The World War Forum (Page 19)

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Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Saturday 17th September 2016 at 3:15 PM
Many thanks for the fantastic amount of information about L. Corporal Reedman. So much information so quickly. Your knowledge is amazing.
We have been looking for information about L Corporal W Storey No 1318 with little success. He was in the 5th Border Regiment - Machine Gun Section and part of the BEF. He was wounded at Armentiers on 27th September 1914. In the Autograph book it also says GPO London and Cumberland Terriers
We would be grateful for anything you can add to this
Judy Lowe.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 18th September 2016 at 1:30 PM

Dear Judy,
This was William Storey, born on 9th November 1890 at Whitehaven, Cumberland. It is not possible to be definite about his parents because there were two births in the name of William Storey registered at Whitehaven in 1890. He appears to be the William Storey who died in 1950 who named a brother as James, which indicated from the censuses that William and James were the children of Samuel Storey, a coal miner, and his wife Margaret, of New Houses, Front Row, Preston Quarter, Whitehaven. William Storey became a coal miner and in 1911 was recorded with his parents and siblings at Kells, Whitehaven, as a 20 year-old bogie-hand working below ground (census and probate records).
At the age of 21, William Storey, a coal miner, enlisted in the Territorial Army. This was the part-time Home Defence force that had been created in 1908 from the former Volunteer battalions. One of their nick-names became “the Terriers”. On 24th May 1911, William joined the 5th (Cumberland) Battalion of The Border Regiment at Whitehaven. The Battalion was administered by the Cumberland and Westmoreland Territorial Association. William was a private with the regimental number 1318.
At 7.30 p.m. on July 29th 1914, a week before war was declared, the 5th Battalion HQ at Workington, received the telegraph message “Mascot” which caused the special service section to be despatched to their war stations for coastal defence at Barrow-in-Furness. These were men of the Territorial Force who had already agreed to serve overseas in the event of a state of national emergency.
At 6 p.m. on August 4th 1914, the 5th Battalion received orders to mobilise and 24 hours later, by 6 p.m. August 5th, the Battalion was at Barrow-in-Furness on coastal defence duties. They remained there until October 1914.
There is some question about the date William Storey was wounded. The records show that William Storey was not wounded in September 1914. Firstly, he hadn’t yet left for France. Secondly, an official casualty list of October 10th 1915 recorded him as wounded. This was published in the English and Scottish newspapers on Wednesday 20th October 1915: “5th Border Regiment, Storey, 1318, L.-Cpl W.; wounded” (© Johnson Press). Some medical notes stated he was wounded in France in September 1915. The Battalion was at Armentières in September 1915.
The machine gun section of a battalion consisted of twelve men commanded by one junior officer. They had two Maxim machine guns, which were already dated having been invented in 1883. The Maxim guns were increased to four by February 1915. There was a machine gun school at Wisques in France established by the British Expeditionary Force (Source: Chris Baker at ).
William Storey went overseas as a Lance-corporal. The 5th Battalion sailed from Southampton in the early evening of 25th October 1915 on board the S.S. “Manchester Engineer” and landed at Havre the same evening where they went into No 1 Rest Camp. On 2nd November 1914, the Battalion HQ moved to Rue Raspail, Havre, where their rôle was as Lines of Communication troops to undertake fatigues; guard duties; and to escort German prisoners-of-war to England. The companies and part-companies of the Battalion were based in out-stations at Havre, Boulogne, Rouen, Abbeville, and Dieppe. By April 1915, they had escorted 2,000 prisoners across the Channel.
In a remarkably vitriolic note in the Battalion’s war diary, the author wrote: “Owing to the unwillingness of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Association T.F. [Territorial Force] the Battalion proceeded abroad badly clothed but the efforts made by the Battalion itself remedied this to a great extent. For a future guide it would be as well for the County Association to store clothing, boots etc. instead of trying to hoard money” (5th Battalion Border Regiment war diary; 2nd November 1914; WO95/2831; sheet 3).
For a senior field officer to commit that to writing indicated the extent of his anger; yet it illustrated the concern that Territorial Army officers did have for the well-being of their men while on active service during winter months.
