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Unknown Officer 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers, Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery


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This one is a bit of a puzzle concerning the CWGC web site as it is a puzzle about the identification. I would appreciated if someone else could search the CWGC site to see if they get the same results - maybe I am missing something?

 

This UNKNOWN BRITISH OFFICER of the 12/13th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers is reported in Plot 5 Row E Grave 2 of the GOuzeaucourt New British Cemetery. The files are as follows:

 

COG-BR 2004912

GRRF 2761908

HD SCHD 2662734

 

By the time he gets to the Headstone Schedule, he is no longer reported as 12/13th Northumberland Fusilier. It would appear reasonable that there must have been clear markings to identify him as a member of the August 1917 amalgamated battalion. He was found at 57c.W.18.c.9.3, which places him just south of Chapel Hill, about 2,000 yards southwest of Gauche Wood. That suggests late November or early December 1917, however there are no such casualties recorded. For the notes, I place him in Gough's 5th Army, 62nd Brigade, 21st Division.

 

If I run a CWGC search for the "12/13th Bn." + "Northumberland Fusiliers" (no other search terms) I get only 7 candidates, of which 6 are in France and all 6 are in 1918. There are no Unknown Officers.

 

Next, if I run a search for the Pozieres Memorial, where the two unknown Privates were found in the search above, I find 336 unknowns of the Northumberland Fusiliers, with more than 70 of those listed as being of the 12/13th Battalion. The two Privates from the first search (Trotter & Ingle) are on that list, but none of the others showed up on the first search. To me that suggests a flaw in the CWGC system, unless I did something I can not resolve. An independent test appears to be needed!

 

There are no men of the Northumberland Fusiliers listed on the Cambrai Memorial by way of a CWGC search.

 

I separated out all the Unknown Officers of the Northumberland Fusiliers on the Pozieres Memorial and found the ones listed below, showing Captain and 5 Second Lieutenants:

 

surname forename initials death rank unit
DEEMING FRANK TETLOW F T 21-03-18 Captain 12th Bn.
FAWCUS WALTER W 25-03-18 Captain 19th Bn.
GLEDSTONE HERBERT REGINALD H R 25-05-18 Captain  
LEASK JAMES CUNLIFFE J C 30-03-18 Captain 5th Bn.
LEVIN CHARLES NORTON C N 21-03-18 Captain 21st (Tyneside Scottish) Bn.
LOCKIE JAMES J 22-03-18 Captain 12th/13th Bn.
DICKINSON ARTHUR FROWDE A F 22-03-18 Lieutenant 14th Bn.
LUND TOM CLOUGH T C 23-03-18 Lieutenant 1st/4th Bn.
CHEVREAU LOUIS RAYMOND De MONTLEHU L R De M 22-03-18 Second Lieutenant 16th Bn. attd. 1st/4th Bn.
ELLIOTT JOHN WILLIAM J W 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant 12th/13th Bn.
HALL THOMAS T 27-03-18 Second Lieutenant 1st/6th Bn.
HAMILTON JOHN J 23-03-18 Second Lieutenant 4th Bn. attd. 6th Bn.
MARKHAM WALTER HENRY JAMES W H J 27-03-18 Second Lieutenant 1st/5th Bn.
MARSH WILLIAM BERNARD W B 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant 12th Bn.
MUSTARD ROBERT WILLIAM R W 31-03-18 Second Lieutenant 12th/13th Bn.
NETTLESHIP THOMAS T 22-03-18 Second Lieutenant 1st/5th Bn.
RAMSEY CHARLES OWEN C O 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant 12th/13th Bn.
RICHARDSON THOMAS WILLIAM TAYLOR T W T 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant 12th/13th Bn.
RIDLEY THOMAS T 23-03-18 Second Lieutenant 12th/13th Bn.
RUDDOCK   R B 06-04-18 Second Lieutenant 5th Bn.
THOMPSON MATTHEW ARNOLD M A 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant 3rd Bn. attd. 12th Bn.
TIBBS THOMAS T 22-03-18 Second Lieutenant 1st/4th Bn.

 

If these are the only candidates, then they must have been killed in the battle of St. Quentin, 21-23 March 1918, well to the south of Cambrai and mid-way to Chapel Hill to the west.

 

It is perhaps for this reason that the GRU dropped the unit affiliation. That seems odd given that they also identified the amalgamated battalion. I did check the CWGC site to see if there were any other "12/13th Bn." listings and none existed other than the 7 men from the first search.

 

I could not find any direct evidence that the 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers were at Chapel Hill, or anywhere near that area in 1917 or 1918.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This topic is now influenced by the other topic of the UNKNOWN CAPTAIN of the Northumberland Fusiliers, detailed here:

 

Captain, Northumberland Fusiliers: Villers Hill British Cemetery 7.D.3


I will need to also link that topic back to this one, as here we have a direct reference to the 12th/13th Battalion, which we can now couple with the other topic where we have direct evidence of the 12th/13th Battalion in this specific area. We reported there that the unknown Captain was found at 57c.X.19.a.2.6, in the same sector as Private Pease (KIA 21 March 1918) of the 12th/13th Battalion. The Captain and Private were found in Sector 57c.X.19 which is the immediate sector to the southeast of where this NF Officer was recovered at 57c.W.18.c.9.3. The two bodies of the NF OFFICERS were recovered less than 500 yards from each other.

