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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

WW1 Royal Engineers 7th Field Company


Bathonian
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I am researching my Grandfather, Private Philip Ward of the Royal Engineers 7th field company, who was captured along with many others on 27th May 1918. He died, apparently in captivity, in October 1918 and is buried in northern France. Does anyone have relatives captured at the same time who could guide me / enlighten me as to where he might have been between his capture and his death?

Thank you.

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He doesn't appear to have a POW card but if you have the war diary which lists all those captured you could trawl the ICRC records for similarities of experiences

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/

That said, as he seems to have been buried by the Germans some months after capture, that may imply he was sick and may have been treated separately from the others.

(One quick sample Sapper Clelland has a card without any additional info!)

 

Max

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Not sure that taking random men and looking at their POW records will help a great deal.  I just looked at Sapper Dilmot who is recorded in three different camps at different times, culminating in his passing away from flu in the hospital in November.  Sapper Cragg has one record only of him being in Langensalza POW camp on a list made in October 1918.  Sapper Pearson is in Lamsdorf in November 1918.  Sapper Weaver died in Trier in December.   Another man looked at has, like Philip Ward, no POW card. 

 

This rather suggests that the experience of one man can't really be transplanted to another even if taken at the same time.

 

Max

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More generally, the book "The war behind the Wire" on POWs 1914-18 by John Lewis-Stempel is a good but disturbing read.

 

Max

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Thank you for your replies.

Yes I have already been directed to the ICRC site by staff at the National Archives - unfortunately to no avail!

There is one source that I have yet to look at - that of the diary of a Pte. C W Taylor who was in the same unit and captured at the same time as my Grandfather. Unfortunately that is only available vi=a the Imperial War Museum in London on a minimum 5 days pre-order.

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Fingers crossed his diary mentions your grandfather.  As we've seen with the examples above, the  experiences of the men captured that day were not all the same.  Taylor appears on a list of Nov 1918 in Langensalza.

Good luck

Max

 

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