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Remembered Today:

Spoilbank Cemetery: Case #1 - Captain Leinster Regiment


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@Becstar tipped me off to a cemetery with a number of Canadians that was not on the list of cemeteries for which I had ZIPPED the GRRF and COG-BR documents. I will complete that task shortly - a task I planned for the weekend but got too busy!


The cemetery page with the other possible cases is here:



One of the casualties that Bec mentioned was a Captain of the Leinster Regiment, so of course I had to take a look. He was concentrated into Plot 1 Row P Grave 18, recovered from 28.I.30.a.90.05, which is just outside the east boundary of Armagh Wood.


A check of the CWGC database tells us that we have seven (7) candidates. Here is a preliminary Excel spreadsheet of the candidates, linked to the war diary reference where they were located:

(for clarification, these are ALL the Captains of the Regiment unknown in Belgium, regardless of date or battalion affiliation - CWGC LINK)


surname forename death Leinster Regiment War Diary
ADAMS JOHN GOULD 05-05-15 1st Bn. (1) Hill 60 (28.I.29.c) north of Green Jacket page 206 of 693; SW 1,200 yards from remains








1st Bn.


(2) Trenches at Ypres page 203 of 693 @ 28.I.30.a.9.6 for Pte. Byrne, where remains found








1st Bn.


St. Eloi 28.S.20 page 200 of 693








4th Bn. - WD 1st Bn.


(1) page 210 of 693 Stirling Castle 28.J.13.d.6.3 - 2,100 yds NE








1st Bn.


Dickebush 28.H.33 page 195 of 693








5th Bn. attd. 1st Bn.


St. Eloi 28.S.20 page 200 of 693








1st Bn.


Dickebush 28.H.33 page 195 of 693

      Notes: (1) Green Jacket Ride runs from Stirling Castle 28.J.13 to 28.I.30 Observatory Ridge


(2) Pte Byrne 28-04-15 found at 28.I.30.a.90.60 - for Cpt. Bates location, with DCL and CR


The logical candidate from this list is Captain William George Henry Bates, lost in that precise area in April 1915. The key to that was the fact that Private Byrne (Birr Cross Roads Cemetery COG-BR 2150739) was found in the same location and has a known burial site. All the men were either in or attached to the 1st Battalion. The CWGC has Captain Goodbody in the 4th (Reserve) Battalion but the war diary names him as a casualty of the 1st Battalion.


We can eliminate the two (2) Captains that were known to have fallen near Dickebush (Moffatt and Taylor) in February 1915 as well as the two (2) at the St. Eloi craters in March 1915 Bowen-Colthrust and Radcliff). At this stage we can not eliminate the two lost in May 1915 (Adams and Goodbody), although they were lost more than 1,000 yards away from where the remains were located.




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Checking on how to file this case - what else do we know about the 1st Bn Leinster Regiment casualties?


Some others lost with Captain Goodbody on the 12th were checked to see where they were recovered:
(note that he was actually KIA on 11 May 1915) -same error for Blatchly

All these men were approximately 2,500 yards away from where the Captain's remains were recovered.

  • Tormey COG-BR 1825957 recovered at 28.G.11.a.95.95, way behind the lines (8,000 yds)
  • Byrne COG-BR 2150739 recovered at 28.I.30.a.9.6 as noted above (note this is "A Byrne" not "W Byrne" - a brother - on Menin Gate 2 days earlier!

Following the war diary it is clear that the battalion moved to new trenches between 26 April and 12 May 1915, which take us back to Captain Bates as the Unknown Captain of the 1st Leinsters,

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Just to  cover all the bases before upgrading this "to be reported", there was one Captain with the Leinster Regiment as the "Secondary Regiment":




No additional work need as Captain Finlay has a known grave in the Elzenwalle Brasserie Cemetery.

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I’m currently writing up the report on the UBS 2nd Life Guards at Bedford House and your last post in this thread has reminded me of the bases that I covered during my research for completeness in those soldiers that were attached at the time of their deaths. Initially I had four soldiers listed as such on the CWGC database, however using the Army Registers of Effects it was possible to find a further 14 casualties who died on the date in question whilst attached to the 2nd Life Guards. This number has nearly doubled the casualties for the regiment on that day. My advice would be to go beyond the CWGC database for those soldiers that were attached in order to cover all bases.



