Author Topic: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt  (Read 608 times)

Offline Arthur Cooks lad

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L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« on: January 13, 2018, 07:40:05 PM »
Hi, I'm looking up my Grandad's cousin, who was killed in the German offensive starting 21st March 1918 around Villeret.

He is listed as dying on 31st March, but by then the Bn was much reduced in numbers (3 Officers and 107 OR's from what I've seen), and being relieved by the 18th Division, moving back to Gentelles, Longeau, and on to Pissy.
Is it likely he was killed in the action on or post 21st, and if so, why would his death not be recorded on the date?

I see from the War Diaries on Ancestry that the March Diary, and other records were lost in battle.

He is remembered on the British Memorial at Pozieres

Can anyone please advise if the recorded date of his death is probably correct, or recorded as 31st, as they didn't know when he went missing?

A second query would be to advise where I could find when he was made L.Cpl?

Many Thanks
Bill

Offline charlie

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2018, 09:34:36 AM »
Hello Bill and welcome to the forum.

Soldiers Effects records his death as being accepted as being between 21 & 31.03.1918. In short nobody knew. The CWGC seems to have no set way of recording such deaths, some are recorded between given dates and some, as in this case, the death is recorded as being the last date he could have been alive.

His service record would have recorded his promotion but as you probably know, it hasn‘t survived.

Charlie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 10:09:57 AM »
Bill,

May I also welcome you to the Forum.    I note that the publication - Soldiers Died in the Great War - lists this NCO as being Killed in Action and the date given is 31st March 1918. PhilipG.

Offline Arthur Cooks lad

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 11:47:30 AM »
Thank you Charlie and Philip for your responses.

I understand from reading the March War Diary (re-written from memory on 6th April by the CO Capt Anderton, - The previous Leader Major Whitworth having been wounded on 26th, and later died of wounds) that the German Advance appears to have been very violent, and with so many casualties, there must have been little time to recall who had been killed (or even taken prisoner) each day.  I looked at POW records, and Arthur wasn't there, though many Manchesters were.  I'm happy to stick with 31st as the last day he could have been alive.

I hadn't seen the "Soldiers Effects" part in Ancestry, and it is helpful to see that Arthurs Aunt Sarah received almost £17, and a War Gratuity of £8.10.  Please could you explain these? - Was either some sort of Pension?
It also shows that this was approved on 21st January 1922 - which seems very late.  Again, is there any reason for this?

Your knowledge of where to look, and of these processes, is admirable

Many Thanks for your help


Regards,
Bill

Offline charlie

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 02:57:37 PM »
Bill,
I can‘t help much with the sums of money, only that the War Gratuity was a one off payment. I would suggest the date of January 1922 was down to the sheer numbers involved.

Charlie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 10:22:47 AM »
Bill,

Re-reading your thread, I was reminded of a book entitled "Moments of Memory" written by the son of the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, who was also called Herbert, concerning the retreat of his artillery battery during the German Offensive of 21st March 1918.   It is of particular interest to those involved with the history of the Manchester Regiment, for this gunner officer served at Manchester Hill as a Forward Observation Officer.   Inevitably, his battery was forced into a fighting retreat until the German advance was held near Amiens.

What took my attention in his account of the withdrawal was that, on occasion, during the retreat, some of the battery's shells were "set at figure fuze O so as to burst near the muzzles in case the Germans tried to reach the guns".     As you remark, the German advance appears to have been very violent.   PhilipG.

Offline Arthur Cooks lad

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 04:56:23 PM »
Thanks for the tip-off, I'll look what I can find out.

I've looked at War Diaries for March for 2/5th, 2/6th and 2/7th Manchesters, and it's clear the 199th / 66th were all in it together.  I'll keep looking as its proving really interesting!

I am now looking to see where and when Arthur enlisted - I've found a mention of Prince of Wales South Lancashire Regiment number 5196 in other records, but that's not helping me yet!
I'm trying to look through 177k Ancestry Attestation records, but not a simple task!

Thanks all for the help

regards,
Bill

Offline Arthur Cooks lad

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 05:06:19 PM »
Just found a link to the book you mentioned

https://archive.org/details/momentsofmemoryr011518mbp

Asquith was around 2-4 Km south of "my" Manchesters, whose track I can follow through the War Diaries.  Interesting read nonetheless

Thanks!

