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Question Regarding Norfolk Regiment


Guest KELLYBROD

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Guest KELLYBROD

i AM RELATIVELY NEW TO THIS HISTORY RESEARCH STUFF SO I WAS HOPING SOME OF YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO GIVE ME SOME ANSWERS. MY GREAT GRANDFATHER SERVED AND DIED WITH THE 1ST BATTALION OF THE NORFOLK REGIMENT 23RD APRIL 1917. IS THERE ANYWAY ICAN TELL FROM THIS INFO WHETHER HE WAS REGULAR ARMY OR A TERRITORIAL?

ALSO ANYONE WITH ANY INFO ON THIS BATTALION, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW.

THANKS

KELLY

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Kelly, the 1/Norfolks were a regular battalion but by April 1917 only a few of the ranks had seen pre-war service.

On the 23rd April 1917 (St Georges Day), the 1/Norfolks as part of the 15th Brigade, 5th Division attacked the German stronghold around La Coulotte in the Arras sector (sketch map below) at around 4.45am.

On arrival at their objective it was found the wire was uncut, the German defenders were actually in the process of surrendering when their machine guns opened up and scattered the lead waves of Norfolk, Warwickshires & Bedfords into cover.

The enemy trenches were entered on both flanks and for the next few hours small groups of men held out and bombed their way up the German line until they reached concrete emplacements, by now their ranks were thinning out, ammunition was low and the the German defenders were regrouping.

By 3pm after 10 hours of fighting and holding onto the captured German trench one last counter attack at the point of the bayonet was undertaken by the surviving Norfolks under the command of a Sergeant which swept away the Germans, however this was of only temporary relief.

After this, overwhelmed by numbers if not spirit, they had no choice but to fall back to their original positions.

The 15th Brigade had lost 36 Officers and 709 other ranks amongst its 4 battalions including the 1/Norfolks.

Hope this has started the ball rolling for you

post-2-1075309730.jpg

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Guest KELLYBROD

Dear Clive

Thanks very much for the info. Also apologies for the capitals (I got told off!). This information is very useful. I had an idea that he may have been killed in the second battle of Arras; was the offensive you described part of that battle? Also when you say that the 1/Norfolks were a regular battalion but that only a few of them had seen pre war service, by 1917 do you think it is likely that he was conscripted (is that the right word?)

Thanks once again for your help.

Kelly

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armourersergeant

Kelly,

If I may step in for Clive,

If you visit the main site link here it gives you when and where the 5th division served as part of 1st army at the time

Also whilst the 1st battalion was a regular battalion , many of the regular soldiers had long since passed by and it is likely he was either a volunteer or a conscript. As to territorial I can not say he may have transfered from a territorial unit but i think the former reasons are more likely.

If you have any other info like his army number etc others maybe able to help you and it maybe possible that his records are at the PRO/NA, especially if he qualified for any medals.

regards

Arm.

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