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

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Posted by: Eils
Location: Durham
Date: Monday 21st January 2013 at 1:46 PM
Hi Alan
Wondering if you could help with information on a relative please. His name was William Earnest Watson, born in 1903 at Pelton nr Chester-le-Street, Co.Durham to William and Martha Watson. He died in the London area about 1943.
Would be wonderful if we knew what happened to him from 1911 onwards.
Thanking you so much
Eils
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 21st January 2013 at 6:41 PM

Dear Eils,
Records after the 1911 census are not in the public domain and would be held privately by families. The General Register Office marriage, birth and death certificates can be purchased from the relevant office in England, Scotland or Ireland. The indexes can be searched at
http://www.freebmd.org.uk/
also
http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Eils
Date: Tuesday 22nd January 2013 at 4:33 AM

Many thanks for that




Posted by: Joinboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex
Date: Sunday 20th January 2013 at 8:04 PM
Hi Alan
First of all many thanks for the help you have given my son for his School Project he is over the Moon with all the Information he has on the particular subject,i think he will do well in class next week.
Can you please help me on one of my Gt Uncles Born Alfred E Jordan 1895 in Harrow Middlesex
Son of Albert E Jordan and Fanny Chimes,Residing in Prospect Place Mortlake in 1911 (Census) he was a Grocers Boy.
I have his Death down as 1964 at Twickenham.Not even sure if he went to War or not.
Kind regards
Jonboy
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 21st January 2013 at 3:28 PM

Dear Jonboy,
There were more than 80 soldiers called Alfred Jordan who served overseas in the First World War, but fewer than half have service records that have survived and Alfred E Jordan is not among them, so it is not possible to identify him. He was probably Albert Edward Jordan born in the last quarter of 1894 in Hendon district which covered Harrow.
Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: Sydney {Email left}
Location: Farnham Surrey
Date: Sunday 20th January 2013 at 11:36 AM
I have to do a history project I have to write diary entries for a world war 1 soldier I thought if I could find a ancestor it would be better i my mums Madian name timpani my dads name lee
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 20th January 2013 at 12:44 PM

Dear Sydney,
Soldiers fighting at the front in the First World War were not allowed to keep diaries in case they were captured by the enemy, so if you hand in a blank sheet of paper you should get top marks! But as that is unlikely to work, have a look at some real diary entries at:
http://www.firstworldwar.com/diaries/index.htm

It is not possible to identify your ancestors, so you would need to choose a regiment and a timeline such as the 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment and the 5th Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/5div.htm

Perhaps your man could be wounded in 1915 and sent home to the UK?

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Sydney
Date: Sunday 20th January 2013 at 12:54 PM

Thanks for the help this will really help for my assessment :)


Posted by: Luke Jonboys Son {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013 at 11:59 AM
Hello alleen
hope you dont mind me asking you but last week in a history lesson my teacher asked
why in ww1 they had different theartre of wars with different names,of which he didnt
know the answere and he thought i would but i didnt know how to answere the question
can you help please,as next week i have to stand up in class and answere questions on
ww1 as nobody else understands what happened then most of the kids appear to be
realy interested (including the teacher) so i do realy enjoy being up there.
thankyou
Lukie
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013 at 7:15 PM

Dear Luke,
First of all, let's deal with the name of the war.
It couldn't be called the First World War until after there had been another world war The Second World War (1939 1945). As early as April 1922 there were references to the "first world war" in the sense of acknowledging the war had been the first global conflict. But it was not until November 1933 that a book entitled "The First World War" was published as an illustrated history of the conflict, subtitled: "an awe inspiring record of The Great War". By December 1938, Radio Eireann broadcast talks entitled: "The Cause of the first World War" but it was not until 1941 that the word "first" gained a capital letter in "The Times" newspaper on Monday, Sep 29, 1941, in reporting a speech by President Roosevelt of the USA. "The Second World War" first went into print as the title of a book by Duff Cooper published in November 1939 and again in 1940 as a book title. But the use of The Second World War with capital initials first appeared in "The Times" on Tuesday, Dec 10, 1946 in a book review by Dr Thomas Jones.
Only the Americans number the two wars as WW1 ("World War One") and WW2. In Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe they are properly known as the First World War and the Second World War.
The war was originally called "The Great War" which was short for The Great War for Civilisation. That title was created in 1919 by an inter-allied committee in France as the wording to go on the Victory Medal which had been proposed by Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France, the supreme commander of the allies. The "Civilisation" it referred to was that of democratic nations living in harmony as European neighbours, in contrast to the rising of Communism in Russia or dictatorships, such as the dictatorial leadership of the German Kaiser and his army commanders. The graves of unknown soldiers are marked: "A Soldier of the Great War - Known to God". The Great War for Civilisation was dated 1914- 1919 because there was fighting in Russia in 1919 and the peace treaty was signed and imposed on Germany in 1919.
The Armistice of November 1918 was an armed truce between German soldiers and Allied soldiers fighting in France and Flanders. The Germans returned to Germany with their weapons, followed by British and French soldiers occupying parts of Germany to ensure the Armistice, or peace, held firm.
So, if The Great War took its name after 1919; what was the war called while it was taking place?
It was sometimes referred to as "The Kaiser's War" after the title of a book written by Austin Harrison in November 1914, placing responsibility for the war on the German emperor. Otherwise it was called simply: "The war". Both the British and the French later called it the 1914-1918 War (Guerre 1914-1918).
Britain was allied to the French and the Russians and had offered her support to Belgium which was invaded by German troops on their way to France. Britain, France and Germany were all colonial powers with interests in distant parts of the world. British Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada sent troops to fight in other parts of the world including Gallipoli and France and Flanders. To protect British colonies with their rich resources such as oil, diamonds, and gold, politicians required the British Army and Royal Navy to fight in different parts of the world during "The war". Long before 1914, military commanders had defined a "theatre of war" as an area of land or sea with set boundaries which was to be defended or invaded. It later included the air-space as well. These became known as the "theatres of operations" or "theatres of war". There were seven of them existing at various times between 1914 and 1920. The seven named theatres were: Western Europe; Balkans, Russia, Egypt, Africa, Asia and Australasia. We should add the "war at sea" as another one.

