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

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Posted by: Joan Grundy {Email left}
Location: Rotherham
Date: Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 11:49 AM
Hi again Alan,
Have found some postcards from my grandfather in France in WWI which may help to tie down his locations

I'm sure I have seen a book with details of the whereabouts of all the Field Post Offices in France in WWI. Is there such a book? or can I get details from anywhere else?

Regards & thanks

Joan Grundy
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 5:42 PM

Dear Joan,
As far as I am aware, Army Field Post Office franking stamps were not consistent throughout the war. They could be prefixed by a letter denoting a Division (D), and the stamps changed every few months. The censor's marks and numbers were more consistent and Army Base Post Offices remained unchanged.
There are specialist books on the British Army postal services although they tend to be rather expensive to buy as they soon get out of print. They include:
"British Army Postal Service" by Edward B. Proud, volume 2, covering 1903-1926.
"A Brief Outline of the British Army Postal Services During World War I", by C A Entwistle.
"The Field Censor Systems Of The Armies of The British Empire 1914 - 1918 Unit Allocations" by F.W. Daniel. published by the Forces Postal History Society in 1984.
"The Postal History of the British Army in WW1 - before and after. (1903-1929) by A. Kennedy and G. Crabb, 1977, privately published by Crabb in Epsom, Surrey.

The following websites may be of interest:
http://www.purley.eu/H142P/P108-post.pdf
http://www.edinburghs-war.ed.ac.uk/home_front/documents/PDF_army_post_office_corps.pdf
http://www.forcespostalhistorysociety.org.uk/pdf/library-topic0808.pdf
Kind regards
Alan
Reply from: Joan Grundy
Date: Tuesday 31st January 2012 at 4:05 PM

Hi Alan

Many thanks for your help again. I will try the websites first and also look at prices for the books on ebay

Regards

Joan
Posted by: Dennis
Location: Wigan
Date: Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 1:09 AM
Dear Sir,

I am trying to find any records of my Grandfathers brother, Henry ( Harry ) Brown who was born in Aspull near Wigan 1894. He seems to have moved to Yorkshire sometime after 1911 and may have joined the East Yorkshire Regiment. I have family information that he died in France around October 1918.

His fathers name was Elias and his mothers name was Elizabeth and they stayed in Aspull. I believe he was married but I don't know his wife's name, nor, unfortunately do I have a Regimental Number.

I realise that this is not much to work with but I would be grateful for any information you can find.

Regards Dennis.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 5:41 PM

Dear Dennis,
No individual service record appears to have survived for a Henry (Harry) Brown born at Wigan in 1894. The official publication "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) lists eleven men named Brown whose birthplace was recorded as "Wigan". There was just one Harry Brown, who was born at Wigan and enlisted at "Aspall, Suffolk". This was probably a mistake, as Aspall in Suffolk is a small village. It may have referred to Aspull, Wigan. This Harry Brown served as a private in the 7th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment with the regimental number 56642.

A medal rolls index card for Harry Brown 56642 recorded that he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not serve overseas until after January 1st 1916. As the 7th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment had been in France since the summer of 1915, Harry Brown would have been part of a draft of later reinforcements. As there is no service record for him, it is not possible to say when he enlisted or when he arrived in France and Flanders. It is possible he was compulsorily conscripted any time after March 1916 in which case he would have had no choice of regiment. So it is not safe to assume he moved to Yorkshire just because he was with a Yorkshire regiment and he does appear to have enlisted at "Aspall".

Harry Brown was killed in action on 16th October 1918 while with the 7th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment. The 7th Battalion served in the 50th Infantry Brigade in the 17th (Northern) Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/17div.htm

The Battalion took part in the Pursuit to the River Selle which began on October 17th 1918. Harry died on October 18th.
There is no entry for Harry Brown in the Debt of Honour of the CWGC that I can find. However, a search of the CWGC cemetery registers (via ancestry.co.uk) revealed that he is commemorated on the East Yorkshire Regiment panel on the Vis En Artois Memorial, to the south of Arras. The memorial bears the names of 9,000 men who died between 8th August 1918 and the Armistice and who have no known grave. They were killed during the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois.

