The World War Forum (Page 16)

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Posted by: Bella {Email left}
Location: Esher
Date: Monday 17th October 2016 at 7:46 PM
Hello Alan,
I trust you are well.

Trying to find details of an Annette Johnson (formerly Tattersall) who married a cousin of mine a Brian Ernest Johnson (he born) June 1938, Edmonton, Middx. on 18th March 1977, St. Pancras. He (Brian) died 20th April 2013, London.

I don't know when her birthdate is/was and was given to understand she died around 2010/12. Can you advise?

With kind regards.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 17th October 2016 at 8:13 PM

Dear Bella,
The information you require is too recent to be published online and therefore you would need to visit the local register office(s) for the place(s) where you think Annette Johnson might have died to search in the local registers. The General Register Office could conduct a search but they would need more details that you apparently have. See:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Bella
Date: Monday 17th October 2016 at 8:56 PM

Thank you for your prompt reply.
With kind regards.


Posted by: Mike Winkett {Email left}
Location: Birmingham
Date: Sunday 16th October 2016 at 5:49 PM
Dear Alan,

I wonder whether I could call upon your assistance in helping me to interpret the military records of Percival George Pettipher, some records for which I found on Ancestry's website. Ancestry image no. 31063 shows that he was given regimental no. 105050, Corps 80th [?] Battalion. The bottom of this form states that he was appointed to the Training Reserve Battalion, but what would have been the name of the actual regiment he first served in, please.

I can see that he enlisted at Newcastle-on-Tyne, on 2nd March 1916. I am curious what the no. "2 / 13467" means on this form. I can see that he was claiming to be 39 years old, but he was in fact born in 1880, meaning he was over-stating his age by 3 years - not uncommon, I suppose!

Where I need your help most, is in unravelling what the entries on Ancestry image "31066" all mean. I believe this form is what's known as the "Statement of the Services" form? I am hoping your interpretation of this form will give me some clues as to where he may have served and possibly some of the skirmishes he became involved in during his time abroad; at least I'm assuming he did serve abroad, even though I cannot trace any records alluding to his medal entitlement.

I can see from Ancestry image "31067" that he received a pension (5 shillings and sixpence per week) following discharge on 19 March 1919 and suffered from the disability "otitis media", which appears to have been aggravated by service. Would he not have received the Silver War Badge for this? From this same form, it appears that at the time he was invalided out of service, he had been with 26[?] Battalion Durham [L.I.?= Light Infantry?]. On this form, what does "Art 1 1 [?]" mean?

Ancestry image "31068" seems also to relate to Percival's disability and quotes his rank as "a/Corporal"; I assume this meant "acting Corporal"? If this is the case, then if I'm interpreting the entries on the "Statement of the Services" form correctly, it would seem he alternated between the ranks of "private" and "a/Corporal". Would this have meant he was trusted as a suitable soldier, albeit temporarily, to replace an existing Corporal following his being wounded/killed/transferred, until a new replacement was found, after which Percival would have resumed the rank of "private"?

Ancestry image "31069" states the theatre of war in which he served, but I cannot make out what this should read; could you enlighten me on this point, please, Alan. I believe that medical category "B2" meant he could serve on garrison duty. Am I correct, and does this include garrison duty abroad?

Any information you can give me would be most appreciated and give me a better insight into this man's military career. I shall of course be sending a donation to the British Legion by way of thanking you for this information and look forward to your reply in due course.

Best regards,
Mike Winkett
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 17th October 2016 at 6:19 PM

Dear Mike,
Percival George Pettipher was compulsorily conscripted in 1916. The Military Service Acts of 1916 deemed all men of military age to be under military law and in theory every man was conscripted on Thursday, March 2nd 1916 when the first Act came into force. In practice men were divided into classes by age and were notified when that class would be enlisted. Percival was approved on March 2nd 1916 and with his class was deemed to have enlisted on 24th June 1916. He was actually called-up for uniformed service on 2nd March 1917 and was posted to the 80th Training Reserve Battalion which he joined on 3rd March 1917 with the regimental number that appeared to be [TR] 5/43675. The 80th Training Reserve (T.R.) Battalion was his first “regiment”. The Training Reserve was created in 1916 to receive and train the new conscripts which were too numerous for the individual regimental reserve battalions to cope with. The 2nd Reserve Battalion of each regiment was moved to the new Training Reserve which consisted of 116 battalions in 26 reserve brigades capable of training 208,000 recruits.
Initially, the Training Reserve recruits wore a cap badge of a General Service button on a red disc and a shoulder title with the letters TR, and were not badged to a regiment until they were posted. The 80th to 83rd T.R. Battalions formed the 19th Reserve Brigade. The 80th T.R. Battalion was based at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and had its origins in the 32nd Reserve Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers. While training, the men could also be employed on local and coastal defences.
Percival’s first regiment was the North Staffordshire Regiment to which he was transferred on 12th December 1917. His five digit regimental number in the North Staffordshire regiment
ended 2404. Transfers were “compulsory” under the Military Service Acts which provided for transfers “in the interests of the Service”. On 27th June 1918, Percival was transferred to the Durham Light Infantry and was posted to the 26th Battalion D.L.I., which was a Home Service battalion stationed at Westgate-on-Sea. His DLI number was 105050.
The number 2/13467 is actually Z 13467 which indicated he had been transferred to the Z Reserve on demobilization. It is a post-war clerk’s filing reference. The Z Reserve was for trained men who could be re-called if the Armistice with Germany did not hold. It involved no military service and it ceased on March 31st 1920.
The appointment of Lance-corporal was in the gift of the local Officer Commanding and not the War Office. Lace-corporal was not a rank, but an appointment held by a soldier whose substantive (paid) rank was Private. An acting Lance-corporal was a temporary post and could be paid or unpaid. The appointment would be lost when a man was transferred to another regiment.
Image 30166 reads: Deemed to have been enlisted 24.6.16. Called up for service as a Private 2.3.17; posted to 80 T.R. Battalion 3.3.17; joined 80 T.R. Battalion 3.3.17; [while with] 80 T.R. Battalion, appointed unpaid acting Lance-corporal 2.6.1917; appointed paid acting Lance-corporal 28.7.1917.
Transferred to North Staffordshire Regiment, as a Private, 12.12.1917 [by] authority of [an instruction or memorandum referenced] CRNC 121892/A2 dated 26-11-1917. [CRNC – Central Registry of the Army’s Northern Command]
27.6.18: Compulsorily transferred Durham Light Infantry CRNC 137083/792; retains present rate of pay; Private. 26th Battalion DLI posted 27.6.18.
27.6.18: 26th Battalion DLI appointed paid acting Lance-corporal.
9.9.18: 26th Battalion DLI appointed acting Corporal.
19.3.19: Transferred to Z Reserve. Home address: 44 Windsor Terrace, South Shields, County Durham.
[Military character] V.G. [Very Good – the highest of four grades]
Country [in which served]: Home - from 2.3.17 to 19.3.19 – 2 years 18 days. [Time in the] Reserve 252 days [probably from the Armistice to transfer to Z Reserve].

