WW2's oldest private?

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
So today after work I've been looking for both my grandad(WW2 Gnr) and his dad who are both buried in Sandymount cemetery in the east end of Glasgow with no headstone and in the same section of the cemetery I find this guy,

Wondering what the story is with him given his age even as TA surely too old?

View attachment 582639
quite possible he was ancillary staff, unit ambulance driver , supplies driver body collector etc.
 
A man called Philip Baybutt from Manchester won the MoH during the Civil War, and is buried in Manchester Southern Cemetery. He was visiting his brother in Massachussetts and stayed to enlist in the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry.
Manchester was strongly anti-slavery, despite the hardships caused by interruption to the flow of raw cotton. The Mayor and other city worthies exchanged letters with Abe Lincoln on the occasion of the emancipation declaration, and US Grant spoke in warm terms when he visited the city after he had completed his own Presidential term. There is a statue of Lincoln in central Man
Yet the British Government actively outfitted and crewed British built ships to be blockade runners and Privateers for the Confederate cause, because of the economic damage the war was inflicting. See the Alabama Claims Case...
 
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Yet the British Government actively outfitted British built ships to be blockade runners a d Privateers. See the Alabama Claims Case...
fascinating!
Oh yes. And the non-officer crew of the Alabama was largely British, right up until her sinking by the USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg. Observers commented on the "Whale Island efficiency" of the gunners of the CSS Alabama.
Sympathies in Liverpool were very much different than those in Manchester. When the CSS Shenandoah finally got the message about the end of the Civil War, she sailed about 10000 miles from the Aleutians, via the Horn, to surrender in Liverpool, seven months after Lee and Appomattox Court House.
 
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Am I the only one to give a nod to CWGC headstones when they crop up unexpectedly. Thinking Amble, Alton and a sleepy little Lincolnshire village in the Wolds as the most recent. I like to think their service and sacrifice should always be remembered.
 
Yes.

Medal of Honor, Spanish-American War.

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Interesting. The action for which Kelly received the (Naval) Medal of Honor was a "forlorn hope" as he and 7 other volunteers were steaming the USS Merrimac into the harbor of Santiago in order to sink it so that it would serve as a blockship and trap the Spanish fleet inside.

USS Merrimac was a United States Navy collier during the Spanish–American War. It was the only American vessel sunk by the Spanish navy in that conflict.

Merrimac, a steamship, was built by Swan & Hunter shipyard as SS Solveig in Wallsend, England, in November 1894. It was purchased by the US Navy in April 1898. Rear Admiral William T. Sampson ordered her to be sunk as a blockship at the entrance of Santiago Harbor, Cuba, in an attempt to trap the Spanish fleet in the harbor. On the night of 2–3 June 1898, eight volunteers attempted to execute this mission, but Merrimac's steering gear was disabled by the fire of Spanish land-based howitzers. The American steamer was later sunk by the combined gunfire and the torpedoes of the armored cruiser Vizcaya,[1] the unprotected cruiser Reina Mercedes, and the destroyer Plutón[2] without obstructing the harbor entrance. Its crewmen were rescued by the Spanish and made prisoners of war.[3] After the Battle of Santiago de Cuba destroyed the Spanish fleet a month later, the men were released. All eight were awarded Medals of Honor for their part in the mission.
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Kelly's rank was given as Watertender at the time of the action, but he must have stayed in the Navy and retired as a Chief Machinist Mate. (OR 7)

Francis_Kelly_(MOH) Large (2).jpg
 
Am I the only one to give a nod to CWGC headstones when they crop up unexpectedly. Thinking Amble, Alton and a sleepy little Lincolnshire village in the Wolds as the most recent. I like to think their service and sacrifice should always be remembered.
No, If I see one always stop and have a look at it.


Whats unusal for this cemetry is it's WW2 headstones are very RA and search light/AA unit heavy compared to other units as my grandad was something to do with AA during the war down south wonder if they were known to him.

Hopefully soon find out when his records arrive.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
and back on topic...


The CWGC records the names of ten men aged 70 - five are private soldiers one a CQMS
70 year olds in the CWGC database
71 year olds in CWGC
I got bored - Quite a few Australian South African and Canadian privates in their70s. Charles Ruse died on 1st July 1940 an early death on active service for a Home Guard Volunteer (private) He had been captaoin QM of the RWK in WW1

But one outstanding old private killed in action seems to have been 77 year old Private Sir Edward Alfred des Voeux of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps who fell in action on 19 December 1941 in the defence of Hong Kong.
 

Issi

LE
There’s a 51 yr old LAC in my local graveyard, died in a car crash in 1943 while serving in RAF Fairwood Common.
 

Chef

LE
Am I the only one to give a nod to CWGC headstones when they crop up unexpectedly. Thinking Amble, Alton and a sleepy little Lincolnshire village in the Wolds as the most recent. I like to think their service and sacrifice should always be remembered.
Not by a long chalk I'd think.

Whenever we stop near a churchyard I do the same. Speak their name and say 'Thank you'.
 

Issi

LE
In the graveyard I mentioned earlier, there’s a 21 yr old kid from Texas who was killed in a Spitfire crash.
I often stop by and give him a couple of minutes as he’s so far from home.
 
Fifty four, kept on in stores to give him something to do? Long term hospital then died?

Is that a CWGC headstone? Do they sometimes use local material?

If not maybe a proud relative had his service mentioned on a lookalike headstone. I guess the family would know, maybe an article in the local rag.

There are a few WWII CWGC graves in a cemetary here (Allanvale cemetary, Aberdeen) with a very similar material. Not surprising given the granite industry of Aberdeen but interesting to see yours.
 
In the graveyard I mentioned earlier, there’s a 21 yr old kid from Texas who was killed in a Spitfire crash.
I often stop by and give him a couple of minutes as he’s so far from home.
Soft bastard. ;-)
 

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