LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

This section of the forum is for any enquires relating the the First World War covering the dates 1914 to 1920.

Moderators: Kevin Lynott, peter, LarsA

LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby David Nicholls » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:28 pm

I am trying to trace exactly where my grandfather was and where he fought during WW1. He was born in Finchingfield Essex on 20 Aug 1896. His war records are missing but we do have his Silver War Badge record (no 252809) which refers to Worc R Depot, Reg no 40365, Rank L/Corp, date of discharge 25 Oct 1917, date of enlistment 10 Dec 1915 and gives cause of discharge as wounds but difficult to decipher codes etc. Across the top of Silver War Badge record is written "E Kent Pte 19102". We know that Grandad was part of a machine gun detachment of three. They were we think hit by a german shell, Grandad's two colleagues were killed. He was wounded (4 pieces of shrapnel under right shoulder, 2 pieces elsewhere and a piece in his ankle which was badly damaged) and lay in the mud overnight. He was we think in hospital in the UK for his 21st birthday ie 20 Aug 1917.

I have been to Kew and established that Grandad was in the 9th East Kents which I believe was a training battalion disbanded in Sept 1916. He was also in the 4th Worcesters. The Silver War Badge list refers to wounds age 20.9.

The Regiments website mentions the following "After the Gallipoli campaign the 4th Battalion were ordered to proceed to France. They disembarked at Marseilles on the morning of 20th March 1916. During July 1916 the 4th Battalion were involved in the attack on Beaumont Hamel (The Somme). On the night of July 29th/30th 1916 the 4th Battalion moved forward by train to Ypres and were to remain in action for some 2 months before leaving again for the Somme (8th October 1916).

By the spring of 1917 the 4th Battalion were involved in the battle of Arras. In July 1917 they found themselves back in the Ypres Salient where they remained until mid October 1917."

I may have to go to Kew again and read the regimental diaries but in the meantime any information / leads anyone can give me would be really appreciated.

I would like to find out please
-when Grandad would have transferred from the East Kents to the 4th Worcesters
- does Age 20.9 mean 20 years and 9 months meaning Grandad was wounded in May 1917
- Ypres & Arras are quite large geographical areas. Can I establish more accurately where the 4th Worcesters were and where Grandad was likely to have been wounded?

Many thanks

David Nicholls
Last edited by David Nicholls on Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
David Nicholls
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby Mike Jones » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:48 am

Hello David,
I am sure your Grand father was wounded on 23rd April 1917 at Monchy le Preux, 4 miles south east of Arras. I have no definite evidence yet of the date of his transfer to the Worcesters but I think it was early in 1917. Allan Parry can hopefully help us with this one. Pte Harold Ruffle was transferred with 43 other men from the East Kent Regiment. Their Worcestershire Regimental numbers ran from 40323 to 40366. Allan, can you please tell us what date the first one of these men appeared on your casualty list research? Corona may also like to chip in? He is a genius at digging deeply into Ancestry Military records. Corona, does any of the service records for the 43 men exist, please? It might give a definite date for the transfer and where it happened. Probably Rouen or Etaples
On the 21st April 1917 the 4th Bn. had already had a bad time of it. The Battle strenght was already down to 17 officers and 520 men. After the disasters of the night of 23rd April only 2 officers and 64 men marched back and I dont think Harold Ruffle was one of them ! There are 5 possibilities for the two men that died manning his machine gun but the two most likely were Lcp. Carter 40325 and Pte. Makrill 40333.
David you are right that the age is 29 years and 9 months but that is usually the age at the man's discharge. I am aware you said his birthday is August and it does not add up. But lots of men fibbed about correct birth details.
Hope this helps Mike
Mike Jones
Mike Jones
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Kent

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby David Nicholls » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:27 pm

Mike
This is incredible thank you so much I am very very grateful. My cousin Richard and I have been stumbling around with limited information trying to piece together Grandad's war history for about 5 years now and you answer most of our questions within 2 days! Look forward to hearing from the other names you mentioned if they are able to help in the hope we can solve the mystery!
Best wishes David
David Nicholls
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby corona » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:48 pm

