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William James Condren London Scottish


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Hello Everyone,
I would be grateful if there is anyone who could help me with some research that I am doing on my paternal grandfather, William James Condren who served with the London Scottish in the Great War. I am writing a very short paper for my two aunts (his remaining children) and I have copied the section entitled Wounded below to give you some background (only 1 page plus 2 pictures which I have omitted here) and I have listed my three questions (in bold) at the end.
I really would be very grateful if anyone can help me.

William was wounded on 5th November 1918 and admitted to Casualty Clearing Station no. 6 on 5th or 6th November 1918 (it is difficult to interpret the writing on the Army Form, see below). 6 CCS was a Canadian Casualty Clearing Station based at Bois de Montigny from November 1918 until April 1919.1 and 2

Casualty Clearing Stations were often grouped together (1st and 23rd Canadian CCS were nearby), and located some miles behind the lines. They treated men to enable them to return to their unit or to be transported to a Base Hospital. They retained men who were unfit for either of the above two options, thus establishing an efficient triage system. Whilst able to carry out operations, the serious nature of the wounds with which they were often presented resulted in large cemeteries being built nearby. 6 CCS built the Montigny British Cemetery between November 1918 and February 1919. It contains the graves of 20 Canadian soldiers, 10 British soldiers and one United States soldier. There are several other cemeteries in the area. 1and 2

Sources: 1 CWGC – http://www.cwgc.org/find-a- cemetery/cemetery/59509/AUBERCHICOURT%20BRITISH%20CEMETERY

2 The Long, Long Trail by Chris Baker http://www.1914-1918.net/ccs.htm

Condren W J

Original Number Rank Unit Date of Embarkation

51559 Private 14th Battalion London Scottish 11 12 17

20/12/1917 Joined Unit

5 or 6/11/1918 Admitted 6 Casualty Clearing Station – SR? WD? (Wound?) – Jaw

8/11/1918 Admitted 88? B? H – GSW (gunshot wound) – jaw mild

(there is no 88 base Hospital – there is an 83 Gen Hospital based at Bolougne)

31/11/1918 Rejoined Unit

My interpretation of Army Form No: ? with an awful lot of help from The Long, Long Trail which told me that CCS is Casualty Clearing Station and that GSW is gunshot wound

Please does anyone know what SR is? and is WD wound?

He was definitely admitted to 83 Gen Hospital as I luckily found this on yet another Army Form (Casualty Form/Active Service)

Please does anyone have any idea of which battle this wound was received in?

His eldest daughter remembers that he was injured on 5th November as that would be Guy Fawkes night. She also remembers being told that he had to make his own way to a medic station and he met an injured Canadian soldier in a French farmhouse where he had stopped for a drink of water and they continued on together. Due to the date he was admitted to the casualty clearing station it could only be The Battle of the Sambre-Oise – 4 November 1918 (I am not sure whether this battle took place on just one day or lasted for several) or the passage of The Grand Honelle 5-7 November 1918, but which one?

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Just a thought, SR = Servere WD = Wound i.e. Servere Wound Jaw, Its hard to say without seeing the original though. I can't help you with the battle at this time i'm afraid as i'm off out and don't have the time to look it up for you.



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Thank you so much Elliott. I did not attach the digitised original form because it is on my Ancestry site and I understand that we should not post anything that has copyright. Your explanation sounds extremely plausible and I will use it if it is okay with you.

Please do not look anything up about battles, I only wanted people to comment if they knew of the battles. I am very grateful for your help and hope you have a good night out.

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It looks like SH to me,if so then a shell wound noted at time of injury and then CCS describing it as GSW.

