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1/13th London Rgt Kensingtons


palicus
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Hi all,

Researching my G.Grandfather, Pte 2064 Thomas Edwards MM 1/13th London Rgt (The Kensingtons)

(Later 45846 of 107th MGC)

From his service record it states that he received a bayonet wound in the field on this day.

Can anyone tell me what the Kensingtons were doing on this day?

I'm guessing it was part of the action at Aubers Ridge but would be grateful for any more detailed information.

Incidentally his record also states that he received a gunshot wound to the chest only three days later on 12 May 1915 though the place of casualty is stated as being St Omer rather than in the field...

Does that mean it was an accidental wound received behind the lines or was there some action at St Omer on that day?

Any info much appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time and efforts.

Palicus

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Most of what you need to know is here.

Details of the allocation of the Kensingtons to Divisions: [http://www.1914-1918.net/london.htm]

Order of battle of 8th Division, which Kensingtons were in at the time: [http://www.1914-1918.net/8div.htm]

Detailed Aubers battle description including role of Kensingtons: [http://www.1914-1918.net/bat11.htm]

St Omer was a headquarters and hospital base. Very improbable that he received an injury there. My guess is he was wounded on 9 May and was in hospital at St Omer three days later.

You can buy a copy of the Kensingtons war diary for May 1915 [here]

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For those who are only browsing the forum, I can add to Chris' post that they were there, they took a large part in the proceedings. This was essentially a one day battle and was a complete shambles with heavy casualties and no gains. This battle showed Haig at his worst and was in my estimation a very black mark in his record. Very bad judgement and , his besetting sin, fruitless attempts to advance long after all hope was gone. I like to think that he perhaps learned from this action.

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Not sure I agree. There was a great deal "wrong" with the planning and execution of the attack, and it was among the worst days in the whole war for casualties for the scale of forces deployed. It was a terrible, terrible day. But much of the "wrong" can only be seen in hindsight. Chief of the operational factors as to why men like Thomas Edwards became casualties was the weight and direction of the artillery. By 1918 the commanders would see the bombardment at Aubers as pathetically thin and the fact that it was aimed at front line trenches and not in suppressing the German guns inevitably wasteful.

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Thanks Chris,

As a novice to the sites, I had already found and read the first two links but missed the link to the description of the battle itself. I will read it with much interest shortly.

With regard to the wounds I've attached extracts from his service record should anyone care to add to the speculation.

Firstly from a casualty form which states the dates and places of injury, and then secondly from service history sheet.

post-42604-1231413221.jpg

post-42604-1231413237.jpg

These certainly suggest separate dates/ places for each.... though I guess the service history could simply be taken from the casualty form and therefore just compounds an earlier mistake as to date of wound. It seems likely to have been from the same day as this was a one day battle as truthergw says.

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Thomas was evacuated to

24th Field Ambulance, local to the action (you might get their location for their war diary) on 9 April

4 Stationary Hospital at St Omer on 12 April

10 General Hospital at Rouen on 15 April

Rejoined battalion 10 June

Interesting at St Omer gives it as a chest wound when the others have it as a thigh wound! The summary for his Military History Sheet (lower image) is lifted from the Casualty Form Active Service (higher image). I suspect a simple recording error.

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I see - that would seem to make more sense.

Thanks very much for the decoding.

Just read the description of the action of the northern pincer at Aubers you pointed me to.

From my reading of it, it sounds as if Tom was likely to have been one of those that made it from the mine craters to Delangre Farm for hand to hand fighting to have taken place. Or was the advance to the mine craters and the farm after the taking of the fire trenches? It's a little confusing. Regardless, I found it particularly chilling to read that in the fire trenches "German bayonets can be seen behind the parapet". I still find it impossible to comprehend the bravery shown by all the soldiers, its just so humbling.

Thanks also for the link to the war diary. I will download that now.

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The Kensington's history is a good one. I'm at work at present so can't look for you, but there's bound to be a report on the day's actions. If no-one gets there first, I'll have a look tomorrow (I'm away tonight).

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The War Diary is also quite a good one, if you need it let me know.

Andy

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Thanks Andy,

I have downloaded what I can find online at Kew which amounts to:

1) Roll of officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men with Battalion on night of March 9/10 1915 and March 14/15 1915

2) Part 10 of 16 War Diary Nov 1914 - March 1915

3) Part 11 of 16 War Diary April 1915 - May 1915

They are proving a tremendous read.

If you have anything else I'd love to see it, especially the diaries for June to December 1915 (presumably parts 12 et seq) when Tom was moved to the reserve Battalion in England and subsequently transfers into the Machine Gun Corps 107th Coy in 36th Division.

I'm not sure what parts 1-9 could be if part 10 sees the battalion arriving in France on 03 November 1914... any ideas?

Palicus

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Hi Palicus,

Not sure what these parts are either but their is a short history in there and Lt.-Col. Young's account of 27/6/16 to 26/10/16 also.

I have the June to December 1915 that you are looking for, I will drop you a pm which you can reply to with your e-mail address and I will get these off to you.

Andy

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Al,

Diary sent to you, hope that it helps.

Andy

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