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laughton

Lts. David Laing & Archdale Tandy? - 20 October 1914

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laughton
Posted (edited)

Still cruising the Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery records looking for the lost Lance Sergeant Burke and I notice that there are two (2) UNKNOWN LIEUTENANTS of the Royal Irish Regiment in graves 7.K.4 and 7.K.6 that were concentrated from the Fournes German Cemetery.

 

On the COG-BR 2113062 we also find Pte P Doyle #5938 of the 2nd Bn Royal Irish Regiment. He was KIA on 19 October 1914 and is buried in 8.H.4, exhumed from Fournes 1.XVI.8.

 

The XVI (16) burial of 19 October 1914 tells us the XV (15) burial took place prior to that date.

 

There are only two (2) Lieutenants of the Royal Irish Regiment on the Le Touret Memorial for October 1914 (CWGC Link). Both served in the 2nd Battalion.

 

Logic tells us that the men are Lt David Patrick Laing and Lt Archidale Maurice Stratford Tandy.

doc2113062.JPG

 

If we go back in time to the start of the Great War on 4 August 1914 (as the CWGC would request), we pick up another two Lieutenants (CWGC Link).

  • Lt Brown is eliminated, as he was on the Lokoja Memorial in Nigeria
  • Lt Rushton is unlikely as he is on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial

The CWGC database tells us the Officers were not identified, as there are only four (4) known men of the Royal Irish Regiment buried in the Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery (CWGC Link). One of those is Private Doyle, mentioned above, and the other three are Privates Morrissey, Roberts and Keating, all 2nd Bn R.I.R. Pte Keating differs from the others, as he was exhumed from the Marqueilles Communal Cemetery not Fournes.

 

Here are the Officers of the Royal Irish Regiment on the Le Touret Memorial for that period, from the first day of the Great War to the end of October 1914:

 

surname forename death rank unit
KNOX ALEXANDER WILLIAM 19-10-14 Captain 2nd Bn.
LAING DAVID PATRICK 20-10-14 Lieutenant 2nd Bn.
TANDY ARCHDALE MAURICE STRATFORD 20-10-14 Lieutenant 2nd Bn.
DANIELL EDWARD HENRY EDWIN 20-10-14 * Lieutenant Colonel Cdg. 2nd Bn.
ANDERSON ALAN JAMES RAMSAY 20-10-14 Second Lieutenant 3rd Bn. attd. 2nd Bn.
HOWARD PERCY EDWARD NAPIER 27-10-14 Second Lieutenant 2nd Bn.
MOORE HENRY GEOFFREY HAMILTON 20-10-14 Second Lieutenant 2nd Bn.
SMYTH DONALD SEYMOUR 19-10-14 Second Lieutenant 2nd Bn.
SMYTH JOHN ROSS 20-10-14 Second Lieutenant 3rd Bn. attd. 2nd Bn.

 

* see information below, as DANIELL was serving as a MAJOR at the time.

 

There is another UNKNOWN OFFICER of the R.I.R. in 7.K.13, so that is one of the men on the list above. That may also apply to the Second Lieutenant in 7.K.14, but we do not know his regiment.

 

One has to wonder if the UBO, not named as a Second Lieutenant, is Lieutenant Colonel Major Daniell? Perhaps Captain Knox?

 

The Long, Long Trail tells us that the 2nd Battalion was "virtually destroyed as a battalion near Le Pilly during the Battle of La Bassee". This was prior to 24 October 1914 and Chris also notes that many were taken as POWs. The War Diary (page 33 of 46) places the battalion at Vielle Chapelle on the 14th. Oddly there are no entries for the 16th and 17th. Lt. Laing is mentioned in the war diary at 9 pm on the 19th, so he is still alive at that time (war diary page 36 of 46). The 20th must have been a bad day, as the war diary says "unfortunatley little evidence is obtainable of what occured on this day"! They were at Le Pilly, so perhaps that is the day of the great battle? The war diary then jumps to October 24th. There are references to a large number of appendices, however very few are included in the war diary.

 

There is a list of Officer Casualties (war diary page 42 of 46) where we do find Captain Knox listed as missing on the 20th, along with Lieutenants Tandy and Laing. They don't list the Second Lieutenants.

 

There is an excellent sketch (Appendix XXV - page 43 of 46) whicih suggests the other appendicies are gone. Page 44 of 46 is incorrect as it has the date set at 1915 but with the same officers. That confirms that it was Major Daniell at the time and not Lieutenant Colonel - misleading when they up the rank on the CWGC pages from what they were when serving. He is listed as the only officer that is missing on the 19th back on page 42. I missed it as I was looking for a Lieutenant Colonel. Lieutenant Laing was in H.Q. with Major Danielle. Lieutenant Tandy was in "A" Coy. Captaion Know was commanding "D" Coy.

