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Roy Evans

South Staffordshire's War Diaries

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Roy Evans

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Roy Evans

4th Page

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davidfegga

Thanks Roy Excellent!

Dave F

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Guest JOHN R
I have just been fortunate enough to get copies of four more South Staffs war diaries. Should anyone want look-ups I now have the following in full;

1st, 2nd, 4th, 1/5th, 2/5th, 1/6th, 2/6th, 7th and 8th Battalions.

Roy

HELLO,

I HAVE JUST REGISTERED ON THIS SITE AND DONT REALLY KNOW HOW TO SET OFF A SUBJECT. I TYPED IN SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT BECAUSE I THINK! THAT MY GRANDFATHERS BROTHER COULD HAVE BEEN WITH THEM.

THE ONLY CLUE THAT I DO HAVE IS THAT HE WAS A PRISONER OF WAR IN MACEDONIA IN THE GREAT WAR.

HIS NAME WAS FRANCIS EARNEST RICHARDSON.

MY NAME IS JOHN RICHARDSON. HELLO AND I APOLOGISE FOR THIS AMATEURISH START.

MANY THANKS AND REGARDS

JOHN

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Roy Evans

John,

Not much to go on but you never know. I assume that he survived the war as I can't find him SDGW (a database of soldiers who died). The only South Staffs Battalion which served in that area was the 7th and their War Diary for that period has not survived. Somewhere on this forums mother site (The Long Long Trail) is a database of POWs, I suggest that you try there as your next step. Sorry that I can't be of more help at this stage.

Roy

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Guest Davey

Hello Roy,

I read your post and wondered if you may be able to help me out. I was on exercise out in Belgium and had the opportunity to visit the Ypres Salient and Tyne Cot Cemetery. I was looking for a family member who served in the 7th Btn. Private Charles Buttrick MM, Service No. 26912. He was killed on 04 Oct 17.

I've seen the medal card and know that C Coy were fighting towards Pheasant Trench/Farm from the Steenbeek area. I've got this info off the web and from the History of the 7th Btn. (Ed.) Major A.H Ashcroft

I'm trying to find out the circumstances in which he fell and any info how he earnt his MM. I understand that the diaries may only show vague detail but any information regarding the above would be gratefully received.

I was hoping to visit the National Archives and try to dig out the info, however, I'm serving in the RAF and its a bit difficult to get the time.

Many Thanks

David Boothby

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iona

Hello,

Is it possible to let me have copies of extracts for the week leading up to and including the 27/07/1916. South Staffs. 2nd Battalion please?

I don't know the protocol here, so could you please let me know how to pay you or get my address to you. (PM perhaps?)

On another note, I have contacted the military museum but haven't had any reply. How does one normally go about getting hold of war diaries?

Thankyou

Iona

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Roy Evans
Hello Roy,

I was looking for a family member who served in the 7th Btn. Private Charles Buttrick MM, Service No. 26912. He was killed on 04 Oct 17.

David Boothby

David,

Very sorry, only just picked this up. Mid-week nights are not good for me at the moment but I will scan the entry at the weekend. The entries for early October '17 are not extensive but the attack on the 4th was around Poelcapelle and the diary entry has a note "See narative of operations attached) but there isn't one. I'll call at the Regimental museum if I get a chance and will try to get their copy.

Roy

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Roy Evans
Hello,

Is it possible to let me have copies of extracts for the week leading up to and including the 27/07/1916. South Staffs. 2nd Battalion please?

I don't know the protocol here, so could you please let me know how to pay you or get my address to you. (PM perhaps?)

On another note, I have contacted the military museum but haven't had any reply. How does one normally go about getting hold of war diaries?

Thankyou

Iona

Iona,

See my comments to David in the post above. I will scan your entries at the weekend, otherwise PM me your address and I'll post you copies of the entries for those days.

Not sure how one normally goes about getting hold of war diaries but for myself I more or less pass the Regt. museum most days and called in to ask for copies of all of the diaries over a period of time.

Roy

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Guest Davey
David,

Very sorry, only just picked this up. Mid-week nights are not good for me at the moment but I will scan the entry at the weekend. The entries for early October '17 are not extensive but the attack on the 4th was around Poelcapelle and the diary entry has a note "See narative of operations attached) but there isn't one. I'll call at the Regimental museum if I get a chance and will try to get their copy.

Roy

Thanks Roy I'm much obliged.

I'll look forward to any info.

Davey

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Lost in Tilloy

Hi Roy

I'm trying to trace details of a Private 40640 George W Denholm 1st South Staffordshire Regiment [formally 202732 of the North Stafordshire Regiment]. He was KIA on 28th March 1917. Could you tell me where the 1st South Staffordshire Regiment was on the day he was killed? I know that he is listed on the Arras memorial therefore I assume he was around that area.

Regards

LIT

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Roy Evans

Hi LIT,

I'll do a look-up later this evening - assuming Chris Baker doesn't do it first.

