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

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Posted by: Robotham
Location: Cardiff
Date: Monday 10th March 2014 at 10:46 AM

I am trying to find my granddad's regiment of the Royal Field Artillery:

Bombardier George Alfred Robotham (DOB 14/09/1895)

Royal Field Artillery - (Enlisted 2/9/14 - Qualified 28/08/15 discharged 1/1/19 - awarded a Silver War Badge B86016)

Regimental Number: 12953 BMBR

Wounded 3 times at Cambrai - 1917.

Following wounding: Absent Voters List 1918 states 20 Hut B.D.

At Ancestry - No Service Record, No Pension record

However, GWF have found Pension Cards (but no Ledger) Inscription Reads 'PF 16x to os/aw' and E. 19 ½ P (I think)

Ad 1/10/18 9/- from 13/9/18 to 18/3/10

VR7J 7068 Received 30/9/18 (attached file)

A written record states with L Battery and the Guards.

Does anybody know

a. What 20 Hut B.D (Absent Voters) refers to?

b. What the Pension Card inscriptions mean?

c. When injured was he with The Guards & L Battery (RHA) at Cambrai?
Reply from: Robotham
Date: Wednesday 12th March 2014 at 8:42 AM

Hello Alan.
A couple of additional pieces of information I can now add.
The WFA (which have been fantastic) did find a ledger to accompany the pension cards. It stated that George was 40% disabled and the disability was Shell Shock. However, there is no mention of 20 Hut B.D. Do you thhink it was simply a hut at base depot (Etaples or Woolwich)?
Also a couple of responses on the Gt War Forum noted the date of entry to France did coincide with named soldiers of the 74 Brigade RFA. This was part of the Guards Artillery and were at Cambrai in 1917. On reading the History of The RFA - I did notice that L Battery RHA, were very close to 74 Brigade in Dec 1917 when the final stages of the Battle were happening.
Do you think the 74 Brigade is a possibility? Its Batteries were 232, 233, 234.
Additional suggestions are to search Medal Rolls at TNA - some don't hold much hope for this!
Also the Medical Records for the RFA are worth me scanning - also at Kew - but I'm not sure how to locate the specific reference number. I think a few days at Kew are my next stop.
Thanking you.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 12th March 2014 at 10:09 PM

Dear Robotham,
Unfortunately, the information you have does not provide any evidence for the Battery of the Royal Field Artillery in which your grandfather served. Without a service record it is not possible to provide evidence for any postings between batteries or transfers. The original medal roll for his 1914-15 Star should record his battery on departure for France. It will be held at the National Archives at Kew.
When he was discharged his silver War Badge roll recorded he was discharged from the Class P "A Reserve" of the Royal Field Artillery as "surplus to military requirements" which usually meant he would be better employed in a civilian job than in the army, often because of sickness or wounds.
He was awarded (Ad) on 1/10/18 a pension of 9/- [nine shillings] from 13/9/18 to 18/3/10 [18/3/19 is more probable].
The Hut 20 might have been at a base depot which was not numbered and consequently is unidentifiable.
The reference to L and Guards is unhelpful and will only lead to speculation.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Robotham
Date: Friday 14th March 2014 at 4:32 PM

Dear Alan.
Thank you for your reply, I appreciate your involvement and the time you have provided.
I think next stop is the National Archives!
Posted by: Jimmy Richards {Email left}
Location: York
Date: Sunday 9th March 2014 at 12:55 PM
Dear Alan,

I hope you're well and that life is treating you decently. All change at my end, new baby due within 10 days and I have a new job at the University of York. There's a project I'm working on which you might be interested in, and where I will certainly need your skills. You may remember on the radio course I once outlined a film project about the Duke of Windsor in Lisbon well, I started working on it in collaboration with a fellow historian and we found out some very weird and anomalous stuff, if you could let me have your email I'll send you the details. you may be interested to know that our old mate Walter Schellenberg is involved along with many others. I won't say much more now, but what we seem to have found out has changed my entire view of the war from Dunkirk to Pearl Harbour.

