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Battle of Arleux, 28 - 29 April 1917 8th Bn SLI

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Guest JDA

Just found the forum after looking up my great grand father. HLI Molloy has the same great grand father. I don't think you are a cousin I know. Can you make contact? John

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mghorsman

The Battle Nomenclature Committee called gave the 28/29 April attacks the title the Battle of Arleux as that was the only registerable success on the front (VI, XVII, XIII and Canadian Corps all attacked that day). The 1st Canadian Division captured the village of Arleux. Think of it a bit like the battle of Langemarck on 16 August 1917 there was fighting all along the front but a battle had to be named and what better name to call it than a prominent village that had been captured

Battle of Arleux Loop was on April 28, 1917 was part of the Arras offensive. The Arleux Loop was the part of the line assigned to Three Battalions of the CANADIAN 1st Division, 2nd Brigade, the 5th Btn. on the left, 10th Btn. in the centre, and the 8th Btn. on the right, there was one Company from the 7th Btn. in support. These Canadian units were the only troops to make any significant advance of the line on April 28, they had fought and taken VIMY Ridge on April 9-12 just barely 3 weeks earlier. Canadians fought at the Somme, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Amiens, and God know how many other Hell Holes of the First World War and still after 100 years they've never been given the recognition they deserved.

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Barbaran

Can anyone clarify for me the part played by my grandfather's Bttn the 1st Norfolks in this Third battle of the Scarpe at Arleux?... Herbert Nicholls was the only one who died from his wounds (machine gun) in this battle from his group and he subsequently died on 1th May 1917..he was an experienced soldier of 24yrs. He is buried in Mont Huon IWGC near Le Treport.

 

I'd like to know which other divisions and from which countries he might have been fighting alongside.

Any help appreciated please. Barbara

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steve fuller
1 hour ago, Barbaran said:

Can anyone clarify for me the part played by my grandfather's Bttn the 1st Norfolks in this Third battle of the Scarpe at Arleux?... Herbert Nicholls was the only one who died from his wounds (machine gun) in this battle from his group and he subsequently died on 1th May 1917..he was an experienced soldier of 24yrs. He is buried in Mont Huon IWGC near Le Treport.

 

I'd like to know which other divisions and from which countries he might have been fighting alongside.

Any help appreciated please. Barbara

Hi Barbara

 

Without knowing where the info you refer to came from I cannot say why but something does not quite match on the surface? 

 

1st Norfolks were 15th Brigade, 5th Division. Their brigade was heavily engaged assaulting La Couloutte 23rd April but from what I can see, the brigade were in billets away from the fighting on 28-29 April. Is it possible that he was in a different battalion, or that the date reads 23rd, not 28th?

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clk

Hi Barbara,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

The LLT (here) shows that the units involved were:

 

Phase: the Third Battle of the Scarpe, 3 – 4 May 1917

First Army (Horne)
XIII Corps (Congreve)

2nd Division
5th Division
31st Division.
Canadian Corps (Byng)
1st Canadian Division, which captured Fresnoy
2nd Canadian Division
3rd Canadian Division.

Third Army (Allenby)
VI Corps (Haldane)
3rd Division
12th (Eastern) Division
56th (1st London) Division.
VII Corps (Snow)
14th (Light) Division
18th (Eastern) Division
21st Division.
XVII Corps (Fergusson)
4th Division
9th (Scottish) Division.

 

As Herbert was in the 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment, which was part of 15 Infantry Brigade, 5th Division, I'd be tempted to look at their war diaries first.

 

On Ancestry they are here for the Battalion, here for the Brigade, and here for the Division

At the National Archives they are here for the Battalion, here for the Brigade, and here for the Division

 

War diaries for Canadian units can be downloaded free from the Library and Archives Canada - see here

 

Good luck with your research.

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JimSmithson
On 9/16/2015 at 16:31, mghorsman said:

Battle of Arleux Loop was on April 28, 1917 was part of the Arras offensive. The Arleux Loop was the part of the line assigned to Three Battalions of the CANADIAN 1st Division, 2nd Brigade, the 5th Btn. on the left, 10th Btn. in the centre, and the 8th Btn. on the right, there was one Company from the 7th Btn. in support. These Canadian units were the only troops to make any significant advance of the line on April 28, they had fought and taken VIMY Ridge on April 9-12 just barely 3 weeks earlier. Canadians fought at the Somme, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Amiens, and God know how many other Hell Holes of the First World War and still after 100 years they've never been given the recognition they deserved.

