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Remembered Today:

Edward David Jones 41282


Lakerspete
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Good Evening 

Could I request some pointers and guidance as to where my Great Uncle served and was killed.

He is listed as died 11th April 1918 serving in the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers and is commentated on Ploegstreet Memorial.

He was 18 years old and family stories were that he was killed by a shell and that’s why he has no grave.

His mother kept her back door unlocked until her death in the 50’s in the hope he would one day return home and so not find himself locked out.

I’m trying to find his route from enlistment to the 11th April. 
 

In particular if I could try and pinpoint the exact area (as far as possible) were he was in action when killed.

Thank you.

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Hello Lakerspete and welcome to the forum

Could we start with what you know of him, name age DOB where he came from etc etc then the GWF  will spring into action and hopefully provide you with the answers

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Welcome to the forum.

The red cross enquiry form says that he was D Company of the 2nd Bn when reported missing 11/4/18. 

Charlie

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14 minutes ago, adrian 1008 said:

Hello Lakerspete and welcome to the forum

Could we start with what you know of him, name age DOB where he came from etc etc then the GWF  will spring into action and hopefully provide you with the answers

Hi Adrian - Edward David Jones, he was from Minera near Wrexham, North Wales. I need to find his DOB. I will post it as soon as I have it. 

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15 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

Welcome to the forum.

The red cross enquiry form says that he was D Company of the 2nd Bn when reported missing 11/4/18. 

Charlie

Hi Charlie, can you point me to a link or somewhere I can find that form please ? The commonwealth war memorial record stats 1st Bn that’s all I have to go on at the moment.

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6 minutes ago, Lakerspete said:

Hi Charlie, can you point me to a link or somewhere I can find that form please ? The commonwealth war memorial record stats 1st Bn that’s all I have to go on at the moment.

Both Soldier Died in the Great War and the Red Cross Enquiry state 2nd Bn. Here is the enquiry form on Findmypast 

"Record Transcription: British Red Cross & Order Of St John Enquiry List, Wounded & Missing, 1914-1919 | findmypast.co.uk" https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcript?id=GBM%2FNMPWW1ENQUIRY%2F147386 

And from same FMP here is their SDGW transcript.

"Record Transcription: Soldiers Died In The Great War 1914-1919 | findmypast.co.uk" https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcript?id=GBM%2FWWISD%2F0284620

Edited by charlie962
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There is a reference to previous service with R welsh Fus with a service No 69200

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Thanks guys, I’m going to get signed up. Do both sites hold the same information or is it worth subscribing to both ?

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Hi Pete,

15 minutes ago, Lakerspete said:

Do both sites hold the same information or is it worth subscribing to both ?

A good question, often asked. It's a bit like "you pay your money, you take your choice"

There isn't a definitive answer. It might be worth reading this though - link

Regards
Chris

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2 minutes ago, clk said:

Hi Pete,

A good question, often asked. It's a bit like "you pay your money, you take your choice"

There isn't a definitive answer. It might be worth reading this though - link

Regards
Chris

Thanks Chris, much appreciated 

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By looking at near numbers with surviving service records, I think he was mobilised July 1917 to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, (possibly having volunteered late 1915 under the Derby Scheme). He was allocated number 69220.

He will have landed in France with RWF 3rd Bn, probably 31/10/17, and gone to the Infantry Base Depot. There he would have been in a group of men transferred to 2nd Bn South Wales Borderers on 8/11/17 and he would have been renumbered 41282.

The medal roll I linked above shows these postings in France, and also notes another spell back at IBD before returning to 2SWB. Such a posting back to IBD would normally be due to wounding or serious sickness requiring hospitalisation and thus being temporarily struck off strength of the frontline unit. 

Charlie 

ps. Look at the preceding and subsequent pages of that medal roll and you will see all those other men being trf'd from RWF to SWB with very similar numbers.

Edited by charlie962
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9 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

By looking at near numbers with surviving service records, I think he was mobilised July 1917 to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, (possibly having volunteered late 1915 under the Derby Scheme). He was allocated number 69220.

He will have landed in France with RWF 3rd Bn, probably 31/10/17, and gone to the Infantry Base Depot. There he would have been in a group of men transferred to 2nd Bn South Wales Borderers on 8/11/17 and he would have been renumbered 41282.

The medal roll I linked above shows these postings in France, and also notes another spell back at IBD before returning to 2SWB. Such a posting back to IBD would normally be due to wounding or serious sickness requiring hospitalisation and thus being temporarily struck off strength of the frontline unit. 

Charlie 

ps. Look at the preceding and subsequent pages of that medal roll and you will see all those other men being trf'd from RWF to SWB with very similar numbers.

Thanks for this, joined both sites for the moment although I can just buy single docs on FMP.

What’s the best way to find out where he was on the 11-4-18 ?

Again any pointers much appreciated 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Lakerspete said:

Thanks for this, joined both sites for the moment although I can just buy single docs on FMP.

What’s the best way to find out where he was on the 11-4-18 ?

Again any pointers much appreciated 

 

 

War diary of the 2nd Bn SWB, particularly looking for D Company men.

I'll try to post link... 

... Here at Nat Archives, free to download if you register. 

"2 Battalion South Wales Borderers | The National Archives" https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7353579

Edited by charlie962
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War Diary also on Ancestry and relevant page 11/4/18 starts here.

"Ancestry.co.uk - UK, World War I War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920" https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/60779/images/43112_2304_2-00293?backlabel=ReturnSearchResults&queryId=091e44ba3adac5dbc4f99c61dc009321&pId=476515

The D company was in the front line when the Germans launched their attack on the division. This presumably came under Operation Georgette which started on 9/4/18 as second phase of the German Spring Offensives. 

