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Remembered Today:

Captain, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

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Their is an UNKNOWN CAPTAIN of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in Plot 6 Row E Grave 4 of the AEROPLANE CEMETERY, Ypres (B88). There are only five (5) unknown Captains in Belgium, two from 1914 and three from 1917:


surname forename death unit memorial


The remains were recovered at 28.D.13.a.2.4 (McMaster Map), which places him about 1,100 yards southeast of St. Julien, south  of the road from Langemarck to Zonnebeke. If he was one of the 1914 boys, then it is unlikely we can separate them as they are in the same battalion. If 1917, a better chance as all in different battalions.


Can someone place these battalions at these dates?


There is only one other of this regiment in this cemetery, Pte. J. Raw #36196, date of death 28 April 1918.


For these periods, 40 of the 46 lost in the first 2 weeks of November 1914 are on the Menin Gate Memorial, all in the 1st Battalion. The COG-BR for Overend and King suggest the battalion was to the 6,000 yards almost due south in sector 28.J.20 or 21 at that time.


There are 96 men of the 1st/4th Battalion lost from 25 July to 5 August 1917, of which 76 are on the memorials to the missing. I don't see any record of their being a pure "4th Battalion", so for now I have to assume he was "1st/4th Battalion". On the date of Capt. Harris's death, 5 of the men are in the Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, suggesting they died of wounds at a Field Ambulance. Another 4 are in the New Irish Farm Cemetery (28.C.21.c.2.2) with exhumations fro the C.18.d sector, so 5,000 yards due east of where the remains were found.


The August 1917 Captain of the 9th Battalion is associated with a group of 63 men lost, 50 of those on memorials. Many of those in cemeteries died of wounds, however Sgt. Douglas was concentrated, giving us a grid reference of 28.J.2.c.35.10. That is about 3,000 yards southeast of where the Captain's remains were recovered.


The period of 20 October to 5 November gives us 211 dead in the 5th Battalion, of which 170 are on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Of the known, the largest group is 17 in the Cement House Cemetery. Of those 16 were killed on the same day as Captain Hoare. The records place these lads in 20.V.8 and 20.V.13, about 3,500 yards northwest of where the remains were found.



Edited by laughton
reviewing case - typos noted
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Thanks Mark, every bit helps!


Captain Arthur Lea Harris is just shown as "4th Battalion", it does not specify 1st/4th or 2nd/4th.

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Just a thought but have you tried the Officer's service records for those five to see if they were buried at a known location at the time. From personal experience I've come across a significant number of individuals who come into this category and whose graves have subsequently been lost. An individual recovered a mile or two away from the scene of the fighting might then make more sense.




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No I have not, Peter. I am in Canada, so I do not have access to all the records. If they are on Ancestry then I will need to upgrade to WORLD as I only have CANADA. That may happen soon, as the number of case files is expanding.


A few of the GWF Pals have been looking at the records after I post the basic information on an UNKNOWN. As a Canadian, I am in the dark on most of the British Regiments, but I am learning! The best solution is for those that are researching specific regiments to add their information. I have no problem if they want to take over the case and submit the report, if they can be identified. I also do not mind writing the report if they can feed the information.


On the Canadian cases, I have access to all the Service Records, the War Diaries, and the MOST IMPORTANT "Casualty Reports". All of that information is FREE here in Canada, so we are spoiled.

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In early November 1914 1st Bn. Loyal North Lancs. Regt. were in the vicinity of HOOGE, Capt. Prince and Capt. Riley (sic) are mentioned.

On 1 November the diary gives the battalion's location as CHEDVELT.

2 November - "At 5 AM withdrew in Brigade to woods at HOOGE on S. side of road". The diary then describes various actions during the day - Germans attacking and being driven back. "The following Officers were wounded or missing. Capt. Colley, Capt. Riley, Lt. Gordon, Lt. Hayman, Lt. Jackson".

3 November - "VELDHOEK We were relieved at dusk by the Gloster Regt. & bivouaced the night S. of HOOGE and south of the Menin Road".

No diary entry dated 4 November.

5 November "..... Capt. J. F. Allen died of wounds at 10.30 this morning.... We remained in Reserve to the 1st Division in wood E. of HOOGE & S. of the Menin Road the whole day & at nightfall moved in support of the 6th Cavalry Brigade...."

