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Remembered Today:

W J FAIRY 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regt.


Marlene
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Kia Ora from New Zealand

William John Fairy was born in London in 1877. He married there in 1902 and at the time of his death of wounds on 5 September 1917 his wife was living at St Albans Herts.

The info I have is from the CWGC.

How did William come to be in a Beds Regiment? I am curious as to whether there was a choice or were the men simply posted to any regiment at time of enlistment?

William died on 5 September 1917 and is buried at Duisans British Cemetery.

Is anyone able to tell me what was happening with this Regiment about this time, presumably near to this cemetery?

If his military records still exist would they name his children?

I'd be very grateful for any information

Sincerely

Marlene

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I have only ever seen the service records of two British solders, of the two, one was married with two children. His records gave the names and dates of birth of both children and the maiden name of his wife and date of marriage. I believe the army wanted these details for payments made to a man’s wife.

But I must repeat I have only ever seen one married man’s records.

Tony.

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The Bedfordshire Regiment had an awful lot of Hertfordshire men in it, and in fact was later called the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment...

Volunteers (anyone with a 1915 Star would almost certainly be) were given the choice of Regiment, or Artillery, etc. providing that their choice was avalaible; later conscripts were generally not.

1st Battalion War Diary for beginning of September 1917.

1 Sep 1917 - Tunnel Dump, Vimy-Lievin Line

Working parties as on 29th, 30th, 31st Aug.

Draft of 5 casuals joined.

2 Sep 1917

Working party as on 1st. 1 O.R. wounded on wiring party - since died.

3 Sep 1917

Working party as above. Enemy Arty. active on FARBUS. Draft of 4 casuals joined. Played D.15. battery football - result 4-0 against.

4 Sep 1917 - Ecurie Wood Camp

Battalion withdrew from Tunnel Dump to ECURIE WOOD CAMP.

5 Sep 1917 - Frevin-Capelle

Battalion marched to FREVIN CHAPPELLE [sic]. Draft of 38 joined.

6 Sep 1917 - Grand-Rullecourt

Continued march to GRAND RULLECOURT & billeted there.

Obviously, not in the line, but the entry for the 2nd September 1917 stands out...

Also late August 1917 for reference:

9 Aug 1917 - Kitchener Camp, Red Line and Sugar Post

Relieved by 1/D.C.L.I. & 2 Coys & H.Q. withdrew to KITCHENER CAMP.

Two coys remained in RED LINE & SUGAR POST & worked under 491st Fld Coy R.E. wiring & widening trenches. Task - work see O.O. 100.

10-11 Aug 1917

Work as above two coys in KITCHENER Camp worked on Roads in back areas.

12 Aug 1917

Inter company relief see O.O.101

13-14 Aug 1917

Work as on 10 & 11 Instants.

15 Aug 1917 - Ecurie Wood Huts

Bn relieved by 1/Norfolk Regt & withdrew to ECURIE Wood huts see O.O.102.

16-20 Aug 1917 - Ecurie Wood Huts and Bray Range

Bn Training special attention being paid to Musketry on19 Inst. Bn marched to BRAY Range & spent two nights there. See training programme attached

Bn moved back to ECURIE Wood Camp.

21 Aug 1917 - Front Line south of Arleux

Relieved 1/D.C.L.I. in Front Line see ).).103

22-26 Aug 1917

In trenches Front line was heavily shelled with 5.9s & 8 inch on 24 inst casualties 3 O.R. Killed 4 O.R. wounded. Special attention was paid to wiring

27 Aug 1917 - Vimy-Lievin Line

Bn was relieved by 1/Cheshire Regt (see O.O.104) & withdrew to VIMY - LIEVIN line working parties were supplied for Front line system. Railways & tracks

28 Aug 1917

As above

29-31 Aug 1917

3 coys employed each night on wiring Front line system, one coy working on tracks Railways etc.

2LTS E.F.K.GRAHAM, V.E.FARR, L.J.HOBSON & H.G.BAKER joined Bn 30th inst.

Having died of wounds, he may well have been at a Casualty Clearing Station when he died.

