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Terry Carter

1st Bn Coldstream Guards

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Terry Carter

I am interested in a Pte Arthur Thomas Bird 20853 who served in the 1st Bn Coldstream Guards. He died of wounds at Etaples on 13/5/18. He was wounded around 25/26 March, 1918.

Can anyone give me a brief description of what the battalion was doing and where they were at this time please.

Thanks

Terry

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Fred W

This might help you

On the 24th March 1918 the 1st Battalion were at Hamelincourt, between Arras and Bapaume. The War Diary states:

What we had to fear here, was not the left, but the right flank. The enemy was very active there, and on the evening of Sunday the 24th attacked and took ERVILLIERS S.E. of Hamelincourt. He was, however, later evicted by the 2nd Battn. Irish Guards. The troops on our left were the Durham Light Infantry, and on these being relieved, the East Lancs. The right flank had to be constantly watched, and No. 1 Coy. had more than once to extend to his right in order to avoid a gap. At night orders were received for us to dig a new line on our right facing S.E., the situation on the right being considered dangerous. This was done by Nos. 1 and 2 Coys. Nos. 3 and 4 taking over the whole Battalion frontage. The new trench was to be occupied by the Grenadier Guards. Patrols were sent out this night through HAMLINCOURT village as a pre-caution. Later in the night orders came in to say the tactical situation might necessitate a withdrawal to the 5th System (in front of BOIRY, or even to the G.H.Q., a line just east of ADINFER). Representatives from each Company left at dawn to reconnoitre routes etc.

During the afternoon of the 25th three different orders of action were received.(1) That the Battalion was to be relieved by the 1st Battn. Irish Guards (1st Bde.), (2) That a retirement to the G.H.Q., Line east of ADINFER was to be made. (3) That we were to form a defensive flank facing S.E. Eventually at 10 p.m. a 4th, and totally different order was received to retire to a new line. This was done, and at midnight the troops were in position, but this new system did not yet exist, even in tape, and had to be sited and dug that night. The Brigade was again left with its right in the air, for the 31st Division had in the meantime acted on the order to remain and dig a defensive flank. As the two Divisions were in the same Corps a more accurately co-ordinated scheme of action had been anticipated.

On the 26th the Germans showed considerable artillery activity in the afternoon; the villages of HAMELINCOURT and MOYENVILLE being severely shelled, as well as the Valley of the Cojeul and Boisleux and Boiry Roads. The line dug and occupied that night left the 4thSystem at the junction of No.2 and 3 Coy’s positions, and turned S.W. from there at an angle of 90 degrees. The new part was occupied by Nos. 4 and 3 Coys. Nos. 1 and 2 going into trenches vacated by Nos. 3 and 4. The 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards dug in, in support. Battalion H.Q. were established in the Hindenburg Line where the HAMELINCOURT-BOIRY track crosses it. A good deal of shelling took place this evening. H.Q. were followed all the way back by shells that rested on the Hindenburg line, as soon as they had got in.

Fred W

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Fred W

Forgot to say that this was the period my uncle L/Cpl J.C.Worrell, a Lewis gunner, won the MM.

From 21 to 31 March 1918 the battalion suffered 1 Oficer and 29 OR's KIA or DoW and 4 Officers and 53 OR's wounded.

Fred W

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Terry Carter

Hello Fred

Thankyou very much in taking the time out to write the extract for me, much appreciated.

Regards

Terry

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Kate Wills
From 21 to 31 March 1918 the battalion suffered 1 Oficer and 29 OR's KIA or DoW and 4 Officers and 53 OR's wounded.

Fred W

I think that one officer must be Lt Charles H. Bovill, who died on the 24th March. Can anyone enlighten me as to the nature of his death please?

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Coldstreamer

Bovill died of wounds 24.3.18 with the 1st Btn

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Kate Wills

Thankyou Coldstreamer.

Have you any idea how and when he was wounded, or a source I can pursue?

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CT-Guards

Wounded 21st March.

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Kate Wills

Thankyou both.

I think you have compiled databases for the Coldstream Guards? If so, you may be interested in this snippet of info which came my way this evening:

In November 1914, Pte P. Beasby, Coldstream Guards (shrapnel wound left arm) was amongst the first batch of 11 patients to be admitted to St John's Convalescent Home Weston Favell, Northampton, which had just benn requisitioned by the War Office as a Red Cross V.A.D. Hospital.

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CT-Guards

Thanks for that, (Source for Lt Bovill CG history 1914-1918).

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BIRDY

Hey, bumping this up. .

Family story was AT BIrd was in hospital and the hospital was blombed. The hopsital on his papers was st johns hospital. From what i can find out the st johns ambulance hospital witth mainly canadian nurse did suffer from bombing raids. But a week after he died. How can i fi d out if he did die of wounds or in a raid attack.

The war records for him show died of wounds.

I also went to adinfer wood last year and around where the war diary states they were. . I wasnt happy with that i felt i wanted to stand in the actuall spot my great grandad was!!!!!

