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

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Posted by: John {Email left}
Location: Spalding
Date: Wednesday 11th April 2012 at 3:34 PM
Trying to trace WW1 service of my father, William James McLellan(d). I have a copy of his medal card which indicates his Service No 17890, and as serving in Cameron Highlanders, then underneath that it records (I assume) that he was transferred to RE with Service No 359484. His War Medals seem to have been issued whilst with RE. I have contacted the Cameron Highlanders Museum, but they were unable to tell me which Regiment he was with or as to when he was Transferred to RE. Any help, however small, will be very much appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 11th April 2012 at 7:39 PM

Dear John,
No individual service record appears to have survived for William James Mclellan(d) of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, so it is not possible to be certain about his wartime service.
His medal index card recorded that he qualified for the 1914-15 Star as he entered France on 5th October 1915. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. These last two entries are marked with an asterisk against them and against the Cameron Highlanders. The medals were impressed with the regimental details of the rank and unit with which the man was serving when he first entered a theatre of war. Therefore, William McLellan entered France with the Cameron Highlanders. No battalion is listed as going to France in October 1915, therefore he would have been part of a draft of reinforcements for any of the battalions already serving there. His regimental number was typical of the five-digit numbers allotted to men who enlisted for wartime service only, but it doesn't help indicate which battalion he served with.
His entry on the actual medal roll for the 1914-15 Star, numbered RE3C3 page 507, might indicate which unit he was with.
All campaign medals were issued after the war, and the medal rolls were compiled by the regiment in which the man last served, in this case the Royal Engineers, even though the medals were earned with the Cameron Highlanders.
The medal roll RE3C3 page 507 is only available at the National Archives in Catalogue reference WO 329/2592 "Royal Engineers other ranks: medal rolls RE/2C5-RE/3C1; RE/3C1-RE/3C4. Pages 321C-625C. 1914-15 Star. C 583" William would have a one-line entry on Page 507.
You can visit the archives or pay for a researcher to look up the entry, although there is no guarantee it will identify William's specific unit. It may even state 3rd Battalion, which was the UK training depot from which many reinforcements to other battalions were despatched. See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/paid_research.htm

In 1918 there were many changes in the Army, starting with a re-organisation of infantry brigades resulting in many infantry battalions being disbanded. The crisis of March 1918 (Operation Michael) was followed by the eventual war of movement. The Royal Engineers altered in 1918 and created many new units involved in pushing roads and railways forwards. Numerous men were transferred to the Engineers in February and March 1918. Those allotted regimental numbers 35948* had all served in other units before being transferred to the Royal Engineers in February and March 1918. Those closest to William McLellan were: 359482 to 252 Tunnelling Company on 26 Feb 1918; 359484 William McLellan; 359486 to 252 Tunnelling Company on 26 Feb 1918; 359487 and 359488 transferred to 258 Tunnelling Company on 7 Mar 1918.
So, being in the middle, it is possible, but not certain, that William transferred to either 252 or 258 Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers. By March 1918 the role of the tunnelling companies had changed from undermining static defences to a wide range of engineering tasks including bomb disposal; entrenching and wiring; and even acting as emergency infantry during Operation Michael.
In March 1918, 252 Company was at Boursies (East of Bapaume) and 258 Company worked between Reninghelst and St Omer.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: John
Date: Thursday 12th April 2012 at 5:03 PM

Thanks Alan, atleast you have opened up a new line of enquiry for me to follow.

Thanks again for the time and effort you have put in for me, and the extremely quick reply.

John
Posted by: Dean Marriner {Email left}
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Date: Tuesday 10th April 2012 at 1:08 PM
Hi, I'm new to this and I'm trying to track down the movements of my Great Grandad 285337 Pte. Young, James. From the records I've downloaded from Ancestry, it would appear James was a Gunner with No.2 Bty R.F.A., but subsequently transferred to R.G.A. Ripon after hospitalization with Scabies!

