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1st Battalion Rifle Brigade


cmfchris
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I am researching two soldiers of the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade during the 1st World War. Can anyone tell me exactly where they were on the 26/4/15. I believe they were involved in the 2nd Battle of Ypres and the first German gas attack on this date but any other information would be gratefully received.

Secondly from searching the internet I have found that they were involved in the attack on Gommecourt on 1st July 1916. However from looking at battle maps from the period the 4th Division of which they were part of was in the sector from Auchonvillers in the south to Serre in the north which is a few miles south of Gommecourt. Can anyone put me right.

Thanks Chris.

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Chris,

1st RB at 6am on the 25th Marched to huts in Vlamertinghe.

6pm - Marched just north of Ypres to St. Jean, and halted while an attempt was made to discover where the 2nd Canadian Brigade was, from whom we were to take over. As no definite news was obtained, we marched on with 25 yards interval between platoons, 50 between companies along the Wieltje-Fortuin road which was being fairly heavily shelled, lachrymatory shells being encountered for the first time. On arrival at Fortuin we turned off the road to the south, and, guided by the Brigade Major, 2nd Canadian Brigade, eventually reached Hill 37, which had some large dug-outs constructed by the French on it. Sheltered in here just before daylight with two companies Somerset L.I. on our right and in touch with nothing on our left. As soon as it was daylight some Durham L.I. (Territorial) retired through us. We then found that dug-outs faced E. instead of N., but it was impossible to move. We also saw some trenches on our left on Fortuin Road, about 1000 yards east of Fortuin, occupied by British troops. Jackson's platoon was pushed out to try and get in touch with them. Thisplatoon became isolated and did very well. C.S.M. Scrase, who was with them was wounded. For this and other good work he received the D.C.M. Shelling began in earnest soon after dawn and lasted all day. Their lachrymatory shells had a pronounced effect. Germans were seen coming over the Gravenstafel ridge and down into Hanebeek valley, but they did not push on.

Casualties for the 26th in the shelling which started soon after dawn and lasted all day and most of the night, 103; 2nd Lt Trotter was killed and 2nd Lt Moline wounded.

The 1st RB on the 1/7/16 were part of the attack on the Quadrilateral, some got through to the 2nd Line but were forced back as their flanks were in the air.

Hope this helps

Andy

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Chris,

1st RB at 6am on the 25th Marched to huts in Vlamertinghe.

6pm - Marched just north of Ypres to St. Jean, and halted while an attempt was made to discover where the 2nd Canadian Brigade was, from whom we were to take over. As no definite news was obtained, we marched on with 25 yards interval between platoons, 50 between companies along the Wieltje-Fortuin road which was being fairly heavily shelled, lachrymatory shells being encountered for the first time. On arrival at Fortuin we turned off the road to the south, and, guided by the Brigade Major, 2nd Canadian Brigade, eventually reached Hill 37, which had some large dug-outs constructed by the French on it. Sheltered in here just before daylight with two companies Somerset L.I. on our right and in touch with nothing on our left. As soon as it was daylight some Durham L.I. (Territorial) retired through us. We then found that dug-outs faced E. instead of N., but it was impossible to move. We also saw some trenches on our left on Fortuin Road, about 1000 yards east of Fortuin, occupied by British troops. Jackson's platoon was pushed out to try and get in touch with them. Thisplatoon became isolated and did very well. C.S.M. Scrase, who was with them was wounded. For this and other good work he received the D.C.M. Shelling began in earnest soon after dawn and lasted all day. Their lachrymatory shells had a pronounced effect. Germans were seen coming over the Gravenstafel ridge and down into Hanebeek valley, but they did not push on.

Casualties for the 26th in the shelling which started soon after dawn and lasted all day and most of the night, 103; 2nd Lt Trotter was killed and 2nd Lt Moline wounded.

The 1st RB on the 1/7/16 were part of the attack on the Quadrilateral, some got through to the 2nd Line but were forced back as their flanks were in the air.

