NOK Of Major Charles Wilfred Hext Supply & Transport Corps

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NOK Of Major Charles Wilfred Hext Supply & Transport Corps

Postby 142bravo » 05 Oct 2016 19:15

I am at the point in my "collecting life" where I am gradually downsizing (a bit for now) my 40 year old Victorian uniform and headdress collection.

One of the things I have been able to do (with a bit of success to this point) is reunite some pieces from my collection with surviving Next of Kin of the soldiers who so proudly and honorably served their Countries colours.

One of the beautiful Victorian uniforms I have is a uniform to Charles Wilfred Hext Supply & Transport Corps Indian Army which I was able to purchase from the UK a number of years ago.

I recall in the recent past a forum member (not sure if this site or not) who was a direct relative of Major Hext and was attempting to find items pertaining to his military service.

I would like to be able to locate this relative and give them first right of refusal to purchase his uniform to reunite it with the family should they wish before I do offer it elsewhere for sale.

Any chance anyone on the forum might be able to direct me to Major Hext's relative in this regard? Between this forum and another one I am hoping someone might be able to connect us.

Sadly from what I have been able to research Major Charles Wilfred Hext died at Raz-el-tin Military Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt, on July 21st 1919.
142bravo
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Re: NOK Of Major Charles Wilfred Hext Supply & Transport Cor

Postby Maureene » 07 Oct 2016 23:46

There is a post on Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum which I am copying, since it is not possible to get a permanent URL for individual posts on this website, although the home page is http://www.circlecity.co.uk/wartime/board/index.php
There is a reply from the grandson at the end, dated 2011.

