Beaumont-Hamel

Military Monday – Howard Westwood (1896-1916)

Howard Westwood is my wife’s 2nd cousin 1x removed. His parents are Edwin Westwood and Mary Ann Harris. Their common ancestors are William Skelding and Catherine Taylor, my wife’s 2x great grandparents.

Howard was born in 1896 in Lye, Worcestershire – his birth is registered in the June quarter of that year.

Sometime after the outbreak of WW1 Howard signed up for service with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was assigned to the 11th Battalion – his service number was 27765.

The 11th Battalion landed in France in July 1915.

Howard was killed in action on 15 November 1916.

I have found the War Diaries for the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and can see what the Regiment were doing at the time Howard was killed.

Orders were received from the 99th Brigade that Munich Trench would be attacked at 9am on 15 November 1916. The attack would be carried out by the 8th East Lancs and 10th Loyal North Lancs Regiments, supported by the 11th Royal Warwickshire’s. The trench was found to be very strongly held and the attack was held up.

Royal Warwickshire War Diaries.png

I am assuming that Howard was killed during this attack.

Munich Trench was a German trench near Beaumont-Hamel in France and was eventually captured on 11 January 1917.

Howard is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Thiepval Memorial

Thiepval Memorial

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Military Monday – Cyril Gostelow (1897-1916)

Cyril is my wife’s 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Fred Gostelow and Alice Stuffins. The common ancestors of my wife and Cyril are Samuel Gostelow and Emma Padley, my wife’s 2x great grandparents.

Cyril was born in 1897 in Barnetby, Lincolnshire. His birth is registered in Q1.

I haven’t been able to find any remaining military records on http://www.ancestry.co.uk or Find My Past. However I can piece together information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website – http://www.cwgc.org and from http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk

Cyril was a Private in the Lincolnshire Regiment and served in the 8th Battalion. His service number was 12513.

I know that Cyril was killed in action on 15 November 1916.

Cyril is buried at Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, Somme, France

The information below is taken from the CWGC website.

Ancre British Cemetery is about 2 Kms south of the village of Beaumont-Hamel, on the D50 between Albert and Achiet-le-Grand.

The village of Beaumont-Hamel was attacked on 1 July 1916 by the 29th Division, with the 4th on its left and the 36th (Ulster) on its right, but without success. On 3 September a further attack was delivered between Hamel and Beaumont-Hamel and on 13 and 14 November, the 51st (Highland), 63rd (Royal Naval), 39th and 19th (Western) Divisions finally succeeded in capturing Beaumont-Hamel, Beaucourt-sur-Ancre and St. Pierre-Divion. 



Following the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in the spring of 1917, V Corps cleared this battlefield and created a number of cemeteries, of which Ancre British Cemetery (then called Ancre River No.1 British Cemetery, V Corps Cemetery No.26) was one. There were originally 517 burials almost all of the 63rd (Naval) and 36th Divisions, but after the Armistice the cemetery was greatly enlarged when many more graves from the same battlefields and from the following smaller burial grounds:-



ANCRE RIVER BRITISH CEMETERY No.2 (V Corps Cemetery No.27), about 400 metres East of No.1, containing the graves of 64 officers and men from the United Kingdom (mainly 1st H.A.C., 11th Royal Sussex, and Hood Battalion) who fell in September and November 1916.

BEAUCOURT STATION CEMETERY, begun after the capture of Beaucourt by the R.N.D. on the 14th November 1916, and containing the graves of 85 officers and men from the United Kingdom who fell in November 1916 – March 1917. It was close to Beaucourt-Hamel station.


GREEN DUMP CEMETERY, on the South-West side of “Station Road”, between Beaumont-Hamel and the station. It was used from November 1916, to March 1917, and it contained the graves of 45 soldiers and one Marine from the United Kingdom.


R.N.D. CEMETERY (V Corps Cemetery No.21), in the open country midway between Beaumont-Hamel and Hamel. It contained the graves of 336 officers and men from the United Kingdom, mainly of the Royal Naval Division.

SHERWOOD CEMETERY (V Corps Cemetery No.20), about 700 metres North-West of the R.N.D. Cemetery. It contained the graves of 176 officers and men from the United Kingdom, belonging chiefly to the 36th and Royal Naval Divisions, the 17th Sherwood Foresters and the 17th King’s Royal Rifles.


STATION ROAD CEMETERY, on the South side of “Station Road”, 500 metres West of the railway. This cemetery was used, from November 1916, to March 1917, for the burial of 82 officers and men from the United Kingdom.

“Y” RAVINE CEMETERY No. 2 (V Corps Cemetery No.18), about 300 metres South-East of the present “Y” Ravine Cemetery. Here were buried 140 officers and men from the United Kingdom and two from Newfoundland, who fell in July, September and November 1916.



The majority of those buried in the cemetery died on 1 July, 3 September or 13 November 1916.



There are now 2,540 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 1,335 of the graves are unidentified, but special memorials commemorate 43 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. There are also special memorials to 16 casualties know to have been buried in other cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. 



The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.



The ROYAL NAVAL DIVISION MEMORIAL for the capture of Beaumont-Hamel is a stone obelisk erected beside the main road from Arras to Albert, at Beaucourt-sur-Ancre.

Ancre British Cemetery

Ancre British Cemetery