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laughton

Unknown Officer, Connaught Rangers: Villers-Faucon C.C.Ext. 3.C.14

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laughton

There is an UNKNOWN OFFICER of the Connaught Rangers listed for Plot 3 Row C Grave 13 in the Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery Extension. There is a hand written marking at the end (Lt.). When you go to the Headstone Schedule, he is no longer a Connaught Ranger, just an UNKNOWN LIEUTENANT. He is above Lance Corporal Hanson.

 

I am in this cemetery looking for Canadian Lieutenant A. L. Waugh, but as always happens, others of interest appear.

 

There are no CONCENTRATION REPORTS for Plot 3 Row C.

 

There are seven (7) others of the Connaught Rangers in this cemetery, KIA February or March 1918, so I would say that sets the date.

 

The only missing Lieutenant of the Connaught Ranges is Lt. T. F. Gilmore, 8 November 1918. I do not know if they were in that area at the time, but usually if there is a group of his men in the same cemetery the date is fixed. Regardless, the  CWGC would ask!

Quote

Correction 27 November 2017: There are two (2) others from September 20, 1914 on the La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial. Most certainly, they were not in this area.

 

NOW THE QUESTION: Is it possible that the UNKNOWN is actually Captain Thomas Horsfall Crofton? He is on the Pozieres Memorial for 21 March 1918. Was he a Captain, Acting Captain or Temporary Captain at the time of his death? There are many occasions that the rank that is used on the CWGC is the highest rank that could have been used. There are no Second Lieutenants, Lieutenants or Majors missing at this time. He is the only candidate.

 

It would appear that since there were no missing Lieutenants of the Connaught Rangers, the IWGC decided that he must be a Lieutenant but not a Connaught Ranger. Not sure why they did not list him as an UNKNOWN OFFICER, CONNAUGHT RANGERS?

 

Can someone check him out in the British records?

 

doc2059299.JPG

 

doc2750475.JPG

Edited by laughton
Correction statement added.

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laughton

Turns out Captain Crofton, born in Ireland, attested to the  72nd Canadian Infantry Battalion (Seaforth HIghlanders) and then to the 16th Battalion, Canadian Scottish #28960 (Service Record in Canada) and later took a commission in the British Army, the same process as both my grandfathers. Small world!

 

He had been a Captain for some time, April 1915.

 

Since there are no Connaught Ranger Lieutenants missing and the original GRRF says he was an UNKNOWN OFFICER, I think it has to be Captain Crofton. Who put the "(Lt.)" on the GRRF?

 

If his body was never KNOWINGLY RECOVERED, there should be a exhumation for these remains. If they were found at the woods, it is a done deal.

 

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/1579466

 

http://connaughtrangersassoc.com/history/capt-thomas-horsfall-crofton/

 

The regimental web site gives us a clue to his location:

Quote

In the early hours of March 21st 1918 Tom Crofton was with his Company in the village of Villers Faucon with the rest of the 6th Battalion spending a brief time out of the line in Divisional Reserve when the village was intensely bombarded. The bombardment commenced at 4.50am and was uncannily accurate pinpointing supply dumps and supply lines and destroying communications. It was the beginning of a massive German offensive and the sector being held by the 16th Irish Division was one of areas selected for a German breakthrough. At 12.53 in the afternoon the 6th Connaught Rangers were ordered forward to meet the attacking enemy and the Battalion proceeded east.

 

Near Ronssoy Wood, contact was made with enemy troops. At 3.45pm the Rangers were ordered to counterattack. A Company led by Captain Crofton was to attack on the left with D Company on the right along a sunken road to the west of Ronssoy Wood. With little or no accurate intelligence on the strength of the enemy and in the midst of a terrific whirlwind of shell and rifle fire Tom Crofton led his men toward the Wood. A Coy was soon flanked on both sides by thousands of enemy storm troopers and the entire Company was annihilated. Captain Crofton MC was killed leading his men forward and his body was never recovered.

 

From the trench map, he most certainly is in the correct area:

 

eaukxnm10b3oeet6g.jpg

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voltaire60

   Both Crofton and Gilmore have surviving officer files (albeit make-ups) at Kew. Would you like them read, next week?

 

 

 

Lieutenant Thomas Francis GILMORE. The Connaught Rangers.

War Office: Officers' Services, First World War, personal files (alphabetical). Lieutenant Thomas Francis GILMORE. The Connaught Rangers.

 

Held by:

The National Archives - War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies

Date:

1915 - 1919

Reference:

WO 374/27396

Subjects:

Armed Forces (General Administration) | Army | Conflict | Operations, battles and campaigns

 

 

Lieutenant Thomas Horsfall CROFTON The Connaught Rangers.

War Office: Officers' Services, First World War, Long Number Papers (numerical). Officers Services (including Civilian Dependants and Military Staff Appointments): Long Service Papers. Lieutenant Thomas Horsfall CROFTON The Connaught Rangers.

 

Held by:

The National Archives - War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies

Date:

1915 - 1918

Reference:

WO 339/34854

Subjects:

Armed Forces (General Administration) | Army | Conflict | Operations, battles and campaigns

 

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laughton

I am always willing to accept assistance, but I do not want to be a pest. You have done so much already! I think it has to be Crofton but the CWGC would want us to eliminate Gilmore.

 

Cheers from Canada,

Richard

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voltaire60
10 minutes ago, laughton said:

I am always willing to accept assistance, but I do not want to be a pest. You have done so much already! I think it has to be Crofton but the CWGC would want us to eliminate Gilmore.

 

Cheers from Canada,

Richard

 

     Don't worry about that- I have my 60+ travel card-and determined to thump it.  I go over to Kew for my own things and like to have a shopping list- I never tire of officer files.

 

            You are far better than I would ever be at this stuff-  Just crack on with that Essex Captain- I will look at the 2 Connaughts officers. Happy to do. The late publisher here, John Murray (Jock Murray) was asked why he put in so much time with  some authors (Paddy Leigh-Fermor in this case) and his response was "Good company is no slavery"

Edited by voltaire60

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laughton

Thank you!  I should have mentioned that I did the ZIP files for this cemetery today in order to hunt for my Canadian Lieutenant:

 

Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery Extension

 

I have not done the Headstone Schedules, but that can be done if needed (reference point 2750475 - as I will forget later!)

