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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

7th Division War Diaries

Guest cjc

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I am researching the battle of Festubert, during which my great uncle Alexander Swainson Cuthbertson (Lance Corporel - 2nd Battalion Scots Guards) died on Sunday 16 May 1915.

I have been to the PRO and seen the 2nd Battalion War Diaries and seen the relevant maps, but am interested in knowing what orders where given to the Battalion from Army/Corps/Division, but am having great difficulty in finding my way throught the PRO catalogue. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Many thanks


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Chris - PRO ref WO95/1628 covers 7th Div General Staff till May 1915, then WO95/1629 till September.

The 7th Div A&Q Branch diaries covering Festubert 1915 are in WO95/1636 and there are some usefull Intelligence Summaries in WO95/1634. You should also consider searching 20th Brigade's files.

You say you are having problems negotiating PRO's catalogue, - do you mean the on-line database "Procat" ? ------ personally I think it's a waste of time, especially in record classes such as WO95 where you have so many units indexed under titles such as "Brigade Trench Mortar Battery" etc etc etc. - The loading of the catalogues into the database simply wasnt thought through and the result was a "resource" which in many respects is completely useless. Even at it's best Procat is an over-complicated pain in the neck to deal with. Use the paper lists !

regards - Tom

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Thank you very much for the info, very useful.

I was refering to Procat and am pleased that someone else finds it difficult to use. On my next visit to PRO I will consult the paper lists.

Once again many thanks.


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If you use the paper system at the PRO you should not have any trouble. Basicall the units 'cascade' down form Army, Corps, Div. You will find all the France & Flanders diaries together and then the other fronts. Once you get to Division they are in number order.


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