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HertsHistorian

25245 Serjeant Frederick Cardy, 7/8th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers - Unknown British Soldier

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HertsHistorian

Dear all,

 

I have just submitted the following piece of research to the CWGC reference the above named casualty, who I believe to be the identity of the remains buried as an Unknown British Soldier in Plot 3 Row L Grave 25 at White House St. Jean Cemetery. I have based the format of the report on that used by the CEF Study Group and posted on this forum by laughton previously - hope that is okay! Due to limitations on size I can't post the full PDF, but the details of the report and some of the supporting evidence used is posted below.

 

Would be interested to hear thoughts on this case or any other sources that I have no doubt missed!

 

Best wishes,

 

Alex

 

 

Summary of Findings:

The Graves Registration Report form for Plot 3 Row L Grave 25 at White House St. Jean Cemetery lists a single Unknown British Soldier who was exhumed from a field burial at Grid 28.C.30.b.3.7., 300-400 yards west of ‘Square Farm’. A review of all of details related to the burial provides conclusive evidence that these remains are those of 25245 Serjeant Frederick Cardy, 7/8th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (7/8/R. Ir. Fus.).

 

Details of Findings:

The findings are conclusive that the above remains are those of 25245 Sjt Frederick Cardy. The findings are based on the following:

1. The Graves Registration Report (GRRF) for the White House St Jean Cemetery lists an UNKNOWN BRITISH SOLDIER in Plot 3 Row L Grave 25 (Attachment #1). On the form the following information has been scored through: “----------- Fus., 25245 Sardy F. 8/17” and replaced with ‘U.B.S.’

 

2. The Concentration of Graves (Exhumations and Reburials) Burial Return (COG- BR) that relates to the above states that these remains were exhumed from a grid of Sheet 28.C.30.b.3.7 (Attachment #2) in July 1919. The COG-BR originally recorded that the cross found on the grave stated the following: “In memory of 25245? Sardy F. – Fus. –/8/17”. Again, this was subsequently crossed through and replaced by ‘U.B.S.’ The remains were exhumed along with four others from the same grid, two of which also had grave markers placed on them.1 

 

3. These details, recorded as having been found on the original grave marker correspond almost exactly to those of 25245 Cardy F. Royal Irish Fus. 12/8/17 (Attachment #3). Critically the service number is identical, the surnames are the same with the exception of the first letter, the first initial matches, and the partial regimental title and date of death also fit. Given that original COG-BR document records, using hyphens, that the information stated on the marker was only partially complete, it appears likely that it had been in some way degraded/damaged during subsequent fighting. The area in which the original grave was located was captured by the Germans in the Spring of 1918, before being recaptured by Allied forces during the Hundred Days Offensive.

 

4. The War Diary of 7/8th Royal Irish Fusiliers (Attachment #4) confirms that the battalion occupied positions in vicinity of Square Farm during the period in which Sjt. Cardy was reported killed. Between the 8-12 August 1917 the battalion conducted a tour of the trenches in the Frezenberg sector. On 8 August it relieved 2/Royal Irish Regiment in support with two companies to the right of the Frezenberg Road and two to the left near Bavaria House. Battalion HQ was initially located at grid 28.I.6.a.2.8. The diary notes that these positions were heavily shelled throughout the period.

 

At midnight on 10 August the battalion relieved the 7/Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the frontline positions. It states Battalion Headquarters moved to ‘SQUARE FARM’ and though no grid is given, on the trench map supplied within the War Diary, (and on all British trench maps) Square Farm is centred on grid 28.C.30.b.8.8. No other positions are specified, but the map indicates that the frontline trenches lay a few hundred yards to the east of Frezenberg and Square Farm. (Attachment #5). The diary notes on 11 August “There was a marked decrease in shelling throughout the day. This was especially marked as his activity on previous days had been incessant + heavy. He did not fire on our front lines.”

 

From 2300 hours on 11 August the battalion was relieved by 6/Royal Irish Regiment, completed by 0330 on the morning of 12 August. The total casualties sustained by the battalion during the tour was 1 officer killed (Lt E.S. Bird) and six wounded, other ranks suffering 17 killed, 66 wounded and 18 missing. Only officer casualties are named in the Diary. Later that day, while the battalion was being held in brigade reserve, the diary notes two companies were detached on working parties ‘near Ypres’.