There were four marriages at Wigan in the name of Harry Brown between 1912 and 1915 and one for Henry Brown in 1917. If he did marry at Wigan, you would have to order each marriage certificate using the "reference check" of his father's name, Elias, to identify the correct one.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dennis
Date: Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 11:52 PM

Dear Alan,

I am truly amazed at the amount of information you have managed to gather when I could give you so little to start with. If my Grandfather's brother is the one commemorated at Vis En Artois then it is good to know that he is remembered somewhere.

I will certainly follow up your information about where he fought and when he fought and also about his marriage.

I would also like to offer you my thanks and appreciation for your time and effort.

Best regards Dennis.
Posted by: Karen {Email left}
Location: Doncaster
Date: Tuesday 24th January 2012 at 6:59 PM
Hello,

I am researching my great granddad, Clarence Wilby Newton. He served with the Lincolnshire Regiment 2nd/5th Battalion, service no 44612, regiment no 35432, it is stated that he died of wounds on 19/04/1918 aged 19 and is buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. His theatre of war was the Western European and his site of death is stated as France/Flanders,would you know where he could have possibly died to be buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, also the date he joined up and where I could locate any photographs of the regiment he served in.

Many thanks
Karen
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 24th January 2012 at 9:04 PM

Dear Karen,
No individual service record has survived for Clarence Newton so it is not possible to suggest his wartime service. An army medal rolls index card showed he first served in the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) as no. 35432. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for overseas service before December 31st 1915, he did not serve abroad until after January 1st 1916. Many men served in more than one regiment, often being compulsorily transferred while in France and Flanders. It is not possible without a service record to say when he changed regiments: it could have been before he went to France or just days before he died. Clarence was born on Feb 27th 1899, so unless he enlisted while under-age he may have been conscripted after his 18th birthday in 1917. On the day he died he was with the 2nd/5th Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment which served with the 177th Infantry Brigade in the 59th Division. He died of wounds and was buried at Boulogne which was a coastal town which became a large hospital centre. It is not possible to say when he was wounded, but it would have been in the few days before he died as he had reached hospital in France but had not been transferred to a hospital in the UK, a process which took only a few days. The 177th Brigade fought at The Battle of Bailleul on the 14th and 15th April 1918 and The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge on 17th and 18th April 1918.
Any photographs of the regiments he served with would be held by the individual regimental museums or the Imperial War Museum. Comparatively few photographs were taken in France and they were "official" photographs taken for the War Office, so they rarely identify individuals. They are held by the Imperial War Museum. Some group photographs of soldiers were taken in the UK, on enlistment or prior to demobilisation and these may have survived in museum collections, but they are often un-named. Post-card fairs held around the country are a good source of First World War photographs. Local newspapers of the time may have reported an obituary.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Karen
Date: Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 6:40 PM

Hi Alan,

Thank you so much for the speedy reply and the wonderful amount of information given, I really do appreciate the the time and effort spent. I have found that 3 of my maternal great grandfathers served in WW1, Clarence who died 19/04/1918 aged 19, David who died 03/04/1918 aged 26 and was in the 182 Tunneling Company, Royal Engineers, service no. 155741, regimental no, 15581 and whose body was never found but is commemorated in Pozieres Memorial and Wilfred Newton. I cannot find any death records for Wilfred so I am assuming he survived the war but any help you can give me on this would be most appreciated, I think he was born in 1894 and Lived in Whitwood, West Yorkshire. His parents were, David Wilby Newton and Jane Ann Newton. My husband and I are going over to France later in the year to pay our respects to my grand fathers at their resting places, I know no one else has ever visited and I feel I need to go to let their memories live on and to show they are not forgotten.

