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Posted by: Olwyn {Email left}
Location: Durham
Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014 at 8:02 AM
Hi, Re. Sapper William Ernest Whittle Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers. 397879. My Great Grandfather.
I am searching for information on his whereabouts in WW1. My other GRANDFATHERS, were in the Navy, I found their info on the Arctic Convoys, but am stuck on land.
His records states Campaign BEF 1.2.16-1.1.16. I cannot find out what/ or exactly where this was, where is best to find this please. I keep going round in circles.
His records also state the following: 2.2.16. Arrived at no. 4 from England (GBD), ( someone's initials?)
6.2.16. 3rd Rly Joined unit from base. Thanks to someone I know this is the 3rd Railway Company, anyone know whereabouts. Is he in Ypres?
16.2.16. Admitted to No2 General Hospital.
Raised to Very Superior Rate of EP, 2 shillings. Anyone know what EP stands for? When you think about it , two shillings, ten pence! Bless all these very brave men.
I and my would dearly love to know where he was, and which battles he fought in. I tried searching the war diaries and downloaded the 12th field, which was the wrong one, ( but excellent reading.) A point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for taking the time to read my message.
Olwyn
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014 at 12:00 PM

Dear Olwyn,
The Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers went to France in November 1914. William Whittle enlisted on 22nd July 1915 and would have been part of a draft of reinforcements to the No3 Railway Company Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers. The Company had five officers and 145 men employed on railway construction in France and Flanders. Drafts always passed through a base depot and in this case William arrived at No 4 General Base Depot (GBD) which was at Rouen, on 2nd February 1916. He arrived at the No 3 Railway Company on 4th February 1916.
On 16th June he was admitted to No 2 General Hospital (which was at Quai d'Escale railway station at le Havre).
EP was engineer pay.
On 11th July 1916 he was attached to 32nd Base Park Royal Engineers which was also at Le Havre. On 24th July 1916 he was admitted to No 7 Canadian Stationary Hospital at Le Havre. He was transferred to the UK via No 4 Base Depot on August 1st 1916. He was posted to Class W Reserve for civilian war service with metal sheet manufacturers Camelinate & Co.
To establish where the No 3 Railway Company was during the four months William served with them, you would need to see their war diary which appears not to have survived in full. The National Archives has only the diary from 01 November 1914 - 30 June 1915 in Catalogue Reference: WO 95/4052.
The Royal Engineers Museum at Gillingham has a summary diary 1908 1917.
http://www.re-museum.co.uk/

With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Olwyn
Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014 at 8:04 PM

Dear Alan,
What a delight to read your message! Thank you indeed, through you I have learned so much. It looks like it is necessary to visit Gillingham. Do you know if they will do searches as it is unlikely I will be able to visit. If not, I realise I am lucky to have the detail I have. I managed to find some photographs of Le Havre in WW1, including one of the Railway. My family history has blossomed with your help.

One thing puzzled me about William Ernest, it looks like he had formerly served as 6556 2 RW Royal Warwickshire Regiment?

Thank you for seeking and sharing your knowledge.
Olwyn
Reply from: Olwyn
Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014 at 8:44 PM

Hi again Alan,
I have found the summary from the Royal Engineers I had not realised the significance of it earlier.

Many, many thanks.

Olwyn
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014 at 8:54 PM

Dear Olwyn,
So he did. He served with the part-time Royal Warwickshire militia and then for a short time in the regular army with the 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. From your desk you can purchase online 90 "pay as you go" credits on the Findmypast.co.uk website to view and download the coloured images of the records. Search among "military, armed forces and conflict" then click on Record Set "show filters" and tick the box "British Army Service Records", then click on "update". (Findmypast "improved" their website last week and it hasn't been working very well since). There were three men named William Ernest Whittle. The first one you need is the one dated 1881 1899 (30 credits). To view the images, from the results page, click on the camera symbol and after opening the first image click on the forward arrow on the right to see the subsequent pages. Do not click on "transcript" or you'll waste credits. The other two indexed entries appear to relate to the same William also serving briefly in the part-time militia (30 credits each).
I am afraid I am not allowed to transcribe details from the Findmypast website, as that would breach their copyright rules, but you should find the records self-explanatory.
The Royal Engineers Museum suggests a list of professional researchers who could transcribe or photograph part of a war diary for you. See:
http://www.re-museum.co.uk/research
and click on "professional researchers" within the text of the paragraph titled "Help with research".
Don't be put off by approaching a professional. Simply ask how much they'll charge. The nearer they are to the museum, or the more frequently they visit, the fewer costs incurred.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Olwyn
Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014 at 11:10 PM

