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laughton

North Irish Horse: 2 Unknowns

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laughton

While trolling the Grand-Seraucourt British Cemetery (66c.C.G.2.d.7.2) I noticed a strange entry for two (2) men of the North Irish Horse, with a recorded date of 0-3-15 (March 1915?). Were any commonwealth forces out in that area in March of 1915? The majority of the men in this area were in late 1918. The remains were found in the area between Cugny and Annos (66d.R.14.d.3.2), an area to the southeast of Ham. I have marked that on the map that follows.

 

You will note from the COG-BR, shown below, that the three (3) other men found at these coordinates fell in June of 1918. There are also men found in this general area for March 1918 at the Annois Churchyard Cemetery (COG-BR 2762282) and Cugny Communal Cemetery German Extension (COG-BR 2762283).

 

There are only two candidates for these two missing men listed on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial:

Quote

This Memorial bears the names of over 9,000 men who fell in the period from 8 August 1918 to the date of the Armistice in the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois, between the Somme and Loos, and who have no known grave.

 

There are only 36 men of the North Irish Horse listed on the CWGC database. The complete list is at the bottom of this post.

 

McVEA J 26-08-18   Private   '71473'
ROBERTS J 21-08-18   Private  

'71027'

 

There were two men listed as casualties in March of 1915, however they were in the north of France.

 

I checked their listing on the LLT, to get some idea where I might find their war diaries, which led me in circles. They do have a Regimental Website, however many of the links are not functional. Something does not add up as the regimental site says there were 27 officers and 123 other ranks killed in the war. The CWGC site has only 54 in all countries. The others must be listed under units to which they were attached.

 

So far I have not been able to find the war diaries. These are the ones listed on the UKNA site: see here. None of these appear to cover a period of  late 1918.

 

Perhaps there is a GWF PAL who has some experience with this regiment?

 

mjvay74gb8mb6fg6g.jpg

 

doc2762268.JPG

 

surname initials death rank North Irish Horse # cemetery or memorial reference
McCLELLAND W 16-08-18 Private   '71062' ANCRE BRITISH CEMETERY, BEAUMONT-HAMEL VII. E. 56.
ROSS R 21-08-18 Private   '71579' ANCRE BRITISH CEMETERY, BEAUMONT-HAMEL VII. F. 34.
WYLIE R A 26-06-17 Serjeant 1st Sqdn. '70' AVESNES-LE-COMTE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION I. D. 19.
BRENNAN H 03-11-18 Private   'H/71349' AWOINGT BRITISH CEMETERY II. C. 13.
EVANS J 25-10-18 Private   '81230' AWOINGT BRITISH CEMETERY I. C. 16.
McAROW J 27-04-16 Private "A" Sqdn. '164' DOULLENS COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION NO.1 I. D. 15.
ELDER C 07-11-18 Private "A" Sqdn '1/71585' DOURLERS COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION I. D. 17.
WRIGHT T 28-07-16 Private   '1582' ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY IX. A. 11A.
HUGGINS A H 30-08-18 Trooper   'H/71831' FIENVILLERS BRITISH CEMETERY C. 36.
GILL G 26-08-18 Private   'H/71502' FLATIRON COPSE CEMETERY, MAMETZ IX. H. 7.
LIVINGSTONE F 26-08-18 Private   'H/71134' FLATIRON COPSE CEMETERY, MAMETZ XI. A. I.
FINLAY W J 23-06-16 Private   '1657' FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY I. E. 11.
CULLY J 04-11-18 Private   '71146' FOREST COMMUNAL CEMETERY B. 6.
BRADLEY R I 20-05-17 Lance Corporal   '907' HAZEBROUCK COMMUNAL CEMETERY I. E. 23.
MORROW W A 09-04-18 Private   'H/71123' HINGES MILITARY CEMETERY C. 41.
MOORE W 15-09-14 Private   '71030' LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL  
SCOTT H 08-10-14 Private   '963' LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL  
COMBE S B 01-10-14 Lieutenant     LE TOURET MEMORIAL Panel 1.
IRWIN W 02-03-15 Private   '626' LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY I. A. 47.
RITCHIE D W 17-03-15 Corporal   '754' LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY I. A. 65.
HILL R H 10-11-18 Lance Corporal   '71255' MONT HUON MILITARY CEMETERY, LE TREPORT VIII. O. 9A.
HILLOCKS W 10-11-18 Trooper British Cavalry Base Depot. '71830' MONT HUON MILITARY CEMETERY, LE TREPORT VIII. O. 9B.
WEST, V C, D S O R A 02-09-18 Lieutenant Colonel     MORY ABBEY MILITARY CEMETERY, MORY III. G. 4.
KELLY A G 26-08-18 Private   '71162' OVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY XIII. W. 10.
NORMAN C 12-02-17 Captain     PUCHEVILLERS BRITISH CEMETERY III. B. 10.
BRYSON T 21-08-18 Private   '71045' QUEENS CEMETERY, BUCQUOY IV. E. 17.
WOODSIDE C R 08-11-18 Private   '71563' ROCQUIGNY-EQUANCOURT ROAD BRITISH CEMETERY, MANANCOURT XIII. B. 4.
ADAIR J 14-11-18 Private   'H/71659' ST. SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN S. III. AA. 21.
MURPHY W M 12-02-17 Private   '2073' ST. SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN O. V. C. 7.
WALLER W 16-08-18 Private   '71117' ST. SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN R. II. I. 12.
KELLOCK H P 06-10-18 Lieutenant     TERLINCTHUN BRITISH CEMETERY, WIMILLE IV. F. 19.
ARMSTRONG R G 26-03-18 Private "E" Sqdn. '71643' TOUTENCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY I. B. 2A.
DURNEEN J J 26-03-18 Private "A" Sqdn. '71655' TOUTENCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY I. B. 2.
BLAIR A 02-09-18 Private   '71699' VARENNES MILITARY CEMETERY III. J. 13.
McVEA J 26-08-18 Private   '71473' VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL Panel 3.
ROBERTS J 21-08-18 Private   '71027' VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL Panel 3.

