Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

apwright

History of the Duke of Cornwall's L.I. 1914-1919

Recommended Posts

apwright

Any DCLI-related lookups required, just ask!

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Teresa in Wirral

Hi Adrian,

I have a SILAS BAILEY a private in the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry

who died 12/08/1915. Can you tell me where the regiment was on that day?

And what if any battle they were involved in?

Thank you

Teresa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright

Hi Teresa,

Silas was in 6th Battalion DCLI, which was in 43rd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division.

The History largely quotes from the Battalion Diary:

On the 10th the following entry appears in the Battalion Diary: "Marched to cellars in Ypres, 43rd Brigade relieving 42nd Brigade." That entry is followed by another in the margin of the Diary:

"This is the last entry by Lieut. A. R. C. Blagrove who was killed on the morning of the 12th (August) in a gallant endeavour to get men out of St. Martin's Church, Ypres, during an intense and disastrous bombardment."

The full story of that bombardment is as follows:

"12/8/15. 6.30 a.m. Enemy commenced to shell Cloisters and Place at 6.15. The men in the Cloisters, thinking they were safe, did not move. Enemy guns and gun-fire every quarter of an hour and, after a few shells, got the exact range of the Cloisters. The first direct hit brought down most of the west end of the Cloisters' ceiling and buried a number of men. The enemy continued to fire for five hours, putting in 17-in. shells at first every quarter and later every half-hour, with smaller shells and shrapnel between. Many of the men, who went to rescue their comrades, were themselves buried. The warning was first conveyed to Battalion Headquarters whereupon Major C. Barnett and the Adjutant - Lieut. R. C. Blagrove - ran over to the Cloisters to endeavour to get the men out. Both were instantly killed by the explosion of a very large shell which apparently fell in the open space just north of the Cloisters. The warning had meantime been brought to the B and C Company officers. Captain Andrews of C Company, who was dressed, at once ran out and got the best part of C Company out, but was himself hit. Mr. Harris - the Nonconformist Chaplain - was on the scene almost at once and energetically organized the rescuing parties. The order was then given by a B Company officer for everyone to keep well away from the shelled area. Later Mr. Harris insisted on going back with four volunteers of the D.C.L.I. (including L/Cpl. Brophey, C Company, who behaved most gallantly), and on this occasion Mr. Harris was severely wounded. The King's Liverpool (Pioneers) had meantime come up on the scene and continued the rescue work the whole morning despite the heavy and continuous shelling. The shelling was on at regular intervals of half an hour till noon. The total D.C.L.I. casualties were 2 officers killed, 2 wounded (including Mr. Harris, attached), 18 other ranks killed, and 19 other ranks wounded. Some five men in all were rescued."

This incident was typical of the dangers to which all were subjected when out of the front-line trenches.

Later in the day the Battalion took over the dug-outs south of the Menin Gate, near 43rd Brigade Headquarters.

After the War the bodies of some 40 soldiers were discovered in a cellar under the Cloth Hall at Ypres. These were the men of B Company 6th D.C.L.I. buried in the bombardment described above.

above.

Hope this helps!

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Teresa in Wirral

Hi Adrian,

Thank you for the information about DCLI . I've just found it! I normally go through all the new posts since my last visit but couldn't have spotted it ~ time for new glasses!!

Best wishes

Teresa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
choice154
Any DCLI-related lookups required, just ask!

Adrian

Hi could you please look up simon davies who i believe served in the duke of cornwalls ,when you have spare time. i have no knowledge of service number. many thanks denise davies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright

Hi Denise,

If your Simon Davies was a humble private, it's unlikely that he would be mentioned by name in the History unless he was decorated or mentioned in despatches. I have scoured the Awards and MID lists in the book and not found him.

To narrow down the search, we really need to find his battalion.

The Medal Index Card search at the National Archives gives us two "possibles":

31987 Pte Simon Alfred Davies

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...Edoc_Id=2266798

10737 Pte Simeon Davies ("Simeon" could be a mis-transcription of Simon, but it was also a more common name than Simon in those days!)

