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Remembered Today:

11th (Service) Battn. South Wales Borderers


Beselare

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I am helping a friend with research into the exact spot where his grandfather was killed. Pte. John Halford Nanney was with the 11th Battn., South Wales Borderers (115th Brigade, 38th Division) during their attack along the Pilckem Ridge on 31st July 1917 which is when Pte. Nanney was killed (remembered on the Menin Gate). Unfortunately the Battalion War Diary is not available online from the National Archives and I am not able to pay a visit to Kew. Does anyone have a copy of the diary for 30th July to 1st August 1917 or can anyone provide me with trench co-ordination references?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Bob Findley

Belgium

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Bob, I think the War Diaries will give the location better than my trawl through the 11th Battn casualties that day (73) Only 20 or so have known graves, ranging from Artillery Wood, Poelcapelle, Sanctuary Wood, Bard Farm, Birr Cross Roads, Cement House, DuHallow ADS and New Irish Farm cemeteries. This may indicate that these were mortally wounded men dying at Dressing Stations or shortly after capture... Even these are probably not their initial burial locations, having been recovered from smaller cemeteries no longer in existence...

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I may well have that WD but its amidst 3000+ images from Kew. I'll need to check my index and get back to you here. I'm going out shortly so it will be later on today.

Bernard

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Bob, I think the War Diaries will give the location better than my trawl through the 11th Battn casualties that day (73) Only 20 or so have known graves, ranging from Artillery Wood, Poelcapelle, Sanctuary Wood, Bard Farm, Birr Cross Roads, Cement House, DuHallow ADS and New Irish Farm cemeteries. This may indicate that these were mortally wounded men dying at Dressing Stations or shortly after capture... Even these are probably not their initial burial locations, having been recovered from smaller cemeteries no longer in existence...

Dear Kevin - many thanks for the information. Although it is not what I was looking for, it certainly adds an impact to what happened that day.

Best Regards, Bob

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The SWB history isn't really detailed enough to give map refs or trench names, but it does mention that the attack by the 11/SWB began with an unopposed crossing of the canal south of the Ypres-Roulers railway. It was to take Iron Cross Ridge and then cross the Steenbeke and hold the Au Bon Gite bridgehead. Places in its wake shown on a small map are: Iron Cross, The Ings and Chien Farm

Regards

Martin

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Bob - the war diary for 31 July 1917 runs to 4 handwritten pages. I snapped these at Kew without the benefit of flash (not allowed) and they are a bit hazy to say the least but might polish up in Photoshop or similar.

Send me your e-mail address and I'll copy them to you so you can tweak them to your heart's content. :ph34r:

Bernard

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The SWB history isn't really detailed enough to give map refs or trench names, but it does mention that the attack by the 11/SWB began with an unopposed crossing of the canal south of the Ypres-Roulers railway. It was to take Iron Cross Ridge and then cross the Steenbeke and hold the Au Bon Gite bridgehead. Places in its wake shown on a small map are: Iron Cross, The Ings and Chien Farm

Regards

Martin

Hi Martin

Thank you for the information. I am hoping that Bernard's contribution (see above/below) is going to be readable.

Regards

Bob

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Bob - the war diary for 31 July 1917 runs to 4 handwritten pages. I snapped these at Kew without the benefit of flash (not allowed) and they are a bit hazy to say the least but might polish up in Photoshop or similar.

Send me your e-mail address and I'll copy them to you so you can tweak them to your heart's content. :ph34r:

Bernard

Hi Bernard - thank you for all your efforts. My e-mail address is: motcom@aol.com

Kind Regards

Bob

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  • 1 year later...

My apologies for hijacking this thread but my great uncle Alfred Giles 44411 was a private in the SWB 11th battalion, he was also killed in action on 31st July 1917 and I would love any info on the units movements on that day?

Any help or guidance would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards

Robert

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Hi Robert

Please send me a PM with your e-mail address and I will send you the information I have, together with a trench map.

Regards

Bob

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

Also sorry to hijack another's thread but I am researching a member of the 11th battalion SWB who died of wounds on the 31st July 1917 and I assume that he was also involved in this action at Pilckem ridge as part of the 115th Brigade, 38th Division and I wondered if it is possible to confirm this from the war diaries or other sources. He was Private John Davies from Newquay Cardiganshire and his service number was 44388. I downloaded his medal index card from Kew and it did not tell me any more than I already knew.

