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2nd Bn, Royal Warwickshire Regiment 18/19 December 1914 at Le Maisnil


Matlock1418

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I have an abstract from the 2RWR War Diary for December 1914 - Incl. the attack 18 December on Le Maisnil - not a success

Also the uneasy truce the following day when casualties were recovered [or buried 'in-situ' it would seem]

  • Seeking any other possible info please - Orders and Casualty lists etc. relating to the attack and truce etc.

In hope ... 

Edited by Matlock1418
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Hi - I take it you have already looked at the 22nd Brigade War Diary for the period - should be on Ancestry if you subscribe.

 

C.T Atkinsons The Seventh Division 1914-18 used to be available on line, but nows seems limited to a "search inside" on Google Books, which made some possible references, but as you only get about two lines it was next to impossible to get any context. Someone here may have it or it may be available through an intra-library loan.

 

The War Diary of the 2nd Queens has a basic typed transcription - no appendices but effectively sets out whats looks like the operational order of the day plus several mentions of the support given to the 2nd Royal Warwicks as well as the next days armistice.

http://qrrarchive.websds.net/PDF/QW00219141206.pdf

 

CWGC has 27 men of the 2nd Battalion killed on the 18th December 1914. Most are on the Ploegstreet Memorial, but the following have known graves and their CWGC webpage has a Concentration report.

Private J Pemberton https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/291786/pemberton,-/

Private Richard Fisher A Company https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/98877/fisher,-richard-william/

The Battalion Lieutenant Colonel, Robert Henry Watkin Lewis, is also in a known grave.

 

A search of a source like the British Newspaper Archive using the names of those who died might identify the relevant casualty lists which are also likely to include the names of the wounded.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

Edited by PRC
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No trace of the truce at Corps level, however this is the order, Description and casualties given at Corps Level (IV Corps) All images are from The National Archives and hence their copyright.

Screen Shot 2019-11-01 at 00.35.37.png

 

Edited by stiletto_33853
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See if you can find a copy of my book "The truce". It covers the attack and aftermath in detail. I've got a couple in stock if you can't find it elsewhere.

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PRC, Stilletto and Chris

Thanks for your swift replies - splendid stuff - much to digest.

Still looking ...

 

BTW: In the 7 Div orders para 3e refers to "The Cabbage Patch" - do you know where that was?

Is there a trench map or sketches of 2RWR area available for 1914 - the only one have found is 1:10k from 1915 of German trenches

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On 01/11/2019 at 00:01, PRC said:

I take it you have already looked at the 22nd Brigade War Diary for the period - should be on Ancestry if you subscribe.

I have limited experience [ability!] of accessing WD and only use Ancestry at my local library but on looking I couldn't find a 22 Bde WD for 1914, let alone Dec 1914

Or am I missing something?

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1 hour ago, Matlock1418 said:

I have limited experience [ability!] of accessing WD and only use Ancestry at my local library but on looking I couldn't find a 22 Bde WD for 1914, let alone Dec 1914

 

I'm no expert either - have not had a paid for subscription in years and Norfolk County Library Service cancelled their subscription about three years ago, so the only time I use it is on free weekends. As a result I have to have an idiot cribsheet to remind me how to do it.

 

So in my War Diaries for Dummies mode, I start from the dataset UK, WW1 War Diairies (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914 - 1920, search page.

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/collections/ukwardiarieswwi/

 

Scroll Regiment or Unit in "Browse this Collection" to get to the required location  - in this case shown as "Various (Infantry Bridages, 7th Division) - their spelling, not mine:)

 

The second selection box, "Division" then becomes active and shows all the related pieces available - including those for 22nd Brigade.

 

Screenshot attached.

 

I'm sure there are more elegant ways of doing it, but it works for me.

 

Hope that helps and that there is something there of use to you.

 

Peter

Screenshot Ancestry search for 22nd Infantry Brigades 7th Division.png

Edited by PRC
Add reference to Browse this Collection
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5 hours ago, PRC said:

War Diaries for Dummies

Thanks - my sort of guide!

