War Grave Belgium: Joseph FAIL, 2 LINCOLNSHIRE, DENDERWINDEKE COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by hza, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. hza

    hza Member

    Hello

    Me and a collegue of the fire department of Ninove in Belgium, are looking for a match for a war grave here in our town.

    We have found some info about the soldier, it leads us to Sunderland-Durham.(UK)

    Have you got some tips for us to help find the story about the war grave.

    Name:FAIL, JOSEPH
    Initials:J
    Nationality:United Kingdom
    Rank:Private
    Regiment/Service:Lincolnshire Regiment
    Unit Text:2nd Bn.
    Age:30
    Date of Death:17/05/1940
    Service No:4446116
    Additional information:Son of Elizebeth Fail, and stepson of Joseph Potts; grandson of Annie Fail, of Sunderland, Co. Durham.
    Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference:Grave1.
    Cemetery: DENDERWINDEKE COMMUNAL CEMETERY

    Every tip is more than welcome!

    Kind regards

    Peter Deneve - Ninove - Belgium
     
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hello and welcome Peter
    I tidied up the cwgc record a little to make it easier to read.

    Hopefully someone will be able to help you with your research.

    Regards,
    Diane
     
  3. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Welcome Peter
    What I suggest is that you contact THE SUNDERLAND ECHO at WWW.sunderlandecho.com and ask them to place a request in the paper asking if any relatives of the soldier are still in the area and can contact you.
    I would also send Drew a PM he is resident expert on 1940 at present and has a large amount of material that may hold some clues.
     
  4. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    I've got the war diary of 2 Lincolns and details about Joseph Fail.

    Will be back shortly.

    Rob
     
  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Ah, Ninove. The home of Witkap ! Good yeast in that part of the world.

    I can't find any specific mentions of 2nd Lincolns on 17th May but as part of 3rd Division, they would have been involved in holding the Dender during the retreat.

    On 17th May, 3rd Division are reported as resting in the 'Forest of Soignies' (Zoniënwoud). Transport awaited them on the western outskirts of Brussels to take them to the River Dender. They don't seem to have engaged the German forces until 19th May.

    I wonder therefore if he was a casualty from air attack on the 17th or possibly accidental causes.

    It would probably be necessary to consult the war diary to find out more.

    Rich
     
  6. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Here is the page that reveals all. Joseph Fail received a shrapnel wound to the leg on the 16th May 1940. Serious enough for him to have died of this on the following day.

    DSCF6649 (Large).JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
    Paul Reed and Owen like this.
  7. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    The pages are hand written and need to be deciphered. They were in the area of Louvain and they were being shelled at the time.

    Will read later and transcribe. There is also a map reference which I will look at after I finish posting the pages.

    DSCF6670 (Large).JPG

    1ST PAGE

    LOUVAIN

    16 MAY 1940

    01-20
    BRIGADE REPORT THAT OWN ? AIRCRAFT FIRED ON BY A.A WARN ALL COYS.
    03-20
    A COY REPORT CENTRE PLATOON ENGAGED BY ? BEHIND ? 855556.
    06-30
    B COY REPORT ENEMY USING SIMILAR TYPE OF PLANE TO LYSANDER FOR RECCE PURPOSES. IMPOSSIBLE TO STATE EXACT NUMBER OF ENEMY ON RIDGE 864556, BUT 12 PL REPORT THAT AT LEAST 20 MEN SEEN.
    06-44
    A COY REPORT CENTRE PL FIRED ON BY MORTAR, ENEMY USING SUB MACHINE GUNS.
    10-42
    BRIGADE REPORT “UNITS WARNED THAT ALL TRENCH FIGHTING MACHINE ? CONTAIN ? IN ? POLISH AIRCRAFT - IDENTIFICATION WAS IN LARGE SQUARE DIVIDED IN QUARTER COLOURED RED AND WHITE ALTERNATIVELY.
    11-06
    BRIGADE REPORTS “ ENEMY SHELLING ABOUT 0930 HRS. 828572 WAS TWO ROUNDS H.E FOLLOWED BY ONE ROUND GUN ? GAS SHELL BELIEVED PHOSGENE.
    15-15
    C COY REPORT ENEMY SHELLING AT ABOUT 845567.
    SITUATION REPORT 1. NIL. 2. A COYS LEFT PLATOON ENGAGED WITH ENEMY SINCE 23-30 HRS BY L.MG. LITTLE ARTY ACTIVITY DURING NIGHT. ENEMY OP STILL IN HOUSE AT 867558.

