Author Topic: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?  (Read 677 times)

Offline City-Pal

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1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« on: April 29, 2021, 08:37:04 PM »
Can anyone please confirm the FINAL battle action of the 1/8th Battalion in WW1. My information/research indicates it was on 6th November 1918 at the southern edge of the forest of Mormal, is this correct? There is a cemetery at (Hargines Communal) close by where 25-men of the 8th lie side-by-side, they are the only war graves in the cemetery, I think they are men from 'B-Coy' who fought the left flank and were badly exposed. I would appreciate any further information, thank you.

Offline mack

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2021, 09:03:38 PM »
thats correct,it was D.coy who copped for heavy casualties due to MG fire

the following day patrols were sent out towards vieux mesnil but apart from a solitary enemy MG the village was clear,the battalion was in billets at hautmont on 11th november

mack

Offline City-Pal

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2021, 09:09:44 PM »
Thanks Mack - Very sad sight at the Hargines Communal Cemetery with just the 25-men of the 8th lying side-by-side, their Officer being attached from the Cyclist Corps.

Offline mack

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2021, 09:21:52 PM »
although they have individual headstones,the men are buried in three trench graves[8 men in each]capt hamer is buried alone

mack

Offline City-Pal

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2021, 09:06:44 AM »
I see, so therefore they do not lie underneath their individual headstones, very sad, but I believe not uncommon in a number of cemeteries.

Offline mack

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2021, 12:42:19 PM »
hiya CP
they lie under their own headstones but their original burials were three small pits,their headsstones are one long row of 25 graves surrounded by a curb,its just like they are on parade with their CO capt hamer

capt hamer was educated at the royal grammar school newcastle under lyne then went to queens college cambridge to study theology in view to becoming ordained like his father,he enlisted on the outbreak and was commissioned shortly after,he was attatched to the 1/8th battalion in july 1918 and killed on the morning of 6th november 1918 while leading his men

mack

Offline City-Pal

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2021, 03:20:06 PM »
Thanks again Mack, buried twice, happened often.

Offline mack

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2021, 04:01:01 PM »
hiya CP
sorry i didnt explain it properly,when they were buried,capt hamer was buried in his own grave and the other 24 men were buried in three small trench graves each containing 8 men,after the war,the IWGC[now CWGC]removed the original grave markers and replaced them with individual markers,the original markers would probably have been one marker over each trench grave,each containing the names of the eight men in that grave,now they look like 25 individual graves

mack ;D

Offline City-Pal

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2021, 05:14:36 PM »
So... It can't be determined that each individual one lies beneath his named headstone, sad. I will have something else to add to this topic (hopefully) next week.

Offline City-Pal

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2021, 07:43:19 PM »
One of the men of the 1/8th buried there is 29-year old - 21180 Pte. Joshua Harper from Withington (b. Macclesfield). Josh's service number is not one allocated to the Ardwick Battalion (8th), it is a 22nd Battalion (7th City Pals) allocation. He was with the original draft to France with the 7th Pals but at some point transferred. In the absence of his service record I can't ascertain when or why. I can assume it was in late 1917 or 1918, no change of number. The 7th Pals where by then in Italy. Josh doesn't have a record of an SWB, so I can only guess that he got sick, made it back to Manchester and was transferred upon his recovery as it was easier to send a man to France than to Italy?

Joshua Harper left a wife and three very small children behind, desperately unlucky to lose his life with the others on this final battalion action of the war with the Ardwick boys, had he gone to Italy he would probably have survived. Any further information on Josh would be very well received, thanks for reading.

Offline Timberman

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2021, 09:22:38 PM »
 Hello City-Pal

 As you said he went to France with the 22nd on the 12/11/1915.
 At some stage he then went to the 27th and back to the 22nd.
 He was then sent to the 4th Bn (having been wounded? ) it was after this
 that he was sent to the 8th Bn.

 Name:   Joshua Harper
Birth Place:   Macclesfield, Cheshire
Residence:   Withington, Manchester
Death Date:   6 Nov 1918
Death Place:   France and Flanders
Enlistment Place:   Manchester
Rank:   Private
Regiment:   Manchester Regiment
Battalion:   1st 8 Battalion
Regimental Number:   21180
Type of Casualty:   Killed in action

 He was married to Ethel Frances Harper, there are pension cards for her.
 Children Clara Elizabeth Harper   Joshua Harper   Edith Harper   

 Timberman
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 09:25:54 PM by Timberman »

Offline City-Pal

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2021, 10:00:27 AM »
Thanks Timberman. I didn't know Joshua was also posted to the 4th and 27th Battalions both of them Reserve units. To go from the 22nd to the 27th and then back to the 22nd and then to the 4th suggests he was taken out of the line and moved to temporary reserve service for a specific reason. In the absence of any information regarding sickness or wounds his movements suggest to me he had discipline issues. Another reason is that he could have had a specialist skill that could be utilised in training, however, I doubt that, due to his rank. Interesting movements.

Offline Timberman

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2021, 10:21:00 AM »
 
 Hi City-Pal

 Not to sure about the reason for being moved to the 27th Bn.
 With the 4th it was generally a soldier that was wounded and sent
 there until he was fit enough to return to the front.
 As in the case of my Grandfather, he was a Sgt in the 4th Bn, then joined
 the 2nd Bn in 1915 wounded at Hill 60 returned to England, spent time in the
 Barrack hospital at Ashton. Then sent to the 4th Bn, returning to the 2nd in France.
 He spent another spell with the 4th Bn at some stage before returning to the 2nd Bn
 and finishing the war with them.

 Timberman

Offline City-Pal

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2021, 10:30:41 AM »
Thanks again Timberman. In the unfortunate absence of his Service Record the facts can't be ascertained. Josh probably was wounded as you suggest with your knowledge of the 4th and sent back to France with the 8th at some point in 1917/18 as his original battalion had been posted to Italy.

Damn unlucky to be killed in that last battalion action of the war, I should hopefully have an interesting photo regarding Joshua to post on here next week. Good to hear about your Grandfather, did you ever get to meet him in his lifetime?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 10:34:01 AM by City-Pal »

Offline mack

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Re: 1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion - Last Action of WW1?
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2021, 12:10:48 PM »
the 27th battalion was the reserve battalion for the 22nd,23rd and 24th battalions,all the men in their E companies formed the 27th,after enlisting in the 22nd batt,joshua must have been posted to the 27th some time during training and when the 22nd batt was ready for france he was brought back from the 27th batt to bring the battalion up to full strength after they had combed out the unfit and those who were unlikely to be efficient soldiers,the posting to the 4th battalion suggests he was wounded or sick at some time,it definately wasnt due to disciplinary reasons otherwise the whole battalion would have run up offences so they could get away from the fighting

mack