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Remembered Today:

trenchtrotter

RND Cemetery, Ancre.

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towisuk

Using Linesman's excellent digital package....

1. Centre Q17......

post-5284-0-23931500-1428994147_thumb.jp

2. Using the co-ordinates on modern Google Earth shot.....

post-5284-0-38933300-1428994296_thumb.jp

Does this match with the suggested area of the chalk marks???

regards

Tom

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Seadog

Nice one Tom

Norman

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seaforths

At risk of preaching to the converted/grandmother sucking eggs etc. but just in case it is something that has been overlooked; n the Divisional War Diaries, are the comprehensive orders that were released. I found them in either September or October for the battle at Beaumont Hamel for the 51st Division, regarding how it was to be executed and various appendices to the orders regarding medical evacuation etc. There is also an appedix which gives the orders concerning the dead. It contains a list of cemeteries in their area, to be used during and post-battle with detailed coordinates for them.

From memory, the Bn. War Diaries had the orders. However, did not include all of the appendices I found at Divisional level in the diaries. My apologies if you have already checked for this information in the Divisional diaries.

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trenchtrotter

Not sure how above helps really as the RND cemetery was created after the battle and that would be mid November. As above started by 37th Div burial teams. However not seen diaries for either 37 or 63 Div. may mention but I don't know.

TT

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seaforths

Sorry TT, I will check the appropriate paperwork. I don't know whether all of the locations listed to be used were locations that were already established cemetery locations or not. A post battle report for example states that they were unable to move bodies to one location listed because of enemy shelling and been taken to another location instead. I could probably name these locations from memory but would prefer to look at the relevant WD to be absolutely sure.

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seaforths

Not sure how above helps really as the RND cemetery was created after the battle and that would be mid November. As above started by 37th Div burial teams. However not seen diaries for either 37 or 63 Div. may mention but I don't know.

TT

Apologies for the delay in finding this information. However, it does show that cemeteries were created after the battle, in the sense that they had not been used for burials previously and had not been created to concentrate burials. They were created from circumstances at the time:

post-70679-0-63983900-1430399872_thumb.j

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trenchtrotter

Seaforths, thanks for that. RND Cemetery was exactly one of these. They were common and cemetery registers often tell you which cemeteries had bodies exhumed and taken to the current permanent ones.

TT

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seaforths

You're welcome. I did find when trawling the diaries, this report is also duplicated at Bde. level. It also shows that in addition to recovering their own fallen, they were dealing with the recovery of hundreds of bodies of Canadians that had lain out there since July.

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trenchtrotter

Hmmm Canadians since July? Are you sure as the Canadians did not arrive until September.

TT

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seaforths

Newfoundlanders, opening of the battle of the Somme, Beaumont Hamel? Have I missed the mark with my geography/history maybe? Apologies if this is so

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peterhogg

Newfoundlanders, opening of the battle of the Somme, Beaumont Hamel? Have I missed the mark with my geography/history maybe? Apologies if this is so

Newfoundland did not join Canada until 1949.

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seaforths

Apologies, I was not aware of that and I am very geographically challenged!

I read about it on a CANADIAN webpage with information for veterans. It used RED a lot and had MAPLE LEAVES.

I'm not capitalising to be rude. It's just an illustration of how you can make assumptions from things that jump out at you. The url was also Canadian. Although I thought it was odd at the time it said something along the lines of; when Canada declared war, Labrador and Newfoundland were automatically included. I thought it sounded a bit like when we declared war, Ireland, Scotland and Wales were automatically included. I now realise they obviously had a reason for that snippet of information. However, it did not expland and perhaps assumed that it would be mostly Canadians using the site, they would already know.

So thank you. In a nutshell they are Canadian now, weren't then but automatically included in the war. I live and learn :)

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peterhogg

Apologies, I was not aware of that and I am very geographically challenged!

I read about it on a CANADIAN webpage with information for veterans. It used RED a lot and had MAPLE LEAVES.

