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Remembered Today:

Help required, Flers- Courcelette


towisuk

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I'm having a bit of trouble finding out the position of the 12th Batt East Surrey Regiment on the 15/9/1916

This was the start of the Battle of Flers- Courcelette in which the tanks took part for the first time.

I am reseaching an Alexander Morgan who was killed on this date in this battle.

Any help will be most welcome.

Thanks and regards

Tom

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Much appreciated Stephen

Regards

Tom

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The Bn was part of 41st Div who were fighting in the area of Flers, with the traget of Geudecourt; will get the maps out and look up their exact start point.

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Tom,

See this OH map for Flers. The 122 Brigade was to the North West of Delville Wood,

12thEastSurreys.gif

The attack went in with the 15th Hampshires and the 18th KRRC leading with the 11th RWK and the 12th East Surreys in the 2nd wave.

Steve

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Many thanks for the info Steve, I know more now than I did 10mins ago!! The man I am researching was killed on the 15th when he went in with the 12th East Surrey Reg. Looks like he bought it around the Flers area following up the initial attack. He's now in Bulls cemetery.

regards

Tom

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no real detail in my books; if he was buried in Bulls Rd, he must have got quite new the village

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Hi Tom

There is quite a detailed account of events of this day over a couple of pages together with a map in the History of the 12th (Bermondsey) Battalion book by Aston and Duggan.

Ken

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Thanks for the info Ken, I'll seek out a copy.
best regards
Tom

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There's a Naval and Military press version for GBP 18.00 or so. If you do a search for East Surrey on their website there's a more detailed description of the book.

Ken

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Anticipating that you might say yes to a photograph just after I've set off for home I thought I'd take one anyway:

If you want the full size version, PM me with your e-mail.

Ken

post-927-1175456763.jpg

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Thats great Ken thanks, its a real bonus to have this photo.

I was in the somme a week ago but did not receive the info on my man until the day I returned home so was unable to photograph the grave myself

I'llpm you my e-mail address

Best regards, Tom

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Right fellow forum members, with your help and the bonus of the gravestone photo from Ken thats pretty well sorted out Alexander Morgan, many thanks for that...now.......

Alexander had a brother William Morgan in the 13th Wandsworth Batt East Surrey Regiment, ArmyNo 10532.

He was awardedThe MM for an action on the 24.4.1917 at Villers Plouich near Cambrai, was this part of the German retreat to the Hindenburg line???? and what was going on down at Villers Plouich on this date?

I didn't think there was that much movevement of the line down in the southern sectors of the British positions around this date

As usual all help gratefully received.

Regards to all

Tom

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As ever, the mother site has info - see http://www.1914-1918.net/sacredground/cambrai/vplouich.htm

also see http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/Home/Leisurea...ough/abtww1.htm and the tale fo the 13th Surreys VC - Edward Foster

http://www.queensroyalsurreys.org.uk/vc/vc09.html

There was lots of action on the same day, 60th Bde (part of 20th Lt Div) attacked Bilhem at 2300 hours on 24 April 1917, with 3 companies of 12th KRRC supported by 91st Field Artillery and 92nd Field Artillery. "A" Company formed up SE of Trescault in front of the road. "C" Company in support on the road behind. "B" Company was in reserve at Havrincourt Wood. "D" Company deployed south of the cemetery. The objective was taken, 14 prisoners captured for 9 men wounded.

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From The History of the East Surrey Regiment volIII p98

THE CAPTURE OF VILLERS-PLOUICH

The 40th Division was now ordered to capture Villers-Plouich and certain adjacent high ground; and the objective allotted to the 13th

Battn. East Surrey was the village and, beyond it, a line running from Highland Ridge across the Cambrai railway and along the ravine to

the Cambrai road. The village was in the valley traversed by the Cambrai railway at a point where another valley branched westwards to

Beaucamp. At 2a.m. on the 24th of April the Battalion, with a strength of 24 officers and 600 other ranks, under Captain L. B. Mills,

moved forward and occupied the new trench, dug on the 22nd, running northwest from Fifteen Ravine.

