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newzealander soldier..buried where?


birdofprey
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hi all......i have a pistol.(or should i say my friend has) to a what we think is a corpral edward L watchorn from the nz rifle brigade..buried at either caterpillar or butterfly valley....where is this,... any ideas think he died about 1916..any help would be greatfully received..jim

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Looks like this is your man:

Name: WATCHORN, ERNEST LIONEL

Initials: E L

Nationality: New Zealand

Rank: Rifleman

Regiment/Service: New Zealand Rifle Brigade

Unit Text: 1st Bn. 3rd

Age: 32

Date of Death: 16/09/1916

Service No: 23/310

Additional information: Son of Lydia Hallam (formerly Watchorn) of "Lynwood," 19, Priory Rd., Spalding, Lincs., England, and the late William Watchorn.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Memorial: CATERPILLAR VALLEY (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL

See: http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...asualty=1463995

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hi paul...thanks for that...i went on the cwg site...i must have type it wrong.....will try putting water in it next time.. :blush:

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Nominal Roll details:

Surname WATCHORN

Given Name Ernest Lionel

Category Nominal Roll Vol. 1

Regimental Number 23/310

Rank Rifleman

Body or Draft 1st NZRB

Unit or Regiment A Company

Marital Status S

Last NZ Address c/- Gavin Wallace Otahuhu

Next of Kin Title Mrs L

Next of Kin Surname WATCHORN

Next of Kin Address Skegness East Coast England

Auckland War Memorial Database

http://muse.aucklandmuseum.com/databases/c...riginalID=16458

Zack

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Hi,

This man left New Zealand on the 9th of October 1915 as part of the 7th reinforcements to the NZEF. Initialy in Egypt, and then in the April of 1916 the New Zealanders sailed to France. They were first at Armentiries where they stayed from May till August 1916, then the move south for the big push at the Somme on the 15th of September 1916. The New Zealanders had over 7000 casualties for the 23 days they were in the line at the Somme battle in September of 1916. Our man above being one of them.

cheers Aaron.

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hi....thanks to all of you esp you guys in nz...i have so many helpful links now..hope my computor can store them all...it seems that our chap was given an old (1890) service revolver and holster to take to war with..there is a faint pencil marks on the inside of the flap that looks like corprial e watchhorn..it was found in a gun shop in rosshire in the very north of scotland..if any of you guys can tell me how it turned up there...i will get you drunk for a week and bow down to your turn ups on a daily basis....er no..you lot might just do it...thanks for the help and the links....jim :rolleyes:

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Had a quick look at your man’s file. Details of interest:

Name: Earnest Lionel Watchorn

Regiment: 1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Battalion ‘A’ Coy

Occupation: Traveller

Born: Leicester England

Date of birth: 5 August 1888

Religion: Church of England

Last New Zealand Address: c/o Gavin Wallace Auckland

Last employer: Gavin Wallace Auckland

Next of kin: Mrs L Watchorn now Hallam (mother remarried) 19 Priory Road Spalding Lincolnshire

Medals went to his mother NOTE: the following address is crossed out: ‘Skegness East Coast England’

Service:

New Zealand 28/5/15 to 9/10/15

Foreign 9/10/15

Intended address: New Zealand

Description on enlistment / medical dated 28 May 1915 held at Auckland

Apparent / Declared age: 27 years

Height: 5 foot 4 inches

Weight 10 stone 2 lbs

Chest measurement: minimum 32 inches; maximum 35 inches

Complexion: Fair

Colour of Eyes: Gray

Religious profession: Church of England

Medical all normal – teeth described as “good artificial”

Trentham: inoculated against typhoid 6/6/15

Trentham: inoculated against typhoid 13/6/15

Rangiotu: fit for active service

ARMY FORM B 103 Casualty Form – Active Service

Regimental Number: 23/310

Regiment or Corps: 1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Battalion ‘A’ Coy

Rank: Rifleman

Name: Watchorn, Ernest Lionel

Enlisted (a) 28/5/15

Terms of Service (a) end of war

Service reckons from (a) 28/5/15

Disembarked 15/11/15: Suez

Information shown in order as: From whom received; Record of promotions, reductions, transfers, causalities &c active service as reported on Army Form B 213, Army Form A33 and in other official documents; Place of casualty; Date of Casualty:

O/C NZRB; Embarked for Matrick(?); Alexandria; 19/12/15

O/C NZRB; Disembarked; Alexandria; 17/2/16

O/C NZRB; Embarked for France; Alexandria; 6/4/16

O/C NZRB; wounded in action; France; 15/9/16

O/C NZRB; reported missing; France; 15/9/16

Chaplain Capt G H Gavin 1st Auckland Infantry Btn; Recorded Rouen; France; Feb 10 1917

Reported missing 15th Sept 1916

Died of wounds 16 Sep 1917

“24/23 Capt L M Inglis (No3 NZMGC) On Sept 15 1916 I was O/C A Coy P – Bn, 3rd NZRB of which Rfn Watchorn was a member. About 11 am I saw him wounded near Flers Village. He appeared to be wounded by a MG bullet in the fleshy part of the leg just below the knee. The wound did not appear to be serious and I handed him over to a man to be (looks like “deuced”) and I have not seen him since.”

