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

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Posted by: Nigel Cox {Email left}
Location: Stamford Lincolnshire
Date: Friday 16th August 2013 at 6:14 PM
Hi Alan

another question for you please

I am trying to find out the circumstances surrounding the award of the Military Cross to 2nd Lt. C.W.Distin of the Royal Field Artillery in November 1918

I would really appreciate any help you could give me

many thanks

Nigel Cox
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 16th August 2013 at 6:47 PM

Dear Nigel,

Awarded the Military Cross 14th February 1919: 2nd Lt. Cyril Wardlaw Distin, R.F.A., (Spec. Res); attd. A./28th Bde. For gallant conduct. At zero hour on October 14th, 1918, at Slypscappelle a heavy barrage was put down on the battery position, causing several casualties among the detachments at the guns. This section officer, who was also acting as time-keeper, showed a complete disregard for danger in a very trying situation, and by his quiet cool behaviour inspired his men so that the barrage was carried out without a hitch. Twenty-five per cent, of the personnel were casualties.

He had enlisted as a private soldier 243462 RFA and went to an Officer Cadet Unit for officer training in 1917. He was commissioned into the Special Reserve on 28 October 1917 and went to France and Flanders on 11th January 1918 where he was attached to the 28th Army Brigade RFA.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Nigel Cox
Date: Friday 16th August 2013 at 11:00 PM

Dear Alan

Much appreciated as always

Regards

Nigel
Posted by: John
Location: Cambridgeshire
Date: Wednesday 14th August 2013 at 11:50 AM
Hello Alan
you have helped our family searches in the past and I wondered if you could help us again
I have found another member of the Thacker family that I would like to know more about he
is Gunner 153654 Stanley Thacker R.A. thank you
Regards John
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 14th August 2013 at 8:57 PM

Dear John,
Unfortunately there are no surviving records for Stanley Thacker 153654 RA. An Army medal rolls index card recorded he was a gunner in the Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) and 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 enter a theatre of war until some date after January 1st 1916.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: John
Date: Thursday 15th August 2013 at 12:24 PM

Dear Alan
Thank you for the information you gave me regarding Stanley Thacker it is very much appreciated.
Kind Regards
John
Posted by: Howard Barkell {Email left}
Location: Lydford Devon
Date: Tuesday 13th August 2013 at 9:50 AM
Dear Alan,
I am researching the military career of Percy Lewis Sanders, 865569 R.F.A. Any information you can provide me with will be much appreciated.
Kind Regards,
Howard Barkell
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 13th August 2013 at 7:49 PM