    DSCF6671 (Large).JPG

    2ND PAGE

    LOUVAIN

    16 MAY 1940

    SITUATION REPORT CON’T. ENEMY USED TRIPLE VERY LIGHT DURING NIGHT OPPOSITE A COY POSITIONS.
    B COY POSITION.
    4. NIL. 5. NIL. 6. NIL. 7. NIL. 8 AS BEFORE. 9. MILD NIGHT. 10. FAIRLY QUIET NIGHT.
    17-50
    RECEIVED MESSAGE FROM YUKO: ORDER TO WITHDRAW SAME NIGHT THROUGH BRUSSESL TO VILLAGE OF WELLE.
    18-30
    COY CMDRS CONFERENCE.
    21-00
    COYS START WITHDRAWAL.
    22-30
    ALL COYS OUT SAFELY - PACKS - BLANKETS - AND STORES LEFT BEHIND AND BURNED.
    22-45
    SIX GERMAN MOTOR CYCLISTS SEEN, CHASE GIVEN BY CARRIERS, CYCLISTS GOT AWAY THROUGH WOODS.
    23-00
    BRIDGE BLOWN BY ORDER OF CAPT P ROLE. COMPLETE SUCCESS.
    23-10
    ROAD BLOCK BLOWN. CARRIERS EN ROUTE FOR BRUSSELS IN REAR OF BN.

    BRUSSELS.

    17 MAY 1940

    07-45
    ARRIVED BRUSSELS - NO CASUALTIES ON THE WAY.
    09-00
    EMBARKED ON CARRIERS AND AWAITED ORDERS TO MOVE TO WELLE.
    12-00
    AFTER FOOD BROUGHT UP - MEN IN GOOD CONDITION AFTER GRUELLING MARCH.
    13-30
    LEFT FOR WELLE.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
    dbf likes this.
  8. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Rich Payne likes this.
  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Nice scans Rob. I think that the place name referred to in conjunction with the withdrawal is Welle which lies between Ninove and Aalst. The firemen will know it better.

    16/5/40
    09.00 Embussed on Troop carriers and awaited orders to move to Welle
    12.00 Hot food brought up. Men in good condition after gruelling march.
    13.30 Left for Welle.

    It would seem that Joseph Fail died en-route.

    Any chance of seeing the next page ?
     
  10. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Hi Rich

    Your wish is my command.:lol:

    DSCF6672 (Large).JPG

    PAGE 3

    WELLE

    17 MAY 1940

    15-55
    AS SOON AS DEFENSIVE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED, TROOPS MAY GO INTO BILLETS IN COY AREAS. COY CMDERS WILL MAKE AN EFFORT TO PRODUCE BLANKETS FROM CIVILIAN SOURCES. ALL PERSONNEL IN BILLETS AND ASLEPP BY 20-30 HRS. AS THIS VILLAGE HAS BEEN BOMBED LATELY, ALL CARRIERS WILL REMAIN UNDER COVER IN THE “AIR ALARM” SOUNDING.
    17-00
    COYS REPORTED LOCATION OF HQ.
    18 MAY 1940
    07-30
    ORDER TO MOVE TO DENDERHOUTEM. ZERO HR 11-00. DIRECT ROUTE.
    11-00
    ZERO HOUR.

    DENDERHOUTEM

    12-30
    BN ARRIVED SAFELY IN DENDERHOUTEM. BILLETS ARRANGED.
    15-30
    ORDERS RECEIVED TO MOVE TO NEW POSITION ABOUT CHATEAU AT ?
    MARCH TO BORSBEKE THERE EMBUSS FOR DESTINATION.
    16-30
    COY CMDRS CONFERENCE.
    17-00
    ORDER TO MOVE CANCELLED FOR 24 HRS.
    17-20
    ALL COYS INFORMED AND DEFENSIVE POSITIONS TAKEN UP.
    17-30
    SOUINDS OF FIRING IN DISTANCE. REPORT C COY WHO WERE LEFT IN THEIR FORMER POSITION IN WELLE ARE IN ACTION OF R.U.R’S.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Thanks Rob. No mention of the route taken but via Ninove seems likely. Interesting bit about producing blankets from civilian sources. Isn't there a name for that ?

    On the 18th, they marched the short distance to Denderhoutem but "report C company who were left in the former positions in Welle are in action. C.Coy under command of R.U.R.s " (This would be the 2nd battalion Royal Ulster Rifles who were also 9th Brigade).
     
  12. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Joseph Fail originally joined the Durham Light Infantry between 12th April 1927 and 21st June 1928 aged 18 .Good advice from Oldman the link to the site he provided enables you to E-Mail your request.I will be at the DRO in July and will check the enlistment books to see if they supply any more information.Ever thought of trying the Sunderland area phone book?...theres only one Fail family listed in Cleadon nr Sunderland

    Verrieres
     
  13. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Joseph Fail originally joined the Durham Light Infantry between 12th April 1927 and 21st June 1928 aged 18 .Good advice from Oldman the link to the site he provided enables you to E-Mail your request.I will be at the DRO in July and will check the enlistment books to see if they supply any more information.

    Verrieres

    Hi Jim

    I was wondering about the service number on the casualty sheet, as it was not a Lincoln serial number. Nice one for providing the answer. The info on the relatives being in Sunderland, Co Durham also makes sense.

    Cheers - Rob
     
  14. hza

    hza Member

    Welcome Peter
    What I suggest is that you contact THE SUNDERLAND ECHO at WWW.sunderlandecho.com and ask them to place a request in the paper asking if any relatives of the soldier are still in the area and can contact you.
    I would also send Drew a PM he is resident expert on 1940 at present and has a large amount of material that may hold some clues.