On April 5th 1915 the Battalion’s guard duties came to an end and the Battalion moved to Arques near St Omer where the British Expeditionary Force HQ was situated. The Battalion went into training for a month. The war diary was left uncompleted for the month of April 1915, but is it feasible William Storey, as a machine gunner, went to the machine gun school at Wisques. Having gone through their exercises the Battalion then moved by motor buses on May 5th 1915 from Arques to a cross-roads village called Droglandt (Droogland) which is just over the Belgian border in France, 8km West of Poperinghe, Ypres. There the Battalion became designated part of 149th Infantry Brigade in the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. By May 12th 1915, they were at Brandhoek, Flanders, near Ypres, where they came under shell-fire for the first time while they were busy filling sandbags. There were no casualties. The weather was very wet, and on 13th May the Battalion moved into huts one mile West of Ypres, on the road to Vlamertinghe. The next day (May 14th 1915) they were attached to and came under the command of 10th Infantry Brigade in the 4th Division. On 16th and 17th May 1915, companies of the 5th Border Regiment went into the trenches for the first time near Vlamertinghe. On May 24th the Battalion was attacked by the Germans who used chlorine gas. This was their first major engagement and occurred during the Second Battle of Ypres. The Battalion repulsed the attack but became split-up and suffered heavy gas casualties. They had 305 casualties (19 killed) out of a strength of some 920 men.
The Battalion spent the summer of 1915 in trench routine with 149th Infantry Brigade in the Ypres sector. In September 1915, they were in the area of Houplines, Armentieres. On 27th September 1915 the Battalion was in trenches that were shelled by 50 Whizz-Bangs between 2-15 p.m. and 3 p.m.. Whizz-bangs were German 77 millimetre shells that were fired from a short range and with a low trajectory so the shells arrived and exploded as soon as anyone could hear them, with a whizz and a bang.
A medical record for William Storey stated he had shrapnel wounds to the scalp and a leg, received in September 1915. After the war he stated he suffered headaches and a medical board recorded he was “tremulous and nervous”.
There is no individual record that relates to his wartime postings in England. His file was mislaid by 1920 as a later document was marked “certified no further information forthcoming” by the assistant adjutant of 5th Battalion Border Regiment.
After recovering from treatment William Storey was posted to the 4th Battalion Border Regiment. He later had the regimental number 240064 which was allotted by the 5th Battalion in January 1917, so he seems to have spent a time in the 4th Battalion before joining the 3rd/5th Battalion. This would have been with the reserve 3rd/4th Battalion which, alongside the reserve 3rd/5th Battalion, was based at Ripon, Yorkshire, in 1917, and then at Hunmanby near Scarborough before ending the war at Filey. The surviving records are scant but it appears William did not return to France. William ended the war as an acting Corporal.
William Storey appears to have married Tamar Johnson at Whitehaven in the first quarter of 1918. William was demobilized on 10th January 1919. He qualified for the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His post-war address was 9, Plumblands Lane, Whitehaven.
He continued to serve in the Territorial Army. He renewed his enlistment in the 5th Battalion Border Regiment and was given a new service number, 3589305, in July 1920. He attended annual camps at Fleetwood in August 1920; Carnarvon (Caernarfon) in August 1921 and Fargo Camp, Salisbury Plain, in June 1922. He was discharged on 16th July 1922.
William Storey died at Whitehaven in 1950.
“G.P.O. London” [care/of General Post Office, London] was the postal address of the G.P.O. central sorting office at Mount Pleasant in London. Amongst other G.P.O. services, it was used for sending mail to ships where the sender did not know the location of the vessel. The G.P.O. received daily listings of ships in ports at home or in foreign waters and forwarded mail accordingly. The G.P.O. address could also be used as a poste restante address where mail would be held until collected by the addressee. “Cumberland” was the sub-title of the 5th Battalion Border Regiment and “Terriers” was a nick-name for the Territorial Army, so Cumberland Terriers could be a forwarding address or perhaps the registered telegraphic address for the 5th Battalion Border Regiment.
With kind regards,

Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Thursday 15th September 2016 at 4:17 PM
Dear Alan
Once again thanks for the fantastic information regarding Private W Jones. It is beyond anything that I could have found out.
Also thanks for agreeing to help us with our research. It is very much a long term project but hope that it will be complete in 1918.
The next man we are interested in and who wrote a poem in the book is L. Cpl Reedman No 14929 of 7th Northamptonshire Regiment who was wounded at Loos on 27th September 1915.
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 16th September 2016 at 2:15 PM

Dear Judith,
L. Cpl Reedman No 14929 who wrote the poem was George Harry Reedman who was born in 1893 at Wittering, a village on the Great North Road near Peterborough. He was the son of William Wade Reedman, a farm horse-keeper, and his wife Mary. George became a butler to Captain G. Hannay of Wittering Grange Farm, Wansford, near Peterborough. George was recorded there in the 1911 census and gave that address in 1916.
(If the name Hannay seems familiar, it was the surname of the semi-fictional hero Richard Hannay of “The Thirty-Nine Steps” written by John Buchan in 1915. Captain G. Hannay was retired from the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, having been twice Mentioned in Despatches in South Africa. The fictional Hannay character was based on William Edmund Ironside an acquaintance of Buchan in the South African War (1899-1902). Ironside later planned Britain’s invasion defences in 1940 as Commander-in-Chief Home Forces before Churchill replaced him. Ironside was Stellenbosched* and was made a Field Marshall in August 1940 and raised to the Peerage in January 1941.)
In 1914, George Reedman stated he was a farm labourer working for W. Sharpley. This would have been William Sharpley of Elms Farm, Wittering. George Reedman enlisted in the Army at Peterborough on 9th September 1914 during the height of the volunteer recruitment campaign instigated by Kitchener. George was posted to the 7th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment. He was 21 years old; 5ft 6ins tall.
The 7th Battalion was formed at Northampton in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Third New Army. In 1914 George would have trained with the Battalion on the South Downs before going into billets for the winter at Southwick, Sussex, from November 1914 to April 1915. George Reedman was appointed a Lance-corporal on 27th April 1915.The Battalion then moved to Inkerman Barracks, Woking, for the summer of 1915. It was there that they were warned on 21st August 1915 that they were to sail shortly for service in France. The Battalion left Brookwood railway station on 1st September 1915. The companies were ordered to be at the station two hours before the departure of their trains from 7.15 p.m.. It was pouring with rain and everyone got soaked to the skin standing in the open. The trains arrived at Folkestone by 11 p.m. and the men sailed at 11.25 p.m. arriving at Boulogne two hours later. The next day, on September 2nd 1915, after a rail journey from Boulogne and a route march to the South, they arrived in the evening at the villages of Torcy and Crequy, Pas-de-Calais where they were to be billeted for the next eight days. They then took part in Brigade exercises with the 73rd Infantry Brigade (24th Division) before moving to L’Ecleme, North of Bethune, on 22nd September 1915.
On the evening of 24th September 1915 the 7th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment marched through the night to Beovry, North of Loos-en-Gohelle, arriving in the early hours of 25th September 1915. Later that morning, they were ordered to march to Vermelles where they were to relieve one of the three Scottish battalions that had just captured and occupied the German trenches in front of the Hohenzollern redoubt. This redoubt was named “Hohenzollernwerk”, in German, and was a defensive strongpoint near Loos-en-Gohelle.
The 7th Battalion went into the Front line for the first time in the newly-captured trenches on 25th September 1915. At 8 p.m. that evening the Germans wanted their trenches back and they counter-attacked, shelling the Northamptonshire’s trench all night. All through the next day the shelling continued from both sides and another counter-attack by the Germans was repulsed at 7 p.m. on the 26th September 1915. At 6 a.m. on the 27th September 1915 the Germans counter-attacked en-masse and managed to regain their original trench, forcing the 7th Northamptonshire Battalion to move back to a secondary line 100 yards to the rear. This line was taken and re-taken numerous times during a day of incessant fighting on September 27th 1915. The Battalion managed to hold their second line and a relief took place at 11 p.m. on September 27th without the 7th Battalion losing the line. George Reedman was struck on the right ear and temple by a shrapnel ball from the shelling during September 27th 1915. He had been in battle for just 48 hours after arriving in France a fortnight earlier with no time to acclimatise to the trenches. He was treated at 19 Field Ambulance and moved to No 11 General Hospital at Rouen before being transferred to Britain on the Hospital Ship “Asturias” on or about 2nd October 1915, exactly one month after he had arrived in France. He was treated at Rainhill for a one-inch square missing from the top of his right ear. The shrapnel ball had grazed his temple but did not break the bone.
On 24th February 1916, George Harry Reedman, soldier, aged 23, address given as Wittering Grange, Wansford (where he had been a butler) married Annie Elizabeth Saunders, aged 24, daughter of the late Harry George Saunders, a butcher. Annie lived at 7 Ford Road, Tower Hamlets. The ceremony was by license at the parish church of St Paul, Old Ford, St Stephens Road, Tower Hamlets, London.
(During the First World War, Sylvia Pankhurst lived in a house next-door to the Lord Morpeth pub, which was nearby on Old Ford Road. Sylvia Pankhurst organised the East London branch of the suffragette movement from a meeting room there.)
After hospital treatment, George Reedman was posted to the Eastern Command Depot at Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex in April 1916. This was a convalescent depot for wounded soldiers. In September 1916 he was transferred to the Labour Corps with the new regimental number 232110 and served with 607 (Home Service) Employment Company, Labour Corps. It appears that once he had recovered at the Shoreham he had joined the permanent staff of the convalescent depot at Shoreham-by-Sea. He was promoted to Corporal on 16th June 1917. George Reedman returned to the Northamptonshire Regimental depot on 22nd January 1919 and was demobilized on 7th March 1919. He gave his intended address as 19 Diana Road, Walthamstow.
George Reedman qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
George’s younger brother, Ernest Wade Reedman, born in 1899, served in the 7th Royal Fusiliers. He was assumed dead on 27th March 1918 during Operation Michael, the German advance of 1918 in which the British Army was forced to retreat quite some distance in confusion. Ernest Reedman has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
George survived the war. He died, aged 80, on 4th October 1973 at Loughton, Essex.
With kind regards,

*Stellenbosch was a farm in South Africa (Second Anglo-Boer War 1899 – 1902) where hopeless officers were despatched to look after horses without losing their rank. It became an Army euphemism as a verb for a senior officer being put out to grass.
Posted by: Jean Graham {Email left}
Location: Canada
Date: Thursday 15th September 2016 at 12:44 PM
Hi Alan,

