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This KRRC officer saved my father's life


annestormont
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Guest geoff501
We are faced with quite a few vague leads on this one. Yes, it may indeed not have been a question of going over the top. Also he may not have been 11th Bn but from another, and temporarily attached to the 11th.

None shown as Attd on SDGW but thats an incomplete record. 11th seems to have lost a lot of officers earlier, so perhaps it could be.

back to Maggs, living in Bromley, Kent in 1901:

William A 45 Dental Surgeon

Alice M 43

Jessie 7

Eric 5

(The on-line 1901 front end has been re-done. Fewer advanced options but seems to work quite well - seems a lot faster also.)

And from The Times, 2nd September 1918:

post-4982-1154676861.jpg

Might give a clue where to look for photos.

It will take a bit of trawling and or quick luck to identify him.

Maybe.

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None shown as Attd on SDGW but thats an incomplete record. 11th seems to have lost a lot of officers earlier, so perhaps it could be.

back to Maggs, living in Bromley, Kent in 1901:

William A 45 Dental Surgeon

Alice M 43

Jessie 7

Eric 5

(The on-line 1901 front end has been re-done. Fewer advanced options but seems to work quite well - seems a lot faster also.)

And from The Times, 2nd September 1918:

post-4982-1154676861.jpg

Might give a clue where to look for photos.

Maybe.

Where might I find photograph ? I've looked back over several census form - lots of aunts and uncles but haven't found a marriage for Jessie yet. Think there will be living family. Anne

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Anne,

Judging from the Times notice, it appers that the family had moved from Kent to London. Thus I wonder if the Bromley local paper might not prove that fruitful (although it might if other family still lived there).

Otherwise whatever local paper covered this section of London (if ever there was such a paper). In both cases local main libraries would help, and should hold copies of the local papers on microfilm. Quite often, especially if it were a better-off family involving an officer, there might be a notice of death together with a picture of the deceased.

Otherwise the Times itself - maybe there was a later obit, with a photo.

What about any dental publications - his father was a dentist? Maybe the 'Dental Times' or 'Tooth-Ache Weekly' or equivalent (my made-up titles!) carried notices with pictures?

Just some ideas.

Ian

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Anne

The British Library Newspapers catalogue shows 3 local papers for Marylebone in publication at the time:

The Marylebone Mercury & West London Gazette

The Marylebone Record & West London News

The Marylebone Times & Independent (but this one ceased publication in 1918)

The BL Newspaper Library at Colindale, N. London will have copies of these, probably only accessible on microfilm.

There's a good chance that if an obituary were published, it would have been in one of these, I think.

Jim

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Guest geoff501
Otherwise the Times itself - maybe there was a later obit, with a photo.

Don't remember photos in The Times, or even obits of more than a few lines in the KiA section on page 1. There were two memorial announcements for Maggs in the 1919 and 1920 edition of 20th August, but these gave no additional info other than killed near Lens - which fits in with the cemetery.

Otherwise whatever local paper covered this section of London (if ever there was such a paper). In both cases local main libraries would help, and should hold copies of the local papers on microfilm. Quite often, especially if it were a better-off family involving an officer, there might be a notice of death together with a picture of the deceased.

Yes local papers are more likely to have photo, try also ringing Bromley library to see what they hold.

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Again, thank you all for guiding me in the way I should go. I actually live in Plymouth, so I'm a bit way out. However, I shall ring Bromley library tomorrow. I haven't been able to access The Times today, I usually go through Bedford library but they must have problems. I know north Devon has archives of old local newspapers - but not on line. I'll just try The Times again - incase ! Anne

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think its time I brought you all up to date with what has been happening with the KRRC 2nd Lieutenant. I have heard from the Royal Green Jackets museum. They also think it could well be Eric Maggs, or 2nd Lieutenant Benjamin Johnston, but he was missing in action and never found. So it comes down strongly on the side of Eric Maggs. They sent me the appropriate pages of the war diary and also an obituary for him taken from the Chronicle - but sadly no photograph. He was educated at Charterhouse and University College Oxford. I have contacted both, Charterhouse is closed until 30th August. However, the Archivist at Oxford has been incredibly helpful and has today sent me a group photograph of college for 1914 - but there is no key to the individuals! So I have spent hours today looking through my magnifying glass trying to find him - there is one possibility -but he looks so different out of uniform and aged 18 I just can't be sure. I wonder where my Dad got his photo from, its a studio type isn't it ? (Oh why didn't I ask questions?)

