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sarahrudley2007
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hi i am trying to trace any information and photographs for lance corporal alfred searle service number 10712 he served in the 1st bn east surrey regiment

he was killed in action in 1916. and is buried in montabaun cemetary belgium.

any help is really appreciated.

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Hello Sarah

If you can get to Kew, the War Diary of 1st East Surreys is in file WO95/1563 for Aug 14 to the end of 1915, and in WO95/1579 from Jan 1916 to Nov 1917 and for April 1917 onwards. From Dec 17 to March 18 the battalion was in Italy and its diary is in WO95/4217.

War Diaries rarely mention men by name other than officers but the location of the unit, and a description of its activities, is given on each day.

On the "Soldiers" section of The Long, Long Trail there is a handy guide to tracing a man's service. Click on the heading near the top left corner.

Good luck!

Ron

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Hi Sarah, welcome to the forum :D

Do you mean Quarry Cemetery, Montauban, Somme, France? My GG is also burried there and was KiA in July 1916. If you know where Alfred was born (Weybridge, Surrey and enlisted in Kingston, Surrey) then a good place to look for picture would be the local archives/reference librarys and look for the papers around the time of his death. His is listed as Killed in Action on 22/07/1916.

The following is from Westlakes, 'Battalions on the Somme'

1st Battalion. 95th Brigade, 5th Division:

Arrived Longuevillette from Oppy (14/7). To Herissart (15/7), Bresle (16/7), bivouacs just south of Becordel-Becourt (17/7). At Becordel War Diary records that all officers were ordered to dress like the men and to carry rifles and bayonets which were obtained from members of the transport section. Moved forward to positions in and west of Longueval (19/7) - heavy casualties noted from shelling until (22/7). Attacked (23/7) - strong point captured west of northern end of Longueval but evacuated after counter attacks. Relieved during night and to trenches near Montauban. Casualties - 123. Moved forward to positions in Longueval and north-west corner of Delville Wood (27/7). Regimental history notes the (29/7) as 'one of the most trying days experienced by the battalion during the War' - shelling made communications from the rear almost impossible. As an example - out of a 24 man water carrying party from 14th Royal Warwickshire, just seven reached the front line. Attack at 3.30 p.m. on enemy posts north-west of Longueval - leading waves cut down by machine gun fire - survivors held out in shell holes until nightfall. Losses for period (27/7)-(29/7) - 320. Relieved midnight (30/7) and to Pommieres Redoubt. To Dernancourt (1/8). Entrained at Mericourt for Airaines (4/8) and from there marched to Epaumesnil. Entrained at Longpre for Mericourt (24/8) and from there marched to camp north of Buire. To Citadel Camp (25/8) , Billon Farm (26/8). Dug assembly trench behind front line (28/8). War Diary notes 2 observation balloons hit by lightning (29/8) - occupants parachuted to safety. Took over positions south of Guillemont (Lonely Trench) (30/8). Withdrew to support line at Maltz Horn Farm (2/9). In support during attack between Guillemont and Wedge Wood (3/9). Took over sunken road south from Ginchy to Wedge Wood (4/9) - later 'A' and 'C' Companies took Valley Trench and Battalion moved into support at Leuzue Wood. Relieved and to Happy Valley (6/9), Citadel Camp (9/9). To positions around Falfemont Farm and Angle Wood under orders of 13th Brigade (10/9). Rejoined 95th Brigade at Ville-sur-Ancre and Treux (14/9). To Sandpit Camp (18/9) and from there support trenches close to the Guillemont-Combles road (just west of Leuze Wood). To Oxford Copse (22/9), north-west corner of Faviere Wood (24/9). From there to assembly trenches. Attack on Morval (25/9) - advanced at 12.35 and objectives gained. Relieved and to Oxford Copse (26/9). Casualties estimated at 203. To Citadel Camp (27/9). Entrained at Happy Valley for Longpre (29/9) and from there marched to Liercourt. To Bethune (2/10). Somme casualties given in Regimental history as 40 officers and 1,200 other ranks.

Hope this helps,

cheers, Jon

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hi jon yes it was quarry cemetary i have been to see his grave i also have the cemetary guide if you need any info let me know

thanks again sarah

thanks for the info ron much appreciated

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Sarah,

Have you tried around the family?

If you know where he came from it may be worth looking at local newspaper archives (in the library) as they often carried casualty lists, quite often accompanied by a photo. Worth a look.

Ian

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hi john this in the entry in the guide

WOODHOUSE, GNR. L 90230 `C` BTY 53RD BDE ROYAL FIED ARTILLERY. KILLED IN ACTION 18 JULY 1916 AGED 27. SON OF SAMUEL AND HAANAH WOODHOUSE OD LODGE MOOR, SHEFFIELD; HUSBAND OF EDITH MAY HIRST ( FORMERLY WOODHOUSE) OF 6 STEEL BANK VILLAS SPRINGVALE SHEFFIELD.

III A. 3. THIS IS THE EXACT ENTRY . IF YOU STILL WANT THE PHTOCOPY I CAN EMAIL IT . I HOPE THIS IS OF HELP.

SARAH

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