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MM Winner - 32514 Pte T Conway (16th Welsh) - War Diary Query


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Apologies if this is a silly question.

 

I have come back to try and do some digging into how my GG was awarded the MM in 1917 (which we believe was at Pickelm Ridge) & see from the war diary of the 16th Batt, Welsh Regt, it states:

 

'30 July 1917 - Battalion in Action - see operation order 143 etc and narrative attached' - in the comments section is 'Appendix I & II'

 

Now I may be stupid but I cannot see an order attached to the diary, any narrative on the action or any appendix - are these held elsewhere on TNA?

 

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

The Pilckem offensive began in the early hours of July 31st 1917.

What else do the regiment's war diaries say about action on the 30th?

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59 minutes ago, GMB said:

Apologies if this is a silly question.

 

I have come back to try and do some digging into how my GG was awarded the MM in 1917 (which we believe was at Pickelm Ridge) & see from the war diary of the 16th Batt, Welsh Regt, it states:

 

'30 July 1917 - Battalion in Action - see operation order 143 etc and narrative attached' - in the comments section is 'Appendix I & II'

 

Now I may be stupid but I cannot see an order attached to the diary, any narrative on the action or any appendix - are these held elsewhere on TNA?

 

 

 

Unfortunately, and being charitable Appendices and Op Orders were not always copied, or were removed before the hard copy documents were filed. I hesitate to mention researchers stuffing documents back in any old order, or worse.

 

The Brigade war diary WO95/2560 is slightly more informative but even there Appendices are missing.  It does have maps, and notes on the night of the 30/31 one Company of the 16th Welsh, together with one Coy of the SWB were engaged in laying 10 mat bridges across the canal two of which were destroyed by shellfire.

 

The good news is that an Operation Order 143 has survived in the Diary of 113 Infantry Brigade (not in 114th!) which shows 115th Brigade was Divisional Reserve for the attack. There are also intelligence reports which give a flavour of operations at the end of July, but you really have to sort it out by brief mentions and exception.

 

The Divisional Diary has much more detailed information as to the plans of attack

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4555691

but even there 4 photographs are acknowledged by TNA as 'extracted'; and of course bearing in mind,'no plan survives first contact with the enemy" what they planned to happen may not have done so.

 

It is possible the museum holds transcripts of the diaries.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

The Pilckem offensive began in the early hours of July 31st 1917.

What else do the regiment's war diaries say about action on the 30th?

 

Thanks for the reply - the line above is literally all that is there for Pilckem - which is what made me wonder about the appendices and any additional information. I literally have no idea what he was awarded it for, which has become a bit frustrating unfortunately.

7 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

 

Unfortunately, and being charitable Appendices and Op Orders were not always copied, or were removed before the hard copy documents were filed. I hesitate to mention researchers stuffing documents back in any old order. 

 

The Brigade war diary WO95/2560 is slightly more informative but even there Appendices are missing it does have maps and notes on the night of the 30/31 one Company of the 16th Welsh, together with one Coy of the SWB were engaged in laying 10 mat bridges across the canal two of which were destroyed by shellfire.

 

The good news is that an Operation Order 143 has survived in the Diary of 113 Infantry Brigade which shows 115th Brigade was Divisional Reserve for the attack. There are also intelligence reports which give a flavour of operations at the end of July, but you really have to sort it out by brief mentions and exception.

 

The Divisional Diary has much more detailed information as to the plans of attack

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4555691

but even there 4 photographs are acknowledged by TNA as 'extracted'; and of course bearing in mind,'no plan survives first contact with the enemy"

 

It is possible the museum has transcripts of the diaries.

Fantastic, thanks for the link.

 

Hopefully I can gleam some more info - apart from his name mentioned in the war diary & the gazette entry, it seems to be a dead end...........

 

edit - that actually helps with men I am looking into who were part of the 38th RFA, especially someone who was in B Brigade, 121st as he seems to be a ghost aswell. He was KIA on 9th dec 1917, but the diary entry for the whole of December is 1 page and mentions nothing of importance.

