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laughton

Does this not seem odd to you?

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laughton

I was investigating the case of the Corporal KIA on 26 September 1917 and checking to see what artillery men were killed on that same date. I suspected that the Corporal, perhaps from the BWIR, had been working with one of the artillery units, probably carrying ammunition.

 

That brought me to a group that was KIA and buried at the New Irish Farm Cemetery in a collective grave 4.E.6. The COG-BR 1823579 clearly lists six (6) men of the 291st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. There is a single UNKNOWN British soldier in 4.E.7, found very close to the others but not in the exact same location. It is important to note that there is a direct reference to 291st in each of the six (6) entries.

 

doc1823579.JPG

 

If we go to the CWGC database there are five (5) men of the 291st Bde RFA listed for the New Irish Farm Cemetery: (this link)

 

HAMMOND

Gunner 931231

T

Wednesday, September 26, 1917

NEW IRISH FARM CEMETERY IV. E. 6.

VIEW RECORD

Royal Field Artillery United Kingdom

STANSFIELD

Gunner 118712

C W

Wednesday, September 26, 1917 Age 25

NEW IRISH FARM CEMETERY IV. E. 6.

VIEW RECORD

Royal Field Artillery United Kingdom

TAYLOR

Gunner 29352

W

Wednesday, September 26, 1917

NEW IRISH FARM CEMETERY IV. E. 6.

VIEW RECORD

Royal Field Artillery United Kingdom

BURT

Gunner 930696

W

Wednesday, September 26, 1917

NEW IRISH FARM CEMETERY IV. E. 6.

VIEW RECORD

Royal Field Artillery United Kingdom

EVANS

Bombardier 931021

G W

Wednesday, September 26, 1917

NEW IRISH FARM CEMETERY IV. E. 6.

VIEW RECORD

Royal Field Artillery United Kingdom

 

So that makes it clear that they identified five (5) of the six (6) men of that brigade that were lost on that date. Who was the sixth man? Well what do you know, but for that date and unit there is only one (1) other man of the brigade killed and named on the Tyne Cot Memorial: (this link)

 

JOLLIFFE

Gunner 931411

HYLTON RODNEY

Wednesday, September 26, 1917

TYNE COT MEMORIAL Panel 4 to 6 and 162.

VIEW RECORD

Royal Field Artillery United Kingdom

 

Logic would tell me that if there were six (6) men killed and listed as buried, five (5) identified and one (1) unidentified, then that last man would be Guner Jolliffe.

 

But there is a problem! The GRU named all six (6) of the men when they made the GRRF documents:

Bottom Three: https://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc2152590.JPG & Top Threehttps://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc2152591.JPG

 

Note that the man in 4.E.7 remains unidentified. But most important, all six (6) of the men are named but one (1) of them is not from the 291st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

 

doc2152590.JPG doc2152591.JPG

 

The new man that appears is, also RFA but listed as No. 1 Sect. 58th Div. Ammunition Col. : (no longer a man of the 291st Brigade - this link)

 

 

 

RENTELL 

Gunner 945247

R

Wednesday, September 26, 1917

NEW IRISH FARM CEMETERY IV. E. 6.

VIEW RECORD

Royal Field Artillery United Kingdom

 

TWO OBVIOUS QUESTIONS:

 

  1. Is it not more likely that the 6th man in grave 4.E.6 is as listed on the initial COG-BR as a 291st man and that it is Gunner Jolliffe #931411, who is currently the only one listed for that unit and date on the Tyne Cot Memorial?
     
  2. Did they really intend to place Gunner Rentell #945247, who was not of the 291st Brigade, as the unknown man in 4.E.7?

 

 

P.S. I finally figured out how to add images to this site and control their size so they don’t automatically appear filling the whole width of the page. As well with this method you can put in more than one image, as I did above with the two GRRF documents beside each other. Maybe this is not new news but I never could figure it out before! Two accidental finds in one day! I put the details of how to do this over at "A Place to Play: 

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/268783-controlling-image-postings-methodology/

 


 

Edited by laughton
added a link to topic if you want to see process

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ss002d6252

Logically I suppose you'd expect all 6 of the men to be buried together but...

 

When the original report was created in 1919 presumably it was done from existing records and burial markers and the 1920 report was when they went along to remove the bodies for re-burial. The fact that the 1920 report is typed up (and amended) suggests that it was pre-prepared and then the details were added as the bodies were removed - is it possible then that they only found the 5 291st bodies at the burial site and that next to them they found another body that, was identified as Rentell, so they simply used the then spare line on the form to record his details ?

 

Craig

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David Porter
2 hours ago, laughton said:

Logic would tell me that if there were six (6) men killed and listed as buried, five (5) identified and one (1) unidentified, then that last man would be Guner Jolliffe.

 

Not really, as Jolliffe was buried in Track X Cemetery. See E.53 and E.54 bottom of page.

 

doc1832756a.jpg.5fee3ff06008a6299c7a66688af06aaa.jpg

 

Confirmation may be found in his service record, which I believe has survived.

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laughton

You almost had me for a moment!

 

I thought, how can he be buried there in "Track X Cemetery" if he is on the Tyne Cot Memorial?

 

That GRRF reference is only for a Memorial Cross, which would have been removed from the cemetery when his name was added to the Tyne Cot Memorial.

