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

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Posted by: Garry {Email left}
Location: Leicester
Date: Saturday 22nd November 2014 at 8:55 PM
Dear Alan,
I have recently been tracing my family history namely my grandmothers early years.
During the early years of the war she was courting a soldier named Charles Henry Thompson who was
in the RGA 99th siege battery, his number 61225. I know he died september 1917 and is buried in Ypres
Resevoir Cemetary I think he was born in 1893 in Northampton. I can not find anything else about him so am wondering if you could unearth any details. Would be greatly appreciated.
Regards Garry
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 23rd November 2014 at 1:13 PM

Dear Gary,
His name was Charles Hickson Thompson. His birth was registered in the 4th Quarter of 1893 at Hardingstone Registration District, Northamptonshire (Vol 3b; page 29). He was the son of Charles Thompson, a brewery drayman, and his wife Emma, of Main Street, Little Houghton, Northamptonshire (1901 census RG13/1415 folio 79 page 5). In 1911, at the age of 17, he was described as a poultry manager.
Charles enlisted on 2nd November 1915 and joined the Royal Garrison Artillery via the No 4 RGA Depot at Great Yarmouth. He was posted to No. 21 Company at Leith in Scotland on 6 November 1915 and then to No. 20 Company at Jersey, on 2nd December 1915. On 31st January 1916 he joined 99 Siege Company and was sent overseas on 17th May 1916. The 99th Siege Company later joined the 5th Army which was formed in October 1916 by re-naming the Reserve Army. The 99th Siege Battery was at Arras in April 1917. It later moved North to the Ypres sector. On 20th July 1917, Charles was gassed and treated in hospital for a week before returning to duty.
Charles died of wounds at No. 7 Field Ambulance on 29th September 1917 and was buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery. No 7 Field Ambulance served 3rd Division, 5th Army, at the Third Battle of Ypres 1917. That suggests Charles was possibly wounded at the Battle of Polygon Wood fought between 26th September and 3rd October 1917.
For details of locations and engagements it is necessary to see the 99th Siege Battery's war diary held at The National Archives. It is currently being conserved for digital publication online at a later date. See:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Garry
Date: Sunday 23rd November 2014 at 3:45 PM

Dear Alan. Many thanks for this information it is exremely helpful, in many ways, for me!
I am sure this has given me a wider base to explore Charles.
from a very happy follower of this site!
Kind Regards Garry.
Reply from: Patricia Lunn
Date: Thursday 26th February 2015 at 3:40 PM

Hi I am looking for my Grandfathers James Warringtons WW! history. He enlisted in 1915 in Edinburgh with the Royal Engineers and was posted to the 94th field company. This was then incorporated into the Western Army under Plummer. He died from wounds on the 17th Oct 1917. I was wondering what his role was in the army and which battle if any he received his wounds. I hope you can help. many thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 26th February 2015 at 7:06 PM

Dear Patricia,
A James Warrington 45234 Royal Engineers died of wounds in Belgium on 13th October 1917. No individual service record has survived for him so it is not possible to state his military service. The Army medal rolls recorded he went to France on 20th July 1915 as a Second Corporal.
The CWGC Debt of Honour recorded he was serving in 94th Field Company R.E. when he died. He was buried at Spoilbank Cemetery, south of Ypres. He would have been wounded in the days beforehand, possibly in the First Battle of Passchendaele on October 12th 1917.
The 94th Field Company R.E. served with the 19th Division which went to France between 16th and 21st July 1915, so it is possible James Warrington served only in the 94th Field Company prior to his death. For the 19th Division's record see:
The war diary of the 94th Field Company R.E. can be downloaded (£3.30) from:
The diary will describe where and when the Company was employed in its various engineering tasks. The Field Companies were quite small and their diaries can be quite detailed. For the role of Feield Companies see:
James Warrington qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Peter {Email left}
Location: Billingham
Date: Saturday 22nd November 2014 at 10:03 AM
Dear Alan Can you please help with this man Sgt f. W. Gent service No 7612 or 7812 1/K.R. Rifles. I have a Mons Star to him that was found in my g/aunts belongings when she died he is not in SDGW/CWGC. can you please point me in the right direction Best Regards Peter.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 22nd November 2014 at 4:57 PM