I'm not capitalising to be rude. It's just an illustration of how you can make assumptions from things that jump out at you. The url was also Canadian. Although I thought it was odd at the time it said something along the lines of; when Canada declared war, Labrador and Newfoundland were automatically included. I thought it sounded a bit like when we declared war, Ireland, Scotland and Wales were automatically included. I now realise they obviously had a reason for that snippet of information. However, it did not expland and perhaps assumed that it would be mostly Canadians using the site, they would already know.

So thank you. In a nutshell they are Canadian now, weren't then but automatically included in the war. I live and learn :)

Hi Seaforths,

No need for apologies! It was just a quick post on my part. Further to your point, I may be mistaken, but i don't recall the Canadian visitor's centre at Beaumont Hamel even puts much stress on this fact either. Another bit of trivia: July 1st is Canada Day. That can't have been roundly well-received by the new province! Thanks for posting your information,

Peter

Add: this area of the Somme is one of my favourites.I spent many weeks tramping around the area with maps and books in hand a few years back.

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seaforths

Hi Seaforths,

No need for apologies! It was just a quick post on my part. Further to your point, I may be mistaken, but i don't recall the Canadian visitor's centre at Beaumont Hamel even puts much stress on this fact either. Another bit of trivia: July 1st is Canada Day. That can't have been roundly well-received by the new province! Thanks for posting your information,

Peter

Add: this area of the Somme is one of my favourites.I spent many weeks tramping around the area with maps and books in hand a few years back.

Thank you Peter, I envy those who can get to the Somme and other battlefields in France & Belgium. It was because I typed an internet search of Canadians, Beaumont Hamel, WW1 that took me to that site. However, for me to do that, I must have already had that information in my head from somewhere else...quite possibly something I have read in the past.

Back on topic, I wonder if the RND were also faced with such a huge battlefield clearance to undertake. It may have affected the amount of burial sites used/created. Having said that, those who fell in November 1916, would have been, I think for the most part, identifiable in contrast to those who had fallen months earlier, who were probably not. I did not see anything in the diaries that pinpointed that the creation of burial sites was down to recovering more bodies. However, it does give numbers recovered and from memory, while those who perished in November ran into lower hundreds, the overall figure was over a thousand when those brought in from July were added.

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seaforths

As an update on those killed previous to November 1916, 2nd Seaforth, Middlesex Regiment, Royal Fusiliers and 'a Newfoundland Infantry Regiment' were on the battlefront previously and presumably the front of 51st HD in November (According to Normal Collins and Richard van Emden, Last Man Standing). Not sure that information helps TT but some serendipity for me as I have managed to resolve something I had been puzzling for some time now regarding an old photograph...

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trenchtrotter

Yes indeed the ground fought over by the RND on 13/11 was the scene of attacks there on 1/7 and 3/9. And of course between 1/7 and 13/11 the front lines and no mans land changed little ( minor variations on Brit Front Line). Have walked the area often in the footsteps of the soldiers. My relative was killed on 13/11 and was buried in RND cemetery prior to burial in the Ancre Cemetery. Have found insignia to a Hampshire soldier from the 3/9 assault.

TT

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seaforths

One of my granddad's cousins was also killed in action or died of wouds as a result of that battle (depending on how you interpret the information). Officially, he was KiA on 13/11. A newspaper report shows my g-g-grandparents (his grandparents were his official NoK) received word from his friends that he was wounded. After that, they received a news from his Commanding Officer to say he had since died. His name didn't appear in the casualty lists until well after the others (first week of January 1917). He was buried in Mailly Wood Cemetery, yet I get the feeling Auchonvillers would have been closer and they seemed to be taking a lot there on the 14th. My iPad and CWGC are not playing very nicely together tonight (I keep getting 404 page not found error on their site). However looking at 'Silent Cities', the 3 small cemeteries they started at Y Ravine, seem to have been amalgamated into one which does contain the bodies of some Newfoundlanders. I've not been able to find anything in that book for RND Cemetery. The only sense I can make with regard to William, is that he was seen to be wounded and died of his wounds/exposure and was perhaps among the last to be brought in. However, his grave indicates a large trench grave as the headstones are packed tightly almost overlapping in some places. Norman Collins of 'Last Man Standing' was the burial officer at that time. The only reference I have found on RND from a 51st HD perspective is they seemed to have had a most unscrupulous Padre! (Only because I happen to have just passed that part in a book I'm reading at the moment)

