About this memory
4. Searching the web and contacting the regimental museums no answers were found about the incident where John had died. However after several months a contact on the web said he was visiting the National Records at Kew and would see what he could uncover. To my delight he found the war diary of the 97th Coy. Royal Engineers and had it copied to CD. An entry on that fateful day – 26 June 1916 – stated:-
“Shell (13 mm) burst in billet. Killed 11. Died of wounds 3. Others wounded 6 O.R.”
At least now I had part of the answer. There is no mention of burial or other information relating to this incident. For years I wondered if the shell was one the company were working on to be used in the bombardment prior to the Somme offensive, or whether it was a German shell that killed these men. For several years I have pondered over this and tried to find the answer.
Ville sur Ancre, France, Leith