The dwindling men of the ‘Original Deployment’ of the 2/6th Battalion during 1917-18

The 178th Brigade of the 59th Division landed at Boulogne at the end of February 1917. This closely coincided with the Territorial Force renumbering that occurred in March 1917 and before the 2/6th Battn (59th Division) was engaged in any major operations on the Western Front.

By the time the 59th Division were engaged during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line at the end of April 1917, all the men that were serving with the 2/6th Battn at that time had been renumbered with a 6-digit (24****) service number.

We can identify these men as the ‘Original 1917 Deployment’ of the 2/6th Battalion.

Therefore, by studying the service numbers of the 2/6th Battn men who were killed in action during the 11 months between April 1917 and April 1918 it is possible to see how the composition of the ‘Original 1917 Deployment’ was slowly diluted due to the ever increasing numbers of casualties (killed, wounded and missing) and subsequent reinforcements.


My first thoughts…….to be revised……

By mid-April 1918, and at the time of the last action of the 2/6th Battn (before being reduced to Cadre in May 1918), less that 1 in 5 men still serving were from the Original 1917 Deployment.

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