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laughton

2nd Bn. Scots Guards Lance Corporals, Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery

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laughton

Four (4) of these eight (8) Lance Corporals of the 2nd Battalion Socts Guards that were killed in action on 18 December 1914 are buried in the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery. Only one (1) of the headstones (and associated records) was corrected (grave 18.A.16) to show that the men listed as CORPORAL were LANCE CORPORALS. There are no full Corporals of the battalion on the database for that time and event. That means there are three (3) incorrect headstones (graves 18.B.3, 18.B.4 and 18.B.5). You will note that on COG-BR 2113928 that the bottom of the record states:

 

Quote

These 2 bodies and the bodies occupying Graves 8-20 Row "A" Plot 18 and Row "B" Graves 1-15 Plot 18, were all found in the same trench grave, and all were clad in winter clothing and wearing service _aps.

 

Although there is no date on the sheets for the other Lance Corporals, the evidence is clear that they were all from the same action. If the date is expanded (15-25 December 1914), there are no additional unknown Corporals or Lance Corporals of the Regiment on the Ploegsteert Memorial. Lance Corporal Packer of the 1st Battalion is on the Le Touret Memorial. THe LLT tells us the two battalions were in different divisions.

 

If there is a Scots Guard officianado out there, they may want to contact the CWGC to get the headstone's corrected. They should agree to change the CORPORAL to LANCE CORPORAL, mark them all as 2nd Battalion and add the date of 18 December 1914. Someone should check the cemetery first to confirm that the headstones match what is on the paper records.

 

Lance Corporal Cowan was 46 years old!

 

The other headstones could also have the date and battalion added.

 

doc2113928.JPG
doc2113929.JPG
doc2113930.JPG

 

All the men are 2nd Battalion.

JAMES

Lance Corporal 8848

CHARLES

Friday, December 18, 1914

Age 22 PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIALPanel 1.

VIEW RECORD

Scots Guards United Kingdom

STEAD

Lance Corporal 8874

JESSE

Friday, December 18, 1914

Age 18 PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIALPanel 1.

VIEW RECORD

Scots Guards United Kingdom

ALLEN

Lance Corporal 9630

JOHN ROBERT

Friday, December 18, 1914

Age 31 PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIALPanel 1.

VIEW RECORD

Scots GuardsUnited Kingdom

MARSDEN

Lance Corporal 6033

ERNEST

Friday, December 18, 1914

Age 31 PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIALPanel 1.

VIEW RECORD

Scots Guards United Kingdom

BURNETT

Lance Corporal 8578

FRANCIS

Friday, December 18, 1914

Age 22 PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIALPanel 1.

VIEW RECORD

Scots Guards United Kingdom

CAMPBELL

Lance Corporal 4474

JAMES

Friday, December 18, 1914

PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIALPanel 1.

VIEW RECORD

Scots Guards United Kingdom

COWAN

Lance Corporal 10842

WILLIAM HYSLOP

Friday, December 18, 1914

Age 46 PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIALPanel 1.

VIEW RECORD

Scots Guards United Kingdom

DOMINEY

Lance Corporal 8827

GEORGE WILLIAM

Friday, December 18, 1914

PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIALPanel 1.

VIEW RECORD

Scots Guards United Kingdom

 

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battle of loos

Good evening,

 

If you are interested, I can go Wednesday to the cabaret rouge  cemetery to take a picture of the soldier's grave.


Kind regards


Michel

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laughton

That would be great!

 

Can you also do Plot 18 Row A Grave 4, unknown 13th Bn Canadian Infantry.

 

That is Private John Montanelli.

 

http://cefresearch.ca/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=114220#p114220

Edited by laughton
changed to direct link to the post

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laughton

6.G.17 if you have a chance - asks the "Canadian Pest"  B)

 

F924 Cabaret Rouge: L. Cpl. Herbert Thomas McEwen #442445

 

21.D.16

 

F924: Unknown 87th Bn Corporal 21.D.16 (Evans or Lewis)

 

These all came from a stroll through the records of Cabaret-Rouge while I was trying to help a colleague find his Lance Corporal. It had been a few years since I had gone through those records and it was an experience seeing how your eyes see the records after gaining 4 or 5 years experience hunting for the unknowns. Places, dates and even British units started to jump off the pages. That lead to:

 

Some things we know now!