Hi David,
After a long search I managed to find an East Kent Regt.transfer to the 4th Bn.Worcesters in the number range 40323 to 40366.
Albert J Shewring 19075 East Kents transfered to the 4th Btn. Worcesters 22/10/1916 and joined them as 40344 on 25/10/1916.
Most of the service and pension papers for the group have not survived including your relations.I found Alberts papers as a Royal Engineer.
A unit to which he was later to transfer to towards the end of the War.
Regards,
corona
corona
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:36 pm

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby David Nicholls » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:58 pm

Corona
I am extremely grateful to you-we are slowly completing the jig saw!
Best wishes
David Nicholls
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby David Nicholls » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:08 pm

Mike
I have now had more time to read your very helpful posting. I wondered how did you establish the identity of Grandad's two colleagues who were also manning the machine gun Lcp Carter and Pte Makrill?
Corona has established that Grandad transferred from the East Kents in late Oct 1916. Can you advise please how I might find out where Grandad might have been between this date and 23 April 1917. The Regimental website refers to the Somme-again a very large area. I assume 4th Worcs War Diaries are not online. I may have to visit Kew again.
Many thanks
David
David Nicholls
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby David Nicholls » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:12 pm

Mike / Corona
My cousin thinks Grandad may have transferred at Etaples. He recalls him mentioning the Bullring? Does this tie in?
David
David Nicholls
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby gilbo139 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:54 pm

David, I can only be amazed at some of the information that is supplied by the real experts in reply to posts on this site. I first got interested in The Great War in the early 1980's when i found out that I had a Great Grandfather`buried in France and that his grave had never been visited by any family member. I first visited in 1986 thinking it would be a 'one off' but found probably like lots of others that I keep getting drawn back to pay my respects...... the only reason I mention this is because my Great Grandfather happened to be in the 4th Worcesters and I know he went through the Battle of The Somme and that about the end of October 1916 the 4th had a fortnights rest at Ville-sous-Corbie then on the 16th November they moved back to the front line taking over Fall, Autumn and Winter trenches fairly close to the village of Flers I think. On the 18th Nov. my great Grandfather recieved wounds that he died of two days later at the 2/2nd london casualty clearing station at Meaulte..... one of only 3 men to be wounded between November 16th and december 11th. Not a lot of help I know but the more of us that make an effort the longer we keep their memory alive. I look forward to reading the information from the real experts.
Regards Colin
gilbo139
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:13 pm
Location: Worcester

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby David Nicholls » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:21 am

Many thanks Colin most helpful - we are beginning to building a picture
Best wishes
David Nicholls
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby gilbo139 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:34 pm

David,
Mike Jones has been trying to reply again to you but has had technical problems.... he has asked me to mention Stackes history of the Wocestershire Regiment in The Great War, arguably the finest history of any regiment ever written... it contains movements of each battalion throughout the War including lots of maps and photos , medal awards, a Roll of Honour listing over 9000 men of the regiment who gave thier lives, it even has Regimental music included. It is now available in reprint but costs I believe over £60. Mike thinks it contains most of what you require and also 2 Photos of the 4th taken on 31st October 1916......... if your local library hasn't got a copy or you can't access one I can do a bit of work for you but it would take me some time due to work and family commitments. I also believe that copies of the War diaries of the 4th covering a few months are available for PlumPudding from the PRO for about £3.50 a snip if they cover the dates you require. Regards Colin
gilbo139
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:13 pm
Location: Worcester

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby allanp » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:50 pm

Hi All

Mike, I have checked my database and have found the first entry in the 20th January 1917 edition of the Worcester Herald of:-
Killed
40351 Pte A. West – East Grinstead

Here are the rest of the men in the number range 40323 - 40366
14th April 1917 edition
Wounded
40366 Pte Cole – Fulham S.W

19th May 1917 edition
Wounded
40353 Lanc Cpl G. Alsop – Wimbledon S.W
40357 Pte A Coleman – Sheerness

2nd June 1917 edition
Killed
40333 Pte C. H. Lackrill – Chingford N.E

7th July 1917 edition
killed
40345 Pte F. Skelton – Hampton Wick
40346 Pte J. Stribling – Tottenham N.
40324 Pte P. W. Thundow – Herne Bay
40357 Pte A. Cullen – Haslemere
40358 Pte J. Dench – Kingston on Thames
40329 Pte F. Loveday – Long Stratton

