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Chris_B

, 1st/4th Bn. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)

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Chris_B

I'm interested in the fate of this man killed in action:

Second Lieutenant, Thomas Moody, 1st/4th Bn. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). Died 01/07/1916. Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 9 D and 16 B. Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL.

Any information about the battalion on the 1st day of the Somme would be appreciated.

Was it the usual depressing story, no fighting chance, just decimating fire?

Thanks,

Chris.

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stiletto_33853

Hi again Chris,

1/4th London Regiment 1/7/16. 168th Brigade, 56th London Division.

In support on left of 168th Brigade's attack at Gommecourt (1/7) - at 8.45am "A" and "C" Companies went forward to assist 1/12th London in German first line and would later fight their way into second and third. Withdrew to trenches west of Hebuterne during the evening. Casualties - 324.

From Ray Westlakes British Battalions on the Somme.

Andy

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bmac

2nd Lt Moody was with the 1/4th Londons when they left regimental HQ at Hoxton in London for Southampton on 4th September 1914 for service in Malta. They transhipped on HT Galician.

On 1st July, Moody was a platoon commander in C Company (o/c Capt J T Sykes). A Company was sent over to support the 1/12th (Rangers) attack as the left hand battalion of the 168th Brigade assault. The Rangers attack was faltering in front of uncut wire and from heavy MG fire from Nameless Farm to the south of the Gommecourt to Puisieux Road. Of A Company, only 18 men returned with the o/c, Capt A R Moore MC, being last seen advancing, wounded twice, to the rear of the farm revolver in hand. Two platoons of B Company were sent over as clearing parties but were caught by heavy MG and artillery fire with only 10 men returning. At about 8.45 AM, six runners were given copies to distribute to the officers awaiting orders and they set off by various routes to find them. They had 400 metres to travel. After ten minutes, Col. Wheatling despatched another two men, one to each company commander. Of the eight men sent, one returned, having failed to locate the 1/4th's left company. The other seven died somewhere between HQ and the front line, their messages undelivered, victims of the German barrage.

C Company was waiting for orders but messengers sent forward failed to find Capt Sykes and only two companies went over. The rest stayed under a heavy bombardment in the flimsy trenches dug especially for the attack. Sykes was wounded and his two subalterns, 2nd Lts Moody and F R C Bradford were killed. The Company was brought out of action by CSM Davis who was awarded the DCM for his actions.

German artillery fire on the 56th Division's front was reported by the Official History as the heaviest anywhere on 1st July 1916.

My grandfather, 2nd Lt E M MacCormick (commissioned from the ranks) joined the 1/4th Londons on 7th August as a replacement for the officers lost on 1st July

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Chris_B

Andy,

Thanks for those details.

Bill,

Your story is told with great care, now I begin to understand the personal connection. I lot of good men did their upmost knowing only too well what their fate was likely to be in those terrifying conditions. Thank you for the additional information.

Sorry my queries are coming out in drips and drabs, I really do appreciate your continued interest.

Regards,

Chris.

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