Meikle Twins Durham Light Infantry

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by BobKat14, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member

    Hello Verrieres,

    As you say, there must be a misprint in the website details. It was 1 DLI at Capuzzo.

  2. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    On the night 24th. April 1941.2/Lt J.C Meikle was in Command of a fighting patrol in the Musaid area. This patrol came -under heavy fire and was lit up by enemy very lights. Six men were wounded and it was largely due to the efforts of 2/Lt. Meikle that all these men were evacuated, While the area was still lit by verey lights another man was badly wounded and 2/Lt Meikle returned under very heavy fire,and at great personal risk carried him out. This officer was last seen ot Capuzzo on the 15th of May leading a bayonet charge with his Company Commander This officer has always set a fine example of Gallantry
  3. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    That name rung a bell with me. Here are entries on Hornchurch's Role Of Honour for WW2:

    If it is all the same family they have paid a hell of a price in the two World Wars.:poppy:

    I have photos of their names on Hornchurch War Memorial if anyone is interested.


    Attached Files:

  4. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member

    I have been off-line for a while!!

    The Hornchurch Meikles are (as far as I am aware) unconnected with my family. Those concerned in WW2 were the twins Jack and Robert (both killed). Those in WW1 were Billy (survived with Military Cross), Robert (killed 1916 at Ginchy) and Jack (killed 1918 at Beaucourt serving with Royal Canadian Dragoons). Except for Jack, all served with the DLI.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    On the night 24th. April 1941.2/Lt J.C Meikle was in Command of a fighting patrol in the Musaid area. This patrol came -under heavy fire and was lit up by enemy very lights. Six men were wounded and it was largely due to the efforts of 2/Lt. Meikle that all these men were evacuated, While the area was still lit by verey lights another man was badly wounded and 2/Lt Meikle returned under very heavy fire,and at great personal risk carried him out. This officer was last seen ot Capuzzo on the 15th of May leading a bayonet charge with his Company Commander This officer has always set a fine example of Gallantry

    It always seems so tragic (setting the loss to the family aside) to me that a man could be recommended a medal for bravery but receive a MiD instead due to him paying the ultimate sacrifice in that action. One of the reason why I always call a MiD a 'Soldier's Award' and the citation above is a good example and reminder why MiD's should never be thought of any less than a bravery medal.

    Kindest regards
  6. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member


    Thanks for your thoughts. As you say, this is a good example (countersigned by Wavell amongst others) of exactly what you mention.

    It may be of interest to note that a short while ago I went on a tour of the Western Front where we visited the grave of Robert Meikle (at Lesboeufs) and the Vimy Memorial where Jack Meikle is commemorated (photos attached). They are not forgotten.

    Jack and Robert, killed in WW1, are the namesakes of their nephews, the twins killed in WW2.

    Attached Files:

  7. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member


    Award for attempting to save the life of one of the Meikle Twins.RAMC Capt Robert Norman Lees att 1st DLI.
  8. JasperDog

    JasperDog Junior Member

    Hi, I have a relative killed in WW 1 and I'm in possession of the original handwritten 'death message' forwarded to his parents by William Ewart Meikle. Really interested in the photograph you posted and obviously his niece Mary. Do you have any contact details for her or would you pass my details to her so I can see if she has any more info on this man?

    Many thanks

    Albert Burdon
  9. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member

    Sorry for delayed response - have been off-line for a while once again.

    Can you tell me more? Was Billy Meikle your relative's commanding officer? When did he die, and where was he serving at the time? I would be fascinated to see a copy of the message - would you be able you post a copy?

    I probably know as much about Billy Meikle as his niece Mary having researched the family history and visited the Western Front last year and seen where he fought. I have his military records. Tell me what you would like to know and I can try to help.

  10. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member

    I had thought this thread had run its course having started over two years ago, and as a consequence I log in less frequently than at one time. My thanks to Verrieres for posting the record of the help given by Captain Lees to Robert Meikle - we have already exchanged a few private messages behind the scenes!

    It is unfortunate that I have not responded to JasperDog's posting in November until last week. If one of our kind administrators sees this, could I say that, as a new member, JasperDog may be feeling a little disillusioned by the absence of a reply, and he appears not to have seen my response or a private message sent to him. I can only assume he has not logged in for some while.

    I am aware that the Ancestry message boards at one time gave an e-mail alert to any new messages posted on their website. Is it possible that a message could be sent to JasperDog's contact address by one of the administrators to alert him to the fact that I may be able to help and that there is a message waiting for him? I should be very grateful if this could be done as I feel there may be much useful information to exchange.
  11. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Having looked at Jasperdog's profile you have sent him a Visitors message which does not triger a notification email. If you send him a Private Message he will receive a notification

  12. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member

    Many thanks. I have sent a private message. Let's hope that does the trick.
  13. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member

    I am pleased to say that JasperDog has returned to the forum after a dose of flu and an overseas trip and we have exchanged private messages.

    For the benefit of Verrieres and others who may be interested, I will quote from a visitor's message received from JasperDog.

