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Research A Soldier

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  • #2


    joined up co.down 1898,discharged 16 november 1915 entitled to victory medal,british war medal,1914 star . also served in south africa 9-12-1899 to 30-10-1901....india 1-11-1901 to 11-1-1907....home 12-1-1907 to 4-11-1914..france 14-11-1914 to 8-11-1915..after 17 years service , pension records say he was refused army pension,, awarded south africa medal with 3 bars for service in boer war .cant read the writing on record . dont know how to upload record from ancestry site to the boards page. still learning about this computer thing


  • #2


    dont know how to upload record from ancestry site to the boards page. still learning about this computer thing


    There isn't an easy way really. You need to download the image from Ancestry and then upload it to another (image hosting) site (such as photobucket).

    I can post the pages up tomorrow (just downloading them at the moment)


  • #2


    Ponster wrote: »
    There isn't an easy way really. You need to download the image from Ancestry and then upload it to another (image hosting) site (such as photobucket).

    I can post the pages up tomorrow (just downloading them at the moment)

    Thats great also does anyone know how do I find out where in France he fought.


  • #2


    th_AH.jpg


    If you download from here you should be able to at least try and make out where he was.
    He was part of the Royal Artillery and once you figure out which company he was in you can check on various websites as to their location during the war.

    I'll post up the other docs (about 8 in total) once I get back from work.


  • #2


    aero1974 wrote: »
    Thats great also does anyone know how do I find out where in France he fought.




    I've compressed and uploaded all the files I could find. You can download them from the following linky (18Mb)


    I've had a quick check and found his report card had the following :


    Drunk while on guard (11:15pm)
    Drunk and causing a disturbance (4:15pm)
    Absent from post as a sentry
    Not following orders

    Sounds like he was my kind of soldier :)



    He joined the No:2 Mountain Battery of the RGA (Royal Garrison Artillery) and a quick Google search tells me that the N°2 battery was in the following locations :

    In France with III Corps Dec 1914; transferred to 4th Divisional Troops Mar 1915; transferred to Indian Army Aug 1915; transferred to Army Troops Salonika Mar 1916;
    transferred to 3rd Mountain Artillery Division* June 1916 to 11 May 1918. At Jutogh Mar 1919.


    You can use Wiki to find out where the III corps (army) were based while they were supported by the No:2 Mountain Battery RGA !


  • #2


    Can anyone help me please.

    Im looking for any information on an ancestor of mine.

    Thomas Douglas
    Regiment No.: 426159
    In the Royal Army Service Corps Remounts

    To add to what the others have already posted, here are his service records (13 images) in a .zip



  • #2


    Hi all, this is my first time to post on this forum so here goes.

    I’m looking for information on my great uncle who died on the RMS Leinster (mail boat) on the 10th Oct 1918. His name was Pte Edward R. Dunne, age 20, Royal Defence Corps 77770. I found his grave stone in Grange Gorman Cemetery only last month, a moving time for me. Beautiful setting, well kept and among his comrades.

    I believe that he was in another unit before the one above and was possibly wounded and transferred. I also believe that he was going back to the UK to be de-mobed. Any info on him would be great and maybe some might have info on the submarine UB-123 that sunk the RMS Leinster would be a bonus.

    Any information would be great. Thanks guys…….


  • #2


    At a first search :

    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=900030


    Name: DUNNE, EDWARD R.
    Initials: E R
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Private
    Regiment/Service: Royal Defence Corps
    Unit Text: 310th Protection Coy.Secondary Regiment: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
    Secondary Unit Text: formerly (3/8722) Royal Irish Rifles, and (27481)
    Age: 20
    Date of Death: 10/10/1918
    Service No: 77770
    Additional information: Son of Richard Dunne, of 30, Merchant's Cottages, East Wall, Dublin.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: RC. 595.
    Cemetery: GRANGEGORMAN MILITARY CEMETERY


    Here is his Medal Card. (rapidshare)


    The Military records mentions Theatre of War: Copenhagen (?) Now the Royal Defence Corps consisted of soldiers who were either too old or physically unable to fight on the front lines. Seeing as Edward had previously been in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers this supports your idea that he was injured but perhaps he was only being transfeered to the British mainland for defensive purposes.


    Name: Edward Dunne
    Residence: Dublin
    Death Date: 10 Oct 1918
    Enlistment Location: Dublin
    Rank: Private
    Regiment: Royal Defence Corps
    Number: 77770
    Type of Casualty: Died
    Theatre of War: Copenhagen
    Comments: Formerly 3/8722, R. Ir. Rif.



    EDIT : This is what happened to UB-123.

    You may also be interested in Death in the Irish Sea: the sinking of the RMS Leinster


  • #2


    Roubalard wrote: »
    Any guidance help would be greatly appreciated.



