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jackym40

24th A Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 1 Platoon.

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jackym40

Hi All

Just wondered if any of you know what this company were doing on March 25th 1918. My Great Uncle was killed that day. He is burried in Queens Cemetery, Bucquoy, France.

I look forward to reading any replies.

Thank you all

Jackie

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waynepugh

hi jackie,

what was your great uncles name?

my great great uncle died the day before, he was in the 24th royal fusiliers. we think he is buried in bancourt cemetary.

wayne

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jackym40

Hi Wayne

My Great Uncles name was Arthur John Steward.

Jackie

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waynepugh
Hi Wayne

My Great Uncles name was Arthur John Steward.

Jackie

Hi Jackie

Im trying to find a bit of info for you. But i will get back to you as soon as ok.

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jackym40

Ok Thanks Wayne

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waynepugh

Hi Jackie,

I have just spoken to my dad (andy) and he will get in contact you.

sorry to keep you waiting but i do not have my war diary at the moment, hope he can help you.

Wayne

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andrew pugh

Evening Jackie.

The war diary states that on the 25th March (Quote) LIGNY-THILLOY -LE-SARS

On the 25th at 2-30 am Contact not obtained with enemy, 5th Brigade withdrew and marched

S.West along the BAPAUME-ALBERT road.

10am5th Brigade took up front line positions between PYS and LE-SARS.

Enemy pursued his attack.After a brisk exchange of rifle and machine gun fire ,our troops retired from N West side of LE-SARS.5th Brigade were ordered to holdon until a fresh Division got up.About

6pm the line was forced and 5th Brigade retired through BEAUCOURT.24th Bn occupied positions on spur East of HAMEL during night 25th/26th.this is what the war diary states word for word. The next day they were at AUCHONVILLERS with the NEW ZEALAND troops. Hope this helps,If you want any more info let me know.

Regards Andy.

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jackym40

Hi Andy

Thanks very much for the information. Just wondered if Hamel is near to where he is burried at Bucquoy?

Do you have any information about who from 24th Battalion died on that day?

Thanks again

Jackie

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andrew pugh

HI Jackie.

I do have some here are the names I have.

DEATH, Arthur,Sidney(Corpral) service number G/24083 came from Hanwell, Middx.

GILLETT William ( Private) S/9635.

GUYER,Samuel C.(Private) G/68640 Islington.

HARPER Herbert (Private) G/75172

HENDERSON Alexander (Private) 19916 Goodmayes, Essex.

KIMBER Ernest (Private) S/R9517. OSBORN Charles Henry (Lance/Serjeant)G/24960

POINTER Charles (Corpral)L/16901. ROSE Ernest Albert(Private)K/1069 Kensington London.

WORLEY Philip Brian (Private) G/49337 Pendelton Manchester. All on the ARRAS Memorial.

STEWART A.J(Private)51141. Queens Cemetery Grave Ref 1.A.3.

BALDOCK J.E (private) G/68672. HALL W.G.(Private) G/75174 PARK J.H (Private)G/75198.

These are buried in BEUGNY Delsaux Farm Cemetery.

LATHAM C. Sgt K/506

GWYER H. Pte 68640.

These are some of the ones killed, There were many others wounded I also have some of their names Hope this helps .Regards Andy

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jackym40

Hi Andy

Thank you very much for all the information. Just wondering where you got hold of the diary and is it possible for anyone to get a copy?

Jackie

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andrew pugh

Evening Jackie.

If you send me a P.M. with your address and I will print you off a copy ,It may take a while so if a bloody big envolope comes to your house you will know what it is.It will take a while because Im already doing a copy for someone else on the forum.My Gt Uncle was also in the 24th Bn(2nd Sportsmen),he was killed the day before on the 24th March 1918.

Regards Andy

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jackym40

Hi Andy,

Many thanks, I have PM you details.

So our Great Uncles were probably pals and been through a lot together and then killed within a short time of each other.

It's very sad.

Jackie

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jackym40

Hi all, It's been a while since I posted on here but need some more help!

