23 August 2009

17574 Pte Ayers

Stephen Ayers contacted me regarding his Grandfather Hubert Ayers who lived at 84 South Esk Road, Forest Gate. With his wife Alice Emily, Hubert ran a small coffee house in the local area.

He was Killed In Action at Delville Wood on July 30th, 1916. I cannot tell the full circumstances, as due to the nature of the attacks and counter-attacks over those few days the War Diary is a bit sketchy to say the least. This included intense and accurate artillery barrages which smashed the trenches and even at one point hit the HQ dugout and buried Lt-Col Papillon and the other officers alive.

A large group of skilled German snipers went hunting in the morning and were 'driven off' by 40 of the West Ham men, while several German infantry assaults were repulsed hand to hand in the evening.

It's always great to make contact with relatives of the Men, and Stephen is one of the many who will be attending the Memorial unveiling at the Boleyn Ground, 11am on November 7th to lay a wreath in memory of his GtGrandfather.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hubert Ayers was my grandfather- I was always told by my father that Hubert was killed by a mortar shell as he left the trenches to go home on leave to see my father, who had been born in February, for the first time.