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stiletto_33853

47th London Division

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stiletto_33853

The Division had spent a thoroughly windy month, full of excursions and alarms, during which our first Christmas in France during which our first Christmas had passed unobtrusively. The 142nd Brigade, indeed, had been luckily enough to be in billets in Sally - Labourse and Verquin at the time, but of them at least one battalion had been favoured with a special Christmas day alarm, and a battalion mess Christmas dinner was laid when the order came to march off to a new billet. The brigades in the line had to make the best of a muddy job, and were enlivened by a little extra activity on our part of our guns, just to show the Boche that any attempt at fraternisation would be severely discouraged. Many batteries fired 300 rounds a piece during the day, by way of a Christmas present fof him.

We relieved the French 18th Division at Loos on January 4th 1916.

Thats all the Diisional History says. Send Matt (westkent) a message asking for more details as I believe he has most of the 1/23rd War Diary.

Andy

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Chris_B

Andy,

Thanks for typing out those quotes, makes interesting reading re: mine and Xmas etc. I'll do as you say, and see is westkent has anything.

Chris.

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Charles Fair

Chris

I had a double check of the 19th London OCA journal, (not looking under obituary this time) and found this appreciation of him. I had forgotten that I had already scanned it in.

RSM A Ridout

Of those who went out to France with the 1st battalion on March 9th 1915, there was no more popular figure than R.S.M. Ridout, and no man was more sincerely missed when he met his death by an unlucky shell at High Wood, on September 15th 1916.

His was a splendid record, for although he had only one stripe up on landing, he gained his promotions through sheer merit, and when R.S.M. King left the battalion to take up a Commission, he was promoted to the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major, about May 1916.

He went over with the battalion at Loos as a Sergeant, and came through unwounded, and shortly afterwards was promoted C.S.M. of D. Company, where his influence and example brought his N.C.O.s to a high standard of efficiency.

As an example of his devotion to duty, I recall that on one occasion, during a relief of Vimy Ridge, when shelling was very severe, R.S.M. Ridout refused to leave until the last man had left the trenches.  Now the only way back without traversing the wearisome communication trenches was across the Souchez Valley, which in daylight was under observation from “The Pimple,’’ and on this particular relief night day was breaking before the relief was complete.  The result was that we had only just reached the Souchez river when the Boche shelled us with shrapnel, which fell about us like rain, and it was a marvel that we crossed without being hit.  We ran as fast as we could for Souchez Wood, hoping to get through before they lifted, for we knew the Boche had the range of the wood to an inch.  We managed it however but finished up absolutely exhausted in a trench.  There were four of us in that scamper, Ridout, two stretcher-bearers and myself.  I often wonder if the stretcher-bearers came through alright, as I never saw them again.

I well remember the trek to the Somme in ‘16, the long weary marches under a boiling sun, and each day Ridout marched in loaded with the pack and rifle of a man who was “done.”  Then on that afternoon of September 14th, after a couple of days hidden in the Happy Valley, the battalion marched off to High Wood, and I remember that, acting upon an impulse, I ran after them and shook hands with my old comrade, Ridout. I am glad I did, for I never saw him again.

Ridout endeared himself to us all, and such was the affection felt for him that I have often seen tears in the eyes of a comrade when speaking of him.

J. W. W.

Source "Memories, the Journal of the 19th London Regiment OCA" No 2, Vol 2, Summer 1922

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Chris_B

Charles,

It was good of you to check the OCA journal for further mention of RMS Ridout. The tribute appears to explain how RMS Ridout meet his end, if not excatly where and when on the 15th.

Regards.

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Chris_B

Andy,

Another request:

I have a casualty in the "First Surrey Rifles", by date and place I'd put him the 1/21st not the 2/21st.

Serjeant Daniel Archibald Pennell, 653228 (6747), KIA 24/08/1918, buried I. A. 4. Cemetery: BRAY HILL BRITISH CEMETERY, BRAY-SUR-SOMME.

SDGW has him formerly in 5th East Surrey, maybe there is a record of these transfers. There seems to be about 15 men listed as casualties in the 21st who had been in the 5th East Surrey.

Any information would be much appreciated.

Regards,

Chris

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Chris_B

Andy,

Don't know if you picked up my last question, but here's another. Do you have details of the part played by the Post Office Rifles attack on the Butte de Warlencourt on 7th October 1916?