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On 01/11/2019 at 00:01, PRC said:

The War Diary of the 2nd Queens has a basic typed transcription - no appendices but effectively sets out whats looks like the operational order of the day plus several mentions of the support given to the 2nd Royal Warwicks as well as the next days armistice.

http://qrrarchive.websds.net/PDF/QW00219141206.pdf

Don't suppose you can access the page previous to the one in the above link please [appendix p7 would be handy]

Do you know the names of the trenches the 2Q were relieved from on 15 Dec? [relieved by 2RWR] - because those trenches appear to be the ones from which 2RWR attacked on 18 Dec. [according to the 2RWR WD - but unfortunately un-named there]

I'm trying to pin down where the "RWR attacked from/to

Edited by Matlock1418
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6 hours ago, PRC said:

You get a "twofer" from this site http://qrrarchive.websds.net/menu1.aspx?li=1

Navigation is very, very simple - honest :)

 

Thank you very much :-) - Yes it is. :-) :-)

The 2Q WD is much more graphic [and informative] than the 2RWR's for the days before and after 18 Dec = Horrid conditions before and after 18 Dec.!

Can't find a description other than "Trenches" on 14th - but, wait ... on ....

2 Dec "relieved 2 RWR. Our trenches are slightly EAST of LA BOUTILLERIE now"

8 Dec "took over trenches W of LA BOUTILLERIE occupied by WARWICKS"

18 Dec "the WARWCKS were ordered to attack enemy's lines in front of our right ? E of LA BOUTILLERIE". And "The Queens had to hold the Warwick trenches vacated by them on the E of WELL FARM ... take their places in the trenches of on the W of WELL FARM ..."

I know where LA BOUTILLERIE is = Exact centre of map sheet ref: 36.N.5 - I wonder where WELL FARM is ???

Edit: found WELL FARM = Exact centre of map sheet ref: 36.N.6  [c.1000yds due east of La Boutillerie] - later often referred to as WELL FARM SALIENT

Now approx.: 59 Rue des Breux, Le Maisnil

Edited by Matlock1418
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  • spof changed the title to 2nd Bn, Royal Warwickshire Regiment 18/19 December 1914 at Le Maisnil
  • 1 year later...

Two more men to add to your list - both listed on Warwick War Memorial and All Saints Church at Warwick

Private 1619 2nd Bn RWR Thomas Woodhead - KIA 18 Dec 1914 - Ploegsteert Memorial

 

Private 6554 2nd Bn RWR Arthur Williams - KIA 19 Dec 1914 - Ploegsteert Memorial

Full details of both will be in this database either tonight or tomorrow https://www.swfhs.org.uk/index.php/war-memorial-transcriptions/new-master-index-of-the-fallen-of-ww1

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  • 1 year later...
On 03/11/2019 at 13:23, Matlock1418 said:

Don't suppose you can access the page previous to the one in the above link please [appendix p7 would be handy]

Do you know the names of the trenches the 2Q were relieved from on 15 Dec? [relieved by 2RWR] - because those trenches appear to be the ones from which 2RWR attacked on 18 Dec. [according to the 2RWR WD - but unfortunately un-named there]

I'm trying to pin down where the "RWR attacked form/to

I'm also looking to find the same info for 2nd Royal Warwickshire . I have a family member who lost his life 19th December 1914. I'm hoping to visit the area and would love to find the area if possible.  Any help much appreciated. 

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2 hours ago, Birdog56 said:

I'm also looking to find the same info for 2nd Royal Warwickshire . I have a family member who lost his life 19th December 1914. I'm hoping to visit the area and would love to find the area if possible.  Any help much appreciated. 

What is your relatives name and i will see if we hold any information on him for you.

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1 minute ago, ianshuter said:

What is your relatives name and i will see if we hold any information on him for you.

