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laughton

Unknown Irish Guard, Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery

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laughton

There is an UNKNOWN IRISH GUARD in Plot 7 Row H Grave 12 of the Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery, with a service number of the format 5367 or 6367, as so noted on the COG-BR.

 

The person above him, also listed there as an UNKNOWN #12003 has been identified as Private F. Tobin. That gives us the date of late November or early December 1917, at  the time of the German counterattack. The unknown would thus be on the Cambrai Memorial, Louveral.

 

The only number that is similar to that report belongs to Lance Corporal Terence Byrne #6376, who was killed the day before Tobin. Unfortunate that they did not report the battalion or rank, as we normally use multiple indicators for a CWGC submission. There is a good chance this is the man but I doubt the CWGC would take that as a solid case. However, if I was family, I would go visit that grave.

 

To the best of my knowledge, there are no casualty records with the numbers 5367 or 6367. Can someone check to see if the persons with those numbers survived?

 

surname initials death rank unit #
O'BRIEN P 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10048'
O'NEILL T 03-12-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10063'
O'CONNOR J C 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '10164'
O'DEA T 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '10251'
EARLY J J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10355'
HOGAN W 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10398'
MAGEE J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10545'
SMYTH P 01-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '10655'
BOULTON P 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10658'
DUNLEAVY P 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10664'
PLUNKETT H 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10860'
BURKE J 30-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '10878'
HUTTON J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10886'
McENERY T D 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '10922'
McNALLY W J 26-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '10967'
ROWE M 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '11050'
HEALEY F 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '11093'
McDONNELL L J 30-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '11245'
NEALON P J 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '11350'
McCOY A 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '11436'
MESCAL M S 01-12-17 Lance Corporal 1st Bn. '11452'
KEAVENY P 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '11495'
McANANY J 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '11649'
CHAPMAN W 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '11680'
GALLAGHER J 30-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '11770'
WATT H 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '11772'
CORHILL R H 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '11817'
COX F E 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '11845'
BAILEY H C 30-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '11865'
ROYLE A 27-11-17 Private "B" Coy. 2nd Bn. '11884'
McCONNIFF T 05-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '11972'
CONNOLLY P 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '11974'
MURPHY M J 01-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '12005'
WELLWOOD S 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '12044'
HEENAN M 01-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '12055'
TALBOT W 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '12059'
KING J 01-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '12075'
LAMBERT T 01-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '12096'
RYAN J 26-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '12129'
DIAMOND J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '12139'
CLARKE P 01-12-17 Lance Corporal 1st Bn. '1813'
LEITCH W 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '1909'
KERR T 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '2323'
HEANEY E 30-11-17 Serjeant 1st Bn. '2438'
CULLEN J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '2670'
KENIRY J 27-11-17 Serjeant 2nd Bn. '2746'
HOARE J 05-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '3544'
CAWLEY J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '3659'
SPRING H 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '3672'
TOWLAND E 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '3861'
MURTAGH W 30-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '4411'
HAWE M 27-11-17 Serjeant No. 1 Coy. 2nd Bn. '4730'
CHISM P 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '4800'
ARDICK D 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '4942'
KEARNEY P 30-11-17 Serjeant 1st Bn. '4957'
ROANE J 30-11-17 Lance Corporal 1st Bn. '5159'
BELL P 05-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '5195'
ENGLISH T F 30-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '5618'
GUINAN J 30-11-17 Lance Corporal 1st Bn. '5685'
McGUIRE H 01-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '5891'
POTTER C 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '5941'
DUFFY T 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '5965'
EVANS J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '6031'
CARR E H 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '6098'
O'BRIEN W 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '6229'
QUINN P J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '6232'
BYRNE T 30-11-17 Lance Corporal 1st Bn. '6376'
MATTHEWS H 30-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '6392'
EGAN T 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '6399'
NOLAN P 27-11-17 Serjeant 2nd Bn. '6484'
KEATING J 05-12-17 Lance Corporal 1st Bn. '6505'
RYAN M 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '6652'
SHINE P 27-11-17 Corporal 2nd Bn. '6792'
WREN E 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '6797'
MATEAR H 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '6939'
FITZPATRICK P 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '7146'
LEAHY D 27-11-17 Lance Serjeant 2nd Bn. '7425'
EGAN W C 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '7462'
KIRWAN W 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '7661'
BLEAKLEY J F 27-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '7673'
SHARKEY E 27-11-17 Lance Corporal 2nd Bn. '7764'
DEVINEY W 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '7824'
McCORMACK T 30-11-17 Private 1st Bn. '8125'
HUGHES W 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '8445'
HEYDON A J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '8453'
CLARKE M 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '8473'
KELLY M 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '8905'
BRANSFIELD R 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '8918'
CORR S 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '9079'
SULLIVAN J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '9111'
O'MALLEY P 05-12-17 Lance Serjeant 1st Bn. '9174'
BRADY M 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '9219'
WATSON W 27-11-17 Lance Serjeant 2nd Bn. '9256'
SAICH C M 27-11-17 Lance Serjeant No. 4 Coy. 2nd Bn. '9316'
GALLAGHER J 01-12-17 Private 1st Bn. '9595'
WALLACE M J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '9757'
BANNON J 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '9809'
McDAID W 27-11-17 Private 2nd Bn. '9810'

