The World War Forum (Page 113)

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Posted by: David Miller {Email left}
Location: Newton Abbot
Date: Monday 4th November 2013 at 7:26 PM
Dear Alan,
Good grief! Where do you get all that information from? Many, many thanks for such a full - and very rapid - response.
Yours sincerely,
Posted by: David Miller {Email left}
Location: Newton Abbot
Date: Monday 4th November 2013 at 11:15 AM
Dear Alan,
I am compiling biographical data on former pupils of Christ's Hospital school who died in WW1. I known that Lt Bishop was an officer in DCLI, that he was attached to the RFC, died on 9 September 1917 and is buried in Zuydecoote Military Cemetery. Could you tell me, please: the cause of death and squadron?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 4th November 2013 at 7:12 PM

Dear David,
Bernard Bennett Bishop was born on May 27th 1894, at Devonport, Plymouth, the son of Thomas Henry Bertram Bishop, a Catholic Irish-born engineer-lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and his wife Louisa Caroline (nee Craig). Bernard's grand-father, Thomas Bishop senior, was a Captain in the Royal Artillery. Bernard's father was promoted to engineer-commander in 1906 ("London Gazette"). By 1911, the family was living at a house called "Vescovo" in Saltash, Cornwall, although Bernard and his brother Alan George were recorded as being at school at Christ's Hospital Schools, West Horsham, and his father was at sea on HMS "Hermes". "Vescovo" is Italian for 'bishop'.
Rifleman Bernard Bennett Bishop enlisted in the 6th (City of London) Battalion The London Regiment (Rifles) at Farringdon Road, London. The battalion was mobilized at the outbreak of war and trained at Bisley, Crowborough and Watford, before going to France on March 18th 1915 where it served with 140th Infantry Brigade in the 47th Division. The Division fought at The Battle of Aubers Ridge (9th May 1915); The Battle of Festubert (15th - 25th May 1915); The Battle of Loos (25th Sept 1st Oct 1915) and the Actions of the Hohenzollern Redoubt (13th 19th October 1915). In 1916, the Division's first major engagement was The German attack at Vimy Ridge (21st May 1916).
In about May 1916, Rifleman Bishop would have been sent to an Officer Cadet school for a course leading to a commission. "The London Gazette" published a supplement on December 30th 1916 with the entry: "War Office, 30th December, 1916. Territorial Force Infantry. The undermentioned cadets to be 2nd Lts. (on prob.) 19th Dec. 1916: Cornwall L.I. Bernard Bennett Bishop." ("The Gazette" dated 30 December 1916, pages 12741/2). Second-Lieutenant Bishop served with the 5th Battalion The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry which was the pioneer (works) battalion of the 61st Division which fought at the Operations on the Ancre from January to March 1917.
In 1917, Second-Lieutenant B B Bishop DCLI was attached to the Royal Flying Corps and joined No. 52 Squadron RFC which had been formed at Hounslow, Middlesex, on 15th May 1916, and crossed the Channel in November 1916 to serve as an army co-operation squadron for Corps reconnaissance duties over the Ypres sector during the Third Battle of Ypres (31st July 10th November 1917).
On the afternoon of Sunday, September 9th 1917, a Royal Aircraft Factory RE8 artillery- spotting aircraft No A3597 of 52 Squadron RFC was being flown by Lieutenant Arthur Gerrard B Davidson RFC (aged 27 of Don House, Old Machar, Aberdeen, formerly Gordon Highlanders) and 2nd-Lt B B Bishop (age 23) over the village of Mannekensvaere near Nieuport on the Flanders coast.
Also in the air was Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte (German Air Force) Leutnante Paul Baumer of Jagdstaffel 2 which was Fighter Squadron 2, one of the most prestigious of the German squadrons, also known after its commander, Oswald Boelcke, as "Jasta Boelcke". Baumer was flying an Albatross DV from the airfield at Jabbeke - Snellegem (villages just west of Bruges). Twenty-one year old Paul Baumer had been born at Duisburg-Ruhrart on the 11th May 1896 and had trained as an assistant dentist before the war. He had learned to fly at Holten in Westfalen in the summer of 1914. He first served in the Infanterie Regiment 70 and joined the Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte after being wounded. He trained as a fighter pilot and served with Flieger Abteilung 7, before joining Jagdstaffel 2.
At 3.25 p.m., over Mannekensvaere, West Flanders, on September 9th 1917, Lt. Baumer engaged and shot down the British RE8 which was to be his fourth victory. The RE8 crashed and Lieutenant Davidson and 2nd-Lieutenant Bishop were killed. They were later buried side by side in Zuydcoote Military Cemetery on the coast between Nieuport and Dunkirk. Baumer later won the German "Pour le Merite" awarded in 1918; the Military Merit Cross; the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class and the Silver Wound Badge. He returned to dentistry after the war but he went on to found a flying company and was killed in a flying accident at Copenhagen on 15th July 1927. He had earned the nick-name "Der Eiserne Adler" (The Iron Eagle) and is supposed to have inspired a character in the novel "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1929) by Eric Maria Remarque.
Bernard Bishop's brothers went on to serve in the Second World War. Group Captain Alan George Bishop CBE OBE AFC RAF was captured at Singapore and became a Prisoner of War at Hoten Camp in Manchuria. He was rescued when the camp was liberated in 1945. Lt-Colonel Roderick Carter Bishop R.E. was wounded while serving in Burma and returned to Saltash in 1945. Their father became and Engineer-Captain in the Royal Navy and, in 1923, was made Mayor of Saltash.
More recently, the aeroplane flown by Lt Baumer was reproduced as a Corgi die-cast scale model and is now quite collectable. See:
Kind regards,

