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

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Posted by: Jenny {Email left}
Location: Belfast
Date: Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 1:13 PM
Alan,

I am looking for help in the research of my great grandfather James Lindsay (sometimes known as Joseph). He was born in Northern Ireland in 1877 and according to the 1901 census he was in the Royal Field Artillery. He died on 01.05.1957 and is buried in Belfast. The family discussions have mentioned that he was in the Boar War, can you provide me with any more information. Many thanks.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 6:53 PM

Dear Jenny,
It is not possible to positively identify a soldier's record from his name and year of birth only.
That said, there was a James Lindsay born Dromore, Co Down, 1877, who served in the Royal Field Artillery in South Africa between May and September 1902 which may be the correct man. His service record can be downloaded (charges apply) from the findmypast.co.uk website. I cannot transcribe it for you as that would be a breach of that website's copyright.
There does appear to be only one J Lindsay who served in the South African war in the Royal Field Artillery, so it is likely this man is your ancestor. James appears to have been a waggon wheel maker who enlisted in 1901 at Belfast before moving to the Artillery Depot at Woolwich and then being posted to South Africa in May 1902 where he joined the 14th Battery after the war was over (it concluded on May 31st 1902). His service appears to have been for the South African War only, as a bombardier (corporal) wheeler. In the 1911 census of Ireland he appears to be a master coach and waggon builder with his wife, Martha, and family at a house 55 in Lavina Street (Cromac, Antrim). It would make sense that a waggon wheeler would progress to become a master waggon builder.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jenny
Date: Thursday 14th February 2013 at 8:46 AM

Alan,

Thank you so much for all your help, this has really moved my family research forward. I will make a donation to the local British Legion in thanks for your work.

Jenny




Posted by: Howard Barkell {Email left}
Location: Lydford Devon
Date: Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 11:08 AM
Dear Alan,
I am researching Lewis Worden, born c. 1874. I know that he served in India with 1 Devons, but can find nothing else about his service. I know 1 Devons were in 2nd Boer War, but don't know whether Lewis was with them. Similarly nothing about WW1, but perhaps he was too old to serve overseas by then. Do records from pre WW1 survive and where is the best place to access them?
Kind regards,
Howard Barkell
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 6:57 PM

Dear Howard,
Service records for Lewis Worden's service in the Militia and 18 years the regular army are held at the National Archives at Kew where they can be viewed at no charge. They are also available online to download from the findmypast.co.uk website where charges apply. You will need ten credits to view the two sets of documents. Do not click on "view transcription" as that will waste credits. The records are under "British army Service Records" in the name of Lewis Worden.
http://www.findmypast.co.uk/

I cannot transcribe the information for you as that would be a breach of copyright.
The birth of a Lewis Worden was registered at Oakhampton in Jan-March 1874. He appears to have been the son of John and Jane Worden of Mares Cottage, Northlew, Devon.
At the age of 18 Lewis enlisted in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry Militia which was part-time service. Many young men considering the Army joined the Militia first as a "toe in the water" and then transferred to the regular army. Lewis then joined the Devonshire Regiment where he would have served initially in the 3rd (Depot) Battalion for training before being posted to the 1st Battalion The Devonshire Regiment. He served a short time with the 2nd Battalion in the UK before being posted to India with the 1st Battalion in December 1893. The 1st Battalion The Devonshire Regiment saw action in the disturbances on the North West Frontier in 1897-98 and took part in the Tirah Expeditionary Force in 1897-98. The Battalion was sent to South Africa and took part in the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) with actions at Elandslaagte, Natal, on 21 October 1899; the Defence of Ladysmith 3 November 1899 28 February 1900 and Belfast, Transvaal, 26-27 August 1900.
In January 1902 the Battalion returned to India. Lewis returned to the UK in `1908 and served in the 3rd Battalion before leaving the Army in January 1912. In the 1911 census he was recorded as private Lewis Warden (sic) of the 1st Devonshire Regiment at the Military Hospital, Devonport.
He qualified for the India General Service Medal with clasps "Punjab Frontier" and "Tirah"; The Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps Elandslaagte; Defence of Ladysmith and Belfast; The King's South Africa Medal with clasps "1901" and "1902". He also qualified for the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal which was awarded for 18 years' unblemished service (source: Meurig Jones: The Register of the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902).
There is no obvious record for service in the First World War. In 1914, Lewis would have been an experienced former soldier aged 40 and he might have served in England as an instructor or administrator or he may have been employed in a civilian job that contributed towards war service. However, he was an Army pensioner by 1914, as opposed to a reservist having left the Army recently, so he was not compelled to serve in the First World War.
The regimental museum is at Dorchester. See:
http://www.keepmilitarymuseum.org/

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Thursday 14th February 2013 at 10:32 AM

Dear Alan,

Once again many thanks for your prompt reply, full of useful information and suggestions for further research.
Whilst on the subject of India perhaps you could make some informed comment about the following three men. John Voyzey served with 2/4 DCLI in India, but appears to have no medal card. Louis (Lewis) Albert Pellow served with the RHA and does have a medal. Anecdotally Frederick Arthur Guscott served in India with 1/6 Devons but has no card. I have him joining 3/6 Devons on 4 Nov 1915. He could have been sent as a replacement but I would have thought that would have involved service in Mesopotamia. Do you think it more likely that he stayed with 3/6?

