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

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Posted by: Margaret {Email left}
Location: Conwy
Date: Saturday 19th November 2011 at 9:38 PM
Hi Alan,

I have been looking for information on my Grandfather, William Henry Grove, born in Bethnal Green in 1876 who was in the Royal Field Artillery (Nos. 685 and 439). I know he married my Irish Grandmother (Sarah Kelly) in Longford in 1902 but can't find where he was stationed in Ireland at the time.

My Father, also William Henry Grove, was born in Dublin in 1918 but he also had a Sister, Mabel, who I think was older than my Father. As I have been unable to find any trace of Mabel's birth on free bmd I am wondering if it is possible she was born either in South Africa or India when my Grandfather was there between 1910 and 1914. Would my Grandmother have been able to travel with my Grandfather to these countries? If so where would I find this information?

I look forward to hearing from you if at all possible.

Kind regards,
Margaret.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 19th November 2011 at 11:22 PM

Dear Margaret,
William Henry Grove with the regimental number 685 was eventually commissioned as an officer in the Royal Field Artillery. He served in France from December 1914. I have found no reference to a regimental number 439, but that may have been a pre-1914 number. Grove 685 entered the First World War as a Battery Serjeant Major with the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2 which made him a senior NCO. Before that, as a senior NCO, his wife and family would have been entitled to travel with him in peacetime postings.
In 1919 he was stationed with 5A Reserve Brigade RFA which was a home-based station with a headquarters at Athlone. His address was Golf View, Athlone (medal index card). He also had an address at 43 Clarence Road, Higham Hill, Walthamstow, London E 17, which may have been his address during the First World War.
None of this information hints at which Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery he served with to identify where or when he was at a particular place.

To establish where Mabel Grove was born using online indexes you would need to know that Mabel was her first name. Not everyone was known by their first name and Mabel may have been a middle name. Army births overseas were registered with the England General Register Office if the birth occurred in a garrison and the Commanding Officer acted as the "registrar" and returned the details to the UK. The indexes for these births do not include the mother's maiden name and only record a place; year and page number. The only female Grove recorded in South Africa was an Agnes Grove born Pretoria in 1912 recorded on page 657 of GRO Army Birth Indices (1881 to 1965) but that is only an indication, as there is no evidence the index is complete or that the birth of Mabel occurred there. There is no suitable reference in the index for India.
Baptisms were recorded by the local church of the denomination that was followed by the parents (if they shared the same faith) or by the mother/father's denomination of they shared different faiths. Some of these church records found their way back to the UK; some remain in the country where they occurred.
Those for India were returned to the UK and are held at the British Library in London where they can be searched on microfilm. You would need to know where the birth was likely to have occurred as the records are arranged geographically by church rather than by name.
The best way to search for a person's birth is to work backwards from their death and marriage records which will enable you to establish a year of birth and perhaps a likely location.

Service records for officers who served in the First World War and who left before 1922 are held at the UK National Archives at Kew. Because he was a senior NCO and then an officer, his record would have been moved to officers' files, so it should have survived. These files tend to be personal records of the officer's service and do not necessarily contain any family details but it should show you where he served; with whom and when. See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/officerbritisharmyafter1913.htm?WT.lp=rg-3105

There is a reference to a Lt. W. H. Grove who "retires, receiving a gratuity; 23rd April 1920" in the London Gazette of 22nd April 1920. See:
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/31874/supplements/4684

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Margaret
Date: Sunday 20th November 2011 at 9:21 AM

Dear Alan,

Many thanks for your very speedy and informative reply. I am very grateful to you for helping me with the information regarding my Grandfather, William Henry Grove and his daughter, Mabel.

A donation will be sent to the British Legion today.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret.




Posted by: Jeffrey Adams {Email left}
Location: Kettering
Date: Saturday 19th November 2011 at 12:53 PM
Hello Alan
I am hoping that you can help me. I would appreciate any information on Henry William Woollard, born 1875, joined up in 1915 aged 40. His number was 117007 in the 1st Labour Batt RE and then 290013 in the 700 Labour Corps. Any information would be wonderful, especially where he was posted to.
Thanking you in advance for your time and help.
Jeff
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 19th November 2011 at 4:09 PM

Dear Jeff,
Henry William Woollard volunteered for the Army on August 16th 1915 and was posted to the 1st Labour Battalion Royal Engineers at their depot in Southampton. The Labour Battalions of the Royal Engineers were formed in 1915 to provide a manual labour-force for the army from men who were not fit enough to join the infantry. Henry was 40 years old and 5ft 1ins tall. He was a coal merchant's coal-porter. Because the men of the Labour Battalions were not required to fight (at that stage) they were sent to France without delay and Henry arrived in France five days later. He was with "D" Company 1st Labour Battalion. Their primary role was road-building.
From January 1916 they were attached to XIV Corps for work in the Somme region. The Corps was involved at The Battle of the Somme 1916 and the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line in March and April 1917.
The Labour Corps was formed at this time to bring all the labouring companies under one umbrella organisation and the 1st Labour Battalion RE became the 700th Labour Company, Labour Corps, with about 540 men in about March 1917. The locations of the Labour Corps companies are difficult to trace.
In September 1918 Henry suffered dysentery and was treated at hospitals on the French coast, including le Treport, where the 16th General Hospital had been taken over by medical staff from Philadelphia USA; le Havre (62 Stationary Hospital) and Boulogne. He was discharged from hospital on 4th November 1918 and despatched from Boulogne on 9th November to rejoin his unit. He arrived back with his company on 14th November - a 5 day journey which included the Armistice. His return to his unit took a few days, so they were probably working further East supporting the advance in the last hundred days of the war. During this period some of the Labour Corps units had been involved in fighting including manning the front line during the enemy's March offensive on the Somme. Throughout the war they had to endure shelling and gas attacks.
On 1st February Henry returned to the UK for demobilization. He sailed on SS Nirvana and went via Wimbledon to Nottingham where he was discharged on 4th March 1919. His character was "very good".
The War Diary of the 1st Labour Battalion RE is held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 95/492. I have not been able to locate a diary for 700 Labour Company. Many Labour Corps records have been lost.
For more on the Labour Corps, see:
http://www.labourcorps.co.uk/

