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CEFSG Sharing Resources with GWF, SAWGP, ANZAC, INDIA, etc.


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For the past six months the Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group (CEFSG) has been working on a project to match the names of the fallen in unknown graves to those who are missing. Since late December 2014 we have had good success with 17 matches and several more are in the mill. While the direct results of the Canadian results are not of value to those in the other commonwealth countries, the process that we have used to find the matches may be of value.

The key to making the match for those of us in Canada (that can not go to the CWGC Archives in Maidenhead) has been the creation of what refer to as the "CWGC BINDERS" which for each cemetery we are investigating includes the following:

  1. Graves Registration Report Form (GRRF)
  2. Concentrations of Graves (Exhumations and Reburials) Burial Return (COG-BR)
  3. Special Exhumation Reports

We have developed a process to "mine" this information from the "CWGC Cloud Archives" and to assemble all the sheets in separate PDF Binders that are available for anyone to use in any of the Commonwealth cemetery projects. Our work to date has of course focused on the cemeteries where we believe that there are a large number of UCS (Unknown Canadian Soldiers), but while there we certainly can see the large number of similar possibilities for UBS, UAS, UNZS, USAS, etc. We are already co-operating with the South African War Graves Project (SAWGP), as they were quick to notify us when they found some unknown Canadians. We have developed a standardized report format that is submitted to the CWGC Agency in Ottawa once there is sufficient evidence to make the case.

A separate forum on the sister CEFSG BOARD has been set up for this project, within which there are a number of sub-forums that deal with the specifics. You can view these on our site here:

Researching the Unknown: Soldiers, Graves and Connections

Rather than get into all the details on the sub-forums here, I will leave it to those that have an interest to visit that section on our board. In general, it is set up so that a project moves from investigation, to draft reporting, then to review and if it meets all the conditions - off to a CWGC report.

The main item that will be of interest to the other commonwealth researchers is the information contained in the CWGC Binders. To date we have prepared these for 154 cemeteries in France and Belgium and 2 in Canada. You can see the detailed list in the RESOURCE section of the FORUM here:

The Unknown: CWGC Binders - Updated June 28, 2015

All of the binders are kept on a separate CEFSG MediaFire site, in their appropriate file folders. There are links to each of the locations, for each type of form, in the first post of that topic. As we add new cemeteries we update the list and change the date at the top of the page, You can view the binders on-line or download them to your computer.

The details of the CEFSG UNKNOWN PROJECT has been prepared and is posted within the CEGFSG WIKI, which is the modern version of the static CEFSG MATRIX. New projects, such as the UNKNOWN are added to the WIKI but are not added to the MATRIX. The page for the Unknown Project is here:

The CEFSG Unknown Project

The last section of that wiki page contains details on all the "Investigative Reports Completed", sorted by rank. From those individual pages you can then obtain or view the actual report submitted to the CWGC. Some of the cases were very simple to solve (i.e Lance Corporal Jenkins) and others were very complex (i.e. Lieutenant McDonald).

If you are interested in how we prepared the CWGC Binders, through the process of mining the database, then we have provided those details as well. With that information, anyone can follow the instructions (the process gets easier the more you do!) that we have provided. The links to those sections are as follows:

Project specific binders are made on a "case-by-case" basis and so if you are not quite ready to make a binder, let us know and if it is one where there may be Canadians then we will probably make the binder and upload it to the site.

Between the information contained in the Wiki and the details of investigations on the CEFSG BOARD I think you will find everything you need to understand the project and adapt it to your use. As always, we are open to suggestions and the sharing of resources. We have seen a large number of UBS that are likely candidates for the process. Over on this side of the pond we are fortunate that we have free on-line access to the unit war diaries and SOON all of the service records (although that is a very slow process underway). We also have access to the "Circumstance of Death" files which often have grave site references. Not all of these are needed in every case but they certainly help!

I randomly picked a binder and did a quick look to see if I could find a UK example. Not to say this is solvable, but this is process we use. There is an Unknown British Officer of the West Yorks buried in Plot 4 Row D Grave 6 at the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery (page 79 of 245 in the GRRF Binder). We know that the document reference for that page is 2148055 so we can plug that in the standard CWGC tag and get that page for posting here:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc2148055.JPG

If we now go and look at the concentrations binder for that cemetery, we find from his exhumation details (page 144 of 150 in the COG-BR Binder = CWGC 1838986) that he was exhumed at Sheet 28 I35 c.4.5. That places him just west of Battle Wood, south of the Caterpillar in the Zillebeke sector of Ypres.

