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Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum (Page 89)

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Posted by: Jeremy Thornton {Email left}
Location: France
Date: Sunday 24th February 2013 at 10:17 AM

Futher to the information that you have previously provided about my great uncle Julian Thornton Reg No 358240, recently I have done the following:
Contacted the library in Dewsbury West Yorkshire where Julian was a member of a prominent local family to ask them to search the local press to see if there was mention of his Military Medal award particularly what action merited the award and in which action and where. I am awaiting the results if any, of their search.
I have also contacted the Liverpool Scottish Museum who have managed to provide me with some other information which I wondered if you could expand on.

Julian Thorntons Military Medal award was mentioned in the 55th Divisional Orders dated the 14th Dec 1918. He is mentioned alongside 3 other men, Antribus, Grist & Ashcroft who the museum know received thier awards for action on the 4th/5th October. For an unknown reason the dates of the actions of the other 3 men mentioned, Julian Thornton, Levey & Watson are not registered. However, the museum are of the opinion that that these actions must have taken place around the same time.
So, are you able to tell me just what actions were taking place, which they may have been involved in, on these dates when the 2nd/10th Liverpool Scottish had been amalgamated with the 1st/10th and moved from the 57th to the 55th Army.

Additionally you have previously given me the WO reference at the National Archives for both the 1st/10th and the 2nd/10th, would there be a different reference WO number once they were amalganated. Also, are the Divisional Orders(War Diary/Records) different to the London Scottish regimental war diaries and if so are they also kept at the Nation Archives?

Finally (for now!) there is mention of the '100 days campaign' can you enlighten me on this.

Thanking you in advance.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 24th February 2013 at 2:54 PM

Dear Jeremy,
The 55th Division had occupied La Bassee on 2nd October 1918. See:

This was the start of the Final Advance in Artois (2 October - 11 November). That was a phase of what became known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which began on August 8th 1918 at the Battle of Amiens. At the time no-one knew it would last one hundred days and it gained that title afterwards. It was in fact a determined offensive to repel the Germans from the advances they had made in their Spring Offensive, known as Operation Michael. The French supreme commander Ferdinand Foch considered a counter-offensive essential. In one hundred days of mobile fighting, the Germans were pushed back beyond their main defensive line, the Hindenburg Line, and an armed truce was declared on November 11th 1918.

The references given for the battalion war diaries include the amalgamated battalions.
There are 86 war diaries from the 55th Division held at the National Archives at Kew. The Liverpool Scottish were in the 166th Infantry Brigade and it would be worth searching the Brigade HQ Staff diaries before those of Divisional HQ. The Brigade HQ diaries are held at the National Archives in Catalogue reference WO 95/2928 "166 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters 01 January 1916 - 28 February 1919".

The Divisional diaries would contain additional information from a broader perspective. The adjutant's department acted as secretary to the Divisional Staff and promulgated information upwards to GHQ Adjutant General and downwards to the Infantry Brigade HQs.
The HQ diaries are titled "55 Division Headquarters Branches and Services" diaries which are further divided between "General Staff" and "Adjutant and Quartermaster General". The HQ Staff diaries covering the period October November 1918 are "WO 95/2907 General Staff 01 October 1918 - 30 April 1919"
and "WO95/2910 Adjutant and Quartermaster General 01 November 1917 - 30 April 1919".
Note that the National Archives do not use the "th" in "55th" so searches are made using "55". The 55th Division Headquarters results can be seen by entering "55 Division Headquarters" (within quotation marks) and clicking on the "all collections" tab at:

Kind regards,
Posted by: Brian {Email left}
Location: Howdon
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 1:06 PM
Dear alan my dad died when i was very young and am looking into his army sevice in the first world war the only documentation i have is his discharge papers joined the territorial force the 16th april 1915 unit the 23rd battalion londan having previosly served during the war in city of london yeomanry discharge date 16th february 1918 no longer fit for duty the only numbers i have are serial no 606793 certificate no 703407 no luck looking in war records as these probably where destroyed during the bombing i would be grateful for any more imformation regarding the above yours sincerely b f wright
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 1:14 PM

Dear Brian,
What was your father's name?
Reply from: Brian
Date: Sunday 24th February 2013 at 2:51 PM

Sorry about not providing a name alan his name was frederick wright yours sincerely
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 24th February 2013 at 4:37 PM