His medical condition was Otitis Media (middle ear infection). He was not discharged from the Army on medical grounds or invalided out of the service but transferred to the Z Reserve so he would not have been granted a War Badge which was for being discharged on medical grounds.
His rank for pension was Private acting corporal (Private when mobilized.)
His disability was assessed as qualifying for a 20 per cent of full pension and was aggravated by wartime service. The 20 per cent was a percentage of the full disability pension of 27s 6d (£1 7s 6d) of which 20 per cent was 5s 6d. Such aggravated awards usually were short-lived and were conditional until the effects of war service were deemed to have passed. The assessment was in accordance with Article 1(1) of the relevant Royal Warrant on Pay and Pensions that dealt with the cases that were ‘attributed’ or ‘aggravated’ by war service. The warrant would have been the “Royal Warrant for the Pensions of Soldiers disabled, and of the families and dependants of soldiers deceased, in consequence of the present war” (Ministry of Pensions - His Majesty's Stationery Office 1918). The Ministry of Pensions was created in 1916 for the purpose of administering the pension system. For a while, a bonus to the disability pension was paid because of the high cost of living. The bonus was applicable between November 1st 1918 and June 30th 1919.
Percival’s “Theatre of War or Command” was Eastern Command (England). He did not serve overseas in a theatre of war. Medical category B was for men were free from serious organic diseases, able to stand service on lines of communication in France, or in garrisons at home or in the tropics. Subcategory 2 meant: able to walk five miles, and see and hear sufficiently for ordinary purposes.
It is not possible to state in which battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment Percival served between 12th December 1917 and 27th June 1918. Given that he was in the Training Reserve he probably served in the 10th or 11th Reserve Battalions North Staffordshire Regiment stationed at Rugeley Camp on Cannock Chase. The 26th Battalion DLI remained at Westgate-on-Sea.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Mike Winkett
Date: Tuesday 18th October 2016 at 3:58 PM

Dear Alan,

Thank you for your prompt and most informative reply.

I am very grateful and a donation to the British Legion will soon be on its way to them. Thanks again.

Kindest regards,
Reply from: Mike Winkett
Date: Monday 24th October 2016 at 11:46 AM

Dear Alan,

Now that I have had chance to "digest" your most informative reply to my query regarding the military career of Percival George Pettipher, I have a few queries arising from your reply.

I am curious as to what the role of the Lance-corporal entailed. I have seen reference on some websites indicating that the position in the infantry often served as second-in-command of a section and was also a "rank" given to specialists such as clerks, drivers, signallers, machine-gunners and mortar-men.

I note from your reply that it was not a "rank" as such and could be taken away upon transfer to another regiment. Was part of the role to train others? In actual practice, did most Privates attain this role after a set period of training (i.e. they had become fully proficient) and did most men in practice retain the position upon transfer? I am curious as to what criteria determined whether the role was paid or unpaid (presumably experience in the role played a part in this decision). Did the same criteria apply apropos the role Acting Lance-corporal; i.e. - could that also be paid or unpaid?

Would a Lance-corporal have worn a chevron or badge of some kind to indicate his position?

I wondered whether you could tell me a little more about the Protection Certificate And Certificate of Identity amongst Percival's military papers (Ancestry image 31069). I see that Percival was granted 28 days' furlough "from the date stamped hereon pending...". Presumably this furlough began on [what looks like] 29 Feb 1918 according to the [?] Record Office No.1 York. My query is this....wouldn't such a period of furlough normally be entered on the Statement of the Services form, which I assume is the form in Ancestry image no. 31066? I cannot see any reference to this period of furlough, though.

Finally, could you confirm that the "No. 1 Dispersal Unit Ripon" stamp bearing the date 19 Feb 1919, means that this was a camp in Ripon to which Percival was sent to await demobilization. I assume that the date on this Dispersal Unit's stamp was just referring to the Protection Certificate form and not the actual demobilization date, which I assume was the date he went into the Z Reserve - i.e. 19 March, 1919.

Your clarification of the above points would be very much appreciated.

Thank you, Alan.

Kindest regards,
Mike Winkett
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 25th October 2016 at 1:21 PM

