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Roy Evans

South Staffordshire Regt War Diaries

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Ken Wayman

Hi Roy

Sorry to be a nuisance but could you possibly tell me where 46th Division was located between Mid-August 1918 and 7th September 1918. I am led to believe that the div was with GHQ in some respect but beyond that....?

I'm trying to track down a 1/8th Sherwood who was killed on 4th Sept 1918.

Thanks for anything you can tell me.

Cheers

Ken

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Roy Evans

Ken,

Diary of 1/6th South Staffs (46th Div).

August 1918 VAUDRICOURT WOOD

1st Battalion Training during the morning. Lecture on ‘Aeroplanes’ in the evening.

2nd 30 men and 2 Officers were taken to the Aerodrome but weather was too bad to fly. Divisional Sports were held at Bois be Dames, near Marles les Mines. Officers’ Tug-of-War Team drew for 3rd prize with D.A.C., 2nd prize was won for Battalion Transport Turnout. In Officers’ Pony Chargers, Infantry Chargers and Jumping the Battalion secured 3rd prize in each. G.S. Limbered Wagon (2 horses) 3rd prize. Flat Races a 2nd and 3rd.

At night the Battalion relieved the 1/8th Sherwood Foresters in the Essars Support Sector. (See Operation Orders No. 121).

ESSARS

3rd A quiet day.

4th Enemy shelled ESSARS with 8” – some falling very near B.H.Q. and Headquarter Details.

5th & 6th Enemy shelled ESSARS and vicinity with 4.2 & 5.9 all day – about 500 rounds being sent over. At night Battalion relieved the 1/5th South Staffordshire Regt. in the ESSARS Right Sector. (See Operation Orders No. 122).

6th While out on patrol with his Sergeant in the evening 2/Lieut. Hussey was shot through the head and killed. His Sergeant tried to recover his body but a party of seven Germans rushed out and secured it and he was forced to come back.

During the forenoon the enemy had a shoot with 5.9s on the LIVERPOOL LINE, many direct hits were obtained.

7th A quiet day. The enemy retired on the left of the LAWE CANAL and the 1/6th North Staffordshire Regiment also advanced their posts slightly on the right of the canal. LE CASAN was occupied. No sign of retirement on our front.

8th The enemy was very active and alert opposite to us – patrols were out throughout the day and night, but there was no sign of his posts being vacated. Corporal Thomas of ‘A’ Coy. was wounded in attempting to enter an Enemy post.

9th A quiet day. Patrols in contact with the enemy throughout the day. An Inter-Company relief took place at night, ‘B’ & ‘C’ Coys. going in the front line.

10th A German Aeroplane was driven down behind the Liverpool Line in the early morning. The two airmen, an Officer and N.C.O. were taken prisoner.

11th In the early morning the enemy bombarded our Trenches with Gas; about 4000 Blue X, Yellow X and Mustard Gas Shells being sent over. Casualties about 100, including 2 Officers. After a fairly quiet day the Battalion was relieved by the 1/6th Btn. North Staffs. Regt. and moved into Brigade Reserve. (See Operation Orders No. 125).

The Divisional Gas Officer superintended at the Chlorine Chamber where every man dad his clothing disinfected.

12th A quiet day.

13th A quiet day.

14th A quiet day. In the evening the Btn. was relieved by the 1/5th Sherwood Foresters and moved into Divisional Reserve with H.Q. and 2 Coys. in VERQUIN and 2 Coys. in VAUDRICOURT WOOD. (See Operation Orders No. 126)

VERQUIN

15th The day was spent in Bathing and cleaning up.

16th Battalion Training in vicinity of billets. Lewis Gunners fired on Range.

17th Battalion marched to HESDIGNEUL Training Ground. The Divisional Demonstration Platoon gave a demonstration on the Range with Tracer Bullets.

18th The Battalion dug a line of ‘Retention’ near GORRE WOOD.

19th Battalion Training in vicinity of billets. In the afternoon a Tactical Scheme for Officers was carried out.

20th The Battalion relieved the 1/5th Btn. Sherwood Foresters in the ESSARS Left Sector. (See Operation Orders No. 127).

ESSARS

21st The Battalion advanced all Outposts about 800 yards, suffering few casualties.

22nd A quiet day. our patrols were active.

23rd A quiet day. An Inter-Battalion relief took place.

24th Enemy Artillery very active in vicinity of LES FACONS.

25th Activity of enemy Artillery still marked.

26th A quiet day. The Btn. was relieved in the Line by the 1/6th Btn. North Staffs. Regt. and moved into Brigade Support at ESSARS. (See Operation Orders No. 128)

27th A quiet day.

28th A quiet day.

29th The enemy retired and the Battalion moved into the Front Line, 2 Companies taking over from 1/5th South Staffs. Regt. on the Right and 2 Companies taking over from the 1/6th Btn. North Staffs. Regt. on the Left (ESSARS).

30th A busy day. The Btn. followed the enemy up to the River La Loisue Line.

