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EOHMacgowan

Buried.........B741

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Seeking information on burial of #4628 Pte E.O.H.Macgowan, 43rd Battalion, AIF, Killed in Action 15/10/1917, In the Field, Belgium near Zonnebeke - Passchendaele.

Enclosed attachment is copy of 'Army Form B103 : Casualty Form, Active Service'. My question is regarding the last entry, handwritten & undated, 'Buried.....B741', recorded on his Casualty Form, what does this mean? Is 'B741' a burial form raised by the Padre/Graves detachment post war for grave relocations?

My research has revealed that Seven (7) soldiers of the 43rd Battalion, who were Killed in Action, between 11.10.1917 & 20.10.1917, were buried with the same Trench Map Reference of 'Sheet 28.D.16.d.3.4.' This Trench Map reference has soldiers of other Australian Battalions buried there also, so it is not as if they were buried randomnly, in 'No Mans Land', where they fell, it was obviously a designated area at that time for the AIF. Two (2) other soldiers of the 43rd Battalion AIF, buried at this same place, along with my Great Uncle, all 3 have "Buried.......B741" recorded as last entry on their AF.B103 Casualty Form Active Service, it appears to be in the same handwriting style, meaning recorded by the same person.

Any information greatly appreciated,

Here's hoping, fingers crossed,

Cheers.

Phil.

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Phil,

I can't help you with your query, but I think if you send an email to the AWM questions and answers section they would be able to help you on that point.

Cheers David

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This Trench Map reference has soldiers of other Australian Battalions buried there also, so it is not as if they were buried randomnly, in 'No Mans Land', where they fell, it was obviously a designated area at that time for the AIF. Two (2) other soldiers of the 43rd Battalion AIF, buried at this same place, along with my Great Uncle, all 3 have "Buried.......B741" recorded as last entry on their AF.B103 Casualty Form Active Service, it appears to be in the same handwriting style, meaning recorded by the same person.

Phil,

I can't confirm that the B741 form was for burials but it makes sense that it is.

There are a few clues in the Battalion war diary for the dates you mention-

http://www.awm.gov.au/cms_images/AWM4/23/AWM4-23-60-14.pdf

On the 15th October 1917 the 43rd were in support to the 44th until 5.30 pm when they were relieved by the 33rd Battalion and were moved to a reserve position. From the 16th to the 21st October they were employed in salvage and burial parties. The number of men killed within the battalion is listed as 16 between the 13th and 21st October.

If you have a look at the detailed notes on p.22 you will find a reference to a number of casualties being suffered during the relief by the 36th (I think this should read 33rd) Battalion on the 15th October. Seems likely that this is when Pte MacGowan was killed. The notes also mention the burial parties. I would think that his grave was later disturbed by shelling and subsequently was not found at a later date.

Someone on the forum may be able to help you out with those co-ordinates of the original burial site on a map.

Hope this helps. As David mentioned the AWM should be able to confirm what a B741 form is.

Scott

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Phil,

I can't help you with your query, but I think if you send an email to the AWM questions and answers section they would be able to help you on that point.

Cheers David

David,

Thanks for your advice. It was May 2008 when I contacted "service records at Naa", to no avail. I then contacted "AWM-Research Link", May 2008, and their reply was :- "Dear Philip, I have not found a reference to the specific B741 amongst file records. I suspect that it is a listing to those killed in the Battalion, as recorded by the Battalion Headquarters, but which did not indicate the location of a grave. The fact that Edward Macgowan is recorded on the Menin Gate indicates that his body was not recovered, or identifiable when recovered. Regards, (AWM)". Moving on from this reply, the "Buried.......B741' on Macgowan's "Casualty Active Service Form B103", would have been recorded by his Battalion Headquarters one would think, how else would the entry appear on his Casualty Form, so the AWM would be right in assuming that aspect. "B741" could be a Battalion record to where he was buried "In the Field - Belgium", as per the suggestion by AWM. But, it is this point that I would really like to know, and that is, without assuming or suspecting, "What does Buried.......B741. mean"? The entry of 'B741' is recorded on the Casualty Form "Remarks" Column. The 'Remarks' Column heading is "Remarks, Taken from Army Form B213, Army Form A36 or other official documents", point being that "B741" has to be an official document of sorts. I think I will try the AWM again, as you suggested, might get a different person responding.......