Hi Alan,
Thanks, I just followed your instructions and have this record. Today has been an excellent day, it got better as it went on. Just amazing!
Looks like 'our William' lied about, or perhaps forgot his age.
I will take your advice on a researcher, already spent many, many hours researching 'The Whittles of Warwickdhire', I may as well do it properly.

Thank you,
Olwyn
Reply from: Olwyn
Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014 at 11:22 PM

Donation sent to your charity, in thanks.

Kind regards,

Olwyn
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 25th April 2014 at 9:31 PM

Dear Olwyn,
I have overlooked to say "thank you" for making a donation to the Royal British Legion. I correct that now. Thank you.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Olwyn
Date: Friday 25th April 2014 at 10:25 PM

Thank you, Alan.

Kind regards
Olwyn
Posted by: Dee {Email left}
Location: Hull
Date: Tuesday 15th April 2014 at 6:51 PM
Hello Alan. I wonder if you could help with a query. I am trying to find out more info on an ancestor. His name is John Dunn born South Cave, East Yorkshire. He served 15th foot army 1807-1816 and was discharged age 39. I got this info on Nat archive site.
Thank you
Regards Dee
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th April 2014 at 7:02 PM

Dear Dee,
Any service record would be held at The National Archives in catalogue reference
WO 97/362/112 or available online from the subscription website Findmypast.co.uk.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dee
Date: Tuesday 15th April 2014 at 7:25 PM

Dear Alan,
Thank you so much for your very prompt reply. Will check on findmypast, as I subscribe.
Regards . dee
Posted by: Barbara Jacques {Email left}
Location: Failsworth Manchester
Date: Sunday 13th April 2014 at 3:58 PM
Dear Alan

I have read with interest your very knowledgeable replies to requests for information on soldiers of the Great War. It clearly is a labour of love for you and something that is essential for all years not just the hundredth anniversary.

My grandfather died on Thursday, 28th March 1918, during Kaiserschlact, and have been to the Arras Memorial and seen his name on Bay 5 as he has no known grave.

His name was Pte 45257 Matthew Lloyd, 2 Bn Lancashire Fusiliers. I think he had only been in France since 12th March

He was conscripted, but, as conscription had been in place since January 1916, what I wish to know is why did he not get called up to late 1917, and why did he enlist at Cleckheaton, when he was joining the Lancashire Fusiliers and lived in Failsworth Manchester. He was a mill worker would that have exempted him from being conscripted before then?

I have a photograph of him in his uniform with my grandmother and my father and one taken with some comrades both of which are studio pictures. I have no oral history of him from my father who is also deceased and cannot find any reference to him in local papers of the time nor in any local book of remembrance.

I hope you can help and look forward to hearing from you. Keep up the good work

Barbara Jacques
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 13th April 2014 at 6:27 PM

Dear Barbara,
No individual service record has survived for Matthew Lloyd so it is not possible to state his military service. Without an individual record, it is unwise to speculate about his circumstances.
The 2nd Battalion's war diary is available (charges apply) in three parts from the National Archives. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/s/res?_q=%222+Battalion+Lancashire+Fusiliers%22&_p=1900&Refine+dates=Refine

With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Barbara Jacques
Date: Monday 14th April 2014 at 2:08 PM

Dear Alan,
Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I will order the document from National Archives.

Kind Regards,
Barbara
Posted by: Alexander {Email left}
Location: Retford Notts
Date: Saturday 12th April 2014 at 8:50 AM
Hello Alan

Could you please shed any light onto my Great Uncle Mr Roland Lever, he served during WW1 but I have been unable to find his service record.
My mum remembers from when she was a girl, that he returned from the trenches in France and he spent many years in hospital.
I have found some information and have his service number unit and war badge number, he was from Barford St Martin in Wiltshire.
I know he married one of the nurses at his recovery hospital and that they emigrated to Michigan USA, where the family now live (now levere!)
Ser-No. 140172 R.E 3rd Res Battalion, war badge number 396324. he was discharged suffering from "Neurasthesia"
It would be nice to know where and what he was doing during WW1.
Thank you.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 12th April 2014 at 8:31 PM

