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Remembered Today:

moggs

Disaster at Allonville 31st May 1918

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moggs

Great map!  Nice to see this.

 

My understanding is that the Chateau and related barns were in the field to the north of the Village along the line of trees which angle to the north-east.  It's possible that as the Chateau was a ruin at the time that it was not marked on the map.  It's all surmising though.  Hopefully someone else has a better knowledge.

 

Jonathan

 

 

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mva

according to this : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allonville#Ch.C3.A2teau  (sorry, only in French), the chateau existed until .... 1944 !

the chateau just before WW1 : http://WW1 : http://archives.somme.fr/ark:/58483/a011261413480wPZqqo

more to follow ...

Edited by mva

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moggs

Thanks for the links.  The Wikipedia page has a nicely written version of the events of that fateful night.  I can read French to some extent (good enough for Wiki anyway!)

 

The other link took me back to my last post, deleting yours.  I hit the VNC button trying to get it back but the thread had disappeared off that list.  I only got back in by going to browse and finding the right forum.  I'm hoping it was just a glitch on my computer.  I'll try the link again another time.

 

Jonathan

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spof

Reviving an old article for Jonathan....

 

I came across a newspaper article in Trove on Tuesday regarding the MM awarded to 1632 Pte Alexander Howarth (4 Aust MT Coy). His page in Discovering Anzacs has a photo of him and various links to AWM and some newspaper articles covering that night and the man in general.

 

You may already have tis info but nothing ventured...

 

Glen

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moggs

Thanks Glen.

 

 I was not aware of this brave man.  Very interesting how being in a different section (4 Aust MT Coy as opposed to the 14 Battalion) lessens the access to information.  I should have realised but until now did not that there were more companies present at Allonville that night.

The description of so many lorries there, and with fuel, was more than I knew too. 

 

Thank you again

 

Jonathan

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spof

Glad I could help. The name Allonville rang a bell when I read the citation but I did have to search GWF later to find out why.

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moggs

You piqued my interest with the decoration awarded to Howarth.  None were awarded to any from the 14th.  A quick scan through Trove only found the Howarth award as a news item from this event.  Were there any others?  Somehow, I doubt it but it if any in the forum have the knowledge I would be appreciative of any information.

 

Wanliss simply states "Decorations were not awarded to any 14th men in connection with the incident." (p 289).

 

However, an Age article found on Trove (5th October 1929) which appears to come from a review of Wanliss' history of the 14th states the following observation.

"A tragic episode was the holocaust at Allonville where chance enemy shells exploded among men asleep in a barn ten miles behind the lines, with appalling results.  Although fine heroism was displayed in succouring the wounded, not a single award for gallantry was made.  In fact, this sort of thing, as the author shows, was characteristic.  In war, nothing succeeds like success.  After an action, in which objectives and prisoners were taken, awards and decorations were numerous; on other occasions. although much greater heroism may have been displayed, awards were few, or absent."

 

A fascinating set of thoughts in regards to the award of any decorations.

 

 

Jonathan

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frev
11 hours ago, moggs said:

 

A quick scan through Trove only found the Howarth award as a news item from this event.  Were there any others?  Somehow, I doubt it but it if any in the forum have the knowledge I would be appreciative of any information.

 

 

 

Hi Jonathan

 

At least 2 other men from the 4th AMTC received MM's for their part at Allonville:

 

Sgt Reginald Henry BIRD (MM) – 1534, 4th AMTC https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1622919

Dvr William Norman CROSSON (MM) – 322, 4th AMTC https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1623207

 

These are the only 2 that I checked of 13 4th AMTC men that the AWM have award recommendations for - you can check the rest here:

https://www.awm.gov.au/advanced-search/people?people_preferred_name=&people_service_number=&people_unit=4th+Australian+Divisional+Mechanical+Transport+Company+&people_roll_type=recommendation&roll=Honours+and+Awards

and hopefully you'll find more - with more detail to be added to the story!

 

Cheers, Frev

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moggs

Thanks Frev.  Always on the ball.  I'll check the list out in the morning.

 

Jonathan

 

 

 

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spof

It might also be worth checking higher level war diaries to see what other units were around there - other ASC, medical etc. There might be something in those too.

 

Glen

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eastleach

Hi,

I have only posted here once before and I am pleased to post again with what I believe is some fantastic news.

I have been contacted by a man in Allonville who is helping the local council and townspeople organise a centenary commemoration of the Allonville disaster for 2018. The date is yet to be decided.

He would like to obtain photographs of as many of the Australian victims and survivors as possible, with a short bio about each person if possible. I know this is a tall order but even if we can only achieve this for a few of the men, it will be excellent.

I have established an email address specifically for this purpose. You are free to email me photos and bios (just one photo per Australian would suffice) at allonvilledescendants@gmail.com

I will happily forward everything to Martial Louis in Allonville and obviously I am keen to keep everyone posted in the lead-up to the commemoration.

