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Ovillers - Battle of the Somme


barry73
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Hi All,

This forum is so addictive :P I'm now researching all the ancesters I can find that served during the First World War.

My wifes great uncle George King 16447 or 10128 served in the Royal Berkshire reg. Not sure if it was the 3rd or 5th btn. He died on 3/7/1916.

I'm intrested in finding out the location of the RBR and what action they were involved in at the time. I'm unsure but due to the location of his memorial i think it may have been Ovillers??? also I think I may need to be sure of his btn first (sorry if this bit of info doesn't belong in this forum topic).

So if some kind soul could point me in the right direction or do it for me :P I'd love to find some map formations also if that's atall possible.

Thank you all & best wishes,

Barry

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Name: George King

Birth Place: Cookham, Berks

Residence: Reading

Death Date: 3 Jul 1916

Enlistment Location: Maidenhead

Rank: Private

Regiment: Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire Regiment)

Battalion: 5th Battalion.

Number: 16447

Type of Casualty: Killed in action

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Hi Barry,

Pte 16447 George King, 5th Bn Royal Berkshire Rgt, KiA 3rd July 1916. Born Cookham, Berkshire, enlisted Reading, son of Thomas and Mary A. King, of 85, St. Mark's Rd., Maidenhead, Berkshire. George is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing (Pier and Face 11 D)

5th (Service) Battalion. 35th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division:

Moved up from Franvillers into reserve at Henencourt Wood (1/7), front line facing Ovillers (2/7). Attack on western side of village (3/7) - hand to hand fighting in Shrapnel Trench. Withdrew to Albert. Casualties 332.

see also the battalion War Diaries at The Wardrobe

Jon

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Should you find yourself visiting the Somme there is a new memorial on the track above Ovillers Cemetery. It sits on the site of a trench whose name escapes me and I am sure that it commemorates the Berks Regt though it may be the 2nd Berks from 8th Div. I only saw the memorial for the first time this Nov.

Sorry if this is a red herring.

TT

NB I have walked the fields that the 12 th Div attacked at Ovillers on 3/7/19 many times and lying on the surface 100m or so apart were two Suffolk badges from 7th battalion, 12th Div and lost 3/7/1916.

Many of the men who died in the attack can be found in the Cemetery.

Regards

TT

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Thank you all for your replies.

I've been reading Patick Lindsay's book Fromelles, which describes the trenches both then and now. So I do hope at some point in time to make a visit of the Somme.

Best Wishes

Barry

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The 5th Battalion were in the line facing Ovillers-la-Boisselle on a frontage of about 120 yards from Argyll Street on the extreme right to Vincent Street on the left. They crossed the enemy front trench, went through the second on into Shrapnel Trench. Hand-to-hand fighting took place and dug-outs were bombed. As usual, at this time, bombs ran short and those who avoided being cut off in the village fell back to the German front line. British artillery had flattened most of this so the men again had to move; this time to the Albert-Ovillers sunken road where they remained for the rest of the day.

Casualties: 14 Officers Killed, wounded, missing & 318 OR's

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Hi Barry

If you PM me with your email address I'll scan you the relevant positions in the British lines

Regards

Martin

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Hi Barry

If you PM me with your email address I'll scan you the relevant positions in the British lines

Regards

Martin

Thanks Martin

PM sent

Best Wishes

Barry

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Found this brief text relating. It's of interest to me as My great grandfather was in the 7th Suffolks (part of the 35th brigade alongside the 5th Berkshires). He was wounded and taken PoW on 3/7/16

The Battles of the Somme 1916

The Battle of Albert*

By 18 June 1916 the Division was based at Flesselles. It immediately carried out a training exercise to practice a planned attack to capture Martinpuich. This action never materialised. The Division moved up to Baizieux on 30 June and reached Hencourt and Millencourt by 10am on 1 July, in reserve to the British infantry attack that had begun earlier that morning. It moved to relieve 8th Division, which had suffered a severe repulse at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, during the night of 1-2 July.

Ordered to continue the attack on Ovillers, 35th and 37th Brigades went in at 3.15am on 2 July (just before this, Divisional HQ received information that a British attack on their left, by X Corps against Thiepval, was cancelled). Unlike the troops of 8th Division who had to cross a wide no man's land in the bright morning sun, the 12th Division attack, at night, adopted sensible tactics of advancing across no man's land while the artillery bombarded the enemy and rushed the last few yards when it lifted. The first wave of the attack met with mixed success: for example the 9th Essex came under heavy shellfire before it had reached even the British front line; it was difficult to keep direction in the deep shellholes; yet the 5th Berkshire and 7th Suffolk crossed, finding the enemy wire was well cut, and took at least two lines of German trenches before becoming bogged in intense bombing fights in the trenches. 6th Queen's were held up by wire and machine gun fire from Mash Valley. Heavy fire from the Leipzig salient - where X Corps would have been attacking - halted supporting units in no man's land, and the attack failed to achieve its objective.

On 7 July 36th Brigade, with 74th Brigade attached to the Division for the purpose, attacked again and in spite of heavy casualties from German artillery and machine guns in Mash Valley, succeeded in holding the first and second lines that they captured on the spur on which Ovillers stands. By the time the Division was withdrawn to the area on Contay on 9 July, 189 officers and 4576 men had become casualties.

http://www.1914-1918.net/12div.htm

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Hi All,

This forum is so addictive :P I'm now researching all the ancesters I can find that served during the First World War.

My wifes great uncle George King 16447 or 10128 served in the Royal Berkshire reg. Not sure if it was the 3rd or 5th btn. He died on 3/7/1916.

I'm intrested in finding out the location of the RBR and what action they were involved in at the time. I'm unsure but due to the location of his memorial i think it may have been Ovillers??? also I think I may need to be sure of his btn first (sorry if this bit of info doesn't belong in this forum topic).

So if some kind soul could point me in the right direction or do it for me :P I'd love to find some map formations also if that's atall possible.

Thank you all & best wishes,

Barry

your George King was 16447 - the other 10128 was killed in 1914

George enlisted 12/1/1915 and had a brother W King

He served in the 5th Ropyal Berks and was first wounded in November 1915 - there is a report on him in the Maidenhead Advertiser which says he was wounded in the hand and is Leeds Hospital.

I also have a photo of him if you are interested

Here is map of the 5ths action on 3rd July - you can read more at www.purley.eu/H142/P235.pdf

regards

John

post-1643-1231173172.jpg

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your George King was 16447 - the other 10128 was killed in 1914

George enlisted 12/1/1915 and had a brother W King

He served in the 5th Ropyal Berks and was first wounded in November 1915 - there is a report on him in the Maidenhead Advertiser which says he was wounded in the hand and is Leeds Hospital.

I also have a photo of him if you are interested

Here is map of the 5ths action on 3rd July - you can read more at www.purley.eu/H142/P235.pdf

regards

John

Wow... John that's fantastic.

There were 4 brothers Thomas b1883, John F died 1892, George b.1895, William b.1898 and my wifes gran. She only told us of the one brother. Was William also killed during the war?

Thanks for any more information and photos that you might have.

Do you have local knowledge of the Cookham, Maidenhead area? As I've been trying to gather information on the local war memorials. My email is barry73@optusnet.com.au

Thanks again John

Thanks also tmm for your information on the trenches

Best Wishes,

Barry

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