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greatspywar

Joyous Entry, Brussels, 22 November 1918. What units?

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greatspywar

Dear fellow researchers,

 

On November 22nd 1918 the Belgian King and his family, accompanied by Belgian and allied general officers , entered Brussels. The joyous entry also included a military parade. I am now looking for the names of the units that participated, especially, the British (Commonwealth) and American ones. I have been able to identify both the French and Belgian 'porte-drapeau' (flag carriers?) (at the least the unit, not the person).

 

Can any anyone on this magnificent forum push me in the right direction? I would be very happy to know the names of the UK and US unit carrying the official 'colours' and find out details on their participation during the event.

 

All my best,

 

Jan 

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greatspywar

Nobody...? :( 

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greatspywar

really nobody?? Naaagh....:o

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kenf48

If you haven't seen them the IWM has a photograph of Generals Birdwood and Plumer preparing for the parade. They were in command of the British 2nd and 5th Army respectively so wild guess it was men. from one of their Divisions.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205235925

 

There were definitely some pipers too!  I don't know if the uniform experts can recognise the tartan

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205026986

 

Scrolling down there are more photos of the parade.

 

The Times reported, "the British (contingent) consisting of a composite battalion of English Scottish and Newfoundlanders the latter having earned their place due to the sacrifice they had made."

 

Ken

 

 

 

Edited by kenf48

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Acknown

The 7th Seaforths were present but not on parade. However, their war diary lists those who were: click here (Ancestry). The parade was commanded by Brig Gen Freiberg VC. There was a composite infantry battalion under the command of Maj PC Anderson with one coy Englishmen (29 Div), one coy Highlanders (26 Bde/9 Div), one Coy Irishmen (29 Div), one coy Newfoundland Regt (9 Div). Also, massed pipes of the 26th Highlander Bde, with the 9th Seaforth Highlanders (Pioneers). The war diary also gives some other details (bayonets fixed etc.).

I'll have a look at some likely war diaries to see if I can find any units.

Acknown

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Acknown

A page of the 26 Bde/9 Div war diary: click here. ‘A great day for the Belgian nation’. The 26th Bde was represented by a company composed of platoons taken from the 8th Black Watch, 7th Seaforths, 5th Cameronians and  9th Seaforths.

Acknown

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Acknown

86 Bde/29 Div sent 'half a composite battalion' but doesn't reveal which units. Possibly where the Irishmen came from. I think I'll stop now ...

Acknown

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kenf48
1 minute ago, Acknown said:

86 Bde/29 Div sent 'half a composite battalion' but doesn't reveal which units. Possibly where the Irishmen came from. I think I'll stop now ...

Acknown

 

Well, you did well! I gave up long before we now need to find the Americans.  The US Corps of Signals were there (at one point getting in the way).  

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205019068

 

Ken

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Acknown

Ken

Can't help much there, but you might enjoy this excellent film of the parade: http://filmgeschiedenis.be/portfolio/22-november-1918. The marching troops are towards the end and perhaps uniform experts can help with the British units. I spotted at 08:08 that one of the US artillery regiments on parade sported a pennant marked (I think) '108 (crossed barrels) C'. Battery C of the 108th Field Battalion (28th Division, but at that stage in the 91st Division according to Wiki)? Wiki says: 'They were soon detached from the 28th Division and sent north to Belgium and fought with the 91st Division in the Ypres sector. They did not rejoin the 28th Division until the spring of 1919 ...'. That puts them in the right area. Someone with US Army knowledge might look at the division for the remainder of the parading troops.

Acknown

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greatspywar

You guys are fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!! I know the forum would come to my assistance! I'll be reading up and get back to you tomorrow.

 

Cheers!

Jan

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greatspywar
On 12/5/2017 at 17:40, Acknown said:

The 7th Seaforths were present but not on parade. However, their war diary lists those who were: click here (Ancestry)

Hello, I have not got acces to this site? Anyone can help me out?

 

Tx,

 

Jan

 

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kenf48
11 hours ago, greatspywar said:

Hello, I have not got acces to this site? Anyone can help me out?

