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Remembered Today:

Court of enquiry 27th Nov 1916 regarding following men of 16th Lancashire Fusiliers


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James123

Whilst researching a particular man a came across the following information which I thought maybe of interest.... 

 

..................................................................... 

 

" I have the honour to forward herewith proceedings of court of inquiry held in the field on 27th Nov 1916 for the purpose of investigating the circumstances under which the undermentioned men late 16th battn Lancashire Fusiliers were killed or injured by bomb explosions. By order of Lt. Col. C. M. Abercrombie. C. M. G. Comdg. 16th Lancs Fusiliers."

 

19699 G Beresford

29809 T Fielden

35838 A Frogett

39437 F McEvoy

11432 W Taylor

11638 J W Taylor

12040 G Hewson

12026 W Bowker

12036     Cassin

 

President - Lieut. D. Robertson

 

Members - 2/Lt. C. S. Jones. 

                    2/Lt. J. F. Johnson

 

"The Court having assembled proceed to hear evidence.

 

Evidence. No. 16/4677 Pte W. McGlynn. 

Having been duly sworn states..... 

 

About 2.a.m on the morning of the 19th Nov 1916 was one of a party carrying mills bombs to a dump in the trenches. Each man had two sand bags given each containing twelve, (12 x bombs. No orders had been given to ensure the split pins being turned over. The order of march was single file with 16/39437 Pte McEvoy. followed by 16/29809 Pte Fielden. followed by 16/35838 Pte Froggett. followed by myself. 

 

I heard a bomb explode and Pte Fielden shouted that he was hit. Then a bomb exploded in Pte Froggett's bag and he cried out that he) Pte Froggett) was hit. 

 

I proceeded with the party and passed Pte McEvoy who was sitting in the trench, he informed me that he was wounded. 

 

The Court is of the opinion that No. 16/29809 Pte Fielden. No. 16/35838 Pte Froggett and No. 39437 Pte McEvoy sustained injuries owing to the accidental explosion of the two Mills bombs. 

 

President - D Robertson Lt 16th Lancs Fusiliers. 

 

Members - J. F Johnson 2/Lt 16th Lancs Fusiliers 

                    C. S Jones 2/Lt 16th Lancs Fusiliers. 

 

The bombs were issued to the carrying party under supervision of an officer of the 14th Bde. The issue was made in the dark and under different conditions the explosion was evidently caused by the pins slipping of 2 bombs. I do not think the carrying parties were to blame. 

 

             C. M. Ambercrombie. Lt Col. 

             16th Lancs Fusiliers. 

 

It is evident that the pins of the grenades ###### have been properly splayed. The men wonded ###### to be to blame. 

 

             A. E. Glengow. Lt Col 

            Comig. 96th Infantry Brigade. 

 

.....................................................................

 

A very sad accident that caused the death and wounding of at least nine men. 

 

16/4677 McGlynn who gave evidence sadly was killed Little over a month later 26th Dec 1916.

 

19699 Beresford - died 19th Nov 1916

 

29809 Fielden - died of wounds 17th Aug 1917.

 

35838 Froggett - discharged sick 14th Sep 1917.

 

39437 McEvoy - suffered regular fits due to wounds but was not discharged until 23rd March 1919.

 

11532 Taylor - died of wounds recieved from the incident 22nd Nov 1916.

 

11638 Taylor - died of wounds recieved from incident 22nd Nov 1916.

 

12040 Hewson - died of wounds recieved from incident 22nd Nov 1916.

 

12026 Bowker - died of wounds recieved from incident 25th Nov 1916.

 

12036 Cassin -?? 

 

Its interesting to note that the three gents carrying the Mills bombs although injured survived however, unfortunately those in the vicinity of the explosion seemed to have succumbed to wounds. 

 

Also 11532 William Taylor and  11638 John William Taylor could these two chaps have been brothers?? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FROGSMILE

I suspect that the soldiers carrying the sandbags full of grenades were partially shielded by the other grenades closest to their bodies.  This would have deflected outwards to some degree the blast and fragmentation of those that detonated.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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TullochArd

Regarding "12036 Cassin -??" .......I reckon this is 16/12036 Pte William Cassin Lancashire Fusiliers who finished the war as 74539 Pte William Cassin Durham Light Infantry and appears to have survived.

