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ICRC query - Robert Alfred Wake 24436


Gunner 87

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Hello, I wonder if any member would be able to advise on the following.

 

A relative, Private Robert Alfred Wake 24436 of the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, died of wounds on the 24th November 1916 while a Prisoner of War. This is confirmed by two entries in the Army Registers of Soldiers Effects and the CWGC, who also record Robert commemorated at Niederzwehren Cemetery, near to where the POW Camp was located. 

 

While the ICRC must have informed the British authorities of Roberts capture and subsequent death we can find no trace of his record. As such, the date and place where Robert was taken prisoner is unknown. 

 

Is there any other database that may provide further details of his capture and is it likely just a case of the ICRC record being missing? One initial thought was that Robert was so gravely wounded he died before registration but the fact that his records list him as a POW with his date of death surely mean the ICRC were involved in passing this information on. 

 

many thanks in advance.

Edited by Gunner 87
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Hi,

When a family were informed that a soldier was missing in action, this sometimes prompted a missing persons request to the ICRC. In many cases, the person was a POW. In certain other cases, the man was misplaced, or was never seen again.

What are the ICRC records that you have been able to locate for this man, please?

Thanks

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2 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

Hi,

When a family were informed that a soldier was missing in action, this sometimes prompted a missing persons request to the ICRC. In many cases, the person was a POW. In certain other cases, the man was misplaced, or was never seen again.

What are the ICRC records that you have been able to locate for this man, please?

Thanks

 

 I have checked the ICRC site and found no trace of any records relating to Robert. 

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3 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

 I have no idea how my father and I both missed that, we have searched time and again Thank you and also to @Keith_history_buff for answering. 

Edited by Gunner 87
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Just posted a second card which has a lot more info

 

incidentally when searching ICRC it's surname first.

 

 

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1 minute ago, kenf48 said:

Just posted a second card which has a lot more info

 

incidentally when searching ICRC it's surname first.

 

 

very much appreciated, thank you. 

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Quote

further details of his capture 



Taken prisoner on 23 July 1916 according to document R13991, with further details, probably in German, on the various PA sheets. Hats off to Ken for knowing his way around the ICRC database, and posting the links.

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2 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:



Taken prisoner on 23 July 1916 according to document R13991, with further details, probably in German, on the various PA sheets. Hats off to Ken for knowing his way around the ICRC database, and posting the links.

 

Thanks Keith_history_buff... just a little embarrassing on my behalf having used the site many time before. Following the links Ken put up is fine and I have found all the records but if I start from scratch again on the home page I'm still not finding it!! Not sure what I doing wrong! Must be having a senior moment!!

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6 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

Taken prisoner on 23 July 1916

This would suitably link with the 22 July 1916 date for ToW service on the BWM & VM Medal Roll [on Ancestry]

Puzzlingly I can't find the corresponding MIC on Ancestry though [?] - but available at the National Archives https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D5699594 [free to download]

:-) M

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1 minute ago, Matlock1418 said:

This would suitably link with the 22 July 1916 date for ToW service on the BWM & VM Medal Roll [on Ancestry]

Puzzlingly I can't find the corresponding MIC on Ancestry though [?] - but available at the National Archives https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D5699594 [free to download]

:-) M

 M, the MIC is not on Fold3 either which is unusual. Thank you for the link. 

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ICRC: It's free, but quirky. It is possible to access it via FMP, with its superior search facility, but you have to pay the premium of a FMP subscription.

It was via the medium of FMP that I came across an ICRC card for a man who was reported missing in action, but was "lost". His service record is with the MOD, and he is not a family member, so the story of his disappearance and resurfacing remains a mystery. Some illuminating newspaper articles documented his military career continuing into the interwar period, found via FMP's British Newspaper Archive.

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3 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

ICRC: It's free, but quirky. It is possible to access it via FMP, with its superior search facility, but you have to pay the premium of a FMP subscription.

It was via the medium of FMP that I came across an ICRC card for a man who was reported missing in action, but was "lost". His service record is with the MOD, and he is not a family member, so the story of his disappearance and resurfacing remains a mystery. Some illuminating newspaper articles documented his military career continuing into the interwar period, found via FMP's British Newspaper Archive.

 That might be it, I was searching directly on the ICRC site and all was getting was Wakeling. I very much appreciate your advice.

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41 minutes ago, Gunner 87 said:

That might be it, I was searching directly on the ICRC site and all was getting was Wakeling. I very much appreciate your advice.

I was in the site, it's described as 'quirky' which is a bit of an understatement;)

 

What they have done is put the index cards in blocks, presumably as they were in the original card index.

So there is a block of cards that begins with WAIR (219) or 219 index cards before the next block that begins WAKELING (306) 306 index cards. They are alphabetical so Wake must come before Wakeling, and obviously after Wair.  You're in luck if the man you're searching for is, for example Wakeling but to find Wake you have to dig a little deeper and scroll down all 219 cards, or until you find the Wake you're looking for.

And as previously posted surname first.

hth everyone

 

TBH I found the first one but then wasn't sure so carried on scrolling to check and the second typed card is the next one

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3 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

I was in the site, it was described as 'quirky' which is a bit of an understatement;)

 

I think what they have done is put the index cards in blocks, so there is a block of cards that begins with WAIR (219) or 219 index cards before the next block that begins WAKELING (306) 306 index cards. They are alphabetical so

 

Just scrolled down from WAIR and found both index cards so spot on Ken. Will remember that for future ref. The R13991 report is very detailed and a great addition to our family history. Thank you for taking the time to explain that. 