 

 

UPDATE APRIL 11, 2018: If you follow this topic to the end you will see that this list was not complete as it does not contain the men of the "North Irish Horse" that became part of the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. At that time, the unit name changed to "9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers". As such, they only show up on the CWGC website when your search for the "Royal Irish Fusiliers" as the Regiment and "9th Bn." as the Unit. In the end that solved the puzzle and we know that although we can not identify the men by name, we do know that they died in action in March 1918 and not in March 1915, as shown on the COG-Br document and Headstone Register. An understandable error but one easily rectified by the CWGC by changing the "5" to an "8".

Edited by laughton
1914 deaths were not in north of France as thought

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ss002d6252

#71473 McVie - the soldiers effects indicate he was with 5 Cyclists at the time of his death so presumably the squadron who were changed to Cyclists in March 1918.

#71027 Roberts- the soldiers effects indicate he was with 5 Cyclists at the time of his death so presumably the squadron who were changed to Cyclists in March 1918.

 

The war diary for V Corps cyclists appears to be this one - http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/76984537483347bca88b3eca34fd812e

 

Craig

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laughton

I could not find them on Ance$try by any means - then on good old Google I got a link:

 

http://www.northirishhorse.com.au/NIH/War diaries/War diaries - V Corps Cyclist Regiment.html

 

This is what they say for the period in August 1918 when the two men are killed 21st to 26th. Remember we are looking for the two at 66d.R.14.d.3.2: (V Cyclist Regiment, North Irish Horse)

  • Rubempre on the 21st is at 57d.T.13 on patrol duties
  • Toutencourt is at 57d.U.1
  • Beaussart is at 57d.P.11 
  • then the move to Hamel (probably 57d.Q.23) then on to Courcelette 57d.R.30

That means it was not the lads from 1918 on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial from August 1918.

 

