Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Durham Light Infantry


David T
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have a number of books on the DLI, and would be happy to look things up for Forum members. The books are:

'The Durham Forces in the Field, 1914-1918' by Captain Wifrid Miles (Cassell

and Company Ltd, 1920)

'War History of the 18th (S.) Battalion, DLI' by Lieut-Col W. D. Lowe, DSO, MC

(Humphrey Milford, 1920)

'Faithful: The Story of the DLI' by S. G. P. Ward (Thos. Nelson & Sons Ltd, 1962)

'The DLI' by William Moore (Leo Cooper Ltd, 1975)

'Reminiscences of Sport & War' by General Sir Beauvoir De Lisle, KCB, KCMG,

DSO (Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1939)

'The Faithful Sixth ... ' by Harry Moses (County Durham Books, 1995)

'The Gateshead Gurkhas ... [9th Battalion]' by Harry Moses (County Durham

Books, 2001)

'Beyond Praise' by Stephen Shannon (County Durham Books, 1998)

'Brig-Gen R. B. Bradford, VC, MC, and His Brothers' (Published privately by the

family, probably in the 1920s, and re-published by Ray Westlake Books,

probably in the 1980s)

David T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello David

Could you possibly have a look through your references, especially "'War History of the 18th (S.) Battalion, DLI' " and check to see what the 18th Bn were doing on or around the 19th July, 1918. The man I am researching was 270116 Pte Thompson Oliver Moses KiA 19/7/1918. I know it is very unlikely but could you have a look to see if he is mentioned at all?

Many thanks

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Max,

Affraid there's nothing specific to Private Thompson Oliver Moses in any of my books. The only bit of additional information on the CR-ROM 'Soldiers Died ...' is that he was born in, and enlisted in Crook, which I'm sure you'll know already.

There's better news about what the 18th Battalion, DLI was doing on the 19 July 1918. Both Lowe (18th Battalion war history) and Miles ('Durham Forces ... Volume 2). Between them, there are seven book pages covering the day, including a simple map of the attack. Scanning them and passing them on electronically might be challenging for me (!), so if you E-Mail your address I'll pop copies in the post.

Incidentally, for the benefit of a wider audience, I overlooked to mention in my original posting that I also have Part 62 Of 'Soldiers Died ...', 'Officers Died ...' and the CD-ROM 'Soldiers Died ...' should anyone want DLI look-ups.

David T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers David

An email has been sent.

Thankyou very much

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Guest bdbarry

Hello David I am trying to gather as many facts I can on my grandad James William Benson, so I can finish off a Family Tree. don't have alot of military information on him except that he was in the DLI, Regular Army, born in 1888 and was educated in an exclusive military school, below are three letters where he was possibly stationed at one time...I guess what I am trying to find is a timeline for him from his military start, What miliary school he attended? through his military career, where he was stationed and his duties, He was a Clerk in the army for a few years, but that's all I know. He also was a referee, for the wrestling matches at different camps.

I'm posting you a picture of my granddad and his team of wrestlers? from the military and the award they won? How can I get information on this?

James William Benson aka Bill

Letter #1--dated July 1, 1928 by Captain Heslop

1st Bn Durham Light Infantry

Mustapha Barracks

Alexandria, Egypt

Letter #2-- dated May 26, 1928

Spring Lodge

Barnard Castle

Letter #3--dated April 1930 regarding Sergt.Major W. Benson and his clerk duties

Harperley Park, Harperly, co. Durham.

After looking at the last sentence above, it seems he was also known as W. Benson, maybe I have been looking with the wrong info, time will tell.

I look forward to any help and information. thankyou and regards from Windsor, Ontario, Canada Dale (bdbarry)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi David,

Could I trouble you for a look up regarding the 1/9th DLI who were part of the 62nd Division please. I'm interested in the dates 21st march 1918 - 4th April 1918 when they were in the line alongside the 2/5th Dukes, and I think at one point one of their companies was actually attached to the Dukes (I think). In broad terms just to get more info and detail about this action -

As an off chance - is there any mention of a Lt. H O Brown in the DLI at this time?

My Great Grandfather was in the 2/5th Dukes (amalgamated into the 5th Dukes in 1918), and was KIA during this engagement. We have a letter of condolence to his NOK signed by HO Brown, claiming to be his Platoon Commander, but there is no HO Brown in the Dukes. I'm considering a number of possibilities, one of them being that he ended up fighting as part of the DLI as casualties mounted up.

Also, for interest, I have been generously sent a photocopy of the war diary for this DLI unit by another member of the forum, and would be happy to send a copy to you once I have transcribed it. It makes interesting reading, especially when set alongside the war diary for the 2/5th Dukes for 27th March 1918, as both diaries directly mention each unit (see my post in "war diaries").

with thanks

regards

doogal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doogal,

Afraid there's nothing whatsoever in Ward. Harry Moses covers the period you're interested in - 'The Gateshead Gurkhas ... ', pp. 98 to 104, but there's no mention of Lt H. O. Brown, and I'm sorry to say that I haven't come across him in my researches.

However, all is not lost. Although long-term illness might be affecting the service normally provided by the DLI Museum, it'd be worth asking the Regimental Biographer what light can be thrown on Lt Brown - the Museum is often able to provide at least some details, especially on an officer's service record. The E-Mail address is DLI@durham.gov.uk. Telephone number: 0191- 384 - 2214. Fax: 0191 -386 -1770. I should add that whoever is now handling service record searches is likely to be working on a part-time basis, perhaps only half a day a week.