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...Edoc_Id=2266640

Both seem to have survived the war. There do not appear to be any other S.Davieses listed with the DCLI.

These cards MIGHT state the battalion, though IME they usually don't. You can download them for GBP 3.50 each, but do it one at a time because you get 6 cards in each download and with similar names there's a chance that they're both on the same sheet.

I see that the WWI pension record search at ancestry.co.uk returns 4 hits for Simon Alfred Davies so, if you think this could be your man, it would be a good idea to get hold of these records. If you don't have access yourself, you could try requesting a forum member to do so, either separately in the Soldiers subforum or in thread http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...showtopic=79475

I can't find Simon Alfred on the 1901 census, but there is a marriage registration of Simon Alfred Davies to either Annie Gertrude Hensey or Eliza Elizabeth Parker in Hendon district in Jul/Aug/Sep 1907.

Hope this helps,

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MelPack

Hello Adrian

It is a bit of a long shot but you might be able to help me out with Pte John Butler 18286 who was sent to France on 24/3/15 presumably as a replacement draft for either the 1st or 2nd Battalions.

At some point in 1915 he was wounded by five machine gun bullets shattering his leg and was subsequently discharged as unfit for service in early 1916. John was given the five bullets by the RAMC surgeon who had operated on his leg and the same are still in the possession of the family.

When John was alive (so no family mythology), he told his grandson that when he was wounded, he was not engaged in anything as heroic as going over the top. Instead, his platoon or company was marching in column formation along a track and were 'ambushed' by a concealed machine gun. He was one of only a few survivors who managed to escape by crawling across a field.

Any light that you may be able to cast would be appreciated.

Regards

Mel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
choice154

Thank you very much. Will do more research as you have suggested. Thanks again Denise

Hi Denise,

If your Simon Davies was a humble private, it's unlikely that he would be mentioned by name in the History unless he was decorated or mentioned in despatches. I have scoured the Awards and MID lists in the book and not found him.

To narrow down the search, we really need to find his battalion.

The Medal Index Card search at the National Archives gives us two "possibles":

31987 Pte Simon Alfred Davies

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...Edoc_Id=2266798

10737 Pte Simeon Davies ("Simeon" could be a mis-transcription of Simon, but it was also a more common name than Simon in those days!)

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...Edoc_Id=2266640

Both seem to have survived the war. There do not appear to be any other S.Davieses listed with the DCLI.

These cards MIGHT state the battalion, though IME they usually don't. You can download them for GBP 3.50 each, but do it one at a time because you get 6 cards in each download and with similar names there's a chance that they're both on the same sheet.

I see that the WWI pension record search at ancestry.co.uk returns 4 hits for Simon Alfred Davies so, if you think this could be your man, it would be a good idea to get hold of these records. If you don't have access yourself, you could try requesting a forum member to do so, either separately in the Soldiers subforum or in thread http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...showtopic=79475

I can't find Simon Alfred on the 1901 census, but there is a marriage registration of Simon Alfred Davies to either Annie Gertrude Hensey or Eliza Elizabeth Parker in Hendon district in Jul/Aug/Sep 1907.

Hope this helps,

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kemrobson

Hi Adrian

I am researching my Old School memorial and append below information I have on Capt G B Brookes M C. Any information on his career and events leading up to his death would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Regards

Keith

Casualty Details

Name: BROOKES

Initials: G B

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

Unit Text: 9th Bn. attd. 6th Bn.

Date of Death: 16/09/1916

Awards: MC

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 6 B.

Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

The Hulmeian – December 1916

Killed in Action

Brookes – On September 16th, aged 37, Captain Gordon Byron Brookes, M C, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Warwick Brookes of Oxford Road, Manchester and brother of Mr Warwick Brookes M P for Mile End.

