Author Topic: Unknown soldier of the Manchester Regiment  (Read 3680 times)

Offline Baconwallah

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Unknown soldier of the Manchester Regiment
« on: July 27, 2014, 03:53:21 PM »
While researching the fighting around St Venant (May 1940) for the Royal Welch Forum, of which I am one of the mods, I came across the original lists made by the French authorities when the Robecq Road mass grave of British soldiers was moved to the communal cemetery in 1941. These lists have yielded some interesting information.

The hand written list of the exhumations includes the following:
   59 Inconnu
   60 Woollez 3505531
   61 Smith 3531103
   62 Pearce 4448530
   63 Tovey Adjutant 1045445
   64 Inconnu

On the typed list of the reburials we find:
   [1 Inconnu]
   2 Towez 1045445 Sergent
   3 Pearce 4448530
   4 Smith 3531103
   5 Woollez 3505531
   [6 Inconnu]

The current situation, as listed by the CWGC, is:
   4.A.1A Unknown
   4.A.2A Tovey, Thomas George, 1045445 Sgt 44 Bty 13 ATR RA
   4.A.3A Pearce, William Eric, 4448530 Pte, 2 DLI
   4.A.4A Unknown, Manchester Regt
   4.A.5A Wooley, James, 3525531 Pte, 2 Manchester Regt
   4.A.6A Unknown

It is clear that these men were reburied in the order in which they were exhumed, and that the unknown soldier in grave 4.A.4A must be "Smith 3531103". Although no soldier with that number was killed in the war, the CWGC database has a close match: Pte Thomas Hayes Rostron 3531013 of 2 Manchesters who, as it happens, disappeared in the St Venant fighting on 26-27/05/1940 and is still officially missing. His name is on the Dunkirk Memorial.

I consider it highly probable that the unknown soldier in grave 4.A.1A of the St Venant Communal Cemetery is Pt Thomas Rostron, the son of James and Emily Hayes Rostron and the husband of Catherine Rostron, of Ince, Wigan, Lancashire.

I have mentioned this several times in correspondence with the CWGC but have never received a reaction.

John

Offline themonsstar

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Re: Unknown soldier of the Manchester Regiment
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 08:25:08 PM »
Hi John

Here are some bits from WO361/67 Missing men of the Manchester Regt its mainly 2nd Bn men, the file is at Kew London.

Offline themonsstar

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Re: Unknown soldier of the Manchester Regiment
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2014, 08:26:39 PM »
It looks like it is 3531013 Pte Rostion

Offline themonsstar

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Re: Unknown soldier of the Manchester Regiment
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 08:27:56 PM »
next lot

Offline Baconwallah

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Re: Unknown soldier of the Manchester Regiment
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 09:45:42 PM »
Thanks for the scans, Monsstar. I'll have a good look at them and get back to you. First impression confirms my theory.

John

Offline Baconwallah

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Re: Unknown soldier of the Manchester Regiment
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 10:35:30 AM »
The docs put Pte Rostron in 13 Ptn, near l'Epinette, the crossing of the Aire Canal SSW of St Venant. That means that he was buried in the Robecq Road grave, with others from that area. I think that corroborates my identification.

John
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 10:49:07 PM by Baconwallah »

Offline mack

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Re: Unknown soldier of the Manchester Regiment
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 06:08:15 PM »
thomas was born on 6th february 1910 at hindley,wigan,the family lived at 158 belle green lane,higher ince,when his father james enlisted in january 1915 they were living at 1 brookside,higher ince,thomas married miss catherine gaskell in 1928,his middle name was heyes[not hayes]

great work you guys

mack ;D

Offline Baconwallah

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Re: Unknown soldier of the Manchester Regiment
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 10:48:24 PM »
Sorry about the middle name, Mack. If I sinned, I sinned in commission as the info came from the CWGC database. They misspell names every now and then, I know.

Thanks for the additional info. I like to have my documentation complete. i wonder if thee are any relatives who could prod the CWGC a bit...

John
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 08:56:00 PM by Baconwallah »