All the best

Posted by: Becca {Email left}
Location: E Yorks
Date: Friday 7th March 2014 at 9:10 PM
Hello Alan,
You recently helped me with Sidney Dorsey Terry, resulting in Joan Gaffiero contacting me. In return I tried several times to e mail her, but her address seems to be incorrect. I did leave another message on your forum hoping she might read it, but I have still had no contact. Please is it possible that you can send her my e mail address, which Bob has, so that she may write to me direct if she still wishes to.

Many thanks

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 7th March 2014 at 9:18 PM

Dear Becca,
As the forum protects personal information I do not get know anyone's e-mail address. It's best to use the "contact editor" button on the blue bar at the very bottom of this page to ask Bob to forward your address with your permission.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Pappyken {Email left}
Location: Bangor Northern Ireland
Date: Friday 7th March 2014 at 1:14 PM
Hi Alan.
I believe you are an expert in all things WW1. I am researching the following members of my family.
My paternal g/father Pte Robert Moore. His MIC shows him as 14/1107. Also 44425 and 44452, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
His brother, Pte Samuel Moore. His MIC shows him as 15/12082, Royal Irish Rifles.
My paternal g/mother's brother Pte William Davidson. His MIC shows him as 9/16428, Royal Irish Rifles.
All three were from Belfast. Don't know anything about their service or what happened to them after the war, though I believe William Davidson went on to serve in WW2. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 8th March 2014 at 3:04 PM

Dear Ken,
Unfortunately, no individual service record has survived for Robert Moore or Samuel Moore so it is not possible to state their wartime service.
Robert Moore first went overseas with the 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles on 2nd October 1915. The 14th Battalion (Young Citizens) had been raised in Belfast in September 1914 from the Belfast Volunteers. In December 1914, the Battalion moved to Bundoran and then to Randalstown in January 1915 before moving to Sleaford (Bordon & Bramshott), Hampshire, in July 1915. It served with the 109th Infantry Brigade in the 36th (Ulster) Division. It is not possible to say when he was transferred to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He survived the war.
Samuel Moore enlisted in the 15th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (North Belfast) and trained at Ballykinlar until moving to Sleaford in July 1915. The Battalion landed in France on 5th October 1915 and served in the 107th Infantry Brigade in the 36th Division. Rifleman Moore survived the war and was discharged 25th March 1919.
William Davidson enlisted in the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and survived the war. The 9th Battalion also served in the 107th Infantry Brigade. It is plausible he remained with the 9th Battalion throughout the war, but in the absence of an individual service record, that cannot be taken for granted. If William Davidson served in the Second World War his record from both wars will not be in the public domain but held by the UK Ministry of Defence. The MOD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person to the direct next-of-kin or with permission of next-of-kin, or as a general enquirer. See:
The MoD will need proof of death (copy of death certificate); the soldier's date of birth or service number; and next-of-kin's signed permission (unless you are the direct next-of-kin), known as form Part 1. You then need a completed form Part 2 (search details), and a cheque for payment. The next-of-kin form (Part 1) is for completion by the next-of-kin of deceased service personnel (or enquirers with the consent of next of kin). The Part 2 form is entitled: "Request forms for service personnel Army". A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to "The MOD Accounting Officer" and sent to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland with all the paperwork.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Ken
Date: Sunday 9th March 2014 at 9:57 PM

Dear Alan.
Thank you for your reply, I appreciate your time and the information you provided.
Posted by: Anne {Email left}
Location: London
Date: Thursday 6th March 2014 at 9:32 PM
Dear Alan

I wrote to you on 13th February concerning a photo that had been found in my husband's family of a young 'boy' soldier who had no name. All we knew was written on the reverse about him being KIA 28 August 1918 Morval,France. You kindly explained the system of recording deaths during the heat of battle and that dates could not always be accurate or relied upon.
Taking on board what you told us we looked closer at the photo and identified his cap badge as being that of the Welsh Regiment. This narrowed down who in Morval cemetery 'our' soldier could be. The most likely boy was called Sydney George Rowlands, 60555 13th Welsh Regiment, Died 1 Sept 1918, Aged 24 - this surprised us but more about that later. He was the son of George and Sarah Rowlands, 4 Ynysmering Road, Abercynon, Wales. The address is significant as it is one street away from where my husbands Aunty Ada lived and it was from her the photo was handed down. She would have been a contemporary of Sydney's, attending the same school 'The Navigation" in Abercynon. ( we are checking the school registers to confirm this). Sydney also worked at the local pit, along with Ada's father and brothers. On the 1911 Welsh census Sydney is recorded at that address and is a 'lampsman'. This was a job usually given to injured miners (along with caring for the horses above ground which is what my husband's grandfather did after breaking his back in a pit fall some years before) or boys who were not strong enough to work underground which would tally with his very 'slight' appearance in the photo. We believe it's possible Sydney was Ada's 'sweetheart' hence why she kept his photo until she died in the 1970's.

