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

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Posted by: Michelle {Email left}
Location: New Zealand
Date: Wednesday 4th March 2015 at 3:59 AM
Hi
I am trying to research where my Grandfather fought in WW1. His name is James McGurk (born June 1898) and served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from 1916. His number was 253240. I can view details of a Victory Medal G/105B21 / 1686 on the ancestry.com web-site.

What I haven't been able to establish is where he fought although I understand he was in France in 1917 and was injured. I also understand he served as a guard in a POW camp in Charleroi in Belgium until he was demobilized.

Can anyone assist.
Many thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 4th March 2015 at 10:42 PM

Dear Michelle,
There were at least two soldiers named James McGurk who served with Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in the First World War. Individual service records have not survived for them so it would be very difficult to suggest their wartime service. Medal rolls index-cards do not provide biographical information so you would need to be certain from private family records that your ancestor's service number was in fact 253240. The medal rolls index-card you refer to indicates the award of the British War Medal and the Victory Medal (indicated by ditto marks).
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Michelle
Date: Thursday 5th March 2015 at 5:54 AM

Thanks Alan. I am sure I have the correct James McGurk Service number although I will try my UK based relatives and see if they can confirm 100%.

The other information I have is he ended the war as a Compay Sergeant Major, we believe one of the youngest in the British Army as he was only 20 when the war ended. He was also offered a "commission" but he refused. One of his best mates accepted John O'Connor and as was the policy at the time had to change regiments to the Seaforth Highlanders. My understanding is the first time he was out leading troops he was killed sometime in April 1917. Not sure if this helps in anyway.

I believe my grandfather's records may have been destroyed in the WW2 bombings in London, so I suppose with that there is no way of working out where in France he fought.

Any assistance or advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
Michelle
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 5th March 2015 at 3:38 PM

Dear Michelle,
James McGurk, 253240 did rise to the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2 (Sergeant Major). The Army medal rolls indicated he first served overseas with the 2nd Battalion Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. His regimental number, however, is one that was allotted to the 6th Battalion Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders early in 1917. No service record has survived for him, so it is not possible to suggest dates or places for his service. It is not possible to say when he was posted between the two battalions. 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, so he would have been part of a draft of reinforcements intended for the 2nd Battalion.
The 2nd Battalion served in the 33rd Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/33div.htm
The 6th Battalion served in the 51st Division until 12th June 1916 when it moved to 5th Division, serving in Italy between December 1917 and April 1918 when it returned to the 51st Division.
http://www.1914-1918.net/51div.htm
http://www.1914-1918.net/5div.htm
The war diaries can be downloaded (£3.30 each) from:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7353839
and
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=%226+Battalion+Argyll%22
The other James McGurk deserted on 14th February 1916.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Michelle
Date: Thursday 5th March 2015 at 8:37 PM

Dear Alan
Thank you so much for your assistance with the above information - I really would have been going around in circles without your help. Now to try and locate other relatives that may have heard the war time stories of my grandfather who may be able to shed more light.
Again my sincere thanks for the work you have done.
Kind regards
Michelle
Reply from: Michelle
Date: Friday 6th March 2015 at 5:16 AM

Hi Alan, sorry to bother you again however are you able to advise where great grandfather served.

Charles Ferdinand Kaufmann Army Service Corps, Machine Gun Corps. T/3/023472 & 88801. I believe he served in France. My understanding is he served 21 years in the army before 1900, then re enlisted again 1914.

Many thanks

Michelle
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 6th March 2015 at 2:50 PM

Dear Michelle,
Unfortunately, there are no surviving records that would indicate Charles Kaufmann's service. An Army medal rolls index-card showed he went to Egypt on 14th March 1915 with the transport section of the Army Service Corps. He might have later served at Gallipoli, Mesopotamia or Palestine. It is not possible to state when he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, which was first formed in October 1915. He was discharged on 21st April 1919.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Michelle
Date: Friday 6th March 2015 at 10:17 PM

Once again Alan, thank you so much for your assistance,

I only wish the records of my grandfather James McGurk and great-grandfather Charles Kaufmann had survived so I knew more.

I have a few photos of James McGurk and was wondering if you could recommend a web site to upload these too - one of the photos is with other service men so may be of interest to others researching.

In accordance with your wishes I have this morning made a donation to The British Legion.
Your assistance has been invaluable.

Many thanks and kind regards

Michelle
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 6th March 2015 at 10:57 PM

Dear Michelle,
Thank you for making a donation to the Royal British Legion. It makes a difference. The most popular photo website is Flickr.
https://www.flickr.com/
There is also
https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Michelle
Date: Friday 6th March 2015 at 11:46 PM

Thanks Alan, having just been onto the "livesofthefirstworldwar'" web site I am now somewhat confused. Is it possible a soldier could have been issued with two service numbers?
Charles Kaufman or Kaufmann or quiet an uncommon name and I have now found records for a Charles F Kaufmann - GS/2335, 307868 who was also with the Army Service Labour Corps.
Now confused - my great grandfathers middle name was Ferdinand. My father had mentioned previously that he was in the Royal Engineers if that assists.

