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GKW

Dressing Station Location

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GKW

My great uncle, Frank Norton (209326, A/Bombr, D/150 Bde. R.F.A.), according to his death certificate was killed in action 14 October 1917.  He is buried at Artillery Wood Cemetery, Boeshinge, Belgium.

 

Pages of a 'service record' on Findmypast indicate (from what his wife thought) that he died at a (unspecified) dressing station on 14th October 1917 whilst serving with 'D' Battery, 150 Brigade RFA.

 

At the time 150th Army Brigade was attached to Guards Division.

 

150 Brigade RFA’s War Diary records:

·         13 October 1917 “Brigade marched into action and relieved 11th Army Bde RFA taking over their guns and hows in positions near ABRI WOOD near LANGEMARCK”

·         14 October 1917 “Quiet on our front, some bombs were dropped near BOESINGHE by hostile aircraft otherwise nothing to report. Registration carried out.”

 

Guards Division, Commander Royal Artillery’s War Diary records:

·         From 12 noon 13/10/17 to 12 noon 14/10/17 “Hostile Fire… Area Shelled U.26.c.Time 5-6pm” [This is the evening of 13 Oct. and Area U.26.c includes Abri Wood]  “INTELLIGENCE … Very great aerial activity …. DAWSONS CORNER, Roads around ELVERDINGHE and dumps were bombed. In the afternoon a battery near STRAY FARM was also bombed. …”

·         From 12 noon 14/10/17 to 12 noon 15/10/17 “INTELLIGENCE Six Gothas bombed U.26 area at 3.40 p.m. ….”  [Area U.26 includes Abri Wood and Abri Farm - the time makes the bombing in the afternoon of 14 October].

 

Please can anyone assist or give ideas for research with the following:

1.     Does the term “Killed in Action” mean that the individual was actually killed on that date or could it be that they died of wounds received a day or two earlier?

2.     If it’s possible, I’d like to identify the dressing station where he died which I assume will have been close to Artillery Wood Cemetery.

3.     I understand from a previous post that if I could establish which division was responsible for the medical arrangements in the area the diary for the Assistant Director Medical Services may point to where the dressing station was.  I assume this will be the Army division rather than Guards Division - can anyone assist?

Thank you.

 

Geoff

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John Milner

Hello Geoff

 

I can't find Frank's service record on FMP, only his Soldiers Died in the Great War entry, CWGC entry and MIC (not original).

 

SDGW states he was Killed in Action which means he was killed outright by enemy action, had he died two days after he would probably have been classified as Died of Wounds.

 

Regards

 

John

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ss002d6252

The problem with SDGW is that sometimes KIA and DOW is interchangeable however the soldiers effects records also state he was KIA - if he had died of wounds at a dressing station then that is usually given as the place of death on the effects records.

The few pages of his record on FMP include a statement from his wife that he died at a dressing station but the other parts of the record also only show KIA.

 

Craig

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MrSwan
On 11/29/2017 at 20:44, GKW said:

2.     If it’s possible, I’d like to identify the dressing station where he died which I assume will have been close to Artillery Wood Cemetery.

3.     I understand from a previous post that if I could establish which division was responsible for the medical arrangements in the area the diary for the Assistant Director Medical Services may point to where the dressing station was.  I assume this will be the Army division rather than Guards Division - can anyone assist?

Thank you.

 

Geoff

 

I've found the ADMS diaries to be a bit hit and miss in terms of locating specific dressing stations. Your starting point will be to identify the Field Ambulances of the Guards Division - these were 3rd, 4th and 9th Fd Ambs. The war diaries should identify locations of the dressing stations they were using.

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MrSwan

I've found this map in the 4th Fd Amb diary. The ADS marked at Green Mill is within a gnat's crotchet of the Artillery Wood Cemetery. It is in an appendix to the period September-October 1917.

 

Edit: 4th Fd Amb seem to have been operating the Divisional Rest Station and the Convalescent Centre on 14th October 1917, so the op's great uncle would have been dealt with by 3rd or 9th Fd Amb.

 

Map from ancestry.com.

Green Mill ADS.jpg

Edited by MrSwan
Added date

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Aurel Sercu

Thanks, Mr Swan, for the sketch !

 

Interesting for me (as I live in Boezinge). I didn't know there had been an ADS. Right now, there is nothing there. The moat itself remained there until four or five years ago. The farm itself was rebuilt on the other (north) side of the road. (Actually even now it is only a muddy cart track.) And at the beginning of this year, that post-war farm was pulled down too, and replaced by large modern hangarlike constructions.

 

And only a detail: the "mill" itself was only a small one, built on the top of the roof of a barn or so.

 

All these woods and copses of course no longer exist.

 

Are the other + signs ADS's too ?

 

I too tend to think that Bdr. Frank Norton was killed very near Artillery Wood.(Also because there is no GRRForm.)  And the cemetery was, at the end of the war, a relatively small cemetery, approx. 140 graves.

 

Aurel

 

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MrSwan
11 minutes ago, Aurel Sercu said:

Are the other + signs ADS's too ?

 

Aurel

 

 

Aurel,

 

From reading accounts of the medical work in the area at that time, I suspect that the other + signs are stretcher bearer relay posts. I doubt that they are regimental aid posts...

