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DLI 8th Battalion


BDelf

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I have a soldier from the above regiment (Pte Alban Atkinson No. 2871) who was captured around this time and sent to Rennbahn camp. Can someone tell me what actions 8th DLI (I am guessing it may be Ypres) were involved in around this time, thanks.

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Hello,

From about the 21st April they were in action at Ypres, with the 50th Northumberland Division. This Division had only landed in France the week before and was rushed up to Belgium to stem the German advance. The Division was thrown piece meal into the fight. I am sure there are extracts of the Battalion war diary on the Canadian Military website. I will see if I can find it and post a link.

Regards,

Stewart

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As Stewart says, the 8/DLI went straight into action on arrival at St. Julien. There was a breach in the line made 24th April and troops were commandeered by the commander on the spot to fill it. DLI were put in to relieve these troops. The fighting was extremely confused but centred on Fortuin.

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50th Northumbrian Division landed at Boulogne on 18th April 1915 and went into action on the 24th April, with no time for trench familiarisation.

8 DLI earned the Regiment the battle honour 'Gravenstafel' in relation to their fine performance on the 26 April at Boetleer's Farm on Gravenstafel Ridge.

They reached the farm at 3am on the 25th to reinforce the 8th Canadians.

They spent the day repelling attacks and were reinforced by other units, however during the evening the forward positions were abandoned.

The battalion held onto the farm with its left flank open for a thousand yards until 4am on the 26th when they were forced to give ground against overwhelming odds.

They made a fighting withdrawal staying on the Zonnebeke Ridge until relieved on the 27th.

They recieved huge accolades from General Bulfin who said that they had 'saved the flank of the 85th Brigade, the Canadians nicknamed them the 'Mad Durhams'.

The battalion had 90 men killed, 153 wounded and 342 missing, most wounded but some would have been taken prisoner.

A Captain Thomas Bradford won the MC in this action, he was the eldest brother of the 'Fighting Bradfords' and the only one to survive the war.

Sean

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Thanks for this great information from you all.

Are there any accessible records that show POW's assigned to camps or date of internment, etc?

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Hello,

There is not a compleat list of POW records availible yet, but there is talk of the Red Cross making there records availible online within the next few years.

Have you tried the 'Mother Site'. You will see a link in the left had corner of the blue bar at the top of the forum page. There is a list of POW on that site. It is transcribed from a list of documents held at the National Archive. Also is you try the national Archive website under Documents online there is a searchable list there. However, neither list is complete! But you never know your luck.

Regards,

Stewart

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Hi,

The Durham Chronicle at the end of May beginning of June 1915 has huge lists of those missing at Ypres in April often with notes "now a prisoner at" "still missing" etc

They are in Durham City library or the County Record Office.

regards

John

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John,

Which is the best Durham newspaper archieve for photographs ?

Mick

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John,

Which is the best Durham newspaper archieve for photographs ?

Mick

Mick, both the Durham Advertiser and Durham Chronicle have photos in, but I would say out of the two the Durham Chronicle has the most and perhaps the best quality of photos.....but as John has said elsewhere on the forum one of the best resources for photos for northeast men, thousands of them, is in the bound volumes of the Illustrated Chronicle which are now held and accessible at the Civic Centre Newcastle, they are been held there until the new library has been built....as a matter of fact I am going to look through the Illustrated Chronicle there again today....going in about an hour......it was a spur of a moment thing only decided late last night.

John.

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Thanks to the 2 John's for the info. Would you be able to look up my man or next time you go, thanks.

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