The Hulmeian – December 1916

Old Hulmeians and the War

Killed in Action

Captain GORDON BYRON BROOKES, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, who fell on September 16th, aged 37, was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Warwick Brookes, of Oxford Road, Manchester and brother of Mr Warwick Brookes M P for Mile End. He entered the School in April 1892 and left at midsummer 1896, continuing his education at Brussels. He adopted the stage as a profession, and produced many of his own sketches, touring with his wife. He appeared with success on more than one occasion on the Manchester music halls. Receiving his commission in November 1914, he went out in 1915, and saw hard fighting for over a year. He was recently awarded the Military Cross “for conspicuous gallantry in action. Prior to the advance our trenches were heavily shelled, but he calmly walked along the parapet encouraging his men. After an advance through heavy fire he captured his objective, and consolidated his position”.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright

Hi Keith,

Here are the relevant paragraphs from the History:

6th Battalion, 16 September 1916

The Brigade front line had been taken over by the 10th Durham Light Infantry and the 6th Somersets who held the line of the Bulls Road (i.e. a portion of the Flers-Les Boeufs road), and the 6th D.C.L.I. were ordered to support the two forward Battalions by moving up to Gap Trench, which ran for some 1,400 yards in a south-easterly direction from the southern exits of Flers Village.

At 8.30 p.m. [on the 15th] the Cornwalls moved off from York Alley Trench and, guided by 2/Lieut. A. M. Reep who had reconnoitred the route in daylight, were settled in by 12.30 a.m. Gap Trench, however, in parts did not exist owing to the "crumping" it had received, and in other parts it was very shallow. The night was therefore spent in consolidating and digging in.

At 9.25 a.m. (zero hour) on the 16th the Battalion was ordered to advance over the open and occupy the line of the Bulls Road as the Durham bight Infantry and the Somersets were then advancing to the attack. The objectives of the 43rd Brigade were Gird Trench and Gird Support, both crossing the Brigade front in a north-westerly to south-easterly direction. These two trenches covered all approaches to Gueudecourt from the west. The village itself was not strongly held and when our guns bombarded it, appeared to be only very weakly garrisoned. The strength of the enemy's defences, however, was in Gird Trench and its support line, as well as in the sunken roads and defences on both flanks of the village.

At 9.25 a.m. the Battalion advanced in one wave. The enemy, spotting the movement, immediately opened fire with machine guns and "whizz bangs", but fortunately his fire was high and only slight casualties were suffered. The line of the Cornwalls was excellently maintained and the dressing well kept.

At 10.20 a.m, the C.O. sent a message to the 6th Somersets: "Enemy appear to have a machine-gun barrage on our right flank. It seems useless to pour more men into it. Our artillery ought to be informed. Can you get on to them?"

But no reply was received to this message and at 10.30 a.m., instead of advancing on Gird Trench in one wave (owing to the heavy machine-gun fire and the big losses sustained by the Durham Light Infantry and Somersets), two companies of the Cornwalls advanced in waves of platoons at 100 yards distance. These also suffered heavily, but reached the front line and intermixed with the Durham Light Infantry. Two Vickers-gun teams, sent up 6th Battalion with the two companies, suffered casualties also.

At about 11 a.m. the machine-gun fire from the right was so severe that the C.O. of the Cornwalls suspected that the Guards on the right could not have advanced. This supposition was correct, for it will be remembered that on the left of the 7th Cornwalls only a company of the 7th Somersets had reached the first objective, and on the left of that company of Somersets the Guards had not won through to the first objective but were some hundreds of yards from it. The machine-gun fire from the right came from that portion of the objective not gained by the Guards, catching the troops of the 43rd Brigade who were attacking Gird Trench, in enfilade.

But not being aware of this, Colonel Stokoe sent out a patrol of two men to mount the crest of the high ground and ascertain if there had been any advance on the right of the 43rd Brigade. Both of these men became casualties and did not return. At 12 noon two more men were sent out and only one returned. He reported that there was no movement on the right and the machine-gun fire very heavy.

