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

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Posted by: Eliza
Location: Gorleston
Date: Friday 5th September 2014 at 7:54 PM
Dear Alan. I have drawn a great blank trying to research an uncle Edward Oliver WEbster. I know that in 1916 he enlisted in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Service No. 40914. We think he may subsequently have been discharged for enlisting under age. However family understands he was killed in action in which case he would have re-enlisted at some stage. I would be most grateful for any light you are able to throw on this. Thank you.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 6th September 2014 at 11:43 AM

Dear Eliza,
Edward Oliver Webster was something of an enigma as he deserted from both the Army and the Navy.
He claimed he was born in 1898 at Rorrington, Chirbury, Shropshire, the son of Harriet Eliza Webster, when in fact he was probably born on 15th November 1901. (GRO Births Edward Oliver Webster, Oct-Dec 1901, Forden, Montgomeryshire,Vol 11B, page 159). Forden covered Chirbury.
In the 1911 census of Wales, he was listed as Oliver Webster, aged 9, born at Chirbury, the son of William and Harriet E. Webster living at Chirbury, Shropshire.
Edward was called-up from the Reserve on 15th June 1916 so it is probable Edward lied about his age at the end of 1915 and volunteered to join the army under the Derby Scheme of deferred enlistment. The Derby Scheme was a last chance for men to enlist before compulsory conscription in 1916. It allowed men to "join now and be called-up when required". They were placed on the Reserve until they were called-up. The school leaving age at the time was 12 and many under-age men were willing volunteers.
Edward was called-up from the reserve on 15th June 1916, indicating he had volunteered earlier, when he stated his aged was 18 and one month (the precise age for call-up). In fact he was 14 and seven months. He joined the 3rd (Depot) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Litherland in Liverpool on June 18th 1916 and was then posted as a deserter on October 20th 1916.
A separate Royal Navy record records the enlistment at Portsmouth on 25th October 1916 of an identical man: Edward Oliver Webster born 1898 at Rorrington. He served on the shore-based barracks HMS Victory I until 28 November 1916 when he was detained for 30 days for "breakout". He then served as an ordinary seaman on HMS Hindustan at Sheerness from 10th February 1917 until he deserted ("run") on March 4th 1917.
He was later arrested, and on 3rd April 1917 the Army sentenced him to detention for one year which was mitigated to 84 days' detention, while he was also ordered to pay for the clothing and equipment he had "lost by neglect".
A soldier who went absent without leave usually returned to his barracks with his kit, while a soldier intending to desert threw away his uniform and kit. Edward spent most of his remaining time in the guard room or in detention for breaking-out of barracks before being discharged having miss-stated his age at enlistment. He was discharged on 17th November 1917. The 3rd (Depot) Battalion RWF had moved to Ireland by then, but Edward remained in detention until his discharge.
He was a farm labourer, apparently born on 15th November 1901 at Chirbury, Rorrington, in Shropshire. He stated his mother was named Harriet Eliza Webster.
After the war, a soldier named Edward Oliver Webster, aged 19, of the 1st Battalion The King's Shropshire Light Infantry died at Aden in 1920. See:
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/428702/WEBSTER,%20E%20O
Aden was the final year's posting for any battalion that had served a tour in India. It was a dull, sultry, hot, place where ships were refuelled on their passages from India and Australia through the Suez Canal. Aden had to be defended by a garrison with little else to do. It was considered the worst posting by the British Army at the time.
There is a corresponding entry in the British India death records for a death, aged 19, on 11th May 1920 of an Edward Oliver Webster (Bombay Presidency, British Library, Asia and Pacific Collection).
His death certificate would be: Edward O. Webster; GRO Army deaths; 1881-1955; 1920; Aden; Page 277). A charge of about ten pounds is made via:
http://www.gro.gov.uk/GRO/content/certificates/default.asp

The Ministry of Defence might hold his service record from 1920. The MoD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next-of-kin, or not. You can apply using the forms for next-of-kin, or with permission of next- of-kin, or as a general enquirer. Refer to:
https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records
You will need proof of death (a copy of the death certificate); date of birth or service number; next-of- kin's permission (unless you are the direct next-of-kin); a cheque (currently for £30) and the completed Application forms Part 1 and 2: If you are not next-of-kin you can make a general enquiry using both the "Request for Service personnel details: general enquirer's form (v6) (DOC)" and then the Part 2 form which is entitled "Request for Service personnel details: British Army part 2 (DOC)". 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.
You would need to visit The British Library to see his Bombay Presidency burial record.
It is also possible to search for entries at the Families in British India Society website although their records are not comprehensive.
http://search.fibis.org/frontis/bin/

With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Eliza
Date: Sunday 7th September 2014 at 9:15 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you so much for your help with such an extraordinary history.

Regards and thanks again.
Posted by: Rab
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland
Date: Wednesday 3rd September 2014 at 8:55 AM
Dear Alan , I'm trying to find some information on a relation KIA in The First World War , all I have at the minute is ..
Private Maurice McCusker
43216 7th BN , Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
KIA Thursday 26th October 1916
Remembered with Honour on the Ypres (Menin Gate Memorial)
I would be grateful if you could inform me of any information at all , I also know he signed up on the District of Shankill Belfast so I assume he was living in the Shankill Area at that time.

