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cockney tone

6th Battalion Queen's Own, Royal West Kent Regiment

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cockney tone

Ladies & Gents'

Pal's,

I have undertaken to do a little bit of research on a colleagues great Uncle and his mate who were both killed on the 7th October 1916.

It appears that on that day the 6th Batn RWK were engaged in the first day of the Battle of the Transloy Ridge, I was wondering if any kind soul out there had access to the relevant war diary for that day who could let me know exactly what they were up to please?

The Gent's concerned were;

Serjeant Frederick Thomas COOKER DCM & Private Charles William BROWN.

Any help appreciated please.

Regards,

Scottie.

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Jonathan Saunders

07/10/1916 – GUEDICOURT – Heavily shelled during the morning and lost 18 men by a shell which landed in trench. Attacked at 1.45pm was met by fierce MG and rifle fire and held up under the back about 150yds from our trench. C Coy who was on the left managed to get as far as the sunken road and hung on until night and then withdrew bringing their wounded with them. During the afternoon the enemy kept up a constant barrage on the Front Line. Relieved by the 6/Queen’s at 12 midnight. Casualties 2 officers killed 2/Lt JS LONGUEHAYE and GM GRAY – 3 officers missing Capt AK HALL, Lt S WILKS and 2/Lt WEM STUART. 6 officers wounded Capts WILLIAMS and CARRE, 2/Lts P PAULSON, HN DICKINSON, RB DUNT, FR HOGBIN. ORs killed 23, missing 89, wounded 185.

As I recall, 2/Lt WEM STUART was an only child. His mother would interview the "Blighty-wounded" involved in the attack with 6th Bttn to try and find out how her son had died. Just after the War she had a Remembrance Hall built in his name but I cant recall where.

Would your colleague have photos of either gentlemen?

Regards,

Jonathan S

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cockney tone

Jonathan,

thank you very much for this very full account.

My colleague 'thinks' their may be a photo of Sgt Cooker somewhere in the family, he will make enquires and I will post it if it comes to light.

Just to add a bit of 'family history' background (If I understood it corrctly);

Brown & Cooker were best mates and possibly joined up together.

After they were killed it appears that their parents went on to have further children.

It transpires that a female child of one of the Cookers married a male child of the Brown's, apparently when they first met they were unaware of the connection until they both let on that they had lost brothers in the Great War!

This couple are my colleagues Grandparents!

Hope this makes sense,

Regards and thanks again,

Scottie.

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Jonathan Saunders

Its a nice story and something good that came of it all. Small world!

Regards,

Jonathan S

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Guest little_miss_bookworm

Hi There Johnathan

I'm currently helping my mother with her geneology. George Fullager was also a soldier of the 6th Battalion Qweens Own, Royal West Kent Reg, who was sadly killed on 16/10/1916 in the Battle of the Somme. If possible, would you be able to supply me with the entry for this date please. Any information you have would be of great help to us, as my mother is very passionate about her family history!

Thank you in advance.

Amy

Its a nice story and something good that came of it all. Small world!

Regards,

Jonathan S

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Jonathan Saunders

Hi Amy,

George Fullager was killed in action on the 7th October 1916 at Geudecourt. The date of his death is corroborated by CWGC and Soldiers Died CD. The War Diary entry will be the same as I posted previously.

He most probably enlisted in late June 1915 and was posted to the 6th Bttn sometime in 1916.

Do you have a photo of him by any chance?

Regards,

Jonathan S

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KevinBattle

Name: COOKER, FREDERICK THOMAS. Rank: Serjeant

Regiment/Service: Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Unit Text: 6th Bn.

Age: 23. Date of Death: 07/10/1916. Service No: G/6. Awards: D C M

Additional information: Son of Walter and Mary Cooker, of 69, Melville Rd., Maidstone.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 11 C. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Name: BROWN, CHARLES WILLIAM. Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Unit Text: "A" Coy 6th Bn.

Age: 20. Date of Death: 07/10/1916. Service No: G/69

Additional information: Son of Charles and Frances Maria Brown, of 24, Prospect Place, Maidstone, Kent.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 11 C. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Name: FULLAGER, GEORGE HENRY. Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Unit Text: 6th Bn.

Date of Death: 07/10/1916. Service No: G/8734

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 11 C. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Looks like George Henry tried to enlist in Sept 1914 aged 25 and 7 months, Service No. 38466, but discharged from RFA as unlikely to become an efficient soldier (had previously been "claimed out" by his mother from the Worcestershire Regt, presumably as under age at that time). Try free 14 day subscription to Ancestry as those Service Records survived.

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Flamstead

Hi Jonathan,

I have a local War Casualty who was part of the 6th Bn Queens Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment and who was killed in action on 27th October 1916.

He was Private John Feetham 15868 and he is now buried in Wailly Orchard Cemetery.

http://www.flamsteadpc.btik.com/Documents/FlamsteadWarMemorial

Unfortunately, to date, I have not been able to locate a copy of the War Diary or Regimental History for the 6th Bn on that day and the week leading upto it and simply wondered if you might have any of that information in your records ?

I would very much like to commemorate his sacrifice as fully as we can.