At about 1.40 p.m. the enemy made a small counter-attack west of Gueudecourt, but it was broken up by our artillery.

During the afternoon the Cornwalls reinforced the Durhams by single waves of platoons in extended order, but all suffered casualties on the way forward.

At 6.10 p.m. orders were received to resume the attack at 6.55 p.m. in conjunction with the remainder of the Brigade. The greatest difficulty was experienced in getting orders round in such a short time and to organize the attack, for units were intermingled and had become scattered during the day's operations.

However, at 6.55 p.m. the whole line advanced with the utmost gallantry but was again raked by violent machine-gun fire, very heavy casualties being suffered. Of the Cornwalls, every company commander was killed or wounded and only two very junior officers remained in the firing-line. The advance, after moving forward 200 yards, melted away and the survivors crawled back to the "jumping-off" line.

The Cornwalls, Durhams and Somersets (they were very much intermingled) now established a defensive line of all units along the Bulls Road: this line was reinforced by four machine guns.

Early on the 17th the 21st Division took over the line and the 6th Cornwalls, having been relieved at 5 a.m., moved back to Pommiers Redoubt and later to Becordel and Ribemont. On the 22nd they marched to Sus St. Leger.

Their casualties in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette had been very heavy: 15 officers(1) out of 20 had been killed or wounded and the losses in other ranks were 294 out of about 550 who "went over the top".

[Footnote] (1) Only the names of the following officers killed could be traced: Captain G. B. Brookes, killed 16/9/16; 2/Lieut. G. Armitage, killed, 16/9/16; 2/Lieut. R. Fowler, killed, 16/9/16; 2/Lieut. W. J. Hill, died of wounds, 17/9/16; 2/Lieut. A. M. Reep, killed, 16/9/16.

Hope this helps,

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kemrobson

Adrian

Very many thanks for the information. It is extremely helpful.

Regards

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Longboat

Hello Adrian'

I would like to know anything about the 1st Battalion on the date of 21/10/1914, in particular Christopher Cole, 8336, who was killed on this day and held the rank of Boy according to SDGW.

Many Thanks,

Longboat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright

Hi Longboat,

No specific mention of Cole, I'm afraid - it was a busy day for 1/DCLI.

1st Battalion, 21 October 1914

(during the Battle of La Bassee)

Dawn broke on the 21st October with a thick mist covering the battlefield. On the left front of the D.C.L.I. was a lot of dead ground covered by a battalion on that flank. The Cornwalls could not see what was going on there, but the battalion on their left could.

It will be remembered that the dispositions of the Battalion were B Company on the right, with its right resting on the road running south from Lorgies in touch with the Manchesters on that flank: then came C Company in the centre and D on the left: A Company (less one platoon in reserve) supported C and D Companies.

Just after dawn the line of the battalion on the left of the Cornwalls was broken by a rush of Germans. The first intimation the Cornwalls had of this disaster was that, without any previous warning beyond the usual amount of rifle-fire, D Company suddenly found the enemy behind them. The Company Commander at this time (Captain F. H. Span) was engaged in directing the fire of his men against a heavy attack from the front. The result was that, attacked in front and rear and enfiladed from the left, only one platoon (then in reserve) of D Company managed to escape envelopment, the remainder were either killed, wounded or captured.

Captain Woodham (who was then in command of the Battalion) ordered the reserve platoon of D Company to advance rapidly and take up position on some rising ground to the left rear of D Company, from which position the ground over which the Germans were advancing could be covered. Three platoons of A Company, under Lieut. Buckley (then in the support line), changed position and linked up between the platoon of D Company and the left of C Company; the latter having fallen back 300 yards as its left was also enfiladed after D Company had been overwhelmed. The platoon of A Company, in Battalion reserve, was ordered up to the left of the platoon of D Company.

