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Terry_Reeves

Royal Engineers Special Brigade

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Terry_Reeves
58 minutes ago, Chris_B said:

My confusion, so were are Bn. diaries after 1917? Apologies if you've answered this q many times before.

Chris

 

  The designation "1st Battalion" etc was changed in 1917 to Headquarters Special Companies and can be found in WO95 under that title.

 

TR

42 minutes ago, EDWARD1 said:

Do you have the following from the War Diary of 3rd Canadian CCS July 23rd 1917 (Remy)

146713 Pnr N Myerson 3rd Spec Co RE . Gas shell lethal

129959 Pnr A E Sawyer 3rd Spec Co RE Gas shell lethal

143081 Sgt R Robertson 3rd Spec Co RE Gas shell lethal

Myerson was a local Russian/German Jew,  grocer, commemorated in the Jewish Payer House Linthorpe Cemetery, Middlesbrough.

two of his brothers also served.

Eddie

 

Eddie

 

Thanks for that, appreciated.

 

TR

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Mangoman

Commemorated on the Mangotsfield War Memorial, South Gloucestershire.

L/Cpl. J. Powell

Born in 1896 in Windsor Place to William and Charlotte Powell (nee Ball) James was a 15 year old trimmer in a clothes factory in 1911 living in 1, Northcote Road.

He first served as Private 025363 in the Gloucestershire Regiment attaining the rank of Lance Corporal before being transferred to "N" Special Company, Royal Engineers as Pioneer 129311. A Special Company of the RE was one of four making a Battalion that were involved in handling gas discharges from cylinders and smoke from candles. These were lettered companies A to Q so 'N' Special Company was one of these. On the date that James Powell was killed "N' Special Company was preparing for a Liven's projector operation in the Ypres Salient. The Liven's Projector was essentially a crude but very effective mortar which fired chemical ammunition and oil bombs. The following is from 'N' Company's War Diary for the day in question: "10 pm - Only 45 or so of the Company fit for duty. 100 infantry assisted in carrying operations. 250 projectiles prepared for firing. One OR (Other Ranks) killed and 2 wounded."

The company HQ was at Mic-Mac Camp near Ouderdom, South East of Poperinghe

The above action in which James was killed took place on 19th July 1917 but has no known grave but is commemorated on the (Ypres) Menin Gate Memorial on Panel 9. It appears highly likely that the one 'Other Ranks' killed that day could well be James Powell. He was posthumously awarded both the Victory Medal and British War Medal.

Edited by Mangoman

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Terry_Reeves

Thanks Mangoman, it's good to see where SB men are commemorated in the UK.

 

TR

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brianmorris547

Terry

From FMP lists too faint to post:

List C/896

106316 Cpl Higson P J      1 Bn Spec Bde     W Gas (drift acc)     Adm 12 FA      26 or 28/06/1916

146716 Pnr South W J                    "                      "                          "                          "

129090 Cpl Ross W R                     "                      "                          "                          "

List C/899

128098 Pnr Sandys W R   4 Bn Spec Bde    Sh Wd Hand. Discharged to duty 03/07/1916 ex 4 London FA  (named in the Times OCL 24/07/1917 under RE Wounded).

147059 Cpl Osborne A C   1 Bn Spec Bde   Shell shock.   Discharged to Unit 29/06/1916 ex 94 FA.

Brian

 

 

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Terry_Reeves

Thanks Brian, appreciated. Just out of interest Cpl Higson was one the original members of the Special Companies.

 

TR

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Chris_B

Terry,

 

Two more SB men whose names both appear on the “Beddington and Wallington” War Memorial, and elsewhere.  

 

FREUND, E W T

Rank:Corporal Service No:106106 Date of Death:22/12/1915Age:19 Regiment/Service:Royal Engineers 186th Special Coy. Grave Reference: VI. B. 10. Cemetery: MERVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of Emil Freund, of "Sunny Bank," Wallington, Surrey.

