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laughton

Tank #9394 - name these two men!

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laughton

I came across the COG-BR and then looked here on the GWF for any reference to this tank and found this topic here:

 

 

 

Quote

C COMPANY

9394 2 Crewmen killed, OIC wounded, 4 Crewmen wounded

 

I checked it on the  link noted (https://sites.google.com/site/landships/9-battalion-23-july-1918) and it says:

Quote

 

9 Battalion 23 July 1918
St Ribert. 23 July 1918
9 Battalion, with 3rd French Division, IX French Corp, French 1st Army
9 Battalion had 36 tanks in action on 23rd July 1918 (W9):

 

C  Company Supporting 272 Regiment (W9)

9394, f 

 

Notes: Sexes are based on ammunition expenditure, those tanks which fired 6pdr ammo are considered male, those that didn't fire 6pdr ammo are considered female. This corresponds with the serial numbers, 9001 to 9200 should be male, 9251 to 9450 female.

 

The two men that were killed in that tank are UNKNOWNS and buried in the Mezieres Communal Cemetery Extension, so should we not be able to name these two men?

 

There is 1 named on the Pozieres Memorial and 12 on the Soissons Memorial, so which two were in that tank?

 

surname initials rank regiment unit # cemetery / memorial grave
WARD R J Lance Corporal Tank Corps 9th Bn. '78033' NAMPS-AU-VAL BRITISH CEMETERY II. D. 7.
BLACKWELL A Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '201609' POZIERES MEMORIAL Panel 94
DAVIES T Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '91918' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 14.
GIBSON G Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '306070' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 10.
HANNAN J M A Second Lieutenant Tank Corps 9th Bn.   ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 12.
LEWIS C Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '110363' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY IV. F. 4.
RUTHERFORD M Captain Tank Corps 9th Bn.   ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 11.
SHELFORD H J Corporal Tank Corps 9th Bn. '91574' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 15.
STEWART J B Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '91925' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 8.
TABOR A J Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '92958' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY IV. F. 5.
TOPLISS E E Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '78040' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY IV. F. 2.
WILSON W Lance Corporal Tank Corps 9th Bn. '78047' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 9.
BREWSTER J G C Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '308495' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
BROWN E J Lance Corporal Tank Corps 9th Bn. '91390' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
BUCHANAN J A Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '95072' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
DUNCAN J Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '78559' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
FORSTER T Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '91934' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
GRINDLAY R Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '75812' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
HUNT H W Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '91385' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
MORRIS H Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '91948' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
OATES R L Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '92261' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
SCARLETT E H Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '91240' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
TYMAN H R Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '91933' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
WARRINGTON F C Private Tank Corps 9th Bn. '78978' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  

 

doc2295454.JPG

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dgibson150

Forgive me for my ignorance Laughton but what is COG-BR?

 

David

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dgibson150

Thanks thetrenchrat22

 

David

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dgibson150

I don't think it will be easy to attach names to  the UNKNOWNS. As far as I am aware the only surviving battle history sheet for the battle on 23/7/18 is that of Captain Dalton of B Company, tank #9064.

 

There is a summary of 9th Battalion Battle History Sheets which notes for tank #9394, "Shell shock. Did not reach objective. Was ditched & received 2 direct hits a few minutes after leaving starting point". Other information in the summary sheet however states that  #9394  was in action for two hours and covered 7 miles, which seems inconsistent with the foregoing remarks.

 

The bodies were found at 66E I26.d.5.2 according to the COG. From the McMaster site this is between Sauvillers Wood and St Ribert Wood, again inconsistent with the remark that the tank was KO a short time after the start point (which was south of Sauvillers Wood) see here. There were four tanks knocked out in this area according to the maps of the actions of the 9th Battalion, ref WO/95/107/6, so again no further clues.

 

The 9th Battalion war history lists the names of Other Ranks casualties. Maybe a comparison of this list to the CWGC casualties might reveal the unknowns,  but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

David

 

 

 

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laughton

Here is additional information on "C Coy" of the 9th Tank Battalion from Rob Martin's web site: (extracted sentences)

 

Quote

C Company (12 tanks) was to support two battalions of the 272nd Regiment in their assault on Sauvillers Wood. The tanks were to move along the outside of the wood and enter the wood if possible.

 

B and C Company's tanks crossed the Red line at 7:30am.

 

Two C company sections went either side of Sauvillers Wood and engaged the enemy therein. Some survived however and were dealt with by a reserve C Company tank which entered the Wood.

 

C company reached the green line at 8:45am, unbeknown to the tank commanders heavy fighting was still going on in the Bois de Sauvillers. The Company thus proceeded towards the Bois de St Ribert but then turned back to cover the infantries consolidation, at 9:30am six tanks were knocked out in quick succession apparently from a battery to the south of St Ribert.

