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Help with war diary


Liz M
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Hi

I am researching Lance Corp Thomas Southwood of the 3BN Grenadier Guards who died on the 20th August 1917 and is buried at Mendinghem in Flanders. I have downloaded the war diary for the 3rd Bn for 1917, in August it shows the only 'killed or casualties' on the 3rd August - but as far as the family is aware Tom was 'killed in action'. I've found it very difficult to even ascertain which company he was in.

Can anyone help?

Liz

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Southwood is recorded in SDGW as Died of Wounds, which of course may refer to wounds on the day, or wounds sustained in the days and even weeks prior to that. Additional information is that he was born in Taunton and enlisted in Weston-super-Mare.

Though I've never used them myself, all the posts that refer to the Guards Archives only have good words to say, so it may be worth contacting them.

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Commonwealth War Graves Commission record shows him as "died" 20th August 1917.

Mendingham was the site of a large hospital so it would appear that he died there, possibly as the result of an accident or injury, otherwise he would be shown as "died of wounds" or "killed in action".

It is possible that he died as result of wounds sustained from an earlier action as shown in the war diary.

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Liz,

Mendinghem was in fact a casualty clearing station (you can read a little about it on the CWGC site) and not a hospital. It means that in the process chain of casualties he would have been perhaps wounded in the line and then sent to such a CCS for further treatment and evaluation before being sent to a hospital.

Squirrel, CWGC I do not think specifies any cause of death, whereas SDGW mentions KIA, DOW or Died - Greenwoodman says that SDGW states 'died of wounds'. Even this should be treated with caution since the records can be inaccurate. But in this case his burial at Mendinghem tends to confirm: 'died of wounds'.

His being a guardsman however might give you some luck in obtaining his service record. I believe the guards regiments hold copies of servicemen's records for their regiments, and you should be able to obtain a copy - hopefully.

CWGC (link here: http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...?casualty=87384 ) states 3rd Battalion.

Ian

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Might be worth checking on his death certificate for more information - one of mine died as a result of gas poisoning and his describes his cause of death in a reasonable degree of detail

Just a thought

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The 'killed in action' information is also shown on the 'Grenadier Guards Enlisted Casualities WW1' listing on their webpage.

How would I go about finding the death certificate for this soldier and a few others of mine that were buried in Flanders?

Thank you all so much for your help so far,

Liz

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Certificates for Deaths (and of course births and marriages) are available to order online from the General Register Office

http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/#0

You'll need to find the Index number and there is a guide to this here:

http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/research...gro_indexes.asp

If you don't have an account with any of these providers listed, Ancestry is available FOC in a number of county libraries to library members (which is free of course) so you might want to check if your county library does this - if you live in Gloucestershire I know that does

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