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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Bruce Clark 2nd Batallion Grenadier Guards KIA 26th may 1918- Riviere


Guest clarkpn1

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Guest clarkpn1

Trying to find out more about my grandfather, it seems from the war diary he was killed on 26th May not 27th as on his war grave, there was some action on 27th may as well when 9 were killed, but none of his rank(corporal) and all 9 buried at Ayette, any futher information sought and also trench maps of the area in april/may 1918

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Trying to find out more about my grandfather, it seems from the war diary he was killed on 26th May not 27th as on his war grave, there was some action on 27th may as well when 9 were killed, but none of his rank(corporal) and all 9 buried at Ayette, any futher information sought and also trench maps of the area in april/may 1918

If you use the link on this site to "The Long Long Trail", it will tell you how to go about finding the information you are looking for. If you run into problems with any part of it I am sure there will be lots of help available.

Hazel C.

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It would be interesting to see your reasons for your belief that he was killed on the 26th. The regimental history states that: "...almost every day there were casualties amongst other ranks".

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There were two deaths on 26th.

DAINES, BENJAMIN. Rank: Lance Corporal. Service No: 26827. Date of Death: 26/05/1918. Age: 20.
Regiment/Service: Grenadier Guards. 2nd Bn.
Grave Reference: D 3. Cemetery: AYETTE BRITISH CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Alfred and Sarah Daines, of Brook St., Wethersfield, Braintree. A Builder. His brother S. Daines also fell.
WARD, ROBERT GEORGE. Rank: Lance Corporal. Service No: 13559. Date of Death: 26/05/1918. Age: 27.
Regiment/Service: Grenadier Guards. 2nd Bn. Awards: M M
Grave Reference: D. 6. Cemetery: AYETTE BRITISH CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Hannah Maria Ward, of 1, Gallows Hill, Hadleigh, Suffolk, and the late John Ward.
Historical Information: The village of Ayette remained in British hands from March, 1916 to the 27th March, 1918, when it was captured by the enemy; it was the scene of fighting by the Guards Division on the 28th, and it was retaken by the 32nd Division on the 3rd April, 1918. Ayette British Cemetery was made by fighting units in March-June, 1918.
There were 12 deaths on 27th, of whom 9 as you say are in Ayette, but two others are not, nor is
CLARK, BRUCE. Rank: Corporal. Service No: 22932. Date of Death: 27/05/1918. Age: 22.
Regiment/Service: Grenadier Guards. 2nd Bn.
Grave Reference: II. L. 6. Cemetery: BELLACOURT MILITARY CEMETERY, RIVIERE
Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Clark, of "Rushen," Crockfords Rd., Newmarket, Cambs.
Historical Information: The cemetery was begun by French troops in October 1914, and carried on by the 46th (North Midland), 55th (West Lancashire), 58th (London), 49th (West Riding) and other Divisions, and later by the Canadian Corps, from February 1916, to September 1918; and the French plot was increased in 1923 by concentrations from other cemeteries.
From the historical Information it is possible he was buried elsewhere and recovered later, and reburied in Bellacourt.
Alternatively he may have been wounded in the incident claiming 2 NCO's on the 26th and Died of Wounds on 27th....
Curses! That seems to be the case!
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Guest clarkpn1

Many thanks for the replies, we already have much of this information, but every clue or confirmation moves you further forward.

Our thoughts for the date of death were as follows: the regimental war diary entries around the date show only minor encounters with the enemy, the numbers killed outright, tally with those buried in other local cemetries. Records of the entire Grenadier Guards show that during WW1 83 Corporals were killed (The CWG entries show 82), there were no other deaths of corporals between 1st May 1918 and 1st June 1918 other than William Philips 22352 who was killed on 20th May.

The war diary entry for 26th May 1918 "our guns still shooting short- one shell killed a corporal". All 9 deaths for the 27th May can be matched with CWG records. I accept that some wounded died later but the diary entry is specific. It's not so much of putting the record straight, but tying down the time line for the action in the area on his actual date of death and trying to find out more about the actions on that day. Once again thanks for your help

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it seems you are trying to have the date of his death amended from 27th to 26th. Is that so?

Yet Soldiers Died int he Great War shows him as Died of Wounds as per SPOF (post #4).

In addition he is not buried at Ayette where most of the "instant" deaths were buried, indicating he may have been treated at a first Aid Post or CCS near to Riviere.

I don't understand your need to have the date changed.

The War Diary you are relying on states "..one shell killed a corporal" and you then say "All 9 deaths on the 27th May can be matched"
CWGC data clearly has 2 NCO's killed on 26th and 12 (not 9) for 27th.
The record therefore isn't "straight", and might include of men being temporary or Acting Corporals (which might therefore also explain the 83 versus 82 corporal deaths.
For the period you mention, 1st May to 1st June 1918, there are these NCO deaths in the 2nd Battalion.
CLARK BRUCE B 22 27/05/1918 Corporal Grenadier Guards 2nd Bn.
HILLMAN R 06/05/1918 Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards 2nd Bn.
PLACE THOMAS T 31 05/05/1918 Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards 4th Coy. 2nd Bn.
WILLIAMSON P 04/05/1918 Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards 2nd Bn.
BETTY S 28/05/1918 Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards 2nd Bn.
DAINES BENJAMIN B 20 26/05/1918 Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards 2nd Bn.
DUTTON JOSEPH THOMAS J T 27 18/05/1918 Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards 2nd Bn.
NEWMAN C 28 28/05/1918 Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards No. 2 Coy. 2nd Bn.
MALEY T 18/05/1918 Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards 2nd Bn.
WARD ROBERT GEORGE R G 27 M M 26/05/1918 Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards 2nd Bn.
MUNNS F J 06/05/1918 Serjeant Grenadier Guards 2nd Bn.
It's entirely possible to read the War Diary entry as referring to an Acting or Temporary Corporal, the others dying later in the day and not recorded by the compiler.
(They are not in directly adjacent graves which might indicate a difference in time of death).
It's possible that the 3 NCO's may be together and therefore all suffered (ultimately) mortal wounds from that one shell burst.
War Diaries aren't necessarily Gospel, or even eyewitness accounts, but collated as and when time allowed.
Phillips was 3rd Battalion in any event.
I'm all for accuracy where it can be substantiated, but I don't see that proved beyond reasonable doubt here.
I don't want to rain on your parade any further, so I'll butt out now.
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  • 1 month later...

I think I have a photo of Clark and his comrades in the UK - PM me and we'll organise a scan.

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