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Unknown Captain, M.C. - Teall Cottage, Passchendaele New British Cemetery


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Once again looking for a Canadian Lieutenant and here is a British Lieutenant with a Military Cross in the same area. There are only three (3) at that time:

 

CWGC LINK

 

surname forename death regiment unit
MOORE WILLIAM ERNEST 14-11-17 Royal Field Artillery 86th Army Bde.
LORIMER JOHN SCOTT 05-11-17 Norfolk Regiment 1st Bn.
CUNDALL CECIL 30-11-17 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 2nd Bn.

 

He was exhumed north of Passchendaele at 20.V.30.b.2.4 so someone can probably determine who was (or was not) in that area in later October or early November 1917.

 

Note that he had the M.C. ribbon at the exhumation, so the award had to predate his death.

 

He is in grave 16.A.30 at the Passchendaele New British Cemetery:

 

doc1825042.JPG

 

This is the area on the trench map, same as where I am looking for my Canadian:

 

lb3dledajd3lto96g.jpg

Edited by laughton
clarified M.C. date
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From The Long, Long Trail looks like 1st Bn Norfolk Regt

Norfolk Regiment

1st Battalion
Part of 15th Brigade, 5th Division.

On 7 September 1917 the Division was relieved and moved out of the line for a period, being sent next to join the great offensive in Flanders

The Battle of Polygon Wood***
The Battle of Broodseinde***
The Battle of Poelcapelle***
The Second Battle of Passchendaele***
The battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battle of Ypres


Moved with Division to Italy in November 1917 but returned to France in April 1918.

 

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

 

2nd Battalion
24 December 1915 : transferred to 96th Brigade in 32nd Division.

1917
Operations on the Ancre
The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line
3 February 1918 : transferred to 109th Brigade in 36th (Ulster) Division.

 

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Capt John Scott Lorimer one of sixty 1 Bn Norfolk on Tyne Cot Memorial 5 Oct to 5 Nov 1917.

Attached 95 Trench Mortar Bty.

Edited by Jrmh
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Strangely, I found I had a file on this case from March 1916 - probably before I started looking at British soldiers in detail. I had come to the conclusion (or maybe just an idea then) that it had to be Captain Lorimer.  I had made a map and there was a letter that referred to him, perhaps sent to me by a CWF PAL? I was not sure but when I searched the name "shipscompass" it came back as a former GWF member by the name of "seadog". It appears that came from GWF Member "Old Owl"?

 

There is information posted on FLICKR that shows his death to have been elsewhere. I can not seem to get a link to post, it puts in the image, so here is the text:

Quote

The Death of Captain Lorimer MC 1917 OC 95th Trench Mortar Battery

From Wycliffe in the War (Note 1.0)

 

Capt Lorimer went to France with the 1st Battalion of the Rifles and after three months he received a commission in the Norfolk Regiment, later he became a Captain and the Officer Commanding the 95th Trench Mortar Battery (TMB) who were part of the 5th Division. Early in 1916 he won the MC (Military Cross) and in the autumn of 1917 he was killed in action. The following is an edited version of that event given by Corporal Goodlife DCM of the TMB.

 

“We were under orders to proceed to trenches for an attack we were to take part in on the morning of the 5th (November 1917). On the night of the 4th/5th (November 1917) all went well until we reached a place called Clapham Junction (Note 2.0) where we were meet with a heavy bombardment of gas shells. We continued our journey until we reached a place called the Tower (A pill-box in the shape of a tower) and by now we were in the most heavy bombardment and the Captain (Lorimer) gave orders for all to take shelter where they could, now the Captain and myself were in a shell hole. The shelling was too heavy to take the men any further so the Captain, Lt Edward, Pte Ballham and myself acting as guide being the only one to know the way.

 

It was not half-mile from the Tower but it took us a good hour and a half to get there through the heavy shelling and mud during the dead of night. We reached a place called Northampton Farm which was to be our headquarters for the next 24 hours and we settled down for a rest as the shelling was too heavy for us to go and get the men yet. It was during this time that the Captain was killed. We sat talking quite casually when a shell burst right against the pill box where he was killing him and wounding Pte Ballham badly and myself slightly, Lt Edwards and I did all we could but the Captain was killed instantly , so we got Pte Ballham away as he was very badly hit”.

 

An extract from a letter written by Captain Loriner to his Mother

“Although I should like a job at home, I feel my place is out here. I should hate to know that my pals were going over the top to win fresh glory, while I was sitting calmly at home. If all my ambition died, I should still fight for your darling sake, Mother”.

 

Captain Lorimer MC was just 24 years old when he died in the mud of Flanders

 

Notes

1.0 Wycliffe is a school located in Stonehouse Glos

2.0 Clapham Junction was a notorious spot on the Menin Road Ypres, Flanders and where now stands a monument to the Gloucestershire Regiment.