31st Our Outposts pushed forward to Queen Mary’s Road with patrols out in front keeping touch with the enemy.

At night the Btn. was relieved by the 1/8th Btn. Gloucestershire Regt. and moved into the Newcastle Line at ESSARS.

TOTAL CASUALTIES FOR MONTH OF AUGUST 1918: -

Killed; 2 Officers, 8 Other Ranks

Died of Wounds 1 Other Ranks

Wounded 33 Other Ranks

Wounded (Gas) 2 Officers, 91 Other Ranks

Missing 2 Other Ranks.

C. LISTER, Lieut.-Colonel

Commanding 1/6th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment

3rd September1918.

September 1918 ESSARS

1st Quiet day. In the afternoon the Battalion vacated the NEWCASTLE LINE and marched into Reserve in VAUDRICOURT WOOD. (See Operation Orders No. 131).

VAUDRICOURT WOOD

2nd Day was spent in cleaning up, Bathing, etc.

3rd Battalion Training in vicinity of Camp.

4th Battalion Training in vicinity of Camp.

5th Battalion Training in vicinity of Camp.

The Battalion marched to ALLOUAGNE and billeted there.

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Ken Wayman

Morning Roy

I can't believe you've produced so much so fast! I'm really grateful, mate!

It certainly solves my research problem.

Many thanks and have a good Christmas.

All the best

Ken

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Roy Evans
I can't believe you've produced so much so fast! I'm really grateful, mate!

Not a problem, I'm transcribing all of the South Staffs diaries for my website to be launched next year. The 1/6th is already typed up.

Best wishes

Roy

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Roy Evans

Iain,

Here, at last, is your info on the 1/5th South Staffs.

1/5th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment War Diary 1915

March 1915 SAFFRON WALDEN

1st 1.30 a.m. Entrained by ½ Batt’n., arrived Southampton 8.15 a.m. detrained on Wharf. Transport sent straight to Rest Camp. 72 Horses and only 21 men allowed to remain to look after them. Batt’n remained in Wharf Sheds for night.

English Horse Trucks unsuitable for Clydesdales, unable to pack them close enough as the animals are too long, consequently 5 horses fell and got trampled in the trucks on the journey, this caused a delay.

SOUTHAMPTON

2nd Batt. route march. Embarked on ‘EMPRESS QUEEN’ at 3 p.m., sailed 6.19 p.m., reached HARVE 1.0 a.m.

HARVE

3rd Reached HARVE 1.0 a.m., disembarked 7.30 a.m., marched 4 miles to Rest Camp. Under Canvas. Transport not arrived, being on different ship. Draw a few Camp Kettles, 50 for whole Batt., all new Blankets 2 per man. Fur Coats and warm clothing issued, almost all articles of store not drawn at home were issued.

Interpreter joined.

Not having Transport with Battalion caused considerable inconvenience. If possible it would seem preferable to keep Unit complete for transportation.

4th Remained in Rest Camp. Transport not issued.

5th 2.0 p.m. Received orders to entrain at 7 p.m. at Point 3 GARE des MERCHANDIES. Transport ship arrived in morning – joined the Battalion at Station. 1 Corp, 2 men, 2 horses left behind, lost their way in HARVE.

Issue of rations in station caused some confusion, especially day’s rations & Iron Rations being practically identical, consequently many Iron Rations consumed in error.

6th 12.25 a.m. Train left. Travelled via ROUEN – MONTEROLIER – BUCHY – ABBEVILLE – halt ¾ hour via BOULOGNE – CALAIS – ST OMER to ARNEKE.

Arrived ARNEKE, started detraining at 11.30 p.m. finished 2.05 a.m. This long time of detraining was due to there being no dock available for Transport and Horses. High Ramps had to be used down to ground level.

ARNEKE

7th 2.15 a.m. Finished detraining – went into billets in Farms – rather scattered, some Coys 2 miles apart.

8th Remained in billets – a few billets exchanged for better ones. Lecture by G.O.C. N.M.D. all officers and Sgt. Majors. Coy Inspections.

9th Marched 9.30 a.m. about 13 miles to BORRE arrived 2.30 p.m. Very slow halting march, a great deal of traffic on roads. Billets in Farms, better than before. Left Cooker with broken pole at ARNEKE. Warned to be ready to turn out at 1 hours notice.

BORRE

10th Remained in billets. Coys did Physical Drill and short route marches. Sent to ARNEKE for Cooker – didn’t arrive. Drew 250 prs. Gum Boots.

11th Received order 10.10 a.m. to be ready to march at 11 a.m. – were actually ready at 12 noon – marched 1 p.m. leaving behind Fur Coats and surplus stores – by order – marched about 12 miles arriving at 8.0 p.m. Very halting march, great many troops moving on same and cross roads. Whole Battalion billeted in one farm 1 mile from ESTAIRES – called TROU-BAYARD.

