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Captain Denis Grey Wigan KRRC


Julianw
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Can any member please explain to me the significance of this reference to Captain Wigan in the London Gazette? What does h.p. list mean?

Many Thanks

Julian

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Denis Wigan had just completed his second year at Magdalen College, Oxford when the war started.

He had been a member of the Oxford University Officer Training Corps prior to the start of the war and was commissioned into the KRRC as a University Candidate on 26 Sep 1914.

Harts Annual Army List for 1915 (prepared in Dec 1914) lists him under KRRC Special Reserve as WIGAN, D.G., 2/Lt. (on probation) with seniority from 04 Jul 1914

The OU Roll of Honour records him as serving from 05 Aug 1914.

Here are his LG entries ...

LG 1914 Q4, Issue 28933, 09 Oct 1914, p.8118 - University Candidate, Commissioned as 2/Lt. 26 Sep 1914.
LG 1914 Q4, Issue 28998. 04 Dec 1914, p.10413 - Ante-dating of 2/Lt Commission to 23 Jan 1914
LG 1915 Q2, Issue 29176, 28 May 1915, p.5198 - Promoted Lt. eff. 01 Mar 1915
LG 1915 Q2, Issue 29226, 09 Jul 1915, p.6811 - Promoted temp Capt. eff 08 May 1915 (as D.C. Wigan)
LG 1915 Q2, Issue 29257, 06 Aug 1915, p.7867 - Ante-dating of Lt. Promotion to 19 Feb 1915 (as D.C. Wigan)
LG 1916 Q3, Issue 29675, 21 Jul 1916, p.7220 - Relinquished rank of temp. Capt. eff. 17 Jun 1915
LG 1917 Q2, Issue 30016, 10 Apr 1917, p.3480 - placed on Half Pay on account of ill health contracted on active service. 23 Feb 1917
LG 1917 Q2, Issue 30157, 29 Jun 1917, p.6490 - retires on retirement pay eff 30 Jun 1917

Strictly speaking 6/KRRC was the KRRC's Special Reserve battalion, but SR officers also appear in 5/KRRC.

The 1915 KRRC Chronicle 5/KRRC Battalion War Record records ...
2/Lt D.G.G. Wigan - Invalided

5/KRRC was a Reserve battalion based in Blighty.

So far I have not been able to spot him in the Wounded lists in the KRRC Chronicle, nor in any of the Officers' Nominal Rolls scattered amongst the battalions, so can't say yet which combat battalion he went to after 5/KRRC..

I speculate he was invalided out due to sickness, rather than direct enemy action, but so far I have nothing to back that up with!

I will continue digging and report back.

Mark

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More information emerging.

Full name Denis Grey Wigan
Born June 21, 1893, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
Died December 31, 1958, Loudham Hall, Pettistree, Suffolk (aged 65 years 193 days)

Denis Wigan was also an Old Etonian and a prominent cricketer.

Wisden reports:

"Denis Grey Wigan was in the Eton XI for three years. He took part in Fowler's Match in 1910, hit 79 against Harrow the following season and 64 in 1912 when he was captain. A graceful batsman, he might well have gained a Blue at Oxford but for the First World War, in which he reached the rank of captain in the K.R.R.C."

Wigan in fact played for Oxford in at least a half dozen first class matches in 1913 and 1914, but did not play in the Blues Match in either year. He played for Eton Ramblers and Free Foresters int. al. after the war.

Here is his obituary from The Times ...

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[source: The Times, Fri 16 Jan 1953, Issue 54360, p.13. ©Times Newspapers]

Still working on his KRRC battalion and any info on how he was invalided.

Edited by MBrockway
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Julian- just stumbled across your excellent material on the IWM Lives of the Great War project, so much of the above is already known to you!

This includes this nice picture Denis at the 1913 OUOTC Annual Camp ...
gallery_20192_897_63292.jpg

https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/api/assetstore/34082631?width=560&height=800

I'll continue digging anyway.
Mark

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The Army List of June 1915 shows him serving as Lt. in 1st Bn., he is listed in the 1st and 2nd Bn's. section with the figure 1 preceding his name. Ditto in the March 1916 List as Lt. (temp. Capt.) again with 1 preceding his name.

1st Bn. K.R.R.C. War Diary, May 15th 1915 included the following in a report.

"The following officers of storming party reached the 2nd German trench:- The list of officers included "Lieut. Wigan".

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Thanks Harry!

That same 1/KRRC May 1915 war diary raid report also shows Lt. Wigan leading 14 Platoon in 'D' Coy.

2/Lt. D.G. Wigan is listed as joining the battalion in the 1/KRRC war diary entry for 30 Nov 1914 together with 6 other officers and 365 NCO's and riflemen.

In the 1916 KRRC Chronicle he appears in the 1/KRRC Nominal Roll of Officers who served in 1/KRRC from May 1915 to Oct 1916.

Temp. Capt. D.G.Wigan - joined 21 Dec 1914. Left 21 Jun 1915. Sick.

I could not find any reference to Wigan leaving in the 1/KRRC Jun/Jul 1915 war diary

No sign of Wigan in the 2/KRRC Officers' Nominal Roll in the 2/KRRC May 1915 war diary so I think we can rule out service in 2/KRRC.

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Mark

Thank you for your very helpful research which I will add to his IWM site when they are able to sort out a current issue with uploading pictures.

I have my Grandfathers photo album which include a number of pictures of pre-war OUOTC Camps and I intend to identify and research every individual I can identify.

Julian.

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Mark

Thank you for your very helpful research which I will add to his IWM site when they are able to sort out a current issue with uploading pictures.

