Returning Medals to Rightful Owners

No.4 Mk.1

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I was given a gift of a World War 1 Memorial Plaque, or Death 'Penny', a couple of years ago. Although in pride of place i've been trying to get rid of it since the day i got it.

Finally got somewhere and someone has put a shout out to his great niece. I'll keep you posted.

Reason for posting this... can anyone suggest any additional material, information or.... research :) to include before hopefully returning the medal to his Great Niece?

Private Charlie Whiteland. No. 41467
North Staffordshire Regiment 1st Bn.
Born Jan 1899 Basford, Nottinghamshire
Died Aged 19, on 22nd June 1918 Fld Hos Rothall, France, Flanders
(Date of death also listed as 20th June - maybe the day he was wounded?)

Buried in the Plaine French National Cemetery (Bas Rhin France), and is remembered here:
plainefrench


Charlie Whiteland portrait.jpg
Charlie Whiteland.jpg
Charlie Whitland effects.png

Charlie Whiteland death register.png


Charlie Whiteland tombstone.jpg
Charlie Whiteland copy.png
Charlie Whiteland copy 2.png
Charlie Whiteland copy 3.png
 
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_Chimurenga_

LE
Gallery Guru
Are you sure that that is him in the photograph?

The subject is wearing a 1903 pattern cavalry bandoleer and some sort of Light Infantry bugle horn badge, not the Knot of the Staffords.
 

_Chimurenga_

LE
Gallery Guru
His medal card lists the Notts & Derby Regt as well, but that still is not the badge the soldier is wearing in that picture.


 
I guess this is you
http://d20u174ifpwkls.cloudfront.net/lode/files/2014/02/CHARLIE-WHITELAND-text.pdf
You could download the unit war diaries, they will probably note his death
War Diaries usually just noted officers names and numbers of ORs KIA and WIA. That said I have seen a War Diary of an Artillery Battery that did list the dead and wounded ORs of a particular action. Although the diarist did get his priorities right in noting damage to a howitzer and a sight before getting on to the men.
 
His Medal Index Card shows that he was entitled to a pair (British War Medal and Victory Medal). He was originally 106054 Private Whiteland Notts and Derby Regt. It doesn't look as though any other relevant documents have survived.
 

No.4 Mk.1

On ROPS
On ROPs
Are you sure that that is him in the photograph?

The subject is wearing a 1903 pattern cavalry bandoleer and some sort of Light Infantry bugle horn badge, not the Knot of the Staffords.
No, the photo is listed in the CWG cemetery memorial page as Charlie plainefrench
His medal card lists the Notts & Derby Regt as well, but that still is not the badge the soldier is wearing in that picture.


Cheers for the research - is there anything that could account for the uniform differences, or does this look like a mixed up / mis-credited photo?
 
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_Chimurenga_

LE
Gallery Guru
I would argue that the photograph is mis-credited.

The North Staffords cap badge


The Notts & Derbys
 

_Chimurenga_

LE
Gallery Guru
The bandoleer, jodhpurs, and peaked cap may lead me to suspect that the subject photographed is a member of the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers).



 

No.4 Mk.1

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Some better images:
Charlie Whiteland 4.png

(nice to see someone with their cap badge above their left eye for once... :) )


Charlie Whiteland 6.png

And the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Sherwood Rangers Cap Badge:
 
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_Chimurenga_

LE
Gallery Guru
But the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry served in the Middle East under Allenby in 1917-18.
 

MoleBath

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Found this on the Notts County Council site

Charles Whiteland
Spotted a mistake/error with the
information on this page?

Person Details
Family History
He was known as Charlie and was the only son of Mrs Whitehead of 13 Wentworth Road, Sherwood.
Date of death
20 Jun 1918
Age at death
19
CWGC
Commonwealth Grave No
2912804 - CWGC Website
Service number
41467
Rank
Private
Decorations

Military History
Formerly 3651 Notts Yeomanry. He served in the North Staffordshire Regiment 1st Bn. He died while a prisoner of war in Germany and is buried in the Plaine French National Cemetery (grave ref. 371).
Extra Information
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 30 January 1919: 'Whiteland. Private Charles Whitehead 1st North Staffordshires, died June 22nd 1918 while a prisoner of war in Germany, only son of Mrs Whitehead, 13 Wentworth Road, Sherwood, age 19 years.'
 

No.4 Mk.1

On ROPS
On ROPs
Found this on the Notts County Council site

Charles Whiteland
Spotted a mistake/error with the
information on this page?