I am very much looking forward to hearing from you all.

Kind regards.

FYI: I am descended from Bertie Englert (7342) who was killed in the second blast.

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moggs

That is fantastic news.

 

I hope you can get as many photos and bios as possible.  I will send a few myself.  Please use any info from this thread as you can.

 

all the best

 

Jonathan

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eastleach

Brilliant Moggs. Thanks for your interest. I will go through these posts and find what I can too. I'll stay in touch with updates.

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gwandalan

Martial Louis got in touch with me just recently too, I'm helping him with his research.

 

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gwandalan

E02466

 

This photo taken 31/5/1918 has my Grandfather 1770 Pte Eric Herman 2nd row from the front, 6th from the right. Immediately to his left is his brother 3800 Pte Joseph Herman.

 

Their "mate in the Kitchen" was Pte Thomas Hill. 2nd row from the back 7th from the left. He used to nick tins of the good stuff and roll them down the back path to his two good mates!

 

Joseph and Thomas got pinged for this in 1917!

 

This was taken outside the Chateau. There are photos of the NCO's and the Officers taken the same day.

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gwandalan

My study showed that there were photographers and war correspondents billeted in the area. This'd account for the photos of the barns but also the shots of the 4th Div HQ taken that day

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spof

This image (AWM E02445) is where the photographers were billeted.

 

E02445.JPG

 

Description

Australian war correspondents and photographers camp in a wood at Allonville. A pleasant place, save for the bombs and long range shells which occasionally fell near. The ammunition dumps at Cardonnette were not far away.

 

Despite the official descrition saying Unkmown Photographer, it was actualy taken by George Hubert (later Sir Hubert) Wilkins.

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gwandalan

Great Spof, I'd seen this one. Thanks for putting it up! As an aside, Thomas Hill's Grandaughter and I are friends. 

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moggs
On 24/3/2018 at 16:34, gwandalan said:

Martial Louis got in touch with me just recently too, I'm helping him with his research.

 

 

Hi Gwandalan,

 

thank you for your interest and, quite clearly, considerable ability to help.  I was wondering what sort of research you and Martial Louis were undertaking and how anyone here may be of further assistance?  Any feedback is always welcome.

 

Jonathan

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moggs
On 24/3/2018 at 16:42, gwandalan said:

E02466

 

This photo taken 31/5/1918 has my Grandfather 1770 Pte Eric Herman 2nd row from the front, 6th from the right. Immediately to his left is his brother 3800 Pte Joseph Herman.

 

Their "mate in the Kitchen" was Pte Thomas Hill. 2nd row from the back 7th from the left. He used to nick tins of the good stuff and roll them down the back path to his two good mates!

 

Joseph and Thomas got pinged for this in 1917!

 

This was taken outside the Chateau. There are photos of the NCO's and the Officers taken the same day.

 

Were these 14th Battalion men?  

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

I record these LH soldiers who were lost in this event.

 

killed

 

BRINKWORTH    Thomas    2152    Pte    02 LHR    15R to 1 LHTR 5-16 Tos RHQ/13 LHR 6-16 to RHQ/1 Anzac LHR 7-16 to Dvr (from craig) 11-16 to ACo/14Bn 10-17 WIA 18-10-17 minor possibly during relief of 16Bn on Westhoek Ridge at Passchendaele F&B reported killed when barn was hit during German shelling of Allonville with 13 killed and 56 wounded buried Allonville Communal Cemetery France

 

DELANEY    Robert    2240    Pte    04 LHR    15R tos 1 Anzac LHR 8-16 to ACo/14Bn 5-17 WIA 10-2-18 gas mustard reported where the Bn lost 17 officers and 250 men gassed over a week at Tournai near Baillieul F&B reported killed when barn was hit during German shelling of Allonville with 13 killed and 56 wounded buried Allonville Communal Cemetery France three cousins in AIF

 

HUSTLER    Laurence    266    Pte    13 LHR    C Sqn evac to (2 AGH) hosp (jaundice & dysentry) 12-15 (G) rtn 3-16 to 5 Div Cav 3-16 to CSqn/1 Anzac LHR 7-16 to ACo/14Bn 10-17 WIA 18-10-17 abdoman shrapnel possibly during relief of 16Bn on Westhoek Ridge at Passchendaele rtn 5-18 F&B killed reported 13 killed and 56 wounded when barn was hit during German shelling of Allonville buried Allonville Communal Cemetery France

 

McLEOD    Norman    55    Cpl    13 LHR    A Sqn (G) to 5 Div Cav 5-16 to CSqn/1 Anzac LHR 7-16 to BSqn/2 Anzac LHR 8-16 att APM 2 Div 8-16 att NZ Div 4-17 att salvage Party 25 Div 6-17 to ACo/14Bn (55a) 10-17 F&B reported killed when barn was hit during German shelling of Allonville with 13 killed and 56 wounded buried Allonville Communal Cemetery France (Boer War 3 Troop DSqn/6 ACH (459)
 

