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Casulaty Details

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Name: Claude Frank Bell SIMPSON
Casualty No.: Ranks: Captain Initials: C F B Service No.:
Date of Birth : - Place of Birth : Age at Death: 25
Unit: 1st/9th Bn attending 14th Bn Durham Light Infantry (Territorial Force)
Former Unit(s):
Place Enlisted:
Place of Residence: Hedgefield, Co. Durham.
Home Address: Hedgefield House, Hedgefield, Co. Durham.
Previous Address: 8 Ashburn Place, South Kensington, London.
Civilian Employment: Employed as a Mining Engineer.
How Died: Died of wounds
Date of Death: Monday 3rd December 1917
Place of Death: France.
Locally Commemorated: Ryton War Memorial, Station Bank, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham. Addison Colliery War Memorial, Co. Durham.
UK Commemorated: The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers War Memorial, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland.
Overseas Commemorated: Ribecourt British Cemetery, Nord, France. Sp.Mem.B.10
Decoration and Medals:
Photographs: 2
Service Records: No
Death Notice/Obituary: Blaydon Courier, pages 4 and 6, 15th December 1917.
Family Details:
Eldest son of Lieutenant Colonel Sir Frank R and Alice Matilda Simpson, of Hedgefield House, Hedgefield, Co. Durham. Grandson of Dr. John Bell and Mrs Simpson, of Bradley Hall, Wylam, Northumberland. Claude's brother, 2nd Lieutenant Basil Simpson, Durham Light Infantry, was severely wounded in the arm and leg (reported in the Blaydon Courier, 28th September 1918).
Notes : Claude had been selected to join the Royal Flying Corps and was ordered to join the School of Military Aeronautics, Reading, Berkshire, on 16th October 1916. He proceeded overseas to Egypt for further instruction, 16th January 1917. He reported back to Farnborough from Egypt, 9th May 1917 for disposal. He left Farnborough for London where he reported to Room 350, War Office, for further instruction. He then returned to rejoin his old unit, the Durham Light Infantry, on 30th June 1917. He reported for duty, 5th Reserve Battalion Durham Light Infantry at Hull garrison, 8th July 1917. Claude was educated at Rugby School and Oxford University and he was to follow in his father's footsteps by joining the mining profession. He was a keen sportsman winning honours at tennis. He also played hockey and billiards. When Claude became of age he celebrated his 21st birthday at a dinner party held at the Ryton Hotel. The guest list included many influential friends. The Simpson family were the principal directors of the Stella Coal Company, with both Captain Simpson and his father serving on the Ryton Urban District Council. Following his death, an impressive memorial service was held at St Hilda's Church, Hedgefield, in December 1917 (reported in the Blaydon Courier, 29th December 1917).
Sources Used: Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour Register. Officers Died in the Great War.
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