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Remembered Today:

171st Tunnelling Coy


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Sapper Thomas FENN, 158167, Royal Engineers, killed 27/11/1917, whilst serving with the 171st Tunnelling Coy. Unfortunately, unable to locate his service papers so possible they have not survived.  Trying to build a picture of his time at the front.  I would appreciate any info where the 171st were when he died. 

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Miners at War 1914-1919, South Wales Miners in the Tunnelling Companies on the Western Front.    by Ritchie Wood.

Chapter on 171 Tunnelling Company (42pages)

" Thomas Fenn was born in Hereford and enlisted in Bargoed, Glamorgan. He was killed in action on 27 November 1917. He is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Cemetery. There are no further details of his death but 171 TC was engaged at the time in maintaining the Weiltze, The Cart, Haymarket,Cambridge and James Farm dugout systems with reports of "enemy shelling affecting progress"



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Hi Bob

Thank you for the details from the book, very much appreciated.  I will try to resource the book from our local library


Kind Regards, Roy

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Hi George

Unfortunately I no longer have a subscription to FMP; I use the computers at our local library but I am having a difficult there of late


I did manage to download a copy of his effects before computer troubles and also saw the reference to Pension through Fold3... but not sure how or what I should do to view.

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34 minutes ago, Dannemois said:

saw the reference to Pension through Fold3... but not sure how or what I should do to view.

You could always join the Western Front Association - Normally £29 per year [UK], but see below for offer - and international options

Join The WFA Our aims are 'Remembrance and Sharing the History of the Great War'. You get 6 magazines per year. Currently there is a 3 extra months Free offer - ask office for details. For more information on how to join and what membership options are available

For all enquiries, please contact the office:

+44 (0) 207 118 1914

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Hi Roy.


The FMP 'hits' are...




It's worth looking at the Lives Of The First World War record, but you can do that free direct from the IWM website - click here. The 'media' tab gives some interesting background.


A copy of what was accepted as being his will is available (£1.50) from here.


The war diary for 171 Tunnelling Company is available from the National Archives - see here.


I would guess that the WFA/Fold3 pension records would probably relate to a post war claim/award for his widow, and tell you little about his actual service that you can't get from the records and newspaper report that form part of his Lives Of The First World War record.






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in 2018 I read the 1916 WDs of 171 TC at Kew (WO 95/335/2) but my notes tell me that other ranks are not named in 1916. The WD goes up to 1919 but I did not read 1917 in any detail nor did I download it. WO 95/335/3 just contains Weekly Mining Reports. 

I have only found two documents which name other ranks of 171 TC. On Ancestry they can be found in:

1. Service Record of 353699 Fred James Carter RE. (CAR 115926/189008) Casualties and other 1917.

2. Service Record of 57286 James Martin RE. (MAR 201863/ 261004). Casualties and other 1917.

There may be more out there in various service or pension records.


Edited by brianmorris547
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