Reading all the bits of paper reveals he was 1/14 Battalion ( 168 Brigade of 56 Division) from 29/12/1917 until 4/4/1919 when he was posted to 2/14 ( 90 Brigade of 30 Division) after regaining fitness. The Passage of the Grande Honelle seems the appropriate action,though I did see somewhere else in the papers that he was wounded on 10 November ! I have tried to find the unit War Diary but amazingly can't ! I note that some other Diaries of 56 Division are digital so if you can track it,probably someone here will find it,you can download it for 3.36 and find out about your subject's war from first arrival to wounding day. You could also get the digital WD for 2/14 for his service overseas from 4/19 under ref WO95/2340 in the NAs Discovery database.

Did you also notice that he joined the Public Works Battalion (1/16) Middlesex Regiment,service number PW1056,earlier in the war but was discharged on 5/1/1915 as under age ?

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My records for 56th Division show

4 Nov London Scottish (168 Bde) attack Sebourtquiaux. The Battle of the Sambre.

05.30 56th division Artillery and 147th Brigade AFA supported London Scottish attack. A281 advanced with

5 Nov 05.30 169th Brigade attack high ground to east of R. Aunelle and captured Angreau. Kensington’s and London Scottish (casualties 5 killed 18
wounded) attack Angre with artillery support. 4th Canadians take Rombies. Overnight on high ground to the W. of R. Grande Honnelle.

6 Nov Attack by 168th & 169th across river between Bois de Beaufort and Angre with very limited success. The London Scottish were tasked with

clearing the village and then advancing on Audrengies. C company crossed the River to the North of Angre, D at the village and A & B to the south.

Casualties 11 Killed, 56 wounded). Therir last action of the war

7 Nov Overnight 63rd division relieved 168th Brigade who retired to billets in Sebourg.

8 Nov Marched to Autreppe via Roisin and Eth by 10 Nov they were at Blairegnies 8 miles south of Mons, where they received news of the armistice.

I have followed most of that route through northern France into Belgium and have some more info and photos should you be interested.



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Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for being such a great help. I only started researching my grandfather at the beginning of last week and I am amazed at how much I have found out already, it really is like being a detective. I cannot emphasise how much help you have been – I know nothing about military history (originally a prehistorian and archaeologist many years ago) but I am enjoying learning about it. I would be very grateful if you would agree to let me use some of your information in the paper that I am writing for my aunts and cousins, it is only for the family, and I will mention the help that the Great War Forum has been to me.

If you do not mind I will reply to each of you in this post.

Elliott – thank you so much again and hope that you enjoyed your evening out.

Sotonmate – I am so impressed that you found the papers as they are in my Ancestry tree (Janice Read, maiden name) and I did not want to mention Ancestry as I understand that there may be copyright problems. I am even more impressed with your interpretation, I find them almost indecipherable! I think you are right about it being SH and I did notice something about 2/14 but could not read it, so thank you very much. No, I did not notice that he was injured on 10 November so that is two more things for me to research. Yes, I did know that he joined the Middlesex Regiment and was discharged for being underage (my cousin has a discharge document issued on his demobilisation in 1919) but none of us knew that it was the Public Works Battalion. Thank you so very much for all your hard work.

SPOF – many thanks for the link. It took me straight into the National Archives and gave me all the information I needed to request a quotation for a digitised copy of the war diary. I was so excited that I sat up quite late last night requesting a quotation and hope that it will not be too expensive. Thank you very much, it was extremely helpful.

Bob B – that is a truly amazing amount of information, thank you so very much as it has filled in so very many gaps for me. I am seriously impressed that you know so much – you must have done an awful lot of research! I would be very grateful if I could use it in my family paper and yes I would be very interested in some more information and photographs when you have time. I have never studied the Great War previously but am finding it immensely interesting and will try to remember everything that you are all teaching me.

Once again many thanks for all your help.

Best wishes,


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I am more than happy to have you use the information I supplied. When you can PM me (you need one more post to activate that facility) get in touch and I will e-mail you some more info.

My Grandfather was in the 56th Division Artillery so I went through the same process as you tracking down his movements and then going to France & Belgium followinin his tracks.

In the meantime there is a book which would greatly help you 'The London Scottish in the Great War' by Mark Lloyd. Click the 'More' button above for a way to purchase one.



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