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Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum (Page 41)

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Posted by: Allan {No contact email}
Location: Dundee
Date: Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 8:13 PM
Hi Alan
Can you give me any information on an Alexander H Fiddes he was born on the 2/7/1884 in the Parish of St Vigeans near Arbroath in Scotland he was the brother of my grandfather, family sources thought me may have been in the Highland Light Infantry during World War 1.
His spouse was Helen McWilliams.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 11:38 PM

Dear Allan,
It is not feasible to positively identify a soldier by his name only. There was more than one man named Alexander Fiddes who served in the Highland Light Infantry in the First World War. I can find no definite record of his birth on 2nd July 1884 (having searched between 1880 -1890) in the Scotland General Register Office births index. The marriage of an Alexander H. Fiddes to a Helen C. McWilliam (sic) stated he was aged 22 on June 7th 1907. His father was Alexander Fiddes, a ploughman, and his mother Margaret Fiddes, maiden surname Hay. The 1911 census of Scotland recorded an Alexander Fiddes and Helen Fiddes; married three years; no children; at a farm cottage at Cairncortie Farm, Panbride. He was a farm horseman. In 1901, an Alex Fiddes, aged 16, born St Vigeans, was a farm servant at Carmyllie, residing at Dustydrum Boshy [Bothy?]. In the 1891 census an Alexander Fiddes born about 1885, was aged 6, the eldest son of Alexander and Margaret Fiddes. The father was a farm servant and the family lived at West Kirkton Cottar Houses, St Vigeans. The children were Alexander, William, Mary and Charles in 1891.
There is an army record for an Alexander Hay Fiddes, who was aged 35 in 1919 (born 1884), who served in the Highland Light Infantry and who stated he was born in the parish of St Vigeans. He stated he had been a farm servant and more recently a spirit salesman in Glasgow.
There is compelling evidence, therefore, that Alexander Hay Fiddes, born about 1884 at St Vigeans, served as Private 38191 in The Highland Light Infantry between 1916 and 1919.
Alexander Hay Fiddes was compulsorily conscripted in 1916. He was medically examined at Glasgow on 27th October 1916 and passed fit. On 14th December 1916 he was called-up to join the Highland Light Infantry (H.L.I.) and after recruit training he was posted to a draft of reinforcements that sailed from Folkestone in Kent to Boulogne, France, on the night of 26th March 1917. As with all reinforcements, he spent about three weeks at a base camp at Etaples where he would have been inculcated with the fighting spirit ("offensive spirit" as the Army called it). On 14th April 1917 he was told he was to be posted as one of the battle casualty replacements to the 10th/11th Battalion Highland Light Infantry and after a train journey and route march he arrived with the battalion in the field on 17th April 1917. The amalgamated 10th/11th Battalion H.L.I. was serving with the 46th Infantry Brigade in the 15th Division, which had just fought in the First Battle of the Scarpe (9th 14th April 1917).
Five days after joining the Battalion, Alexander was wounded with a flesh wound to the left calf (gunshot wound) on 23rd April 1917 (Second Battle of the Scarpe; 2324 April 1917). He was treated in hospital for four weeks at Abbeville, France, before he was transferred to Scotland on 24th May 1917 where his treatment continued at the 1st Scottish General Hospital in Aberdeen. The wound healed so he was later passed fit and in August 1917 he was informed he would be posted to Mesopotamia (Iraq) to serve with the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry. He sailed from Southampton on 12th August 1917 and arrived at Basra on 11th September 1917, joining the 1st Battalion H.L.I. in the field on 25th September 1917. The 1st Battalion H.L.I. was at that time serving with 51st Brigade, 17th Indian Division on the Tigris.
From 25th September 1918, Alexander Fiddes was employed with Extra Duty pay at the refugee camp at Baqubah, 50 km (31 miles) to the northeast of Baghdad. On 29th March 1919, he remained at Baqubah, but was attached (whilst still a member of the H.L.I.) to the 5th Battalion Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment in "A" Area of Jelus Refugee Camp, Baqubah. See the book at:
At Baqubah, Alexander contracted dysentery and he was medically removed from Basra to India on 17th August 1919 to be treated from 24th August 1919 to 22nd September 1919 at the Colaba War Hospital at Bombay (now Mumbai, Maharashtra, India). In September 1919 he was returned to England by the Hospital Ship "Ellora" (delivered to the British India Steam Navigation Company in 1911) which was then a converted P&O liner. He was treated on disembarkation at the Devonport Military Hospital, Plymouth. He was discharged from the Army as fit, on 17th December 1919.
Alexander Hay Fiddes qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The war diary of the 10th/11th Battalion H.L.I. can be downloaded (£3.30) from:
The war diary of the 1st Battalion H.L.I. from 1917 is not available online. See:
The National Archives do not copy war diaries but they are in the process of digitizing those that are not yet online.
The war diary of the 5th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment is not yet available online. See:
A service record for Alexander Fiddes can be downloaded from the ancestry.co.uk website, which requires a subscription but is available free in many larger public libraries. It can also be viewed as pay-as-you-go on the findmypast.co.uk website.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Allan
Date: Friday 24th April 2015 at 5:06 PM