Best wishes,

Howard
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 14th February 2013 at 4:02 PM

Dear Howard,
India was not a theatre of war. British Territorial battalions were despatched there to allow regular army battalions to return to Europe. Service in India was generally policing the empire therefore soldiers who served there did not qualify for campaign medals. India was a hospital base for soldiers who served in Mesopotamia and some soldiers may have been based in India temporarily while en route to Mesopotamia. The 2/4th DCLI remained in India from 9 January 1915, so members of that battalion had no automatic qualification for medals.
The 1st/6th Battalion The Devonshire Regiment served in India from 11 November 1914 but on 30th December 1915 sailed for Basra from Karachi and then served in Mesopotamia for the remainder of the war. The 3rd/6th Bn Devonshire Regiment was a training battalion which was based only in England and Ireland. On 8th April 1916 it took the new title of 6th Reserve Battalion until September 1916 when it was absorbed by the 4th Reserve Battalion. If Frederick Arthur Guscott joined 3/6th Devons in November 1915, logic would have it that he would have been posted to the 2nd/6th or 1st/6th, both of which saw service in India and Mesopotamia. Therefore he should have qualified for the British War and Victory medals. Indeed, an Army medal rolls index card for Private Frederick A. Gustcott (sic) 266698 Devonshire Regiment, recorded he qualified for those two medals.
Lewis Albert Pellow was conscripted in 1916 and was called up on 9th February 1917 into No 8 Reserve Brigade Royal Horse Artillery at Bulford. He sailed to India on 25 September 1917 and remained abroad until the 23rd November 1919. In India he served with the Royal Horse Artillery at the No 4 Training Depot and on May 8th 1919 he was posted to 1097 Battery in 216 (CCXVI) Brigade Royal Field Artillery.
The Third Afghan War was fought between 6 May 1919 and 8 August 1919, during which time Lewis was with 1097 Battery. Gunner Lewis A. Pellow, 206580, qualified for the British War Medal. The qualification for this medal - that the person must have given approved service on duty overseas in a theatre of war - was extended to cover the minor engagements that followed after the November 11th 1918 Armistice with Germany. So it appears Lewis went to war with 1097 Battery and saw active service in the Third Afghan War. Qualification for the Victory Medal was not extended, except in the case of Hedjaz and the Aden Field Force, which accounts for the British War Medal sometimes being issued alone.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Thursday 14th February 2013 at 8:50 PM

Alan, you've come up trumps again! Things which have been niggling me for ages solved in a few minutes.
I am writing a profile for each of the 90 or so local men who served in WW1, so any snippet is hungrily snapped up to help portray as interesting and accurate a piece as I can manage. Hopefully a local exhibition in August 2014 will be the result.
Once again many thanks.
Howard


Posted by: Pauline Cooke
Location: Sandiacre Derbyshire
Date: Tuesday 12th February 2013 at 1:47 PM
Dear Sir
My father died two years ago at the age 89, he never forgot what he went through in the 2nd world war we think he was at the battle of monti casino.
he used to get very up set about his war time experiance.
his army number was 1806094 frank gill he was born in sandiacre derbyshire on june the 19th 1921.
is it possable you can tell us were he went and what he did.
regards pauline cooke
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 12th February 2013 at 4:27 PM

Dear Pauline,
Service records for soldiers who fought in the Second World War are held by the Ministry of Defence. 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

Click on the link and then look for "Service records - requests for service records of deceased service personnel and home guard" in the left-hand column.
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). 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.
Searches take several months to complete.
Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: Noel Evans {Email left}
Location: Pnearth
Date: Tuesday 12th February 2013 at 12:51 PM
Hello Alan,

I am trying to find more information about my great uncles Emrys Morgan Evans
and Owen Evans from Llanbethery in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Owen died on 12th September 1918 and his name is on the Plougsteerte memorial. His service number was 202824 and he served with the Ox and Bucks regiment.

His brother Owen was with the Royal Sussex regiment and died on 7th July 1916.He is buried at Ovillers Cemetary and his number was G/1025.

We are planning to visit the cemetery and memorial in April and would love to have some background information.

Many thanks.

Noel
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 12th February 2013 at 4:28 PM

Dear Noel,
No individual service record has survived for Emrys Williams so it is not possible to state his wartime service in detail.
Emrys Williams served in a Territorial Army battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry with the regimental number 6718. All Territorial numbers were changed in early 1917 and Emrys was allotted the new number 202824. That number was allotted to the 4th Battalion Ox and Bucks. An Army medal rolls index card showed that Emrys Williams qualified for the British War medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not go overseas until some date after January 1st 1916. There were two 4th Battalions of the regiment. The original first battalion was supplemented by a second battalion which became known as the 2nd/4th Battalion. It was formed at Oxford in September 1914 and in January 1915 it moved to Northampton and was attached to 184th Brigade in the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division. It moved to Writtle and Broomfield (Essex) in April 1915. In January 1916 it moved to Parkhouse Camp, Salisbury Plain from where it was sent to France on May 26th 1916.
The regimental history has been published online. See:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20395

