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Ferndale
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I've updated the table of names in Post #3 here above with the latest names that have had newly published research uploaded.

 

I've also made each name a link to their relevant website page.

 

Chris - the main 'database' page has Dumville-Lees as 'Charles Cunnighham Dumville-Lees' - typo?

 

Mark

 

 

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Cheers Mark

 

You are a star, I will alter it straight away, just been altering some mistakes on Charles Henry Hughes as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Guys

 

Am trying to find out more about this man for his webpage on the project, when he joined up, award of MM etc.

 

58358 Lance Sergeant Richard Parry Roberts MM - 25th Battalion Machine Gun Corps KIA 18/4/1918

 

I have looked on Ancestry - his Medal Roll Index card does not mention MM or date of entry to theatre of war. It does seem however that he was with the Shropshire Light Infantry first regimental number 25086 and on ancestry it shows his MM as awarded when with them from the way i decipher it?

 I have looked for the war diaries of the 25th Bat MGC but could only find from July 1918 onwards, any help would be much appreciated?

 

Chris

Edited by Ferndale
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3 hours ago, Ferndale said:

Hi Guys

 

Am trying to find out more about this man for his webpage on the project, when he joined up, award of MM etc.

 

58358 Lance Sergeant Richard Parry Roberts MM - 25th Battalion Machine Gun Corps KIA 18/4/1918

 

I have looked on Ancestry - his Medal Roll Index card does not mention MM or date of entry to theatre of war. It does seem however that he was with the Shropshire Light Infantry first regimental number 25086 and on ancestry it shows his MM as awarded when with them from the way i decipher it?

 I have looked for the war diaries of the 25th Bat MGC but could only find from July 1918 onwards, any help would be much appreciated?

 

Chris

 

Chris,
First some background on the Machine Gun Corps (mostly from the LLT Mother Site) ...

 

In 1914, all infantry battalions were equipped with a machine gun section of two guns, which was increased to four in February 1915.

 

On 2 September 1915 a definite proposal was made to the War Office for the formation of a single specialist Machine Gun Company per infantry brigade, by withdrawing the guns and gun teams from the battalions. They would be replaced at battalion level by the light Lewis machine guns and thus the firepower of each brigade would be substantially increased. The Machine Gun Corps was created by Royal Warrant on 14 October 1915 followed by an Army Order on 22 October 1915. The brigade MG companies would transfer to the new MG Corps.

 

So from Oct 1915, 25th Division was heading towards 3 MG companies, one per Brigade.  The exact timings were dependent on the flow of Lewis guns to each brigade's infantry battalions.

  • 74th Machine Gun Company was formed in 74 Bde on 17 March 1916.
  • 75th Machine Gun Company was formed in 75 Bde on 15 Mar 1916.
  • 7th Machine Gun Company was formed in 7 Bde on 12 Jan 1916.


A further proposal to provide each Division with a fourth Divisional Machine Gun Company was sanctioned and this came into existence around April 1917. From then onward, there was one MGC Company for each of the three Brigades plus one under Divisional command, in each Division.

 

195th Machine Gun Company was formed as 25th Div's Divisional Machine Gun Company on 16 Dec 1916 (OR 30 Oct 1916 - sources differ!)

 

Machine Gun Battalions were formed in the Divisions in the early months of 1918, by bringing together the four MGC Companies into a single command structure. The Battalions took the number of their Division.


25th Machine Gun Battalion was created 01 March 1918 from 25th Division's three Brigade MG Coys.  195th MG Company (the divisional MG Coy) joined on 17 Mar 1918.

 

There won't be any War Diary for 25th MG Battalion prior to 01 Mar 1918.


Richard Parry Roberts was KiA on 18 Apr 1918. At this time, he was in 25th MG BATTALION, but prior to March 1918, he was likely to have been in one of the four 25th Division MG COMPANIES (7th, 74th, 75th or 195th).

 

The only KSLI battalion in 25th Division was 7th KSLI who were in 76 Brigade.

 

However, 76 Brigade was swapped into 3rd Division in exchange for 7 Bde on 18 Oct 1915.  This pre-dates the separation of the infantry battalion MG sections into the Brigade MG companies by some months.  If Roberts had been a machine gunner with 7/KSLI, one would have expected him to have moved to 3rd Division with his battalion and then been transferred out to the Machine Gun Corps when 7/KSLI's MG section was merged into 76th MG Company (in 3rd Div) on 13 Apr 1916.