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2 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

This would suitably link with the 22 July 1916 date for ToW service on the BWM & VM Medal Roll [on Ancestry]

Puzzlingly I can't find the corresponding MIC on Ancestry though [?] - but available at the National Archives https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D5699594 [free to download]

:-) M

 Hi M, sorry to trouble you again. I don't have access to Ancestry, only Fold3, so can't look at Robert's Medal Roll. Would you mind confirming which Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers he served with. The CWGC have him with the 10th but his ICRC records list the 14th attached to the 19th Manchester Regiment. 

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Medal Roll is 10th Royal Fusiliers

ToW 1a [i.e. France] 7.7.16 - 22.7.16

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
Added ToW details
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1 minute ago, Matlock1418 said:

Medal Roll is 10th Royal Fusiliers

:-) M

 Thanks M. I wonder why he gave the 14th RF attached to the 19th Manchesters. The LLT has the 14th as a Reserve and the 10th in a different Division to the Manchesters. Disinformation when captured or a recording error possibly!

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In the middle of July 1916 the Manchester Battalions in 30th Div received large drafts of men as replacements for the opening attacks on the Somme.  Many of these drafts came from other regiments and the men were only attached until they were formerly transferred a few months later.  Many were killed at Guillemont with no attachment noted on the records, leaving no record as to why they were dead - oftern the nominated Bttn was nowhere near the front.  I've completed a project for 30 July involving a vast number of attachments being added for 30 July and a number of relocation of commemorations.  Sadly I didn't look at 19th Bttn at Guillemont on 23 July, where they were virtually wiped out.  I imagine there are bunch of R Fusils who died with them on attachment.  A project for another rainy day.  Proof is not always easy.

Tim

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8 minutes ago, 8055Bell said:

In the middle of July 1916 the Manchester Battalions in 30th Div received large drafts of men as replacements for the opening attacks on the Somme.  Many of these drafts came from other regiments and the men were only attached until they were formerly transferred a few months later.  Many were killed at Guillemont with no attachment noted on the records, leaving no record as to why they were dead - oftern the nominated Bttn was nowhere near the front.  I've completed a project for 30 July involving a vast number of attachments being added for 30 July and a number of relocation of commemorations.  Sadly I didn't look at 19th Bttn at Guillemont on 23 July, where they were virtually wiped out.  I imagine there are bunch of R Fusils who died with them on attachment.  A project for another rainy day.  Proof is not always easy.

Tim

 

Tim. Thank you for taking the time to explain that, very much appreciated. Robert's date of capture appears a little ambiguous as one record seems to indicate 27th July and mentions St Quintin, which I understand was under German occupation, another, 30th July at Guillemont. I doubt we'll ever know but your research certainly validate's the record of Robert being attached to the Manchesters. 

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He will have been held at St Quentin from 27 July, rather than being captured their.  I can't explain 30 July as a date, although some capture date errors are note on IRRC records.  19th Bttn were not in the line on 30 July, but there were numerous Royal Fusils attached to 30 Div on that date.  No deaths from 10th or 14th RF though. I'd be more confident this is an error.

 

The explanation for 14th RF on the IRRC will be that will have been his training Bttn.  He must have been posted to 14th RF for overseas service but attached to the Manchesters at the IBD before he actually arrived with 10th RF.

 

If you look at 30 July records you'll see some casualties posted to Reserve Bttns and others with front line Bttns.  Both being attached to other units.  I have the impression that family members weren't necessarily aware of attachments and IWGC certainly wasn't, as 23 commemorations have been moved to Thiepval from other memorials this year.  We had a bunch that moved to the Menin Gate too.

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9 minutes ago, 8055Bell said:

He will have been held at St Quentin from 27 July, rather than being captured their.  I can't explain 30 July as a date, although some capture date errors are note on IRRC records.  19th Bttn were not in the line on 30 July, but there were numerous Royal Fusils attached to 30 Div on that date.  No deaths from 10th or 14th RF though. I'd be more confident this is an error.

 

The explanation for 14th RF on the IRRC will be that will have been his training Bttn.  He must have been posted to 14th RF for overseas service but attached to the Manchesters at the IBD before he actually arrived with 10th RF.

 

If you look at 30 July records you'll see some casualties posted to Reserve Bttns and others with front line Bttns.  Both being attached to other units.  I have the impression that family members weren't necessarily aware of attachments and IWGC certainly wasn't, as 23 commemorations have been moved to Thiepval from other memorials this year.  We had a bunch that moved to the Menin Gate too.

 

Thats fantastic, I very much appreciate your help. Of note, I have gone through the nine ICRC records again and found the date of capture listed as 23rd July 1916 which ties in with the 19th Manchester's being virtually wiped out on that date. Guillemont is then mentioned next to the 27th and 30th July, so wonder if he was held locally or when the village was still in German hands. St Quintin is then mentioned on the record for the 9th September. This now seems to be a logical. In short, captured, held locally then moved to St Quintin before being transported to Germany. 

 

 

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The reference to St. Quentin relates to his stay and treatment in the German hospital there before being transferred by hospital train to Ohrdruf and Langensalza.

Charlie

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9 minutes ago, charlie2 said:

The reference to St. Quentin relates to his stay and treatment in the German hospital there before being transferred by hospital train to Ohrdruf and Langensalza.

Charlie

 Thank you Charlie, with that and the information  @8055Bell has provided we appear to have a confirmed chronological sequence of events... very much appreciated. 

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1 hour ago, Gunner 87 said:

St Quintin is then mentioned on the record for the 9th September.

The dates stamped on the documents are the dates the ICRC processed the documents not the date they were drawn up by the Germans. To find the actual date of a document it is necessary to scroll to the top of the list. PA 6110 is stamped 9th Sept but scroll to PA6106 and you will find it is the cover sheet to the list and records that it is a nominal roll of British PoWs who arrived at the PoW Hospital Langensalza on the 28th July.

 

Charlie

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