University of Oxford
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3283: Cyril Bleaden, Durham Light Infantry

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posted on 2024-01-17, 09:36 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

Cyril Bleaden was a young teacher at Westminster Abbey Choir School when WW1 started and signed up in December 1914 in the Durham Light Infantry. He was sent to France in Sept 1915 to join 15 DLI. He served with them, becoming adjutant, through the first day of the Somme, being awarded the Military Cross for action that day, and afterwards until being very seriously wounded at Flers on 16 Sept 1916.

After convalescing in England, he was on the Directing Staff of No. 1 Officer Cadet Battalion at Membland Hall, near Newton Ferrers from Feb 1917-June 1918. After a short spell at the DLI depot unit in South Shields he was in Aug 1918 transferred to join 12 DLI in northern Italy. In March 1919 he was transferred to 8 Bn York & Lancaster Regiment on garrison duty in Fiume, until the unit was withdrawn to Malta in Sept 1919. Demobbed on 18 Oct 1919, Cyril trained for the Anglican priesthood, becoming the vicar of St Michael's, Mill Hill, London, where he died on 13 Nov 1940, aged 50.


Name of contributor(s)

Richard Codrington

Subject of the story/individual the object(s) relate to

Cyril L. Bleaden, Captain, Durham Light Infantry

Date(s) the event(s) in the story took place


Location(s) where the event(s) in the story took place

France, Somme, northern Italy, Fiume


Various photos from Cyril Bleaden's personal collection and two Membland Hall OTC souvenir booklets, viz: 1. 2nd Lieut. Cyril Bleaden, 15 DLI, in 1915 2. 17 DLI draft marching to Barnard Castle station in 1915 3. 17 DLI draft marching probably in Barnard Castle, 1915 4. Trench kit - fleece coats and rubber waders, early 1916 5. 15 DLI officers on eve of the Battle of the Somme, June 1916. Front row L to R: Capt. T. P. Stamper (wounded 1 July), Capt. J. East (killed), Major G. E. Bottage, Col. G. E. Fitz-Gerald (wounded, died in London), Major R. B. Johnson (took command), Lieut. C. L. Bleaden, Capt. L. H. Sanger-Davies (killed), Capt. C. F. Morgan. By the end of 1 July eight of these officers were dead, ten wounded and one missing. 6. 15 DLI NCOs on eve of the Battle of the Somme, June 1916. 7. 15 DLI officers before Flers, Sept 1916. L to R: 2nd Lieut. Arthur Morley, M.C. (1 July), killed 16 Sept; Capt. J. L. K. Cockburn, wounded; unknown. 8. Capt. C. L. Bleaden convalescing in Oxford 9. Membland Hall 1917. Shooting butts, with gas masks 10. Membland Hall 1917. Barbed wire training 11. Membland Hall A Coy officers, 1917. L to R: Capt. C. E. B. Stevens, Lieut. C. S. Saffery, Capt. C. L. Bleaden, M.C., Capt. W. R. Nottidge, Lieut. A. W. Long. 12. Funeral of Lieut. Douthwaite in Fiume, 21 June 1919 13. Membland Hall OTC March-June 1917 course souvenir booklet 14. Membland Hall OTC Nov 1917-Mar 1918 souvenir booklet

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