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Okay! Every new step in the process is appreciated - a continuous learning experience. Here is what I got back with a simple search of "Captain" and "Leinster Regiment": On the list for Belgium that already showed up (AdamsBates, Taylor). In this case the CWGC database was correct or complete. Can you post your results from your case, I would be interested in seeing the difference?


View Record Name Death Date Regiment
View Record H F Downing



Prince of Wales's (Royal Canadians)Leinster Regiment
View Record R H C Gilliat



Prince of Wales's (Royal Canadians)Leinster Regiment
View Record J G Adams 04-May-15 Prince of Wales's (Royal Canadians)Leinster Regiment
View Record W G H Bates 26-Apr-15 Prince of Wales's (Royal Canadians)Leinster Regiment
View Record S E B Laville



3 Leinster Regiment
View Record G A Read


NG Belgium

Prince of Wales's (Royal Canadians)Leinster Regiment
View Record N Algeo 30-Nov-17 France 3 Att 2 Leinster Regiment
View Record W H Greenwood 13-Dec-19 Formerly Leinster Regiment
View Record P S Lynch 27-Dec-16
7 Leinster Regiment
View Record J J Kelly



7/Leinster Regiment
View Record A J Jennings



Prince of Wales's (Royal Canadians)Leinster Regiment
View Record G A Taylor 15-Feb-15 Prince of Wales's (Royal Canadians)Leinster Regiment
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Working on it as we speak Richard, there was some evidence within the war diary that led me to look for further casualties and the following list is closer to the figures one would glean from the war diary.


The CWGC database records 15 2nd Life Guards casualties for the 12th - 14th May 1915 (unless otherwise stated all casualties below are remembered at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing):


Lieutenant Hobson

2nd Lieutenant Blofeld

2nd Lieutenant Townsend

Corporal of Horse 1921 Marsh (known grave at Cement House Cemetery)

Corporal of Horse 2216 Dean

Corporal  2765 Hartley

Lance Corporal 2846 Butler (known grave at Bedford House Cemetery, Enclosure No.4)

Lance Corporal 2766 Tremlett

Trooper 2516 Birdsall

Trooper 2789 Bradshaw

Trooper 2803 Clements

Trooper 2804 Lovelock

Trooper 2894 Monkhouse

Trooper 2634 Potts

Trooper 2970 Towers


The CWGC database with the above date range also records 4 casualties who were attached to the 2nd Life Guards at the time of their deaths:


Lance Corporal 7308 Moore (13th Hussars)

Private 5370 Hancock (3rd Dragoon Guards)

Private 955 O’Brien (21st Lancers)

Private 23722 Oram (18th Hussars)


Cross checking with the Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 (accessed through ancestry.co.uk) has revealed a further 14 casualties that were attached to the 2nd Life Guards at the time of their deaths but are not recorded as such within the CWGC database:


Corporal 6356 Williams (17th Lancers)

Acting Corporal 4314 McLeod (3rd Dragoon Guards)

Lance Corporal 6197 Hambly (17th Lancers)

Lance Corporal 1821 Nevitte (18th Hussars)

Private 6520 Cook (17th Lancers)

Private 477 Lynch (17th Lancers)

Private 5520 Spencer (17th Lancers)

Private 6418 Shirtcliffe (2nd Dragoon Guards)

Private 5211 Darbyshire (3rd Dragoon Guards)

Private 10196 Harrington (3rd Dragoon Guards)

Private 4901 Thwaites (3rd Dragoon Guards)

Private 5765 Gilmartin (3rd Dragoon Guards)

Private 8466 Sculler (6th Dragoon Guards)

Private 9222 Sheehan (11th Hussars)

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Just to add. This search was reliant on ancestry's indexing and then CWGC searches, I'd initially started vice versa but the name count was high...there could be more but since I'd surpassed the number of casualties noted in the war diary I ceased the search.



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That is going to be a lot of work for the CWGC to update all those records! Or for someone to send in all the corrections. Thwaites is the example I was looking for - lost in Belgium, not in France and no mention of the Life Guards on the CWGC. The first question to the CWGC is "On what basis is the secondary regiment determined in your records?" Have you asked them that question yet?


When Luc first tipped me off about the "Secondary Regiment" I went back through the 100+ cases I had been working on and checked them all to see if they had to be changed. What this means is that I (and anyone else doing this work) has to go back and check them all again!


