Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum (Page 128)

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Posted by: Amanda Den {Email left}
Location: Louth Lincolnshire
Date: Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at 8:54 PM
Dear Alan, i know that this is going to be a tough one for you to find. but with out going into details, i am looking information on my grandad who was in the 2nd world war. But unfortunatly the only name and info i have is that his last name was PATTERSON or PATERSON he was from scotland, and was based in lincolnshire, not to far from a town called Louth, or within a resonable train journey from louth. this would have been. from aprox 1939 to 1943/onwards, i do hope you can help as you are our last chance in finding our family, thankyou, from amand
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 24th May 2012 at 11:03 PM

Dear Amanda,
Unfortunately it is not possible for me to access records for soldiers from the Second World War. These records are held securely by the Ministry of Defence who can conduct searches on behalf of the surviving next-of-kin of soldiers who have died only with specific details including the soldier's full name, service number and/or date of birth and with evidence of his death and a statement establishing the permission of the next-of-kin. Unless you have this amount of detail no search would produce the information you are seeking.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex
Date: Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at 4:12 PM
Can you help me on finding imfo on my Grandfathers Brother please.He was Born Edwin John Jordan Born 1872 Evenley,Northants.
He moved with his family to 32 Nelson Road Harrow on the Hill,Middlesex.I have a Short Service Document which states that he
signed up on the 25.08.1915 in London in the Royal Egineers.It the states at the bottom of the Document that on the 01 09 1915
at Southampton he shipped out ?.His Service No was 117783.I would be very grateful for any imfo on him as i cant seem to find
a Death for him in this Country and can only assume he Possibly was Killed in Action ?.
Kind Regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at 11:20 PM

Dear Jonboy,
Edwin John Jordan survived the First World War. The Short Service attestation document you have is just one page of about two dozen pages in his service records. He was medically examined at Harrow on 17th August 1915 and was sworn in (attested) on 24th August 1915 at London. As he was over 40 years old he was enlisted in the Labour Section of the Royal Engineers and went to their Base Depot to be sent to France from Southampton where his attestation was approved on 1st September 1915. He left Southampton on the night of 2nd September 1915 and arrived the next morning in France. He joined the 6th Labour Battalion of the Royal Engineers who at that time worked on general labouring, such as road construction, under the command of GHQ 4th Army. They were under General Headquarters at Albert in France between 1-13 Jul 1916 (at the opening of The Battle of The Somme) but Private Jordan had been admitted to hospital on March 14th 1916 and on 23rd April 1916 he was transferred from the 14th General Hospital (Boulogne) to England, where he was treated at Waltham Abbey with convalescence at Eastbourne. He was discharged from the Army through sickness on July 14th 1916. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was given a Silver War Badge for being discharged through sickness.
The General Register Office of England and Wales recorded six men named Edwin Jordan with four men named Edwin J Jordan who died between 1927 and 1960 and who were born within two years of 1872. When searching the General Register Office index for deaths, bear in mind the index was created by civil servants to reference volumes and pages of their death records and consequently middle names were not always recorded in the index.
His service record is available free by visiting the National Archives at Kew or via (charges apply). Many local libraries offer free access to the ancestry website.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Thursday 24th May 2012 at 8:26 AM

Hi Alan
Thank you so much for your fast reply after reading all letters and answeres
on this site you totaly amase me of your knowledge of WW1.I hope i will be
allowed to ask for more imfo on my past family soon.Meanwhile i will be
making a Donation to my Local British Legion Club just round the corner to
me,this is something i have done for many years as my Father did as well.
its something thats very close to my Heart and i hope thats ok with you.
Kind Regards
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Friday 25th May 2012 at 7:40 PM

Hi Alan
Hopefully you will be able to help me on this , My Gt Uncle Percy Nicholls B1896 (Brentford) D1916 (Flanders).
All we know is that he was in the Royal Fuseiliers 8th Battalion.Reg No: L/16519 Died in action Battle of the
Sommes.Can you throw any more on this please as to what happened and maybe how he Died ?.we would be
extremely Grateful.His Parents were Alfred Nicholls and Mary Powney and he was living at South Ealing.
Kindest Regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 26th May 2012 at 1:32 PM

Dear Jonboy,
No individual service record appears to have survived for Percy Nicholls so it is not possible to be specific about his wartime service. A medal rolls index card showed he entered France on 29th September 1915 but it does not indicate which battalion he served with. The 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers had been in France with the 36th Infantry Brigade in the 12th Division since the end of May 1915 so Percy may have entered France as part of a draft of reinforcements or with another battalion. When he died he was serving with the 8th Battalion. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) stated he was killed in action July 1st 1916 which was the opening day of The Battle of the Somme 1916 when the 8th Battalion was fighting in the Battle of Albert at Hencourt and Millencourt. See:
The war diary of the 8th Battalion can be downloaded from the National Archives website at a cost of GBP 3-50. It is Online Document WO 95/1857 "12 DIVISION, 36 INFANTRY BRIGADE: 8 Battalion Royal Fusiliers 1915 June - 1918 Feb." See:

Kind regards,
Reply from: Bella
Date: Wednesday 30th May 2012 at 10:53 PM

Dear Alan

I hope I'm doing this correctly. Am always fascinated by other peoples quests and the deliverance you give. Could say I was poking my nose but perhaps you would pass information to Johnboy re his Great Uncle born 1872, Edwin John Jordan. Have no information on E.J.J but would suggest to him, if he hasn't already, to google 32 Nelson Road, Harrow. Such a pretty little row of terraced houses.

Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Thursday 7th June 2012 at 8:55 AM

Hi Alan
First of all can i just thank Bella regarding Nelson Road Harrow.Im looking for imfo on my Uncle Edgar Cecil Bartlett Born 1900
North London.He was living at as far as i can make out at 97 Milton Road,Stoke Newington N16 prior to signing up with the
Training Reserves Rifle Battalion in the Middlesex Regiment.Reg No:R13/81523 and i think he was accepted 08 March 1918
at Mill Hill.I cant find out anything on him as to where he went if he he went anywhere.Many thanks so very grateful for all your
hard work you must put into this.I also enjoy reading all the Questions and Answeres,its like reading a Book of which you cant
seem to put down,So much History !.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 7th June 2012 at 2:09 PM

Dear Jonboy,
Edgar Cecil Bartlett was born on January 10th 1900 and was baptised at St Mary's Church, Stoke Newington, on June 25th 1902, with his brother Albert George who was born June 5th 1902. The parents were Henry James and Annie Bartlett of 74 Hawksley Road. Henry James was a paper-hanger. It appears the family decorating business was taken on by Henry's son, Henry, and
Edgar lived with his brother Henry in 1911. His sister, Ethel, who had married, was shown as his next-of-kin in 1918 at 97 Milton Road. Edgar became a decorator, apparently with the family firm.
Compulsory conscription was introduced in March 1916. Under the Military Service Acts of 1916 all men aged over 18 were deemed to have been enlisted in the Army. They could not serve overseas (officially) until their 19th birthday. In August 1915 there was a National Registration Day rather like a census at which all young men had to state when they would have their 18th birthday. In Edgar's case this was January 10th 1918.
His service record states "deemed to have been enlisted 11.1.18", the day after his 18th birthday. He was called-up on March 5th 1918 and passed his medical as grade A4 which meant he was A1 but not able to serve overseas (A4 stated: "Men under 19 who would be Al or A2 when aged 19"). He was called-up at the regimental depot of the Middlesex Regiment. Three days later on 8th March 1918 he was posted to the 53rd (Young Soldier) Battalion The Rifle Brigade which was based at Northampton. The Young Soldier Battalions conducted basic training for six or seven weeks and from these the recruits were posted in companies to what were known as Graduated Battalions where training continued. The 18 year olds of the Graduated Battalions could be employed on Home Defence duties until they were old enough to go overseas. Edgar was posted to the 52nd Graduated Battalion of The Rifle Brigade on 27th April 1918. It was based at Colchester. He remained there until 22nd November 1918 when he was posted to the 5th (Reserve) Battalion The Rifle Brigade at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey. The armistice had been signed on November 11th 1918 and the war was over. Edgar remained at Minster until 23rd January 1919 when he was "struck of the strength on proceeding to discharge centre Crystal Palace for final demobilization". He would have been sent home from Crystal Palace in January 1919 and was formally discharged to the reserves on 20th February 1919. Service in the reserves was deemed to have ended automatically on 31st March 1920.
Edgar served only in the UK and therefore did not qualify for any campaign medals.
His record is available on the website. Their search engine identifies the Attestation paper as what is known as a "landing page" the page that appears when you click on the link. In Edgar's file the attestation paper is in the middle of the file, so you have to click forwards and backwards to see all the pages.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Thursday 7th June 2012 at 2:39 PM

Many thanks Alan for that wonderful story on Edgar.
Have a Good Day.

Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Monday 11th June 2012 at 2:08 PM

Hi Alan
My Son who wants to be a WW1 Historion when he leaves School has said he has learnt so much just by reading your pages he thanks you for that.After looking through more paperwork of my Parents for my Family Tree i have come across lots of uncles who served in WW1 with hardly any imfo on wht they did and where they went but ill sort most of them out another time what got me was this on :
William H Nicholls Born 17th July 1883 in Maids Moreton Buckinghamshire,Last know place of living was Olney,Buckinghamshire,Served with 1st Battalion Oxford Light Infantry his No as far as i can make out (its very Scribbly) Private 27790 but then my Father has Scribbled something like He is Buried in Bagdad ? could you throw some light on this one please.Many Thanks to you
Kind Regards
Jonboy (John Nicholls)
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 11th June 2012 at 9:35 PM

Dear John,
William Herbert Nicholls, 27790, served with the 1st Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. A medal rolls index card showed he qualified for the British War and Victory Medals. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service abroad before December 31st 1915, he did not serve overseas until after January 1st 1916. His regimental number was a typical wartime regimental number of five digits suggesting he was a wartime recruit and not a pre-war regular soldier. This is significant because the original 1st Battalion Ox and Bucks LI was captured at Kut al Amara, Mesopotamia (Iraq) on 29th April 1916 in one of the British Army's worst ever defeats.
It is probable that William H. Nicholls was part of a draft of reinforcements sent to Mesopotamia later in 1916 when a provisional battalion was formed from reinforcements. It became the replacement 1st Battalion on 6th July 1916 and was employed on Lines of Communication between Basra and the fighting in the North from June 1916 to Aug 1917. It then served with the 15th Indian Division.
Baghdad was captured by the British in March 1917 and became the British advanced base after April 1917, with two stationary hospitals and three casualty clearing stations.
"Soliders Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded William Nicholls had "died" on 22 July 1917 and was not "killed in action" or "died from wounds". Therefore, he probably died from disease as opposed to being killed. He was buried at Baghdad North Gate War Cemetery.
Lines of Communication to Baghdad were along the Tigris River and LoC troops would have been employed to maintain security along its route. For more on the war in Mesopotamia see:

I was interested to read that your son is enthusiastic about First World War history. For a bit of fun he might like to tackle the following questions:

1. What was the most famous make of jam issued to the British Army in the First World War and why was it notorious?
2. What did soldiers do with the empty tins?
3. What were Pip, Squeak and Wilfred . and who were they named after?
4. What roles did women undertaken in the First World War?
5. Did soldiers really sing "It's a long way to Tipperary" or did they despise it?
6. What was a Dreadnought?
7. What was the average length of time spent in the trenches?
8. Which character said: "If you know of a better 'ole, go to it" . and who created him?
9. How did Captain L.E.O. Charlton and Lieutenant V.H.N. Wadham of the Royal Flying Corps earn a place in history?
10. Who were nicknamed "canaries" in the British Army?
11. What purpose did an estaminet serve for British soldiers in France and Flanders?
12. What was a whizz-bang?

