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

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Posted by: Greg {Email left}
Location: Doncaster
Date: Sunday 5th July 2015 at 7:17 PM
Hi,
Hope you can help. I have bought a trench watch which has an inscription to the back. It reads:
S.D.N. C Brockett 1916-1923. I am having trouble finding this serviceman. I don't really know what SDN means. I have found a Cecil Brocket (Sapper R.E) who was demobbed in 1920. The 1916-1923 I think was the Anglo Irish war, so maybe he joined the Black and tans but I can see no info on that. I also thought that sdn may be Soicete De Nationals (the league of nations in French who brokered a ceasefire in 1923). Can anyone help with more info?
Thanks
Greg.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 7th July 2015 at 11:17 PM

Dear Greg,
I have spent some time in a desktop search of ancestry, military and newspaper archives for the name C. Brockett and its associated clues from the watch and I have come to the conclusion that it is not certain the watch belonged to a serviceman.
The watch was described at auction as a First World War officers watch. The Swiss movement had 1918 London import marks and the watch had been sold retail by J.C. Vickery, of Regent Street, London. The inscription 1916 to 1923 implies the watch was purchased and presented in 1923 to someone, male or female, named C. Brockett, not necessarily of a military background who had provided service since 1916. It was a military-style watch but that does not offer evidence it was worn by a soldier, just as today a Swiss Army knife could be presented to someone other than a Swiss Army soldier.
Surviving military records for soldiers and officers who served in the First World War have been archived and made public by the UK National Archives but the records for those serving in 1923 and beyond are not in the public domain and are held confidentially by the U.K. Ministry of Defence. There might be a file at the M.o.D. for C. Brockett but you would need to know his arm of service, proof of death and date of birth or service number before requesting a search of the records by someone who is not the next of kin, costing GBP 30.00.
The abbreviation SDN or S.D.N. is not immediately recognisable as a military abbreviation although Sdn was sometimes used as an abbreviation of Squadron in the RAF. A punctuated S.D.N. would suggest three separate words, such as Senior District Nurse or Servus Domini Nostri (Servant of our Lord).
Whilst the inscription is intriguing it provides insufficient evidence for comprehensive research which means I have been unable to solve the puzzle. Sorry.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Louise {Email left}
Location: Sault Ste Marie Canada
Date: Monday 29th June 2015 at 2:36 PM
I am researching my great uncle, born Henry Joseph Hadley but who served in WWI as Joseph Henry Scott. Why the name change I haven't been able to find out, but family stories say it's because he had deserted at some point and re-joined. Be that as it may, his regimental number was 114315 and he served in the Machine Gun Corps. He was badly gassed and eventually died of the effects. He was also injured another time, and all I have as explanation is a family story that says he was shot in the stomach at Passchendaele, but no confirmation. He does have two wound stripes on his uniform sleeve.
On his medal index card it says MGC/101B685546. Do you know what this means?
On the medal roll it says 114315 MGC Pte., then I can't read the pencilled in theatre of war, then it says Class Z, (A.R.) 25.2.19
Does the 25.2.19 mean he was put on active reserve on Feb 2, 1919?
I'd appreciate any help at all - my dad is 90 and we're trying to unravel the mystery of his uncle...
thank you
Louise
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 30th June 2015 at 2:12 PM

Dear Louise,
Unfortunately, no individual service record has survived for Joseph Henry Scott so it is not possible to state his military service. The medal rolls index-card refers to the medal roll and its page number. That roll states he was transferred to the Class Z Army Reserve on 25.2.19. There is nothing written under Theatre of War other than the initials of a clerk because the theatre of war was not recorded for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Wartime soldiers were posted to the Class Z Reserve (on paper) at the end of their service in case the Armistice with Germany did not hold.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Minsmom
Date: Tuesday 30th June 2015 at 2:26 PM

Thank you Alan. I was wondering why the date of his Class Z was so late. I guess that tells me that he served until the end of the war.
I couldn't make out the hand written bit on the medal roll - knowing that it's just a clerk's initials is better than nought, but another brick in my wall.
Is there any way of finding out anything about his injuries (two wound stripes)? I guess if he served through the end of the war that explains why I can't find a Silver War Badge.
It appears my dad's only uncle will remain a mystery.
thank you again.
Louise
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 30th June 2015 at 4:56 PM

