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Local Heroes - Your streets were their streets Local Heroes - Your streets were their streets

The names of 197 local men who lost their lives in World War I are
inscribed on the bells of the Memorial Community Church in Plaistow. They are our local heroes

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Fleetwood George Bolitho

Rifleman
Rifle Brigade
Born
Plaistow - c 1892
Died
France and Flanders - 11 April 1916
Age
24
Death
Killed in action
Served in
Rifle Brigade
Awards
1915 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal
Memorials
Unknown
Lived
Primrose Hall, West Silvertown, London E16, UK

Fleetwood's story

Bell has Corporal F Bolitho.

F Bolitho enlisted in September 1914, 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade, and entered France on 18 May 1915. He was killed in action on 11 April 1916.

From early April 1916, the 2nd Battalion was in action in the trenches in the Thiepval-la-Boisselle area (Somme).  Enemy artillery and trench mortars were very active and the Battalion sustained heavy casualties.

Donald Drew, nephew of Fleetwood George Bolitho, adds: ‘I have seen (at the Greenjackets Museum, Winchester) the original Battalion war diary, which reads for 1916:

“April 11th – About 7 pm the enemy commenced an intensive bombardment of the RIR (Royal Irish Regiment) trenches – the Bn (Battalion) went up in support, but after waiting some time were ordered back to billets, which they reached about midnight – The Germans effected a raid on the trenches & captured some prisoners. We had 1 Killed and 8 wounded by shellfiire in Becourt Wood.”.

I presume the “1 killed” was Fleetwood.’

 

Service Number
Z/2909
Mother
Harriet
Father
Edward George
Spouse
Unknown
Buried
Becourt Military Cemetery, France
No photos found for Fleetwood George Bolitho

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2 comments

  1. Donald Drew
    November 26, 2012
    5:48 pm

    Fleetwood George Bolitho was one of two brothers of my mother. I was born in 1924, so I never knew him. I understand (from my mother) that the family residence at the Primrose Hall, Knight’s Road was where the father (Edward George Bolitho) had a catering establishment which served the employees of Knights (the soap people). He, too, died before I was born. I have seen (at the Greenjackets Museum, Winchester) the original Battalion war diary, which reads for 1916

    “April 11th – About 7pm the enemy commenced an intensive bombardment of the RIR (Royal Irish Regiment) trenches – the Bn (Battalion) went up in support, but after waiting some time were ordered back to billets, which they reached about midnight – The Germans effected a raid on the trenches & captured some prisoners. We had i Killed and 8 wounded by shellfiire in Becourt Wood.”.

    I presume the “1 killed” was Fleetwood.

    The siblings were: Fleetwood George (1893); Arnold (1894) – who also served in the Rifle Brigade; Winifred Edith (1898); and Rosina Maud (1899); the latter being my mother.

    I hold the individual memorial bronzee plaque for Fleetwood.

    • John McConkey
      September 3, 2013
      5:49 pm

      Hello Donald,
      Fleetwood must have been an army buddy of my grandmother’s cousin, Percy Loben Butcher since he was the witness on Percy’s will. Percy was awarded the MM during an action early in 1916 (he helped pull some men out of a trench under hostile fire). I wonder if this was the incident when Fleetwood died. Percy was also killed in France in September that year. Do you have Fleetwood’s will? It is available at https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk. If you do have it could you check to see if Fleetwood’s witness was Percy? Also I don’t know if you are an Ancestry subscriber but Fleetwood’s army record is quite extensive. It mentions a letter to his father (Edward George) about collecting his effects (including a leather belt, a cigarette case and some photos and letters). If you like you can contact me directly at JOHNMCC at BELL dot NET.

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