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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Unknown Drummer: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment


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Can anyone tell me where this unit (The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment) would have been in November 1917 in France? There is only one (1) Drummer recorded by the CWGC as an "Unknown" but the missing man is near Courcelette. From what I see about the Cambrai Memorial, this Drummer would have gone down somewhere to the east of Bapaume on the route to Cambrai (57C to 57B), not on the west side heading to Beaumont-Hamel (57C to 57D).


http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1751786/CARNEY, EDWARD ROBERT JAMES


I would have probably just passed this by if it was not for the unique rank and the fact there is only one recorded unknown (top man on list).






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The account of the day's action in the War Diary of the Battalion runs into several pages but intense fighting occurred around Vaucellette Farm to Villers Guislan and a line from Chapel Crossing to the Beet Factory if this helps at all with the map references.

Edited by MelPack
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That pinpoints the location for sure and puts him in 57c.X a long way from 57d.R so it would appear it is a different drummer, unless there is some significance to the statement "found in one grave with Button stick stamped sh 10138". It may be the other drummer near Courcelette was marked as a Private or some other rank.





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I thought that one might be a bit speculative. A pre-war regular Battalion had at least 19 Drummers and very few of these were recorded as anything other than Private or other appointment such as L/Cpl when casualties.


The group of soldiers with artefacts linking them to the 3/5th LNI suggests that these were TF men who had not taken the Imperial Service Obligation and were only eligible for overseas service when conscription was introduced. They look very much as if they were a batch of reinforcements for one of the LNI Battalions engaged on the Somme who did not last very long.

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  • 1 year later...

One-by-one dealing with the "hanging files/cases". Thanks again to MelPack for the assistance. Although I now have war diary access, I did not go that route on this case, as the information was already posted.


The Long, Long Trail tells us:


3/4th and 3/5th Battalions
Formed at home bases May and April 1915 respectively. Moved to Kirkham in June 1915 and Blackpool in October. Went on to Oswestry in spring 1916.
8 April 1916 : became 4th and 5th Reserve Bns.
1 September 1916 : 4th Reserve Bn absorbed 5th at Oswestry. Finally moved to Dublin in April 1918.


That would explain why there is only three (3) unknown listed (CWGC Link), all known burials in the U.K. I did try both 3rd/5th and 3/5th as the CWGC appears to use both formats.


I will send this to the abandon file on my Blog List.

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