Patrick Francis Langton – A Hove Private Remembered

20161108_110128.jpgPatrick Francis Langton , born in 1897 in Teddington Surrey, was a bricklayer living at 6 Hove Street in Hove, East Sussex, before becoming a Private in the  Royal Sussex  12th Battalion  39th Division (service number SD/2370).

He died at The Battle of Boar’s Head at Ferme Du Bois France,  the deadliest battle for the Royal Sussex Battalion, on the 30th of June 1916, also known as ‘the day that Sussex died’. Patrick Francis was 19.

George St HoveFAMILY  LIFE

At the time of the 1911 census, Patrick Francis’ parents, John Langton (50 years old), a Cycle Engineer, and his Mother Ada E. Langtono (37 years old) are recorded to have been married for 14 years with three children.

Patrick Francis was the eldest at 13 years of age at the time of the census, followed by his sister Madge at 11 years and brother Fredrick at 9 years.

The family is recorded to have worshiped at All Saints Church Hove Sussex (parish records not available). Patrick Francis is not recorded to have married.

All Saint Church, Hove circa 1910

All Saints Church, Hove, circa 1910

MILITARY CAREER

Private Langton was posthumously awarded The Victory Medal and The  British War Medal. He enlisted in the British Army on 15 March 1915 in Hove Sussex.

Soldiers at one of the many camps accross sussex

Soldiers at a Sussex Camp

On 1st November 1915 the 39th Division moved from Aldershot to Whitley Camp to complete its training. Rifles were issued in January 1916 following which the infantry began musketry courses and during February the artillery carried out gunnery practice on Salisbury Plain. (War Records)

Royal Sussex Regement in Training

Sussex Regiment in Training

 

The following extracts depict the events of The Battle of Boar’s Head that lead to Patrick Francis’ death.

The  12th battalion war diary reads:

‘On 29th June 1916 ‘Two companies marched for Richburg and Vielle Chapelle and joined the  rest of battalion in  the front line  at Ferme Due Bois.  (The Battle of Boar’s Head)  Artillery bombarded enemy trenches from 2pm to 5pm. 12th Battalion attacked enemy front and support  lines and succeeded in entering same. 

The support  line was occupied for about half hour and the front line for four hours. The withdrawal was necessitated by the supply of bombs and ammunition giving out  by heavy enemy barrage on our front line and communication trenches preventing reinforcement being sent forward.’

12th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment

12th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment (image credited to Paul Reed)

Operation orders were  attached to  the diary. The battalion was relieved by the 14th Hants at 10am and marched to Les Lobes after resting at Richburg.

Battle of Boars Head

Lieunant Frank Walter Moyel wrote on the ICRC INDEX CARD for Private Langton: ‘At 3am on June 30th June 1916 some minutes before the attack. The bay Private Langton occupied with [text illegible] was blown in with bombs and heavy artillery – this I  saw myself, as I was  in the next bay. We had to go forward. I did not see him after.’

The concentration report attached to Private 4975 Earnest Leonard Mepham  states: ‘The British uncovered a mass grave containing 84 Unknown British Soldiers and 5 Unknown British Officers who all died on 30th June 1916′

An unnamed soldier of  12TH Battlalion from Eastbourne  gave an eye witness report:

We paraded  to go over the top the next morning. We said the Lord’s Prayer with our chaplain who addressed a few words to us and gave us a blessing. All night we  were hard at work cutting the barbed wire in front and carrying out bridges to put over a big ditch in front of our parapet. 

The time we went over,   guns started a terrible bombardment of the enemy’s trenches..  As soon as this  started the enemy sent up a string of red  lights  as a signal to his own  guns. I got a fragment of shell on the elbow about five minutes before our men went over… They blew our trenches right in, in several  places’

MEMORIAL

Patrick is Commemorated alongside the other Hove Residents who Fell during The Great War on The Hove War Memorial, the Hove Library Great War Memorial, and the All Saints Church Memorial plaque, the same church his family is recorded to have frequented.

 

P. F. Langton All Saints Church Hove Memorial

WW1 Memorial Plaque from All Saints Church, Hove, East Sussex

Patrick Francis is also commemorated on The Loos Memorial:

‘Private Langton SD 2370 12TH Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. 39th Division. Killed in action on the RUE De Bois 30th June 1916 son of John and Ada Langton of 6 Hove Street Hove. Born Teddington and enlisted in Hove.’

