11 November 2008

17957 Donatz & 17959 Caffrey

Conradine Donatz was born in Core, Switzerland and emigrated to the UK. When he volunteered in the West Ham Battalion he was living in Walthamstow and worked as a waiter in the JLyons teahouse in Stratford

His service number was one down from my Great Grandad, which probably means Conradine was in the queue.

He was KIA during the Battle for Delville Wood, 31 July 1916

On the other side of my GtGrandfathers service number, we have Thomas Caffery, 17959.

He was reported wounded in the Essex Chronicle of 15.9.16. This probably means he was wounded (one of 60 men wounded) in the disastrous action on 9th August 1916 at Guillemont, just after he'd survived Delville Wood.

8th August 1916 - 8.30pm "Orders were recieved to move up to the trenches at Trones Wood and make the attack which had failed earlier in the day. The Battalion got into position at 3.30am on the night of 8th/9th, leaving no time for reconnaisance or thorough explanations to officers and NCO's and men of the attack which was to take place at 4.10am..."

Thomas survived the War, and when the Hammers were disbanded in February 1918 he was transferred to the Liverpool Regiment, becoming 325031. He was then demobbed and, I hope, lived a very peaceful and long life.

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