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1838986.JPG

With the information you have in the U.K. can you find out when the West Yorks were there and what officers are missing? Granted it is easier if you have an "Unknown Captain" and a burial date, but this is just an example. Many times we take a quick look at a case like this and then put it on the back burner. In many cases we have not found enough initial information to make the case, but subsequent research results in a find. A good example of this was when we had 3 Lance Corporals as candidates in one cemetery, later identifying 2 of them elsewhere, meaning we then knew who was in the grave.

I hope this is of value to others researching the unknown.

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Perhaps I am missing something here so can you please let me know whether the 17 matches made as mentioned in the above have been accepted by the authorities such as the Defense Ministry and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and that named CWGC headstones will be or have been erected in the appropriate war cemetery in respect of these men.

Norman

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In Canada it is Veteran's Affairs Canada and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Canadian Agency) this is responsible for the review and approval process. Twenty (20) reports have been submitted, the 1st in December 2014. As of this date the CWGC Agency has not reviewed any of the reports thus without review the headstones and records will not be changed. The Canadian Agency is responsible for the maintenance of all the Canadian Headstones across Canada and the Caribbean and from April to September they are on inspections in those areas, that is what they tell us. They have advised us that they expect to have time to review 1 case report this year! Brig. Gen. Young (we worked together on the Lt, McDonald case) has been told that they expect they can review that report in September, so maybe we will get 2 done this year??

We do not prepare and submit the reports until we are positive that we have a closed case, so these are not assumptions, guesses or best estimates. We have to find proof before we submit the report, knowing all too well that if we mess up one case we are done.

The purpose of the post to the GWF was to share the BINDERS that we have prepared, as we believe that any Commonwealth Country can benefit from those documents.

Some are very simple, as was one just competed in a few hours this morning. There was a Corporal of the 72nd Canadian Infantry Battalion in grave 8.A.22 of the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground in Belgium. Although somewhat unbelievable, there was only one (1) Corporal of the 72nd Battalion in all of Belgium and he happened to be on the Menin Gate Memorial for the missing. It can't get any simpler than that.

The CWGC has been very specific about what they will accept. Their terms are quoted on the Wiki page that I linked above.

CWGC GRRF Page for 72nd Bn. Corporal in Railway Dugouts

Which we compare to the CWGC records that we have already incorporated into a worksheet for the Menin Gate Memorial by unit and rank.

Menin Gate Worksheet

ixt6918b2dfhlb76g.jpg

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keithmroberts

This looks to be a remarkable exercise and I wish it every success. it seems that there will be an increasing number of positive identifications and that has to be a good result for the memories of those men.I appreciate the trouble that has been taken to provide details of the research steps, and I am sure that they will be helpful to others.

Keith

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  • 6 months later...

You can find a complete link to our list of FOUND SOLDIERS for the year ended 31 December 2015 on our CEFSG WIKI site which is linked to our Forum at this location:

http://cefresearch.ca/wiki/index.php/The_Unknown

There are about 12 in addition to these for which we are currently preparing the reports. As we are gaining experience with these, we are seeing an increasing number of British soldiers that appear to be begging to be found and I assume there are teams working on your side of the pond on these but I do not know who they are - should we be sharing? Ralph McLean and I are sharing on the South African War Graves Project and more recently I have tied in with Trevor Henshaw to deal with RFC casualties where many a Pilot was British with a Canadian Observer (Photographer, Gunner).. Apparently we liked to take the "back seat" rather than fly the damned thing!

That is amazing - it appears I copied our Wiki page and it appeared here intact with the links. I will need to remember that and see it that works on our Forum! That is a powerful tool!

The 2nd one on the list of Lieutenants (Donald Wallace McDonald) is the one that linked us to the case of 2nd Lt. Jack Kipling as they are from the same area, 2 years apart and buried in the St. Mary's Advanced Dressing Station Cemetery.