“Finding – On the guidance available the board can reasonably suppose Rfn Watchorn wounded and missing. There is no evidence to how he has been killed. Reported died of wounds Sept 16 1916.”

PLAQUE AND SCROLL

Soldier’s name: Watchorn, Ernest Lionel

Reg No: 23/310

Roll No: 56969

Scroll despatched (Date): 13 July 1921

Plaque: ticked

Recipient and address: Mrs L Hallam 19 Priory Road Spalding Lincolnshire

Reference source

Agency AABK

Series 18805

Accession W5557

Box / item 49

Record 0119335

Zack

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Hi,

Good info Zack, of which I can add some substance.

Captain L.M Inglis, was Captain Lindsay Inglis, for his actions on the 15th of September 1916 Captian Inglis recieved the Military Cross. Private Watchorn was under his command on this day. The NZRB were responsible for the 2nd and third wave of attacks on that day. The New Zealand 2nd Brigade including the 2nd Auckland Battalion took the Switch trench and dug in, the NZRB men then passed through thier position on to their objectives. They continued the advance in this leapfrog type fashion.

The objective for Inglis and Watchorn and thier company was the Grove Alley communication trench to the West and North of the village of Flers. Zero hour was 6.20am, and the 2nd Brigade poured out of the Otago trench towards the Switch line. It was taken, but with heavy loss and fierce fighting, ruthless fighting. Only the wounded were taken prisoner.

The NZRB men followed on, under constant artillery fire and everything else the Germans could throw at them. The 2nd and 3rd battalions of the NZRB were up next and they took thier objectives also with heavy loss, now it was the 1st battalions turn. Catain Inglis was at the jumping off point in time, about 10.50am, they were reorganising at the Abbey road. It was supposed to be an attack involving two companies, however only A company was at the jump off point at the correct time. They went ahead regardless minus half the expected strength.

To quote Inglis himself " Within a few seconds after the leading platoons set out they were in sight of Grove Alley. Heavy rifle fire and machine gun fire broke out sweeping them from the front and the right flank and giving the impression that streams of bullets were swishing past at knee high. I have never been under a hotter small arms fire. Men were bowled over in all directions."

This is most likely the fire that would have wounded Private Watchorn, as he was wounded just below the knee and he was wounded around 11.00am at the outset of the 1st battalions advance.

The battalion went on to Grove Alley, amid huge opposition, the problem here was the Germans were fully aware and alert of the attack. and every gun was aimed at any further pushes forward by the New Zealanders. The 1st battalion of the NZRB was the unit designated to make the last planned wave of attack. The Battalion grabbed a toehold of the Grove alley, one platoon was facing a German artillery peice at point blank range. By midday the Germans had been cleared of the trench.

Source "On my way to the Somme" by Andrew McDonald.

I will be visiting the Somme Battlefiled in May of next year, Im happy to lay a poppy for Private Watchorn if you so wish. I note he has no known grave having been listed as wounded and missing.

cheers Aaron.

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to arron and zack...all i can say is...a very big thank you for your amazing efforts....i know that the person who owns the pistol and holster will say the same when i tell him...when i am next down the range i will see and hold a piece of history and think of him...god knows how his firearm got up here...i very much doubt if he had it with him on the day in question...but you never know....yours...jim :rolleyes: p.s if i am ever stuck on stuff from nz...your the guys i am coming to

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to arron and zack...all i can say is...a very big thank you for your amazing efforts....i know that the person who owns the pistol and holster will say the same when i tell him...when i am next down the range i will see and hold a piece of history and think of him...god knows how his firearm got up here...i very much doubt if he had it with him on the day in question...but you never know....yours...jim :rolleyes: p.s if i am ever stuck on stuff from nz...your the guys i am coming to

Jim

As an aside some more information on Lindsay Merritt Inglis MC 24/23 Captain Machine Gun Company, 1st Bn NZ Rifle Brigade:

"For distinguished conduct in the field at Flers on 15/16th September 1916. Captain Inglis commanded the right leading Company of the 1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand (Rifle) Brigade in the advance on 15th September 1916. He reached the Battalion objective but finding the Division on the right had not even obtained their objective and that his flank was in the air, being heavily pressed by the enemy, he fell back slightly, dug in, reorganised the men of various Units who had reached there, and consolidated a line north and north east of Flers village. This was held successfully against counter attacks until the Battalion was relieved on the night of 16/17th September 1916. Captain Inglis’ handling of a difficult situation was highly meritorious and his energy an example inspired all ranks in successfully holding the ground won."

Source: LG 1 January 1917, p 45, Rec No 110

Zack

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