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jeff
Date: Saturday 19th November 2011 at 5:05 PM

Thanks Alan for your quick reply and all the information. Before I found out he had been involved in the war I had thought he was too old but this explains it all.
Regards Jeff


Posted by: Robert {Email left}
Location: Norwich
Date: Thursday 17th November 2011 at 10:28 AM
Dear Alan,

I am fascinated by the information that you have been able to provide on your forum.

I am presently researching the history of my grandfather Private Albert Henry Bevens No L6920 in respect of WW1. I know from his Army 'Form B.50', "The Small Book", that he enlisted initially with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers at Hounslow in 1898 aged 18, for 7 years and 5 years reserve. At some time he was transferred to the 1st Battalion where he served in Burma and India. After leaving the service in 1905 he worked for the Post Office until the start of WW1.

He enlisted early with the 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers and as records show that he was awarded the 1914 Star on 13 August 1914, it suggests that he was amongst the first to go to the war and was likely to have been at the Battle of Mons.

The next information that I have is a fragment of an old letter to his wife on letter-headed notepaper 'Kriegsgefangenen-Lager, Senne III, dated 10 December 1914. It also has a written address 'Camp 22, Senne, Paderborne, Germany'. The text of the letter suggests that he had been a prison of war there for a while.

I also have a postcard sent by him from 'Camp No 8260, Burgstienfurt, Westaphalia' written on 6 May 1917 and postmarked 28 June 1917. It is stamped 'Gepruft'. He recorded that he was quite well.

An old group photo of prisoners in civilian clothing also shows him looking well, although I do not know where and when it was taken.

Other than these few relics, I know only that he died a year or so later on 8 September 1918 and that he is buried at Grave/Memorial Reference: V. B. 5. Cologne Southern Cemetery. I assume that he was moved there after 1922 from another burial ground.

I would like to try to try find out at which battle he was most likely to have been captured, before being sent to Senne III between August and December 1914 and whether he was wounded.

I would also like to try to find out whether he was sent to any other prison camps in addition to Senne III and Burgstienfurt and where and how he died . Also where he was originally buried. Old family stories speculated that he and others had been killed just as the war was coming towards its end and defeat of Germany seemed inevitable.

Any further information or guidance as to how I might find any answers would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,

Robert
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 17th November 2011 at 7:00 PM

Dear Robert,
No individual service record has survived for Albert Bevens, so it is not possible to be specific about his service. An Army medal rolls index card showed he went to France on 13th August 1914 with the 4th Battalion The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). The history of the 4th Battalion also records that they arrived at le Havre on 13th August 1914. The Battalion served in 9 Infantry Brigade with the 3rd Division in II (2) Corps with the British Expeditionary Force.

Albert Henry Bevens appears to have been born at Wood Green, Enfield on September 16th 1882, the son of Arthur and Jane Bevens. He was baptised at St Andrew's Church, Enfield on October 1st 1884. (parish register). When he enlisted in 1898 he would have been 16 or 17 years old. The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers in 1898 was garrisoned at Beresford Barracks, Curragh Camp, Ireland until it moved to Aldershot in 1899. The 2nd Battalion served in the Second Anglo-Boer War and returned to Aldershot in 1902. However, Albert was shown in the April 1901 Census in an unidentified regiment at The Barracks, Hounslow. The entry was marked Infantry "Vol" as if he were a member of a volunteer battalion. The Fusiliers had a depot at Hounslow.
The 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers moved from India to Burma on 21st January 1901. They served at, Mandalay, Maywayo and Thatemayo. In November 1902 they moved to Calcutta and then Jalpaijurn and Lebong from 1903. On May 22nd 1903 at Lebong, the HQ & four companies joined the Tibet Mission Escort On December 10th 1904 the Battalion left Darjeeling, India for England arriving at Parkhurst, Isle of Wight on January 9th 1905.

Albert married Lilian Effie Ives at St Peter's Church, Lower Edmonton, on Christmas day 1909. He was described as a bachelor, warehouseman, aged 28. Lilian was 23 (parish register). In the 1911 census he was described as a warehouseman for an iron merchant's.
In 1912 he was recorded as an assistant postman in London North West. In January 1913 he was recorded as a postman S.W. District Office. (Staff appointments, British Postal Museum and Archive, via Ancestry.co.uk)

The 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers was raised in 1900 and from 1913 was garrisoned at Parkhurst, Isle of Wight. On 29th July 1914 the Precautionary Period was officially declared. At 6.15 p.m. on August 4th 1914, orders were received for Mobilization. On August 6th 384 reservists joined the Battalion from the depot at Hounslow and another 340 the following day. The Battalion must have been well below strength in peacetime. On August 10th the reservists were given rifle practice at Newtown. At 9 a.m. on August 13th orders were received to sail from Cowes to Southampton where they arrived on the afternoon of August 13th and sailed at 5 p.m. on SS Martaban for Le Havre. The 9th Infantry Brigade fought at The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, including 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 which ended on 22 November.

