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Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum (Page 41)

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Posted by: Andy Martin {Email left}
Location: Lancashire
Date: Saturday 3rd January 2015 at 9:39 AM
Hi Alan
You helped last year with some fantastic research into some WW1 relatives and we are so grateful!
Do you yourself or do you know anyone who can help to translate a relative from WW2`s service records?
Have them all scanned and saved together with photographs on a site for viewing and downloading etc?
Parents ordered full records from the MOD and the WW1 records were actually easier to read?
Thanks again Alan
Happy new Year!
All the best
Andy and Family
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 3rd January 2015 at 4:41 PM

Dear Andy,
I do not research the Second World War on this forum, so I can only look over the records you have published on Flickr. The Hundred Year Rule prevents publication of personal details unless the person was born more than 100 years ago. Norman Sidney was born on 21st December 1910, so the Hundred Year Rule can be dispensed with. The records show Norman Sidney was called-up to the Army Service Corps No 2 Primary Training Centre on 17th December 1942 at Bradford. On 27th January 1943 he was transferred to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps where he trained as a driver at Catterick Camp, Sutton in Ashfield, Glasgow, Handford and Lancaster. He joined 14 Vehicle Company RAOC on 20.6.43. The Company went to North Africa in October 1943. On 21.4.44 the Company was redesignated as 38 Vehicle Company which served in Italy. On 1.9.44 Norman was taken on the strength (TOS) of No. 581 Lines of Communication Stores Convoy Unit, R.A.O.C. in the Central Mediterranean Force. He forfeited pay for missing some parades. He was appointed a paid acting Lance-corporal on 10 January 1945. On 5.8.45 he was taken on the strength of "Y" BOD (Base Ordnance Depot). He then joined 521 BOD. There appears to be some medical information after that entry. He Returned to Unit (i.e. 521 BOD) on 15.1.46. On 20.2.46 he was Struck off Strength (SOS) of CMF (Central Mediterranean Force) and transferred to Middle East, sailing from Taranto in Italy to arrive at Port Said, Egypt, on 23.2.46. The next day he was at a RAOC Base Depot and he joined No 1 Base Laundry on 2.3.46. He had reverted to private soldier after relinquishing his appointment as Lance-corporal (because of a change of unit). He took leave in Egypt between June 10th and 16th 1946. On 20.7.46 he was struck off the strength of the Middle East Force and was X8A which meant in transit. He embarked at Alexandria for the UK on 27.7.46. He was discharged on 30th October 1946 in the UK. He qualified for the 1939-45 Star, The Italy Star and the War Medal.
War diaries for the various units serving abroad are held at The National Archives at Kew and can be inspected by personal visitors who are registered readers. See:
There are various Second World War websites that deal with the RAOC; North Africa; Italy and the Middle East. The BBC's People's War often cites individual companies.
With kind regards,

Posted by: Keith Manning {Email left}
Location: Lincoln
Date: Friday 2nd January 2015 at 9:10 PM
I am trying to find out more about my mothers brother who was killed in France 1/5/1918. He was Ernest William Day of 7th Btn. Norfolks and is buried in Acheux cemetary. He was 19 when he died, and we are trying to find out if he was killed in a particular battle, or place. Family legend has it that he died some time later after wounds were received. We think he was sent back to the UK with injuries at least once. Does anyone have any info please...this would be much appreciated as we seem to have reached as far as we can without help.
Best regards
Keith Manning
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 2nd January 2015 at 11:50 PM