On another note I also have a query regarding Maximillian Eugene Kaufmann G/80162 - this I believe to be my grandfather I see via the above site details of medals for him. I have a copy of his birth certificate dated 1906 so therefore had thought he would have been too young for any service during WW1 - again though Maximillian Kaufmann would have been a very uncommon name. Do any service records note date of births or age?

Just trying to do the process of elimination.

Many thanks
Michelle
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 7th March 2015 at 12:51 AM

Dear Michelle,
You initially provided the wrong information for Charles Ferdinand Haufmann and have given the details of a Charles Frederick Haufmann. Charles Ferdinand Haufmann served in the Army Service Corps with the 4th Labour Company in France from 12.10.14. He later served in the Labour Corps.
He lived, after the war, at 224 Bounce's Road Edmonton.
Obviously, a boy named Maximillian aged 12 in 1918 did not serve in the war. There were at least seven men named Max Kaufmann who were eligible for wartime service.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Michelle
Date: Saturday 7th March 2015 at 3:48 AM

Thank you for the clarification Alan, and my apologies that I have provided the incorrect Kaufmann # in the first place. The above information does coincide with what I know about my Great Grandfather. Who knew Max Kaufmann would be such a common name - I certainly didn't.
Again thank you so much for your assistance. I will now try and investigate where in France the 4th Labour Company was.
Kind regards
Michelle

Posted by: Howard Barkell {Email left}
Location: Lydford Devon
Date: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 at 8:38 AM
Dear Alan,
I am seeking information about Albert Bickle, born c.1887 at Coryton, Devon. He served with 1015 M.T.Coy, A.S.C. and is commemorated in the Tehran War Cemetery. Is it possible to enlarge on those few facts? What sort of transport did 1015 supply? What was he doing in Iran, etc?
In hope,
Howard
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 at 9:08 PM

Dear Howard,
Albert Bickle who served as 274278 Army Service Corps was born on 15th March 1887 at Coryton, Devon. He was the son of James Bickle and his wife Ann Maria (néeTredinnick) of Mill Cottage, Coryton. James Bickle appears to have had a second marriage to Jane Greening in 1906. In the 1911 census, Albert was recorded at Penge, Surrey, where he was a warehouseman staying as a boarder at 10 Kenilworth Road.
(There was another Albert Bickle. He was baptised in October 1885 at Lydford, Devon, the son of George and Susan Bickle of Lydford).
Albert Bickle, 274278 A.S.C., the son of James and Ann Maria, enlisted at Harrow. He was killed on 20th July 1918 but it is not possible to say where or how he died. He has no marked grave. The CWGC records indicate his name was originally inscribed on the Reshire British Memorial to the Missing In and Beyond Persia. The 209 British men commemorated there later had their names transferred to the Tehran Memorial at the Tehran War Cemetery which was constructed in 1962 from graves previously in scattered cemeteries.
Reshire has variant spellings: Bushire/Reeshehr/Reshire/Rashir. The modern name is Bushehr, on the coast of the Persian Gulf.
When he died Albert Bickle was serving with 1015th Mechanical Transport Company Army Service Corps which dated from October 1917 and was part of No 3 Mechanical Transport Column ASC, Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force with Force HQ at Baghdad. This was one of four Mechanical Transport Columns in the M.E.F., some of which used new Ford vans. They were accompanied by mule columns and a camel corps and were Army Troops at the disposal of senior commanders. The Order of Battle of the M.E.F. in March 1918 showed 1015 MT Company in Mesopotamia "en route for Baghdad". In October 1918 they were listed as Army Troops with headquarters in Baghdad. However, there is evidence 1015th M T Company was in the area of Kazvin (Qazvin) Persia, in September 1918. Qazvin was an ancient capital in the Persian Empire. The 1015th Company lost 11 men killed in the war; two buried in Mesopotamia and nine who died in Persia. Albert Bickle was the first man of the Company to die on 20th July 1918. Eight of the others who are commemorated or buried in Persia (Iran) died in September and October 1918 and had been buried originally at Kazvin or Hamadan. The next death after Albert's was that of Corporal Thomas William Wynne who was buried at Kazvin on 14th August 1918 with "1015 Coy MT ASC att D Force". The Company had certainly arrived at Kazvin four weeks after Albert died.
It is not possible to say whether Albert Bickle actually served in Persia, despite his name being commemorated on a memorial originally intended for those "in and beyond" Persia. It seems possible he died while en-route from Baghdad to the Caspian Sea with Dunsterforce.

