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laughton

Captain, King's Royal Rifle Corps - Passchendaele New British Cemetery

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laughton

There is an UNKNOWN CAPTAIN of the King's Royal Rifle Corps in Plot 9 Row C Grave 1 of the Passchendaele New British Cemetery (B123). He was exhumed north of Passchendaele from 20.V.28.b.2.4, near Tournant Farm (west of the more common Source Farm, Vapour Farm and Vine Cottage). If you drop down into Map 28 Sector D.4,  then he was north of the Woodland Plantation.

 

These Captains are missing:

 

surname forename death unit
CLIFFORD   20-09-17 11th Bn.
DOVE TOM 16-08-17 12th Bn.
PAUL EDGAR NEWTON 28-12-17 6th Bn. attd. 12th Bn.
THORNTON-SMITH ARTHUR DONALD 16-08-17 12th Bn.
LEE NOEL ESMOND 24-08-17 8th Bn.

 

To the best of my knowledge, the Commonwealth Forces were not in the area north of Passchendaele in August and September 1917, so that leaves only Captain E. N. Paul on 28 December 1917. That seems late in the year, so we need to confirm the location at that time. There are no other Captains missing, even into July 1918.

 

I checked the GRRF and HD-SCHD and there is no name associated with this grave.

 

doc2365851.JPG

 

c0xwxayygnucgjh6g.jpg

 

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voltaire60

  I will put Captain Edward Norman Paul on the list for Saturday at Kew. "Discovery" flags up both an officer file and a file of certificate showing he was of British descent- so little antennae are twitching as to what that is all about-though when Mark Brockway wakes up, I am sure he will give me chapter and verse!!

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John Milner

According to The History of the 20th (Light) Division (12th KRRC in 60th Brigade), quote, "By the 12 December units were concentrated some twenty to twenty five miles SW of Ypres with HQ at Blaringham, except div artillery.  On 7 January the division relieved the 30th Division in the left sector of IXth Corps front (Menin Road NW of Gheluvelt)." Unqote.

 

It would appear that 12 KRRC were some distance away from the area of Paul's death.

 

John

 

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voltaire60
1 hour ago, John Milner said:

According to The History of the 20th (Light) Division (12th KRRC in 60th Brigade), quote, "By the 12 December units were concentrated some twenty to twenty five miles SW of Ypres with HQ at Blaringham, except div artillery.  On 7 January the division relieved the 30th Division in the left sector of IXth Corps front (Menin Road NW of Gheluvelt)." Unqote.

 

It would appear that 12 KRRC were some distance away from the area of Paul's death.

 

John

 

 

   2 locations have to be checked. Paul is listed on CWGC as 6 KRRC attached 12 KRRC. We need to know where both units were.

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greatspywar

Hello

 

The other dates are possible as well, but that would mean he was wounded, taken POW by the Germans and died very soon after. The Germans could have buried him just close to Tournant Farm. The War Diaries could shed some more light on the officers missing around certain dates.

 

You can also check the Passchendaele Archives at the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 in Zonnebeke. They have a good knowledge of the battle, the sites and the research.

 

Hope this helps and not complicates :-)

 

Jan

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stiletto_33853

5th & 6th KRRC were home based units. Find attached the war diary entry for 28th concerning Paul.

 

Andy

43112_2120_0-00116.jpg

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voltaire60
33 minutes ago, stiletto_33853 said:

5th & 6th KRRC were home based units. Find attached the war diary entry for 28th concerning Paul.

 

Andy

43112_2120_0-00116.jpg

 

    Spot on- I ill check at Kew tomorrow. Wonder if that harmless madman will be be in the corner of the searchroom zapping away with his camera all day.......

 

     Pip,pip

        Mike

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stiletto_33853

probably need to check 30th Div locations as the warning order for the 20th Div to take over the line from the 30th Div was issued on 24/12/17. However the order mentions taking over from the Gheluvelt Sector on the 4th, 5th & 6th January 1918.

nope, won't be there photographing like mad, probably next Wednesday.

43112_2097_0-00360.jpg

Edited by stiletto_33853

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John Milner

Had a look at 16th, 17th and 18th Manchester's, 90th Brigade, diaries for 28 Dec 1917, no mention of Paul or any other visitors killed/wounded.

 

17th Mancs diary mentions line being south of Polderhoek astride the Menin Road.