In close formation the Germans came on but, shooting rapidly, A Company poured such a heavy and accurate fire into the enemy that he first wavered and then had to retire hurriedly, leaving the ground covered with killed and wounded men.

About an hour and a half later a company of the Royal West Kent Regiment came up and filled the gap between the left of the Cornwalls and the right of the 3rd Division. The right company of the Cornwalls - B - hung on all day in its original position. Though enfiladed badly they gallantly refused to retire, for by so doing they would have uncovered the left of the battalion on their right, i.e. the East Surrey Regiment. Not until dusk had fallen, and then only under orders of the Battalion Commander, did B Company fall back. Every officer excepting one (and he too was slightly wounded) had been either killed or wounded fairly early in the day. Captain A. H. R. Romilly, the Company Commander, though twice wounded, refused to be evacuated and remained in command of his line until about 4 p.m. when he was killed. A very gallant officer.

There is no doubt that but for the prompt action of A Company and the reserve platoon of D Company (under Sergeant Phillips), which created havoc among the advancing Germans, the whole of the Brigade line (and perhaps the line of the 5th Division also) might have been turned. The enemy had employed great numbers of troops who attacked not only all day but at 5 p.m., 9 p.m., 11.30 p.m., and again at 2 a.m. on the 22nd. [Footnote: The Battalion had practically no artillery support.]

On the night of 21st/22nd the line of the Battalion ran just east of the road running north-east from the eastern outskirts of Lorgies.

The roll-call revealed the full extent of the day's casualties. In addition to Captain Romilly, Captain L. D. Passy had also been killed; Captain F. H. Span, Lieut. H. S. Leverton and 2/Lieut. Russell (wounded also) were missing, and Lieuts. A. E. H. Mills, T. A. Kendall and V. Fox were wounded. The casualties in other ranks were 25 killed, 85 wounded and missing 148, the Battalion Diary adding that "a very large number of the latter being almost certainly either killed or wounded."

Shortly after 3 a.m. on 22nd the D.C.L.I. were relieved by the K.O.Y.L.I. and went back to Fme. du Biez in reserve.

"It was a weak and weary body of men which marched back to the reserve positions just as dawn came. If you count back you will see how many days and nights continuously our men had been in the trenches. I have lost count, but I know we started on October 11th ... during those days and nights at Lorgies ... the noise and rattle and roar which incessantly went on cannot be described except by a scribe of much higher capabilities than mine, and then he would miss the nerve strain which is probably the worst part to be borne. But in spite of it all you could not have said it was a broken force which left Lorgies that morning. Not a bit broken! If it had been necessary they would have stayed there for another such day and night. The greatest difficulty was to get food and water up to the trenches, and the men must have suffered a great deal from thirst. However, the enemy did not get through and that was all that mattered." [Lieut.-Colonel A.N. Acland]

Hope this helps,

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Longboat

Hello Adrian,

Many Thanks for the info, very grateful and much appreciated.

Longboat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
henryww1

Adrian

My grandfather Henry Stears(Steers) Wilson survived the great war but died before I was born. My father never knew why my grandfather who had served with the Northamptonshire Regt in 1917, had two cap badges :

Northamptonshire

and

DCLI

I have been researching the family tree and waiting for the remains of the burnt ww1 pensions files to come onto the internet. To my amazement and pleasure I found pension documents relating to my grandfather.

He had in fact volunteered for service in 1914, but by 1915 he had been released unfit for service. He had been entered for his initial service with the DCLI and served in the UK only.

If you can obtain any other information relating to his particular Battalion or Section number during his short service. I would be happy that the mystery of the two cap badges, had finally been resolved.

Henry Stears Wilson

Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry Regt.

Pte

Regt No. 15510

03.09.1914 - 07.01.1915

Enlisted at Stratford

Trained at Bodmin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
perce620

Hi

Does it mention a Captain Alfred J Haughton 1/5th DCLI in there anywhere?