Owen Evans was killed serving with the 7th Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment. An Army medal rolls index card showed he departed for France on 31st May 1915. The 7th Battalion was recorded as landing in France on 1st June 1915, therefore it is likely that Owen Evans trained with and went to France with the 7th Battalion. The Battalion served in the 36th Brigade in the 12th Division. The Division's engagements are listed at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/12div.htm

Owen was killed during the Battle of Albert in the attack at Ovillers by 36th Brigade on 7th July.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Noel Evans
Date: Tuesday 12th February 2013 at 7:54 PM

Thanks for the speedy reply and the useful background information. It doesn't look as though it is likely that we will be able to find out much more about Emrys. We have however just discovered that he had a twin brother, Emlyn, who died in the 1950s. We have no idea if he served in France and will try to pursue that line of enquiry. There were another two brothers, Trithydd and Edgar, who may also have been in the Army at that time, so lots to work on!

Again, very many thanks for your help. We will be making a donation to the Royal British Legion as a gesture of thanks and also to the current appeal to fund a memorial to fallen Welsh soldiers in Flanders.
Kind regards,
Noel
Reply from: Noel Evans
Date: Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 10:40 PM

Hi again Alan,

Is it possible to find out if Emrys' twin brother Emlyn enlisted with him? We have no real information about him at all. There seems to be no mention of him during the war years.
We imagine that he may have enlisted with his brother but who knows?

Noel
Reply from: Aloan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 11:12 PM

Dear Noel,
There is no obvious record among the 29 men named Emlyn Williams listed in the Army medal rolls index of The First World War of a man who may have been the twin brother of Emrys Williams.
Reply from: Noel Evans
Date: Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 11:16 PM

Thanks Alan.
It would have been Emlyn Evans , brother of Emrys Morgan Evans and not Williams.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 11:21 PM

Dear Noel,
Leave that with me overnight while I get my brain in gear.
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 14th February 2013 at 1:20 PM

Dear Noel,
There is no obvious military record that identifies Emlyn Evans. He appears to have been christened William Emrys Evans at Cardiff in 1894 and was living with his twin brother and parents at Llanvythin and Llancarfan, Glamorganshire, in 1911. As not all service records have survived and other records do not provide biographical information it is not possible to state whether he enlisted or not. My apologies for transposing the surname Williams onto the family earlier.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Noel Evans
Date: Thursday 14th February 2013 at 8:08 PM

Hello Alan,
Thanks again for this. We do at least know that he was William now. It seems to be a bit of a mystery about Emlyn (William) as we have no idea where he went after the war. Indeed we have virtually no information about him at all which surprises us as he was a twin - lots of bits and pieces about Emrys though, prior to enlisting. Given that his father was the Reverend of the village chapel and as such a leader in this rural community, we had hoped that it would be a relatively easy task. The family comprised of 6 boys and a girl so I think we probably have a lot of leads to start following which hopefully will eventually shed a little more light on my grandfather's family.
Once again, very many thanks for your assistance.
Noel


Posted by: Brian Marshall {Email left}
Location: Crowborough East Sussex
Date: Tuesday 12th February 2013 at 11:38 AM
LESLIE ERNEST JOHN MARSHALL enlisted in the Army Service Corps (MT) on 9.11.1914 with number M2/035039 as a Motor Driver. (He said that as he had a motor cycle he was a Despatch Rider). His discharge, card when he transferred to the Royal Garrison Artillery, shows him 'Home' 9.11.17 to 2.9.15 (presumably for training etc), 'Ex Force France' 3.9.15 to 12.4.17, 'Home 13.4.17 to 30.9.17 (presumably for officer training) and commission in the Royal Garrison Artillery. (He was gassed in 1917, probably with phosgene rather than chlorine or Lewisite, and was demobbed in 1919.9.17, as Acting Captain.) His medal card shows '3 Leut RGA', '2 Leut RGA' 'Victory Medal RGA' and '15 STAR RASC'.
I got some information from the RA Museum, Woolwich but it was very limited. I would like to know where he was gassed, where he was deployed from 1915 to 1917 and any other information which might be interesting. I am aware that many WW1 records were destroyed in the Blitz so I am living in hope.
Brian Marshall
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 12th February 2013 at 4:29 PM

Dear Brian,
To establish where Leslie Marshall served it would be necessary to see his service record, which appears to be held by the Ministry of Defence. His record should state with which units he served and may record the date on which he was wounded. Once the identity of the unit is established it would be possible to research its war diary held at the National Archives.
One other source of information that might record in which unit he served when he first went abroad would be the actual medal roll for his 1914-15 Star. This was shown as RASC/2B page 1287. The medal roll would be held at the National Archives at Kew, Surrey.
His service record as a private soldier should have been transferred to his officer's service record.
The National Archives' hand-written index of officers identifies 2/ Lt Leslie Ernest John Marshall RGA as having a file with the former reference number 198059. This entry was marked as being identical to Leslie Marshall (ref MA2133 238082) with the former reference number P/181863/1. The National Archives says: "Files with a P prefix are references to records continuing after 31 March 1922 which are still with the Ministry of Defence". See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/officerbritisharmyafter1913.htm

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

Click on the link and then look for "Service records - requests for service records of deceased service personnel and home guard" in the left-hand column.
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). 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.
Searches take several months to complete.