 

John

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laughton

We now know the 18th Bn. K.R.R was there, as they have a man in the same cemetery in Plot 10 Row D Grave 29.

 

doc1824937.JPG

 

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greatspywar

Yes, but killed on 31 July 1917, totally different dates. 

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laughton

Correct, I had finally found him here, but it proved me wrong that the KRRC were not in the area earlier in the war. I had earlier mentioned that the Commonwealth Forces were not there in August-September but what this shows is that they were outside Passchendaele in July 1917. I did not know that anyone was anywhere near that area. 

 

Note the top of this sheet says it is on MAP 28 but that is clearly wrong, this is MAP 20. The Canadian below him is LENTON and he was in 20.V.28 northwest of Passchendaele.

 

doc2365870.JPG

Edited by laughton
typos

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MBrockway

voltaire:  I'd certainly be very grateful for a copy of Captain Edgar PAUL's officer file for my KRRC archive.

 

He has no obituary in the regimental chronicles.

 

Andy has already replied about 6/KRRC.  6th Bn was the Special Reserve battalion originally at Woolwich, but re-located at the start of the war to Sheerness.  Most of the temporary officers joining the regiment for the duration were commissioned into 6/KRRC from where they were then posted into Service or Regular battalions as required.

 

Unfortunately I am confident we can rule out Captain Paul from being this Unknown KRRC Captain located up near TOURNANT FARM.

 

My reasoning is as follows.

 

Captain Paul was the Intelligence Officer of 12/KRRC (60 Brigade, 20th (Light) Division).


20th (Light) Division were on Warning to relieve 30th Division in the POELDERHOEK sector to the west of GHELUVELT.

 

Captain Paul was killed while reconnoitring the battalion's future position with the battalion CO and the bn Company commanders.

43112_2120_0-00116.jpg.acf6a6a08e6cd05e9

 

30th Division were holding the sector either side of the MENIN ROAD immediately west of GHELUVELT.

 

The lines south ('RIGHT SECTOR') of the Menin Road were allocated to 21 Infantry Brigade with a one battalion frontage.  21 Bde managed battalion rotation between front line, support and Reserve within the brigade.

 

The area north ('LEFT SECTOR') of the Menin Road was held as a two battalion frontage ('LEFT' and 'RIGHT' SUB-SECTORS') with 89 and 90 Inf Brigades alternately switching between front/support and Reserve lines

 

Working N to S, on 28 Dec 1917 the front line battalions were held as follows ...

  • LEFT SECTOR, left sub-sector Forward Bn: 16/Manchesters. Bn HQ at 28.J.14.d.9.3.
  • LEFT SECTOR, right sub-sector (also referred tO as 'Centre sub-sector'): Forward Bn: 18/Manchesters. Bn HQ at 28.J.20.b.5.3
  • RIGHT SECTOR Forward Bn: 19/Manchesters. Bn HQ at 28.J.20.d.5.8.

Here's a map from the 30th Division Scheme of Defence showing the three forward bn HQ's with the Menin Road running diagonally across the map ...
5a10bebaa0d8a_30thDiv-trenchmapNov-Dec1917-MapX-Crop.jpg.749df28713d125ce25e5c5a37da3f605.jpg

The Trench refs above are also from the 30th Div Defence Scheme.

 

The only other Manchester Regt battalion in 30th Div was 17/Manchesters who on 28 Dec were in LEFT SECTOR Reserve at TORR TOP TUNNELS at 28.I.24.d.8.4


Brigade HQs were ...

LEFT SECTOR: 90 Bde at JACKDAW TUNNELS (28.J.19.a.9.9)
RIGHT SECTOR: 21 Bde at BEDFORD HOUSE (28.I.26.a.9.4)

 

The 30th Division Intelligence Report for 27-28 Dec 1917 describes a sustained and organised 4 hour bombardment of the Blockhouse at 28.J.14.d.8.3 by 15cm shells from noon on 28 Dec.  "Two direct hits penetrated and caused a number of casualties."  This ref is very close to the Bn HQ of the Left Sector/left sub-sector Forward Battalion - in this case 16/Manchesters.  This blockhouse is almost certainly the Bn HQ.  It is the northernmost of the three on the map above.

5a10bf6dd2209_30thDiv-IntelligenceSummary27-28Dec1917-01-Crop.jpg.cf8558e4a6c77ba5e09dbb04d8da1a17.jpg


The 18/Manchesters war diary has Bn HQ when in the Left Sector/left sub-sector forward bn role as being at 'THE TOWER' at 28.J.14.d.8.4. 'Tower' is certainly more suggestive of a blockhouse than a dugout, but the map reference is slightly off that in the Divnl Defence Scheme..


