The World War Forum (Page 113)

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Posted by: Lesley {Email left}
Location: Australia
Date: Wednesday 20th November 2013 at 2:52 AM
Dear Alan,
Thank you for your help in the past. Now I have found another soldier in the family, namely George Beaumont, Sergeant Major in the Royal Horse Artillery 1785-1828.
George was said to be at Waterloo, & Ireland earlier in his career, he appears to have retired in 1823 when he left Yorkshire to sail on the Jupiter to Van Deimans Land with his wife Elizabeth Yeoman - they had married in Sculcoates, 7 May 1810.

Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 - 1825) Saturday 8 November 1823
Ship News P2.
On Thursday last arrived from England, touching at the Cape on her passage, the ship Jupiter, Captain John Park, with a number of women and families who have been sent out by Government to join their relatives in these Colonies, together with 12 females from the Guardian Society, and 15 pensioned non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the Royal Artillery, to serve as overseers in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. The Surgeon Superintendent by this vessel is, Dr. Walker, R. N.
George Beaumont was appointed Superintendent of Convicts in Hobart Town.

I am having difficulty finding George's army record, and was hoping you may be able to help.

Regards Lesley
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 20th November 2013 at 4:48 PM

Dear Lesley,
Service records for soldiers who served in the Royal Artillery 1791-1855 were maintained by the Ordnance Department and not the War Office. Consequently they are stored separately at the UK National Archives in catalogue series WO 69. They are not available online. You would need to know which battalion and his regimental number to identify a specific statement of service. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/browse/C4429438?v=h
Regimental muster books, pay lists and records from 1730 are held in WO 10, WO 11, WO 12, WO 13, WO 14, WO 16, WO 68, WO 69. The Royal Artillery muster books from 1785 onwards start in catalogue reference WO 10/197 onwards. These would show the details required to establish his statement of service. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/browse/C14221?cUp=false&cK=C613900&sK=C14221&v=h
(Use the black scroll bars and the "Next 30" buttons)
Other regimental records between 1737 and 1991 are in WO 379 and WO 380. These are arranged by regiment and date. The records are not necessarily complete and need to be searched manually. See the research guides at:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C14277
and
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/army-muster-1730-1898.htm
For paid research see:
http://arcre.com/

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Lesley
Date: Thursday 21st November 2013 at 12:02 AM

Dear Alan,
Thank you very much for your efforts, I think I may have to move to London to search the Archives, it is so tantalising, knowing that they are there, but until we know his Regiment, it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Whether George actually fought at Waterloo, I don't know, but I haven't seen any reference to him anywhere. It must have been a logistical nightmare to have wives & families following the army.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Friday 12 May 1871 P2

"Death of another Old Colonist.- Mrs. Peter Dudgeon arrived in this colony in the year 1823, in the good ship Jupiter, with her husband, Sergeant Major George Beaumont, R.H.A., who held the appointment of Superintendent of the Penitentiary. She had followed her husband to the field of Waterloo, where she arrived on the day of that great victory... "

Thank you again,

Lesley
Reply from: Wayne
Date: Sunday 24th November 2013 at 5:23 PM

Dear Lesley,

It could be that your George Beaumont was born in Woolwich in 1788 and was the son of Sgt. Collar Maker Joseph Beaumont of the Royal Horse Artillery. Here is the baptism record from the Parish Registers of St. Mary Magdalene, in Woolwich:

1788 October 8
Born 8 Sep. George, son of Joseph & Mary Beaumont.

This George was the first son of Joseph Beaumont Sgt. Collar Maker in the Royal Horse Artillery
of Woolwich, a sadler who was born in Aberford, York, as the son of John Beaumont, enlisted in Royal Horse Artillery 7 May 1788 in Hull, retired 31 Aug. 1824, and died 2 Jun. 1843, aged 74. Joseph was married to Mary Wentworth, the daughter of George Wentworth, on 13 Jul. 1788 in London. She died 5 Sep. 1823. Both Joseph, Mary, and Joseph's second wife, Catherine Wollatt, are buried in Woolwich. Joseph Beaumont's service record can be found online with the National Archives. Josepj also had a PCC will which can also be obtained from the National Archives(which does not mention his children.)

Joseph and Mary Beaumont had at least 6 other children. John, Thomas, James, and Jospeh all served in the Royal Horse Artillery, as did their sister Ann's husband, John Smith (my ancestor). Brother John Beaumont and John Smith were at Waterloo and are on the Waterloo Medal Roll. There are online service records for John Beaumont, Thomas Beaumont, James Beaumont, and John Smith with the National Archives. Thomas and James also served in Ireland.