Here is a good one - what about the John Kipling case? What do you know, he is listed there as a LIEUTENANT! That is correct, not a Second Lieutenant!

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929 for J Kipling


This one shocked me! Remember when Radar was a "Corporal Captain" on an episode of MASH - how about two "Lieutenant Corporals" in the Irish Guards. Should me Lance Corporals.
All UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929 results for Lieutenant


If you try to look up J Kipling in France it comes back MT as his effects does not say where he died. All a big mess and getting bigger!

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I have not contacted CWGC regarding the secondary unit element but it is for sure a question that perhaps should be asked, one suspects that the answer will be in the Service Papers of those attached. I have all LG papers with the exception of officers (still!!!!!! to be digitised) and IIRC only Hancocks papers survive from the ‘attached’ lists, they do record as such his attachment to the 2nd LG, that said surely all service papers were available up to 1940.

Thanfully my research in this area is the 2nd LG UBS and the sad story of Achiel  Verholle undertaken with Luc, so I have no previous cases to go back through and do not relish your task of having to go back through a 100+ cases

I will be moving on to the Ellison case once finished with CoH Dean’s as this particular case goes in the opposite direction and would essentially remove a name from a headstone. Yep a whole big mess but perhaps a mess that should be left alone I often think



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  • 3 months later...

Checking back on this topic to sort out the matter of Captain William George Henry Bates, killed on 26 April 1915 and Captain John Gould Adams on 5 May 1915.


The war diary of the 1st Battalion Leinster Regiment, found within the 82nd Infantry Brigade is odd in that it reports for the period 6th March to 16th April 1915 (page 198 of 693) followed by 16th April to 31st May 1915 (page 204 of 693). The joint reference to the deaths of Captain Bates and Adams is made in the first series, on a page referenced as "Trenches Ypres 6 pm 16th April to 6th May" (page 203 of 693). As such, the dates don't agree with the titles.


on 19 April 1915 the 1st Bn Leinster Regiment moved to the front lines to replace the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry (DCLI), where they stayed until 4 May 1915. That places Captain Bates at that location when he was killed on 26 April 1915. Also reported killed was Lieutenant Spencer Ruscombe Westmacott on 8 May 1915 and Second Lieutenant Edgar Kahn on 5 May 1915. Lieutenant Westmacott does not fit within the stated dates and also to note he was 2nd Battalion attached to 1st Battalion.


When we move on to the next series in the war diary, with the overlapping dates, we find the first entry is not until 22 April 1915. The entry for 26 April 1915, the day Captain Bates was killed reports "trench mortars again damaged our parapets otherwise quiet". There is no mention of the death of Captain Bates. Moving forward to 2 May 1915 (page 206 of 693) we find the 1st Leinsters are filling in the disused communication trenches and then withdrawing to the new line on 3 May 1915. When they left, they blew up the evacuated trenches and split the sandbags on the parapets. On 4 May 1915 they are at Hill 60 (28.I.29.c.8.1) north of Green Jacked Ride (28.I.30b - 28.J.13.d -  28.J.19), where they are heavily bombarded for 3 hours. This continued on the 5th and 6th, although there is no mention of the death of Captain Adams or Lieutenant Kahn. They were relieved on 6 May 1915 by the DCLI and moved to the dugouts at Sanctuary Wood. On 8 May 1915 there is a direct reference to the death of Lieutenant Westmacott (page 208 of 693). This may be related to a statement "B Coy took over position of 1st Argyll & Sutherlands in support 81st Brigade".


The first section of the war diary pages for the period noted as 16 April to 31 May 1915 are in note form, not the official format. This changes on 6 May 1915 back to the normal (official) format. The death of Lieutenant Westmacott is noted again (page 213 of 693). It would appear that someone was noting daily events that were "written up" later.


The entry for 4 May 1915 had me puzzled, as how were they at Hill 60 north of Green Jacket Ride, when Hil 60 is further south than the coordinates for Green Jacket Ride? The answer comes in the detailed trench map where it is clear that this "Green Jacket Ride" is a major road that is shown running from south of Armagh Wood northeast along the east sides of Armagh Wood and Sanctuary Wood. That would place them in 28.I.29.d when Captain Adams is killed.