    You can't claim WWI medals but there's nothing stopping you from having them reissued from a 3rd party company.

    I recently used these people for a gift for my grandfather. I found them very professional.

    This it the extra info that Ancestry had on your guy :


    Name: Michael Nevin
    Birth Place: Close Sutton, CO. Carlow
    Residence: Carlow
    Death Date: 2 Sep 1918
    Enlistment Location: Close Sutton
    Rank: Corporal
    Regiment: Royal Munster Fusiliers
    Battalion: 1st Battalion.
    Number: 18093
    Type of Casualty: Killed in action
    Theatre of War: Aldershot
    Comments: Formerly 8798, R. Dublin Fus.


  • #2


    Wow Ponster…what can I say….absolutely fantastic…..I can’t believe the speed and amount of info that you found on my g/uncle in such a short time.

    And yes… that’s them in Dublin…they moved up to Dublin from Cowpasture, Monesterevin, Co. Kildare in the early 1900’s looking for work I believe, times were harder in those days...

    I can’t thank you enough..

    V


  • #2


    This is the medal card of my great grand father. from what i know he joined the munster fusiliers pre war and served in both battalions. judging by this car tho he appears to have finished up in the army supply corp. can anyone help me translate this card a bit better.

    its for my da as he is not quite computer literate ;)


  • #2


    i also have bits and bobs like his post card photo in his uniform letters home to his mother and a clipping from the irish times from when early in the 1914 he and the majority of his colleagues were reported mia after they were over run


  • #2


    one of the few to have "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred".


    Based on the date of entering theatre, he was in the 2nd Battalion which went straight to France at the outbreak of war. Consequently, he was awarded the 1914 Star and was probably involved in the fighting at Mons and Etreux.

    http://www.1914-1918.net/grandad/themedals.htm

    http://www.1914-1918.net/rmf.htm

    The Victory Medal and British War Medal were also awarded and the numbers etc show which page on which "Medal Roll" he appears. He was in the ASC when he got these 2 medals.

    For more info re medal cards :

    http://www.1914-1918.net/grandad/mic.htm


    For more re the ASC (Army Service Corps) :

    http://www.1914-1918.net/asc.htm


    Can't see anything on Ancestry re a Service Record or a Pension Record so no hint as to why he would have transferred - possibly wounded and re-assigned after recovery (but that's just a guess).


  • #2


    my granda is gathering what he knows of his fathers service, he says that henry was in the the second battalion and was overun at etruex. he was in that battalion for x amount of years but knows that come 1918 he was in the first battalion RMF. as far as he's concerned his father never spoke of injury, is it possible they transfered him to the asc keep him outta harms way seen as he was in france from the start and the war was coming to an end


  • #2


    Some great information here, I've been trying to search for my grandfather who was in the Enniskillen Fusillers in Galipoli and Palestine.
    Also my great grandfather who was in France in WW1 and "dissapeared" after the war.
    Some good links there to start the trail again. I got stuck at the pension records at Kew in Surrey.


  • #2


    This is a great thread. Some really interesting info.

    I'm looking to find out some info about my grand uncle. His info from the CWGC:

    Name: MURPHY, WILLIAM
    Initials: W
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Private
    Regiment/Service: Irish Guards
    Unit Text: 1st Bn.
    Age: 18
    Date of Death: 18/05/1915
    Service No: 5142
    Additional information: Son of Patrick Murphy, of 54, Ballyogan Rd., Carrickmines, Dublin.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 4.
    Memorial: LE TOURET MEMORIAL

    Thanks to this thread I have also found his medal record in the National Archives which I will purchase later and post here. But I was wondering if there was a way to found out in what battles he served and where he died?

    Edit: Actually from the date of his death, I presume that he died at the Battle of Festubert as the 1st Batallion of the Irish Guards took part in it during those dates. Although it doesn't seem like there was much action:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Irish_Guards
    In May 1915, the 1st Irish Guards took part in the Battle of Festubert, though did not see much action.


  • #2


    Edit: Actually from the date of his death, I presume that he died at the Battle of Festubert as the 1st Batallion of the Irish Guards took part in it during those dates. Although it doesn't seem like there was much action:

    It's only a wiki article so I'd take it with a grain of salt.

    This site is an excellent resource for finding out what happened and when.


    The Irish Guards were part of the 4th (Guards) Brigade.




    18 May
    Steady rainfall, clearing around 11.00am.
    3.00am: The 2/Bedfordshire and 1/4/Cameron Highlanders repeat their earlier attack, but it is repulsed. The small party of Camerons in the enemy trench are forced to withdraw due to lack of bombs. Further bombardments and infantry attacks are postponed as visibility is so poor in the mist and rain. Enemy shelling on the newly-won positions along La Quinque Rue continues. First Army gives orders to renew the attack in the afternoon - but ominously the bombardment will have no 4.5-inch howitzer component - ammunition stocks are running dangerously low. The orders reach the infantry with little time for thorough preparation.
    Afternoon: First Army gives orders for relief of 2nd and 7th Divisions; the Canadian and 51st (Highland) would take over with a view to continuing the advance towards Violaines and Chapelle St Roch.