Acknowledgement: Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog: hét WO1 forum voor Nederland en Vlaanderen

Posted by: Peter {No contact email}
Location: Birmingham
Date: Sunday 3rd November 2013 at 6:58 PM
Seeking information on Louis Jackson (b.Birmingham, year?) Served with 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and died of wounds 4th November 1914 (Pte. 7368 Louis Jackson).


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 3rd November 2013 at 8:40 PM

Dear Peter,
No individual service record has survived for Louis Jackson so it is not possible to state his military service. De Ruvigny's "Roll of Honour 1914-1918" only states what is already known, so even in 1914 little was revealed about him. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) stated he was born in Birmingham and had enlisted in Birmingham. The 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment was a regular army battalion based at Aldershot at the outbreak of War. It left for France on August 12th 1914 arriving August 14th 1914 where it served with the 2nd Division and fought at The Battle of Mons; the Retreat from Mons; the Affair of Landrecies, the Rear-guard affair of Le Grand Fayt and the Rear-guard actions at Villers-Cotterets; The Battle of the Marne; The Battle of the Aisne, including participation in the Actions on the Aisne heights and the First Battle of Ypres in which he would have been wounded. See:
He was buried at Ypres Town Cemetery Extension.
Private Louis Jackson qualified for the 1914 Star with Mons clasp; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The battalion's war diary is held at The National Archives, Kew, in Catalogue reference WO95/1351/1.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Peter
Date: Tuesday 5th November 2013 at 4:22 PM

Hi Allan,

Many thanks for your reply and the info/links.


Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex
Date: Sunday 3rd November 2013 at 11:33 AM
Hi Alan
Hope all is well with you,can you help me out on the Service History of a Walter Charles Elford Born 1897 Chelsea. Parents were Charles Walter Elford and Louisa Mary Waters. He was in the 6th Battalion City of London Rifles. his reg no is very faint but it looks like 1608 or 6. Many thanks Alan.
Kind regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 3rd November 2013 at 7:08 PM

