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Neuve Chapelle


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#1 Michelle Young

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 03:11 PM

Remembering the battle of Neuve Chapelle, which began 90 years ago today

#2 bobpike

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 03:20 PM

Is anyone able to post a copy of this poem as a tribute?
H W Garrod - "Epitaph: Neuve Chapelle."

#3 dycer

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 04:25 PM

From the History of the 8th Royal Scots.
Neuve Chapelle
"For the attack at Neuve Chapelle,on 10th March 1915,the Battalion was to form the left pivot of the Division.The Battalion occupied their trenches during the battle,but received no orders to move."
George

#4 Alan_J

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 10:57 PM

I was at Neuve Chapelle on the 10th...........don't think anyone else was. The CWGC were at the Indian Memorial, but I didn't see any other evidence that the 90th Aniversaary was maked in any way - I can't imagine that happening for the Somme or Paschedaele!

Mind you, it was pretty bleak and cold in Neuve Chapelle on the 10th, perhaps people with more sense were inside!

Alan

#5 Alan_J

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 10:58 PM

...by the CWGC I mean the gardeners, not that there was any ceremony or planned event (at least whilst I was there).

#6 Myrtle

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 11:28 PM

Remembering Major C. E. Harrison 2nd Bn. Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own) who was killed in action at Neuve Chapelle 14th March 1915.

#7 Mike Cross

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 09:34 AM

Records from my ealier research show that Major Harrison is buried alongside Lieutenants T.E. Pilcher and E. Gilbey, and 2nd Lieutenant R.W. Mason in Neuve Chapelle Cemetery. All died 12-14th March 1915. A very serious loss to the 2nd Battalion.

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#8 Alan_J

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 07:23 PM

From my visit, all three were actually originally buried in Neuve Chapelle churchyard, but their graves were destroyed in later battles, so is now commemorated in Neuve Chapelle British Cemetery.

Many burials from the battle were actually in Neuve Chapelle Farm Cemetery, not far away.

Alan

#9 Eddie Bosano-Andrews

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 09:55 PM

Alan

Would have an idea where casualties from the 2nd Northants would have been buried.

#10 Alan_J

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 12:18 AM

Eddie,

They are not buried in Neuve Chapelle Farm Cemetery - those are mainly from the London (Kensingtons) and Royal Berks Regiments.

The 2/Northants were part of the 24th Bge, 8th Division, in support for the first day. They with the 1/Sherwood Foresters advanced at 5.30 p.m.on the NE of the village, but stopped and held the line after being fired on.

They must have had quite a number of casualties, Lyn MacDonald talks of the batallion being "cut to shreds" and for the 8th Division as a whole, casualties were nearly 5000 for the battle. Note, casualties, not killed. However, Neuve Chapelle Farm has only 34 burials from the battle of Neuve Chapelle, and there are a few more in Neuve Chapelle British and also Fauquissant nearby.

I'm not sure where the rest are buried, I suppose that many who were wounded and later died may have been buried some way behind the lines.

The CWGC site used to have an option to search on a regimental name, but as they don't now, unless you know the names of some of the regiment who fell (perhaps from regimental diaries) it could be hard to track down.

Perhaps some of the experts might know a little on this, although Neuve Chapelle seems to get very little attention.

Alan

#11 Eddie Bosano-Andrews

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 08:55 AM

Alan

Thanks for that, my G Grandfather was in the 2nd Northants. and was killed on the 14th, he has no known grave and is remembered on the memorial at Le Touret.

I was wondering if there was an initial burial ground for men like my G Grandfather.

You right about Neuve Chapelle getting scant attention. Lyn MacDonalds is othe only account I've ever really read. Doing a trawl on the net brings up very little, it's almost a forgotten battle.

#12 Cliff. Hobson

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 09:00 AM

Here is a small snippet from an account of a man I knew who wrote an account of his service ( Pte Wm. Setchell 1st Bn., Sherwood Foresters).

" First into the trenches on March the 5th 1915, at Neuve Chappel,10 days later the battle of Neuve Chappel, over the top with the Indan Troops next to them,
we run among the Prussian Guard but only advanced about 1/2 a mile with terrible casualties. Out and in the line further up on the front through April we had 400 fresh men to fill the gaps up."

#13 bobpike

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 03:29 PM

Found it!

Epitaph : Neuve Chapelle

Tell them at home, there's nothing here to hide:
We took our orders, and asked no questions, died.

H.W.Garrod 1919

#14 Alan_J

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 05:31 PM

QUOTE (Eddie Bosano-Andrews @ Wed, 16 Mar 2005 08:55:13 +0000)
You right about Neuve Chapelle getting scant attention. Lyn MacDonalds is othe only account I've ever really read. Doing a trawl on the net brings up very little, it's almost a forgotten battle.

Eddie,

There are a couple of books on Neuve Chapelle, there is one in the Batlleground Europe series, and as you say Lyn MacDonald covers it in "1915", but there's not much else.