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laughton

It looks to me like Lt. Gilmore is off the list, as at the time he was 4th Bn. Connaught Rangers, attached to the 5th Bn.  If we look at two others (Heyman and Davies) of the same unit, that have concentrations at that time, they were some distance to the east in the final days before the Armistice:

 

doc2620669.JPG

 

Of course, what always happens is one file suggests another, so who is the Unknown Private of the Connaught Rangers in  Grave 5. There are only 3 missing at the time of Heyman, Davies and Lt. Gilmore. Is it Sanders, Sheridan or Kelly? Which one was 5' 10" tall and wore size 8 boots? He was exhumed for identification.

Edited by laughton
5' 10"

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Boydo

Just read this thread with personal interest. I have seen Crofton's MC at Boyle House several times during the annual Remembrance Services held there. It's a powerful story. My Great Uncle was a Private with (C Coy I am still trying to confirm this) 6th Connaughts under the command of Capt Norman during that tragic day and survived. Only several men survived from this section  and yet more was to follow when they got cut off  just outside St Emilie the following day after further  heavy rear guard action before again frantically fighting to their way out of this encounter. Terrible times, acts of heroism that no one will ever know and it was the only part of the war that he would talk about for those who wanted to listen. As Jourdain recorded."... The Rangers had held their ground. These men were the last on the field.

image.jpg

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QGE

Gilmore was killed by a shell near Grand Fuchau some 59 km from where Crofton was killed. as the corbeau flies. I think the chances that Gilmore is the unidentified officers is close to zero. 

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laughton

Thanks to BOYDO and QGE for the additional information!

 

I was poking around a bit more to make sure I did not miss anyone. I had not yet looked at the Connaught Rangers unit affiliations in the Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery Extension. Turns out they are all 6th Battalion:

 

surname initials death rank unit # reference
DEVANE J 26-02-18 Private 6th Bn. '1747' III. F. 1.
GALLAGHER J 21-02-18 Private 6th Bn. '4756' I. B. 18.
HAMBLETON C H 21-02-18 Private 6th Bn. '4760' I. B. 16.
LYONS E 15-02-18 Lance Corporal 6th Bn. '11201' I. B. 7.
SPELLMAN J H 18-02-18 Private 6th Bn. '6605' I. B. 10.
WHITTY P 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '18199' Sp. Mem. 2.
WYNNE F 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '9900' I. G. 3.

 

That works out well, for when I checked all the Officers in the Regiment and then sorted that out for the missing it was clear that Crofton, although a 3rd Battalion Lieutenant was attached to the 6th Battalion at the time of his death.

 

surname initials death rank unit cemetery or memorial Comments
CROFTON T H 21-03-18 Captain 3rd Bn. attd. 6th Bn. POZIERES MEMORIAL Operation Michael March-April 1918
HACK C E 05-11-14 Captain 1st Bn. LE TOURET MEMORIAL October 1914 to end Loos September 1915
GILMORE, MC T F 08-11-18 Lieutenant 4th Bn. attd. 5th Bn. VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL August 8 to Armistice
MOORE J R 09-09-16 Second Lieutenant 3rd Bn. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL Somme Unknowns before 20 March 1918
COADY J 21-08-18 Second Lieutenant attd 2nd Bn. R.Irish.Reg. VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL  
MAGUIRE H 09-09-16 Second Lieutenant 3rd Bn. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
O'CONNELL D C 09-09-16 Second Lieutenant 4th Bn. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
SHANKS E F 21-10-16 Second Lieutenant 5th Bn. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
VERNON W W 07-07-16 Second Lieutenant 4th Bn. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  
MONTGOMERY A 22-12-14 Second Lieutenant 3rd Bn., attd. 2nd Bn. LE TOURET MEMORIAL  
DE STACPOOLE R A 20-09-14 Second Lieutenant 2nd Bn. LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL end August and early October 1914
LENTAIGNE V A 14-09-14 Second Lieutenant 2nd Bn. LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL  

 

I now believe that we have a solid case that this Unknown Officer of the Connaught Ranges is Captain Thomas Horsfall Crofton.

 

I note that the CWGC listing does not indicate that he had the Military Cross. The reference above note that the M.C. was awarded on 27 March 1917 for actions on 6 March 1917 (London Gazette April 1917 Supplement 30036 page 3935). I have sent in a correction today. I am also checking with the CWGC as to whether this is filed as a Canadian, British or Combined report. It may need to go to both- I don't know.

 

Quote

Richard's shortcut to get a listing from the L.G. if you know the issue (99999) and page (9999) is to replace the numbers in this link:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/City/issue/99999/page/9999

If you only know the issue number then use this link, where you can also change the City of Issue if you wish:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/99999/data.pdf

 

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QGE

the 3rd Bn was a Reserve Battalion and provided reinforcements along with the 4th Extra Reserve Battalion: Officers and men waiting to be posted to the 1st, 5th or 6th  Battalions would nominally be on the books of the 3rd Bn or the 4th Bn. One often sees this legacy designation on CWGC records. Technically speaking he should have been posted to the 6th Battalion. It will be interesting to see if his Officer Records record the posting. A trawl of the war diary ought to highlight when he was posted and this would also be reflected in the Army Lists (available on line) should you need to do a thorough job with the burden of proof. 

 

I have access to all the necessary diaries, history and Army Lists should you get stuck. 

 

See here ...page 1201 he is under column 1512b under the 4th Extra Reserve Bn in the Nov 1918 Army List.

 

It is possible to plod back through the monthly lists to trace his movements. 

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MBrockway
On 02/11/2017 at 12:39, laughton said:

Was he a Captain, Acting Captain or Temporary Captain at the time of his death? There are many occasions that the rank that is used on the CWGC is the highest rank that could have been used. There are no Second Lieutenants, Lieutenants or Majors missing at this time. He is the only candidate.

 

Can someone check him out in the British records?

 

It's pretty clear from previous posts that Crofton was a substantive Captain at the time of his death, but for completeness here are all the relevant London Gazette entries I could find ...