I have discovered Sydney's service record survives. It records him as 5'4" tall (maybe on tip toes!) and a 34" chest, which is then crossed out and 'expanded' chest is measured at 29" so he was a slight young man. What I would like you to help us with is deciphering his service record for us- something I know from experience you excel at. I will happily make a donation to the British Legion for all your efforts.

very best wishes

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 7th March 2014 at 5:05 PM

Dear Anne,
Sidney Rowlands 60055 enlisted under the deferred enlistment scheme on 10th December 1915. This was the Derby Scheme to encourage men who had not yet volunteered to do so before compulsory conscription was introduced in 1916. These men enlisted but were immediately sent home to be called up when required. Sidney Rowlands was called up on 31st May 1917 to join the 3rd Battalion The Welsh Regiment which was training at Redcar on the Yorkshire coast. On 13th July 1917 he was unshaven on parade and was punished by confinement to barracks for six days. On 13th September he was unshaven on parade and punished with two days' confinement to barracks. On 14th September 1917, he was absent off defaulters parade (being confined) and was ordered to undergo two days' Field Punishment No 2.
When the men were granted embarkation leave Private Rowlands was absent by overstaying his leave by one day before reporting to the orderly sergeant. He was ordered to forfeit seven days' pay. A draft of reinforcements embarked from Southampton on 16th October 1917 and disembarked at Havre on 18th October 1917. On October 21st, a No 6 Infantry Base Depot, he was posted to the 16th Battalion Welsh regiment. That was changed to the 13th Battalion Welsh Regiment on 23rd October 1917 and he proceeded to join the battalion in the field.
On December 28th 1917 he went sick. He was treated at 72 General Hospital (Trouville) via 54 Casualty Clearing Station and returned to his unit via the depot a Rouen 14th April 1918.
On 12th June 1918 he was admitted to a Field Ambulance with impetigo and was treated at 10 General Hospital at Rouen on 18th June 1918. He returned to his unit via the depot at Rouen on 14th July 1918.
He was killed in action on September 1st 1918 at Morval which was re-gained by the 38th Welsh Division on September 1st 1918. The Battalion lost 13 men killed that day. Morval British Cemetery was created by It was regained by the 38th (Welsh) Division, after fierce fighting, on the 1st September, 1918. The Cemetery was made by V Corps and contains the graves of 54 soldiers, all of whom belonged to the 38th Division and fell between the 26th August and the 6th September, 1918.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Anne
Date: Monday 10th March 2014 at 8:06 PM

Fantastic reply as always Alan. Thank you so much. I will be making a donation to British Legion which I know is your preferred charity for this and other replies you have provided for me recently.
very best wishes
Posted by: Mavis
Location: Northampton
Date: Monday 3rd March 2014 at 11:36 PM
I am researching my grandfather Frederick Thomas Ellis. He enlisted at Stratford, London in October 1914 and was in the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), Service No G3977. They were part of the 8th Service Battalion. I have his medal card which states in the remarks section 'Missing in Action 5 9 16'. I also have his death certificate which gives date of death as 3 9 16 and says 'killed in action, France'. He does not have a grave, his name is on the memorial at Thiepval. I have read about the battles of Delville Wood and Guillemont in which the 8th Battalion were involved and would really like to find out if he was killed in one of these battles. Any assistance would be much appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 4th March 2014 at 10:08 PM

Dear Mavis,
The weight of evidence is that Frederick Thomas Ellis was killed in action on 3rd September 1916. His medal rolls index card recorded he was "K in A" [killed in action] on 5th September 1916 but that may have been a clerical error as a 3 and a 5 could easily be confused in handwritten in records of the time. The 8th Battalion lost 19 men on the 3rd September 1916 and only one (John Baker) on 5th September 1916.
The best way to establish where the 8th Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) was on that date would be to contact the archivist of the regimental museum, which is now administered by The National Army Museum in Chelsea. See

