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: John Ralphs, David Crowther and John McConnell.
The man with the fine moustache is John Ralphs who, when this photograph was taken on the 14th October 1914, was serving with the Radnor Squadron of the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry. Born in Wellington, Shropshire in 1879, John was 35 years old and had previously served with the militia. He subsequently transferred to the corps of Military Police serving with both the Military Mounted Police and the Military Foot Police.
57635 Pte David Crowther of the 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment poses ready for action. He later transferred to the Royal Fusiliers (regt no GS/109101) and was attached to the 17th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He survived the war.
23137 Sgt John Albert McDonnell from Dublin, Ireland was born on the 5th February 1898 in Ballyconneely, County Galway, Ireland, and can only have been eighteen or nineteen years old when this photograph of him was taken in 1917. Missing in action, and later presumed to have died on the 16 August 1917 whilst serving with the 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, he was just 19 years old at the time of his death.
Like so many men killed during the battles that were later designated as ‘3rd Ypres’, John has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, one of over 35,000 names on that memorial.