Cheers

Perce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright
Does it mention a Captain Alfred J Haughton 1/5th DCLI in there anywhere?

Cheers

Perce

Perce,

Sorry. No mention of Captain Haughton.

If this is his medal card

Medal card of Haughton, A L (and if the L is a mistranscription!)

Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry Captain

Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry Temporary Major

and he was Temporary Major for a while, then perhaps between the death of Lt.-Col. T. Carus-Wilson on 25 March 1918 and the arrival from England of hos replacement, Major E.B. Ward, on 7 April 1918.

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
egbert

Adrian, anything from DCLI 1st Bn from May 1st 1918 (also if mentioned in support role on its associated RFAs: XVBrigade RFA with 52, 80, A/XV, D/XV heavy Batteries as well as XXVIIBrigade RFA with 119,120,121,37 heavy Batteries))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright

16th Lancers,

All I can tell you is that if he was in Bodmin until 1915, he could have been in either 3rd (Reserve), 6th, 7th or 8th (Service) Battalion. See http://www.1914-1918.net/dcli.htm and links for brief histories of each.

Not much help, I know. Sorry!

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright
Adrian, anything from DCLI 1st Bn from May 1st 1918 (also if mentioned in support role on its associated RFAs: XVBrigade RFA with 52, 80, A/XV, D/XV heavy Batteries as well as XXVIIBrigade RFA with 119,120,121,37 heavy Batteries))

Hi Egbert,

Nothing at all between 27 April and 30 May.

Here's the relevant page:

THE PERIOD OF ACTIVE DEFENCE

[1st Battalion, 17th April 1918]

We left the 1st D.C.L.I. in Divisional Reserve near Le Touquet on the 17th of April. The next morning work began on the new line in the Forêt de Nieppe. Shell-fire was heavy throughout the day, especially in the neighbourhood of Battalion Headquarters. The enemy was using large quantities of gas shell.

On the 21st, however, the Cornwalls moved off at 9.30 p.m. to support the 12th Gloucesters holding the front line. They had scarcely taken up their position when a gas shell pitched in Battalion Headquarters and the C.O. and Adjutant and several others had to be sent down to the Field Ambulance.

On the 25th the Gloucesters and Bedfords attacked Le Vert Bois Farm and buildings, and a farm south-east of the ruined Les Lauriers Château, respectively. In the attack by the Gloucesters A and D Companies of the Cornwalls advanced in close support and when the objective had been captured sent forward two platoons of C Company at 12.14 a.m. to reinforce. The Gloucesters captured thirty-nine prisoners and two machine guns: only one man of the Cornwalls received a slight wound. On the 27th [Footnote (1)] the D.C.L.I. relieved the 12th Gloucesters and one company of the Bedfords in the front line, but the remainder of April was uneventful. May also, with the exception of frequent heavy shell-fire by the opposing guns, was comparatively quiet, although again it may be pointed out that the word "comparative" is used merely to indicate the difference between periods of attack and non-attack.

The 1st East Surreys (on the left of the Cornwalls in the front line) attacked the enemy on the 20th and successfully advanced their line. The Lewis guns belonging to the D.C.L.I. lent valuable assistance. The enemy counter-attacked on the 21st but was repulsed.

On the 30th of May Lieut.-Colonel Humphries left the Battalion to take command of the 1st Norfolks and on the following day Lieut.-Colonel J. W. C. Kirk arrived and assumed command of the Cornwalls.

June opened with the D.C.L.I. holding the left sub-sector of the Le Sart front. [...]

Footnote: (1) The Cornwalls do not mention a counter-attack made by the enemy on the 27th: it was completely repulsed.

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
egbert

Adrian, your effort is much appreciated here. Grandfather was KIA May 1st 1918, opposing the 1Bn DCLI. So no new findings I am afraid......