Thank You So Kindly Alan
Rab
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 3rd September 2014 at 1:54 PM

Dear Rab,
No individual service record has survived for Maurice McCusker so it is not possible to state his wartime service. An Army medal rolls index-card recorded he first went overseas as Private Maurice McCusker 4548 Connaught Rangers. He later served as 43216 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 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 served outside the UK until some date after January 1st 1916. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he was born at Shankhill and was killed in action on October 26th 1916 while serving with the 7th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
It is not possible to state when he was transferred. The 7th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers served in the 49th Infantry Brigade in the 16th (Irish) Division and arrived in France on 18th February 1916. The 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers was the only Connaught Rangers battalion in France at that time and also served in 16th Division, arriving in France at the end of December 1915. The 16th Division served in France in the area around Loos in the Pas de Calais and then fought on the Somme from the end of August 1916 with major engagements at The Battle of Guillemont (3rd 6th September 1916) and The Battle of Ginchy in which the Division captured the village (9th September 1916).
The Connaught Rangers arrived in France before the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the men of the Connaught Rangers qualified for the 1914-15 Star. Maurice McCusker did not. It is therefore probable that he trained with the Connaught Rangers and was sent to France as part of a draft of reinforcements after February 1916. Drafts would have passed through the 16th Division's base camp on the French coast from where they could be transferred to any regiment in need of reinforcements. Though he arrived in France as part of a draft of Connaught Rangers, he would have been sent to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers instead. (For example on 25th July 1916, four junior officers of the Connaught Rangers 4th Reserve Battalion at Crosshaven, Co. Cork, joined the 7th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at Noeux-les-Mines.)
The 16th Division moved from Pas de Calais to the Somme at the end of August 1916.
The 7th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers was in daily routine in trenches at Locre on 26th October 1916 when Maurice McCusker was killed. Their war did not go into any detail.
(I note from the war diary of the 6th Connaught Rangers that 4242 Private H. McCusker was wounded on 4th March 1916 while serving with "A" Company in the Hullock Sector (Mazingarbe, Pas de Calais) in trenches running from "Clifford Street" to "Bigger Willie". This was Henry McCusker, of Shankhill, who died of wounds in hospital at Calais on 19th March 1916.)
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Ariedl {Email left}
Location: Usa
Date: Tuesday 2nd September 2014 at 2:26 PM
Hi Alan--
Such an amazing service you provide! Your work is amazing, and much appreciated.

I've been researching my grandfather's WW1 service, and I'm wondering if I've reached the end of what it's possible to find. Here's what I know:
Name: John Nicoll
Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland
Birthdate: 11 OCT 1899
Enlistment date: 3 APR 1918
Regimental Number: S/26622
Regiment: 1/6 Royal Highlanders
Rank: Private
Transferred to reserves: 15 FEB 1919
Medals: British War and Victory

This information has been cobbled together from his birth record, his MIC, the entry in the medal roll ledger, and his Z21 demob form. My mother has said that she doesn't remember ever hearing anything about his medals, and definitely never saw them. He moved to America in 1922, so I guess there's a chance he never received them, though there's no note of that on his MIC. She remembers him mentioning that his training was done at Edinburgh Castle, and there was also mention of him serving in France, but nothing is known about where he was or when exactly he was there. We have a portrait card of him from early October 1918 in which he is wearing "hospital blues" and a note on the back says he was on sick leave just before leaving for France. On his medal roll page, all of the other soldiers with regimental numbers preceding and succeeding his are listed in the 1st Royal Highlanders, so I was wondering if that might indicate that he was transferred to the 6th RH due to his time on sick leave.

I purchased a copy of his MIC, medal roll entry, and the regimental war diary for the appropriate period from the National Archives, and it does not appear that his service records survived. Finally, I contacted the Black Watch Museum to see if they could add any other information, but they were unable to do so. With that information, do you think there are any other avenues of research available? My mother and I have thought of many questions for which we still have no answers, but I don't know the next step to take.

Thanks so much!
Alec
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 2nd September 2014 at 5:13 PM

Dear Alec,
Unfortunately, without an individual service record it is not possible to state John Nicoll's wartime service. From his date of birth and date of enlistment it would appear that he was conscripted as an 18 year-old. He would have trained for three or four months in the UK before going abroad as part of a draft of reinforcements to one of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) battalions. Soldiers who were wounded were often posted to a different battalion when they returned overseas, so his time with the 1st/6th Battalion might have been after he had been wounded.
Casualty lists were often published in local newspapers, with initials rather than forenames, and might have indicated with which battalion J. Nicoll was serving when he was wounded. However, because the lists became so long, national newspapers such as "The Times" stopped publishing them in 1917, other than for officers. The Government justified not publishing casualty lists because the numbers would be of use to the enemy. The official casualty lists were published by the War Office and are held by The British Library. For more advice see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/soldiers/casualtylists.html
and
http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelprestype/news/britmilhist/famhistresearch/familyhistbritmil.html
For local newspapers you would need to approach the country record office for the county in which he lived. Some casualty lists have been digitised on The Genealogist.co.uk website (fees apply).
The inclusion of a name in the lists was often a month or more after the man had been wounded.
The only other unexplored avenue would be if he had sought a pension. The Western Front Association holds an archive of 6.5 million pension record cards (PRCs) which are not available elsewhere. They charge an administrative fee for a manual search of the records. See:
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/about-the-wfa/175-pension-records/2961-pension-record-cards-manual-lookup-request.html

With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Ariedl
Date: Tuesday 2nd September 2014 at 5:25 PM

Alan--
Thanks for the quick and informative response! I'll check out the links you shared, and hopefully the trail hasn't gone completely cold.

