Author Topic: Introduction - researching Frank Wood 1st/6th  (Read 454 times)

Offline Dean walker

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Introduction - researching Frank Wood 1st/6th
« on: December 30, 2017, 11:14:50 PM »
Hello
I am Dean Walker, posting my first message to the group as I am curious to know more about my great uncle, Frank Wood. I live in Terrigal, Australia.
I am traveling with my family to France in April 2018 to visit Frank’s grave so my kids get to understand the sacrifices that were made by so many young people.
His number was 63479.
He was in the 1st/6th
He Died 27/09/1918 DOW
Frank was 19. My eldest son is 19...
He is buried in Grevillers.
I am looking to learn more about Frank. Not sure where to look so am hoping someone may be able to assist.
Best regards
Dean
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 11:23:04 PM by Dean walker »

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Introduction - researching Frank Wood 1st/6th
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 12:04:26 PM »
Dean,

Welcome to the Forum.   The 6th Manchesters were part of the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division.     Included in that division was 127 Brigade composed of the 5th, 6th and 7th Manchesters.

On the night of the 26th September 1918, 127 Brigade took over the left of the front line near Havrincourt Wood.   It was ready for "one of the most ambitious attacks ever made by the 42nd Division".  The object was to break through the famous Hindenburg Line.    The 6th Manchesters attacked at 8.20 am on the 27th September and succeeded in taking their objectives, but at some cost in casualties.

The Divisional History describes the battle as a "soldier's battle of ding dong fighting against an enemy possessing the strongest of possible positions."   It goes on to point out that the Germans had a superiority in numbers and also in fire power.    It would seem that your relative became a casualty during this fighting.  PhilipG.

Offline charlie

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Re: Introduction - researching Frank Wood 1st/6th
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 02:48:57 PM »
Welcome to the forum Dean,

Your Great Uncle‘s service record was one of those that were destroyed in WW2. He was probably one of a draft of 140 Other Ranks that reinforced the 1/6th Bn on 11.04.1918 while they were at Louyencourt. Only one service record of a soldier with a number near to Frank Wood‘s has survived. 63470 Pte Harvey Taylor was posted from the 51st (Graduated) Bn Manchester Regt to „M“ Infantry Base Depot at Etaples on 04.04.1918 and then from there to the 1/6th Bn. I think it is reasonable to assume that Frank Wood followed the same route.

The Bn War Diary records for the 11th April
„A draft of 140 ORs joined the unit in the field this date from 51st (Grad) Bn Manchester Regt. All the men are very young, their ages ranging from 17 1/2 years to 19 years“.

The War Diary records 26 Killed, 137 wounded and 12 missing as the casualties in the attack previously mentioned by Philip.

Frank Wood’s War Gratuity of £3-10s indicates an enlistment date of September 1917.

Charlie


Offline Dean walker

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Re: Introduction - researching Frank Wood 1st/6th
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 09:31:13 PM »
The responses from PhilpG and Charlie are much appreciated and very informative.
I am so glad I signed up to this forum.
Are there any books that you could recommend which focus on the area where Frank fought?
I would love to read more about the environment he experienced in his time in France.
Thanks again Dean

Offline charlie

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Re: Introduction - researching Frank Wood 1st/6th
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 10:06:17 AM »
With the help of the Bn War Diary you would be able to follow the actions of the Battalion during the time Frank Wood was serving with the Bn.  It can be downloaded from the National Archives

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354460
or by joining Ancestry
https://www.ancestry.co.uk

Trench maps are available to download or view here
http://library.mcmaster.ca/maps/ww1/home
or here
http://maps.nls.uk/ww1/trenches/

Charlie

Offline kbrannen

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Re: Introduction - researching Frank Wood 1st/6th
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 04:05:16 PM »

The 42nd (East Lancashire) Division history can be found here (page 246 is for the 26th September battle):

http://lib.militaryarchive.co.uk/library/divisional-histories/library/The-42nd-East-Lancashire-Division-1914-1918/HTML/index.asp#/246/

Offline Wendi

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Re: Introduction - researching Frank Wood 1st/6th
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 10:21:19 AM »
Hi Dean and Welcome to our forum!

It just occurred to me that if you are planning to visit  the front line near Havrincourt Wood you may like to have a look at Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide to the Somme

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EIJHL06/ref=smi_ge_cnf_cnf_smi?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1&ie=UTF8&pldnNewCustomer=1

Wendi
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha