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19th London Regiment/Rifles


thomas1
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Hi my great uncle Pte Edward Greer--5494 19th London reg/rif--Killed in action on 21/09/1916 France, I am trying to find out what happened to my great uncle. His Victor medal states 19th London R..is this Regiment or Rifles?....He was killed on 21/09/16--where was the 19th London R at this stage?..Would he be on any casulty lists. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thomas1

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Hello Thomas and welcome to the Forum.

It is the London Regiment, not Rifles.

We have a resident expert on the 19th Battalion of the London Regt. - Charles Fair - who I am sure will be able to assist you, but meanwhile I can tell you that they were on the Somme, between Fricourt and Becourt and appear to have been in a support role in the old German lines at that time.

Ken

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Hello Thomas and welcome to the Forum.

It is the London Regiment, not Rifles.

We have a resident expert on the 19th Battalion of the London Regt. - Charles Fair - who I am sure will be able to assist you, but meanwhile I can tell you that they were on the Somme, between Fricourt and Becourt and appear to have been in a support role in the old German lines at that time.

Ken

Thanks Ken--Thiepval Memorial states he died on 29/09/1918--any idea what was going on that day?

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No idea, sorry. My notes don't cover 1918, but the Thiepval Memorial doesn't have dates of death on it. Where did you get the two different dates from?

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Thomas,

From SDGW:

Regiment, Corps etc.: London Regiment

Battalion etc.: 19th (County of London) Battalion (St. Pancras).

Last name: Greer

First name(s): Edward

Initials: E

Birthplace: Bray, Ireland

Enlisted: Whitehall

Residence: Gower St., W.C.

Rank: PRIVATE

Number: 5494

Date died: 29 September 1916

How died: Killed in action

Theatre of war: France & Flanders

Hth

Grant

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No idea, sorry. My notes don't cover 1918, but the Thiepval Memorial doesn't have dates of death on it. Where did you get the two different dates from?

Family cemetery in bray give a date of death as 21/09/16--which looks to be wrong

thomas1

Thomas,

From SDGW:

Regiment, Corps etc.: London Regiment

Battalion etc.: 19th (County of London) Battalion (St. Pancras).

Last name: Greer

First name(s): Edward

Initials: E

Birthplace: Bray, Ireland

Enlisted: Whitehall

Residence: Gower St., W.C.

Rank: PRIVATE

Number: 5494

Date died: 29 September 1916

How died: Killed in action

Theatre of war: France & Flanders

Hth

Grant

Thanks

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The 19th Londons moved into the Flers Line, south-east of Eaucourt L'Abbeye on 28/9/16 made bombing attcks along the Flers Line and Flers Support the following day, 29/9/16. It appears that he was killed during these attacks.

Ken

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The 19th Londons moved into the Flers Line, south-east of Eaucourt L'Abbeye on 28/9/16 made bombing attcks along the Flers Line and Flers Support the following day, 29/9/16. It appears that he was killed during these attacks.

Ken

thanks--probably impossible to ever find out how he was killed?

thomas1

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Thomas,

1/19th Londons were part of the 141st Brigade, 47th London Division on the Somme in 1916.There were three Brigades in the Division each with several London Regiment battalions.

On the Monday 18th September 1916, 47 Division (part of 111 Corps) - The right of the Corps sent parties of 140 Brigade to bomb up Flers Trench and Drop Alley, towards the junction of these trenches. At the same time detachments of 1/23rd London and 1/24th Londons (142 Bde) attacked the Starfish Line, but could only reinforce the detachment already there. German Bombers drove the Londoners east towards the Starfish but were driven back at night.

Suspect 1/19th and 141 Bde were in reserve at this time.

There was no signficant activity by 47 Division reported on 19-21 September, so most likely your Great Uncle was killed either by shelling, shrapnel, whizz bangs etc or by a Sniper. Maybe you know if he was 'killed in action' or 'died of wounds' the latter meaning he may have been wounded many days before.

There is alsoa chance he was sick or suffered the effects of gas poisoning.

Your should try to see the 1/19th War diaries at National Archives in Kew under WO-95, and also get copy of 19th WW1 History from Naval and Military Press. Also get the Commonwealth War Graves stuff on their site, and also his Medal Index Card and Roll data from Kew.

There's a lot of stuff you can do.

Hope this helps you

Josturm.

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Thomas,

further to my previous note - I've had a quick look at the CWGC and he is on The Thiepval Memorial to the missing, aged 22 years.

So his body was not recovered, which may be because he was killed by shelling, or it may be he was killed by gunfire but his mates couldn't recover his body due to shifts in territory

Josturm :D

post-9565-1220131232.jpg

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Thomas,

further to my previous note - I've had a quick look at the CWGC and he is on The Thiepval Memorial to the missing, aged 22 years.

So his body was not recovered, which may be because he was killed by shelling, or it may be he was killed by gunfire but his mates couldn't recover his body due to shifts in territory

Josturm :D

Thanks for that Peter--I did not realise that his body was not recovered....would the 19th have a war diary that might contain some further information?

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Thanks for that Peter--I did not realise that his body was not recovered....would the 19th have a war diary that might contain some further information?

would there be any combat maps available for this area?

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would there be any combat maps available for this area?

Thomas, you should find diaries and trench maps at the National Archives in Kew.

Good Luck

Peter :D

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Thomas, you should find diaries and trench maps at the National Archives in Kew.