After the war, in January 1919, when Leslie was serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery his medal qualification was submitted by Officer Commanding Heavy Artillery in XV Corps. XV Corps was first formed in Egypt on 9 December 1915 but was reformed in France on 22 April 1916 under Lt-Gen Sir Henry Horne.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Brian Marshall
Date: Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 11:06 AM

Dear Alan,
Very many thanks for diligent research and most rapid response. There is obviously a lot for me to do. I am more than happy to make a donation to the local branch of the British Legion.
Best Wishes
Brian


Posted by: Trev
Location: Nottingham
Date: Sunday 10th February 2013 at 11:05 AM
Hi Alan

I recently asked you for information on my father Matthew Henry Jones but hadnt any information to give you .
I have now found two medals belonging to him.On the back of one is the number 53714 Welsh regiment also the number 2125 Monmouthshire regiment.I think he enlisted in 1914
Hope you can help me find out where he served.He died in the 1950s

Kind Regards
Trev

.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 10th February 2013 at 6:00 PM

Dear Trev,
No individual service record has survived for Matthew Henry Jones so it is not possible to suggest his wartime service, as he served in two regiments.
The only surviving record for Matthew Henry Jones is an Army medal rolls index card which recorded that he served as a private in the Monmouthshire Regiment, 2125, and qualified for the 1914-15 Star by entering France on 13th February 1915. At the outbreak of the war, The Monmouthshire Regiment consisted of three part-time Territorial battalions. The 1st Battalion is recorded as having entered France on 13th February 1915. The 2nd Battalion arrived the next day, February 14th. The date of February 13th is the only evidence to suggest that Matthew Jones served with the 1st Battalion.
The 1st Battalion was based at Stow Hill, Newport, and was part of the Welsh Border Brigade. At the outbreak of war it moved to Pembroke Dock and then trained at Oswestry and Northampton before moving to Bury St Edmunds in December 1914 and to Cambridge in January 1915. In February 1915 the battalion left the Welsh Division and moved to France where it became part of 84th Infantry Brigade. The Brigade was attached to 5th Division between 23rd February and 7th April 1915, when it joined the 28th Division and fought at the Second battle of Ypres.
Personnel of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions amalgamated with the 1st Battalion during the period from May 1915 to August 1915 in 84th Brigade in which there were also two battalions of the Welsh Regiment.
On 3rd September 1915, the 1st Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment resumed its own identity and then joined the 46th Division as the Divisional pioneer battalion. It was the only Welsh battalion in the 46th Division where it remained throughout the war. Matthew's transfer to the Welsh regiment could have happened at any time, but it may have been as early as the summer of 1915.
Matthew Jones later served in the Welsh Regiment where he rose to the rank of sergeant. There is no indication of when he transferred or in which battalion of the Welsh Regiment he served, so it is not possible to suggest his wartime service. His war service ended on 8th January 1919. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Trev Nottingham
Date: Monday 11th February 2013 at 9:54 AM

Hi Alan
Thanks for the quick reply,and very grateful for the information

I will be sending a donation to the British Legion.

Kind Regards

Trev


Posted by: Beth {Email left}
Location: Crowborough East Sussex
Date: Saturday 9th February 2013 at 4:44 PM
Dear Alan,
I am looking for my Grandfather's WW1 history of what he did during those war years.
His name William Burgess BENTON Born 1883 Elgin, Scotland. Educated at Fettes College. I know he attended Woolwich. I am guessing he joined the Indian Army when trained. I am trying to get his WW1 service but I'm having difficulty to know how to begin.
I do know he served with the Royal Mahratta Light Infantry, as I have silver box that was presented to him from the 4th Battalion no date. I also know was awarded some medals but what for ? He also married in India in1911 to Katie Vivian Folkes. I have yet to find out if she came from an army family. My father was born in India 1913. My grandfather when he retired as a Colonel. I would be very greatful if you could throw a light on some of the questions I have asked you.
Kind regards
Beth
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 9th February 2013 at 9:32 PM

Dear Beth,
Individual service records for officers who served in the British Indian Army are held in the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collection of the British Library in London. The records usually contain little more than annual confidential reports on the officer. The collection of an officer's annual reports was known as an "officer's book". The file for William Burgess Benton is IOR/L/MIL/14/13448 which can only be studied at the British Library. Access is restricted and you will need to register for a reader's pass if it is your first visit. See:
http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/inrrooms/stp/register/stpregister.html

Official publications such as the quarterly Army List (in the range 1902 1909) and Indian Army List (1909 -1948) would record his postings. Complete collections of the Indian Army List and Army List are held at the British Library and The National Archives.
For example, the Indian Army Quarterly List for January 1912 recorded W B Benton, born 17 Sept 1883, as a Captain (promoted on 24 December 1911) who was serving with 105th Mahratta Light Infantry and was first commissioned on 24 December 1902.
In 1911, serving with the 105th MLI he qualified for the Delhi Durbar Medal which was issued to a small number of those present at the celebrations of King George V's Coronation Durbar celebration in British India, in December 1911. This was a commemorative medal.

