The World War Forum (Page 88)

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Posted by: Lisa Ekman {Email left}
Location: Bridgend
Date: Wednesday 11th June 2014 at 8:23 PM
Dear Alan,

I wonder if you would be able to help me with regards to my Great Grandfather William Garlick. The details I have are from a WW1 medal index card which give his number as 10652 Ches R - which corresponds to medals that a family member has. The card states Date of Entry was 26/6/1915 theatre of war 2B Balkans. D of W 30/4/1916. Where would he have fought? Did my grandfather die in France or elsewhere? Also, he was known as Philip by his children/wife and there is a memorial in Bargoed to that effect. He is listed as living with his family in the 1911 census as P Garlick but it appears that he went to war under a different name. I cannot find any trace of Philip/William Garlick prior to the 1911 census. It's all a bit puzzling. Where did he sign up? Did he serve in any earlier wars? I appreciate this is a long shot but any information/tips for further research would be very gratefully received. I would dearly love to get to know a little bit more of my Great Grandfather.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Lisa Ekman
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 11th June 2014 at 10:13 PM

Dear Miss Ekman,
No individual service record has survived for Sergeant William Garlick, so it is not possible to state his wartime service in detail. He served in the 8th Battalion The Cheshire Regiment which had been raised on 12th August 1914 at Chester. The Battalion served in the 40th Infantry Brigade in the 13th Division. After training in the UK the Battalion sailed to Egypt in June 1915 in anticipation of moving to the landings on the beaches of the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey in July 1915. They landed at Cape Helles in July, withdrew and then returned at Anzac Cove in August 1915. They subsequently fought at The Battle of Sari Bair, 6th 10th August 1915; The Battle of Russell's Top, 7th August; The Battle of Hill 60, 27th 28th August 1915 and The last Turkish attacks at Helles on their withdrawal on 7th January 1916. They served on the peninsula until the first week of January 1916 when they were evacuated back to Egypt. In February 1916 they were sent to Mesopotamia (Iraq).
There, they took part in the relief of the siege of Kut al Amara where the British Army was besieged by the Turks in Mesopotamia (Iraq). By 27th March 1916, the Division had assembled near Sheikh Sa'ad and came under orders of the Tigris Corps. It then took part in the unsuccessful attempts to relieve the siege of Kut (7th December 1915 29th April 1916). The British Army besieged at Kut eventually surrendered to the Turks with great losses.
Sergeant William Garlick was buried at Amara War Cemetery after he had died of wounds on 30th April 1916. Seven general hospitals and some smaller units were stationed there. See:
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/628423/GARLICK,%20W

"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he was born in "Fairview" Gloucestershire, which was probably an erroneous entry for Fairford in the Cirencester registration district. It stated his residence in 1914 was Pengam, Monmouthshire. His surviving military records provide no further biographical information. Garlick has the alternative spellings of Garlic and Garlich. Philip can also be spelled Phillip. William was sometimes abbreviated to Wm.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Lisa Ekman
Date: Thursday 12th June 2014 at 12:33 PM

Wow!

Thank you so, so much for your time and generosity Alan. I am amazed by all this information and it actually made me quite emotional. I'm still having trouble finding William/Philip Garlick prior to the 1911 census - could he have served in the Boer War?( Not sure of dates - history is not my strong point!) I can't really find his wife Lydia (Jones) prior to 1911 either. This is all new to me and I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing but I will persist. I have managed to find William and Lydia's marriage certificate. It appears they didn't actually get married until 3rd Jany (it is difficult to read the print) 1915. So it appears they had most of their 4 children (Edward, Phylis, Frederick, then in 1916 Philip, out of wedlock even though I am lead to believe by family members that they were strict 'Chapel' My Nan (Phylis) certainly was! They must have got married just before he went to war. This is all so heartbreaking...and I'm just typing out loud so to speak.

I can't find a registration for Edward's (the oldest) birth either. Phylis (my Nan) wasn't actually registered until 7th December 1915 when she was actually born 26th Dec 1908 (Name and occupation of father is blank! ) Would this be because William/Philip wasn't present at the registration? My Nan remembered her father going to war - she called him Dad - he was definitely her father. It's all a complete mystery and probably too much for an amateur like me to unravel. Perhaps I just have to accept that they didn't want to be found. How did Lydia and William meet...she was from a mining family in North Wales... William/Philip was from Gloucestershire!

