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GrenPen

Assumed death date of Old Contemptible Private T Terry

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GrenPen

I am researching some men of 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers from a newspaper report listing. This list appears in The Times on Monday 30 November 1914, on page 12. What is of interest is that they are quoted as 'Losses in France'. From mid-October to 20 December, the Battalion was in Belgium. From what I had seen of similar reports, there appears to be a time lag of two months between the occurrence and the publish date.

For the most part, it can be seen that the "missing men" either died or became POWs in September, generally on or around 26 September 1914 at Chivy, during the Battle of the Aisne.

There are two exceptions, 13003 Private PERT and 6274 Private TERRY. Both of these men are recorded in the Register of Effects as being Missing in Action with an assumed date of 21 October 1914. Both mens names are recorded on the Menin Gate memorial. Interestingly, Private TERRY has an ICRC card, his father (?) asking after him, given that he was missing with "D" Company as of 27 September 1914. I am wondering if any other members have come across instances like this, which imply that a wrong death date has been recorded.

I don't have the details to hand, but my family member was killed in action on 18 September, yet I think his date of death was reported as 5th October in The Times.  

Terry_ICRC.JPG

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GrenPen

One man who is not on the list, but who became a POW at the same time is 6313 Private ANDERSON. His service record, which has survived, tells us he was captured on 26 September 1914. (He joined the battalion on 20 September.) His 1916 muster sheet from the ICRC, reference PA 7074, indicates that he was captured at Chivy, albeit transcribed as Clerey. His MIC states 'P. of W. 21/10/14'

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GrenPen

Of interest from the War Diary for the 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers

    16/09/14
Our total casualties are    
Yeatman & Johnson killed, Richards & Vernon wounded    
and of the R & F 18 killed, 76 wounded and 122 missing    
    
    20/09/14
Our total casualties:    
Killed 35, wounded 131.     
One blessing is that the 68 [of those] missing have come back. They were lost and became attached to the Connaughts.    
Simmonds, Gilbert and 190 men arrive. Third reinforcement.    

 

    26/09/14
total casualties:    
Killed    
Welby, Simonds, Coker, Sills, and 86 men    
Wounded    
Pritchard, James and Gwynn slightly, and 95 men    
Missing    
12 men. These men were of D Company, and apparently surrendered    
 

The Battalion is thereafter in Belgium

 

    20/10/14
Moved off Northwards and marched on towards POPERINGHE    
    21/10/14
The rolls are called, and we find we have two officers killed, one wounded and [Barry] missing,    
and 146 killed and wounded.    
Not quite as bad as the 26th September, but bad enough.    
    24/10/14
All the prisoners we have taken have been either old men or boys    
At last we get off all correct and march to billets to a place called HOOGE, east of Ypres.    
     31/10/14
Our casualties were 6 officers and about 280 men    
    02/11/14
Our casualties were 2 officers and about 30 men    
 

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Derek Black
1 hour ago, GrenPen said:

Interestingly, Private TERRY has an ICRC card, his father (?) asking after him, given that he was missing with "D" Company as of 27 September 1914. I am wondering if any other members have come across instances like this, which imply that a wrong death date has been recorded.


Yes, often.

 

A date of death can be a day to several out in many cases in my experience.

The reasons given by forum members: dates my be taken from the date of roll call the man failed to answer, which could be the day after an action to a week later. Or lack of witnesses to give a last known date they were definitely still alive.

Cheers,

derek.

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GrenPen

Thanks for the response, Derek.

Here are the other men from that missing list who died:

 

Bradley    8734    26/09/14
Burke    7424    19/09/14
Coltman    8429    16/09/14
Lewis    7904    27/09/14
Mortin    6833    19/09/14
O'Neil    11331    28/09/14
Prouse    11093    19/09/14

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GrenPen

Two of the men on the list who became POWs and died later.

Jenkins    7149    08/10/17
Mahoney    8897    05/07/15
 

These men seem to have been "mislaid" and to have eventually returned to their unit. In a previous thread I have mentioned the case of a man whose service record has survived. During the retreat from Mons, he was separated from his unit. He and other stragglers were sent to Le Havre. Whilst he was there, he took up his pre-enlistment vocation as a cook, and ended up as an almost permanent fixture in the Military Police canteen.

Kennedy    7301
King    10610
Moll    8404
Moss    9318

 

King was to end up in captivity in September 1918. 

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GrenPen

Whilst the majority of the remaining men have documentation indicating their capture on or around 26 September 1914, the following two men do not:

Clifford    Lewis    10746    13-Aug-1914    26-Sep-1914    no specific date, but captured at Soissons
William    Spooner    7418    13-Aug-1914    26-Sep-1914    no specific date
 

They are also on the Princess Mary Gift Fund 1914 POW list for the South Wales Borderers.

 

 

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GrenPen
On 09/08/2018 at 00:28, Derek Black said:

dates may be taken from the date of roll call the man failed to answer, which could be the day after an action to a week later.

 

The battalion were relieved from their positions at Chivy on 27 September, and went to billets in the nearby village of Œuilly, also in the Chemin des Dames, where they were to remain for several days.

I keep coming across 27 September in the army service records, which seems peculiar when the fighting took place the day before, but this helps to explain.

Thanks Derek

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