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722207 Sgt James Gardner. 134th FA DOW 4/09/1916 RAMC Acheux British Cemetery


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I have been researching James, he was my grandfathers sergeant in 134th FA.

Having found him on the "RAMC in the great war" site I found that he died on the 4th September of wounds. age 23 (21?) (CGWC have him down as age 23). Part of the write up includes the report of the ADMS stating that RAMC casualties were 7 OR's died during the fighting and also five officers. 76 OR wounded. having looked on CWGC records and I cannot find the deaths of any officers who died on the 3rd or 4th September. Two potential candidates were both attached to the RFA, Cpt H.H Proudfoot 2/9/16 Dartmoor cemetery, Becourt. And Cpt W Campbell 5/9/16 also Dartmoor cemetery. Am I missing something? 

 Also can anyone help in telling me where the fighting was taking place on those dates. I believe that 134th FA were attached to the 39 division.  My grandfather was lucky and was wounded 28th August looking for a possible ADS site at Mesnil and RAP at Knightsbridge.

All help gratefully appreciated 

Thanks

Dave

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722207 Sgt James Gardner.

 

You mean 72207 !

 

3 hours ago, RegHannay said:

RAMC casualties were 7 OR's died during the fighting and also five officers. 76 OR wounded.

76 RAMC wounded ORs in that one day seems a lot ? The way you have written it, do you mean 5 Officers and 76 ORs wounded ? I'm a bit confused ( I  have consumed overstrength Xmas pud perhaps)

 

Charlie

 

Edit  I see 134 FA had casualties that day of 5 ORs killed **(incl Gates 7221 and Gardner 72207)  and 24 Wounded ( incl Lt Mitchell wounded)

 

Further edit- I appreciate now the scale. This from the summary for the month for 134FA:

During the month the Ambulance had been particularly busy and had its first experience of dealing with casualties on a large scale. In addition to running the ADS Mesnil and the Cookers situated about 7 miles distant from the MDS it was in charge of the V Corps Collecting Station when it opened a Divisional Main Dressing Station for the operation of 3rd Sept.  The total number passed through the Ambulance was 1700 of which 1098 were battle casualties....
  The assistance of 133 Fd Amb during the period of stress was invaluable....

 

** also of the unit but buried Beaumont Hamel are Mitchell 72398 and Stedman 72145, but I don't see the 5th man.

Edited by charlie962
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3 hours ago, charlie962 said:

722207 Sgt James Gardner.

 

You mean 72207 !

 

76 RAMC wounded ORs in that one day seems a lot ? The way you have written it, do you mean 5 Officers and 76 ORs wounded ? I'm a bit confused ( I  have consumed overstrength Xmas pud perhaps)

 

Charlie

 

Edit  I see 134 FA had casualties that day of 5 ORs killed **(incl Gates 7221 and Gardner 72207)  and 24 Wounded ( incl Lt Mitchell wounded)

 

Further edit- I appreciate now the scale. This from the summary for the month for 134FA:

During the month the Ambulance had been particularly busy and had its first experience of dealing with casualties on a large scale. In addition to running the ADS Mesnil and the Cookers situated about 7 miles distant from the MDS it was in charge of the V Corps Collecting Station when it opened a Divisional Main Dressing Station for the operation of 3rd Sept.  The total number passed through the Ambulance was 1700 of which 1098 were battle casualties....
  The assistance of 133 Fd Amb during the period of stress was invaluable....

 

** also of the unit but buried Beaumont Hamel are Mitchell 72398 and Stedman 72145, but I don't see the 5th man.

 I have misread the "RAMC In The Great War" entry Charlie962. It reads - 7 OR killed and 5 officers and 76 OR wounded  - (I read that as 5 officers also died, my mistake)  That is why I could not find them. (Carry on with the  "Christmas pud"and I will carry on with the "Hot toddie's")

Still a discrepancy with the 134th diary entry (5 OR killed) and "The RAMC In The Great War" (7 OR killed). I should think the seven incudes members of the 133rd

Dave

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The 5th casualty is Pte 48989 William Lewis, he too is buried at Hamel Military Cemetery, he's buried between Mitchell and Stedman, the following three graves are 133rd FA men KiA on same date, I suspect killed by shell fire. CWGC have Lewis listed as 13th Field Ambulance, it may appear to be an original transcription error when the cemetery register was compiled.

