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Remembered Today:

7th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry at Capture of Langemark August 1917


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Ivor Anderson

The 7th KOYLI were involved in the capture of Langemark in August 1917.

 

They seem to have been awarded a VC, 3 DCMs & 9 MMs for the Battle of Langemark on 16 August 1917.

VC - Pte. Wilfred Edwards 13303 - for leading the attack when all officers were dead or wounded. Clearing an obstruction by bombing through loopholes in a concrete bunker that had pinned down their advance via machine gun fire.

DCM 14015 L/Cpl. Albert Powell assisting Edwards by firing machine gun through a loophole in the concrete bunker

Edwards and Powell are mentioned in the WD account of the action. A further 2 have DCM citations in the same LG as Powell.

DCM 2305 Cpl. Joseph Havenhand for bombing a machine gun concrete post

DCM 6772 CSM Albert Taylor - who although wounded, led men to capture the objective 

 

9 MMs to the 7th KOYLI in LG 30340, 18 October 1917 (LG for August 1917) Consecutive schedule nos. listed on right:

12297 Sgt. George Henry Jackson           105501 - Mentioned in the WD account of the action

20100 Sgt. Sam Goodman                      105502 - Mentioned in the WD account of the action

18232 Cpl. L. O’Marr                              105503

15780  Pte. George Henry Parr               105504 

10976 L/Cpl. William Henry Eckersley     105505  Died 2 April 1918

20565 Pte. John Scally                            105506

26093 Pte. Arthur Huggins                     105507 KIA 30 Nov 1917

27855 Pte. William Stocks                       105508

16933 Pte. Joseph George Game             105509 (Bar 1918)

 

The 7th Bn. suffered 20 ORs killed, 173 wounded and 8 missing during 16/17th August 1917.

 

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Ivor Anderson

This section is from the 61st Infantry Brigade's account of the Battle (16-08-1917). The KOYLI action took place at REITRES FARM:

Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 08.04.12.png

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Ivor Anderson

The VC citation from the 14 September 1917 LG & 2 of the DCM citations from LG 25 January 1918:

Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 08.28.51.png

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Ivor Anderson

I'm currently trying to research MM recipient Pte. William Stocks (27855) who the LG says was from Doncaster. (TNA image).

He later served also with the 1/4th Bn. before going to the reserve on 10/10/1919. He did not get a star, so he did not arrive it France with the Bn. on 24 July 1915. There are a number of William Stocks from the Doncaster district in the 1890s but no obvious candidate.

 

Screen Shot 2021-04-15 at 07.51.20.png

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charlie962

27855 Pte W Stocks of the 7 KOYLI (20 Div) was admitted  to 11 CCS from sick convoy, with 2 comrades all suffering from for Scabies on 26/1/1918, discharged to duty 6/2/1918 , with 2 years completed service and 15 mths with Field Force. Aged 32 at that date.

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charlie962

FindmyPast have a Militia and ShortService attestation for a William Stocks of Doncaster  but born 1884 ? Discharged - not likely to become an efficient soldier! It would be interesting to learn if it was he who subsequently won the MM.

Edited by charlie962
correcting birth year!
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Ivor Anderson
36 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

27855 Pte W Stocks of the 7 KOYLI (20 Div) was admitted  to 11 CCS from sick convoy, with 2 comrades all suffering from for Scabies on 26/1/1918, discharged to duty 6/2/1918 , with 2 years completed service and 15 mths with Field Force. Aged 32 at that date.

Thanks Charlie! Being 32 in very early 1918 makes it likely that he is the William Stocks with a birth registered in Doncaster District in Q2 1895 (9c 834).

The birth registered at Doncaster in Q2 1896 (9c 792) would not yet be 32 in Jan/Feb 1918. I think that rules out the 1884 one?

The 1884 one joined the KOYLI as 7313 in 1903 and seems to be on the 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses aged 7, 17 & 27.

I cannot see the 1895 (or 1896) one in the censuses.

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charlie962
6 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

William Stocks with a birth registered in Doncaster District in Q2 1895 (9c 834).

I cannot see that registration ??  1885 or 1895 ??

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Ivor Anderson

Oops! Apologies - been doing heavy work in the garden today! :) 1884-85 it is then! He must have been a 'you'll do rightly' in 1916!