It appears he was also transferred to No.3 S.A.R.B in Whitchurch, but after that I can't fathom his whereabouts. Any help deciphering his records would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 10th April 2012 at 4:21 PM

Dear Dean,
There are no obvious records indexed under James Young with the number 285337. Do you have any further details such as his age or place of residence/birth and which type of document you have.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dean Marriner
Date: Tuesday 10th April 2012 at 8:07 PM

Hi Alan, thanks for getting back. James was 28 in 1917. He was called up with Northumberlad Fusilers on 6 June 1917. He lived in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne. I viewed the Records of Service from the burned WW1 collection available on Ancestry (ref 0423-0459). I can't make much out, but it appears he spent time in Inchkeith (R.G.A) and Whitchurch, Salop (no.3 SARB). Then the transfer form B. 103 says embarked, disembarked, no. 20 coy. R.G.A. There is also a army Form Z11 with Regtl. Number 143586 theatre of war France if this helps.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 10th April 2012 at 10:30 PM

Dear Dean,
Thanks, I found him.
James Young was compulsorily conscripted on 6th June 1917 at Newcastle upon Tyne and was called up by the depot of the Northumberland Fusiliers at The Barracks, Newcastle. He was assigned the regimental number 51097 and within the month was medically graded as C3 which meant he was only suited to sedentary work at Home (in the UK). He was transferred to the Labour Corps which employed unfit men and he served with 471 Home Service Employment Company at Newcastle upon Tyne from 30 June 1917. He had the Labour Corps number 285337. During his time with them he was attached to 2 Battery Royal Field Artillery. This battery was part of No 1A Reserve Brigade RFA at Newcastle. Reserve brigades were used for reception and training as well as any local defence needs.
He became more fit and was re-graded B1 (suitable for service on lines of communication in France). On January 12th 1918 he was transferred to the Royal Garrison Artillery, who were equipped with heavier guns than the field artillery. His new number was 193586. He spent three weeks in hospital and joined No 4 Depot Royal Garrison Artillery at South Camp, Ripon on 29th January 1918. Two days later, from Ripon he was sent to the RGA at Inchkeith, an island in the Firth of Forth which had a fort for defence known as the Forth Outer Defences. On 27th February 1918 at Inchkeith, No 11 Travelling Medical Board (11 TMB) graded him B2. On May 14th he was passed Grade A.
On 3rd June 1918 he was posted to No 3 Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade at Prees Heath Camp, south of Whitchurch in Shropshire. On June 31st 1918 he was re-inoculated: a sure sign he would be going abroad.
On 9th September 1918 he embarked for France and probably had a rough crossing as he disembarked on September 12th 1918. As part of a draft of reinforcements he would have spent some time at a base depot on the coast before being sent forwards to his unit. He joined 230 Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery on September 19th 1918. The 230 Siege Battery had been in France since 18th January 1917 under the command of 24th Heavy Artillery Group (HAG). It was equipped with 6-inch Howitzers. During the time James was with them the Battery operated under 83 (Mixed) Brigade RGA with the Fourth Army.
On November 9th 1918 James was admitted to a casualty clearing station suffering from influenza and celebrated the Armistice in hospital. On 18th November he was moved to a base depot (presumably for recuperation) and then to Harfleur before rejoining his Battery. On 11th January 1919 at Havre he was medically examined for discharge and was returned to the UK. He was discharged from North Camp Ripon on 20 January 1919. He was officially transferred to the reserves on 17th February 1919. James qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dean Marriner
Date: Tuesday 10th April 2012 at 11:23 PM

Hi Alan

Thank you so much for clearing that up. It's helped enormously. There was a rumour in the family that JY never actually went abroad, but your information puts paid to that. Once again thank you so much for your help and speedy reply.

