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Remembered Today:

6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment


mick.jw
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Hi All,

What a wonderful fella Steve(Stebie9173) is. The war diaries concerning the 6th battalion at Thiepval 1916 that he copied for me are amazing. Is there anyone else out there, that has any more information about the 6th battalion such as pictures, newspaper clippings or any thing else no matter how small, that would be of interest to me. I would appreciate it very much if someone has.

Thanks very much Steve, your a star.

Regards

Mick.

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Mick,

Not sure whether you saw this topic:

 

I posted it in reply to a query about the Medical Officer attached to the 6th Northamptonshire Regiment who was killed at Trones Wood. This was the major engagement before Thiepval. This was one of the actions which gained the 18th Division a reputation for getting the job done during 1916. 18th Division went north to near Armentieres for rebuilding after this and only came back to the Somme just before the battle at Thipeval.

Steve.

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A brief summary of the battalions war history (and a WIP - Please don't rely on every thing and date as gospel!):

UK

August 1914, Northampton, Battalion raised

4th September 1914, Original men of the 6th Battalion moved by train to Shorncliffe.

September 1914. Tented camp at Shorncliffe. Basic training.

September 1914. Joined 54th Infantry Brigade at Colchester.

1915

May 1915 - Wiltshire Codford, Salisbury Plain. Three day march to Hertford and entrained to Codford for final training.

25th July 1915 Embarkation at Southampton for Channel crossing. Steamed to France overnight.

26th July 1915 Pas-de-Calais Havre Disembarkation at Havre. Entrained for Longeau.

14th - 22nd August 1915 - Somme, Suzanne. First taste of the trenches. First man from the battalion killed in France - 14564 Corporal Arthur Taylor, born Witham-on-the-Hill, enlisted at Peterborough on 5.9.1914, killed in action on 19th August 1915.

9th September 1915. Somme, Fricourt. Battalion occupies trenches in Sector D1 at Fricourt.

1st/2nd November 1915. Somme, Fricourt. First officer of the battalion killed. Lieutenant James Edward Dowenes Lambert killed whilst covering a digging party as battalion bombing officer.

4th December 1915. Somme, Mametz. Battalion moves east down the line to sector D2 trenches opposite Mametz.

29th December 1915. Somme, Mametz. Twenty men of the battalion taken prisoner in German trench raid after high explosive and gas bombardment.

1916

13th April 1916. Somme, Carnoy. German trench raid thwarted by Northamptonshire Regiment. Captain Hubert Podmore awarded DSO for action.

1st July 1916. Somme, Montauban. First Day of the Somme. 6th Northamptonshire Regiment in support for assault on Pommiers Redoubt by 11th Royal Fusiliers and 7th Bedfordshire Regiment.

14th July 1916. Somme, Trones Wood. 6th Northamptonshire Regiment and 12th Middlesex Regiment capture Trones Wood. Sergeant William Ewart Boulter awarded Victoria Cross for bombing German machine-gun strongpoint in Trones Wood.

post-6536-1163187424.jpg

(William Ewart Boulter, V.C.)

26th September 1916. Somme, Thiepval. Battalion in support for attack on Thiepval by 11th Royal Fusiliers and 12th Middlesex Regiment. Commanding officer - Lt. Vol. Gerge Eustace Ripley wounded. Later has arm amputated, and dies of tetanus on 16th October 1916.

post-6536-1163187406.jpg

(Lt. Col. George Eustace Ripley)

1917

17th February 1917. Somme, Boom Ravine (Miraumont). Assault on Boom Ravine alongside 11th Royal Fusiliers. 12th Middlesex in support.

20th March 1917. Hindenburg Line, Croisilles. Advance in pursuit of withdrawing Germans. Northamptonshires in single battalion attack at Croisilles.

3rd May 1917. Hindenburg Line, Cherisy. Follow up attack during evening after unsuccesful morning attack at Cherisy.

10th August 1917. Ypres. Glencourse Wood. Attack at Westhoek Ridge, Glencourse Wood.

1918

21st March 1918. Somme, Crozat Canal German offensive launched. 18th Division rushed into line to hold German advance. 54th Brigade counter-attack across Crozat Canal, before being ordered to withdraw back across canal to cover withdrawal of 14th Division.

23rd March 1918. Somme, Crozat Canal. Germans cross the Crozat Canal. Three companies of the 6th Northamptonshires counter-attack back across the canal. Second Lieutenant A C Herring (of the ASC, attached to the battalion) wins Victoria Cross for defending the canal against all attacks.

post-6536-1163187442.jpg

(Alfred Cecil Herring V.C.)

5th April 1918. Somme, Amiens. Battalion counter-attack at Hangard Wood. Battalion C.O. Lt. Col. Reginald Turner wounded.

