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Remembered Today:

Unknown Captain M.C.: Passchendaele New British Cemetery

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I was looking for a Canadian in the area (Map 20 Sectors V.29 and V.30 -Goudberg) in this cemetery and I noticed the entry for this Captain with a Military Cross.

This would have been 2nd Battle of Passchendaele and the British were on the northern flank (left) of the Canadians, particularly in the period 30 October 1917 to 10 November 1917. There are a number of references to the "Artists Battalion" (London Regiment) but not a lot of details on the others but they would include all those in Plummer's 2nd Army with the 4 Canadian Divisions.

I checked the CWGC database and there is only one (1) Captain with the M.C. that is missing at this time and on the Tyne Cot Memorial and that is Captain John Scott Lorimer, M.C. who was serving with the 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment, attached to the 95th Trench Mortar Battery. I am no aficionado of the British Regiments but the LLT tells me that is in Plummer's 2nd Army, 5th Division, 15th Brigade and that they were in attendance.

Here is the COG-BR: Plot 16 Row A Grave 30

Here is the GRRF: Plot 16 Row A Grave 30 (last entry on page)


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Congratulations on yet more superb research.


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Thanks for the LINK - I was able to open it to get to the copy of the letter and the attachments.

One of those had a trench map and it appears to show where Captain Lorimer was killed, which is Map 28 in J14 or J15 (east of Hooge). The name shows up in the bottom left corner as you move your mouse over the map.

The map with the two pins is here under the photograph:


I do not know the origin of that map and pins but if it is intended to mark the spot then it is not where I place the Norfolk Regiment at the time. There is no explanation for that map, it is just there under the picture and labelled "Captain Lorimer M.C. Killed 1917". Maybe it is not related to Lorimer at all, just a computer glitch of the mouse over?

Perhaps someone with access to the war diaries in the UK could check where the 95th Trench Battery was on November 5, 1917 when he was killed?


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Norman should be along soon. I have no doubt that he will be able to answer the queries about the maps.

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  • 1 year later...

Updating these "hanging topics" now that I have access to the war diaries and other tidbits available from Ance$try.


First of all I have to go back to clarify that we are looking for Captain Lorimer in the 95th Trench Mortar Battery which the LLT tells me is in the 95th Brigade and the 1st Norfolk Regiment is in the 15th Brigade, both of which are in the 5th Division.


From the information from "shipscompass" (this link), it appears that Captain Lorimer was in the vicinity of Clapham Junction (28.J.13.d) and Northampton Farm (28.J.15.c.8.7). That is too far away from where the remains were found at 20.V.30.b.2.4, unless the body was moved (as in captured and died later) which does not appear to be the case.


I am having some difficulty in finding my way through Ancestry to get the war diary of the 95th Trench Mortar Battery.


This appears to be the start of the 5th Division, 15th Infantry Brigade for October 1917 (page 558 orf 650). I have found two (2) sets for the 95th Infantry Brigade, but not the TMB (page 1 of 977) and (page 1 of 473).


First of all I now think I have to go back to the beginning and look at all 69 Captains with MCs on the Tyne Cot Memorial. I may have presumed too much taking it as the 2nd Battle of Passchendaele when I started.


This may be an illogical search, so first I need to find out when the British were in that area other than when I projected.

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Chris's map on the LLT (this link) tells us the area of Goudberg (20.V.29.c.4.4) was home to the British in the period around 10 to 26 November 1917. The Second Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres), 26 October – 10 November 1917 saw Plumer's 2nd Army, II Corps (Jacobs) with the 1st Division, 58th (2/1st London) Division and the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division. The remains were found in this area at 20.V.30.b.2.4, very close to Teall Cottage, about 400 yards north of the Vindictive Cross Roads.


I assembled the spreadsheet of the Captains with a Military Cross from the CWGC database but I do not see any that match the 2nd Army/II Corps criteria (November 1917), but I am certainly no master of knowing which units are included. I based my analysis on what was on the LLT that I could see fit the criteria. Two are in August 1917 and two in April 1918.


