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Remembered Today:

East Surrey Regiment 1917


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I wonder if any of you knowledgeable forum members can help me regarding a soldier in the East Surrey Regiment.

I have a Charles Frederick Cogger 203268, died of his wounds 5th October 1917 and is buried in the Godewaersvelde British Cemetry.

On the CWGC it states he was in the 5th Battalion, on his burnt service record it says the 1st and on his MIC it looks like 5 Res, can anybody say which it is or are they all the same?

On the service record it looks like he died of either L W or S W abdomen at the 11 casualty clearing station, any one know the abbreviations for wounds and which it would be?

Finally most important can anybody help as to where he might have received the fatal wound, where was his particular battalion was fighting just before then in 1917.

I know it's a lot to ask but if you can answer any of the questions it would be much appreciated/

Many thanks

Steve

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Hi Steve,

As I understand it, for the time period you are looking at the 1st/5th were in India while the 2nd/5th and 3rd /5th were in the UK.

If your man was in the 1st Battalion East Surrey then he would have been in and around Polderhoek Chateau.

According to the History of East Surrey Regiment, between the 9th and 24th September 1917 the 1st Battalion received two large drafts bringing the battalion back up to establishment.

[b]At last light on the 1st October the battalion were pined down by heavy artillery fire on the Menin Road at Hooge sustaining casualties. By the 3rd October the battalion held the whole of the Brigade front from a point 200 yards south of Reutelbeek, extending northwards through Jut Farm and passing east of Cameron House.

The early morning of October 4th was dull, with slight rain. At 6 a.m. the barrage opened and the assaulting battalions of the 95th Brigade went forward, on the left the D.C.L.I. succeeded in reaching its objective, Juniper Hill with the East Surrey in close support, but on the right the Devons, though they passed Polderhoek Chateau on both sides, were unable to capture the building. The Chateau stood at the eastern extremity of a spur running out from Veldhoek and was a nest of machine guns, the fire from which took in reverse those troops who had passed it by and isolated them also by sweeping the northern and southern slopes of the spur.

The Germans now threw in one counter-attack after another, eight in all, between the Menin road and Reutel, and, in spite of most determined fighting, they regained in the afternoon the ground that they lost on the Polderhoek Spur. The two East Surrey companies which had reinforced the Cornwalls suffered heavily with them in repelling the counter-attacks, and the two companies in support sustained also extremely heavy losses from artillery and machine gun fire. At nightfall the front line ran along the west side of Cameron Covert and just west of Chateau Wood. North of Reutelbeek it was held by groups of Cornwall and East Surrey men, with the remainder of the East Surrey in support near Cameron House, south of the beek were the Devons, with most of the Gloucesters in support.

During the days fighting, over 100 other ranks were killed or mortally wounded. [/b]

I’m probably wide of the mark here, but if Charles Frederick Cogger 203268 was part of the large draft coming from a holding camp, would he have had time to change what was on his dog tags before being wounded with the 1st Battalion possibly on the 1st October? If the S.W. (Shrapnel Wound?) to the abdomen was bad and Coggers was unable to communicate, where would the medic’s get the information to who he was? So is it possible that the only docks to reflect that he had joined the 1st Battalion were his service records and the MIC and CWGC used what was gathered at the casualty clearing station where he died?

Regards

Nigel

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Nigel, have unfortunately been offline for the last two weeks, just back this am and found your message so sorry for not replying earlier. Have quickly looked at your text but not read thoroughly yet, looks very interesting but wanted to get off a quick word of thanks before did anything else.

Steve

Hi Steve,

As I understand it, for the time period you are looking at the 1st/5th were in India while the 2nd/5th and 3rd /5th were in the UK.

If your man was in the 1st Battalion East Surrey then he would have been in and around Polderhoek Chateau.

According to the History of East Surrey Regiment, between the 9th and 24th September 1917 the 1st Battalion received two large drafts bringing the battalion back up to establishment.

[b]At last light on the 1st October the battalion were pined down by heavy artillery fire on the Menin Road at Hooge sustaining casualties. By the 3rd October the battalion held the whole of the Brigade front from a point 200 yards south of Reutelbeek, extending northwards through Jut Farm and passing east of Cameron House.

The early morning of October 4th was dull, with slight rain. At 6 a.m. the barrage opened and the assaulting battalions of the 95th Brigade went forward, on the left the D.C.L.I. succeeded in reaching its objective, Juniper Hill with the East Surrey in close support, but on the right the Devons, though they passed Polderhoek Chateau on both sides, were unable to capture the building. The Chateau stood at the eastern extremity of a spur running out from Veldhoek and was a nest of machine guns, the fire from which took in reverse those troops who had passed it by and isolated them also by sweeping the northern and southern slopes of the spur.

The Germans now threw in one counter-attack after another, eight in all, between the Menin road and Reutel, and, in spite of most determined fighting, they regained in the afternoon the ground that they lost on the Polderhoek Spur. The two East Surrey companies which had reinforced the Cornwalls suffered heavily with them in repelling the counter-attacks, and the two companies in support sustained also extremely heavy losses from artillery and machine gun fire. At nightfall the front line ran along the west side of Cameron Covert and just west of Chateau Wood. North of Reutelbeek it was held by groups of Cornwall and East Surrey men, with the remainder of the East Surrey in support near Cameron House, south of the beek were the Devons, with most of the Gloucesters in support.

During the days fighting, over 100 other ranks were killed or mortally wounded. [/b]

I’m probably wide of the mark here, but if Charles Frederick Cogger 203268 was part of the large draft coming from a holding camp, would he have had time to change what was on his dog tags before being wounded with the 1st Battalion possibly on the 1st October? If the S.W. (Shrapnel Wound?) to the abdomen was bad and Coggers was unable to communicate, where would the medic’s get the information to who he was? So is it possible that the only docks to reflect that he had joined the 1st Battalion were his service records and the MIC and CWGC used what was gathered at the casualty clearing station where he died?

Regards

Nigel

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