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Remembered Today:

Northumberland Fus 1/6th Bn


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Hi all, another NF question if I may.

Looking for details of what the 1/6th Bn were up to on 23/09/1916.

From SDGW I see 5 were KIA that day, just trying to add some information for this chap


Initials: E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Northumberland Fusiliers

Unit Text: 1st/6th Bn.

Date of Death: 23/09/1916

Service No: 7520

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 10 B 11 B and 12 B.




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I don't now exactly what the battalion was up to, but do know they were part of the 149th Brigade. Attached below is an extract from the History of the 50th Division, which gives the 149th Brigade in position around Pure Trench. Hope it's of some help.[/size] John


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Hi Glyn,

the following is taken from Westlake's Battalions on the Somme and at covers the date in question, hope it is of some help,

cheers, Jon

1/6th Battalion (T.F.). 149th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division:

Entrained at Bailleul for Doullens (1/8) and from there marched to Candas. To Naours (15/8), Mirvaux (16/8), Henencourt Wood (17/8), Quadrangle Trench (9/9), Mametz Wood (10/9), front line west of High Wood (12/9). Attack (15/9) - 2 companies moved forward to Clark's Trench in support - later formed defensive flank in Hook Trench (first objective) . Withdrew (16/9). Casualties - 279. To Clark's Trench (22/9) - took over Prue and Starfish Trenches with no opposition. Withdrew to reserve positions (23/9). To Prue and Starfish (30/9). In support for attack on Flers Line (1/10), relieved 1/5th Northumberland Fusiliers in front line (3/10), later withdrew to Mametz Wood. To Albert (4/10), Millencourt (5/10), 'D' Company to Ozy for work at ammunition siding (17/10) and to Albert (22/10). Battalion to Bazentin-le-Petit (23/10), front line facing Butte de Warlencourt (25/10) relieved by 1/4th Northumberland Fusiliers and to High Wood (27/10). To Flers Line (4/11), High Wood (6/11), support trenches (11/11).

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John and Jon

Many thanks for that info.

Now I wonder if anyone has a diary extract.... anyone please



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The action is as summarised in Ray Westlake.

6th N.F. suffered their 2nd highest number of casualties of the war in September 1916. War Diary records 279 OR.

Deaths for this month are 132 from the Battalion between the 15th & 24th of September, mostly on 15th September.

Only 54 of the these soldiers have a grave.

6th Battalion War Diary

10th September 1916

Left QUADRANGLE TRENCH at 9.a.m. for MAMETZ WOOD - in position at noon.

11th September 1916

Extreme Right of Bde was handed over to 47th Div.

Brigadier Gen. H.F. Clifford D.S.O. was sniped.

Report on patrol by Capt. Cooke C. is attached.

12th September 1916

The Bn. relieved 5th Bn. N.F. relief by B Coy was delayed owing to one of our 4.5 Howitzer battery firing 1 mile short. This continued for over an hour.

During the nights of 10th 11th & 12th inst. "C" & "D" coys were detailed to dig the Brigade Assembly trenches.

In spite of heavy casualties the work was completed.

15th September 1916

The Bde assaulted the enemy trenches.

6.20a.m. ZERO hour

7.53a.m. 2 Coys moved forward to CLARKS TRENCH. 47th Div. held up in HIGH WOOD.

8.20a.m. Orders for 15th Div. to take MARTINPUICH

11a.m. Bn. H.Q. moved to CLARKS TRENCH

4.15p.m. Orders received that CLARKS TRENCH would be organised by O.C. 6th N.F. & an assault made on 2nd objective, this was cancelled & 151st Bde. came up about 9.30p.m. but could do nothing.



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6th Battalion N.F. War Diary

16th September 1916

Brigade was relieved by 151st Bde.

Casualties were ascertained to be 279OR

Capt. T.C. Tweedy was killed and Capts Dunford, Turnbull & Cooke & 2nd Lts Young, Towers. Paton, Braman & bewley were wounded.

The following officers joined the Bn. from the DETAILS CAMP:

2nd Lts. Fotherby, Fortune, Russell, Hall, Morpeth, Penketh, Armstrong & Morris.

The following officers were put to command companies

"A" Coy. 2nd Lt. Penketh, "B" Coy. 2nd Lt. Fortune, "C" Coy 2nd Lt. Hall, "D" Coy 2nd Lt. Armstrong.

17th September 1916

Wire received ordering Battn to be ready to move at a moments notice to repel the German counter-attack.

69th Bde, 23rd Div. takes over the line at present held by 150th Inf. Bde on morning of the 19th Inst.

19th September 1916

Orders for 149th Inf. Bde to relieve 151st Inf. Bde on 20th Inst. attached.

20th September 1916

2nd Lt. Brook B. R. B. reports to 149th T. M. B. for duty.

Orders for Bde carrying party attached.

21st September 1916

7.10p.m. Div. wire that Div. on our left hold STARFISH LINE to S.P. at M.34 b4.1 & Bde on our right hold to M.34 a8.0.

7.40p.m. Orders received for Bn. to stand to ready to move at 5 mins notice.

Orders attached for the digging of new assault trenches.

22nd September 1916

1.35a.m. Orders received for Bn. to move from 6th AV.EAST to CLARKS TRENCH.

On arrival at CLARKS TRENCH Bn received orders to report to the O.C. 4th N.F. at SUNKEN ROAD (M 33 c.9.8)

Arrived and reported about 4.45a.m.

Scheme as follows:

Part of the 4th & 5th Bns under OC 4th would advance and capture PRUE TRENCH with strong patrols

STARFISH LINE would be occupied by 6th Bn. & 1 Coy of the 5th N.F..

No opposition was met with.

Day passed very quietly.

It was uncertain for about 24 hrs. which line the enemy had taken up.

It now appears that he has dug himself in the line A.B. shown on the map.

23rd September 1915 (This date is crossed out so presumably it is meant to still meant to be 22nd)

The Brigade formed S.P.s at X Y & Z & connected these with a trench known as ROAD LINE (CD)

23rd September 1916

The 149th Inf. Bde was releived by the 150th Inf. Bde.

24th September 1916

The 151st Inf, Bde relieved the 149th Inf. Bde.

Draft of 48 Norfolks received and divided equally amongst the companies.

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The medal index online confusingly has Ernest Curtis listed as 7th battalion N.F. 6/7520.

There is no doubt that he was with the 6th Battalion when he died.

I will scan the casualty list from the War Diary showing his name.


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6th Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers extract from Casualty listing September 1916



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Wyrall's 50th Division history adds a few extra details that might explain the death of your man.

On the 22nd the 149th Brigade held the front line i.e. Prue Trench. The 23rd was a fine, warm day and the muddy trenches dried out a little and consolidation of the captured line continued. "Patrols were pushed out to Prue Copse and in front of Prue Trench towards Eaucourt L'Abbaye to establish a line of posts roughly on a line of the road in front of Prue Trench. On the night of the 23rd/24th the 150th Brigade began the relief of the 149th..."

Perhaps he was a member of one of the patrols or he was involved in the consolidation and caught by shell-fire?

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Thanks for all the splendid information, its very kind of you.


Thanks for the additional info.

It all gives me a superb insight into what went on when Ernest was killed.

Best Regards


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