Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum (Page 24)

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Posted by: Brian Wakelin {Email left}
Location: Pudsey West Yorkshire
Date: Friday 15th August 2014 at 4:08 PM
Hi Alan
I am trying to research the service history of my wife's grandfather - Frank Grimshaw who served as a driver with the Royal Horse Artillery. His regimental number was 177217. The service record exists but has been damaged in the fire of 1940? unfortunately i cannot recognise or decipher the notations on the record as to his postings etc. other than his last posting to "C" battery.
I wonder if you would be able to assist in any way to decipher the notations on the card?

Many Thanks

Brian Wakelin
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 15th August 2014 at 7:14 PM

Dear Brian,
Frank Grimshaw, aged about 18, was compulsorily conscripted on 25th November 1916 at Woolwich. Conscription had been introduced in March 1916. He was a (horse) driver and trained with "P" Battery Royal Horse Artillery at Woolwich depot. He was vaccinated on 13th December at Woolwich. On 11th May 1917 he was posted to the British Expeditionary Force via an artillery base camp on the French coast. He arrived at 4th (IV) RHA Brigade on 27th May 1917. IV Brigade RHA served with the 3rd Cavalry Division. See:

Between 2nd July 1918 and 10th August 1918, Frank was in hospital. He was admitted to a CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) on 2nd July (possibly with an "infec"[tion]) and from 7th July he was treated at the No. 1 South African General Hospital at Abbeville, Somme, France. After convalescence and a period back at the base camp he returned to IV Brigade RHA in the field on 6th September 1918. The following day, 7th September 1918, he was posted to "C" Battery which was part of IV Brigade RHA and supported 6th Cavalry Brigade within the 3rd Cavalry Division. Prior to being in hospital, he may have served in "G" or "K" Battery of IV Brigade, if he were posted to "C" Battery (13-pounder guns) on September 7th. "G" Battery left the Division in March 1918 when 8th Cavalry Brigade was broken up and replaced by the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. Each battery was part of a cavalry brigade. From then on the fighting in 1918 was mobile and the 3rd Cavalry Brigade fought in the First Battle of the Somme at the Battle of St Quentin (21st 23rd March 1918); The actions of the Somme Crossings (24th and 25th March 1918); The Battle of the Avre (4th and 5th April 1918); the Battle of Amiens and the battles of the Hindenburg Line; The Battle of Cambrai, (8th and 9th October 1918) and the Pursuit to the Selle (9th 12th October 1918). Its final action was in the Advance in Flanders (9th 11th November 1918). At the Armistice with Germany IV Brigade RHA was still serving with 3rd Cavalry Division with "C" and "K" Batteries RHA.
The 3rd Cavalry Division ended its overseas service in Belgium in 1919. Frank returned to the UK and was dispersed from Clipstone Camp, Nottinghamshire, on 12th February 1919 with a month's leave in uniform before being discharged on 12th March 1919 by being transferred to the "Z" Reserve which was for soldiers who would be re-called in the Armistice with Germany did not hold.
Frank qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The war diary of IV Brigade RHA can be downloaded from the National Archives website for a charge of £3.30.

With kind regards,
Reply from: Brian Wakelin
Date: Friday 15th August 2014 at 7:50 PM

Hi Alan,
Many thanks for your reply which has greatly increased our understanding of the service that Frank was involved in.We will certainly follow the leads you have given us.

Once again

Many thanks and kind regards

Brian Wakelin
Posted by: Lynn {Email left}
Location: Bury Lancs
Date: Friday 15th August 2014 at 1:34 PM
Hi Alan,
I have just returned from Ypres, I found my great uncle Lance Corporal Hugh Hallworth K.O Scottish Borderers 7/8th Battalion name on the Menin Gate. Hugh was killed in action on 31st July 1917 age 21 years. I am really interested in finding out more about what happened to Hugh on that day and where it took place.

