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BELLATROVATA

 

Adrian Fletcher & Dom Paradox D.O.C.G.

 

IN BRITAIN SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER 2011

 

 

 

Remembrance Sunday (November 13th) at St Peter's, Limpsfield

 

on a beautifully warm and sunny November day

 

and a tribute to Adrian's Maternal Grandfather - Brig Jimmy Sproule (RAMC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking home after the service, Adrian's brother-in law Lawrence shows off  his newly found skill with a knee scooter - a must have if your foot is in plaster because of Achilles Tendon damage.

 

 

131 Field Ambulance 1918 War Diary at the National Archives, Kew

 

  

 

131 Field Ambulance was commanded by Adrian's grandfather Lt Col Jimmy Sproule, who wrote up their war diary every day - the page above records his arrival to take command on 25 February 1918.  A "Field Ambulance" was not a vehicle but a unit of 200-300 men running dressing / evacuation stations and horse drawn and motorized ambulances. 

 

 

6.30am, 18 September 1918 - over the top for one of the last big offensives - 18 horse ambulances and 13 motorized ones are ready to evacuate the "lying wounded".  The commandeering of ambulances from other field ambulances means that 131 must have been in the centre of the expected casualty storm from fighting units of the 38th (Welch) Division.

 

At the beginning of WWI, Jimmy Sproule had gone to France on 9 Aug 1914 as part of the BEF (thus becoming an "Old Contemptible").   He was the Medical Officer for the famous 2nd Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers (RWF), whose members included Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon.  Lt Sproule was involved in the early WWI Belgian traumas of Ypres / Mons/etc which virtually wiped out the "Old Army".   At one stage he got separated from his unit - on 5 September 1914 the Battalion War Diary reports "Medical Officer and 5 men rejoined" - no earlier reference to them having unjoined. 

 

And in those days "Welsh" was (sometimes) spelled "Welch".

 

 

These are the miniatures of my grandfather's WW I medals.  They include the "Old Contemptibles" medal, second from left, aka the 1914 Star or colloquially the Mons Star.  It was awarded to British Expeditionary Force soldiers who went to France between 5 August (he went on the 9th) and 22 November 1914, with the bar signifying service under enemy fire.  Next in line is the British War Medal, followed by the Victory Medal.  The oak leaf on the Victory Medal indicates a "Mention in Despatches" for gallantry (in fact he got two mentions and was recommended for a DSO, which somehow got changed to an OBE).   Last in line is the French Croix de Guerre (right).  On the left is the OBE.

 

MORE ABOUT WWI AND JIMMY SPROULE, RAMC

 

 

 

LINK TO PARADOXPLACE

Adrian Fletcher's main website

 

 

Paradoxplace, a place full of  the buildings (especially abbeys cathedrals and churches), art, books, history and stories of the movers and shakers of Medieval and Early Modern Europe / Renaissance Italy and Western Europe plus lots of foodie stuff. 

 

 

Paradoxplace photo pages about Britain

 

 

LINK TO FAMILY WEBSITE CIAO FAMIGLIA

 

 

Bellatrovata is the original "on the road" site for Adrian (aka Adriano and Dom Paradox) Fletcher's European explorations.  Material relating to explorations in Italy (including Tuscany, Rome and Venice), Spain, France and Britain between 2004 and 2006 has now been transferred to Adrian's main web site - Paradoxplace - and Bellatrovata contains photos and stories from the Autumn 2009 & 2011 road trips in England.   The website Ciao Adriano has illustrated accounts of extensive travels in France, Italy and England over 6 months in 2007.

 

 

Material in this site is Adrian Fletcher 2000-2015 unless otherwise stated - the contents may not be hotlinked or reproduced except as explained in the Paradoxplace copyright policy.

Feedback and comments to afletch at paradoxplace dot com