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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Middlesex Regt 12-15 Feb 1915


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I think this has been asked before, but Ican't find that thread so apologise if this is a repeat. (Though it is new from me!!!)

My Great G Uncle was killed on 12-15th Feb 1915. I have his army papers etc. but they only say killed in action and so I want to find out the story of those days.

He was in the Middlesex Regt 3rd Bttln.

He was Privte 1454 Charles Thomas Orme. His declared age was 27 but he was actually 35. He volunteered I think and certainly could only been in france (or Belgium) for a matter of weeks before he was killed. I know this as he got in trouble for staying out late on the beer in ROchester on 27/12/14; probably his last taste of it!!

I wondered if I could be pointed in the right direction for reading material as to exaclty what 3Bat Middlesex were doing over 12-15 Feb, and why they couldn't have been more specific as to the date. He has no grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate.

My Grandfather was quite shocked at this as his family always understood that he was shot in his trench on his first day out, but if that were the case there is more likelihood of an attributable date, and a grave, so I suspect there to be a little more to the story.

Any point of reference to start would be helpful.



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Being in the 3rd Middlesex Battalion would generally indicate he was a regular or a recalled reservist (unless he had changed battalions since being sent to France). His number doesn't fit with being an original 3rd Battalion man as the number would indicate he enlisted 1885/1886.



On looking closer at the service records he enlisted firstly to the 6th Bn and was then transferred to the 3rd, this could explain the service number issue. I have seen mentions that the 'G' prefix to his number shows he enlisted as part of the 'New Army'.

He was transferred to the 3rd of 29th Dec 1914 having enlisted on 26th August 1914. He also entered France on 29th December 1914.

Its unusual for an infantry man, who stated he had no prior service, to be posted to France only 4 months after enlisting - did he have some prior service that he had failed to declare (possibly in case they found his real age ?).

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85th Brigade, 28th Division. Came back from India arriving in UK Christmas Eve 1914. Got drafts from 5th and 6th Battalions.Left for France 18th January. Le Havre to Fletre nearr Hazebrouck. 3rd Feb to Reninghelst. 4th/5th to Ypres. 6th relieved 2nd King's Own front line south of Ypres. Relieved 10th/11th Very bad trenches. Heavy artillery fire. Casualties 1 officer and 26 OR killed, 2 officers and 56 wounded. 80% suffered from frost bite (!) 12th relieved East Surreys in same area. 13th enemy reported to have sapped very close to front line so new front line dug 100 yards behind. 14th German attack 8 a.m. B Company loses O Trench and during withdrawal OC, Capt Hilton, killed. Lt Col Stephenson collected all available men at battalion HQ (28) to counter attack. Reinforced M Trench held by East Surreys. Capt Large and two men killed. IN afternoon East Surreys and party from 3rd Middx tried to retake O Trench. Lt Ash killed and practically whole party killed or wounded. Trench to right of M Trench lost and retaken at 4 a.m. on 15th. 15th relatively quiet but Lt Grieve killed and Lt Moller wounded. Night of 15th 3rd Middx relieved.

Losses 12-th to 15th: 4 officers killed, 3 wounded, 44 other ranks killed and 62 wounded and 156 other ranks missing.

Source: The Die-Hards in the Great War by Everard Wyrall

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