Hi Alan,
Thank you very much for the information.

Posted by: Adrienne {Email left}
Location: New Zealand
Date: Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 11:12 AM
Hello Alan
I have sent a message reply today (21 April 2015) to Sandra or Sarnie re Douglas Fraser Bruce mentioned in her query to you on Tues 6 July 2010 at 3.16pm - her query was about her grandfather who was John James Clark s/3221.
Can you please put me in contact with her - I have information on Douglas Bruce's family
thank you
New Zealand
Reply from: Sandra
Date: Monday 4th May 2015 at 11:39 AM

Hi Adrienne
I am on holiday at the moment (using a family computer!) I am really thrilled to see this message from yourself. I will be home next Tuesday 12th May if you would like to get in touch. My email is (sandra-clifford at outlook dot com) and I so look forward to hearing from you
Kind regards

Posted by: Robjones {Email left}
Location: Exeter
Date: Monday 20th April 2015 at 12:41 PM
Hi Alan

You've been very helpful for me & my cousin Geoff in trying and locate our grandfather, Frank Horton, who we believe was enlisted twice. Once for a short while from Sept 17 1914 to Jan 8 1915, when he was discharged with appendicitis. Regimental Number 12084

We also believe he enlisted again towards end of 1915 and was posted into the RAMC. Regimental number 62991.

We have a postcard that we think Frank sent to a relative or friend during this second spell in the Army. The document is obscured but addressed to South Ragmans, Bagg (obscured), Devonport (possibly not devonport but it looks like it)

The detail of the document contains a paragraph (its also a bit obscured) that says "This was taken, when General Sir Charles Cole inspected the Kings Regiment at our barracks"

I've researched a little about the US General Charles Cole. His brother was also a US general.

But the Kings Regiment, that isn't the RAMC that we think our Frank served in, is it?

Do you have any information on General Cole visiting the UK? and if so the sort of dates that would have taken place?

Also do you know which Units stayed at Raglans Barracks during WW1? I cant find anything about the RAMC residing at Raglans

Many thanks in advance

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 20th April 2015 at 7:34 PM

Dear Rob,
The address might have been South Raglan Barracks, Barrack Road, Devonport.
In peacetime the North and South Raglan Barracks could accommodate two regiments of the line; that is a battalion of a thousand men in each barracks. In wartime numerous battalions from many regiments would have passed through the barracks in rotation in the years between 1914 and 1918.
The King's Regiment raised 49 battalions for service in the First World War, each of which would have been accommodated in two or three locations in England before going overseas. The King's regimental museum is at the Museum of Liverpool.
It has not proved possible to confirm the identity of "General Sir Charles Cole".
Brigadier-General Charles H. Cole, of Boston, Massachusetts, commanded 52nd Brigade 26th Division U.S. Army ("Yankee" Division). The Division was formally raised in Massachusetts from the National Guard on August 22nd 1917 and arrived in France on 21st September 1917, landing at St Nazaire.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Sheena {Email left}
Location: Canada
Date: Monday 20th April 2015 at 2:53 AM
Hello Alan,
I found your site while was looking for information on the battle at Gallipoli as the 100th anniversary is coming up soon. I was wondering if you have any information on my grandfather's military records. My late mother, Annie MacDonald have often said her father fought at Gallipoli as well as the battles on the Somme. He died April 1st, 1918 and is buried at Bienvillers Military Cemetery. She was an infant at the time and never knew her father. I got the information below from the Glasgow archives:
Thank you for any help at all

Kind regards.

