A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalion B

A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalion B

Postby crodgers » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Hi all,
I have just come accross this excellent site and am hoping someone can assist me. I am researching the service of A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalion Border Regiment who was killed on the 28 July 1917 and is remembered at Browns Copse Cemetary, Roex. I would love to hear from anybody to has access to the 7th (Service) Battalion Border Regiment's war diary or can help me locate Edgars' movements especially where he was killed.
Any asistance would be greatfully accepted.
Thanks
Cam
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Re: A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalio

Postby plbramham » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:36 am

Hello,
Welcome to the forum. Have you found the website set up by one of our key members "Spike" for the 7th Btn? Click on this address link -
http://www.freewebs.com/7borderandyeo .
He has your Major Morrall listed in the war graves project section, and a photo of the headstone & cemetery but no personal details. (Spike has also produced excellent sites for the 11th & 8th Btns. which are brilliant research resources for historians and geneologists).
Over to you Spike!
Regards Paul
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Re: A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalio

Postby spike » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:44 am

I do not have the War Diaries Cam, but in the book - by Col. HC Wylly-The Border Regiment in the Great War, there is a mention.

During the months of June and July the 7th Battalion Border Regiment were in St Nicholas Camp area not far from Arras, doing much good work behind the line and when up in the front taking part in many raids on the German trenches; at this time the battalion seems to have become greatly reduced in strength, despite the fact that casualties during this period were not heavy;
on the 23rd July there were only 13 Officers and 335 O.R. available for duty,although 7 officers had joined the during previous month- CAPTAIN E.P.B. MORRALL and Second Lieutenants Swan, Hirst, Jarvis, Hudson and Good, with Lieutenant Green of the Cumberland and Westmorland Yeomanry. In the last days of July this small officer contingent was further depleted by the loss of two senior Officers, CAPTAIN E.P.B. MORRALL being killed and Captain H.J.H. Hamilton being mortally wounded.

-The Border Regiment in The Great War


I think you need the war diaries to get whatever extra insight they can provide, Cam. It may be not a lot of course as the book is a precis of the diaries, it depend how much Wylly condensed the information available. It is rare to get much more of a mention even for officers, unless they were friends with the adjutant and diary keeper.
It appears the battalion were on line holding duty and unfortunately the officers were killed in what was known as trench wastage. As they were two senior men, I wonder if the Battalion HQ was hit by a shell, by 1917 in a battalion of reduced strength like the 7th, the Major (or acting Major in this case) could well have also been acting C.O.
If you know someone with Ancestry, there is a SDGW and MIC card entry for EPB Morrall, which may tell you more
such as which battalion he was transferred from in June 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: A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalio

Postby crodgers » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:58 am

Hi Paul and Spike,
Thanks for taking the time to reply

Paul, I did locate his headstone and have stored that bit of info. Thanks for that

Spike, I have a membership to Ancestry and located his MIC Card, I have also located the Cth War Graves printout as well.
I had a bit of success yesterday afternoon after I posted this message......
I was also able to confirm that (via a small bio in the book Old Westminsters) Joined as Lieutenant Border Regiment 14th October 1914, Captain 9th Service Battalion (Pioneers) 23rd Feb 1915....went out to the Western Front in 1915 then to Serbia, invalided from Salonika and returned to England August 1916, Went out again to the Western Front early 1917 and was Killed in action near Arras, France 28th July 1917.
So I have another Battalion to research....and also try and determined why he was sent home...maybe illness?

Do either of you have any info on the (th Service Battalion.