At least I know a little more about where William/Philip served and where he is. I would like to visit his grave one day - I may have to wait a while for that to be possible however! But, at least now I can research the 8th battalion...

Thank you once again. I am going to make a donation to the British Legion today. I think perhaps this is going to be one of my preferred charities from now on.

Kindest regards,

Lisa
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 12th June 2014 at 10:25 PM

Dear Lisa,
There is a brief service record for a William Garlick of Fair View, Cheltenham, who enlisted in the militia in 1892 and transferred to the 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment at the stated age of 17. I cannot transcribe it for you for reasons of copyright. It can be downloaded for the purchase of 30 credits for a few pounds from the findmypast.co.uk. website. It is under Military - British Army Service Records 1760 to 1915 Garlick William 1875 1892 Fair View, Cheltenham. He would appear to be the same man who served in the First World War (so "Fairford", as I suggested yesterday, was not his parish, but "Fair View" was). He appears to have served in the Second Anglo-Boer War. Medal entitlements can be found on the ancestry.co.uk website searching under initial only: "W. Garlick" in "UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949". He qualified for the Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps for Orange Free State and Natal.
In the 1911 Welsh Census the family of Phillip Garlick and Lydia are recorded living a Pleasant View, Fler de Lis, Monmouthshire. Lydia stated her age was 31 (1879) and she was born at Ruabon, Denbighshire. For details of the parish and chapels see:
http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/DEN/Ruabon/index.html
In the 1881 Welsh Census a Lydia Jones, aged 1, (about 1880) was recorded at Ruabon with her her parents Edward and Ann at 31, Burton Terrace, Ruabon. (Class: RG11; Piece: 5514; Folio: 7; Page: 9)
Her birth was probably Apr-May-Jun 1880 Wrexham, Denbighshire, vol 11b page 310
In 1891 the Jones family was living at Cefn mawr (Class: RG12; Piece: 4613; Folio: 122; Page: 3)
In 1901 a Lydia Jones who stated she came from Cefn Mawr, Denbighshire, Wales, aged 20, was a domestic servant for a Frances Daw, widow, at Birkenhead. (Class: RG13; Piece: 3395; Folio: 151; Page: 42)
This Lydia Jones does not appear in the 1911 England or 1911 Wales Censuses so it appears she was the Lydia Garlick recorded with Phillip Garlick in the 1911 Census of Wales at Fler de Lis, Mynyddislwyn, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. (Class: RG14; Piece: 32031; Schedule Number: 174.)
Phyllis was probably Phyllis M Garlick, Oct Dec 1908, Newport M, Monmouthshire, volume 11a page 15. Although she was recorded in the 1911 Wales census as being born at Bargoed, Glamorgan which was on the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire boundary. Bargoed was also referred to as Gelligaer. For chapels etc. see:
http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/GLA/Gelligaer/
Edward was also shown in the 1911 census to have been born at Bargoed about 1902. His GRO birth record is elusive.
Frederick was shown on the 1911 census as being two months old, born at Pengam, the same place as William Garlick's residence in 1914. Frederick might have been registered as Frederick J. Garlick, April June 1911, Newport M, Monmouthshire, page 310 vol 11a.
Philip Garlick junior appears to have been born in 1915:
Philip Garlick; District: Bedwellty Monmouthshire; Mother's Maiden Name: Jones; Quarter: 2; 1915; Volume: 11a; Page: 291.
Gloucestershire is adjacent to Wales on the opposite bank of the River Wye (indeed, some Gloucestershire births were registered in Monmouth district) so it was quite likely that a miner would seek work in Wales where he might have come into contact with Lydia and her family.
I hope that provides some areas for further research.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Lisa Ekman
Date: Friday 13th June 2014 at 7:50 PM

Dear Alan,

I am truly lost for words. I can't tell you how much this means to me. The personal details contained in the documents really brought William to life and made it all so real. Perhaps the Gloucester Regiment service history explains the name change! I have so much to work with now.

I have set up a standing order with the Royal British Legion as a small thank you for your generosity but this doesn't seem enough somehow. Bless you.