Cheers,

Phil.

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Red marks the spot, near Zonnebeke...

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Robert

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Reply to Lieut. Colonel Waddell, re 23 Sep Post:-

Scott,

Yes, you are right, there are good records in the AWM "Battalion War Diaries", and I have already researched them. I also have the book, "The Forty Third - the Story and Official History of the 43rd Battalion, AIF", by Colliver & Richardson. It is from this book that I obtained the Trench Map Reference for my Great Uncle's burial, it is listed there with all 43rd Battalion soldiers, Killed in Action. It is with reading this book in conjunction with the Battalion War Diaries, that one can work out that it is between 5.30pm - 6.00pm, on 15.10.1917, that Pte E.O.H.Macgowan is killed during relief changeover with 36th Battalion AIF, and consequently buried at Seine crossing. To add more to the mortality of it all, Pte Oliver Macgowan, together with his younger brother, Pte Roy Macgowan, were Taken on Strength to the 43rd Battalion at Toronto Camp, Ypres Salient on 8th October 1917. Just 1 week later, Oliver was killed on just the second day of him being in the Front Line Trench, aged 23 years.

From same Trench Map Sheet 28.D.16.d.3.4. as Oliver, I know that a Pte A.M.Budge of 35th Battalion AIF was exhumed 23.9.1921 and reburied to Tyne Cot Cemetery. Pte Budge is the only known soldier that we know of, who was exhumed from this Trench Map reference. Another soldier, a Pte F.T.Conway, is listed by his Battalion as buried at Sheet 28.D.16.d.3.4. but the "Concentration of Graves Unit" Burial Return has his remains, identifiable by his 'Discs' exhumed at Trench Map Sheet 28.D.15.d.60.50., which is 300 yards away from where he ought to have been. Very hard to imagine, is it possible for a bomb to blow a body from his grave, this far !! or is it a case of 'mistaken identity' from reading the 'discs'? Could someone comment on this, about the possibility of being blown away by 300 yards. If this is what happened, then the 'mess' made where the bomb exploded, at D.16.d.3.4. would be incomprehensible. Hence, the theory that Pte Macgowan's grave, and others, was hit by a shell/shells in the following months of fighting, after his burial, is highly likely, and subsequently, his body has not been found, or if it was, was not identifiable, "Known unto God".

With regards to the meaning of "Burial.......B741", as per my first posting, I think I have answered it myself, with the assistance of the AWM, in hindsight, to the fact that I suspect it is a Field Form used by the Battalion to record Trench Map details for burials 'In the Field'. A copy of one would be proof of this, but I am satisfied with that solution, the idea fits, But, I am keeping an open mind on the matter, in case someone down the track can offer a better brief as to the meaning of 'Burial.......B741'.

Thanks for the opportunity to exchange thoughts/ideas on this matter,

Cheers,

Phil.

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Phil,

Interesting reading. Don't forget the information you have posted also helps other members in learning about the why's and wherefore's of the AIF in WW1. I have found that generally the research

staff at the AWM are never anything but helpful and have had much cooperation over the years. If the info is there they will generally be able to drag it out. Pleased to be of assistance, thats what

we are all here for.

David

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Reply to Lieut. Colonel Waddell, re 23 Sep Post:-

Scott,

Yes, you are right, there are good records in the AWM "Battalion War Diaries", and I have already researched them. I also have the book, "The Forty Third - the Story and Official History of the 43rd Battalion, AIF", by Colliver & Richardson. It is from this book that I obtained the Trench Map Reference for my Great Uncle's burial, it is listed there with all 43rd Battalion soldiers, Killed in Action. It is with reading this book in conjunction with the Battalion War Diaries, that one can work out that it is between 5.30pm - 6.00pm, on 15.10.1917, that Pte E.O.H.Macgowan is killed during relief changeover with 36th Battalion AIF, and consequently buried at Seine crossing. To add more to the mortality of it all, Pte Oliver Macgowan, together with his younger brother, Pte Roy Macgowan, were Taken on Strength to the 43rd Battalion at Toronto Camp, Ypres Salient on 8th October 1917. Just 1 week later, Oliver was killed on just the second day of him being in the Front Line Trench, aged 23 years.