Regards
Dean Marriner
Posted by: Adrienne {Email left}
Location: Ireland
Date: Sunday 8th April 2012 at 2:03 PM
Hi Alan,

Can you please give me any more information on the service record of my great grandfather. I have accessed his medal card and have the following .
His name was Patrick Cranley, Born 1893, Died 1956, Regiment No. 18734, Royal Irish Fusiliers, Enlisted 12/10/14, Discharged 16/4/18. After discharge he spent the remainder of his life in Portrane Hospital in Dublin and ideally I would like to know where he was posted during the war.

Many thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 8th April 2012 at 5:16 PM

Dear Adrienne,
Unfortunately no individual service record has survived for Patrick Cranley, so it is not possible to suggest where he served. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. 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. He was awarded the Silver War Badge and the SWB roll showed he was discharged through sickness on 16th April 1918.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Adrienne
Date: Sunday 8th April 2012 at 7:30 PM

Dear Alan'

Thank you so much for your reply and your efforts on my behalf. It is much appreciated. At least now I know I have all the information that is available on Patrick.

Thanks again,

Adrienne
Reply from: Adrienne
Date: Wednesday 9th January 2013 at 11:39 AM

Dear Alan,
I still haven't given up trying to uncover information on Patrick Cranley ! I found two photographs of Patrick in uniform. One was taken with his family and I am dating it at early to mid 1915 because one of the children in the photo was born in 1915 and died in 1916. This photo must have been taken after his enlistment on 12/10/1914. The cap badge in this photo is an R.A.M.C. badge. In the second photo which I can't date Patrick is in uniform and the cap badge is an R.I.F. badge.
I also have two postcards which Patrick wrote to his wife, one shows the barracks in Limerick where I assume he went for training after enlistment in Dublin. The second postcard was also posted from Limerick and is a picture of a group of uniformed men posing in front of what I think are ambulances.
I contacted the Royal Irish Fusiliers museum in Armagh and they were able to tell me Patrick was discharged from their 6th battalion but had no more information than that.
On his discharge papers it says Patrick was discharged from the R.I.F and formerly R.A.M.C.
Why would Patrick have been in two different corps in such a short service period ?
I am hoping these additional clues will help to build a picture of where Patrick might have served. Thanks again for your help and endless patience
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 9th January 2013 at 10:42 PM

Dear Adrienne,
It is not possible from the information you have to be certain where Patrick served without knowing the actual dates but a little more information can be added. His entry on the Silver War Badge roll recorded he enlisted on 12th October 1914, and as he was in Ireland that would have been a voluntary enlistment. The earlier photograph suggests he enlisted into the RAMC. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for overseas service before December 31st 1915, he did not serve overseas until some occasion after January 1st 1916. His medal rolls index card recorded he first went overseas as a member of the Royal Irish Fusiliers to qualify for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The 6th Battalion RIF had been abroad since July 1915, so Patrick would have been part of a draft of reinforcements sent abroad sometime between January 1st 1916 and April 1918, as he was discharged from the Army through sickness on 16th April 1918.
The 6th Battalion RIF had been dissolved on the 2nd November 1916 when it was absorbed by the 5th Battalion. Patrick may have served with the 6th Battalion but the 6th Battalion was no longer in existence when he was discharged from the Army, as it had become part of the 5th Battalion. The 6th Battalion was at Gallipoli from August to October 1915; then it served at Salonika where it was absorbed by the 5th Battalion. The 5th Battalion remained in Macedonia until September 1917 when it moved to Egypt and Palestine. On 30th April 1918 (after Patrick had left) it moved to France and Flanders. Both Battalions had served in the 10th Division during Patrick's time, although the 5th moved to the 16th Division in August 1918. For a diary of battle engagements see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/10div.htm

