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Remembered Today:

King's Liverpool Regiment. 20th Battn, 89th Brigade 1915 - 1916


sylvie sillince

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Can anyone help me please? Off to visit the Battlefields... Two grandfather's in France, my Grandfather's battles sorted but...

My husband's grandfather was Pte Alfred Walsham 22873 Kings Liverpool Regiment

He joined up on 9.11.14

Landed France 7.11.15

Wounded 2.7.16 Gun shot wounds to arm and leg - from which like many, he suffered all of his life.

Home service after recovery until medical discharge 14.7.17

War Pension order book H366586 Pension number (?army) AC 5581

His personal note book states that he was in the 20th Battn, 89th Brigade and another note says "No 3 Canadian General and other stations down the line from Gladys Redout [sic] to Bolungue [sic]

His Medal Roll Card shows the 3 usual medals, Victory War and 15 Star , Theatre of war as " (1) France" with the qualifying date as above, ie., 7.11.15

However, in the Action taken sections, I cannot make out the writing, it looks like "SuB or SwB .........." H/708/2. I will upload it.

I have searched pension records online without success although I have not yet done the microfilms at TNA.

I would like to find the war diaries for the time he was in France, I have tried the National Archives online service but as a novice, cannot find the right Battalion. I have googled and looked at several sites for the Liverpool Regiment but have not been able to pin it down.

I would be very grateful if anyone could direct me to the right place to find the specific war diary and if anyone could transcribe the "Action taken" section of the Medal Roll Card

Thank for looking

Sylviepost-5065-0-15161100-1391952746_thumb.jp

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Sylvie

I'm sure the Liverpool Pals experts will be able to help with the details but I suspect that "Gladys Redout" is the Glatz Redoubt just to the east of Montauban on the Somme. Do you have anything already on the 20th's actions there on the 1st and 2nd July? I can have a go at some detail if not and I have some photographs of the battlefield as it is today. Was George from Liverpool originally?

Pete.

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Thank you so much Pete

After posting, I did some more googling and found that it was a Pals Regiment ( I now have an Old contemptible and a Pal!) and that the Battn. was involved in the Fist Battle of the Somme on July 1st taking Montauban. That is all I know and I am so grateful that you have been able to confirm what I found. I would love some detail if you can find anything, I will continue looking but I do get a bit bogged down in terminology of Battalions, Divisions and Corps etc.

Whilst googling, I noticed the Glatz redoubt and thought maybe I had mistranscribed his writing!

A photo of the battlefield as it is today would be of enormous help when we visit in June.

Alfred was indeed born in West Derby, Liverpool and worked on The Wirrall.

It is all beginning to make sense

Thank you again

Sylvie

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Sylvie

I'll search in various piles of books and start slimming down some photographs. If I've not come back to by teatime it will probably be because one of the pile of books has fallen on me and I'm digging my way out......

Pete.

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Oh Pete, I am sorry to put you to this trouble!

However, they do say what goes around, comes around, and in my hobby of Family History, I have often done the same for others. So here's hoping that the pile that lands just in front of your eyes is the one you were looking for, don't lose sight of it whilst you are digging your way out...

Meanwhile, if only I could encourage you with good news about British Cricket...

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There is a detailed account of the 4 Liverpool Pals Battalions, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th, KLR, in a book by the late Graham Maddocks, called (surprise!) Liverpool Pals. It might be worth a purchase or you could try to borrow it via inter library loan.

There is a website for the Liverpool Pals Memorial appeal, which aims to raise funds for a memorial to be placed in Lime Street. The site will tell you more.

Daggers

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Thank you, it is available and we have just purchased it online.

Will now google the appeal site.

Thanks again

Sylvie

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Oh Pete, I am sorry to put you to this trouble!

However, they do say what goes around, comes around, and in my hobby of Family History, I have often done the same for others. So here's hoping that the pile that lands just in front of your eyes is the one you were looking for, don't lose sight of it whilst you are digging your way out...

Meanwhile, if only I could encourage you with good news about British Cricket...

I exaggerate for comic effect, it is no trouble at all. I managed to hurl myself out of the way when the books came crashing down. I can second Daggers' recommendation of Liverpool Pals, what Graham didn't know about his subject isn't worth knowing. Probably best to gloss over the cricket..