Thanks again, and take care--
Alec
Posted by: H Devine {Email left}
Location: Manchester
Date: Monday 1st September 2014 at 5:04 PM
Dear Alan
I am trying to find any information on David Cooper born 1898. He attended Cavendish Primary school and then William Hulme Grammar School Manchester. He served in the 24th battalion of the royal Fusiliers and was killed on 30th September 1918
Many Thanks in advance
Helen Devine
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 1st September 2014 at 7:35 PM

Dear Helen,
No individual service record has survived for Private David Cooper so it is not possible to state his military service. An Army medal rolls index-card recorded he had the regimental number GS/81508 where GS stood for General Service in wartime. 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 overseas until some date after January 1st 1916. The 24th Battalion (2nd Sportsmen's) Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) went to France in November 1915, so David would have been part of a later draft of reinforcements. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he was not killed on September 30th 1918, but "died of wounds" on that date. The CWGC Debt of Honour records he was buried at St Sever Cemetery Extension in Rouen which was a coastal town that was occupied by numerous hospitals.
Although there is no record of where or when David was wounded it was probably in the few days before he died, as he had reached hospital in Rouen but had not been returned to the UK. It is possible therefore that he was wounded with the 24th Royal Fusiliers while they were fighting in The Battle of the Canal du Nord between 27th September and 1st October 1918 during the 1918 Battles of the Hindenburg Line.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Helen
Date: Saturday 27th September 2014 at 11:11 AM

Hi Alan
I think I have been on the wrong trail with this soldier. I have since found out that the school he went on to (William Hulme) report that David Gardiner Cooper was a lieutenant in RAF and died 9/5.1919 "killed whist flying". He is buried in Northenden Manchester. He was service number 110826 in The Duke of Lancasters own Yeomanry. I was wondering how I can definitelly find out which is the David Cooper I am researching? Also why would he appear on a school memorial when he died in 1919 although our school memorial does state 1914-1919?
Kind regards
Helen
PS Our school children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about our past pupils who died in WW1 and really value the sacrifice they made. Many thanks for the info you have provided which has helped us make these names become "real" people in the minds of the children.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 27th September 2014 at 6:37 PM

Dear Helen,
Lieutenant David Gardiner Cooper RAF, was the son of Frederick and Ada Cooper. Frederick was a bank cashier of 2, Chretien Road, Northenden, Cheshire. David's birth was registered in Oct-Dec 1898 at Bucklow District, Cheshire, vol 1a; page 153.
David's RAF record stated his date of birth was 3rd September 1896, which might have been true or it might have been miss-stated to create the impression in 1915 that he was old enough to enlist and serve overseas. The Old Hulmeians War Memorial record stated his date of birth was 3rd September 1899. The school magazine "The Hulmeian" of July 1919 stated: "Lieutenant D G Cooper, RAF, was killed whilst flying at Leuchars, on May 9th, aged 19. He was at the School from September, 1912, to April, 1915 (Modern Fifth); (Formerly 4533 then 110826 Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry)".
In the April 1901 England census David G. Cooper was recorded with his parents at 1, Lansdown Street, Withington, Chorlton, Lancashire, England, aged 2. He would have been 3 years old in September 1901, giving a birth year of 1898. The evidence points towards a birth in 1898, so he would have enlisted under-age at 16 or 17.
David served with the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry from late 1915 or early 1916 and went to France on 6th July 1916. He would have been part of a draft of reinforcements to the Yeomanry who were already in France in what was then known as III Corps Cavalry Regiment that had been formed at Beaucourt, France, in May 1916 and fought on the Somme from July to November 1916. The need for cavalry declined and from July 1917 the men of the Yeomanry were trained as infantry soldiers and on 24th September 1917 joined the 12th Battalion Manchester Regiment serving with the 17th Division. At that stage, David had left the Yeomanry and transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in England as an officer cadet on 4th September 1917 at the Royal Flying Corps Depot South Farnborough.
On September 16th 1917 David joined No 5 Officer Cadet Wing at St Leonards-on-Sea. He then continued his training as an officer cadet at No 2 Officer Cadet Wing at Hastings (possibly the Palace Hotel). On 14th December 1917 he was posted to Uxford (School of Aeronautics?). He was granted a commission as a Second Lieutenant on 6th February 1918 (dated from February 7th 1918). On 9th March 1918 he was posted to 17 Wing and then to No 7 Group.
On April 1st 1918 the Royal Flying Corps became the Royal Air Force.
I believe No 7 Group was part of Southern Training Brigade at Andover. On 27th July 1918 David was treated for some unstated condition at No 1 New Zealand General Hospital which was at Brockenhurst, Hampshire, and is now the Forest Park Hotel.
On 24th September 1918 David was posted to 29 TDS (Training Depot Station) which was at Northolt.
On 28th April 1919 he was posted as a "Scout Pilot for duty with fleet" with 29th Group, by which time he had been promoted to Lieutenant. On May 1st 1919 David was posted to Royal Air Force Station Leuchars which had been constructed at Reres Farm, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, to train pilots in naval spotting, acting as the aerial scouts for the Royal Navy's capital ships. Eight days after arriving at Leuchars, David was killed in an accident while flying a Sopwith Camel in the morning of Friday, May 9th 1919.
The "Dundee Courier" reported: "Fatal End to 'Rolling Stunt' at Leuchars: While manoeuvring over Leuchars Aerodrome grounds in a Sopwith-Camil (sic) machine yesterday forenoon, Lieut David Gardiner Cooper, RAF, age 22, single, crashed to the ground and was killed instantaneously. Deceased was an expert aviator and was performing what is known in flying parlance as the "rolling stunt". It is conjectured that he made a slight miscalculation as to his altitude when the machine took a spin and crashed down being smashed to pieces. Lieut Cooper belonged to Cheshire." ("Dundee Courier" Saturday May 10th 1919 © D C Thompson and Co, courtesy of The British Library via the British Newspaper Archive).
The CWGC records Lieutenant David Cooper is buried in the south part of St Wilfrid's churchyard, Northenden, Cheshire. His memorial was privately erected, a cross on a plinth.
David qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The Armistice with Germany on November 11th 1918 was not the end of the war, but was a ceasefire between the Allied and German armed forces. The British Army occupied Germany, west of the Rhine, until 1929. The Allies continued to fight the Bolsheviks in North Russia in 1919. The Versailles Peace Treaty was signed on June 28th 1919. The "Termination of the Present War (Definition) Act" 1918 made provision for the British Government to determine the formal declaration that the state of war between certain nations and the British Empire had come to an end. The war between the British Empire and Germany officially ended on 10th January 1920. The war with other states ended on different dates including Hungary on 26th July 1921 and Turkey (former Ottoman Empire) on 6th August 1924. The RAF was in action in Mesopotamia (Iraq) until 1924. For all other purposes, the war was declared to have ended on 31 August 1921. The Allied Victory Medal is inscribed "The Great War For Civilisation 1914-1919".
The then Imperial War Graves Commission commemorated all those who died in Service in the First World War between 4th August 1914 and 31st August 1921.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 27th September 2014 at 10:44 PM