    3.00pm: The bombardment begins again, to prepare for an attack to be carried out by the 3rd Canadian Brigade (attached to 7th Division) and the 4th (Guards) Brigade of 2nd Division, on a front between the School House and Ferme Cour d'Avoué. To the North, the Sirhind Brigade were planned to make a subsidiary attack near Ferme du Bois (but in the event it did not take place, the enemy shelling on rear positions and front line being so severe). The British shells do not touch the new German line, for it has not yet been noticed.


    4.20pm: The bombardment intensifies prior to the infantry attack - the enemy artillery responds. The infantry move out at 4.30pm but within minutes are cut down by machine-gun fire, with the Guards (attacking near Ferme Cour d'Avoué) badly hit from enemy positions in Adalbert Alley.


    5.20pm: The 3rd Canadian Brigade finally arrives in the front lines, through a combination of late arrival of orders, and slow movement up to position. They are ordered to relieve 21st Brigade. The remainder of the Canadian Division will relieve the rest of the 7th Division this night.
    7.30pm: 2nd Division orders 4th (Guards) Brigade to break off the attack. 51st Division are by now moving up towards the area with a view to relieving the 2nd Division during the evening of 19th May.


  • #2


    Thanks Ponster. I also found an account of the Battle of Festubert here:

    http://books.google.ie/books?id=uonMXyevJh4C&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=Ferme+Cour+d%27Avou%C3%A9&source=bl&ots=wusHFrOJ3n&sig=q5nf0aDz_7P_1cuOvodjYGPS6Vc&hl=en&ei=N9vxSr_9Oc3m-QbUzeTkAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

    On the day William Murphy died it says
    May 18th 1915
    1100 hours: The Commander-in-Chief ordered a bombardment to start at 1430 hours to be continued for two hours before the attack of the 2nd Canadian and Guards Brigades, who were each to advance on a 650-yard front, from and including both School House and Ferme Cour d'Avoue.

    1500 hours: Owing to difficulty in the transmission of orders, our bombardment began at this time.

    1630 hours: The Guards Brigade started their advance. Owing to heavy enfilade fire at short range from newly constructed German trenches, the attack had to be discontinued.

    1720 hours: The 3rd Canadian Brigade relieved the units of the 21st Brigade in their forward positions.

    1930: The Guards Brigade consolidated positions which they had gained.

    So that would seem to suggest that he most likely died at sometime around 1630 from heavy fire from the newly constructed German trenches. It's amazing what you can find out.

    I also got his medal record and it would eb great if someone who was familiar with these types of things would have a look at it and let me know if anything stands out. The strange thing I see is that he is listed as being in both the Irish Guards and the Royal Dublin Fusilleers. Here it is:

    http://rapidshare.com/files/302467725/31201.pdf.html


  • #2


    your William Murphy is at the bottom left of the group of medal cards and is just Irish Guards. The top left one is a Company Sgt Major from the IG who transferred to the Dubs. His date of transfer is 16th June 1915, after your William's date killed.

    William Murphy entered France & Flanders on the 4th Feb 1915 and was therefore entitled to the 1914-1915 Star, as well as the Victory Medal and British War Medal.

    http://www.1914-1918.net/grandad/themedals.htm


  • #2


    caught an episode of My Family at War with Eamonn Holmes grandfather and great uncles story and Kate Silverton's Gt Grandfather.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ffkm9

    Holmes's great uncle was killed. Listed as Fitzsimons but apparently should be Fitsimmons
    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=268172

    I was surprised how much info they were able to get re these chaps service. In the case of Holme's grandfather (Jack Fitzsimmons, Irish Guards) they got details of his medical assessment after being wounded and worked out when and where he was wounded.

    In the case of Silverton's Gt Grandfather they expressed surprise at his enlistment aged 37 and the fact that he has a number of children. My own Gt Grandfather enlisted aged 41 with 4 young children.

    FYI, Ancestry now has a database "Ireland's Casualties of World War One"


  • #2


    FYI, Ancestry now has a database "Ireland's Casualties of World War One"

    had a quick look at the above and it is the same as "Irelands Memorial Records World War One 1914-1918". great for research.


  • #2


    I had never managed to find anything on the internet about my grandfather until now thanks to the link to the RAMC site - he was a regular in the 4th Field Ambulance and went to France on 16th August 1914. That must have been right at the start of the war, does that make him an "old contemptable"?


