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Remembered Today:

8th Battalion Somerset light infantry


wulsten
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Hello Wulsten. This is what the War Diary says about the 23rd April -

OPERATIONS 22nd APRIL 1917

On 22.4.17, the 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry were resting in trenches (LAUREL, CAM, EFFIE) in France 51B N.W. H.9.

LAUREL Trench was submitted to a heavy gas shell bombardment from 12.05 a.m. to 4.00 a.m., with desultory gas shelling until 6.00 a.m.

At 11.15 p.m. Companies moved forward independently to the assembly trenches in H.11.c and thence at 3.00 a.m. 23.4.17 to in front of HYDERABAD WORK in H.12.a & c.

At Zero hour, the battalion was not in touch with the 8th Lincolns as the 8th Lincolns were on the right of HYDERABAD WORK in H.11.c in touch with the Black Watch of the 51st Division. For this reason, in the first hour after Zero the 8th Lincolns was in support to the 8th Somerset L.I.

As the attack moved forward, the 8th Lincolns came up on the left of the 8th Somerset L.I. The 8th Somerset L.I. with the 4th Middlesex in front pressed straight on to the cross roads at I.7.a.5.3. During this period the Battalion H.Q. of the 8th Som.L.I. was in CLYDE TRENCH, with the Lincoln HQ just behind.

Progress during the morning was slow, owing to direct rifle and machine gun fire. By noon the 8th Lincoln HQ had reached CUBA TRENCH or its vicinity, having worked round by H.6.d but a party of our troops were still held up by a party of 50 or 60 Germans entrenched about H.12.b.8.2. These surrendered to the O.C. 8th Lincolns who, accompanied by 2 orderlies, approached them from the rear.

The 8th Somerset L.I. meanwhile, had collected their main body in the Sunken Road south of the X roads in I.7.a under the command of Captain Saunders and 2nd Lt Owen, the only two officers who remained in action until relieved.

Lt Col J.W. Scott, his Adjutant, Headquarters and the remainder of the Battalion were at about I.7.1.1 .(sic).

At this stage, the Adjutant was wounded and Lt Col J.W. Scott was killed, while the enemy in artillery formation came down over GREENLAND HILL to a trench about 800 yards of the Sunken Road running from I.7.a.2.8 to I.7.c.7.8 and parallel to it.

Capt M.K.F. Saunders collected all Somersets and dug in CLASP TRENCH where he was relieved on the night 24/25.4.17. The 4th Middlesex were about 300 yards in front of the Somersets.

Capt Saunders established connection with the Lincolns on the left and the troops (112th Bde) on his right.

Owing to the lie of the ground between the X roads at I.7.a.5.3 and I.2.c.3.5, the Somersets and Middlesex on the one hand and the Lincolns on the other believed that they had alone pressed forward with both flanks unsupported. This false impression was corrected at noon 23.4.17.

The afternoon of 23.4.17 was spent by the 8th Somersets in the consolidation of CLASP TRENCH. The relief was accomplished the same night without incident, the Battalion returning to HERON TRENCH about 200 strong in other ranks with Capt Saunders and 2nd Lt Owen.

++++++

Hope this is of use, it pinpoints locations which is always what we want to know.

John.

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  • 1 month later...

Pondlife, my main aim was to research the events that probably led to this chaps death

WILLIAM WYBORN

Private 32210 Somerset Light Infantry Unit Text: 8th Bn. Age: 21 Killed in action 23/04/1917

Additional information: Son of William and Mary Elizabeth Wyborn, of Wolstanton, Staffs

he was from our local area, Geoff

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  • 7 years later...

Hi, I'm new to this forum. I'm trying to find out more about Corporal Edward K Radley of A company of the Somerset Light Infantry. He as killed on 31/07/1917. Have found conflicting reports of their position, some say Pilckem Ridge and others near Beek Farm south of Ypres (Passchenedaele day by day: Chris McCarthy's book) Can anyone help with this. I also understand he was at the Somme.

many thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

Capt Arthur Henry Hall M.C. (2nd battalion attached to 8 battalion) - I'm looking for info about the action for which Capt Hall received his M.C.  The London Gazette (25 Aug 1916, p8460) doesn't specify (it states: "for conspicuous gallantry during operations. When all the senior officers of his battalion had become casualties he took command, rallied his men and continued the advance. Finally, after reconnoitring positions under heavy fire and leading bombing attacks, he succeeded in consolidating the ground won" - not where/when.  He was later unfortunately killed on 19 Nov. 1916 at Ancre.

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1 hour ago, AndrewM77 said:

I'm looking for info about the action for which Capt Hall received his M.C.

 

You can download free from National Archives the Roll for MCs which is hand annotated for the date and place. Some kind forumite who has already done this might give you the answer. My copy is on another machine!

Charlie

 

Edit here it is     599187c4b1893_HallAHSomersetsMC.JPG.e20d5ca59e7221f33a636a2c4dfe689b.JPG

 

and 2Lt Hall gets a brief mention in the wardiary here (p75) on Ancestry

Edited by charlie962
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  • 4 weeks later...

Folks,

 

I hope some one can help.

 

I am looking for information on an officer of the 3rd battalion attached 8th battalion Somerset Light Infantry - 2/Lt W. R. B. Peel.