Dear Jonboy
Walter Charles Elford was baptised on 17th May 1898. When he enlisted in the Territorials on 17th December 1913 he stated his age was the customary 17 years and one month, although he was 15. He enlisted as a rifleman in the 6th (City of London) Battalion The London Regiment (Rifles) which was a part-time Territorial Force battalion based at Farringdon Road, EC. The battalion was mobilized at the outbreak of war and trained at Bisley, Crowborough and Watford until 18th March 1915 when it landed at Havre in France. However, Rifleman Elford was posted to the "reserve battalion" on 17th December 1914. This would have been the second-line 2nd/6th Battalion raised at Farringdon Road to provide drafts to the 6th Battalion. In December 1914 the 2nd/6th Battalion was at Burgess Hill before moving to Norwich in May 1915. Walter was at Norwich in May 1915 and was then posted to 101 Provisional Battalion on 19th June 1915, possibly training at Guildford. Provisional battalions were formed from the personnel of the second line Territorial battalions who were not available for service overseas. Walter was discharged from the army under the 1916 Military Service Act on 15th March 1916 when compulsory conscription was introduced. He had served 2 years and 90 days in England. He would have been retained in England in the second-line battalions because he was under age. There is no surviving individual service record to indicate whether he was conscripted on his 18th birthday but there is a medal index card for a Gunner Walter C Elford 146189 Royal Field Artillery who qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for overseas service before December 31st 1915, he served overseas after January 1st 1916. It is possible that he was discharged from the Territorials to be conscripted for general service once he was aged 18.
All is well, thanks
Posted by: Gorsey {Email left}
Location: Bodelwyddan Denbighshire
Date: Sunday 3rd November 2013 at 9:48 AM
Hi Alan
I see you have searched for other people. I am at a brick wall & wondered if you could help me with my maternal grandfather's war records. I have found some information but he was discharged in 1915, not injured but 'surplus to requirements'. In the middle of the war! From some of his children's' birth certificates it seems he rejoined but I cannot find any info for his new army number anywhere.
Name: Albert John Whitenburgh (not a common name!)
Royal Welsh Fusiliers: signed up 16 Nov 1914 in Llandudno for 'the duration of the war' (without the last 'h' in his signature); army number 20120 in 14th battalion.
Discharged 13 Nov 1915 as acting sergeant under 392 (XXV) Kings Regs (surplus to requirements)
Next record is his daughter's birth certificate (Violet Louisa 22 Jan 1917 which lists him as a sergeant in RWF again but 3rd battalion & his number was 60727 / (general labourer), which does not seem to exist in any records!
He was born in 1884 in either Bangor, Wales or London! His army records say 1884 in Bangor. The 1911 census says London. no other census records of him exist. He died on 19 July 1928 in Birkenhead.
Any help / pointers would be most appreciated.
Many thanks, Jo Hall
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 3rd November 2013 at 7:08 PM

Dear Jo,
Albert John Whitenburgh volunteered to join the army when the Welsh National Executive Committee was appointed with the task of raising a Welsh Army Corps under the same conditions as other locally raised units in England and Scotland. The Welsh Army Corps was raised after a speech by David Lloyd George in London on 19 September 1914 in which recalled the Welsh fighting at Crecy: "I should like to see a Welsh Army in the Field". (Albert's attestation papers were signed by a 2nd Lieutenant R Lloyd George). The 14th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers was raised by the committee at Llandudno on 2nd November 1914. Albert enlisted at Colwyn Bay on November 16th 1914 and arrived at Llandudno the next day. As with all volunteer units raised from scratch, the 14th battalion needed men from its ranks to become Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Albert was promoted to acting-corporal on December 16th 1914 and then acting-sergeant on 19th February 1915. The promotion was rapid, but the rank was only acting rank. And acting ranks were temporary. Albert was discharged on 13th November 1915 under paragraph xxv of King's Regulations. The "surplus to military requirements" sub-paragraph xxv(a) was not instigated until March 1918, so Albert was discharged under the 1914 paragraph xxv "his services being no longer required". The official instructions stated this application for discharge should only be made for "a soldier who cannot be discharged under any other heading".
The voluntary raising of these battalions worked both ways: men were welcomed with open arms, but equally, they could be removed at the commander's discretion if they didn't fit in or put a foot wrong. Often it may have been simply because a man's face did not fit, or to make way for more talented men as NCOs. With compulsory service being considered in late 1915, it would have been clear to a commanding officer that any man who did not match up to his wishes would soon be compulsorily conscripted into the army, so he would be no great loss.
The pre-war 3rd Battalion of any regiment was its home-based depot and training battalion. In the case of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers this was at Wrexham, but the training battalion moved to Litherland in Liverpool in May 1916 and then in November 1917 to Limerick, Ireland. Trained men from the 3rd Battalion could be posted to any other battalion overseas, as casualty replacements were required, so it is not possible to state if Albert was sent overseas later in the war. The birth of a child does not imply the father was present at the actual birth. There is no obvious record for a Royal Welsh Fusilier with the number 60727. The name Whitenburgh is a family spelling variant of the name Wittenberg from the German place name where Luther nailed his theses to the church door in 1517. The British interchanged Wittenberg with Wittenburg, both of which have their own variants which may have been used by clerks. His name can also look like Whitenbury or Whitinburgh as on his 1910 marriage certificate. I have found no military records specific to Albert under the surname variants.
As his army number and regiment are known it might be worth checking with The Western Front Association which holds an archive of 6.5 million pension record cards (PRCs) which are not available elsewhere. They charge a fee for a manual search of the records. See:
The commercial subscription website publishes transcripts of casualty lists which might prove useful.
Kind regards,

