions and instructions for firing distances. || Diary || John Breed || John Breed's Training diary || || John Bennington Breed || Photograph || Photograph of John Bennington Breed || || Memorabilia || Memorial Bronze plaque for John Bennington Breed || John Bennington Breed || Bronze memorial plaque. This large bronze memorial plaque was sent with a parchment scroll to the next of kin of those who lost their lives on active service in World War I. They became known as the Dead Man's Penny. The plaque shows Britannia bestowing a laurel crown on a rectangular tablet bearing the full name of the dead in raised lettering. In front, stands the British lion with dolphins in the upper field, an oak branch lower right and a lion cub catching a fallen eagle at the base. The inscription round the circumference reads He died for freedom and honour.