The attached photos were taken from where the British front line met the French front line on 1st July 1916. The first one shows the ground that the 17th and 20th Kings Liverpool advanced across at 7.30. The front line ran across the cornfield to beyond the small clump of trees in the hollow and then turned up to the line of trees on the left horizon. The 20th attacked across the ground from either side of the small trees which is roughly where Machine Gun Wood was with the 17th between them and the camera position. The big clump of trees is Germans Wood and was immediately behind the German support trench. The 17th and 20th pushed on from German's Wood to take Dublin Trench which ran across the centre of the second photograph and even got into the brickworks at the end of the road just before it reaches Bernafay Wood. You can see Montauban church in both photos; the Glatz redoubt was just behind Germans Wood. If I've got any of this wrong I'm sure the experts will put me straight.

Pete.

post-101238-0-82796800-1391967876_thumb.

post-101238-0-23466200-1391967888_thumb.

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WOW, thank you. I shall copy and keep with my notes. We will be there on 20th June and who knows, maybe you and hubby will have something to be happier about as far as the cricket is concerned!

On the other topic, if anyone can translate the medal roll writing in the "Action Taken" section please

Thanks again

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WOW, thank you. I shall copy and keep with my notes. We will be there on 20th June and who knows, maybe you and hubby will have something to be happier about as far as the cricket is concerned!

On the other topic, if anyone can translate the medal roll writing in the "Action Taken" section please

Thanks again

Transcription would be SWB List H/708/2

It's his Silver War Badge roll reference.

If you have Ancestry access, you can view the relevant page from the roll here:

http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=SilverWarBadgeMedals&rank=1&new=1&MSAV=1&msT=1&gss=angs-d&gsfn=george&gsfn_x=NP&gsln=walsham&dbOnly=_F000678D|_F000678D_x%2c_F8006879|_F8006879_x&uidh=qzc&pcat=39&fh=0&h=353956&recoff=&ml_rpos=1

There's no additional information on the roll that you have not already mentioned above, except for the number of the Silver War Badge: 377415, and his age on Discharge: 24yrs blank months.

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War Diary references at The National Archives ....

30th Division, 89 Infantry Brigade, 20 Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment.

01 Nov 1915 - 30 Apr 1916 = TNA Reference: WO 95/2335/1, Catalogue Entry here: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C14054579
01 May 1916 - 31 Aug 1916 = TNA Reference: WO 95/2335/2, Catalogue Entry here: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C14054580

Neither has been digitised I'm afraid, so it'll have to be a visit to Kew.

He would have been in the KLR's Depot Coy for his UK service after recuperation. Home based units don't usually have War Diaries, but I haven't looked for it.

HTH

Mark

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Thank you Mark for these messages. I have downloaded the Roll book from Ancestry and thank you for translating the hieroglyphics and for the WO references, very useful indeed.

So much help on this site, thank you all

Sylvie

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Liverpool and Manchester Pals were at the forefront of the assault on Montauban on 1st July 1916, alongside a number of other Regiments. Graeme Maddocks' book 'Montauban' in the Battleground Europe series is the best source I've seen.

Here's the Pals Memorial in Montauban. Sorry I haven't captured the Liverpool side.

post-95694-0-45693600-1392827377_thumb.j

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This is a photo looking north at Montauban from the position of Glatz Redoubt. The 20th KLR were to the east of this point with the 19th Manchesters of 21 Brigade to the West. 90th Brigade then passed through the newly won positions and swept into the the first village to be taken on the 1st July.

post-95694-0-04921800-1392828069_thumb.j

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Thank you very much, the photo will be or enormous help when we visit. We have now obtained both the books suggested, the Graeme Maddocks book and the Liverpool Pals Memorial Fundraising book. Excellent reading. The former has made us realise that both my husband's and my paternal grandfathers were both in the same 89th Brigade. Hubbies grandfather survived the war after being wounded on 2nd July and my grandfather was in the 2nd Bedfordshires, survived but wounded (sometime 1914-18)

The stone is worth a good look, maybe even the 2nd Beds are mentioned - two birds with one stone as it were!

Thank you again

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The stone is worth a good look, maybe even the 2nd Beds are mentioned - two birds with one stone as it were!

Hi Sylvie, two birds, good one. Unfortunately the 2nd Beds don't get a mention; the other side of the memorial is the same text in French. But don't let that put you off in any way. Hope you have a cracking trip; the one thing many of us can't do is see the battlefields for the first time so I for one am really envious of you.

