Saturday, April 25, 2015

Savannah's History: Oglethorpe's Town

February 12, 1733:  General James Oglethorpe and his band of colonists build the first houses.

Nov. 30, 1735:  The Scots celebrated St. Andrew's Day.

1736:  Oglethorpe returns from England with the Reverends John and Charles Wesley.  John preaches his first sermon in America near Trinity Church.

July 1742:  The Battle of Bloody Marsh defends the city from the Spanish.

1752  The colony becomes a royal providence.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Augusta's History

Perusing some brochures about Augusta, Georgia's history at the continental breakfast at the hotel.

Augusta was originally where Native Americans crossed the Savannah River.  In 1735, two years after James Oglethorpe established Savannah, he sent troops up the Savannah River with the order to build at the head of the navigable part of the river.  This was led by Noble Jones.

Oglethorpe named the new settlement Augusta in honor of Princess Augusta, future mother of King George III.  Augusta was the second capital of Georgia.  It is in the area of Georgia referred to as the Black Belt, for the large cotton plantations that grew up in the area.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bits O' History: Tomb of the Unknown-- Last Trip of USS Enterprise

1.  TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN--  Oct. 29, 2012, ABC News.  An inspirational picture making internet rounds of the elite soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery.  Picture actually taken in September.  The Army's 3rd Infantry Regt., "The Old Guard" keeps watch 24-hours, 365 days a year, regardless since 1948.  They were on post during Hurricane Sandy.

2.  LAST TRIP FOR USS ENTERPRISE--  Nov. 21, 2012, KVOA, Tucson, Az--  The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier finished its 25th and final deployment Nov. 4th and returned to its home base at Norfolk, Va.  Its reactor will be removed and it will be towed to Washington State to be scrapped.  It was the Navy's second-oldest ship after the USS Constitution.

Scotty and Kirk Won't Be Happy--  Cooter

Monday, April 20, 2015

10 Things We Owe to Black Death

From the Jan. 28, 2015, Listverse by Larry Jiminez.

In the 1340s, it killed an estimated 75-200 million people. To humans, it definitely seemed like the end of times.  Even with as horrible as it was, there were some good things that grew out of it according to the list.

I'm just listing.  For pictures and details, go to the site.

10.. Healthier People
9.  Perfume Industry
8.  Hospitals

7.  Sex Comedies
6.  More Functional Homes (The lack of skilled artisans led to simpler building design.)
5.  Predominance of English
4.  End of Feudalism

3.  The Middle Class
2.  Freedom of Thought
1.  Humanism

Some interesting things in this list.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Japanese Battlecruiser Ibuki

From Wikipedia.  While researching Herbert Leach's transportation to war, the HMAT Hororata, I came across a photo of that ship with this ship in the background.  Had this been World War II, the two ships would have been engaged in battle, but being the previous war, japan was an ally.

The Ibuki was commissioned in 1907 and mounted four 12-inch guns and eight 8-inch ones.

During World War I, it escorted Commonwealth convoys to the front.  It participated in the hunt for the German light cruiser raider SMS Emden.

It escorted a convoy of ten troopships carrying the main body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force to Australia and then met up with the HMS Pyramus and Minotaur.  They then left Western Australia with ANZACs in a 36-ship convoy carrying 20,000 men and 7,500 horses across the Indian Ocean.  Perhaps this was Herbert Leach's convoy to war?

The ship fell victim to the Washington Naval Treaty after the war and was sold for scrap.

Allies Back Then.  --DaCoot

Battle of Flers-Courcelette: First Use of Tanks in Warfare

From Wikipedia.

I had never heard of this battle before starting these entries dealing with the Naours Cave.

The battle took place during the Somme Offensive in the summer and autumn 1916.  The object of this battle was to cut a hole in the German line by using massed artillery and an infantry attack.  That hole was then to be exploited by cavalry.

Overall, the attempt here failed, but the villages of Courcelette, Flers and Martinpuick were captured.

This battle was significant because it marked the first time tanks were used in battle.  Tanks were referred to as "Land Battleships."  It was also the first battle the New Zealand and Canadian Divisions participated.

Kind of interesting that cavalry was originally to be used to exploit the anticipated hole in the German lines and this was the first use of tanks, the cavalry's replacement.

Way, Heigh, Over the Bounding Land.  --Cooter

Friday, April 17, 2015

Herbert John Leach's Grave

From the GWGC site.  Cemetery File.

Herbert John Leach, private.  Service Number : 1975.  Death: 23/06/16  Australian Infantry A.I.F., Australia.  I have been unable to find out any more information on him.

The main Battle of the Somme began 4 days after his death, so perhaps his death occurred at some point as the Allies were preparing for it.

What Was the A.I.F.?

While researching this past week, I came across the letters A.I.F. on several occasions.  I'd not come across it before so good old Wiki time.

A.I.F. stood for Australian Imperial Force.  This was the main expeditionary force of the Australian Army in the First World War.  It was formed 15 August 1914 and originally consisted of one division and one light horse brigade.  It fought at Gallipoli from April to December 1915.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

HMAT Hororata A20-- Part 2

There is a photo accompanying of the site of the Hororata being loaded with troops.  Perhaps one of these men was Herbert Leach?

I found another photograph of the Hororata c. Nov. 1914 with the caption: "HMAT Hororata A20 cleaning engines.  In the distance is Japanese cruiser Ubuki, one of the battleships that escorted the first Australian and New Zealand convoy.

The Japanese were among the Allies in World War I.

There is another photograph of the Hororata at the Gallipoli Association Forum.


