Author Topic: 1/5th battalion incident  (Read 1754 times)

Offline mack

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1/5th battalion incident
« on: February 25, 2019, 11:21:49 AM »
on 11th October 1915 pte 2957 john henry grimes was working in a mine with four other men when the turks set off a mine,which killed two fatigue men and buried him and his friend and one other,the friend being pte 2594 peter dennis,both stated they were buried for three days without food but managed to dig themselves out with the aid of a penknife belonging to pte grimes,the commanding general was present when they were freed and shook their hands.
theres no mention of anything happening like this in the 1/5th war diary nor is there anything in the 1/7th and 1/8th diaries,they were interchanging with both these battalions at the time,the mention of fatigue men suggests they were from different manchester batts who were employed in this mining operation
has anyone got any ideas about this incident.
I believe pte grimes was awarded a criox de guerre[Belgium]for this action and pte dennis was recommended for the DCM[not awarded]

mack

Offline charlie

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 01:32:45 PM »
Mack,
They may have been attached to, or working for, VIII Corps Tunnelling Company, an improvised unit set up on Gallipoli. I havenā€˜t found a War Diary yet, but I assume their activities were recorded somewhere.
Charlie

Offline Keith Brannen

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2019, 03:17:09 PM »
Mack,

The 42nd Division book by Gibbon mentions the incident, but says that the Turks exploded the mines on the 29th and 30th of October:


Offline charlie

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2019, 03:18:23 PM »
Pte Grimes was awarded a French C de G, gazetted on 24 Feb 1916.
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29486/supplement/2069

Offline mack

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2019, 03:51:25 PM »
thanks guys.
another case of the newspapers getting the wrong date

mack

Offline Gingerfreak

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2021, 08:39:31 PM »
The incident is on page 54 of Gibbons book. Peter Dennis has a short account and a photograph in the Wigan Observer dated 15th December 1915 page 5. From his medal roll, it confirms the award of the french medal and that he was attached to the Royal Engineers. Although I've not completed my research on him, it is highly likely that he was a collier by trade near Golborne near Wigan.

Offline mack

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 01:58:48 AM »
pte 2957 john,henry grimes
40 gaskell st,hindley
wife janet[nee tonge]married st.peters church,wigan 18-11-05
4 children
miner at dukes pit,hindley
died in east africa 18-10-1917 with the 25th royal fusiliers

2594 peter dennis
6 queen st,golbourne
wife ada,married 1938
miner

both men were sent to hospital at alexandra

mack

Offline Krithia Spur

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 08:50:03 AM »
Hi Mack,

I read your post with some interest as I have recently made a study of the various mine explosions that occurred during the 42nd Division's tenure of the western section of the firing-line at Helles [19 August - 28 December 1915] for an appendix in a book on the 1/9th Manchesters I am currently working on.
After extensive searches through the various diaries etc., I have managed to identify a total of 66 British and Turkish mines fired during this period, and I can confirm I don't have one being fired on the 11 October!

FYI - The nearest explosions to that date were:
1] A Turkish mine fired on the 9 October at Boyes Point [near J.13].
2] A British mine fired on 12 October in No.6 shaft [Fusilier Bluff].
3] A Turkish mine fired on 13 October at the Eastern Birdcage.
4] A Turkish mine also on 13 October 'under the near lip of Cawley's Crater.'

I can also confirm the two incidents mentioned on p.54 of Gibbon's book both occurred close together on the ground just to the east Gully Ravine - the one on 29 October at the Eastern Birdcage - [near Cawley's Crater] and the one on 30 October also near the Eastern Birdcage [in No.1 shaft].
The 1/5th MR were in the firing-line a few hundred yards away on Gully Spur at this time but as Charlie states, Grimes may well have been attached to the Mining Company.


MikeC

« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 09:31:26 AM by Krithia Spur »

Offline mack

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2021, 02:50:39 PM »
hiya mike

2591 john,william dean.212 enfield st,pemberton
1/5th manchester
worked at marsdens colliery
entombed in a mine explosion on 21-9-15

cpl 1405 joseph mccartney,59 soho st,wigan
1/5th manchesters
worked john peake+sons chemical engineers
DCM for digging out a miner from a mine explosion on 13-10-15

3669 samuel kaufman
1/7th manchesters[C.coy]
killed in a mine explosion on 5-11-15.  8 men wounded
he was buried by the rev e.t kerby because there was no jewish rabbi available

mack
« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 02:57:05 PM by mack »

Offline Krithia Spur

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2021, 04:31:22 PM »
Hi Mack,

Thanks very much for the additional info.

The first two dates/incidents square with my own records: The one on 21.09.15 being opposite the Gridiron [on the crater field on the east of Border Barricade/Gully Ravine] and the other as per details given in my previous post.

I don't have a record of a Turkish mine being fired on the 5.11.15 [British miners did fire one during the night of 4/5th - to east of the Eastern Birdcage from No.1 Shaft - which is recorded in the divisional diary] - so did a quick check and I am fairly sure that Samuel was killed in an explosion near Boyes Point [J.13] on the 4th December.

The incident is recorded in the 1/7th, divisional and brigade diaries - the only conflict being in the numbers of casualties - the divisional diary states one man killed and three wounded, the battalion diary has one man killed and eight men wounded and the brigade diary one 7th Manchester killed, one miner killed and seven 7th Manchesters wounded.....the usual case of conflicting records.

Samuel was probably buried on the following day hence his CWGC date of death being given as the 5th December.

MikeC



Offline mack

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2021, 08:12:45 PM »
Hi Mack,

Thanks very much for the additional info.

