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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Thomas Innes 13th Battalion Canadian Regt


sar2jec

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I am currently researching:

Pte. Thomas Innes, 13th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regt. or Royal Highlanders of Canada) Killed in action between 20/05/1915 and 23/05/1915 (Battle of Festubert) aged 46.

Could anyone explain to me why the dates of death are so inprecise? I have never come across this before. I am guessing that the unit was involved in some very heavy action around that time - if so what was the nature of the action and were there other men from the same Battalion with similarly inprecise dates?

Cheers,

Jonathan

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The 13th Bn Royal Highlanders of Canada were involved in the Battle of Festubert from the 19th of May until 22nd May 1915. The 3rd Brigade 1 Canadian Division, (13th Bn, 14th Bn, 15th and the 16th) were engaged attempting to take a feature called the Orchard. The 13th attacked the feature on the 20th, and having made gains, were pinned down under German fire. For two days they were subjected to heavy rifle machine gun and artillery fire. On the night of 22/23rd May they were relieved. Casualties for the 13th Battalion, the Black Watch of Canada, at the Orchard were 10 officers and 170 other ranks.

Innes was one of the men lost in this intense action, which drew little attention in the larger scope of the war. Due to the nature of the action establishing the exact time and date of death was impossible.

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Thanks for that Bill - most appreciated.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Hi Jonathan,

I have seen quite a few CEF casualties listed like this, and I guess given the nature of the fighting in 14-18 it is quite understandable. I have often wondered how it could be determined just exactly when a soldier could have been killed during one of the horrendous battles like 2nd Ypres, for example. The 1st Canadian Division suffered such large numbers of casualties over a period of several days that in many cases it must have been difficult to find an officer to record the losses.

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