Dear Peter,
Sgt F. W. Gent 7612 KRRC was Sergeant Francis William Gent who was a regular soldier who served in the 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps. He was recorded in the 1911 census as a 24 year old Corporal with the Battalion at Dagshai in India. He would have enlisted about 1906. The Battalion returned from India and was stationed at Salamanca Barracks, Aldershot in 1914. The Battalion went to France on 13th August 1914 where it served with the 2nd Division. See:
Sergeant Gent was taken prisoner on 2nd November 1914 at Ypres, Belgium. He was a prisoner at Soltau and was released via Holland in November 1918. He qualified for the 1914 Star with Mons clasp; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Francis William Gent was born on 29th September 1886 at West Hartlepool, Co. Durham. He was the son of Robert and Esther Ann Gent (probably née Scott). Robert Gent was the grave-digger at Oxbridge Cemetery, Stockton-on-Tees and lived at the Cemetery Low Lodge on Oxbridge Lane, Stockton.
The war diary of the 1st KRRC is available to download from National Archives. It is in two parts, each costing £3.30.
Prisoner of War records can be viewed at:
A Francis W. Gent, aged 73, died at Middlesbrough on 26th July 1960.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Brian Gent
Date: Monday 23rd March 2015 at 5:03 PM


Sgt F W Gent was my grandfather. I have had some research done which is pretty much along the lines that you have .I have some of my grandfathers medals and my fathers who was in the WW2 RAF.I had them court mounted and as a member of the British Legion wear the at the remembrance service parade each year in remembrance of my father /grandfather.
I also have a photo of Soltau POW camp .

What I was trying to find was a photo of him, can you help?


Brian Gent
Posted by: Becca {Email left}
Location: East Yorkshire
Date: Friday 21st November 2014 at 10:43 PM
Hello again Alan,
I have just discovered an attestation form for LEO BROWN the son of HENRY BROWN and ELIZA ELLIS born 1869 in NORTON near MALTON, YORKS.
It appears that he joined the service twice - once in 1899 and again for the war. His numbers look like 700596 and 6040
but I cannot be certain of the last one, some of the writing is not clear.
I should be grateful if you tell me anything about is service.

Kind regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 22nd November 2014 at 4:54 PM

Dear Becca,
Leo Brown enlisted on 1st May 1899, firstly, in the Army Service Corps and then ten days later was transferred to the 2nd Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (LNLR)in which regiment he became a full-time soldier remaining in the Army, or on its books, for 21 years. During the First World War he was held prisoner. On enlistment in 1899, he admitted he had previously served time in a civil prison for non-payment of "[illegitimacy] arrears". He and his Battalion was garrisoned at Malta in 1899; Crete in 1901; Gibraltar in 1902 and then returned to the UK in 1903. Private Brown's character was "indifferent". He was charged with drunkenness in 1900. He was transferred to the reserve in 1911 but later re-joined the 1st Battalion LNLR. He served two months in civil prison with hard labour for stealing two hens in 1913 and at the outbreak of the First World War he was mobilized and went to France on 3rd September 1914 with the 1st Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He was posted "missing" on 23rd October 1914 [Battle of Ypres 1914]. He later stated he had been captured as a Prisoner of War at Ypres on 31st October 1914 and had lost his teeth after being hit in the mouth with a rifle butt.
PoW records can be searched at:
Entries for Brown appear to follow "Browne" (74) in alphabetical order of forename, although Leo Brown's name isn't immediately obvious in those PoW records.
He was repatriated to England on 18th December 1918.
After discharge at the end of the war, he re-enlisted on 4th June 1919 into the Labour Corps which was then calling for volunteers for a year's service to exhume bodies from the battlefields. The work carried better pay (3s 6d a day) than civilian life or unemployment. He served with No 3 Labour Company in that capacity from 23rd June 1919 until 1920.
Leo Brown qualified for the 1914 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The war diary of the 1st Battalion LNLR can be downloaded in five parts for a fee of £3.30 each at:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Becca
Date: Saturday 22nd November 2014 at 8:37 PM

Many thanks for this Alan. What a character! I shall now search the sites you have mentioned and see if I can find anything further. I found his death in 1958 so he died at the age of 88. As of now I have not traced a marriage or family, so it will be interesting to find out who his illegitimate child was.

