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

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Posted by: Ian Gray {Email left}
Location: Wisbech Cambridgeshire
Date: Wednesday 11th January 2012 at 6:42 PM
Hi
i would appreciate being able to pick your brain. I am trying to find out more information on my father's cousin, What i have so far is;
S23808 Cpl Harvey Gray of the 6th Battalion The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders who was killed on the 23rd July 1918 and is buried at Raperie Cemetary,Villemontoire. Cannot find a service record for him so presume he is one of the burnt records.
Thank you in advance for any light you can shed
regards
ian gray
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 11th January 2012 at 10:09 PM

Dear Ian,
As no service record has survived for Harvey Gray it is not possible to suggest his wartime record. The burnt records were the ones that survived. Harvey's record was apparently destroyed.
A Medal rolls index card showed 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 abroad until after January 1st 1916.
When he died he was with the 6th Battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. He may or may not have served with the battalion throughout his time abroad. He was killed in action on 23rd July 1918 when the battalion was involved in the attack on Buzancy with the 15th Division under French command. See:
http://www.webmatters.net/france/ww1_soissons_retz_2.htm
For the 15th Division see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/15div.htm
Harvey Gray was buried in a battlefield cemetery, probably at Billy sur Ourcq and then moved to Villemontoire which was created after the war.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Ian
Date: Thursday 12th January 2012 at 5:48 AM

Dear Alan,
Thank you so much for the information, you're a star
regards
ian
Posted by: Maureen Milligan {Email left}
Location: Saltcoats Scotland
Date: Wednesday 11th January 2012 at 4:18 PM
Hi alan i am trying to find out some info on my grandpa , john milligan who served in the 1st world war (trenches) , he did come back from the trenches , though never spoke about it , he has i am afraid died long ago in his 80s, but my dad his son doesn,t no anything of where he was in the war or anything ,so i am trying to find out for him , i am 51, and it would give me great pleasure in giving him something , i can only give you details i think of what we have left , so here it is , his name john milligan , born 1898 in townhead rd stevenston . joined the army in 1914 we think aged 16 enlisted maryhill barracks glasgow 1914 or 1915, was demobbed maryhill barracks 1918 , onwards, his home address at that time was auchenharvie cottages stevenston ayrshire scotland, he was in the H.L.I ( highland infantry ) 1-3 or 1-5, it was either maryhill or dundonald barracks,and we think it was belgium he served, i do know they wore the full kilt outfits, and we also got told at some point he was a runner ! it would be something indeed if you could find out anything at all for us all because we are all so proud of what he did and that he survived it all or we wouldn,t be here , so thanks again alan please contact me a.s.a.p , yours sincerely maureen milligan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 11th January 2012 at 10:08 PM

Dear Maureen,
Unfortunately there is no surviving individual service record for a John Milligan of Stevenston serving in the Highland Light Infantry, so it is not possible to suggest his wartime service.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Maureen Milligan
Date: Thursday 12th January 2012 at 12:50 PM

Hi alan thanks for getting back to me so soon, i have been trying a long time to try and get info on ma grandpa , can,t seem to get anywhere , tis so fustrating , that i can,t seem to get any info on him at all , we do have an old portrait of him in his uniform etc and he looked so young ,mum, n dad said he may have used his older brothers name etc just to join up. His name was freddie milligan, i really don,t want to give up , my son whos 21 is so into his history of the war etc it would have been nice to pick up something , is there any chance you could direct me to any other way in enquiring on my grandpa , or who i could contact, i am going to try and get some other info on him from other members of my family ,and then get back to you if thats ok , i am really grateful you took the time to find out for me , thanks again yours sincerely maureen milligan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 12th January 2012 at 10:11 PM

Dear Maureen,
There is no obvious Freddie either, so I would suggest trying to find some information from the family that would uniquely identify John Milligan.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Maureen Milligan
Date: Thursday 19th January 2012 at 1:35 PM