Would appreciate any information at all,

Thank you

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 15th August 2014 at 3:30 PM

Dear Lynn,
It is not generally possible to say how an individual soldier died in battle. An Army medal rolls index-card recorded Hugh Hallworth served first with the 8th Battalion KOSB, arriving in France on 10th July 1915. The 8th Battalion KOSB amalgamated with the 7th Battalion on 28th May 1916 and became the 7/8th Battalion KOSB, serving in the 46th Infantry Brigade in the 15th (Scottish) Division. On 31st July 1917 the KOSB went "over the top" to attack the enemy at Pilckem Ridge in the opening phase of the Third Battle of Ypres 1917. See:
The war diary of the 7/8 Battalion KOSB can be downloaded from the National Archives website for a charge of £3.30. See:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Lynn
Date: Friday 15th August 2014 at 10:13 PM

Dear Alan,
Thank you very much for your reply to my question, I will download the diary and have a look.

With kind regards,
Posted by: Graham Dickenson
Location: Newark
Date: Thursday 14th August 2014 at 5:16 PM
Dear Alan, Regarding Harold George Davey. His WW1 records appear not to have survived. In January 1921 he joined the Royal Marines and from records of this service I find that he was a menber of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. His medal card shows his award of the War and Victory Medals but no theater of war or entry date is shown . Regimental Number 47511. Date of birth 22.7.1899. Can any information be gleaned from his Reg No. and could service in Russia be a possibility?
Best regards , Graham Dickenson.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 14th August 2014 at 7:48 PM

Dear Graham,
The regimental number 47511 in the King's Royal Rifle Corps was a typical five-digit number that was allotted to men who served in any of the wartime-raised battalions. Nothing can be deduced from it. It was common for those who were compulsorily conscripted to have five-digit regimental numbers. The medal card for Harold G. Davey showed he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, which meant he had served at least 28 days overseas in a theatre of war. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not go abroad until some date after January 1st 1916. Harold Davey was born on the 22nd July 1899 and in the normal run of things he would have been required for compulsory call-up as a conscript one month after his 18th birthday which fell in July 1917. After a few months' training, he would have been included in a draft of reinforcements sent to one of the 17 battalions of the KRRC that served overseas during the war. He served one year and 191 days in the KRRC, according to his Marines' record. So, he might then have left the army in about February 1919 which was the normal time of demobilization, when most soldiers left the wartime army.
The KRRC did send one special company as part of the Syren Force in the Allied North Russia campaign (June 1918 - October 1919). This Campaign force became stranded in the North Russian winter at Murmansk and Archangel.
So, after the Armistice with Germany, the British called for volunteers from demobilized soldiers to re-enlist for one year and join a North Russian Relief Force which was to be sent to extricate the original troops. The British North Russia Relief Force was raised rapidly in the UK in April 1919 from men who had served in the Great War, many of whom had failed to find employment. The main body of the relief force sailed from Glasgow and arrived in North Russia in June 1919. An advance guard had sailed from Tilbury on Wednesday 9th April 1919. All British forces were evacuated by September 1919 and had returned home by October 1919.
It is partly because of this little recognised intervention against Bolsheviks in Russia that the reverse of the Allied Victory Medal is inscribed The Great War for Civilisation 1914 1919. The Treaty of Versailles which ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers was signed on 28th June 1919.
It would not be unusual for someone who eventually became a career Royal Marine to have volunteered in April 1919 "to bring the boys back from Russia" two months after, possibly, being demobilized in February 1919.
Unfortunately, there is no record to state Harold Davey's wartime service.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Graham Dickenson
Date: Friday 15th August 2014 at 11:39 AM

Dear Alan
Many thanks for a prompt and informative reply.
Best regards, Graham Dickenson.
Posted by: Jan
Location: Stroud
Date: Wednesday 13th August 2014 at 9:26 PM
Dear Alan

I am trying to research my grandfather but seem to be making no progress. His name was Alfred Edwin cooper and he was enlisted in the Inns of Court OTC stationed at Berkhamstead. Service no. 3919. I think he must have been a non combatant as I have an impression he did not enjoy great health and he had a B2 medical category on a Certificate of IDentity.

I recall my gran saying he was in a hospital/convalescent home after the war but allowed home at weekends.

