Hello from new member, Beattie

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Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby Beattie » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:30 pm

Hello,

I'm glad to be joining a site which has already proved to be a great source of information about my Grandad's regiment.
My Grandad was Private G Nield of C Company, 6th Border regiment. We think he enlisted on or around his seventeenth birthday and perhaps not surprisingly, never spoke a word about his service during WW1. It's all come as a huge surprise for my dad who knew nothing of Grandad's war years up until twelve months ago.

Hopefully, with the enormous knowledge of the people on this site, I may be able to plug the gap in my knowledge about what happened to Grandad between being wounded on 9/8/15 and his return to service on 3/2/16.

Best regards

Beattie
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Re: Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby plbramham » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:28 am

Bit of a vague connection, but you might find some useful background info in my previous post re: some 6th battalion binoculars ? Sadly I have no idea who they belonged to.
It does sound like your grandfather was perhaps wounded at Gallipoli, then returned to service after the 6th Bn. went to France? No guarantee - just my thoughts!
Cheers Paul
Click on: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=2585&p=6932&hilit=binoculars#p6932

Later! Ah , Just found this from my transcript of 6th Bn war diary on the date your grandfather was wounded:

9/8/15 At 1.45am the Battn. Left bivouac accompanied by 6th Lincolns & marched to YILGHIN BURNU reaching position for deployment just North of this point at 5.00 am where the two Battns. Were joined by the 7th South Staffs Regt. who were bivouacking there. The advance started about 5.0 am C & D companies forming the firing line & supports C on right & D on left. A & B were Battn. Reserve. 3 machine guns under Major Bridges were attached to the Battn.The advance proceeded in a satisfactory manner till 6.30am, the firing line reaching the nulla near ISMAIL JALUTERE. The [Left?] at this junction about the region of KANLI KEUPRU was driven in, the enemy coming on to Hill 70 & the heights of ABRIKJA thereby enfilading the left of the Battn attack. A & B companies were now pushed into the firing line. Battn. Headqrs. were formed along the road just North of TORDUT CHESHME a very heavy enfilade from enemy machine guns was experienced & the firing line became divided into isolated groups with no support coming up. A further retirement on the left caused the commanding officer to collect as many men as he could along the road about TORDUT CHESHME. This line was held all day until about 5.0 pm. A large number of men had been killed or wounded along the line by machine guns. At 5.0 pm the remainder of the Battn. & one company of the Staffordshire Regt. Retired about 150 yards & occupied an old trench & dug in. Casualties being Officers :- 12 killed, 4 wounded,& 1 missing. 20 officers started the attack. Casualties ranks & file killed 26, wounded 241, missing 131. 696 men started in the morning with the battalion.

For that time's full 6th Bn. transcript i.e. where he was etc click on: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=2509
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Re: Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby plbramham » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:46 am

I haven’t got the 6th Bn. war diary for when he rejoined on 3/2/16 , but this is later that year, click:
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=2584 .
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Re: Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby Beattie » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:06 pm

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your replies. I'll have a good read of the war diary for the latter half of 1916 tonight. I'm trying to make a map of Grandad's movements around Gallipoli, France etc for my Dad so this will help - thanks!
It's really difficult plugging the gap in Grandad's service because his records didn't survive. It must have been a significant injury for him to have been out of action for so long but we have no idea what it was. He was a very active man who never complained of aches or pains in his limbs and being of the generation he was, he kept himself covered up (always wore shirt, tie and trousers - even at home) so no scars were ever visible. I don't suppose we'll ever know.

I would love to know what happened to the soldiers injured on 9th August. Would you, or anyone else out there know which hospital ship they were put on? Do you think he would have been sent back to England?

Sorry for all the questions - I just want to give my Dad as much information as possible.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

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Re: Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby plbramham » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:21 pm

No problem at all.
I reckon really, really , virtually impossible to locate the exact hospital ship, (unless someone’s personal diary exists). So many "civilian” steamers/cruisers were commandeered as hospital ships. I do have a vague recollection that one of the two the Titanic's sister ships "Brittannic" was a Gallipoli hospital ship ( and sunk I think!) . You’ll never know if he was on board! ( Well, presumably not at that time as he survived!)

Click: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMHS_Britannic

It was one of the Titanic’s two sister ships, the other was "The Olympic” ( i.e. the trio: Titanic, Olympic, Britannic)
Off the “top of my head” I think it very , very, highly unlikely that they would have gone to the expense, and actually health danger ( not that it bothered them much losing so many men each day - they were “realists”), for just "an injured man", to send him all the way home to England from "Turkey" in effect!. Maybe he was sent to hospital in Alexandria, Cyprus, even Malta. Malta is actually quite a good “bet”. It was a Mediterranean “staging” point” for our troops for decades.
Ha, Actually hospital ships were stationed off the islands of Imbros etc . (near Rhodes) during the Gallipoli campaign - maybe a clue?
Afraid I have no contacts for such records
Cheers Paul
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Re: Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby Beattie » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:28 pm

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the information. I think you've probably solved part of the mystery or at least come up with an answer which fits well. The Border Regiment museum sent me what little information they had about Grandad and their records showed that he rejoined his battalion in Egypt (Nile protection duty) on 3rd February 1916. What you say about being sent to hospital in Alexandria / Malta would make sense.

If I can impose on you again...
I can't make out the writing in the Battalion's war diary for July 1917. Could you help explain what's going on?!
Thanks again for your help.
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Re: Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby plbramham » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:33 pm

Hi,

Could you e-mail the diary pages to me and I will see what I can interpret? (I'd love a copy- I haven't got those months!)

Basically in July 1917 the 6th Bn were at The Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele),

I strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of “The Border Regiment In The Great War” written by Colonel H.C Wylly in 1924, easily obtainable from Amazon or the Cumbria Military Museum in Carlisle ( both by post - about £20)
For now I attach the 6th Bn entry in that book for July 1917 ( don’t worry long out of copyright!)

It DOES specifically mention “C” Company.

Cheers Paul
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6th  Bn July  1917 no1.jpg
6th  Bn July 1917 no2.jpg
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Re: Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby hussar1000 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:06 pm

War diaries are now available from Ancestry UK and I think they are free to view.
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Re: Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby Beattie » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:25 am

Thanks again, Paul. I'll get a copy of the book for my Dad. (Of course, I'll have a nose through it before I pass it on to him!)
I'll get those pages over to you at some point this weekend. They are very, very faded and difficult to read though.

Cheers
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Re: Hello from new member, Beattie

Postby IanT » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:51 pm

On Ancestry the index is free but I suspect you need to pay to view the actual pages. The search is primarily date + location. There is also a keyword field which can be used for eg regiment name.
I've just tried a few searches: specific dates seem to result in sections of diaries that may contain the dates; people's names are not indexed as far as I can see.
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The Border Regiment Forum is a small and friendly community for anyone with an interest in the British regiment throughout its long and colourful history. The forum was set up first and foremost to bring together those with an interest and passion in the Regiment; to ask questions, share stories, provide knowledge and post photos relating to the regiment during the various conflicts and peacetimes it bore witness to.

  -  Cumbria's Museum of Military Life
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  -  11th Border Regiment (Lonsdale) War Grave Project