Phil,

Ditch the lieutenant-colonel stuff! That's just a forum peculiarity to do with number of posts and it only reminds me that perhaps I'm posting too much.

Shelling during relief seems to have been a pretty common tactic employed at the time. My Great Uncle Will was killed in identical circumstances exactly a month before your Great Uncle, a little to the north east of Zonnebeeke on the 15.9.17. Several men were killed, my Great Uncle died of wounds. The Germans probably knew when relief would occur and also knew the co-ordinates, very easy to send a shell or two over.

I believe it was the constant shelling that destroyed graves. 300 yards is not that far after repeated shelling. I agree with your point about mortality. I've been researching a lot of AIF men recently and it is surprising just how many were killed within the first few days or weeks.

Incidentally if you are interested in the 43rd Battalion an interesting book of a soldiers letters is "The Eager Soldier" by Theodore Willard Wright. Wright was killed on 31 July 1917, well before Roy Mac Gowan,and it follows his life before enlistment, through training and his time spent at the front as a Lewis Gunner. He wrote very well and the letters are quite sad towards the end.

I hope you find out more about your Great Uncle.

Scott

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Reply to Robert Dunlop = Post #5, 27th Sep 2010 :

Robert,

I have just worked out how to read Trench Map references, from info posted to the "Maps" site on this GWF Forum, have checked your 'Red Dot' above, and it is spot on the mark. Thanks very much for that. A couple of years ago, a historian I was conferring with over the internet, had marked the site, but he was on the other side of the road, probably be d.3.6. I'm not being pedantic, but I do intend to visit this spot, soon, and the correct spot is crucial to the whole purpose of the visit. I have 'Google-earthed' the 'Red Dot' spot, is rural land and I feel a great sense of achievement and pride when 'Google' fly me into the 'spot'. You see, it is possible that he is still buried here, as his body was not found after the war, or possible was found but not positively identified, Grave Unknown. But, for me right now, this is his resting place, his last known burial site.

As a point of interest, a Pte F.C.T.Kirk, 43rd Battalion AIF, Killed in Action, 20.10.1917, buried at the same Trench Map reference, there is a letter on his file, dated 2nd Feb 1920, from Mother to Army....... he was killed instantly at Passchendaele Ridge, France, and buried just where he was killed, so his mate Charles Noble sent and told me it was a bog hole then they got bogged when they was burying him.......... just goes to show the shocking conditions at that time.

Thanks again for your 'spot on' contribution,

Cheers,

Phil.

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Phil

I have spent some time studying the 43rd Battalion, and hope the following information is useful to you.

The 43rd Battalion is recorded as having lost 6 members KIA/DOW on 15 Oct 17, the Battalion Routine Orders state that the following four men were members of A Company at the time of their deaths.

- 2022 PTE Francis John KENNY;

- 789 PTE Edgar Stanley PATTERSON;

- 355 PTE William Bennett PENGILLY; and your relative

- 4628 PTE Edward Oliver MACGOWAN

I would definitely agree that it appears PTE Macgowan was killed during the relief on the evening of 15 Oct 17, the Battalion having handed over their previous position to the 36th Battalion had moved back to the sunken road on the left of the Railway line to act as the Divisional Reserve. The Battalion War Diary records that “Several casualties occurred during relief which was complete by 6pm. The men dug themselves in on their new positions”.

The Red Cross Missing and Wounded file for PTE William PENGILLY records an incident that occurred immediately following the 43rd Battalion’s arrival in its new position:

“on the night of October 15th 1917, about 7pm. He and I with 7 others were blown up by a shell, and I was the only one who escaped without injury, 4 were killed, 4 wounded and I escaped with a shaking….He was buried in a soldiers grave on the field of action, 4 lads were buried together in a shell hole near a sunken road near Passchendaele.” Statement by 332 PTE John MEDLIN a Stretcher Bearer in B Company

As you have pointed out the 43rd Battalion History contains a handy annex detailing the last known locations of burial for members who were either KIA or DOW. Of the five men killed as a result of direct action on 15 Oct 17 (sixth man being recorded on AWM as DOW at Boulogne):

Four were KIA in the field (KENNY, PENGILLY and MACGOWAN of A Coy, and PTE DYER of B Coy)

One DOW at a nearby Field Ambulance Station (PATTERSON of A Coy)

Of the four KIA’s recorded burial locations, three are identical (Sheet 28, D.16.3.4) whilst one is off to the North by 100 yards.

