The idea of writing a short history about Charles Alcock started whilst sat on the settee along side my 2 children at Sue carters house, I was taking my children to view their 5 x great grandfathers military general service medal peninsular war,
Named as Matthew Briggs.
A few years ago I came across records of a direct ancestor Matthew Briggs 74th Foot Highland regiment and traced the medal I searched for to a gentleman called Wil Betenson, Sue Carters father, after the passing away of Wil his daughter Sue took ownership of the medal and it turns out she lives 15 minutes from my South Derbyshire home. Sue very kindly allowed me full access to Mathews medal.
Talking to Sue I mentioned that I was going over to France in the coming month of June 2015 to visit my great grandfathers grave near Arras, he was killed in action March 1918, having made a comment to Sue of whether she had relatives in ww1 Sue brought some letters to me that were from her grandfather Charles Alcock.
Having read a great deal of ww1 history I recognised the significance of the fact that Charles was writing about Captain Nevill, this was an interesting source of research. On talking to my friend and ww1 enthusiast Robin P.
we thought it would do justice to Charles to research his history a little, after web sourcing, book searching, and national archive research of 80 pages of documents we came across a link to Bernafey Wood where we have stayed previously, Robin having a 10 year connection with the owners.
The links between Sue, Charles, and Bernafey Wood being where Robins father was in ww1 active service all seemed to be calling us to write some history so we started to piece some facts together, the Captain Nevill incident was well documented but Charles s story goes further than captain Nevills moving on through the 1st July to wounds received after the first day on the Somme to traumatised shell shock,
It seemed that we had a story to write and after Robin finding relevant trench maps on a Canadian research site we had all the information to make a trip out to france this February 2016 to walk the battlefield around Montauban where the action took place and to display our works at Bernafey Wood.
I have had many interesting reading experiences of books written on ww1 and I hope the article we have written will give a little information back to others.
Lest we forget,
Mike Briggs march 2016
This letter was written to Miss Nevill the 15th July 1916