 

5. The trench map enclosed within the battalion War Diary is used to show exactly where the remains were recovered at 28.C.30.b.3.7 (Attachment #6) in relation to Square Farm and the frontline. The blue lines added to the map show the intersection point of the trench map coordinates provided in the COG-BR, approximately 300-400 yards west of Square Farm. It demonstrates that at the time Sjt. Cardy was reported killed, his battalion was holding the section of line from which the original marked burial was later recovered. The location of the remains was approximately 300-400 yards behind where the battalion’s headquarters was located during this period. The area is to the north of the N332 Zonnebeek-Ypres road and northwest of Frezenberg.

 

6. Sjt Cardy’s service record survives at the National Archives. Within it is a form titled ‘Information as to the Location of Graves’, stamped by the Infantry Records Office, Island Bridge, Dublin on 18 July 1918. A Graves Registration Unit confirmed that 25245 Sgt F. Cardy of 7/8/R. Irish Fus. had a marked burial at “Square Farm, 2 1⁄2 miles North East of Ypres.” (Attachment #7).

 

7. In addition, his records cast some question over the exact date of his death. Like the CWGC record, the ‘Information as to location of Graves’ form dates his death to 12 August 1917, during the early hours of which the battalion completed its relief and returned to being in reserve. This date was presumably the one recorded on his original marker. Interestingly however, other documents within his file suggest he was killed the day before, 11 August (Attachment #8). Given the location of his burial in vicinity of Square Farm, it appears likely he lost his life either during the day of 11 August as the battalion held the forward trenches, or during the relief that took place that night into the earlier hours of the morning of 12 August. This would number him among the seventeen Other Ranks the War Diary records as being killed during this tour. Though the battalion did send out working parties ‘near Ypres’ later that day, there is no reference their specific location or them having sustained any casualties.

 

7. The casualty records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for Cardy state that he was killed in action on 12 August 1917 and has no known grave. His name is therefore commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Attachment #3). From this it can be concluded that previous research has not matched the partial information written on the original grave marker, pertaining to ‘25245 Sardy. F.’ with the records of 25245 Sjt Frederick Cardy and the whereabouts of 7/8/R. Irish Fus. on the day in which he was reported killed. These conclusively demonstrate his battalion’s location in relation to the reported location of the original burial in the vicinity of Square Farm.

 

8. A search of the CWGC website indicates that there are zero casualties recorded with the surname ‘Sardy’. Similarly, the UK National Archives Medal Index Card search function also produces zero results for the surname ‘Sardy’ for British soldiers who served during the First World War.2 Of the 28 servicemen with the surname Cardy listed by the CWGC as having fallen in that conflict, three others were killed in the Ypres Salient and have no known grave. In these cases however, there is no evidence to tie them to this burial in White House St. Jean Cemetery.3 One other British Soldier with a very similar (though not identical) service number to that found on the original grave marker is recorded as being missing in the Ypres Salient. In his case again, there is nothing else to tie his identity to this burial.4

 

9. All evidence presented above conclusively demonstrates that the name Sardy recorded in the COG-BR as being on the original grave marker was in error – likely the result of its incomplete or damaged nature. This prevented their positive identification as the remains of 25245 Sjt Frederick Cardy in 1919. The service 

number and other details on the original marker, combined with Cardy’s own records and the reported location of his original marked burial, along with the records of 7/8/R. Ir. Fus. conclusively demonstrate him as being identity of the Unknown British Soldier who rests in Plot 3 Row L Grave 25 in White House St. Jean Cemetery.

 

Action Suggested:

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 contended that there is clear evidence that the body of the Unknown British Soldier in Plot 3 Row L Grave 25 is that of 25245, Sjt. Frederick Cardy, 7/8th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s). A check of the CWGC database indicates there are no alternative candidates.

 

 

1 These were 9963 Sergeant Major J. McCall (5/Camerons) and an Unknown British Soldier. The remains of 10312 Private J. Keigen (8/10/Gordons) and 15397 Private F. Sharkey (6/Camerons) were also recovered and identified by their discs. All are buried in Plot 3, Row L. 

2 Website of The National Archives, accessed on 4 November 2016 at:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_fn=&_ln=Sardy&_no=&_crp=&_ttl=&discoveryCustomSearch=true&_cr1=WO+372&_dt=M&_col=200&_hb=tna 

3 These casualties are: 40721 Pte. S.J. Cardy 6/Yorkshire Regiment, Killed 14/08/1917 (Menin Gate); 2389 Pte L.G. Cardy, Australian Infantry, Killed 18/10/1917 (Menin Gate); 12149 LCpl F.J. Cardy, 8/KRRC, Killed 11/10/1917(Tyne Cot Memorial). 