Cheers
Maureen

Posted by: Alexander {Email left}
Location: Retford Nott S
Date: Wednesday 28th July 2010 at 3:57 PM
Hello Alan,
A work colleague of mine recently came accross a rather dirty Officers WW1 silver Identity disc and has asked me to try and find some information about who he was, I have discovered the following but would have liked to find out about his war service and death, is there any way without his service record?
The officer was Charles Wilfred Hext, I couldn't even find him on the census but later discovered that he was born in India! his medal card has him as a Capt in the Supply &Transport Corps and a Major in the Indian Army.
From the Commonwealth War records i found that he died age 38 and is remembered in Hadra cemetery in Alexandria Egypt, His father was Edward Staniforth Hext of Coniston, Lancs.
A further internet search revealed that he had served in the Boer War and then onto India from 1905/1909 also an expeditionary force in 1911 where he was in charge of native transport, it states that Hext was serving in the Devonshire Regt but seconded to the Supply & Transport Corps during the war.
Hext Dies in July 1919, do you imagine this was from disease rather than an injury?
He certainly seems to have crammed alot into his short life.
Many thanks,
Alexander.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 28th July 2010 at 10:23 PM
Dear Alexander,
You have done some good work in tracking Charles Wilfred Hext. The only variation my research has shown was that he was born in Devon. Hext is a Devonshire surname from the Middle English "Hext" meaning "tallest". When I looked at his entry on the CWGC Debt of Honour, I interpreted that his widow, Emily, lived at Holywath, Coniston after the First World War. A surname-only search on ancestry.co.uk showed a large number of Hext names in the Church, Army, and City professions. The fact you had him serving in the Devonshire Regiment pointed towards one of these families. Without going into detail, Edward Staniforth Hext and Emily Constance Hext can be tracked through the census at Barnstaple in Devon where Edward was a bank manager. Edward as a child was the son of John Hawkins Hext, born 1810 the son of John of Lostwithiel, Cornwall. John Hawkins Hext became the vicar of Morval in Cornwall; then of Highweek and then vicar of King's Teignton, Devon. Edward was born about 1850 at Morval and in 1881 Charles W. Hext was shown as his son aged 4 months on the night of the census which was April 3 1881. The birth of a Charles Wilfred Hext was registered at Barnstaple in Q4 1880 (GRO Births Q4 1880 Barnstaple vol 5b page 445). In 1891 Charles was a pupil at a school at 25 Avenue, Minehead. It appears to be now the Mayfair Care Home. Charles woud not appear in the 1901 England census as he was in South Africa.
Charles Wilfred Hext, gent was commissioned a Second-Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion the Devonshire Regiment on November 10th 1899. The 3rd Battalion was the depot and training battalion of any regiment. The "Line" battalions were, after 1881, numbered 1 and 2.
On May 9th 1900, 2nd-Lieut Hext was seconded to a line battalion for service in South Africa. The London Gazette did not say which line battalion, which is awkward, as both the 1st and 2nd Battalions The Devonshire Regiment served in the Second Anglo-Boer War. See:
http://www.angloboerwar.com/units%20imp ... e_regt.htm
On July 23rd 1900 he was promoted to Lieutenant. This would have been a temporary war promotion but even so it came a year earlier than the normal two-year interval between commissioning and gaining promotion to Lieutenant. As he apparently served more than 18 months in South Africa he would have qualified for the Queen's South Africa Medal and the King's South Africa Medal. His substantive promotion came in 1903: "The Devonshire Regiment. The undermentioned Second Lieutenants to be Lieutenants :� C. W. Hext, vice [in place of] D. H. Blunt,[who had been] promoted. Dated 27th April, 1903 ("London Gazette" August 11, 1903 page 5074). There is then a gap in his service with the Devonshire Regiment until 1909 when he transferred to the Indian Army with the rank of Captain. The "London Gazette" recorded:
"The KING has approved of the admission of the undermentioned Officers to the Indian Army: � Lieutenant to be Captain. Charles Wilfred Hext, from the Devonshire Regiment. Dated 18th August, 1911, but to rank from 5th January, 1910. Captain Hext's rank as Lieutenant is antedated to 5th April, 1903" ("London Gazette" 13th October 1911 page 7466). However, a later entry dated the appointment to 17th May 1909 ("London Gazette", April 5th 1912 page 2500). By the time this was published Charles had been serving with the Supply and Transport Corps and had been in action on the North-eastern Frontier of India in the expedition against the Abors. See:
http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/ta ... :fwalker13
For his work with the STC in the Abors campaign Charles Hext was Mentioned in Despatches by Major General H. Bower in a despatch from Simla on May 23rd 1912.
Captain Hext continued to serve with the Supply and Transport Corps in the Indian Army. The distinction was that British officers serving in the Indian Army commanded locally recruited troops and were expected to speak their language. British Regiments serving in India were known as the British Army in India. The Supply and Transport Corps was composed entirely of animal transport. During the First World War the STC took over the duties of supplying food, fodder and fuel to the Army regiments which had previously been accustomed to finding those supplies for themselves. Charles would have had seasonal home leave and it appears he was in England in 1915 when he apparently married Emily Barrett at Kensington (? GRO Marriages Q1 1915 Kensington vol 1a page 257). The First World War was underway, but at that stage the Indian Army was still required to serve in India which was not in itself a war zone, so he could have travelled. The British Government paid for the passage of a Major C W Hext to India on board the SS Medina in September 1916. The "London Gazette" showed his promotion to Major as being in April 1917, but he may have had temporary or acting rank before that. His promotion to Major in "the Indian Army" was the same as his being a major in the Supply and Transport Corps. On December 4th 1918 a Mrs C W Hext travelled to India from London to Bombay on board SS Nagoya.
Apparently Charles or Charles's unit went to Egypt as he died there in 1919. Alexandria was a camp and hospital centre, so it would appear that he died after being in hospital, possibly for disease or accident rather than being wounded. The CWGC says: "Alexandria remained an important hospital centre during later operations in Egypt and Palestine and the port was much used by hospital ships and troop transports bringing reinforcements and carrying the sick and wounded out of the theatres of war."
The CWGC described his nationality as "Indian" which by birth is incorrect, but may have reflected his service in India.
As an officer, his service details may have survived either at The National Archives or The British Library. I'm sorry, but I probably haven't added much to your own research.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 28th July 2010 at 10:30 PM
Dear Alexander,
I forgot to mention that Charles qualified for the 1914 Star. "The 1914 Star campaign medal was awarded by British authorities to any member of the British or Indian Expeditionary Force who had served in France or Belgium between the outbreak of war in August 1914 and 22/23 November 1914." So it appears he or his unit was re-called from India for war service with the BEF. His service record would need tracking down to sort out the finer details.
Alan
Reply from: Alexander
Date: Thursday 29th July 2010 at 6:30 PM
Hello Alan
Many thanks for the prompt and informative reply. I shall try the National Archive for his service record as you suggest, I do so enjoy reading the pre WW1 research it was still an exciting age of opportunity.
Thanks again,
Regards
Alexander.
Reply from: Jonathan Hext
Date: Sunday 15th May 2011 at 9:56 PM
Charles Wilfred Hext was my grandfather. Most of your information is pretty accurate.

I don't know for sure what he died from but he was treated for rabies in November, 1918 so this may have been the reason. My grandmother, Emily (nee Barratt) sailed to India to bring him home. Unfortunately, according to my late father, there was some kind of hold up in the Suez canal and his condition worsened. He died in the Ras el Tin military hospital in Alexandria. We cannot find a death certificate for him. I think in those days the family would have been embarrassed by such a disease.

I have his medals. They are :- QSA with clasps Natal, Orange Free State & Belfast
KSA with clasps South Africa 1901 & 1902
IGS with clasp Arbor 1911 -1912
1914 Star with clasp 15th August -22nd November 1914
War Medal
Victory Medal

I presume the identity disc you had was the one sold on Ebay earlier this year. I tried to buy it but was out bid. It was sold, originally, along with all the contents of my father's house, on May 8th, 2010, by Tennants of Leyburn. Go on their web site, click on "sale results" then "The Hext Sale" and you'll see many more items relating to Charles Wilfred. It is his picture on the front cover of the catalogue.

The rabies treatment certificate was also sold recently on Ebay

I hope this information is useful. Get in touch if you need any more & I'll try & help.

Regards,

Jonathan Hext
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Re: NOK Of Major Charles Wilfred Hext Supply & Transport Cor

Postby 142bravo » 08 Oct 2016 18:15

Thanks Maureen for the information you provided - very much appreciated.

I will see if it leds to any connection with a relative of Major Hext and will keep this post updated if I get any results.

Kind regards ...Bruce





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