I just discovered your website this week, and you are now on my "favourites."
You may be interested to know that are making available, military records free today until midnight GMT. It is possible to view enlistment records, medal records, pay due to casualties and who their next of kin was, as well as war diaries written as the campaign progressed.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 15th September 2016 at 12:57 PM

Dear Jean,
Thank you for the information about today. I am pleased we are now among your favourites.
With kind regards,

Posted by: Young Buzzard {Email left}
Location: Newton Abbot
Date: Wednesday 14th September 2016 at 6:29 PM
Good evening Alan
Today I am asking for your help in tracing the service involvement of Sapper Albert John Perkins of Buckland in the Moor Devon, Service No 22749 born in 1893. I know nothing more about him and would be pleased if you could fill in some details for me. Albert had a younger brother John T born in 1902 whom I believe joined the band of the Devonshire Regiment in Devonport before the end of the Great War but how long he served I have not been able to find, Can you help with this young man?.
Best regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 15th September 2016 at 12:55 PM

Dear David,
Sapper Albert John Perkins qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star he did not serve overseas until some date after January 1st 1916. There is no record of which unit he was with or in which theatre of war he fought.
There is no Army record of John T. Perkins.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Adrian Cunningham {Email left}
Location: Melbourne Uk
Date: Tuesday 13th September 2016 at 11:29 AM
Hi Alan,
I can't thank you enough for the info you have found for me, as I am eighty one and trying to piece together family history for future generations. I am in a geological soc. here in E York's, and have only scratched the surface, I am so grateful to you for your help.

My main search and request now is to find John Howard, father of Isabella Susanna. ( as posted in my previous message ). she was born in Plymouth, and I suspect that she was born 1840 surname Cook, no father listed on the registered birth details which I have in my possession.

As I wrote in one of my earlier messages, I was told by an Aunt many years ago, that a son of the Howard family had been disinherited because he had acted in an improper manner. The name Howard has been given as a second christian name to the eldest son since this date.

I do so hope you may help with this request, as it has been an illusive and important factor for me in my family history. Be assured I will be making a donation to British Legion after all this info you have supplied.


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 14th September 2016 at 8:10 PM

Dear Adrian,
Isabella Susanna Cook was the illegitimate child of Susanna Cook. Isabella Cook was born on 18th October 1840 and was baptised at Charles the Martyr Church, Plymouth, on December 9th 1840. Her birth was registered with the English General Register Office (GRO) in Oct-Dec 1840.
Thomas Nicholas Were(s) Cook was the illegitimate child of Susanna Cook of Whitecross Street, Plymouth, baptised on September 27th 1837 at Charles the Martyr. There were families named ‘Were’ living in the Charles parish of Plymouth in 1841 and that name “Were” might be an indication of the father’s surname. A Susan (sic) Cook of Whitecross Street died in 1845 aged 27, and was buried on May 14th 1845. None of these three Cooks can be positively identified in the 1841 census.
Visiting Plymouth to study the parish and poor law records would provide more detail, although that might not be practicable.
If Isabella Susanna Cook had become Isabella Howard and married George Cunningham on August 12th 1856 at Manchester she would have been 15 years old; a couple of months away from being sixteen. It is unlikely she married at the age of 15.
There was a 10-year-old pauper named Isabella Cooke in the Kingsbridge Workhouse, Devon, in 1851. An Isabella Cooke with no father’s name on the certificate married Charles Hayman at Blackanton, Kingsbridge, in October 1859. In the 1861 census, Ezelbella (sic) and Charles Hayman lived at Blackanton town. Ezelbella Hayman (née Cooke) was aged 22, born in Plymouth in about 1839 (RG9/1422 folio 9; page 12). The England and Wales GRO births index has only one Isabella Cook registered in Plymouth between 1837 and 1845.
In the 1871 census of Blackanton, Isabella Hayman was aged 31, born Plymouth. Her birth year would be 1840 and her maiden name was Cook(e). In 1881 the family had moved to Plympton. In 1911 Isabella was a 71 year old widow at Plympton. It seems she never left Devon.
When Isabella Susanna Howard married George Cunningham in 1856, she stated she was aged 19 and so would have been born in about 1837. Her father was said to be John, a pensioner, who may, or may not, have been alive in 1856. Neither the statement of her age nor of her father’s name can be verified from the marriage certificate; a father’s name could be invented to cover up illegitimacy and ages could be matched to that of the spouse. However, being 19, she would have needed parental or guardian’s consent to marry when under the age of 21. Note that Rachel Howard was a witness. Isabella Howard was apparently related to Rachael Howard.
The possibility the information on the marriage certificate was accurate should be fully investigated.
In the later censuses, Isabella Susanna Cunningham (née Howard) stated she was born in about 1837 or 1838 at Plymouth. She might have been born in Plymouth or she might have recalled her childhood there, and she might have assumed she had been born there. If her father had served overseas at all, she could have been born anywhere.
It is not possible to identify a John Howard “out of the blue”. If he had served overseas the records might not be in this country. If John Howard had served in Ireland, the records might not be available*. A very large number of men named John Howard served in the Army with few records readily available from the early 19th Century both in Ireland and for the army.
The names Isabella and Susanna can be shortened to Isabel and Susan and the baptism of the child in 1837 – 1840 might have been in the name of any of those four variants.
It would be necessary to identify the births of Isabel(la) or Susan(na) Howard in about 1837 to 1840 with a father named John Howard. It would be helpful to identify the Rachel Howard who witnessed the marriage certificate.
Isabella Susanna Howard stated her father was a “pensioner”. That probably meant Army Pensioner. Her husband, George Cunningham, served in the 25th Foot. Coincidentally, there was a John Howard who had served in the 25th Foot from 1832 to 1850. He was an Army pensioner in the years 1848, 1849 and 1850. He died in 1850. There are too numerous deaths to identify him in 1850 or establish his birth year. The Victorian army usually destroyed the service records of soldiers once they had died. If he enlisted about the age of 18 he would have been born about 1814. Obviously, the name is a frequently recurring one, but it does present a possibility of a connection that would have given George Cunningham the opportunity to meet Isabella Howard whilst he was serving in the Army, rather than in the brief period he spent in Salford before his wedding.
As you are looking for baptism and birth records before General Registration was begun in England and Wales in 1837 (Ireland 1864) there is less likelihood of success with online searching. It might be necessary to travel and conduct research in county record offices.
In the 1871 census of Brightside Bierlow, Sheffield, George and Isabella Cunningham had a brother-in-law staying with them named John William Butler, born Horsley Down in 1828. He was born on 21st April 1828 the son of James and Isabella.
A John William Butler served in the 25th Foot up to 1861 when he took a pension. On December 11th 1854 a soldier John William Butler, living in Salford, he married Harriet Howard, daughter of John Howard, musician, at St John’s Church, Deansgate, Manchester. John Butler was born in 1828 and appears to have died in February 1874 at Ecclesall Bierlow, Sheffield. Harriet Howard cannot be immediately identified but could have been an army birth somewhere.
An army pensioner named John Howard lived in Salford in 1851. He was born in Ireland in 1802 (age 49) his wife, Sarah, was 29 (born in Ireland in 1822) They had an eight month old son, named William, all living at 59 Union Street, Salford. He may or may not be connected.
With kind regards,

