Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
VAISTER

1st.btn.south staffs regt.in italy17/04/18

Recommended Posts

VAISTER

my grandad joined up in in june 1914 at Lichfield.

he received the italy bronze medal for valour.as well as the military medal.the Italian

medal was won during a raid on Vaister 17/04/18.the report i have tells us it was a very successful attack.

12 Howitzers preceeded the attack, the line advanced under cover of rifle and grenade fire.50 yds

away they came under brisk enemy at least were killed ,5 of the attackers only were wounded.

17 enemy prisoners taken-wounded.has anybody else stories of this part of the Italian theatre of war.

i was surprised the s.staffs were there.Report mentions places called Roncalto,Casa Magnaboschi etc etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GavinH

My Great Grandfather; 40905 L/Cpl David Chapman also took part in the raid. He received a Divisional Certficiate which I have a copy of. It reads:

"Your commanding officer has informed me that you have distinguished yourself by conspicuous bravery in the field on the night of 17th/18th April 1918. I have read the report and although promotion and decorations cannot be given in every case, I should like you to know that your gallant action is recognised and greatly appreciated

H. Shoubridge Major-General Commanding 7th Division - 2nd June 1918"

According to my Great Uncle, this was for capturing one of the prisoners and bringing him back in. The 1/South Staffs War Diary has a full report on the raid which I copied a few years ago. If you haven't already seen this, email me your address and I'll send you a copy.

A couple of excerpts:

"...A large cellar in the N.E. House was bombed and all the inmates finished off with the bayonet"

"unwounded prisoners - 17, wounded prisoners - 2, died of wounds inside our lines - 1, resisted escort and bayoneted - 2, killed at least 20...

Regards

Gavin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brindlerp

1st Battalion the South Staffordshire Regiment

22nd Infantry Brigade

7th Division

Attached: pages 444 to 446 inclusive and 455 Map 33, Chapter XXIII, The Asiago Plateau

from:

The Seventh Division by C.T. Atkinson

ISBN: 1843421194

http://www.naval-military-press.com

regards

Richard

CHAPTER XXIII

THE ASIAGO PLATEAU

THE front now entrusted to the Seventh Division was the rocky plateau on the right of the Brenta N.W. of Bassano. This plateau, which here forms the Southern edge of the mountain chain, rises sharply up from the plains to about 4,000 feet above sea-level. It was a stiff climb up, and though the Division had left warm weather at the foot of the plateau, on the top it found itself back in the depth of winter. It was bitterly cold and the ground was covered with snow : sentries had to be relieved every hour. The plateau was fairly thickly wooded, so fuel was obtainable ; but the transport of ammunition, rations, and other stores was a real difficulty. Many of the tracks up the slope were only available in one direction, and where there were passing places careful arrangements were needed to avoid blocks. The R.E. and Pioneers found their hands full with work on these tracks, which were very hard to keep in decent condition. Water was another trouble; for drinking it had to be pumped up from the plains, the pools on the plateau being only fit for washing and for horses to drink. Accommodation also was both insufficient and bad, and altogether life on the plateau was therefore strenuous and uncomfortable, both for those in front line and for those in support, while in the rocky ground satisfactory defences were hard to construct. There was little soil on the plateau and digging was so difficult that sangars of stones had to be built.