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0160.JPG

IN CONCLUSION

Every Man Remembered  writes:

‘Patrick was one of the many casualties in the unsuccessful attack by the 116th. Brigade on The Boar’s Head, near the Rue De Bois at Richebourg. It was a hastily planned action designed to distract the Germans from the main Somme Offensive on 1st. July 1916. A staggering total of 135 of Patrick’s Comrades from the Battalion also Fell on this day’.

In more recent times the following post on the ‘Great War Forum’ in January  2016  records the discovery of Patrick Frances’ ‘death penny’:

‘A very surprising discovery for me at the Ankara Antika Pazari today.  I discovered a ‘death penny’ for Private Patrick Frances Langton. CD 2370. This is the first example I have ever seen here. The only  information from the dealer was that he picked it up some years go on sale in Ankara. I don’t collect these, but I found that could not simply walk by and accept the idea of it just sitting there, and so I bought it…’

This research was completed by Veronica Wright of The Orange Lilies project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WWI archive research session – The Orange Lilies project

FREE: Research training session at The Keep archive with Research Coordinator Ross Hammond for The Orange Lilies- Brighton and Hove in the Somme project.

Not everyone is able to attend the whole day, so welcome to come along when you can, or leave when you need to. If you’re attending for the whole session, please bring a packed lunch.

This will be a chance to become a member of The Keep and some more advice about using the services there. There is no pressure to stay the whole day but I will be there from 11am – 4pm to offer any help.
The Keep is a world-class centre for archives that opens up access to all the collections of the East Sussex Record Office (ESRO), the Royal Pavilion & Museums Local History Collections and the internationally significant University of Sussex Special Collections. It is also a centre of excellence for conservation and preservation and represents the new generation of archive buildings in the UK. 
The Keep is situated near the Amex Stadium. The easiest way of getting there is via Bus:
By bus
The following Brighton & Hove buses stop just outside The Keep car park at the Brighton Academy bus stop:
Number 23 (Brighton Marina – County Hospital – Queens Park – Lewes Road – Universities)
Number 25 (Palmeira Square – Lewes Road – Universities),
Number 28 (Brighton – Lewes – Ringmer)
This is a link with more information on how to get there. http://www.thekeep.info/visit_us/getting-here/
Important:
 
If you have NOT visited the keep before please bring two forms of Identification:
  1. A photo ID such as Passport, Bus Pass, Driving licence
  2. A letter with your Address and Name

This is so you can get a reader card and get items from the Archive! This card is free for first time members.

You can find more information here: http://www.thekeep.info/visit_us/before-you-visit/

Venue – The Keep, Woollards way, Brighton BN1 9BP

https://www.facebook.com/events/254937658234039/?active_tab=highlights

The Orange Lilies project is delivered by Strike a Light

In Partnership with the following organisations:

Brighton and Hove Lbraries and Information Service, Gateways to the First World War and Fabrica

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Image of Cyril Flower Martindale of the Royal Sussex Regiment used with kind permission of Patricia Reed

 

Free WWI events this week!

Free Heritage Open Days events – Brighton & Hove

Thursday 8th, Friday 9th & Saturday 10th September

Keep the Home Fires Burning event –
Heritage Open Days (Free)

Thursday 8th September 1-4pm (Drop in): 

A creatively curated drop-in daytime event, with free workshops, exhibitions, talks, and cafe.

We’ll be hosting songstrels The Close Shaves, creative workshops from artist Fiona Edwards, tea and cakes, WWI era bicycles from the Royal Sussex Cycling Battalion, exhibitions from Gateways to the First World War on cinema and theatre, and also from Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove.

The event taking place is part of national Heritage Open Days events. During this special drop-in event, Fabrica opens its doors to the public for an afternoon of stimulating and engaging activities and exhibits.

Book your free place here 


WWI Walking Tour – Friday 9th September:  

Dr Geoffrey Mead will lead an early evening tour for The Boys on the Plaque project, looking at the stories from soldiers on a WWI memorial plaque (based at Fabrica gallery), who with connections to this area of the city.

