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SJKerr

Looking for Map References - Battle of Arras 28th March 1918

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
7 minutes ago, Chris11 said:

The records I am drawing my medical info from are the British Army WW1 Service records, accessed from Ancestry.

Hi Chris11

Would you mind posting the link to his Ancestry records.

I can't for the life of me find them on there.

Ancestry indexing is awful!

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Chris11
6 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Ancestry indexing is awful!

Indeed it is, and the more people play fast and loose with the facts the harder it becomes. The ones I have were accessed some time ago, and funnily enough I tried last night for his brother and came to a dead end. The name Jones doesn't help of course. But I'll look now, and see what I can find.

Chris.

 

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clk

Hi Chris,

 

His file indicates that his discharge (18.3.1919) was due to neurasthenia (usually meaning shell shock), attributable to his war service - initially assessed as a 30% debility. It seems to have been notified to the Officer Commanding A/281 RFA. That would lead me to think that he was part of that unit, but leaves me with a bit of a head scratcher as to why the CWGC records don't point towards the loss of his gun crew chums from that unit on  27/28/29th March, rather than the 109 Battery.

 

Regards

Chris

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Chris11
57 minutes ago, clk said:

Looking quickly at it, I didn't see a reference to 109 Battery though. It seems that he was admitted to 54 General Hospital on 31.3.1918 suffering from shell shock.

 

Thanks, yes, that's the info I was going on re hospital. I don't know the implications of not mentioning 109 battery however, would you expect to have seen that info?

 

Also, I have looked on the CWG site at each of the names listed from 109 battery and I notice amongst them is a Serjeant and a Bombardier. My grandfather was a Bombardier as well. Would one gun have had two Bombardiers and a Serjeant? On the plus site, the ages/dependants of the men seem fairly consistent with those in the picture.

 

Chris.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Thanks Chris,

I suspect he is indexed under his old number (982) only!

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Chris11
24 minutes ago, clk said:

That would lead me to think that he was part of that unit, but leaves me with a bit of a head scratcher as to why the CWGC records don't point towards the loss of his gun crew chums from that unit on  27/28/29th March, rather than the 109 Battery.

 

Was 109 Battery not in 281 Brigade then? Would you have expected the notification to go to the battery itself?

 

Thanks for your interpretation, and your reading of the info, for instance I couldn't have deduced that the commanding officer was informed. One piece of info I do have on other records is that he was in 4 battery at one time, but I assumed that could have been at any time during the war, or even before it as he was a reservist previously. So I assume that's a smokescreen. 

Edited by Chris11
added info

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Chris11
14 hours ago, RobertBr said:

I would be particularly interested in the photo you have (it might just include my Grandfather).

Bob,

Thanks so much for all the information you have posted, now and previously. Most useful and interesting.

I presume by now you have seen the photo I posted earlier in this thread. In theory it shouldn't include your grandfather because all the other people in the photo are supposed to have been killed, but that's assuming there were no gun crew changes between the date of the photo and the shelling that destroyed the gun. It does however sound as if your grandfather was in close proximity to my own. I will see if I have any more photos that might include a wider group of men, and let you know if I find any.

Chris.

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RobertBr

FI

56th Division RFA 1918

 

CCLXXX (280 1/1 London) Brigade.

A Battery 18-pounder.

B Battery 18-pounder.           

93rd Battery 18-pounder.   .

D Battery 4.5” Howitzer.

 

CCLXXXI (281 1/2 London) Brigade.

A Battery 18-pounder.

B Battery 18-pounder.

109th Battery 18-pounder.

D Battery 4.5” Howitzer.

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Chris11
13 hours ago, RobertBr said:

CCLXXXI (281 1/2 London) Brigade.

 

A Battery 18-pounder.

 

B Battery 18-pounder.

 

109th Battery 18-pounder.

 

D Battery 4.5” Howitzer.

Thanks Bob,

so since his record only ever shows a posting to A battery e.g.

Service record 2 John Jones

 would I be right to assume, on the balance of probability that's where he was during Arras?

 

This leads me to believe that it's wrong to deduce his gun crew were the collection of men buried at Anzin - St Aubin from 109 battery.

 

The Narrative of Artillery operations shows 11 O.R killed and 8 O.R. missing on 28th March. On the basis that he was found on 30th or 31st, could I assume he, and the rest of the crew were in the "8 O.R. missing".

I need to find out move about the movements of A battery on 28th I think. Would you agree?

Chris.

 

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RobertBr

Chris

 

I agree that you should assume he was with A/281. It is the only evidence you have.

 

My Mars Offensive post covers the locations of A/281 guns based on available information.

 

My main source of information is the War Diary of the brigade (There is not one for the battery). I invested £3.50 to download it from the National Archive (WO95 2940)

 

The little cemetery at Anzin St Aubin is actually quite close to St Katherines ie the Casualty Clearing Station.

2010814531_AnzinStAubinCemetery(1077x808).jpg.166eca80f8dda7beff125c2a6bfda039.jpg

 

I suggest that you/we should now continue your quest in your topic in Soldiers.

 

Bob

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