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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pte 63739 George Chapman, 9th Bn KOYLI & Northumberland Fusiliers


Shiny

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Hi All,

I'm after a bit of help researching a man who was a very early leader at my Scout Group whom I have just found out about.

His name was Private George Chapman, service number 63739 and I've been told he was with the Northumberland Fusiliers before being transferred to the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

According to the CWGC site he was in 9 battalion and died on the 18th of September 1918.

I'm just wondering if anyone can throw a bit of light on the man himself or what his battalion was up to when he was killed.

We are taking the Scouts to France in 2 months time to visit the war grave of our founding leader then on to the Menin Gate so it would be nice to be able to add another name to the wreath and tell them about the man.

Thanks in advance

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Hi

George Chapman originally served as 78449 in 1st/6th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers and appears to have entered theatre from 1916 onwards

On 18th September 1918, 9th KOYLI were in the area of Equancourt near Bapaume. According to the War Diary, they moved forward at 5.30am, following a heavy barrage, with 'B', 'C' and 'D' Companies and 'A' Company in support to the Yellow Line, a position previously held by 62nd Infantry Brigade. 62nd Brigade had moved forward to occupy a railway and positions at Tennis Trench and Vaucelette Farm. 9th KOYLI moved forward themselves to the line of the railway where the Battalion reorganised. At 9.47am the Battalion advanced through 62nd Brigade and advanced to Beet Trench which was its final objective in the attack.

At Beet Trench, there was heavy fighting before the Germans were cleared out and the trench occupied. They consolidated their position, with 'C' Company on the right, 'B' Company in the centre and 'D' Company on the left. 'A' Company were in support, but they were enfiladed from the direction of Gauche Wood. At about 12.30pm, the Germans counter attacked the troops on the Battalion left and forced them back leaving the KOYLI's flank exposed. A platoon of 'A' Company and a detail from the Battalion Headquarters under Major Walsh moved forward to close the gap. The troops who had been forced back on seeing the KOYLI move forward, turned and charged with the KOYLI to recover the lost position. Two platoons of 'A' Company stayed forward to secure the Battalion left flank. Major Walsh, who was the Battalion commander was wounded and command of the Battalion devolved onto Captain Ennals

In the evening, following a heavy bombardment, a battalion of 62nd Brigade was brought up in support and a company of the 15th DLI attacked on the left of the battalion and secured this flank. During the night they received some slight shelling.

On the 19th, the Battalion suffered some shelling during the day, which intensified in the evening. The Battalion were relieved by 6th Battalion, Queens during the night and returned to Equancourt.

There are no casualties listed, but George Chapman was killed sometime during the day. George has no known grave and is remembered on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial at Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves the battalion suffered 19 fatalities that day, of which only five have known graves.

Regards

John

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Hi

According to SDGW, he was born at Chirton, North Shields and enlisted at North Shields

There is a George Chapman born 1900 who is shown as below.

The 1901 Census shows George Chapman living at Balkwell in Chirton with his father John, and mother Mary Walker Chapman. George being one year old. John Chapman is a coal miner/hewer born in Hebburn, near Jarrow. Mary was born in North Shields

The 1911 Census shows George Chapman living at 29 Chirton Green, Chirton Nr North Shields with his father John, mother Mary Walker Chapman, and siblings Thomas, John, Jane, Mary and Agnes. John Chapman is still a coal miner/hewer

Perhaps these locations are relevant?

This would fit in with the Register of Soldiers Effects mentioned by Chris which would allow for Mary W to be his mother Mary Walker Chapman

Regards

John

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Hi John and Chris,

Thank you so much for the information, I've found him on a local database as well which has turned up a great photo of him amongst other things.

The database is http://www.tynemouthworldwarone.org/database.html if your interested - it may be of use to you in the future.

We are taking the Scouts to see Frederick Greenacre (my avatar) in Savy so I'm wondering if George Chapman is close enough so we could go to both, I'll have to get on Google maps and see.

John,

This is the second time you've been able to help me with a lot of detail, I really am grateful for your help. The locations you mention are very relevant, my Group was called the 1st Chirton when it was originally formed and then changed to Preston Colliery which is where most of the early members worked.

Our centenary was last weekend which is where is name has come to light. I was told his mother - Mary Chapman as you mentioned - was the lady who made our first neckerchiefs.

I have a photo from early 1918 which shows George and Fred both on it. It must have been during Christmas leave maybe for them both to be home at the same time maybe? I'm starting to think it might be nice to find out a little about all of the people on the photo although that may be a bit beyond my abilities.

I should also say a thank you to Little Bob who sent me a PM and information.

Everyone on this forum is so helpful, I really appreciate it.

Michael

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Hi

George Chapman originally served as 78449 in 1st/6th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers and appears to have entered theatre from 1916 onwards

Most of those around George in this number grouping were originally serving with the 4th(Reserve)Bn,NF, before receiving their overseas postings and then onto K.O.Y.L.I.. - the majority with 9th Bn, KOYLI.

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Hi Michael

Happy to help and thanks for the website link, I am sure it will be of interest

Regards

John

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Shiny Try "From Pontefract to Picardy" by Derek Clayton - a history of 9th KOYLI in Great War

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Thanks again everyone

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