Author Topic: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company  (Read 11677 times)

Offline Steve Ward

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    • 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 1898-1917
Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2015, 06:04:10 AM »
the closest thing to certainty,is to find out where the body of the unknown officer was exhumed from,the CWGC should have the map reference,if it matches up with the location of company HQ,you should have a good argument that it is Philips grave.

mack ;D

Thanks Mack. I have indeed written to CWGC in Ypres, and faxed a copy of the letter to CWGC Head Office (no email addresses on their website). We'll see what they come up with. To say I'm on tenterhooks is bit of an understatement!

cheers,
Steve
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2015, 04:13:08 PM »
I have just received an email from CWGC. It looks very much like it isn't Philip in the grave of the unknown 2nd Lt at Poelcapelle as he was exhumed some distance away from 2nd Lt Yorke-Jones. I have to say I am extremely impressed by how quickly the CWGC responded to my fax, and in such detail. Astonishing. They are good people. Below is a link to the message I received.  

Thank you Mack, at least this one is put to rest.

Best wishes to all.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9W1GN6EBoOvUlRVM183TWRQT1k&authuser=1
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 01:53:20 AM by Steve Ward »
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2015, 08:46:44 AM »
I have just received an email from CWGC. It looks very much like it isn't Philip in the grave of the unknown 2nd Lt at Poelcapelle as he was exhumed some distance away from 2nd Lt Yorke-Jones. I have to say I am extremely impressed by how quickly the CWGC responded to my fax, and in such detail. Astonishing. They are good people. Below is a link to the message I received.  

Thank you Mack, at least this one is put to rest.

Best wishes to all.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9W1GN6EBoOvUlRVM183TWRQT1k&authuser=1

Interesting, I have now checked the map ref for the original burial of the unknown soldier. He was buried very close to the entrance of Perth Avenue, the RVP described in Bn Orders of 24/12/1917. Please can anyone tell me if the Manchesters uniform included a round red shoulder patch as described in the burial return for the unknown 2nd Lt?
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline sphinx

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2015, 02:22:16 PM »
Steve,

Close.

It was a circle, 2" in diameter, horizontally bisected white above red.

regards

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2015, 06:39:34 PM »
I have just received an email from CWGC. It looks very much like it isn't Philip in the grave of the unknown 2nd Lt at Poelcapelle as he was exhumed some distance away from 2nd Lt Yorke-Jones. I have to say I am extremely impressed by how quickly the CWGC responded to my fax, and in such detail. Astonishing. They are good people. Below is a link to the message I received.  

Thank you Mack, at least this one is put to rest.

Best wishes to all.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9W1GN6EBoOvUlRVM183TWRQT1k&authuser=1

Interesting, I have now checked the map ref for the original burial of the unknown soldier. He was buried very close to the entrance of Perth Avenue, the RVP described in Bn Orders of 24/12/1917. Please can anyone tell me if the Manchesters uniform included a round red shoulder patch as described in the burial return for the unknown 2nd Lt?
York-jones and Philip were killed in separate place,but the unknown officer was killed in the same locality,grid reference J.20 and J.32 are not that far away from each other,if you have the trench map,post it on here,roy is pretty good with maps,he may be able to help,the CWGC said that the unknown officer could be any one of over 800 2/Lts killed,theres no way that over 800 2/Lts were killed in that specific location.

mack ;D

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2015, 03:47:32 AM »
Steve,

Close.

It was a circle, 2" in diameter, horizontally bisected white above red.

regards

Interesting, I wonder what colour the white might have turned after a year in the mud...

Thanks Sphinx
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 03:49:11 AM by Steve Ward »
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2015, 03:55:26 AM »
I have just received an email from CWGC. It looks very much like it isn't Philip in the grave of the unknown 2nd Lt at Poelcapelle as he was exhumed some distance away from 2nd Lt Yorke-Jones. I have to say I am extremely impressed by how quickly the CWGC responded to my fax, and in such detail. Astonishing. They are good people. Below is a link to the message I received.  

Thank you Mack, at least this one is put to rest.

Best wishes to all.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9W1GN6EBoOvUlRVM183TWRQT1k&authuser=1

Interesting, I have now checked the map ref for the original burial of the unknown soldier. He was buried very close to the entrance of Perth Avenue, the RVP described in Bn Orders of 24/12/1917. Please can anyone tell me if the Manchesters uniform included a round red shoulder patch as described in the burial return for the unknown 2nd Lt?
York-jones and Philip were killed in separate place,but the unknown officer was killed in the same locality,grid reference J.20 and J.32 are not that far away from each other,if you have the trench map,post it on here,roy is pretty good with maps,he may be able to help,the CWGC said that the unknown officer could be any one of over 800 2/Lts killed,theres no way that over 800 2/Lts were killed in that specific location.

mack ;D

Thanks Mack. Here is a the map square in question. Interesting news re the red shoulder patch.