About McDonald, John
Hello Sheena, I looked up John McDONALD and found the following information :- Royal Horse Artillery & Royal Field Artillery Rank: Gunner No. 167075 Born: Glasgow Enlisted: Glasgow Died: 01/04/1918 How: Killed in Action Theatre of War: France & Flanders I hope the above helps. Regards, Kathy Perkins Regarding an obituary for John McDonald, I cannot trace any listing. However, the Glasgow Evening Times published daily lists of war dead entitled 'Roll of Honour'. On 21st May 1918,page 4, an entry was published: Gunner J. McDonald Official intimation has been received by Mrs. McDonald, 6, Whitehall Court, Anderston, that her husband John McDonald RFA was killed in action on April 1 1918. Prior to enlistment he was employed by Barclay, Curle & Co. Finnieston Street. He was 24 and leaves a widow and one child. John McDonald , Gunner, Service # 167075, "B" Battery, 190th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Buried at Bienvillers Military Cemetary, Pas de Calais, France. Grave XII, C, 3.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 11:29 AM

Dear Sheena,
John McDonald 167075 RFA qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, so it is improbable that he saw service with the RFA in the Gallipoli Campaign which was fought from 25th April 1915 to 9th January 1916.
When he was killed, he was serving with the 190th Brigade RFA which had been part of the 41st Division which served in France and Italy from May 1916. 190th Brigade RFA was raised in November 1915 and joined the 41st Division at Aldershot before going to France in May 1916. Their major engagements in 1916 were The Battle of Flers-Courcelette and The Battle of the Transloy Ridges, both on the Somme.
In 1917 they fought at The Battle of Messines; The Battle of Pilckem Ridge and The Battle of the Menin Road in the Ypres sector. In November 1916 the Division moved to Mantua in Italy and took over part of the front line on the River Piave, North-west of Treviso. On 28th February 1918 the Division prepared to return to France where it then fought at The Battle of St Quentin before John MacDonald was killed on April 1st 1918.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Sheena
Date: Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 1:02 PM

Thank you kindly for the factual information on where my grandfather participated in France and Italy. I presumed that he was part of the Third Army under Sir Julian Byng and the last battle John McDonald fought in and killed in, would be the Battle of Arras from March 28th on. I have been looking up information on various websites such as the Western Front and The Long, long trail. Could you tell me how I can go about getting his war records? I am not sure where i should apply.

It is sad that so many young men were killed in this War.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 2:41 PM

Dear Sheena,
Unfortunately, most men's service records from the First World War were destroyed in the Second World War when London was bombed and it appears that John McDonald's records were among them as I have been unable to find any individual service record for him. It can only be assumed that he served with 190 Brigade RFA throughout his service, but that is not certain, as the only record is that of his death while serving with them. Parts of the 190 Brigade's war diaries can be downloaded (charges apply) from the UK National Archives website. See:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Sheena
Date: Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 3:29 PM

Thank you Alan for your much appreciated help. I will certainly follow up with the Natinal Archives.
With kind regards
Posted by: Kevin {Email left}
Location: Dubai
Date: Thursday 16th April 2015 at 6:07 AM
Dear Alan,
I came across your site while carrying out research on my grandfathers, both of whom were Irish and who fought in the First World War, one with the Royal Marines, while the other fought with the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
The first is George McDermott [12535 Royal Marines]. Enlishted RM on 08.03.1904 and discharged 26.04.1921. I have been able to find his service record but would appreciate anything you might be able to tell me.
The other (about whom it's been very difficult to find any information) was Thomas Trace [27607, Royal Irish Fusiliers]. He entered a theatre of war after 1/1/16 (5th Bn); was never wounded and seems to be listed as both a Pte and a L/Cpl/ (his rank seems to have been adjusted on account of his medals but I'm not really sure about this).
Any help would be hugely appreciated.
Many thanks,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 16th April 2015 at 3:35 PM