I have my Grandfathers photo album which include a number of pictures of pre-war OUOTC Camps and I intend to identify and research every individual I can identify.

Julian.

Andy and I are actively researching the OUOTC as there was a tradition of the KRRC and the RB providing officers to act as the unit's Adjutant and consequently many former OUOTC went on into the two Rifles regiments - particularly the 14th (Light) Division battalions. We'd be very interested in hearing more about your album.

I've already had a look at your IWM Lives of the Great War OUOTC "Community".

We would be very happy to assist you with this on KRRC and RB officers.

Another Magdalen man that immediately springs to mind is Evelyn Southwell. He was not a cricketer, but a Wet Bob in Blue Boat and Magdalen first boat, so I rather doubt if he had time for the OTC, but your grandfather's album may contain more general Magdalen pictures perhaps? I think he and your grandfather just overlapped.

See Andy's Topic on this man and his great friend, Malcolm White:

Two Men - One Memorial, The Story of two Shrewsbury Schoolteachers

and my Topic on his memorial in Worcester Cathedral:

Lt EHL Southwell, 9th Rifle Brigade, Killed 15 Sep 1916 at The Somme

You will also find the Oxford University Roll of Service very useful available on-line here. This Roll has those who served in the OUOTC pre-War marked with an asterisk.

Likewise very useful is the 1922 Magdalen College Record, which, despite the post-war publication date, contains details of many Magdalen men who Fell in the war.

Mark

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Mark

Thank you for all your very helpful information. I was aware of the OU Roll of Service but not the Magdalen College record.

I will update Captain Wigan's profile on the IWM site and please do add to any pertinent information to any member of the OUOTC community should you wish to do so.

I have checked my Grandfathers photo album and can find no record of Evleyn Southwell but there are a few Wet Bob photos in particular Eights Week 1913 but as my Grandfather played cricket rather than rowed most of the pictures are of various cricket tours.

9RB is of great interest to me as my Grandfathers brother, Andrew Nugee, (see https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/3290916) servedin this Battalion being blinded at Hooge in 1915. I am in the process of publishing his memoirs which include a chapter on his time with the Battalion.

If you are interested in seeing the Magdalen photos or reading an extract from the memoirs then send me a pm.

Julian

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Julian,

Since I posted higher up, I have spoken with Andy who tells me you are already in touch with him.

He also explained about your great uncle Andrew Nugee and the 9/RB connection. I had only been aware of your grandfather, owner of the photo album, Francis John Nugee, who was in the 1st/4th Leicesters.

Rather embarrassing, as you had already posted a lovely portrait of Andrew in our our Hooge Liquid Fire topic here: 14th (Light) Division - Hooge Liquid Fire attack & later actions. My aged grey matter had failed to make the connection! :blush:

Both brothers were at Magdalen of course and the Magdalen Record should help you ID the Magdalen men in the album.

I was at New College. If there is anything I can help with there, just ask. I will PM you my contact details.

Apologies, but I am no further forward on discovering the reason for Denis Wigan's being invalided out. Unless his Officer Record survives, I fear we may get no further on this.

Cheers,

Mark

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Hi Julian,

Just a little more for you taken from "Fifty Years of Sport" Eton, Harrow and Winchester biographies, a quite large volume compiled by Lord Desborough in 1922.

WIGAN, Denis Grey

Born 1893. Son of the late Sir Frederick Wigan, Bart. Eton 1906-1912 (J.H.M. Hare's House) and Magdalen, 1912-1914. At Eton in Cricket eleven 1910, 1911 and 1912 (Captain 1912). Racket Choices 1912. OTC and member of "Pop." Played cricket and football for Magdalen College. Joined 60th Rifles 1914, serving in France until 1915, and at home until invalided 1917. Sport: cricket for Eton Ramblers, golf, shooting. Address: Londham Hall, Wickham Market, Suffolk.

I have pictures of him with his Eton team mates and scores v. Harrow if they are of interest.

Andy

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Julian- just stumbled across your excellent material on the IWM Lives of the Great War project, so much of the above is already known to you!

This includes this nice picture Denis at the 1913 OUOTC Annual Camp ...

gallery_20192_897_63292.jpg

https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/api/assetstore/34082631?width=560&height=800

I'll continue digging anyway.

Mark

I assume Capt. Wigan is the one in Civvy, hat the other two look to have Loyal North Lancashire cap Badges

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They're Oxford University OTC (Infantry) badges. Based on the OBLI, but with "OTC" added between the strings.

The OUOTC artillery, cavalry and engineer branches had different badges.

Mark

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  • 3 years later...

I have copies from some of the pages of Denis Wigan's service file from TNA (WO339/9883) and also extracts from the war diary (WO95/1358).

 

In his service papers there is a record of him being repatriated to the UK with nurasthenia having left his unit on 18 June 1915.

 

There are also letters from 2 Harley Street doctors.  The first (9 May 17) explains DGW has been under his treatment since Aug '16 on account of shell shock.  It goes on to say that his treatment has not been successful and that he should consider being invalided out of the army.  The second (21 May '17), describes his severe symptoms and concludes "I do not think he will ever again be fit to undertake military duties".

 

In the War diary for 25 January 1915 it says ..."while 2/Lieut Wigan the machine gun officer was turning the men out of the house to take cover behind a bank he was knocked down by a shell but not hurt beyond receiving a bad shock" 

 

In the war diary there is an account of an attack on the German trenches on night of 15/16 May 1915 - Wigan was one of the 6 officers that reached the German 2nd trench.  The battalion suffered 307 casualties in the attack.  Of the officers that reached the second trench 3 were wounded and one died of wounds.

 

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