Many thanks once again,
Karen
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 7:10 PM

Dear Karen,
There was no record of Wilfred Newton in "Soldiers Died in the Great War" so he seems to have survived. There is no other identifiable record for him, I'm afraid.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Karen
Date: Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 9:01 PM

Hi Alan,

Thank you so much for looking.

Karen
Posted by: Lesley {Email left}
Location: Bath
Date: Tuesday 24th January 2012 at 9:05 AM
Hi! I'm trying to find service information for James Joseph Nulty (born Wexford 1895) - he served with the Connaught Rangers/Inniskilling Fusiliers in the First World War - ultimately a captain and was awarded the Ordre de Leopold amongst other medals. He lived at 26 Altcar Street, Belfast. This is all we know of his First World War service. We are also particularly looking for information about his service in the Second World War as he served with the Royal Sussex Regiment and was court-martialled (we don't know why but possibly bigamy) in the early 40s - his next of kin and address would be really useful as this would help us with finding other siblings - we have already found some. We would be really grateful for information as James Joseph was my mother in law's father and she knew very little of him and we are trying to piece his life together for her - for better or worse! Thank you so much, in advance for your help. Kind regards, Lesley
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 24th January 2012 at 3:52 PM

Dear Lesley,
Officers' service records are not in the public domain. For Captain James Joseph Nulty in the First World War you would need to apply to the National Archives at Kew for his officer's service record with the "long number" 187904 in Catalogue series WO 339 which applied to his file. If he served in the Second World War his service record will be held by the UK Ministry of Defence.
The MoD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next of kin or not. You can apply using the forms for next of kin, or with permission of next of kin, or as a general enquirer. See:

http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html

You will need proof of death; date of birth or service number; next of kin's permission (unless you are the direct next of kin); a cheque and completed forms Part 1 and 2. The next of kin form (Part 1) is for completion by the next of kin of deceased service personnel (or enquirers with the consent of next of kin). Look for "Service records publications" under "Related pages" and follow the instructions. The Part 2 form is entitled: "Request forms for service personnel Army" found under "Related Pages". Otherwise use a general enquirer's form. A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to "The MoD Accounting Officer" and sent to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland with all the paperwork.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Lesley
Date: Tuesday 24th January 2012 at 4:55 PM

Hi Alan,
Thank you so much for your reply and for the information as to what I have to do next. I will make a British Legion Donation! Kind regards, Lesley
Posted by: Kevin Woodley {Email left}
Location: Surrey
Date: Monday 23rd January 2012 at 3:00 PM
Hello, I'm reasearching my Gt Uncle, Pte George Albert Peck, 12th Bn KRRC, died of wounds 05/09/1916, and buried at Rouen Cemetary.
Looking for information on where the 12th Bn were prior to his wounding. His service number was R/9915.
Any help with the Bn war diary would be a great help as we plan to visit the battlefields later this year.

Thanks

Kevin
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 23rd January 2012 at 4:20 PM

Dear Kevin,
The 12th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps served in France from July 1915. A medal rolls index card for George Albert Peck R9915 showed he entered France on 24th July 1915. It is therefore probable he served only with the 12th Battalion. The Battalion was raised for wartime service at Winchester and trained at Cowshot, Bisley; Blackdown and Hindhead, Surrey. It undertook trench routine at Laventie and Fleurbaix until January 1916 and then moved to the Ypres sector in January 1916. Its first engagement was at the capture of Mount Sorrell alongside the Canadians at Zwarteleen and Hooge between 2nd and 13th June 1916. On 24th July 1916 the Battalion moved to the Somme and fought in the Battle of Delville Wood and the Battle of Guillemont. As Rifleman Peck died of wounds and was buried at St Sever in Rouen it is possible he was wounded in the Battle of Guillemont fought between 3rd and 6th September 1916. There were many military hospitals at Rouen.

