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Remembered Today:

Pte F V Spare, 15th Royal Warwicks (2nd Birmingham Pals)


simonby

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I am currently researching the great great grandfather of one of students in preparation for our forthcoming trip to the battlefields.

The soldier in question is 6435 Pte Frank V Spare, 15th Royal Warwicks who was killed on 30 June 1917. I would be particularly interested to find out what the Battalion was doing on this date and if posssible find out any more details about Pte Spare.

My thanks in advance,

Simon

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Simon

His number is not an original 15th Bn number. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brimingham Pals all started numbering from 1 (three separate number series), each of these numbers prefixed with the number of the battalion: eg 15/1234. So I'd suggest that he was posted to the 15th from another service battalion and retained his old service battalion number.

Paul

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Simon

I calculate from the Long Long Trail that the 15 RWR were in the vicinity of OPPY WOOD as part of 13 Brigade of 5 Division (1st Army XIII Corps) as they finally captured that place after a large cost in lives over several efforts to dislodge the Germans from this key part of their ARRAS defence line. The capture occurred on the 28th June 1917. There were probably strenous efforts by the Germans to get this back in the days that followed.

Your subject is remembered on the ARRAS MEMORIAL as he has no known grave.

I see that there is a book in the Pen and Sword series entitled "OPPY WOOD" by David Bilton,ISBN 9781844152483.The Battalion War Diaryis at Kew under WO95/1557 (Nov 1915 to Nov 1917) and there you will get the day-by-day story.

Sotonmate

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Pte Frank Victor Spare

6435

15th RWR

Kia 30.6.1917. Arras memorial (fits with Oppy Wood)

Aged 30

Enlisted September 1914 Bham

To France July 1915

Twice wounded. Returned to France November 1916

Born Bham

Husband of Rose Hannah S of 6/54 Great Lister St, Bham. Youngest son of late Mr and Mrs Spare of Ashted, Bham

Employed by C T Willetts Ltd, Heneage St, Bham

(CWGC, SDGW and Bham Weekly Post 25.8.1917)

BTW for Bham Pals you need the excellent book of the same name by Terry Carter

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Gents,

Thank you so much for your replies. Your information has allowed me to add more detail to the bare bones I had.

Thanks again,

Simon

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Thanks for your support, Alan.

Having checked my book, I have no info for the 15th Warwicks on 30 June, 1917. I have only concentrated on two trench raids that was undertaken by the 15th and 16th prior to moving up to the Ypres Salient.

I will see if I still have photocopies of the War Diary stored away somewhere in my garage.

Regards

Terry

P.S.

The History of the 2nd B'ham Bn written by Major C A Bill has some info and I will add it later this morning.

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"while we were at Ecurie for these few days, on 28th June the 15th Brigade made a very successful attack on the enemy trench (Oppy Trench) just in front of Oppy Wood, combined with an attack by the 31st Division on the trenches south of the wood. The attack was launched at 7-10 pm, and was a complete success. The enemy positions were strongly held, but our artillery barrage was deadly in its accuracy. By 9 pm all battalions were busy consolidating the new line, and had sent back two officers and 141 other ranks prisoners, besides a number of machine-guns and trench-mortars; and the 31st Division, who had been equally successful, took about the same number. The 15th Brigade casualties in killed and wounded were ten officers and 342 other ranks.

On the 30th June we moved up to relieve the 16th Warwicks in this position, "C" and "D" taking over the new front line and "A" and "B" being behind us in our old front line. The enemy artillery was still very angry from the attack and we lost one man killed and twelve wounded during the first day."

The 15th Royal Warwickshire Regiment in the Great War by Major C A Bill published by Cornish Brothers, B'ham, 1932.

Terry

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Terry,

Thank you very much for your response and the excellent details that you have provided! I am amazed at the speed at which you gents have laid your hands on this information.

My thanks again to all those who have contributed.

Simon

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Simon,

There is a F V Spare recorded in 'The Roll of Honour of Birmingham Men & Woman Who Gave Their Lives In The Great War 1914-1918'. He is recorded in the book as being in the Worcestershire Regiment. This may have been his original regiment before being transfered to the Royal Warwicks.

This information can be viewed in the Bham Hall of Memory.

Regards

Tony

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Tony

"Soldiers Died" does not give another regiment and F V Spare's Medal Index Card has only the Royal Warwickshire Regt on it. He qualified for his 1915 Star on 18 July 1915. This indicates he more than likely was an original member of the 10th Bn of the Royal Warwicks and was posted to the 15th after recovering from wounds.

Terry

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Tony/Terry,

Thank you for the additional information. I was beginning to reach similar conclusions after having a look at SDGW, and begun to try and link his date of entry with a Royal Warwick battalion.

Thanks again for your help,

Simon

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Simon

As I said, it looks like he was an original 10th Royal Warwick. His name appeared in the casualty lists of the Birmingham Daily Post as being wounded on 6 Sept 1916 and 6 Oct 1916.

Terry

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My thanks to Terry, Tony and Alan for the information they contributed. It really helped build a detailed picture of Frank Spare.

Just goes to show the power of local knowledge!

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