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Andy Wade

War diary for 1st Battalion Tank Corps on Ancestry?

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Andy Wade

Good afternoon, I'm trying to locate the war diary for the 1st battalion Tank Corps for the period covering early October 1918 as I have a man (Herbert Denison) killed in action at that time who I'm researching. I can't find this diary on Ancestry at all. A link to the relevant document would be very much appreciated please. I know where it is on the National Archives but the Ancestry version (if it exists) has eluded me.

Cheers.

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MaxD

I don't find it on Ancestry either.  They were GHQ Troops and few (none??) GHQ/Army troops units have yet made their way to Ancestry.  Only £3.50 from Kew.

 

Max

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David_Underdown

Only diaries up to Divisional level are available on Ancestry I'm afraid.  Broadly speaking if the URL of the TNA version ends C and then about 7 digits it will be on Ancestry, if it ends with a more complicated set of numerals and lower case a-f, irregularly divided by dashes, it's only available on Discovery.

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Andy Wade

Thanks Max and David. Much appreciated. Looks like it's a £3.50 job. That's about a pint of beer around these parts...

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Gareth Davies

What specific dates are you after Andy?  I can send you a transcript of a few days if that will help.

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Andy Wade

Thank you, that's very generous of you Gareth!

Herbert Denison was killed in action on October 8th so anything from that period which might throw a little light on the circumstances of his death would be very much appreciated. Even a general feel of things if for example, they were involved in an attack on the German front lines would be sufficient.

His CWGC information:

DENISON, HERBERT
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Tank Corps
Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 08/10/1918
Service No: 91641
Additional information: Son of Charles Thomas and Laura Denison, of Sunny Bank, Riddlesden, Keighley Yorks. Educated at Bradford College.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: BB. 5.
Cemetery: BEAUREVOIR BRITISH CEMETERY

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Gareth Davies

Here is the WD. Sadly I don't have the vital annex, sorry.

 

October 1918

 

6-10

Conference of Coy commanders, 2 i/c, TE, ROs held by CO at 09.30.

21 tanks fit for action. 2 tanks remain with A Coy at Zulu Copse. Tanks move up to forward lying up position starting 18.00. C Coy at B.19.b; B Coy at B.19.b.

CO visits 66th Div to arrange operations.

7-10

Tanks overhauled. Operations order issued, see appx  -  missing..

Coy commanders and Section commanders gain touch with the Divs with which they are to operate.

8-10

Action. Zero 05.10 hrs. For details see Appx  -  missing.

9-10

All fit tanks trek up to T.29.c.4.6 (Sheet 57b) starting at 09.00 hrs. Bn HQ moves to B.4.b.7.8 (Sheet 62b). Tanks of B Coy and C Coy less two tanks trek to U.21.a.7.8 (Sheet 57b). Two detailed tanks of C Coy under Lt Moffatt move to P.22.c.1.1.

At 02.30 hrs, 66 Div asked for tanks to operate at 05.30 hrs. Tank crews stood to their tanks. 4th Tank Bde subsequently cancelled order.

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Gareth Davies

From the Bn war history:

Battle of Beaurevoir:  On the 1st of October “C” Company rejoined the remainder of the Battalion and on the 3rd “A” Company was merged into “B” and “C” Companies for further operations.  These two Composite Companies moved forward tom a valley at A.27.b.central on the 5th, continuing their journey the following day to the final starting point at B.10.b.  Until the evening of the 7th all available time was spent in final adjustments and reconnaissance, and at 5.20 a.m. on the 8th both Companies went into that action which followed on the continued pressure of the previous week, and which completely broke  the enemy resistance in this front.  The success of the operations was complete.  The Infantry drove the enemy before them and whenever necessary Tanks moved up to deal with difficult situations.  Both at Hamage Farm and Les Folies Wood Sections of “B” Company distinguished themselves, a battery of six guns being engaged and captured by Lieuts. Watson and Wilson at the former place.  One car only was hit, the remainder rallying without casualties.

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MaxD

As the diary makes clear, the action over those days took place at the junction of two diagonally placed map sheets (it always does!).  The places can be identified on the composite map at:

http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A4074/-/collection

The start point in B 10 b is just outside Beaurevoir .  The action went to the north east,  Hamage Farm and Les Folies Wood are in T 24 and U 19 respectively.  .  The cemetery is at the north east outskirts of Beaurevoir.The ground most easily found on Google Earth/Maps by searching Serain France and zooming out a bit to include Beaurevoir.

 

Max

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Gareth Davies

It's a nice little action and one that I have visited as a side bar to a Cambrai 1917 trip.   I say nice little action but it was the 12th most deadly day for the Tank Corps and predecessors in the Great War.

Edited by Gareth Davies

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Andy Wade

Wow, that's fantastic, many thanks indeed Gareth and Max. Much appreciated!

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