The war diary for the battalion can be downloaded for GBP 3-50 from the UK National Archives website. It is "Online Document WO 95/2120 20 DIVISION 60 INFANTRY BRIGADE: 12 Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps 1915 July - 1919 Apr". See

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?queryType=1&resultcount=1&Edoc_Id=8199388

Kind regards
Alan
Reply from: Kevin
Date: Monday 23rd January 2012 at 4:27 PM

Alan, wow, many thanks for the speedy reply.
That info will be very useful, again thank you for your help, much appriciated.
Kevin
Posted by: Dave {Email left}
Location: Melbourne Australia
Date: Monday 23rd January 2012 at 12:27 AM
Hello All, I am researching my paternal Grandfather's war activities and not getting very far. His details, obtained from my father's birth certificate (born 1918), are: Andrew Joseph Marshall (112025 or 112925, or possibly 112825 - legibility problem) 3rd King's L. R. He was born in Liverpool in 1894

As he was from Liverpool and served in Ireland (at some stage) we can safely assume he served in the 3rd Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment. My problems are: 1. I have not been able to locate him on the Medal Roll index, so I can't eliminate the possibility, slight though it is, that he joined the 3rd after being returned from the front or when he was posted to Ireland; 2. I can find no information on what the 3rd was doing in Ireland (Cork?) or whether any notable events occurred relevant to the 3rd's posting. I assume it was related to the level of republican activity at that time.

Incidentally I have reviewed Edward Wyrall's History of the King's Regiment (Liverpool) but the only reference to the 3rd is the location of their depot at Seaforth and that they trained and equipped Special Service recruits.
Any Information on the 3rd Battalion's activities or the Medal Rolls index would be greatly appreciated
Dave
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 23rd January 2012 at 4:21 PM

Dear Dave,
It is probable that Andrew Marshall did not serve abroad during the war. As his child was born in at the end of 1918 Andrew would have been in England when the child was conceived. His marriage may have been an Andrew Marshall who married Maud Bellard in Liverpool in late 1917.
The regimental number 112025 (or its possible variants) was a six-digit number issued by the UK-based 3rd Battalion or depot battalion of the King's (Liverpool Regiment). Most men with numbers starting 112xxx in the King's were conscripted soldiers who enlisted after 1916 and many of the numbers were allotted to conscripts in 1918. There are no medal rolls index cards in the names of soldiers with these numbers, indicating they did not serve abroad before the Armistice. One or two served in France after the war and some men with 112xxx numbers were discharged as medically unfit in 1919.
Prior to the war, all regiments consisted of three battalions, with the 3rd Battalion being based at the regimental depot to train recruits for the 1st and 2nd Battalions. The depot and 3rd Battalion of the King's was based at Seaforth Barracks, north Liverpool, from 1910. See:
http://litherland-digital.co.uk/album_9/pages/seaforth_recruiting_office_1917.html

At the outbreak of war the 3rd Battalion King's became a "reserve", or training, battalion. The administrative organisation of the battalion remained with the "depot" which continued at Seaforth and saw the raising of the 11th,12th,13th and 14th Battalions. The 3rd Battalion moved out of Seaforth and went to Hightown at Little Crosby in August 1914. In July 1915 it moved to Pembroke Dock and in late 1917 it moved to Cork Barracks in Ireland. Ireland was not partitioned at the time and provided barracks and garrisons for 20 infantry battalions and three cavalry regiments, regardless of any republican activity. The 3rd Battalion remained at Cork until February 1919 when it was moved to Rushmoor at Aldershot. It was certainly at Rushmoor in April 1919. The battalion was made up of men who were medically fit for garrison duty in the UK; who were under-age to serve overseas; or who were not yet trained. In the six months after February 1919 the wartime men were demobilized and a nucleus remained of those men who were seeing-out their wartime service. Many of them joined the 1st Battalion King's (Liverpool Regiment) which was being re-fitted after the war and which was garrisoned in Ireland in 1919. By the end of 1919, most of the wartime men were coming to the end of their service, some having joined as late as July and August 1918.
By now the 1st Battalion was reformed as a regular army battalion which saw service in Ireland during the war of independence from Jan 1919 to July 1921. By January 1922, the 1st Bn King's was with 17th Infantry Brigade at Bantry, Co Cork.