Hi alan maureen milligan here again , my son has been given a world war 1 soldiers diary he starts writing on the 11th feb 1917 and last wrting was sept 1917 ,his name is robert finlayson from stirling his regiment no was 60920 rank driver in the royal engineers. company 80th it is quite hard to read but a can make out he listed in 1915 jan 26th served in france what a can make out it says pelet paradis , in aug 1917 he talks alot of looking after horses also mentions ypres , any info added on him would be brill thanks again , mo
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 19th January 2012 at 3:46 PM

Dear Maureen,
Robert Finlayson was born in 1893 and spent some time in Canada before the war. He returned to the UK in November 1914 onboard SS Hespirian travelling by train from Wapela to Montreal and then sailing to Liverpool and travelling to Stirling in Scotland. He enlisted in the Royal Engineers as the driver of a pair of horses and joined the 80th Field Company Royal Engineers at Aldershot on 2nd February 1915. He went to France with the 80th Field Company on 27th July 1915 and remained in France and Flanders with that company which served in the 18th Division. The history of the 18th Division is shown at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/18div.htm
The war diary of the 80th Field Company is held at the National Archives at Kew in catalogue reference WO 95/2027.
Robert survived the war. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
He was demobilized on 14th December 1918 and in 1919 he sailed for Canada on 20 July 1919 onboard SS Melita.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Maureen Milligan
Date: Friday 16th March 2012 at 1:37 PM

Sorry its took me so long to thank you for , my info,on all the stuff i asked of you ,its so reasurring that your hear to help in this day of age you really do an amazin job . so thanks again alan ,still cannot find info on ma grandpa, but will keep trying ,cheers maureen milligan
Reply from: Maureen Milligan
Date: Friday 16th March 2012 at 1:46 PM

Hi alan got a new search for you, i am a care worker and i have a client who is 100 yrs old quite sound of mind , and she was telling me , her dad died in the battle of the somme in 1913/14 she was only a child at the time , and said he got blown up , so av asked her a few questions , about him , so i thought you could help so here we go , his name was alan williamson, he was in the scots guards , and he came from she said, springburn or townhead in glasgow he left behind a wife and 6 children , my client was one of them , would be lovely if i could give her some feedback on him , thanks again , maureen .
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 16th March 2012 at 4:44 PM

Dear Maureen,
There was only one soldier who appears to match the details you have been given, but the records are not complete.
An Allan Williamson, aged 32, married with five children volunteered at Glasgow on September 7th 1914 and joined the Scots Guards at Caterham, Surrey. In 1914, his wife was Georgina, and his children were named as James, 1903; Sarah, 1905; Allan, 1909; Georgina; 1911 and Mary 1914. In 1911 he and his wife, with James, Sarah and Allan, lived at Albert Street, Townhead, Glasgow. On enlistment, he was described as 5ft 8 inches tall; grey eyes; dark brown hair with the "terminal portion of his right middle finger missing."
However, the Scots Guards did not accept him. It was quite usual for regiments to be very selective at the outbreak of war, hoping for the pick of the recruits. The Guards were more selective than the other infantry regiments, and they turned him down.

There is no other record of Allan in the Scots Guards, and no-one of that name died with the Scots Guards in the First World War. The only Allan Williamson who was killed in the First World War did in fact come from Glasgow and died on the first day of The Battle of the Somme on July 1st in 1916. He was serving with the 1st Battalion the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. This soldier was sent abroad to Gallipoli in August 1915, apparently as part of a draft of reinforcements, as the 1st Battalion had been at Gallipoli since April 1915. To be sent abroad in August 1915 would imply that the soldier had completed his recruit training by July 1915. So it is possible Allan Williamson was accepted by the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers after he left the Scots Guards.

