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laughton

Peronne Road Cemetery Case #1: CSM Durham Light Infantry

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laughton

Looking for another man but this popped to the surface when going through the COG-BR documents. There is a Company Serjeant Major of the Durham Light Infantry at 62c.I.1.a.1.3 so north of the Clery Copse (TMC 62c.I.1.a) and west of Haut-Allaines. He is now buried in the Perrone Road Cemetery in Plot 1 Row E Grave 4.

 

There are five (5) on the Pozieres Memorial (CWGC Link) and I suspect the soldier is CSM Thomas Blanchard #5539 based on the following early analysis:

  1. He is carrying the spoon that belongs to Private Frank Cook #72993, who was not yet deceased, but of the 15th Battalion. Actually he might have died at the same time base on what it says for the man that follows (Wright).
  2. The remains in 1.E.2 on this same page belong to Private A. Wright #17136, also of the 15th Battalion and who has a date of death as some time between 21 March 1918 and 31 March 1918. That suggests there is a question about the date of death for Cook noted above.
  3. The war diary places the 15th Bn Durham Light Infantry in that area on 23 March 1918 (war diary page 152 of 527). You will see on that page that they moved through Haut Allaines and then the battalion withdrew to a position from Clery Copse (where the remains were found) to the River Somme east of Clery.

 

The 15th Battalion was in the 64th Infantry Brigade, 21st Division.


I would still need to confirm that none of the others on the list are candidates as well. One step at a time.

 

surname forename death Durham Light Infantry # Location
BLANCHARD THOMAS 23-03-18 15th Bn. '5539' in 62c.I.1.a where remains recovered
HANSELL, DCM MARTIN 27-03-18 "B" Coy. 1st/5th Bn. '200026'  
McGUIRE THOMAS W. 26-03-18 22nd Bn. '2213'  
ROBSON DAVID S. 23-03-18 11th Bn. '9647'  
WARDROPPER, DCM ROBERT W. 28-03-18 1st/7th Bn. '275004'  
 

 

doc2483748.JPG

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Don Regiano

I have no reason to dispute your view.  However, I think your point 1 about the spoon needs some caution, especially as there appears to be 4 Durhams in that concentration report.  The reason I suggest caution is because of this example:

 

1436272400_CooperHTgraveconcentrationplusUBS.jpg.b6b8ee308dc907feb2067d5ff57a5cfc.jpg

 

 

This concentration report lists a visiting card from an Arthur Ball against the second entry - an unknown British soldier, suggesting it was found with his remains.  It may well have been but I think extending that to saying it belonged to the UBS would lead to too much of a coincidence.  I believe it actually belonged to the person listed above him, H T Cooper, who worked in the same bank/branch as Arthur Ball of Cheadle.  Arthur Ball actually died about 4 months earlier than H T Cooper in a flying accident in Egypt.  My wife and I happened to be researching Manchester & County Bank employees who had died in the conflict.

 

Maybe the conditions in Clery Copse were different, or do you have other evidence to support your contention that Blanchard was actually carrying the spoon?

 

Good luck with your latest endeavours.

 

Reg

 

 

 

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laughton

Agreed - one step at a time.

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laughton

The example from Reg is fantastic and anyone that is doing this work should look at those documents!

 

I checked on the locations of the others and have updated the table:

 

surname forename death Durham Light Infantry # Location War Diary
BLANCHARD THOMAS 23-03-18 15th Bn. 64 Bde. 21 Div. '5539' Clery Copse  62c.I.1.a NW Peronnewhere remains recovered 152 of 527
HANSELL, DCM MARTIN 27-03-18 1st/5th Bn. 151st Bde. 50th Div. '200026' Barleux 62c.N.18 to Biahces 62c.I.25 area SW Peronne 10 of 701
McGUIRE THOMAS W. 26-03-18 22nd Bn. 8th Div. (Pioneer) '2213'    
ROBSON DAVID S. 23-03-18 11th Bn. 20th Div. (Pioneer) '9647' Conchy-les-Pots (SW Roye 70 series) march to Le Quesnel 66e.K.1 291 of 342
WARDROPPER, DCM ROBERT W. 28-03-18 1st/7th Bn. 50th Div. (Pioneer) '275004' Attack at Caix 66e.E.3 and withdrew to Moreuil 66e.I.2 213 of 245

 

Unfortunately I have yet to find the war diary for the 22nd (Pioneer) Battalion, even using the UKNA code (WO 95/1702/1 22 Battalion Durham Light Infantry (Pioneers)). It is not under 8th Division "other" or under the main "DLI" listing.

