pte alfred albert baskett 12000

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pte alfred albert baskett 12000

Postby John Crowther » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:11 pm

Information required as to exactly where Alfred died on 28th October 1914? Name on plaque 34 of the Menin Gate.
John Crowther
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Re: pte alfred albert baskett 12000

Postby scully » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:14 pm

Hi John,

It looks like Private Alfred Albert Baskett (12000) was killed by enemy shell-fire on the 28th October 1914 at the time the 2nd Battalion were at the northern corner of Polygon Wood, in reserve waiting to follow up an advancing attack. The 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment lost 2 killed and 15 wounded that day.

Below is some details from the Regimental History covering that period which may help you.


Louis (webmaster)

Details from 2nd Battalion official history covering period 26th to 30th October 1914:

Next morning (26th October 1914) at 11 a.m. the 5th Brigade, whose front was now covered by the Guards, were ordered to withdraw into reserve. The 2nd Worcestershire moved back through Polygon Wood (The wood was full of dead, German and British, and the movement of the companies was retarded by the many bodies lying in the thick undergrowth), and the Brigade concentrated in bivouac near the south-west corner of the wood, not far from Veldhoek (During October 25th and 26th the enemy's shell-fire had cost the Battalion I killed and 5 wounded). Further north the French Divisions had been pressing their attack on Passchendaele. In the belief that the enemy there were on the point of collapsing, orders were sent to the 6th Brigade to press forward and to the 5th Brigade to support their attack. Those orders came at 4 p.m. on October 26th. The 5th Brigade accordingly fell in, marched to a position north-east of the Polygon Wood and made ready to attack. The move was not completed' until 5.30 p.m. By that time darkness had already fallen and the attack of the 6th Brigade had failed. After a short halt the 5th Brigade turned about and marched back to their bivouac near Veldhoek.

On the following day (October 27th) the same experience was repeated. Throughout that morning the 5th Brigade lay in their bivouacs, undisturbed save for the burst of a few shells in their vicinity. Orders for attack were issued at 11 a.m., and at 2.30 p.m. the Brigade again marched to the previous position in support of the 6th Brigade. But the attack was cancelled and the Brigade returned to bivouac, leaving the Connaught Rangers behind them at Molenaaresthoek.

The next morning (28th October) passed without incident, but that afternoon at last the long-delaved attack took place. Orders were issued at 1.20 p.m. and the battalions of the 5th Brigade marched independently to the northern corner of Polygon Wood. At 3 p.m. the attack commenced, led by the Connaught Rangers, with the H.L.I, in close support. The Worcestershire and Oxfordshire leading battalions broke down under a devastating shell-fire, which caused also some casualties to the troops in reserve (The 2nd Worcestershire lost 2 killed and 15 wounded). The attack was then abandoned. That evening the Rangers and the H.L.I, remained in the forward trenches.

On the following day (October 29th) the Brigade made another attempt to attack: but the enemy's gun-fire was so overwhelming that the Rangers and the H.L.I, could not advance from their trenches. The Worcestershire and the Oxfordshire Light Infantry remained all day in reserve. While those abortive attacks had been in progress north of Polygon Wood, the enemy had been massing fresh forces further south, in the neighbourhood of the Menin Road. There the German artillery fire was steadily increasing in intensity. The battalions holding the British front line at that point had been enduring for ten days an ordeal of unexampled severity. They had suffered heavy losses, and the survivors were in no condition to withstand a fresh attack. To meet the threatened thrust along the Menin Road, it was necessary to make new dispositions. It was urgently necessary to provide a reserve, in case the overstrained front line should give way ; and in the afternoon of October 29th the 5th Brigade was temporarily broken up. The two battalions already in the front line (the H.L.I, and Gonnaught Rangers) were placed under the orders of the 6th Brigade commander, who was instructed to maintain his position at all costs. The other two battalions of the 5th Brigade were brought back into Divisional Reserve west of the Polygon Wood.

Next day (October 30th) the Oxfordshire Light Infantry were sent down to reinforce the line further south, and the 2nd Worcestershire were left alone in reserve at the west corner of Polygon Wood. All that day the Battalion lay inactive (A few shells struck near the Battalion during the day and two men were wounded), listening to the thunder of gun-fire beyond the wood,
thunder which continued unabated until darkness fell.
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Re: pte alfred albert baskett 12000

Postby John Crowther » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:34 pm

Many thanks for the information requested. Was Polygon Wood in a specific battle area? I understand the Battle of Flanders commenced just after his death on the 29th October.
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