The first two dates/incidents square with my own records: The one on 21.09.15 being opposite the Gridiron [on the crater field on the east of Border Barricade/Gully Ravine] and the other as per details given in my previous post.

I don't have a record of a Turkish mine being fired on the 5.11.15 [British miners did fire one during the night of 4/5th - to east of the Eastern Birdcage from No.1 Shaft - which is recorded in the divisional diary] - so did a quick check and I am fairly sure that Samuel was killed in an explosion near Boyes Point [J.13] on the 4th December.

The incident is recorded in the 1/7th, divisional and brigade diaries - the only conflict being in the numbers of casualties - the divisional diary states one man killed and three wounded, the battalion diary has one man killed and eight men wounded and the brigade diary one 7th Manchester killed, one miner killed and seven 7th Manchesters wounded.....the usual case of conflicting records.

Samuel was probably buried on the following day hence his CWGC date of death being given as the 5th December.

MikeC



sorry mike,it was a typo,it should have read 5-12-15

mack

Offline mack

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2021, 09:45:21 PM »
hiya mike

heres one that doesnt appear in your list

cpl[bomber] 2329 joseph mulrooney,85 hope st,leigh
1/5th manchesters[D.coy]
worked butts spinning coy
aged 19
died 6-10-15

his uncle CSM needham wrote to his family to tell them what happened

joe was stood in the trench watching the pioneers blowing a mine,at 6am they set off the mine and a great deal of debris and sandbags landed in the trench,a sandbag hit joe in the chest,when i got to him i only thought he was slightly hurt,i was shocked to hear a few hours later that he had died of internal injuries from a crushed chest,he was buried in a little cemetery on the beach.

i think the CWGC have got his date of death wrong,three mines were set off on three consequetive days in the same area,6th,7th and 8th october,from CSM needham description,this would fit in with the one on the 8th oct,the brigade diary said that the mine was set off at 6am and the debris filled our trench which we managed to clear

mack
« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 04:08:33 AM by mack »

Offline Krithia Spur

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2021, 06:04:48 AM »
Hi Mack,

You are correct, British miners fired mines on the 6th, 7th and 8th October - all of which were at Boyes Point on the right hand edge of the line being held by the 1/5th MR at the time.
The ones on the 6th and 8th exploded with enough force to form a crater on the surface so are both candidates.

However, the battalion war diary records casualties for 6th December as; one man killed and two wounded, whereas the entry for the 8th December gives just one man wounded  - the list of the day's fatalities on the CWGC website only has one 1/5th MR man on it - Mulrooney, and there are no 1/5th fatalities recorded for the 8th or 9th October. The divisional diary also records that one man was injured by 'falling earth' in the 6th December explosion.

Its quite likely Mulrooney was killed on the 6th although the 8th is still possible as the account in the brigade diary gives 9 a.m. as the time the 6th October mine was fired which at odds with CSM Needham's account but it goes on to state that it damaged 20 - 30 yards of the Turkish firing-line - so that part fits?

BTW - there is another good account of the episode is in the 'Report of Operations. 1 October to 31 October 1915' [appended to the divisional diary] which also describes all the other October mine explosions.

MikeC
« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 06:30:13 AM by Krithia Spur »

Offline Gingerfreak

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2021, 11:23:49 AM »
Both Grimes and Dennis arrived in the 3rd Draft or replacements in August 1915. Grimes enlisted on 25th November 1915. Dennis' service number is near to that of Grimes. Therefore its safe to assume he enlisted four weeks either side of Grimes' enlistment date. On the date of the explosion, Grimes and Dennis were buried. They used a penknife that belonged to Grimes and took three days to dig themselves out. Dennis wrote an account and its in the Observor (date above).

Grimes also wrote an account - His Croix De Guerre award is in the Wigan Obsever dated 4th December 1915, his account is in the Wigan Observer dated 4th March 1916.
Grimes was taken to hospital for shock. Grimes nickname was "Belle".

He was posted to the 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. This was an eclectic bunch of men. They all hailed from various backgrounds and the unit were used as Frontiersmen in the African Theatre. This unit is the basis for characters such as Alen Quartermaine and Indiana Jones. Arriving at this type of unit would have been eye opening for a Collier from Hindley, pit ponies are very different from horses.

I have more information on the men but I don't think its relevant to this post,

Offline mack

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Re: 1/5th battalion incident
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2021, 12:42:15 PM »
Both Grimes and Dennis arrived in the 3rd Draft or replacements in August 1915. Grimes enlisted on 25th November 1915. Dennis' service number is near to that of Grimes. Therefore its safe to assume he enlisted four weeks either side of Grimes' enlistment date. On the date of the explosion, Grimes and Dennis were buried. They used a penknife that belonged to Grimes and took three days to dig themselves out. Dennis wrote an account and its in the Observor (date above).

Grimes also wrote an account - His Croix De Guerre award is in the Wigan Obsever dated 4th December 1915, his account is in the Wigan Observer dated 4th March 1916.
Grimes was taken to hospital for shock. Grimes nickname was "Belle".

He was posted to the 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. This was an eclectic bunch of men. They all hailed from various backgrounds and the unit were used as Frontiersmen in the African Theatre. This unit is the basis for characters such as Alen Quartermaine and Indiana Jones. Arriving at this type of unit would have been eye opening for a Collier from Hindley, pit ponies are very different from horses.

I have more information on the men but I don't think its relevant to this post,

do you mean he enlisted on 25th november 1914 not 1915

how did they manage to breathe after being buried for three days,their air would have run out and it would have been polluted by the blast anyway

mack