The 90 Bde war diary mentions that reconnoitring parties from the 20th Division were visiting the line on 28 December ...

5a10c03dac2fe_90BdeWarDiary-27-31Dec1917-Crop.jpg.99e840a1e05d31a1f7794a6211fd1ce4.jpg

... though sadly for Edgar Paul, it was not a "quiet day" for them :poppy:

 

The 12/KRRC war diary mentions Capt. PAUL was killed at the Bn HQ of one of the bns they were visiting and that 2 officers of the Manchester Regt were also wounded.  There are no Manchester Regt battalions in 20th (Light) Division - all rifles or light bobs - so these officers were not part of the reconnoitring party.

 

30th Div A & Q Branch war diary gives officers wounded for the whole of Dec 1917 as:
16/Manchesters - 1 (excluding the additional 2 mentioned in their Cas Return below)
17/Mancs - 2 (but Bn was in Reserve on 28 Dec)
18/Mancs - 3 (all during their 12-15 Dec tour)
2/RSF - 1

 

As John mentions above, none of the Manchesters war diaries mention any visitor casualties, but the 16/Manchesters diary does have this entry ...
5a10c12925106_16-ManchestersWDDec1917-CasualtyListCrop.jpg.4852320cea8720fa6ee39879fdbdb4c2.jpg

i.e. 2 Manchesters officers buried in a dug-out collapsed by artillery fire on 28 Dec.

 

18/ and 19/Manchesters have no wounded officer casualties mentioned on 28 Dec 1917 though 19th Bn does have an officer going to hospital sick.  17/Manchesters were in Brigade Reserve.

 

I think we can therefore be confident that, when they were shelled, our party from 12/KRRC were visiting the 16/Manchesters Bn HQ in the Blockhouse at 28.J.14.d.8.4, or possibly, using the ref from the Divnl scheme, in a dug-out close by at d.9.4 .

 

The main medical evacuation route detailed in the 30th Division Defence Scheme leads back via Mount Sorrel to the Main Dressing Station at WOODCOTE HOUSE to the south of YPRES, but there is also a second route described along the MENIN ROAD via bearer posts at CLAPHAM JUNCTION (28.J.13.d.5.2) and HOOGE (28.I.18.a.3.7) to the MDS at the Ecole just outside YPRES (28.I.9.c.5.2).  This alternate route would be a more direct route from the northern end of the 30th Div sector.  It is consistent with the description of Lt.-Col. Moore's CasEvac to REMY FARM/LIJSSENTHOEK via Hooge in the 12/KRRC war diary.

 


I hope with all the evidence assembled, you'll agree that the unknown KRRC Captain whose body was discovered at 20.V.28.b.2.4 cannot be Captain Edgar PAUL, 12/KRRC, who was definitely killed near INVERNESS COPSE on 28 Dec 1917 - nearly five miles away on the other side of the Salient.

 

 

It would be very worthwhile to identify this unknown KRRC captain of course, and I'll have a look at the other candidates you've listed over the next few days.

 

 

Mark

 

Edited by MBrockway

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MBrockway
3 hours ago, laughton said:

Correct, I had finally found him here, but if proved me wrong that the KRRC were not in the area earlier in the war. I had earlier mentioned that the Commonwealth Forces were not there in August-September but with this it shows they were outside Passchendaele in July 1917. I did not know that anyone was anywhere near that area. 

 

Note the top of this sheet says it is on MAP 28 but that is clearly wrong, this is MAP 20. The Canadian below him is LENTON and he was in 20.V.28 northwest of Passchendaele.

 

doc2365870.JPG

 

The grave concentration process of the 1920's was not necessarily geographically logical.  it depended on which cemeteries were still open for new interments.

 

For example,  2/Lt Kenrick YORKE-JONES, 17/Manchesters, who died on 26 Dec 1917, a couple of days before Captain Paul, was originally buried at 28.J.20.b.50.51, which added to our 30th Division sector map above, is here ...

5a10deaa8ca79_30thDiv-trenchmapNov-Dec1917-MapX-Crop-Copy.jpg.e33b8ce66bb2d9cef2efe33d291993bf.jpg

 

... yet when his body was exhumed in 1923, he was re-interred (after identification) at POELCAPELLE BRITISH CEMETERY, which is even further away than PASSCHENDAELE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY.