6 November "At dawn we returned to wood E. of HOOGE and remained in divisional reserve the whole day. At 9.30 pm we took over the trenches at VELDHOEK in relief of the Royal Berkshire Regt.....

7 November In trenches at VELDHOEK.

8 November In trenches VELDHOEK where the battalion was attacked by the Germans "Capt. Prince, Capt. Slade (W. Yorks) killed & 2/Lieut. Ker wounded, about 100 NCOs & men killed wounded and missing".

Attached is a sketch map included in the war diary for 8 November.

The battalion's location in early November 1914 would therefore appear to eliminate Captains Ryley and Prince.


Loyal N. Lancs. R., 8.11.1914.JPG

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42 minutes ago, laughton said:

On the Canadian cases, I have access to all the Service Records, the War Diaries, and the MOST IMPORTANT "Casualty Reports". All of that information is FREE here in Canada, so we are spoiled.


And I am deeply envious of both you and our Australian cousins who have taken a similar approach, sadly not one the UK has chosen to follow.


The Officer service records are not digitised, (and it seems a significant number no longer exist or at least are not traceable through the National Archive catalogue). It might be worth posting a request in the look up section to see if some pals will take a look next time they are in Kew.


1) For Captain Herbert Frank Brownlow Ryley there are papers under reference WO 76/195/46



2) For Captain Alick Lancelot Prince there are papers under WO 76/207/19 & WO 76/205/43 when he was serving with the Manchester Regiment, (possibly Boer War?)




WO 76/206/19 for the 62nd Regiment



3) For Captain Arthur Lea Harris, Loyal North Lancs, they are under WO 374/31193



4) For Captain Edward Unsworth Green, Loyal North Lancs, there are papers under WO 339/51698



5) For Captain Alan Brodie Hoare, Loyal North Lancs, there are papers under WO 374/33740



But note there could be others.


Hopefully you're aware that if UK units were fighting alongside or even temporarily under the command of Canadians, then a copy of the War Diary for the relevant period is held at the Canadian National Archive. I believe there is a similar arrangement for Australia, and even the odd bit seems to turn up in the US Library of Congress.


Its also worth checking the Long, Long Trail to see if there are Regimental or Divisional History's available - an increasing number of these are free to view.


There is also a site dedicated to the Loyals which contain a number of articles. One, a "diary" of a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion in the opening months of the war name checks Captain Prince several times and has this to say about the circumstances of his death.


Their massed attacks in the morning cost them dear. I managed to shoot one with my revolver at about 20 yards. Capt.Fortune, 42nd., was sent over to us to arrange for a night attack. He brought a Company to assist. A council of war decided against immediate attack, and it was determined to reconnoiter ground thoroughly. With this object in view, Prince and I, with 30 men crept towards the front trench. Finding the Germans had made an extraordinary mistake by holding it very lightly, we made a sudden onslaught, and by a coup de main managed to regain the whole of the main trench without loss to ourselves.


Touch was gained with the Guards on our left, and our right was thrown back. This joyful news was communicated to the Brigade H.Q. 1st Brigade, and some more reinforcements were sent to help us to hold our ground, which we did in spite of counter-attacks. All this time the French on our right were trying to regain the ground they had lost, and as they rather over-lapped our right a good number of stray bullets came our way. Prince thought we ought to join up our smaller trench, and sent me to ask the French Commander to cease fire until we had obtained this object, fearing that we might be shot by mistake. I went on my errand and succeeded in making them stop. On getting back to the Company, I found Prince had already attempted to take the trench and had been killed with half his men. He tried to do it with 12 men and found the enemy too much alert. Thus perished a very able and gallant officer. His loss to the Regiment is terrible, and all ranks mourned his loss. The command thus reverted to me. I immediately sent back to Brigade and reported the occurrence and also stated I did not think it advisable to renew the attempt unless done with completely fresh troops.


Steps were taken to block up the end of the trench, which was only five yards from the nearest Hun trench. The Germans were noticed very busy consolidating, and another attack was expected. As I was very shorthanded as regards N .C.Os. the Colonel of the Black Watch lent me about seven N.C.Os. also the machine gun detachment; Lieut. Anderson was the officer, and Capt. Fortune came over and remains the best part of the night.