The family address at 2 Chretien Road was dated between the 1911 Census and the 1920s when David's medals were sent to his father.
Reply from: Helen
Date: Sunday 28th September 2014 at 10:17 AM

Wow I really wanted to get to the bottom of his story. I am thrilled that you have been able to provide so much information. we can add it to our school records
many thanks
Helen
Posted by: Irene {Email left}
Location: Fakenham Norfolk
Date: Monday 1st September 2014 at 3:40 PM
Is there anyway I can find out which men enlisted at Fakenham Norfolk for WW1
I am searching for Private John Pawley 43701 Norfolk Regiment 8th Bn. (enlisted at Fakenham)
I wondered if this was a Pals unit.

John was killed on the 11th of August 1917 at Ypres. He is on Menin Gate Memorial and the War memorial in Fakenham. I have him on all of the Census and his war medals, but apart from these I have very little information, I can't find his war record I searched on Ancestry but no luck, only his medal card, as he only had two it seems that he must have joined in 1916. Any help will be much appreciated.

Thanking you in advance.
Irene
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 1st September 2014 at 7:33 PM

Dear Irene,
There is no centralised record for the men from Fakenham who enlisted in the First World War. The town's war memorial lists those from Fakenham who died.
http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Norfolk/Fakenham.html
It is also possible to search "Soldiers Died in the Great War" on the ancestry.co.uk website entering only "Fakenham, Norfolk, England," in the "residence" box. That produces 50 men who died in any regiment who were born or lived in Fakenham.
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded that Private John Pawley, 43701, "died" on August 11th 1917. The expression "died" was supposed to be distinct from "died of wounds" and "killed in action", and meant the death was caused by other than enemy action, usually accident or illness. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" recorded that on 11th August 1917 the 8th Battalion Norfolk Regiment lost 56 men killed in action; three died of wounds and two died.
No individual service record has survived for him, so it is not possible to state his military service. He enlisted, or perhaps was compulsorily conscripted, in the Norfolk Regiment and served overseas from some date after January 1st 1916, as he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915. The 8th Battalion had been in France and Flanders since July 1915, so John would have been part of a draft of reinforcements. He may have been with the battalion for some time before he died but the Battalion received four drafts of reinforcements in July 1917 alone, so it is equally possible he had been with them only a short time. The only evidence is that on the day he died John was serving with the 8th Battalion Norfolk Regiment.
The 8th Battalion was not a Pals battalion. It was a New Army battalion raised at Norwich in 1914 for war service. The 8th Battalion was disbanded in February 1918 during the re-organisation of the Army. Conscripted men who formed drafts of casualty replacements came from all over the UK.
On the evening of August 10th 1917, the 8th Battalion moved from Canal Reserve Camp at Ypres to take up positions by the Ypres-Menin Road. They were attacked by the enemy at about 4.30 a.m. on August 11th. The fighting in the area around Inverness Copse lasted for about four hours and the 8th Battalion then held the position throughout the night of the 11th/12th August, despite several attempts by the enemy to capture their strong-point.
The war diary of the 8th Battalion can be downloaded from the National Archives website for £3.30. see:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352991
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Jules {Email left}
Location: Ipswich
Date: Monday 1st September 2014 at 3:37 PM
I am researching my father's wartime history. His name is Daniel Ezra Watts and he was in WWII. He was born in july, 1917 i think. He lived in Felixstowe, Suffolk. I would like to know more about his Army career. He was signed up to the Royal Ordnance Corps, i think, in 1939, after he was married in September 1939. He never spoke much about it but I know he was in Africa during the War, and seem to think he was in Egypt.
He passed away in 1989. If you need more details, please contact me.

