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Butte De Warlencourt casualties


Moston
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Hi All,

Long story short - taking a guy from local Radio to Somme in March. We will be stopping to place a cross to a casualty of the fighting for the Butte.

Naturally I'll give a bit of banter about the fighting...

I'm trying to ascertain a ball-park figure of the total number of casualties resulting from the fighting for the Butte...I know it goes into 'thousands' but does anyone have a more detailed guestimate?

Thanks

Simon.

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Due to the Durham Light Infantry connection, I may have something in my books, I'll have a look tomorrow.

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Due to the Durham Light Infantry connection, I may have something in my books, I'll have a look tomorrow.

Thanks Mick - I'd appreciate your input on this ....

I hate listening to folk on radio etc who obviously haven't done their homework...boots on the other foot now :D

Simon.

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Three DLI battalions attacked it, 6th, 8th, 9th between them 130 were killed, 400 wounded and 300 missing. It was during this time that Lt. Colonel Roland Boys Bradford was awarded his VC.

A point worth mentioning when you are on the Butte, looking towards Albert is that the DLI were in trenches waist deep in mud before they attacked.

Mick

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Simon,

I've looked and the only figures are the ones I've quoted. None of my books quote any other figures, sorry.

Mick

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Anyone got a trench map of this area in particular going north?

Tony

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here corrected to 06/01/1917

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Mick, thanks for that,just what I needed for a walk planned early March, do you have same going towards East of that position?

Tony

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It would be easier I think if I copied a bigger pic and gave you a link.

So hold on while I sort myself.

Mick

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Towards the end of the battle and certainly on 5 Nov 16 when the DLI assaulted the Butte, it was being defended by the Saxon IR 179 of 24 Inf Div. Their total losses for their second tour of duty on the Somme, which lasted from 13 Oct - 6 Nov 16, were:

KIA 6 offr, 26 NCO & 210 OR

Seriously Wounded: 2 offr, 10 NCO & 180 OR

Slightly wounded: 8 offr, 37 NCO & 554 OR (of whom 99 remained at duty)

Missing 1 offr, 6 NCO & 101 OR

Totals: 17 offr, 79 NCO & 1045 OR

Small reinforcements from IR 139 and Gds RIR 1 were also present. I have a fairly detailed description of the battle, should you have any particular questions.

Jack

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Thanks all

I had found casualty numbers of specific Regt's too - but I was sure a ball-park figure of 'all killed' may have been published as an estimate of the number of lives lost to capture that 50ft mound of chalk.

Jack - I'm sure I will be after more info at some point for my own interest...

but for the purposes of this radio interview - we've got about 30 seconds to cover the story of placing a poppy cross to a victim of 7th Oct 1916 who lies in Warlencourt Cem - and to describe the significance of the Butte...best if I just say 'thousands' of casualties...I won't be wrong then.

The reporter has 5 segments of 3 min radio slots to record a whole host of stuff in 2 days out there so I've got to be very concise.

Thanks for your help all.

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. . . total number of casualties resulting from the fighting for the Butte . . .

Simon

The Butte was the scene of some bloody fighting and the 9th (Scottish) Division took the place of the 47th Division which was badly mauled on the 7th October 1916.

The Butte was never captured (the 50th Division made another attempt in November 1916) but was abandoned by the Germans in February 1917 during the retreat to the Hindenburg Line.

Here is a South African perspective http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol082rb.html.

This is where Father Eustace Hill lost his arm - see this thread for details (I can repost the images if wanted)

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...howtopic=102924

Digby's Pyramids and Poppies has a good description.

Carl

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Hello Forum,

I am glad I found this thread, as I was about to add a new one on the Butte de Warlencourt.

Can anyone give me some precise directions to the Butte with respect to the location of Warlencourt Cemetery (CWGC). I understand it is much diminished in size since wartime and may be difficult to pinpoint without some specific local references? Many thanks to auchonvillersomme for his trench map post.

I will be visiting Warlencourt with my wife in April. Her great-uncle is buried there - 526 Pte Charlie Spratt, 28 Bn AIF, KIA 3-6 Nov 1916.

Regards,

Black

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Hi Black

The Butte is almost adjacent to the Cemetery.

Both are very easy to find...if you miss them you're in the wrong country.

Mick

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Roland Bradford was awarded his VC around the time fo the 151 Brigade attack but it was for his conduct during an earlier attack on 1 October 1916 around Eaucourt L’Abbaye. Harry Moses has written books on both Bradford and the 9th DLI. Best guess for casualties in the fighting is just thousands - anything else is difficult to work out in all the various attacks. They only held it for a few hours remember - the Germans booted the 9th DLI off the same day!

Pete

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Mick,

Many thanks for that response and the map. Should have no problem spotting it now!

I've been away from the computer for a couple of days, so did not pick up your messages until today.

Aye,

Black

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No problem, anything else give me a shout.

Mick

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