Person Details
Family History
He was known as Charlie and was the only son of Mrs Whitehead of 13 Wentworth Road, Sherwood.
Date of death
20 Jun 1918
Age at death
19
CWGC
Commonwealth Grave No
2912804 - CWGC Website
Service number
41467
Rank
Private
Decorations

Military History
Formerly 3651 Notts Yeomanry. He served in the North Staffordshire Regiment 1st Bn. He died while a prisoner of war in Germany and is buried in the Plaine French National Cemetery (grave ref. 371).
Extra Information
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 30 January 1919: 'Whiteland. Private Charles Whitehead 1st North Staffordshires, died June 22nd 1918 while a prisoner of war in Germany, only son of Mrs Whitehead, 13 Wentworth Road, Sherwood, age 19 years.'
Brilliant find, thank-you.

There's still a bit of ambiguity about date and place of death - it is given as 20th June on two documents (including this one), but 22nd on all else. Place of death clearly noted as Field Hospital Rothall too (see first post).

I haven't read the Regimental diaries yet to see what may of happened (shifting frontline?) - i'd be grateful for any info if someone gets there first...
 

_Chimurenga_

LE
Gallery Guru
Was he wounded and captured/reported missing on 20 June and then Died of Wounds on 22 June?
 

No.4 Mk.1

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Was he wounded and captured/reported missing on 20 June and then Died of Wounds on 22 June?
I had pondered at a mobile front line where the dying may be left in the field hospital.

Never heard such reports but it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility & could account for confusion over death date, confirm the 'field hospital Rothall' location & his POW status, but i guess it will only be the Regimental diaries that can shed any more light on that.
 

Quoth

War Hero
Judging by the highly polished state of that plaque somebody remembered Charlie for some time.

Good on you getting it back to the family, I hope they appreciate it.
 

No.4 Mk.1

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Staffordshire Regimental Museum have found just about every document available on this topic and has answered the questions i had comprehensively - i take my hat off to their efforts, resources and continued Remembrance.

There appears to have been some errors in records, which with their incredible knowledge the Staff's research team have been able to identify and provisionally correct from corresponding records. Here's their findings - i'll post some of the original documents too. as i work my way through them.


Pte Whiteland joined the Notts and Derby’s Regiment after 1916. We believe the exact date to be around April 1917 based off his war gratuity. (See Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects) He later joined the 1st Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment. However, as both the service and pension papers are missing, we have no way of knowing his exact transfer dates between regiments and any detail of his pre-war service.

What we can say though is that Pte Charles Whiteland did become a POW. Around the 21st March and into early April, the 1st Battalion NSR were engaged in heavy fighting. The 1st NSR were part of the 72nd Brigade in the 24th Division. They were part of Fifth Army which were driven back by the German Operation ‘Michael’ Offensive.

On 21st March, the 1st NSR were stationed north of St Quentin around Villecholles. Please see the attached pages of the war diary for a commentary of the battle on the 21st. It is notable that there is no war diary from the 22nd March to 6th April. This was caused by the rapid German attack and the constant rear-guard action of the British as their positions were overrun. Attached are pages from the war diary which asked officers to describe their experiences from these dates as a war diary was not maintained at the time.

How does Charles Whiteland fit in all of this? According to his POW records, Pte Charles Whiteland 41467, 1st NSR was captured on the 25/03/1918 at Bethincourt. However, this may be a spelling error. The 1st NSR were based around Chaulnes on the 25th March, which is very close to Bethencourt sur Somme. He is listed as being posted to Stendal Camp on a document from 14th September 1918. (Eastern Germany near Berlin.) However, a German casualty list from the 3rd October, lists him as in a Field Hospital in Rothau. We believe the British transcription of the name to Rothall to be wrong. It is also very likely that Pte Whiteland never made it to Stendal Camp in East Germany.

Translated, the entry reads. “On the 22 June 1918 Brought into the field hospital near Rothau Following pneumonia. Dead on arrival. Was buried on the military cemetery in Albach Klakett.”

We can find no modern day mention of “Albach Klakett”. However, Rothau is only five miles from where Pte Whiteland is buried today at Plaine. It is interesting that quite a few of the other graves in that cemetery are also those of British POW’s.

To answer your two main questions, we would say Pte Whiteland died on the 22nd June 1918 as this is the verdict of the German casualty list. It is also the date given on his burial return. The place where Pte Whiteland died was Rothau, therefore suggesting that the entry in the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects is wrong.

Rest in Peace Charlie - not forgotten.
Charlie Whiteland full.png
 
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