Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

William Barrett Littlewood, private 35682 The Buffs, DOW 1918.


midshipmanrayley
 Share

Recommended Posts

William Barrett Littlewood, 24th March 1899 - 31st October 1918, resident of Great Yarmouth. Served as private 35682 in the 1st Battalion East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), 5th Division. Died of wounds 31st October 1918 in France.

(Nephew of George Barrett, KIA 15th February 1918 whilst serving aboard HM Drifter "Silver Queen").

Can any member suggest the action where William might have received his fatal wounds? Any guidance gratefully received.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6th Division I think? 16th Brigade

How about 17th - 25th October - Battle of the Selle? But of course could have been earlier (Battle of Epehy in September for instance).

Here is a description of the battle - see IX Corps and 6th Division having "mixed results" amongst the success

Here William is remembered at CWGC - Busigny is not far from Le Cateau and the Selle River.

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info Mike.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello,

Just to say, that I think there is a bit in the Regimental History about the 1st Bn. on that date. If you give me a chance, and nobody gets back to you before, I will dig it out for you. I think the 30th was the last day that the 1st Bn. were involved in actual fighting in the Great War.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That would be most kind of you Chris.

My partner Sandra used to work in Japan in 1980's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wish I'd been here then (salary-wise that is)

The following is a summary from the Historical Records of the Buffs, East Kent Regiment, 1914-19, by R. S. H. Moody:

20th Oct- Whole Bn. at Vaux Audigny. The battle-surplus and a draft of 80 men were called upon and sent up to the front to meet them.

21st Oct- Marched to St Souplet.

23rd Oct- 71st Bde. were "In action again..." and the Buffs moved up in support at very short notice. Bivouacked round Baziel, and on 25th took over the line in Bois L'Enveque from the K.S.L.I. 3 men killed and 15 wounded on this date.

26th Oct- Bn. HQ to Pommereuil.

30th Oct- "Last day of actual fighting that fell to the lot of the 1st Bn.", in the Great War. Orders were received that the division was to be relieved. But before this could be done, a satisfactory position for the continuance of the forward movement "on the line of the canal", had to be established by capturing an important farm and spur on the line of the waterway. This attack was lead by Lieut. L. W. Barber, M.B.E., of the Buffs, with B and C coys. at his disposal, and later on a platoon of D, a MG section and 2 light mortars. Zero hour was at six, when there was a creeping barrage. The attack was made "on a platoon frontage", with other platoons on either flank to protect the advance. The attempt on farm was at first hindered by the British barrage falling too short and causing casualties in the first platoon. When it lifted another platoon was brought up, but was held up by MG fire. It was not till 10 o'clock that the farm, and another behind it was taken. A separate small body of men had meanwhile advanced on the high ground and captured some MGs. The enemy then bombarded the farm with medium and light trench mortars and field artillery after which a counter-attack by the enemy meant Barber's men had to withdraw. However, two sections of Lewis Gunners and some riflemen succeeded in preventing the enemy getting past the buildings. The last reserves were now brought up, and the line reorganised and reinforced by a platoon of D company. Under a "well-directed" bombardment by light trench mortars the farm was once again attacked and taken at the point of the bayonet. By the evening, the village of Happegarbes was "practically" cleared. Casualties: 2nd Lieuts. Hart, Herrman and Simpson and 27 men wounded, 8 killed and 4 missing. "And so the last fight of the 1st battalion ended in congratulations, the divisional commander expressing his great appreciation."

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perfection. Thanks again Chris.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...