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Pilkin Ridge


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I am researching a soldier who died of wounds at Pilkin Ridge on 9 September 1917

Enlisted Irish Guards 11 December 1915 (Army Reserve)

Mobilized (Home - Warley, Brentwood) 3 March 1916 - 29 March 1917

(3rd Batt Coy 5A Irish Guards Caterham Surrey, November 1916)

British Expeditionary Forces (BEF) France 1917

Embarked Southampton 30 March 1917

Wounded in Action 9 September 1917, Died of Wounds 9 September 1917

On Preston Roll of Honour it says Pilkin Ridge. As the Battle of Pilkin Ridge was on 31 July what can I understand about his death on this later date? I cannot find much info on Pilkin Ridge so would be grateful for any information at all.

thanks

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More likely that they where in the area of Pilckem Ridge on 9 Sept. He would have been in 1st or 2nd Irish Guards.

1st IG - 1st Guards brigade

2nd IG - 2nd Guards Brigade

Part of Guards Division.

I would opt for 1st Bn as they occupied trenches from 5th to 12th september.

He would have been wounded during a period of trench occupation and not in a battle.

The Guards where on the left flank facing Bixschoote. Close enough to Pilckem and the ridge for an error to have been made.

Stevem

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Yes that's right - 1st battalion,

In Memory of

Private WILLIAM McGUINESS

11039, 1st Bn., Irish Guards

who died

on 09 September 1917

Remembered with honour

TYNE COT MEMORIAL

thanks ever so much for your reply - is there a website I can read up on this subject?

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I found this by Rudyard Kipling on Irish Guards, do you think this is where he died?

On the 9th they were up at the front among the “just sufficiently habitable shell-holes” of the Green line beyond the Iron Cross Kortikaar–Cabaret road from the Ypres–Staden railway to the junction with the French. Their guides met them at Bois farm, fifteen hundred yards back, and since, once among the holes, all food sent up risked the life or mutilation of a man, they carried two days’ rations and picked up their water from a Decauville railway that ran to the terminus (daily bombed and bombarded) on the Wijden Drift road. While the last two companies (Nos. 2 and 4 ) were getting their tins at railhead, an hour and a half’s barrage was dropped on them and twenty-seven men were killed or wounded.

http://whitewolf.newcastle.edu.au/words/au...useaucourt.html

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Just a little confused.

As far as I know the Guards Division was relieved one week after the beginning of Third Ypres (Battle of Pilkem Ridge) : relieved by 29th Division on 7 August 1917. At that time they had reached the Steenbeek, a little south(west) of Langeamrk centre.

9 September ? Don't know exactly where the front lines were, but this is after the Battle of Langemark (16 Aug.), and Langemark had already been captured by British troops, and I think the lines must have been northeast already of Langemark, between Langemark and Poelkapelle.

If the Guards Division was involved at that time, it was not I think in the front lines. (I know Kipling's History, but I don't have these pages of September here with me.)

Aurel

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Mousehold,

I'm afraid I can't help you right now with : 1st or 2nd Bn.

Just this : Pilkin must be Pilkem (or Pilckem), a hamlet between my village (Boezinge) and Langemark. Even if it says : "Pilkin, France". Situating Flemish locations in France was very common at the time. (I once even was in touch with a foreigner who tried to make me believe that I did not live in Flanders (Belgium) as I had said, but in France. For he had seen somewhere on a document that Ypres was in France. ;-)

By the way, right now the link does not work.

Aurel

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The 1st IG part of 1st Guards Brigade held the trenches 5th to 13th September.

On 29th August the Guards Division had relieved the 29th Division.

They did attack in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge on 31st July with 1st G Brigade in the line 31 - 2 August. The 29th Div relieved the Guards Div on 8th August and in turn the Guards relieved the 29th Div on 29th August.

The closest village I can see on their front is Weidendreft - midway between Langemarck and Bixscoote.

The problem is that althougth they were in the front line, it was a time of reorganisation after the battle of Langemarck 16th - 18th August and before the Battle of the Menin Road 20- 25 Sept.

It is possible that he was wounded and moved to an aid station on Pilckem ridge where he died. Then his grave was later lost - this is why Pilckem is mentioned.

The Kipling bit on the Irish Guards sound like the correct place. They would have been next to the French being on the extreme left flank of the British Army. It looks as though they were just about on the railway. My decent scale maps are loaned out at the moment though.

I think the Kipling - has it correct.

Bois Farm may have been on the Pilckem Ridge. try starting a thread for location of Bois Farm and 1st IG. Also the other locations mentioned for the front line.

Stevem

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Hi Stevem,

Bois Farm was in front of Boezinge and already reached by Coldstream patrols on 27/7/1917

Cnock

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Hi Stevem,

Bois Farm was in front of Boezinge and already reached by Coldstream patrols on 27/7/1917

Cnock

Hello Cnock

Yes but that was their point for picking up stores in September. The front line was 1500 metres away on the railway near Langemarck. He was either wounded and moved back to Pilckem Ridge or killed and taken back there. This would account for the mention of Pilckem even though the line was further forward. Or some one just wrote down Pilckem in error. Rudyard Kiplings Irish Guards entry does match with their location on 9th September.

Cheers

Steve

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Hi Steve,

I know, but Bois Farm is not at Pilkem. Pilkem was not in the sector of the Guards Division.

Pilkem was also not the shortest way to move a casualty of the Irish Guards to the rear.

Regards,

Cnock

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Mousehold,

1 Irish Guards on 9.9.1917 according to their War Diary WO95/1216:

September 1 to 4 DULWICH CAMP B.9.c.6.0 (Elverdinghe area)

September 5 to 8 RUGBY CAMP B.10.c.8.8. (Bluet Farm area)

"On the evening of the 8th we came on to "one hour's notice" to move to the Green Line in accordance with the defence scheme. The Green Line is not dug as it is wired and held by Machine guns only. Defences only garrisoned in cases of emergency. Marched from RUGBY CAMP at 7.45 p.m. on the evening of the 9th. The 1st Guards Brigade held the Divisional front from STADEN RAILWAY at U.17.c.8.2 on right to U.15.b.5.5. The Battalion relieved the 2nd Bn Grenadiers in the right sector from STADEN RAILWAY on right to U.16.d.05.80. The Battalion was disposed as under in front line and support. On right No 1 Company.in centre No 3 Company,on left No 2 Company,in reserve No 4 Company. The line consisted of a line of posts in shell holes, the shell holes being improved only just sufficiently to make them habitable. This was done with a view to making the posts as inconspicuous as possible to enemy observers on the ground and in the air..........as the last two companies were arriving at the railhead to pick up their water supplies the enemy put down a very heavy barrage which continued for about an hour and a half. This caused......27 casualties."

This may help your quest,but there is no list of the casualties sustained. It seems a classic case of the enemy shelling the Battalion changeover.

Best wishes

Sotonmate

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