Dear Keith,
William Ernest Day was born early in 1899, the son of William and Rose Ellen Day. His father was a farmer's labourer and William, when aged 12, was the eldest of eight children living with their parents at Chaldene Cottages, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire (1911 Census). On or about his eighteenth birthday William was compulsorily called-up as a teenage conscript to report to Mill Hill, Barnet, for a medical examination on 9th January 1917. He was 5ft 4 ¼ ins tall, aged 18, a gardener by occupation. The next day, on 10th January 1917, William was posted for recruit training to the 27th Training Reserve Battalion which had also been known as the 51st (Graduated) Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment and also the 249th Graduated Infantry Battalion at Dovercourt in the 6th Reserve Brigade in England. Three months later, on 30th March 1917 William was posted to the 25th Training Reserve Battalion, affiliated to the Norfolk Regiment, at Parkeston in Essex, where he remained under training. On or about 16th December 1917, he was warned he would be going abroad and would have been allowed Christmas at home. He was posted to the B.E.F. on 8th January 1918. He arrived at Calais on 10th January 1918 and was sent to the 17th Infantry Base Depot at Rouen (also known as "L" Base Depot) to be inculcated in "the offensive spirit" before being posted up the line. He was transferred to the 7th Battalion The Norfolk Regiment on either 14.1.1918 or 13.2.1918 (the two dates on his record are ambiguous). The 14th January 1918 is the most likely, based on the average time drafts of reinforcements spent in a base depot on the French coast.
The 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment served with the 35th Infantry Brigade in the 12th (Eastern) Division. The Division fought at the First Battle of Bapaume, 24th 25th March 1918, during the German Spring Offensive called "Operation Michael" in which the British were pushed back up to 40 miles in places. The Division then spent the Spring of 1918 engaged in fighting on the old, 1916, Somme battlefields. Between April and July was spent in the area of Auchonvillers and Mailly-Maillet.
William Day was wounded on 1st May 1918 with "G.S.W. head, legs, thigh" which was a description of Gun Shot Wounds or shrapnel wounds. Gun Shot Wounds (bullet) and shrapnel wounds (round ball dispensed from an overhead shell explosion) appeared similar and the multiple wounds would indicate either machine-gun bullets or a shrapnel-shell explosion. William died from his wounds later the same day at the 37th Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. which accompanied 12th Division. The record stated "died of wounds received in action, place not stated 1.5.18. Next-of-kin, father, notified, 13/5/18." He was buried at Acheux British Cemetery which had been created two years earlier in 1916. Between April and August 1918 the German offensives brought the Allied front line within 8 kilometres of Acheux.
William qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
For the record of the 12th Division in 1918 see:
The war diary of the 7th Bn Norfolk Regiment can be downloaded from The National Archives for £3.30. See:
William's service record is available to download from the subscription websites ancestry.co.uk or findmypast.co.uk. Findmypast.co.uk has the record in two parts under "military, armed forces and conflict" and offer pay-as-you-go from your computer (ten credits required). Ancestry.co.uk is free to access at most large public libraries where they might additionally charge for printing images of each page.
William's record does not show his being sent back to the UK with wounds during his four months abroad.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 3rd January 2015 at 1:12 AM

Dear Keith,
I apologise as I have transcribed Ernest William Day as William Ernest Day and have referred to him as William which is my mistake. The records showed he was Ernest William Day.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Keith Manning
Date: Saturday 3rd January 2015 at 9:51 AM

Hi Alan
WOW! Thank you so much...this means so much to us. Ernest was a family hero and to find out all this from you is remarkable.
Over the years stories have changed so its good to know what really happened.
Best regards and thanks again
Keith Manning
Posted by: Brenda {Email left}
Location: Frimley
Date: Thursday 1st January 2015 at 11:21 PM
Hi Alan, I am trying to find my grandfather's war record, but have very little to go on. I've found a possible lead within the area he lived (J Silver -Odiham in WW1 - In the Royal Hampshire Regiment - which could be a match). Although this man was decorated with the Military Medal which I have no knowledge of. The only thing the family remember is he worked with horses. How can I confirm if this is him.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 2nd January 2015 at 3:55 PM

