Friday 20 November 2015

1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry Resources

A superb collection of resources for anyone researching family members who served in the 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry during WW1 has been made available after a superb effort from volunteers at the Somerset Remembers project. Among a number of digitised resources is the muster roll & casualty list for the Battalion.

The list is divided into Officers and Men - in the former you can find the details of the key figures in the Battalion such as Capt Maud, killed on 19th December 1914 and whose body was returned by the Germans during the Christmas Truce and 2/Lt C.S. Lewis - author of the Narnia books who served in the Battalion from 1917 onwards.

Amongst the men you can find the entries for George Coward and Sgt Arthur Cook, 2 men who served 1914-1918 and kept diaries that have been published.


This document notes when men arrived at the front and when they left, records promotion and injury and any awards received.

Anyone researching a family member who served with the Battalion would also be interested in the The History of the Somerset Light Infantry by Everard Wyrall, which has been made available online here:

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Lance Corporal Arthur Jenkins

To follow this post you probably need to have read the previous one, which describes the time spent by the 8th Battalion CEF with the Somersets in Ploegsteert in early 1915. Their War Diary and one of their men, sniper Frank Iriam, recorded the attempts they made to rescue Arthur when he was hit by a sniper between the lines. This gave me an opportunity to find out more about an NCO as they were rarely named in the War Diary, the main source for my twitter account. Link to the blog past is here

My attempts to find out more about local man Arthur Jenkins, 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry were helped by the local paper, who kindly printed a summary the information I had gathered so far. Link here to the Bath Chronicle story.

This was gained mostly via the experts on the excellent Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group – anyone visiting from there may recognise some of the sources used – they, as well as the person who posted them can be found here:

After the newspaper article I was directed to the book – “In the Company of Heroes” by William Banning, which covers the First World War service of men in the villages surrounding Bath, many of them in the Somerset coalfield area. In the book were 2 letters written by Arthur during his time at the Front and also the details of the war memorials where he is remembered: The Ploegsteert Memorial and in the village of Hemington. The memorials and letters can be found below, in the second letter he mentions a Thomas Wilcox, I have been told that his nephew is still living in the same village.

Hemington War Memorial


Somerset Light Infantry names recorded on the Ploegsteert Memorial



Extracts from In the Company of Heroes W. Banning

Thanks to all who have helped me remember Arthur Jenkins.