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The Welsh at Mametz Wood 9 July 1916


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#176 hywyn

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:12 PM

Gives deployment in various trenches and names four privates as wounded.

PM sent.

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#177 archibaldsidney

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:05 PM

I know that this is a reply to a really old post but felt the need to put it on anyway. In Nov 2006 Paul asked about where the welsh attacks on Mametz Wood went in. Gaz provided a sketch map but this was not quite correct. He has put all the attacks to the south of the wood. I was a member of the committee which set up the monument 25 years ago and the position choosen for the memorial was made carefully. The monument faces the eastern side of the wood- the bottom edge of the Hammerhead. The attack of the 7th July was made from the area to the right of the monument from Marlborough and Caterpiller Woods, down the slope across the valley and up to the side of the Hammerhead. It was at right angles to the German second line and was supposed to have been masked by a smoke barrage. In reality the troops were enfiladed from Sabot and Flat Iron Copses and the second German Line- roughly the Bazentin-Longueval road.Thisattack failed, only a few men penetrated the wood and another attempt was ordered for the 10th July. This attack went in from the southern end of the wood near Strip Trench and Cliff Trench to the left of the Dragon Memorial. The troops had to fight their way northwards through the whole body of the wood, the northern edge of which was covered by the German Second line. During the lull between the 7th and 10th July the Germans reinforced their positions and dug new trenches while the wood was deluged by shells, HE, Gas and Incendiary.
This summer on 7th July 2012 the South Wales branch of the Western Front Association will be holding a commemorative service to mark the 25th anniversary of the erection of the memorial. If you are in the area please join us we would love to see you.

Phil Davies.

#178 NathanHead

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:06 PM

Hi, I've been reading this forum for some time now while researching some relatives who were at Mametz. I decided to register today to just post and say Hi really, and to thank everyone for all their comments and links and images. It's really helped me visualise what happened.

#179 Garron

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    10th & 13th Welsh at Mametz Wood 1916

Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:51 AM

Hi, Phil only just seen this post I do apologise, the map I made on MS paint is a ad-hoc version from the Colin Hughes book on the battle (not scanned due to copy right) and its based on the attack of July 10th. Everything I've seen on the battle shows that was roughly the line of attack.

Gaz

#180 NathanHead

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:14 PM

in this picture (somehwhere) is my great-grandad Ted Richards of the 14th Welsh.


after his brother James was killed at Mametz wood, Ted recovered from his war injuries in his converted manor house in England where he met my great-grandmother, who was working there as a volunteer nurse at the time.

not sure if I've posted this in the wrong topic, really sorry if I have. I'm new to this forum and still getting my bearings.



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#181 BottsGreys

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:15 PM

Hi, I've been reading this forum for some time now while researching some relatives who were at Mametz. I decided to register today to just post and say Hi really, and to thank everyone for all their comments and links and images. It's really helped me visualise what happened.


Welcome! You and Bernard (Lewis) are sure to have something to talk about.

Chris

#182 NathanHead

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:22 PM

Welcome! You and Bernard (Lewis) are sure to have something to talk about.

Chris







cheers for the welcome Chris :thumbsup:

#183 Bernard_Lewis

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:26 PM

Nice photo; any idea where it is? Bears a passing resemblance to the Swansea Workhouse! (which had an infirmary)

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#184 NathanHead

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:41 PM

Nice photo; any idea where it is? Bears a passing resemblance to the Swansea Workhouse! (which had an infirmary)

Bernsrd

I know exactly where it is Bernard. it's in Warrington, not Swansea, oddly enough.
my great grandmother lived in there before the Great War and my great-uncle also lived in another house in the same grounds called Redbarn and later he moved to the gatehouse lodge at the main gates. and later my great-grandparents moved into the cottage across the road where my grandparents lived, and my dad grew up in.

the house WAS called Thelwall Heys, but for a while was just known as "The Heys". over the past few decades it has been broken up into small appartments and houses, after the Second World War it had the various wings and buildings in the grounds split up and made into seperate apartments. When you look on a map there are a few house names listed on the same address; "The Cottage", "Cliff Lane Farm", "Thelwall Heys Cottage" & "Acropora House", but originally they were just one large manor-house owned by two sisters called Shipman and my great grandma was their live-in help - later a volunteer when the manor house was converted into a makeshift hospital during the Great War. its on a private drive just off Cliff Lane in Grappenhall, Warrington.