  • #2


    hey guys great thread.Im back again looking for information on my realtion.I posted in Histroy and Hertiage a few months ago.Im looking for information on:
    Name: Thomas Kerrigan
    Age: 19
    From: Manorhamilton,Co.Leitrim
    Regiment no: 7247
    Regiment: 7th Royal Irish Rifles
    Date of Death: 7-9-1914

    Any help would be greatly appreciated?


  • #2


    His Date of date on the CWGC site is showing him as died in 1916,will check the Irish Memorial records later to cross reference this

    Casualty Details

    Name:KERRIGAN,THOMAS

    Initials:T

    Nationality:United Kingdom

    Rank:Rifleman

    Regiment/Service:Royal Irish Rifles

    Unit Text:7th Bn.

    Date of Death:07/09/1916

    Service No:7247
    Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead

    Grave/Memorial Reference Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B.

    Cemetery Details

    Cemetery:THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

    Country:France

    Locality:Somme

    Visiting Information:
    The Panel numbers (or Pier and Face) quoted at the end of each entry relate to the panels dedicated to the Regiment served with. In some instances where a casualty is recorded as attached to another Regiment, his name may alternatively appear within their Regimental Panel (or Pier and Face). Please refer to the on-site Memorial Register Introduction to determine the alternative panel numbers (or Pier and Face) if you do not find the name within the quoted Panels (or Pier and Face).

    Location Information:
    The Thiepval Memorial will be found on the D73, next to the village of Thiepval, off the main Bapaume to Albert road (D929). Each year a major ceremony is held at the memorial on 1 July.

    Historical Information:
    On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter. In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 1 August 1932 (originally scheduled for 16 May but due to the death of French President Doumer the ceremony was postponed until August). The dead of other Commonwealth countries, who died on the Somme and have no known graves, are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.

    No. of Identified Casualties:72194


    Unit Movements

    7th (Service) Battalion
    Formed at Belfast in September 1914 as part of K2 and attached to 48th Brigade in 16th (Irish) Division. Moved in January 1915 to Ballyvonare.
    5 March 1915 ; absorbed a company of the Royal Jersey Militia. Moved in June 1915 to Ballyholley and to England in September, going to Aldershot.
    20 December 1915 : landed at le Havre.
    23 August 1917 : transferred to 49th Brigade in same Division.
    14 October 1917 : transferred to 108th Brigade in 36th (Ulster) Division. Absorbed into 2nd Bn on 14 November 1917.

    Photo of Ration party,R.I.R Somme 1916

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_Irish_Rifles_ration_party_Somme_July_1916.jpg


  • #2


    Here's some more info on the 7th Batt R.I.R off the GW forum,sadly the link for this info is no longer available

    1. - FORMATION OF 6TH AND 7TH BATTALIONS.

    WHILE the "Old Army" was dying in Flanders, while the 2nd Battalion as it originally existed was passing away in the flat country about La Bassée, while the Reserve battalions were hastily drilling men to fill the terrible gaps in its ranks, two new battalions were formed to take their places in the new armies which, under Lord Kitchener's inspiration, were turning these islands into an armed camp.
    The 6th (Service) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles was the first to be formed and the first in the field. It was in the 29th Brigade of the 10th (Irish) Division. It was formed in Dublin, at Wellington Barracks, in the last ten days of August, 1914, the other battalions in the Brigade being the 5th Royal Irish, the 5th Connaught Rangers, and the 6th Leinster Regiment. In September it moved to Fermoy for a month's training, returning to Dublin, to the Royal Barracks, in October. Four months were passed in the city. The 10th Division, being intended for early service overseas, was on the whole better treated in the matter of equipment than the other Irish Divisions, the 16th and the 36th (Ulster), then in training in the country. February, March and April saw the 29th Brigade at the Curragh, a period of field work succeeding one upon " the square."
    At the end of April it was transferred to New Park Camp, in Hacked Park, Basingstoke. There training became intensive, musketry being carried out at Aldershot. On May 28th H.M. the King, and on June 1st Lord Kitchener, reviewed the 10th Division in Hackwood Park. On July 6th the 6th Royal Irish Rifles left Basingstoke for embarkation at Liverpool, its destination being in the first place Alexandria, and then the Gallipoli Peninsula.
    The 7th (Service) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, formed in Belfast in September, 1914, was in the 48th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division. It spent practically the first year of its existence at Mallow, Co. Cork, and Ballyvonare Camp, where it had excellent training-ground in the Ballyhoura Mountains. Recruiting was none too rapid even in those days for this, the second of the three Irish Divisions, and the Battalion was glad to receive a company of Jerseymen, 6 officers and 225 other ranks, in March, 1915. These men belonged to the Jersey Militia, and were well trained. As fifty per cent of them spoke French, it can easily be imagined that they were useful in France, where they sang French songs on the march, to the astonishment of the country-folk.
    From mid-June to mid-August, 1915, the Battalion was under canvas at Ballyhooley, on the banks of the Blackwater, near Lord Listowel's seat. It was very fit and well trained when, in September, 1915, it left Ireland for Aldershot. Being at the heart of military life meant that it had many inspections to undergo in the succeeding weeks. On December 2nd the 16th Division was inspected by H.M. the Queen, and before it left the country Cardinal Bourne gave an impressive address to the Roman Catholics, who were in a great majority.
    On December 19th the Battalion entrained at Farnborough for Southampton, disembarking next day at Havre and going into camp.