 

It really means I have to revisit all the records of all the cemeteries completed to date. In the start I was only looking for Canadians, now even finding Indian, South Frican, Australian and British West Indies soldiers and airmen. There are thousands out there waiting to be identified. I think the "window of opportunity" will be limited, so we have to do what we can now and hope the CWGC sticks with us.

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battle of loos

Good evening,

 

I can't open your links.

 

Michel

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laughton

Probably because they are "http://" and not "https://", so you have to tell your browser it is a trusted site. I guess I will have to update.

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laughton

The CEFSG site is now HTTPS (SSL) compliant.

https://cefresearch.ca/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15938

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Tom Lang

I have a soldier named on my local War Memorial who served with the 2nd Bn, and was KIA on 18th December, 1914:

WILLIAM NEILSON, Guardsman 9335, 2nd Bn., Scots Guards.

William is buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery.

NEILSON W - Gdsmn 9335 SGs 1914 Dec 18.jpg

Edited by Tom Lang
typo

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laughton

I was looking at the list of all of them for that date and I see that they found a group in 1957, linked through the unknown CSM now identified. Caught my attention because I wondered how he got buried at High Wood in the Somme sector? It must have been the cemetery open for concentrations at the time.

 

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2945922/lilley,-charles-edward/

 

doc2335386.JPG

 

Edited by laughton

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MelPack

Richard

 

Having read this thread I noticed that there was a UBS recovered fro a shellhole with identified Guardsmen:

The UBS was recovered with boots with the service number recorded (at least on the COG-BR) as 4837.
 
It looks as if this UBS does not have a gravestone marked as UBS Scots Guards in spite of being recovered from the same shellhole and having SG numerals - presumably because the SGs had no casualty with the service number 4837.
 
There is, however, an 18 December casualty, Alexander Arbuthnott Nicoll, with the service number 8437 commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial:
https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1643000/nicoll,-alexander-arbuthnott/
 
I don't know how much this is a runner but it definitely looks like a lost identification caused by the accidental transposition of the numerals when the COG_BR was typed up.
 
 

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JOVE23
5 hours ago, MelPack said:

Richard

 

Having read this thread I noticed that there was a UBS recovered fro a shellhole with identified Guardsmen:

The UBS was recovered with boots with the service number recorded (at least on the COG-BR) as 4837.
 
It looks as if this UBS does not have a gravestone marked as UBS Scots Guards in spite of being recovered from the same shellhole and having SG numerals - presumably because the SGs had no casualty with the service number 4837.
 
There is, however, an 18 December casualty, Alexander Arbuthnott Nicoll, with the service number 8437 commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial:
https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1643000/nicoll,-alexander-arbuthnott/
 
I don't know how much this is a runner but it definitely looks like a lost identification caused by the accidental transposition of the numerals when the COG_BR was typed up.
 
 

 

That's quite promising! I wonder if the CWGC would accept this identification based on a simple 'fat fingering' at the typewriter 100 years ago? It's certainly the Occam's Razor conclusion, in my mind.

Edited by JOVE23

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laughton

When you have eliminated the impossible ... whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1890)

 

I think you have enough to give this a serious look Mel. What I normally do is to look at all the others and see what they did back then. For example Guardsman R. W. Ride had a "27" on his boots or clothing and they took that to be "11537". There may be more that are similar.

 

For future reference, the war diary is here:

Various (Infantry Bridages, 7th Division) 7th Division Piece 1657: 20 Infantry Brigade (1914 - 1917) Page 396 of 867

 

It is referred to as "Captain Loders Attack" and is quite detailed (war diary page 399 of 867). They attacked with 2 Companies, so that must be "C" and "F" as those are referenced on the CWGC documents. I also see "F Coy" is referenced in the war diary. "G Coy" was sent up later as reinforcements. Perhaps you can place all the people in the companies and see if your man was included?

