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J666

17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers

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J666

I am searching for information about my great-grandfather James Stagg from Croydon, Surrey who I believe fought in the 17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in WWI.  He died in Cambrai, France on 30th Nov 1917.  I would be interested to learn his cause of death and the events leading up to it, as well as any other details.  Many thanks in advance if anyone can help.

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clk

Hi J666,

 

I didn't see a surviving service file for James, so it may have been one of the many lost as the result of a fire during WW2

 

His medal roll record shows that he served overseas with the 17th Battalion in France/Flanders 2.12.1916, until his death. The 17th Battalion arrived in France in November 1915, so it seems that James arrived as a reinforcement. The amount of War Gratuity shown as paid in his Soldiers' Effects record is indicative of 12, or less, months overall service. His Soldiers' Died record says that James enlisted in Croydon. 

 

James served under the number of G/42746. immediately under him on the medal roll there is a G/42747 Sawyer who is also recorded as a 17th Bn man arriving in active theatre (France/Flanders) on the same date of 2.12.1916. He does have surviving service papers which show:

 

8.8.1916 - mobilised from the Army Reserve

8.8.1916 - posted to the 6th (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers

1.12.1916 - sent to the British Expeditionary Force

2.2.1916 - posted to the 17th Battalion

 

It's a bit dangerous to draw inferences on a mans' service based on the service file of just one other man, but I think that James may well have followed the same path. Further 'near number' sampling may help.

 

The war diary for the 17th Battalion is here at the National Archives (£3.50), and here on Ancestry. If you wanted to download a copy it's far easier to get it from TNA as you'd get the whole thing as a single continuous pdf file - on Ancestry you gave to download each page as single jpeg images. For the time of his death the 5 Infantry Brigade HQ diary, and 2 Division HQ (General Staff) diary will probably (I haven't looked) augment and add context to the Battalion diary, as they often contain 'extras' such as orders. maps, and reports on operations. None are likely to mention James by name though. The National Archives and Ancestry links are:

 

Brigade - here, and here

Division - here and here

 

If you come across any map references, there is help on how to read them here.

 

There is good advice on how to research a soldier here.

 

Regards

Chris 

 

 

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andrew pugh

Hi J666

The 17th Battalion (Empire) Royal Fusiliers City of London Regiment were fighting near Bourlon Wood in and around Kangaroo Trench. At this time they were part of 99th Infantry Brigade 2nd Division.On the day you say your relative was killed his battalion was relieved by my Great Uncles battalion the 24th Battalion (2nd Sportsmen) Royal Fusiliers.The 17th Battalion lost 11 Officers and a 167 other ranks including your relative.The war diary doesn't mention any fighting on the 30/11/1917,so i would suggest that he actually became a casualty the day before where they were in action.Try and have a look at the War diary on Ancestry.If I can be of help please just ask.

Kind Regards

Andy  

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clk

Hi,

 

13 minutes ago, andrew pugh said:

At this time they were part of 99th Infantry Brigade 2nd Division

 

I'm confused. The 5 Infantry Brigade HQ diary (previously linked) entry for 30th November shows

 

image.png.281ff775d3315e3a27009e771f30100b.png

Image source: Ancestry.co.uk

 

It does though appear to a bit strange that in the Brigade diary the 'author' felt it necessary to record them as "5th Inf. Bde.".

 

Regards

Chris

 

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J666

Thank you all so much for taking the time to help and for the advice and links.  As suggested, I am currently looking over the war diary on Ancestry to see what I can find out and trying to make sense of it all. Kind regards, J

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helpjpl
12 hours ago, andrew pugh said:

Hi J666

The 17th Battalion (Empire) Royal Fusiliers City of London Regiment were fighting near Bourlon Wood in and around Kangaroo Trench. At this time they were part of 99th Infantry Brigade 2nd Division.On the day you say your relative was killed his battalion was relieved by my Great Uncles battalion the 24th Battalion (2nd Sportsmen) Royal Fusiliers.The 17th Battalion lost 11 Officers and a 167 other ranks including your relative.The war diary doesn't mention any fighting on the 30/11/1917,so i would suggest that he actually became a casualty the day before where they were in action.Try and have a look at the War diary on Ancestry.If I can be of help please just ask.

Kind Regards

Andy  

 

Yes it does:

1882768433_17RF30Nov1917(1).jpg.797b204bf1a07f842ca6f0085d52f3d7.jpg

 

269933391_17RF30Nov1917(2).jpg.7d2d2fdbdd6a8ccee042088fe4748016.jpg

 

See also the 'Extracts from Note Book of Br. Gen. S V P Weston' in the pages of the War Diary following the above two.

 

The 17th Battalion was relieved by the 24th late in the evening of 30 November.

 

JP

 

 

Edited by helpjpl

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andrew pugh

Hi JP

OOP's Sorry I forgot to look at the following page. Sorry for the miss-information

Regards

Andy

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helpjpl
15 minutes ago, andrew pugh said:

Hi JP

OOP's Sorry I forgot to look at the following page. Sorry for the miss-information

Regards

Andy

 

Captain Walter Napleton Stone, attached 17th Battalion, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his action on 30 November 1917:

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1757119/stone,-walter-napleton/

 

#2:  17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 30 November 1917. See Bourlon pages 216-218:

https://archive.org/stream/royalfusiliersin00onei?textSrch=bourbon&btnSrch=#page/216/mode/2up

 

JP

Edited by helpjpl

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