 

Three tanks from C section 2GCC followed 9th Battalion into action and proceeded as far as the Bois de Arrachis (W2GC) (Four tanks according to 9th Battalions War Diary)

 

9394, f, Ditched a few minutes after leaving starting point. Hit twice and set afire.  2 Crewman killed. OIC and 2 Crewmen wounded.

 

McMaster Maps places Sauvillers Wood here: http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A4105/-/collection

 

Sauvillers WoodMorise 66eNW4 Sector I Sub-Sectors 26, 31, 32, 33

 

The men were found at 66e.I.26.d.5.2, however I have not yet named the woods on the map. This is well south of Moreuil and a considerable distance from the Mezieres Communal Cemetery Extension. The COG-BR suggests that the men were not recovered from that area until August 1920.

 

wk5wfjd7rtxp3e16g.jpg

 

Edited by laughton
added map link

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dgibson150

The wood immediately south of the site where the remains were found is Sauvillers Wood. Directly north of the site is Harpon Wood and St Ribert Wood is to the north east.

Various descriptions of the battle are available. There is one with a map in this one on page 209.   

 

The 9th battalion map of the battle shows knocked out tanks between Sauvillers and St Ribert Woods, as follows, in which the movements of C Company Tanks are shown in red and X signifies a knock out:

 

ccompany.jpg.83988b9033d1420a4752a5400263e814.jpg

 

It seems that one of these was #9394, but that doesn't really help much in identifying who the two casualties were.

 

David

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dgibson150

Laughton

 

Just to follow up on the date of the recovery of the bodies.

 

My grandfather, George Gibson was killed in this action. He was initially buried next to 2/Lt Max Hannan in La Faloise Cemetery and transferred to Roye in around 1924. My grandmother was in correspondence with Max Hannan's father who visited the battlefield in early 1920. In a letter he states:

 

"We were in the very wood in which the 9th Battalion were encamped for some months, we were in the wood the Bois de Rampont in which some of the battalion, and our son was one, received their last communion, we were in the wood the Bois de Fay near the village of Sourdon in which the battalion lay hid before the battle, and we were over the battlefield itself: How the tanks reached the place in which our boy was killed seems wonderful to me : In the battlefield itself we came across the graves of two soldiers of the Battalion in a shellhole."

 

Maybe these were the graves under investigation.

 

David

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laughton

Fantastic David! I bet it was them in the shell hole.

 

I thought their records might indicate the tank crews, as done for the aeroplanes. 

 

Richard

Edited by laughton
Name

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dgibson150

Richard

 

I am afraid there is no luxury of crew lists for this battle. The only real detail is a battle history sheet summary in the Brigade papers, which is where the tank serial number data in the google landships site comes from.

 

I have looked at the battle history sheet summary and it shows 6 tanks knocked out after 2 hours in action ie at 9.30 am, 2 hours after the start of phase 2. Four of these were C company, namely 9021,9434,9394 and 9339, the four in the above map, between Sauvillers and St Ribert Woods. From the officer casualties it is obvious that 9339 and 9434 were commanded by Captain Trafford and 2/Lt Hannan, although we don't know which is which. I found a French records for Hannan which showed that his body was not retrieved from the battlefield until 27 July by the "Group de Brancardiers Divisionnaires  3e Div D'infanterie", with a reference to No 73 du Carnet du Champ de Bataille K. Trafford's reference is to No 72 of the same document, but there was no date. The reason for such a delay was that the four C Company Tanks were in no man's land until at least  25 July, according to the French War Diaries. According to the War Diary of the 1st Tank Field Company, salvage work was still impossible on 27 July because the KO'd Tanks were either in no man's land or behind enemy lines. 9339 and 9434 were salvaged eventually, but I don't know when.

 

It seems that for some reason the two UNKNOWNS were initially missed by the French and, by the time they were found, the 9th Battalion had moved away from the area. Alternatively the UNKNOWNS may be on the Carnet but, as there was no identification, this did not result in any further documentation. I don't know if the Carnet still exists.

 

As to the names, I tried unsuccessfully to find service records for the soldiers named in your original post as on a memorial. The only information I have on them is:

 

Henry Richardson Tyman was a gunner in a B Company Tank commanded by 2/Lt Molloy and Harry Morris was a gunner in C Company. Not much to go on.

 

David

 

Edited by dgibson150

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Phil Wood

If the two men's names were to be uncovered - how would the CWGC decide which grave was whose?  How would they mark them?