This man was a casualty on that day:

Frederick James Parker.

PARKER

Initials: F J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Rifleman

Regiment: London Regiment (Post Office Rifles)

Unit Text: 8th Bn.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 07/10/1916

Service No: 6527

Additional information: Son of Edward James and Lucy Ann Parker, of 51, Blackshaw Rd., Lower Tooting, London.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. F. 17.

Cemetery: WARLENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY

As I kid, I lived just round the corner from this address.

Thanks,

Chris.

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stiletto_33853

Hi Chris,

Sorry I did not catch your last question but will deal with it in a little while. Re the 8th and there attack on the Butte de Warlencourt, the 47th London Divisional History says the following:-

"The IIIrd Corps attack of October 7th was on a three division front. On our right was the 41st, and on our left the 23rd Division, both our familiar neighbours later in The Salient. The main line of German defence opposite us was the Grid Line, running north west from Gueudecourt to Warlencourt, and including the Butte de Warlencourt, an ancient mound of excavated chalk, about 70 feet high, cunningly tunnelled by the enemy, and used as an observation post from which machine gun and artillery fire from positions echeloned in depth was directed with devastating effect on the western slopes up which our men had to advance. Anticipating an attack on this important line, the Germans had dug a new trench across our front over the high ground north of Eaucourt l'Abbaye,westward into the valley. This trench - named Diagonal Trench - was the first objective of the 140th Brigade; their final objective was the Grid Line, including the Butte itself. The 8th Battalion was to secure Diagonal Trench, the 15th and 7th (in order fromthe right) were to push on to the final objective; the 6th Battalion was in support. The attack was at 1.45pm on October 7th. The whle attacking line came under heavy fire from Diagonal Trench, the garrison of which were apparently armed with automatice rifles. On the right some progress was made, and a line was established along the sunken road leading north east from Eaucourt l'Abbaye to La Barque, where a mixed force of the 15th and 8th Battalions was organised and commanded by Captain G.C. Bates, of the 15th. On the left the companies of the 8th, followed by the 7th Batalion, tried to advance down the slope, forward of the mill, and met, in addition to fire from Diagonal Trench, the full force of the enemy artillery and machine gun fire, cleverly sited in depth, so as to bring a withering fire to bear along the western slopes leading up to the Butte and the high ground to the south of it. From across the valley the enemy had magnificent observation of the ground leading to our objective, and made full use of it.

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stiletto_33853

Not a man turned back, and some got right up under the Butte, but they were not seen again. Parties dug themselves in where they could, and a post was located on the next day by an aeroplane half-way up the road towards the Butte. The only permament gain, however, on the left, was a few posts pushed out from the mill, which were established as strong points, to keep in touch with the 23rd Division, who advanced along the line of the main road, and succeeded in capturing the ruined village of Le Sars. The 140th Brigade suffered very severly in this operation, and on the following day were relieved of the left portion of their line by the 142nd Brigade. But it was found to be impossible to relieve the 6th Battalion detachment in the advanced posts, which were left in their unenviable position until the 142nd Brigade attacked past them.

Our relief by the 9th Division was impending, and it was hoped to improve the position on our left before we handed over.

Chris, hope this helps a little with your research.

Andy

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stiletto_33853

Chris,

There is very little in the Divisional History regarding the attack on the 24/8/18 for your man Pennell:-

"A second attack on the Green line was made at 1am on August 24th by the 140th Brigade and the 175th Brigade of the 58th Division, lent to us for the purpose. The assembly was carried out by moonlight, assisted by the capture by the 141st Brigade of some offensive enemy machine gun posts. This night attack suprised the enemy and was a complete success. A little difficulty occurred on the extreme left, where the 12th Division was hindered by machine guns, but General Kennedy sent a tank to deal with these, and the 15th Battalion filled the gap which threatened between the two divisions.

After this operation the front was handed over to the 58th Division, under whom the 140th Brigade took part in a further advance of 2000 yards on August 25th and captured many prisoners.

Anfy

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Chris_B

Andy,

Many thanks for your help again. One comment I read the about the Warlencourt action was, “gallant but unsuccessful” , a euphamism for another bad bad day. Accounts of the action at Butte de Warlencourt, are supposed be in the book, "Terriers in the trenches by Charles Messenger (Picton Publishing, 1982)". You probably know that, but it's another one for the list.