 

Issue 29055, 02 Feb 1915, p.1025
Special Reserve of Officers - 2/Lt on Probation

5a004f38c28d0_Issue2905502Feb1915p.1025a.jpg.7013ec96c0a9eb93a61d26175b15e1a4.jpg

..

5a004f3977415_Issue2905502Feb1915p.1025b.jpg.ecd9ac8b17f9e5762feab3a8215dbb3f.jpg

 

 

Issue 29284, 03 Sep 1915 (Supplement), p.8817
Special Reserve of Officers - 2/Lt (on probation) now confirmed in their rank

5a004f3a3562f_Issue2928403Sep1915(Supplement)p.8817a.jpg.56a59a5ff582b8507a6f8d16709101b3.jpg

..

5a004f3ac2377_Issue2928403Sep1915(Supplement)p.8817b.jpg.906828ad19e17dd67b17314942d0b2dc.jpg

 

 

Issue 29315, 01 Oct 1915 (Supplement), p.9742
Special Reserve of Officers - Promotion to Lt

 

5a004f3b4e546_Issue2931501Oct1915(Supplement)p_9742.jpg.a8c27f8a479660bbb91551311fa8b309.jpg

 

 

Issue 29473, 11 Feb 1916 (Supplement), p.1656
Special Reserve of Officers - Lt promoted to Capt.

 

5a004f3bce3a7_Issue2947311Feb1916(Supplement)p_1656.jpg.abaed44d1a32c19c11f675a9f8c97493.jpg

 

 

Issue 30036, 24 Apr 1917 (Supplement), p.3935
Military Cross

5a004f3c9ee2f_Issue3003624Apr1917(Supplement)p.3935a.jpg.c593925a055150b5c7da078692985ce6.jpg

5a004f3d24e15_Issue3003624Apr1917(Supplement)p.3935b.jpg.6948d997a291370215fd9cd94595f9a8.jpg

..

5a004f3da2a09_Issue3003624Apr1917(Supplement)p.3935c.jpg.c316aa8bc86dbb175a2c3023fd0b9e58.jpg

 

 

Issue 30315, 28 Sep 1917 (Supplement), p.10144
Regular Forces, Promotion to Acting Major

5a004f3f02d52_Issue3031528Sep1917(Supplement)p.10144.jpg.f990ea868c6f31083cad64bbec53c069.jpg

 

 

Issue 30432, 14 Dec 1917 (Supplement), p.13214
Regular Forces, Promotion to Acting Major
5a004f3f86328_Issue3043214Dec1917(Supplement)p.13214.jpg.0cbbaf7b194548c78c3b1e21bcfe53b2.jpg

 

There are a few differences on dates with some of the regimental material higher up, but largely in line.  The LG entries are *theoretically* definitive.  These might be useful to you in building your case.

 

Mark

 

 

 

Edited by MBrockway

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laughton

There were 98 men of the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers KIA in this period. Of those 58 men are listed as missing on the Pozieres Memorial.

 

Close by to where I believe we have found Captain Crofton, we have seventeen (17) known men and three (3) unknown in the Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers-Faucon. All but one (1) are with or serving with the 6th Battalion. One is attached to the 48th Trench Mortar Battery, or so it says. I have added in four (4) others that are listed as "UBS Connaught Rangers". One is identified as a Corporal, of which there are three (3) on the Pozieres Memorial. so he can not be identified from the available data.

 

The majority of the men were found at 62c.F.19.a.9.9 on the path of the green arrow in the map above.

 

surname initials death rank unit # grave exhumed
CUMMINS, M.C. F K 21-03-18 Lieutenant 6th Bn. GRRF says Captain   I. A. 11. no COG-BR
UBS     Corporal     I.D.6 62.F.19.a.9.9
PHILLIPS J 21-03-18 C.S.M. 6th Bn. '6669' I. F. 1. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
McEWAN H 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '4778' I. F. 2. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
UBS           I. F. 3 62c.F.19.a.9.9
UBS           I. G. 1 62c.F.19.a.9.9
CULLEN C 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. COG-BR says 3rd '7476' I. H. 6. 62c.F.19.c.3.2
MURPHY S 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. COG-BR says MGC '4154' I. H. 7. 62c.F.19.c.3.2
UBS           II. F. 10 62c.F.19.a.9.9
CLARK R 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '18148' II. F. 11. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
CASEY J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '7849' II. F. 13. 62c.F.19.c.5.3
COYLE P 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '1396' II. F. 5. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
BRENNAN J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. COG-BR says 21506 R.I.F. '18014' II. F. 8. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
O'SULLIVAN E 21-03-18 Corporal 6th Bn. '3514' III. A. 13. 62c.F.19.c.5.3
GANNON M J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '7842' III. A. 17. 62.F.19.a.9.9
CONNOLLY M 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '6534' III. A. 18. 62.F.19.a.9.9
SUMMERS J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. No unit on COG-BR '2987' III. D. 13. 62c.E.15.c.3.8
KENNEDY J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '3811' III. D. 14. 62c.E.15.c.3.8
FLYNN, M.M. P 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '3624' IV. B. 17. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
HUGHES, M.M J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '2727' IV. C. 7. 62c.F.13.a.3.5
MOORE U 22-03-18 Lieutenant 3rd Bn. attd. 6th Bn. Pte. 11105? IV. D. 1. 62c.E450.E65 N ?
MOORE H V 21-03-18 2nd Lieutenant attd. 48th TMB on GRRF   Sp. Mem. B. 2. unknown

 

All the evidence continues to point towards the UNKNOWN OFFICER being Captain Crofton, the only missing officer serving with the 6th Battalion.

 

There are no Connaught Rangers in the other two cemeteries close to the area:

  • Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery
  • Saulcourt Churchyard Extension, Guyencourt-Saulcourt

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dickaren
19 hours ago, laughton said:

There were 98 men of the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers KIA in this period. Of those 58 men are listed as missing on the Pozieres Memorial.