Stepping through the looking glass: Dunsterforce and Persia:
Had he served in Persia when he died in July 1918 he could have been involved in "Dunsterforce" which was the Allied expedition in Persia at that time. He might have been killed somewhere on the routes between Baghdad in Mesopotamia and Hamadan, in Persia, or on the road between Hamadan and Resht and Enzeli on the Persian coast of the Caspian Sea. This was during the months following the Russian Revolution and during the 1918 Russian civil war. Without seeing the 1015th Company's war diary, it is not possible to say when they joined Dunsterforce, so in July, Albert's company could have been with the force already, or on his way to reinforce it.
The only wholly British division that served in Mesopotamia was the 13th Division. In July 1918 the British 39th Infantry Brigade was detached from the 13th Division at Baghdad to enter Persia. The Brigade moved through Baquba, Shahraban, Ruz, Harunabad, Kermanshah to Hamadan (Hamedan) in Persia, arriving on 24th August 1918. They joined other units to become part of Dunsterforce which had moved on to the Russian town of Baku in the newly proclaimed Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
Ostensibly, in 1918 the Allies were interested in supporting the Russian "White Army" in its struggle against Trotsky's "Red Army", known as the Bolsheviks. Britain had supported Tsarist Russia but publicly did not support the revolutionary Bolshevik cause even if it was prepared to exploit it. (Britain allegedly supplied arms to both sides). During the Russian civil war the Bolsheviks took control of Azerbaijan. The neighbouring Armenians had called on the British for help in stopping the advancing Turks reaching the Caspian Sea. An Allied expedition was raised early in 1918, named "Dunsterforce" after its commander, General Lionel Dunsterville, who was the original "Stalky" in Kipling's public school story published in 1899. The force was sent into Persia to overthrow German and Turkish influence, re-patriate Russian soldiers and train local forces into fighting levies. General Dunsterville had reached the Persian coast at Enzeli by February 1918 but later found himself struggling with Revolutionary Committees and post-revolution politics with all kinds of armed groups dreaming up wild-cat schemes to create empires of their own or declare independent republics. The force was pulled back to Hamadan in Persia from where it was reinforced with 39th Infantry Brigade, sent from Baghdad in July. In June 1918, "Dunsterforce" itself had moved North from Hamadan towards Resht and Enzeli on the coast of the Caspian Sea from where it would sail 200 miles further North to Baku, the capital of what had been proclaimed as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. Thousands of Azerbaijani Muslims had already been massacred there but in May 1918 the Azerbaijanis declared independence and called on the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) who sided with the Germans, to help their cause. The republic's neighbours, Armenians, called on the British for help. On the route to Enzeli a sharp skirmish was fought by Dunsterforce with the Jangali forces of Mirza Kuchik Khan, who had been trained by the Germans.
Dunsterville's mission was to occupy Baku which (co-incidentally, of course) was also the centre of vast oil-fields. From 1918, more than five million tons of oil had been accumulated in Azerbaijan. After the occupation of Azerbaijan by the Bolsheviks, all oil supplies had been directed to Russia.
Dunsterville chartered three ships at Enzeli to take his force to Baku by sea. The ships were run by committees of post-revolutionary sailors who sailed under the Red Flag. Dunsterville objected to that and was accused of being counter-revolutionary to which he replied he was not, but only a soldier trying to do his job. He suggested flying the Russian flag which raised further objections from the sailors. Eventually they flew the Russian flag upside-down which turned it into the official flag of Serbia. As he summed up himself, Dunsterville was "a British general on the Caspian Sea on board a ship named after Kruger, a South African Dutch president and former enemy, sailing from a Persian port under the Serbian flag to relieve from the Turks a body of Armenians in a revolutionary Russian town."
The Turks fought heavily against Baku which was defended from mid-June by Dunsterforce with some 10,000 Armenians and Russian volunteers (including Bolsheviks, Esers, Dashnaks and Mensheviks) who displayed little of the military requirement of virility. One Armenian battalion was asked to occupy a ridge but declined to do so "because the Turks are there". A major engagement on 26th August was known as the Battle of Baku or the Battle of the Dirty Volcano. By September 14th/15th 1918, the Turks were gaining the city and Dunsterforce had to retire from the besieged town, despite protests of "desertion" from the Revolutionary Committee. Dunsterforce withdrew with battalions of infantry stationed at Resht and Enzeli. The force was stood down in Persia and its place taken by the British 14th Division, sent to Persia from Baghdad, as the nucleus of what then became the North Persia Force or "Norperforce". After the Turkish armistice on 30th October 1918, Baku, with its oil-fields, was re-gained by the Allies.
The war diary of 1015th MT Company ASC is held at The National Archives at Kew. It is not available online at present. It is catalogue reference WO95/5007 (01 October 1917 to 30 September 1919). It is not clear whether the Company was physically with Dunsterforce in the town of Baku or whether it served along the lines of communication from Hamadan to Enzeli, so it is not possible to state where Albert Bickle was on the day he died. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919 was a product of Great Britain's wish to control future oil supplies. Much of Baku's oil eventually went to Russia. Lord Curzon, who drew up the agreement, spearheaded Britain's attempt to gain control of the oil reserves of Persia and the Middle East while a number of other countries, led by the United States, opposed the Anglo-Persian Agreement because they were not prepared to tolerate an English oil monopoly.
And that, as they say, is another story (see more at:- http://www.historytoday.com/donald-ewalt/fight-oil-britain-persia-1919#sthash.rbFEIblf.dpuf).
In later years, Vasili Nikitich Mitrokhin, senior archivist for the Soviet Union's foreign intelligence service, claimed the British had wanted complete control of the Russian Caucasus and its oil reserves. He stated the Dunsterforce arrived with 40 Ford vans filled with gold and silver to help achieve their aims.
Any mistakes in this account are entirely mine. It would be necessary to visit The National Archives and read the war diaries of 1015th MT Company (WO95/50007) and No 3 MT Column (WO95/5005) to establish their locations on 20th July 1918.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Wednesday 4th March 2015 at 10:50 AM