The only CCS at Agnez-le-Duisans in September 1917 was CCS No. 8 : Mar 1917 - Apr 1918.

The conclusion I would draw from the War Diary is that he was in a wiring party in the trenches at the Vimy-Lievin Line on the 2nd September 1917, was wounded by artillery fire or a sniper, and was taken to No. 8 CCS at Agnez-le-Duisans where he died on the 5th. He was then buried in the nearby cemetery.

The other possibility is that he was wounded in the trenches between 22-26 Aug 1917 and died at No. 8 CCS. However, with there not being any major attacks at this time, I would think that he would probably have been evacuated to a hospital behind the lines well before the 5th.

Map showing Lievin-Vimy line and Duisans.

Distance is bewteen them is about 10 miles which is about average distance to the front line for a CCS.

post-6536-1127667794.jpg

Finally, regarding Service Records:

My two great-uncles Service Records that survive both listed parents, wife and children.

Hope this helps,

Steve.

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Tony,

I have the service records of my Grandfather and on the "Military History Sheet" there is a record relating to his marriage, church, ministers name and attendants. Also the names of his two daughters with dates of birth.

Don't know if this is usual or I'm just lucky such details have survived.

Pete.

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I have only ever seen the service records of two British solders, of the two, one was married with two children.  His records gave the names and dates of birth of both children and the maiden name of his wife and date of marriage.  I believe the army wanted these details for payments made to a man’s wife.

But I must repeat I have only ever seen one married man’s records.

Tony.

Many thanks Tony you have given me some hope there may be further info if the records still exists.

Marlene

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The Bedfordshire Regiment had an awful lot of Hertfordshire men in it, and in fact was later called the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment...

Volunteers (anyone with a 1915 Star would almost certainly be) were given the choice of Regiment, or Artillery, etc. providing that their choice was avalaible; later conscripts were generally not.

1st Battalion War Diary for beginning of September 1917.

1 Sep 1917 - Tunnel Dump, Vimy-Lievin Line

Working parties as on 29th, 30th, 31st Aug.

Draft of 5 casuals joined.

2 Sep 1917

Working party as on 1st. 1 O.R. wounded on wiring party - since died.

3 Sep 1917

Working party as above. Enemy Arty. active on FARBUS. Draft of 4 casuals joined. Played D.15. battery football - result 4-0 against.

4 Sep 1917 - Ecurie Wood Camp

Battalion withdrew from Tunnel Dump to ECURIE WOOD CAMP.

5 Sep 1917 - Frevin-Capelle

Battalion marched to FREVIN CHAPPELLE [sic]. Draft of 38 joined.

6 Sep 1917 - Grand-Rullecourt

Continued march to GRAND RULLECOURT & billeted there.

Obviously, not in the line, but the entry for the 2nd September 1917 stands out...

Also late August 1917 for reference:

9 Aug 1917 - Kitchener Camp, Red Line and Sugar Post

Relieved by 1/D.C.L.I. & 2 Coys & H.Q. withdrew to KITCHENER CAMP.

Two coys remained in RED LINE & SUGAR POST & worked under 491st Fld Coy R.E. wiring & widening trenches. Task - work see O.O. 100.

10-11 Aug 1917

Work as above two coys in KITCHENER Camp worked on Roads in back areas.

12 Aug 1917

Inter company relief see O.O.101

13-14 Aug 1917

Work as on 10 & 11 Instants.

15 Aug 1917 - Ecurie Wood Huts

Bn relieved by 1/Norfolk Regt & withdrew to ECURIE Wood huts see O.O.102.

16-20 Aug 1917 - Ecurie Wood Huts and Bray Range

Bn Training special attention being paid to Musketry on19 Inst. Bn marched to BRAY Range & spent two nights there. See training programme attached

Bn moved back to ECURIE Wood Camp.