Divisional Headquarters were established at Monte Carriola, the right brigade's headquarters being at Boscon, those of the left brigade at Monte Lemerle. The troops had marched from the Montegalda area to Thiene, from which place motor-lorries took them up to the mountains where the reserve battalions were accommodated in huts. The Division had Italians on its left and the Twenty-Third Division on its right. Two brigades were in line, the 91st being the occupants of the right sector, the 22nd on the left. From the first an aggressive policy was pursued; patrols reconnoitred the enemy's line to find out spots which might be raided, and the Divisional Artillery, which had gone into line a full week before the infantry, was much more active than the Austrian gunners. On April 7th the Welch Fusiliers inaugurated the raids by which the Division was to worry the enemy and establish over him a distinct moral ascendancy. This started the policy well: the Austrian trenches at Casa Ambrosini were rushed, 17 enemy killed in a sharp encounter and a prisoner brought back, with trifling casualties. An attempted raid on Vaister by the 22nd Brigade a week later proved abortive, a large covering party being encountered in No Man's Land and the garrison thereby put on the alert. But on the 16th the Royal Warwickshires raided Casa Ambrosini with considerable success. The Austrians hardly waited to receive them but fled into our barrage and suffered heavily, besides leaving several dead in the trenches. Then on the night of April 17th/18th both the South Staffordshires and the 20th Manchesters visited the enemy's lines. The former, attacking Vaister, brought off a big success. "A" Company was on the right, "B" on the left, both thrown forward in a half-moon formation. After crawling to within 150 yards of the objective they attacked under cover of rifle grenades and a barrage from twelve howitzers, and quickly forced their way in, surrounding a house and bombing two large dug-outs which proved to be full of Austrians, of whom they killed over 20 with the bayonet. The flanking platoons had meanwhile got far enough round to intercept the enemy's retreat and collect several prisoners, over 20 in all being taken, at a loss of six wounded. The 20th Manchester, who raided Stella Trench rather later, found the enemy on the alert and had a hard fight in which, though unsuccessful in capturing prisoners, they inflicted on the enemy twice the casualties they suffered. A few days later an effort by patrols to sweep No Man's Land and secure prisoners brought the H.A.C. in for a sharp brush. The enemy were holding strong posts protected by wire out in front of their main line. These the H.A.C. attacked, and despite a stout resistance cleared their garrisons out, a dozen being killed on the spot and several others shot down as they bolted towards their main position. A little later the Austrians came out in force to recover the lost posts but were met with a heavy rifle fire and driven back in confusion, leaving the H.A.C., whose casualties were only 2 men killed, with much the best of the exchanges. Not the least satisfactory feature of these episodes was the fact that the battalions were all full of raw and inexperienced drafts, to whom the experience was of great value, steadying them and giving them confidence.

The H.A.C. were to have followed up this encounter by a raid on the night of April 24th, but a heavy fall of snow put this out of the question. However, during May the same activities were continued and with considerable success. The 20th Brigade, who had relieved the 91st before the end of April, were very active, the 8th Devons raiding Vaister with success on May 4th, capturing several prisoners, while on the 15th the Borders had a turn.

post-1376-1168673933.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
VAISTER

Gavin h thanks for reply.i have the report copy you mention.it sounds like it was a very determined attack,well planned and very succesful.Resistance seems quite stiff,to have suffered the losses the enemy did.i dont know about you ,but i feel very proud of all these brave chaps.Interesting to think our relatives went over the top together!

thanks Chris for info which i have printed off.Very informative.

Vaister.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brindlerp

Vaister

Thank you for your email.

The H.A.C. referred to earlier in the post refers to:

2/1st Battalion the Honourable Artillery Company

who were part of 22nd Infantry Brigade from 14th October 1916 until Armistice.

Attached, MAP 32 The Italian Theatre Of War from page 443 of Atkinson's 7th Division history.

regards

Richard

post-1376-1168784660.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roy Evans

Here are some pages from the War Diary, not very good copies but all I have:

Page 1 of 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roy Evans

Page 2

Page 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roy Evans

Page 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roy Evans

Page 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roy Evans

Page 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karl Murphy
Page 5

Hi all:

I find this thread very interesting as my Grandfather, W.R.E. Murphy, served as CO of the Ist South Staffordshires later in 1918, leading them in the final attack of the War across the Piave.

I'v done a bit of research on his career and have written up an account of his War Service based on his memoirs but other than an article in History Ireland magazine I havn't had anything else published on his military career.

Have any of you managed to source any further information on the 1st South staffs in Italy that is not incl. in the published accounts?

We could perhaps pool our information to get a better overall picture of the battalion back then?

Karl Murphy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SRM

Dear Mr Murphy,

I`m working at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum and I`m doing a research about the 1st and 9th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment in Italy, during 1917-1919.

If it`s possible, I would be very pleased to read your Grandfather`s memoirs, and also the article you have written about him. I have, of course, found some records about him in the war diary, but I will be happy to read something more personal about the Major W.R.English-Murphy.

