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Remembered Today:

Shropshire Yeomanry/KSLI


Jane50

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Hello All,

Just reading about the KSLI and wondering if anyone has more information on my grandfather, William James Breakwell.

He originally joined as a Private with the Shropshire Yeomanry which I believe was then absorbed into Kings Shropshire Light Infantry.(#26717)

He was from a large farming family (Claverley near Bridgenorth).

I would like to know some more dates as to when and where he was wounded before arriving in Brighton Pavilion Hospital as an amputee.

Many Thanks,

Jane

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Hi Jane,

If you have been on Ancestry then you may have seen that he is entitled to a WW1 pair, also that there is a card for a Silver War Badge. Unfortunately his service record does not appear to have survived so this may make it difficult to actually put an exact date down for his wound, it must however have been after 1/1/16 and I believe that the Shropshire Yeomanry only served

overseas after that date. They served in Egypt and later Palestine during 1916 and 1917, and ended up in France from May,1918.

He could have been wounded in any of these theatres of war although the most likely would be France, because he was discharged through his wound in 1919. If you have access to the local press at Bridgnorth then it may be worth looking through the papers for the period to see if he receives a mention--this may be your only chance of finding out if all else fails.

I hope that this helps.

Robert

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Hi Jane

Your grandfather, William James Breakwell, was not with the 10th Battalion, you will have to ignore all the info. you have been given in some of your other threads. He joined the K.S.L.I. via a different route than the bulk of the Shropshire Yeomanry. He was among a group of Shropshire Yeomanry who moved to Regular Battalions of the K.S.L.I. in September 1916. I will get back to you with more later today, as I have to go out know.

Annette

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Hi again

I can give you a brief run down on your grandfathers war service. Going by his Yeomanry number I would place him joining the the 2/1 Shropshire Yeomanry around late Jan. 1915. From other mens records near his K.S.L.I. number, he landed in France on 20-09-16, and transfarred to the 4th K.S.L.I. BUT posted to the 6th Battalion K.S.L.I. This Battalion was a New service battalion of the Regular Army, this is when he got the number 26717.

The Wellington & Shrewsbury Journal dated 20-10-17 records him being wounded, most papers were about a month behind in reporting casualties, so this would place him being wounded some time between the 20th-23rd September 1917, during which time the 6th Battalion took part in attacks on Eagle Trench. I see from your other threads that he was in Brighton Pavilion Hospital in August 1918, I am not sure if he would still have been in hospital one year after being wounded; it's more likely that he was wounded a second time. I have been looking through casualty lists in papers over last few years but still have along way to go before this is completed, so may come across his name again.

I have wrote a book on the 6th Battalion which you may be able to order from a library, or I could buy a copy from Regimental museum, I may evan still have a box of them at my mum's. Or I could just give you brief details of what the 6th got up to.

Annette

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These are your relatives to, all are from the same address as William James, Breakwell, at Lower Common Farm Claverley:

Pte 26589 Samuel John, Breakwell, formerly 2311 Shrops. Yeo. trans to 6th Battalion K.S.L.I. and later moved to 7th Battalion.

Pte. 43763 Lawrence Frederick, Breakwell, not sure if his number is correct because another man as this number but if it is correct he was called up in May 1918.

Pte. 230120 Henry Thomas, Breakwell, formerly 1642 Shrops. Yeo.

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Thankyou very much Annette. I hope to follow all of this information up next month when I am back in the UK for a holiday.

I will also look for your book.

We have one remaining relative (daughter of Lawrence or Lol as he was known) and hopefully she will be able to help with dates also.

Many, many thanks again.

Jane

Hi again

I can give you a brief run down on your grandfathers war service. Going by his Yeomanry number I would place him joining the the 2/1 Shropshire Yeomanry around late Jan. 1915. From other mens records near his K.S.L.I. number, he landed in France on 20-09-16, and transfarred to the 4th K.S.L.I. BUT posted to the 6th Battalion K.S.L.I. This Battalion was a New service battalion of the Regular Army, this is when he got the number 26717.

The Wellington & Shrewsbury Journal dated 20-10-17 records him being wounded, most papers were about a month behind in reporting casualties, so this would place him being wounded some time between the 20th-23rd September 1917, during which time the 6th Battalion took part in attacks on Eagle Trench. I see from your other threads that he was in Brighton Pavilion Hospital in August 1918, I am not sure if he would still have been in hospital one year after being wounded; it's more likely that he was wounded a second time. I am been looking through casualty lists in papers over last few years but still have along way to go before this is completed, so may come across his name again.

I have wrote a book on the 6th Battalion which you may be able to order from a library, or I could buy a copy from Regimental museum, I may evan still have a box of them at my mum's. Or I could just give you brief details of what the 6th got up to.

