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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment


GraemeClarke

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Hi

After years of researching I have finally identified a man from the Walsall roll of honour who has previously eluded me !!

I now know that he served as

Albert King in the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment and was KiA on 9 May 1915.

According to Westlake, the battalion were attacking Aubers Ridge this day and were 'massacred'.

Has anyone got a copy of the War Diary they can post, please.

many thanks,

Graeme

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I assume this is your man:

Northampton Independent 3-7-1915

post-6536-0-72460300-1301597228.jpg

and Northampton Independent of 23-10-1915

post-6536-0-76000300-1301597279.jpg

I will try and post a war diary extract as soon as I can.

Steve.

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Steve beat me to it!! I was going to say that he kindly sent me the diaries for that period as my man died the same day as yours.

Lionboxer

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Steve,

Brilliant !!!

yes, thats him. His real name is Herbert Charles KING and for some reason he chose to serve as Albert.

Looking forwards to the Diary as I know very little about the Northants.

Much appreciated,

Graeme

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Graeme,

Apologies for the delay. Here is the war diary of the 1st Northamptons for the 9th May 1915:

Everyone was up at daybreak completing last details and arrangements. We had a large amount of stores to carry such as scaling ladders, bridges, wire cutters, bombs, flags for showing progress, etc. The morning was fine and very clear and the gunners’ observation officer attached for the day to the battalion thought it a perfect morning for the artillery. At 5.00 a.m. sharp the bombardment of the enemy lines and fortified posts commenced from our guns behind – 18 pounders and 15 inch & 9.2 inch howitzers. The noise was terrific. This bombardment continued until 5.30 a.m. during which time the guns were playing on the various enemy batteries and fortified houses in the rear of the line.

From 5.30 to 5.40 {artillery} fire was turned on turned on the enemy trenches which were sandbagged breastworks. The 18 pounder field guns playing on the barbed wire entanglements and cut gaps for our infantry assault. During this 10 minutes the men of our leading companies – “B” under Captain Dickson and “D” under Captain Farrar got over the parapet preceded by bombers, men carrying scaling ladders, etc. These companies advanced as close as possible to about 100 yards from the enemy parapet and there lay down until bombardment ceased. Again, at the same time two companies in the support trenches “A” and “C” under Captain Mylne and Captain Sir F Robinson, and battalion H.Q. moved from the supporting trenches to the fire trenches and thence over the parapet to support “B” and “D”. At 5.40 a.m. precisely the bombardment ceased and the battalion with the ROYAL SUSSEX rushed to the assault. Our first companies got close up to the German barbed wire and Captain Dickson and about 20 men reached a gap made by our guns in the trenches. There the men were all shot down, Captain Dickson being killed at once and also Captain Farrar. The enemy had opened a heavy rifle and machine gun fire from their trenches before our men could get near them and were mowed down. It was impossible to take the position and the assault had failed. Our artillery appeared to have done very little damage to the enemy as regards either parapet, wire or men themselves for even through the bombardment on their trenches rifle shots and machine gun fire was directed on our men as they came over our parapet.

By this time the enemy had opened fire with his guns and heavily shelled our parapets, reserve trenches and RUE DU BOIS. The Battalion was now lying in front between the two trenches, unable to advance or retire or even …….. to move without being fired upon. Throughout the day the men lay out absolutely exposed to the rifle, machine gun and shell fire from the German lines. A few who were near our parapet managed to retire on the order being given. They were collected behind our lines and support trenches and there remained for the remainder of the day. At 3 p.m. another bombardment and assault was ordered, the 1st Brigade undertaking it this time, with no better results, though a few of the Black Watch got into the German trenches but were forced to retire.

When darkness came the survivors crawled back to our trenches having lain out in the open for 14½ hours. The wounded, those that could be got to, were brought back, the Medical Officer, Lieutenant Bourdillon, doing very valuable work on this day. The commanding officer and adjutant brought out the remainder of the battalion (some 150 odd) to LE TOURET where orders were received to billet for the night, the 2nd Division having taken over trenches and operations from the 1st.

Our losses were very heavy, 8 officers being killed & 9 wounded and 541 men killed, wounded or missing*. Of the 19 company officers that went out only 2 returned unhurt.

* SDGW shows 262 other ranks killed with 1st Bn. on 9-5-1915.

Steve.

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Hi Steve,

I cannot thank you enough.

From having nothing a few days ago I managed to correctly identify the man by going through the 'In Memoriam' section of the local papers.

Now I have a photo etc etc. Most excellent.

What a day those men had !!

Once again, many thanks,

Graeme

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  • 7 months later...

Just resurrecting this post as I've tried to PM Stebie but mailbox is full ..

I am currently building a website to commemorate the men on the Buxton, Derbyshire, War Memorial.

One of my guys - :poppy: Pt. Frederick William Brain - d.o.w. 2 Aug 1916. I was hoping you might be able to suggest a likely action where he might have received his wounds. A War Diary extract or history quote would be most useful. He is buried at Abbeville so would no doubt have been in Hospital there.

He was originally with the 1st Bn. landing in France 27 Aug 1914 - no service papers - so don't know when he transferred - but guess it must have been after 26 July 1915 when LLT says the 6th Bn arrived.

Many thanks - any contributions gratefully received

Graham

Poor photo, but best I can manage for now!

post-37838-0-67083700-1321811288.jpg

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With reference to my post above ...

Might have solved my own problem - I'm guessing he was wounded at Trones Wood on 14 July 1916 - as described in - this post.

According the SDGW - 96 men of Frederick's 6th Battalion were killed in action or died of wounds on the 14th July 1916, with a further 12 dying of wounds up to the date he died. He is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery, and No.3 British Red Cross Society, No.5 and No.2 Stationary Hospitals were stationed in Abbeville from October 1914.

Any other ideas gratefully received ....

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Hello Graham,

Frederick was originally from Earls Barton, so his obituary was in the local paper (Northampton Independent 26-9-1916):

post-6536-0-59319800-1321826620.jpg

His date of enlistment would have been about April 1903, so his term of enlistment would have been up to April 1915 plus another year for war service up to thirteen years to April 1916, so his re-enlistment would probably be after April 1916. Just to note that enlistment terms were usually 3 years on Active Service, 9 years on Reserve when Frederick Brain enlisted, with options to extend to 7, 8, 12 and 21 as appropriate at later dates.

He went to France on 27-8-1914, and was reported as admitted to Second Southern General Hospital, Bristol on 26-10-1914 per the Times of 30-11-1914, so was presumably wounded a few days before 26-10-1914 at Ypres.

Steve.

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Hi Steve

That clears a lot up for me - many thanks. Much better photo than mine too.

Graham

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  • 4 months later...
Guest HerbertCharles

Hi,

Herbert Charles King "Albert" was my great Uncle - what would you like to know???

Hi

After years of researching I have finally identified a man from the Walsall roll of honour who has previously eluded me !!

I now know that he served as

Albert King in the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment and was KiA on 9 May 1915.

According to Westlake, the battalion were attacking Aubers Ridge this day and were 'massacred'.

Has anyone got a copy of the War Diary they can post, please.

many thanks,

Graeme

This is my great Uncle - what would you like to know?

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