Posted by: Tony T {Email left}
Location: Coventry
Date: Thursday 31st October 2013 at 10:31 PM
Try to trace my wifes grandfather. Patrick Mcnally born 1888 Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland.

On 1911 census listed drummer with 2nd battalion Leinster Regiment. in India.

Married in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1918 as a private in Northumberland Fusiliers.

Understood to been in army after this date.

No records found in Ancestry or Forces War Records.

Any help most grateful.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 1st November 2013 at 5:00 PM

Dear Tony,
No individual service record has survived for Patrick McNally so it is not possible to state his military service.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Tony T
Date: Friday 1st November 2013 at 6:27 PM

Thank you Alan for the reply.

You have confirmed my worst fears.

Thank you once more.

Anthony Thomas
Posted by: Peter {No contact email}
Location: Stockton On Tees
Date: Thursday 31st October 2013 at 9:28 PM
Dear Alen can you please help with this man trying to find were he won his MM and were he was killed.
CSM Peter Morris 12526 KIA 22/7/1917 prince of wales volunteer's south Lancashire Regiment 7th Battalion
Born Wigan Enlisted St Helens.

Best Regards Peter.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 2nd November 2013 at 10:27 PM

Dear Peter,
No individual service record has survived for Peter Morris so it is not possible to state his military service. He served with the 7th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment which was in the 56th Infantry Brigade in the 19th Division. He was killed on 22nd July 1917. He is commemorated on the Menin gate Memorial at Ypres. Citations for the Military Medal were given to the soldier with the medal and were not published. Local newspapers of the time may have reported his death or his award of the medal. The regimental museum may be able to help because he would have been a prominent figure as a CSM.
The war diary of the 7th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment is held at the National Archives in Catalogue reference WO 95/2081. As a CSM, it would be likely that he was mentioned, either when he was awarded the MM or at other times. You would need to visit the archives to read it. Or you could have it reproduced for you. My personal recommendation for an economical service, from experience, is at:
For the engagements of the 19th (Western) Division see:
Kind regards,
Reply from: Peter
Date: Sunday 3rd November 2013 at 3:00 PM

Thank you Alan for all of your help with CSM Peter Morris
Best Regards Peter.
Posted by: Trevor Purnell {Email left}
Location: Tillington West Sussex
Date: Thursday 31st October 2013 at 3:57 PM

I have a soldier with two regimental numbers but his medal card shows that he was only in the 13th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. His name is Thomas George Bridgewater (2988 and G/17765) He was killed in action on the Somme 21st October 1916.

Grateful if you can find out anything about him.


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 31st October 2013 at 6:59 PM

Dear Trevor,
The medal index card showed only that Thomas G. Bridgewater served with the Royal Sussex Regiment. He had two separate regimental numbers 2988 and G/17765. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not go overseas until some date after January 1st 1916. He was born early in 1897 and would have been 17 when war was declared in 1914. He may have enlisted under the minimum age of 18 or he may have been conscripted in 1916. No individual service record has survived for him so it is not possible to state his wartime service.
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) stated he was killed in action on 21st October 1916 while serving with the 13th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. That provides evidence that on the day he died he was with the 13th Battalion. The CWGC stated he was buried at the Grandcourt Road Cemetery, but that cemetery was not constructed until the spring of 1917 when bodies of men who died on the Ancre battlefields were gathered together.
There are at least two possible reasons why he had two different numbers. One is that between October and December 1915 he had volunteered for deferred enlistment (join now; serve when called up) and had been allotted the number 2988. The G prefix and the five-digit number indicated general wartime service in any service battalion of the regiment. Service Battalions were those raised during the war for wartime service only. So he might have joined a wartime service battalion on deferred call-up and have been allotted a general service number at that time. It is possible he served in a battalion in the UK with the regimental number 2988 and was posted to a service battalion on arrival in France in 1916.
The probability is that he served with the 13th Battalion throughout. The 13th (Service) Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment started life as a volunteer "pals" battalion, raised at Bexhill on 20th November 1914 at the expense of Lieut-Colonel C. Lowther M.P. as the 3rd South Downs Battalion of the Royal Sussex. The men of these pals battalions generally had three and four-digit regimental numbers. On 7th July 1915, the 13th Battalion was taken over by the War Office to become the 13th (Service) Battalion (3rd South Downs) Royal Sussex Regiment. The men may have been re-numbered on that occasion, changing their "private army" four-digit numbers to the G prefix general service numbers. The 13th Battalion went overseas in March 1916 and served with the 116th Infantry Brigade in the 39th Division. The Division fought at the Battle of the Ancre Heights from October 1st to 11th November 1916, when Thomas was killed.
The evidence points towards Thomas George Bridgewater serving throughout his time with the 13th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. However, as no individual service record has survived, it cannot be stated with certainty that that was the case.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Trevor Purnell
Date: Friday 1st November 2013 at 11:03 AM