Thank you in anticipation.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 1st September 2014 at 5:32 PM

Service records of soldiers who fought in the Second World War are not in the public domain and are held by the Ministry of Defence (Army). The MoD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next of kin or not. You can apply using the forms for next of kin, or with permission of next of kin, or as a general enquirer. See:
https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records
You will need proof of death (copy of his death certificate); date of birth or service number; next of kin's permission (unless you are the direct next of kin); a cheque and completed Application forms Part 1 and 2: If you are not next-of-kin you can make a general enquiry using both the "Request for Service personnel details: general enquirer's form (v6) (DOC)" and then the Part 2 form which is entitled "Request for Service personnel details: British Army part 2 (DOC)". There are forms for the RAF and the Navy, also.
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,
Alan
Reply from: Jules
Date: Monday 1st September 2014 at 6:44 PM

Thank you Alan. I was hoping it would be easier than that!
Posted by: Dee Tanner {Email left}
Location: Brighouse
Date: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 8:00 PM
I have a photo of my grandad George Edward Pollard also a couple of WW1 medals which indicate that he was in the Yorks Hussars and give his service number as 3287. Any further information would be much appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 1st September 2014 at 10:42 AM

Dear Dee,
No individual service record has survived for George Edward Pollard so it is not possible to state his military service. An Army medal rolls index-card in the name of Edward G. Pollard No. 3287 recorded he served in the Yorkshire Hussars and qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service abroad before December 31st 1915, he did not go overseas until some date after January 1st 1916.
The Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry (Alexandra, Prince of Wales's Own) had three squadrons which went to France in May 1915 and which all saw different wartime service until May 1916 when the squadrons concentrated to form the Cavalry Regiment of XVII Corps. (There were also two Yorkshire Hussars regiments based in the UK for training and reinforcements duties). On 26th August 1917, the three Yorkshire Hussars squadrons serving in France were dismounted from their horses and were sent to Etaples (France) for infantry training. On 13th November 1917 the 400 men were absorbed into the infantry of the 9th Battalion The West Yorkshire Regiment which served with the 32nd Infantry Brigade in the 11th Division. The Battalion then became known as the 9th (Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment.
The medals were impressed with the details of the man when he first went abroad. So, as the medals recorded his Hussars number in, or after, 1916, it is probable that he served in the Hussars when it was with XVII Corps and The West Yorkshire Regiment.
The war diary of the Hussars with XVII Corps is held at the National Archives at Kew. It is Catalogue reference WO95/947 (June 1916 to Aug 1917) and is only accessible at Kew.
The war diary of 9th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment which contains the details from November 1917 is available as a download from the National Archives for £3.30. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352616
The 9th Battalion served in 11th Division which, in 1916, had moved from Egypt to France and Flanders. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/11div.htm
Edward, or George, Pollard appeared not to have been killed in the war, so it is probable, but not certain, that he served with the Hussars and the West Yorkshire Regiment until his discharge at the end of the war, although there is no evidence to substantiate his service. While all reasonable efforts to ensure that information provided for this website is accurate, because of the lack of surviving records on which to base a search you should exercise your own caution, skill and judgement before you rely on the information provided.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Terry Mckinley {Email left}
Location: Athlone County Roscommon
Date: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 4:19 PM
Hi,

A really interesting forum, great work.

I am researching my grandfather James McKinley who was born circa 1890, Army number 18/1604 he served with the Royal Irish/Ulster Rifles during WW1, enlisted 30/10/16 to 09/07/17. I have his medal card and Silver Ward Badge roll records but nothing more.
I have spent the past 5 years or more trying to find out about his family who hailed from Scotland/Belfast.
His father's name was Joseph whose occupation is given as having been an 'Engineer' recorded on James 1918 marriage certificate.
James married my grandmother Margaret or Maggie McNamara on 18th November 1918, one week after armistice day but soon departed for England and in the main (apart from essential trips home to Ireland) spent the remainder of his life there. He lived in 43 Blythe Road London most all of the time. They had 2 children, a girl called Joan and a son, my dad Patrick, both are now deceased.
I have some photos of my dad in Belfast with his father James and other family members and know that these members were called Joseph Katie, Meta and Eline. (written on photo back)
As my own dad never spoke about his family while he was alive, most all of the information was lost with him.
If you can offer any information or advice to further my research !