He served at Gallipoli until the peninsula was abandoned by the Allies on the night of the 8th/9th January 1916. The Fusiliers went to Egypt in January 1916 and were then moved to France, arriving at Marseilles on 18th March 1916 with the 87th Infantry Brigade in the 29th Division. They took part in the Battle of Albert on July 1st, which was the opening engagement on the Somme in 1916. Allan Williamson was recorded as "killed in action" and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial for those who have no indentified grave. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Maureen Milligan
Date: Friday 30th March 2012 at 2:53 PM

Thanx again alan you are so grt in what you do , georgina will be very pleased about this ,she,s 101 this june , i will return this info to her and see if its him ok , sounds like it is , thanx once again maureen
Reply from: L Williamson
Date: Wednesday 15th January 2014 at 1:43 AM

MESSAGE FOR MAUREEN MILLIGAN

Hi Maureen

This is a longshot but Allan Williamson killed on the 1st of July 1916 was my great grandfather (also Allan)'s cousin. I'd love it if you could get in touch. I have a bit of research on the wider family, but would be interested to find out about this branch.

Hope to here from you soon.
Reply from: Maureen Milligan
Date: Tuesday 21st January 2014 at 11:54 AM

Hi maureen here , sadly georgina died last year , but i gave all the details of allan to her daughter , mary walker . whos in her 70s, but well, she lives in kilwinning ayrshire scotland , i could give you her fone number if you would like to get in touch i am sure she wouldnt mind , because i think she has someone in her own family trying to trace up on things , you can get back to me on my own email if you wish which is (milligan.maureen at googlemail dot com) , hope to hear from you soon , maureen
Reply from: Maureen Milligan
Date: Friday 7th March 2014 at 6:23 PM

Hi alan got some new info on my grandpa , his war medal reads . 63422. P.T.E ... J.MULLIGAN .. H.L.I .. hope you can find something thanks , maureen,,,, 1914 .1918, we think he served in belgium ,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 7th March 2014 at 9:20 PM

Dear Maureen,
Unfortunately, no individual service record has survived for John Mulligan so it is not possible to state his wartime service. An Army medal rolls index-card recorded he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal with the Highland Light Infantry. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not go abroad until some date after January 1st 1916.
It is not possible to state from the index-card which battalion he served with.
The Western Front Association holds an archive of 6.5 million pension record cards (PRCs) which are not available elsewhere. They charge for a manual search of the records which might have reference to John Mulligan. See:
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/about-the-wfa/175-pension-records/2961-pension-record-cards-manual-lookup-request.html

With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Maureen Milligan
Date: Saturday 8th March 2014 at 2:48 PM

Cheers alan i will try that , its at least something as i, had nuthing to go with , but this , thanks again
Posted by: Glyn {Email left}
Location: Wakefield
Date: Wednesday 11th January 2012 at 3:12 PM
Hello Alan
can I please ask your expert advice:- Why can't I find my Grandads service record? In 1984 I wrote to the Army Records Centre
at Bourne Avenue Hayes and they gave me the dates of his postings overseas, I have found his medal card & silver war badge card on
Ancestry and neither has the details that Hayes gave me so I am sure that his records survived but are not showing up at Kew or online
so what can have happened to them? Hayes also gave me Grandads brothers records and his are now missing also.
Grandad was Dvr George Collin RHA/RFA 18/08/1908 -- 6/12/1919 served Souh Africa, India & Mesapotamia. My Gran was still living in
1984 and we had to send her marriage certificate to get the info and they also told us there were no photos in the record so it must have
survived when I asked Kew they give the old line of being destroyed by enemy air action.
Thanks a lot Glyn
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 11th January 2012 at 4:35 PM

Dear Glyn,
As the Army Record Centre held the documents in 1984 they are probably still held by the Ministry of Defence. Your grandfather was a regular soldier who was discharged through sickness in December 1919. As the army still had an interest in him, through award of a pension or liability to further call-up, his file would have been active in 1920 which was the cut-off date for archiving the First World War service records.
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: Glyn
Date: Thursday 12th January 2012 at 11:13 AM

Dear Alan
thank you for that information, at last something to work on, shows that it pays to consult someone who knows their stuff.
Just one thing still puzzling me, the MOD also gave me Grandads brothers dates in 1984 and his service record can't be traced either.
He was Pte 5/3030 Joseph Collin Connaught Rangers ( he joined KOYLI but was transferred after 10 days) 1/9/1914 --6/10/ 1917
he was also discharged sick, but he wasn't a regular so will Glasgow still have his record too?
Best wishes Glyn
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 12th January 2012 at 1:12 PM