Kind regards,
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Monday 11th June 2012 at 10:12 PM

Hi Alan
Here are my sons answeres to your Questions i can verifie he never looked up these either.

1. Thinks that Jam was issued in Cardboerd tubes and also thinks they were called Ticklers?
2. He says maybe Grenades ?
3. A Cartoon from a Newspaper and very popular during the War.
4.He doesnt know the answere to that one
5.He says song was popular amongst the Soldiers.
6.He Doesnt know this one.
7.He Reckons it to be approx 80 days a year in Trenches but it varied from Sector to sector (now he is confusing me lol)
8.Dont Know.
9.They were Pilots and had something to with warning the Generals about General Von Clucks army coming contrary to what intelligence had told them ?.
10.Women working in amunition Factorys.
11.Dont know.
12.Something to do with German Artillary Shells ?.

Ok how did he do then ? i wouldnt have got one right im ashamed to say.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 11th June 2012 at 11:08 PM

Dear John,
If anyone else is reading this answer and yet wishes to tackle the questions above, they should leave this reply till later.

I am genuinely impressed. What is more embarrassing is he's caught me out. For Q 10 about canaries I was thinking of the NCOs who trained men at Infantry Base Depots, because they wore yellow arm bands and were despised by men who had fought at the front. But your son is equally correct in saying that ammunition workers were called canaries because the chemicals turned their skin yellow and I had overlooked that.
Tickler's Plum and Apple jam was cheap and cheerful and soldiers were fed up with it because they believed someone was stealing the strawberry jam. They did use the tins for grenades. Pip, Squeak and Wilfred were cartoon characters that gave their names to the three medals: Star, British War and Victory. Women were ammunition workers, nurses and auxiliaries. "It's a long way to Tipperary" remained a popular song at home, but fell out of favour with soldiers as being too sentimental; though no doubt it was sung occasionally. A Dreadnought was a battleship. He is correct on 7 (time in trenches) and 9 (aerial photography pilots) and a whizz-bang was a German artillery shell.
He passed on estaminet: a café run by a woman and her daughters quite near the front that served egg and chips and beer or wine. When soldiers were out of the line, estaminets provided the sight of women, and the chance of food and a drink.
He passed on "better 'ole" which was the character: "Old Bill", created as a cartoon by Bruce Bairnsfather, the best known war cartoonist whose work was adored by the soldiers and viewed with less approval by the authorities until they decided to take on Bairnsfather as an official cartoonist. See:

Well done.
If you wish, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the "contact editor" button to send the webmaster, in confidence, your name and address and ask him to forward it to me. I shall send a small prize (something, harmless, used in the First World War) to reward your son's enthusiasm. Your address details will be protected under my licence with the UK Data Protection Agency which ensures only the webmaster and I will know them and they will not be passed on to anyone else.

Kind regards
Reply from: Johnboy
Date: Saturday 16th June 2012 at 12:07 PM

Hi Alan thanks for the present you sent me Im over the moon. Im now going to be collecting WW1 and WW2 guns hand books bullets canteines as much as my parents can handle and i like your website Im lost for words of how much info you have on hear its amazing as soon as im in year ten im going to be takeing history as an option as im now going into year 9 with BETEC sport but i cant wait to do history i love it any way thanks for all the info and the Field manual it will keep me amused for ever ;)

kind regards
Luke Johns son
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Wednesday 29th August 2012 at 1:56 PM

Hi Alan
im back again im struggling to find my Gt Grandad Albert e Jordan Born June1867 in Evenley Northants
Resided at 7 Prospect Place Mortlake Surrey in 1911,married to a Fanny Chimes,he seems to have disappeared
after 1911 so im presuming he was in the army.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 29th August 2012 at 5:53 PM

Dear Jonboy,
Most people "vanish" after the 1911 census as that is the latest census and public document available to us as most other records tend to be private for 100 years. Some Army records have survived that identify men by age and address but there is no obvious record for Albert Edward Jordan. He would have been 48 at the outbreak of war in 1914 when the maximum enlistment age was 38. It would be best to establish his death from the GRO death records and work backwards from that. For example, an Albert E Jordan, aged 48, died in 1914 at Surrey (GRO Deaths 1914, Richmond Surrey Vol 2A page 674). Mortlake was in the Richmond registration district, so it could be relevant.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Wednesday 29th August 2012 at 5:56 PM

Thanks Alan donation on the way to our local British Legion branch

Posted by: Paul {Email left}
Location: Belfast
Date: Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at 3:18 PM
Hi Alan, I have just discovered your World War Forum, but even a brief scan through some of the threads shows you have a wealth of information at your disposal.
I wonder can you help me?
My Grandfather served in the Royal Navy in WW1. He enlisted in 1915 and was presumably discharged at the end of hostilities.
His name was Edward Largey and he was awarded the DSM and MiD(as well as the campaign medals) for service aboard the Vindictive at Ostend in May 1918.
And that is all we know about him, which we found out ourselves(the grandchildren).
I was wondering can you shine any light on his service between 1915 and 1918? Or indeed any information germaine to him.

