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Remembered Today:

burials just after an attack


bartensabien

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My village Gulleghem (incl hamlets Salines, Steenbeek, ...) was liberated during the 2nd fase of the 'final advance' (battle of Courtrai).

The 9th, 29th and 36th Divisions were fighting and advancing side by side during these days.

In the local archives, I found burial records of soldires killed and burried in the village. The list shows details of the soldiers and also the exact location of the graves. (the graves are scattered over the village, make me believe that they were burried were they fell) All men on the list are from the 29th and 36th Division, none are from the 9th Division.

On october 13th, 1918 : the 9th and the 29th were fighting side by side to capture 'laaga capelle wood', and on the 14th both divisions mention in the the war diaries enemy bombing.

It is hard to believe that no men of the 9th Division were KIA (as there are no burial records).

Its it possible that the just after the attack the casualties of the 9th Division were collected and burried in a (local) cemeterie, while the 29the and the 36th Division burry there men on the spot ?

Who was burrying the men ? Was there a battalion designated in the division ? All general info about this is more than welcome.

Regards,

Bart

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Bart,

I have the 7th Bn Seaforth war diary for these dates - I will have a look tonight to see what is said around these dates.

My grandfather remembered advancing through a wood "with bits of men hanging from the trees" - looking at the course of the progress of these battles I think it is more than likely it was Laaga Capelle Wood.

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Bart,

I just typed up a resume of the 7th Seaforth activity on 14th only to loose it!

Therefore just to say that from 1st upto 13th Oct the 9th Div had a fairly quiet time, and withdrew a brigade at a time to rest and train behind the lines.

On 14th the 7th Seaforth appear to have had 5 killed and one died of wounds - 6 fatalities in total.

On the night of the 14th the 7th Seaforth were billeted in houses along the Winkle St Eloi - Gulleghem road. Total casualties that day: 6 killed, 50 wounded, 2 gassed and 1 officer wounded. I have the names of the fatalities if you need them.

The next day, 15th October, the battalion made 'excellent progress' and were billeted again in houses that night. During the afternoon and evening a large number of civilians passed through the lines on their way to Winkle St Eloi.

Casualties for the 15th - 1 killed and 2 died of wounds (one was no doubt a casualty from earlier actions than these).

Thereafter they had no further fatalities until 20th october.

My guess is that as the other divisions were in action upto 13th October, but the front line had not advanced much during that time, their burials would have been 'on the spot'; whereas the Seaforths/9 Div were mostly advancing from 14th October, and therefore their casualties from this date would have been quickly behind the line, and thus could be buried with more efficiency as to location, etc.

Hope this helps.

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Bart,

I have the 7th Bn Seaforth war diary for these dates - I will have a look tonight to see what is said around these dates.

My grandfather remembered advancing through a wood "with bits of men hanging from the trees" - looking at the course of the progress of these battles I think it is more than likely it was Laaga Capelle Wood.

Thank you Ian.

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