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gwentpal

South Wales Borderers 2nd, 10th, 11th Diaries

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gwentpal

Hi Gents,

Sorry Brummie I dont do any research on the Royal Welch Fusiliers only on The South Wales Borderers, try a new post in the Soldiers section there may well be somebody who could help.

Scalyback, The French ladies obviously couldnt resist the Welsh boys, they certainly paved the way for later rugby tours and cultural couplings, who can resist a Barry boy. I dont suppose he served in the Borderers?

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johnnie

Hi,

I have just come across this while trying to find out more about the 10th SWB. I have been researching Captain George Fenwick Hedley Charlton who was killed in action with the 10th Battalion on the 6th/7th October 1916. He seems to have been an original member of the 10th Battalion, and he was born local to me and also attended the same university as me (I passed his name on the university war memorial almost every day for 10 years while studying).

Anyway, he was MID (LG 22/05/1917) and I assume the MID is for actions on the Somme.

Is there any mention of Charlton in the war dairy, and is there anything listing what the battalion were doing on the 6th/7th October when he was killed?

It seems that he was originally classed as missing, and the CWGC seem to suggest that he was originally buried by the Germans and later reburied by the CWGC.

Any help would be great.

Johnnie

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gwentpal

Hi Johnnie,

I haven't done that much research into the officers so can only tell you bits and bobs.

I'm assuming you've seen the entry for the 1911 census Seaton Delaval School House.

George Fenwick Hedley Charlton was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion South Wales Borderers in 1915, later that year after completing an Officer Training Course he makes Captain which is the rank he holds when the Battalion departs for France 3rd December 1915.

On the night of October 6th 1916 it is decided that a fighting patrol will leave the Borderers line and enter a German Sap for intelligence gathering, the patrol under the command of Captain George Charlton consists of himself, 2nd Lieutenant T T Taylor, Sgt P F Evans and 8 other ranks. They cross no mans land and enter enemy Sap No 9 taking the occupants unaware and killing all 6 Germans they find, after obtaining the necessary identifications the patrol climbed back out into No Mans Land coming under enemy fire as they back to their own lines. About a hundred yards across, the men became aware that they had lost contact with Captain Charlton and Private Daniel Spanswick, Taylor and Evans sent the rest of the patrol back to the Borderers front line and despite terrific enemy machine gun fire turned back towards the enemy proceeding in the direction of No 9 Sap. After once more reaching the vicinity of the Sap Taylor and Evans observed at least 8 Germans carrying Captain Charlton away on a stretcher, of Private Spanswick there was no sign. Unable to do anything for Capt Charlton and with German prescence increasing the two returned back to the British front line, on the way 2nd Lieutenant Taylor was wounded by machine gun fire.

For their actions in the raid and trying to rescue the missing men 2nd Lt Taylor and Sgt Evans were awarded the Military Cross and Military Medal respectively.

Charlton and Spanswicks bodies were later found buried in a German Military Cemetary near Poelkapelle, they were later reburied in Bedford House Cem.

As you know he was in the London Gazette, mentioned in dispatches May 1917, why so long after im not sure although perhaps the Germans had only just announced that he was actually dead and not being held prisoner.

It might be worth checking the International Red Cross website to see if any enquires were made to his whereabouts after October 1916.

Is there any info you can tell me that perhaps I haven't mentioned, are there any pictures of him???

Thanks Gwent Pal

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johnnie

Many thanks for the information.

I am still a bit unsure that the MID would have been for the patrol and was wondering if it could have been for the Somme rather than the raid. I guess there is a chance we'll never find out, but I'll look into it more.

There are a few photos of him around. I forum member is going to send me a copy of a photo taken from a larger group photo, and there is also a nice one here:

http://www3.northumberland.gov.uk/catalogue/dserve.exe?dsqServer=w2k3calm1.woodhorn.org.uk&dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqDb=Catalog&dsqCmd=show.tcl&dsqSearch=(RefNo=='NRO%2001449%2F314')

Johnnie

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Scalyback

Hi Gents,

Sorry Brummie I dont do any research on the Royal Welch Fusiliers only on The South Wales Borderers, try a new post in the Soldiers section there may well be somebody who could help.

