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1 Royal Welsh Fusiliers


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Dear Members

Can any one tell me the roll the 1st RWF played in the battle on the date of October 10 1914, I am researching a soldier who was killed that day a long with 90 other men from his battalion,

Pte Allen Davies 10936, interestingly he was only in France a short while before he was killed

arriving on the 6 October 1914, if any one can tell me the battle in which this battalion played and the out come at the end of the day,

any help much appriciated

PHILIP

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Dear Members

Can any one tell me the roll the 1st RWF played in the battle on the date of October 10 1914, I am researching a soldier who was killed that day a long with 90 other men from his battalion,

Pte Allen Davies 10936, interestingly he was only in France a short while before he was killed

arriving on the 6 October 1914, if any one can tell me the battle in which this battalion played and the out come at the end of the day,

any help much appriciated

PHILIP

Hi Philip,

I'm not sure if you have the correct date for the initial battle that the 1/RWF was involved in, the events of the their involvement and movements are given below;-

There was not much action for the 1/RWF on the 6-9th October 1914, they travelled from Dover to Seebrugge (5-6th), arrived Belgium and moved to billets in Oostcamp 4 miles SE Bruges (7th). Marched to Oudenburg on the 8th. On the 9th they moved again to Ghent with German forces reported within 10 miles of the town. At this point no contact with the enemy was recorded.

On Oct 10th 1914 the 22nd Brigade which included the 1/RWF Bttn moved South at 2:30 am from Ghent in Belgium to Meirelbeke. This was done to support Belgium and French troops that were in contact with the German troops. They encountered no signs of any enemy during the morning, but heard some firing in the distance to the South and South East. In the Afternoon the 1/RWF located itself in a pre-entrenched position South East of Meirelbeke covering French and Belgian positions in front. Heavy firing during the night believed to be cheifly from the French and Belgians. No evidence of any attacks by the Germans. 1/RWF not engaged but a few shots came over the position.

Between 11th October and 16th October 1914 the general retirement by allied forces commenced to Ypres region and the 1RWF was finally positioned at Zonnebeke by the morning of the 17th October. On the 18th the 1/RWF Bttn moved again to Veldhoek and Becelaere. Finally on the 19th October 1914 the first offensive action by the 7th Division (including 22nd Brigade and 1/RWF) on enemy positions took place at Menin, Gheluwe and Kleythoek.The 1/RWF attacked at Kleythoek towards the ridge and windmill, but was frustrated by heavy enemy artillery and shrapnel. There was no support from friendly artillery and by 12:40 pm orders were recieved to withdraw. The 1/RWF retired along the main road to Dadizeele. Here together with the R Warwicks they were ordered to hold the high ground about Kezelberg and cover the retirement of the Queens and S Staffs. Eventaully the R Warwicks finally covered the retreat of the 1/RWF with the Bttn being closely engaged with the enemy and suffered losses as the retirement was extremely difficult to pull off. Eventually the 1/RWF reached the safety of the trenches originally occupied on the 16th/17th October at Zonnebeke at 6pm.

Casualties on 19th October 1914: Killed :3 Officers, 15 NCO's and Men, Wounded:4 Officers, 84 NCO's and Men. Missing :11 NCO's and Men.

Regards

Will

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Will

big thank you for your kind reply, yes you of course are correct I did give you the wrong date it should of been the 30 October 1914, can you help with this date

many kind regards

PHILIP

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Will

b

Big thank you for your kind reply, yes you of course are correct I did give you the wrong date it should of been the 30 October 1914, can you help with this date

many kind regards

PHILIP

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Will

b

Big thank you for your kind reply, yes you of course are correct I did give you the wrong date it should of been the 30 October 1914, can you help with this date

many kind regards

PHILIP

Here you go Philip,

Between the 27th and 29th October 1914, the 1/RWF were occupying trenches East of Kleine at Zillebeke and were occasionally withdrawn to rest in the town of Zillebeke. They were here to help reinforce 20th Brigade. During this period they suffered casualties comprising of NCO and men with 3 killed and 11 wounded. Late on the 29th October a batch of 7 officer reinforcements arrived to make up previous losses.

