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Remembered Today:

24th Brigade of 8th Division, British Army


yorksburnett
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Hello

I'm researching the 1st World War service of a soldier who was in the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. I know this regiment was part of the 24th Brigade of the 8th Division of the British Army and that it was in action on the Western Front throughout the war. I am trying to find out exactly where the 8th Division were during October 1916 and which action/battle they were engaged in at that time. My soldier was killed in action on 23 Oct 1916.

Thanks in anticipation

Penzance Bill

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Bill

Firstly,8 Division didn't seem to be fighting in any specific battle,according to the Long Long Trail. They are shown as being in on the first day of the Battles of the Somme at Albert from 1-13 July 1916 and thereafter did not seem to appear at other battles. Interestingly,there are quite a few casualties from 2 ELR from 23 and 24 October 1916.Some of them are buried at Bancourt British Cemetery which is around 4kms E of Bapaume. However,they weren't first buried there and were concentrated into this Cemetery after war's end by the IWGC (now the CWGC).If you look at the Cemetery on the CWGC site you will see the three cemeteries from which they were likely transferred.

Unless someone here with a knowledge of the ELR knows of the days actions,I shall refer you to the unit War Diary which is at Kew under ref WO95/1720 which runs from 1 Jul 1916 to 31 Jan 1918. It is not yet digital though.There you will find the positions and situations of the period.

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You've hit the nail on the head Sotonmate.

I've scoured all the relevant websites, including The Long Long Trail, and have found no reference to the 8th Division other than that they were involved in the Battle of Albert. There is a suggestion that my soldier died at Guedecourt, not verified in a primary source. Does this offer any clue?

Penzance Bill

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Bill

The regimental history has the battalion attacking Mild Trench near Guedecourt on the 23rd. The battalion lost 12 officers and 182 men.

I hope this helps

Kind regards

Colin

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Hello Colin

Thank you very much for this. I can at last complete my short biography of this man. He would have been one of the 12 officers who were killed on 23rd Oct 1916.

I notice that one of your interests is the University and Public Schools Brigade, Royal Fusiliers. This soldier was Ernest Isaac Barrow, a graduate of Manchester University who had become a school master. He enlisted in the 20th Bn (U.P.S) Royal Fusiliers on 7th Sep 1914, transferred to 10th Bn South Lancashire Regiment, which was attached to the 2nd Bn East Lancashire Regiment. According to an announcement in the London Gazette he was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant on 11th Apr 1915. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour Register confuses the issue slightly having him as a Lieutenant in 3rd Bn S. Lancs. Regt. att. 2nd Bn E. Lancs. Regt. His War Medal Roll Index Card introduces further confusion. I always find these very difficult to interpret but it appears to show him first as a private in the Royal Fusiliers and commissioned as Lieutenant in March 1915 in the S. Lancs Regt. then attached to the 2nd E. Lancs. with both Lieutenant and 2nd Lieutenant shown in the column headed Rank. He is commemmorated as 2nd lieutenant on a war memorial in one of the schools at which he was a teacher but as a lieutenant on the Manchester University War Memorial.

All very confusing!

Thanks again for your help.

Bill

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Bill

I think I should be thanking you; I'm compiling a spreadsheet for every soldier with a PS/ service number - E I Barrow was not on my list because I presume his service number is not on his MIC so therefore does not easily turn up on ancestry and because he was gazetted before the UPS battalions went overseas he is not on the medal roll for them. I would presume his service number was circa PS/4405 to 4450. I presume some of the above data came from his file from Kew (339/26741). I appreciate your problem - rank is a very difficult issue with substantive, temporary and acting ranks for officers leading to contradictory documents.

Thanks again

Kind regards

Colin

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Only too pleased to have helped you Colin and thank you very much for the extract from the 8th Division History Peter - much appreciated.

Bill

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If I could pick your brains once more.

Concerning Ernest Isaac Barrow, atttached 2nd Bn. E. Lancs. Regt., killed in action at Guedecourt on 23 Oct 1916. His entry in the Manchester University Roll of Service indicates that he was mentioned in despatches. Is there any way that I can get further details of this?

Bill

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Hopefully the Probate record will settle things for you

Barrow, Ernest Isaac, of Brantwood, Westhoughton, Lancashire, a temporary lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion South Lancashire regiment died 23 October 1916 in France whle in actual military service. Probate Manchester 22 February 1917 to Isaac Barrow, cashier at a cotton mill. Effects £206 7s 8d.

Whilst it's a clumsy wording for Active Service, Soldiers Died shows him as Killed in Action, not Died of Wounds.

My uneducated take on his service is

Private Royal Fusiliers in UK whilst training then selected for commission as 2nd Lieutenant in 10? South Lancs, then to France as temporary Lieutenant (substantive 2nd Lt for pay etc) in 3rd Bn South Lancs and then attached to 2nd East Lancs - but an expert Pal will know better!

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Thanks Kevin

Interesting that the probate record describes him as a temporary Lieutenant but there seems to have been some confusion over which regiment and battalion Ernest Isaac Barrow was in. There are now three different sources that have him in three different battalions of the South Lancashire Regiment! I am, however, certain that at the time of his death he was attached to the 2nd East Lancashire Regiment and that's good enough for me.

Regards

Bill

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