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Nick Keyes

Private William Mitchell 20th London Regiment

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Nick Keyes

Very grateful for help identifying which battalion, 1/20th or 2/20th, of the London Regiment this soldier was serving with when killed on 11 September 1918 in France.  Private William Richard Charles Mitchell lies in Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, just SE of Albert.  Neither battalion seems to have had casualties that day, so I’m guessing he was wounded before 11 September; and perhaps brought to the Main Dressing Station which was at Dernancourt at that time.  I’m visiting the cemetery with a relative on 12 May, but have drawn a blank so far.  He isn’t in the Roll of Honour in the history of 2/20th Londons, so the 1/20th is more likely.  Many thanks.   

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RussT

His Soldiers' Effects Register entry states he was 1/20th, and that he DoW at 47th CCS.

 

SDGW shows he was formerly 19th London (number 615987)

 

Regards

 

Russ

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Nick Keyes

Terrific, Russ, thank you, that’s a great help, I thought he might perhaps have been omitted from the 2/20th’s Roll of Honour by accident, but this nails it; and I had no idea about his time with the 19th.  I’m very grateful.  The 1/20th War Diary has them coming out of the line on 6 Sep 1918 and resting in the Corbie area, so I guess he was wounded before that.  They attacked the west side of Moislains Wood early on 1 Sep (with 19th Londons on their right) and ‘casualties were very heavy owing to stiff resistance of enemy MG nests’, but no breakdown of casualties is given.  Thanks again.

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Pat Atkins
Posted (edited)

Was only passing through 19th Londons, it seems. His medal rolls entry states his overseas service as:

 

615998  1(a)  19/Lond. Regt. 

3.4.18 to 6.4.18

 

648357  1(a)  20/Lond. Regt.  

7.4.18 to 11.9.18

 

Men with numbers either side of his follow same pattern.

Pat

 

Edited by Pat Atkins
Typo

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Nick Keyes

Dear Pat, very many thanks for this, it puzzled me.  Private William Mitchell’s great-great-niece and her school ended their Anglia Western Front tour with a very moving visit to his grave at Dernancourt, a beautiful little cemetery, which interestingly also contains Chinese and Indian Labour Corps graves, plus Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and South African burials, and one German.  I’m very grateful to you and to Russ for turning supposition into fact before I told William’s story.

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