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hazelclark

Battle of Neuve Chapelle casualties

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hazelclark

Have just ordered the Kendall book on Neuve Chapelle from NMP after reading a positive review by a Forum member.  I am ASSUMING, in that my grandfather was with the 1st Seaforth at the time, that he fought there, and that that was where he was wounded for the first time. All I really know for sure is that he spent the next two years in Cromarty and in April 1917 returned to France and joined the 8th Bn.

 

I have copies of the casualty lists for the second time he was wounded (at 3rd Ypres), but no where can I find casualty lists for 1914/1915.  Does anyone have any suggestions.  I will be back in Britain in October/November so could possibly check any available records in Edinburgh or London.

 

Thanks,

Hazel C

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Steven Broomfield

Hazel - no direct help, but the Highlanders Museum at Fort George seems to be very proactive, so it might be that they have something of help.

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hazelclark

Thanks. In fact I have been there and copied the diary of an officer who was in the raid for which my grandfather received the MM.  Hadn’t thought of asking about casualty lists.

Thanks again,

Hazel

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Steven Broomfield

Some of the stuff they put on their FB feed is - frankly - wonderful!

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hazelclark

Okay, so I tried to find out for myself, but now it seems I have to ask. 

 

5 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

Some of the stuff they put on their FB feed is - frankly - wonderful!

 

What is this?

 

In the process however of trying to find out, I discover a link to some sort of IWM remembering soldiers , which has my grandfather listed under 3 different aliases.

 

As there are currently two black bears picnicking on my lawn on a 40lb sack of sunflower seeds nicked from a shed, I will investigate when they have been dealt with.  However, some enlightenment for my ignorance would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Hazel

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nigelcave

How quaint. I find rabbits enough of a challenge.

 

Even tho I am a technophobe (or, perhaps more accurately, it hates me), I suspect that FB equals Facebook.

 

If we do not hear from you, we shall assume the worst!

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hazelclark
Posted (edited)

Good grief!  Can’t believe I didn’t think of that.  AND I googled and googled!

 

I am still alive and kicking as you can see.  Unfortunately, bears are a fact of life where we live, and I probably look like a CIA agent when leaving the house.  However, there was a rattlesnake in the garage last week which was almost worse as I almost didn’t notice it.  

 

Thanks,

Hazel

p.s. Steven obviously didn’t consider this request worthy of a response! It was nice of you to enlighten me Nigel.

Edited by hazelclark

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HolymoleyRE

Hello Hazel, not much help with your quest, 

 

But thought I would share this personnel account of Neuve Chapelle by a young Lt Nevile West, 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment (a resident of Hermitage, where I live).  Nevile would go on to be awarded the MC in a later action, only to be killed in a dawn attack at Courcelette in 1917.

 

https://skipperswar.com/2015/03/22/march-22nd/

 

Regards

 

Andy

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Steven Broomfield
7 hours ago, hazelclark said:

 

p.s. Steven obviously didn’t consider this request worthy of a response! It was nice of you to enlighten me Nigel.

 

As Nigel answered it before I saw it, I didn't see there was a requirement to answer an already-answered question. As I was in bed by the time you posed the question I missed it.  I promise to try harder in future.

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Skipman
1 hour ago, Steven Broomfield said:

 I didn't see there was a requirement to answer an already-answered question. As I was in bed by the time you posed the question I missed it.  I promise to try harder in future.

 

:P

 

Maybe a tad hasty Hazel.

 

Mike

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brianmorris547

Hazel

The 1st Seaforth Highlanders and the 4th Seaforth Highlanders (TF) served in the Dehra Dun Brigade of the Meerut (Indian) Division at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915. The WD for the Dehra Dunn Brigade has a record of casualties (WO 95/3940/1 - Ancestry p 285 and 286) which shows that 1 Bn had 30 o/rs k in a and 109 o/rs w in a, with 5 missing and the 4th had 32 o/rs k in a and 123 o/rs w in a with 3 missing. No names unfortunately.

The Official Casualty Lists published in the Times has larger lists than usual from 8 to 12/04/1915. The Seaforths are shown on the 12th. There are two lists on that day, the first shows 1 d of w and approx 50 wounded and the second shows 27 k in a, 2 d of w and approx 40 wounded. No Battalion is mentioned but these are presumably the 1st at Nueve Chapelle. 

On 16/04/1915 there is another list in the Times which shows approx 60 wounded from the Seaforth Highlanders (TF). These could be part of the 4th. 

