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

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Posted by: Gary Houseman
Location: Wakefield
Date: Sunday 28th November 2010 at 2:29 PM
Dear Alan

I am trying to work out the WW1 war record for a relative of mine, Arthur Hudson born 23 Nov 1896 in Hunslet, Leeds.
I found his service record ( which has his address as 74 Pemberton Terrace, which I know to be correct as this was his address in the 1911 census).

However I can not find his medal card for any of the service numbers on his service record, can you shed any light on this. ( perhaps I have missed something). And can you elaborate on his WW1 career.

In anticipation
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 28th November 2010 at 8:28 PM

Dear Gary,
Arthur Hudson served in the UK and did not enter a theatre of war. Therefore he would not qualify for any campaign medals.
He enlisted at Leeds on 23rd November 1915. At the end of the war he was medically classified as B II "Able to march five miles, see and hear sufficiently for ordinary purposes". On his enlistment his attestation paper was marked "Yorkshire Regiment. Home Service", so it is possible he was medically classed as B II or lower when he enlisted (men often improved their medical grade as a result of physical training).
He joined the Yorkshire Regiment (The Green Howards) at their depot at Richmond, North Yorkshire, on November 24th 1915 and served with the 3rd Battalion until 27th May 1916. The 3rd Battalion's war station was coastal defence at West Hartlepool with detachments at Seaton Carew and South Gate. On May 27th 1916 Arthur Hudson was posted to the 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment which was based at Richmond. On 27th June he was appointed an acting Lance Corporal, reverting to private on 16th February 1917. He was promoted again to Lance Corporal on 17th April 1917. On the 10th August 1917 the 2nd Garrison Battalion Yorkshire Regiment became the 10th Battalion the Royal Defence Corps which served at Hartlepool.
The Royal Defence Corps was created in August 1917 from Home Service personnel to defend key points in the UK. Eighteen infantry garrison battalions were converted to form the eighteen battalions of the Royal Defence Corps.
From November 1915 until April 1918 Arthur had served with the Green Howards. Although the 2nd Garrison Battalion became the 10th Battalion Royal Defence Corps, Arthur was still serving with his colleagues of the Green Howards while in the RDC and rose to the rank of corporal.
At one stage in his career (the date is illegible) he qualified for a certificate from the Army School of Cooking, which ran two-week courses and was based at Aldershot.
On 27th April 1918, Arthur was transferred to the 1st Garrison Battalion of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. This home service battalion was sent to Ireland in May 1918 and remained there until the end of the war. On August 22nd 1918 Arthur was transferred to the depot of the West Yorkshire Regiment and was attached to the 98th Territorial Force Depot at York.
Arthur might have applied to be an officer candidate. There is a non-specific reference in his record to officer candidates requiring dental examinations before being sent to officer cadet school. This is accompanied by two forms showing Arthur did receive a dental examination in October 1917. He was promoted to acting corporal in November 1917. He finished the war as a private soldier, but in April 1918 was transferred to the KOYLI. That transfer may have been the result of having not passed an officer cadet school training course. His promotion to corporal in November might have been to improve his chance of selection. If he was not appointed as an officer he would have been RTU (returned to unit), but a junior NCO who did not make officer could not expect to continue as a junior NCO in his unit as he may not have continued to command the same respect. That could have accounted for the transfer to the KOYLI as a private soldier in April 1918. Unfortunately there is no supporting evidence in his record. In August 1918 he transferred to the West Yorkshire Regiment as a private. He was discharged from the West Yorkshire Regiment in May 1919.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Richard Hudson
Date: Sunday 11th September 2011 at 3:26 AM

Hi Gary,

Apologies for not answering you request sooner, but I am only a recent convert to this genealogy business and turned up your request via a Goolge search for pictures of 74 Pemberton Terrace.

I am Arthur Hudson's great nephew (based upon the Arthur Hudson you are interested in being the one who lived at 74 Pemberton Terrace with father Alfred and mother Elizabeth Anne - nee Houseman, which would tally with your surname) his brother Walter was my paternal grandfather.

I actually have a very different story for you:

Arthur, according to my information, enlisted in the 24th Battalion Canadian Infantry (haven't yet found out on what date or why the Canadian Infantry) and was killed in action January 28th 1917. I believe he is buried in Hunslet cemetery, Leeds - haven't been yet to verify that, but the plot number, if it still exists is on the following link.

