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sue_d18

James Garthwaite- Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)- 2/6

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sue_d18

Name:James Garthwaite

Residence:Skipton, Yorks

Death Date:3 May 1917

Enlistment Location:Haworth, Yorks

Rank:Private Regiment:Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion:2/6th Battalion.

Number:300059

Type of Casualty:Killed in action

Theater of War:Aldershot

Hi just wondering if anyone has any information on the above solider or what his regiment was doing when he was killed.

Thanks

Suzanne

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DMannus

Suzanne

Hello and welcome to the forum

The 2/6 D of W was originally a home service battalion but landed in France with the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division.

He was 38 when he was killed and is recorded as the 'Son of Thomas Garthwaite, of Haworth, Keighley; husband of Elizabeth Garthwaite, of 2, Fife St., Brow, Haworth, Keighley, Yorks.'

This is his medal index card.

post-24943-1227185350.jpg

I would think he was killed in the offensives around Arras in the spring of 1917 - need an expert to firm up on this one.

regards and good luck with your search.

David

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Tony Lund

This man has been mentioned on the Forum before. 168th Infantry Brigade, 62nd West Riding Division. I have the history of the Division and will take a look. In the meantime, in 1917 the Holmfirth Express reported his death. The information I have for now is:

James Garthwaite, a Private (300059), serving with the 2nd 6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. At some point he had lived with his brother in law, Tom Hey, at Paris Road, Scholes, Holmfirth. He enlisted at Skipton, and came from the Haworth area. He was the thirty-eight year old son of Thomas Garthwaite, of Haworth, Keighley, and the husband of Elizabeth Garthwaite, of 2 Fife Street, Brow, Haworth, Keighley, Yorkshire. Originally he was reported to be missing, but he was later confirmed to have been killed in action. There is no known grave.

Tony.

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Tony Lund

This is my account of the day (3/5/17) and it concentrates on the 2nd 5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, but it applies equally to the 2nd 6th whenever the 186th Infantry Brigade or the 62nd Division is mentioned.

The 62nd West Riding Division was commanded by Major General Walter Pipon Braithwaite, the Division was made up entirely of second line territorial units in the usual three Infantry Brigades. The 185th Infantry Brigade consisted of men from York, Leeds and Bradford, in battalions of the West Yorkshire Regiment. The 186th was all Duke of Wellington’s battalions from Holmfirth, Huddersfield, Halifax, Skipton and the Colne Valley. The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and York & Lancaster battalions of the 187th Infantry Brigade were from the area around Dewsbury, Batley, and Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham.

The First and Third Armies attacked the areas around Fontaine and Fresnoy and Fifth Army was sent against Bullecourt. The 62nd Division’s orders were to attack the Hindenburg Line and the village of Bullecourt, with the Third Army on its left and the 2nd Australian Division on its right. The 62nd Division was in Firth Army.

Writing later, General Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough, Commander of Fifth Army, described the action, saying: “The Arras battle was therefore continued, and the Third Army planned another attack to take place on the 3rd May. In order to co-operate with this, the 2nd Australian Division and the 62nd Division attacked the Bullecourt position. The 2nd Australians succeeded on the right, but on the left the 62nd Division failed. It was one of the last Divisions to come out from England, and although its men were as stout of heart as any, they lacked experience and training, and their attacking bodies lost direction. The 7th Division relieved them, and renewed the attack, and was partially successful, but next day its units were driven out of the village.”

The attack was carried out under cover of a creeping barrage that advanced at the rate of 100 yards every three minutes. The weather was warm and the ground was hard and dry. Zero hour was set for 3:45 a.m. The 185th Infantry Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General De Falbe, was allotted the task of capturing Bullecourt village, the 187th Infantry Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General Taylor, was to form a defensive flank from Hendecourt to the Hindenburg Line, and the 186th Infantry Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General Hill, was to take the front line and support trenches of the Hindenburg Line and then push on and secure Hendecourt village.

The 186th Infantry Brigade (including the 2nd 6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) was in the centre of the Division’s attack with all four battalions advancing. The 187th Infantry Brigade was on their left and the 185th Infantry Brigade was on their right.

The men had a rum ration at 3 a.m., and by 3:30 a.m. the men of the 186th Infantry Brigade were at their jumping off points, all formed up ready for the attack with each man laying down at the correct interval from his neighbour, and waiting for zero hour.

