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Roger Earnshaw

Fredrick Edward Meehan

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Roger Earnshaw

Photo of Fredrick Edward Meehan 649267, 38th bn, Canadian Infantry who died on 10th August 1918 age 29

Son of Mrs F. E. Meehan, Of 5 Richmond Rd, Romford, Essex

Buried St Souplet British Cemetery France. Location II D 1

frederick edward army photo (3).jpg

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JasonMc
Posted (edited)

Thanks for sharing and welcome to the forum. Meehan is a very common name where I'm from (Donegal, Ireland) so the name piqued my interest.

Also he was killed 2 months before my great grandfather who was KIA at the nearby town of Le Cateau.

 

Interesting that he is buried in St Souplet Cemetery though as this area wasn't taken until 2 months later. But then I saw the Grave concentration report that Meehan was originally buried at St Martin Military Cemetery in St Quentin so he would have died there and been moved at a later date to this cemetery at St Souplet. Could he have been a POW? 

 

I don't know how much research you have done, so no point in me duplicating it if you already have it all done!

 

Also I put a little bit of colour onto the image out of interest...

image.jpg

Edited by JasonMc

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JasonMc

 

Searching the forum he is also mentioned in this post below where post 13 also mentions the possibility Meehan was a POW.

 

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clk

Hi Roger,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

It seems that the Germans told the Red Cross that Fredrick died in hospital on 18th August 1918, as a result of neck and chest wounds.

 

image.png.2691164af52e12859b5edf61dd58b3b3.png

Image sourced from the ICRC

 

Regards

Chris

 

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Roger Earnshaw

Hello Jason Mc

It seems that some people think that he was a POW and as such. He was my wifes great uncle, about 4 or 5 years ago I was contacted by an author who is a French Canadian from area in which he lived, he was writing a book about the 50 soldiers from ww1 from his town which was named on the towns Cenotaph. He published the book about a year ago.

Up to the point of being contacted, my wife knew nothing of how or where he died, after she started talking to relatives to give the author details of his life in th UK and Canada she found out that he emigrated to Canada as a barnado boy.

As time went on we where given copies of photos and other paperwork from the relatives to pass to the author, amongst the paperwork was a letter from one of his superiors to his mother informing her of his death. The letter was from Lieutentant Lloyd J. Scott dated August 16th 1918: It read:

"It is with feelings of deepest regret and sympathythat I write to you of the death of your son Frederick and I realize the futility of words at such a time, but I hope and trust that you may find comfort with HIm who comforts all.

Your son was killed on the afternoon of the 10thwhile taking part in an attack on the railway embankment north of the village of Hallu. The position was very strongly defended with machine guns and it was a bullet from one of these that struck him. His comrades gave him every possible attention, but he died in a very few minutesand suffered very little.

He was one of the most cheerful and obedient of my men and had made himself universally popular with his comradesand you have the deepest sympathy of all in your loss. The exact location of his grave is not yet available but you will receive further information later,or you can obtain it at any time by writing to the Chaplain of the battalion, Captain J. S. Millar.

If I can give you any further details, I shall be very glad to do so at any time. Please believe me to be: Yours very sincerely, Lloyd J. Scott, Lieutenant"

This to me would  suggest that he was close to german lines but not behind them.

Roger.

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clk

Hi Roger,

 

4 hours ago, Roger Earnshaw said:

Your son was killed on the afternoon of the 10thwhile taking part in an attack on the railway embankment north of the village of Hallu

 

That's interesting. The concentration sheet in his CWGC records indicates that his body was exhumed from map reference 62b.S.23.c.5.4, which is close to Saint-Quentin here...

 

image.png.79affcaf0b66fcf2c3757ecc01c3c8c5.png

Image generated from the Muninn Project

 

Looking at the AA Route Planner Saint-Quentin is a 30 mile drive away from the village of Hallu.

