Author Topic: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters  (Read 775 times)

Offline PhilipG

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2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« on: September 03, 2019, 10:11:47 AM »
The battalion history refers to an officer by the name of Taylor on the 2nd April 1917 attacking the quarry at Manchester Hill, thus assisting the H.L.I. to advance.    Could this be Captain Leonard Taylor MC & bar who was in the action at Joncourt?     I am assuming that as a 2nd Lieutenant, Taylor was awarded the MC for bravery at the quarry.   PhilipG.

Offline charlie

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 11:28:05 AM »
Philip,
The Officer decorated for his bravery, according to the report on the actions of 2nd April, was 2/Lt Harry Taylor. He was awarde an immediate MC Gazetted on 25 May 1917.

Capt. Leonard Taylor was decorated for his bravery near Parvillers on 10 August 1918 - MC LG 7th November 1918. The bar to his MC was Gazetted on 15 February 1919, this was awarded for his bravery at the Fonsomme Line on 1/2nd October 1918.

Charlie

Offline Timberman

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 01:00:14 PM »
He also was awarded a second bar to the MC
for his actions on the 4th of November 1918.

Click on the picture to make it bigger

Timberman

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 01:19:22 PM »
Charlie & Timberman,

Many thanks indeed for your information.    Some interesting points arise.    PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2019, 10:22:11 PM »
I see from the battalion history regarding the action at Parvillers le Quesnoy and Damery Woods (the woods seem to have disappeared now), that Major Marshall was wounded.    Wilfred Owen in a letter to his mother refers to his superior officer as "he of the 10 wounds".     PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 11:28:33 AM »
Returning to the attack over the Sambre-Oise canal.      On the 4th November 1918, two brigades of the 32nd Division, namely the 96th Brigade of which the 2nd Manchesters and the 16th Lancs. Fusiliers formed a part and the 14th Brigade of which the 1st Dorsets were one of the three battalions making up that brigade, were ordered forward to attempt a crossing of the canal.         The canal at Ors provides room for lock facilities and in November 1918 the lock was spanned by "an old bridge".    That bridge marked the boundary between the two brigades.    Some 200 yards south of this bridge during the battle and covered by small arms fire from the 1st Dorsets firing from adjacent village  houses, the 206 Field Coy. Royal Engineers was able to cross the canal by constructing a floating bridge supported by kerosene tins.    Immediately, the 1st Dorsets crossed over the canal and in doing so captured 150 prisoners.

By 8.30 am Division ordered the Manchesters and Lancs. Fus. to cross by this bridge and by noon two companies of the Manchesters were alongside troops of the 14th Brigade.    It would now seem that these Manchesters were commanded by Captain Leonard Taylor.     Would these companies be  "A" and "B" ?       PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 01:10:00 PM »
In the Dorsetshire Regiment's History the writer makes the following comment:-

"The 14th Brigade attack was not only completely successful, but contrary to the expectations of the Divisional Staff, who had looked to the 96th Brigade for success".      The writer continues.   "During the night the Dorsets had side-slipped, taking over a portion of the front held by the Manchester Battalion while the Royal Scots extended their left."     The writer concludes. "The whole of our Battalion was then in and about the village of Ors".   

I thought the observation made by the writer was brilliantly phrased and the text made me smile as I typed it and realised the underlying message the author was sending to the reader.     PhilipG.


Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2019, 11:37:43 AM »
I was expecting that the last line of Reply No. 6 would excite comment, but my sense of humour, weaned on service in WW2, where deeply buried subtlety could be found, makes me realise that my sense of humour is not necessarily that of others.   Here is the author of the Dorsetshire Regiment's Great War History, a regiment recruited from Thomas Hardy's beautiful county and the home of Lawrence of Arabia, having "a dig" at those battalions recruiting in the industrial north.   Perhaps the writer was mindful of the support given to the Manchesters in 1917 when the Dorsets captured Holnon and went on to take Cepy Farm which enabled the 2nd Manchesters to capture a trench in the Hindenburg Line.   Just a thought, of course.   PhilipG.

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2019, 05:13:53 PM »
ive just clicked to it Philip,ime usually quick to pick up on these things but I completely missed that ;D ;D

mack

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2019, 05:38:32 PM »
Mack,

Thanks.   The key word is "contrary", of course.  PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2019, 11:20:55 AM »
Division had asked Lt. Col. J.N.Marshall, incidentally formerly the 2 i/c of the 2nd Manchesters, to make an assessment of the chances of a successful crossing of the canal by the Manchesters & Lancs. Fusiliers.   The colonel's assessment was totally unfavourable, but his opinion was overruled and in the words of Volume V of the Official History, the crossing by the Manchester and the 16th Lancs. Fusiliers "was unsuccessful".   The History has a footnote recording the award of Victoria Crosses to the following :

Captain AHC Waters and Sapper A.Archibald of 218 Field Coy. RE, Lt.Col. JN Marshall (Irish Gds.) - posthumously -  C.O.of the 16th Lancs. Fus. and lastly 2nd Lt J.Kirk of the 2nd Manchesters.   (Not mentioned is 2nd Lt. FA Robins, of the 1st Dorsets who was the first to cross the "Dorsetshire Bridge" -  a name given to the floating bridge by the Official History to the bridge constructed by the 206th Field Coy. RE.)     PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2019, 10:44:05 AM »
In the Regimental History of the Lancs. Fusiliers published in 1949, there is a note concerning the award of the VC to Lt.Col. J.N.Marshall.   It seems that the War Office ruled that as the colonel belonged to the Irish Guards and was only attached to the Lancs. Fus., the award must be credited to the Irish Guards.    Perhaps reluctantly, the Fusiliers had to reduce their harvest of Victoria Crosses to 17.     However, it would seem that another VC was won by the regiment in WW2 bringing back the total to 18 again.   PhilipG.

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2019, 02:14:27 PM »
Hi Philip,

There seems to be contrasting themes here. Lt Col Marshall's VC was attributed to the Irish Guards even though his valour was recognised on attachment to the Lancs Fusils, yet Capt Richard Wain's VC was attributed to valour with the Tank Corps, even though he was attached from Manchesters. Both posthumous awards.

Could this have anything to do with family wishes perhaps?

Tim
Following one Platoon and everything around them....
http://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/about/

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2019, 04:52:56 PM »
Tim,

Quite a mystery.  I can only assume that the Manchesters at the appropriate time, and for whatever reason, did not take up the matter with the War Office concerning Captain Wain's original commissioning in the 25th  battalion.    Colonel Marshall was buried in the cemetery at Ors on the 8th December 1918 in the presence of a Major-General, a Brig-General and officers from the 15th & 16th Lancs. Fus. and 2nd Manchesters, so his name was well known in Division and Brigade HQ.           PhilipG.

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Taylor : 2nd Manchesters
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2019, 05:41:05 PM »
could it be that capt wain was no longer a officer in the 25th manchesters,the 25th had become a training reserve battalion by the time he won his VC,i don't think they award gallantry medals to training battalions.

mack