Dear Kevin,
Unfortunately I can find no record of Thomas Trace, 27607, Royal Irish Fusiliers.
There is a medal rolls index-card for a Thomas Tracey, 27607 Royal Irish Fusiliers, which indicates he applied for a replacement British War Medal for the rank to be adjusted. It gave his address as Canadian Hotel, John Street, Londonderry, in January 1926. It is indexed on the ancestry.co.uk website as Thomas Tracey, Princess Victoria's Royal Irish Fusiliers, 27667 (sic). He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The actual medal roll shows him as Thomas Tracey, 27607, Lance Corporal, 5th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers. It is not known when he joined the 5th Battalion. If he served with the 5th Battalion Princess Victoria's Royal Irish Fusiliers after January 1st 1916 he would have been part of a draft of reinforcements, because the Battalion had been abroad since July 1915. The Battalion served at Gallipoli (1915), Salonika (1915 1917), Egypt and Palestine (1917) and France and Flanders (1918). The date "after January 1st 1916" is derived from the lack of qualification for a 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915. There are only partial war diaries for this battalion. See:
Only the 1918 diary can be downloaded. The U.K. National Archives do not copy war diaries, although they are digitizing those that are not yet available online.
The rank of private soldier and lance-corporal were effectively the same because the title Lance Corporal was a local appointment, which could be paid or unpaid, and was not a substantive War Office rank. The medal records usually stated the man's rank as it was on the date he first served overseas (in this case, Private). Other medal records could indicate the highest rank achieved during service (in this case, Lance Corporal).
The 5th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers served with the 10th (Irish) Division until 30th April 1918 when the Battalion moved to France. See:
The 5th Battalion left Port Said for France on 18th May 1918 and arrived at Marseilles on 27th May. On 23rd July 1918 they joined 66th Division for one month when that division was out of the line, before they joined 16th (Irish) Division on 24th August 1918, for the rest of the war. See:

I cannot tell you anything about George McDermott as I do not have his service record. His Royal Marine Light Infantry record would list the ships and shore stations on which he served between various dates, showing the dates of embarkation. Service on land was indicated by shore stations such as "Plymouth Division". Over a period of 17 years the number of ships might become quite extensive. Each ship's history can be identified readily on the internet. Royal Navy ships' log book are held at the U.K. National Archives. See:
Navy medal rolls recorded a Geo McDermott, register number 12532, (not 12535) qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal suggesting he did not serve beyond Home waters during the First World War until after January 1st 1916.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Kevin
Date: Sunday 19th April 2015 at 1:28 PM

I'm only picking up your reply now. Thank you so much for this information. You've confirmed some of what I already knew, and given me much more information as well, particularly on T Tracey. In addition, you've also presented the information in a very easy-to-follow fashion, which is great.
You did indeed find the correct T Tracey (Canadian House Hotel) and, on your direction, I have already purchased and downloaded the War Diaries for the Royal Irish Fusiliers for 1918 to 1919. It's pretty amazing to go through these diaries. You say there are only partial War Diaries for the battalion - do you have any idea why this is the case and is there a way to find out exactly what exists?
It is a shame that there seems to be no way of finding out when Thomas enlisted as his old Battalion historian believes his attestation records were destroyed by the Luftwaffe during WWII.
Re: George McDermott: I will double-check that service number - that was most likely a mistype by myself. I have George's service record so can check the numbers and also identify the ships. Thanks for the pointer towards the Navy Log Books. This is a new direction for me to set off in and I will look forward to chasing this lead down. Are these log books the Naval equivalent of the War Diaries, or is there another, separate, avenue of official records that I should be chasing down in regards to the Royal Marines?
Finally, I wonder if I can take up a little more of your time? After finding out about Thomas Tracey's service in Salonika, it began a family discussion in which we realised we had a second relative who served in Greece. This was Pte Joseph Devine XVI Corps Cyclist Battalion, Army Cyclists Corps (formerly 10623, Royal Irish Fusiliers). Regimental Number 5769. Born: ? Died: 1918-09-26 Aged: 26
Could you apply your knowledge and expertise to Joe's history also, as he died just before the end of the war and I don't think anyone has searched his history in more than 100 years.
Thanks again and best regards,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 19th April 2015 at 6:40 PM