The answer may lay in the War Diary of the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry, as it was there that the 1st Leinsters replaced them in the line on 19 April 1915 until 4 May 1915. I will check that next and see if they have a more specific location. In the meantime, here is the trench map extract [wo297_0694] showing the locations of Pte. Byrne, the Unknown Captain and Hill 60. If Captain Adams was at Hill 60 then it is Captain Bates at the location of the UNKNOWN - but how specific are these locations, or were they both just somewhere in 28.I.29.b-d or 28.I.30.c-a?



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If the 1st Bn Leinster Regiment replaced a DCLI battalion in the same 82nd Brigade, it would be the 2nd Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (LLT link), 82nd Brigade, 27th Division.


The war diary reports that there was an enemy counter attack on 18 April 1915 at Hill 60 and Trench 1 (page 81 of 693). I thought that would give us a location fix as Second Lieutenant Hamnett Eardley Pinhey was killed and later concentrated to Bedford House Cemetery, but from Asylum British Cemetery at 28.H.12.d.9.7 (COG-BR 1809698). That page does confirm that they were relieved by the Leinsters.


On 6 May they took over the line (trenches 4 to 6) of the Leinster Regiment where Captain Adams had been killed the previous day (page 92 of 693). The diary location is given as Sanctuary Wood, which is northeast of Armagh Wood and not near Hill 60. That may just be a generic description as the war diary does refer to the sending of a company to the southwest end of Armagh Wood.


Better see if I can get better details from the Brigade HQ war diaries - none of these are giving exact locations.



No sign of maps or stated trench map coordinates.

Edited by laughton
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This has sent me back to also check on Captain Henry Edgar Goodbody who is listed by the CWGC as killed on 15 May 1915. The official part of the war diary reports his death the previous day or 11 May 1915 (page 215 of 693). Again there are no details of the exact location, so it is possible that these Captains deaths are all more or less in the same location. The war diary mentions that many of the missing must be killed, as the ground upon which they fell was unapproachable. Without some detail, this won't be able to go forward. The references to Hill 60, Green Jacket Line, Sanctuary Wood and Stirling Castle may be all too generic. Somewhere there must be a map or at least trench map coordinates. Might have to move up to the Division level war diary.

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Within the 27th Division, 82nd Infantry Brigade, the LLT tells us we need to deal with the following battalions in April-May 1915:

  • 1st Bn, Royal Irish Regiment
  • 2nd Bn, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
  • 2nd Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers
  • 1st Bn, Leinster Regiment (this case for the missing Captain)
  • 1/1st Bn, Cambridgeshire Regiment

These are all covered in the two sets of war diaries for the 82nd Infantry Brigade, which start here:

While checking these out, I noticed a trench map sketch for the 2nd Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers (war diary page 593 of 693) that showed precisely where they moved their trenches from the 11th of April to the 3rd of May on the east side of Lower Star Post (28.J.25.b.0.1)  in the Shrewsbury Forest (28.J.25), back (west) to the other side of Green Jacket Ride on the east side of Sanctuary Wood (28.I.24.d.8.3) and due west of Clonmel Copse (28.J.19.c.5.3). Each of the trenches are numbered and the war diary text says that on 26 April they were in trenches 15 to 25 (page 582 of 693) . If I can find that level of detail for all the battalions, then I should be able to separate the locations for Captains Bates (26 Apr), Adams (5 May) and Goodbody (12 May). We know that our Unknown Leinster Captain was recovered at 28.I.30.a.90.05, which places him in the Shrewsbury Forest, about 400 yards east of Green Jacket Ride, in a line parallel with Lower Star Post. If we move forward to 3 May, at which time they were still in trenches 15-25, the war diary says (page 597 of 693) "Order received that the line occupied by the 27th Division was to be evacuated tonight (3rd-4th May)", the new line near Sanctuary Wood.


If that move holds true for all of the battalions of the 82nd Brigade, then the remains recovered on the west side of Green Jacket Ride should not be those of Captain Bates on 26 April 1915, albeit he was found just south of Private A. Byrne #3574 of the same battalion, as previously noted.