One thing I have realised which has put another dampener on things is that the burial return puts the Unknown Lt as 6' tall. Philip's medical record records his height as 5'8''. Not sure if his injuries and a year in the mud would cause him to gain 4 inches...
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2015, 12:15:25 PM »
the difference in height is too much,it looks like its not 2/Lt ward in that grave,thats a great shame,but at least you gave it your best shot steve.

mack ;D

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2015, 02:56:50 PM »
My goodness. I have just compared the Burial Returns with what was said in the email from CWGC. It looks very much like the guy I have been corresponding with got his map refs muddled. If you look at the table I have attached, it looks like 2nd Lt. Yorke-Jones and the Unknown 2nd Lt were buried VERY close together!

I fully take on board Mack's comment about height, but I do wonder what state the body would have been after the trench mortar explosion and 5 year's interment. I know that all we have is circumstantial, but with the close location to the last known posting, the proximity of the brother officer and similar patches to those worn by the Manchesters, I feel we are building a reasonable case for 'adopting' a grave.

What a week this has been. Sorry this has been a bit piecemeal, but I am really snatching moments to investigate, follow up and report.

I will keep you posted. I will certainly be visiting Poelcapelle when I am in Ypres next month.
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2015, 03:32:16 PM »
hiya steve
I,me guessing you have Philips service record,what unit was he with before he was posted to the 17th battalion.

mack ;D

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2015, 05:23:56 PM »
hiya steve
I,me guessing you have Philips service record,what unit was he with before he was posted to the 17th battalion.

mack ;D

He came straight from OTB No 7 at Fermoy, Co. Cork. He joined the Bn at Chateau Segard in June 1917. any reason you ask?

Cheers,
Steve
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2015, 07:55:45 AM »
I was hoping you would have said 2/6th manchesters,they wore a red circular patch on their shoulder,roy found this out yesterday.

mack ;D

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2015, 08:02:00 AM »
I was hoping you would have said 2/6th manchesters,they wore a red circular patch on their shoulder,roy found this out yesterday.

mack ;D

Unfortunately I don't actually have his service card in the documents from the National Archive. I have written to them again to see what else they have as I know Paul Foster who is working with the Last Post Assoc in Ypres was able to get 11 more documents than I received.

I have been in daily correspondence with CWGC this week, who I have to say have been extremely helpful. Below is a summary of what I have found out so far. As yet I haven't discussed with CWGC that the grid ref for the unknown 2nd Lt differs from what is written on the original grave return.

What I now know

24th December 1917, 17th Bn moved to the line, meeting guides at the entrance to Perth Avenue (approx grid ref. 28 J 20 d 5 9). Source - Bn. War Diary
Philip was killed by a trench mortar whilst passing rum to his men in the service trench on the morning of December 27th. Source - Letter from Maj. Colley, published in a Leigh newspaper January 11th 1918
Philip’s body was recovered and buried behind Company HQ and “everything possible was done.” Source - Letter from Commanding Officer, Maj. Colley, published in a Leigh newspaper January 8th 1918
Brother officer, 2nd Lt Yorke-Jones was killed in action on December 26th, and buried at 28.J.20.b.50.51 (‘b’ is struck through in pencil). Sources - Bn. War Diary, Manchester Regt Forum & CWGC Burial Return
Pte. R. C. Silley was also killed in action on December 26th, and buried at 28.J.20.b.50.52. Sources - Bn. War Diary & CWGC Burial Return
Unknown British 2nd Lt was buried at 28.J.20.b.8.4 Source - CWGC Grave Return

In map square 28 J 20, 260 bodies of British soldiers were recovered and concentrated. Source - CWGC Grave Return
In map square 28 J 20 b, 42 unknown British casualties were concentrated, only one was identifiable as a 2nd Lt. Source - CWGC Grave Return
The unidentified British 2nd Lt was roughly Philip’s height, and wore a round red shoulder patch similar to the red and white patch worn by the Manchesters. Sources - CWGC Grave Return & Manchester Regt Forum
2nd Lt K. Yorke-Jones, Pte. R.C. Silley & Unknown British 2nd Lt were concentrated to Poelcapelle Cemetery Plot VIA A. Sources - CWGC Grave Return & Manchester Regt Forum
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2015, 01:10:53 AM »
Dear all,

Good news! Those of you who have been following this story will be pleased to learn that Philip's case has now been referred to the Commemorations Team of the CWGC for a decision as to whether or not we have enough information to warrant 'adjudication'. Unfortunately the person who will be reviewing the case and making the recommendation has just gone on 2 weeks holiday. I will let you know what the Commission decides as soon as I hear from them. Patience patience...
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline charlie

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2015, 08:08:37 AM »
Steve, thats really good news and a step in the right direction. Fingers crossed :)
Charlie