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HI All

 

I am trying to track down the MM Citation of PO Robert Laidlaw TZ/1337 Hawke Bn  RND who was awarded his MM in 16/09/1917 at Blandford Camp.

 

Robert was awarded his medal for actions North of the Ancre 10/12/1916

 

I have found a small newspaper  article stating he killed over 26 Germans from his Dug out 

 

His Service docs give a Gazette reference - 6th Supp  19/02/1917 P1753 , i am having trouble finding it.

 

Would love to read his citation 

 

Any assistance would be appreciated 

 

Thanks 

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https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29953/supplement/1753

about 25th down on left column

regards

Jon

and Edinburgh Issue

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/Edinburgh/issue/13056/page/437

 

header 4 pages earlier says

War Office, 19th February, 1917. His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Non-Commissioned Officers and Men-.—

Edited by jonbem
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Citations are rare for the MM. Sometimes there is mention of a specific action in the War Diary, but again, these are very rare.

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Ivor Anderson

His MM Index Card at the National Archives: WO-372-23-131000.

At least you have the war diary mention of his MM and the newspaper cutting. It is likely that the 4 MMs listed in the WD were for the same action.

If they made the WD on 11 Dec 1916 and the LG in Feb. 1917 then the action was probably in Oct-Nov 1916.

Laidlaw's schedule number is 66856 and Inglis' was 66859, so the other 2 may be 7 and 8.

 

Screen Shot 2021-01-12 at 20.50.32.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Ivor Anderson
5 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

Yes battle of the Ancre , there were 7 MMs awarded for this action , the rest were on the next page of diary 

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Ivor Anderson

Ah. I was looking back in the WD. The extra three make it almost certain that the 7 were for that major action.

The individual citations are unlikely to have survived. At least you have the newspaper clipping. Can you post it here?

Screen Shot 2021-01-12 at 21.38.01.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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After transferring from the eastern Mediterranean to the Western Front, this was the first major action of the RND, in that theatre, and in this battle the 189th Brigade played a significant part. For their sacrifice the brigade were awarded:-

VC – 1, DSO – 2, MC – 14, DCM – 3 and MM – 41

 

“a small newspaper  article stating he killed over 26 Germans from his Dug out”

Rather than 'from his dug-out' I suspect that Laidlaw was in action against a German redoubt which was a huge obstacle in front of the advancing Hawke Battalion. Writing in the battalion history Douglas Jerrold thought that the problem was that the exact position of the redoubt was previously unknown and that therefore it missed getting special artillery attention. He also refers to this redoubt as being “a strongly fortified group of machine guns, skilfully and bravely handled (which) was proof against the strategy of the creeping barrage.”

 

The Hawke's official casualties given by Jerrold were 23 officers and 396 men. It is thought that less than 20 Hawke men came out of the battle unhurt.

 

'The Hawke Battalion' by Douglas Jerrold is available from N&M Press. There is also an excellent article based on Captain Christopher Page's lecture at Sandhurst which appeared in Len Sellers' magazine 'RND' Issue No.2 September 1997. The disc with all the 'RND' issues is available from the Crystal Palace Foundation - http://www.crystalpalacefoundation.org.uk/shop/world-war-1-iwm-the-gt-victory-exhibition/royal-naval-division-w-i-a-d

 

 

Edited by michaeldr
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12 hours ago, Ivor Anderson said:

Ah. I was looking back in the WD. The extra three make it almost certain that the 7 were for that major action.

The individual citations are unlikely to have survived. At least you have the newspaper clipping. Can you post it here?

Screen Shot 2021-01-12 at 21.38.01.png

 

20210113_112855.jpg

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2 hours ago, michaeldr said:

After transferring from the eastern Mediterranean to the Western Front, this was the first major action of the RND, in that theatre, and in this battle the 189th Brigade played a significant part. For their sacrifice the brigade were awarded:-

VC – 1, DSO – 2, MC – 14, DCM – 3 and MM – 41

 

“a small newspaper  article stating he killed over 26 Germans from his Dug out”

Rather than 'from his dug-out' I suspect that Laidlaw was in action against a German redoubt which was a huge obstacle in front of the advancing Hawke Battalion. Writing in the battalion history Douglas Jerrold thought that the problem was that the exact position of the redoubt was previously unknown and that therefore it missed getting special artillery attention. He also refers to this redoubt as being “a strongly fortified group of machine guns, skilfully and bravely handled (which) was proof against the strategy of the creeping barrage.”

 

The Hawke's official casualties given by Jerrold were 23 officers and 396 men. It is thought that less than 20 Hawke men came out of the battle unhurt.