Quote

[8-23 August] Rubempre. Daily training – drill, physical and bayonet training, musketry, scouting signalling, tactical exercises under Company Commanders, patrolling.
[11-18 August] Rubempre. Lewis Guns of the Regiment employed on the anti-aircraft defences of ammunition dumps.
[14 August] Rubempre. One Officer and 13 Other Ranks to 64th Infantry Brigade, 21st Division, for patrol duties, still employed as such.
[16 August] Rubempre. 10am. Inspection of Regiment by V Corps Commander, Lieutenant General Shute. Lieutenant General Shute explained the role the Regiment would be called upon to fulfill in the coming advance, viz, vanguard to the Corps. One Squadron would be attached to each Division and they would be used entirely for tactical work, keeping touch with the enemy as he withdrew.
A Squadron under Captain J.C.G Kirkpatrick allotted to 21st Division. 
E Squadron under Major I.A Finlay allotted to 38th Division.
D Squadron under Captain H.E.L Montgomery allotted to 17th Division.
Commanding Officer to act as liaison officer between 17th and 21st Divisions.
Adjutant to act as liaison officer between 17th and 38th Divisions.
[20-23 August] Rubempre. Two Officers and 67 Other Ranks with all Lewis Guns of the Regiment (viz, nine) to 62nd Infantry Brigade to take part in attack by 21st Division on morning of 21st August.
[21-31 August] Rubempre. Thirteen Other Ranks with 64th Infantry Brigade, 21st Division, patrol duties.
[23 August] Rubempre. E Squadron under command of Major I.A Finlay to 38th Division. Headquarters and D Squadron moved to Toutencourt. D Squadron joined 17th Division under command of Captain H.E.L Montgomery.
[24 August] Toutencourt. A Squadron under command of Captain J.C.G Kirkpatrick joined 21st Division engaged on patrol duties to 31st. Headquarters moved to Beaussart. Lewis Guns of D & E [Squadrons] ordered to join their Squadrons with Divisions.
[26 August] Beaussart. [On 26th] Headquarters moved to Hamel, thence on 27th to Courcelette, thence on 30th to Martinpuich.
[21-31 August] Casualties: Killed, seven Other Ranks; missing believed killed, one Other Ranks; wounded, two Officers (2nd Lieutenant A.H Cleaver, 2nd Lieutenant J.A O'Neill), 25 Other Ranks.

 

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laughton

Next step - is there a clue that they are in the same area where the others with the "Check Marks" on the COG-BR 2762268 were exhumed? If you look at the first two in 6.F.4 and 6.F.5 they are marked as "Englander", so that makes me think these are men buried by the Germans (Engländer - an Englishman). Could it be that these North Irish Horse lads were buried in the same place prior to the graves being marked March 1915 (perhaps when they were found)?

 

I was not get very far on the searches until I hit Pte. C. W. W. Fricker #22512 (real number is #225412), listed by the CWGC as 1st Battalion London Regiment but on the COG-BR he is attached to the 2/2/ London Regiment. If I have the correct fellow, that is Charles Fricker and he was a POW (see ICRC here: https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/4419006/3/2/) apparently captured 21 March 1918, the opening day of "Operation Michael". If we look at his PA 33517 it appears he was captured near Le Fere, which is to the southeast of Artemps and Cugny, which I had searched as communities in the area where the remains were found at 66d.R.14.d.3.2. See the Google Map at the end of this post.

 

That suggest to me that there were POW's at that location, as the German text of the preceding page tells me "Prison Camp Stendal".

 

The others may not have been in the prison camp, but the location tells me there were in this area and that they are probably the two from September and October 1914 that were to the south of that area. It is the only time they were there where there are unknowns of the Irish Horse.

 

The war diary page with these other community names is here: http://www.northirishhorse.com.au/NIH/War diaries/War diaries - A Squadron.html

 

Quote

September 1914

1

Battle of Nery, Rear Guard of 4th Division to Baron.

2

Rear Guard for 4th Division to Dammartin.

3

Marched Dammartin to Lagny.

4

Rear Guard to Jossigny.

5

Rear Guard to Brie-comte-Robert.

6

Advance Guard to 4th Divn to Magny-le-hongres.

7

Advance Guard to 4th Divn to Corbeville.

8

Advance Guard to 4th Division to Signy-Signets.

9

Rejoined C-in Cs Escort G.H.Q. at Coulommiers.

10

Coulommiers.

11

Marched to La Ferme Paris near Marigny.

12

Marched to Fere-en Tardenois.

13-30

Fere-en Tardenois. Guards & Escorts to C-in C.

[Signed] Cole  Major
Commanding A. Squadron North Irish Horse

 

UPDATE: Later I found that Moore and Scott were in "C" Squadron. At this point I do not know for sure whether they were in the same location. The war diary page on the website (Phillip Tardif) says: (see here for page)

Quote

It appears that no diary was kept by C Squadron from 22 August 1914 to 30 June 1915

 

I am way out of my league here in this area of France, as our Canadian boys were still in training in Quebec! I will have to dig into my texts and get up to speed, but any comments are most welcome.

 

k7ovyjj13yazbiu6g.jpg

Edited by laughton

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laughton

There is something wrong with my analysis. The locations seem in the area but if he was taken to the prison camp in Stendal he would not have been found buried at 66d.R.14.d.3.2. The German community of Stendal is in the vicinity of Berlin. Must be coincidence that there were two men called "C. Fricker" that served with the 2/2 London Regiment.