My niece as part of her History course work has to write a diary of a soldier from WW1 and as she had a relative who lost his life during the war she has decided to write about her Great, great Uncle Arthur John Steward, who you have helped me with in the past.

What I would like help with is battles that were fought during his time of service with the 24th Battalion of Royal Fusiliers also any info on trenches, areas etc.

Andy Pugh was very helpful in sending me a copy of the the war diary but alas since then we have had refurbishements done on our house and it was put in a safe place which turned out to be too safe as I can't remember where!

Any help would be fantastic, my neice who is really enjoying looking into the past and I aim to help her!

Thanks in advance

Jackie

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Ron Clifton

Hello Jackie

You may be able to download a copy of the War Diary from the National Archives (Kew) website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

The file reference is WO 95/1349 (5 Infantry Brigade: 24 Battalion Royal Fusiliers 1915 Nov. - 1919 Mar.)

Good luck!

Ron

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KevinBattle

STEWARD, A J. Rank: Private. Service No: 51141. Date of Death: 25/03/1918.

Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers. 24th Bn.

Grave Reference: I. A. 3. Cemetery: QUEENS CEMETERY, BUCQUOY

Bucquoy was taken by the 7th Division in March, 1917. It was partly lost in April 1918, after a prolonged and gallant defence by the 62nd (West Riding), 37th and 42nd (East Lancashire) Divisions; and it was cleared on the following 21st August. The cemetery was begun in March 1917, when 23 men of the 2nd Queen's were buried in what is now Plot II, Row A. Thirteen graves of April-August 1918 were added (Plot II, Row B ) in September 1918 by the 5th Division Burial Officer. The remainder of the cemetery was made after the Armistice, by the concentration of British and French graves and one American from the battlefields of the Ancre and from small cemeteries in the neighbourhood.

Name: Arthur John Steward. Birth Place: Ipswich. Residence: Gt. Baddow, Essex.

Death Date: 25 Mar 1918. Death Location: France & Flanders. Enlistment Location: Chelmsford

Rank: Private. Regiment: Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). Battalion: 24th Battalion. Number: G/51141

Type of Casualty: Killed in action. Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Comments: Formerly 37932, Middx. Regt.

Medal Index Card shows no reference to being overseas with Middlesex Regiment, believe that is either his training regiment in UK or pre war Service.

It only shows entitlement to the British War and Victory medals, so not overseas until after 1915.

There were 15 men killed that day, only Arthur has a burial in Queens Cemetery Bucquoy.

There was an Arthur John born in 1907, is that part of your family?

The 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers is shown in the Long Long Trail as

24th (Service) Battalion (2nd Sportsman's). Formed in London on 20 November 1914 by Mrs E.Cunliffe-Owen. March 1915: moved to Hornchurch.

June 1915: came under command of 99th Brigade, 33rd Division. Landed at Boulogne in November 1915. 13 December 1915: transferred to 5th Brigade in 2nd Division.

Although this may initially have had a large complement of "sportsmen", by 1918 it was probably reinforced many times over with men from whichever training battalions were sending fresh troops over. Arthur may have only been with them for a short while before facing the Germans

No mention seems to have been made previously that Arthur died during the period of the great German onslaught (Operation Michael) which used the transfer of many of the troops released from the Eastern Front after the collapse of the Russian Army. It was intended to smash through the Western Front to bring about victory for the Germans before the Americans were able to provide sufficient troops, and almost succeeded.

Only 3 of the comrades who died with him have any known grave, the rest are commemorated on the Arras Memorial as even those buried had their grave markers destroyed in the subsequent heavy fighting to reclaim lost ground.

BALDOCK, J E. Rank: Private. Service No: G/68672. Date of Death: 25/03/1918.

Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers. 24th Bn.

Grave Reference: III. B. 5. Buried near this spot. Cemetery: DELSAUX FARM CEMETERY, BEUGNY

HALL, W. Rank: Private. Service No: G/75174. Date of Death: 25/03/1918.

Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers. 24th Bn.