Thanks again for your assistance

Cam
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Re: A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalio

Postby plbramham » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:38 am

Hello again,
This forum has 9th Btn details 1915- 1917 : Go to "Board index" - "World War One" - "9th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers)" then click on entry from Kerchi " 9th Batt at Salonika" which he posted on May 11th 2009 and contains quotes from Col Wyllys book Border Regt. in Great War. Plenty of details there for you,
Another useful source for details of appointments, promotions, awards, postings etc is The London Gazette . ( Free website, but you need to narrow your search as much as possible by dates etc because you usually get a lot of matches, though with an unusual name like Morrall it shouldn't be too bad)
Go to http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search
Regards Paul
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Re: A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalio

Postby spike » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:14 pm

Cam,

Would you like a full size photo of the gravestone and some views of the cemetery as well?
I will PM you via this forum and you can send me your email address for the pictures if you want them.
Another member Mike Deacon has sent me his MIC today, but as you already have it I'll attach it to
this post instead of via email.
Morrall.jpg
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: A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalio

Postby crodgers » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:58 am

Hi Spike
I would love a full sized photo. Thanks to everybody who replied. It was very much appreciated. I am now going to find a copy of Col Wyllys book.
Thanks again
Cam
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Re: A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalio

Postby plbramham » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:07 am

Hello Cam.
Easiest way to get the book (£25) is via post from the regimental museum at Carlisle. Website has order form in its "shop " section . Go to: http://kingsownbordermuseum.btck.co.uk . E-mail is korbrmuseum@aol.com .
Otherwise there are usually copies on e-bay, but only couple of quid (literally!) cheaper than getting a new one from the museum,
Best Wishes, Paul.
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Re: A/Major Edgar Percy Basil Morrall 7th (Service) Battalio

Postby plbramham » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:14 pm

Hi,
I've just obtained his fibre ID disc. It states 9 for 9th Bn, so I guess he had new one when he died serving with the 7th battalion. Note it has "RC" denoting his religion as Roman Catholic.
Here's some more info about him, then his movements just before his death, Paul:

Born 1885 at Studley, Warwickshire . (Son of Lt. Colonel A.E. Morrall of the South Wales Borderers.) Served with the 9th Border in France as a Captain, then Serbia and was invalided from Salonika in mid 1916. Posted to 7th Border in June 1917 as acting Major, killed near Arras 28th July 1917. Medals sent to Mrs Walker, The Wilderness, Woodbridge, Suffolk.
During the months of June and July the 7th Battalion Border Regiment were in St Nicholas Camp area not far from Arras, doing much good work behind the line and when up in the front taking part in many raids on the German trenches; at this time the battalion seems to have become greatly reduced in strength, despite the fact that casualties during this period were not heavy; on the 23rd July there were only 13 Officers and 335 O.R. available for duty, although 7 officers had joined the during previous month- Captain E.P.B. Morrall and Second Lieutenants Swan, Hirst, Jarvis, Hudson and Good, with Lieutenant Green of the Cumberland and Westmorland Yeomanry. In the last days of July this small officer contingent was further depleted by the loss of two senior Officers, Captain E.P.B. Morrall being killed and Captain H.J.H. Hamilton being mortally wounded.
ARRAS
22nd July 1917.Day spent in support line. Battn moved at 8.15 p.m. from support line to assembly trench south of Lone Copse. A Coy moved up in daylight to occupy Front Line and assembly trench which had been evacuated by 9th N.F.. This was accomplished successfully with only two casualties. Night was fairly quiet, the enemy put down a barrage behind the front line, just as the last Coy had arrived. This died down shortly afterwards. 23...Attack on enemy positions carried out on whole front of the offensive. 29th Divn attacked on the right from in front of Monchy le Preux. 51st Divn attacked on the north side of the scarpe left of 175 Divn. Objective of 51 Bde , Blue line running from E edge of Pelves village along line of road from I.27 Central to I.33.b.6.8, thence along E of Bois du Sart.
1st objective of 51st Bde, Brown Line running from Cross Roads I.26.a.6.3 to I.26.d.2.0 to I.32.a.2.1 then over sunken road at I 32.c.3.6. Preliminary objective of the 51 Bde a "T" trench running from lake at I.25.a.5.2. through I.25.c to I.31.a to about I.31.a.1.0, called Bayonet Trench, with a switch trench running Se from I.25.c.3.2.through I.31.b crossing Pelves Road at I.36.b.5.6; called Rifle Trench. Objective of the Bn to carry Preliminary and Brown Line objectives.
8th S. Staffs on the left with same objectives. Objectives of 7th Lincolns and 10th Sherwoods to pass through Brown Line and gain Blue Line.
1st objective of 51st Bde, Brown Line running from Cross Roads I.26.a.6.3 to I.26.d.2.0 to I.32.a.2.1 then over sunken road at I 32.c.3.6. Preliminary objective of the 51 Bde a "T" trench running from lake at I.25.a.5.2. through I.25.c to I.31.a to about I.31.a.1.0, called Bayonet Trench, with a switch trench running Se from I.25.c.3.2.through I.31.b crossing Pelves Road at I.36.b.5.6; called Rifle Trench. Objective of the Bn to carry Preliminary and Brown Line objectives.
8th S. Staffs on the left with same objectives. Objectives of 7th Lincolns and 10th Sherwoods to pass through Brown Line and gain Blue Line. Formation for the attack was A&D Coys in the front line, B&C Coys in supporting line. A&B on the left of the line, 100 yards between waves. 200 yards between attacking and support lines. Men extended at 10 paces. Rifle Trench was boundary between Borders and 8th S Staffs.
Zero hour was at 4.45 a.m. At zero hour, a Standing Barrage was put down on Bayonet Trench. A creeping barrage began west of Bayonet Trench and moved at a rate of 3 minutes per 100 yds, joining barrage at trench at +6. Both barrages lift at plus ten, then crept east at rate of 4 mins per 100 yards as far as Blue Line. Two tanks were detailed for the attack on Pelves. Bn advanced at zero hour; right leading Coy(D) lost direction and moved too much to it's right striking old German Trenches at about H.36.d.6.8.
This Coy then moved to it's left and crossed Bayonet Trench at H.36.b.8.6 and moved east. After crossing Bayonet Trench an intense M.G. fire was met from Rifle Trench. The remaining men of D Coy pushing up to the left towards Rifle Trench and entered at German Strong Point about I 31.a.8.4., which the enlarged and consolidated.
D Coy was joined by the survivors of Right Support Coy (C) which had crossed Bayonet Trench and had advanced due E.. The left leading Coy (A) struck Bayonet Trench at it's centre about the junction of Bayonet Trench and Rifle Trench and was thyen met by heavy M.G. fire from across the River Scarpe and Rifle Trench. The left supporting Coy (B) followed and was also mown down by M.G. fire.The survivors of B and A Coy retired with companies of the S Staffs to the assembly trenches N.E. of Lone Copse.
By that time there were no officers of either Coy surviving. After their retirement, the Germans in a portion of Bayonet Trench held up their hands when the men of the 7th Border again advanced, but were again repulsed by M.G. fire. The survivors of the left Coys then retired and occupied the assembly trenches N.E. of Lone Copse. The attack of the 8th S Staffs was also repulsed by heavy M.G. fire. The survivors of C and D Coys remained out in shell holes until dark. When they made their way back to our line many were hit with M.G.
ire on the way back.Lt Saunders and about 50 wounded and unwounded made their way in up to 2 a.m.
The 10th Sherwoods who were occupying the southern position of Bayonet Trench found a party who brought in 2nd Lt Sawyer, wounded in the knee and about 100 wounded and unwounded men. Battn H.Q. moved from Gun pits H.35.d.8.9 at 5.40 a.m. to trench about H.36.d.8.8., where it remained during the battle. This piece of trench was held by the 9th N.F.. The trench was shelled througout the day, but few casualties were suffered by Battn H.Q.. The Bn was ordered to move to Railway Triangle about 1 1/2 miles E of ARRAS and Bn H.Q. with about 100 men who had come in started to move at 2.30 a.m, reaching destination about 4 a.m.
25th July 1917.... 51st Bde marched to ARRAS at 6 a.m. and entrained at 10 a.m. Breakfast at Transport Lines. Detrained at Saulty Station and marched to Grand Rullecourt about 6 miles.Bn billeted in chateau and huts.
GRAND RULLECOURT
26/30.... Bn equipping and re-organisation.
29.... Corps Depot Officers and men returned.
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