Dear Louise,
There is one possible further source of information which might provide information about his unit. It is the collection of six million pension record details held by the Western Front Association. They charge for a manual look-up. See:
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/all-about-the-wfa/wfa-news-events/pension-records.html
If you can discover his unit, you can then download its war diary, which would help put things in context.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Minsmom
Date: Tuesday 30th June 2015 at 5:13 PM

Wow - there's a glimmer of hope :)

thank you for that. I don't suppose you have any suggestions as to where to start to find his unit? I have so very little to go on that I feel a bit like I'm chasing a wild goose.
Thank you for everything.
Louise
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 30th June 2015 at 6:47 PM

Dear Louise,
There is no obvious surviving documentation that recorded his unit. I suspect the best chance is with the pension records, but even they might state only Machine Gun Corps.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Alan Grundy {No contact email}
Location: Lincolnshire
Date: Friday 26th June 2015 at 6:20 PM
Hello Alan, I wonder if it is possible to help me try and trace my cousin's fathers Army career please. I have very little to go on but hope you can with all your knowledge and expertise shed some light on him. He was Leonard Bull born Grantham, Linc's 1892. He served in The Sherwood Foresters and was stationed at Saltfleet, Linc's in 1917 where he met and married Gladys Adlard in 1918. I am afraid I have no service number to give you or rank. Thankyou for you very kind attention, Kind regards, Alan Grundy
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 26th June 2015 at 11:00 PM

Dear Alan,
It is not possible to positively identify a soldier by his name only. There is a small amount of information about a Leonard Bull who enlisted in the Nottingham and Derbyshire Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) and served in the 7th Battalion whose reserve battalion was at Saltfleet from 8th April 1916 until the end of the war. He was transferred to the Royal Engineers with the regimental number WR/179444 where the WR prefix dated from March 1918 and indicated he served in the Transportation branch of the Royal Engineers which included Inland Waterways and Railways; quarries; road construction and docks. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, so he had served overseas with the Royal Engineers.
In the 1911 census a Leonard Bull, aged 18, born Grantham, Lincolnshire, was shown as a clerk with the Great Western Railway. It is feasible he could have done the same work in 1918 for the Railway Operating Division of the Royal Engineers as civilian skills were in great demand for the army railways overseas.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Grundy
Date: Sunday 28th June 2015 at 2:17 PM

Thankyou very much Alan, I firmly believe you have the correct man once again! I will contact my cousin, female aged 93 and pass on the information to her. She seemed to know nothing about her father's Army service at all. Perhaps her decided to keep it in the dark !
Thankyou again for a wonderful service you provide to us all.
Best wishes and kind regards
Alan
Posted by: Kez {No contact email}
Location: Sydney
Date: Wednesday 24th June 2015 at 9:41 PM
Morning Alan,
Can you 'point me in the right direction please' I am looking for a Patrick Sims (English) He was at Woodstock Cape Town South Africa and married a Hannah Schmitt. They had a son Edward Charles born 1899.
Would he have been there for the Boer War? or did Britain send soldiers there earlier? Sorry for my ignorance!
Thanks Alan, Kez
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 25th June 2015 at 1:44 PM

Dear Kez,
It is not possible to positively identify someone by their name only, especially as many records have only the initial of the first name. You would need a date of birth or the name of a regiment or ship to help identify him.
Soldiers, sailors, mercantile mariners and civilians were all in Cape Town before and during the Second Anglo-Boer War.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kez
Date: Thursday 25th June 2015 at 10:27 PM

Cheers Alan! Kez
Posted by: Alastair {Email left}
Location: Formby
Date: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 at 6:07 PM
Hello Alan

I must apologise for asking you something that is not to do with World War 1, but I just thought with your wide military knowledge you may have an answer.

My ancestor, Hugh Munro, fought with the 71st Highland Foot in India, but was declared unfit for service in 1792, having lost the use of his leg because of a 'bruise'.

What did the term 'bruise' really mean?

Also, on his discharge certificate, a later entry reads 'OP, Jan 1815'. What does 'OP' mean?

Any help you could give me, Alan, would be gratefully received, but I will quite understand if you don't respond.

Kind regards
Alastair
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 at 8:11 PM

Dear Alastair,
It is most likely that Hugh Monro unknowingly suffered from high sugar levels in his blood (diabetes). The sugar is toxic to the lining of the blood vessels and produces nitrous oxide which in turn attracts plaque that blocks the flow of blood which sometimes shows as a bruise. As there is less blood to nourish the tissues, wounds, bruises, sores and cuts do not heal and can become infected with gangrene which then would lead to amputation of the limb which was the only way to stop the spread of gangrene. The causes of the disease Diabetes were not identified until 1910.

