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398494 Sidney Harrison No 2 Siege Company Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers


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I am searching for any information regarding two brothers.

398494 Sapper Sidney Harrison No 2 Siege Company Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers.

396927 sapper William Arthur Harrison 5Th Field Coy Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers.

I know most things about them, except for photos and the nature of their deaths.

I have dates and burial information and have visited their graves.

Sid buried at Delsaux Farm Cemetery, Beugny France – Plot II.C.10 – 24 Oct 1918

William buried at Lapugnoy Military Cemetery Plot: XI.C.11 – 22 Oct 1918

 

But apart from photos, lost medals and coins, I want to understand what they were doing there?

I can not seem to get to the guts of it. Any suggestions?

 

Sidney Harrison Head Stone.JPG

IMG_2876.JPG

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Part answer with William.  He died in No 32 Casualty Clearing Station.  The war diary for 5th Field Company is downloadable from NA for £3/50 at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14016748

I haven't looked through it but you may be able to find something a little earlier than 22 Oct which at least  would tell you what they were doing.

 

Can't see a war diary for 2 Siege Company after August 1918.

 

Max

Edited by MaxD
Seen Charlie's post
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Incidentally the SDGW, Effects and CWGC each seem to get muddled between Anglesey and Monmouth Engineers. Have you definitely found these two are Anglesey ?

 

Charlie

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Further snippet for William.  32 CCS was at Lozinghem outside Bethune at the time, the cemetery in which he is buried took men from that location and others.

 

Forgive me Charlie but I find CWGC and Soldiers' Effects and SDGW are consistent with Monmouth for William and Anglesey for Sidney.

 

The war diary for Royal Monmouthshire RE is about another 273 images further on from the link Charlie gave for the RA RE.  Neither of the two diaries has any clue I can see except that the RM RE diary notes 28 ORs "evacuated" in October 1918, William may have been among them.

 

Haven't looked at 2 Siege Company for Sidney.

 

The war diary for 439 Field Company RE has two platoons each of the RA RE and RM RE attached from 20 October 1918 and had worked closely with RA RE prior to that.  Quite where that gets us I don't know!

 

Max

 

 

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Hi,

 

According to Terry Reeves in post #4 here (referring to another man):

 

"...I think you will find he belonged to a unit of the Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers (Militia) a Special Reserve unit.

They had a number change in 1917. Instead of issuing a set of new numbers, 39 was added to the beginning of the old ones. Similarly, 38 was added to the numbers of those serving with the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) the other SR unit of the Corps".

 

Regards

Chris

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As both these Harrisons have 39 numbers which would then mean Anglesey, the records for William which have Monmouth are all in error?

 

Charlie - if that was what you meant above, apologies, I misunderstood.

 

And 2 Siege Company Royal Anglesey RE is one of the companies of RA RE which adds up with Sidney's 39 number (there was a 1 Siege etc).

 

Whatever, no clue as to their demise in any of the diaries seen so far ie not 2 Siege which doesn't cover Oct 1918.

 

Confused of Wiltshire

 

Max

 

 

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Apologies, It was a typo on my part. 38 was Royal Monmouthshire and 39 Royal Anglesey which should clear things up.

 

TR

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Thanks for that so it is just William's records (39 number but Monmouth in CWGC, Effects and SDGW) that has the error.  His medal records have the 39 number but don't have the Anglesey/Monmouth on them.  But the man with the next number 6926/396926 is Anglesey same 5 Field Coy as is another - 396936 (enough for me!).

 

Fact remains that the diary that Charlie cited for William has no clues and Sidney's diary remains to be seen.

 

That said, William may well have been working alongside men from the Monmouth unit (whose diary lso has no clues) , it is clear from the diaries that all the local Sappers were working together at the time and what unit he was got mixed up. 

Surfaces a general question, of the three sources that have Monmouth, which would have published first and would the others done a copy/paste job?

 

Max

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image.png.47fb54c2c1a88c81f0e46a7c39c8ae60.png

 

Entry in Anglesey Absent Voters' List (v1.0 abt. May 1918) confirms this particular man to be a R.A.R.E. man (who actually came from Anglesey).

 

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Hi Max,

 

7 hours ago, MaxD said:

Thanks for that so it is just William's records (39 number but Monmouth in CWGC, Effects and SDGW) that has the error.

 

It will be interesting to know if the OP knows for sure that both men served with the Anglesey RE throughout the duration of the conflict.  I've seen a lot of TF RE men that were renumbered from the number blocks allocated in 1917, but served later with other TF RE units, and weren't re renumbered. In a similar way, I wonder if it might be that William was serving with the Anglesey RE when they renumbered in 1917, but later transferred (for whatever reason) to the Monmouth RE - hence his death unit references.

 

All speculation on my part, but as you previously commented, it doesn't really get to the bottom of the question posted by the OP.

 

Regards

Chris

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Gentlemen,

Having not long picked up on the correspondence, I have to say I am most impressed with peoples interest.

I did indeed try to down load the war diary's for 2nd Coy at national archives and sadly lost my deposit as it does not work.

Oh well you pay`s ya money I guess?

That said, it is my belief that the brothers joined up in Birmingham, it seems that Anglesey regiment did indeed recruit in Birmingham.

Perhaps, and this is a guess, that they needed R.E. and Birmingham being the city of a thousand trades at the time may have been a safe bet?

Who knows?!

But as it is, it does seem that the boys were in the original regiments until death as far as I can see.

It is an interesting point that 39 is added to a serial number.

A further question would be, what do the numbers mean in these cases, there seems to be some dark art on this subject.

I was hoping to find out what was happening in these areas in both cases with the brothers. 

With William I spotted that on my visit to his grave that it was a coal mining town.

Sidney is on the corner of a farmers field. They are 50 miles apart from each other.

Also it seems that some war diary's are missing.

So what next?

 

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4 minutes ago, Nick Bradbury said:

did indeed try to down load the war diary's for 2nd Coy at national archives and sadly lost my deposit as it does not work.

You can download as often as you like for 30 days after you pay, so if it failed once, try again. If it still doesn't work, email TNA and explain the problem, I'm sure it can be sorted.

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