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11th (Lewisham) Battalion , The Royal West Kent Regiment .


Crutchie
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Hi Everyone ,

This is my first post , so please bear with me . I am trying to find out some more information about my Grandad who served with the above . His name was Pte William John Crutchlow No G8631 and he enlisted in 1915 , and was wounded in action on the Somme in 1916 . I am trying to find out where he may have been fighting when he was wounded . With the research i have done i think this may have been at the battle of Fleurs Courcelette or the battle of the Transloy Ridges , but i am no means sure of this .

My dad has Grandads Honourable Discharge Certificate , service medals , and pictures of him in his uniform , with my Grandmother , and a friend of his , all together in a framed display at home.

Any help from you very knowledgeable members would be much appreciated .

Many Thanks

Paul

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Paul,

Apparently he lost his silver war badge, but was lucky enough to have it returned!

He also has pension records on Ancestry.

BillyH.

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Flers-Courcelette 15-22 September.

Transloy 1 - 18 October.

41 Division,see page from the Long Long Trail at top left of page:

http://www.1914-1918.net/41div.htm

Later edit: Looking now at Billy's post a couple of minutes before mine you are likely to see when he was wounded from that.

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The papers say wounded on 15.9.1916,the first day of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.

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Your man probably first landed in France with the Battalion in May 1916. You can read the digitised War Diary by downloading it from the Discovery database at the National Archives.The reference is WO95/2634/4 and you get all the units of 122 Infantry Brigade, of which 11WKR were part,from May 1916 to war's end,for the fee of 3.36.

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Thanks very much sotonmate and BillyH , that`s fantastic info . i will be onto Ancestry and the National Archives for that info .

BillyH , that`s very interesting re the Silver War Badge , as after a quick search on Google , the certificate we have for his Honourable discharge is the certificate that looks like it came with the badge .

Thanks again.

Paul

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Paul,

Info re Silver War Badge is on medal card, which it doesn't sound like you have?

BillyH.

EDIT I have deleted an image of a MIC. There is nothing wrong with transcribing the information, but copyrighted images should not be posted other than by the member raising a query. Forum rules apply. Keith Roberts

EDIT (by BillyH this time) So how can it be ok for the person raising the query? A copyrighted image is a copyrighted image.

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The soldier enlisted on 28.6.1915,and was discharged to wounds on 1.5.1917.

This info gained from the Silver War Badge List E932 (Hounslow).

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Thanks BillyH for posting the picture of the medal card , you are right , we don`t have that either. I wonder where the police found his badge ? and thanks again to sotonmate for the enlistment date . That`s even more interesting as my Grandads was born , 5/9/1899 , that makes him a couple of months short of sixteen .

Again , thanks very much for all the help .

Paul

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William attested on his service record as being 19 years and 100 days old. The 1901 Census gives him as 3 years old ,so he would have been 17 when he joined the 11WKR so he might have just been a bit short of 18 when he landed in France !

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Thanks again sotonmate . He was definitely born in 1899 . Looks like he exaggerated his age a bit , like a lot of the brave boys that wanted to do their bit .

Thanks for all the info , my dad is thrilled by it , as most of this he did not know . My grandad never spoke about what he went through to him .

Paul

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Hi All,

After fantastic help from BillyH and sotonmate , i am trying to find out some more info on the 11th Battalion Queens Own Royal West Kents , and my Grandad . Would anybody know where i could see a copy of Captain R O Russell MC , " History of the 11th battalion " apart from the IWM or the British Libary ?

I am especially interested in what happened on the 15th Sept 1916 , the first day of the battle of Fler - Courcelette , and what Captain Russell had to say about the battle.

Many Thanks

Paul

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Paul

Captain Russell's detailed account in his history of the 11th Battalion runs to seven and a half pages! (p64 to p71) summed up in his last sentence - "Of the 610 of all ranks who went into action, 343 had become casualties."

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Hi Peter ,

Really seven and a half pages !!. I have read C T Atkinson`s " History of the QORWK`s" account of the battle and i read the QORWK battlion historys on the Maidstone Mueseum website , and i knew how hard and costly the fighting was .

I would love to read Captain Russell`s account for myself , hence i was wondering if any local libary or archive would have a copy that i could read.

Kind Regards

Paul

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Paul

Can you send me a Personal Message (PM) with your email address - Thanks.

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Paul,

Lewisham Library Archives had a copy when I was last there (couple of years ago now) as did the Kent Archive Center at Maidstone.

I have a number of men on my database who enlisted on the same day as your grandfather if you're interested?