Western Europe covered France and the area of Belgium known as Flanders, and Italy. A "front" in military terms was the place at which opposing forces were engaged in fighting. So, although the fighting in France and Flanders was to the East of Britain, it became known as the Western European Front or Western Front. (Further East, the Russian Front became the Eastern Front). The Allies fought in both France and the part of Belgium that was not occupied by the Germans, called Flanders, so they fought in "France and Flanders". The poets enjoyed using words beginning with the same letter (alliteration) so we get: "In Flanders Fields". The British Expeditionary Force held only a small part of the Western Front which stretched for 400 miles throughout the length of France's borders.
Neighbouring Italy did not join the war in 1914 but on May 23rd 1915 Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary. The BEF sent troops to help Italy and eventually the Armistice with Austria was signed on 3rd November and took effect on 4th November 1918 at three o'clock in the afternoon. Fighting in Italy was known as the Italian Campaign.
The Balkans included the fighting in Greek Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria and European Turkey as well as Gallipoli in the Dardanelles. The fighting in the Dardanelles, against the Turkish, was known as the Gallipoli Campaign or simply "Gallipoli" and lasted from 1915 to January 1916. It is famously commemorated by the Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) forces who were sent there in 1915. The fighting in Greek Macedonia was known as "Salonika" after the name of the Greek port of arrival (now called Thessaloniki). A joint French and British force fought against Bulgarians and Austrians from October 1915. The Armistice there was signed on September 30th 1918.
Egypt was important because the Suez Canal provided a short sea route to India and Australia. It was used as a base for campaigns against the Ottoman Empire in Palestine. The first attack came from the Turks on 14 January 1915 across the Sinai Peninsula from Beersheba. There was a second attack in late 1916 and the Allied advance into Palestine began early in 1917.
The African theatre included East Africa, Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia; South West Africa; Cameroon; Nigeria; and Togoland. The main fighting was between a small German and native army and a British and native army in German East Africa. The campaign started to end in November 1917 and the German commander Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck generally had the upper hand. Undefeated, he surrendered on November 23rd 1918 after the Armistice had been signed.
The war in Asia involved Hedjaz; Mesopotamia (now called Iraq); Persia (now called Iran); Trans Caspia; South West Arabia; Aden; The Indian Frontier with Afghanistan and Tsing-Tau in China, where the Japanese and British attacked the German port, now called Quingdao, which was the home of the German Navy's East Asia Squadron. Aden was an important British-held port where British ships refuelled and where there were telegraph stations linked to London. It was menaced from the hinterland by the Turks from Yemen. Britain had oil supplies that came from Persia. Britain controlled India which was not a theatre of war but where the Khyber Pass and North West Frontier with Afghanistan had to be constantly policed.
The main fighting in Asia was against the Turks in Mesopotamia where one of the British Army's worst defeats occurred at the siege of Kut Al Amara (7 December 1915 29 April 1916). The Turks had entered the war in November 1914 and were seen as a threat to British interests including Abadan and its oil pipeline to the Persian oilfields. Fighting against the Turks ended on 30th October 1918.
The Australasian theatre of war included German occupied islands near Australia, including New Britain and New Ireland (Papua New Guinea. Both occupied by New Zealand forces in August 1914); Kaiser Wilhelmland (captured by Australians on 21 September 1914); Admiralty Islands (captured by Australia in November 1914); Nauru (attacked 4th September and formally occupied November 6th 1914 by the Australians) and German Samoa (occupied by New Zealand on 29th August 1914).

The various Armistices didn't end all the fighting in 1918. The Allies went to help the White Russians fight the communists (the Bolsheviks or "Red Russians") after the October Revolution. The Allies occupied Arkhangelsk (Archangel) on 2nd August 1918. There was fighting against Bolsheviks along the Dvina River until April 1919 in an operation known as the North Russian Intervention. The Allied force was trapped there by frozen seas and a relief force was sent to bring them out. British and Empire troops fought against Bolshevik troops in the Trans-Caspian campaign which ended in April 1919. After "The war", President Woodrow Wilson of the USA set a vision for the League of Nations; the victors re-drew the maps of Europe and the Middle East. The Royal Navy continued its blockade of Germany until June 1919. The British Army occupied the Rhineland until 1929 to remind Germany to keep the peace. The political leaders met in Paris in 1919 and drew up the Treaty of Versailles on 28th June 1919 which pointed the finger of blame at Germany and ordered Germany to pay for the war. Britain continued to fight unrest South Russia (1919), Siberia (1919), Afghanistan (1919); Iraq (1919-1922); Syria (1919); Silesia (1920).
On 28th October 1919 the British Government agreed an Act of Parliament to make provision for determining the Date of the Termination of the Present War. In due course the British parliament declared the "War of 1914-1918 terminated on 31st August 1921".
Kind regards, Alan
Reply from: Lukie
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013 at 8:29 PM

Alan
wow ! thank very much i hope you dont mind if i print this of and use it in class i think it will realy impress my teacher and the class,and ive learnt a lot just by reading this thankyou so much for giving me your time on this.hope you dont mind if i contact you again in the future for more information i might need.
lukie
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013 at 9:52 PM

Hi Luke,
Be my guest. Good luck next week.
Alan


Posted by: Lynne Berry {Email left}
Location: Hartlepool
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013 at 12:40 AM
Hi Alan,
Please could you help a friend of mine find out details of a relative. He was Private Thomas William Hall, service no 7619988. His date of death - 20th Jan 1942. He was in the Royal Army Ordinance Corps and is buried in Pembroke Military Cemetery. The son of George and Meggie Hall of West Hartlepool. Any other information would be gratefully appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013 at 7:19 PM

Dear Lynne,
I do no research the Second World War on this forum. Unlike the records of Victorian soldiers and those who served in the First World War, records of soldiers who served after 1921 are held securely by the UK Ministry of Defence and are protected under the UK Data Protection Act of 1998. The MOD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are the direct next-of-kin, or not. You can apply for a search using the different application forms for next-of-kin, or with permission of next-of-kin, or as a general enquirer. See:

http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html

You 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 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). Look for "Service records publications" under "Related pages" and follow the instructions. Otherwise use a general enquirer's form. The Part 2 form is entitled: "Request forms for service personnel Army" found under "Related Pages". 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.
Searches take several months to complete.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Lynne Berry
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013 at 8:29 PM

Dear Alan, thankyou so much for the information, I never thought because of the time scale it isn't possible for you to help. This will be why my friend has found it difficult to access any records of any sort. I will pass on the details you have given me. Many thanks, Lynne


Posted by: Rob Clarke {Email left}
Location: Worcester
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 9:02 PM
Hi Alan,
I am trying to trace any information on my Grandfather. His name was Robert Russell Brown, born or raised Lesmahagow, I beleive 31st. May 1873. Died Worcester 22nd October 1942. I have his Marriage certificate 25th February 1919, which states he was a "Enginefitter (Private 11th Battn Highland Light Infantry). He married Catherine (Kate) Rea (Rae) who was born and bred in Worcester.We are trying to find how he came to meet my Grandmother, was he ever stationed at Worcester Norton Barracks?
All information much appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 9:52 PM

Dear Rob,
There were 23 men named Robert Brown who served overseas with the Highland Light Infantry. It is not possible to identify an individual without knowing his regimental number. Of the 23, only three individual service records have survived for Robert Browns in the Highland Light Infantry so the likelihood of finding a detailed record is slim.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Rob Clarke
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 10:01 PM

Thank you for your reply. Is there any other way I could find any information (birth, family etc.) on him?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 10:47 PM

Dear Rob,
For his past you should search Scottish records using the information from his marriage certificate. See:
http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/
(charges apply)
For his family you would need to search for births etc using either a subscription website such as ancestery or findmypast, or Free BMD (Births marriage and deaths) using his surname and wife's maiden name.
See:
http://www.freebmd.org.uk/

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Rob Clarke
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013 at 7:40 PM

Thanks for your help.

Rob Clarke


Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 6:32 PM
Hi Alan
Happy New Year to you

Can you look up a Family member for me please,He s Born 1893 the only imfo my mum had
was he served as a Rifleman in the London Regiment i can see 2 reg nos being :10588 and
5409,presumerbly he was in two Regiments.He was residing at the time of Islington,London.
All Mum has written down was he was killed in Action but i cant read the Date.Hope you can
help on this one.
Regards
Jonboy

Whoops ! sorry his Name was Arthur Henry Nicholls Born in Islington 1893.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 8:43 PM

Dear Jonboy,
Arthur Henry Nicholls served in the 8th Battalion London Regiment (5409) and the 1st/5th Battalion London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade) (10588) in the 56th Division. He was killed, aged 23, on 10th September 1916 and has no named grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. The Division was at Ginchy on the Somme on that date.
There is no individual record for him. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards, and a Happy New Year to you and Luke.
Alan
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013 at 12:56 AM

Many thanks for that Alan.
Regards Jonboy (and Luke !)


Posted by: Lizzie {Email left}
Location: Retford
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 4:58 PM
Hello Alan, I'm afraid it's me again. Could you please explain a Medal Card.

My gt uncle was a doctor, qualified in 1912 & was at a hospital in Sheffield when war broke out possibly 3rd Northern General Hosp. His medal card has R.A.M.C. (I know what that means) Lieut. RAMC Capt. with OFF/141 under Roll Page 673 with a small c at the top opposite Victory, & then same again for British. Then 15 STAR OFF/141 Page 283. A variety of letters & Nos. after a bracket round all the medal list with IV. then plus then 7255. small c/20-11-22. EF/8/8095. Underneath is Emblems. Theatre of war first served in France, date of entry therein 12/5/15. At the very bottom left is 20.9.22 & on right is EF/8/8095.

Under Correspondence: it has Capt. AR Wightman applies for medals under that is a big curly E then 7 or a backwards P with a line through the middle & then a g or q more likely latter.

I am trying to trace his war record, his obituary said he was in 6th batt. Royal Scots Fusiliers but I can't find where to find someone in the RAMC! Sorry to trouble you again.

