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Thread: Battle details for 20/05/1916 Pvt. Cornelius McCluskey

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    Battle details for 20/05/1916 Pvt. Cornelius McCluskey

    My grand uncle, Cornelius McCluskey died 20/05/1916 and is buried near Lens. I have always been told he died at the Somme but have since found out that battle didn't officially commence until July 1st.
    Pvt. McCluskey S/2812 was in the 9th. battalion and so far, my research shows that he was most likely involved in the Spring battles but I'm not sure where.

    Any information regarding my uncle and details of his service would be most appreciated.

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    Hi Drew and welcome to the BW Forums,

    Details around the 20th May 1916 are sketchy and perhaps presumptions have to be made.

    The Scottish National War Memorial have him listed as Neil and also that there were three casualties from the 9th Battalion on 20 May 1916. They may also have more information on him.

    Instead of me babbling on it might be better to read what was written about the 9th around that time.

    9th Bn May 1916.jpg


    9th Battalion Black Watch - List of Actions and Operations

    1915. Landed in France. 9th July.
    Trench warfare. Maroc, Quality Street. July-September.

    BATTLE OF LOOS. Capture of Loos Village and Hill 70. 25th September.
    Trench warfare. Loos Salient. October-December.

    1916. Trench Warfare. Loos Salient, Albert, Contalmaison. January-August.

    BATTLE OF DELVILLE WOOD. (Switch Elbow.) 17th August.

    BATTLE OF FLERS-COURCELETTE. (Capture of Martin-puich.) 15th-17th September.
    Trench Warfare. Le Sars Sector. September-December.

    1917. Trench warfare. Le Sars Sector, Arras. January-April.

    FIRST BATTLE OF THE SCARPE (1917). (Capture of Monchy.) 9th April.

    SECOND BATTLE OF THE SCARPE (1917). (Capture of Guémappe.) 23rd April.
    Trench warfare. Ypres Area. June-July.

    BATTLE OF PILCKEM RIDGE. (Frezenburg.) 31st July-3rd August.

    BATTLE OF THE MENIN ROAD. (Gallipoli Farm.) 23rd-25th August.

    Trench warfare. Arras Area. September-December.

    1918. Trench warfare. Monchy le Preux Sector. January-March.

    FIRST BATTLE OF ARRAS (1918.) (Pelves.) 28th March.
    Trench warfare. Arras Area. April-May.
    Battalion absorbed by 4/5th Battalion at Fampoux. May 15th.

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    Thanks

    Hi Chalky, Thank you for the information. Cornelius is a name that carries on in my family and is often shortened to either Neil or Con.
    I am an amateur genealogist and when looking into Cornelius, there is a gap between the 1901 census that shows him as a boy with his family in Bannockburn but absolutely nothing about him n the 1911 census or any marriage records etc. that I can find. I am hoping to maybe find out about his enlistment. It is my understanding that where he enlisted may would be on file somewhere. I live fairly close to the National Archives in Kew and hopefully there may be something but any help you can give me, pointing me in the right direction would be most appreciated.
    Cheers Drew

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    Drew,

    Going on his S/ service number S/2812, he will have enlisted in the first few weeks after war was declared during August.

    "Soldiers Died in the Great War" gives his place of enlistment as Lochgelly in Fife.
    So he may have been working as a coal miner in those parts?

    You're also in luck. His paybook Will survives and can be viewed (for a fee) on the Scotland People website.

    The detail in these vary, but may well tell you which company or section he was in when he wrote and dated his will.
    They usually go along the lines of "in the event of my death i leave all my property and effects to my wife/mother", sometimes with names and address of said person.

    Cheers,
    Derek.
    Last edited by Deeko; 10th November 2018 at 01:29.

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    Hi Derek, thank you for the info. I have tried the SP site but his will never came up for me. Not sure what I might be doing wrong. I use SP all the time. I am pursuing the Lochgelly tip as well.
    Cheers Drew

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    Drew,

    That's odd you're not finding it?

    Go onto the site:
    Advanced People Search >
    Legal Records >
    Soldiers' and Airmens' Wills >

    Only put "S/2812" in the "service number" box, hit enter and it should come up.

    Hope this helps iron out whatever the problem may be.

    Cheers,
    Derek.

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    Hi Derek,
    Many thanks. It worked. The spelling of McCluskey is incorrect but still, I entered in all the info with "variants" etc. and nothing came up. Either way. I'm in business. Thanks again.
    Drew

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    Drew,

    Glad it worked.

    Oddly the spelling of McCluskey was noted as confirmed as McClusky in the BVWM roll.

    Cheers,
    Derek.

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    Hi Derek,
    That name variant has cropped up now and again in my family research. He was born McCluskey according to his birth cert as were his siblings, parents etc. I have seen McCloskey etc. as well. The will wasn't too revealing except he left everything to his youngest sister, Martha. It did have his signature which is cool. My late father was a WW2 Veteran. He was in the RAF as a gunner for a special duties squadron doing ops out of Italy and Libya from late '43 to June '44. Cornelius was his uncle. It's been strange this Remembrance but knowing more about Neil has made it special. Thanks again for your help.
    BTW what does BVWM stand for?

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    Drew,

    It's pretty common for men to ave had they're name recorded in a different way by the military, but in this case it's been confirmed by someone as the correct version. Not that it wold have mattered to Cornelius I suppose.

    BVWM = British Victory & War Medal.

    This is his entries in the 1915 star medal roll and BVWM rolls respectively.

    neil.jpg
    mcclusky.jpg

    The medal rolls are a good source of basic info with the lack of surviving service records.

    His service number with the 3/ prefix shows he was a special reservist. Sort of like a territorial with annual training obligations. Often these could be men who had served in the regulars previously, but not necessarily.
    It was different from being a regular reservist, that all men would be liable for after their time in the army for a varying number of years.

    Cheers,
    Derek.
    Last edited by Deeko; 13th November 2018 at 16:44.

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