Thank you so much.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at 11:12 PM

Dear Paul,
Edward Largey stated he was born on 2nd April 1897. An Edward Largey was with his grandparents in 1911 at 10 Frederick Street, Belfast, aged 13 (Irish Census online). He was a Roman Catholic (which helps to identify records). Edward Largey enlisted in the Royal Navy at Chatham on June 3rd 1915 for the "duration of hostilities". He stated he was a shoemaker from Belfast. He would have been aged eighteen and one month. He was 5ft 4ins; with grey eyes and fair hair. His conduct was "very good" and his abilities were "superior".
He is recorded as serving at sea on HMS "General Craufurd" which might have pleased him as that ship was laid down in Belfast at Harland and Wolff's in January 1915 and completed within six months; launched July 8th 1915. Listed as serving at Pembroke II (a shore administration depot), Edward joined "Gen Craufurd" on 19th August 1915 as a Stoker (No. K 26917) rising to Stoker First Class. He was listed as serving on the same ship until 15th November 1918 before being demobilized on shore at Pembroke II on 4th April 1919. So "his" ship appeared to have been the "General Craufurd".
The "Gen Craufurd" was armed with 12-inch guns and served with the Dover Monitor Squadron.
Edward's service record does show that he was Mentioned in Despatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in August 1918 (for bravery and resourcefulness on active service at sea). This award is recorded in the government publication "London Gazette" of 28th August 1918, which can be searched online. Gallantry entries in the Gazette were published some months after the deed by which they were earned.
The Naval medal rolls (UK Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 (via record that he was Mentioned in Despatches and also that he was listed on HMS "Vindictive". He was recorded as a Stoker First Class with the number K26917. This appears to be the same Edward Largey, but the two records (the medal roll and his service record) don't correlate. The reason may be that HMS "General Crauford" took part in the "First Ostend Raid" in May 1918. See:
Now, it happens that an HMS "Vindictive" was also used in that raid and sunk as a "blockship". So it is possible that the incident was one in which volunteers were required to crew a ship that was no longer required for service. This incident is worthy of further research.
HMS "General Craufurd" was set-aside at the end of 1918 and scrapped in 1921.

In researching the name Edward Largey, it was noted that an Edward Largey, born about 1897, whose address was given as "91 Spamount Road" [Street?] Belfast, died in Liverpool in 1957 at 107 Rice Lane, Liverpool. In researching this Liverpool address it became obvious that numerous people had died at the same address. It appeared to be the address of the Walton Hospital in Liverpool. Edward Largey was buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Ford Cemetery in Liverpool on 11th October 1957 in grave B129. (James Paul McCartney was born at 107 Rice Lane, Walton Park, Liverpool, on the 18th June 1942, which suggests the address was a hospital.)
Royal Navy service records are very succinct compared to Army records. Edward's brief record is held at the UK National Archives and can be downloaded for a charge of GBP 3-50. See:

An Edward Largey born about 1864 at Shankhill, Belfast served in the Royal Irish Rifles from February 1885. He died at Malta in 1892. I mention it because it seems a co-incidence, although he may be unrelated.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Paul
Date: Thursday 24th May 2012 at 10:31 AM

Hi Alan,

Thank you for replying to my e-mail so quickly, and for the new(to me) information contained therein. It is fantastic to now know the exact date he enlisted,most importantly to me the ship he served on before Vindictive and the exact date and location of his demobilization. As you may have gathered, I never knew or met my grandfather, so all this information helps me to connect with him, or at least his memory.

Thank you again.
Take care.

Posted by: Owenjohn {Email left}
Location: Swansea
Date: Tuesday 22nd May 2012 at 11:18 PM
My greatgrandfather Philip John Owen was written a letter of recommendation by Captain H Ward RFA dated 6th December 1909 on headed paper from R. A.Mess Kildare. I have had some info that 47th brigade were stationed there at the time after moving from Tipperary in Nov 1908. Would any one have any more info? I know he reinlisted in 1914 at Swansea and was discharged in 1917 as no longer fit to serve, his medal card states he was a driver and served in France in 1915 reg no 41666. He spent time at the Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich prior to discharge. I would love to find out more about his actions prior to 1914. He married in Swansea in 1910 and his occupation is listed as Tube filer at steel works in 1911 so can only assume that the letter of recommendation meant that he was leaving the army in 1909. Was this common? Any info would be appreciated.
Posted by: Young Marlow {Email left}
Location: Sydney
Date: Monday 21st May 2012 at 1:26 PM
Dear Alan,
I'm researching a great uncle who was killed in WW1. I have a copy of his service card which shows a Victory Medal m/101 b/30 Page 3797. He was Private Sydney Frank Marlow R30888 for the King's Royal Rifle Corps, 1st Battalion, enlisting as a volunteer in Fiji for the 1st Fiji Reinforcements in June 1916. He died in the Somme on the 17th February 1917. Are you able to tell me anything about his movements from enlistment to death and what battle would have been his last? From what I can put together of the movements of his battalion, I've made a tentative guess at him being killed in the Battle of Delville Wood but everything I find on the internet says something different with regards to dates and I don't fully understand how military units were split up so I could be completely off-base. His body was never 'found' and he is listed on the memorial at Thiepval which is some way from Longueval. Would he have actually received a medal or would it have been sent to his family following his death?
Anything you can tell me would be most appreciated.
Kind regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 21st May 2012 at 8:08 PM

