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Allan Warner-Clarkson

Avesnelles Amunition dump 9th November 1918

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Allan Warner-Clarkson

Hi, my Great Grandfather was Leonard Elliott (service no 71499) and he was one of the 21 soldiers killed when booby traps exploded amunition dumps in Avenselles on 9th November 1918.  I know he is buried at Maubeuge and plan to visit later this year.  Does anyone know where I can find out more about the incident and exact locations?  I would also love a picture of him if anyone knows if any regimental photos exist. Thanks.  Allan

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jay dubaya

Welcome to the forum Allan. The war diary for the 32nd Bn MGC records the dumps being at the side of the railway at 51a. K.20.c and d, the Germans had left long delay time fuzes in both dumps. Leonard’s body along with the other the other casualties were originally buried at 57a.K.26.a.5.4 before being reinterred at Maubeuge Centre Cemetery during December 1919.

 

J

Edited by jay dubaya

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Allan Warner-Clarkson

Hello Jay, thank you for the welcome. Are the war diaries on the internet?

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jay dubaya

They are available on ancestry.co.uk here  or at the National Archives here

 

J

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Allan Warner-Clarkson

Great, thanks for your help.

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jay dubaya

There are 25 soldiers now buried at Maubeuge CC who are recorded by CWGC as having died on 9th November 1918, 21 of them from the 32nd Bn MGC, of the other 4 soldiers listed only Cecil Raymond Nickson, 20th Hussars appears to have been involved in the incident, the original burial locations of the other 3 soldiers were some distance away from the incident. The Concentration of Graves Report for Nickson has the same burial location as the men of the 32nd MGC and their burials would appear to have been originally at Avesnelles British Cemetery (concentrated to Maubeuge CC during late 1919). A quick look at the WD for the 20th Hussars does briefly record a similar if not the same incident but on the 8th November. Nickson is recorded as having being KiA on the 8th (SDGW & Soldiers Effects). Two Officer Patrols had circled Avesnes during the afternoon meeting up at Flaumont, one patrol when returning from Flaumont had 1 OR killed and 1 officer and 2 ORs wounded, a burning truck of ammunition exploded as they were passing (the officer would later die of his wounds on the 14th November). No location for the incident is given in the WD, Flaumont is around 3km east of Avesnes and square K.20.c and d is around half way between the two places. Nickson is buried between the larger group 32nd Bn MGC men which gives some suggestion that it may be the same incident.

One of the 21 MGC men is listed as 'B' Coy who I believe were attached to the 97th Infantry Brigade (32nd Division) along with 'C' Coy at the time, it may well be worth checking the brigade diaries along with the Divisional HQ diaries.

 

J

 

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Allan Warner-Clarkson

Thankyou

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WhiteStarLine

Hi Allan, there is certainly a bit of travelling for you ahead and I hope you connect with everything.  The dumps at the side of the railway (51a.K.20.c and d) are in the top left and the original burial location (57a.K.26.a.5.4) is shown at the bottom right, due south of Maubeuge.  The dump location is blown up in the Google Satellite hybrid.

 

image.png.1d91e6b448f0c26ab2b809549fb1e5e7.png

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Allan Warner-Clarkson

Hi WhiteStarLine, thank you for the map and photo, it is a great help in locating the sites. 

 

Thankfully my Wife is also a family history freak so we plan to spend a couple of days down there having a look round.  In return we are stopping off at another Cemetery near the coast to look up one of her relatives.

 

Allan

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