Roy

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Doug Lewis

LIT

Additional info from History of The South Staffordshire Regiment by Jones.

Attack on

Croisilles.

On March 22nd we moved to Pusieux-au-mont, a much damaged village, recently evacuated by the Germans in their retreat, and on the following day on to Courcelles which had been almost completely demolished. After three days' rest, the Battalion took up positions in front of St. Leger,preparatory to an attack on Croisilles.

Croisilles formed an important outpost to the famous Hindenburg Line, which ran about a mile north-east of it.Until Croisilles was captured it was impossible to bring our guns close enough to effectually shell the immensely strong German main position.

It was thought at this time that the enemy did not intend to put up a serious resistance at Croisilles. An attack was therefore ordered by two Battalions, without waiting for

sufficient guns to be brought up to put down an effective barrage.

We formed the left Battalion of the attack, our left flank being entirely in the air. At, 5.45 a.m. the attack was launched, and it was soon evident that the enemy was in great

strength and meant to fight. The village of Croisilles and the surrounding sunken roads bristled with machine guns, which our light barrage was unable to silence. Our

approaches to the village lay over a bare and exposed ridge, and a valley offering no cover of any kind to the attackers.In spite of heavy machine gun and rifle fire the attack was pressed with great determination, the right Company pushing forward to the enemy wire on the outskirts of the village.This was found to be uncut. As no further progress could be made, and casualties were considerable, this Company was forced to withdraw slightly and take cover in a sunken road. Here they maintained themselves throughout the day under heavy shell fire. A strong enemy counter-attack, made with the object of cutting them off, was heavily defeated, largely owing to the splendid work of 2nd Lieut. W. H. Curry, who was now in command at this point. The left Company, under Captain W. A. Dickens, M.C., had at first made good progress, in spite of heavy machine gun fire. As they neared their objective, however, the enemy was able to bring terrific cross fire to bear and pinned them down to the line gained. Owing to the fact that no troops were attacking on the left, this Company's left flank was entirely exposed, while on the right a gap had occurred, owing to their rapid advance. The enemy was not slow to take advantage of this and developed a strong counter-attack. This Company was quickly out-flanked and eventually completely surrounded. After a gallant resistance the bulk of the company were killed or captured.The Battalion was relieved on the night 28th/29th March

and returned to Courcelles.

Regards Doug

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Roy Evans

Jones is rather more expansive than the war diary which gives;

24th At COURCELLES. Working parties furnished for filling in craters at road junctions, blown up by the enemy.

25th As above. Working parties continued.

26th As for 25th.

27th Battalion relieved 21st Manchester Regt. and took up position in front of ST. LEGER (Sheet 51B) preparatory to attack on CROISILLES.

28th Battalion attacked CROISILLES. Casualties; 6 Officers, 129 Other Ranks (19 killed, 54 wounded, 56 missing.). Relieved by 21st Bn. Manchester Regt. Returned to billets at COURCELLES.

Roy

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Lost in Tilloy

Roy & Doug

Many thanks for the replies. I'm sorry I haven't responded quicker with my thanks but after moving house on Friday [3rd March] BT made a mess of my phone line and according to Tiscali it is going to take anything from 9 to 20 days to get my broadband working! I'm therefore trying to get access to the internet at my parents and work.

Thanks again, and the info is very useful to me.

Regards

LIT

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Davidmedalman

Hi Roy

Would you be able to tell me where i could obtain full copies of both 1/5th & 1/6th South Staffs war diaries.

I have quite a few medals to the South Staffs and have decided to colect more in this area.

Regards

David.

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Roy Evans
Hi Roy

Would you be able to tell me where i could obtain full copies of both 1/5th & 1/6th South Staffs war diaries.

I have quite a few medals to the South Staffs and have decided to colect more in this area.

Regards

David.

David,

I will PM details.

Roy

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Roy Evans

David Boothby;

Sorry I've been very busy of late and not been able to get to the museum as yet to ask about the narrative - hope to do so this week.

Iona;

I have your copies and have sent you a PM.

Roy

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The Old Man

It's along shot I know but I wondered if anyone can help me please.

We're touring France and Belgium this summer and whilst we're there we're anxious to pay our respects to my wife's grandfather's brother - Private 11411 Thorley, 1st Battalion South Staffs.

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...asualty=1770731

Seeing the date of his death, 25th September 1915, I assumed that he was killed during the assault on Hohenzollern Redoubt during the Battle of Loos. However, I came across the following website which contains extracts from the War Diary of the 1/5 South Staffs covering the 25th September 1915, which has sown some doubt in my mind as to where he may have been on the date in question.

http://www.1914-1918.net/Diaries/wardiary-5SStaffs.htm

I've noticed from other postings that battalions are often followed by another number - i.e 1/4 or 1/5 - but all I have for Bramwell is that he served in the First Battalion.