OP would stand for Out Pensioner. The Royal Hospital at Chelsea administered pensions and provided a retreat for pensioners who lived-in. They were known as In Pensioners. Those pensioners who lived at home were known as Out Pensioners. If they lived more than 25 miles from London they collected their pension money from the local excise man.
The National Archives holds many Chelsea pension documents, some of which are available on the Findmypast.co.uk website. You should also search for the surname Monroe and Munro.
When Hugh enlisted in 1777 he would have joined the Army for life (or death) and the Army would keep him on their books in various roles. After losing his leg, Hugh Monro had continued to serve with an Independent Company of Invalids from 1793 to 1802. These Companies employed any meritorious old soldier, so long as he was capable of propping a musket up against a wall in the garrisons defending the British coast-line. Refusal to serve meant loss of pension. Men in Invalid Companies could serve in Royal Garrison Battalions which became known as Veterans Battalions in 1804. Hugh served in the 2nd Royal Regiment of Veterans until December 1814 when that battalion was disbanded. He signed his final discharge paperwork on 22nd January 1815. He would then have applied for a pension and was granted an Out Pension on 25th January 1815.
Some invalids were employed in Royal Garrison Battalions on administrative and clerical duties. These Garrison Battalions were re-named Royal Veteran Battalions in 1804: they could even serve overseas and the 2nd Veteran battalion was stationed in Madeira in 1809.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alastair
Date: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 at 9:41 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you so much for such a helpful and informative reply - I am very grateful.

It leads me to ask just one more question, which I have often wondered about. Presumably, in these days there would be no such thing as leave of absence - the only way of returning home would be when one's battalion did so?

I have found that Hugh had three children, born May 1789, April 1792 and March 1794 - presumably these dates (or of course 9 months earlier) would be when his battalion was at home?

Last question, I promise. And thanks again for your help.

Kind regards
Alastair
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 at 11:27 PM

Dear Alastair,
Soldiers in the 18th Century remained with their regiment which became their home. Whilst regiments in Britain kept record books of furlough it is improbable that an individual serving overseas sailed for leave in Britain because the voyage would have taken a few weeks in each direction.
It would be unwise assume the children of soldiers were born in Britain, although Hugh would have been home by 8th December 1893 by which time he had transferred to an Invalid Battalion. It is conceivable that Hugh Monro married overseas or that his wife followed him abroad. Soldiers were balloted for their wives to join them as camp followers and in the late 18th Century about six in one hundred married private soldiers (six per company) were accompanied by their wives whilst serving overseas. The births of Army children abroad were registered with the Army and usually recorded the regiment in which the father served. The Army births from 1761 can be searched online. See:
http://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-records/british-nationals-armed-forces-births-1761-2005
Baptisms in India were registered by the local garrison church in the usual way and copies of these were usually sent to the India Office for recording in England. Most of these baptism registers are now held at The British Library Asia, Africa and Pacific Collection in London. A few have been transcribed and can be searched online. See:
http://www.fibis.org/
The 1851 Census might have recorded the children. The 1851 census was the first to identify a stated parish of birth.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alastair
Date: Wednesday 24th June 2015 at 7:31 PM

Dear Alan

Once again, many thanks for such a helpful and informative reply - I hadn't realised just what a commitment soldiers had to make in these days.

I have checked the army births as you suggest, but found nothing. I had already checked the 1851 census, and the children were all born in Dornoch, Sutherland, where Hugh had been married in 1786. Their names tie in perfectly with the Scottish tradition ie eldest son John named after his grandfather and third son Hugh named after his father. So how he produced at least two of the children is a mystery!

There again, there are discrepancies between Hugh's discharge certificate of 1792, where he is listed as having served 8 years with the 71st, and that of 1815, where it states that he had served 15 with them, from 1777. I even began to wonder if it was the same Hugh - but the 1815 certificate mentions the bruise received in India, and there are no other Hugh Munros in the Dornoch birth registers of the time.

I'll probably never be able to solve these mysteries! But many thanks once again, Alan, for your help - I've learnt a lot from your answers.