There are two possible in late November-December 1917, as marked in red. I wish there were "Casualty Cards" similar to what we have here in Canada so I could look up those two Captains.


surname forename initials death regiment unit Army Corps Division Brigade
DOVE TOM T 16-08-17 King's Royal Rifle Corps 12th Bn.        
OLDFIELD JOHN BURLEIGH J B 16-08-17 Northamptonshire Regiment 2nd Bn.        
CAHILL JOHN ARCHIBALD J A 16-08-17 Royal Berkshire Regiment 2nd Bn.        
SARGINT EDWARD EATON E E 16-08-17 Royal Irish Fusiliers 7th Bn.        
McMASTER CHARLES C 16-08-17 Royal Irish Rifles 7th Bn. 2nd II 36th (Ulster) 108th
CLAYTON BENJAMIN CHIPCHASE B C 16-08-17 West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) 2nd Bn.        
MURRAY-MENZIES DUNCAN INNES D I 22-08-17 Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) 1st Bn. 2nd II 9th (Scottish) 26th (Highland)
CALEY VERNON CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL V C R 22-08-17 Royal Warwickshire Regiment 7th Bn.        
DAVIES HERBERT HOWARD H H 24-08-17 Durham Light Infantry "D" Coy. 10th Bn.        
ROUND HAROLD CECIL H C 24-08-17 Rifle Brigade 6th Bn. attd. 9th Bn.        
MANSON GERALD PATRICK G P 24-08-17 Somerset Light Infantry 6th Bn.        
WALLACE GEOFFREY ROBERT G R 27-08-17 Worcestershire Regiment 7th Bn.        
BOGLE JOHN J 20-09-17 Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 5th Bn.        
WOOD HECTOR FREDERICK H F 20-09-17 Royal Fusiliers 32nd Bn.        
TOWN CHARLES AUBREY C A 20-09-17 West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) 11th Bn.        
BUCKELL HAROLD CLAUDE H C 21-09-17 Durham Light Infantry 13th Bn.        
HISLOP JOHN J 22-09-17 Bedfordshire Regiment 8th Bn. attd. 6th Bn.        
WILLIAMS JOSEPH STEPHENSON J S 25-09-17 The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 3rd Bn. attd. 4th Bn.        
CROOK LESLIE ARTHUR L A 25-09-17 The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) Act. Adjt. 1st Bn.        
FORD FRANCES WILLIAM F W 26-09-17 Cambridgeshire Regiment 1st Bn.        
COSTER ERNEST E 26-09-17 Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1st/2nd Bn.        
MANN JOHN CHARLES J C 26-09-17 Royal Welsh Fusiliers Adjt. 2nd Bn.        
PLIMPTON ROBERT ALBERT R A 27-09-17 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders          
LEE AUDLEY ANDREW DOWELL A A D 01-10-17 Leicestershire Regiment "A" Coy. 9th Bn.        
MATTHEWS JOHN BREDEL J B 01-10-17 North Staffordshire Regiment 3rd Bn.        
DANCER ALFRED CHRISTOPHER A C 04-10-17 Dorsetshire Regiment 5th Bn.        
TINLING GEORGE EVELYN G E 04-10-17 East Lancashire Regiment 1st Bn.        
CORDINER ROY GROTE R G 04-10-17 Lincolnshire Regiment 8th Bn.        
WOOD JOHN GEORGE J G 04-10-17 Seaforth Highlanders 3rd Bn.        
HUMPHREYS FREDERICK CHARLES F C 04-10-17 Somerset Light Infantry 8th Bn.        
COBB WILLIAM RALPH W R 05-10-17 Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) 1st Bn.        
JARINTZOFF DMITRI D 08-10-17 East Lancashire Regiment 10th Bn. attd. 6th Bn.        
LA COSTE CHARLES JOHN CONSTABLE C J C 09-10-17 General List          
MURRAY ERNEST FRANCIS HUME E F H 09-10-17 Honourable Artillery Company Adjt. 2nd Bn.        
MOORHOUSE RONALD WILKINSON R W 09-10-17 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 4th Bn.        
WILKINSON ERIC FITZWATER E F 09-10-17 West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) "A" Coy. 8th Bn.        
