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Remembered Today:

CAN ANYONE HELP?


MikeH

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Hello. I've recently discovered that my great-great uncle served with the 2nd Bradford Pals. He was 18/902 Private Frank Cockshott. I know that he was killed on 30/07/1916, aged 29 or 30, and is buried in St Vaast Post Military Cemetery. Could anyone tell me what action he was killed taking part in? Unfortunately, I have no surviving relatives who might have been able to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge of Frank. He was my mum's great-uncle on her grandad's side, and up until the age of about fifteen she used to spend every weekend at her grandparents' home in Manningham. She remembers always being fascinated with an artillery shell that used to be on display in the house (she also remembers it being decorated with engravings), and with a plate depicting palm trees and camels. I know that the 2nd Bradford served in Egypt before being sent to France. Although my mum doesn't recall ever asking about either the shell or the plate, and she doesn't remember Frank ever being mentioned, my guess is that both items were probably souvenirs that Frank intended to bring home with him at some point, and which were sent back to England among his personal effects following his death. I have no idea how my great-grandparents ended up with them; Frank was married with three young children at the time of his death. Maybe his widow just didn't want the obviously painful associations the souvenirs would have stirred up. If anyone can provide any information I would appreciate it very much. I have just ordered a copy of David Raw's book about the Bradford Pals, and I have framed a copy of Frank's memorial scroll. I would dearly love to find out as much about him as I can.

Many thanks,

Mike

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According to Wyralls history of The West Yorkshire Regiment, Pvt Frank Cockshott 18/902 was a member of 18th batt and was killed 30/7/1916.

Quote from book

The attack on Serre and Pendant Copse.

The 18th WYR were assembled in the rear of Pendant Trench ( between La Cigny and Serre)

On the night of 29/30 June the 18th Batt made a raid on the enemys trenches. the party was led by Lt M Clough and consisted of 4 officers and 38 ORs.The party set out at 12:28 am for the purpose of obtaining identification an the state of the wire and trenches. The party crossed no mans land and got to between 25-30 yards from the enemys trench, when showers of bombs met them. A barage of hand grenades was fired in front of the party and a trench mortar and artillery barrage behind them. The trenches were full of troops and a signal to retire was given. Valuble information of the conditions of the enemys defences was obtained.

During this skirmish , 2 Officers Killed, 1 wounded, 9 ors killed 18 wounded ( of which 2 died of wounds later)

Hope this helps

Dave

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According to Wyralls history of The West Yorkshire Regiment, Pvt Frank Cockshott 18/902 was a member of 18th batt and was killed 30/7/1916.

Quote from book

The attack on Serre and Pendant Copse.

The 18th WYR were assembled in the rear of Pendant Trench ( between La Cigny and Serre)

On the night of 29/30 June the 18th Batt made a raid on the enemys trenches. the party was led by Lt M Clough and consisted of 4 officers and 38 ORs.The party set out at 12:28 am for the purpose of obtaining identification an the state of the wire and trenches. The party crossed no mans land and got to between 25-30 yards from the enemys trench, when showers of bombs met them. A barage of hand grenades was fired in front of the party and a trench mortar and artillery barrage behind them. The trenches were full of troops and a signal to retire was given. Valuble information of the conditions of the enemys defences was obtained.

During this skirmish , 2 Officers Killed, 1 wounded, 9 ors killed 18 wounded ( of which 2 died of wounds later)

Hope this helps

Dave

Dear Dave,

Thanks so much for this information. At least i now know the circumstances in which Frank was killed. I've heard that there is a permanent Bradford Pals exhibition at the Bradford Industrial Museum, and as I live in this part of the world I'll arrange a visit, I think. Then, perhaps, I'll have to go to Bradford Central Library and try to find Frank's obituary in the local paper (Bradford Daily Telegraph). Anyhow, many thanks to you again, Dave.

Mike

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According to Wyralls history of The West Yorkshire Regiment, Pvt Frank Cockshott 18/902 was a member of 18th batt and was killed 30/7/1916.

Quote from book

The attack on Serre and Pendant Copse.

The 18th WYR were assembled in the rear of Pendant Trench ( between La Cigny and Serre)

On the night of 29/30 June the 18th Batt made a raid on the enemys trenches. the party was led by Lt M Clough and consisted of 4 officers and 38 ORs.The party set out at 12:28 am for the purpose of obtaining identification an the state of the wire and trenches. The party crossed no mans land and got to between 25-30 yards from the enemys trench, when showers of bombs met them. A barage of hand grenades was fired in front of the party and a trench mortar and artillery barrage behind them. The trenches were full of troops and a signal to retire was given. Valuble information of the conditions of the enemys defences was obtained.

During this skirmish , 2 Officers Killed, 1 wounded, 9 ors killed 18 wounded ( of which 2 died of wounds later)

Hope this helps

Dave

Hi Dave,

I've just re-read your posting to me and realised that the raid was carried out 29/30 June, not July. Is it possible that Frank would've been one of the two wounded who died later? But his record wouldn't say "killed" would it? Or could it be that the date of his death has been recorded mistakenly as 30 July instead of 30 June?

Mike

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Mike

Men were being killed on a daily basis in the trenches through what is euphemistically called "wastage", with no conection to a major action or raid. Your great uncle may well have been one of these men.

Andy

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Mike

Men were being killed on a daily basis in the trenches through what is euphemistically called "wastage", with no conection to a major action or raid. Your great uncle may well have been one of these men.

Andy

Max (Andy),

Thanks, I take your point. I've just received the David Raw book so hopefully I'll get to discover much more about the men that Frank served alongside.

Best,

Mike

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