The "London Gazette" published dates of promotions. It recorded that Lieutenant William Burgess Benton joined the Indian Army from the Royal Garrison Artillery, and served with the 105th Mahratta Light Infantry dated 9th November 1906, but to rank from 24th March 1905. He was promoted to Captain in 1911. The 105th was at Poona in 1914 with a detachment at Satara. During the First World War the 105th served in India, Mesopotamia and Palestine but it did not leave India until August 1916, having spent the first two years of the war on railway defence duties in India.

Captain W.B. Benton qualified for the 1914-15 Star which indicated he served in a theatre of war between November 1914 and December 31st 1915. India itself was not a theatre of war.
On 11th July 1916, Captain W B Benton of the 105th Mahattra Light Infantry was Mentioned in Despatches whilst serving with the 117th Mahrattas which had fought against the Turks in Mesopotamia at Basra November 1914 until April 1915; The Battle of Ctesiphon in November 1915 and was later involved in the Siege of Kut Al Amara (7th December 1915 29th April 1916). The 117th served with the 6th Poona Division which had been the first British Indian Army division to land in Mesopotamia in November 1914. Eventually, Captain Benton was promoted to Major with the 105th MLI. He was awarded the Military Cross by King George V for "distinguished and meritorious service in time of war" in October 1915 and was awarded a Bar to the Military Cross on 5th February 1918. In July 1916 he was Mentioned in Despatches while attached to the 117th Mahrattas, which later became the "Royal" Mahrattas and in 1922 became the 5th Battalion of the 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. In 1922, the 105th Mahrattas became the 2nd Battalion of the 5th MLI. Major Benton M.C. was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 2nd December 1926. He was possibly a battalion's commanding officer in that rank, which may have been the occasion of a move to the 4th Battalion of the 5th MLI. He retired on 1st August 1932. In 1937 he was in the Indian Army Reserve of Officers and he may have held an Emergency Commission in the Second World War. An Emergency Commission in the Indian Army was granted to Europeans specifically for the duration of the Second World War.
As well as earning the Military Cross and Bar he qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal in addition to the 1911 Delhi Durbar Medal.

William Burgess Benton served in the Royal Garrison Artillery from December 1902 until 1909 when he was successful in being appointed to the British Indian Army. His regiment was the 105th Mahratta Light Infantry. During the First World War he was attached for a period to the 117th Mahrattas in Mesopotamia, where he served certainly in 1915 and possibly from November 1914, before returning to the 105th at an unstated date. In 1922, the 117th and 105th regiments became the 5th and 2nd Battalions of the 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. Their 4th Battalion presented Lieut-Col Benton with a silver box suggesting he may have retired from that battalion. He retired in 1932 but remained on the Indian Army Reserve of Officers in 1937 and could have held an emergency commission in the Second World War. He returned to England where he died in 1969.
An article about the Benton family was published in the "Aberdeen Journal" on Monday 23 February 1914. It is available online (charges apply) at
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/
Use "Burgess Benton" as a search term. You may find the Families In British India Society database useful. See:
http://search.fibis.org/frontis/bin/

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 9th February 2013 at 9:45 PM

Dear Beth,
A correction:
You will notice that I've suggested that William Benton served in the Royal Garrison Artillery from 1902 until 1909 when he joined the Indian Army. In fact, as I have correctly stated, he joined the Indian Army in 1905. The year 1909 crept in to the narrative as the result of an unforeseen mental blockage. So, for 1909 read 1905.
Alan


Posted by: Bella
Location: Esher
Date: Friday 8th February 2013 at 11:28 AM
Dear Alan,

Bet you thought you'd got rid of me! Sorry to disappoint' You very kindly helped me out with information to find my G.G.Grandfather James Johnson born Eynsford, Kent (you said between 1812/16) Well I found him to be born 1816' He married an Elizabeth (still trying to find that info) and they had 4 children Maria born 1836, Mary 1837, James (my G.Grandfather) 1838 and William 1840. Am trying to establish if the girls married and am finding it tricky. Maria shows on 1901 census as working as as cook domestic for a Surgeon in Paddington, Mary I cannot find.

It may be that neither of the girls married but it would be fun to find out. If you have any ideas, it would be really appreciated. Thanks for listening and I hope you and yours' are in good health.

Kind regards.

Bella
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 8th February 2013 at 9:36 PM

Dear Bella,
You would need to trace the sisters in the Victorian censuses to establish where they were last living with their parents and where they were last living as single women. Then search the death records to see if they died in the same location under their maiden surname. If you do not know the name of the bride-grooms you would have to research every GRO marriage entry from the year of their 21st birthday over a period of, say, thirty years which would produce many hundreds of results. Alternatively you would need to establish in which parish they were last living as a single or widowed person and then search the actual church registers for that parish to identify the daughters by their father's forename and occupation.
Another, broader, way to search would be to search the censuses on the ancestry.co.uk website using forename, birth year plus or minus one, and place of birth. A search of the 1891 England census shows a Maria Best born at Eynsford about 1835 wife of William Best living at Sutton; and a Maria Turner, born about 1836, Eynsford, as the head of family at Paddington London, a widow and lodging house keeper, which looks a likely candidate.
In the 1881 census there is a Maria Sergant born Eynsford 1836 who was a "wife" to a husband who was not present. She was living at Orpington in Kent.
Of course, these may not have had the maiden surname Johnson. You would need to track these marriages (and possible second marriages) through the online GRO indexes and then establish the bride's father from the marriage certificates.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Bella
Date: Friday 8th February 2013 at 10:45 PM

Dear Alan,

Many thanks for your quick reply which is much appreciated.