There is no George Beaumont on the Waterloo Medal Roll. There is also no service record for him online as there is with his father and brothers.

Kind regards,
Wayne
Reply from: Lesley Morgan
Date: Tuesday 26th November 2013 at 11:40 PM

Dear Wayne,

This is wonderful news. This must be our George, the birth date fits exactly. We have a burial record:

http://eheritage.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/resources/detail753d-4.html?ID=HBFH_09628
Headstone of Sgt. Maj. George BEAUMONT
Description: Headstone of George BEAUMONT Sgt Major. Died in 1828, aged 39yrs
Source: Hobart St Davids Anglican

The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) Saturday 16 August 1828 P2

Died on Sunday morning last, Mr. George Beaumont of the Scotch Thistle, formerly a serjeant major in the Royal Horse Artillery, in which he had served twenty years, and in this Colony was succeeded by Mr. Gunn as Superintendent of the Prisoners' Barracks. He has left a widow and six children to bewail the loss of an affectionate husband and kind father.

I doubt if George was in the RHA long enough (c.15yrs) to earn a pension, leaving in 1823, hence no online record. Perhaps he, like his wife in the baggage train, only arrived at Waterloo as the battle was finishing, so again, not mentioned on the Waterloo Roll.

I have done quite a lot of work on the Yeoman family, Elizabeth's father, William Yeoman, was also in the RA Drivers, pensioned in 1809, record online at TNA. If you enter his name in the search box, Alan has given a great explanation of his career.

Many thanks,
Lesley
Reply from: Thomas
Date: Saturday 11th April 2015 at 8:41 AM

Was Thomas Beaumont born 1801? If he was he is possibly the brother of my ancestors.
His military record is WO 97/1213/97 and I have seen a record for James who I have thought to be a brother -
Reply from: Lesley
Date: Monday 13th April 2015 at 7:06 AM

Hi Thomas,
Wayne has provided a lot of information above ,which should narrow down your search. Its difficult to help if you don't give any information - who is the ancestor you think is related to these Beaumonts? Do you have an online tree I could look at?
Always happy to help.
Lesley
Reply from: Thomas
Date: Sunday 19th April 2015 at 7:06 PM

Thomas Beaumont 1801-1864 m Elizabeth Will 1804-1889 listed as a collar maker and rha pensioner
- Henry 1824. Mary 1826, Louisa 1827, Caroline 1833, Vincent 1834, Amelia 1838, Charles 1842

Vincent is my direct ancestor and the children born in Athelone in Ireland with siblings born in Leeds and Woolwich, all rha bases.he married a Mary Ann Courts born 1838 and a wheelwright.
He had a son Vincent b 1878 in Plumsted who I believe was an engineer building bridges and early pylons. Married daisy maud Hutchinson b 1880. Had daughter daisy maud beaumont b 1899.
Reply from: Lesley
Date: Sunday 3rd May 2015 at 6:42 AM

Sorry for the delay.
Thomas is certainly from the same family. If you are happy to provide an email address I can give you a link to my online ancestry tree.
Reply from: Thomas
Date: Wednesday 6th May 2015 at 7:45 PM

Thanks Lesley. My contact details are (Thomas.atcheson at gmail dot com) and I look forward to hearing from you. Equally, if there is any info I can help with from my line, please let me know.

Posted by: Philip Mccartney {Email left}
Location: Belfast
Date: Tuesday 19th November 2013 at 11:57 PM
Dear Sir,

I have been looking through some items belonging to my late father and found a 'death penny' bearing the name: William Robert Victor Elliott. So far I have been able to find out that he served with the Hampshire Regiment, his number was 14916, he was killed on 08/08/1916 and is buried at Essex Farm Cemetry in Flanders. I understand my Dad obtained the 'death penny' from a friend where he worked a number of years ago (James Mackie & Sons Belfast) but don't know how it came to be there.

There is no family connection.

I would be grateful if you have any further information on either the soldier or the action the Regiment was involved in at the time of his death.