TROU-BAYARD

12th Remained in billets, warned to be ready to move at any time from 6.0 a.m. Short route marches by Coys.

Physical Drill – Coy Drill.

13th Remained in billets, warned to move anytime from 5.30 a.m., short route marches, later warning ready to move at 2 hrs notice.

Cooker arrived back from ARNEKE.

14th Remained in billets, surplus stores and Band who were left in charge rejoined. Physical Drill – Musketry Instruction.

Church Parade Service under C.O.

Warned to be ready to move at short notice during the night, all packed up and waiting. Could hear ST. ELOI bombardment from 5 p.m. to 2.30 a.m.

15th Received orders to move billets. Battalion paraded but move postponed 24 hours. Moved out of billet & bivouacked in the fields.

Trench digging practice with entrenching tools. 1 man found to have Scarlet fever. ‘C’ Coy. isolated.

16th Yesterday’s move re-ordered, parade at 9.0 a.m. marched towards OULTERSTEEN, received word before reaching there that our billets had been taken by other Units, had to wait in a field until new billets were found. New billets just North of LA BECQUE, 2 miles S. BAILLEUL.

LA BECQUE

17th Inspection by Field Marshall Sir John French (Several Compliments).

18th Moved billets, Hd QRS Steam Mill BAILLEUL & 2 Coys, 2 Coys METEREN.

STEAM MILL

19th Remained in billets, warm clothing, fur coats, horse rugs sent into CHESTRE, returned without ever having been used.

20th Marched to AMENTIERES, about 8 miles, first march on Paves all the way. Men ‘stuck it’ very well. Billeted in Hospital in Rue des Routours. Attached 16th Brigade (Gen. Ingonville Williams) G.O.C. 2nd Army witnessed march.

AMENTIERES

21st Lecture on sanitation in trenches & billets. Inspection by Brigadier 16th Brigade 12 noon in Grande Place. Instruction in bomb throwing in afternoon.

2 Coys were to have gone into trenches at night but owing to Scarlet fever case would not have men in trenches. ‘B’ Coy went out digging communication trenches behind 1st K.S.L.I. 1 man wounded (2nd in Command & Adjutant went round trenches with Brigadier early morning).

22nd Batt. Hd. Qrs. stayed down at trenches 1 K.S.L.I all day. Coys taught Bomb throwing and wire entanglements. ‘D’ and ½ ‘B’ Coys went into trenches at night. Men mixed up with the 1st K.S.L.I. & Buffs. 2 men wounded slightly. ‘A’ Coy digging Communication trenches.

23rd Coys instructed in Bomb throwing – construction of Breast-works – wire entanglements – Officers shown billets Y & L. ‘A’ & ½ ‘B’ relieved ‘D’ & ½ ‘B’ in trenches at night. No casualties. 3 Rifles burst.

24th ‘C’ Coy not allowed in trenches, sent back to old billets near BAILLEUL. M.G. section went into trenches for day. No casualties.

25th Marched 10.0 a.m. to return to old billets near BAILLEUL & METEREN arrived about 1.0 p.m. G.O.C. N.M.D. witnessed march through BAILLEUL as also did G.O.C. III corps. (Compliments).

STEAM MILL

26th Remained in billets. Coy training – physical Drill, short route marches.

27th Moved Hd. Qrs. & ‘C’ & ‘D’ Coys billets nearer to METEREN & OULTERSTEENE.

Coy training carried on, musketry instruction, physical drill, short route marches.

OULTERSTEENE

28th Church parade service in the morning.

29th Entrenching exercise. 2 Coys moving. 2 Coys afternoon – trenches opposite one another 40x apart.

30th Continued entrenching practice & bombing practice.

31st Constructing barbed wire entanglements, construction of hurdles & improvement of trenches, morning. At 1.15 p.m. orders were received to march to BAILLEUL, moved off at 3.30 p.m., arrived BAILEUL at 5.0 p.m. Billeted there for the night.

Certain proportion of Officers went to NEUVE EGLISE to inspect trenches and take over huts for Battn.

R.R. RAYMER, Lt. Col.

Comdg. 1/5th Bn. South Staffordshire Regt.

APRIL 1915 BAILLEUL

1st Morning in billets. Battalion paraded at 2.30 p.m. & marched to BULFORD CAMP on mile S.W. of NEUVE EGLISE – vacated by 2nd Battn. King’s Own (R. Lancaster Regt.). Arrived at Camp 5.0 p.m.

NEUVE EGLISE

2nd C.O. & Senior Major proceeded to WULVERGHEM to interview O.Cs. Comdg. 2nd E. Yorks Regt. & 3rd Monmouth Regt.