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Jerry,

You might know this already, but SDGW states he was born New Quay, Cardigan; enlisted Pentre, Glamorgan; next of kin resident Cardigan. He was formerly 187362 Royal Engineers.

He Died of Wounds, which to me suggests he may have been wounded a day or more before the 31 July attack. The enemy were shelling the 38th Division's positions quite heavily (incl. the new mustard gas) in the days between their coming into the line on 19/20 July leading up to the attack.

Clive

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I did have some of the information you mention about him being in the RE, though I did not know he might have been wounded prior to the attack, and had instead assumed he was wounded on the day, recovered to an aid station and then died shortly after as I think others did, though you are probably correct

I did know that he was from Newguay and had enlisted in Pentre Glamorgan.

I just searched the CWGC and found out he was 29 years old and is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery (ref.# I.M.4)

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The DOW means that he was wounded, and there was time for that fact to be recorded officially and sent off, before it was corrected/updated by another report that he had died of his wounds. As casualty reports tended to be sent off daily (not more frequently), it generally means that at least a day intervened between the two reports. Sometimes it can be a lot longer: but if he was fit to be moved back down the casualty evacuation chain to the larger field hospitals, this would reflect in his burial place being away from the front line. I do come across men who officially "died of wounds" received the same day they were wounded, but only infrequently.

Bard Cottage, (like Essex Farm along the same stretch of road), was right by the front line for the 38th Divn. for a year before the Pilckem attack and this is sadly reflected in the large proportion of Welsh casualties buried there. There are more known Anglesey fatalities buried there (13) than any other place on the Western Front.

It's possible there might be more detail on his death published in a local newspaper, based on letters sent by comrades or his officer.

Clive

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The DOW means that he was wounded, and there was time for that fact to be recorded officially and sent off, before it was corrected/updated by another report that he had died of his wounds. As casualty reports tended to be sent off daily (not more frequently), it generally means that at least a day intervened between the two reports. Sometimes it can be a lot longer: but if he was fit to be moved back down the casualty evacuation chain to the larger field hospitals, this would reflect in his burial place being away from the front line. I do come across men who officially "died of wounds" received the same day they were wounded, but only infrequently.

Bard Cottage, (like Essex Farm along the same stretch of road), was right by the front line for the 38th Divn. for a year before the Pilckem attack and this is sadly reflected in the large proportion of Welsh casualties buried there. There are more known Anglesey fatalities buried there (13) than any other place on the Western Front.

It's possible there might be more detail on his death published in a local newspaper, based on letters sent by comrades or his officer.

Clive

Thanks Clive for adding some more detail and clarification to this for me, much appreciated.

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  • 3 months later...

Could I also join in with the 'damn cheek' and ask if it would be possible to have a copy of the diary for 31st July. I am researching 37746 Privat Isaac Straus who died that day and is buried in New Irish Farm Cemetery. He is no relation just a link of a link of a link!

My email address is remembering@btinternet.com

Would be grateful for any information.

Paul

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Hi Bob

Everything received. Your help is much appreciated.

Paul

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  • 3 months later...

Could I possibly also jump onto this thread with a request for a copy of the war diary for 31st July 1917 please, as I`m researching a man who also died on this day, 42131 Sydney Davies 11th Bn South Wales Borderers, formally Herefordshire Regiment. This would be greatly appreciated.

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Could I possibly also jump onto this thread with a request for a copy of the war diary for 31st July 1917 please, as I`m researching a man who also died on this day, 42131 Sydney Davies 11th Bn South Wales Borderers, formally Herefordshire Regiment. This would be greatly appreciated.

If you can PM me your e-mail address I will send you the information I have.

Bob

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another Hijack attempt I'm afraid!

I'm researching the men on the Newbridge War Memorial - in this case James David Dallow 23247 11th SWB, also killed around Pilckem Ridge on 31/7/1917

If anyone could forward the assembled info mentioned in this thread I'd be very grateful

Tim

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  • 4 months later...
Guest mikeharris

Another "jump on the bandwagon"! I am researching my great grandfather William Henry Paul 40494 SWB who was also killed on 31st July 1917 and is buried in Cement House cemetery. I would also be very grateful for a copy of the war diary and any advice anyone has on where I could find any more information, either about the person or about the fighting around that week. My email address is harrismm@tiscali.co.uk.

Many thanks in advance.

Mike

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