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No time for much reading yesterday but I did flick through Haig's Diaires last night and made a mental note of two contrasting entries:
28 May 1915. During an inspection of troops by KGV, he was thrown from his horse. Haig was much "perturbed" by this.
2 July 1916. Haig reports in his diary that the early casualty estimates for the first two days fighting was 40,000, and noted "this cannot be considered severe in view of numbers engaged and length of front attacked" [or words to that eff
For those who care .. I'll blog it from on. Gives me sumfink to stick in it.
BEFORE the war, Willie McCallion had been ‘Sure and Steadfast’ - he didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke and he didn’t run after loose women.
But that Willie McCallion had lived in a different time and place. The clean-living William of just a few years ago was now sucking the last drags from one of countless Woodbines and when the rum ration arrived -if it did -he’d be happy to take his tot with the rest of the boys.
Another of those quotes I need to tuck away for future consideration:
p 109 of Peter Hart's THE SOMME
"5.45am ... we do not yet seem to have stopped his machine guns. These are pooping off all along our parapet as I write. I trust they will not claim too many of our lads before the day is over."
source: Captain Charles Campbell MAY.
May led "B" Coy/22 Manchesters into action and was killed later that same day, aged 27. Buried Danzig Alley. Son of Major and Mrs. C. E. May, of New Z
By this I really mean the British and Imperial Forces Command.
I am about half way through Travers for the second time and it seems to me (and probably to many others) that irrespective of any other issues such as disease, difficulty of supply, minimal reinforcements, lack of artillery/shells etc, that there are two primary reasons why the Gallipoli campaign was not successful:
1) The quality of the Turkish command - in particular the shrewd decisions taken by Liman von Sanders and the i
by James J. Cooke on WHS online at £64.
"The Rainbow Division (42nd Infantry Division) was the premier National Guard division to fight on the Western Front in World War I. This is a history of the Division, from its arrival in France in December 1917, to its service in the Army of Occupation after the end of the war in 1918."
Will this tell me whether G/G/Uncle Frank Mower served with The Rainbow Division?
The final dozen pages or so of Travers, Ch 5 (Fighting at Helles ...) are particularly damning on Hunter-Weston, which is no great shock. Contemporaneous quotes used by Travers are worth noting now incase they will be useful to reflect upon in the future:
Godley (p 105) "... with all his faults Hunter-Weston was a gallant soul ... At the same time, one is rather thankful to think he will not be (as he calls it) 'blooding' Freddy Stopford's [iX Corps] reinforcements against Achi Baba".
Travers / Gallipoli 1915:
p 103 – re Second Krithia
“On 8 May, in the late afternoon, Hamilton desperate after realising the failure of three days of fighting, reverted to an antique concept of warfare. The whole line was to fix bayonets, slope arms and move forward en masse … Hamilton also quaintly wished for bands to play, or a display of colours, or at least a strong show of bayonets in order to encourage the French …”
Can this be true?
p 86 of Hart's THE SOMME "The importance of the counter-battery role in destroying or subduing the German guns was frequently demonstrated when they opened up in retaliation. Every German shell that landed was a reminder of the destructive power that any surviving German batteries would have if they had not been dealt with before the moment the infantry went over the top."
My understanding was that the allied bombardment concentrated on the various trench lines and not the German guns. Howev
Just posted three photos of a casualty report found in WO95/1821 the Unit War Diary for the 11th (Service) Battalion of the Manchester Regiment.
These can be found in the Document Repository on the forum.
I hope that they can be easily viewed and used.
I am waiting for users comments on them.
Andy has sent me the photos of the area that Thesiger was killed and they will add to the story of him and his death. He has also offered some other photos of the battlefeild. I hope he has some of the area that the reserve operated.
Was re-reading the Travers chapter on 25 April this morning. Keyes comes in for a lot of criticism for various reasons. This is a serious dent to the esteem I held him in - not quite the Nelsonian figure I had thought, or at least not at certain stages of the Dardanelles campaign and specifically not the action surrounding 25 April. Capt Lockyer of the Implacable on the other hand does appear to embody the Nelson spirit. Further reading on these items necessary.
Re-reading Travers Gallipoli 1915 and note in Ch-4 Malone's intention to get Braund court-martialled. In circumstances of chaotic action and fact Braund held hill around top of Walkers Ridge/Russell's Top that Travers comes down onside of Braund. Mental note to find out how Braund's (posthumous) reputation, and how his actions in early fighting, were viewed by Bean, Aspinall etc.
During my visits to the NA I look at a variation of Unit War Diaries when researching casualties. Every now and then I come across Casualty Lists for certain dates or actions.
Do you think it would be beneficial to publish these for use by other Pals and, if so, is this the right place to put them?
I would like to hear you views.
Brian sent me interesting article on VANGUARD from THE GREAT WAR mag. Written by Mike Northeast?
He gives no sources that I can see for his research - which has interesting perspective of prior knowledge of dangers associated with intense heat in a large warship of that period as identified by both Larbury and Cox. QUESTION: Why havent I found this evidence when trawling through the various VANGUARD files at PRO? Will I find it in Medical Director General of the Navy records?
Is it outside P
I have been working with Doogal on the creation of database which lists all of the Service Records that can be found in the WO364 Missort Files.
This, hopefully, should greatly assist any Pal who is performing a search of the WO364 series.
At the moment I have almost completed the file WO364/5803 and Doogal is working on 5804. Once all this work is done we will be asking Chris Baker to format the database for use on the Forum.
I will keep this information regularly updated.
I have photographed all the Medal Rolls for the 21st London Regiment with a view to creating a database of all those who served in the Regiment during WW1.
I am now adding the Silver Wound Badge Roll to these but this is taking a little time as they are spread throughout the SWB Lists.
I will post updates as I go along.