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Percy Platt Lancashire Loyals

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Hello All


Please excuse me if I am posting in the wrong place - I am revisiting my Grandads records after a few years and family losses and am a bit overwhelmed.


I did receive some awesome pointers from this forum a few years ago and would so appreciate any ideas to get me back on track.


I am originally from Preston but currently in Australia which is making things a little harder.


Heading back to the UK IN October and really hoping to visit at least one the Battlefields - I am thinking he was at Guillemot when he suffered shellshock on 05/09/2016 and was planning to head there but am doubting myself now.


I have luckily been able to obtain detailed Service Records for his whole career which is very exciting but I am now drowning in too much information.


I have his reference numbers as 6704  242959  and 726981


Most of the details and info are from 1920 0nwards but I do have Casualty - Active Service forms from 1916 and it is this period I am concentrating on.


I obtained War Diaries in the hope of assisting me but I am now more confused than ever as he seems to have moved from one Battalion to another to another and I am not sure I even have the right ones..


I was hoping that someone with far more wisdom than I have could help me put his WW1 story and movements together.


I would have loved to obtain his medical records but am advised they are not generally available and I am lost trying to work out where he fought and where he was when he was injured which I suppose in my big aim.


I have done a mini timeline for WW1 and would really like to know if anyone can enlighten me on what it all means ( maybe where he fought and how I can get details of his injuries etc ) .. I have added codes/abbreviations although I don't know if they are relevant and some are really hard to read


Apologies for the basic structure - I have tried to write it in a date by date format that I can follow


I do have the 5th and 10th Battalion Diaries .


His correct date of birth was 19/09/1898


Joined 5th Battalion 1/9/15 in Bolton

Embarked Southampton 17/03/16

Joined 55 DIV B Rouen 18/03/16

19/03/16 Class A hernia left - W3339

02/04/16 To Front

07/04/16 - Joined and posted to B Coy

5/09/16 - Wounded

06/09/16 - 2/1 WL's FA - admitted Shell Shock - A36

07/09/16 11 s HP - Admitted Rouen - W3034

11/09/16 - To England from HS Panama - W Shell Shock 13083

5/5/17 Embarked Folkestone to Bolougne

06/05/17 - Joined Etaples

24/5/17 - Posted to 10th Battalion RNLR - Etaples

3/6/17 - Joined 10th Battalion - Field

10/08/17 - To Hospital B213

There are then a few entries I can't read - seem to be hospital notes - I think they say:

10/8/17 Field - 49 FA ADM ICT ???

17/08/17 Field - 50 FA ADM ??? Hernia

02/09/17 - Rouen 12 GH Adm ??? Hernia ???

10/9/17 - Posted to 7th Battalion LNLR - Etaples

15/9/17 - Joined 7th Battallion - Field

13/10/17 - 57 Field Ambulance - ADM - Trench Feet ED2225

14/10/17 - 2CCS - ADM Trench Feet ED2413

16/10/17 8 Gen Hosp - Rouen Adm Trench Feet

21/10/17 - 8 Gen Hosp - To England per "ESSEQUTBO" ? W3083

24/07/18 transferred to 17th Liverpool Regiment - Clacton on Sea

29/10/18 Posted to BEF France Authy W O Telegram L9610 DR.1.B. LIST A 8530424/??

30/10/18 Embarked Folkestone to Bologne - Joined Infantry Base Depot and posted to 2nd LNLR For Record Purposes 31/10/18

03/11/18 - Posted to 2LNLR

17/11/18 - Joined 2nd Battallion

13/03/19 - AFZ G - Embarked for UK ? Heath


This is some further clarification I got a few years ago but I would LOVE it if anyone can bulk this out at all - particularly where he fought so I can be sure I head to the right place.


His original Army number was 6704 but in 1917 the Territorials were re numbered and
his new number was 242959.
The words Side Piecer refer to his occupation in civilian life (In the Cotton Mills).
On 17/03/1916 he embarked at Southampton and went to 55 Division Base Depot at
Rouen. He was given a medical and was declared fit – Class A but with a hernia.
On 02/04/ he went to the Front and on 03/04 joined B Coy 5 LNL In The Field.
On either 05 or 06/09 he was wounded with shell shock and admitted to 2/1 West Lancs
Field Ambulance. On 07/09 he was admitted to 11 Stationary Hospital in Rouen and on
11/09 went to England on the Hospital Ship “Panama”.
On 05/05/1917 he embarked at Folkestone for Boulogne and on 06/05 arrived at 25
Infantry Base Depot at Etaples (the notorious Bullring).
On 03/06 he joined 10 LNL in the Field
On 10/08 he was admitted to 49 Field Ambulance and on 17/08 to 50 Field Ambulance.
On 02/09 he was admitted to 12 General Hospital at Rouen.
This form shows his next of kin as mother Mrs Platt 158 Blackhorse St, Bolton.
On 10/09 he was back at 25 Infantry Base Depot and on 15/09 joined 7 LNL.
On 13/10 he was admitted to 57 Field Ambulance with Trench Feet, on 14/10
transferred to No 2 Casualty Clearing Station and on 16/10 to No 8 General Hospital at
On 21/10 he was returned to England on the Hospital Ship Essequito ?
The references on the 1918 Casualty Form to the Liverpool Regiment at Clacton and
the absent at Clacton have been crossed out and marked Entered in Error.
He did not serve in that Unit (as the Service Medal and Award Rolls show).