Kindest regards

Lisa

Posted by: Leyther {Email left}
Location: Lancashire
Date: Tuesday 10th June 2014 at 8:57 AM
Good morning Alan

I have researched a family member who died in WW1 and I have been asked to write a short article about him in our local library magazine to commemortate the local war.heroes

I have found details on his private life through the census records and found his death record on Ancestry. From this Ancestry record, can you see more about him maybe or even just a little about the campaigns his regiments would have been involved with up to his death in May 1916? I would like to pad out the article with this info if possible.

I have also found a newspaper archive showing actual picture which is fantastic, and the article says he "died a hero as he was one of the lads who rushed up to stop the Germans advancing. Sadly he was buried by a shell and his Platoon - No 7 - tried in vain to dig him out"...Does this mean he was buried by debris from a bomb? He was aged just 19 when killed. The letter his Mother recieved was from a George Pendlebury (Assume from the regiment?).

Here is his death record anyway, any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Alan.

Name: William Bell
Birth Place: Wigan, Lancs
Residence: Wigan
Death Date: 21 May 1916
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Hindley, Lancs
Rank: Private
Regiment: Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Battalion: 8th Battalion
Number: 19029
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Best regards
Leyther
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 10th June 2014 at 7:03 PM

Dear Leyther,
No individual service record has survived for 19029 William Bell so it is not possible to be certain about his wartime service. An Army medal rolls index-card recorded he first went overseas with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 25th September 1915 which matches the departure for France of the 8th and 9th Battalions Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He was killed in action on May 21st 1916 while serving with the 8th Battalion so it seems likely that his service was confined to that battalion.
The 8th Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment was raised at Preston in September 1914 and trained at Salisbury Plain with the 74th Brigade in the 25th Division. The Battalion then trained at Boscombe (Dec 1914); Bournemouth (Jan 1915); Boscombe (Mar 1915); Romsey (May 1915); Aldershot (June 1915) and then went to France in September 1915. The 8th Battalion then transferred to the 7th Brigade in the 25th Division. Soldiers did not always fight in every engagement, because one third of any unit was usually left out of battle to form a reserve and the nucleus of the future of the unit.
The 25th Division's history can be seen at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/25div.htm

For more detailed information about the 8th Battalion LNLR, the Battalion's war diary can be downloaded for £3.30 from The National Archives:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7353362

The newspaper article does describe the effect of a shell landing nearby, exploding and burying men under the debris. There was a George Pendlebury who served in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and appears to have survived the war.
William Bell qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Leyther
Date: Wednesday 11th June 2014 at 8:00 AM

You are star Alan - thank you for this. It is a pity his full war records have not survived, but you have certainly helped piece information together with the dates / locations provided.
I will certainly download the Battalions War Diary - did not know I could obtain these.
This information will help tell the story of WIlliam Bell further.
Thanks again
Leyther

Posted by: Tess {Email left}
Location: Newton Abbot
Date: Monday 9th June 2014 at 4:55 PM
I have a pair of identity discs I have been asked to research.
The number impressed seems too long for a WW1 Regimental No. - 10708181 for the soldier SMART, Religion GS or CS.
I have read Army Order No. 287 of 1916. These discs comply with that description.
I can find nothing on Ancestry to associate the name Smart with that number.
Could anyone suggest another source to identify the soldier and his regiment, please.
Thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 9th June 2014 at 5:51 PM

Dear Tess,
The number is too long to be a First World War number. It probably dates from later. The Ministry of Defence will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next of kin or not. You can apply using the forms for next of kin, or with permission of next of kin, or as a general enquirer. See:
https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records
You will need proof of death; date of birth or service number; next of kin's permission (unless you are the direct next of kin); a cheque and completed Application forms Part 1 and 2: If you are not next-of-kin you can make a general enquiry using both the "Request for Service personnel details: general enquirer's form (v6) (DOC)" and then the Part 2 form which is entitled "Request for Service personnel details: British Army part 2 (DOC)". There are forms for the RAF and the Navy, also.
A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to the "MOD Accounting Officer" and sent to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland with all the paperwork.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Tess
Date: Wednesday 11th June 2014 at 10:17 PM

Very thorough. Thanks.
I will pass it on to the relatives. They'll be pleased to know that they can actually do something to solve this little mystery.
Kind regards
Tess.
Posted by: Chilli {Email left}
Location: London
Date: Monday 9th June 2014 at 3:00 PM
Hi Alan,

