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London Rifle Brigade


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Christmas came early, any look ups required just ask.

Andy

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Please would you look up information for: H. G. D. Coles - also known as Gordon Coles.

Thanks.

Michael Coles

PS I have a copy of "Short History of the London Rifle Brigade" - but this ends in 1916. My father served from 1917 - 1919.

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Michael,

The only reference i can find of 2nd Lieut. H.G.D. Coles is in a list of Officers joining the LRB which was in April 1918 in the 1st Battalion.

"The Officers joining during the month were:-

Lieut. C.H. John, 2nd Lieuts. E.F. Byles (15th Londons), H.G.D. Coles, V.W.R. Crane, J.P. Gee, J.W. Grindey, L.R. Gyton, G.D. Hilder (15th Londons), W.A. Houghton, W.C. Lean, P.R.S. Spettigue, E.A. Thiede, H.B. Waters and M.W. Wright, 359 Other ranks also joined."

In the Nominal Roll of Officers it has the following.

COLES, Herbert George Decimus

Educated St. Saviours School, Eastbourne. Rifleman January 1917. Commissioned 2nd Lieut. in 3rd Battalion 18/12/17. Joined 1st Battalion in France 25/4/18. Intelligence Officer 15/10/18 - 15/11/18. Lieutenant 1919, Assistant Adjutant 2/8/18 - 2/3/19.

Hope this helps you Michael.

Andy

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Sorry,

That should read Herbert Gordon Decimus.

Andy

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Many thanks for the information about my father. It corresponds with what I have gathered from his diary. This covers the period from April 19 - August 22, 1918. Several of the others mentioned as "joining during the month" are also mentioned in the diary. Apparently, after August 22, he was assigned to "Nucleus Personnel" - but I have no information about what happened to him between then and when he was demobilised in June 1919.

Along with the diary, I have some maps, photos, and other memorabilia, including the "Dagger" Magazine, from the period.

Mike Coles

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Hi Mike,

Glad that i could help you a little with some information on your father. Have you checked the Officers records at Kew!!.

Andy

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Mike,

I will try to see if i can get it for you on my next trip to Kew, time allowing. Should be there again just after Xmas.

Andy

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  • 8 months later...

Andy,

Another question for you, any info about this casaulty would be appreciated.

Percy Vincent JENKINS

JENKINS

Initials: P V

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Rifleman

Regiment: London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade)

Unit Text: 5th Bn.

Age: 19

Date of Death: 28/08/1918

Service No: 305848

Additional information: Son of Walter W. and Grace Jenkins, of 3, Ashbourne Rd., Mitcham, Surrey.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. C. 5.

Cemetery: SUZANNE MILITARY CEMETERY No.3

Regards,

Chris.

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On 26th August the LRB attacked from Summit trench, east of Boyelles and NW of Croisilles, C and D Coys leading with B in support and A in reserve. They were held up by MG fire after 400 yards and they had to withdraw at 3.30am. On the 27th they attacked again at 9.30am but with A Coy and a platoon of B leading. They were stopped in the same place and A Coy was stuck there as they could not withdraw in daylight. At 3.30pm the battalion was ordered to encircle Croisilles from the north by working down the Hindeburg Line but when they reached the Sensee River they were held up by heavy MG fire. A long detour allowed them to eventually occupy two trenches 500 yards ENE of Croisilles.

On the 28th A Coy which has been unable to help with this movement as a result of the previous day's action rejoined the battalion at 11.30am and at 12.30am the attack was pushed forward with the east side of Bullecourt as the objective. The LRB were in close support of the 1/16th Queen's Westminster Rifles. C and D Coys (left and centre) lost direction and were held up by MG fire north of Hendecourt where they had to dig in. Both battalions then found themselves together in the front line almost surrounded by machine guns, a situation not cleared up until late afternoon. B Coy, LRB suffered heavily from fire from a nest of MGs and was pinned down, an attempt at outflanking the nest from the south having failed. The whole brigade (169th) was held up until 7.30pm when Capt Burroughs, with the help of two Stokes mortars and two companies of the 1/13th Kensingtons, organised for the rushing of the MG nest by B Coy. 10 MGs, 2 trench mortars and 10 prisoners were captured. B and a few men from A Coy then rested in Knuckle Trench and the Hindenburg Line.