*1) Regarding your earlier query about Irish records there have been two developments since you enquired. The Representative Church Body (RCB) Library has relaunched its online List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers. The list accounts for all Church of Ireland parochial registers of baptism, marriage and burial – noting what survives, the dates covered, and where they are located. Where registers were destroyed in the burning of the Public Record Office of Ireland (PROI) during the Irish Civil War in 1922, the list records details about abstracts and transcripts and where they are held. It will continue to be free to researchers. See:
*2) On 8th September 2016 the Irish General Register Office's historical birth, marriage and death registers were re-launched online, joining the GRO Index and a collection of church records at:
The Irish GRO records available in Dublin are:
• Births registered in the island of Ireland between 1st January, 1864 and 31 December, 1921 inclusive, and in Ireland (excluding the six north-eastern counties of Derry, Antrim, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh and Tyrone known as Northern Ireland) from 1922 onwards.
• Deaths registered in the island of Ireland between 1st January, 1864 and 31st December, 1921 inclusive and in Ireland (excluding Northern Ireland) from 1922 onwards.
• Non-Roman Catholic Marriages registered in the island of Ireland between 1st April, 1845 and 31st December, 1863 inclusive.
• Marriages registered in the island of Ireland between 1st January, 1864 and 31st December, 1921 inclusive and in Ireland (excluding Northern Ireland) from 1922 onwards.
Posted by: Phil Barnes {Email left}
Location: Victoria Australia
Date: Tuesday 13th September 2016 at 4:02 AM
Hi again Alan, my wife is looking for more info on her Grandfather during ww1. She has the following info. He joined the army in October 1900 at Aberdeen, service No. 4971 unit believed to be No. 3 Cavalry depot. He was in South Africa 1901/1902 he was awarded the QSA Medal. in 1913 he was a Sergeant in the 5th Dragoon guards Aldershot. In 1918 he was a Sergeant Tailor 2nd Dragoon guards Aldershot. Can you help in filling the gap between 1913/1918, we thought he might not have been on active service because of his age, he was born in 1881.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 13th September 2016 at 11:37 AM

What was his name?
Reply from: Phil Barnes
Date: Tuesday 13th September 2016 at 12:08 PM

Sorry Alan
His name was George Davidson Coutts
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 13th September 2016 at 4:35 PM

