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TinaHughes

identifying soldier in DVD

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TinaHughes

This is a real long shot. There is a video that is frequently shown on programmes about WW1, there is a clip of a soldier carrying another soldier in the trenches, the soldier who is carrying looks straight into the camera lens, my Mum is convinced it is her father, we have paused the clip and compared it to a photograph taken of my Grandad in his uniform during WW1.

We would like to try to find out where the film was taken.

We have a copy of a record showing that he was awarded a Gallant Conduct Award on 21/3/18 in Bussu, he was in the 16th Division, his number was 43180.

I'd dearly love to be able to find out if this could have been my Grandad. Would really appreciate any help. Thanks

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Canadian J

I find this very interesting! It is however strange the two threads mentioned above ended so abruptly and a shame the links and pics are no longer available. Best of luck Tina and welcome to the Forum, there are MANY very knowledgable folks on here that are very passionate and quite willing to help so keep checking back!

- Jordan

And thank you for the links Craig!

Edited by Canadian J

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TEW

Somewhere I heard/read a statistic that the IWM have about 50 identifications of the carrying man. All are 100% accurate and positively identify him as X according to X's grandchildren, children, nephews etc.

When hi-tech facial recognition systems identify the man as X when X was still in the UK is another slight hiccup.

Last year in Netley Chapel someone stuck their hand up and claimed the carrying man had been IDd as a DevonShire Regt. man and a book was in the offing.

But, Tina how about giving us the man's name and any other details you have, do you have any photos of him at any age??

If any group is going to ID the man I suggest it had better be the GWF!!!!

TEW

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Canadian J

If any group is going to ID the man I suggest it had better be the GWF!!!!

TEW

Agreed! And hardly a group more likely and qualified!

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ss002d6252

It would be nice if we could solve the mystery as to who it was and the exact circumstances behind the image.

Craig

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TinaHughes

Many thanks for all of your responses, it would be lovely to find out one way or the other whether it is my Grandad. Here is a little more information. His name was Henry George Dixon, DOB 6.1 1894.

He was born in Whitechapel, London.

He married on25.12.1915 and we think the photo of the 2 people is possibly on his wedding day.

He enlisted on September 2nd 1915 for RH & RFA (Woolwich)

His regimental number was 43180

His medical category was "a"

We have a certificate of "Transfer to Reserve" on Demobilisation dated March 29th 1919

He was a driver in the 16th Division, (16th Div Amm Column)

He was awarded a Galant Conduct award in the Field of Bussu on 21st March 1918

I have added 3 photos.

Thank you again for your help, any suggestions would be gratefully received.

Tinapost-124168-0-41938400-1441200717_thumb.post-124168-0-56966700-1441200738_thumb.post-124168-0-40867400-1441200762_thumb.

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Stoppage Drill

and the exact circumstances behind the image.

Craig

It is a much discussed image, but regardless of who the man is, I think it is certain that it is one of Malins' staged scenes.

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ss002d6252

It is a much discussed image, but regardless of who the man is, I think it is certain that it is one of Malins' staged scenes.

I had to come towards that conclusion as well from the previous discussions.

Craig

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TEW

As has been seen with the Netley film of shell shock patients one needs to be careful of chosen words that described a re-enactment or a completely mocked up 'staged' Scene.

The footage of men going over the top and then some lying in nomansland making themselves more comfy is staged. Is it being suggested that perhaps the man being carried is not actually wounded and the whole scene is faked as per the Netley footage is supposed to be faked by some.

Malins says he had to Re-stage the scene and shoot it more than once but does that mean the whole thing is a sham or he just asked those involved to do it again.

Both men in that scene would have to be good actors if the whole thing is a fake.

TEW

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Stoppage Drill

The film clip has been discussed at some length before, and I don't want to repeat points.

The consensus of informed opinion is that it is staged.

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TEW

Tina,

There is certainly a likeness, especially in the 2nd photo. He looks much younger in the 1st photo dated Dec 1915 six months or so before the film footage.

I have looked through the 16th Div Ammunition Column diaries and they were based at Verquin on 1/7/16, the diary does not imply any involvment with the first day of the somme. Not even a mention of a shell being fired.

I'm still perplexed by your statement:

He was awarded a Galant Conduct award in the Field of Bussu on 21st March 1918

I'm not sure what is meant by 'Galant Conduct award' but I can say they were in Bussu from 2/3/1918 until 22/3/1918.

I can't find anything for him in The London Gazette.

I will read the diaries more carefully for any mention of him. It does sound like you have parts of a service record for him but I can't find an online record for him.