Grave Reference: III. B. 20. Buried near this spot. Cemetery: DELSAUX FARM CEMETERY, BEUGNY

PARK, J H. Rank: Private. Service No: G/75198. Date of Death: 25/03/1918. Age: 19

Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers. 24th Bn.

Grave Reference: III. B. 9. Buried near this spot. Cemetery: DELSAUX FARM CEMETERY, BEUGNY

Additional Information: Son of John and Mary A. Park, of Harry's Court, Firs Lane, Leigh, Lancs.

With this "cluster" of burials, it may be that they made some form of "last stand" in this vicinity.

War Diaries frequently mention officers by name, so there may be some reference to

COPPACK, CHARLES RICHARD STEWART. Rank: Second Lieutenant. Date of Death: 25/03/1918. Age: 27.

Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers. 24th Bn. (formerly 22nd Bn.)

Panel Reference: Bay 3. Memorial: ARRAS MEMORIAL

Additional Information: Son of Mr. F. Stewart Coppack, of 148, Inchmery Rd., Catford, London.

You seem to know that Arthur was in A Company and 1 platoon. Where did that information come from and do you have anything else to add that might help fill in any gaps or correct misconceptions I may have made? I cannot find any useful information from his previous Middlesex Reg't number, but it looks as if it may be a 1917 issue series, but there are Pals who have far better knowledge than I on that aspect.

Name: Arthur Steward. Age in 1911: 23. Estimated Birth Year: abt 1888. Relation to Head: Boarder

Birth Place: Ipswich, Suffolk. Street Address: Vale Cottage, Galleywood Near Chelmsford, Essex.

Marital Status: Single. Occupation: Milk Carrier. Living with the Smith family, farmers, their one surviving daughter and 2 grand daughters

Name: Arthur Steward. Age: 13. Estimated Birth Year: abt 1888. Relation: Boarder

Where born: Ipswich, Suffolk. Civil parish: Flowton. Ecclesiastical parish: St Mary, Suffolk

Alfred Steward, 33, milk seller, own account; Ellen Steward, 33; Jessie Steward, 11; Alfred Steward, 9; Wesley Steward, 7; Ida Steward, 3; Harry Steward, 11 months. Arthur Steward, 13

Name: Arthur Steward. Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1887. Registration district: Bosmere, Suffolk. Volume: 4a

Name: Arthur Steward. Age: 3. Estimated Birth Year: abt 1888. Father's Name: John Steward. Mother's name: Harriet Steward. Where born: Bramford, Suffolk. Civil parish: Offton, Suffolk. Page: 767

John Steward, 31; Harriet Steward, 32; Gertrude Steward, 5; Arthur Steward, 3; Emily Steward, 1; Grace Steward, under 1 month.

Something catastrophic seem to have happened to Arthurs family after 1891, he turns up with his uncle and aunt then off to Essex..... perhaps you know more?

Hope this is of some help

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jackym40

Hi, thanks for the help.

Ron I have tried to find the diary on National Archives but it just brings up loads of other things such as The Kenya land commission report! What am I doing wrong??

Kevin I don't really know much about Arthurs war record apart from what i have been told on here previously, I did have another post but can't seem to find that now and think that had a bit more info about him so that might be where I got the A Company, 1 platoon from.

As to his home life, I presume Arthur moved to Flowton to work, (am certain the Stewards he moved to live with were no relation) he lived with his family in Offton in what was probably a tiny little house near the Limeburners pub in the village, I do know his mother died and he father remarried, so there were possibly with Arthur 5 more children and the parents so am presuming it was overcrowded to say the least, they were a poor working class family.

You mentioned the period of the great German onslaught (Operation Michael) which used the transfer of many of the troops released from the Eastern Front after the collapse of the Russian Army. Do you think Arthur was involved in this?

I am so grateful for all this help, please keep it coming!

Jackie

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KevinBattle

Hi, Jackie

From what Andy Pugh told you from the Diary extracts....

