Author Topic: LT WDT WICKHAM  (Read 307 times)

Offline peterm

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LT WDT WICKHAM
« on: June 11, 2018, 11:36:12 AM »
I am trying to find more information about my Great Uncle Lt William Wickham as we get  close to the Hundredth Anniversary of his death which was  on the 10 October 1918
He had been wounded in 1917
We know where our Uncle is Buried near Arras but have been unable to find out any information concerning him
He was in the First Battalion being attached to the 11th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment which was strange as he came from Bideford in N Devon
It appears that he was attached to a Canadian Battalion at the time for the fighting that was taking place around Arras
The Letter (which we have) sent home to inform the Family of his death was from a Canadian Padre
Any help or thoughts of how we can find out more about our great uncle would be much appreciated
We are planning a Visit to Duisans Nr Arras where he is buried on the 12 October 2018

Matthew Peters

Offline PhilipG

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 07:54:15 AM »
peterm,

Welcome to the Forum.    I take it you are referring to Lt. William Thomas Donald Wickham?   I note he died of wounds.  Regards.  PhilipG.

Offline peterm

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 09:18:06 AM »
Thank you for your message
Yes I am asking about William Thomas Donald Wickham who died of Wounds
I still cant find any information on him

We have found that my Great Great Uncle William Strange Wickham of Bideford served with the Manchester Regiment and was KIA in 1914 in Africa
This is maybe why my Great Uncle joined the Manchester Regiment

The Archive in Ashton under Lyme does not appear to have any information
Next point of call is the Imperial War Museum

Offline PhilipG

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 11:45:44 AM »
peterm,
The 11th Manchesters went to France in July 1916, serving with the 34th Brigade of the 11th (Northern) Division.   By 1918 they were in action alongside the 8th Northumberland Fus. and the 5th Dorsets.   I see that from the 27th September 1918 to the 1st October of that year, the Division was engaged in the " Battles of the Hindenburg Line" under the command of the Canadian Corps, First Army.

These battles included the Battle of the Canal du Nord, Battle of Cambrai and the Pursuit to the Selle.   As regards the Pursuit to the Selle, this took place between the 9th and 12th October 1918.

On the 9th October, the 11th Division "pushed forward to Sequehart ..............  In  the 34th Brigade the Dorsets............ were in support of the Manchesters, who were leading."   The attack by the Manchesters was successful and Paillencourt was taken without the help of the Dorsets.   However, I note that the Manchesters had nearly 90 casualties.    PhilipG.

Offline peterm

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 01:44:57 PM »


Very many thanks for this extremely useful information - Much appreciated
?Did you get this from the Battle Diaries of the 11th
Your Information also explains the Canadian Connection
? Do you know how we can find out any more on my Great Uncle
One assumes that he was in the Battles you mention and succumbed to wounds sustained in one of the Actions

Offline PhilipG

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 05:36:41 PM »
peterm,

I think your assumption is a correct one.    By good fortune the 5th Dorsets had a battalion history from whence I was able to cull this very brief info. which I am pleased has been of help to you.  PhilipG.

Offline charlie

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 09:03:42 PM »
Welcome to the forum Matthew.
Your G Uncle was wounded during an artillery barrage on the 3rd October, the Bn was consolidating ground which it had won in an attack on the high ground north of Epinoy.
Charlie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 11:09:04 AM »
peterm,

In view of Charlie's comments, it would now seem that Lt. Wickham also took part in the Battle of the Canal du Nord (27th September 1918 - 1st October 1918).   The Official History refers to the crossing of the canal by the 11th Manchesters which took place over three foot-bridges about half a mile north of Sains lez Marquion.   This village lies NW of Bourlon on the D16, a road which also crosses the Agache stream.   A walk along the Canal path would be worthwhile, perhaps?

The History advises that the Canal was about 60 feet in width and had a depth of 15 feet, although some parts were available for the use of pontoons.   The battalion did well.   PhilipG.

Offline peterm

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 12:50:03 PM »
Thank you both for the really useful pieces of Information
Much appreciated
I assume the written record came from a Battle Diary
From the Letter we have from the Canadian Padre it appears that our G Uncle suffered a severe Head wound
We have also found a letter that our Uncle sent from the Front just before he was wounded
? Would this be of Interest

Offline charlie

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2018, 09:41:02 PM »
Matthew,
The positions the Bn was consolidating were in the squares R29a & b and R30a on map 51bSE, see the attached part of the map. Unfortunately the Bn and Brigade War Diaries do not exactly record where they where within the squares.

The cemetery at Duisans was used in October 1918 by the 23rd Casualty Clearing Station and the 1st and 4th Canadian CCSs which would explain the letter from the Canadian Padre.

The record in my last post is indeed from the Bn War Diary. All is of interest.

Charlie

Offline peterm

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2018, 04:51:54 PM »
Charlie

Many thanks for this
? How would you like my Uncles Letter to be sent

Offline charlie

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 07:12:45 PM »
Matthew,
Scan and post the letter.

A few more bits re your G Uncle
Commissioned from the Royal Military College into the Manchester Regt,16.06.1915
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29193/page/5760

Promoted Lt, 18.01.1916
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29610/supplement/5608

Promoted Acting Captain 13.10.1916
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29860/page/12132

Appointed Temporary Captain, 19.09.1916
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30051/supplement/4322

Relinquished rank of Temporary Captain 05.03.1918
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30553/supplement/2712

His Medal index Card records that he arrived in France on 13.07.1916, the day the Bn arrived in France. This indicates that he only saw active service in France as only the first Theatre of War served in is recorded.

Charlie


Offline PhilipG

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 07:58:36 AM »
peterm,

This officer's name is recorded in the Manchester Regiment's section of the Royal Military College Memorial under date 1918.  PhilipG.

Offline peterm

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2018, 10:23:12 AM »
Charlie and Philip G

Many thanks for this
Most interesting - We had not realised that he had been in France since 1916
Some strange Chronology in the 'Promotions' if they were that
I assume that these were done in the field

19 09 16 - Temp Captain while commanding a Company
13 10 16 - Acting Captain
5 03 18 -  strange to relinquish the Rank of Temp Captain when he appeared to be an Acting Captain
I see the Gazette list says ' ceases to be empld with a Bn'
Wonder what that means
Also tough to survive most of the war to die of wounds a month before the end

I will upload the Letters

Matthew

Offline PhilipG

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Re: LT WDT WICKHAM
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2018, 11:46:31 AM »
peterm,

I have always assumed that the use of the word "Temporary" was to signal that the officer concerned was holding a commission which was temporary, i.e. would be discontinued at the end of hostilities.   The use of the word "acting" indicated that the officer's appointment in that rank had the position of that rank on a non-substantive basis.   But I could be wrong.

(In WW2 I was commissioned as a Temporary Acting Sub-Lieut.   In due course, I became a Temporary Sub-Lieut. and at the end of hostilities I relinquished my Temporary Commission.  The above paragraph is based upon my personal experience, albeit in the Senior Service). PhilipG.