Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Second Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment


AlbertBland
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi All

Like so many posting on this forum I am looking for interesting information regarding my Grandad, 2nd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment. My Grandad was Albert George Bland, Sargeant/Private 620211 /12837 (from his metal card index) during the war and was shot and wounded but did survive. I would particularly like to know the movements of the Battalion and locations, I also know he was in 'A' Company, perhaps someone has more information specifically on A Company (if that is even correct)?

I would be particularly interested in the War Diaries, however, there seems to be a lot of entries at the NA and getting the PDf's could become expensive. Again, perhaps someone has some specific info on A Company and can narrow this down for me having already been there and done it.

Any information or useful links would be greatly appreciated and I am sure very useful.

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have much as I have only looked at the War Diary to ascertain where my Gt Uncle Thomas Ridge was when he sustained wounds from which he later died:-

2nd Battalion

August 1914 : in Alexandria, Egypt. Returned to England, landing October 1914. October 1914 : attached to 24th Brigade, 8th Division.

2 Northants were part of 24 th Bde 8th Division arrived on Somme in Spring 1916

2 Northants War Diary

It seems in May and June 1916 2 Northants were on the Somme.

There is mention of them improving a trench and naming it STEELBACK

10/5/16 SOUCHEZ II relieved 23rd RF

11/5/16 ROTTEN ROW knocked down - 4 wounded

15/5/16 3 Killed; 3 wounded

31/5/16 TRENCHES - ANGRES I, ANGRES II & SOUCHEZ II

1/6/16 TRENCHES enemy attacks with mortars C Company Shelled Heavily

5/6/16 BILLETS.

Jane

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David

I think that STEBIE is your man for the Northamptons. Until he gets home (!) I can refer you to the Long Long Trail at top left of this page where you can find out about 2Bn being part of 24 Brigade of 8 Division,see:

http://www.1914-1918.net/8div/htm

for the scrapes they got in !

Best wishes

Sotonmate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your inputs, it is a very encouraging start and I look forward to some input from STEBIE later. The info on the Trench names is very interesting and I'll check out the link. Thanks again. David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would that be Albert George Bland of 77 Gladstone Street, Peterborough, perchance?

Nope, never heard of him....

Oh, Ok then....

I'll have a look after tea...

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David,

Albert is shown on the Peterborough Mayor's Roll of Honour of men serving prior to early 1915 as 12837 Private Albert George Bland, 77 Gladstone Street, Peterborough, 2nd Northamptons.

He would have enlisted around about the 31st August 1914.

The Times of 21st June 1916 records him as wounded, his rank listed as Corporal. Most of the woundings are usually listed about a month after they occurred. I think his wounding may have occurred around the time of the War Diary entries that Jane has posted!

The Absent Voters list for Peterborough compiled c. early 1918 lists him as 12837 Sergeant Alfred George Bland, still with the 2nd Northamptons, but listed at 87 (not 77) Gladstone Street, Peterborough. (page 98)

A wounding in mid-1916 is a little early for a transfer to Labour Corps c.1918, but not impossible. It may be that he recovered and was posted back to the 2nd battalion and was again wounded.

I'm afraid I don't have many entries for casualties to the Northamptons later in the war, but I may be able to track him down in the local papers. I may have an article or two hidden away, but I may need a wade through my filing system.

I think he was permanently transferred to the Labour Corps around about September 1918, but he may have been "attached" to a Labour Company prior to that.

The Absent Voters list also shows Arthur Charles Bland, 222171, Army Service Corps, Motor Transport, and Alfred Walter Bland, 22009, 2nd Norfolks at the same address.

Albert's elder brother, Alfred Walter Bland (22009 2nd Norfolks in 1918) was previously numbered 16112 in the 2nd Bn. The Northamptonshire Regiment (enlisted c.12th October 1914), and was wounded at Aubers Ridge, probably on the main day of that battle, 9-5-1915. I think he was transferred to the Norfolks in late 1915.

Arthur Charles Bland's service records are online on Ancestry. I'll have a peek at those later.

I haven't found the other brother Herbert yet. Did he survive the war?

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found Herbert.

Also a Northampton....

He joined the 7th Battalion - one of Whitsed's Light Infantry* He enlisted on 7th September 1914 and spent a month in training at Shoreham before failing the second round of medical checks and being discharged as medically unfit on 14-10-1914 due to heart problems. I don't know if he served later in the war.