Majors
  • Major George David Lynch (moved to "Corrections" list below)
Captains Lieutenants Sergeant Majors Sergeants Corporals Lance Corporals Privates, Troopers, Gunners, Drivers Buried Near This Spot Headstone Corrections
 
Edited by laughton
List of reports updated August 13, 2016
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Laughton

Many thanks for posting the update on your team's project.

I have to say that I am very impressed by your research methodology and your results.

Great stuff!

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Does anyone know if there is anyone specific from AUSTRALIA (or a group) that is looking at the UNKNOWNS.

I like to be able to pass information forward when I can, such as this Aussie Lieutenant found at 28.J.c.9.3 with a large group.

At this link:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1814148.JPG

and here, added later:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1814149.JPG

in the same area.

That places them just north of Polygon Wood so they may have been there in May 1915 with our boys from the P.P.C.L.I.

Richard

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Same cemetery a Captain of the British "Royal Irish Rifles", where my grandfather served - but it does not say which unit. Found at 28.I.30.a.9.6 so that is Armagh Wood just south of Observatory Ridge. Can there be that many RIR Captains missing in that area?

This page:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1814172.JPG

Probably May 1916, as found with Pte. David Hall.

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What is the situation at present, have any of the submitted reports been accepted by the authorities and have they agreed to add/amend the CWGC headstones?. I think I am correct in understanding from the posts that 20 cases have been submitted plus a further 12 and that the authorities will possibly review one case this year as per Post No.3 2015 above, has that happened and if so what was the result. I of course may be wrong but this rate will equate to at least 20+ years never mind any new cases which may be added.

Cheers

Norman

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We have submitted more than 35 reports for cases in Belgium and France plus another half-dozen for soles lost in Canada during training, etc. We have another dozen in various stages of production.

None of the reports have been reviewed by the CWGC Agency in Ottawa. It is not a priority for them, thus we have taken to Social Media to make sure the information is available to relatives who are researching their ancestors.

The only file that has been reviewed by CWGC Maidenhead is the submission we made on 2nd Lieutenant Jack Kipling. That could go direct to the UK as it did not involve a Canadian, although it was our research on two Canadian soldiers that led to that discovery.

Each one is on our CEFSG Wiki - The Unknowns site in short form, which then links to the official report which is on our shared MediaFire site. A copy is also uploaded to Archive.org - Finding the Fallen to ensure that they remain available in perpetuity. Their is a "hold" period for review of the report after it is finished, to allow for external comment. Anyone can make comment. Once that is complete it is posted to the CEFSG Blog, which automatically sends out a tweet with the hashtag #CEF_FOUND.

Thank you for your interest in our project. We are open to and seeking international cooperation so that others can share in the resources we have gathered. We are doing this already with the South African War Graves Project and we hope to expand to other Commonwealth members. The only sharing currently happening in the UK is via what we post here and our direct contact with Trevor Henshaw on the files involving Canadians in the RFC or RAF. We have two (2) identifications in that group but neither has been reported to date as we are awaiting some final details.

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I have no doubt that your aims are laudable and research extensive but as you rightly recognize both the will and the ability of the authorities to scrutinize each submission in a reasonable timescale is extremely doubtful and even further submissions may in an extreme case result in an embargo on the submission of such data, as I say in an extreme case.

There is another concern which is the use of social media to publicize the cases all of which concern a named soldier in the hope that any relatives will pressurize the authorities into action. I frankly would have thought that using the names of the fallen could give any relatives false hope that their family member is resting as an unknown before this fact is properly officially ratified.

As for including British soldiers in this scenario then I see immense problems as the MOD here has a growing backlog of cases concerning the found remains of soldiers mainly from WW1 plus the ongoing “In from the cold” research aiming to add missing names to the CWGC database. Given these aspects I would be very wary of starting such a project here in the UK.

My personal view is that attempting to as it were “rewrite history” is wrong and we should accept the fact that people at the time acted with their best efforts to undertake a very extensive and unpleasant job in both finding, exhuming and burying the thousands of fallen and to attempt to rectify any perceived errors just because the background data is now widely available is not something that I find acceptable.

Norman

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Richard

I'm aware that there are Australians who are conducting research into our unknowns but no one specific organised group. The major stumbling block that we have in the identification process is the felt shoulder patches which were used to identify our battalions. Only small numbers of these survived so most of the men I have on my books are only identified by rank which makes the work extremely difficult.