 

Tx,

 

Jan

 

 

Jan, It reads, 

 

“The British contingent under the command of Brigadier-General Freiberg VC DSO consisting of a composite infantry battalion under the command of Major P C Anderson consisting of 1 Coy (Company) of Englishman (29th Div), 1 Coy of Highlanders (26 Bde 9th Div), 1 Coy Irishmen (29th Div)  and 1 Coy Newfoundlanders (9th Div).  The British contingent marched 8 abreast with fixed bayonets and was played through the streets by the massed pipe bands of the 26th Highland Brigade including the 9th Seaforth Highlanders (Pioneers).”

There is a short general description of the parade.

 

Ken

 

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greatspywar

Great! Thank you very much. That easily helps me on the way.

 

 

On 5-12-2017 at 19:04, Acknown said:

91st Division in the Ypres sector

A battery of the 53rd Field Artillery Brigade was sent to Brussels, as well as a battalion of the 37th Us Division (Buckeye). 

 

Do the Americans have war diaries or detailed reports ?

 

 

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Acknown

 

48 minutes ago, greatspywar said:

A battery of the 53rd Field Artillery Brigade was sent to Brussels,

Interesting. A quick web search reveals that the 108th Battalion did in fact serve with this brigade: click here (see first page of foreword).

Acknown

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Acknown

Below is the division order for the parade as published in the division's history (Cole, Ralph D. 'The Thirty-Seventh Division in the World War, 1917-1918', Columbus. Ohio, The Thirty-seventh Division Veterans Association, 1926): 

Acknown

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Hq. 37th Division
American E.F.
20th November, 1918.

G-3
Doc. No. 727
OPERATIONS MESSAGE NO. 43

1. Pursuant to the orders from 34th A.C. (French) a provisional Infantry Battalion will take part in the formal entry of the allied army into Brussels on 22nd November, 1918.

2. This provisional battalion will be organized as follows:
(a) Lt. Col. W.L. Marlin, 145th Infantry, Commanding.
One Battalion Adjutant, 145th Infantry.
One Battalion Supply Officer, 145th Infantry.
One Battalion Hq. Det. From 145th Infantry.
Band from 148th Infantry.
(Headquarters and staff will be mounted)

(b) the Commanding Officers, 145th, 146th, 147th and 148th Infantry Regiments will each organize a provisional company from their organizations as set forth below:
One Captain.
Two 1st Lieutenants.
One Hundred Eighty N.C.O.'s and Privates.
One Rolling Kitchen.
One Ration Cart.
Two Fourgon Wagons.
(except that the company from the 148th will consist of 1 Captain, 3 Lieutenants and 130 N.C.O.'s and Privates)

(c) The Commanding Officer, 112th Engineers, will organize one platoon of one Lieutenants and 50 N.C.O.'s and Privates which will be attached to the provisional company of the 148th Infantry.

(d) The Division Machine Gun Officers will organize one provisional machine gun company consisting of:
One Captain.
Two 1st Lieutenants.
Two 2nd Lieutenants.
One Platoon from 135th Machine Gun Bn.
One Platoon from 136th Machine Gun Bn.
Hq. Det. From 134th Machine Gun Bn.

3. (a) This provisional battalion will be assembled at Borsbeke at 11 hours, 21st November, 1918. They will proceed by trucks (transportations by marching) via burst, Alost, Assche to Bercham-Ste.-Agathe where the command will be billeted.
(b) Upon arrival at Berchem-Ste.-Agathe the Commanding Officer will report to representative of the 34th A.C. for orders for arrangements for the parade.
(c) Upon completion of this duty the battalion will rejoin the Division via Alost-burst-Gavere-Denze.
(d) Care will be exercised that this battalion is representative of the Division in every respect.

4. RATIONS: Two days field and one day reserve in wagons.
(a) Packs will be carried (less reserve rations). G-1 will arrange for future ration supply of this organization.

By command of Major Gen. Farnworth:

Dana T. Merrill,
Colonel, General Staff, C. of S.

Official: 
Sumner Waite,
Major, General Staff,
A.C. of S., G-3

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von Smallhausen

hello,

Belgian army ( Van Ijzer tot Brussel, Weemaes)

kind regards,

Jef

22 november1.jpeg

22 november2.jpeg

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greatspywar
18 hours ago, von Smallhausen said:

( Van Ijzer tot Brussel, Weemaes)

Thanks, I had discovered it the day before yesterday! Great minds... :-)

 

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greatspywar
20 hours ago, Acknown said:

OPERATIONS MESSAGE NO. 43

Thanks. This is some great info! If I/we could only find out who carried the colours...!

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