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Remembered Today:

French Army Casualty


museumtom
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Hello all.

I just wonder did a man called Robert G Merry who was a driver in the French Army during ww1 die? If you know where to look would you please help.

Thanking you in advance.

Kind regards.

Tom.

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Only 1 Merry in the Memoire des Hommes database....and it ain't him...Memoire des Hommes

Dave.

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Thank you Dave, much appreciated.

Kind regards.

Tom.

Tom,

The name doesn't sound French to me ? Do you have any further details about him ? The database that Dave mentioned also includes the unit war diaries - do you know what sort of driver he was, or (ideally) in which regiment ?

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He is the author of an article in a Waterford newspaper in 1914. I wondered if he survived the war. here is the article;

A Waterford Merry with the French Army.

Mr Robert G Merry, a son of Mr Joseph Xavier Merry ( the oldest living representative of the Waterford family of Merry) and a brother-in-law of the eldest son of the Editor of the “News,” has since the outbreak of the war been engaged in piloting a motor for General Gourrand. Writing to “The Autocar” Mr Merry says-“ I am pleased to think that I am doing my share for my own country and for France. I have long been waiting for the opportunity, and now it has come. My fifteen years as manager for Dunlops on the Continent is now very useful to me, as I know Europe well and speak quite a few languages. Also my trips to India, Siam, the Straits Settlements, Surinam and Ceylon for Napiers, and South Africa for Mors, have been good training for this war, as they taught me much about motoring under all sorts of difficulties. But, all the same, this war is quite another matter, and I am even beginning to feel the strain. My first day of service totalled 600 klometres(372) miles in about ten hours, then 1,100 kilometres (683) miles without a stop. My total mileage up to the present (October 21st) is 12,000 kilometres (6,452) miles. The motot service plays a most important part in this war. Armies and towns are moved by motor car. The French have no fewer than 45,000 motor vehicles, so many with each Army Corps, each with their supplies and travelling repair shops and staffs almost to build a new car if necessary. It is a new arm of the Service, but it will be quite believed that in this respect the French are right up-to-date. The repair trains are always full of work, for the service is much too severe for many cars. Take my own car, for instance. Without consideration of the distance covered, I have run my engine for days and nights practically without a stop of any importance, and frequently over roads so frightfully cut up that I have had to cover miles and miles upon first and second speeds, and six times in two days I had o be hauled out of morasses by horses. We have now received sets of hauling rope and sets of Parsons chains with a supply of glycerine for the radiators. This looks as if we were in it for the winter. I am more than lucky to be driving General Gourand, as I have to take him in the very thick of it. Sometimes it is a little too thick. One night I shall not forget in a hurry, for I spent most of it driving through a huge forest without any light, as the Germans were thick about. In addition to much road obstruction, we are frequently held up by the prone bodies of the dead and wounded lying all over the road, to say nothing of artillery trains, troops, and transport. Dead horses, too, are not nice at night. The poor animals are having a very bad time of it, but, thanks to motor cars, they are spared a lot. Motor cars supply us with light, post, telegraph, food, etc., and, indeed, the progress of the war would be still slower without them, but sometimes they are too fast. One night the Germans brought a few thousand troops forty-two miles by means of motor cars. We have captured many German cars, but they now find it very hard to get any of ours, as we are advancing all the time now. But even when we were retreating we carried the broken-down cars with us. I am more pleased than I can tell you to be in the French Army and to wear French Uniform, as I get a big reception everywhere. My French comrades always offer to share anything that they have to drink, or half their straw when they are resting, but, in addition, I have thoroughly acquired the art of getting a refreshing sleep in a car. I am beginning to feel that I have almost seen enough of the horrors of this war, and, like many others, I shall be more than glad when we arrive at the finish, which must be at Berlin. Destruction reigns wherever the Germans have passed, and we have shot many of their spies that they left behind. The German shells are terrible enough, but from what I have seen our French shells are even more effective.. I will not give any details, as they are too horrible to mention. It is a fearful thing to see our officers and friends struck down all around you, but notwithstanding all these trials, everybody is as bright and happy as possible, borne up by the cheering thought of attaining in due course the great end we have in view.”

Regards.

Tom.

