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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

1st Bn Sherwood Foresters


GrahamC

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Hi pals

Two of my Buxton men of the 1st Bn S.F. "Died" on consecutive days near the end of the War.

:poppy: Pt. 71688 Joseph RILEY - 13 Sept 1918 and :poppy: Pt. 60596 William James GENT - 14 Sept 1918

Joseph is buried in Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery (in German hands until 2 Nov 1918) and William is in Glageon Communal Cemetery Extension - also in German hands until late on.

Do you think they were both p.o.w.s and can any S.F. expert help track them down - e.g. p.o.w. lists, likely enlistment dates, etc. If so, anyone care to hazard a guess where and when they might have been captured?

(Yeah - I know - expecting miracles again - but every time I put one of these queries up back comes some amazing info!)

Thanks as ever

Graham

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In terms of significant losses, a lot of 1st Notts & Derby men were captured defending St. Christ on 23rd-25th March 1918 and more on 27th May 1918 on the Aisne. My money would be in the latter. BUT dates of death being so close together might suggest a later date for their capture, if death was attributed to wounds received in action.

Using the men from my own town as an example, three died in German captivity and they all died in the last three months of the war, with their poor health blamed on the starvation rations given to them. Their dates of capture were 9th May 1915 and 28th April 1917 (for two of the men), so it doesn't necessarily follow that the death of any POW should automatically be attributed to wounds received shortly before their deaths.

Not a great deal of help....!

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Riley is in the plot from which the German burials came. I would therefore presume he was a POW and possibly died of illness. Obviously his death cert would confirm.

It could be that they were captured in August during 2nd Arras, when they fought near Oppy Wood. There were many gaps in the line and in fact at one stage the 1st bn were in the German front line. They had to evacuate due to lack of ammo and a heavy german attack. This was on 26th August and if the men had been captured and wounded, it would fit. The 1st Bn were in the line for 22 days before relief on 15th sept. Four men were listed as missing during the period.

The brother of Fred Greaves VC (9th Bn) won his first bar to the MC during this operation 28/08/1918, and his second bar on 07/09/1918 - Oppy wood.

He was a D.S.O, MC and two bars yet always envied his brother!

Odd that the two cemeteries are some 69 kms apart. This would also seem to add to the POW theory.

If you want the refs for GRO overseas deaths, let me know

Steve

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Can I come in here and help you out a little Graham,

Joseph Riley originally served with the 6th Btn and was wounded three times, on the 3rd occasion he was with the 1st Btn and was reported missing on the 26th March 1918 near Villers Bretonneux. He joined the 1st Battalion on the 31st January 1918.

Three Officers and 36 NCO's killed with 15 men missing, a total of 234 all ranks.

He is mentioned in your local paper.

William Gent, joined the 1st Battalion on the 22nd March 1917, he too was previously wounded but was later posted as missing on the 27th May 1918 at Guyencourt,during a fighting retreat, later POW. BRONNO.

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Well done that man :)

One of my favourite Battalions of the Sherwood Foresters to research during the Great War, they took a hell of a Battering but so did the 2nd Btn. :poppy:

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(Yeah - I know - expecting miracles again - but every time I put one of these queries up back comes some amazing info!)

Like I said ----- miracles!

Many thanks guys, as always a great help. I have the cutting from the Bx Advertiser for Joseph Riley, Bronno, thanks - here's his photo - rather a poor one but our Library won't let me near the originals so have to photograph the microfilm!

Graham

post-37838-0-05025300-1325717748.jpg

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I have the cutting from the Bx Advertiser for Joseph Riley, Bronno, thanks - here's his photo - rather a poor one but our Library won't let me near the originals so have to photograph the microfilm!

Graham

Thanks for the picture Graham, I must admit that many of the images you find on the local library microfiche are of poor quality. Many examples are worn, very scratched and when copied are not at all good but something is better than nothing.

After saying that they are quite good at my old Local Library in Hucknall, Notts a lot better and more acceptable than others I have seen. Bronno.

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Hi Bronno

I've found by far the best way is to photograph the projected image!! My wife's digital camera is very small but excellent at really close close-ups, so I centre the page in the brightest part of the screen (make sure the flash is off) and focus at around 70 cm. As you say, the quality leaves a lot to be desired, but probably as good as photocopying the original newsprint and certainly better than printing the page (at 40p a go!) and then scanning it.