No service record has survived for Andrew Marshall so it is not possible to be precise about his record. However, as there is no medal index card the implication is that he did not serve overseas to qualify for a medal. Had he served earlier, it is unlikely he would have a six-digit regimental number of the range issued in the UK to the UK based soldiers. Had he been discharged through wounds or sickness he would have possibly qualified for a Silver War Badge, but he does not appear in the lists for that. The conclusion might be that he was conscripted late in the war and served only in the home-based 3rd Battalion King's.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dave
Date: Saturday 28th January 2012 at 2:53 AM

Dear Alan,
Many thanks for your response. The information you have provided is far more than I would have expected to discover. You are performing a wonderful service to family researchers!

I am not sure whether you are able to answer questions about WII naval service. Assuming you are, I will be posting a separate question about my father's service shortly.

Best wishes
dave
Posted by: Snowdog {Email left}
Location: Waterlooville
Date: Saturday 21st January 2012 at 6:19 PM
I wondered if you could give me some advice or might know someone who could help me. i have inherited two old booklets: a 283 siege battery rga schedule of personnel and short record of the battery movements, and a booklet of poems entitled gunfire which is a souvenir publication of the british heavy artillery in italy. i am looking to sell these but have no idea where to start. thankyou
Reply from: Foggy
Date: Sunday 30th November 2014 at 11:02 PM

Hi Snowdog

I know that this is a bit of a long shot seeing as your post is nearly three years old, but if you still have the 283 Siege Battery document then i might be interested in buying it (depending on condition, price etc)
Reply from: Snowdog
Date: Tuesday 2nd December 2014 at 12:01 AM

Bizarrely, due to other things taking over, I do still have this! I can take some photos and message them to you in the morning. my email is (gconnatty at gmail dot com) and I would be looking for £25 as i know it's rare now.
Reply from: Snowdog
Date: Tuesday 2nd December 2014 at 12:53 PM

If you are interested please send me your email address.
Reply from: Foggy
Date: Thursday 4th December 2014 at 1:21 PM

Hi,

Thank you for your reply.
My email address is (peter.walton at yahoo dot co dot uk)
That sounds like a fair price so I'm still interested, though I'd like to know what condition the document is in please?
Regards.
Posted by: Terry
Location: Wigan
Date: Friday 20th January 2012 at 11:16 PM
DEAR SIR,
IHAVE IN MY POSSESSION A LETTER FROM PTE W HORTON 39597 7 EAST YORKS REGT BCOY 7PLATOON BEF FRANCE
IN 1916 INFORMING THE FAMILY OF THE DEATH OF MY GRANDFATHERS BROTHER I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT SOMETHING ABOUT THIS PERSON BUT SO FAR I HAVE HAD NO JOY HOPING YOU CAN FIND MORE ABOUT HIM THAN ME THANKING YOU IN ANTICIPATION TERRY
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 21st January 2012 at 3:14 PM

Dear Terry,
The soldier with the regimental number 39597 in the East Yorkshire Regiment was recorded in the medal rolls index as William R C Horton. 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.
No other military record has survived for him. He appeared not to have been killed in the war.
There was no obvious birth record for a William Horton with middle names beginning with R and C.
However, there was a marriage record for a William Randolph Clark Horton, aged 22, who married Susannah Thomas, the daughter of Joseph Richard Thomas, at All Saints' Church, South Kirkby, West Yorkshire, on June 25th 1913. William's father was called William. Both were coal miners.
The 1911 census recorded a William R Horton, a 20 year old coal miner born at Wakefield in about 1891, living with a William and Edith Esther Horton, at Main Street, Bolton upon Dearne. They were also shown in the 1901 census at Bolton upon Dearne. The parents, William and Edith, both came from Bloxwich in Staffordshire.
In April 1891 William Horton of Bloxwich was recorded as a coal miner aged 29, born Bloxwich, a boarder at Smith's Terrace in Hemsworth.
On December 9th 1891, a William Horton, aged 30, bachelor, miner, son of Robert, married Edith Esther Clark at St Peter's Church, in Stanley, Wakefield. Edith was recorded as a 21 year old spinster, daughter of Daniel Clark, miner, Ferry Lane, Stanley.