Again, many thanks

Posted by: Lisa Desmond {Email left}
Location: Cardiff
Date: Friday 21st November 2014 at 5:41 PM
Dear Allan, I hope you don't mind me asking a questions n. I've just started my family tree and an aunty of mine asked me to find out about her uncle who died in ww1. I have found this link http://www.everymanremembered.org/profiles/soldier/554489/ for him and subsequently found that he was in the 12th batallion south wales boarderers. I was wondering if you could shed some light on his service, how and where he died. Family legend has it that he died on the last day of the war, which is obviously incorrect. He was born james Collins in 1898 to Edward and Martha Collins of Ethel street, Cardiff.
Any information you could provide would be gratefully received.
Thanks in advance.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 21st November 2014 at 10:29 PM

Dear Lisa,
No individual service record has survived for James Collins so it is not possible to state his military service in detail. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he attested formerly as 29925 Welsh Regiment which suggests he attested under the Derby Scheme of deferred enlistment between October and December 1915 which was a last call for volunteers before compulsory conscription was introduced in March 1916. These Derby men were in the Army for just one day and then returned home to await being called up in 1916. They were then allocated to a regiment that was in need of casualty replacements. James Collins was enlisted as 24482 South Wales Borderers. His Army medal roll states he served only in the 12th Battalion SWB. The 12th Battalion SWB went to France on June 2nd 1916 where it served with the 119th infantry Brigade in the 40th Division. The 12th SWB captured Fifteen Ravine (line by fifteen trees) in April 1917. They then went on to attack La Vaquerie in a two-hour night raid that started at 11pm on May 5th and ended at 1 am on May 6th, 1917, the day James Collins was killed in action. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The war diary of the 12th SWB can be downloaded for a fee of £3.30 from The National Archives:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Lisa Desmond
Date: Friday 21st November 2014 at 11:15 PM

Thank you so much Alan. This is fascinating mynaunt will be so pleased. I have read that the 12th batallion was a bantum battalion, would this mean he was under height. Any idea what work this battalion have done? Also where would I be most likely to find photographs, either of him or his battalion? I'll check national archives for info on medals and battalion diaries. Once again thank you so much for your time. Much appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 21st November 2014 at 11:47 PM

Dear Lisa,
The 12th Battalion SWB was formed of men of shorter stature. They were often fit and strong and might have been coal miners or manual workers. They performed the same tasks as any infantry battalion: defending the line and advancing to engage with the enemy at close quarters.
The Army did not routinely take photographs of soldiers in the First World War. Photography overseas was banned except for "official photographs" approved by the War Office and taken by such organisations as the Daily Mail whose pro-war stance tended to provide heroic captions to the aftermath of battle on collections of postcards. Postcard collecting was very popular. Haig himself was opposed to filming and photography. Nevertheless, there is a large amount of photography from the First World War. The largest collection is held at the Imperial War Museum.
There are numerous regimental photographs, often taken in the UK, available as post cards at Post Card Fairs held occasionally around the country. Regimental museums hold collections of group photographs. The great difficulty is that the photographs are rarely annotated with names of those pictured so it is impossible to identify individuals unless you would already recognise the person.
The majority of photographs were studio portraits taken in the UK when a man first got his uniform and before he went overseas. These would be held in family collections and might not be positively identifiable. When men left the Army, they also commissioned group photographs which might have been retained in family collection.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Liz {Email left}
Location: Glasgow
Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014 at 4:48 PM
Dear Alan, you were very helpful with my last query and wonder if you would be able to assist with another couple of enquiries. My grandmother's first husband Walter McGoff, Private 40819, was in the 15th Battalion Highland Light Infantry, died on 18 November 1918 and is buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France. Is there any way of finding out if he was killed in battle and if so which one?

Also, her second husband, my paternal grandather, Benjamin Piggot Mackie, born 17 September 1898, lost a leg but I'm not sure if that was as a result of the war or another means. Whilst there are lots of records of war dead, I can find none for war wounded. Would your records be able to identify if he was in the armed forces during World War 1?

