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UNKNOWN RFC: Corporal B. F. G. Jeffs, 11th Sqd.


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Luc has just advised me that a report on this matter was submitted by John Hartley in 2009

 

It is my opinion that the OFFICER suggestion came from the French who did the exhumation, not the Germans or British. Trevor has suggested this is not critical, as he explains the dress code of the Aviators.

 

Thanks to the old post, there is a grave site photograph and it does show it is written as "A Soldier of the Great War - Unknown Officer, Royal Flying Corps, 11 October 1915". I think if you read the report below you will come to the same conclusion that it is Corporal Jeffs.

 

Apparently we need a database of what projects have been investigated and are being investigated, as my search for this previously did not get any hits. That could be because I was searching for Corporal Jeffs not Serjeant Jeffs?

 

Richard

 

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

A draft report has been prepared for submission to the CWGC. This was an "accidental find" while researching a Canadian. Initially I thought it was 2nd Lt. Allport until I realized it was 11-10-1916 not 10-11-1916, which led me to Capt. R. N. Adams who was KIA 10-10-1916 but not him either as Trevor quickly pointed out he went down in British territory. So that led to Corporal Jeffs who was with Flight Serjeant Haxton who went down in German held territory. Comments, questions and corrections are welcome from any member!

 

DRAFT REPORT (some attachments inserted, all are found here or by the links shown: https://www.mediafire.com/folder/9hfndqixbv3cv/Jeffs)

 

 

 INVESTIGATIVE REPORT:

 

This report pertains to an investigation of the identification of the burial location of a member of the Royal Flying Corps, during the Great War 1914-1921.

SUBMITTED TO:

 

CWGC Commemorations Section

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow RoadMaidenhead, BerkshireSL6 7DX United KingdomEmail: commemorations@cwgc.org

 

Report Date: 11 July 2016

 

Reason for Submission: (“X” means purpose of the report)

 

Casualty Identification:

 

 

Burial Information:

 

 

Confirmed Identity

X

Burial Location Identified

X

Most Probable Identity

 

Grave Stone Correction

 

Questionable Identity

 

Grave Records Correction

 

Incorrect Identity

 

Request for CWGC Details

 

Other

 

Other

 

 

Supporting Documents: (# refers to attachment number; “I” information provided)

 

Casualty Identification:

 

 

 

Burial Information:

 

 

 

Jeffs, Bertie Frederick G

i

Douchy-Les-Ayette British

link

11th Squadron, RFC

i

Pas de Calais, France

i

Corporal #3023

i

Plot 3 Row D Grave 7

i

Death: 10 October 1916

link

Exhumation: 26 June 1924

i

Graves Registration Report

1

War Diary Extract(s)

 

Concentration of Grave

2

Casualty Card

8

Exhumation Report

3

Flight Incident Records

9

Headstone Register

4

Grave Stone Details

 

Area Map

5

Memorial Inscription/Photo

 

Trench Map

6

Reporting and Review

10

Possible Candidates List

7

Other

 

 

 

Summary of Findings:

 

The Graves Registration Report (GRRF 1996330) form for Plot 3 Row D Grave 7 at the Douchy-Les-Ayette British Cemetery lists an UNKNOWN BRITISH AVIATOR of the Royal Flying Corps, killed in action on 11 October 1916.

An analysis of all of the documents for deaths on this date leaves no doubt that these are the remains of Corporal Bertie Fredierick George Jeffs #3023, an Observer flying in an FE2b “push” aircraft with a Serial Number 6992, piloted by Flight Sergeant  E. N. Haxton #649. Both men were killed behind enemy lines 3 km from Bapaume, France.

 

 

Details of Findings:

 

The findings are conclusive that the remains in Plot 3 Row D Grave 7 are those of Corporal (Observer) Bertie Fredierick George Jeffs #3023 of the 11th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. He is buried in the Douchy-Les-Ayette British Cemetery in the grave next to the pilot of the aircraft, Flight Serjeant E. N. Haxton. Corporal Jeffs is currently listed as an UNKNOWN on the Arras Flying Services Memorial.

 

The findings are based on the following:

 

1.    The Graves Registration Report Form on file at the CWGC (GRRF1996330) for the Douchy-Les-Ayette British Cemetery lists an “Unknown British Aviator” whose date of death is listed as 11 October 1916 (Attachment #1). The remains are buried in Plot 3 Row D Grave 7. Flight Serjeant E. N. Haxton is reported to be in Plot 3 Row D Grave 6, with a listed date of death of 11 October 1916.
 