Liz
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 8:16 PM

Dear Liz,
Campaign Medals were not instigated until 1918 (1914-15 Star) and 1919 (War and Victory Medals) and the medals were issued in the two-and-a-half years after July 19th 1919. Officers had to apply to the War Office Medals Branch, 27 Pilgrim Street, London E.C. for their campaign medals and the medal rolls index card summarised the details required to impress and issue the medals. The card showed Arthur Robertson Wightman served in the RAMC, first as a Lieutenant and then as a Captain. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star awarded for service overseas before December 31st 1915. He qualified by arriving in France on May 12th 1915. The red cross by his rank of Lieutenant and the entry for the medal showed that the medal would be impressed with the rank of Lieut. The actual medal roll containing his qualification was numbered OFF/141 and his name was entered on page 283. The roll itself is held at the National Archives. His Victory Medal and the British War Medal were listed on the medal roll numbered OFF/141 on page 673C. There is a ditto mark adjacent to the BWM entry showing that was on the same page. The blue cross showed the rank was to be recorded as Captain.
Emblems were also despatched with the medals. These were bronze oak leaf emblems (thumbnail-sized badges) to be worn on the ribband of the Victory Medal to show an individual had been 'Mentioned in Despatches' (MID). Two 'oak leaf' MID emblems were sent out for the full-size medal ribband and the ribband only. The MID and promotions should be recorded in the London Gazette. See:
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search

Search using both forenames and initials (A.R.). Officers did not have regimental numbers to identify them.
Captain Wightman applied to the Medals Branch on 14th September 1922 and he would have been sent an enquiry form, known as an E.F./9. The completed form E.F./9 was returned to the medal office on 4th October 1922. Meanwhile, the medal rolls had been checked, the medal card completed and his entitlement to the medals checked with form EF/8/8095 completed on 20 September 1922. This entitlement form was used to provide the Royal Ordnance Factory at Woolwich Arsenal with the information required to be impressed on the rim or reverse of the medals which had been struck by the Royal Mint but were stamped and mounted at Woolwich and by some private firms. The medals were then posted to the address provided by the officer and a clerk placed his or her initials on the reverse of the card. The medals were despatched and proof of despatch was kept on a slip of paper which read: "1915 Star; BW&V were despatched to xyz by recorded post on 20.11.22". This was called an Indent Voucher (I.V.) and was kept in the event the medals were returned or no receipt for their arrival had been returned. A. R. Wightman's Voucher took a unique number, in this case I.V. +7255 d[ated] 20.11.22.. The cross probably indicated an officers' list.
Some 200 women were employed in the Medals Branch making-up packets for despatch. Medals of some 200,000 men whose addresses were unknown were returned by the Post Office or remained un-traced by 1925.

The additional information gleaned from a medal index card is the number of the medal roll. In this case OFF[icers'] rolls. These can be viewed at the National Archives and sometimes contain additional information such as the unit he served with. However, his obituary stated he served with the 6th Battalion The Royal Scots Fusiliers. The index card showed he arrived in France on May 12th 1915. That was the date the 6th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers arrived in France.
He was therefore the Battalion Medical Officer (MO or "Doc") attached to the 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers. Prior to that, he had served at the 3rd Northern General Hospital until February 1915 (London Gazette) which occupied 13 schools and other buildings in Sheffield.
Officers' service records are held at the National Archives at Kew. You would need to check with the downloadable (free) medical officers' index. See: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/searchresults.asp?fldResultMarker=21&fldSearchNumber=18614&SearchInit=1

to acquire his former file reference number (which was 288952) and then enquire at the National Archives to see if they still have the file.
The 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers served with 9 Division until 7th May 1916 when they amalgamated with the 7th Battalion to form the 6th/7th Battalion in the 15th Division until 21 February 1918 when they moved to 59 Division. The Battalion was dispersed in May 1918 and reduced to a training cadre which returned to the UK and was absorbed by the 18th Battalion Scottish Rifles (Cameronians) who returned to France on 31st July 1918 to serve in 16 Division. Divisional engagements can be seen on the website "The Long, Long Trail". The Battalion war diaries are filed by Division at The National Archives. Part One is available to purchase (£3.36) online. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C4554923

It is part of a very large document. Parts Two and Three are held at The National Archives as 6/7 Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers and at the time of writing can only be viewed at Kew.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Lizzie
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 8:26 PM

Dear Alan

How do you manage to know all this. The information is absolutely fabulous as I hadn't a clue where to go to find anything about Arthur, I had tried the RAMC archives place but they said they'd never heard of him, I think they only keep regular officers records. Many many thanks indeed. I will try the Nat. Archives though I do find them rather obscure!

Kind regards
Liz


Posted by: Gill Railton {Email left}
Location: Hull East Yorkshire
Date: Thursday 17th January 2013 at 7:18 PM
Hello again Alan
I am hoping you can help me with another querry.

My Great Uncle Joseph Kingston was born 21 - 9 -1897 in Hull. From the details I have found I think he got his call up papers 17th August 1916, and I have been able to see his military record via Ancestry.It showed on 14th November 1917 he was wounded ( gased) and sent to Military Hospital in Nottingham.
Can you tell me anything about where he would have been and in what battle when he was gased?

I believe he was in the East Yorkshire Regiment.