Arthur's regimental number was: 65456 and rank Private

I currently have in front of me his Canadian 1914-15 campaign medal, carrying his name along with the above battalion and service number, so can give you a reasonable degree of assurance that this information is correct.

Hope this information helps?

Reply from: Richard
Date: Sunday 11th September 2011 at 3:40 AM

Apologies again - it is quite late at night - the details I just gave you in my previous reply were for Albert Hudson, Arthur's brother (too may Alberts, Arthurs and Alfreds in my family tree)...the service medal just says A Hudson... doh! Sorry for the confusion, but hope the info was of some use anyway! :-)


Posted by: Rowan {Email left}
Location: Bilbao
Date: Sunday 28th November 2010 at 12:54 PM
My great grandfather was Robert Rowbottom. He was born in Newton - Hyde in Cheshire in 1893. His mother was called Rose and his father John.

Robert served as a Shoeing Smith from the beginning of the WW1 until the end. He was with the 23rd Divisional Ammunition Column.

Having survived the war he died of tuberculosis in 1927. He was 34.

At home we have some of the shoes he made but we have never seen a photo of him. Has anyone got any information or even a picture of a Shoeing Smith?

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 28th November 2010 at 5:13 PM

Dear Rowan,
Robert Rowbottom, an apprentice blacksmith, was shown in the pre-war census as the son of John and Rose Rowbottom of 65 Old Road, Newton, Hyde, Cheshire. A Robert Rowbottom who stated his age was 23, and who lived at 65 Old Road, Newton, Hyde enlisted in the army on November 13th 1914 at Manchester. He was attested (sworn in) at Woolwich and joined the Army Service Corps with the number 4512. His civilian job was "farrier". He became a shoeing smith in the Army Service Corps and transferred to the Royal Field Artillery in April 1915 when he joined the 90th Brigade RFA (also known with Roman numerals as XC Brigade). A Medal Rolls Index card showed he entered France on 21st July 1915. The XC Brigade RFA served with the 20th (Light) Division and that Division entered France in the same week of 1915. XC Brigade RFA served with the 20th Division until the Brigade was broken up in August 1916.
On September 6th 1916 Robert Rowbottom was accidentally injured when he was kicked by a horse. In September 1916 he was at the Bailleul area and was treated at 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station at Bailleul for a suspected fracture and then taken to Rouen where he was diagnosed as being bruised. He was then with the 23rd Divisional Ammunition Column. He may have only just joined the 23rd DAC, but there is no record to say when he moved from 20th Division to 23rd Division.
When he left the army he was based at Anderlecht near Brussels in Belgium with 179 BAC RFA.
The 23rd Division had left France and gone to Italy in November 1917 and remained there until the end of the war, so Robert may have remained in France and Flanders in 1917.
As a shoeing smith he was would have been based with the horse lines some way back from the actual front. The guns were nearer the front line, with "Lines of Communication" reaching back to the ammunition parks. Where he would be based on the lines of communication is not clear as it would depend on where the horse lines were situated at any given time. His skill was as a shoeing smith. Whether he actually fought would depend on many factors. He was employed as a shoeing smith and that was his role but he was also a soldier and would have had to defend himself or the Lines of Communication if the enemy attacked the location where he was based.
A service record and a medal index card have survived for this man. They can be downloaded from the website (charges apply).
The Royal Artillery Museum may be a source of photographs. See
Kind regards,
Reply from: Ellie
Date: Thursday 1st September 2011 at 9:40 PM

My Grandfather was James Rowbottom, of Newton, Hyde, and I believe Robert was his cousin. Sadly, there are no photographs of Him as far as I know, but have photographs of some of the family, dating from the 1920's onward including my Uncle, private Thomas Rowbottom ( 3528297 ) who served with the Manchester Regiment 1st Battalion, and died in Burma in a Japanese P.O.W camp 14/11/1943. If you would like any more information, please reply to this post and I will forward my email address to you, Rowan

Posted by: Rowan {Email left}
Location: Bilbao
Date: Sunday 28th November 2010 at 11:46 AM
My great grandfather was a shoesmith with the 23rd Divisional Ammunition Column. Before May 1916 this was known as a Brigade Ammunition Column. He served throughout the whole war and his Division appears to have been involved in many of the important battles. What I would like to know is where exactly he would have been in relation to the front line and whether he would have fought. Did the smith actually help transport the ammunition?

