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Chris Grimshaw

Soldiers of 11th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

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Chris Grimshaw

Seeking information regarding the 11th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers, D Company, Serving on the Doiran Front, Salonica 1917/18, is there anybody studying this regiment and period. Looking for information about serving soldiers & actions they were involved in, See my earlier post ref Sg J W Pettifor.

I am a new member so hope I am going about this the right way.

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Andrew Hesketh

Chris, I've posted on a related thread. The Salonika Front is often the 'forgotten one' and I can't think of a forum member that I could direct you towards. It may be worth trying this in the 'Other Theatres' part of the forum, making the word 'Salonika' fairly prominent in the thread title.

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Kate Wills

from 'Salonika and After' by Collinson-Owen:

There were two attacks on the Doiran front in Spring 1917, the night of 24-25 April and the night 8-9th May. The fighting was on as fierce a scale as any yet seen in the Balkans, and the artillery concentration the heaviest yet known...In the second attack the objective was again the Petit Couronne down to Lake Doiran. Our men showed amazing courage and fortitude in the most forbidding circumstances. They knew it was practically a folorn hope. 26th Div bore the brunt of the fighting on the precipitous slopes, but their position became hopeless and they had to withfraw next day.

Further down the line towards the lake the battalions had some very fierce and costly fighting in the Bulgar lines, but had finally to withdraw. The Bulgar barrage, both artillery and mortar, everywhere claimed many victims, and the conditions of fighting in the dark in such rugged ground cannot possibly be conceived by those who do not know the tumbled surface of Macedonia.

We had tried the impossible and failed...little or nothing was heard of it all at home.

[in the actions of September 1918] our men who had already charged up those pitiless bullet and shell-swept slopes in 1917 knew exactly what was before them..temperatures in the shade of 100+...slopes veiled in dust from the gunfire. Into this roaring inferno our troops went, with the Greeks by their side, to one of the hardest tasks ever given soldiers to do.

...On the right of the western half of the attack the 67th Bigade (inc 11th RWF) were to over-run the Bulgar first line up the steep slopes of 0.6, then after taking in their stride the tangle of formidable but lesser hills known as The Knot, The Hilt and The Tassel which formed the second line, were to attck the west face of the Grand Couronne itself, which was defended by a strong third line...67th Brigade penetrated furthest into the enemy positions.

You can appreciate Chris that there is quite a lot to type out. I'l see if our OCR is operating again, but may I recommend Owen's book, the Official History 'Military Operations - Macedonia' (especially volume 2) and of course 'Under the Devil's Eye' by our very own Messrs Wakefield & Moody (you will find numerous glowing endorsements of this book amongst the threads of the Forum, a few clicks on the search facility will take you to them)

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Chris Grimshaw

Kate

Thank you for your reply and the information contained within, I have ordered a copy of " Under the Devils Eye " this morning.

I have a copy of the war diary covering the attack on O 2 on 6th May 1918,

This mentions One officer and 9 OR;s missing. Following a study of the CWGC details for the Doiran Cemetry, Greece and the Dioiran Memorial I have identified the following who were missing / killed on that raid I believe.

Recorded by CWGC for Doiran Cemetery, Greece

Captain Whall Walter Edward. MC 7th Btn Somerset Light Infantry attd 11th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Private 14300 Gadd E 11th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Private 34203 Burness Malcolm B Machine Gun Corps, 67th Company

Private 7/ 19020 Smith H 8th Btn South Wales Borderers / Machine Gun Corps attd 67th Company

Recorded by CWGC for Doiran Memorial, Greece

Serjeant 15481 Pettifor JosephWilliam 11th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Private 68898 Alabaster J 11th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Private 24241 Carter JWH 2nd Btn Kings Own,Royal Lancaster Regiment

Private 235344 Jones John 11th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Private 13968 Jones WJ 11th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Private 68890 Walters Emrys 11th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

This I believe is the only record of the men who were killed on that day.