The 2nd 5th Battalion, Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel F. W. Best, was on the right of the brigade, with the 2nd 7th, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel F. G. C. Chamberlin, behind them. The 2nd 6th, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel S. W. Ford, was on the left with the 2nd 4th, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Nash, behind them.

Just before the attack the enemy artillery opened a heavy fire on the 185th Brigade and gradually extended this across the whole front. The British artillery replied with the scheduled creeping barrage at 3:45 a.m., and the infantry advance began.

There was nine hundred yards to go to the German front line, and when the creeping barrage opened at zero hour the visibility was badly obscured by dust and smoke caused by the shellfire. The battalions of all three brigades experienced a similar mixed bag of good and bad fortune. Some battalions found the wire cut and stormed into the German line, and some found themselves held up in front of uncut wire and forced into shell holes or any available cover while the enemy brought machine-gun fire upon them from every available position.

At zero hour the 2nd 5th Battalion had advanced across a sunken road and up the slope to the left of Bullecourt. The defenders sent up flares all along the line signalling to their artillery for help. The result was a ferocious barrage of high explosive and shrapnel, supported by heavy machine-gun fire from hidden concrete emplacements. They continued to the Hindenburg Line, where the Holmfirth and Huddersfield men were lucky at first, the wire in front of them was cut and they charged straight through and entered the German trench.

During the morning the battalions of the 62nd Division made constant efforts to link up with their neighbours, while the Germans were busy placing machine-guns wherever they could do the most damage. Gradually the assaulting force was driven out by machine-guns opening fire on both sides of them, and groups of men were seen to be withdrawing to the railway line, while others were in shell holes in front of Bullecourt. At 5 p.m. orders were given to reassemble the battalions back in their original starting positions. Posts were established and held during the night and the following day. Shelling was continuous. On May 7th the 2nd 5th Battalion was relieved by the 2nd 7th Battalion and marched to Mory Copse. Out of the twenty-four stretcher bearers who went over the top, only six returned.

Casualties for the 62nd Division on May 3rd were 2,976 men killed, wounded, or missing in action. Fifteen Holmfirth men are known to have been killed in action, and, with the exception of Ben Ramsden, they have no known graves and are commemorated on Bay 6 of the Arras Memorial in France, dedicated to the 35,000 men killed in the area who have no known grave.

There are six pages in the History of the 62nd Division, if you want scans they are best sent as email attachments. The Forum message system will not usually take large attachments.

Tony.

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mmm45

Keighley Library has an extensive card system of WW1 Obituaries and reports POW,Wounded etc...Its in the Local Studies area so may be worth a phone call or email...Ive just had an email with photo and report on a Keighley POW from WRR.

Theres also Cravens Part In Gt War which covers 2/6 WRR and casualties from the area he isnt on the search engine though.

Ady

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sue_d18

I have a picture of James Garthwaite.

He has a grave stone with his wife in Haworth cemetery but we don't know whether he is buried there.

We also have his death plaque but no medals.

He is also commemorated on the Haworth War memorial.

post-40357-1227205530.jpg

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Paul D Kendall

Sue,

Since James Garthwaite has no known grave, his name was commemorated on the Arras Memorial, at the Faubourg D'Amiens Cemetery. If you write to me at Paulkendall291@aol.com I can send you images of the memorial.

Kind regards

Paul

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sue_d18

My dad gave me this last night which I had never seen before, which I thought was quite interesting

post-40357-1227357088.jpg

post-40357-1227357100.jpg

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Guest ajmacleod

Have just joined this forum/blog as am researching a trip to flanders that my teenage son is doing as part of his history course. and i noticed this piece of dialogue which is clearly related to the experiences of my grandfather who we are researching.

My grandfather (265926) Sgt J.T. MacLeod was in the 2/6 Duke of Wellingtons WRR in what I think must be the same action at Bullecourt on 3/5/1917 that James Garthwaite was in. He won a DCM in the action as a Sergeant leading a Lewis machine gun section of B coy and was quite badly wounded in the process. After he recovered he was commissioned into the Machine Gun Corps and returned to France just as the war was ending.

Like JG he lived in Keighley (Upper Caulton Street) and joined as a territorial in May 1915 when the 2/6 was formed. He continued to live in Keighley until the late 60s and died in 1984. I knew him well though he rarely talked about his experiences in any real depth until, in the last few years of this life after I was comissioned into the TA myself, he opened up more and gave me a set of his personal documents and his medals. It is only as a result of my sons interest through school that i have started to researh his experiences in detail through these documents. I have now got a fairly good idea of the events of the day through info on the internet and a book - The Story of the 62nd (West Riding Division) by Everard Wyrall but am keen to get more.