Annette

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Thankyou Robert.

Every little snippet of information helps.

Interesting to learn that the medals are called a 'pair' and also to learn about the reason for a 'Silver War Badge'.

Regards,

Jane

Hi Jane,

If you have been on Ancestry then you may have seen that he is entitled to a WW1 pair, also that there is a card for a Silver War Badge. Unfortunately his service record does not appear to have survived so this may make it difficult to actually put an exact date down for his wound, it must however have been after 1/1/16 and I believe that the Shropshire Yeomanry only served

overseas after that date. They served in Egypt and later Palestine during 1916 and 1917, and ended up in France from May,1918.

He could have been wounded in any of these theatres of war although the most likely would be France, because he was discharged through his wound in 1919. If you have access to the local press at Bridgnorth then it may be worth looking through the papers for the period to see if he receives a mention--this may be your only chance of finding out if all else fails.

I hope that this helps.

Robert

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Here are brief details of 6th Battalion movements.

On 1st Oct 1916 the 6th Battalion received 143 men from Shropshire Yeomanry, Montgomeryshire Yeomanry and 2/4th K.S.L.I. The Battalion was in reserve trenches (Trones & Old German Alley).

3rd Oct take over front sector at near Gueudecourt.

Over the winter months the 6th Battalion were in and out of the front line in the le Transloy and Saillisel areas.

By mid March 1917 the Germans had started to slowly retire to Hindenburg line, the 6th Battalion took it's turn in following up the Germans and had reached Havrincourt Wood by 10th April. They remained in Havrincourt- Villers Plouich area until June when they moved to Noreuil sector. From the 30th June the Battalion had time out of the line for training for opperations at Ypres, it also started to head towards the Ypres area.

By 5th Aug. they moved into camp at Malakoff Farm -Saragossa Farm area.

On 16th Aug took part in attack on Langemark, they captured and held on to White Trench (which was a continuation of Eagle Trench, which was lost to German counter attacks). Relived on 18th.

Out of line until 10th Sept, then move to camp near Malakoff farm.

19th Sept. move to assembly places near Alouette Farm.

20th Sept. Battalion are in support of 20th Division who make attack on Eagle Trench, the attack is held up so 6th K.S.L.I. ordered to help capture line Louis Farm- Cemetery-Eagle Trench, this is succesful except for section of Eagle Trench at Schreiboon which holds out.

21st Sept. relieved from front line and take up positions in close support of front line. One officer & 25 men remained in front line and posted to cemetery. These men are replaced by one office & 40 men on 22nd.

23rd Sept., the K.S.L.I. men in the cemetery help in attack to clear last part of Eagle Trench, they capture the Mound. Whole Battalion then relived.

1st Oct start move towards Cambrai sector. From 10th Oct to 6th Nov. in & out of line at Villers Plouich.

14th-15th Nov. training with Tanks.

18th Nov back to trenches at Villers Plouich

20th Nov take part in attack (second wave), capture their objects on Welsh Ridge. In & out of front line over next week or so.

29th Nov. relieved to camp at 15 Ravine. Front line came under heavy attack in morning of 30th and forced back, 6th K.S.L.I. Stood to and had breakfast as quickly as possible. The 20th Division's line was pushed back to a line on the north-east and south-east slopes of Welsh Ridge, from their camp the Battalion could see the troops retiring, at about 8.15 a.m., the Battalion was moved to high ground just north of camp and lay down facing Gonnelieu. At 9 a.m. they moved forward in two waves, however the order to move forward was cancelled but it was too late for the first wave were now too close to the Germans, so they carried on to enage the Germans on their front and joined up with British troops on their left. After a couple of days fighting the Battalion was withdrawn.

3rd Dec. started move North.

6th Jan 1918 take over Menin Road sector, next month spent in & out of line at Gheluvelt.

Mid Feb. start move south to Somme.

6th March arrive at Cugny, from here they march daily to to Annois & Ollezy to work on Corps defenses.

3.15pm 21st March move to defences near Happencourt from this point until 1st April involved in fighting, slowly falling back as ordered. Finally pulled from line on night of 1st April while in trenches near Thennes, since 21st March the Battalion had lost about 500 men killed, wounded or P.O.W.s.

Out of line resting and rebuilding strongth.

Return to forward area on 2nd May near Lens. Next four months spent in & out of line in Avion and Mercourt sectors.

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Thankyou once again Annette.

One last question....would the battalion have been on horse back?

I remember my grandfather talking about his horse called Billy.

Jane

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Hi Jane

The 6th K.S.L.I. were infantry, but they would have had horse and mules for the transport, and the officers or some of them would have had horses for when they were out of the line. The 2/1st Shropshire Yeomanry would have had horses.

Annette

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