Dear Alexander,
Unfortunately, no individual service record has survived for Roland Lever 140172 Royal Engineers, so it is not possible to state his wartime service. He had enlisted on 8 November 1915 and was discharged on 23rd May 1918 suffering neurasthenia, a term used to describe shell shock. The unit from which he was discharged was No 3 Reserve Battalion Royal Engineers which would have been the UK-based unit that administered his discharge.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Mike Carragher {Email left}
Location: Queens Ny
Date: Friday 11th April 2014 at 1:49 PM
Hi,

Looking for more info on my relative Peter Joseph Moore who died 22 Sept 1918.

Corporal, 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. Died of wounds. Son of Patrick and Mary Moore, of Annahale, Castleblayney, County Monaghan. Age: 30.

http://carragherfamily.org/getperson.php?personID=I355&tree=Moneyvolan1

Thanks,
Mike Carragher
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 11th April 2014 at 8:33 PM

Dear Mike,
No individual service record has survived for Peter Moore so it is not possible to state his wartime record. Most records were destroyed in an air on London in 1940. Peter appears to have been a regular soldier in the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. An Army medal rolls index-card showed he served with the 2nd Battalion and entered a theatre of war on 6th November 1916. The 2nd Battalion was in Wynberg, South Africa at the outbreak of war and sailed from Cape Town on 1st October to arrive in the UK on 30th October 1914. They served in the 24th Infantry Brigade in the 8th Division and landed in France on 6th November 1914.
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he died of wounds on 22 September 1918 while serving with the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. It is not possible to say when he was posted from one battalion to another, so it is not possible to state where he served or when he was wounded.
He qualified for the 1914 Star with dated Clasp, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
He was buried at Terlincthun cemetery. The CWGC says: "The cemetery at Terlincthun was begun in June 1918 when the space available for service burials in the civil cemeteries of Boulogne and Wimereux was exhausted. It was used chiefly for burials from the base hospitals."
With kind regards,
Alan

Posted by: Confused Com {Email left}
Location: Burnley
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 12:28 PM
Any information about Private Fred Stevenson 241428 2/5 East Lancs. Born 21/9/1897.Lived at 6,Devonshire Rd .Burnley.Lancs. Confused with whole structure of army...brigades,divisions,regiments!Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 4:33 PM

Unfortunately, no records have survived for Fred Stevenson (or variations of that name) 241428 so it is not possible to state his service.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Confused
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 4:51 PM

Thanks Alan for the quick response.

I have actually discovered Fred served in the 42nd East Lancs 2/5...not sure what the 2/5 refers to...can you help?

Would also be interested in any information at all on this.

Best regards,

Confused.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 4:56 PM

His regimental number was allotted to the 2nd/5th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment in 1917 but there is no record of his actually serving. As his records have not survived it is not possible to speculate.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Confused
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 5:00 PM

Thanks Alan - you are an absolute star...the service you provide is "first class"

Thanks again.
Reply from: Confused
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 8:21 PM

Alan,

Sorry about this but I think I may have given you the incorrect regimental number before...think it was 241426 and not 241428.

Do you have any information on a Fred Stevenson with the number 241426?

Thanks.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 11th April 2014 at 10:54 AM

There is still no surviving evidence for Fred with the number 241426. The number would have been allotted to the 2nd/5th East Lancashire Regiment in early 1917. There is no Army medal rolls index-card at either the National Archives or on the ancestry.co.uk website, which were filmed at different times from the originals, suggesting that he did not qualify for any medals, therefore he did not serve overseas, but without an individual service record that cannot be verified.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Confused
Date: Thursday 17th April 2014 at 12:07 PM

Alan,

On the "Burnley in the Great War" website, my Grandfather is list on the men who surved and survived listing, the details of which are:
Stevenson Fred 241426 Pte E Lancs_4 TF Devonshire Rd 6

NB - Fred was living at 6 Devonshire Road Burnley Lancs when he joined up.

I am totally confused now as I also have a picture of Fred in the East Lancs Regiment uniform so he definitely served in the was and oral history tells me that he served in France and was involved in the 3rd Battle of Ypres.

