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Remembered Today:

2/Lt Hubert Stephen Slepowron de Jastrzebski - 24th Battalion London Regiment


Neil Mackenzie
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According to CWGC (and his MIC) Hubert was a member of 24th Bn London Regiment and was kia on 5/4/1917 aged 22.

He apparently died at 5thCCS of wounds received at Havrincourt Wood the day before (according to 'Croydon and the Great War') and is buried at Bray Military Cemetery.

However, I cannot find any War Diary to explain his death. I also did not think we were

near Havrincourt in April 1917.

Any help you can give would be appreciated.

Many thanks

Neil

 

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CWGC  records only 2 deaths - both officers- for 24 London in April 1917.  The War Diary for 172 Infantry Brigade records all units in training on 5th April and no sign of any offensive operations or attacks on the Brigade in the days before that.   The casualty return for the month (Appendix 10) is missing from the Diary.

     There may be a clue in the fate of the other officer, 2Lt Herbert Snell  - killed in action on 7th April  while on attachment to the Lancashire Fusiliers.  Would it be a reasonable line of thought that your man was also on attachment???   May take some slogging to find out which battalions of the LF in France were in action. It may also explain why there are 2 officers listed as killed but no OR of 24 London.

 

image.png.ed17652863afed44c82b7e8f2568710d.png

 

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - Saturday 21 April 1917

With Thanks to British Newspaper Archive No copyright holder of original text located by BNA or British Library Board

    

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I did wonder that Alan but wasn't too sure where to start.

But your comment did make me think again and I have looked at CWGC for men who were killed on 4 April 1917. There are a lot buried in Neuville-Bourjonval (11th Bn Rifle Brigade) and Metz-en-Coutre (10th and 11th KRRC) cemeteries. Both are due west of Havrincourt so I am going to look at their War Diaries to see if there are any clues.

Thanks.

Neil

 

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He was with 11th Battalion Rifle Brigade! Thanks again Alan.

Neil

 

Edited by Neil Mackenzie
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Good news on that one!   Phew!! That was easier than I thought it would be- seeing where the casualties were is good way into it but it being a "quiet" enough day for casualties is good fortune for the researcher- while being recorded in a Rifle Brigade war diary even more so.   Attachment casualties, especially after the reorganizations of early 1918, are often just not there.-either for ORs of dispersed battalions, nor-often-for those troops of other battalions "attached" for an attack- as we know, often a company of another battalion to fetch and carry munitions and supplies, let alone the engineers,machine-gunners,etc.

    What is perplexing is where you man and the other officer casualty went. Very used to transfers between battalions of the same brigade ("Can you lend us a Captain as an adjutant,old chap?",etc)-the more so when,as often,there were 2 battalions of the same regiment in a brigade.  And attachments within the same division.   Jastrzebski and Hill  puzzled me- I could not see a link with either brigade or division.  Nor corps. I had a look at 10 Corps War Diary but could not see anything about transfers pro tem.

    It may be worth about a think on this.  Was your man "attached" because he was experienced-or-the opposite-attached because he was inexperienced?  I can see a general theme in the background of battle experience away from a reserved battalion away and held back for a specific attack (eg Arras). Was he in France for very long-if not,one has to speculate whether he ever served physically with 24 Londons at all.

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Not sure if it's of any interest, but in 1911 he was a corporal in the Whitgift Cadets. 

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1 hour ago, sadbrewer said:

Not sure if it's of any interest, but in 1911 he was a corporal in the Whitgift Cadets. 

   Should be of use-   There should be some more information in:

The Book of Remembrance, and list of members serving with H. M. Forces 1914-1919. [Including a Roll of Honour, with portraits and biographies.] Compiled by the Rev. M. H. H. Mason.

Whitgift Grammar School.

London : Pettitt, Cox & Bowers, [1920]

   It says "portraits and biographies"- I have not seen this book but there was one on on a well-known auction site a little while ago-went for over £300!!.  There must be some wealthy Whitgiftians out there!!

 

 

 

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Thanks everyone.

I know the archivist at Whitgift having done a lot of work on the memorial at Whitgift Middle (now Trinity School) which is part of the same Foundation.

Hubert lived almost next door to Whitgift School and worked in insurance after leaving there. He joined 5th Bn London Regiment and was wounded at Ypres in May 1915. He was commissioned in August 1915 and wounded again at Ypres in February 1916.

I would need to check further but I suspect he was attached to the Rifle Brigade after returning from that second wound but died soon after doing so. I have attached a picture of him.

Neil

De_Jastrzebski_BrayMilitary.jpg

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