Dear Brenda,
The soldier J. Silver, who served in the Hampshire Regiment, was named Joseph Silver, 7377, Hampshire Regiment. No individual service record has survived for him but the 1911 census recorded he was aged 26, a saddler, born at Odiham, Hampshire, serving in the 2nd Battalion The Hampshire Regiment stationed at King's Hill, Harrismith, Orange Free State, South Africa. The 2nd Battalion served in South Africa from 1907 to 1911 and then moved to Mauritius until 1913.
A War Badge record showed Joseph had enlisted on 30.12.04 and so a first term of seven years' service would have ended in 1911 and he might have joined the Reserve.
In the First World War, Joseph Silver served with the 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment going overseas to France as a Lance-corporal on 23.8.14. He was later promoted to Corporal and was discharged medically unfit through wounds on 23.11.17. He was awarded a silver War Badge for being wounded.
The "Western Gazette" of Friday 27 August 1915 listed J. Silver 7377 Hampshire Regiment as "wounded" (© Local World Limited, courtesy of The British Library Board via British Newspaper Archive).
He qualified for the 1914 Star with Mons clasp, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The war diary of the 1st Hampshire Regiment can be downloaded from the National Archives for £3.30 per part. See:
For the engagements of the 11th Infantry Brigade in the 4th Division see:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Brenda
Date: Saturday 3rd January 2015 at 9:33 AM

Thank you for coming back to me so quickly. Unfortunately this information doesn't relate to my grandfather after all. I only have his birth, marriage and death certificates to go by. He was born 1 September 1897 in Sandhurst as James Arthur Silver. Father was Frank William George Silver and mother Sarah Jane (formerly Hall). My search lead me to the Odiham record as the family all lived within 15 mins of that area and I assumed he would have enlisted locally. However I have just found a certificate for employment of a young person for employment of an office boy at brewery dated June 1913 for him signed by his father then living in Ashford Middlesex. There was a rumour that he may not have given his real age so he could join up early.

are you able to suggest how to go about my search please.

Many thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 3rd January 2015 at 5:08 PM

Dear Brenda,
So few surviving army records provide biographical information that you need to know the regiment and regimental number of a man from family sources before starting to search. Most of the records with addresses or next-of-kin details were destroyed in the London Blitz in 1940 and the surviving records identify soldiers by their surname, regiment and number.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Brenda
Date: Saturday 3rd January 2015 at 8:12 PM

Thank you for coming back to me so quickly. I'll continue my search and hope to get back to you if I can get hold of any more information.

Kind regards


Posted by: Rachel {Email left}
Location: Chesterfield
Date: Thursday 1st January 2015 at 10:06 PM
I am hopeful for any information regarding my great grandfather William Alfred Howell. I have his medal card which gives in Reg no as 22076, shown as 2076 on the reverse of his medal. I also have wonderful photo of "54th (Res) Battery RFA Aldershot 1917".

Many thanks for anything anyone can help me with

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 2nd January 2015 at 2:56 PM

Dear Rachel,
Unfortunately, no individual service record has survived for William Howell, so it is not possible to state his military service. The medals that had the names impressed on the reverse were the "Star" medals: The 1914 Star and 1914-15 Star. The Royal Artillery Medal Rolls show a driver W. Howell, 2076, who went to France on 22 8.14, who qualified for the 1914 Star and who was discharged on 28.3.16.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Rachel
Date: Friday 2nd January 2015 at 3:39 PM

Thank you for your reply. Like many others probably feel, it's such a shame that no service record survives but the information you have given me is more than we have had before and for that I am very grateful.

Reply from: Rachel
Date: Friday 2nd January 2015 at 3:48 PM

Forgive my naivety but is there a separate record of where different regiments went? Maybe I could trace where he went from there as I know who he served with?

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 2nd January 2015 at 4:03 PM

Unfortunately there is no record of where he served overseas as the 54th Reserve Battery RFA was only in Scotland as part of 6C Reserve Brigade at Maryhill Barracks, Glasgow, and Redford Barracks, Edinburgh.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Rachel
Date: Friday 2nd January 2015 at 4:19 PM

Alan, you begin your reply with unfortunately but you do yourself a disservice! This info is fantastic and I would not have discovered it without your replies. Thank you

Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow
Date: Thursday 1st January 2015 at 11:08 AM
Hi Alan
A very happy new year from us, i recieved a message to say that Farmer has replied to my message i have looked around but cant see anything at all not even under my name of jonboy. Any ideas as to what im doing wrong ?.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 1st January 2015 at 12:54 PM

Dear Jonboy,
Happy New Year to you and Luke. If you enter Aghavea in the search box above it will take you to your original message and Farmer's reply.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Anna H {Email left}
Location: Warwickshire
Date: Sunday 28th December 2014 at 9:00 PM
Hi Alan,
I have learned a lot about the First World War from your forum already, and I wondered if you might be able to help me find out more information about my husband's grandfather, Alfred Statham.