It would appear likely that PTE Edward MACGOWAN was Killed in Action alongside PTEs KENNY, PENGILLY and DYER, whilst the four sheltered in a shell-hole prior to the Battalion commencing to dig in their newly occupied position. The proximity of PTE MEDLIN also of B Company to witness the death of PTE PENGILLY of A Company would support the assertion that PTE DYER although himself in B Company could also be co-located in the same shell-hole.

I hope this information can assist you and that it is some consolation from the Red Cross Report that although your relative’s grave has not been formally identified that he was buried alongside his comrades.

I have also conducted some research into the circumstances which involved the capture of Edward MACGOWAN’s brother Melville, who also served in A Company and later as a Battalion Scout.

If you are interested please PM me and I will forward further details.

Thank you for your Family’s Service, Regards

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Nick,

Very well done, I am impressed with your information, I appreciate very much what you have done. I know more now than I did before I read your 'Post'. It has taken me awhile to get my head back around, but I am back in the 'Zone', now.

4628 Pte EOH Macgowan KIA 15.10.1917 Buried : In the Field - Sheet 28, D.16.d.3.4. (A Coy, B741).

355 Pte W.B Pengilly " 15.10.1917 " " " " " "

2202 Pte F.J.Kenny " 15.10.1917 " : Zonnebeke- Sheet 28, D.16.d.3.3. " "

1054 Pte F.E.Dyer " 13.10.1917 Trench Map Sheet 28, D.16.d.3.4..........(B Coy, B741).

*Pte Dyer, going on the records recorded in book, 'The Forty Third' by Colliver & Richardson, was KIA on 13.10.1917.

*Pte Kenny Burial reference is different, but to my calculations, is only 10 yards south from the others.

*It is possible that these 4 were buried together in the same 'shell hole', but were not KIA from the same event. In each of these soldiers NAA file, on their 'Army Form B103 : Casualty Form, Active Service', is a handwritten entry at the end of notations "Buried.......B741", and all in the same handwriting on each ones form. I am not 100% sure what this 'B741' means, but it does seem to connect them. Do you have any idea what this "Buried.......B741" would be?

789 Pte E.S.Patterson DOW 15.10 1917 Buried : 11th Field Ambulance Dressing Station, Ypres. (A Coy). Patterson being the 5th soldier who died from this incident).

4277 Pte J.Cryer DOW 15.10.1917 Buried : Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. (I am only guessing here, going off your posting above 'sixth man DOW at Bolougne')

"on the night of October 15th 1917", The Forty Third Battalion book, in the Calendar & Diary Section, pg 148, 'o.r.k 3' = 'other ranks killed' records 3 killed, & no mention of wounded.

*The grid on a typical WW1 map at a scale of 1:40,000 is measured down to a 10 yard x 10 yard square, I think, I am not 100% certain of this, meaning, I am open for correction if I am wrong. The co-ordinates 3.4. are pinpoint to the centre of a 10 yard square, that is my reason for Pte Kenny Trench Map 28, D.16.d.3.3 is 10 yards south of the other 3 in Trench Map 28, D.16.d.3.4., and not '100 yards north' as you say.

*I do have another blog posted to GWF, titled "Trench Map Sheet 28.D.16.d.3.4", that I started 2.10.2010, had a very good & productive response, 54 Replies, 1242 views, when I last looked, you may find this 'blog' interesting. I hope it is still available in GWF archive, I haven't checked it out for a couple of years now.......

I have more to post, re EOH Macgowan, I will do seperately, soon.

Cheers,
Phil.

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Whilst ‘The Forty Third’ is an invaluable resource for researching the Battalion it should be noted that there are numerous errors, specifically relating to the Nominal Roll and details regarding the KIA / DOW lists at the end of the book. This is understandable when considering the circumstances of its writing and the sheer scale of the task that faced Colliver and Richardson in 1919.