Scalyback, The French ladies obviously couldnt resist the Welsh boys, they certainly paved the way for later rugby tours and cultural couplings, who can resist a Barry boy. I dont suppose he served in the Borderers?

Just caught this! I can not confirm what regiment served in. He was 17 in the RNR(V)? then he appears to have done a runner, then turns up as a CWG worker with a french wife. His son (my grandad) done a runner before the germans arrived for the second time and went to serve in sneaky beaky units.

My dads side are all Welch lads......................apart from me! I went to Royal Signals. So no known SWB connection, however from a town that recruited both regiments, further research may show more.

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Guest Swhatley

Hi Gwentpal

I too am researching my Grandfather Private Edward Whatley, army number 20252, killed on the Somme 29th Feb 1916. Records from Kew were destroyed in the bombing during the 2nd World War, so I have been advised. I have been to the cemetery at Le Touret, but would be interested in any records you may have available.

He never saw his son (my father) who was born on the 16th April 1916.

I see that Steve Beynon has made the same enquiry, I believe he is the son of my cousin Terry Beynon. We are unfortunately not in touch as I moved from Ebbw vale many years ago.

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gwentpal

His parents were Francis and Elizabeth Whatley both born in Wiltshire they moved to Monmouthshire in the late 1870s early 1880s, like so many others from Wiltshire and Somerset who came to find work in the booming valleys of the industrial revolution. Edward was born abt 1885 one of eleven children of whom only six survived.

In 1911 the family are living at 23 Gantre Row, Ebbw Vale, Edward had been a collier for ten years and was now working at Waunllwyd Colliery at the southern end of the Ebbw Vale iron works site.

Judging by his number he is one of the first 100 men to enlist in the 10th South Wales Borderers 1st Gwent Pals at the Labour Exchange, Bethcar St, Ebbw Vale.He lands in France on the 3rd December 1915 so qualifys for all three WW1 campaign medals which is confirmed on his Medal Index Card.

According to the War Diary by February 23rd the Battalion had been in Brigade Reserve billets at Le Touret, France for 5 days, the next day the 24th they moved back to the front line trenches at Festubert. Their latest stint of front line duty saw 5 men wounded, at 7pm on the 27th Feb they were relieved by the 11th Battalion SWB and marched back to Reserve Billets in Festubert.

Unfortunately for Edward even the reserve billets were in range of the heavier German artillery.

The diary entry for the 29th Feb reads"Battalion in Brigade Reserve. Enemy shelled billets at 2pm. Casualties 1 Killed Pte Whatley 20252 and 2 wounded."

He is also recorded in Soldiers who died in the Great War as being killed in action 29/2/16 so it looks as if Commonwealth War Graves has

got their info mixed up, especially as the Grave registration document also says the 29th.As you know he was then buried in Le Touret

cemetary about a mile and a quarter from Festubert. I hope some of this has been of use to you.

I am currently researching a book about the men of the 10th South Wales Borderers and am on the look out for photos, letters or diarys;

would you have anything you could possibly send regarding Edward. If I find out more I'll let you know.

Cheers gwentpal.Reply

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Guest Swhatley

Hi Gwentpal

That's tremendous. I do have a photo, which I will attempt to find over the weekend. I will be back in touch

Thank you ever so much.

Regards

Steve

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cressfarmer

Hi, just found this great forum. I'm trying to find out more information about my Great Uncle, Private Thomas Reed,33190. He served with the 10th Battalion, South Wales Borderers and was killed on the 10th of July 1916. I need to find his birth date, and if possible, his next of kin, to confirm for definate that he is who I think he is. If he is my Great Uncle, then he was born in Abertillery in about 1895/6. Also, is it possible to find out if he has a grave? Many thanks, Nick.

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Scalyback

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1550633/REED,%20THOMAS

So no known grave. He may of had one and then lost in further fighting. No details on the grave register. Unless his papers are unburnt the only other thing for NOK will be the wills held by the WFA and they charge for the service to search if they have them.

I may have a picture of the panel at Thiepval memorial for you, need to search photos.

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cressfarmer

That is as much info as I have found. His name is on the Abertillery war memorial, but to confirm he is my great uncle, I need his next of kin. Do you think the SWB museum could help? I don't mind paying, if it helps to solve this mystery. As an aside, I'm trying to get his brother(my granddad) on the Abertillery war memorial as well. He was killed on HMS Hereward, off Crete in 1941, whilst evacuating troops. Many thanks.