4 S/25245 Rfn. J.E.G. Wood, 8/Rifle Brigade, Killed 2/12/17 (Tyne Cot Memorial)

 

 

COG-BR Sardy.jpg

Information as to the Location of Graves.jpg

 

 

Edited by HertsHistorian

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HertsHistorian

A little more on Sjt Frederick Cardy -  

 

Post Script -

 

Summary of Sjt. Frederick Cardy’s military service and life. (From his service record in WO363)

 

Frederick Cardy was born on 21 January 1883 in Little Cornard, near Sudbury in Suffolk. Three days after his eighteenth birthday he enlisted into the Essex Regiment. From 26 January 1902 he served in South Africa, witnessing the closing stages of the Anglo-Boer War. For his services in the conflict he was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps for the Orange Free State and Transvaal campaigns. On return his return from South Africa he transferred to the 13th Hussars, with whom he served in India and South Africa until he left the regular army as a Sergeant in 1909. In civilian life he found employment as a Chauffeur.

 

 He re-attested into in March 1916 and after briefly re-joining the 13th Hussars, was transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers in December 1916 with his former rank of Sergeant. He embarked for France the same month and was posted to 7/8/R. Ir. Fus., with whom he served until his death on 11 or 12 August 1917 near Frezenberg, Ypres. He left behind a wife and one-year old child who remained resident in Little Cornard.

 

Original Burial Location.jpg

Edited by HertsHistorian

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laughton

Alex:

 

Just saw this posting. Most certainly you are welcome to use the format that we prepared for the CWGC. Looks like a solid case to me.

 

Has David Avery assigned it a Case File #?

 

Lastly, did you put this up on MediaFire, DropBox, etc. so we can download the full report? If not I will PM  you with my email address.

 

Richard

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ss002d6252
Quote

 

7. In addition, his records cast some question over the exact date of his death. Like the CWGC record, the ‘Information as to location of Graves’ form dates his death to 12 August 1917, during the early hours of which the battalion completed its relief and returned to being in reserve. This date was presumably the one recorded on his original marker. Interestingly however, other documents within his file suggest he was killed the day before, 11 August (Attachment #8). Given the location of his burial in vicinity of Square Farm, it appears likely he lost his life either during the day of 11 August as the battalion held the forward trenches, or during the relief that took place that night into the earlier hours of the morning of 12 August. This would number him among the seventeen Other Ranks the War Diary records as being killed during this tour. Though the battalion did send out working parties ‘near Ypres’ later that day, there is no reference their specific location or them having sustained any casualties.

 

7. The casualty records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for Cardy state that he was killed in action on 12 August 1917 and has no known grave. His name is therefore commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Attachment #3). From this it can be concluded that previous research has not matched the partial information written on the original grave marker, pertaining to ‘25245 Sardy. F.’ with the records of 25245 Sjt Frederick Cardy and the whereabouts of 7/8/R. Irish Fus. on the day in which he was reported killed. These conclusively demonstrate his battalion’s location in relation to the reported location of the original burial in the vicinity of Square Farm.

 

 

 

The soldiers effects records also give the date of 12 Aug 1917 for his date of death. This is the date accepted for payment of the War Gratuity.


The difference between 11th and 12th is likely down to to the filing of reports - a man who died after mid-day or so on the 11th would often be recorded in the reports issued on the 12th.
 

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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Geoff Cardy

Hi Alex

I am the grandson of Sgt Frederick Cardy. I received a letter Friday last from the MOD informing that they have accepted the evidence that you submitted and the grave will be rededicated on the 3rd November this year which I hope to attend with some of my family.

May I thank you so much for the research you do it is wonderful to think that my grandads grave will marked 103 years after his passing

regards

Geoff Cardy 

 

 

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HertsHistorian

Dear Geoff,

 

I am delighted by the news that your Grandfather's resting place will be again marked and that you and your family might have the opportunity to visit at his grave. I hope to attend the service in November too.

 

Please let me know if you would like the full report as there are a few extra bits that you may find of interest.

 

Very best wishes,


Alex

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laughton

Well done Alex!

 

The review time appears to have been approximately 40 months.

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