An example of such inaccuracy is 1054 PTE Dyer, although listed in ‘The Forty Third’ as being KIA on 13 Oct 17, he was definitely killed on 15 Oct 17. Both his NAA service record and the AWM Roll of Honour corroborate this. Likewise goes for the Calendar and Diary section, the 43rd Battalion sustained three other WIAs on 15 Oct 17 (PTEs Burford, Tobin and McLaughlin), all of which is information not captured in ‘The Forty Third’.

The likely reason for this, is the 43rd Battalion like many other units having to endure the hell of Passchendaele found that it’s manning was extremely fluid. Battalions were cycling personnel from their rearward located ‘nucleus’ of support staff through the front line to relieve the exhausted and in some cases gas affected fighting troops. As such the 43rd Battalion Routine Orders reflect the fact that accurate casualty records sometimes took until days after the leaving the Line to be confirmed as accurate.

In relation to your initial inquiry regarding B741, when looking through the records of other 43rd Battalion KIA over the October period it does appear on several records, both as B740 and 741. My guess would be it is some kind of Report or Return, noting the commonality between its initial designator and other BEF Reports and Returns e.g. ‘B213 – Field Return Effective Strength’. It was however most likely an internal Battalion document, other 11th Brigade casualties I researched do not appear to have any reference to such a form. Truthfully, I doubt such a question can ever be answered with complete certainty.

In relation to the grid references, I think its important to state my post was incorrect. The records state the three burials as being at Sheet 28, D.16.d.3.4. whilst the fourth (Kenny) at Sheet 28, D.16.d.3.3. That would put the burial of Pengilly, MacGowan and Dyer 1x grid square (50 yards) North of Kenny’s burial as per the grids provided. In my rush to write out a response I appear to have confused North and South between the two locations.

The incorrect 100 yard reference is a hangover from my experience with current navigation practices, all Grids in the modern system are broken down into squares of 10 whether 1000 metres (4 figure reference), 100 (6 figures) or 10 metres (8 figure).

I will leave it up to you to form your own opinion as to whether the circumstances which PTE Medlin described as occurring on 15 Oct 17 relate to the death of PTE MacGowan. Noting that its validity is further supported by the number of casualties he described being corroborated by the historical records – e.g. 4 KIA, 4 WIA (3x mentioned and 1x later DOW, PTE Patterson).

You are however lucky considering the amount of information you have been able to find to date, at Passchendaele especially, soldiers just disappeared into the mud and were seen again. One PTE from the 43rd Battalion’s B Coy was WIA on 11 Oct 17 and simply listed as Missing presumed dead, it took until 1939 when the CWGC recovered his body from an unmarked grave for it to be realised he had been evacuated wounded, died of wounds and been buried simply as unknown, his family were more fortunate than some to at least obtain closure, even if 22 years late.

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Nick,

Thanks again. Yes, I do apologise for 'quoting' from 'The Forty Third' as gospel. It is my main reference and I do tend to wrongly interpret the numerous errors that were un-intentionally recorded in the compiling of the Battalion's records, compiled under atrocious conditions.

Pte Medlin, B Coy Stretcher bearer, survived but shaken, was involved in the bomb that KIA 4, WIA 4, as per Medlin statement that you have provided above, and it is of my opinion now, thanks to you and to Medlin's statement, that the 4 KIA were Macgowan, Pengilly, Kenny & Dyer, DOW Patterson, WIA but survived Burford, Tobin & McLaughlin. '4 lads were buried together in a shell hole near a sunken road near Passchendaele' I believe now to be Macgowan, Pengilly, Kenny & Dyer. The 'sunken road' fits in with Trench Map 28.D.16.d.3.4, which is next to a 'sunken road', even as we speak today.

This area is 'richly sown', if I can use those words, with AIF soldiers, Killed in Action. From my researching I have found info on 4 other soldiers buried 'In the Field' at Trench Map 28.D.16.d.3.4 :-

*Pte FCT Kirk 43rd Btn KIA 20.10.1917, buried at 28.D.16.d.35.40. Letter on his NAA file, from Mother to Army, "He was killed instantly at Passchendaele Ridge, France, and buried just where he was killed, so his mate Charles Noble sent and told me it was a boghole then, they got bogged when they was burying him"

*Pte AM Budge of 35th Btn, KIA 12.10.1917, buried at 28.D.16.d.35.40, was exhumed 23.9.1921 by 'Concentration of Graves Unit' and reburied to Tyne Cot Cemetery.