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James123
9 minutes ago, TullochArd said:

Regarding "12036 Cassin -??" .......I reckon this is 16/12036 Pte William Cassin Lancashire Fusiliers who finished the war as 74539 Pte William Cassin Durham Light Infantry and appears to have survived.

Yes I think you are right 

13 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

I suspect that the soldiers carrying the sandbags full of grenades were partially shielded by the other grenades closest to their bodies.  This would have deflected outwards to some degree the blast and fragmentation of those that detonated.

That makes sense FROGSMILE

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FROGSMILE
2 minutes ago, James123 said:

Yes I think you are right 

That makes sense FROGSMILE


I’ve had to preside in the past over some not that different boards of inquiry concerning similar accidents, so there’s a bit of deja vu.

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Hedley Malloch

Tragic. One question: is Glencow offering a dissenting opinion?

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TullochArd
1 hour ago, Hedley Malloch said:

Tragic. One question: is Glencow offering a dissenting opinion?

 

...... from James123's transcript it certainly would seem possible.  We need to see a copy of Glencow's decision to put that one to bed. 

 

I'm with Abercrombie but would add that it seems ridiculous that private solders in a carrying party would be expected to check bombs without orders.  The fault lies in supervision - or lack of it. The carriage of such quantities in sandbags would have little to with pins being fully splayed as a fly off lever catching on the pull ring under the weight of a dozen fellow bombs would do the trick.  Although two bombs exploded it is a stretch of probability that the pins worked loose at the same time - the second detonation was likely a consequence of the first detonation. 

 

A preventable tragedy - that's why wooden Mills bomb boxes have individual compartments ..... and for a dozen grenades.

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fitz_merc

Was this par of the ill timed attack on the Redan Ridge?

Where does one locate court of enquiries relating to regiments?

Edited by fitz_merc
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fitz_merc

"16/4677 McGlynn who gave evidence sadly was killed Little over a month later 26th Dec 1916." 

 

As an aside McGlynn died from "Spotted Fever".  He went sick on Christmas Day and died on Boxing Day. 

 

Also the above states: 

"The bombs were issued to the carrying party under supervision of an officer of the 14th Bde. The issue was made in the dark and under different conditions the explosion was evidently caused by the pins slipping of 2 bombs. I do not think the carrying parties were to blame."

I think the work "different" would make more sense if it was the word DIFFICULT.  It was snowing that evening and weather conditions were very poor. The 16th Lancs Fus were attempting to rescue a group of soldiers who found themselves holding Frankfurt Trench  within German lines. The rescue was a disaster and 2 officers were killed, 94 soldiers killed  and 56  soldiers missing.  Interesting that the bomb accident was investigated but not the abortive rescue mission.

 

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FROGSMILE

If those casualty figures are correct it suggests an operation involving at least two infantry companies, which seems an extraordinary level of effort to rescue “a group of soldiers” stranded within the German lines. Is anything more known about the incident?

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Colin W Taylor

Frogsmile,

 

If memory serves Lyn Macdonald covered Frankfurt Trench in her book on the Somme.

 

Colin

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FROGSMILE
56 minutes ago, Colin W Taylor said:

Frogsmile,

 

If memory serves Lyn Macdonald covered Frankfurt Trench in her book on the Somme.

 

Colin


Thank you Colin, I have that book and will look it up.

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Edited by fitz_merc
repeat entry
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The best book on this is Redan Ridge The Last Stand by Peter Weston.

 

You are right about at least two companies in the rescue bid- 3 companies of the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers and one company of the 2nd Royal Inniskillings were involved.

A combination of German machine gun fire and our own British artillery led to the deaths of 231 soldiers in this failed rescue attempt.

 

The poor 16th Lancs Fus's suffered terribly on the first day of the Somme and then again in the last days.

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1 hour ago, fitz_merc said:

The best book on this is Redan Ridge The Last Stand by Peter Weston.

 

You are right about at least two companies in the rescue bid- 3 companies of the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers and one company of the 2nd Royal Inniskillings were involved.

A combination of German machine gun fire and our own British artillery led to the deaths of 231 soldiers in this failed rescue attempt.

 

The poor 16th Lancs Fus's suffered terribly on the first day of the Somme and then again in the last days.

 
Thank you for the explanation, it wasn’t something I’d ever heard of before, but then there must have been so many tragic incidents of such like during the course of the war.

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Indeed! Tragedy everywhere.  The Moonlight Massacre of 1917 saw a relative of mine killed.  A raid that should never have taken place.

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