21 Aug 1917 - Front Line south of Arleux

Relieved 1/D.C.L.I. in Front Line see ).).103

22-26 Aug 1917

In trenches Front line was heavily shelled with 5.9s & 8 inch on 24 inst casualties 3 O.R. Killed 4 O.R. wounded. Special attention was paid to wiring

27 Aug 1917 - Vimy-Lievin Line

Bn was relieved by 1/Cheshire Regt (see O.O.104) & withdrew to VIMY - LIEVIN line working parties were supplied for Front line system. Railways & tracks

28 Aug 1917

As above

29-31 Aug 1917

3 coys employed each night on wiring Front line system, one coy working on tracks Railways etc.

2LTS E.F.K.GRAHAM, V.E.FARR, L.J.HOBSON & H.G.BAKER joined Bn 30th inst.

Having died of wounds, he may well have been at a Casualty Clearing Station when he died.

The only CCS at Agnez-le-Duisans in September 1917 was CCS No. 8 :  Mar 1917 - Apr 1918.

The conclusion I would draw from the War Diary is that he was in a wiring party in the trenches at the Vimy-Lievin Line on the 2nd September 1917, was wounded by artillery fire or a sniper, and was taken to No. 8 CCS at Agnez-le-Duisans where he died on the 5th. He was then buried in the nearby cemetery.

The other possibility is that he was wounded in the trenches between 22-26 Aug 1917 and died at No. 8 CCS. However, with there not being any major attacks at this time, I would think that he would probably have been evacuated to a hospital behind the lines well before the 5th.

Map showing Lievin-Vimy line and Duisans.

Distance is bewteen them is about 10 miles which is about average distance to the front line for a CCS.

post-6536-1127667794.jpg

Finally, regarding Service Records:

My two great-uncles Service Records that survive both listed parents, wife and children.

Hope this helps,

Steve.

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Many Many thanks Steve - what a wonderful response. My mind boggles that out of all the thousands who died my William John's likely death can be so well isolated and documented from diaries and the like!

You are a wonder I would never have been able to find all that info from so far away even supposing I had knowledge.

Interesting about the unon of Herts & Beds - I'd wondered if he had made a deliberate choice to be with the Beds Regt as many of his cousins were in that Regt.

THANK you very much indeed for such a wonderful reply.

Marlene

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Tony,

I have the service records of my Grandfather and on the "Military History Sheet" there is a record relating to his marriage, church, ministers name and attendants. Also the names of his two daughters with dates of birth.

Don't know if this is usual or I'm just lucky such details have survived.

Pete.

Thanks Pete -it's great to know that there is a chance some additional info might exist. WJ Fairy was my greatgran's nephew born a year before she emigrated to NZ . Thus I am having to work forwards from 1878 - not an easy task andone which requires a heap of double checking!

Thanks very much for your help.

Malene

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Hi Marlene

Another Bedford nut here ...

Ill have a look through what I have (diaries, texts, clippings etc) & see if he turns up. "Other Ranks" rarely do but sometimes the appendices of the diaries come up trumps. Give me a while though as something enexpected has just happened so may be a day or two. Soz for the delay!!

Also, I MAY be going to Kew later this week, so if I am, Ill have a gander for you to see if his records have survived or not. Mail me what you have on stevefuller7@yahoo.co.uk & itll make sure I include him on my list!!!

Steve :D

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Hi Marlene,

You might recall that we were in correspondence about the Faireys from St Neots. We obviously cover the same sites !

Looks as though the gentlemen are sorting out your query so I won't throw in my thruppenceworth.

Good luck with the research !

David

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Hi Marlene

Another Bedford nut here ...

Ill have a look through what I have (diaries, texts, clippings etc) & see if he turns up. "Other Ranks" rarely do but sometimes the appendices of the diaries come up trumps. Give me a while though as something enexpected has just happened so may be a day or two. Soz for the delay!!

Also, I MAY be going to Kew later this week, so if I am, Ill have a gander for you to see if his records have survived or not. Mail me what you have on stevefuller7@yahoo.co.uk & itll make sure I include him on my list!!!

Steve  :D

I can cope with Bedford nuts anytime! Especially with offers like that!

You little beaut thank you. Private email will follow!

Regards

Marlene

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