You can contact me at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum or at the following mail: cmgmolinari@libero.it

Best regards

Chiara Molinari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Brendan

Hi Karl,

I read with interest your account of his War Service of your grandfather William Richard English Murphy(1890-1975) who served with distinction in 1918 ( receiving the Distinguished Service Order) as Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment at the Battle of Vittoro Veneto in your article in History Ireland magazine.

I am Irish and recently retired from commissioned service in the Irish Defence Forces. I would be very interested in doing further research on your grandfather’s life and career. I have been in contact with the Defence Forces Archives to get information on his service in the Irish Civil War and with the Garda Museum regarding his Garda career, as well as Chris Baker.

I have been trying to make contact with you on this issue.

Best regards,

Brendan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Brendan

QUOTE (RoyEvans @ Jan 14 2007, 06:06 PM)

Page 5

Hi all:

I find this thread very interesting as my Grandfather, W.R.E. Murphy, served as CO of the Ist South Staffordshires later in 1918, leading them in the final attack of the War across the Piave.

I'v done a bit of research on his career and have written up an account of his War Service based on his memoirs but other than an article in History Ireland magazine I havn't had anything else published on his military career.

Have any of you managed to source any further information on the 1st South staffs in Italy that is not incl. in the published accounts?

We could perhaps pool our information to get a better overall picture of the battalion back then?

Karl Murphy

Hi Karl,

I read with interest your account of his War Service of your grandfather William Richard English Murphy(1890-1975) who served with distinction in 1918 ( receiving the Distinguished Service Order) as Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment at the Battle of Vittoro Veneto in your article in History Irelandmagazine.

I am Irish and recently retired from commissioned service in the Irish Defence Forces. I would be very interested in doing further research on your grandfather’s life and career. I have been in contact with the Defence Forces Archives to get information on his service in the Irish Civil War and with the Garda Museum regarding his Garda career, as well as Chris Baker.

I have been trying to make contact with you on this issue.

Best regards,

Brendan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brianoleary82
Is it true that the WRE Murphy mentioned above was involved in the Irish Easter Rising on the British side? I came across a reference in the 1935 application of Mathew Stafford to the Irish Army for a pension for his service during Easter Week, 1916, and it is mentions that Murphy was on the court martial by the South Staffordshire Regiment against Stafford when he was arrested following the Rising.




It doesn't seem that the 1st South Staffordshires were in Dublin then (but I'm not sure), but could Murphy have been seconded to the 2/5th South Staffordshire Battalion Territorial Force Bn. that was deployed to Ireland for the Rising during the period when Murphy was injured from the Battle of Loos and before he returned to the Front for the Battle of the Somme in July 1916?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris_Baker

William English-Murphy was in France with 1st Battalion at Easter 1916. He was the battalion's Bombing Officer and was wounded there on 20 May. He was not at the Battle of Loos, only crossing to France after the battle on 8 October 1915.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brianoleary82

Ah, ok, thanks for clearing that up. The article by his grandson about him mentioned above ("An Irish General: William Richard English Murphy, 1890-1975" in History Ireland, Nov-Dec 2005) said that he had been at the Battle of Loos in October 1915. His wikipedia page said that he was wounded at Loos, but you can't really go off wikipedia I suppose. Thanks for the info!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karl P Murphy

Ah, ok, thanks for clearing that up. The article by his grandson about him mentioned above ("An Irish General: William Richard English Murphy, 1890-1975" in History Ireland, Nov-Dec 2005) said that he had been at the Battle of Loos in October 1915. His wikipedia page said that he was wounded at Loos, but you can't really go off wikipedia I suppose. Thanks for the info!

Well I am his grandson and in the memoir he wrote he did mention being at the tail end of the battle of Loos which was still going on in October with (acc to Jones 'History of the South Staffordshire Regiment 1705-1923) the SSR going into action in the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13 October in which he played a minor role

Don't recall him mentioning he was wounded at Loos though

I never heard he had anything to do with Easter 1916 either

He found the fighting on the Italian Front light going compared to what he and the battalion had face on the Western Front

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...