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Remembered Today:

11th (Lewisham) Royal West Kent's


Longboat
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Remembering the Officers and Men of the 11th Lewisham Battalion (Queen's Own) Royal West Kent Regiment that advanced as part of the assault on the Transloy Ridge 100 years ago.

 

For the previous 72 hours the battalion had held the front line trench under constant enemy bombardment while the advance had been postponed due to constant rain and poor weather. The dead of the previous assault by the New Zealanders upon the German lines still lay where they fell.

 

"The whole area was literally covered with dead, the trenches were filled with them and it was impossible to walk without treading on corpses, whilst the parapets and parados were, to a great degree, formed of dead bodies."  Captain R.O Russell, Battalion History.

 

At 1.45pm the battalion advanced 150 yards before there was not a man left standing. Enfilade machine gun fire from both flanks as well as the German Artillery brought the assault to a complete halt.

 

Remembering 18 year old Pte Ernest Campbell from Deptford who took the brunt of the shell that wounded my grandfather. He was killed instantly and is remembered upon the Thiepval Memorial. :poppy:

DSCN0800.JPG

 

 My grandfather spent 3 days and nights in no mans land due to the lack of strecher bearers available before being rescued by Pte Issac Levy F/171 of the 23rd Middlesex Regiment who dragged him in to the front line although severely wounded himself.

 

Edited by Longboat
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Also Pte William Henry James Humphries G9996 11th Bn Queens own Royal West Kents Died of Wounds but burial lost, remembered on Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 11 C

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  • 10 months later...

Hi everyone,

This is my first post on this forum. Hope to get information about my Great Grandad. William James Drewett. 11th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment. Service Number GS/9904. Died 10th April 1917 in a Canadian Aid Post. Information I have so far would lead me to assume he was wounded on the 8th April. Recorded he had a Gun Shot to the leg and the back. He was 51 when he died and was on his second tour. Buried Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. Does anyone have any specific information about where and when he was wounded or killed. Would also like to know when he enlisted and where. I am going to Kew Archives on Saturday to try to obtain more information. Not sure if his service records have survived. Many thanks in advance if anyone can help

 

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Keith,

 

As your great grandfather was from Forest Hill it may be worth visiting the Local History and Archives centre at Lewisham Library. They have copies of the local newspapers of the time on microfilm. It is possible (though not definite) that he may be mentioned.

 

Regards,

 

Kev Loughnane

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Hello

 

I have found the attached in the Lewisham Journal 18 May 1917. Unfortunately the second part of the report was blurred. But if you contact Lewisham archives they will be able to send you a copy of the article. Do you know if he was commemorated on any of the war memorials? Do you know which church he may have attended?

 

Jacks

 

 

WJ Drewett.jpg

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William is on the left in the photo. His effects were sent home to his family. It lists the sum of "Two pounds, eleven shillings and three pence" in todays money that would be £195.00. Not much for a widow and nine children.

 

File 08-08-2017, 18 27 41.jpeg

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21 hours ago, johnboy said:

was on his second tour

?

 

 

That might be the way I have written it. He came home on leave and returned. I read he was home in 1916, and returned in 1917. Sorry if that has caused confusion. Totally my mistake. Sorry.

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Hello Keith

 

William James Drewett service records no longer exist as far as I'm aware. What I can tell you is that G/9903 Pte William Wing and G/9905 Pte Herbert White both enlisted in Lewisham on the 6th and 7th September respectively.

As numbers were issued in blocks by the Royal West Kent Regiment at individual recruitment depots then I'm sure William Drewett enlisted in Lewisham.

 

From the many service records of men of the 11th that I've researched I doubt William was given leave in 1916 as the battalion did not arrive in France until the 3rd May of that year. The likelihood is that he was either wounded or sick and returned home to recover.

 

He died as a result of a German retaliatory fire after a raid by the 47th Division which was on the left of the11th Royal West Kent's. The war diary states that 7 men were killed and 11 wounded including 2 officers. This took place in the St Eloi sector just south of Ypres.

 

Stuart.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Took a day out of my routine today to visit Kent County Library to do some research on my Great Grandad. Then it was up to Lewisham Library to look at some old maps and Newspapers. Then it was off to Lewisham High Street to visit the Regiment Memorial and finished it off with a pint in my Great Grandad's local, the Bird in Hand at Forest Hill.

My research is nearly complete and the hard work now starts with piecing everything all together. I would like to thank everyone in the forum who have helped me with all sorts of leads and places to visit in my research. Your kindness and generosity is truly humbling.

 

IMG_0992.JPG

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Keith

 

I hope you was able to find what you was looking for. Please keep us updated and thanks for sharing.

 

Stuart

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  • 2 months later...

Starting to write up my research now about my Great Grandad. Can anyone help with a list of kit that would have been issued to the 11th Battalion for their service in 1917

I have attached a picture which I hope is for around the same time. Any help would be most welcome. 

west kent kit.jpg

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  There will be experts down to the last bootlace but may I recommend a good old cheapo paperback- Denis Winter-"Deaths Men"-which goes through what a soldier carried,etc-with weights and grumbles based on his grandfather's experiences. (Winter was from Watford)

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  • 11 months later...

Hello from Vanuatu in the Pacific, I am trying to trace the records of my grandfather who I believe was in 11th (Lewisham) Royal West Kent's

 

Thomas William Young Born 23 Crofton Terrace, Richmond Surrey 7th November 1891 ( In The last census of 1911 he signed his name as William) Died Bromley Kent 1973

He was living in Lewisham in 1915 when he joined up and was later wounded and gassed where upon he was shipped to Greenock Scotland.

I believe at some stage he was in Arras but i can find no record of the 11th being in that area.

Also looking at the photo of him taken around 1916 / 1917 i have noticed some kind of medal on his watch chain.

 

Alas trying to research items on the net here in Vanuatu is some what limited.

 

Huge thank you from here.

 

Thomas William Young 1916-1917.jpg

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You would be better to put your post in Soldiers Forum and use his name and regiment as the title. You have tagged onto a thread about equipment,

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