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Guest jim taylor

The Action at Welch Ridge

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Hopefully someone can direct me to some information on this.

I am researching the family who used to live in my parent's home.

I know that John Gare was in the Artist's Rifles and was killed on 30 December 1917. It appears likely that he was, therefore, kileed during this action, but I cannot find any information on what sort of action it was.

Can anyone give me some pointers?

Thank you

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Hi Jim

I have info. on this action but it may take me a while to get around to sending it to you, but to be brief they took part in a small counter-attack.

Regards

Annette

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Hi Jim

Here is the full info. I have.

The following info. is from the Official History.

The 63rd Naval Division held its front with all three Brigades, the 188th were on the right, the 189th in the centre and the 190th on the left. (I can email you with a map which I will have to draw in Paint on my computer as I do not have a scanner, it’s a bit rough but its better then no map).

At 6.30 a,m. on the 30th December the 63rd Division’s front was heavily bombarded for fifteen minutes followed by a infantry attack, with Flammenwerfer detachments. British fire took toll of the Germans, but at many points he entered the forward trenches, where the defenders had suffered heavily from the German bombardment. Corner Trench, Welsh Trench and Welch Support were lost by the 188th Bde. The 189th Bde. had both flanks penetrated, with the Germans entering Ostrich Lane on its right and Battery Lane on its left, where the 7/Royal Fus. of the 190th were driven in losing Eagle Avenue. At 8 a.m. the Germans advanced up a sunken road into the northern side of the salient pressing back the 1/4/K.S.L.I., the left battalion of the 190th Bde. (the K.S.L.I. Regt. History makes no mention of the 1/4 losing any trenches it records that they formed a defensive). Two companies of the Artists Rifles, from brigade reserve, counter-attacked about noon and cleared the Germans from the sunken road, where a new line was established. No attempt was made to recover the salient (the K.S.L.I. Regt. History records the 1/4’s two support companies co-operated in the counter-attack, and records that the situation was restored, but it may have only been referring to the situation of K.S.L.I. Line only). Counter-attacks by the 188th & 189th Bdes failed to regain their part of the line.

Let me know if you want me to email you the map.

Regards

Annette

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In the Artists Rifles Roll of Honour (published London 1922) L/Sgt John Henry Gare is listed among those “killed in action or died of wounds received at Welsh Ridge, Cambrai on this date” (30 December 1917). The CWGC Web-site records that Lance Sergeant J.H. Gare is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial & gives his age at death as 27. He was the son of Henry Vernon and Kate Alice Gare, of Rectory Farm House, Steeple Aston, Oxford. From his regimental number (762402) it appears that he joined the Artists Rifles on about the 20th September 1916.

The action at Welsh Ridge is depicted in John Nash’s famous picture “The Artists at Marcoing”, generally known as “Over the Top” & used on the dust-jacket of half the books published on the First World War. (Nash took part in the attack himself). There is a good, lively, account of the attack in the first chapter of Barrie Pitt’s book 1918 – the Last Act (recently re-published in paperback). There is also a very brief acocunt of the battle in the Roll of Honour. The War Diaries in the PRO are very thin but do provide enough data to fix the site of the attack.

Michael Orr

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Jim....I am researching my Gt.Uncle who was killed the same day while serving with the Hood Batt. on Welsh Ridge.

I was interested to note the info. supplied about the Artists Rifles, as this may fill in some information gaps I have from looking thro' RND sources. Likewise, you would be advised to investigate histories asssociated with all the RND/63rd battalions in action that date.

It would be good to pool some of out resources, and if you had anything that relates to Hood Batt., I'd try help you out too.

For what it's worth, I've walked the area the last 2 years; once on the 29th Dec. and 18th Dec., so pretty close to the original time and weather I imagine. I took lots of pics, and have a good feel for the layout of the Ridge. The British sector is fairly featureless, but the sunken road (mentioned above) in the German lines is still there, with bits of dugouts still showing, and a good pill-box.

There's a rest-area off the autoroute that is located right on the German support

trenches......jump the fence, and you are right on the cross-roads of the sunken road.

Attached is image taken looking north'ish along the sunken road, prob. near to where the Artists counter-attacked to.

Slainte, Alan

post-1-1075288652.jpg

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And, here's a view from the crest Welsh Ridge, looking towards the German lines. The wood in the distance is the position of the German Emden trench system...........

post-1-1075288984.jpg

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ID: 7   Posted (edited)

one of my family was wounded 30 Dec 1917at Welsh Ridge .. Company Serjeant Major, Samuel Rata, 1st/28th Bn., London Regiment (Artists' Rifles), passed 6 Jan 1918 

 

i have found the following 

'over the Top'. 1st Artists' Rifles at Marcoing, 30th December 1917 Art.IWMART1656.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:'over_the_Top'._1st_Artists'_Rifles_at_Marcoing,_30th_December_1917_Art.IWMART1656.jpg

 

this is a link to "Artists Riffles 1914 1919 Roll of Honour"

https://archive.org/details/regimentalrollof00highiala

Edited by Deborah Blundell

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Hi Deborah,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

I guess that you may well already know, but it seems that on 30th December 1917 Samuel received a shrapnel wound to his left thigh and face. He was subsequently evacuated by 149 Field Ambulance to a Causality Clearing Station in Ytres, and passed away in 16 General Hospital (then being run by American forces) on 6th January 1918.

 

Regards

Chris

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IMG_5015.PNGWar diary entry for 30 Dec 1917:

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