Dear Mike,
Thank you for making a donation to the Royal British Legion.
In general, a battalion consisted of about 1,000 men and was commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel (the Commanding Officer: or C.O.).
Four Companies (A, B, C, D) and a H.Q. Company made up the battalion. The H.Q. Company would include some cooks and clerks and perhaps horse-transport drivers. Each infantry company was commanded by a Major or Captain (known as the Officer Commanding: O.C.). Each company had a small H.Q. plus four platoons of men (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4). A platoon was commanded by a subaltern (2nd/Lieutenant or – after two years as a 2nd/ Lieutenant – a Lieutenant, who was the “Platoon Commander” or “O.C. No. 2 Platoon” etc.). A platoon consisted of about 55 men. The second-in-command of a platoon was a Sergeant (spelled by the D.L.I. as Serjeant) who undertook the officer’s orders and stood-in for the officer in his absence. Each platoon had four sections each of about 12 men. Each section had a Corporal in charge of it and he was assisted by a Lance-corporal. A section could be broken down into two squads each of five men; one squad of five with the Corporal the other with the Lance-corporal.
A platoon on parade would have one junior officer, a Sergeant, four Corporals and four Lance-corporals, with perhaps 40 private soldiers and additionally a platoon H.Q. with a signaller and runner, and officer’s servant (often called a “batman”).
Becoming a Lance-corporal (acting or appointed) involved a difficult choice. It was the first step on the ladder of becoming a Non Commissioned Officer (Corporal, Sergeant, Staff- Sergeant) and it required you to alter the relationship you had with your mates when once you all had been private soldiers, perhaps enlisting together as recruits. You would be addressed as “Corporal” in your presence and as “Lance-corporal” in your absence and would have to give orders to private soldiers who were once your equal as private soldiers and mates. This change in status was an uncomfortable transition in the beginning and taking on responsibility did not appeal to everyone given the chance of being a Lance-corporal. The opposite was also true: private soldiers did not want to suffer under a former friend if power had gone to his head.
The Officers Commanding would notice men with potential leadership skills or natural popularity and offer them the appointment of unpaid acting Lance-corporal. If they made a success of their probationary period they would be paid a few pence extra per day as a paid Lance-corporal (acting or otherwise). A private received a shilling a day; a Corporal 1s 8d a day. The unpaid period was not unfair because if a man did not pass muster as a Lance-corporal and had the appointment withdrawn he would not feel any resentment at having lost additional pay. He was aware the unpaid period was the probationary period and he accepted it was intended to motivate his performance.
Because Commanding Officers knew the appointment to Lance-corporal was expected to lead to promotion to N.C.O. they were keen to see how the man performed in the post before committing themselves. Equally, they realised a man who was not up to it might want to stand down.
A Lance-corporal was between a rock and a hard place. A Sergeant could pass orders down to a Corporal who could blame the Sergeant for any dis-satisfaction and pass the orders down to a Lance-corporal. But a Lance-corporal had no such recourse. Indeed, if one of his men defaulted on an order, the Lance-corporal could lose his post too. This unenviable position in the pecking order was well known by the private soldiers and they had a familiar nick-name for Lance-corporals: “Lance-jack”. Other N.C.O.s did not have nick-names. Corporals were more likely to side with Sergeants (upwards) than with Lance-corporals (downwards).
The Lance-corporal in barracks or in a tented camp slept in the same hut or tent as the men in his section and he was responsible for keeping them in order. It was his duty to ensure the men carried out their individual duties or arrived in the right place at the right time. He checked to see they had washed, shaved, cleaned their kit and polished their boots. He was responsible for the state of the hut or tent; the bedding and any “spit and polish” required for inspections. He would be responsible for reporting a man missing or gone sick before muster parade.
The Lance-corporal would hopefully get on well with his section but some of the petty tasks, such as allocating latrine-cleaning fatigues, or accusing a man of not washing, could lead to dissent and conflict. If the men didn’t like cleaning latrines, they argued with the Lance-corporal; if the latrines weren’t clean, the Lance-corporal received the blame.
When this occurred a Lance-corporal had to be tactful because if a fight broke-out the private soldier would be accused of striking an N.C.O. acting in the course of his duties which would be a much more serious offence than not having had a shave, or not using the toilet brush for the purpose for which it was provided.
Not all privates attained the position of Lance-corporal. They had to be picked out and proven in the job and it was not automatic over time. There was one Lance-corporal for every ten men.
The task did require leadership qualities and tact. The appointment to Lance-corporal (who wore a single chevron, or “stripe”, on each of his sleeves) set him apart from the men and placed him among the junior N.C.O.s. Clerks or those working in H.Q. could be granted the appointment because they were dealing with private soldiers’ personnel records and pay which were confidential and making them an N.C.O. raised them above the private soldier. Other skills, such as driver or machine-gunner were rewarded with the extra pay or for being in charge of a squad.
Lance-corporals could teach basic skills such as handling and cleaning the rifle, drill, or camouflage and field-craft.
A man could go “up and down” as a Lance-corporal within his own battalion, depending on his performance, having the appointment withdrawn and perhaps re-instated to be given another chance. Or, if he did not enjoy the task he could revert at his own request. Hopefully, he would go from unpaid to paid Lance-corporal and then go on to earn his second stripe as a substantive Corporal (or “full Corporal” as the distinction was sometimes made) where he would have extra responsibility, more pay, and extra privileges in camp such as a Corporal’s Mess. The rank of full Corporal was recognised by the War Office and could not be removed by the Commanding Officer.
Periods of “acting” appointment could cover the probationary period set by the Commanding Officer or might have been for just a week while someone was on leave or went sick.
Under paragraph 282 of King's Regulations 1912 amended 1st August 1914 a Lance-corporal’s or acting Lance-corporal’s actual rank, as far as the War Office was concerned, was private soldier so when a man was transferred he returned to being a private until a vacancy arose for a fresh appointment in his new unit. In the order of precedence, however, a Lance-corporal was above private soldiers and while he had no command over more than a section or squad of a handful of men, in matters of discipline he was required at all times to exercise the full authority attached to his appointment.
A successful Lance-corporal would have learned a great deal about what would later be termed “man management”. If he was effective he would keep his soldiers’ goodwill whilst being in charge of them.
Because Percival did not serve overseas, I have not considered the rôle of junior Non Commissioned Officers in combat where they might additionally have controlled firing parties, machine guns or bombing squads; sentry duties or ration parties.
The period of demobilization leave was part of a man’s military service and did not have to be shown separately on his service record which dealt mostly with postings and appointments. As Percival served at “Home” throughout the war, furlough at Home did not need to be identified in the same way a man leaving France might need to be identified as having been granted furlough. By the time the demobilization leave was granted, Percival had left the D.L.I. and moved to an all-regiment dispersal centre in the north of England, so the Protection Certificate issued by that centre became the record of his demobilization leave. The Protection Certificate and Certificate of Identity acted as an identity card proving the man was on leave and not a deserter. A Post Office Savings Book was sent to the man’s home address (“address for pay”) so he could receive his four weeks’ furlough pay. The original Certificate given to Percival (not the carbon-copy sent to his file) would have had four empty boxes for a Post Office stamp that would be endorsed on each of the four occasions that he went to withdraw his weekly pay from his local Post Office. The original certificate also came with a railway ticket to his home station. The “protection” part of the title referred to the ability to later protect his claim to unemployment benefit and proof of service, pay and allowances.
No. 1 Dispersal Camp at Ripon was the camp to which Percival was sent to prepare for demobilization. Ripon became a very large military garrison during the First World War. He would have been medically inspected whilst there, and processed through paperwork and demobilization instructions for various formalities including such things as returning his uniform Great Coat; claiming clothing allowance; seeking unemployment benefit and so on. For more on the dispersal procedure see the article on Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail at:
The date of dispersal from Ripon was stamped 19 Feb 1919 under “dispersal unit stamp and date of dispersal”. He then had four weeks’ leave at home and would have been demobilized a month later on 19th March 1919. The date on the incoming “received” date-stamp was 29th February which was the date the copy of the Certificate was received by the York No. 1 Army Record Office where the soldier’s file was stored and the copy was stamped as having been received on that date.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Mike Winkett
Date: Tuesday 25th October 2016 at 2:42 PM

