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laughton

Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension: 12th Battalion A.I.F.

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laughton

This is a continuation of the review of this cemetery:

 

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/264231-jeancourt-communal-cemetery-extension/

 

I must remember to always switch to "Recovering the Fallen" before I insert the details.

 

Quote

There are four (4) candidates (CWGC Link) for the 12th Bn AIF man KIA 18 September 1918 and found in grave 3.B.13 (COG-BR 2013677). That might not seem to be much help until you notice that there are two (2) more on the same page in graves 1.E.20-21. On the GRRF documents, the first one is not recorded in detail and then Ferguson in 1.E.19 is changed to 13th Battalion (need to check that). If we find the others then we have the four men. Now I see that on the same page there are two (2) more at the top in 3.B.1 and 3.B.2. This looks like a case for a "Special Memorial" (what type to be determined).

 

ymxw5s00h5glz636g.jpg

 

abxy62a7kgzbc8l6g.jpg

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laughton

Here are the two men in the grave just above Captain Young. The CWGC has kept them as Australian but not with the 12th Battalion. The documents are all clear that they were 12th Battalion. It would be good to check the headstone in the cemetery.

 

ism8bw9dad5i5wq6g.jpg

 

7hhavpr7mxrf4846g.jpg

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laughton

The other two men are also marked as 12th Battalion but someone might argue that since they changed Private Ferguson from the 12th to the 13th that the same might apply to the other two men. Once again they dropped the unit affiliation on the headstone schedule but it was clear on the GRRF that it was 12th Battalion. How nice it would have been if the GRU did not use "ditto" marks on the documents!

 

c9r4i53w4mkrbgs6g.jpg

 

ty5t036ictayqiy6g.jpg

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WiseMonkey

I am somewhat concerned about the remains in Jeancourt CCE 1 E 19. I checked Pte Ferguson's (5683)  service records and  he did served in the 13th and was KIA 18/9/18, but the map reference on the COG-BR seems to be well to the left of the 1st/4th Divisional boundary on the 18th September 1918. This could resolve the conflict of 12 Bn initially recorded, however how the 12th and 13th colour patches could be mistaken I am not certain? 10th and 13th colours are similar (reversed). The 10th did follow behind the 12th on 18/9/18!? I'm still learning the ropes but it looks to me as if a cross wasn't present on the original grave. I would love to know how Pt Ferguson was identified. Further examination of service records it notes KlA in vicinity of ? woods to the right of Le Verguier. While Red Cross missing person's reports mention being KIA around Ascension Farm. Very concerning.

20180905_013926.jpg

Edited by WiseMonkey

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WiseMonkey

Given the map reference I would be confident that the remains in graves Jeancourt CCE 1 E 20 & 21 are 12 Bn AIF.   

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laughton

The CWGC has Ferguson as #5683 and the COG-BR has either 5683 or 5685 just before his name. The CWGC says initial "D" an the COG-BR has initial "A".

 

There are five (5) Australians with the #5685, none named Ferguson (CWGC Link). Pte. Denholm is 12th Bn but buried at Brookwood. Two others are on the memorial.

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WiseMonkey

And all 5 died before AIF action in that particular area... at least that's my understanding.

 

According to AWM records there were 7 A. Ferguson's and 5 D. Ferguson's on the WW1 Honour Roll.

 

I'm going to have to spend a bit more time on this one.

Edited by WiseMonkey

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laughton

I "stitched" two maps together (wo298_1588 & wo297_1607) so you can see the area from his service file.

 

That would be Caubrieres Woods (62c.R.4 & 10) which is almost due south of le Verguier (62c.L.33 & 34). The remains were recovered at what I believe says 62c.L.21.c.5.4, which is some distance to the north. That is a separation distance of at least 3,000 yards.

 

j9zwky1deqjljjn6g.jpg

 

Here is the general area on the McMaster map. The woods have a somewhat different outline, particularly the part that is in Sector 62c.R.4. 

 

3jxuaq6i7fv3o6e6g.jpg

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WiseMonkey

The movement of the offensive on September 18th 1918 was to the North East I believe. The 4th Div captured Le Verguier moving on to Accession Farm (Which looks to be in the area of L 30.) The 1st Div, 3rd Bge  (9th- 12th Bn) started out from in front of Jeancourt, keeping to the higher ground (avoiding the valleys) went through Grand Priel Woods (L22, L16) towards Villeret (just visible on the 2nd map to the N.E.  - L.17). The 1st/4th Divisional boundary was to the right of Grand Priel Woods.

