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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

13th London Battalion. Mametz 1916, Royal Welsh Fusiliers


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My grandfather, Private George Briggs 26654, enlisted 6th march1915. I have found lots of information about their involvement in the taking of Mametz wood but would like to know more about the battalion prior to their posting to France. I have a photo showing he boxed and won a trophy but endless web searches have been fruitless. Any ideas?

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Hello Briggsy,

I'm sure someone else will be along presently to add more to this account, but in the meantime I take it you have seen his service record on the Internet?

Resident Walthamstow, he enlisted on 6 March 1915 at Gray's Inn in the 18th (2nd London Welsh) Battalion RWF as you say. This was the second London Welsh unit raised, following on the 15th RWF (1st London Welsh). While the 15th went overseas in early December 1915 with the rest of the 38th (Welsh) Division, the 18th were designated as one of the Reserve units for the Division, and these were concentrated at the new Kinmel Park camp near Rhyl. The main function of reserve units was to send reinforcements to the Division, as casualties mounted. It would seem that your relative's turn came on 31 March 1916 when he landed in France ostensibly as a reinforcement for the 13th (1st North Wales) Battalion RWF (aka "The North Wales Pals").

He didn't proceed direct to the Division however, but was re-routed to the "2nd Entrenching Battalion" by 14 April. The Infantry Base Depot authorities were very adept at switching men to where they felt the need was greatest, and he was a labourer by trade, so that might explain it! His stay with this labouring unit wasn't too long, as by 27 April he had reached his intended battalion (only of course to fall at Mametz Wood in the action of 10-12 July). As he had 6 children it must have been a terrible blow to the family.

With this in mind did you want more information about the 18th or the 13th RWF?


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Hello Clive.

Thanks for the info. I would like to know as much as possible about both.

My Nan eventually remarried and there was never any real mention of Grandad. My father George, his eldest son, did tell me the story of Grandad being a boxer. He seemed very proud of this.

I shall continue my searches. I intend to visit the RWF museum and most certainly Thiepval and Mametz in 2016. So glad i have joined the forum and amazed at such a quick response. Thanks once again.


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Hello Lars.

Thanks for the photo. I have been searching for information for so long and appreciate any input.

Clive has given me more leads to investigate.

I have obviously come to the right place.

Thanks again


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