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Remembered Today:

E.R. Gray 9th KRRC, K.I.A. Delville Wood 24-8-1916


Graydr
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Hello.

My Great, Great Uncle Ernest was killed in the assault on Edge Trench in Delville Wood in 1916. I've just returned from his grave, and must ask you all a question that has bothered me for a long time. I have a photograph of him (which I shall attempt to upload), sitting on a bunk with his belongings around him clearly marked with his name, number and his battalion - the thing is, his battalion is marked as the 2nd. Now, I know he was with the 9th in Ypres by 1915, so, presuming that he began in the 2nd Bat, and 'moved' to the 9th, would any of you have any idea how I can find out when this move took place and why?

 

Also, if anyone can tell me anything else about him - where he enlisted (probably Birmingham, but why not the Warwicks?), specifics about his death etc, I would be most grateful, and so would my family.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Ernest Gray WW1.jpg

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He was entitled to the 1914 Star and clasp. So he embarked for France 13/8/14. Medal card and roll confirm at that time he was in 2KRRC. So one assumes moved to 9 KRRC in France. Roll for War and Victory medlas was in both battalions. Ancestry has lots on him  census etc but sadly his service papers do not seem to be extant. He was a regular given that he went to France in the first days of the war - an old contemptible

9KRRC did not go to France until mid-May 1915. War diary shows they were at Ypres by the end of the month. The war diaries of the 2 and 9 may provide some hints as to when he might have moved battalion. The 9th was not a regular unit. Was he moved to put experienced NCOs into a battalions with no operational experience? Both 2 and 9 war diaries available on Ancestry and by definition the a national archives. 

Feel free to private message me if you want a few more pointers.

mark

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PS There is a very detailed report in the 9KRRC war diary covering the actions  from 21-25 Aug 1916. Page 433 on. The report actually starts p435

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He is not listed on the roll of men who went out with 9/KRRC, so he must have been transferred to them after May 1915.

Mark

 

Edited by MBrockway
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He appears in the December 1915 roll though.

 

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From British Battalions on the Somme:

 

9 KRRC relieved 8 RB in Delville Wood 21/8/16.  Attacked 24/8 - C and D Companies moved forward at 5:45pm.  Enemy shelling increased, rifle and MG fire opened up, all officers killed or wounded.  Men rallied by NCOs.  In support A Company advanced at 5:45pm - attack held up by wire and MG fire from strong point in Edge Trench, cleared by bombing attacks at 2:00am 25/8.  Casualties 289.  Edge Trench is on eastern edge of Delville Wood.

 

If you want a Trench Map send me a PM with your e-mail address.

 

Regards

 

John

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1 hour ago, MBrockway said:

He is not listed on the roll of men who went out with 9/KRRC, so he must have been transferred to them after May 1915.

Mark

 

 

27 minutes ago, stiletto_33853 said:

He appears in the December 1915 roll though.

 

 

My mistake(s)  :blush:

 

(1) 9974 GRAY, E is on the Nominal Roll - but as a Lance Corporal.  I had only looked under Rifleman.  The Roll is sorted on rank, then name.  He appears as Rifleman on the CWGC.  L/Cpl is an Appointment, not a substantive rank, so it's possible CWGC has classified him as having formal rank of Rifleman, but there are over 1000 fallen riflemen that are listed as L/Cpl.  More likely is he lost or relinquished his stripe between this roll and his death.

 

(2) The roll I checked is headed "Nominal Roll of Officers, NCOs and men proceeding with Battalion" but it is not dated.  I assumed it was the roll on Embarkation - I had saved it separately from the rest of the diary - but on checking where it originally came from, in the war diary sequence it sits in the Dec 1915 war diary material.  Andy is talking about the same list and indeed, it was Dec 1915.

 

 

A check of the medal rolls should quickly determine if 9974 GRAY, E went out with 9/KRRC and as a Corporal.

 

Mark

 

Edited by MBrockway
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Orders were for the taking of Beer Trench, this was the 3rd trench and final objective.

DSC03207.JPG

Edited by stiletto_33853
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This thread might help you out a little.

 

Andy

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Hi Graydr,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

His service number intimates that he joined up in 1910/11 - see here. As you suspected, his Soldiers Died in the Great War record shows that he enlisted in Birmingham. His Soldiers' Effects records shows that, whilst he doesn't appear to have a surviving Will, his outstanding pay and war gratuity were paid to his mother (Annie) as his sole legatee. Forces War Records have transcribed a 1914 hospital admission/discharge record for him - linked on the second page of these search results. It might be that may provide a reason for his transfer between battalions i.e. after hospitalisation and recuperation he was posted to the 9th Battalion. Unfortunately, I don't subscribe to the site, so can't tell you what the record says. He is named on a casualty list as wounded (published in the Scotsman of 30th November 1914) - the list "...being reported from the base dated 24th October". Presumably, he was wounded shortly before that date.

 

Good luck with your research.

 

Regards

Chris

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9974 Rfn Gray, E.R. appears in the list of Wounded in the 1914 KRRC Chronicle.

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The reference to Forces War Records shows us this:

 

First Name: E
Surname: Gray
Age: 22
Notes in Admission Number Column: T. from No.1 Ambulance Train
Index Number of Admission: 891
Rank: Gunner
Service Number: 9974
Years Service: 4 years
Months With Field Force: C
Ailment: Shell wound, leg and arm right
Date of Admission for Original Ailment: 15/10/1914
Date Transferred to Sick Convoy: 16/10/1914
Number of Days Under Treatment: 2
Notes written in the Observations Column: To Hospital Ship Oxfordshire.
Religion: Church of England
Notes written by FWR when Transcribing: Completed Months with Field Force entered as per source.
Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps
Battalion: 2nd Battalion (Why is this important?)
Other unit info: B Company
Archive Reference: MH106/875MH106/875 can be found at The National Archives in Kew, and contains First World War Representative Medical Records of No. 2 General Hospital: 05/10/1914 to 30/10/1914. British Other Ranks. No. 2 General Hospital at GARE MARITIME QUAI D'ÉSCALE Ser: 37-115, Transfers Ser: 690-1228 and Ser: 1-44.

 

Hope it is of use?

 

The rank shown here is 'gunner'.

Edited by wandererpaul
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2/KRRC enjoyed an enemy barrage on 15 Oct 1914 while being relieved by a French brigade.  This is probably when he received this shrapnel wound.

 

They were in the line near TROYON as part of 2 Bde, 1st Division..

 

War Diary ...

2-KRRC WD 06-20 Cot 1914.jpg

Edited by MBrockway
Clarified 2 Bde mentioned in WD
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Thank you all so much for your help - a wonderful, and most enlightening response! I'm very grateful.

 

My Great Uncles Les, who is nearly 98yrs old, and who fought at Dunkirk, El Alamein, Cassino and many many more battles in WWII, and whose middle name is 'Delville' after the battle that his Uncle Ernest fell in, is utterly delighted to receive all of this new information too - so thanks for giving him this happiness in his twilight years also.

Edited by Graydr
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  • 4 weeks later...

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