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13th Gloucesters 1st July 1916


chrissparrow

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Dear All,

I would love to find out more about this chap. In particular why the 13th Gloucester's were fighting at Loos on July 1st 1916? In my memory bank I think that this was a diversionary attack to support the Somme offensive, but can quite recall?

Thanks,

Chris

REED, CHARLES J. Rank: Private Service No: 18175 Date of Death: 01/07/1916 Age: 33 Regiment/Service: Gloucestershire Regiment 13th Bn. Panel Reference Panel 60 to 64. Memorial LOOS MEMORIAL Additional Information:

Husband of Emily Reed, of 6, Jubilee Terrace, Yate, Bristol.

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The 13th Gloucesters was a pioneer battalion, with the 39th Division.

The 116th Brigade (39 Div) fought a diversionary action at Richebourg l'Avoue on 30 Jun '16 - I suspect he was caught up in that in some way - anything from being caught in the German counter-barrage to some pioneering in no-man's land. See http://www.royalsussex.org.uk/Richebourg.htm for more on the attack.

War diary might shed more light on it: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7354191

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Morning Chris

WD - I have a feeling this was given to me by someone from the Forum (cannot recall who) so credit goes to them

30th – A short report with approx. casualties is attached as appendix A.
A full report will be furnished with the diary of the month of July.
Officers killed – 2nd Lt. A.O. Miles. Wounded- Lt. R.P. Wild, 2nd Lts. N.H. Langley Smith and L.K. Collins.
Appendix A
“A” – This party reached starting point 10 mins before time and were organised into carrying parties to
carry up their pickets and hurdles which I had dumped near entrance to Cadburys C.T. Carrying
commenced at 12.5 am. Owing to failure of pipe pusher mine breastwork could not be constructed, so a
trench was dug, but could not reach enemy saps at Boars Head owing to devil enemy wire, which was not
cut. Work was made almost impossible from the beginning by parties of RE trying to get through the saps
with hurdles etc. while the infantry were already using it to retire through. Party was then utilised to man
fire trenches, as a counter attack was expected. There were not enough infantry to do this. At 6.15 am
after consultation with the Infantry Officer i/c of that part of the line the Pioneers were withdrawn, leaving
2 Lewis Guns and team under M.G. Sergt.
Approx. Casualties – 1 officer, 10 OR.
“B” - This party arrived at starting point 2 mins before time and followed their route to position. A 3.12am
this party went over into No Man’s Land, laid out Communication Trench with cord and electric torch held
by an NCO in the German communication trench, our trench was to join up with. Germans were holding
their front line 2 bays northward from where we joined it. This party succeeded in completing this
communication trench in spite of losing both its officers. Depth of digging taken out varied from 2’ to 5’
and gave good cover all the way. This Comm. Trench was used for ammunition supply. At times the men
had to stop digging to drive off hostile bombing parties approaching from the left flank. This party was
withdrawn about 6am. Casualties – Officers – 2. OR - 42.
“C” - This party arrived at starting point at 1.10am and proceeded by route to position, which owing to
obstruction was not reached until 3.20am. At this time what was thought to be the 3rd wave of Infantry
was retiring, and under these circumstances the officer i/c decided that work on the proposed comm.

Trench was not possible. He then reported to the nearest Infantry Commander who ordered him to man
the empty fire bays in front line between Vine and Bond St. and this was done. Later he was ordered to
clear 2 comm. Trenches which had been blown in between Vine and Bond St. to enable wounded to be
evacuated. On completion of this work he received permission from officer i/c Infantry to withdraw his
men. Casualties – 1 officer, 16 OR
“D” - This party arrived at starting point 8 mins before time and followed route to position. On arrival a lot
of infantry were still there and the officer i/c was informed that this was the 4th wave which had not yet
gone over. Pioneers stood by in bays off Hazara and the officers in charge of party went forward to front
line and found remnants of our 3rd wave coming back under heavy shelling and MG fire. The German line
where the left flank breastwork was to join it was never taken by our infantry. Under these circumstances
work was impossible. This party then moved into front line to man empty fire bays on an order being
received from the right that this was to be done. Two Lewis Guns with this party were also placed in
position here. There being no infantry officer to report to in this part of the line, the officer i/c of this party
organised his men and any infantry who came under his control. On receipt of a verbal message that
ammunition was urgently required by our troops holding the German line to the right he organised an
ammo. Party and proceeded with it up ‘B’ party’s continuation of Copse St and delivered 2 boxes to the
infantry who had sent for it. He attempted to get up a 3rd box and some Mills Grenades but owing to the
intensity of the fire on our breastwork, was unable to again cross it. This party later went over again and
brought in several wounded. The party was finally withdrawn on receipt of my orders between 7 and 8
am. Some of the infantry who had come into this part of the line taking over the fire bays.

Officers- nil.
OR – 8.
July
1st – Quiet day. Usual working parties at night. 2 Lt. Vowles with 1 sergt. Went out to try to recover
wounded reported still in No Man’s Land. Unsuccessful. Heavy bombardment of Divs. on our right and left.

Regards,

Graeme

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Graeme & Phil,

Thank you so much for the info - I have a much better picture now and will make some relatives happier and wiser. Sorry to be slow in replying but have had a silly week at work!

Thanks again,

Chris

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