Thank you for the very useful information. Private Bridgewater's first number is similar to those of other early volunteers to the 3rd South Downs and your note that they may have been allocated new numbers when they were 'taken over' fits well.

Many thanks for your impressive expert knowledge.

Kind Regards,

Posted by: Ian Nl {Email left}
Location: Holland
Date: Thursday 31st October 2013 at 10:45 AM
Dear Alan,
My uncle, David Allcock (Regimental no. 83749) served from 1915 to 1918 in the Royal Field Artillery on the Western Front. He was a canal boatman and claimed to be 19 when he volunteered at the recruitment office in June 1914; he was actually 17. He survived the war and despite breathing difficulties caused by exposure to gas attacks, he held heavy manual jobs until his retirement.
I accessed his service record through Ancestry. It is damaged and, for me at least, rather difficult to decipher.
If I understand correctly, he was first attached to 60th Reserve Battery in August 1914. He was transferred to the 48th Brigade Ammunition Column in January 1915 and left for France in May 1915. He was hospitalised in the UK , with Trench Fever, in November 1917 and returned to the Front in March 1918. In May 1918 he was transferred to 45th Battery, 42nd Brigade. He was again hospitalised in the UK, end October 1918, having been wounded in the arm.
I saw in the records that, used to working as a boatman without direct supervision, he had some difficulty conforming to Army discipline. Just a few weeks after joining up he was disciplined for an incident in which he had apparently drunk too much, and 4 weeks before leaving for France he overstayed his leave by a few hours and forfeited a week's pay.
Unfortunately there is no direct information in the remaining service records regarding the battles in which he fought. I am trying to reconstruct his story and I would therefore be very grateful if you could clarify three points, or advise me on where I should look for more information.
Is it correct to assume that Driver/Gunner Allcock (or any other individual attached to the column) would have fought in all the battles in which the 48th BAC was involved between May 1915 and January 1917? In that period, the 48th Brigade was part of the 14th Light Division. Would the 48th Brigade have fought in all the battles listed for the 14th Light Division?
According to the Long, Long Trail the 48th Brigade was reorganised in January 1917, but I don't see any obvious mention of a transfer in the service records. Have I missed clues in the records?
How did the Ammunition Columns work: Did each column have a fixed formation, or did the men "rotate" or work their way up to the front line, for example?

Kind regards,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 31st October 2013 at 6:58 PM