Edited by GMB
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2 minutes ago, GMB said:

Fantastic, thanks for the link.

 

While they are free you may as well download the two brigade diaries mentioned

115 Infantry Brigade

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14055081

 

113 Infantry Brigade

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4555704

 

I looked at them on Ancestry but I guess they are the same.

 

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brianmorris547

GMB

The WD of HQ General Staff 38 Div Adjutant and Quarter-Master General (Piece 2541/1-5) lists Honours and Rewards on a monthly basis. Your man is named on the September 1917 list (Ancestry p 356/668). I think that the awards were for action in the months stated.

Brian 

EDIT: The six MMs of 16 Welsh named in the September 1917 AQMG list are also named in the 16 Welsh WD on 21/09/1917. It does not say what for or when the awards were earned. 

EDIT: The Gazette site is acting up at the moment so I could not find the date of the LG. The MM cards for the six named men all show LG 19/11/1917 so it looks like they were earned in September. 

Edited by brianmorris547
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21 hours ago, kenf48 said:

 

Unfortunately, and being charitable Appendices and Op Orders were not always copied, or were removed before the hard copy documents were filed. I hesitate to mention researchers stuffing documents back in any old order, or worse.

 

The Brigade war diary WO95/2560 is slightly more informative but even there Appendices are missing.  It does have maps, and notes on the night of the 30/31 one Company of the 16th Welsh, together with one Coy of the SWB were engaged in laying 10 mat bridges across the canal two of which were destroyed by shellfire.

 

The good news is that an Operation Order 143 has survived in the Diary of 113 Infantry Brigade (not in 114th!) which shows 115th Brigade was Divisional Reserve for the attack. There are also intelligence reports which give a flavour of operations at the end of July, but you really have to sort it out by brief mentions and exception.

 

The Divisional Diary has much more detailed information as to the plans of attack

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4555691

but even there 4 photographs are acknowledged by TNA as 'extracted'; and of course bearing in mind,'no plan survives first contact with the enemy" what they planned to happen may not have done so.

 

It is possible the museum holds transcripts of the diaries.

 

I must be having one of those days but I cannot find Operation Order 143.......

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17 hours ago, brianmorris547 said:

GMB

The WD of HQ General Staff 38 Div Adjutant and Quarter-Master General (Piece 2541/1-5) lists Honours and Rewards on a monthly basis. Your man is named on the September 1917 list (Ancestry p 356/668). I think that the awards were for action in the months stated.

Brian 

EDIT: The six MMs of 16 Welsh named in the September 1917 AQMG list are also named in the 16 Welsh WD on 21/09/1917. It does not say what for or when the awards were earned. 

EDIT: The Gazette site is acting up at the moment so I could not find the date of the LG. The MM cards for the six named men all show LG 19/11/1917 so it looks like they were earned in September. 

 

Thanks Brian - maybe I have been looking at completely the wrong time frame - we were adamant it was at the Battle of Pilckem Ridge.........

 

The date of the LG is 19 Nov 17 - supplement 11964

 

Edit: I think this was due to the lack of action in the WD from September - the only real action from when he is mentioned is Pilckem on the 31 July......

Edited by GMB
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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
19 minutes ago, GMB said:

the only real action from when he is mentioned is Pilckem on the 31 July.

Where is he mentioned as being at Pilckem?

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1 hour ago, GMB said:

must be having one of those days but I cannot find Operation Order 143.......

 

As i said I looked on Ancestry and found a copy in the 113th Brigade HQ Diary at the end of July

This is the link if you subscribe

 

 

 

 

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brianmorris547

GMB

The 16 Welsh WD also names three MMs on 15/08/1917 and three more on 16/08/1917 and on 03/09/1917 the GOC 115 IB presented them with their Ribbons. The WD refers to the recent actions. These men are shown in the August list in the A&QMG WD and are named in the LG 28/09/1917. On 11/09/1917 the GOC 115 IB presented MM Ribbons to five more men. They are named in the September List in the A&QMG WD and are named in the LG 02/11/1917. Have you tried the local papers for where your man lived. I will check the names again for any service records which might show further info.

Brian

EDIT: One of the names in the A&QMG August List (p 334) is 23597 G Beale and he is also named as being presented with his Ribbon on 03/09/1917. This letter from his Service Record reads, "Please forward the Military Medal awarded to me for services rendered in France while serving with the 16 Batt Welch (sic) Regt at Pilkem Ridge in August 1917". There are one or two others with service records but none which show for what action they were awarded. The search could be extended to others on the A&QMG September list.

23597.jpg

Edited by brianmorris547
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Where is he mentioned as being at Pilckem?

Sorry mate, I was busy on work then I wrote this - what I actually meant was the only real action from the 16 batt WD before he was awarded the MM was Pilckem

4 hours ago, kenf48 said:

 

As i said I looked on Ancestry and found a copy in the 113th Brigade HQ Diary at the end of July

This is the link if you subscribe

 

 

 

 

fantastic. Cheers pal

Edited by GMB
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2 hours ago, brianmorris547 said:

GMB

The 16 Welsh WD also names three MMs on 15/08/1917 and three more on 16/08/1917 and on 03/09/1917 the GOC 115 IB presented them with their Ribbons. The WD refers to the recent actions. These men are shown in the August list in the A&QMG WD and are named in the LG 28/09/1917. On 11/09/1917 the GOC 115 IB presented MM Ribbons to five more men. They are named in the September List in the A&QMG WD and are named in the LG 02/11/1917. Have you tried the local papers for where your man lived. I will check the names again for any service records which might show further info.

Brian

EDIT: One of the names in the A&QMG August List (p 334) is 23597 G Beale and he is also named as being presented with his Ribbon on 03/09/1917. This letter from his Service Record reads, "Please forward the Military Medal awarded to me for services rendered in France while serving with the 16 Batt Welch (sic) Regt at Pilkem Ridge in August 1917". There are one or two others with service records but none which show for what action they were awarded. The search could be extended to others on the A&QMG September list.

23597.jpg

 

Cheers mate -  i have a paper clipping from a local paper saying he was awarded it (thank you to Simon for this previously), but nothing else.

 

It may be the case that I wont find out, but will defo widen the search as you mention.

 

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
1 hour ago, GMB said:

Sorry mate, I was busy on work then I wrote this - what I actually meant was the only real action from the 16 batt WD before he was awarded the MM was Pilckem

I'm with you.

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brianmorris547

I'm checking the WDs of the other Infantry Units of 38 Div shown on the September A&QMG list. The first three names (10 SWB - 20926 Sgt Patrick, 20138 Pte Pask and 20846 Pte Williams are named in the WD of 10 SWB on 31/08/1917 as receiving decorations for their actions during August. They are named in the LG 02/11/1917. Further down are three more 10 SWB names 21200 L/Cpl Edmunds, 40341 L/Cpl Taylor and 40449 Pte Dover. They are named in the WD of 10 SWB 0n 26/09/1917 as receiving the MM for conspicuous gallantry on the enemy raid on the 19th inst. They are named in the LG 19/11. So some on the September list are for August and some are for September. I will check the other WDs later today.

Brian

EDIT: 21926 Pte Moore 15 RWF is named in the LG 02/11/1917. The 15 RWF WD 08/09/1917 records, "21926 Pte A S Moore awarded the MM for bravery shown on the battlefield of Pilckem". 

Edited by brianmorris547
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Thanks Brian, really appreciate the help.

 

What I have found is the WD seem to be very heavily SWB related and not so much on the Welsh Regt (espeically the 16th).

 

I have seen a few mentions of the 19th Welsh, but thats about it bar the one or 2 brief mentions of the 16th, which is causing me no end of problems.

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