George Shadbolt, Private 7316, 1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment. Died 09/09/1914, aged 29. Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: Sp. Mem. (Panel). Cemetery: MONTREUIL-AUX-LIONS BRITISH CEMETERY.
Albert Edward Moody, Private 8136, 1st Bn. Norfolk Regiment. Died 14/09/1914, aged 21. Son of George and Maria Moody, of 13 Bathurst Ave., Merton Park, Surrey. Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: H. 1. Cemetery: MONTCORNET MILITARY CEMETERY.
Greville Hubert Robins Blunt, Captain, Royal Field Artillery. Died 23/09/1914, aged 31. Son of the late Maj. Blount (R.A.) (killed in South African War). Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: E. 86. Cemetery: ST. NAZAIRE (TOUTES-AIDES) CEMETERY.
George Shadbolt was one of five brothers to serve in the Great War – George, John Arthur, Alfred and Samuel. George, John and Alfred all served in the Dorsets and were pre-war regulars. George’s other brothers would both serve in the Royal Army Service Corps.
George had joined the Army on 6th July 1904, and had served at home and then in India from the end of 1906 until the spring of 1913, he then returns to the UK. Events move quickly for George in the summer of 1914. He marries Louise Roxberry on 11th July 1914, just three weeks later War is declared and within a fournight George lands with his battaion at Le Harve on 16th August 1914.
George is at Mons and Le Cateau and his battalion fights a rearguard action at Crepy en Valies on 1st September. On 6 September, they march north to the River Marne. In the afternoon of 9th September, they attack the Germans east of Montreuil towards Hill 189 without artillery support. The Germans defend with accurate machine gun fire and heavy shell fire.
The attack does not succeed, the Dorsets are forced to retire under darkness by 6pm. The War Diary of the 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment gives the casualties for that day:
Officers – Wounded.
Major C. Saunders—–C Coy—–Slightly
Capt A R M Roe*—–B Coy—–Severely
Capt A B. Priestley*—–B Coy—–Severely
Lieut A.K.D. George—–D Coy—–severely
* since died of wounds.
NCOs and men
The battalion withdrew, but so did the Germans, and the 5th Division advanced north towards the River Aisne.
George’s brother Alfred William will die as prisoner in 1916. John Clement Shadbolt will be diagnosed with neurasthenia at the end of the war, and Samuel David is discharged on 13.5.18 with a Silver War Badge due to sickness. Arthur John is not demobbed until June 1919.
George’s mother, Elizabeth, died in 1907 and his father, George Herbert Shadbolt, died in 1929. Several of his siblings, including his married sister Louise Florence Vincent, continue to live in Mitcham after the War, and others live in Tooting. Both George and Alfred William Shadbolt are on the roll of honour in Christ Church, Colliers Wood.
Albert Edward Moody was born in 1893 in Plaistow, Essex, now part of the London Borough of Newham. The fourth of six children, Albert had three elder brothers, and two younger sisters. His brother Frederick died aged 11 in 1902. By 1909 the family had move from East London to Mitcham where both Albert’s father and older brother George worked for one of Mitcham’s many varnish makers. Albert had joined the Army, probably in 1910 judging by his number.
The 1st Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment are at the Palace Barracks, Holywood, Belfast, when War is declared. Like the 1st Dorsets they are part of 15th Brigade, 5th Division. Albert lands at Le Harve on the same day as George Shadbolt, the 16th August 1914. Albert Moody will fight in the same actions as George Shadbolt in late August and early September. In contrast to the 1st Dorsets, the 1st Norfolks had sufferd only one casualty on the 9th of September near hill 189.
On the 13th September the 15th Brigade crosses the river Asine at night in fog. Rafts holding sixty men at a time are used, it is completed in four and a half hours.
On the 14th September the Brigade receives orders to move on to Missy and clear the Chivres ridge of the enemy and push on to Condé and take that if possible, this proves to be a tall order. An attack on the wooded ridge above Missy starts in the late afternoon. In the confusion of action, British units fire on one another and shell fire bursting over the woods leads to a stream of men retiring to Missy, which comes under heavy sharpnel fire. Around dusk, the Brigade’s commander gives orders that all troops were to retire to their previous positions in and near the village. His own account of the day makes reference to:
“Luard (Norfolks) and a party of twenty-five men were well ahead in the wood, and received the order to retire, for Luard was heard shouting it to his men. But nothing has since been heard of him, and I much regret to say that he was either taken prisoner with most of his men, or, more probably, killed.”
This was Major Charles Elmhisrt Luard, DSO and mentioned in dispatches. He is recorded as being killed in action on or about 15th September 1914. The 1st Norfolks suffer over thirty casualties on the 14th.
Albert’s name is one of the late additions to the Mitcham War Memorial, and does not appear on any Church “Roll of Honour” in Mitcham.
Originally Albert Edward Moody had no known grave, but twenty years after his death his remains were found and identified from G.S. uniform, boots and titles at position 2F.26.68 on the Soisson 1/100,000 map, close to the Chivers Ridge. Albert was re-buried at MONTCORNET MILITARY CEMETERY in 1934.
Sadly, both of Albert’s parents had died by this time: his mother Maria in April 1915, and his father George in May 1931. The final CWGC verification form is returned by his older brother George who asked for a cross to be engraved on his headstone, but no inscription.
Greville Hubert Robins Blount was born on 23 February 1883, at Aldershot, the son of Charles Hubert and Maud Blount. Greville’s father as a serving Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery at the time of his birth and later served as a Major in the South Aftrian War, where he fell ill with enteric fever and died on 23 Dec 1900. By this time Greville had completed his education at Harrow (1897-1899) and the Royal Military Academy Woolwich (1899-1900) and, like his father, had been commissioned as an artillery officer. Greville was promoted to Lieutenant of the RFA in August 1903.
On 14th May 1907, Greville Blount marries Galdys Isabel Wilson, the youngest daughter of the Rev. Canon Daniel Frederic Wilson, Vicar of Mitcham for over forty years, at St.Peter and St.Paul.
He serves with G Battery in India, RHA, from 1909 to 1911 and is promoted Captain in November 1911. The happy occasion of the birth of his son Hubert on 26th April 1910 turns to tradegy when his wife Gladys dies of entric fever while at Ooty in Southern India on 9th May 1910. His son, Hubert, is baptised on 11th May, the day after Galdys is buried. Hubert is returned to England and is cared for in the home of Rev. Wilson.
Greville Blount is appointed Adjutant of the 25th Brigade at Farnborugh in July, 1913. He lands in France within two weeks of the declaration of war, on 18th Augsut 1914. He is wounded at Courchamps on 11th September 1914, notice of which appears in the Times on Thursday 17th September. Evacuated from the front, Greville does not recover and dies in hospital at St.Nazaire on 23rd September. A final notice appears in the Times on Wednesday 30th September.
A marble tablet, near the choir stalls, in the Parish Church of St.Peter and St.Paul reads:
CAPTAIN G.H.R. BLOUNT/ WHO DIED AT ST. NAZAIRE, FRANCE/23 SEPTEMBER 1914/ FROM WOUNDS RECIEVED IN THE BATTLE OF THE MARNE/ AGED 31
Captain Blount is also commemorated on memorials at the Wellington Club and Park House, Harrow