Many soldiers served in more than one regiment. The RAMC was non-combatant and Patrick may have been in a medical unit which was to remain at a hospital in Ireland when he preferred to be overseas in a fighting regiment. The Military Service Acts of 1916 introduced compulsory transfers "in the interests of the service" although conscription was not applied in Ireland.
From the additional clues, and the number of his battalion, it would appear he served in the RAMC in Limerick in 1914 and 1915 (if the postcards were dated 1915). During, or after, 1916 he transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers and would then have served at Macedonia, Egypt or Palestine before being taken ill, probably early in 1918, (malaria or dysentery were common) and then being discharged in the UK on April 16th 1918.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Adrienne
Date: Thursday 10th January 2013 at 11:49 AM

Dear Alan,
Thank you again for all your research on my behalf. I realise that without a service record it is impossible to say for certain where Patrick served, but I am happy now that with the additional information you have given me I can build a picture of where he might have been and what he endured. I hope you won't mind two last questions.
On Patricks discharge papers it says he was "entitled to wear one gold braid "wound distinction" strip" What is this and where on the uniform would it be worn ? It also says he had a G.S.W. R. Foot
We are unfortunately missing the Silver War Badge so can you tell me where we might be able to purchase a replacement from ?
Once again many thanks and I will be making a donation to the British Legion on your behalf.

Kind regards,
Adrienne
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 10th January 2013 at 5:29 PM

Dear Adrienne,
A wound stripe was a short stripe worn on the left sleeve above the cuff. See:
http://www.photodetective.co.uk/Wound-Stripe.html

GSW R Foot means "gunshot wound right foot". GSW was a generic description for a penetrative wound from a projectile and until accurately diagnosed by a surgeon could have been caused by a bullet, shrapnel ball or shell splinter.
Silver War Badges from the First World War are sold by antique dealers, coin and medal dealers and so on. Each badge was numbered and Patrick's was numbered 343684. You would be very fortunate to find the original badge, although a purchased badge (about £20 to £25) would be similar.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Adrienne
Date: Saturday 12th January 2013 at 11:14 AM

Dear Alan,
Thank you. I will use all this information to leave a provenance with Patricks Medals in the hope that the huge sacrifice he made and the horrors he endured won't be forgotten. My Dad and I have made an online donation to the British Legion as a token of appreciation for all the work you do on behalf of others. We wish you all the best for a happy and peaceful 2013.

Kind regards,
Adrienne
Reply from: Adrienne
Date: Thursday 31st January 2013 at 4:27 PM

Dear Alan,

Is it possible or practical to view or purchase the war diaries of the 5th and 6th Battalion of the R.I.F. from Jan 1916 - April 1918. If it is possible can you give me some advice on how to go about doing this please. Do you know how large a document like this might be.

Thank You,
Adrienne
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 31st January 2013 at 5:59 PM

Dear Adrienne,
War diaries are historic documents which are kept at the UK National Archives at Kew in Surrey, England. Only a sample have been placed online. There is an extract from 1915 for the 5th Battallion RIF at:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7357669

Copies cannot be ordered and the documents have to be viewed in their original form at Kew. They usually run to hundreds of pages. Battalions only kept war diaries when they were in a theatre of war. The catalogue of The National Archives records war diaries for the 5th Battalion Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers) in the autumn of 1915, then from 1 September 1917 to 30th April 1918 (piece reference WO95/4585) and June 1918 to June 1919 (WO95/1975/1). The 5th Battalion absorbed the 6th Battalion in November 1916. There is a diary for the 6th Battalion between 01 July 1915 - 30 September 1915 in piece reference WO95/4296.
I haven't found a catalogue entry for diaries between January 1916 and September 1917, so you would need to check with the staff of the National Archives.
The regimental museum at Armagh may have copies of war diaries. See:
http://www.armymuseums.org.uk/museums/0000000103-Royal-Irish-Fusiliers-Regimental-Museum.htm

In due course the National Archives intends to make war diaries available online.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Adrienne
Date: Thursday 31st January 2013 at 6:20 PM