IIRC the 117th and 118th Infantry Brigades (39th Division) were in action north of the Ancre up to Mary Redan on 3rd September. There was certainly RAP's at the north western end of Knightsbridge Barracks and an ADS had been set up at Mesnil Station (57D.Q.28.b.7.7) since the July.

Edited by jay dubaya
terrible spelling...
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2 hours ago, jay dubaya said:

The 5th casualty is Pte 48989 William Lewis, he too is buried at Hamel Military Cemetery, he's buried between Mitchell and Stedman, the following three graves are 133rd FA men KiA on same date, I suspect killed by shell fire. CWGC have Lewis listed as 13th Field Ambulance, it may appear to be an original transcription error when the cemetery register was compiled.

IIRC the 117th and 188th Infantry Brigades (39th Division) were in action north of the Ancre up to Mary Redan on 3rd September. There was certainly RAP's at the north western end of Knightsbridge Barracks and an ADS had been set up at Mesnil Station (57D.Q.28.b.7.7) since the July.

Thanks jay dubaya, confirms the list I came up with.

James Gardner was the casualty I was originally looking for, records show him as dying on the 4th from wounds (on the same day) maybe  an error and he actually died on the third. I know my grandfather was very cut up about his death, he found out that James had died on the 16th by letter from "Huggins".  

 

My grandfathers diary entry - "Had a letter from Huggins containing bad news. It seems the "show" for which I was preparing when I was wounded came off and out of 50 men at the ADS; 29 were knocked out, six being killed and among the latter poor Staff Sergeant Gardner who by the bye was standing by me when I was wounded. Poor boy - only 21 and just married!"

 

It certainly helps to bring history to life when you can read first hand accounts and not just rely on statistics.

 

There is one other person I would love to find information on. He mentions a Canadian officer (RAMC) Harris who ran the "Cookers" ADS/RAP. I have been unable to find anything on this person.

 

For interest - the doctor joined the 134th on the 18th June 1916  at Locon  after convalescence  at Rouen and sick leave at home. Entered France with 36th FA June 1915. Becoming MO to 7th ESR.

Dave

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, RegHannay said:

There is one other person I would love to find information on. He mentions a Canadian officer (RAMC) Harris who ran the "Cookers" ADS/RAP. I have been unable to find anything on this person.

I suspect this is Robert Inkerman Harris, MC and Bar.

 

War Diary 134FA has 'Capt Harris'  wounded and evacuated 17/8/17. Previous  refs in the Diary are to him as a Lt in April 1916  then a Capt MC by early 1917. I never saw mention of his initials.

 

Capt RI Harris MC MB appears as wounded in the DailyCasualtyList 28/8/17. Officers' notifications tended to be only a couple of weeks after the event.

 

Bac-Lac site has his Canadian Service Record here

It shows Service in France 6th March 1916- 30 Aug 1917 which fits well with war diary entries.  (and 6/3/16 is the date 134 FA embarked at Southampton !)

It also says he was GSW left leg, but nowhere in the record do I see the date.

 

London Gazette,  Robert Inkerman Harris:

MC Citation LG 14/11/16
T/Lt  For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in action. He commanded the stretcher-bearers throughout the entire day under incessant fire and set a fine example of energy and pluck.

Bar to MC LG 26/9/17 (citation in Suppl 8/1/18)
T/Capt  For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty under exceptional circumstances. When his Corps main dressing station was shelled on three separate occasions, whilst crowded with patients, he supervised and directed the collection and evacuation of the wounded to a place of safety. This was quickly done owing to his coolness, promptitude and disregard of personal danger, which did away with all confusion, and reduced casualties to a minimum.

 

The 134FA War Diary makes no mention of awards but on 6/5/17 Capt Harris MC   ..has returned from ADS to MDS..

So I am happy that all fits- are you ?

 

MrG will give you a number of hits. This one shows his subsequent career and mentions his wounding Aug 1917 but since it gives MC as 1915 and Bar as 1916 some caution may be needed with dates.

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962
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2 hours ago, charlie962 said:

I suspect this is Robert Inkerman Harris, MC and Bar.

 

War Diary 134FA has 'Capt Harris'  wounded and evacuated 17/8/17. Previous  refs in the Diary are to him as a Lt in April 1916  then a Capt MC by early 1917. I never saw mention of his initials.

 

Capt RI Harris MC MB appears as wounded in the DailyCasualtyList 28/8/17. Officers' notifications tended to be only a couple of weeks after the event.