14th July edition
Missing
40348 Pte W. D. Smith – Dursley
Killed
40351 Pte H. Fox – Bromsgrove

8th September 1917 edition
Wounded
40360 Pte F. Walker – Hale End

27th October 1917 edition
Wounded
40359 Pte A. Giddings – March

3rd November 1917 edition
Died of Wounds
40357 Pte C. Powers – Stockport

Regards Allan
12631 Lance Sergt George William Hill. KIA Vimy Ridge, 28 April 1916 3rd Battalion
allanp
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:51 pm
Location: Bromsgrove Worcestershire

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby Mike Jones » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:44 am

Hi Allan,
Thank you for all that work, Which I know is unavailable anywhere else. More bits go in the jigsaw. It does confirm the late 1916 transfer of these men. I must admit I was hoping to find Harold Ruffle on a casualty list in a newspaper dated either late May or early June 1917. The soldier Pte Lackrill 40333 (Actually his name is Mackrill) is in this timeframe. He was killed 23rd April 1917 and is in the Worcester Herald on 2nd June. But alas no Harold Ruffle. The six men listed as killed in the 7th July issue are a mixture of two dates. Skelton, Stribling and Thundow were killed 29th May but Loveday, Dench and Cullen were killed 23rd April. Could you please do a name search for Ruffle? If no luck change the first letter to a "B" or "D". As you know the newspaper often prints names wrongly.
David to get back to a question you put earlier. Your Grandfater almost certainly did the transfer at Etaples. For him to have known of the "Bullring". It was the name the soldiers gave it, completely unofficial. It was a hated place by the soldiers. Moral there was so bad it was where Percy Toplis started the only mutiny of the Great War. The training, discipline and Bull broke mens hearts. It was a massive place, lots of hospitals, stores etc. It was also used for rest and recuperation for men out of the front line. But it was so bad there that men preferred to stay in the trenches.
Regards Mike
Mike Jones
Mike Jones
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Kent

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby gilbo139 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:22 pm

Mike and Alan...please can you help an amateur...For a while I've been reading the results of research you do for people and perhaps I should know the answer to this but I don't ....is The Worcester Herald the same as The berrows Journal with its illustrated supplement ?
Regards Colin
gilbo139
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:13 pm
Location: Worcester

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby allanp » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:50 pm

Hi Colin

It is a seperate publication. Burrows Journal, Worcester Herald and the Bromsgrove, Droitwich & Redditch Weekly Messenger, to give it its full name where weekly papers within the Worcester area. There are others that I have not yet looked at for Casualty Lists. Burrows produced a yearly book which contains all of the photographs that were published within its weekly paper. They are available at the History Centre in Worcester.

Hi Mike

I have checked through the 1917 editions as requested but there is no entry for Ruffle, But I have found in the 20th January 1917 edition.
Wounded
40349 Pte A. E. Watts - Lowestoft

Regards Allan
12631 Lance Sergt George William Hill. KIA Vimy Ridge, 28 April 1916 3rd Battalion
allanp
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:51 pm
Location: Bromsgrove Worcestershire

Re: LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD RUFFLE 40365

Postby David Nicholls » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:00 pm

Mike, Allan and Colin
My apologies I have been away from a computer for a few days. Thank you for your very helpful postings.

Mike/Colin very many thanks for your offer of researching Grandad through Stackes history. Fortunately the Reference section of the Central Library in Leeds has a copy which I looked at briefly at lunchtime. Excellent book and very comprehensive. We can now track Grandad's route through the Somme to Arras.

Allan thank you for researching casualty lists. I assume an entry would have pinpointed where Grandad was wounded. He was born in Finchingfield Essex. Is it possible that whatever the Essex newspaper was in 1917 would have mentioned him? I will try and research.

Stacke had a very interesting map of the Arras area showing Monchy le Preux and Infantry Hill where the Worcesters fought both in April and again in May. The map also shows Deville Wood which my cousin Richard recalls Grandad mentioning.

Mike we are all impressed but intrigued as to how you know Grandad was wounded on 23 April 1917 and how you know the names of his two colleagues in the machine gun detachment Lcp Carter (d of w) and Pte Mackrill

Many thanks again
David
David Nicholls
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:50 pm

Next

Return to First World War

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron