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David Fothergill

Locating my Great Uncles Original Grave near Laventie

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David Fothergill

I've only just come across this forum and think it will solve an issue I've been having for years! My Great Uncle, James Fox Fothergill of Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was (according to the regimental diary) killed in front of Champigny Farm and is now buried at Royal Irish Graveyard in Laventie but his consolidation record shows him as originally buried at 

 

36 M25 A 3 2

 

Unfortunately Sheet 36  M25 doesn't see to have an A or even a C box only B and D! Can anyone help me to locate his original grave please!

 

Thanks, David (Fothergill)

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Fattyowls

David, welcome to the forum. I've just put your coordinates into Tmapper.com and come up with a spot west of Neuve-Chapelle. Just to check I've got it correct try Tmapper and fit your information in, I find it easy to use as long as I remember the the A B C and D are radio buttons, but A is the default so you should be ok. Any problems come let us know and we can help. If  we can confirm the location we might be able to get a picture using something like Google Earth.

 

Pete.

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David Fothergill

That is fantastic - thank you!!!!

 

The site is about 2.7 miles from where he was shot so I can only assumed he was taken back to a dressing station or evacuated for burial when the Btn stood down from the front line the following day.

 

Brilliant - I will be visiting the site soon.image.png.939ea099abb7d538951619170c8687c2.png

 

 

image.png

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WhiteStarLine

Hi David,

Just as Pete said.  I've plotted the consolidation point for you on the street map then backed up to the main road to get the Street View image.  Reconciling the satellite and Street View, follow the hedge and come left halfway between the hedge and the vegetation on the left.  In the middle of the field lies the 25 x 25 yard area where they retrieved the body (being careful not to take post-war recovery map references too literally).

Within the limits of conversion accuracy, you can navigate there with Google Maps by inputting 50.596492, 2.726121 (burial location) or the co-ordinates in the Street View dialogue, which represent the nearest road.

image.png.c64548cc95be1e47a938935580c0dee8.png

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TEW
13 hours ago, David Fothergill said:

Unfortunately Sheet 36  M25 doesn't see to have an A or even a C box only B and D! Can anyone help me to locate his original grave please!

 

These maps that only have 2 sub-squares, in this case B & D caused a lot of confusion. I've seen a fair few refs given as A or B when there is only a C & D!

 

So my thoughts are that the original ref should have been given as 36 M.25.B.3.2 which brings the spot a little over to the east.

 

36.M.25.A.3.2 may actually plot out as a position on sheet 36a, east side of square R? Not sure how the trench map converters deal with a map ref that doesn't exist!.

 

If you're wanting to visit the spot then perhaps visit both locations?

TEW

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WhiteStarLine

Hi David, could you post a primary source as I am getting a tad confused!  Is this the right man?

image.png.bd35f4f1eb37bf9a31613b7dfe71848e.png

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/597566/fothergill,-james-fox/#&gid=null&pid=1

 

The CWGC has him at 

image.png.d82767a5876a34956307101eb31fdd60.png

 

image.png.0659b3f65c47323745d88521d1d50b85.png

 

The reference is SE of Laventie.  Please clarify.  Thanks, Bill

image.png.85f303c36816f1110ee4d717bc898642.png

 

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David Fothergill

A really big thank you to everyone for your contributions, I appreciate your help.

 

To clarify JP has posted the consolidation report which I've always worked off and shows his original burial at 36 M25 A 3 2

 

The reference 36 M 12 c 5 8 refers to the Royal Irish Graveyard at Laventie where he now lies.

 

IMG_7914.jpg

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WhiteStarLine

Thanks David, great photo of you on a beautiful day in front of his headstone!

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Fattyowls
1 hour ago, WhiteStarLine said:

Thanks David, great photo of you on a beautiful day in front of his headstone!

 

WSL, thanks from me for doing the legwork with Google Maps, I go to bed thinking I'll do that in the morning when I've had a very strong cup of coffee and find that it's already done. I don't remember seeing too many hand written burial returns - every day is a school day.

 

5 hours ago, David Fothergill said:

A really big thank you to everyone for your contributions, I appreciate your help.

 

I'm sure it's our pleasure, and as WSL says it is a lovely photograph, you look suitably proud of James. As does the dog who I think steals the show....

 

Pete.

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Grantp08

A bit late to this one David but my thread from a couple of weeks before yours was for a similar puzzle.  Both 2nd Cameronian (Scottish Rifles) comrades killed a couple of weeks apart at the exact same spot.

 

 

Like you, the original burial site from the concentration exercise is some way from Chapigny Farm. However, in James case, the fact that he is listed as "died of wounds" makes me think he'd have been likely buried near a field hospital or similar casualty station. 

 

Did you manage to get to Chapigny? 

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David Fothergill

Hi Grant

 

Good to hear from you and I hope you had a good trip over to visit Champigny and surrounds. I've been over a few times now including 28th Jan 2015 to lay a Tower Poppy on my Great Uncles Grave 100 years after his death. It was a really stormy day which was quite evocative in reminding you what it must have been like on a wet and very windy January day.

 

We both seem to have a mystery in terms of burials and consolidations but each bit of information adds to the understanding.

 

I'm slightly intrigued by your last line about James being listed as 'died of wounds' - thats something I've surmised but never seen written...have you picked this up from my original posting or from a regimental record? 

 

Finally, I have a book called 'The battlefields of the First World War' published by IWM which shows on p214 a view from Champigny Farm in 1917, that too is quite evocative.

 

With best wishes

 

David

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Grantp08

Hi David.

 

Good to speak. 

 

The died of wounds comment came from CWGC grave registration that WhiteStarLine kindly posted above.

 

Just to add to the puzzle, I've attached the service return I obtained from the Scotland's People website covering my relative's death. Though the date goes up to the 29th, James doesn't appear to be on it. Frustratingly, I can't find the subsequent page where he may appear. I was interested to see it as it lists KA or DW under cause of death. I was wondering if he was actually wounded some days earlier. 

 

I've had a quick look on Amazon for that book but its over £50 so i'll check other sources for a cheaper copy as I'd like to see that picture. 

 

All the best

 

Grant

ScotlandsPeople_MIN0129_000_D_0043Z (1).jpg

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Grantp08

Did some further fishing over lunch and found this further return where James is listed on the Battalion list of casualties as being KiA on the 28! 

 

Again, this is from the Scotland's People website. I have a feeling the form above from last night was limitied to only "Scottish" soldiers.

 

 

 

ScotlandsPeople_MIN0141_000_D_0016Z (1).jpg

Edited by Grantp08

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