Dear Alan,
Thank you for once again coming up with a fantastic reply from so few details. I hadn't realised that the Russian Revolution had impinged so much on affairs concerned with the Mesopotamian campaign. I shall have to study your reply carefully to try and get my head round it. I assume that the men involved were not volunteers. The fact that Albert's body was not recovered makes me wonder if the convoys were subject to attack along the way and whether he was transporting ammunition. All speculation!
Many thanks,
Howard
Reply from: Neni Wynne
Date: Monday 9th March 2015 at 2:40 AM

De Alan
I am Corporal Thomas William Wynne grand daughter. If you can please tell me more about him and WW1 . My father passed away when I was very young and also my grandmother, Thank you very much.
Neni
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 9th March 2015 at 1:50 PM

Dear Neni,
No individual service record has survived for Corporal Wynne so it is not possible to state his military service. He was a motor driver with the Army Service Corps and served with 1015th Company in Dunsterforce. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He died of sickness, aged 39, at Kazvin, Persia, on 14th August 1918 and was buried at Kazvin. In 1962 his grave was moved to Tehran War Cemetery. His widow, Elsie Leonora, requested the inscription "Thy Will Be Done" beneath the cross on his headstone. See:
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/905664/WYNNE,%20THOMAS%20WILLIAM
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Neni Wynne
Date: Wednesday 18th March 2015 at 1:54 PM

Dear Alan
Thank you so much for the information about my Grandfather. He had a diary. He wrote about the war until 20 days before his death.
I was so happy that you took some of your time to find more information about him. In the name of my daughter and I we feel very grateful.
Sincerely
Neni
Percy was my father and Ralph, his military service was in WW2 but I never found his service record.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 18th March 2015 at 11:33 PM

Dear Neni,
Service records from the Second World War can be ordered from the Ministry of Defence (charges apply). See:
https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-someone-elses-records

With kind regards,
Alan

Posted by: Baz {Email left}
Location: Liverppol
Date: Monday 2nd March 2015 at 6:29 PM
Hi
i have 2 pictures of amry regiments
1) ww1 664 company no1 reserve horse transport taken october 1916
(2) is from ww2
were would be the best websites / places to upload hope this is ok to ask here.
thought it might be nice to put them out there.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 2nd March 2015 at 7:46 PM

Flickr is the most popular
Https://www.flickr.com/
Posted by: Alan Godfrey {Email left}
Location: Bridgwater
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015 at 9:32 AM
Hi Alan .
I have another Grandfather I was hoping you could help with after your success with my other one. His name was Jonas Thomas Godfrey and was born in 1887 home town Keynsham we think he was an RSM and have some pictures of him with what could be horse drawn field artillery. He did survive the war and died in 1939 any help would be great.
Many thanks Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015 at 8:21 PM

Dear Alan,
It is not possible to identify positively a soldier by his name only, although Jonas Thomas Godfrey is not a frequently occurring name. There is no surviving individual service record of Jonas Thomas Godfrey so it is not possible to state his military service. The Army medal rolls list a Jonas Thomas Godfrey who served as a Sergeant in Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry. The rolls recorded he served in the 8th and the 6th Battalions yet his regimental number, 265142, was within the group 265001 to 290000 that was allotted to the 11th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry in early 1917. The 11th Battalion was formed in April 1915 from Territorial Force soldiers who were allocated to Home Service. The 11th Battalion served in England and Ireland before going to France and Belgium as a Garrison Guard battalion from May 1918 with 177th Infantry Brigade in the 59th Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/59div.htm
The medal rolls recorded Sergeant Godfrey qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not go abroad until some date after January 1st 1916. On the rolls, under the heading "Unit previously served with. Rgtl No and Rank in same on entry into theatre of war" was recorded "8 Som L.I." followed by "Sgt 265142 6 Som L.I.". This showed he first served overseas in the 6th Battalion in 1916 or later as a sergeant. His regimental number indicated that by the end of the war he appeared to be in the 11th Battalion. It is possible he had been medically downgraded, or wounded, and was later posted to the 11th Battalion for less demanding garrison duties. He was discharged from war service on 9th February 1919.
The medal rolls were not produced until the 1920s, so it is feasible any regimental number allotted before 1917 had not been recorded.
Had he served abroad with either the original members of the 8th or 6th Battalions he would have qualified for the 1914-15 Star because the 8th Battalion went abroad in September 1915 and the 6th Battalion had served overseas from May 1915. So he was probably part of a draft of reinforcements to the 6th Battalion which served with the 43rd Infantry Brigade in the 14th (Light) Division. See;
http://www.1914-1918.net/14div.htm
The medal rolls provide no biographical information to identify him further. However, in civilian life he appears to have gone by the name Thomas J. Godfrey of 44 Temple Street, Keynsham, who died, aged 51, on February 1st 1939, as reported in the "Western Daily Press" two days afterwards. The National Probate Calendar described the same man as Jonas Thomas Godfrey of 44, Temple Street, Keynsham, who died on February 1st 1939. At his funeral in February 1939 among the mourners was a Herbert W. G. Belsten representing the 4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry (Western Daily Press - Wednesday 08 February 1939 © Local World Limited, courtesy of the British Library Board via British Newspaper Archive).
Now, the 4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry was a pre-war and post-war Territorial Army battalion of part-time soldiers in peacetime who were mobilized in wartime. The 11th Battalion had been raised for the duration of the war as part of the Somerset Territorial Force. Jonas might have served with the 4th Battalion after the war and could then have risen to a higher rank than the sergeant he was when he first went overseas. Herbert Belsten, who attended the funeral, had been a Colour Serjeant and Warrant Officer Class II during the war with the 4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry which had a detachment at Keynsham drill hall. It is possible they had been members of the same sergeants' mess.
That is merely circumstantial evidence, but the Territorial Somerset Light Infantry was represented at Jonas Thomas Godfrey's funeral in 1939, twenty years after the war had ended.
An Ernest Wyndham Godfrey served in the 4th Somerset Light Infantry during the war. His birth was registered in 1893. In the 1911 census he was recorded as the son of Thomas Godfrey (born about 1852) of Temple Street, Keynsham. He could be related to Jonas.
I apologise for the less than straightforward answer but the available factual military information is minimal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Godfrey
Date: Sunday 1st March 2015 at 12:45 AM