Dear Brian,
No individual service record has survived for Frederick Wright so it is not possible to be certain about his wartime service.
An Army medal rolls index card recorded he went abroad with the 23rd (County of London) Battalion The London Regiment with the regimental number 7168. That number was changed early in 1917 to 703407 when all Territorial soldiers were allotted new numbers.
He was discharged, aged 23, from the 23rd Battalion London Regiment as "sick" on 16th February 1918. He had first enlisted on 16th April 1915. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was awarded a Silver War Badge for being discharged through sickness.
There were three battalions of the 23rd London Regiment: The 1st/23rd; the 2nd/23rd and the 3rd/23rd.
The 1st/23rd served in France and Flanders; the 2nd/23rd served in France, Salonika and Palestine and the 3rd/23rd remained in the UK as a training and reserve battalion.
As Frederick Wright did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service abroad before December 31st 1916 he did not serve overseas until some date after January 1st 1916. He could have gone abroad as part of a draft of reinforcements to the 1st/23rd Battalion who had gone to France in 1915 or he could have gone abroad with the complete 2nd/23rd Battalion in 1916.
Because he was "sick" it is possible he served in a hot climate and suffered from a disease such as malaria or dysentery.
Co-incidentally, a William George Buss, 701062, 23rd Battalion London Regiment had enlisted on April 13th 1915 in the 2nd/23rd Battalion and was discharged wounded from the 23rd Battalion on the same date as Frederick. William George Buss had served in France and Salonika with the 2nd/23rd Battalion and had been treated in hospital at Malta which housed the Mediterranean hospitals.
It is not possible to be certain, but there is a weight of evidence suggesting Frederick Wright may ahve served in the 2nd/23rd Battalion London Regiment. The Battalion was raised at Clapham Junction from August 1914 and moved to White City. In January 1915 it moved to Horley and then to Braintree in October 1915. In January 1916 the Battalion moved to Sutton Veny with the 181st Infantry Brigade in the 60th Division. The Battalion went to France on 26 June 1916 and remained there until a move to Salonika via Marseilles and Malta (which was a coaling station for the Royal Navy). They arrived at Salonika on 2nd December 1916. They fought at the Battle of Doiran in April and May 1917; then, in June 1917, moved to Egypt for service in Palestine where the Battalion fought until 26th May 1918.
At that time Allenby's army was re-organised with British troops being replaced by Indian troops. The 2nd/23rd Battalion left 60th Division on 26th May 1918. See:

The Battalion then sailed for France via Alexandria and Taranto in Italy arriving at Arques on 8th July 1918 and served in France with the 30th Division.
It seems likely that had Frederick Wright served with the 2nd/23rd Battalion he would have returned to the UK by hospital ship either from Salonika in 1917, possibly being treated at Malta, or by ship from Alexandria in either 1917 or early 1918.
Unfortunately it is not possible to be certain about his service.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Brian
Date: Sunday 24th February 2013 at 9:14 PM

Dear alan thank you very much for the time and effort you put in regarding my service query about my dad having found nothing myself, the information you gave was very enligtening and gave me a insight into the regiments service once again thank you yours sincerely b f wright
Posted by: David {Email left}
Location: Camberley
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 8:15 AM
I was always told my Grandfather won the Military Medal at the Battle of Mons in 1914.

However I have just discovered that the MM was not created until 1916, and his award is listed in the London Gazette in 1918.

Were these medals award retrospectively or is Mons story definitely wrong?
Reply from: David
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 8:21 AM

I should have said his name was Percy Walter Carrington
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 4:36 PM

