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

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Posted by: Bill Marsh
Location: Skegness Lincolnshire
Date: Sunday 27th November 2011 at 8:26 PM
Dear Alan so glad I have found this forum,.
I am grasping at straws but can you find any details re my father the details are veryfew .
Born in 1898 Joined The Royal Navy and served on H.M.S.Bluebell. ( I know this because I found a picture of him in uniform.)
He died when I was 10 and also lost my Mother and so details are nearly none existant.Have served in the service my self and now in my 70s I am realy curious. He was a stoker .his name William Horton Marsh It would be great if more information was found .First world war.
Thank you .Bill Marsh
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 27th November 2011 at 10:59 PM

Dear Bill,
There is only one birth registration for a William Horton Marsh and that was in 1894 at Blean in Kent (GRO Births Jan-March 1894 Blean Kent vol 2a page 851). He lived at Well Court Farm at Blean, the son of William and Esther Marsh, and was a farm labourer in 1911 working with his father who was a farm bailiff.
The local council says: "Well Court Farm is a locally listed 17th Century farmhouse. It is of brick and oak framed construction under a Kent peg tile roof. It is approached by private road and the building and farmyard are surrounded by fields used for arable and fruit farming."

A William Horton Marsh born 25th February 1894 at "Canterbury", farm labourer and carter, enlisted in the Royal Navy at Chatham on 26th April 1915 for the duration of hostilities. He was 5ft 4ins tall; light brown hair; grey eyes; fresh complexion. From 26th April to 22 August 1915 he served as a Stoker second class with HMS Pembroke II which was a shore station on the Isle of Sheppey at the time. His character was very good and his ability was satisfactory.
He joined HMS Bluebell as a Stoker second class on 23rd August 1915. HMS Bluebell was an Acacia-class minesweeping sloop dating from July 1915. She had a crew of 90, and was armed with two 2pdr guns. She was capable of 16 knots. She was operating in the Irish Sea and in 1916 she was involved in the detention of the "Aud", a vessel carrying illegal arm for the Easter Rising.

On 24th November 1915, William was attached to HMS Colleen which was a shore-based static ship moored at Queenstown, Ireland, which is now named Cobh in County Cork. It is pronounced "Cove". He was still part of the crew of Bluebell which was shown in brackets on his record. On 4th February 1916 he was promoted to Stoker 1st Class, after his time with Colleen, until the 22nd April 1919. The entry is simply marked with ditto marks as "Colleen (Bluebell)". His character was very good, his ability superior.

HMS Bluebell ended the war with the 1st Sloop Flotilla at Queenstown.

William earned the 1914-15 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was discharged on 29th May 1919.

Kind regards,
Reply from: Bill Marsh
Date: Monday 28th November 2011 at 11:16 AM

Oh Alan thank you so much for the details you found, I support two charities The British Legion and the Salvation Army.
both are there in all parts of the world in times of need. I will be making an extra donation to the legion for your time
and help.
I Have tried several avenues to try and get details. and you have come up trumps.
Kind regards
Bill. ex R.N H M Submarines 9 years during the cold war.
Reply from: Bill Marsh
Date: Sunday 18th December 2011 at 10:40 AM

Dear Alan, Regarding your valued help on 27th November 2011, I am trying to find the service number of My Father William Horton Marsh, despite finding
a contact address (wm@reference-service info) and having sent 3 E mails to request information re service number giving all the details you provided me with plus identyfying my self with my own service details to show it was a genuine inquiry, not even a reply. From them, and so
can you help me once again.
kind regards Bill
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 18th December 2011 at 11:11 AM

Dear Bill,
I think it is K25617.
Have a look for his service record at:

Kind regards,
Reply from: Bill Marsh
Date: Monday 19th December 2011 at 11:03 AM

Dear Alan, thanks once again.
I can now pass on to my Children and Grand children and Great gran children.Some details of Family History.
Up untill now all we had was my Father buried in a unmarked council pourpers grave with another poor soul. in a Maidstone cemetary..
Kind Regards. Bill.
Reply from: Elaine Parton
Date: Saturday 14th January 2012 at 10:10 PM

Dear Bill

What a surprise to find that my grandpa served on the Blue Bell and Colleen RN ships during WW1 at the same time as your father. Sidney Herbert Baker served in RN during July 1915 to May 1919. His rating was an Officer Standards (we think) and had previously been in the merchant Navy. Sidney was discharged from the Navy on 29th May 1919-same date!. He returned to Plaistow in London, where he became a clerk at the Gas works, and settle down with my grandma. My mother was born in 1922 in West Ham.