The war diary states that on the 25th March (Quote) LIGNY-THILLOY -LE-SARS

On the 25th at 2-30 am Contact not obtained with enemy, 5th Brigade withdrew and marched S.West along the BAPAUME-ALBERT road. 10am 5th Brigade took up front line positions between PYS and LE-SARS. Enemy pursued his attack. After a brisk exchange of rifle and machine gun fire, our troops retired from N West side of LE-SARS. 5th Brigade were ordered to hold on until a fresh Division got up. About 6pm the line was forced and 5th Brigade retired through BEAUCOURT. 24th Bn occupied positions on spur East of HAMEL during night 25th/26th.

This is what the war diary states word for word. The next day they were at AUCHONVILLERS with the NEW ZEALAND troops.

.... it's quite clear that yes, they were caught up in the Germans punching through the front lines and forcing the troops back. He may well have been in a rearguard action while his mates got away. Someone with better knowledge of the trench systems may be able to better plot the course of their retreat back to Auchonvillers.

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jackym40

Thanks again Kevin

Does anyone know where I could find or download information from a soldiers point of view with regards to daily life in trenches and battle? It needs to be a download or ready available as my niece needs it as soon as!

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Donald D

My Grandfather, William Mead, was No 51148 in the Royal Fusiliers. As you can see this is only 5 No's away from your G/Uncles. He was also in the 24th Battalion, but fortunately survived the war.He was called up in July 1916, so would have reported the same time to the Royal Fusiliers Training depot as your G/Uncle and they would have been through the basic training together. It was here they received their Royal Fusiliers number. He was sent to France in November 1916.At Etaples, which was a camp designed to get raw recruits fit for the trenches, the Depot orderly would allocate which Battalion each man was allotted to.From the medal rolls I have found out that about 30 men with numbers from 51118 to 51150 were all allocated to the 24th.They then were sent to the area where the 24th were based, which was near Abbeville in Northern France. This was on the 26th November 1916.

All this is in the War Diary, which Andy sent you.(He also supplied me with a copy).At present the war diaries from the National Archive (NA) are being digitised, including the 24ths, so its not available to download.

A vey good book to read is "The History of the 2nd Division" by Everard Wyrall. The 24th RF were in 5 Brigade of the 2nd Division. This gives a good account of all the battles the 24th were involved with.

You can also download it from historyofsecondd01wyra.pdf (application/pdf Object), & historyofsecondd02wyra.pdf (application/pdf Object).It also includes maps you can copy for printing out.

For a list of the actions of the 2nd Division refer to the The Long, Long Trail

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jackym40

Many thanks for the information Donald, the download of the book is great

Jackie

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Donald D

Just one question... How do you know what company (A) of the Battalion your G/Uncle was in?

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jackym40

Hi Donald, I don't know what company he was in, to be honest and have no idea where 'A Company' came from, all I knew was he signed up with the Middlesex regiment before being transfered to 24th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers.

Do you know how or if I can find out what company he was in?

Thanks

Jackie

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Donald D

Without his service history its almost impossible. Sometimes it is seen on the CWGC database.I just assumed from the title of the thread, "A" Company 1 Platoon, that maybe you had your G/Uncles service history or attestation papers.You can see what I mean on the relevant pages on the The Long, Long Trail

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andrew pugh

Hi All.

Donald, did you ever read a copy of the hand written account of the actions of the 24th Bn from 21/03/18 until 28/03/18 it was written by a soldier called Hoyle he was a Private in the 24th Battalion and gives a very vivid and accurate account of the retreat from the Royal Fusiliers view, the only thing that is missing is the noise and the smell of the day. He survived the war and wrote the account in hospital in England after being wounded on the 26th or 27th, gave it to a nurse at some point then she gave it to the Imperial War Museum. The casualties on the 24/03/18 for the 24th battalion were as follows Lt Nyren, Sgt Rendell, Cpl Walter Glew. Pte's Henry,John, Morrell. and William Cunningham they also lost another officer the day before called Lt William Neate. If anybody needs info on the 24th Bn Royal Fusiliers please ask, I will try and help.

Kind Regards Andy.

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Donald D

Yes thanks Andy, I think you gave it to me.... :whistle:

Perhaps it would give jackyM40 an idea what our relatives had to go through during the German offensive!

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