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Remembered Today:

1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

John Beech

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I am currently researching the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers and especially their involvement in the attack on Bellewaarde Ridge on 16th June 1915 when 9th Brigade, 3rd Division attacked in the direction of Bellewaarde Farm. I have established that the battalion lost 15 Officers and 423 NCO and other ranks as casualties out of 15 Officers and 645 Men NCO and men who took part in the attack. What I am trying to do is find out what ultimately happened to those men who were listed as casualties in the War Diary, the majority of whom are listed as 'missing'.

I have found out the fate of 14 Officers and 410 NCO and men but am having difficulty with the remainder. Part of the reason for this is because either I cannot find a man who matches the serial number quoted, the surname does not match anyone on the Medal Index Cards or whose surname is indistinct and impossible to read. The War Diary for 16th June is written in several hands in pencil and this is not helping. The website Bellewaarde1915.co.uk does have a copy of the casualty list but my research has highlighted that between this and the War Diary there are many errors in the roll.

The men I am interested in finding are listed below, but I am conscious that the names / serial numbers may be wrong. They are as listed on the Bellewaarde website or taken from the War Diary.:

Listed as wounded on the War Diary:

8860 Sgt J Bull Z Coy.

15655 Private J Collins W Coy.

7986 Private H Craggs Z Coy.

Lieutenant R Cunningham W Coy.

3575 Lance Corporal F Williams Y Coy.

Listed as missing on the War Diary:

2323 Private C Forman X Coy.

3765 Lance Corporal J Garton Z Coy.

17158 Private J Hudson Z Coy.

14777 Corporal J Johnson Y Coy.

5939 Private J Marrion X Coy.

1558 Private J McKay W Coy.

4412 Private C Rud Y Coy.

16030 Private C Simms X Coy.

Any help would be gratefully received.

Incidentlally, if anyone is interested in the 3rd Division, Bellewaarde Ridge, or the units of the 7th, 8th and 9th Brigades, I would thoroughly recommmend visiting the Bellewaarde 1915 website as it is a credit to it's author Martin Clift.

Thank you in anticpation


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Using Geoffs Search Engine, there are 134 deaths in CWGC records for 16 June 1915, of whom 3 are officers.

2nd Lts Henry Carter and CJS Dalbiac; and Captain Roddam (3rd Bn attached 1st)

On 17th 3 more OR's died, 13 more OR's on 18th and 3 more on 19th with no deaths recorded for 20th.

I haven't gone further, nor have I checked if there was further fighting or Died of Wounds as cause of these later deaths, but DoW would be most likely I feel.

None of your named men are in the CWGC on any date from 16 to 19th as you probably already know.

I assume you have also checked each named man individually on CWGC to find any subsequent Date of Death?

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Hi Kevin

I have spent some time on this, and by taking the names from the War Diary I have identified 5 Officers and 135 NCO and men who were killed on the day, a further 24 died of wounds by the end of September so possibily / probably from the action on the 16th, 2 officers and 28 men died later in the war, 1 officer and 8 men were taken POW and 7 officers and 120 men were wounded and I have identified one man who was killed on the day but who is listed as dying with the 2nd Battalion three weeks earlier. Of the rest I have identified that 95 of the remainder who were identified as missing appear to have rejoined the battalion as they either served with other battalions or other regiments / formations later in the war. Annoyingly, I can't identify the remainder.

Thank you for taking the time to check the details and for offering your suggestions

Incidentally, one of those killed was my closest relative to die, 9285 Private Edward Beech, so I will spare a few moments to remember him on the 16th



Edited by John Beech
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8860 Sgt J Bull Z Coy - is infact Sgt George R Bell, eventually Discharged 20/12/1917

15655 Private J Collins W Coy - Joseph Collins transferred to 2nd Garrison Bn, and Discharged to Class 'Z' Army Reserve

3575 Lance Corporal F Williams Y Coy. - Frank Israel Williams transferred to 13th Bn and eventually Discharged 28/3/1916

3765 Lance Corporal J Garton Z Coy - possibly John Purton who Died 16/6/1915

2323 Private C Forman X Coy - is infact Charles Norman, who DOW 25/12/1916

4412 Private C Rud Y Coy - is possibly Nicholas Reed, who Died 14/7/1916

None of the others using any combination are coming up and therefore must be clerical errors.

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What can I say, you have come up with the goods!! Many thanks for this information. The museum have contacted me and said that they have a typed copy of the War Diary which may help identify the remaining men

Once again, many thanks



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John - no problem, I just wish I was able to assist with the other's but no matter what combinations I use nothing comes up regarding the remainder and that's after a couple of days. Hopefully the War Diary entries will help, but you have to be aware that clerical errors also creep into those also too.

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Se what you mean. I have received a typed copy of the casualty list from the Fusiliers Museum at Alnwick, and not only does it miss 3 no. pages of casualties, there are several errors/omissions that I have identified already. I have also noticed that the casualty list on the Bellewaarde website is missing a page which lists a further 20 no. casualties for 16th June, so I am going to seach for them. Given that I only have 6 no. I haven't already identified, I don't think I have done too bad and of those, the museum agrees with 5 no. of my suggestions and the other doesn't fit!!



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