(ps. not to be confused with the confusingly similar "Grappenhall Heys", which is situated at the opposite side of the village which is currently a public "walled" garden and was Wren accomodation during WWII.)


I have no idea why my great-grandad Ted was sent to Warrington to recover from his injuries, he lived in a farm in Hereford on the Welsh border. All his family was there. I don't know why he was sent to the North of England, I reallydon't. I do know that my great-great-grandparents held him responsible for his brother James not returning from Mametz and so he didn't return to their farm in Hereford after the War was over. He stayed in Grappenhall, Warrington with Ada and they married.


I cropped the above photo to just show the people, but the original shows a bit more of the main building. it's framed and on the wall at my parents' house, it's a strange photograph though, its not on paper, its an old lithographic thing that's printed on a sheet of reflective metal so it's quite hard to see. I'm surprised at how clearly it scanned though.

#185 NathanHead

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 10:51 PM

hey Bernard, I just ordered your book. I look forward to reading it

#186 Bernard_Lewis

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:56 AM

I hope you enjoy it, Nathan!

Bernard

#187 NathanHead

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 11:08 AM

Well Bernard, my copy of Swansea Pals arrived today and I haven't been able to put it down. It's brilliant. So many amazing pictures too.
I was wondering if I could pick your brains with something though?
At the back you include the next of kin listfor the 14th Welsh.

My two ancestors that were in the 14th Welsh are not included, one was mortally wounded at Mametz and the other badly injured, I was wondering if you knew of any reason why they may not be on that list? I noticed the date was December 1915, I'm not 100% sure on this but I'm sure that I've always been told that my two relatives didn't sign up to Kitchener's drive until 1916, right before they went to France.


I also noticed that my great-grandad and great-great-uncle's service numbers start with a 3 and the majority of the names on those lists start with 1 or 2, did the service number reflect when a man signed up? or were they generated in some other way? do you know how I could find out for certain? sorry to bother you with stuff like this, I feel really cheeky coming out with such bold requests.

#188 Bernard_Lewis

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 03:28 PM

Aw shucks, you're making me blush :whistle:

The list is literally a contemporary snapshot of the battalion; compiled in December 1915 by the local recruiting committee. A list of men who proceeded overseas in, essentially, the first 'batch' from the battalion. A man who joined in 1916 certainly wouldn't be on there.

Yes, most of the 'original' men have numbers starting with 17 or 29. To be honest I've not studied how numbers were allocated but there are people on the Forum who are experts in that area. If no-one comes along here with a comment in a day or two it will be worth you posing this question in a new post in the relevant part of the Forum. Include 'Welsh Regiment numbering' in the heading(s) and I'm sure someone will enlighten you (and me)!

Glad you're enjoying the book.

Bernard

#189 Dannemois

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:12 AM

I have just read through the full eight pages of this fascinating thread and I hope I am not intruding but I have a query about Mametz on the 7th and in partcular the Cardiff City battalion.  Reading the facsinating stories about the many Welsh songs I wondered if the 16th Battlion sung songs as they went into battle.  Do you have any similar stories about these Welsh lads? Also the image posted by Soren1915 on page 4 (#93) is of interest; I would like to use a copy but not sure if it is protected by copyright.

 



#190 Ghazala

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:26 AM

Met these great Welsh Boys at Mametz last September.

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#191 Will Morris

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:21 PM

After several weeks of anticipation, I made my first visit to the wood on a very hot bright August day. The "satisfaction" (I can't really find the word) that I was finally at the same place where my great uncle had been, overcame any feelings of unease I may have had on entering the wood. I'm sure on a dank misty winter's day I would have felt very different. 
 
Having known very little about the experiences of my grandpa's youngest brother, other than a photo with "16th Btn RWF (Pals)" written on the back, I really have been on a "voyage of discovery" - owed very much to the help of the Forum, piecing together details of his war through the Diaries and records taking me to Pilckem, where he was to receive his fatal wounds, and now here. It was certainly an extraordinary experience seeing the places where he must have been - Queen's Nullah and Strip Trench among them. One visit will never be enough.

 

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Edited by Will Morris, 11 September 2013 - 01:29 PM.