*Pte FP Coade of 43 Btn KIA 11.10.1917. ('The Forty Third' have him buried at 28.D.16.d.3.4, but correct me if I am wrong, as I think it is Coade that

you mention at the bottom of your post above). Coade was found/exhumed 1939, 22 years later, and was reburied at Bedford House Cemetery, Zillebeke, and in his NAA file "The Grave of an Unknown Soldier was found 23.2.1939 and he was exhumed to be reburied, and when this was done his identity disc was found".

*Pte FT Conway of 43 Btn KIA 17.10.1917, buried at 28.D.16.d.3.4 recorded by 'The Forty Third', but the 'Concentration of Graves Unit' Burial return has his remains, identifiable by his discs, exhumed at 28.D.15.d.60.50 which is 300 yards away from where he ought to have been. Reburied at Tyne Cot Cemetery 12.12.1919.

Tyne Cot Cemetery of 11,952 headstones, of which 8,366 are 'Known unto God', are of unknown soldiers, and 34,888 names recorded on the Wall Panels of Cemetery of men who have 'no known grave'.

Plus the names of 55,324 men of the British and Commonwealth Forces on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, who have 'no known grave'.

Pte Macgowan's name is on the Menin Gate Memorial. From what you have informed me above, from Pte Medlin statement; and the continual bombing and boghole conditions at that time as per Pte Kirk's Mother letter; to be buried in a shell hole with 3 of his mates suggests was a large shell hole, I can only presume it was deep, so the chances of being located by the 'Concentration of Graves Unit' for exhumation would be slim because the 4 of them were buried deeper than normal; and if their bodies survived the continual bombing of this area after 15.10.1917; and to the 80,846 Commonwealth soldiers who have 'No Known Grave' to this day, I am coming to the conclusion that Pte EOH Macgowan is still buried today, In the Field, at Trench Map Sheet 28.D.16.d.3.4, together with 3 of his mates, Pengilly, Kenny & Dyer. Or at best, was exhumed by 'Concentration of Graves Unit' and is buried in the Tyne Cot Cemetery, as one of the 8,366 graves of 'unidentifiable soldiers', Known unto God.

Your reply to my query re the meaning of 'Burial........B741', I understand, and agree with you that such a question can never be answered with complete certainty today, I will have to let that one go through to the Keeper.......

You mention you have done some research into the circumstances involving the capture of Pte MRG Macgowan 4558. I would be very interested in that. I have what is written in 'The Forty Third' of course.......

Thanks Nick, Cheers,

Phil.

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Hello Phil,

 

I realise this is an old post but I have been trying to decipher the same writing is on my G.Grandfather's (James William Charles Smith, 2460A) war records. His papers appear to have similar wording and handwriting. His looks like "B1056 Sheet 25" I have wondered if this relates to where he has exhumed from? There is no record of his death in the diaries from the 1st Pioneer Battalion on September 19th 1917.

 

There is also what looks like a coordinate of some kind on his exhumation records. I can't work out how or when this might have occurred.

 

I am very new to war history so my knowledge is very limited. I would love to discover where he was in the moments leading up to his death. All I know is his battalion was working in and around Zillebeke. There seems to be limited information on the 1st Pioneer battalion.

 

If in the past years you have discovered what the B741 relates to I would love to hear from you

 

Cheers,

 

Caroline

 

 

Buried JWC screenshot.png

exhumation JWC screenshot.png

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Hi Caroline,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

2 hours ago, Cazpet said:

There is also what looks like a coordinate of some kind on his exhumation records

 

I.12.c.9.2 is a partial trench map coordinate - see here on the Long Long Trail on how to read them. Hopefully this link will open up on square I.12 - use the transparency slider to see how it fits into the modern landscape.

 

2 hours ago, Cazpet said:

There seems to be limited information on the 1st Pioneer battalion

 

If you haven't already seen it, the war diary for 1st Australian Pioneer Battalion is here.