Dear Glyn,
It's possible they may still have it.
Kind regards
Alan
Reply from: Glyn
Date: Friday 13th January 2012 at 10:43 AM

Dear Alan
never thought of that, I assumed it had been lost as they said all records had gone to TNA
Thanks for your help, most appreciated.
Best wishes Glyn
Posted by: Ella Patterson {Email left}
Location: County Down
Date: Wednesday 11th January 2012 at 1:15 PM
Interested in finding out anything about my grandfather John Grant. he enlisted in Royal Irish Rifles (rifleman 778) and was wounded in 1918 in a skirmish in Egypt. He later died in the Lord Derby War Hospital in Warrington. He is buried in Co Down. Apart from that I know nothing.
Thanks
Ella
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 11th January 2012 at 4:35 PM

Dear Ella,
No individual service record appears to have survived for John Grant, 778 Royal Irish Rifles. An army medal rolls index card showed he served abroad after January 1st 1916, qualifying for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His regimental number had been allotted by the 18th Battalion RIR which was a training battalion based at Clandeboye in 1915. When he died he was shown as being with the 6th Battalion RIR which had served in Macedonia from October 1915 to September 1917 when it moved to Egypt, arriving at Alexandria on 19th September 1917. The battalion served with the 29th Infantry Brigade in the 10th Division. By October 1917 they were near Rafa and from there moved into Palestine. The 6th Battalion was disbanded on 15th May 1918.
Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Julie {Email left}
Location: West Sussex
Date: Tuesday 10th January 2012 at 9:24 AM
Hi Alan,

I have a passport of my Great Uncle dated 1916. There are many stamps which showed that he travelled to Malaya States and Singapore among others. His name was William Arthur Brooks, born 24/12/1876 in Crayford Kent, and he was a mechanical engineer.

As far as I'm aware he was not in the services (he would have been about aged 40 in 1916), but it seems strange that he would be travelling during the time of WW1. Would you have any idea at all why someone would be travelling to that region at that time?

Many thanks

Julie
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 10th January 2012 at 4:07 PM

Dear Julie,
William Arthur Brooks was recorded as an iron turner in the 1901 census. A possible match for him in the 1911 census showed a William Brooks who worked for the Thames Iron Company, a ship-building firm that went out of business in 1912.
The states of Malaya (FMS Federated Malay States) were under British protection from 1895 and formed part of the Royal Navy's China Station. The Malaya peninsula was on the sea route from Australia to England and provided harbours for vessels needing fuel or repairs. There was only one attack in the First World War which saw the German light cruiser "Emden" attack the Allied forces' "Zemchung" at Penang harbour on October 28th 1914. In 1921 the commanders in chief held a conference onboard HMS Hawkins at which it was decided to build a new naval base at Singapore.
It is not possible to state from his occupation "mechanical engineer" what William Arthur Brooks was employed at, but it is likely to have been connected with war effort, and possibly ship repairs.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Julie
Date: Tuesday 10th January 2012 at 4:46 PM

Hi Alan,

Thank you for the information, it is very helpful. My father gave me his 'Uncle Bill's' passport just before he died, if only I had asked more questions at the time.
The passport is very interesting with many stamps, the first entry is stamped Singapore 25th November 1916 and the last stamp is dated 8th April 1925 Colombo travelling to Shanghai. I do know that 'Uncle Bill' never married, but it sounds like he must have had quite an interesting life. If you would like to see a couple of scanned pages, please email me and I will forward them onto you.

My sister Helene (lives in Sydney), posted a question to you recently with regard to Bertram Leader-Chew (my grandfather), he was married to Laura Brooks, William's sister. Helene has some rather heavy brass candle sticks and a large brass tray that William brought back from his travels, these were passed to her after my father died.