Pete.

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Thank for all of your help. We are now going to sit down and sort out the whole itinerary covering Dunkirk and the BEF in Belgium for my father during WW2 (another fortunate survivor) , the First Battle of Ypres for the 2nd Beds and this battle on the Somme for the 20th KLR. Busy times ahead but worth the effort. We have a holiday booked in France so are going over 5 days before it starts to take all of this in, accommodation and ferries booked so it really is going to happen. We have been promising ourselves to do it for years. I'm sorry you can't do the same.

Without help from this forum and from the similar site for WW2, I really don't think I would have got my head around it all. If I can help anyone else out please let me know, although our time will be at a premium, small detours for photos etc., might be ok

Sylvie

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Thank for all of your help. We are now going to sit down and sort out the whole itinerary covering Dunkirk and the BEF in Belgium for my father during WW2 (another fortunate survivor) , the First Battle of Ypres for the 2nd Beds and this battle on the Somme for the 20th KLR. Busy times ahead but worth the effort. We have a holiday booked in France so are going over 5 days before it starts to take all of this in, accommodation and ferries booked so it really is going to happen. We have been promising ourselves to do it for years. I'm sorry you can't do the same.

Without help from this forum and from the similar site for WW2, I really don't think I would have got my head around it all. If I can help anyone else out please let me know, although our time will be at a premium, small detours for photos etc., might be ok

Sylvie

Sylvie, tell us all about it when you get back, it sounds epic.

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  • 4 months later...

As requested - an update.

We are back from a fascinating 5 day tour which took in all relevant areas for my father's war (mainly Dunkirk), hubbies grandfather (Liverpool Pals) and my grandfather (Bedfordshires). We went to Albert and Ypres (In Flanders Fields Museum is superb and a day there would not be wasted) along with trips to many CWG cemeterys and museums for both wars.

The most striking thing to discover before we went, with help from the site and the recommended books, was that both grandfathers fought side by side in the 89th Division on the attack towards Montauban.

We spent an afternoon in the fields south of Montauban, we searched for the Chateau to be told by some French ladies that it was destroyed during the war (they didn't say which war!) and took in the positions of the Glatz redoubt (where hubbies grandfather started his journey 'back up the line' after being injured on July 2nd), the Briquetterie, Germans Wood etc. We took loads of photos and I would be happy to share any or all of them if you PM me. I have a plan of where the photos were taken from and in which direction they were taken so if you can understand my hieroglyphics you could pick which ones you would like.

The poppies were out...

Thanks again for all of your help.

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Sylvie

I'm really glad you had a fulfilling trip; the poppies sound like they were the finishing touch.

Pete.

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War Diary references at The National Archives ....

30th Division, 89 Infantry Brigade, 20 Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment.

01 Nov 1915 - 30 Apr 1916 = TNA Reference: WO 95/2335/1, Catalogue Entry here: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C14054579
01 May 1916 - 31 Aug 1916 = TNA Reference: WO 95/2335/2, Catalogue Entry here: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C14054580

Neither has been digitised I'm afraid, so it'll have to be a visit to Kew.

He would have been in the KLR's Depot Coy for his UK service after recuperation. Home based units don't usually have War Diaries, but I haven't looked for it.

HTH

Mark

UPDATE (some months on): TNA has now digitised these diaries and they're available to download at £3.30 each. Just follow the original links above.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Sylvie,

Like Pete said, the first visit to the Battlefields is a great experience and it sounds like you had a great time. Now I've returned so often I feel remarkably at home in those fields between Maricourt & Montauban. There always seems to be a reason to go back, although my wife & daughters don't always agree!

Have a look at the plan on post #2 of my other thread. http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=214845&hl=

There were quite a few KLR & Manchester men buried in Vernon Street (1661). Half of the graves were blown up in subsequent actions which makes that quite a solemn place. Perhaps we'll both be placing poppies at the bottom of the track to Talus Bois in the not too distant future.

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I was looking at the local news (for local people) last night and there is a NW Tonight special on the Liverpool Pals which is due to go out on the 4th August at around 7 I think. It's narrated by Sue Johnston and my mate Tony was heavily involved. The trailer had a lovely shot across the fields to Germans' Wood and Montauban beyond with poppies swaying in the breeze. I assume it will be North West only but may be available on the I-player.

Pete.

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