The War diary for 7th May 1918 records a " Patrol lead by Lt J Tinniswood and 121 OR,s procceeded to within a short distance of PILL BOX and found two bodies which they were unable to bring in owing to bombs being thrown and rifle fire opened and woundng two men seriously. "

Am I correct in thinking that some bodies would have been recovered at a later date and identified which results in a marked grave and the remainder were not recovered or identified. Seens strange for what was a small engagement in a small area. Suppose some may have been buried by the Bulgarian forces. Is it possible that in this type of action that missing in action could cover prisoners who later died away from the front.

Have not carried out any research on these other soldiers yet.

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Chris Grimshaw

My Mistake 121 OR;s should be 12 OR,s. Does anybody have a copy of the War Diary from 9th May to end of September 1918.

I can transcribe and post the section I have if of interest.

Chris

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awakefield

Dear Chris

Hope you enjoy 'Under the Devil's Eye' when it arrives on your doorstep. Although the 11th RWF do not figure that prominently (due to Simon and I being unable to trace much in the way of private papers from those serving with the unit) the book should give you a good idea of the style of warfare and general campaigning conditions in Salonika.

You may also like to consider joining the Salonika Campaign Society as it is likely that there are members who also have an interest in the 11th RWF. The Society's website is www.salonika.freeserve.co.uk

I am currently the Chairman and Kate, who posted here earlier, is one of our members. She will in fact be giving this year's campaign talk at the AGM (just a reminder Kate - as if you really needed one!!!).

Regards

ALAN

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grantmhicks

Hi

I found out yesterday(11/12/07) that my Grandfather (14284 Private David J Lewis) served with the 11th Battalion, 22 Division, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, although It can not be 100% sure because I have not been able to find his service record and because 60% of them have been lost during WW2 I am not likely to find them. However I found out that documentation has come to light regarding blocks of Regimental numbers and their issue to Service Battalions. It would appear that numbers 14000 - 14999 were issued to the 11th Battalion and as you can see my Grandfathers number falls in that batch. And for me this was a very interesting discovery, because I and my family had allways thought that he had served on the Western Front, but this means that he landed in France on 5th September 1915. The 11th arrived on 3rd - 6th September 1915. The 11th Battalion was part of 22 Division and was very quickly re-deployed to Macedonia in October 1915. It served for the rest of the war on that front. So as I suppose you have also found that most of the records written regarding WW1 are written regarding the Western Front, so it would be nice if we could share any information that we may find, I have noted the replies that you already have (I hope you don't mind) and hope we can colaberate futher.

Grant M Hicks

post-19243-1197380837.jpg

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matthew lucas

my grandfather also served in the 11th, 39088 a.cpl James Lucas, we have cards sent to him the in 1916 and a photograph from 1917 after being wounded. I did some work with the war diaries many years ago at the RWF museum in Canaravon. we have one photo that states he was in the 1/5 battalion, but all the rest say 11th battalion, 67th bde, 22nd British division. He also served in the labour corps whilst recovering from wounds, Mespotomia and Egypt according to old photographs. he had a different number for the LC, but as you can see very different number with the RWF from what you stated. A battlefield promotion (again according to family) from capturing 2 Germans (yes some were there) asleep whilst he was on a patrol!

post-29688-1199918048.jpg

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LarsA

I have the medals to Pte William Bowler, 11th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, date of death 13/9/1918, commemorated on the Doiran Memorial. If I have read correctly this would be just before the Battle of Doiran. Would anyone have information on what the war diary for the 11th RWF says on or around this date?

/Lars

Name: BOWLER, WILLIAM

Initials: W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Unit Text: 11th Bn.

Age: 25

Date of Death: 13/09/1918

Service No: 77061

Additional information: Son of Charles Bowler, of Chadderton; husband of Ellen Bowler, of 4, Perth Square, Lee St., Chadderton, Oldham.