Dear Young Marlow,
Rifleman Sydney Frank Marlow probably died on the slopes of Hill 130 to the South-east of the village of Petit Miraumont during an attack on the hill in the morning of February 17th 1917 by the 99th Infantry Brigade of the Second Division. He was 25 years old.
Sydney was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School for Boys at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England, and was in the Boy Scouts. In 1911 he was a railway clerk living in Rosemary Street, Mansfield where his parents had a grocery shop. On 4 June 1914 he sailed on SS "Orsova" from London to Sydney, Australia. From there he moved to Suva, Fiji. While there he established the Boy Scouts in Fiji and became a member of the Fiji Rifle Association which was formed from town rifle clubs.
A group of men whose surnames are all associated with the King's Royal Rifle Corps arrived in Liverpool, England, from Montreal Canada, on SS "Grampian" which docked on 17th July 1916 (Ship's manifest via There were 21 "military" passengers and the name Sydney Marlow was among them, as was William Statham, a Sergeant who was in charge of the party and who enlisted on 18th July 1916 in the 1st Battalion KRRC with the regimental number R/30880.
This group of Europeans from Fiji formed a draft of reinforcements to a platoon of the 1st Bn KRRC, which was already in France with the 99th Infantry Brigade and was at Hermin on July 17th 1916. (Some online records show this as 33rd Infantry Brigade but the originals state the 99th Brigade which had once been in 33rd Division). The battalion moved to the fighting on the Somme two days later. The battles at Delville Wood were fought in July 1916 some months before Sydney was killed and probably before he arrived in France. The war diary of the 1st KRRC noted at Arqueves on 8th November 1916: "10 other ranks joined mostly reinforcements from Fiji". Another draft arrived on 23rd November, although they were not identified further. Much larger drafts arrived in December 1916.

The Fiji reinforcements brought with them their war cry: "Na cava na aka; Touna qara; Na Dra; Sa lako ko Viti; Ki na kena magiti; Tou a cici; Tagi!" For a translation see the website by Christine Liava'a, of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists:
By January 1917, the battalion had moved to Ovillers Huts and on 1st February 1917 they moved into trenches near the junction of the East and West Miraumont Roads near the village of Pys. The defences were a series of positions holding about 15 men each, and not connected trenches. There was little defensive wire. The men were billeted at Bouzincourt a week later and while there they practiced tactics for a forthcoming attack. They moved to Wolfe Huts where they made their final preparations. The weather had been dry and frosty, but on the 16th February it thawed and rained and the ground became muddy.
On the night of February 16th, the battalion moved up through Poziers and took up a formation of two companies in front and two to the rear. The left of the battalion was on the West Miraumont Road in front of Hill 130 by 3am on February 17th. A tot of rum was issued just before zero hour at 5.45am. The advance was in darkness and mist on very slippery ground pitted with shell holes. The battalion passed through Boom Ravine and reached the East Miraumont Road. The attack was heavily opposed with shelling that caused confusion and by 11.30 am the leading troops were muddled up, consisting of Royal Fusiliers, Northamptonshire Regiment and KRRC being consolidated by the few un-wounded officers and NCOs. Twenty three members of the battalion were killed and 135 wounded. The enemy then launched a counter attack from a ravine to the North on the Miraumont-Pys road and pushed the KRRC off the slopes of Hill 130.

The medal index card for Sydney showed he qualified for the Victory Medal and the British War Medal (indicated by ditto marks) which would have been sent to his parents. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial which was a general memorial to the missing of the Somme region.

The war diary of the 1st Bn KRRC showed they were in "routine" employment in the winter of 1916-1917 and apart from some duties in the trenches spent much time in rest and training for the attack in which Sydney was killed. The diary can be downloaded from the UK National Archives. It costs GBP 3-50. The files are very large and you only need part of the set in Catalogue reference WO 95/1371. See:

The Scout Association of Fiji is planning to commemorate the 100th anniversary of being founded by Sydney. See:
Kind regards,
Reply from: Young Marlow
Date: Monday 21st May 2012 at 10:38 PM

Thank you so much Alan. I had some of this information regarding scouts etc but I did not know his last known position before he died and the detail you have provided has given me a picture in which his memory is now painted. It brings a tear to my eye. Thanks again.
Reply from: Anthony Snowsill
Date: Monday 3rd December 2012 at 3:53 AM

Young Marlow

Your grandfather was well known in Fiji and held in high regard by all who knew him.
His contribution to Fiji Society and the education of youth is well remembered.
His name lives on in Fiji on trophy's and cups !

I was reseachinh another name and came across your search
Here are some threads for you to follow.

Place his full name and Fiji after it and search there.

Be well TABU SORO - In Fijian = Never Give Up.

Anthony Snowsill = (tonysnowsill at gmail dot com)
Reply from: Young Marlow
Date: Monday 3rd December 2012 at 6:48 AM

Thanks Tony,
I believe you are still in touch with Mrs K Watkins. She has my details and I see her regularly
B. Marlow
Posted by: Simon {Email left}
Location: Colchester
Date: Monday 21st May 2012 at 12:03 PM
Hi Alan,

Name: C J Hughes. ASC No: T/3/032232 Y&L No: 35693

My grandfather (C J Hughes) served as a driver with the ASC in France and private in the 8th Bn Y&L Regiment in Italy during WW1. His service records have survived, and these provide a reasonable amount of information, but there are some things that I am struggling to interpret, particularly some of the transfers and postings - a combination of jargon and deterioration of ink in the scans.

For example: 2/3/16 Posted to 75th Field Company Royal Engineers, The scan is difficult to read, and I cannot decide if the entry on the 6/3/16 shows his return from the posting, or states he is now with D Coy 75th RE. Similarly:26/4/17 'Tempy' duty to ?HQ co 1st Can Divisional Train Ex 2 reserve park. Also would you know where the 49th IBD was located or where the 164th Coy ASC would have done basic training in the UK?

Any further information you could provide would be most gratefully received.