I take my hat off to Chris Appleton at the Office of Australian War Graves who has done great work to champion the cause of our men over the past sixteen months. I was in contact with him last July and he indicated then that he was dealing with a large number of cases. Since that conversation I'm aware of four reports which have been excepted by the CWGC.

From my own experience the CWGC took approximately three to four months to work through a case before the burial returns were released in 2014. Depending upon the nationality of the serviceman it could then take an additional five years before the CWGC was given the final approval to proceed with the renaming service. With the very large numbers that they are now processing I would not even try to guess at the time frame involved. However I can understand your concerns particularly with the reports which you submitted in 2014 and early 2015.

Mick

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  • 2 weeks later...

Same cemetery a Captain of the British "Royal Irish Rifles", where my grandfather served - but it does not say which unit. Found at 28.I.30.a.9.6 so that is Armagh Wood just south of Observatory Ridge. Can there be that many RIR Captains missing in that area?

This page:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1814172.JPG

Probably May 1916, as found with Pte. David Hall.

I presume that part of Armagh Wood was used quite extensively for concentration. A soldier my wife is researching was concentrated at 28.I.30.a.8.4 (subsequently buried at White House cemetery). However, he was "assumed dead" on 5 June 1917 (a good year later), although the war diary is anything but helpful. He was with the 9th battalion York & Lancaster and there were 4 unknowns at the same spot according to the burial return plus another unknown (Leicester) on the same return found nearby at a.6.5.

Perhaps an expert on Armagh Wood could shed more light on it.

For clarity, by a year later, I meant he died in 1917 rather than 1916 - not that it was a year before he was assumed dead!

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There is an Australian group do this kind of work Called Fallen Diggers Incorporated. To date they have had 13 successful Identifications of Australian WW1 Unknowns. The ceremony of 3 of the lads they Identified was held in Birr Cross Cemetery last year on 20th of September. They have further 20 cases before the CWGC for consideration, they also work very closely with the Office of Australian War Graves Brigadier Appleton and now with the new Director Ken Corke.

www.fallendiggers.com.au is there website. Under news Tab is some of the lads they have identified.

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Just got a message from Andrew this morning in the GWF mail. Fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to post your message.

I had previously thought this was what the IFCP was doing as well in the UK but that appears different. So the question remains - is there a UK group working on the UNKNOWNS?

We now have Canada, South Africa and Australia connected.Sharing processes and files should enhance all our projects considerably.

Cheers from Canada,

Richard

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Thanks Tim and you are most welcome! I hope everyone gets great use out of the CWGC Binder Collection of GRRFs, COG-BRs and SPECEXH reports. As I have said elsewhere, we have the process well in hand so if anyone wants a cemetery completed (we may have not done it if no Canadian unknowns), just ask. I also have made up a lot of ZIP files for others who prefer that to the PDF versions, as it gives you the page code as well.

 

Note also that I have UPDATED OUR LIST above in Post #5 to include nine (9) reports submitted to the CWGC Agency in Ottawa that were not listed previously. There are a number of others "in the pipeline" but I have taken some time off during the summer season from writing the reports. We have also submitted a few on British RFC men, which we send direct to the CWGC not through the Canadian office. Those are coordinated with Trevor Henshaw (UK) and Luc Degrande (Belgium), both members here as well.

 

In addition to those, we have been working on a large number of cases of the 15th Canadian Infantry Battalion (48th Highlanders) whose headstones were mislabelled and read 48th Battalion Canadian Infantry. These are all apart of the 15th Battalion Memorial Project, a large undertaking under the direction of Brig. Gen.Greg Young (retd) of the 48th Highlanders. They have an incredible project web site which you will find here:

Some may recall that it was the work on Lts. McDonald and Wylie of the 15th Battalion that lead us to the discovery of the error in the map coordinates for 2nd Lt, Kipling. That is reported in the blogs here:

  rjl2al6a2p9db966g.jpg
Lt. James Archibald Wylie

jzprz19ap1hdkgt6g.jpg

Lt. Donald Wallace McDonald

Edited by laughton
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Thanks Laughton,

If you have the time, please can you add La Brique No 2 in Ypres and Dantzig Alley in Mametz.  The Concentration records are certainly opening new research themes.