Obviously we'll visit Loos Memorial but as we'll be the first of his relatives to visit the area, of equal sentimental importance would be to visit the scene of his death knowing that his remains are somewhere out in those fields. I would feel awful if we were to visit the wrong site. Any suggestions ?

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Doug Lewis

The Old Man

You are correct in your thinking that your relative was killed during the Battle of Loos,but it was not during the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt but on the capture of the Quarries which were to the right of Hohenzollern Redoubt when looking at it from the British trenches. The 1/5th and 1/6th South Staffords were invoved in the attack on Hohenzollern Redoubt 13/10/15

Info taken from "A History of the South Staffordshire Regiment" by J.P.Jones.

"The line occupied by the Battalion was about 300 yards long, and facing nearly due east. The German line the 1st South Staffords were told off to attack was about 450 yards long, strongly fortified and powerfully strengthened with flank defence, with wire in front of exceptional thickness andstrong posts.

There were small redoubts, manned with numerous machine guns, at intervals, and the left flank was enfiladed by a variety of fire from Hohenzollern Redoubt and Fosse 8.The distance to be traversed by the Battalion in the attack ,before reaching the enemy's lines was approximately 500 yards. The 1st South Staffords led the right attack, Royal Warwicks the left attack, with the 1st Royal WelshFusiliers in support, and the 2nd Queen's in Reserve.After an intense barrage by our artillery, and the launching of a cloud of gas against the enemy trenches. "At 6.28a.m., on September 25th, the order 'Get ready to charge' came down the line, and Lieut. W. Cooper, whose eyes had been on his watch, gave the order, 'Scouts and wire-cutters advance.'Directly after, the order to the Companies to advance was given, and 'C Company climbed up the ladders and advanced through the smoke screen, which was very dense (caused by our use of 'smoke bombs,' smoke candles and gas). The advance was made in a thick cold mist and drizzling rain.

.........Advancing in extended order, the old 38th, at about three paces interval between each man, moving steadily forward,they stormed the first German line, took the second or support line, and the remnant of this magnificent old Regiment, mixedup with other Corps, moved on and captured "The Quarries,"some of them, under Colonel Ovens, actually penetrated the German lines to within 50 yards of the German position at

Cite St. Elie.

About 200 Germans surrendered to Lieut.-Colonel R. M.Ovens and a mixed party of about 25 South Staffords and men of the Border Regiment, who had fired on them until they charged up to the wire in front of the trenches. Here, at 9.30 p.m. the same day, this remnant of the 1st South Staffords, and a detachment of the Yorkshire Regiment (part of the 27th Infantry Brigade), were sent to guard the south side of "The Quarries," under Lieut.-Colonel R. M. Ovens,who had with him, Lieut. G. B. Schon, M.G. Officer, and 2nd Lieut. Brocklesby. The Germans made a strong counterattack,and the 27th Infantry Brigade was driven back by a mass of Germans, after holding on for hours against great odds.

The 1st South Staffords, too, were forced to fall back to fresh positions west of "The Quarries." The enemy made fresh bombing attacks, and deluged them with a very heavy artillery bombardment, causing many casualties."

Hope this is helpful.

Regards Doug.

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enoch beard

vales version of events

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The Old Man

Enoch, Doug, that's tremendous information. It's narrowed the area down quite significantly and I'm confident that when we go and pay our tributes to Bramwell and his colleagues, at least now we'll have the right area. I imagine it's going to be a very moving experience to actually stand in silence at the scene where, all those years ago, so many were slaughtered, and indeed, so many still lie. In a strange way, I'm looking forward to showing them that they are still remembered and their sacrifice, respected and honoured.

many thanks both for all your advice.

Trevor.

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enoch beard

thankyou trevor,

i don't like to see men from modern day sandwell/ dudley forgotten!

enoch

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The Old Man

You're welcome Enoch. I'm convinced they're all 'up there' looking down on us and saying "Thanks for not forgetting us". For sure, I feel there's something driving me on to find out all I can about Bramwell - I never met him, nor is he directly related to me. We don't even have a photograph of him but I feel I actually know him. There's something driving me forward.

Enoch, as I'm a newcomer to military history, can I ask your advice ? He was from a small family - his only brother was my wife's maternal grandfather - and the family has nothing of Bramwell's at all. Would the family have had a 'Memorial Plaque' following his death (25 September 1915) ? Do you know what families did with these ? Were they generally proud of them and so give them pride of place, or were they ashamed of them? At some point in the past, if they had one, it must have been disposed of. My quest now is to find it but I'm at a loss as to where to start !

Trevor.

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enoch beard

trevor,

as a collector i have seen many memorial plaques in a lot of different conditions, some mint still in the boxes and to the other exterme where you can hardly read the name on the plaque from polishing!

if you are looking for his plaque e mail derek robertson and have his name listed on his site

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