Dear David,
Any act of bravery at Mons in August 1914 should have been recognised at the time because a recommendation for an award for gallantry was to have been made as soon as possible after the action for which the award was proposed. The number of awards in any operational campaign was limited to a scale selected by the Commanders-in-Chief and the War Office in consultation with the Sovereign. Once that quota had been fulfilled the recommendations for awards in a particular campaign were closed. Today, the scale for the equivalent of the Military Medal (the current Military Cross) in operations is one award per one thousand personnel every six months (Joint Services Publication 761; para 0202). The theory behind the quota system is that only the best of the best received a gallantry medal.
Napoleon is said to have remarked in 1802 "You call these baubles, well, it is with baubles that men are led. Do you think that you would be able to make men fight by reasoning. Never. The soldier needs glory, distinctions, and rewards." In every war since, men have argued that the medals system is flawed and on March 22nd 1944, Winston Churchill said: "The task of drawing up regulations for such awards is one that does not admit of a perfect solution". And so it was in 1916 for the Military Medal.
Percy Walter Carrington arrived in France on 13th August 1914 and so qualified for the 1914 Star which was known as the Mons Star. The Military Medal was not instigated until 25 March 1916. Until then, bravery was rewarded with the Victoria Cross or the Distinguished Conduct Medal or one of the gallantry medals of France or Belgium. The DCM could be awarded for "consistent good work". Indeed, the Army Service Corps had awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal to an acting staff sergeant in 1916 "for continuous good service as a Master Baker in charge of a bakery" (London Gazette 11 March 1916 page 2697).
The need for the Military Medal had been suggested because of the paucity of gallantry awards being made in the war (House of Commons speech by Mr Asquith Feb 24th 1916). The Medal was to be for individual or collective acts of "gallantry or devotion to duty with the Army in the Field". This caused some controversy. Colonel M'Calmont (Ulster) asked in the House of Commons on April 13th 1916: "Are the House to understand that the medal can be given to men who have never been in action?"
Mr Harold Tennant (Under Secretary of State) replied: "I should say it is both for gallantry and work done at the base".
A similar controversy had surrounded the award of the Military Cross which had been instigated for officers on 28 December 1914 "in recognition of distinguished and meritorious services in time of war". After January 1917 the Military Cross was restricted to bravery in the field in the face of the enemy. In March 1916 The Royal Warrant for the Military medal read: "We are desirous of signifying Our appreciation of acts of gallantry and devotion to duty performed by non-commissioned officers and men of Our Army in the Field. We do by these Presents for Us Our heirs and successors institute and create a silver medal to be awarded to non-commissioned officers and men for individual or associated acts of bravery on the recommendation of a Commander-in-Chief in the Field". By June 1916 the Military Medal made specific reference to "bravery in the field", which words were then inscribed on the reverse of the medal itself.
The recommendation for the award had to be put forward by an officer who knew the man and witnessed the event, then approved by the Commander-in-Chief in the Field. For that reason it was not likely to be awarded retrospectively for actions that had taken place four years earlier.
The award of the Military Medal to Acting Sergeant P W Carrington was published in a supplement to the "London Gazette" of 12th July 1918, published on 16th July 1918. As the awards took some months to be approved, it is most probable that the act of gallantry would have taken place earlier in 1918 and not at Mons.
Kind regards,
Reply from: David
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 5:48 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you for such a comprehensive reply. It's far more infomation than I expected.

From what you say it seems that this Military Medal was awarded for a significant act of bravery late in the war. Is there any way of finding out why it was awarded? If not, is it possible to find out where his regiment was in action during that period?

Many thanks

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 6:12 PM

Dear David,
It is very difficult to establish why most Military Medals were awarded. The citation was presented with the medal and was the only copy. Percy Walter Carrington served in the Army Service Corps and when he went to France in 1914 he appeared to be with the supply column of the 5th Division (5DSC) but that could have been in one of four or more companies. The actual medal roll for the 1914 Star (ASC 13 page 3) held at the National Archives would record which company of the ASC he was with in 1914. There is no evidence he remained with the 5th Division throughout the war. See:

His local newspaper of the time may have published an article about the award.
Kind regards,
Reply from: David
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 7:07 PM

Dear Alan,

The story goes that his column was surprised by the rapid advance of the Germans and that he gave the order for the men to burn their lorries full of supplies to stop them falling into enemy hands, and he would shoot anyone who left before they had burnt their supplies. Even if this did happen at Mons, obviously it wasn't why he got his MM.

I'll follow up your tip about the local newpaper. It's an excellent suggestion.

Many thanks for all your help.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 7:20 PM

Dear David,
It could have happened in 1918. The 5th Division was returned to France to fight against the Spring German Offensive and they were engaged at the Battle of Hazebrouck when the German 6th Army
on 12 April 1918 renewed its attack in the south, towards the supply centre of Hazebrouck. The Germans advanced some 2 to 4 km and captured Merville, Nord.
If his ASC Company could be identified, their war diary at the National Archives would probably mention the award of the MM to a sergeant.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Woody {Email left}
Location: Billingham
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013 at 7:40 PM
I am doing my family tree and wondered if there is any information on my uncle Jonathan Bulmer born in October 1897 in Hartlepool and was in the Lancashire Regiment in world war 1. I know he was injured at least twice but did return home and lived with my parents until his death in 1963. He wore a caliper on his leg, which I assume was after being injured in the war. If anyone as any details on him I would really appreciate them.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 4:42 PM

