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Remembered Today:

Lieutenant John Baxendale, Machine Gun Corps, MC and Bar


Mark Hone
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As part of my continuing research into old boys of Bury Grammar School I am trying to find out as much as possible about the circumstances in which this officer won his two MCs. He started out in the 20th Royal Fusiliers but ended the war in the MGC. From the way his awards are recorded in the School Yearbook it looks as if both were won quite late in the war.

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Mark

Here are the two citations for John Baxendale from the Gazette: MC and Bar. As you say, quite late in the war but he was only commissioned in April 1917.

The second entry says that he was in 62nd Bn, MGC which may help to pin down where he was.

Regards

C

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Thank you so much. I never seem to be able to find anything on the London Gazette archive! Your cuttings do give the location of the action for which the citation was made. The November 1917 location is clearly Bourlon near Cambrai but I'm struggling a bit with the first word in the location for the second award. Is the second word Veaucourt? I assume that the date is supposed to be 21/3/18.

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Thanks very much for this Glen. My handwriting deciphering skills seem to be deserting me (not good for a teacher). Graeme- who wrote the annotations? They are very useful! Thanks again for all of this information. I would like to do another Cambrai tour in the future and this gives me an additional Bury Grammar School link. I've never been up to the Bourlon area.

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Happy to help Mark. I have a distant relative killed nearby with the AIF in 1917 so I'd recognise it anyway it was written. Besides, Graeme did the hard work.

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  • 9 months later...

I have now found a detailed newspaper account of his second MC action. He was actually awarded his Bar for command of his unit between 21st and 31st August 1918 (The '8' is blurred on the LG cutting, which threw me) but the crucial action was on 24th in which Lieutenant Baxendale's section (and another of which he assumed command) helped to repulse a German counter-attack. The report claims 50 enemy killed and 40 wounded Germans captured. I hope to include one or both of the actions on future school battlefield tours.

I would like to track down a photograph of this gallant old boy of our school.

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Thank you so much. I never seem to be able to find anything on the London Gazette archive! Your cuttings do give the location of the action for which the citation was made. The November 1917 location is clearly Bourlon near Cambrai but I'm struggling a bit with the first word in the location for the second award. Is the second word Veaucourt? I assume that the date is supposed to be 21/3/18.

Vaulx-Vraucourt is the place and the date 31/8/18.

The 62nd M.G.C. were part of the 62nd (West Riding) Division.

2/Lt J.Baxendale is listed amongst the Honours and Awards of the 62nd Divison for his M.C. but there is no mention of his Bar.

PS There is no 31st April only a 30th!

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Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I accidentally wrote April and 4 when I meant August and 8! The newspaper report is from October 1918 and clearly indicates that the Bar was awarded for Baxendale's exploits in August, the crucial action being on the 24th of that month. I have now corrected this on the earlier post. My slip of the keyboard reminds me that many years ago I had a temporary job in a personnel department which was computerising its records. One of my tasks was to resolve any discrepancies appearing on the weekly 'Exception Report' churned out by the computer, which in those days filled an entire, large room and featured lots of flashing lights and whirring tape reels. An older worker, born in Spain, was recorded as being born on 29th February 1918 ( yes it was that long ago) which the computer kept rejecting, since 1918 was not a Leap Year. However, to prove the computer wrong the worker proudly produced his official Spanish birth certificate which clearly recorded his date of birth as: 29/2/18.

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