 

Eric Wolf Theodere was from an affluent family, his German born father had taken out naturalisation papers in 1908.  Eric was a first child and only son, who had there sisters.  He was educated at Wallington Grammar School, Surrey, before attending Sherborne School (Abbey House) January 1909-July 1914; 6th form; Lister prize 1913, 1914.   He is said to have attended University College, London, but his name does not appear in the London University 1918 “WAR LIST” publication.   

 

He is commemorated at Sherborne School, see: http://oldshirburnian.org.uk/roll-of-honour/#fww1

and

Freund, Eric Wolf Theodor (1896-1915)

 

 

His name also appears on the “Bedding & Wallington” War memorial, which is close to were his family lived.  An image can be see online here:

https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/node/111198

 

I don’t know when 106106 Cpl. E.W.T Freund volunteered. but he was first in France on Tuesday 13th July 1915.  Not in the end, a date that brought any luck.  I would have thought it highly likely he was at Loos on the 25th Sept. 1915.   His entry in the “Soldiers’ Effects” register shows he died of wounds at no.7 CCS but show his unit as the 188th Company.  So either this, or the CWGC & SDGW records are incorrect.  No. 7 CCS was at Merville between Dec 14 and Apr 17. 

 

From an extract of Foulkes book I managed to read online, there were several gas attacks in late December on 20th, 21st, 22nd.  The gas attack on 21st/22nd Dec. near Fromelles on 12th Div. Front was the closest to Merville, and from reports I managed to find in 12th Div records it was carried out by 186th coy RE.  Would you agree that is the likely time/place 106106 Cpl. E.W.T Freund was wounded?

 

The second man is:

 

ROBERT JAMES COPPARD
Rank: Corporal Service No:147095 Date of Death: 03/08/1917 Age: 22 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers "O" Special Coy. Grave Reference: XXII. N. 8. Cemetery: ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of Frederick and Emma Frances Coppard, of 35, Percy Rd., Mitcham Junction, Surrey. Born at New Eltham, Kent.

 

147095 Cpl.  Robert James Coppard is one of two brothers whose names appear on the memorial at All Saint Church (IWM Ref: 39428 http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/39428 )  Both their names also appear on the “Bedding & Wallington” War memorial. (It is ironic that his older brother Thomas Henry Coppard was KIA on 13th October 1915 at Loos.)

 

Robert James Coppard first volunteered on 9th September and had previously served in the 2nd East Surreys as Pte. 2118 Coppard and was first overseas on 24/3/1915.  (One of my Grandfather’s cousins was in the same draft.) The 2nd East Surreys moved from the Western Front to Salonika in late October 1915.   Is this consistent with his RE service number & possible transfer date?

 

CWGC doc show 147095 Cpl.  Robert James Coppard died from “polyneuritis” at no.56 Gen. Hospital.  I’ve no idea if this could be directly related to his service on the "O" Special Coy.

Edited by Chris_B

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Mangoman

Polyneuritis - any disorder that affects the peripheral nerves collectively. As you say was thius due to his involvement with the 'O' Special Coy or could he have possibly been kiiled during an enemy gas attack?

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Terry_Reeves
1 hour ago, Chris_B said:

Terry,

 

Two more SB men whose names both appear on the “Beddington and Wallington” War Memorial, and elsewhere.  

 

FREUND, E W T

Rank:Corporal Service No:106106 Date of Death:22/12/1915Age:19 Regiment/Service:Royal Engineers 186th Special Coy. Grave Reference: VI. B. 10. Cemetery: MERVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of Emil Freund, of "Sunny Bank," Wallington, Surrey.

 

Eric Wolf Theodere was from an affluent family, his German born father had taken out naturalisation papers in 1908.  Eric was a first child and only son, who had there sisters.  He was educated at Wallington Grammar School, Surrey, before attending Sherborne School (Abbey House) January 1909-July 1914; 6th form; Lister prize 1913, 1914.   He is said to have attended University College, London, but his name does not appear in the London University 1918 “WAR LIST” publication.   