Many thanks,

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 21st May 2012 at 10:35 PM

Dear Simon,
Clement Hughes enlisted at Bridgend and had his documents counter-signed at Aldershot and Woolwich Dockyard, two of the training centres for the ASC. He was medically examined on October 31st and posted on November 2 1914 to the Army Service Corps as a driver (horse driver) with the number T/3 023232 where T stood for horse transport and 3 stood for Kitchener's third new army. 164 Company ASC was raised on 12th November 1914 and was destined to form part of the GHQ Troops in France as 17th Reserve Park from August 1915.
A Reserve Park was equipped with 59 GS (General Service) wagons; 2 forage carts; a Maltese cart (a two wheel buggy) and a water cart which needed about 360 horses. Their task was to maintain two days' supply of rations for the men of their sector. GHQ Troops were those at the disposal of GHQ. It is not clear where they trained in the UK.
They departed for France on 3rd August 1915 sailing on the "Mount Temple" and the "Archimedes" and landed at Havre the next morning.
On 28 January 1916 Clement was posted to 75 Field Company Royal Engineers. As it was a "posting" he remained in the ASC as a horse driver but was attached to the Royal Engineers company which was serving with the Guards Division. Their war diary is held at the National Archives in Piece reference WO 95/1205. During 1916 the Guards fought at The Battle of Flers-Courcelette and The Battle of Morval (both on the Somme). As soon as he joined the Engineers he was granted leave until 5th February 1916. On 29th April 1916 he was found to have left horses unattended and was confined to camp for one day. This would have been with the Engineers. (The applicable dates are the dates in the right-hand columns). On 25th March 1917 he was at No. 2 Reserve Park which could have been either the reserve park of the Canadian Army Service Corps (CASC) or the British ASC. From there he was posted on temporary duty to HQ Company 1st Canadian Divisional Train. Their war diaries are online. See:
He was granted leave from 2nd Reserve Park from 29 August 1917 to 8 September 1917. On 27th October 1917 he was sent to what appears to be Brigade Headquarters and the next day was sent to 49 Infantry Base Depot for training. An IBD was where the infantrymen were put through their paces. Five days later he was told he was being compulsorily transferred to the 8th Battalion The York and Lancaster Regiment although Clement may have been employed to look after their horse transport. He arrived at his battalion on November 5th 1917 and they crossed France by train between 10th and 15th November. The 8th Battalion Y&L served the rest of the war in the 70th Infantry Brigade in the 23rd Division in Italy and ended the war near Porcia west of Pordenone. See:
Clement was dispersed from Chiselden on 12th March 1919.
His service record is not particularly explicit so we can only accept that all his postings were recorded. There is no record that I can find for the diary of the 49th IBD at the National Archives (There is a 46 and 47 IBD in WO 95/4186), so I cannot state where it was based, although most were on the coast in the district around Etaples. Unfortunately, not every unit record has survived and war diaries were only maintained abroad on active service, so there are still many gaps in the history of units during the First World War.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Simon
Date: Friday 25th May 2012 at 6:49 PM

Hi Alan,

Just wanted to say thank you so much for this, it's given me some extra leads which i hadn't seen before which really is great and you have clarified a few things from his service record. Do you know whether the war diary for 8 Y&L service in Italy is available anywhere? I have the diary for it's service in France, but it ends after this.

Many thanks again,

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 25th May 2012 at 7:09 PM

Dear Simon,
The full diary is held at the National Archives at Kew. You would have to visit Kew to see the part you need as that part is not online. It is:
"War Office: First World War and Army of Occupation... WO 95/4240"
8 Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment . 23 Division Date: 1917 - 1919"
Kind regards,
Reply from: Simon
Date: Friday 25th May 2012 at 7:40 PM

Thanks again for the speedy reply, a trip to Kew it is then!


Posted by: Sandra Shepherd {Email left}
Location: Devon Uk
Date: Sunday 20th May 2012 at 9:52 PM
I'm trying to find out which battles my grandfather fought in in WW1, and in particular the battle where he was injured. His name was William Thomas Horrell of Temperance Farm, Boyton, nr Launceston Cornwall. He was with the Somerset Light Infantry no 35367 and was discharged 18-3-1919 after his leg was blown off. In the looking back column of our local newspaper - The Cornish & Devon Post it reads :
"April 13th 1918 Wounded Pte W T Horrell Boyton." He was hospitalised in Leeds.
My mum believes he went to the barracks in Plymouth at some point. I'm wondering if you can help me, please.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 21st May 2012 at 1:55 PM

Dear Sandra,
No individual service record has survived for William Horrell so it is not possible to describe his military service. The Silver War Badge was issued to soldiers who had been discharged from the armed forces through wounds. A Silver War Badge roll recorded that William Thomas Horrell enlisted on 11th December 1915 which indicates that he enlisted under the Derby Scheme. The Derby Scheme was a last call for volunteers before the advent of compulsory conscription in 1916 and there was a lot of publicity about it at the time. It was aimed at those men who had not yet volunteered, but William Horrell would have still been under-age in December 1915, as his birth was registered in the last quarter of 1898. It would appear he was keen to volunteer. Those who enlisted under the Derby Scheme were sent home again the day they put their names down and were told to await call-up. This occurred, generally, in 1916 and for William it may not have occurred until his 18th birthday which would have been in late in 1916. By 1916, the army was more readily able to identify dates of birth which had all been registered nationally on August 15th 1915 under the National Registration scheme.
William qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal which indicated he did not serve overseas until after the beginning of 1916 because he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915.
He had a five-digit regimental number which indicated he had enlisted in a wartime service battalion. As the wartime service battalions of the Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry) went abroad in 1915, William would have been part of a draft of reinforcements. It is therefore not possible to say which battalion he served with, as drafts of recruits could be sent to any battalion already overseas.
The date from the "Cornish and Devon Post" is not helpful as it does not indicate whether that was the date William was wounded, or was the date of the edition of the newspaper which reported he was wounded. If it was the date of the edition, the news could have been some weeks old.
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) did not record any member of the Somerset Light Infantry dying on the 13th April 1918 which implied none of their battalions was involved in any major engagement on that date.
The hospital in Leeds would probably have been the East Leeds War Hospital which is now the St James's Hospital ("Jimmy's"). See:

The local paper may have published a more detailed story nearer the time of his being wounded or returning home. Without knowing which battalion he served with, it is not possible to establish where he fought.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Sandra Shepherd
Date: Saturday 26th May 2012 at 12:06 AM

Dear Alan Thank you so much for all your help. Your insight into this is amazing.
Your mention of a local paper publishing more details has made me contact them. This is what I've found out:

Under Boyton News, Saturday October 27, 1917
Mr and Mrs J Horrell, of the Village, have received official information that their second son (Pte W Horrell) has been admitted to the Australian hospital at Abbeville, suffering from a severe confused side. It was only a few months since that their eldest son (Archie) was wounded in the foot, and is now stationed in Birmingham.