Alfred served in the North Staffs regiment, in the 2nd/6th. His regimental number is 241035, he was a private, and his date of birth is 21.06.1897. He was born in Castle Gresley in Derbyshire. He served in Ireland at the beginning of the war and was later sent to France. I have found his ICRC record which states that he was taken prisoner at Bullecourt on 21/03/1918. If possible I would like to find out what happened to Alfred after he became a prisoner of war.

Alfred's daughter, my mother-in-law, has told me that he was taken to a German POW camp where he worked in a mine (his job at home had been a coal miner). At the end of the war he walked home to England. My mother-in-law would dearly like to know which camp Alfred was sent to, as the only details she can remember are the cabbage soup and black bread he was given to eat!

If you are able to point me in the direction of relevant POW records, I would be very grateful.

Many thanks

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 28th December 2014 at 10:48 PM

Dear Anna,
Alfred Statham's Prisoner of War record that you have seen is the only PoW record that has survived. It showed he was a Gem (Gemeine private soldier) in A Kompanie ('A' Company) 2/6th North Staffordshire Regiment captured unwounded (nicht verwundet). The main image is that of a page from a surviving Camp admission register and the name of the camp has been handwritten at the top of each page. It showed Alfred was imprisoned at Kriegsgefangenenlager Parchim (pronounced Parkim), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. The site is now an aerodrome (Flughaven Parchim). It would have taken anything up to a few weeks between his capture at Bullecourt and his arrival at the permanent prison camp at Parchim, often moving by train and passing through other camps. A useful search term for First World War prison camps in Germany is "Kriegsgefangenenlager" which means "war (kriegs) prisoners (gefangenen) camp (lager)". "Stalag" was a Second World War abbreviation of "Stammlager" which was derived from Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager (Prisoner of War permanent main camp).
Not all 1918 prisoners lived within the permanent camp compound and many who worked in Work Companies (Arbeits Kompanien or Arbeitskommando) were barracked, sometimes temporarily, outside the camp at the local mines; quarries, or wherever they worked. The main permanent Camp was the prisoner's postal and administrative address.
You can search Google and Google Images for the history of individual PoW camps in English and also in German using "Kriegsgefangenenlager Parchim", within quotation marks, to get precise results. Many websites can then be translated from the Google results page. For example, there is a slide show of 18 First World War photographs of Parchim Camp at:
The date of Alfred's capture was the first day of the enemy advance on the Somme, in France, in an operation called, in English, "Operation Michael" in which the British Army retreated forty miles in some places and was over-run, as the enemy emerged out of the dawn mist. So many British prisoners have their date of capture recorded as 21st March 1918, that Alfred would have been among his friends.
The 2nd/6th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment was a second-line Territorial Force battalion raised for wartime service and casualty replacement on 11th November 1914 at Burton, as a sister battalion to the existing pre-war 6th Battalion of Territorial soldiers of the North Staffordshire Regiment; hence the fractional title: "second sixth". The 2/6th Battalion spent the first six months of 1915 training in the Luton area and in July 1915 moved to St Albans. The battalion had provided casualty replacements during that time but in April 1916 it was sent with its own orders to police Ireland and was stationed in Dublin and at The Curragh. In January 1917 it was sent to Fovant on Salisbury Plain to get ready for war service on the Continent not as replacements but as a battalion its own right. The 2/6th Battlion was sent to France on 25th February 1917.
The war diaries of the 2nd/6th North Staffordshire Regiment can be downloaded from The National Archives. They are the two entries indexed with WO95/ at:
They cost £3.30 each. War diaries take some time to read, but in the absence of other surviving documentation they are a valuable resource, particularly because the PoW record showed Albert was in "A" Company whose company activities might be shown in the diaries, providing a greater depth of detail.
Alfred qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The 2/6th Battalion The Prince of Wales's North Staffordshire Regiment served with the 176th Infantry Brigade in the 59th Division. The Division's record is shown at:
Prisoners of War were repatriated as soon as possible after the Armistice with Germany was signed on 11th November 1918.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Anna H
Date: Sunday 28th December 2014 at 11:06 PM