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Sidearm

Laughton

Might I ask where one finds COG-BR forms please?

Thanks

Gwyn

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laughton
3 hours ago, Phil Wood said:

If the two men's names were to be uncovered - how would the CWGC decide which grave was whose?  How would they mark them?

Special Memorial C - Buried Near This Spot

then alphabetic by surname

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laughton
2 hours ago, Sidearm said:

Laughton

Might I ask where one finds COG-BR forms please?

Thanks

Gwyn

 

 

See this post that provides the details and links to how I uncovered the process:

 

 

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laughton

David:

 

You may not realize it, but that is a start of the process. You have now confirmed 2 of C Coy, one of which was an unknown (Morris) and eliminated one (Tyman). That drops us from 100% uncertainty to 85%, so that is better than no news.

 

Others may have other records, historical or family, that can narrow it down further.

 

Bravo!

 

Richard 

 

 

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dgibson150

Richard

 

I obviously need a course in positive thinking!

 

You are right though that the answer probably lies in family records. There are so many inconsistencies in the official records.

 

David

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Sidearm
On ‎23‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 20:24, laughton said:

 

 

See this post that provides the details and links to how I uncovered the process:

 

 

Thank you very much.  I have to say I am very impressed by what you're doing and wish you every success.

 

Gwyn

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laughton

Following up on this an looking for more clues.

 

The totals do add up between the references. For 23 July 1918 there were 3 Officers and 23 Other Ranks killed (17 reported killed on the list and 6 were MIA and so never found).

 

One of the Officers was not an O.I.C. as only two (2) KIA - confusions as to rank of Hannan and Rutherford in references.

Would Cyclists be logical candidates for drivers?

Can't have more than one driver in a tank, so these ones can not combine.

COG-BR from Roye New British Cemetery, exhumed for La Faloise French Military Cemetery 66E.M.22.d.95.40

Lewis is in 4.F.14 and Tabor is in 4.F.15 from Ferme d'Ereuse French Military Cemetery 66F(?).L.22.d.6.6 - Headstone Schedule says different than COG-BR so which is correct?

The cemetery Plan shows that Plot IV Row F only has 5 Graves, so the COG-BR is wrong - Roye has a lot of errors as reported elsewhere!

 

COG-BR 2326801

COG-BR 2326802

COG-BR 2326803

 

surname forename initials death rank # cemeterymemorial HD SCHD COG-BR Coy ? Exclude additionalinformation
GRINDLAY ROBERT R 23-07-18 Private '75812' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         formerly 2097, Royal Scots
HUNT HENRY WALTER H W 23-07-18 Private '91385' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         formerly 5074 Durham Light Infantry
MORRIS HARRY H 23-07-18 Private '91948' SOISSONS MEMORIAL     C   formerly 31940, 19th Welsh Regiment, gunner in "C" Coy (David)
OATES ROBERT LEWIS R L 23-07-18 Private '92261' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         formerly 37889 York and Lancashire Regiment
SCARLETT EDWARD HAROLD E H 23-07-18 Private '91240' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         probably driver, previously 230932 R.A.S.C.
TYMAN HENRY R. H R 23-07-18 Private '91933' SOISSONS MEMORIAL     B X 1st Gunner in tank driven by Tabor  and commanded by Molloy, assumed battlefield burial
WARRINGTON FREDERICK CHARLES F C 23-07-18 Private '78978' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         probably driver, previously 232046 R.A.S.C.
WARD RAYMOND JOSEPH R J 23-07-18 Lance Corporal '78033' NAMPS-AU-VAL BRITISH CEMETERY II. D. 7.     X formerly 11788 Army Cyclist Corps (died of wounds so not on battlefield)
DAVIES THOMAS T 23-07-18 Private '91918' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 14.     X formery 18371 Durham Light Infantry
GIBSON GEORGE G 23-07-18 Private '306070' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 10.     X formerly 953 Royal Engineers
HANNAN JAMES MAXWELL ADAIR J M A 23-07-18 Second Lieutenant   ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 12.     X in either 9434 or 9339 - link says he is Captain, reversed to 2nd Lieutenant per David
LEWIS CHARLES C 23-07-18 Private '110363' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY IV. F. 4. IV.F.14 B X believed to be with Molloy, Tabor and Tyman in tank 9049 in "B" Coy (160726 Royal Field Artillery)
RUTHERFORD MARK M 23-07-18 Captain   ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 11.     X 2nd Lieutenant, Acting or Temporary Captain, would be an OIC of one of tanks
SHELFORD HENRY JOHN H J 23-07-18 Corporal '91574' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 15.     X formerly 13308 Bedfordshire Regiment
STEWART JAMES BAKER J B 23-07-18 Private '91925' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 8.     X formerly 27419 Durham Light Infantry
TABOR ALFRED JAMES A J 23-07-18 Private '92958' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY IV. F. 5. IV.F.15 B X driver wth Molloy and Tyman - hands and feet blow away, died next day (3843 Cambridgeshire)
TOPLISS ERNEST EDWARD E E 23-07-18 Private '78040' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY IV. F. 2. IV.F.12   X formerly 12040 Army Cyclist Corps
WILSON WILLIAM W 23-07-18 Lance Corporal '78047' ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III. F. 9.     X formerly 16503 18th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
BREWSTER JOSEPH GEORGE CHARLES J G C 23-07-18 Private '308495' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         formerly 8355 London Regiment
BROWN EVAN JACK E J 23-07-18 Lance Corporal '91390' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         formerly 2989 Gloucestershire Regiment
BUCHANAN JOHN A. J A 23-07-18 Private '95072' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         shows as "Buchnan" formerly 25967 Royal Scots Fusiliers
DUNCAN JOHN J 23-07-18 Private '78559' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         formerly 78559 Royal Army Ordnance Corps (possible driver ?)
FORSTER THOMAS T 23-07-18 Private '91934' SOISSONS MEMORIAL         formerly 28057 Durham Light Infantry
COTTON THOMAS T 23-07-18 Private '78116' SOISSONS MEMORIAL Addenda Panel.     formerly 21509 Royal Warwickshire Regiment
BLACKWELL ARTHUR A 23-07-18 Private '201609' POZIERES MEMORIAL Panel 94.       formerly 69007 Machine Gun Corps (so not a driver)
Missing on the list above:                      
TRAFFORD   G T 23-07-18 Captain   ROYE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY III.F.13   C X