24th April 1918. Somme, Villers-Brettoneux (Cachy). Composite force led by Captain Stanley Le Fleming Shepherd attacked by troops of the German 77th Reserve Division at Cachy. Whippet Tanks of "X" Company, 3rd Battalion Tank Corps led by Captain Tommy Price, D.S.O., late of the 6th Northants, assist in driving back the attack.

30th June 1918. Somme, Albert. The battalion assaults the "Hairpin", N-W of Albert, in concert with the 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment on their left.

6th August 1918. Somme, Morlancourt. Preparations for proposed offensive on the 8th August 1918 disturbed by German attack against the 7th Bedfordshires during relief by the 6th Northamptonshires. Counter-attacks by the 6th Northants regains the lost ground, ready for the major assault in two days time.

8th August 1918. Somme, Morlancourt. Beginning of the Last 100 Days. 54th Brigade's place in the Offensive taken over by 36th Brigade of 12th Division due to losses incurred by the Brigade on the 6th.

21st August 1918. Somme, Dernancourt. Capture of Albert. Battalion crosses the Ancre before dawn and 3 Companies take part in assault between Dernancourt and Albert with 11th Royal Fusiliers on the left flank.

18th September 1918. Hindenburg Line, Ronssoy. Attack at Ronssoy. Battle of Epehy. 58062 Lance-Corporal Allan Leonard Lewis wins Victoria Cross after bombing machine-gun posts enfilading the rest of the battalion.

24th October 1918. Picardy, Bousies. Battle of the Selle. The 6th Northamptons, attached to 55th Brigade attacking on the right of 54th Brigade, assault German lines between Bousies and Robersart. Later returning to 54th Brigade, the battalion repulsed a German counter-attack, and then advance on Renuart Farm and Bousies Wood Farm. With his company held up a Renuart Farm, Lieutenant Frederick William Hedges, attached from 6th Bedfordshire Regiment, wins Victoria Cross for, with a Sergeant, clearing four machine gun posts, enabling his company and battalion to continue the advance.

4th November 1918 Picardy. Battle of the Sambre. Captain Rowland Beattie Fawkes, M.C. wins D.S.O. for gallantry.

Hope this will give you an idea of their war.

Steve.

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Steve, I would be grateful if you had any details of the casualties incurred by the battalion in the attact on Boom Ravine on 17/2/1917.

Best Regards,

Murrough.

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The War Diary of the 6th Northamptonshires states "Casualty list attached" and then it isn't there!

I do however have a list of Killed, DoW & Wounded from the Times of 21-3-1917, the majority of which will be 6th Battalion men wounded at Boom Ravine.

Are you looking for anyone in particular, Murrough?

The list says ORS : 142 wounded, 3 shell shock, killed or died of wounds approx. 120.

I have just got back from the pub, so treat these figures accordingly!

Steve.

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Thank you for the information Steve.The man I was interested in is SGT Walter Ward 7683 born Irthlingborough and Kia 17/2/1917.I recently purchased his BWM and was looking for info.

Best Regards,

Murrough.

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He would have enlisted in 1905 (my great-uncle was 7805, enlisted 26-10-1905) and therefore probably a recalled Reservist (unless he extended to 21 years, of course).

The Times of 21-3-1917 records him as Killed.

I suspect he may have been wounded prior to joining the 6th Battalion as he would probably have served with either the 1st or 2nd battalion on recall. My list is only really covering the dates from mid-1915 to early 1917 at the moment so if he was wounded early on then I probably wouldn't have him listed.

Hope this helps,

Steve.

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  • 7 years later...

It's taken me years to stumble on the fact that my great uncle pte 14975 James Henry Spencer was in the 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment. I have the citation for his MM dated 27.2.19. plus London Gazette 23.7.19. The family story was that it was for bringing in a wounded officer from no mans land. I am presuming the action took place late in 1918.

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I would agree with late 1918 - either at Bousies on 24-10-1918 or at Preux-au-Bois on 4-11-1918 seem favourites. September 1918 M.M. awards for the battalion seem to have been Gazetted in June 1919.

The 6th Battalion war diary is very bad at stating what happened to individuals, even for officers so I can't tell you definitively which officers were wounded during that last fortnight of the war. The above-mentioned Captain Rowland Beattie Fawkes was certainly wounded on 4-11-1918 whilst leading his company in the attack (for which he was awarded the D.S.O.) Frederick WiIliam Hedges, having the been awarded the V.C. on 24th October 1918 was wounded by a through and through in the shoulder on 4-11-1918. I believe Second Lieutenant Frederick Thomas Matthews (previously Sgt. 8051 in the 2nd Bedfords) attached from the Bedfords was also wounded with the battalion that day. Matthews was awarded the M.C. for his actions on 24-10-1918 in the Gazette of 8-3-1919 and 4-10-1919 (http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/31583/supplements/12315). The war diary records three officers (unnamed) as being wounded on 4-11-1918. If it was on this day, you have a choice between an officer with the V.C., an officer with a D.S.O. and earlier M.C. and an officer with the M.C.

