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2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers


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#1 Paul Reed

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 10:47 AM

On the 90th anniversary of the last stand of 2nd Bn Royal Munster Fusiliers at Etreux, some photos of the unique Etreux British Cemetery.

Details of the cemetery from CWGC:

Location Information: Etreux is a village in the Department of the Aisne, 32 kilometres north-east of St Quentin and 20 kilometres west of La Capelle. The British Cemetery is in an orchard at the entrance of the village on the Landrecies road (D946).

Historical Information: On the 27th August, 1914, Etreux was the scene of the Rearguard Affair, in which the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers were overwhelmed, after a long reistance, by nine German battalions. The British Cemetery is in an orchard on the Landrecies road, beyond the railway line, very close to the scene of the 2nd Munsters' last stand. It was made by the survivors on the 28th August, by permission of the enemy. It contains a Celtic Cross (erected by the mother of one of the Munsters' officers) and two big graves. There are 126 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-18 war commemorated in this site. Of these, 27 are unidentified. The cemetery covers an area of 755 square metres and enclosed on three side by a brick wall and on the forth by a farm building.

No. of Identified Casualties: 99


Photo of cemetery:

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#2 Paul Reed

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 10:49 AM

One of the two mass graves - all the headstones are in alphabetical order by surname, another unusual feature.

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#3 Paul Reed

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 10:52 AM

Major Paul Charrier was one of the heroes of the action; he always wore his tropical helmet, no matter where he was, and was indeed wearing it on this day. An experienced and charasmatic officer, whose men would follow him anywhere.

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#4 Paul Reed

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 10:54 AM

His headstone in the cemetery:

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#5 Paul Reed

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 10:55 AM

Finally, the memorial plaque on the rear wall of the cemetery:

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#6 Desmond7

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 12:05 PM

Amazing - I was reading accounts of this action last night! From memory - I think the accounts made the point that Major Charrier would have won the VC but there were no officers of 'witness' rank left to record his gallantry.
Truly one of the stands which proved the regulars of the British army were by no means contemptible.
Thanks for posting the pics.
Des

#7 Northern Soul

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 04:27 PM

Paul,

I am intrigued as to why there should be 27 "unknowns" buried in the cemetery. Were these post war clearance graves or were they men who were buried on the 28th but not identified at the time? I would have thought that since RMF survivors were the burial detail that there should have been very few unknowns - 20% seems quite high. Any ideas?

Regards.

Andy.

#8 Paul Reed

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 08:55 PM

I suspect it does indeed depends on who buried them and how bothered they could be. In this case, I haven't read any accounts of RMF burying these casualties and suspect like most 1914 cemeteries it was made by the Germans in every respect.

#9 Sullivan

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 11:35 AM

Re Etreux Military Cemetery. 2nd Battalion RMF.

According to the History of the Royal Munster Fusiliers, by Capt. S. McCance, published 1927.

On the 28th August 1914, the Germans allowed a party of the Munster Fusiliers prisoners to collect and bury the dead.

Early in 1921 the orchard where the last stand took place, was purchased from a M. Dauzet by Capt. H. Walter Styles M.P., brother of Lieut. F. E. Styles, who lies buried there.

Two crosses were erected over the graves, one bearing names of officers, the other recording the fact that 118 warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the battalion are buried there.

The cemetery was consecrated on October 5th 1921.

The Rev. V. Awdry, father of Lieut. C.E.V. Awdry, recited a prayer from the English Funeral Service.

Thanks for the great photos.

Jim O'Sullivan.
(son of Munster Fusilier soldier).

#10 Morval Ross

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 02:08 PM

Many thanks for the great pictures Paul,

As a Munster Man, I find the RMF activities of great interest and also of great sadness. I am a young Irish man (27) and my blood runs cold when I think of these men who fell and the treatment of those that survived when they arrived home. at last these men are know being respected for who they were and what they did, "Brave Irishmen who fought and died for the side of freedom in foreign feilds".

I( am on the Somme from the 29th Sept for 4 days and hope to take a spin up to Etreux to lay a wreath to these men. How far of a drive is it from Albert?

Thanks again for the great pictures.

Regards

Ross Glennon
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#11 Hedley Malloch

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:26 PM

... and the last resting place of the Roberts brothers, signallers attached to the 2nd RMF, both of whom were killed on the same day and are buried side-by-side in Etreux. If there is a pair of brothers killed on the same day earlier than 27 August 1914 then I have not come across them. Were they the first pair of brothers to die on the same day of the First War?

