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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

R.F.A. at ' Pouge ' or ' Rouge ' on 21st March, 1918 h


Lancashire Fusilier
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I am hoping, that a Forum member has the Regimental Diaries for the Royal Field Artillery, and is able to kindly assist me trace a French location or scene of an action, starting with ' Pouge ' or ' Rouge ' where a particular action took place on 21st March, 1918.
I am researching a Lt. Leslie Charles SIBBORN of the R.F.A.
He was awarded the Military Cross, for conspicuous gallantry on 21st March 1918.
I have his M.C. Citation, and was able to locate his entry in the Military Cross Register, which confirms his award and gives his Citation.
In the M.C. Register, along with the printed entry, there is added a handwritten entry, which also gives the location where the action took place which resulted in the award of the M.C., and also gives the date of the action.
Unfortunately, in the case of Lt. Sibborn, I am unable to read or recognize this handwritten entry, and hopefully, a member with knowledge of the R.F.A. or French battle locations may recognize this hand- written entry, which looks like ' Rouge de Rout ' or it could be ' Pouge de Ront ' with the date of the action being 21st March, 1918.
The M.C. Register also confirms that Lt. Sibborn was R.F.A. attached to ' B ' Anti-Aircraft Battery, which hopefully also helps with identification of the location.
Any assistance in identifying this French location where Lt. Sibborn earned his M.C. will be greatly appreciated.
Attached is a copy of the Military Cross Register entry, showing the handwritten notation.
Regards,
LF

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It appears to me to be 'Pouge de Rout'. Are you aware that he attended Dulwich College and was in the U London OTC?

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It appears to me to be 'Pouge de Rout'. Are you aware that he attended Dulwich College and was in the U London OTC?

rflory,

Many thanks, I do have his Dulwich College information. It is interesting that in the M.C. Register someone always entered by hand the location of the action where the M.C. was earned and the date of the action. In this case, I cannot identify that place name, as you say, it could be ' Pouge de Rout ', was that the location of an action ?

I have Lt. Sibborn's Military Cross in my Collection. An interesting military man, having fought as a Lieutenant with the R.F.A. in WW1, and with the Royal Navy as a Lt. Commander in WW2.

Regards,

LF

post-63666-0-76847600-1382442978_thumb.j

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I'm afraid 'Pouge de Rout' makes no sense as French. 'Rouge de Point', perhaps?

Siege Gunner,

Unfortunately, the enlarged scan I posted of the M.C. Register entry is not too clear, but it does look more like ' Rouge de R......... '.

Clearly, the person making the hand written notation against the M.C. entry identified that particular location as the ' battle ' area where the M.C. was earned.

Hopefully, it will mean something to someone familiar with that military action on that day, which involved ' B ' Anti-Aircraft Battery.

Regards,

LF

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I've got a "Rouge De Bout" which was the location of an advanced dressing station of 1/2 West Riding Fd Amb in May 1915. It can be found on Sheet 36 NW3 G 36 d 3 6 (NA Trench Map CD)

MrSwan,

Many thanks, I think you are spot on with ' Rouge de bout ', and I was able to find several references to that location, including one relating to the ' Attack at Fromelles ', and other references contained in an Australian soldier's diary.

Now, I must find out what ' B ' Anti-Aircraft Battery and Lt. Sibborn were doing in Rouge de bout on 21st March, 1918, and hopefully someone knows the answer ?