Dear Ian,
David Allcock enlisted at the Birmingham Town Hall recruitment office on 15th August 1914 (not June it's an 8 not a 6). He joined the Royal Regiment of Artillery (Royal Horse and Field Artillery RH&FA). He was sent to Hilsea artillery Barracks at Portsmouth, arriving on 16th August 1914 and reporting as a recruit to No 3 Depot Royal Field Artillery, Hilsea. On August 27th 1914 he was posted to a battery of the Royal Horse Artillery for ten days before being posted to 152 Battery RFA on 8th September 1914. The battery was formed at Aldershot in August 1914 as part of the First New Army and served with the 14th (Light) Division. (He did not serve in 60th Reserve Battery RFA until after the war). On 29th September 1914 he was posted to 284 Battery RFA which was formed in September 1914 at Aldershot. At that stage it appeared the recruits were being allotted to units as required, because ten days later he was posted to No 3 Section of the 14th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA. He continued his training with the 14th DAC and on January 1st 1915 he was allotted to the 48th Brigade RFA ammunition column. The 48th Brigade RFA was also designated in Roman numerals as XLVIII Brigade RFA and was one of the 14th Division's four batteries of artillery. In other words, he was still with 14th DAC as a parent unit, but was specifically serving with the ammunition column of 48th Brigade RFA. From Aldershot, the 14th Division sailed for France arriving on 23rd May 1915. The Division took part in Actions of Hooge on 19th July; 30th July and 9th August 1915 in which they had the distinction of being the first to be attacked by flamethrower. Their next major engagement was the Second attack on Bellewaarde on 25th 26th September 1915.
The First World War was an artillery war and the Royal Artillery was frequently being reorganised throughout the war. Initially a DAC would have had about twelve officers; one Warrant Officer; ten sergeants; 32 artificers and 473 Other Ranks. On 24th May 1916, XLVIII Brigade RFA was re-organised with two of its batteries leaving for elsewhere and at the same time, the brigade ammunition columns were absorbed into the Divisional ammunition columns giving each DAC sixteen officers and about 800 men. This number was reduced by 1918 when a DAC had one officer less and about 570 men.
David returned from the 48th Brigade's column to the strength of the now larger 14th DAC on 21st May 1916. He was awarded proficiency pay of an extra sixpence a day on 15th August 1916. He remained with 14th DAC and on 30th November 1916 he was granted leave with ration allowance until 9th December 1916. He was with 14th DAC on 1st July 1917 when he qualified to retain his Class I proficiency pay. On 23rd October 1917 he was admitted to 97 Field Ambulance with influenza. He returned to duty on 1 November 1917 but then contracted trench fever ten days later and was admitted to 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station [Trois Arbres, near Bailleul] before being admitted to 54 General Hospital [at Wimereux], from where he was transferred to the East Leeds War Hospital [St James's University Hospital] via hospital ship on 16th/17th November 1917. He remained in the UK until 2nd March 1918.
During his time in France with 14th DAC, the Division fought at The Battle of Delville Wood (15th July 3rd September 1916); The Battle of Flers-Courcelette (15th 22nd September 1916) which saw the capture of Martinpuich. In 1917 the Division fought at The First Battle of the Scarpe (9th 14th April 1917) with the capture Monchy le Preux and the Wancourt Ridge; The Third Battle of the Scarpe (3rd 4th May 1917) which saw the capture of Fresnoy; The Battle of Langemarck (16th -18th August 1917; operations around St. Julian 19th, 22nd, 27th August 1917; The First Battle of Passchendaele on 12th October 1917 and The Second Battle of Passchendaele (26th October 10th November 1917). It is not possible to say how David Allcock was employed as from May 1916 his record showed only that he was on the strength of 14th Divisional Ammunition Column. Not only did the ammunition column stretch along the lines of communication but it also acted as unit that held men between postings to brigade columns or even field batteries. Infantry units held one third of their strength out of any battle. It was known as "Left Out of Battle" or LOOB. But the artillery was generally fully employed due to the strength and duration of the artillery barrages prior to, and during, any engagement.
Once recovered from his trench fever, David was sent to 5C Reserve Brigade RFA at Charlton Park, Wiltshire, on January 14th 1918. From there he was posted to France and Flanders on 2nd March 1918 arriving on 3rd March 1918. On the 8th March 1918 he arrived "in the field" to join No 1 Section 3rd Divisional Ammunition Column. Each section supplied artillery and infantry ammunition to one of the 3rd Division's infantry brigades. The major German Spring offensive was launched on March 21st 1918 (in which, incidentally, David's former 14th Division lost all its guns) putting the British Army in the Somme region into disarray. The 3rd Division fought at the Battle of St Quentin and the Battle of Bapaume (March 1918) and on 27th April 1918 David was posted to the 45th Battery in the 42nd Brigade RFA (XLII Brigade RFA) which was a battery of field guns that was served with 3rd Division. He was now up with the guns, firing ammunition instead of carrying it. On the anniversary of four years' service he was awarded an extra fourpence a day war pay. The 3rd Division's engagements were First Battle of Arras 1918; The Battle of Estaires; The Battle of Hazebrouck; The Battle of Bethune; The Battle of Albert; The Second Battle of Bapaume;
The Battle of the Canal du Nord; The Battle of Cambrai 1918 and The Battle of the Selle (October 17th 26th 1918). Gunner David Allcock was shot in the left forearm on 26th October 1918, sixteen days before the Armistice and on the last day of the 3rd Division's last major engagement. He returned to England on 3rd/4th November 1918 and was treated for a gunshot wound at the Berrington War Hospital in the former workhouse at Atcham, Shropshire. There was no bone injury and the wound was "quite healed". It would have been known as a "through and through" bullet wound. He convalesced and had post-hospital furlough. David was on the books of 5C Reserve Brigade RFA from December 30th 1918 and then from 19th January 1919 he was with 60th Reserve Battery before being discharged from the No 2 dispersal unit at Clipstone Camp. He was discharged to the Class Z Reserve for men who would be re-called if the Armistice did not hold. The Class Z Reserve arbitrarily ceased to exist on 31st March 1920.
In June 1919 "The London Gazette" published a list of recipients of the Military Medal under the heading: "His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Military
Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Warrant Officers, Non-commissioned
Officers and Men:". The list included Gunner Allcock (Gazette supplement dated June 17th to issue 31405 published on the 13 June 1919). The medal was sent to the Officer Commanding Northern Command District Six at Lichfield for a public presentation by a Mr Barnett of Tividale. No citations for the Military Medal were published, the only citation being given with the medal itself.
Regarding the disciplinary offences, they were all minor. Getting drunk once and becoming insubordinate having just joined the army was not unusual. Overstaying leave was very common and often occurred when a man wanted an extra night in a comfortable bed or missed the last train of the day and had to wait for the first train in the morning. David's military character on discharge was recorded as "good" and he was awarded the Military Medal.
The work of an ammunition column involved using their horse drawn vehicles to move ammunition forwards from dumps to an Infantry Brigade at the Divisional front. Ammunition was delivered by railway from the coast to a rail head and then moved by Army Service Corps motor transport as far forward as possible by road where it was transferred to a dump for the horse-drawn transport of the Divisional ammunition column to take it forwards to re-filling points where it could be collected by horse transport belonging to the individual batteries or battalions.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Ian Nl
Date: Thursday 31st October 2013 at 11:28 PM

