Searching for Details of William Edward Trimmer. 2nd Battalion the Rifle Brigade

Discussion in 'Looking for someone' started by John Weatherall, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. John Weatherall

    John Weatherall New Member

    looking for help please. My great uncle William Edward Trimmer who was in the 2nd Battalion the Rifle Brigade (i am his great nephew) died of wounds on 6th February 1915 and is buried in the Wimereux communial cemetery in France. I am going to visit him soon, i believe i am the only person to do so in my family. I am assuming that he was in the military hospital near to the cemetery. I would love to find out any details about his military service or what happened to him. Many thnks in advance
  2. Kbak

    Kbak Member

    Hi John,

    The 2nd Battalion landed at Le Havre on the 6th Nov 1914, they were apart of the 25th brigade in the 8th division.

    They joined one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front the Battle of Loos which was between 25 September 1914 - 18 October 1915

    And this link gives you the winter operations that finish on the 6 Feb 1915

    This may interest you, its an extract from The British Campaign in France and FlandersVol. II: 1915 by Arthur Conan Doyle

    On February 6 he again made a
    dashing attack with a party of the 3rd Coldstream and Irish, in which the Germans
    were driven out of the Brickfield position. The sappers under Major Fowkes
    rapidly made good the ground that the infantry had won, and it remained
    permanently with the British.
    Another long lull followed this outburst of activity in the region of the La Bassée
    Canal, and the troops sank back once more into their muddy ditches, where, under
    the constant menace of the sniper, the bomb and the shell, they passed the weary
    weeks with a patience which was as remarkable as their valour. The British Army
    was still gradually relieving the French troops, who had previously relieved them.
    Thus in the north the newly-arrived Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Divisions
    occupied several miles which had been held on the Ypres salient by General6 D'Urbal's men.
    Unfortunately, these two divisions, largely composed of men who
    had come straight from the tropics, ran into a peculiarly trying season of frost and
    rain, which for a time inflicted great hardship and loss upon them. To add to their
    trials, the trenches at the time they took them over were not only in a very bad state
    of repair, but had actually been mined by the Germans, and these mines were
    exploded shortly after the transfer, to the loss of the new occupants. The pressure
    of the enemy was incessant and severe in this part of the line, so that the losses of
    the Fifth Corps were for some weeks considerably greater than those of all the rest
    of the line put together. Two of the veteran brigades of the Second Corps, the 9th
    Fusilier Brigade (Douglas Smith) and the 13th (Wanless O'Gowan), were sent
    north to support their comrades, with the result that this sector was once again
    firmly held. Any temporary failure was in no way due to a weakness of the Fifth
    Army Corps, who were to prove their mettle in many a future fight, but came from
    the fact, no doubt unavoidable but none the less unfortunate, that these troops,
    before they had gained any experience, were placed in the very worst trenches of
    the whole British line. "The trenches (so called) scarcely existed," said one who
    went through this trying experience, "and the ruts which were honoured with the
    name were liquid. We crouched in this morass of water and mud, living, dying,
    wounded and dead together for 48 hours at a stretch." Add to this that the weather
    was bitterly cold with incessant rain, and more miserable conditions could hardly
    be imagined. In places the trenches of the enemy were not more than twenty yards
    off, and the shower of bombs was incessant.

    The British Army had now attained a size when it was no longer proper that a
    corps should be its highest unit. From this time onwards the corps were themselves
    distributed into different armies. At present, two of these armies were organised.
    The First, under General Sir Douglas Haig, comprised the First Corps, the Fourth
    Corps (Rawlinson), and the Indian Corps. The Second Army contained the Second
    Corps (Ferguson), the Third Corps (Pulteney), and the Fifth Corps (Plumer), all
    under Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien. The new formations as they came out were either
    fitted into these or formed part of a third army. Most of the brigades were
    strengthened by the addition of one, and often of two territorial battalions. Each
    army consisted roughly at this time of 120,000 men. The Second Army was in
    charge of the line to the north, and the First to the south.

    extract from The British Campaign in France and Flanders
    Vol. II: 1915 by Arthur Conan Doyle




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