 

7wzzr9eyrin6rnk6g.jpg

 

What we now know in this case is that the Officer was definitely 12th/13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (marked on COG-BR etc.) and that the 12th/13th was in this specific area in March of 1918. The short list of all the candidates can be reduced to:

 

surname forename death rank
LOCKIE JAMES 22-03-18 Captain
ELLIOTT JOHN WILLIAM 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant
MUSTARD ROBERT WILLIAM 31-03-18 Second Lieutenant
RAMSEY CHARLES OWEN 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant
RICHARDSON THOMAS WILLIAM TAYLOR 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant
RIDLEY THOMAS 23-03-18 Second Lieutenant

 

If, as it now appears, Captain Lockie is the candidate in Villers Hill British Cemetery, then he is off this list and this Officer is a Second Lieutenant. There is nothing else on the COG-BR that would tell us which one of the five was recovered and buried in Plot 5 Row E Grave 2.

 

The importance of this topic now becomes that it proves that the 12th/13th Northumberland Fusiliers were in this area in March of 1918. We already know that they did not exist prior to 10 August 1917

 

doc2004912.JPG

 

These are all the Officers of the 12th/13th KIA or DOW in the year after the amalgamation:

 

surname forename death rank cemeterymemorial reference location
COY J C 27-09-18 Captain GOUZEAUCOURT NEW BRITISH CEMETERY II. A. 15. 15 km SW Cambrai
LOCKIE JAMES 22-03-18 Captain POZIERES MEMORIAL Panel 16 to 18. 21 Mar-7 Aug 1918
HUTCHINSON WILLIAM STANHOPE 08-09-18 Captain VARENNES MILITARY CEMETERY IV. A. 70. 18 km NW Amiens
FRANCE WILLIAM 08-10-18 Second Lieutenant BOIS-DES-ANGLES BRITISH CEMETERY I. A. 49. 16 km S Cambrai
ELLIOTT JOHN WILLIAM 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant POZIERES MEMORIAL Panel 16 to 18. 21 Mar-7 Aug 1918
RAMSEY CHARLES OWEN 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant POZIERES MEMORIAL Panel 16 to 18. "
RICHARDSON THOMAS WILLIAM TAYLOR 21-03-18 Second Lieutenant POZIERES MEMORIAL Panel 16 to 18. "
RIDLEY THOMAS 23-03-18 Second Lieutenant POZIERES MEMORIAL Panel 16 to 18. "
MUSTARD ROBERT WILLIAM 31-03-18 Second Lieutenant POZIERES MEMORIAL Panel 16 to 18. "
ROBINSON WILLIAM 22-08-18 Second Lieutenant QUEENS CEMETERY, BUCQUOY II. H. 4. 15 km SE Arras
DAVIES ALUN EDWARDS 28-05-18 Second Lieutenant SOISSONS MEMORIAL   100 km NE Paris
COLLINS ALEXANDER KIRKPATRICK 29-05-18 Second Lieutenant SOISSONS MEMORIAL   "
THOMPSON JAMES WILLIAM 08-08-18 Second Lieutenant ST. SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN Officers, B. 2. 38. Hospital Centre
ROBINSON JOHN HUNTER 17-09-18 Second Lieutenant ST. SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN Officers, C. 8. 2. Hospital Centre
GIBBON FREDERIC 08-10-18 Second Lieutenant VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL Panel 3. 8 Aug 18 - Armistice
GREENWELL JOHN 24-10-18 Second Lieutenant VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL Panel 3. "
TUNNELL OLIVER 24-10-18 Second Lieutenant VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL Panel 3. "
WATSON BENJAMIN ALEXANDER 24-10-18 Second Lieutenant VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL Panel 3. "
Edited by laughton
added table
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You need to search for 12th/13th Bn. not 12/13th Bn the results are different.

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Thank you and correct! I had used both sets of terms and did not notice. When I saw that, I was going to add Captain Brownlow to the list, then I noticed he was "attached" and so did not. I presume he would still be wearing 2nd Battalion markings?

 

I have asked CWGC to correct the records.

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  • 3 months later...

I have put the two related Northumberland Fusilier cases into a separate category on my master list, where I added this comment:

 

Quote

These two are linked investigations as Northumberland Fusilier Officers. If the Unknown Captain is Lockie, then the Unknown Officer is a one of five (5) Second Lieutenants and the case for the Unknown Officer cannot be resolved:

  1. http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/topic/254728-captain-northumberland-fusiliers-villers-hill-british-cemetery-7d3/
  2. http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/topic/254383-unknown-officer-1213th-northumberland-fusiliers-gouzeaucourt-new-british-cemetery/b

 

To continue with these cases, I now need to check all the other NKG Northumberland Fusilier Captains, as it is only a presumption at this date that Lockie is the preferred candidate based on the other 112th/13th men found in the same cemetery.

 

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  • 9 months later...

We must also include Officers that were listed as either 12th or 13th and not as 12th/13th as we know from the other case that the CWGC used multiple affiliations.

 

On 23/02/2018 at 12:09, laughton said:

We thus have the following remaining on the list of candidates, which renders this case "closed" unless we can find additional information:

  1. LOCKIE, JAMES 22-03-18 12th/13th Bn. POZIERES MEMORIAL (attached 2nd Bn Lincolnshire Regiment - missed that at first!)
  2. DEEMING, FRANK TETLOW 21-03-18 12th Bn. (must be 12th/13th Bn.) POZIERES MEMORIAL

 

Captain Deeming was listed as 12th Battalion. Here is the list of Captain's of the Northumberland Fusiliers on the CWGC List. From this information, we would also need to add Captain Gledstone, as he was attached to the 4th Bn Bedfordshire Regiment from the Northumberland Fusiliers but I don't know what NF unit. He came up from a Private in the 18th Bn Royal Fusiliers #1526 (MIC record).

 

There are no NF Majors on the Pozieres Memorial. Neither of the two (2) Lieutenants were 12th/13th Bn (CWGC Link).

 

To the Second Lieutenant List above we now need to add those that were listed as 12th or 13th and not as 12th/13th:

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