Private 9395 John Thomas Bridgwood

Bridgwood John 96 33x600Bridgwood John 96 412x600

Died of Wounds on Saturday, 2nd October 1915, age 22.
Buried in Grave II. A. 41 at Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.

1st Bn., Middlesex Regiment. 19th Brigade of 2nd Division.

Son of Robert and Emily Bridgwood, of 9, Brickkiln St., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 20th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/19573/

Genealogical Data

Birth of John Thomas Bridgewood registered December quarter 1893 at Dudley.

1901 Census
9 Brickkiln Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Robert Bridgwood (47, Bricklayer, born West Bromwich), his wife Emily (46, born Tipton), and their 5 children: Elizabeth (20, Breeze Washer, born Tipton), George (15, Bricklayer's Labourer, born Tipton), Robert (13, born Tipton), Samuel (11, born Tipton), and John (9, born Tipton).

1911 Census
9 Brickkiln Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Emily Bridgwood (47, Bricklayer, born West Bromwich), his wife Emily (46, born Tipton), and 3 of her 8 surviving children of 11: George (25, Labourer, born Tipton), Robert (23, Press Tool Fitting, born Tipton), and John (19, Labourer in Iron Foundry, born Tipton).

Personal Data

The Tipton Library Memorial records JJ Bridgwood, but the 'Staffordshire Roll of Honour' records JT Bridgwood as does other sources.

John Bridgwood attested at Tipton on 17th March 1915, joined at Mill Hill on 23rd March and was posted to the 5th Battalion on 24th March. He was 5 feet 7½ inches tall, with a 37½-inch chest.

John landed in France on 20th July 1915 and on same day was posted to the 1st Battalion. He died of wounds received in action (no date given), at the 10th Stationary Hospital, St. Omer on 2nd October 1915.
He had served at home from 17th March to 19th July - 125 days and abroad from 20th July to 2nd October - 75 days , a total of just 200 days.

Action resulting in his death

On September 25th at 6.30am after 40 minutes of gas release, "A", "B" and "C" Companies of the 1st Middlesex began their advance just south of the La Bassee canal just east of Cuinchy; "D" Company was in reserve. The men had not gone more than a few yards before a storm of rifle and machine-gun bullets tore their ranks to shreds and No Man's Land was soon littered with killed and wounded. Undeterred by the gas fumes the Germans stood up in their trenches, in many places upon the parapets, and poured a deadly accurate fire upon the advancing British troops. Unable to make further progress, the Middlesex men laid down. By this time the German trenches, which when the advance began had been lightly held, were packed with men and the volume of fire increased. With orders to reinforce the three forward companies, "D" Company now "went over the top," only to share a similar fate, survivors lay close to the ground with a rain of bullets pouring overhead.

The Battalion Diary records the action as follows: "At 5.50 a.m. a gas attack was opened on the German trenches for 40 minutes. This was not, however, very successful, and did not have much effect. At 6.30 the Battalion attacked with three Companies in the front line and one Company ("D") in reserve. The Battalion was all flung into the line, but failed to get further forward than 100 yards and were then hung up. Gunners again shelled the hostile line, but no further advance was made. At 12 noon the Battalion was ordered to withdraw into Brigade Reserve, having lost very heavily in both officers and men. A large proportion of N.C.Os. were casualties."

73 other ranks killed, 285 wounded, 66 missing, 7 gassed and 2 suffering from shell concussion.

From the 26th to the 30th September the 1st Battalion remained in Brigade Reserve in dug-outs behind the front line, so it is possible that Bridgwood was injured in period 26-30th September, but strong possibilty that wounded on 25th during Battle of Loos.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 23rd October 1915
The death is officially reported of Private J. Bridgwood, 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, who was a son of Mrs Bridgewood, 9 Brickkiln Street, Tipton, and who was killed in action. He was 21 years of age, and before the war was employed by Messrs Chatwin and Sons, Market Foundry, Tipton.
In the last letter to his bereaved mother, Private Bridgewood said: "We are going into action now, and when you get this I shall be dead. Save all your tears, and get more men to enlist. I have at least done my duty to my King and country, and have proved myself a man."