Remembered Today:

aliecoco

Two brothers who died on the same date!

339 posts in this topic

Hi,

Just starting some initial research on a war memorial in Shieldhill, Scotland that holds 20 names. I thought I would make a start tonight and check the two names of M McIsaac and W McIsaac on the CWGC site. Although I thought that they would be brothers, I was amazed to find out that they died on the same day 11 April 1918, both with the 149th Siege Bty, RGC!! They are also buried next to each other!! I thought all of this to be really unusual!! I just wondered if any other pals on their researches had found anything similar?! (I was also thinking about the family - how did they cope with such dreadful news).

Alie.

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I believe that there is a father and son who died on the same day during the Somme offensive. I imagine that it may also have happened in "pals" battalions.

There are two brothers in the 7th Northants who died on consecutive days.

Martin

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Hi Alie,

I can think of Geoffrey and Harry Nutter RHA, died 6/2/17 buried in Eclusier Communal Cem. and Arthur and Leonard Tregakis, 16/Welsh Regt. Killed 7/7/16, buried next to each other at Flatiron Copse Cem.

I also remember a pair of twins (Gronart?) KIA same day (17/9/44) at Arnhem (Oosterbeek War Cem) and a father and son (both RFA, both same day) buried together at Dartmoor Cem. on the Somme (the names escape me at the moment).

I'm sure there are more, and probably many more French and Germans (I've got a photo of a father and son joint grave in the German Cemetery at Bitburg (1945)).

Dave.

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...Found it!...

Father and son were Sgt George Lee (father, aged 46) and Cpl.Robert Frederick Lee (aged 19), "A" Battery,156th Bde, RFA. Both KIA on 5th Sept. 1916.

Dave

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I came across a German example, the Stahl brothers, both members of the 20th Bavarian RIR, 11 Coy, killed in action 3 October 1916 on the Somme. I am sure there are many more of a similar nature.

Ralph

post-3-1062031553.jpg

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Hi Alie,

Another example would be the Jewell brothers, enlisted together and died together.

Pte Edward Jewell, 39795, KIA 17/8/1915 Gallipoli. Aged 20.

Pte Henry John, 39796, KIA 17/8/1915, Gallipoli. Aged 21

CWGC shows them both with "A" section, 32nd Field Ambulance.

All the best,

Jim

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I have two brothers in the 4th Anzac Bn 17th Company who were killed on the same day.

During the attack on Amman 30th March 1918 the 4th Anzac Bn with the NZ Mounted Bde attacked Hill 3039 which over looked Amman.

During a Turkish counter attack L/Cpl Stanley Campbell was manning a Lewis gun with his brother Norman as his number two on the gun.

Stan was shot during this attack and Norm took his place only to be quickly shot also.

Both are listed on the Scone Memorial in NSW Australia.

S.B

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On the Menin Gate you have three brothers who were killed the same day:

RACHEIL, Private, ARTHUR ERNEST, 2314. 3rd Bn. Royal Fusiliers. 24th May 1915. Age 21. Son of John and Ann Racheil, of 23, Holme Rd., East Ham, London. Panel 6 and 8

RACHEIL, Private, FRANK ALBERT, 2237. 3rd Bn. Royal Fusiliers. 24th May 1915. Age 18. Son of John and Ann Racheil, of 23, Holme Rd., East Ham, London. Panel 6 and 8

RACHEIL, Private, FREDERICK GEORGE, 2269. 3rd Bn. Royal Fusiliers. 24th May 1915. Age 24. Son of John and Ann Racheil, of 23, Holme Rd., East Ham, London. Panel 6 and 8.

Source: Menin Gate Register and especially 'Walking the Salient' by Paul Reed in this emphasising the quality of his books (see other thread: Review Books).

Jacky

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My current research includes Edward and Frederick Bristow, 13th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, who died at the Boar's Head, Richebourg, on 30th June 1916. Paul has an account of the day on 'Old Front Line' which can be read HERE - the casualties included six pairs of brothers dead, and also a set of THREE - William, Charles and Alfred Pannell, of Worthing. As is quoted on Paul's site, it truly was 'The day Sussex died.'

Regards - Sue

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In Belgium, there's the famous example of the two brothers Van Raemdonck, who "died in each others arms".

Jan

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I have also two german brothers in my records. Bruno and Martin Loets from the small village Reepsholt in Ostfriesland. They were both volunteers of 10. Kompanie/ Reserve Infanterie Regiment Nr. 234 and died November 10th 1914 near Wallemolen. Martin is buried in the Kameradengrab in Langemark and Bruno rests in Menen N / 946.

Hinrich

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In my research on Fremantle men, I have quite a few brothers that were killed but only one pair of brothers on the same day.

The Wheeler family had 8 sons enlist and while 6 survived the war 2 of the sons were killed on August 8th 1915 on Gallipoli with the 16th Bn AIF. They had the regimental numbers of 2059 & 2060.

Both are on the Lone Pine Memorial

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I have found one set of brothers but I am sure there are at lest another set but can'nt find them.

WELLINGS, Private, GEORGE, 26700. 7th Bn. King's Shropshire Light Infantry. 3rd May 1917. Age 24. Son of Thomas and Emma Wellings, of 3, Poynton Green, Shawbury. Shrewsbury. Bay 7 Arras Memorial.

