Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

8th East Yorks


seegee
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone. I'm new to this site, having just discovered it. I am researching my grandfather (who survived the war), and two of his relatives (brothers who were killed on 14th. July 1916), all of whom served with the 8th, East Yorks. I am interested in that battalion's WW1 diary, and in particular, where they were in action on that date - my guess is at the Somme, but exactly where I can't discover. I guess they volunteered together, when the Battalion was raised in 1914 - is it possible to find out when and where they were enlisted? I have their individual Army Numbers, but apart from their full names,little else, so I would appreciate any help or guidance you can give me. Thanks.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris

Welcome to the Forum !

The two relatives were killed on the first day of the Battle of Bazentin Ridge (14-17 July 1916). The 8EYR were part of 8 Brigade of 3 Division,and at dawn on the 14th July were in the line just south of the village of Bazentin le Grand. Artillery fire had failed to cut the wire in this sector and the attack was held up because of it. The 2 Royal Scots,in Brigade reserve,eventually came up and broke through the wire and bombed the enemy trenches.To the right of them 9 Brigade had no trouble with the wire and were able to capture the village.

You are right,they were in the Battle of the Somme,seemingly from the start as part of XIII Corps.

The War Diary is at Kew under WO95/1424 and runs from Sept 1915 to Feb 1918.

If you post all the names you might get more information.

Sotonmate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14th July 1916

The 8th Brigade, having assembled on the northern slopes of the valley just north-east of Caterpillar Wood, advanced to the positions of deployment, the road running east and west, south of the German positions. At 2.05 a.m. the Brigade reported “Brigade deployed position." In accordance with orders from Divisional Headquarters the line now began to creep forward, each line placing out markers 15 yards every quarter of an hour, then creeping up to the new alignment. At 3.15 a.m. the leading line of the assaulting troops was about 120 yards only from, the German trenches.

At 3.20 a.m. an intense bombardment was placed on the German wire and trenches, though a large number of shells fell short, causing casualties amongst the two front lines of waiting troops. At 3.25 the whole of the assaulting lines and supporting lines advanced with, a rush on the German trenches. But the first row of the enemy's wire was found cut in only a few places, the second row, consisting of zigzag pattern wire (very formidable) was hardly damaged at all. On the right only two platoons of the 8th East Yorkshires managed to get through, and on the left one or two desperate parties of the 7th K.S.L.I., led by their gallant Colonel, crawled through gaps. The remainder of the assaulting lines took shelter in shell holes in front of the German trenches or fell back to the line of the Sunken Road, which they began to consolidate.

The Diary of the 8th Battalion describes the action in disjointed sentences, and it is difficult to fill in the gaps: “Battalion held up by uncut wire. Enemy sent up many flare lights. Machine gun and rapid rifle fire opened on our men by enemy. Men returned to place of assembly under the bank and dug in, some remained taking cover in shell holes. Commanding Officer wounded whilst in enemy wire." Lieut.-Colonel Way had been shot in the leg and in the arm, and about 6.45 a.m. Major F. B. Brewis arrived and took over temporary command of the Battalion.

About 7.15 a.m. news came through that the 9th Brigade on the left had captured Bazentin-le-Grand and the 2nd Royal Scots (less two Companies) were ordered up to attack the German line nest to the point where the 9th Brigade had broken through. Two bombing attacks, one by the 2 R. Scots and the other by the 1 R.S. Fusiliers, assisted by machine-gun fire, had the desired effect, and by 1 p.m. the German first and second lines were captured with 400 prisoners and six machine guns. The Diary of the 8th Battalion, thus describes this bombing episode : " 12.15 p.m. Bombing party of 2nd Royal Scots appeared on our left. They advanced quickly and carried all before them. As they advanced our men joined in and the fight was over at once. But of the two platoons of the 8th East Yorkshires, who had penetrated the enemy's wire in the initial attack, nothing further is recorded. Perhaps there was no more to tell than that they died gallantly fighting to the very last.

The position was now consolidated. At 2 p.m. the Battalion began to reorganise and count its losses, the latter were terrible. “The following," records the Diary, " were the known casualties. Officers: killed 8, wounded 11. Other ranks: killed 81, wounded 218, missing 141. Total 19 officers and 440 other ranks."

Regards Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my first day as a member of this forum and I am very impressed with what I have seen so far.