Could you help in explaining why you think he did not serve over seas when we know he did.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Russ.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 17th April 2014 at 1:07 PM

Dear Russ,
There is no Army medal index card for Fred Stevenson 241426 which means there is no record of his overseas service, although that doesn't mean he did not serve overseas, only that his service can't be verified from the existing records.
If he applied for a pension there may be a pension record card for him.The Western Front Association holds an archive of 6.5 million pension record cards (PRCs) which are not available elsewhere. They charge for a manual search of the records. See:
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/about-the-wfa/175-pension-records/2961-pension-record-cards-manual-lookup-request.html

With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Peter {Email left}
Location: Billingham
Date: Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 6:22 PM
Dear Alan.
My sister in law asked if John McManus are all the one man. her Grandmothers brother
Kings Royal Rifle Corps Y/1501.
London Regiment G/84024.
Royal Engineers 30686
Royal Fusiliers G5/84024
Best Regards Peter.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 9:31 PM

Dear Peter,
They refer to one and the same man: Rifleman John McManus. No individual service record appears to have survived for him so it is not possible to state his service. The four numbers indicate a change of regiments during the war. An Army medal rolls index-card recorded he had the regimental number Y/1501 where the "Y" suggested he was in the special reserve of the King's Royal Rifle Corps. He first served in France and Flanders with the 7th Battalion the King's Royal Rifle Corps (7th Bn KRRC) from 3rd August 1915. The 7th Bn KRRC served with the 41st Infantry Brigade in the 14th Division until 2nd February 1918 when it moved to the 43rd Infantry Brigade in the 14th Division. For the Division's history see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/14div.htm

It is not possible to say when Rifleman McManus transferred to the 2nd (City of London) Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) with the general service (G) number 84024. The 2nd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) was in the 169th Brigade in the 56th Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/56div.htm

It is worth noting the 7th Bn KRRC was reduced to an administrative cadre on 25th April 1918, which is a possible occasion for a transfer. After a period with the 2nd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) he went to the Royal Engineers. Many men made that move, especially if they had a particular manual skill. He then returned to his old number (the GS was the same as G for general service) 84024 with the 2nd London. That final move might have been after the Armistice, so that his commitment to the Reserve was with his London regiment.
Without a service record it is not possible to provide evidence for the timing of the above moves, but the outline of events is worth noting for further research.
John McManus qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Peter
Date: Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 10:01 PM

Dear Alan Thank you for the Information on john McManus My sister in law will be delighted with this news.
best Regards Peter.
Posted by: Howard Barkell {Email left}
Location: Lydford Devon
Date: Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 5:25 PM
Dear Alan,

I would be pleased to receive any information you may have about CQMS Henry Sidney Carey, L/7591 who died on 22/12/17 and of the Battalions of the Middlesex Regiment he may have served in.

Kind regards,

Howard
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 9:28 PM

Dear Howard,
No individual service record has survived for Henry Carey so it is not possible to state his full service. Henry Carey was a regular soldier who served with the 4th Battalion The Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) which was stationed at Devoonport, Plymouth, at the outbreak of war. He entered France as a colour-serjeant with the 4th Battalion on 14th August 1914. He was promoted to Company Quartermaster Serjeant. He was killed in action on 22nd December 1917. The Battalion fought with the 8th Infantry Brigade in the 3rd Division at the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, including the the Rearguard action of Solesmes; The Battle of Le Cateau; The Battle of the Marne; The Battle of the Aisne including participation in the Actions on the Aisne heights; The Battles of La Bassee and Messines 1914 and First Battle of Ypres. From November 14th 1914 the Battalion served in 63rd Infantry Brigade in the 21st Division. In 1915 the 21st Division fought at the Battle of Loos.
The 21st Division fought at The Battle of Albert on July 1st 1916 and then moved on the 8th July 1916 to the 37th Division which fought at The Battle of the Ancre 13th to 18th November 1916. In 1917 the 37th Division fought at The First Battle of the Scarpe, including the capture of Monchy-le-Preux; The Second Battle of the Scarpe; The Battle of Arleux; The Battle of Pilckem Ridge; The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge; The Battle of Polygon Wood; The Battle of Broodseinde; The Battle of Poelcapelle and The First Battle of Passchendaele which ended on 6th November 1917.

