The 10th Battalion Durham Light Infantry at Ypres

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by JDA, Jun 19, 2012.

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  1. JDA

    JDA Swinger

    This is a re-post as I posted before in the wrong place. I really need the WWI diary of the 10th Battalion of The Durham Light Infantry.
    My grandfather was in the 10th Battalion of the DLI, which I understand was a section of the 14th Light Division, in turn part of the 43rd Brigade. He was a private, and his number was 12316. I understand they landed in Boulogne 21st May 1915, but some places say they departed from Southampton and landed ar Le Havre. Le Havre is some 160 km away so I would like to know which is correct? I understand they then amassed at St.Omer around the 25th May, and moved toward Ypres.
    My grandfather was killed at Ypres and his name is on the Menin Gate.
    After learning all I can, I believe he must have been killed in the the Attack on Hooge which began on 30th July 1915. He was killed (*Blown to bits* we children were always told) on 31st July 1915. This is cross referenced by what I have read on some sites by the fact that there was very heavy shell fire that day, and it was the first time the Germans used Liquid Fire - flamethrowers, although I do not think it affected the 10th Bat DLI from all that I have read.
    I am doing my ancestry, and I have found his medal roll cards , which obviously were given posthumously. I cannot find his service records or which part of the 10th battalion he was in. No doubt they were destroyed in the great fire. All I can tell you was that he used to breed Clydesdale horses in Linlithgow scotland, and had only recently married my grandmother in Seaham Durham, when he joined up. He had a son to her, my father, whom he saw just once at a week old. Daddy was born on the 19th June 1914 so I guess my grandpa may have already joined up , because my grandmother always said he just saw my father once.
    I am trying to find out
    1) when and where he would have joined up
    2) where he would have been sent to
    3) If he was present (wherever it was)when the King inspected the troups I think this may have been after his death but some sites say 1914 not 1915. Which is correct?
    4) If he was there (wherever it was) when Kitchener addressed the troups
    5) Again, there are at least 3 different dates given for Kitchener addressing the 14th Division on Hankley Common. Don't know which is correct,6) I understand they landed in Boulogne 21st May 1915, but some places say they departed from Southampton and landed ar Le Havre. Le Havre is some 160 km away so I would like to know which is correct? I would like to know the answer of 4&5&6 for certain.
    7) From some sites I learned that some of the trenches seem to have names. Where exactly would my grandfather have been on the night of 30th at Hooge? Where was the 10th battalion of the DLI on that night?
    8) Are there any photos of the panels of the *A's* on the Menin Gate? I understand these are panels 36 & 38?
    9) is it correct that the 10th Battalion of the DLI in 1914
    10) Is there actually a section on this site about the DLI in WW1 at Hooge?

    Sorry if posted in the wrong place!
    Any help much appreciated.Many Thanks!
  2. As google is your friend, may I suggest an initial contact with the DLI Museum here

    Welcome Page

    you have obviously looked into this family history and if you have not spoken with the Museum you may be cutting off a vast area of potential information.
  3. JDA, the original war diaries are held at the National Archives at Kew.

    Here are the file reference details for them:

    WO 95/1907, 43 Infantry Brigade: 10 Battalion Durham Light Infantry (1915 May - 1917 Mar.)
    WO 95/1908, 10 Battalion Durham Light Infantry (1917 Apr. - 1918 Feb.)

