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Remembered Today:

Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 55th Battalion

HTSCF Fareham

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I wonder if anyone could please help me with the location of the 55th Battalion MGC (Infantry) on 11/04/1918?

I am trying to trace the death of Lance Corporal 62797 Charles Herbert Russell (formerly 29268, Middlesex Regiment), who was KiA on that day and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. I'm also not certain if he has a known grave.

Would anyone please be able to help me with an exact location, cause or the war diary for that time period?

I also know that he enlisted at Wood Green, but not when this would’ve been. My “guess” is sometime during the middle of 1916. His Soldier’s effects interestingly show him as a Private and not a Lance Corporal. Any ideas as to why this might have been?


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WLance Corporal was an appointment, not a rank.  His correct designation was private.


The war diary can be downloaded from TNA here https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354866


On Ancestry the war diary for April begins here


The maps used for deployment of the guns were 36c NE; 36c NW; and 36c SW and 36c SE


a total of eighteen guns were deployed laying down a barrage at various locations.


He transferred to the MGC with a cohort from a Home Service/Reserve Battalion of the Middlesex on or around 5 October 1916.  He probably went to France with 196 Company in December 1916, though that’s a bit speculative but in February 1918 it became one of the sections in 55 Battalion.  I’ve not pursued his service with the Middlesex Regiment as I do not believe he served overseas with that Regiment.  Craig’s Gratuity Calculator will give you his enlistment date.


If commemorated on the Loos Memorial he has no known grave.







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There's a David Reed in Ancestry service records - 62794 MGC formerly 29675 Middx Rgt who attested in December 1915 to army reserve, was posted late May 1916 to 6th Bn Middx and then transferred to MGC 4th Bn (later to 16th Co.) at the beginning of October 1916. The burnt records are not clear and neither is my eyesight, so might be worth a check if you have access to Ancestry.

Here's the 55th war diary from March 1918 downloadable for a small fee at the National Archives.



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Thanks to Ken and Mike for their help.


I've managed to establish that my chap lost his life at Locon during the Battle of the Lys. As he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, I'm also thinking that his body was not recovered for burial.


I'm now going to check out Mike's information about David Reed to see what this turns up.


Thanks again!

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62794 David Reed transferred to MGC on 07/10/1916, so I'm happy to say 10/1916 for Lance Corporal 62797 Charles Herbert Russell.

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