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Acknown

SCHELDT 1918 - TWO FALLEN DEVONS

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Acknown

1476462633_IMG_20190812_114733(800x600).jpg.27900965fd020d1fab0a94466f7f4618.jpg

 

I recently visited Odomez, site of the 2nd Devons assault across the River Scheldt on 31 Oct 18; their last attack of the war.  It was a fascinating tour, though the water features of the terrain are now somewhat changed. It seems that most of those killed during the battle are interred in Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery, but two men, Pte Bates and Pte White are buried locally, side by side, in the Odomez Cemetery. I enclose a photo.

I can think of a number of reasons why these two soldiers are located there. Perhaps they were found after the conflict and buried by the villagers. I assume that most of the battalion's dead were recovered after the battle, once the objectives had been seized or at least after the Armistice.

Does anyone know their story?

Acknown

Edited by Acknown

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John Beech

Hi

 

CWGC records have a Concentration Record showing that they were 'Killed in Action 20th November 1918' and then underneath this states that this probably relates to the date they were interred. It quotes that their bodies were found at location Sheet 44 Q.5.a.25.00, which I tried to enter into the Trench Map converter at www.tmapper.com (something i'm not overly proficient at!) and that places the location where their bodies were found as somewhere along the banks of the River Scheldt, or possibly in the river, off the Chemin de Halage just upstream from Cité Kuhlmann.


Presumably they were buried at Odomez as this was the nearest cemetery, after being found in the river / or close to the riverbank.

 

Regards

 

John

Edited by John Beech

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WhiteStarLine

Hi John,

 

You seem to be in the correct area on Map 44 at letter Q square 5:

 

image.png.fdc4fe8b77d74d9fafa5af6415dd0ad0.png

 

 

image.png.aebd009113c1e2a193b15a3353247570.png

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Acknown

Many thanks. This is close to the main crossing point at Fosse Amaury but, as A, B and D Companies all seem to have been in that area, there is no indication as the the two soldiers' sub-unit. It was a horrendous assault, with two adjacent water obstacles to cross and a determined enemy that was fighting a carefully planned delaying action. Apart from artillery, small-arms and gas casualties, a number of men, non-swimmers, drowned in the canal. There were some 150 casualties.

The origins of the two men, Maidenhead and Redditch, show that the rebuilding of this Devonshire Regiment battalion after Bois des Buttes, drew in reinforcements from a broad area.

Acknown

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