Posted by: Fiona {Email left}
Location: Nr Ashford
Date: Sunday 28th November 2010 at 2:07 AM
Could anyone help me I have been looking for my grandfather who was killed in the second world war Frank Elliott 5th Dec 1940.
I have recently found a photo taken of him in Barnstable Devon in WW1 uniform.
I know he was born in Heston Hounslow London in May 1989 or 1899. He is then shown nr Great Yarmouth Norfolk in the 1911 census. He then moved to Portsmouth and by 1934 was in Sittingbourne in Kent where he was killed.
In the photo I have he has the rank of sargent.
I have seen that other people have been looking for Frank Elliott who was killed in the first world war and wondered whether they may had come across my Frank Elliott who survived. I would be extremly grateful for any imformation as I know hardly anything about him as my mother was only two when he was killed.
Reply from: Bobbo
Date: Tuesday 28th January 2014 at 9:54 AM

You have your birth years a bit garbled, I think that you meant to say 1898 or 1899.

At that time Heston in Hounslow in Middlesex in London, was in the Brentford Registration District, and there is only one possible birth registration in that area which matches his name, and it was in the second quarter of 1898.

ELLIOTT, Frank...Registration district...Brentford...County...Middlesex...Year of registration...1898

Quarter of registration...April-May-June...Volume number...3A...Page number...103

There is no death registration for his name in 1934 in Kent, the nearest is 1935, but that was in Tenterden, which is 30 miles from Sittingbourne and his name was Frank J. Elliott and he was 72.

Is your information from research, or from personal family knowledge. ?

In any case, his name is extremely common, so your best bet might be to upload your picture, and perhaps someone might be able to identify his regiment.

If you have scan of the picture, ( an electronic copy ), you can upload it via the link below, then right click on the thumbnail picture of the uploaded picture, save the URL of the image, and then post that URL here, it's quite easy to do.

Ignore all those green buttons, only need the grey button marked choose.
Reply from: Fiona
Date: Monday 3rd February 2014 at 5:23 PM

Dear Bobbo
I have not been on this site for over a year, so was surprised to see your reply was only a few days ago.
Yes I did muddle my birth date. My Grandfather was born May 19th 1898.
He was killed in the second world war on the 5 th Dec 1940, in Sittingbourne Kent. The house he was in took a direct hit. He had worked for the admiralty at Sheerness docks.
I will upload the photo I have of him in a ww1 uniform as you suggested, may be someone will recognise something about the uniform and be able to shed some light on why it was taken in Barnstable when he was either living in gorleston on sea Norfolk or Portsmouth.
My information is from research as all family records were lost in 1940! My mother was two and was not told a great deal. Yes I wish he had been given a middle name as it would have made life much easier to have tracked him down. My mother once though she had seen his name written as Frank Singleton Elliott. Whether this was right I do not know.

Thank you for your help.


Posted by: Neil Glenn
Location: Oxford
Date: Saturday 27th November 2010 at 4:48 PM
You very kindly helped with my late grandfather's records and wonder if you could do so again please? This time I am looking for his younger brother William Glenn who also lived at Castlerock, N Ireland. I know he served in the Royal Inniskillings and was born in 1894, the son of John and Lizzie Glenn.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 28th November 2010 at 3:05 PM

Dear Neil,
No individual service record has survived for William Glenn. There were three men of that name who served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the First World War. One was born in 1896 and lived in Dublin, another was called Cecil William Glenn and he died in 1917. By elimination, the remaining William Glenn was private 19866 of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers who later transferred to the Labour Corps with the number 590855. This man's medal index card showed he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As the regimental number was not unique to a battalion it is not possible to say which of the thirteen battalions of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers he served with. Being transferred to the Labour Corps may have happened if he had been wounded or suffered sickness that prevented him from continuing to serve at the front.
Kind regards,

Posted by: John
Location: Weymouth
Date: Wednesday 24th November 2010 at 7:25 PM
I am looking for information about Arthur Edwards who fought in World War 1. He was in Rouen in May 1916 and was still in France during 1917. I have photo's of him in uniform. Given the pictures of his uniform would anyone be able to identify the regiment and where they fought?
I'd be happy to share photo's of him and mates with anyone interested...