Thanks Alan,
Adrienne
Posted by: Donna {Email left}
Location: Hull
Date: Wednesday 4th April 2012 at 7:26 PM
I am looking for information on a private ernest kemp 10th battalion durham light infantry. he was killed in action 1944. he was from hull east yorkshire and was married to marion (my grand-mother). if possible i would like to know how he died and where. the info would be greatly appreciated.
many thanks
Donna
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 4th April 2012 at 10:25 PM

Dear Donna,
It is not possible for me to research soldiers from the Second World War as their service records are still confidential. The CWGC Debt of Honour recorded that Ernest Kemp was buried on 12th July 1944 at Tilly-sur-Seulles, Calvados, France. The 10th Battalion DLI had landed in France on 12th June 1944, six days after D-Day. They advanced towards Tilly and on the 11th July were ordered to capture an enemy position at a chateau near the Juvigny to Hottot road where the fighting continued until the 10th Battalion DLI was relieved on July 13th.
Service records of soldiers who fought in the Second World War are held by the Ministry of Defence in Glasgow. 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: Donna
Date: Thursday 5th April 2012 at 9:28 PM

Dear alan,
thankyou for your reply it was really appreciated. i will certainly follow the guide you told me about and thanks again.
many thanks
donna
Reply from: Kyle
Date: Saturday 25th October 2014 at 7:37 PM

I do not know if you will look in again Donna but here`s some details for you
4467948 Pte Kemp enlisted Durham Light Infantry 1940 transferred to the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers 1st October 1940,transferred back to 70th (Young Soldiers Btn) Durham Light Infantry29th December 1940 .Posted to 10th DLI landed in France wounded and died of those wounds on 12th July 1944.Husband of Marion Kemp, Hull. Buried Grave 1. F. 13. Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery.

Kyle
Posted by: Kayzee {Email left}
Location: Diss
Date: Tuesday 3rd April 2012 at 9:34 PM
Ollie G Dorling

My ancestor's medal record card shows the following under "remarks" -

Dis. (154 (xii) 3.12.16

I presumed this meant he had been discharged but can only find Kings Regulation Code 392 when it comes to discharge records. Is it possible that Dis. means something else. He was originally in the A.S.C. - rank wagoner. (Regimental No: 39588)

Any help with identifying code 154 would be very much appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 3rd April 2012 at 10:37 PM

Dear Kayzee,
O.G. Dorling's regimental number CHT/847 in the ASC showed he was a wagoner in category "C" (Horse Transport). Category "C" indicated he had enlisted in the Special Reserve. This was part-time service in peacetime not dissimilar to the pre-war Territorial Army. Men could enlist for one year or more which was renewable on the understanding they would be called-up in the event of general mobilization. Discharged under Para 154 (xii) Special Reserve Regulations of 1911 referred to men who had served their agreed time in the Special Reserve and were entitled to leave the army. As their original contract had been fulfilled they were classed as "time expired" and entitled to be discharged.
His date of entry into France was 20th August 1914 which was very early in the war, indicating he was already trained and in the reserves. At some stage he transferred to the West Yorkshire Regiment, regimental number 39588.
He re-enlisted from the Class Z Reserve in April 1919. The Class Z Reserve was for soldiers who would be re-called to the colours after November 11th 1918 if the Armistice failed to hold. It consisted of men who were trained soldiers fit enough to fight again. Enlistment in April 1919 was most likely for the brief North Russia Relief Force which was raised from volunteers in April 1919 and served for about seven months. It was sent to Archangel and Murmansk to extricate the allied force which had fought there but became trapped by frozen seas.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kayzee
Date: Wednesday 4th April 2012 at 12:39 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you so much for your very swift response to my query. I had given up hope of discovering what "154" related to, I wish I had found your website before!

Once again, thank you for your help.