Thank you for your help, I have no doubt that I will be posting on here again when I start tracing my husbands side of the family. Both of his Grandfathers served in WW1,

Kind regards,

Julie

A cheque donation will be sent to the Royal British Legion
Posted by: Kev {Email left}
Location: Mansfield
Date: Tuesday 10th January 2012 at 7:22 AM
Dear Alan,

A friend of mine is looking for any information about her great uncle, Private Charles Herbert Mills No138025, 2nd Battlion Machine Gun Corps, died 26/8/1918 aged 19 and buried at Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,

Kev
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 10th January 2012 at 2:09 PM

Dear Kev,
No individual service record appears to have survived for Charles Herbert Mills, so it is not possible to give any detail of his military service. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) stated he enlisted in the London Regiment. A medal rolls index card showed he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal with the Machine Gun Corps. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he served abroad after January 1st 1916. When he died, he "died of wounds" so it is not possible to say where or when he was wounded but it would have been in the few days before his death, as he was being treated in France. He served with the 2nd Battalion MGC which was formed in March 1918 to operate with the 2nd Division. The 2nd Battalion was formed from machine gun companies which had served the infantry of 2 Division previously. The Division fought on the Somme in 1918 at The Battle of St Quentin; The Battle of Bapaume; The First Battle of Arras 1918; The Battle of Albert; and The Second Battle of Bapaume which started on 21st August 1918 and is the most likely engagement in which Charles would have been wounded.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kev
Date: Thursday 12th January 2012 at 10:31 AM

Thank you very much for your help. I have been trying to find the war diaries for the 2nd Battalion MGC but have not had any luck, Do they still exist do you think? also has his records of joining ect, survived?

Kind Regards

Kev.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 12th January 2012 at 11:36 AM

Dear Kev,
No service record for Charles Herbert Mills appears to have survived. The war diary of the 2nd Battalion MGC is at the National Archives at Kew: War Office: First World War and Army of Occupation... WO 95/1334/ "2 Battalion Machine Gun Corps 2 Division Date: 1918 - 1919".
Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Bella
Location: Esher
Date: Monday 9th January 2012 at 7:03 PM
Dear Alan

I hope you had a good Christmas and let me wish you a Happy New Year.

This is a 'where do I go from here' question and wonder if you would furnish me with some advice.
Have WW1 service records (1914-1920) for my uncle, Ernest Henry Whitehead, born Camberwell 1893. Document year 1918, regimental no,.372095 and was residing London Road, Dover at that time.

How do I go about finding if he went overseas during that time and if so, did he return?

Your knowledge will be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards.

Bella
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 9th January 2012 at 8:26 PM

Dear Bella,
Happy New Year to you.
Ernest Whitehead didn't actually serve in the army. He enlisted. He was given a regimental number. But he wasn't in the army.
Ernest volunteered to join the army on 7th July 1915 at Sittingbourne. He was rejected on medical grounds. On 15th August 1915 everyone had to fill in a National registration form stating their age, address and employment. From that date the government had a record of all people; their skills; and their ages. This information was used for compulsory conscription and the creation of employment exempted from military service. Ernest married in December 1915. When compulsory conscription was introduced in 1916, Ernest was a skilled telephone cable-jointer with the GPO. He was medically examined at Canterbury on 29th September 1916 and graded in medical category BI which meant he could serve in garrisons overseas or at home, but not at the front. His "service" was deemed to have started on 24th July 1916 when he would have been attested for compulsory military service but he was exempt from service because of his civilian job. On 10th December 1917 Ernest was asked to attend a medical board on a form which was applicable to a man who "holds or has made application for exemption". On 26th April 1918 he finally joined the army for a day as private 372095 Royal Engineers Signals Section. The next morning he was transferred to the Class W Reserve "for all those soldiers whose services are deemed to be more valuable to the country in civil rather than military employment". Men in Class W did not wear army uniform or receive army pay, but they were deemed to have returned to their civilian jobs under the Reserve Forces Act. Ernest was liable to being re-called if needed for the Royal Engineers.
Henry's "service" in the reserve ended on 14th December 1918. His wartime contribution was with the General Post Office. He did not qualify for any medals.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Bella
Date: Monday 9th January 2012 at 9:57 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you so much for all that information. It was extremely helpful and appreciated and adds more to the family tree which started off as a sapling and is developing into an almighty oak. All these people which I never knew about (on both sides of the family) which I am researching keep appearing! Recently found a long lost cousin and her family in California and one of her grandson's who just happened to be studying in London but was returning to New York.and we managed to throw a small party for him before he left which was great fun. I now have second cousins in various parts of America and N.Ireland. Only wish I had found them earlier but better late than never so they say.