Posted by: Carol {Email left}
Location: Perth
Date: Wednesday 24th November 2010 at 4:07 PM
Hello, I am hoping to find some information about my father: Eric Bolland. He died in 1987 in Western Australia; he never talked about his war service, except to say that after 'flying' he had spent quite some time in Canada 'training' - returning to England before the end of the war. He and my mother were not very close, so it is hard to get any information from her. All she has told me is that he survived a plane crash during the war (the plane crash landed in the Irish Sea? at least I think they lost the landing craft and had to crash land, I think he was in the bombers) and then was deployed to Canada. After the war he stayed in the RAF for a while, based at Credenhill, Herefordshire. I think he was a radio operator on a bomber, but can't be sure. I am wondering if he was involved in the training of US and Canadian commercial pilots and crew to fly bombers across the Atlantic to restock the RAF during the last years of the war?
My father was born on 5th April 1918, in Runcorn, England. He joined the RAF in the early years of WW2. I have his medals: the Defence Medal 1939-1945/ GRJ(I?) the 1939-1945 Star/ GRJ(I) the France and Germany Star/ plus one with a lion on the front and King George on the reverse. On the reverse of the medal pin it has stamped: CA2523, There is also a metal badge that says: for services rendered for King and Empire.
I would be grateful if anyone can point me in the right direction to find out more about my father, I should be most grateful.
thank you in anticipation.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 24th November 2010 at 6:49 PM

Dear Carol,
As Eric Bolland served in the Second World War his service record will still be held by the UK Ministry of Defence. They will release the record to next of kin, or with next of kin's permission, for a fee.See:
You will need proof of death; date of birth; or service number. For those who are not the immediate next of kin, and who are applying without the consent of the immediate next of kin, download and complete the Application Part 1 General Enquirer's form (see the "Related Pages") and the Application Part 2 form for the RAF. The forms for the three Services can be found in the Service Records publications link. The Royal Air Force (RAF) search document (Part 2) must be completed to request the disclosure of information held on the personnel records of deceased members of the RAF.
You must include a search payment [Cheque for 30 pounds Sterling per record requested] made payable to 'HMG Sub Account 3627'. When the paperwork has been completed it should be sent to RAF 3rd Party Disclosure Team, Room 14, Trenchard Hall, RAF Cranwell, Sleaford, LINCS, NG34 8HB.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Carol
Date: Thursday 25th November 2010 at 3:05 AM

Thank you Alan, I will follow that link and obtain the records.

Posted by: Eileen Brown {Email left}
Location: Bradford On Avon
Date: Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at 7:43 PM
A medal has been found in a family home It is clearly from an Indian campaign and has a Lucknow bar on the ribbon which has 2 vertical red stripes on a cream background. On the edge of the medal is inscribed
Wm Kirby 3rd Bn. RIFLE Bde
The date is 1857-1858

I am able to find out about what happened at Lucknow but I am more interested to find out about William Kirby, his age and what happened to him later. When he married in 1875 he was described as Retired pensioner even though not an old man as far as we know. We think he came from Gloucestershire. Am I able to find a list of soldiers in this battalion?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at 9:24 PM

Dear Eileen,
The medal you have is an Indian Mutiny Medal with a (faded) ribbon of white and red stripes with the bar Lucknow which was awarded to troops who were engaged in the final operations leading to the surrender of Lucknow.
It was awarded to Rifleman no. 563 William Kirby, 3rd Battalion the Rifle Brigade who was born at Horsley, Stroud, Gloucestershire in about 1837. He served from 1855 to 1874. His four-page pension record is available free at the National Archives at Kew or it can be downloaded online from the website (charges apply; about 7 GBP with pay as you go).
Kind regards,
Reply from: Eileen Brown
Date: Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at 9:26 PM

You are a genius! Many thanks.

Posted by: Chris Riley {Email left}
Location: Newark
Date: Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at 2:21 PM
My Father L/Cpl Samuel Riley No 45674 80th Field Coy Royal Engineers was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field at the battle of Thiepval 26 September 1916. I have a parchment Citation regarding his award signed by Major General F J Maxie Commander 18th Division to which I believe the engineers were attached. Father survived the war but as with so many he was unable to say what he had done. Can anyone help or offer guidance to a source of information?
Prof Christopher Riley
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at 9:43 PM

