Remembered Today:

shaymen

1/7th Sherwood Foresters

23 posts in this topic

Researching a chap who was posted missing and then listed as a POW on 21st March 1918.

Would be nice to have a bit of info from that day, diary extract anybody ?

He later died of bronchitis - bit of luck his service papers survived, got them ta

He was -

Name: CHAMPNESS

Initials: W J

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)

Unit Text: 7th Bn.

Age: 32

Date of Death: 23/07/1918

Service No: 235227

Additional information: Husband of Mabel Champness, of 103, Cann Hall Rd., Leytonstone, London.

Grave/Memorial Reference: VI. B. 7.

Cemetery: HAMBURG CEMETERY

Thanks

Glyn

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Hi

SDGW says he was in 2/7th Sherwoods.

I, too, could do with the WD for this date.

All I have is that his battalion’s positions in the line near Bullecourt were attacked at 9.40am this day and totally overwhelmed. Within the hour the battalion was completely surrounded and virtually ceased to exist. The casualty toll was horrific with 12 officers and 159 other ranks killed and 12 officers and 470 other ranks taken prisoner.

Regards,

Graeme

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Hi

SDGW says he was in 2/7th Sherwoods.

I, too, could do with the WD for this date.

All I have is that his battalion’s positions in the line near Bullecourt were attacked at 9.40am this day and totally overwhelmed. Within the hour the battalion was completely surrounded and virtually ceased to exist. The casualty toll was horrific with 12 officers and 159 other ranks killed and 12 officers and 470 other ranks taken prisoner.

Regards,

Graeme

Graeme

Lets hope someone comes along with the diary, both be sorted :D

Service papers confirm he was missing in the line near Bullacourt, must look to see if diary is available online.

Glyn

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must look to see if diary is available online.

Looks like it has been digitised, well I'll wait a bit and see if a kind soul can save me 3.50 :lol:

Noticed how many diaries you now get for your money....loads

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Here you are:

7th Sherwood Foresters, 21st March 1918

At 4.56 a.m. the enemy put down a very heavy barrage on the front line system; trench mortars and field artillery continued the bombardment at an intense rate until about 9.45 a.m. At the same time, our battery positions were heavily engaged by the enemy's heavy and field artillery. At 5.05 a.m. communication by wire to Bde. H.Q. was broken; the only message that went through after that was one by pigeon timed about 6 a.m. reporting a heavy bombardment. At about 8 a.m. the shelling, which had been very largely gas, changed to H.E. At about 10 a.m. the barrage was reported to have lifted on to the second system, i.e. it was behind the Battalion. Only 14 men of the Battalion escaped unwounded from the trenches and it appears from their reports that the enemy broke through on both flanks, and, coming round behind the QUEANT-ECOUST railway cut off and completely surrounded the Battalion. This must have been between 9.30 and 10 a.m. Captain H.C. WRIGHT and Lieut. G.W. BLOODWORTH were wounded and escaped; all the other Officers are still missing, with the exception of 2/Lieut. J.L. MOY and 2/Lt. A.G.J. MELHUISH who were reported killed. Owing to this and the capture of all documents at Battalion Headquarters, no accurate or detailed account of the action is possible. During the evening a few men who were not in the trenches were collected by the Brigade H.Q. and sent up to man the Reserve Line of the Third System; the Support Line of the Third System was taken over by the 177th Infantry Brigade, who had been relieved in the firing line of the Third System by the 40th Division.

All the best,

Stuart

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I have the March war diaries as pdfs; pm me your e-mail and I'll forward onto you. There are also appendices and (if I'm not mistaken) maybe a map

cheers

Mike

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Stuart/Mike,

Morning and many thanks for your input on behalf of myself and Shaymen. Very much appreciated.

Regards,

Graeme

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Stuart

Many thanks for that, appreciate it

Mike

PM sent, would be nice to have a look at the diary

Thanks guys

Glyn

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2/7th and 1/7th had been amalgamated by his time, thus becoming simply the 7th Sherwood Foresters. (aka The Robin Hoods) My GF, 1692 Lt. Pritchett (act Capt) was O.C A Coy of the 7th that day. Gives an account in his POW diary if you are interested - tallies closely with that in the Robin Hoods History as posted above. He also drew a map of the immediate area of the action.

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Hi Guys,

Im coming to this discussion a bit late but have just started researching my family history and discover a Great Uncle was also captured at Bullecourt on 21st March 1918. The info already posted is very interesting but MIke, if you are still in the Forum & could let me have copies of the war diaries too I would be very grateful.