Checking on the 1st Bn, Cambridgeshire Regiment we find that on 23 April 1915 they are holding the line that extended from Hill 60 to Clonmel Copse, which I would say places them right along the west side of Green Jacket Ride. That line would go through the location where the remains of the Leinster Captain were found.There is a reference to "Cam Grove" being the third location in this line, a place I have not yet pinpointed. That was the location of their Bn HQ on 29 April 1915 (page 16 of 693). As of 3rd May the battalion refers to the location as Maple Copse (28.I.23 .b to 28II.24.a) and no longer Cam Grove, which places them west of Sanctuary Wood. The war diary refers to them being in support of the Leinsters in the right (south)sector (page 21 of 693) and the Royal Irish Fusiliers in the left sector (north). On 6th May the unit withdrew further west to Ypres, as Sanctuary Wood was being continuously shelled and the Germans had taken one of the trenches at Hill 60.


The 2nd Bn, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry appear to be well back of the other battalions in the Potijze and Wieltje sector, brought up in support of the Canadian Division (page 85 of 693). THey were tied in with "Geddes Force", the composite force of 8 battalions. This is shown on a sketch, north of St. Jean (page 88 of 693). Their war diary of 5 May 1915, the day Captain Adams was killed, refers to an enemy attack against the right of the Leinster Regiment (page 93 of 693). The following day they took over the line of trenches 4 to 6 from the Leinster Regiment, so we need a sketch of the location of those trenches to place Captain Adams. The Leinster Regiment is also reported holding trenches 1 and 2. It would appear that they were still in this area on 12 May when Captain Goodbody was killed. There were no maps for this period, thus I cannot yet place trenches 1-5 precisely. FOr the moment I assume these are the 2nd Line of trenches shown on the sketch for the Royal Irish Fusiliers (page 593 of 693). 


The 1st Bn, Royal Irish Regiment was elsewhere in late April 1915, attached to the 10th Brigade in the Wieltje area (page 349 of 693).

Special Note: Of interest from this battalion war diary is not the information related to the current project but rather the attachment in Appendix XXI that lists the burial locations of a number o the men in March and April 1915. In particular it has information on Corporal Bergin #3443, whose body was not knowingly recovered. Also listed are Privates Quirke, McCullock, Doran and O'Keeffe. Private O'Keeffe #4573 is known to be buried in Ypres Town Cemetery Extension. There is considerable more detail and larger lists in the Appendix to the war diary, including references to CCS and FA facilities where men were taken.

On 5 May 1915 the battalion proceeded to Hooge to rejoin the 82nd Infantry Brigade (page 355 of 693). THey moved to the First Line in Sanctuary Wood on the following day, which again I believe is the line with trenches 1 to 5 shown on the west side of Green Jacket Ride.


The next phase will be to look at the War Diary of the 82nd Infantry Brigade Headquarters, in the next section of documents, starting with April 1915 (war diary page 409 of 907). Our first stop will be on 26 April 1915, the day of Captain Bates death, which has the Leinsters just moving into Sector I.24 (page 424 of 907). This may take Captain Bates off the list of candidates.


. . .  to be continued

Edited by laughton
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... continuing


The 5 battalions of the 82nd Infantry Brigade wrote narratives of what they referred to as the 2nd Battle of Ypres (page 460 of 907). Some of this will be repetetive but I want to make note of all the war diary pages, in the event that this moves to the reporting phase. These posts become the "field notes" of my research.


1st Bn, Royal Irish Regiment


On 25 April the battalion is attached to the 10th Brigade (page 462 of 907), so there is no additional information relative to Captain Bates. On May 4th as we approach the date that Captain Adams was killed was moved back to a rest area in a field west of Ypres (page 465 of 907) but were quickly recalled to join the 82nd Brigade at Hooge the following day, relieving the 2nd Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers in Sanctuary Wood on the morning of the 7th. From the 11th to 17th, when Captain Goodbody was killed, the unit reported everything comparatively quiet.


Then the narratives end, the others are missing and we are back to the 82nd Brigade on 1 May 1915 (page 469 of 907)?


82nd Infantry Brigade


The Brigade was working on the NEW LINE amidst gas and bombardment of Hill 60. Brigade HQ was at Ecole de Bien Faisance (28.I.9.c) on the eastern outskirts of Ypres on the 2nd. The 4th saw the brigade withdrawing to the new line, with the intent to burn Clonmel Copse impossible due to the rain. Work continued on the NEW TRENCHES but they don't say where they are located. There was heavy shelling of the British trenches and severe casualties, continuing on the 5th when Captain Adams was killed. The war diary reports that 2 companies of Leinsters were left in brigade reserve under Major Conyers (see his reference below), at the time that Captain Adams was killed (page 472 of 907).


