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BridgetM

Rifleman Walter Foyle S/10461 8th Rifle Brigade

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BridgetM

Before I get even more confused, please could I ask for clarification from those who have done much more research?

I am researching the men of my parish who died in the Great War. The focus is principally on their life, their family and local connections, with limited detail of how they died. Having covered the basics on this man earlier, I am now filling out his story. Where I have found their unit, a look at LLT and the War Diary has often allowed me to say approximately where and in what action they are likely to have died/been wounded.

Thanks to guests post earlier this year, I found the 8th Rifle Brigade War Diary on Ancestry (their own browse boxes brought up the 2nd), which shows they were in the front line 4th-8th December, when they suffered bad weather and heavy guns were firing from both sides of the line, especially on the 7th. Casualties reported were 3 killed and 9 wounded. They were relieved on the night of the 8th. Foyle's Service Record (and SDGW) show him KiA on 9/12/1915, which I guess would be the date he was confirmed KiA.

Query 1: Having seen somewhere that the Rifle Brigade and the King's Royal Rifles were different units, I am now unsure whether I have the right WD. TNA referred to the one I have looked at as '8 Battalion Rifle Brigade', but the writer repeatedly refers to '8th KRR'. Also, Foyle's Attestation shows King's Royal Rifles, although most of his record (and MIC and Medal Rolls) shows Rifle Brigade. Am I looking at the right Diary?

Query 2: If this is the right War Diary, please could somebody who knows the place names used give me an approximate location for where the 8th Rifle Brigade were 4th-8th December 1915, relative to places on modern maps.

I would be grateful for any assistance.

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ss002d6252

The soldier's effects records confirm he was 8 Rifle Brigade when he died on 9 Dec 1915.

 

Craig

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stiletto_33853
Posted (edited)

Hi Bridget,

He was a replacement to the battalion after Hooge embarking on 3/8/15 and joining the battalion on the 5th. When I can get home to my hard drives I will post a little more but the 8th RB suffered quite a few casualties on the 9th from an Artillery bombardment around Brigade HQ after & during their relief of the 7th KRRC.

The war diary is WO95/1895 and they were brigaded with the 7th RB, 7th & 8th KRRC (41st Brigade, 14th Division) hence references to these other units is common.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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MBrockway
Posted (edited)

He attested in London on 07 May 1915 with an address in Fulham.  Age 22 yrs.  Occupation given as Engine Driver.

 

The front page of his attestation has 'King's Royal Rifles' (= KRRC) handwritten on the front page, but a rubber stamp showing 'RIFLE BRIGADE' has been stamped above it.  There are no other refs to the KRRC and he has a Rifle Brigade service number, so I suspect the handwritten KRRC is an error at attestation corrected either immediately or at the Depot.

 

He reported for duty at the Rifle Depot (shared by the KRRC and the RB) at Winchester on 09 May 1915 and was posted to the Depot.  Here he would have been issued his service number, ID tags and uniform/equipment.

 

The next line on his service record is too faint to read confidently.  Normally such a recruit would next be posted to one of the Rifle Brigade Reserve battalions in the UK for initial training before then being sent out to join the BEF.  5th & 6th Rifle Brigade were both in the Sheppey/Sheerness area, 14th & 15th RB were in Southend but moved to Purfleet during May and then to nearby Belhus Park in June.  These are the most likely battalions he would have been sent to.  Andy may have more detail.

 

The date for this training posting is also faint, but appears to be a double digit day (i.e. 10th or later) in May 1915.

 

He went overseas on 03 Aug 1915 and joined the 8th battalion in the field on 05 Aug 1915. As Andy says, this was just after the action at Hooge.

 

He was killed in action on 09 Dec 1915.  :poppy:

 

Mark

Edited by MBrockway

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BridgetM

Thank you Craig, Andy and Mark.

 

The answer to my first query is that I did have the wrong WD. Unfortunately, 8th Rifle Brigade's War Diary appears to have a gap, from the end of September 1915 and restarting in April 1916 (TNA Discovery and Ancestry).