2.    The Concentration of Graves (Exhumations and Reburials) BURIAL RETURN (COG-BR 1996298) shows that these remains were exhumed from Grave #220 at the Fremicourt Communal Cemetery German Extension located at Trench Map Coordinates 57c.I.26.a.35.70 (Attachment #2). They were found beside the remains of Flt. Sgt. E. Haxton (reads Hoxton), killed the same day. The exhumations were completed by the Etat Civil Français. The records show the date of death as 11 October 1916.
 

3.    A report of the Special Exhumation (SPECEXH 1996400) of the remains on 26 June 1924 reports that the date of death was 11 October 1916 and that “body badly smashed teeth. Upper Jaw Good. Lower Jaw smashed to pieces”. It was also reported that the remains had Officers Clothing with No Boots or Badges (Attachment #3). Our candidate is not an Officer but would have been wearing conventional “flying gear” and it is unknown as to how the Etat Civil Français made the determination that this was “Officers Clothing”. The damage to the remains, as reported badly smashed, would be expected given that the candidate is reported to have jumped from the plane (Henshaw 2014 – page 56).
 

4.    The Headstone Register (HR 2094071) does not record the remains as those of a British Aviator but rather “An Officer of the Great War” (Attachment #4). A casual observer at the cemetery would not be aware of the details of the remains buried below. The remains in Grave 7 are bedside those of the pilot in Grave 6 which is dated 11 October 1916 for Flight Serjeant E. N. Haxton.
 

5.    The remains were located in the Fremicourt Communal Cemetery German Extension. A period map from the Lloyd Reeds Map Collection at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario Canada shows this is approximately 4,800 yards (3 km) east of Bapaume, France (Attachment #5).
 

6.    The Village of Fremicourt was in German held territory in October 1916 and the village itself has distinct German fortifications around the perimeter (Attachment #6). Aviators that went down in this area would have been collected and buried by the Germans, as this was well behind enemy lines.
 

7.    A review of all of the candidates in the files of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission shows that there were only five (5) aviators listed as killed in the period of 10 and 11 October 1916 (Attachment #7a). All five served with the Royal Flying Corps. There were no reported deaths in the Royal Naval Air Service. Only two (2) of the five (5) are UNKNOWN and listed on the Arras Flying Services Memorial (Captain R. N. Adams, M.C. and Corporal B. F. G. Jeffs). We note for the record that Captain R. N. Adams is also listed as having a “Special Cross” in Plot 2 Row C Cross 4 at the Guards Cemetery, Lesboeufs (GRRF 2006590). It is unknown at this time if that cross was removed when his name was added to the Arras Flying Services Memorial.
 

8.    There is some confusion as to the date of death of all of these men as some of the forms say 10 October 1916 (CWGC Jeffs) and some say 11 October 1916 (CWGC Haxton). As noted previously, the GRRFs in Attachment #1 and COG-BR in Attachment #2 report the deaths as 11 October 1916, perhaps on the basis of the date of burial by the Germans. We know that Flight Serjeant Haxton (Pilot) and Corporal Jeffs (Observer) were killed on the same date, as they were in the same plane. The Casualty Card from the Royal Airforce Archives shows the date of death for Flight Serjeant Haxton as 10 October 1916 (Attachment #8). The “Casualty Card” for Corporal Jeffs is incorrect as it reports his date of death as 10 September 1916. This may be why identification was not previously made on the remains. We have shown the correct card for Flight Serjeant Haxton, the pilot, with the correct date of 10 October 1916. The date is not critical to this case, as we know they were both killed on the same date and there are no other recorded deaths on 11 October 1916.
 

9.    The finding that the remains are those of Corporal Jeffs was made on the basis of the flight, the path and the crash area. It is reported (Henshaw 2014 – page 56) that Haxton and Jeffs were on an Offensive Patrol northeast of Bapaume when encountered by 5 hostile aircraft at 10,000 ft.. The place went down in flames and broke up in a village about 3 km from Bapaume, which places it at Fremicourt. It was reported that the Observer (Corporal Jeffs) jumped from the burning plane, thus the “broken up” state of the remains that were exhumed. Conversely, Captain Adams was KIA over Achiet-Le-Grand and the Observer landed the aircraft in a shell hole near Meaulte, well into British held territory (Attachment #7b). That leaves only Haxton and Jeffs, buried beside each other, lost in German held territory. There are no reported RFC deaths on 11 October 1916, only Lt. Wadden was MIA and a POW (Henshaw 2014 – page 57).