    III. - THE 7TH Battalion.

    We must now turn to a new legion, one of the New Army battalions, the 7th. As has already been recorded, it was in the 48th Infantry Brigade., the other battalions in which were the 8th and 9th Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the 9th Royal Munster Fusiliers.
    On December 19th the 7th Battalion left Blackdown for Southampton. It embarked at 4.30 p.m., and arrived at Havre at 7.30 a.m. next morning. It missed - fortunately, perhaps, for its early impressions of France - the usual night in a rest camp, and entrained that evening for Fouguereuil, in the coal-mining area. "A" and "B" Companies marched to Noeux-les-Mines, and "C" and "D" to Houchin. These villages of the mining country were incredibly ugly, but scenic beauty was not the first demand of troops in war-time, and they had compensations. Noeux-les-Mines, in particular, was, whatever officers might think of it, one of the most favoured billets in France from the point of view of the rank and file. It had, to begin with, the best bathing facilities; on the western front - the hot baths attached to the mines. It was liberally supplied with estaminets and eating-houses, where eggs and fried potatoes could be obtained, with other more dubious attractions.
    From the 23rd onwards the 48th Brigade was attached to the 1st Division for instruction. The first Christmas on active service came and went before the Battalion had seen the front line, or in any way "found its feet." On the 29th "A" and "B" Companies moved up to Philosophe, to the old British front and support lines, where they had graduated instruction in the holding of trenches.


    IV. - THE 7TH BATTALION AND THE APRIL GAS ATTACKS.

    The 7th Battalion, as has been stated, was already in France at the beginning of 1916, but its active service does not really start till then. Its first casualty, in fact, occurred on New Year's Day, when its transport officer. Lieutenant J. P. Farrelly, was wounded near Hulluch. Throughout January it carried out steady training. On the 20th it lined the road in honour of a visit from General Joffre. On the 28th, when it was at Hesdingeuil, near Béthune, Major S. G. Francis, D.S.O., West Yorkshire Regiment, took command in succession to Lieut.-Colonel Hartley. He remained with the Battalion throughout its career, till it was disbanded two years later, when his fine service was rewarded with the command of a brigade.
    On February 18th the Battalion moved to Sailly Labourse, being now attached to the 12th Division, and next day its companies began entering the trenches, each being attached to a battalion of the 36th Brigade. On the 25th it took over for the first time a sector of its own, not far from the Hohenzollern Redoubt, and that night got its two first prisoners, a couple of Bavarians who surrendered to a patrol. After this first taste of the trenches it moved back to billets at Ham-en-Artois, returning to the line after a month's further training, especially in bombing, in front' of Hulluch. The very night, March 26th, on which it entered the trenches, the enemy blew two mines, accompanied by a heavy bombardment. Our Lewis-gun fire prevented him from occupying the craters, the near lips of which were eventually occupied and consolidated by our bombers, The Battalion came very lightly out of this affair, with no more than four casualties.
    The Battalion was not in the trenches when there occurred one of the most serious gas attacks made by the enemy since the Second Battle of Ypres. The gas was released upon a wide frontage, on the front of the 8th Dublins and the right of the 49th Brigade, at 4.30 a.m. on April 27th. The "sack" gas helmets of those days were very inferior to the type evolved later, and casualties were numerous. It was, however, the tremendous bombardment, which knocked to pieces our front trench upon a front of upwards of half a mile, that caused most loss. An hour after the release of the gas the Germans entered the line at several points, but were ejected after heavy fighting, in which the 7th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, of the 49th Brigade, particularly distinguished itself. The 7th Royal Irish Rifles sent up one company to the 8th Dublins in front line, and another to the 9th Dublins in support, with fifty bombers. The losses in the 48th Brigade were about two hundred, but heavier in the 49th.
    Two days later the performance was repeated. This time there was no infantry attack upon the Brigade's front, and those upon that of the 49th Brigade never reached our trenches, The losses in the 48th Brigade were huge for an affair of trench warfare - 100 killed and 180 wounded or gassed. It is doubtful, however, if the Germans got any profit out of this later venture. In 'the first place, some of the gas blew back over their

