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Remembered Today:

Machine Gun Corps


Woodsc

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Hello

Could anyone please help me with location and action on the 21st March 1918 relating to 6th company Machine Gun Corps.

i have tried to look up the war diaries but struggling to find reference to 6 company. Would I be correct in assuming they were located close to Metz En Centure ? As there is an entry relating to 2nd battalion

 

Any help appreciated - thank you

Colin

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It seems they were place called Marqueffles farm near Ablain-St Nazaire until Mar 23 when they shifted to Viller au Bois

 

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Hello

Many thanks to 'speake' for his feedback ~ to be quite honest I'm still struggling .

My soldier (Pte George Osler 142044) was KIA 21st March and I have him in no.2 Battalion 6th Company ~ 'speake' has documented the location.

Could anyone guide me to a more detailed source of information i.e war diary. I have tried looking up the relevant diary with no luck ~ so many!!

Sorry to sound a bit thick but I'm trying to write up a short overview for this soldier

 

Any HELP appreciated

Colin

 

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Hello Colin

 

Brigade MG Companies were consolidated into divisional MG Battalions in Feb/March 1918. This is the diary you need:

WO 95/1334 2 Battalion Machine Gun Corps 1918 Mar. - 1919 Oct.  
You can download it from Ancestry or TNA's website. The latter will cost you about £3.50.

 

Good luck!

 

Ron

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2 hours ago, Ron Clifton said:

Hello Colin

 

Brigade MG Companies were consolidated into divisional MG Battalions in Feb/March 1918. This is the diary you need:

WO 95/1334 2 Battalion Machine Gun Corps 1918 Mar. - 1919 Oct.  
You can download it from Ancestry or TNA's website. The latter will cost you about £3.50.

 

Good luck!

 

Ron

Many Thanks Ron ~ I'm on the case!

Colin

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 I have given you the wrong info. Please disregard previous as I was also responding to someone asking about the Canadian 6th MGC at the same time. Sorry about that...

Edited by speake
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Assuming your soldier was from Derbyshire it seems likely, based on surviving records and soldiers effects, he originally enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters in August 1914, on or around the 16th, for service with the 9th Battalion. On the 15th July 1915 he entered theatre Gallipoli, therefore probably still with the 9th.  The July date is the embarkation date, they actually landed at Suvla Bay in August.

 

We can't say when he transferred to the 2nd Bn but it was almost certainly after the 9th returned from the Dardanelles. 

 

He may be on a casualty/admission list and my guess would be it was after that he was posted to the 2nd Bn and from there to the MGC as above. We don't know when he was when he was attached but his transfer definitely dates from the 19th March.  Searching the war diaries around this date may help.

 

He was entitled to the 14-15 Star, BWM and Victory Medal.

 

Ken

 

 

Edited by kenf48
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On 24/04/2017 at 18:52, Woodsc said:

Many Thanks Ron ~ I'm on the case!

Colin

A word of caution, the CWGC, where I assume you found his unit, did not catch up with the reorganisation of the MGC referred to by Ron, therefore some casualties are recorded as 6th Coy by CWGC and some as the 6th Bn.  There are 12 or so casualties listed as the 6th Coy (which no longer existed) on 21 March 1918 and around 20 for the 6th Bn.  This anomaly frequently occurs.

Soldiers Effects confirms he was in the 6th Battalion MGC and his 'death accepted 21/3/1918' which means he was probably one of the missing recorded in the diary.

 

Therefore it's the 6th Bn Diary you need

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352329

 

There are two casualties for the 2nd Bn., one of whom is on the Arras Memorial.

 

SDGW shows Pte Osler previously served in the Notts and Derby Regiment, the 2nd Bn was in the 71st Brigade 6th Division as was the 71st MGC Company which became the 6th Bn MGC.  May be a coincidence but need to do more work on the numbers.

The Rolls show a number of men in the 1420** series transferred from the Sherwood Foresters. 

 

At a quick glance it appears he was in a cohort attached to the 71st Coy on or around 20 February 1918 and transferred and renumbered to the MGC  6th Bn with effect from the 19th March.

 

Ken

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, kenf48 said:

A word of caution, the CWGC, where I assume you found his unit, did not catch up with the reorganisation of the MGC referred to by Ron, therefore some casualties are recorded as 6th Coy by CWGC and some as the 6th Bn.  There are 12 or so casualties listed as the 6th Coy (which no longer existed) on 21 March 1918 and around 20 for the 6th Bn.  This anomaly frequently occurs.