Died of Wounds

 

GREEN    Albert    231    Pte    13 LHR    B Sqn Tos 11-15 (G) to 4 Div Cav 5-16 to BSqn/1 Anzac LHR 10-16 to hosp (VD) 1-17 rtn 4-17 to AGBD 9-17 to ACo/14Bn 10-17 WIA 16-10-17 face/nose shrapnel reported lost 1 killed & Lt Beamond and 12 men wounded on patrols or during relief by 15Bn on Broodesinde at Passchendaele rtn 4-18 WIA 31-5-18 head shrapnel reported 13 killed and 56 wounded when barn was hit during German shelling of Allonville F&B died at 5 CCS buried Crouy British Cemetery Croy-Sur-Somme France AKA Albert Victor Green uncle William Green 8 FAB MM 
 

wounded

 

BRUMBY    Leonard    2157    Pte    04 LHR    15R tos ASqn/1 Anzac LHR 9-16 to Dvr BHQ/14Bn 10-17 WIA 31-5-18 chest, L/thigh & buttock shrapnel reported 13 killed and 56 wounded when a barn holding ACo and BHQ was hit by a large calibre long range shell fired from 10 miles at Allonville F&B to AIF depots UK 7-18

 

CICOLINI    Raymond Horace    2005    Pte    7 LHR    14R tos 5 DASP 6-16 to 2 DASP 10-16 to MT Dvr 4 MTCo 3-18 WIA 31-5-18 head shrapnel reported 2 wounded when unit truck park shelled near barn around Allonville F&B died at 5 CCS buried Crouy British Cemetery Crouy sur Somme France brothers John and Horace 7 LHR
 

SCOTT    Thomas    670    Pte    13 LHR    1R tos C Sqn 11-15 (G) to 5 Div Cav 5-16 to 1 Anzac LHR 7-16 FGCM 25-9-16 stealing & masqueraded as an officer sentenced 18 months HL to No 3 Military prison Harve 10-16 released 4-18 to ACo/14Bn 5-18 WIA 31-5-18 back & L/arm shrapnel reported when barn was hit during German shelling of Allonville with 13 killed and 56 wounded F&B

 

STEVENS    Edgar Vernon    7320    Pte    6Bn    24R to 2 Trg Bn UK 4-17 Tos 11-17 to ACo/14Bn 3-18 WIA 31-5-18 both Legs shrapnel reported 13 killed and 56 wounded when a barn holding ACo and BHQ was hit by a large calibre long range shell fired from 10 miles at Allonville rtn 9-18 F&B to NME UK Cabinetmaker (C Troop BSqn/20 LH CMF)
 

Cheers


S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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moggs

Steve,

 

thank you for adding the extra information.  I tend to have tunnel vision when it comes to the 14th Battalion so it's good that other regiments are being recognised.

 

All the best

 

Jonathan

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moggs

Nice pics.  Thank you for sharing.

 

Jonathan

 

 

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gwandalan
  On 3/24/2018 at 15:42, gwandalan said:

E02466

 

This photo taken 31/5/1918 has my Grandfather 1770 Pte Eric Herman 2nd row from the front, 6th from the right. Immediately to his left is his brother 3800 Pte Joseph Herman.

 

Their "mate in the Kitchen" was Pte Thomas Hill. 2nd row from the back 7th from the left. He used to nick tins of the good stuff and roll them down the back path to his two good mates!

 

Joseph and Thomas got pinged for this in 1917!

 

This was taken outside the Chateau. There are photos of the NCO's and the Officers taken the same day.

 

Were these 14th Battalion men?  

 

Hi Moggs, 

 

Sorry for the delay, I have been flat out and not on here for a while. This picture is not of 14 Bn Men, it is of the 4th Division HQ Contingent Men, There is another photo of the Officers and one of the NCO's. The AWM notes say that this photo was taken 31 May 1918, but I'm sure I have seen conflicting evidence that suggests a couple of days before. 

 

Regarding the research... Martial was organising the Commemoration that took place Sunday 15 April 2018. His main desire was to get photos of the Australians that lie in the Allonville Cemetery, particularly as a result of the shelling. He already had most that I could find, I may have helped him with at least one more.... as well I was trying to broaden the collective knowledge of what happened and forwarded evidence such as pages from numerous War Diaries etc.

 

I'll try to put up here whatever I have found in terms of photos, in case someone can find any more? Thanks for the offer!

 

BTW there are awesome photos of the Commemoration last Sunday posted on the FB page "Australia and New Zealand in WW1"

 

Other than that.... everyone wants to know where the Barns were and also that there were definitely two.... most evidence suggests two barns but there is a hint that there were two strikes on one Barn... I've only seen one... and I want to know where the "Lorry Yard" was, all a bit of a mystery!

 

I don't think any of us are finished with this yet!

 

Cheers, Matt

 

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