I really hope you can help provide more information on my great-grandfather William Mair, who chose to lose contact with his young family after WW1. I have his Army Form B 199a form, which provides record of his postings and promotions, but why am I unable to find any army records for him elsewhere? And why would he have possession of the 199a form rather than the army? I would really like to know more detail as to how he was engaged in WW1, and any sources where he may have been mentioned. He was born in 1880 in Strichen, Aberdeenshire, joined the Royal Artillery (no 23200) in 1899, and his history is as follows:
Short Garrison course Malta 1903
School of Gunnery Shoeburyness and Woolwich 1904
School of musketry machine gun Hythe 1911
Commissioned from ranks Woolwich 6 Mar 15
Posted to 26 siege battery RGA Lydd 23 Mar 15 to 3 Aug 15 home 3 Aug 15 to 1 Dec 16 abroad
Posted to 4th army arty school Cpt Instructor France 1 Dec 16 to 1 Jun 17 abroad
Apptd acting Capt whilst employed as Cpt Instr. France 1 Dec 16 abroad
Posted to command 282 siege battery RGA France 1 Jun 17 to 13 Nov 17 abroad
Apptd acting Major to Command bty 1 Jun 17 abroad
Promoted Lieutenant 8 Jun 16 abroad
Posted to command 517 siege battery RGA Lupont(?) Aldershot 13 Nov 17 to 9 Mar 18 home
Posted to command 514 siege battery RGA Lydd & France 10 Mar 18 to 26 Jul 18 home 26 Jul 18 to 27 Feb 20 abroad
Promoted to Captain 24 May 18
Posted for duty with Graves Reg Commission Dover 26 Apr 20 to 10 Mar 21 home
Posted to 31 (M) Bty RGA Exeter 11 Mar 21 to 21 Jul 21 home
Posted for temporary duty to GHQ Ireland Ireland 22 Jul 21 to 26 Jan 22 home
Posted to No 1 Depot RGA Catterick 15 Feb 22 to (blank)
Posted to Hartlepool defences Hartlepool 27 Jul 22
Retired on retired pay 23 Jan 20
Suitability to recall ceased 12 Aug 29

After his return from France, he seems to have had a number of fairly short-term assignments - would he have most likely lived in army accommodation and been free to visit family on leave?

Many thanks for any information you can provide.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 9th June 2014 at 6:10 PM

Dear Chilli,
Officers' records are held at the UK National Archives at Kew. You would need to see the record to positively identify the officer was your ancestor. There is one William Mair of the Royal Garrison Artillery in the catalogue. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C1078071
The ancestry website has three reference cards for the two occasions of being mentioned in despatches, indexed under W. Mair in Medal rolls index cards. These refer to the entries (by name only) in the London Gazette. His actual medal index card is under the name of William Mair and records he qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The London Gazette can be searched online if you have the patience of a saint. See "search all notices" and adjust the search dates at:
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/

Officers did not have regimental numbers and the name William could be reduced to Wm or W. His regiment was "Royal Garrison Artillery".
As an officer he would have resided in the Officers' Mess of his particular unit during the war and while serving overseas. While on home service after the war he could have shared accommodation with his wife otherwise he would certainly have been free to visit at weekends and when granted leave.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Geoff {Email left}
Location: Maidenhead
Date: Sunday 8th June 2014 at 9:30 PM
Hi Alan,
You were such a great help to me before, I thought I would ask for your help again.
I previously requested information re Frank Horton. At the time I believed he was born in Walsall in 1891. This was probably wrong.
I have since discovered he enlisted in the Army Service Corps in WW1, in 1914 at Liverpool. His place of birth was Edge Hill, Liverpool. Father, George. Frank`s regimental number was 12084. can you possibly give me any additional information re his war service.
Best regards,
Geoff.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 9th June 2014 at 5:52 PM

Dear Geoff,
Frank Horton enlisted in the Army Service Corps as a horse driver on 17th September 1914 at Liverpool. He joined 146 Company ASC, which was part of 17th Divisional ASC train at Coombe Keynes, Wool, Dorset. On November 1st 1914 he went absent for four days and forfeited 4 days' pay. On 30th November 1914 he was admitted to hospital with acute appendicitis. He was discharged from the army as medically unfit and not likely to become an efficient soldier on 8th January 1915 under paragraph 392 iii (d) of King's Regulations.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Geoff
Date: Monday 9th June 2014 at 5:57 PM