WALLACE DUDLEY WHISTLER D W 09-10-17 West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) 1st/5th Bn.        
DAY SHIRLEY CUTHBERT S C 12-10-17 Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 10th Bn.        
RIGBY ARTHUR GEORGE A G 12-10-17 West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) 8th Bn.        
SAUNDERS CLIFFLORD WILLIAM C W 19-10-17 Dorsetshire Regiment 6th Bn.        
BUIST CHARLES EDWARD C E 21-10-17 Royal Garrison Artillery 67th Siege Bty.        
WOOD MATTHEW RODNEY M R 22-10-17 Lancashire Fusiliers 18th Bn.        
ABRAHAM ARTHUR THOMAS A T 22-10-17 Manchester Regiment 23rd Bn.        
WILSON-BARKWORTH KENNETH ARTHUR K A 25-10-17 East Yorkshire Regiment 4th Bn.        
WILSON FRED F 25-10-17 Manchester Regiment 22nd Bn.        
GRAHAM MALCOLM M 26-10-17 Gordon Highlanders 2nd Bn.        
DEMPSTER DAVID BURNS D B 26-10-17 King's Own Scottish Borderers 3rd Bn.        
LORIMER JOHN SCOTT J S 05-11-17 Norfolk Regiment 1st Bn.        
MOORE WILLIAM ERNEST W E 14-11-17 Royal Field Artillery 86th Army Bde.        
CUNDALL CECIL C 30-11-17 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 2nd Bn.        
MACLACHLAN JAMES MENZIES J M 02-12-17 General List          
RATLIFF EDWARD FRANCIS E F 02-12-17 Rifle Brigade 6th Bn. attd. 2nd Bn.        
HOLLOWAY HENRY FRANCIS H F 11-04-18 East Lancashire Regiment 7th Bn.        
SILLEM THOMAS GEORGE T G 14-04-18 Welsh Regiment 16th Bn.        
WORTLEY JOHN FRANCIS J F 14-04-18 York and Lancaster Regiment 4th Bn.        
NEILSON DONALD FRANCIS D F 15-04-18 Lincolnshire Regiment 3rd Bn. attd. 1st Bn.        
BYRNE HUGH VYVIAN EDWARD H V E 15-04-18 Norfolk Regiment 8th Bn. attd. 9th Bn.        
FAILES GERALD WATSON G W 15-04-18 Norfolk Regiment 9th Bn.        
CROSBIE THOMAS EDWARD CHAPMAN T E C 15-04-18 Royal Irish Fusiliers 9th Bn. 2nd II 36th (Ulster) 108th
DESPARD CHARLES BEAUCLERK C B 18-04-18 6th Dragoons (Inniskilling)          
SKINNER WILLIAM W 25-04-18 Royal Scots "D" Coy. 12th Bn. 2nd II 9th (Scottish) 27th (Lowland)
STEWART JOHN EBENEZAR J E 26-04-18 Border Regiment 8th Bn.        
HOUGH ERIC BERNARD E B 29-04-18 The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Bn.        
HENRY NORMAN N 08-05-18 The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Bn.        
ABBOTT ERNEST HENRY FORTESCUE E H F 09-07-18 Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 4th Bn. attd. 2nd Bn.        
RITCHIE   A S 01-10-18 Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) 8th Bn.        
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    The officer file for Lorimer only adds to the uncertainty.  There is a card for him with ICRC Prisoners-but with a "nothing known" response  in July 1918- indicating he was  never listed as POW-or dead- by the Germans




 Served 95th Trench Mortar Battery

Acting Captain at time of death.

2 small reports by Captain Morland  and Lieutenant Edwards- he was picked up by the enemy alive and conscious and taken away on a stretcher.





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Your last part about the reports of being taken alive does add to the mystery. The area where the remains were found was a known area for the burial of the dead by the Germans.


That, however, is weak evidence at best, so unless more information comes forward I think this is a "closed case" for the moment at least.


Thanks for checking!!

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