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Remembered Today:

1st Battalion KOYLI in Salonik


Sgt Stripes
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Hi. Looking for information on the 1st KOYLI in Salonika especially there part in the capture of Ferdie and Essex trench and the capture of Barakli and Kumli.  I know they landed in Salonika 7th December 1915 and went to France summer of 1918.  Thank you 

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Yes Please Gardenerbill. The Battalion do not seem to get any mentions in my books and i had to look them up on the internet to make sure they were there.  

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Hi Sarge,

At first I couldn't find the 1st KOYLI in the OH indexes, then I found them listed under 'Yorkshire L.I. , Kings Own'. 

 

Vol 1 P194 31st October 1916 at Bairakli Jum'A the 1st KOYLI advanced on the right flank with the objective of clearing the Gypsy village or encampment. where they dove out a number of Bulgarians.

 

Vol 1 P299 9th March 1917 as part of a series of operations in the Struma Valley, detachments of 1st KOYLI and 2nd E Yorks carried out a raid on Poroi Station. The station was taken by assault, 4 Bulgarians killed 24 captured and the station was occupied for 20 hours.

 

More to follow. 

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Vol II P9 Maj Brooke 1st KOYLI organises fox and hare hunting with a few Beagles and Harriers.

 

Vol II P84 Operations Struma Valley Spring 1917. 15th April 1917 83rd Brigade tasked with cutting off any Bulgarian forces in Dolap Wood south of Bairakli, no enemy envountered but the Gypsy village found to be heavily defended.

 

Vol II P94 1st KOYLI withdrawn from 28th Division in preparation for move to France.

 

The actions to take Ferdie and Essex trenches to the north of Bairakli 15th May 1917 were carried out by 2nd Buffs and 3rd Royal Fusiliers of 85th Brigade, no mention of 83rd Bde or 1/KOYLI.

 

Edited by Gardenerbill
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Fantastic information. Many thanks for taking the time to look for me. Only had information from the internet concerning Ferdie and Essex Trenches. Looks like it was wrong. 

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  • 1 year later...

Can anyone tell me what this battalion (1 KOYLI) was doing around 2 November 1916? My cousin (2x removed) died at the Regimental Aid Post on that day.  He was 20830 Private Oswald Henry Gadsby.  Also, I’m not sure if he died of disease (SWD, Soldiers Effects, Service Medal and Awards Roll show “Died”), whereas the Medal Roll Index Card shows “DoW”. Obviously if the battalion was in action he may have died of wounds. Any help appreciated!

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You can download the official History volumes from the Internet Archive free of charge.

Facing page 191 is a sketch map described as "The affair of Bairakli Jum'a  31 October 1916. It shows the presence of I KOYLI and the action is described in pages 192 et seq.  This was in The Struma Valley. The OH original volume, (not sure if it is included in the scanned version), includes a fold out sketch of the valley, and map 8 (see attached extract), from the Volume 1 map set shows the area involved.

The description refers to the involvement of 1 Koyli, but I don't have a copy of the war diary to comment on casualties. The location of the action and the report in the History of the KOYLI (N&M reprint p847- states that the battalion  had 320 rifles in the attack  and captured 2 officers and 296 other ranks but states that there were no casualties in the battalion.

The OH maps are included on the latest version of the SCS map disks. I was involved in getting them scanned so can confirm that.

ma8.jpg

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Many thanks for your reply Keith, much appreciated!  From "Soldiers Who Died" and CWGC records, fatal casualties were very few in number around this time, which tallies with your report of The History of the KOYLI.  I'll see if I can find an obituary in the British Newspaper Archive to resolve the manner of Oswald's death, if not it will remain a mystery.

Again, thanks for the map, this is very useful.

Paul

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I doubt that a man dying from malaria or pneumonia would be at a regimental aid post on the days immediately following a significant attack as they would be likely to be weeded out before action. While nothing is impossible, and the Koyli history probably follows the war diary closely, there is a case for checking the war diary, and the other battalion accounts of the action. Although a relatively small scale action, it doesn't always follow that all records were up to date when the diary was completed. Unfortunately, that unless you are very lucky could only be done at Kew.