Under Boyton news April 13th 1918
Mr & Mrs T H Horrell, Temperance Hotel, Boyton, have received official information that their 2nd son, Private WT Horrell, has been wounded. Private horrell joined the army about 12 months ago and in October of last year (1917) was wounded and in hospital for 5 months, only taking on duties again, about a month since. On April 1st he was again severely wounded necessitating the amputation of the right leg just below the knee. Private Horrell is highly respected in the parish and it is hoped he will soon be among his friends again.

I have found out that the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Abbeville operated from tents and huts and for most of its existence (May 1917 - May 1918 ) admitted and treated gassed patients. We never knew that he spent 5 months in hospital, returned to the battlefield and then a month later lost his leg. Now we know that his leg injury was 1st April 1918, we are wondering if he was involved in the second battle of Picardy (details below)

Battles of the Somme, 1918
First Battles of the Somme, 1918 (Second Battle of Picardy) 21-Mar-1918
Operation Michael. 
On 21st March 1918 the German Army launched a large-scale offensive against the Allied front on the Somme battlefield. This offensive was codenamed Operation Michael, and was the first of several attacks to be made against the Allies on the northern part of the Western Front in the spring of 1918.

We are also wondering if he was in the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, info gleaned from the link below:

The German offensive, codenamed 'Michael' opened on March 21st 1918. This was soon followed by 'Geogette' offensive on April 9th. The immediate objective of the 4th Division was to preserve Bethune, situated behind the main defensive line of the La Bassee Canal. La Bassee itself was in German hands. Between Bethune and the canal and in the area north of the canal, including the old 1915 battlefields of Festubert and Givenchy, a large number of Battalions of 3rd, 61st and 55th Division were concentrated, using reconstituted old French trenches and their strong support lines just north of Bethune. The 1st Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, part of 11th Brigade, were among them, with the line held by the 4th Division itself resting on the right on the north bank of the river Scarpe. This position was considerably exposed by the 'Michael' attack, and in spite of all the elaborate defences that had been built during the winter, Monchy had to be abandoned without a fight, much to the frustration of the Battalion. Numbers were much reduced for the next battle, and by 29th March the Battalion had lost 3 officers and 80 other ranks. On April 9th the Battalion went into Brigade reserve to receive a draft of 3 officers and 162 men, just missing the opening of 'Georgette' on April 9th. The 4th Division, with the 56th Division on its left, met the onslaught with great determination and courage. After three days, on April 12th the 11th Brigade went into the line again, the Battalion holding positions along the southern bank of the La Bassee Canal.

I'm just wondering if any of this new info can help place where he fought...?

Thank you Alan

Sandra Shepherd
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 27th May 2012 at 6:35 PM

Dear Sandra,
I am pleased you have found more information but, try as I may, I have been unable to correlate the information in the newspaper articles with any additional information for William Horrell. The Australian War Hospital reference in 1917 does not contribute towards identifying his unit as general hospitals served a wide area. The article relating to being wounded on April 1st 1918 might place him in the "Operation Michael" fighting. However, a search of deaths in the Somerset Light Infantry between 30 March 1918 and 2nd April 1918 showed that men from 1st; 7th and 6th Battalion were killed in France on those dates. The 8th Battalion was also in France on April 1st 1918, so it is still not possible to state which battalion he was serving with.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Julie Miller {Email left}
Location: Manchester
Date: Friday 18th May 2012 at 5:56 PM
Hello alan i was given youre name from a member of genes reunited who told me to contact you to see if you could help with my search, they said you are fabulous , which is a lovely compliment so here i am.
i am searching for any world war one records of my great grandfather and have so far got a few details which i will pass to you now , but that is as far as i can get, so any help getting more info would be very much appreciated .
His name was Douglas Miller , he was born in bradford north manchester in 1887.
As far as i know he was in the Lancashire Fusilliers, labour corps reg. no. 2957 303003.
The story he told my father growing up was that he fought in France at the somme, and was injured by shrapnel in his back and lay in no mans land for 3 days before he was found. Then i think he was in a french hospital for about 2 years recovering before going home.
I remember him as a child and of seeing the wound on his back , it was quite a large hole and think he was lucky to have survived at all.
I know a lot of records were destroyed in the 2nd world war but hope you can help me with a bit more info into his life in the war,
I look forward to hearing from you alan ,
kind regards,
julie x
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 18th May 2012 at 8:52 PM

Dear Julie,
No individual service record has survived for Douglas Miller, so it is not possible to detail his wartime service. An army medal rolls index card showed he served in the Lancashire Fusiliers and then the Labour Corps. The card does not identify him further, but does appear to be the most relevant one. He entered a theatre of war on 14th May 1915 with the Lancashire Fusiliers in the Balkans. Five battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers served at Gallipoli before going to France in the summer of 1916, but it is not possible to state which battalion he was with.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. The entry for the 1914-15 Star will be on medal roll number LC20C2 page 90/38 held at the National Archives at Kew, in Catalogue reference WO 329/2841. It may state which battalion he was with but you would need to visit the archives to see it.
He probably served in the Labour Corps after he had recovered from wounds. The Labour Corps number 603003 appears to have been allotted in the summer of 1918. Numbers that I have identified in the range 603030 to 603396 were allotted to men appointed to Mobile Graves Registration Units in France in July 1918.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Julie Miller
Date: Friday 18th May 2012 at 11:34 PM