I would so like to know his service history and to find where he is buried - his home was in Fulham. Thank you for any help you can give to my sister and myself.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 14th August 2014 at 5:34 PM

Dear Jan,
A partial service record for Alfred Edwin Cooper was indexed by as Alfred Edward Cooper. It recorded that Alfred Edwin Cooper of 50 Bramber Road enlisted in the Inns of Court Officers' Training Corps as a private soldier (not an officer cadet) at Berkhamsted on 2nd June 1915. He served as a private soldier in England from 2nd June 1915 to 23rd May 1919; a total of three years and 356 days. He enlisted at the age of 37 years and ten months, suggesting he was born in 1877. He was medically examined on 31st May 1915. He was 5ft 4 ½ ins tall; of poor physical development and had a chest expansion of 31 inches which was 2 ½ inches below the minimum requirement of 33 ½ inches. Like most men of the time, he had poor teeth. Later, he stated he suffered sciatica and bronchitis which had been aggravated by military service and in December 1919 he was awarded a conditional pension (graded as having a 20 per cent disability).
The Inns of Court OTC was part of the Territorial Force for home service and when it was embodied for war-time service the men had to sign a voluntary agreement to serve overseas. In 1916 Alfred, like all members of the Inns of Court OTC, had signed the Imperial Service Obligation to serve overseas if required. However, he remained in England. The Inns of Court OTC trained at Lincoln's Inn and had moved out of London to Berkhamsted in September 1914. It remained at Berkhamsted until 22nd January 1918 when it moved to Catterick, Yorkshire, where it remained until the end of the war. In 1916 Inns of Court OTC was officially known as the "No. 14 Officer Cadet Battalion".
The purpose of the OTC was to select and train suitable young men to become cavalry or infantry officers. Those who were successfully commissioned went to join the regiments overseas. The Inns of Court OTC was one of many such schools for officer-cadets and did not leave England. Its establishment, like any school, would require men who were not officers to help administer the organisation and staff.
Alfred's record does not state his actual employment, but it could be suggested that a man in his 40s with bronchitis and back pain might well have been an officer's servant (a batman) or, say, an orderly- room clerk. His military character was recorded as "very good".
After the war Alfred subscribed to the commercial publication: "The National Roll of the Great War" for which former soldiers and war workers, both men and women, could pay and compose their own entries. The entry for Cooper A.E. Pte., OTC (Inns of Court) read: "He volunteered in September 1914, and saw service at various stations. Being unfit for foreign service at the time he was retained for duties with the Officers' Training Corps at Berkhamsted, and elsewhere, until May 1919, when he was demobilised. 50 Bramber Rd. Fulham." (The National Roll of the Great War, 1914-1918 for A. E. Cooper, via
There was no further evidence to verify he volunteered in 1914. Perhaps it was one of the embellishments for which the publication was renowned. His Army record clearly stated he was attested in June 1915 and that he served for a few days less than four years: from June 1915 to May 1919.
The wartime history of the Inns of Court OTC has been published online as a free e-book. See:
see also:

It is not possible to say when he died or where he was buried. A possible death registration is: Alfred E Cooper; aged 51, GRO Deaths, Fulham, Jan-March 1929, vol. 1a page 730. Death Certificates can be purchased online from the General Register Office. See:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Jan
Date: Thursday 14th August 2014 at 9:42 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you so much for your help with the life of my grandfather. It is very much appreciated. May I ask for one more piece of advice? Would I be able to find out from any records where he was hospitalised/convalesced.

If not, thank you again for your assistance, we are most grateful.

Best regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 14th August 2014 at 10:49 PM

Dear Jan,
Unfortunately, I cannot think of a way to establish where he was in hospital, although generally men were treated at hospitals close to where they lived so that relatives could visit conveniently. The list of London hospitals very long. Depending on when and where he died he could have been treated anywhere.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Jan
Date: Monday 18th August 2014 at 10:01 PM

Thank you once again Alan for your time and efforts. Incidentally, after the death of my grandfather my gran and her children were looked after by the British Legion and most members of my family today are members.

Best regards.
Posted by: Tanesha {Email left}
Location: Leicester
Date: Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 6:37 PM

I am currently trying to find records of my great great grandfather that served in World War 1. His name was Private Albert Samuel Frost, service number 35704, 9th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. According to records, he died October 2nd 1917, although his wife was informed that he was 'missing in action'. From my own research, his name is at the Tyne Cot Memorial and I believe he may have died during the third battle of Yepres, in the battle of Polygon Wood. I was wondering if you had any more information on this? And how I could possibly find out how he died? I tried to view his records as well as his medal card but haven't got enough money to pay for it. I have also tried to find photographs of the battalion but can only find photographs of their officers.

