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Arthur J

Sgt Godwin - Unknown Grave found

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Arthur J

I refer in particular to the memorial in Haucourt Communal Cemetery, to an unknown Serjeant of the Royal Irish Fusiliers which should refer to Sgt Charles Blair Godwin who is recorded on La Ferte sur Jourarre Memorial, clisk on link below

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...casualty=878764

When Amanda Moreno, the curator of the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum was researching her book, “Angels and Heroes – The story of a machine gunner with the Royal Irish Fusiliers August 1914 to April 1915” the route the 1st battalion took in the retreat from Mons was followed, during which the Haucourt Communal Cemetery was visited and the above stone was noticed.

On 26 August, the 1st Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (aka “Faughs”) – along with the Seaforths, took up position in the village cemetery as they were providing a rearguard to the BEF in the retreat from Mons. They used the stones walls of the cemetery as a defensive point. On that date the Royal Irish Fusiliers lost only one Sergeant, namely Charles Blair Godwin. Also due to the speed of the retreat they spent only a short time in the cemetery, and in fact due to communications problems A & B Companies did not receive the orders to withdraw. As they settled down for the night (circa 10.30pm) German voices and a bugle call were heard in the village (Haucourt cemetery is about 200 yards outside the village.

Their Lieutenant gathered the men to meet the attack. In the charge against the enemy Lt Olphert was shot in the foot and then the head, Sgt Goodwin who was acting as second in command was killed at his side.

The enemy advance was broken, but the Faughs were by now isolated. At midnight the officer’s conference, and they decided to immediately proceed to the rendezvous point to the NW of the village. This was reached after several hours, when they met up with the Warwickshire Regiment.

This information has been sent to CWGC in 2004, by the museum, asking that they review and consider re-naming the headstone, to date there has been no response.

Can anyone advise if this is within the normal timeframe for a reconsideration request such as this.

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John_Hartley

Arthur

It is the MoD that makes the decision, not CWGC and you can wait a long time to hear. You will have appreciated that this is not the "run of the mill" non-commemoration that often gets raised here,s o I imaging it is not going to be quick. Presumably MoD would need to establish to their own satisfaction that there were no other possibilities that could apply. Has the museum chased CWGC?

BTW, I am asking that a moderator move the thread to the "possible non-commemorations" section. Hope you don't mind.

John

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Max

This would be a real tricky one as the task would be as much about proving who the soldier was not as who he actually is. (if you get my drift)

Andy

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Terry Denham

Andy is right.

It is not sufficient to have one unknown RIF serjeant grave and a known RIF serjeant on the Memorial. You have to prove that they are the same people.

This could probably only be done if it was known with certainty that there is only one RIF serjeant without a named grave. Is that the case here? Are there any other RIF serjeants on the Memorial?

The information given in the first post only relates to the serjeant's death and does not mention why it is believed that this unknown is the same man. Is there more to the story?

These cases can take years and years!

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stevem49

You have to send in a long and detailed report. Mine was about 20 pages. The more information the better obviously. Whilst it goes to the MOD, the CWGC liase between the two parties (me and MOD).

I am not expecting a reply for a couple of years at least. I contacted a member of the CWGC staff and he kindly tore my origional report to pieces (well it was rubbish).

My man has men of the same battalion either side. He died of wounds but the wrong date was registered.

He is one of only three men of the battalion on the Menin Gate and the other two died 5 days later. Even so and despite my being sure, the matter has to be checked and rightly so. He also died 200 yards from the cemetery.

stevem

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Arthur J

Thanks to all who have replied so far, and in order of posts

John,

Sorry if I posted in the wrong place, I have no problem if this thread is move, and yes the museum have sent the details to the CWGC, back in 2004. To date no response, which is why I raised the thread, just wanted to know if it was normal timespan.

Max,

We understand that things need to be checked out, and would only expect that it would be checked.

Terry,

Sorry if I gave the wrong impression by creating a link to the CWGC site, it was easier than "cluttering" up the thread with his personal details.

We are not saying that as he is the only the only serjeant on La Ferte, but there is a marker in Haucourt cemetery to an unknown serjeant of the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

The point is that there is only one Royal Irish Fusilier Sgt buried and Haucout, and Sgt Godwin is the only serjeant lost by the Bn at Haucourt, at any time during the war.

Due to the timeframe of the retreat, the Bn moved into the area, set up a defensive position - using the cemetery wall (the cemetery today is still surrounded by a tall wall), all within the same day 26 August 1914.