Good Luck

Peter :D

Sorry to go on about this one. I presume trench maps /diaries are not available to read online? unfortunately I live in Ireland so getting to Kew is Difficult. Does anyone at the forum possibly have the 19th London batt war dairies for the week leading up to my great uncles death on 29/09/1916. I would be most grateful for any info??? Great forum by the way, I have learned more about my two great uncles in the last week that I have over the past 20yrs at the forum--thanks to all at the forum

Cheers

Thomas

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick few questions my great uncle above is on The Thiepval Memorial to the missing--Edward Greer. MIA 29/09/1916--5494

1--There is no mention of his death on his mic --Is this not unusual???,

2-Does anyone have any idea when he might have entered France???

3-A memorial to him in our local family plot records him as killed in action on 21/09/1916---however the 19th war diaries state that there were no casulties on 21st.--they further state that on the 29/09/16- "During the night very heavy shelling of Flers line. Owing to darkness and the fact that several men were buried,correct estimates of casulties was impossible"--so it is probable that he died on 29/09/1916--Thanks Neil for the dairies.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello Thomas

I've been off forum for a couple of months, so a lot to catch up on. I see you have the battalion war diary, but I also have excerpts from the Brigade and Divisional war diaries which I have transcribed.

My grandfather was CO at the time and I have his letters which were written at the time. I wil post some excerpts. I also have his trench map which shows the dispositions of the 1/19th when they took over the line.

I was actually out there with the 19th London OCA on 13/14 September at our annual High Wood commemoration. The

regards

Charles

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Thomas

Two letters written by my grandfather which give some indication of what conditions were like for the battalion in the Flers line. The first was written whilset they were in the line near Eaucourt L'Abbaye:

(The Flers Line)

Somewhere during a lull in the battle

Monday Morning? 2nd October, 1916

Dear Dad,

I have been having the most amazing week of all this amazing time. We have been almost continually in action since Thursday night. I had orders not to do anything rash with myself, owing to the scarcity of senior officers in the Battalion. Consequently for a good part of the time I have been directing the Battalion from a telephone on a very narrow staircase in one of the trenches from which we have driven the Hun. I am pretty tired, but things are going well and the men are simply splendid. It is a bit of a strain to have the responsibility of devising schemes for ejecting the Hun or facing his counter-attacks, and I only hope I shan't let the whole British Army down. Dartford is my eyes and ears to the outer world and is simply splendid.

I will write when I can, but I have lost all count of time, especially since they put the clock back an hour in the middle of the battle. This was followed by a request for a return showing how many men have been inoculated during the last year.

Your loving C.H.F.

This second one was written just after they came out of the line:

(The Quadrangle)

6th October, 1916

Dear Dad,

I'm afraid my last letter will take ages to reach you as the postal facilities were not great. We are now about two or three miles back in comparative comfort and reasonably safety. We spent six nights in our last part of the line and our efforts had resulted in pushing the enemy so far back that, by the time we came away, we had actually got some of our artillery forward to places where you couldn't walk in daylight when we first arrived there. The Regiment kept going splendidly till the end in spite of mud, discomfort and other horrors indescribable. I am most awfully proud of them. We have had a special message of thanks and congratulations from the General, of which I hope to send you the original copy for the family book. I have now handed over the command to no less a person than Reggie Friend ! It is an odd freak of fortune. Of course our Brigadier comes from the Buffs, which explains it. At present he has to rely on me for most things of course. I am awfully glad to have him and to be relieved of the strain of commanding, especially as our present Company commanders are all boys.

Your loving C.H.F.

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Hi Charles,

I tried to contact you via the personal message service but yours is disabled.

I have recently posted an enquiry regarding George William PARSONS, no. 1033, 19th London Regt.

He was KIA at Loos and his name is listed on the memorial.

I am seeking further information if possible and your name was suggested.

Any help will be gratefully appreciated, thanks.

Regards,

Derekc

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Derek - I have replied to your thread.

regards

Charles

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Thanks Charles for your response. Your Granfather's letters make very interesting reading. I see he was involved in the final attack on High Wood on the 15th September. My great uncle was killed on the 29th. Do you think he could have been involved in the action on the 15th? We have no idea when he enlisted. Also his medal card states that he was a Private yet on a Local document called The Bray Roll Of Honour it states that he was a L/Cpl, which do you think is correct? He is listed in the Times of Saturday 25th November 1916 under Losses in the Ranks as a private.

Thanks

Thomas

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Thomas - According to the medal rolls Pte Greer arrived in France on 13 August 1916, so yes, he was almost certainly involved in the High Wood attack, unless he was one of the proportion that was LOB (Left Out of Battle).

In terms of his enlistment date, I would say that he enlisted in the period December 1915 to Feb 1916, as other 19th London men with similar numbers all have dates from that period. I couldn't be more specific, but it would need his service record to confirm. This makes it fairly certain that he enlisted as a volunteer under the Derby Scheme.

You would need to see his service record to confirm about the rank, but it is quite possble that he had a temporary acting rank of L/Cpl, which could only have been granted a few days before he was killed. It is quite common for sources to show different ranks for this reason.

The 19th London Old Comrades are still going - please send me an email via the forum and we will put you on the email list.

Charles

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13th August 1916 --that new info thanks very much for that Charles. Not sure of the forum e-mail address, however I would like to be on the old comrades mailing list my e-mail address is mooneysc@eircom.net

Thanks again

thomas

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THomas - thanks I will email you shortly.

Charles

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