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Remembered Today:

2nd/4th Btn Royal Fusiliers on 25th April 1918


paul@bolton

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The Great Uncle of a friend of mine was killed in action on 25th April 1918 and is buried in Crucifix Corner cemetery near Villers Bretonneux.

His details are:

Pvt George Edward Mann - G90023 - 2nd/4th Btn London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). Aged 18.

The day before was the famous action where the Australians counter attacked and retook the village, halting the German advance towards Amiens.

I am interested to know whether the Royal Fusiliers were involved in this attack and, if not what were they doing on the 24th and 25th April. Hopefully, someone has access to the regimental history or war diaries?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give on this.

Paul

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Hi Paul, From O'Neil's History of R Fus. 'On 23rd April A Company of the 2/2 Londons wounded and took prisoner a German who gave details of the attack which was to begin next morining at 3 o'clock near Hangard Wood. At 6am the infantry attacks began and the 3rd Londons south of Hangard Wood held their line all day in spite of the flanks giving way. The 2/4 Londons sisi not fare so well. The first attacks were driven off successfully but when the attack was resumed with tanks in the afternoon the left flank was turned and the battalion fell back. A little later another adjustment of the line became necessary; and the 2/4th took up position in the Canchy Switch Line east of the village continuing in a line of shell holes near the Canchy-Hangard Road. They had given way, though not to such a depth as the troops further north at Villers Bretonneux; and battalion HQ did not move from the quarry east of Canchy. But their losses were extremely heavy including 4 Officers and 203 Other Ranks missing. The 3rd Londons were still in line when the counter-attack at 10pm on the 24th partly restored the positions of their left flank, and on the following day they saw a further German attack broken up be British Artillery. Both Battalions were relieved on this day. ...... the 3rd and 2/4th played no mean part in an action in which the enemy were first decisively checked in the Somme area and then pushed out of their momentary gains.'

Although his date of death in action is given as 25th April I suspect it was in this action that he was either killed or, given that his body is buried in a marked grave, wounded and either the recording of his death was done later, or was accurate if he died at the dressing station.

Hope this is helpful

DAvid

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The history of the 4th Londons (Grimwade) will almost certainly cover it. I'm afraid I have a long Parish Council meeting (followed by NCIS) this evening, so won't get a chance to look until tomorrow, but if no-one gets there first, I will have a rummage tomorrow evening.

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David,

I have just taken a look on Google Earth to identify the area. There is a place called Canchy but it is way north of Amiens. I suspect the place is actually Cachy which is the next village to Villers Bretonneux. It is just north west of Hangard Wood and with a road connecting it with the village of Hangard. This fits with your description from O'Neills History.

Paul

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His Medal Index Card and CWGC use Edward as his Christian Name

Name: MANN, EDWARD GEORGE. Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers. Secondary Regiment: London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)

Secondary Unit Text: posted to 2nd/4th Bn.

Age: 18. Date of Death: 25/04/1918. Service No: G/90023

Additional information: Son of Mr. S. T. and Mrs. M. E. Mann, of 55, Esplanade, Fowey, Cornwall.

Grave/Memorial Reference: III. A. 20. Cemetery: CRUCIFIX CORNER CEMETERY, VILLERS-BRETONNEUX.

The cemetery was begun by the Canadian Corps in August 1918 and closed in the same month. The original British Cemetery (now Plot I, Rows A to D) contained 90 burials, and French troops buried in Plot II at the same time. The cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields between the Somme and the Luce. Your man is in Plot III, the inference being that his body was found elsewhere on the battlefield but able to be identified.

In 1901 Census, 1 year old George is with his mother, Mary E, (father away at sea) and grandparents, Thomas and Mary Reeves.

Medal Index Card shows Private Edward Mann 40721 Somerset Light Infantry, then GS/90023 2/4 London and same with Royal Fusiliers. No markings on MIC to indicate what Regiment to be inscribed on British War and Victory medals. No SDGW entry that I can find, nor Service/Pension records so far.... mind you I was looking for London or Fusilier...... Somerset Light Infantry at least links with the area better, perhaps whilst training, then wherever he was needed most...

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Paul, as I suspected, Grimwade devotes a few pages to the action. If you PM me an e-mail address, I'll try scanning it for you at the weekend.

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