Thank you for all your help and a donation to BL will wend its way. His(Ernest's) marriage in 1915 was extremely helpful and which will be my next project. Who knows, may have another set of long lost cousins somewhere.

Kind regards.

Bella
Posted by: Deb {Email left}
Location: Sussex
Date: Sunday 8th January 2012 at 3:23 PM
Dear Alan,
Please could you help me in researching my husbands uncle Albert George Barr (born Weisberg but used his mothers husbands surname of Barr after she married in 1897).
Albert was born Jan 1896 in Paddington, London and died March 1925 in Banstead Mental Hospital, Surrey aged just 28. He was a driver in the Royal Field Artillery, Regt no: 89465. I found his Medal Index Card on Ancestry and it says he went to France on the 20 May 1915. Family "heresay" is that he was sent home early due to shellshock. His cause of death on his death certificate was Cerebral Apoplexy (14 months).
Is there any way of finding out where in France he would have been and when he came home and why?
Thank you in advance,
Deb
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 8th January 2012 at 5:49 PM

Dear Deb,
No individual service record appears to have survived for Albert George Barr so it is not possible to say with which unit of the RFA he served. It is possible the actual medal roll for the 1914-15 Star might record the unit he was with when he entered France. The roll number is RFA19/A&B page 7679 which is held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 329/2545 "Royal Field Artillery other ranks: medal rolls RFA/16A; RFA/16B; RFA/19A; RFA/19B. Pages 7399-7687. 1914-15 Star. C 536".
You would need to visit Kew or pay for a researcher look up the entry.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Deb
Date: Sunday 8th January 2012 at 5:53 PM

Thank you very much Alan. I shall invest in a trip to Kew!
(Donation will be given asap)
Thanks again.
Deb
Posted by: Valerie Fielden {Email left}
Location: Darwin Northern Territory Australia
Date: Sunday 8th January 2012 at 1:58 AM
Hello Alan, I don't mean to be a pest or annoyance! I posted a request on 1/1/12 and from what I can see am the only one that you haven't replied too! I don't mean to hassle you at all but perhaps you didn't get my request (Henry Charles Tomlinson) as everyone after mine has been replied to. Can you please let me know if you did receive it or should I repost it? Again, not meaning to put pressure on you at all. Many thanks, Valerie
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 8th January 2012 at 11:53 AM

Dear Valerie,
Sorry, but your first request slipped through the net. The Y symbol was a formation sign of the British 5th Infantry Division of Northern Command which had its UK headquarters at York. The Division's history is shown at:
http://www.unithistories.com/units_british/5InfDiv.html

To discover the personal details of Henry Tomlinson you would need to apply to the UK Ministry of Defence as service records for men of that time are still held securely by them. 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: Valerie Fielden
Date: Monday 9th January 2012 at 9:03 AM

Thank you so very much Alan, I will see what info I can get from here. Very much appreciated, I had no idea where to start.
Again thank you!
Valerie Fielden
Reply from: Julie
Date: Saturday 14th January 2012 at 10:46 AM

Hi Valerie,

This is a bit bizarre and if correct an amazing coincidence.

My sister Helene posted a question to Alan re my Grandfather Bertram Leader-Chew and I also posted a question on my Great Uncle William Brooks.

I noticed that you had posted re your father Henry Charles Tomlinson. I have been researching my family tree and my Grandfather, Samuel Thomas Tomlinson had a brother Henry Charles and we think that this may have been your Grandfather. Their father was Richard Frederick Tomlinson.