Dear Alan,

Thank you very much for your quick and detailed reply. You are clearly quite an expert! I will follow up the links you have suggested and I know my mother-in-law and her sister will be so very happy to find out more about their Dad's experiences in the war.

With best wishes,

Posted by: Jill {Email left}
Location: Croydon
Date: Sunday 28th December 2014 at 5:24 PM

I am trying to find information about the war record of my great grandfather, Sgt Ernest Puplett. . He served in the Boer War, then in WW1 in the 25th Royal Fusiliers, their nickname being the 'Old and the Bold' as the unit consisted of men from a wide variety of backgrounds, including big game hunters and explorers. They were based in East Africa from 1915 to early 1918. Sadly my great grandfather died on 10 December 1917. He is buried in Dar Es Salaam. I am particularly interested to find out how he died - whether in battle or from illness - and any help you can give is much appreciated
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 28th December 2014 at 7:31 PM

Dear Jill,
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded Sergeant Ernest Alfred Puplett "died" in East Africa, as opposed to "died of wounds" or "killed in action". "Died" meant he died of illness or accident. His cause of death should be recorded on his death certificate if he did in hospital, although some wartime death certificates state "died on active service". The certificate is GRO War Deaths, Army Other Ranks (1914 to 1921) E.A. Puplett, 12820, Private, Royal Fusiliers, GRO reference: Volume I.82, page 355. It can be ordered as an "Overseas Death Certificate" at a cost of £9.25 in the usual way from:
The 25th Battalion The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) was also known as the "Frontiersmen". The Battalion was raised by The Legion of Frontiersmen on 12th February 1915 and went to east Africa on 10th April 1915, arriving at Mombasa on May 4th 1915. Ernest Puplett died shortly before the Battalion returned to England at about the end of 1917.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Jill
Date: Sunday 28th December 2014 at 7:35 PM

Thank you so much for your speedy and informative reply! I'll certainly apply for the death certificate, thank you again.

Posted by: Mark Munro {Email left}
Location: Lerwick
Date: Sunday 28th December 2014 at 4:22 PM
Hi Alan,

I have been tracing my family tree and for a number of years the death of my Great Grandfather was a mystery. His name is Alexander Munro, born 12/06/1864 in Greenock. However I have figured it out through the war graves commision web site. He is burried at the war cemetery in Bordon, having joined the 7th Battalion King's Own Scottish Boarders. He died at Bordon on 25/11/1914 and it says he was 41. This is what threw us for some time since he should have been 51! The war grave says that his son Alexander lived a 4 Bearhope street, Greenock, the very address that his wife died at in 1930. None of the family knew anything of Alexander's death, with rumors of affairs annd other things being circulated to explain the lack of civil death records for him in Scotland.

I supose my question is this. Is there any way to find out the cause of his death? Now that we finally know where he died it would be good to know how he died. This was obviously prior to his unit seeing active service, so was it an accident or sickness? Like I said, it would be good if we could find out.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 28th December 2014 at 7:30 PM