Dear Professor Riley,
The most valuable source of primary information will be the war diary of the 80th Field Company Royal Engineers. It is held at the National Archives at Kew. You will need to be a registered reader at the Archives to access it and it would take some time to read, so a digital camera would be useful.
It is held in Catalogue reference WO 95/2027 "War Office: First World War and Army of Occupation. WO 95/2027/ - 80 Field Company Royal Engineers. 18 Division 80 Field Company Royal Engineers Date: 1915 1919".
Online sources have outlines of the events in which your father would have been involved. The best are
for a list of engagements at which the 80th Field Company were serving and
for a history of the 18th Division and the other units that comprised it.
No individual service record appears to have survived for Samuel Riley MM. Many were destroyed in 1940 by the bombing of a War Office records repository in London.
The London Gazette can be searched online. It has a brief entry on December 21, 1916:
"War Office, 21st December, 1916. His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Non-Commissioned Officers and
Men:" Samuel Riley is listed on page 12445 of the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 21 December 1916. See:
Samuel went abroad to France in 1915 and so qualified for the Military Medal, the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Medal index cards are available (charges apply) from the website. Some libraries provide free access to the ancestry website.
Kind regards,

Posted by: John
Location: Weymouth
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 8:32 PM
Looking for information about Arthur Edwards who was in Rouen, France during May 1916. He was from the Southampton/Portsmouth area.

Posted by: David Halford {Email left}
Location: Rugby
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 7:58 PM
Could anyone help as to what my father did during WW2 or even where he was, we believe he was somewhere in France, although I was led to believe he was in Belgium. Although he is still alive aged 95, it is a subject he will not mention. His number that I have found is - 554556 S/Sgt Jack Halford, 153 Field Regt RA - we are not sure whether these numbers mean anything outside the Yeomanry in Leicester where he was. It would be most interesting to us as we have just lost our Mother who has left letters from him, dated May/June 1944, in which there was no information as to his whereabouts through the War. Many thanks David Halford (son).
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 11:44 PM

Dear David,
I'm afraid the code of practice of genealogists and researchers in archives does not permit the public research of people who are still living, other than with their express permission.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Davi Halford
Date: Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at 10:48 AM

Many thanks for that. I didn't realise that there was a code of practice. But once again thank you for your time. David Halford
Reply from: Mel
Date: Wednesday 24th November 2010 at 6:40 PM

Google, Prince Alberts Own and you will get the Leicestershire Yeomanry. The Regiment split in WW2 153 and 154 and became two artillery units.

Posted by: Ken Frankland {Email left}
Location: Harringworth Northants
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 1:32 PM
My father, Frank Vivian Frankland (born1899) was in the Royal West Kent Regiment during the First World War. I believe he lied about his age as he was under 16 at the time. All he ever told me was that he "was fighting the Turks" and was in the middle east somewhere near Cairo, other than that he never spoke of it. Have you any records I could look at?

Sincerely K.V.Frankland.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 11:33 PM

Dear Ken,
Frank Vivian Frankland was born on March 29th 1899. He was baptised on April 16th the son of William John Frankland and Emily Ruth Frankland at St John the Evangelist Church, Waterloo Road, Lambeth (London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906; London Metropolitan Archives, digital image via, accessed 22 November 2010).
When war was declared in August 1914, Frank would have been aged fifteen-and-a-half. His father appears to have died in 1912 and after leaving school, Frank got a job at a printer's firm. On May 25th 1915, when he was just 16, Frank volunteered at Bromley to join The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). His attestation paper recorded that his stated age was 19 years and one month. His height was 5ft 6 ins.. Frank was passed fit to join the 2nd/5th Battalion which trained at Tonbridge in Kent. After five months with that battalion, Frank was posted to the 3rd/5th Battalion on October 28th 1915 which trained at Bromley. He remained with that battalion until the beginning of July 1916 when he was sent to join the 2nd/4th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment. The 2nd/4th had been evacuated from Gallipoli in January 1916 and was stationed on the Suez Canal at the time. Frank sailed for Alexandria in Egypt from Devonport on 3rd July 1916 as a seventeen year old. He arrived at Alexandria ten days later on the 13th July and joined his battalionin the Canal Zone on July 19th 1916.
From April 1915, the 2nd/4th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment had served with the 160th (Welsh Border) Brigade of the 53rd Division. The Division fought at The Battle of Romani in the Palestine Campaign on August 4th and 5th 1916. Only the Division's 158th Brigade actually fought at the First Battle of Gaza on March 26th 1917, but the whole Division was engaged in the Second Battle of Gaza on 17th to 19th April 1917.
Frank would not have fought in that second battle because events for him were about to take a strange turn.

