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1/5 London Rifle Brigade - Combles


SMG65
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Can anybody tell me what the 1/5 London Rifle Brigade were doing on 6 September 1916?

They are not mentioned as being involved in fighting but had 29 killed?

Sean

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The History of the LRB 1859-1919 gives:

On 6th September the battalion "stood to" at 5am, but did not get orders to move till 2pm, when it set off for the support trenches known as Chimpanzee Valley (A.5). The slow and trying march across country, which was in a terrible condition, and through Carnoy (A.14), where the mud on the roads was 12 inches deep, only finished at 8pm and, as the SOS went up from the front lines just as the battalion came in, the LRB was treated to some terrific salvos from the British and French artillery, which were massed in the valley.

NigelS

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Sean

Nigel has probably given you the best info - the war diary states: 'Battn marched to GERMANS WOOD (GUILLEMONT trench map A 10 a 4.5) and then up to trenches in A 10 d where we remained the night.'

Kind regards

Colin

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Sean

my take on 6 - 10 Sept 16

The casualty roll shows that 126 men were killed or died from their wounds between 6 and 23 September. According to Soldiers Died, 29 other ranks were killed on 6 September, 2 died on the 7th although one of them died of disease so he was not a Leuze Wood casualty; there were no fatalities on the 8th but 5 on the 9th. The greatest number of men, 70, fell on the 10th. Between the 11 and 17 September, another 8 men died of wounds, two were killed on 15th and 16th respectively, 5 more spread over the period 18th to 22nd, and finally 3 fell on 23 September.

However, the high number of casualties recorded for 6 September does not correlate with the Battalion’s activities on that day. The Battalion was on the move to the front line and not shelled; indeed it enjoyed the spectacle of a mass shoot by the British and French artillery in Chimpanzee Valley. On closer examination these men are listed on the 1915 Star Roll as ‘DP’ – death presumed, i.e. posted as missing at the time of their death. The vast majority are listed on the BW/V Roll as ‘DP’ on 10 September not the 6th. The two others are shown as ‘DP’ on the 6th. On balance the BW/V Roll must be considered the more accurate of these sources, since even if the 6th was not a quiet day any casualties will certainly have been recorded. The men shown killed on 6 September were allotted their new six digit numbers showing they were originally listed as missing. Soldiers Died shows a few of the men killed on 10 September with six digit numbers but four digit numbers on the BW/V Roll (or five rather than four digits if they were ex Middlesex or men from other regiments posted to the 1st Battalion post Gommecourt).

The original situation then is not entirely clear, but of the 126 other ranks who died in this period in or near Leuze Wood, 12 were killed after 10 September and one before the 9th. The evidence thus suggests that about 110 other ranks were killed on 10 September and therefore about 240 were wounded.

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Thank You very much for your answers.

Regards

Sean

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Hi Ernie,

When you mention you collect info. is this for the the Rifles in the main, anything else as i do have a fair bit of info. in general, mainly 1st. Somme.?

Colin.

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