2nd Lt. Eric Bagshaw, Army Cycle Corps

1894 Mar 12. Born South Africa, son of Thomas Ponsonby and Edith (nee Daniels, d1947) Bagshaw. Eric was one of 10 children. Thomas Bagshaw was the son of William and Ann Bagshaw. Thomas Bagshaw was a Leather Merchant. Eric Bagshaw was a young South African with British roots. His grandfather William Bagshaw founded a tannery and leather business in Port Elizabeth called Bagshaw Gibaud, and his father Thomas Ponsonby Bagshaw (1864-1915) stepped into his father's shoes. Local asset strippers took over Port Elizabeth shoe manufacturer Bagshaw Gibaud in the late 1960s, closed the factory with the loss of thousands of jobs, sold the property, took the cash and reopened for business as BG Securities.

Eric was educated at Bournemouth School where he served in the OTC, and he was one of a few hundred young men recruited as motorcycle despatch riders in August 1914. Most of these men could have gone straight into the Kitchener Armies as officers, but the appeal of joining up as Corporals in the Royal Engineers was that they might see action right away. Since many thought the war would be over by Christmas, it seemed like a good offer!

You can read a great deal about him in Willie Watson's "Adventures of a Despatch Rider" published in 1915 which is downloadable at http://www.archive.o...rider00watsuoft. Eric is referred to throughout by his nickname  "Spuggie" - I have identified him from "Grimer's" photograph album which gave me a key to all the nicknames. It's a great book and provides a comprehensive explanation of why the Army recruited these men, and how they used them during the Retreat from Mons and up to First Ypres.

1903 to 1909. Eric was at Bournemouth School , although he returned to South Africa for one term in 1904. His father kept a house in Bournemouth, although he mostly lived in Port Elizabeth. Eric was a day Boy, even though most of the family were far away. The permanent address given for the family on school records was simply Box 119, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. in Bournemouth, his address was 'Pemlin', Richmond Park Avenue, Bournemouth. Before joining BS, Eric attended The Grey Institute, a 'Public Secondary', in South Africa. It was also known as Grey College, and was in P.E.

1909 Dec 13. He left BS , it was his declared intention to assist his father as a tanner. He had passed all his exams - Camb locals up to the top level, but like very many similar lads seems not to have wanted to go on to University.

1912 Sep 12. Arrives in UK from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Travels alone and 1st class

1913 Sep 23. Arrives in UK from Port Elizabeth. He is a "student". In fact he was a student at Leeds University from 1911 to 1914. Initially doing a higher education course and then studying for a diploma in leather. There is material in the Student handbook and student newspaper showing him active socially throughout his time there. In November 1914 he spent his first week's leave at Leeds - presumably because he had no family in England. He was interviewed by the Vice Chancellor whose typescript account is in the Special Collections of the Brotherton Library. Generally conventional opinions on the merits of the British army, the venality of the French, and the German soldier's qualities, good and bad.

1914 Aug 6. Enlists a Army Despatch rider. He was posted to 1st Divisional Cyclist Company originally. His Army File at the NA, but that runs out with the correspondence when he gets - with some difficulty - permission to go back to South Africa after his father's death.

1915 Feb 8. The undermentioned to be temporary Second Lieutenants for service in the Field: ARMY CYCLIST CORPS. Corporal E. Bagshaw, from Royal Engineers (Motor Cyclist Section). WLG Drew was also a motorcycle Dispatch Rider

1915 left his commission and returned to South Africa when his father Thomas Bagshaw passed away in 1915.

1916 Jul 6. Lt Eric Bagshaw arrives in UK from Port Elizabeth

1917 Aug 25. RFC, Equipment Officers, 3rd CL—Temp. 2nd Lt. (on prob.) E. Bagshaw, Gen. List, and to be confirmed in his rank.

1918 Apr 27. He married on 27 April 1918 in Port Elizabeth to Dorothy Knight, and there are two possible children born in the UK in 1919 and 1923.

1918 Sep 4. RAF. The undermentioned resign their commns. — 2nd Lt. E. Bagshaw. The contact, Robert Hiner Plumb was born 1885 in Cambridgeshire, and I cannot see a relationship (as an aside R H Plumb was declared bankrupt in 1927 and got 12 months for fraud in 1928)

1918 Sep 6. Leaves UK for Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is an "army officer"

1919 Apr 1. Joins Freemasons in Port Elizabeth. He is a tanner.. He was still paying his sub when the book finished in Dec 1921

1919 Oct 30. Leaves UK for Canada to farm there.

1920 Mar 22. Arrives in UK from Canada He is a "merchant"

1920 Sep 12. Arrives in UK from CapeTown.

1920 Oct 12 Joined ADRIC with service no 689. Posted to F Coy

1921 Mar 7. Services dispensed with in ADRIC

1924 Jun 10. Arrives in UK from Port of Spain, Trinidad. Occupation "none". Country of permanent residence is "South Africa"

1931 Aug 2 Died J'burg

1942 Dec 6. His sister Joan died at sea. On that date their mother was living at Derwin, Sandown Road, Rondebosch, Capetown,


http://www.bagshaw.co.za/ make safety shoes in Port Elizabeth South Africa, and appear to be related. I emailed them in Mar 2016