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gwentpal

Hi Cressfarmer,

There's not much I can tell you about Thomas Reed at the moment outside of what you already know from the Commonwealth War Graves, I cant locate a service record either which

is seemingly the norm for the 10th Battalion, however I think I can give you some help with his next of kin.

Whilst researching the 10th I found that the majority of the men had numbers in the 20xxx, 21xxx series with a few 22xxx and 23xxx in the original Battalion, but I also found two men

getting killed within a month of landing in France with 33xxx numbers and this had me really puzzled. If the 2xxxx men had been recruited in the first half of 1915 where had these 33xxx men come from especially to get killed so early on. A bit of further digging has made this clearer, the Gwent Battalions of the South Wales Borderers comprised the 10th Btn (1st Gwents raised Nov 1914), 11th Btn (2nd Gwent raised Dec1914) and the 12th Btn (3rd Gwents 'Bantams' raised March 1915) and it was then decided that these three Battalions should have their own local reserve to supply reinforcements and thus the 13th Battalion was formed in the Summer of 1915.

During the Summer of 1915 the 10th and 11th had raised enough men to fill a fifth Company; these extra Companies, the E Companies were transferred into the 13th to fill its ranks but at the same time men were enlisted straight into the 13th and given a 33xxx number. In the November of 1915 just before the 10th and 11th were sent out to France there was a lot of interchange between Battalions in an attempt to get the units as fighting fit as possible, some of the 33xxx men were drafted into the 10th and landed in France on the 3rd December 1915 thus earning themselves the 14/15 Star. As you know Thomas didn't qualify for the Star so would have gone out post January 1916 as a replacement .

Now the 33xxx Service Records I have found show that a lot of the men were recruited in Abertillery which ties in with the info on CWGC and SDGW of Thomas being born in Abertillery.

A quick look at the 1911 census for Thomas Reeds' living in Abertillery throws up the following.

72 Newall St Abertillery

Samuel Hogg Head 42

Harriet Hogg Wife 32

Morton Hogg Son 10

Victor Hogg Son 6

Iris Hogg Daughter 3

Thomas Reed Father in Law 70

Maria Reed Mother in Law 62

THOMAS REED BROTHER IN LAW 19 Coal Miner, Hewer Born Abertillery

Kate Reed Sister in Law 22

I'm pretty sure this would be your Thomas Reed so I hope this could be of help.

Cheers Gav

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gwentpal

Hi Cressfarmer

As Scalyback has said Thomas is Commemorated on the Thievpal Memorial so he wouldn't have a grave on the Western Front, he may however have had his name added to the Family gravestone if it had been the family's wishes, do you know where his parents are buried??.

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Scalyback

There is no NOK details on the CWGC page. So I do think searching for the will documents the WFA hold. They may have a will of his and the information held.

Regimental museum does not have service records. If it was burnt, it was burnt in the bombing.

EDIT WFA hold pension records, can't remember off hand where the Wills are. Specific site for them?

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gwentpal

Hi Scalyback,

All sorted, the Thomas Reed mentioned above was actually the wong one, after checking freebmd I found him dying in Bedwellty District aged 26 in December Quarter 1917. Rechecked the census and found a slightly younger Thomas Reed living in another part of Abertillery, this turned out to be cressfarmers ancestor.

With a 33190 number he enlisted at Abertillery into the 13th Reserve Battalion sometime during the first two weeks of October 1915, trained at Kinmel Park and then shipped out early 1916.

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cressfarmer

Yes, gwentpal has found my ancestor, but thank you to everyone for your help. Although I was pretty sure the Thomas on the Abertillery war memorial was my ancestor, I wasn't 100%. Now I am. I have been wondering for years, and finding this site has solved the problem in days. I don't know where his parents are buried, as they split up in about 1914 and a lot of family history was lost when my granddad was killed in 1941. Now I know Private Thomas Reed of the South Wales Borderers was my great uncle, I can take a trip to the memorial at Memetz and pay my respects. I feel very proud of both Thomas and my granddad John Trevor Reed, who both lost there lives for there country.

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ARABIS

Hi gwentpal,

Do you have anything on 201338 James Percy Bound, S.W.B?

