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8/Inniskillings 5/8/17


Simon_Fielding
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Just one more! Any clues as to actions of this unit on August 5th 1917?

Thanks

Simon

Private James John HARRISON

8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 41680 5/8/17

Age 33

Son of Mrs Milbro Harrison of 40, Wyre Hill, Bewdley

Ypres, Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Panel 22

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  • 1 year later...

Chris...... Greetings

I am researching the death of Pte Edmund Russel 7/8th Inniskillings who dow on 19th of Aug 1918. Any idea where they were and what they were doing?

regards.

Tom Burnell

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16th Irish Div. assumed responsibility for Frezenberg sector in the early hours of August 2. At 0430, the battalions of all three brigades went into the line and held it for two weeks in conditions of misery which beggar description. In every Btn. hundreds were killed, wounded, gassed or overcome with trench fever and swollen feet. Units were relieved and rotated. But often the hardship of the journey out of and into the line outweighed the value of a few hours rest. On August 16, 16th Irish and 36th Ulster Divs. took part in Battle of Langemarck.

This battle is often forgotten in Northern Ireland at least, because of the concentration on the 1st July Somme atack.

However, I have looked at old papers which demonstrate that casualty rates for both divisions at Langemarck were truly horrendous and some communities may have been hit harder by this battle than they were by the Somme.

Info. from Orange, Green and Khaki.

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Simon-Great Coincidences No 194: Lt. Col Thomas Boardman DSO, Bury Grammar School's most senior old boy to die in the Great War was CO of 8th Royal Inniskillings - killed on 5th August 1917! He is buried at Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, close to Noel Chavasse. We shall be visiting his grave (for the second time) on our battlefields tour in October. He was killed during an artillery barrage of the battalion's trenches, and I suspect your man was killed at the same time. I haven't got the exact location, and would be interested if anyone can supply that. I can send you Boardman's detailed obituary if you are interested.

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Hello Mark -

Thanks! Any information on the Inniskillings and their CO would be gratefully received. The world of Great War research seems to be a veritable web of coincidences! No wonder WW1 vets were a superstitious lot!

Weather on the day was:

Sunday 5th August 1917 73 degrees F clear. Rainfall nil.

Cheers

Simon

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Simon.

I am in your debt, many many thanks.

regards.

Tom

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When I saw the date on the original post was for a soldier in 1917, I assumed that was the period information was being sought for. I now note that Musuemtom's man DOW 19th August 1918. Sorry for wasting your time.

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I am kind of confused now.

I cut and pasted the information regarding the Inniskillings re;

“8th Inniskillings. on August 16. The btn. was 'almost annihilated' by the resolute machine gunners in Borry farm, a concrete block house impervious to gunfire dominating the area.

Langemarck was a disaster for 16th and 36th. Nugent of the 36th felt his Division had let other units down despite their high casualties. Cyril Falls was accused of playing 'up' the Ulsters and 'trying to blame' the 16th for the failure of their attacks on that day.

The simple truth came out later. Both Divs. had been kept in the line for far too long prior to the attack, German positions were too strong and the weather/mud/terain was quite horrible.........etc.

Is this for the 16th of Aug 1917 or 1918?

I am looking for data on a casualty who died of wounds on 19th of Aug 1918 and buried in a Graveyard serviced by the 62nd CCs so i reckon he died in the field hospital................any info? Name Edmund Russel, 7/8th Inniskillings.

regards.

Tom

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It is for August 1917. I was going by the post title 5/8/17. I was keen to help and jumped in without lokking at YOUR year date for information. Don't know anything about August 1918.

All the information about the Inniskillings which I keyed in is accurate - but it was for August 1917. I looked at the date August 19 in your post but sadly missed the year 1918 at the end of it.

I note you cut and pasted the information which I looked up - I obviously did so under a mistaken apprehension.

I failed to note a word of thanks. My confusion was a genuine mistake but with a willingness to help.

Des

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I would have done the same. I am always happy to help...it would be worse to be ignored..lol

Have a good day.

Tom

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7/8th R. Innis Fus. were posted to the 30th Division by August 1918.

Check the Long Long Trail section for 30th Division positions in August and you will be on the right track.

All okey-dokey again?

Forgive my earlier petulance.

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I went to the Long Trail and found the 30th div but the pages that show what they were doing around that time is not yet complete......any idea?

Regards.