Hi Ian, I'm sure we've had contact before, his name was Ralph Thomas Burden 1641. I know he's on Ploegsteert memorial,  missing in action 19 12 1914. Strange as it may be I'm hoping to be able to find and stand in same area as he may have on that awful night. Rue de Breaux has been mentioned,  but I'm unable to find it.I've been searching for his medals for many years, I now know where they are and hope to see them soon.

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On 03/11/2019 at 18:33, Matlock1418 said:

The 2Q WD is much more graphic [and informative] than the 2RWR's for the days before and after 18 Dec = Horrid conditions before and after 18 Dec.!

Can't find a description other than "Trenches" on 14th - but, wait ... on ....

2 Dec "relieved 2 RWR. Our trenches are slightly EAST of LA BOUTILLERIE now"

8 Dec "took over trenches W of LA BOUTILLERIE occupied by WARWICKS"

18 Dec "the WARWCKS were ordered to attack enemy's lines in front of our right ? E of LA BOUTILLERIE". And "The Queens had to hold the Warwick trenches vacated by them on the E of WELL FARM ... take their places in the trenches of on the W of WELL FARM ..."

I know where LA BOUTILLERIE is = Exact centre of map sheet ref: 36.N.5 - I wonder where WELL FARM is ???

Edit: found WELL FARM = Exact centre of map sheet ref: 36.N.6  [c.1000yds due east of La Boutillerie] - later often referred to as WELL FARM SALIENT

Now approx.: 59 Rue des Breux, Le Maisnil

Perhaps  @Matlock1418 has been able to turn up some trench maps since the original query was posted.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commisson, (CWGC), lists 120 fatalities for the 2nd Battalion in the period 18th/19th December 1914. Without going through them it's difficult to know if any died of wounds received earlier. Some of them were recovered from the battlefield post-war and moved to their current resting place.

One such was 7899 Private Richard William Fisher, 'A'  Company, regarded as having died on the 18th. He was initially believe to be an unknown soldier of the 2nd Royal West Kents, but they had his service number from a piece of his boot which also had "R.W.K." on it. He was found at Map reference Sheet 36 N.6.a.95.00. along with a number of other bodies - possibly an unmarked mass grave?

 Identified as Fisher, he was laid to rest in Grave 38, Row E, Plot 6, at the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery. (Contemporary Mep reference for that Cemetery was Sheet 28  I.7.b.1.4. )

The concentration report with basic exhumations details can be found attached to Private Fishers' CWGC webpage here https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/98877/richard-william-fisher/

If you look down it you will see two of the other individuals found at the same location, (and there may well be more on previous pages), were unknown soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, identified by unit numerals. They too were moved to Ypres Reservoir Cemetery and now lie in Graves 40 and 41 in the same row as Private Fisher.

The same webpage for Private Fisher also has a copy of the original grave registration report. From that we can see Graves 33, 36, (another originally identified as Royal West Kents), and 40 are identified as unknown soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment - grave 41 probably is as well but the page of the report doesn't run that far.

So who knows apart from God, as the inscription says - possibly one of them is your relative. If you do decide to visit and "adopt" one of those unknowns, please leave a stone from the forum to let thm know their sacrifice is not forgotten.

Cheers,
Peter

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Thankyou all for the guidance and assistance. I know its history from some time ago, but i do find it fascinating.  Thank you again

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Birdog56 said:

I'm also looking to find the same info for 2nd Royal Warwickshire . I have a family member who lost his life 19th December 1914. I'm hoping to visit the area and would love to find the area if possible. 

6 hours ago, Birdog56 said:

I'm hoping to be able to find and stand in same area as he may have on that awful night. Rue de Breaux has been mentioned,  but I'm unable to find it.

Welcome to this thread.

It's in the Fleurbaix area.

59 Rue des Breux, 59134 Le Maisnil, France  - try putting that in Google Maps [I would have put a full web link but this platform doesn't want to let me do that!]