 

Regards

Chris

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clk
Posted (edited)

Hi Roger,

 

Returning to the concentration sheet in his CWGC record, all the other men exhumed from the same map reference also indicate that they died in the care of German medics. For me that points towards the letter from Lieutentant Lloyd J. Scott dated August 16th 1918 being factually incorrect. I'm not a gambler, but my money would be on Frederick being seriously wounded (as per post #4) and left on 'the battlefield', recovered by the Germans, and passed back through their medical evacuation chain, where he sadly died.

 

I might well be getting 2 + 2 = 6 though. Hopefully other Pals will comment.

 

97022 Waghorn 

Reported as missing wef 27.5.1918 (from Service File)

image.png.6d4cf6080adb5ddb42f22b0441061daf.png

 

33963 Sayers

image.png.b330e990e3717957767c85b8baedaac7.png

 

image.png.b445031ece1651bd6710401922dbb1f2.png

 

image.png.3210f470f45195ddd5f49755056e8389.png

 

 

109694 Helm

image.png.072ffc881c2f6f355230dad3ac2c6f19.png

 

image.png.a9f56cf40a063e9bc1f47eac7a69f53e.png

 

722163 Walker

Reported as missing after action 16.8.1918 (from Service File)

image.png.34b9ebaf076f88d05f95191c4547d9b0.png

 

image.png.3260e0e30e172ca482785e48ec721f9a.png

All images sourced from the International Committee of the Red Cross

 

From the ICRC site...

PoW Glossary.pdf

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

Edited by clk

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JasonMc

Thanks for the follow up Roger and the letter from Lt Scott.

I'd have to agree with the very good work there by CLK, I agree with them findings and also would be afraid of making 2+2=6 but I also fear that the Lt's letter was factually incorrect. The facts of the other men also being recovered from the same map ref being in the care of German medics would further confirm it.

Possibly left for dead on lost ground or in 'no mans land' to hopefully be recovered later - which would explain there being no grave at the time. 

The locations don't add up for those dates for him to die in Allied care so for my money too I'd bet that he was recovered alive by German soldiers and passed back through their POW/Medical chain - then buried well behind the lines on the German side.

Any further information you may have please share and for now hopefully that shines a little more light on what may have happened.

 

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charlie962

I would agree with Chris's conclusions. Letters from the Co to the family would be designed to comfort rather during a difficult time.

 

......but he died in a very few minutes and suffered very little.

 

That would be an obvious choice rather than saying 'he was mortally wounded but we were unable to recover him'.

 

.....The exact location of his grave is not yet available

 

That supports Chris's finding.  I think all the rest of the CO's letter is probably quite correct.

 

Charlie

 

 

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Roger Earnshaw

Thank you all for your comments and ideas on to Co's letter, I think that is quite a possibility,  also thanks to Jason for the colour on the photo looks good. Obviously some of you guys did a fair bit of research so thank you very much. 

Regards Roger 

 

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JasonMc

No problem Roger.

I also just had a quick read of the 38th Btn War Diary for that day and mentions they were trying to hold a line from HALLU to the AMIENS NASLE RAILROAD on the 10th August.

They were 'harassed' by their own light artillery from the rear and afraid of losing their left flank they pushed forward as 'quickly as possible'.

'Owing to severe officer casualties this proved difficult indeed'.

 

Sounds like quite a highly dangerous and pressurised attack with a frontal assault underway, fearing their flank would be vulnerable and being hit from their own light artillery - and also down many officers.

 

I'll attach a snippet fro the diary which is free to view at collectionscanada.gc.ca and also a map of the area where he was wounded - he was near the railway station at the top of the image when he fell.

All the best to you and glad to be able to be a little help.

 

1425568465_Screenshot2019-07-20at14_29_13.png.37a77e3a9d1be9f83b36b3af71b93934.png

 

1454564489_Screenshot2019-07-20at14_30_10.png.17f74db2e710413b2b7a5e2bcd71a726.png

 

 

 

 

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