* The Company of men raised from Peterborough for the 7th Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment. The name Mobb's Own (from the Company raised around Northampton by Rugby International Edgar Mobbs) supplanted the nickname fairly soon. The 7th was the nearest the Northamptons came to a "Pals" battalion.

His (brief) records are also online.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow !!! Sorry I have been offline for while that is really good information. You are absolutely correct about Gladstone Street, I am not sure of the number but I will ask my mum, his daughter, and yes there were other brothers and I will see what I can find out, certainly one was called Walther or 'Wally' for short. I think they all lived very close together so that may account for the odd house numberings. My mum has also mentioned a 'Herb' Herbert so I will ask her about that also. Sadly my mum knows very little about where he was during the battles and her brother who would have known died some time ago now! How I wished I had asked those questions then!!

Can you explain what the Labour Corps are? Are these front line troops that have been wounded and returned to other duties behind the lines due to there wounds?

I am really interested to know where he was on the battlefield around the time of his wounding, do you think that I should start looking at the war diaries around the time you and Jane mention?

I couldn't pin down if he had a listing on ancestry exactly so I was reluctant to start purchasing records until I was sure, there are a lot of Albert, George, Bland type names!:-)

If you have any further information I would be really interested to hear it, thanks again it is really superb info.

regards

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ancestry has 3 records for the brothers.

2 for Arthur Charles in the ASC.

Type in Arthur Charles Bland as the name. Both records are him, but the first is just a duplicate of some of the pages in the 2nd.

(Arthur was a storekeeper with Motor Transport companies during the war. He ended up in the city of Basrah in 1918 ! ).

The one for Herbert you can find by searching for Herbert Bland, and putting in Towngate in the "Other Box".

(Alternatively let me know your e-mail address....)

And you have it exactly right as regards the Labour Corps (in general). I have a sneaking suspicion that Albert may have been posted to a Prisoner of War Company, guarding POWs in the 1918 advance.

I can't see any Ancestry records for Albert or Alfred, though. It's just pot luck whether they survived the Blitz.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does Albert's Medal Card give a date of entry to France, by the way?

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the new info the date of entry therein is 15.4.15 I guess that is the date you are looking for?

My email is davidgardner714@btinternet.com and please copy to david.gardner@sibert.co.uk, I tend to be able to monitor my work my frequently than at home!

I will follow up on the other relatives when I speak to mum. It is a shame there isn't more on Albert as I would like to know a bit more about where he was. I will check if she knows anything about him being perhaps wounded twice, perhaps once not too badly. the second time blew his shoulder apart and he needed several operations to give him even some movement. it left him with a deep entry scar and of course exit scar.

Regards

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, that was the date I was after, and it is a familiar one. A large draft of men arrived around that date to reinforce the 2nd Battalion after their very heavy losses at Neuve Chapelle from the 10th March 1915. The battalion were to face a further annihilation at the aforementioned Aubers Ridge, a disaster for the Northamptonshire Regiment, as the 1st Bn. were all but destroyed as well. From that point onwards, the old Northamptonshire Regiment was largely gone, replaced by the new volunteers such as Albert.

See here for Albert's baptism of fire at Aubers Ridge:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...c=80585&hl=

The disaster was largely caused by the failure of the artillery to destroy the barbed wire in front of the German trenches. The attacking troops couldn't get by the wire and were mown down by the German machine guns. An awful loss of men....

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve is quite correct about him being in a PoW Company. 277 to be exact which was formed in September 1918 and appears to have a few men from Northamptonshire Regiment in it.

Ivor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can delete your e-mail details now, David, thanks.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The record of Albert's wounding is actually in the same paragraph as that of Jane's great-uncle, Tom Ridge in the Times of 21-6-1916

Looking at the men listed in that issue, Albert's wounding would seem to have been around the period of the last few days of May, 1st couple of days of June 1916.

Pte. Stratton, A, 10395, 2nd, KIA 2-6-1916

Pte. Harrison, J, 22608, 2nd, DOW 30-5-1916

Pte. Lowe, J G, 10042, 2nd, DOW 1-6-1916

Pte. Ridge, T, 21507, 2nd, DOW 1-6-1916

Pte. Sharman, E H, 17800, 1st, DOW 28-5-1916

Pte. Thacker, J W, 17364, 5th, Died 3-6-1916

Pte. Barnes, T H, 9794, Wounded

Cpl. Bland, A, 12837, Wounded

Pte. Clark, H T, 19180, Wounded

Pte. Farndon, Arthur, 13113, 2nd, Wounded 31-5-1916 (Shrapnel wound to head).

