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Remembered Today:

10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers July 1916


Mark Hone

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On a 90th anniversary tour to the Somme next year I intend to retrace on a battlefield walk the attack by 10th RWF (76 Brigade, 3rd Div) at Delville Wood on 20th July. My great-uncle, whose photo appears as my avatar, took part in this action. It was notable as a large-scale night attack resulting in the award of two VCs and a very serious 'blue-on-blue' with 11th Essex. I have the 10th RWF War Diary and some other material, but if anyone has anything else or like me a personal connection with this battle, I'd be very interested to hear from them.

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Mark - have you seen the 10/RWF memorial in Delville Wood? It is in one of the main rides close to the museum.

post-6-1112732489.jpg

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Paul-when was that put there? It certainly post-dates my visits to the wood in the 1980s. Davies was from Tipton in the Black country, Hill from Denton in Manchester. Both of their VCs are in the RWF Museum at Carnarfon Castle. Incidentally all the books say that the 'friendly-fire' incident was with 11th Essex but looking at the composition of neighbouring units I think it must have been 10th Essex.

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Incidentally all the books say that the 'friendly-fire' incident was with 11th Essex but looking at the composition of neighbouring units I think it must have been 10th Essex.

You're correct there, Mark.

The 11/Essex weren't yet at the Somme on the date you refer to (they were on their way, though!), and the 10th were in action at Delville Wood between the 19th and the 21st of July.

Dave.

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What were the circumstances of the plaque's installation? I don't remember reading about it at the time.

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It was a double whammy: reburial of Pte Clarke 11115 and two unknown victims of Red Dragon Crater at Gorre Beuvry CWGC on day previous.

RWF Band and Drums and Pioneers and lots of bigwigs.

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Mark

I am interested in all things WW1 & Tipton (mainly the casualties) but have a dozen or so pages about Davies and his return home in October 1916 when he received much publicity due to his recently won VC. Of course those disreputable folks from Wednesbury tried to claim him as a Wednesbury man just because his parents had moved there after Joe Davies had enlisted in 1909, but he was born and educated in Tipton so he's one of ours.

The main item about the winning of the VC is from an interview with him

"All night on the 17th we had been digging trenches and an order came that we were to return to our reserve trenches. Thn came the order to attack a certain wood and capture it at all costs. That night we started off from our trenches , and went on swimmingly until we got within 500 yards of the enemy when fire broke out heavily, chiefly shell fire. We lay down and waited under heavy shell fire until such time as we could progress. When at last we were able to do so, we reached the outskirts of the wood and presently we heard shouts on the left and found we were being counter-attacked. the rear part of our lot thereupon retired, but I got some of my men into a shell hole and told them to keep their fire until I had used all my bombs. We were practically surrounded by the Germans, but we managed to repulse the counter-atttack, killing many of the enemy. Then we had to face a heavy fire from another direction, so I made a gap through the enemy's lines, took my men with me, and so joined up with the rest of my company. After this we got ready for the resumption of the original attack, and as all our officers had become casualties, I took command and led two platoons into the firing line. We were cut up, so being lucky enough to escape myself, I returned for another platoon and took them into the firing line as well. They suffered a similar fate and then another platoon came up and we reached the wood. A subaltern joined us then and after trying to get reinforcements we manoevered for position, and by making a loop trench got possesion of three parts of the wood. I took command of this position, and we held on until we were relieved some hours later"

This ties up with the official notification, but his comment about the 17th July is confusing. The picture of Davies at Buckingham Palace receiving his VC has his left arm in a sling. This injury was received at Guiilemont a month after the VC.

Davies, with Col John Norton Griffiths MP of clay-kicking fame, unveiled a commemorative 'tablet' to his VC at his school in Tipton, Great Bridge Junior School. This has been lost over the years but a marble tablet unveiled on the same day to Sgt Harry Callear, a teacher at the same school who was killed at La Boiselle on 1st July 1916 with the Grimsby Chums has just been renovated and put into the new replacement school for Gt Bridge Junior, along with a portrait of Callear. Such a shame that the Davies tablet was lost.

If you want a photocopy of the Davies pages, EMail me your address and I'll snail-mail you a copy. Most of it is about the home-coming, but there's a nice description of his mother as "a little wizened-faced woman, typical of the hardy working class of Wednesbury" - not much changes !!

Regards

Andy

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Thanks Andy. 'Then we faced heavy fire from another direction' could well be a euphemistic description of the 'friendly fire'! The published version of the War Diary describes it in similar oblique tones.

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  • 9 months later...
On a 90th anniversary tour to the Somme next year I intend to retrace on a battlefield walk the attack by 10th RWF (76 Brigade, 3rd Div) at Delville Wood on 20th July. My great-uncle, whose photo appears as my avatar, took part in this action. It was notable as a large-scale night attack resulting in the award of two VCs and a very serious 'blue-on-blue' with 11th Essex. I have the 10th RWF War Diary and some other material, but if anyone has anything else or like me a personal connection with this battle, I'd be very interested to hear from them.