Dear Woody,
There is no record for a Jonathan or J Bulmer serving in the Lancashire Regiment. The only surviving record from the First World War for a Jonathan Bulmer is an Army medal rolls index card which recorded an otherwise unidentified Jonathan Bulmer qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal as private 30733 Lincolnshire Regiment. There is no biographical detail with this record so it is not possible to state whether this man was your uncle. However, the abbreviations "Lincs" and "Lancs" were very similar.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Woody
Date: Sunday 24th February 2013 at 6:44 PM

Dear Alan
Many thanks for taking the time to reply to my question. I do appologise when I typed you the message that I put the Lancashire Regiment when I did mean the Lincolnshire Regiment. I understand this is not going to make any difference to your answer but thank you all the same.
Reply from: Grendav2001
Date: Thursday 12th September 2013 at 12:23 PM

In hartlepool library there is a then west hartlepool newspaper article on a private j bulmer dated 3 december 1918 p4 col 6: wounded for 3rd time. in hospital in france.
Posted by: Debs {Email left}
Location: Sussex
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013 at 7:27 PM
Hi Alan,
May I ask for help again please?
I am looking into my grand uncle Alexander Hutchison bn 2/5/1895 Peterhead, Aberdeenshire (son of George, occupation a Cooper and Eliza Bella).
I found a website gordonhighlanders.carolynmorrisey.com/CCCompany.htm which stated:
"C" Company - Alexander Hutchison Rank Pte Number 1874 of 9 Palmerston /Rd, Aberdeen.
Attested 5/8/1914. Age 19. Cooper. Address 8 (but should be 9- I have the family there on census's) Stuart St, Peterhead. Discharged at Bedford 14/11/14 - being medically unfit. Character "Bad". Father: George Hutchison, 9 Palmerston Rd."
I then found his Pension Record on Ancestry (mistranscribed as Hutchinson) confirming the above. It has an entry that he was sent an Armlet (No 56242). ?
However, this weekend I obtained the papers left by Alexanders sister Cath and enclosed was the following:
Letter informing death of Private Alexander Hutchison No S/20310 of the Seaforth Highlanders on 22/8/1917
It was addressed to Mrs Hutchison at 9 Palmerston Road. There was also a letter 30/3/1920 saying that he had been exhumed and re-buried at Tyne Cot Cemetary.
So, help please Alan! If he was discharged medically unfit from the Gordon Highlanders, and with a bad character! how could he die a Seaforth Highlander?
Thanks in advance,
kind regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 4:36 PM