Sidney died in late sixties. My father must have been influenced by his father in-law.He joined the RN in WW2 and served on minesweepers around the globe.

Best Wishes

Elaine and David Parton
Reply from: Bill Marsh
Date: Sunday 6th January 2013 at 8:36 PM

Dear Elaine thank you so much for your message. How nice to hear from you with regards to H.M.S. Bluebell. Before contacting Alan I had a difficult time trying to get details of my Father and The Bluebell. Have not been able to source a photo of the Bluebell yet, and the photo of my Father in his uniform was missing on the death of my Mother.

Oh well thats two members of the crew. Just to think Sidney would have known my Dad (being a relatively small ship) and served together.

Sorry about the delay replying . If you are interested I have put some photos of a sub smash in the old photos section and my father with his Shire Horses. Thanks again All the best to you in this the new year. Bill Marsh.
Reply from: Bill To Elaine
Date: Sunday 6th January 2013 at 8:58 PM

Didn,t want to mislead you when I said I wanted to source a photo of the Bluebell. I can find 2nd world war Diesel driven
but the Bluebell Sidney and Bill were on were Coal producing steam. Regards Bill.
Posted by: Sam {Email left}
Location: Essex
Date: Sunday 27th November 2011 at 7:19 PM
Hi, I have come across a old photograph on the bottom it says Bayonet fighting team H company Pompadour winners of brigade fighting cup Curragh 1909
do you have any idea where i can start to search for info on this a relation is listed but by his last name only and I'm trying to find out his first name ty
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 27th November 2011 at 9:41 PM

Dear Sam,
The "Pompadours" were originally the 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot which in 1881 became the 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment which in 1964 became 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment.
Soldiers' discharge records prior to 1913 are available to search on the Findmypast website (pay as you go). The soldier may have served in the First World War, in which case his records may have survived and could be searched on the Ancestry website (subscription) which is free at many local libraries.
The regimental museum may have more information from regimental journals of the time. See:

Kind regards,
Reply from: Sam
Date: Monday 28th November 2011 at 4:44 AM

Ty for all your help
Posted by: Gayle Seager {Email left}
Location: London
Date: Saturday 26th November 2011 at 7:43 PM
Can you please help?, i have recieved my fathers war records, George W A Seager T/14669480, they keep mentioning 311 company, ( but when i google this it just keeps showing american units) also 34 coy 46 rhu and 43 rmv,, I know he was a tank transporter driver but he always said he was in commandos, my mum remembers a picture with commando written on shoulder, If you could help in any way i would be very grateful.

Thank you in advance for any help
Posted by: Rdbennett {Email left}
Location: West Midlands
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 1:46 PM
Hi Alan,
i am hoping you could possibly help me, i recently visited my great grand fathers graveside at the war cemetery in Lapugnoy France, his sad death occurred on the 19/09/18, i was wondering if by any chance you could find out what happened or if there were any battles around that time in that area, any more info on this brave brave man would be greatly appreciated, please keep up the good work as the info you find is priceless to so many .
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 4:45 PM

It is not generally possible to isolate any particular event in the First World War to a given cemetery. Lapugnoy was used by casualty clearing stations during the Battle of Arras in 1917, but it continued to be used between 1915 and 1918.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Maza {Email left}
Location: Chorley Lancashire
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 10:52 AM
I believe my grandfather alfred gorton spencer was killed in the first world war ,but after years of searching i still cannot solve this mystery .i have checked all the records i can find but i have been told alot were distroyed in the bombings of the second world war. i have no family i know about who can help my father was orphaned at the age of 7years so he didnt know anything only his dad had joined the army in burnley lancashire and that he died in the first world war and that his mother was a widow when she died in 1921 .if anyone can help i would be very grateful .
Reply from: Rdbennett
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 1:38 PM

