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Barcroft Joseph Leech Fayle


Captain Barcroft Joseph Leech Fayle - Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps Secondary Regiment: West Yorkshire Regt. (Prince of Wales's Own) Secondary Unit Text: attd. 2nd Bn. Age: 26 Date of Death: 24/10/1916 Additional information: Son of Lt. Col. R. J. L. Fayle and Mary Fayle. of 51, Canynge Rd. Clifton, Bristol. Also attd. to 5th Bde. R.H.A. (Aug., 1914 to Sept., 1916). Graduate Hons. (Natural Science), Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: 3.C.30. Cemetery: LONDON CEMETERY AND EXTENSION, LONGUEVAL

Above Captain Barcroft Joseph Leech Fayle. His family called him Barry. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

In 1891 the Fayle family lived at 6 Acre Place, Devonport.

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
Robert J. L. Fayle Head 34 Surgeon A.M. Staff Ireland
Mary Fayle Wife 29 Clifton, Glos.
Disney Fayle son 2 India
Barcroft Fayle son 8 months Stoke Damerel, Devon
Harriet Fagwill serv 24 Nurse Paignton, Devon
Mary Benney serv 25 Cook Mount Charles, Cornwall

Above Disney Benjamin William Fayle, Barcrofts brother, from a Clifton College photo. Born 18th November 1888. He went to Clifton College from 1899-1907. He joined Clifton RFC in 1909. He was a Major during WW1 in India, Mesopotamia and France. He was Managing Director of a Tool Manufacturing Company in Coaley. His descendants still live not too far away in Uley.

In 1901 the Fayle family lived at 3 Beaufort Buildings, Clifton. They were

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
Mary Fayle Wife 39 Wife of Dr.Fayle now in South Africa Bristol
Disney B. W. Fayle son 12 India
Barcroft J. L. Fayle son 10 Devonport, Devon
Gerald L. B. Fayle son 6 Long Ashton, Somerset
Mary A. Fayle daug 4 Sandgate, Kent
Sophia Baker visitor 71 Living on own means Highlesdon, Glos.
Elizabeth Baker serv 32 Cook - Domestic Plymouth, Devon
Ada House serv 20 Housemaid - Domestic Wiltshire

Above 3 Beaufort Buildings, Clifton, Bristol.

The Fayle family have been traced backed to Robert Fayle in 1625 in Mogholin, Co. Armagh with links back to Edward Vale who Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in Ireland 1394

Above Barry Fayle and his mother Mary. Photo taken in Clifton. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

Above Barry and his dog at the rear of the Fayle home in Clifton. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

Above a censored letter from Barry to his sister. Dated 28th November 1914 when the British Army was known as the British Expeditionary Force. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

Above a letter from Barry to his sister. Dated 16th April 1915. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

Above a letter from Barry to his sister. Dated 30th June 1916. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

The 1947 Clifton College Register for May 1902 says

5966 Fayle, Capt.Barcroft Joseph Leech; b.21.7.90; b.5612, 6447, 8171; ST; IIb-Vb; L1908; Emmanuel Camb.; 2nd Cl. Nat. Sc. Trip.; Pt. I; Bristol Med. School.; M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P.; Lt., R.A.M.C.; 1914 War, Capt., R.A.M.C.; k.(action), 1916.

The 1912 Clifton College Register adds son of Lt.Col. R.J.L.Fayle and the address 51 Canynge Road, Clifton.

He joined Clifton RFC in 1912-13.

Above 51 Canynge Road, Clifton. It faces Clifton Colleges Junior Rugby Ground "New Field"

Captain Barcroft Joseph Leech Fayle National Archives Military Papers WO339/9822 Royal Army Medical Corps West Yorks Regiment (Prince of Wales Own) Attached 2nd Battalion. Killed in action 24.10.1916 Buried Longueval. Son of Ltnt-Colonel R J L Fayle of Clifton

Next of kin: Lieutenant-Colonel B S L Fayle (father) 51, Canynge Road, Clifton, Bristol. MS (3) Casualty 31.10.1916

Birth Certificate: Registered District Stoke Damerel County of Devonport

Born: 21.07.1890 Son of Robert James Leech Fayle Mother: Mary Fayle (formerly Leech). Rank/Profession of father Surgeon Army Medical Staff. Residence: 4, Acre Place, Stoke Damerel.

Medical of B J L Fayle November 4th 1913. Registration Certificate: Age: 24 Hearing: Good. Height: 66 Teeth: Good. Chest: 33/35 Physical condition: Good. Weight: 130lbs . Defects: Nil. Opinion: Fit

Previous examination: Cambridge October 1908 June 1909 June 1911 October 1913 BA (Cantab)

House Physician General Hospital Bristol, House Surgeon

Above Bristol General Hospital in 1915

Cambridge Emmanuel College

Above Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Bristol Clifton College Corps July 27th 1914.

P.O. Telegram

Deeply regret to inform you that Captain B J L Fayle was killed in action on 24th October. The Army Council expresses sympathy.