Dear Alan,

Thank you so much for the very detailed extra information you have given me. This is so appreciated.

You provide a wonderful service; the detail you provide to people using this forum helps "bring to life" the military careers of the soldiers concerned.

I know there must be a large number of regular followers of this forum who have received help from you over the years and others who don't make any enquiries at all, but simply read your replies to others because of their educational value!

Your chosen charity, the Royal British Legion, is a most deserving one. I would urge all regular visitors to this forum, whichever of the above two categories you fall into, but who nevertheless appreciate the work Alan does, to be especially generous when giving to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in a few weeks' time.

Thanks again, Alan.

Kindest regards,
Mike Winkett
Posted by: Trevor Purnell {Email left}
Location: West Sussex
Date: Sunday 16th October 2016 at 3:13 PM

My grandfather was Private Joseph Croft 13446, 6th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment and he came home from the Great War. He was awarded the trio of medals including the 1914-15 Star so was with the battalion at Gallipoli. Apart from his MIC, I can't find any other records for him. I can trace his movements using the war diary and the 'History of the 6th (Service ) Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment 1914-19' by Colonel F G Spring. However, I don't have the date of his discharge from the army and so it is difficult to know which battles he fought in. Also If he was wounded early and discharged home to England I might credit him with the wrong battle honours. Grateful if you could tell me if there is any way I can find the date of his army discharge.

Many thanks and regards,

Trevor Purnell
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 16th October 2016 at 5:53 PM

Dear Trevor,
Without a service record it is not possible to be specific about when a man was discharged from the Army.
Apart from details on any surviving individual service record, discharge dates that occurred before the end of the war were recorded on the War Badge rolls for men who were discharged through sickness or wounds, and on some campaign medal rolls.
The medal rolls index-card for Joseph Croft showed he was transferred to the Class Z Reserve which was for those trained soldiers who would be re-called if the Armistice with Germany did not hold. The Class Z Reserve was not authorised until 3rd December 1918, therefore on the face of it, it would appear Joseph would have been discharged with the rest of the 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment in early 1919.
However, that is not necessarily the case.
The medal rolls for the 1914-15 Star for the Lincolnshire Regiment did not record the battalion but recorded the date of entry into a theatre if war, which usually helped identify a battalion. In the case of Joseph Croft the actual medal roll for the 1914-15 Star for J. Croft, 13446, corrected the entry “died of wounds 30-4-17” to “Class Z 2-3-19”.
(The soldier who died of wounds on 30th April 1917 was Alfred Croft, 15651, of the 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment)
The medal roll for the British War and Victory Medals for the Lincolnshire Regiment was compiled in 1920 but was not completed with the usual detail of showing each battalion and regiment in which the man had served, and in the case of Joseph Croft recorded only that he had served in the 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. As the award of the British War Medal and Victory Medal was automatic for men who qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the entry on the medal roll indicates only that he qualified for the British War and Victory medals by going overseas with the 6th Battalion in 1915. He might have been with the 6th Battalion in 1919, or he might not.
A casualty list published in the “Lincolnshire Echo” on Monday 6th September 1915 included “Croft, 13446, Pte. J.” in a lengthy list of wounded of the 6th Lincolns in the Dardanelles (© Trinity Mirror via British Newspaper Archive). The date he was wounded was not stated although other casualties from the 11th (Northern) Division who were wounded in the fighting between 11th and 22nd August 1915 were listed in the casualty list published on 6th September 1915, so it is likely Joseph was wounded in August 1915.
It is not clear if Joseph was hospitalised off the peninsula to Malta or the U.K., or was treated locally and returned to duty. That would have been recorded on his service record.
Joseph Croft enlisted in the 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment when it was formed in 1914 for war service, was wounded at Gallipoli, and continued to serve and was demobilized on 2nd March 1919. But it cannot be shown that he was still serving with the 6th Battalion at the end of the war: it is likely that was the case but it cannot be proven as he might have remained in service at Home in the U.K., medically downgraded, although that is less likely to be the case as he was discharged to the Class Z Reserve in 1919, implying he was still in one piece. The 1919 discharge date does suggest he was serving overseas after the Armistice.
One possible further source of unpublished information would be the pension records held by the Western Front Association. Had Joseph applied for a pension, there might be a record card for him. A manual search of the cards costs £25 if successful with £15 refund if no record is found. See:
I am sorry to confound what I at first thought would be a straight-forward matter of finding a date.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Trevor Purnell
Date: Monday 17th October 2016 at 8:32 AM


As always many thanks for your speedy and full reply. Joseph's medals show the 6 Lincs so can I assume that he spent most of the war with them? I will also try the Western Front Association to see in they have any pension records.

