Platoon Records

The Great War: Vimy Ridge
George Van Wyck Laughton, M.C.

Canadian - Serving in the British 3rd Army, 34th Division,  
26th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (Tyneside Irish)

                               


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This page last updated on February 01, 2013

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PLATOON RECORDS IN HIS NOTES:

These notes were discovered in Grandfather Laughton's field note book.  This information became much more interesting after reading John Sheen's text on the Tyneside Irish, as I could then go back and look for the other names in his indices.

Please note that you can see a larger version of each image simply by "clicking on the image", as each one is hyperlinked to the original scan of the document.  As most of the information can be read directly from the original images, I have yet to transpose them to text as of this date.

 

Platoon Records

These items in the field records list other servicemen and may be of interest to others:

All of these documents appear to relate to Platoon 1 and it's 4 Sections.  There are no dates on any of these documents.

I am not sure if No. 3 Section 260046 is George Laughton or that it just appears as a similar name. 

Note of April 12, 2004:  Having just learning the link to the Service Numbers and the "Commonwealth War Graves Commission", I see that this person is in fact

Note the reference to the "Lewis Gun Section", as the British 3rd Army unlike the counterpart Canadian forces has the Lee Enfield rifles (not the Ross) and the Lewis Machine Gun (not the Colt).

 

 

Men from Platoon 1 in the hospital:
Barker, H.
Gibbons, P.
Hodson, E.
Little, S.
Newis, T.
Rowe

 

Personal details of the men in the Platoon including age, next of kin and address.

 

Personal details of the men in the Platoon including age, next of kin and address.

 

John Sheen, in his e-mail to me of October 22nd 2002, was able to clarify the Platoon Numbering process that assists in giving an outline of the battalion at that time.  The relevant information is as follows:

two, three and low four figure numbers e.g. 22, 337 and 1234 are the original men but I have to check their original battalion the numbers should be prefixed with the battalion number e.g., 26/22 or 24/1234/;

five figures e.g. 15034 are original Kitchener men in the 10th, 11th 12th, 13, 14th Battalions NF;

five figures 34000 - 39999 are generally Territorials who were wounded in 1915 and have been renumbered on their return to the front;

40000 - 49999 are men who were originally in other regiments and wounded in 1916 on their return to the front they were transferred to the NF and given a new number; and

six figures beginning with a 2 e.g. 235123 are Territorials on 11/17 all men serving in territorial Battalions were renumbered in a strict sequence blocks of numbers being allotted to each battalion. But when other battalions needed reinforcements the men were sent where they were needed. Many of these had been with other regiments prior to 1917.


Having found the link to the Commonwealth War Graces Commission Search Facility I went back in April 2004 to look at who was on the Platoon list and what was their out come during the Great War: (

Garnett Claughton, 260046 (26/04/1917)

For the men of Platoon 1 that were listed as being in the hospital, some examples:

H. Barker, 39145 - 107 listed as casualties, none appear to be him

P. Gibbons, 1327 - 15 listed as casualties, none appear to be him

T. Newis, 47092 - 1 listed, not him

And from the other lists, a few other examples:

R. Heal, 339 -  15 listed, none appear to be him

B. Gill, 332 - 18 listed, none appear to be him

In March 2008 we conducted a more detailed search of the CWGC to find out what happened to the men in "A" Company, No. 1 Platoon (yes, we now know it was A Coy) and here is the report:

This may be of interest to others researching the 26th Northumberland Fusiliers (34th Division, British 3rd Army) if they are looking for specific men in action in the Scarpe offensives in the period from March to May 1917.  Some day someone may just do an Internet name search and I hope they find their man. For some time I have had the listing of the men in my grandfather's platoon but had never taken the step to find out what happened to them.  This is just a snapshot in time, with the most complete list that I have.  The other list does not have regimental numbers so it would be harder to check.  I would be interested in any additions or corrections related to this list of men or the facts reported.

The list is broken down into the 3 infantry sections in the platoon, followed by the Lewis gun section.  For many of these men I also have the details of their age, home address and occupation at the time they signed up.  What was happening with the platoon at that time is described on the web site for my grandfather at the page for the 26th NF .  It is my hypothesis that these men are those for whom my grandfather was responsible in the period from the action at Vimy on April 9, 1917 to the action at the Chemical Works on April 28, 1917.

