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Remembered Today:

Grenadier Guards "The Missing"


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Vigotonefan

Hi Guys,

 

First post for a while. I am currently trying to 'log' the deaths of those soldiers killed from the Grenadier Guards (that my Great Uncle Arthur Sidney Race served with & survived) onto a spreadsheet with a date of death (along with other info like enlistment location & place of residence) so that i can have an easily visible/searchable way of seeing what soldier died on what date.... Starting with the 1st Bn who Arthur was with for the duration of the war.

 

The reason for this post is to see if any 'specific/complete' list is available for those GG that were listed as 'missing' as currently they are amalgamated into:

1/ Killed In Action.

2/ Died Of Wounds.

3/ Killed (Other than in action).

4/ Died (Of natural causes).

 

I have the many 'Official' sources already including these primary sources:

1/ GG In The Great War 14'-19' (3 volume).

2/ History Of The Guards Devision 15'-18' (2 volume).

3/ Soldiers Died In The Great War 14'-19' (Foot Guards Inc Guards Machine Gun Reg).

4/ Officers Died In The Great War 14'-18'.

 

The above tomes offer some incredibly detailed info but frustratingly NOT if the men were 'missing'....

 

Has such a list been attempted? I am sure i must i be missing something obvious!.... I am very lucky that the Guards Regiments were spared the destruction of the 40' Blitz raid but on the flip side any detailed analysis of the records for each soldier costs £30+ which makes further research very difficult... I have the Roll Medals on Ancestry but to search 4000+ seperate cards, although not impossible, would take years one would suspect...

 

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I do intend on sharing the results at some point.

 

Regards,

-David.

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Derek Black

Hi David,

 

It's likely someone has already put the 1914 star and 1914-15 star medal rolls for the regiment into a spreadsheet, these will have most of the wartime fatality causes for these men listed upon them, although depending upon date it was compiled, it may miss some later 1918 deaths out..

 

You didn't mention The "Soldier Effects Records", these list many causes of death, including several that would classify men as missing.

 

Are looking for men who went missing and no more was ever heard of them? What about those who were known to be buried but later had their original location lost and are now recorded on the memorials to the missing. Or do you just mean those with no known grave?

 

Cheers,

Derek.

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
9 hours ago, Derek Black said:

… Are [YOU] looking for men who went missing and no more was ever heard of them? What about those who were known to be buried but later had their original location lost and are now recorded on the memorials to the missing. Or do you just mean those with no known grave?

 

Which effectively explains why the original question cannot be answered - except, on the face of it, at great cost. "Look for Guards on the memorials to the missing" would be an "obvious" but incorrect answer as Derek has explained, - "lost" graves of men who were never MiA. The original question is intriguing though and if an answer could be found it would be interesting to see how it fitted in statistically with the other fatality classifications.

 

I wonder if it might be worth approaching the Guards museum and seeing if some arrangement could be reached whereby you were allowed in-house assess to research the service records of the men who you believe may have been MiA ? (An offer of a decent contribution to museum funds might possibly lubricate things ?).

 

You are still going to have difficulties in terms of accuracy though. What about men who were recorded as MiA but had burials identified post-war ? Then you have the phantom burials under memorial crosses, and then the real oddities such as Clerke, Verelst, and MacGregor of 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards who originally had a very ornate post-war "isolated grave" burial plot marker erected at Lesboeufs >

 

1824056731_gwf2ndcoldlesb.jpg.d9dd56bd234d0d9e7e11aefd5ed9dab8.jpg

 

Good luck with that :whistle:

Tom

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Vigotonefan
10 hours ago, Derek Black said:

Hi David,

 

It's likely someone has already put the 1914 star and 1914-15 star medal rolls for the regiment into a spreadsheet, these will have most of the wartime fatality causes for these men listed upon them, although depending upon date it was compiled, it may miss some later 1918 deaths out..

 

You didn't mention The "Soldier Effects Records", these list many causes of death, including several that would classify men as missing.

 

Are looking for men who went missing and no more was ever heard of them? What about those who were known to be buried but later had their original location lost and are now recorded on the memorials to the missing. Or do you just mean those with no known grave?

 

Cheers,

Derek.

Thanks Derek for taking the time to reply.

 

In short, when requesting info on soldier names 'missing' i meant it as a general term, i had not taken in to account those soldiers who's graves were 'lost', interesting (albeit horrifying) future angle to look at but for now it is soldiers missing with no known graves &, i assume, would qualify for the 'nothing more was ever seen/heard of them' that i am looking for more info on...

 

The 'Soldier Effects Records' is not something i have looked at or indeed heard of so certainly something to put on the 'to do' list -This would have the same issues as the other sources as it would be a case of having to input thousands of names into the search engine? -Does a list of, say, those soldiers commemorated on the Tiepval memorial exist in written form? I can then simply cross-reference this to the sources i already have.