 

He is commemorated at Sherborne School, see: http://oldshirburnian.org.uk/roll-of-honour/#fww1

and

Freund, Eric Wolf Theodor (1896-1915)

 

 

His name also appears on the “Bedding & Wallington” War memorial, which is close to were his family lived.  An image can be see online here:

https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/node/111198

 

I don’t know when 106106 Cpl. E.W.T Freund volunteered. but he was first in France on Tuesday 13th July 1915.  Not in the end, a date that brought any luck.  I would have thought it highly likely he was at Loos on the 25th Sept. 1915.   His entry in the “Soldiers’ Effects” register shows he died of wounds at no.7 CCS but show his unit as the 188th Company.  So either this, or the CWGC & SDGW records are incorrect.  No. 7 CCS was at Merville between Dec 14 and Apr 17. 

 

From an extract of Foulkes book I managed to read online, there were several gas attacks in late December on 20th, 21st, 22nd.  The gas attack on 21st/22nd Dec. near Fromelles on 12th Div. Front was the closest to Merville, and from reports I managed to find in 12th Div records it was carried out by 186th coy RE.  Would you agree that is the likely time/place 106106 Cpl. E.W.T Freund was wounded?

 

The second man is:

 

ROBERT JAMES COPPARD
Rank: Corporal Service No:147095 Date of Death: 03/08/1917 Age: 22 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers "O" Special Coy. Grave Reference: XXII. N. 8. Cemetery: ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of Frederick and Emma Frances Coppard, of 35, Percy Rd., Mitcham Junction, Surrey. Born at New Eltham, Kent.

 

147095 Cpl.  Robert James Coppard is one of two brothers whose names appear on the memorial at All Saint Church (IWM Ref: 39428 http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/39428 )  Both their names also appear on the “Bedding & Wallington” War memorial. (It is ironic that his older brother Thomas Henry Coppard was KIA on 13th October 1915 at Loos.)

 

Robert James Coppard first volunteered on 9th September and had previously served in the 2nd East Surreys as Pte. 2118 Coppard and was first overseas on 24/3/1915.  (One of my Grandfather’s cousins was in the same draft.) The 2nd East Surreys moved from the Western Front to Salonika in late October 1915.   Is this consistent with his RE service number & possible transfer date?

 

CWGC doc show 147095 Cpl.  Robert James Coppard died from “polyneuritis” at no.56 Gen. Hospital.  I’ve no idea if this could be directly related to his service on the "O" Special Coy.

Chris

 

Many thanks.  Robert Coppard's number does not seem right for October 1915. Men with 128xxx, 129xxx, 130xxx  for instance  transferred from February 1916 onwards.

 

TR

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brianmorris547

Terry

I wonder if this man was also an original member:

106347 Sgt Caw W (William). Named in the Times OCL 24/07/1916 (Second List) under RE Wounded. A FMP check came up with his name on List H 1341 which I have just posted onto Casualty Lists in "Other". It shows his Unit in September 1915 as 186 Coy Chemical Corps.

Brian

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Terry_Reeves

Brian, thanks.  Yes he was one of the original member of the special companies and would have taken part in the first British gas attack at Loos. He had transferred from the HLI (15257)

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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Terry_Reeves

Thomas

 

I'm aware from home at the moment but I will see what I can do when I get back.

 

TR

 

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Guest quadrant2

I have been trying to find out information about all the men commemorated on war memorials in Earley during WW1 or 2, as part of this I came across Pioneer Charles Bowden (214574), Royal Engineers 4th Special company. Died of wounds 15/8/17 aged 29 buried PHILOSOPHE BRITISH CEMETERY, MAZINGARBE. Son of Charles and Emily Bowden, of Reading; husband of Ada Lilian Bowden, of 19, Orchard St., Chichester.

 

Do you know what the 4th special company did?

 

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Terry_Reeves

quadrant2

 

No 4 Special Company was part of 5th Battalion Special Brigade and were responsible for firing chemical, smoke and thermite ammunition from  4 inch Stokes mortars. 

 

On the 15 August , 1917 the Company HQ was at Beuvry, in France.  "P" & "Q" sections along with a sub-section of "O" was tasked to provide a smoke barrage to screen the left flank of a Canadian Corps attack, the barrage opening at 4:25 am.  The only casualties amongst 4th Company occurred in "Q" section in 47 sub-section. 

