2KEH 'N-O'


NASH, Nowell. 1344. Private. Entered France 4/05/1915. Commissioned 6th Reserve Battalion, London Regiment 28/02/1917 later Captain. Born 22/12/1892 in London, England and died 1960 in Hove, Sussex, England  Applied for 1914/15 Star Trio from British Greece.

NEALE, Patrick E. 1019. Serjeant. Entered France 4/05/1915. Commissioned 2KEH 30/04/1917 and transferred to Machine Gun Corps. Awarded Military Cross attached to the 6th Squadron Machine Gun Corps (London Gazette 3/06/1919). His horse being shot dead under him, the animal then falling crushed one of his feet, he was placed on home service in Kilkenny when with 2KEH. Served pre-war with the Irish Police Force. Applied for 1914/15 Star Medal Trio from an address in Sutton, Surrey. Born 3/12/1891 in Hardham, Sussex, England and died in 1973 in Surrey, England. His brother Colin Francis Neale served as a Temporary Sub Lieutenant, Drake Battalion, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and was KIA 23/04/1917 and buried in Orchard Dump Cemetery, Arleux-en-Gohelle, France.

NELSON, John. 1460. Acting Serjeant. Entered France 4/05/1915. Machine Gun Corps 111987, Northumberland Fusiliers 61219. Discharged 1/01/1919. Entitled to 1914/15 Star Trio.

NEWBURY, George Grinsted. 1198. Private. Transferred to Royal Flying Corps (RFC) 13/02/1917 Private 65143 later commissioned as a Second Lieutenant Royal Air Force. British War Medal and Victory Medal named to RFC. Brother of Private Robert S. Newbury, 1197.

NEWBURY, Robert S. 1197. Private. Transferred to Royal Flying Corps (RFC) 17/02/1917 Private 65111. British War Medal and Victory Medal named to RFC. Brother of Private George G. Newbury, 1198.

NEWSTEAD, Horace. 1569. Private 2KEH. Transferred to KEH as Private 2124. Entered France 26/10/1915 and discharged 29/06/1919.

NICHOLLS, Henry. 1459. Private. Entered France 5/05/1915. Transferred to Tank Corps 112277, Private. Discharged 6/02/1918. Entitled to 1914/15 Star Medal Trio. Enlisted April 1915, discharged unfit for further military duty and being found unfit for service in the Dublin Military Police (prior service pre-war) was discharged on pension from the force 6/02/1918.