Battalion paraded 6 p.m. for trenches. The 3rd Monmouth Regt. with H.Q. at St. Quentin Cabaret (T.5.d.2.2.) held right section of 83rd Brigade line & 2nd East Yorks Regt. with H.Q. at ‘GABLE FARM’ (T.5.a.0.3) held centre section. Battalion took over trenches as follows: - ‘D’ Coy Trench 10a (left) 10b & 10b support, from 2nd East Yorks Regt. ‘A’, ‘B’ & ‘C’ Companies - Trenches 8, 9, 10a (right) 10a Support, ‘SOUVENIR FARM’ (T.5.d.7.4) S.P.4 & ‘X’ Dug Outs from 3rd Monmouth Regt. Bn. Hd. Q. & Aid Post fixed at St. Quentin Cabaret. Relief completed at 10.45 p.m.

The Batt. now held right section of Staffs Infy. Bde. line (former 83rd Bde. line), the left section having been occupied the previous night by the 5th North Staffs Regt. The Right section extended from U.1.a.7.2 to N.36.d.3.2 with a recaxtrant to T.6.b.9.1.

WULVERGHEM

3rd Brigadier Gen. E. Feetham visited the trenches of Battn. on taking over command of the Staffs Infantry Brigade. Trenches in considerable disrepair. Gaps between 10a & 10 b and between 10a & 9. Practically impossible to visit them in daylight.

V. little wire. Work on improvements & extensions commenced at once. Trenches 10a & 10b subject to enfilade fire from left and 8 & 9 from right (MESSINES HILL).

Casualties: - Killed 8137 Pte. A Hunt, D Coy., 9579 Pte. Childs, T., A Coy., Wounded 9866 Pte. G. Darby, A Coy, 8765 Pte. Law, W. B Coy.

4th At 3.15 p.m. the German Artillery began to shell trenches 8 & 9, afterwards attacking 10a. Later on (4.30 p.m.) they shelled WULVERGHEM village & set on fire ‘GABLE FARM’. At 2 p.m. just before the shelling began, a white flag was shown in the enemy trench opposite Trench 8.

9110 Sgt. J Hayward & 7667 Pte. F. Stockholm, both ‘A’ Coy wounded by shell fire.

Much firing during the evening. 8109 Pte. A. Weston, C Coy wounded while carrying rations to trenches.

5th Sniping frequent all night. Searchlights used on both flanks & our working parties much hampered. Damage to Breast-work by shell fire made good. 10a Trench again shelled in afternoon, also WULVERGHEM village.

2nd Lieut. F. Eglington & 9531 Pte. W. Horton, B Coy wounded by shells. Heavy rain, much water in trenches.

6th Damage to 10a Trench repaired & good progress made with improvements. Trenches dried up quickly.

Battn. relieved in trenches by 1/6th South Stafford Regt. & reached ‘BULFORD CAMP’ about 1.30 a.m. next morning in pouring rain.

NEUVE EGLISE

7th ‘A’ Coy inspected at 3 p.m. by Brigadier. Working parties sent to trenches. Baths provided for men.

8th Short route march. Working parties to trenches. Baths. Refitting.

9th Inspection of B & C Coys by Brigadier. Working parties.

10th Battn. paraded at 6.30 p.m. for trenches to relieve 1/6th South Stafford Regt. Relief completed 11.0 p.m.

9414 Pte. B. Jones, C Coy wounded during relief.

11th Quiet day. Captive Balloon up from MESSINES. English aeroplane over hostile trenches, received heavy fire from trench garrisons. Officers examined cross sap trench 8 to trench 10a and worked up to German wire.

Killed 8346 Pte. W. Durrant (M.G. Section) 114 Pte H.J. Rock both C Coy, shot thro’ head. Wounded 9466 Pte A. Tortoishell, D Coy.

12th Working party in Trench 8 under heavy fire about 2 am. 10a, 10b support & WULVERGHEM village shelled between 4 – 6 p.m. No damage.

Heavy transport heard moving at back of German lines about 9.30 p.m.

Officers’ patrols again examined cross sap and reconnoitred German listening post.

6943 Cpl. G. Howard, D Coy killed, 9068 Pte. W. Smith, A Coy, wounded.

13th Five H.E. shells dropped into Trench 9c about 12.15 p.m. Parapet damaged.

9088 Pte. G.H. Benton seriously wounded (died same night), 8070 Pte. R. Bradley A Coy, wounded. Two men buried in collapse of dug-out not hurt. Trench 10b shelled between 3 – 4 p.m. No damage. Bursts of rapid fire from German lines between 8 & 11 p.m.

14th A few shells fell N. of WULVERGHEM about 1 p.m. 8906 Pte. W. Hough, C Coy wounded.

Relieved by 1/6th South Staffs. Relief complete 11 p.m. Marched to ‘BULFORD CAMP’.

NEUVE EGLISE

15th Drill. Kit Inspection. Working parties. Musketry on 30x range for indifferent shots.

16th Ditto.

17th Ditto.

Baths all day.

18th Practice in crossing barbed wire entanglements. Battn. paraded for Trenches 7.20 p.m.

8948 Pte. C. Weaver, C Coy, wounded during relief, 8302 Pte. L. Benton, B Coy, wounded while carrying rations.

Now possible to visit all trenches by daylight.