CQMS Carey was killed on 22nd December 1917. He was the only soldier of the Battalion killed on that date. His grave at Hollebeke was later destroyed by shellfire and he is now commemorated on the Fusilier Wood Memorial at Duhallow ADS Cemetery north of Ypres. The CWGC says: "After the Armistice, the cemetery was enlarged when graves were brought into this cemetery from isolated sites and a number of small cemeteries on the battlefields around Ypres. Special memorials commemorate a number of casualties known to have been buried in two of these cemeteries, Malakoff Farm Cemetery, Brielen, and Fusilier Wood Cemetery, Hollebeke, whose graves were destroyed by shellfire."
He qualified for the 1914 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The CWGC stated his age as 36. In 1901 he was living with his widowed mother, Emma, at 114 Euston Road, where he was recorded as a 19 year old furniture carman. In 1911 he was in the Army as a sergeant, aged 27.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 8:22 AM

Dear Alan,

Thank you for your comprehensive reply. The Devonport clue explains, perhaps, why his wife and family lived at Lydford from 1914 - 1919, although there doesn't appear to have been any family connection. Married quarters had to be vacated? She returned to Plymouth subsequently. He is not included on the local War Memorial, although some of doubtful qualification are.

The 1911 Census didn't seem to give Battalion or posting, but I think it was probably Singapore.

Many thanks,

Howard
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 11:00 AM

Dear Howard,
In 1911 it was Lebong, India.
Alan
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 11:30 AM

Thanks for the correction. I had read that he was married in Singapore not long before the census and that his wife had a young baby with her, so put two and two together and made five! Presumably he was with the 4th.

Howard
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 11:53 AM

Dear Howard,
It might not have been the 4th Battalion in 1911. The 3rd Battalion looks most likely. Here's an extract from "The story of the Duke of Cambridge's Own" Chapter xiv page 158.
"The 1st Battalion, which had gone to India in 1898, remained there till 1912, when it removed to Aden; it came home in 1913. The 2nd Battalion, which returned from South Africa in February1903, remained in England for ten years. When the war broke out in 1914 it was stationed at Malta.
The 3rd Battalion was stationed at Woolwich till 1902, when it went to South Africa. In 1906 it went to Hong Kong, and thence to Singapore in 1908. In 1911 it moved to India, where it was stationed when the war broke out.
The 4th Battalion, like the 3rd, was at first stationed at Woolwich, moving in 1901 to Aldershot. It was never outside the British Isles till it landed at Boulogne on August 14, 1914."
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 12:29 PM

Dear Alan,

That seems fairly comprehensive. Thank you for taking the extra trouble to sort that out for me.

Best wishes,

Howard
Reply from: Mary Collins
Date: Friday 20th January 2017 at 6:07 PM

Hello Howard and Alan. This is really interesting information for me. Henry Carey was my grandfather. My Mum Connie was only 3 years old when he died. Yes I believe he and grandma were married in Singapore and lived in India. I think Mum was the second oldest of the children. My widowed grandma remarried? Will Rice who is buried in the graveyard in Lydford. Grandma (Maud Rice) and Will lived in Petertavy (I'm not sure of the dates). There were three children by Henry and a further 5 with Will. Unfortunately we have very little info on grandad, I understand that my step-grandfather didn't want any photo's or suchlike left. Any info at all on him would mean a lot to the family.
This year (the anniversary of his death) I am going to visit the cemetary, I believe my sister and some of his great grandchildren also plan to visit
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Friday 20th January 2017 at 6:50 PM

Dear Mary
I'm glad the information Alan gave me has proved useful to you. Thank you too for the extra information you have added about your family. I shall incorporate it with what I have already written.
Good luck with your visit to France. I went last year and came back with some vivid memories and another Lydford resident recently returned from a trip to Thiepval.
Best wishes
Howard
Reply from: Mary Collins
Date: Friday 20th January 2017 at 7:54 PM

Thanks Howard, can I ask why you are interested in my grandfather?
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Friday 20th January 2017 at 8:52 PM

In 2014 I was writing profiles of all the Lydford men that served in WW1 for an exhibition I put on in the church to coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of the war. I had already researched the names on the war memorial and couldn't understand why your grandfather's name wasn't there, so I asked Alan to help me research his military career. I obviously didn't know about the Rice connection.
Howard
Reply from: Mary Collins
Date: Tuesday 24th January 2017 at 1:58 PM