Offline Arthur Cooks lad

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L/Cpl Arthur Cook - Attestation Records?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 05:12:34 PM »
Hi,
I'm researching Lce Cpl Arthur Cook, reported to have joined:
South Lancs (Prince of Wales) Rgmt number 5196, in 1916?
then to 2nd/8th Bn Manchester Regiment 302719, where he was made Lce Cpl
then in Feb'18 re-organisatioon in N France moved to 2nd/6th Bn Manchester Regiment - killed in Spring Offensive round Villeret Sector E of Amiens, NW of St Quentin - late March 1918, remembered on Pozieres Memorial

Can any one advise about where and when he would have joined up, or where I could find the enlistment record (attestation?)

thanks,
Bill
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 07:37:54 PM by charlie »

Offline charlie

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 07:49:00 PM »
Bill,
As I previously indicated, Arthur Cook's attestation/service record was destroyed in the 1940 Blitz. The medal rolls record that he first served overseas with the 4th Bn South Lancs Regt, whether with the 1/4th or 2/4th is not recorded. His War Gratuity indicates an enlistment or mobilisation date of September 1916.

Have you tried the archives of the local newspapers? There may be an obituary.

Charlie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 10:56:59 AM »
Bill,

I write in connection with this soldier's enlistment in the Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire) and note that he enlisted in September 1916, and I note also, that there is doubt as to whether or not he served with the 1/4th or 2/4th battalion of that regiment.   

My suggestion is that he went overseas with the 2/4th battalion, following a comment in their Regimental History as follows:  "By the end of 1916 the 2/4th Battalion was ready and eager to take the field and at midnight on the 15th February 1917 entrained at Frimley Station for Folkestone with a strength of 31 officers and 799 other ranks."   By the 24th February the battalion was in the trenches in the Armentieres area.     As regards the 1/4th battalion, this unit was a Pioneer Battalion and had been overseas since the 3rd February 1915.   PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2018, 11:14:59 AM »
Bill,

I see that the battalion mentioned above was, prior to entrainment, stationed at Frith Hill Barracks.  PhilipG.

Offline Arthur Cooks lad

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2018, 11:29:48 AM »
Hi,

Many thanks for the additional information.  I'd not found any connection to 1/4 or 2/4 Battalion.  Attached is what I found as an extract from the Regiment Medal book, which were pointing me to 2/8, then 2/6 Battalions

How / Where can I find the enlistment date - Philip G, you indicate it was Sept'16 - please could you share a link to this?

There is a newspaper cutting of his death, that said he enlisted in 1916, but no month, or location.  All other information (except in the attachment) refers to his being in 2/6th

If he was indeed in 2/4th, then I'll have to work out when he moved to 2/6th, as in February, the 2/6 moved to east of Amiens to face the Spring Offensive 1918

Thanks again for the help with this


Best Wishes
Bill

Offline charlie

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2018, 12:28:44 PM »
Hello Bill,

As has previously been posted his service record no longer exists as it went up in flames in 1940 and with it his enlistment date. September 1916 has been worked out by entering his £8-10s war gratuity into this calculator

https://wargratuity.wordpress.com/category/gratuity-calculation/

Without any other surviving official documents, Sept 1916 is as near as anyone can get. The calculator has proved to be accurate as regards an enlistment month.

The medal roll, which you have posted, records the battalions/regiments with which he served overseas. There is nothing recorded as to when he moved between units.

Charlie


Offline Arthur Cooks lad

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Re: L Cpl Arthur Cook 302719 2nd/6th Manchester Rgmt
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2018, 06:51:06 PM »
Thank you Charlie

I can now see how his probable enlistment date was calculated.  I had hoped there would be some records in the UK of his enlistment - so they will have gone in flames too!

Ancestry has a file on Attestation for soldiers, and when I enter "Coo" (which is all allowed), there are over 170k records to browse through!  Unsurprisingly I've not managed that just yet, and now don't expect to find anything

Philip G mentioned 1/4 and 2/4 BN, which are not mentioned on the Regimental record I attached, and I can't find war diaries for 2/4 either so far.
Philip, how did you come to this assumption please?

I have now linked his second Regiment number 302719 to one of themanchesters.org pages:
https://www.themanchesters.org/re-numbering.htm
which indicates he would have been in 2nd/8th Battalion when the renumbering took place in March 1917, so happier to believe he was in 2/8 Bn in March 1917 - is that logical?


Thanks again.  I'm planning on going to the area of France at the back end of March to see where the fighting took place, which will be fascinating, and I'm sure poignant

Regards,
Bill