It works very well for text as well - photgraph the page in manageable chunks - upload to a Word .doc and then you can transcribe it underneath without having to skip from the image to the text.

Ahh, the wonders of technology ...

Cheers and as always many thanks for all your help

Graham

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Hi Bronno

I've found by far the best way is to photograph the projected image!!

Graham just to say this is what I did for some time whilst researching at the local library but they get a little uneasy using the camera, I think they would obviously prefer you to pay via the attached copier.

You are correct about the image being much better when taken with the digital camera as you can use the "photoshop program" to bring the picture back to life. I have had some decent and quite acceptable results like below with one of my research casualties.

Regards, Bronno.

post-30693-0-11830200-1325888054.jpg

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Poor old Horace Lee. Killed at Neuve Chappelle, 13th March 1915.

Landing on the Continent on 27th December 1914, he joined up with Bert Griffiths (who also arrived in France on the same day), who was to die on the Somme after being wounded at Aubers Ridge. Due to my complete inability to ever post an image on the Forum, you can see his photo here:

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Poor old Horace Lee. Killed at Neuve Chappelle, 13th March 1915. Landing on the Continent on 27th December 1914, he joined up with Bert Griffiths (who also arrived in France on the same day), who was to die on the Somme after being wounded at Aubers Ridge.

Thank Jim, I know quite a bit about Lee and Griffiths as I have both mens Medals and Plaques in my collection both with consecutive numbers. They were close friends and enlisted together on the same day in Hucknall, they even went to the same school Beardall Street, as I did too. Bert had quite a few Battalions under his belt 1st/1st GB/9th and then 17th (Welbeck Rangers) being wounded in May 1915 in his left arm and evacuated to Preston Hall Hospital in Kent.

Another Hucknalite witnessed his death and reported that Bert had unfortunately kicked a live shell which was lying on the ground whilst the Battalion was going forward over no mans land, killing him instantly.

Horace as you mention was killed in action when the Battalion was retiring to reserve trenches at Sign Post Corner, near Neuve Chapelle, France.

Bronno.

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Hi guys (again)

Whilst I'm in touch with you Foresters experts - can you help me with the enlistment dates of two more of my Buxton Sherwoods, from their Service Numbers?

:poppy: L/Cpl. John SELLORS - 2nd/7th (Robin Hood) Battalion. (6 April 1918 - Died of wounds) Harry enlisted in Buxton. He was originally numbered 20519, later changing to 269734. His MIC gives no indication when he entered the War - ?post 1915.

:poppy: Pt. Edwin GIBBONS - CWG = 2nd/7th Bn / SDGW = 2nd/6th. (5 July 1917 Killed in Action) Service Number - 267043. His MIC also gives no indication when he entered the War.

Obviously any other info gratefully received. (Sorry no photos found as yet.)

Graham

PS Bronno - my Library staff think it's excellent I manage to 'do' the Council out of the exorbitant costs - Deep pockets up t'north!

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Hi guys (again)

Whilst I'm in touch with you Foresters experts - can you help me with the enlistment dates of two more of my Buxton Sherwoods, from their Service Numbers?

Obviously any other info gratefully received.Graham

Graham, the nearest I can find and its only a rough guide is that Sellors enlisted around Feb/March 1916.

Gibbons about the same time. I am sure someone else will be able to give you a more precise date.

Jim, me and the Dispatch go back a long way, a couple of times I won a prize entering the "Cheery Chums Corner" competition. :blush:

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Jim, me and the Dispatch go back a long way, a couple of times I won a prize entering the "Cheery Chums Corner" competition. :blush:

:thumbsup: Now that's a club I'd like to join - you guys are great, feel like I know you all.

Cheers for now

Graham

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  • 4 months later...

As a native of Buxton, with all my relatives joining Sherwood Foresters in both wars, its nice to read of local men. My grandfather, 9211 LCpl Harry Shilcock was captured at Enniteries on 19th/20th October 1914 having served only 42 days with the BEF. No trace of him after capture until repatriation in 1918.

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