    "My husband's great uncle Pte Charles Burdon 14817 was killed in WW1 (30 March 1918) and we are in possession of the original letter sent to his parents signed W E Meikle (Lieut). It is such a comforting sensitive letter we wanted to know more about Meikle if we could ..... we have the letter framed together with a photograph of Charlie in uniform - it makes for very moving reading."

    Verrieres is very much a source of information on the DLI and would, I am sure, be interested in a copy of a photograph if you are able to master the intricacies of attaching a copy to your reply and posting it on the thread.

    Are you also able to post a copy of the letter with your reply? If this is too difficult, I would be very interested if you could transcribe what was said and include this in your response. Does it give any indication of the action in which your great-uncle was killed? Do you know where he was serving at the time and with what battalion? I will check with "Faithful - The Story of the Durham Light Infantry", but it seems that he may have been on the Somme? Verrieres may have something to add.

    Billy Meikle was my great-uncle. You have some details about him from the earlier exchanges on this thread - you will have seen that he was wounded in 1916, but later returned to the fray. I have been unable to trace the timing of his return to France from the War Diaries, and so you have added to my knowledge - thank you. After the War, and possibly for a few years before, he was a solicitor and partner in the legal firm of Reed, Ryder and Meikle of North Shields, which I believe still exists today.

    He had two sons, Alan and Dick, who both served in WW2 (there is a thread on Dick [Richard Ewart] Meikle in this forum. Both survived the War, but died without issue. His nephews, the twins, having both been killed in WW2, there are, sadly, no more Meikles.

    If you have any specific questions, please let me know and I will try to respond.
  14. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member


    I have now checked further and see from the CWGC records that Private C Burdon is buried at Gommecourt British Cemetery No.2, Hebuterne (Sp.Mem.B.5.) and that he was serving with the 1/9th DLI.

    "Faithful" says that the pioneer battalions at this time fought as ordinary infantry. The 1/9th, with 62nd Division, on the Third Army front distinguished itself in the defence of Bucquoy from 26th to 31st March 1918. I assume from the fact that Billy Meikle wrote the letter to which you have referred that he must have been your great-uncle's commanding officer at that time.

    Have you ever visited the battlefield?

    The London Gazette shows that Lt. W.E.Meikle, M.C., was to be acting Captain whilst commanding a Company from 23 October 1918. After the war he became part of the Territorial Force Reserve, and eventually relinquished his commission on 30 September 1921, retaining his rank as Lieutenant.

    You may be aware of much of this already - if so, my apologies for repeating what you know.
  15. JasperDog

    JasperDog Junior Member


    Thankyou so much for your reply. Unfortunately both the letter and photograph are framed so I am unable to attach but I have typed out the contents of the letter for you. The letter is dated 5/4/18 and reads:

    Dear Mrs Burdon, Dear Mr Burdon,
    It is with the deepest regret I have to inform you of the death of your son Pte C Burdon No. 14817, who was killed in action on the 30th March last.
    We were sent up to the line to keep back the enemy and your son was killed instantaneously by an enemy shell. He had been on the front line about four days before this happened. His comrades inform me that as everything took place so quickly he would feel no pain whatsoever. He was buried in the evening on the battlefield near to Battalion Headquarters,
    It may be some little consolation to you to know that our men were successful in holding the enemy back in spite of our casualties and that he did not gain an inch of ground in our part of the line. It was sadly through the gallant efforts of such lads as your son we were able to prevent our line from being pierced. In the midst of your sorrow you will always remember he gave his life for his country and for his dear friends at home.
    No words of mine can compensate you for your sad loss and I really know how you will feel about it.
    No 12 Platoon suffered very much and their Platoon Commander, Lieut Fisher, was wounded. I am at present in charge of the Platoon and I thought I should write to you with the information I have obtained from his comrades.
    My Company Commander, Capt. Jamieson - who was in charge of the Company during the action - joins with me in tendering you our deepest sympathy in your sad bereavement.
    Yours very sincerely,
    W.E. Meikle, Lieut.

    I know that Charlie was a lot older than his comrades - he was 32 (ish) whilst most of the others were young lads in late teens/early twenties. I'll find out a bit more about him from my father in law........

    thanks again,

  16. JasperDog

    JasperDog Junior Member


    My husband and his Dad have visited Charlie's grave @ Gommecourt but not the battlefield. I'm happy for any info whatsoever......

  17. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    In the actions at Bucquoy during the period 25/31 March 1918 Pte Thomas Young 1/9th DLI won the battalions 2nd VC of the war.

  18. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member


    I have found the following extract from the New York Times of 9 April 1918 which describes the battle at Bucquoy which I hope you will find of interest.

    Attached Files:

  19. BobKat14

    BobKat14 Member


    Many thanks for the transcript of Billy Meikle's letter to your family. When taken together with the extract of the article from the New York Times which I have just posted (you will need to click on it twice to magnify), I now know a lot more about Billy's activities following his return to France. I am most grateful for your contact.

    Verrieres tells me that surviving handwritten letters from WW1 are quite scarce. I am sure the family will always treasure the one you have.
  20. JasperDog

    JasperDog Junior Member


    Thanks again - I'm glad I've been able to help. We've a number of 'Charlie' items - his dog tags, service book, the scroll & medal re his death, postcards home and then ofcourse the photos and letter. And you're right, they are treasured.

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