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Remembered Today:

Unknown Officer Wiltshire Regiment AIF Burial Ground


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There is an unknown British Officer Wiltshire Regiment buried in plot 15 row E grave 12 in AIF Burial Ground Flers. Plot 15 row E graves 6-13 were all found at map ref 57d.R31.c48.52 and five of these are identified and all from 1st battalion Wiltshires and all killed on 7th July 1916. The only missing 1st battalion officer killed on 7th July on Thiepval Memorial is 2nd Lt John Stratton Hayward so a strong candidate. Unfortunately three other missing 1st Wiltshire officers listed below were killed on either 6th or 8th July so cannot be ruled out.

Capt Hales 6.7.16

2nd Lt Starky 6.7.16

Lt Gosden 8.7.16

Any comments/thoughts anyone?

UBO Witshire reg.JPG

Wilts Reg 7.7.16.JPG

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I would suggest to drop an email to the CWGC to if they have an Exhumation report for this officer.  


If so, it may record height and other features.  Then check against the officers files at the NA.  

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  • 2 months later...

Lieutenant Gosden was killed on 7 July 1916, not on the 8th as reported by the CWGC. See here for the War Diary Page.

  • Whether silenced by our snipers or by the bombardment, at any rate the enemy machine gun did not fire during our advance. During this advance Lieut Gosden was killed, 2nd Lieut Ross wounded and 2nd Lieut Sharpe wounded and missing believe killed.
  •  2nd Lieut Hayward C Coy was also wounded slightly in the hand but remained at his post and was afterwards killed.

Back up one page to the 6th July and you have confirmation of Captain Hales (killed) and 2nd Lieut Starkey (missing):

  • Killed Colonel W S Brown and Capt A H Hales Missing 2nd Lieut Starkey 



Then we have a problem! The war diary for the 8th July reports that Lieutenant Gooden was killed - but there is no such person on the CWGC site? So was that Gosden and he was not killed on the 7th as reported.

  •  At 6.30 on the 8th July, the second attack was organised and was launched about 8.30 under the command of Lieut Gooden (killed)


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The CWGC requires an extremely high amount evidence for a successful submission. Just don't assume that because you can prove that one officer was killed at a particular location that the case will be excepted. One of their most common points for rejecting a report is to create the possibility that the man could have been a prisoner of war. So I would not even submit a very strong case if the casualty was buried close to any road or track which could have been used by the Germans to move from their forward to reserve areas. 

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