 

The search did tell me that so far CSM Blanchard is the only one in the exact area where the remains were recovered. CSM Hansell is close to the area at Biaches, which is about 4,000 yards south of where the remains were recovered (McMaster Map Peronne 62c).

 

be1nfdu0x9ifuhi6g.jpg

Edited by laughton
adjusted size of table to fit boundaries

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Don Regiano
1 hour ago, laughton said:

The example from Reg is fantastic and anyone that is doing this work should look at those documents!

 

I checked on the locations of the others and have updated the table:

 

surname forename death Durham Light Infantry # Location War Diary
BLANCHARD THOMAS 23-03-18 15th Bn. 64 Bde. 21 Div. '5539' Clery Copse  62c.I.1.a NW Peronnewhere remains recovered 152 of 527
HANSELL, DCM MARTIN 27-03-18 1st/5th Bn. 151st Bde. 50th Div. '200026' Barleux 62c.N.18 to Biahces 62c.I.25 area SW Peronne 10 of 701
McGUIRE THOMAS W. 26-03-18 22nd Bn. 8th Div. (Pioneer) '2213'    
ROBSON DAVID S. 23-03-18 11th Bn. 20th Div. (Pioneer) '9647' Conchy-les-Pots (SW Roye 70 series) march to Le Quesnel 66e.K.1 291 of 342
WARDROPPER, DCM ROBERT W. 28-03-18 1st/7th Bn. 50th Div. (Pioneer) '275004' Attack at Caix 66e.E.3 and withdrew to Moreuil 66e.I.2 213 of 245

 

Unfortunately I have yet to find the war diary for the 22nd (Pioneer) Battalion, even using the UKNA code (WO 95/1702/1 22 Battalion Durham Light Infantry (Pioneers)). It is not under 8th Division "other" or under the main "DLI" listing.

 

The search did tell me that so far CSM Blanchard is the only one in the exact area where the remains were recovered. CSM Hansell is close to the area at Biaches, which is about 4,000 yards south of where the remains were recovered (McMaster Map Peronne 62c).

 

 

 

Richard.

 

The war diary for 22 DLI around the dates in question can be found at:

 

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/60779/43112_1702_0-00077?pid=485674&backurl=https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DIdQ581%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D60779%26cp%3D0%26gskw%3D1702/1%26qh%3DQlqa6LBCLo4ecXmYZq3Oow%3D%3D%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26redir%3Dfalse%26gss%3Dangs-d%26pcat%3DUK_WAR_DIARIES%26fh%3D0%26h%3D485674%26recoff%3D%26ml_rpos%3D1&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=IdQ581&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true#?imageId=43112_1702_0-00243

 

This suggests 22 DLI were in the Omiecourt-Chaulnes area off the southern edge of your map so you can probably eliminate T W McGuire and it adds weight to your argument. 

 

Regards.

 

Reg

 

 

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laughton

Thanks for that, I could not find it! Table updated:

 

surname forename death Durham Light Infantry # Location War Diary
BLANCHARD THOMAS 23-03-18 15th Bn. 64 Bde. 21 Div. '5539' Clery Copse  62c.I.1.a NW Peronnewhere remains recovered 152 of 527
HANSELL, DCM MARTIN 27-03-18 1st/5th Bn. 151st Bde. 50th Div. '200026' Barleux 62c.N.18 to Biahces 62c.I.25 area SW Peronne 10 of 701
McGUIRE THOMAS W. 26-03-18 22nd Bn. 8th Div. (Pioneer) '2213' Lihons 62c.S.26  Chaulines 66d.A.5 west to Rosieres 66e.F.3 244 of 586
ROBSON DAVID S. 23-03-18 11th Bn. 20th Div. (Pioneer) '9647' Conchy-les-Pots (SW Roye 70 series) march to Le Quesnel 66e.K.1 291 of 342
WARDROPPER, DCM ROBERT W. 28-03-18 1st/7th Bn. 50th Div. (Pioneer) '275004' Attack at Caix 66e.E.3 and withdrew to Moreuil 66e.I.2 213 of 245