Dear Debs,
Alexander Hutchison probably did not have a bad character (he stated he had been in the Boys' Brigade) and was probably not utterly unfit.
On August 5th 1914, the day war was declared, Alex volunteered to join his local Territorial Army battalion the 5th (Buchan and Formartin) Battalion The Gordon Highlanders - at their Drill Hall in Peterhead. The 5th Battalion was in existence before the war as a part-time Home Defence battalion, re-numbered the 5th in 1908 at the formation of the Territorial Army from the former Volunteers. They were descendants of the Buchan battalion of the Aberdeenshire Rifle Volunteers of 1860 whose forbears had unsuccessfully fought against Robert Bruce in 1308 at Inverurie and, in 1335, had defeated the English on St Andrew's Day, at Culblean. In 1914, some of the older men, including Alex's Commanding Officer, would have been veterans of the 38 engagements the Battalion's volunteers had fought in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).
In August 1914, there was a spirited enthusiasm among young men to join-up and local battalions were quickly brought up to strength. In October 1914, the 5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders started to recruit a second battalion to be known as the 2nd/5th Battalion which would act as a second-line battalion to provide casualty replacements for the first line battalion. So, there was no shortage of recruits for the "old sweats" to regale with war stories from South Africa.
Later in August 1914, the 5th Battalion, which included Alexander at the age of 19, moved to Bedford for training. In September and October 1914, Alexander committed two unspecified (but minor) offences. One involved the loss of two days' pay which suggested being absent without leave. But that was not uncommon.
In September 1914, the commanding officer of the 5th Battalion was made aware his men might be required to serve overseas and each man had to sign an Imperial Service agreement changing his terms of service, of four years' home service in the UK, to unrestricted overseas service for the duration of the war.
The Commanding Officer of the 5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders at the time was Lieutenant-Colonel A. Grant (later Lieut-Col Sir Arthur Grant, DSO, 10th Baronet of Monymusk, of The House of Monymusk, Aberdeenshire) who was commanding what was a Territorial battalion of a prestigious Highland regiment about to go to war. In the Boer War he had taken part in the advance on Kimberley, including the action at Magersfontein and the relief of Kimberley and as a Lieutenant in the 12th Lancers was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order on 26th June 1902.
With an influx of raw recruits and a previously unheard-of enthusiasm for enlistment, Lt-Col Grant was in a position to pick and choose who was going to fight under his command. Any commander in that position would issue orders for the company officers to start weeding-out the weaker men; the men who simply "did not fit" or who had failed to match the ethos of the regiment.
It is possible Alexander was genuinely medically unfit, or had been injured in training. However, his conduct was described as "bad" when his record shows he committed only two minor punishable offences. It appears someone had marked his card and he was being pushed out of the battalion and the only way to do that was to discharge him as a "soldier no longer physically fit for war service" and to downgrade his character to seal his fate.
Alexander was discharged under Paragraph 156 (11) Territorial Force Regulations as a "soldier no longer physically fit for war service". He had actually been embodied for war service on August 5th 1914 where embodiment meant the part-time Territorials were embodied under Regular Army terms and conditions for the duration of the war. He should therefore have been discharged under King's Regulations paragraph 392 (xvi). The difference is only a technicality, but under the Territorial regualtions, Alexander's discharge could have been authorised by his Commanding Officer providing the Brigade Commander concurred. The "bad" character might have been added to ensure that happened. If Alexander had believed he was being discharged on medical grounds as a result of having been on active service, a medical board was required to examine him. The likelihood is that he did not appear before a medical board before being discharged. That would account for his record being held by the Ministry of Pensions who had retained the files of soldiers who did not qualify for a pension.
The evidence points towards a new recruit, who was considered by his commanding officer as "surplus", being discharged on the excuse of being no longer medically fit. As that excuse could have been contested at a medical board, "bad character" was added to convince the Brigadier-General to counter-sign the discharge form: "I concur".
Alexander Hutchison was discharged from the Gordon Highlanders on 14th November 1914. He signed for an armlet No 56242 accompanied by an army form (stating instructions for the wearing of the armlet). By the date, this must have been an armlet for the Volunteer Training Corps which had been formed in September 1914 and was administered by the County Territorial Associations. The men could not wear khaki uniform but had a red brassard or arm band, bearing the letters "GR" for "Georgius Rex". These Volunteers undertook a range of war work, from defending cities to bringing in the harvest. To become a member men had to show a genuine reason why they could not enlist in the regular forces. What better than being "medically unfit"?
Had the armband been issued at a later date, Alexander would not have signed a declaration stating "I, 1874, Alex Hutchison, 5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, hereby acknowledge having received armlet number 56242". It appears, Alex moved straight from the Gordon Highlanders to the volunteers. Alex appears to have been edged out of the Gordon Highlanders and offered a role in the VTC as compensation.
"There's a good fellow. Thank you for volunteering. You'll still be serving your King and the Empire. Any Questions? Good. Carry On".
Such discharges were quite common in late 1914.
The Volunteer Training Corps allowed men to resign after fourteen days' notice.

August 15th 1915 was National Registration Day when every adult over 16 undertook a type of census to state their age, where they lived, how they were occupied, and so on. This paved the way for compulsory conscription being introduced in March 1916. Alex would have been involved in that registration. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded that he had served in the Royal Scots Fusiliers as private No. 33323. He had been posted to the 8th Battalion The Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, the Duke of Albany's) at an unspecified date. He was killed in action on 22nd August 1917 while serving in the 8th Seaforths.
Typically, some conscripted men trained with one regiment (Royal Scots Fusiliers) and were then posted to another regiment more in need of reinforcements (Seaforth Highlanders) when they first arrived in France. Both Alex's five-digit regimental numbers suggested general wartime enlistment for the duration of the war: i.e. conscription. There is no obvious surviving individual record for his wartime service in the Royal Scots Fusiliers and Seaforth Highlanders. An Army medal rolls index card showed 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 go abroad until some date after January 1st 1916. The 8th Seaforth Highlanders had been in France since July 1915, so Alex would have been part of a draft of reinforcements in 1916 or 1917.
When Alex was killed on 22nd August 1917, the 8th Bn Seaforth Highlanders were serving with the 44th Infantry Brigade in the 15th (Scottish) Division. They were fighting in the Third Battle of Ypres in the area of Langemarck which had been taken by the Allies and then counter-attacked by the Germans. His Battalion lost 126 men killed on that date: one in ten of the battalion.
The CWGC states that "Tyne Cot Cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when remains were brought in from the battlefields of Passchendaele and Langemarck, and from a few small burial grounds". See:

Kind regards,
Reply from: Debs
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 6:09 PM

Wow Alan,
What a reply...THANK YOU SO MUCH!
My cousin, who lent me the family papers and myself are so glad Alex wasn't a "bad" character!
Donation will be made again.
Thanks again,
kind regards
Posted by: Hilary Fox {Email left}
Location: Crowborough
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013 at 6:51 PM
Dear Alan

Trawling through some of the records relating to the Great War, and in search of my great uncle's possible service record, today I had a "serendipity moment". Nothing relating to great uncle, but his sister's name, Jessie Lily Jemima Knowles , appeared in The National Roll of The Great War. Residence 1914-1918 England. Then the trail seemed to go cold. Jessie was born in 1871 and, it seems, married in 1905. Please can you help me with any further details? Was she involved in the great war and, if so, what was her involvement? Where do I continue looking?

With kind regards and many thanks. Hilary Fox
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 4:35 PM

Dear Hilary,
"The National Roll of the Great War" was a commercial publication which was not comprehensive in its coverage of the UK. Entries in it were scripted and paid for by the soldiers themselves. The entries list the regiment, brief service record and address of the soldier concerned. However, the entries did not include the soldiers' forenames, only their initials, so the index cannot be searched by forename. A search of the entries under J Knowles does not produce results for Jessie Lily Jemima Knowles.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Hilary Fox
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 9:30 PM

Thank you, Alan. Like you, I tried to find a reference under J Knowles and came up with nothing. I am completely baffled by this reference to the lady in question, so will endeavour to go back to the site where I found it to see whether there is anything I missed. She was obviously not a soldier. The only possibility I could think of was that perhaps she had been a nurse. Thank you, too, for explaining what The National Roll of the Great War was.
Kind regards - Hilary
Posted by: Terry {Email left}
Location: Embleton
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013 at 4:57 PM
I am researching the men named on our village school World War 1 Honours Board. I have drawn a blank with William H. Winstanley. He was born in the 3rd quarter of 1889 in Oystermouth (Mumbles) Glamorganshire. His father was Ralph Winstanley who was a Chief Officer of Coastguard and his mother Mary Jane Thompson and they married in Warrington Lancs in 1880. William had a brother Thomas J. and a sister Mary E. In 1911 Wiliam was residing at the Royal Sailors Rest, 172 - 174 Commercial Road Portsmouth and is listed as E.R.Artificer Royal Navy. I can find no other information on him except I know he died in the war. Can anybody help please
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013 at 6:13 PM

Dear Terry,
In 1911, William's father, Ralph, was living at Barton on Humber which was in the Glanford Brigg Registration District. The death of a William H Winstanley, aged 29, was registered at Glanford Brigg in the first quarter of 1919 (GRO Deaths Jan-Mar 1919, Glanford Brigg, vol 7A page 1162).
A Royal Navy service record of a 271958 William Henry Winstanley born at Gower Glamorgan on 6th June 1889 is held at the National Archives and can be downloaded online (£3.36 charges apply) . See

A war badge for discharge through wounds or sickness was issued from Devonport naval base (aka HMS "Vivid") to 271958 Engine Room Artificer Class 2 W. H. Winstanley on 4th May 1918. The Royal Navy medal roll for Wm H. Winstanley recorded he qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The entry was annotated BR and IC3716/1919. This indicated that the medals had been issued to his brother (BR) and he was recorded with the Index Casualty number IC3716 in the Naval Records for Wills, dated 1919. The National Archives states: "The IC reference does not lead to any other document and is now obsolete," but it does suggest he died in 1919.
He is not listed by the CWGC.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Terry
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013 at 11:37 PM

Dear Alan
Many thanks for your quick and informative reply. I had almost given up hope of finding this man and you did it in a few minutes. Will be sending donation to British Legion
Posted by: Carole {Email left}
Location: New Zealand
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013 at 3:26 AM
Hello Alan

My grandmother's brother was Harry Daniels. Born in 1898, he was the elder son of Joseph and Jane Daniels of 18 Fulford Street, Old Trafford Manchester.