Thank you for your help.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 8:30 PM

Dear Tanesha,
No individual service record for Albert Samuel Frost has survived so it is not possible to state his military history. His regimental number was a typical five-digit wartime-service number suggesting he served in the Army only during the war. An Army medal-rolls index card recorded he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not go abroad until some date after January 1916. The 9th Battalion KOYLI was raised in 1914 and had been in France and Flanders since September 1915, so Albert would have been part of a later draft of reinforcements. Prior to arriving in France he would have trained in the UK, but not with the 9th Battalion KOYLI. The medal card recorded he was 'presumed dead'.
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he was killed in action on October 2nd 1917 while serving with the 9th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. The 9th Bn KOYLI had been billeted in the area of Hondeghem from 16th September 1917 where the men undertook intensive training for an anticipated attack on October 4th along the Second Army's eight-mile front between Langemarck and Hollebeke during the Battle of Polygon Wood (26 September - 3 October 1917). On October 1st the Battalion moved-up through Polygon Wood where Battalion HQ was situated at "Clapham Junction". The wood was under enemy shelling on October 2nd and October 3rd. It is not possible to state how an individual man died but as Albert vanished and wasn't found it is likely he was killed by shell explosions in Polygon Wood during enemy artillery fire.
Photographs of the battalion at war would be rare. The regimental museum might hold any that survive from the UK training battalions as well as the 9th Battalion. Few photographs that have survived were annotated with men's names. The KOYLI Regimental Museum is at Doncaster. See:

The battalion's wartime history, "From Pontefract to Picardy", was published by the History Press. See:

With kind regards,
Reply from: Tanesha
Date: Wednesday 13th August 2014 at 3:27 PM

Dear Alan,

Thank you very much for all this information. It has laid to rest some worries that we had beforehand about Albert.

Many Thanks

Posted by: Katieol {Email left}
Location: South Wales
Date: Monday 11th August 2014 at 11:52 PM
My mother and I are trying to find some information about my great grandfather Albert Victor Dallimore, his unit was the 14th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and his Official Number was 58202. He died on 13th October 1918 and buried in Honnechy Cemetery; we believe he was involved in the battle of Cambrai which may have caused his death, however of this we are unsure. We have found out he received the military medal and was a non commissioned serjeant but have no information as of why he received his medal or was promoted to his rank. His service records were destroyed during the blitz and we cannot find any other information about him. If anyone has any information about his death, promotion, why he received his military medal or just general information about him then please contact me.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 6:24 PM