Dear Alan,
Wow! Thanks for your speedy reaction, and the enormous amount of information it contains. As a youngster I saw Uncle David quite frequently, but talk about his wartime experiences was always rather superficial. I am glad that I am now better able to appreciate what he went through in those years. You have provided me with a perfect set of pointers to further research.
I am sending a contribution to the British Legion as a token of my thanks.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Terry {Email left}
Location: Bolton
Date: Thursday 31st October 2013 at 3:59 AM
HI there,

I am researching one of my Ancestors who signed up for the militia in 1899. The name was Christopher Gilligan who was born in Deansgate Manchester 1878 and he was attested on 4th may 1899 in Manchester into the Royal Lancaster regiment.

I do not have any further information and would like to identify where he served and when he left service.

I do NOT have his service number.


Terry Gilligan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 31st October 2013 at 6:57 PM

Dear Terry,
The Victorian militia was essentially a part-time home defence organisation in which men volunteered to attend training and an annual camp whilst keeping their day-time jobs. However, some young men joined the militia for a few months to see if they were cut out for the army life before enlisting in the regular army. Those who did so were paid a £10 bounty so it was a popular form of enlistment. Militia records are held at The National Archives in Catalogue series WO96. They can also be searched on the website (pay as you go).
The date Christopher Gilligan enlisted was significant as it was just before the Second Anglo - Boer War started on 11th October 1899, so it is possible that from the militia he volunteered to serve in South Africa. A soldier named only as C Gilligan, 6186, of the 3rd Battalion King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment qualified for the Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps for service at Cape Colony and Orange Free State. The regimental museum would have more details of the regiment's service in South Africa.
In the First World War, a soldier named C. Gilligan who lived at Armitage Street in Manchester after the war had served with the 8th Battalion Manchester Regiment in Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine. The Battalion was part of 127th Infantry Brigade in the 42nd Division. For their engagements in the First World War see:
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