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New member needing help!

Postby mrtoolbag » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:04 pm

Hi Guys,
Looking for whatever help you can give in getting a little further information on my grandfather's war.
I am looking for info on Thomas Henry Lewis of 11th Border Regiment, Pte 27777 transfered from Herefordshire 1/3rd batallion. Henry died on April 6th 1917 in or around Savy, France I believe. I have found the diaries but there is no mention of what action they underwent on that day or what was likely to have contributed to his death. I haven't been able to assertain what company he belonged to either.
Thanks for any help!
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Re: New member needing help!

Postby spike » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:18 pm

Hi

It will depend on whether his Service Documents have survived (the bombing of Kew in WW2) and how much information they contain.
There are members of Ancestry on here who, hopefully will look for you.
The Herefords joined the battalion in 1916 after the Somme and the battalion being on active service, did not keep records as to
which companies the reinforcements were posted to. The Herefords served the battalion with honour and if you get the book
'Redan Ridge: The Last Stand' by Peter Weston it will give you more info on the story of the Herefords and the 11th Border.

SAVY 1/4/17 10pm . On the night 31st/1st the Battn moved forward on the ROUPY - ETRELLIERS road in fighting order. Battn halted there&a rationof rum was issued out. At 3.30 am Battn moved forward 1700 yds to a position 500 yds SW of the village SAVY then it extended into attacking formation & took up a position along a previously laid tape. At 5 am the Artillery Barrage opened up & the Battn moved forward to the attack on SAVY. The Battn moved forward with all possible speed behind the barrage and drove the enemy through & out of the village & dug in on the opposite side with the exception of one Company which remained in the village to mop it up of any concealed enemy. Several prisoners were taken & a number of the enemy killed. The capture of the village was secured and consolidation started. By 6.30 am all consolidation was practically complete & the village put in a state of defence. Number of Boche prisoners taken 50 - killed 71.
During afternoon from 2.30 - 3.30 pm enemy heavily shelled our positions.
Later on the Battn also took over the line held by the 17th HLI, who withdrew.
Battn worked on defences all day.

SAVY 2/4/17 10pm . Battn remained in defences around SAVY. Working parties all day on the village. Salvage of material, collecting of dead etc.
Cleaning and clearing of road through village. Improvement of defences.

" 3/4/17 10pm. Salvage and collection of dead. Working parties in village. Clearing of road. Working parties also supplied eslewhere. Two companies out in Bois de Holnon, digging outposts.


" 4/4/17 10pm. Working parties in ERTELLIERS also working parties during night. C.O. & Company Commanders went forward & reconnoitered ground & enemy lines near village of HOLNON.

" 5/4/17 10pm. Battn remained in SAVY. Working parties also during night.

" 6/4/17 10pm. Battn remained in SAVY. Working parties also during night.


The War Diaries are as you say inconclusive, perhaps TH Lewis was wounded on 1st April or during the next few days whilst defending the village, or
killed by shelling or sniping on a working party, on the day given for his death.
Perhaps if they are available ( but I have heard not many of the transferred Herefords documents did survive WW2), they could cast further light of whether he was wounded and died, or missing and presumed dead, or killed and buried, but his grave became lost.
Unfortunately we may never know....

From my website (source The Border Regiment in the Great War by H.C.Wylly)
Attack on Savy April 1917
On the 30th March orders arrived for the Lonsdales to participate in an attack upon the village of Savy. The Germans had left rearguard outposts in many villages (such as Savy) in front of the Hindenburg Line to slow the British pursuit. The Battalion moved forward on the night of the 31st March- 1st April 1917, from Proseste on to the Roupy to Etreillers Road. Then at 3.30 am. moved to a position 500 yards south of the village of Savy, where it deployed into attack formation and took up a position on a tape-line. At 5.00 am, the attack on Savy commenced, under cover of an artillery barrage. The advance was very rapidly made, and the enemy was driven out of the village. One company remained behind in Savy to ''mop up", whilst the rest of the Battalion dug in on its far side. The consolidation was completed and the village put in a state of defence by 6.30 am. For an hour during the afternoon, the position was heavily shelled, but the Battalion held on in this vicinity until the evening of the 7th April 1917 when the barrage increased again. This forced the Battalion to withdraw to Holnon, where shelters had to be dug and the position improved. The 11th Border Regiment remained here until 11th April 1917, when it returned to the front line for another attack.


The 11th Borders were holding Savy Village under shellfire from 1st -7th April 1917
SPIKE

LINK - Border Regiment in the Great War Websites
(right click and open in new tab)

In memory of -19455 Private John Farrer,
A Company 11th Border Regiment k.i.a. 1st July 1916
.
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Re: New member needing help!

Postby mrtoolbag » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:46 am

Thanks Guys, just to clarify, we know that he is one of the missing, no known grave and dying it seems in the ongoing bombardment until the 7th. He is remembered at Thiepval, however maybe one of the consolidated unknowns buried at Savy cemetery. Thanks so much again!!
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Re: New member needing help!

Postby mrdeacon » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:07 pm

Unfortunately his service records don't seem to have survived.

So this is what I have found in Ancestry.


Name: Thomas Lewis
Birth Place: Hereford
Death Date: 6 Apr 1917
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Ledbury, Hereford
Rank: Private
Regiment: Border Regiment
Battalion: 11th Battalion
Regimental Number: 27777
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
Comments: Formerly 4372, Hereford Regt.

Medal Index Card details
Name: Thomas Lewis
Regiment or Corps: Herford R, Shropshire Light Infantry, Border Regiment
Regimental Number: 4372, 20509, 27777

Service Medal and awards details.
Name: Thomas Lewis
Military Year: 1914-1920
Rank: Private
Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal
Regiment or Corps: Border Regiment
Regimental Number: 27777
Previous Units: 1st Herefords Regt. 4372, 3rd K.S.L.I. 20509, 11th Border Regt. 27777 Pte.

Cheers Mike.
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Re: New member needing help!

Postby mrdeacon » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:12 pm

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Re: New member needing help!

Postby plbramham » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:26 pm

Like Spike said, if you can get a copy of "The Last Stand" book ( try amazon?) That may give a lot of explanations, The "Herefords" were used as " replacements" for Border Regiment.
Regards Paul
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