Pte. Gardner, Joseph, 17479, 2nd, Wounded. Later DOW 15-4-1918

L/Cpl. Green, G, 10312, Wounded

Pte. James, W, 22728, Wounded

Pte. Kicks Frederick R E,17503, Wounded

Pte. Riddleson, E, 13359, Wounded

L/Cpl. Vater, W E, 16303, 2nd, Wounded, Later DoW 3-4-1917

Pte. Wilson, A, 19522, Wounded

Out of interest, where does the reference to "A" Company, 2nd Northamptons come from?

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 2nd battalion's War Diary for the tour in the trenches when it appears that Albert (and possibly Tom Ridge, too) was wounded.

2ndNRWD30-5-1916.jpg

2ndNRWD4-6-1916.jpg

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all this info guys, I need to sit and read it a little later when I have some time and thank you for the copy entries and links I will check them all out.

I have been told by my Dad today that he knew that Albert was gassed in the trenches may he have been removed to the labour corps for then but gone back to the trenches where he was unfortunately shot?

I got the reference to A company from the back of the only photo my mum has at home of him in uniform.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can get the photo scanned, we can have a look at it and see if we can tell anything from it. It may reveal some clues if it is from later in the war.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

O.K I will see if I can arrange that. Having spoken to my Mum she recalls a cut throat razor that Albert returned from the war with. She tells me that he was proud to have confiscated the razor from a German soldier probably a POW. Which does add weight to Ivor and your thoughts. She also confirmed that as far as she could remember he did get what she decribed as a 'whiff' of gas but probably not enough to do too much harm until later in life when he suffered probably from the effects. Also that after his shoulder wound he probably did return to France around 6 months before the end of the war, again probably as per your comments in the Labour corp. She recalls that he was back in London just before the Armistice.

There is a possibility that the razor is still in the possession of one of my relatives so I will let you know.

She also recalls a Bert which we think is Herbert and Wally/ Walther, it seems highly likey as uncles that she used their middle names rather than the first name so her memories are vague. She knew one of them was poorly and did not make it into the forces. Probably Herb.

I'll do some more digging and let you know what I find, thanks again for your continued assistance.

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve

It looks as though the 2 Northants diarist didn't write up those killed and wounded each day as meticulously as so other diarists I have come across.

Jane

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tell me about it! You should see the 1st Battalions war diary. Brief or what... I can't imagine what the adjutant thought he had to do that was any more exciting!

Jane,

I don't know what conclusion you've arrived at about Tom Ridge's death, but my gut says that he was wounded in that May/June tour of duty rather than earlier in May. The records of 13113 Arthur Farndon are online in WO364, and he was definitely wounded on the 31st. Yet the war diary says nothing of the casualties.

David,

It looks like the battalion had most of the instruments of war thrown at them in that short tour. No mention of gas during that particular time, but as Jane points out, the diaries are not always all encompassing.

I'll send you Arthur's Army Service Corps file in a bit. I haven't found anything further about Albert yet, but I'll keep an eye out for him and his brothers in the local papers. I imagine he would get a mention or two.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve / Jane

Thanks again for your inputs anything more would be great, in the meantime I will be following up on your info and links so I can understand how it all connects. I'll keep you all posted and I will see if I can get that picture scanned, I think my Dad has a scanner so he may be able to do it.

Thanks and regards

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tell me about it! You should see the 1st Battalions war diary. Brief or what... I can't imagine what the adjutant thought he had to do that was any more exciting!

Jane,

I don't know what conclusion you've arrived at about Tom Ridge's death, but my gut says that he was wounded in that May/June tour of duty rather than earlier in May. The records of 13113 Arthur Farndon are online in WO364, and he was definitely wounded on the 31st. Yet the war diary says nothing of the casualties.

Steve.

Well up until your postings yesterday I was convinced he was wounded in the first half of May - but now I'm changing my mind.

I have been putting the names in your Times list in Ancestry & Commonwealth War Graves and as you say, Arthur Farndon was definately wounded 31 May 1916.

Tom and Private Lowe are buried next to each other at Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension, I have a photo.

Tom's grandson was talking of getting his death certificate, you never know it might give date of wounding

Cheers

Jane

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you know who the 3 men killed on the 15th were Jane? We might be able to identify them back to the Times and gather a little more data.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...