 

 

 

Action Required:

 

The “Investigative Report” has been prepared in accordance with the procedures and criteria set out by the CWGC, should they wish to make any changes to the commemoration details (Attachment #9).

 

It is our contention that there is no doubt as to the identity of the remains in Plot 3 Row D Grave 7 at the Douchy-Les-Ayette British Cemetery. We would suggest that the records be amended and the grave stone replaced to show that Corporal Bertie Frederick George Jeffs #3023 is buried in that location.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENT #1
Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Graves Registration Report Form.

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1996330.JPG

 

ATTACHMENT #2
Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Concentration of Graves (Exhumations and Reburials) Burial Return.

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1996398.JPG

 

ATTACHMENT #3
Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Report on Special Exhumation. 

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1996400.JPG

 

ATTACHMENT #4
Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Comprehensive Report (A) of Headstone Inscriptions. 

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc2094071.JPG

 

ATTACHMENT #5
Lloyd Reeds Map Collection of McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario Canada. Bapaume Map 389WW1MAP.

http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A4079/-/collection

 

ATTACHMENT #6
The National Archives British Trench Map Atlas.57cNW4 Beugny Edition 2A Map wo297_1356 Trenches Corrected 24/11/1916. Naval and Military Press, Uckfield, West Sussex, United Kingdom.

h9o6opa018ov8996g.jpg

 

ATTACHMENT #7a
Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Casualty Record: United Kingdom Forces Served in Air Force, October 10-11 1916.
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx?cpage=1

a4mj0v49dag1gca6g.jpg

 

ATTACHMENT #7b
The National Archives British Trench Map Atlas.62dNE2 Meaulte Edition 2[A]9S) Map wo297_1614 Trenches Corrected 7/2/1916. Naval and Military Press, Uckfield, West Sussex, United Kingdom.

94fttb1k9gp66cx6g.jpg

 

ATTACHMENT #8
Royal Air Force Museum Story Vault. Archives of the Casualty Record Series.
http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/jeffs-b.f.g.-bertie-frederick-george

Royal Air Force Museum Story Vault. Archives of the Casualty Record Series.
http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/haxton-e

 

ATTACHMENT #9

Henshaw, T. 2014. The Sky Their Battlefield II. Warwick Printing Company Limited. Leamington Spa, United Kingdom

 

ATTACHMENT #10

This “Reporting and Review” attachment is provided to assist all parties in the submission of an investigative report related to the identification of the burial location, or headstone markings, of a member of the Royal Flying Corps during the Great War 1914-1921.The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) receives a copy of this report in the event they wish to make changes to the commemoration details. In order to alter the records, the CWGC has set out their criteria for the procedure and submission of cases for review, as detailed below. The CWGC is under no obligation to make changes based on a report.

This process differs from cases related to members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) as these do not go first to the CWGC Canadian Agency in Ottawa. We have modified the requirement information noted below to included CWGC criterial from their source material:

 

Guideline Criteria for Submission: 

 

Cases need to present clear and convincing evidence to prove the identity of a casualty and must not be based on assumption or speculation. The Commission's Commemoration Team will also consider whether the findings of a better informed contemporary investigation are being revisited and if there is any new evidence to consider. By way of example, it is unlikely that the Commission would support a revision of the arrangements for the commemoration where it is apparent that no new evidence is being presented and, a better informed previous decision is being revisited some 100 years later.

Evidence and Source Material:

 

Un-cited resources cannot be accepted as official evidence. Research conducted on the internet will only be accepted if supplied by a recognised authority such as the CWGC, National Archives etc. Any primary (contemporary) sources e.g. the National Archives, CWGC, and Genealogical website original documentation etc. must be copied and submitted with the case. The relevant pages of any secondary material e.g. published reference books and articles; website material etc. should also be copied and submitted. All sources must be correctly referenced as footnotes throughout the submission as well as cited in a complete bibliography of consulted sources Referencing is essential to any historical research and should contain some uniform elements.

