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kellysmith1976

Summerhill camp?

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kellysmith1976

Whilst researching i came accross an uncle, who sadly died in WW1 at Salonika, He was just 21, and an only son...

I have tried to find his service records but have had no luck, i did get this letter which was in his parents personal papers... i have attached the letter, sad.... It contains references to summerhill camp

anyway his name was John Bilton Ellmer, he was born in 1896, in shelsley beauchamp, worcester.. He was a Sapper

post-80917-0-00201700-1317833980.jpg

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kellysmith1976

Thanks for that.. I have looked through and tried to find his service records, but not had much luck..

Would i be able to find out which battle he died in?.. or perhaps how he died?... I would love to go to the cemetary, as i know no one in our family would have ever gone to pay their respects.. i have many photos of John, and as he was their only son i think his passing devastated the family...

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Rockdoc

If he was at Summerhill Camp he's very unlikely to have died in a battle. Summerhill was on the northern outskirts of Salonika , about five miles or so from the harbour. The date of his death and the mention in the letter that some of the men were unidentifiable makes me think he was a victim of the German Kampfgeschwader Eins bomber squadon, which attacked that area on 27th February, 1917. It was based at Hudova and was engaged by a subsection of 24th AA Section from Causica and by a sub of 32nd AAS from Hill 420 as it crossed into Greece. The nearest British Section to the target was 73rd AAS, based on the ridge above Dudular. It records the first sighting at 16.16 hours:

Hostile squadron of planes estimated at 17 sighted flying towards SALONICA from North engaged by both guns from detached positions. As soon as fire opened the squadron spread out, a large number of bombs being dropped on the surrounding camps. Expended:- 84 rounds SHRAPNEL 9 cwt; 58 rounds SHRAPNEL 6 cwt; 22 rounds HE 6 cwt.

Lembet Road is a very unusual war cemetery, having areas for each of the British, French, Italian and Serbians. You'll find my photos of the British area on this page.

Keith

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apwright

Sapper Ellmer was killed in a German air raid on Summerhill Camp. The camp was about 5 miles north of the city, and about 30 miles behind the front line, so he didn't didn't die in battle but still counts as Killed in Action.

The raid was one of the first carried out by the German bomber squadron Kagohl 1 operating from Hudova (now Udovo in FYROM), which had only just arrived on the Macedonian Front. The raid caused nearly 300 casualties, killed & wounded.

From the letter, it appears that his body and two others could not be immediately identified, and the writer is unsure which body was put in which grave. Spr Ellmer is in grave 881. Grave 915 is Pte John William Hills (533992) of 2/15th Bn London Regiment, and 916 is L/Cpl William Bennett (2584) of 2nd Bn King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). There are many other graves in the same section of the cemetery with the same date of death - all victims of the air raid.

The letter is signed by the Canadian Army (but born in Kent) chaplain George David Whitaker, who served at Gallipoli and then at Salonika.

Adrian

EDIT: Keith beat me to it!

P.S. Send me a PM with your email address if you want a photo of the grave.

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mhifle

Hi,

It looks like I have a relative wounded in the same raid.

Lance Corporal William Jackson, ‘D’ Company, 7th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Regards Mark

post-14045-0-81196400-1317860306.jpg

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kellysmith1976

Thank you all so very much, i never thought i could actually find out how he died!..

So thank you, i would love a photo of his grave, i tried to PM you but it said that you cannot receive any more PMs!

Many thanx, i can now tell the family exactly what happened...

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