The two sub-sections were to "create a smoke cloud on the  Northern flank of the 1st Canadian Division at about HIVE Alley....to hinder the enemy observation and deceive them as to the locality of attack, (the) North flank of the attack being at Puits 14 bis."

 

Each sub-section had been allocated 200 rounds of ammunition. No 46 sub-section successfully fired all their ammunition but 47 sub-section only managed 160. The post-operation report noted that "after firing 20 rounds 7 men of this sub-section  were put out of action, killed or wounded leaving 1 Sergeant and 1 Pioneer, who fired off 140 rounds; owing to mis-fires  the remainder could not be got off within the time limit."  The report also noted "The smoke cloud was very successful, a good cloud was formed, and much hostile artillery was drawn onto that area."  

 

It is almost certain  that Pioneer Bowden was killed by shell fire.

 

You can download the relevant part of the company war diary and post-operation report from TNA at the link below which can be down loaded for a small fee.

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/a70fecb4be0e4c8592c090cb6628ee8e

 

TR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Terry_Reeves
On 12/11/2016 at 16:39, Terry_Reeves said:

Thomas

 

I'm aware from home at the moment but I will see what I can do when I get back.

 

TR

 

Thomas

See the previous post for 5th battalion. It is likely that he met his end during an operation at le Fresnoy where a 5th battalion unit was engaged in firing 93 Thermit bombs into the positions of 32 Bavarian infantry regiment at 3 am on 15 July 1916. Such attacks drew artillery fire from German artillery.

 

Unfortunately the battalion war diary for 1916 has not been digitised yet, but can be seen at the National Archives in W95/122/3.

 

TR

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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David_Underdown

WO 95/122/3 has been digitised http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/ff72201e455f4442ae2ab9efaf3ef5cc - all France and Flanders material is now online (as of about June)

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Guest

I'm not sure if this thread is still active but I'll try anyway.

I'm interested in Sgt Nathaniel Lobb MM 5818 who was in the Special Section of the Special Brigade. He died in March 1917 in a Field Hospital but I think this was due to an illness rather than any wounds. He served in the Second Boer War.

I am compiling (slowly) a book commemorating all those listed on our local war memorial in Stoke Climsland (Cornwall) and Sgt Lobb is one such.

Any information about him and/or what he might have done will be gratefully received.

happy New Year,

Derrick Parsons

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Terry_Reeves

Derrick

 

He disembarked in France on 8.9.1914 with 12 Field Company RE.  They have a war diary which can be downloaded from the TNA website.  It is possible that he was on the roll of Depot Special Brigade at Helfaut, just four miles from St Omer given his place of burial.

TR

 

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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clk

Hi Derrick,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

His Soldiers' Effects record appears to read that he died at 10 Stationary Hospital (St Omer), whilst serving with 'Z' Special Company. Forces War Records appear to have transcribed a hospital admission/discharge record for him dating from 1915. It might say he was still with 12 Field Company at that time. Sorry, I don't subscribe to the site.

 

His MM appears to have been announced in the London Gazette in November 1916.

 

Regards

Chris

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bob lembke
On 12/31/2016 at 12:48, clk said:

Hi Derrick,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

His Soldiers' Effects record appears to read that he died at 10 Stationary Hospital (St Omer), whilst serving with 'Z' Special Company. Forces War Records appear to have transcribed a hospital admission/discharge record for him dating from 1915. It might say he was still with 12 Field Company at that time. Sorry, I don't subscribe to the site.

 

His MM appears to have been announced in the London Gazette in November 1916.

 

Regards

Chris

 

Derrick;

 

Z Company was the flamethrower company of the Special Brigade. The flame-thrower effort was badly managed, in my knowledgeable opinion, and eventually the weapon ceased being used at all (except by the Royal Navy!), but a large flame-thrower was kept in operation at a depot in order to impress visiting VIPs, like Royals.