Your help would be appreciated
Thank you
Gill Railton
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 17th January 2013 at 10:04 PM

Dear Gill,
Joseph Kingston served with the Cambridgeshire Regiment and when he recovered from his wounds he served with the Essex Regiment. He was conscripted and attested in May 1916 at Hull and may have been assigned to the East Yorkshire Regiment but when called-up he would have had no choice of regiment and he was posted to the 2nd/1st Cambridgeshire Regiment. This was a training battalion which provided replacements for the 1st Cambridgeshire Regiment which before the war had been the county's part-time volunteer Territorial battalion. He went overseas on 9th August 1917 and was wounded by a gas shell on 8th November 1917. The 1st Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment served in the 118th Infantry Brigade in the 39th Division. The Division was fighting at The Second Battle of Passchendaele on November 8th 1917.
After leaving hospital, Joseph Kingston was declared fit for active service on 24th December 1917 and he returned to France on 22 March 1918 where he served with the 11th and then the 2nd Battalions of The Essex Regiment. He was gassed a second time on 23rd April 1918 while serving with the 11th Essex in the 18th Infantry Brigade in 6th Division which had fought at Bailleul until April 15th when the town fell to the Germans. Joseph was treated in hospital in France until July and was then posted to the 2nd Bn Essex Regiment returning to England in January 1919. He was demobilized in February 1919.
J. Kingston qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Gill Railton
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 4:36 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you so much for this information, as usual your knowledge is great, I will be making a donation.

The only thing I find odd is if Joe joined the East Yorkshire Regiment and lived in Hull why he would have been put in the Cambridgeshire then Essex Regiments,

Well, thanks again for your help

Best Wishes

Gill
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 4:44 PM

Dear Gill,
The Military Service Acts of 1916 did away with localised service and the army placed men where they were most needed at the time.
Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: Patrick Nice {Email left}
Location: Kelmscott Western Australia
Date: Thursday 17th January 2013 at 12:14 PM
Hi Alan. I am trying to trace my paternal grandfather. He was born in Gestingthorpe Essex in 1845. He joined the army and was in the KOYLI. On 25th August 1880 Captain William Nice was appointed Quatermaster of Land Forces. He may have been in the 105th Foot regiment at this time. I have been able to find mention of him in census notes in Pontefract, Yorkshire and at Pembroke, Wales. I also believe he was at time posted to Ireland. He may also have been in India where he met and married his first wife, Harriet. Attempts to find out more information draw a blank, possibly because he had a cousin also named William Nice born 2 years earlier in 1843. I hope this is enough to go on. If you need more information please ask and I will try to provide it. He retired to Caterham where he met and married his second wife ( my paternal grandmother ) who was the daughter of the Presbeterian minister to the Scots Guards. His ( the minister's name was James Duncan ) married to Margaret Strachan from Banff in Scotland.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 17th January 2013 at 6:21 PM

Dear Patrick,
William Nice was an ordinary soldier until 1880. By 1880 he had risen to the rank of paymaster-sergeant and on 25th August 1880 he was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant in the role of Quartermaster in the 105th Foot. He had probably served the full 21 years' service prior to that, so he may have enlisted as a boy soldier in about 1859. There was only one paymaster sergeant in the headquarters of each battalion and the appointment as "Quartermaster and Honorary Lieutenant" was often granted as a reward for good service. The Quartermaster served in battalion headquarters and did not serve as a combatant commander but remained in the role throughout his time. The 105th Foot was originally an Indian Army regiment, Madras Light Infantry, which was taken into the British Army in 1858 and was renamed the 105th Regiment of Foot in 1862. The regiment was at Dinapore and Meerut in the 1860s. In 1872 it went to Aden for two years' service. It moved to the UK in 1874 for service at garrisons at Sheffield, Colchester, Channel Islands and Ireland. From 1878 is shared its depot at Pontefract Barracks with the 51st Foot. In 1881 the two regiments merged at Pontefract to become the King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment) with the 105th as the 2nd Battalion King's Own Light Infantry. The 2nd Battalion served at Mullingar, Ireland, in 1881; Quetta in 1887; Bombay in 1892 and Poona in 1894. In 1897 they became 2nd battalion The King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry). The 2nd Battalion moved to South Africa in 1899 and fought with great distinction in the South African War (1899-1902). The depot remained at Pontefract. In the 1891 census William was recorded at The Barracks, Pontefract as a Captain in the KOYLI.
The London Gazette recorded in 1890: "Quartermaster and Honorary Lieutenant William Nice, the King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry), has been granted the honorary rank of Captain. Dated 25th August, 1890." He retired on February 3rd 1900. You can search the London Gazette online.
You would not find any service records online.
Between 1880 and 1900 William served as quartermaster with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry whose depot was at Pontefract. He would be listed in the Army Lists published quarterly in those years. Complete sets of the Army List are held at the British Library and the National Archives in the UK. Some archives in Australia may have them. You would need to visit the archives and check each of the volumes covering that period to locate where William was serving, although we have probably covered much of it here. Some officer's records of the period have survived. These were either created by the regiment or held by the War Office. The National Archives has a card index of these records. There is an online version of the card index of what is considered an incomplete list but William Nice is not included. See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/britisharmyofficerbefore1913.htm
His record prior to becoming an officer has possibly not survived. The records that have survived are for the soldiers who received a pension, but William was commissioned as an officer, therefore did not receive a soldier's pension.
Other sources of information include muster rolls and monthly pay lists which recorded each soldier, where he was and what he was paid. These, along with description books, are held at the National Archives at Kew. By visiting the archives it would be possible to trace his movements through the lists.
General Registration Office regimental birth index records the following Nice births in the 105th Foot: William, Dinapore, 1867; William W., Meerut, 1869; Emily S., Meerut 1871; Mabel S., Sheffield, 1875; William R., Colchester, 1877; Herbert W., Newry, 1879. The birth of Bertha Mary Nice was a civil registration at Mullingar, Ireland in 1882.
The 1891 census recorded William, Mabel and Bertha as children living with William and Harriet. The other children may have died in infancy or there was another soldier with the surname Nice in the 105th Foot.
Family baptism, marriage and death records from India are held at The British Library. A few British Library family records are available online with information from other Indian sources. See:
http://www.new.fibis.org/research

The Regimental archives are at Pontefract. The Regimental museum is at Doncaster. See:
http://www.armymuseums.org.uk/museums/0000000055-King-s-Own-Yorkshire-Light-Infantry-Museum-Collection.htm

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Patrick Nice
Date: Friday 18th January 2013 at 12:23 AM

Hi Alan. Thanks for all this information. I did not expect such a quick reply. I will forward this to a sister in England and see if she can help trace things for my records. Thanks again, regards, Patrick.


