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Villers - Brettonne Tank Corps officers

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Noticed these two officers on a visit to Villers - Bretonne cemetery can anyone add any info to tell their story, it was also interesting to see the ammount of bullet damage caused during WW2

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George Black has a MIC on Ancestry. He entered France on 09 Feb 15 with the 17th Lancers as a LT. His MIC states that he died of wounds same date. Entitles to the 1914-15 Star, BWM and Victory, as well as the MC.

Here is the GWGC details:

Name: BLACK, GEORGE BALFOUR

Initials: G B

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: 17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridge's Own)

Secondary Regiment: Tank Corps

Secondary Unit Text: attd. 13th Bn.

Age: 29

Date of Death: 23/08/1918

Awards: M C

Additional information: Son of Adam Black and Louisa Whyte Balfour Black, of Underscar, Keswick. Born at Edinburgh.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: IV. D. 10.

Cemetery: VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MILITARY CEMETERY

Cheers Andy.

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Andy, would be nice to see what the MC was for but the L/Gazette is still a mystery to me, also interesting the family has added killed at Proyart

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Lieutenant C.J. Frankenstein also has a MIC on Ancestry. Cyril Joseph originally enlisted into the Army Service Corps as a Private with the service number of MA/102997. He entered France on 22 August 1915 (one day off exactly three years) and was commissioned on 26 June 1917. He was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, BWM and Victory.

His father, Harry, lived at 315 Great Clowes Street, Higher Broughton, Manchester.

Some details from CWGC:

ame: FRANKENSTEIN

Initials: C J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Tank Corps

Unit Text: 13th Bn.

Age: 22

Date of Death: 23/08/1918

Additional information: Son of Harry and Sara Frankenstein, of 315, Great Clowes St., Higher Broughton, Manchester.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: IV. C. 9.

Cemetery: VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MILITARY CEMETERY

Cheers Andy.

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Cheers Andy, with the current interest in the Tank Corp i would assume we may find somemore about these chaps

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Got some more,

The 1901 census for Cyril Frankenstein:

Name: Cyril G Frankenstein

Age: 5

Estimated Birth Year: abt 1896

Relation: Son

Father's Name: Harry

Mother's Name: Sara

Gender: Male

Where born: Manchester, Lancashire, England

Civil Parish: Broughton

Ecclesiastical parish: Broughton St John the Evangelist

County/Island: Lancashire

Country: England

Registration district: Salford

Sub registration district: Broughton

ED, institution, or vessel: 36

Neighbors: View others on page

Household schedule number: 28

Household Members:

Name Age

Harry Frankenstein 33

Sara Frankenstein 30

Cyril G Frankenstein 5

Margaret Doyle 20

It states on the original tat Harry was the 'employer' of a rubber manufacturing business in Manchester.

Cheers Andy

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George Balfour BLACK, (MC)

On leaving Oxford he was gazetted to the 17th Lancers, and joined them in India in 1912. When war broke out he was on leave; he met his regiment in France in January 1915 and in the following April was chosen to command Sir Douglas (now Lord) Haig's Lancer escort. He remained at that post till January 1918, when he volunteered for the Tank Corps and was appointed to the 13th Battalion. He was awarded the M.C. for "conspicuous gallantry and skilful leadership" near Warfusie-Abancourt on August 8th, 1918, and was twice mentioned in Despatches.

He died of wounds on August 23rd, 1918.

Andy

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Some info on George Black from the London Gazette dated 18th September 1914:

17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own?) Lancers,

Second Lieutenant George B. Black to be

Lieutenant. Dated 12th September, 1914.

And, here we are London Gazette dated 31 January 1919 - the citation:

Lt. (A./Capt.) Balfour Black, 17th Lan-

cers, seconded 13th Bn., Tank Corps.

For conspicuous gallantry and skilful

leadership near Warfusie-Abancourt on 8th

August, 1918 When the infantry were

being held up during the second phase of

the attack by very heavy fire from machine-

gun nests and field guns he personally led

his section through a thick fog, and by

dealing with machine guns enabled the in-

fantry to get to thedr jumping-off places

quickly and without casualties. Later, when

hip section attacked the second and third

objectives, he followed close behind with

the first wave of infantry under very heavy

fire until the final objective was reached.

He then rallied his Tanks and directed tne

towing of a disabled Tank under heavy

bombardment. Throughout the action he

showed marked coolness»and courage.