HMAT Hororata: A20-- Part 1: Australian World War I Troopship

These last however many blog entries all started with an article I printed last week on April 9th about Wold War I graffiti discovered in Naours Cave in France and then has gotten all the way here.  No wonder it takes so long to do these blogs.  One things just leads to another.  So far I have written 11 entries stemming from this.

Anyway, this is the ship that Herbert John Leach embarked on for World War I and his death.

From Australian War Memorial site.

HMAT stands for His Majesty's Australian Transport.

A fleet of ships was leased by the Commonwealth to transport troops in various A.I.F. unites overseas.  This fleet was made up of British and captured German ships.  The HMAT Hororata was 9,400 tons with an average cruising speed of 14 knots owned by the New Zealand Shipping Co., Ltd. of London and leased by the Commonwealth until September 11, 1917.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ANZACs: Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

From Wikipedia.

For those of you unfamiliar with what an ANZAC is.

Herbert Leach was an ANZAC.

This was the first World War Army Corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, formed in Egypt in 1915 of units from Australia and New Zealand.  They operated during the Gallipoli Campaign.

Disbanded in 1916 after withdrawal from Gallipoli. Reformed as the I and II ANZAC Corps.

Also fought in Second World War.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Herbert Leach's Embarkation to the War

Yesterday, I mentioned this Australian from Sydney who left his name at Naours Cave near Flers, France, and the fact that he was killed a month later.  Doing further research on him, I came across his Embarkation Roll from Australia to the war.

From the Australian War memorial site.

HERBERT JOHN LEACH:  Service number 1975/  Tank: Private /  Roll Title: 10th Infantry Battalion--  1-8 Reinforcements (December 1914-September 1915.  //  Date of Embarkation: 20 April 1915  //  Place of Embarkation:  Adelaide  //  Ship Embarked On:  HMAT Hororata A20.

Just Some More Information.  --DaCoot

Australian Cemetery in Flers, France-- Part 2: Where Tanks Used for First Time

Flers was captured during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, where tanks were used in combat for the first time.  The village was later recaptured by the Germans in March 1918 and recaptured by the Allies in August.

The cemetery was begun by Australian medical units posted in neighboring caves from Nov. 1915 to Feb. 1917.  The original graves are in Plot 1, Rows A and B.The great majority of the graves date from the autumn of 1916, but there is one from 1914.

Other bodies were moved here after the war.  Currently there are graves for 3,475 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War either buried or commemorated.  Some 2,263 are unidentified.  In addition, 170 French military and even there Germans are buried here.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Australian Cemetery at Flers, France-- Part 1

From GWGC site.

In the last blog entry, I mentioned that Private Herbert John Leach, who had signed his name in the Naours Cave, had been buried at the Australian Cemetery in nearby Flers, France.  I did some more research on it.

It is referred to as the A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers.  Then there was mention of 1212 casualties which I wasn't sure if that meant these were men who were killed or wounded there during fighting as that number didn't match up with the number of burials.

The cemetery is located 2 kilometers north of Flers, Department of the Somme.

A lot of fighting occurred at and around Flers, which was captured from the Germans 15 September 1916,. in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.  The village was entered by the New Zealand Division and 41st Division.


Names of 731 Anzacs Found at Naours Cave in France: "Merely a Private"

From the April 6, 2015, AuWorld "Rge Names of 731 Anzacs found in cave under World War I battlefield in France' by Greg Keller.

ANZACs were soldiers from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Allied soldiers left similar inscriptions in the tunnels of Arras and Vimy, but Naours, well back from the front lines in World War I, were not used as shelters and hospitals like other Western Front quarries.

Naours is just a few miles from Vignacourt, a town used as a staging area for troops moving up to and back from the Somme battlefield to the east.  Young soldiers would take a break for some sightseeing and these were nearby.

The diary of Wilfred Joseph Allan Allsop, 23, private from Sydney noted on Jan. 2, 1917, "At 1 pm 10 of us went to the famous caves near Naours where refugees used to hide during time of Invasion."

Herbert John Leach, 25, from Adelaide wrote his name, a message and the date, "H.J. Leach.  Merely a private.  13/7/16.  SA Australia."  Sadly, he was killed August 23, 1916, at the Battle of Pozieres barely a month after he left his message.

On his grave at the Australian Cemetery in nearby Flers, his father inscribed this on his marker "Duty Nobly Done."


Sunday, April 12, 2015

8th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry

I was looking tofind out if I could find anything more specifically about James Cockburn's 8th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry since he signed 8th Durham L.I. after his name.

I found out it was raised in Durham in August 1914.  After training in Britain, they went to France arriving April 17, 1915 and soon saw action at the Battle of Yrpes in June and after heavy casualties, merged with the 6th Durham L.I. to become the 6/8 Durham L.I.

They saw action again at the Battle of the Somme and Battle of Lys.

In August, the 8th DLI transferred to the 117th Brigade, 39th Division and were disbanded in France after November 1918.


The Durham Light Infantry-- Part 2

During World War I, the unit fought at many of the worst battles, including Ypres, Loos, Arras, Messines, Cambrai, Somme and Passchendale.  They earned 54 battle honors and six Victoria Crosses but lost some 12,000 dead.

James Cockburn signed his name on April 1, 1917, so this would have been right before the Battle of Arras which began on 9 April and was intended as a diversion for the French attack at Nivelle.  The British and Durham Light Infantry advanced 4,000 hard-fought yards through the Hindenburg trench system until April 10th.

The Battle of Messines was 7-14 June 1917 and Somme Offensive began July 1917.

So, James Cockburn sure had a busy time before him.