It is not possible to say when Albert was taken prisoner. The 4th Battalion lost its first men as prisoners as early as August 23rd on the Mons Conde canal where they were holding two bridges. "Most of the casualties had to be left behind" (war diary).
The 9th Infantry Brigade marched into Belgium on August 22nd from Landrecies where they had been billeted. The 4th Battalion deployed on the right of the line on the canal at 5 pm on August 22nd near Jemappes. The enemy attacked at 11 am on the 23rd. This led to the retirement through Mons and the Brigade arrived at Inchy on the 26th. The retirement continued until the 29th when they arrived at Crisolles. On September 6th the Brigade advanced at Liverdy as the enemy withdrew. They crossed the Marne on Sept 9th and fought at Orme on the 14th September where there were further losses: "200 other ranks killed, wounded or missing". On the 26th September they were near Vailly on the River Aisne. On October 18th the Brigade attacked at Herlies and the Fusiliers did not withdraw from Herlies until the 21st October. The Battle of La Bassee lasted until 2 November 1914 and the The Fusiliers then fought at The Battle of Nonne Bosschen which was part of the First battle of Ypres and was the final German attempt to break through the British lines at Ypres.

The 4th Battalion certainly had prisoners taken on August 23rd, 24th, 26th and on September 14th at Orme and September 28th at Vailly. On 8th November they lost virtually the whole of Y Company as "missing", but it is not possible to say where Albert was taken prisoner.

By the night of 11th November 1914, the 4th Battalion had been reduced to 2 officers and 50 men but some stragglers returned in the next day or two.

Prisoners' records are held by the International Committee of the Red Cross at Geneva. Unfortunately, they have suspended their search service until 2014 while the documents are being digitized.

The war diary of the 4th Battalion can be downloaded (cost GBP 3-50) from the National Archives website. See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?queryType=1&resultcount=1&Edoc_Id=8199311

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Robert
Date: Friday 18th November 2011 at 8:23 AM

Dear Alan,

Thank you very much for all the information that you provided so quickly in response to my enquiry. I shall be pleased to make a donation to the British Legion in thanks for your efforts.

Many thanks,

Robert
Reply from: Piglet
Date: Sunday 23rd February 2014 at 5:15 PM

I am researching the Ives family of Edmonton and was equally fascinated to read all this fascinating detail. Having visited the battlefields several times I continue to be as moved by the personal details of the not so ordinary men (and women) as I was on my first visit.

I would be interested to learn more of Albert Bevan's life and connection to the Ives' family

thank you

Piglet
Reply from: Robert
Date: Monday 24th February 2014 at 10:13 AM

Piglet,
It was good to receive your reply, so long after my original posting.
I too have been researching the Ives family of Edmonton for many years. My maternal grandmother was Lilian Effie Ives, wife of Albert Henry Bevens.
I have a lot of information that may be of interest to you on both the Bevens and Ives families. Please contact me by email at 'bobtayler at btinternet dot com'.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Robert


Posted by: Jenny Davies {Email left}
Location: Cambridge England
Date: Thursday 17th November 2011 at 8:44 AM
Dear Alan,

I am looking for details of my Grandfather, Herbert Thomson Grant, during the 1WW. I have him in the Royal Scots Pte 2043 and then the Labour Corps Cpl 569783. I know he returned from Canada in 1914 to enlist, was sent to Gallipoli, badly wounded, hospitalised in Egypt, recovered but left very hard of hearing for the rest of his life, even with a hearing aid. He sent contributions to Chambers Journal after the war detailing the flora of Sinai. As I can't find a record of him returning to Egypt after 1918 it seems likely that he stayed in Egypt for the duration. He was born 13 Mar 1891 and his next of kin was his father William Grant of 28 Warrender Park Terrace, Edinburgh. Any further information on his war service would be gratefully received.

Many thanks,

Jenny
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 17th November 2011 at 1:05 PM

Dear Jenny,
No individual service record appears to have survived for Herbert Grant so it is not possible to suggest an accurate record of his war service. An Army medal rolls index card has survived which recorded he served in the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) as a corporal. His regimental number was 2043. The card recorded his date of entering a theatre of war was 22 May 1915. He was discharged from the Labour Corps on 25th October 1918.
His four-digit regimental number was typical, but not exclusive to the Territorial units of the Royal Scots. The date of entry may have been an embarkation date which would match the 4th Battalion Royal Scots (Queen's Edinburgh Rifles). In May 1915 the 4th Battalion did sail for Egypt and Gallipoli where it fought in the 156th Infantry Brigade of the 52nd (Lowland) Division. There is a history of the Division at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/52div.htm

The soldiers of the Territorial Force were re-numbered with six digit numbers in March 1917. Herbert did not have had a six digit Royal Scots number on his medal card.
However, as he had been wounded there may have been a record of his being awarded a Silver War Badge for being discharged through wounds. The Silver War Badge rolls do record a Herbert J (T?) Grant who enlisted on 20th August 1914 in the Royal Scots and left the army on 25th October 1918. The war badge list showed he had the regimental number 200448. That number fell in the range 200001 to 250000 which were allotted to men of the 4th Battalion Royal Scots when they were re-numbered in 1917.
This appears to confirm that Herbert served with the 4th Battalion.