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Rita Griffiths

Hi

I found out yesterday(11/12/07) that my Grandfather (14284 Private David J Lewis) served with the 11th Battalion, 22 Division, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, although It can not be 100% sure because I have not been able to find his service record and because 60% of them have been lost during WW2 I am not likely to find them. However I found out that documentation has come to light regarding blocks of Regimental numbers and their issue to Service Battalions. It would appear that numbers 14000 - 14999 were issued to the 11th Battalion and as you can see my Grandfathers number falls in that batch. And for me this was a very interesting discovery, because I and my family had allways thought that he had served on the Western Front, but this means that he landed in France on 5th September 1915. The 11th arrived on 3rd - 6th September 1915. The 11th Battalion was part of 22 Division and was very quickly re-deployed to Macedonia in October 1915. It served for the rest of the war on that front. So as I suppose you have also found that most of the records written regarding WW1 are written regarding the Western Front, so it would be nice if we could share any information that we may find, I have noted the replies that you already have (I hope you don't mind) and hope we can colaberate futher.

Grant M Hicks

Hello

Hope you are still viewing this board , my grandfather also served with the 11th Battalion 22 Division Royal Welsh Fusiliers ( PTE William Roberts 14635 note his number he also had a number for the Royal Irish Fusiliers 29321 ) when he joined them I do not know were the RWF wiped out and has he survived had to join the RIF ?, I too could not find his service records at Kew but found his Medal Rolls and pages from a War Diary 1/12/1915 to 31/12/1915 they are difficult to read as they are faded , he was discharged in 1919 , I have his pension records which states he had Maleria which convinced me he was in Salonika not in France as family thought . would like to know more of where he was .

I can try to attach is Medal card if it would be of interest to you

Rita Griffiths

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Hywyn

Rita

Croeso/Welcome to the Forum

I had a look for Williams' pension papers but could not find then (by searching the numbers) Have you an address (as shown on Ancestry) or year of birth so that I can pinpoint them and have a look to see if there is anything there that may give other clues to his RWF Battalion.

The number block 14000-14999 are not wholly 11th Battalion men but merely and indication of likely to be 11th Battalion. There are numerous instances of men from other battalions in this block (esp 10th and 1st)

Other factors that show likely to be 11th is the landing date of 5/9/1915 which is around when they landed in France before going to Salonika later on that year.

You say that you have the Medal Roll. Did you mean Medal Card? The actual Medal Roll (which are the B/... on the Card) should indicate which Battalion(s) he was with.

It might be possible to work out roughly when he transferred to the RIF but I'll leave that untill after having had a look at his papers. (It wont be because the RWF were wiped out.That didn't happen albeit some Battalions took a heavy pounding but were reinforced. Many men were transferred between Regiments for various reasons)

Which Battalion War Diary do you have?

Hywyn

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Rita Griffiths

Rita

Croeso/Welcome to the Forum

I had a look for Williams' pension papers but could not find then (by searching the numbers) Have you an address (as shown on Ancestry) or year of birth so that I can pinpoint them and have a look to see if there is anything there that may give other clues to his RWF Battalion.

The number block 14000-14999 are not wholly 11th Battalion men but merely and indication of likely to be 11th Battalion. There are numerous instances of men from other battalions in this block (esp 10th and 1st)

Other factors that show likely to be 11th is the landing date of 5/9/1915 which is around when they landed in France before going to Salonika later on that year.

You say that you have the Medal Roll. Did you mean Medal Card? The actual Medal Roll (which are the B/... on the Card) should indicate which Battalion(s) he was with.

It might be possible to work out roughly when he transferred to the RIF but I'll leave that untill after having had a look at his papers. (It wont be because the RWF were wiped out.That didn't happen albeit some Battalions took a heavy pounding but were reinforced. Many men were transferred between Regiments for various reasons)

Which Battalion War Diary do you have?

