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Remembered Today:

Royal Engineers, 38th B.G. What's B.G?


Andrew Hesketh
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I'm confused by what B.G means in relation to the man below. Could anyone enlighten me? Many thanks in advance.

Name: COFFIN

Initials: W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Sapper

Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers

Unit Text: 38th B.G.

Age: 23

Date of Death: 13/11/1918

Service No: WR/257712

Additional information: Husband of Minnie Coffin, of 9, Thomas St., Holyhead.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: XVII. E. 21.

Cemetery: GREVILLERS BRITISH CEMETERY

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Terry,

thanks for that - the abbreviation was rather puzzling me too!

Andrew,

I didn't know that William Coffin had an Abergele connection. I haven't at present any more on him than you seem to have listed, but I'm always on the lookout for extra details on Anglesey fatalities. Do you have any further information on this man?

He is on Holyhead town War Memorial, and the relevant panel of the North Wales Arch in Bangor (but I can't raise the Abergele panel on the Arch's website to see if he's duplicated there!).

Regards,

LST_164

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Terry,

Excellent. He was with the railway troops but I couldn't make any sense of the BG. Thanks for explaining that.

LST,

I came across him on the Ancestry service records with a keyword search for 'Abergele'. He was new to me. He married a girl from Holyhead. If you haven't got Ancestry let me know and I'll send his file - or a summary if you'd prefer, as it's a rather long one!

He's not listed on any of the memorials in or around Abergele.

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Summary.

William Coffin enlisted into Army Reserve (Derby Scheme) in Abergele 9 December 1915, aged 20, and mobilised 22 June 1916. He went to France 28 August 1916. Born in Yorkshire, his home address was 1, Rhuddlan Road, Abergele. He was an Engine Driver at Kinmel Park by trade and became a Crane Driver with the Royal Engineers (initially as Sapper 189095 of the railway operating troops and, later, 37th Motor Transport Company). He was married to Minnie Roberts of 9, St. Thomas Street, Holyhead in St. Asaph registry office on 15 May 1916. A son, Dennis, was born one month later and twin daughters, Elizabeth and May, in September 1918. All the children were born in Holyhead. He died of influenza and bronchial pneumonia on 13 November 1918 having been admitted to 56th Casualty Clearing Station on 7 November.

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Andrew,

many thanks indeed for those extra facts. Yes please, I'd like the full copy if you can bear to post one - I'll pm you with my details.

It'll be the first "Ancestry" file I will have seen - I confess to being intrigued if this is a pension file, as clearly he didn't survive to receive one. Does the series cover pensions awarded to dependants etc as well? Must be a wider field than I thought, and I'll have to find a way to search for men of interest to my project (all of whom by definition died during or shortly after the War).

I suspect most researchers' case books are chock-full of anomalous characters like this one, who may not appear on the relevant memorials, casualty lists or newspapers, but pop out of the woodwork to bedevil us! I have more than I can easily list with Anglesey "connections", which begs the question as to what makes them "local" in terms of listing. I have resisted adding men whose grandparents or uncles or whatever were from Anglesey, according to newspaper coverage, unless they themselves appear to have lived on the island or appear on a relevant Memorial.

Hope you can make it to the proposed meet at Chester, and thanks again.

LST_164

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I've just cleared my inbox, so sorry if your attempt at a PM bounced. Should be OK now.

The Coffin records are from the newly released burnt series. There are 21 images in total and it's no problem to e-mail them - just send me an address. It's only taken 7 years but I'm glad that I am at last able to offer something in return for getting me started all those years ago!

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Andrew,

Nice big public thank-you for this fascinating material. Well done in tracing him!

Clive

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