 

Close by to where I believe we have found Captain Crofton, we have seventeen (17) known men and three (3) unknown in the Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers-Faucon. All but one (1) are with or serving with the 6th Battalion. One is attached to the 48th Trench Mortar Battery, or so it says. I have added in four (4) others that are listed as "UBS Connaught Rangers". One is identified as a Corporal, of which there are three (3) on the Pozieres Memorial. so he can not be identified from the available data.

 

The majority of the men were found at 62c.F.19.a.9.9 on the path of the green arrow in the map above.

 

surname initials death rank unit # grave exhumed
CUMMINS, M.C. F K 21-03-18 Lieutenant 6th Bn. GRRF says Captain   I. A. 11. no COG-BR
UBS     Corporal     I.D.6 62.F.19.a.9.9
PHILLIPS J 21-03-18 C.S.M. 6th Bn. '6669' I. F. 1. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
McEWAN H 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '4778' I. F. 2. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
UBS           I. F. 3 62c.F.19.a.9.9
UBS           I. G. 1 62c.F.19.a.9.9
CULLEN C 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. COG-BR says 3rd '7476' I. H. 6. 62c.F.19.c.3.2
MURPHY S 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. COG-BR says MGC '4154' I. H. 7. 62c.F.19.c.3.2
UBS           II. F. 10 62c.F.19.a.9.9
CLARK R 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '18148' II. F. 11. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
CASEY J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '7849' II. F. 13. 62c.F.19.c.5.3
COYLE P 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '1396' II. F. 5. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
BRENNAN J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. COG-BR says 21506 R.I.F. '18014' II. F. 8. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
O'SULLIVAN E 21-03-18 Corporal 6th Bn. '3514' III. A. 13. 62c.F.19.c.5.3
GANNON M J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '7842' III. A. 17. 62.F.19.a.9.9
CONNOLLY M 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '6534' III. A. 18. 62.F.19.a.9.9
SUMMERS J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. No unit on COG-BR '2987' III. D. 13. 62c.E.15.c.3.8
KENNEDY J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '3811' III. D. 14. 62c.E.15.c.3.8
FLYNN, M.M. P 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '3624' IV. B. 17. 62c.F.19.a.9.9
HUGHES, M.M J 21-03-18 Private 6th Bn. '2727' IV. C. 7. 62c.F.13.a.3.5
MOORE U 22-03-18 Lieutenant 3rd Bn. attd. 6th Bn. Pte. 11105? IV. D. 1. 62c.E450.E65 N ?
MOORE H V 21-03-18 2nd Lieutenant attd. 48th TMB on GRRF   Sp. Mem. B. 2. unknown

 

All the evidence continues to point towards the UNKNOWN OFFICER being Captain Crofton, the only missing officer serving with the 6th Battalion.

 

There are no Connaught Rangers in the other two cemeteries close to the area:

  • Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery
  • Saulcourt Churchyard Extension, Guyencourt-Saulcourt

 

From the cemetery register looks like the many found at 62.F.19.a.9.9 would have come from the original cemetery.

 

Villers-Faucon was captured by the 5th Cavalry Division on 27 March 1917, lost on 22 March 1918, and retaken by the III Corps on 7 September 1918. On the site of this cemetery at the Armistice, there were three large graves of Commonwealth soldiers buried by the Germans, which now form part of Plot I. The remainder of the cemetery is composed almost entirely of graves brought in from an older cemetery of the same name or from the battlefields. A large proportion of these concentrated graves were those of soldiers of the 16th (Irish) Division who died in March 1918. Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery contains 513 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. 222 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 21 casualties believed to be buried among them. There are also ten German burials in the cemetery. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

 

Richard

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laughton

Now that I have the War Diary I am able to confirm that it was Captain Crofton leading "A" Coy.

 

As A coy under Captain Normal ? advanced they saw what at first they thought was the 1/RMF but soon discovered it to be the enemy, lining the factory ridge to their right front, as well parties of the enemy approaching along the Ronssoy St, Emilie Road, evidently with the object of getting round the flank of D Coy. C Coy immediately engaged the enemy forming a defensive flank along the Ronssoy - St. Emile road, but all the officers and the greater part of the company becoming casualties, they were soon compelled to fall back on the Brown Line, together with the few that remained of A and D Coys, who had suffered very severely, Captain Crofton having been killed while gallantly leading forward A Coy which he commanded, whilst Lieut. Ribbons, who had succeeded Captain Wickham in the command of D Coy. was missing.

Edited by laughton
typo

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voltaire60

Service file for Crofton adds nothing.  A small surprise for you over in Canuck-Land- Crofton was previously  private 16th Bn. Canadian Contingent.  His good character is signed off by a vicar in British Columbia.

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laughton

Thanks for checking - never leave a stone unturned.

 

I had included some wording in his report (still in production) relating to the Canadian Connection. It presents and interesting situation for the CWGC in Ottawa and Maidenhead, as the "Canadian Reports" (usually CEF) go to Ottawa for approval before they go the Maidenhead. The other "Commonwealth Reports" (at least from Canadian authors) go direct to Maidenhead. How will they interpret this case?

 

Here is what is in his draft report:

 

Prior to taking a Commission with the British Army, Captain Crofton was a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (Attestation & Service Record).

 

Initially a member of the 72nd and 16th Infantry Battalions, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF #28960); Thomas Horsfall Crofton was struck off strength of the CEF on 10 January 1915, to accept a Commission with the British Army (Probationary 2nd Lt. LG 29055). He was appointed a Lieutenant with the Connaught Rangers of 6 April 1915 (LG 29315) and Captain on 1 September 1915 (LG 29473). His Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry was awarded 26 April 1917 (LG 30036).

 

As a Canadian, Captain Thomas Horsfall Crofton, M.C. is remembered on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and Canada’s First World War Book of Remembrance.

 

As a side, if you click on the Book of Remembrance link you will see that his page will be turned and viewable to the public on Monday December 18th, 2017. As with the Menin Gate Memorial, this task of turning a page, is completed every day.

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laughton
On 11/5/2017 at 09:03, QGE said:

Gilmore was killed by a shell near Grand Fuchau some 59 km from where Crofton was killed. as the corbeau flies. I think the chances that Gilmore is the unidentified officers is close to zero. 

