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Remembered Today:

13th Royal Sussex where circa 27/9/17?


Chris_B
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I'm interested in the fate of this man who served in the 13th Royal Sussex.

Sidney (Sydney) A Toogood

CWGC entry is:

TOOGOOD, SIDNEY

Initials: S

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lance Corporal

Regiment: Royal Sussex Regiment

Unit Text: 13th Bn.

Date of Death: 27/09/1917

Service No: SD/5649

Awards: MM

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 86 to 88.

Cemetery: TYNE COT MEMORIAL

The SDGW shows he was KIA and was born and resident in Mitcham, no place of enlistment is given.

Notice of the award of the MM appears in the Gazette of 18 October, 1917, which states:

5649, Pte (L/CPL) S. Toogood, R. Suss. R. (Mitcham)

Sydney Toogood's "SD" (South Downs) prefix would indicate he is an original enlistment to the Royal Sussex. Yet he appears to have absolutely no connection to Sussex from the census data I've looked at.

Any additional information from regimental history or war diary about the circumstances of his death or the award of the MM would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Chris.

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Hi Chris

There's a website which deals with the service battalions of the Royal Sussex. They have a forum a little like this one, just sign up, do a post and you might well get the answers you're looking for the link is http://royalsussex.co.uk/phpBB/index.php it costs nothing

You might have to wait a little while for the reply but it's worth the wait. In the meantime I'll see what I can turn up over the weekend as to the action

All the best Hambo

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His SD prefix only indicates he enlisted in the South Downs battalions, not necessarily a connection with Sussex. It is a very high SD number, and he would have enlisted in late 1915, and originally joined the 14th Bn. He may have then transferred to the 13th in early 1916 before they went overseas, or joined as a replacement after they lost heavily at Richebourg. My notes tell me that his MM was one of those issued for bravery at St Julien on 31st July/1st August 1917. There is a little more about the battalion on my Old Front Line website:

http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/13th_ro...ex_regiment.htm

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Hambo,

Thanks for the information, did anything else turn up?

Paul,

I didn't expect a connection to Sussex, I think I read somehwere that they recruited for the Sussex Regiemnt in East Surrey later in 1915 as you implied. Unfortunatley, SDGW does not show where he enlisted, Croydon perhaps. It's good to know in what action His MM was awarded, so thanks for that information.

I have read your web pages about the Sussex Regiment and the attack at the "Boar's Head", I've sent you a PM about another casualty.

Regards,

Chris.

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Paul and Hambo

Those two sites are just what I was looking for.

One of my ex-Lincs No.TR 5173 1/5 Bn. men was a casualty with the 12th No.G14505 Pte. George Empringham KIA 17/10/1916. A Lincoln chap and Reservist.

They will put a bit of meat on the bones.

Lee :)

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  • 1 month later...

I've just started to research the service record of my grandfather, George Joseph Welch, No. 15987 13 Battalion Royal Sussex, so this thread was of particular interest for a number of reasons.

He was awarded the DCM for action at St Julien in 1917 'for most conspicuous gallantry and good leading in the battle of Ypres on July 31 and Aug 1 and 2. He established and held advanced posts in the village of St Julien and afterwards rendred assistance under very heavy fire in binding up a number of badly wounded men.' He was a Corporal at that time, promoted to Sergeant soon afterwards.

That's about the limit of my knowledge of that event, though what caught my eye particularly here was the fact that his brother, Frederick Welch (15986), who also served in 13 Battalion, was killed on 26 Sept 1917, the day before Lance Corp. Toogood. He was buried in Tyne Cot.

Obviously any more info on these men and this period would be most welcome – and I'll pass on what I find. It's always so tantalising to find others who clearly shared the same experiences – so near, yet so far.

I do possess a copy of a trench map of St Julien, 1917, which my grandfather produced from a cupboard and showed to me when I was a young boy. When I told my mother she didn't believe me at first. No one, including his wife, knew he had it (like so many he attended regimental reunions religiously, but never talked about his actual experiences).

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There is no nominal roll for the 13th Battalion that I know of - none survives in any archives. What is it you want to know?

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Lee,

Couldnt find George Epringham on the Lincoln Roll.........was he from a nearby village?

Toby,

Your information contradicts that of the forum members.....see above link. I am really confused as to what really happened to my Grandfathers friend as clearly your relative was there and your family has preserved his memories. My grandfathers friend Sam Rawdin won the DCM with your relative on the very same day.

Are your relatives on this photo:

Steve.

post-3191-1132317360.jpg

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Steve,

Have had a quick read through the thread on S J Rawding but couldn't spot the contradiction! Sorryto be dense – I had no idea of any of the circumstances before today, so I'm only now building up a picture of what happened. It's very exciting for that reason - lots of fascinating details on the aforementioned thread.

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Maybe I am the one whos being thick :lol: Well I thought Tower Hamlets and St. Julien even though they are not far away are two different locations.......could be wrong though.

It seams you have more information on this than anyone here, so you could probably tell a thing or two about that action.

Please post a photo of the Trench map I bet everyone on forum wants to see it.

Steve.

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Steve – it's past lunchtime on a Friday, so we're allowed to be thick!

Will try to sort out a decent quality pic of the map over the weekend. It's a colour photocopy (my aunt has the original) but is excellent quality, so it would be worth me scanning it section by section to get a good result. I'll keep you posted...

The photo is great and didn't appear last time I looked at your post. Do you have any details, dates etc?

I *may* recognise someone in it but can't be sure – I am trying to imagine him 65 years older with no hair! My mum would certainly do better than I. Do you have a higher res version you could e-mail?

