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Remembered Today:

Company Serjeant Major, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)


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There is a CSM in Plot 20 Row D Grave 4 at the Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.

As far as I can see (qualify that as "I am Canadian") there is only one (1) missing and on the Menin Gate Memorial:

CSM George Deacon #5267, KIA May 5, 1915

Would it be possible for anyone to check if he had a sister living at Windy Hill Farm, Middleton Leeds? That is on this COG-BR:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc2462150.JPG

With that information, I would have thought they had found him but it appears not. There is nothing on the GRRF to indicate he was identified:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc2150891.JPG

I checked the cemetery records to see if he had been listed after the GRRF was completed and there is no reference to anyone in Plot XX Row G Grave 4. Breese shows up in XX.D.7 so the search is valid.

Was the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) in that area in May 1915?

I have the trench map but for some reason our MediaFire site is AFU at the moment so I will have to load it later!

Now working!

6e5m25b6a5u0bat6g.jpg

Edited by laughton
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His estate was unclaimed (soldiers effect records) so possibly no close relatives (or relatives he was close to) - certainly no-one around at the time the estate was settled in Sep 1920. I wonder if she had died - normally the records show if an attempt to pay was made and was returned unsuccessful.

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252
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Two more possibles on Tyne Cot

Rank:Company Serjeant MajorService No:13361Date of Death:18/10/1917Age:25Regiment/Service:Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) 10th Bn. Panel Reference: Panel 82 to 85 and 162A. Memorial:TYNE COT MEMORIALAdditional Information:Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Bona, of 13, Cambridge Terrace, Otley, Yorks.

Rank:Company Serjeant MajorService No:7827Date of Death:09/10/1917Regiment/Service:Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) 8th Bn. Panel Reference: Panel 82 to 85 and 162A. Memorial:TYNE COT MEMORIAL

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#5267 Deacon - The AFW5080 (form for next of kin details) in his records is blank but it was sent to Mrs J(ane) Deacon of 22 Colledge Street, Bradford (his mothers address) and returned as 'not known'.

Craig'

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He has some 3rd West Riding papers, from August 1896, a few months before he enlisted. The address is 22 College Street, which makes you wonder if the details were either 30 years out of date, or made up.

On the 1911 census, Thomas Thomas was living at Windy Hill Farm with his family, servants and a fair number of farm workers and labourers.

This seems to be a lot more difficult than it ought to be!

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Richard

The area on the eastern side of Polygon Wood was first defended by the 2nd Division in late October 1914.By May 1915 the British front line had been pushed back to Hooge on the Menin road.It wasn't until the 3rd Battle of Ypres in late 1917 that the British were again in this area so this grave is one of the two men who are recorded on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Mick

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Thank you for that information.

It shows the difference about the Canadian's and British lost in Belgium, as all our UNKNOWNS are on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, so that is where I looked. Same concept applies in France with the Vimy Memorial. The only variation is with the Arras Flying Services Memorial which covers all action for the Canadian Airmen.

So we have:

  • CSM Joseph Bonna #13361 (sister Marion) - was it his father (Thomas) who is noted above as living at Windy Hill Farm?
  • CSM John Charles Linn #7827 (one in Deveon, other in Weymouth (parents George & Clara - no sister) - neither close to any of the Windy Hill Farm locations)

I know a very little about the geography of the Uk. Google Earth tells me there are five (5) places call Wind Hill Farm but the only one in West Riding is Chipping Preston, Lancashire PR3 2QR United Kingdom.

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I know a very little about the geography of the Uk. Google Earth tells me there are five (5) places call Wind Hill Farm but the only one in West Riding is Chipping Preston, Lancashire PR3 2QR United Kingdom.

No, Windy Hill Farm was in Middleton, a village that was eventually swallowed up by the suburbs of Leeds. I doubt the farm is still there, but you will find Middleton, Leeds, on Google maps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There does appear to be a connection between CSM 13361 Joseph Bona and Windy Hill Farm, Middleton. The 1911 census records his brother Dennis employed on the farm as a Cowman. In other records, his sister is given as Mary Ann rather than Marion. The 1911 census records her as a shop assistant, 34 years old and still living at home with her parents. So, it is quite possible that she may later have been at lived and worked at Windy Hill Farm as, say, a housekeeper.

Cheers,

Stuart

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As I have noted on other posts, now that I have access to the Ancestry UK War Diaries I am going back to deal with "hanging" cases that were left unresolved. Twenty months later, I also have a better handle on the UK Regiments - or at least where to find the correct information - and on the applicable memorials. Never too old to learn!