Will certainly have my work cut out.

Regards.

Bella


Posted by: Carole {Email left}
Location: Canada
Date: Thursday 7th February 2013 at 9:20 PM
Hi Alan
My Uncle Ernest Dalby was killed in WW1
Born York 1897
Grateful for any information of his death
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 8th February 2013 at 9:35 PM

Dear Carole,
It is not possible to identify service personnel by their name only.
There was only one Ernest Dalby listed as having died as a soldier in the First World War. He was Private 33975 Ernest Dalby of the 2nd/5th Battalion Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) who was killed in action on 13th September 1917. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour recorded his age as 37 which meant he was born in 1880. He came from Wetherby, Yorkshire.
The only birth of an Ernest Dalby born in York in 1897 was registered as George Ernest Dalby. There is no corresponding military death listed in the First World War. In the 1911 Census of England, George Ernest Dalby born at York in about 1897 was recorded at Darlington, County Durham, as a 14 year old laundry van boy. There was a George Ernest Dalby born in about 1896 who died at Darlington in 1978.
You would need more biographical detail about your uncle to positively identify him in any surviving records.
Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: Mick
Location: Sheffield
Date: Sunday 3rd February 2013 at 6:52 PM
Hi Alan,
I was wondering, where i used to live on a farm in Sheffield is the remains of a massive WW1 Anti aircraft gun emplacement, I had been told by september 1917 the gun emplacement was no longer in use, the guns been moved to scotland. I'm trying to find out who had built the gun emplacement, when it was constructed, any surviving plans of it and which regiment where based there. Up until 1994 the massive earth works for the gun emplacement were still complete, its been the last four years parts of it have been bulldozed. The area the site is located is at Manor Cottage Farm, Manor Lane Sheffield S2 1uq. Also the site was never used in WW2, a new gun emplacement was constructed across the road from the WW1 site.

Regards
Mick
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 3rd February 2013 at 9:20 PM

Dear Mick
Documentation about the anti-aircraft site will be difficult to locate.
Air defence in Sheffield was strengthened after the attack of 26th September 1916.
Prior to June 1916, anti-aircraft defences had been manned by the Anti-Aircraft Corps of the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve and the Royal Naval Air Service. The first bomb had been dropped at Dover Castle on Christmas Eve in 1914 and after that Commander A Rawlinson became responsible for air defence for the Admiralty. It later passed to the War Office. In June 1916 responsibility was passed to the Royal Garrison Artillery which raised 53 Anti-Aircraft Companies and there were also Royal Engineers units that operated in the anti-aircraft role. In October 1916 dozens of young officers were seconded from the infantry to the Royal Garrison Artillery Anti-aircraft companies. Graham Stewart on the 1914-1918 Forum says 29th Anti-Aircraft Company RGA was at Sheffield as part of Nottingham (Zone Z) A-A Defence Command( http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=43292)

Sheffield local studies library has published a list of wartime photographs and cites "Fleming. Lieut. Commander Sheffield anti-aircraft corps" in the Independent War Album part 9. The Sheffield Archives have a "Printed booklet "Defence of the city against hostile Aircraft" SY/295/C1/18 1916 which contains confidential instructions from J. Hall-Dalwood, the Chief Constable of Sheffield, to members of the City Police Force and ancillary officers regarding their duties in the event of an attack from the air. It is dated 7 February 1916. The police and fire brigade had to report on the dropping of bombs and those reports may have survived.
It is from such local sources that you might be lucky enough to establish who controlled the anti-aircraft site at different times. You would then need to search the archives of the relevant branch of the services. The Admiralty or the Royal Engineers would have designed the site between September 1914 when the Admiralty took control of air defence and 1916 when the site was in use. The RNVR, RNAS, RGA or RE may have operated it.
The Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich would probably be the best starting point to establish who may have operated the site and the Royal Engineers Museum at Gillingham might be able to help with design records.
Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: Trev
Location: Nottingham
Date: Sunday 3rd February 2013 at 5:40 PM
Hi Alan
I hope you can shed some light on my uncles service in ww1
His name was Harry Dalby born in York in 1899.I was told he died in 1916?
Greatly appreciate any information you can give me.

Kind Regards
Trev
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 3rd February 2013 at 9:22 PM

Dear Trev,
Unfortunately it is not possible to identify military records by name only.
According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Debt of Honour, the only Harry Dalby who was killed in 1916 was the son of H. and Elizabeth Dalby, of 6, Navarino Grove, Hackney, London, whose stated age was 19 and recorded birthplace was London. There were five men named H. Dalby who died in the First World War. The only other one identified as Harry died in 1918 and had been born in 1887. There were at least 12 men with the name Harry Dalby who served abroad in the Army during the Great War, but they can only be identified by regimental number, not by age or place of birth.
The name Harry could also be a diminutive of Harold or Henry.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Trev
Date: Wednesday 6th February 2013 at 9:22 AM

Hi Alan
Thanks very much for trying to get some information on my Uncle.

