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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

C.S.M. 25592 William WHITHEAD, D.C.M., M.M.


GrahamC

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Hi pals

I have just been given a copy of this photograph of William Whitehead, 2/7 S.F., who was k.i.a. 21 Mar 1918 at Bullecourt. He is NOT one of my Buxton lads, and apparently came from Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

The photo has been annotated by Pt. Robert Blood - see previous post here - who was his pal in the 2/7th. Hopefully, it will be of interest to other S.F. pals.

I'd be interested if anyone has any info on his DCM and MM awards.

Cheers

Graham

post-37838-0-21149800-1394647431_thumb.j

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WHITEHEAD D.C.M. William: Sergeant 25592: 16th (Chatsworth Rifles) Battalion: London Gazette 19.2.1917: For gallantry in action on 13.11.1916 in the attack on St Pierre Divion.

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  • 4 years later...

On behalf of my wife's family (on whose behalf I am doing some ancestry searches), i would like to thank all who have contributed to this thread - he had been almost entirely forgotten over the years and generations - this information has been passed onto his family and has rekindled the memory of a very. brave man.  Thank you.

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Hi Richard,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

On ‎12‎/‎03‎/‎2014 at 22:07, Woody said:

WHITEHEAD D.C.M. William: Sergeant 25592: 16th (Chatsworth Rifles) Battalion: London Gazette 19.2.1917: For gallantry in action on 13.11.1916 in the attack on St Pierre Divion.

 

For clarification, I think that relates to the award of his MM, rather than his DCM.

 

image.png.e8de0067ceed6de73c55443abe9ae117.png

Image source: Findmypast

 

I suspect that Woody has access to a resource about the Chatworth Rifles that gives the date for the MM award action. The Battalion war diary for November 1916 is here at the National Archives, or here on Ancestry.

 

FMP have a few pages of Williams' service record (link - they should also be available on Ancestry). They indicate that having spent some time back in the UK, he was transferred to the 2/7th Bn on 18.8.1917. The 2/7th Bn appear to have been merged with the 1/7th Bn in February 1918 (link), so I guess that strictly speaking, when he died he was no longer a 2nd line 7th Bn man, and was a (1st Line,) 7th Bn man. For March 1918, their war diary is here at the National Archives, and here on Ancestry.

 

My guess would be that the photo being annotated that he was killed at Bullecourt, is slightly misleading. I think that it may have been the nearest large town, but that he probably died near the ('in ruins') village of Noreuil.

 

On the first day of the massive German Spring Offensive of 1918 (21.3.1918) 59 Division (of which 7/SF were a part) took a hammering, not just with men being killed, but also units being overwhelmed and taken PoW. The Battalion war diary is here, or here. It would also be worth looking at this thread and this Report on Operations.pdf  There is help on how to read map references here

 

Some of the trenches mentioned can be seen on this map extract.

image.png.bce31eb4552fdcb70652c33c3715214b.png

Image source: the National Library of Scotland

 

From a slightly later date this link should take you through to a map showing the location of Iggaree Corner. You can use the transparency slider to see how the area fits in with the modern landscape.

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk
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I have a feeling that his medal group was, at one time, in the regimental museum at Nottingham Castle, but am not 100% sure.

Another DCM group to the Robin Hoods, which I definitely recall seeing on many occasions to CSM Mortimer can no longer be traced by the regiment.

Mel will certainly confirm if the museum still holds Whitehead's group. 

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