WELLINGS, Private, JOHN BUTTREY, 26701. 7th Bn. King's Shropshire Light Infantry. 3rd May 1917. Age 32. Son of Thomas and Emma Wellings, of 3, Poynton Green, Shawbury, Shrewsbury. Bay 7 Arras Memorial.

Regards

Annette

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I assume this happened quite frequently in the RN when brothers served on the same ship. As an example and from memory, there were four sets of brothers and one father and son combination that died when the VANGUARD was destroyed by an internal explosion in July 1917.

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Hi,

Really interesting reading all the replies. Perhaps I should of not been so surprised after all!! This occurance was sadly, far more common than I thought!

Thanks

Alie.

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I don't have the details to hand since I'm at work, but the Golspie War Memorial lists two MacDonald brothers killed in action on the same day, on 21.3.1918, but in different battalions (4th and 5th Seaforths, in 51st Div.) The others listed in this thread all seem to have served in the same unit at the time of their deaths.

Adam

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When I first came across brothers killed on the same day and in same unit, the thought went through by head, that they may have been killed by the same shell or burst of MG fire ?

Annette

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Other example(s) on the Menin Gate:

CUTHBERTSON, Lance Corporal, HENRY, 8040. 2nd Bn. Cameron Highlanders. 11th May 1915. Age 27. Son of Malcolm and Helen Cuthbertson, of 24, Mid Arthur Place, Edinburgh. Panel 38 and 40

CUTHBERTSON, Private, MALCOLM, S/16277. 2nd Bn. Cameron Highlanders. 11th May 1915. Age 23. Son of Malcolm and Helen Cuthbertson, of 24, Mid Arthur Place, Edinburgh. Panel 38 and 40

and possibly (have to research it more in depth)

VANSON, Serjeant, ROBERT HENRY, 5336. 1st (Royal) Dragoons. 30th October 1914. Age 28. Son of Henry and Francis Vanson; husband of Flora Ada Barrett (formerly Vanson), of 54, Havelock St., Canterbury. Panel 58

VANSON, Corporal, ARCHIBALD JOHN, 2601. 1st (Royal) Dragoons. 30th October 1914. Age 26. Son of H. and F. M. Vanson, of 22, Hope St., Maidstone. Panel 58

Jacky

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At the risk of being pedantic, Ali's original post asked "what are the odds". Bit difficult to answer statistically, as there are all sorts of variables. Most relevent would be the dates that both brothers joined up.

Assuming both were in service on the first day of war, then the first brother could have died on any subsequent day of the war. I can't remember exactly how many days it lasted, but it's around 1550. Therefore, the odds of brother number one being killed on any given day is 1:1449.

The odds of brother number two being killed on any single day is also 1:1449.

To work out the odds of both being killed on the same day the calculation is 1449 x 1449 = 2,099,601 to 1.

It's the same mathematical basis that also means that one set of picked lottery numbers is just as likely to win as any other set - which is why many thousands of UK punters pick 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

The frequency with which Pals have reported the occurance shows that it is much more frequent than statistics would suggest. This is, no doubt, accounted for by brothers joining together and being in action together. I havnt come across any confirmed brothers in my research but there's probably a story to be told about two members of "A" Coy, 17th Manchesters, KIA on 1 July 1916. George Smith, 8866, was the son of Charles and Emma of Lower Broughton, Salford. John Smith, 8867, was the son of Charles and Mary of Pendlebury, Salford.

I think I may have liked to have met Charles.

John

B)

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This statistic [being even more pedantic] seems to depend on the premise that they were both killed. As most people in the war were NOT killed, I look forward to a revision. Upwards. After all, lots of pairs of brothers survived.

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As many have said, sadly all too common - I have seen this time and again over the years while examing cemetery and memorial registers. The most I know of in one cemetery is at Cabaret Rouge where the Chenier brothers (RCR, both 9.4.17) and Fleming brothers (RAMC, both March 1918) are buried; both pairs are buried side by side, and the Fleming brothers have a PI that starts on one headstone and finishes on the other... probably unique?

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What about Private James (S/40586) and John (S/40585) Benson of the 2nd. Bn. Seaforth Highlanders who both were killed on 3rd May 1917 and are buried in Roeux British Cemetery. Their parents were John and Catherine Benson from Grangemouth.

Both brothers were aged 22.

Maybe twins?

Walter Kortooms

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I've come across a couple of sets of brothers who were kia on the same day - always serving with the same unit

- James & John Stallard both kia 11th November 1914 whilst serving with the 2nd Ox & Bucks LI - both on Menin Gate - Research suggests these 2 at least served in same company.

- Frederick & Harry Burnell both kia 24th April 1917 with the 7th Wiltshire Regt. Frederick is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial & Harry is buried in the Doiran Military Cemetery - Research suggests that these 2 were in the same platoon

Will

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What made this more common that brothers or say relations should get knock in units of the AIF were our habit of claiming family members.

It was common in the AIF that if your brother/Father or any relation could on agreement of the CO (Commonding Officer) that they could be together.

This made it the case that they could be killed or wounded at the same time.

I don't know if this was used in the British Army?

S.B

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Will - I need yr email address to send the photos I took for you at Gillingham Woodlands Rd cemetery. Please email same to me off forum.

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