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The Duke of Cornwalls War diary

Steve R

master brummie
Hello Lyn
You are welcome. I was going to take a new picture of the memorial for you but most of it is currently covered in scaffolding whilst they tidy it up for the 100 anniversary of the Somme battles next year. I have taken many pictures for people in the past who have relatives on this memorial and I always say take some comfort that he may be at rest in one of the 1000's of graves with headstones to unknown soldiers.


Steve R
 

mhemery

master brummie
This is an account of the fighting on the 12th and 13th of april 1918, where my uncle William Emery Pte 9105 of the D.C.L.I. received a fatal wound,he died two days later on the 15th april 1918.There were many casualties. 43112_1578_0-00030.jpg43112_1578_0-00031.jpg43112_1578_0-00042.jpg43112_1578_0-00043.jpg43112_1578_0-00044.jpg Michael.

Click three times to enlarge text to read.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
That's horrendous Michael. The list is terribly graphic. I've read many war diary pages and each time it's upsetting to see the extent of loss of young life and to read the circumstances in which the men were fighting. Thanks for posting the details. Viv.
 

mhemery

master brummie
Thanks for your comments Vivienne, This map and aerial photo were also from the diary 43112_1578_0-00144.jpg43112_1578_0-00182.jpg Caudescure church can be seen at the bottom of the photo, and here are two contemporary views, Caudescure.jpgCaudescure Church.jpg Hard to believe such Horror happened in such nice country side. Michael.
 

Genmac

proper brummie kid
Hello everyone

My great uncle Walter Holtom was in the Duke of Cornwall's 1st Battalion aged 19 and lost his life in the battle of High Wood, we believe, on 23rd July 1916.
I am writing a family history novel about the lives of Walter and his family and in order to get as accurate as possible have been looking at war diaries to see where his battalion were and were engaged in when he died. Only problem is that I am a total newbie as far as war history is concerned and haven't a clue about battalions and divisions. However I have been directed towards the diaries of the 5th division who were at a place called caterpillar valley in a sunken road trying to take High wood. Only thing is they don't seem to make any mention of the Duke of Cornwall's never mind the 1st Battalion of them and I am getting worried that I am looking at the wrong division.

Please can someone tell me how divisions work and if the 5th contains the D of C, or if there is a better source for me to understand his last days and how he died. I also am concerned as the log says there was no action on the 23rd or 24th and this is his date of death on his army records. Maybee he died as a result of injuries sustained previously? I just want to do him justice and worry that I have got it wrong. Can one of you whom I am sure knows who knows more than me put me right.

Although I have his army no I have never been able to find any actual service records but his name is on the Thiepval memorial and the older members of the family were sure he died at high wood. Any advice very welcome but I have drawn a complete blank on army records on many sites but am sure he was D of E from pictures medal cards and newspaper articales, however wonder why as he was from Birmingham any ideas why? Please help I just want to preserve this brave young man's story

Many thanks Maria
 

Genmac

proper brummie kid
My wife's grandfather who lived in Handsworth was conscripted into the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 1st Battalion in 1916 aged 35 after the Battle of the Somme was over. He was wounded at the Battle of Passendaele on 4th October 1917 and died of natural causes in the family home in 1953. It took me ages to find his war records until I realized he transferred to the Army Reserves after the war had finished until demob in 1919 with a 'new regimental number' which was the one that I then successfully found his records - THE LAST NUMBER. No I never found out why the DCLI - he was initially conscripted into another regiment before the DCLI's so actually he had 3 different regimental numbers in WW1 !!?
.
I have a copy of 'The History of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 1914-1918' by Everard Wyrall and there was a D company of the 1st Battalion of D.C.L.I. who bravely fought at High Wood sometimes referred to as Delville Wood ( or Devil's Wood as the soldiers called it) on battle honours near French town of Longueval.

How do I go about finding out whether my wife's grandfather's name ever appeared in Birmingham newspapers at the time 1916 -1919?
 
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pjmburns

master brummie
It is not unusual for men to move units in WW1 as some units were virtually wiped out. Small groups were merged to make viable units and some men had new numbers. There is a British Newspaper Archive online but not all Birmingham papers are on there yet and you need to subscribe to read them. If you post his name and numbers then someone with a subscription may look for you.
 

Genmac

proper brummie kid
It is not unusual for men to move units in WW1 as some units were virtually wiped out. Small groups were merged to make viable units and some men had new numbers. There is a British Newspaper Archive online but not all Birmingham papers are on there yet and you need to subscribe to read them. If you post his name and numbers then someone with a subscription may look for you.
 
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