Dear Phil,
No individual service record has survived for George Coutts so it is not possible to state his service between 1913 and 1918. There is no identifiable entry for him in the campaign medal rolls 1914 – 1918, so it seems he did not serve overseas and remained at Aldershot. He would have been aged 33 when war was declared in 1914 and so was not disqualified from serving overseas. It is more likely his medical grade kept him in England. In the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899 – 1902) he served with the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards and qualified for the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps: Cape Colony; Orange Free State; 1901 and 1902.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Phil Barnes
Date: Wednesday 14th September 2016 at 5:23 AM

Once again thank you very much for your time.
Donation made to the British Legion
Best Regards
Posted by: Andy Jones {Email left}
Location: Wirral
Date: Monday 12th September 2016 at 8:35 PM
Hi Alan.
I am looking for my greatgrand dad who fought in WW1. Our family only has a very small ammount of information about his military service as he didnt talk about it at all. The two peices of info he did talk about was that he fought in the "Middle East" and was injured by machine gun fire. This was all he ever passed on. We have no service number what so ever. I will outline what info we do have below.
George Jones - no middle name.
DOB - 12 March 1894
Place of birth - Bromborough, Cheshire
Pre war job - Box maker at Prices Candle Works, Bromborough Poole.
As per Price's Candles Company Staff Magazine "Lightwave" which have been kept on record by Unilever he was quoted on a roll of honour in the April 1917 addition. It states "G Jones" from the "Case Making" department joined the "Royal Field Artillery" branch of service. There are no other references within these records.
There is a commemorative plaque St Mathews Church in Bromborough Pool which states "Those who went forth from Bromborough Pool village and factory through Dukes Dock Wharf Liverpool".
This is all the information we have on him in relation to his war time service. From all the above i have assumed he would have been part of the CCLXVII Cheshire Brigade RFA which was attached to the 53rd Welsh Division who fought at both battles of Gaza and the rest of the Palastinian campaign from 1917.
Any help you can provide in gaining even the smallest ammount of information would be greatly appreciated. On finding the RFA reference in the Price's Magazine my granddad was knocked for six as for almost 100 years this was the only information we had gained about him.

Best regards
Andy Jones
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 13th September 2016 at 11:32 AM

Dear Andy,
Unfortunately, there is no surviving individual service record for a soldier named George Jones born in 1894, from Bromborough, Cheshire. The Army mainly recorded men by their regimental number, initial or forename; surname, and regiment. It is not possible to identify him by name only in the campaign medal records without knowing his regimental number in the Royal Field Artillery.
Depending on how often “Lightwave” was published, if he had been mobilized in 1917, George would have been conscripted compulsorily and therefore any geographical affiliation to a particular R.F.A. Brigade would not apply because the 1916 Military Service Act did away with local recruitment and allowed for men to be posted anywhere “in the interests of the service”. In April 1917, there were eleven or more brigades of the Royal Field Artillery serving in the Middle East.
Regimental numbers would have been recorded on any surviving medals or Army documentation kept by the family.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Dona Higham {Email left}
Location: Dover Kent
Date: Sunday 11th September 2016 at 11:00 PM
Dear Sir,
Please can you help me?
I am doing my Family Tree, and came across William Davis`s Funeral details, and as he was nevr talked about, I would love to know more about him and his service to his Country..
My Maternal Grandfather was:
William DAVIS, b.191, St,John, Breage, Cornwall, England.
He was one of the first to volunteer from Helston, to serve in the 5th D.C.L.I, and was a stretcher bearer, in France.
He later served as the President of The Lizard Branch, of the Royal British Legion, between 1930-1948. He died at the age of 73 in 1954, in Helston, Cornwall.

With grateful thanks Dona
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 12th September 2016 at 12:47 PM

Dear Dona,
Because there are so few surviving Army records from the First World War that identify soldiers with biographical details it is not possible to positively identify an individual without knowing his regimental number. There were many men named William Davis who served in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.
A likely possibility was William Davis who served in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry as rifleman 2236. There is no individual service record for him so it is not possible to identify him further. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. In 1917 he was re-numbered 240306 when all the Territorial Force battalions were re-numbered. The 5th Battalion D.C.L.I. was a pre-war Territorial Army battalion with a headquarters at Bodmin. In August 1914 they moved to Falmouth and then Salisbury Plain. In 1915 they were stationed at Newquay and Falmouth. In April 1916 the Battalion moved to Perham Down and then Tidworth where it became the pioneer (labour) battalion for the 61st Division. The engagements of the 61st Division can be seen on Chris Baker’s website, the Long, Long Trail at:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Dona Higham
Date: Monday 12th September 2016 at 2:27 PM

Dear Alan,
Thank you so much, for your very quick reply. It is greatly appreciated.

What a shame there are no positive records, to proceed with.

I had previously contacted the Branch of the British Legion, in inquiring, if they had any details of his post as President, but had no reply.