 

Thereafter, the war diary jumps to March 1915.

Edited by laughton
The XVI (16) burial of 19 October 1914 tells us the XV (15) burial took place prior to that date.

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laughton
Posted (edited)

ICRC Records show only that there were inquiries but no follow-up from the Germans or information as to POW status or death:

There are also two notices for Major Danielle:

Just one for Captain Knox:

I had not noticed before that there is a "rotation button" on these records to turn the page over, where I see additional dates are added. Learn something new here every day!

 

I see there is a related topic relating to those killed in this action:

 

It would appear that Patrick Barrett (aka Patrick63223) has done research on this file. I have posted a comment on that IWM site for Patrick.

Quote

See this link: https://livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk/lifestory/4352060

 

  • Privates Patrick Doyle 5938, Robert Morrissey 6388 and William Roberts 10941 were buried by the Germans in Fournes-en-Weppes German Military Cemetery, a short distance from Le Pilly, in October 1914 (co-ordinates 36.O.31.d.8.2. - indicated by the red balloon). After the war, their bodies were exhumed and reburied in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery along with at least 32 other unidentified British soldiers from the same location, two of whom were officers of the Royal Irish Regiment. It is reasonable to assume that these men are some of those who fell at Le Pilly. It is also possible that others were not discovered and exhumed and so remain in Fournes-en-Weppes German Military Cemetery.
     
  • Privates Edward Byrne 10896, Daniel Cronin 10888, John Murphy 8804 and Patrick Sweeney 6645 were originally buried close to, it is assumed, where they fell at Le Pilly by the Germans – approximately where D Company were positioned on the battalion’s right flank. The CWGC concentration form gives the co-ordinates of the location where their bodies were found (36.T.5.b.30.05. - indicated by the red balloon) along with 2 other unknown British soldiers. They were buried together "in one grave and are believed to be proper German Burials". Four out of the six bodies were identified as soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment (through clothing, boots, G.S.buttons, numerals and discs). The bodies were exhumed in April 1927 and reburied in Bailleul Road East Cemetery, St Laurent Blangy.

 

See this newspaper article from October 2014 about the battle:

Map of action:

Edited by laughton

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laughton

This Google Map shows Fournes German Cemetery approximately 2,000 yards northeast of Le Pilly.

 

vkv6e2mlih2msn76g.jpg

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laughton

Drafting the report now, so here are the other documents needed to show they were not previously identified.

 

GRRF

doc1976131.JPG

HD-SCHD

doc2081371.JPG

 

doc2081373.JPG

Maps of the locations:

4b91nio9z5n5pr66g.jpg
g3wqhsian0wbmil6g.jpg

 

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laughton

The CWGC will question the matter of the date, as there are no dates of death shown on the documents. This caused a major problem with our Canadian McDonald & Wylie case, as they requested details on all officers of the killed and missing at any time in the Great War. We did provide that information but it took two years to assemble the data.

 

In this case I do not think there is any doubt about the time and the identifications. Logic provides the evidence but will they take logic as fact? It may become necessary to prove that there was no other time that the Roayl Irish Regiment could have lost officers that were buried in the Fournes German Cemetery.

 

The only identified person on the same COG-BR document is another soldier of the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, named as Private P. Doyle #5939. His date of death is recorded as 19 October 1914. He was exhumed from Fournes German Cemetery, grave 1.XVI.8, which provides the evidence that the two Lieutenants in Row XV (15) were buried on or before Private Doyle in Row XVI (16).
 

There are a number of COG-BR documents that record the exhumations of men from the Royal Irish Regiment, some specific to the 2nd Battalion, which were exhumed from the Fournes German Cemetery and buried in the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery.
 

COG-BR

Concentrated To

Exhumed From

Identification

Date

2113062

CR 8.H.4

FGC 1.XVI.8

Pte Doyle

2nd Bn R.I.R.

19 October 1914

2113063

CR 7.K.10

FGC 1.XV.14

2 UBS R.I.R.

none WR

2113063

CR 7.K.13

FGC 1.XV.17

OFFICER R.I.R.

none

2113063

CR 7.L.1

FGC 1.XIV.2

2 UBS R.I.R.

none

2113064

CR 7.L.4

FGC 1.XIV.5

2 UBS R.I.R.

none

2113064

CR 7.L.7

FGC 1.XIV.5

Pte Morrissey
2nd Bn R.I.R.

