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Posted by: David O Neill {Email left}
Location: Dunstable Beds
Date: Wednesday 2nd May 2012 at 9:47 AM
I am trying to find information about my grandfather who served with the accrington pals in ww1, his name was CSM Joseph O'Neill he served with the east lancashire regiment throughout the war until suffering multiple gunshot wounds in 1918.

Any information would be welcome, as I never knew him and am finding information extremely difficult to obtain.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 3rd May 2012 at 9:32 PM

Dear David,
There is no obvious record that would be specific about Joseph O'Neill. He appears to have been recorded as CSM Jospeh O'Neill no 241263 of the East Lancashire Regiment. He enlisted on 4th January 1915 and was officially discharged wounded on 5th August 1919 aged 34. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal and was given a Silver War Badge for being wounded. The history of the Accrington Pals is shown at:
http://www.pals.org.uk/pals_e.htm
As he was a company sergeant major he may have been mentioned in one of the published histories of the Accrington Pals such as "The History of the East Lancashire Regiment in the Great War".
Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Kevin {Email left}
Location: Kenthurst Australia
Date: Wednesday 2nd May 2012 at 9:25 AM
Dear Alan,
I have done a great amount of research about my Grandfather and wonder if there is some way I can find out what happened to his WWI medals? I am putting as much information as possible which I hope will help. None of his brothers and sisters are still alive and the cousins that I am in touch with are unable to help.
9819 Corporal Robert James Crowe MM
Birth 19th February 1880. Death 25th November 1931.

Robert James Crowe enlisted into The Wiltshire Regiment on 25th August 1914. He completed his initial and recruit training at Devizes, Wiltshire, and was then posted initially, to the 5th (Service) Battalion, then just recently formed. However, due no doubt to the urgent call for battle casualty replacements in France/Flanders, he was then posted to the 1st (Regular) Battalion, in action in France/Flanders.
He joined the Battalion on 9th May 1915, but then just over a year later, and during the Battle of the Somme, he joined the 7th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery, which was part of the Royal Artillery. He was wounded by multiple shrapnel wounds on 24th August 1916 and was later, early September, returned to England for treatment.
On 21st October 1916 it was announced in the London Gazette that Robert had been awarded the Military Medal (MM) 'for bravery in the field'. I cannot find why he was awarded the MM. He returned to France/Flanders on 14th December 1916 and after passing through the re-enforcement system, he rejoined the 1st Wiltshires. He was further admitted to No.2 Casualty Clearing Station suffering from boils and returned to duty on 27th March 1917.

Three months later he was again attached to No. 7 Trench Mortar Battery, and struck off strength of 1st Wiltshires as from 25th June 1917. Just a month later he was gassed and eventually admitted to 1 SA GH ('1st South African General Hospital'). The severity of his gas poisoning prompted his return to England in the hospital ship St Andrew. This is the last reference to Robert that I have and is recorded in a memo to the 1st Wiltshires from 7 Trench Mortar Battery dated 26th September 1917.

As well as his Military Medal, he was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and was given a Silver War Badge (SWB).
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 3rd May 2012 at 9:16 PM

Dear Kevin,
Medals were given to the recipient. The Military Medal may have been presented by hand, although the three campaign medals would have been delivered by registered post after the war. The campaign medals were issued automatically and the recipient sent back a receipt to acknowledge he had received them. From that point, the medals became a personal possession and would have remained with the recipient or his family. First World War medals cannot be replaced. If the medals are no longer with the family, they may have been lost or sold. If they were sold they may occasionally appear in the catalogues of the many hundreds of medal dealers. There is no central location for holding information about lost medals, although there is website called "Lost medals" which you could register with. See
www.lostmedals.co.uk/

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kevin
Date: Thursday 3rd May 2012 at 10:17 PM

Thank you Alan,
Yes, I was aware of this but thought that you might be able to lead me in the right direction. This you have done by giving me the "Lost Medals" website.
I thank you for this information and send
Kind Regards
Kevin
Posted by: Kevin {Email left}
Location: Kenthurst Australia
Date: Wednesday 2nd May 2012 at 7:32 AM
Dear Alan,
I have done a great amount of research about my Grandfather and wonder if there is some way I can find out what happened to his WWI medals? I am putting as much information as possible which I hope will help. None of his brothers and sisters are still alive and the cousins that I am in touch with are unable to help.
9819 Corporal Robert James Crowe MM
Birth 19th February 1880. Death 25th November 1931.