WULVERGHEM

19th Fired on German working party opposite 10b trench. Outburst of rapid fire from German trenches about 3.30 a.m.

Two H.E. followed by 2 shrapnel fired at S.P.4 at 8 a.m. 10a Trench shelled 5 p.m. No damage.

9468 Pte. J.T. Stanley, C Coy, wounded.

20th Six rounds shrapnel fired by German Artillery at 10a left. No casualties. Trenches 8 & 9 troubled by German sniping from MESSINES.

21st Further sniping along 8 & 9 trenches. 9199 Pte. A. Walker, 8817 Pte. R.W. Hempshall, both A Coy wounded. Two H.E. shells & two shrapnel burst near and over SOUVENIR FARM about 1 p.m. Major J. Lees wounded.

6 H.E. shells fell in WULVERGHEM about 1.30 p.m. 16 H.E. shells burst in & near Trench 9, doing much damage to parapet of 9b. Working parties brought in and fire (10 rounds) opened on German trenches at 10.30 p.m. 8456 Pte. Hounslow, D Coy wounded (died later).

22nd Lt. Cozene & Pte. Thorne exploded grenade in German listening post at 2 a.m. & returned safely.

Relieved by 1/6th South Staffs 10.30 p.m. Returned to BULFORD CAMP. Fumes of asphyxiating gas caused smarting of eyes. Received warning to be prepared to embus at short notice.

NEUVE EGLISE

23rd Bath & cleaning up. Working party of 200 men on G.H.Q. line 8 – 12 midnight.

24th Drill – route march. Working party of 200 men on G.H.Q. line 8 – 12 midnight.

25th Working parties on G.H.Q. line, three reliefs of 200 each during day.

26th Two working parties of 200 each on G.H.Q. line. Battalion paraded for trenches at 8.50 p.m. and relieved 1/6 South Staffs Regt.

WULVERGHEM

27th Heavy artillery fire all day, mainly on our right. Aeroplane duel about 6.0 p.m. over WULVERGHEM.

9085 Sgt. W. Stevens, 9491 Pte. J. Parkes, both A Coy, wounded by rifle fire. Gap between 10a & 10b completely closed.

28th 10a support trench shelled. No damage. Sniping from MESSINES.

4468 Sgt. W.J. Yardley, A Coy, 9012 Pte. G. Wyley, D Coy, wounded.

29th Shell from supporting battery struck 10b Trench, seriously wounding Capt. McCraith, North Midland R.E. & killing 7936 Pte. W. Martin, M.G. Section. Other casualties – wounded 8436 Dr. H. Mills, A Coy, 8526 Pte. J. Lewis, A Coy.

30th Quiet day. Six shells fell in WULVERGHEM village about 4 p.m., 9332 Pte. N.C. Hilton, M.G. section wounded.

1/6 S. Staffs relieved us 11.45 p.m. Battn. to BULFORD CAMP.

L/Cpl. H. Meyrick, B Coy & 8908 Pte. V.C. Hough, C Coy, wounded during relief.

Casualties during month: -

Killed - 7 O.R.*

Died of Wounds – 2 O.R.

Died in Hospital – 1 O.R.

Wounded – 2 Officers, 25 O.R.

* Includes 8990 Sgt. J. Sanders (Attd R.E.) killed at DICKEBUSCH 27.4.15.

R.R. Raymer, Lt. Col.

Comdg. 1/5 S. Staff Regt.

Roy

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Iain Sanders

Hi Roy,

Exellent work mate.

At the end of your post it states that 8990 Sgt John Sanders ( attached R.E ),was killed on the 27th April at Dickebusch, this is my great grandfather. After the Boer war he worked in the coal mines in the Bloxwich area so, i'm presuming he was one of the men picked for the mining operations in that area. Would you happen to know on which date (s) these men were transferred. I have heard that there was upto 40 or so men voluntered for this work.

Cheers and, thanks again Iain

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Ken Wayman
Not a problem, I'm transcribing all of the South Staffs diaries for my website to be launched next year. The 1/6th is already typed up.

Best wishes

Roy

Sounds superb, Roy!

All the best

Ken

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Roy Evans
Hi Roy,

Exellent work mate.

At the end of your post it states that 8990 Sgt John Sanders ( attached R.E ),was killed on the 27th April at Dickebusch, this is my great grandfather. After the Boer war he worked in the coal mines in the Bloxwich area so, i'm presuming he was one of the men picked for the mining operations in that area. Would you happen to know on which date (s) these men were transferred. I have heard that there was upto 40 or so men voluntered for this work.

Cheers and, thanks again Iain

Iain,

Glad your GGF got a mention there!

I can't help with the date of transfer I'm afraid and very much doubt that the Regimental Museum have that information. What else do you know about him?

Roy

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Iain Sanders
Iain,

Glad your GGF got a mention there!

I can't help with the date of transfer I'm afraid and very much doubt that the Regimental Museum have that information. What else do you know about him?