Xx going over in june again. :rolleyes:

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BIRDY

Hi.  Bumping up

i was wondering how I find the war diary’s fir 21 March 1918 1st battalion Coldstream guards 

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clk

Hi BIRDY,

 

1 hour ago, BIRDY said:

i was wondering how I find the war diary’s fir 21 March 1918 1st battalion Coldstream guards 

 

At the National Archives it's here  or on Ancestry here.

 

Regards

Chris

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BIRDY
21 minutes ago, clk said:

Hi BIRDY,

 

 

At the National Archives it's here  or on Ancestry here.

 

Regards

Chris

 

Hi chris

thank you 

 

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BIRDY

I’ve looked at war diary’s. Thanks x

how do u find the trench maps for the correct area 

karen 

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clk
Posted (edited)

Hi Karen,

 

You might find maps in higher level diaries - i.e. 2 Guards Brigade HQ, or Guards Division HQ (General Staff) - TNA search page here, Ancestry here. Failing that, if you know a location of a near village you can hopefully find a map on the NLS website here. Then if you have specific map references (for advice on how to read them see here) locate places - albeit references in diaries are often shortened versions of the full reference.

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk

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BIRDY

thanks Chris

to be honest I haven't a clue what im doing. . I want to find out where my great granddad was on his injured day, but I seem to be going round in circles.

 

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clk

Hi,

 

The Battalion war diary says that on 19th March 1918 they moved to Arras and were billeted in "Baudiment Barracks close to the Gate on the St. Pol Road". It records that in the morning of the 21st Arras was shelled heavily, and that the gate to the barracks received a direct hit. However, having taken cover in cellars, they had no casualties. Then in the evening, they marched for about 2 1/2 hours to a camp near Mercatel. Unfortunately, it doesn't record a more specific reference. This link should open up on a map from March 1918 with Mercatel in the centre. You can zoom in/out, and use the transparency slider to see a blended view with the modern landscape.

 

Regards

Chris

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BIRDY

thanks chris

its crazy, the more i don't know the more i want to know. 

i have copies of his war records which say wounded near Adinfer wood 21 march 18. looking at war diary and your quote they weren't at that area,

1st battalion coldstream joined guards division.  i thought through research they were in battle of St Quentin 21/23 march

 

maybe i have to accept ill never know where he was, or more about it

 

karen IMG_9423.JPG.9ff88dfcb4b5da3de9db07aeaa262c5e.JPGIMG_9394.JPG.68676258cd6b8c2e9a2329fa4c46b012.JPG

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tullybrone

Hi,

 

Thanks for posting the photograph.

 

The Trained Soldier on the extreme right of the front row has some years service and with 2 wound badges has likely seen some action.

 

It might be my eyes but is the Squad Cpl on the front row wearing a Welsh Guards Cap Badge?

 

Steve 

 

 

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clk

Hi,

 

Adinfer wood is (partially) shown on this map from 1916. Very roughly it seem to be about 5 miles south west of Mercatel.

 

Regards

Chris

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BIRDY
1 hour ago, tullybrone said:

Hi,

 

Thanks for posting the photograph.

 

The Trained Soldier on the extreme right of the front row has some years service and with 2 wound badges has likely seen some action.

 

It might be my eyes but is the Squad Cpl on the front row wearing a Welsh Guards Cap Badge?

 

Steve 

 

 

thats really interesting as i wondered what TS stood for and his service number is a lot lower than the others, , and also i can't locate CPL RW Bale on the coldstream info but could locate a welsh guard 

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BIRDY

this is my great grandad top row on right before uniforms

fullsizeoutput_53a6.jpeg

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tullybrone
Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, BIRDY said:

thats really interesting as i wondered what TS stood for and his service number is a lot lower than the others, , and also i can't locate CPL RW Bale on the coldstream info but could locate a welsh guard 

 

Hi,

 

There are 3 Trained Soldiers in the front rank. Never seen that many in either a wartime or peacetime Guards squad photograph. In peacetime squad photographs it’s only usual to find the one TS. My understanding is that the TS slept in the recruits barrack room and was responsible for discipline there and for teaching them the basics of army life - looking after themselves and their uniform etc.

 

Never seen a Squad instructor from a different Regiment to the recruits - clearly a wartime expediency.

 

The inverted chevrons on the TS Left forearm are good conducts badges - 1 for 2 years, 2 for 4 years etc. The chaps at either end also sport wound badges (introduced late 1916?).

 

Steve

 

PS

 

Just for contrast here is a picture of my grandfather taken in the winter of 1916/17 whilst on active service with 4th (Pioneer) Battalion CG. Note lack of shiny boots😀

 

He is on the right I don’t know the names of his 2 colleagues.

 

E7AB77A6-2972-465F-8692-E640A9C32CB6.jpeg.d373f85935793e82c280940a21256abe.jpeg

 

 

Edited by tullybrone

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BIRDY
Posted (edited)

Thanks Steve for pic, , so interesting 

 Where are the wound badges

 

Edited by BIRDY

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