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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

7th Battalion The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)


mawgan

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Hello,

I'm wondering if anyone can help me find out where my Great uncle, Albert Charles Howard died. He was a private in the 7th battalion and died 08/08/1918 aged 21.

My daughter is going to Ypres with her school to visit the battlefields and cemeteries, although I don't think she will be able to visit him since he is at Vis-en-Artois & I don't think the timetable will allow a stop. If, however I can find out where his battalion/regiment were serving at the time of his death it might make her visit more personal.

I would be grateful for any information or guidance on how to go about finding information,

Many thanks,

Jo

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On this day the battalion, as part of 18th (Eastern) Division, attacked across the Morlancourt Ridge as part of the Battle of Amiens. The nearest cemetery to where this action took place is Beacon Cemetery. See:

http://www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_detail...8600&mode=1

If your daughter is going to the Somme on her trip, and is anywhere near Albert, then this won't be much of a great detour.

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Thank you, he is listed on the memorial at Vis-en-Artois with the 8th August as the date he died but his body has not been found. We can only therefore assume from this that he was lost in that first wave of the battle.

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The Vis en Artois Memorial is a memorial to the missing, which commemorates those who died in France between 8th August and 11th November 1918 and have no known grave. He is commemorated there as he has no known grave. However, he died, as I stated above, on the Morlancourt Ridge, some distance from where he is commemorated.

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Thanks once again, I don't suppose that you could recommend any appropriate sources that would give information about the action of the 18th division in the battle for my daughter bearing in mind that she is 13.

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Jo

I have a couple of local boys who died in the same attack and I transcribed the following from the regimental history

He was killed in the opening day of the Amiens offensive which finally broke the stalemate on the Western Front after four years. The 7th Queens, part of 18th Division, were detailed with the capture of ground north of the Bray-Corbie Road to protect the flank of Fourth Army. They were due to be supported by six tanks which failed to make the rendezvous at the appointed time. By 3.40am the battalion was in position, one wave in front and three behind Burke trench, and almost at once a heavy barrage of enemy artillery fell upon them causing several casualties. For some time the position regarding the progress of the assault was unclear and runners were sent forward to report but most became casualties themselves. At 7am Lt Col C Bushell VC, DSO, officer commanding the battalion, went forward himself with his runner and collected all available men who he led forward from Croydon Trench and assaulted the enemy lines, capturing Cloncurry trench before being mortally wounded by a sniper. Col Ransome of the Buffs was placed in command and discovered that Cloncurry trench was held by about 100 men of “D” Company who he promptly reinforced with “C” Company under Captain Simmonds. He decided that the objectives could still be taken and he ordered Captain Snell to affect this. Snell urged the men in Cloncurry Trench to follow him and led them down the trench. Despite enemy resistance the trench was eventually cleared and consolidated, the Queens being relieved at 5pm when a Brigade of 12th Division passed through them to capture the ridge and continue the advance which would lead in November to the armistice.

The Queens casualties were 4 officers and 24 other ranks killed, 6 officers and 140 other ranks wounded, 68 men were gassed and 7 were suffering from shell shock- a total of 275 all ranks

Hope this is of interest

Hambo

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Thanks Hambo,

Have PM'd you from the other thread, hope I don't get told off for having posted about Albert on both but I thought that this was a "where" & the other one a "who".

I'm so pleased to be able to start to put his story together to tell my daughter.

Jo

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