Roy

Hi Roy,

I haven't got a lot on him but, i do know he fought in the Boer war ,not sure yet if it was with the South Staffordshire Regiment and, that he reinlisted in 1914. The Walsall roll of honour has down as being in the Royal Engineers, not the 1/5/ Sth Staffs.

Iain

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GraemeClarke

Iain

I presume you already have this but I'll post it anyway.

John SAUNDERS

Sergeant 8990

“D” Company, 1/5th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment

KiA in Belgium on Thursday 27 April 1915

John was born in Bloxwich on Thursday 7 August 1879. He was married to Hannah and resided at 85, High Road, Lane Head, Wolverhampton with her and their 4 children. His mother resided at Parker Street, Bloxwich.

John served in the battalion during the Boer war without injury although he was captured by the enemy. At the time of re-joining his battalion at the outbreak of war he was employed as a winder at Wood Farm colliery. He was drafted to France on Friday 5 March 1915.

At the time of his death John was attached to the Royal Engineers, the War Diary, when listing casualties for the month, records,

“Includes 8990 Sergeant J. Sanders (attached R.E.) killed at Dickebusch 27 April 1915.”

Killed in action, he is buried in Dickebusch new Military Cemetery in Grave D.13. He was 36 years of age and is commemorated on the Walsall and Bloxwich rolls of honour as Saunders.

His brother, Edward, served in the South Staffordshire Regiment and survived the war.

post-10072-1261848298.jpg

Can you add any more at all ?

Regards,

Graeme

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Iain Sanders

Hi Graeme,

Thanks a bundle for that mate. Sadly i've nothing on him apart from the info that i've posted. I have managed too get a copy of his brothers Attestation from from the NA but , haven't managed to get his.

Iain

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Jon6640

Can anyone help with telling me what the 2nd battalion was involved with on 15th November 1916. WHITEHOUSE is on my village war memorial. Thanks

Name Job Whitehouse

Address 44, Blakenall Heath, Bloxwich, Walsall.

NOK Husband of Florence Whitehouse,

Rank Private

No 19190

Regt 2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment

Date of Death 15.11.1916

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Roy Evans

War Diary for 2nd Battalion

November 1916 BERTRANCOURT

1st to 4th The camp occupied by the Battalion required a great deal of work owing to vast accumulations of mud; the Sapping platoon was continually at work improving the state of the huts; otherwise the principle work carried out consisted of working parties on the roads, there were also unloading parties at BEAUSSART (railhead). Divine Service was held in the Church Army Hut on All Saints Day.

5th Divine Service in the morning. In the afternoon a Boxing Tournament against the 13th Essex Regt. was attended by Brigadier General Daly.

Most of the contests were won by the South Stafford Regt. no contest survived the first round. The Brigadier gave away the prizes and made a short speech commenting on the sporting instincts displayed by the men who had taken part.

Great assistance was given by the Divisional Company in providing material for the ring and we were very fortunate in securing the services of a well known exponent of boxing Major Walshe (1st King's) 2nd in command 17th Middlesex.

6th The Battalion played The Footballers at Association football and was beaten by 6 goals to Nil. The teams afterwards met at tea which was provided by the Officers of the S. Staffords. There was a conference of Commanding Officers at Bde. H.Q. BEAUSSART at 6 p.m.

MAILLY MAILLET

7th The Battalion moved into billets in MAILLY MAILLET which was shelled at about 11 p.m. No casualties.

8th Officers commanding battalions and R.E. and Pioneer Bn. Units met at a conference at Bde. H.Q. to discuss a winter programme of trench work as an alternative to the offensive scheme.

9th - 10th The Battalion was mostly occupied with working parties made necessary by the state of the roads and trenches.

11th 2nd Lieut. F.J. Brooks who had had charge of patrols on the enemy's wire and of the Bangalore torpedo party successfully exploded a torpedo under the enemy's front line wire at a point selected in front of the Battn's Assembly trenches.

12th The Battalion moved into assembly trenches South of SERRE and during the night formed up for attack. There was practically no hostile shelling and no casualties occurred during the process of forming up.

TRENCHES

13th The Battn. successfully crossed the German front line and assaulted the second line wire, which was practically uncut. The battalions from the left divisions came across our front breaking up our formations. Reorganisation was rendered difficult by the bluey mist.

Casualties among officers and other ranks were very heavy. Among others two company commanders are missing, one known to be wounded, two subalterns are missing and believed killed, several other subalterns were wounded; the four Company Sergeant Majors were wounded, C.S.M. Cox remained on duty till the battalion was relieved. The Chaplain joined Bn. H.Q. and acted as dresser. The old defensive lines in MONK and LEGEND were reoccupied.

14th A shell burst in a small dugout close to Bn. H.Q. killing 2 Lt. Brooks and wounding two other officers.

Several casualties occurred in the trenches. On the night 13/14 many casualties were evacuated from the dugouts in MONK and DELAUNAY. On the night of the 14th the M.O. was withdrawn from his aid-post in WOLF to Bn. H.Q.

