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Really Need HELP! 1st/24th Bttn London Regt


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Hello all,

My Great Grandfathers Brother served in the great war in the 1st/24th Battalion London Regiment which was part of the 47th (2nd London division). His name was Private Joseph Roberts 723014 born in Tiverton, Devon and lived in Wrangway, Wellington, Somerset. He died 08/06/2017 and if I am not mistaken that was the second day of the Battle of Messines. He is on the Menin Gate Memorial for the missing at Ypres and this is all the information i know about him.

I am very keen to find any information about him as my Grandfather gave me letters Joseph wrote to my Great Grandfather and my Great Great Grandmother (Joseph's mother) whilst he was in the trenches. Unfortunately my Grandfather is Getting on now so i would love to be able to tell him things about his uncle.

If anyone has any information or any ideas how to get info on him, even a picture. It would be really very much appreciated.

Thank you for reading this and possibly helping.

All the best

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It would appear that Joseph enlisted with the Somerset Light Infantry originally, No. 20791. You are correct with the 8th being the second day of the Battle of Messines. See here for further info; http://www.1914-1918.net/london.htm and http://www.1914-1918.net/47div.htm There are 39 pages of his service history on Ancestry if you have an account?



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There are a dozen or more pages of service record for him on Ancestry.

It tells you a lot about him, start there and try to get the war diary for the 24th London Regt for June 1917.


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A lot of papers have survived for him (available on Ancestry) makes interesting reading too. Enlisted 26-1-1916 in the SLI t/f to the London Rgt 6-6-1916. Gun shot wounds left leg 16-9-1916. Two days CB for knocking over a comrade on parade 3-6-1916. Three days CB for failing to attend church parade 10-12-1916. Listed as a horse dealer. Ralph.

Edit; BillyH beat me to it. :angry2:

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Arrow bottom right middle of page takes you through the papers, sometimes papers are out of order so "go" the other way, the left arrow key.Ralph.

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Hello TomHoops21

I have the war diary of the 1/24th London Regiment (The Queens) and unfortunately there is no mention in the diary on 8th June of casualties I quote below:-

"2nd Lieut. Sanders and Shields rejoin battalion from Reinforcement Camp. RQMS A.J.Beer awarded MSM" it does state on the 4th though:-

"Battalion moved by march route to road junction 400 yds S.E. of MILLE KAPELLEKEN FM N.E. of OUDERDOM and bivouacked until 9pm later relieving 20th Battn London Regiment in right sector canal sub sector THE BLUFF."

On the 7th June the diary says:-

"At 3.10am Battalion attacks according to plan capturing and holding the four objectives allotted to it (see attached narrative)"

In the narrative it states of the attack and I won't quote it all as it is too long:-

"The Battalion moved up to the trenches on the night 4/5th June and on the night of the 5/6th at 2.30 am a fighting patrol was sent out into the enemy front line trenches but no sign of the enemy could be found. The zero hour for the attack was fixed at 3.10 am on the 7th and at midnight on the 6/7th the Battalion moved forward to their position of assembly in the front line trench and CRATERS immediately north of the YPRES-COMMINES CANAL. This was a difficult and delicate operation owing to the close proximity of the enemy trenches, but largely owing to much attention having been paid to this part of the work during practice it was successfully carried out without loss. The strength of the attacking platoons averaged from 25 to 30 and the attack was carried out on a two company front distributed in four waves of the line." ( It then goes into quite a lot of company detail and 4 companies A,B,C,D were formed each allotted different areas to move in and attack)

"All the troops were out of the trench immediately after the mine at Hill 60 was fired. The broken nature of the ground prevented good lines being kept, but these were always in touch with troops on the flanks and there was little or no confusion. Our artillery barrage was so accurate that that the attacking troops were able to approach within 30 or 40 yards of it and there is no doubt that this prevented hostile machine guns being brought into action."

There is a lot more detail in this narrative along with trench maps of this action that your relative was involved in and this war diary is available for downloading from NA for £3.36.

Hopes this helps a little


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I have done it, i am looking through them now it is very interesting.

Mike. thanks for your help, i am going to download the diary and have a look aswell.

Thank you all sooo much for the help

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