Edited by WiseMonkey

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WiseMonkey

According to this barrage map the 4th Div boundary was further north than I previously had thought. However L.21 is still 1st Div territory.

5264780.JPG

Edited by WiseMonkey

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WiseMonkey

Captain R.P. Young (AAMC) in grave 3.B.3 (recorded R.F. Young on the COG-BR). He was 3rd Field Ambulance M.O. attached to the 10Bn AIF 18/09/18. 

20180906_204722.jpg

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WiseMonkey

Red Cross Missing Person enquiry for Pte H G Cato 12th Bn.Screenshot_20180906-205241_Gallery.jpg

Edited by WiseMonkey

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WiseMonkey

Possible Graves 3.B.1 or 3.B.2 Pte  H.G. Cato (7358) 12 Bn AIF?

Edited by WiseMonkey

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WiseMonkey

It looks like  3.B.13 is also recorded as 12 Bn AIF on the COG-BR. 4 men missing and 5 possible graves?

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laughton

It appears there was some confusion as to who belonged to what unit.

 

Having the 5th man certainly throws a ringer into this case!

 

See also 3.B.7, they have an Unknown Lance Corporal of the 12th Battalion, but there are none missing.

 

That is already a case before the CWGC for a Lance Corporal of the 10th Battalion. I added that information to the other topic earlier this morning:

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/264231-jeancourt-communal-cemetery-extension/?do=findComment&comment=2680535

 

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WiseMonkey

Several years ago when I first started looking into Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, I did notice the unknown 12th Bn Lance Corporal and found it odd that there were no missing Lance Corporal's. I actual put a ? against L/Cpl Leslie Herbert Broadbent (446) on my list of missing 10th Bn names, especially as his service record stated that he'd been burried at Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension. I even tried looking at the possibility of acting L/Cpl or those recent demoted from or promoted to L/Cpl to rule out clerical oversight.  I was very new  to CWGC records and thought that surely it couldn't be a mix up of battalions. Only this last week have I questioned that presumption.

 

So Richard, is the case before CWGC Lance Corporal Broadbent (4446) 10 Bn AIF? 

Edited by WiseMonkey

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WiseMonkey

If the unknown is Lance Corporal Broadbent, it will be great that someone have found another missing South Aussie boy. Is there anyway of knowing,  who prompted or why the case is before the CWGC?

Edited by WiseMonkey

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WiseMonkey

Dennis Frank at Fallen Diggers has informed me it's one of their cases. I wish them all successful with their case. 

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laughton

Back checking on this topic to see where we go from here.

 

On the first page of the Operations Report of 18 September 1918 there is a direct reference to the death of Lieut. B. Butler, who is buried at Jeancourt in grave 3.B.5. He was concentrated from 62c.L.21.c.3.4, whereas the war diary places him at 62c.L.27.a.5.3. It says there was a small wood that contained at least three M.Gs. There is nothing marked on the trench map at that location, other than a road. The platoon attempted to rush the wood and 5 men were killed together. If I read it correct, the enemy fire was coming from 62c.L.22.a and 62c.L.22.c. The "Y" Coy experienced a sharp resistance from the southern edge of BROSSE Wood, which I see at 62c.L.21, which runs from 62c.L.21.c central along the bottom of 62c.L.21.b. That means the remains that were found were on the southern edge of the woods, as some are reported at 62.L.21.c.8.4. That means it was a battlefield burial and not an aid post cemetery. Thereafter they moved eastward through 62c.L.22 a and c to Grand Priel Woods.

 

Pte. Ferguson of the 13th battalion, who was reportedly killed at Caubrieres Woods at 62c.R.4 & 10 could not have been recovered at the Brosse Woods at 62c.L.21.c.8.4.

 

The war diary says that there was 1 Officer killed, 1 Officer died of wounds (must have been Lt. Simmons on the 19th) and 130 other ranks killed. There is 1 Officer and 15 OR on the CWGC for that date (CWGC Link). Is that a typo and they meant 13 OR killed?

 

I will return and insert this section of the trench map.

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laughton

Marked up trench map inserted. If you compare this to the Barrage Map posted by @WiseMonkey this is in the area of the 1st Australian Division, as it should be for the 3rd Australian Brigade, 12th Battalion. The 13th Battalion (4th Brigade, 4t Division) was in the sector below, so unless Ferguson got lost he was not with the rest of the 12th Battalion men. The line that passes through the middle of Sectors 26 and 27 is about the Divisional Boundary.

