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Wondering which battle my ancestor died in (9 April 1917)


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#1 Homer54

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:59 PM

Hi all,

My great great grand uncle (I'm not sure if that's even the correct term) died in World War 1, I've just found out very recently (yesterday).

He was part of the Seaforth Highlanders, 8th Battalion, S/3915 (I'm not sure what this number is). He died on the 9th of April, 1917. He was a private, signed up to fight on the 7th of October, 1915. His type of casualty was 'Died from wounds' so I'm assuming he died in, or from a battle. He is buired in the Duisans British Cemetery, which leads me to think he died in the battle of arras.

This is all I know, my knowledge of World War 1 is very limited, so I'd be very grateful if someone could help me.

Thanks guys!


P.S. Is there anywhere online that I can find a list of battles his battalion fought in?

#2 John Hartley

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:08 PM

Battle of Arras.

8th Seaforths were part of the 15th Scottish Division. Here's a link giving the major engagements:
http://www.1914-1918.net/15div.htm

For more detail, I udnerstand Naval & Military Press publish a history of the Division

#3 Sandie

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:34 PM

Alexander Brews is one of 41 men to die on that date and be buried in Duisans British Cemetery. He was the only Seaforth Highlander.
The cemetery was used by the 8th, 19th and 41st Casualty Clearing Stations. As your relative 'died of wounds' it could be concluded that he was wounded in the field and died at one of the CCS.
http://www.1914-1918.net/ccs.htm
http://www.1914-1918.net/died.htm

Alexander had been in France since 7th July 1915.

Sandie

#4 Chris Noble

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:35 PM

Good evening Homer.
I don't know if you have the PM (Personal Messenger) available as yet (used to be so many posts), if you have, click on my name as i have the Divisional History by Lieutenant-Colonel J. Stewart. Will send you the relevant extracts.
Best wishes.
Chris.

#5 Homer54

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:18 PM

Battle of Arras.

8th Seaforths were part of the 15th Scottish Division. Here's a link giving the major engagements:
http://www.1914-1918.net/15div.htm

For more detail, I udnerstand Naval & Military Press publish a history of the Division


Thanks John. I'll definitely check the book out.

Alexander Brews is one of 41 men to die on that date and be buried in Duisans British Cemetery. He was the only Seaforth Highlander.
The cemetery was used by the 8th, 19th and 41st Casualty Clearing Stations. As your relative 'died of wounds' it could be concluded that he was wounded in the field and died at one of the CCS.
http://www.1914-1918.net/ccs.htm
http://www.1914-1918.net/died.htm

Alexander had been in France since 7th July 1915.

Sandie


Thanks for the information Sandie.

Thanks guys, this is some great information!

#6 Phil_B

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:15 AM

Homer, S3915 is his personal army number to which he`ll be referred on documents and records.

#7 Sandie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:37 PM

Alexander Brews is commemorated on the the Markich War Memorial in Fife.
If you look closely you can make out his name at the bottom of the photograph.

William Brews was a butcher from Portmoak, Kinross, the son of Thomas & Margaret Brews. He served in the Canadian Infantry.They were not brothers but do you know if they were related?

* Photographs from The Scottish War Memorial Project.

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#8 sotonmate

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:13 PM

Homer

The War Diary for the 8 Seaforths is at Kew under WO95/1940 though not yet digital and downloadable. It will give day to day details of the unit's activity.

Sotonmate

#9 magscotabroad

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:28 PM

Do you have a photo of his grave, I will be going to Duisans quite soon, and would be more than happy to send it to you, if you send me your e mail by PM
regards
mags

#10 Homer54

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:26 AM

Alexander Brews is commemorated on the the Markich War Memorial in Fife.
If you look closely you can make out his name at the bottom of the photograph.

William Brews was a butcher from Portmoak, Kinross, the son of Thomas & Margaret Brews. He served in the Canadian Infantry.They were not brothers but do you know if they were related?

* Photographs from The Scottish War Memorial Project.


Alexander had a brother called William Brews, he was born in Portmoak, Kinross in (roughly) 1887.

Do you have a photo of his grave, I will be going to Duisans quite soon, and would be more than happy to send it to you, if you send me your e mail by PM
regards
mags


I'd be over the moon if you could do this!

I'll PM you my email.