The Labour Corps was formed in February 1917 and employed men of older ages and those who were no longer fit for front line service. It is not possible to say when he joined the Labour Corps, or where he served with them, but it would have been after his recovery.
Passenger lists do not generally record troop movements so there would be no evidence of a date when he returned to the UK. However, discharge from the Army was usually in the UK and Herbert was discharged on 25th October 1918.

His enlistment date of 20th August 1914 was five days after a Herbert Grant arrived at Liverpool aboard SS Empress of Britain, from Quebec on August 15th 1914.

Herbert qualified for the 1914-15 Star; the British War Medal; the Victory Medal and a Silver War Badge.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jenny Davies
Date: Thursday 17th November 2011 at 3:02 PM

Dear Alan,

Thank you for looking into this for me. I did fear his records were among those destroyed; but, now I have the 52 Lowland Division, I can get some idea of his war. That was him returning from Canada to enlist.

Thank you,

Jenny
Reply from: Richard Brown
Date: Wednesday 29th August 2012 at 7:30 PM

Hi Jenny have some info that can fill few gaps. will sort out and send if i have your e-mail address. in the mean time you can contact me at (w.brown8 at sky dot com) .
hope all is well with you love Rich


Posted by: Phil {Email left}
Location: Derby
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 5:06 PM
Dear Alan

I have just stumbled across this forum and am amazed at the level of detail in the information you have been able to provide - quite incredible.

I hope you might be able to help me, or point me in the right direction.

I am looking to fill in some more detail of my Grandfather - Lance Corporal John Orme. His number was 167525. He signed up for Short Service on 10th December 1915. He was a builder by profession and according to his Statement of Service was posted to a Royal Engineers Depot as a Sapper on 1st May 1916. He was sent to Salonika via Marseille on HMS Transport 'Huntspill' in January 1917.

I have found a pretty comprehensive service history from Ancestry.co.uk and know from this and from family members that he spent several spells in various hospitals suffering with Malaria and Dysentery.

According to his 'Statement By A Soldier Concerning His Own Case', dated 6th October 1919, he states he was involved in 'Roadmaking etc'. I note that he was initially assigned to the 37th Army Troops Company but on 22nd March 1919 posted to the 287th Army Troops Company.

What I would like to find is , what did the 37th & 287th Army Troops Companies actually do in Salonika, where were they stationed etc and finally, how and where did they fit into the Army structure and chain of command in Salonika.

Incidentally, John passed away in 1968 at the age of eighty. He was stone deaf and apparently always believed this was due to the Quinine issued in Salonika - could this be true?

I very much hope you will be able to answer my questions, or at least give me a pointer as to where and if I could find this informtion.

Looking forward to your reply.

Regards

Phil
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 8:50 PM

Dear Phil
John Orme joined the army under the Derby Scheme, which was a last call for volunteers before conscription was introduced in March 1916. Under the scheme, men who had not already volunteered could "volunteer now; join later". John enlisted at Ilkeston on December 10th 1915 but would have gone back to his civilian job as a building contractor the same day. He was called up for a medical on May 1st 1916 and in June 1916 was at one of the six RE base depots for recruits at Chatham in Kent. After basic training he went to No 3 Company of the 2nd Reserve Battalion RE which was based at Chattenden Barracks, Kent. This was a further training-school establishment. On 14th January 1917 he was posted to a GBD (General Base Depot) destined for the BSF (British Salonika Force) which became Salonika Expeditionary Force. He sailed via Marseilles, so it is possible he passed through the Engineers' general base depot at Rouen, in France. He arrived at Salonika on 29th January 1917 and he joined 37th Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers on 8th February 1917.
Army Troops were employed by the Army commander, via the Chief Engineer RE and Commander RE, to conduct necessary works on the Lines of Communication, which ran from the port at Salonika to the front line in the mountains of Macedonia overlooking Lake Doiran. One of the first tasks of the British army was to build a defensive line, to meet up with their Allies, but first they had to build roads as there were no suitable roads outside the town of Salonika when they arrived. Without roads, stores could not reach the troops other than by mule trains. The Salonika Army was formed 15 Nov 1915 from XII Corps HQ and was designated from Jan 1917 as British Salonika Army. GHQ Troops RE listed in the Official History were: 420th Field Coy RE; 37th, 137th, 139th, 140th, 143rd, 286th, 287th Army Troops Companies RE and 8th Survey Coy RE. The RE had a works office in Salonika itself. For more on the scale of involvement, have a look at:
http://memorabilia.homestead.com/files/Salonika_and_Macedonia_1916_18.htm

John was paid as a skilled bricklayer at 1s 4d a day and was employed on "road-making". Building roads involved reconnaissance of routes and bridges; construction of slabs or preparation of other surface materials; road and bridge construction, and repair. All this work was in arduous weather conditions of one extreme to the other and occasionally under aerial bombardment.
By August 1917 John was suffering from Malaria. He was hospitalised numerous times suffering additionally from NYD (Not Yet Diagnosed); Dys Flex (Flexner's Dysentery or Bacillary Dysentery); Dis Clin (Clinical Dysentery enteric infection). He went through the usual routines of hospital; convalescence; base depot; return to unit. Troops at Salonika could not be repatriated during the latter part of the war because of the submarine threat, so they were treated in military hospitals at Salonika (one of which was run by Scottish women). He was posted to 287 AT Coy RE on 20th March 1919 (always use the date in the right hand column which is the date of event) This was probably to allow the "senior" 37th AT Coy RE to be de-mobilized. John returned to the UK 19th July 1919 for further treatment at Lord Derby War Hospital at Warrington and the Malarial Concentration Centre at Shoreham by Sea before being discharged from Ripon Camp discharge centre on 8th November 1919.
The war diary of 37 AT Coy RE is held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 95/4802.