15th 4th R.F. relieved the Bn. The bulk of the Bn. Went back to ELLIS SQUARE at 9.30 a.m. but the detachments in MONK were not relieved until 10 p.m. owing to a heavy barrage of that trench.

The Bn. were taken back to MAILLY MAILLET during the afternoon by Major Wilson. Bn. H.Q. reached MAILLY at 11.30 p.m.

Roy

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Jon6640

Roy,

Many thanks. If it's ok I'll pass the info on to his relative.

Jon

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Roy Evans
Roy,

Many thanks. If it's ok I'll pass the info on to his relative.

Jon

Please do. Happy to be of help.

Roy

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GraemeClarke

John

I have this on the man who is on the Bloxwich and Leamore RoH.

post-10072-1264061595.jpg

Job was born in Cheslyn Hay and was married to Florence residing at 24, Blakenall Heath, Bloxwich with her and their 2 children. He enlisted in the Army at Walsall in June 1915 at which time he was employed as a miner at Hawkins Coppice Colliery, Cheslyn Hay.

Drafted to France on Wednesday 29 September 1915, Job was killed following an attack along Redan Ridge, a German strongpoint north of Beaumont Hamel. The attack began at 5.45am on Monday 13 November 1916 in fog and mist, the officers using compasses to find their way. The battalion was held up by uncut wire at The Quadrilateral strongpoint and suffered heavy casualties from machine gun fire. Unfortunately the British barrage had failed to deal with the gunners and they decimated the troops who were floundering in the mud. The attack could gain no further ground than the uncut wire at the German second line.

Retaining the captured ground, his battalion were relieved on the day of his death by the 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. Casualties of 17 men killed are recorded for this day.

Job is buried in Mailly Wood Cemetery, Mailly-Maillet, 6 miles north of Albert, in Grave I. B. 1. He was 30 years of age.

Local newspapers also reported that Job was employed at Culley’s of Freer Street, Walsall when he enlisted. The Commonwealth war Graves Commission records an address of 44, Blakenall Heath, Bloxwich whilst newspapers reported it was 24.

The 1911 census has him residing at 150, Station Street, Cheslyn Hay. A coal miner hewer.

Which memorial is he on ?

Regards,

Graeme

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Ken Wayman

Evening Roy

Do you have access to 2/5th South Staffs War Diary? If so, is there any chance of letting me know a few details of 25th and 26th June 1917, please. There's very little useful info in the Divisional History, nothing in the Official History and little elsewhere.

Much appreciated!

Ken

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Roy Evans
Evening Roy

Do you have access to 2/5th South Staffs War Diary? If so, is there any chance of letting me know a few details of 25th and 26th June 1917, please. There's very little useful info in the Divisional History, nothing in the Official History and little elsewhere.

Much appreciated!

Ken

June 1917 EQUANCOURT

1st Divisional Reserve. In camp at Equancourt. Inspection by Brigadier-Gen. Commanding 176th Inf. Bde.

7th Divisional Reserve. In camp at Equancourt. Inspection by Major-Gen. Romer Commanding 59th Div.

11th Marched to Metz-en-Couture and relieved 2/6 Sherwood Foresters in Support.

METZ-EN-COUTURE

14th No. 201114 L/C Collins, S. ‘B’ Coy wounded Right Knee, accidental.

17th /18th The following casualties occurred during the night 17/18.

No. 200365 L/Sgt. Leavesley, W. Shrapnel wound, left arm, slight.

No. 202564 Pte. Adams, C. Shrapnel wound, head, slight.

No. 202675 Pte. Simmonds, J. Died of wounds 17.6.17

No. 202121 Pte. Rollinson, R. Shrapnel wound, scalp, severe.

No. 202396 Pte. Reade, E. Shrapnel wound, Right shoulder & R. leg, slight.

BEAUCAMP

22nd / 23rd On night 22/23 Relieved 2/5 North Stafford Regt. IN Brigade Right Rear Subsector in front line. Lieut. J.S. Reid was slightly injured.

25th / 26th 202150 Pte. Richards, J. wounded in Left Leg and No. 202101 Pte. Phillips, W. wounded Left Thigh, both accidentally by Lewis Gun.

Roy

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Ken Wayman

Hi Roy

Many thanks for the info on 2/5th South Staffs - apologies for the ;ate reply but I've only just got my computer back!

All the best

Ken

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Roy Evans
Hi Roy

Many thanks for the info on 2/5th South Staffs - apologies for the ;ate reply but I've only just got my computer back!

All the best

Ken

Hi Ken,

That must be one of the strangest diary entries that I've come across.

Roy

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Roy Evans

Andy,

Here is the entry for 23rd - 24th March 1918:

23rd HAPLINCOURT

Intermittent shelling by enemy throughout the day; towards evening enemy were reported to be in LEBUCQUIERE.