 

I don't think this impacts on the case of whether it is the 1914 Irish Horse that were in this area. It would be good if we could follow their route. If I add in the other communities on the Stabilized Front Line in the fall of 1914 (Roye, Noyon, Soissons, Reims), it would appear that is where the remains were recovered. That would have been on the German side of the front line.

 

9eqk3vvb4ydwvft6g.jpg

Edited by laughton
added mark for location of remains (yellow pointer)

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laughton

There were details  within the ROLL CALL on the web site. This was fascinating!

Quote

Private Henry St George Layard Scott (an extract below)

On 15 September 1914 Scott and two other men of C Squadron, Sergeant George Hicks and Private William Moore, were on patrol along the Aisne River near the bridge at Conde, the far side of which was held by the Germans. According to fellow Horseman Fred Lindsay, at a ford over the river:

...they found a British officer dead across his motor-car and some of his men dead around the car. They were about to dismount to investigate when [a German] machine-gun fired upon them, instantly killing the two troopers. Sergeant Hicks escaped on Moore's horse, his own being shot under him.

Both men were initially listed as missing but their death was later accepted. Whether Scott died that day, or of wounds later on, is not entirely clear.

 

However an earlier report in that paper suggests that he had died of wounds on 8 October and was buried on the nearby Chassemy-Conde Road  ..... on the 8th October he died and was laid to rest at Chassemy Conde Road, about fifty miles from Paris, in a lovely country.

 

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives his date of death as 8 October 1914. However I believe it more likely that he died with Private Moore on 15 September, and that their bodies were not recovered until 8 October, when they were buried in the Chassemy-Conde Road. That burial place, however, was subsequently lost or forgotten, and Private Scott is now commemorated on the La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.

 

A similar page for Private William H. Moore gives more or less the same details.

 

Looking at this aspect a bit more, it appears the CWGC uses the October 8, 1915 date based on the report from the Chaplain that was in an earlier paper:

Quote

Referring to the sad event in the course of the service on Sunday in Donagh Parish Church, of which the deceased was a member, Rev. P. C. Duncan, M.A., rector of the parish, and chaplain of the forces at Clonmany, said – When the call came Harry Scott at once responded and entered the service of his King and country with a feeling of pride. He volunteered on the 7th August, left on the 10th, and arrived in France on the 23rd. On the 15th September he was wounded, and on the 8th October he died and was laid to rest at Chassemy Conde Road, about fifty miles from Paris, in a lovely country.

 

It appears that nobody is really certain what happened:

Quote

Both men were initially listed as missing but their death was later accepted. Whether Scott died that day, or of wounds later on, is not entirely clear.

 

Edited by laughton

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laughton

Where this 1914 analysis starts to fall apart is with the distance of 26 miles from where Scott and Moore fell, to where the remains were located. Add onto this, the inference that the bodies were buried in the close vicinity to where they fell. The only way they could have move 26 miles north would have been if the Germans had taken them away. Logical if they were both alive but not so logical if one or both were dead. If the report is true that Scott survived his wounds of September 15th until his death on October 8th, it would have had to meant he was in British hands.

 

The map that nicely places those of the North Irish Horse that were lost in the Great War (see here) takes us back to the men that were near Ham in 1918. The only candidates are those we have already discussed, Roberts (21 August 1918) and McVae (26 August 1918). As Craig has suggested above (this post) it is likely they were in the V Corps Cyclist Regiment (North Irish Horse). We don't know if which Squadron, each of which appears to have been sent to a different Division for tactical work monitoring the German withdrawal. 

  • "A' to 21st Division - appears to be 62nd Infantry Brigade, attack on 21 August 1918
  • "E' to 38th Division -appears to be assigned to HQ
  • "D" to 17th Division

In post #3 I looked at the locations where they probably were located, which placed them in 57c and 57d. I did not look at the casualties to see if that differed.

 

If we look at there the casualties were located, from the COG-BR records that are available for August 1918

  • McLelland 16 August 1918 - 57d.Q.18.a.2.5f
  • Waller 16 August 1918 - buried at Rouen, so likely died of wounds
  • Ross 21 August 1918 - 57d.Q.18.b.5.6
  • Gill 26 August 1918 - 57c.S.15.c.9.9
  • Livingstone 26 August 1918 - close to Gill at 57c.S.15.c.9.9
  • Huggins 30 August 1918 - omit as attached to 6th Dragoon Guards

As expected, none of these lads were close to where the unknown North Irish Horse remains were recovered at 66d.R.14.d.3.2 but where the Cyclists had been sent.