I have no doubt I have relatives in Belfast or perhaps Scotland, and would dearly love to meet them.

Regards

Terry
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 9:54 PM

Dear Terry,
No individual service record has survived for James McKinley 18/1604 Royal Irish Rifles so it is not possible to state his military record. An Army medal rolls index-card recorded his address on 31st December 1926 as 93, Lower Irish Town, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. His regimental number was prefixed with 18 which indicated he enlisted in the 18th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles which was a reserve battalion that did not serve overseas. After training with the 18th Battalion, he would have been part of a draft of reinforcements sent to one of the Royal Irish Rifles battalions overseas in 1917. He was discharged through sickness. It is not possible to say in which battalion or country he served.
To establish his family history you would need to know where and when he was born and whether his birth certificate is available, as many Irish records were destroyed. It would then be possible to identify his father and mother, with her maiden name, which in turn would lead to his father's and mother's marriage certificate which would help you trace the family.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Terry Mckinley
Date: Friday 10th April 2015 at 3:06 PM

Alan,

Many thanks for you advice. The search continues.

Regards

Terry
Posted by: Dave Miller {Email left}
Location: London
Date: Saturday 30th August 2014 at 8:26 PM
I am trying to find out more about my great uncle Wilfred Miller. He's buried here:
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/266116/MILLER,%20W

Rank:Private
Service No:22405
Date of Death:27/06/1916
Regiment/Service:The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 10th Bn.
Grave Reference: II. C. 10.
Cemetery: BIENVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY

But we know little else. It would be great to know how he died and where he was exactly.

I found this which gives me some clues:
In April 1916 the 10th Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment was given a rest. It moved out of the trenches at Hannescamps and moved into billets at Humbercamps where it was inspected by the GOC on April 1st 1916. On April 9th 1916 the battalion marched to Warluzel where it took billets and remained in Warluzel for the rest of the month. On May 1st 1916 the battalion returned to the front, and after a three-hour march from Warluzel they arrived at billets in Pommier. On May 2nd 1916, they moved into the trenches in a line between Bienvillers, Hannescamps and Foncquevillers. Of the four battalions in the Brigade, the 10th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment was to go into reserve in Bienvillers. However, they were tasked with providing two companies of men to support the 6th Battalion Bedordshire Regiment who were to go forward and man strong-points on the Hannescamps-Mochy road and in the support line behind the Monchy salient.
These were the positions much closer to the enemy where the opposing trenches were about 200 yards apart. "C" Company of the 10th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment was tasked to move in support of the Bedfordshire Regiment at the close-support trenches at Monchy Salient.
- See more at: http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/loyalnorthlancashireregiment.php#sthash.YJj7ABkD.dpuf

Also this:
http://www.loyalregiment.com/14238-pte-j-williams-l-n-lan-r/

Hope you can give us more clues!
Many thanks
Dave Miller
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 10:48 AM

Dear Dave,
Unfortunately, no individual service record has survived for Wilfred Miller, 22405 Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, so it is not possible to state his wartime service. 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 overseas until some date after January 1st 1916. When he was killed, on 27th June 1916, he was serving with the 10th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. They had been in France since August 1915; therefore Wilfred would have been part of a draft of reinforcements sent in 1916.
The war diary of the 10th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment can be downloaded from the National Archives website for £3.30. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354113
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dave Miller
Date: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 4:53 PM

Thanks so much Alan - this is really helpful. I'm going to download the war diary of the 10th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment - it's great that so much more information is becoming available. I feel I'm getting closer now. Will keep you posted.
thanks Dave
Reply from: Dave Miller
Date: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 9:14 PM

The war diary is really fascinating! I found the entries on the days leading up to his death on 27 June 1916:

10th Battalion War Diary

23rd June 1916
The 10th Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment relieved the 6th Bedfords in the trenches at 17:30hrs, relief being completed at 19:15hrs.

24th June 1916
This morning we heavily bombarded the enemy lines opposite Gommecourt this bombardment lasted all day. At 16:30hrs the firing ceased and aeroplanes went up to see what damage was done. Trenches in a bad muddy condition.

25th June 1916
Enemy active with minenwerfer and large shells. Heavy bombardment practically all day both on our immediate front and on the following points; Essarts, Pigeon Wood, La Brayelle Fme, the 'Z' and Gommecourt.

26th June 1916
Another severe bombardment by our artillery, enemies reply much feebler than preceding day. Trenches still in a very bad condition, rained 2 or 3 times during the day.

27th June 1916
Bombardment in the morning. At 14:00hrs we discharged some gas the enemy retaliated with great vigour. Casualties up to date: 46 other ranks.

Alan - do you think this is as far as I can go? Are there other documents I could look for? Were the individual service records destroyed or lost?