Kind regards
Alastair
Posted by: Kez {No contact email}
Location: Sydney Australia
Date: Saturday 20th June 2015 at 11:37 PM
Morning Alan, Can you advise me please? I have come across in doing a family tree the name Edward Charles Sims, born 1899 Cape Town South Africa. I have a small notice saying United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen records. Military service 1918-1921. Would this mean he was in WW1 for England?
Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks for your time, cheers Kez
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 21st June 2015 at 11:57 AM

Dear Kez,
Records of the civilians who served during wartime with the British Mercantile Marine were kept by the Board of Trade and are held at the UK National Archives. There is a record card for an Edward Charles Sims, Cape Town, which can be downloaded for GBP 3.30 from:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8093719
There is also a medal index card available (GBP3.30) at:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8093719
The Mercantile Marine became known as the Merchant Navy in 1928.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kez
Date: Monday 22nd June 2015 at 5:42 AM

As always Alan, many thanks, Cheers Kez
Posted by: Keith {Email left}
Location: Jones
Date: Thursday 18th June 2015 at 12:52 PM
Hi, My grandfather was injured in France during 1917. His full name was Richard Huxley Jones
and he served as a Private in the Lancashire Fusileers. His army number comes from the Medal
Index as 32494 and I traced his Silver War Badge as H2294/1. The relevant page shows he was enlisted on 19/9/16 and medically discharged on 14/3/19
I have an undated letter to his wife when he was doing his basic? training in Prees Heath. He was then attached to the 49th Training Reserve and his number was 5423. I also have an undated postcard indicating he was serving in Ballincolig (now Eire). I have his card completed for the County of Flint Memorial on which he states his period of service was 2.5 years.. This states his Unit was the 2nd Lancashire Fusileers. He was definitely treated for his injuries in The County of Middlesex War Hospital Napsbury. (he actually appears on a postcard ).
The Lancashire Fusileers museum think he may have been injured 9/10/1917 at Poelcappelle Ypres.
Finally there is an old label on a gladstone bag which says he was at Penrhiwtyn Hospital in Neath South Wales. This hospital was apparently for the recuperation of injured soldiers when he was there in October 1922. I would have thought he would have been eligible for a war Disability Pension?
There is no further information on Ancestry or Find My Past, but if anyone can provide any information to what I have it would be greatly appreciated. Kind Regards Keith Jones (grandson)
Posted by: Nigel Cox {Email left}
Location: Stamford
Date: Tuesday 16th June 2015 at 3:59 PM
Hi Alan

I am in Ypres today with my Father and Uncle

It is 100 years since the battle of Bellewaarde and I have met up with the grandson of Private George Peek 16923 1st Northumberland Fusiliers who died as a result of his wounds in the battle

could you please tell me anything about George that I could share with his grandson Colin Graham (email (colin761 at btinternet dot com))

many thanks

Nigel Cox
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 16th June 2015 at 5:01 PM

Dear Nigel,
No individual service record has survived for 16923 George Charles Peek so it is not possible to state his service. He first went to France on 17th February 1915 at the age of 30 and joined Y Company of the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers as part of a draft of reinforcements. He was wounded on June 16th 1915 and died of wounds at No 9 Field Ambulance RAMC at Ypres on June 18th 1915. He was initially buried at Asylum British Cemetery. In 1924 his grave, along with others, was exhumed and he was re-buried at Bedford House Cemetery.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star; The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Nigel Cox
Date: Wednesday 17th June 2015 at 7:51 PM

Thanks Alan, as always

regards

Nigel
Posted by: Paul Webb {Email left}
Location: Stithians Cornwall
Date: Tuesday 16th June 2015 at 9:24 AM
Hi ,Alan im, trying to find out about my Grandfarther who served in the first world war his name was Horice Bennett , i know his number was 42148 and that he was injured but suvived, any information would be great, both my parents who have sadly passed away used to say he was at the Battle of the Somme but i do not know this for sure, and would like to know as he died before i was born many thank,s Paul.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 16th June 2015 at 5:03 PM

Dear Paul,
No individual service record has survived for Horace Bennett so it is not possible to state his military service. He did not fight in the Battles of the Somme in 1916, but he might have fought at Baupaume in the 1918 fighting on the Somme. The rolls for the silver War Badge for the wounded recorded he was conscripted on 15th April 1918. The Army medal rolls recorded he first trained with the 3rd Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment which was stationed at Wallsend (Tyne Garrison) in 1918. If he was aged over 18 years and six months he would have been posted overseas some time after fourteen weeks training. He served with the 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment with the number 42148 as a private soldier, probably from the end of July 1918. The 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment served with the 35th Infantry Brigade in the 12th Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/35div.htm
At some stage he was wounded and returned to the U.K. where he was discharged from the Army on 27th February 1919. He would have been treated in hospital, so he would have been wounded some weeks or months before his discharge from the Army. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal and was awarded a silver War Badge for being wounded.
The war diary of the 7th Battalion Norfolk regiment can be downloaded from The National Archives (cost GBP 3.30):
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352675
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Paul Webb
Date: Tuesday 16th June 2015 at 7:56 PM

Many thanks for the info. I will be making a donation to my local British Legion.

