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Remembered Today:

Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 8th and 18th Batallions


PamUK
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I am looking for some help with two soldiers WW1 service, please. Rifleman Albert Bann was killed on 23/8/18 probably near La Clytte in Belgium near Ypres. His memorial is on the plaques of Tyne Cot, with no known grave. I am trying to find what specific military action caused his death. I have found events for the 21st August and 24th August, but every search has given me nothing for the 23rd.

He enlisted at the beginning of the war, and reached France and the Ypes area in 1915 with the 8th Batallion. He later served in England, on Army duty, with a chemical company testing weaponry, it is thought. Then he returned to The western Front with the 18th Batallion.

My father, Gilbert Draper, served with the Royal Horse Artillery, K battery, and found Albert Bann's war issued New Testament on the battlefield, and it is now with his family. So if I can find where Albert Bann was then I would also know where my father was as well.

I have a Postcard photograph of my father in uniform, with colleagues, and his older brothers served too in different regiments, but all their service records were lost in the fire. Also, my Dads medal records seem to be missing too. He falsified his 15 year old age to enlist in 1915. I have contacted the Royal Artillery Museum who were very helpful, but they could not find any trace of him either. My Dad is not the Gilbert Draper who won a Military Medal.

My father and an officer brother met up on the western front in 1918 at the end of the war, but my Dad transferred to the Railway Division at Audriq, which I may have misspelt, after the Armistice until his discharge in 1919.

Thanks to anyone who can advise me, - Pam

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Morning Pam

Your biggest problem is that he was not killed in action BUT rather died of wounds.

post-10072-0-12899500-1413957647_thumb.j

This means that he could have been wounded at any time and being an 'other ranks', it is unlikely that he will be mentioned in the War Diary.

It is strange, but not unheard of, for a wounded not to have a grave and there are many reasons for this.

At the end of April the battalion was in Warrington Camp and supplying working parties, but no casualties appear to have been suffered.

Working backwards from his date of death, the first mention of any casualties is on 11 April 1918 when the battalion was relieved in the line near

Passchendaele by the 2/6 South Staffords. They sustained several un-named casualties.

There are several prior to that too,

Regards,

Graeme

PS The only Draper in the Royal Horse Artillery I could find was Ernest G. Draper (202245). Could this be a Ernest GILBERT Draper, perhaps ??

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Thank you so much Graeme.

Firstly about my Dad, his names were Gilbert Hitchmough Draper, the second name being his mothers Old English surname prevalent in the village of Hale near Widnes, where my Dad was born. The librarian for the Royal Artillery searched for either Gilbert Hitchmough or Gilbert Draper or his full name, but nothing came up that could be identified as my Dad. He did tell me that every time a change of Regiment was made, then his number would have been changed. I doubt that my Dad would have added Ernest to his name because he wouldn't have confused himself with his next oldest brother, who was Ernest, and who volunteered for the Lancashire Hussars and I Have found his medal card.

But Thanks for trying. I have just hoped that if a lot of people try for me, then I might get a clue. I am going to try to research the Railway Operating Division for records next.

Secondly, Albert Bann.

I obviously didn't know that he died of wounds, otherwise I would have realised that the wounds could have been inflicted any time from that day to well before his death. I am pretty sure that his great grandson doesn't know either, because we have both been searching for what happened. We both wanted to get a clue as to how his bible was found on the battlefield, and I presumed that my Dads gun carriage may have been used to transport the wounded or dead, and he just found the bible which was not muddied or action damaged. Just worn a lot from use. It had to have fallen in good weather. I am now very surprised that there isn't a grave, because these actions were part of the last Big push by the Germans and graves were much less likely to have been over run and destroyed any more, but I may be wrong. Also if he took a long time dying of wounds, say from April to August, then were there no hospital records and wouldn't his family in England have been told that he was wounded?

I am surprised that I spelt Battalion incorrectly. I am very used to spelling it correctly. My computer didn't spot it either.

I am so grateful for your time and the information supplied.

Best Regards,

Pam

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could someone with knowledge have a look at Bann's service records?

missing 168 & mg 24/8/18

3.1.19 discharged surplus to ?? ?? ??? not having suffered ??/? ? since entering into the service Para 3Y2 during a period of demob.

looks like dead is written faintly

interestingly if you put G H Draper in FMP the first thing that comes up is a picture of presumably him in a Manchester regiment.

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I am sorry Graeme, but I have just realised that the Soldiers Died In The Great War Listing have Albert Bann's date of Death as 24 April 1918, whereas all other official records show that he died on 23 August 1918. Therefore if the date is wrong, then it may be that he did not die of wounds as stated. His service record has him alive on 10th August 1918.

In reply to Chaz, I have a copy of Albert Bann's service records, and I cannot find a page of entries such as you have described. The records were fire damaged, and on the last page that I have for 1918, it states that he was posted on 20.3.18 with 6th Battalion KRRC. Thereafter there are various entries between 3.4.18 and 10.8.18 when he appears to have been reassigned to the 18th Battalion. His death is recorded with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and all official notifications of his death were supplied to his family. Certainly, he did not die on 24 April 1918.

I can only assume that you may have looked at the service record of another soldier with the surname of Bann who was still alive at the end of the war.

The soldier that you found with the name Draper, is probably the one who won the Military Medal, and his records provide a different address and description, so he had no connection to my Dad. If I hadn't got photographic verification, and corroboration from his brothers, and knew of the veracity of the few things that he told me, then even I might have doubted that he ever went to war. I feel ashamed that the country that they fought for for Four years did not do a better job of securing their records of their service for their country.

Thank you both,

Pam

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I apologise, Chaz. I have found the page that you refer to but the copy that I have is really faint for 3.1.19 where you have noticed the word discharged. I cannot see it clearly enough. I can see that the subsequent words that you quoted have been crossed through three times. The later word Dead is very clear on my copy. So Thank you for your diligence.

This is becoming more of a mystery than I had thought. I can understand that someone can go missing, but it would appear to have been a very long time before he was declared Dead, and surely there would have had to have been evidence of the death or there had to have been a military action that he was involved in on 23 August 1918 that would have led to a reasonable conclusion that he died during that action.

Thanks

Pam

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Enlarging the service record page that Chaz looked at, and adjusting the contrast, it says that Albert Bann was Missing on 24/8/18, and note that the official notification of Alberts death was 23/8/18.

Then it says :-

Discharged surplus to needs. 3.1.19

Not having suffered impairment since entry into the service.

392 ( XXvi ) KR

During a period of demob.

And all the above 4 lines are crossed through 3 times and below, it says Dead.

So I think that someone may have been going through a pile of forms and written something false, by mistake on Albert Bann's form, then crossed it out and written the correct statement which is Dead. Thus mystery and confusion is added on. I still can't work out how or why the army declared that he was dead. Or when they made the decision. Did they wait for a return of prisoners, I wonder.

Lastly, does anyone know of any other available service records for the 18th Battalion of the KRRC covering August 1918, please.

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