Malaria was treated effectively with quinine which interfered with the production of the malarial protozoa. Quinine was derived from the cinchona shrub. Repeated high serum levels of quinine (plasma concentrations above 10 mcg/mL) could cause a clinical condition known as cinchonism which caused hearing impediments such as hearing loss and ringing in the ears.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Phil
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 9:04 PM

Alan

Thanks a million for the very detailed information you have provided me a such a short space of time - I am thrilled that you have been able to put some meat on the bones for me. I will certainly consult the references you have given. My mum (John's daughter) will be over the moon with this. Thanks again.

Best wishes

Phil


Posted by: Lottie Winter {Email left}
Location: Willenhall
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 5:01 PM
Hello, I am trying to find information about my great uncle - EZRA READ, I understand he was in the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War, and got killed at Passchendale? He is buried, I believe at Dozinghem Cemetery in Belgium. Any further information would be greatfully received
kind regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 8:48 PM

Dear Lottie,
No individual service record has survived for Ezra Read so it is not possible to be certain about his military career. He "died of wounds" on 14th September 1917 and is buried in grave viii B 16 at Dozinghem cemetery. The cemetery was named after a casualty clearing station also called Dozinghem which was a military pun. The three casualty clearing stations prepared in 1917 for the coming fighting were nick-named: Mendinghem, Dozinghem and Bandaghem.
The CWGC Debt of Honour records that Ezra was a Corporal serving with the 51st Brigade Royal Field Artillery at the time of his death. The 51st Brigade RFA was supporting the 9th (Scottish) Division which fought at The Third Battle of Ypres in 1917.

However, a Medal Rolls Index card for Ezra Read recorded details that meant he did not serve with 51st Brigade RFA throughout the war. The medal card showed he was a member of a Territorial Force artillery brigade. He had the regimental number 1232. This number was changed in March 1917 when all Territorial soldiers were allotted new numbers. His new number was 810146 which was in a batch allocated to the 3rd North Midland Brigade Royal Artillery, which became known as the 232 Brigade RFA that served with the 46th Division. The index card showed Ezra entered France on 5th March 1915. This is the same date the 46th Division moved to France from the UK. The 9th Division did not go to France until May 1915, so Ezra must have been with the 46th Division in 1915.
He was most likely still with 232 Brigade RFA when he was allotted the new number in March 1917, so he probably moved to 51st Brigade after that. It seems likely, but there is no further evidence, that most of his service was with 232 Brigade RFA from Wolverhampton. The history of the 46th Division can be seen at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/46div.htm

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Lottie
Date: Monday 21st November 2011 at 6:49 PM

Dear Alan,
Thank you so much for the information on EZRA READ, it has been most helpful, it fills ina lot of gaps for us. Again many thanks and a donation is on its way to British Legion.
Kind regards


Posted by: John Ryans Daughter {Email left}
Location: Shrewsbury
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 4:52 PM
Well thank you so very much "alan" ...at least i no now ware he went wile the war was on...youv told me so much..im really greatful to you ...i will donate my £30 to the "BRITISH LEGION" in shrewsbury...thats how much scotland was going to charge
me ...(and they couldnt seem to find anything on my dad) thank you again...


Posted by: John Ryans Daughter {Email left}
Location: Shrewsbury
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 8:36 AM
Hello alan...thank you so very much for all the information youv sent me...i didnt no ANY of that ...thats what iv been trying to find out for years and youv told me in a few hours...all the medals ect...would you be so kind as to tell me about his war years in the "second" war please if you can?...he was in the "welsh fusiliers" ...his number for that was...D-15331...as iv got these documents too...again i wrote to "glasgow" and i had a letter back saying that number D-15331...belonged to someone else! but iv got the document "again here...and i wonder if hed got any medals from that...he was discharged from the second war in...3-2-1941...i had an old dad , and he died when i was nealy 10 years old...thank you again,im very greatfull...
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 4:33 PM

Unfortunately I do not research soldiers of the Second World War.
Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: John Ryans Daughter {Email left}
Location: Shrewsbury
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2011 at 12:25 PM
Forgot to say that john ryan was served in...K S L I ...SHREWSBURY...
Reply from: Jimchelsea
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2011 at 9:47 PM

Hi Alan
i would be very greatful if you could find any info on the following soldier,
James Black R.I.R., i dont know his army number, but have the following details
1901 address 13 Oregon Street
1911 address 36 Cambrai Street
1918 address 237 Cambrai Street

Born 1892/1893 (18 in 1911 Census Return)

Recorded as Apprentice (Iron Turner) in 1911 Census Return

Parents; Andrew (Farm Labourer) and Catherine

KiA on 21st March 1918 (Belfast Book of Honour) ... no service number or cemetery/memorial recorded in BBoH and I cannot find record on CWGC.
He is also listed on Woodvale Park Presbyterian Church Roll Of Honour as killed, but no other details.

i would be greateful for any further info you could find on him.
regards
jim
Reply from: Jimchelsea
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2011 at 9:50 PM

VERY SORRY JOHN RYANS DAUGHTER AND ALAN. IM MENT TO POST THIS AS A NEW POST
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2011 at 11:46 PM