He was born in Llanbister, Radnorshire, & was working as an apprentice grocer/grocer in Builth Wells, Breconshire before joining up.

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gwentpal

Hi arabis,

Sorry for the delay in replying, I'm afraid as James Bound wasnt in the 10th there's not much I can tell you.

I did take a quick look at medal rolls James had enlisted in the South Wales Borderers Brecknock Battalion which I think was the Borderers Territorial Battalion, but never served with them, his medal roll has him attached to the SWB 6th Battalion for the duration of his war.

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ARABIS

Hi arabis,

Sorry for the delay in replying, I'm afraid as James Bound wasnt in the 10th there's not much I can tell you.

I did take a quick look at medal rolls James had enlisted in the South Wales Borderers Brecknock Battalion which I think was the Borderers Territorial Battalion, but never served with them, his medal roll has him attached to the SWB 6th Battalion for the duration of his war.

Thanks gwentpal,

That's a lot more than I knew for sure. I found a couple of lines in the local newspaper dated 28/2/18 saying that he had been home on leave from France the previous week.

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Scalyback

Yes the Brecknocks are the TF battalion of the SWB. The Monmouth regiment was "standalone" TF regiment but both belonged to the coprs of the SWB.

It has roots in the militia and the 1908 changes. Given the rural nature of most of the recruitment area an outstanding achivement. The current area supports one TA engineer unit and a medic unit.

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Guest lthursfield

Does anyone have further information about a relative who served in the 10th battalion South Wales Borderers? His service papers don't appear to record when or in what circumstances he was wounded. Would his unit's war diary for the period, 7July 1917 to 9th August 1917 help?

“Frank Hollingsworth - a 4th cousin 2 times removed who I came across researching my late father's family history was born 3rd April 1897 in Owen Street, Tipton, Staffordshire and baptized 23rd May 1897 at Saint Matthew's Church in Tipton.

He never met his father Frank who died towards the end of 1896. His mother Marion Amelia nee Tomkys died just before his 8th birthday.

He was counted in the 1911 census with his aunt Maud Crowther, also born in Tipton, uncle John Crowther, a grocer's manager and cousins Edgar 11 & Dennis 4 at 38, Stafford Road, Oakengates, Shropshire.

Frank, a grocer's assistant enlisted on the 10th December 1915, aged 18 years 8 months and was posted to army reserve. Next of kin is given as aunt Maud Crowther, at the address above in Shropshire.

At his regular army medical on the 18th of April 1916 at Shrewsbury his height is given as 5' 1 1/4", weight 105 lbs, Chest 32 1/2" (2 1/2" expansion), physical development fair, 2 vaccination marks on left arm from infancy).

He was mobilized on 13th October 1916, joining the British Expeditionary force the next day, and embarked from Southampton 10th June 1917, disembarking at Rouen 11th June 1917.

On the 30th June 1917 he was transferred to the 1st (T.F.) Monmouth Regiment & posted to the 10th South Wales Borderers.

On the 7th of July 1917 he joined the battalion in the field.

On 9th August 1917 age 20 Frank died of his wounds.

He is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Westvleteren - Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Grave III.D.2,”

Thanks in anticipation.

Gordon

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AndyJohnson

Hi Gordon

Here's a photo of his grave at Dozinghem, I was there 2007. I research the men of Tipton. Will reply with a bit more detail (not great) later.

regards

Andy

PS Have photo with more pixels, send me a PM (Private Message) and we'll exchange details but I think you need 5 postings to use pm?

post-5672-0-85649400-1417000084_thumb.jp

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AndyJohnson

Hi Gordon

I have pm'd GwentPal as he has the War Diaries and will have better detail. This may be either of any mention of Frank Hollingswoth or of the precise action around Pilkem for the 10/SWB. I have general detail, but GwentPal is the top dog for 10/SWB.

I do know that his mother had remarried before her death (Richard Stevenson in 1904). He is not mentioned on any of the Tipton War Memorials, but is commemorated on the Oakengates memorial which records him as RWF - he was originally in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. See: http://www.warmemorialphotos.co.uk/oakengates-telford-shropshire/oakengates

Andy

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gwentpal

Hi Gents,

Thanks for the heads up Andy I did have notifications set but it seems to have stopped working.

