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L/cpl 16925 James Henry Meeks1st Northamptonshire Regiment


Garry Wills
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Could any member help my out my great uncle L/cpl J H Meeks was killed in action on 18th Aug 1916 his regiment the 1st battalion Northamptonshire Regiment I understand they were fighting for a series of trenches at High Wood.

I have found where his is laid to rest, but would be interested to find out about his service record but can't seem to find them.

Many thanks

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An obituary article appeared in the Northampton Independent on 30 September 1916:

post-6536-0-30749500-1382874718_thumb.jp

His grave at Contalmaison Chateau Cemetery (photo taken in April 2011):

post-6536-0-77287600-1382871181_thumb.jp

As the article says he enlisted in January 1915 - I would narrow that down to about the 6th or 7th January 1915. After that he would have trained with the 3rd Reserve Battalion at Weymouth before being posted overseas to 1st Battalion on 19 March 1915. He would then have gone through the Battle of Aubers Ridge on 9 May 1915 and the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915. He is then reported wounded in the Times of 25-4-1916, which equates to a period in the trenches at Loos between 2nd and 5th April 1916. This wound may have been only a light wound, since he is obviously back in action by August 1916.

As Jim posted on the other topic the 1st Battalion was one of several battalions trying to get a footing in High Wood. In the Northamptons case, this was by attempting to take trenches on the ridge west of High Wood to gain observation down into the valley beyond High Wood and also to make the German position in High Wood as untenable as possible. They did manage to capture ground to the west of High Wood (later consolidated into Clark's Trench, named after the commander of "C" Company), and also "A" Company gained a hold on the ridge before being forced to retreat back to Clark's trench once they could no longer hold their gains.

It would appear that his service record was one of those lost in the air raid in WW2 that destroyed many of the WW1 Service Records.

Steve.

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Steve,

Many thanks for this info including photos as nobody has pics of James and I can actually see some family likness.

Can I ask if you have any info on James elder brother George Fredrick Meeks, in James obituary notice it mentions his brother

Being injured and in a London hospital, I can remember as child he had lost his right hand , I can't seem to find any records of him

at all being in the war.

many thanks again

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I am 95% sure that George Frederick Meeks is 16236 George Meeks of the 5th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment. He enlisted on 14 November 1914 and served overseas with 5th Battalion from 21st July 1915. The Times Casualty Lists report him as wounded in the edition of 7-8-1916. This would equate to wounding on about 8 July 1916 when the battalion (who were a Pioneer battalion - basically "combat" trench builders) were in action at Ovillers between the 3rd and 8th of July. He was discharged on 17 March 1917.

These details fit, but I cannot definitively link him to Moulton.

Steve.

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