 

'The Hawke Battalion' by Douglas Jerrold is available from N&M Press. There is also an excellent article based on Captain Christopher Page's lecture at Sandhurst which appeared in Len Sellers' magazine 'RND' Issue No.2 September 1997. The disc with all the 'RND' issues is available from the Crystal Palace Foundation - http://www.crystalpalacefoundation.org.uk/shop/world-war-1-iwm-the-gt-victory-exhibition/royal-naval-division-w-i-a-d

Maybe or maybe not , im sure they had to clear a lot of dug outs before they got to dig in on the outskirts of Beaucourt. Could have made up some of the composite force taking the village ? without the citation its all speculation unfortunately. I have tried to research him , but nothing much comes up, Still surprises me , that you can have someone who was remarkable but is forgotten over time, very sad

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20 hours ago, NR72 said:

from his Dug out 

 

7 minutes ago, NR72 said:

20210113_112855.jpg

 

Yes, "from one dug-out" is more likely than "from his dug-out"

Edited by michaeldr
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13 minutes ago, michaeldr said:

 

 

Yes, "from one dug-out" is more likely than "from his dug-out"

yes definitely

 

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Ivor Anderson
34 minutes ago, NR72 said:

Still surprises me , that you can have someone who was remarkable but is forgotten over time, very sad

Sadly, the MM citations were not published in the LG (unlike the MC, DCM etc.) and the typed citations were later officially destroyed.

We are dependent on war diaries, newspapers, regimental histories or surviving MM certificates.

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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On 13/01/2021 at 10:31, NR72 said:

 

20210113_112855.jpg

 

In this battle the first wave of RND to move forward was made up of (l to r) Howe, Hood, Hawke.

Freyberg VC of the Hood, provided some notes on this battle which Asquith added to the diary of their friend and comrade F S Kelly DSC who died here. In those notes Freyberg describes the German strong points on this line, and those faced by the Hood are almost certain to be very similar if not the same as those faced by their neighbour the Hawke.

“The dugouts were elaborate two-storyed affairs, with electric light and in one case, a lift. ... ... ... ... 

The situation was critical. Unless the strongpoint was captured at once, enemy machine guns would pop up everywhere; hesitation would have endangered the success of the whole attack on our front.”

 

[quote from 'Kelly's War – the Great War Diary of Frederick Kelly 1914-1916' edited by the late Jon Cooksey & Graham McKechnie]

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12 minutes ago, michaeldr said:

 

In this battle the first wave of RND to move forward was made up of (l to r) Howe, Hood, Hawke.

Freyberg VC of the Hood, provided some notes on this battle which Asquith added to the diary of their friend and comrade F S Kelly DSC who died here. In those notes Freyberg describes the German strong points on this line, and those faced by the Hood are almost certain to be very similar if not the same as those faced by their neighbour the Hawke.

“The dugouts were elaborate two-storyed affairs, with electric light and in one case, a lift. ... ... ... ... 

The situation was critical. Unless the strongpoint was captured at once, enemy machine guns would pop up everywhere; hesitation would have endangered the success of the whole attack on our front.”

 

[quote from 'Kelly's War – the Great War Diary of Frederick Kelly 1914-1916' edited by the late Jon Cooksey & Graham McKechnie]

yes , I have found a newspaper report which Laidlaw states he threw a "Smoke bomb" into a German dug out and shot 26 Germans as they came out 

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Ivor Anderson

The captured fortifications are described in the WD on the day after the attack (Ancestry link as previously). Tanks were involved.

He could have engaged one of the connected 'machine gun emplacements and sniper posts'.

 

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 12.28.05.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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On 13/01/2021 at 08:24, michaeldr said:

The Hawke's official casualties given by Jerrold were 23 officers and 396 men. It is thought that less than 20 Hawke men came out of the battle unhurt.

 

 

Just to emphasise how tough this battle was, the Hood casualties are noted by Freyberg VC as

“Of the 25 officers and 535 other ranks who had crossed no man's land 20 minutes earlier, but 4 officers and 250 men answered the roll-call on the captured objective.

 

 

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2 hours ago, NR72 said:

I have found a newspaper report which Laidlaw states he threw a "Smoke bomb"

 

Freyberg also has a ref to

"... we passed the burning entrances of dugouts, which showed that the phosphorus bombs were taking effect."

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2 hours ago, michaeldr said:

 

Freyberg also has a ref to

"... we passed the burning entrances of dugouts, which showed that the phosphorus bombs were taking effect."

Yes fits perfectly 

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