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2nd RSF, 30th Division


gnr.ktrha
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Hello,

Does anyone have any reference to the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers during there actions at/near Arras during April 1917. In particular, I would be interested to know what they did on the 23rd of April 1917.

They were part of the 30th Div. Does anyone know what Battle Patches they would be wearing in Early 1917?

Regards,

Stewart

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Hi

The 2 RSF were part of 90th Brigade that attacked on April 23rd as part of the opening of the 2nd Battle of the Scarpe - a major offensive by 3rd Army. As opposed to the break through obtained on the 9th this, in the main, was a costly day with limited gains. German artillery was much more active than on the 9th and it was this that mainly put paid to 90th Brigade's attack. 17th Manchesters and 2 RSF were in the front line of the attack but suffered very heavily. Further attacks by 18th and 19th Manchesters again made some progress with heavy losses. The capture of some practice trenches (which can be seen on March 1917 trench maps) was the only success of the day. Although by the 24th some movement forward was possible the idea of gaining the whole high ground west of Cherisy and then descending into the valley was not to be.

Bootham Cemetery on the plain above Wancourt is very much that of the 2 RSF. Although started by 56th Division the majority of the graves belong to 2 RSF men, about half the 150 killed on the 23rd.

I don't have the war diary for the 2nd RSF as yet as I am concentrating on the earlier battle at the moment during which 90th Brigade were in reserve.

Hope this helps a little.

Jim

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A couple of photos to add. General view of Bootham Cemetery.

post-28845-1231185237.jpg

and a typical group of headstones in Bootham

post-28845-1231185308.jpg

Jim

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Hello,

Thank you very much for the information on the Brigade and also for the photographs. The man I have been trying to research is also buried in the cemetery. His name was Pte J W Fraser. For a long time I just could not really find any details about him, beyond SDGW and CWGC site. But I was very lucky to find his service record on Ancestry. It shows he went to France in January 1917 and was posted to the 2nd Battalion. It also gives good details about his family.

I have the RSF Regimental History by Buchan, butit does not go in to too much detail for this action, or the period from January to April.

I have not been to this part of the Arras battlefield, on my last visit I went to a relatives grave at Tilloy.

Do you have any idea what 'Battle Patches' the Brigade/ Battalion were wearing during this period?

Many thanks once again,

Stewart

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My great grandfather was in 2nd RSF and was killed at Heninel 23rd April 1917, I can email you the stuff I got from the battalion/brigade war diaries. Post op report/objective sheet/barrage table, its in .doc format so if it its of use to you send me a pm with your email address. gnrktrha? ex gnr29cdora (going there in april so if photo of grave wanted just ask)

John

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Hello John,

Thanks for the link. The 30th Div cloth badge on this site dates from the very end of the war, or so I have read. I understand that in 1917, they used a different system of Divisional patches, but i can't find any information on what they looked like or what form they took.

If i find out I will let you know.

Regards,

Stewart

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  • 3 months later...

Hello read all with interest only just discovered my Great Uncle was killed in WW1 RSF and buried at Boothham. I intend to visit but in the meantime is there any way of accessing a photograph of his grave. Name Francis Walter Hendrick. Any info would be greatly appreciated he died 23/4/1917 thanks

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Stewart

Some information from the perspective of 17th Manchester in my Hellfire Corner article.

Here.

Very little detail of the day, but you migth find the reference to Brigade/Battalion orders some use.

John

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