Wow, quite a first post on the Forum and deserving of a reply.  Arleux was, as you said, part of the overall Arras offensive.  What is less true, however, is that the role the Canadians played in the war is not recognised.  I often take Canadians around the Western Front and there is no lack of the signs of recognition for their kinsmen for me to take them to.  From Crest Farm, Mount Sorrel and the Brooding Soldier memorials around Ypres down through Vimy, Arras and then the memorials on the Somme there is so much to see and talk about.  Other nations visiting the W.F. experience these same places and thus learn much of the Canadian's role.  I think Veteran Affairs Canada and associate bodies work tirelessly to perpetuate the memory of those Canadians who fought in Europe and for the size of the contingent that served it is more than adequately represented in both France and Belgium.  I wish the British role in the Battle of Arras as a whole was commemorated half as well as that of the Canadians.  

 

Jim 

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nigelcave

I must say that I agree with Jim: Canadians are very well commemorated on the Western Front, and justifiably so. Bearing in mind that it is one Corps of four divisions (with cavalry and tunnellers, in particular, being amongst the few that were detached), then in terms of memorials and the like it probably does better than any other formation on the WF with the possible exception of the Australians. The gap in a memorial at Hill 70 is shortly to be filled. Quite frankly it is difficult to think of where else to put a memorial, or at least  memorial to the Corps. Newfoundland has more single battalion (and even regimental) memorials on the WF than any other in the BEF (though of course not a part of Canada during the Great War - or even of the Canadian Corps, for that matter).

Edited by nigelcave

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Jean Pierre Lenoir

Bonjour

Pour votre information il sagit de la bataille de Arleux en Gohelle qui à eu lieu les 28 avril 1917 a partir de 4h30 du matin .Les forces canadienne du 1er bataillon après de nombreux corps à corps ce sont rendu maitre du village :

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Arras_(1917)&action=edit&section=20

Archives allemande reprenant la bataille :

http://www.stahlgewitter.com/weltkrieg/1917_arras.htm

 

Hello

For your information, this is the battle of Arleux en Gohelle which took place on April 28, 1917 from 4:30 am. The Canadian forces of the 1st battalion after numerous hand-to-hand combat have become the master of the village:

Https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Arras_(1917)&action=edit§ion=20

German archives taking up the battle:

Http://www.stahlgewitter.com/weltkrieg/1917_arras.htm 
je reste a votre disposition pour d'autre renseignement qui pourrait être a ma portée Je réside dans le village d'Arleux en Gohelle et je fais actuellement des recherches sur les troupe canadiennes qui on libérées mon village voici 100 ans .La mairie vas a cette occasion féter l'événement au titre du devoir de mémoires  amitiés Jean Pierre
 
 

I remain at your disposal for any other information that may be within my reach. I live in the village of Arleux en Gohelle and I am currently researching the Canadian troops that liberated my village 100 years ago. Occasion to celebrate the event under the duty of memories of friends Jean Pierre

Battle of Arleux (28–29 April 1917)

The principal objective of the attack was the need to sustain a supporting action tying down German reserves to assist the French offensive against the plateau north of the Aisne traversed by the Chemin des Dames. Haig reported,

With a view to economising my troops, my objectives were shallow, and for a like reason, and also in order to give the appearance of an attack on a more imposing scale, demonstrations were continued southwards to the Arras-Cambrai Road and northwards to the Souchez River.

— Haig[57]

At 04:25 on April 28, British and Canadian troops launched the main attack on a front of about eight miles north of Monchy-le-Preux. The battle continued for most of 28 and 29 April, with the Germans delivering determined counter-attacks. The British positions at Gavrelle were attacked seven times with strong forces, and on each occasion the German thrust was repulsed with great loss by the 63rd Division. The village of Arleux-en-Gohelle was captured by the 1st Canadian Division after hand-to-hand fighting and the 2nd Division (Major-General C. E. Pereira), made further progress in the neighbourhood of Oppy, Greenland Hill (37th Division) and between Monchy-le-Preux and the Scarpe (12th Division).

Third Battle of the Scarpe (3–4 May 1917)

After securing the area around Arleux at the end of April, the British determined to launch another attack east from Monchy to try to break through the Boiry Riegel and reach the Wotanstellung, a major German defensive fortification.[58] This was scheduled to coincide with the Australian attack at Bullecourt to present the Germans with a two–pronged assault. British commanders hoped that success in this venture would force the Germans to retreat further to the east. With this objective in mind, the British launched another attack near the Scarpe on 3 May. However, neither prong was able to make any significant advances and the attack was called off the following day after incurring heavy casualties.[58] Although this battle was a failure, the British learned important lessons about the need for close liaison between tanks, infantry, and artillery, which they would later apply in the Battle of Cambrai (1917).[58]

 

I remain at your disposal for any other information that may be within my reach. I live in the village of Arleux en Gohelle and I am currently researching the Canadian troops that liberated my village 100 years ago. Occasion to celebrate the event under the duty of memories of friends Jean Pierre

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Edited by Jean Pierre Lenoir

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MaggieP

New member, so VERY green as to the form.