Alan your a STAR.
I take my hat off to you that was my Granddad who died Feb 1939 and lived in Temple Street because that's where my Dad lived when he was a boy. There was another Godfrey family in Temple Street which were the last you mentioned i.e. Ernest Wyndham Godfrey and Thomas no relation to us strange you can have two families same surname, same village not related should I go cough ! cough ! or so they say.
So many thanks for all that information I have tried before myself but just hit blanks or dead ends.
Kindest regards from a hero worshiper.
Alan
Reply from: Alan Godfrey
Date: Saturday 7th March 2015 at 10:47 AM

Good morning Alan.
Thank you for your help in the past I have another question about Granddad Jonas Thomas Godfrey. I have now got a copy of the war medal list and as you said it was the 8th Somerset L.I. Sergeant across on the right in remarks and this is my question it says " Disembodied 9. 2. 19 " what doe's that mean exactly.
He was entitled to the two medals is it possible to ask for them know ?

Many thanks Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 7th March 2015 at 5:01 PM

Dear Alan,
The 8th Battalion was a war-time service battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry but "dis-embodied" indicated the man was actually a Territorial soldier. Territorials existed before and after the war whereas Service battalions were those raised only for the duration of the war: Kitchener's New Army.
In peacetime, Territorial Force soldiers enlisted voluntarily for four years' part-time Home service which could be renewed after four years. They were to serve part-time; only in the United Kingdom under the regulation of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act of 1907 which aimed to modernise the Militia and Yeomanry after the experiences of the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). The Home service element was derived from the age-old, gentlemanly, county Militia and Yeomanry regiments intended to defend the Islands' shores whilst regular forces went to fight on the Continent. In an emergency, the Militiamen could be turned out. They were embodied into a fighting force. (Since 1663, Militiamen had served by ballot and were often equipped and armed by the local gentry who were taxed in addition to the county rates for the common cause. Often, parish constables levied a tax on the local land owners to clothe and equip Militiamen from such private expenditure, rather than the public purse, and this gave rise to the term "private" soldier: a soldier provided by a private person.) The private financing of battalions continued in the First World War with the raising of Pals battalions financed by towns and gentry who were later reimbursed by the War Office.
After the formation of the Territorial Force in 1908, Territorial Force soldiers could volunteer to serve overseas by signing the Imperial Service obligation. Often whole units signed but the obligation to serve overseas was supposed to be voluntary.
In the event of an emergency, the Crown was able to grant the Army Council permission to issue a proclamation re-calling soldiers of the Army Reserve. Once that proclamation had been issued all or part of the Territorial Force could be mobilized for full-time service. This mobilization was known as embodiment, as the Territorials were embodied into the Regular forces with war-time terms and conditions of service that changed slightly: for example the men could be ordered to serve anywhere and their commanding officers gained authority to commandeer civilian billets. If a man's current four-year term of service expired during the period of embodiment, it could be compulsorily extended.
At the end of July 1914, most Territorial battalions were attending their annual training camps and were hastily re-called to their drill-halls. At about 5 p.m. on August 4th 1914, the embodiment was brusquely declared by telegram to each battalion: "Mobilize Stop Acknowledge Stop."
Units that were formed of men who had agreed to serve overseas (First Line units) were sent overseas and Second Line units supplemented them at Home. There were also Third Line Territorial battalions that remained in the U.K.. Hence, the fractional titles of Territorial battalions in wartime: 1st/4th; 2nd/4th and 3rd/4th, for example. After the passing of the Military Service Acts in 1916, a Territorial soldier could be posted to any unit in the Army "in the interests of the service".
After the Armistice with Germany in 1918, units on active service were gradually returned to the U.K. where men would be discharged to the Reserve (usually to the "Z" Reserve) in case the Armistice did not hold. Service in the "Z" Reserve was deemed to have ended on March 31st 1920. Territorial soldiers could still continue to serve part-time in their Territorial battalions in peacetime, so the men were not discharged but were "dis-embodied". In reality, a whole unit was dis-embodied on a particular date. The men then returned to their Territorial Force conditions and terms of part-time service at Home. The Act of 1907 is described at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_and_Reserve_Forces_Act_1907
A Territorial soldier could be embodied during general mobilization of the Army and dis-embodied in consequence of de-mobilization. He could be discharged from the Territorials for committing an offence or at the end of his current four-year term of service.
It is not possible to apply for an ancestor's First World War medals, although replicas are available to purchase. See: "Can I obtain replacements of lost medals" on the page of FAQs at:
http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/how-the-nation-remembers/medals/medal-faqs#replacement
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Godfrey
Date: Saturday 7th March 2015 at 11:10 PM