If William Horton senior and Edith Esther Clark married in December 1891, it appeared unlikely that William Randolph Clark Horton was born in 1891. In fact there is no birth record at all for a William Randolph Clark Horton. However, it did seem likely that the name Clark came from his mother. A search for the birth of William Clark in Wakefield about 1891 returned one entry for a William Randolph Clarke born at Wakefield in the third quarter of 1890. This may have been a co-incidence, but a search for his baptism returned one entry from St Andrew's Church, Wakefield, where a William Randolph was baptised the son of Edith Esther Clark, of Oak Street, on August 3rd 1890. He had been born on July 9th 1890. There was no record of the father's name.

A search of the April 1891 census recorded an Edith E. Clark, aged 20, single, living with her father Daniel Clark, and mother Susannah, at Stanley Ferry, Stanley, Wakefield. At the same address was an 8 month old boy shown as Daniel's grandson, named William Randolph.

The 7th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment served with the 50th Infantry Brigade in 17th Division. They went to France in July 1915, so William Horton would have been part of a draft of later reinforcements. Their major engagements are listed at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/17div.htm

Their war diaries are held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 95/2002 and 2003. You would have to visit Kew.

A William R C Horton, aged 70, died at Blackpool in 1961.

Kind regards
Alan
Reply from: Terry Wigan
Date: Saturday 21st January 2012 at 6:44 PM

DEAR ALAN , THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PROMPT REPLY I AM MOST GRATEFUL FOR THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE FOUND
AND IT FILLS A GAP IN MY FAMILY TREE KINOWING THAT HE SURVIVED THE WAR / SO ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR HELP TERRY
Posted by: Julie {Email left}
Location: West Sussex
Date: Friday 20th January 2012 at 1:07 PM
Hi Alan,

Just a quick note with regard to Val's post dated 8th January. You kindly forwarded my email to Val so that she could contact me and it has been confirmed that we are second cousins (her Grandfather and my Grandfather were brothers). What an amazing coincidence, my sister Helene (see post 8th January) and I have been trying to find a relation of our Grandfather for many years without success. How strange that they should post on the same day to this forum, what do you think the chances of that were...more than million to one?

Thank you again,

Julie

(I donated to Royal British Legion online as it was easier than posting a cheque).
Posted by: Pete {Email left}
Location: Stone Staffordshire
Date: Thursday 19th January 2012 at 2:09 PM
Hi Alan,
I would be very grateful for any information you can shed on my Grandfather's war service.
George Toole, from Birmingham, enlisted on 15 March, 1914 and his War Medal Roll gives his number asT4/213708.
He was awarded the Silver War Badge under KR 392 xvia, which I understand is discharge for wounds or sickness.
His discharge date is given as 15 March 1919.
According to the 1918 Absent Voter List he was in 856 Horse Transport Company, attached to the 28th Division and I think he served in Salonika.

Many thanks,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 19th January 2012 at 6:28 PM

Dear Pete,
The surviving records for George Toole provide conflicting evidence.
The Silver War Badge nominal roll recorded he enlisted on 15th March 1914. If that is correct, he would have been either a part-time Territorial soldier or a regular soldier at the outbreak of war in August 1914. His army 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 overseas before December 31st 1915 he did not serve abroad until after January 1st 1916.
Had he been a regular soldier one would have expected him to serve abroad at the outbreak of war. He may therefore have been a part-time Territorial soldier. His army number was pre-fixed with T4 which stood for horse transport in the ASC of Kitchener's wartime Fourth New Army. A pre-war regular soldier would not have been allotted a T4 number, as he would have been allotted a pre-war number in March 1914.
The absent voters list apparently recorded him as being with 856 Horse Transport Company ASC. I have not seen that record. An act of Parliament passed on 6 February, 1918 allowed servicemen to register to vote in the constituency of their home address. The first lists were published on 15 October, 1918 from applications received up to 18 August, 1918. The second list was published on 15 April, 1919. Depending on which list he was entered, the information dates only from mid-1918 to 1919. The absent voters list only provides information for the last few months of the war, so George's service history from 1914-1918 in not known as there is no guarantee he served continually in one comapny.