Hi, have a look at this, it may not be but hopefully
Reply from: Rdbennett
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 1:40 PM

Or this one sorry
Reply from: Maza
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 2:10 PM

Thanks to Rdbennett i will check these out and let you know ,THANKS FOR YOUR HELP
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 4:45 PM

Dear Maza,
You do not have sufficient detail to conduct a thorough search. In "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) the only Albert Spencer who enlisted at Burnley who died in the First World War was Albert Spencer, 28866 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment who died of wounds in the UK on 14 May 1918 and was buried at Loveclough Providence United Methodist Chapelyard. He had served abroad sometime after 1916 qualifying for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The 11th Bn ELR served with the 31st Division in France after March 1916. For the Division's engagements after March 1916 see:

Kind regards,
Posted by: Dave
Location: North Wales
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 8:38 AM
Hi alan,
seen the great work you do on here, and wonder if you could offer me any information about my relative.

private 16/1101 John Beers Royal Irish Rifles from county down Northern Ireland.


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 4:46 PM

Dear Dave,
John Beers served with the 16th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. He enlisted at Lurgan on 7th June 1915.The Battalion was the Pioneer Battalion of the 36th (Ulster) Division, so the men were both soldiers and labourers. Their work involved much of the construction of defences, but pioneers also fought in the front line, taking part in attacks to consolidate the positions gained from the enemy.
The Battalion went to France via Boulogne on 5th October 1915 and remained with 36th Division. You can see the Division's history at:
John Beers was treated in hospital for shell shock in July 1916 but remained in France. He returned to the UK on January 31st 1919 and was demobilized on 2nd March 1919. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Dave
Date: Friday 25th November 2011 at 8:06 AM

Many many thanks for that.

great work


Posted by: Jw Vincent {Email left}
Location: Bristol
Date: Wednesday 23rd November 2011 at 11:21 PM
Hi Alan.
I hope you can help me?I`m currently researching my Grandfather who was John Wright Vincent,service number 45654,in the Devon regiment during WW1. He enlisted in 1914 and was discharged in 1918 due to wounds received. He shows up on the Medal card and received the War medal,and the Victory medal.I know that this means he did not qualify for the France Star,so he did not leave the UK to fight until Jan 1916. He also shows up on a discharge card,so i know all the information is correct.
However on his Silver War Medal list his unit is shown as "Infantry (Exeter)". Can you please tell me what this means,as the final stumbling block i`m having is finding out what unit or Battalion he was in so i can find out exactly what he did in the War!
Do you have any ideas,and any advice on how i can find out his unit?
Thanks Andy
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 4:47 PM

Dear Andy,
Without an individual service record for a soldier is it not possible to state which battalion he served with. The regimental number 45654 could have been used by any of the wartime service battalions of the Devonshire Regiment and soldiers were often posted from one battalion to another. The Silver war Badge entry included in a list prepared by the No 2 Infantry Records office at Exeter and only identifies the regiment as Devonshire Regiment.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Jw Vincent
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 8:31 PM

Dear Alan.
Thank you so much for responding to my query.That`s a shame as i think my Grandfathers record must have been one of the ones destroyed during WW2. Can you think of any other avenue open to me in my quest to discover more of what my Grandfather did in the war?
Thanks again.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 9:08 PM

Dear Andy,
Local newspapers of the time may have reported on his war service or his return. They would be held by the local studies library of his home town. Otherwise the detail you are seeking is normally to be found in old family documents.
The Devonshire regimental museum may have some record of the allocation of regimental numbers, but that is a long shot.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Bella
Location: Esher
Date: Wednesday 23rd November 2011 at 6:33 PM
Dear Allan

Am wondering if you can help as I have come to a bit of a full stop.

A step-uncle namely ALBERT GOSLING, born Deptford 1870 and in 1881 AGED 11 was living at 19 Snead Street, St.Pauls, Deptford. 0n 30th July 1893 at St.Andrews, Peckham he married a FLORENCE ROWE born 1869 Camberwell and in 1881 age 12was living at 38 Sumner Road, Camberwell. Father Henry T. Rowe.For some reason, am unable to get further and I would love to know if they had a family and what happened to them.