Many thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 20th November 2013 at 4:42 PM

Dear Philip,
No individual service record has survived for William Elliott, 14916, of The Hampshire Regiment so it is not possible to be specific about his wartime service. An Army medal rolls index card recorded he first served overseas from 15th June 1915 when he went to the Balkans to join the 2nd Battalion The Hampshire Regiment which at that time was already on Gallipoli with 88th Infantry Brigade in the 29th Division. He would have been part of a draft of reinforcements. The Division left Gallipoli on 8th January 1916 and went to Alexandria in Egypt before sailing to France in March 1916.
When he died, William Elliott was serving with the 1st Battalion The Hampshire Regiment. The posting from the 2nd to the 1st Battalion probably occurred in France, possibly after the opening of The Battles of the Somme 1916 in which both battalions fought in The Battle of Albert. On July 22nd the battalion entrained to travel North and on the 23rd the 1st Battalion arrived in the Ypres sector with 11th Infantry Brigade in the 4th Division.
On the night of August 8th1916 the Hampshires were on the Yser Canal Bank in the area of Lancashire Farm. They had been in the front line trenches for a few quiet days and after a hot day in the line they were being relieved by the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment from 10.25 p.m. On August 8th the enemy had been frustrating the 11th Brigade with occasional artillery barrages and the gas alarm was sounded. The targeting by the enemy of a relief, when two battalions were in the trenches at the same time, was common practice and the relief on the night of August 8th 1916 was subjected to bombardment, killing ten of the Hampshire Regiment and five of the East Lancashire Regiment who also suffered 30 wounded; five of them by gas.
William Robert Victor Elliott was recorded in "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) as being "killed in action".
William had been born at Sherfield on Lodden in Hampshire in 1888, the son of a cattle dealer and butcher, William Elliott and his wife Betsy of "The Red House", Sherfield on Lodden. He became a labourer on the highways for Hampshire County Council and moved to Old Basing, Basingstoke, where he married Florence Powell in 1912.
William qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 20th November 2013 at 10:55 PM

To clarify paragraph 2. On July 22nd "the battalion entrained " should read "the 1st Battalion entrained".
Reply from: Philip
Date: Thursday 28th November 2013 at 11:18 PM

Alan,

Many thanks for this very detailed account of action during 1916. While I don't know how the 'penny' came to be in Northern Ireland I would be happy to return it to any living relatives of this soldier - so I plan to try to trace any survivors of the family.

Thanks again.

Philip
Posted by: Willliam Davies {Email left}
Location: Regina
Date: Tuesday 19th November 2013 at 4:29 PM
Dear Sir - Do you have access to any information on M.20294 E. H. Taylor. Wmn. 1. R.N.- I believe the wmn. stands for wireman

Thanks in advance
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 19th November 2013 at 7:34 PM

Dear William,
His service record can be purchased online from the UK National Archives (cost £3.36). See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7054476

The introduction of ratings to be known as wiremen was established late in 1915 with Wireman, 1st Class, (Leading rate), and Wireman, 2nd Class, (Able seaman rate) with pay of three shillings a day and 2s. 6d. a day, respectively. They were electricians and some were employed as armourers.
Kind regards,
Alan

Posted by: Bella {No contact email}
Location: Esher
Date: Saturday 16th November 2013 at 5:19 PM
Dear Alan,Have come to a bit of a full stop and wonder if you could help.

Clara Johnson born South Darent, Kent 1864 parents James & Jane Johnson She appears in 1891 census (unmarried) but I cannot seem to find her after that date. Maybe she married but if so, unable to trace married name.

As you perform such miracles, thought you might perform another which would be greatly appreciated. Her sister Emily would appear to still be single too (born 1866 South Darent, Kent).

Hope you are keeping well.

Kind regards.

Bella
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 16th November 2013 at 8:19 PM

Dear Bella,
In the 1911 census there was a Clara Johnson, aged 46, single, servant at The Grange, Water Street, Mere, Wiltshire, born South Darenth. (RG14; Piece: 12160; Schedule Number: 81). "Ancestry" have indexed her name as Clara Jemson in 1911 but it is Johnson on the schedule.
In 1901 there was a Clara Johnson, born 1866 Otford, Kent as a servant, single, at Peasemarsh, Gillingham, Dorsetshire. (RG13; Piece: 1967; Folio: 40; Page: 4.).
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Bella
Date: Saturday 16th November 2013 at 9:26 PM

Dear Alan,

Many, many thanks.

Bella
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 16th November 2013 at 11:04 PM

Dear Bella,
I am forgetting my manners. I am very well thank you and I hope you are keeping well and enjoying your family history research.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Bella
Date: Sunday 17th November 2013 at 11:02 AM

Dear Alan,

Yes me too. Thank you for your courtesey.

Regards.