With respect of

the remainder of April was uneventful. May also, with the exception of frequent heavy shell-fire by the opposing guns, was comparatively quiet
I have to object "an uneventful front" ; for these two families - one Brit and my own - it was disastrous....

post-80-1194642177.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
willwilliams

Hi,

My grandads uncle was killed while serving with the 1 battalion DCLI on the 22nd October 1914. My grandad has told me that he was killed trying to dig up turnips in no-mans-land by a sniper. I have little bits of information so far as listed below:-

Henry William Emberson

Private

Duke Of Cornwalls Light Infantry

1st Bn

age: 29

KIA: 22/10/1914

Service Number: 7660

Memorial:Le Touret Memorail

Attached: Medal Card

I know that 1st battalion was around La Bassee at the time, do you have any other information or know where i can find out any more on Henry?

Many thanks Will

Hi,

My grandads uncle was killed while serving with the 1 battalion DCLI on the 22nd October 1914. My grandad has told me that he was killed trying to dig up turnips in no-mans-land by a sniper. I have little bits of information so far as listed below:-

Henry William Emberson

Private

Duke Of Cornwalls Light Infantry

1st Bn

age: 29

KIA: 22/10/1914

Service Number: 7660

Memorial:Le Touret Memorail

Attached: Medal Card

I know that 1st battalion was around La Bassee at the time, do you have any other information or know where i can find out any more on Henry?

Many thanks Will

Pte_H_W_Emberson7660.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright

Hi Will and welcome to the forum,

The History has extensive coverage of 1st DCLI's part in the events of 20-23 October 1914 at La Bassee. About 5 pages in all - too much to post here easily. I'll send you a PM and you can send me back your email address. Then I can mail the pages to you.

Briefly though:

On the 21st, they held back several German counterattacks during the day, the last of which came at 2am on the 22nd. This 2am attack is possibly when Pte Emberson was killed, because at 3am the DCLI were relieved and moved back into reserve. Although they were called back up later on the 22nd, they were not engaged and there is no mention of any casualties for the rest of the day.

The History numbers the casualties of 21st Oct as - officers: 2 killed, 3 wounded and 3 missing; other ranks: 25 killed, 85 wounded and 148 missing. These figures include the casualties of the 2am attack on the 22nd.

I see from the CWGC site that 8 men of 1/DCLI are listed as killed on the 22nd, in addition to Pte Emberson, and they are all remembered on the Le Touret Memorial - L/Cpl Denton and Privates Coughlan, Flay, Higgins, Innes, King, Miller and Wake.

On the whole, I don't think there would have been much time to go digging for turnips!

Hope this helps,

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nicburch

Anything on 7th battalion 2/4/18? and possibly Pte. George Illsley.

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright

Hi Nick,

I'm a bit confused here!

According to Wyrall, the 7th DCLI had been relieved from their position, holding the bridge over the Luce Stream, on the evening of 1 April. They marched back to Divisional HQ at St Nicholas, from where

[a]t 4.30 a.m. on the 2nd a fleet of buses arrived and took the Battalion - or the remnants of the Battalion - to Quevenvillers where, on arrival at 7.30 a.m., a check roll-call took place, and the remainder of the day was spent in cleaning up and billeting the troops.

There's no mention of any action or casualties on 2/4/18, and yet the CWGC database shows at least 67 men of 7/DCLI killed on that day(!) - all NCOs and privates, no officers, and nearly all with no known grave. The vast majority are commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial.

7/DCLI had been very heavily engaged during the German Somme Offensive in March. Wyrall says they were down to 43 men of all ranks by 25th March, and just 14 on the 30th. (Quite why 14 men would require "a fleet of buses", I don't know. Perhaps it was 14 plus battalion HQ and others.)

I've searched the History for any mention of a hospital being shelled, or a company of 7/DCLI being attached to some other unit and virtually wiped out, but have found nothing.

My guess is that these 67 men went missing during the confusion of the retreat in March, and were all confirmed/assumed to be dead on 2/4.

Sorry I can't help more,

Adrian

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.


×
×
  • Create New...