Anything you can shed light on would be most appreciative.

Kind regards.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 23rd November 2011 at 7:54 PM

Dear Bella,
In 1891 Albert Gosling had left home. His parents and the rest of the family were at Melville Road, Enfield. One possible census return for Albert is as a lodger with William Rowcliffe at Upland Road, Camberwell (RG12/469/ folio102 page 14). In 1891 Florence Rowe was living with her sister, Emily Longhurst, at Ethnard Road, Camberwell. (RG12/484 folio 24 page 42). In 1901 Albert and Florence were living at St George's terrace, Camberwell with a daughter, Doris F. Gosling and his mother-in-law, Mary Rowe. (RG13/509 folio 142 page 10). In 1911 they were living at separate addresses.
Albert was a lodger with Alfred Rowe, his brother-in-law at Graylands Road, Peckham and Florence and Doris were living with Florence's mother at Hill Street, Peckham.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Bella
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 9:53 AM

Dear Allan,

A million 'thankyous' for information on Albert. Looks like that one didn't work out!

A donation will be sent to BL

Kind regards.

Posted by: Heather Reid {Email left}
Location: York
Date: Tuesday 22nd November 2011 at 10:01 PM
Hello Alan,
Trying to find any information on Alfred Richard Castle b.1884 in Banbury Oxfordshire. I believe he may have served with the Machine Gun Corps, service no.89144. Although he survived the war, he had been gassed & was bent double, he lived in York until he died aged 91.
Most grateful for any information you can find.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 22nd November 2011 at 10:47 PM

Dear Heather,
A medal index card for Acting Lance-corporal Alfred Richard Castle showed he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was awarded the Silver War Badge for being discharged through wounds or sickness and was discharged through sickness on 14th February 1919. He enlisted on 28 January 1915. The medal card, and the SWB entry, does not further identify the man, so there is no proof he lived in York. There is no record of which unit of the MGC he served in.
You could try and contact Steve Mattock who keeps a database of York soldiers from the First World War. See:
Or check at York Central Library for the Absent Voters List of 1918 if he lived in York in 1918. It may be worth checking local newspapers for an obituary.

Kind regards,
Posted by: Jimchelsea {Email left}
Location: Belfast
Date: Tuesday 22nd November 2011 at 8:36 PM
Hi Alan
with reference to my previous post regarding James Black,i have been informed that the name on the Woodvale Park Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour could be wrong,and that it was James brother Robert who was killed in WW1.
Could i ask if you would be so kind as to check any WW1 record for the following, Rifleman Robert Black ,15th Batt R.I.R, service number 908,died 21/03/1918.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 22nd November 2011 at 11:04 PM

Dear Jim,
No individual service record has survived for Rifleman Robert Black. An Army medal rolls index card recorded he served with the 15th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and that he entered France on 5th October 1915. He was "presumed dead". He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The CWGC Debt of Honour recorded he died with the 15th Battalion on 21st March 1918. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he was killed in action but gave the date as 2 March 1918. The 21st March 1918 is the more likely as it is a famous date on which the German advance on the Somme was made in "Operation Michael". This threw the British into chaos and there were a great number of men who went missing; were taken prisoner; or were reported as presumed dead.
The 15th Battalion RIR was raised in North Belfast in September 1914 and trained at Ballykinler until July 1915 when it moved to Seaford, Sussex. It went to France in October 1915 which implies Rifleman Black served with the same Battalion throughout the war. The 15th served with 107th Infantry Brigade in the 36th (Ulster) Division until 5th November 1915 when it joined the 4th Division until 3rd February 1916 when it rejoined 36th Division. See:

The war diary of the 15th is held at the English National Archives at Kew in catalogue reference WO 95/2503 "15 Battalion Royal Irish Rifles 36 Division
Date: 1915 1919".

Kind regards,
Reply from: Jimchelsea
Date: Tuesday 22nd November 2011 at 11:46 PM

Hi Alan
again many many thanks for your quick and detailed reply.

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