My relation was Pte 267144 George Hoper-Gallop and was captured on 21st March but survived to be transferred to a Red Cross Hospital at the end of the war suffering from a Kidney Infection.

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ID: 11   Posted (edited)

Hi Hopper,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

Phil (poster #9) posted transcripts of Pritchett’s diary and surrender statement in post #3 of this topic.

 

On ‎10‎/‎04‎/‎2011 at 15:39, daggerphil said:

He also drew a map of the immediate area of the action.

 

Unfortunately, I haven't seen that. My interest is with 470 FC RE whose fate seems to have been interwoven with that of 7th Sherwood Foresters on that day.

 

On ‎20‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 17:30, Hooper said:

... a Great Uncle was also captured at Bullecourt on 21st March 1918

 

From the ICRC PoW records for the men of 470 FC RE that I've managed to find, most are recorded as having been captured at Noreuil, but there are some showing Bullecourt. I know from their war diary that they formed up in one location, but subsequently moved as the German advance developed. What I did wonder was if the mention of Bullecourt was a] a reflection of  where the men (sub units) were deployed on the day; b] that men were passed down different capture chains, according to where they were taken; or c] if Bullecourt is shown being a larger population centre than Noreuil. I wonder if there might be the same unanswerable uncertainty over George. 

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk

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Ill check my info - the fact that some REs were with the 7th SFs rings a bell - but its been a while since Ive done any work on the subject. If I find anything Ill let you know.

 

Phil

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ID: 13   Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, daggerphil said:

Ill check my info - the fact that some REs were with the 7th SFs rings a bell - but its been a while since Ive done any work on the subject. If I find anything Ill let you know.

 

Thanks Phil. Much appreciated.

 

Attached is a link to a partial transcript of events that appears in the 59 Division CRE diary. It's 'partial' to the extent that I didn't transcribe the events from the 467th or 469th Field Company perspective. It references Igarree [sic] Corner, Dewsbury, and Sunken Road - also mentioned in the Pritchett’s diary transcript that you posted.

 

Noreuil 21st March 1918.pdf

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk

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The fact that my Great Uncle survived this action is somewhat remarkable. My thanks to all for helping me to discover more of my family history.

 

Regards

 

Keith

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Ah, the link from Chris is the one I was thinking of. Well done Chris.

Bullecourt was the general area - Noreuil is the village on which the 178th Bde's (2/6th Sherwood Foresters, 7th SFs with 2/5th SFs in reserve) action was centered that day. Those 3 battalions were in the top 5 for casualties amongst the approx. 200 British batts that saw action 21/3/18.

  The war diaries for 7th and 2/5th SFs give some info about what happened that day

 

59385848ed0df_Doc16Sketch21.3_1918.jpg.c47de11fd90479ca27e9863ce9d6bc51.jpg

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Thank you Phil.

 

It will be interesting to compare the sketch map to a trench map.

 

Regards

Chris

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My Great Uncle also died on the 21st March 1918 attack.  He was Lance Corporal Harry Norman Stanwix of the 1/7th SF, aged 19.  We are planning on a trip out to France next year to commemorate this (we are currently living in Australia) - the posts regarding the sunken road are interesting as apart from the village name, I have no idea where he is likely to have fallen in the area.

IMG_0129.JPG

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ID: 18   Posted (edited)

Hi Stanwix,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

Unfortunately Harry doesn't appear to have surviving service papers.

 

In his Soldiers' Effects record it has Harry as "2/7 Bn. N & Dby   unpd L/Cpl.   276296"    "21.3.18  Death Presumed". His medal roll also shows him as a 2/7th man. It seems then that he served with the 2nd line 7th Battalion, before they merged with the 1st line 7th Battalion in early 1918 to become the 7th Battalion. The amount of War Gratuity paid (shown in red in his Soldiers' Effects record) can be used to back calculate an estimated enlistment date, as it was largely a reflection of rank, and the length of service. For Harry, it would appear that he enlisted circa May 1916. Details on the scheme can be seen here. His Soldiers Died record shows that he enlisted in Bishop Auckland. It's not clear when he joined the 2/7th Battalion in the field. Their war diary is here. The Battalion war diary for his service from February 1918 should be this one.

 

The uncertainty over his actual death is shown by an ICRC index card recording that his family contacted the Red Cross in the hope that he had been taken PoW.