Again, any information you can provide will be much appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014 at 7:56 PM

Dear Liz,
There is no surviving documentation that would state how Walter McGoff died. He was buried at
Terlincthun British Cemetery on the northern outskirts of Boulogne, which was a hospital centre.
The CWGC stated he was with the 15th Battalion HLI. The army medal rolls for the British War and Victory Medals stated he served first with the 12th Battalion HLI.
He is not listed in the index for GRO Army war death certificates and is not listed in "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921).
It is not possible to identify a man by his name only. There were at least seven men named Benjamin or B. Mackie who served overseas with the Army. There is a medal index card for a Benjamin P. Mackie of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) but he is not further identified. He was a private, 240695, in the 5th Battalion Royal Highlanders.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Liz
Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014 at 8:20 PM

Thanks again Alan. Can I check the medal index cards online?

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014 at 8:32 PM

Dear Liz,
They are available on the subscription website, ancestry.co.uk. Local libraries often provide free access to the ancestry website.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Liz
Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014 at 8:35 PM

I can access it via my library so will do that. Thanks for the advice.

Kind regards,
Posted by: Nikki 1763 {Email left}
Location: Aldridge
Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014 at 8:03 AM
Hi Alan ,
I am hoping you may be able to help me . I am trying to trace my uncles family . His father was George shipman , who was killed in Sicily in 1943 . He was in the york and Lancaster reg , his father Ernest was also in the same reg but in ww1 . We know that there were other relatives that served in both wars but I am having trouble finding them . George shipman service num 4755099 , his father was a l/c and they all came from Sheffield uk . I have a photo of Ernest but none of George , is there anywhere that would keep photos of service men ?
Many thanks Nikki
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014 at 4:13 PM

Dear Nikki,
It is not possible to positively identify a soldier by his name only: and there were two men named Ernest Shipman serving in the York and Lancaster Regiment in the First World War. The most likely was Ernest Shipman 4709 who went to France on 11th September 1915 (probably with the 10th Battalion York and Lancaster) as a corporal and later became a sergeant who joined the Royal Flying Corps numbered 145146. The Findmypast.co.uk website has both Army and RAF military service records for what appears to be the same man, identified as living in Sheffield. Information from the Findmypast.co.uk website cannot be transcribed on this forum, so you would have to purchase the documents using pay as you go credits or a subscription.
Records of service personnel who served in the Second World War are still confidential and are not in the public domain. They are held by the Ministry of Defence.
The MoD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next-of-kin, or not. You can apply using the forms for next-of-kin, or with permission of next- of-kin, or as a general enquirer. Refer to:
You will need proof of death (a copy of the death certificate); date of birth or service number; next-of- kin's permission (unless you are the direct next-of-kin); a cheque (currently for £30) and the completed Application forms Part 1 and 2: If you are not next-of-kin you can make a general enquiry using both the "Request for Service personnel details: general enquirer's form (v6) (DOC)" and then the Part 2 form which is entitled "Request for Service personnel details: British Army part 2 (DOC)". A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to the "MOD Accounting Officer" and sent with all the paperwork to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland.
Details of the dead are recorded at
There is no centralised source of photographs of servicemen. The regimental museum might hold group photographs but you would need to be able to recognise George Shipman as few photographs were annotated with names. The museum is in Rotherham.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Nikki 1763
Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014 at 5:30 PM

Hi Alan ,
Thank you for your very fast reply . I should have said that Ernest was married to Catherine , the photo I have of him is as a lance corporal from the Sheffield history site . His son George is my step - grandfather but he had a brother Robert and I can't find anything at all . Thank you for your help . I thought maybe by putting his name out there , someone else may have information
Thanks again
Posted by: Sarah {No contact email}
Location: London
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 6:54 PM
Hi is there anyone who knows what all the numbering stands for on my grandfathers medal index card - I can make out the obvious and I know he has received a 'clasp' 14 star medal - but there is a load of other numbers etc on the card that hold no meaning to me
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 7:09 PM