I also wonder what my granddad's role would have been in that battle. He was made a battalion stretcher bearer around August 1915 when he was reported as being underage (he'd managed to avoid detection for a year). However, his 19th birthday would have been 8th November 1916. Given attack was supposed to have taken place sooner and was postponed, it might have been his last stint as a stretcher bearer before returning to front line duties.

I used to be able to get in a few visits to TNA but could never have gone across to France. Nowadays, I cannot stray far at all. However, I did pay to get an image of William's grave from the photographic project.

Unfortunately, CWGC are not always helpful with map refs on original graves. A couple of years ago I was researching 1 man who had been captured with my granddad and he died in captivity. CWGC told me he had originally been buried at the same place as 3 other men (prisoners) and gave me a single location and map ref. Later, after I'd been vanishing up my own backside for some time trying to work out how they could possibly have been buried at the same location, I emailed them again. They admitted they'd made a mistake and told me they had been originally buried at 4 separate locatons (towns/villages) along the German/Swiss border. When I asked for individual map refs, they told me the map ref was the same for all of them. The ref was a map number and square - that map must have been mahoosive and/or the square very tiny and I've never yet found the map. It might only exist at IWM. What I do have is a 1920 German touring map and from 1 location at the furthest west through 2 locations to the 4th location, the furthest east, takes up the entire width of the map. In fact, it only just captures all 4 places. That little research project has taught me to be quite dubious of CWGC information on locations of original burials.

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Roger H

I am looking into the details of a man belonging to my Grandfather's B Battery of 311th Brigade RFA who is buried in Ancre British Cemetery.  He was one of the men who were originally buried elsewhere (he died on 11th March 1917 and the CWGC gives the original burial site as plot 7.B.2 Q18.c.3.4 here:

 

Q18c34 (2).jpg

 

I was wondering about the name of the original Cemetery, and looking at the details on the CWGC site under Ancre British Cemetery, narrowed it down to two possibilties - either RND Cemetery or Sherwood Cemetery.  Looking at the above posts there is a suggestion that RND Cemetery is at the centre of Q17 which would indicate that the original burial place of my man is not that one.  HOWEVER, the CWGC details say that Sherwood Cemetery is about 700 yards NW of the RND Cemetery and this has got me wondering - could it be that the cemetery at Q17 is Sherwood Cemetery and my man was originally in the RND Cemetery at Q18c34?  The description of about 700 yards to the NW seems to fit.  RND men were buried in both of these cemeteries.

 

Any thoughts or answers gratefully received.

 

Roger

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Roger H

Anyone?

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johntanner

Neither in White Cross atlas, so presumably consolidated very early on.

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Roger H

Thanks John. The CWCG site unfortunately doesn't give any indication of dates.

 

Roger

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Peter Woodger

Roger

Your man must be gunner Peel. He was exhumed from 57D Q18 c 3 4 and reburied in Ancre British cemetery Plot 7 row B grave 2 which was renumbered VII C 42 when Ancre layout was modified from 24 plots to the present 8.

36 bodies were exhumed from Q18 c 3 4 of which only 8 were identified. 6 of the identified were killed on the 3 battle dates for this sector and 2 died in March 1917. 2 of the bodies found in this area were unknown French and were removed later from Ancre. This does not seem to have been a registered cemetery but an area of 50 by 50 yards in which 36 bodies laid from 1914 to clearance in mid 1919. In the whole of 18c 378 bodies were recovered which included 2 registered cemeteries, Station Road and Ancre river 2 neither of which was at c 3 4.

 

Peter

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Roger H

Peter

 

Peel is indeed my man. Thank you so much for that information, it really answers the question in more ways than I could have hoped.  Thank you once again.

 

Roger

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