May be Charterhouse will come up with a named picture. It's getting more and more important to find him. I am now going to contact the Maggs Bros. Book shop - their original Mr Maggs hailed from Somerset in 1850-ish - so did Eric's father - y'never know. I've looked for Dental journals without luck, and through the Times several times. If anyone has any ideas of where to find a photo I would be so grateful.

Anne

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I would suggest that Maggs is a very unusual surname but there are a handul of people living in Bromley with that name.

If things get deperate it may be worth contacting them to ask if they had a relative who died in WW1.

Neil

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We've been assuming that this was an attack. Could it have been simpler? For example, the officer simply muscled ahead in a trench and got picked off by a sniper?

The 20th Division was involved in a lot of aggressive 'patroling' at this time - fighting patrols were often used to enter the German trenches which were often poorly manned in the front line.

There were frequent patrols to check whether the Germans were still there as they were falling back slowly on this part of the front. Usually this meant encouraging the Germans to give away their presence by giving them something to shoot at.

Brendon.

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What is De Ruvigny's please Andrew?

Anne

Sorry - I knew I should have explained but it was a rushed post!

It's a book published in 1922 that offers biographical sketches of c.25,000 men and has photo's of about 7,000. Unlikely I know, but there is a chance that Magg's is in it. The Navala nd Military Press [ http://www.naval-military-press.com/FMPro?...et.htm&-new ] have it on sale at £63.75 (!) but I know a few members have copies. I wouldn't like to commit them to a check by offering their names, but a new thread asking for a look-up may be profitable.

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What a fascinating thread!

I truly hope you manage to track down your man Anne, and wouldn't it be wonderful to find any surviving family. And great to see those trying to help you. Good luck

Patrick

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What a fascinating thread!

I truly hope you manage to track down your man Anne, and wouldn't it be wonderful to find any surviving family. And great to see those trying to help you. Good luck

Patrick

Thank you for your encouragement! I do so hope I track him down and find some family so I can share with them his bravery and some of the outcome of his sacrifice. Aanne

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They also think it could well be Eric Maggs, or 2nd Lieutenant Benjamin Johnston, but he was missing in action and never found. So it comes down strongly on the side of Eric Maggs.

Anne

Anne - why would 'missing in action and never found' rule out 2nd Lt Johnston?

Better not assume anything...

Ian

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Anne - why would 'missing in action and never found' rule out 2nd Lt Johnston?

Better not assume anything...

Ian

Well you're right about not assuming but I think my dad would have said something different - he was quite clear you see that the officer went in front of him and received the bullet he would have got. 2nd Lt Johnston is listed as missing. How I regret not being more inquisitive at the time!

Oh, and he is not listed in De Ruvigny's - another door closed. Anne

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Anne,

But that does not mean that his body or grave was not subsequently lost?

Try and think of the wartime reality of what happened to a casualty, however he was killed.

Dead in a German trench?

Fallen in no-man's land?

Subsequently lost through shellfire?

Buried, but grave site lost?

Just because he was posted missing it does not mean that he was not killed but the info of his death did not get back to the record keepers.

Keep an open mind, it may or may not be your man....

Good luck in your search.

Ian

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None shown as Attd on SDGW but thats an incomplete record. 11th seems to have lost a lot of officers earlier, so perhaps it could be.

back to Maggs, living in Bromley, Kent in 1901:

William A 45 Dental Surgeon

Alice M 43

Jessie 7

Eric 5

(The on-line 1901 front end has been re-done. Fewer advanced options but seems to work quite well - seems a lot faster also.)

And from The Times, 2nd September 1918:

post-4982-1154676861.jpg

Might give a clue where to look for photos.

Maybe.

I have had a look on Genesreunited - there is a Jessie Maggs with the right birthyear, with a William born 1859 (possibly the dentist) on the same person's family tree. I have left a message and will report back.