Robert James Crowe enlisted into The Wiltshire Regiment on 25th August 1914. He completed his initial and recruit training at Devizes, Wiltshire, and was then posted initially, to the 5th (Service) Battalion, then just recently formed. However, due no doubt to the urgent call for battle casualty replacements in France/Flanders, he was then posted to the 1st (Regular) Battalion, in action in France/Flanders.
He joined the Battalion on 9th May 1915, but then just over a year later, and during the Battle of the Somme, he joined the 7th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery, which was part of the Royal Artillery. He was wounded by multiple shrapnel wounds on 24th August 1916 and was later, early September, returned to England for treatment.
On 21st October 1916 it was announced in the London Gazette that Robert had been awarded the Military Medal (MM) 'for bravery in the field'. I cannot find why he was awarded the MM. He returned to France/Flanders on 14th December 1916 and after passing through the re-enforcement system, he rejoined the 1st Wiltshires. He was further admitted to No.2 Casualty Clearing Station suffering from boils and returned to duty on 27th March 1917.
Three months later he was again attached to No. 7 Trench Mortar Battery, and struck off strength of 1st Wiltshires as from 25th June 1917. Just a month later he was gassed and eventually admitted to 1 SA GH ('1st South African General Hospital'). The severity of his gas poisoning prompted his return to England in the hospital ship St Andrew. This is the last reference to Robert that I have and is recorded in a memo to the 1st Wiltshires from 7 Trench Mortar Battery dated 26th September 1917.
As well as his Military Medal, he was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and was given a Silver War Badge
Posted by: Kevin {Email left}
Location: Kenthurst Australia
Date: Wednesday 2nd May 2012 at 7:20 AM
Dear Alan,
I have done a great amount of research about my Grandfather and wonder if there is some way I can find out what happened to his WWI medals? I am putting as much information as possible which I hope will help. None of his brothers and sisters are still alive and the cousins that I am in touch with are unable to help.
9819 Corporal Robert James Crowe MM
Birth 19th February 1880. Death 25th November 1931.

Robert James Crowe enlisted into The Wiltshire Regiment on 25th August 1914. He completed his initial and recruit training at Devizes, Wiltshire, and was then posted initially, to the 5th (Service) Battalion, then just recently formed. However, due no doubt to the urgent call for battle casualty replacements in France/Flanders, he was then posted to the 1st (Regular) Battalion, in action in France/Flanders.
He joined the Battalion on 9th May 1915, but then just over a year later, and during the Battle of the Somme, he joined the 7th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery, which was part of the Royal Artillery. He was wounded by multiple shrapnel wounds on 24th August 1916 and was later, early September, returned to England for treatment.
On 21st October 1916 it was announced in the London Gazette that Robert had been awarded the Military Medal (MM) 'for bravery in the field'. I cannot find why he was awarded the MM. He returned to France/Flanders on 14th December 1916 and after passing through the re-enforcement system, he rejoined the 1st Wiltshires. He was further admitted to No.2 Casualty Clearing Station suffering from boils and returned to duty on 27th March 1917.

Three months later he was again attached to No. 7 Trench Mortar Battery, and struck off strength of 1st Wiltshires as from 25th June 1917. Just a month later he was gassed and eventually admitted to 1 SA GH ('1st South African General Hospital'). The severity of his gas poisoning prompted his return to England in the hospital ship St Andrew. This is the last reference to Robert that I have and is recorded in a memo to the 1st Wiltshires from 7 Trench Mortar Battery dated 26th September 1917.

As well as his Military Medal, he was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and was given a Silver War Badge (SWB).
Posted by: Margaret O S {Email left}
Location: Ireland
Date: Tuesday 1st May 2012 at 1:20 PM
Hi Alan,
many thanks for all your hard work and replying to my post.
I am also looking for info , if there is any, on my grandfather Timothy Looney who enlisted with the Royal Vetinerary Corp, Royal Field Artillary in April 1915 and he was demobbed in May 1919. I think that he served in Yves and France. He served at rank of staff serjeant and I think that he was a farrier. Many thanks Margaret
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 1st May 2012 at 9:26 PM

