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cwbuff

British Units Opposite Pilckem July 1917

5 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

My wife's great grandfather was KIA at Pilckem on 08 July 1917. He was in Reserve Grenadier Regiment 100. He was initially buried in Westroozebeke and then transferred to Langemark in the 1950s. We do not know how he was killed. We presume it was by artillery, but it could have been by infantry action. Would British units, that were opposite Pilckem on that date, have recorded any information that may be useful in learning more about what action may have taken place?

Edited by cwbuff

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The 29th Division held the sector opposite Pilckem on that date. 

Infantry action is unlikely, as the village is well behind the German lines.

 

It may be worth looking at the diaries of the artillery units of 29 Div to see if there were any shoots that day (some diaries give target info, some very little info).  If you cannot get them online from the National Archives you could use a good researcher such as Ann Mabey who advertises on this site.

 

Peter

 

 

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Thank you for the reply! 

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ID: 4   Posted (edited)

I have taken a fresh look at the information that I have collected. It appears that the location listed on the casualty reports as "Pilckem" is a reference to the sector, not the village of the same name.

 

The German grenadier of interest was in Company 7 (7. Kp.), 2nd Battalion. They were deployed to the Pilckem sector on 23 June 1917. His company was initially deployed "in the Wilhelm (3rd) Line behind strong wire entanglements pulled through the rubble piles of Langemark." This was the "standby" or 3rd position. They rotated 7 days later to the "reserve" position and remained here until 6 July, when they rotated forward to the "battle" position. He was KIA on 8 July in this position. 

 

I looked at the casualty database of the regiment that I have sorted by date. All the casualties listed for companies in the battle and reserve positions show "Pilckem" as the location. Casualties of those companies that were in the standby position list "Langemark" as the location.

 

Based on this, he was on the front line when he was KIA. So it looks like this reopens the possibility that he may have been killed in a patrol action (offensive or defensive) or even by sniper activity.

Edited by cwbuff

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It may then be worth downloading and looking through infantry brigade/battalion diaries, these sometimes/often give much detail on raids and actions during patrols, and regiments of any prisoners taken. They are available at the National Archives, references WO 95/2299 onwards, at £3.50 each.

 

Peter

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