Dear Kevin,
Original war diaries from the First World war were destroyed in the bombing of London on 8th September 1940 when the War Office repository at Arnside Street was bombed with high explosives and incendiaries. Those that have survived are copies of the diaries that were made from copying pencil (not dissimilar to using carbon paper) and so not all war diaries are necessarily complete. However, the U.K. National Archives' catalogue is not without typographical errors amongst the dating of war diaries. The U.K. National Archives catalogue lists diaries for the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers for June-September 1915; September 1917 to April 1918 and June 1918 June 1919. See:
Regarding George McDermott, because he served at sea with the Royal Marine Light Infantry (which merged with the Royal Marine Artillery in 1923 to form "The Royal Marines"), his service would be reflected in ships' log books. War Diaries for the RMLI were compiled only by the Battalions that served on land with the Royal Naval Division, which did not apply to George McDermott. During the war, George appears to have served in Home waters (probably at Scapa Flow) before serving in hazardous waters, most probably crossing the Atlantic to Canada on convoy escort duty in 1917.
Joseph Devine was killed in action four days before the Armistice with Bulgaria was signed. Joseph was probably born at Claudy, Killaloo, County Londonderry, Ireland, in the last quarter of 1891 (Londonderry; Oct-Dec 1891; Volume 2; Page 143). He was the son of James Devine, a farmer, and his wife Anne. Joseph enlisted at Glasgow, Scotland, in March 1911, stating his age as 18 years and six months. He was a farm servant. A farm servant was usually skilled with horses and animals and lived-in with the farmer's family with bed and board provided as part of his annual contract. Joseph was 5ft 6 ins. tall. He had a fresh complexion; light brown eyes and brown hair. He joined the army on 6th March 1911 at Glasgow and was posted to the Depot of the Princess Victoria's Royal Irish Fusiliers at Armagh town, Ireland, on the 9th March 1911 as a private soldier numbered 10623. He underwent recruit training at the Depot until 19th July 1911 when he was posted to the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers at Shorncliffe Army Camp in Kent, England. He remained there on garrison duties until 18th December 1912 when he was posted to the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers at Quetta, India (now Pakistan). The 2nd Battalion had been in India since 1902. Joseph was with the 2nd Battalion at Quetta when war was declared in August 1914. The Battalion returned to the U.K. and joined the 27th Division at Winchester, Hampshire, England, in November 1914 prior to going to France on 19th December 1914.
On 17th January 1915, the G.O.C. 27th Division (Major General Thomas D'Oyly Snow) raised a Divisional Cyclist Company under the Army Cyclist Corps. The Army Cyclist Corps had been created in November 1914. Joseph was in a group of men all from the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, under Sergeant-Major William McCanley, that was transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps to become part of the 27th Divisional Cyclist Company.
The 27th Division fought at The Action of St Eloi (March 14th 15th 1915) and The Second Battle of Ypres (22 April 25 May 1915) before being ordered to Salonika at the end of November 1915. However, Joseph was admitted to hospital suffering from rheumatism and was treated between May and July 1915. Joseph returned to his unit in France and then embarked on the S.S. "Transylvania" on 28th November 1915 at Marseilles and landed at Salonika on 14th December 1915. The "Transylvania" was a new liner belonging to the Anchor Line which had been commandeered as a troop ship. She was sunk by a German torpedo in 1917.
With the 27th Divisional Cyclist Company in Salonika and Macedonia, Joseph contracted Malaria in August 1916 before the 27th Division fought in a major engagement. He was treated at Salonika and then moved to the island of Malta which housed British hospitals in the Mediterranean. He returned to Salonika from Malta on 5th February 1917 and spent some weeks at a base depot in Salonika, having missed the major battles of the 27th Division at the Capture of Karajakois (30th September 2nd October 1916); Yenikoi, which was captured on 3rd 4th October 1916; and the Battle of Tumbitza Farm between 17th November and 6th 7th December 1916.
In the meantime, the Divisional Cyclist Companies were withdrawn from each of the three divisions in a Corps and converted into one Corps Cyclist Battalion.
On May 12th 1917, Joseph was posted from the base depot in Salonika to join what was then the XII (12th) Corps Cyclist Battalion, a week after XII Corps had been involved in the Battles of Doiran on 24th -25th April and 8th 9th May 1917. Joseph remained with XII Corps cyclists until 8th January 1918 when he joined XVI (16th) Corps Cyclist Battalion. He was then back amongst the 27th Division. He was with XVI Corps Cyclist Battalion during the final offensive in Macedonia from 1st to 30th September 1918, including the capture of the Roche Noir Salient (1st 2nd September), the passage of the Vardar river and the pursuit to the Strumica Valley (22nd 30th September 1918). Joseph was killed in action on 26th September 1918. Hostilities with Bulgaria ceased on 30 September. Joseph has no marked grave and is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The work of the cyclist battalions is recorded by the Salonika Campaign Society and was featured in an article by Robin Braysher in their magazine "The New Mosquito" dated 28th September 2013.
The war diary of the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers for 1914 can be downloaded (£3.30) from:
The war diary of the 27th Divisional Cyclist Company is available to download (£3.30) from the U.K. National Archives. See:
The war diaries of the later units, the 12 Corps and 16 Corps Cyclist Battalions, are held at the U.K. National Archives. See:
They are not available to download. An economical way to acquire them is to ask a regular researcher at The National Archives to photograph them for you, for a few pence a page. I can recommend Lee Richards. See:
A service record for Joseph Devine can be seen on the subscription website ancestry.co.uk or pay-as-you-go on the findmypast.co.uk website.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Kevin
Date: Monday 20th April 2015 at 11:38 AM