The order of attack was: B Company (Captain E. Crocker) on the right, and A Company (Lieut. F.J. T. Hann) on the left, with D Company

(A/Captain L. I. Deacon) in support of B, and C Company (Captain H. P. Naunton) in support of A. Each man carried two sandbags and two

bombs and one platoon of each of the support companies carried entrenching tools, in the proportion of three shovels to one pick.

At 4.15 a.m., the time of attack, the Battalion crept in four waves towards the enemy's wire, following the British barrage; the German artillery answered, but its fire at this time was wild and did little

execution. In seven minutes the first German trenches were entered and captured after a short struggle, and the advance on the village

continued. During this advance a good deal of trouble was caused by the enemy's strong points and machine-gun emplacements, but this was

overcome by the concentrated fire of Lewis guns and daring attacks by bombers.

Villers-Plouich was reached at 5.30 a.m., and the Battalion was split up into three parties, the right under Captain Crocker, the centre under 2nd Lieut. G. R. Alexander and the left under Captain Naunton.. The right party met with strong opposition, but reached the ravine about 700 yards

north-east of the village. Captain E. Crocker was killed at this moment, and Lieut. F. J. T. Hann took over command of the party. It was

during this advance that Cpl. E. Foster, who was in charge of two Lewis guns, attacked and, assisted by Lce.-Cpl. J. W. Reed, captured

the enemy's machine-gun teams which were holding up the right party. For his conspicuous bravery Cpl. Foster was awarded the Victoria

Cross. The centre party went through the western half of the village, and took up a position on the high ground known as Highland Ridge.

The left party, after storming a German strong point on the Villers-Plouich-Beaucamp sunken road captured the enemy's position after a sharp fight, taking over 100 prisoners. It was then found that the village of Beaucamp had not been captured by the troops detailed for

that task, and that a further advance by the left party was consequently useless. The captured German strong point was therefore

consolidated, and a defensive flank thrown out to command Beaucamp and the high ground to the north-east of that village.

At 6.30 our barrage ceased and the work of consolidation was continued; but ten minutes later the enemy opened a very heavy artillery fire on the centre and right parties. Their defences being of course

slight, it was decided to withdraw them for a time to available cover on the eastern outskirts of Villers.Plouich. These two parties

then withdrew together, and the entrances to the village were secured with the Lewis guns. At 7 a.m. the 14th Battn. H.L.l. arrived as a

reinforcement, and the line was again advanced by the 13th Battn. East Surrey some 300 yards beyond the village. At 9 a.m. Captain L. B.

Mills was wounded, and Captain Naunton assumed command of the Battalion. Strong posts were established on the advanced line now

occupied, and although the enemy opened a very heavy fire at 8.30 a.m., which continued for six hours, they were firmly held. The

bombardment slackened at 2.30 p.m., but the enemy kept up an occasional fire on Villers-Plouich and the entrances to it.

The losses of the Battalion in this fine action were heavy:-

Killed: Captain E. Crocker; 2nd Lieuts. G. R. Alexander (Royal Sussex Regt. attd.) and R. N. Goodyear and 26 other ranks. .

Wounded: Captains L. B. Mills, L. 1. Deacon; 2nd Lieuts. R. W. Newman, R. M. Meadows, E.L. Morley, C. J. de Beaurepaire, N. F. Barlow,

W. A. Morris and 152 other ranks. In addition to the above, 10 N.C.O.'s and men were reported missing, but all were subsequently found

to have been killed. A total

loss of 11 officers and 188 other ranks. .

The number o£ prisoners captured by the Battalion at Villers-Plouich was 4 officers and about 3000 other tanks; 10 machineguns and about

500 rifles were included among its trophies. The honours awarded to the Battalion for the capture of Villers-Plouich were:

Victoria Cross and Medaille Militaire: Cpl. E. Foster.

Distinguished Service Order: Captain R. P. Naunton.

Military Cross: Captain L. B.Mills. .

Distinguished Conduct Medal: Lce Cpl. J. W. Reed.

Military Medal: Sergts. J. A. Briggs and J. Knight; Cpls. W. Morgan,

G. K. Jennings and C. J. Richards; Pte. A.W. Brooker.

Ken

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Excellent!!, many , many thanks for your help Ken, this is just what I wanted.

The forum is populated with people of great knowledge and a willingness to help others !

best regards

Tom

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