Bella
Posted by: Vicki {Email left}
Location: London
Date: Friday 15th November 2013 at 10:30 PM
Hi Alan,
Thank you for you recent help. I'm looking for another relative, Ernest Mulliner, regiment number 60898 who served in the RFA (Royal Field Artillery?) I've found his medal roll, but I can't interpret the notes on it. If you get chance, please could you have a look and see if you can decipher what all the notes mean! I'm trying to find out where he may have enlisted and any other details about his service.
Many thanks,
Vicki
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 16th November 2013 at 6:17 PM

Dear Vicki,
The medal roll index card you have found is not a medal index card but a War Badge record card. The silver War Badge was issued to soldiers discharged during the war, to be worn on civilian clothes to indicate they had been discharged from the services through wounds or sickness. The card recorded Sergeant Ernest Mulliner had enlisted on 31 March 1910 and was discharged from 79 Brigade Royal Field Artillery on 5th February 1918 because of wounds (W). Authority for issuing the badge was Army Order 265 of 1917 paragraph 2 a (i) (which stated (i) After service overseas in the armed Forces of the Crown, on account of disablement or ill-health caused otherwise than by misconduct). The issuing of the badge was on War Badge List RA/1421. The only additional information on that list was his age which was stated as 28 and he had served overseas. Badge No. 324214 was returned by the soldier's local record office as the address was unknown. The badge was re-issued on 11 June 1918.
79 Brigade RFA had served in the 17th Division.
As he had served overseas, there would be a campaign medals record card which was probably the one in the name of Sgt Ernest Mullinerux, 60898, RFA, who went to France with 34 Brigade RFA on 16 August 1914. He qualified for the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The
"Ancestry" website has indexed his unit as 321 Brigade which cannot be correct as that Brigade did not go overseas until 1915. On closer inspection, the card itself shows 34 Brigade.
34 Brigade served with the 2nd Division.
An Earnest (with an 'a') Mullinerux ("alias Ernest Mulliner") stated he was born in Silverdale, Newcastle, Staffordshire, when he enlisted on 31st March 1910 at Stoke on Trent, aged 21, occupation: miner. (Attestation paper available on Ancestry in that name).
It is not possible to state his wartime service as there is no obvious record of when he was posted between different artillery brigades. When he first went overseas with 34 Brigade he would have seen service with 2nd Division at The Battle of Mons and the Retreat from Mons; the Rearguard affair of Le Grand Fayt and the Rearguard actions of Villers-Cotterets; The Battle of the Marne; The Battle of the Aisne; the Actions on the Aisne heights and The First Battle of Ypres.
By the date of his discharge through wounds in February 1918, he might have been wounded possibly sometime in late 1917 when the 17th Division had been fighting at The Second Battle of Passchendaele.

In the 1911 Census an Ernest Mullineux was recorded as a 22 year old gunner, born Newcastle, Staffs, serving with 50 Brigade RFA at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire. In the 1891 Census there was an Ernest Mulliner born 1889 at Nantwich Cheshire whose apparent siblings were born at Silverdale, Staffordshire. The mother, Ann, was aged 58, which seemed rather old for her to have a two-year-old son (England Census, Silverdale, 1891, RG12; Piece: 2155; Folio: 11; Page: 15). In the 1901 Census there was a 12 year old Ernest Mulliner, born Woore, Shropshire, which is six miles from Newcastle under Lyme. He was described as the adopted son of Ann and Thomas Mulliner. Ann was 68. They lived at Stoke Road, Stoke upon Trent. (Class: RG13; Piece: 2610; Folio: 74; Page: 39.)
(In the 1891 Census there was also an Ernest Mulliner, born Woore, Shropshire, about 1887, the son of George and Ada. Woore was in the Market Drayton registration district and there does not seem to be a birth registered there for Ernest Mulliner about 1887. However, in the1901 Census there was an Ernest Mulliner, born 1887 Madeley "Staffordshire"; whereas Madeley was actually in Shropshire. There were, then, two boys with the same name living in the Newcastle under Lyme area.)
Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Margie Jackaman {Email left}
Location: Ipswich
Date: Thursday 14th November 2013 at 2:42 PM
Hi Alan

It is 2 years since I last made contact. I am still trying to find out my happened to my Great Grandfather, Richard James Parker, Royal Engineers, Reg. No. 94672 (his service records have not survived). I have recently been told by the Royal Engineers Archivist that it was likely that the prison sentence he received of 4 months in June 1916 would probably have been served in Colchester Military Prison and not Fenny Stratford as I originally believed. Do you know if there are any records available to the general public re Colchester Prison which could help me in my search. I have contacted the Essex Archives but they cannot help. I assume if they are anywhere it would be at the National Archives. I have searched their catalogue and found a few references but nothing that I thought was relevant. I would contact the Army but haven't a clue where to start.

Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

Kind regards

Margaret Jackaman
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 15th November 2013 at 11:16 AM

Dear Margaret,
It is not possible to be certain where a soldier served his sentence as the choice of detention barrack or prison depended on the length of sentence imposed and the availability of cells for custodial accommodation on the day of sentencing. The "Selection of Place of Confinement" was finally at the discretion of the Commander-in-Chief or a Senior Officer "according to the accommodation available" but a soldier sentenced to "detention" could not be confined in a prison.
Soldiers serving sentences longer than three months were often sent to civilian prisons. As well as military prisons there were Detention Barracks for sentences of more than 14 days. The military prisons and detention barracks were run by the Military Provost Staff Corps. The men in detention barracks were given Detention Barrack (DB) numbers and were no longer called prisoners, but "Soldiers under Sentence". The reasoning was that they no longer had the stigma of prison attached to them. In 1906 the form of punishment known as "detention" had been introduced to rank immediately below imprisonment. The Manual of Military Law stated: "For the purpose of preventing soldiers convicted of offences against discipline under the Army Act, and not discharged with ignominy, from being subjected to the stigma attaching to imprisonment, the following amendments shall be made in the Army Act [ ]. A court-martial ought not, therefore, to sentence to imprisonment a soldier convicted of a purely military offence, and if the court imposes imprisonment in contravention of this principle, the confirming officer should, except under very special circumstances, commute the sentence to a sentence of detention".
A general guide was that "detention" was for a maximum of three months in a detention barracks and longer sentences were served in prison: either military or civilian.
Prison registers are held by the prison or may have been deposited at county record offices. While the National Archives at Kew has some prison registers from the 18th and 19th Centuries, it is not their policy to act as a centralised depository for prison registers. The Colchester establishment is now the Military Corrective Training Centre. Any records they still hold would not be in the public domain but they may know of the location of any archived records. The address is: Military Corrective Training Centre, Berechurch Hall Camp, Colchester, CO2 9NU.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Margie Jackaman
Date: Friday 15th November 2013 at 8:11 PM

Hi Alan

Many thanks for your reply. I have checked my notes and discovered he received 56 days detention and not 4 months as I previously said. As he deserted from his regiment in April 1916 and was recaptured and sentenced in June 1916. Do you think this would have been before a military court or a civilian court as the offence was for stealing? Further to what you said previously he could possibly have served his sentence at Fenny Stratford if they had a detention barracks. I am going back to Kew in a few days to research further. So would like some advice if possible as to where to start my search.

One of these days I will find out what happened to him!

Your help and knowledge is much appreciated.

Kind regards

Margie
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 16th November 2013 at 5:09 PM

Dear Margie,
If he were sentenced to 56 days "detention" it would suggest he was tried by an army court martial. An offence of stealing could have been tried by either a military or civilian court depending on whom he stole from or what he stole: military property or civilian property. Desertion and larceny (theft) are different offences and you would need to know for which offence he was serving his sentence in detention.
Detention Barracks were created after 1906 at larger barracks and garrisons, and it is unlikely there would have been a detention barrack at Fenny Stratford which was a temporary, wartime establishment in a village.
The National Archives is unlikely to hold personal details other than the District Court Martial registers. See the research guide:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person%5Cdefault.htm
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Margie Jackaman
Date: Sunday 17th November 2013 at 5:26 PM

Hi Alan

Many thanks for your help again. I will see what I can uncover at Kew next week. Perhaps I missed a clue when I was there last.

