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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Ernest Sutherland, Kia 21.9.1918


FredJCarss
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Ernest Sutherland of the 2nd Bedfordshire Regt was killed age 33 with no known grave.

Ernie was my Gran's first husband, if he had lived my Granfather would not have married my Gran and I would not be here!

He has always been in the back of my mind and I visited Vis-en-Artois Memorial as I Know my Gran was never able. It was an extremely moving visit just to see the name of someone who I have never even seen a picture of.

If there is anyone interested in the 2nd Beds who can fill in any info I would be most grateful.

The date of his death is looming - 21st Sept.

Fred

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Hi Fred

21st Sept what year pse mate? What else do you have on him? Could suggest all sorts, but dont want to go over old ground youve already tried!!

Im a 5th & 7th Beds person myself (see signature), but somone on forum has William Swain, 2nd Beds in their signature (could be Ed Matthews?) Theres a write up on W Swain on the mother site if youre interested, he fell 21st March 1918 from memory.

Im not sure if anyones got the 2nd diaries on forum, but if they have, Id be interested too! In the next month, am off to Bedford Archives to check a few bits out, and was gonna look at the 2nd's diaries from May 1918 onwards - the 7th were folded into the 2nd 25th May 1918 due to heavy casualties. If nothing else turns up in the meantime Fred, email me towards the end of Sept (see my profile under members) and Ill have a nose at the period youre interested in.

Steve

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Hi Steve

I dont have much on ernie. He died in 1918, and was a jeweller by profession.

Ernie lived in Newcastle and married my gran there. I have checked the 1901 census and found out he had a sister of which I know nothing. I believe my Gran and Ernie attended the same church as did her socond husband - my grandfather. My Grandparents came from Newcastle/Gateshead as did my father who knows next to nothing on Ernie, I guess it was not politic to ask about first husbands.

My Gran had two children by Ernie who both died in the war as children.

I have his scrolls but not his medals or plaque.

On his service career I have nothing apart from

1.CWGC details

2. Soldiers Died

3. MIC

I would like to know more about what the 2nd Bn were doing when he died as I specialise in the Black Watch and focus my books in this direction.

Any help you can give would be great.

Fred

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OK mate, Ill have a look if nothing else pops up in the meantime.

Could you post or mail me what you have pse (CWGC etc), and Ill familiarise myself with him before the trip.

Maybe the answer will be on SDGW info you have, but lived in Gateshead, KIA 2nd Beds. Are we talking a move between Regmnts at some stage in the war? And have you / are you likely to check local papers for obit's and the like?

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Hi Steve

There were no obituaries printed that I know of and my father said he only heard of one regiment.

I will put the little that I have together for you.

Thanks

Fred

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According to British Official History, 53rd and 54th Brigades of 18th (Eastern) Division attacked at Le Sart Farm and Le Tombois Farm on the day he died. Operations here carried on through the night of 21st /22nd and into next day. They took and lost Le Sart, and failed to take Le Tombois. On 22nd a party of 2nd Bedfords attacked a German pocket and killed about 200 and captured as many again.

This position is roughly between Lempire and Le Catelet, facing the Saint Quentin canal south of Cambrai.

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Chris

Thanks very much for this info as it gives me an area to focus on.

I hope to have the opportunity to view some of the area when I get across again next summer.

Help much appreciated.

Fred

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Fred

Just a stupid question after reading all this---------Is Ernie any relation to you other than your Grans 1st husband, is he still classed as your step Grandfather-???--sorry but it was on my mind.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

The action on 21st September 1918 was known as the Fight for Duncan Post. 54 Brigade (Beds, Northamptons and R Fusiliers) were ordered to capture the German trenches between Guillemont Farm and The Knoll. The assembly trenches were heavily shelled by the Germans but the assault got going at 5.40 a.m. - usual confusion arose and regiments were well and truly mixed by 9.00 a.m. Some footholds had been gained but progress was very slow. A reserve company of Bedfords were sent forward at 11.30 a.m. but had no success. The Bedfords and Northamptons both ran out of reserves although the latter managed to secure part of Doleful Trench late afternoon. The attack was called off at that point, the reserves recalled, and a fresh attack was ordered for the next day.

After a battle that lasted over 5 hours on 22nd September, Duncan Post and Doleful Trench were taken and held. The Bedfords were relieved that evening by the 7th Royal West Kents.

Ernie must have died during the German bombardment before the assault or during the assault.

As it happens, I have the MC group to a Beds officer who was wounded in the 21st/22nd actions. Total casualties for 18-22 September in the Bedfords was 276.

All the best

David

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David

Thanks very much for all your hard work - its much appeciated.

I will dig out my trench maps at the weekend all being well so as to get a better idea of what they were trying to do.

Thanks again :D

Fred

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