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Civil Service Rifles


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Official History, 1921. Willing to do look ups for forum members.

Andy

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Andy

Any details of the unit's actions around the 23/8/18 and any info on the man below would be much appreciated.

Rifleman 532932 (5966) Frank Edward Ellis 15th Battalion London Regiment (Prince of Wales’ Own Civil Service Rifles) KIA 23/8/18

Aged 21

Son of Thomas & Eliza Annie Ellis 256 High St Watford.

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Hi Damien,

The actions around this date revolve around the attack on the Dranoutre Ridge:-

At the end of the week the Battalion moved to the line and took over the Locrehof sub-sector as supports, and were moved up seven days later to the front line trenches, relieving the London Scottish. Only two days were spent in the front line, when we were relieved by the Queens Westminster Rifles and returned from the line to Moth Farm, which lay midway between Boeschepe and Godewaersvelde, and while in rest here it was arranged that our Division should attack the Dranoutre Ridge. We overlooked the German lines throughout their length from the Mont Noir-Mont Rouge Ridge, but the Bosche had the advantage in the possession of the Dranoutre Ridge, a long spur running down from Mont Rouge through Locre, with Dranoutre at its tip, which high ground represented, after successive ebbings and flowings, the mark of the hun tide of advance there. The ridge looking down as it did into our front trenches, made approach by day almost impossible, and it set bounds to movement, cooking and life there generally, which only those who had to live there could properly appreciate.

The 35th Division, whom we had relieved, had long ago made up their minds to take the ridge, but wet weather set in and their patrols reported the going across "No mans land" impossible. It was therefore left for us to accomplish.

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The attack was fixed for the night of the 21st/22nd of August. It entailed an advance of some 300 yards over swampy ground, pocked with shell holes, the crossing of the River Douvre here a small stream, the ascent up through the straggling Wakefield and Mowbray Woods to the crest, where stood two strongly fortified posts - The old farms of Romp and Locrehof - a total of about 1000 yards. The going was really difficult in the last part, where to the uasaul tangle of rough grass, shellholes new and old, odds and ends of trenches and dug outs was added the presence of trees and some undergrowth, the navigation of which even in daylight and without an enemy or the impedimenta of attack requires a certain care.

The London Scottish represented the 90th Brigade in this show, and that the attack was carried out with courage and great credit is due to the 2/14th Londons, who showed that the Palestine troops were eqaul to any demands that the Western Front might make upon them.

During the night following the attack the Civil Service Rifles relieved the Scottish in the captured line, which merely consisted of odd shell holes, and there withstood a determined counter attack delivered by Storm Troops. Undr continual heavy artillery, trench mortar, and machine gun fire, we helped to consolidate the new front line. Fighting patrols were pushed forward and great courage was displayed by members of the 2/15th, particularly Sergeant P.J. Kelly's patrol, "C" Company at Locrehof farm, and by Lieutenant H.J. Mallett's patrol, "D" Company.

Wakefield Wood, which was on our front, was heavily shelled with gas shells, but this did not deter the Battalion, and on the 24th August we drove off a determined counter attack by the Boche. Local fighting continued until the 26th, but the consolidation of the line progressed, when the Battalion was withdrawn and retired to the comparitive security of the dug outs at Mont Rouge, and on the following day returned to our old billet at Moth Farm for a couple of nights, when a return to Mont Rouge was made.

Damien, this is all covered on pages 353 & 354 of the Battalions History

Andy

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Damien,

The only mention of your man Frank Ellis is in the Appendix IX, Other ranks who served in the period 1914 - 1919 where he is listed as having died on active service.

I hope this all helps you a little bit.

Andy

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Thanks Andy for the info, very interesting & very much appreciated.

Best wishes

Damien.

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Damien,

You are welcome, sorry there is not more detail but i suppose as the Civil Service Rifles did not actively take part in the attack they did not cover it extensively.

Andy

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"Ellis F. E. " is mentioned in the index of Jill Knight's new book "The Civil Service Rifles in the Great War." The reference points to a page which says......

"........ The two Germans were the advance party for the next counter-attack, which now came on. Again it was repulsed by frantic firing, after which all became quiet. The enemy did not attack again, but Wills discovered many casualties including Pte. Ellis of C Company. "

Not much, I know, but it may add something to your knowledge, Damien.

Tom

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Thanks Tom

I will now go and order the book!