 

If you haven't already seen it, it might be worth looking at this website which allows you to blend trench maps with views of the modern landscape.

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk

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On 20 May 2017 at 17:30, Hooper said:

Hi Guys,

Im coming to this discussion a bit late but have just started researching my family history and discover a Great Uncle was also captured at Bullecourt on 21st March 1918. The info already posted is very interesting but MIke, if you are still in the Forum & could let me have copies of the war diaries too I would be very grateful.

My relation was Pte 267144 George Hoper-Gallop and was captured on 21st March but survived to be transferred to a Red Cross Hospital at the end of the war suffering from a Kidney Infection.

 

Hi Please let me have an email and I will send on

 

cheers

Mike

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ID: 20   Posted (edited)

Re my Gdads map, just to clarify, 'A', B, C D obviously refers to the companies.  LG = lewis gun. The tank was the wreck of one lost in action during an abortive attack in 1917.  I think Igaree was so named by an Australian unit that was based there in 1917. Ive enlarged and redrawn the trench maps out across 3 sheets of A5 and my Gdads map is a pretty good match for his section.  From what Ive read in different sources I suspect that most casualties occurred in the opening bombardment.

 P.S.
from http://www.the-sherwood-foresters.co.uk/b_names/bostock_william_street.html
Battalion : 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, D Company.  Army Number : 267296

Son of William and Annie Stanwix, of 2, Victoria Street, Shildon, Co. Durham.

Died : 21st March 1918, age 19.

Buried/Commemorated : Arras Memorial, France. Bay 7.

 

So, using my Gdads map, and knowing he was in D company, if he was killed in the opening bombardment, he would've met his end in Rack Support trench. If not there, then prob. somewhere between that trench and the crest of the hill.

Edited by daggerphil
more info

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PPS You can buy trench map Bapaume 57c NW 1:20,000 from the National Archives shop for about £3.  Look in the top RH corner.

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On 16/06/2017 at 06:03, daggerphil said:

Re my Gdads map, just to clarify, 'A', B, C D obviously refers to the companies.  LG = lewis gun. The tank was the wreck of one lost in action during an abortive attack in 1917.  I think Igaree was so named by an Australian unit that was based there in 1917. Ive enlarged and redrawn the trench maps out across 3 sheets of A5 and my Gdads map is a pretty good match for his section.  From what Ive read in different sources I suspect that most casualties occurred in the opening bombardment.

 P.S.
from http://www.the-sherwood-foresters.co.uk/b_names/bostock_william_street.html
Battalion : 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, D Company.  Army Number : 267296

Son of William and Annie Stanwix, of 2, Victoria Street, Shildon, Co. Durham.

Died : 21st March 1918, age 19.

Buried/Commemorated : Arras Memorial, France. Bay 7.

 

So, using my Gdads map, and knowing he was in D company, if he was killed in the opening bombardment, he would've met his end in Rack Support trench. If not there, then prob. somewhere between that trench and the crest of the hill.

 

That's fantastic.  I think that most were lost or badly wounded in the initial bombardment, so that is probably good enough for us to start on the visit.  One confusing part though is the D Company 'Rack Support' trench is marked on your map but isn't shown on the map provided in the link above in the original trench maps here: http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=15&lat=50.1711&lon=2.9316&layers=101465149&b=1

 

However the 'Horseshoe Support' trench seems to join down to Goole Av. Where Sydney and Ilkley meet, so I think that is probably close enough to the Rack Support (unless I'm missing it) and the is a 'Rue de Queant' that cuts through that location.....

 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the thread above, I got far mor information than I ever thought existed on Harry.  I look forward to 'meeting' him.....

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ID: 23   Posted (edited)

I don't think that the official maps showed every single trench - tho' I'm certainly no expert when it comes to WW1 mapping.  I think that Rack Support trench joined Sidney to Horseshoe, cutting the corner.

 

BTW the book to read is The Kaisers Battle by Martin Middlebrook.   From a German perspective, Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger describes his part in the battle that day, his unit took on the 6th Sherwood Foresters who were to the immediate left of D Company of the 7th. (chapter is called The Great Battle.)   I wrote a book about my Gdads WW1 service - he fought at Loos, the Somme, Passchendaele, then POW at Mainz following his capture on 21/3/18. Its amazing how much you can find out.

 

I hope your trip goes well.

Bye, Phil.

Edited by daggerphil
more info

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