At daybreak on the 30th October the enemy attacked the trenches in strength and the enemy pushed back the right flank and enabled them to enfilade the trenches held by the 1/RWF. This lead to high losses in the !/RWF Bttn and at the end of the days fighting all the available officers in the 1RWF were either missing or wounded. In total 6 1/RWF officers were missing together with 320 NCO’s and men. Also missing were 4 officers of the DCLI, 1 Officer Essex and 1 Officer RAMC.

The remaining NCO’s and men of the 1/RWF (approx 86 OR) after the 30th October were attached to the 2nd Queens.

Regards

Will

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Thanks Will

I now know more than I did before, to think the 1 RWF were almost wiped out as a fighting unit, many of the missing I will most likley find on the Menin gate, I will continue my research, once again a big thank you for taking time out to help

Cheers PHILIP

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Allen Davies from Birkenhead was Lieut.-Col. H.O.S.Cadogan's batman. He was reported missing 30 October 1914, and his death accepted, age 22. The body was later recovered and he is buried at Hooge Crater Cemetery.

For fine details see: Cadogan, Colonel Henry (ed.), The Road To Armageddon : The Life And Letters Of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Cadogan, RWF (1868-1914) (Bridge Books, Wrexham 2009). This describes him as "one of (Cadogan's) orderlies" and notes that he was buried at Hooge adjacent to the Colonel and Adjutant Dooner, both of whom had been killed together and buried by the Germans.

Clive

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Clive

thank you for the link, I did not know Allen was a batman, did wounder why he was buried next to two officers, and no other 1 RWF near him, this will help me further with my research.

thank you very much indeed

PHILIP.

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The following is an extract from the Regimental Records of the Royal Welch Fusiliers - Volume 3 (1914-18 France and Flanders) by Dudley Ward published in 1928:

Page 93 - 30th October 1914:

'Our 1st Bn, little over 400 strong, was scattered about in short slits of trench, without inter-communication, on the forward slope of a roll in the plain; their field of vision was short in the midst of hedge-enclosed fields and it was impossible to know what was happening to the right or left. But the advancing lines of German infantry were mowed down by their rifle fire.'

Page 94/95

Lt.Wodehouse who was wounded and captured, provides the following short account::

"30th October - we were holding a line about three quarters of a mile long, A Company on the right, then B, D, and C on the left. Bn HQ was in the dugout about 600 yards to the rear. The trenches were not well sighted for field of fire. So far as I know, no one was on our right; some 'Blues'" were supposed to be there, but I did not see them. It was foggy in the early morning, so that the Germans could not shell us much, which was lucky, as they had two batteries on Zandvoorde Ridge.

About 8am the shelling increased, and we saw large numbers of Germans advancing down a slope about 1500 yards to our right. Also I believe large numbers were seen coming round on our exposed right flank. The batteries on the ridge were now firing point-blank into our trenches so that it was difficult to see what was happening, and the rifle fire increased from our right. No orders were received, so it was thought best to stay where we were, and about mid-day the whole battalion was either killed, wounded or taken prisoners."

General Capper later wrote - 'On the 30th October the Bn occupied the right of the division line.Owing to troops on their right being driven back the Bn became very exposed and was subject to an enveloping attack by the enemy........'

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Hi All

This defensive action by the 1/RWF which was so costly to the Bttn on the 30th October also contained a great uncle of mine a regular soldier Pte John Davies 11134. He was posted missing during this action and later it was learn't that he had been captured by the Germans and sent off to a POW camp in Germany. After almost 2 years in captivity he managed to escape in late 1916 and was back at the front fighting in 1917!!.