The attack continued for the next three days when the battalion was relieved. During the action the LRB lost:

3 officers killed and 13 wounded

54 OR killed, 17 died of wounds, 226 wounded and 2 missing

315 total

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Bill,

Hello again, many thanks for such a detailed account. Plenty of place names to familiarise myself with.

Regards.

Chris.

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  • 3 months later...

QUOTE (Chris_B @ Aug 28 2005, 01:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Bill,

Hello again, many thanks for such a detailed account. Plenty of place names to familiarise myself with.

Regards.

Chris.

Hi Chris - I am a medal collector and researcher of the London Rifle Brigade, with access to a lot of information.

My grandfather, Joseph Sturmer no. 304648 served with 2/5th then 1/28th from January 18. Have you read a copy of 'Gentlemen and Officers' by K W Mitchinson (available from IWM in London) - All about LRB. Superb book.

Regards Peter

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Please would you look up information for: H. G. D. Coles - also known as Gordon Coles.

Thanks.

Michael Coles

PS I have a copy of "Short History of the London Rifle Brigade" - but this ends in 1916. My father served from 1917 - 1919.

Michael - Your Father was in the Ranks of the 3rd battalion LRB in 1917, and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on the 18th December 1917. He arrived in France on the 25th April to join the 1st Battalion.

Obviously he doesn't appear on the BW&VM roll as he was an officer, and also is not on the 14 or 15 star or SWB rolls. You may get his rank and number from the Medal Index Card (as well as officers papers) at Kew, which can now be seen on line. He didn't receive a gallantry award and survived the war. There is a photograph of the LRB Officers taken shortly before they went back into the line for the final time which shows an 2Lt Coles in the middle of the front row. This could be your father or another officer also a 2Lt E.R. Coles. It is part oft he authors collection (Kevin Mitchinson) and is printed in his book - Gentlemen and Officers - you can order this from the IWM in London and it is all about the LRB in the Great War.

Regards Peter

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  • 1 month later...

Offers of assistance and look ups are being withdrawn due to recent events on the forum.

Andy

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  • 4 months later...
  • 10 years later...

Chris B/ Andy

This is my first foray onto the forum and I am aware that this thread hasn't been added to for ten years but, here goes.

 

Within this thread is mention of my great uncle Percy Vincent Jenkins.

We have been doing some family historical research and as a result have located a number of documents online that give very clear detail of where his military grave is and also other detail of his battlefield grave and of course dates. All of this matches up very nicely with existing info.

I am very pleased with the results of our search but being a novice at this I am a little confused as to the report BMAC posted of the what I assume is the war diary of the LRB for that and other days close to 28th Aug 1918. I have downloaded a similar document from the National Archive that confirms BMACs post. This suggests that the LRB at that time was around the Bullecourt/Hendecourt area which is about 16km NE of Maricourt. My great uncles battlefield grave (alongside 2 colleagues) was in a location a very short distance south of Maricourt. A year later the three bodies were exhumed and moved to Suzanne Military Cemetery No3 where they remain.

I imagine in the heat of battle, men got separated from their groups frequently and with that in mind I would like some guidance on perhaps finding out the following:-

Firstly in view of where the LRB were on 28th August 1918, is it possible he became detached from the LRB at some point?

Could there be other reasons why he and two colleagues were so far from the LRB that day and is there a way of finding out more information as to why they were there?

 

I have in fact now found out that around 9th Aug 1918 he moved to 8th London Regiment and would have been fighting alongside the Post Office Rifles on the day that he died. I have located the War diary for the POR for that day and I am pleased to say that I believe I now have the final jigsaw piece. All that remains is to locate (if it exists) a photograph of him.

 

Thank you 

MT

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