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Mark Hone

1st King's at Guillemont

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Mark Hone

A colleague at work has asked me to do a bit of research on his great-grandfather who was killed at Guillemont on 8th August 1916 during 1st King's (Liverpool) attack. I am trying to identify the exact area of their assault but I do not have a copy of McCarthy or the Official History to hand. Their two main objectives were Guillemont Station and High Holborn. The former is easy to pick out but I cannot find the latter on any of my trench maps. Does anyone happen to have a map of the action showing the precise location of the battalion?

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ianw

Mark,

The map in McCarthy shows them attacking from trenches approx 300m due east and slightly south of the northern apex of Trones Wood. Time 4.20 am

" The 1st Kings advanced eastwards , north of the railway , and three companies reached the station. The fourth found that the Germans had reoccupied their front line and therefore could not support the attack."

High Holborn not shown on this map. 17th Middlesex supported from just east of waterlot Farm but " failed to join with 1st Kings"

Temp. 77 degrees

Quotes from Chris McCarthy's wonderful book - everyone should buy a copy !

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Theo

Mark

I am also researching a man who died of wounds with the 1st King's after the action at Guillemont. I do not have the map you talked about but have found out the following. I hope it's of interest/use to you in your research.

Theo

11931 Private Bertram Glover

Bertram Glover was born in Gainsborough, Lincs ca. 1894, the son of Ernest Leeman Glover and his wife Rebecca. The family moved to Birmingham and were living at 123, Pretoria Road, Bordesley Green. Ernest Glover was a manager with the HP Sauce Company. Bertram enlisted in Liverpool into the 1st Battalion, The King’s Liverpool Regiment and died of wounds, aged 22, on Friday 11th August 1916. He is buried in Tincourt New British Cemetery, Somme. (Mem. 13)

There is a reference in the CWGC to Manancourt Communal Cemetery Extension so his body may have been moved to Tincourt after the war.

On August 8th, 1916, the 1st King’s ( part of the 6th Brigade, 2nd Division) attacked the village of Guillemont. Zero hour was 4.20 a.m on a misty morning and the 2nd Div objectives were the north end of the village and the railway station. The attacking battalions (1st King’s and 17th Middlesex) made little headway were virtually cut off in the action.

From the battalion war diary:

"To trenches east of Trônes Wood (7 Aug). Attack on Guillemont (8 Aug) -

moved forward at 4:20 am. War Diary records conditions as misty and very

hard to see more than 10 yards. First objective (German front line,

Guillemont Station, High Holborn) all carried. relieved and via Mine Alley

to Happy Valley (9 Aug) Casualties 350. To Méaulte (12 Aug)."

The battalion was attacking towards The Station, Brompton Road and High Holborn and the position known as Machine Gun House. The men had been lying out in the open before Zero Hour at 4.20 a.m. In the dense cloud of dust and smoke they went too far south, missing the strong points around the station and entered High Holborn via the confines of Brompton Road.. The Germans immediately re occupied their front line from their deep dug outs and tunnels.

B, C, and D companies opened the attack and were later supported by A Company. When this last company came up, they were met with heavy machine gun fire and a shower of grenades as they tried to approach the German front line. By 5.20 a.m. Guillemmont had been captured and the commanding officer of the 1st King’s, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Edward Goff, sent off the following despatch by carrier pigeon:

First, we have taken front line and station and I think High Holborn. Everything is rather mixed. Machine guns are firing at us from Guillemont and from our left. I am at present in German front line and am going forward to clear up the situation.

The words are the last message from Lt. Col Goff as he was killed soon afterwards, along with his 2nd in command Major McErvel.

The battalion lost 71 men and four officers killed in action on August 8th. A further 8 men were to die of their wounds in the following five days.

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bmac

High Holborn is the Guillemont to Longueval Road running to the east of the station and past Waterlot Farm. Brompton Road is the Guillemont to Ginchy Road. There were also Fleet Street and Park Lane that were lanes to the west of Guillemont running parallel to High Holborn which were the German front lines on 8th August.

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Mark Hone

Thanks to everyone for their help. I have a much clearer idea of the action now, I hope

Mark H.

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CROONAERT

Mark.

I don't know if this will be clear enough to be of any use, but here's the map of the attack from Wyrall's History of the King's (Liverpool) Regiment. I've done it as big as I dare !!!!!

Dave.

post-2-1053497233.jpg

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Mark Hone

Thanks again. I think it would be fair to say that my colleague (The Head of Geography) was 'gobsmacked' at the speed and efficiency with which this forum can generate information on a topic. Is there anything on the web to match it?

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