Dear Howard,
Percy Lewis Sanders of Lydford, Devon, joined the Territorial Army at Tavistock on September 2nd 1909. He was a 23-year-old domestic gardener employed by the Reverend George Smith Thorpe, at The Rectory, Lydford. Thorpe was a 40 year old un-married Yorkshireman. Percy enlisted in the 4th Wessex Brigade Royal Field Artillery (HQ Exeter) and joined the 3rd (Tavistock) Devon Battery. The 4th Wessex Brigade in 1913 kept a busy schedule with, typically, Monday evening "fuze setting; harness fitting and signalling"; Tuesday: "recruits' gun drill"; Thursday: "Gun drill, fuze setting, laying and stable management"; Friday "drill"; Saturday afternoon: "ride for specialists, Topsham barracks". Special notice: "All blue frocks not yet braided should be brought in otherwise the NCO or man concerned will have to pay for alterations".
At the outbreak of war the Battery was mobilized in the evening of 4th August 1918 and was embodied for wartime service (i.e. embodied into regular army conditions of service during wartime). The batteries, equipped with 15 pounder guns, were sent to India, which was not a theatre of war, to release regular army and Indian troops to be sent to Europe. The 4th Wessex Brigade embarked at Southampton on 9th October 1914 and arrived at Bombay on November 9th 1914. The batteries were then sent to garrisons in India. Percy, who was a sergeant on arrival in India, was certainly at Barrackpore in 1915 where he was treated in hospital for a few days after being kicked by a horse. He was at Allahabad in 1916 and then Ambala in 1918. During the war the Territorials were re-numbered and Percy was allotted the regimental number 865569 in early 1917. His original number had been 1129. In May 1916 the Brigade and its batteries had been re-numbered and the 3rd Devon (Tavistock) Battery of the 4th Wessex Brigade had become "C" Battery of the 218th Brigade RFA (Territorial Force).Percy's Battery later became 1096 Battery. The 218th Brigade could also be referred to by Roman numerals: CCXVIII
On 11th May 1918 Percy was posted from India to France. He arrived in France on 18th July 1918 and was posted to "C" Battery of 250th Brigade RFA (CCL Brigade RFA) on September 5th 1918. This Artillery Brigade was originally made up of Geordies from Newcastle upon Tyne and was part of 4th Army serving with the 50th Northumbrian Divisional Artillery commanded by Brigadier William Stirling CMG DSO, Royal Horse Artillery. The 50th Division had suffered heavy casualties in 1918 and was being re-built at this time, ready for the final advances in October and November 1918. The 50th Division then fought at The Battle of the St Quentin Canal; The Battle of the Beaurevoir Line; The Battle of Cambrai 1918; The pursuit to the Selle; The Battle of the Selle; and The Battle of Valenciennes. On November 11th 1918 Fourth Army occupied a 9-mile front between Coursoire and Montbliart centred on Solre le Chateau. Percy was granted 30 days' leave at Christmas 1918 from 5th December 1918 to 5th January 1919 but he returned to France and the 250th Brigade and was appointed a paid, acting Battery Quartermaster Sergeant on 22nd April 1919. The BQMS would have been responsible for packing-up after the war had ended. Percy was medically examined at Carnoy, near Albert in France, in May 1919 where he stated he had no disability. On 17th July 1919, he was sent back to the UK and he was disembodied (returned to the Territorial conditions of part-time service) on 15th August 1919.
His original unit, 218th Brigade RFA had remained in India. In 1919, two of its batteries, 1096th Battery and the 1014th Howitzer Battery, had taken part in the Third Afghan War (6 May 1919 to August 8th 1919).
Sergeant Percy Lewis Sanders qualified for the British War Medal and The Victory Medal for service in France. Because he had served in the Territorials and gone overseas in 1914 (but did not qualify for the 1914 Star for service in France) he was also awarded the Territorial Force War Medal.
He also qualified for the Territorial Efficiency Medal which was a service medal for a minimum of 12 years' service in the Territorial Army with war service counting double.
For some photographs of "A" Battery 218th Brigade RFA in Calcutta, India in 1916 see the Downs family photos at:
https://picasaweb.google.com/paulnsheila/FrancisDownAndIndiaPhotos
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Wednesday 14th August 2013 at 8:55 AM

Dear Alan,
Thank you once again for a wonderful response to my query. It is your expertise in unravelling, what to a rank amateur
like myself, are fairly meaningless entries and then adding detail on top of that, which makes corresponding with you such an exciting and worthwhile experience.
Best wishes,
Howard
Posted by: Steve
Location: Liverpool
Date: Sunday 11th August 2013 at 8:01 PM
Hi alan looking for information for a friend of mine, lost his father in normandy in ww2, and his grandfather was also killed ww1 he is William Maher 8563 the kings regiment date of death 24 /10/1914.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 11th August 2013 at 11:00 PM

Dear Steve,
There is no surviving service record for William Maher of The King's (Liverpool Regiment) so it is not possible to be specific about his service. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission recorded his date of death as 24th October 1914 with the 1st Battalion The King's (Liverpool Regiment). He has no marked grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres in Belgium.
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he lived in Liverpool and enlisted at Bootle. An Army medal rolls index card recorded he went to France a week after the August 5th declaration of war, on 12th August 1914, suggesting he was a regular soldier or a reservist. The 1st Battalion The King's served with the 6th Infantry Brigade in the 2nd Division. The Division had fought at The Battle of Mons and Retreat from Mons; Landrecies; Le Grand Fayt; Villers-Cotterets; The Battle of the Marne; The Battle of the Aisne including the actions on the Aisne heights and The First Battle of Ypres. On the day William was killed, 24th October 1914, the 2nd Division was supporting the French at Polygon Wood countering enemy advances on the wood which was two miles from Ypres.
William Maher qualified for the 1914 Star with Mons clasp; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Steve
Date: Monday 12th August 2013 at 10:08 AM

Thanks alan will pass this information on, regards steve.
Posted by: Josie
Location: Cottingley
Date: Sunday 11th August 2013 at 3:21 PM
Much to our surprise, we have come across photographs of two great-aunties in uniform during WW1. One of them was married at the time, which seems even more surprising. She usually worked as a milliner. We have absolutely no idea in what capacity they served. Both look to be in khaki, with big buttons up the front and on the chest pockets, but on their shoulder is sewn the word "BORDER". They are also wearing hats with a metal star-shaped badge on, topped by a crown. There may be some words on the badge, but too small to be read on the photographs. If anyone can suggest how these ladies might have been involved in the war effort, we would be really interested to know, and very grateful for any information.
Posted by: Bella
Location: Esher
Date: Saturday 10th August 2013 at 9:16 PM
Jonboy, Harlow.

