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Remembered Today:

Missing 29th Division man - but how?


cypresslodge

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Hello all,

Hoping someone can help me with a bit of a mystery :) ( well mystery to me anyway!)

Found another relative ( first for Gallipoli ) who luckily survived the war but was wounded at Gallipoli.

Pte Fred Cunliffe 3250 4th Lancashire Fusiliers. Later with the Labour Corp 701017.

From his service records on Ancestry I have found that he was with the 29th Division and was at the Dardenelles between the 24-5-1915 and the 6-8-1915

He was wounded but also went missing for a "few" weeks as I found out from the following note in his records.

post-31004-1249302812.jpg

I would love to know what was happening with the division when he went missing and how someone can go missing for so long without dire consequences! In the many service records of his online, there is mention of a court martial or at least a charge of awol, which Im assuming was for the above incident. Unfortunately there doesnt seem to be much more of an explanation in the record - at least none that I can decipher. I also have his MIC if that would help?

If he was wounded before he went missing is it possible that he was in a hospital and not missing at all? But if that was the case then I cant see why he would be charged. Though from the little I can understand of his records I dont think being awol was a one off situation with him.

Hoping someone can give me a bit of background on what was happening a few weeks before the 19th of July 1915 ( the date on the letter) And is it usual for a machine gunner to be involved in a bayonet charge? Sorry for my ignorance about it all :)

Many thanks

Sharon

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Sharon,

3rd and 4th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers were special reserve battalions- largely soldiers who had served before. Some had served in the Boer War, the LF's had suffered badly at Spion Kop.

There is a book by Geoffrey Moorhouse called "Hell's Foundations" which deals with the Lancashire Fusiliers involvement at Gallipoli and in particular the effects it had on the community (they were based in Bury). It has a chapter dealing with the campaign. It is a very good read if you want to get a feel for the regiment and Gallipoli.

Can't help with explanation as to how he went missing. There are a few guy's here knowledgeable on the regiment that may be able to help.

Regards,

Scott

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Sharon

Possibly the Battle for Gully Ravine on June the 28th 1915. However I think he would have been in the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers. if you google it you can read about their famous landing earlier.

Glen

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Thanks for your replies

From Fred's service papers I can only find a reference to the 4th Btn Lanc Fusilers, though its more than possible that he was with the 1st. Is there a reason you think that might be the case Glen?

Will try to find some info on the battle at Gully Ravine. Were the 29th Division involved in that?

Thanks for the book info Scott. Will keep an eye out for it :)

Fred was in the army before the War - enlisted in 1910 so a bit late for the Boer war.

Thanks again for your help

Cheers

Sharon

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Sharon

I have a copy of "the Story of the 29th Division". I can only find a reference to the 1st. Im not an expert but men were transferred from service battalions into ones in the field. This may be the case here. My own grandfather was a machine gunner in th 5th Royal Scots who were also fighting in Gallipoli. Have a look at this website. It makes reference the Lancashires fighting on the 28th June.

http://www.lancs-fusiliers.co.uk/galleryne...1/gallipoli.htm

Glen

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Hi Glen,

Thanks for clarifying that for me.

The link is great and makes fascinating reading. Im so envious of the amount of information they have on some of the men!

Cheers

Sharon

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Dear Sharon,

The following LFs have been in Gallipoli :

1st Bn

5-6-7-8th Bn (territorial)

9th Bn (service)

the 4th was never in Gallipoli.

eric

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Hi Eric,

Apparently the 4th Lanc Fusiliers supplied drafts to regular Btns overseas. In his records Fred is listed as 4th even though he may have been attached to another Btn. Least thats the way I read it on the warpaths site.

Happy to be corrected if Im wrong though! :)

Cheers

Sharon

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Hello all,

In the many service records of his online, there is mention of a court martial or at least a charge of awol, which Im assuming was for the above incident........................

If he was wounded before he went missing is it possible that he was in a hospital and not missing at all? But if that was the case then I cant see why he would be charged.