Kind regards,

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 17th October 2016 at 6:31 PM

Dear Trevor,
Officially, the regimental particulars impressed on the rims of the British War Medal and the Victory Medal were those held by the man on his “first disembarkation in a theatre of war”. Therefore they related to the battalion and regiment he was with in 1915 when he first went overseas and not the battalion or regiment he was with at the end of the war.
With kind regards,

Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Sunday 16th October 2016 at 10:52 AM
Dear Alan
Many thanks for the work done on the Fletcher soldiers and Private Darling. they all make interesting reading.
Two more soldiers that I cannot trace are:
1. Private Edward Copley of 9th West Yorkshire Regiment
2. Ser.Major Maurice Igure ( not sore of this spelling, could be two u) 87th R I Fusiliers. Dated 27th June 1915.
Anything that you can find would be most useful.
Kind regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 17th October 2016 at 6:25 PM

Dear Judith,
Edward Copley was a private in the 9th Battalion Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) which was formed at York on 25th August 1915 for wartime service. The Battalion trained at Belton Park, Grantham, which was a camp established in the deer park of Belton House. The Battalion became part of the 32nd Infantry Brigade in the 11th (Northern) Division. They moved to Witley Camp, Godalming, in April 1915. King George V inspected the Division on Hankey Common on 31st May 1915 prior to the Battalion sailing for Gallipoli. Edward and the Battalion travelled by train from Milford Station, Surrey, to Alexandra Dock, Liverpool, on the night of 1st/2nd July 1915, arriving at Liverpool in the small hours of July 2nd and embarking on the hired Royal Mail Ship “Aquitania” (Cunard Line) by 4 a.m. The ship sailed at 7.30 p.m. on the 3rd July. At 5.45 [a.m.] on the 4th July the ship’s alarm was sounded and the men stood to boats as an enemy torpedo passed astern. On the 6th July 1915 they passed Gibraltar and on the 8th Malta; sailing direct to Mudros on the island of Lemnos where they anchored in Mudros Bay at 7 a.m. on 10th July 1915. The next day they disembarked and established a bivouac camp on the western side of Mudros where they remained until July 22nd when they sailed for Kephalos Camp on the island of Imbros where they were inspected by the General Officer Commanding Sir Ian Hamilton.
On August 6th 1915, the 9th Battalion went ashore at ‘C’ Beach, Anzac Cove, Gallipoli and the next day they took and occupied Lala Baba Hill and assaulted Hill 10 with the Lancashire Fusiliers. The Turks counter-attacked on August 9th compelling Edward’s Battalion to fall back with heavy losses. They retired to the area of Sulajik farm and were then placed in reserve at Lala Baba on August 11th 1915. Their losses during this first operation were four officers killed; six missing and 13 wounded; 46 other ranks killed; 161 wounded; 88 missing and wounded; 153 missing. Total casualties: 471 which would have been half of the Battalion.
On the 12th August 1915, the Battalion marched by road to Chocolate Hill and occupied Fort Waller where they came under heavy firing, sustaining a few casualties among men exposed while trench digging or at water supply. They remained there until August 21st when they advanced to attack the Turkish line. They were relieved the next night but had suffered one officer killed; four officers wounded; 11 men killed; 142 wounded and 43 missing: Total: 201.
On the 23rd August the 9th Battalion moved back to ‘C’ Beach trenches where their roll call mustered just four officers and 196 men out of an original strength of about 1000 men. The 9th Battalion was merged with the 6th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment and spent the remainder of August 1915 improving trenches at Kizla Dagli.
It was during these two battles that Edward Copley was wounded as his name appeared in one of two casualty lists for the 9th West Yorkshire Regiment published on Monday 6th September 1915 in the “Yorkshire Post” (© Johnston Press) along with 27 other names from the Regiment. Edward was apparently among the more fortunate to be returned home.
After he had recovered he was transferred first to the Northamptonshire Regiment and then the Middlesex Regiment. He was then transferred to the Royal Engineers where he ended the war with the Inland Waterways and Docks section of the Royal Engineers.
Edward Copley qualified for the 1914-15 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
It has not yet been possible to identify the Ser Major Maurice Igure. The surname does not appear anywhere. No British regiment had an 87th battalion, although the Canadians did. The R.I. Fusiliers could be Royal Irish Fusiliers or Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, but I can find no likely man named Maurice, Morris or M. in the medal rolls of those two battalions, so it might be better to wait and look at the original visitors’ book.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 17th October 2016 at 10:30 PM

Proof reading correction: in the penultimate line "two battalions" should read "two regiments".
Posted by: Christine Barbour Moore {Email left}
Location: Wigan Lancashire Uk
Date: Saturday 15th October 2016 at 11:24 AM
Good Afternoon Alan

You have been of great assistance in the past re my Grandfather Stanley Corsellis Randall 12th Light Railway Coy - War Diary WO95/4056 1917 - 1918 - Vol 1 & 15

1. I have only just noticed on a web site The Long Trail, where I found the War Diary for 12th LR Coy,
. that there are other Coys with the same Ref No WO95/4056.

2nd Operating Coy
6th Operating Coy
12th Operating Coy
31st Operating Coy
33rd Operating Coy
34th Operating Coy
231st Operating Coy
232ndOperating Coy
240th Operating Coy

Were these RE Coys? I only have 17pges for the 12th LR - will there be other volumes within
WO95/4056 - for the other Coys. Though as in 2015, you informed me that many Diaries were destroyed in WW11

2. I am typing up my 17pges of 12th LR War Diary, which is very hard to read, from my copy but when
completed, I would like to put it on the internet with Grandfather's pictures etc.

Would I be breaking any Copy Right or Data Protection issues by putting WO95/4056 on the internet?

Many thanks - I will be making a donation to British Legion, as I always have done so in the past.