 

Edited by laughton

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laughton

As with all cases that might go to the CWGC, it is necessary to also confirm that it is not any one of the other missing of that rank and regiment at any time during the war. In one case that we now have before the CWGC (McDonald & Wiley) lost at Hill 70 (Lens), the CWGC is making us check EVERY Lieutenant of the battalion at any place in France and at any time during the war! Strange, as how would one from Courcelette in 1916 end up at Lens in 1917?

 

There are NO men listed on SPECIAL MEMORIALS within a cemetery.

 

Here is the full list of the UNKNOWN CSM of the Durham Light Infantry (CWSG Link). As above, five (5) of the nineteen (19) have already been checked:

 

surname forename death D.L.I. # cemetery or memorial Area
TURTON JOSEPH 21-03-18 "C" Coy. 2nd Bn. '8915' ARRAS MEMORIAL  
HOPE GEORGE J. 27-09-15 14th Bn. '26959' LOOS MEMORIAL  
WILLCOX ARTHUR F. 25-09-15 15th Bn. '3/11730' LOOS MEMORIAL  
BLANCHARD THOMAS 23-03-18 15th Bn. '5539' POZIERES MEMORIAL exact
HANSELL MARTIN 27-03-18 "B" Coy. 1st/5th Bn. '200026' POZIERES MEMORIAL close
McGUIRE THOMAS W. 26-03-18 22nd Bn. '2213' POZIERES MEMORIAL out
ROBSON DAVID S. 23-03-18 11th Bn. '9647' POZIERES MEMORIAL out
WARDROPPER ROBERT W. 28-03-18 1st/7th Bn. '275004' POZIERES MEMORIAL out
SPOONER THOMAS 27-05-18 1st/7th Bn. '275047' SOISSONS MEMORIAL  
BLACK BENJAMIN W. 18-09-16 1st/8th Bn. '2983' THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
BOOTH ALBERT 05-11-16 1st/8th Bn. '300021' THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
CONNELL JAMES A. 01-07-16 15th Bn. '9480' THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
COOK ELI 05-11-16 "B" Coy. 1st/8th Bn. '300335' THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
COOPER WILSON 15-09-16 10th Bn. '7335' THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
DAVIS GEORGE 17-07-16 12th Bn. '13668' THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
HOLROYDE GEORGE 06-05-17 19th Bn. '9129' THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
MOORE WILFRED H. 18-09-16 14th Bn. '17073' THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
WILSON JOHN A. 01-07-16 15th Bn. '18405' THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
ROBINSON JOSEPH 23-10-18 15th Bn. '20375' VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL  
Edited by laughton
added Special Memorial check 27/10/2018

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laughton

The remains are at 66c.I.1.a.1.3 so we are looking for any DLI battalion in that area at any time during the war. These are the one not reported above:
 