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He is the author of an article in a Waterford newspaper in 1914. I wondered if he survived the war. here is the article;

A Waterford Merry with the French Army.

Mr Robert G Merry, a son of Mr Joseph Xavier Merry ( the oldest living representative of the Waterford family of Merry) and a brother-in-law of the eldest son of the Editor of the "News," has since the outbreak of the war been engaged in piloting a motor for General Gourrand. Writing to "The Autocar" Mr Merry says-" I am pleased to think that I am doing my share for my own country and for France. I have long been waiting for the opportunity, and now it has come. My fifteen years as manager for Dunlops on the Continent is now very useful to me, as I know Europe well and speak quite a few languages. Also my trips to India, Siam, the Straits Settlements, Surinam and Ceylon for Napiers, and South Africa for Mors, have been good training for this war, as they taught me much about motoring under all sorts of difficulties. But, all the same, this war is quite another matter, and I am even beginning to feel the strain. My first day of service totalled 600 klometres(372) miles in about ten hours, then 1,100 kilometres (683) miles without a stop. My total mileage up to the present (October 21st) is 12,000 kilometres (6,452) miles. The motot service plays a most important part in this war. Armies and towns are moved by motor car. The French have no fewer than 45,000 motor vehicles, so many with each Army Corps, each with their supplies and travelling repair shops and staffs almost to build a new car if necessary. It is a new arm of the Service, but it will be quite believed that in this respect the French are right up-to-date. The repair trains are always full of work, for the service is much too severe for many cars. Take my own car, for instance. Without consideration of the distance covered, I have run my engine for days and nights practically without a stop of any importance, and frequently over roads so frightfully cut up that I have had to cover miles and miles upon first and second speeds, and six times in two days I had o be hauled out of morasses by horses. We have now received sets of hauling rope and sets of Parsons chains with a supply of glycerine for the radiators. This looks as if we were in it for the winter. I am more than lucky to be driving General Gourand, as I have to take him in the very thick of it. Sometimes it is a little too thick. One night I shall not forget in a hurry, for I spent most of it driving through a huge forest without any light, as the Germans were thick about. In addition to much road obstruction, we are frequently held up by the prone bodies of the dead and wounded lying all over the road, to say nothing of artillery trains, troops, and transport. Dead horses, too, are not nice at night. The poor animals are having a very bad time of it, but, thanks to motor cars, they are spared a lot. Motor cars supply us with light, post, telegraph, food, etc., and, indeed, the progress of the war would be still slower without them, but sometimes they are too fast. One night the Germans brought a few thousand troops forty-two miles by means of motor cars. We have captured many German cars, but they now find it very hard to get any of ours, as we are advancing all the time now. But even when we were retreating we carried the broken-down cars with us. I am more pleased than I can tell you to be in the French Army and to wear French Uniform, as I get a big reception everywhere. My French comrades always offer to share anything that they have to drink, or half their straw when they are resting, but, in addition, I have thoroughly acquired the art of getting a refreshing sleep in a car. I am beginning to feel that I have almost seen enough of the horrors of this war, and, like many others, I shall be more than glad when we arrive at the finish, which must be at Berlin. Destruction reigns wherever the Germans have passed, and we have shot many of their spies that they left behind. The German shells are terrible enough, but from what I have seen our French shells are even more effective.. I will not give any details, as they are too horrible to mention. It is a fearful thing to see our officers and friends struck down all around you, but notwithstanding all these trials, everybody is as bright and happy as possible, borne up by the cheering thought of attaining in due course the great end we have in view."

Regards.

Tom.

Hi Tom, the only references to a French General Gourrand (or Gourand) are I think on an American site and are (I think) somewhat erroneous: they refer to the General Commanding the French 4th Army in 1918 which I think was a General Gouraud. If this is who Merry was driving for in 1914 (+) he would certainly have been in the thick of it - just check Gouraud's record. 4th Moroccan Brigade, then 10th Infantry Division then head of the Colonial Corps before leading the French forces in the Dardanelles in 1915 etc. etc. Did he keep his driver ???? (see http://www.generals.dk/general/Gouraud/Hen...8ne/France.html)

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Beats me if he was kept on or if he died. I would like to think he survived. The article is from late in 1914.

Regards.

Tom

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