The 8th Battalion The Buffs fought with the 17th Infantry Brigade in the 24th Division. A search for their war diary has eluded me. The Brigade war diary for the period dated between 1st November 1915 and 30th September 1917 would give the dispositions of the Battalion on that date. It is held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 95/ 2204. You would need to visit Kew to study it.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Mavis
Date: Thursday 6th March 2014 at 12:29 AM

Dear Alan - thank you for the reply and information. I will certainly follow this up in the ways you have suggested.
Posted by: Barbara {Email left}
Location: Ystrad
Date: Monday 3rd March 2014 at 11:02 AM
My grandfather Sgt A E Jones with the 504 battery , 65th Brigade RFA service number 24818 won the Military Medal but I want to know what for. I was told that it was at the Battle of Sambre, November 1918 but I cannot find this regiment there. . I had rumours that he received the medal for destroying a cannon before the enemy could get it.
The archives don't have details. I have read the lists in the Gazette 1919 but no mention off as to why this medal was won. Grandad survived the war.

Any help appreciated.

Barbara Smith
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 3rd March 2014 at 9:25 PM

Dear Barbara,
Citations for the Military Medal were not published in the Gazette, other than a few early ones in 1916. The citation was presented to the recipient with the medal and was told it was the only copy.
It is possible local newspapers of the time (at East Ham) might have reported the award in 1919.
The war diary of 65 Army Field Brigade RFA runs from 01 May 1917 to 31 August 1919, so it is possible it might have made mention of Alfred Jones's award. It would tell you where the Brigade was operating in November 1918. The diary is held at The National Archives at Kew in catalogue reference WO 95/455. You would have to visit Kew to study it.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Barbara
Date: Tuesday 4th March 2014 at 3:41 PM

Thank you Alan for your help re my grandfather A.E.Jones.

Posted by: Sarah {Email left}
Location: Ipswich
Date: Friday 28th February 2014 at 9:20 PM
Hi Alan, I'm researching into my grandmothers first husband -Harold cockerton, I am led to believe he was a POW and was in the royal fusiliers, I have found a record which ties in and has a pow no as 32558, but from this point am a little lost as where to go to find any further information so as to confirm if this is the correct person. If you are able to assist at all it would be much appreciated.

Also, my grandmothers second husband, my grandfather - George Thomas Faulkner has had me at a dead end for a number of years. However recently some new records have become available and I have found a reference within the royal tank corps - no 399142, enlistment 19 jan 1925, year of birth 1906 Chelsea. I'm not really sure where to go with this either to be able to confirm this is he correct person.

Thank you in advance for any time you can spare

Kind regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 1st March 2014 at 11:47 AM

Dear Sarah,
Soldiers' service records from the Second World War are not in the public domain. The individual records are held by the UK Ministry of Defence. The MoD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next-of- kin or not. You can apply using the forms for next of kin, or with permission of next of kin, or as a general enquirer. See:
For each soldier, you will need proof of death; date of birth or army service number; next of kin's permission (unless you are the direct next of kin); a cheque and completed Application forms Part 1 and 2: If you are not next-of-kin you can make a general enquiry using both the "Request for Service personnel details: general enquirer's form (v6) (DOC)" and then the Part 2 form which is entitled "Request for Service personnel details: British Army part 2 (DOC)". There are forms for the RAF and the Navy, also.
A cheque for GBP 30 for each enquiry should be made payable to the "MOD Accounting Officer" and sent to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland with all the paperwork.

Records of Prisoners of War are held at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. However, records from the Second World War are currently undergoing conservation to prepare them for digital presentation and temporarily, since February 1st 2014, they are accessible only on meeting certain conditions on humanitarian grounds. See:
The records will eventually go online, but the centenary of the First World War records, to be released in digital format in August of this year, will be a priority for the ICRC Archives.

