Author Topic: 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment - Movements in March 1918, Help Needed?  (Read 3080 times)

Offline DavidJP

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Hi all,

I have in the last few days discovered that a distant relative, namely Andrew Arthur Hemmings, 41464 & a private in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment was killed on 18th March 1918. He is buried in Pargny British Cemetery in the Somme area of France.

In trying to track the movements of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, I have found that they were placed under the command of 25th Brigade in 8th Division in October of 1914. As far as the period of time in question (March 1918) is concerned, I have been unable to find anything of them between the beginning of December 1917 (December 2nd in fact) when they were at Passchendaele & 21st/24th March 1918 when the German Spring offensive took place.

I have found what appears to be a war diary entry for the 18th March 1918 (the day that Andrew Arthur Hemmings died) which reads as follows:

Regiment: 2nd Royal Berkshire

Location: France, Ref Map Sheet 28 NE

Entry: Battalion billeted in St Martin Au Laert and in GHQ reserve.

The above diary entry I found here at this website. Link: http://www.thewardrobe.org.uk/research/war-diaries/detail/2784

I am struggling to find out in what action if any he died in or was it as a result of injuries sustained in a previous battle, if so which one?

Anything that I find regarding Andrew Arthur Hemmings states 2nd Battalion. However I am aware that there was also a 2nd/4th Battalion. Am I even tracking the correct Battalion?

Many thanks in advance.

Kind regards

David
Aitcheson, Aldred, Batty, Bauer, Bone, Brewer, Dean, Doyle, Durant, Fife, Finney, Gibson, Graham/Grayham, Hall, Harrison, Hersey, Hill, Holliss, Hudson, Hussey, Insley, Kelsey, King, Laver, Longmore, Luke, Mellor, Newman, North, Parker, Phillips, Porter, Read, Robinson, Rowel, Spink, Sproxton, Steer, Stevenson, Tanner, Witty/Whitty, Warburton, Wood.
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Offline KGarrad

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Re: 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment - Movements in March 1918, Help Needed?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 10 March 15 22:35 GMT (UK) »
Details of the 8th Division here:

http://www.1914-1918.net/8div.htm
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

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Offline km1971

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Re: 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment - Movements in March 1918, Help Needed?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 10 March 15 22:59 GMT (UK) »
2nd Battalion was a pre-war Regular battalion. 2nd/4th was created when 4th (thereafter called 1st/4th) was full. 4th Bn were Territorials - ie pre WW1 they were a part-time battalion.

1st and 2nd Bn were at about 10400 at the start of WW1. So he joined them late on. Unfortunately the 'New Army' battalions shared the Regulars number sequence. So he could have joined 5th Bn or higher and transferred to 2nd Bn at some unknown time before he died.

If you post a question on the Great War Forum along these lines -  http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=206817 - you should discover when his number was issued.

The 4th Bn was the only Territorial battalion, and they had there own sequence.

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

Ken

Offline newburychap

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Re: 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment - Movements in March 1918, Help Needed?
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 12 March 15 13:19 GMT (UK) »
Hemmings was 6th Btn R Berks until he (and 250 others) transferred to the 2nd Btn on 6 Feb 1918.  So he was not 2nd Btn for long.

The battalion war diary shows they were in billets and GHQ reserve for a week or so around the 18th.  Such periods of apparent rest were not necessarily so - working parties would often be sent forward to work on support trenches etc.

His body was found at map ref 66D C.22.1.3.1 along with those of two other 2nd Berks soldiers (Reginald Davis and H (or A) Smith. The other two died on 2 April during the German offensive.  Several other 2nd Btn casualties were recovered from the same general area, one other who died on 18 March.

If he had died at this location on 18 March, when it was well behind the front line, I find it difficult to work out why his remains were not buried at the time, perhaps there was a small cemetery at this location?

Even more confusing is that this was a long long way from St Martin-au-Laert, far too far for a simple working party job.

I can't help wondering if the date of death is wrong?
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Offline DavidJP

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Re: 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment - Movements in March 1918, Help Needed?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 12 March 15 22:08 GMT (UK) »
Hi,

Many thanks indeed for your replies, very much appreciated indeed.

KGarrad, many thanks for the link, much appreciated.

