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Battle of Bullecourt


John Blant

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I understand that a relative (Samuel George Ward) of mine, whilst serving with the 2/5th Battalion,  Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derbys) Regiment, was captured by the Germans. Can anybody confirm when the Sherwood Foresters, were in action here.

Following, his capture l have been informed he was a POW at Marchiennes, then Dulmen and finally, Limburg.

Furthermore, l believe he died with a problem to his lungs, in Euskirchen, Germany on the 29th October 1928.

He is buried in the Southern Cemetery, Cologne.

Any information would be much appreciated.

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From Red Cross archive, a German document from Dulmen camp. It says that he was captured on 21 March 1918 while serving with 178 Trench Mortar Battery. This was in the same brigade as his battalion, and manned by infantrymen.

Ward.jpg

Snippet from my website's page about 59th (2nd North Midland) Division:

The Battle of St Quentin (21-23 March) (only 177th Bde and the artillery were in action on 22-23 March)
After suffering heavy casualties from German shellfire on 21 March, the enemy infantry succeeded in breaking through the Division’s position where it met that of 6th Division in the valley of the River Hirondelle. Parties held on and continued to resist but were gradually destroyed and “mopped up”. Fewer than 100 men of the 176th and 178th Brigades which had been holding the front line before the attack were assembled at roll call. Two battalion commanding officers were killed in action. At 7pm, the Division was officially relieved but 177th Brigade and various parties of ancillary units remained to take part in the continued defence.

 

Edited by Chris_Baker
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Chris, thank you so very much for this information.

 

13 hours ago, tootrock said:

That should be 1918 rather than 1928!

Martin

Well spotted, just testing!

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Hi @John Blant,

20 hours ago, Chris_Baker said:

...he was captured on 21 March 1918 while serving with 178 Trench Mortar Battery.

Sourced from the National Archives file WO95/3025/14 - available as a free download (link)

image.png.dd1adb2685f21b540b7f0431d7967b7a.png
image.png.1dad1f937e3f2f103654d61e899e3ca9.png
Images sourced from the National Archives

If you were to need it, the LLT gives some good help on how to read map references - link ;and you might find these sites useful too - link/link/link.

Also available as free downloads from the National Archives, the following will give you more context on the events of the day - link/link, and contain things such as reports on operations.

Regards
Chris

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Chris, 

Thank you for the document, it makes very interesting reading.

Regards

John 

 

 

 

 

23 hours ago, tootrock said:

That should be 1918 rather than 1928!

Martin

Well spotted, just testing!

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Hi John,

This casualty list (link) confirms Sherwood Foresters, attached TMB when taken PoW.

A little (contemporary) bit about Limburg Camp:

image.png.ccf4f1ea52cf416adc0be0fd901fc89b.png
Image sourced from archive.org

Regards
Chris

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Hi John,

No problem at all. Finding/reading the O/C 178 TMB account today has helped in my understanding of the events of the day. By my reckoning my Great uncle was also taken PoW in the same very, very immediate area as Samuel, on the same day. FWIW he died 2 days later from a leg wound in a German field hospital. 

Regards
Chris

Edited by clk
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Hi Chris 

Small world!

But then again, not. So, many brave young soldiers, on both sides lost their lives in WW1. What a terrible waste 

John 

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Hi John,

A report on operations dated 30.3.1918 in the 178 Brigade HQ diary for the 'night of 20/21st March onwards' shows an initial number count of casualties (killed/wounded/missing) as:

image.png.79b5f61d9590ca1af8603f8b7df256a5.png
Base image sourced from the National Archives

Samuel is listed as 'missing' in the in the daily casualty list of 20th May 1918 - link.

Of the other TMB men in the list:

202109 Arthur BANHAM - taken PoW
200722 Joseph FOX - taken PoW
27666 Horace JACKSON - taken PoW
16776 Joseph LAVENDER - died, buried on the Noreuil-Ecoust St Mein Road
305237 Frank (Francis William) MARTIN - died
203559 Thomas James NICHOL(L)S - died
202148 Fred PEARSON _ taken PoW
200189 Thomas READ - taken PoW
200754 William RILEY -taken PoW
306741 Charles (Charlie) SIMMONDS -taken PoWdied 8.9.1918
48548 Harry SMITH - taken PoW
307507 William SMITH - survived the war
202428 James WALKER - PoW?
203030 Frank WARWICK - taken PoW
200812 Ernest WRIGHT - taken PoW

Regards
Chris

 

Edited by clk
Typo
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