 

18/KRRC were in the HOLLEBEKE sector in late July 1917 when Rfn Fiddy died of wounds and they had been at WYTSCHAETE and the DAMM STRASSE for Messines in June and generally around the ST ELOI and DICKEBUSCH sectors for Spring/Summer.  They were certainly never in the northern part of the Salient at any time in 1917.

 

Rfn Fiddy died of wounds, so he cannot be confidently positioned with the battalion at the time of his death, but perhaps an exhumation from 28.V.28.a.7.4 should not be ruled out?

 

It's south of COMMINES on the other side of the LYS, and well behind the German front line of July 1917, but it's certainly plausible that a wounded 18/KRRC rifleman captured in the Hollebeke sector and shortly after died of wounds in enemy hands, might be interred by the Germans.

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MBrockway

I think it is probably safe to exclude Captain Noel Esmond LEE, 8/KRRC.  He was Killed in Action near STIRLING CASTLE on 24 Aug 1917.  South of the Menin Road.

Edited by MBrockway

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laughton

It appears I erred in my very first post in this topic, as I did not include all the Captains of the KIng's Royal Rifle Corps. That's what happens with those Canadians!

 

On further review, it would appear that we have to include any Captain from July 1917 onward, so that means I should  have included the August 1917 Captain on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

 

To be safe, here are all the UNKNOWN KRRC CAPTAINS listed on the Belgian based memorials. I have "struck out" Lee and Paul based on what has been reported above. If the CWGC reports for the memorials are correct, then Balshaw is also scratched from the list, as are the 1914-1915 Captains on the Menin Gate Memorial. The CWGC does say that:

Quote

The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations, except New Zealand, who died in the Salient, in the case of United Kingdom casualties before 16 August 1917 (with some exceptions)

 

I think that means we have to include Captain Tate until he can be excluded. That leaves us with four (4) candidates, marked in red.

 

surname initials death battalion memorial
BALSHAW N K 13-04-18 16th Bn. PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL
DOVE T 16-08-17 12th Bn. TYNE COT MEMORIAL
THORNTON-SMITH A D 16-08-17 12th Bn. TYNE COT MEMORIAL
LEE N E 24-08-17 8th Bn. TYNE COT MEMORIAL
CLIFFORD H J 20-09-17 11th Bn. TYNE COT MEMORIAL
PAUL E N 28-12-17 6th Bn. attd. 12th Bn. TYNE COT MEMORIAL
SPOTTISWOODE J 31-10-14 6th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
HAWLEY C F 02-11-14 2nd Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
THURSBY A D 15-02-15 3rd Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
POE, MID C V L 02-03-15 4th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
LAGDEN R O 03-03-15 6th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
PEARSE J F B 29-04-15 3rd Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
CULME-SEYMOUR G 07-05-15   YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
DAVIS W J 30-07-15 Adjt. 8th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
DOWLING G C W 30-07-15 7th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
RADCLIFFE J D H 30-07-15 7th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
TANQUERAY A A T 30-07-15 9th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
DURNFORD R S 31-07-15 9th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
EXELL N J 31-07-15 9th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
WESTON J 17-10-15 14th Bn. attd. 9th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
TATE F H 11-08-17 10th Bn. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

 

In August 1917 there were 405 men of the KRRC lost in Belgium. The Tyne Cot Memorial lists 168 of those men and the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial lists 100. The remaining 137 are scattered throughout the Salient in a number of cemeteries.

 

If we look at the list of candidates, what we have left are 4 Captains, consisting of 1 from the 10th Battalion, 1 from the 11th Battalion and 2 from the 12th Battalion. If we apply that to our list of 405 we end up with the following for August 1917:

  • 10th Battalion: 40 of 55 on the Menin Gate Memorial (including 1 Captain), 1 in Germany and the remainder in cemeteries in what appears to be central to Ypres.
    • 38 of those on the Menin Gate Memorial were lost 10-12 August 1917 around the time of Captain Tate, with the remainder in Bard Cottage Cemetery (3); Cement House Cemetery (2) and New Irish Farm Cemetery (2).
    • The only concentrations to Bard Cottage Cemetery, close to the Yser Canal, are in Plot 6 Row C. The 3 KRCC are in Plot 4, so original burials.
    • Cement House Cemetery, started at the end of August 1917, is related to the Battle of Langemark 16-18 August 1917, encapsulating Captain Tate's death. Plots 2 to 15 are all concentrations, so they can not be excluded. Riflemen Pratt, Noel and Livesay  in Plot 5 Row C were all found at 20.U.28.c.3.7, which is about 1,500 yards southwest of Langemark (Sniper's Den, Chien Farm)
    • Cement House Cemetery is home to Pte. Bowman from "A" Coy who was found at 28.C.4.a.8.6 (dated 31.7.1917?) Rifleman Bunn was recovered nearby at 28.C.7.c.25.35.
    • Based on that information, it would appear that we can eliminate Captain Tate from the list of candidates.
  • 11th Battalion: 20 of 43 on the Menin Gate Memorial, 6 on the Tyne Cot Memorial
  • 12th Battalion: 59 of 78 on the Tyne Cot Memorial (including 2 Captains)
    • For the time period 14-18 August 1917 we have 58 of the 59 listed that are on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
    • I see 2 in Cement House Cemetery, so Snowden and Mitchell take us to 20.U.23.d and 20.U.30.a, respectively.
    • Corporal Price is in the Tyne Cot Cemetery, apparently attached to the 90th TMB, recovered from 20.U.28.c.7.1.
    • Riflemen Pratt and Rhyl are in Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery, both concentrated from 28.C.3.a.0.8, which is due south of the lads in 20.U.
    • Unless they were in a completely different area, this means we must eliminate Captains Dove and Thorton-Smith.

Switching to September 1917 we have:

  • 10th Battalion: 52 of 60 on the Tyne Cot Memorial
  • 11th Battalion: 86 of 100 on the Tyne Cot Memorial (including 1 Captain)
    • For the time period 18-22 September 1917, 83 are on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
    • Six (6) are in Cement House Cemetery including Luck 20.U.28.c.8.8, Welsh 28.U.23.c.55.45, 2nd Lt. Hobbs and original burial in Plot 1, Mason and Rolfe U.23.d, and Griggs 28.U.24.c
    • If they were all from this area then we can eliminate Captain Clifford.
  • 12th Battalion: 13 of 34 on the Tyne Cot Memorial

Through this process, I have just eliminated all the candidates! What that leaves is someone wounded or captured and relocated by the Germans. I will check the ICRC records to see if any of the Captains were POWs.

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stiletto_33853

We are looking at the Langemark-Gheluvelt line then in action around Au Bon Git blockhouse. 12th KRRC, Thornton Smith was listed as killed outright earlier in the day whereas Dove was killed in a German counter attack.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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laughton

Just finished the ICRC review. Only Captain Tate has a record. I had it all and then lost it - oops.

 

ICRC page for Captain Tate: https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/288763/3/2/

  • One letter reports died of wounds on day of capture
  • a card, perhaps a KRRC #3073 (A. Saunders?) says died in a shell hole
  • did they move him "dead or alive" the 5.23 km to where the remains were exhumed (see Google Earth path below)

a0zolz0g8884pz56g.jpg

 

59lfx3ikgwbg29b6g.jpg

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MBrockway

I've only been looking at your original list of names.

 

A/Capt. Herbert James CLIFFORD, 11/KRRC, killed around 08:00hrs on 20 Sep 1917 by a sniper near LANGEMARCK while consolidating a shell-hole into a strongpoint just beyond (east of)  EAGLE TRENCH.  The attackers were too weak to hold the ground gained and were forced to withdraw westwards during the night.  It would certainly be possible that Clifford's body was left behind and recovered for burial by the Germans.  

 

EAGLE TRENCH is in 20.U.23.b to the NE of LANGEMARCK.

 

Capt. Tom DOVE, MC, 12/KRRC, Coy commander, was Killed in Action at LANGEMARCK around 17:00hrs on 16 Aug 1917 during the German counter-attack.  Still investigating the exact location, but probably just to the east of Langemarck village.

 

A/Capt. Arthur Donald THORNTON-SMITH, DSO, 12/KRRC, Killed in Action at dawn on 16 Aug 1917 during the attack over the STEENBEEK at the BATTLE of LANGEMARCK - i.e. to the SW of the village between the village and the Steenbeek, as Andy says, near the blockhouse at Au Bon Gite.

 

All your Aug/Sep 1917 riflemen above are from the 20th (Light) Division actions around Langemarck.

