In Memory of
2nd Bn., Northumberland Fusiliers
who died on
Wednesday, 26th May 1915. Age 28.
||Son of Mrs. Hannah Theaker, of North Side,
The following information is courtesy of Peter Fellowes, Volunteer Military
Researcher. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
16577 Private Edward Theaker, 2nd Battalion
Born in Staithes, Yorkshire. Enlisted at Whitby,
Died 26th May 1915 aged 28 years.
Son of Mrs Hannah Theaker of North Side, Staithes,
Remembered on the Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium.
Panel numbers 8 and 12.
Points to note here are;
1) He is recorded as DIED so you must take into
account the variations to which that applies. Also that he is remembered on
the Menin Gate Memorial which means that of course he does have a grave as
such. There are two possible reasons for this;
a) He did at the time of his death have a grave
but due to the ongoing nature of warfare over the years and over much of the
same ground his grave became lost.
b) His body was not found or recovered at the
time of death (for whatever reason) and so he had never had a grave.
2) He has a 5 digit number that may indicate an
enlistment time of perhaps around late 1914 or early 1915, taking into
account the date of his death.
The 2nd Battalion at the outbreak of war were
stationed in Sabathu, India. On the 20th November 1914 they sailed from
Karachi and landed at Plymouth on the 22nd December 1914 and moved to
Winchester to form as part of 84th Brigade, 28th Division. On the 18th January
1915 they landed at Le Havre. On the 24th October 1915 they sailed from
Marseilles and landed at Alexandria on 29th October 1915 staying there until
21st November 1915. On the 24th November they landed at Salonika and remained
there until June 1918 when they left the formation and sailed again for
France. July 16th 1918 found them in France and as part of 150 Brigade,
50th Division at Martin Eglise. At the end of the war they were still
with that formation and based at Dourlers, North of Avesnes.
During the war the Northumberland Fusiliers gained
a total of 67 Battle Honours, 5 members of the Regiment won the Victoria Cross
and the total causalities for the Regiment between August 1914 and November
1918 was 16,000 men killed.
From a pre war establishment of 2 Regular
Battalions and 1 Reserve, by the end of the war the Northumberland Fusiliers
had formed a total of 51 Battalions for war service.
At the time of Edwards death the 2nd Battalion was
in the following formation, 2nd Army, V Corps, 28th Division, 84th Brigade.
The Battle of Ypres 1915 (22nd April - 25th May) was being fought by 2nd Army
with its two Corps ( II and V ). The 28th Division took part in all four
subsidiary V Corps battles;
Battle of Gravenstafel 22nd - 23rd April
Battle of St Julien 24th April - 4th May
Battle of Frezenberg 8th May - 13th May
Battle of Bellewaarde 24th - 25th May ( * In the
Report of the Battles Committee this name is spelt BELLEWAERDE but on all
Belgium and Official maps it is spelt BELLEWAARDE)
There will perhaps never be a way to establish how
Edward died but as a "best guess situation" and maybe subject to
further research and re-course perhaps to war diaries. I might be inclined
towards his death being related to the Battle of Bellewaarde, although his
date of death falls one day after the official closure date of that battle it of
course does not mean that fighting on a local area had ceased, although
bearing in mind that he is recorded as Died rather than KIA or DOW.
There is a museum:
The Northumberland Fusiliers
Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland
The Abbots Tower
Northumberland NE66 1NG
I understand they do not hold any lists or records of
men but they do have many printed books that in some cases provide lists and
histories of battalions. Plus they would be able to provide normal (and in
general terms) Battalion histories and movement locations plus the normal
Regimental Museum features, uniforms, medals etc etc.
||YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen,
|Panel 8 and 12
||Ypres (now Ieper) is a town in the Province
of West Flanders. The Memorial is situated at the eastern side of the
town on the road to Menin and Courtrai, and bears the names of men who
were lost without trace during the defence of the Ypres Salient in the
First World War.
||A description of the Memorial and an account
of the military operations in the Ypres Salient is contained in a
separate Introductory part to the Registers.
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