 

(My father was a German flame-thrower trooper in the Great War, and I have studied the weapon and its history for 16 years.)

 

I do not have the material right at hand, but at some point in time Z Company was converted over to another weapon, possibly chemical-firing mortars.

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Guest LESLEYTAYLOR

My great Uncle was 147179 Albert Victor Garwood Cpl. Q Coy, 4th Battn. Special Brigade. Formerly 8726  Roal Fusiliers He died on 28th June 1916 from a mortar attack with 2 colleagues.  He is buried at Le Fermont Cemetary near Riviere, Pas de Calais.  We have a letter from 2nd Lt Norman Lockwood quote ' Personally I have been with him since the beginning of the old section 40' . From the letter from his Captain W. A. Salt we learn that he was acting as company clerk and had volunteered to help out as they were short of men that day - presumably releasing the gas.  We are told he died at about 6.10 pm. 

Can you shed any more light on how he was recruited and any action in which he was involved.

I am giving a talk about him soon to a group mostly consisting of ex military and history buffs so want a bit more info for them.

Edited by LESLEYTAYLOR
further info.

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Guest RobertH

William Frederick Smallman 113439 Corporal

 

My great uncle.  As far as I can work out from various bits of documentation, as a 19 year old schoolteacher he enlisted into the 14th (T) Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (1st Birmingham Batt?) (Private No. 1114) 11 Dec 1914.  From his "Statement of the Services " it looks as though he was transferred to RE Chatham 31 July 1917?, and posted to M? company Royal Engineers 2 Sept 1915 (and promoted same day Pioneer to Corporal). According to another document he was in the 187th company 1st Special Battalion. He later applied for Admission to an Officer Cadet Unit (and a commission in the Indian Army Reserve of Officers) and his own application stamped 6 Dec 1917  says he served in no. 1 (or I? ) Special Company RE (mortar). He got his commission 29 May 1918 and embarked for India 19 July 1918, spending nearly the next 20 years there (and Burma). 

 

I assume from the date of him joining the RE's it is likely that he was involved in the Battle of Loos 25 September 1915, I would be interested to know how I could find out more information about him.

 

Many thanks.  

 

 

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Manipled Mutineer

Terry, I'm currently researching 128046

2.CPL P.BROMLEY, R.E. Although I have no positive evidence for this, I understand his RE regimental number to be in the block allocated to the Special Brigade, in particular the 1st Battalion.  He transferred-in from the 16th Battalion,  Royal Fusiliers, along with five other men,so it appears from the medal roll. Have you come across him by any chance, and could you give me an idea of the role and function of a Second Corporal in a gas unit, and how many there would typically have been in a company?

 

Many thanks,

 

Anthony 

 .

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Terry_Reeves
On 15/01/2017 at 19:13, LESLEYTAYLOR said:

My great Uncle was 147179 Albert Victor Garwood Cpl. Q Coy, 4th Battn. Special Brigade. Formerly 8726  Roal Fusiliers He died on 28th June 1916 from a mortar attack with 2 colleagues.  He is buried at Le Fermont Cemetary near Riviere, Pas de Calais.  We have a letter from 2nd Lt Norman Lockwood quote ' Personally I have been with him since the beginning of the old section 40' . From the letter from his Captain W. A. Salt we learn that he was acting as company clerk and had volunteered to help out as they were short of men that day - presumably releasing the gas.  We are told he died at about 6.10 pm. 

Can you shed any more light on how he was recruited and any action in which he was involved.

I am giving a talk about him soon to a group mostly consisting of ex military and history buffs so want a bit more info for them.

LesleyTaylor

 

He would have been transferred from the RF in January/February 1916, as part of a mass transfer of infantry when the Special Companies were expanded into a Brigade. These transfers were compulsory.

 

4th Battalion units were in action on the date he died in support of 55 Division in the area of Blairville and Ficheux when 1862 cylinders of White Star ( 50% Chlorine /50% Phosgene  and Red Star (Chlorine) was released against 77 and 78 Landwehr Regiments.  These were part of the preparations for the 1st of July assault.

 

Hope this helps

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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