Excuse the liberty. Charles Walter Elford, Beerhouse Keeper, Rotherhithe and one pub the Albion still there, looks like it is No.29. Grandfather Joseph living at 10 Cumberland Street, Pimlico. If you haven't already, google it. Don't know if it was as smart then as is now (due respect) but don't expect you'd get much change out of a ten bob note!

B. Esher
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Sunday 11th August 2013 at 6:34 AM

Hi Bella
Many thanks for that info,this Family are turning into one big headache for me, but its fun.
Jonboy
Reply from: Bella
Date: Sunday 11th August 2013 at 2:35 PM

Glad information of use.

You think you have a headache. Try locating one's relatives occupation as "Lion Tamer"!

Regards.

Bella
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Wednesday 21st August 2013 at 4:18 PM

Oh my God !
How do you research records for a travelling Circus ? sorry did not come back earlier (been away).
Regards
Jonboy
Posted by: Bella
Location: Esher
Date: Saturday 10th August 2013 at 8:46 PM
Dear Alan,

Dare I ask, can you possibly help me out yet again! Brothers: William Gosling born 1872 Redhill, Surrey and Stanley Gosling born 1881 Deptford, parents George and Eliza Gosling.

Desperate to find out what were their occupations, did they marry and have children and when they died.

Any light you can shine on them will be greatly appreciated.

Regards.

Bella
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 11th August 2013 at 1:38 PM

Dear Bella,
It is not possible to positively identify William and Stanley Gosling in the 1901 and 1911 censuses from the inconsistent information that is available. William was a plumber's labourer in 1891. Stanley appeared to be living with his mother, Eliza, in 1901 as a labourer. It is best to establish a date of death and work backwards from that before anticipating marriages. Stanley probably died at Wandsworth in 1937 (by year of birth). The 1911 census would indicate whether they had married prior to 1911 but there is no positive entry for either of them in that census so it would be a matter of eliminating each possible candidate. The only Stanley born in 1881 stated he was born in Leeds, but there is no GRO birth entry for a Stanley at Leeds. There was a marriage at Edmonton in 1902 for a Stanley Gosling. To identify a marriage you would need to search the GRO Marriage index for likely marriages and order the relevant certificates to identify the grooms by their father's name.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Bella
Date: Sunday 11th August 2013 at 2:32 PM

Dear Alan,

Thank you so very much for your endeavours. Greatly appreciated advice which I will pursue.

Kind regards.

Bella
Posted by: Alan G {Email left}
Location: Skegness Lincolnshire
Date: Saturday 10th August 2013 at 7:11 PM
Hello Alan, I have been reading some of the research you have done for people and wondered if you may be able to help me. My Grandfather was Frederick Grundy SE 19657 AVC and I can't find when or where he enlisted. I know from two little notebooks, which are now almost unreadable, that he was in Aldershot 6-8-1916 in the AVC and he was then in Rouen France in September 1917 and was transferred to the York and Lancaster Regiment at Wizernes, his number then became 33914 Y&L Infantry Regiment. I then lose track of him not knowing when he returned to the UK . I then find him in Pontefract in March 1918. He then disappears again until he is 109889 in the Durham Light Infantry, 2/7 Battalion, C Company at Reed Hall Camp Colchester. He then joined the ship 'Goentoer' , but where? He was 'on shore' at Bakaritza in Russia in October 1918 then to Solombola and eventually back to Bakaritza where he must have carried on his Civilan job as a Postman delivering mail to the troops. He said in his notes he was delivering mail for a week to PB66 to start with, where ever that was. He was still in Russia in July 1919. I know he had a rough time along with all the others but he came back home to his wife and two sons but I know not when. Any help greatly appreciated. Thankyou
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 10th August 2013 at 9:19 PM