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clk

Hi Geoff,

 

'Medical Arrangements (Operations) No. 11' dated 7th October 1917 are in the appendices of the ADMS Guards Division diary - Ancestry link here.

 

Regards

Chris

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MrSwan

Chris - that's a good find - thank you!

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GKW

Gentlemen,

 

Thank you all for your assistance.

 

I've been reviewing the war diaries of the ADMS and 9th Field Ambulance and concluded that the probable ADS was Green Mill as it was mid way between Abri and Artillery Woods, assuming his wife was correct that he died at a dressing station.

 

On 5 October 1917, 9th Field Ambulance Diary entry: "9th Field Ambulance took over posts at Bleuet Farm, Boesinghe Chateau and Green Mill".  They were relieved by 106th Field Ambulance on 16 October.

 

On 14 October 1917, 9th Field Ambulance Diary entry: "The cases dealt with at A.D. Stn. Green Mill, were 46, lying and 88, sitting and at A.D. Stn. Boesinghe 139 walking."

 

I think that the best that I can conclude is that my great uncle was either wounded by the shell fire on Abri Wood on the 13 October and died  on 14 October at Green Mill; or was wounded by the bombing on 14 October and died that day at Green Mill; or was killed by the bombing on 14 October and that his wife's reference to a Dressing Station is incorrect.

 

I have to say that I'm a bit of a lay person when it comes to some of the abbreviations used in your comments.  However, with regard to Aurel's comment "(Also because there is no GRRForm.)". If by that Aurel means the Grave Registration Report, that is available on the CWGC website.  Does that alter your thinking Aurel or is the GRRForm something else?

 

All the best.

 

Geoff

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Aurel Sercu

Geoff and Mr. Swann,

(Sorry for the delay)

 

Yes, stretcher bearers ... I hadn't thought of that. Actually I had no paid much attention to that organisation of the evacuation line. Of course, one cannot expect (I guess) stretcher bearers to walk with the stretchers for miles ...

 

And yes, Geoff, I meant Graves Registration Report Forms. (Sorry, but I too sometimes have problems with abbreviations, and sometimes am afraid to ask  :-)  ) As there is no Graves Registration Report form for Frank Norton, my conclusion was that Artillery Wood Cem. was indeed the original burial location (or in other words that he had not been buried elsewhere and later exhumed).

 

Whether that was the place he died, I don't know. As far as I know there was no burial ground near Green Mill. (As pointed out in a different topic, it would be so nice if Grave Registration Report forms were 'browsable' ...This way it would be possible to see if there were.) So if he died near Green Mill he may have been taken to Artillery Wood Cemetery to be buried there ? After all it's 'only 800' metres (half a mile). But  I don't know if it was 'normal' for stretcher bearers to continue their way for half a mile ? I suppose so, but I am far from sure. Other members may know ?

 

And I add the only picture I have and know of the mill. I said in a previous posting it was a "roof mill", which some may have found odd. Well here it is. Not an original photo, but a photo taken (I believe) from a painting or drawing or so.

 

Aurel

 

P.S. Just two more details ... The roof mill was taken off the roof in 1910, and placed on a different roof nearby, of the same farm I guess. (I don't know what year the drawing was made.) And it went up in flames on 25 Oct. 1914. So at the time it was an ADS, no more windmill (and no more farm I'm afraid ...)

 

Boezinge dakmolen.jpg

Edited by Aurel Sercu
P.S. added

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GKW

Aurel,

Thank you for your reply and the photo of Green Mill - it doesn't look to me as if it's from a painting or drawing.  It looks like a copy of an original photo.

 

Regarding Graves Registration Report Forms - these are available on the CWGC website, go to www.cwgc.org and click "find war dead & cemeteries".  Here's the link to Artillery Wood Cemetery https://www.cwgc.org/find/find-cemeteries-and-memorials/results?name=Artillery%2BWood%2BCemetery&country=Belgium

 

If you click on the link "ARTILLERY WOOD CEMETERY>" you can read the records for each of 803 identified casualties buried there which include GRR forms and Headstone inscriptions and personal texts.

 

Alternatively, if your know the name and or service number you can search for an individual using the "Find War Dead" link on the CWGC home page.

 

Attached are copies of the GRR forms for my great uncle, Frank Norton.

 

As a point of interest, this man first served with the Australian Imperial Force at Gallipoli, suffered a gun shot wound to the head (actually shrapnel from a shell explosion), and was eventually discharged from the AIF as "permanently unfit for war service at home or abroad".  When discharged he was back in the UK where he had been in an Australian Military hospital but then got caught by the January 1916 Military Service Act which brought in conscription for single men aged 18 to 41.

 

All the best.

 

Geoff

NORTON, FRANK BURWOOD - GRAVES REGISTRATION doc1808245.JPG

NORTON, FRANK BURWOOD - GRAVES REGISTRATION doc5722090.JPG

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Aurel Sercu

GKW,

 

If I remember correctly ... Yes, the photo I took was from ... a photo. But that photo was taken from a drawing or painting that was on a wooden board or so, maybe on a wardrobe ...

 

And the Graves Registration Report Forms ... Yes, I know, I use them almost every day. Starting from a certain individual. But it is a pity they are not "browsable", for the whole cemetery. There is a topic about that problem here:

 

 

 

Aurel

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