Hywyn

Hywyn thank you for your reply,what I have from Ancestry is called Pensioner's Record Card I found it under Roberts Wme and it had his R I F number 29321 on it year of birth 1883 it was actually 1884 , the address was 8 Beddw St Caerau S Wales ,there were Medical reports and Medical History pages as well ,

The other items I have are is Medal Card and Rolls of Individuals entiled to medals at the top it says Royal Irish Fusiliers on one page he is listed as R W Fus 14635 Pte Roberts 5.9.15 remaks 29321 pte Class Z 7.2.19.

The other page says 29321 Pte Roberts William 11th. Welsh Fus below it says 14635 Pte 2Gn R. I r Fus 29321.

The War Diary pages have the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on it Unit 11th R Welsh Fus 22nd Div From 1.12.15 to 31.12.15. it has 4 pages but it is diffiucult to read . what I would like to know is if he was there until 1919 he enlisted on the 1/9/14. hope all this dont sound to confuseing and thank you for being interested .

Rita

Ps I could not attach the medal card as the file was to big also the medal rolls the medal card have his two numbers on it qualifying date 5-9-15 theatre of war ( 1 ) France

I have attached Medal Card & One Medal Roll entry see post below.

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Rita Griffiths

Hywyn hope you can view these files and that they will help.

Kind Regards Rita

post-62112-073506700 1294163563.jpg

post-62112-004974600 1294163593.jpg

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Hywyn

Rita

The Medal Rolls show he was with 11th RWF and then transferred to the 2nd Garrison Battalion RIF.

See this page of the Long Long Trail

http://www.1914-1918.net/rifus.htm

and scroll down to the 2nd Garrison. You will see that they were in Salonika from Aug 1916 onwards.On the face of it it looks like a transfer whilst in Salonika.

I must say I am having problems finding him on Ancestry Pensions. Can you tell me what you put in to find him. I assume it's not all the above.

Hywyn

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Rita Griffiths

Hywyn

Thanks once more for the information about 2 G RIF , I have spent all afternoon trying to find the Pension Record for my grandfather how I found it the first time I cant remember, but eventually found it , if you search Pension records on Ancestry put in William Roberts birth year 1883 and click on any one that comes up ,then where it has the image number change it to 82075 and should be on him it ends on 82079 , bit of a funny way to search i know but it worked .if you dont find it I have the pages printed out but they would be too big to attach but I could email them to you if its allowed on this forum ,. I am pleased with anything I find about my grandfather as I never knew him or seen a photo of him sad really, and he was killed in a colliery accident in 1923 4 years after all he had gone all though during 1914-1919.

Rita.

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DawnyJ

I think that my ancestor James O'Brien may have served with this regiment but can't find complete confirmation. His service number was 13885 and it says on his medal card that he landed in France 5/9/2015 which matches those above. He also came out of the war with Malaria. 

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clk

Hi DawnyJ,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Unfortunately, I didn't see a set of surviving service papers for James. His medal roll records indicate that he arrived overseas on 5.9.1915 and was demobilised on 14.1.1919. Whilst overseas he appears to have served (in order) with...

 

image.png.5f713addabb686cf27f6d4927e848526.png

 

image.png.93750dcbe1f107bbbb4a3a12e8b6f719.png

Images sourced from Ancestry.co.uk

 

There are a couple of service records for men who attested to the RWF, were allocated numbers near to his 13885 number and posted to the 11th Battalion. 

 

13880 Briers attested 3.9.1914

13882 Saxon attested 5.9.1914

13884 Middlehurst attested 3.9.1914

13891 Davies attested 4.9.1914

13896 Smith attested 4.9.1914

 

There is good advice on how to research a soldier on the Long, Long Trail - link

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

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Hywyn

13855 James O'Brien is on the 1918 St Helens Absent Voters list at 150 Park Road (in Parr Ward)

 

edit. I mean 13885

Edited by Hywyn

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DawnyJ

Thankyou for the information, that's a good help.

 

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