Thanks a lot Alan . That`s great.
Reply from: Geoff
Date: Thursday 3rd July 2014 at 7:35 AM

Hi Alan,
Re the above information about Frank Horton. We know this was him because of the address he gave.
How accurate would the information be on a soldier`s war record in WW1?
In Frank`s record the medical examiner`s report is that Frank was only 5ft 4 1/2" and fair skinned. We know he was about 5ft 9" and slightly tanned. I know a lot of men lied about their age, but were there any documents required to enlist, i.e. proof of next of kin or address etc?
In other words, can we trust the information on war records? Unless of course someone lied.
Thanks,
Geoff.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 3rd July 2014 at 5:42 PM

Dear Geoff,
The information recorded on army records was not necessarily accurate, just as details on census records are frequently inconsistent. Some recruits disguised their age or birthplace; others genuinely did not know where they had been born or their exact date of birth.
Frank Horton stated his parish of birth was Edge Hill, which was in the Liverpool Registration District. Edge Hill was not a parish, but a city suburb which contained five chapelries of St Mary, St Stephen, St Jude, St Timothy, and St Catherine. The GRO birth index has no matching birth registered in Liverpool in 1892 or early 1893, so it is probable he was living in Edge Hill at the time he enlisted, not born there, which would mean there was no record in his army paperwork of where he was born. He gave two addresses: in September 1914, his next-of-kin was stated as his father: George Horton; 14 Alfred Street, Liverpool, and then, on discharge in January 1915, his intended place of residence was 23 Harbord Street, Wavertree Road, Liverpool, both of which are in Edge Hill. Birth information given by the recruit himself might not have been accurate: he might not have known where he was born, or he might have misstated his age. No documentary proof was required unless the recruit wished to make an allotment from his pay towards a separation allowance for his family, in which case his marriage and children's birth certificates would be required. As Frank's father was apparently his next-of-kin, Frank would have been un-married.
There is no immediately obvious census entry for a Frank or Francis Horton born about 1892 with a father named George.
On enlistment on September 17th 1914, he stated his age as 21 years and 276 days (which would mean a birthday of 15th/16th December 1892). On December 9th 1914 his "Application for Discharge" form stated his age was 22 and 2 days (giving a birthday of December 7th 1892). On his "Proceedings on Discharge" on January 8th 1915 he was aged 22 years and 25 days giving a birthday of December 15th1892.
On enlistment a recruit was medically examined by a doctor. Frank's measurements were taken by a medical officer who signed his name as Kinglsey O'Sullivan and should have been accurate. Height was usually measured using a scale with an adjustable slide against which a recruit stood to be measured. There is no reason to dispute the doctor's measurement of 5ft 4 1/2 inches. The record did not state he was fair skinned but stated he had a "fresh complexion" which meant healthy-looking without being pale or pasty.
On December 9th 1914, Kingsley O'Sullivan recorded Frank's height was 5ft 4 1/4ins.
Ideally, biographical information should be sought from three separate primary sources to provide corroborative proof, but that is frequently not possible to achieve. The ABC suggests: Assume nothing; Believe no-one; Check everything. Unfortunately, the surviving army documentation for Frank Horton is unhelpful as it does not indicate his place of birth or provide any biographical detail that can readily identify other documentation.
As Frank was discharged very early in the war, because of appendicitis, he could have voluntarily re-enlisted once he had recovered and from March 1916 he could have been compulsorily conscripted, even if only for home service. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded a Frank Horton, 23808, who was born in Walsall was killed in action on 13th November 1916 while serving with the 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment, but the CWGC does not list him and there are no biographical details for him. The GRO War Deaths, Army Other Ranks, (1914 to 1921) did list a Frank Horton 23808 as dying in 1916.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Geoff
Date: Thursday 3rd July 2014 at 6:06 PM

Thank you Alan,
That is a big help.
Your site is very informative and I will definately recommend you to others.
Best regards,
Geoff.
Reply from: Geoff
Date: Tuesday 15th July 2014 at 12:20 PM

