Thursday, 8 December 2016

Roland Brindley 1877 - 1916

Roland Brindley 20th May 1916 Barnsley Chronicle
with thanks to Barnsley Archives
Born:  1877 Wolstanton, Staffordshire

Military Service:
Enlisted: August 1914
Regiment and Battalion: York and Lancaster Regiment. 
Service number and Rank: 3265  Private
and then
Regiment and Battalion: The Royal Engineers - 177 Tunnelling Company
Service number and Rank: 147525  Sapper / Corporal
Theatre of War: France 24 January 1915
Awards: 1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal

Death:  28th April 1916 age 39 
CWGC Remembered: R E Grave, Railway Wood Belgium
Grave Reference: not applicable

St Marys Church Barnsley Combined War Memorial
Royal Engineers Grave Railway Wood West Vlanndren (see below)

Links & Notes: 
Lives of the First World War
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Roland Brindley served in two regiments, therefore he had two service numbers, which was the usual practice

From De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour on

"Roland Brindley, Corporal No 147525 was born in Wolstanton in the county of Stafford on 26th September 1877; he was educated at Public Schools there; he enlisted in the Coldstream Guards  on the 31st July 1895; served in South African War 1899-1902. He was awarded the Queen's Medal with six clasps and the King's Medal with clasps.  He obtained his discharge on the 30th July, 1907 and became a miner: he re-enlisted in the York and Lancaster Regiment in August 1914, after the outbreak of war; transferred to the Royal Engineers: served with Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from the 24th January 1915, and was killed in action on the 28 April 1916. He was married at Barnsley 26th August 1904 to Florence (13 Bridge Street, Barnsley), who was the daughter of Thomas Bedford and had two children: Leonard, born 19th May 1905 and Winifred born April 15th April, 1913, she died on the 3rd September 1914."

Royal Engineers Grave/Memorial The R.E. Grave marks the spot where eight Royal Engineers of the 177th Tunnelling Company and four attached infantrymen were killed in action underground during the defence of Ypres between November 1915 and August 1917. The grave takes the form of a small enclosure with a Cross of Sacrifice bearing a dedicatory inscription and the names of those buried there. The grave was designed by A. J. H. Holde

Wikipedia - Underground Tunnelling Casualties
When 177th Tunnelling Company arrived at Hooge in November 1915, underground warfare in the area was at its height. One of the busiest areas for the miners on both sides was Railway Wood, an area at Hooge where the old Ypres-Roeselare railway crossed the Ypres-Menen road. Aerial photographs clearly show the proliferation of mine warfare in the Railway Wood sector during the unit's presence there, with craters lying almost exclusively in no man's land between the British and German trenches. With both sides trying to undermine their enemy, much of the unit's activity at Railway Wood consisted of creating and maintaining a shallow fighting system with camouflets, a deeper defensive system as well as offensive galleries from an underground shaft. The 177th Tunnelling Company continued mining in the Hooge sector until August 1917. Fighting in the area continued until 1918, with the craters (being strategically important in relatively flat countryside) frequently changing sides.

With thanks to Wikipedia.

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