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Remembered Today:

Circumstances of death how can you pin point these ?


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Hi Folks

I am researching the histories of the men soon to be commemorated on the new civic war memorial currently under construction in my Village of Neilston in East Renfrewshire Scotland.

Please bear with me, I am not some top hack historian, Just someone who wishes to do a bit, to help tell the lads stories.

On circumstances of death, how can you pin point these ?

I notice the Canadian records can very accurate and can tell you the trench the individual died in etc. But I can’t see any thing that precise for British records.

For instance one of my Lads -

Private 12683 David Grier Wilson of the 11th Royal Scots died of wounds 14th of April 1917 and is commemorated at Aubigny Communal cemetery extension Pas De Calais.

The Royal Scots war diary gives-

Major Sir John Campbell taking command of the 11th Batt to participate in an attack on the Village of Rueux on the 12th April 1917.

They seemed to have walked into a machine gun massacre with no artillery barrage cover from their own side, This lead to the loss of 163 men on the 12th.

By the 13th they withdrew to Athies for shelter and despite several gas bombs being thrown into the village they suffered no causalities.

On The 14th they proceeded to July Valley and by the 16th removed to Hermavillie .

Would it be safe to say David was wounded on the 12th attack and subsequently died on the 14th?

Is their anywhere else i can reference to tie this up?

Any comments or pointers would be most welcome

Kind Regards


Edited by neilston
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Historical Information

Before March, 1916, Aubigny was in the area of the French Tenth Army, and 327 French soldiers were buried in the Extension to the West of what is now Plot IV. From March 1916 to the Armistice, Aubigny was held by Commonwealth troops and burials were made in the Extension until September 1918. The 42nd Casualty Clearing Station buried in it during the whole period, the 30th in 1916 and 1917, the 24th and 1st Canadian in 1917 (during the capture of Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps) and the 57th in 1918.

42 CCS used the cemetery. If I have found Reux and Aubigny correctly they seem quite a distance apart. If he went to dressing station and then Field Ambulance to the CCS it is possible your dates are right but if you can work out the distance from Reux to CCS and the time of the action he was maybe involved in it might point to a different date for his wounding?

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I have checked the diary again and this is all in the Arras area.

The 11th Batt Royal Scots formed up on the road at Fampoux near ROEUX 12th April 1917

After the Battle they withdrew to Athies just behind Fampoux on the 13th.

by the 16th they where at Hermavillie.

On a modern map the battle place at Roeux is 31 km form the Aubigny cemetery or 30 minutes by car (today)

Looking at the diary I have 4 possible dates that David could have been wounded and subsequently died from these wounds on the 14th April 1917.

5th April 4 men killed 7 wounded by enemy shelling

6th April 1917 Trenches North East of Arras,they lost 6 men killed and 4 wounded by a shell from their own guns noted As "Presumably a "Short"

8th April saw one Officer killed one wounded and one Man killed and one wounded. by German shelling.

And the large attack on the 12th on the village of Roeux near the river Scarpe.

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Have a look at this thread click - it has trench maps and photos and information on the battle

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The 12th would probably be the best date based on the distance between the two points.

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This lead to the loss of 163 men on the 12th.

Does the diary give a figure for wounded?

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Hi John

The wording was:- causalities of officers where 3 killed 8 wounded one remaining on duty, 160 other ranks

Unsure how many of the 160 other ranks where killed

Cheers Matt

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The A&QM divisional diary suggests that the casualties were still being removed from the battlefield in to the morning of the 13th.


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