Alan your the man.
That was a terrific answer in detail and knowledge many thanks and for the links.
Kindest regards Alan
Posted by: Kez {No contact email}
Location: Sydney
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015 at 5:46 AM
Afternoon Alan.
Would you be able please to find any info on my grandfather Alan Clement Panton No 222 AIF.
Thank you for your time Kez
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015 at 12:54 PM

Dear Kez,
Australian military records are available free online. See:
http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/NameSearch/Interface/NameSearchForm.aspx
Enter the surname and select World War One.
Then tap or click the search button and on the results page tap or click on "display". Alan Clement Panton should be first in the list. You can open the records by tapping or clicking on the "digitised item" symbol. It is possible to navigate by clicking the "next button" or clicking on the image. He served as a horse driver in the 1st Australian Divisional Train, Army Service Corps at Gallipoli and in France. Early in 1918 he spent some weeks attached as a despatch rider to the First Divisional Signal Company. For the engagements of the 1st Division See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/1ausdiv.htm
He stated he had previously spent two years at the Gulf Coast Military Academy in America.
Most of the record is type-written. For general information on Divisional Trains see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/asc.htm
If you wish, you can read the war diaries of the 1st Australian Divisional Train which are online from the Australian War Memorial. See:
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/AWM4/25/14/
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Mark {Email left}
Location: Middlesbrough
Date: Friday 27th February 2015 at 7:20 PM
Hi Alan,
After your great help recently in giving me information regarding an ancestor of mine, I wonder if you would be kind enough to help again with another relative. Private 8005 Abraham Cannell of the East Surrey Regiment. I know he was discharged due to wounds and suffered some sort of Amputation, but little else.

Thanking You in advance
Mark
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 27th February 2015 at 10:20 PM

Dear Mark,
No individual service record has survived for Abraham Cannell so it is not possible to state his military service fully. The Army medal rolls showed he had enlisted on 24th September 1913 and during the war he served in the 1st Battalion The East Surrey Regiment, although he joined them in France on 11th September 1914, a month after the 1st Battalion itself had arrived there, so he may have been part of a draft of reinforcements. He was discharged on 4th July 1917 having had an amputation. It is not possible to say at what stage he had been wounded but he would have spent some months in hospital in France and England before he was discharged from the Army, so Abraham would probably have been wounded in one of the later Battles of the Somme in 1916, such as Le Transloy in which the 5th Division were engaged for some days before they moved to Festubert on October 5th. See:
http://www.cwgc.org/somme/content.asp?menuid=30&id=30&menuname=Le+Transloy&menu=main
The 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment served with the 14th Infantry Brigade in the 5th Division until 12th January 1916 when 14th Brigade became 95th Brigade in the 5th Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/5div.htm
The Battalion's war diary can be downloaded in various parts (£3.30 each) from:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=%221+Battalion+East+Surrey+Regiment%22
Abraham Cannell qualified for the 1914 Star with the 1914 Clasp, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He received a silver War Badge for being discharged because of wounds. With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Mark
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015 at 7:02 PM

Thanks again for all your Help
Kind Regards
Mark
Posted by: Dave {Email left}
Location: Birmingham
Date: Thursday 26th February 2015 at 1:53 PM
Hi

I am looking for some info on my grandfather, I have just discovered a photo of him that I never knew existed.
His name was Charles Edwin John Hickman he is wearing what looks like his dress uniform, he was in the Hussars.
At the bottom of the photo on the border there is what you can make out the 17 Hussars 1914, but am I right in saying that the 17th were Canadian?.
I have looked in my book, badges of the British army 1820-1987 that his badge is of the 15th Hussars who were based down in Hampshire at Longmoor camp, also on the bottom you can make out west camp Longmoor.
My grandfather survived the war and died in 1967 I remember when I was young he used to have his medals in a little wooden box under the TV and me and my brother used to look at them.
I would like to know any information on him that I can get.
I can't remember what the medals were that he had but I would like to know so that I can get some miniatures to display with his Photo.
Kind regards Dave.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 26th February 2015 at 7:06 PM

Dear Dave,
Unfortunately, it has not been possible to find any surviving military records for a Charles Hickman in the Hussars.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dave
Date: Thursday 26th February 2015 at 10:19 PM

Hi Alan

Thanks for your help it is much appreciated, I also have my Great uncle, my Grandfathers brother who was killed in ww1 his name is Frederick Royston Hickman according to the info I have he was a Lance corporal in the 2nd battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment he was in a lewis machine gun team and he was killed on the 4th May 1917 and was listed as missing. He is commemorated at Arras memorial.
I would like to know what his medal entitlement would have been so again I can buy miniatures to put with his memorial certificate.
It says he was previously wounded in the Dardenelles in Gallipoli,i would like to know as much about him as I can.

