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Remembered Today:

2/5th Leicesters


Jonathan D'Hooghe
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I am researching for a friend the death of Pte. Joe Wood 203085, 10 Platoon, C Company, 2/5th Leicesters who was killed on 26 September 1917. He is buried in plot A5 at Bridge House Cemetery 5km north east of Ypres. The family folklore suggests he was killed at Polygon Wood.

We have his MIC and other records from the CWG web site etc. but would like to hear from anyone who has any specific regimental details for this day. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Jonathan

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I am researching for a friend the death of Pte. Joe Wood 203085, 10 Platoon, C Company, 2/5th Leicesters who was killed on 26 September 1917. He is buried in plot A5 at Bridge House Cemetery 5km north east of Ypres. The family folklore suggests he was killed at Polygon Wood.

We have his MIC and other records from the CWG web site etc. but would like to hear from anyone who has any specific regimental details for this day. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Jonathan

http://books.google.com/books?id=0tD02F5XQ...%22&f=false

this is very interesting

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Jonathan,

The 2/6th South Staffs war diary mentions the 2/5 Leicester replacing them in the line night of 24/25th Sept.

It also gives map references:

BRANDHOEK

YPRES North Area,

FRONT LINE

GOLDFISH CHATEAU (H11 b 1,3)

At 4.30 on the afternoon of the 20th September the Battalion moved ready for Battle to the YPRES North area (H 11 b 1,3) where it came under the orders of the G.O.C. 55th Division. The Battalion moved under the command of Lieut. Colonel J Stuart Wortley and Major H.M.C. Curtis was in command of all details who remained at BRANDHOEK No1 Area.

On the night 20/21 Sept the Battalion moved to and took up a position in the Old British Front Line to the EAST of OXFORD ROAD (C 29 c) and Headquarters were established at WARWICK FARM.

During the afternoon of the 21st Sept Major H.M.C. Curtis took over the Command of the Battalion.

From the Old British Front Line the Battalion relieved the 165th Infantry Brigade on the night 22/23 Sept in the right sector of the line held by the 55th Division, and were supported by the 2/5th Bn, South Staffordshire Regiment. The disposition of the Battalion was as follows:-

Headquarters POMMERN CASTLE (C 19 a 5 4) “D” Company on the right (Southern Area), “A” Company in the centre at HILL 37, “B” Company on the left in the CAPITOL Area and “C” Company in support at ELMS COURT. Consolidation of the front line was rapidly proceeded with as an advance had been made by the 165th Infantry Brigade on the morning of the 21st.

On the night 23/24th September a heavy hostile artillery barrage proceeded an attempted hostile counter attack. Sentries of this Unit reported that the enemy were preparing to attack. After waiting for developments and making preparations to repel the attack the S.O.S. signal was given and artillery support was at once forthcoming. The Company in support at ELMS CORNER then moved forward to reinforce the Front Line, but the attack did not develop. Slight casualties were sustained.

On the night of the 24/25 September this Unit was relieved in the front line by the 2/4 Leicesters, 2/5 Leicesters and the 2/6 Sherwoods. The Unit then returned to Camp at GOLDFISH CHATEAU YPRES North Area arriving there at 2 a.m. on the morning of 25th September.

At 11 p.m. 25th September the Battalion moved to the Old British Front Line EAST of OXFORD ROAD under the Command of Lieut. Colonel J Stuart Wortley. Battalion Headquarters were at WARWICK FARM and the Battalion was in position by 4 a.m. 26th Sept ready to give immediate support to the attacking units of the 59th Division.

At 5 pm. 26th Sept Orders were received for the Battalion to move forward. Headquarters were established at POMMERN CASTLE and the four Companies entrenched WEST of POMMEN CASTLE. Immediate support to the Battalion in the line was not required and this unit was ordered to take up position previously held in Old British Front Line and arrived there at 1.30 a.m. on the morning of the 28th September.

(See map K.3)

Regards,

Stuart

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Hi Jonathan,

Account of the Action by the 2/5th Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment on 26th September 1917

The Battalion moved up from the trenches S. of WEILTJE at 11:00pm, moving by track

S. in single file, and formed up in the position of assembly with the front along

the line in ZEVENCOTE, with the right resting 50yds S.E. of DELVA FARM, the line

extending for 400x. The forming up was carried out on tapes previously laid out

the limits of each platoon being marked out by pegs bearing the number of the

platoon.

The heavy bombardment of the enemy's position was short, from Zero minus 2 hours

to Zero. The barrage was put down 150x in front of the original front line at

Zero, 5:50am. The troops moved in the formation in which they formed up and

followed the 2/5 Leicester Regt, who were in front. The 2/4th Lincolns were on our

right and the 2/5th Sherwood Foresters on our left. The Battalion attacked on a

two-company frontage, B Coy (2/Lt H.C.W. CHAMBERS 3rd Essex Regt) being on the

right and D Coy (Capt G.L. HILL) on the left. C Coy (Capt C.N. NEWSUM) as in

support and A Coy (2/Lt PARVIN) in reserve and furnishing carrying parties. Only

20 Officers took part in the attack, the remainder remaining in the Transport

lines.