Dear Mark,
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded Alexander Munro from Greenock as a private numbered 16540 in the 7th Battalion King's Own Scottish Borderers as having "died" on Home service (as opposed to "died of wounds" or "killed in action"). "Died" meant he died from an accident or illness.
The CWGC Debt of Honour recorded this same man as being aged 41 and buried at Bordon Military cemetery.
The 7th Battalion K.O.S.B. was raised at Berwick-on-Tweed in September 1914 and moved to Bordon Camp, Hampshire, which is near Farnham.
The death of an Alexander Munro aged 41 was recorded in the last quarter of 1914 at Farnham. It is possible this is his death certificate, indexed as G.R.O. England and Wales deaths; Alexander Munro, age 41, October-December 1914, Farnham, Surrey, Volume 2A page 201.
England and Wales Death Certificates can be purchased online (cost £9.25) from:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Mark Munro
Date: Sunday 28th December 2014 at 7:46 PM

Thanks for the information. Will try looking up the death certificates you mention. The general concesous is that he actually went over to Berwick to sign up so he could lie about his age. Perhaps thought he was too old and they might know this locally in Greenock. I know the birth date I have for him is right and everything fits appart from his age on the death records so far. He would have been 50 at the the time of signing up, not sure of the cut off age at that time but thinking it was about 45.

At least one of his sons signed up for the war at about the same time locally in Greenock and survived the war.
Reply from: Matt Munro
Date: Thursday 21st January 2016 at 9:17 AM

Hi Mark,
Alexander's son, Alexander Munro (born June 28 1895, died November 2 1966) enlisted in the local TA regiment the 1/5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on August 7,1914. The 7th Battalion K.O.S.B. was raised at Berwick-on-Tweed in September 1914 and so Alexander must have enlisted after his son.

If you check out this link http://www.inverclydeww1.org/honour-roll/a-munro you will see a clipping of a family notice from the Greenock Telegraph, which confirms that he is indeed our Great Grandfather.

This link http://www.inverclydeww1.org/regiments/kings-own-scottish-borderers shows how many local men enlisted in the KOSB.
Posted by: Tommyv {Email left}
Location: Gold Coast Australia
Date: Saturday 27th December 2014 at 4:39 AM
Hello Alan - a message was left for me regarding Lorna Boyd, daughter of John Errol Moritz Boyd, for whom you found lots of info for me quite some time ago. I left a message on the same thread hoping he would contact me further, but I may have made my reply not using the method you have said is the correct method and wonder if it is possible for him to be sent a message to tell him I have made another post, as I would really like to make contact with him to share some info and photos of the family of John Boyd and his wife, my great aunt and older sister of my grandfather.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 27th December 2014 at 3:23 PM

I do not have access to e-mail addresses, as only the site editor can access those under Data Protection laws. The person who replied to your original message might not have left an e-mail address, so it might not be possible to contact them. The instructions at the top of the page suggest you post a reply to them, asking them to use the contact editor button at the bottom of the page to give their e-mail address to be forwarded to you. That would rely on the other person visiting the forum again.
Posted by: Tim Jackson {Email left}
Location: Gullane Scotland
Date: Friday 26th December 2014 at 12:07 PM
My grandfather,Captain WAT Bowly,was ADC to General Smith Dorrien in WW1.

I am trying to track the exact GHQ locations of where General Smith Dorrien was before he was dismissed by French.

Can you help please?

Thanks,Tim Jackson.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 27th December 2014 at 8:27 PM

Dear Tim,
For specific locations of the II Corps HQ on the move during the mobile fighting of 1914, you would need to refer to their HQ war diaries at The National Archives at Kew, Surrey. They are in Catalogue reference WO95/629 onwards. War Diaries for HQ Second Army are in Catalogue reference WO95/268 onwards. These diaries are being prepared for digital presentation but are not yet online. The HQ of Second Army was at Hazebrouck in April 1915. In May 1915, Smith-Dorrien was ordered to hand-over II Corps to Plumer whose headquarters was at Poperinghe until May 1st 1915 when it moved to Abeele where it apparently was located on May 6th 1915, before Plumer moved further back to Oxelaere and further still, on May 8th to Crombeke. GHQ was located at Le Cateau before moving to St Quentin, Noyon and Compiegne. When fighting had settled down it moved to St Omer and was then relocated to Montreuil-sur-Mer.
With kind regards,

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