The 5th Division was being attacked with gas and infantry at Hill 60, so we know the 27th Division had to be on the north flank, which clears up the confusion I initially had about the references to Hill 60. The DCLI relieved the Leinsters in the right sector, except in Trenches 1 & 2 (page 472 of 907). The war diary tells us that on 7 May the German line of trenches ran along the west edge of the wood at 28.J.19.c, which if I am correct would be on the Green Jacket Ride on the west side of Clonmel Copse, pas the ruined houses in 28.J.25.a, thence along the edge of the woods at 28.I.30.b. This puts them in very close proximity to where the Leinster Captain's body was recovered at 28.I.30.a.90.05 but that is 2 days after Captain Adams was killed. Was he in that same location on 5 May 1915? If so, that makes Captain Adams the logical candidate for the remains of the Unknown Leinster Captain.


It would appear that there was a significant German offensive on the morning of 8 May, as the enemy massed in front of the 28th Division front (page 473 of 907). Several trenches were reported blown in by high explosive shells. Here there is a reference to the Canadian's, as the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (80th Brigade, 27th Division) were pushed back on their support trenches. An important day for me, as that is the time when my grandfather, then Private J. A. C. Kenney #51288 was wounded at Bellewaerde Lake and taken out of that phase of the war (to return later as a Captain in the Royal Irish Rifles and be captured on 21 March 1918). The 82nd Brigade portion of the line ran from the southeast corner of the wood at 28.I.30.b to the track running northwest and southeast through 28.I.24.d.


On 12 May 1915, the day Captain Goodbody was killed, we find the Leinsters and a party of Gloucester's counter attacked and drove the Germans from their trench (page 477 of 907). It is here that Major Conyers, commanding 1st Leinsters was severely wounded. Elsewhere we had him reported as mortally wounded (page 210 of 693). He is also on the casualty listed as wounded, as Major Conyers of the Royal Irish Fusiliers (page 530 of 907). The CWGC has him listed as Lieutenant Colonel Charles Conyers, 2nd Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers, attached to 2nd Bn , Leinster Regiment. GRRF 2150967 has as Major Conyers, buried in 1.C.1 of the Brandhoek Military Cemetery. Obviously the CWGC web site is incorrect. All of this appears to be further north at 28.J.13.c, in Sanctuary Wood west of Stirling Castle, as reported in the first post of this topic. That takes Captain Goodbody off the candidate list. (Note: Additional support for the removal of Captain Goodbody from the list came later in the process during the assembly of the EXCEL table of recovery locations, as Private Farrell, Corporal O'Callaghan and Private Cleary killed the same day were also recovered at that location).


In the Casualty Appendix (page 572 of 907) we find Captain J. G. Adams killed on 4 May 1915, not 5 May 1915 as reported by the CWGC. As noted above, Captain Goodbody and Major Conyers both appear on the casualty list for 12 May 1915.


If we put this all together, we arrive with the comments that are highlighted in purple, that being that there is good reason to show that Captain Adams was in the correct location on or about 5 May 1915 and that each of Captain Bates and Captain Goodbody were elsewhere. The problem is that I myself cannot see this as conclusive. I would say for sure that we can remove Captain Goodbody from the candidate list, as he was well out of the area where the remains were recovered.


I believe the key lies in the war diary map for the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles (page 593 of 693), the only sketch that shows the locations of the trenches for the three periods of 2-8 April 1915 (east of Green Jacket Ride and Clonmel Wood), 11 April to 3 May 1915 (south and east of Clonmel Wood) and then the fall back for 3-13 May 1915 on the west of Green Jacket Ride. All sounds good, except, how did Private Byrne end up in 28.I.30.a on 28 April 1915?

Edited by laughton
continuing with details ......
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I have finally found a map showing the trench numbers from 1 to 79 dated 20 April 1915 (Divisional War Diary page 727 of 834). It extends from 28.I.30 .c.9.8 (Green Jacket Ride south of Armagh Wood) northeast to 28.J.9.d.5.0 (the south edge of Polygon Wood). It more or less runs west to east through Shrewsbury Forest and then northeast to Polygon Wood. It matches the line shown on Map 1 in the Canadian History by Nicholson. That map does reference the 27th Division opposite the German 39th Division and 54th Reserve Division. The 82nd Brigade must be off the map where it crosses the Menin Road east of Hooge.