I have recently discovered that a great uncle Lieutenant Thomas Henry Warwick  in the North Staffs regiment (3rd Bn attd. 9th Bn) was killed on 28th April 1917 in the battle of Arleux. I know he is buried in the Cabaret-Rouge Cemetery near Souchez.  As the centenary of his death fast approached, I would love to find out more about the battle. Any advice as to where I look would assist. I have subscriptions to Ancestry and Find my Past, but these general sites don't see to cater much for military matters. 

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jonbem

Hi,welcome

From Forces War Records https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/

 

Battles Of Arras - Battle Of Arleux - 28/04/1917

 

Location: Greenland Hill. Allied victory/inconclusive. Following the capture of Vimy Ridge by Canadian forces, on 28th April a further attack on a German line around Arleux-en-Gohelle was intended to secure the eastern side of the ridge.

VI Corps, XVII Corps, XIII Corps and Canadian Corps all attacked that day and the 1st Canadian Division were successful in capturing the village of Arleux, although casualties along the front were high. 37th Division in XVII Corps, Third Army were in trenches north of Roeux on the north bank of the River Scarpe.

All three brigades continuing their attack on Greenland Hill and the Plouvain to Gavrelle road, 111th Infantry Brigade on the left, 63rd Infantry Brigade in the centre and 112th Infantry Brigade on the right. 13th Rifle Brigade and 13th Royal Fusiliers of 111th Infantry Brigade made progress north of Greenland Hill, to reach the Plouvain to Gavrelle road at Whip crossroads.

However 8th Lincolnshire Regiment and 8th Somerset Light Infantry of 63rd Infantry Brigade loosing direction in the centre of their attack, they instead pushed 111th Infantry Brigade's attack forward, rather than their own front. 10th Royal Fusiliers joining them, the three battalions then passed through and over the original objectives, to a depth of around a mile behind the German lines.

Engaging the Germans in a heavy fight at Railway Copse, the survivors eventually fought their way back to their own lines. 112th Infantry Brigade attacking north of Roeux, 10th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and 6th Bedfordshire Regiment were again held up by enfilade fire from Roeux Chemical Works.

 

regards

Jon

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clk

Hi MaggieP,

 

As you already have access to Ancestry, it would be worth looking at the Battalion war diary here (which mentions Thomas by name), but more so the Divisional HQ diary here as it contains a lot of information in the appendices. His Commonwealth War Graves Commission records show that he was originally buried at St. Laurent Blangy Communal Cemetery Extension (map ref. 51b.G.18.b.5.5) before being moved to his current resting place. It is likely to be nearer to the place where he fell. Hopefully the maps in the Divisional diary may be useful, along with the orders, report on operations, etc. There's help on reading trench maps here on the LLT.

 

Regards

Chris

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Gritty Angel

Hello,

I've just joined this forum while researching last night for my 90 year old WW 2 Veteran father of the RCAF. Yesterday of course was the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge and the ceremony was livecast for us here in Canada which was very moving.  My father had an uncle from Manitoba who he said died there and is on the memorial. He visited it while stationed at Grostenquin 2 Wing France in 1958 where I was born. However upon researching I find that this great uncle actually died April 28th and his grave not known, hence being on the Vimy memorial. He was a member of the Winnipeg Rifles 8th Battalion and why I think he may have been lost  perhaps instead during this battle of Arleux? Seems from what I'm reading here would make sense. The only information I have on him is from the Canadian Veteran Virtual Memorial and the WInnipeg Tribune casualty list. No one else is alive to say much else and I remember an old picture in my grandmother's album. Any further insight/information would be appreciated! His name was Stanley Edward Wilson, age 20 a member of the Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) 8th Battalion Rifles Service number 187736. His brother Leonard Wilson also served but according to my father survived mustard gas but returning to Canada in poor health and died later with lung issues.  

Edited by Gritty Angel

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Wolfpack17

Very interesting thread. I am new to the forum and as many members, arrived here looking for information relating to a lost relative.

My Great Grandfather William Richard Gee was also lost on the 28th April, 1917 and is buried at the Roeux British Cemetery, France.

He was with the 10th Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment - a part of the 34th Division and from what I have read from the 'History of the Lincolnshire Regiment' they were tasked alongside the 16th Royal Scots and the 11th Suffolks to achieve the objectives of the town of Roeux, the Chemical works and Railway and Chip and Corona trenches.

At the 'zero hour' of 04:25 a.m. they advanced, there were heavy losses and from what I can understand it was during this battle that my Great Grandfather fell.

 

This is an approximate Battle Objective plan from my understanding of Division 34's part of 'The battle of Arleux'.

 

Neil

 

282863189_RoeuxBattlePlan.JPG.69db9ba7a2a730da8da2a462b3adccc7.JPG

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