 

So ... we have a bit of a conundrum!

 

Do you have a date for his MM with the KSLI?

 

Mark

 

 

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There is an MIC on the National Archives website here as follows:

 

Reference: WO 372/23/160068
Description:
Medal card of Roberts, R P
Corps Regiment No Rank
Machine Gun Corps 58358 Corporal

 

WO 372/23 is the DCM and MM roll index, so it looks like the NA has him down as being in the MGC when he awarded his MM.

 

Mark

 

 

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Yep - here's his MM entry in the 30 Oct 1917 London Gazette: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30364/supplement/11341/data.htm

 

He's listed as 58358 Cpl. R. P. Roberts, M.G. Corps (Oswestry) - definitely your man.  No mention of KSLI here.

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This here on the NA website is probably his campaign medals MIC.

 

Reference: WO 372/17/29906
Description:
Medal card of Roberts, Richard P
Corps Regiment No Rank
Machine Gun Corps 58358 Corporal

 

 

No luck finding an MIC on the NA website for any 'Roberts' with Service Number of '25086'

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Hi Chris,

 

From a list of MGC deaths:

 

Roberts_2.jpg

 

Looking at Shropshire Light Infantry men with near service numbers, who do have surviving papers

 

25080 Patrick - called up 24th July 1916

25085 Fagan - posted 24th July 1916

25087 Greatbach - called up 25th July 1916

25088 Gray - home service from 25th July 1916

25089 Lingen - enlisted 26th July 1916

 

London Gazette publication of his MM is here (last entry of 1st column)*

 

Soldiers' Effects record has him as "death accepted"

 

PoW enquiry cards from the ICRC website.

 

Roberts_1.jpg

 

Regards

Chris

 

*as per Marks post  #58

 

Edit: the war diary for 25 Battalion MGC is here on Ancestry

Edited by clk
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36 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

This here on the NA website is probably his campaign medals MIC.

 

Reference: WO 372/17/29906
Description:
Medal card of Roberts, Richard P
Corps Regiment No Rank
Machine Gun Corps 58358 Corporal

 

 

No luck finding an MIC on the NA website for any 'Roberts' with Service Number of '25086'

 

If you can find this MIC on Ancestry and there is no mention of KSLI, when we know from Chris's MGC Casualty List above that he did indeed serve in the KSLI, then that implies he transferred to the MGC before going Overseas.

 

25th Division went out on 25-30 Sep 1915, so if there's no Embarkation Date/14-15 Star entitlement, then that would reinforce the likelihood Roberts was not part of the original establishment.

 

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Richard P Roberts,  58358 MGC MIC here on Ancestry:

MIC

No reference to KSLI, only MGC

 

Just Victory & BWM, no Star

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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Roberts_2.jpg.32ed6c58fc7c9bed8efc54a2c9751b83.jpg

 

So are we assuming that he joined up around 24th/25th July 1916 with KSLi then transfered sometime after to MGC where he won his Military Medal sometime in 1917.

I have asked Annette if she has come across his number re KSLI. Does that number of 25086 point to any particular Battalion in the KSLI does anyone know?

Mark has explored the link through the 7th Battalion which doesn't seem to fit given the transfers he mentions across Brigades and the potential joining up date of July 16 also seems to confuse things. I am also assuming he was residing in Widnes at that time rather than where he actually joined up? He was living in Nantmawr in 1911 census as a joiner with his 71year old mother so i am wondering if she had died and he had moved there for work. As Mark says a bit of a conundrum!

Edited by Ferndale
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3 hours ago, MBrockway said:

Yep - here's his MM entry in the 30 Oct 1917 London Gazette: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30364/supplement/11341/data.htm

 

He's listed as 58358 Cpl. R. P. Roberts, M.G. Corps (Oswestry) - definitely your man.  No mention of KSLI here.

 

According to Williamson's Great War Medal Collectors [sic] Companion, the 02 Nov 1917 Supplement to the London Gazette of 30 Oct 1917 contains:

 

"Schedule Numbers in the 106,000 to 108,999 ranges.  A major Ypres gazette for operations in August, 1917 including those at Langemarck, Poelcapelle, Polygon Wood, Glencorse Wood, Steenbeek and Gillemont Farm.  Dates noted 8.8.17 to 26.8.17.  Many awards for the Battle of Langemarck."