11/4/18 was also the day Haig issued his 'backs to the wall' Order of the Day.

Charlie

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2 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

War Diary also on Ancestry and relevant page 11/4/18 starts here.

"Ancestry.co.uk - UK, World War I War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920" https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/60779/images/43112_2304_2-00293?backlabel=ReturnSearchResults&queryId=091e44ba3adac5dbc4f99c61dc009321&pId=476515

The D company was in the front line when the Germans launched their attack on the division. This presumably came under Operation Georgette which started on 9/4/18 as second phase of the German Spring Offensives. 

11/4/18 was also the day Haig issued his 'backs to the wall' Order of the Day.

Charlie

Thank you Charlie. Really appreciated.

Learnt so much tonight. Will keep researching.

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Read the diary because you get a sense of the desperate situation. The Bn suffered over 500 killed, wounded or missing for the two days 11th and 12th.

Edited by charlie962
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With everyone’s help I have now found and read the 2nd Bn SWB war diary for the 11th. 
704 OR reduced to 140 by the end of the day.

They appear to have been strung out in a long line to the north of Estaires if my geography is correct but were completely overrun.

Going to try to Google maps of the area for the battle to see if I can pinpoint the position further if I can.

Can someone give me some background as to to why very few bodies appear to have been located and recovered even after the war ? Or was it just a case of leaving men were they fell here.

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2 hours ago, Lakerspete said:

Can someone give me some background as to to why very few bodies appear to have been located and recovered even after the war ? Or was it just a case of leaving men were they fell here.

I suspect that the majority of those missing were in fact taken pow rather than killed. I haven't seen the corrected final stats. The bodies of some of those killed may well have been lost as the Germans advanced and the hen later retreated meaning the same ground was fought over at least twice. The artillery will have been heavy.

Charlie

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9 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

I suspect that the majority of those missing were in fact taken pow rather than killed. I haven't seen the corrected final stats. The bodies of some of those killed may well have been lost as the Germans advanced and the hen later retreated meaning the same ground was fought over at least twice. The artillery will have been heavy.

Charlie

Really ? What happened to the POW ? Do we know.

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Hi Pete,

21 hours ago, Lakerspete said:

What’s the best way to find out where he was on the 11-4-18 ?

Again any pointers much appreciated

Depending on how much more context that you would like to the events of the day, it would be worth considering downloading the higher level war diaries of the 87 Infantry Brigade HQ, and 29 Division HQ (General Staff) as they often contain 'extras' such as orders and reports on operations that aren't included in the lower level Battalion diary. If you register for a free account with the National Archives (see here), they are available as free downloads from here and here. There is help on reading map references here. It's quite common in the main body of the diary for the references to be truncated and not show the map sheet reference (the initial part of the full reference), If it's shown elsewhere, or you can work it out (for example by using a place name search on this website), then this website should prove useful

Regards
Chris

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1 hour ago, clk said:

Hi Pete,

Depending on how much more context that you would like to the events of the day, it would be worth considering downloading the higher level war diaries of the 87 Infantry Brigade HQ, and 29 Division HQ (General Staff) as they often contain 'extras' such as orders and reports on operations that aren't included in the lower level Battalion diary. If you register for a free account with the National Archives (see here), they are available as free downloads from here and here. There is help on reading map references here. It's quite common in the main body of the diary for the references to be truncated and not show the map sheet reference (the initial part of the full reference), If it's shown elsewhere, or you can work it out (for example by using a place name search on this website), then this website should prove useful

Regards
Chris

Thank you Chris, that’s much appreciated 

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9 hours ago, Lakerspete said:

Really ? What happened to the POW ? Do we know.

CWGC search of deaths 2nd Bn 11/4-12/4/18 gives 119 names of which some 91 are comemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/search-results/?Surname=&Forename=&Initials=&ServiceNum=&Regiment=south+wales+borderers&WarSelect=1&DateDeathFromDay=10&DateDeathFromMonth=April&DateDeathFromYear=1918&DateDeathToDay=12&DateDeathToMonth=April&DateDeathToYear=1918&DateOfDeath=&CountryCommemoratedIn=null&Cemetery=&Unit=2nd&Rank=&SecondaryRegiment=&AgeOfDeath=0&Honours=null&AdditionalInfo=&Sort=cemeterymemorial&Page=1

Here is a rough search on findmypast for some pow records of SWB men captured 11/4/18. It is just to get a flavour because there will be errors, omissions and duplications with the search criteria I've used but you may wish to follow up some of these men?

https://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/results?sourcecategory=armed+forces+%26+conflict&sid=101&keywords=11+apr+1918+wales+borderers&keywordsplace_proximity=5&datasetname=prisoners+of+war+1715-1945&sourcecountry=great+britain

Charlie

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12 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Thanks Charlie, most of D coy captured Estaires according to these records. 
 

Anyone got any idea why his memorial states 1st Bn SWB when everything else points to 2nd Bn ? 

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On 15/04/2022 at 21:57, Lakerspete said:

Good Evening 

Could I request some pointers and guidance as to where my Great Uncle served and was killed.

He is listed as died 11th April 1918 serving in the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers and is commentated on Ploegstreet Memorial.

He was 18 years old and family stories were that he was killed by a shell and that’s why he has no grave.

His mother kept her back door unlocked until her death in the 50’s in the hope he would one day return home and so not find himself locked out.

I’m trying to find his route from enlistment to the 11th April. 
 

In particular if I could try and pinpoint the exact area (as far as possible) were he was in action when killed.

Thank you.

What a moving thing to have kept up for all thse years lakerspete.

We will never know the heart wrenching pain that our ancestors endured...some, all their lives. 

Hopefully...

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