  • 1st/7th Battalion
    • SPOONER 27-05-18 holding strongpoints Monaco in the area south of Reims and east of Paris (war diary page 235 of 245)
  • 1st/8th Battalion
    • BLACK 18-09-16 in the vicinity of Swansea Trench & Kerry Alley, Longueva 57c.S.3  attack on the Crescent 57c.M.33.b.7.4 (war diary page 436 of 840)
    • BOOTH & COOK 05-11-16 in Snag Trench 57d.M.17.c Le Sars (war diary page 479 of 840)
  • 2nd Battalion
    • TURTON 21-03-18 west of  monument north of Bapaume 57c.H.14 (war diary page 405 of 971)
  • 10th Battalion
    • 15-09-16 COOPER - near Delville Wood 57c.S.12-18 (war diary page 300 of 912)
  • 12th Battalion
    • 17-07-1916 DAVIS - in the area of Pozieres 57d.X.4 (war diary page 56 0f 153)
  • 14th Battalion
    • 27-09-15 CSM HOPE - in the vicinity of Hill 70 (Noyelles-lès-Vermelles 36c.G.7 approx) northwest of Lens (war diary page 12 of 645)
    • 18-09-16 CSM MOORE - at the Quadrilateral 57c.T.14.d.4.4 (war diary page 791 of 971)
  • 15th Battalion
    • 25-09-15 WILCOX  - near Vermelles with an attack on Hill 70 36c.G.8 (war diary page 5 of 527)
    • 01-07-16 CONNELL & WILSON - Montauban Sector on the Somme 57c.S.27 (page 72 of 527)
    • 23-10-1918 ROBINSON - Vendegies-Au-Bois 57b.F.7 attack west of Ovillers 57b.E.24 (war diary page 193 of 527)
  • 19th Battalion
    • 06-05-17 HOLROYDE near Fresnoy-le-Petit 62b.M.27.a.0.5 (war diary page 52 of 81)

 

That leaves our man as Company Serjeant Major Blanchard, the only one LOST and UNKNOWN at that location at any time during the war. He was in the exact location, not just close!

 

Edited by laughton
missed some of the links and Turton completely

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laughton

Final Summary Table to go to reporting stage:

 

surname forename death Durham Light Infantry # Location War Diary Memorial
BLANCHARD THOMAS 23-03-18 15th Bn. 64 Bde. 21 Div. '5539' Clery Copse  62c.I.1.a NW Peronne where remains recovered 152 of 527 POZIERES
HANSELL, DCM MARTIN 27-03-18 1st/5th Bn. 151st Bde. 50th Div. '200026' Barleux 62c.N.18 to Biahces 62c.I.25 area SW Peronne 10 of 701 POZIERES
McGUIRE THOMAS W. 26-03-18 22nd Bn. 8th Div. (Pioneer) '2213' Lihons 62c.S.26  Chaulines 66d.A.5 west to Rosieres 66e.F.3 244 of 586 POZIERES
ROBSON DAVID S. 23-03-18 11th Bn. 20th Div. (Pioneer) '9647' corrected: moving from Annois 66d.R.16 to Ollezy 66d.R.1 287 of 342 POZIERES
WARDROPPER, DCM ROBERT W. 28-03-18 1st/7th Bn. 50th Div. (Pioneer) '275004' Attack at Caix 66e.E.3 and withdrew to Moreuil 66e.I.2 213 of 245 POZIERES
TURTON JOSEPH 21-03-18 2nd Bn. 18th Bde. 6th Division '8915' west of  monument north of Bapaume 57c.H.14 405 of 971 ARRAS
HOPE GEORGE J. 27-09-15 14th Bn. 64 Bde. 21 Div. '26959' Hill 70 (Noyelles-lès-Vermelles 36c.G.7 approx) northwest of Lens 12 of 645 LOOS
WILLCOX ARTHUR F. 25-09-15 15th Bn. 64 Bde. 21 Div. '3/11730' near Vermelles with an attack on Hill 70 36c.G.8 5 of 527 LOOS
SPOONER THOMAS 27-05-18 1st/7th Bn. 50th Div. (Pioneer) '275047' Monaco in the area south of Reims and east of Paris (off trench maps) 235 of 245 SOISSONS
BLACK BENJAMIN W. 18-09-16 1st/8th Bn. 161st Bde. 50th Div. '2983' Swansea Trench & Kerry Alley 57c.S.3  attack Crescent 57c.M.33.b.7.4 436 of 840 THIEPVAL
BOOTH ALBERT 05-11-16 1st/8th Bn. 161st Bde. 50th Div. '300021' in Snag Trench 57d.M.17.c Le Sars 479 of 840 THIEPVAL
CONNELL JAMES A. 01-07-16 15th Bn. 64 Bde. 21 Div. '9480' Montauban Sector on the Somme 57c.S.27 72 of 527 THIEPVAL
COOK ELI 05-11-16 1st/8th Bn. 161st Bde. 50th Div. '300335' in Snag Trench 57d.M.17.c Le Sars 479 of 840 THIEPVAL
COOPER WILSON 15-09-16 10th Bn. 43rd Bde. 14th (Light) Div. '7335' near Delville Wood 57c.S.12-18 300 of 912 THIEPVAL
DAVIS GEORGE 17-07-16 12th Bn. 68th Bde. 23rd Div. '13668' in the area of Pozieres 57d.X.4 56 0f 153 THIEPVAL
HOLROYDE GEORGE 06-05-17 19th Bn. 106th Bde. 35th Div. '9129' near Fresnoy-le-Petit 62b.M.27.a.0.5 52 of 81 THIEPVAL
MOORE WILFRED H. 18-09-16 14th Bn. 18th Bde. 6th Div. '17073' at the Quadrilateral 57c.T.14.d.4.4 791 of 971 THIEPVAL
WILSON JOHN A. 01-07-16 15th Bn. 64 Bde. 21 Div. '18405' Montauban Sector on the Somme 57c.S.27 72 of 527 THIEPVAL
ROBINSON JOSEPH 23-10-18 15th Bn. 64 Bde. 21 Div. '20375' Vendegies-Au-Bois 57b.F.7 attack west of Ovillers 57b.E.24 193 of 527 VIS-EN-ARTOIS
Edited by laughton
corrected location of Robson