 

Here are some details of 25th Division's involvement in 3rd Ypres from the Mother Site:

 

"The Battle of Pilkem (a phase of the Third Battles of Ypres)
On 8 July 1917, Divisional HQ was established at Busseboom and came under orders of II Corps for the opening of the Third Ypres offensive. When the attack began on 31 July, 25th Division was in Corps Reserve, behind 24th, 30th and 8th Divisions which were in the front line. 7th and 75th Brigades, in place at Belgian Chateau, received orders to reinforce the attacking units as early as 8.30am but were not called upon to take up the advance as expected, due to the attack being held up. 7th and 75th Brigades relieved the tired units of 8th Division in the front line of the Westhoek and Bellewaarde ridges on 1 August. On 10 August, 74th Brigade took part in the renewal of the attack. In a successful action, Westhoek was captured, although at a severe cost: 47 officers and 1244 men killed, wounded or missing. The 13th Bn, the Cheshires alone lost 19 officers and 395 men. Heavy and continuous localised fighting took place until the Division was withdrawn on 9 September 1917, whereupon it moved to the Bethune area."

 

There is a lot more detail including a very clear modern aerial photo here on the excellent Passchendaele Day-By-Day project on the Irish Military Online Forum.

 

For convenience, I repeat some of its text here:

Quote

Friday 10th August 1917 - Day 11

25th Div

74 Bde

74 Bde attacked with all four of its battalions in conjunction with the 18th Div attack at 4.35am . The assault troops were from 13th Bn, Cheshire Regt, 2nd Bn, Royal Irish Rifles, 9th Loyal North Lancashire Regt and 11th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers. The Royal Irish Rifles rushed Westhoek village including two blockhouses. The brigade consolidated on the bank of the Hanebeek stream which at this stage was a thirty yard wide belt of swamp. This worked to the British advantage by preventing a German counterattack. Many casualties were sustained from shelling however.

 

 

and here's Groundhog's marked-up aerial.  The blue 'blob' centre left is Bellewaarde Lake:

westhoek_10aug.jpg

(c) Groundhog of Irish Military Online - please cite him if you use this anywhere.

 

 

I suggest a look at the 74th MG Coy War Diary for Aug 1917 would be a good place to start for possible mentions of his MM deed..

 

Mark

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
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Hi,

 

3 hours ago, Ferndale said:

I am also assuming he was residing in Widnes at that time rather than where he actually joined up?

 

The casualty list extract indicates that he enlisted in Widnes, as does his Soldiers Died record.

 

Service records for MGC men with near numbers show:

 

58346 Evans - transferred to MGC 20th September 1916

58358

58363 Diggory - transferred to MGC 21st September 1916

58364 Stubbins - transferred to MGC 21st September 1916

58367 Thompson - transferred to MGC 21st September 1916

58369 Bailey - posted MGC 21st September 1916

58384 King - transferred to MGC 22nd September 1916

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

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Hi guys great response from Annette see below

 

You are in luck his citation is recorded on page 100 of the 25th Division's History, I do not have this History, well I do not think I have a copy of it, I have loads of different unit histories and I had a look and never can across it so someone must have passed the information to me, so you would need to try and get a copy from the Library to double check. Here are the detail's passed to me - On the 8th August 1917 near "Kit" and "Kat" a Vickers gun team of five men were buried by a shell. Under heavy fire, Cpl Roberts unaided, went to the assistance of the team and dug out the men buried and assisted the men who were only wounded.  On 10th August 1917, at a position south-east of Frezenberg, when in charge of a Vickers gun in an advanced isolated post he showed exceptional powers of leadership and gallantry. Despite heavy sniping fire and shelling, he kept his gun in action for twenty-four hours, inflicting heavy casualties on a large party of the enemy advancing towards Hanebeke Wood from the direction of Anzac.  Later, finding that he could obtain a better field of fire by moving forward to an exposed position, he did not hesitate to do so. He has always shown exceptional bravery.

From my database I place Richard Parry, Roberts mobilising on about 24th July 1916. From another man's service paper who also transferred to the M.G.C. and as a number very close, I would say he transferred on or near the 29th August 1916.

His M.M. is in London Gazette 02-11-17

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Hi,

 

1 hour ago, Ferndale said:

From another man's service paper who also transferred to the M.G.C. and as a number very close, I would say he transferred on or near the 29th August 1916.

 

I'd be interested in knowing who that man was, and seeing if the date can be squared with those of the men that I posted.

