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Remembered Today:

1/4 KOYLI


danlyon
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According to his obituary, Private Bernard Lyon had landed at Bouogne on 13 April 1916 and was initially employed as a cook, but towards the end of May he was deployed as a sniper. He was KIA on 7 July and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial. Needless to say, his papers have not survived.

Can anyone say what 1/4 KOYLI were doing, and where, in June 1916 in general and on 7 July in particular ?

I think that more often than not snipers were taken out by their opposite numbers, but looking at the date and the absence of a grave I think it more likely that he will have been killed during 1/4 KOYLI's advance against La Boiselle.

As far as I know, they were part of 49 Division, which got stuck in on the second day of the Battle of Albert, and achieved a small measure of temporary success at the traditional phenomenal expense.

Can anyone confirm, please.

Dan Lyon

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Found the following in Saturday Soldiers by Malcolm K Johnson "The Germans delivered a textbook artillery bombardment as a prelude to an attack in the first hour of the next day, July 7th. At 2 am their guns were turned on the 1/4th KOYLI in the A lines and 50 minutes later shells began landing in the communication and support lines as they attempted to choke off the possibility of KOYLI reinforcements reaching the front line

2.50am. Enemy bombers advanced down the trenches towards A18 and A16 and across the open to A17. Furious fighting took place till 6.30am with lots of casualties from bombers and snipers who shot our men as they fired and threw bombs out of the trenches.

The 1/5th KOYLI sent 2 companies to reinforce the 1/4th, the remainder of the battalion being held in readiness in Ross St Trench. The evacuation of the 'A' line was completed by 7.30am."

The OH cites the use of the new 'egg' grenade by the Germans as an important feature in the enemy's success in the attack. The casualties in the 1/4th were 20 killed and 180 wounded. The War Diary recorded 37 killed on the day.

The 'A' Lines were sited in the original German front line and ran roughly from Ulster Tower down towards the Ancre, crossing the track that now leads from Ulster Tower to St Pierre Divion, so the 1/4th were at Thiepval rather than La Boiselle on 7th July

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Dan

Should you want copies of the War Diary pages for this period the National Archives Digital Express will download them for you for a cost of 8.50 per 10 pages. If that is what you want I would suggest that you requested pages commencing on the narrative for the 7th July and going back in time over the 10 pages to as far into June as it takes you.

The Diary reference is WO95/2806 and covers the 1/4 KOYLIs whole was from Aug 1914 to May 1919.

Best wishes

Sotonmate

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Found the following in Saturday Soldiers by Malcolm K Johnson "The Germans delivered a textbook artillery bombardment as a prelude to an attack in the first hour of the next day, July 7th. At 2 am their guns were turned on the 1/4th KOYLI in the A lines and 50 minutes later shells began landing in the communication and support lines as they attempted to choke off the possibility of KOYLI reinforcements reaching the front line

2.50am. Enemy bombers advanced down the trenches towards A18 and A16 and across the open to A17. Furious fighting took place till 6.30am with lots of casualties from bombers and snipers who shot our men as they fired and threw bombs out of the trenches.

The 1/5th KOYLI sent 2 companies to reinforce the 1/4th, the remainder of the battalion being held in readiness in Ross St Trench. The evacuation of the 'A' line was completed by 7.30am."

The OH cites the use of the new 'egg' grenade by the Germans as an important feature in the enemy's success in the attack. The casualties in the 1/4th were 20 killed and 180 wounded. The War Diary recorded 37 killed on the day.

The 'A' Lines were sited in the original German front line and ran roughly from Ulster Tower down towards the Ancre, crossing the track that now leads from Ulster Tower to St Pierre Divion, so the 1/4th were at Thiepval rather than La Boiselle on 7th July

This is just what I needed - thank you very much indeed.

Regards,

Dan

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Dan

Should you want copies of the War Diary pages for this period the National Archives Digital Express will download them for you for a cost of 8.50 per 10 pages. If that is what you want I would suggest that you requested pages commencing on the narrative for the 7th July and going back in time over the 10 pages to as far into June as it takes you.

The Diary reference is WO95/2806 and covers the 1/4 KOYLIs whole was from Aug 1914 to May 1919.

Best wishes

Sotonmate

Good idea, and good advice - many thanks.

Kind regards,

Dan

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