TEW

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TEW

The film clip has been discussed at some length before, and I don't want to repeat points.

The consensus of informed opinion is that it is staged.

I've searched the forum and cannot find much that says this section of footage is staged. Except a post by yourself Sept 2013 in which you quote Robertshaw:

He said, if memory serves me correctly, that the soldier carrying the wounded man remains unidentified, that the nonchalant postures of the men in the background suggest that the scene may have been staged.

Watching the 'Battle Of The Somme - The True Story - Part 3 of 8' with Robertshaw and Robert Smither (IWM). Smither quite plainly says that the authenticity of this section of footage has been brought into question but his belief is that it is not staged, faked or posed. Robertshaw concurs with Smither's view. If it was staged then one would expect a happy ending.

The man carrying the wounded man in that section of film was confused with Driver Tom Spencer, it was Spencer that did the rescuing filmed by Malins and was photographed carrying the SAME wounded man.

post-34209-0-54149900-1441286143_thumb.j

Tom Spencer

The other man was just 'another man' who happened to be nearby and took over the carrying of the wounded man just in time to walk into Malins' shot and become the icon.

Another post suggests that Tom Spencer is in the rear of the same section of footage as the iconic carrying man.

They then go on to use facial recognition software/experts which suggests a high probability the man is William Holland, unfortunately his service record says he didn't go to France until Feb 1917.

TEW

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TinaHughes

Is there a way I can have the photo of my Grandad and the picture checked with digital facial recognition.?

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TinaHughes

Tina,

There is certainly a likeness, especially in the 2nd photo. He looks much younger in the 1st photo dated Dec 1915 six months or so before the film footage.

I have looked through the 16th Div Ammunition Column diaries and they were based at Verquin on 1/7/16, the diary does not imply any involvment with the first day of the somme. Not even a mention of a shell being fired.

I'm still perplexed by your statement:

He was awarded a Galant Conduct award in the Field of Bussu on 21st March 1918

I'm not sure what is meant by 'Galant Conduct award' but I can say they were in Bussu from 2/3/1918 until 22/3/1918.

I can't find anything for him in The London Gazette.

I will read the diaries more carefully for any mention of him. It does sound like you have parts of a service record for him but I can't find an online record for him.

TEW

I wonder if his record was destroyed in WW2, I have been told that a fire destroyed a lot of records. We don't know what the Galant Conduct was, my Grandad wouldn't talk about the war.

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ss002d6252

Is there a way I can have the photo of my Grandad and the picture checked with digital facial recognition.?

I believe that's been done before with the picture and identified other men so it may not achieve anything conclusive.

Craig

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TEW

He enlisted on September 2nd 1915 for RH & RFA (Woolwich)

His regimental number was 43180

His medical category was "a"

We have a certificate of "Transfer to Reserve" on Demobilisation dated March 29th 1919

He was a driver in the 16th Division, (16th Div Amm Column)

He was awarded a Galant Conduct award in the Field of Bussu on 21st March 1918

I have added 3 photos.

Tina, I have to ask how you know the above snippets of information, do you have some original documents?? In the absence of any online records I wonder how you know the date he enlisted and his medical category.

As Craig said, facial recognition has been used before and certainly in one case everyone was happy that a positive identification had been made of the man carrying the wounded man along the trench.

Further research proved the man wasn't in France at the time. From that all we can say is facial recognition systems (or the human operator) are not up to scratch with the job.

I have looked through the 16th Div Ammunition Column diary for the whole of 1918 and there is no mention of Dixon. in itself that is not surprising as drivers, gunners, saddlers rarely get a mention. The diary does however mention a group of men in Feb 1918 who received a commendation parchment and another Driver who received a Croix de Guerre. There are also 3 Courts Martial with named men and 2 Field punishments No. 1.

There are no instances of a Mentioned in Despatches which is what I suspect he received. that should be in the London Gazette but I can't find it in there either. It may be that the search function is not able to find the entry. As you said he received it in Bussu and the 16th DAC were in Bussu at that time I don't doubt the statement but it would be interesting to find out what he received and what for.

The 16th DAC also sent men out on detachment to Labour Companies, RFA brigades and I can't be sure if the same men returned to the 16th DAC. One of the RFA Brigade diaries (still within the 16th division) has a long list of killed, wounded, missing for 21/3/18, so again the date and place you mention seems to add up.

He may have been given the award for action around 22/3/18 but the award may have been given some months later, or he may have been given the award on that date for something he did months before.