Kind regards

Margie
Posted by: Janet Collins {Email left}
Location: Dorking
Date: Thursday 14th November 2013 at 9:46 AM
Hi Alan
I am trying to trace any service information on my grandfather who served in WW1. His name was Abraham John Margetson (known as John or Jack Margetson). He signed up around 1917 in Tynemouth, Northumberland serving until 1920. Family history has him in the Royal Army Vetrinary Corp in El Kantara, Egypt. I have a number of 33744 for him.
Hope you can help further
Regards
Janet
Reply from: Janet
Date: Thursday 14th November 2013 at 10:47 AM

I did not mention that in WW2 his Home Guard service mentions previous army service as Dragoon Guards. By WW2 his name had changed to John Margetson Smith.
Many thanks
Janet
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 14th November 2013 at 7:08 PM

Dear Janet,
There is no obvious record for a Margetson in the Army Veterinary Corps or the Dragoon Guards or the number 33744 in the First World War.
Records of soldiers who served after the First World War are held by the Ministry of Defence. The MoD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next of kin or not. You can apply using the forms for next of kin, or with permission of next of kin, or as a general enquirer. See:
http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html
You will need proof of death; date of birth or service number; next of kin's permission (unless you are the direct next of kin); a cheque and completed forms Part 1 and 2. The next of kin form (Part 1) is for completion by the next of kin of deceased service personnel (or enquirers with the consent of next of kin). Look for "Service records publications" under "Related pages" and follow the instructions. The Part 2 form is entitled: "Request forms for service personnel Army" found under "Related Pages". Otherwise use a general enquirer's form. A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to "The mod Accounting Officer" and sent to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland with all the paperwork.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Janet Collins
Date: Friday 15th November 2013 at 9:25 AM

Hi Alan,

Thank you so much for your informative reply. I will certainly follow that up. I am afraid I have no military knowledge so please forgive my ignorance but would the Dragoon Guards be part of the Army Veterinary Corp or are they separate?

I know my grandfather served in Egypt as both his children had seen his medals over the years (sadly these were lost in the mid 1960's). The family story goes that he signed up and was sent out to Egypt where it was discovered he was only 17 and returned to the UK where he promptly turned 18 and then returned to Egypt. We also have a couple of pictures of him in uniform. Am I correct in assuming that because there is no obvious record of him his records did not survive? Is there a way of finding out which Army Veterinary Corps were in El Kantara in late 1917 or 18?

I had always assumed he signed up using his birth name of Abraham John Margetson and that he later changed his surname in the 1920's to that of his step fathers. However if he was trying to enlist underage would it have been possible for him to sign up under John Margetson Smith or was proof required of name and age when you enlisted? Would it be possible for you to search for him under his taken name?

The number 33744 was written in the front of his book of hand written notes on how to treat horses for different ailments/wounds so have always assumed this was to do with his WW1 service. If he was not discharged until 1920 would his records, if they still exist, show up in the WW1 records?

Thank you again for all your help
Regards
Janet
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 15th November 2013 at 3:46 PM

Dear Janet,
The Dragoon Guards were fighting soldiers who were part of the cavalry. The Army Veterinary Corps were non-fighting veterinary staff who looked after horses, camels and mules in horse hospitals that were stationary. There were also mobile veterinary sections which were attached to cavalry divisions and other mounted formations. Those serving in Egypt and Palestine are too numerous to list and would not help identify an individual. It could have been possible for AVC men to work alongside Dragoon Guards, however, the "Assigned Formations of the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force July 1917 to October 1918" (HMSO 1919) does not list any Dragoon Guards serving in Egypt. The seven regiments of Dragoon Guards served in France and Flanders, although the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards left for India in October 1917.
No. 16 Veterinary Hospital was based at Kantara and acted as a base depot for the veterinary corps men, but it was not the only veterinary unit in that town which was a large garrison for the Canal Zone and the starting point of the railway east towards Sinai and Palestine. The 'Palestine Lines of Communication' alone included Nos. 16 and 31 Veterinary Hospitals; No 3 Base Depot Veterinary Stores; Nos. 2, 3 and 4 Camel Hospitals; Nos. 1 and 2 Field Veterinary Detachments and No. 23 (Indian) Field Veterinary Section, which were all Army Veterinary Corps units.
It is not possible to positively identify any surviving individual records by name only, particularly a frequently occurring name such as John Smith. The National Archives have 56 reels of microfilmed service records for the name "John Smith" but, in general, only 40 per cent of all service records have survived so the odds are heavily weighed against discovering a service record by name only. No proof was required of age or name so if he lied about his age and used a different name the search would be impracticable as it is not possible to know what was placed on the record, so it is not known what to search for. Most individual service records were destroyed on 8th September 1940 during the London Blitz. The Home Guard had been formed on May 14th 1940, so if John Margetson Smith had enlisted in its first four months his First World War service record might have survived to be included with his Home Guard record which may be held by the Ministry of Defence, providing he admitted to his previous service in a different name.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 15th November 2013 at 6:49 PM

Incidentally, if he enlisted in 1917 he would have been compulsorily conscripted as conscription was introduced in March 1916, therefore he would have served under his own name and would not have been able to lie about his age because National Registration had taken place on August 15th 1915 when all men of military age had to take part in the national registration scheme. Previous service in the Dragoon Guards may not have been during wartime.
Alan
Reply from: Janet Collins
Date: Friday 15th November 2013 at 6:57 PM

Hi Alan,

Thank you again for your very informative replies. As you have suggested I will certainly try the MOD for any record. I am off to the National Archives in a couple of weeks so if there are any records you think may be worth a trawl through on the off chance please let me know.

