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Remembered Today:

Cprl James G Knox 15th Battalion HLI 3276


Gilmour495
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My husband's grandfather above died 19 April 1917. His name is inscribed on the Thiepval monument underneath the Ancre battle. His death certificate has France and Flanders as place of death. I have accessed  the war diary for the HLI and tried to trace his journey to his final day but unsuccessfully. Has anyone any advice that will help us succeed?

Another question is if his body was never found how was his date of death concluded?

Many thanks in anticipation

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The 15th, 16th and 17th battalions of the HLI served in the 97 Brigade of the 32nd Division and the 17th's  War record can be downloaded from here http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/highland-light-infantry/

It might just help.

You might like to know that James's name is on the 15th HLI memorial in the Museum of Transport in Glasgow.

http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ftopic99.html&highlight=transport

15th (Service) Battalion (1st Glasgow) Often known by its original title of the Glasgow Tramways Battalion.
Formed in Glasgow on 2 September 1914 by the Lord Provost and City, with many recruits coming from the Tramways Department.

 

He is also listed on the Glasgow Roll of Honour as KNOX J G Corporal Highland Light Infantry 59 Garngad Hill

 

Ken

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3 hours ago, Gilmour495 said:

My husband's grandfather above died 19 April 1917. His name is inscribed on the Thiepval monument underneath the Ancre battle. His death certificate has France and Flanders as place of death. I have accessed  the war diary for the HLI and tried to trace his journey to his final day but unsuccessfully. Has anyone any advice that will help us succeed?

Another question is if his body was never found how was his date of death concluded?

Many thanks in anticipation

His having no known grave does not necessarily mean that his body was not found. He may have been found and buried and the grave (or its identifier) subsequently lost or destroyed by later action.

 

However it may be that he was seen to be killed but the body was not found at the end of the action. It might also be that he disappeared in an action and was never seen again and the date given was either the date of the action or when last seen alive.

The evidence available tends (although not absolutely definite) to suggest that he was known to be dead. The entry in the Registers of Soldiers' Effects gives a single date of killed in action - not an on or after date. He is reported killed in the Daily Casualty List of 4 June 1917 which is fairly prompt. There was no previous listing him as missing.

 

Does the battalion war diary give details of any action and/or number of casualties on 19 April 1917?

 

Roger M

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Gilmour495

 

Someone should welcome you to the Forum ! I do.

Why could I not let this go ? Then it eventually occurred.

2/Lt F M Nicolson (who is named in the War Diary as killed too on the 19.4.1917, along with 20 other casualties who were probably a mix of died and wounded), has a known grave. It is is in Chapelle British Cemetery, Holnon, just a little W of St Quentin. Why does he have a known grave and not the others, they weren't usually segregated.

Looking at the Commonwealth War Graves (cwgc.org) site for the cemetery I see that the list of burials which contains Officer Nicolsons name, plus several unknown soldiers, were re-burials after the War was finished. They called this Concentration, where small graveyards are consolidated into larger ones. The list also gives a map ref for the original burial place ( 62B.s.2.b.2.9) the Lieutenant's the same as all the unknowns. I have made a superficial study of a trench map and find the ref to be not so far away from Holnon and to the NE, to a position where the War Diary says they were in a position to control two roads, one between Fayet and St Quentin and one between Gricourt and St Q. This ties in to a position that the Battalion held as late as the 17th April 1917.

I'll see if I can produce a trench map ref for you  to open, I have tried this before and the National Library of Scotland (nls) hasn't always opened what I meant it to ! If you google world war 1 trench maps nls and select 62B SW sheet you should be able to find the places I mention. Also if you search on cwgc.org/find a cemetery and enter Chapelle as above and then search for 2/Lt Nicoloson's entry you will get to see the re-burial report.

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As Rolt has indicated there was indeed heavy fighting around this area in Sept.1918 which might have destroyed some graves.

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Wow what can I say other than many thanks to you all for your help and advice. We didn't know his name was on the memorial in the museum of transport so that is on our agenda for our next visit to Glasgow.

The reason for asking this question was that although I could read the war diary I found it confusing as the battalions seemed to merge frequently (I assume due to the loss of men) therefore I could not be certain I was following the correct battalion. However, sotonmate clarified that, as I had read that 2/Lt F M Nicolson had been killed 19/4/1917 so I will do the search that you proposed. I would be grateful if you could find a trench ref.

We are planning to visit the Thiepval monument on the 100th anniversary of his death next year so we can take a look at the trench then.

Also, thank you sotonmate for the welcome. I am very impressed with the site

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http://maps.nls.uk/view/101465269

Initial burial place 62B.S.2.b.2.9.

Firstly zoom in until St Quentin is near the bottom of screen and the left edge of the map has the letter S near to top. Square S8 shows Holnon the final cemetery for Lt Nicolson and the unknowns. Above it is Square S2, the 2 is in the centre of 4 segments). Top right segment is b. You will need to zoom in on this square so that you can see the side grid markings which are 10 across and 10 up. You count 2 across from the left and 9 up from the bottom. That is the site of the first burial place.

The website has a facility to overlay this map (georeferenced) so that you can see the present day position.

 

Edited by sotonmate
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I should also have said that the current cemetery is in the Holnon square at S.8.d.2.4.

Edited by sotonmate
tighter grid ref after checking overlay map
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