"Military Operations...." gives it quite a lot of space but it certainly seems too have been overlooked since, as I say I was amazed there was no commemoration at all of it on March 10th. I hope in 10 years time it will be marked in some way; after all it was the first British (and Commonwealth) set-piece offensive of the war, they used a number of new innovations and learnt a lot from it.

I have no idea at all where the large number of dead (who were not missing like your Great Grandfather) from the battle were buried, as I say there are only 40 or so in the nearby cemeteries.

Alan

#15 Stephen White

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 08:21 PM

QUOTE (Michelle Young @ Thu, 10 Mar 2005 15:11:25 +0000)
Remembering the battle of Neuve Chapelle, which began 90 years ago today



That i had not forgotten.My Great Grandfather died on the 21.03.1915 of wounds recieved at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.

Stephen

Edited by Stephen White, 16 March 2005 - 08:26 PM.


#16 Brian Buck

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 10:09 PM

Rembering my uncle, Arthur Backhouse Bridges 4th Suffolks who died from wounds received at Neuve Chapelle 11/03/1915 age 27. Buried at Aldringham Parish Church, Suffolk.

Remembering my uncle, Charles Victor Buck 4th Suffolks who died at Neuve Chapelle 12/03/1915 age 17. Remembered on the Memorial to The Missing at Le Touret.

Also my uncle Harry Chaplin, 4th Suffolks who died near Neuve Chapelle 21/01/15 age 19. Buried at Pont du Hem Cemetery.

I never knew them but they are always in my thoughts.

#17 stiletto_33853

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 01:15 PM

Major Harrison, Lieutenant Pilcher and Lieutenant E. Gilbey met their fate as follows.
Morever, despite the protests of Colonel Stephens, the attack was ordered to be made into the apex of the re-entrant formed by the new trench, which imposed upon the attackers the additional handicap of having to cross diagonally over the lines of deep dykes that run into the village from the Riviere des Laines. This was in order to conform to the plan fro a general advance in a north easterly direction. But, from his first hand knowledge of the ground Colonel Stephens had asked to be allowed to attack parallel to the dykes at right angles to the river. "A" Company (Captain Sherston) and "B" Company (Lieutenant Leigh) were chosen for the operation, the line being led by Major Harrison.
No sooner had the leading lines left the trenches than they were met by a tornado of cross fire not only from machine guns and rifles in the new trench, but from field guns north of the Bois du Biez, from machine guns in the hamlet in front of the wood, and from the strong point near the bridge on the Neuve-Chapelle-La Russe Road.
Major Harrison and Lieutenant Pilcher were killed immediately and Lieutenant G.F. Earle was wounded. The leading line withered away. A mere handful which included Captain Sherston and Lieutenant Chichester-Constable of "A" Company and Lieutenants Leigh and Hon. H.R. Harding of "B" Company succeded in covering the bare two hundred yards to the empty Smith-Dorrien Trench. In the face of the obvious impossibility of anything human surviving such conditions Colonel Stephens ordered the attack to stop, but not before Lieutenant E. Gilbey of "C" Company had been killed in assisting a wounded man, and the adjutant, Capyain T.J. Fitzherbert-Brocholes had been mortally wounded.

The Rifle Brigade 1914 - 1918, Volume 1.

Andy

#18 Myrtle

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 03:22 PM

I also find the entry in "The Rifle Brigade 1914-1918 Vol. I, describing the confusion of the March 11th, an interesting read.

The following is the account of Major Harrison, Lt. Pilcher and Lt. Gilbey in the Rifle Brigade chronicles 1918.
"At 12.30 p.m. after a rather poor bombardment our leading line from"A" and "B" Companies advanced and was immediately met by a cross-fire of machine guns and rifles from our front towards Bois de Biez and from some new enemy trenches to our left front. These trenches were 400-500 yards from our position, the intervening ground being open plough intersected by dykes. Only a small percentage of our leading line reached the Smith -Doririen trench (but including Captain Sherston, and Lieutenants Constable, Leigh and Hardinge); the remainder were all casualties, both Major Harrison and Lieutenant Pilcher being killed. The Commanding Officer ordered the attack to stop, as it was obviously impossible to cross this ground under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from front and flank. At the same time "C" and "D" Companies moved up to the front line of trenches, and Lieutenant Gilbey was killed while trying to get a man under cover who had been wounded on the way. In the middle of the day Captain Brockholes, the Adjutant, was killed by a machine -gun, and Lieutenant Earle was slightly wounded."

It seems from this account that allied fire in addition to enemy fire contributed to Major Harrison and Lt. Pilcher's fate.
Later the same day Company -Sergeant Major Daniels and Acting Corporal Noble "rushed out into the open to cut our own wire, which was in the way". They both earned the VC, Cpl. Noble, posthumously.

#19 Alan_J

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 11:37 PM

A picture of the special memorial at Neuve Chapelle British Cemetery, with the headstones commemorating the five soldiers (including Major Harrison, Lieutenant Pilcher and Lieutenant E. Gilbey).