Hi Alan,
Re the information regarding Frank Horton`s age.
As you say, there are 2 or 3 different birth dates re his given age on his military document.
Who would have calculated Frank`s age? Would he have given the info himself or, how would it have been calculated?
Thanks,
Geoff.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th July 2014 at 7:05 PM

Dear Geoff,
A recruit would have spoken his age when asked at the time he enlisted. The recruiter would have calculated the age from the man's stated birthday. On enlistment on September 17th 1914, Frank Horton stated his age as 21 years and 276 days (which would mean a birthday of 15th/16th December 1892). On December 9th 1914 his "Application for Discharge" form stated his age was 22 and 2 days (giving a birthday of December 7th 1892). On his "Proceedings on Discharge" on January 8th 1915 he was aged 22 years and 25 days giving a birthday of December 15th1892.
As his age was said to be 22 and two days on 9th December 1914, it would appear he had celebrated his birthday two days previously. The discharging medical officer would have asked him how old he was and would have written down the answer. Had he maintained a birthday of 15th/16th December 1892, his application for discharge would have shown an age of 21 years and 359 days.
The Army would have liked his age on enlistment and on discharge to be consistent, so they would have calculated that he was 22 years and 25 days old when he was discharged.
It was always plausible that the recruiting officer had miss-calculated the age of 21 and 276 days by sliding his finger along the calendar for an additional week. Of course, there was nothing to prevent the recruit making-up his age. The age of majority in 1914 was 21 and a man under that age could not rent rooms in his own name, so many young men "became" 21 some years earlier that their actual age. As a general rule, ages stated on Army forms do not constitute evidence.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Jo Howarth {Email left}
Location: Yorkshire
Date: Sunday 8th June 2014 at 9:29 PM
Hi Alan

I wondered if you could be so kind as to take a look at a WW1 service record for me please. The gentleman's name is a friend's grandfather, his name is Walter Field, Private 268538, of 13 Dunbar Street, Dewsbury Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire. DOB 1881 (born Hunslet, Leeds). Enlisted 1916, served with the West Yorkshire regiment and medically discharged in 1918 - that's as much as I can make out, I'm afraid. It looks like only medical discharge notes have survived but I'm wondering if there are clues which you can spot? Many thanks and kindest regards, Jo
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 9th June 2014 at 5:52 PM

Dear Jo,
Walter Field was compulsorily conscripted at Leeds at the age of 35 on 21st July 1916. He joined a reserve battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment and was posted to the 3rd/7th (Reserve) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment at Clipstone Camp in Nottinghamshire. He was admitted to hospital for stomach complaints on 7th December 1917 at Leeds Eastern War Hospital (now St James's Hospital, Leeds). His medical record showed he had suffered an ulcer in previous years. He was discharged as no longer physically fit for war service on 12th March 1918. He did not serve overseas and did not qualify for any medals. He was granted a silver War Badge for being discharged through sickness.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Joh
Date: Tuesday 10th June 2014 at 1:02 PM

Alan

Many, many thanks. Your insight and information is always very appreciated. I have just made an online donation of £10 to the British Legion in recognition of your kind effort to help all the people who post here.

Thank you and my kindest regards
Jo
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 10th June 2014 at 10:48 PM

Dear Jo,
Thank you for making a donation to the Royal British Legion. It makes it all worthwhile.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Ann Bedwell {Email left}
Location: Ipswich
Date: Sunday 8th June 2014 at 1:13 PM
Hello Alan
I am researching Francis Roberts born 1906 in Greenock and who died in WW2. I have found a death in Alexandria 31 May 1941. Service number 878453, 7 Medium Regiment Royal Artillery.
I am hoping this is my Francis. His parents were James and Lena.
Is there any way to find if this is the correct man and what happened to him
Thank you
Regards Ann
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 8th June 2014 at 6:19 PM

Dear Ann,
Service records for soldiers who served in the Second World War are not in the public domain. You would need to know from family sources his regiment and regimental number before searching. The Ministry of Defence holds Second World War service records which are protected under the Data Protection Act. The MoD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next of kin or not. You can apply using the forms for next of kin, or with permission of next of kin, or as a general enquirer. See:
https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records
You will need proof of death; date of birth or service number; next of kin's permission (unless you are the direct next of kin); a cheque and completed Application forms Part 1 and 2: If you are not next-of-kin you can make a general enquiry using both the "Request for Service personnel details: general enquirer's form (v6) (DOC)" and then the Part 2 form which is entitled "Request for Service personnel details: British Army part 2 (DOC)". A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to the "MOD Accounting Officer" and sent to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland with all the paperwork.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Ann Bedwell
Date: Monday 9th June 2014 at 7:09 AM