In the War Diaries they don't specifically mention Wilfred Miller- he's merely one of the "Casualties up to date: 46 other ranks." mentioned. Are there documents that give more details about those who died on that date? Did the soldiers write diaries, and if so how would I look for these? Do you think the local Preston newspapers would have said more - and do you know if they have archives?

thanks again!
Dave
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 9:34 PM

Dear Dave,
I doubt you would find any individual record that would enhance your knowledge. The War Office repository was destroyed in an air raid on September 8th 1940, so most of the First World War documents have been destroyed. Local newspapers may be available at the Lancashire Archives.:
http://new.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries-and-archives/archives-and-record-office.aspx
The regimental museum is at Fulwood Barracks:
http://www.lancashireinfantrymuseum.org.uk/museum-modernised-for-world-war-i-anniversaries/
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dave Miller
Date: Monday 1st September 2014 at 7:08 AM

Thanks again Alan!
Really appreciate your help and will try these
Dave
Posted by: David English {Email left}
Location: Farnborough Hampshire
Date: Saturday 30th August 2014 at 2:16 PM
Good afternoon Alan -thank you so much for telling both me and Dail about Edward Herbert ... You are a legend !
I have another relation that I am struggling with .. His name is Joseph FIllingham was married to my auntie Flo (FLorence) maiden name Williams I believe that they lived in Islington according to census records. I was wondering if you could find anything about his WW 1 service record .

Many thanks in advance

David
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 30th August 2014 at 7:56 PM

Dear David,
Because so few military records have survived from the First World War it is not possible to positively identify a man's potential uniformed service from his name only. The Army medal rolls index recorded there were twelve men named Joseph Fillingham or J Fillingham or Joseph Fellingham who served overseas in the Army, but only three partial records have survived, and none of those was for anyone living in Islington.
The Joseph Fillingham who was recorded with his wife Florence in the 1911 census for Islington occupied one room at 36 Spencer Street, St Mary, Islington. He was a warehouseman for an India Rubber Manufacturer. He stated he was 28 and had been born in Marylebone. That would have given him a birth year of 1883. The census was taken in April so it is possible he would have had his 29th birthday later in 1911, giving a birth year of 1882. The only birth of a Joseph Fillingham registered in Marylebone was in the third quarter of 1882 (GRO Births, Joseph Fillingham, Q3 1882 Marylebone, London, vol 1a, page 602). Joseph Fillingham married Florence Emma Williams on December 25th 1908 at Emmanuel Church, Maida Hill. He stated his age as 27 which would have given him a birth year of 1881. Joseph was a time-keeper of 37 Capland Street, St Marylebone, the son of John Fillingham (deceased) a mechanical engineer. Florence was a spinster, aged 24, the daughter of Walter Williams, a greengrocer.
The 1891 census recorded John Fillingham, an engine fitter of St George's Buildings, Horace Street, St Marylebone, was born at Beverley in Yorkshire in 1842. The parish register of St John and St Martin (Beverley Minster) Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, records the baptism of a John Fillingham on 6th February 1842, the son of George and Ann. John Fillingham married Louisa Elizabeth (x) and in 1871 they were recorded at Ordsall in Nottinghamshire with three children: Herbert, aged 4, born in London; Celia aged 3, born at Lincoln and George aged 1, born at Lincoln. Ordsall is half way between Lincoln and Worksop (Notts). John Fillingham stated he was born at Westwood, Yorkshire, which was part of Beverley. In 1881, the family had moved to 47 Richmond Street, St Marylebone, with five more children: Albert, 10 born at Grantham; Harry, 8, born at Grantham; William, 7, born at Paddington; Alfred, 5, Paddington and John, newly born, Marylebone. In 1891, the family had moved to St George's Dwellings, St Marylebone, where Joseph was born in 1882. A daughter, Mary Ellen, was born about 1884 and a son, Frederick, born about 1885 at Marylebone. In the 1901 census the children that remained living with their parents at Bowman's Buildings, St Marylebone, were named Will, Alfred, Jack (John), Joe, Mary and Fred. So Joseph was known as "Joe" at home. In 1901, Joseph was employed as an office boy, aged 18.
The father, John Fillingham, appears to have died in 1905. He had certainly died between the 1901 census and Joseph's marriage in 1908 when John was described as "deceased". The mother, Louisa, died in 1923.
The detail, above, is required to analyse a record of a Joseph Fillingham who enlisted at London in the Royal Marine Light Infantry on May 19th 1903, Register No. 12173. He stated his date of birth was 20th June 1883 giving him an age on enlistment of 19 years and eleven months. He stated he was born in Marylebone and his trade was "clerk". His next of kin was initially recorded as his father, named John Fillingham of 20 Redland Mews, Edgeware Road, London. This had been struck through and replaced with "sister" [un-named], 52, St Peter's Street, Islington. This change would have been made in 1905 when John died.
The sister was probably Mary Ellen Fillingham who married Robert Edward Foreman in 1904 at St Marylebone. In 1911 she was recorded as a widow, Mary Foreman, living with her mother Louisa Fillingham, and a son, Robert Foreman, aged 6, sharing one room at 19 Cosway Street, St Marylebone. It is not possible to prove Mary Ellen lived at St Peter's Street, Islington. Joseph's elder sister, Celia, born in Lincoln, married David Henry Payne in 1895 in London and in 1911 they lived at Florence Street, off Upper Street in Islington, which was close to St Peter's Street. Joseph's brother, Harry, who had been born at Grantham, was recorded in the 1911 census as a married railway porter, living at 81 St Peter's Street, Islington.
Given that there was only one birth of a Joseph Fillingham registered in Marylebone it seemed plausible that on the enlistment in 1903 of this Joseph Fillingham, born in Marylebone, he had miss-stated his year of birth as 1883, rather than the only registered birth in 1882. The fact that his father was named John and that his father had apparently died after 1903, suggested he could be the son of John of Beverley. Joseph was an "office boy" in the 1901 census and "clerk" on enlistment. Joseph did have a sister, who is not identified by name on the service record, and he had a brother who, in 1911, lived in the same street in which his sister had lived in about 1905 when she was named as an alternative next-of-kin. There is a risk of making the evidence fit the story, but if it is accepted that the only discrepancy is the year of birth, there is a strong likelihood that Joseph Fillingham did enlist in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI).
In 1923 The Royal Marine Artillery and the Royal Marine Light Infantry amalgamated into the present Corps of Royal Marines.
Joseph enlisted on 19th May 1903 and trained at the recruits' depot at Deal in "D" Company until 30th March 1904. His character and ability were both described as "very good". On March 31st 1904 he transferred to "C" Company of the Plymouth Division RMLI. From 15th September 1904 he remained at the Devonport shore base named HMS "Vivid" until 25th January 1905. "Vivid" was the ship name of the Naval Barracks at that time and was derived from the Commander-in-Chief's yacht HMS Vivid. "Vivid" was under the command of Captain H S F Niblett. See:
http://www.exeterflotilla.org/history_misc/drake/dr_barracks.html#_ftn1
Joseph was on the books of Plymouth Division RMLI between 26th January and 6th February 1905. It is probable he was granted leave during this time to attend his father's funeral, as John Fillingham's death was registered in the first quarter of 1905. On 7th February 1905 Joseph was posted to HMS "Diamond" under the command of Captain Hugh H D Tothill. HMS "Diamond" was launched in 1904 and completed in January 1905 as a Topaze Class Cruiser with a Royal Navy crew of 296. See:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HMS_Diamond_%281904%29_IWM_Q_021162.jpg
The ship's football team was photographed "circa 1904" at Portsmouth. See:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/historicdockyard/6846393963/#
On completion in 1905, HMS "Diamond" served on the America and West Indies Station from 1905 to 1907. "Diamond" joined the Atlantic Fleet in 1907, before returning home to the Channel Battle Squadron later in 1907 until 1909.
On January 28th 1908, Joseph returned to the RMLI at Plymouth where he appears to have been in hospital as he was discharged from the Service on 16th April 1908 "discharged; invalided; Royal Navy Hospital, Plymouth". He was 5ft 8ins tall; had a fresh complexion with brown hair and brown eyes. He had J.F and a cross tattooed on his right forearm. His general character was "very good".
Joseph married on Christmas Day 1908. It is not possible to say whether he served in the First World War. That would depend on his medical condition having been invalided out of the RMLI.
From 1921to1925, Joseph and Florence Fillingham were entered in the electoral register as living at 105 Rotherfield Street, Canonbury Ward, London. A Joseph Fillingham, age 43, (born 1883) died at Islington in the first quarter of 1926 (GRO Deaths: Joseph Fillingham, Islington, Greater London, Q1 1926 vol 1b, page 402).
While all reasonable efforts to ensure that information published on this website is accurate, because of the lack of detail provided on which to base an initial search, you should exercise your own caution, skill and judgement before you rely on the information provided.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: David English
Date: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 1:35 PM