 

 

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I tried to get more information from Stephanie at Headington.org and she replied that John had also contacted her in 2009 and she had no information. However, Stephanie posted to Ancestry and got a reply from a relative of Bertie's but they only have B&W photographs. They do have red hair in the family and the line of the family has fine and curly hair. It looks like the only hope now will be if his attestation papers or service records mention his hair colour (they do here in Canada).

 

I was looking at the others that were exhumed from the same cemetery to try and figure out what RFC Officers the CWGC wrote about when they said:

 

It was enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from the battlefields of Arras and the Ancre and from other burial grounds, including:-

FREMICOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY, in which 20 German soldiers and two R.F.C. officers (who died in 1916 in a German hospital in the Church) were buried.

 

doc1996398.JPG

doc1996401.JPG

 

This has some bearing on the term "Officer" as the only two that survived the crashes and could have been hospitalized were 11th Squadron pilot Flight Serjeant Haxton in 3.D.6 (German Grave 219) and 22nd Squadron Lt. Burgess in 3.D.9 (German Grave 19). Neither of the original graves had a cross. To try and figure out how they placed Lt. Burgess is a complex puzzle in itself. The July 1924 Exhumation Report has Burgess in German Grave 18, not 19 as shown on the COG-BR above. Note on the COG-BR that Burgess was the original entry typed into 3.D.8 in Grave 18, which was then changed to an "Unknown German Soldier"? and Burgess was moved down one spot to where it initially said "Unknown British Officer". It was reported by Trevor Henshaw (page 41 TSTB II) that Lt. Burgess died of wounds, that his flight was on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme (not July 2nd as on the initial Exhumation Report).

 

doc1996402.JPG

 

That Unknown British Officer sure sounded like a Flying Officer based on his Exhumation Report. All we know about his was that he had bad teeth and fair hair that was turning grey. Strange that a description such as that would match a 24 year old Officer in the RFC (http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/582746/BURGESS, REGINALD)? The original Burgess Exhumation Report shown above has him in a grave with a CROSS with black hair and no mention of the bad teeth. That description to me is a better match for Captain Roos of the 14th Bn. York & Lanks who was supposedly exhumed from German Grave 20, as he was 47 years old (http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/583079/ROOS, GUSTAF OSCAR). The problem with his exhumation report is that Captain Gustaf Oscar Roos has AUBURN hair (same as our UNKNOWN BRITISH AVIATOR) and both his legs were broken and the body was badly smashed. Sounds to me like another one jumped from a plane but he was not in the RFC? Interesting that he was identified by his underwear?

 

The body that is in that Exhumation Report was naked with good teeth and a large head, and so that was not Lt. Burgess if he was identified by his Officers Cardigan, Jacket and Flying Socks. They switched that one to the Unknown German Soldier.

 

The GRRF has Lt. Burgess in 3.D.9 (http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1996330.JPG) which was changed from the original (http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1996494.JPG). They initially had him in Grave 2, which is the same as Grave 20 as there are two sets of numbers on the COG-BR for the German grave. They moved him back to Grave 1, which to me means the German Soldier and the initially UNKNOWN British Officer were buried in the same Grave 1.

 

It appears he died of his wounds on 7 July 1916, however there is no date of death on the alternate Exhumation Report. That is confirmed on the Casualty Card at the RAF Vault, which also states he was in Grave 20 at Fremicourt.

 

5861330000051874.jpg

 

You add this all up and it says they totally messed up the paperwork on these men and so we can never say that they got our UNKNOWN BRITISH AVIATOR correctly identified when they said he had Officer's Clothing. If so, and the records are all fine, we have an Infantry Captain, who sounds like he was in a plane crash or jump, a RFC Captain who was naked, but wearing a sweater and socks, and lastly a 24 year old with greying hair and a 47 year old with black hair.

 

I say you throw out any of the descriptive details on these records and look at the case on the basis of the known facts. The only missing RFC man killed in that specific area on10 or 11 October 1916 was Corporal Jeffs.

 

On a side note, to link this back to the Canadian side of the story, the pilot of the FE2b pusher #6365 was Lt. John Firstbrook. He was hospitalized in Switzerland and then repatriated back to the UK before Christmas. He has a number (5) of PA files in the ICRC Archives (http://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/1048994/3/2/). Some of them show his name as Firstbrock. I will leave it to the linguists to interpret those reports. A RAF Vault tells us that postcard was received on 29 August 1916 reporting that he was a POW at ......

2891230000091149.jpg)

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  • 2 months later...

