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Reuben Vidler 12th Bn Rifle Brigade


Amy1992

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Hello, does anyone have any information on Reuben Vidler 0/166 rifle brigade. He died on 22nd March 1918 and lived in Wadhurst but I have no other information. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

C2FDA861-8A8A-49C3-BCDF-68B5E012D1D9.jpeg

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Welcome to the forum. Reuben has no known grave and is remembered on the Pozieres memorial to the missing. 
https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/850468/reuben-john-vidler/
I visited Wadhurst last year, The image shows his name on the church war memorial.

image.jpeg

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War diaries here free to download after you register, also free, will let you know what was happening  when he was killed.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14054105

 

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A pension card on Fold 3 gives KIA. His NOK is his mother Mary Ann, aged 45, at Dunslaw Terrace, Wadhurst

Full name Reuben John Vidler. Father Thomas on Soldiers Effects

SDGW gives Formerly Tr/10/1991, 21St T.R.

A number of Ancestry Trees like this - click

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31 minutes ago, Michelle Young said:

Welcome to the forum. Reuben has no known grave and is remembered on the Pozieres memorial to the missing. 
https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/850468/reuben-john-vidler/
I visited Wadhurst last year, The image shows his name on the church war memorial.

image.jpeg

This is wonderful, thank you.

28 minutes ago, Michelle Young said:

War diaries here free to download after you register, also free, will let you know what was happening  when he was killed.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14054105

 

Thank you ever so much.

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Whilst his service record doesn't appear to have survived you can glean some ideas from the near number man Waterton O/169 who will have been posted to 12th Bn Rifle Brigade in France on the same day, 12/1/1918, having just landed that day and arrived at the 'A' Infantry Base Depot (IBD). He was previously in the same 21st Training Reserve battalion in England with number 10/1891 which is also not far off from Vidler's 10/1991 thus they may originally have been conscripted on the same date? 

But the comparison stops on 18/1/18 because Waterton gets transferred to the 10th Bn Rifle Brigade whilst Vidler remains with the 12th. 

If this seems more confusing than helpful then I can expand/clarify with a bit more work, if another pal hasn't already given a clearer description! 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962
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His full name is Reuben John Vidler, and there are a number of associated pension index cards naming a Mary Anne Vidler, who I am going to assume is his mother. One of the cards also names a William Vidler which suggests there was at least one other brother who was killed during the war. CWGC records confirm that William Vidler was indeed his brother and his mother's name was Mary Ann, as both of them are stated to be sons of Thomas and Mary Ann Vidler, of 3, Dunstan Terrace, Sparrows Green, Wadhurst, Sussex.

William also died at the age of 19, three years earlier on 9 May 1915, while serving with the 1st/5th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. 

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/850468/reuben-john-vidler/

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/1563408/william-vidler/

Reuben's medal index card shows he was only entitled to the British War and Victory Medals, so he first entered a theatre of war on or after 1 January 1916. William's card shows an initial entry to a theatre of war on 18 February 1915, so he was entitled to a full trio of 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

This is the family in the 1901 England and Wales census, with two other brothers in addition to Reuben and William.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XSJS-NHX

And in the 1911 England and Wales census, now with the addition of a further five siblings, two more sons and three daughters.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X7BL-2ZD

Edited by Tawhiri
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Here is his brother William on the Wadhurst memorial. He was killed in the attack at Aubers Ridge, and, like his brother, has no known grave, being remembered at the Le Touret memorial. 

image.jpeg

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I shall be visiting Le Touret on the 9th May, should you require a photo. I may also be able to get to Pozieres. 

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Older brother Thomas looks like he may have been the first to sign up. There is a medal index card for a Thomas Vidler who started out with what could be the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment, before transferring to the EC Labour Centre(?), and then to the Bedfordshire and Hertshire Regiment. His initial date of entry to a theatre of war was 12 September 1914, so he earned a full trio like William, along with a 1914 clasp and roses.