 

I know he landed in France on the 22nd July and sent to the 8th battalion - I guessing as an officer reinforcement after the Somme battles.

 

He served their until the 20th November 1916, when he was wounded.

 

Can some kind soul check to see what the war diary has to say about him?

 

Many thanks,

 

Matthew

Edited by Matthew B.
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Hi Matthew,

 

The 8th battalion war diary is here on Ancestry, or here at the National Archives. The entry for 20th November 1916 only says "Intermittent shelling all day". Forces War Records have a transcription of a 1916 hospital admission/discharge register for him here which might relate to his wounding, and give you some more info.

 

Regards

Chris

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17 minutes ago, clk said:

Forces War Records have a transcription of a 1916 hospital admission/discharge register

Worth looking at because as well as noting he was admitted 15/11/16 and giving details of injury, it says 5th Bn attached 8th. So perhaps need to look at their diary as well?

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962
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Chris & Charlie,

 

Thanks for looking. I don't have access to Ancestry or Forces war record so I wonder if someone could have a look for me in the war diary for a wounding around 15th November?

 

He was definitely commissioned in the 3rd Special Reserve battalion so that 5th sounds like typo. The 1/5th & 2/5th battalions were in India at the time.

 

Best regards,

 

Matthew

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  • 5 months later...
  • 6 months later...

Hello John,

I am not sure if I am posting in the correct place but I am interested in a relative who fought in the 8th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry. The CWGC details for Frederick John Williams are (service number) '26213, 8th Bn., Somerset Light Infantry who died on 28 April 1917 Age 27'. He is buried in Orchard Dump cemetery Arleux-en-Gohelle. I believe he died in action but know nothing else of his part in WW1. If you could direct me to information about his part during WW1, particularly about the battle, if he did die in action, and where this was fought. I would like to gather information to pass on to relatives so that we do not forget. Thanks.

Susan

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Hi Susan,

 

The links in post #12 should take you to the Battalion war diary. The Brigade diary is here at the National Archives, or here on Ancestry. The Division HQ diary is here, or here, and contains some useful maps.

 

The CWGC records show that before being moved to his current resting place, Frederick was found at map sheet 44a. T.24.b.6.4. According to McMaster map square 44a is map reference 36c, so the CWGC map reference would appear to 'translate' to 36c.T.24.b.6.4, which is according to the munnin project is here

 

image.png.759c068e0bde17f8d3e1c86d5b40b670.png

image.png.0218200df52292928ca89c62990336f1.png

 

That location is just over 2 miles away from Orchard Dump Cemetery in Arleux-en-Gohelle. 

 

One of the maps in the Division diary shows the position of the Battalion at 6 a.m. on the 28th April as being at 51b.I.7.b (help on reading trench maps here)

 

image.png.0a0c8f9cd208597d8411591156a154ac.png

Image source: Ancestry.co.uk

 

This link should open up on a map which you can blend with a view of the modern landscape.

 

Frederick's Soldiers' Effects record has him as '28.4.17  on or since   Pres dead'.

 

Regards

Chris

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Hello Chris,

Thanks very much for your detailed reply; I will research this further using your information, maps and diaries.

 

Regarding the Soldiers Effects record the 'on or since' term is confusing, but I will take it that he died in action on the 28.4.17. The 'Pres dead' I assume refers to his religion Presbyterian; from the research I have done it seems religion using abbreviated terms, was included in identity tags.

 

Regards,

Susan

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Hi Susan,

 

In this case 'Pres' is short for 'presumed'. The entry implies that the last time that Frederick was known to be alive was on 28th April, but introduces an element of uncertainty as to whether he died on the same date.

 

Regards

Chris

 

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  • 1 year later...

Hi All,

 

I'm trying to do some research on a family member who served in the 8th Bn Somerset Light Infantry.

 

Private Arthur Kitchen

Killed 14.05.1917

Service number 31900

 

Wondering whether anyone knew where the battalion was fighting on that date?

 

Thanks

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Josh, your relative appears to have served with the 6th SLI and not the 8th. I would suggest starting a new thread where details of these two battalions can be kept separate. I have a copy of the WD for the 6th SLI which places them in the Wancourt Left Sector at the time of Arthur’s death.

 

J

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  • 4 months later...
On ‎14‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 18:10, Susangela said:

Hello John,

I am not sure if I am posting in the correct place but I am interested in a relative who fought in the 8th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry. The CWGC details for Frederick John Williams are (service number) '26213, 8th Bn., Somerset Light Infantry who died on 28 April 1917 Age 27'. He is buried in Orchard Dump cemetery Arleux-en-Gohelle. I believe he died in action but know nothing else of his part in WW1. If you could direct me to information about his part during WW1, particularly about the battle, if he did die in action, and where this was fought. I would like to gather information to pass on to relatives so that we do not forget. Thanks.

Susan

 

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Hello Susan,

I was interested in your post because F J Williams service number 26213 was so close to my Uncle S G Miller 26371 (my mothers brother) killed 3 May 1917. I know he served in the SLI but don't know his regiment? As the S Nos are so close I thought he may have been in the 8th. I have no details of how he was killed and would like to know more? He was buried in the Tigris Lane Cemetery, Wancourt

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