Pay draft: Administrator. Ltnt-Colonel Robert James Leech Fayle

Amount 27.19.8

Will: Left 733.19.3

Solicitors: Albert Pope & Abbot, Shannon Court, Bristol Bristol 14.12.1916

Mother's temporary address: Broadwalk Hotel, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London W.

Above De Vere Gardens now The Thistle Kensington Plalce Hotel.

The book "The History of the West Yorkshire Regiment in the War" records

The Loss of a Devoted “M.O.”

When dawn broke on 24th August ‘A’ and ‘C’ Companies of the 2nd Battalion West Yorkshires were still in Spectrum Trench, and ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies in Windmill Trench. With daylight came the inevitable never-ceasing shelling, and during the day the West Yorkshiremen suffered twenty more casualties. At night all four companies of the Battalion relieved the 2nd Scottish rifles, ‘A’ Company taking over the right, ‘C’ the left, whilst ‘B’ and ‘D’ remained in support. Operations on the 25 th October, consisted, during the day, in improving the forward line and, at night, in patrol work.

A patrol of 2nd West Yorkshires, consisting of 2nd Ltnt. Peters and three other ranks, went out and worked gradually towards Orion. This small patrol bumped into a party of fifteen Germans, who had lost their way and, on being summond to surrender, gave themselves up and were marched back to the West Yorkshire’s trenches.

Casualties had again been heavy from shell-fire; 2nd Lttn. T.S.E. John Littlejohn was killed and another officer wounded; seven other ranks also were killed, twenty-one wounded and thirteen were missing. The Battalion also, unfortunately, lost its Medical Officer - Capt. B.J.L. Fayle, R.A.M.C., who was killed instantly by a shell whilst tending wounded men in the trenches. “No words,” said the Battalion Diary, “can convey any appreciation of his tireless and brave devotion to duty”.

An entry in the Battalion Diary on 26th October, adequately sums up the situation in the front line during the time the Battalion was in occupation:- “Weather continues bad. Casualties about thirty, chiefly to carrying parties, but also due to enemy’s shelling on trenches. Patrolling proceeded with each night, often under sharp fire from enemy snipers and work of consolidation also continues; the trenches, bad to begin with, suffered seriously from shell fire.”

On the night of 29th/30th, the Battalion was relieved by the 10th West Yorkshires of the 50th Infantry Brigade, 17th Division, which had been ordered up to take over the line held by the 8th Division. The relief was completed by 6.30 a.m on the latter date.

Above Captain Barcroft Joseph Leech Fayle's grave.

Above letter from Major James Jack, Commanding Officer 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment to Barry's father Robert informing him of his son's death. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

Major James Jack (Major) diary was compiled by John Terraine into "General Jack's Diary" there are a couple of references to Barry Fayle quoted below. James Lochhead Jack D.S.O (later a Brigadier-General) was a Major when he was transferred from the Cameronians to take command of the 2/West Yorkshire Regiment on 22nd August 1916 whilst the Battle of the Somme was still raging. In his Diary, the first mention of Fayle is made on Sepember 15th 1916 when a raid was carried out on the German trenches. The alarm was given by an alert German sentry and the raiding party of fifteen men were forced to retire back to their own lines.

"Just as all have nearly reached our lines in safety, Private Standish is killed and Sergeant Mellor wounded in assisting him.
Smailes, Fisher (the officer's leading the raiding party) and Fayle (Captain, Medical Officer), although driven several times to take cover from the bullets, at last succeed in bringing in the two casualties"
Then, on 25th October 1916, when the Battle of the Somme is already loosing its momentum as a result of the huge Allied losses and deteriorating weather, the 2/West Yorks are in the lines facing the Le Transloy Ridges. Major Jack's diary goes on.....

"In the evening as we sit dead-beat with work and worry on a bundle of foul straw in the dim candlelight, dealing with orders and reports, an orderly comes down the dug-out steps and reports 'Captain Fayle (R.A.M.C.) has just been killed, sir, on the road outside.' What a shock to lose this brave, lovable little doctor, and without being able to thank him for his last 48 hours of ceaseless work..... Captain Elkington, R.A.M.C., arrives in a few hours to take Fayle's place...."

There is a discrepancy in thie date Jack records and the one given by the CWGC. However, it looks like Jack's diary may be at fault. The battalion casualties on the day before were 20. It could be that he did not hear the news until the day after.

Above a letter dated 26th October 1916 (2 days after Barry's death) from Major James Jack, Commanding Officer 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment to Barry's father Robert informing him of his son's death. Same wording as above but with additional notes at the end. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

Above a letter of condolesce from Colonel H. W. Turner R.A.M.C. to Barry's father Robert. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

Above letter, dated 7th November 1916, from a fellow soldier, Noel R. Rayner in the 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment to Barry's mother re her sons death. Noel Roderick Rayner transferred to the RFC and was killed in action on 27th July 1917. Image courtesy of Geg Fayle.

His name on the Clifton College Memorial Arch.

Above the Clifton College Memorial arch at the entrance to Clifton College in 2008.