Cheers Andy.

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Couldnt have asked for better posts, all very interesting detail and picture, can we add anything to Second Lieutenant Frankenstein

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Had a hunt through Ancestry and the only things available for Cyril are his MIC, SDGW info and the 1901 census details. Attached is a copy of his MIC.

Cheers Andy.

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Andy, it would be interesting if someone had the war diary details for the 13th Batt Tank corps to see if there was any listing or even their whereabouts

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Try the national archives web site to see if it is still available or you could give Kew a shot.

Cheers Andy.

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WO 95/115 this is the reference so it is available

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I have the book History of the 13th Tank Battalion if that helps?

Lt C J Frankenstein transferred to TC 02/01/1918 and was posted to 13th TC 08/05/1918. KIA 23/08/1918

Capt G B Black seconded to TC 21/01/1918 and was posted to 13th TC 24/01/1918. MID and DOW after action on 23/08/1918 awarded MC for advance on the Somme 08/08/1918.

They both died in the Battle of the Woods. Capt Black was liason officer at the time but due to Capt Nicol being wounded in the lead up to the battle, he stepped in and took over Nicol's section. He was killed by shell fragment returning on foot to confirm that his section had set off and were engaging the enemy.

Lt Frankenstein was killed 15 mins before Zero of the battle when a shell fragement entered the front flap of his tank and killed him and destroyed the compass. The tank did not reach the starting line as could not be driven.

17Tankman

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Looks like the last post has answered all the questions to the story of these two individuals, many thanks Geoff

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Lt Frankenstein was killed 15 mins before Zero of the battle when a shell fragement entered the front flap of his tank and killed him and destroyed the compass. The tank did not reach the starting line as could not be driven.

17Tankman

You wouldn't by any chance know which tank that was, would you?

Gwyn

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Gwyn

Sorry tank names and numbers not discussed in book.

17tankman

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Thanks for looking anyway.

Gwyn

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A snippet more, here is an article from the Salford City Reporter, dated 7th September 1918:

SECOND-LIEUT. C. J. FRANKENSTEIN

Second-Lieutenant Cyril Joseph Frankenstein, Tank Corps, son of Mr and Mrs. Frankenstein, 315, Great Clowes-street, Broughton, is reported to have been killed in action in France. Enlisting on the outbreak of war, and being an expert motor driver, he became attached to the Tank Corps and for good work received a commission. He was 22 years of age, and was educated at the Manchester Grammar School. After finishing his education in France and Germany he joined the family business of Messrs. P. Frankenstein & Sons, Newton Heath, of which he was made a director last year.

I am aware there is a printed roll of honour for the Manchester Grammar School, which may yield further info if anyone has a copy?

Thanks Neil

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Some further information on Captain George Balfour Black, including his MC citation, can be found in the captions to photos 16 & 17 in this album: George Balfour Black.

George

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Hi Andy,Happy New Year.

Cpt Black G,B.13th Bn. M.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and skillful leadership as a section commander near Warfusee-Abancourt on August 8th 1918.

When the infantry were being held up during the second phase of the attack by very heavy fire from machine gun nests and field guns, this officer personally led his section forward through a thick fog with great skill and gallantry, enabling them to deal with machine guns which were causing trouble to the infantry,and enabling the infantry to get to their jumping off places quickly and without casualties.

Later, when his section attacked the second and third objectives, he followed close behind with the first wave of infantry under very heavy machine gun and shell fire, until the final objectives was reached.At the final objective he rallied his tanks and directed the towing out of a disabled tank under heavy bombardment.

Throughout the action he showed the greatest coolness and courage, his conduct being an example to all ranks.

Hope this helps.

Regards Andy.

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Er, as noted in my post, that MC citation you've just quoted forms part of the information given on Black in the link I gave four days ago......

George

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I visited Cyril Frankenstein's family grave at Crumpsall Jewish Cemetery in Prestwich, Greater Manchester yesterday. There is memorial marker of remembrance to him. 

DSC_0694 (1) 2.jpg

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On 19/08/2016 at 14:44, warcorrespondent said:

I visited Cyril Frankenstein's family grave at Crumpsall Jewish Cemetery in Prestwich, Greater Manchester yesterday. There is memorial marker of remembrance to him. 

DSC_0694 (1) 2.jpg

Mourned by parents and relatives, simple but very apt, many thanks for the pic and reply, Geoff

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