Regards

Will

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  • 8 months later...
Guest Bill1958

Hello,

This series of posts has been useful to me. My Grandfather was shot on 28th October at Zonnebeke together with Lieutenant Courage (of the Courage Brewing Family). Both were taken prisoner, and due to a British barrage were left to their own devices until the germans came to collect them. My Grandfather was taken to Tattenhausen in Germany near West Phalia and returned to Britain early in 1919. I visited the Menin Gate with my Grandfather in 1973 and he walked along graves and saw the names of his friends killled defending Ypres in October. He had been based in India and came home via Malta. I would love to know more about what happened on the 28th, my grandfather said he was running acrss a cAnal bridge when he was shot, he said the Germans just straffed the road and his comrades were falling all around him. I'm proud to be the Grandson of an Old Conteptible !! Any info on what happpened leading up to the 28th would be gratefully received. THanks Bill

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Morning Bill

The War Diary is available for just over 3 quid at

http://discovery.nat...ls?uri=C4554816

I know it carries on AFTER your grandfather's capture, but for 3 quid you can follow the battalions actions prior to the event. It was a MOST eventful period.

To give you a flavour, here are the pages you need,

post-10072-0-88989500-1370326255_thumb.j

post-10072-0-51715300-1370326266_thumb.j

Regards,

Graeme

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Bill

Welcome to the Forum

I fully agree with Graeme with regards to obtaining this primary document regarding your Grandfather's time at the front (post his name/number?)

If your Grandfather was taken same time as Lt Courage then the Diary shows that he, Lt Courage, was reported Killed on the 20th/21st. Diary later annotated to show Prisoner of War.

Hywyn

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Bill1958

Hello Graeme and Hywyn,

Thank you both so much for the information you have provided.

I downloaded the diary and have spotted that at 9am on 21st October 1914 a section of 2/Royal Warwickshires were sent up to the left of RWF line to 'Replace the Regimental Machine Gun Section both whose guns were out of action'. That's it, my Grandfarher William Fraser 10150 must have been wounded at that point and when the section retired to Ecksternest in the early hours of the 22nd he along with others and of course Lieut Courage were taken prisoner. Apparently my Grand Father and Lieut Courage were colllected by the Germans eventually, and whilst being stretchered off a barage took place. THe Germans dumped the two of them in a barn and left them there for two days. Both wounded, my grandfather was shot through his lower leg managed to crawl to get water for ieut Courage, eventually the Germans returned and my Grandfather ended up in Tattenhausen in WeEst Phalia, close to Minden. I have two postcards of him in the camp taken to send back home, no message was allowed, just his photo, home address and a German purple stamp.

I want to visit the site of this action on 21st/22nd, would you know where exactly the trenches were, any sign of the today?

THanks

Bill

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  • 2 years later...

Hi

my grandfather was captured on the 20th october 10669 F G Darran was sent to larger 1 haus spitial Munster Germany. Was it certain Coys that were in different positions along the line that were captured that day, or night even, or was it random takings from whole battalion. i am trying to find his Coy to look for him in photos, unless transferred to a different coy between 1911 to 14.Does anybody know if their were salt or coal mines in Munster camp as he told my family he was in a mine for nearly four years

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For reasons obvious at the end of this, I have a particular interest in October 30th 1914. The RWF were in appalling lines which it was suggested the commanding officer should have protested. Amongst those killed in action, on the left of Zandvorde in lines before before Zandvoorde, on October 30th was one Private Albert Filsell. I was there in 1914 for the unveiling of a new memorial to the battalion by kind invitation of Henry Cadogan, grandson of the Officer Commanding 1 RWF in 1914 who died in the action. Unusually both the son and grandson of the commander in 1914 also later commanded the an RWF battalion. I f not unique, certainly unusual. I visited again last year and kindly given half a dozen 303 cartridge cases by builders working in a garden just behind the impressive cavalry memorial. As a final comment, albert's brother also died in a memorable battle on HMS Queen Mary.

David J. Filsell

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