Legion of Frontiersmen to 152eme régiment d'Infanterie?


Book Reviewer
Whilst doing some research on the Bucks Battalion, I came across an interesting character in the roll of honour of the small village of Burnham near Slough.

A. Bacha
Sergeant 6th Company. French 152nd Regiment of Infantry

Sergeant Bacha is a war casualty whose records the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have been unable to trace. He was mentioned to the author by someone (now deceased) who knew him personally. A Bacha was a batman in Egypt and was himself egyptian. Mr Ernest Tietkens of Burnham was in Egypt at the turn of the century and brought A .Bacha home with him to employ him as his personal valet. It seems that A. Bacha was a popular and well respected figure in Burnham. This story is corroborated in a report by the 'Maidenhead Advertiser' which goes on to say that he enlisted at the beginning of the war in the Legion of Frontiersmen being transferred later into the above Regiment. The report also states that he was killed in action on the 12th August 1915 in France.

He is buried in the village of Mesnal in Champagne.
I have done a cursory search for the French unit and wiki gives me this (my own translation so apologies for errors):

Summer-Autumn 1915

The 152nd held the relatively quiet sector of Hilsenfirst (the pass between the upper valleys of the Fecht and Lauch).
Does anyone know:

a) If it would have been indeed possible for some one to enlist in a private organisation like the LofF and then transfer to the French? I know that the LofF manned remount depots in the UK and sent a cohort off to help the Belgians, but that's about it.

b) Any more information on the 6e Compagnie 152eme Régiment d'Infanterie (Battalion unknown)?

It's a long, long shot, but more incredible things have occurred on ARRSE.
It was possible for Britons and others to join the French Army in Ww1. E.g. Poet Alan Seegar, disgraced officer Colonel John Elkington,and Indian Oxford student Sardar Hardutt Singh and Fuiji's first uiniversity student Ratu Sukuna. However, these chaps ended up in the Foreign Legion.

Maybe an Egyptian who spoke French may have found it possible to join the French Army. The history posted by Alsacian says that the 3rd battalion of the 152 carried out an attack on the 17th August to take the tenches at Mattle Ridge opposite Sondernach. This sector wasnlt that quiet. The fact that he recieved a burial may be an indivation that he died from some routines violence of trenches. In the majors battles a high proportion of casualties did not received a proper burial.

The CWGC will have no record of the death of someone serving in a non commonwealth army.

I would be inclined to check

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