 

Lots of topics here on the Forum on the forcing of the Steenbeek, the capture of Au Bon Gite, the Cooper VC, Harry Patch, the capture of Langemarck and the attack on Eagle Trench.  Some searching will easily throw these up.

 

My first thought when I read the topic was this KRRC officer has been buried by the Germans.  Of the above three riflemen, only Clifford fell in ground that was then lost to the enemy.  The other two both fell in ground that was held and successfully consolidated.

 

If a soldier was captured, died of wounds within a day or two of capture, and was interred by the enemy, would we expect to see an ICRC record?

 

I'll have a look at Tate later.

 

Mark

 

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
Pals living locally have advised us the spelling should be STEENBEEK rather than STEENBEKE

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MBrockway

Capt Frederick Herman TATE, 10/KRRC, was company commander of 'C' Coy, one of two coys from 10/KRRC forming the first attack in strength over the STEENBEEK on 11 Aug 1917.  This was designed to establish a foothold on the better ground beyond the river preparatory to attacking the village of LANGEMARCK.  Patrols on 08 Aug and subsequent attempts at "peaceful penetration" had been repulsed.

 

He was initially wounded while assaulting one of the concrete pillboxes in the Au Bon Gite blockhouse area, but continued in command of his company.  C Coy crossed the Steenbeek on the left of the attack and successfully reached their Objective where they dug in.  Unfortunately enemy barrage and the fire from the pillboxes, which had been largely by-passed for the later waves to mop up, prevented the reinforcements from arriving.  When the Germans counter-attacked, C Coy's position was rapidly surrounded and cut-off.  Tate was wounded again and captured.  KRRC sources state he died in German hands a few hours later.

 

CWGC have his date of death as 11 Aug 1917, but the KRRC Chronicle and the ICRC records have 12 Aug.  If the latter, then it's possible the Germans had evacuated him alive at least some of the way out of the battlezone before he died.  :poppy:

 

The Au Bon Gite blockhouse was repeatedly assaulted on 14 Aug by 10/ and 11/RB.  The surrounding pillboxes/dugouts and the mill were all captured, but the main Au Bon Gite blockhouse held out as the attackers had no means of blowing in the steel door.   An attack on on 15 Aug by 10/ and 11/KRRC supported by RE sapper demolition experts had to be abandoned, as the moves to the jumping-off positions were badly disrupted by enemy artillery and MG barrage and very poor weather.

 

Au Bon Gite was not finally neutralised until Langemarck itself fell on 16 Aug on which day the division won two VC's.

 

Tate was MiD for his actions at METZ earlier in 1917 and was another New College man.  Here's his name of the College war memorial ...

5a119c49bb712_NewCollegeChapel-GreatWarMemorial-01-FrederickTate.jpg.fae3ffcae3ac056178c090fd58ff997d.jpg

 

Mark

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
Pals living locally have advised us the spelling should be STEENBEEK rather than STEENBEKE

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MBrockway
On 19/11/2017 at 13:35, MBrockway said:

Capt. Tom DOVE, MC, 12/KRRC, Coy commander, was Killed in Action at LANGEMARCK around 17:00hrs on 16 Aug 1917 during the German counter-attack.  Still investigating the exact location, but probably just to the east of Langemarck village.

 

Further study of the battalion and divisional material gives an approximate location for Tom Dove's death as 20.U.23.b.7.0.

 

This is approx 1,000yds NE of the centre of LANGEMARCK.

 

Dove was company commander of 'B' Coy.  'B' Coy formed the left of 12/KRRC's attack on the EAGLE TRENCH position.  They had successfully taken the trench in the morning's attack but were still consolidating there when the German counter-attack began at approx 16:00hrs.  All the units in the 3rd (furthest) Objective line were very short of bombs and SAA.

 

The German counter-attack pushed back the KLR's and re-entered the captured EAGLE TRENCH to the left of 12/KRRC and by bombing along the trench forced the KRR's out of the trench and back SW-wards by approx 200yds.  Dove was killed defending the trench and his body was left behind there when the remnants of the company made the tactical withdrawal.

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greatspywar

It might be interesting to take a look at the opposing German forces. There might be a hint about captured or wounded enemy officers in some of the regimental histories. That would not be unlikely.

