|At the age of
26 years and one month, William Plume, resident of Stock joined the Royal
Regiment of Artillery at Chelmsford. It was 13th Nov 1915 and the war had been
going some fifteen months
no slouch at 5ft 9in and as a jobbing builder he was just the right person to
be part of the RGA. The Plumes were a large family, there being seven brothers
and two sisters, not counting William. The oldest was Rose at 42, and the
youngest was Sidney aged 20. Another brother, Bertram according to
Williams attestation papers was on active service, he survived the war
and his son Victor is alive today. The whole family lived in or around Stock as
was usual in those days.
|1st Jan 1916
William was posted as a gunner, and on 8th July he went to the Siege Depot to
await final placing. A month later and he was 68896 Gunner in the 184th Siege
Battery Royal Garrison Artillery. 12th October 1916 was the day he left
Folkestone for Boulogne, arriving there a day later. The battery was part of
the 81st Brigade, attached to the First Army. The RGA Siege Batteries were the
largest guns and howitzers; mounted on railways or on massive fixed concrete
emplacements and consequently rather immobile.
|One of the
difficulties of tracing the whereabouts of these Siege Batteries is that they
werent always attached to a Division as they were positioned according to
need. What is known is that when William was wounded in the field on the 15th
June 1917, he was in the Ypres Salient and ended back at Wimereux Hospital in
the Pas de Calais where he was hospitalised. He had according to his notes a
compound fracture of the right leg, how he received the wound and the extend of
the breakage is pure conjecture. Within two weeks William had died of those
wounds on 29th June 1917, and was buried in the cemetery nearby.
following January Mrs Elizabeth Plume received a letter from RGA records which
accompanied Williams effects including, a disc, photos, letters,
cigarette holder and broken gun metal watch. At the end of the letter there is
a note to say that he had some money which was credited to his account, and
would have been passed on later.
wasnt until after the war in 1919 that Elizabeth had her last letter from
the RGA and that was Williams plaque and scroll, which she duly
Bertram he returned to Stock and when he died he was buried in the Catholic
Churchyard, only a short distance from where he used to live.