The report has now been submitted to the CWGC and has been "logged in" via David Avery. During that process, it was noted that there was a typo error in the report where 3.E.7 appeared in some spots where it should have read 3.D.7. So now I know to watch out when I am looking at the sheets and it has an "E" for extracted and my brain is not yet awake! I will go back and change that in the first post. The uploaded versions have been amended accordingly.

 

The final report is now here on a separate section of my web site:

 

Bertie Jeffs Final Report

 

In the final version of the report, an ADDENDUM NOTICE was also added to  the main body of the report, followed by a new ATTACHMENT #11 that contained the ADDENDUM DETAIL. Those two additions are provided below:

 

Addendum Notice:

 

At the time of the preparation of this report on 11 July 2016 we were not aware that a preliminary report on the identification of Corporal Bertie Jeffs had been made by John Hartley in May 2009 (GWF Topic 123108). That topic notes that the CWGC/MoD rejected the submission on the basis of the reported “Officer’s Clothing” and that the burial on 11 October 1916 may have been coincidental.

At the time of the 2009 submission it was not known or reported that the remains were "badly smashed" and that Jeffs had "jumped from the aircraft". From a detailed review of the records associated with the other men on the COG-BR, we know that a number of the records were mismatched. On the basis of that analysis, it is our contention that there can be no reliance on the report that the remains in Plot 3 Row D Grave 7 were those of an Officer. An Observer in a “pusher machine” would have been sitting on an orange crate and at 10,000 feet in an open cockpit would have been wearing anything possible to keep warm. The French Civil Authorities may have identified him as an Officer merely because he was an Observer dressed in flight gear.

We have provided the details of the confused records as an Addendum to this report (Attachment #11). There is no doubt that these are the remains of Corporal Bertie Jeffs.

 

ATTACHMENT #11 - ADDENDUM

The records of the CWGC report the following in regards to RFC Officers exhumed from the Fremicourt Communal Cemetery:

It was enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from the battlefields of Arras and the Ancre and from other burial grounds, including:-

FREMICOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY, in which 20 German soldiers and two R.F.C. officers (who died in 1916 in a German hospital in the Church) were buried.

 

 

This has some bearing on the term "Officer" as the only two that survived the crashes and could have been hospitalized were 11th Squadron pilot Flight Serjeant Haxton in 3.D.6 (German Grave 219) and 22nd Squadron Lt. Burgess in 3.D.9 (German Grave 19). Neither of the original graves had a cross. To try and figure out how Lt. Burgess was placed in 3.D.9  is a complex puzzle in itself. The July 1924 Exhumation Report has Burgess in German Grave 18 not 19. This is depicted on the COG-BR above. Note on the COG-BR that Burgess was the original entry typed into 3.D.8 in Grave 18, which was then changed to an "Unknown German Soldier"? Thereafter Burgess was moved down one spot to where it initially said "Unknown British Officer". It was reported by Trevor Henshaw (page 41 TSTB II) that Lt. Burgess died of wounds, that his flight was on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme (not July 2nd as on the initial Exhumation Report).

 

The exhumation report described the “Unknown British Officer” like a “Flying Officer”. All we know about him was that he had bad teeth and fair hair that was turning grey. It is not logical that a description such as that would match a 24 year old Officer in the RFC:

 

 

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/582746/BURGESS, REGINALD

 

 

The original Burgess Exhumation Report shown above has him in a grave with a CROSS with black hair and no mention of the bad teeth. That description is a better match for Captain Roos of the 14th Bn. York & Lanks who was supposedly exhumed from German Grave 20, as he was 47 years old:

 

 

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/583079/ROOS, GUSTAF OSCAR

 

 

The problem with his exhumation report is that Captain Gustaf Oscar Roos has AUBURN hair (same as our UNKNOWN BRITISH AVIATOR) and both his legs were broken and the body was badly smashed. That suggests another one jumped from a plane but he was not in the RFC? Interesting that he was identified by his underwear?

 

The body that is in that Exhumation Report was naked with good teeth and a large head. From that we can conclude that he was not Lt. Burgess if he was identified by his Officers Cardigan, Jacket and Flying Socks. They switched that one to the Unknown German Soldier.

 

The GRRF has Lt. Burgess in 3.D.9:

 

 

 

 http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1996330.JPG

 

 

This was changed from the original:

 

 

 http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1996494.JPG

 

 

They initially had him in Grave 2, which is the same as Grave 20 as there are two sets of numbers on the COG-BR for the German grave. They moved him back to Grave 1, which to me means the German Soldier and the initially UNKNOWN British Officer were buried in the same Grave 1.