Much appreciated

Kind Regards
Trev


Posted by: Sue {Email left}
Location: Kent
Date: Sunday 3rd February 2013 at 12:45 PM
Hi Alan
Have just found your site, so hope you can help as I have hit a brick wall. We hope to find where a member of the family served in ww1. His name was
Arthur Stanley Alden born 1896 at 73 well street hackney London e9 to Rosina and Joseph Alden. He was in both the navy and army, we have only
Part of his navy record it states feb1916 hostilitys his details,Pembroke 1 no 2095 rank off std 1 1st feb 16 to 4may 16' Thames 5may 16 to 2 jan 17
It looks like arrogant rank os2 3 jan 17 to 30 jan 18 to 26 feb 19' I can't make out the list numbers . I know Pembroke was a shore base but can find no
Trace of the other two ? Also have been told his rank may have been a trade rank ?
His army photo show him with jacket I think it was called a lanyard on right shoulder boots puttiees riding trousers and whip in his hand cap badge is
Asc I think' he also has medal ribbons, so have a card from kew for Arthur s Alden it states rasc 101. Pte a/442645 victory medal the rest of card is blank
Not sure if I have the right card, do hope you can help with this mystery, as have tried a few sites but they have no records or the wrong man.
Best wishes sue.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 3rd February 2013 at 3:10 PM

Dear Sue,
The Navy record (which is the full record) shows that Arthur Stanley Alden served as an Officer's Steward, 2nd Class (OS 2) from 1st February 1916 "for the duration of hostilities" until 1919. His official number was L8269. The British War and Victory Medals for OS 2 Arthur S. Alden L8269 are recorded on a Royal Navy medal roll. Arthur served on HMS "Thames" from 5th May 1916 to 2nd June 1917. HMS "Thames" was a submarine depot ship. See:
http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/depot_ships.htm

From 3 June 1917 to 26 February 1919 he served on HMS "Arrogant" which was also a depot ship for submarines, based at Dover. See:
http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/hms_arrogant.htm

The Royal Navy issued the British War Medal to men who had undertaken a minimum of 28 days' mobilised service. The Victory Medal was awarded to all who embarked on active service at sea or on land in a Theatre of Operations between midnight 4/5 August 1914 and midnight 11/12 November 1918. Recipients of the Victory Medal automatically qualified for the British War Medal.
The Army medal rolls index lists two men by the name Arthur S Alden. One served in the ASC and qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal (indicated by ditto marks) the other served in the Seaforth Highlanders, Royal Field Artillery and the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
On the face of it, these would appear to be three separate men. However, one of the Army men could be Arthur Sidney Alden because the Navy medal rolls recorded his medals had been "disposed of" to the "War Office". Royal Navy seamen had to apply for their war medals after the medals had been instigated in 1919. Where the medals were sent from the Admiralty to the War Office this meant that the man in question was serving in the Army having left the Royal Navy. The actual medals were not issued until 1921 and 1922.
If the photo you have shows he was wearing medal ribbons the photo would have been taken after 1921/22 when the medals were issued.
Service records for soldiers who served after 1920 are still held by the UK Ministry of Defence. 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

Click on the link and then look for "Service records - requests for service records of deceased service personnel and home guard" in the left-hand column.
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). 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.
Searches take several months to complete.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Sue
Date: Monday 4th February 2013 at 2:16 PM

Hi Alan
Thank you so much for your prompt reply,will look up the information you found and seek permission from his next of kin .Arthur was the lucky one as the five men I have researched. From both sides of the family three were killed and one wounded
Best wishes sue.


Posted by: Brian Tucker {Email left}
Location: Birmingham
Date: Sunday 3rd February 2013 at 12:00 PM
Hi Alan

My request does not fall within your remit of WW1 but I am hoping that you may be about to 'point me in the right direction' for help and advice.

It concerns my wife Joy who was born 70 years ago at Ahmednagar on the 6th December 1942 and a lifetimes search for information about her father who she never saw after the age of 5 due to the fact that her parents separated and divorced in 1948.

His name was Leonard George Holt and we have obtained a copy of his army records which show that he joined the DCLI in Birmingham in 1930, number 5435224, and spent most of the next 13 years in India, transferring to the 26th Hussars in 1941. My wifes birth certificate shows that her father was a Staff Sergeant with the Fighting Vehicle Brigade and the Brigadier Commandant at that time was G H N Todd.

The family returned to England in September 1943 and we now know that Leonard Holt remarried in 1951 and lived the rest of his life in Hemel Hempstead where he died in 1991.

We are taking a holiday to India in 3 weeks time and spending the first four days in Ahmednagar where we hope to be able to uncover some information about those first 9 months of my wifes life.

My questions are many but can be summarised as follows :-

1) Do you think that any WW2 records would still be held at the Armoured Corps Centre in Ahmednagar ?
2) If so would we be able to access them ?
3) Do you know of and/or could you put me in touch with any fellow historians or archivists with specialist knowledge of the Fighting Vehicle Brigade at Ahmednagar ?
4) Would any additional records be available in the UK, for example at Kew ?

