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Saturday, 18 July 2015

A K Hargreaves
Military Details

A K Hargreaves D,S,O. Capt R B

Alan Knyveton Hargreaves born in 1882 and was brother to Leopold (see below). In 1891 Alan and his 2 brothers are living with their parents at Cuffnells Park, Lyndhurst, where their father states he is 38 and living on own means and has 9 staff incl. a Governess. The transcriber of the census has not been too kind and has totally mis-transcribed Knyveton. By 1900 Alan was a serving soldier and a London Gazette entry for 10 August gives his promotion. He was KIA on 9 May 1915 aged 33, the same age as his brother Leopold when he died, and he rests in Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery, Fleurbaix.

An entry in the London Gazette for 24 March 1915 tells of him being awarded the D.S.O.

Alan Knyveton Hargreaves D.S.O.

Captain, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). Killed in action 9th May 1915. Aged 33. Son of Reginald G. and Alice Hargreaves, of Cuffnells, Lyndhurst, Hants. Awarded the Distinguished Service order (D.S.O.). Buried in LE TROU AID POST CEMETERY, FLEURBAIX, Pas de Calais, France. Plot/Row/Section R. Grave 3.

Extract from du Ruvigny's Roll of Honour:

HARGREAVES, ALAN KNYVETON, D.S.O., Capt., 3rd Battn. The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own), eldest s. of Reginald Gervis Hargreaves, of Cuffnells, Lyndhurst, by his wife, Alice Pleasance, dau. of the Very Rev. Henry George Liddell, Dean of Christ Church; and brother to Capt. L. R. Hargreaves (q.v.); b. Cuffnells, Lyndhurst, co. Hants, 25 Oct. 1891; educ. Eton, and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst; gazetted 2nd Lieut. Rifle Brigade 11 Aug. 1900; promoted Lieut. 15 Jan. 1902, and Capt. 22 Jan. 1910; served in the South African War, 1902; took part in the operations in Orange River Colony, Jan. to 31 May, 1902, and those in Cape Colony, Jan. 1902 (Queen's Medal with three clasps); acted as Adjutant to 4th Battn. from 15 Dec. 1910, to 14 Dec. 1913; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from Sept. 1914; was wounded near Hazebrouck the following month; rejoined his regiment in March, and was killed in action at Fromelles 9 May, 1915. Buried near there. He was awarded the D.S.O. [London Gazette, 24 March, 1915], in recognition of his services with the Expeditionary Force.

Extract from Distinguished Service Order 1886-1915 published by Naval & Military Press:

HARGREAVES, ALAN KNYVETON, Capt., entered the Rifle Brigade 11 Aug. 1900; became Lieutenant 15 Jan. 1902, and Captain 24 March, 1910. He served in the South African War, 1902; took part in the operations in Orange River Colony, Jan. to 31 May, 1902; also in Cape Colony, Jan. 1902 (Queen's Medal with three clasps). Capt. Hargreaves served in the European War from 1914, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 18 Feb. 1915]: "Alan Hargreaves, Capt., The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). For services in connection with operations in the field." He was killed in action 9 May, 1915.

Alan Hargreaves was killed at Aubers Ridge at in the action at Rouge Bancs and is mentioned in the Regimental History for The Great War in an action.

On 9th May 1915 after a postponement from the previous day, the bombardment began at 5am. A number of shorts caused severe casualties in the advanced sap where "B" and "D" Companies of the 2nd Rifle Brigade were assembled to lead the attack.

"B" and "D" Companies (Capt. P.A.Kennedy and Capt. C.A. Werner) swept across to the German trench taking it in their stride, and pushed on to the Battalion objective, followed by "A" and "C" Companies (Captain S.A. Sherston and Capt. A.K. Hargreaves) who occupied and consolidated the German trench.

"B" and "D" Companies had to withdraw from the Battalion objective as very few of the Battalion to the left and right of the 2nd Rifle Brigade managed to keep with them. They withdrew to the German trench and made a stand there. They fought until nearly 3am on the 10th being attacked on three sides, from the German 2nd line and from each side in the trench in quite an action.

They were finally overwhelmed by 3am with the 2nd Rifle Brigades losses amounting to 654 Officers and men.

The fighting was severe and hand to hand the severity can be judged by a letter written by a priest who was serving with the German forces at the time "After two hours fighting the enemy was beaten back. You can scarcely have an idea of the work this represented. How these Englishmen had in twelve hours dug themselves in. The hundred or so fellows who were in our trench had brought with them an enourmous quantity of ammunition, a machine gun and one they captured from us. Almost every single man of them had to be put out of avtion with hand grenades. They were heroes all, brave and true to the end, until death..... men of the active English Rifle Brigade".

I will include credit for the above text if I can find it:

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