 

A remaining option is that they were in the group "9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers" and they are not shown on the CWGC site as "North Irish Horse". To be in the area of Roye and Ham, I believe their deaths would have been during Operation Michael in March 1918 or in the following Battle of Amiens in August 1918. There we can start to see some 66d coordinates: (LLT says 25 September 1917 : absorbed two dismounted squadrons of the North Irish Horse and retitled 9th (North Irish Horse) Bn.)

  • Major Drew 6 April 1918 Roye 66d.G.15.b.4.6 (German Cemetery)
  • Sgt. Hughes (GQMS) 23 March 1918 66d.S.3.A.4.5 (German registered grave) - he is listed as "North Irish Horse" - were they all - yes, after 25 September 1917
  • similar stories for others in Roye British Cemetery
  • Stuart died as a POW, buried in Villers St. Christopher Churchyard but his grave was lost in later battles
  • Duffy in Noyon B.C. 29 March 1918 66d.Q.28.a.9.4
  • Ogden & Tate in Noyon have the odd TMC, such as "Ham 1/20,000 331.3 x 166.4" (I am not yet sure of the conversion - anyone know the details?)

The war diary places them in the location of the cemetery at Grand Seraucourt on St. Patrick's Day 1918. It then reports the enemy attack on the 21st just east of the village. They fell back to Halpincourt, Ollizey, Fleuesle, Guiscard, Busse, Avrilcourt and so on .....

 

This may be the answer and all the rest was a "Wild Goose Chase", but it is all part of solving the puzzle, leaving no stone unturned.

 

Problem is not there are 31 men on the Pozieres Memorial for March 1918. We have no way to narrow that down to two men.

 

The fall period appears out of the issue as it superficially appears they were in Northern France and Flanders (CWGC Link). I have not checked the details.

 

I believe that brings this case to a close. Not all "good learning lessons" bear fruit! At least we know now that the headstones should read March 1918 and not March 1915. The headstone schedule is available because of Fricker and it does say March 1915 (last two lines in this document below). That is a simple change to make that can be done on the gravestone "in situ".

 

doc2105515.JPG

 

Edited by laughton

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laughton

From: Richard Laughton
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 3:01 PM
To: CWGC Enquiry Support Team
Subject: Unknown North Irish Horse, Grand Seraucourt British Cemetery 6.F.7 and 6.F.8

 

Dear CWGC:

 

After a detailed review of the UNKNOWNS of the North Irish Horse, it has become very clear that the two men in the graves noted in Grand Seraucourt British Cemetery 6.F.7 and 6.F.8 were killed in action in March 1918 (not March 1915), when they were part of the “9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers”.

 

I have attached a PDF copy of the posts on the Great War Forum that provides the step-by-step details, or alternatively you can view it online at this URL:

 

 

 

As always, you are welcome to post your comments on the forum and ask any questions.

 

This would appear to be a simple change to correct the headstones from 1915 to 1918, as it would not be possible to identify whose remains are in the graves. It may not seem important to make such a change, unless you were looking for the grave of your grandfather in the 9th Battalion killed in March 1918.

 

This did not appear to warrant a formal UNKNOWN REPORT to David Avery, however if that is required I will undertake to prepare the document.

 

All the best from Canada,

 

Richard

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MacM

Hello Richard

 

I am almost certain that the two unknown North Irish Horseman at Grand Seraucourt were part of the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, killed during the German spring offensive in March 1918. The location matches the line of retreat of the battalion, and it would seem likely that the "March 1915" date was a mis-transcription of the original burial marker.

The men were identified by NIH shoulder titles found on their bodies, which in some ways complicates the matter, because they should have been wearing RIF titles. However many men of the battalion had been transferred-in in when the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted in September 1917. It seems likely that they kept wearing their old shoulder titles.

 If we assume that they were men of the 9th (NIH) RIF who had formerly been part of the 2nd NIH Regiment, that narrows it down to just six men: Thomas Sittlington, Thomas Rowland Cartmill, Thomas Berry Lyons, Arthur Sidney Crawford, John Forbes and John Moon. You can see more detail on my website here http://northirishhorse.com.au/NIH/Images/In memoriam/Full pictures/Unknown 2.htm

There is one other 'unknown' burial marked as a 'North Irish Horseman' - at the Queens Cemetery, Bucquoy. I believe that he is John Martin Roberts (who you mention above). I have a submission with the CWGC seeking a re-dedication of the burial. 