(Sounds likely he would have been buried by the Germans).


A piece by a reservist recalled to the 1st Battalion has this to say about the events of the 2nd November 1914.


We rested in these trenches for two days, and were then called out–on the afternoon of the second of November–in support of the 3rd Brigade. We went up in the usual skirmishing order, three other men and myself going on in front to warn the C.O., when we came into touch with the Welsh Regiment. We were very heavily shelled going up, but reached the Welsh with insignificant losses. Lying in front of the Welsh and around a farm-house were a party of French troops. On the word that we had arrived and come into touch with the Welsh, our Regiment was made to halt in a wood just behind and lie down. We were only just off the road a little to the right, and I estimate the Germans were about seven hundred to eight hundred yards off. While we were there a 4.7 gun was brought up on the road, and at the above-mentioned distance fired point-blank into the advancing Germans. An hour afterwards, the Welsh made a charge, and a fairly successful one it was, meeting, as it did, the enemy in the open. They returned to their original position, while we took up a position to their right.

That night we again dug trenches, and next day, November the third, we had very little to contend with–only shell-fire; and we continued during the day to strengthen our trenches.


(So even if the War Diary of the 1st Lancs isn't clear, there could well be information in the Third Brigade War Diary that makes it clear where this action took place)


It also has a link to From Mons to the first battle of Ypres, by J. G. W. Hyndson, an Officer of the 1st Loyals. He makes repeated references to a Captain "Riley".

He includes:-

(Page 92-93) 31st October.- Shall I ever forget this day? It will be indelibly stamped on my memory. How anyone survived to tell the story is a mystery to me, but I must write the events as they occurred.

As usual the Huns commence to shell us early in the morning, and concentrate an overwhelming number of batteries on Guleveldt and the surrounding area. After about two hours bombardment, they launch an infantry attack which sweeps over our troops in the front line, who are killed or captured to a man, and swarming on in masses, they reached the outskirts of Guleveldt. From our two Companies in the front line we get no news, and fear they have been cut off with the others. At about eleven o’clock we are called upon to counter-attack with our two remaining companies, and leaving our trenches, we move forward to try and carry out our task.

The ground all round is literally alive with bursting shells, and about a score a men are struck down as they leave the trenches. However, on we go, in extended order, and push into the village, which is still burning, and German shells are bursting against the houses, throwing bricks and dust in all direction. Riley is killed quite soon, and I am once more in command of the Company. During this operation I receive a blow near the hip which almost knocks me down, and thinking I am hit, I look down and discover that a bullet had entered my compass case, cleaned it out, and passed on out without doing me any harm. On reaching the centre of the village, we were unable to make any further progress, as the Huns have firmly established themselves in houses in front of us, and in spite of the fact that Prince joins me with “A” Company, all we can do is to lie down and engage the enemy with our rifles.




Now that seems at odds with the official date of death, but it’s clear from the other two accounts if you read them that the Battalion was in a dis-organised state over the next day with men coming in from the battlefield in dribs and drabs, having taken shelter with other units or able to come out of hiding when other British troops made local advances. The 2nd of November may thus have been the first official roll-call of the Battalion that Captain Ryley missed – or the man who wrote the above confused his dates or conflated two separate actions.


Hope that helps - Mrs C has called me to perform my duties :-)



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Captain Edward Unsworth GREEN


9th Bn. Loyal North Lancashire Regt. War Diary, August 1917.

"Trenches 6   Battn. relieved the 11th Bn. Cheshire Regt. in the Line."

No entries for 7 and 8 August.

"9   Bombing Raids on enemy strong points."

"10  4.35AM   Battn. attack on WESTHOEK RIDGE and gained all objectives

                        CAPT. E. U. GREEN 2 LT. C. LUNT 2 LT. M. H. SWIFT "Killed in Action"."

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From War History of the 1st/4th (Territorial) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1914 – 1918. (Again from the Loyals website)

Chapter VI. The Third Battle of Ypres 15th July 1917 to 1st August 1917.