 

Would it be possible to get a reference for this note? I have access to the 6th Battalion war diaries but I cannot find anything for the 5th Battalion.

 

Thanks,

Richard

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QGE
8 hours ago, laughton said:

 

Would it be possible to get a reference for this note? I have access to the 6th Battalion war diaries but I cannot find anything for the 5th Battalion.

 

Thanks,

Richard

 

The Connaught Rangers by Lt Col H F N Jourdain Vol III page 198 

 

""...unfortunately Lieutenant T F Gilmore  who was acting as Intelligence Officer was killed by a shell"

 

5th Bn Connaught Rangers War Diary 8th Nov 1918 (page 759 for anyone with Ancestry)

 

".... Major Weir took over command. Companies moved towards the valley towards the King's Liverpools and on the way Lt Gilmore was killed by a shell. He was acting as Intelligence Officer....."

 

 

Edited by QGE

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laughton

Thanks for that!

 

Interesting, now that I have worldwide Ancestry.ca I can also log into the UK site. The first attempt sent me somewhere completely different (66th Division, 199th Infantry Brigade), but on reload it came back to the 5th Connaught Rangers. As best I can tell now, what is on Ancestry.ca for the war diaries is different from what is on Ancestry.co.uk. The important thing is that it finally worked and I have the reference document for the report!!

 

I would encourage others that reference the Ancestry War Diaries to add the link to the post so that those that have a membership can view the document. That keeps us in line with the GWF policy.

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laughton

The draft report for Captain Crofton is now complete. As in previous cases, please note that any member of the GWF that has participated in this research is welcome (encouraged) to add their name to Attachment #7 "Reporting and Review". If you wish to have your name added, please send me an email or PM with your real name, affiliation (that can be as simple as GWF Researcher) and a current email (in the event the CWGC wishes to contact you directly).

 

For those that choose to participate, a final report will be sent to your email with all the attachments. We do not include the attachments here, as they contain information that conflicts with the GWF copyright policy. If at any time you wish to have your name removed from the report, that will be done so without question.

 

Here is the document text: (any questions, comments, suggestions or corrections are not only welcome but appreciated)

 

 INVESTIGATIVE REPORT:

 

This report pertains to an investigation of the identification of the burial location of a member of the Commonwealth Forces, during the Great War 1914-1921.
 

SUBMITTED TO:

 

CWGC Commemorations Section

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road

Maidenhead, Berkshire

SL6 7DX United Kingdom

Email: commemorations@cwgc.org

 

 

Report Date: 6 December 2017

 

Reason for Submission: (“X” means purpose of the report)

 

Casualty Identification:

 

Burial Information:

 

Confirmed Identity

X

Burial Location Identified

X

Most Probable Identity

 

Grave Stone Correction

 

Questionable Identity

 

Grave Records Correction

 

Incorrect Identity

 

Request for CWGC Details

 

Other

 

Other

 

 

Supporting Documents: (# refers to attachment number; “I” information provided)

 

Casualty Identification:

 

Burial Information:

 

Crofton, Thomas Horsfall

i

Villers Faucon C. C. Ext.

link

Connaught Rangers

i

Somme, France

i

Captain, 3rd Bn. (att’d. 6th Bn.)

i

Plot 3 Row C Grave 14

i

Date of Death: 21/03/1918

link

Date of Burial / Exhumation

i

Graves Registration Report

1

War Diary Extract(s)

5

Concentration of Grave

 

Historical References

6

Headstone Register

2

Grave Stone Inscription

 

Area Map(s)

 

Memorial Inscription/Photo

 

Trench Map(s)

3

Reporting and Review

7

Possible Candidates List

4

Other

 

 

Summary of Findings:

 

The Graves Registration Report form for Plot 3 Row C Grave 14 of the Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery lists an “Unknown British Officer” of the “Connaught Rangers”. There is an additional handwritten notation that says “Lt”.

 

A review of the historical information reveals that there are no missing Lieutenants of the Connaught Rangers at that location at any time during the Great War. The evidence does, however, confirm that there was an UNKNOWN BRITISH OFFICER at that location and time. That was Captain Crofton.

 

As this case involves a Canadian UNKNOWN that served in the British Army at the time of his death, it may be reviewed in Canada. As such, the details follow:
 

 

Prior to taking a Commission with the British Army, Captain Crofton was a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (Attestation & Service Record).

 

Initially a member of the 72nd and 16th Infantry Battalions, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF #28960); Thomas Horsfall Crofton was struck off strength of the CEF on 10 January 1915, to accept a Commission with the British Army (Probationary 2nd Lt. LG 29055). He was appointed a Lieutenant with the Connaught Rangers of 6 April 1915 (LG 29315) and Captain on 1 September 1915 (LG 29473). His Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry was awarded 26 April 1917 (LG 30036).

 

As a Canadian, Captain Thomas Horsfall Crofton, M.C. is remembered on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and Canada’s First World War Book of Remembrance.

 

 

Details of Findings:

 

The findings are conclusive that the remains in Plot 3 Row C Grave 14 are those of Captain Thomas Horsfall Crofton, 3rd Battalion (attached to 6th Battalion), Connaught Rangers.

 

The findings are based on the following:

 

1.    The Graves Registration Report Form (GRRF) clearly states that there is an UNKNOWN BRITISH OFFICER in Plot 3 Row C Grave 13 of the Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery Extension (Attachment #1). At some time after the GRRF was prepared, a notation was added to the document to state “Lt”.
 

2.    The Headstone Schedule (HD-SCHD) reports that there is an UNKNOWN BRITISH LIEUTENANT in grave 3.C.14 (Attachment #2). This was a change from the GRRF, as noted above. A review of the CWGC database shows that there were no Lieutenants missing, thus the Headstone Schedule is incorrect as displayed.
 

3.    The path of the 6th Battalion, Connaught Rangers is depicted on a period trench map from the digital collection presented by the UK National Archives (Attachment #3). The archives and research of the regiment provide a narrative of the action that day: (Connaught Rangers Association Link)

In the early hours of March 21st 1918 Tom Crofton was with his Company in the village of Villers Faucon with the rest of the 6th Battalion spending a brief time out of the line in Divisional Reserve when the village was intensely bombarded. The bombardment commenced at 4.50am and was uncannily accurate pinpointing supply dumps and supply lines and destroying communications. It was the beginning of a massive German offensive and the sector being held by the 16th Irish Division was one of areas selected for a German breakthrough. At 12.53 in the afternoon the 6th Connaught Rangers were ordered forward to meet the attacking enemy and the Battalion proceeded east.