once again I am very much in your debt. Thank you for providing so much material for me to review and so many fresh starting points for my own research. I can do nothing except say, 'thank you'. So, thank you.
Very best regards,
Reply from: Kevin Tracey
Date: Thursday 28th May 2015 at 9:42 AM

Hi,I am researching Tracey families in Derry/Londonderry.I have some info.on Thomas Tracey's family which may be of interest to your correspondent.Of course he may already know of the details I have.Can you pass this on to him.He might like to e-mail me at (caoimhot at gmail dot com dot Many) thanks.
Kevin Tracey
Reply from: Kevin Macdermot
Date: Thursday 28th May 2015 at 12:20 PM

Hi Kevin,
I had posted an earlier reply to your mail but it doesn't seem to have gone up on the site.
In brief, I had emailed you earlier to your gmail account but am not overly confident that I deciphered your email address correctly.
If you pick it up then you can simply reply to it. However, in case it didn't get through, I'm listing my email address here as well:
(kmacdermot13 at gmail dot com)

Hopefully this won't get scrambled by the site too much.
Posted by: Sean {Email left}
Location: Carshalton
Date: Wednesday 15th April 2015 at 5:31 PM
Hi Alan,
I am researching my family history and would really appreciate some help in finding some deeper detail into some of my ancestors military records. What I'd ideally like to know is where they served, what battles they would/likely to have been a part of etc. I have some details which hopefully will help.

William James Chilvers born 1896
DVR W. J. Chilvers RFA, No. 54138

and the second is a lot more vague but hoping for your help as I do believe he was an underage enlistee in WW1 and served at Dunkirk and in Burma in WW2.