NORTON-GRIFFITHS, John. Member of Parliament. Founded the 2nd King Edward's Horse. Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Norton-Griffiths, 1st Baronet, KCB, DSO was born in Somerset, UK on 27/09/1871 and died 27/09/1930. He was an engineer, British Army officer during the Second Boer War and the First World War. A colourful figure in his day, known as "Empire Jack", he was also the grandfather of Jeremy Thorpe, a leading British politician. Norton-Griffiths had a meteoric rise as a mining entrepreneur seeking to capitalise on the opportunities emanating from the British Empire. In 1889 he gained his first experience working in the gold mines of Johannesburg, learning about the use of tunnelling and dynamite for the extraction process. He quickly became a deputy manager at one of the gold mines and was involved and arrested in the botched Jameson Raid (1895–96) in the Transvaal. His first big mining operation came in 1902, excavating the terrain of the Ivory Coast for its gold reserves. From 1905–08 he led on the construction of the Benguela railway in what is now Angola. With the backing of financiers, he had formed his own company in 1909 and won a multitude of contracts that included Yarmouth and Weston-Super-Mare piers, Southsea promenade, parts of the London Underground and work as far afield as Canada and Azerbaijan. However, more significantly, he had been tasked with constructing the Battersea to Deptford drainage system and also in 1913 was contracted to lay the sewage system in Manchester.  In January 1910 he was elected as a Conservative MP for Wednesbury, standing on a platform to protect British trade and extolling the virtues of the British Empire. Some of his earliest contributions in the Commons included asking for reform of the House of Lords, albeit allowing territories that were part of the British Empire to have representation. In 1913 he also asked Ministers to provide relief to the families and children of workers striking in the Midlands. As Whitehall prepared for war at the end of July 1914, Norton-Griffiths was like many enthused by the prospect of a decisive and quick victory against the Germans. Advertising in the Pall Mall Gazette, he encouraged former soldiers in the Boer War to enlist, leading to the formation of the 2nd King Edward's Horse regiment. By January 1915 fighting had resulted in deadlock and there were already signs that the German military were adapting to the new conditions. Norton-Griffiths believed that his experience in tunnelling and engineering could counter anything the Germans had at their disposal. His ideas filtered up the military chain and Lord Kitchener ordered 10,000 'clay kickers' to be recruited. Drawing on men from his own projects and tapping into mining regions, he recruited over 200 men in the first week. They had the unique distinction of being in a military unit yet with no actual military training or experience. Nine tunnelling companies were quickly created that fell under the remit of the Royal Engineers. As no formal military command existed for the miners, Norton-Griffiths instructed the men to use their skills for defensive purposes in order to detect German tunnels approaching British positions. Norton-Griffiths introduced a range of innovations to assist with the tunnelling, in what was an an incredibly dangerous and arduous process: "The tunneller lay on his back, at 45 degrees to the floor of the tunnel, and facing the work-face, supported by a wooden back-rest shaped like a crucifix. He dug away at the wall into clay before him, using a special long-bladed light spade between his feet. The clay was hauled out by the digger's mate, who worked behind him with another man who helped him load it into sacks to be dragged to the rear. A second team lined the tunnel with wooden props to prevent it from collapsing. "One of the keys to British success lay in detecting enemy tunnels before their efforts alerted German miners. Norton-Griffiths equipped miners with the geo-phone, having seen demonstrations at the University of Paris. The device was essentially an adapted stethoscope but was incredibly effective when used. Miners could monitor German progress from a distance of 100ft in clay and 260ft in chalk tunnels. The British had experienced some success in April 1915 at the Second Battle of Ypres. Having detected a German tunnel close by they managed to detonate it with explosives before the Germans could. However, it did mean that British tunnellers were constantly reacting to the tactics of German mining without offering a more targeted strategy. Norton-Griffiths felt a more aggressive approach was needed and he facilitated a number of measures to aid this. Firstly was the introduction of ammonal, an explosive far more powerful than TNT that would lead to some of the biggest detonations of the First World War. The issue of pay was also a major source of friction for the miners and almost led to strike action. Norton-Griffiths acted as the negotiator between military command and the miners, managing to introduce an escalating pay scale based on experience and skills. Finally, Norton-Griffiths was a keen proponent of deeper tunnels, which led to digging some 70-125ft beneath no man's land and ultimately under enemy lines. Two infamous operations were to define the operations of the miners and the frightening destruction that was now possible. The first happened on 1/07/1916, at the start of the Battle of the Somme. Two separate tunnels had been painstakingly dug in the Picardy region with 900 men working on each one. Packed with 40,000 lbs of explosives in one and 60,000 in the other, the blast was to rip through the ground with a crater 450ft wide at La Boiselle. However, German soldiers had detected the tunnelling just 24 hours before and retreated to safer ground. The blast was so powerful that German soldiers were still killed but as British infantry troops flowed over the top they were massacred by well positioned German machine guns. 11,000 soldiers were killed just along this section and by the end of the day's fighting there were over 57,000 British casualties. Subsequently, in 1917, a co-ordinated attack created a blast so powerful, it could allegedly be heard in London. Tunnelling began in mid-1915 and it would take until June 1917 to reach their intended target, the Messines Ridge in West Flanders, Belgium. 22 tunnels were finally completed, with nearly one million lbs of explosives laid. The resulting blast vaporised all life in its path and the strategy first devised by Norton-Griffiths had proved to be as ruthless as it was destructive. It is hard to gauge the impact of the detonation but estimates have predicted that 10,000 German soldiers were killed and thousands more captured in a state of shell-shock. By 1917 Norton-Griffiths' involvement in the tunnelling process had to come an end. Military Intelligence Department called him up for one final yet hugely significant mission and he was asked to destroy the oil fields of Romania before they fell into German hands. As German troops closed in on the oil fields, Norton-Griffiths arrived just in time to carry out a trail of devastation and damage with the aid of British engineers. Going from town to town with his team of engineers he managed to wipe out the entire infrastructure of the oil fields. The Romanian government and oil producers were promised compensation but eventually received nothing as it was offset against their war debt to Britain. In 1918 Norton-Griffiths stood down from his seat in Wednesbury and was elected to Wandsworth (1918–24). He also helped to form the 'Great War Association', a forerunner of the Royal British Legion. His extraordinary life was to take one final twist. Visiting Alexandria, Egypt on 29/09/1930 he took a rowing boat out to sea. About an hour later his body was seen floating in the water. When the search party arrived he was found with a bullet through his temple but with no sign of the gun. The coroner's conclusion was suicide and his body was eventually brought back to rest in Mickleham, Surrey. Portrait image copyright: National Portrait Gallery.

NORWOOD, John. 268. Private, Lance Corporal Tank Corps 302861, Lance Corporal Northumberland Fusiliers 61223

NUNN, George Richard. 1216. Private. Entered France 5/05/1915. Discharged 27/07/1916. Entitled to 1914/15 Star Trio.

O'BRIEN, Pierce F. 1206 Private. Enlisted 21/11/1914 at Hounslow, London. Discharged as medically unfit 25/11/1915 due to injury sustained when his horse fell on him 2/12/1914. Awarded Silver War Badge 112052. Born in Brighton, Sussex, England in 1883. Returned from Buenos Aires, Brazil to enlist.

