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Remembered Today:

Units at Hill 60 / Zwartelen Salient


MParnham
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This is probably a bit of a long shot but would anyone happen to know which British units were at the ‘front’ in the Hill 60 / Zwartelen Salient area during June 1915 – in particular around the 10th to the 15th.

Many thanks

Martin

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1st Bedfords were holding Hill 60 trenches 38 & 39, with HQ at the railway cutting 10th June & in support trebches 15th June, if that helps? They were there for months with little relief for what its worth!

On the 13th, the 1st Dorsets relieved the 1st Bedfords & went into the front trenches. Hooge attack on 16th too by 3rd Division from memory, which was to the left of the area the Bedfords & Dorsets held ...

Any particular reason?

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Thank you very much for this information Steve – I realise it must seem rather obscure! My wife’s great uncle (2nd Lieut D. Hurst-Brown) was serving in the 129th Battery RFA. He was mortally wounded on the 13th of June, and died on the 15th. The unit’s war diaries record that they had switched targets from Hill 60 to the Zwartelen salient on that day – also no incoming fire was recorded on the battery. The battery would have been out of range of rifles etc so it has been suggested to us that he was probably a FOO for the 129th and as such would have been ‘up with the infantry’. His unit’s war diary does not record this - so there may be a chance that some mention of what happened to him might be found in the war diary of which ever infantry unit he was with at the time.

Again many thanks

Martin

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Ah, ha! The Bedfords had very few wounded in the period & nothing about your man is mentioned Im afraid. A FOO is a good bet - reckon your about right there.

So he was wounded on the day of the relief? Although it probably hasnt got anything to do with him, theres a chance he MAY have been moving around during it & attracted some unwanted fire? Dont have the Dorsets diary but the Bedfords recorded several wounded during relief, so the Germans def' got wind of it going on.

Best of luck to you with it Martin :D

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Ah, ha! The Bedfords had very few wounded in the period & nothing about your man is mentioned Im afraid. A FOO is a good bet - reckon your about right there.

So he was wounded on the day of the relief? Although it probably hasnt got anything to do with him, theres a chance he MAY have been moving around during it & attracted some unwanted fire? Dont have the Dorsets diary but the Bedfords recorded several wounded during relief, so the Germans def' got wind of it going on.

Best of luck to you with it Martin :D

Thanks Steve - The 1st Dorsets war diary is available on line so I will have a look at it. Would you happen to know if a FOO was a specialist job? Were they specifically trained for it, or was it considered a job any artillery officer could do. Did they rotate it around the officer pool within the battery or ask for volunteers?

The poor chap was killed only one week after his eighteenth birthday he had only joined the unit a month before. Perhaps they thought it was a 'suitable' job for an inexperienced officer, or perhaps more cynically the senior officers made him an offer he could not refuse, and landed him with a difficult and dangerous job!

Martin

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Thanks Steve - The 1st Dorsets war diary is available on line ....

Martin

Martin,

I wasn't aware of this (I have a hard copy anyway) but would be interested to know the web address to find it.

Regards

Steve

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Martin,

I wasn't aware of this (I have a hard copy anyway) but would be interested to know the web address to find it.

Regards

Steve

Steve,

It is available from the "downloadable" section of the national archives, many war diaries now seem to be available. They charge £3.50 for scans (PDF format) of one months diaries. For example the 1st Dorsets diary for June 1915 has a reference - WO95/1572. Compared to the cost and hassle of getting to the national archives this seems like a bargain - especially if you are only after short snippets.

Regards

Martin

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Martin,

Thanks for that - I'll have to give it a look. I'd be interested to see if they have the 2nd, 5th or 6th Bns online also.

Regards

Steve

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