Stragglers from 51st and 25th DIVS. came through our position & were held to strengthen the line if necessary. Our own Artillery were firing short and several shells dropped in our own lines.

7 p.m. Enemy reported massing behind VELU WOOD.

HAPLINCOURT – BEAULENCOURT – LA BARQUE

24th 8.50 a.m. Enemy barrage opened on our FRONT LINE; enemy observed massing behind ridge in I.23.d. & 24.c.

9.35 a.m. Barrage lifted and enemy attacked front of CHESHIRES on our left.

10.30 a.m. CHESHIRES driven back about 200 yards, they were rallied and with assistance of a platoon of our ‘C’ Coy. made a counter attack which was successful in driving the enemy back to the ridge in I.23.d & 24.c.

2.00 p.m. Hostile attack launched against entire front; troops well on our right observed retiring in large numbers in direction of HAPLINCOURT.

17th R. FUSILIERS on our right attempted to hold these men up and make a counter attack, but this did not materialise. By this time the CHESHIRES had fallen back leaving our left flank in the air – our ‘C’ Coy. retired shortly after the CHESHIRES – apparently along the LEBBUCQUIERE – FREMICOURT ROAD, where they were apparently cut off as none of them returned to the BATTN.

Coys. were then ordered to retire on BATTN. H.Q. and to line the sunken road running through I.33.b. covering fire was given by details of BATTN. H.Q.

The Coys. were then ordered to fall back in extending order and take up a position on the ridge running through O.3.a.

BATTN. retired in four lines at large intervals, LT. COL. ALBAN D.S.O. remaining with the last party, consisting of a few B.H.Q. details and the M.O. & SIGNALLING OFFICER. By the time the last party left, the enemy had managed to place some M.G’s and SNIPERS in some huts and tents within about 200 yards of B.H.Q. and this made the retirement from this position to the ridge behind very difficult, as about 700 yards of open ground covered by heavy M.G. and rifle fire, had to be crossed. Shortly after leaving this position LT. COL. ALBAN D.S.O. was hit, and CAPT. WILLIAMS M.C. MEDICAL OFFICER, helped him along, when they had gone about 50 yards the C.O. was wounded again, this time very seriously. The M.O. with the assistance of 2/Lt. BONA and a stretcher bearer carried the C.O. the remainder of the distance, notwithstanding the heavy fire, which was directed upon them.

The position along the ridge in O.3.a. was held for a short while until orders were given to retire on BEAULENCOURT. Position was taken up on the S.E. of the village of BEAULENCOURT, in support of some of the 51st DIV. The enemy were at this time reported to be holding LE TRANSLOY.

Orders were received shortly afterwards for all troops to evacuate the position. The remnants of the BATTN. moved back through GUEUDECOURT to FLERS, where BATTN. almost ran into a party of the enemy; from this point BATTN. marched across country to EAUCOURT L’ABBAYE and took up a position along sunken road road in N.13.a., S.E. of LE BARQUE. This position was held from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

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GraemeClarke

Hi Roy,

Perhaps you can answer a query for me.

Lieutenant Colonel William Allsop WISTANCE, Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross

was KiA on Thursday 25 April 1918 whilst in command of 5th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment.

I have the WD entry but there is nothing in the diary about his demise. I see there is an appendix Number 8. Is he on that at all ?

I am aware that he spent a period of time with 1/6th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment as acting Lieutenant Colonel

but have him returning to the SSR on Tuesday 9 January 1917.

Can you help at all ?

Regards,

Graeme

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stubriscoe

Graeme,

Appendix VIII is an operational order.

Appendix XIV is a casualty list for 5th to 30th April 1918

The only Officer casualty in the 27th Block is:-

2/Lt. Adams F.G. wounded to hospital 28th April

There are a number of Officer casualties on 29th:-

All KiA

Captain S.C. Piper

2/Lieut. L.F. Hayes

2/Lieut. N.R. Wilkes

2/Lieut. W.E. Barnett

March diary signed:-

<F. W. Lxxxx> (Cannot read name) Major, acting for Lt. Colonel

April diary signed:-

<Hammond> Lt. Colonel commanding

Regards,

Stuart

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GraemeClarke

Stuart,

Many thanks for the reply. Unfortunately 'the plot thickens'.

Can anyone enlighten me as to what happened to George.

Regards,

Graeme

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Roy Evans
Graeme,

Appendix VIII is an operational order.

Appendix XIV is a casualty list for 5th to 30th April 1918

The only Officer casualty in the 27th Block is:-

2/Lt. Adams F.G. wounded to hospital 28th April

There are a number of Officer casualties on 29th:-

All KiA

Captain S.C. Piper

2/Lieut. L.F. Hayes

2/Lieut. N.R. Wilkes

2/Lieut. W.E. Barnett

March diary signed:-

<F. W. Lxxxx> (Cannot read name) Major, acting for Lt. Colonel

April diary signed:-

<Hammond> Lt. Colonel commanding

I said that without moving my lips! :D

Roy

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