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Tony Ring

12th Division at Battle of Epehy Sept 1918

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Tony Ring

After the battle of Epehy on the 18th / 19th September 1918, the 12th Division was involved in burials of the fallen in the Wood Farm Cemetery.

I understand that the 12th Division included the 7th Norfolks, 9th Essex & 1st / 1st Cambridgeshires.

Is there any known documentation concerning the burials such as War Diarys etc ???

I have sent a request to CWGC a month ago but no reply at this stage.

Thanking you in anticipation

Tony

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Tony Ring
After the battle of Epehy on the 18th / 19th September 1918, the 12th Division was involved in burials of the fallen in the Wood Farm Cemetery.

I understand that the 12th Division included the 7th Norfolks, 9th Essex & 1st / 1st Cambridgeshires.

Is there any known documentation concerning the burials such as War Diarys etc ???

I have sent a request to CWGC a month ago but no reply at this stage.

Thanking you in anticipation

Tony

Thought I would try once more and then slink away.

Tony

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whaley

Hi Tony

My grandfather fought in Epehy, Capt. S.R.Whaley 9th Essex . He was mentioned in the war diaries on the 27th 28th September, for an action at Ossu wood, near Vendhuile, the Division was at the time heading away from Epehy towards the St.Quentin Canal. Prior to the 27th the Essex Regiment had taken a number of casualties. I have the death roll and cemetery locations of all Essex Regiment losses on a cdrom and from what I recall the 9th essex had lost quiet a few on the 18th/19th.

There is also a book, at some disputed barricade, that is a personal war diary of a soldier of the 9th Essex, I'll have a look and see if anything is mentioned regarding the burials.

Marco

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Tony Ring
Hi Tony

My grandfather fought in Epehy, Capt. S.R.Whaley 9th Essex . He was mentioned in the war diaries on the 27th 28th September, for an action at Ossu wood, near Vendhuile, the Division was at the time heading away from Epehy towards the St.Quentin Canal. Prior to the 27th the Essex Regiment had taken a number of casualties. I have the death roll and cemetery locations of all Essex Regiment losses on a cdrom and from what I recall the 9th essex had lost quiet a few on the 18th/19th.

There is also a book, at some disputed barricade, that is a personal war diary of a soldier of the 9th Essex, I'll have a look and see if anything is mentioned regarding the burials.

Marco

Marco.

Appreciate that.

Tony

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Jonathan D'Hooghe

Hi Tony, have only just come across this topic. I have a copy of the " History of the 12th Eastern Division in the Great War" and I have just reread the pages apertaining to the dates that you mention. The fighting was very fierce until the end of September and the book does not specifically mention burial parties, however, if you want any specfic info on any of the division's battalions, please pose your questions and I will see what the book can give you.

Regards

Jonathan

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Tony Ring
Hi Tony, have only just come across this topic. I have a copy of the " History of the 12th Eastern Division in the Great War" and I have just reread the pages apertaining to the dates that you mention. The fighting was very fierce until the end of September and the book does not specifically mention burial parties, however, if you want any specfic info on any of the division's battalions, please pose your questions and I will see what the book can give you.

Regards

Jonathan

Jonathon

I narrowed down that my G/Uncle was killed whilst storming Fishers Keep in Epehy during the 18th September. As he is buried in a 'trench grave" at the Wood Farm Cemetery with fellow soldiers who have dates of death that are not in sequence on their headstones I suspect he may have had a temporary burial or the burial party may not have been able to gather the dead until later on.

I guess the time frame I am looking at is from the 18th September to the end of the month.

Looks as if your book may not have that information.

Thanks anyhow.

Tony

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Jonathan D'Hooghe

I will look again this evening at what it says about Fishers Keep and let you know

J

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Jonathan D'Hooghe

Re: 18th September:- The book says about Fishers Keep the following:- "After heavy fighting the Norfolk and Essex gained the southern end of Epehy, but that portion known as Fisher's Keep held out. The Cambridgeshire (Clayton) was then ordered to make a fresh advance through the village, the 58th division being asked to cooperate by moving down from Peizieres. The battalion suffered heavily, as many of the enemy were still amongst the ruins, and A Company lost all its officers; Sergeant R C Reeves taking command of the remnants of this company succeeded in passing through. C and D Companys also reached the other side, taking prisoners on the way. This operation completed about 9am enabled the Norfolk and Essex to reach Prince Reserve.

Throughout the afternoon the Germans continued to hold the northern end of Epehy, and it was only at 5.30pm that they were observed retiring to the northeast, although Fisher's Keep did not surrender finally until 7.45pm."

From 8th August to 30th September the 12th eastern Division advanced 26 miles but the losses were as follows:- 80 officers and 769 OR killed. 204 officers and 4,466 OR wounded. 6 Officers and 704 OR missing. A total of 6,229. At this point the division was unfit for active operations and was withdrawn from the front until reinforced.

As I said previously, the history does not specifically mention burials but I hope that the above will give you some idea of what your great uncle faced on that day.