Dear Jim,
The information you have does not match up with any obvious records. The only soldier listed in "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) named James Black who died on 21st March 1918 was a 2/Lt James Ashton Black of the Durham Light Infantry who was from Tynemouth and died of wounds as a prisoner of war. If the R.I.R stood for Royal Irish Rifles, there were seven soldiers named James Black, and one identified as J. Black, who served in that regiment with Medal Index Cards for service abroad. Two of them died in 1916. There was only one who served in the Royal Irish Regiment and he also served in the Royal Irish Rifles.
There are no obvious service records with a year of birth of 1892/1893 and only three for the Royal Irish Rifles. Most service records were destroyed.
Significantly, there is no official listing of the death in March 1918. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" took much of its information from the CWGC, as did the Irish Memorial Records, neither of which list him. The official Army death index does not list him either.
The fact he has no regimental number in the Belfast Book of Honour could suggest he was an officer as officers did not have regimental numbers. But there should still have been a medal index card for him, which does not appear to be the case.
The missing regimental number could suggest a lack of official evidence and the death could have been recorded by his family. March 21st 1918 was the opening of the German offensive on the Somme in 1918 in which the Allied situation was chaotic for a few days, so it is possible he was listed as missing on that date and his death may have been recorded later. But he should still have appeared in the records for 1918.
He could also have died at Home on 21 March 1918 if he had been returned to a hospital or convalescence in the UK. If he died as a result of war wounds or sickness, he may not have been registered in the Army deaths index but in the Irish, or even English, civilian records, depending where he might have been.
Local newspapers of the time may have recorded an obituary for him, as might the church magazine for the Woodvale Park Presbyterian Chapel.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jimchelsea
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 4:22 PM

Thank you very much Alan for taking the trouble tocheck for any records.I shall follow you advice and try local newspapers from that time.
regards
jim


Posted by: John Ryans Daughter {Email left}
Location: Shrewsbury
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2011 at 12:10 PM
I am trying to find any information on "john ryan" ..he came from shrewsbury...served at the somm...and survived...he was wounded and sent to france first then back to the u.k...he was discharged from service 1917...
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2011 at 4:43 PM

There were two men named John Ryan who served in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry during the First World War. However, only one of them was discharged in 1917. He was Rifleman John Ryan, regimental number 6477, who enlisted before the war as a regular solider on 30th September 1913. The only surviving record appears to be an Army medal rolls index card which recorded that he entered France on 21 December 1914 and was discharged through sickness on 10th August 1917 (medal card entry) or the 29th April 1917 (war badge entry). The medal card refers to a Silver War Badge being issued for having served the country and being discharged through wounds or sickness. The record for that badge stated he served with the 3rd Battalion KSLI. However, that is unhelpful, as the 3rd Battalion of any regiment was the depot battalion and men who were in hospital or returned to the UK could be administered by their depot battalion.
Before the outbreak of war, the KSLI had two regular-army battalions. The date of entry into France shown on John Ryan's medal card was 21 December 1914 which was the date the 2nd Battalion KSLI went to France. It is therefore probable, but there is no further evidence, that he served in the 2nd Battalion from 1913 to 1917.
That would have placed him at Secunderabad in India in 1913 and at the outbreak of war. The 2nd Battalion returned to the UK and sailed for France on December 21st 1914 where it served with the 80th Infantry Brigade in the 27th Division. In December 1915, the Battalion went to Salonika where it remained for the rest of the war, fighting in Macedonia. For a history of the Division's engagements, see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/27div.htm
John qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: Margaret Jackaman {Email left}
Location: Ipswich
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2011 at 11:56 AM
Dear Alan

You kind helped me a while ago re my great grandfather Richard James Parker. Since our last communication I have discovered that he did enlist for service in April 1915 with the Royal Engineers, 5 Depot Co, Reg No. 94672. I have checked the Police Gazette at Colindale and discovered that he deserted in April 1916. I managed to find his court martial details at the National Archives on Saturday 12th Nov. He was held at Fenny Stratford but not sure if he done his detention of 56 days there. His length of detention I noticed was reasonably short compared to other offences in the records. Was a detention spent in jail or elsewhere?
Unfortunately his service records appear not to have survived so I do not know if he re-enlisted after his detention. He was awarded the British Medal & Victory Medal as I checked the Medal Roll of Honour as well but it listed no theatre of war only a O in the row next to his name. I cannot find his death on the CWGC Debt of Honour so at this time I am assuming that he survived the war.
I have been told by the Royal Engineers Museum that I need more information about his service before they can check the war diaries. Also as he deserted would he have been eligible for his war medals? Any help you can give would be much appreciated.
Kind regards.
Margaret Jackaman
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2011 at 7:39 PM

