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Remembered Today:

Question re Remembrance Day


treetop
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My wife's uncle was talking to me yesterday about how her father fought through WW1 in the Royal Engineers at Ypres,etc and particularly Passchendale. One of his stories was how they were 'given' a new captain aged 18 years old and fresh out of college with no battle experience. They looked after him such that when he had to give the order to advance out of the trenches he froze and he and a colleague had to lift him up by either shoulder (to avoid the obvious punishment) so that they left the trench together and they all survived, apparently.

My question is that she is convinced that each remembrance service a picture is shown of a man with a moustache carrying a wounded man over his shoulder back to the trenches. As she is getting on in years this could just be guesswork but she is sure it was her father. Has anyone any idea of what this scene is and who the indivudals may be if they can indeed be identified ?

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Treetop

Two photos come to mind. Both relate to the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Here is the first. It is taken from a book titled Sir Douglas Haig's Great Push: The Battle of the Somme.

post-5991-1136024419.jpg

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And here is the second image. It is taken from a film of the Somme Battle. This particular image is shown in Martin Middlebrook's book The First Day on the Somme. The caption states: "A badly wounded man is rushed to the rear but he died thirty minutes after this picture was taken." There is a sequence of images showing this scene in the book Sir Douglas Haig's Great Push: The Battle of the Somme.

Neither book mentions the mens' names or their units.

post-5991-1136025958.jpg

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I'm pretty sure that the chap in the second photo has been identified. Have a try with the Forum search facility - I have a recollection of past threads.

John

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John has there been a definate ID to the 2 photos?

In previous posts/topics, i'm sure you will agree....there was some confusion...even with the IWM ID's.

James.

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This is the photograph they mention ceebee and many thanks to you BTW. We only have another photograph of Jimmy in uniform who looks similar but so many years ago we couldnt be sure. Has he been identified and does anyone know how to confirm it ?

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Treetop, if that's the picture you had in mind, then your wife's relative will have to get into the queue, as she isn't the first lady to identify the man in this famous picture as her father.

I'm not knocking your wife's relative - she has the same chance of being right as anyone else. I'm just saying that there are quite a few people who have claimed this man as a relative. The first I know of was about 25 years ago, when a lady contacted the Imperial War Museum to say that she recognised the man as her father.

The date and location when the photo was taken are well-recorded. It was taken just outside the village of Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme, on 1st July, 1916. So if a man is to be identified as the man in the picture, he must have belonged to a unit which was in that area on that date. (In the case of the lady who wrote to the museum, her father did indeed have a good reason for being in the right place at the right time. But that doesn't mean for certain that he was the man in the picture.)

Over the past year or so I think there have been two threads on this forum, started by people who believed that they had also identified the man in the photo as a member of their family, but if I remember correctly, in both cases their soldiers turned out to have been in units which were nowhere near Beaumont-Hamel on that day.

The first step in the process of elimination is to see if we can identify your soldier's name and unit, to see where he was on 1st July, 1916.

Best wishes -

Tom

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The date and location when the photo was taken are well-recorded. It was taken just outside the village of Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme, on 1st July, 1916. So if a man is to be identified as the man in the picture, he must have belonged to a unit which was in that area on that date. (In the case of the lady who wrote to the museum, her father did indeed have a good reason for being in the right place at the right time. But that doesn't mean for certain that he was the man in the picture.)

Over the past year or so I think there have been two threads on this forum, started by people who believed that they had also identified the man in the photo as a member of their family, but if I remember correctly, in both cases their soldiers turned out to have been in units which were nowhere near Beaumont-Hamel on that day.

The first step in the process of elimination is to see if we can identify your soldier's name and unit, to see where he was on 1st July, 1916.

Thats exactly the information I was seeking Tom,thanks a lot. I do know he was in the war thru 14-18 and claimed Passchendaele as his worst experience. I talked to him a lot when I was courting his grand daughter and wish I had remembered more,he rubbished anyone who glorified war and often said it was hell on earth. His unit was the Royal Engineers but my wife's cousin has done a lot of separate research on genealogy lines and may have more details from visits to Kew several years ago for me to dig into,thanks again.

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Pals,

Perhaps my memory is playing tricks with me, but I thought much of the debate had centred around the picture of troops resting against the bank in the Sunken Lane at Beaumont Hamel? In this case the identity of many of the soldiers was identified.

Regards

Steve

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"The date and location when the photo was taken are well-recorded. It was taken just outside the village of Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme, on 1st July, 1916. So if a man is to be identified as the man in the picture, he must have belonged to a unit which was in that area on that date. (In the case of the lady who wrote to the museum, her father did indeed have a good reason for being in the right place at the right time. But that doesn't mean for certain that he was the man in the picture.)

Over the past year or so I think there have been two threads on this forum, started by people who believed that they had also identified the man in the photo as a member of their family, but if I remember correctly, in both cases their soldiers turned out to have been in units which were nowhere near Beaumont-Hamel on that day.

The first step in the process of elimination is to see if we can identify your soldier's name and unit, to see where he was on 1st July, 1916."

Tom, my wife's GF was James Whyte Gibbons (89869) who served in Royal Engineers as a sapper in 3rd Res Battn R.E after enlisting on 12/4/1915 according to his demobilisation card. We are planning to go to Kew at Easter to seek more info but would this be able to shed any light or even disprove any ideas at this stage? We have photographs of him in France (we think) and he does resemble the man in the picture but agree we need to know more than that to be more confident.

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