O'DONNEL, Charles Francis. 1587. Lance Corporal. Charles was an Irishman who came over to enlist from Argentina in 1916.  Arrived from La Plata, Argentina, into Falmouth, 20/07/1916, on the SS DRINA.  His occupation was “Traffic Inspector” and he was aged 33 years. He enlisted in the King Edwards Horse as Private 1587 in Liverpool. He then transferred to the Rifle Brigade. His medal entitlement was British War Medal (BWM) and Victory Medal.  He is listed as S/29108 Private Charles F. O’Donnell on MIC and BWM and Victory Medal Roll. He served with the 13th and 2nd Rifle Brigades. He was born 25/2/1883. Unpaid L/Cpl.  KIA 17-19 November 1917. Widow was Kathleen (Bray), Rathmullen, Ireland and they had two children Charles Joseph (DOB 10/10/13) and John Patrick (DOB 7/6/17). He emigrated to Argentina shortly after his marriage in 1911. His wife joined him a year later. Their first child is likely to have been born in Argentina in 1913. His second child was born in June 1917. Name commemorated on the TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Belgium. Information courtesy of Gerry Rogers and Charles was his great uncle.

O'DONNELL, Albert Bernard. 1790. Private. Commissioned 10th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment 13/04/1916 later Captain.

O'DONNELL, Bryan. 1468. Private. Entered France 4/05/1915. Discharged 17/02/1919. Entitled to 1914/15 Star Trio and Commissioner of Metropolitan Police forwarded roll to support 1914/15 Star claim.

O'HEA, James Joseph 1128 Private. Entered France 5/05/1915. Commissioned West Kent Yeomanry 14/11/1915. Second Lieutenant Life Guards, Lieutenant Colonel King's Liverpool Regiment. Entitled to Silver War Badge and 1914/15 Star Trio with Star stamped J. only noted on MIC. Medals applied for from Brooke's Club, St. James Street, London.

OLDEN, James. 1531. Private. Entered France 5/05/1915. Deserted 13/10/1916 and court martialed at Le Quesnoy. Awarded no medals.

OLIVER, Charles Frederick. 424. Private 2KEH. Entered France 4/05/1915. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant Tank Corps 23/10/1918. From Argentina. Awarded Military Medal. Entitled to 1914/15 Star Medal Trio and medals applied for from an address in Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand.

OLIVER, Harry James Gordon. 1269. Private. Entered France 4/05/1915. Commissioned Second Lieutenant Tank Corps 8/10/1918. Wounded. Spent time in Argentina pre and post war with Anglo-Argentinian Railway staff before settling in London. Rejoined the army and served in the Royal Engineers then the Pioneer Corps as Lieutenant 144248 and died 29/04/1942 in an air raid while in service at Cavalry Barracks, York and was buried in Fulford, York. Born 03/12/1889 in Victoria Road, East Barnet, Greater London, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, United Kingdom.

O'NEILL, Patrick. 1511. Private. Entered France 5/07/1915. Discharged 31/01/1919. Entitled to 1914/15 Star Trio.

ORR, Walter. 6329. Private 5th Dragoon Guards 6329, (Attached 2KEH), Private 5th Dragoon Guards 12858. Entered France 24/07/1915. KIA 25/03/1918.  Born 28/05/1895 in Glasgow Maryhill, Lanarkshire, Scotland the son of Walter and Isabelle G. (nee Garvie) Orr. Commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, the Somme, France. 

OSBORNE, H. E. Captain. Military Cross, G.V.R., 1914-15 Star (Lieut. H.E. Osborne. K. Edw. H.) c) British War and Victory Medals (Capt. H.E. Osborne.) M.C. London Gazette 4/10/1919 Capt. Herbert Edward Osborne, 2nd Res. Regt. of Cav., K. Edward´s Horse. (Mesopotamia) ´For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a retirement from Tickmedash to Mianeh on 5-7/09/1918. He conducted the withdrawal of his small command in face of strong enemy forces over a distance of 55 miles in a most skillful and cool manner. He caused the enemy many casualties, and eventually brought his force through to safety with comparatively few losses.´ Captain Herbert Edward Osborne MC served on the Western Front from May 1915; severely wounded in the head by shell shrapnel at Guivenchy 7/06/1915, and was subsequently rescued under heavy shell fire by Machine Gunner P. J. Pellam, 15th Battalion, Canadian Highlanders; Promoted to Captain, 24/1/1917; retired, 1/4/1920. Enlisted from Argentina. Photograph of Military Cross and 1914/15 Star Medal Trio shown.

O'SHEA, Michael. Second Lieutenant. Enlisted from Argentina.

OSWALD, Cecil A. H. 1428. Serjeant. Entered France 5/07/1915. Discharged 7/04/1919. Entitled to 1914/15 Star Trio.

OTTA, J. J. Enlisted from Argentina.

OYLER, Archibald George. 1396. Private 2KEH. Entered France 4/05/1915. Private Northumberland Fusiliers 61286. Enlisted from Argentina. Entitled to 1914/15 Star Medal Trio.

OZZARD, Harold T. 1256. Private. Commissioned 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers 5/03/1916.