Many soldiers served with different units throughout the war and many units changed between divisions, so without an individual service record it is impossible to track a man's movements.

The 28th Divisional Train ASC was formed from 120, 121, 122 and 123 Companies ASC who originally served in 13th Division until November 1915. Chris Baker's website, The Long Long Trail, states: "It moved to Egypt in November 1915 and joined 28th Division. A Divisional Transport and Supply Column was formed for the Division in Mesopotamia. On 1 August 1918, the Brigade Transport and Supply Columns from 38th and 40th Brigade merged with it, at which point this unit once again became known as 13th Divisional Train."

It is therefore possible that if the original divisional train went back to 13th Division, a new train joined 28th Division. The National Archives places 856 Company ASC in the 28 Divisional Train with their war diaries held in catalogue reference WO 95/4912, dated 1915-1919.

To confuse matters further the 170th Company etc ASC served with 28th Division for a while. They came from London and moved to 28th Division in December 1914, then to 33rd Division in November 1915 when 28th sailed for Salonika. Their ward diaries are: "28 Division Divisional Train (170, 171, 172, 173 Companies A.S.C.) Date: 1915. (WO 95/2272).

So, you can see that knowing which company a man was in is no help without having accurate dates. If George was a Territorial soldier before the war in Birmingham he may well have served with the part-time Territorial ASC of the South Midland Division. He was a married man with a child and may not have volunteered for "Imperial" (Overseas) service at the outbreak of war which would have placed him in the second line Territorial formations of the ASC in the South Midland Division (2nd South Midland Division) which became the 61st Division. This Division sailed for France in May 1916 with the 61st Divisional Train ASC composed of 521, 522, 523 and 524 Companies ASC.
While there is a logic that suggests George could have been with the South Midland ASC Territorials there is no evidence for it, but it would account for the medal card showing an initial deployment in 1916. He was discharged under Para 392 xvi (a) King's Regulations which was for a soldier found by a medical board to be no longer physically fit. He was discharged through sickness, shown on the SWB nominal roll by ditto marks under "sickness" at the top of the column.

Some primary evidence for his service prior to 1918 is required. Local newspapers in the Birmingham Local Studies Library may have reported his wartime service or the deployment of the 61st Division.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Pete
Date: Friday 20th January 2012 at 11:13 AM

Hi Alan,

thank you so much for your prompt and full reply. It has given me some other avenues to explore.
The absent voter list I referred to is dated October 1st, 1918.

I have one photograph and two postcards that show my Grandfather in uniform.
The first postcard is postmarked 2 July, 1916 Catterick Camp and shows my grandfather and a group of men outside a hut. The message to his wife confirms they have been training and apologises that they have not cleaned up.
The second postcard has not been used so is blank on the reverse and undated.
It shows my grandfather and 9 other men outside a pitched mess tent. All have Royal Warwickshire Cap badges and appear to be a group of NCO's.
Six of the men have three stripes, one with a crown above. One is a lance corporal, one appears to be an officer with a swagger stick and the rear rank, my grandfather and another man have their sleeves behind the men in front. Thus I cannot see his rank.

The photograph is a family one with my grandfather and his two cousins. In this his cap badge appearss to be ASC, it is not RWR.

I did not know my grandfather as he died before I was born. My father, his second son, was born on 24 March, 1914.
That makes it 9 days after he enlisted, according to the records.
I did know my grandmother and I am fairly convinced that he would have had an entry in the Victoria Cross Roll if he had enlisted at that stage in her labour :-)
Again many thanks for your help and I will see if the Birmingham Archives can shed any more light.

Best Regards

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