Your offer of a copy of the 1/9th Battalion, DLI's war diary is very kind. In fact, I have seen it and recently deposited a copy (along with many others) with the Durham Record Office, as the original is held by the PRO and there wasn't a copy in Durham.

For what it's worth, the German offensive in the spring of 1918 coincided, more or less, with the transfer of the 1/9th Battalion, DLI to the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division as that division's Pioneers formation. That the battalion would survive the BEF reorganisation in February 1918 appears never to have been in doubt, as it had built for itself a tremendous reputation as an outstanding fighting infantry unit. Consequently, when the German onslought was launched the battalion was perfectly suited to being used, again, as fighting infantry, a situation that lasted intermittently for several weeks.

The 1/9th Battalion, DLI distinguished itself in the defence of Bucquoy, an action in which Private Thomas Young gained the DLI's sixth, and last VC of the war. The battalion was ordered to Bucquoy on 25 March where work immediately began on digging a trench to the east of the village. The task completed, the battalion returned to Bucquoy at 22:00 hours but it was soon ordered back to the line. After a quick hot meal, the battalion set off at 23:30 hours, so that on 26 March it occupied support positions behind the Bucquoy - Puisieux road. As German pressure increased during the course of the day, the division was forced to retire and its troops passed through the positions held by the battalion, which then became the front line.

In conjunction with the 2/5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, the brigade front was maintained unbroken untiil the night of 31 March - 1 April when the battalion was relieved and moved into reserve at Rattemoy Farm. By this time, the Durhams and the Dukes were greatly intermingled. The DLI lost three officers and twenty-three ORs killed in the fighting, plus two officers and eighty-six ORs wounded. Two men were reported 'Missing'. Most of the DLI's casualties came from 'C' Company, which may have been the company you think was attached to the Dukes - of five officers and one hundred and seventeen ORs that went into action, only the OC (Captain W. D. B. Thompson, MC) and seventeen ORs survived unscathed - Thompson was awarded the DSO for the gallant way he led his men during these actions.

Although it's unlikey I've mentioned anything entirely new for you, hope this helps. If anything needs to be clarified, feel free to come back to me.

Regards,

David T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David,

Many thanks for this. Some I have read, but you've added much more detail for me, especially regarding the scale of the missing and wounded.

Just regarding the attached company, I've had a quick look through some rough notes I took when reading the diary for the 2/5th, and it transpires that it was D company of the 2/5th who were attached to the 1/9th for a short period on the 26th March 1918, (as opposed to my initial comment that a DLI company was attached to the 2/5th). I don't know how long this was for, as it is not mentioned again, but as you say, it appears both regiments operated exceedingly closely during this period.

Also, thanks for the details of the DLI Museum. I spoke to them today, and they are 90%+ sure there was no Lt H Brown in the 9th at this time. There was an H Brown in the KOYLI, but he was at their Bn HQ, part of the adjoining brigade ( I think this was the 187th Bde). Once the KOYLI museum have come back to me, I will I think I will have to gather my thoughts and start a new post on this one - I've mentioned it passing enough times in other posts.

once more, thanks for you help with this and for taking the time to check the details against the books - much appreciated.

rgds

doogal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

David, I wonder if you could help me with a bit of research I'm doing? I have some information(see attached) and would like to tie the position of the 2nd DLI.

Any help with whatever information you may have will be appreciated, I have the Trench map cd and sould be able trace the trench/trenches using that as a reference tool

regards

Tom

post-5284-1187518254.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi David

I have on my local memorial the following men from the DLI

Hines, Herbert 27.5.18 Private

Jackson, Alfred 7.10.18 Private I think this man died as a POW

Lister, George 29.3.18 Private 1/6

Morley, Herbert 31.5.18 Private

Whittle, Arthur E 7.11.18 Corporal

Anything on them would be useful

Thanks

JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi David

I am researching my old school war memorial and attach information I have to date on a member of the 13th Bn. Any information on events leading up to October 7th 1916 would be gratefully appreciated

Regards

Keith

Casualty Details

Name: CALDERWOOD

Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Durham Light Infantry

Unit Text: 13th Bn.

Date of Death: 26/11/1916

Service No: 45998

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Screen Wall. I. 4.

Cemetery: DROYLSDEN CEMETERY

The Hulmeian – December 1916

Killed in Action

CALDERWOOD – November 26th, in R V Hospital, Netley, of wounds received in action, John, aged 20, beloved younger son of Mr and Mrs Calderwood, Iddesleigh, Fairfield, Manchester.

The Hulmeian – December 1916

Old Hulmeians and the War

Killed in Action

Private JOHN CALDERWOOD, Durham Light Infantry, died on November 26th of wounds received in action on October 7th. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers in January 1916. He entered the School in April 1906 and left midsummer 1913. He was a foundation scholar, and in his last year was prefect (Gaskell House) and captain of the second cricket eleven. He took a keen interest in all the School activities, especially in the Scientific and Debating Societies. On leaving School he was articled to Messrs Morris, Gregory, Holmes & Hansford, chartered accountants.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am researching my old school war memorial and attach information I have to date on a member of the 13th Bn. Any information on events leading up to October 7th 1916 would be gratefully appreciated

Regards

Keith

Keith

If like me, when you post for information, I'm pretty sure that by now you'll be chomping at the bit. It looks, judging by previous posts that David hasn't looked in here for a while, so, I'm sure he won't be offended, if you PM me with your email address. I will mail the relevant information that may help put your man in a certain place at a particular time.

Jack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...