Page 60. Oblique Aeroplane Photograph Showing Objectives in the 3rd Battles of Ypres.

Page 62. In a list of Officers who went into battle with the Battalion,  “A”  Company was commanded by Captain A.L. Harris and he had with him Second Lieutenant Ordish, Second Lieutenant Tyldesley and Second Lieutenant MacSweeny.  All would be wounded or killed.

Page 63. Map that accompanied the Operational Order.

Page 64 Extracts from the Operational Order.

 “A” would be Left Front Company. The objective of the first wave was to capture a line of trenches D.20.a.33.90 – D.14.a.10.20 and all buildings north-west of KANSAS CROSS within the Battalion boundary and on the south west of the ZONNEBEKE-WINNIPEG road.

The second wave will capture the Green Line, this line will be under the command of O.C. “A” Company.

Page 69. Very few casualties were suffered before reaching Black Line.

Page 69. At ZERO plus 6hrs 20mins. (10.10 a.m) the 164th Infantry Brigade formed up under the protective barrage, which stood about 200 yards on the enemy’s side of the Black Line, and moved forward to attack and consolidate the Green Line.  Just before forming up under barrage we were caused a little trouble by some snipers who had apparently been swept over by the barrage and were lying out in shell holes……When the 1/4th Loyal North Lancashires moved off from the Black Line, touch had been obtained with the 2/5th Lancashire Fusiliers on the left and the 6th Cameron Highlanders (45th Infantry Brigade, 15th Division) on the right. During the subsequent advance from the Black Line to the Green Line the casualties, which were particularly heavy amongst Officers, were again principally caused by machine gun fire.

(The narrative then goes on to describe how low on ammunition and with neighbouring units have failed to gain or hold the Green Line objectives, they were forced to retreat)

Page 70 Casualties from the War Diary.

Officers Killed includes Captain A.L. Harris.

Officers Missing includes Second Lieutenant D H “McSweeney”

Officers wounded includes Second Lieutenant H. Tyldesley and Second Lieutenant J.E. Ordish.

There then follows a narrative by Company

“A” Company lost its Commander, Captain Harris, soon after passing the Black Line – he was shot by a sniper. Second Lieutenant McSweeney in charge of No.2 Platoon was believed to have been seen being taken prisoner during the German counter-attack on the Green Line positions reached by the Battalion.



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Edward Green

From the Irish Military form thread, Passchendaele day by day, with positional overlay on a Google Satellite map.

25th Div

74 Bde

74 Bde attacked with all four of it’s battalions in conjunction with the 18th Div attack at 4.35am. The assault troops were from 13th Bn, Cheshire Regt, 2nd Bn, Royal Irish Rifles, 9th Loyal North Lancashire Regt and 11th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers. The Royal Irish Rifles rushed Westhoek village including two blockhouses. The brigade consolidated on the bank of the Hanebeek stream which at this stage was a thirty yard wide belt of swamp. This worked to the British advantage by preventing a German counterattack. Many casualties were sustained from shelling however.

(The 18th Division attack is described as

18th Div

55 Bde

After a 46 minute barrage the brigade attacked with 7th Bn, Queen’s Regt on a 400 yard front. The battalion was to form a defensive flank on the southern edge of Inverness Copse for the division. As they moved into position at 1.30am they were spotted by the Germans and heavy losses ensued. The remnants began the attack at 4.35am. Almost immediately the right hand company was pinned down by MG fire from a blockhouse in Jasper Avenue. The left flank fell back to their old line.

54 Bde

54 Bde also advanced at 4.35am on a front of 750 yards with 11th Royal Fusiliers and 7th Bedfords.

The Fusiliers reached the German Second Line on both sides of FitzClarence House and the eastern edge of Glencorse Wood. By this time they had lost contact with the Bedfords on their left and also with 55 Bde who should have been on their right. At 5pm the Germans attacked from Polygon Wood and Nonneboschen. Bombers were sent down Jargon Trench and an assault from Inverness Copse forced the Fusiliers back to a line 200 yards east of Clapham Junction. Here the line was reinforced with every available man from HQ and two more attacks fought off.