Hello Mark

I am new to this Forum having joined a few days ago and therfore in the process of avidly reading the innumerable bits of info it contains. ( wish I'd found it ealier! )

My interest lies in the WW1 dead of my home area which is the upper part of the Parish of Llanddeiniolen

in Caernarfonshire ( villages of Deiniolen ( Ebenezer), Dinorwig, Clwt y Bont, and Brynrefail ) Of the 80+ I'm researching the vast majority were RWF.

Two were killed in the above battle on 20th July. Pte 40174 Arthur Thomas and Pte 40167 John D Roberts

Last year S4C ran a programme re WW1. On their website is a letter from a Pte D Evans to a friend. The link is www.s4c.co.uk/cerddedyllinell/e_llythyrau_de01.shtml

If the link doesn't work let me know.

Pte Evans describes the events of that attack ( no hint of the blue on blue though ) which may add to your picture of the events.

I have three other 10th Bn killed on various dates. Is it in order to ask for the War Diary entries for those dates?

I have bought the RWF Regimental Records ( Dudley Wards') and also Capt Dunns' book re 2nd Battalion. Getting the actual War Diaries entry would be a bonus.

TIA

Hywyn

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Hywyn,

I was very interested in your post. The version of the War Diary that I have is a privately published edition from the 1920's. It is slightly edited from the original but contains full casualty lists. I am happy to look up any references. Please contact me off-forum. One of the battalion's officers, and its CO at the end of the Somme battle, was Major L. E. Compton-Smith from How Caple in Herefordshire. He survived the war but was captured and executed by the IRA during the War of Independence. His last letter and watch are preserved at the RWF Museum in Carnarvon Castle. Incidentally, I am a frequent visitor to North Wales as my stepson and his family now live in Porthmadog.

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  • 1 year later...

A bit late but going through the 10 bn Essex war diary there is a report on a blue on blue with the 10th Bn RWF on the night of 19th/20th July.

If it is still of interest PM me.

Regards

Ali

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A bit late but going through the 10 bn Essex war diary there is a report on a blue on blue

No such thing!

Its reported as friendly fire, as they were our friends.

:ph34r:

Danke

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  • 4 weeks later...

Blue on Blue comes from the desription of your own (friendly) troops asblue and the enemy as an other colour (recently orange), therefore a blue on blue is troops from the same side firing on each other.

I used this term as (the saying goes) there is no such thing as friendly fire when its coming at you!

Basically its the same thing.

Regards

Ali

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  • 4 years later...

Hi all - could someone with the War Diary for the 20th July check for a 7842 L/Cpl Henry Charles Dunford. KIA 20/7/1916.

Thanks

Tim

PS Mark tried to PM but you are unable to accept new messages for some reason.

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Tim

He is shown in the typed version as 7842 L/Sgt T Dunford in the Killed in Action list.

The original War Diary for the 10th RWF is now on line for £3.50

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=8199313&queryType=1&resultcount=9

I see that CWGC have him as 7843. Medal Card and SDGW and the W D have 7842. To avoid duplication of effort can you tell me if you have taken any steps to have this rectified?

Hywyn

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Thanks Hywyn!

To be honest had not noticed the disparity.... NO steps taken in this respect.

Having just been lucky in recovering his 1914 Star medal group I can confirm these have 7842 on them.

ATB

Tim

PS Would it be possible to have a copy of the relevant page on the typed list?

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It was a double whammy: reburial of Pte Clarke 11115 and two unknown victims of Red Dragon Crater at Gorre Beuvry CWGC on day previous.

RWF Band and Drums and Pioneers and lots of bigwigs.

Hi GRUMPY

Just picked your post up, on the new posts, I was at the reburial of Pte Clarke with the two unknown soldiers, there were Royal Welsh Fusiliers Veterans and French Veterans there, took some great photos, one of them ended up in a book by D C Roger, called THE HISTORY OF PRIVATE WALTER MILLS VC, "don't know if you will ever read this post".

Regards.

Gerwyn

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Tim, sorry I didn't reply but my friend Hywyn got there first. For some reason I can't seem to clear my inbox no matter how many messages I delete. It's very frustrating! If you e-mail me via the site it seems to work.

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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 months later...
Guest GreatNiece

Hi

I am the great Niece of Joseph Davies and have been researching my family tree for a while now and notice that you are related. I remember Joe when he visited his sister and family not long before he died, all the family are so very proud. I'm hoping to get my web site up and running soon, but joined this forum to find out more about the Great War. My husband's two uncles died in the Great War and his grandmother's brother.

Cheers

Estelle (Wednesbury)

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Am the proud possessor of Joseph Davies's copy of the regimental history, presented to him by an officer of the Battalion Lt AGWA Buchanan

Martin

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  • 1 year later...

Hi All,

I'm hoping to feature Sgt Davies in an upcoming WW1 display at the Black Country Living Museum. I know someone said the plaque presented to his school was missing but it isnt, we have it at the museum and it will be going on display in the near future. I have the VC book but I wonder if anyone else has any pictures or additional information that could be used for display. If you have please could you drop me an email helen.taylor@bclm.com i'd be really greatful for the help. Many thanks

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  • 2 years later...
Guest GreatNiece

The family of Joe Davies are meeting on the anniversary of centenary 20th July 2016 but Tipton Park laying slab and band etc for Joseph Davies VC day on 23 Rd July from 10.30am 

 Follow link for more information 

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