I see that you support the Royal British Legion so will make a donation to them for your trouble.
King regards
Janet
Posted by: Keith {Email left}
Location: Swindon
Date: Thursday 14th November 2013 at 9:12 AM
Hi Alan,

I wonder if you can help me. I am trying to trace any information about my grandfather, Albert William Newman. I believe he was attested on the 1st September 1914 at the age of 21, and joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment, his regimantal number was 11599. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal which was published in the Gazette on 18 October 1916. It appears he was in the POW camp of Friedrichsfeld near Wesel from some point around 1917 until the end of the war and post war he appears to have stayed in Liege for a period, possibly recuperating from illnes / injury, either at a Jewelers shop P. Malveaux-Soiron, Rue St Leonard, 102, Liege or a 'Soldiers Home' at 21 Rue Darchis, Liege. I have a reference to a doctor at 9 Rue Velbruck, Liege. In his pay book, next of kin is logged as his mother, E Newman, of 23 Addington Square, Camberwell, SE London. Interestingly, the pay book has 4 entries over a 6 week period in April 1918 - May 1918 when he was paid a total sum of £90, which seems an awful lot for those days - I have heard that soldiers awarded the MSM also received an annuity and wonder whether this was back pay of this sum? Any information you can unearth around Albert would be gratefully received. Regards, Keith
Reply from: Keith
Date: Thursday 14th November 2013 at 11:15 AM

P.S. - a tad more detail, I believe he was in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Berks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 14th November 2013 at 7:07 PM

Dear Keith,
No individual service record has survived for Albert William Newman so it is not possible to state his wartime service. An Army medal rolls index card showed he entered France on 29th November 1914 with the Princess Charlotte of Wales's Royal Berkshire Regiment. The regiment had two battalions in France at the time. The 1st Battalion was at Essars and Le Touret. The 2nd Battalion was in the Fauquissart sector. The 1st Battalion served with 6th Infantry Brigade in the 2nd Division until 13th December 1915 when it moved to 99th Brigade in the 2nd Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/2div.htm
Details of Prisoners of War are held by the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. Access to the records is currently suspended. See:
http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/article/other/archives-first-world-war-2011-07-27.htm

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Keith
Date: Thursday 14th November 2013 at 7:21 PM

Thank you Alan, most helpful - donation on it's way to the British Legion.

Regards

Keith
Posted by: Sam {No contact email}
Location: Canada
Date: Monday 11th November 2013 at 10:57 PM
Good evening,
I have a question about a particular relative that I am hoping you might know the answer to.
I believe this man served in both the British Army and the Canadian Forces - the first ending in desertion in 1904 and the second ending in desertion in 1918. The first desertion was in Canada - the 2nd was in England.
Were records ever cross referenced or were they always kept separate?
Thank you.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 12th November 2013 at 5:47 PM

