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Gotts Family History


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His role in France supporting the 1st Cavalry Division would have meant he was involved in many of the early battles. The map below shows how far the front moved in the first few weeks. Starting at Mons on 23 August 1914 they were seriously outnumbered and retreated 400km to the River Marne just outside Paris in two weeks. Then with the aid of the French Army they pushed the Germans back to the River Aisne by 15 September. Later that year they fought in the first Battle of Ypres, in Flanders from 19 October to 22 November. During the winter they fought in many small actions known as the 'Winter Operations' including the attack on Wytschaete, 14 December 1914 , followed by the Second Battle of Ypres in April-May 1915.

The Cavalry Division stayed in that area for another year, and many of the men would have dismounted and fought as infantry, however it is likely that John would continue in RASC as the horses would always need feeding.

‘A’ marks Mons, then they fell back through ‘C’ (Caudry) all the way to the River Marne just outside Paris at ‘B’ 400 km south. In the next month with the French Army they drove them back to Ypres at ‘D’.

Hover over to enlarge the map.

World War 2

During WW2 John is recorded as 'Civilian Dead' on 11 November 1944, in Shooters Hill Road. It appears that this was when early V2 rockets with huge destructive power were starting to be fired at London when the Brook Hotel in Shooters Hill Road, Greenwich was completely destroyed by a direct hit.

(source: blitzwalkers.blogspot.co.uk).

The attack also destroyed the top deck of a number 89 bus and the nearby ambulance station as well as damaging the Brook hospital. (source: "Steeped In History" by David Lloyd Bathe)

There were twenty nine fatalities, many of whom were passengers on the bus. What we don't know is whether John was in the hotel, hospital or on the bus.

This would be the last John would see of this as he was invalided back to England in March 1916 with pneumonia and pleurisy and spent three months in the Herbert Hospital before being transferred to lighter duties at Grove Park in June 1916. He was initially a lance corporal in No 1 Reserve Mechanical Transport Company A.S.C. in charge of fatigues at the Mechanical Transport Recruits and Training Depot A.S.C. at Grove Park, London, until 17th May 1918 when he was transferred to the loaders and packers section as a private

John 1739 #091

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