Or try these coordinates 50.63120, 2.87164 in a mapping tool

Should get you to the road which was pretty much aligned with the directional axis of the RWR attack going SSE towards Le Maisnil - it looks quite narrow so car parking [if you need it] might be a challenge

The D175 Rue du Pavé de la Boutillerie, which seems potentially to have been the start line, or seemingly just north of it, also looks a bit short on car parking with ditches close on either side of the road but you could always try Rue David Cemetery [there's roadside parking room for a couple of cars] and have a short walk to La Boutillere etc. and then look SSW [But take care!]

I had hoped to stand there myself in September but unfortunately that isn't going to happen this year [Instead I'm going to Ypres Reservoir Cemetery to say "Hello" to those Unknown British Soldiers since one might be a 2 RWR relative who is commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial after 18/19 Dec 1914] ... Planned before @PRC even suggested it here! :thumbsup:

A couple of War Diaries that should be essential reading for the 1914 period [currently free to download from TNA, after free registration]

2 RWR https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352440

2 Queen's (Royal West Surrey) https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352438

M

Edit: British Trenches 1914 showing LA BOUTILLERIE and WELL FARM

image.jpeg.452318ed17c767d69c0357756315d76b.jpeg

Trenches 1915 - The kink in the blue British lines crossing the road is WELL FARM

image.jpeg.7ee4c2b6f34351dbe1cde06132c47086.jpeg

 Image thanks to WFA/TrenchMapper

Edited by Matlock1418
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Matlock1418. Thank you so very much for the wonderful information,  I will get there also in September and will be very emotional I'm sure. We will never experience their experiences but can only imagine.  Once again thank you for all your efforts.

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  • Admin

If you’re out third week in September, might bump into you. There’s quite a few cemeteries around there where he may lie under an unknown headstone. 

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2 hours ago, Birdog56 said:

Matlock1418. Thank you so very much for the wonderful information,  I will get there also in September and will be very emotional I'm sure. We will never experience their experiences but can only imagine.  Once again thank you for all your efforts.

1 minute ago, Michelle Young said:

If you’re out third week in September, might bump into you. There’s quite a few cemeteries around there where he may lie under an unknown headstone. 

:thumbsup: So long as you/we don't crash into each one another!

That's the problem really, several UBS bodies were recovered quite late and from no man's land - but YRC does seem a burial ground which was open quite late.

M

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12 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

British Trenches 1914 showing LA BOUTILLERIE and WELL FARM

 

@Matlock1418 and @PRC have the research well covered and with TrenchMapper version 2, it is very easy to take M's 1914 sketch and overlay it over a 1915 georeferenced map that shows every drain / ditch or whatever the blue lines are and thus position the British trench and Well Farm, then plot the mass burial.  Disregarding the learning curve, it is just over 5 minutes work to drag and drop the sketch and know the exact coordinates on a modern satellite image.  When you visit, with an internet connection, you can switch on Location in TrenchMapper and adjust your position in real time as you visit these places.  Click each image to enlarge:

image.png.de8700938210608793faa4ace8f64b5b.png

trench-mapper-screen-shot.png.34cb0b9acdce411f006b6edcf85307bd.png

trench-mapper-screen-shot(1).png.166433e4aaac2c10fd9478b950518cc8.png

British Trenches

50.629978,2.864228
50.630017,2.864956
50.630132,2.865821
50.630296,2.866564
50.630431,2.867110
50.630411,2.867747
50.630440,2.868415
50.630585,2.869021
50.630671,2.869704
50.630594,2.870417
50.630450,2.871115
50.630479,2.871767

36.N.6.a.95.00,Mass Burial
36.N.6.d.03.98,Well Farm

Map id m_020617

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks WSL - Nice one!  Appreciate you showing locations on TM :thumbsup:

The blue lines on the 1915 map are drainage ditches.  Other maps give their width and/or depth

M

Edited by Matlock1418
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