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Don Regiano

The headstones in Peronne Road cemetery, Maricourt are almost unreadable.  We took a few photos today but, in view of the weathering, I've just attached a photo of the grouping beginning at 1 E 1 on the left.

 

Regards.

 

Reg

 

 

DSC05893.JPG

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laughton

Reg:

 

Time goes by and I did not see the photograph. Do you have other pictures of 1.E.4? I can see that it has the same regimental badge on graves 2, 3, 4 and 6 which agrees with the HD-SCHD 2144665.

 

As I research these I classify them and then go back to work on them later - depending on what else is ongoing.

 

This one has come to the top of the list for the next report. If anyone has anything to add, or comments that may alter the identification, please let me know.

 

Richard

 

p.s. I also need to remember that you found the Pioneer Battalion under "Divisional Troops" as I probably did not look in that category

Edited by laughton
typo

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Don Regiano
23 hours ago, laughton said:

Reg:

 

Time goes by and I did not see the photograph. Do you have other pictures of 1.E.4? I can see that it has the same regimental badge on graves 2, 3, 4 and 6 which agrees with the HD-SCHD 2144665.

 

As I research these I classify them and then go back to work on them later - depending on what else is ongoing.

 

This one has come to the top of the list for the next report. I anyone has anything to add, or comments that may alter the identification, please let me know.

 

Richard

 

p.s. I also need to remember that you found the Pioneer Battalion under "Divisional Troops" as I probably did not look in that category

 

Hi Richard.  Yes, I took quite a few pictures to try to obtain a decent image of the headstones but they are so faded it was impossible.  I have attached the best I can find - one of 1. E. 4 and one of the group of 4.

 

It is touch and go as to whether Maricourt or Guillemont are the nearest cemeteries to our place on the Somme.  They are not very far away (there are two signposts outside our house stating that both villages are 3,5km away) so on my next visit I will have another go at Maricourt to see if I can get a better image.

 

Regards.

 

Reg

 

 

 

DSC05869.JPG

DSC05879.JPG

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laughton

Thanks Reg, I will point that out in the report. The CWGC will then replace the stones or have them re-etched. They do ask that people report these conditions.

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laughton

CORRECTION:

 

Company Serjeant Major Robson was killed on 23 March 1918 and is mentioned by name (war diary page 287 of 342). He was protecting a strong point during the move from Annois 66d.R.16 to Ollezy 66d.R.1. I have changed that in the summary table above but not in the posts prior to that summary.

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laughton

The draft report on Company Serjeant Major Blanchard has been completed and is available for review and comment:

 

https://laughton.ca/reports/Company Serjeant Major Blanchard Peronne Road Cemetery Plot 1 Row E Grave 4.pdf

 

If you see any type of error in the report, please let me know. If anyone has any reason to believe that this may not be the grave of Company Serjeant Major Blanchard, shout it out! Never leave a stone unturned.

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