Kind regards

Kay
Posted by: Rob {Email left}
Location: Risley
Date: Tuesday 3rd April 2012 at 2:48 PM
Dear Alan
My great uncle died in World War 1 and I would be interested to find out more information about him. He was Pvte Reginald William Jones who died aged 22 on 30 August 1918. He was in the 72nd Field Amb of the Royal Army Medical Corps. He is listed in the CWGC website as service number 73017.
His sister is still living and as a family it would be wonderful for us to find out a bit more info about him.
With kind regards
Rob Groome
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 3rd April 2012 at 9:03 PM

Dear Rob,
No individual service record has survived for Reginald Jones so it is not possible to suggest his wartime service. An army medal rolls index card showed he served with the RAMC and qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. 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. The CWGC Debt of Honour recorded that when he was killed on 30th August 1918, he was serving with the 72nd Field Ambulance RAMC. This provides evidence only that he was with the 72nd Field Ambulance when he was killed and does not demonstrate that he served with them throughout his time in France, although that may have been the case. The 72nd Field Ambulance served with the 24th Division in France and Flanders from August 1915, so Reginald would have been part of a later draft of reinforcements. He was the only soldier buried at Aix-Noulette who died on 30th August 1918. Some graves at Aix-Noulette were brought in from remoter parts of the area after the war, so it is not possible to say with certainty where he was when he was killed. The war diary of the 72nd Field Ambulance is held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue Reference WO 95/2202 "24 Division; 72 Field Ambulance 1915-1919".
Reginald's younger brother, John Leslie Jones, was conscripted on 11th November 1916 and was medically graded C1 when he joined the Northumberland Fusiliers training reserve (22nd Provisional Battalion), which was probably then at St Osyth near Clacton-on-Sea. John suffered from epilepsy. After his recruit training he was transferred to the Labour Corps on 23rd August 1917, at Strensall in York and then moved to Ripon and the 298 Reserve Labour Company at Middlesbrough where he was employed with the Post Office Engineers. On 16th April 1918 he was sent to France and joined the 103rd Labour Company on 20th April 1918. Six days later he suffered an epileptic fit and was sent to hospital at Rouen. He was returned to the UK on May 5th 1918 and was discharged from the army on June 26th 1918.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Rob
Date: Tuesday 3rd April 2012 at 9:26 PM

Alan
Many thanks for your prompt reply on this.
Rob
Posted by: Michael {Email left}
Location: Essex
Date: Sunday 1st April 2012 at 11:45 PM
Hi i am looking for info on my grandfather who served in the 1914-1918 war he was william j lynn service no 15864 9th reg royal irish fusiliers i am afraid this is all i know except that he was repoted to have won the mm or the bem. thankyou for your time on this, michael
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 2nd April 2012 at 12:06 PM

Dear Michael,
No individual service record appears to have survived for William J Lynn. The London Gazette dated 19 November 1917 recorded he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.
There are two medal index cards which appear to relate to William J Lynn. The first is marked W S Lynn with the regimental number 15864 in the Royal Irish Fusiliers which recorded he served in France from 4th October 1915 and qualified for the 1914-15 Star. This date matches the date the 9th Battalion was sent to France, so it may relate to William. The second card is in the name of William J Lynn, 15864 recording the award of the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The 9th Battalion Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers) was raised at Belfast in September 1914 and carried the sub-title "County Armagh". It served with the 108th Infantry Brigade in the 36th (Ulster) Division. The battalion trained at Belfast until November 1914 when it moved to Newtownards. In July 1915 it moved to Seaford, Sussex, before landing at Boulogne in October 1915. On 25th September 1917 the 9th Battalion took the subtitle "North Irish Horse" after it absorbed B and C Squadrons of the 2nd North Irish Horse.
It is not possible to say when William earned the Military Medal. Publication in the London Gazette was usually some months after the event, so it is likely he was commended after the Division's fighting at Messines or Langemarck earlier in 1917. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/36div.htm

