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Remembered Today:

1st Btn Kings Liverpool Regiment

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I'm new to this site, and still wandering around.....so forgive me if i'm in the wrong room.

Can anyone help?

I'm trying to find out what action the 1st Btn Kings Liverpool Regiment were engaged in, on and around the 1/6/16.

My great uncle; 27816 Pte Thomas Richards 1st KLR was kia on this date. I visited his grave at Cabaret Rouge nr Souchez, (the first in the family to have done this), and counted five other 1st KLRs with the same date on their headstones. Does anyone know what happened?

Also anyone know anything about the 42nd Btn MGC? My grandfather was in that one.


David Kay

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Hi David

I can tell you that the 42nd Bn MGC was the MG Battalion of 42nd Inf Div.,

and was formed 12.2.18 from the 125th, 126th, 127th, & 268th MG Coy's.

The first three Coy's originally being attached to 125, 126, and 127 Inf Bde's of

42nd Div. While 268th MG Coy joined as D Coy. The original three MG Coy's

having become A B and C Coy's.

I'm sure I have the history for Kings Liverpool Regiment was will have a look

this evening see what I can find for period around 1.6.16


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On June 1st ,the 1/Kings took part in a bombing raid on the German trenches opposite Souchez, but the German shellfire was too heavy and the raid failed although one of the parties did enter the German lines. The Kings suffered approx. 80 casualties, including the Adjutant (Lt.Thompson).


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Nothing of any detail in the Kings history although Thomas Richards is

listed in the Roll of Honour. However the 2nd Division history does have

a detailed account of the actions on 1st June 16.

On 1st June at 8.30pm, three mines were blown opposite Souchez and a

bombing raid was made by the 1st Kings and 17th Middlesex (6th Infantry Bde).

The raid was preceded by an intense artillery barrage which began at 4.45pm

and continued to 8.30pm, immediately the three mines were blown the artillery

increased its range to bombard on enemy’s support and second line trenches.

The enemy responded with a heavy barrage on Zouave Valley causing many

casualties within 2nd Division, apart from those suffered by the two attacking


The official narrative of 1st Kings attack reports that “at 8.30pm the mine was

blown and this was the signal for the attack. There were three attacking parties

of 21 men; each party had 20 men in support. The right party was detailed to

attack up Ersatz Trench. This party lost heavily. As soon as the enemy realized

that the assault had begun (which was after about 30 seconds) he sent up a

number of red flares. Our front line was bombarded with heavy shells, which

inflicted about 40 casualties on the company which supplied the right hand party.

This party was unable to start owing to confusion caused by the bombardment.

The enemy opposite them was holding his trenches in strength, and opened up

with heavy machine gun fire and rifle fire.

The centre party made its way up Hartung Trench and succeeded in reaching a

German Trench. This party made barricades and remained in the German trench

for 30 minutes. When the attacks on the left and right failed the party was ordered

to withdraw. It was exposed to heavy machine gun fire and only avoided

casualties by crawling back to their lines.

The left party was detailed to assault up Gurbon Trench and they also came under

heavy machine gun fire. They obtained a certain amount of cover until they

reached a point about twenty five yards from the German barricade. The Germans

then threw bombs continuously and formed a barrage at this point. The party

made four separate attempts to assault the enemy’s barricade, but the leading

men were shot down each time. At the fourth attempt Sergeant Howard reached

the barricade and jumped over, but the enemy launched a volley of bombs at him

as he jumped over, and he was not seen again, listed as missing. The officer in

charge of this party was also severely wounded.

Total casualties for this attack was about 60 killed and wounded.”

Hope thats of use to you


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Hello David,

You may be interested to know that Pte Richards enlisted in Darwen, Lancs on 4/5/15. I have also copied out the Battalion War Diary for 1/6/16 for you to compare with previous entries.

I would be grateful to receive any other information that you have on Pte Richards. As you are no doubt aware his War Grave entry is ‘basic’ ie it includes no information about him.


Joe Devereux

1/6/16 Vimy Ridge

Quiet morning. Heavy shelling all afternoon, increasing in violence until it died away about midnight after the attack. After a bombardment of the enemy line, which left the section we were to attack very much as it was before, three bombing parties attacked up Ersatz Alley, B Hartung and B Gobron. The intention was that these parties should establish themselves in the enemy line and each bomb to the left. After they had cleared the trench and had established touch with each other, they were to dig in and consolidate. In the event of them being successful a fourth party was ready at the top of B. Tanchot to get in communication with them at Momber Crater. Reserve parties were ready to support the attack and advanced dumps of bombs and RE Stores were established. The party on the right under Lt Jamieson came under a shell barrage on the way up the communication trench and were wiped out without being able to close with the enemy. Their supporting party had no better luck. The centre party under Lt Head effected an entrance into the hostile trench, and though subjected to a severe fire, remained there for about three quarters of and hour. Finally they were ordered to withdraw as the two parties on their flanks had been unsuccessful. This they did slowly and in good order. The left party under Lt Hewson found themselves enfiladed by machine gun fire. They made several attempts and lost heavily and finally were ordered to abandon the enterprise. There were about 80 casualties including the Adjutant Lt Thomson, 2nd Lt Hewson and 2nd Lt Head wounded.

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Geof, Croonaert and Joe,

Many, many thanks for the info, I am in your debt.

You have filled in quite a considerable gap in my knowledge about Tom Richards.

When my grandmother died, I was left Toms' "Dead mans' penny". That started me on my search for him. After traceing, and eventually visiting his grave I seemed to have reached a dead end. You guys have changed all that and I am very grateful.


Thomas Richards was my maternal grandmothers' brother. The only surviving relative is my mother, she was born in the 1920s. When i've asked her about my grandmothers' family, and in particular Tom Richards, she says that 'granny' would never talk about him, or her other brother James, who survived the war, but with serious neurological problems. The only information i've managed to glean is from the census return for 1901, as follows (all ages are as of 1901):

Address: 2 Derbyshire Street, Darwen, Lancashire in the parish of Holy Trininty.

Head of the family: Sussanah Richards, widow, age 38, born Bilston, Staffordshire.

James Richards, son, cotton weaver, age 15, born Bilston, Staffordshire.

Priscilla Richards (my grandmother), daughter, cotton weaver, age 11, born Bilston, Staffordshire.

Thomas Richards, son, age 6, born Darwen, Lancashire.

If I can dig anything else up I'll let you know.



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