Posted by: Lizzie {Email left}
Location: Retford
Date: Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 4:31 PM
Hi Alan

Having already asked you about my husband's grandfather, now it's my turn to ask about one of my gt. uncle's - George Lindores Wightman. He started WWI as a Lieut in The Gordon Highlanders. learnt to fly at Le Crotoy, France in July 1915 & joined the RFC (either before or after learning to fly, not sure which) I sent for AIR76 which seems to suggest he wasn't very well a lot of the time. However he became an Assistant Equipment Officer late 1915, then on 1/1/1916 was in BEF (to France?) then became an Equipment Officer & a Captain. in Oct 1917 he was a temp Major, Park Commander, BEF & on 1 April 1918 Park Commander, Aircraft Park, Indep. Air Force. Then he became a Cap. (Hon Major) Technical branch RAF. Then on 20 Sept appointed Major, Admin Detail, SW Area for 8 Stores Distribution Park, Eastleigh, then transferred from Tech Branch to Admin Branch & on 18 Oct sent to Command 8 Aircraft Park, Wevelghem, Belgium BEF. He had 8 months experience as a Flying Officer (Observer) & 1 months experience as a pilot, 20 months attached to RFC staff (Q Branch) HQ RAF in the Field, & 9 months experience as Park Commander (Tech Branch) Overseas. Mentioned twice in despatches in London Gazette.

A lot of information most of which I don't understand except that he probably wasn't a flying ace! Can you throw any light on the duties of Equipment Officer & a Park Commander, and/or on the Eastleigh Depot & Wevelghem.

Kind regards
Liz
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 8:38 PM

Dear Liz,
An Equipment Officer was responsible for the procurement, receipt, issue and repair of stores and equipment used by the Royal Flying Corps. No. 8 Stores Distribution Park, Eastleigh was situated conveniently for the railway from London to Southampton and the coastal ports. Eastleigh was already home to the Royal Navy Victualing Depot established in 1912. In 1917 the RFC built an aircraft acceptance park at Eastleigh which was then used by the United States Naval Air Service and which after the war became Southampton Airport. Thousands of US officers and men were billeted in tents and huts alongside the London to Southampton railway line.
An Aircraft Park was a large operational centre at which aircraft were assembled, repaired, or stored in readiness for use by the RFC squadrons. An aircraft park resembled a factory repairing anything involved with the flying operations, including wireless equipment, vehicles, and even furniture. The stores section was responsible for requisitions ranging from complete aircraft to nuts and bolts and even "rakes and lawnmowers for keeping aerodromes trim". Aeroplane supply was operated alongside aeroplane salvage and repair. No 8 Salvage Section was also at Wevelghem as well as an ammunition park. The scale of operations in France and Flanders can be measured by the statistics which showed, according to "Cross and Cockade", "Wastage rates at the beginning of the war were relatively low, about 10% per month, but by June 1916 they had reached 47.7 per cent per month, rising to 64.6 per cent during the Battle of the Somme. In order to keep 1800 aircraft in the field (the size of the RAF at the Armistice) it was calculated that 1500 new aircraft would have to be delivered to France each month".
Wevelghem was the location of a German airfield during the First World War and was relieved in the final advance in the North on 15th October 1918, just three days before George was sent to France again.
The Royal Flying Corps was part of the Army and the Royal Naval Air Service part of the Navy. The two merged to become the RAF on April 1st 1918. The appointment to the Independent Air Force would have been a secret at the time as the Independent Air Force (it was independent from the Army) was not announced to the public until May 13th 1918 under the command of Major-General Trenchard. The purpose of the independent air force was to bomb strategic targets in Germany as opposed to supporting the Army's operations on the ground in France and Flanders. It began on June 6th 1918 and established its headquarters near Nancy, France.
There is one reference to 8 Aircaft Park in The National Archives' catalogue. See;
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C4085958

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Lizzie
Date: Wednesday 16th January 2013 at 3:16 PM

Hi Alan

Once again what a marvel you are - you must be tired of hearing this. Thank you so much for the information and I will have a look at the Nat. Archives Catalogue using your reference. I find the Archives site very tricky to use so this should make it much easier.

Kind regards

Liz


Posted by: Eils
Location: Durham
Date: Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 12:00 PM
Hi Alan

Can you give me any more information on Thomas Bowman please. I think he was my Grandmother's cousin and would like to find out his age, his address at the time and who his parents were please. Was he married and did he have any family.

