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Remembered Today:

Private Alfred Green #108537, 57th Coy, MGC, help needed...


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Hello everybody,

I'm looking for any information such as service records, pictures etc...about my great grand-father Alfred Green. According to the War Graves Comission, he is buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt Cemetery (I've been there as a child in the seventies), he died on the 13/12/1917. Something is strange, because according to them he was machine gunner in the 57th Company MGC. And after some research that would mean he was fighting among the 19th Western Division. When I look at the actions in which the division took part, something seems wrong. At the time when my great grand-father died, the 19th Western Division took part in the third Ypres battles at Passchendaele quite far in the north in Belgium. And if my great grand-father was buried in Rocquigny-Equancourt, that means he was most likely killed during the battle of Cambrai that occurred in november-december 1917 precisely in this area. These operations were a huge attack of the British troops on the so called Hindenburg Line, but it was followed by huge german counter-attacks at the time of my great grand-father's death. That makes me think that there is a mistake in the number of the MGC company, it's probably not the 57th. Any help would be much appreciated. My great grand-father was living in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire when he was drafted. He was initially from Lincolnshire, Boston area I suppose. Many thanks in advance.

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He may not have been KIA but died of wounds from an earlier time. Try CWGC site and look at details of the cemetery. It may have been used by a nearby hospital. Also look at list of those buried there and see if any of his comrades are there around his death date.

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BTW, the 57th MGC was formed in Grantham which should tie in with your man.

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Rocquigny-Equancourt was close to 2 Casualty Clearing Stations, the 21st and the 48th, but it seems that these CCS were meant for receiving battlefield casualties from regimental aid posts located in the combat zone, so if my great grand-father had been wounded in the Ypres/Passchendaele where the 19th Division was fighting, he would have been sent in a CCS in that area.

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Have you looked for his service records?

There is a possibility that he died at a CCS.

Did you find any other 57th men buried there around that date?

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Soldiers Died in the Great War does indicate that he "Died of Wounds"

It also notes that he was "Formerly 86834 Leicestershire Regiment"

However his medal card shows that he only served overseas with the Machine Gun Corps so perhaps he trained with the Leicesters in the UK before going to France (no earlier than January 1916 though).

I can't find any papers for him, either with the Leicesters or the MGC.

BillyH.

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Yes sure but Grantham was a one of the main camp for machine gun training and formation, so most of the machine gunners were formed at Grantham. But when I look at the cemetery map, I can see another machine gunner died the same day but from the 182nd Coy attached to the 61st Division (2nd South Midland) Division, that sounds more logical because my Alfred Green was from Stapleford , Notts.

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Hello BillyH,

Many thanks indeed for this information. I know at last that he died from his wounds and he was formerly from 86834 Leicestershire Regiment. That could help.

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Would like to know if anyone has some Nottingham Post newspapers archives dating back from December 1917 or January 1918 where I might find a picture and a mention of my great grand-father's death? Many thanks in advance.

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Peter, I got the War Diary of 57th Company. How fascinating it is to read this old fashion writing with a drawing pencil and knowing that all was written right in the heart of action. At least it gave me some answers about the theatre of operations of 57 th Coy MGC. They were in Belgium around Ypres until November 1917 but moved to the Cambrai area in December to relieve the 18th Coy MGC! They were fighting around Ribécourt-la-Tour and Etricourt-Manancourt, knowing that there were Casualty Clearing Stations at Ytres and that Rocquigny-Equancourt Cemetery are both within a stone's throw from there. That's it! No doubt. I now know that my great grand-father was right in the heart of heavy fighting in two very hot battles. First at Ypres/Passchendaele till November 1917 and then the Cambrai/Hindenburg Line in December 1917. For example, here what is said of the 13th December's (my great gd-father's death date) enemy activity: " Enemy artillery very active during morning-more or less indiscriminate shelling with stuff of small calibre-Heavy schrapnel put over Ribécourt at intervals all day-Enemy aircraft over our lines & batteries all day sometimes 15 at a time were observed-Slight M.G fire on Ribécourt during the night. Direction uncertain.Own artillery did very little except for a barrage between 5.45 & 6.45 am. Our barrage guns fired on S.O.S lines between 5.30 to 6.30 am. Considerable A.A work was done during day by L.Guns".

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  • 2 months later...

Hello everybody,


I am still looking for some information related to my great grand-dad, Private Alfred Green #108537 57th Coy MGC. As I do know that he died of wounds most likely in a CCS (Casual Clearing Station) located in the village of Ytres, probably the 21st or 48th CCS, I was then wondering if there were some kind of medical reports in these CCS kept in the archives and where I could find some details about my great grand-dad's death. Many thanks in advance for your help.


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