Interesting that the war diary for May 5th (page 739 of 834) tells us that the 82nd Brigade reported that Germans have forced their way into the communication trench between 5th Division trenches 46 & 47. It was only then that I noticed that the 27 Division map goes from trench 1 to 33 and then skips to trench 51. No indication where trenches 34 to 50 are located? Apparently in the 5th Division area, which was in the vicinity of Hill 60. The same page of the war diary refers to trenches 43 and 45 at that location.


On the morning of 6 May 1915, the day after Captain Adams was killed, the Leinsters with the 82nd Brigade are reported in 28.I.24.d (page 741 of 834). Some of the DCLI is in sector 28.I.30.a where the Captain's remains were recovered. In the afternoon, 2 Coys of the Leinsters were take west of Ypres for a rest.


Jumping forward to 12 May 1915 we find the Leinsers in a counter attack on the front line trenches, but it was driven back (page 764 of 834). The second attack was a success. The Leinsters were forced to vacate the northeast corner of Sanctuary Wood, so that places then in 28.I24.b or 28.I.13.c. That agrees with what we found earlier, taking Captain Goodbody off the candidate list.


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Part of the answer finally appeared when it struck me that I should check Duguid's 1938 History of the Canadian forces in Belgium in 1915. That was Volume 1 of what was to be a complete series of histories, cancelled by the onset of the Second World War and later replaced by the 1962 history by Nicholson (map shown above). Fortunately, I had that book in my collection, never thinking of applying it to the British history. There is also detailed text and orders, which I will check for additional details.


As it clearly shows, the problem with the identification of the 1st Leinsters in late April and after the move (all back) of early May 1915 was because the Leinsters were on the pivot point at trench #1 south of Armagh Wood. The location of the pivot point (28.I.30.c.9.8) was just south of where the remains were found ( 28.I.30.a.90.05). That explains why it has not yet been possible to separate Captain Bates (26-04-1915) from Captain Adams (05-05-1915). Fortunately the map shows the Leinster Regiment by name on the most southerly right flank, abutting the Royal Irish RIfles  immediately to the north. To the rear of the Leinsters is the Cambridgeshire Regiment and  to the rear of the Royal Fusiliers is the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Had it been the northern battalions of the 82nd Brigade the change in their location would have better separated the locations.




The actual trenches are marked on this map. The remains of the Leinster Captain were found about 50 yards north of where it is marked for trench #2. That means that the Leinster Captain could be either of the Captains lost on those two days, as the location is more or less the same. Unless there is more detail to separate the two cases, I fear that this research may come to an end - but it has been a great and rewarding ride!




The majority of the men that were lost are named on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Those of the 82nd Brigade that have known graves for the period of 25 April 1915 to 15 May 1915 are shown in the attached table. I have inserted the burial coordinates from the COG-BR records that I had already checked and will now go back to see if there are others. If the cemetery does not have COG-BR documents, the entry is marked CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) or FA (Field Ambulance). Others appear out of place, such as Hill and Mercer at 28.I.19.d.5.8, more likely to have been at 28.J.19.d.5.8.


