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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:


DJH

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Hello,

My Great Uncle Harold died on 30th October 1914 somewhere in Belgium. He was in the 20th Hussars and was a L/Cpl (I'm not sure what that is!) I am intending to visit the area next year before I pop my own clogs and want to find out some information before I travel.

For instance:

1. Where was he fighting when he was killed?

2. How was he killed?

3. Is he buried in a known grave, and where?

4. Does his name appear on any memorial either at the battlefield or nearby?

5. Is it possible to find a description of the battle in laymens terms.

Thank you,

David

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David

You may have meant to post your soldier's name ! THe crystal ball ( a Christmas present) reveals,maybe,that it is Lance Corporal Harold Vincent Yates 2911 of the 20 Hussars,born 1888 and enlisted Wolverhampton, and one of 5 sons and 4 daughters.

20 Hussars were part of 5 Cavalry Brigade of 2 Cavalry Division,see their make up from thispage of the Long Long Trail,which you can open at top left of this page to get most of your questions answered:

http://www.1914-1918.net/2cavdiv.htm

On the day he was killed his Division was fighting in the Battle of Messines which ran from 12 Oct -2 Nov 1914.There will also be a link in the LLT for that but it seems to be an empty link for now,so I post another for you to read:

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_messines1914.html

THe database Soldiers Died in the Great War (SDGW) confirms his death as killed in action on 30 Oct 1914. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres,Belgium as he has no known grave.

Sotonmate

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Sotonmate,

Having given David a bit of help on another forum today, I can tell you that the crystal ball is working (and that you have edited your original post). He is Harold Vincent Yates, L/Cpl 2911. kia 30th October 1914, somewhere in the Wyteschaete area I think, along with 18 other men from the 20th Hussars killed that day.

Phil

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If so (and assuming he's not already checked) the regimental history (20th Hussars in the Great War by Major J C Darling, DSO) has a bit.

Essentially, the regiment were in the line in the area Oostaverne- Warneton road. The 12th Lancers were on the left and a series of confusing messages led to the 20th retiring in conformity with the 12th. At 3.30 on the 30th, the troops came under fire from the Convent initially held by the 12th, so had to retire. This was covered by 4 Troop of B Squadron, whose commander, Lt Carew, had been killed earlier in the day. The Troop Sergeant, Bassinthwaite, took over and the Troop caused sufficient delay for the regiment to get away. However, the whole of Bassinthwaite's troop (apart from one man) was killed or captured: in total, seventeen men were missing.

Seems possible that was where Lance Corporal Yates fell. According to the CWGC he's commemmorated on the Menin Gate.

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Well, that is wonderful. I am so grateful for all your help and I shall take the next few days to look at all the links you have sent. It is certainly my Great Uncle (funny to say that when I am 72!) and I shall take the opportunity to visit the area next year - Happy New Year to you all and thank you once more.

David

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David

You might want to read the unit War Diary for this period. It is at the National Archives,Kew,And the reference Is WO95/1140/2. Doesn't seem to be digital yet.

Sotonmate

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David - the regimental history is available as a not-very-costly reprint from Naval & Military Press. Wise investment, I'd say.

http://www.naval-military-press.com/20th-hussars-in-the-great-war.html

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May I climb on to this thread to ask if the unit history has anything about the detachment and later posting of men to the MGC(Cavalry)? I am interested in one such and would like to know how many of the XX went to MGC.

D

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Sadly not: the book is chatty rather more than anything else. It does mention (when writing of April 1917 that "The machine guns had, of course, long before this been formed into Machine Gun Squadrons." It does note that Lieutenants F Stout and Askin commanded the 20H sections. Sorry.

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You won't regret it.

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