 

Regards,

-David.

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Derek Black

David,

 

The CWGC website should be able to sort the all Grenadier Guards casualties into a document you can download, this will show those on memorials to the missing and those with graves.

 

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/search-results/?Surname=&Forename=&Initials=&ServiceNum=&Regiment=grenadier+guards&ServedIn=Army&WarSelect=1&CountryCommemoratedIn=null&Cemetery=&Unit=&Rank=&SecondaryRegiment=&AgeOfDeath=0&DateOfDeath=&Honours=null&AdditionalInfo=

 

Cheers,

Derek.

 

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Vigotonefan
11 hours ago, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

 

Which effectively explains why the original question cannot be answered - except, on the face of it, at great cost. "Look for Guards on the memorials to the missing" would be an "obvious" but incorrect answer as Derek has explained, - "lost" graves of men who were never MiA. The original question is intriguing though and if an answer could be found it would be interesting to see how it fitted in statistically with the other fatality classifications.

 

I wonder if it might be worth approaching the Guards museum and seeing if some arrangement could be reached whereby you were allowed in-house assess to research the service records of the men who you believe may have been MiA ? (An offer of a decent contribution to museum funds might possibly lubricate things ?).

 

You are still going to have difficulties in terms of accuracy though. What about men who were recorded as MiA but had burials identified post-war ? Then you have the phantom burials under memorial crosses, and then the real oddities such as Clerke, Verelst, and MacGregor of 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards who originally had a very ornate post-war "isolated grave" burial plot marker erected at Lesboeufs >

 

1824056731_gwf2ndcoldlesb.jpg.d9dd56bd234d0d9e7e11aefd5ed9dab8.jpg

 

Good luck with that :whistle:

Tom

Thanks Tom for taking the time to reply & adding the photo, very interesting & that makes a lot of sense. I imagine in the chaos of war the location of graves/bodies would easily be lost or forgotten...

 

Referencing the Guards Museum & indeed the various Foot Guards Regiments at Birdcage Walk they no longer have the original service papers & other artifacts as these have now been transfered to the army museum in London. I have contacted both previously (Guards museum & regiment) & they were not able to provide much info on anything specific i have previously asked sadly. I will send a message again to the Guards & Army museum's on this topic to see what they say... Sadly i have no acsess to large sums of money, perhaps a few crates of London Pride will suffice?! Ha ha.

 

I am pleased to have put forward this question & will certainly be looking to forward it with the names that i will find on IWM website as suggested by Derek.

 

Kind Regards,

-David.

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Vigotonefan
6 hours ago, Derek Black said:

David,

 

The CWGC website should be able to sort the all Grenadier Guards casualties into a document you can download, this will show those on memorials to the missing and those with graves.

 

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/search-results/?Surname=&Forename=&Initials=&ServiceNum=&Regiment=grenadier+guards&ServedIn=Army&WarSelect=1&CountryCommemoratedIn=null&Cemetery=&Unit=&Rank=&SecondaryRegiment=&AgeOfDeath=0&DateOfDeath=&Honours=null&AdditionalInfo=

 

Cheers,

Derek.

 

That is great! Thanks Derek.

 

I have looked at the CWGC website recently (Tom: i meant this NOT the IWM!) Although did not see this 'function' to group them together -& i must say it was a brilliant resource & extremely helpful to be able to search via army service number.

 

In terms of memorials like Tiepval, how accurate would you say they actually are? Are *all* the names on it the *complete* (as-can-be) list of missing for The Somme or would others be located elsewhere? Given, as Tom said, some soldiers burials were simply 'lost'.

 

In terms of date of death for the missing, again would this *generally* be pretty accurate? If a soldier going over the top on a certain date did not come back would that date he went over (after a period of days) be given as the date of death -I am also thinking in terms of P.O.W's as they might not know what happened to that soldier for a long period of time before recording him as dying.

 

Below is a pic of me at Tiepval in 2016 at the Centenary infront of the GG wall, my phone literally had 3% battery so i was very lucky to get it! On the original photo names *can* be seen but not all of them with others cropped from the frame sadly.

 

Kind Regards,

-David

20200802_000547.jpg

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
20 hours ago, Vigotonefan said:

… In terms of memorials like Tiepval, how accurate would you say they actually are? Are *all* the names on it the *complete* (as-can-be) list of missing for The Somme or would others be located elsewhere?

 

David - the best that can be said is that the records are what they are - and you can only work with what is available. Are they 100% accurate ? - NOT A CHANCE ! Are they close to 100% accurate - who knows. Are there headstones named to men who are not buried in the grave - absolutely. Are there men named on memorials to the missing who at some time had known burials ? - there must be thousands upon thousands of them. It is inevitable that your final analysis will be an approximation.

 

I'm not clear as to what you mean by the current locations of the Guards service records (I haven't had to research a Guardsman for years).

Tom

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