The war diary listed one officer wounded on 24-10-1918 but I don't know who that was!

James Spencer is listed in the Peterborough and Hunts Standard of 19-9-1914 as being one of the men enlisting at the Peterborough recruitment office on Long Causeway on or around the 10th September 1914 as part of "Whitseds Light Infantry" (a group of Peterborough men enlisted in early September 1914, Alderman Isaac Whitsed being one of the local civic leaders who encouraged men to enlist at that time), showing his residence at that time as Elton, a village near Peterborough. He seems to be part of a group of 11 men enlisted at Peterborough that came from the Elton and Stilton area all sequentially numbered from 14965 to 14975. The group departed to join the newly formed 7th Battalion at Shoreham on 12-9-1914. Also from Elton were 14969 Harry George Hitchcock (POW at Loos in September 1915) and 14974 Bernard Henry Bodger (Killed at Loos)

He went to France as part of "A" Company of the 7th Battalion on 1st September 1915. He served with them until wounded during the battalions attacks on Guillemont in August 1916 (or at least he is listed as Wounded in the Times of 20-9-1916 which in general listed 7th Battalion men wounded at that time). He presumably returned to the front in 1917, possibly joining the 6th Battalion at that time.

His medal roll page shows no date of discharge, and a 1919 vintage number of 70063 which suggests that he rejoined the Regiment after the war. If he continued serving for more than a couple of years then his service record may be held by the MOD.

Steve.

EDIT: I can't help thinking I've discussed this man before.....

SECOND EDIT: He is mentioned on this previous topic: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=81951&hl=

Edited by Stebie9173
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Steve,

Yes you have discussed this man before, you helped me out. Risby is my cousin.

What I found interesting from your latest post is that our man, "James Spencer" enlisted in Peterborough! He is from Deptford, South London. Although his mother is from Piddington in Northamptonshire, maybe this is a connection and he travelled up to Peterborough in enlist. Anyway interesting non the less. Thanks again for the above info.

Regards

Mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perfect topic! I am searching for information on 15188 percy george wyman of the 6th. Kia september 29th 1916. Any info that you may have via war diaries would be very much appreciated.

Thank you,

Eddy

Edit. I did find this which appears to indicate a German attack. Kia same day as wyman part of the 6th.

North Bucks Times, 31st October, 1916 "Killed in Action. Pte. Clarence Fisher has been killed in action. He was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs R Fisher of Sandfield Cottages, Woburn Sands, and was nearly 23. He joined the Northants Special Reserves nearly 8 years ago, and was employed on the LNWR at Birmingham. He was twice wounded during the first year of the war. A letter from his Officer to Mrs Fisher says "It is with great sorrow that I have to inform you that No.8834 Private Clarence Fisher was killed in action on September 29th, 1916. He was one of our snipers and his death will be a great loss to the Company. He was killed instantly by a shell whilst carrying bombs, which were urgently needed by his comrades in the front line. I hope it is some comfort to you to know he died a brave man doing his duty as he always has done."

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  • 2 months later...

Steve,

I quote (if I may) from a post last December, Where did you see the "Peterborough and Hunts Standard", was it Peterborough Library? I would like to get a copy of where my Great Uncle (James Spencer) is mentioned.

"James Spencer is listed in the Peterborough and Hunts Standard of 19-9-1914 as being one of the men enlisting at the Peterborough recruitment office on Long Causeway on or around the 10th September 1914 as part of "Whitseds Light Infantry" (a group of Peterborough men enlisted in early September 1914, Alderman Isaac Whitsed being one of the local civic leaders who encouraged men to enlist at that time), showing his residence at that time as Elton, a village near Peterborough. He seems to be part of a group of 11 men enlisted at Peterborough that came from the Elton and Stilton area all sequentially numbered from 14965 to 14975"

Might next question you can might be able to help or shed some light, I though I'd downloaded the war diary for the 6th Battalion, fairly confident with ref number etc, what has turned up is the "12th Middlesex" have I missed something? This is from my order.

"Title: 6 Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Catalogue reference: WO 95/2044/2"

Any help as always is very much appreciated

Mark

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  • Admin

Mark

That is the correct reference for 6th Northants. 12 Middlesex were in the same battalion and also the same box at Kew so it sounds like TNA have loaded the wrong diary onto their system I'd contact TNA and explain the situation. You should either get a refund or a new download link if there has been an error.

Glen

PS Note there may be a delay in up to 10 working days before you get a response.

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Glen,

Thank for that, I'll contact TNA this afternoon.

Regards

Mark

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Steve and Mark..

I wonder if you could help me as I believe James Henry Spencer was also my great uncle as my grandfather was Henry Ernest Spencer (Jims younger brother) and any information or pictures would be much appreciated..