Later in April and in May the Battalions are identified and the 4th is shown with (TF).

I have got copies and can confirm if your man is listed.

Brian

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hazelclark

Andy,

Thankyou so much for that. These diaries are most interesting when one has an interest in a particular battle and they are very often hard to find.

 

Steven, I apologize!  My kids laughed at me when I told them.:unsure:

 

3 hours ago, brianmorris547 said:

 

I have got copies and can confirm if your man is listed.

Brian

 

Brian, I would be most grateful if you could check for me. Often, after one appears to have reached the end.a new door opens which leads to a new line of research. Have been trying to find this info. for years.

 

My grandfather was Andrew Clark.  Although he was a L/Serjeant in 1917 When I have him listed, I am not sure what he was when he went to France.  I think he was a Corporal in the summer of 1915 in Cromarty.  His service number is #10260. I should add that although the latter did not change, he is listed variously as “Alexander”, as “Staff Sergeant”, and “Sergeant” and something even stranger in the 1911 census in India.

 

Thanks,

Hazel 

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hazelclark
6 hours ago, Skipman said:

 

:P

 

Maybe a tad hasty Hazel.

 

Mike

Yes Mike, but it was brought on by anxiety relating to the activities in my garden.  AND, I first read your post as “tasty”! 

Probably need new glasses.

H

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Skipman
Just now, hazelclark said:

Yes Mike, but it was brought on by anxiety relating to the activities in my garden.  AND, I first read your post as “tasty”! 

Probably need new glasses.

H

 

:D

 

Click

 

Mike

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Steven Broomfield
43 minutes ago, hazelclark said:

 

Steven, I apologize!  My kids laughed at me when I told them.:unsure:

 

 

 

You're lucky. My kids just laugh at me ...

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brianmorris547

Hazel

Unfortunately he is not named in either of those lists in the Times 12/04/1915. I did make a note that two Seaforths were mentioned on 13th, and one each on 14th and 15th (and others in May.) I will have another look later in the week. I notice from the Medal Rolls that he was awarded the MM. He is in the London Gazette 28/08/1917 no 30259 p 9001. He is also named in the Routine Orders in the WD of 15 Div HQ, Adjutant and Quarter-Master General, (WO 95/1917/1-5 - Ancestry p 863/864). The Order is dated 18/07/1917. His name is spelt Clarke. 8 Bn were in the line in early July but I think it is more likely that the Award was for action in April. The WD of 44 Infantry Brigade 02/05/1917 records that medals were presented by the Corps Commander to some NCOs.

There are four other Seaforths mentioned in the Routine Orders, I will check to see if any have Service Records which may give a date.

The local papers for the town where his nok lived may have a report of the Award, which may say when he was wounded in 1915. There may even be a report of his original wound.

Casualty Lists were also published in The Scotsman, I believe.

Brian

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

Hazel,

I couldn't get a hit for 1915 but I have this for 1917 and I suspect the N should be A and is your ancestor

Daily Casualty List 7/9/17, Seaforths, (which normally suggests wounding a month earlier)

           1910073731_ClarkNSeaforthDailyList7Sep1917.JPG.adcd39d34d258c6db03f71528fb43548.JPG

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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hazelclark
1 hour ago, brianmorris547 said:

Hazel

Unfortunately he is not named in either of those lists in the Times 12/04/1915. I did make a note that two Seaforths were mentioned on 13th, and one each on 14th and 15th (and others in May.) I will have another look later in the week. I notice from the Medal Rolls that he was awarded the MM. He is in the London Gazette 28/08/1917 no 30259 p 9001. He is also named in the Routine Orders in the WD of 15 Div HQ, Adjutant and Quarter-Master General, (WO 95/1917/1-5 - Ancestry p 863/864). The Order is dated 18/07/1917. His name is spelt Clarke. 8 Bn were in the line in early July but I think it is more likely that the Award was for action in April. The WD of 44 Infantry Brigade 02/05/1917 records that medals were presented by the Corps Commander to some NCOs.

There are four other Seaforths mentioned in the Routine Orders, I will check to see if any have Service Records which may give a date.

The local papers for the town where his nok lived may have a report of the Award, which may say when he was wounded in 1915. There may even be a report of his original wound.

Casualty Lists were also published in The Scotsman, I believe.