 

It appears he died of his wounds on 7 July 1916; however there is no date of death on the alternate Exhumation Report. That is confirmed on the Casualty Card at the RAF Vault, which also states he was in Grave 20 at Fremicourt.

 

 

Consolidating all this information shows that the paperwork on these men was in disarray and so we can never say that the UNKNOWN BRITISH AVIATOR was correctly identified when it was reported that he had “Officer's Clothing”. If so, and the records are all fine, we have an Infantry Captain, who sounds like he was in a plane crash or jump, a RFC Captain who was naked, but wearing a sweater and socks, and lastly a 24 year old with greying hair and a 47 year old with black hair.

 

 

Family of Bertie Jeffs were consulted in the UK to determine if there was any information on the hair colour of Bertie. Although the family reported that a “slim build and auburn hair” was the common trait of the maternal line of the Jeff’s family in the early 1900’s, there was no photographic evidence that the man had auburn hair. The Attestation Papers and Service Record of Bertie Jeffs did not survive WWII and therefore that avenue of confirmation is impossible as well.

 

It is our conclusions that if you eliminate the “confused” descriptive details on these records and look at the case on the basis of the known facts, then the answer is clear. The only missing RFC man killed in that specific area on10 or 11 October 1916 was Corporal Bertie Jeffs.

Edited by laughton
added addendum notice and details; added link to final report submitted
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  • 11 months later...

This would appear to be good news that the report has been sent forward from the CWGC to the British. Was another report submitted by another member of the GWF, other than Hartley and Laughton?

 

Quote

 

Please accept my apologies for the length of time it has taken for the Commission to respond to your research submission regarding the burial location of Corporal Jeffs. As you are aware the initial submission by Mr Hartley in 2009 was rejected. Coincidentally, a further presentation of this case was submitted to the Commission last month from a third researcher, both providing further evidence to the original 2009 submission.  

 

Therefore, the case, accompanied by our review will now be passed onto the relevant service authority for adjudication, in this instance the United Kingdom’s Air Historical Branch and the MoD’s JCCC team. As I am sure you can appreciate this may take some time to resolve, however, you will of course be informed of any progression when this occurs.

 

Thank you again for your continued patience and your initial research/work behind this submission.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

David

 

 

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On 22 August 2017 at 13:11, laughton said:

This would appear to be good news that the report has been sent forward from the CWGC to the British. Was another report submitted by another member of the GWF, other than Hartley and Laughton?

 

 

I understand that it was submitted by Tom Tulloch-Marshall, who, like a Norwegian Blue - is an ex-member.

 

regards

 

John

 

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  • 1 month later...

Supplementing the CWGC listing for Flight Sergeant Haxton, the birth registry for Scotland states that

Ernest Neish Haxton was born in 1893, at Dundee, Angus, confirming the age of 23 CWGC states.

I thought it important to add this information since neither CWGC nor the RAF Museum casualty cards

gave both forenames.  I hope that that the identification of Corporal Jeffs reaches a satisfactory resolution.

Josquin 

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  • 6 months later...
  • 1 month later...

OK... just read this through and my head is going circles... this is outstanding research work and for me, there is not a shadow of a doubt that the unknown is Cpl Jeffs. 

Does he have family left to speak up for him? 

 

M. 

 

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Thanks Marilyne, it is all part of what "we all do" to remember the men and women that served.

 

Yes, Bertie has family and I was in touch with them - I really wanted proof that he had red hair. They could only confirm that it was dominant in the family but not that Bertie carried that gene.

 

You must come to Canada to ride, for as soon as I am done my 3-4 hours on the UNKNOWN PROJECT each morning, I am off to my daughter's equestrian facility to do what retired fathers do - help out. I run the heavy equipment and my wife Olga teaches dressage. Keeps a retired research engineer and political scientist busy. I dabbled extensively in international law, but as an expert witness not a lawyer. Spent lots of time in Belgium (Brussels) on NATO project work but unfortunately before I had the time to concentrate on the family research and the Great War. Never went to Bellewaerde Ridge where Grandfather Kennedy was wounded 8 May 1915. Wish I could relive those days in Belgium again - I would have been up 24/7 visiting all the sites! Wasted time in a hotel writing reports instead!

