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The current time is: 10/19/2017 4:23:23 PM
 (1914-1918) WWI Battles    
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George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5297

Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 2/3/2016 4:26:49 PM

Quote:
Postscript'

There are some loose ends to my tale-I have in my possession today-handed to me by my mother many years ago, who got the articles from her mother's possessions after she died.The articles in question are GF's wrist watch and gun metal cigarette case containing four stained cigarettes- sent to my GM along with his other effects.

Given that those two articles were taken from his clothing-what happened to his dog tags ???Answers in sealed envelopes please. Seriously.

My Regards
Jim
--anemone


I wonder whether your GF was wearing the double ID tags of two different colours and made of asbestos fibre.

Is there any chance that he was still wearing the single aluminum disc that was issued prior to 1916?

One of the reasons that the British went to a two disc system was because the single discs were removed at death. Then it became problematic to identify the soldier at burial time.

As your GF died in 1918, he should have been wearing the double discs and one should have remained with the body while one was collected.

Is there any chance that he had purchased a second ID disc or bracelet before May of 1916. Many soldiers did so though it was unauthorized?


Jim, not to be indelicate but are you suggesting that your GF's body was found and then mysteriously lost? No intent to suggest that something untoward had gone on, surrounding the circumstances of your grandfather's death.


George

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2476

Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 2/3/2016 5:23:38 PM
Many bodies were found ; death was confirmed ; ID taken and the bodies buried....and then the graves were lost or destroyed as the ebb and flow of battle determined.

The circumstances of Jim's GF's death did not allow for meticulous burial of his body. Maybe a deluge of high explosive rendered the task unnecessary. It might well be that his body was buried by the Germans who overran the position : maybe Brtish POWs were put to the task.

We can be sure that, of the third of a million British Empire dead on the Western Front with no known grave, a good portion were buried under a headstone saying " Known Unto God ".

At least, all their names are recorded, either on headstones or on the panels of those unbearably sad memorials to the missing.

The case of Rudyard Kipling's son, " My Boy Jack", serves to exemplify the difficulties and controversies.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5952
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 2/4/2016 3:05:07 AM
George- I am saying that my GF was left for dead in Demuin village-and his personal possessions removed; but not his ID necklet/bracelet.????

I can only say this-awards given posthumously- were either the VC or an MID- that is it- no exceptions-GF was cited for a DSO by Col.Little because he was stated as missing; but this award was turned down- as my GF was only an Acting Major-he was not substantive-therefore his award was downgraded to the MC.He remained on the Missing List for nine months before being officially declared Dead on 28th December 1918.

I have letter from Major Kinghan written in Feb.1919 to my GM stating that whilst being treated for a wound suffered in the counterattack -he was talking to a Sergeant who was with GF and that he was wounded by the same shell that killed GF.


Part of a letter from Major Kinghan to Mrs Mary Leask-my grandmother dated APril 1919

Dear Madam,

I hasten to reply to your letter dated 17th March, which was forwarded to me by the War Office.

I am extremely sorry that I cannot t e l l you definitely how your husband
was killed , as the last I heard of him was at a Casualty Clearing Station
from a Sergeant who was very severely wounded. This Sergeant said that
Capt. Leask was wounded by the same shell as he was, but could not say
what had happened to him as he became unconscious and was carried to a
Field Ambulance.

I have no doubt in my mind that your husband was killed in this manner ;
since, he was not taken to a Field Ambulance, for if he had been, there would
have been no uncertainty as to what happened to him. I think that all this
must have happened after I was taken away wounded.





My Regards
Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 2/6/2016 11:07:09 PM
Jim,

I'll have a look if I can find anything from the german side.

Thank you for telling us this.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 2/9/2016 5:50:28 PM
Jim,

I've been able to trace the german units involved in the action around Demuin.

I'll be seeing if I can find reports, memoirs, or anything that may help.

Just need a bit of time

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 3/20/2016 7:51:40 PM
Jim,

Information so far.

The german regiment that your GF fought at Demuin was the Infanterie-Regiment „von Lützow“ (1. Rheinisches) Nr. 25. commanded by Oberleutnant Friedrich von der Golz and Major Adolf Hüttmann . This was a Rhineland regiment with it's garrison in Aachen.

"Das Infanterie-Regiment von Lützow-1. Rhein.-Nr. 25 im Weltkriege 1914-1918. Nach den amtlichen Kriegsakten und privaten Aufzeichnungen bearbeitet von ... A. Hüttmann ... und ... F. W. Krüger ... Mit 27 Übersichtskarten und Skizzen, etc.

HUETTMANN, Adolf and KRUEGER (Friedrich Wilhelm)  Series Published Berlin, 1929


I was able to peruse this  book in the Berlin Stadtsbibliothek. A bit difficult to read because it is in old gothic script. Also a pity that one can't borrow it.

Anyway, from what I could read about the action at Demuin ( unfortunately not all that much ) and a bit of research in german sites, I found out that British fallen would have been buried at first together with german dead in small makeshift groups of graves.

After the Armistice, german dead, including the Infanterie-Regiment „von Lützow“ (1. Rheinisches) Nr. 25. , were taken from the numerous small graveyards and re-buried in the german war cemetary at Fricourt. 

Any British or Dominion fallen in these small graveyards were brought and re-buried in the Hangard Community  Cemetery Extension .

One can never be 100% sure but I believe your GF is under the 294 unidentified buried here.

 [Read More]

 [Read More]

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5952
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 3/21/2016 4:00:19 AM
I am most profoundly grateful for you efforts Trevor-on your evidence it is seemingly most likely that my GF's remains do lie in Hangard Community Cemetery Extension.He is of course remembered by name on a panel at Pozieres Military Cemetery.

NB.The action of clearing the village of Demuin was executed in remarkably quick time-approx.30 minutes.The village is in the shape of an inverted L,with vertical being the road into the village from Villers Bretonneux and the sharply turned right at the church, up the hill to Moreuil-this being the horizontal leg.My GF's COy came into the village from the left at Aubercourt via a grassy ride to the church in the square. There were several tracks out of the village back up Hill 102-where most of the Germans escaped by.So yes- it was not a ding dong battle-more of a rout.The shelling of Demuin came from German 76mm guns on Hill 102.


Regards
Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 3/26/2016 12:32:20 PM
You're welcome Jim.

I'll carry looking to see what I can find and let you know.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5952
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 3/26/2016 12:40:14 PM
Thank you Trevor, look forward to hearing from you again.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5952
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 3/2/2017 8:47:52 AM
Photographs and details of Hangard Military Cemetery Extension where it is presumed that my GF's remains are buried



[Read More]

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2476

Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 3/2/2017 4:44:39 PM
Thanks, Jim.

Always a poignant thing to behold ; but when it relates so personally to one of our forumite pals, the feeling is amplified.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5952
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Pitiful Detritus of War
Posted on: 3/3/2017 8:25:33 AM
Yes Phil-I owe Trevor big time for ferreting out the vital piece of post WW1 evidence- that pointed to my GF's final resting place.

To think that I have been to Demuin so many times -the one place- quite nearby- that I did not visit- was Hangard.

Unfortunately too late for me now but I shall inform my son and hopefully he will make the trip.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

 (1914-1918) WWI Battles    
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