    64

    [ 1916 ]

    65

    SHORTAGE OF RECRUITS FOR 16TH DIVISION

    lines, and their ambulances were afterwards seen to be hard at work. In the second, large bodies were caught by machine-gun fire and the barrage of the artillery covering the 49th Brigade and dispersed with loss. Second-Lieutenant Whitford was killed on this occasion.
    There is little to record of the next two months, which were passed in the same area, except that the difficulty of obtaining recruits for battalions of the 16th Division began to make itself felt within six months of its arrival in France. At the end of May the 9th Munster Fusiliers was disbanded to provide drafts for other battalions, and replaced by the 1st Battalion. There were very few casualties, the only loss in officers being 2nd-Lieutenants P. Holden and F. S. M'Carthy [McCarthy] wounded. The Division remained in this region after the opening of the Somme battle, in the early stages of which it was not engaged.

    In the following chapter we shall see that all three battalions, 1st, 2nd, and 7th, were in action in that battle within the first ten weeks.

    V. - THE BATTLE OF GINCHY.

    The 7th Battalion was in the Hulluch area throughout the months of July and August. The line, after the great gas attacks, was generally quiet, and casualties comparatively few. On the night of July 31st there was a curious incident. A raid was attempted by the Battalion, without success. The enemy's wire was found to be insufficiently cut. After an effort to penetrate it by means of its wire-cutters, the raiding party returned to our trenches. A few minutes later the enemy raided in his turn. If, as seems probable, this raid was made in retaliation and organized on the spur of the moment, it was creditable to the German battalion or company concerned. A raid carried out immediately after the failure of one by the other side has advantages so obvious that the uninitiated may wonder why it was not more often attempted. As a fact, the most successful raids were generally those prepared for weeks in advance, over "dummy" trenches, reproduced from aeroplane photographs of the trenches to be attacked, worked to a strict time-table, with every man trained to carry out exactly and without hesitation his particular part of the programme. Raids hurriedly improvised often ended in hopeless confusion, the men losing their way in the dark, and being comparatively helpless when once out of the control of their officers and non-commissioned officers. Among Colonial troops, who had a highly developed personal initiative, such raids were commoner and frequently successful. The Australians, the country-dwellers among whom had an extraordinary sense of direction and power of memorizing the features of ground seen in daylight, practised them frequently, though for the most part at a period later than this; asking no more of their artillery than that it should not shoot upon such-and-such trenches over such-and-such a period.
    In this case the Royal Irish Rifles were nearly caught napping. Somewhat imprudently, the majority of the officers in the front line had gone back to report to the Commanding Officer at Battalion Headquarters upon their attempted raid. The men themselves, showing, for young troops, very creditable presence of mind, saved the situation. When the sentries in the saps fell back to the front line trench to give warning of what was coming, bombing squads, formed under non-commissioned officers, rushed into position to cover these saps. Showers of bombs kept the enemy from pushing down them into the main trench. By the time supports had moved up from the second line he was gone. Our losses were 4 killed and 6 wounded, and the enemy took no prisoners. One officer was wounded during August 2nd-Lieutenant Macnamara.
    On August 24th the 48th Brigade was relieved by a brigade of the 32nd Division, which had had heavy losses on the Somme. After a few days' rest it entrained for the

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    GINCHY: SEPTEMBER 9TH [ 1916 ]