The Bedfords had entered Glencorse Wood unopposed and were consolidating by 5.15am. Due to the mud they were only able to establish isolated defensive positions and by 9.30am the Germans had pushed through the gap between them and the Fusiliers forcing the right flank back. Eventually they withdrew to Jargon Trench.)


There is an official History of the Division, “The 25th Division in France and Flanders” by Lt-Col. M. Kincaid-Smith, although the Long, Long Trail site and others don’t rate it very highly.

Various versions of it appear to be partially available via Google Books.

For the attack on this day it lists “The four companies of the 9th L.N. Lancs, commanded by Capt. W.F. Lowdon

Capt. E.V. Green, M.C. killed, and succeeded by 2nd Lieut. A.L. Kemp

Lieut. H.J. Priestland, wounded and succeeded by 2nd Lieut. McCarthy

Capt. H. Everett,


The N.Lancs advanced in three waves. The first company was held up by a strong point which they quickly surrounded, and captured a machine gun and its detachment. The battalion had many casualties from snipers, especially on the right flank. German aeroplanes also flew low and fired on any bodies of troops moving in the open.


However they seem to have remained in control of the battlefield, so a more likely candidate for buried but then grave subsequently lost.

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Captain Alan Brodie Hoare was 2/5th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regt.

On 26 October 1917 the war diary gave the location of the battalion as "Line N.E. of Poelcapelle" having relieved 23rd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers on the night of 25th/26th October. The operation on 26th October extends over four pages of the war diary so too much to transcribe here. Casualties were heavy. Capt. Hoare headed the list of casualties recorded. "Officers killed: Capt. A. B. Hoare".

Edited by HarryBrook
Amended battalion number. Apologies
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Quoting from "Passchendaele The Day-By-Day Account" by Chris McCarthy:

26 October 1917

XIV Corps, 57th Division

The Division attacked with one brigade, plus one in reserve.

170 Brigade attacked with 2/5th, 2/4th and 4/5th Loyal North Lancs; the 2/5th King's Own (R. Lancs) were in support, with 2/8th King's Liverpool Regiment (171 Brigade) in reserve.

The attack was launched at 5.40 a.m. and immediately confronted an impassable morass. The attack came to a stop only a short distance in front of the original line. Two posts were, however, established at Rubens and Memling Farms, about 350 yards and 200 yards, respectively, in advance of the original line.

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Captain Herbert Frank Brownton Ryley……………………………………..


Herbert Frank Brownton Ryley, son of Major F Ryley, of Claremont Court, Jersey, was born 11th September, 1878. He entered Victoria College in 1889 and left at the end of the same year. Later he went to Rugby, and on leaving school went into the Army through the Militia, becoming Second Lieutenant in The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in 1899 and Captain in 1906. He served in Malta, Cyprus, Crete, Gibraltar, South Africa, Mauritius, and India, and came home to the Depot at Preston at the end of 1913.


He went out with the First Seven Divisions and was reported missing in the heavy fighting around Ypres on 2nd November, 1914. Later he was officially reported killed on that date.



My emphasis, so definitely not a lost grave as far as the British were concerned.


This seems to be reinforced by the Probate for his estate. He doesn’t appear until the 1918 Calendar.


Herbert Frank Brownlow Ryley, of Bariton Weybridge Surrey died on or since the 2 November 1914 in France or Belgium. Probate was granted at the London Court on the 9 February 1918 to Laura May Ryley and Eleanor Mary Lewis, widows.



I can’t identify a file at the International Red Cross under either “Ryley” or “Riley”, so it doesn’t look as if the Germans were ever asked if they knew of his final resting place via that route.


Look-ups of the Rugby School Roll of Honour, which is very likely to include a picture if he is mentioned, were being offered here.


(Suggest you back your request up with a PM as the individual hasn’t been on the forum since July)


Captain Alick Lancelot Prince………………………………………


Photograph here



Contemporary Newspaper Obituary from the same source here


I quote from that “As regards the Officer’s death, enquiries through the Red Cross showed that Private Mulholland of the Battalion informed a R.C. representative that he saw Captain Prince shot in the head some time in the first or second week in November, and the Private, who was in Captain Prince’s Company, is certain the Officer is dead, and thinks he was buried at a place he called Linden Forest near Ypres, which may be Lindenhoek, close to Kemmel, A Corporal of the Battalion also wrote most circumstantially that he was next to the Captain and saw him shot in the head, and that he saw him lying dead twenty hours after but too near the German lines to be reached.”