Near Ronssoy Wood, contact was made with enemy troops. At 3.45pm the Rangers were ordered to counterattack. A Company led by Captain Crofton was to attack on the left with D Company on the right along a sunken road to the west of Ronssoy Wood. With little or no accurate intelligence on the strength of the enemy and in the midst of a terrific whirlwind of shell and rifle fire Tom Crofton led his men toward the Wood. A Coy was soon flanked on both sides by thousands of enemy storm troopers and the entire Company was annihilated. Captain Crofton MC was killed leading his men forward and his body was never recovered.
 

4.    A search was made of the CWGC database to check for all missing officers of the Connaught Rangers (Attachment #4). There are two (2) on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, for action from the end of August to early October 1914. There are two (2) on the Le Touret Memorial, representing the missing from the end of October 1914 to the end of the Battle of Loos in September 1915. The largest grouping is on the Thiepval Memorial, recording those with no known grave in the Battles of the Somme before 20 March 1918. The two remaining Connaught Ranger Officers are Captain Crofton and Lieutenant Gilmore. Captain Crofton is the only officer listed on the Pozieres Memorial, for action related to Operation Michael (the German assault) in March-April 1918. Lieutenant Gilmore is listed on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial for action in the last 100 days of the war from August 8, 1918 to the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

Captain Crofton is the only officer of the Connaught Rangers that is missing in the vicinity of Villers-Faucon.  The war diary of the 5th Battalion Connaught Rangers for 8 November 1918 tells us that Lieutenant Gilmore was killed by a shell near Grand Fuchau, 59 kilometres to the northeast of Villers-Faucon (WD Link-1; WD Link-2).

During the period that the Connaught Rangers were involved in this action, there were 98 men killed or died of wounds (CWGC Link). Of those men, 58 are listed on the Pozieres Memorial for the missing (CWGC Link). Close by to where the remains of the “Connaught Rangers – Unknown British Officer” were located, there are seventeen (17) known men and three (3) unknown in the Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers-Faucon. All but one (1) are with or serving with the 6th Battalion. One is reported to be attached to the 48th Trench Mortar Battery. To complete the list, the four (4) others that are listed as "UBS Connaught Rangers" have been added. One is identified as a Corporal, of which there are three (3) on the Pozieres Memorial. The majority of the men were found at 62c.F.19.a.9.9 on the path of the green arrow in the trench map previously provided (see item #3). As noted in the attachment, the men with these coordinates were probably buried by the Germans or exhumed from the original cemetery by the same name, or from the battlefield.

 

5.    The War Diary of the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers is missing; however it was fortunate that the War Diary of the 47th Brigade, 16th Division contained a copy of the report filed by the Officer Commanding the battalion from 21st to 27th March 1918 (Attachment #6). In that report, the following is stated:

As A coy under Captain Normal ? advanced they saw what at first they thought was the 1/RMF but soon discovered it to be the enemy, lining the factory ridge to their right front, as well parties of the enemy approaching along the Ronssoy St, Emilie Road, evidently with the object of getting round the flank of D Coy. C Coy immediately engaged the enemy forming a defensive flank along the Ronssoy - St. Emile road, but all the officers and the greater part of the company becoming casualties, they were soon compelled to fall back on the Brown Line, together with the few that remained of A and D Coys, who had suffered very severely, Captain Crofton having been killed while gallantly leading forward A Coy which he commanded, whilst Lieut. Ribbons, who had succeeded Captain Wickham in the command of D Coy was missing.

 

6.    A narrative of the action and reported death of Captain Crofton is contained within the archival research of the Connaught Rangers Association, an extract of which is provided (Attachment #6). This agrees with the text of the war diary.
 

 


Action Required:

 

The “Investigative Report” has been prepared in accordance with the procedures and criteria set out by the CWGC, should they wish to make any changes to the commemoration details (Attachment #7).

 

There would appear to be no doubt that it is the remains of Captain Thomas Horsfall Crofton that are in Plot 3 Row C Grave 14 of the Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery Extension. Captain Crofton is the only Unknown British Officer of the Connaught Rangers in that area, at any time during the Great War. The evidence is clear that he was killed in the advance from Villers-Faucon to Ronssoy Wood.

 

 

This is Attachment #7 should you wish to review this and  have your name added:

 

ATTACHMENT #7

This “Reporting and Review” attachment is provided to assist all parties in the submission of an investigative report related to the identification of the burial location, or headstone markings, of a member of the Commonwealth Forces during the Great War 1914-1921.The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) receives a copy of this report in the event they wish to make changes to the commemoration details. In order to alter the records, the CWGC has set out their criteria for the procedure and submission of cases for review, as detailed below. The CWGC is under no obligation to make changes based on a report.

This process differs from cases related to members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) as these do not go first to the CWGC Canadian Agency in Ottawa. We have modified the requirement information noted below to include CWGC criteria from their source material:

Guideline Criteria for Submission: 

Cases need to present clear and convincing evidence to prove the identity of a casualty and must not be based on assumption or speculation. The Commission's Commemoration Team will also consider whether the findings of a better informed contemporary investigation are being revisited and if there is any new evidence to consider. By way of example, it is unlikely that the Commission would support a revision of the arrangements for the commemoration where it is apparent that no new evidence is being presented and, a better informed previous decision is being revisited some 100 years later.

Evidence and Source Material:

 

Un-cited resources cannot be accepted as official evidence. Research conducted on the internet will only be accepted if supplied by a recognised authority such as the CWGC, National Archives etc. Any primary (contemporary) sources e.g. the National Archives, CWGC, and Genealogical website original documentation etc. must be copied and submitted with the case. The relevant pages of any secondary material e.g. published reference books and articles; website material etc. should also be copied and submitted. All sources must be correctly referenced as footnotes throughout the submission as well as cited in a complete bibliography of consulted sources Referencing is essential to any historical research and should contain some uniform elements.


