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Remembered Today:

9th Battalion Leicesters


Trillian
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My Great Great Uncle, Fred Briggs, was with the 9th Leicesters and I have an excerpt from the Derbyshire Times (December 1917) which says Fred received a 'card' from the Major General commanding the 21st division saying 'Your commanding officer and Brigade Officer have informed me that you have distinguished yourself in the field on the 4th to 7th October 1917. I congratulate you on your fine work.'

I can't find their war diaries online, so can anyone tell me what the 9th Leicesters were doing on those dates and whether Fred Briggs is mentioned anywhere?

Also, was it usual for a commanding officer to send a 'card' in this manner?

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The 9th (service) Btn. were involved at the Third Battle of Yypres during this period, but hopefully someone will be along with something more specific.

Regards

Sean.

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They were with 37th Division, part of Plumers Second Army at the Battle of Broodseinde during the dates 4th-7th October (source LLT)

Sean.

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Sean,

Thanks for this.

What is the source you mention, LLT? (I'm new to this!)

Sue

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Sue, The Long, Long Trail. Top left of this page, click on the link and away you go! I sometimes find it quicker to 'google' the battalion that you want and then click on the www.1914-1918 infantry regiments link that is almost always at the top of the page. Check the battalion that you want and it will mention what Brigade/Division they served with, then on the right hand side of page you will see the Divisions listed, click on that link and it will list where they served throughout the war...simple?

Good luck

Sean.

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Sean,

Ah yes, I have come across that. Didn't make the connection. Many thanks

Sue

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My Great Great Uncle, Fred Briggs, was with the 9th Leicesters and I have an excerpt from the Derbyshire Times (December 1917) which says Fred received a 'card' from the Major General commanding the 21st division saying 'Your commanding officer and Brigade Officer have informed me that you have distinguished yourself in the field on the 4th to 7th October 1917. I congratulate you on your fine work.'

I can't find their war diaries online, so can anyone tell me what the 9th Leicesters were doing on those dates and whether Fred Briggs is mentioned anywhere?

Also, was it usual for a commanding officer to send a 'card' in this manner?

Hi Sue,

Your GGU was in receipt of what is known as a 'Divisional Gallantry Card'. These cards were a form of thanks from a soldier's Division for his good work/gallantry during a specific action. These cards ranked lower than a Mention in Despatches or a gallantry award such as the Military Medal. I believe that quite large numbers of these were given out for specific actions, however, not many appear to have survived as is so often the case with such paperwork from WW1. The card is usually about the same size as a standard 6" x 4" postcard and obviously is made from card as the name suggests.

It is quite likely that he will receive a mention in the war diary, but this will only be in a list of those awarded gallantry medals/cards for the action and is unlikely to be an individual mention in the text of the diary itself. The 9th battalion war diary should be available at the National Archives.

Hope that this helps,

Robert

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Hi Robert,

Thanks for the information. Interestingly the newspaper cutting is headed 'Chesterfield Military Medallist', but the text doesn't actually mention a medal, nor does it appear on his medal index card.

It's difficult to square him receiving this card with what I know of his behaviour - he was given several field punishments so was far from being a model soldier. In fact he may have been a bit of a mischievous character - I have a photo which seems to be of him, but he is dressed in a sergeant's uniform though he was a private.

I have looked for the war diary on the National Archive site but it doesn't seem to be available online.

Thanks again

Sue

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Hi Sue,

I have checked on Ancestry and wondered if your GGU was 14424 Pte Fred Briggs who was killed in action in 1918? If so, presumably you will have seen his service papers? There is no mention a military medal in these papers and he does appear to have been a 'bit of a lad', this does not however preclude him from receiving a Divisional Gallantry Card.

Regards, Robert

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Robert,

Yes, that's him.

I do have copies of his papers but they're in very poor condition - will have to see if I can better copies. In fact I just realised he was in the 8th Btn, not the 9th! Though I believe both battalions were in the 110th Brigade.

Sue

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Hello Sue,

14424 Pte. Fred Briggs enlisted in Chesterfield on the 4th September 1914, originally with the Sherwood Foresters, but with the numbers enlisting in the two county's being more than the Regiment could handle, batches of men were transferred to other regiments, hence the Leicesters in Freds case and the others numbered around him. If you can send me a personal message with your e mail details i'll gladly let you have the 8th Battalion diary entries for October 1917 along with the dates that have already been transcribed. I believe that Fred is not mentioned in the diary, but it will give you an idea on what he was involved in.

The 9th Battalion diary does mention on the 25th October 1917 that Brigadier General Lord? Lock presented MM ribbons to men who gained awards during operations on the 1st October. both battalions were with the 110th Brigade and the 8th & 9th Battalions were amalgamated on the 4th on account of the weak state of the two Battalions.

Regards.

Llew.

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Sue,

The 8th Battalion was reduced in June 1918, and disbanded in July. The surplus was transferred to the 7th Leicesters and the nucleus to the 14th Battalion West Riding Regiment. I'm assuming Fred would have gone to the 7th Leicesters, is there any mention in his service records?

Regards.

Llew.

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Llew,

I can't find any mention of where he went after the battalion was disbanded.

Thank you for your kind offer of the war diaries; I have messaged you with my e-mail address.

Sue

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