Pillbox, Shako, and Cap

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These writings follow the life of a London family living in Victorian and Edwardian times; they deal in particular, with the enlistment and actions of Albert Edward Kearey, b1889. The Keareys’ were originally from Gaelic Ireland - from northern Tipperary, emigrating at the turn of the eighteen hundreds. His ancestor, settled at first in Westminster, then Paddington, finally Kensal Green. Albert volunteered - to be a recruit in the local Volunteers, The Kensingtons. Through meritorious behaviour, awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal [DCM], and Mentioned in Dispatches [MID], with clasp[1], eventually, over a period of almost thirty years, became their Regimental Sergeant Major. In WWII he was promoted to Major, second in command of the 17th London Division, with orders to attend to the protection of north London.

  1. The militia, volunteers and territorials
  2. Preparations for war
  3. War declared, 1914
  4. Hard lessons, 1915
  5. Battle of the Somme, and its subsidiary, the battle for Gommecourt, Saturday 1st July, 7.30am
  6. Your country needs you, 1917
  7. The end in sight, 1918

Acknowledgements[edit | edit source]

It has been difficult to achieve a chronological order: correct bodies of troops, key non-commissioned personnel - names and ranks concerned with outstanding events, and most importantly, the Kensington Battalion’s precise movements… Please excuse any misrepresentations and the staccato writing form. I have used the date of each battle during the war on the western front to build some order [there are still some missing] and keep to a year a chapter – to form a pattern - for future scholars. This book is a follow on from, The Demise of an Irish Clan, and Horses, Tractors, and Vans. The Trilogy is a tribute to a London family who had an Irish past.

My research, to write this account of The Volunteer Force, 1907 – 1918, and the part played by the 1st Division, Kensington Battalion, initially lent heavily on many dates of battles recounted on Wikipedia. That these do not always conform to other accounts - are not complete in themselves, is beside the point, they still give a unique picture, and a starting off point. I have tried to link them up, with my father’s accounts, and what is written in the books listed here. For a personal look at life in the trenches I have dipped into Johnny Get Your Gun by John F Tucker;[2] the Years of Combat by Lord Douglas of Kirtleside,[3][4] The First Day on the Somme by Martin Middlebrook,[5] The Somme by A H Farrar-Hockley[6] and World War One by Philip Warner.[7] An almost complete history of the regiment is told within the pages of ‘The Kensingtons’ published by the Regimental Old Comrades Association, although hardly any names mentioned of all ranks, and there are some gaps during time spent out of the front line. Richard Van Emden has written a good series of books about the war, and times, including many personal accounts. Where possible I have tried to stick to first hand knowledge. To obtain a political view of the period have consulted As It Happened by C R Attlee, PC, OM, CH.,[8] and A Portrait of Britain, 1851-1951, by Lindsay & Washington.[9] For the economics of the period I have turned to The People and the British Economy, 1830-1914, by Roderick Floud.[10] As for history, Hope and Glory, Britain 1900-2000, by Peter Clarke,[11] all served me well. I thank the Family and Children’s Services of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea,[12] for their kind assistance and interest, and the library service of West Sussex.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. London Gazette, 11 March, 1920
  2. Tucker, John F (1978). Johnny get your Gun: a Personal Narrative of the Somme, Ypres and Arras. London: William Kimber. ISBN 9780718304751. OCLC 473700684.
  3. Douglas of Kirtleside, William Sholto Douglas (1963). Years of combat: the first volume of the autobiography of Sholto Douglas, marshal of the Royal Air Force, Lord Douglas of Kirtleside. OCLC 816503914.
  4. Douglas, William Sholto; Wright, Robert (1966). Years of command: the second volume of the autobiography of Sholto Douglas, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Lord Douglas of Kirtleside, G.C.B., M.C., D.F.C. London: Collins. OCLC 63266426.
  5. Middlebrook, Martin (1971). The first day on the Somme, 1 July 1916. Fontana/Collins. ISBN 9780006336266. OCLC 1084625760.
  6. Farrar-Hockley, Anthony H (1964). The ; Somme. London: B.T. Batsford. OCLC 1043897607.
  7. Warner, Philip (1995). World War One: a chronological narrative. London: Arms and Armour. ISBN 9781854092946. OCLC 33046650.
  8. Attlee, C.R. (1954). As it happened. London: William Heinemann. OCLC 781104909.
  9. Deighton, H. S.; Lindsay, Donald; Sherriffs, R. S.; Washington, E. S. (1963). A portrait of Britain between the Exhibitions 1851-1951. Oxford: Clarendon Press. OCLC 837304263.
  10. Floud, Roderick (1997). People and the British Economy, 1830-1914, The. ISBN 9781280762352. OCLC 1078696911. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  11. Clarke, Peter F (1997). Hope and glory: Britain 1900-2000. London: Penguin. ISBN 9780141011752. OCLC 1008061788.
  12. "Family and Children's Services". The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Retrieved March 22, 2019.

See also[edit | edit source]