19 October 1914

2113064

CR 7.L.8

FGC 1.XIV.5

Pte Roberts

2nd Bn R.I.R.

19 October 1914


Other concentrations from the Fournes German Cemetery demonstrate known burial dates and locations, such as:

  • Plot 1 1914 and m id-1915
  • Plot 2 from late-1915
  • Plot 3 from mid-1916
  • Plots 5 and 6  contained men from 1917

The first repeat action that came to my mind was the Battle of Neuve-Chappele in March 1915. I checked and the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment had moved to the Ploegsteert area in Belgium (28.U.20-25). By then they were in the 4th Division.

 

An officianado of the regiment may know if and when they were back in the sector at other times during the war?

 

The answer may lie it this text:

 

CAMPAIGNS AND HISTORY OF THE ROYAL IRISH REGIMENT FROM 1900 TO 1922

 

Quote

In the long history of Irish regiments serving with the British Army, few units have acquired more battle honours than the Royal Irish Regiment, ranging from Marlborough’s great victories in the 18th century to the Crimean and Boer Wars. This volume covers the actions of the regiment’s nine battalions in the Great War, in which it saw continuous action from the first battle (Mons) to the last (Hindenburg LIne). As well as service in all the major and minor battles in France and Flanders – Marne, Aisne, the three Ypres; the Somme; Messines; Passchdendaele and Cambrai, the regiment served in other theatres including Gallipoli; Macedonia; and Palestine. It is a proud record to which this history does full justice, with appendices on the distinguished Colonels of the regiment (including Field Marshal Sir John French) and Rolls of Honour.

 

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laughton

A check of the other Lieutenants of the Royal Irish Regiment that were missing provides the answer to the question, as even if they did return to that area at some time during the war, no other Lieutenants were missing in that area. The closest any of these men were to the remains at Fournes was 38 miles.

 

Lieutenants Missing in France after October 1914

Of the nine (9) Lieutenants lost in France with no known grave, six (6) died after the Battle of Le Bassée of October 1914. Four (4) are named on the Thiepval Memorial and two on the Pozieres Memorial. Their location is compared to where the remains were buried at Fournes 36.O.31.

ICRC Records confirm that there is no indication that any of these men were taken prisoner and would thus have no reason to have been found at the Fournes German Cemetery.

  • Lieutenant Kerr died on 5 July 1916 while serving with the 2nd Battalion (22nd Brigade, 7th Division). He was killed leading the attack on Strip Trench (war diary page 494 of 598), near Mametz Wood (Contalmaison 57d.X.24), 39 miles to the southwest. He is listed there as a Second Lieutenant, not a Lieutenant.
     
  • Lieutenant Finlay died on 14 July 1916 while serving with the 2nd Battalion (22nd Brigade, 7th Division). The battalion was still at Mametz Wood (war diary page 498 of 598). There is no mention of Lieutenant Finlay, although many others are named.
     
  • Lieutenant Cross died on 9 September 1916 while attached to the 6th (Service) Battalion (47th Brigade, 16th Division). He died of wounds (war diary page 52 of 119) during the attack at Ginchy 57c.T.14, 38 miles to the southwest.
     
  • Lieutenant Jackson died on 20 March 1918, at the onset of Operation Michael, while serving with the 2nd Battalion (49th Brigade, 16th Division). He is the last of the six (6) to be named on the Thiepval Memorial. At that time the battalion was at Ronssoy 62c.F.21, more than 43 miles to the southeast. There is no mention of Lieutenant Jackson in the war diary, particularly on the list of casualties (war diary page 305 of 317).
     
  • Lieutenant Dignan died the day after Jackson on 21 March 1918 and is named on the Pozieres Memorial. He was serving with the 7th (South Irish Horse) Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment (49th Brigade, 16th Division). He was a casualty at Ronssoy 62c.F.21 (war diary page 78 of 84), more than 43 miles to the southeast.
     
  • Lieutenant Hodson was also killed on 21 March 1918 while attached to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles (107th Brigade, 36th Division) from the 5th (Pioneer) Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment. As an “Attached Officer”, he could have still been wearing identification that showed an affiliation to the Royal Irish Regiment. Interestingly, he is listed (war diary page 11 of 70) as a casualty on the same day and location was my Great Uncle Second Lieutenant James Kennedy (previously an unknown). There were slightly northeast of Grand Seracourt at 66c.A.22, 57 miles to the southeast.