I think we're talking about two separate occasions here: July 31-Aug 3 and then around 26 Sept. My grandfather George got his DCM on the former, taking St Julien; his brother Fred was killed on the latter. I know that George was injured some time after St Julien 'fighting near Tower Hamlets'; looking at the circumstantial evidence it seems likely this was also around the 26 Sept, and that Fred was killed there. The 13th Battalion seems to have suffered a bit of a hammering at that time if the anecdotal evidence is anything to go by (I'd welcome more sound evidence for that).

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Paul, ref your reply to my post about 13th sussex, I'm trying to find out which company my late great Uncle L/Cpl. Archibald Goode was in to enable me to make a little more sence of the battalion war diary. Thought a nominal roll might help.

Jerry

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Are copies of the 13th war diary available anywhere, or is it purely a question of obtaining individual photocopies from West Sussex Records or Kew?

I'm hoping the former, but I think I'm being optimistic...

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Sam definetly said he won the DCM on 31st July 1917.

If Sam was still alive this is what he would tell you:

The attack began at 4 O'clock AM. The Platoon waited in No mans land until the British barrage had lifted on the German trenches when we got up to advance a coal box shell killed the officer in command Lt Knight. I then took command and lead the platoon into the German First line Trenches. I then proceeded to jump into the trench upon where I was bayoneted through the left forearm. The rest of the platoon them followed and occupied the Trench and bombed the dugouts until the remainder of its occupants surrendered. I was also wounded in the leg by shrapnel.

What is interesting is Sam was presented with his DCM by the King.......maybe your relative was too? And perhaps when Sam went to establish communication your relative held the position for which he was awarded the DCM?

A long shot to even presume he was in Sams platoon on that day.........makes an interesting story though!

Steve.

P.S. In the photo Sam is the Sergeant in the middle to the left is Cpl Withers and below is Cooke,

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Theres a regimental history for the 13th Battalion.......The British Library do not hold a copy I will wager the National Army Museum have one and so do the Regimental Museum.

Steve.

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Paul, ref your reply to my post about 13th sussex, I'm trying to find out which company my late great Uncle L/Cpl. Archibald Goode was in to enable me to make a little more sence of the battalion war diary. Thought a nominal roll might help.

Jerry

Hi Jerry - is this your man?

Goode, Archibald

Royal Sussex Regiment SD/3773 Private

If so, I can tell you that he wasn't wounded or taken prisoner at Richebourg on 30th June 1916. He was a lucky man, as the battalion suffered heavily on this day.

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Are copies of the 13th war diary available anywhere, or is it purely a question of obtaining individual photocopies from West Sussex Records or Kew?

I'm hoping the former, but I think I'm being optimistic...

Copies are available at WSRO in Chichester (typed copies of the original) and at TNA in London. If you can wait, I aim to digitally copy the 11/12/13 Bn diaries this winter.

I got your email and will reply direct shortly - probably this weekend.

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Theres a regimental history for the 13th Battalion.......The British Library do not hold a copy I will wager the National Army Museum have one and so do the Regimental Museum.

Steve.

There is no regimental history for the 13th Battalion. The only battalion histories for the regiment are the 5th, 7th and 16th. Sadly no history of the South Downs was ever published; but I have been working on one for 25 years or so.

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Steve:

Didn't you say in your other thread the DCM was won on 26/9/17..? Basically it seems that if it was 31 July it must be St Julien and if it was 26 Sept it must be Tower Hamlets. If it was St Julien then Sam and George may well have helped each other out! Interestingly, George was also later wounded in the forearm (a bullet) and by shrapnel. They seem to have quite a few things in common!

Can you confirm the date?

Paul: thanks for that. I think I can wait another winter for the war diary! Realistically it's unlikely I'd have the opportunity to get to either records office before then anyway.

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Toby,

There is confusion even over the date in which the DCM was awarded as the citation has no details. The date I have posted here is the date in which Sam said he won his DCM.

It would be nice if he is on the photo. Its only a postcard so I dont think I can improve the quality.

I'm throwing ideas around the forum because I know almost nothing about the (south Downs) Sussex Regiment Battalions. I know more about Sams service with the Lincolns.

If Sams papers are at TNA I havent seen them.

Do you know how many DCM's there were for the 13th? Did anyone else win the award on that same day?

This is a link to the LG Toby......print this off.....

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...&selHonourType=

Sam is in the LG for the 4th March 1918......the later edition. That doesnt really make any difference because there are a lot of factors to consider such as they may have been placed by different officers. In Sams instance who would put him forward for the award if his officer was dead?

Steve.

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Yes Paul, that's him. Wounded 25.9.16 at Cuinchy, wounded again 12.9.16 at B Hamel. Discharged 3.11.18 - no longer fit for service. He died in the Influenza Pandemic 8 months later.

Jerry

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Brilliant Steve, thank you!

Interesting question about officers. I had the same thought about George's possession of the trench map. In theory the officer in charge would be the one to have it – the fact that a corporal had it in his keeping suggests that it had passed down to him as a result of the death or incapacitation of his superiors.

Who, typically, *would* be in possession of a trench map, and how many were around? One for each platoon? Each company..?

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Its not uncommon for NCO's to carry revolvers.......Sam did.......I know this for a fact because he shot a member of the Kings Own who was in no mans land. Charge was dropped. That was Withers fault, he said "look sarg" in true Victor comic fashion!

I think an NCO under the officer would have a map.......its daft really to go into action with out one.........what if the only copy was blown to bits.........better to have two copies or maybe more........or better still as they did in WW2 memorise objectives.

Steve.

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Yellow

Sorry for not getting back earlier.

George Empringham formerly of the 1/5th Bn. Linc. R. was from the village of Redbourne, near Brigg. The family still live there to this day. I have not seen a commemoration to him anywhere, as yet. I think Kirton Lindsey is a good shout, though.

Lee

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