Remembering Alfred Hobden, William Woodcock and ‘Patch’ Watson

Posted on: 10, October, 2018

Every day on the British Army Ancestors Facebook page I take time to commemorate a British soldier. This post will look at three of the men I have remembered recently.  From left to right:

Remembering Alfred Hobden, 11th Royal Sussex Regiment

Alfred Hobden was 22-years-old when he joined the Royal Sussex Regiment on the 7th August 1914, just three days after Britain had declared war on Germany. He was initially posted to the 8th Battalion but served overseas from the 4th March 1916 with the 11th (South Downs) Battalion. Badly wounded in June or July 1916 (and almost certainly on the 30th June 1916 in the diversionary attack on The Boar’s Head trench system), he had his right arm amputated at the shoulder.

Remembering Bandmaster William Woodcock, King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Born on the 29th June 1833, William Woodcock joined the KRRC as a boy in 1848 and would serve with the regiment for the next 19 years and 278 days. In the process he earned campaign medals for service during the Kaffir War of 1851-53, the Indian Mutiny campaign of 1857-1858, and the Second China War of 1856-1863. In all, he served just short of fourteen years overseas. William is seated on the left. This photograph was published in the KRRC Chronicle for 1910.

Remembering Arthur Toward ‘Patch’ Watson, 21st King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Arthur Toward Watson had lost his eye before he even joined the army. His obituray in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps Chronicle for 1917 read, “On the formation of the 21st (Yeoman) Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle- Corps, under the command of the late Earl of Feversham, Arthur Toward Watson transferred to it, and threw his great energy into becoming a Rifleman. In May 1916 he went with his Battalion to France, and was severely wounded on the Somme on September 15th, 1916. Although still feeling the effects of his wound, he rejoined in April 1917, and commanded his Company through the battle of Messines. He was temporary Major when, being again hit, he died of his wounds on August 5th, 1917.”

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