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laughton

The report has been filed pulled: (see below)

 

Lieutenant David Patrick Laing & Lieutenant Archdale Maurice Stratford Tandy CWGC Report

Edited by laughton
see below, richard's big error!

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Perth Digger

Thanks for letting us know, Richard.

I may have missed it, but how did you reconcile the information from "Micks" that there was another RIR Lieutenant from Le PIlly buried at L.J.18 in Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery? This was on another thread of yours.

 

Mike

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laughton

Oh! Oh! I am losing it!

 

I have two topics about the same issue (men) and I did not even remember?

 

Thanks for the slap on the back of the head.

 

It was in the list on my blog for "Hold for the moment".

 

The topic is here .... in case I forget again ... Royal Irish Regiment - 2 Lieutenants

 

Richard

Edited by laughton

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Perth Digger

No slap intended, Richard, because I'm really interested in what you're trying to do. I'm also interested in Tandy and Laing because they are both on my 1914 Vanished Officers List. If it makes you feel any better, I started a thread on this site a few days ago about The Royal Irish Regiment but headed it The Royal Irish Rifles without even noticing!

 

I've been doing some work on 2/RIR as a consequence and when it's up to scratch I'll post it, but on your other thread on Tandy and Laing. 

 

Mike

 

 

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laughton

Mike, it was a good "wakeup call" and has now been added to my checklist!

 

I have learnt from experience and from many others in this group and elsewhere for the checklist:

  1. Use the CWGC database to check for any of the men on a SPECIAL MEMORIAL in a cemetery. For example, Major Burns may not be on one of the main memorials that you are checking but he could very well be on a Special Memorial in the cemetery you are checking. If there was only one Major Burns missing, you might think you found him on the Thiepval Memorial, but the second Major Burns might already be on the memorial in the cemetery. That means checking all Special Memorials in all cemeteries.
     
  2. Always look at the ICRC database to see if there are any men by the name you are researching in the records. Check alternate spellings as well, as many are incorrect. DO NOT take mention of a man on the ICRC database as a POW unless there is a PA file with details. Many are listed on the ICRC as "inquiries" and so the database is NOT just POWs as it states. Many are just listed there as the Germans reported them as found in the dead, some buried, some just reported.
     
  3. Don't ever arrive at a conclusion on the basis of a name, number or other information on a groundsheet. There are hundreds of incorrect entries made on this basis, some found in the wrong country!  If it is a name, number or initials on a spoon, fork or other item (except a ring) be cautious. Extra cautioun if it is a boot. Some a obviously correct and others just as obviously wrong.
     
  4.  Always check the DAL list to see if someone has already filed a report. Good idea to also check the IFC website as there are some older cases there. There are some cases that "just happen", as was the case with Bertie Jeffs. Hundreds of years later, two teams are working on the same case at the same time - what are the odds?
     
  5. One of the most important is the "Secondary Regiment" and that applies in this case as well. In some cases the man is on the CWGC database on the basis of the regiment that he signed up with and some times with the unit to which he was "attached". The CWGC is not at all consistent as to which one are recorded.
     
  6. The worst of all is the CWGC (or someone else?) that changes the RANK of the person from the time that they were deceased to when they were put on the database. This case has a good example of Major Daniels who is listed as Lieutenant Colonel Daniels. The war diary is clear, he was a Major. If you thought you found the only missing Major, you would have missed Major Daniels as he was not on the database. They should FIX that issue.
     
  7. There are lots of errors in the CWGC database. See the case of Lt. Colonel Hindle versus Lt. Col. Stewart. Obvious error.
     
  8. When you think you have covered all the bases, sit back and think about Second Lieutenant John Kipling.
     
  9. I now have to add to the list - CHECK YOUR OWN FILES! I can't believe I did #1 to #8 and did not do #9! As soon as I saw the name "DEMPSEY" the redi lights went on!

There is probably a #10 so I will add to this list later.

 

Yours in embarrasment, icon_redface.gif

 

Richard

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Perth Digger

I have found the ICRC files useful when looking for information on my missing officers, Richard, with most families requesting information from Geneva. Re #6 on your checklist, missing officers continued to be promoted after they had disappeared. You'll notice in the third, typed, list of officers at Le Pilly in the RIR War Diary in 1915, all the 2nd Lts were Lts. In 2nd Lt D S Smyth's Personal/Service Record he was promoted to Lt on 24 November 1914. I am sure that this could lead to wrong ranks sometimes in the CWGC data. The War Office Accounts Department, however, usually picked these up and ensured that the extra pay (2s 6d per day) was claimed back!

 

Mike

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