1891 Census (possibly)https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=6598&h=6801144&tid=&pid=&queryId=0eb8953e4ca736558c4c2559ebbc2e94&usePUB=true&_phsrc=AHE11553&_phstart=successSource

Lodging at 10 Church Lane Doncaster in 1901, aged 17 - occ. 'boxmaker'.

It may be him who died in Q1 1937 aged 53 (9c 1186): https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=7579&h=32890098&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=6598Screen Shot 2021-04-18 at 14.03.50.png

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charlie962

If those are the man then I think for the 1911 Census he is the 27 year old William Stockes, single, lodging in Doncaster, labourer, firewood ? Its the only possible I can find

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Ivor Anderson

Thanks Charlie. Yes, lodging at 1 Burton's Yard, Portland Place, Doncaster aged 27. Birth reg. Q1 1884.

Looking back at the 1881 census his mother's name was Jane. Father John (b.Q2 1842).

SIBLINGS: 3 brothers: Henry (b.1873), George (b.1874) and Arthur (b.1877), and 3 sisters Alice (b.Q3 1880), Lily (b.Q2 1882) and Mary Elizabeth (b.Q4 1886). Another sister Florence was born Q1 1878 and is on the 1881 census, but died Q1 1882 aged 4.

MARRIAGE of a John Stocks and Jane Barker in Doncaster Q1 1873. A Jane Stocks died in Doncaster aged 43 in Q3 1887.

The father John seems to have died Q1 1912 aged 69.

 

So going by your casualty data he enlisted early 1916 and was in theatre about 9 months later in c. September 1916.

The only problem is as you say that 1918-32 = 1886. Unless he knocked 2 years off his age at enlistment?

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charlie962
3 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

Unless he knocked 2 years off his age at enlistment?

The data on Hospital Admissions is not always 100%. I agree it unsatisfactory that we are 'plumping' for this man with nothing firmer than he's the only William Stocks we can see from Doncaster over a four year span!

Charlie

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Ivor Anderson

The position of the concrete blockhouses at REITRES FARM is clearly seen to the left of Langemark on this contemporary XIV Corps map

(TNA ref. WO 95/913/2):

 

Screen Shot 2021-04-25 at 05.42.35.png

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Ivor Anderson
On 23/04/2021 at 07:54, Ivor Anderson said:

9 MMs to the 7th KOYLI in LG 30340, 18 October 1917 (LG for August 1917) Consecutive schedule nos. listed on right:

12297 Sgt. George H Jackson           105501

20100 Sgt. Sam Goodman               105502

This extract from the end of the WD account of the action mentions the 2 sergeants (Acting CSMs) who were among the MM recipients (TNA WO-95-2127-2_10). The other MM winners must have been among the surviving 25/26 who reached the first objective - BLUE LINE (MMs go to survivors).

It was for helping to consolidate this 1st objective that CSM Albert Taylor won the DCM (LG citation of 25 Jan 1918 attached):

Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 03.52.23.png

7 Bn YLI.png

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Ivor Anderson

Many of those from 7th Bn. KOYLI killed on 16th August 1917 are buried in Oosttaverne or Sanctuary Wood Cemeteries or are listed as missing on the Tyne Cot Memorial - Panels 108-111: https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/search-results/?Surname=&Forename=&Initials=&ServiceNum=&Regiment=king's+own+yorkshire+light+infantry&WarSelect=1&Unit=7th&DateDeathFromDay=16&DateDeathFromMonth=August&DateDeathFromYear=1917&DateDeathToDay=17&DateDeathToMonth=August&DateDeathToYear=1917&DateOfDeath=&CountryCommemoratedIn=null&Cemetery=&Rank=&SecondaryRegiment=&AgeOfDeath=0&Honours=null&AdditionalInfo=

 

Among the officers killed on 16th August 1917 were: Capt. Reginald Cuthbert Welsford Smithers, 2 Lt. Jonathan Napier, 2 Lt. Leonard Whitaker and 2 Lt. Carleton Douglas Yearwood. Capt. R. Wright DSO died on 17th August.

 

The casualty list for the action seems to be in 25 September 1917 (CSM Taylor 6772 in list): https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/194142146

Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 08.47.42.png

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Ivor Anderson

The MM and War Medal of William Stocks arrived from Canada today: 

DSC_0178.JPG

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