Christine Barbour-Moore
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 15th October 2016 at 2:27 PM

Dear Christine,
The war diaries of the railway operating companies come under the classification of “Lines of Communication” and those in Catalogue Reference WO 95/4056 are sub-divided with suffixes 1 – 6 for some of the various Lines of Communication Troops. Each company’s diary would record the activities of that company and, perhaps, any neighbouring companies within a certain time period. Not all diaries are complete and the quality of information they contain varies widely. See the entries under WO 95/4056 at:
The war diary of 12th Light Railway Company is at:
Disclaimer: I cannot give legal advice on copyright. The war diaries are Crown Copyright but you are entitled to publish a transcription from the original documents which you have purchased from The National Archives providing you credit the original source. The National Archives information leaflet on their copyright is at:
You are not entitled to copy and paste and publish anything from Chris Baker’s website, “The Long, Long Trail”, as that work is his copyright along with Milverton Associates. This is what Chris says on his website: “I give any website developer the right to use small parts of information from this site, subject to our request for a reference on a “fair use” basis. I do not give permission for wholesale copying of parts of the site and in no case would consider more than half of a page to be fair use. I have noted two or three websites that seem to think it is OK to copy my material en masse – one of them is a commercial firm that advertises heavily.”
Any photographs might still be the copyright of the photographer. In all cases you should endeavour to acknowledge the copyright owner. If they are family photographs, the family photographer owns the copyright, but if they are commercially-made photographs then the photographer will own the copyright. In England, where the photographer died more than 20 years before your publication, copyright would expire 50 years after first printing of the negative. Otherwise copyright of a photograph generally expires 70 years after the photographer’s death. See:
Providing you do not make any commercial gain from your website and you restrict yourself to “fair dealing” you should not have any problems. “Fair dealing” means you are not providing something free that would otherwise deprive the copyright owner of income, nor are you trading or publishing to benefit from his or her intellectual property.
Leaflets on English copyright law can be found at:
The Data Protection Act 1998 of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland protects information held by one person or organisation about a living person. Providing you do not disclose any information on your website about a living person you will not have any problems.
As long as you credit your sources, you shouldn’t run into any conflict.
You might be interested in the definitive book: “WDLR Album” [War Department Light Railways] compiled by Roy C. Link, revised edition November 2014 (first edition March 2014) published by RCL publications, Gwynedd, LL51 9RX (ISBN 978-0-9565157-2-8) Price £31.95.
Thank you for supporting the Royal British Legion.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Christine Barbour Moore
Date: Saturday 15th October 2016 at 5:11 PM

Alan -Many thanks for your prompt reply.

I got my copy of WO95/4056 (in which my Grandfather is mentioned) from National Archives and at first glances, each page is very hard to read (17 pages). I now have the Trench Map that belonged to my Grandfather Stanley Corsellis Randall and can match up the route his Company took from June 1917 to October 1918. Fascinating. The names of Lines and Places in the Diary now become clear.

I am only typing up each sheet and then want to create a web page about my Grandfather. I am not reproducing anything off The Long Trail or any other publication.

Thanks for all your assistance. I have just tried to donate to British Legion but there seems to be a problem at the moment. Will try again tomorrow.

Kind Regards

Posted by: Pete {Email left}
Location: E Yorks
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016 at 9:24 PM
Hello Alan,
We are still trying to tie in all the family cousins and have come across Arthur John Coupland who appears to have two until numbers - Pte 241017 in the 11th Bedfordshire Regt and Pvt 23806 in the Royal Defence Corps. It seems odd that he is with these regiments, when he is a Yorkshire man.
Would you be able please to give me more details of his service, so explaining why he had the two numbers? I am certain that it is the same soldier.
Thanks in anticipation
Kind regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 14th October 2016 at 6:35 PM

Dear Pete,
Arthur John Coupland was born in 1879 at Hessle, East Riding, the son of John Lacy Coupland, a nurseryman and florist and his wife Ann Atkin who had married at Hull on 4th June 1856. Arthur lived with his parents on Hull Road, Hessle, where he joined the nurseryman’s business. In 1911 he was recorded as a 31-year-old nurseryman, single, living with his widowed mother, aged 78, at Hull Road, Hessle.
Arthur John Coupland married Helen Wright at Hessle in 1913. The couple moved to St Ives in Huntingdonshire, twelve miles from Cambridge. Their first child, Thelma, was born at St Ives, on 24th October 1914.
Arthur Coupland, aged 35, of Ramsey Road, St Ives, volunteered to enlist at Cambridge recruiting office on the 19th October 1914, five days before his child was born. However, as was his right in those early weeks of the war, he volunteered for Home Service only. The maximum age for recruitment at the time was 30, so he was over-age when he volunteered, but the age limit was raised to 38 on October 28th 1914, so while he was serving he was not over-age.
He was initially posted to the Home Service Battalion of the Cambridgeshire Regiment. The Cambridgeshire Regiment was part of the Territorial Army and before the war had just one battalion. Its Home Service Battalion was designated originally as the 2nd/1st Battalion which was raised at Cambridge in September 1914 and moved to Peterborough in December 1914. In November 1915, the 2nd/1st Battalion formed the 4th/1st Battalion which then became the regiment’s Home Service Battalion stationed at Bury St Edmunds. Arthur’s regimental number was then 23179.
On 19th February 1916, Arthur Coupland was transferred to the 3rd/4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment stationed at Halton Park, Tring, Hertfordshire, in the grounds of Halton House which belonged to Alfred Charles de Rothschild. A few weeks later, on 29th April 1916, Arthur was transferred to the Royal Defence Corps where he served with No. 53 Protection Company R.D.C. with the regimental number 23806. The Royal Defence Corps was created in March 1916 from Territorial Force Home Service battalions to provide troops for security and guard duties within the U.K.. Their stated aim was guarding vulnerable points such as ports, stations and bridges, but the Government also had an eye on internal security on the mainland and in Ireland. It is not recorded where No. 53 Company served.
In March 1916, the Military Service Acts did away with the Home Service distinction other than for men who were medically unfit to serve at the Front. At this stage in his service Arthur was medically graded as B (ii) - fit for garrison service. Also in March 1916, many Coastal Defence battalions were re-designated as part of Home Service brigades. One such brigade was the 225th Mixed Brigade.
Arthur’s wife, Helen and their daughter Thelma continued to live at St Ives. A son, William Arthur Coupland, was born at St Ives on 23rd May 1916.
With each compulsory transfer from one regiment or corps to the next Arthur’s regimental number would change.
After two years with the Royal Defence Corps, on 25th April 1918 Arthur was transferred to the 11th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment where he was allotted the regimental number 241017. The 11th Battalion was raised for Home Service only and by April 1918 in was stationed at Pakefield near Lowestoft in the 225th Mixed Brigade. On 28th September 1918, Arthur was compulsorily transferred to the 19th Battalion The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). The 19th Battalion was stationed at Lowestoft where it served in the same 225th Mixed Brigade as the 11th Bedfordshire Regiment.
The numerous transfers from one regiment to another were brought about under the Military Service Acts as compulsory transfers “in the interests of the service”. The transfers would have occurred to balance the strengths of battalions when one unit of Home Service personnel became either over or under its established strength.
On 1st November 1918, Arthur Coupland became a learner motor driver with the Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport section. He was allotted the regimental number M/404922 and was posted to No. 3 M.T. Company A.S.C. which was stationed at the A.S.C. Motor Depot at Sydenham in Kent, in south-west London. He remained with the A.S.C. at Sydenham until he was discharged from the Army on 10th March 1919. He suffered rheumatism and was awarded a small disability pension. Arthur Coupland was granted a silver War Badge for having suffered sickness.
He stated his home address would be 41, Lansdowne Street, Hull.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Pete
Date: Friday 14th October 2016 at 8:49 PM