Kind regards Dave.
I am a member of the RBL and my son is serving in the RAF I always give to all the forces funds, I will make an extra donation this weekend in thanking you for your help.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 26th February 2015 at 11:07 PM

Dear Dave,
No individual service record has survived for Frederick Hickman so it is not possible to state his military service in detail. Frederick Hickman enlisted with the 9th Battalion The Royal Warwickshire Regiment which was formed at Warwick in August 1914 and sailed from Avonmouth in June 1915 to land at Gallipoli after 13th July 1915 where it served in the 39th Infantry Brigade in the 13th Division. The Division was engaged in The Battle of Sari Bair, 6th 10th August 1915; The Battle of Russell's Top, 7th August 1915 and The Battle of Hill 60, ANZAC, 27th 28th August 1915. Frederick was probably wounded in one of those battles or in the routine of warfare shortly afterwards. The wounded from Gallipoli would have been treated in Cairo, Malta or the UK.
Having recovered from his wound, Frederick was posted to the 2nd Battalion The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. It is not possible to say when he joined the 2nd Battalion as that would depend on the duration of his recovery. He was "presumed dead" on 4th May 1917 while serving with the 2nd Battalion The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The 2nd Battalion served with 22nd Infantry Brigade in the 7th Division which at that time was engaged in The Second Battle of Arras in France from 9th April to 16th May 1917.
The "Birmingham Daily Mail" of Wednesday 6th March 1918 reported: "Lance Corporal F. R. Hickman (21) R. War. R., son of Mr and Mrs Hickman, 179, Cooksey Road, Small Heath, reported missing May 4, 1917, now officially reported killed. First went out to the Dardanelles, where he was wounded" (© Trinity Mirror Newspapers, courtesy of the British Library Board, via The British Newspaper Archive).
Frederick Hickman qualified for the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dave
Date: Friday 27th February 2015 at 4:10 PM

Hi Alan

A big thanks to you for your invaluable help in my quest to find out more about my relatives, you have answered a lot of questions which can only help me in the future.

Thanks again Alan.

Kind regards Dave.
Posted by: Thomas {No contact email}
Location: Stockton
Date: Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 8:13 PM
Dear Alan
Would it be possible for you to provide any information, service records etc, for a Private 17/308 T R Howe of 17th bn Northumberland Fusiliers, who died in France 1918.
Much Appreciated
Thomas
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 9:55 PM

Dear Thomas,
No individual service record has survived for Thomas Howe so it is not possible to state his military record. The Army medal rolls showed he served with the 17th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers which had been raised by the North Eastern Railway in September 1914. Thomas Howe's number 17/308 indicated he enlisted in the 17th Battalion with the number 308 which was relatively early in a battalion of about 1,000 men. The 17th Battalion became a pioneer (labour) battalion attached to 32nd Division and went to France with the Division on the night of the 20th/21st November 1915. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/32div.htm
On 19th October 1916 the 17th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers transferred to GHQ as Railway Construction Troops. On 2nd September 1917 they re-joined 32nd Division. However, they again left on 15th November 1917, to be attached to GHQ as Railway Construction Troops. On 31st May 1918 they transferred to become a pioneer battalion in 52nd (Lowland) Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/52div.htm
Thomas Howe died of wounds on 18th June 1916 and was buried at La Targette British cemetery, Neuville St Vlaast, Pas de Calais. This cemetery was used by field ambulances, so Thomas Howe would have been wounded on 18th June itself or shortly beforehand as he had not reached hospital. See:
http://www.ramc-ww1.com/chain_of_evacuation.php
The war diary of the 17th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers can be downloaded in two parts (£3.30 each) from:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=%2217+battalion+Northumberland+Fusiliers%22
Thomas Howe was the son of Edward and Alice Howe of 15, Shakespeare Street, Middlesbrough.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Thomas
Date: Thursday 26th February 2015 at 7:13 PM

Thanks Alan for your time and efforts.
Posted by: Peter {No contact email}
Location: Middlesbrough
Date: Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 6:55 PM
Dear Alan,
I was given your website details by a friend who recommended I ask your help. I would be very greatful if you could provide any details with regards to Private R4959 Charles Nicholls of The Kings Royal Rifles Corps. I am in possession of his war medals and know that he was awarded the silver war badge, but am unable to find any other details as I don't know his date of birth etc.
Thanking you in advance
Peter
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 9:54 PM

Dear Peter,
No individual service record has survived for Charles Nicholls so it is not possible to state his wartime service. A silver War Badge roll recorded he enlisted on 14th September 1914 and was discharged because of wounds on 24th December 1917.
The Army medal rolls recorded he first went abroad on 30th July 1915 as a rifleman (private) in the King's Royal Rifle Corps K.R.R.C.) qualifying for the 1914-15 Star. The entry for the British War and Victory Medals stated he first served in the 13th Battalion K.R.R.C.. He later became a Lance-Corporal.
The 13th Battalion K.R.R.C. had been raised for wartime service at Winchester on September 7th 1914 and trained at Wendover and Salisbury Plain. The battalion sailed for France on 30th July 1915. There is therefore circumstantial evidence that Charles Nicholls served only in the 13th Battalion until he was wounded at some stage, before being discharged in December 1917. He could have been wounded some weeks or months before his discharge. The 13th Battalion K.R.R.C. served with the 111th Infantry Brigade in the 37th Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/37div.htm
The war diary of the 13th Battalion is available to download in various parts (£3.30 each) from:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=%2213+battalion+King%27s+royal%22
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Peter
Date: Friday 27th February 2015 at 7:12 PM

