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Remembered Today:

Henry Debenham - 8th Bn. Post office rifles


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Wondering if anyone has access to further information.

My great grandad was killed in the 1st World War.

Henry Edward Debenham

8th Battalion London Regiment Post Office Rifles

Formerly the 8th Battalion Norfolk Regiment

He was killed on Oct. 29/1918.

His service number is 388018

He is buried in Tournai Communal Cemetary in Belgium.

I live in Canada and it's hard to find any books about the Post Office Rifles here.

Thanks, Paula

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You might find the London Regiment section of my website of interest:

http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/londons.htm

Below is a photo of the cemetery he is buried in. I often stay in Tournai when I work on battlefield tours; if I get a chance, and you are interested, I will pop over to the cemetery and get a photograph of the grave?

post-1-1077312076.jpg

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Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I will read your website when i get home from work.

I'd love for you to be able to get a photo of his grave. He's buried

in grave# I J 7.

Again, thanks for your reply.

Paula

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Hi Paula,

Welcome to the Forum, the details on Soldiers Died in the Great War CD are :-

388018 Rifleman Henry Edward Debenham

8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office Rifles), London Regiment

Killed in Action, France & Flanders 29/10/1918

Enlisted Thetford, Norfolk

Residence Thetford

Formerly 23748 5th Norfolk Regiment

Steve

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Thanks for the information. Would anyone know where I can find information on his regiment, the 8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office Rifles), London Regiment. Which battles they were in? And other information like that.

Thanks, Paula

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Paula

You can make a start at The Long, Long Trail (link to homepage is top-left of this page, under the logo).

There's a page on the London Regiment, that gives you details of which formations the PO Rifles belonged to: here.

For most of the time they were in 47th (London) Division. This page tells you which battles they were involved in, with a link to each.

Naval & Military Press (link on the links page) have reprinted the battalion history recently.

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  • 11 years later...

Hi Distant Cousin!

Henry Debenham was my great grandfather too. My grandfather had always said his father was killed at Douai but his regiment had advanced towards Maulde, France by the day he died. Apparently he was sheltering with several others in a barn when it was hit by a shell. Their bodies were taken to the protestant church at Rue du Temple, Rongy for burial being presumably the nearest protestant cemetery, just a few miles away. In 1920 they were reinterred at Tournai according to the records of the War Graves Commission. (See documents attached to Great Grandad's entry on the Commission's website).

I have not been able to find any records or mention of the shelling of a barn in the vicinity, but I believe the circumstances of his death were probably communicated to Great Granny Harriet, so it is credible.

Do you have any other information?

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Hi again

According to the post on Simon7 by "clk" the battallion were at Rue Dombrie on 28th October 1918, making reconnaissances of Maulde. Google Maps street view shows this to be a farm track about a quarter of a mile long called Chemin de Dombrie. Google Earth shows a few sites where a barn may have stood and there is also a large farmyard nearby. The church at Rongy where he was first buried is only one mile away. I am sure that this must be the place where he was killed - probably one of the casualties referred to in the War Diaries entry of 28th October after heavy shelling overnight.

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Wondering if anyone has access to further information.

My great grandad was killed in the 1st World War.

Henry Edward Debenham

8th Battalion London Regiment Post Office Rifles

Formerly the 8th Battalion Norfolk Regiment

He was killed on Oct. 29/1918.

His service number is 388018

He is buried in Tournai Communal Cemetary in Belgium.

I live in Canada and it's hard to find any books about the Post Office Rifles here.

Thanks, Paula

Hi

You may be aware of these links already but i'll post what i found

https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/1161634

http://www.breckland-rollofhonour.org.uk/thetford_mary.html

I also found a reference to another soldier ( Ned Parfett, also known as the Titanic paperboy ) being killed on that date when a quarter masters stores was hit by a shell - he was picking up a uniform before going away on leave. Might be a coincidence. This was near Valenciennes, just down the road from Maulde

http://www.mlbft.co.uk/newsletters/0003_titanic_newsboy-ned_parfet.html

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Hi

Many thanks. I had never seen a photo of him before.

The reference to Ned Parfett is interesting but I suspect it is a coincidence. The different burial sites suggest to me separate incidents. I'll let you know if I find out any more.

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