 

I have images of all the relevant records for Walter Foyle that I could find on Ancestry. As Mark notes, parts of his Service Record are too faint to read (at least, on the images I have), which doesn't help.

 

Special thanks to Andy for any further information you can give me.

 

BridgetM

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stiletto_33853
Posted (edited)

Bridget, 

Home now. OK I have asked Mark if he can help re the mapping as it is one of his stronger points and one of my weaker.

During this time the 41st Brigade were the left Brigade in the area of Ops with the 8th RB being the right battalion. The Boundaries for the 41st Bde were B.15 & B.16 to junction of Lombard Street and Cornhill C.21.c. 1.9 along Cornhill to C.21.c.8.8 then South to the junction of Threadneedle Street with the X Line.

 

As per Order number 35 of 7/12/15 on the night of 8-9/12/15 the 8th Rifle Brigade relieved the 7th KRRC in the front line, night of 12-13/12/15 the 7th KRRC relieved the 8th Rifle Brigade.

 

At 10.30pm on the 8-9/12/15 the left breastwork of S.4 was badly blown in killing 7 of the garrison with all the remainder being wounded.

 

From 5am until 6.15am on the 9th there was a heavy bombardment in the vicinity of Brigade HQ from 10am it was fairly quiet until the artillery carried out an SOS test. This caused a retaliation from the German artillery which continued throughout the whole day.

 

Ancestry is appalling with the War Diaries, this lapse has been pointed out to the TNA with image numbers given but so far zilch action, what a shock. If you need the diary for this time let me know. Just going through my files for any additional information for you.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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BridgetM

Andy, thank you for going to so much trouble - I do like to be able to give today's parish residents some idea of what and where things happened. No relatives have come forward (as is the case for most I have researched) so I don't have anyone looking for definitive locations.

 

If you can give me the image number/s for the relevant period for the 8th RB War Diary at the TNA, I paid for a download, then was unexpectedly faced with a string of options identified only by the image numbers (no date ranges) so didn't download. I can make use of that.

 

Thanks again,

 

BridgetM

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stiletto_33853

Bridget,

Not a problem, the 8th is somewhat of a passion of mine hence I have most of the battalions positions marked out, actions and casualties. I have sent you the diary for the relevant month and this trench map comes from the Brigade Diary.

 

Andy

DSC02126.JPG

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stiletto_33853

This from an old thread which will give you a basic idea until Mark comes along. 

Threadneedle street.jpg

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MBrockway
Posted (edited)

Yes - I'm on the case converting Jeudwine's very detailed Scheme of Defence into map references.  Andy has sent you this off the board I think.

 

It'll take a wee while though and I have a few things on today.

 

The brigade sector was approx 1km to the N of the aerial photo in Andy's post above.  The southern half is just visible - the brigade's front line sector's southern boundary was just to the SW of CROSS ROADS FARM approx halfway between BUFFS ROAD and the modern N38 road.

 

Cheers,

Mark

 

 

Edited by MBrockway

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BridgetM

Thank you Andy, WD received.

Mark, please don't put too much time into this - I only need to be able to say 'near/around/just North of [a place you have heard of]' possibly also outline description along the lines of 'low-lying and so very wet ground'.

I shall take a day or two to get my head around this, plus a few other things I can't put off, so I may not be back for a day or so - I will be back!

 

 

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MBrockway

As my grannie used to say - dinna fash yersel - this is also part of something else Andy and I are researching anyway :thumbsup:.

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BridgetM

Welsh, was she, your gran? :D Thanks for letting me in on your work.

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MBrockway

Certainly not - Scots like me.

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BridgetM

Shame there isn't an emoji for 'gently winding you up'!

 

I studied, lived and worked in NE Scotland for some years (longer ago than I care to remember) so i did know that was Scots.

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MBrockway

Andy - have got a couple of good base 1915 trench maps now and am part way marking them up from Jeudwine's scheme, but stopping for the night now. Speak tomorrow.

Mark

 

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