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Can any one Help?


privatewickham
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Hi,

Im new to all of this so apologies if I have done anything wrong!

I recently started researching my family history and discovered a number of relatives who sadly perished in the Great War, and was wandering if anyone can maybe help me in answering a few questions that I have? I have found out as much information as possible about them using the internet and have read your long long trail section and looked at their regimental information. I have also looked for some War Diaries for their battalions at the national archivesd but alas to no avail.

The person that interests me the most is my great grandfather, Private Frank Wickham. I already know a lot about him thanks to the good work of the Dover War memorial project, however am curious to the circumstances surrounding his death:-

"Frank Wickham, 200279, enlisted in Dover, and was in the 1st/6th battalion (Territorial) of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (formerly 2746 of The Buffs)He died of wounds in Havre hospital on 13 October 1917, when he was 40 (another report gives an age of 36). He now lies at Sainte Marie cemetery, Le Havre. The words at the bottom of his headstone read, "At Rest". "

The others I am curious about are Frank's brother and Nephew:-

"William Ernest Wickham, G/13557, was a Serjeant in the Buffs. He was in the 6th battalion and had gained the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal. He was 41 (46?) when he was reported missing on 3rd May 1917. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. "

&

Charles Edward Wickham, 68089, was a Private in the 7th battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (formerly 6858 2/5th Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment). He enlisted and lived in Paddington. He was 29 when he died on 30th December 1917, and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.

As you can see, all were killed within 7 months of each other.

The final person is I want to find out more about isnt included in the Dover War memorial project as he is from Fenton, Staffordshire. He was my great uncle Frank Randle (regimental number 29847 Loyal North Lancashire). He was originally in the Manchester Regiment (5069). I dont know which battalion he was but know that he was killed 01/03/1918.

Discovering these members of my family has ignited an interest in finding out more about the circumstances of their time in the army and certainly the circumstances their deaths. I dont know if any of you will be able to help me but I certainly hope that some of you will be able to point me in the right direction!

Thank you in advance!

Simon

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Simon

Welcome to the Board.

You have obviouslyhad the good fortune of much of the spade work having been done by the Dover project.

The way forward now is to have medal roll look ups and a check on the WO 363 series to estblish whether the service papers have survived.

Frank's basic details are on the CWGC:

Name: RANDLE

Initials: F

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Date of Death: 01/03/1918

Service No: 29847

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: IX. E. 9.

Cemetery: MENDINGHEM MILITARY CEMETERY

It looks as if he died at the Mendinghem CCS so he probably died of wounds.

Regards

Mel

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Hi Simon, welcome to the forum :D

Just to add to what you already know...

William Ernest, Born Christchurch, Kent, Enlisted and resided in Herne Bay, Kent. Killed in action 03/05/17

Charles Edward Born Dover. Killed in action 30/12/17

Frank, Born Hougham, Kent. Enlisted Dover. Killed in action 13/10/17

Frank Randle,. Enlisted Manchester and died of wounds 01/03/18.

There is a connection with Nos. 5063 and 5071 with the 9th Battn. Mancs and both men enlisting in Manchester. Have you searched the NA for theirMICs this may confirm the battn. that he went overseas with, hope this helps,

cheers, Jon

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Simon

You can order the relevant extracts of the Battalion's War Diary online for the period around Frank's death:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalog...;accessmethod=0

Regards

Mel

ps the Mendinghem CCS was the soldier's black humour of mending 'em along with dosing 'em (Dozinghem CCS) and bandage 'em (Bandagehem CCS)

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Thanks for your help everyone!

I have ordered a copy of Frank Wickhams regimental diary from the archives. I thinks I'll have to stagger the diaries regarding the others else it will cost me a small fortune!

:rolleyes:

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WO363 can be checked at the National Archives. It is not yet online.

WE Wickham previously served in the 4th Buffs as a Territorial with number 98. He is part of a group of 12 men who transferred in December 1916 to the 6th from the 4th. He went overseas with the 4th Battalion, their first theatre of war being Aden in August 1915. They had been in India since December 1914.

The 6th Buffs attack on 3/5/1917 was on Keeling Copse, south of Pelves. A few managed to get around the copse but lack of support meant that the Battalion was back where it started without 132 of its men who were dead on the battlefield. The barrage and counter barrage work was inadequate partly due to poor planning and partly due to the poor weather. The zero hour was changed at short notice and the attack was made in the dark. Lack of planning meant that little reconnaisance work had been carried out by the Battalion and as a result it was difficult to realise their objectives. This is in stark contrast to their attack on 9th April on the Houlette Work which was very succesful.

