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Remembered Today:

7th Bn Northamptonshire Regiment


Flamstead

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I am currently researching Private William Coot (46870) of the 7th Bn Northamptonshire Regiment. He died of wounds on the 24th April 1918.

Whilst I have been able to locate information about him as an individual (eg. Medal Roll, CWGC, Casualty Lists In Local Newspapers) I have not been able to identify exactly what his unit were doing in the couple of weeks before his death (when I assume he would have received his wounds)

I simply wondered if anyone on this site might have access to the Battalions War Diary or a Regimental History that they could help me with.

Simon

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Simon,

As I mentioned by PM, I am missing the last week of the War Diary for 7th Battalion in April 1918. Most of April was spent out of the line, but the beginning of the month involved a little of the endgame of the March offensive.

From 30th to 31st March 1918 they held bridges at Berteaucourt and Thennes before a short relief. The same positions were taken over on the 1st to the 2nd April.

On the 4th and 5th April 1918 they were moved to the Bois de Gentelles east of Villers Bretonneux but seem to have had no contact with the Germans, unlike neighbouring Divisions.

All these dates seem too early for a man wounded then to died at one of the Canadian CCS's at Pernes - and geographically they are totally inconsistent.

However, what I had forgotten about was the fact that on 23rd April 1918 German aeroplanes bombed the battalion whilst in billet huts at Houdain - 7 men were killed and 19 men wounded (as well as 8 horse casualties).

The seven men killed in action on the 23rd are buried at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez. One more of the 7th Battalion men who died of wounds on that day is also at Cabaret-Rouge, but a second man who died of wounds - 40459 Thomas Dale - is buried in I. D. 26. at Pernes which is four graves up from William Coot in I. D. 22. I would GUESS that he William Coot was one of the 19 men wounded at Houdain on the 23rd, and then he died the next day at either the 1st or 4th Canadian Casualty Clearing Station.

Between them in I. D. 25 is 41229 David Robert Leslie Cox who also died of wounds on the 24th.

Those men interred at Caberet-Rouge British Cemetery at Souchez are almost certainly post war re-burials, possibly from Houdain itself, since Souchez is much closer to the front line than Houdain!

Steve.

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Hi Steve,

Vary many thanks for this.

I do fully understand, and appreciate, the earlier help you provided by PM and I hope you don't mind me reposting this question to the wider community on this site.

I just wanted to make sure that I captured all opinions and thoughts before closing off the research phase of this project.

Your talk of the aeroplane bombing raid makes perfect sense and I feel the logic is strong that this is how he might have received his wounds.

Simon

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No problem, Simon.

It actually highlights the fact that it is always worth giving things a second look!

I am now 99% certain that the aircraft bombing was the cause of his fatal wounds. The earlier engagements are in just completely the wrong location, and the adjacent burials at Pernes and also at Souchez do suggest that all the deaths were related to the bombing raid.

Steve.

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