Dear Alan
Thank you for your prompt reply. You have been most helpful
Regards Ann
Posted by: Aud {No contact email}
Location: Colchester
Date: Saturday 7th June 2014 at 5:30 AM
Dear Alan,

Re our Great Uncle Serjeant John Toole , Waterford, 2108 109th battalion RGA.
Died 28th Jan 1917 , buried at St. Sever, Rouen.

We have only recently discovered that he had in fact died in the Great War and not returned, as subsequent generations of his family have been led to believe.
My mother, his great niece, on learning of this, has decided to make the journey to St Sever at the end of this month to pay homage.
We would appreciate any information regarding his Army career.

Many Thanks ,
Aud
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 7th June 2014 at 3:19 PM

Dear Aud,
No individual service record has survived for Sergeant John Toole so it is not possible to state his military service. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921), stated he "died" on 28th January 1917. The expression "died" (as opposed to "killed in action" or "died of wounds") meant his death was caused by other than military action, such as illness or accident. He was buried at St Sever Cemetery Extension in Rouen which was the base of numerous hospitals. The CWGC Says: "They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross and one labour hospital, and No. 2 Convalescent Depot. A number of the dead from these hospitals were buried in other cemeteries, but the great majority were taken to the city cemetery of St. Sever. In September 1916, it was found necessary to begin an extension, where the last burial took place in April 1920."
When he died, Sgt Toole was serving with the 109th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery. The Battery was formed at Dover in February 1916 and was in France by 8th June 1916. It served with 4th Army on the Somme at Mametz Wood and Fricourt, equipped with 6-inch howitzers. The guns were placed to the rear of the forward lines and were able to fire large-calibre high explosive rounds onto distant targets up to a range of 5.4 miles. The Battery had early casualties with their Major and a number of officers and men being killed by an enemy shell at Fricourt on July 24th 1916.
John Toole qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Aud
Date: Monday 9th June 2014 at 8:11 AM

Thank you so much for your speedy response, Alan.
Posted by: Brian Renshall {Email left}
Location: Rainhill
Date: Friday 6th June 2014 at 5:29 PM
Alan, Could you perhaps supply ay info on an Harold Welsby 6935 Royal Engineers ? He was from Rainhill in what was then Lancashire.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 6th June 2014 at 8:05 PM

Dear Brian,
No individual service record has survived for Harold Welsby so it is not possible to state his wartime service. An Army medal rolls index-card recorded he served with the Royal Engineers with the regimental numbers 6935 and 426250. The latter number was allotted to the 1st West Lancashire Field Company Royal Engineers in the first weeks of 1917 when all Territorial Force soldiers were re-numbered. At the same time, the company lost its regional title and was numbered 419th Field Company RE. The company had been in France since February 1915.
The medal card recorded the highest rank held by Harold was Acting Company Quartermaster Sergeant and he 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 serve abroad until, some date after January 1st 1916.
The 419th Field Company served in the Ypres sector with 4th Division from February 1915. Then, in 1916, they moved to the 55th Division. They moved south where they were engaged at The Battle of Guillemont; The Battle of Ginchy; The Battle of Flers-Courcelette and The Battle of Morval. In October 1916 they returned to the Ypres sector (Third Ypres). In 1918 they fought at the Battle of the Lys and Givenchy (April) and took part in the final advance. The company's locations are shown at:
http://www.reubique.com/419fc.htm
The 55th Division's engagements are shown at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/55div.htm

With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Eleanor Cole {Email left}
Location: Clipstone
Date: Tuesday 3rd June 2014 at 12:14 PM
Do you know anything about the military hospital set up at Mount Felix, Walton on Thames Surrey please?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 3rd June 2014 at 2:12 PM

Dear Eleanor,
It was designated the 2nd New Zealand General Hospital. There is a comprehensive history at:
http://ezitis.myzen.co.uk/2nzgh.html

and
http://www.walton-on-thames.org/mountfelix/index.htm

With kind regards,
Alan

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