    battle area, detraining at Longueau on the 30th and marching to Corbie, on the Somme River. Thence it moved slowly forward to the ruined village of Guillemont, where the 7th Royal Irish Rifles relieved two battalions of the 47th Brigade, in the support line. The village had been taken but four days earlier, as part of the series of attacks which had advanced our line at this latitude to a point nearly six miles from the original front. To the north-east was the village of Ginchy, already taken but lost to a German counter-attack. It was now to be attacked by the 16th Division, in conjunction with other attacks upon the southern portion of the British battle-front.
    For three days the Battalion remained in the village, consolidating it with the aid of the Engineers. There was no shelter but a few dug-outs, in which in the darkness men sometimes happened upon strange and grisly house-mates, and the shelling was very heavy. Casualties were numerous. On the night of the 6th the Battalion, though holding the support line, sent forward three strong patrols to locate the enemy's position at Ginchy. They were fired upon, and Lieutenants Morgan and Williams were killed. Next evening the Battalion took over the front, which was about half-way between the two villages.
    What the war diaries, ever optimistic, knew as the" accommodation," consisted in this case of shell-holes, sometimes linked together by little trenches. The night of the 8th was spent in digging assembly trenches. At this point Germans and British were widely separated, and the diggers, moving forward quietly in the darkness, were enabled to tape out and dig their front line nearly two hundred yards in front of the position held, thus giving themselves so much shorter distance to go in the attack. They dug before morning light four successive lines, forty yards apart, each capable of holding four platoons, west of the sunken road between Guillemont and Ginchy, while the men of the 1st Munsters were employed on the same task east of the road. They then took up their assembly positions, four companies in line, from right to left "B," A," " C," and " D," each in four waves on a frontage of a single platoon. Though the attack was not to take place till late in the afternoon of the following day, it was obvious that no movement would be possible after dawn.
    The 16th Division was attacking with the 47th Brigade on the right and the 48th on the left, the latter having the village of Ginchy as its objective, the boundary between the two being at the " jumping-off line," the Hardecourt - Ginchy road. The boundary between the 48th Brigade's two first-line battalions was, as has been stated, the Guillemont - Ginchy road. The experience of early defeats in this battle had taught the advisability of short objectives, and in this case, though the final line beyond Ginchy was not more than a thousand yards from the assembly trenches, the attack was to be made by four battalions, two" leap-frogging " the two in the lead upon the first objective, the road running from Delville Wood to the middle of the village. The second two battalions were to pass through the leaders at "zero" plus forty minutes. The attack was to be made by the 1st Munsters and 7th Royal Irish Rifles in front line, the 8th and 9th Dublins in second, named from right to left in each case.
    "Zero" was fixed for 4.45 p.m. The intention was presumably to vary the usual dawn attack which was expected by the enemy. Another advantage was that, with a short objective, there would be just time for some consolidation before dusk, and very little for an organized German counter-attack. Such were the advantages of the scheme, and in other parts of the front they may not have been balanced by serious hazards. In the case of the 48th Brigade, and above all of the 7th Royal Irish Rifles, the plan caused very heavy loss of life, and might easily have led to a disastrous failure of the

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    74

    THE ROYAL IRISH RIFLES IN THE GREAT WAR

    attack. The assembly trenches were only too visible to the German observation officers, and they had a good nine hours of daylight to pound them with their guns. It is easy to imagine that losses were high. But there was loss from a reason less creditable to the authorities in rear.
    At 7.55 a.m. the Brigade received a report from the Royal Irish Rifles, and soon afterwards one of a like tenor from the Munsters, that our artillery was bursting shells in their front line and causing heavy casualties. Apparently the account of these battalions having gone forward two hundred yards to dig their assembly trenches had not reached all the batteries of the numerous artillery brigades supporting the attack, or had not been understood. According to the Brigade's report, it was batteries of the Guards' Divisional Artillery and the 61st Brigade R.F.A. that caused the trouble.
    However this may be, what with the bombardments of the enemy and our own side, Colonel Francis reported to his brigadier, at 2 p.m., that his battalion, which had gone into action somewhat weak, had not much more than a hundred and fifty bayonets for the assault. As there was grave doubt whether this force would suffice to take the first objective, the 48th Brigade asked for further troops, and was given the 7th Royal Irish Fusiliers, of the 49th Brigade. To bring this battalion up into line there was none too much time, while from the moment it left the cover of Guillemont it was exposed to heavy fire. Largely through the skill and energy of its commanding officer, it was in its place in time, behind the Royal Irish Rifles. There were thus five battalions under the command of the General Officer Commanding 48th Brigade to carry out the assault.
    At "zero" the waves went forward, energy and dash unabated by the dreadful pounding of the day and the toil of the preceding night. The Riflemen, backed up by the Royal Irish Fusiliers on the left, the Munsters on the right, reached the German front line, on the outskirts of the village, and took it in a moment, killing or taking prisoner most of the Germans in it, though a handful managed to escape and run back to the second line. The "going" being fairly sound, Stokes mortars of the 48th Light Trench Mortar Battery arrived with the men of the Royal Irish Rifles, and very useful they proved. Just behind the German front line a stout-hearted officer had raffled a party of forty men, possessed of one or two light machine guns, which prepared to dispute the second advance. The mortars were withdrawn a little, set up in shell-holes, from which their rapid fire of small shells was opened over the heads of the infantry. In a few minutes the whole German party surrendered to the latter. The range of the Stokes was then lengthened to aid the troops about to pass through to the second objective.
    Punctually at 5.25 p.m. the 9th Dublins came through. But, as happened not seldom in such cases, when men's blood was up and they were excited by a preliminary success, a number of the Riflemen could not be held by the few officers remaining, and went forward with the Dublins, through the village, to the second objective, which was also taken. They even went beyond the objective. This was risky, as the attack had not gone too well elsewhere, and the advance had been checked east of Delville Wood, A subaltern officer of the 7th Royal Irish Rifles, whose name is not recorded, brought back his own men and the Dublins to the proper line. The former were then led back to the first objective, and the work of consolidation set in hand. Colonel Francis had been knocked down by a shell-burst and severely shaken. Lieut.-Colonel E. Bellingham, the officer commanding the 8th Dublin Fusiliers, the supporting battalion on the right, accomplished very fine work in the organization of the whole line. By midnight the village was in a sound state of defence. Half an hour later what remained of the Battalion

