BOND, Cecil William

Captain (acting Lieutenant Colonel) Royal Army Medical Corps attd. 97th Field Ambulance.

Born

May 1878.
In Milverton, Somerset, the son of James Henry and Mary Stanscombe Bond of Melvin Hall, Golders Green, London.

Education

Blundell’s School, as a “Day Boy” entering at the age of 12 years 8 months in January 1891 to Summer 1895.
St. Mary’s Hospital, London 1895 – 1901.

Service

He served with the RAMC in the Boer war and later was in the service of the P&O steamship Company. In July 1915 he rejoined the RAMC serving on the hospital ships “St. George” and as P.M.O. on HMS “Aberdonian”. In the spring of 1917 he went to France and was reported missing on 1st August that year, aged 37.

The Offensive

The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence. There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.

Death

1st August 1917, aged 37.
He was reported missing while serving in Flanders and a year later his family were informed that he was believed to have been killed on that date.

Burial/Commemoration

Captain Bond has no known grave and is commemorated on Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Flanders Belgium Panel 56.

Memorial

The Menin Gate Memorial is situated at the eastern side of the town on the road, astride the main Menin to Courtrai (Kortrijk) Road. This site was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations (except New Zealand) who died in the Salient, in the case of United Kingdom casualties before 16 August 1917, and now bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick, and unveiled by Lord Plumer in July 1927.
Each night at 8pm the traffic through the gate is stopped while members of the local Fire Brigade sound the Last Post in the roadway under the Memorial's arches. Nearby the Cloth Hall Museum has an excellent interpretation centre but apparently no research facility.

Research

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - www.cwgc.org
National Archives, Public Record Office, Kew
“The Register of Blundell's School, Part II 1882 – 1932” (1932) MAHOOD, A.S., Ed. Entry No.3850
“The Blundellian”, 1915
Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium & Northern France (2004) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 5/58
Field visit (JEA & GRY 11.04.2005)

 

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