Alan

#20 Alan_J

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 11:40 PM

Try again.............

Attached Files



#21 Myrtle

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 11:48 PM

Alan
Thank you very much for posting the photograph. I have not visited the memorial yet so it is very special to see. Which stone is Major Harrison's ?

Regards
Myrtle

#22 Alan_J

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 11:55 PM

Myrtle,

Major Harrison's memorial headstone is the one on the left of the picture.


Alan

#23 bobpike

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 11:58 AM

Incidentally, Pilcher Lt. Thos. P 2RB 12.3.15 – Neuve-Chapelle BC Chyd Mem 4 was Maude Gonne’s nephew.
Maud Gonne was born near Aldershot, in England, probably on 20 December 1865. Her mother died in 1871 and, when her army officer father was posted to Dublin Castle in 1882, she acted as his hostess. Col. Gonne died in 1886, and Maud and her sister lived briefly with an uncle in London. Contracting a lung haemorrhage, she was sent to recover to the French Auvergne, where she met Lucien Millevoye, a journalist and politician whose marriage had broken down. She was to bear him two children before their affair ended in 1898.

The couple agreed to work together for Irish independence and for French recovery of Alsace-Lorraine from Germany. Millevoye suggested that Maud, though English, could become Ireland's Joan of Arc. With W. B. Yeats, she founded an Association Irlandaise in Paris, but rejected his marriage proposals. She joined the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood, and attracted police attention in Ireland by her protests against eviction and against celebration of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

In 1900, she founded Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland), a women's republican movement, and opposed Boer War recruitment. In 1902, she played Yeats' Cathleen ni Houlihan, symbolising Ireland's struggle when she shed the appearance of an old crone to become 'a young girl with the walk of a queen'. In 1903, she married in Paris Maj. John MacBride, who had formed an Irish brigade to fight on the Boers' side; their marriage failed, and he returned to Ireland, where he was executed after the 1916 rising. She spent most of her time in France.

Returning to Dublin, she was interned in 1918 and spent some months in Holloway prison in London. She organised relief during the War of Independence, and assisted republican prisoners and their dependants during the Civil War. Imprisoned in 1923, she was released after going on hunger strike. In 1938, she published an account of her early life, A Servant of the Queen. From 1922, she lived at Roebuck House, Clonskeagh, Dublin, where she died on 27 April 1953.

#24 stiletto_33853

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 04:42 PM

Rifle Brigade Who's who says
PILCHER, Thomas Percy
Born 25th October 1893, educated Wellington & Sandhurst. 2/Lieut 4/9/11, Lieutenant 16/11/14. 2nd Rifle Brigade India 1911, France 1914-15 (Despatches).
Killed in Action at Neuve Chapelle 12/3/15.

Andy



QUOTE (bobpike @ Mar 18 2005, 11:58 AM)
Incidentally, Pilcher Lt. Thos. P 2RB 12.3.15 – Neuve-Chapelle BC Chyd Mem 4 was Maude Gonne’s nephew.
Maud Gonne was born near Aldershot, in England, probably on 20 December 1865. Her mother died in 1871 and, when her army officer father was posted to Dublin Castle in 1882, she acted as his hostess. Col. Gonne died in 1886, and Maud and her sister lived briefly with an uncle in London. Contracting a lung haemorrhage, she was sent to recover to the French Auvergne, where she met Lucien Millevoye, a journalist and politician whose marriage had broken down. She was to bear him two children before their affair ended in 1898.

The couple agreed to work together for Irish independence and for French recovery of Alsace-Lorraine from Germany. Millevoye suggested that Maud, though English, could become Ireland's Joan of Arc. With W. B. Yeats, she founded an Association Irlandaise in Paris, but rejected his marriage proposals. She joined the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood, and attracted police attention in Ireland by her protests against eviction and against celebration of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

In 1900, she founded Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland), a women's republican movement, and opposed Boer War recruitment. In 1902, she played Yeats' Cathleen ni Houlihan, symbolising Ireland's struggle when she shed the appearance of an old crone to become 'a young girl with the walk of a queen'. In 1903, she married in Paris Maj. John MacBride, who had formed an Irish brigade to fight on the Boers' side; their marriage failed, and he returned to Ireland, where he was executed after the 1916 rising. She spent most of her time in France.

Returning to Dublin, she was interned in 1918 and spent some months in Holloway prison in London. She organised relief during the War of Independence, and assisted republican prisoners and their dependants during the Civil War. Imprisoned in 1923, she was released after going on hunger strike. In 1938, she published an account of her early life, A Servant of the Queen. From 1922, she lived at Roebuck House, Clonskeagh, Dublin, where she died on 27 April 1953.


#25 bobpike

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 08:07 AM

Andy,
Thank you for the extra information on Pilcher, not a bad military CV for a 21 year old!
Bob