Monthly Archives: April 2015

ANZAC Day – Lieutenant Norman Travers Simpkin

Sergeant Norman Travers Simpkin, 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment

Sergeant Norman Travers Simpkin, 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment

To add to the ANZAC commemorations I have written a piece for the Sacrifice project about the only soldier to serve at Gallipoli who is commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the United States. Travers Simpkin served with 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment and was wounded at Quinn’s Post in August 1915. He died in California in 1919.

Read about Lieutenant Norman Travers Simpkin.

Sacrifice‘ – Project Update and New Post

SacrificeThe website for the new project has now been populated in outline with biographies completed for North Carolina and Virginia. Please consider following the project by subscribing to the blog. We’re just about to begin to publicise it and to seek volunteers to help with the work.

Private Baxter Franklin

Private Baxter Franklin


The latest post tells the story of Baxter Franklin, a young farmer from North Carolina, who worked as a teamster in Canada and volunteered in 1914, aged 17, fought in Flanders with 10th Battalion (Canadians), and was evacuated sick in 1916. He died in Toronto in 1918 and was buried at Lake Logan, NC, near where he was born.

The Evolution of the Regular and Service Battalions of Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) 1914-1918 – Part 4, The 5th, 6th, 5th/6th & 11th (Service) Battalions

Here may be found the background to this work and links to similar studies of the other Battalions of the Regiment.

Colour Sergeant James Sergeant, Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers)

Colour Sergeant James Sergeant, 5th (Service) Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers)

5th & 6th (Service) Battalions

For a brief history of the 5th (Service) Battalion and the amalgamated Battalion in the First World War see: Johnson, F W E (Foreword). (1919). A Short Record of the Services and Experiences of the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers in the Great War. Naval & Military Press Reprint, 2009.

The has been no history written about the early years of the 6th (Service) Battalion. For a general history of the Regiment see: Cunliffe, M. (1952). The Royal Irish Fusiliers 1793-1950. London: Oxford University Press.

Immediately on becoming Minister of War, Lord Kitchener proposed that the British Army be expanded by recruiting wartime volunteers, rather than building upon the Territorial Force. These men would sign up for three years or the duration of the war, whichever was longer. On 6 August Parliament authorised the expansion of the Army by 500,000 men[1] and recruiting began immediately.

The first New Army battalion of the Regiment was raised on 10 August 1914 in Armagh. On 21 August 1914, Army Order 324 authorised the formation of the first six new divisions, which included the 10th (Irish) Division.[2] The nomenclature specified by the order meant that the new battalion of the Regiment was to be the 5th (Service) Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers). Continue reading