 

 

 

 

 

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Dressage teacher??? then I must absolutely meet your wife!!! 

Pity Canada is so far away, but who knows??? I'll keep it in mind... thanks for the invite !! 

 

M.

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@John_Hartley @fetubi

 

It would appear that "3 strikes and we are out"!

 

I think we can all have comfort in the fact that the original analysis was correct and holds, this is the grave of Bertie Jeffs. They obviously did not understand ATTACHMENT #11 - ADDENDUM, as that addressed the prior issues that they still felt were unresolved. They state that the team was working under British supervision therefore there was no reason to doubt their assessment, despite the fact that it was a bungled mess.

 

There are no other candidates. I am at a loss for words.

 

Richard

 

From: Commemorations
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:49 AM
To: rlaughton
Subject: ID Case 86.2

 

Dear Richard,

 

Please find attached the Adjudication letter regarding ID Case 86.2. I’m sorry that I can’t give you better news this close to the festive season, but I hope that you will understand the reasons for the decision.

 

Thank you for your dedicated efforts and your continued patience. 2018 has been an incredibly busy year for all of us. Although it’s now more than 100 years since the Armistice, we still have much work to do and I look forward to working with you in 2019 and beyond.

 

Merry Christmas and best wishes for the year ahead.

 

With kind regards

 

Mel

Commemorations

Quote

19 December 2018

 

Dear Mr Laughton,

 

Thank you for your submission regarding an appeal to ID Case 86, originally submitted by another
enquirer and reviewed and rejected by the Air Historical Branch in 2009.


Your case was that the casualty buried in Plot 3, Row D Grave 7 at Douchy-Les-Ayette British
Cemetery should be identified as Corporal Bertie Jeffs, 11 Squadron Royal Flying Corps.


The Air Historical Branch have conducted a fresh review of all the evidence you submitted. They
have confirmed that the casualty was identified as an officer by his clothing, during exhumation by
the Etat Civil Francais. This team were working under British supervision and there is no reason to
doubt their assessment. Although there are two casualties buried side by side there is no evidence
to confirm that they died in the same incident. It is possible that the date is that of burial, rather
than death and therefore the unidentified casualty could have died some weeks or days
beforehand. This means that there are other potential candidates who could be buried in the grave.
Since the date of death cannot be confirmed, it is not possible to effectively eliminate those
candidates.


Therefore, the Adjudication reached in 2009 has been upheld and the case for identification
rejected.


Whilst we will always consider an appeal if new evidence is located, we feel that it is unlikely that
any further information will be found which addresses these discrepancies. On that basis we will
close the case.


I am sure that you will be disappointed by the outcome, but I would like to reassure you that the Air
Historical Branch have conducted a rigorous review of all the available evidence. A different Case
Officer was assigned to ensure impartiality and an Adjudication Panel considered their
recommendation.


Thank you for your continued efforts to ensure that all war casualties are appropriately
commemorated and your patience during the process.


Yours sincerely,
Mel Donnelly
Commemorations Policy Manager

 

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  • 1 year later...
laughton

@fetubi @LDT006 can't add Tom as he has no message capabilities?

 

There I was working on the Aviator at Courthiézy and I am checking all the others in Trevor's book to see where they were if they are on the AFSM.

 

Well to my surprise, I was checking up on what who was at Courthiézy as well and I see Serjeant P H Williams of 54 Sqn on 15 July 1918. Check out what he was wearing - Officers Clothing!

 

As such, we have more evidence that a non-commissioned officer could appear to be wearing the kit of an officer.

 

doc2301749.JPG

 

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
9 hours ago, laughton said:

@fetubi @LDT006 can't add Tom as he has no message capabilities? … Well to my surprise, I was checking up on what who was at Courthiézy as well and I see Serjeant P H Williams of 54 Sqn on 15 July 1918. Check out what he was wearing - Officers Clothing! As such, we have more evidence that a non-commissioned officer could appear to be wearing the kit of an officer.

 

Richard - With the first point you have been made aware directly.

With regards to Bertie and Ernest the new evidence explained in the current issue of the Western Front Association "Bulletin" and mentioned in "ICRC versus CWGC Records: What we don't know" in this section of GWF is now widely known of. Please rest assured that the quest for the proper commemoration of Bertie and Ernest isn't going to "go away". We are currently gearing-up for the next move forward (if that proves to be necessary).

Tom

 

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