Looking at the men buried in the Struma Military Cemetery, there are just 49 who died between 28/10.1916 and 5/11/1916. Although your relative appears to be the only man to die and be buried there from 1 Koyli, it might be interesting to look through the cause of death recorded for the other 48, most of whom came from other units involved in the action and/or supporting movements. In particular the sketch map in Vol 1 of the OH shows 2 E Yorks and 2 King's Own in position directly facing Bairakli Jum'a, with 1 KOYLI formed up behind them.

If analysis shows their casualties as KIA or DOW as I would expect, there must be a strong presumption that Gadsby was also a battle casualty.

Edited by keithmroberts
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I shall be visiting some locations in the Struma Valley in May, and might be able to visit Pte. Gadsby. I am waiting for final details of our route, which is likely to be under some time pressure, but we may well stop briefly at that cemetery..

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On 17/04/2022 at 17:04, keithmroberts said:

I doubt that a man dying from malaria or pneumonia would be at a regimental aid post on the days immediately following a significant attack as they would be likely to be weeded out before action. While nothing is impossible, and the Koyli history probably follows the war diary closely, there is a case for checking the war diary, and the other battalion accounts of the action. Although a relatively small scale action, it doesn't always follow that all records were up to date when the diary was completed. Unfortunately, that unless you are very lucky could only be done at Kew.

Looking at the men buried in the Struma Military Cemetery, there are just 49 who died between 28/10.1916 and 5/11/1916. Although your relative appears to be the only man to die and be buried there from 1 Koyli, it might be interesting to look through the cause of death recorded for the other 48, most of whom came from other units involved in the action and/or supporting movements. In particular the sketch map in Vol 1 of the OH shows 2 E Yorks and 2 King's Own in position directly facing Bairakli Jum'a, with 1 KOYLI formed up behind them.

If analysis shows their casualties as KIA or DOW as I would expect, there must be a strong presumption that Gadsby was also a battle casualty.

My thoughts too.  Most of the soldiers I looked at on “Soldiers Who Died” were killed in action, as you say, scattered between units, and time.  I’m in Spain right now, so a trek to Kew isn’t practical for the time being, however I will be very grateful if you find the opportunity to visit Oswald’s grave during your upcoming trip (a photo especially welcome).  I’ll let you know if I find further information, and again, thank you for your attention to this case.

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  • 1 month later...

I was checking the details as I plan to be at Kew last week, but can see that the 14/15 star Roll is also marked Died ofWounds. 

  https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/5119/images/41804_611411_5966-00310?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=9d4706e8437f72a687963950c3f54dda&usePUB=true&_phsrc=HYA29&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&_gl=1*10hd7lo*_ga*MTg3ODg3NjA4NS4xNjQ5ODUwNzAw*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY1NDM0Mzc4Mi44LjEuMTY1NDM0NDI4Ny4w&pId=2165442

 

I think you can be fairly confident that he was wounded during the action. if time permits I'll still ckeck the war diary.

 

Keith

 

 

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Hi Keith.  Yes, I agree, although it's strange the other records show "died".  Thanks again for the photos and taking an interest in Private Gadsby, most appreciated.

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I examined the war diary at Kew. The entry for 31 October, the date of the attack states "one O.R. Wounded"

The report for the earler failed attack, (9 October), on Barakli Duma records one OR killed 9 O.R. wounded, but CWGC show 2 O.R. from the battalion as dying on the 9th, suggesting that one was DOW  shortly afterwards.

That would suggest that wounded on the day was NOT followed by a report in the war diary of subsequent death, and fits entirely with Pte Gadsby dying of his wounds on the following day.

I have copied the relevant diary pages, as well as  those for the Brigade if they would be helpful. if you would like copies please send me a PM.

 

Keith

Edited by keithmroberts
typo
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