My Grandfather's brother (GEORGE HENRY SANDERS) served with 'A' company of the 8th Batallion of the East Yorkshire Regiment, and was killed on 14th July 1916, presumably in the Battle of Bazentin. He is now buried in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery.

I have read somewhere that some soldiers were buried in Martinpuich Road Cemetery, but after the war were transferred to Caterpillar Valley Cemetery. Does anyone know whether there is a list of names of the soldiers in question?

Does anyone know anything about the role of 'A' Company in the battle?

Also is there a comprehensive list anywhere of all the soldiers who served with the 8th Battalion?

I hope to visit Bazentin soon. Does anyone have any tips for where exactly to go and what to look for?

Many thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ogbert

You can ask the Commonwealth War Graves Commission whether your subject was moved from Martinpuich to Caterpiller after the War was over. They have records on this.

http://www.cwgc.org

If you want to find out a bit more about the Battle of Bazentin Ridge as it relates to 8EYR you must get to read the War Diary I refer to in my other post here. There you might have a map,and there might be a roll of each Company.

A map will give you an idea of where to visit when you go to Bazentin.

Sotonmate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ogbert,

Welcome to the Forum. hope you enjoy your time here.

George was a Beverley Lad that joined the 14th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment in January 1916 and would be posted to the 8th Bn in April/May 1916.

The records for exhumation and movement of bodies are with the CWGC you probably read about the move here:

http://www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_detail...1400&mode=1

drop them a line it may be able to give you the answer.

The War Diary nor the 'History of the EYR' gives the role of A Coy, and unlike most diarys it does not give which officers commanded which Company. Someone may have the Brigade/Divisional attack orders or Brigade Diary which may give this info.

Complete list of soldiers served with Battalion, the list would change daily and the throughput of personel would be 10,000 plus, I have a Battalion Role for one day which runs to 900 men George is not on it though.

Regards Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13th July 1916

At 4 p.m. on 13th July, final orders concerning the attack were issued, and Zero hour was fixed at 3.25 a.m. on 14th.

At 9.30 p.m. the assaulting troops began to move up to their assembly positions. They moved in file along the Carnoy-Montauban road, skirting Montauban to the west and north and assembled in Caterpillar Wood. Valley in complete silence, with only one man wounded. A screen of picquets, consisting of half a platoon per Company, with all the scouts of the assaulting Battalions, under the Brigade Intelligence Officer, had been put out to within 200 yards of the German line and were established there by 10.30 p.m. Under cover of this screen the 8th Brigade assembled in the following formation : 8th East Yorkshires on the right, 7th K.S.L.I, on the left. The 1st R.S. Fusiliers were in support, half the Battalion in rear of each assaulting Battalion. The 2nd Royal Scots were in Brigade Reserve.

The Divisional objective ran roughly from (and including) the centre of Longueval village to (and including) the village of Bazentin-le-Grand. The 76th Brigade was attacking on the right, the 8th in the centre and the 9th Brigade on the left. The objectives of the 8th Brigade were the German front and support trenches about half-way between the two villages

Regards Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ogbert

You should now have a map of the day and it's objectives.

Sotonmate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks everyone, for your welcome, and your very helpful information. I understand that some army units 're-used' Regimental Numbers which became 'vacant' for whatever reason. Is this so?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure of your question, a number is not reused but in the East Yorkshire Regiment during the Great War up to seven men could have the same number, before the army ordered prefixes to be used.

If you post the names and numbers of your relatives we may be able to help more.

Regards Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure of your question, a number is not reused but in the East Yorkshire Regiment during the Great War up to seven men could have the same number, before the army ordered prefixes to be used.

If you post the names and numbers of your relatives we may be able to help more.

Regards Charles

Thanks Charles,

Those relatives who died were: Michael Oliver, No. 20/1, 20DLI, 4.10.1916; George Bell, No13467, EYR, 14.7.1916; William Henry Bell, No13477, EYR, 14.7.1916.

The survivor was my grandfather, Christopher Oliver Graham, No.13471, 8EYR, who died in 1951 aged 63.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

Both George and Williams documents are available online via 'Ancestry', if you do not have them well worth it, the three brothers all joined on the same day 12/10/1914 in Sunderland and were posted directly to the 8th Battalion at Halton Camp Tring all ranks living under canvas.