With grateful thanks for any information and help, however small, that you could give me.

Kind regards
Brian
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 3rd February 2013 at 3:12 PM

Dear Brian,
I do not research the Second World War so I cannot answer your questions fully. Records of the British Army in India are generally kept in the UK. The 26th Hussars were raised in India at Meerut on 1st February 1941 and attached to 2nd Indian Armoured Brigade for training. The regiment was mobilized on 6th May 1942 at Sialkot forming part of 255 Indian Armoured Brigade. The regiment only existed for two years and was absorbed by the 3rd Carabiniers (254 Indian Tank Brigade) in India on 31.10.1943, leaving India in 1947. They became the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) in 1971. Their museum collection is housed at Edinburgh Castle.
The war diaries of the 26th Hussars are held at the UK National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 172/695 and WO 172/2256. Individual service records would still be held by the UK Ministry of Defence. Returns of baptisms, marriages and deaths up to 1947 are held at the British Library in London.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Brian Tucker
Date: Sunday 3rd February 2013 at 4:44 PM

Grateful thanks Alan for your very prompt reply.
Reply from: Andy Read
Date: Sunday 10th February 2013 at 2:11 PM

Brian
I came across this post by chance. My Grandfather was in the DCLI enlisted in Erdington Birmingham in 1923. His number was around 2000 before your Leonard George Holt. What I know is my grand father Harry Read was a lieutenant also in India at the same time in the 1st Battalion were based in Bareilly in 1930, Ramzak 1934, Lahore 1939 before returning home in 1941.
Hope this helps.
Andy
Reply from: Brian
Date: Sunday 10th February 2013 at 9:34 PM

Hi Andy

Good to hear from you !

I've been doing a lot of research prior to our trip and also gone back over Leonard Holt's army records and I would say that he and your grandfather, Harry Read, were almost certainly army comrades in India for many years and more than likely good friends as well, both being from Birmingham.

Coincidentally we have lived in Kingstanding and Great Barr, next door neighbours to Erdington, for the last 35 years.

Leonard was also in the 1st Battalion of the DCLI and spent 12 years in India from 16/10/1931 to 16/7/1943. He was initially promoted to a Lance Corporal Bugler, noted in his records as having been an instructor to the 2nd Gurkhas in Jan/Feb 1937, and then passed both his AFV War Armament Course and Corporal exam at Dinapore in 1937. He was then promoted to Sergeant on 31/12/1939 and as I said transferred to the 26th Hussars on 1/2/1941 and was further promoted to SQMS (Squadron Quarter Master Sergeant) on 15/6/1942.

I now know that Leonard joined the 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry 51st Training Regiment immediately on his return to England and was attached to the 262 Forward Delivery Squadron that embarked for the North West Europe campaign on the 13/6/1944. He was injured on the 11/6/1945, evacuated on the 22/6/1945 and eventually medically discharged on the 16/4/1946.

Incidentally his reward was a pension of 29 and a half old pence (d) per day rising by a shilling (5d) per day when he reached the age of 55 - a grand total of £1 per week in todays money ! May I ask Andy that if by chance you have been handed down any photographs from your grandfathers time in India and would be prepared to share them I would be very grateful indeed.

Kind regards

Brian


Posted by: Lynne Berry {Email left}
Location: Hartlepool
Date: Thursday 31st January 2013 at 10:47 PM
Hi Alan,
your information was so valuble in past correspondence, I hoped you would be able to cast any light, on a member of my husbands family.Thomas William Swanson born 1897, enlisted into the army aged 18yrs 4mths. He lived at 11 Catherine Street Hartlepool. I believe he was in 89th Training Reserve Batt. No 71245, Unit - 4th R.D.C.
i understand he was injured at some point. Would love to hear if you could uncover any further details.
Much appreciated Lynne
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 1st February 2013 at 5:12 PM

Dear Lynne,
Thomas William Swanson served in England for six months and did not go to war. He signed a deferred enlistment on 16th December 1915 which was the day after the deadline set under the Derby Scheme for voluntary enlistment prior to compulsory conscription introduced at the beginning of 1916. These men returned to their civilian jobs and were told they would be called up when needed. Thomas was called up on 11th October 1917. He trained for ten weeks with the 89th Training Reserve Battalion at Catterick. His medical category was B2 which meant he couldn't serve at the front. He had an old injury to his arm which was deemed "not attributable" to military service. It had been caused when at work where he missed his footing and fell down, apparently in August 1915.
On 23rd December 1917 Thomas was posted to the 4th Battalion Royal Defence Corps (RDC) at Grimsby. That Battalion had been formed in August 1917 at Grimsby from the 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment.
The RDC was made up of older men and those who were medically unfit who were employed guarding key points such as docks and railway stations. On 12th April 1918 he was discharged to the W Reserve which was for men more suited to civilian work for the war effort. He returned to shipbuilding at W. Grey and Co at West Hartlepool. On March 23rd 1919 he was discharged from the reserve as "surplus to military requirements".
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Lynne Berry
Date: Friday 1st February 2013 at 6:37 PM

Thankyou so much Alan,
this information has been great at filling in many blanks. Your knowledge of details is amazing. Our grateful thanks yet again to you


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