Hi again alan. thank you so much for youre help and very quick reply . really sad there is no surviving records of dougie but at least you have given me some info to look further with and an insight into what his regiment did and where.
i am loving tracing the histoey of my family and get very exited at the smallest bit of information given to me , it facinates me .
myself and my husband belong to a group called north west military collectors club , and are involved in a lot of ww2 events including reenactment and shows and 1940s dances etc. and we have some military vehicles which my husband gary buys and restores .
i have had a look at all youre website and found it very interesting , you are doing a great job.
anything you may wish to ask me or gary , just go ahead and ask and if we can help you in return it would be a pleasure .
bye for now and thanks again alan,
regards julie xx
Posted by: Jeff Donnelly {Email left}
Location: Woodbridge Suffolk
Date: Friday 11th May 2012 at 12:06 PM
Hi alan, have been researching my family tree for some time but always draw a blank when it comes to my late grandfather,robert cecil marriott,b14 june 1893 in boston lincs,i know what he did up to 1911 when both his parents died and from 1919 until his own death.what i do know is that he was in dublin in 1914, married agnes mary mcgarry in may 1915,on the wedding cert both of them gave their address as 'royal hospital killmainham,my grandads occupation as 'soldier'. they had a son who died at around 1 yr old, my grandad was at some point after the wedding sent to france and was there untill he was wounded ,he and agnes joined up again in wyton ,just outside hull east riding of yorkshire after the war , it was here i think he spent some time after his parents had both died,this was where the marriott family originated from and he had a lot of relatives there.
some things about my grandad i have been told but cannot verify,he was in the northumberland fusiliers,possibly joined some territorial force before war broke out.most of his army career was spent on/with horses,he owned and worked with horses all his life.
towards the end of the war he had to train on machine guns,was wounded in the thigh on the somme(a distant aunt has the the bullet)
any information would be very gratefully received,

J Donnelly.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 11th May 2012 at 7:24 PM

Dear Jeff,
There are insufficient records to positively identify Robert Marriott. There is one Army medal rolls index card for a Robert Marriott who served in the Northumberland (Hussars) Yeomanry and the Northumberland Fusiliers but it does not provide any biographical information for him.
Agnes McGarry was recorded in the 1911 census of Ireland as living with her family and whose father, Maurice, was a gardener at the Royal Hospital, Usher's Quay, Dublin, which was the Kilmainham Hospital for Military Pensioners. Therefore the address for Robert on the marriage certificate may have been the address of his bride's family and only a temporary address for Robert.
The medal index card showed Robert Marriott 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 serve outside the UK (including Ireland) until after January 1st 1916.
The Northumberland Yeomanry was a Territorial Force unit formed at Newcastle. In October 1914 it raised a second unit which trained at Gosforth Park and Scarborough but was split up in 1916. "C" Squadron served in Ireland between March 1916 and January 1917. In March 1917 the regiment went to France and on 25th September 1917 it was absorbed by the 9th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, serving with 103rd Infantry Brigade with the 34th Division until 26 May 1918 when it moved to 183rd Infantry Brigade with the 61st Division.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Jeff Donnelly
Date: Sunday 13th May 2012 at 9:21 PM

Hi alan,
thank-you for replying so quickly,i didnt realise my granny had so many siblings,she never talked about life in ireland,she was given quite a hard time for getting married to a british soldier. it still is a mystery as to which part of the british army he was there with,it does say he was a soldier on his and agnes's marriage cert,anyway i have in the last day or two spoken to a cousin who's mother has a lot of information she has kept about robert,maybe she can cast some light on her fathers early years,many thanks again for the prompt reply and i will post another message as soon as i have talked to my cousin,
kind regards,
Posted by: Ann {Email left}
Location: Bromley
Date: Wednesday 9th May 2012 at 12:57 PM
Hello again Alan,
I am searching for WW1 records for Edmund Leonard Quickenden.
All I can find is his Medal Card. He was in 10th Rifle Brigade and his number was S/19904.
Could you tell me where else to look other than Ancestry, where I normally have luck, or do you think they were destroyed.
Kind Regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 9th May 2012 at 8:06 PM

Dear Ann,
Service records where they have survived are on the website, so if it is not there, it won't have survived. There are three entries for Edmund Quickenden S/11904 Rifle Brigade, which are his medal index card, his Silver War Badge index card and his Silver War Badge Roll entry.
The medal card recorded he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal with the 10th Battalion Rifle Brigade. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service abroad before December 31st 1915, he did not go abroad until after January 1st 1916.
His Silver War Badge roll showed he enlisted on 10th December 1915. This date showed he enlisted under the Derby Scheme which was a last chance for men who had not already volunteered to do so before compulsory conscription in 1916. Men who enlisted in December 1915 were sent home to await call-up some time in 1916 or later.
He was discharged 26 June 1918 from the 10th Bn Rifle Brigade. It is probable, but not certain, that he served all his time abroad with the 10th Battalion Rifle Brigade. The battalion had been in France since 1915, so Edmund would have been part of a draft of reinforcements sometime between 1916 and February 1918 when the battalion was disbanded and the men dispersed to 3rd, 11th,12th and 13th Battalions. His discharge was in the UK after the Battalion had been disbanded so he may have been returned to the UK before the disbandment in February 1918. The 10th Battalion served in France and Flanders with the 59th Infantry Brigade in the 20th Division. For the 20th Division see:
The war diary of the 10th Battalion is at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 95/2117.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 9th May 2012 at 8:23 PM

I should have added that the Silver War Badge was for men who had been discharged through wounds or sickness before the end of the war.
Reply from: Ann
Date: Thursday 10th May 2012 at 3:34 PM

Dear Alan
Once again many thanks for your invaluable help
Kind Regards

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