 

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts we are probably dealing with a wounded and captured KRRC captain, hence I would investigate Tate. It is common for the Germans to bury on the spot or near the spot captured enemy soldiers/officers when they succumbed of their wounds. Very often a cross was erected, but I'm unsure if this would be the case during 3rd Ypres. As all of you know, many crosses were destroyed during later bombardments. This would definitely have been the case with Tate (in case he is the wanted KRRC captain), as his grave lies in the midst of the Passchendaele battlefield. It is a wonder that his body was found after all! The GRU did a great job!

 

It is a very interesting research you are all conducting here! Thank you for that!

 

Regards

 

Jan

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MBrockway

I agree - of the officers named so far, Capt Tate is the most likely.

 

The others all ...

  1. fell in ground that remained held by the British (Thornton-Smith); or
  2. fell with many witnesses confirming their death but in ground that was then re-captured by the enemy (Dove and Clifford)
  3. demonstrably NOT in the northern part of the Salient (Paul)

 

It would not be custom on either side for a body to be interred so far from the immediate area where the body was located, so we must be looking at a man wounded and transported at least part way down the medical evacuation chain.

 

The British war diaries etc. contain information on the medical arrangements set up before an operation.  If the German records do the same, then discovering detail on the med evac chain for the German Langemarck sector could confirm if there was the equivalent of a MDS or CCS at 20.V.28.b.2.4 where our Unknown KRRC captain was eventually rediscovered.

 

The German units facing 20th (Light) Division in August 1917 were ...

 

261 RIR (Langemarck North & Eagle Trench) and 262 RIR (Langemarck), both of 79th Reserve Division with 263 RIR of the same division held in reserve at POELCAPELLE.


79th Reserve Division had only recently arrived in the sector relieving the 3rd Guards Division in very early August.

 

On 20th (Light) Division's left (north) 50 IR of 214th Division were holding Langemarck Station. 

 

184 IR of 183rd Division were due to relieve 262 IR on 16/17 Aug but this was forestalled by the British attack, which effectively annihilated 262 IR, captured the bn commander and took all their positions, and 184 IR went into the line to the right (east) of 20th (Light) Division instead.

 

119 Grenadier-Regiment of 26th Division were used as the counter-attack force late on 16 Aug and it was this unit that pushed back Capt Dove's Coy from EAGLE TRENCH.

 

.The sector was administered by German 4. Armee.

 

 

 

Edited by MBrockway

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voltaire60

CAPTAIN FREDERICK HERMAN TATE, KRRC  WO 339/4926

   BORN 3RD September 1894. British.  Address is 76 Queenborough terrace, London.

    At New College. Asked for commission in infantry, preferably KRRC, on 21st November 19114

    Father’s consent to application for army given 20th November 1914

There is correspondence in file at the end of the war ,with interviews from returning POWs

     19th April 1919- father wrote to WO saying  he fell between Steenfel Stream (?) and Langemarck

 

Father had received reports that on the morning of 17th , had led his company against the German positions, which were much stronger than anticipated. His unit had been surrounded and all captured- he and 4 others.  Position was within a mile of Steenfel Stream.

    Father subsequently wrote in that a Divisional Burying Partyu had found his body 3 weeks later and buried it but WO replied that it had no report to that effect.

An undated card from 3073 Rifleman A. Saunders (POW) : Tate had crawled  into  the same shellhole as his chum and subsequently died.

 

Another letter from POW- 2Lt J.M.Lovatt, 42 POW Camp, Hoilzminden, dated 29th October 1917: Tate was his company commander-they went over the top at the same time but they could not see each other. A german officer had old him that Tate was dead and that the German officer had buried him (or was going to).

 

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voltaire60

CAPTAIN THOMAS DOVE, 12TH  KRRC-  WO 339/51261

   Home address- Mother, Mrs E.H.Dove, 18 Lansdowne Road, Tonbridge, Kent.

COMMISSION APPLICATION

Born 25th November 1887, Tonbridge

Father listed as building contractor.

Educated at Letchford’s Commercial School.

Occupation-accountant

 

Served   West Kent (20) Imperial Yeomanry fom 14th October 1907.

    Trooper and Squadron Scout

     Left 14th August 1910, on change of residence and employment.

Served Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps   from 12th February 1914

      Rifleman and Company Signaller

      1st November 1915- Obtained leave to proceed to England to join HM Forces

29th November 1915-  asked for commission in infantry- nominating 15 KRRC

Nomination to 15 KRRC  approved and recommended by Lt Col ,St Aubyn, o/c 15KRRC 7th December 1915

      No other useful information in file.

     

Edited by voltaire60

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