The 11th had quite a number of under-age enlistments. Forum pal Mike Dury (PerthDigger) has done a lot of research into these lads.

BTW I'd love to see the pics if there's any chance

Stuart

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Hi Stuart ,

Ah , of course , Lewisham library , how silly of me , thanks for that . I would be very interested to see the names you have . The couple of pictures my dad has in the display of my grandad and grandmother also has my grandad`s best friend in them , unfortunately we don`t know his name . It`s possible he`s name could be " Wally " Westcott/ Westcote , as my dad can vaguely remember his father talking about him on various occasions many years ago .

I will be popping over to my mum and dads soon , and will take some pictures and post on here . That`s interesting regarding the under age enlistments , i wonder why that was ? i remember seeing on a previous search for info on the QORWK , a recruiting advert for the battalion saying the training depot in Catford , had some of the best cricket pitches in London , and encouraged all types of sport . Also smoking concerts ( with free cigarettes) . My grandad was very sporty young and fit , he played a lot of football and liked a smoke . I wonder if that`s what drew him and a lot of his mates to the Regiment .

Paul

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Paul

Based at Canadian Avenue, Catford the Private Banks Sports Club was run from there in recent years - Like Stuart I look forward to seeing any photographs you may have.

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....And a small point of interest - Canadian Avenue was known at the time as Berlin Road. I believe the name was changed as a result of the war.

Regards,

Kev Loughnane

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Paul,

I'll P.M you with a list of names

Stuart

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  • 9 months later...
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  • 6 years later...

Good evening- I am currently researching a man of the Lewisham battalion and am trying to identify to which units men of the battalion were sent when it was disbanded on 16 March 1918. I have tried searching for the War diary for the period but the TNA holdings (at least downloadable ones) only.seem to go up to the battalion's departure for Italy. Can anyone advise  please? Many thanks

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33 minutes ago, Manipled Mutineer said:

Good evening- I am currently researching a man of the Lewisham battalion and am trying to identify to which units men of the battalion were sent when it was disbanded on 16 March 1918. I have tried searching for the War diary for the period but the TNA holdings (at least downloadable ones) only.seem to go up to the battalion's departure for Italy. Can anyone advise  please? Many thanks

The Medal Rolls should tell you where an individual soldier was posted, it appears a number were posted to the 1st Bn., then again they would have been sent to the Base and could have gone anywhere.

 

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2 hours ago, kenf48 said:

The Medal Rolls should tell you where an individual soldier was posted, it appears a number were posted to the 1st Bn., then again they would have been sent to the Base and could have gone anywhere.

 

Thanks Ken - useful to know that the 1st battalion is a possibility. Unfortunately, the medal roll only gives the 6th and 11th battalions, in that order. As my man also appears as wounded on the War Office list for 28 June 1918, that leads me to think that his active service career extended beyond the disbandment of the 11th, to some time in April/May 1918. He is still recorded as being with the Royal West Kents on the daily list entry, which had led me to speculate that he might have been with an entrenching battalion, possibly. My next step is to try and see if there are any other RWK men on the same list entry/Part and see if there are any patterns there.

 

UPDATE: The other RWK man on my man's Part of the list is (L/)11737 Pte W. G. Barrett, who served with the 1st Battalion. Barrett's service record survives and indicates that he was wounded on 20 April 1918. Whilst only suggestive, I think this is probably as close as I'm going to get.

Edited by Manipled Mutineer
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 01/05/2021 at 20:05, Manipled Mutineer said:

Good evening- I am currently researching a man of the Lewisham battalion and am trying to identify to which units men of the battalion were sent when it was disbanded on 16 March 1918. I have tried searching for the War diary for the period but the TNA holdings (at least downloadable ones) only.seem to go up to the battalion's departure for Italy. Can anyone advise  please? Many thanks

From the battalion history,

 

5 Officers and 250 Other Ranks to the 10th Battalion of the Regiment

 

2 Officers and 100 Other Ranks to the 6th Battalion of the Regiment

 

52 Other Ranks to the 41st Machine Gun Battalion.

 

10 Officers and 387 Other Ranks to the 11th Entrenching Battalion. (Arras VII Corps).

 

18 Officers and 12 Other Ranks (9 Warrant Officers and 3 Sergeants) to Base.

 

A few individuals were transferred to other units as Royal Engineer Signals.

 

And finally 9 Officers and 105 Other Ranks were  on leave, in hospital or attached to other units and were posted/transferred in due course.

 

Stuart.

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