Dear Margaret,
No 5 Depot Royal Engineers would have been one of the nine training depots in the UK. There were six depots at Chatham; one at Aldershot and two at Salisbury Plain. Richard James Parker had the rank of "pioneer" which was an un-skilled man. He 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 after January 1st 1916. As both the Victory and the War medals were instigated at the end of the war for men who had served at least a month overseas, his court-martial could not influence the award of his medals. The medals were awarded for his subsequent service and could not be affected by his previous conduct.
The punishment of 56 days' detention appears light. A commanding officer had the power to place a man in 28 days' detention for absence without leave; so a penalty of double that by a court martial is comparatively lenient. The difference between absence without leave and desertion relied on the man's "intention". If he returned late to his unit, he was absent; but intended returning. If he was arrested before returning to his unit, or had no intention of returning to his unit, he was a deserter. "No intention" could involve throwing away his uniform. It was usual to wait a week before posting a man as a deserter. A letter was then sent to the police in his home town asking for enquiries to be made of him; and a notice was sent to the Police Gazette.
In England, detention could be served in a detention barrack, although a man could also be held in detention in his own barracks. Apart from being locked-up, men in detention could be given extra duties and physical training. The Army's concern was not to lose men so "the effective strength may be reduced as little as possible". With men needed at the Front, it was wasteful to have them languishing in cells.
It has taken some research to make a link with Fenny Stratford. It turns out the Royal Engineers were based there at a country house called "Staple Hall" and "Staple Park" - which is now a retirement home. The Engineers also requisitioned the local school buildings in Fenny Stratford which is near Bletchley in Buckinghamshire. See:
http://www.mkheritage.co.uk/bahs/fenny/watling3.html
If you ask the Royal Engineers museum what went on at Staple Hall it could provide a clue as to what sort of work he was involved in before he went abroad, otherwise his overseas service is still elusive.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Margaret
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2011 at 8:03 PM

Dear Alan

Many thanks once again for your kind help it is much appreciated. I will as you suggest contact the Royal Engineers Museum. I also have today contacted the Local Studies Library at Milton Keynes to see if they could help. They are getting back to me.
Kind regards.
Margaret


Posted by: Carolann
Location: Carmarthenshire
Date: Monday 14th November 2011 at 12:46 PM
Dear Alan,
I have been trying for sometime to uncover details relating to my Grandfather Pte Albert Spencer, he fought in WW1. I believe he enlisted in 1914 and joined the 9th battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers, his regiment number was 14602. I have had no luck locating any information on Ancestry and other sites apart from his medal card, which I found confusing as it shows other regiment numbers. I was told that he saw action in Gallipoli and France but would dearly love to learn more in relation to his service.

Kind Regards
Carol.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 14th November 2011 at 4:30 PM

Dear Carol,
As no individual service record has survived for Albert Spencer it is not possible to suggest a military history for him. The Army medal rolls index card showed he served as a private in the Royal Welch Fusiliers with the regimental number 14602. He entered a theatre of war, 2B, on 15th October 1915. 2B was Gallipoli. No battalion of the Welsh Fusiliers appears to have landed at Gallipoli in October 1915, so it is likely that he was part of a draft of reinforcements. Three battalions of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers fought at Gallipoli, the 5th and 6th and the 8th. None of them returned to France. The 5th and 6th went to Palestine; the 8th Battalion moved to Mesopotamia. For a history of the Gallipoli campaign see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/Gallipoli.htm
The medal card showed Albert also served in the Labour Corps, with the regimental number 501852. The Labour Corps was formed early in 1917 and included men who were perhaps too old or no longer fit enough for front line service.
Albert probably transferred to the Labour Corps sometime after February 1917 when it was formed. He may have served in France with the Labour Corps. There are some notes on the Labour Corps at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/labour.htm
It is not possible to suggest which specific units he served with. One possibility is his entry on the medal roll for the 1914-15 Star which may record his unit. Each soldier has a one-line entry on the rolls and some rolls identify the unit, some do not. The roll number was LC/23C3 pages 159/48. This roll is held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 329/2842 "Labour Corps other ranks: medal rolls. LC/23C-25C3. 1914-15 Star".

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Carolann
Date: Monday 14th November 2011 at 7:28 PM

Dear Alan,
Thanks for your reply your expertise is greatly appreciated. I should have mentioned that I recently came accross a cutting in a local newspaper stating Albert Spencer had been taken from Gallipoli to a hospital in Malta suffering from Enteric Fever. When I purchased his medal cards from National Archives it also shows he was awarded the Military Medal with yet another number Private Albert Spencer 9th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers regimental no 43899.
Date of Gazzette 29.8. 1918. How can I be certain that it is the same Albert Spencer. I am currently writing a family history book and hope to preserve details of Albert's war service so that future generations do not forget him.
I am truly grateful for any information you may be able to provide.
Kind Regards
Carol
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 14th November 2011 at 8:16 PM

Dear Carol,
Medal Index cards from the National Archives show the cards for six different individual soldiers on one sheet of paper. Only one of the men named Albert Spencer will be your ancestor. Medal index cards do not provide any genealogical information, so you have to know the man's regimental number from other sources to find the correct card.
There were five men called Albert Spencer who served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
The Albert Spencer who earned the Military Medal was a different man, as he served in a different battalion with a different regimental number, with different medal qualifications. The London Gazette recorded that Albert Spencer 43899 lived at Buckley in Flintshire.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Carolann
Date: Monday 14th November 2011 at 9:17 PM

Amazing! Thank you so much for all the information Alan.

Best Wishes and Thanks
Carol
Reply from: Sketch
Date: Tuesday 22nd November 2011 at 9:29 AM

Hi
i would be very interested in any info you have on the albert spencer from buckley.
he`s listed as H. Spencer on the local memorial. Which is obviously a mistake.
He lived at 131 mold road in buckley.

cheers
sketch

www.buckleyatwar.webs.com
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 22nd November 2011 at 3:28 PM