(Note – as a prisoner Private Mulholland could well have been burying the Captain at the behest of the Germans).


From Menin Gate North: In Memory and In Mourning, by Paul Chapman.


(After repeating above)

Confirmed killed during the night of the 8-9 November in attempting to re-occupy part of a trench, (west of Westhoek Village, north of Menin Road – afterwards known as ‘Inverness Copse’), previously held by the Loyal North Lancashire, it was discovered to be strongly held by the enemy.



His probate went through in 1915 and records him as died 8 November 1914 at Ypres.



There were at least four different enquiries made of the International Red Cross – unfortunately the replies are not shown. The IRC also initially incorrectly identified a Private in the Cheshires as the man they were all interested in.



However I could not find a Private Mulholland \ Mulholland in the chaotic mess that is the Red Cross filing system. The closest I came was an incredibly difficult to make out file in the name of a Private 3100 George Mulhearn, Loyal North Lancs, who I think the family believed was being held at Wittenberg – the type is incredibly faint. The enquiry ran between 21st October 1915 and mid-December 1915 and was then terminated. There are no references to any German records, only a correspondence file.


There is a MiC for Private 3100 George Mulhearn.



He is not on CWGC so presumably survived the war. A date and place of capture of Private “Mulholland” might have helped narrow down the likely burial place of Captain Prince.


Malvern College may have more on Alick Prince and the circumstances of his death as he is one of their old boys.




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  • 3 months later...

I now have access to the War Diaries so time to give this another shot. Thanks to all the GWF Pals who provided information!


Remember we are looking for someone here:


The remains were recovered at 28.D.13.a.2.4 (McMaster Map), which places him about 1,100 yards southeast of St. Julien, south  of the road from Langemarck to Zonnebeke



Candidates 1 & 2




These two appear to be eliminated as they were in the vicinity of Hooge (28.I.18.b.).


Candidate 3

HARRIS ARTHUR LEA 31-07-17 4th Bn.




"A" Coy, 1st/4th Battalion

 “A” would be Left Front Company. The objective of the first wave was to capture a line of trenches D.20.a.33.90 D.14.a.10.20 and all buildings north-west of KANSAS CROSS within the Battalion boundary and on the south west of the ZONNEBEKE-WINNIPEG road.



That clearly places Captain Harris in the near vicinity of the remains.


Candidate 4





9th Bn. Loyal North Lancashire Regt. War Diary, August 1917.

"Trenches 6   Battn. relieved the 11th Bn. Cheshire Regt. in the Line."

No entries for 7 and 8 August.

"9   Bombing Raids on enemy strong points."

"10  4.35AM   Battn. attack on WESTHOEK RIDGE and gained all objectives

                        CAPT. E. U. GREEN 2 LT. C. LUNT 2 LT. M. H. SWIFT "Killed in Action"."



Candidate 5



Captain Alan Brodie Hoare was 2/5th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regt.

On 26 October 1917 the war diary gave the location of the battalion as "Line N.E. of Poelcapelle" having relieved 23rd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers on the night of 25th/26th October. The operation on 26th October extends over four pages of the war diary so too much to transcribe here. Casualties were heavy. Capt. Hoare headed the list of casualties recorded. "Officers killed: Capt. A. B. Hoare".



That places him in the area aro0und 20.V.20.a, some distance to the north of where the remains were found.



This is just the first look at the revised information, which places Captain Harris closest to the remains. I will now go and check the war diary to get the details.



Edited by laughton
reviewing case - fixed typos
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Good, the war diary of the 1st/4th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment is on Ance$try. On July 31, 1917 it says they are in the trenches E & NE of Ypres (page 260 of 637). They were participating as part of the 164th Brigade, 55th Division in the General Attack of the 5th Army. They are in the vicinity of Congreve Walk, which my UKNA collection tells me is at 28.C.27.d. They moved off this line at ZERO + 4 hrs 40 mins on the right. It is reported they moved forward with little difficulty - reporting little artillery trouble but annoying machine gun fire. Moving from the Black LIne to the Green Line there was heavy casualties amongst the officers from the machine gun fire. They had to deal with a number of strong points (war diary page 265 of 637), such as at SOMME FARM, GALLIOPLI FARM (28.D.13.c.4.1) and KEIR FARM (28.D.13.d.9.5).