Cheers for all the help guys.

Damien

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  • 8 months later...

Andy,

Sorry to blitz you today, but I have this man DOW on 22/10/1916:

Name: BIRD, CHARLES JAMES

Initials: C J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: London Regiment (Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles)

Unit Text: 15th Bn.

Age: 21

Date of Death: 22/10/1916

Service No: 5677

Additional information: Son of James and Mary Bird, of 17, Crisp Rd., Hammersmith, London.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 12. 17.

Cemetery: ST. SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN

I suppose he could have been wounded in the attack on the Warlencourt on the 7th Oct, But perhaps you could tell me if there were other significant actions between the 7th and 22nd.

With thanks,

Chris.

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Hi Chris,

Having gone through this book there was nothing between these dates although they were relieved by the 7th Seaforth Highlanders on the 9th October. Three nights were spent in Albert until on the 13th they entrained for Longpre.

Andy

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Simon A Ellis

Hi Andy,

Sorry to ask the unlikely - impossible but. I had seen somewhere mention of a unit history/diary which listed all who served in the Civil Service Rifles. My Grandfather Jack Ellis was wounded and left in the field for some time and invilided out of the army, he died when my father was very young without ever telling the family of what and when things had happened. Are you aware of any record of men who served, or a history of men wounded, when and where?

I am sorry if I am asking the obvious, the impossible or just plain stupid.

Many thanks

Simon

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Hi Simon,

No question is unlikely, you can only ask. In Appendix IX in this book there is a list of all who served in the Battalion during the war. There are two J. Eliis on the relevany section, one is a J.C. Ellis and the other J. Eliis, fortunatelt both on the same page. No dates or wounds are mentioned just a list. Hope this helps.

Andy

post-1871-1134834175.jpg

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Guest Simon A Ellis

Hi Simon,

No question is unlikely, you can only ask. In Appendix IX in this book there is a list of all who served in the Battalion during the war. There are two J. Eliis on the relevany section, one is a J.C. Ellis and the other J. Eliis, fortunatelt both on the same page. No dates or wounds are mentioned just a list. Hope this helps.

Wow,

That was quick, thanks Andy

Simon

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Guest Simon A Ellis

Andy,

Thanks again, Jack C Ellis, private 6481 15th London Regiment, also Army Pay Corps 12760 was indeed my Grandfather. As I understand it through family history, he was wounded and left in the field, subsequently contracting TB and ended up in the military hospital, also TB sanitorium, at Benenden in Kent. I have managed to find him through the National Archives via his medal card. I will now see if I can get any further info from any service records at the National Archive

Thanks

Simon Ellis

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Andy,

I'm interested in the actions at High Wood on 15th September 1916, when the Civil Service Rifles were involved. I suspect this may take up a fair amount of text, but if there was any chance of a scan it would be much appreciated.

If there is too much, don't worry!

Cheers

Alan

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Hi Andy

Please could you let me know what the 2nd/15th were up to on 27 February 1917. One of the men on Acomb War Memorial, Private Edward Metcalfe, 534038, was killed in action that day.

Thanks very much

Steve

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Alan,

If you send me your e mail address I will scan it all and send it off at full size.

Andy

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Andy,

I'm interested in the actions at High Wood on 15th September 1916, when the Civil Service Rifles were involved. I suspect this may take up a fair amount of text, but if there was any chance of a scan it would be much appreciated.

If there is too much, don't worry!

Cheers

Alan

Alan,

If you need copies of the 1/15th's war diary for September 1916 I can email them to you. Just pm me your email address.

Regards,

Matthew

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Alan,

If you send me your e mail address I will scan it all and send it off at full size.

Andy

Andy,

That is very kind - I will PM you my e-mail.

Thanks very much!

Alan

Alan,

If you need copies of the 1/15th's war diary for September 1916 I can email them to you. Just pm me your email address.

Regards,

Matthew

Matthew,

Yes please! - that would be fantastic. I'll PM my e-mail to you.

Many thanks

Alan

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Hi Andy - I wonder if you could fill me in on activities of the battalion on or about the 21st October 1915? Particularly the fate of Private Cecil Everard HUMPHERSON who was killed on that date.

Cheers

Simon

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Alan,

The chapter on High Wood all sent for you, hope it is of help.

Andy

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Simon,

Will check through the book for you.

Andy

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