3.0 Captain Lorimer is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial as his body was not found or was buried as “Known Unto God” www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/833184/LORIMER,%20JOH...

 

All the above with thanks to “Old Owl” (Robert) of the Great War Forum

 

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Is there enough to present a case to the CWGC to have him named on the headstone?

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No, I do not think we are at that stage yet. Waiting to see who can place the regiments and has access to the war diaries.

 

If I even back it up 15 days to mid October, the list grows to 11 candidates:

 

CWGC Link

 

I am not sure who the original GWF PALS were that submitted the information.

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  • 2 months later...

Laughton,


A potential lead can be found in the link attached below. According to Michael LoCicero's PhD thesis, 'A Moonlight Massacre: The Night Operation on Passchendaele Ridge, 2nd December 1917', Captain Cecil Cundall MC was killed very near to Teall Cottage "unknowingly approaching the German-occupied post - thus alerting the British to its capture the previous morning - on the night of 30 November/1 December 1917." The circumstances are related in the War Diary of 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and seem to closely match the location in which the unknown Captain's remains were found.

 

The thesis is available online at: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/3188/2/LoCicero11PhD1.pdf and the reference to Captain Cundall is in footnote 371 on page 147.

 

I also note his MC was gazetted in the New Years Honours on 1 January 1917, so he should have been wearing the ribbon: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29886/supplement/32/data.pdf

 

Best wishes,

Alex

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I "bumped" the Unknown Captain with the Military Cross to the next review location (my list on GWF blog) based on the new information from Alex.

 

Captain Cundall

 

Teal Cottage is at 20.V.30.a.1.5 and the remains were recovered at 20.V.30.a.2.4, so even if those are exact, we are talking about a distance of less than 50 yards. It would appear that the remains were recovered in June 1920.

 

Page 147 of the thesis is page 159 of the document if anyone is reading. The 2nd Battalion war diary appears to skip from December 1915 to February 1918, when they transferred to the 36th (Ulster) Division. What happened to 1916 and 1917 while they were still in the 32nd Division?

 

Captain Lorimer

 

Clapham Junction is at 28.J.13.d.9.8 and the Northampton Farm is at 28.J.15.85.75, so well away from the area where the remains were recovered.

 

Captain Moore

 

I have yet to find the war diary for the 86th Army Brigade, Royal Field Artillery on Ance$try. At the UNKA it has WO 95/2067/3 ending December 1916. LLT tells us that "the brigade left the division to become an Army Brigade on 25 January 1917". 

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  • 1 month later...

Capt C Cundall

 

 

Edited by Jrmh
Self 'zapped'
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Thank you for that, however I expect management will "zap" that post as I believe it conflicts with the copyright rules.In the event that happens, those with a subscription can view the documents on Ance$try here: (Various Infantry Brigades, 32nd Division, Piece 2397)

 

page 95 of 102

 

page 96 of 102

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I should have noted, that although Captain Cundall most certainly is an ideal candidate, the CWGC would insist that we prove that it could not be any other Captain that was lost in Belgium that had a M.C. that predated his death. That means we would need to take the entire list and classify it by:

  1. Which Captains had their M.C. prior to their death and could thus be wearing the ribbon.
     
  2. Of those Captains, which were in the vicinity of Teall Cottage at 20.V.30.b.1.5?

My error on the early spelling as "Teal" and the location in V.30.a instead of V.30.b., which was a typo - it is less than 50 yards from where the remains were recovered.

 

If this was a Canadian Captain I could check them easily, as I have a spreadsheet with the locations  of all missing Officers and I know which units were in specific areas at specific times. My knowledge of the other Commonwealth Officers and Units is not at the same level. I have also to be wary of the fact that many men classed as "Unknown British" were in fact Canadian or ANZAC. They do here refer to "clothing", so for the moment the presumption is that he was truly a British Captain. The complete list for Belgium in the Great War is:

  • Tyne Cot Memorial
    • United Kingdom (66)
    • New Zealand (3)
  • Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
    • United Kingdom (22)
    • Australian (5)
    • Canadian (2) - now excluded as not in the area of Teall Cottage
      • A/Captain William Hugoe Morris PPCLI, 30 October 1917, jumping off trench west of Passchendaele (M.C. 14 November 1916 L.G. 29824)
      • T/Captain Edward Reginald Clayton 85th Bn, 30 October 1917, attack south of Passchendaele (M.C. 26 September 1917 L.G. 30308)

 

 

 

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thetrenchrat22

There is only 1 Captain from the Cheshire Regiment who is missing with the MC 

 

Captain Jack Lee, 1/6th Battalion was killed in Action on 31st July 1917.  

 

I will have a look tonight to see when he got it.  

 

I think that the award was for a Action before his death, but was actually gazetted after his death.

 

the 1/6th Cheshire’s were attacking St Julien, Ypres 

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