Thank you Alan so much for this rapid detail of Arthur's service, which has clarified as to why he had so many numbers. I shall be sending a donation to your charity as a way of saying thank you.
Kind regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 14th October 2016 at 8:51 PM

Dear Pete,
Thank you for donating to the Royal British Legion.
Posted by: Dan Schwitalla {Email left}
Location: Dade City Florida Usa
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016 at 6:02 PM
Hello Mr. Greveson,

I am working on a literary project and came across this man:

Charles Henry Clark Svc no. 16180
Somerset Light Infantry

His death records in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission says he deied 4 FEB 1918 and was buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery which is west of London. His records state that he was in "3 S. L. Infy". I am assuming that the 3 was the battalion he was in. If so, this was the Special Reserve battalion dedicated to training and I assume induction of new soldiers. The problem is that this battalion was in Northern Ireland at the time of his death.

Also his ranked was typed in as Pensr. and was changed to Pvt by hand. What does that mean? I am trying to figure out how a 39-year-old man ended from Wiltshire ended up in this unit. It looks like he was not married and had no children.

Any additional details would be most appreciated.

Dan Schwitalla
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016 at 7:53 PM

Dear Dan,
Charles Henry Clark was born in 1878 at Easton Grey, Wiltshire, the son of Henry Clark, a farm labourer, and his wife Hannah. Charles was shown to be living in the village with his parents in the 1881 and 1891 censuses. In 1901 he had moved to London and was living with his uncle, Samuel Clark, at 2 Craven Cottages, Hammersmith. In 1901 Charles was a bricklayer’s labourer, aged 22.
Charles Henry Clark, then a railway platelayer, married Alice Mary Clark (correct) the daughter of Samuel Clark (correct) who was a tinsmith from Gloucestershire (and not Charles’s uncle). The wedding took place on September 20th 1902 at All Saints’ Church, South Acton, London. In 1911 the couple lived at 7, Craven Cottages, Hammersmith. There were no children living with the couple in 1911.
Charles served with the City of London part-time volunteer artillery from 9th November 1899 to 12th December 1904. He could have been in the Special Reserve although the 3rd Battalion of a regiment was also its depot and soldiers “posted” to the 3rd Battalion sometimes were administered by the depot on paper when they had been taken off the ration strength of their own battalion, for example whilst in hospital.
Charles’ date of enlistment was 14th November 1914. He was five feet eight inches tall; had brown eyes and dark brown hair. Charles was attested at Shepherd’s Bush on November 14th 1914 and joined the Depot of Prince Albert’s (Somerset Light Infantry) at Taunton two days later on 14th November 1914. After a week he was posted to the 9th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry on 21st November 1914 for basic training. The 9th Battalion was formed at Plymouth in October 1914 and was at St Austell in December 1914 when it became a 2nd Reserve Battalion. It was stationed at Wareham, Dorset, in May 1915; Swanage in August 1915 and Blandford in October 1915.
On 6th October 1915 Charles Henry Clark was posted from the 2nd Reserve Battalion to France where he joined the 8th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry which had been serving in France and Flanders since September 1915 and had suffered casualties at The Battle of Loos in September. Charles was part of a draft of reinforcements. He remained with the 8th Battalion until he became ill in 1916. The 8th Battalion was with 63rd Infantry Brigade in the 21st Division. Charles stated he was blown up by a shell on January 5th 1916 and consequently suffered shell shock. He was hospitalised and eventually returned to the U.K. on 14th March 1916 when he was administered for pay and allowances by the regimental Depot. He was treated for nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) and cystitis. He convalesced at the Command Depot Sutton Coldfield. A Command Depot was a convalescent depot where men went to regain fitness after being in hospital.
Charles was discharged from the Army at Exeter on 7th February 1917, no longer physically fit for war service. He had served two years and eighty-six days. He received a small pension for shell shock; hence he was an army pensioner, which was a description indicating he was no longer serving when he died - not actually his rank as his rank was Private. That was why “pensr” was struck through and replaced with “Pte”.
Charles died after discharge from the army. His sole legatee was his widow, Alice Clark.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was granted a silver War Badge for being discharged because of sickness.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Dan Schwitalla
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016 at 10:35 PM

Thank you, Sir. I appreciate your time and knowledge.