Once again, thank you for your time and touble for helping me.
Best regards Dona
Posted by: Chris {Email left}
Location: Newton Abbot
Date: Sunday 11th September 2016 at 4:20 PM
I'm trying to find details for HE Smith who died in 1916 while with 7 Reserve Battery Royal Field Artillery. I believe he enlisted around September 1914, but had previously served with the RGA possibly in South Africa and was stationed at Shoeburyness in 1901. He died (in Exeter hospital) from an illness induced by an earlier injury which I guess may have been the reason for him being discharged from the RGA in early 1914.

His full name was Herbert Ernest Smith and he was born in Paignton, Devon in 1880; his wife was Henrietta G Smith (possibly nee Browne). From the fact that I can't find a 1911 census record, nor a marriage, but a possible first child in 1913, I guess he may have married in the army.

I am particularly keen to find information relating to his service with the RGA and RFA (possibly also RHA) and details surrounding the cause of his death.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 11th September 2016 at 7:37 PM

Dear Chris,
No individual service record appears to have survived for Herbert Ernest Smith so it is not possible to state his military service. The 1901 Census recorded him in the Royal Garrison Artillery at Shoeburyness. Perhaps co-incidentally, the 10th Company, Eastern Division, Royal Garrison Artillery, had been a Shoeburyness before going to South Africa and in 1901 the 31st Company R.G.A. was also at Shoeburyness.
However, the School of Gunnery was based at Shoeburyness, so Herbert might have been there for only a short period of time. There is no obvious record for Herbert serving in South Africa with the R.G.A., although there were half a dozen Herbert Smiths in units of the Royal Field Artillery.
If he were in the overseas military in 1911 he would have been in the 1911 Census of England which also recorded the military abroad. Had he served in Wales or Scotland he would have been readily recorded in the 1911 censuses of Scotland or Wales. The most likely place for him to be serving in 1911 was Ireland, which was not then partitioned and provided many garrisons and much open space for the army.
The Irish census recorded military personnel by their initials only. So the search would be for Surname: S; forename: H E; age 31.
One such entry was for a soldier in Athlone Military Barracks, Westmeath, (formerly Victoria Barracks), born in England and married, occupation before joining the army was: groom. The Athlone Barracks was the garrison of No 2 Depot Royal Field Artillery, Irish Command, but it is not clear in which unit H.E. S. was serving.
Also, separately listed at the Barracks was Henrietta Gertrude Smith, age 29, born Dublin City; married 4 years; two children; one surviving child, Florence Marion Smith, age 3, born County Cork. Handwritten addition: “Head of family Herbert E Smith shown on Form H”.
Herbert Ernest Smith had married Henrietta Gertrude Browne at Clogheen, Co. Cork, July – September 1906 (vol. 4; page 227). To apply for Irish certificates see:
Florence Marion Smith was born in 1907 in Cork (July – September 1907; vol. 5 page 62).

There is no formal identification of Herbert Ernest Smith in a particular unit. The 50th Battery of the 34th Field Artillery Brigade moved to Clogheen on Tuesday 21st August 1906 (Dublin Daily Express © British Library Board via British Newspaper Archive). It was there up to at least 1908.
The CWGC stated he had served with 7 Reserve Battery 170th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. These were two distinct units. 170th Brigade R.F.A. (CLXX in Roman numerals) was raised in April 1915 at Lytham and St Annes-on-Sea as 2nd County Palatine Brigade R.F.A.. It was part of 32nd Division initially, but actually went to France in the first week of December 1915 where it joined 31st Division. There is no record of Herbert Ernest Smith in the campaign medal rolls, suggesting he did not serve overseas.
7th Reserve Battery was part of 2A Reserve Brigade R.F.A. garrisoned at Preston. Herbert was Battery Quartermaster Serjeant. Herbert Smith died on 21 January 1916. His death was registered at Exeter as Herbert E. Smith, age 36, Exeter Vol 5B page 112). His death certificate should state the cause of death. See:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Chris
Date: Monday 12th September 2016 at 8:51 AM

Hi Alan,
I can't tell you how impressed I am with the information you have been able to provide, and in such short a time. This really is fantastic, I'm so grateful and I shall certainly spread the word about your website: if you've not yet been proposed as a Rockstar Genealogist, you should be next time.
Best wishes
Posted by: Carole Parkinson {Email left}
Location: Nr Lancaster
Date: Friday 9th September 2016 at 8:08 AM
Hi Alan, I am trying to find my grandad without any success, his name was Arthur Charlton born in 1886,lived in Hunslet Leeds and worked in ironworks.He was married to Clara Puddephatt Whittleston. I have an old photo of him in uniform,and his cap badge looks like Leeds Rifles and a sergeant.There are no details at all,the photo is a small group and a postcard.I think he was drafted in 1916. Thank you Carole
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 9th September 2016 at 12:12 PM

Dear Carole,
The Leeds Rifles were the 8th Battalion of The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). There is no Arthur Charlton listed in the medal rolls that can be positively identified. Because so few individual records have survived it is not possible to identify a soldier by his name without knowing his regiment and regimental number.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Carole Parkinson
Date: Friday 9th September 2016 at 1:03 PM