The formation was maintained until the objectives were reached. The objectives

were as stated in the Op. Order. D Coy on the left met with practically no

resistance, the concrete blockhouses now being existent. D Company commenced to

dig a strong post and sent a platoon across to assist B Company in the capture of

DOCHY FARM. The remainder of the company commenced consolidation behind the strong

post. B Coy. attacked DOCHY FARM as final objective, were met by enemy M.G. and

rifle fire but worked to the flanks of the blockhouses, when the garrisons

surrendered. Some 50 prisoners were captured here. The final consolidation was

completed. A Lewis Gun post was pushed forward in front of each company's

position.

Dispositions at 8: 30am:

Strong posts under construction at DOCHY FARM. Shell holes connected and deepened

in rear of these posts for remainder of assaulting companies (B & D). The Support

Company consolidated a line of shell holes. The Reserve Company was used up for

carrying parties and for runners.

The enemy's barrage was fairly heavy but the attack had pressed well on by the time

it fell on our old front lines and places of assembly, and did not cause many

casualties. Finally it was directed against the newly taken positions where

casualties were rather more. In particular the concrete blockhouses came in for

more than usual attention and seemed to be places to avoid.

The consolidation continued during the morning and afternoon. Late in the

afternoon the enemy shelling increased very much in intensity and a small number of

enemy were seen moving in front of our positions. A few men - of what regiment it

is not known - commenced to retire; as it did the left Brigade of the 3rd Division

on our right and a general retirement appeared imminent. Our own barrage fell in

front of our positions and the retiring troops were rallied and resumed their

positions. The front line posts did not withdraw. The cause of this withdrawal

has, not been discovered but there was no heavy counter-attack, nor did any of the

enemy attempt to pass through our barrage in this unit's front. By 8:30pm all

original positions were occupied.

The men behaved with great gallantry throughout, and on several occasions had to be

checked from passing through our own barrage to their objectives, especially during

the wait behind the 2/5th Leicesters until Zero plus 100 minutes, when the

Battalion passed through the 5th Leicesters to our own objectives. It was found

quite possible to keep up with the barrage, which in the later stages moved 100x in

8 mins. The average distance from the barrage was about 5Ox.

Company Commanders maintained the direction of the attack by means of compass

bearings, and these were very necessary as the country was almost unrecognisable.

Our correct objectives were reached and the barrage closely followed the whole

time. The formation adopted was quite satisfactory and was maintained the whole

way. The line of skirmishers was at times very irregular and difficult to maintain

but it was found that the sections in file kept fairly well together and moved

well. The lines were not deployed until our objectives were reached.

The enemy did not show much fight and the sections of 'A' Coy attached to 'B' and 'D' Coys as

moppers up did not have much to do. Difficulty was experienced in thinning out the

troops on the newly captured positions owing to the short distance between our

final objective and the objective of the 2/5 Leicesters behind us. Communication

was difficult both forward and to the rear. Telephone lines were laid in

triplicate forward but broke down in every case. Situation reports were sent back

to Division by pigeon and reached their destination safely.

Communication with Brigade was chiefly carried out through relays of runners as the telephone

continually broke down. It would appear to be of first importance to have plenty

of well trained runners and to establish relay posts at intervals of 100x or less

if possible.

The following casualties were sustained during the action of yesterday and the

subsequent shelling.

Officers Killed: 2/Lieut. E.J. LOWE

Officers Wounded: 2/Lieut. R.H. TURNER, R.C. INGRAM, H.C.W. CHAMBERS,

G.H. GOULDBY, R.J. BROOKE, W.PARVIN, B.HOULDEN.

Officers Missing: Capt. G.L. HILL, Capt. C.N. NEWSUM, 2/Lieut. P.GRANTHAM

O.R. Estimated total Casualties: 350

Regards,

Steve.

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Thank you all so very much. This will keep me busy compiling a picture of events so that we can plan a visit to Ypres.

Regards

Jonathan

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Having read and re-read all of the above could someone please help me pin down the location of Dochy Farm in relation to the site of the Polygon Wood? Thank you

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With regard to the previous posts in this topic, I am now trying to find a copy of the following book: The 177th Brigade 1914-1918. by Lt Col JWP Jamie written in 1931 and published by Thornley of Leicester. The book is actually listed on Amazon but is currently out of stock. Any help appreciated please.

J

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I have a photo of his grave. let me know if you want a copy.

It was The Battle of Polygon Wood but a large area of the front line saw fighting. Polygon Wood is appro 2/3 miles from Dochy Farm.

Steve M

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Thanks Steve, a grave photo would be appreciated. I shall let my friend and his family know.

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Thanks Steve, a grave photo would be appreciated. I shall let my friend and his family know.

PM me your email address and I will send several photos.

He is in the middle of the three Leicesters

S

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