Kind regards

Paul
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 16th June 2015 at 8:06 PM

Dear Paul,
Thank you for making a donation to the Royal British Legion.
Alan
Posted by: John {No contact email}
Location: Cambridgeshire
Date: Sunday 14th June 2015 at 3:15 PM
Hello Alan
I have found the service history of a family member Private 32848 Thomas Thacker
who served in the Gloucester Regiment in WW1, but I have a problem understanding
it all, I would be very grateful if you could help me with it, any help would be very much
appreciated thank you

Yours sincerely
john
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 14th June 2015 at 8:49 PM

Dear John,
Thomas Thacker enlisted under the Derby Scheme of deferred enlistment on 10th December 1915 at Leamington. He was a farm waggoner and stated his age was 27 years and four months. He was allotted to the Army Service Corps (A.S.C.) without a regimental number, and was immediately placed on the reserve to await call-up when required. These Derby Scheme men volunteered between October and December 1915 prior to the introduction of compulsory conscription in 1916. They were placed on the army reserve and returned to their civilian jobs on the same day they enlisted and waited to be mobilized. The A.S.C. was a logical corps for a waggoner, as the A.S.C. relied heavily on horse-drawn transport.
Thomas was mobilized a year alter on 19th January 1917 when the infantry was more in need of recruits than the A.S.C., so on 20th January 1917 at Warwick he was posted to the Gloucestershire Regiment as a private soldier with the regimental number 32848. (His record showed him in France the next day with No 55 I.B.D., which is obviously incorrect.) Thomas underwent basic training with the 3rd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, which was a training unit based in the Sittingbourne and Maidstone area in 1917. After six months basic training he was sent to France as part of a draft of reinforcements on 21st June 1917. On arrival in France he passed through No 55 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen, seemingly destined for the 14th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment. However, men usually spent a few weeks at a Base Depot to be inculcated with the offensive spirit. His record stated he was posted to the 14th Battalion on 22nd June 1917, as soon as he arrived in France and was then posted to the 2nd/6th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment three weeks later. Such a double move is improbable and it is more likely he was posted overseas as part of a draft destined for the 14th Battalion. He then trained for three weeks at the I.B.D. whilst on the pay-strength of the 14th Battalion, and was eventually posted to another battalion. Elsewhere on his record it was noted he served in the 2/6th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment and the Labour Corps, with no mention of the 14th Battalion. The I.B.D. was the deck from which the cards were dealt and Thomas was sent to the battalion requiring reinforcements on 11th July 1917 and that was the 2nd/6th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, which served in the 183rd Infantry Brigade with the 61st Division. For their major battles see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/61div.htm
On 17th March 1918 Thomas was transferred to the Labour Corps with the new regimental number 574042. He served with No 6 Agricultural Company Labour Corps. This was probably one of the farming companies of the Labour Corps set up to provide provisions in France and Flanders and the Labour Corps might well have been trawling for experienced farm workers from other regiments to help establish it. He was granted furlough to the U.K. in the first fortnight of September 1917. He then contracted broncho-pneumonia and was admitted to the 3rd Northern General (Territorial Force) Hospital at Sheffield on 5th November 1918. He left hospital on 6th December 1918 and was posted to the B Company of Southern Command Labour Centre, in England. He was discharged from the Army on 12th February 1919. His conduct sheets were signed as being certified having no entries, so his conduct was good. He was granted a pension of eight shillings and three-pence per week.
He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The war diary of the 2/6th Battalion is available on the ancestry.co.uk website (subscription required). The diary can be downloaded from the National Archives for GBP 3.30. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7355341
Few Labour Corps diaries have survived. The helpful book No Labour, No Battle by John Starling and Ivor Lee, can be read online at Google books.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: John
Date: Monday 15th June 2015 at 5:00 PM

Dear Alan
Many thanks for the translation of Thomas Thacker's service records,I will try to find the No Labour,No Battle book you recommended. Alan you have been a very good help to me on several occasions and I shall be making a donation to the local British Legion.

Yours sincerely John
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 15th June 2015 at 5:38 PM

Dear John,
I am always pleased to help. Thank you for making a donation to the Royal British Legion.
With kind regards,
Alan

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