Hope this helps

Andy

Hi Andy,

Thanks very much for the info. I take it that Lachrymatory shells were gas shells - is that correct?

Just a few weeks ago I was in Serre and saw the site of the quadrilateral but at the time didn't realise that this was where one of the men was wounded and subsequently died of his wounds.

Thanks again for all your help.

Cheers Chris.

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No problem Chris, glad that it was of use to you. Just out of curiosity, who are you researching in the 1st RB?

Lachrymatory was a gas but more of an irritant such as tear gas and not of the ilk of Chlorine or mustard gas.

Andy

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Hi Andy,

Thanks very much for the info. I take it that Lachrymatory shells were gas shells - is that correct?

Just a few weeks ago I was in Serre and saw the site of the quadrilateral but at the time didn't realise that this was where one of the men was wounded and subsequently died of his wounds.

Thanks again for all your help.

Cheers Chris.

Hi there Andy,

I'm doing a favour for a friend who bought the two death plaques at auction recently.

The two are Pte William Paas Z/2833 killed on the 26th April 1915 and is on the Menin Gate so Iguessed from the date and location that it was around the area of the gas attack in the 2nd Ypres which from your part of the war diary seems to be right.

The second is Sgt Philip Hemsworth Gibson Z/635 who was wounded on 1st July 1916 and died on the 10th July in the Etaples area - I would imagine one of the base hospitals there. Luckily I found his attestation papers etc on the Ancestry site and it lists him as suffering a gunshot wound to the abdomen wall and head. It also states that he enlisted in St Paul's churchyard. Would you think that that is the Christopher Wren one as when I was searching the internet I came across mention that the Rifle Brigade had presented a set of candlesticks to the church?

I'm going to the Somme in August and we will be going via Etaples to visit the grave.

Cheers again for all your help,

Chris.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Andy,

Just came back from the Somme last week and on the way down we stopped of at the cemetery in Etaples and saw the grave of Sgt Gibson. We also went to the site of the quadrangle and paid our respects there.

Thanks again for all your help.

Cheers Chris.

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  • 2 years later...

Any information on Hugh Francis Russell-Smith?

Captain, 1st battalion, RB. Died of wounds, Rouen, 5 July 1916. Wounded at the Quadrilateral?

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Any information on Hugh Francis Russell-Smith?

Captain, 1st battalion, RB. Died of wounds, Rouen, 5 July 1916. Wounded at the Quadrilateral?

Seems very likely; the Battalion was taken out of the line on 2nd July

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  • 1 year later...
QUOTE (cmfchris @ Jul 21 2009, 04:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Andy,

Thanks very much for the info. I take it that Lachrymatory shells were gas shells - is that correct?

Just a few weeks ago I was in Serre and saw the site of the quadrilateral but at the time didn't realise that this was where one of the men was wounded and subsequently died of his wounds.

Thanks again for all your help.

Cheers Chris.

Hi there Andy,

I'm doing a favour for a friend who bought the two death plaques at auction recently.

The two are Pte William Paas Z/2833 killed on the 26th April 1915 and is on the Menin Gate so Iguessed from the date and location that it was around the area of the gas attack in the 2nd Ypres which from your part of the war diary seems to be right.

The second is Sgt Philip Hemsworth Gibson Z/635 who was wounded on 1st July 1916 and died on the 10th July in the Etaples area - I would imagine one of the base hospitals there. Luckily I found his attestation papers etc on the Ancestry site and it lists him as suffering a gunshot wound to the abdomen wall and head. It also states that he enlisted in St Paul's churchyard. Would you think that that is the Christopher Wren one as when I was searching the internet I came across mention that the Rifle Brigade had presented a set of candlesticks to the church?

I'm going to the Somme in August and we will be going via Etaples to visit the grave.

Cheers again for all your help,

Chris.

Hello Chris.

I have just recently joined the Forum. I came across your post, about the Memorial Plaque to Philip Hemsworth Gibson that your friend has.

I have Sjt. Gibson's 1914 Star and bar, trio.

Would your friend be prepared to sell the Plaque?

Best wishes,

Ian

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