#192 JulesW

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:18 PM

Will apologies for the hi-jack. My Dad's brother started with the 16th through Mametz then to Ypres finally dying of wounds with the 14th 18/02/17
Can you share name and details of your relative please?

#193 Will Morris

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:11 AM

Hi Jules

 

No problem at all. Always fascinated to make a connection like this. Details as follows:

 

Name: MORRIS, Charles Robertson
Rank: Lance Corporal - Service No: 18691
16th Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers
Born: 1898 Colwyn Bay

Enlisted: 7/12/14

From looking at War Diaries it's likely wounds received between 31/7/17 and 1/8/17

Date of Death: 24/06/1920 age 22.

Buried: Llanbeblig Public Cemetery, Caernarfon

 

Thanks to Hywyn, he has now been officially recognised by the CWGC.

 

Will
 
 


Edited by Will Morris, 12 September 2013 - 10:12 AM.


#194 JulesW

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:48 PM

Will, was your great uncle a footballer? You may have seen a post of 16th RWF Cup Winners, '14-'15. Jules

#195 Will Morris

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 02:05 PM

Jules

 

Not that I'm aware of - but I will certainly seek out your post as I'm interested in all things 16th RWF.

 

Will



#196 JulesW

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:07 PM

Just in case your Taids's brother is here.

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#197 Will Morris

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:11 AM

Thanks Jules - I don't think he's there, but they must have been comrades which makes it an interesting piece in an ever growing puzzle.



#198 Mrmerv31

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 04:39 PM

Hi there,my great uncle was a Leeds lad but moved to Ystradgynlais when he was about 11,his name was Harry bickerdike Furness,he was killed at mametz wood on the 10th July whilst serving with the Swansea pals.All the family still live in farnley in Leeds and could never understand why his name wasn't on the cenotaph,on doing a bit of research I found his name on the Ystradgynlais memorial,does any one know where I can find out abit more about his service or how he died?
Any help would be greatly appreciated
Gary

#199 Bernard_Lewis

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:36 PM

He's only mentioned in my book in the original list of men who went overseas in December 1915. He's listed as H.P. Furness, mother is Mrs M.J. Furness living at Mount Pleasant, Swansea which is actually very vague. Lots of roads on that hill...

 

The 10 July 1916 was the day that the Welsh Division (including the Swansea Pals, the 14th Welsh) made a major attack on Mametz Wood. A couple of earlier, smaller scale attacks had failed. Three days of heavy fighting and 4,000 casualties later and the Germans were pushed out of the wood. 

 

No detail on how he died but obviously either on his way to the wood or while fighting inside it.

 

Bernard



#200 ridgus

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 11:10 PM

Remembering the lads of the 38th (Welsh) Division as they waited in the darkness opposite the dark mass of Mametz Wood on the night of 9 July 1916. They sang in Welsh to relieve the tension of a long night...

Twenty years later an officer of the Swansea Battalion commented that during the war the Swansea Battalion had done a great many things - but, he added, the hardest thing it ever did was attack Mametz Wood.

The battalion was never the same after that and the town of Swansea observed the 10 July as 'Mametz Memorial Day' until the outbreak of World War Two. The Old Comrades of the battalion posted an 'In Memoriam' notice in the local press until 1966, at which time there only a few left.

Not forgotten...

Bernard

 

Bernard

 

Recently I had an exchange of views on another thread about the value or otherwise of empathy in the teaching of history. I think in retrospect I should have simply suggested that this classic thread be read from beginning to end as I have done this evening.

 

The thread really is a perfect storm of patriotism, pride, knowledge, erudition and, yes, empathy. It manages to wear its (immense) learning lightly and be moving without being maudlin.

 

I think many of the early posts in particular manage to bring out the almost mythic quality of the action at Mametz Wood and its place in Welsh history. I think in my case just about everything I know about Mametz comes from what might be called the literary sources: Llewelyn Wyn Griffith, David Jones, Graves, Sassoon (how could one regiment have so many literary giants?). As a consequence perhaps I have a rather more heightened emotional view of it than befits a history teacher and which makes me more susceptible to the emotional pull of so many of these posts.

 

Well whatever the reason, and with no apology for my response, it was a pleasure and a privilege. Thank you

 

David

 

PS I thought I'd better finally back up my knowledge with some 'proper' history of the period so have ordered your book!