Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
laughton

UNKNOWN Royal Sussex: Regina Trench Cemetery 6.D.19

Recommended Posts

laughton

There is an UNKNOWN British Soldier in Plot 6 Row D Grave 19 of the Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt. I was re-checking the minute details of the COG-BR (Concentration / Burial Return) looking for a specific Canadian lad when I noticed a penned in note on page 2510563. On the 4th line from the top it says "R. Sussex SN 2197".

A check of the records tells me that that only possible candidate for this man is Private Ernest Fry #2199 of the 2nd Battalion who is named on the Thiepval Memorial. He is not on one of the panels that is currently being replaced. There are NO other R.S.R. men in that number sequence with an unknown grave.

**********

EDIT May 29, 2016: See following post (#13) - the SN does not refer to Service Number or Serial Number - my mistake! icon_redface.gif

**********

I am no expert on the British units but Chris's site tells me that would have been 2nd Brigade, 1st Division III Corps and the Royal Sussex would have been in that general area when he was killed on 17 August 1916. Is it possible that he was that far (5,000 yards) from Beaumont Hamel by that time? My guess would be no.

He was found in Sector R.10 of map 57d so that puts him just south of Miraumont, about 3,000 yards northwest of Courcelette. He was found in the same sector as Pte. Newman #60377 11th Royal Fusiliers and Pte. Fisk #15008 8th Suffolk, both of who were lost there in February 1917.

8n2x8qrzbr0uby16g.jpg

doc2510563.JPG

Edited by laughton
corrected grave from 6.D.21 to 6.D.19

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laughton

Another candidate, if the first number was incorrect, is Pte.Robert William Pearce #4197 KIA 28 September 1916. Our Canadian boys were very active in the area at the time, but generally south of Regina Trench and R.10 is north of there by about 1,500 yards. Grandcourt Trench forms the southern border of R.10.

Also from the R.S.R. in Regina Trench are Freedman, Dodds and Green all exhumed in 57d.R.20, all KIA 21 October 1916. Warner KIA same date was found in R15.

There are 77 R.S.R. on the Thiepval Memorial for 21 October 1916 but none have anything comparable to the number set 2197, including anything with 219 or 197.

1g3o8873uix4se56g.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seadog

QUOTES

A check of the records tells me that that only possible candidate for this man is Private Ernest Fry #2199 of the 2nd Battalion who is named on the Thiepval Memorial. He is not on one of the panels that is currently being replaced. There are NO other R.S.R. men in that number sequence with an unknown grave.

Another candidate, if the first number was incorrect, is Pte.Robert William Pearce #4197 KIA 28 September 1916. Our Canadian boys were very active in the area at the time, but generally south of Regina Trench and R.10 is north of there by about 1,500 yards. Grandcourt Trench forms the southern border of R.10.

So there are 2 possible candidates, or am I misreading the above?.........what happens now

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laughton

I was hoping that someone on your side of the pond might be able to comment on the location of the R.S.R. at those times from the war diary entries. I would think it is more likely the 1st candidate if the last number was wrong, as it is more likely to read a "9" instead of the "7" than a "4" instead of a "2".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
peternc

Hi laughton

My Great Uncle was CSM Green, buried along with Dodds and Fredman in Regina Trench Cemetery as you mentioned in your previous post.

Those three were all in the 11th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment. On 21st Oct 1916 the Battalion attacked Stuff Trench, launching from the middle and left hand sector of Bainbridge Trench. The Battalion's part of that action took place within 57d. R. 20

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laughton

Thanks, so anyone have info on the 2nd Bn. R.S.R. for 17 August 1916?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dazwilson

Have you passed these findings on to the CWGC, I think they would be rather interested in this as they may be able to do some further digging and hopefully get another unnamed soldier named and given the send off he deserves!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Hastings

Hi all I looked into the 2nd Sussex on that date a few years ago, they were fighting at Clarkes Trench near High Wood. If you search Clarkes Trench or Tucknott you should find it with maps supplied by Stebie. Sorry just passing moment on forum or would find and link. Good luck Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laughton

Thanks Jim, that eliminates that date as High Wood is 3,500 yards southeast of Courcelette so well out of the area.