surname initials death rank regiment # cemetery grave remains recovered
WEST W M 05-05-15 Lieutenant 1st Bn Cambridgeshire Regiment   KLEIN-VIERSTRAAT BRITISH CEMETERY V. A. 7. 28.G.22.b.8.4
RANSOME J 09-05-15 Private 1st Bn Cambridgeshire Regiment '2669' BIRR CROSS ROADS CEMETERY I. J. 7. 28.I.30.a.9.6
KIMMENCE T 12-05-15 L/Corp 1st Bn Cambridgeshire Regiment '1145' POELCAPELLE BRITISH CEMETERY LV. E. 15. 28.I.24.d.9.4
JOHNSON C A 25-04-15 L/Corp 2nd Bn Duke of Cornwall's LI '9930' POPERINGHE OLD MILITARY CEMETERY II. K. 30. CCS
ROONEY C 25-04-15 Private 2nd Bn Duke of Cornwall's LI '3/5469' POPERINGHE OLD MILITARY CEMETERY II. K. 27. CCS
LEGG H W 05-05-15 Private 2nd Bn Duke of Cornwall's LI '9736' PERTH CEMETERY (CHINA WALL) IV. L. 7. 28.F.29.d.8.8
CAVE H 07-05-15 Serjeant 2nd Bn Duke of Cornwall's LI '5673' PERTH CEMETERY (CHINA WALL) IV. G. 3. 28.F.29.d.2.9
HUBBARD W H 09-05-15 Private 2nd Bn Duke of Cornwall's LI '11812' DIVISIONAL COLLECTING POST CEMETERY & EXT I. P. 4. 28.I.30.a.9.6
HUNT S 13-05-15 Private 2nd Bn Duke of Cornwall's LI '12693' BRANDHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY I. B. 11. FA
COSGROVE R 25-04-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '2005' POPERINGHE OLD MILITARY CEMETERY Sp. Mem. 4. CCS
KAVANAGH J 25-04-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '4704' POPERINGHE OLD MILITARY CEMETERY II. K. 26. CCS
TORMEY M 26-04-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '9261' PERTH CEMETERY (CHINA WALL) III. H. 12. 28.G.11.a.95.95
BYRNE A 28-04-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '3574' BIRR CROSS ROADS CEMETERY I. J. 2. 28.I.30.a.9.6
MONAGHAN M 05-05-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '9520' BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY Enc. No.4 XI. D. 3. 28.I.29.d.7.5
COSTIGAN P 05-05-15 L/Corp 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '8063' PERTH CEMETERY (CHINA WALL) II. K. 26. 28.I.30.a.5.1
CUNNIENE C 07-05-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '3716' DIVISIONAL CEMETERY A. 16. n/a
CARMODY D 09-05-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '4381' BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY Enc. No.4 XIII. C. 12. 28.I.15.d.2.5
BROWN W 09-05-15 Corporal 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '2620' DIVISIONAL CEMETERY A. 16A. n/a
HILL P 10-05-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '419' WHITE HOUSE CEMETERY, ST. JEAN-LES-YPRES III. N. 14. 28.I.19.d.5.8
MERCER E 10-05-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '7093' WHITE HOUSE CEMETERY, ST. JEAN-LES-YPRES III. N. 15. 28.I.19.d.5.8
FARRELL P 12-05-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '4908' BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY Enc. No.4 VI. C. 14. 28.J.13.c.9.9
MAXWELL J 12-05-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '9437' BRANDHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY I. A. 9. FA
O'CALLAGHAN E 12-05-15 Corporal 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '8131' SANCTUARY WOOD CEMETERY V. R. 7. 28.I.13.c.50.95
CLEARY T 12-05-15 Private 1st Bn Leinster Regiment '3095' TYNE COT CEMETERY XLIII. E. 17. 28.J.13.b.2.0
CONYERS C 12-05-15 Lt/Col 1st Bn Leinster Regiment - attd   BRANDHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY I. C. 21. FA
CONNELL N 09-05-15 Private 2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers '10890' HOOGE CRATER CEMETERY XVII. A. 8. 28.I.19.b.6.3
O'DARE J J 10-05-15 L/Corp 2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers '9021' DIVISIONAL CEMETERY A. 102. n/a
KELLY T 10-05-15 Private 2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers '17577' HOOGE CRATER CEMETERY XVII. A. 16. 28.I.19.b.6.3
ALEXANDER T 14-05-15 Private 2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers '9440' BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY Enc. No.4 XI. AAA. 7. 28.I.6.c.7.2


During the preparation of this table, I noticed that there were a large number of burials at the location 28.I.30.a.9.6 where Private Byrne of the Leinster's was recovered. These multiple burials occur in more than one of the cemeteries. The same applies to the area of 28.I.30.a.5.1 where Leinster Lance Corporal Costigan was recovered .


The last entry on the table for Private Alexander, has a neighbour in X1.AAA.8, a Corporal of the same 2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers. He had a spoon with "McL" and coincidentally, one of the two Corporals (Baldwin #6299 and Mulrooney #10077) at that time was an "MuL" (CWGC Link). Not enough to go on, but at least the families can "share a grave". It is one of those two Corporals.








Edited by laughton
finished adding burial locations to table
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This topic has now been filed under SHORT LISTED CANDIDATES for share a grave here:



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