 

Regards

Chris

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Hi Chris,

 

Thank you for your reply. I am just wondering where you got the I.12.c.9.2 trench coordinate from? I can only see 117.395E on the exhumation records? I have been trying to educate myself on reading trench maps but I am still unsure how to know which map to look at! I have not seen the map product you linked to which is a great resource when I finally get the hang of it!

Thanks for the link to the diaries as well. I have had a quick read of them previously which has been a great insight into their daily life during the war. 

 

I hope that one day I can revisit the area. I had no idea that as an 18 year old I actually was so close to this very area in Belgium with no idea my G Grandfather fought and died here. 

 

Cheers, Caroline

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Hi Caroline,

 

You are probably aware that his name will be projected onto the wall of the Australian War Memorial on these dates / times:

  • Sun 23 April, 2017 at 4:07 am
  • Tue 6 June, 2017 at 10:20 pm
  • Tue 18 July, 2017 at 7:44 pm
  • Sat 2 September, 2017 at 3:29 am
  • Thu 26 October, 2017 at 2:03 am
  • Fri 29 December, 2017 at 11:09 pm
  • Fri 2 March, 2018 at 5:42 am

I read his service records and the Pioneer Battalion unit war diary and I cannot reconcile the co-ordinates in post 15.  However, the maps on pages 12 and 13 are colour coded and show all the work they did in great detail.  The diary of the 2nd Pioneer Battalion for 19/9 shows them linking up with the 1st Pioneer Battalion and they reported 10 casualties with 1 KIA and 1 died of wounds, so this might give you an idea of what happened that night.

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1 hour ago, WhiteStarLine said:

I read his service records and the Pioneer Battalion unit war diary and I cannot reconcile the co-ordinates in post 15.  However, the maps on pages 12 and 13 are colour coded and show all the work they did in great detail.  The diary of the 2nd Pioneer Battalion for 19/9 shows them linking up with the 1st Pioneer Battalion and they reported 10 casualties with 1 KIA and 1 died of wounds, so this might give you an idea of what happened that night.

 

Thank you for your reply. I can't see where that coordinate came from either but it looks to be in the vicinity of where he was likely killed/buried. I have only just recently come to understand that there may have been some time between his death and exhumation. Do you know what the 117.395E would be from on the exhumation notice?

 

I had a play with the maps mentioned by Chris and I think I am starting to understand the coordinates a bit better now. I will try and compare the diary entries with positions on the map and see if any names match up

 

I hadn't thought to look at the 2nd Pioneer diaries, I will have a look now. I have only just uncovered a photo of my G. Grandfather and it has made me really want to find out everything I can about him

 

Thank you to everyone who has given me information. What an amazing wealth of knowledge there is in this forum!

 

Caroline

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Hi Caroline,

 

14 hours ago, Cazpet said:

Thank you for your reply. I am just wondering where you got the I.12.c.9.2 trench coordinate from?

 

It's from the "concentration" report in his CWGC records

 

Regards

Chris

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10 minutes ago, clk said:

 

It's from the "concentration" report in his CWGC records

 

 

Hi Chris, I have not seen this "concentration" report before, so thank you. I'm still a little confused because the only coordinate I can see is I.18.a.9.5, not I.12.c.9.2? Am I missing a page or just not seeing it?

 

The I.18 coordinate is exactly over the cemetery so I think this is just where his final grave is, not where he died?

 

 

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Hi Caroline,

 

Smith_1.JPG.21dbc0b247cda3b7ba6cda24d7281123.JPG

 

Regards

Chris

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Thank you Chris, I didn't see the other tabs! (I'll blame looking at midnight after a long work week!) That is exactly what i was looking for.

 

Cheers, Caroline

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ID: 23   Posted (edited)

Nice work Chris, that clarifies it.  Now we can see where the companies were working and where he was found, NNW of Hooge Crater.  All makes sense now!

 

The contemporary map shows where he was found (we drove past there looking for a 1914 British brigade action, last September).  I've marked where he was on the unit war diary map.  Hopefully that will help you Caroline.

 

I.12.c.9.2 (2nd column, first full row):

smith.jpg.676e94c495af1bfd82a9fd093c6ef931.jpg

 

 Modern view:

smith1.jpg.d0c79eaeb15d5bc4356a019eab34d779.jpg

Edited by WhiteStarLine
Typo, forgot ')'

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