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Remembered Today:

4th North Staffordshire Reg in 1918


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Hi all 

 

I'm trying to research more about a 'forgotten soldier' James Joseph McLynn from Stoke on Trent, who was KIA on 1st October 1918.

 

There are two sides to the research - the personal side of McLynn and his life and where his medals may be but also the final movements of his war.

 

From the war diary entries on Ancestry I've worked out where the may have been, and his was killed in an attack on a German pillbox they'd just taken. 

 

What id like to be able to do is find out if any one knows about the other 8 men who died alongside him - and exactly where he was - as we are going out there in September.

 

I wrote this up:

 

The 4th Btn North Stafford Regiment left Southampton for France on the 6th October, docking in Le Harve the next day.

 

At the end of September 1918 he and the rest of the A Company were fighting near the village of Zandvoorde in Belgium. An attack on the Germans on the 29th September was a success, though in one day of fighting, almost 200 of James' fellow soldiers were killed.  

 

Following days of heavy fighting, relieved to have made advances on the German lines, the A Coy took shelter in one of the German 'pill box' bunkers they had secured the day before. It was the early hours of the morning on 1st October when they were heavily shelled. One hit to their shelter killed eight soldiers, one of which was James Joseph McLynn.

 

James was killed in action, alongside,  fellow Hanley man, Edward Barnett, Joseph Scally from Newcastle under Lyme, George Stubbs from Betley and Willaim Tudor from Tunstall. John Wilkins, Isaace Fred Wilson, Richard Woods and Thomas Smee were the others' killed that night.

 

 

any info or corrections very welcome!! 

 

SArah 

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Sarah

 

Welcome to the Forum !

Landed Le Havre 7 October 1917. 4 Battalion NSR joined 167 Infantry Brigade of 56 Division in October 1917.

You seem to have found James' service record on Ancestry UK so will know that he attested for the Army on 23 Oct 1915 aged 19 years and 1 month. Posted to 11 Battalion on Home Service on 26 Oct. Moved to 4 Battalion on 6 Oct 1917 for overseas service.

Regular promotions up to Sergeant on 8 May 1918.

He and all the soldiers you mention are listed with their service numbers on Soldiers Died in the Great War.

He has no known grave and is remembered on Tyne Cot Memorial with his comrades you list.

There may be a map reference in War Diary pages which I will try to find to locate a more precise place for the pillbox.

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There is a Brigade HQ Diary on Ancestry UK. By the time of Oct 1918 the Battalion had joined 105 Infantry Brigade of 35 Division, and the Diary 2486/3 on Ancestry has a map for the end of Sep 1918 which is quite small for poring over, also the Brigade hadn't achieved it's forward movement and thus I could see no detail on the pillboxes. In fact there is little narrative on the pillbox incident so not much use, though there is a general map reference for the areas they planned to attack and reference to a line they wished to capture and hold "Zandvoorde to Tenbrielen" with a town called Wervicq showing signs of German resistance and which they were to capture. So somewhere in all this you may get a more specific area for your visit later.

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Thank you for this so far, it's a great help to get people's views on what they would have been doing. I've visited the regimental museum recently as well and was told the following (with ref to the map you mention)

 

"Their objectives were the Triangular Bluff and Buffs Bank.

Unfortunately, the map does not show where they attacked on the 29th.  However, square 36 shows Klein Zillebeke.

They would have passed through here on their way to Zandvoorde for the  attack on the 29th September.

The attack appears to have been a success though they suffered around  170-190 casualties.

After the 29th September, the 4th NSR would have been concerned with  securing and consolidating the ground won."

 

 

 

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An alternative to finding a map of sufficient detail might be to consult the WDiaries of the other 2 Battalions of the Brigade who were involved in this process, sometimes you get a better lead from others in the same vicinity. I think it was 15 Sherwood Foresters and 15 Cheshires, with the latter being the forward unit and the former being paired with 4 NSR  for this period.

 

Later:

15 Cheshires have a map at frame 463 of 518 in their War Diary, Ancestry UK search ref 2487/1.

Edited by sotonmate
map news
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  • 3 weeks later...

I sent BBC Radio Stoke a couple of photos which I took of his existing grave in July. Sarah has just put them on their Facebook page. I think the new grave will be dedicated on 6 September and Radio Stoke are planning to broadcast it on site. Sounds good.  

Richard

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