 

His service record does say that the grave site is at Track X British Cemetery, side of cemetery, 1 3/4 miles NNE of Ypres. It actually says that twice in the record.

 

You have probably discovered the reason that they put in Rentell's name instead, as at the time they would have thought Jolliffe was buried in Track X.

doc1862458.JPG

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laughton

These are the only RFA in the Track X Cemetery:

 

surname forename / initials death rank RFA Unit # Track X
ARCHER P 09-11-17 Serjeant "C" Bty. 84th Army Bde. '20684' A. 1.
BIRD HORATIO PARKYNS 01-10-17 Gunner "C" Bty. 84th Bde. '171701' B. 2.
CONSITT JOSEPH ARRAN 21-08-17 Gunner "A" Bty. 186th Bde. 'L/31987' D. 31.
COOPER P 28-08-17 Gunner "C" Bty. 102nd Bde. '208420' B. 21.
CORLETT A 17-10-17 Driver "C" Bty. 84th Army Bde. '77567' B. 8.
ELLNER W E 21-08-17 Driver "A" Bty. 186th Bde. 'L/32003' D. 40.
GODDEN A G 25-09-17 Driver 48th Div. Ammunition Col. '49053' B. 7.
GRAY C S 21-08-17 Gunner "A" Bty. 186th Bde. '17710' D. 36.
LOCKTON THOMAS 21-08-17 Gunner "A" Bty. 103rd Bde. '142612' D. 32.
MAITLAND WILLIAM JOHN 27-08-17 Gunner "C" Bty. 102nd Bde. '45442' D. 45.
MERRILEES CECIL 16-08-17 Gunner "B" Bty. 126th Bde. '614262' D. 26.
PALMER STEPHEN ARTHUR 16-08-17 Gunner 126th (R.H.A.) Bde. '176663' D. 24.
PARSONS JAMES 16-08-17 Gunner 126th (R.H.A.) Bde. '614152' D. 23.
PRATT AYLWIN MURRAY 21-08-17 Second Lieutenant "A" Bty. 186th Bde.   D. 30.
SIDDONS WILLIAM HENRY 29-09-17 Gunner "A" Bty. 291st Bde. '221652' B. 5.
TAYLOR WILLIAM BLACKBURN 21-08-17 Driver "A" Bty. 186th Bde. '149409' D. 38.
WHITE WILFRED BASCOMBE 21-08-17 Gunner "A" Bty. 103rd Bde. '87308' D. 33.
WILKES C E 16-08-17 Gunner 126th (R.H.A.) Bde. '176574' D. 22.
WORRALL THOMAS 16-08-17 Gunner 126th (R.H.A.) Bde. '614503' D. 25.
WRIGHT L 03-10-17 Gunner 126th Bde. '624562' C. 2.

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Marilyne

Very odd !! 

 

What I find peculiar is that, if Jolliffe died with the others and on the same day, belonging to that unit, then his memorial stone should be in New Irish Farm cemetery and not track X ... although it's 1.5km away only. 

other question: what does the diary of the 291st say about the events of that day?? 

 

M. 

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Alan24
9 minutes ago, Marilyne said:

Very odd !! 

 

What I find peculiar is that, if Jolliffe died with the others and on the same day, belonging to that unit, then his memorial stone should be in New Irish Farm cemetery and not track X ... although it's 1.5km away only. 

 

 

I've come across this scenario before...

 

What if all six died the same day but 5 were killed outright and the 6th was severely wounded and taken down to the nearest CCS. Let's say he died later the same day and was buried in the cemetery being used at that time by the CCS which could have been concentrated after the war.

 

This could explain why the 6th man is 1.5 km away from the other 5 men.

 

Regards

 

Alan.

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Marilyne

Plausible explanation!! 

That's why I think the diaries could tell us more about what happened, no??? 

 

M.

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laughton

He no longer has a memorial stone, removed. He is not in X track cemetery.

 

10 minutes ago, Marilyne said:

his memorial stone should be in New Irish Farm cemetery and not track X

 

I wasn't having much luck finding the 291st RFA war diary on Ancestry! Thankfully someone posted about this unit on the GWF some time ago which should help (see here). Chris's reference is to the old site but we can still search. On the new site, I did not find CCXCI on the new page but it was on the old page.

 

CCXCI Territorial Force 2nd Line 58th Division from Divisional concentration in September 1915 to November 1918. Originally designated 2/II London Brigade.

 

A Google search tells me the page is now here:

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/58th-21st-london-division/

 

That helped! From there I can find it on the Ancestry war diary system but I could not find it before using the code WO95/2995. I will go see what I can find!

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laughton

War diary is here:

 

1917 Jan - 1919 May

 

Kind of messed up but found the page for late September 1917: 2-9-17 to 30-9-17

 

Says they supported an attack by 175th Brigade which was successful. APpears to say 2nd Lt. O'Brien killed. Appears they are in La Belle Alliance from the 20th when they supported the 174th Brigade in an attack on the St. Julien front.

 

O'Brien is the correct name, CWGC bumped him up to Lieutenant: https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/440649/o'brien,-dermot/

He is still a Second Lieutenant on the GRRF 2150457 for the cemetery. Just using that to check that I have the correct unit war diary.

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