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Sue L

94th Brigade RFA diary

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Sue L

I have a full transcript of this if anyone has questions. This includes full casualty lists

Sue L

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blencathra

Hi Sue,

I have just started to research the last days of my wifes Grandfather - "Seargant Walter John Smith - AVC (SE/9512)".

The information i have from the War Graves photographic project is that he is buried at Coulommiers Communal Cemetery in the area of Seine - Et - Marne.

He was a horseman with the Army Veterinary Corps attached to the 94th Brigade Royal Field Artillery and "died of wounds recieved in an enemy air raid" on 29th May 1918.

After an afternoon using good old Google yesterday i came across various facinating sites including this forum.

Could i be correct in thinking that, due to the location of his burial and the date of his death that he may have been killed during the Third Battle of Aisne? I think i've established that the 94th Brigade RFA were involved as part of the 21st Division. If this is the case, is it possible that any incident that may have included Walter that day would be recorded in the Brigade diaries?

Any help you can give will be much appreciated - I'm ashamed to say this is not a battle I knew of before this weekend and i wish to find out all i can about Walter and his time with the RFA, so i will be requesting his service record this afternoon from the MOD and am facinated to track his story as best i can.

Hope you can help,

Regards,

Stef

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GraemeClarke

Morning Sue,

many thanks for the offer

I have a man I'm researching who was KiA on Friday 3 May 1918 whilst serving in "B" Battery.

Would be most grateful for the WD entries around that time.

many thanks,

Graeme

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Sue L

Hi Stef and Graeme

I am happy to send you the 94th Brigade entries for the months you are interested in, but as a novice I am not too sure how I do this on the forum or if we need to do some kind of private message or even need to exchange e-mail addresses. Graeme - I suspect you know most about how it works so could you let me know? The document is just a word file and it is not too big.

Thanks

Sue

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GraemeClarke

Hi Stef

Sue has sent me the diary, here is the bit you need. I see your man is recorded as a casualty !!

Must thank Sue here for her generosity in posting initially and also for sending me the WD,

many thanks, Sue,

Graeme

18

Wagon lines moved to camps about 1 mile south of BOUVANCOURT on the BOUVANCOURT-JONCHERY road

26

As a result of news from prisoners that the enemy was planning an attack, all Batteries carried out counter preparation fire from 10.00pm

27

1.00am - very heavy HE and gas shell bombardment. From then until 8.00am Batteries continued to fire on Z barrage lines. 8.00am fire was changed to Y barrage.

Enemy progress forced Batteries to withdraw to positions on ridge near ST AUBOEUF from 11.30am. Last Battery withdrawn about 3.00pm. All Batteries in action at new position by 6.00pm. Further withdrawal at 8.30pm to positions near TRIGNY

28

10.00am enemy reported to be near crest west of TRIGNY 21 DA order C2 SOISSONS map

A and C Batteries withdrawn to CHALONS SUR VESLE. B and D withdrawn later to positions west of CHALONS SUR VESLE

12.30pm orders received that next position would be west of ROSNAY. B Battery sent at once. Others followed at 1 hour intervals

29

Excellent positions found and effective work done due to good observation until midday when further withdrawal commenced as enemy gaining ground rapidly in direction of TRESLON. Intermediate position taken up half mile north west of MERY PREMECY and later at about 6.00pm all Batteries withdrawn to VILLERS FARM half mile south west of ST EUPHRAISE and cover TRESLON RIDGE

30

Batteries moved 9.00am to position north east of BLIGNY covered 19th div owing to enemy advance from SARCY.

11.00pm Batteries withdraw and came into action by order of 21st DA near POURCY

31

Orders received for all 18pdr Batteries to take up positions between COURMASSU and the BOIS du PETIT CHAMP and cover line between AUBILLY and BLIGNY held by 28th French div. Position occupied by noon. D Battery remained in POURCY as no 4.5 How ammunition was available

Wagon lines half way between FLEURY and NANTEUIL

Casuaties

5 Gnr N MORRIS © wounded (gas)

27 L/Bdr A KAY (A), Gnr T WEAVERS (A), Gnr J CHRISTAIN (A), Gnr R FITZSIMMONS (A), Gnr J RAYNOR (A) all wounded (gas). Maj CW ALFREY (A) wounded (gas) but remained at duty. Sgt WG PATTENDEN © wounded in action. Cpl TJ SMITH ©, Gnr FE BOWELL ©, Gnr JT CROSS ©, Gnr C WIGGENS ©, Gnr E FOX ©, Dr TA LENHAM ©, all wounded. L/Bdr WG GILES ©, Gnr H WEAVER ©, Dr JGR COOK © all wounded (gas) but remained at duty. Bdr JA PALMER © died of wounds. Gnr H TURNER ©, Dr J HARVEY ©, S/S WJ RIDGE (D) all killed in action. Sgt WJ SMITH (AVC) (D), Gnr R WATT (D), Dr W PAYNE (D), Cpl WG JONES (D) all wounded.

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blencathra

Many thanks Graeme and Sue, this is great stuff.

Now i have a starting point to work back from. Hope to visit the cemetery sometime this year and go to some of the key areas once i've learnt more about those few days in May.

Thanks again,

Stef

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David_Blanchard

Hello Sue,

Does the diary contain any maps etc of the Aisne battle during May and June 1918?

Thanks for the extract from the diary. I am researching men who were invovled in the Chemin des Dames battle this provides some more details.

David

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David_Blanchard

Just picked this up from Wiki on Major C W Alfrey, mentioned above:

Charles Allfrey

Born 24 October 1895

Died 2 November 1964 (aged 69)

Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom

Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army

Rank Lieutenant General

Commands held 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division

V Corps

British Troops in Egypt

Battles/wars World War I

World War II

Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Companion of the Order of the Bath

Distinguished Service Order

Military Cross

Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Walter Allfrey, KBE, CB, DSO, MC (24 October 1895 – 2 November 1964) was a British Army officer who served in both the First and Second World Wars .