There were problems on the left at the Green Line and it had to be withdrawn, as the line had not been taken by the division on the left. They were running short of ammunition when they received word at 2:30 pm that the enemy were forming up for a counter attack near Boetleer (28.D.8.c.2.9).


Captain A. L. Harris, Commanding "A" Coy, is listed as KIA, but it does not say at what time or location (page 270 of 637). Total officer casualties were 19. 2nd Lt. G Ashcroft (Signals) was also reported KIA, however the CWGC has him listed as 5th Battalion (here), also on the Menin Gate Memorial. The same for 2nd Lt. B. H. Williams (Intelligence) is reported (here), Ogden (5th), Mather (12th). 2nd Lt. J E Ordish is not listed by the CWGC - in fact I can not find any such casualty? They did get 2nd Lt. F Fullerton correct as 1st/4th Battalion. Something amiss with the CWGC records!


The Operation Order shows "A" Coy under Captain Harris was on the left front flank during the attack. Points of liaison with the battalion on their left (28.D.13.c/b) was very close to where the remains of the Captain were recovered (28.D.13.a). The accompanying map shows that sector 28.D.13 was encapsulated by the north and south divisional boundaries and the black and green lines (page 278 of 637). The Battalion Boundary ran through the centre of D.13. When the green line was withdrawn, they would have moved forward and then fallen back directly through the area where the remains were found.


It would appear that there is little or no doubt that the remains found at 28.D.13.a.2.4 were those of Captain Arthur Lea Harris.

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Moving on to the next phase of drafting a CWGC report, we have the following for the remains of a Captain of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment recovered at 28.D.13.a.2.4 about 1,100 yards south of St. Julien south of the road from Langemarck to Zonnebeke. This summary information comes from the posts above:


Excluded Candidates:




  • Captain Prince and Ryley mentioned in war diary in the vicinity of Hooge at that time
  • Captain RIley is wounded on 2 November 1914 near Hooge (28.I.18.b.3.7)
  • Captain Prince is wounded on 8 November 1914 in trenches at Veldhoek (20.U.4.c.7.1)
  • these locations eliminate these men as candidates
  • need to check how they moved from Hooge to Veldhoek on 6 November 1914 - that is a significant move


  • 4:35 am the battalion attack on Westhoek Ridge and all objectives gained (Westhoek 28.J.7.d.8.3)
  • Captain Green killed in action


  • Captain Alan Brodie Hoare was 2/5th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regt.
  • he location of the battalion as "Line N.E. of Poelcappelle" (20.V.20.a)
  • 17 from this battalion in Cement House Cemetery, killed the same day
  • 20.V.8 to 20.V.13, about 3,500 yards northwest of where the remains were found

Preferred Candidate:



  • to capture a line of trenches D.20.a.33.90 – D.14.a.10.20 and all buildings north-west of KANSAS CROSS
  • battalion boundary and on the south west of the ZONNEBEKE-WINNIPEG road
  • “A” Company lost its Commander, Captain Harris, soon after passing the Black Line – he was shot by a sniper
  • the map tells it all (link), but alas I can not post it here, but it will be in the report


If anyone has additional information "for or against" Captain Arthur Lea Harris, please let me know. There are 83 men listed on the CWGC for the "1st/4th Battalion" of this date (link). There are 86 men just listed as "4th Battalion on this date (link)" but that seems to include those of the "1st/4th". The three (3) additional men are Captain Harris, Lieutenant Ostrehan and Lance Corporal Armer.

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My first draft of the report on Captain Harris has been completed and can be downloaded from this link:




Members of the GWF who which to have their name in Attachment #8 need to provide me with their correct name and email, so that the CWGC can contact you directly if they wish.


Any comments would be most appreciated.

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A revised draft has now been uploaded that includes the links to ALL THE WAR DIARY entries for the candidates, not just the "Preferred Candidate".





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