Ken, many thanks for links, info re 2nd battalion & 2nd/4th battalion & suggestion re posting query on the Great War Forum, much appreciated.

Newburychap, many thanks indeed for your info, much appreciated. If you don't mind my asking, where did you find the info re his being in the 6th battalion prior to the 2nd battalion & where his body was found etc?

My thanks again, your help is much appreciated.

Kind regards

David
Aitcheson, Aldred, Batty, Bauer, Bone, Brewer, Dean, Doyle, Durant, Fife, Finney, Gibson, Graham/Grayham, Hall, Harrison, Hersey, Hill, Holliss, Hudson, Hussey, Insley, Kelsey, King, Laver, Longmore, Luke, Mellor, Newman, North, Parker, Phillips, Porter, Read, Robinson, Rowel, Spink, Sproxton, Steer, Stevenson, Tanner, Witty/Whitty, Warburton, Wood.
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Offline newburychap

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Re: 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment - Movements in March 1918, Help Needed?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 14 March 15 17:26 GMT (UK) »
Newburychap, many thanks indeed for your info, much appreciated. If you don't mind my asking, where did you find the info re his being in the 6th battalion prior to the 2nd battalion & where his body was found etc?
His medal roll entry shows both battalions, the 6th being absorbed by the 2nd on the date mentioned (see Long Long Trail site). I also got his move on that date from a friend's data on R Berks soldiers.
The body info is from the CWGC site - concentration paperwork.
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Offline DavidJP

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Hi Newburychap,

Many thanks for your reply, much appreciated.

Many thanks for explanation of where the info came from, much appreciated. I don't as yet have his medal roll entry (no ancestry sub at present!), that explains my missing that info. I do however have the CWGC concentration paperwork, but didn't have a clear understanding of what it was telling me, so thanks for helping me to understand that as well.

If I read the concentration paperwork correctly, it states that his body/remains were exhumed from the original burial place at the co-ordinates given & then reburied at "G1" Cemetery Pargny. This taking place around August 1919. Am I reading this correctly?

Lastly, the co-ordinates given for where his body was found, is it known what place these refer to? Or do I have to consult maps of the period to find that out?

My thanks again for your help, its much appreciated.

Kind regards

David
Aitcheson, Aldred, Batty, Bauer, Bone, Brewer, Dean, Doyle, Durant, Fife, Finney, Gibson, Graham/Grayham, Hall, Harrison, Hersey, Hill, Holliss, Hudson, Hussey, Insley, Kelsey, King, Laver, Longmore, Luke, Mellor, Newman, North, Parker, Phillips, Porter, Read, Robinson, Rowel, Spink, Sproxton, Steer, Stevenson, Tanner, Witty/Whitty, Warburton, Wood.
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Offline Hystericalwriter

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I think that trench maps can be accessed from this site: http://maps.nls.uk/ I'm sure I have found positions of some of mine  from it, but a bit confusing. The Great War Forum is really helpful (as I think you have been told)

Anne
OWEN(s): Llangurig, MGY; JOHN: Treherbert GLA; LEWIS: Margam GLA; BOON: Brixham, DEV
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GLOVER: Parkham, DEV ;BOIT: Wellington, SOM
YOUNG: Castle Combe, WIL; LIVINGSTONE: Limavady NI; CAMPBELL: Ballykelly, Derry

Offline DavidJP

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Hi Anne,

Many thanks indeed for your reply & the link, much appreciated.

I have had a look at the site that you have linked to & have found 6 maps labeled sheet 66D, but I cannot find the one that I am looking for. Unless I am not understanding the reference/co-ordinates correctly, which is more than likely to be honest! As you intimated it is a mite confusing! ;D

My thanks again.

Kind regards

David
Aitcheson, Aldred, Batty, Bauer, Bone, Brewer, Dean, Doyle, Durant, Fife, Finney, Gibson, Graham/Grayham, Hall, Harrison, Hersey, Hill, Holliss, Hudson, Hussey, Insley, Kelsey, King, Laver, Longmore, Luke, Mellor, Newman, North, Parker, Phillips, Porter, Read, Robinson, Rowel, Spink, Sproxton, Steer, Stevenson, Tanner, Witty/Whitty, Warburton, Wood.
(For more information on the above surnames please check the Surname Interest Table below.)