#11 Jim Smithson

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:04 AM

The 8th were the reserve battalion for 44th Brigade on the morning of the 9th April. The brigade, with the remainder of 15th Division had the task of attacking along the River Scarpe on its south side as part of the general assault by the British and Canadians on that day. 45th Brigade was on the left next to the river, 44th Brigade on its right. The attack took in the railway triangle and if you search on that on the Forum you will find a lot of threads covering the topic. 2 companies of the 8th were used at one point in support during the morning and it is probably at this point that your relative was wounded. The area has become more developed now but still worth a visit if you get the chance as you can follow the brigade alongside the railway if you first negotiate the factories! I would offer you the diary but I messed up in Kew and in my haste to photograph about 20 different ones during the day the ones for the 8th came out poorly focussed. The brigade and divisional diaries have a great deal of material on the fighting later in the month but very little on the 9th. If you would like copies of some maps I have send a PM with your email address.

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#12 Sandie

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:19 PM

Alexander had a brother called William Brews, he was born in Portmoak, Kinross in (roughly) 1887.


Sadly, I now believe they were brothers and you have 2 relatives to research.
Alexander doesn't appear on the 1889 census (family at Nottingham Cottage, Kettle) and William had left home by 1901 (family living at Bandon, Markinch).
Alexander (born Kettle 1892) was the son of Thomas & Margaret Brews.
William (born Portmoak, Kinross 1887) was the son of Thomas & Margaret Brews.
The 2 men both had a sister, Jane (born 1889, Portmoak) and a brother, John (born 1884, Portmoak)

Sandie

#13 Sandie

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:28 PM

Thomas & Margaret lost both sons within 7 months. Sadly, William has no known grave.
CWGC:
BREWS, WILLIAM
Rank: Sergeant
Service No: 73755
Date of Death: 06/11/1917
Age: 32
Regiment/Service: Canadian Infantry 28th Bn.
Panel Reference Panel 18 - 26 - 28.
Memorial YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
Additional Information:
Son of Thomas and Margaret Brews, of Swan End Croft, Chance Inn, Cupar, Fife, Scotland.

He enlisted on 24th October 1914. You can view his service file here: http://www.collectio...if&id_nbr=63260

BREWS, A
Rank: Private
Service No: S/3915
Date of Death: 09/04/1917
Regiment/Service: Seaforth Highlanders 8th Bn.
Grave Reference I. J. 10.
Cemetery DUISANS BRITISH CEMETERY, ETRUN
Additional Information:
None.

#14 Homer54

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:03 PM

Sadly, I now believe they were brothers and you have 2 relatives to research.
Alexander doesn't appear on the 1889 census (family at Nottingham Cottage, Kettle) and William had left home by 1901 (family living at Bandon, Markinch).
Alexander (born Kettle 1892) was the son of Thomas & Margaret Brews.
William (born Portmoak, Kinross 1887) was the son of Thomas & Margaret Brews.
The 2 men both had a sister, Jane (born 1889, Portmoak) and a brother, John (born 1884, Portmoak)

Sandie


Alexander wasn't on the 1889 census because he was born in 1892.

Thomas & Margaret lost both sons within 7 months. Sadly, William has no known grave.
CWGC:
BREWS, WILLIAM
Rank: Sergeant
Service No: 73755
Date of Death: 06/11/1917
Age: 32
Regiment/Service: Canadian Infantry 28th Bn.
Panel Reference Panel 18 - 26 - 28.
Memorial YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
Additional Information:
Son of Thomas and Margaret Brews, of Swan End Croft, Chance Inn, Cupar, Fife, Scotland.

He enlisted on 24th October 1914. You can view his service file here: http://www.collectio...if&id_nbr=63260

BREWS, A
Rank: Private
Service No: S/3915
Date of Death: 09/04/1917
Regiment/Service: Seaforth Highlanders 8th Bn.
Grave Reference I. J. 10.
Cemetery DUISANS BRITISH CEMETERY, ETRUN
Additional Information:
None.


Wow, that's shocking. I had no idea, I saw WIlliam Brews on the family tree, but I only saw Alexander's death. I'll have to find out more about William Brews.

I'm confused though, William was living in Scotland in 1901, perhaps he moved to Canada during 1901-1914?

#15 Sandie

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:26 PM

If you look at his service records, he enlisted in Regina, Canada.
He's not in the 1911 census for Scotland, presumably he emigrated between 1901 and 1911.
I don't know how much you want to research William but there was a census in Regina in 1906 and you could look at Canadian immigration records.

Sandie

#16 Homer54

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 04:52 PM

What battle did William most likely die at?

#17 Roger H

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:02 PM

What battle did William most likely die at?


Second battle of Passchendaele I would think, but I haven't checked (his Battalion was part of Canadian 2nd Division who were involved in this particular battle)

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#18 magscotabroad

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:07 PM

Have just sent you the photos by PM
best regards
mags