Jonathan

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Tony Ring
Re: 18th September:- The book says about Fishers Keep the following:- "After heavy fighting the Norfolk and Essex gained the southern end of Epehy, but that portion known as Fisher's Keep held out. The Cambridgeshire (Clayton) was then ordered to make a fresh advance through the village, the 58th division being asked to cooperate by moving down from Peizieres. The battalion suffered heavily, as many of the enemy were still amongst the ruins, and A Company lost all its officers; Sergeant R C Reeves taking command of the remnants of this company succeeded in passing through. C and D Companys also reached the other side, taking prisoners on the way. This operation completed about 9am enabled the Norfolk and Essex to reach Prince Reserve.

Throughout the afternoon the Germans continued to hold the northern end of Epehy, and it was only at 5.30pm that they were observed retiring to the northeast, although Fisher's Keep did not surrender finally until 7.45pm."

From 8th August to 30th September the 12th eastern Division advanced 26 miles but the losses were as follows:- 80 officers and 769 OR killed. 204 officers and 4,466 OR wounded. 6 Officers and 704 OR missing. A total of 6,229. At this point the division was unfit for active operations and was withdrawn from the front until reinforced.

As I said previously, the history does not specifically mention burials but I hope that the above will give you some idea of what your great uncle faced on that day.

Jonathan

Jonathan

Thank you. Thats information I did not have.

Sounds as if it was a intense battle to take Fishers Keep.

80 Officers KIA during the 3 weeks of fighting around Epehy is quite high when compared with 769 ORs.

Appreciate your assistance.

Tony

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Jonathan D'Hooghe

Tony, I agree with you but as the Germans were in retreat I doubt that they took too many prisoners therefore, I suspect that the 704 OR missing were most likely dead on the battlefields of September.

My great uncle served with 7th Suffolks in 12th Div but he was killed at Ovillers on 3 July 1916, which was one of the other large battles the division fought and suffered huge losses.

Regards

Jonathan

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Tony Ring
Tony, I agree with you but as the Germans were in retreat I doubt that they took too many prisoners therefore, I suspect that the 704 OR missing were most likely dead on the battlefields of September.

My great uncle served with 7th Suffolks in 12th Div but he was killed at Ovillers on 3 July 1916, which was one of the other large battles the division fought and suffered huge losses.

Regards

Jonathan

Jonathan

Its interesting reading the war diarys from the various units involved in the fighting as some go into great detail and actually name the Officers and the circumstances of their deaths. ORs also get a mention.

What I have discovered, and its really frustrating is the 3rd Bat Londons war dairy has very little detail of the battle of Epehy. No names - just weather and general movements of the troops involved in the advance.

In fact there appears to be little detailed information about the battle of Epehy and I have only found one book that gives an good overview. Its a great pity as there must be a heap stories out there just waiting to be put into print.

Thanks for your assistance.

Tony

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chrishaworth

My Great Uncle was in the 12th Division, the 1st/1st Cambridgeshire Regiment and died at the Battle of Epehy on 18 September 1918. He was Private William Houghton Haworth and his service number was 328809. I have visited his grave at Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery but do not know which company he was in or where and how he died. I do know that the Cambridgeshires were heavily involved in attacking Fisher's Keep, but nothing more. I have a copy of "The Cambridgeshires 1914-1918" book which is very interesting.

Can anyone help with any information

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whaley

Hi Chris,

My grandfather fought at Epehy on the 18th Sept. 1918 with the 12th Division, 9th Essex. His personal diary reads: "Bde attacked Epehy at 05.40hrs and passed beyond. Severla M.G. posts in Epehy still held out".

Extracts fron account by 12th Div. History:

The 12th Divison was disposed as follows: on the right the 7th Royal Sussex and 9th Royal Fusiliers of the 36th Brigade. 9th Essex with two tanks, and two companies of the 1st/1st Cambridgeshire (35th Brigade) for the capture of Epehy. Essex gained the southern end of Epehy but the portion known as Fisher's Keep held out. The Cambridgeshire (Clayton) was then ordered to make a fresh advance through the village, the 58th Divison being asked to co-operate by moving down from Peizieres. The battalion suffered heavily, as many of the enemy were still amongst the ruins, and A Company lost all of its officer; Sergeant R.C. Reeves taking command of the remnants of this company, succeeded in passing through. C and D Companies also reached the other side, taking prisoners on the way. This operation, completed about 9 a.m enabled Norfolk and Essex to reach Prince Reserve. Fisher's Keep did not surrender finally until 7.45pm.

Marco

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stiletto_33853

Good grief, my great uncle Jack Macey was the Adjutant of the 9th Essex at Ephy.

Andy

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Susan Bettridge (Kyte)

Hello I am trying to find more information on my great great uncle Charles Kyte he was at the battle of Epehy in September 1918.

 

He started off I think in the Sherwood foresters but finished in an Essex regiment I am thinking the 9th Essex of the 12th Eastern Division. 

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Susan Bettridge (Kyte)

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Susan Bettridge (Kyte)

Found him.

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