Tim

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Tim:

 

Here are the files to-date but keep in mind I am never sure that I have caught all the files until they are used. For example, the CWGC does not always put the GRRF or COG-BR documents in sequence, so although I have captured the main "apparent" sequence, you may notice some missing. IF YOU DO just tell me the man's name as that will be the key as to where the other files are located. This appears to happen more frequently in the larger cemeteries where there were phases of concentrations, so it would more likely apply at Dantzig than La Brique. Dantzig is a good example of this as I suspected that the COG-BR files from 1993923-1993981 were not enough, so I checked some other men and found another group in the range of 2134030-2134126. I usually randomly select different PLOT numbers to see if the ranges are covered. Dantzig contains 2,053 burials and there were 183 initially so there must have been 1,870 concentrations. I have captured 156 pages and so if there are 12 on each page I have 1,872 entries so I probably  :blink: have them all. Finding the sequences is an iterative manual process so it takes at least an hour to do a cemetery, more if it is a real mess!

 

Some cemeteries also have a lot of EXHUMATION reports, so if I see that then I separate them into a separate binder. If there are just a few, then they are left in the GRRF or COG-BR binder where they were initially located (example see Dantzig doc1993485). I seldom compile the headstone registers but that can be done as well.

I have added the ZIP files primarily to demonstrate how they work. The program to UNZIP it if you do not have one is in this folder on our shared MediaFire Site (ZIP Folder). Once you download and unzip them then you can access the individual pages and see the URL number for that page. For example, if you saw that it was called "doc1820022" (always 7 digits), then to post that page here (or elsewhere) you would take this code:

 

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc9999999.JPG

 

and replace the "9999999" with the page number and get:

 

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1820022.JPG

 

which  would reveal that page:

 

doc1820022.JPG

 

That is all for now .... any questions or comments, just let me know!

 

Richard

 

 

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Hi Richard,

I think this is an outstanding project that is whetting my appetite for reviewing the burials positions of the 90th Brigade men at Dantzig.  I'll discipline myself to stick the current quest(s) first.

 

The La Brique records confirm my assumption that there isn't a group of unknown 1st KORL there.  New Irish drew a blank too.

 

Thanks very much and keep up the good work.

Tim

 

 

Edited by 8055Bell
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  • 1 month later...

With the work I have been doing the past few weeks for Greg's 15th Battalion Memorial Project, it has become obvious that the use of the ZIP files are better for the CWGC records than the BINDERS. This applies if you are using the records in support of a submission to the CWGC and you need the file numbers, or if  you are working on a project where you want to insert the specific page or share it with others.

 

The BINDERS were the first approach to compressing the files into a PDF formatted document that almost any computer user can download and use without any trouble. For general research and "look ups" they are fine and I will continue to do the rest of the cemeteries in Christie's SACRED PLACES booklets in that format.

I will add the ZIP file format to all new cemeteries that are completed, as the records are mined from the CWGC Cloud. In addition, I have started to add the ZIP files to the existing collection. Some of those had already been completed on a case-by-case basis. I am doing them now in alphabetical order, but if anyone needs a cemetery ZIP file now, just ask and I will "bump it" up the ladder.

 

You will find the ZIP files in a separate sub-folder in this hierarchy: 

Note that the first folder has the software to make and use ZIP files if you do not have that program on your computer:

 

A ZIP AND UNZIP PROGRAM YOU MAY NEED

 

The work to recover these files in bulk from the CWGC CLOUD was initiated with a concentration on the cemeteries where Canadian UNKNOWNS were located. That is continuing, however we are now adding cemeteries where it was reported that all were KNOWN, as we have found that was not the case. In addition we are adding cemeteries "on a request basis" for our colleagues in the UK, France, Belgium, South Africa and Australia. I have no problem doing those as time permits and so far that has not been an issue. It helps "kick start" the process if you are looking for a specific person and have found a page for an individual that has a GRRF and COG-BR apparent at the bottom of the CWGC page. In some cases there are GRRF but no COG-BR documents, so that is all that is needed. I explained in an earlier post how that is then used to "mine" the rest of the documents. They are not always in the same location so in some instances you may find some files missing. If you do, just let me know and I will see if I can find them.