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I have had a look on Genesreunited - there is a Jessie Maggs with the right birthyear, with a William born 1859 (possibly the dentist) on the same person's family tree. I have left a message and will report back.

Thanks for this - I can't believe I missed it - Genes is my 'home page'!! I'd looked for Eric and his father and an uncle Edward -and I've searched BMD for a marriage for Jessie with no luck. Anyway we will see what Julie comes up with. Anne

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I am in the same boat. I left it too late to ask my father about family matters. He never spoke one word to me about his brother Oscar who was killed in Delville Wood. He said almost nothing about it to my mother. I would not even know of Oscar’s existence if my mother had not pointed out his name to me on the local memorial when I was about three years old. Incredibly, that was just about the last time he was mentioned during my father’s lifetime.

Your father’s words suggest a different picture to me; one in which he did take part in the attack. The officer led them out of the trench and was killed by a bullet that would otherwise have hit your father. If this was what happened it explains why your father said the officer had saved his life. If your father had simply been sent out of the battle, he could never have known whether or not his life had been saved because he might have come through the battle without a scratch.

I hope you are able to trace the officer.

Regards,

Clive Maier

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Thanks Clive for your encouragement. I feel so near to finding this man, he just keeps slipping away -I just need a photograph and then I shall know one way or the other.

Isn't it sad we don't communicate better within our family life? I wonder now if my dad stayed in the Army all those years simply because his life was saved and he felt he 'owed' it somehow - although I know he loved the comradeship. He was offered a place at the Chelsea Hospital which I know he longed to accept but he had family.

Today when people have bad experiences they are offered counselling of various sorts - in those days it was unheard of - so what could these men do after such horrendous times but push it all down and try to forget. That made me feel my prying would be painful for him and selfish.

Anyway they are free now, and I have a great pride and respect for his memory. Anne

Just noticed this is from Peter too - thank you.

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Isn't it sad we don't communicate better within our family life? I wonder now if my dad stayed in the Army all those years simply because his life was saved and he felt he 'owed' it somehow - although I know he loved the comradeship. He was offered a place at the Chelsea Hospital which I know he longed to accept but he had family.

How very true. I think my interest in the Great War was sparked by an old boy in our village who was more than ready to talk of his experiences. I suppose I listened in a young teenagers kind of way but now regret I didnt take more notice. I do recall one story of his being on sentry duty in the trench. There was a trench running into the German lines and one night he raised his rifle in challenging some one. It was an Officer and my old boy was court martialled for doing his job. Fortunately he wasnt one of the SAD group!

My grandfather went through some horrific experiences in WW2 which he would never talk about. Pity as it would have helped me now to find out where he served etc

I'm sure you will eventually find your man

Patrick

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I've been thinking about the best local papers to try for a photograph. On the census Eric Maggs was in Bromley; when he was killed the family was in Northam, north Devon, when his obituary was written they were in Wimpole Street London! I have emailed Bromley and Bideford lilbraries - no response as yet. I keep wondering how Dad got hold of the photograph he had. I think I have found a marriage for his sister Jessie, so there just might be living family. Anne

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Guest geoff501
I've been thinking about the best local papers to try for a photograph. On the census Eric Maggs was in Bromley; when he was killed the family was in Northam, north Devon, when his obituary was written they were in Wimpole Street London! I have emailed Bromley and Bideford lilbraries - no response as yet. I keep wondering how Dad got hold of the photograph he had. I think I have found a marriage for his sister Jessie, so there just might be living family. Anne

Ann,

When Lt Maggs died, the family were in Wimpole street. The Devon address probably dates from the early 1920s. I suspect that the dentist had retired to Devon by then, he would be over 65. The best papers to try would be the ones given by Jim Clay in an earlier post. Local papers tended to have photos. Incidentally when and where was Jessie married?

Have both Maggs and Johnstone been checked in De Rugivneys? Was not sure from the previous posting which. Could still be Johnstone, you may need to check Edinburgh papers for this, if the info given in the CWGC entry is where his family originated. Its never easy, but don't give up.

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