Bernard Cecil Blake1

#36141, b. September 1882, d. 9 April 1918

The area that touches the north side of the road is a war cemetery. Whilst I have not proof, the roads to the north of this look very much like that Tuning Fork mentioned as the location of the battery

Individual's Timeline

Birth RegSeptember 1882Bernard Cecil Blake1
Death9 April 1918Bernard Cecil Blake
Probate18 May 1918Bernard Cecil Blake

Primary events

  • Birth Reg: Bernard's birth was registered in the quarter ended in September 1882 in the Alverstoke, Gosport registration district.1
  • Death: Bernard died on 9 April 1918 in No 1 Casualty Clearing Station, France, On active duty with "A" Battery, 275th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. (Aged 35 years and 7 months, worked back from recorded birth date).
  • Probate: His estate was probated on 18 May 1918. Executor was Thomas Henry Field LAPTHORN, Solicitor, His effects were valued at £176.
  • Burial: He was buried in 1918 in France and Flanders His memorial is - VI. A. 1., CHOCQUES MILITARY CEMETERY.

Secondary circumstances

  • Occupation: Bernard was was described by his father as an author and clerk in 1911, and as a journalist in 1901. His bio has him as 1883-1918. Trawling the net has produced this list of books he has written:
    * Blake, Bernard Cecil. AT THE CHANGE OF THE MOON. Ln: Greening, 1902. Chain of eight tales. "Further North than Abruzzi" regards a giant Arctic race.
    * BOOKS037889I: BLAKE, BERNARD CECIL - The peculiar history of Mary Ann Susan published 1903.
  • Milit-rank: He held the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artilliary.
  • Residence: In circa 1918 Bernard Cecil lived in Languard House, Alverstoke, Hampshire, England.

Census details

Some aspects of Bernard Cecil Blake's life. The story of his unit on or about the day he died - His unit was with 55 (West Lancs) Division, which was fighting the Battle of Estaires and the Defence of Givenchy at the same time. The War Diary of the 1st West Lancashire Brigade, RFA indicates that on 9 April 1918 'A' Battery, 275th Brigade was at 'Tuning Fork' on the south side of the road where Rout A intersects the road from Gorre to Festubert. The book has a map of the battery positions on page 111, a sketch of a 'Battery Position on Tuning Fork, Spring 1918' and a 10-page discussion of the events of 'The Ninth of April' but while the description mentions numbers officers being wounded and/or killed it does not mention Lieut. Blake. The "Tuning Fork" is west of Festubert and is named after the shape of roads in the area - there is a single road coming up from Gorre, which then splits into two long parallel roads heading toward the Festubert-Givenchy front. There were several artillery batteries there at the start of 9 April. In thick fog in the early hours, a huge force of enemy artillery opened up a deep bombardment in the area. It was the commencement of "Operation Georgette". The bombardment was initially aimed squarely at destroying and neutralising the British guns, communications and command of this sector. Relatively little fire fell on the front line and advanced posts at first. The Tuning Fork-Gorre area was absolutely hammered by high explosive and much gas.

Citations

  1. Free UK BDM index from 1837, online http://freebmd.rootsweb.com, Blake      Bernard Cecil            Alverstoke      2b     561.