Stanley Russell from Pontypridd, Wales, born Dec 1905

Any help or pointers you could give would be great.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 15th April 2015 at 8:19 PM

Dear Sean,
Unfortunately, no individual service record has survived for William James Chilvers, 54138, Royal Field Artillery, so it is not possible to state his wartime service. The majority of First World War enlistment and service records were destroyed in the bombing of London in the Second World War. An Army medal rolls index card recorded William J. Chilvers first served overseas in France and Flanders from 21st September 1915. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star; British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Most ex-soldiers accepted a war gratuity but it is feasible he applied for a pension, in which case it might be worth paying (£20) for a search of pension records which are held exclusively by the Western Front Association. See:

Regarding Stanley Russell, whose birth was registered at Pontypridd in Oct-Nov 1905, he would have been aged eight when the First World War began in August 1914 and would have been aged 13 when the Armistice with Germany was signed in November 1918.
British military service records from the Second World War are not in the public domain. The records are held by the U.K. Ministry of Defence who will release certain amounts of detail about a deceased service person to the next-of-kin, or others, depending how long ago it is since the man died. You will need to know in which Service he served (Army, RAF, or Navy); provide service number, or date of birth, and proof of death, such as a copy of his death certificate. There is a fee of £30. See:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Sean
Date: Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 10:53 AM

Hi Alan
Thank you so much for this information. Especially given the fact that most of the records will have been destroyed in ww2 like you said. It is good to have something to go on. I've actually just been away in Wales for a week (hence only seeing your reply now) digging to find some more on Stanley but with no luck unfortunatly so it might be difficult to get any more on him.
I really appreciate your time.
Posted by: Kerry Milutin {Email left}
Location: Bakersfield California Usa
Date: Tuesday 14th April 2015 at 11:51 PM
On your web page you mentioned the name Joseph Willette Joseph Willette is my great grandfather I've been looking for anything regarding him a picture was mentioned I will pay for the photo the only other one that the family had was toren up when my uncle Charles Davis gave it to me along with his bayonet and penny by my mother because they where given to me and not my little brother. Thank you and god bless you .Kerry
Posted by: Kate {No contact email}
Location: Bradford
Date: Sunday 12th April 2015 at 2:45 PM
Dear Alan - I am researching Nicholas Richard Stephens, who served with the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry 2/1st (his number 9660) for about a year before his death by drowning on October 10th 1918 after his ship the Leinster was torpedoed on leaving Dublin for Holyhead. Nicholas was going home on leave.
I understand that he was stationed in Ireland and wonder what role the yeomany had there and why they had been dispatched to Ireland rather than to the more familiar WW1 battlegrounds. If you can help at all, I would be extremely grateful. Kate
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 12th April 2015 at 6:57 PM

Dear Kate,
The 2nd/1st East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry was raised in late 1914 for Home service and did not serve overseas.
Ireland, in 1918, was not partitioned and was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, formed in January 1801. The British Army garrisoned Ireland just as it garrisoned England, Scotland, Wales, and the Channel Islands which were all "Home" postings.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry was raised for part-time voluntary service in 1902 and had squadron stations at Beverley, Hull, Fulford (York) and Driffield. In 1908 they became part of the Territorial Force and formed part of the Yorkshire Mounted Brigade. At the outbreak of the First World War, the Regiment was expanded by the addition of a second, sister, regiment (and then a third) causing the need for fractional titles. The original regiment took the title 1st/ 1st East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry and eventually sailed for service in Egypt, Palestine and France and Flanders ending the war as the 102nd (Lincolnshire and East Riding Yeomanry) Battalion, Machine Gun Corps.
At home, the newly-raised "mirror" regiment took the title 2nd/1st East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry and served in the 2nd/1st Yorkshire Mounted Brigade. The Regiment trained in Yorkshire and by March 1916 was stationed at Beverley. On March 31st 1916, the Mounted Brigade lost its county title and was numbered the 18th Mounted Brigade. Then in July 1916 there was a major re-organisation of all the second-line Yeomanry regiments and they were converted from horse riding troops to cyclist troops. In July 1916, the 2nd/1st East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry became part of the 11th Cyclist Brigade alongside the second-line units of the Yorkshire Hussars and Yorkshire Dragoons.
In November 1916, the 11th Cyclist Brigade was re-numbered 7th Cyclist Brigade, with the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry stationed at Bridlington on coastal defence duties.
In May 1918, the 7th Cyclist Brigade left the Yorkshire coast and was sent to Ireland. The Brigade stationed its units in British army barracks at Fermoy, Fethard and Bandon in County Cork, with the 2nd/1st East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry split between Fermoy on the river Bridgewater and Bandon on the River Bandon. In August 1918, some elements of the East Riding Yeomanry were at Moor Park Camp, Kilworth, near Fermoy.
The records of the East Riding Yeomanry Old Comrades Association 1903-2000 are held at the East Riding of Yorkshire Archives and Local Studies Service, The Treasure House,
Champney Road, Beverley, HU17 9BA.
Nicholas Richard Stephens was born on 3rd November 1894. He was buried in the Church of England section of the "Leinster" graves at Grangegorman Military Cemetery , Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin.
His death certificate is indexed at the General Register Office of England and Wales as Nicholas R. Stephens, Private, Yorks (E.R.) Y; No.9660; Year:1918; Volume C 1, Page 252; Army Other Ranks, War Deaths. A war death certificate can be ordered online in the usual manner (cost £9.25) as a "Death - Overseas Event" on the certificate choice page from:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Kate
Date: Tuesday 14th April 2015 at 11:25 AM