Image sourced from Ancestry:

30850_A001598-02871.jpg

Edited by Tawhiri
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Reuben Vidler's entry in Soldier's Effects says he died on or since 22/3/18, death presumed.

The war diary doesn't give casualty figures by day but summarises Other Ranks casualties for the period 21/3-1/4/18 as :

Killed 40 

Wounded 261

Missing 136

Reuben was amongst those posted as missing. The Daily Casualty List published 4/6/1918 includes him under Rifle Brigade, Missing.

So his actual day of death is not  known. 

Charlie

 

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9 hours ago, Tawhiri said:

Older brother Thomas looks like he may have been the first to sign up. There is a medal index card for a Thomas Vidler who started out with what could be the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment, before transferring to the EC Labour Centre(?), and then to the Bedfordshire and Hertshire Regiment. His initial date of entry to a theatre of war was 12 September 1914, so he earned a full trio like William, along with a 1914 clasp and roses.

Image sourced from Ancestry:

30850_A001598-02871.jpg

Thank you for this information. I have also researched that he was in the Royal Navy. I have also found out he was involved in the royal mission to Enzelli and received a BEM for his leadership and efforts during this time but that is as far as my information on him goes. 

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8 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Reuben Vidler's entry in Soldier's Effects says he died on or since 22/3/18, death presumed.

The war diary doesn't give casualty figures by day but summarises Other Ranks casualties for the period 21/3-1/4/18 as :

Killed 40 

Wounded 261

Missing 136

Reuben was amongst those posted as missing. The Daily Casualty List published 4/6/1918 includes him under Rifle Brigade, Missing.

So his actual day of death is not  known. 

Charlie

 

Oh thats interesting, thank you. I was hoping to gather information on all of the boys who were serving and visit some of the areas they would have been. 

10 hours ago, Michelle Young said:

I shall be visiting Le Touret on the 9th May, should you require a photo. I may also be able to get to Pozieres. 

That would be fantastic if you were able to send me a picture. I plan on visiting at some point but definitely not soon so it was be great to see a photo. Thank you very much. 

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10 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Whilst his service record doesn't appear to have survived you can glean some ideas from the near number man Waterton O/169 who will have been posted to 12th Bn Rifle Brigade in France on the same day, 12/1/1918, having just landed that day and arrived at the 'A' Infantry Base Depot (IBD). He was previously in the same 21st Training Reserve battalion in England with number 10/1891 which is also not far off from Vidler's 10/1991 thus they may originally have been conscripted on the same date? 

But the comparison stops on 18/1/18 because Waterton gets transferred to the 10th Bn Rifle Brigade whilst Vidler remains with the 12th. 

If this seems more confusing than helpful then I can expand/clarify with a bit more work, if another pal hasn't already given a clearer description! 

Charlie

That is very helpful thank you, I’m grateful for any information. I have tried to research for years and have found little information on all 4 of the serving brothers. Thank you for any information you put together for me. 

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1 hour ago, Amy1992 said:

Oh thats interesting, thank you. I was hoping to gather information on all of the boys who were serving and visit some of the areas they would have been. 

That would be fantastic if you were able to send me a picture. I plan on visiting at some point but definitely not soon so it was be great to see a photo. Thank you very much. 

You can still visit the area where they were in action. The war diaries give you the locations. Photo from Google earth shows you the approximate area for where Rueben would have been in action.

7A6B6938-7EF8-44E6-8E12-8F0AB640E169.png

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2 hours ago, Michelle Young said:

The war diaries give you the locations. Photo from Google earth shows you the approximate area for where Rueben would have been in action.