 

Bac-Lac site has his Canadian Service Record here

It shows Service in France 6th March 1916- 30 Aug 1917 which fits well with war diary entries.  (and 6/3/16 is the date 134 FA embarked at Southampton !)

It also says he was GSW left leg, but nowhere in the record do I see the date.

 

London Gazette,  Robert Inkerman Harris:

MC Citation LG 14/11/16
T/Lt  For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in action. He commanded the stretcher-bearers throughout the entire day under incessant fire and set a fine example of energy and pluck.

Bar to MC LG 26/9/17 (citation in Suppl 8/1/18)
T/Capt  For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty under exceptional circumstances. When his Corps main dressing station was shelled on three separate occasions, whilst crowded with patients, he supervised and directed the collection and evacuation of the wounded to a place of safety. This was quickly done owing to his coolness, promptitude and disregard of personal danger, which did away with all confusion, and reduced casualties to a minimum.

 

The 134FA War Diary makes no mention of awards but on 6/5/17 Capt Harris MC   ..has returned from ADS to MDS..

So I am happy that all fits- are you ?

 

MrG will give you a number of hits. This one shows his subsequent career and mentions his wounding Aug 1917 but since it gives MC as 1915 and Bar as 1916 some caution may be needed with dates.

 

Charlie

Thank you Charlie,

Yes it certainly fits with my Harris. Appreciate you hard work, it helps to fill another gap and he is no longer just a surname.

What never ceases to amaze me is how some men were chosen for conspicuous gallantry, there must have been thousands of cases of bravery that never got a mention. I guess it all depended on the commanding officer.

 

There are a few entries in my grandfathers diary that made me think these men were either crazy or totally devoted to saving life, the doctor (grandfather) was MID.

 

in one entry he writes that he was happy having been mentioned but  in his  lowly opinion any MO of a battalion serving six months at the front deserved at least MID.

 

At one stage there was a shortage of MO;s to the battalions and a memo was sent out to all field ambulances and not "one" officer volunteered. He was absolutely disgusted as many officers in FA's seemed to be awarded gallantry medals without getting to close to the front. (his words not mine)

Thanks again

Dave

( being cheeky, I don't suppose Huggins gets a mention in the diary ?)

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16 hours ago, RegHannay said:

being cheeky, I don't suppose Huggins gets a mention in the diary

Yes, During 1916 at least.  Do you have anything more on him ? Anything particular you are searching for ? The diary is available free from Discovery (WO 95 2579-1) at the moment if you register- I thought you had it already?

 

Charlie

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7 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Yes, During 1916 at least.  Do you have anything more on him ? Anything particular you are searching for ? The diary is available free from Discovery (WO 95 2579-1) at the moment if you register- I thought you had it already?

 

Charlie

Yes I do have a copy Charlie, but I am finding it almost impossible to read. It is more difficult for me  than my grandfathers diary and that was bad enough. Not to worry, all I have is surname,  and nothing to go on. I assume he survived as I can only see one Huggins RAMC on CWGC and he is not an officer.

Thanks

Dave

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16 hours ago, RegHannay said:

, but I am finding it almost impossible to read. 

I fully understand.

 

The man involved is, I think, George William Huggins, a Dentist rather than a GP. He was born 1881 in Toulouse where his father Thomas was also a dentist (and British Consul). Sent to Liverpool for HMS Conway school and as a midshipman and his RNR service was 1899-1902. He returned to Toulouse and played Rugby for the city (an early British influence !) He went to Philladelphia 1910 for a postgrad course.

 

Army service seems to have started 1915 with the RAMC and he appears in the 134 War Diary as a Lt in early 1916 then as a Capt in 1917, earning an MiD in the LG of 29/5/17. A motorcycle accident injured him 2/7/17 and he was evacuated to 10 Stat Hosp in St Omer.

556228488_GWFHugginsGWToulouse1917.JPG.e7d896bafc539071fbd6d146baaebf33.JPG

 

Charlie

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2 hours ago, charlie962 said:

I fully understand.

 

The man involved is, I think, George William Huggins, a Dentist rather than a GP. He was born 1881 in Toulouse where his father Thomas was also a dentist (and British Consul). Sent to Liverpool for HMS Conway school and as a midshipman and his RNR service was 1899-1902. He returned to Toulouse and played Rugby for the city (an early British influence !) He went to Philladelphia 1910 for a postgrad course.

 

Army service seems to have started 1915 with the RAMC and he appears in the 134 War Diary as a Lt in early 1916 then as a Capt in 1917, earning an MiD in the LG of 29/5/17. A motorcycle accident injured him 2/7/17 and he was evacuated to 10 Stat Hosp in St Omer.