The following have participated in the preparation, review and submission of this report on a voluntary basis. Those noted below have read the investigative report and compared it to the criteria set out by the CWGC, as a guiding principle, and have agreed to have their name included as part of the review team. The CWGC may contact any of the reviewers at the e-mail address provided below.

Name

Affiliation

E-mail

Contribution

Richard Laughton

Canada

Private Researcher

LMC Great War Research Company

rlaughton@laughton.ca

Investigator & Report Author

 

 

 

 

Timothy McTague

Private Researcher
Rhode Island USA

timmct@verizon.net

Report Reviewer

Edited by laughton

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QGE

I would strongly recommend deleting part 3 as it is written in modern times by someone with a strong leaning to hyperbole. I would suggest substituting this with the account in the published history or better still the War diary. I think part 3 undermines your case. It reads like a lot of very bad military history. For example the claim that the "entire Company was annihilated" is simply factually incorrect. It is the very worst type of military history.  I would strongly recommend using the diary or the published history (the author was the CO for most of its time overseas) as they were at least written within days of the events by people with some grasp of reality. 

 

Also 'Tom' Crofton need s a rank. get rid of the forename. "Capt T Crofton or "Captain Crofton" is the correct form. Really. No-one would write 'Tom' in an official report so it again undermines the credibility. 

 

MG

 

Edited by QGE

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laughton

Excellent advise.

The Canadian assumed the Regimental  Association Historian would have been factually correct.

Never too old to learn!

I did contact them, they did not respond.

Richard's Blackberry

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laughton

REVISED MAIN TEXT:

 

 

Report Date: 6 December 2017

 

Reason for Submission: (“X” means purpose of the report)

 

Casualty Identification:

 

Burial Information:

 

Confirmed Identity

X

Burial Location Identified

X

Most Probable Identity

 

Grave Stone Correction

 

Questionable Identity

 

Grave Records Correction

 

Incorrect Identity

 

Request for CWGC Details

 

Other

 

Other

 

 

Supporting Documents: (# refers to attachment number; “I” information provided)

 

Casualty Identification:

 

Burial Information:

 

Crofton, Thomas Horsfall

i

Villers Faucon C. C. Ext.

link

Connaught Rangers

i

Somme, France

i

Captain, 3rd Bn. (att’d. 6th Bn.)

i

Plot 3 Row C Grave 14

i

Date of Death: 21/03/1918

link

Date of Burial / Exhumation

i

Graves Registration Report

1

Trench Map Extract

5

Concentration of Grave

 

Other Burial Locations

6

Headstone Register

2

Grave Stone Inscription

 

Area Map(s)

 

Memorial Inscription/Photo

 

Possible Candidates List

3

Reporting and Review

7

War Diary Extract(s)

4

Other

 

 

Summary of Findings:

 

The Graves Registration Report form for Plot 3 Row C Grave 14 of the Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery lists an “Unknown British Officer” of the “Connaught Rangers”. There is an additional handwritten notation that says “Lt”.

 

A review of the historical information reveals that there are no missing Lieutenants of the Connaught Rangers at that location at any time during the Great War. The evidence does, however, confirm that there was an UNKNOWN BRITISH OFFICER at that location and time. That was Captain Thomas Horsfall Crofton.

 

As this case involves a Canadian UNKNOWN that served in the British Army at the time of his death, it may be reviewed in Canada. As such, the details follow:
 

 

Prior to taking a Commission with the British Army, Captain Crofton was a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (Attestation & Service Record).

 

Initially a member of the 72nd and 16th Infantry Battalions, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF #28960); Thomas Horsfall Crofton was struck off strength of the CEF on 10 January 1915, to accept a Commission with the British Army (Probationary 2nd Lt. LG 29055). He was appointed a Lieutenant with the Connaught Rangers of 6 April 1915 (LG 29315) and Captain on 1 September 1915 (LG 29473). His Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry was awarded 26 April 1917 (LG 30036).

 

As a Canadian, Captain Thomas Horsfall Crofton, M.C. is remembered on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and Canada’s First World War Book of Remembrance.

 

 

Details of Findings:

 

The findings are conclusive that the remains in Plot 3 Row C Grave 14 are those of Captain Thomas Horsfall Crofton, 3rd Battalion (attached to 6th Battalion), Connaught Rangers.

 

The findings are based on the following:

 

1.    The Graves Registration Report Form (GRRF) clearly states that there is an UNKNOWN BRITISH OFFICER in Plot 3 Row C Grave 13 of the Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery Extension (Attachment #1). At some time after the GRRF was prepared, a notation was added to the document to state “Lt”.
 

2.    The Headstone Schedule (HD-SCHD) reports that there is an UNKNOWN BRITISH LIEUTENANT in grave 3.C.14 (Attachment #2). This was a change from the GRRF, as noted above. A review of the CWGC database shows that there were no Lieutenants missing, thus the Headstone Schedule is incorrect as displayed.
 

3.    A search was made of the CWGC database to check for all missing officers of the Connaught Rangers (Attachment #3). The results were as follows:
 

a.    There are two (2) on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, for action from the end of August to early October 1914.
 

b.    There are two (2) on the Le Touret Memorial, representing the missing from the end of October 1914 to the end of the Battle of Loos in September 1915.
 

c.    The largest grouping is on the Thiepval Memorial, recording those with no known grave in the Battles of the Somme before 20 March 1918.
 

d.    The two remaining Connaught Ranger Officers are Captain Crofton and Lieutenant Gilmore.
 

e.    Captain Crofton is the only officer of the Connaught Rangers listed on the Pozieres Memorial, for action related to Operation Michael (the German assault) in March-April 1918.
 

f.     Lieutenant Gilmore is listed on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial for action in the last 100 days of the war from August 8, 1918 to the Armistice on November 11, 1918.
 

