1899 Walter Edwin Vincent Manns - WW1 Service research. (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Saturday, April 27, 2019, 15:40 (405 days ago) @ Ladies

Hi again Ladies,
sorry for not following up this post much sooner. I've just found my results of a little research I did when we were last discussing your ancestor, but then never added to this thread. I hope it's still of interest and not too late. Indeed by now you may have followed MPG's advice and already found some of this information.

As we agreed it does seem that Walter was known as William during his WW1 service, at least on the official records.

I see that Ancestry are still allowing free access to some of their WW1 records without a subscription, I know not why. These Medal Roll Index Cards are one of the key items when researching WW1 British Army soldiers, hopefully this link will work for you too and you can see and download the relevant image.

It gives the key details of his service, altho I'm surprised it has no mention of his death, usually the card would say "K.I.A" - Killed in action - or similar.
Perhaps this is a hint the Army were themselves confused with his name ??

The card states;

Name: William E V Manns
Rank: Pte
Regiment or Corps: Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire) Regiment
Regimental Number: 38564

see image etc here, as always it's best to open these links in a new tab or window.

Another excellent website to search is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.
The entry for Walter/William confirms his all-important Army Service Number, and the date he died;

Service Number 38564
Died 11/06/1918
2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment


If we track down the above webpage we see he is commemorated at Soissons, on the River Aisne in north-eastern France. Full details and images here https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/79400/soissons-memorial/

This one cemetery alone contains over 3900 graves. Looking at all the CWGC site's burial records for the Soissons cemetery we'll see the vast majority died in a few weeks during late May and June 1918, which suggests a major battle at that time. Here's the list of the graves sorted in order of date of death.

If we now sort these same death records in order of unit, here's the first page for the Royal Berkshires. As you can see they suffered dozens of fatalities, so presumably scores more injuries too. Of note is the 27th May, and then the 11th June, the same day as Private Mann was killed. These dates are echoed throughout the cemetery's other records.

This website lists 385 men who died that same day as Pte Manns, including 37 commemorated at the same Soissons cemetery, almost all from his regiment.

All the above evidence suggests Pte Manns died during the Third Battle of the Aisne.


The following websites give a good insight into the Berkshire Regiment's war, especially during that spring of 1918.

The 2nd Bn Royal Berkshire was in the 25th Infantry Brigade of the 8th Division, see

The graphic diary entries in the next three sites tell us how the lives of the Berkshires and their neighbouring units were turned upside-down on the 27th May 1918.

They were already understrength and exhausted from fighting earlier that year, yet once again they found themselves in a brutal battle against overwhelming odds... They were meant to be resting in a "quiet" section of the line, but the enemy had other ideas. It was a deliberate tactic of both sides to try and find a "weak" section of the line to attack and hopefully breakthrough into open ground, thus perhaps winning the war. By now the German Army and nation were literaly on their last legs and badly needed to strike a decisive blow to maybe win the war, or at least force favourable armistice talks, before the huge American army arrived in force, which they knew they could not defeat.




Once again apologies for my late posting of these findings.

Rest In Peace Pte Manns and all who fought for our peace.


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