 

So here are the two lads on the Tyne Cot Memorial: CWGC Link

 

This is the specific COG-BR with the details about the sister's letter from WIndy Hill Farm, Middleton Leeds. Note that my reference to the sister "Marion" was only because that was what was listed for her on FamilySearch.org, however in this case the name is irrelevant. All we need to know was that our candidate had a sister at that farm.

 

 

doc2462150.JPG

 

The 1911 Census document has the correct parents but lists a "John" not a Joseph: Ancestry Census Link. It can not be John, as he was too old, despite the note that he was on the farm. It could be that Joseph was there as well. Joseph is listed in the 1901 document note above for the sister, so he does exist. He was 8 years old in 1901 so he would have been the correct age (25) in 1917.

 

To be certain that he had not been identified, even though we knew he was not on the GRRF, I checked the Headstone Schedule - see HD-SCHD 2666234. Interestingly, they make no mention of the "Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)" on that document. They may have tried to identify him, found they could not, and gave up the case.

 

Next step, I will check the details in the war diary. Back shortly!

 

 

 

Edited by laughton
added Brigade and Division of service for war diaries
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CSM Bona was with the 10th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment). The war diary for 17-19 October 1917 (page 306 of 307) places them at "The Butte" (Polygon Butte - a small isolated hill), the site of the Battalion H.Q. at 28.J.10.a.70.90, very close to where the remains were located at 28.J.11 a.20.20. The battalion was occupying the front line from 28.J.11.d.7.5 to 28.J.12.a.5.5. That places the remains aout 250 yards behind the front lines.

 

There is very faint writing on the last page, which appears to state that Captain Sparling, M.C. was wounded, 27 OR were killed, 49 OR wounded (4 DOW) and 6 OR missing. If this is correct, there is no reference in the war diary to the death of CSM Bona.

 

There is no additional information provided.

Edited by laughton
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Thanks Mick - we are getting closer. I think we know it is CSM Joseph Bona, we just need the final proof.

 

I think we have this if we can tie his sister to the "Windy Hill Farm", but how?

 

The "Marion" earlier reported comes from the 1901 Census: Ancestry Link

 

I did finally stumble on the farm where Denis Bona is listed: Ancestry Link. That at least ties in the family to that farm.

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General Question:

 

Was it the policy in the UK for the women to go and fill the positions left by the men, when the soldiers went off to war? That would make sense and explain why Mary Ann went to work at Windy Farm. I wonder if she was still working there in the 1921 census? Our 1921 census in Canada is already available but the UK RECORD says 2022.

 

Would there be any other kind of register in the UK for the war years that might pinpoint the location of Mary Ann Boda? I did try the ones that I could see on Ancestry but I don't know enough about the electoral districts to make any sense of the information.

  • Windy Hill Farm, Middleton, Leeds
  • Yorkshire - West Riding - Middleton - 07
  • GPS = 53°44'30.58"N 1°33'10.17"W, if I have the correct place
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I also need to cover off the location of the alternate candidate, CSM John Charles Linn #7827 who served with 8th (Service) Battalion, 32nd Brigade, 11th (Northern) Division and died 9 October 1917.

 

That war diary is located under the 32nd Infantry Brigade (page 2 of 773).  On 9 October 1917 the war diary refers to the brigade at Varna Farm (28.C.4.a.5.1), 2,500 yards northwest of St. Julien. You will recall that the remains were located at 28.J.11 a.20.20. That implies a separation distance of approximately 10,000 yards, more if you account for the fact that the brigade attack was to the northwest into the area of 20.V.26 and Poelcappelle 20.V.20. The specific action of the 8th Duke of Wellington's (page 72 of 773) tells us they were far enough away to be under machine gun fire from a strong point at 20.V.20.c.2.8 and in the vicinity of Gloster Farm at 20.V.20.c.35.30, less that 500 yards south of Poelcappelle.

 

The casualties reported for the regiment for 9 October 1917 was 1 Officer killed, 1 wounded and 23 OR killed and 46 wounded (page 76 of 773). The CWGC reports 66 deaths that day of which 66 are on the Tyne Cot Memorial, one of which is Company Serjeant Major John Charles Linn.

 

I believe that is sufficient information to eliminate CSM Linn as a candidate for the UNKNOWN COMPANY SERJEANT MAJOR on the basis of his location at the time of his death.

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