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Remembered Today:

Where have all the Flowers Gone?


Peter Shand
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Since my great- uncle has no grave, I thought I might look up where his mates were buried and pay my respects to them when I visit the Somme. The 8th Borders attacked the Leipzig Salient on July 3, 1916. The war diary indicates 430 OR casualties and 6 officers killed. I seached through the CWGC Cemetery records for 16 Somme cemetries from Ancre to Aveluy and found grave location references for 3 officers and 6 other ranks, the majority in the Lonsdale Cemetery (6 graves). Assuming about one third of casualties were KIA , about 130 bodies are unaccounted for (except on the Thiepval Memorial). No doubt this is because the battlefield was fought over for many weeks before the 18th Division took Thiepval in late September.

There is a possibility that some known dead were moved from the area during clearances and in preparation of the site for the Thiepval Memorial. I've looked at likely sites such as Connaught, and Mill Road but only found 1 grave. Can any Pal suggest other cemeteries?

If the numbers are correct, it is a shocking confirmation of the horror of the battlefield.

Is there any way of finding out how many of the 8th Borders are listed on the Thiepval Memorial? I could go through the CWGC cemetery site but with 72,000 names it would be faster to go there, take digital photos of the panels involved, and count the names listed.

Pete.

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Peter

I think you have actually more or less succeeded in your quest. Soldiers Died in the Great War list only 9 men killed on 3 July:

George Blamire

Edmund Dixon

William Grisedale

Isaac Lockhart

Peter mahon

Charles Ross

Norman Staveley

Tom Storey

Nathaniel Templeton

ODGW adds Gilbert Foss & Donald Gordon

John

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Thanks John: I'm not sure what your post means. I assume these are all 8/ Borders (I'll check via CWGC site). The CWGC has my great uncle Walter Dixon's death as on the July 3, 1916 but it appears he did not show up on SWDG? His GRO death certificate states July 5, 1916, which is when the 8/Borders came out of the front line. Perhaps some show up on SWDG as died on July 4 and July 5, 1916. It's hard to imagine only 9 dead out of the 430 casualties indicated in the War Diary.

Would you be able to check July 4 and 5, 1916 in your SWGW?

The 11/ Cheshires were on the right of the 8/ Borders and also suffered heavy casualties. I wonder if their death statistics are similar.

Regards, Pete.

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Hi John: I checked and your list are all 8/Borders except Edmund Dixon who is a Lonsdale (11/ Borders). All are honoured on the Thiepval Memorial except Donald Gordon whose grave is at Mesnil.

Pete.

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Hi There Hywyn: I tried out Geoff's Search Engine and it worked well after a couple of tries. I now can go through each of the 149 dead of the battalion and make up a spread sheet of the fallen from that attack. Thanks for letting me know about it. I could have saved many hours, already spent, querying the CGWC site cemetery registers. I think a link to Geoff's site should be in the Long Long Trail.

A Very Grateful Pete

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Would you be able to check July 4 and 5, 1916 in your SWGW?

The 11/ Cheshires were on the right

Pete

0 recorded on the 4th - but 122 for the 5th. Looks, as you say, that the official return was written up when they came out.

11th Cheshires ceased to exist as a recognised organised fighting body after the attack. Link to the day on my website - Clickety click.

John

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Pete

Geoff (Geoff501)is a Forum Member and this engine of his phenomenal. Look out for the thread New Search Engine or similar that's currently on the go. I can't link you at the mo whilst this problem with losing new posts exists because if I come out of my current list of new posts to search for it I will lose them all.

I put in 3rd to the 6th July as a quick look. It may be fruitful if you extended out a bit (say a few weeks ) to capture the Died of Wounds?

Hywyn

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Pete

As far as I can see the Thiepval Registers have the following :

8th Borders listed as killed 3rd July 1916 - 16

8th Borders listed as killed 4th July 1916 0

8th Borders listed as killed 5th July 1916 98

Total therefore for period of 3rd-5th July 1916 number of 8th Borders recorded is 114

The number of 8th Borders on Thiepval in total being about 198 (out of a Border R total of about 869)

Regards

Pam

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Thanks Pals, The picture is now quite clear. Using Geoff Sullivan's search engine, I have been able to come up with:

Total Dead July 3 to 5, 1916: 147

Soldiers in Graves: 32 (22%) in 11 different cemeteries

Soldiers on Thiepval Memorial: 115 (78%)

Of the cemeteries, Lonsdale has the most with 5 graves followed by Warloy- Baillon, Puchevillers, and Heath-Harbonniers each with 4.

Pam - what resource did you access to get the numbers of 8th Borders on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing?

Many Thanks to All. It's amazing how you can find answers to your questions when members of this forum show the way.

Pete

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Peter

When we started with the "Missing of the Somme" database (Database holding biographical information and photos on as many as possible of men commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial) to help us with our work we got a copy of the Thiepval Registers. The current number on the database is 5,100 so only 67,000 to go.

We converted the info into a spreadsheet format and used that for our own interest to produce things llike a regimental split of the names and a profile of the deaths by date. interestingly of the 19,000 casualties on July 1st 1916 some two thirds are commemorated on the memorial.

You don't have a photo and biographical information of your great uncle Sgt Walter Dixon which you would be prepared to allow us to add to the database do you?

If you need to know more about the project send me a PM with your email address on it and I'll send some more detailled informtion.

Regards

Pam

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