 

I have just completed the cemeteries from the older work that start with "A":

 

i4ucr20zsqg9l176g.jpg

 

As an example of where these work better, consider that you have to send a file or link a file to a spreadsheet. In the case of Greg's project, we have 57 photographs of headstones and 171 record files that are linked in the document. Using the old binders, Greg had to look up each page number in the PDF file, give that to me to find the file number, and then we could make the link. If you use the ZIP file, you have the file number immediately so it saves a lot of time and effort!

This is the case where you use the CWGC master URL to view the file

 

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc9999999.JPG

 

So where we know that 4 of the men being processed are on the file numbered 2229542 we use:

 

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc2229542.JPG

 

which returns:

 

doc2229542.JPG

 

Edited by laughton
notice one of the links was incorrect
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  • 1 month later...

Hi Richard,

The Dantzig Alley work you provided and has given an insight on the location of original burials for 90th Brigade on 1st July.  I'm still unsure what I can assess from all this, but some interesting plans are attached.

On the next quest, please would you do your magic on Bernafay Wood Cemetery, Montauban.  I'm hoping to find an Unknown 2nd/Lt.

Thanks as ever

Tim

Montauban Concentration Burials.jpg

Montauban Battlefield Graves by Bttn (C).jpg

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Sure no problem! But alas, no Canadians located there.

 

Bernafay Wood Cemetery, Montauban

 

A random pick gives me a starting point for the records: GRRF, COG-BR, and HR

Then the "grunt work" tells me:

 

GRRF 2230588-2230659

COG-BR 1971779-1971826

HR 2074381-2074538

 

And the ZIP files are now linked to that list. I did not do the PDF BINDERS but if you want that version just ask.

 

I always have to take a peek at the records:

  1. Looks like the Pte. W. Cha.... of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 1971794 is instead here. (there are others with part names to check H61, H62)
  2. Ralph McLean of the South Africa War Graves Project will want to know about M73 on 1971795 and a few others.
  3. An Unknown Lieutenant of the North Hants (Northhampshire Regiment I presume? Remember I am Canadian!)
     
    Quote

    SORRY! My error, this part was incorrect: (it is Northampshire Regiment not Hampshire Regiment)

     

    the correct information is here: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/244876-unknown-lieutenant-northampshire-regiment-corrected-title/

     

     

    There are only two (2) on the Thiepval Memorial so as a "first guess" I would say it is one of Nixon or Potter. Maybe someone knows more about the locations of the 3rd and 8th. Who was near 57c.S.24.C the Quarry near Guillemont?
     

    NIXON    WILLIAM GERALD         
    01-07-16    Lieutenant    
    Hampshire Regiment    
    3rd Bn.                    

    POTTER    CHARLES GORDON     
    15-09-16    Lieutenant    
    Hampshire Regiment    
    8th Bn.

     

  4. rls9rt4jnq8l0ab6g.jpg
Edited by laughton
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Thanks Richard,

2/Lt Potter would be the missing man because 30th Division were nearest to Guillemont on 1st July and didn't include any Hants Battalions. Equally the advance went nowhere near Guillemont until much later in the month and few 30th Div men were captured on 1st. It would be good to hear the views of a Hampshire Regiment expert to explain the prospect of Charles Potter being there on 15th Sept

Cheers

Tim

ps I'm looking for Ralph Marillier Miller of 17th Manchesters

Edited by 8055Bell
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Tim:

 

I am not so familiar with the British Records so if you are looking for Ralph Marillier Miller who I see is on the Thiepval Memorial as well, do you have documents similar to our "Circumstance of Death" records that tell where he may have fell or been buried in a battlefield grave? That is one of our major files on this side of the pond. If we don't have that we must go by the war diary coordinates but I do not have access to your UK war diaries. We are blessed here in Canada that we have access to all these records and FREE!

 

For example, when we found a Canadian Officer (not even classified by rank) at 36c.H.26.c.10.9 we knew it had to be Lieutenant James Wylie of the 15th Battalion on 16 August 1917 as they were the only ones there in the war and he was the only one missing. Not so easy for the British as you had men there with Kipling in September 1915 and then again in August 1917 (but on the north flank). In that particular case we were able to separate Lt. McDonald from Lt. Wylie by a few hundred yards as the records were so detailed. Without those we would have never known. Details are here.

 

So, can you do that in the UK with the records that you have?

 

Richard

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