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laughton

Thanks "McM"! Nice website and research to commemorate your grandfather. That is how I ended up here as well, as a grandson - probably applies to many of the Pals. Curious as to why you are then "MacM" and not "McM"? But I know now you are "PT" from your book.

 

It looks like this is another case of the CWGC website (this search) having some of the 30 men listed as just "9th Bn." and some listed as "9th (North Irish Horse) Bn." If you search only the later there are only 17 listed (this search).

 

Questions:

  1. How did you end up with the list of the six (6) men? From looking at the search results, it appears they were all men with a service number of the format "41xxx"?
     
  2. If the above is correct, why was Mark Lee #41642 excluded? I see he was initially #42 of the 6th Dragoon Guards (MIC link).

I think I just answered my own question! The "41xxx" was a new number assigned when they joined the RIF from the adsorption of the NIH. Sittlington was previously #2007, Cartmill was #1387, Lyons was #1846, Crawford was #1345, Forbes was #1924 and Moon was #1962.

 

That then takes us to question #3 - Did you have a list of the men who had joined the RIF from the NIH, or did you search them all?

 

The remains were found at 66D.R.14.d.3.2 which places them 2,000 yards southwest of Annois and 900 yards north of Cugny. It appears Sittlington was the only one KIA on the 21st when they were at Grand Seraucourt, so that might take him off the list or was he really KIA in the subsequent retreat?. They then fall back through Happencourt to Ollezy, which takes them closer at 66d.R.1 so within 2,500 yards of the remains. Following the route takes them through Fleuesele to Guiscard at 66d.V.24 on the 24th. That is taking us well to the southwest of where the remains were recovered.

 

The other five (5) men are listed as KIA on 29 March 1918, raising the question as to whether the date is correct or eliminating those 5 men as they were well out of the area?

 

Is the clue in the knowledge that the graves at 66D.R.14.d.3.2 were burials made by the Germans (i.e reference to "Englander")? The war diary refers to the death of Captain (Second Lieutenant?) Partridge on the 24th, along with Private Vincent McCaffery #3556. They would be better candidates "location wise" but they have no link to the North Irish Horse.

 

There may be more information available if we look at where the others were recovered in the period between the 21st to 25th of the month. For example, Serjeant (CQMS?) James Hughes was on the German List and found at 66D.S.3.a.4.5, now buried in Roye 4.B.1. That was the site of the Roye Old British Cemetery, so he was taken well to the west on the 23rd. Ogend and Tate were in a different German burial site before Noyon but at some strange map reference of HAM 331.1 x 166.4?

 

Any better ideas on the date of death? Have to run!

Edited by laughton
HAL corrected to read HAM for the map reference

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MacM

Hi Richard

 

Good question about 'MacM' or 'McM'. My grandfather was born in Ireland as Francis McMahon, but for some reason changed it to MacMahon when he emigrated to Australia in 1923. 

 

He was on the retreat from St Quentin with the 9th (NIH) Battalion in March 1918 - captured, got away, joined a French MG unit, wounded, eventually reunited with the remnants of his unit.

 

Turning to the question of the two missing North Irish Horsemen, here is the story in a nutshell:

In June 1916 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was formed, comprising B and C Squadrons of the NIH and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron. (However the Inniskillings retained their separate identity, including cap badge and shoulder titles.) In September 1917 the regiment was disbanded and most of the men, plus some surplus from the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which was renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. They were issued regimental numbers from 41070 to 41645, plus a few later arrivals 41694-98. 

These are the only men of the 9th Battalion who would have any reason to be wearing NIH shoulder titles in March 1918 (excluding those from the Inniskillings squadron). Only six of these men are listed as killed but with an unknown grave in the period 21 to 29 March 1918 – Cartmill, Lyons, Crawford, Forbes, Moon and Sittlington. As you conclude, the other, Lee, was an Inniskilling, so would not have had an NIH shoulder title.

The CWGC lists all but Sittlington as having died on 29 March. (He is shown as 21 March). The 29th, however, is misleading, as the battalion was not in action on that day. That was the day they took the roll following the retreat from 21-28 March, so that was the date the men were first listed as missing, rather than the day they fell. Confirming this, the Register of Soldiers' Effects shows all but Sittlington as missing believed KIA '21-29 March'.

The location of the two men's burial is on the line of retreat of the 9th Battalion. They were the area from 22 to 24 March, but which of the six they were, impossible to know for sure. As you suggest, though, it might be worth tracking where the other 9th RIF men were buried.

 

 

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