Many thanks too lthursfield you've filled in a lot of blanks for Frank Hollingsworth. Frank was part of new drafts that was sent to the 10th in July 1917 to bring the Battalion up to strength of 32 Officers and 719 men, many of the draft were men like Frank who were attached from the Monmouthshire Regiment.

Although the War Diary is quite good early on in naming individual soldiers who are wounded or killed, the 10ths participation in the Battles for Pilckem and Langemarck which took place between 31st July and 5th August saw many casualties who were too numerous to list individually. On the 6th August the day after they are relieved the War Diary records 22 Killed, 159 Wounded, 2 Missing and 3 Died of Wounds.

Although the 10th started the 31st of July in Support to the main attack they suffered casualties early on whilst moving up to the old German Front Line at Kiel Cottage. Later that afternoon they were moved up again this time to Iron Cross Ridge, shelling was quite intensive as the Battalion moved up suffering a dozen casualties, the Diary records

"the men at this point deserve the highest commendation, especially when it is remembered that about 150 of them were recent drafts of reinforcements and were for the first time under serious fire"

Between three and four pm D Company were pushed up to the front line along the Steenbeek river to Support the 11th Battalion SWB, the other three Companies remained in close Support, over the next four days both Battalions were involved in almost continuous fighting until being relieved by 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry.

Before the attack in readiness for the large number of Casualties expected three new Casualty Clearing Station were constructed around Poperinghe, one of these was called Dozinghem which was staffed by 4th, 47th and 61st Casualty Clearing Station. Frank must have been wounded in the fighting or most likely shelling and taken back to Dozinghem Casualty Clearing Station where unfortunately he died. There are a few other men from the 10th buried in the same cemetery.

If you like you can send me your E mail address and i'll post you the pages from the War Diary.

Do you have any photos of Frank??

Hope some of this has been of help

Cheers Gwentpal

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Guest

Hi Gents,

Thanks for the heads up Andy I did have notifications set but it seems to have stopped working.

Many thanks too lthursfield you've filled in a lot of blanks for Frank Hollingsworth. Frank was part of new drafts that was sent to the 10th in July 1917 to bring the Battalion up to strength of 32 Officers and 719 men, many of the draft were men like Frank who were attached from the Monmouthshire Regiment.

Although the War Diary is quite good early on in naming individual soldiers who are wounded or killed, the 10ths participation in the Battles for Pilckem and Langemarck which took place between 31st July and 5th August saw many casualties who were too numerous to list individually. On the 6th August the day after they are relieved the War Diary records 22 Killed, 159 Wounded, 2 Missing and 3 Died of Wounds.

Although the 10th started the 31st of July in Support to the main attack they suffered casualties early on whilst moving up to the old German Front Line at Kiel Cottage. Later that afternoon they were moved up again this time to Iron Cross Ridge, shelling was quite intensive as the Battalion moved up suffering a dozen casualties, the Diary records

"the men at this point deserve the highest commendation, especially when it is remembered that about 150 of them were recent drafts of reinforcements and were for the first time under serious fire"

Between three and four pm D Company were pushed up to the front line along the Steenbeek river to Support the 11th Battalion SWB, the other three Companies remained in close Support, over the next four days both Battalions were involved in almost continuous fighting until being relieved by 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry.

Before the attack in readiness for the large number of Casualties expected three new Casualty Clearing Station were constructed around Poperinghe, one of these was called Dozinghem which was staffed by 4th, 47th and 61st Casualty Clearing Station. Frank must have been wounded in the fighting or most likely shelling and taken back to Dozinghem Casualty Clearing Station where unfortunately he died. There are a few other men from the 10th buried in the same cemetery.

If you like you can send me your E mail address and i'll post you the pages from the War Diary.

Do you have any photos of Frank??

Hope some of this has been of help

Cheers Gwentpal

Hi Gwentpal, could you please dig up some information on my Great Grand Father John M Wilson ( M ) being Milton but not recorded on his birth certificate. We have his medals Victory, British and Star he was a private in 10th Battalion South Wales Borderers number 20351. The story from my grand father was that he was the Batman for Henry Ludwig Mond, the 2nd Baron Melchett. who was Lt in the Intellegence Corps in the 10th Battalion S.W.B. .John Milton Wilson was injured in France and discharged 17-09-1917..Any further information would be great if you could please. Kind regards Ken

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