Allfrey was born on 24 October 1895 in Southam, Northamptonshire, the son of Captain Henry Allfrey of the 60th Rifles and Kathleen Hankey.[1] He joined the British Army in August 1914 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in October 1914. During the First World War he was wounded twice and was promoted to the rank of Captain in November 1917.[1] Allfrey was awarded the Military Cross in 1918 for keeping his battery in action for an extended period of time even though it was under direct machine-gun and artillery fire from the enemy.[1]

Between the World Wars Allfrey's employment included just over three years seconded to the Iraqi Army in the rank of major, where he won the DSO, and three years instructing at the Staff College, Camberley.[1]

At the start of the Second World War Allfrey had just been promoted full colonel and held a senior staff job in the UK, continuing in this role in France and Belgium with the British Expeditionary Force. In February 1940 he returned to the UK to take up the post of Corps Commander Royal Artillery at II Corps in the rank of acting brigadier. In July, after a brief spell as CCRA at IV Corps, he was promoted to acting major-general to command Southwestern Area, Home Forces and then in February 1941 the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division. In March 1942 he was promoted to acting lieutenant-general to take command of V Corps. For nearly two and a half years he commanded V Corps in Operation Torch, the Tunisia Campaign and the Italian Campaign. He was made Companion of the Bath (CB) for his service in Tunisia.[2] In August 1944 he was rested from field command to become General Officer Commanding, British Troops in Egypt. During his tenure, his rank of lieutenant-general was made permanent and he was knighted KBE. Egypt was his last posting and he retired from the army as a lieutenant-general in June 1948.[1]

In addition to his United Kingdom awards he was made Commander of the Legion of Merit by the United States Government in 1943 for his service in the Tunisian Campaign.[3]

Allfrey married Geraldine Clare Lucas-Scudamore in 1935, they had a son and a daughter. Allfrey died on 2 November 1964 in Bristol.[1]

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David_Blanchard

A quick search on the forum under 94th Brigade led me to a thread about 94th Infantry Brigade:

http://1914-1918.inv...=+94th +brigade

I have now found a "new" photograph of Brigadier H C Rees, who was taken prisoner on the 27th May 1918 during the Aisne battle, and famously met the Kaiser on the 28th May on the Chemin des Dames:

See photograph here:

http://www.pals.org.uk/rees.htm

David

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DougMcNeill

Hello Sue,

I am researching the WW1 service of my great-uncle, James MacFadyen McNeill, who was an officer in "A" Battery 94th Brigade RFA from January 1917 until the 4th May 1918.

I already have a set of images of the WD but there are gaps between the 1st and 21st March 1918 and from the 1st to the 4th May.

Can you help to complete the picture?

Thanks

Doug

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Ray Woods

Good Afternoon, Sue/Graham

I wonder if you could assist me in research I'm undertaking on behalf of my wife in respect of an ancestor of hers.

We are trying to find out about the circumstances which led to a Citation for the Military Medal for 'bravery in the field' awarded to the following:

Corporal (later Sergeant) Benjamin SLACK, 36275 94th Brigade Royal Field Artillery.

According to the records he was awarded the medal in January 1918, possibly for an incident in late 1917 but we are not sure about this.

(He survived the War, albeit being discharged as physically unfit in 1919)

 

*He is also listed as serving in the 'B/97 Brigade' at some time, possibly after he won the medal.

Edited by Ray Woods
Punctuation error

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charlie962

Ray,

You may have seen that his service record survives although water damaged. Here it is on Findmypast, free until close today!

 

Interestingly there is a letter (v feint) from Jarrow Town Hall dated Feb 1918 asking if they could have the military medal to present to him because he was currently on leave in Jarrow and about to return to the front. The answer was no. But the Town Hall say that he was awarded it for good work on 4th October 1917 at Ypres.

 

He actually signed for receipt of the medal in Aug 1918. Perhaps there was a later presentation. Worth enquiring at Town Hall (or whover inherited records) to see if there is a Minute or note? Also local newspaper.

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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charlie962

Ray,

 

3 hours ago, Ray Woods said:

possibly for an incident in late 1917 but we are not sure about this.

the 94 Bde RFA was with 21st division until the end of the war. The War Diary for the brigade is here on Ancestry (again free until close today). Throughout Sept and Oct 1917 the Bde took  very heavy casualties, all of whom are unusually noted by name and number. Slack was gassed 25/10/17 . Slack's MM is noted as awarded  'in the field' 24/10/17. There were quite a few awards that month. Worth reading through a lot of the diary.

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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charlie962

There are rarely MM citations but normally one can find DCM citations. Sgt SC Stokoe 36360 was awarded DCM same day 24/10/17 and was in same Battery- A- so it may tell a story?

 

  or perhaps not 5a08b1da5cb33_stokoeSCDCMcitation.JPG.8fa8085393cd9aa59cefe98b212247b1.JPG

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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Ray Woods

Thank you,  Charlie962, for your replies and for the references.  I'll plough through the diaries on Ancestry in due course to see if I can find something and let you know how I got on!

Ray

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Ray Woods

Charlie962,

I have now found the information in the War Diaries that you referred me to recently and have saved it to my wife's 'Family Tree' entry for the individual concerned, her cousin twice removed. (Initially, Ancestry wouldn't connect us to that particular WD page but, thanks to your link, I've since managed to circumvent this!)

Another family member is currently researching any information available in the local, Jarrow, newspaper regarding any mention of a presentation ceremony &c.

I'll let you know in due course of any further developments in this respect.

Thanks for your help, once again.

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