    Thanks for the tip, information is send to them.
    Regards,

    Peter
     
  15. hza

    hza Member

    Nice scans Rob. I think that the place name referred to in conjunction with the withdrawal is Welle which lies between Ninove and Aalst. The firemen will know it better.

    16/5/40
    09.00 Embussed on Troop carriers and awaited orders to move to Welle
    12.00 Hot food brought up. Men in good condition after gruelling march.
    13.30 Left for Welle.

    It would seem that Joseph Fail died en-route.

    Any chance of seeing the next page ?

    So the withdrawel was from Louvain (Brussels) to Welle on the 16th?
    That means that they have left Brussels trough Halle, than Ninove to Welle. If they have token that route they have passed Denderwindeke where the war grave is.
    In the page that Robert has posted, it gives a wounded Joseph the 16th with a schrapnel wound left tigh. Is such a wound possible during move in a car/ truck? Or would they be engaged earlyier and died enroute, and he will be left when they passed Denderwindeke?
     
  16. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Have typed up written pages of the war diaries as best understood and added to previously posted pages.
     
  17. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    So the withdrawel was from Louvain (Brussels) to Welle on the 16th?
    That means that they have left Brussels trough Halle, than Ninove to Welle. If they have token that route they have passed Denderwindeke where the war grave is.
    In the page that Robert has posted, it gives a wounded Joseph the 16th with a schrapnel wound left tigh. Is such a wound possible during move in a car/ truck? Or would they be engaged earlyier and died enroute, and he will be left when they passed Denderwindeke?

    The date given for Joseph implies the 16th was the date he was actually wounded. The war diaries don't go into any detail about moving any casualties or leaving or burying them.
     
  18. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Here is the page that reveals all. Joseph Fail received a shrapnel wound to the leg on the 16th May 1940. Serious enough for him to have died of this on the following day.

    DSCF6649 (Large).JPG

    Of the other wounded casualties in this report, 2 died in France and are commemorated as follows:-

    Name: SIMPSON, EDWARD HENRY
    Rank: Lance Corporal
    Regiment/Service: Lincolnshire Regiment
    Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
    Age: 35
    Date of Death: 19/05/1940
    Service No: 4796895
    Grave/Memorial Reference: 46. A. 4.
    Cemetery: ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY

    Fractured leg on 16/5/40

    Name: FOXON, FREDERICK ARTHUR
    Rank: Lance Corporal
    Regiment/Service: Lincolnshire Regiment
    Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
    Age: 20
    Date of Death: 17/05/1940
    Service No: 4802588
    Additional information: Son of Percy Foxon, and of Lilian M. Foxon, of Willingham, Lincolnshire.
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Column 45.
    Memorial: DUNKIRK MEMORIAL

    Shrapnel left chest

    William Amos Hudson makes it back to the UK, joins the 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regt and dies in Italy.

    Name: HUDSON, WILLIAM AMOS
    Rank: Private
    Regiment/Service: Lincolnshire Regiment
    Unit Text: 6th Bn.
    Age: 28
    Date of Death: between 11/09/1943 and 12/09/1943
    Service No: 4800244
    Additional information: Son of William and Ruth Hudson, of Kidsgrove, Staffordshire.
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Coll. grave V. E. 3-6.
    Cemetery: SALERNO WAR CEMETERY
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  19. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    So the withdrawel was from Louvain (Brussels) to Welle on the 16th?
    That means that they have left Brussels trough Halle, than Ninove to Welle. If they have token that route they have passed Denderwindeke where the war grave is.
    In the page that Robert has posted, it gives a wounded Joseph the 16th with a schrapnel wound left tigh. Is such a wound possible during move in a car/ truck? Or would they be engaged earlyier and died enroute, and he will be left when they passed Denderwindeke?

    I made a mistake in my transcription from the diaries as the date of the move from Brussels to Welle was the day of his death, the 17th May. . It seems clear that he was wounded at Leuven on the 16th and died on the way back.

    The diary clearly states shrapnel and as there are references to heavy shellfire in Leuven on the 16th, it would seem likely that his injuries arose there and he was buried at the first available time. If he was given a 'field burial' then there may be some reference in the town archives of the re-burial. That his death was not recorded in the battalion diary might suggest that he was not with the battalion at the time of his death. Perhaps one of 3 Div's Field Ambulance diaries may give a clue ?

    That there is only one British grave in the cemetery suggests that this was not the site of a casualty clearing station but simply a single death during the retreat. Most of these single or small clusters were re-buried post-war in cemeteries such as Heverlee or at Leopoldsburg. That this one remains suggests that it was being well looked after by the local community and probably that it had been 'adopted' there and acquired a local significance.
     
  20. hza

    hza Member

    Perhaps one of 3 Div's Field Ambulance diaries may give a clue ?

    Anyone an idea where I can find some info about the field ambulance unit of 3 Div's?

    It's weekend now, time for a good 'Witkap' beer - cheers!
     

Share This Page