They also served, but should not have felt ashamed

The Royal Garrison Church

WATCH: Take a glimpse inside Portsmouth’s church with no roof

0
Have your say

Continuing my series about Portsmouth people in the First World War, we carry on with those who wanted to serve but, for various reasons, were kept from the action.

Not everyone who joined the forces managed to get overseas to do their bit.

Many volunteered on reaching 18, just as the war was drawing to a close.

Others were in the services for the entire length of the war but never joined an active unit which was sent to the Western Front or any other part of the world where the conflict was taking place.

Private JC Goble, of the 8th Hampshires (Isle of Wight Rifles), lived at 66, Sussex Street, Southsea.

He volunteered in August 1914 and on completion of his training was retained in England. He served most of his time at Sutton Veny Camp on Salisbury Plain.

Private TW Gilmore served with the Royal Flying Corps after joining in July 1918, aged 17. Physically unfit he was demobbed in 1919 to return home to 4, Albert Place, Landport.

Private LW Butterfield, of 16, Ethel Road, Fratton, joined the army in the Worcester Regiment in October 1918 a month before the armistice.

The same month he was drafted to Ireland to be engaged in important duties. The cessation of hostilities meant he could not obtain a transfer to any theatre of war and the following February he was demobbed.

Sappper EW Wingham, of the Royal Engineers, joined in September 1916 and was sent to a shipyard at Richborough, near Sandwich, Kent.

This was a highly secret location suppling the British Expeditionary Force with its logistics. At the war’s end he was sent to France for nine months. When he was demobilised he returned home to 59, Belgrave Street, Southsea.

Another Royal Engineer was Sapper CN Slidel of 16, Hope Street, Landport. He volunteered in August 1915, gave good service, but because of his poor eyesight could not go abroad. He was discharged in July 1918.

These men must have felt they had not done enough compared to others who had been in the thick of the action over four years of war.

Of course, they had nothing to be ashamed about. It was not their fault they were not sent to the front line or saw action at sea.

Back to the top of the page