Many thanks

Sharon

Hello Sharon,

You wrote "mention of a court martial or at least a charge of awol". It might help if you could tell us the exact wording on his service record. Maybe it's possible to decide which misdemeanor he was actually charged with.

Refering to your comment that if he was wounded you can't see why he would be charged - the army could investigate injuries received using Army Form W. 3428 Report on Accidental or Self-inflicted Injuries.

This investigation wasn't as sinister as it perhaps sounds. If there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the injury that was the end of it. Other alternatives open to the enquiry were to advise disciplinary action against the man involved, or against another person if they caused the injuries.

(I don't know how many injured soldiers were investigated in this way but my feeling is few injuries received on the battlefield would have warranted this attention. Maybe there's someone who knows and can fill me in on this.)

Regards

CGM

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Apparently the 4th Lanc Fusiliers supplied drafts to regular Btns overseas. In his records Fred is listed as 4th even though he may have been attached to another Btn. Least thats the way I read it on the warpaths site.

Happy to be corrected if Im wrong though! :)

That's correct Sharon, I had a bit of a read. 4th Battalion was sent to Barrow-in-Furness to protect the shipyards. Drafts were sent from here and also from the 3rd Battalion that was posted to the Yorkshire coast.

Scott

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Hi CGM,

Sorry, I should of posted the relevant papers to explain it all better!!! :)

There is a telegram in the records to O C records asking to "Please forward document 3250 Pte Cunliffe court martial"

then this:

post-31004-1249383767.jpg

Also on his statement of services form for 1915/1916 he is docked pay and in detention on at least 2 occassions that I can read - for what Im not sure. (I think absences)

Will reduce the size of it and post it directly. Its very hard to read!

In the records it records his injury as GSW to right shoulder and left arm. In 1919 it appears the left arm injury was still giving him trouble and thats on of the main causes for his unfit for service discharge.

I think i was more concerned that if he was wounded then went missing it might explain his absence, or at least give him a valid reason to be absent. But if he has been absent more than once ( as it seems) then I think he is quite lucky to have got off so lightly!

Thanks for your explanations on investigation processes. I have so much to learn that its quite daunting but the help I get from the forum is very much appreciated and helping me to understand things so much better!

Cheers

Sharon

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Hi Scott,

Thanks for that :) Im very new at this and so wanted to make sure Im looking in the right places and for the right things!

Would it be probable that he was attached to another Lanc Fusilier Btn or could he of been attached to another regiment in the 29th Division?

Cheers

Sharon

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Sharon,

I would think he would have been sent to a Lancashire Fusiliers Battalion. I'll try and enlarge that service record you attached.

Scott.

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Dear Shanon,

Hopefully someone will come up with details on which battalion he joined.

eric

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Sharon,

I could not enlarge that statement of service without losing clarity of the image. I note that the other image you posted of the court marshal is addressed to the Officer Commanding, Depot Lancashire Fusiliers- so definitely LF's.

That still doesn't help with the Battalion though. Sorry.

Scott

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No problems Scott :) Thanks for trying. Even the larger version of the statement of service record that I have is very hard to read. Just couldnt upload the full size here as its too large.

Really appreciate all the help and replies from everyone!

Cheers

Sharon

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The cover sheeet that refers to court martial is actually a note from the staff indicating that the case would not be dealt with at court martial but should be dealt with 'summarily' by the Commanding Officer of the depot. This was the case for offences where the 'crime' and 'punishment' were within the powers of a commanding officer to deal with and award. Summary dealing remains an importnat part of the military justice system. So what? You are unlikely to find any record of the case but his record should show what the punishment was if found guilty. Hope this helps.

NPM

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Thanks for that, it makes sense and clarifies things a bit more for me.

From the little I can read the main offences seem to be absent in one form or another. Looks like he got some time in detention and docked pay. Though of course I have no idea if these were different occasions to his disappearance after a "bayonet charge" :)

Cheers

Sharon

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