Dear Katieol,
As no individual service record has survived for Albert Victor Dallimore MM it is not possible to state his military service. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded him as Albert Victor Dallimere (with an 'e') 58202, 14th Battalion The Royal Welsh Fusiliers with the note: formerly 44639 Welsh Regiment. He died of wounds on October 13th 1918. "Died of wounds" meant he had reached medical attention before he died.
An Army medal rolls index-card recorded he first served overseas as a Serjeant (the original spelling) 50048 with The South Wales Borderers then as 58202 Royal Welsh Fusiliers. There is no record of when he was transferred to the Royal welsh Fusiliers.
The only irrefutable evidence is that on the day he died he was with the 14th Battalion The Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
The medal card recorded Albert qualified for two campaign medals: The British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not go to France until some date after January 1st 1916. He would have been part of a draft of reinforcements who had trained in the UK with the South Wales Borderers. On arrival in France all reinforcements spent some days at an Infantry Base Depot where they received further training. The base depots processed the reinforcements and could alter a man's destination if one battalion was in more urgent need of reinforcements than another. This was particularly the case after the July opening of the Battles of the Somme in 1916 when regiments could not keep up with the demand for casualty replacements. Base Depots were the "pack from which the men were dealt".
It is possible, but not certain, that the transfer from the South Wales Borderers to the 14th RWF occurred at a base depot on arrival in France.
His former regimental number 44369 Welsh Regiment suggests he might have enlisted under the Derby Scheme of deferred enlistment in the last weeks of 1915. This scheme allowed men who had yet to volunteer to do so before compulsory conscription was imposed in 1916. The "Derby Men" enlisted for one day only, and were sent home to continue their civilian work until they were called-up for military service in 1916. Once they were called-up they could be posted anywhere "in the interests of the service". So, when called-up, probably in the early part of 1916, he would report for service having a Welsh Regiment regimental number allotted in late 1915, but he would be told he was destined to train with the South Wales Borderers and given the number 50048.
While there is no evidence to prove it, there is a strong possibility Albert volunteered in late 1915 and was called up in 1916 where he trained with the South Wales Borderers. In late 1916 or even 1917 he was sent to France where he joined the 14th Battalion The Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
Men with leadership qualities were promoted to sergeant, usually to act as the second-in-command of a platoon commanded by a junior commissioned officer (a subaltern).
Citations for the Military Medal were provided with the medal itself and copies have generally not survived, so where the original citation is not available, it is not possible to specify the act of bravery in the field for which the medal was awarded. The award of the Military Medal could be made by a Corps Commander some weeks after the event. The awards were later published in the official government publication "The London Gazette" some months after the event. The award of the Military Medal to Sgt A V Dallimore, 58202, 14th Battalion, RWF, was included in a list published in a supplement to the Gazette dated 11th February 1919.
Given the time-scale of the publication of the award, it is possible the act of bravery in the field was at Gouzeaucourt on September 18th/19th 1918 when numerous junior officers were killed or wounded when the enemy had entered the 14th Battalion's trenches. The 14th Battalion was relieved on the 20th September and remained at rest and re-equipping for the line at Heudecourt until October 3rd 1918.
On October 4th 1918, the 14th Battalion moved into the line near to and west of Bony. The Battalion sent out patrols to engage the enemy on the German defensive line known as the Hindenburg Line. The Battalion itself took up positions on the Le Catelet Mouroy line with patrols forward to Mortho Wood.
On October 8th the Battalion took part in an attack on the Beaurevoir Line, clearing Mortho Wood with the help of a section of tanks, and reached Angles Orchard. During these five days of operations, the Battalion lost ten men killed, 45 wounded and 28 missing. The next day, October 9th, the 14th Battalion came out of the line and moved into billets at Malincourt. On October 12th the Battalion marched to Bertry where they were billeted in the sugar factory which was hit by a shell at 5 a.m. on October 13th 1918, killing ten men and wounding 15. The battalion then moved into the village of Bertry itself (War Diary, 14th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers; UK National Archives WO 95/2555/2).
Albert died of wounds on October 13th 1918. It is likely therefore that he had reached a medical unit. He was buried in a grave marked with a cross at Clary German Cemetery which contained the graves of 96 soldiers from the United Kingdom. Of these 47 were buried by French civilians after the Battle of Le Cateau; 28 were buried by the enemy in 1917-18; and 21 were buried by their comrades in October 1918 (CWGC and Graves Registration Unit comprehensive report No. 1 Clary German Cemetery, August 1920). Albert's body was unclothed which suggests he had been under medical care.
In 1922 the Clary cemetery was cleared and the bodies were exhumed for re-burial. Albert was re-buried at Honnechy (Burial Return, Honnechy British Cemetery, dated 8 November 1922). A cross was erected on the new grave at Honnechy, and it was later replaced with a Commonwealth War Graves headstone. All the cemetery reports are at:,%20A%20V

Throughout the war, the official spelling of the regiment's name was The Royal Welsh Fusiliers. They re-adopted the archaic spelling "Welch" in 1920 when The Army Board granted approval on 27th January 1920 for the re-instatement of the old name.

Clary was the next village to Bertry, a little further to the rear. Albert was perhaps treated there for wounds he had received some days earlier or died of wounds after reaching medical attention following the shelling of the sugar factory at Bertry on the morning of the 13th October. As severely wounded soldiers were moved progressively away from the front to permanent hospitals at the coast, if Albert died of wounds at or near Clary on October 13th 1918, it is more likely he was wounded in the sugar factory when it was shelled that morning rather than being wounded in the Battalion's last combat engagement, fighting, a week earlier, on October 8th in what became known as "The Battle of Cambrai 1918". Within that week, a wounded soldier should have reached the General Hospitals on the French coast or England, so the shelling of the sugar factory seems more likely.
It is also possible that the Military Medal was earned on the 13th October itself.
While all reasonable efforts to ensure that information provided in my research for this website is accurate, because of the lack of surviving documentary evidence you should exercise your own caution, skill and judgement before you rely on the information provided.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Katieol
Date: Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 7:10 PM