1st Life Guards, attached 9th Bn. Tank Corps, in either 9434 or 933

 

                     
Edited by laughton
missed links on Morris to "C" Coy

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dgibson150

Sorry Laughton you have lost me. I'll need some time to get up to speed on this again.

 

The three officers killed in action were as follows:

 

2/Lt J M A Hannan, a tank commander

A/Captain G TTrafford, a section leader and probably in command of a tank

Captain Rutherford, a section leader.

 

The Preliminary Battalion report does not take account of Rutherford because his body was not found until the day after the battle.

 

Does this answer your query re officers?

 

Not sure where drivers become important or why there is a problem with Lewis and Tabor.

 

David

 

 

 

Edited by dgibson150

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laughton

Thanks David! Just trying to assemble information, looking for clues. For example, checking the records where it was reported that most drivers came from the "Army Service Corps". That leads me to question whether there would be 2 drivers in one tank, which if not, then the two UNKNOWNS in Mezieres would not both be drivers. That would mean that if one of the UNKNOWNS turned out to be Private Scarlett, then the other one would be unlikely to be Private Warrington. I am thinking that Privates Ward, Topliss and Duncan are logical candidates for drivers as well.

 

I had presumed Rutherford was commanding one of the tanks, so that is my error. The SDGW link says he was a Second Lieutenant in capacity of a Temporary or Acting Captain - it is not clear by the way the text is formatted. For Hanan, your post in the earlier topic has him as a Captain and the CWGC has him as a Second Lieutenant. His SDGW page has "2 Lt. (T)". I assume that means "Temporary"?

 

My note about Lewis and Tabor is that the grave references on the COG-BR documents did not match the CWGC record. I then took a look at the schematic of the cemetery and saw that Section IV.F only has 5 graves so the references to 12, 14 and 15 were errors. The Roye cemetery records have more errors than any other cemetery I have researched. I made note of that so the next person looking into the case doesn't need to repeat that step. That "next person" could also be me looking at this again in 6 months if something else surfaced. Quite often I have found a missing clue appears months after first looking at the case. There are a number where there were two candidates and later one of the two was found elsewhere, thus solving both cases.

 

I had missed putting in the link that you previously had showing that Private Morris was a gunner with "C" Coy. I have added that to the table above.

 

Some of the links I inserted for the SDGW appear to change and point to someone else later. I have not resolved that problem yet. I was looking at these to see if there were any references to those that were "killed in action" versus "died of wounds". Any that were DOW were not the two men recovered and buried in Mezieres. I was also looking to see if there were any groups that may have moved together - such as the 4 men that came from the Durham Light Infantry.

 

As best as I can tell to date, the war diary for the 9th Tank Battalion is not on the Ance$try system. If it is, I have not been able to find it. Is it possible that there are earlier references as to what crews were with each tank? We usually find that in the Part II Daily Orders in the Canadian system, but once again I am not trained in the British archives system.

