There are nearly 600 soldiers in the guestbook. Every week we’re adding new soldiers to the website and we hope that you can find ancestors and contribute further information to help us tell their story.

Below are three highlights from the collection.

 

ALFRED EDWARD DAVIS DCM

Alfred Davis grew up in the Kings Dyke area of Whittlesey. At the outbreak of war, Alfred was called up as a Territorial in the Cambridgeshire Regiment; aged 18. However, tragedy struck when he accidentally killed his friend and colleague, 915 Corporal Arthur Rawson of the 1/1st Cambridgeshire Regiment Territorial Force of Whittlesey on 9th August 1914. The incident happened whilst the men were sleeping; Private Davis lay down with his rifle and it is believed that a button on his greatcoat caught the trigger of his rifle, which he believed to have been unloaded and checked by Corporal Rawson, and a shot was fired. The bullet entered Corporal Rawson’s leg via the calf, travelled up his leg and through his groin, severing an artery. It is thought that Arthur was one of the first British soldiers to die as a result of “Friendly Fire” in the UK.

Ironically Lance Corporal Davis was badly wounded, resulting in the amputation of his leg, when rescuing a wounded comrade under heavy shell fire at Ypres (Fosse Wood, Zillebeke, Belgium) in May 1915, whilst working as a stretcher bearer. This resulted in him being awarded the Cambridgeshire Regiments’ earliest Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). We have made contact with both Alfred’s daughter and niece, who have helped us with information on Alfred’s life. Read more about his fascinating story here Alfred Davis DCM

 

GEORGE NEWBOULD

George Newbould has proven difficult to trace but he has a very interesting past.  It is believed he is George Newbould, born in Bradford in 1885 to parents Robinson, a wheelwright, and Jane.  He was the youngest of four children. George was a grocers assistant at the age of 16 and a gas meter inspector ten years later.  He appears to have signed up for the Royal Naval Division (RND).  He passed through Peterborough East Station and signed the visitors’ book on 1 August 1917.  His entry reveals he was a Prisoner of War and ‘interred Groningen’.  His death is recorded in Sheffield, 1922, aged 34. Do you recognise this name – can you tell us more?  Please get in touch if you can help? Read more here https://www.peterboroughww1.co.uk/soldiers/g-newbold/

 

THOMAS WILLIAM ARMES

Self Portrait

 

Thomas studied at Cambridge School of Art, and in 1913 was awarded a scholarship to study in The Hague. When World War One broke out he joined the Army, and served with the Artists Rifles and the Norfolk Regiment.  When Thomas passed through Peterborough East Station on 14 October 1916 he was serving with the Officer Cadet Unit of the Artists Rifles.  He sketched a comrade serving with the Royal Flying Corps with the motto “Latin: “Per ardua ad astra”, English: Through difficulties to the stars”.  He may have sketched F S Firth who was serving with the Royal Flying Corps and who had signed immediately above him in the visitor’s book. Read more about him here https://www.peterboroughww1.co.uk/soldiers/tw-armes/