 

doc2004953.JPG

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sassenach

Is not the correct terminology "Guardsman" rather than "Guard?"

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sassenach

If the BBC are using it I'm even more certain it's wrong!

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voltaire60

   Interesting.    I agree that  Byrne seems the likeliest but can see why CWGC may not be that keen.  The only certainty seems to be that he was a casualty of the Irish Guards, which narrows it somewhat.. A few speculations:

 

   1) Tobin and Phelan are identified. Tobin was identified at some time between the first GR report of 12th August 1919 and that on CWGC of 19th August 1920. These men are either side of X.  But both  were killed on 1st December 1917, which suggests that X was killed the same day.

 

2) Phelan and X have the same burial location, suggesting that both were killed and buried together- against the original GR report of 12 August 1919.

 

3) We cannot be absolutely sure  the service number of  X is a  4 figure number- there is a suspicion that it might have been a 5 figure number on the earlier GR report of  12 August 1919.

 

4) The numbers that are common  to the report and that of a missing man are the second digit "3"  and the fourth digit "7".  Which would not nail it as Byrne as the last digit does not match on the 4-figure number.

 

5)  Ergo, the last digit as "7" is not reliable. If it cannot be a "7" against any known casualty of the Irish Guards during that turn in the trenches, then what is it?

 

6)  Given, the similarity of the first 2 digits of "5367" and the obvious confusion with the third digit being a number that has a "round" bit in it, then I would venture to suggest that there is  a good chance that  the casualty may be:

    

          5891   Private Hugh Maguire    , died 1st December 1917.

 

    

        More work on  the sections or companies in which these men served  may  narrow the odds still further. It is the more likely that the casualty was in the same section or platoon as Phelan. Would anyone know the section/platoon/company designations of these men?  Or whether  the 2 RU reports mentioned on the GRU sheets still exist-?

    

Edited by voltaire60

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laughton

Just to be sure, I checked the other memorials on the Somme as well - nothing. I then looked at all the Irish Guards on the Cambrai Memorial, no matter how many digits (as done previously). I did this after another case revealed that the 4th Regiment South Africa Infantry had their unknowns from Cambrai were on Thiepval. That raised a red flag for any related cases.

 

I see Lance Corporal Terrence Byrne #6376 as the only candidate. Mixing up of numbers was a common error of the GRU. It is also a common fault of mine! :huh:

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voltaire60
5 hours ago, laughton said:

Mixing up of numbers was a common error of the GRU.

 

     Granted.  But 4 times over-  the last 2 numbers transposed 4 times over on 2 reports?    6 and 7 are hard to confuse.   

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laughton

It is a simple transposition of two numbers from 6367 to 6376.

 

Even if that was the case, a second clue would be needed. The only supporting fact is that both Tobin and Byrne were 1st Battalion and found at the same grid coordinates, as was Phelan in the next grave. They are the only two identified Irish Guards in the cemetery. I don't know if it is possible to find out if they were in the same company.

 

The only other reference to an Irish Guard in this cemetery is on the cancelled GRRF 2761957, KIA 1 December 1917. That was intended for Memorial Row Cross 26. I assume that is the same situation as in other cases when the Memorial Cross was cancelled once it was decided to have the Cambrai Memorial. In another version of that document GRRF 2761975, he was to have had Memorial Cross 27, then was struck out.

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voltaire60

  Then Good Luck with CWGC!

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laughton

No such plans with this information.

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