Brian

Thanks Brian.  In fact I have seen those later lists but couldn’t find anything for 1914/15.  Before he died, my uncle wrote his memoirs and states that his father was wounded “early in the war” and then went back to the front.  The only hard evidence I have is that he was definitely in Cromarty in the summer of 1915 (because he married my grandmother) and an Edinburgh newspaper article from about 1925/27 regarding his separation from my grandmother in which it was stated that he returned to France in April 1917. The war and losing his arm changed him dramatically.

 

With respect to the Military Medal, I was originally thinking Arras, until I discovered the newspaper article which mentions April.  Then I found that list of awardees in the Brigade Diaries which included him.  It comes immediately after the 8th Seaforth raid on 7/8th July and includes names of men whom I know to have been on the raid, from a diary of one of the officers which I copied while visiting Fort George. A sergeant, in a different company from the officer concerned, is mentioned ,although not by name, for some sort of blocking or something which I didn’t really understand.  I also found a small article in an Edinburgh newspaper which mentions that he was awarded the MM for “bravery in the field”. It also noted that he was one of three sons serving in the army.  As James and John Clarks are ten a penny I haven’t tried too hard to find them!  I think I did try to trace those NCOs through their service numbers at the time I found the list. One of them, if I correctly remember, was researched by Forum member PPCLI (?) 

 

I guess what I have been trying to do, is fill in the space of time between arriving in France from India in 1914, until his return to the front (assuming the newspaper report is correct) in April 1917. In that Cromarty was the Depot, he could have been involved with training, but unless he had been wounded fairly significantly, it seems a devil of a long time to be out of action.

 

I really appreciate your help Brian.  It is amazing how all the bits fit together.

 

Thanks again for taking so much trouble on my behalf.

 

Hazel

 

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hazelclark
1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

Hazel,

I couldn't get a hit for 1915 but I have this for 1917 and I suspect the N should be A and is your ancestor

Daily Casualty List 7/9/17, Seaforths, (which normally suggests wounding a month earlier)

           1910073731_ClarkNSeaforthDailyList7Sep1917.JPG.adcd39d34d258c6db03f71528fb43548.JPG

 

Charlie

Thanks Charlie,

 

That is indeed my grandfather. One does have to be something of a sleuth to find these things. I had forgotten that he was also given the initial “N” ! He didn’t come from Inverness either.  He was born and bred in Edinburgh.

 

It was very kind of you to look.

 

Hazel

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brianmorris547

Hazel

July must be right for the MM. There is another list of Honours and Awards dated May 1917 in the Routine Orders of the A&QMG which will relate to April. 1 Seaforth were in the line in October and November 1914 and had approx 200 wounded. The December 1914 WD is missing but the Bn was in the line 16th to 23rd. I will have another scan through the Times Lists for this period when next in the library.

Brian

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hazelclark

Thanks yet again Brian.  That month seems to be missing in all sources so goodness knows what happened to it.  It is odd.  Not that it would mention names of NCOs though.

Hazel

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brianmorris547

Hazel

The WD for October/November 1914 shows that the Bn had casualties on most days, including 60 w on 04/11 and 63 w on 7/11. I checked the Times OCLs from December 1914. There was a list of 30 w Seaforths on 28/12, another list of 50 w Seaforths on 11/01/1915 and another of 58 w Seaforths on 15/01/1915. Unfortunately he is not named on any of them. The OCLs in this period seem to feature regional losses e g Scottish or Midland Regiments with the wounded of other Units mixed up. I checked all of these as well. I am up to mid January 1915 at the moment. I usually spend an hour in my local library two or three times a week so no problem looking it up. Hope for a result soon. Please "bear" with me.

Brian

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hazelclark

Brian I owe you big time.  However, BEAR is a kind of bad word around here. I used to be afraid of moths!

Thanks,

Hazel

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brianmorris547

Hazel

No luck I'm afraid. I have checked the Times from December 1914 right up to and past the Neuve Chapelle OCLs in April 1915. I might have missed him but I do not think so. Some December lists also had direct admissions into various hospitals and it was not clear if these names had been mentioned on an OCL first. There may be a report of his MM in his local paper in 1917 which may say when he was wounded earlier. There may even be a report of his original wound. Good luck.

Brian

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hazelclark

Thanks so much for your persistence. It was very kind of you. I am starting to wonder if the family lore is maybe just that  -  myth!  May be he was at the Depot because he was court martialed or something !

if his pension records ever show up on Ancestry it may shed some light. 

Hazel

 

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