Private Harry Daniels 350663 served in the 9th Btn Royal Scots and died on 12th July 1917 at Ypres. His name is on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

I have two questions that I hope you can help with:
1. What would his battalion have been doing around the time he was killed and
2. What was a lad from Manchester doing in the Royal Scots Regiment?

Any other information you might have would also be appreciated.

Thanks and regards.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013 at 6:14 PM

Dear Carole,
No individual service record has survived for Harry Daniels so it is not possible to state his wartime service in detail.
Harry Daniels qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service abroad before December 31st 1915, he did not go abroad until some date after January 1st 1916. An Army medal rolls index card recorded he went abroad as private 350663 Harry Daniels in The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment). He served in the 9th (Highlanders) Battalion Royal Scots who allotted the regimental numbers 350001 to 375000 in February/March 1917 when all the Territorial battalions were re-numbered. The British War Medal was issued with the details of the soldier when he first entered a theatre of war. Harry's medal rolls index card did not record his previous, original, regimental number therefore it appears he would have gone abroad, with the number 350663, after February 1917 when that number had been allotted.
If Harry had been born in 1898, according to the system, he would have been conscripted on or after his 18th birthday to serve abroad once he'd reached the minimum age of 19 to fight at the Front. That was what the legislation laid down, but it wasn't always followed to the rule. The CWGC state he was aged 20 when he died (born 1897).
Soldiers who volunteered early in the war were allowed to state a preference for a regiment or corps, and those who joined Kitchener's Army in late 1914 generally served in locally raised battalions. When compulsory conscription was introduced in March 1916 all element of choice was removed and men were called-up and posted to regiments that needed replacements.
The 9th (Highlanders) Battalion Royal Scots was serving in the 51st (Highland) Division in July 1917. The Division had fought in the Arras Offensive of April June 1917 and had moved to the Ypres sector. At Ypres, they were not involved in a major engagement on that particular tour in the trenches until they were placed in reserve for The Battle of Pilckem Ridge on 31st July 1917, which was the opening attack of The Third Battle of Ypres.
Harry was the only member of his battalion to be killed on 12th July 1917.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Tats {Email left}
Location: Aldeburgh
Date: Thursday 21st February 2013 at 5:50 PM
Bus - B43-Ole Bill 14 February 1920 Buckingham Palace Inspection by George V

Please could anyone help me? I have a photograph of the bus which is in the Imperial War Museum being inspected by the King. I know who the driver is but does anyone know who the soldiers on the top deck are? Thank you so much.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 21st February 2013 at 11:33 PM

