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Remembered Today:

Which regiment was at Cuinchy/Béthune in late May 1915?


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In my blog about Fritz Limbach’s letters from the front I try to match up the events at the front he describes with the war-diaries of the various English/Scottish/Indian regiments opposite him in Cuinchy.

Up to now that was relatively easy, but now I’m translating his letter of May 26th 1915, and I can’t find who were opposite him.

Up to mid May 1915 I come across three units at Cuinchy, but they all seem to be in billets by the end of May 1915:

2nd South Staffordshires, they’re in billets in Allouagne (west of Béthune)

1st KRR, they’re in billets at Allouagne too (and had the Prince of Wales over for tea on the 23rd,and the Bishop of Khartoum came to visit on the 30th…), and

2nd Inniskilling Fusiliers, who were at Cuinchy briefly in early May, and are now in billets in Burbure (west of Allouagne)

But who manned the trenches at Cuinchy in late May 1915?

As far as I can tell the war-diaries of the above three units don’t mention it.



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Might be worth using Geoff's Engine and search the cemetery's around Cuinchy for casualties. Using this method, it looks like the 9th King's Liverpools, and the 1st Loyal North Lancashire were in the area, but not sure if in the correct time frame. The Brigade diaries should give a clearer picture of who was there, if you can determine the correct Brigade.


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Hi JW,

In the war diary for the 1st Division (General Staff) there is a copy of an Operational Order (dated 20th May 1915) which starts by saying "The 3rd Infantry Brigade will take over CUINCHY section from the 142nd Brigade, 47th Division, tomorrow; the relief to be completed by 10 p.m." The 3rd Infantry Brigade diary is on Ancestry http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1228_0-00000?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2fsearch%2fdb.aspx%3fdbid%3d60779%26path%3d&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnBrowsing#?imageId=43112_1275_0-00000 Reading it briefly, from 21st May until the end of the month, the diary mentions "Gloucesters"; "Munsters"; "SWB"; "RWF"; and "Welch". There is an Order of Battle for the 3rd Brigade on the LLT http://www.1914-1918.net/1div.htm, which shows which Battalions of those Regiments were part of the Brigade.



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Thanks for that tip!

Never used Geoff’s database (http://www.hut-six.co.uk/GreatWar/ ) before , but it will come in quite handy in future.

9th King’s (Liverpool Regt) looks like it’s one of the regiments at Cuinchy.

Their history ( http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/16974 ) mentions “The remainder of the month of May and the month of June were spent at Cambrin and Cuinchy, this latter place being renowned even in those days for its minenwerfer activity.”


Thanks for that link. I’m not on Ancestry, but I’ll take out a free trial and have a look.

And try and find out which regiment was at Cuinchy at the time.

During this time Italy entered the war, and upon hearing the news the Germans made such a racket that “the English” didn’t know what was happening to them apparently, and started shooting like mad. Also “the English” put up a sign “Italy declared war on Austria. Gott strafe Deutschland!”.

And apparently the Germans secretly tied ropes to the Spanish riders in front of the English trenches, and when daylight came reeled them in. Much to the surprise of the occupants of that trench no doubt.

Those things must have made into the war-diaries. Would be great to see the two versions side by side.


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The 4th Royal Welsh Fusiliers Territorials took over Cuinchy trenches on 13 May, with "French attacks on our right, and Canadian attacks on our left....we came out of the line unscathed on the 29th to enjoy the tranquillity of the reserve at Verquigneul for 6 days. June 4th found us back at Cuinchy."

Quoted from the history of the battalion.

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Many thanks! Too bad there doesn’t seem to be a war diary for 1915 for 4th batallion. :-(

9th King’s (Liverpool) were in the Cuinchy sector, but their war-diary is an exercise in restaint : one full month per page.

Not much (if any) information to be gleaned from that.

Gloucesters were at Cuinchy too, but in section A1 ("Cuinchy-south") and I’m specifically interested in sector A3 (at the canal de la Bassée).

Their war-diary does however give a possible sighting of that “Spanish Rider pulling” so that’s a bonus.

My war-diary archive is steadily growing. And even if those are “from the wrong sector” they’re a massively interesting read!

As is this Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/westernfront73


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