[The Roberts brothers are indeed currently the earliest on our compiled list of brothers who died on the same day]

Also the last resting place of Private John Pigot who came from the same small Irish town as my mother. Recently I asked her if she knew the family. She said that she did. John Pigot's wife was pregnant with his son at the time of his death. His son was named John Mons Pigot in memory of his father and the circumstances of his death. Of course his christian name was dropped and he went through life known to all and sundry as Monsie Pigot.

Edited by Chris_Baker, 06 September 2004 - 07:33 PM.


#12 Drummy

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 09:14 PM

A very interesting topic, I have medals for one of the 2nd RMF killed during this action. Pte George Vinton was the first casualty of WW1 from my district of Irlam & Cadishead (near Eccles, Salford) and one of nearly 200 I am researching for a roll of honour book. If I have got any obvious details wrong re the action etc please let me know.


VINTON, George.
Private 7806. 2nd Battalion, The Royal Munster Fusiliers.
1st Brigade, 1st Division.
Born in Cadishead. A pre-war soldier, he had enlisted into the Army at Manchester and served in the Royal Munster Fusiliers, and after serving for a number of years he was discharged before the outbreak of war. He resided with his wife and several young children (the youngest having been born since his death) at 39, Atherton Lane, Cadishead and was employed as a coal trimmer at the Partington Coal Basin at the Manchester Ship Canal. Well known throughout the district, he had been one of the most prominent players in the Cadishead Rugby Football team. By August 1914 his wife was pregnant. Due to being a reservist he was recalled on the outbreak of war and posted to the 2nd Battalion of his old regiment, then stationed at Malplaquet Barracks, Aldershot. The Battalion sailed for Le Havre, France from Southampton on board the Dunvegan Castle on the 13th August. He was killed on Thursday, 27th August 1914, during the famous rearguard action at Etreux, in which the 2nd Battalion RMF held up the advancing enemy until being overwhelmed by nine German battalions. George is buried at Etreux British Cemetery, Aisne, France. Row I, grave 6. The cemetery was made by survivors of the action on the 28th August, with permission of the enemy, and the cemetery is very close to the site of the last stand of the Battalion. The Battalion memorial is also sited here. In the middle of May 1915 his wife received the following notification ‘Infantry Records, Cork Station, May 7th 1915, Madam, - It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has been received from the War Office notifying the death of (No.) 7806 Private G. Vinton, 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, which occurred on the 27th of August, 1914, and I am to express to you the sympathy and regret of the Army Council at your loss. The cause of death was ‘killed in action’ – I am, Madam, Your obedient servant, F. G. Hayes, Captain, Officer in charge of Records’. An article reporting his death appeared in the Eccles Journal dated 14 May 1915. Awarded 14 Star & Bar trio.
The 1901 Census records the following:
George (born Hull, age 38 and a coal trimmer) and Wife, Caroline (born Hull, aged 38) lived at 30, Hayes road, Cadishead with their children, George (born Hull, aged 17 and a soapworks labourer), Eva (born Hull, aged 15), Charles (Born Hull, aged 12), Caroline (born Hull, age 10), Emily (born Cadishead, age 6) and Selina (born Cadishead, age 1).

I have a photo of Pte Vinton.

#13 Sullivan

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Posted 11 September 2004 - 06:32 AM

Re Paul Reed's article and photos on the Etreux British Military Cemetery, the photo of the memorial plaque on the rear wall of the cemetery;
 
On the proposal being put forward by the 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers, to erect a Regimental Memorial at Etreux, a letter was received from the Secretary, Battle Exploits Memorial Committee, it was signed C. T. Atkinson, Historical Section, C. I. D. and dated June 7th, 1919.
 
The text of this letter was used for the memorial plaque now displayed.
 
I have no idea what C. I. D. stands for, if any member can offer information on this it will be appreciated.
 
Jim O'Sullivan.

#14 Deleted_paul swaine_*

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 09:04 PM

paul
I AM TRYING TO TRACE A RELATIVE WHO SERVERD WITH THE RMF 2ND BN
HIS NAME WAS PTE GILMAN H BRADLEY AND LIVED IN CLERKENWELL
ISLINGTON HIS NAME IS ON A MERMORIAL ON A LOCAL CHURCH BUT
I CAN FIND KNOW RECORD OF WERE HE FOUGHT OR DIED COULD HE
BE ONE OF THE UNKNOWENS BURIED ETREUX CEMETERY? AND IF SO
ANY IDEAS HOW I COULD AT LEAST CONFIRM IF HE WAS THERE ANY
HELP WOULD BE MOST HELPFUL I HAVE CHECKED THE CWGC SITE
WITH NO LUCK


REGARDS

PAUL

#15 Wendywoo

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 07:28 PM

<snip>

VINTON, George.
Private 7806. 2nd Battalion, The Royal Munster Fusiliers.
1st Brigade, 1st Division.
Born in Cadishead.
<snip>

George was my Great Great Grandfather and Emily, my Great Grandmother . Would you be able to email the photo you have please, as I've never seen any pictures of him.