When Frank volunteered in 1915 he was below the minimum age of enlistment which was temporarily set at 19 on May 18th 1915, the week before he joined. He was conveniently declared to be nineteen and one month. The minimum height was reduced to 5ft 2ins at the same time, so he cleared that by four inches and had the minimum chest measurement of 34 inches. While he was serving in the UK for one year and 39 days his mother was probably not too concerned. However, once compulsory conscription was introduced in 1916, the minimum age of call-up was set at 18 years and one month with the minimum age for service abroad set at 19. When Frank sailed for Alexandria he was two years below the minimum age for service in a theatre of war. His mother asked for him back.

The evidence is contained in copies of letters from the armed services which are held in Franks' service record at The National Archives at Kew and which can be accessed online (see below). A hand-written note dated; "In the Field 4.12.16" to Mrs Frankland returned to her the letter she had sent [to Egypt] "Reference the attached letter. You should apply to the War Office. Your son cannot be sent home unless he is willing himself."
While the army tacitly understood it had enlisted under-age men, it made a rule they couldn't be sent home unless their parents requested that be done through the War Office.
On February 16th 1917 the War Office forwarded a letter, from Frank's mother, to the records office at Tunbridge "I am commanded by the Army Council to forward to you for disposal the enclosed letter dated 27th January 1917 from Mrs E Frankland on the subject of No. 3367 Pte F V F'land 4th Bn Royal West Kent Regiment...The birth records are to be...carefully checked and returned to the sender. I am, Sir, your obedient servant."
Meanwhile, on February 17th 1917, the War Office wrote to the record office in Hounslow and demanded details of Frank's enlistment. They did not seek his age but merely where he was serving: "3367 R.W. Kent 2/4th Battalion C Company 9th Platoon, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Egypt."
On March 18th the Deputy Assistant Adjutant General GHQ EEF Alexandria wrote a letter for action by: Headquarters, Alexandria District; Officer Commanding 4th Bn Royal W. Kent Regt; Officer Commanding Egyptian Base Depot, Mustapha; Officer in Charge, Records, Hounslow:
Approved that the following be transferred to the United Kingdom under the provisions of Army Council Instruction no. 1905 of 1916. This man should be sent to the Egyptian Base Depot as early as possible, for passage to be arranged. 4th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment No 6881 Private Frankland F.V. Date of Birth 30th March 1899; Authority for age: Letter from i/c records, Hounslow dated 19/2/17."

(There appear to be two anomalies in this letter. The first is that the date of birth does not match the original baptism record which recorded the date of birth as March 29th 1899. The second is his regimental number. However, the regimental number did in fact change when he joined the 2nd/4th Battalion overseas and it again changed to 203407 when he returned to the UK.).

Frank arrived at the Base Depot at Mustapha on March 24th 1917 and remained there until April 9th when he sailed for the UK.

On April 12th 1917 Captain Hutchinson, Staff Captain for the Assistant Adjutant General, GHQ EEF, Alexandria, wrote to the record office at Hounslow: "Notified for your information that No 6881, Private F.V. Frankland, 4th Bn Royal West Kent Regiment embarked for the United Kingdom on 9th instant per H.T. "Saxon" (entitled passage). This man is proceeding home for re-posting in accordance with my letter MFC/12283. (A1) dated 18/3/17." [signed: Hutchinson, Capt.].

On April 24th 1917 Frank was in the UK and posted to the 4th Reserve Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment at Tunbridge Wells. This was a home-based battalion of the regiment. He was aged 18 and one month. On the 1st August 1917 he was charged with "whilst on active service making a false statement to an officer". The "names of witnesses" was marked "documentary".

He may have been charged with not stating his correct age on enlistment. There is no supporting evidence to substantiate this but it does seem possible. He was awarded three days confinement to barracks, which was a lenient punishment. Frank had been returned to the UK from a theatre of war, but he was still in the army and he was now old enough to be in the army, so he remained in it. He incurred some further punishments in 1917 for being absent from reveille or "breaking out of billets" for which he had seven days' confinement to barracks or ten days' pay deprived under RW which stood for Royal Warrant, indicating the punishment was in accordance with regulations.

In my experience, this service record indicates a disgruntled soldier who was now being closely watched by his superiors for defaulting.

Frank's service record ceases abruptly on April 30th 1918.

His mother had wanted him home from the Army, and in one sense she succeeded. Frank had wanted to fight "Johnny Turk" and had done so. He had been returned to the UK by army order at his mother's request, but he had not been allowed out of the army.