My mother never knew her father as he and my Grandmother divorced when she was very young.

I have details and copies of marriage and birth certificates which have brought me to this conclusion. I would love to hear from you to see if this is correct. For years we have been trying to find some sort of connection with the Tomlinson family but to no avail

Kind regards

Julie
Reply from: Valerie
Date: Sunday 15th January 2012 at 12:30 AM

Hi Julie, I got a bit excited when I got your email but sadly I am fairly sure that we are not connected. I can't recall my grandfathers name however I am sure it was not Richard. I do know my father had 2 brothers Alan and Leonard which I had met some 30odd years ago. I do know that Leonard has since died but I have located Alan via facebook and we are in contact. While my memory and knowledge of the family tree are sketchy to say the least the name Samuel does not ring any bells at all. But in saying all of that we still may have some connection further back than that. Best of my knowledge the family was born and bred in Wapping for several generations so I don't know if that helps. Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have found anything or if I can help at all.
Very best wishes
Valerie
Reply from: Julie
Date: Sunday 15th January 2012 at 12:58 PM

Hi Valerie,

Thank you for your reply. I too was very excited that we may be related. I still think that there is a possibility that we may be. Rather than put all the info on this website, I'll ask Alan to forward my email address to you so that we can be in direct contact.

The Tomlinson family that I am related to came from the East End of London, Stepney/Wapping/Whitechapel area.
My mum was born in Twine Court, Cable Street in 1923.

I'd really like to pass you all the information that I have,

I will contact Alan to see if he will email you on my behalf,

Kind regards,

Julie
Posted by: Helene Brunker {Email left}
Location: Sydney Australia
Date: Saturday 7th January 2012 at 3:02 AM
My grandfather, Bertram Leader-Chew, was in a gunner in the 66 Company RGA in WW1. He was posted to Jamaica, staying there for two years. What happened in Jamaica, and why were British troops posted there? What role did they have?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 7th January 2012 at 3:34 PM

Dear Helene,
Bertram Leader-Chew volunteered to join the army at the Kingsway recruiting office in London on November 6th 1915. He was aged 26. It was noted he had flat feet. He was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery depot at Dover on November 8th 1915 with the regimental number 67036. The Royal Garrison Artillery was responsible for coastal defences and defending harbours throughout the British Empire. The RGA consisted of "companies" that were not mobile which manned the seaward-facing guns mounted in coastal forts. The RGA "batteries" were of heavier mobile guns used for land warfare.
On Christmas Eve 1915 Bertram married Laura Mary Brooks at Dartford. The family home was at Herbert Cottage, Chapel Hill, Crayford, Kent. Later it became 8, Maryon Road, Charlton. Kent. There is a photo of Bertram at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/timlc/3263195280/in/photostream