Many thanks,

Wendy

#16 wet255

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 12:47 PM

QUOTE (Drummy @ Sep 6 2004, 10:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A very interesting topic, I have medals for one of the 2nd RMF killed during this action. Pte George Vinton was the first casualty of WW1 from my district of Irlam & Cadishead (near Eccles, Salford) and one of nearly 200 I am researching for a roll of honour book. If I have got any obvious details wrong re the action etc please let me know.

I am working on a book of this action. I would love a photo of Vinton for this book if you could spare a copy. You will be credited with the photo. Many thanks Nigel McCrery


VINTON, George.
Private 7806. 2nd Battalion, The Royal Munster Fusiliers.
1st Brigade, 1st Division.
Born in Cadishead. A pre-war soldier, he had enlisted into the Army at Manchester and served in the Royal Munster Fusiliers, and after serving for a number of years he was discharged before the outbreak of war. He resided with his wife and several young children (the youngest having been born since his death) at 39, Atherton Lane, Cadishead and was employed as a coal trimmer at the Partington Coal Basin at the Manchester Ship Canal. Well known throughout the district, he had been one of the most prominent players in the Cadishead Rugby Football team. By August 1914 his wife was pregnant. Due to being a reservist he was recalled on the outbreak of war and posted to the 2nd Battalion of his old regiment, then stationed at Malplaquet Barracks, Aldershot. The Battalion sailed for Le Havre, France from Southampton on board the Dunvegan Castle on the 13th August. He was killed on Thursday, 27th August 1914, during the famous rearguard action at Etreux, in which the 2nd Battalion RMF held up the advancing enemy until being overwhelmed by nine German battalions. George is buried at Etreux British Cemetery, Aisne, France. Row I, grave 6. The cemetery was made by survivors of the action on the 28th August, with permission of the enemy, and the cemetery is very close to the site of the last stand of the Battalion. The Battalion memorial is also sited here. In the middle of May 1915 his wife received the following notification ‘Infantry Records, Cork Station, May 7th 1915, Madam, - It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has been received from the War Office notifying the death of (No.) 7806 Private G. Vinton, 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, which occurred on the 27th of August, 1914, and I am to express to you the sympathy and regret of the Army Council at your loss. The cause of death was ‘killed in action’ – I am, Madam, Your obedient servant, F. G. Hayes, Captain, Officer in charge of Records’. An article reporting his death appeared in the Eccles Journal dated 14 May 1915. Awarded 14 Star & Bar trio.
The 1901 Census records the following:
George (born Hull, age 38 and a coal trimmer) and Wife, Caroline (born Hull, aged 38) lived at 30, Hayes road, Cadishead with their children, George (born Hull, aged 17 and a soapworks labourer), Eva (born Hull, aged 15), Charles (Born Hull, aged 12), Caroline (born Hull, age 10), Emily (born Cadishead, age 6) and Selina (born Cadishead, age 1).

I have a photo of Pte Vinton.



#17 Derek Bird

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 05:38 PM

Hi Paul, I am resesarching Paul Charrier who is one of my wife's ancestors. Sadly, I cannot view the photo on this entry but would appreciate any photographs and any information about him, please. Many thanks Derek Bird derekstanleybird@hotmail.com 07887 767919

Major Paul Charrier was one of the heroes of the action; he always wore his tropical helmet, no matter where he was, and was indeed wearing it on this day. An experienced and charasmatic officer, whose men would follow him anywhere.



#18 Derek Bird

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 06:19 PM

Paul, Any information you have of Major Paul Charrier would be gratefully received - I cannot view the photos on this forum!! Please use derekstanleybird@hotmail.com - Paul Charrier is one of my wife's ancestors. Many thanks Derek (Bird)

One of the two mass graves - all the headstones are in alphabetical order by surname, another unusual feature.



