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Remembered Today:

Royal Fusiliers - March and April 1917


davidjohnwinch
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Does anyone have access to the War Diary for the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers covering March and April 1917?

According to family legend and other research I've read, my Great Uncle, G/24981 Private Arthur Winch, was buried by a shell blast, possibly together with one or more comrades. He was posted Missing Presumed Killed and this news reached his home. Some time later, another shell blast blew open his "tomb" and he was able to get out. As you can imagine, the news that he had been found alive lifted the spirits of the whole village.

According to his Statement of Services forming part of his Discharge papers, he was posted to the 6th Battalion (a reserve battalion which never left the UK)on 23rd February 1916, to the 12th Battalion on the 28th June 1916, to the 5th Battalion (a training battalion that never left the UK) - no date given, to the 1st Battalion on the 9th March 1917, and back to the Depot on 23rd April 1917.

I am presuming the events I describe above took place between these last two dates. However, the Statement of Service shows "SW (shell wound?) HA 3406 16-10-16" and "W (wound?) C1179 27-4-17". Did he get buried whilst serving with the 12th Battalion? Family legend also has it that he had a plate in his skull, so was this as a result of the shell? wound and was this connected or not with being buried? Was his posting back to the 6th to retrain after injury? Or was it to train in special tunnelling skills?

He was eventually discharged under KR 392(xvi) from Mile End Military Hospital on the 2nd October 1917.

My own researches suggest that the 1st Battalion was involved at Vimy Ridge in early April 1917 as part of 24th Division, but I would dearly love to find any confirmation or correlation of what actually happened.

David

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On reading your post I am not sure whether Pte.H.H.Humphrey's Diary will help but it may give you an idea of events round about those dates. Pte Humphrey was in the 43rd Field Ambulance and recorded fairly short entries on a day- to-day basis.

The Web-site is--

www.freewebs.com/hhhumphrey/

The months of March/April/May mentions Vimy Ridge with a couple of Regiments/Battalions? with names/places highlighted in Blue. This may not be what you are looking for but it may give you an idea of the conditions men endured--

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Thanks for the link Oaktree. It makes fascinating reading.

David

If you have any photographs that you think would help to make the site more interesting (ie- Distant relatives who served during this period-) or information etc. I would be pleased to hear from you via-e-mail.--

Kath

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David

If you send me a PM with your email address I will send you the March/April diaries for 1 R.F.

Jim

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I've had a quick look through the diary and there is a comment on the 8th April of men of 'D' Coy being buried whilst being in trenches next to some of our 18 Pdrs. 4 ORs are given as killed and 1 is listed as missing. "These men were badly knocked about" Given the language of the day this means they will have been in a bad way.

No further mention is made of anyone getting out later as far as I can see but maybe more careful scrutiny will shed more light.

Jim

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David

If you send me a PM with your email address I will send you the March/April diaries for 1 R.F.

Jim

Jim

PM just sent to you. Excuse delay. Work keeps getting in my way!

David

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Jim

Many thanks for the War Diaries. They arrived just before I left for a weekend on the Somme following another relative's history. Great trip, hundreds of photos, hundreds of kilometres! Oh that the English roads were so traffic free!

I'll be studying your info more closely now I'm back.

David

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