Dear Sarah,
The qualification for a medal was entered on a nominal roll (of which the cards are the index-cards). Each nominal roll (a typed list) was identified by initial letters and numbers and a page number given for identification. The rolls, like the medal cards, are available on the ancestry.co.uk website. Other lettering and numbering on the right of the entry indicated the return or despatch of the medals, with a date.
There is a useful key to deciphering the cards at:
If you have your grandfather's name, number and regiment, I can check the card for you.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 1:24 PM
Hi Alan
Now researching my 1st Cousin twice removed and found out he was in the Rifle Brigade at aged 18 Born around 1900 I think, and a number I can just make out appears to be 85123, any info on him would be great. Seems so young to be at War.
Reply from: Jonboy
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 1:27 PM

Sorry Alan I know, a Name would help. Edgar Cecil Bartlett.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 5:10 PM

Dear Jonboy,
Conscripted young men were called up one month after their eighteenth birthday for a medical examination and attestation. Edgar Cecil Bartlett was called up on 5th March 1918 at Whitehall. He was a house decorator of 97, Milton Road, Stoke Newington. His age was 18 years and one month. He joined the 53rd (Young Soldier) Battalion The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) which was a training battalion based at Northampton. There is no further entry for him, so it appears he did not actually go to war.
His next-of-kin was Mrs Ethel Florence Powell of the same address, which appears to be his married elder sister. He was born in the first quarter of 1900 the son of Henry J. Bartlett and his wife Annie. He died, apparently, in 1986 in Wiltshire.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Mavis {No contact email}
Location: Manchester
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 12:16 PM
I'm researching my great uncle's war service, all I know is his name is Pte Frank Walters Regiment No 59279 with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers he died of wounds on 5th May 1918 and is buried in Senlis Communal Cemetery Extension, France I would like to know more, can you help
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 5:10 PM

Dear Mavis,
No individual service record has survived for Frank Walters, so it is not possible to state his military service. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he died of wounds on 5th May 1918 while serving with the 17th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. As there is no service record for Frank Walters, it is not possible to state whether he had been with the 17th Battalion from its inception, or whether he was part of a draft of reinforcements who joined the battalion at any time between January 1916 and the day he died.
The 17th Battalion was raised at Llandudno in February 1915. The Battalion went to France in December 1915 and served there with the 115th Infantry Brigade in the 38th (Welsh) Division. See:
The war diary of the 17th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers is available to download at a cost of £3.30 from the National Archives:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Mavis
Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 8:26 PM

Thanks Alan I will have a look at the websites you've mentioned to see if I can learn from them


Posted by: Ian {Email left}
Location: Northwich
Date: Monday 17th November 2014 at 4:32 PM
Dear Alan
I am a new member to your site, having heard from family and friends of your successes...
I have tried to obtain information about my grandfather who served in and was injured during service in the First World War.
His name and rank are Pte Frank Greenhough, 1182 4th Regiment SAI
Iam currently a subscriber to ancestry.co.uk, he seemed to disappear from family / England in about 1910, I think I have found him on a passenger list leaving Liverpool in August 1910, next reports appear to show him attested at Potchefstrom S Africa August 1915.
I would appreciate any information you can provide regarding his joining up/service and eventual discharge.
Any other help or advice regarding these types of searches would also be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 17th November 2014 at 7:13 PM

Dear Ian,
Service records of men who served in the South African forces in the First World War are held in South Africa. Any request for a copy of a service record or information about South African Military Personnel from 1910 up to the present day should be addressed to: The Documentation Centre, SA National Defence Force, Private Bag X289, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.
All other records are held at the SANDF Documentation Centre located in the Schweickerdt Building, 20 Visagie Street, Pretoria, South Africa. They do not have an online catalogue. See:
However, copies of the 4th Regiment South African Infantry war diaries are held at the UK National Archives in three parts which can be downloaded online at a cost £3.30 for each part. See: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_p=1900&_q=%22South+African+Brigade%3A+4+South+African+Infantry+Regiment%22
Potchefstroom was the location of the regiment's infantry depot. The 4th Regiment of Infantry had been raised from the existing Transvaal Scottish and the Cape Town Highlanders as well as recruits encouraged to join-up by the local Caledonian Societies. For a brief history of the South African Brigade see:
See a longer article also:
The official history was written by John Buchan. It is online at:
The South African Brigade joined the British 9th Division on 22 April 1916 and left on 13 September 1918. See:
With kind regards,

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