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Remembered Today:

Unknown CSM, Royal Irish Regiment, La Laiterie Military Cemetery


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This comes from a Canadian case:

 

What happened to Sergeant Cotter #69157 26th Bn.

 

During that analysis, I noticed an UNKNOWN Company Serjeant Major of the Royal Irish Regiment on the La Laiterie Military Cemetery near Kemel (Belgium). There is only one missing (CWGC Link) in all the Great War, named on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. See Plot 6 Row B Grave 9. There are no COG-BR for this cemetery on-line.

 

CSM Michael Larkin, 6th Battalion KIA 2 August 1917.

 

I have not done the rest of the "due diligence" on this possibility at this time, but that will follow shortly.

 

doc1820250.JPG

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Second Lieutenant Robert Adair Dickson is also on the CWGC LIST. Wounded and missing the same day and later dead. He is also on the Menin Gate, so check if he is also on the list for this cemetery.

 

War Diary (page 99 of 119).

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The 4th Battalion didn’t go overseas. My grand uncle was 6th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment and on his graves registration report form 4th Battalion is crossed out and changed to 6th.

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On HD-SCHD 1851999 they don't show the CSM as being of the Royal Irish Regiment (grave 6.B.9)? I have seen them drop information off the sheets before but in most cases you have to question "why" if there is no apparent question about the identity.

 

On the same page they dropped the affiliation of the Second Lieutenant in grave 6.E.11. There is a question in that case as the "Kensington" would be 1st/13th or 2nd/13th not the 15th.  LLT suggests probably "13th (County of London) Princess Louise’s Kensington Battalion of the London Regiment". Perhaps a GWF Pal knows if his insignia would actually say "Kensington"?

 

I noticed those while looking for the Second Lieutenant of the Royal Irish Regiment. No indication he is in this cemetery. There are UNKNOWN Second Lieutenants but they are identified by their regiment affiliation, if not by name.

 

doc1851999.JPG

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  • 4 weeks later...

Starting the "due diligence" phase of this case.

 

There were six (6) men lost in Belgium where the "Secondary Regiment" was given as the "Royal Irish Regiment" (CWGC Link).

 

None of those men were Company Serjeant Majors (3 Lieutenants, 1 Second Lieutenant, 1 Lance Corporal and 1 Private).

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  • 1 month later...

Here is what the CWGC says about this cemetery:

Quote

The cemetery (TMC 28.N.16.d), named from a dairy farm, was begun in November 1914 and used until October 1918 by units holding this sector of the front. The different plots were, to a great extent, treated as regimental burial grounds; the majority of the graves in Plots II, III and X, for instance, were those of the 26th, 25th and 24th Canadian Infantry Battalions, respectively, and all but one of the graves in Plot VIII are those of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers. On 25 April 1918, the cemetery fell into German hands, but it was retaken at the beginning of September. After the Armistice, graves were brought into the cemetery from the battlefields north and north-east of Kemmel (TMC 28.N.20). There are now 751 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 180 of the burials are unidentified and special memorials commemorate two servicemen whose graves were destroyed in later fighting.

 

The cemetery has five (5) known graves of men of the Royal Irish Regiment. Of these three (3) are from October-November 1916 (all 6th Bn). the two (2) from 1917 were lost in April (6th Bn also) and then June (2nd Bn).

 

The 6th (Service) Battalion is in the 47th Brigade, 16th Irish Division (LLT Link). On 2 August 1917, the war diary (page 99 of 119) shows the battalion moving up from Brandhoek (28.G.12) to the Old British Front Line with HQ at RUPERT Farm (TMC ?). That may be a reference to RUPRECHT / RUPPRECHT Farm at 28.c.30. That is probably it, as there is also reference to SQUARE Farm, also located at 28.c.30. This is not anywhere near Kemmel, located 14,000 yards to the southwest.

 

Taking another approach, the others of the known 6th Bn killed on the same day were buried at cemeteries, or concentrated from locations, in the C.29 and I.5 sectors (adjoining). That is next to the Rupprect Farm where I suspect the battalion was located.

 

The only Michael Larkins that was a POW was with the Seaforth Highlanders.

 

There were no CSMs (or similar) lost from the Royal Irish Regiment in the October-November period when they were near Kemmel (CWGC Link). The same story for the April 1917 perio (CWGC Link).

 

Appears this is a case that will go nowhere!

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