Good afternoon Alan - thank you very much for the information received regarding Edward Herbert and Joseph FIllingham I believe he is the first Joseph you mention as my great Aunt Flo was Walter Williams daughter

I was wondering if you could help me with the following relation. Walter Frederick Williams born Marylebone born 1875 or 1876 hr fought in WW 1 and was also from Capland Street I believe his service number was T 329003 I believe .

Many thanks in advance. david
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 9:36 PM

Dear David,
In 1916 Walter Williams was a printer's labourer living at 15 Capland Street, Edgeware Road, Marylebone. He was compulsorily conscripted on 24th June 1916 and was medically examined at Mill Hill where he was passed fit enough only for garrison duties with the Army Service Corps (ASC). He was sent home to await call-up and was mobilized on April 23rd 1917 at Cricklewood recruitment office. From there he was sent to the No. 1 Reserve Horse Transport Depot of the ASC at Park Royal, where he trained as a horse transport driver with 661 Company ASC until 14th August 1917. On 15th August 1917 he sailed on SS "Antrim" to Havre in France where he spent some days at the ASC base depot. From there he was sent to be a horse transport driver with 361 Company ASC which operated the No. 4 Auxiliary Horse Transport Company at the port of Marseilles in the south of France on the Mediterranean coast. Marseilles was used as a port for sailings to and from Italy and Egypt. In November 1917 British troops were sent from France to Italy to assist the Italians fighting against the Austrians. In the Spring of 1918 many units from Egypt were sent to France to reinforce the British after the German Spring Offensive on the Somme in March 1918. Auxiliary Horse Transport Companies were provided for local transport duties at Marseilles.
Walter had 14 days' leave in the UK from 25th August 1918 to 8th September 1918. He then returned to Marseilles and remained there until 16th June 1919 when he was released to the UK. He was discharged from the Army on 15th July 1919. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan

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