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Remembered Today:

3/4th Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)


OpsMajor

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I am researching Pte Walter Matthews of 3rd/4th Queen's who was KIA 04Oct17. Would this have been at the Battle of Broodseinde - what were the Queen's doing in a predominently ANZAC assault?

Thanks

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OM

Indeed the Battle of Broodseinde. 2 Army and X Corps consisted of 5 Brit Divisions and 4 ANZAC Divisions and doesn't constitute a predominantly ANZAC assault ! It may have been that history reflects the ANZAC progress in a better light.

You could read all about it,as far as the 3/4 Queens are concerned,in WO95/2156,their War Diary for that time.

Sotonmate

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Thank you Sotonmate. This is my first posts so could you explain what your reference to the 'War Diary' is - can I get to that on line?

Thanks

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Although 3/4th Queen's weren't there very long, at the period in question they were in 62nd Brigade, 21st Division, who were in the Battle of Broodseinde.

If you check out the forum profile for member armourersergeant, he might be able to assist, as he's a bit of a 21st Division anorak (to be honest).

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Me sir here I am sir!

21st division was involved in the later parts of the Polygon Wood Battle which preceeded the battle of Broodsiende. Thus as the attack went in on the 4th Oct, 21st div and thus 62nd brigade and 3/4 Queens (1st battle if I recall correctly) were involved in a bloody and relatively successful attack on the flank of the Aussie attack on the ridge.

I have a report of the action of 62nd brigade. It was Brigadier-General Rawling's last battle before he was tragically killed at the end of the month. He had time to write up a report though.

If you drop me a PM with your e-mail I will send it over to you.

regards

Arm

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Told you!

(It's a very nice anorak, though).

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OM

The War Diary is at Kew in the National Archives. You can either visit to read it,copy it,take notes of it........ or pay for segments by a download from the NAs Catalogue. It costs £8.50 for 10 pages if you download. There may be someone here with a copy they might share with you,if you want more than Arm can give you.

Sotonmate

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While you're waiting to get hold of the war diary I thought the regimental history entry might be of interest

At 3am on the 4th the battalion began to assemble with three companies on the front line. From right to left they were A Company B Company and D Company each company having a frontage of 85 men to an average depth of 30 yards.each being on a platoon frontage. C Company was in close support formed of one line of half platoons in file in the rear of B Company. Two reserve Lewis gun teams were with C

At zero hour 6am the barrage came down 150 yards in front of the Brigade line. The first obstacle was a line of concertina and barbed wire along the whole front. The advance came under heavy machine gun fire from the right. The passage of the Polygon Beek and the adjoining marsh presented some difficulties, time was lost and the men got too far behind the covering barrage, there was a general air of confusion.

Juniper Trench was then attacked, the wire in front of it offering a serious obstacle.The german defenders emerged as the Queen's drew near but in the darkness it was impossible to tell whether they were prepared to fight or to surrender and they were all killed.

An enemy concrete strongpoint resisted but was overcome by a party of bombers under Lt Frost, the rest of the line being taken without serious further resistance

On Judge trench being attacked and taken, consolidation commenced and four Lewis guns were positioned along the new line and contact was made with the units either side

Casualties were 3 officers and 61 other ranks killed with 17 officers and 241 other ranks wounded with 21 men missing

They captured some 200 prisoners 8 heavy and 7 light machine guns 5 trench mortars and 5 granatenwerfers

The battalion history of the 4th Queens adds that assembly for the attack was complete by 4.30am and that they used mud mats and planks to cross the boggy ground. It also adds that all the 20 officers were killed or wounded by 2pm and that fighting was hand to hand

The battalion was awarded two DSOs, two MCs and fifteen MMs for the attack. the battalion history puts total casualties higher at 323

The battalion history also adds that when the rum ration was being brought up on the night of the 2nd of October the carrier of them, Pvte Hornett fell into a flooded shell hole managing to drop the rum jars into another flooded shell hole. By all accounts his language was pretty ripe when the men following, rescued the rum before they turned their attention to rescuing him!

Hope this is of use

Regards John

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