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Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derbyshire)


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I am doing a small piece of research for an acquaintance, re a Pte Cecil Windey, fallen on 26/09/17, 1/8th Bn. Sherwood Foresters. We have all reasons to believe that he fell in the Ypres Salient (buried New Irish Farm Cem. north of Ypres).

According to the mother site 1/8 Sherwood Foresters was 46th (North Midland) Division, 139th Brigade (together with 1/5, 1/6 and 1/7 Bns.).

However in the Order of Battles (Ypres Salient) nowhere can I find mention of this 46th Division. And no mention of them either in Passendale, The Day-to-Day Account, for the period end of September 1917.

My question : was the 46th Division involved in military operations in the Ypres Salient at the end of September 1917 ? If not, where were they at the time ?

Somehow I know that 1/7th Bn. (in the same brigade) at that time was in an area with names like Hindu Cottage, Capricorn Keep, Corn Hill, Fort Hill. But I am not sure, and I have no idea whether these places are in the Ypres Salient or not.

Anybody out there who can guide me ?

Aurel

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  • 2 months later...

Hello Aurel.

I noticed that you have had no response to your request for information regarding the location of the 1/8thBn Sherwood Foresters, I have had a look through various books that I have to try and help you in your quest, but with no success, I wondered if the Regimental Museum in Nottingham might be able to help you?

The address is:- Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt) Museum

The Castle

Nottingham

NG1 6EL.

Telephone 0155 946 5415.

Fax 0155 946 5712.

Sorry that I have been unable to be more help, but hope the museum can help.

David.

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Anthony Bagshaw

Hi Aurel,

I have the 1/8th Battalion history so i will have a look at the relevant pages for you if it would help you at all?

Regards

Anthony

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David,

In an email off Forum I have explained that also for personal reasons it is not easy for me to focus on this puzzle right now. But as Anthony kindly offered his services too, here is some information ...

David, Anthony,

This really is a puzzle, as you will see. The soldier I am interested in is Cecil WINDEY, KIA 26 Sept. 1917, 1/8 Sherwood Foresters. Both according to CWGC and SDGW. So the unit should be no problem.

(And CWGC says he is buried at New Irish Farm Cemetery (near Ypres)

- However, there is a problem ! For 1/8 Sherwood Foresters on 26 Sept. 1917 was in 46th Division indeed, but ... near LOOS ! That is what I think, for in SDGW I found they suffered 25 fatal casualties, and 18 of them are on the Loos Memorial. But ... 7 of them have a grave or their name on a memorial panel in the ... YPRES Salient. I really do not understand that. A handful of 1/8 Sherwood Forester men falling near Loos and unlike their comrades being buried later near Ypres ? Totally inconceivable to me. But I think I begin to understand when I see that of these 7 soldiers, given as 1/8 Sherwood Foresters by SDGW, 2 according to CWGC are not 1/8 but 2/8 Sherwood Foresters !!! Among these 2 not my Cecil Windey however.

But this strengthens my suspicion that somehow Cecil Windey erroneously was listed as 1/8 instead of the correct 2/8.

- So let us assume that he was 2/8 indeed. I found that 2/8 Sherwood Foresters on 26 Sept. 1917, was in the 59th division, and they fought near ... St. Julien (Ypres). They had 65 fatal casualties (SDGW), and I have not checked them all but a random test showed that most (almost all ?) have their name on the Tyne Cot Cemetery Memorial. And believing that Cecil Windey was 2/8 and fell near Ypres and was buried close by makes sense !

- My question now : was Cecil Windey 2/8 Sherwood Forester (in which case both SDGW and CWGC are wrong), or was he 1/8 and maybe lent to 2/8 in that period ?

- Or is Cecil Windey 1/8 Sherwood Foresters simply an administrative or transcription error or so, instead of 2/8 ?

- Or, and that is the worst case scenario : Cecil Windey was in 1/8, fell near Loos, but a 2/8 soldier fallen near Ypres that same day was mistakenly identified as Cecil Windey ? (But there is already enough mystery to take that into consideration, isn't there ?)

- Or is there another possibility ? I simply have no idea.

And now my question to you, Anthony (I didn't know there was a 1/8 Sherwood Forester Battalion History)

- Could you confirm that indeed 1/8 Sherwood Foresters on 26 Sept. 1917 was near Loos ?

- Is any mention made of a number of fatal casualties ? And if so, is it 25 OR or is it 18 OR ?

- Or is any mention made that 1/8 Sherwood Foresters on that day had lent a number of men to 2/8 ?

I hope that this problem is not too boring for other members. Should they think they can make me see the light ...

Aurel

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Anthony Bagshaw

Aurel,

I have looked through the History for you, here is what it says:

''On September 13th we left this sector (Hohenzollern-Redoubt to Bethune- La Bassee Road) on being relieved by the 7th Battalion, and moved back to Fouquires, where we spent a very enjoyable week training and refitting. Leaving there on September 20th, we marched to Mazingarbe, where we spent a night in huts, and the following day took over the support trenches in the Hill 70 Sector, just North of Loos. Shortly after it's capture by the Canadians, Hill 70 had been handed over to the 6th Division to consolidate, and it now fell to the lot of the 46th Division to complete the consolidation''

''The enemy, however, had good observation from Hulluch and Wingles, over our approaches through Loos''

This is the most relevant information i can find for you. The Battalion were near Loos.

There is a casualty list in the back of the book but Cecil Windey does not appear in it. It is possible then that he was 2/8th and not 1/8th.

The history does not say whether any soldiers were transferred to the 2/8th, the war diary may be useful??

As for the casualties the history states 8 men killed on the 13th September, then none until the 29th!!Then there are only 2! Just to confuse things further!

The book is written by Captain W C C Weetman MC, titled 1/8th Battalion and was published in 1920

Hope this helps you?

Regards

Anthony

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(1) This is the most relevant information i can find for you. The Battalion were near Loos.

(2) There is a casualty list in the back of the book but Cecil Windey does not appear in it. It is possible then that he was 2/8th and not 1/8th.

(3) The history does not say whether any soldiers were transferred to the 2/8th, the war diary may be useful??

(4) As for the casualties the history states 8 men killed on the 13th September,

(5) then none until the 29th!!Then there are only 2! Just to confuse things further!

Anthony,

Thanks for having taken the trouble ! I appreciate.

See the quote above.

(1) So that's clear.

(2) There hardly is any doubt now that he was 2/8th Bn. (Makes me wonder "what" exactly on a soldier makes the difference between 1/8 and 2/8 when found ... Silly question, but I really don't know. Is it a badge ? And is this badge simply an 8, and so automatically it was assumed that he was 1/8, whereas in reality it was 2/8 ?)

(3) War diaries ? Yes... But personally I think that men being transferred from 1/8 to 2/8 is farfetched ? Actually I don't know if this was a common practice.

(4) 8 men on 13 Sept ? SDGW gives 5 !

(5) None until 29th September ??? SDGW gives 25 for 26 Sept ! How can 25 fatal casualties in 1/8 have been ignored ??? Unless ... unless all these men were in 2/8, and not in 1/8 ! And fell near Ypres, not near Loos. Which would mean that their names should not have been on the Loos Memorial, but on the Menin Gate in Ypres ! Confusing indeed !

Can't think clearly anymore now...

Thanks anyway.

Aurel

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