The entry for H Cockerton at Cieszyn, Poland, could be misleading because the British names of the PoW camps veiled the fact that they were administrative centres for Arbeitskommandos (work camps) many miles distant over a period of years. Cieszyn was controlled by Stammlager VIIIB (Stalag 8B) which was re-numbered 344 in 1943. Following the Normandy invasion in 1945, VIIIB at Teschen (Cieszyn) was separate from Camp 344 at Lamsdorf, some seventy-five miles away. In February 1944, Stalag V111B Teschen was the administrative centre for many of the Silesian Arbeitskommandos, which were often far away from the administrative centre. They were mainly mining operations involving a total of 11,500 British POWs who lived and worked at the actual mines, not the camps. In January 1945, as the Russians advanced to the West, the POWs were marched through Czechoslovakia in freezing conditions. The last PoWs left the main camp at V111B Teschen about 20th January 1945.
For a website about Stammlager VIII B see:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Sarah
Date: Saturday 1st March 2014 at 1:08 PM

Thanks very much for your time on this Alan it is much appreciated.

Posted by: Michele Bennett {Email left}
Location: Northwich
Date: Thursday 27th February 2014 at 10:32 PM
Dear Alan

I wondered if you could help with some research pointers ... a work colleague dug up two items in his back garden.I was able to find out all about the silver 1913 Drei Mark, it was found with a a Victory Medal. The Victory medal is numbered 3823 Pte J. Johnson. Ches. R. Many thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 28th February 2014 at 11:03 AM

Dear Michele,
The medal was one of two awarded to Private John Johnson of Wincham, Northwich, Cheshire. The Victory Medal was awarded with the British War Medal for service overseas during the First World War. John Johnson was the son of Alfred and Emma Johnson of Wincham Lane, Wincham, Northwich. He went to France with the Cheshire Regiment and then transferred to the 7th Battalion The King's Shropshire Light Infantry which served in the 8th Infantry Brigade in the 3rd Division.The 7th KSLI took part in the opening battle of the Arras Offensive of 1917, at the First Battle of the Scarpe on 9th April 1917 in which Rifleman Johnson, aged 19, was killed. He has no marked grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial which is in the Faubourg d'Amiens British Cemetery at Arras.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Kath Hayes Johnson
Date: Thursday 24th July 2014 at 8:30 PM

Hi i can hardly believe my eyes at this, john johnson was my uncle we have only just found this out this week as we are doin the family tree, its a sad story as he died at such an early age 19, we have managed to locate a lot of information i put his name john johnson in hoping to find a newspaper article on his death , i would love to know if the lady who has found my uncles medal if she still has it kind regards kath 31 linnards lane wincham cheshire 01565733575
Posted by: Martin {Email left}
Location: Halifax
Date: Thursday 27th February 2014 at 4:27 PM
I am trying to trace information/ service records of my great great grandfather Thomas Norbury (rifleman) of K. R.R's who died in service late June early July 1916. He lived in Featherstone West Yorkshire.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 27th February 2014 at 8:28 PM

Dear Martin,
Thomas Norbury, of 4, Arundel Street, Featherstone, volunteered at Castleford on 10th September 1914. He was a 33-year-old miner, 5ft 7ins tall, with a wife and four children. Being a miner was no bar to enlisting in 1914. He was posted to the depot of the King's Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC) at Winchester from 10th September to 8th October 1914 when he was posted to the newly-raised 13th Battalion KRRC at Winchester. The Battalion trained at Halton Park, Wendover. From November 1914 to April 1915 they were in billets at Amersham and Great Missenden while they continued training. In April 1915 the Battalion moved to Windmill Hill Camp on Salisbury Plain where they formed up with 111th Infantry Brigade in the 37th Division.
The 13th Battalion KRRC moved to France on 30th July 1915. They served on the Western Front and first went into the trenches in August at Le Bizet near Bailleul. By 12th February 1916 they took over trenches near Gastineau at Berles-au-Bois. They were in trench routine: a few days in the trenches alternated with a few days in billets.
They were in trenches opposite Ransart, Pas de Calais, on June 29th 1916, when Rifleman Norbury was shot, receiving a bullet wound in the back and lower spine and was taken to 50th Field Ambulance RAMC. Thomas Norbury died of wounds the next day, June 10th 1916 and was buried in the nearby churchyard extension at Berles-au-Bois. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Martin
Date: Friday 28th February 2014 at 6:15 PM

Thank you very much for this information.

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