Soldiers Effects confirms he was in the 6th Battalion MGC and his 'death accepted 21/3/1918' which means he was probably one of the missing recorded in the diary.

 

Therefore it's the 6th Bn Diary you need

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352329

 

There are two casualties for the 2nd Bn., one of whom is on the Arras Memorial.

 

SDGW shows Pte Osler previously served in the Notts and Derby Regiment, the 2nd Bn was in the 71st Brigade 6th Division as was the 71st MGC Company which became the 6th Bn MGC.  May be a coincidence but need to do more work on the numbers.

The Rolls show a number of men in the 1420** series transferred from the Sherwood Foresters. 

 

At a quick glance it appears he was in a cohort attached to the 71st Coy on or around 20 February 1918 and transferred and renumbered to the MGC  6th Bn with effect from the 19th March.

 

Ken

 

 

 

 

Hello Ken

Many Thanks for the information you have kindly provided

This is turning into a bit of a puzzle with some grey areas.

Appreciate opinions on my research ~ facts:

I am trying to write up a short overview for this soldier to include in an exhibition I am organising for October.  There was no Family living in Winterton 1901/1911 Census with the surname Osler ~ I have a family image taken in Winterton Lincolnshire which shows George (father), Elizabeth (wife) and daughters Mary,Edith, Beatrice, Grace and Miriam plus George they seem to have become residents prior or around the time George enlisted in the Notts & Derby.

Checking the census information the family seem to have originated from Wimbotsham Norfolk (all family members names match 1901 and 1911census's information)

Pte G Osler enlisted 11th August 1914 into 9th Bn Notts & Derby ~ went to Gallipoli ~ then to Egypt served until 1916. when he left and became part of MGC – 3 March 1916 in Egypt the 33rd Machine Gun Company was formed from the existing Battalion Machine Gun companies (information from Steve Morse).

In March 1918 was now serving with 6th Company Machine Gun Corp No.2 Battalion and was located south east of Arras at Metz en Couture.

Soldiers Effect register list his mother as Elizabeth and his mother and father are on the 1920 Electoral Register for Winterton

I am struggling to find a George Osler who was born in Gainsborough and enlisted in the Notts & Derby (as SDGW)~ can only find a Osler enlisting in the Lincolnshire Rgt and the family members don't tie up with the image in Winterton

He is listed on the Red Cross Day Roll of Honour (see attachment) and remembered on the Arras Memorial

So with the information you have provided I'm more confused. Do I still need to look the 6Bn Diary?

 

Appreciate any feedback

Colin

 

  

 

001 tweek.jpg

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The war gratuity shows he had 44 months qualifying service at the time of his death.


Craig

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9 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

The war gratuity shows he had 44 months qualifying service at the time of his death.


Craig

Thanks Craig

That sounds about right if he enlisted August 14 died March 18

Colin

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2 hours ago, Woodsc said:

 

Pte G Osler enlisted 11th August 1914 into 9th Bn Notts & Derby ~ went to Gallipoli ~ then to Egypt served until 1916. when he left and became part of MGC – 3 March 1916 in Egypt the 33rd Machine Gun Company was formed from the existing Battalion Machine Gun companies (information from Steve Morse).

In March 1918 was now serving with 6th Company Machine Gun Corp No.2 Battalion and was located south east of Arras at Metz en Couture.

Soldiers Effect register list his mother as Elizabeth and his mother and father are on the 1920 Electoral Register for Winterton

I am struggling to find a George Osler who was born in Gainsborough and enlisted in the Notts & Derby (as SDGW)~ can only find a Osler enlisting in the Lincolnshire Rgt and the family members don't tie up with the image in Winterton

He is listed on the Red Cross Day Roll of Honour (see attachment) and remembered on the Arras Memorial

So with the information you have provided I'm more confused. Do I still need to look the 6Bn Diary?

 

Appreciate any feedback

Colin

 

 

I don't know where Steve Morse got his information from but the numbering of the MGC was sequential beginning at 3000 on the formation of the Corps therefore Pte Osler could not have been transferred and renumbered to the MGC in March 1916.

 

There was no such unit as '6th Company Machine Gun Corps 2nd Battalion' at anytime,  as Ron pointed out at post 4 following the reorganisation of the MGC in the Brigade Machine Gun Companies were merged into Divisional Machine Gun Battalions.  On the 5th March 1918 the 6th Brigade MGC Company became 'B' Company of the 2nd Battalion MGC at Metz-en-Couture.  On the 21st March the war diary of the 2nd Bn does not record any casualties and in fact notes, "The enemy was shelling back areas but not heavily on our front...".  As previously noted there are two casualties from the Battalion on the CWGC database.  

