May 16th 1919

Capt. Henry Stanley Way (Royal Fusiliers & Tank Corps)

We are very sorry to hear that on May 6th Stanley Way, who was on duty in France with the Tank Corps, during the loading of tanks on to a train for removal to Germany, was accidentally killed. He has been buried with full military honours at St. Pol.

Stanley went through the whole war untouched. His letters home were full of his adventures behind the lines, and notes on bird-life, of which he was very fond – a great observer and student, and if spared he would have been famous as an ornithologist.

His quiet unassuming manner, combined with more than ordinary pluck and determination, marked him out amongst brilliant contemporaries. He would have tackled the reconstruction problem had he been spared, in just the same spirit as he faced the war. Those who knew him are the better for the privilege of knowing him.

He visited us on his last leave in March and he was full of joy at the thought of going to Southern Russia.

* * * * * *

It is to be regretted that it is still not possible for families to visit British graves in France or Belgium. However, an article in the papers today states that work needs to be done to exhume those in isolated graves in favour of central cemeteries. There is also at present a great lack of transport and accommodation. So for the time being, the War Office is not granting permission to families to travel to these areas.

Those who have read Geoffrey Freyberg‘s account of his visit to the battlefields around Reims, might also wonder how safe they are, even now.

September 2nd 1918

Lieut. Follett Holt (OBLI/Tank Corps)

The recent advances made on the Western Front were bound to be at a price and it is with sadness that I have to report Follett’s death on August 22nd near Bray-on-Somme in the battle to re-take Albert.

Follett served in France with the 6th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (the same unit as Oswald Blencowe, who died on the Somme in 1916), but since June he has been attached to the 4th Tank Carrier Company.

His captain wrote most generously of the love both officers and men had for him and how he died a gallant Englishman:

“On the 22nd we went forward in the attack just north of Bray and it fell to Follett’s lot to carry up some much needed supplies to the infantry under a devastating barrage…

He never hesitated but pressed forward to his objective, and the last I saw of them they were moving forward to the enemy lines. Unfortunately, a direct hit from a shell knocked them out before they arrived at their destination…

His corporal rushed up to him and found him dead along with one of his men, three others being wounded in the same tank.” 

Despite the circumstances, it is very much hoped that Follett will receive a proper burial:

“We made several efforts during the day to reach the tank which was in the enemy lines, and at last I succeeded in getting to it yesterday morning when I saw Follett’s remains, but was unable to remove his body owing to very heavy shelling. However, the news tonight is that the Boche has been pressed further back, and I hope by daylight tomorrow to be able to get to the tank and bury him.”

As a young Dragon, Follett’s gentle, affectionate nature won him many friends amongst us, and his love of home was a guiding factor in his life.

 

The German successes earlier in the year have been dramatically reversed and since August 8th and the advances made in the Battle of Amiens it really seems possible that the tide may have turned.

Daily Telegraph, September 2nd 1918