Dear Margaret,
The only record for Timothy Looney is a medal index card which recorded that he went to France and Flanders on 28 September 1915 with the Royal Field Artillery as a Farrier Quartermaster Sergeant No.89080. He later transferred to the Army Veterinary Corps, No. 24977, as a Staff Sergeant and later Warrant Officer Class II (Sergeant-major). He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. It is not possible to say which he units he served with. The actual medal roll for the 1914-15 Star, which is held at the National Archives at Kew, London, might record which unit he was with when he went abroad. It is held in catalogue reference WO 329/2920.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Margaret O S
Date: Tuesday 1st May 2012 at 9:52 PM

Hi Alan,
many thanks for all your help and guidence ; without it I would be lost
regards
Margaret
Posted by: Margaret O S {Email left}
Location: Ireland
Date: Monday 30th April 2012 at 2:38 PM
Hi
hope you can help me out, I have details of a medal that my grandfather james byrne (kilcullen, co kildare) received from world war one. he was approx aged 20yrs in 1915.
the letters DVR, J Byrne and the number: RE 25575
Look forward to hearing from you
Margaret
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 30th April 2012 at 9:24 PM

Dear Margaret,
James Byrne served with 3rd Field Squadron Royal Engineers. He went to Flanders and France on 12 October 1914 where the squadron supported the 3rd Cavalry Division. James qualified for the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
For the engagements involving 3 Cavalry Division see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/3cavdiv.htm

The squadron's war diary is held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 95/1146.
Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Fabregas {Email left}
Location: London
Date: Sunday 29th April 2012 at 12:12 PM
Hello
Can anyone help to find a John Crawford, who in 1907 on his marriage certificate in Newcastle said that he was a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery and that he was 39?
I 'm not sure where he was born. He says that his father was James Crawford. I have looked on the censuses and have not got anywhere. On the 1911 census there is a John Crawford born 10 years later who is born Birmingham and who is stationed in the Transvaal who is married but no wife living with him.
Thank you to anyone with access to army records who could help me find this man. I have been looking for a decade!
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 29th April 2012 at 9:28 PM

From the information you have it would be very difficult to positively identify a John Crawford. Marriage certificates do not always provide accurate information, but as it is all there is to go on, it may be necessary to take it at face value.
That would mean John Crawford was 39 years old in 1907, which would have made him an "old" soldier close to finishing his time with the army after the standard 21 years' service.
The simplest way to search for him in the 1911 census, providing he had not died, would be to search for a John Crawford born about 1868 who recorded he had been married for four years.
There was only one such entry ... a John Crawford, aged 43, married four years, a postman, born at Carlisle, Cumberland about 1868 and living as a boarder with Frank and Rose Parsons at Bridge End, Hexham, Northumberland. His wife was not with him.
This may have been John Crawford born Carlisle, GRO Births, Oct Nov Dec 1867, vol 10B page 433.

A John Crawford of St Cuthbert's Terrace, Hexham died on September 7th 1915 at 5 Artizans' Dwellings, Carlisle. Probate was granted to Mary Jane Story, wife of Thomas Story.
Mary Jane Story was born at Carlisle about 1866 and in 1901 and 1911 lived at 5 Old Broadguards, Carlisle, which was also known as Artizans' Dwellings, Caldewgate, Carlisle. A Thomas Story married a Mary Jane Crawford at Carlisle in 1887. It would appear Mary Jane Story was John Crawford's sister.

A John Crawford aged 39 and 11 months was discharged from the army in September 1907 having served in the Border Regiment and the Royal Garrison Artillery since 1886 (21 years). He would not appear in the UK censuses 1891-1901. His next of kin was listed as Mother Jane Crawford of Rigg Street Carlisle and sister Mary J Storey, of 5 Artizans' Dwellings, Carlisle (formerly of Rigg Street in 1891).

A Jane Crawford died at Carlisle in 1899 aged 54 (born about 1845). In 1891 she was shown as a widow. In 1871 a Jane Crawford lived with a James Crawford at Carlisle. If this was the same Jane Crawford who was John Crawford's mother it would imply John Crawford's father was James Crawford. However, there were two James Crawfords in Carlisle about 1871 one of them indexed as Crafford.

Without the actual GRO certificates it is not possible to be precise but the above records suggest areas for further searching to provide evidence. Army records for the period are available at the UK National Archives (reference: WO97 / 4605 / 84) or online via the Findmypast.co.uk website. They are the first indexed under "Crawford John; date ?; birthplace: blank; Royal Garrison Artillery" on page 3 of the results. You will need membership or 30 credits to view the images.

Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Veronica
Location: Gloucestershire
Date: Saturday 28th April 2012 at 10:14 PM
Dear Alan, Please Can you help me? I am searching for Herbert John Perry born1881 in Bridgewater somerset. He later moved to Swindon Wilts with his parents and enlisted at St Marys Bridgewater and was in the Boer War Reg no 5370 and I think he was in the 2nd battalion wiltshires Thanks Veronica
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 29th April 2012 at 12:12 AM

Dear Veronica,
Herbert John Perry enlisted in the army for seven years active service, followed by five years in the reserves, on 17th August 1899 at the age of 18 and joined The (Duke of Edinburgh's) Wiltshire Regiment the next day at Devizes where he would have undertaken recruit training at the regimental depot. He was 5ft 7ins tall and had dark brown eyes and dark brown hair. On 21st November 1899 he was posted to join the 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment which had been garrisoned at Guernsey until December 1899 when it was sent to South Africa. On 19 March 1900 he was promoted to lance-corporal and was promoted to corporal on 29 June 1900. His record stated he was sent to South Africa on 29th November 1900. This was a year after the 2nd Battalion left for South Africa in 1899, so it is not clear whether he was part of a rear party. The 2nd Battalion served in the second Anglo-Boer War with the 12th Brigade under Major General Clements.
He qualified for the Queen's South Africa Medal (1901-1902) with clasps for Cape, Orange Free State and Transvaal. His service in South Africa ended on 25th April 1902 when he was posted to the 1st Battalion The Wiltshire Regiment at Peshawar in India. On 31 October 1902 he was tried by district court martial for disobeying a lawful order and was reduced in rank from corporal to private soldier. On the same day he was granted good conduct pay of 2d extra a day, so the court martial may have been something of a formality imposed by Edwardian standards of behaviour.
He served in India until 8th December 1906. Excluding voyages, he was placed on the reserves on 9th December 1906 and returned to civilian life, but with the liability for further service if required. He officially ended his first term of engagement on 16th August 1911, after a total of 12 years since enlisting.
He married Eva May Thompson on 5th October 1909.
During the First World War he re-enlisted, despite suffering arthritis, on 9 January 1915 and was accepted into the Army Service Corps as a private soldier, regimental number M2/ 032596 where the M stood for mechanical transport. He was described as a "fitter" in civilian life. He was sent to France with 621 Mechanical Transport Company ASC on 14 January 1915 but was returned to the UK suffering arthritis and influenza in February 1915. He spent some time in the UK on "light duties" and was discharged as permanently unfit on 6th April 1916. He received the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The museum of the Wiltshire Regiment will hold more information about their activities between 1899 and 1906. See:
http://www.thewardrobe.org.uk/home

Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Joe Smethurst {Email left}
Location: Preston Lancashire
Date: Saturday 28th April 2012 at 11:16 AM
My Dad Joe Smethurst pass away 6 years ago he was in the Royal Engineer in the second world war
I would like to trace is step were he went what friends he had.

Yours faithfully

Patricia Carter (nee Smethurst
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 29th April 2012 at 12:14 AM

Dear Patricia,
You will need to apply to the Ministry of Defence for his 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
Posted by: Karen
Location: Honiton
Date: Friday 27th April 2012 at 11:13 AM
My great uncle was a gunner in the 21st Divisional Ammunition Column. I have a photo of him which has RFA on the shoulder and then another photo which shows him in uniform holding a riding crop and with spurs on. I know RFA stands for Royal Field Artillery. Reading some of the messages below I was interested to hear that a gunner in the DAC would have been one of three men riding a team of six horses delivering ammunition to the guns being fired by other soldiers. Am I right in thinking that although he was not one of the soldiers firing the guns, he would still have been trained to use the big guns and mortars? Would he of ever been delivering ammunition on his own?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 27th April 2012 at 4:24 PM

Dear Karen,
All soldiers of the ammunition coulmn were trained in using the guns and could be moved to the gun positions as required. It is unlikely that he would have been working on his own, in the sense that few soldiers ever worked alone. However, where a unit suffered casualties many soldiers had to work on their own initiative.
Kind regards,
Alan

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