Just one correction. There were 5 Carey children & 3 Rice.., although Maud Carey (daughter) was born after his death.
Posted by: Kelly {Email left}
Location: Edinburgh
Date: Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 12:48 PM
Dear Alan,
Could you please give me any information on my late grandfather Norman Billington.On his marriage certificate of July 1915 he is listed as Driver in R.F.A. 3-1 East Lancs.He was living in Burnley,Lancashire at 4,Liverpool Rd and was 24 years old.His medal index card gives his number as 720049.R.F.A.Driver.and he received the Victory and British Medal.
We have tried for years to find out where he served !
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 4:30 PM

Dear Kelly,
No individual service record has survived for Norman Billington so it is not possible to state his wartime service in detail. But, he left some clues despite the Royal Artillery being renowned for changing its structure throughout the war, so what could have happened in theory might not have happened in practice.
Norman Billington 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 overseas until after January 1st 1916. An Army medal rolls index card showed he served in the Territorial Force Royal Artillery (which had existed before the outbreak of war) and he had a six-digit regimental number, 720049. The six-digit numbers were allotted in January 1917 when all Territorial Force artillerymen were re-numbered with what became known as "long numbers" to replace the original four-digit numbers. No earlier four-digit number was recorded on the index card; therefore, Norman did not go overseas until after that number had been issued in January 1917.
The entry on his marriage certificate appears to show he was serving in the 3rd/1st East Lancashire Brigade Royal Field Artillery. This would have been a UK-based training reserve unit that supplied drafts of reinforcements to the parent Brigade which was the 1st East Lancashire Brigade RFA.
There was also a 2nd East Lancashire Brigade RFA (The Manchester Artillery) and a 3rd East Lancashire Brigade RFA. The 2nd was based in Manchester and the 3rd was based in Bolton. The 1st East Lancashire Brigade had its pre-war No 6 Battery based at Burnley.
After the outbreak of war, when these pre-war Territorial Army brigades had been mobilized, there was a need to train reinforcements for them. Units that trained the new recruits were called second-line and third-line units. Eventually the second-line units went to war in their own right, while third-line units remained at home to supply reinforcements to the other two. These units took fractional titles such as 1st; 2nd/1st and 3rd/1st.
The gunners were supplied in the field by their respective Divisional Ammunition Columns which worked between the ammunition dumps and the front-line, transporting the ammunition and also providing casualty replacements.
Early in the war, the Artillery lost their regional titles and were given numbers written in Roman numerals. The 1st East Lancashire Brigade RFA became the 210th Brigade RFA which was also displayed as CCX Brigade RFA. The CCX Brigade served in the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division.
Their second line "sister" Brigade was known as the 2nd/1st East Lancashire Brigade which was numbered 330th Brigade RFA displayed with Roman numerals as CCCXXX (2/1 East Lancashire) Brigade, RFA.
That's the background.
The regimental number 720049 was in the range 720001-725000 which was allotted to The East Lancashire Brigade RFA and the associated 42nd Divisional Ammunition Column (known as 42 DAC). However, the numbers in that range, 720001-725000, were also shared by the 2nd East Lancashire Brigade and 66 DAC which served in the 66th (2nd East Lancashire Division). As Norman was allotted his regimental number 720049 in January 1917, he could have been part of a draft of reinforcements to the 42nd or he could have served with the 66th Divisional Artillery.
You can discover which division he fought in if you click on "Men who served and survived" and do a surname search from the homepage of the following website:
http://burnleyinthegreatwar.info/

Then see the division's history at one of these:

http://www.1914-1918.net/66div.htm

http://www.1914-1918.net/42div.htm

With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kelly
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 9:33 AM

Thank you so much for your prompt reply.I have done as suggested and found out that Norman Billington 720049 was a Driver in the 66th Divisional Ammunition Column.My late mother told us that he was at Ypres and in fact we took her over to Flanders for her 80th birthday.I would dearly have loved to have known then the particular towns and villages where he might have been billeted,what actions he would have been involved in.I am returning to Ypres in May,along with my brother,as a bit of a pilgrimage for my Mum I suppose and of course for my Grandfather who we never knew.(He died in the early 1950's before my brother was born and when I was just a baby)
I have looked into the 66th Div.History which has been a big help.Is there anyway I can get more detailed info.eg where he was billeted,positions of Ammo Dumps etc!Is there a war diary for 66th Div...would that help? Where would it be?
Thank you once again,can't believe I haven't found you before,a donation to the British Legion is on its way as we speak.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 11:06 AM