Regards,

LF

Attack at Fromelles - Geographical: Road Aubers - Fauquissart - Laventie - Rouge-de-Bout - Fleurbaix (exclusive) - la Boutillerie - Bas Maisnil]
Australian soldier's diary entry :-
" Fri. 19. A few shells landed in the firing line today, and one of them killed Jack Hilton's brother, Joe. Rotten hard luck for Jack. Packed up ready to leave tonight. After tea I was sent up to the Rouge de bout to guide the relieving platoon in to Bee post. There was about half-a-dozen of us non-coms together, and the others, contrary to regulations, walked along abreast of the road instead of in single file at one side, in spite of the fact that we were within view of the German observation balloon. When we got to the Rouge de bout there were a lot of soldiers there drinking, and they persisted in standing about in groups in the road near the entrance, although the officers ordered them away a number of times. I had been studying French, and was just standing against the wall when the inevitable came. We knew by the sound of the "swish" that they were coming at us, and instinctively crouched against the wall. A couple came together, landing just alongside the building and throwing up a great quantity of dirt, which fell in great clods all around us. Some of the chaps left the building and took to the fields. Soon the next two shells came over, this time going over the house and falling in the paddock just across the road. A colonel gave the order to go to the bomb-proof shelter, and the crowd bolted there. In spite of the circumstances I couldn't help laughing at the way they ran full tear across the green to the shelter. I thought of going too, but decided it would be safer to wait in the shelter of the wall and risk falling bricks, until the next salvo had come, as they might catch one while getting across the open. The next two came, one landing in the field over to the left, and the other at the rear of the Rouge de bout. Then the few of us remaining there made for the bomb-proof shelter. The cry went up for stretcher bearers, and word soon came that a Captain and a Lieutenant had been killed, besides others. The Medical Officer could not be found, and there was a shortage of bandages, so the stretcher-bearers took our field dressings for the wounded men. More shells came over, and it was not till after dark that we reckoned it safe to leave our place of shelter.

Strolled around to see what damage had been done. In one place a shell had landed a couple of yards from the wall of a building, and the wall had been blown in, leaving a pile of bricks and debris in the kitchen inside. Lying in the road near the stairway of the Rouge de bout was a dead man with a tunic over his head. Went over to him and lifted up the tunic in order to get used to the sight of dead men. A Captain standing by seemed very agitated, and kept telling me to leave him alone. I was going to take the dead man's jack-knife, which would come in handy to some of the men in my section, but the captain would not let me. Heard that there were altogether about fifty casualties, fifteen being killed. Waited for some time till at last the relieving platoon came along, and took them down to Bee post, where we handed over to them. Had to wait some time for the rest of the company, and it was after 11p.m. when we got away. We went pretty slowly, with frequent rests by the way, and we were all pretty tired. "

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'B' AA Battery was commissioned in December 1916 as part of First Army and initially consisted of 18, 33 and 60 AA Sections.They were joined by 79 and 101 AAS in April 1917, by 218 and 220 AAS in September 1917 and by 133 AAS in February 1918. That means there were probably 14 guns in the Battery in March 1918 since the majority of Sections had two guns each. You're unlikely to find a War Diary for the Battery as they are rarely preserved so you may need to look at RA Diaries at Army level to find out what they were doing.

Keith

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See post 2 for diary. It is the first thing I would obtain. At various times I have seen 57, 79, 101, 104, 108, 157, 164, 174, 207, 210, 218 and 220 AA Sections attached to B AA Bty at various times, apart from those mentioned. the allocation table is by no means complete, or in some cases (in my opinion) wrong.

Kevin

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  • 7 months later...

From RAMC Capt John Pridham's diary: "Tues 7 Sept 1915 – Got up 1.30-2.30 am to see a case....Went round to see all aid posts in car 11.30-12.30 lunch. Took out a party 12.45 to Rouge de Bont. Superintended digging of a dug out. Rode back. Tea. Saw some sick.....Talk with the Colonel 9.30 – 10.30..." This was two weeks before the Battle of Loos and Pridham was active in the region of Laventie inspecting RAMC aid posts etc. BTW is that Australian soldier's diary entry (above) which mentions Rouge de Bont dated 21st March, 1918?



I see the name "Suilly" at top left corner of Old Sweats' map (above), and Pridham mentions this location from time to time.eg Mon 2 Aug 1915 – got up 5.30 March off 6.30 A & B sects Left ...A sect arr at Sailly 9 Reported to 26 FP for training. Had breakfast & look round. In aft went up to advanced DS & RAP. Saw German line..." Is this Sailly-sur-la-Lys as per Google Maps? Penny for yr thoughts Old Sweats.......


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