Thank you, this information means so much to me and my mother, we now know a lot more about Albert.
Posted by: Thomas Manion 1540320 Raf {Email left}
Location: Liverpool
Date: Monday 11th August 2014 at 2:17 PM
Hi Alan

Do you (or know anybody who does) research WW11 records - my Dad

Chris Manion
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 11th August 2014 at 5:20 PM

Dear Chris,
I do not research the Second World War.
RAF service records after 1939 are not in the public domain and are held by the Ministry of Defence (RAF) who will release information to the direct next of kin of a deceased serviceman for a fee of £30. See:
Records of RAF men (not officers) who served between 1918 and 1939 are available on the website. Once a man's RAF Squadron is identified it is comparatively easy to research the Squadron's history online. Operational records and combat reports are also available. See:
With kind regards,
Posted by: Eleanor Cole {Email left}
Location: Notts
Date: Sunday 10th August 2014 at 12:29 PM
Ref. my message about Leslie Charles Cole.(My now deceased Father in Law)
On his release from Army reserve 1939, he wanted to join up for the 2nd World War but due to his then very large family it was suggested that he joined the Police, in his area of Walton-On-Thames Surrey, that covered those serving in the War. Despite my enquiries at Guildford HQ and the Met in London both of which covered the area in question , No one seems to have any record of that service but I know for certain that he did serve with other local men until the end of the War and received a wage so where would those records be held as there surely must be some somewhere? Can you please solve this mystery for me?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 10th August 2014 at 2:48 PM

If Guildford found no record of wartime service as a "policeman" he might not have been a police constable but a Special Constable or War Reserve Constable enlisted for wartime service and perhaps having a separate civilian job. Special Constables' records for the Met and most counties were not retained.
(The retention period of documents after a person's death varies from organisation to organisation and personnel records from the 1940s might not have been retained; could have been destroyed in air raids or might not be in the public domain. In the 1900s the retention period was up to the man's age of 85. This was lowered to age 72 in 1999. Today's guidance is for personnel records relevant to pensions to be retained for 100 years from the date of birth. "Disposal" of documents includes transfer to a permanent archive. Archived records may not be available until the passing of 75 years from the date of the last entry in the record, or in the case of medical or sensitive information, 100 years. The UK National Archives does not generally require civil service personnel files for permanent preservation, but may very occasionally retain those of famous or notorious employees.)
The Surrey Constabulary would archive its personnel records at the Surrey Police Registry, Police Headquarters, Mount Browne, Sandy Lane, Guildford, Surrey. Other constabulary records might have gone to the County Record Office which might also hold Magistrates' records which could include his swearing-in, if he were a Special. See:

For police records see:

Kind regards,
Posted by: Eleanor {Email left}
Location: Notts
Date: Sunday 10th August 2014 at 12:02 PM
Is it possible to find out more detail about Leslie Charles Cole born 1903 please?
He enlisted in the Royal Horse Artillery regular army around 1919 and he was Gunner1024100. I know that he served in Palestine and Egypt possibly attached to the local police. He married while there. Are there more details about his service, conduct and medals if any? His service ended in 1925 and he then was in the Royal Army Reserve. until 1939.
Thank you sincerely.
Eleanor Cole.
P.S.I think that the ceramic Poppy display at the Tower of London is spectacular and have ordered one.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 10th August 2014 at 2:47 PM

Dear Eleanor,
Service records for soldiers who served after 1921 are held by the Ministry of Defence and are protected by the Data Protection Act. The MOD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person to the direct next-of-kin or with permission of next-of-kin, or as a general enquirer. See:

The MoD will need proof of death (copy of death certificate); the soldier's date of birth or service number; and next-of-kin's signed permission (unless you are the direct next-of-kin), on form Part 1. You then need a completed form Part 2 (search details), and a cheque for payment. The next-of-kin form (Part 1) is for completion by the next-of-kin of deceased service personnel (or enquirers with the consent of next of kin). The Part 2 form is entitled: "Request forms for service personnel Army". A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to "The MOD Accounting Officer" and sent to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland with all the paperwork.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Sue {Email left}
Location: North Devon
Date: Sunday 10th August 2014 at 10:55 AM
I am searching for information regarding my grandfather Walter John Moore from Chilton Polden, Nr Bridgwater, Somerset. I believe he enlisted in Bridgwater with the 2nd Wessex Field Company (later 501st Field Company) as a Sapper.
I have found his medal card, and have his Reg. Nos 1286, and then 506324 when the Royal Engineers reorganised the Field Companies. The medal card states that he joined up on 30.4.15, was discharged on 17.2.19 and served in France.