Posted by: Alan Jermyn {Email left}
Location: Falmouth
Date: Wednesday 12th October 2016 at 9:05 AM
Hi Alan ,
Once again l am asking your assistance to find my wife's Grand Father who had been in the army and then re enlisted at the out break of the 1st world war , his regiment I do not know , his name was Frederick Andrew who came from St Mawes in Cornwall , he survived the war and hi initial overseas posting was to Malta ,

Also could you tell me about Charles Borlais who was from St Austell who received a medal for continuing to collect the wounded even though his position had been overrun during the 1st world war , he also survived the war and lived in Bugle ,

Kind regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 12th October 2016 at 8:41 PM

Dear Alan,
It is usually not possible to identify records of a soldier by his name only as few surviving army records contain biographical details. There was more than one Frederick Andrew from Cornwall and many more who cannot be identified by location. However, there was a record of a Frederick James Andrew from Cornwall who did serve at Malta. He was born at St Just, near St Mawes, in 1880 and his father was stated, in 1900, to be Frederick Andrew of Castle Terrace, St Mawes. The record does not prove he was your wife’s grandfather but you should be able to positively identify him from the biographical details given from his record below.
Frederick James Andrew was a pattern maker who enlisted in the Royal Engineers aged 19 on February 20th 1900 at Falmouth with the regimental number 4998. He served at the Malta garrison, which protected the island’s harbours, from 30th April 1901 until he was accidentally injured on 23rd October 1903 when he had the tips of some fingers amputated from his right hand. [I recall from memory that similar injuries occurred on Malta when a man trapped his hand in the cogs of a water pump]. Frederick returned to the U.K. on 25th November 1903 and was discharged medically unfit for further service on 19th January 1904.
Frederick Andrew married Elizabeth Mitchell in 1906.
From the census returns, Frederick appears to have been the son of Frederick and Mary Andrew of St Just. Frederick’s father was a Trinity pilot.
In 1914, Frederick James Andrew, then a [house] painter, of 14 Grove Terrace, St Austell, re-enlisted in the Royal Engineers on 21st December 1914 at Bodmin with the regimental number 61705. He served in a depot company at Chatham until 18th April 1915 when he was posted to 98th Field Company Royal Engineers at Henley and Wendover. This company was training with the newly-raised 30th Division but Frederick did not go overseas when the Division was sent France in November 1915. Frederick was posted to a Royal Engineers Depot Company at Newark where he was medically graded for discharge from the Army on February 16th 1916. However on 27th February 1916 he was passed medically fit to serve in the U.K. only. He was medically graded as B(ii) for service in garrisons. He served with 3rd Reserve Battalion Royal Engineers at Newark-on-Trent. The Battalion was based at Coddington Hall, Southwell, near Newark. Frederick’s Royal Engineers’ trade was as a skilled painter. On 2nd January 1918, whilst on home leave, he suffered an accidental fracture of his right radius (forearm) when he slipped on an icy road outside the St Austell railway station, while accompanied by his wife Elizabeth. The arm healed correctly. In 1918 Frederick served for a short time with the London Electrical Engineers until he was discharged in London on 4th April 1919.
There are no records for Charles Borlais.
There was one Charles Borlase listed in the medal rolls. He served as a private soldier in the mechanical transport section of the Army Service Corps with the number M2/055191. He first went to France on 1st May 1915 and was discharged on 19th March 1919. There is no record of where he served in France and Flanders. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The “London Gazette” of 23rd July 1919 recorded C. Borlace (sic) M2/055191 was awarded the Military Medal. Citations for the medal were not published nationally, so it is not possible to describe the action for which it was awarded. Publication in the Gazette occurred many months after the event.
There was more than one Charles Borlase recorded at St Austell in the 1911 census. The most likely was Charles Borlase, clay labourer, aged 16, the son of Frederick and Elizabeth Borlase of Stenalees, St Austell.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Alan Jermyn
Date: Wednesday 12th October 2016 at 9:39 PM

Hi Alan ,

You got the right Frederick Andrew , and the C Borlase who was my cousins Grand Father was the one who won the military medal , he actually told me about the position being overrun and I asked him why he kept on collecting the wounded , .
he shrugged his shoulders and said " I had nothing else planned
So just carried on as usual "

Thank you so much for your amazing endeavours in such an short space of time , you really bring these men to life, and not just a memory .
Kind regards

Posted by: Keiley {Email left}
Location: Huddersfield
Date: Tuesday 11th October 2016 at 11:26 AM
I am trying to find information on William Thomas Williams serving with South Wales borderers and injured at st quenton just a month before end of ww1(survived)
We believe he received 3 medals on total but really struggling to find any info
Any help really appreciated
Reply from: Mark
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016 at 6:30 PM

Hi Allan he was born in 1897 his farther was thoms Williams thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016 at 8:01 PM

Dear Mark,
There were numerous men named William Williams or William T Williams in the South Wales Borderers and the only way to make a positive identification is by knowing his regimental number. Very few records that show a year of birth have survived.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Keiley
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016 at 8:47 PM

Hi Alan
Unfortunately we don't have his number, we are trying to get it for his daughter (my husbands nan) could there be any hospital records with him getting injured at st quenton a month before the end of ww1
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 16th October 2016 at 10:55 PM

Dear Keiley,
Unfortunately, with very few exceptions, hospital records have not survived and would not be available online.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Keiley
Date: Monday 17th October 2016 at 5:24 AM

Dear Alan
Thank you for your reply
Posted by: Bruce Troche {Email left}
Location: Canada
Date: Saturday 8th October 2016 at 5:26 PM
NOK Of Major Charles Wilfred Hext Supply & Transport Corps

I am at the point in my "collecting life" where I am gradually downsizing (a bit for now) my 40 year old Victorian uniform and headdress collection.

One of the things I have been able to do (with a bit of success to this point) is reunite some pieces from my collection with surviving Next of Kin of the soldiers who so proudly and honorably served their Countries colours.

One of the beautiful Victorian uniforms I have is a uniform to Charles Wilfred Hext Supply & Transport Corps Indian Army which I was able to purchase from the UK a number of years ago.

I recall in the recent past a forum member who was a direct relative of Major Hext and was attempting to find items pertaining to his military service.

I would like to be able to locate this relative and give them first right of refusal to purchase his uniform to reunite it with the family should they wish (before I do offer it elsewhere for sale).

Any chance anyone might be able to direct me to Major Hext's relative in this regard?

Thanks and kindest regards ... Bruce Troche

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