    Drop me a PM if you need help getting copies of them.
  4. Having had cause to look into the DLI recently myself, I'd echo this. I found exactly what I wanted, and more, very quickly.
  5. JDA

    JDA Swinger

    well its not so much that "Google is my friend" but it led me here , and I was hoping that somebody on here might be able to guide me to what I actually need, (which has proven the case). I have read the Dli site and cannot find the exact info I want or an online war diary of DLI 10th btln action at Ypres, and also wondered if anybody knew of a link to such information. I am unable to personally go to the DLI Archives, and I did not know that one can phone the DLI museum? Thanks
  6. JDA

    JDA Swinger

    Not sure how to send a PM but the ref file WO 95/1907 Infantry Brigade 1915 May- 1917 mar seems to be the one. I would like a copy of that so any help is much appreciated. Sorry I am registered blind so moving around the boards and finding things is quite difficult for me. I can see a little.
  7. Have you tried amazon, I got a number of war diaries from them (via some independent books stores).
  8. JDA

    JDA Swinger

    Oh that sounds good I will take a look now Thank you!
  9. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Curiously the DLI Museum is next door to Durham County Hall. I spent time in the Archives Room of the Records Office a few years ago researching my family history and stumbled upon the Second World War Diary of one of the DLI battalions in 1944.

    You might care to give them a call and see if they can help. I have a phone number. Hang on while I check my mobile.

    Time passes ...

    Try 0191 3834567
  10. I assume your grandfather is James Davidson Adams. Born in Linlithgow and enlisted at Seaham Harbour. He is one of 25 men from 10 DLI killed on 31 July 1915. All this information is from "Soldiers Died in the Great War"

    The Long winding trail has the followng basic information about 10th (Service) Battalion Durham Light Infantry.
    Formed at Newcastle on 22 August 1914 as part of K1 and attached to 43rd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division. Moved initially to Woking, then Aldershot and on to Witley in November 1914, returning to Aldershot in February 1915.
    21 May 1915 : landed at Boulogne.
    12 February 1918 : disbanded in France.

    So his unit formed in Newcastle.

    It is very unlikely that your grandfather was in the Army in June 1914. His unit was in one of the first of the Kitchener's army units to form up, and his regimental number is in the same range as many of the others killed on that day. It is very likely that he was one of the eager volunteers to follow the call to arms, joining up to leave leaving a wife and baby. If he had only seen his baby once, it may reflect his civilian employment or some family circumstance.

    The 10 DLI were on the NE edge of Zouave wood on 31 July 1915. According to the Official Histopry, the German attackm on attack Hooge took place at 3.15 AM on 30 July. The defenders were the 7 KRRC and 8th bn Rifle Brigade of 41 st Brigade. These had relieved what the OH describes as the very tired and worn 7 RB and 8 KRRC. 42nd Brigade was in the line to the Left of 41 Brigade. 43 Brigade seem to have been in reserve on 30 July. The german attack, suppored by flamethrowers was a success and resulted in the capture of Hooge crater. This battle is well known for the gallentry of Sidney Clayton Woodruffe who was awarded the VC.

    During the afternoon of 30 July three battlaions of 43 Brigade, including 10 DLI took over the trenches from ther battered 41st Brigade. The OH says that "At 2 AM the German night attack with liquid fire failed, but further efforts of the 14th Division on the 31st to gain ground were brought to nought by the enemy's heavy artillery fire,"

    You may know this already, but your grandfather was one of the first people to have to fight against an enemy equipped with flamethrowers.
  11. JDA

    JDA Swinger

    Thats great thank you , I will ring them.
  12. JDA, hopefully the DLI museum can sort you out with them but if not give me a shout here and I'll photograph the diary for you on my next visit to the National Archives.
  13. Here are a couple of maps. The sketch map is from the Official History 1915 Volume II

    The trenhc map is dated 3 August 1915 and might have been produiced to support the plan to retake the Hooge Crater with a "regular attack , thoproughly prepared, as opposed to a hasty counter attack"

    Attached Files:

  14. JDA

    JDA Swinger

  15. JDA

    JDA Swinger

    My Grandpa was already dead by then, but I understand you are saying the maps will still show the same positions as it is date 3rd Aug? He died on the 31st July. I read about the Hooge Crater etc, but I am trying among all the other things I have listed to find out his position as near as possible. So If they (10th) relieved the 41st I wonder where they would be on this map? I need to copy it and make it more visible in photoshop, 'cos I can barely see it. THANK YOU So much