Scans of the original documents, including details on age, next of kin and address at enlistment are provided on my grandfather's web site above.  If there is an interest in a transcription of this additional information I can do that, but I may be guessing at some to the names of streets or communities in the address part of the records.

Grandfather Laughton's notes at that time report on the following men being in the hospital: (followed by what I have been able to best determine from the CWGC records)

I have also compared this list to what I could find in my search of John Sheen's book on the “Tyneside Irish”.  From that I also discovered that all of these records most likely refer to “A Company” as that is the unit noted for any of the men listed in that text.  That is something I did not know prior to this exercise, so a good lesson to keep on digging!

            NRS = Not Reported in Sheen for 26th N.F. (History of the Tyneside Irish)
            RIS = Reported in Sheen (and page number noted)

His listing of No. 1 Platoon (now we know “A” Coy) provides the following information:

2nd Lt. G. V. Laughton, M.C. (survived the war, wounded by shell in May 1917) RIS 210

235170 Cpl. Adamson (Sgt. George Leighton Adamson KIA October 26, 1917 1st/7th Bn. N.F.) NRS

In Hospital:

39145 Pte. H. Barker (apparently survived) NRS
1327 Pte. P. Gibbons (apparently survived) NRS
47651 Pte. E. Hodson (apparently survived) NRS
_____ Pte. S. Little (apparently survived) NRS
47092 Pte. T. Newis (apparently survived) NRS
1207 Pte. Rowe (apparently survived) RIS 245 and reported wounded October 16th and December 16th

No. 1 Section:

15420 L/C J. A. Mitchell (unknown as a 2nd Lt. J. A Mitchell KIA September 27, 1918, 6th Bn. N.F.) NRS
235270 Pte. C. Mavin (apparently survived) NRS
757 Pte. J. Emmerson (John George Emmerson KIA May 1, 1917) NRS
47552 Pte. J. Tarrant (J. W. Tarrant KIA March 30, 1917) NRS
1206 Pte. J. Robinson (apparently survived) RIS 245 and reported wounded October 16
517 Pte. T. O'hara (apparently survived) RIS 244

No. 2 Section

34597 L/C N. Silk (KIA May 1, 1917 but listed with 27th N.F.) NRS 26th th
35867 Pte. T. Porteus (apparently survived) NRS
35878 Pte. H. Richardson (apparently survived) NRS
235282 Pte. H. Bull (apparently survived) NRS
35722 Pte. R. Ellis (Richard Ellis KIA April 23, 1917) NRS

No. 3 Section

260037 Pte. H. Walker (Harry Walker was KIA April 30, 1917) NRS
332 Pte. B. Gill (apparently survived) NRS
47512 Pte. S. Saville (apparently survived) NRS
260046 Pte.  G. Claughton (Garnett Claughton KIA April 26, 1917) NRS
35724 Pte. R. S. Juler (Richard Sydney Juler reported died in England July 7, 1917) NRS
35870 Pte. B. Rogers (apparently survived) NRS

Lewis Gun Section (initials not given but positions noted)

22 Pte. M. Adamson – Cap Runner (Matthew Adamson KIA May 10, 1918 with 1st Bn. N.F.) RIS 237 wounded June 17 transfer to 1st Bn.
798 Pte. Donaldson – Batt Runner (apparently survived) NRS
___ Pte. Rutter – Coy. Sig. (Thomas Rutter 34195 26th N.F. reported KIA April 30, 1917) NRS
35497 L/C Stewart – Off. Servant (apparently survived) NRS
390 Pte. Lynch (J. Lynch reported KIA May 5, 1917) RIS 242
1477 Pte. Taylor – Coy Cook (apparently survived – found on UK National Archives as “James Taylor”) RIS 246
47516 Pte. Woodhouse – S.B. (apparently survived) NRS
1360 Pte. Pickering – S.B. (apparently survived) RIS 244 – gunshot wounds to B. W. Pickering

Out of the 27 men that my grandfather was responsible for at that time 12 did not make it home alive (8 killed during that period and 4 later in the war) but apparently 15 did make it back.  I assume others may have survived but were wounded and discharged, as was my grandfather.  Those were not great odds, a 44 % of the men in Platoon No. 1 in the Spring of 1917 dead before the end of the war.

 

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