The war diary of the 9th Battalion is held at the National Archives at Kew, London in catalogue reference WO 95/2505. The regimental museum is at The Mall, Armagh. See:
http://www.armymuseums.org.uk/museums/0000000103-Royal-Irish-Fusiliers-Regimental-Museum.htm

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Michael
Date: Monday 2nd April 2012 at 12:18 PM

Hi alan thankyou very much for your quick reply and for the information i,ll be forever in you dept.michael.
Reply from: Chris
Date: Sunday 30th November 2014 at 6:15 PM

Hi I have some important info for Michael, if he could contact me on (chrisrtf at aol dot com) it would be of interest to him.
regards
Chris
Reply from: Chris
Date: Sunday 7th December 2014 at 9:36 PM

Hi Michael
I believe I have in my possession something that belonged to your Grandfather, could you contact me please?
regards
Chris
Posted by: Peter C {Email left}
Location: Reading
Date: Friday 30th March 2012 at 4:19 PM
Dear Alan
My mother's father fought in WW1 and the family always said he was a horse courier and that his horse was blown from under him when a shell exploded beside them leaving him with just some deafness (which I remember). I know nothing more than that except that I now have his Corps Number. He was Driver George Houghton, No 926160 RFA. If you have any more information I would be extremely grateful.
Peter
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 30th March 2012 at 7:16 PM

Dear Peter,
No individual service record appears to have survived for George Houghton, so it is not possible to be specific about his service. A medal index card for George Houghton recorded he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal as a horse driver with the Royal Field Artillery. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service abroad before December 31st 1915, he did not serve abroad until after January 1st 1916. His regimental number was in the series 925001 to 930000 which was allocated to the London Brigade Royal Field Artillery early in 1917 when all the Territorial RFA soldiers were re-numbered as part of a rationalisation of the numbering system. The number indicated he could have served with either 280 Brigade RFA (CCLXXX Brigade) or 290 Brigade RFA (CCXC Brigade).
Had he served with the 280 Brigade from the start of the war he would have qualified for the 1914-15 Star and his previous regimental number would have been shown on his medal card. As only his 1917 number appeared on the medal card he either served with 290 Brigade, which went to France in 1917, or he was sent to France as part of a draft of reinforcements for 280 Brigade. It is not possible to say which.
He qualified for a Silver War Badge for leaving the army through wounds or sickness. The war badge roll showed he enlisted on 1st November 1915 and was discharged through sickness at Ripon, Yorkshire, on 8 November 1918.
290 Brigade RFA served with 58 Division and was sent to France in late January 1917.
280 Brigade RFA served with various divisions until February 1916 when it joined 56th Division for the remainder of the war.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Peter C
Date: Friday 30th March 2012 at 7:49 PM

Dear Alan
Many thanks for your swift reply.
It is a shame that his service records were lost as I have always been intrigued to find out more about the story of the horse that was shot from under him ?
Sadly, we shall probably never know where that happened ? However, many thanks for your searches and the information you do have. I'll pass this on to other family members and keep the records for future generations.
Many thanks again. Peter
Posted by: Jimchelsea {Email left}
Location: Belfast
Date: Friday 23rd March 2012 at 10:09 PM
Hi Alan
A contact on Belfast forum has asked if there is any way of finding out any info on the following soldier,any help or advice would be greatfully recieved.
jim

Name: John McAloney.
Born: 1894
in the 1901 census he was 7 and from mitchells row, (brown sq area shankill) so he probably enlisted when he was 18

Anyway he enlisted in the regular Army i'm guessing between 1910 / 1913
when the U.V.F were formed he just walked out on the regular army and re: joinined along with his mates, now who-ever he joined i don't know but because he went AWOL from his first enlistment when re:enlisting he apparently used his wifes madien name which would have been John Campbell. i know he was wounded in france according to my father as he said his granda showed him all the bullet wounds and told of the story about changing his name because he wanted to be with all his pals.