Dear Kelly,
There is a war diary for 66 DAC held at the National Archives at Kew, Surrey. It is not available online yet.
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7355506

With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kelly
Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 at 11:24 AM

Thank you,found out more in 24hrs than I have done in approx 24years!ps a donation has been made.Thanks again!
Posted by: Rob Cutting {No contact email}
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Date: Tuesday 8th April 2014 at 1:37 PM
Hi Alan, I am trying to find out information on my Grandfather Robert CUTTING, he was born in newcastle upon Tyne in 1897 and Christened Major Robert CUTTING his father had the same name, however when he joined the Army during the first world war, he joined as Pte Robert CUTTING ( would you like to be called Major Private Cutting ) in the DLI his army number was 49908 and i have his two medals, however there is some confusion as to which battalion he served with, in Newcastle city library he is in the abscent voters book as being in the 13th Battalion in 1918, however my father remembers an officer coming to the house after the war called George Fillingham, and he recalls a conversation about a soldier they buried on the spot called private CAPP at the battle of Cambria, on the CWWG site i found a Private Albert CAPP killed near Cambria serving in the 2nd Battalion the DLI, trouble is that both the 13th and 2nd fought at Cambria, the curator at the DLI has told me that George FILLINGHAM only served in the 2nd battalion, however years ago i found him on a photo with the 11th battalion DLI sappers, also as a matter of interest my Grandfather signed on again at the end of the war and was posted to the 1st Battalion the DLI in Cologne, hope you can help me find out anything about which unit or units my Grandfather served in, kind regards Rob
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 8th April 2014 at 6:43 PM

Dear Rob,
No individual service record has survived for Robert Cutting so it is not possible to state his military service. In theory, the absent voter's list should be correct and provides stronger evidence than oral history. It was possible for men to be posted from one battalion to another. The absent voter's lists were published in October 1918 from information provided by the soldiers themselves before the closing date of 18th August 1918 set out in the Act of Parliament passed on 6th February 1918. So the list provides evidence that on a particular day between February and August 1918, Robert filled in a form stating he was serving with the 13th Battalion DLI, which between those dates in 1918 was in Italy.
Albert Edward Capp died on 21st November 1917 when the 2nd Battalion DLI was taking part in The Cambrai Operations which began on 20 November 1917. The 13th Battalion DLI was in the 23rd Division which fought in The Second Battle of Passchendaele between 26 October and 10 November 1917, seventy kilometres to the north of Cambrai. The 23rd Division was then despatched to Italy in November 1917 concentrating between Mantua and Marcaria on 16th November 1917. The 13th Battalion DLI left 23rd Division and returned to France on 14th September 1918, joining 74th Brigade in the 25th Division.
One further source of evidence might be any surviving pension record card. The Western Front Association holds an archive of 6.5 million pension record cards (PRCs) which are not available elsewhere. They charge for a manual search of the records. See:
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/about-the-wfa/175-pension-records/2961-pension-record-cards-manual-lookup-request.html

With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Rob Cutting
Date: Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 10:26 AM

Thanks Alan for all your hard work, however my father has just died aged 88 he had a good relationship with his father, his father never went to Italy and my father found it hard to beleve if he had, he never mentioned it to him in conversation, I believe my grandfather may have been FILLINGHAMs batman, i have no evidence to support this except for a photo of the second battalions officers, and the fact that every year on the eve of the battle of Cambria FILLINGHAM came to my grandfathers house in Newcastle upon Tyne, a funny thing for an officer to do considering my grandfather was a private soldier, this is where my father heard the conversation about the death of private CAPP is there anything in the records about FILLINGHAMS DLI units, The DLI museum say he was always in the 2nd Battalion, but i once found a photo on the net which proved this wrong, i know that hard copy such as the abscent voters list are better than family conversation, but i am still intrigued, also would my grandfathers 1918 to 1921 records tell of any previous service, im sure i have a new army number in the house.

Kind regards Rob

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