Many Many Thanks in advance for any assistance at all

Edited by Waterloord
added info

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Hi - Percy Platt's journey to the front line is *exactly* the same as my great-grandfather's, just one week later! So I might be able to help at least with the period up to his wounding in September 1916.


My great-grandfather (Dionysius Howarth) was also in the 5th LNL - he left Southampton on 10/3/16, left the 55 Div base depot at Rouen for the front on 26/3/16, and joined B Coy of the 5th LNL at the front on 27/3/16. The 5th were assigned to a fairly quiet part of the front line near Arras - they spent a lot of time in trench sectors called "Park" and "Grange" just south of Bellacourt. I have a trench map that shows exactly where these were. When they weren't in the trenches the soldiers were billeted in nearby villages.


In mid-July 1916 the battalion left the trenches, and marched over the course of a week to Candas, where they boarded a train to Mericourt to join the battle of the Somme. My great-Grandfather was wounded by a shell the next week (and evacuated back to England via Rouen and hospital ship), just before the 5th attacked Guillemont on the 9th August. The battalion suffered terrible losses on the 9th, but the battalion stayed a little behind the front line and was reinforced, before moving (again by train) to another part of the Somme offensive near Longueval on 19/8/16. There they rested and trained until the end of August (I wonder if Percy was one of the lucky 28 Other Ranks from B Coy who were granted three days' leave at the seaside at Ault on 24/8/16?!), before moving back into the trenches on 5/9/16. According to the war diary, this was in trenches at the NE edge of Delville Wood, so I think that's where he was first wounded (the war diary on the 6th September lists 38 O.R.s wounded). There is a museum there: http://www.greatwar.co.uk/somme/museum-delville-wood.htm


The swapping between battalions was normal I think after soliders came back to the fight after convalescence - they were just allocated to the relevant battalion that needed them most. My great-grandfather was posted to the 2/4th LNL when he returned to France, for example.


Hope that helps!

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The Bolton Evening News named recruits who enlisted at the Town Hall from November 1914 to November 1915 in a daily column called Rally to the Flag. This is from Friday 03/09/1915 and confirms that Percy of 158 Blackhorse St, Bolton did indeed enlist on the 01/09/1915. The paper shows that he enlisted into the Pals Battalion. This was the unofficial name for the reserve Bns of 5th Bn Loyal North Lancs, (2/5, 3/5 and 4/5) which were raised in Bolton in 1915. The 4th and 5th Bns were pre war Territorial Force, the 4th being based in Preston and the 5th in Bolton. The original 5th became known as 1/5th. 

I could not find any trace of Dionysius Howarth in Rally to the Flag. His service record shows that he enlisted in Bolton on 08/05/1915. 

The BEN followed it's Local Bn in great detail and there were regular reports from France in 1916. I will have a look at the casualty lists that were published before and after the action at Guillemont on 09/08/1916. 

I did find one of those "floating" documents on FMP naming 242086 Pte Howarth D as part of E Company 5th LNL. It records that he was one of fifteen men who went to Formby on 09/04/1917. It can be seen in the service record of 3975 James Farnworth, LNL Regt.



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Many thanks Brian - I'd not seen that "floating" document before, that's very interesting, it's definitely the same Dionysius Howarth, it was during the time he was back in England in camp at Oswestry after being wounded just before Guillemont.


Without wishing to hijack the Percy Platt thread, I wonder what Dionysius Howarth's trip to Formby was about? The document just says "Ration Strength", then "The undermentioned proceeded to Formby", then lists the fifteen men (one an NCO, the others Pte) - was it leave/R+R, training,??? I looked up the other people in the group, and found out that (a) all of the people whose records have survived left England for France on the same day in June later that year (so they "stuck together" as a group in some way after the trip to Formby) and (b) one of them was back in Oswestry where the Battalion was based a month later (so the trip to Formby wasn't part of "leaving" the training camp permanently on the way to somewhere else).


Also, would you happen to have access to the "Rally to the Flag" entry for  08/05/1915 (Saturday) by any chance? I wonder whether Dionysius Howarth was one of the "omitted by request" names, and always wondered if he signed up on his own or with others from the quarry where he worked, and it might be possible to find that out with the other names on the same day...


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Re Dionysius. PM sent.

Re Percy. Will have a look next week in the Bolton Journal 03/09/1916 which covered the "Charge" of the 5th at Guillemont and later editions which named other casualties in later actions.


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