Name: Thomas Bowman Birth Place: Birtley, Durham Death Date: 8 Oct 1916 Death Location: France & Flanders Enlistment Location: West Hartlepool Rank: Private Regiment: Machine Gun Corps Battalion: (Infantry) Number: 23126 Type of Casualty: Killed in action Theatre of War: Western European Theatre Comments: Formerly 14746, York Regt., M.M

Thanking you kindly
Eils
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 8:36 PM

Dear Eils,
No individual service record has survived for Thomas Bowman and there are no military records that provide biographical information other than "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) which recorded he was born at Birtley, Co. Durham. The only Thomas Bowman who appears in the England and Wales censuses consistently recorded as being born in Birtley was born about 1886 and was the son of Joseph and Dorothy Bowman of Birtley. Birtley was in the Chester-le-Street Registration District and the birth of a Thomas Bowman was registered at Chester le Street in the first quarter of 1886.
What appears to be the same Thomas Bowman, stated age 23, appeared in the 1911 census married for two years to Elizabeth. A Thomas Bowman married Elizabeth Mason at Chester le Street district in the last quarter of 1908.

An Elizabeth Bowman married Georges G. Van Beneden at Chester le Street in the third quarter of 1917. The birth of a George Van Beneden was registered at Chester le Street in the first quarter of 1918. The mother's maiden name was stated as Mason. The child died in infancy and the death was also registered in the first quarter of 1918. The birth of a Gustave Van Beneden was registered at Chester le Street in the last quarter of 1918. The mother's maiden name was stated as Bowman.

It would be necessary to see the actual birth and marriage certificates to trace this family backwards with accuracy but the records suggest that Georges Van Beneden married a widow, Elizabeth Bowman formerly Mason, whose husband had died between 1911 (when he appeared in the census) and summer 1917 when she married again. There was no death in Co. Durham between those years that matched Thomas Bowman born 1886, therefore it is probable that the Thomas Bowman who was born at Birtley and killed in action in 1916 was is the Thomas born in 1886 who married Elizabeth Mason.
Thomas Bowman was the son of Joseph Bowman born at Birtley about 1863. This was probably Joseph Humble Bowman whose birth was registered in 1862. He was the son of Thomas Bowman, born at Cambo in Northumberland in about 1834/5 and his wife Margaret (Humble). In 1871 the family lived at The Blue Bell at Birtley where Margaret's widowed mother Jane Humble, born about 1791, was the licensee.
In 1911, Thomas Bowman and his wife Elizabeth were boarders at 12 B Street, Birtley, (correct) with the Mason family. Thomas and Elizabeth had a daughter Elizabeth born at Birtley in1910.
Thomas Bowman received the Military Medal for bravery in the field (1916) as well as the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
This brief look at the records should not be taken as evidence.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Eils
Date: Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 10:14 PM

Thank you so much for this information Alan.
Kind Regards
Eils


Posted by: Thomas William Alderson {Email left}
Location: Crook Co Durham
Date: Monday 14th January 2013 at 2:30 PM
I am searching for my grandfather Thomas William Alderson who served in WW1 Born 1888. Parents name's father William Mother Mary. Thomas.W Alderson married Sara Jane Alderson 1909

Hello Alan
I don't know if you can help me with my search. Thomas William Alderson.who served in The Durham Light Infantry. I am sorry, I do not know his sevice Number. I am hoping you can tell me how ? I can't find a death certificate, I wonder if you can help me find his service record ? Sarah Jane his wife remarried in 1918 stating that she was a widow.Could he be listed as " Missing " presumed dead ? I know it's a long shot Alan with very few details given, but you are my last shot at finding any service records.

Regards,
Margaret.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 14th January 2013 at 9:15 PM

Dear Margaret,
There is not sufficient information to accurately identify Thomas William Alderson in military records. There are no military records that match your Thomas William Alderson or Tom Alderson, William Alderson etc.. There were nine Thomas Aldersons who served abroad with the Durham Light Infantry during the First World War; four of whom died. Three of those can be shown to have different next-of-kin and the fourth, who had been born in Yorkshire not Durham, died on 1st October 1918,which was apparently after a Sarah J Alderson married Joseph Thurlby. There is no other recognisable death certificate indexed in the GRO Army deaths or civilian deaths for Thomas Alderson born 1888 or in the DLI.
It is possible either that he didn't die in the war or he did not serve in the DLI. Evidence of his regiment and regimental number is required to identify surviving military records.
In the 1911 census a Thomas William Alderson, married, aged 23 was recorded living with his parents at Willington, Durham. There was a four year old grandson in the family, John William Alderson, born 1907, although William and Mary had no other married children at that address and Thomas would not marry Sarah Jane until 1909. Thomas's wife Sarah Jane Branston or Brankston was born in 1891. A Sarah Jane Alderson, aged 19, married one year, with Ada May Alderson, born in 1910, was living (on census night) with her parents Henry and Mary Ann Brankston, at Crook and Billy Row.
Unfortunately there is no record showing Thomas William and Sarah Jane living together as a family unit.
Only 40 per cent of soldiers' service records have survived from the Great War, so many searches will inevitably be frustrated by a lack of evidence.
There was a Thomas William Alderson born in 1888 at Coundon who served in the DLI from 1908 until 1920. However, he stated he was single. He had a brother Walter and a sister Miss M A Alderson. There were three births named Thomas William Alderson registered in Durham in 1888. In this case, the 1911 Census recorded he was 21, born in about 1890 and was serving with the DLI in India on census night.
The Commonwealth war Graves Commission records another Thomas William Alderson, who was born in 1888 was Private 201067, Durham Light Infantry 19th (Service) Battalion, Son of Charles Alderson and Ann Raine, Born: 1888 Cotherstone, Yorkshire (now in Co. Durham), Enlisted: Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, Died: 1st October 1918; Killed in Action, Buried: Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Ypres, Belgium.
You may wish to contact the Alderson Family History Society to see if there are any cousins who may know of Thomas William's family circumstances before and during the war. See:
http://www.afhs.org/
and
http://www.afhs.org/ww1_roll_of_honour.htm

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Margaret
Date: Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 2:51 PM

Thank you Alan for your very detailed reply, it was a long shot, on my part, and with very little details.given. The Thomas William Alderson you found in Willington, staying at the home of his parents, is my Thomas William and the Sarah Jane Alderson you found along with her daughter Ada May Alderson also staying at the home of her parents is Thomas William's wife.How I wish for the
1921 census.