My father Victor was told by my grandmother Gladys that he looked just like Jim (might be the red hair as it runs in our family)

Regards

Vince Spencer

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Hi Vince, I have PM replied to your message.

I am sorry to say that there is no family connection here. J H Spencer only had one brother and that was our grandfather.

Good luck in your research.

Mark

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  • 1 month later...

I have had for many years a single 14/15 Star to 14379 Pte E Bartlett North'n R . His MIC confirms Ernest Bartlett was entitled to 14/15 Star BWM VM, to France 25/7/15 and to Class Z 15/5/19.

There is a Service Discharge Record for him on Ancestry/FMP which shows that he ended up 3rd Bn having also served 600HS Labour Corps no 318766. But both these are home service. He evidently ended up in these after recuperating in UK hospitals from GSW both thighs and rt Arm.

I think I can make out that he first served with 6th Bn, although the only time it appears it has been crossed out and replaced with subsequent postings.

post-119876-0-53742900-1450632563_thumb.

Looking at LLT and a number of other postings on this site I see that the date he embarked 25.7.15 ties up with 6th Bn going to France. And then the date he was wounded in action, 17.2.17, ties up with the costly Boom Ravine attack. He was hospitalised to UK immediately. So it fits well with him being in 6th Bn.

I was wondering whether Stebie9173 would be kind enough to give his expert view please? Would he also have participated in the capture of Trones Wood on 14.6.16? Are there any other records for Ernest ?

Incidentally I tried to access the 6th Bn War Diary on Ancestry but I came up with exactly the same problem that post 14 above found at NA. Any ideas please?

Thanks in advance, Charlie

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Here is what I have previously extracted from Ernest Bartlett's service record:

  • Enlisted at Kettering, 2-9-1914
  • Posted to 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment
  • To France, 25-7-1915.
  • 1914-15 Star/BWM/VM.
  • France 2 years & 3 months.
  • Hernia, 1-1917.
  • GSW right thigh, 17-2-1917.
  • 54 FA. and 47 C.C.S., 17-2-1917.
  • No 2 Aus. Gen. Hospital.
  • To England aboard H.S. St Denis, 25-2-1917.
  • 1st Western Gen. Hospital, Fazackerly, Liverpool, shell wound, both thighs, 27-2-1917 to 7-3-1917.
  • Sherlock Street Hospital, Liverpool (attached 1st Western Gen. Hospital) - synovitis knee, 7-3-1917 to 14-8-1917.
  • Discharged from hospital, category CIII.
  • Posted to 3rd Bn. Northamptonshire Regiment, 24-8-1917.
  • Categorised Medical Grade BIII, 7-1918
  • Labour Corps 318766 (temporary transfer), 1-3-1919 and posted to 600 (HS) Company, Labour corps.
  • Posted to 3rd Bn. Northamptonshire Regiment, 5-4-1919 and regained his old number 14379
  • Demobilised from 3rd Bn., Brocton Camp, 11-4-1919.
  • Class Z, 15-5-1919.
  • Address: Baybush Cottage, Barnet Gate, Herts.
  • Born at Handsford, Middlesex.
  • Source: WO364

There is nothing to suggest that he wasn't with the battalion during their main 1916 battles on 1-7-1916, 14-7-1916 and 26-9-1916, so barring the 10% chance of him being part of the Reserve held bacl behind the lines for battalion rebuilding purposes he should have been at the 1916 battles including Trones Wood.

Steve.

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Steve, thanks very much for a speedy response. So you agree that he will have served wth 6th Bn. As I said it is difficult to read on the scanned copies but perhaps you read the original file?

I have tried searching Census and BMD using the info from the service record but no luck yet. I can't find a place called Handsford, Middlesex although it seems Barnet Gate was switching between Middlesex and Hertfordshire. I shall keep trying.

thanks again

Charlie

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I read that the Boom Ravine attack was anticipated by the Germans, almost down to the hour. Betrayal by prisoners or deserters? Were they ever identified?

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Hi Charlie,

...

Incidentally I tried to access the 6th Bn War Diary on Ancestry but I came up with exactly the same problem that post 14 above found at NA. Any ideas please?

It might be worth a look at the brigade diary. It's out of date order in places, but amongst other things it includes a fairly detailed report on operations for 17th February 1917 (see p235/956)

Regards

Chris

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  • 1 year later...

Kia ora

 

I am trying to find some info on a distant relative who served in the 6th Northants - Pvt (Arthur) James Cherry 12922, KIA 21 July 1917.  I have seen a small obit for him which says that he had "enlisted at the outbreak of the war" and had been "previously been invalided home with rheumatism", but I was wondering if any of you could provide me with more information on him and/or the Bttn in July 1917.

 

Thanks very much

Robbie

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