Thanks so much for your reply Alan, I do know lots of records were destroyed in the blitz. I do know he was in West Yorkshire Regiment 2/8th Battalion that were later merged with 8th battalion Leeds Rifles . Carole
Reply from: Donna Parrett
Date: Saturday 10th September 2016 at 4:27 PM

Here are the details for Arthur

Arthur Charlton United Kingdom, World War I Service Records
Name Arthur Charlton
Event Type Military Service
Event Year 1919
Residence Place Naas, Yorkshire, England
Age 33
Military Company/Regiment West Yorkshire Regiment
Military Regiment 5/20431
Military Battalion Class W, 6th Training Reserve Battalion
Birth Year (Estimated) 1886
Birthplace Halifax, Yorkshire, England
Reply from: Donna Parrett
Date: Saturday 10th September 2016 at 4:29 PM

Another set exists

Arthur Charlton
United Kingdom, World War I Service Records
Name Arthur Charlton
Event Type Military Service
Event Year 1914
Residence Place Naas, Yorkshire, England
Age 29
Military Company/Regiment West Yorkshire Regiment
Military Regiment 3145
Birth Year (Estimated) 1885
Birthplace Halifax, Yorkshire, England
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 10th September 2016 at 4:51 PM

Dear Donna and Carole,
Thanks for identifying him. Those details are from the Findmypast website which is copyright. Under their terms and conditions the details cannot be transcribed on this forum. Findmypast offers pay-per-view which can be used for the first one-page document. The Ancestry website has the second set of documents within the file of William Henry Bennett, 20431 West Yorkshire Regiment, which is why Arthur couldn’t be found. I’ll transcribe that shortly from the Ancestry website. Thanks again, Donna.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 10th September 2016 at 6:42 PM

Dear Carole,
Donna has identified Arthur Charlton in the West Yorkshire Regiment from records held on the Findmypast subscription website. Those records are copyright and cannot be transcribed on this forum. Findmypast offer pay-per-view from £6.95 for 60 credits and you would need 40 credits to see all the pages in the two entries under “Military, Armed Forces and Conflict”. See:
The website, which does permit transcription, does not have the same set of documents for Arthur Charlton. There are two pages that I can find, filed with the documents for William Henry Bennett, 20431 West Yorkshire Regiment. The reason for the difference is that from 1996, Ancestry scanned the National Archives microfilms (series number WO 363 and WO 364) just as they were microfilmed, using volunteers from the Genealogical Society of Utah, funded by the U.K. National Lottery. The National Archives stated that the microfilms included files discovered out of order which were filmed and placed at the end of the series. Files may also have been out of order when filmed due to either a misspelling or misreading of a soldier's surname. Findmypast, which is a commercial website required to recoup the expense of digitisation, sorted the files for misplaced documents; put them in the right order and re-indexed them before digitising them. As a result they claim to have 600,000 additional names in their index of soldiers’ records from 1914 - 1918.
From Ancestry: Arthur Charlton lived at 8 Runswick Terrace, Holbeck, Leeds. In the 1911 census Arthur was shown as an iron founder. He appears to have enlisted under a volunteer scheme which encouraged men in the engineering industry trade unions, among others, who were not engaged in war work, to join up. He enlisted on 10th December 1914 and joined the 8th (Reserve) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Leeds Rifles). This would be the 2nd/8th Battalion (Leeds Rifles). They moved to Matlock on 1st March 1915, and then to Thoresby Park, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, in May 1915. Arthur was promoted to corporal on enlistment on 10th December 1914 and was promoted to lance-sergeant on 29th December 1914. He was reduced to Corporal on 11th June 1915.
On 21st July 1915 he was transferred to the 26th Training Reserve Battalion at Thoresby Park, where he remained a corporal. The Training Reserve had been created to handle the additional volume of conscripted recruits, so it is possible Arthur was a corporal instructor with them rather than a recruit. He was posted to 6th Training Reserve Battalion on 26th August 1916. This battalion was based at Rugeley Camp, on Cannock Chase. On 24th March 1917, Arthur was transferred to the “W” Reserve which was for those soldiers whose services were “deemed to be more valuable to the country in civil rather than military employment”. These reservists returned to their civilian jobs but were liable to be re-called if required. Arthur was discharged from commitment to the Reserve on 10th January 1919. He does not appear to have served overseas.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Carole Parkinson
Date: Sunday 11th September 2016 at 8:31 AM

Dear Alan, A thousand thanks, for all your hard work on finding my Grandad,it all seemed so very complicated and I thought we were at an end with it. I am a very happy lady now thankyou. how do I donate to your charity, Carole.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 11th September 2016 at 11:29 AM

Dear Carole,
I can't take the credit. It was Donna who discovered him and his regimental number. You can donate to the Royal Britidsh Legion by clicking on the link at the top of this page, or you can wait until poppies go on sale next month.
With kind regards,

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