Author Topic: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.  (Read 2101 times)

Offline Schushila

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2019, 05:35:01 PM »
Hi Charlie,

Yes, I found that, too. Do we know which POW camp those soldiers from the battle of St. Quentin were sent to? There is quite a gap from when he went missing to when he went home. So he must have been somewhere! I know he died of the effects of mustard gas poisoning so maybe he was in a hospital if not a POW.

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2019, 09:10:35 PM »
he was captured on 21st march 1918 and repatriated on 14th November

mack

Offline Schushila

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2019, 09:31:12 PM »
I have been given permission to post the picture we have of Len Butler. Lieutenant L C Butler is sitting crosslegged on the ground at the extreme right.  It would seem (see https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/58th-21st-london-division/) that this was a Territorial reserve unit named 58th (London) Divisional Train A.S.C., and the photo was taken Warminster in July 1916.  Apparently it was a Second Line Division (see explanation in the latter link).

I am sorry about the quality of the photo but it is the only one we have. I have no idea how to make it better! I hope this is of interest to you and if anyone is able to enhance the photo for me, I would be very grateful.

Offline charlie

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2019, 10:16:37 PM »
Hi Charlie,

Yes, I found that, too. Do we know which POW camp those soldiers from the battle of St. Quentin were sent to? There is quite a gap from when he went missing to when he went home. So he must have been somewhere! I know he died of the effects of mustard gas poisoning so maybe he was in a hospital if not a POW.

If he was in a German hospital he would have still been reported to the Red Cross as being a PoW. As to where Officers captured during the German spring offensive were sent to is impossible to say, there was nothing hard and fast. A quick look through our PoW database http://www.themanchesters.org/pow.htm shows that quite a few Officers were first sent to Rastatt before being sent to various other camps. There is a list of PoW camps here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prisoner-of-war_camps_in_Germany

Charlie

Offline Schushila

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2019, 10:19:51 PM »
Great, thanks. I will see what I can find out about Rastatt. I might be lucky, as I speak fluent German, that I can dig around a little.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2019, 11:22:06 AM »
Schushila,

I see that there are two threads running for this officer.   From the records.  Regarding Lt. Butler, he was reported missing on the 21st March 1918 and was repatriated on the 14th December 1918.   The 8th KRRC battalion reports that 15 officers were reported missing on the 21st March 1918, of which 8 were from other units. e.g. Lt.A.J.Bell attached from the Army Service Corps being repatriated on the 3rd January 1919.   (Worth checking to see if he was reported as a POW?).

I also referred to "Military Operations - France & Belgium 1918 - (Edmonds 1935)" in which German accounts of the battle specially mention the prolonged defence by the battalion of the village of Urvillers south of St. Quentin.  I note also that the Kaiser was present at this battle as an observer.  PhilipG.

Offline Schushila

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2019, 07:03:36 PM »
Thanks Philip,

If you need to combine the two threads, that is fine by me. I have dug up quite a lot of information about the battle from the German side (I speak fluent German). I am going to sift through it slowly and see what I can come up with. I was told by Charlie or Mack that some were taken to Rastatt, so I might see what I can find out about the camp and if there is any information in Germany about it.

Offline Schushila

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2019, 07:49:43 PM »
Hi again Philip,

I have found Lt. A.J. Bell who was captured on 21.3.1918 as you said and taken as POW with many from the St. Quentin battle. I cannot find Lt. Butler on the lists but they were taken to Karlsruhe and then onto Freiburg if I am reading the data correctly.


timberman

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2019, 08:03:57 PM »
 I have merged both topics to stop confusion.

 Oldest first through to newest.

 Timberman

Offline charlie

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2019, 09:45:24 PM »
Lt Bell was interned in Karlsruhe, Freiberg, Heidelberg, F├╝rstenberg/Havel and finally Zerbst.

8/KRRC was opposite one of the regiments of the Bavarian 1st Infantry Division. If you can read Frakturschrift the divisional infantry regiments all have histories available online.
KB 1.IR - https://portal.dnb.de/bookviewer/view/101647640X#page/n0/mode/2up
KB 2.IR - https://portal.dnb.de/bookviewer/view/1031436111#page/n0/mode/2up
KB 24.IR - https://portal.dnb.de/bookviewer/view/1032191643#page/n0/mode/2up

Some of the German Regimental histories mention where PoWs were to be collected.

Charlie

Offline Schushila

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2019, 09:55:08 PM »
I have merged both topics to stop confusion.

 Oldest first through to newest.

 Timberman

Brilliant, thank you so much and apologies for the second thread.

Offline Schushila

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2019, 10:19:24 PM »
Lt Bell was interned in Karlsruhe, Freiberg, Heidelberg, F├╝rstenberg/Havel and finally Zerbst.

8/KRRC was opposite one of the regiments of the Bavarian 1st Infantry Division. If you can read Frakturschrift the divisional infantry regiments all have histories available online.
KB 1.IR - https://portal.dnb.de/bookviewer/view/101647640X#page/n0/mode/2up
KB 2.IR - https://portal.dnb.de/bookviewer/view/1031436111#page/n0/mode/2up
KB 24.IR - https://portal.dnb.de/bookviewer/view/1032191643#page/n0/mode/2up

Some of the German Regimental histories mention where PoWs were to be collected.

Charlie

Wow, thank you. I opened up the first one, scrolled through and landed on 21st March 1918 just by chance. Yes, I can read the script, no problem and the description of the day's battle on the first page makes me shudder. The soldiers on both sides must have been terrified. 

I was able to follow Lt. A. J. Bell but Lt. Butler just seems to go missing with no mention of him in any of the POW paperwork. I will keep looking.

Thanks for all your help.

Offline Schushila

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2019, 10:33:09 PM »
Charlie,

Thank you for those links. The battle at Urvillers is described beautifully. The writer is very objective and praises the courage of the British troops as well as speaking of mistakes that they had made - He tells of capturing 100 soldiers at Urvillers on 21st March and in order not to weaken the fighting strength, they decided not to have the English soldiers escorted which turned out to be a big mistake. Why? The English soldiers grabbed MGs and guns from the battle field and attacked their captures killing some rather important people. I get the feeling, from how it is written, that is said with more than a little respect for their prisoners!


Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2019, 03:59:48 PM »
During the action at Urvillers, the Royal Flying Corps was very active attacking the 2nd Bavarian Regiment.   This unit made use of some British dug-outs in a sunken road and adopted them as their temporary headquarters.   However, this had been spotted by aircraft from No. 82 Squadron which then made low flying attacks with machine guns and bombs on the position.  The HQ staff was decimated.    PhilipG.

Offline Schushila

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Re: 2nd Lt. L.C.Butler : Manchester Regt. Attd. K.R.R.C.
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2019, 10:59:01 PM »
The  more I read the more I feel war is the most awful thing. I never thought it was good but my heart bleeds for the ordinary man caught up in this war. The German accounts, that Charlie posted, are well written and really bring home that both sides were sick and tired of the futility, I think, of the whole thing. For me, being able to read the original German really brings things home to me.

I am going to see if I can get to the Military Archive in Freiburg, I don't know if I will find anything there but it is worth a shot maybe.