Now all I need to find is where that green line was on the 24/08/1918.

Regards,

Chris.

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stiletto_33853

Chris,

A little earlier in the chapter it has this to say about the Green Line:-

By August 13th we had relieved the 58th Division in the line which they had just won, just east of Tailles Wood, and our brigades succeeded one another in this uncomfortable position until the next advance was made on 22nd August.

On this date the IIIrd Corps, together with the 3rd Australian Division on their right, planned an advance of about 3000 yards from a lione which ran roughly from the Somme 1000 yards west of Bray to Albert. From Right to left the attacking Divisions were the 3rd Australian, the 47th, the 12th and the 18th.

The 47th Division started from the line of the old Amiens defences, east of Tailles Wood, about 2000 yards long, and aimed at a final objective, called the Green Line, on the high ground east of Happy Valley, about 3000 yards long.

Hope this helps a little.

Andy

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delta

Many thanks for posting the elements of this history on the Forum; I have been trying to make some sense of the confusing fighting around High Wood and this Regimental History is clear, concise and ready to read.

Who was the author? he certainly did a good job

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stiletto_33853

Hi Delta,

It is edited by Alan H. Maude with a foreward by The Viscount Esher, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., P.C.

Preface states "This History is the work of many hands" It is based on official war diaries and narratives of operations.

Published by Amalgamated Press in 1922.

Andy

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delta

Andy

thanks for the (extremely) fast response as well as all your working in publishing the contents

Stephen :D

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squirrel

This history is still listed as a reprint version by Naval & Military Press.

Interestingly, or perhaps not depending on your view, some of it is written by Lt. Col. B.L. Montgomery.

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stiletto_33853

Hi,

Yes Montgomery was responsible for a lot of the 1918 input into the book. Nothing against the N&M reprint but there is a wallet in the back of the original book with a fair amount of largish scale maps. In my experience in the past N&M tend not to place these there and when they do reprint the maps they seem to be smaller and not such good quality.

Mind you this might be the case solely in the books I have got from them.

Andy

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squirrel

The N & MP reprint does have maps and they are not at all bad even if they are the same format size as the book.

Excellent book though and good for details on Loos and High Wood particularly.

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stiletto_33853

Thanks for that, might purchase one to stop beating up my original. The maps in the back of the original are nearly A3 size mostly.

Andy

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stiletto_33853

Offers of look ups in this Divisional History are being withdrawn due to recent events in this forum.

Andy

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Guest RussellR

This is my first post, having found this site after doing a web search for Ridout links with Tooting, so apologies straight away if I get anything wrong!

Chris B - are you still looking for information on Arthur Frederick Ridout? If so, I can fill in some blanks as I have been researching him in connection with my family history. Frustratingly I cannot see a link, but he does have connections with my known family locations at the times. He married Ella in 1911 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and his residence at the time of marriage is Tooting.

To try and make a link, I took copies of Arthur's Army record when I was at Kew last year. There is not a lot of detail, and the forms are not easy to read, but if I can help with extracts please let me know.

Arthur's record states that he and Ella had no children.

I think that you mentioned that you were in contact with a member of Arthur's family - I would be interested to make contact, to see if we can tie our two branches of the family together!

Regards

Russell Ridout

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

QUOTE (Chris_B @ Aug 16 2005, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Andy and Charles,

Arthur F Ridout , accoridng to his MIC was a Transport WO2, whether he was invovled directly in the assualt or not is speculation, but he could have been killed in the Transport lines, which no doubt would have been heavily shelled.

As far as Arthur F Ridout is concerned, my interest in him is that apart from being possibly commemorated on a local war memorial, he was a near neighbour of my Grandfather at some time. His address was 10 Lyveden Road in 1901 were he was at the age of 17 before he married and gave his occupation as Railway Clerk. Lyveden Road is close to Tooting Junction. According to the SDGW he was still living in Tooting Junction when he enlisted. My Grandfather Albert Burge was 10 in 1901 and his family lived at 67 Lyveden Road and for many years after.

Arthur Ridout could well have risen to a more senoir position on the Railway by 1914 and he was definitely of an age where he could have had some military experience prior to the War. In anycase, the skills associated with his occupation would have easily transferred to the logistic requirements of the Army.

As his CWGC entry suggests, Arthur F Ridout was not originally a Londoner, he was born in Dorest (then Dorsetshire) in 1883. His birth was registered in Sturminster.