556228488_GWFHugginsGWToulouse1917.JPG.e7d896bafc539071fbd6d146baaebf33.JPG

 

Charlie

Great....... You have cleared up a problem I had Charlie. having a Higgins and Huggins in the diary. I felt sure they were probably the same person and now you have confirmed it, thanks. I think my grandfather originally thought his surname to be "Higgins" and correcting himself later in the diary.

 

A lovely little nugget of interest. - "Higgins (Huggins) is one of the nicest fellows I have met for a long while. He practices dental surgery in Toulouse in partnership with his father and they run the biggest practice in the south of France. He learnt his art in America and is devoted to it heart and soul. He showed me one of his molars and told me how he had a sinus owing to trouble at the root and how - in order to prove his case to some sceptical students - he extracted this tooth himself and the after excising the diseased portion of the root, replaced it. He kept his mouth tightly closed for two days. The result was immediate healing of the sinus and the tooth usefully consolidated in position."  

They certainly bred em tough in those days!!!!!!!!!!

Dave

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6 minutes ago, RegHannay said:

They certainly bred em tough in those days!!

Toulouse was/is a pretty good Rugby club.

 

Your little story fits exactly with what I'd found. His father, Thomas, died 1918. This courtesy Findmypast:

1641410943_GWFHugginsGWFatherDead1918.JPG.0527bd7e5a1947eef3008d5cda4600b7.JPG

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There's a tree here on Ancestry that shows grandchildren

 

Here he is in 1908. Sourced from internet but not sure origin- maybe Toulouse Rugby Club archives ?

975987845_GWFHugginsGWStadeToulouse1918detail.JPG.18a962a0452a5155241593baa9b7266d.JPG

From StadeToulouse's Journal, he was evidently the hooker(talloneur)

Au Stade Toulousain, pendant longtemps,
on resta fermé aux influences extérieures. La présence, dans
la première équipe du club, du talonneur britannique Huggins
demeure anecdotique. Huggins était, en quelque sorte
« naturalisé » toulousain puisque, fils du consul de
Grande-Bretagne à Toulouse, il vivait parmi les indigènes
dont il avait, disait-on, pris le langage chantant et coloré. Il
apportait au pack toulousain un sens du combat, ce « fighting
spirit » qui anime si bien nos voisins insulaires, mais
était-ce une vertu si rare dans un pays où même « les
mémés aiment la castagne » ?

 

In 1942 he was still in Toulouse? I wonder what happen when the Germans occupied the Vichy Zone in Oct1942 ?

He died Paris 1963

Edited by charlie962
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6 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

There's a tree here on Ancestry that shows grandchildren

 

Here he is in 1908. Sourced from internet but not sure origin- maybe Toulouse Rugby Club archives ?

975987845_GWFHugginsGWStadeToulouse1918detail.JPG.18a962a0452a5155241593baa9b7266d.JPG

 

He died Paris 1963

"Fantastic" thanks again. I just wish I was wired to be a researcher. Some are and some ain't." ( lacking in patience I suppose)

Spent months looking for a photo of 36th FA hoping to see picture of my grandfather. I came to the conclusion that one does not exist.

Dave

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23 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

There's a tree here on Ancestry that shows grandchildren

 

Here he is in 1908. Sourced from internet but not sure origin- maybe Toulouse Rugby Club archives ?

975987845_GWFHugginsGWStadeToulouse1918detail.JPG.18a962a0452a5155241593baa9b7266d.JPG

From StadeToulouse's Journal, he was evidently the hooker(talloneur)

Au Stade Toulousain, pendant longtemps,
on resta fermé aux influences extérieures. La présence, dans
la première équipe du club, du talonneur britannique Huggins
demeure anecdotique. Huggins était, en quelque sorte
« naturalisé » toulousain puisque, fils du consul de
Grande-Bretagne à Toulouse, il vivait parmi les indigènes
dont il avait, disait-on, pris le langage chantant et coloré. Il
apportait au pack toulousain un sens du combat, ce « fighting
spirit » qui anime si bien nos voisins insulaires, mais
était-ce une vertu si rare dans un pays où même « les
mémés aiment la castagne » ?

 

In 1942 he was still in Toulouse? I wonder what happen when the Germans occupied the Vichy Zone in Oct1942 ?

He died Paris 1963

Now there's a thought, Interned ??

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