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1st Btn KRRC


zippy.72
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Are there any KRRC experts out there who know what the 1st Btn were doing during this month, particularly on 27/7/16? I am aware that they took part in the battle at Delville Wood but would appreciate any more info.

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z72

The book 'The Somme-The day-by-day account" by Chris McCarthy, says:

Thursday 27 July. XIII Corps.2nd Division (of which 1 KRRC were part of 99 Brigade).

"At 6.10 a.m. on the 27th a severe barrage was laid on Delville Wood. At 7.10 a.m. 1st KRRC and 23rd Royal Fusiliers advanced,following the lift in the barrage. By 9 a.m.they had reached their objective and held a line about 50 yards inside the Wood. 1st Royal Berks mopped up but did not push out to the eastern edge. Consolidation took place. The Germans began to shell Princes Street,the new support position".

Sotonmate

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zippy,

27th July 1916 was rather an important day for the battalion.

This is from the KRRC Association website Victoria Cross holders page:

Sgt Albert Gill VC, 1st Bn The King's Royal Rifle Corps

Deed: On 27 July 1916 at Delville Wood, France, the enemy made a very strong counter attack on the right flank of the battalion and rushed the bombing post after killing all the company bombers. Sergeant Gill rallied the remnants of his platoon, none of whom were skilled bombers, and reorganised his defences. Soon afterwards the enemy nearly surrounded his men and started sniping at about 20 yards range. Although it was almost certain death, Sergeant Gill stood boldly up in order to direct the fire of his men. He was killed almost at once, but his gallant action held up the enemy advance.

Here are the entries from Westlake's British Battalions on the Somme covering the period:

KRRC - 1st Battalion. 99th Brigade, 2nd Division:

Entrained at Dieval for Longueau (20/7) and from there marched to Morlancourt.

To bivouacs south-west of Fricourt (23/7),

front line Delville Wood (24/7).

The trenches taken over are described in Battalion's records as 'extremely complicated' apparently facing in 4 different directions.

With 23rd Royal Fusiliers attacked Delville Wood 7 a.m. (27/7) - Princes Street taken with little loss.

High casualties during enemy's subsequent counter attack. Sergeant Albert Gill killed and subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery and leadership.

Withdrew to support trenches near Montauban (29/7). Casualties - 322.

To Montauban Alley (2/8),

Delville Wood (3/8),

Montauban (5/8)

I'll have a look to see what's in the 1916 KRRC Chronicle but I'm away from my books just now.

Cheers,

Mark

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zippy,

The war diary entry for the 27/7/16 covers a few pages, but, if you send me your e-mail address by pm I will send you July's diary.

Andy

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The 1916 KRRC Chronicle Roll of Honour gives a more coherent description of Serjeant Gill's VC Action:

THE VICTORIA CROSS

2815 Sergeant Albert Gill (deceased)

1st Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps

No. 2815 Sergeant Albert Gill, late King's Royal Rifle Corps. For most conspicuous bravery. The enemy made a very strong counter attack on the right flank of the Battalion, and rushed the bombing post after killing all the company bombers. Sergeant Gill at once rallied the remnants of his platoon, none of whom were skilled bombers, and reorganised his defences, a most difficult and dangerous task, the trench being very shallow and much damaged. Soon afterwards the enemy nearly surrounded his men by creeping up through the thick undergrowth, and commenced sniping at about twenty yards range. Although it was almost certain death, Sergeant Gill stood boldly up in order to direct the fire of his men. He was killed almost at once, but not before he had shown his men where the enemy were, and thus enabled them to hold up their advance. By his supreme devotion to duty and self-sacrifice he saved a very dangerous situation.

I would guess that this may well be the VC citation from the London Gazette.

With characteristic KRRC sang froid, Sgt Gill's VC is not actually mentioned in the 1st Battalion War Record section, though there is a good deal of detail covering the Capture of Delville Wood. I suppose the regiment thought conspicuous bravery was only to be expected in the 60th! LOL!

Cheers,

Mark

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zippy,

The war diary entry for the 27/7/16 covers a few pages, but, if you send me your e-mail address by pm I will send you July's diary.

Andy

zippy,

Since Andy :ph34r: is sending you the 1/KRRC War Diary, I won't transcribe the 1st Battalion War Record from the 1916 KRRC Chronicle. It is largely a report by Lt.Col. Denison, the commanding officer. Usually these sections are a shortened version of the War Diary anyway.

However there is an excellent map of the Delville Wood area, which you will definitely find useful when you read the War Diary. My original scan was 11MB, so I'm afraid inevitably there's a loss of detail when I squashed it below 100kB to post here! Here you go anyway:

post-20192-1235778474.jpg

Cheers,

Mark

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And here's a picture of Sjt Albert Gill, VC:

post-20192-1235779301.jpg

[source: The Great War, Vol X p.608 week ending 9th March 1918]

Cheers,

Mark

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Thanks everyone

zippy,

Was it details of Sjt Gill's VC you were after? Or info on the battalion's Capture of Delville Wood?

Cheers,

Mark

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