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Royal Berkshires 9th Battalion New Irish Cemetery

Game pat

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Last week we visited the grave of Thomas Henry Murcott, he was in the Royal Berkshires 9th Battalion, Army No. 46980, he died 7/10/1917. Since coming home, I find there was originally only 73 graves in New Irish Cemetery, then at Armastice, they brought in soldiers from various cemeteries totalling 12,400, today I rang the CWGC, to find out which cemetery he came from, but there was no record. We were trying to ascertain which battle he died in, Royal Berkshires [The Wardrobe] were unable to help with any details, as far as I can tell the 9th Battalion were only in stationed in England, can anyone help with information as to which battle he died in, and which battalion or brigade he was fighting with. I do not have his service record.

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This is a bit odd......

SDGW gives the following:-

Thomas Murcott Pvt

Labour Corps No 102262

Formerly Devonshire Regiment No 42920

Killed in Action 7.10.17

Resident of Leamington

Born Cubbington Warwicks

Enlisted at Warwicks


Ancestry MIC says

Murcott TH Pvt

Devonshire Regiment 46987

Labour Corps 102262

entitled to Victory and British Medal ( thus must have gone overseas after 1915)

CWGC says

Thomas Henry Murcott


No 46980 Royal Berkshire Regiment 9th Bn.

formerly Devonshire Regiment

Date of Death: 07/10/1917

Age: 30

Grave Reference VII. C. 3.


Additional Information:

Son of Mrs. W. Murcott, of 15, Villiers St., Leamington Spa.

So lots of potential mistakes there

John Chapman (Purley) is the man for this as he has the records for the Royal Berkshire Regiment, Judging by the errors surrounding the ID of this man, I would not be surprised if the reference to the 9th Battalion RBR was wrong and the Labour Corps is right.

There were 8 other Labour Corps casualties on that day...further research might shed more light...

Edited by Rollerbeadle
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A few contradictions appear in the various records of this soldier's death,all have the same name that you post:

Medal Index Card: 46987 Devonshire and 102262 Labour Corps.

Soldiers Died in the Great War: Labour Corps 102262,formerly 42920 Devonshire. Born Cubbington Warwicks,resident Leamington,enlisted Warwick.

CWGC: 9 Royal Berkshire formerly Devonshire.KIA 7.10.1917.

Buried next to Thomas,and killed on the same day, is a soldier of 171 Company, Labour Corps. I wonder if they were in the same unit,seeing that the MIC shows Labour Corps too.

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This is really interesting, not sure quite where to look now, I am a 67 year old lady, very new on this site, not familiar on using it, how can I contact John Chapman [Purley]

for the CWGC to have that information on his headstone, I would assume when he died this information would be on him, or was he wounded and in hospital when he died? What battle would he have died in? Langemarck? I have managed to follow my own great uncle who died Battle Delville Wood with no difficulty he is on Thiepval Memorial. Thomas I really do not know where to look now. Would appreciate any help.

Thanks Pat

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The best way to contact John is to hit the members tab up the top, then search for Purley and send him a message... however, knowing John, it won't be long before he sees this thread,,,,he doesn't miss much...if anything :ph34r:

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This is what I think happened based on what happened to others in this period

First thing to recognise is that in England regiments were grouped by Commands with a central record office. Southern Command had their record office in Warwick and covered Warwicks, Worcester, Ox , Bucks, Berks, Wilts and Dorset and counties west.

So what would have happened is

Thomas was required to register in December 1916 under the Derby Act - He would have registered in Leamington.

As he didn't volunteer to serve he got called up under conscription by the Warwick office in April/May 1916 As he was classified medically for Labour Service

He was sent a travel warrant telling him to report to the depot of the Devonshire Regiment where he was given the number 46987 and allocated to 6th Infantry Works Coy

He was then sent for training to the Royal Berks 9th Bn and given the number 46980 At the end of his training the Royal Berks passed him back to Devons and on to 171 Coy Labour Corps as this was what the 6th Infantry Coy of the Devons had become when the Labour Corps was formed in March 1917. They got LC numbers 102001 to 102600.

He would have gone overseas with them and I would guess got killed either in an accident at an ammunition dump or in an enemy air raid.

All of this would have been too much for the Record Office to cope with - all they knew was that he had joined the Devons and then been sent to the 9th R Berks so when the CWGC asked for his details that is what they told them.

So why not follow up on the 171 Coy Labour Corps to see if there were any incidents around the time of his death

good hunting


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Wow I am amazed with the information which you supplied, I will pass this onto my friend as it was his great uncle, I am trying to help him out. my great uncle KRRC was very easy to follow,. as was my granddad, South Lancs. With Thomas I have struggled, I am going to try to get his service record. May I ask if you know how I find information on the 171 Coy Labour Corps, I am not quite sure where to go, I thought I might get something from The Long Trail, no success.

Thanks for all of your help John, much appreciated.


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Does anyone have information on the 171 COY Labour Corps, in Ypres October 1917, knowledge of accidents?

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