Simon

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Jonathan Saunders

Simon,

The War Diary suggests one man was killed on 28th October from shelling. This could easily have been 27th Oct, or perhaps Feetham was killed on 28th Oct. War Diary entry as follows:

26/10/1916 – TRENCHES WAILLY – Nothing of note happened. A fine day.

27/10/1916 – TRENCHES WAILLY – Cleaning up trenches.

28/10/1916 – TRENCHES WAILLY – A little shelling during the morning. Casualty: 1 man killed.

This would have been very unlucky as the battalion only went back into the trenches for a few days following the 7th Oct action before being withdrawn altogther for re-equipping and reorganisation. They took new drafts a few days before going up to Wailly and so Feetham could have been one of those drafts.

Whilst I believe Feetham is the casualty referred to above, is it possible that he was wounded at Guedicourt on 7th October and died from wounds on 27th?

Regards,

Jonathan S

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Flamstead

Hi Jonathan,

That's a great help - very many thanks for that.

Whilst the entries on the CWGC website are of great use I have been relying upon those in the Soldiers Died In The Great War database for the actaul (generic) type of death - ie. Died Of Wounds, Killed In Action, Died At Home etc.

The entry on SDIGW (at least according to my notes) is :

Private

Feetham John

6th Bn Queens Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment

b. Tyringham, Bucks

e. Luton, Beds

DoD : 27.10.16

G/15868

KIA F&F

It is based upon the "KIA" quote that I think I must agree with you that he was unfortunately the casualty lost to enemy shelling on the 28th October rather than one of any earlier casualties from action earlier in the month.

Many thanks again.

Simon

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KevinBattle

It may be the the War Diary has a "day" that runs from midday to midday, so a man killed in the morning of 28th May might still fall within the Diary entry for the Noon 27th to Noon /28th....?

Just to complicate life, there are 2 deaths...

DUNMALL HJ 187 6TH BN 26/10/1916 QUEEN'S OWN (ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT)

FEETHAM J 15868 6TH BN 27/10/1916 QUEEN'S OWN (ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT)

Helpfully, Dunmall is buried at Etaples, so he was probably wounded some time earlier and succumbed at the base hospital before being evacuated to Blighty.

Wailly is described in CWGC as being a front line cemetery, so reinforcing the likelihood that Feetham died in the trenches and was buried near where he fell.

Hope that hasn't muddied the water too much!

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Flamstead

Hi Kevin,

No - I'm sure that hasn't muddied the waters at all and, in fact, it has helped. Your thoughts about the cemetery are very apt and I wish I had thought of that myself.

Simon

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Bubbles19

My Great Grandfather was killed on the same day as Sgt Cooker. This is the information that I have managed to find so far.

 

Military: Name: CHURCH, FREDERICK VICTOR Initials: F V Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) Unit Text: 6th Bn. Age: 27 Date of Death: 07/10/1916 Service No: G/12897 Additional information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Church, of Fern Villa, 42, Havelock Rd., Gravesend; husband of Florence Church, of 7, Union St., Gravesend, Kent. Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 11 C. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL........................ Killed with Sgt Cooker same date. Belonging found with Sgt Cooker: 1 Gospel St Mark, 1 Letter. Returned to wife on 2 Mar 1920. It appears he embarked 13 Sept 1916 & was killed 7 Oct 1917 (so had not quite been out there a month!). Also found records about regiment that they went into the trenches on night of 5 & 6th October so if that was the case was probably killed on the 1st day! My only thoughts on this is I hope he was killed outright & never had to suffer waiting on the battlefield to die from his injuries....... On army Records: Full Blood Brother Bert Church Age 35 Address 196 New Road, ? Terrace. Full Blood Sister: Mrs Daisy Quinn Address: 46 Berkerly Road, Manor Park. Date on form: 18 Oct 1920...........Awarded Plaque & Scroll. Medals: British War & Victory Medal.

 

He joined up on 30th March 1916, was sent to France in September, being killed a fortnight later. A comrade who saw him killed instantly by a shell, wrote at the time informing his wife. His commanding officer also wrote stating that he could not say whether he had been killed or taken prisoner. Again, this comrade could be accurately reporting or easing a widows pain. I guess I will never know the answer to this.  

 

I would just to take this opportunity to say thankyou to the family of Sgt Cooker. I don't know the details but at some point Fred must have decided to give his belongings to Sgt Cooker, incase something happened to him I guess. Or maybe Sgt Cooker managed to retrieve them? If they both died in the same shell attack it must be the first account. But reading about him and his actions I think he must have been there for his soldiers. I think my Great Grandfather still lies where he fell, who knows maybe one day we may discover more. For now I am honoured that I am around today to tell his story and extremely greatful for the sacrifice he made for all of our family. Rest in peace Fred. I have only one picture of him and thats from a local newspaper cutting of the time, so if anyone has any photos I would love to see them.

Jenny 

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Kirkm

Hi All

I am trying to research my grandad Thomas Walter Oliver service number 866. 6 RWK don’t know what company. He was wounded on 8/10/16. Would anyone have a copy of the war diary for that day. As I understand he was shot in the leg and lay in the mud for a day or so before being found. Would really appreciate any help or pointers. 
 

Many thanks

Kirk

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