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  1. #1
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    Default 137th Heavy Battery Royal garrison Artillery

    I am not asking for help but would like to tell you a sad story.
    In October 1915 my granddad George Horton aged 20 went with loads of other local men from Bermondsey and Rotherhithe to Deptford Town Hall and enlisted in the 137th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery. In April 1916 they disembarked at Le Havre in France and were sent to the Western Front. The were heavily involved in the fighting in many different battles including Arras, Vimy Ridge and on the Somme and suffered many casualties. They returned home to Dover on 24th June 1919 and were ordered to proceed to London immediately to be met by the Mayor of Deptford who had been instrumental in raising the unit in 1915. When they arrived at Deptford Town Hall no one was there. The local MP raised a question in parliament (reported in Hansard) in July requesting an explanation for this ommision. The Secretary of State, Mr Winston Churchill replied to the effect that, a telegram had been sent to the Mayor informing him of their arrival but had no ETA. A second telegram was sent by London HQs later that day with an ETA for the unit of 9pm but it apparently arrived too late to be delivered to the Mayor. Presumably the mayor kept strict office hours unlike the men of the 137th H Battery who had been away for 3 years. How is that for gratitude and respect for brave men.

    I now know why my granddad often used the term " bugger that for a game of soldiers!"

    LEST WE FORGET!

    Vossy53

  2. #2
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
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    Default

    Honestly Vossey what a terrible thing to happen to your grandfather and his fellow soldiers of the 137th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery. It would have been such a disappointment for them all to not have anyone there to show their respect and gratitude for what they had suffered. Some people's actions, or lack of them, are a complete mystery to me. I'll bet that Mayor was in the front line when the bigwigs came around.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    Christina
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  3. #3
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    The mayor of Deptford from 1914 to 1920 was Lieutenant-Colonel William Abraham Wayland (Con).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Goodey View Post
    The mayor of Deptford from 1914 to 1920 was Lieutenant-Colonel William Abraham Wayland (Con).
    Yes. He was a great man and was instrumental in raising an entire division of Artillery at Kitchener's suggestion. Its a shame someone at the town hall couldn't get a message to him.

  5. #5
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    I wasn't making a value judgement but if I were I wouldn't come up with the word "great".

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