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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

1st Wiltshire casualties 12:4:18

Tom Morgan

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Today I rescued from oblivion a lovely little ID bracelet made from an oval of aluminium and a length of steel watch-chain, belonging to 17931 Pte. John Legge, of 1st Wiltshires.

According to Soldiers Died, Pte. Legge was killed in Action on 12th April, 1918, one of 42 other ranks to die that day.

However, the battalion war diary as quoted on the Regimental Museum's web-site says:

Trenches around N Eglise. The Battn took up a position around NEUVE EGLISE. Hostile artillery very active all day. After dusk the Battn marched to BAILLEUL to support the troops fighting to the E of that town, but the Battn was dispatched to hold a position a CRUCIFIX CORNER between NEUVE EGLISE and the RAVELS BERG. Casualties: Officers Lieut R N Evens, USA RAMC missing. ORs 4 killed 16 wounded, 282 missing.

Can anyone explain this discrepancy in the numbers killed? Would anyone agree that it's probably just down to the complete number killed not being known at the time the diary entry was made?

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In the very chaotic circumstances of the Lys fighting, Tom, I guess that the Adjutant who whoever wrote up the diary did not have possession of the full facts at the time. The missing dead are almost certainly numbered among the very large total of 'missing'.

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