Tom

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The relevant section from Boardman's obituary in the Inniskilings' magazine 'The Sprig', September 1917 is as follows:

' Our battalion HQ was heavily shelled from 11 o'clock at night onwards, and about half-past eleven , the Colonel went outside to see if any men had been hit. Another shell came over right outside the dugout , wounding him very severely in the legs. We did all that we could for him, but in spite of everything he died about 75 minutes later in the forward dressing station. Lt. R.... who was one of his monitors at school , was with him to the end. The Colonel regained consciousness just before he died, but the end was almost without pain. we mourn the loss of a fine commanding officer who was loved by all, and a splendid soldier'

The information comes from a letter written to his wife by a fellow officer dated August 6th 1917. At Bury Grammar School, Boardman had been an early member of the OTC (now CCF) one of the oldest in the country. As science master at Christ's Hospital School Sussex he rose to command their OTC , and at the outbreak of war one of his fellow teachers and two of his cadet officers joined up with him.

I have written to Christ's Hospital CCF pointing out he connection and trying to do something jointly about it but they haven't replied to my letters, sadly.

I would be very interested to identify the exact location of the Inniskillings' trench on 5th August.

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Guest Desmond6

For Mark Hone/Simon Fielding

From: Ireland's Unknown Soldiers - The 16th Irish Division in the Great War

Divisional status and area of operations.

The following information can be found:- Until 4th August 1917 16th Division was technically the resrve formation of XIX Corps. Its assault on langemarck was not scheduled until August 14 but while in Corps Reserve, many of the division's btns. were used in the forward area as reinforcements or to make up carrying parties and for fatigue duties.

They undertook these tasks for days on end in the mudbaths of the Steenbeck and Hanebeek Valleys in full view of the German artillery and machine guns. Casualties and sickness reduced the 16th Division's infantry strength by a third before August 15.

As to direct references to 8th Innis. Fus. on August 5 - nothing in the book that I can see. However, you may be able to 'track back' for 8th R.Innis. Fusiliers from this reference since the 7th and 8th Innis. Fus. were together in 49th Brigade.

"By August 6, after a long night's march through the rain, soaked to the skin and totally exhausted, the 7th Inniskillings had all four companies in the line. The Btn. HQ was at Square Farm, 500 yards from the crossroads at Frezenberg. The farm had been a German aid post and was strongly reinforced inside, as well as having five feet of concrete on top. From its veranda there was a superb view of the surrounding countryside.

"But the Btn. HQ was used as a target for the calibration of guns of all weights by the Germans.The Btn. had a far more uncomfortable time than they had ever experienced before."

I assume from this that 8th Inniskillings were roughly in the same area? Hope this may be of some help.

Sorry can't find anything definite on 8th Inniskillings around the August 5 date.

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I am getting mixed up again........... is the above data for 1918?

regards.

Tom

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Tom - As the entry says, 1917 and it was really directed at Simon/Mark.

I have tried to get some more info on 7/8th R.Innis Fus. in August 1918 and this is the nearest I can get .. but it might put you on the trail of something.

The best I can do is put 7/8th R.Innis. Fus. in action from 1st to 3rd September 1918 in an operation to 'pinch out' the Lys Salient.

I can't say where the 30th Div. were in the fortnight before that.

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Thanks for all your efforts anyway Desmond.

regards.

Tom.

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Tom

I think you are still chasing 7/8th R Innis Fus in August 1918??

If so:

'The 7/8th Bn, under Lt Col R A Irvine, came back to the battlefield on Aug 9th. On Aug 19th it was in the front line near Locre, and on Aug 21st signalised its return to life by a useful advance in the Kondekot sector. It was working here on ground which was familiar to the 2nd Bn in 1914. On taking over a section of line from the 2nd Lancashires on Aug 23rd, the bn met an enemy attack and the front posts were rushed and surrounded; but the line was held south of the river Douve.

In the night attack of Sept 1 on Neuve Eglise...'

(My wife's grandfather a WO 2 (CSM) serving in the 7/8th R Innis Fus dow 16 Sep 1918)

Still havent found his MIC but it has been seen by a 'Pal' who failed to follow up on his promise to send me details - ah well, they should all be on line by end of the year.

Tony

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The 7/8 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers were reduced to a cadre in June 1918. My understanding is the bulk of the original men were transferred to 2 Royal Irish Regiment. I am not certain whether the unit ever saw action again as a unit but I will check my reference books when I get home this evening and let you know.

Trooper

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Final questions from an eejit;

One of the men I am researching is buried in Villiers-Faucon Communal Cemetery where he died on wounds on 12/12/17 as a member of the Royal irish regiment. Would he have been involved in the Battle of Cambrai?...is Cambrai near? 21 soldiers of his unit also died that day...so there must have been some kind of battle.

All suggestions and ideas are most welcome.

Many thanks.

regards.

Tom

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Trooper

The 7/8th Bn was reformed on 3 July 1918 89th Brigade, 30 Division. They were involved in fight for Neuve Eglise in September 1918 - see my previous

Tony

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Widwick

Thanks. When I got home my notes from the regimental history confirmed that after a period as a training and reinforcment battalion the 7/8 took part in the actions at St Quentin and Neuve Eglise and were disbanded in 1919.

Trooper

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  • 1 year later...

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