From this position they launched the counter offensive late in the evening of the 26 August 1918, and then retired at about midnight to the rendezvous point from which they continued to supply rearguard for the retreat.

When we were researching the book we followed the Bn footsteps using the Bn. records and the personal record of Sgt Hugh Wilson. When we entered the Haucourt communal cemetery and Amanda found the marker to the unknown serjeant, she immediately state that this was the grave of Sgt Godwin, as she knew that he was the sgt lost on that day, and the Bn was not in the area again.

As curator of the museum she sent the details to CWGC asking that the details be reviewed. Unlike the Angels which were also reported on or about 26 August 1914 the details of the Bn casualties on that day will show that Charles Blair Godwin was the only RIF Sgt who died in or near Haucourt, hence the request to have his grave recognised.

Steve:

See above, thanks for your point on needing clear evidence.

Again thanks for all who have replied.

Arthur J.

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dansparky
On 16/11/2006 at 15:02, Arthur J said:

I refer in particular to the memorial in Haucourt Communal Cemetery, to an unknown Serjeant of the Royal Irish Fusiliers which should refer to Sgt Charles Blair Godwin who is recorded on La Ferte sur Jourarre Memorial, clisk on link below

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...casualty=878764

When Amanda Moreno, the curator of the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum was researching her book, “Angels and Heroes – The story of a machine gunner with the Royal Irish Fusiliers August 1914 to April 1915” the route the 1st battalion took in the retreat from Mons was followed, during which the Haucourt Communal Cemetery was visited and the above stone was noticed.

On 26 August, the 1st Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (aka “Faughs”) – along with the Seaforths, took up position in the village cemetery as they were providing a rearguard to the BEF in the retreat from Mons. They used the stones walls of the cemetery as a defensive point. On that date the Royal Irish Fusiliers lost only one Sergeant, namely Charles Blair Godwin. Also due to the speed of the retreat they spent only a short time in the cemetery, and in fact due to communications problems A & B Companies did not receive the orders to withdraw. As they settled down for the night (circa 10.30pm) German voices and a bugle call were heard in the village (Haucourt cemetery is about 200 yards outside the village.

Their Lieutenant gathered the men to meet the attack. In the charge against the enemy Lt Olphert was shot in the foot and then the head, Sgt Goodwin who was acting as second in command was killed at his side.

The enemy advance was broken, but the Faughs were by now isolated. At midnight the officer’s conference, and they decided to immediately proceed to the rendezvous point to the NW of the village. This was reached after several hours, when they met up with the Warwickshire Regiment.

This information has been sent to CWGC in 2004, by the museum, asking that they review and consider re-naming the headstone, to date there has been no response.

Can anyone advise if this is within the normal timeframe for a reconsideration request such as this.

16

Just to double check is this quote from Angels and Heroes?

 

Best Dan

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John_Hartley

Eleven years on, I wonder if the case is still "under review" by CWGC/MoD or if the submission for recognition was formally rejected?

 

John

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thetrenchrat22

It would interesting to see how this case finished, if it was rejected or still being looked at. 

 

As if I remember only recently a unknown CSM was accorded a known grave and was done on similar lines of Sgt Godwin case.

 

i think that the CSM's regiment, rank and date of death was on the headstone but not the name.   

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dansparky

Anyone know of publications where this is documented? 

the actual event?  is it in angels and heroes? is it mentioned anywhere else?  It is alluded to in brig Gen Burrows war diary but not in detail.

Edited by dansparky

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thetrenchrat22

The WFA Bulletin, number 106, November 2016, page 19.  

 

G/9503 CSM Andrew Gale.  10th Battalion, The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment).  28th September 1918.  Belgian Battery Corner, Belgium.  

 

Plot 3 

Row B

Grave 25

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dansparky
10 hours ago, thetrenchrat22 said:

It would interesting to see how this case finished, if it was rejected or still being looked at. 

 

As if I remember only recently a unknown CSM was accorded a known grave and was done on similar lines of Sgt Godwin case.

 

i think that the CSM's regiment, rank and date of death was on the headstone but not the name.   

 

is there anyway i can obtain this,  due to join WFA soon but would love to read this prior issue and this story.  Is there an indication of what time in the day on the 26th this occurred?  this seems to be after 4pm looking at burrows war diary.  Seaforth's only mention that biouvoaked with a portion of RIF later in the day but no mention of this.

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thetrenchrat22

Dan, 

 

send me a PM with an email address and I will send you a copy of the said item

 

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