There are no 'missing men' recorded.

 

There is no evidence Pte Osler served in a unit associated with either the 6th Brigade or the 2nd Division.  

It has not been confirmed whether or not  the '6th Company' came from CWGC or some other source, if so I outlined what is a common anomaly on the CWGC database in my previous post and the numbers of men recorded as 6th Company and 6th Battalion.

 

The 6th Bn war diary, on Ancestry here , places the Battalion in the vicinity of Favreuil and details the intense action on the 21st and 22nd March 1918.  The casualties were recorded as 'other ranks, 11 killed, 76 wounded and 194 missing'.

 

Soldiers  Effects shows he was serving in the 6th Battalion MGC.  That is an army record.  So yes, you probably do need to look at the 6th Bn war diary.  

 

The 71st MG Company diary ends on the 31 January 1918. There are no details of any attachments recorded, nor are there any movements recorded from the 2nd Sherwood Foresters.

 

142020, previously 9 Norfolk Regiment 71st Brigade was attached to the 71st Company MGC and transferred to the MGC (and renumbered) and posted to the 6th Bn on 19 March 1918.  Also transferred to the MGC on that date was 142053 (14th Bn).  

 

The evidence, or if you prefer 'facts' are  based on his regimental number Pte Osler was transferred to the MGC on the 19 March 1918 and at the time of his presumed death was serving in the 6th Battalion as recorded in Soldiers Effects.  These are not 'grey areas'.

 

He may have previously been attached to the 71stCompany/6th Bn, like 142020, that we don't know.  We also know the 2nd Bn Notts and Derby were also in 71st Brigade and men were attached to MGC units from the infantry, sometimes they returned to their parent unit but often they were transferred into the MGC.

 

Ken

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, kenf48 said:

 

I don't know where Steve Morse got his information from but the numbering of the MGC was sequential beginning at 3000 on the formation of the Corps therefore Pte Osler could not have been transferred and renumbered to the MGC in March 1916.

 

There was no such unit as '6th Company Machine Gun Corps 2nd Battalion' at anytime,  as Ron pointed out at post 4 following the reorganisation of the MGC in the Brigade Machine Gun Companies were merged into Divisional Machine Gun Battalions.  On the 5th March 1918 the 6th Brigade MGC Company became 'B' Company of the 2nd Battalion MGC at Metz-en-Couture.  On the 21st March the war diary of the 2nd Bn does not record any casualties and in fact notes, "The enemy was shelling back areas but not heavily on our front...".  As previously noted there are two casualties from the Battalion on the CWGC database.  

There are no 'missing men' recorded.

 

There is no evidence Pte Osler served in a unit associated with either the 6th Brigade or the 2nd Division.  

It has not been confirmed whether or not  the '6th Company' came from CWGC or some other source, if so I outlined what is a common anomaly on the CWGC database in my previous post and the numbers of men recorded as 6th Company and 6th Battalion.

 

The 6th Bn war diary, on Ancestry here , places the Battalion in the vicinity of Favreuil and details the intense action on the 21st and 22nd March 1918.  The casualties were recorded as 'other ranks, 11 killed, 76 wounded and 194 missing'.

 

Soldiers  Effects shows he was serving in the 6th Battalion MGC.  That is an army record.  So yes, you probably do need to look at the 6th Bn war diary.  

 

The 71st MG Company diary ends on the 31 January 1918. There are no details of any attachments recorded, nor are there any movements recorded from the 2nd Sherwood Foresters.

 

142020, previously 9 Norfolk Regiment 71st Brigade was attached to the 71st Company MGC and transferred to the MGC (and renumbered) and posted to the 6th Bn on 19 March 1918.  Also transferred to the MGC on that date was 142053 (14th Bn).  

 

The evidence, or if you prefer 'facts' are  based on his regimental number Pte Osler was transferred to the MGC on the 19 March 1918 and at the time of his presumed death was serving in the 6th Battalion as recorded in Soldiers Effects.  These are not 'grey areas'.

 

He may have previously been attached to the 71stCompany/6th Bn, like 142020, that we don't know.  We also know the 2nd Bn Notts and Derby were also in 71st Brigade and men were attached to MGC units from the infantry, sometimes they returned to their parent unit but often they were transferred into the MGC.

 

Ken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Ken

Thanks for all your help, I'll have look at the 6th Battalion war diary.

Colin

 

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