Dear Tats,
Naming the men would require access to primary source documents of the London General Omnibus Company who employed the men, or The Royal Archives, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1NJ.. Many of the LGOC records, such as board meeting minutes, are held at the London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HB. It is possible one of those archives has a record of who was present. Other sources include the Royal Logistic Corps Archives.
The occasion of the "Motor Omnibus B43" (as it was described in the Court Circular of that weekend) being taken to Buckingham Palace was for King George V to meet representative members of the LGOC staff who had driven the company's buses in various war zones. The King shook hands with each of them and spoke a few words with each man before inspecting the empty bus. Afterwards the men ascended onto the top deck to give three cheers to the King. Also present were Lord Ashfield, chairman of the LGOC and Mr H E Blain and Mr G Shave, managers; Lt-Col Ivor Frazer of the London Electric Railway Company (part of the London transport Combine) and, from the War Office, Lt-Col C.W. Macleod.
The Admiralty were the first to the requisition London buses for transporting Royal Navy forces at Calais, Boulogne, Dunkirk and Ostende. The drivers were volunteers who were enlisted in the Royal Marines for the task. The Army then recognised the worth of motorised transport and requisitioned or bought 300 London buses on 18th October 1914. These buses were allocated to the Army Service Corps. Built in 1911, by AEC at Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, B43 was amongst the earliest of the London buses to go abroad and was used at the First Battle of Ypres where it carried members of the London Scottish into battle. On that occasion it was driven by 24-year-old George Gwynn. His bus, B43, was still painted in its red London livery and carried advertisements, one of which was for the play "One Damn Thing After Another".
The Imperial War Museum says a total of 1,300 London motor buses saw service in France. The buses were used for transporting complete battalions or brigades of soldiers (25 men with their kit in each one), or for ambulance work. At least one was converted into a pigeon loft for carrier pigeons. By the autumn of 1916, the Army Service Corps had organised the bus drivers into Auxiliary Omnibus Companies with 50 vehicles in each and a total compliment of one thousand eight hundred officers and men. The Army Service Corps became the Royal Army Service Corps in 1918 and its collective Auxiliary Omnibus Park was granted a Mentioned In Despatches for its operational work in Spring 1918 during the German Offensive.
After the war bus number B43 was taken back into service by the LGOC. They had to pay the Army for it as they needed buses because they were having to use open lorries to carry passengers on the streets of London. B43 worked on routes No 8 (Willesden White Hart) and No 9 (Barnes-Liverpool Street). It was also recorded operating route 53A (Charing Cross Plumstead). At that time the bus carried only a commemorative brass plaque on its nearside inscribed: "1914, Antwerp; 1915, Ypres; 1916, Ancre; 1917, Somme; 1918, Amiens; 1919, Home. Lest We Forget". The last three words were taken from Kipling's poem "Recessional" (1897) which had been adopted by the Imperial War Graves Commission, whom he advised.
In 1919, the Auxiliary Omnibus Companies Association (AOCA) was formed to assist old comrades amongst the busmen who had served at the Front during the First World War. When the LGOC arranged for the King to meet some of its staff on 14th February 1920, the LGOC used Motor Omnibus B43 for the occasion, although at that time it was simply the vehicle that the company had chosen to carry a representative commemorative plaque. "The Times" stated 35 men were present; the Journal of the Royal Army Service Corps of March 1920 stated 40 men, all of whom had served in 1914, drew up in two ranks. (40 men in two ranks would have been neater.) The bus B43 departed from Page Street, Grosvenor Road, at 12-15 p.m. on Saturday February 14th 1920, and proceeded via Millbank, Parliament Street, Whitehall and the Mall to arrive at Buckingham Palace for the 1 p.m. ceremony. A few years later, in 1924, the LGOC fitted a new body onto the chassis of B43 and presented the bus to the Auxiliary Omnibus Companies Association who refurbished the vehicle in 1926 as a permanent memorial to the role of London buses during the First World War in the Auxiliary Omnibus Companies ASC.
With a new body, and refurbished in the mid-1920s, it became representative of the buses used in wartime and was named "'ole Bill", or "Old Bill", after Bruce Bairnsfather's character from his famous wartime cartoons. The bus was then put on show at numerous Armistice Day parades and other events. On 30th April 1970 it was driven for the last time by George Gwynn, who was by then aged 80, when he drove it through London, with a piper on the top deck playing tunes including "The Black Bear", to be ceremoniously handed over to the Imperial War Museum where it is now preserved.
The Journals and other archives of the RASC are now held by the Royal Logistic Corps Archives. For a £10 quarterly subscription, or £5 to view 20 pages, you can search and access the journals online. To register see:
There is an article about the King's inspection in the March 1920 Journal but the first page does not mention who was present.
The RLC archive website is administered in Solihull, West Midlands, B91 1NB while the RLC Museum is at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, Camberley, GU16 6RW.
Other sources for primary evidence may be the Imperial War Museum or the London Transport Museum. I have not been able to identify the fate of the Auxiliary Omnibus Companies Association.
There is a book: "Destination Western Front - London's Omnibuses Go to War" by Roy Larkin. See:

I'm sorry I can't name the men, but you would need to have someone access archived minutes of the LGOC or contemporary, original, records of the event.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Tats
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013 at 12:15 PM

Dear Alan,
Thank you very much for such a detailed and prompt response- I am incredibly grateful. I am writing a story about the bus and you have filled in the last few pieces of the puzzle. A lady contacted me and to tell me that her father had driven 'ole bill' and gave photographs but thanks to your information, I now think that he drove a different bus and that George Gwynn was the actual driver.
Kindest Regards,
Tats (age 12)
Reply from: Grandson
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 10:06 PM

George Gwynn did in deed drive the bus, he was my grandad.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2013 at 10:26 PM

That's good to know. I'm sure Tats will appreciate it.
Posted by: Jonboy {Email left}
Location: Harlow Essex
Date: Thursday 21st February 2013 at 11:34 AM
Hello Allan
This morning on Movies for Men i watched a fantastic Film Documentry called 1914 to 1918
with Fantastic colourised Film footage its a first person narative with the film sewn together
from genuine Testimonies from frontline soldiers i rcomend to everybody to watch it it will be
shown many more times yet day and night.It was said that 80 million shells were used at the
Somme ! that must have been a lot of empty shells lying around afterwoods.Worth Watching

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