According to his service record, Frank should have qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal because he had appeared on the nominal roll of a unit which served in a theatre of war between August 1914 and November 1918. I have been unable to find any such medal record. The reason may be because his service record was marked:

30 April 1918: Deserted.

Frank had apparently gone home. And who could blame him? He apparently married in 1920. His service record and his baptism record are available to download (charges apply) from the website. Some local libraries offer free access to the Ancestry website.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Ken Frankland
Date: Thursday 27th September 2012 at 11:02 PM

Thank you Alan. It's almost two years since I sent my e-mail regarding my father's WW1 record but never found a reply, so forgot about it.. For a totally unrelated reason I Googled my own name and got these pages turn up and there was your reply which was most interesting. My father died in 1989 at the age of 90 (I will be 81 next month). I always remember my father as a kindly and rather quiet man. What a pity one does not thimk of asking your parents about their lives; too busy getting on with your own I suppose.

Thak you for your time and trouble, it was most kind of you.


Posted by: Kath {Email left}
Location: Neston
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 9:53 AM
Hello, I am researching my Grandfather John Henry Pepper born in Battle Sussex married in Scotland and enlisted in 1915 when living at Crawfordton House Moniaive Dumfries and Galloway. I believe he joined the KOSB and was then transferred to the HLI attending a school in Edinburgh to learn about bomb disposal. He was inprisoned in 1918 in Dulman although we were always told it was Cottbus. Things were not talked about in my younger days so very little is known about his time during WW1. I have a scroll presented to him by the Parishioners of Glencairn Moniaive thanking him for his war effort and this states he was Cpl in the HLI. No one knows why he was transferred from the KOSB or indeed anything else so any information would be very welcome. Thank you in advance.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 7:00 PM

Dear Kath,
John Pepper was taken prisoner just a week after arriving in France in April 1918.
He enlisted in the King's Own Scottish Borderers under the Derby Scheme which was a last call for volunteers before compulsory conscription was introduced in 1916. Under the scheme men could volunteer and continue in their civilian jobs knowing they would be called-up when required. John volunteered on December 10th 1915 at Dumfries and was eventually mobilized on June 9th 1916 at Berwick upon Tweed. He remained in the UK and attended an NCO's school between November 1916 and ninth January 1917. The school instructed drill, musketry (rifle firing), physical training and bayonet fighting and concluded with a written examination.
"Bombs" in the First World War were grenades and the concept of bomb disposal was not an infantry role. John was promoted to corporal on 27th January 1917. In April 1918 he was transferred to the Highland Light Infantry and joined the 52nd Graduated Battalion which was based at Kelling in Norfolk. This was a training battalion and on April 2nd 1918 John was sent to France, probably as part of a draft of men from the 52nd Battalion HLI. On arrival in France he was posted to the 14th Battalion HLI at the front. The reason for the transfer was probably "in the interests of the service" placing trained men in fighting battalions as battle casualty replacements.
He joined the 14th Bn HLI on 2nd April 1918 at which time they were involved in the Battle of St Quentin. On March 21st the Germans launched their Spring Offensive on the Somme and over-ran the British who fell into retreat. A defensive line had been created in an arc around the town of Albert. The German attack continued until it finally reached Villers-Bretonneux and north of Albert in April 1918. By this time both sides had lost on average more than 11,000 men each, per day. More than 72,000 British soldiers had been taken prisoner. John was reported missing from 9th April 1918 until 15th May when it was reported he was a Prisoner of War at Dulmen. Prisoners of war were reported to the German Red Cross who then informed the British War Office. Prisoners did not necessarily stay in one camp and were often administered by a large camp while living in a smaller one. There are photographs of Dulmen at:
John was repatriated and was demobilized in 1919. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards
Reply from: Kath
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 7:55 PM

Thank you for the very prompt and detailed reply. I am thrilled with all the information. My sister and brother will be equally as delighted. I thank
you once again.

regards Kath

Posted by: Steve {Email left}
Location: Gravesend
Date: Sunday 21st November 2010 at 9:55 PM
Hi, I am trying to find information on my grandfather Walter Frederick Scott. He served with the 2nd Battalion Scottish Rifles (regt no 10113) from 21-09-1908 until 07-07-1914 when he bought himself out. He then re enlisted in September 1914 in the Army Service Corps(regt no TS9667). I can not find him in MIC list, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thankfully he survived the war. He was also at the Duke of York and Royal Hiburnian military schools, and I was wondering if he may have been commisioned into the Army Service Corps as my elder brother saw a photo of him on horseback with a sword. He may also have been with the Northern Russian Expeditionary Force.