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    LOSSES AT GINCHY [ 1916 ]

    was relieved, staggered back to Carnoy, was shipped into motor-buses and taken to the Happy Valley, near Albert, where the men lay down and slept, and marched next day to the comfort of Corbie.
    The losses in this affair were enormous. Those of the 48th Brigade amounted to fourteen hundred, about half its infantry strength in going into action. The Battalion had killed, Major Cairnes and 2nd-Lieutenant Capper; missing, believed killed, and-Lieutenant Keown; wounded, Major Lash, Captain Taggart, 2nd-Lieutenants Bayham (who died soon afterwards), Devereux and Boyle. Of other ranks, 39 were killed and 260 wounded and missing. A large proportion of this loss was, of course, due to the terrible bombardment from dawn to the hour of the assault. The Battalion had fought with hereditary Irish dash. The success of the 16th Division on this occasion was the more creditable in that upon the rest of the front the attack failed. To complete the work begun by it was needed one of the greatest attacks of the whole Somme battle, when tanks were employed for the first time.
    A few days of rest followed, but hardly had men emerged from that strange and merciful trance which seems to follow such experiences, when they were moved back by bus to Longpré and entrained for the north. They reached Godewaersvelde on the afternoon of September 21st, and marched to billets at La Clytte, a mile and a half north of Kemmel Hill. On the evening of the 23rd they relieved Canadian troops in the neighbourhood of Vierstraat, at the southern corner of the Ypres Salient.


  • #2


    arnhem44 wrote: »
    His Date of date on the CWGC site is showing him as died in 1916,will check the Irish Memorial records later to cross reference this

    Casualty Details

    Name:KERRIGAN,THOMAS

    Initials:T

    Nationality:United Kingdom

    Rank:Rifleman

    Regiment/Service:Royal Irish Rifles

    Unit Text:7th Bn.

    Date of Death:07/09/1916

    Service No:7247
    Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead

    Grave/Memorial Reference Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B.
    Thanks for that.I'm not sure if thats my relative.I read in the Leitrim Guardian 1984 Edition that their was a Thomas Kerrigan,Manorhamilton killed on the 07-09-1914.I found a T Kerrigan on CWGC website who died on this date but he was Born in Dublin.

    How could I confirm that the Thomas Kerrigan who died in 1916 was related to me?Is there any way of finding out where he was from?


  • #2


    If somebody here can look up Ancestry for you his enlistment details may be on there,this should give his address(town/City),where he enlisted and sometimes a gaurdians name,depending what can be found on here can be used to cross reference the cencus records and if he's on the cencus you should be able to narrow the different Thomas Kerrigans down till you find who's who,sadly I don't have access to Ancestry so hopefully someone here can find something for you.Do you know what medal entitlements were to your Thomas Kerrigan?,knowing this can narrow your search right down due to dates of entitlement.


  • #2


    >Thanks for that.I'm not sure if thats my relative.I read in the Leitrim Guardian 1984 >Edition that their was a Thomas Kerrigan,Manorhamilton killed on the 07-09-1914.I >found a T Kerrigan on CWGC website who died on this date but he was Born in Dublin.


    I think you're getting mixed up with something. I really, really doubt that we have 2 Thomas Kerrigans, who both died the same day. The "Manorhamilton" means that's where he lived/signed up and not where he was born.


    I already looked up Ancestry on the History thread and found 6 "Thomas Kerrigan"s, all born in England except Thomas Kerrigan, Co Roscommon, dob: 1884, married to Mary.

    We don't seem to have the service records for the T, Kerrigan mentioned above who died on 07-09-1914, just the medal card.


    I don't see how you'll be able to confirm that he's the guy that you're looking for though. Do you know if your T Kerrigan died? Do you know if his middle name began with a T ?


  • #2


    Ponster wrote: »
    >
    I think you're getting mixed up with something. I really, really doubt that we have 2 Thomas Kerrigans, who both died the same day. The "Manorhamilton" means that's where he lived/signed up and not where he was born.
    No i dont think their was 2 Thomas Kerrigan's who died on the same day.From the CWGC database i have found:
    1)Thomas Kerrigan who died on 07-09-1916
    2)T Kerrigan who died on the 10-09-1914.

    Ponster wrote: »
    > I already looked up Ancestry on the History thread and found 6 "Thomas Kerrigan"s, all born in England except Thomas Kerrigan, Co Roscommon, dob: 1884, married to Mary..
    I have the 1911 census records for my realtion and he was 16 years of age in 1911.This could be him.


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