On January 29th 1916, Bertram was posted to the 105th Siege Battery RGA as a gunner. The battery was preparing to go to France in May 1916 where it would see service on the Somme. However, Bertram received his typhus inoculations at a medical board in Lydd, Kent, in April 1916 where he was medically graded as B1 which prevented him from serving in the front line in France. He was posted to 22 Company RGA which was defending Sheerness on the north Kent coast.
On 16th June 1916, Bertram received a new posting to 66 Company RGA, which was a regular army, pre-war company that for some years had been based at Kingston in Jamaica. Jamaica had been a British Colony from 1655, as part of the British West Indies, and remained so until 1962. It had been garrisoned by the 1st Battalion West India Regiment and the 66 Company and 47 Company of the RGA prior to 1902. Bertram sailed on 20th June 1916 and joined the Rocky Point Battery of 66 Company RGA at Port Royal, Jamaica. The battery had been modernised in October 1907, following an earthquake, with a new fort protecting the harbour and the installation of nine-inch and six-inch guns. Horatio Nelson had once commanded Rocky Point in 1779.
Jamaica itself was not a theatre of war, but its islanders formed reserve regiments in each parish to protect against invasion and the Jamaicans provided many men for service overseas with the Empire forces. About a thousand Jamaicans lost their lives fighting in the Great War. Jamaican women raised comfort funds for men overseas and also provided fruit, sugar, ginger, rum and playing cards for the gunners of the coastal defence batteries. The threat to Jamaica had been from the German Navy which had fought the Battle of Coronel on November 1st 1914 in the Pacific. The German Navy won that battle and took control of the seas from Panama to Cape Horn. However, five weeks later at The Battle of the Falkland Islands in the Atlantic on 8th December 1914 the Germans lost all but the "Dresden" and the German high seas Fleet was forced to remain at its home base in Jade Bay, North-west Germany until the Battle of Jutland in 1916 in the North Sea.
From 1916 when Bertram arrived at Jamaica until he left, on 26th May 1918, his duties would have involved the routine of manning the defences of a harbour garrison. Shortly after arriving, on 24th October 1916, Bertram contracted malaria and was treated for 11 days at Up Park Camp hospital at Kingston, the HQ of British Forces.
He arrived back in England on 21 June 1918 after a two-year posting. He was then posted to No 2 Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade, which was based at Catterick Camp in Yorkshire. He remained there until 24th January 1919 when he was sent for "dispersal" and he was formally discharged from the army on 20th February 1919. He was described as a "good, willing and sober man". His military character was "very good" and his medical grade on demobilization was raised to "A1". Bertram qualified for the British War Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Helene Brunker
Date: Sunday 8th January 2012 at 1:44 AM

Thank you so much, Alan, for all this information. Bertram, my grandfather, died at an early age, in 1928, and so I never met him, and my father was raised by Laura as an only child. Unfortunately, other members of the family did not stay in touch with Laura, and so we know little of the family and its history.

We do know that Bertram had a twin brother, Harry, who was in the 13th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, and who was killed in action on Wednesday, 27th March 1918. Age 29. He enlisted in Cambridge. Formerly 039091, Royal Army Service Corps. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 5. The Arras Memorial is in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, which is in the Boulevard du General de Gaulle in the western part of the town of Arras

If you have any information about Harry Leader-Chew and his sevice in WW1, we would be very grateful.

Thanking you again,
Helene.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 8th January 2012 at 12:42 PM

Dear Helene,
Unfortunately, the same amount of detail has not survived for Harry Leader Chew. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" recorded he lived at Bourne in Cambridgeshire and enlisted at Cambridge. A Medal Rolls index card showed he served first with the Army Service Corps and went to France on 20th July 1915.
There is no surviving individual record for him, so it is not possible to say when he transferred to the Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment (The Green Howards). The 13th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment did not go to France until 6th June 1916, so Harry would have transferred sometime after that. When he was killed he was serving with the 13th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment which was part of the 121st Infantry Brigade in the 40th Division. They had been fighting on the Somme in 1918 and had taken part in the Battle of St Quentin where the enemy forced a widespread British withdrawal on March 21st 1918. The 13th battalion fought at St Leger Wood on the 21st and had to retire to the St Leger-Ervillers Road during the withdrawal. The Battalion then fought at the First Battle of Bapaume, 24 - 25 March 1918 and Harry was killed on the 27th. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/bat22.htm
The Battalion lost only two men killed on the 27th March 1918; compared to 66 killed on March 22nd 1918.
Harry is commemorated on the Arras Memorial for those who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. See
http://www.ww1-yorkshires.org.uk/html-files/arras-memorial/arras-memorial-c.htm
He is also commemorated on the Bourne war memorial. See:
http://www.bourn.org.uk/britleg.htm
and
http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Cambridgeshire/Bourn.html

Harry qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Helene Brunker
Date: Sunday 8th January 2012 at 10:00 PM

Thank you, Alan, for your very prompt reply. It is incredibly sad that so many soldiers have no known grave, but at least they are remembered on memorials, and the Arras Memorial, from the photos I have viewed, seems very impressive.

Wishing you a happy 2012, and thank you, again, for helping us fill in some gaps in our family history.

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