first enlistment to search for would be John McAloney
second enlistment would probably be John Campbell
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 24th March 2012 at 12:13 AM

Dear Jim,
There are no obvious enlistment records for John McAloney or a John Campbell born about 1893/4 in Belfast, Co Antrim or Co Down. Searches for John M'Aloney; Maloney and Mc Alauney produced no results.
There were no obvious results for John Campbell, but as he had served under an alias he may also have altered his birth details, so it is not practicable to search for the name John Campbell without knowing a regiment or service number.
Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Norry Bell {Email left}
Location: Sleaford
Date: Wednesday 21st March 2012 at 6:27 PM
Hi Alan,

I'm driving to the Somme in May to visit my grandfather's grave at Villers-Faucon. His name is David Bell, a Gunner with the RGA, service number 173584. His MCI suggests he served with the 203 Siege Battery. I've come up against a brick wall trying to find out anything else about him (or the 203rd) such as: what was a 40+ yr-old man with 3 young sons doing serving in the Army! Was he conscripted or did he volunteer? He was killed in action on 20 Sep 1918. As he's buried at Villers-Faucon, did he perhaps take part in the "creeping" artillery barrage during the Battle of Epehy on 18 Sep and was then killed by the German counter-battery fire?

Any information about grandfather David would be most appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 21st March 2012 at 10:21 PM

Dear Norry,
Tracking soldiers of the Royal Artillery is notoriously difficult and complex because of the paucity of individual records and frequent changes in the numbering and allocation of Batteries.
There is no evidence from his medal index card that David Bell served with 230 Siege Battery RGA. The card simply records he served with the RGA and qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The medal roll was numbered RGA203B. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not go abroad until after January 1st 1916.
At the outbreak of war he would have been about 36 years old which was within the range of both recruitment and conscription. The upper age of voluntary recruitment was raised to 38 years by October 1914. The first upper age for compulsory conscription was 41 years, married or not.
No individual service record appears to have survived for David so it is not possible to suggest his wartime service.
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he was killed in action and was formerly 366261 in the North Scottish Royal Garrison Artillery which was a Territorial Army unit tasked with defending the coast near Aberdeen and served in Home defence. David may have been in the pre-war Territorials or enlisted with them at the outbreak of war. The number 366261 was allocated to the Territorial RGA in March 1917 when all men of the TA were re-numbered with six-digit regimental numbers to replace four-digit numbers. 366261 was in the range of numbers allotted to the North Scottish Fortress RGA (Aberdeen). It is therefore likely that David Bell was serving with the Aberdeen-based North Scottish in March 1917 when he received his new number. If he had had a four-digit number prior to March 1917 we would know he had enlisted before that date. There is no record of his four-digit number so it is equally possible he enlisted after March 1917 when only the six-digit numbers were in use.
The CWGC Debt of Honour recorded that he died while serving with the 19th Siege Battery RGA, which had been in France since May 1915 and which had served with the 4th Army in 1916. However, it is not possible to say how long David Bell had served with that Battery.
The only war diary for the Battery listed in the National Archives catalogue is in WO 95/477 dated 1916. The battery eventually served under 49th Heavy Artillery Group, RGA, but many batteries were moved between Corps so it is very difficult to trace their movements without a war diary after 1916.
Villers-Faucon was retaken by III Corps on 7 September 1918. Some of the graves in the present cemetery extension were made in September 1918 but many were brought in from other cemeteries after the war, so it is not clear where or how David Bell was killed, although counter-battery fire is plausible. The CWGC cemetery records show that the neighbouring graves are also of two RGA gunners who served in 228 Siege Battery RGA and 113th Heavy Battery RGA and were killed on September 20th.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Norry Bell
Date: Wednesday 21st March 2012 at 10:31 PM

Alan - outstanding! That's an awful lot more info than I could ever have dredged up - fascinating stuff! And thank you for completing the research in such quick time. Well done indeed.

Cheers, Norry

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