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Remembered Today:

Joseph Norris 29939, 8th (possibly 2nd) South Lancs Battalion


Don Regiano
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I'm trying to find out a bit more about Joseph Norris 29939, a relative from St. Helens, who we understand died of wounds on 5 August 1917 and is buried at Brandhoek New Military Cemetery. We are hoping to visit his grave later this year. We have a few papers about him - MIC, attestation etc and are now trying to find out what happened around the time of his death. CWGC states he was in the 8th South Lancs (which we believe is correct) but Findmypast lists him as 2nd battalion. In the event, it probably doesn't make much difference as they seemed to be together at the start of Passchendaele. However, from previous experience, I know it can be dangerous making assumptions! I guess the best course is to try to obtain the correct war diary for then.

Can anyone help/advise please?

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The South Lancs BWM/VM Rolls lists him as 8/SLR only.

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We have him recorded on the St Helens Rolls of Honour......

http://www.sthelensrollsofhonour.co.uk/casualty-858-Joseph_Norris.html

The diary has not yet been digitised but I will check the history this evening (if nobody else does before then).

Also, Private Isaac Hayes on my site at http://www.prescot-rollofhonour.info/casualty-172-Isaac_Edward_Hayes.html was killed serving with the 8th just a few weeks earlier, and his page will give you a little more information about the period before Jospeh's death.

Be back later....

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His service papers show that he was with the 2nd Bn for a few days in May 1917, but was then posted to the 8th. It also confirms the date of his wounding as 5th August, the day on which he died.

For that period, the history reads,

"At 8 pm on 1st August the remainder of the Battalion moved forward and completed the relief of the 2nd Division without further incident. On 2nd August there was a lull on this pat of the battle front, but the German artillery fire was ceaseless, and any movement in the open was greeted with a stream of machine gun bullets. While visiting his posts, Second Lieutenant E J S Solomon was hit in the stomach, dying of his injuroes, and 8 soldiers were killed and 26 wounded during the day.

The Battalion remained on the Westhoek Ridge until midnight on 6th August....

During the last three days in the line two more officers were wounded and 17 other ranks killed and 89 wounded..."

Hope this helps

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Thanks to all who have replied. I now have more definitive information on his final days which will help greatly.

Are the war diaries for that time available in non-digitised form? I noticed the 2nd battalion's are but can't seem to find any reference on NA regarding the 8th.

Regards.

Reg

(ex-St. Helens)

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Yes, the diary for the 8th Bn is available for viewing at Kew

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