Bertie Prout

Service:                Army

Rank:                    Lance Corporal

Service No:           G/28019

Unit:                     1st Bn. Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)

Bertie was born in St George during March 1991, he was the fourth child of Alfred & Esther Prout, his father was a coal miner from Iron Acton. The family lived on Speedwell Road, in 1911 they were at number 12 & Bertie was a Corset Cutter. During the 2nd quarter of 1914 Bertie married Mabel Hake their daughter, Phyllis, was born in 1915.

 The 1st Battalion Queens Own (RWKR) took part in the Egypt Intervention in 1882, fighting in the second battle at Kassassin on 9 September and the Battle of Tel el-Kebir a few days later. It then spent two years on garrison duty in Cyprus before being shipped to the Sudan and the Mahdist War, in which it fought at the Battle of Ginnis, notable for being the last battle fought by British Redcoats. It spent the years up to the outbreak of the Great War on garrison duty, both at home and throughout the British Empire.

The 1st Battalion, which was in Dublin at the outbreak of war in August 1914, was one of the first units to be moved to France where it became part of the 13th Infantry Brigade in the 5th Infantry Division.

The 1st Bn RWKR , part of 5th Division, moved out of the line for a period of rest before, being sent to Flanders where they were in action during the Third Battle of Ypres. In December 1917 the battalion moved with Division to Italy.  Their returned to France was in April 1918. On 14 August 1918 the Division was withdrawn for rest and placed in GHQ Reserve. Two weeks later it entered into what became a series of complex, endless, overlapping Allied attacks that forced the German Army into retreat.

 Fighting through Albert (back on the old and devastated Somme ground of 1916), to Irles, Beugny, Havrincourt, Gonnelieu and the River Selle, and finally into Valenciennes and the River Sambre, the Division was in more or less continuous action until late October 1918 that included the Battles of Albert, Bapaue and Drocourt-Queant, phases of the second battles of the Somme; Epehy & Canal du Nord, battles of the Hindenburg Line; the pursuit to & subsequent battle of Selle phases, of the final advance in Picardy.

Lance Corporal Bertie Prout was killed in action on 23rd August 1918.

Bertie is & remembered with honour on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial

Image by kind permission of CWGC.

Bertie was awarded The British War Medal &  The Victory Medal.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

1901 & 1911 UK census

The Long, Long Ttrail

Soldiers died in The Great War