 

UPDATE: I see now in several places there is a reference to "F Coy" and then "LF Coy". Based on printing in the war diary it appears that the other reference is to "G Coy" (confirmed) and I don't see any reference to "C Coy". The two main ones are "F" and "LF". These are the Officers mentioned: (note that they refer to the 2nd Lieutenants just as "Lieutenant" in the text)

  • Captain Loder, lead the attack as ordered by Captain Paynter. Captain Loder was to meet Captain Askew to arrange details. He was the only Officer to return unwounded.
  • Captain Taylor - O.C. LF Coy, appears DOW as buried at Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery
  • 2nd Lieutenant Nugent - LF Coy killed, no known grave
  • Lieutenant Saumares - LF Coy was left to hold trench by Captain Loder. Saumares was wounded in the hand and taken away, survived the war
  • Lieutenant Hon ... Tracey - F Coy, appears to have survived the war
  • 2nd Lieutenant Ottley - G Coy was sent up to reinforce Lieutenant Tracey. Lt. Ottley was mortally wounded (awarded DSO). Died 21st December in UK (CWGC)
  • Captain Sir Fitzroygram - O.C. F Coy, must have survived, if that is his correct name
Edited by laughton
added UPDATE; fixed war diary links

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laughton

Here is the COG-BR that Mel found that references the Scots Guard with the transposed numbers: (bottom one on the sheet)

 

doc2114076.JPG

 

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TwoEssGee

Leaving the issues regarding headstones and graves to one side, maybe (as a former Scots Guardsman) I can help clear up some of the other questions you have regarding this action, and clarify some points. Apologies if you already know all this.

 

The company structure in the Scots Guards is unique in that both battalions (1st and 2nd) have 'flank' companies, rather than having the more common A,B,C and D or 1,2,3 and 4 companies. 

In the 1st Battalion the four rifle companies are Right Flank, B Company, C Company and Left Flank.

In the 2nd Battalion the four rifle companies were Right Flank, F Company, G Company and Left Flank.

(When the 2nd Battalion was put into suspended animation in 1993, F Company was retained and designated an 'Incremental Public Duties Company' and continues the service and traditions of the 2nd Battalion to this day).

 

In the Scots Guards and the other Foot Guards Regiments Lance Corporals wear two chevrons on their sleeve. The next higher rank is Lance Sergeant, and L/Sgt's wear three chevrons, as do (Full) Sergeants. There are some other differences in the uniform worn by L/Sgt's and Sgt's, which I won't go into here. Lance Corporals are invariably referred to as 'Corporal'. This, combined with the two chevrons can lead to confusion.

 

The rank of 'Guardsman' was not bestowed until just after the Armistice in 1918, so all private soldiers serving in the Foot Guards regiments during the war were Privates. There are a number of headstones which show the rank of Guardsman.

 

The attack at Rouges Bancs on 18 December 1914 commenced about 1757hrs when the men went over the parapet, F Company on the right, and Left Flank (Company) on the left.

 

Letters written by Lt Saumarez to his wife have been published online, and contain much information about this night attack and a large collection of photographs, mainly from the early years of the War.

 https://1914intheirownwords.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/st-vincents-war-notebook-written-by-vincent-2/

 

A comprehensive account of the action is contained within 'Till the Trumpet Sounds Again' Vol 1, by Major (Retd) Randall Nicol, (Helion 2016).

 

Lt The Hon. Felix Charles Hubert Hanbury-Tracy was killed during the action, his death being recorded as 19th December.

 

Lt Sir Frederick Loftus Francis FitzWygram was slightly wounded (graze to head). He did survive the war, but died on 5 May 1920 of blood poisoning, while serving as a Major in the 1st Battalion.

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laughton

Many thanks for that clarification - always a learning experience here on the GWF, particularly for a Canadian researching British units.

 

It appears most of the guards units had difference from the "typical" battalions.

 

Curiosity makes one ask "What would ever happen in the "Left Flank" company ever got stuck on the right side?

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