As I said, there is a likeness but I can't place the 16th DAC in the right area for the time frame. If you wish, you could write to the Imperial War Museum who apparently have on file about 80 identifications of the man, all identified by decendants. In the mean time I'd still be interested to find out where your enlistment date etc come from.

TEW

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ss002d6252

The award he received may have been a MID as above or it could have been a brigade/divisional award that some units issued themselves.

Craig

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TEW

Craig,

The 16th DAC diary has this entry for 24th Feb 1918. Would this fit the bill as a brigade/divisional award that some units issued themselves.

Not a whiff of any MIDs in diary which makes me think that was the award.

I'm not sure if the 16th DAC wasn't responsible for supplying men to the Brigade level RFA units as needed, possibly as a stop gap until other reinforcements could be found but there seems to be a lot of detachments moving about. Someone being sent to 177th Brigade RFA for a month may well still think of themselves as being a 16th DAC man.

Wondering if his award is via one of the Brigade RFA units and not directly 16th DAC, 177th and 180th diaries are on Ancestry but not easy reading.

post-34209-0-86340600-1441452110_thumb.j

TEW

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ss002d6252

Craig,

The 16th DAC diary has this entry for 24th Feb 1918. Would this fit the bill as a brigade/divisional award that some units issued themselves.

Not a whiff of any MIDs in diary which makes me think that was the award.

I'm not sure if the 16th DAC wasn't responsible for supplying men to the Brigade level RFA units as needed, possibly as a stop gap until other reinforcements could be found but there seems to be a lot of detachments moving about. Someone being sent to 177th Brigade RFA for a month may well still think of themselves as being a 16th DAC man.

Wondering if his award is via one of the Brigade RFA units and not directly 16th DAC, 177th and 180th diaries are on Ancestry but not easy reading.

attachicon.gifparch.jpg

TEW

I would say so, the top of the page mentions ''Divisional parchment certificates. The awards I've seen pictures of were usually some form of certificate.

If they were on detachment then any information may have been sent back to the parent unit who decided to make the award.

Craig

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TinaHughes

Tina, I have to ask how you know the above snippets of information, do you have some original documents?? In the absence of any online records I wonder how you know the date he enlisted and his medical category.

As Craig said, facial recognition has been used before and certainly in one case everyone was happy that a positive identification had been made of the man carrying the wounded man along the trench.

Further research proved the man wasn't in France at the time. From that all we can say is facial recognition systems (or the human operator) are not up to scratch with the job.

I have looked through the 16th Div Ammunition Column diary for the whole of 1918 and there is no mention of Dixon. in itself that is not surprising as drivers, gunners, saddlers rarely get a mention. The diary does however mention a group of men in Feb 1918 who received a commendation parchment and another Driver who received a Croix de Guerre. There are also 3 Courts Martial with named men and 2 Field punishments No. 1.

There are no instances of a Mentioned in Despatches which is what I suspect he received. that should be in the London Gazette but I can't find it in there either. It may be that the search function is not able to find the entry. As you said he received it in Bussu and the 16th DAC were in Bussu at that time I don't doubt the statement but it would be interesting to find out what he received and what for.

The 16th DAC also sent men out on detachment to Labour Companies, RFA brigades and I can't be sure if the same men returned to the 16th DAC. One of the RFA Brigade diaries (still within the 16th division) has a long list of killed, wounded, missing for 21/3/18, so again the date and place you mention seems to add up.

He may have been given the award for action around 22/3/18 but the award may have been given some months later, or he may have been given the award on that date for something he did months before.

As I said, there is a likeness but I can't place the 16th DAC in the right area for the time frame. If you wish, you could write to the Imperial War Museum who apparently have on file about 80 identifications of the man, all identified by decendants. In the mean time I'd still be interested to find out where your enlistment date etc come from.

TEW

Hello TEW, thank you for your help, I gathered the information from records that we have here at home, I've attached copies of them, hopefully you can make out what they say.

Tina

post-124168-0-48682500-1442049720_thumb.

post-124168-0-32367500-1442049780_thumb.

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TEW

On 18/01/2011 at 09:46, Kristof said:

Would be interesting if this image could be posted on forum.

TEW

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ss002d6252

Without getting in to politics over the details I do feel that the comment in the article that "John Brennan suspects a historic reluctance in Britain to accept his ancestor as the face in the film, because he didn’t fit the narrative. Not only was he Irish, he had brothers in the 1920s IRA. In other respects too, he was not the ideal hero." somewhat troubling and doesn't help any issues with identification. There has never been any need for anything to fit a historical narrative - it's not as though there has been any official attempts to suppress anyone's involvement.

 

Craig

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