Regards Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

Both George and Williams documents are available online via 'Ancestry', if you do not have them well worth it, the three brothers all joined on the same day 12/10/1914 in Sunderland and were posted directly to the 8th Battalion at Halton Camp Tring all ranks living under canvas.

Regards Charles

Hi Charles, Once again, many thanks for your help. I'm astounded by the speed and content of the replies I've had. I will now search at Ancestry. as suggested. I'm very grateful. Best wishes, Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ogbert,

Welcome to the Forum. hope you enjoy your time here.

George was a Beverley Lad that joined the 14th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment in January 1916 and would be posted to the 8th Bn in April/May 1916.

The records for exhumation and movement of bodies are with the CWGC you probably read about the move here:

http://www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_detail...1400&mode=1

drop them a line it may be able to give you the answer.

The War Diary nor the 'History of the EYR' gives the role of A Coy, and unlike most diarys it does not give which officers commanded which Company. Someone may have the Brigade/Divisional attack orders or Brigade Diary which may give this info.

Complete list of soldiers served with Battalion, the list would change daily and the throughput of personel would be 10,000 plus, I have a Battalion Role for one day which runs to 900 men George is not on it though.

Regards Charles

Charles,

Thank you very much for this information.

Where did you source your information about George Sanders initially joining 14th Batallion and then being transferred to the 8th?

Does this mean he will have fought in other battles before 14th July?

He had a brother called Harold Sanders, also from Beverley, and I understand he went to Egypt, but other than that, I don't know anything.

Many thanks,

Gordon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gordon,

The 14 prefix to his number means he joined the 14th (Local Reserve) Battalion which was formed in August 1915 (remaining in UK) to provide drafts for the Hull Brigade, late on it ptovided men for all battalions. He was transferred to the 8th battalion with a draft from the 14th battalion.

He may have fought beforehand but in no major battles.

Need a little bit more on Harold there are 30 Harold Sanders on the Medal Index Cards.

Regards Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gordon,

The 14 prefix to his number means he joined the 14th (Local Reserve) Battalion which was formed in August 1915 (remaining in UK) to provide drafts for the Hull Brigade, late on it ptovided men for all battalions. He was transferred to the 8th battalion with a draft from the 14th battalion.

He may have fought beforehand but in no major battles.

Need a little bit more on Harold there are 30 Harold Sanders on the Medal Index Cards.

Regards Charles

Charles,

Thank you very much for this information.

Harold Sanders was born in 1895, lived on Minstermoorgate in Beverley and was almost certainly born there. I have tried to obtain information from the 1911 census, but the details for East Yorkshire don't appear to be available yet. I have also not had any success with the Ancestry site.

Thank you,

Gordon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 years later...
On ‎21‎/‎01‎/‎2009 at 14:26, seegee said:

Thanks Charles,

Those relatives who died were: Michael Oliver, No. 20/1, 20DLI, 4.10.1916; George Bell, No13467, EYR, 14.7.1916; William Henry Bell, No13477, EYR, 14.7.1916.

The survivor was my grandfather, Christopher Oliver Graham, No.13471, 8EYR, who died in 1951 aged 63.

George Bell was my Grandfather I have his and his brothers family history, if further information required contact  georgerowe12@hotmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On ‎19‎/‎01‎/‎2009 at 15:39, seegee said:

Hello everyone. I'm new to this site, having just discovered it. I am researching my grandfather (who survived the war), and two of his relatives (brothers who were killed on 14th. July 1916), all of whom served with the 8th, East Yorks. I am interested in that battalion's WW1 diary, and in particular, where they were in action on that date - my guess is at the Somme, but exactly where I can't discover. I guess they volunteered together, when the Battalion was raised in 1914 - is it possible to find out when and where they were enlisted? I have their individual Army Numbers, but apart from their full names,little else, so I would appreciate any help or guidance you can give me. Thanks.

 

On ‎21‎/‎01‎/‎2009 at 14:26, seegee said:

Thanks Charles,

Those relatives who died were: Michael Oliver, No. 20/1, 20DLI, 4.10.1916; George Bell, No13467, EYR, 14.7.1916; William Henry Bell, No13477, EYR, 14.7.1916.

The survivor was my grandfather, Christopher Oliver Graham, No.13471, 8EYR, who died in 1951 aged 63.

I have the Family History of George Bell (who was my Grandfather) and William Bell his brother which I will share with you if you contact georgerowe12@hotmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...