Dear Alan,
Frederick Grundy enlisted under the Derby Scheme. The Derby Scheme was a call for deferred enlistment by Lord Derby, in charge of recruiting, in anticipation of compulsory conscription in 1916. In effect the scheme allowed men to "enlist now and serve when needed". Frederick Grundy, aged 34, a rural postman at Sutton le Marsh, Lincolnshire, was married with two children. He put his name down at Spilsby on 30th November 1915 and joined the Army Veterinary Corps. He returned home the same day as a "reservist" and he was not mobilized until 9th August 1916 when he was sent to the AVC Depot at Woolwich before going to Aldershot. He was employed as a horse keeper.
He served some time at No 3 Veterinary Hospital at Bulford from where he was posted to the British Expeditionary Force, France, on 8th April 1917. He served with the AVC in France until 27th September 1917 when he was compulsorily transferred to the 9th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment "for the benefit of the service". It is possible the Y&L were seeking men good with horses as he was to "retain AVC rates of pay". The 9th Battalion Y&L served with the 70th Infantry Brigade in the 23rd Division at that time and was in the midst of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) 1917. Frederick arrived the day after the Battle of Polygon Wood and his battalion then fought at The First Battle of Passchendaele (12th October 1917) and The Second Battle of Passchendaele (26th October to November 10th 1917). Frederick was taken ill in November 1917 and was admitted to No 46 Stationary (Isolation) Hospital, Etaples on 12th November 1916 suffering Myalgia. On 15th November he was placed on a sick convoy destined for the UK suffering from Pyrexia of Unknown Origin [fever] and was admitted the same day to the Edmonton Military Hospital (North Middlesex Hospital) where he was treated for trench fever. On 15th December 1917 he was under the command of the depot Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment at Pontefract Barracks, but was again in hospital, it appears, in May 1918 for 102 days under the command of the Northern Command Depot at Ripon. He was then sent to the 3rd Battalion Y&L at Sunderland on 7th September 1918. The 3rd Battalion was a home-based training and reserve battalion. On 27th September 1918 Frederick was compulsorily transferred "reason:- exigancies (sic) of the service" to the 2nd/7th Battalion the Durham Light Infantry, which at that time was a home-based reserve battalion recruited to back-up the original 7th Battalion DLI. The 2/7 Battalion DLI was going to Russia for the winter.
On 7th October 1918 the 2nd/7th Battalion DLI embarked on hired military transport SS Goentoer and sailed from Glasgow arriving on 22nd October 1918 at Archangel, Russia, as part of the Allied Intervention in North Russia after the October Revolution, fighting the Bolsheviks. On 23rd June 1919 Frederick suffered a carbuncle on the face and was treated in hospital before being returned to the UK on SS Czar sailing 25th June 1919 and arriving in the UK on 23rd August 1919. Frederick was discharged from the Army on his arrival in the UK on 23rd August 1919. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan G
Date: Sunday 11th August 2013 at 4:29 PM

Thankyou so much Alan, you are amazing, so quickly too ! The information you have provided me with is fantastic, I cannot commend you enough. I will forward to the British Legion a donation. I do have my Grandfather's medals and they were passed down to me several years ago but I did nothing about them until recently. Age is catching up with me so thought I had better do something. Thankyou very much once again.
Kind regards,

Alan.
Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex England
Date: Saturday 10th August 2013 at 1:44 PM
Hi Alan
Can you please find me info on a Charles Joseph Elford Born abt 1894 Not sure of his Parents though. aged 20 he was in the East Surrey Regiment Regimental No 6180.
Many thanks
Jonboy
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 10th August 2013 at 7:10 PM

Dear Jonboy,
Charles Joseph Elford was born on December 29th 1893 at Rotherhithe and was baptised at All Saints Church, Rotherhithe, on 24th January 1894, the son of Charles Walter Elford, beer-house keeper, and his wife Rosa, of 29 Neptune Street. In the censuses of 1901 and 1911 Charles Joseph was recorded living with his grandfather Joseph Elford, marble polisher, and his wife Lea Ann. Charles Joseph of 10 Cumberland Street, Pimlico, grocer's porter, enlisted at Chelsea Town Hall on 12th November 1914 and joined the 7th Battalion East Surrey Regiment at Purfleet where he served 42 days before being discharged as unlikely to become an efficient soldier on medical grounds. He was discharged on December 23rd 1914.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Saturday 10th August 2013 at 10:01 PM