#19 lostinspace

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 10:42 PM

Paul,
Would you (or anyone else) happen to know why Major Charrier was in command that day? According to most accounts the 2nd Bn. was under the command of Lt. Col. J.K. O'Meagher when they left Southampton on the 13th.

Thanks,
Dave

#20 maldon

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:19 PM

I have a Maldon Man who served in the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers:

Captain Frederick William GRANTHAM
KIA leading his company near Richebourg L'Avoue on 9/5/15 (aged 44)
He was formerly in the Munster Militia (in 1899)

Stayed at the Ariane Hotel in Ypres yesterday and Monday. Noticed a print of that fantastic picture of Fr. francis Gleeson giving absolution just before the engagement. They went on to lose 374 men and 19 officers (including Frederick Grantham).

Regards.
SPN
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#21 old owl

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 06:16 PM

Paul,
Would you (or anyone else) happen to know why Major Charrier was in command that day? According to most accounts the 2nd Bn. was under the command of Lt. Col. J.K. O'Meagher when they left Southampton on the 13th.

Thanks,
Dave


Hi Dave,

I'm not 100% sure, but it may have been because Lt Col O'Meagher was incapacitated in some way or was with the small reserve nucleus of the battalion that day. Most probably Major Charrier was the Senior Major and thus command in the field devolved upon him. I am sure that someone with the Munster's history may be able to throw more light onto this? Major Charrier was an experienced officer having served in previous campaigns.

Robert

#22 old owl

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 07:24 PM

I have a Maldon Man who served in the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers:

Captain Frederick William GRANTHAM
KIA leading his company near Richebourg L'Avoue on 9/5/15 (aged 44)
He was formerly in the Munster Militia (in 1899)

Stayed at the Ariane Hotel in Ypres yesterday and Monday. Noticed a print of that fantastic picture of Fr. francis Gleeson giving absolution just before the engagement. They went on to lose 374 men and 19 officers (including Frederick Grantham).

Regards.
SPN
Maldon



Hi Maldon,

I have the 1914/15 Trio to Capt. & Adj.T.W.Filgate of the 1st att'd 2nd Bn Munsters, who is supposedly depicted in the painting of 'The Last Absolution of the Munsters'. He survived the action at Richebourg L'Avoue but was wounded some four months later on the 28th September, 1915, dying as a result of his wounds the following day.
He was mentioned in despatches, L.G. 1/1/16.

As you say it is a fantastic painting.

Regards, Robert

#23 lostinspace

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 07:54 PM

Robert,

Thanks very much for the reply, It is possible we may never know why Charrier was in command that day. I think in the last thread where I asked this question we came to the conclusion that the war diary had been lost during the fighting, perhaps as you say O'Meagher was ill or assigned to some other duty. From Ray Westlake's book I gather that the battalion was split up on the 4th of September and served as Army Troops with I and II Corps and a month later Lt. Col. A.M. Bent assumed command.

Regards,
Dave

#24 maldon

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 08:08 AM

Hi Maldon,

I have the 1914/15 Trio to Capt. & Adj.T.W.Filgate of the 1st att'd 2nd Bn Munsters, who is supposedly depicted in the painting of 'The Last Absolution of the Munsters'. He survived the action at Richebourg L'Avoue but was wounded some four months later on the 28th September, 1915, dying as a result of his wounds the following day.
He was mentioned in despatches, L.G. 1/1/16.

As you say it is a fantastic painting.

Regards, Robert



Thanks Robert - wow, what a fantastic trio! Had you heard of Captain Grantham before? Do you think he is in the painting?

Regards.
SPN
Maldon

#25 old owl

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 08:31 PM

Thanks Robert - wow, what a fantastic trio! Had you heard of Captain Grantham before? Do you think he is in the painting?

Regards.
SPN
Maldon


Hi Maldon,

I have only come across the reference that the picture depicts both Col. Rickard and Capt. Filgate, as being the mounted officers shown, however, the description also refers to the fact that both these officers were killed in the action at Richebourg L'Avoue, which of course is incorrect!! The picture, I believe, depicts Fr.Gleeson and another mounted officer, most probably Col. Rickard?

Sorry, in answer to your question, most probably not, but then I am not sure that anybody will really be able to answer that question other than the artist?

Do you have a photo of Captain Grantham? If not I think that I can supply you with one and also a bigraphy--perhaps you could let me know ie. PM me your email. Did you know that Capt Grantham lost a son in WW1?

I have had the trio to Captain Filgate for circa 12 years and have struggled to find a good photo of him in uniform--are you aware of one?

Regards, Robert