Thank You Alan, Would explain why I struggled to find any info.
Peter
Posted by: Joseph Henry Jordan {Email left}
Location: Hanham
Date: Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 11:12 AM
Hi Alan.
I have some information on Joseph Jordan 4970 Gloucester regiment who died on the 19th February 1917 in France he is mentioned on the Thiepval Memorial, my question is do you know if I can get a replacement telegram of his death that would have been sent to my Gran from the war office, as so many other questions before I have read on your page when we are younger we do not ask our family about our heritage and then it's too late.
Many thanks I am glad I found your site.
Alan Godfrey
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 5:18 PM

Dear Alan,
It is a myth that the next-of-kin of soldiers killed in the First World War received a telegram informing them of their son's death.
Only the next-of-kin of commissioned officers received a telegram. The next-of-kin of soldiers received a pre-printed letter with the name of the soldier and his regiment hand-written into the relevant blank spaces.
As Joseph Jordan is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme his next-of-kin would have received a letter from his regiment's Record Office stating: "Sir or Madam, I regret to have to inform you that a report has been received from the War Office to the effect that No. 12345 Private Thomas Atkins, King's Own, was posted as missing on the 24th April 1915. The report that he is missing does not necessarily mean that he has been killed, as he may be a prisoner of war or temporarily separated from his regiment. Should any further official information be received it will be at once communicated to you. I am your obedient servant."
On the reverse of the letter there were instructions and advice about waiting to hear if the soldier had been taken prisoner or was in hospital.
About a year later the next-of-kin would receive a letter saying that the War Office now accepted that the soldier was, in fact, dead.
Had the soldier died in hospital or had he been killed in action without being missing, the standard letter reporting the death varied slightly in style during the war and was more succinct: "It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has this day been received from the War Office notifying the death of: 12345 Private T. Atkins, King's Own, which occurred on the 24th April 1915 and I am to express to you the sympathy and regret of the Army Council at your loss. The cause of death was: Killed in Action. I am your obedient servant..."
If the letters have survived they would remain with the family. It is not possible to trace copies unless they were retained with the soldier's individual service record. No individual service record has survived for Joseph Jordan.
The war diary of the 1st/4th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment can be downloaded (£3.30) from:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354614
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Godfrey
Date: Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 7:12 PM

Joseph Henry Jordan. Many thanks for your reply it was very interesting and informative. I have his Death certificate which says Heart failure coupled with Bronchitis. The other information you gave I shall follow up on. Once again many thanks and a great site.
Alan
Reply from: Alan Godfrey
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015 at 12:01 AM

Hi Alan.
Many thanks for your help I have downloaded the files from the Army site they make very interesting reading, my next question which I hope you can help with is 1/ " Where can I get any info of his time in the hospital before his death " and 2/ " where can I find out about the medals he was entitled to " many thanks and kind regards.
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015 at 12:22 PM

Dear Alan,
No individual service record has survived for Joseph Jordan so it is not possible to state his military service. It is not possible to state in which hospitals or medical units he might have been treated. Medical records have not generally survived and those that have are closed for 100 years.
The Army medal rolls recorded he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Godfrey
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015 at 5:54 PM

Hi Alan.
Many thanks for your time and effort on my behalf and for the information for Joseph Jordan. Have you any for my other Grandad Jonas Thomas Godfrey that was in an earlier email.
Thank you and keep up the good works.
Alan
Reply from: Alan Godfrey
Date: Tuesday 24th March 2015 at 11:39 PM

Hi Alan.
I have a friend who when I told how good you were he asked me to put this question forward. His father and uncle were both in the 1st World War and survived have you any knowledge of them.
They both came from Wolverhampton Arthur Partridge born 1899 and his brother William born 1893 he thinks both were privates in the Staffordshire Regiment and think Arthur joined at 14 or 15.
Many thanks Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 25th March 2015 at 1:57 PM

Dear Alan,
It is not possible to identify a soldier by name only. There was a North Staffordshire Regiment and a South Staffordshire Regiment. It would be necessary to know the men's regiment and regimental numbers to begin to identify them.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Donna Cliff
Date: Tuesday 28th April 2015 at 7:48 PM

Hi Alan,
Do you know if William had a middle name.. As I can find records of a William Thomas Partridge, that enlisted in Wolverhampton and lived in Wilenhall? he served with the south staffordshire regiment ...let me know if i can help.

best wishes

Donna
Reply from: Joseph
Date: Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 9:31 AM

Hi Donna.
Many thanks for taking the time to look into this for me and yes that is the one, as I said in my original question 24th March I was asking for a friend so he was extremely happy when I told him. So any information will be greatly appreciated.
Kindest regards Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 2:55 PM

Dear Alan and Donna,
I have now identified Arthur and being Samuel Arthur Partridge. Thanks to Donna pointing out William Thomas Partridge, it can be shown they were brothers in the 1911 census. I have posted their details on this forum in the reply above date 29th April 2015 in response to Ken's query.
With kind regards,
Alan

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