Thank you again for all help given.
Margaret.


Posted by: Nigel Cox {Email left}
Location: Stamford Lincolnshire
Date: Sunday 13th January 2013 at 12:10 PM
I am trying to find out more about my grandfather John Cox

I know he was in the 1st Lincolnshire Regiment, that his soldier number was 7566 and that he was a serving soldier when war broke out and was part of the BEF who went to the front line in August 1914

He was mentioned in despatches on 14th January 1915 by Sir John French

He was captured at Hooge on 16th June 1915 after being wounded and had his leg amputated (I believe by a German surgeon)

He was eventually taken to Switzerland in late May 1916 and then back to the UK where he was discharged in December 1917

I would like to know more about his full service record, where he would have been held as a POW, how to find out the details of why he was mentioned in despatches, information about the men he served with, etc. etc.

Could anyone please help me to find out more

Thank you

Nigel Cox
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 13th January 2013 at 9:01 PM

Dear Nigel,
Records of Prisoners of War from the First World War are held by the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. Searches of the documents are suspended while they are being prepared for digital imaging. See:
http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/article/other/archives-first-world-war-2011-07-27.htm

John Cox enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment at Grantham on 5th June 1905 at the age of 19.
Prisoners often stayed at more than one camp. A letter in his service record showed Sgt John Cox had been moved to Switzerland by June 1916 from Kriegsgefangenenlager Friedrichsfeld-bei-Wesel. (POW Camp Friedrichsfeld, Germany) The camp was considered by the YMCA to be a good camp.
See a contemporary newspaper article at:
http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=90563

There are some photographs of some of the camp's prisoners at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fhsleuth/sets/72157616587431314

It is not possible to say why he was Mentioned in Despatches as the men were usually only listed in the "London Gazette" as "Cox, No. 7566 Private J." among 17 members of his battalion. There was a general citation made in the commander's actual despatch which read: "MY LORD, In accordance with the last paragraph, of my Despatch of the 20th November, 1914, I have the honour to bring to notice names of those whom I recommend for gallant and distinguished service in the field. The MID was published on 17th February 1915 Gazette Issue 29072 published date of 16 February 1915 page 1660. The Gazette is accessible online.
The despatch dealt with First Ypres. It can be read at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/french_fourth_despatch.html

In 1919 a certificate was issued to all who were mentioned in despatches and in 1920 an emblem of a bronze oak leaf was granted for wearing on the medal ribbon of the Victory Medal. The "London Gazette" of August 24th 1915 recorded that His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia has been graciously pleased to confer, with the approval of His Majesty the King, the undermentioned rewards for gallantry and distinguished service in the Field: 7566 Acting Serjeant John Cox, 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment was awarded the Medal of St George 3rd Class.
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/29275/supplements/8512

In 1914-15 the Military Medal had yet to be instituted for bravery (it was instituted on 25th March 1916) and the Meritorious Service Medal was not extended for "gallant conduct other than in action" until January 1917. So men who had been Mentioned in Despatches in the original BEF were often recommended for Allied medals on a quid pro quo principle.

It is not possible to suggest who his comrades were. The 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment had a contingent of 2 officers and 125 men of the Bermuda Rifle Volunteer Corps serving with them from June 1915. Their casualties were 75 per cent of their strength.

The Battalion's war diary for the period 1914 to November 1915 can be downloaded from the National Archives website for a small charge. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7352088

and click on the red button marked "go to record".
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Nigel Cox
Date: Sunday 13th January 2013 at 10:55 PM

Dear Alan

I am extremely grateful for your research, and I apologise for troubling you with one more question please

You refer to a letter in his service record, how could I get a copy of his service record

Once again thank you for your time, it is very much appreciated by me and all of John's family

Without John surviving, none of us would be here today. He came home and fathered 5 children before dying as a consequence of his wounds.

Subsequently there have been 15 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, and currently 6 great grandchildren

Please let me know the best way to make a donation to the British Legion

Kind regards

Nigel
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 13th January 2013 at 11:34 PM

Dear Nigel,
The service record is brief and has little detail, but it did provide some dates, a description and the name of one of his camps. It is available free by visiting The National Archives at Kew in Surrey or it can be downloaded online from the ancestry.co.uk website (subscription required). Larger libraries usually provide free access to the ancestry website, charging only for printing.
There is a link to the British Legion at the top of this page with a donate button on their website on the top right.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Nigel Cox
Date: Monday 14th January 2013 at 9:31 AM

Many thanks Alan

and thank you for the wonderful work that you do

regards

Nigel
Reply from: Nigel Cox
Date: Sunday 20th January 2013 at 11:04 AM

Good morning Alan

I had a look on the ancestry.co.uk website but couldn't find my Grandad's service record

Am I doing something wrong or might they not have it

Regards

Nigel
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 20th January 2013 at 12:22 PM

Dear Nigel,
The service record is listed in British Army Service Records as John Cox, St Michael's, Lincolnshire, without a year of birth. Otherwise search using his regimental number 7566.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Nigel Cox
Date: Sunday 20th January 2013 at 12:41 PM

Thanks Alan

I will try again

regards

Nigel


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