When I started this challenge I thought I would really struggle with Q, but I was lucky enough to have something coincidental happen along the way.
I subscribe to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission newsletter and in the last issue there was a piece on a man named Andy whose field of research is the use of horses in the First World War. He is planning to travel to the Somme on the route taken by the British with Mack the horse and Meg the mule, so I thought I would email him on the off chance that he would be able to point me in the right direction to continue my search for James George Jupp, who I have mentioned before.
Bearing in mind I was just emailing on the off chance and didn’t expect much of a response, I was thrilled and amazed to receive an answer from Andy the same day.
My specific query was in trying to narrow down where James Jupp might have been killed, as the war diary for his brigade was not enlightening, and I explained the basic facts to Andy in my email and he gave me a couple of leads. Before I was able to follow them up, however, Andy had emailed again with more information and over the next week he had been good enough to put some feelers out and pinpointed where my 2x Great Grandfather was killed and also what he might have been doing while he was killed.
Since Andy was able to identify another Shoeing Smith buried in the same cemetery, the most likely scenario is that Jupp and his colleague were attached to an ammo dump in the area where they are now buried and, while in the open, perhaps shoeing an animal, they were caught in a German artillery blast. They were buried, then at some point they were moved to their current location. Sadly I don’t think we’ll ever know the exact details of his death, but it’s come pretty damn close.
Hopefully the map below is showing correctly, but Andy has pointed out that it is likely that James Jupp was killed somewhere between this road and the white building in the distance. If you swing the camera in streetview, you can see the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery where he is buried:
I count myself lucky that I happened to ask my questions of the right person – someone who is clearly passionate enough about this subject, and knows enough people to be able to find out this information for me.
Huge thanks to Andy for his help :0)