Mick

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WO363 can be checked at the National Archives. It is not yet online.

WE Wickham previously served in the 4th Buffs as a Territorial with number 98. He is part of a group of 12 men who transferred in December 1916 to the 6th from the 4th. He went overseas with the 4th Battalion, their first theatre of war being Aden in August 1915. They had been in India since December 1914.

The 6th Buffs attack on 3/5/1917 was on Keeling Copse, south of Pelves. A few managed to get around the copse but lack of support meant that the Battalion was back where it started without 132 of its men who were dead on the battlefield. The barrage and counter barrage work was inadequate partly due to poor planning and partly due to the poor weather. The zero hour was changed at short notice and the attack was made in the dark. Lack of planning meant that little reconnaisance work had been carried out by the Battalion and as a result it was difficult to realise their objectives. This is in stark contrast to their attack on 9th April on the Houlette Work which was very succesful.

Mick

Wow! Thanks for that Micheal!

Since you seem to be the Man in the know about the Buffs do you have any information on Frank's time in the regiment (no. 2746)??

Incedentally, for those who are interested, I obtained the 1st/6th Royal Warwickshire's war diary for October 1917, and it looks as if Frank was probably wounded on October 4th (153 of the 1st/6th wounded). Would I be right in thinking that this was the during the Battle of Poelcapelle (sixth phase of the Third Battle of Ypres) as I know that the 48th Division were involved in this?

Thanks

Simon

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Simon

The only thing I can be certain about is that he didn't serve overseas with the Buffs. His number would either make him a Regular or a Territorial or a New Army man but without a prefix I can't be sure. If he served in the Buffs before the war it would make him a Regular (L prefix) but he wasn't old enough to have a number that low - a late 1880's issue.

If he joined after the war started there are 2 options. He could have been a Territorial (T prefix) in the 4th or 5th Bns (the same number was allocated for both Bns). He could also have been a new army man (G prefix). There was one other Buff who went overseas with that number but I can't see a prefix for him either so he doesn't help in discounting any of the options.

Mick

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Thanks Mick.

Ive got a copy of Franks medal card and cant decypher it for the life of me! Can anyone help me out here?

FWICKHAMMEDCARD.jpg

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The medal issuing authorities back in the early 1920s had specific references that they had to use.

L/ referred to the issuing medal office.

104 B 36, referred to a specific book (a good old fashioned ledger book).

7679 referred to the page on which his medal entitlement is entered.

These days the National Archives stores these books under its own codes in series WO329/xxxxx.

The first part can be converted into the new code to identify the specific book in their storage vaults.

In realuty the card says that he was entitled to the Victory Medal and British War Medal. These two medals, without an accompanying reference to a 1914 or 1914-15 Star, mean that the man went overseas after 1-1-1916.

The above medal rolls can be consulted to find out his first battalion served with overseas.

Steve.

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Thanks for everyones help on this so far.

My next question has been bothering me.

I cant be sure of the date that my G.Grandad was wounded, however the 1/6th diary shows that there were 153 injuries on 4th October 1917 (when 1/6 RWR were involved in the Battle of Broodseinde Ridge). No further injuries occured in the battalion between this date and the date he died, 13th October. Family legend has it that Frank died on the train on the way to hospital in lieu of him being sent home. He is buried at Le Havre, and according to the Dover War Memorial project, he died in Le Havre hospital. Now Le Havre is a considerable distance away from Broodseinde. Does anyone know if the fact he died at Le Havre is significant? Did Le Havre serve a special purpose?

I look forward to your answers!

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Given that Le Havre is at the mouth of the Seine, I would suspect that it was a 'terminus' for ambulance barges coming down river (or is that up-river?) for collection of wounded and onward transmission to Blighty. You will see small burial places all the way along larger rivers (Somme, Seine) where those who didn't make it were buried.

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Given that Le Havre is at the mouth of the Seine, I would suspect that it was a 'terminus' for ambulance barges coming down river (or is that up-river?) for collection of wounded and onward transmission to Blighty. You will see small burial places all the way along larger rivers (Somme, Seine) where those who didn't make it were buried.

Thanks Steven! That would make sense!

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