... because it makes better sense if people can ... be reminded that we're dealing with a handwritten record here. Would you agree that's clearer?
I'm good with that, Liz.
We should be aware here that Liz has done an excellent bit of work on these war diary transcriptions as well as the valuable cross-references with the primary sources from Eden and Dennis.
The handwriting on these 21/KRRC September 1916 war diary pages is diabolical! Pehaps excusably I admit.
Both Liz and I have had some formal training in paleography and I for one have found the manuscript is in a particulary difficult hand to make out.
I've posted some samples further on so you can see for yourselves.
I'll just add some supplementary info from the two books I keep quoting from <snip>
Dennis on p 14 lists C Company officers as follows:
Captain Pitt was our CO; <snip> young Yeaman was with No 10 [platoon]; <snip> and Thorpe was with No 12. <snip>
Perhaps Thorpe was kept out of the line like Eden, because Dennis says after Flers only one junior Officer, Darkie Cole,was there of all the commissioned officers that went over, the only survivor. He seems to be referring there to the whole battalion, not just C Company. <snip>
PITT In addition to Dennis's mention above, Eden mentions Captain Joe Pitt three times <snip>
However, neither of them specifically mentions Pitt as wounded, although the implication is that almost all the officers who took part in the battle were casualties. <snip>
HONEY Both Eden and Dennis mention Honey, as he was Adjutant, and lost an eye.
TURNER (I find it really hard to read that word as Turner! but as you say it must be.) Dennis, p 83:
<snip> Tockie Turner, the Signals Officer, was hit in the stomach and lay writhing in agony. The Intelligence Officer was killed and the Adjutant, who liked smart saluting on pay days, was hit in the eye.
Could you give me date for Dennis's p.14 entry listing his Coy officers? I'll then see if there's any mention of Thorpe
between then and Flers that might help us to account for his absence.
WRT to the D.J. Yeaman
vs F.W. Yateman
decision - at least we now know Yeaman was definitely present. Here's the snippet:
War Diary Flers 15 Sep 1916 - Officers mentioned 02.jpg 14.23KB
0 downloads["2nd Lieuts. Waldy, Yeatman ..."]
Although there's definitely a rogue letter t
present, I think I'm more inclined to go with this referring to 2/Lt D.J. Yeaman
- adding a t
is the lesser error than naming the wrong man, and after all the War Diary writer would have been familiar with the confusion between the two officers' names. My main reason for being lukewarm about him before was that he was Killed in Action between 05 and 10 October 1916, which is only three weeks later and rather soon to have returned from any serious wounding. It is of course possible and he may have been patched up and back in action in days.
Very valuable corroboration on Capt Joe Pitt
, as I could find nothing in my other KRRC reference material on him. Perhaps he was not wounded seriously enough to be passed far up the CasEvac chain and returned to duty quickly, thus not meriting a mention in the KRRC Chronicle
Officers' Casualty List?? We have just seen that 2/Lt Yeaman is also likely to have returned to duty within days.
Re: ?Turner ?Taback - I was very unsure indeed about interpreting the text as Turner
- your Taback
certainly looks better ...
War Diary Flers 15 Sep 1916 - Officers mentioned 01.jpg 24.56KB
0 downloads ["Capt. Honey & Lieuts. Baxter & Turner wounded"]
However, with the corroboration you've found from Dennis on Turner being wounded, I am much happier that this is indeed Lt H.T. Turner
, the Signals Officer.
was the "signalese" for the letter t
. As Signals Officer with a surname beginning with t
, I bet "Tockie" Turner
's nickname is related to that - LOL!
Another point: Dennis's gobbet also implies that the Btn Intelligence Officer,
who he reports as killed. was 2/Lt TPA Hervey
. The only other candidate is 2/Lt PA Jones, but Jones was not killed at Flers but Died of Wounds on 27 Sep 1916. Hervey is mentioned earlier in the War Diary as leading an advance party to sort out billets, but I have not found anything exlpicitly naming him as IO.
This really is great stuff Liz - we now know the roles of a large group of the 21/KRRC officers before Flers. That is very valuable indeed!