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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

15th/17th West Yorkshire Regiment and the liberation of Renaix/Ronse

Jonathan D'Hooghe

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During the war, all Belgian towns had names from the French language. The town of Renaix in East Flanders was a German garrison town and today, its Flemish name is Ronse.

This town was liberated in November 1918 by elements of the amalgamated 15th/17th battalions of the West Yorkshire Regiment.


Today, I am assisting the Ronse town Historical Association with their research into the liberation of their town and i would very much appreciate it if there are any GWF members who could share any information, letters, photographs of this event. The town Association would also like, if possible, to make contact with any modern day relatives of the men who liberated Renaix/Ronse.


Any help or ideas would be appreciated.


I am chairman of the Lincoln WFA branch and can be contacted on chairman@lincolnbranchwfa.com 


Thank you

Jonathan D'Hooghe 

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I take it you've already pointed them in the direction of the 15th/17th Battalion War Diary for the period, which might have some names in it. Currently downloadable for free from the National Archive if you have an account, and even that can be set up as part of placing a first order, (no financial details needed).

Here's the webpage for the diary: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7353709


Additionally the officers lists as it appeared in the November 1918 British Army List can be viewed here https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/123099729

Contacts addresses for the officers who applied for their medals will be on the reverse side of the MiCs, visible on Ancestry.


A check of the CWGC database using Geoff's search engine shows 19 members of the 15th Battalion, (4 of them shown as 15/17th Battalion, died 5th & 6th November), who died between the 1st November 1918 and the 31st March 1919, so presumably some of those might have been involved in the liberation.


Hope that gets you started,


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Good Morning Peter

Thank you for your reply. Yes, we have had a look at the war diary but the officers list is a great help. Thank you.

What I also hope we can turn up is any first hand accounts in letters or diaries which may be in the hands of families.

All best


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