I am extremely grateful for all this help and information, Alan. It gives me a much greater understanding of Nicholas Stephens. Thank you so much.
Reply from: Neil H
Date: Wednesday 15th April 2015 at 2:24 PM

Hi Kate,

There is information and a photo of Pte Stephens here http://www.cpgw.org.uk/viewDetail.cfm?sID=369-06&view=main

I also have a photo of his grave I took in Grangegorman cemetery in Dublin if you are interested
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 19th April 2015 at 10:14 PM

Dear Kate,
See also:
Kind regards,
Reply from: Kate
Date: Thursday 7th May 2015 at 2:21 PM

Neil and Alan - I have only just seen these two latter messages. Once again I am very grateful for this help and support,
Kind regards from Kate
Reply from: Kevin Macdermot
Date: Thursday 28th May 2015 at 10:34 AM

Hi Kevin T,
Got your message and tried deciphering your scrambled email address and emailing you there.
In case my mail didn't get through, you can try reaching me at:
(kmacdermot13 at gmail dot com)
Hopefully my address won't get scrambled (too badly) but it may be a forum thing.
Best regards
Posted by: Becca {Email left}
Location: East Yorkshire
Date: Monday 6th April 2015 at 7:13 PM
Hello Bob,
Would you kindly give Matthew - Ellis Dorsey my e mail, address if he requests it.

Many thanks

Posted by: Kerry Milutin {No contact email}
Location: Bakersfield California Usa
Date: Monday 6th April 2015 at 5:50 PM
Information Joseph Willette regarded his death ww1 102Bn
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 6th April 2015 at 7:21 PM

Dear Kerry,
Joseph Willette, born Chicago and lived at Blend River Ontario died on May 15th 1918. See:
War diaries and attestation forms can be seen on the website of the Library and Archives Canada. Follow the links for Soldiers of the First World War - Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and
War Diaries of the First World War at:
Complete service records can be ordered from the LAC (charges apply).
With kind regards,
Reply from: Kerry Milutin
Date: Tuesday 14th April 2015 at 11:59 PM

On your web page said something about a photo being sent back from Egypt a it the only thing sent Kerry Milutin
Reply from: Kerry Milutin
Date: Wednesday 23rd December 2015 at 2:32 AM

Sir i am haveing a hard time finding out how my g.grandfather died in ww1 the reason is My thinking prosses and spelling is not very good i was shot in the head and it blew part of my skull away sir can you help me if you don't want to i will understand thank you kerry milutin
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 23rd December 2015 at 4:13 PM

Dear Kerry,
It is not possible to state how an individual died in the war. Joseph Willette died on May 15th 1918 at Aubigny in France where the Canadians had a casualty clearing station, so he had probably died of his wounds. He was buried at Aubigny Commune Cemetery extension. See:

With kind regards,
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 23rd December 2015 at 4:20 PM

The war diaries of the 102nd show they were at rest behind the lines at Frevillers in May 1918. However, while they were in the trenches near the Neuville - St Vlaast road on May 3rd a German plane crashed on their position and its bombs exploded causing casualties.

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