 The tour runs from 6-7.30pm and starts from Fabrica gallery, 40 Duke Street, Brighton BN1 1AG. The event is free but booking is necessary here.

https://boysontheplaque.wordpress.com/


Friday 9th & Saturday 10th September:

Friday 9th from 1-7pm & Saturday 10th from 1-5pm    

An exhibition specially for Heritage Open Days which focuses on the history of brewing in Lewes, East Sussex and its related industrial and agricultural links from the 18th Century to the present day, a period of some 200 years. The exhibition looks at working life in relation to Breweries, agricultural workers and rural life and trades.

Find out more here

A project in partnership with Harveys Brewery.


Friday 9th & Saturday 10th September:

The Orange Lilies – Brighton and Hove in the Somme exhibition

Friday 9th from 1-7pm & Saturday 10th from 1-5pm

FREE Exhibition and Drop in at Strike a Light, Studio 8 (Mezzanine), Open Market, Marshalls Row, Brighton BN1 4JU

Strike a Light showcases its WWI themed project The Orange Lilies – Brighton and Hove Soldiers in the Somme.

The project focuses the city’s legacy of the Somme and a significant event on the eve of this (where huge numbers of Brighton soldiers fell), The Battle of Boar’s Head (also known as The Day that Sussex Died), as a key part of WWI, and its subsequent impact on Brighton.

In partnership with:

Fabrica gallery, Gateways to the First World War project, and Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service.

These are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Volunteer Research Group starts – get involved!

 

TOL logoOur new Volunteer Research Group will be meeting next week for the first time, along with Ross Hammond, the new Research Group Coordinator for The Orange Lilies project, to go through training, events and activities as well as exploring our research approach. All welcome!
We will be meeting at Jubilee Library in Brighton from 10.30am-12.30pm on Friday 5th August in the community meet space which is just to the left of the graphic novel section, behind the check out desk on the ground floor.
Do RSVP so we know if you’re able to attend – theorangelilies@gmail.com
Please bring a note book and pen with you too.
Looking forward to seeing you!
With thanks to QueenSpark Books for the image of the postcard from 1916 from their Letter in the Attic project.

Seeking project researchers

The Orange Lilies Project is seeking Volunteer Archive Researchers to support knowledge and history throughout this project. If you’re interested in getting involved then do get in touch. Training will be given.

Archive Researchers will receive support and training to:

  • Visit and work in The Keep archive in Brighton on a number of occasions.
  • Visit the Rare Books Archive at Jubilee Library and other related venues
  • Attend events, exhibitions and outings related to The Orange Lilies project
  • Copy and write up the material gathered so that it can be used by the project and on the website

Skills Required:

  • Learn new skills and think creatively about material in archives
  • Persistence – to find information in archives
  • An interest in local history
  • A positive and imaginative approach to volunteering
  • Good interpersonal and team working skills

For more information, please contact:

Nicola Benge

The Orange Lilies Project Manager

Tel: 07727 006538

theorangelilies@gmail.com

Seeking project participants!

postcard from F stoner to sister France 1916Get involved with our new The Orange Lilies project which has just begun and which is researching and commemorating the role of Brighton and Hove born Royal Sussex Regiment soldiers in the battle of the Somme in 1916.

We’re seeking volunteer researchers, project participants, young people who are interested in learning about making short films, and creative young people to participate in a series of free textile workshops between June 2016 and June 2017. If you would like to find out more, then have a look at our new project website here or email theorangelilies@gmail.com to participate in the project.

We’d love to hear your stories, find out about family history, uncover information about Brighton and Hove at home during the battle of the Somme, and those city soldiers abroad who served on the battlefields and what happened to them.

We’ve started to uncover stories about soldiers like Private Frederick George Stoner who died on 28th October 1916 and who’s name is engraved on the memorial at Thiepval in the Somme, France. Here he writes a postcard is to his sister Ellen (‘Nellie’) Elizabeth Stoner (later Simmons) in 1916. The front of the postcard shows ‘Inside of the church’ at Eclusier-Vaux in the Somme.

church in the Somme - lita.jpg

Images both with kind permission of the Letter in the Attic project from QueenSpark Books.