Oh Dear
Not good then thanks Alan you gave me more info than i was expecting as to where he lived etc.
Jonboy
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 10th August 2013 at 10:44 PM

Dear Jonboy,
You could consider changing your view of "not good". If a young man was not expected to become an efficient soldier on medical grounds it suggested they suffered from some disability, such as heart disease, that the Army discovered while the recruit was undergoing training. It is true there were occasions when men were discharged in 1914 because officers were taking only the "cream" of the recruits for their regiments and there was an enthusiastic recruitment. But it was often a case of a young man volunteering at the outbreak of war in 1914 to serve his country, only to be discovered with a medical condition that prevented him from serving his country. That was no disgrace.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Sunday 11th August 2013 at 6:38 AM

Hi Alan
My Apologies i should have thought on that one,after reading that my Son Luke also wacked a newspaper over my head for not thinking first.

Jonboy
Posted by: Bobby Yates
Location: Settle
Date: Friday 9th August 2013 at 10:10 AM
I have come across this wonderful site and, as we are quite new to this, I am wondering whether there might be any information out there about an ancestor called Herbert Harper. Basically we only know that he served with we think the Duke of Wellingtons and died on the first day of the Somme. We have a photo of him, in uniform which gives the number 16108 on the back, but not sure whether this means his army number or not. Thank you for any help or suggestions for research that would take us forward. The site is doing a great job. Bobby
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 9th August 2013 at 7:25 PM

Dear Bobby,
There was a private Herbert Harper, 16108, who served in the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) in 1915 and 1916. He was Herbert Harper, born 23rd October 1890 at Silsden, West Yorkshire, the son of Thomas, a nail-maker, and Hannah Martha of St John Street. His father, Thomas, died and his mother re-married to James Guest. Herbert was the only son and he had two sisters and two step-sisters.
Herbert married Minnie Stewart at Silsden on December 19th 1914. Their son, Irwin, was born three months later on March 25th 1915.
Herbert Harper enlisted at Keighley on 18th May 1915. He was a scourer (wool cleaner) in a woollen mill; height 5feet 5 ¾ ins; aged 24 and six months. He allotted half his pay to his wife who, with separation allowances received 17 shillings and sixpence a week. (The average male wage was 16 shillings and nine-pence a week). On 19th May 1915, Herbert joined the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) at the regimental depot at Halifax. On the 4th June 1915 he was posted to the regiment's 3rd Battalion for training, at Earsden near North Shields. He qualified as a Stokes gunner, which meant he could operate the new Stokes Mortar, named after its inventor. See:
http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/mortars.htm
Herbert was sent to France on the night of 5th/6th February 1916 as part of a draft of reinforcements for the 2nd Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment which was then serving with the 12th Infantry Brigade with the 4th Division. The Division was training-up in the area north of Amiens in France in the first months of 1916 before it moved to positions in front of the enemy-held village of Beaumont-Hamel which was to be attacked on the opening day of what became known as The Battle of Albert on July 1st 1916 the First day of The Battles of the Somme. See
http://www.johndclare.net/wwi2_FirstDay_BeaumontHamel.htm
At roll call at the end of the day Herbert Harper did not answer and he was posted "missing". On 15th November 1916 he was accepted as having been killed in action. He has no marked grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. See:
http://www.cwgc.org/
Herbert qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Herbert's widow, Minnie, received a pension of 15 shillings a week until she re-married in 1920 to James S. Johnstone.
Soldiers' service records that have survived are available at the National Archives at Kew and are available online at the subscription website ancestry.co.uk.. Many libraries offer free access to the ancestry website.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Bobby Yates
Date: Saturday 10th August 2013 at 6:58 PM

An amazing amount of information in such a short time. More than we could have hoped for, and it has filled in many gaps for the family.
Our warmest thanks for your great help, and for suggestions for our future research. Greatly obliged to you
Reply from: Gill
Date: Tuesday 24th June 2014 at 12:06 AM

Hi Bobby

Just found your post and I thought I would let you know that Emily. Herbert's sister is my great grandmother.

We too ( my mum, Emily's granddaughter and myself the great grand daughter ) have been trying to find out about Thomas Harper ( my great, great grand father) Herbert and Emily's dad. We know a bit that may be of interest to you, I take it you are descendants of Irwin Harper? Herbert's son?

If you can help us or we can help you, please get in touch.

Kind Regards

Gill.

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