Regimental diaries of WW1

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by exblackrat, Nov 1, 2011.

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  1. Good morning chaps

    I am in need of some expert advice. I am about to start to research my great uncles Army service in WW1. He served in 1/7th battalion the Middlesex Regiment. He died on the 4th of October 1916 on the Somme, and he has no known grave. With regard to the regimental diaries that were kept, would it be likely that they would show how he was lost and where. I am a complete tyro at this so I would appreciate any help before I go to the National Archive

    Many thanks in anticipation

  2. If he has no know grave then its unlikely that he will have a record of how he was lost unfortunatly.

    The regimental Diary may simply list the action and the casuality list for that day, you may be lucky and it might mention him if he'd done something worth MID for example.

    There would be a notification letter sent to the families if you've got that but beyond actually MIA/KIA on the 4th Oct then thats probably all that is known.
  3. Waitout

    I am gobsmacked, I was not expecting a reply that quickly, thank you for your prompt response

  4. Also looking the 1/7 amalgamated to the 1/8, formed part of the 56th London division the time scale you mention puts is 4 Oct they where part of a phase of the somme, The Battle of Morval (25-27 September), The Battle of the Transloy Ridges (11 - 9 October).

    Might be able to place him in a sector.
  5. Yes, they still exist, looks like you need WO 95/2426 and can download it here for a small fee.

    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details

    Fascinating documents, often with excellent maps. I've been able to pinpoint to a fairly small area where my Great Grandfather was killed in 1915 from his Battalions war diary.
  6. Also you might be able to get his service record if you know his number.
  7. Tony, go to the great war forum. join and make a posting the guys there are experts on WW1 and am sure they will be able to help you.

    Great War Forum
  8. The big problem with Army service records from WWI, is that two thirds of the records were destroyed by bombing during WWII.

    It really is a lottery whether the records you want have survived. Having said that, I do have an account with Ancestry UK, so can search records if you want me to.
  9. Tony,

    If he was killed on the Somme with no known grave then he will be remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

    You can find whereabouts his name is inscribed by using the Commonwealth Wargrave Commission Debt of Honour Register

    Unfortunately I cannot post the link but if you google it you will find it.

    Happy hunting

  10. Unfortunately from my experience, unless he was an officer he will not be mentioned by name in the regt. diaries. Casualty lists from any given day are normally given as:

    Capt. x
    Lt. y

    and 7 other ranks killed in action

    or something similar.

    If he has no known grave he will probably be given as missing in the diary.
    However if the diaries still exist (see previous posts) you should be able to place him on the battlefield on any given day.
    My great Uncle was killed at St. Emille on the 21 March 1918 and his regt.diary (1st Herts.) goes into some detail on the days leading up to his death.
  11. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    1/7th Middlesex Regiment were in 167 Brigade ,56th ( 1st London) Division, and were in action in the area just North of Lesboeafs at the time you mention. Due to weather conditions there was very little activity in the area from the 1st of the month until the attack on the 7th.

    Middlesex Regiment. World War One Photos, Obituaries & Service Records.

    Middlesex Regiment. World War One Photos, Obituaries & Service Records.

    fortunately the Middlesex have a very good website,

    A guide to the WW1 battlefields and home to the Poppy Umbrella

    happy hunting and I hope that helps
  12. I have found this site:

    1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment:- Autumn and Winter 1916

    Which mentions the following:

    From 1st to 20th September, the Battalion was out of the line resting and training, but on the latter date moved into the Hebuterne trenches-an uneventful tour. The first three weeks of October were similarly uneventful until, on 23rd, the Middlesex moved to Trônes Wood via Mametz and Montauban.

    This trench map shows Hebuterne (Bottom left) and is dated July !st 1916.

    Attached Files:

  13. Guys

    I can only say thank you so much, I will get back replying to you all ASAP but I must get back to work, the Met Police demand their pound of flesh