July 1 to December 31 1916 has 725 Royal Sussex Regiment UNKNOWN men on the memorials at Thiepval, Loos (6), Arras (3) and Regina Trench (1 - Lt. Reade).

2197 is the service number reported and only Pte. Fry appears for 219* and Pte. Pearce for *197, both previously noted.

If we search a little wider, there are none for 2*97 but for 21*7 there are 2:

  • Pte. Norman #2117 19 August 1916 2nd Bn.
  • Pte. Vennes #2127 8 September 1916 8th Bn.

I see no merit in checking the ones that might have two (2) numbers incorrect.

The complete list is in an EXCEL SPREADSHEET R.S.R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LDT006

Richard,

the SN... numbers are probably not the service number.

There are 2 other entries on that page which have a SN number after the name/regiment but the real service number is in front of the name/regiment.

I think this was the standard way (see Newman, Fisk and Davies) but don't have a clue what SN... could be.

Regards,

Luc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KevinBattle

Thanks, Luc, but that leaves the question as to what the notation "SNxxxx" actually means.

I've therefore taken up the gauntlet for Richard and emailed the CWGC if they can clarify what "SNxxxx" refers to, so others don't get misled into thinking it as a Service Number.

That seems to have brought this potential identification to a screeching halt until we have clarification from CWGC.

That may take weeks as they are hard pressed and it's a Bank Holiday here anyway, but I have asked if they could at least respond as soon as possible on the SN issue, and in due course anything further they may have in their records that might help obtain a positive identification and dignity of a named grave for this apparently RSR Unknown British Soldier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LDT006

The SN numbers are probably links to other documents wich no longer exist, I remember to have read this for XY/.... numbers.

See the XY/2047 for grave 6D24, it has cancelled the identification as Barnes back to UBS.

This document is not as they are normally made up.

There is no full Map Reference, I didn't see this before unless it were graves removed from an existing cemetery.

The information for all these soldiers comes from a G.R.U. cross as listed in the "Was cross found on grave" column.

And there's the D.M. 84 for the Unknown Royal Sussex, this could link to GRU documents and could provide a clue.

Below is another Burial Return, also for Regina Trench.

The column for the cross has different entries: None, Battalion Cross etc.. Only the GRU ones have the D.... number in the Particulars column.

It also has SN numbers for all alterations to the original text.

This raises more questions but hope it helps,

Luc.

doc2510574.JPG

Edited by LDT006

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laughton

Last year I started to assemble a list of the CODES that are used on the GRRF and COG-BR forms. You can find that here:

CODES ON CWGC DOCUMENTS

The use of SN was not one of those mentioned but I see that the PROOF that you are correct is on the form itself.

In grave 6.D.26 we have a Private Rose with a true Service Number of 6472 and beside his name they have also written SN 2066.

To be sure, I checked to see if there was anyone with the name ROSE with that number and there was not.

So that closes this case! Learn something new every day here.

I have edited the first post with that notice so others do not read all the material before I get to hide under my desk! icon_redface.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KevinBattle

Thanks, both, let's wait for any CWGC response on SN code if they know the meaning it may (or may not) help taking this forward.

If I hear, I'll post, otherwise any other more erudite member who may know more, please add your contribution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chaz

only looking as bystander, and from the CWGC web site

HLG/…., SL/……., XY/…….., EF/……., etc. - these are old file references referring to internal documents used by the CWGC. Most of these files were destroyed during the Second World War.

makes you wonder if there is the possibility that an office junior from the office may still be alive who could shed some light, the Blitz has a lot to answer for

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laughton

Just to record an answer.

 

I heard back on another case from Nic Andrews the Commemorations Manager at the CWGC. He noted that the XY/..... referred to an internal IWGC investigation to locate the grave. In this case Nic did not say those records were lost in WWII, rather that a decision was made some time ago - for an unknown reason - to dispose of those files.

 

They probably never anticipated the birth of the GWF or the CEFSG!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...