@Amy1992, Michelle has given you exactly what you need and here is a little more detail showing the last day of Reuben Vidler's life.  The Official History map for March 23 / 24 has been georeferenced and shows exactly where the battalion ended up on the 22nd March.  Follow the locations from top right as they withdrew to the bottom left of the map, under incredible pressure.  Each blue box is a location that they stopped and defended, as cited in the unit war diary.  The dotted line is simply to help you connect the locations and you can 'drive' the whole route on Google StreetView.  As the line follows the roads, it is probably the route they followed.  Click to enlarge - noting that every blue square they defended they were attacked relentlessly.  We don't know if he made it to Voyennes itself (see 12/R.B on the map) but if he did the Germans were at Offoy. 

image.png.66a8f0e17aff7f5847836645bee865d6.png

image.png.7fb35f857491c0f71e9a9e73cd72d577.png

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Hi

Looking for Reuben in the ICRC files is a little sticky at best, however, there do appear to be references to him:-

file front side

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/5584126/3/2/

If you follow the PA references these come up with two more files:

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Zoom/E/04/01/C_G1_E_04_01_0197/C_G1_E_04_01_0197_0084.JPG/4

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Zoom/E/04/01/C_G1_E_04_01_0197/C_G1_E_04_01_0197_0104.JPG/4

My German is pre 'O' Level, but I suspect that Reuben's body was found and subsequently identified by the Germans. Hopefully, a forum member with more advanced language skills than mine, can help with a translation.

image.png.938438aa108fe3f91f33fb2285051b0b.png

(Snippet courtesy of ICRC)

Hope this helps

Kind Regards

Derek 

 

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6 hours ago, Amy1992 said:

Thank you for this information. I have also researched that he was in the Royal Navy. I have also found out he was involved in the royal mission to Enzelli and received a BEM for his leadership and efforts during this time but that is as far as my information on him goes. 

The Thomas Vidler serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment can't then be Rueben and Willam's brother, although there may well be a family connection given the apparent geographical location. According to his Royal Navy service record Thomas joined the navy on 4 March 1913 on a 12-year engagement, which takes him right through the war to his discharge in 1925. Clearly he couldn't be in two places at once. :)

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2 hours ago, Swinesheadvillage said:

Hi

Looking for Reuben in the ICRC files is a little sticky at best, however, there do appear to be references to him:-

file front side

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/5584126/3/2/

If you follow the PA references these come up with two more files:

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Zoom/E/04/01/C_G1_E_04_01_0197/C_G1_E_04_01_0197_0084.JPG/4

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Zoom/E/04/01/C_G1_E_04_01_0197/C_G1_E_04_01_0197_0104.JPG/4

My German is pre 'O' Level, but I suspect that Reuben's body was found and subsequently identified by the Germans. Hopefully, a forum member with more advanced language skills than mine, can help with a translation.

image.png.938438aa108fe3f91f33fb2285051b0b.png

(Snippet courtesy of ICRC)

Hope this helps

Kind Regards

Derek 

 

Good find.

@charlie2 may know?

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The two lists - one for his ID Disc and one for his Paybook - were sent by the Commandant‘s Office in Nesle to the Central Office for Effects who forwarded them on to the Central Verification Office where they were received on 12.09.1918.

Charlie2

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22 hours ago, Amy1992 said:

Thank you everyone for your amazing responses. It’s fantastic to have more information. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. 

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25 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

So no clues as to where and when body found?

Unfortunately not.

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Thanks Charlie.

There was a BRC/StJohns enquiry for him suggesting he was A or C company. Also suggesting he was missing 22/3/18 although this could be an 'on or after' date.

From Findmypast:

 

R J Vidler in 1918

British Red Cross & Order Of St John Enquiry List, Wounded & Missing, 1914-1919

Great Britain

First name(s)  R J

Last name  Vidler

Soldier number  0166

Company A or C

Battalion  12

Regiment   Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own)

Year  1918

Date reported missing or wounded  22/03/1918

Missing or wounded details  M. Mar. 22/18.

Enquiry date  20/11/1918

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4 hours ago, charlie962 said:

 

Edited by charlie2
Wrong Regiment
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