 

Regards

Chris

 

Edit: To clarify, I'm wondering if he had a near KSLI number, but not necessarily a near MGC number.

Edited by clk
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Kit and Kat is on the road connecting WESTHOEK to the large intersection in the NW corner of the aerial above.  It's about 500m from the intersection.

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Did Annette give any detail on which MG company he was in during the Westhoek action where he won his MM in Aug 1917?

 

That will save looking in all four MG company war diaries.

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Hi

 

Update from Annette below-  Anybody know Graham?

 

Hi Chris

 I have to make a correction to date of transfer, the chap near his number Diggory, who M.G.C. number is 58363, moved from the the 9/K.S.L.I. on the 29th August 1916 and transferred to the M.G.C. on 21st September 1916. Diggory landed in France on 12th December 1916 and posted to the 194th Company. The chap who supplied the details about Richard Parry, Roberts records him with the 195th Company, by the way the chap who supplied the details is on the G.W.F. or he used to be, I do not know if he still uses it. His name is Graham (not sure of surname -I lost a list of people who supplied information via the forum when my old computer crashed, I had save all my K.S.L.I. stuff but had not backed up other stuff). Graham had done a lot of research into M.G.C. I also found the papers of another K.S.L.I. man (Pte. Evans) who transferred to M.G.C. and who's number was I think 57872, it is hard to make out as it has been crossed out because after a few months he moved back to the K.S.L.I. and then moved to the Cheshires but anyway he also like Pte. Diggory moved from the the 9/K.S.L.I. to the 3/K.S.L.I. on the 29th August 1916 but transferred to the M.G.C. on the 19th September 1916.

 

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49 minutes ago, Ferndale said:

 

 I have to make a correction to date of transfer, the chap near his number Diggory, who M.G.C. number is 58363, moved from the the 9/K.S.L.I. on the 29th August 1916 and transferred to the M.G.C. on 21st September 1916. Diggory landed in France on 12th December 1916 and posted to the 194th Company. The chap who supplied the details about Richard Parry, Roberts records him with the 195th Company,

<snip>

I also found the papers of another K.S.L.I. man (Pte. Evans) who transferred to M.G.C. and who's number was I think 57872, it is hard to make out as it has been crossed out because after a few months he moved back to the K.S.L.I. and then moved to the Cheshires but anyway he also like Pte. Diggory moved from the the 9/K.S.L.I. to the 3/K.S.L.I. on the 29th August 1916 but transferred to the M.G.C. on the 19th September 1916.

 

On 23/11/2016 at 15:26, MBrockway said:

A further proposal to provide each Division with a fourth Divisional Machine Gun Company was sanctioned and this came into existence around April 1917. From then onward, there was one MGC Company for each of the three Brigades plus one under Divisional command, in each Division.

 

195th Machine Gun Company, MGC, was formed as 25th Div's Divisional Machine Gun Company on 16 Dec 1916 (OR 30 Oct 1916 - sources differ!)

 

 

195th MG Company's war diary takes some finding on Ancestry.  It begins here

 

Here's Cpl Roberts being recommended for award on 10 and 11 Aug 1917

 

Map refs for the MG positions are given on the 08 Aug entry.

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
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On ‎23‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 18:27, Ferndale said:

He was living in Nantmawr in 1911 census as a joiner with his 71year old mother so i am wondering if she had died...

 

She was still alive in 1920

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Hi Chris,

 

You may well find better maps in Division HQ, Brigade HQ, etc diaries, but there is an interactive map from 30th June 1917 on the NLS site here. On the edge of  which, the green dot I've put in the static view below, represents "J.1.d.4.5" referred to in the diary on 8th August 1917 for "Two guns by KIT & KAT".

 

Kit and Kat.jpg

 

Regards

Chris

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Hi Again Guys.

 

Well I'm quite pleased with the website pages now and am hopefully nearing having all the names live before Christmas!

Your help has been invaluable but I'm going to ask again if any of you can find info on the last few names, some of them I have had pieces of information off some of you already but

I really don't have much on these remainders at all. They are-

Thomas Carsley 12285 KSLI, Edward Dyke16770 Royal Air Force, George Edward Dyke 24193 KSLI, Thomas Henry Hughes 17265 KSLI, Humphrey Reynolds 18537 KSLI, John Hugh Wooding 19739 KSLI,

any help at all would be much appreciated, again!

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