Captain Crofton is the only officer of the Connaught Rangers that is missing in the vicinity of Villers-Faucon.  The war diary of the 5th Battalion Connaught Rangers for 8 November 1918 tells us that Lieutenant Gilmore was killed by a shell near Grand Fuchau (Sector 57c.J.14), 59 kilometres to the northeast of Villers-Faucon (WD Link-1; WD Link-2). Although Lt. Gilmore’s remains were not recovered, the burial information (Sector 57c.K.13) for Privates Heyman and Davies in the Pont-Sur Sambre Communal Cemetery (COG-BR 2620669) confirms the location of the 5th Battalion Connaught Rangers at that time.
 

4.    The March 1918 War Diary of the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers is missing; however it was fortunate that the War Diary of the 47th Brigade, 16th Division contained a copy of the report filed by the Officer Commanding the battalion from 21st to 27th March 1918 (Attachment #4a). In that report, the following is stated:

As A coy under Captain Norman advanced they saw what at first they thought was the 1/RMF but soon discovered it to be the enemy, lining the factory ridge to their right front, as well parties of the enemy approaching along the Ronssoy St, Emilie Road, evidently with the object of getting round the flank of D Coy. C Coy immediately engaged the enemy forming a defensive flank along the Ronssoy - St. Emile road, but all the officers and the greater part of the company becoming casualties, they were soon compelled to fall back on the Brown Line, together with the few that remained of A and D Coys, who had suffered very severely, Captain Crofton having been killed while gallantly leading forward A Coy which he commanded, whilst Lieut. Ribbons, who had succeeded Captain Wickham in the command of D Coy was missing.

The Brigade War Diary also contained a list of Connaught Ranger Officers Casualty List, identifying all those killed, wounded or missing in the March action (Attachment #4b). All of those listed as missing were checked to confirm that the officer was either buried in a known location or had survived. The results were clear that only Captain Crofton was killed and had no known grave. Those that were killed but have a known burial location were:
 

a.    Captain Arthur Henry Eric Russell

b.    Lieutenant Fenton King Cummins

c.    Lieutenant Ulick Moore

d.    2nd Lieutenant Hugh Victor Moore

e.    2nd Lieutenant John Meenaghan

 

This check accounts for those that were either an “Attached Officer” or were shown with a rank in the War Diary that differed from the CWGC database.
 

5.    The path of the 6th Battalion, Connaught Rangers is depicted on a period trench map from the digital collection presented by the UK National Archives (Attachment #5). The general path was from Villers-Faucon (Sector 62c.F.23) through Ste. Emilie (Sector 62c.F.19) to the western edge of Ronssoy Wood (Sector 62c.F.15). The war diary reported that “the route taken was by the narrow gauge railway to St. Emilie”. They met the enemy when they reached the sunken road on the western edge of Ronssoy Wood.

 

6.    Close by to where the remains of the “Connaught Rangers – Unknown British Officer” were located, there are seventeen (17) known men and three (3) unknown buried in the Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers-Faucon (Attachment #6). All but one (1) were with or serving with the 6th Battalion. One is reported to be attached to the 48th Trench Mortar Battery. To complete the list, the four (4) others that are listed as "UBS Connaught Rangers" have been added.

One of the unknown is identified as a Corporal, of which there are three (3) on the Pozieres Memorial. The majority of the men were found at 62c.F.19.a.9.9, which is on the path of the green arrow in the trench map. As noted in the attachment, the men with these coordinates were probably buried by the Germans or exhumed from the original cemetery by the same name, or from the battlefield.

During the period that the Connaught Rangers were involved in this action near Villers-Faucon in late March of 1918 there were 98 men killed or died of wounds (CWGC Link). Of those men, 58 are listed on the Pozieres Memorial for the missing (CWGC Link).

 

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QGE

Ref Para 4. The report for the 6th Bn Connaught Rangers is also in the 6th Bn Diary bundle. WO 95 1970/2 pages 384-391 immediately after the page that states the diary is missing. Its presence in the original diary as well as one level up is important. MG

 

A small point on 'house style'. The use of Lt,  Lt., Lieut and Lieutenant interchangeably gives the appearance of inconsistency. Similarly the use of Capt Crofton, Captain Crofton Thomas Horsfall Crofton,  etc... I think it might read better if standardised.  The 'correct form' is to give his full  rank and name, thereafter the abbreviated form as used in the Army List. viz Capt T H Crofton MC etc. Not a criticism, just an observation. Standardising will pull it together more tightly.  

 

Lt Thomas Francis Gilmore appears to have lost his first names and initial. CWGC has him as "4th Bn attached to 5th Bn". At the time of his death on 8th Nov 1918 the 4th (Extra Reserve) Bn had ceased to exist, having been absorbed by the 3rd (Reseve) Bn in May 1918. According to his MIC he was previously No. 4085 Pte T F Gilmore The King's (Liverpool Regiment). Commissioned 26th Nov 1916. He joined the 6th (Service) Bn on 10th March 1917 and was posted to C Company [Source: War Diary, Published history Vol III page 238].  It is worth noting he was sent to the 56th Company RE on 21st  Jan 1918  [history and war diary] At some stage he returned. Note the 6th Bn was reduced to a cadre on 13th April 1918 with surplus men being transferred to the 2nd Bn Leinster Regt. Lt T F Gilmore remained with the HQ of the cadre. At some stage Lt T F Gilmore was subsequently posted to the 5th (Service) Bn Connaught Rangers. It is worth noting the 5th (Service) Bn did not arrive in France (Marseille) until 1st June 1918 so it is unlikley he joined the 5th Battalion before this date. The diary does not record the date he joined. 

 

Similarly 16th Division is correctly 16th (Irish) Division (I don't think it had yet lost its Irish title) 47th Brigade is correctly 47th Infantry Brigade. 3rd Battalion is correctly 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, 5th Battalion is 5th (Service) Battalion and 6th Battalion is 6th (Service) Battalion etc. Small points that will send strong signals to CWGC that you have the right units in the right place at the right time and also help them retrace your steps.  Short versions are;

 

16th (Irish) Div

47th Inf Bde

3rd (Reserve) Bn

5th (Service) Bn

6th (Service) Bn

 

Incidentally 5th (Service) Bn Connaught Rangers was part of 199th Inf Bde, 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Div in Nov 1918. 

 

MG

Edited by QGE

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