However i would be really interested to understand how i could get more detailed account of the events of the day as i would like to see if i could walk the terrain that these guys fought over on that day when my son and i go to visit later in the Spring. I understand that there are sources of the war diaries at divisional level but but i am not clear to get access to this and if i can get more detail from lower down in the orbat. Any ideas on how to do this would be welcome. Also would be happy to share in facsimile the information/docs etc i have with others with interest in the events of this action.

andy.

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Tony Lund

Sgt J.T. MacLeod 265926 is named in the lists of awards at the back of “West Riding Territorials in the Great War” by Laurie Magnus. There is also some general information regarding May 3rd but nothing specific to the 2nd 6th Battalion.

You will be better starting a fresh post with the man’s name, battalion and date in the title. Someone may already have the war diary or some other information.

Tony.

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Tomkinson

The 2/6th Battalion took part in the fighting on the first day of the 2nd battle of Bullecourt (3rd May 1917).

James arrived in France with the rest of the Battalion in Jan 1917 having embarked for France on 6th Jan 1917.

He was almost certainly killed in the action of the 3rd May along with my great Grandfather among almost all of the men who went in action on that day.

A good book on the fighting and its background is 'The Blood Tub, General Gough and the Battle of Bullecourt' by Walker but it is out of print. I have a spare copy of the paperback but it is relatively expensive.

Cheers

Mike Tomkinson

Bradford

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Tomkinson
Have just joined this forum/blog as am researching a trip to flanders that my teenage son is doing as part of his history course. and i noticed this piece of dialogue which is clearly related to the experiences of my grandfather who we are researching.

My grandfather (265926) Sgt J.T. MacLeod was in the 2/6 Duke of Wellingtons WRR in what I think must be the same action at Bullecourt on 3/5/1917 that James Garthwaite was in. He won a DCM in the action as a Sergeant leading a Lewis machine gun section of B coy and was quite badly wounded in the process. After he recovered he was commissioned into the Machine Gun Corps and returned to France just as the war was ending.

Like JG he lived in Keighley (Upper Caulton Street) and joined as a territorial in May 1915 when the 2/6 was formed. He continued to live in Keighley until the late 60s and died in 1984. I knew him well though he rarely talked about his experiences in any real depth until, in the last few years of this life after I was comissioned into the TA myself, he opened up more and gave me a set of his personal documents and his medals. It is only as a result of my sons interest through school that i have started to researh his experiences in detail through these documents. I have now got a fairly good idea of the events of the day through info on the internet and a book - The Story of the 62nd (West Riding Division) by Everard Wyrall but am keen to get more.

However i would be really interested to understand how i could get more detailed account of the events of the day as i would like to see if i could walk the terrain that these guys fought over on that day when my son and i go to visit later in the Spring. I understand that there are sources of the war diaries at divisional level but but i am not clear to get access to this and if i can get more detail from lower down in the orbat. Any ideas on how to do this would be welcome. Also would be happy to share in facsimile the information/docs etc i have with others with interest in the events of this action.

andy.

Andy

See:

A good book on the fighting and its background is 'The Blood Tub, General Gough and the Battle of Bullecourt' by Walker but it is out of print. I have a spare copy of the paperback but it is relatively expensive.

Cheers

Mike Tomkinson

Bradford

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Guest

I happen to be James great grandson, and have details of his service and events surrounding his death, would be happy for you to cantact me

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moley

hiya I've just come across this site and must say (why didn't I know about it earlier its brilliant)

Im trying to research my great grandfather Henry James Clarke he joined the duke of wellingtons brigade at Haworth, I know that in 1911 he was 23 years old an iron turner and living at 33 North Street Haworth. I am unsure of what part of the regiment he was based in as he never spoke to my dad before he died about the war.

he sent 2 shells to my great gradmother with ypres and one Somme scratched into it.

If anyone has any information on him it would be greatly appreciated

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Stafford Garthwaite

James Garthwaite was my grandfather, my father harold garthwaite was one of his sons. I was fascinated to find this on the internet, my grateful thanks to whoever set this up. My grandfather has a memorial plaque on the war memorial at Arras in France, he has no known grave. - Stafford Garthwaite

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