Births Jun 1883

RIDOUT Arthur Frederick Sturminster 5a250

I have not found a record of his marriage to his wife Ella yet, nor any possible children.

If you ever do find his service record I would be really interested to know more about him.

Unfortunately poor health prevents me from getting to the NA at Kew myself.

Regards,

Chris.

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Chris_B
This is my first post, having found this site after doing a web search for Ridout links with Tooting, so apologies straight away if I get anything wrong!

Chris B - are you still looking for information on Arthur Frederick Ridout? If so, I can fill in some blanks as I have been researching him in connection with my family history. Frustratingly I cannot see a link, but he does have connections with my known family locations at the times. He married Ella in 1911 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and his residence at the time of marriage is Tooting.

To try and make a link, I took copies of Arthur's Army record when I was at Kew last year. There is not a lot of detail, and the forms are not easy to read, but if I can help with extracts please let me know.

Arthur's record states that he and Ella had no children.

I think that you mentioned that you were in contact with a member of Arthur's family - I would be interested to make contact, to see if we can tie our two branches of the family together!

Regards

Russell Ridout

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Russell,

I've just caught up with your post. Yes, I'm always interested to learn more about the background of any of the men on the Mitcham War Memorial. Unfortunatley the Ridout family is not one of the very few that I have been able to make contact with as a result of my researches into the Mithcam War Memorial. But I have been able to piece together some of A.F.Ridout's family history in Dorset which may be of interest to you.

I think it would be more appropriate to send these details to you in a PM ( private forum message).

If it is at all possilbe, I would be very interested to have copies of the records you found at Kew. Does this include his attestation papers?

Regards,

Chris.

P.S. Welcome to the forum.

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Guest RussellR

Hi Chris

Thanks for your replies here and direct. I'll contact you off list re Arthur's papers.

Regards

Russell

QUOTE (Chris_B @ Mar 19 2006, 11:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Russell,

I've just caught up with your post. Yes, I'm always interested to learn more about the background of any of the men on the Mitcham War Memorial. Unfortunatley the Ridout family is not one of the very few that I have been able to make contact with as a result of my researches into the Mithcam War Memorial. But I have been able to piece together some of A.F.Ridout's family history in Dorset which may be of interest to you.

I think it would be more appropriate to send these details to you in a PM ( private forum message).

If it is at all possilbe, I would be very interested to have copies of the records you found at Kew. Does this include his attestation papers?

Regards,

Chris.

P.S. Welcome to the forum.

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rws1918

Hi Andy,

Looking for events around 1/19 London regiment on or about the April 27, 1916.

Any details would be great

Very much appreciated, thanks

Curtis

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Charles Fair
Looking for events around 1/19 London regiment on or about the April 27, 1916.

Any details would be great

Curtis - in late April 1916 the battalion was holding the front line on the northern part of Vimy Ridge. According to the War Diary of the 1/19th Londons WO 95/2738 the Germans exploded a mine which destroyed part of the front line. They made a small attack which was held off, and the front line consolidated on the rim of the crater. Casualties were 2/Lt Isaacs killed, 1 OR killed and 12 ORs wounded. Late that night (or the early hours of the 27th) they were relieved and marched off towards billets in Estree Cauchy. They reached those billets at 6pm on the 27th where they were fed and rested. Casualties for the 27the were 1 OR wounded.

I will email you off forum.

Charles

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Charles Fair
Chris B - are you still looking for information on Arthur Frederick Ridout? If so, I can fill in some blanks as I have been researching him in connection with my family history. Frustratingly I cannot see a link, but he does have connections with my known family locations at the times. He married Ella in 1911 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and his residence at the time of marriage is Tooting.

To try and make a link, I took copies of Arthur's Army record when I was at Kew last year. There is not a lot of detail, and the forms are not easy to read, but if I can help with extracts please let me know.

Hi Russell - Welcome to the forum. Thanks for the additional info on RSM Ridout. As you may have gathered from above in this thread I am also trying to research him - as RSM he was one of the key personalties for the battalion that I am researching.

Do you by any chance have the microfilm reference number for his service record? I woulnt mind a look next time I am in the PRO.

I do have a group photo of 1/19th senior NCOs taken probably early 1916 in which he is seated in the centre of the front row. Russell and ChrisB - please email me off forum and I would be happy to email you a scan.

Charles

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