 

I am checking on the text references, which for my records are here:

Second Lieutenant C. Mecredy, Section Commander at bottom of page 285 of "The Tank Corps". Also mentions Captain Dalton.

Edited by laughton

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dgibson150

Richard

 

I think the officers are fairly clear. Apologies for my calling Hannan a captain in the post of mine that you highlighted. I was wrong.

 

The casualty figures for other ranks are difficult to track down specifically.

 

If one aggregates the casualty figures for each tank in the google landships site this gives initial figures of 2 officers killed, 16 other ranks killed and 8 missing. This was revised in the Battalion War History to totals of  3 officers killed, 19 OR killed and 3 OR missing. We have little idea about where the adjustments were made to come to the final numbers. The Battalion War History lists the 23/7 casualties by name, coming to a total for OR of 15, significantly below the twenty plus above and very unreliable.

 

CWGC shows 24 OR fatalities versus your 23. The one difference is C E Farrin #91207 who is buried in Moreuil. He is not designated as 9th Bn on the CWGC database but he is given a death date of 23/7 and the medal rolls indicate 9th Bn. Farrin was originally buried in 66E I 20 as were three other unknown soldiers. I 20  is quite a big area but is consistent with casualties in "B" Company's attack on Harpon Wood. It may be that the 3 unknowns were also 9th Bn Tank Corps.

 

I can understand the logic re drivers etc but I would be very surprised if a tank went into action with just one driver. The Tank Corps seemed to be good at contingency planning. I have heard the term 1st Driver which by definition indicates that there was more than one.

 

Another point about function of soldier that has come up since we last corresponded is that the rank Gunner is a hangover from the Machine Gun Corps and is not indicative of whether or not the soldier was a gunner or a driver. I will look for the relevant thread.

 

David

 

 

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dgibson150

Richard

The reference to Gunner referred to in my last post is towards the end of this tread

 

David

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laughton

I will come back tomorrow morning with a clearer head and look at my numbers but now I have 25 dead if the MIA are also KIA. Big snow storm underway here, so it may be delayed, as my daughter at the horse farm is a "Slave Driver" when she needs my plow!

 

I based this on the numbers given for the tanks. This would go to 26 with the addition of Private Farrin. I did assume the MIA were KIA. Thanks for letting me know about that man! It did not show up on the battalion search and so we need to let CWGC know to update his page - but we need the confirmation to send them.

 

So now I am out by 1 as I only have 25 from the Tank Count, bu I may have missed one.

 

Tank Company OR KIA KIA MIA TOTAL
9406 B 1   1
9064 B 2 3 5
9049 A/B 1   1
9347 A/B 1   1
9321 A/B 0 1 1
9394 C 2   2
9073 C 1   1
9021 C 2   2
9025 B 0 2 2
9434 C + OIC 2   2
9337 C 1   1
9339 C + OIC 2   2
9408 C 4   4
Total   19 6 25

 

 

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dgibson150

Richard

I have already managed to get CWGC to amend other unit descriptions. With regard to Farrin, the only evidence to support 9th Battalion is the death date and the Medal Rolls. Is that enough? If so I can put in an amendment form and see what they say.

 

Interestingly, of the three tanks knocked out in the final phase when B Company attacked Harpon Wood with the French 51st Infantry Regiment the only tank finishing in 66E I.20 was Dalton's tank, which I estimate to have been KO'd in I 20.d. Molloy's tank was I think (from the war history map of the battle) knocked out in I 26.b. The other KO was at I 19.d, again based on the War History map.

 

David

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laughton

Can't find a document for Farrin with his battalion. The CWGC would insist on that as evidence - anything.

 

As for this case, I think it is closed (on my part) until I find the 9th Battalion War Diary. I want to go back through the complete diary to look for any reference to the men that may have been assigned to the unit.

 

The other option is some sort of PUBLIC NOTICE in the UK to see if any of the families of the men that were lost have any information. For example, in my case, I have the Platoon Records of my Grandfather Laughton in the 26th Northumberland Fusiliers for the 9 April 1917 era. I checked all of them and reported the results on that web page. If someone was looking for that information, I might be the only person that holds those records. Someone, somewhere, may hold the same information for the 9th Tank Battalion.

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dgibson150

Richard

 

The medal roll for Farrin is here.

 

The war diaries and history do not include any crew lists or, indeed, much on ordinary ranks. Officers can be traced through quite well, but OR, except where they are tank commanders, no. You are right that the only way forward is to find out information from the families of the casualties. 

 

David

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