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Urgent help for an old lady


Foxkarej
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I am new to this site so apologies if what I am asking for can be found within it, but as the below explains, time is of the essence.

My wifes gran is 94 years of age and in rapidly failing health. He father was private 7158 Patrick Bland of the 2nd leinster Rifles. He was missing, presumed killed on the 20th October 1914 and his name is commemorated on thre Ploegsteert memorial.

It has come to light that his daughter knows nothing about the circumstances of his death, where he was at the time etc etc. I am trying to find this information out for her before it is too late.

I have managed to glean a little information via the internet in that the Ploegsteert memorial commemorates those missing in the battle of Armentieres among other battles. The dates of this battle seems to fit the date of his death and I'm presuming this is the action in which he died and one of the places mentioned in my limited research so far is the village of Presmesque.

CAN ANYONE HELP ME FIND OUT MORE OR POINT ME IN THE DIRECTION OF WHERE I CAN LOOK VIA THE INTERNET.

Many thanks.

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Hi

Welcome to the site

Commonwealth Graves entry

Name: BLAND, PATRICK

Initials: P

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Leinster Regiment

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Date of Death: 20/10/1914

Service No: 7158

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 10.

Memorial: PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL

His medal card index can be seen here

MIC

There is not a lot more I can help with, but other members might be able to

Regards

Andy

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SDGW only has minimal information additional to the CWGC;

Patrick Bland, Private, 7158

Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), 2nd Battalion

Born Maryborough, Queen's Co.

Enlisted Maryborough, Queen's Co

Died 20 Oct 1914, Killed in action, France & Flanders.

Doug

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This peacetime Division of the army was quartered in Ireland and England at the outbreak of war, and was ordered to concentrate near Cambridge. By early September it was fully equipped and trained. On the 10 September 1914, it landed at St Nazaire and proceeded to the Western Front, where it remained throughout the war. The Division arrived in time to reinforce the hard-pressed BEF on the Aisne, before the whole army was moved north into Flanders.

The above comes from the Long Long Trail web site The link is top left on this screen. The Battle of La Bassee 14th Oct to 2nd Nov 1914 might be a candidate for the action or the German counter attack around Armentieres on the 19th Oct 1914...I don't know if the Liensters were involved in either of these...hopefully someone else will!

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There are some other sources which might be able to help. Firstly you could see if the War Diary for 2nd Leinsters is available. Have a look at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk. They do have an (expensive) facility for copying things. Secondly you could see if you could lay your hands on the 1914 volume of the British official history to get a general narrative of what was happening on the day and where the battalion was . Unfortunately I don't have the 1914 Volume but I am sure that someone will look it up for you.

I hope you find the information before she passes away, these matters can be deep seated needs for people.

Regards

Greg

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Hi - I'll have a look at the war diary at Kew next Saturday (24th Nov) and let you know if there are any further details - someone may be able to help before then.

Alan

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Many thanks for the replies to date. I've now followed the link recomended by Shaymen and paid the NA for their fastest service and I now have the 2nd Leinsters war Diary for the 1st to the 31st october 1914. It shows the unit engaged in a very heavy action at Premesque on the 20th and in a three day period they had 219 other ranks missing, so it definately appears Patrick Bland was one of those. The icing on the cake was that action warranted a three page narrative in the diary.

I quickly typed it up and we visited Kath today and she cried when she heard what it said (she was too frail to read it) She was 94 on the 5th November and was 11 months of age when her Dad died, and for the first time she had found out what action he was in and where he was when he died.

PROCAT, what do the initials SDGW stand for on your reply? Kath didn't even know where her Dad was born or his age when he was killed, she and her mother moved to England to, for Ireland to live with relatives when he died and her mother also passed away when she was 13, so she knows very little about her parents lives, so I need to try and find out more for her.

MAGIC RAT, thanks for your offer re the war diaries, that aspect is now sorted to a certain extent, but there appeared to be a pencil note on the first page of the narrative which indicated there may have been a map of the action attached, also i would like to try and find what Company of the 2nd leinsters he was in as the actions of each company are mentioned in the narrative. Can you help/advise on that.

I would still gratefully receive any more information and thanks once again

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PROCAT, what do the initials SDGW stand for on your reply? Kath didn't even know where her Dad was born or his age when he was killed, she and her mother moved to England to, for Ireland to live with relatives when he died and her mother also passed away when she was 13, so she knows very little about

SDGW is Soldiers Died Great War. I have it on a CD and it is also on a website - Findmypast.com from memory.

Doug

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The 1901 census has one record for a Patrick Bland. I can't see his age in the thread so I am including it on spec:

Civil Parish: Dover

Ecclesiastical parish: Hougham Christ Church

Town: Dover

County/Island: Kent

Country: England

egistration district: Dover

Sub-registration district: St Mary

ED, institution, or vessel: Citadel Barracks

Household schedule number: 1

RG13; Piece: 844; Folio: 150; Page: 4

Patrick Bland, Militiaman, Single, 21, Lance Corporal, Soldier Infantry, Born Ireland

Doug

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Looking at similar Regimental numbers, he would probably have enlisted in the Army in late 1903.

He would probably have served in the Army for a few years on Active Service (this was often 7 years, though sometimes 3 or 8), and then gone into the Reserve for another period of time to make up 12 years total service. If he did enlist in 1903, then he would have still been on Reserve at the outbreak of War, and called up again on 5th August 1914, reporting to his Regiment, ASAP.

As for Company's, it is one of the hardest things to pin down in research. You do need to be very lucky to find that information. However, the very first battalions that went over to France seem to have kept Nominal Lists of men moreso than other battalions. It may be worth contacting the Regimental Museum to see if they have anything in their archives. His Company may get a mention in a local paper report of his death/disappearance.

Steve.

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Glad you've got the war diary - I will have a look at the file next week at Kew, to see if the map mentioned is present.

Alan

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I've managed to locate the list of the Dead, Wounded and Missing in the Times Casualty lists that includes Patrick Bland (Times, 24-12-1914)

BlandLeinster24-12-14Pt1.jpg

BlandLeinster24-12-14Pt2.jpg

BlandLeinster24-12-14Pt3.jpg

I've had to split it in 3 parts to upload it so save all three....

Steve.

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Foxkarej

You have highlighted the snag when either ordering or requesting download of a War Diary part. It seems that only the journal is provided,and there are usually so many ancilliary parts within the file,such as maps,month-end facts such as losses,battalion strength,copies of orders recieved and issued etc etc. which are overlooked when the papers are provided to any order. If your man is an OR this is the place you are likely to see his name,rarely in the journal.

I am sure that Magic Rat will do you proud with anything extra therein.

Best wishes

Sotonmate

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  • 2 weeks later...

Foxkarej - I tried to have a look at the war diary at Kew yesterday - unfortunately someone else had the file booked out so it was impossible to check whether there was anything else of relevance.

Hopefully someone else may be able to help, if they're making a visit soon....

Alan

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2nd Leinsters were in 6th Division and were about 5 miles northeast of Furnes near Raunscappelle in line opposing 6th Reserve Division of 3rd Corps, 4th German Army on 20th October 1914.

Aye

Malcolm

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  • 1 month later...

From the Divisional history (the 2/Leinsters were part of 17 Brigade, by the way)... (Premesques is SE of Armentieres and was the left flank of the 6th Divisional area on this date before they were forced to withdraw westwards).

Dave

post-357-1198634664.jpg

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