I would very much like to find some more information about him and the Field Company he served with but have had no success so far. All help appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 10th August 2014 at 2:45 PM

Dear Susan,
No individual service record has survived for Walter Moore so it is not possible to state his military service.
The medal card for Walter J. Moore recorded he first served overseas in France from 30th April 1915, qualifying for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915. His regimental number was 1286 which was later replaced with 506324. The number 506324 was within the batch 506001 to 508000 which was allotted to the 2nd Wessex Field Company of the Royal Engineers in early 1917 when all Territorial Force soldiers were re-numbered.
The 2nd Wessex Field Company RE was later re-numbered 501 Field Company in 1917.
The Company went overseas with 27th Division in December 1914, so Walter would have been part of a later draft of reinforcements if he served with the 2nd Wessex Field Company throughout his service. His original four-digit number was not unique. His unique regimental number, 506324, was allotted in early 1917, providing evidence only that he was with 501 Field Company in 1917 or later.
The history of the 27th Division is at:

Walter's medal card recorded he was discharged to Class Z Reserve on 17 February 1919. The Class Z Reserve was for men who would be re-called if the Armistice did not hold.
The war diary of 501 Field Company can be viewed at The National Archives at Kew, Surrey. See:

With kind regards,
Reply from: Susan
Date: Monday 11th August 2014 at 4:49 PM

Thank you very much for your reply. I notice on the Medal Card that 'Theatre of War; is only given as France, although I believe the 2nd Wessex Field Company in the 27th Division went on to Salonika. Does this mean that my grandfather did not continue to Salonika, or that he stayed in France?
Great to have had a prompt reply.
Kind regards, Susan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 11th August 2014 at 5:20 PM

Dear Susan,
The medal card reads: "Theatre of War first served in" which meant that Walter first served in France. The medal card is not a statement of where a man served but a record of his qualification for the 1914-15 Star with the date and place where he first served overseas in order to qualify for the medal, which could only be earned by men who served abroad. Walter would then have stayed with the RE Company wherever it went. From early 1916 it was at Salonika and it was there in 1917 when Walter's new regimental number was issued, so it can be demonstrated that Walter was with the 2nd Wessex Field Company in 1917 and that the field company was in Macedonia at the time. The 27th Division ended its war on the Black Sea at present day Tbilisi in Georgia. Following the armistice with the Ottoman empire, Britain sent troops from Macedonia to secure Constantinople and the Straits. In addition, troops were sent eastwards into the Caucasus region of Russia to influence the outcome of the struggles with the Bolsheviks.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Susan
Date: Monday 11th August 2014 at 7:13 PM

Excellent reply. Thank you very much indeed.

Have you had any other correspondence concerning the 2nd Wessex Field Company, or have heard of any source of information?

Kind regards, Susan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 11th August 2014 at 7:45 PM

Dear Susan,
I have not dealt with them before.
You would really need to see their war diary by visiting the National Archives at Kew or the Royal Engineers Museum at Gillingham, Kent. The war diary of 501 Field Company can be viewed at The National Archives at Kew, Surrey. See:
Any correspondence might be held at the RE Museum see:

In a similar vein, correspondence from Private Cecil Lambert of the 1st Wessex Field Company which also served in 27th Division is held at Wiltshire and Swindon Archives, reference no. 2809/24. They also hold his daily diary covering the period September 1914-January 1916, recording his experiences in the 1st Wessex Field Company, 27th Division, Royal Engineers, from enlistment at Bath in September 1914, and service on the Western Front in 1915, reference no. 2809/1. That Archive is based at the History Centre at Chippenham.

The military researcher Lee Richards can photograph war diaries for you at the National Archives at very economical rates. See:

With kind regards,
Reply from: Susan
Date: Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 8:26 AM

Dear Alan, Thank you for such comprehensive replies to my questions. I have found them extremely helpful. Thank you very much indeed. With kind regards, Susan

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