Dear Sam,
It is unlikely the records of the two offences were cross-referenced after a period of 14 years unless the soldier confessed to the first offence when, or if, interrogated about the second offence.
A soldier convicted of desertion would normally have served a custodial sentence and that would be on record in the country where he served his sentence and also on his Army service record. British infantry soldiers' service records were held in one of 16 regional record offices that dealt with all the local regiments in an area. Records for the 619,636 Canadians of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in England would have been held by one of four Canadian Command Areas at Bramshott, Witley, Shorncliffe and Seaford, Sussex.
A man who remained at large might have escaped conviction. He may or may not have used an alias to avoid detection or, perhaps, after serving a sentence for a conviction. On his second enlistment it would have been easy to deny he had served previously. Question ten of the Canadian attestation was: "Have you ever served in any Military Force?" Had he lied, he exposed himself to a charge of fraudulent enlistment, but the need for volunteers or conscripts meant there were few enquiries unless some other offence was later investigated. The men were not photographed for identity records and so Description Books were kept in which each man's physical appearance, hair colour, tattoos and so on were recorded to assist in identification. However, these records would have been held by the regional record offices that held soldiers' files by regiment and would have required a physical search to identify any matching record 14 years after the first alleged offence.
The offence of alleged desertion had to be tried by court martial where it had to be proven that the man showed intention to desert and did not intend to return to his unit. Desertion in the face of the enemy involved the throwing down of weapons and was more serious. If a man could show he intended to return or claimed he was absent on compassionate grounds (such as preventing his wife's infidelity) the charge of desertion may have been reduced to one of being Absent Without Leave within 21 days of the start of the absence.
If a man's service record showed he "deserted" it would also be necessary for that record to state the outcome of the trial and his sentence, or for the researcher to trace the outcome of the court martial, to see if the charge had been substantiated. In Britain, the names of "Deserters and Absentees from His Majesty's Services" were published in Supplement D of "The Police Gazette" which was produced fortnightly and circulated to police stations and military police headquarters. Military police or civilian police would call at the man's last known address to see if he was living at home. Lists of absentees were often published in the relevant local newspapers giving name, parish and county of birth, regiment, date and place of desertion, and a physical description.
It was harder to be absent during wartime than in peacetime because most men were expected to be in uniform in wartime and would be subject to spot-checks by NCOs ensuring leave passes were in order. Nevertheless, there were 114,670 incidents of desertion by British soldiers in the First World War. Failure to report after being called-up under the British Military Service Acts of 1916 and later (1917 in Canada) could also be considered as desertion as the Acts effectively automatically placed every man of military age under military law.
Both the Canadian and the British armies' laws were laid down in the [British] Army Act. Section 12 covered 'deserting or encouraging others to desert while on active service' and section 15 covered 'absence without leave', whereas Section 4 covered the more serious acts of 'deserting one's post', and 'throwing away one's arms in the presence of the enemy'.
Records of British Army courts martial are not necessarily complete. They are kept at The National Archives at Kew in series WO 71, WO 72, WO 81-WO 93, and WO 213/2-26. Canadian courts martial records for charges brought in England against Canadian soldiers in the First World War are held by the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in RG150 Ministry of the Overseas Forces of Canada; reference: R611-430-3-E . See:
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/public_mikan/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=136599
Search the records at:
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/courts-martial/Pages/search.aspx
Earlier Canadian records are less accessible. The LAC says: "the vast majority of these courts records were destroyed between the First and Second World Wars. Library and Archives Canada does have a handful of courts martial held in Canada during the First World War, but unfortunately they have been affected by mould and have not been properly listed".
See also the UK National Archives guide:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/army-courts-17th-20th.htm

Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Vicki {Email left}
Location: London
Date: Monday 11th November 2013 at 12:31 PM
Dear Alan,

I wonder if you could help me find out some info on George Mulliner, he served in the 4th and 9th Royal Fusiliers and was awarded the Military Medal at the Battle of the Somme. His number was 12152, I think, and he disembarked in France in 1st June 2015.

I'm trying to discover his movements, and what action he may have seen. I know he was awarded his MM for bravery in the field at the Somme, where he was badly injured and pile into a cart for burial. Luckily, a nurse saw his hand move and hastily removed him to a hospital!

If there is any information that you can shed on where his battalions were, I would be most grateful.

Many thanks,

Vick
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 11th November 2013 at 5:57 PM

Dear Vicki,
No individual service record has survived for Corporal George Mulliner MM 12152 Royal Fusiliers, so it is not possible to state his wartime record. He enlisted on 23rd January 1915 and an Army medal rolls index card showed he went to France to serve with the 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers on 1st June 1915. The 9th Battalion was in 36th Infantry Brigade in 12 Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/12div.htm
Unfortunately, there is no record of when he might have transferred to the 4th Battalion which served in the 3rd Division with 9th Infantry Brigade. He was discharged, aged 23, "no longer physically fit for war service" because of wounds, on March 14th 1919.
The award of the Military Medal was announced in the "London Gazette" of July 16th 1918, which was two years after the Battles of the Somme 1916, but timely for the First Battles of the Somme 1918 which might also account for his being discharged, wounded, in 1919 if he had been hospitalised in the UK.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Vicki
Date: Thursday 14th November 2013 at 12:26 PM

Dear Alan,

Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to answer, this is really helpful, and most interesting.
I'm really grateful for the info that you have uncovered, I was at a bit of a dead end.
I've made a donation to the British Legion in thanks, I hope that is ok.

Best regards,
Vicki

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