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 4:58 PM

Dear Steve,
Walter Frederick Scott enlisted in The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) at London on September 21st 1908 and joined the 2nd Battalion, as Private 10113, at Aldershot on September 23rd 1908, serving at Aldershot until January 4th 1910; Colchester until April 2nd 1911 and then Woolwich from April 3rd 1910. On November 18th 1911 he was posted to the 3rd Battalion before joining the 1st Battalion at Glasgow on 31st March 1912. On September 6th 1912 he was posted to the 1st Battalion which then moved to Malta on the ship H.T. Rodilla. He remained in Malta until he bought himself out of the Army on July 9th 1914.
When he joined he was 18, employed as a leather dresser. He had grey eyes, brown hair and had a scar on his left eyebrow. He was 5ft 6ins. In his last days at Woolwich, on 27th March 1912, he qualified for the saddler's certificate at the Royal Dockyard, Woolwich, with the degree of proficiency marked "superior".
It was his qualification as a saddler that would determine his service in the First World War.
He married Florence Elizabeth Bell on 26th September 1915 at St George's Catholic Church in Southwark.
Walter did not volunteer for service in the First World War until November 1915, during the last call for volunteers before compulsory conscription was introduce in 1916. Had he been a reservist he would have been mobilized just four weeks after leaving the army in 1914. But he had bought his himself out at the cost of nine pounds, a sum which was refunded to him when he enlisted on November 23rd 1915 at Woolwich. He joined the Army Service Corps with the number TS9667 where the prefix TS showed he was in the transport section with a special trade (saddler). He was attested into the No 2. Depot ASC which was a horse transport depot at Woolwich.
On May 20th 1916 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. The evidence for this being the same man is shown on his attestation paper which showed his previous service as "Yes. Scottish Rifles 10113, purchase, 5 years". He was transferred as a draft into the MGC as private number 42100 and his attestation paper was marked "specially enlisted as a saddler". The UK headquarters of the Machine Gun Corps was at Grantham. Walter joined a new company of the Machine Gun Corps which was raised on 16th May 1916. It was given the designation 82nd Company MGC and was destined to serve with the 27th Division.
The infantry sections of the MGC did not necessarily need horses, nor, for that matter, saddlers. But the 82nd Company MGC was destined for mountainous country where it would rely on horses and mules.
On the 26th June 1916, just a month after transferring to the Machine Gun Corps, Walter sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt. From there he was sent to Salonica to join the 27th Division in Macedonia, arriving on July 27th 1916. The same day he was appointed as saddler to 82nd Company MGC. He remained in Macedonia until January 3rd 1919. The work of the 27th Division in Macedonia involved: the capture of Karajakois (30 September - 2 October 1916); the capture of Yenikoi (3-4 October 1916); the battle of Tumbitza Farm (17 November and 6-7 December 1916) and in 1917, the capture of Homondos (14 October 1917). In September 1918 the Division was engaged in the final offensive in Salonica, including the capture of the Roche Noir Salient (1-2 September); the passage of the Vardar river and pursuit to the Strumica Valley (22-30 September). The armistice with Bulgaria was signed on 30th September 1918.
The Division was selected for operations off the Black Sea in December 1918. Walter spent Christmas week 1918 on leave in Salonica and embarked on January 3rd 1919 by which time the 27th Division was headquartered at Tiflis (T'bilis) in Georgia off the Black Sea. In March 1919 Walter was treated in hospital in Constantinople but by August 1919 he was with the Division at Batum on the coast of the Black Sea and was gain hospitalised for malaria. He was invalided to the UK onboard the hospital ship "Glengorm Castle" via Marseilles in France.
He arrived in the UK on August 25th 1919 and was treated at Horton War Hospital, Epsom; Shoreham malaria camp; and Brighton before being discharged on October 16th 1919. Walter qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal as a private 42100 Machine Gun Corps.
His service records and medal index card are available at the National Archives at Kew or can be downloaded (charges apply) from the website. Some libraries provide free access to the ancestry website.
Kind regards, Alan
Reply from: Steve
Date: Monday 22nd November 2010 at 5:14 PM

Hi Alan, what can I say. I have spent nearly 30 years looking for this information, and just one request on this forum has given me his full military career. I cant thank you enough.

Regards and best wishes


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