 

j6wh7tw9lfo1kmu6g.jpg

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laughton

I would suggest that we can comfortably say that the four (4) men of the 12th Battalion AIF that are named on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial for the period of 17-19 September 1918 (all on the 18th) are known to be buried in the Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension.

 

As they are not all buried in close proximity to each other, we cannot suggest at "Special Memorial C - Buried Near this Spot", which is unfortunate as there are existing headstones. Instead we have to ask for "Special Memorial A - Buried Elsewhere in this Cemetery". This differs from a "Special \memorial B - Believed to be Buried in this Cemetery". In this case, we know they are in the cemetery, just not which one is in which grave.

 

Perhaps they have a way to direct those of interest to the actual grave sites? That would seem to be prudent.

 

Agreement or any questions??

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laughton

I realized there may be some merit in looking at the losses of all the 1st Division infantry battalions for the 17th to 19th September, as that tally may contain the answer.

 

Battalion Total NKG JCCE
9 11 2 1
10 19 12 3
11 18 2 10
12 18 4

10

 

These are the ones listed in the JCCE as unknowns of the 12th Battalion: (that shows the "5th man" and we only have 4 missing with NKG)

 

Grave Rank Bn TMC Notes
3.B.1 UAS 12 62c.L.21.c.3.4  
3.B.2 UAS 12 62c.L.21.c.3.4  
3.B.7 L/Cpl 12 62c.L.21.c.3.4 Digger's reported 10th Bn
3.B.13 UAS 12 62c.L.21.c.3.4  
1.E.20 UAS 12 62c.L.21.c.9.5  
1.E.21 UAS 12 62c.L.21.c.9.5  

 

These are the other unknowns that I could see going through the documents:

 

Grave Rank Bn TMC Notes

2.B.10

2.B.11

UAS

UAS

48?

48?

62c.R.11.a.3.9

62c.R.11.a.3.9

was TAYLOR then changed to UAS

known (7) 48th AIF at same location

2.B.12 UAS 48? 62c.R.11.a.3.9 known 48th AIF at same location
2.A.14 UAS 11? 62c.L.15.c.4.6 with 3 men of 11th Bn
3.C.13 UAS ? 62c.K.24.d.5.5. 2nd and 4th Bn at same location
6.F.2 UAS 1 MGC? 62c.L.23.a.9.9 with 1st Australian MGC

 

  1. There are only two (2) men of the 11th Bn AIF missing at the time, so we know that Private Murray or Private Hicks is probably buried in grave 2.A.14.
     
  2. There are only four (4) men of the 48th AIF on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (CWGC Link), so we ALMOST had another case here of the three (3) UAS in 2.B.10, 11 and 12 found at 62c.R.11.a.3.9. Where is the 4th one buried?
     
  3. If the UAS in 6.F.2 is from the Australian 1st MGC, then it is Private Frank Harding #923 as he is the only one (1) missing and on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.

If I was family of any of those men, I would be visiting those graves.

 

On a side note, in an earlier post I said:

 

"Pte. Ferguson of the 13th battalion, who was reportedly killed at Caubrieres Woods at 62c.R.4 & 10 could not have been recovered at the Brosse Woods at 62c.L.21.c.8.4."

 

I wrote too quickly as I see that there are four known men of the 13th at 62c.L.22.d.7.4 (Grand Priel Woods), which is in the northern area of the 1st Division. They are all 13th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 4th Division (COG-BR 2013690). It could be they had the wrong woods in the Red Cross report but the trench map coordinates match? Perhaps they took the body north for the burial?

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laughton

@DennisF73

 

Let me get an opinion from the Fallen Diggers as to whether they see merit in foing forward with the Special Memorial for the 12th Battalion men. They may have looked at these men already. No use in re-inventing the wheel!

 

I also have no problem if they want to "take the lead this case", as they are their boys and I have lots to do!

 

Richard of Canada

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laughton

I checked the 13th Battalion war diary narrative for 18 September 1918 (AWM Link page 43 of 73). I see no reference to the 13th Battalion being in the northern sector of L.21 or L.22 occupied by the 12th Battalion. It would appear they were at least 1,000 yards further south in L.33 to L.35, moving from Jeancourt in L.32 to the east side of Le Verguier in L.34.

 

I cannot explain how these men of the 13th Battalion ended up in the area occupied by the 12th Battalion. Not only different Brigades but different Divisions. There were no clues as to these events in the Brigade War Diaries.

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