Dear Sketch,
The Albert Spencer who lived at 131 Mold Road, Buckley, was conscripted into the army in 1916. He was attested on 22nd January 1916 and was later called up on 16th June 1916 to train with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers 20th Reserve Battalion at Kinmel Park. Albert was born at Wrenbury near Nantwich in Cheshire in 1896 and was nearly 21 when he joined the army. On 31st August 1916 he was posted to the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers for training at Litherland, Liverpool. He was sent to France as part of a draft of reinforcements on 7th January 1917 and arrived at No. 5 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen from where he was posted to "D" Company, 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He arrived with the 9th in the field on 27th January 1917. The 9th Battalion served with the 58th Infantry Brigade in the 19th Division. In 1917 they fought at The Battle of Messines; The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge; The Battle of Polygon Wood; The Battle of Broodseinde; The Battle of Poelcapelle and the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele. In 1918 they fought at The Battle of St Quentin during the enemy's advance on the Somme on March 21st 1918.
Albert was wounded in the right arm on March 24th 1918 and was treated at Camiers before being returned to the UK on March 29th 1918 aboard the hospital ship Princess Victoria. He was treated at Graylingwell War Hospital at Chichester. On 21st June 1918 Albert returned to France and passed through "C" Infantry Base Depot from where he was posted to the 17th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers who served with 115th Infantry Brigade in the 38th Division. He was killed in action on 30th August 1918, the day after his award of the Military Medal had been announced in the London Gazette. Albert was buried at the Red Dragon Cemetery between Ovillers and la Boiselle. Graves from that cemetery were later moved to Ovillers Military Cemetery. When he died the 38th Division had been fighting in the Battle of Bapaume which was seen as the turning point of the war.
No citation for his Military Medal was published in the London Gazette so it is not possible to say where he earned it.
Albert Spencer MM qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Sketch
Date: Wednesday 23rd November 2011 at 8:21 AM

Wow ! thanks very much alan, appreciate it.

i wonder if you could help with my own great grandad. i know nothing about his service at all, except
he was in the royal artillery (cheshire regt i believe).
his name is joseph vaughan vickers
born in bronington (flintshire) in 1885
married lilly williams

he survived the war.

thats all i know.
any help would be gratefully appreciated...

cheers
sketch
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 23rd November 2011 at 7:56 PM

Dear Sketch,
Unfortunately it is not possible to identify Joseph Vickers of Bronington from the surviving records. You would need a specific regiment (either Royal Artillery or Cheshire Regiment) and regimental number to trace his Army medal index card as there are many joseph vickers and the middle name may not have been used. There is no record of him in the service records under that address or year of birth.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Sketch
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011 at 7:55 AM

Ok
many thanks again for your time and effort

cheers
sketch


Posted by: Roger Goodger {Email left}
Location: Burbage
Date: Sunday 13th November 2011 at 8:40 PM
I would appreciate some advice on how to discover more about the service record of my uncle, 203549 Pte Percy George Goodger. He served in WW1 in the 7th Battalion of the Buffs, and was killed in action on 18th Sep 1918 at Epehy. His newspaper obituary stated that he was wounded twice, once at Ypres and once on the Somme. I have found no other records via Ancestry.com, and fear that any records were destroyed in the blitz. Would the Buffs War Diaries give much more detail?

Thanks

Roger
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 13th November 2011 at 9:27 PM

Dear Roger,
An Army medal rolls index card for 203549 East Kent Regiment recorded the man's name as Percy Goodyer. His regimental number was 8048 which had been changed to 203549. This indicated he served originally in a battalion that was administered by the Territorial Force in the UK, because the Territorials were all re-numbered in March 1917. The number 203549 was allotted to the 4th Battalion.
The 4th Battalion served in India from October 1914 during the war, but back at home it recruited two more battalions known as the 2nd/4th and 3rd/4th Battalions at Canterbury and Ashford. Percy 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. He was killed in action in France. Neither 2nd/4th nor 3rd/4th Battalions East Kent Regiment served overseas, so it would appear that Percy trained with them and was then posted overseas as part of a draft of reinforcements. It is not possible to say when. When he died he was with the 7th Battalion The Buffs (East Kent) which served in the 55th Infantry Brigade in the 18th Division. He died on 18th September 1918. For the divisional history see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/18div.htm
The date Percy died matches the Battle of Epehy 1918.

The war diary of the 7th Battalion is held at the National Archives at Kew in catalogue reference WO 95/2049.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 13th November 2011 at 9:36 PM

I've just noticed you are in Burbage. A lovely village where my great aunts used to live.


Posted by: Rebecca {Email left}
Location: Bristol
Date: Sunday 13th November 2011 at 7:10 PM
Dear Alan,
I have been most impressed by all the detailed replies that you have given to everyone, in deed I have managed to find out much about my great grandfather's time in the war from a reply already posted to Graham last year about the KOYLI.
I would like some help with deciphering the WW1 medal rolls index which is available online (I've tried pasting it into this but it doesn't work). I don't understand it. WOuld you be able to tell me what he was awarded the DSO for and any other medals, and also why he got the Legion of Honour? I've tried to write to the French authorities about it but they say they don't have any records about it.
His name was Major Harry Moorhouse, he was in the Territorial Army, 4th Battalion KOYLI as was his son Ronald. On your reply to someone in January 2010 re the same battalion, you say he was shot when leaving headquarters, but in fact he died going out to bring back his son who'd been wounded and was hit by a sniper. At least that is the information I have in a letter sent to his widow. I'm probably the only person with that information so no wonder you didn't know it!
The other things I'd like help with are: when did he join the TA? And what did he do in the Boer War?
Many thanks,
Rebecca Lisle
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 13th November 2011 at 8:45 PM

Dear Rebecca,
Officers' service records from the First World War are held at the National Archives at Kew. It is not possible for me to say when Harry Moorhouse joined the T.A.. See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person%5Cdefault.htm

He was a Captain during the Second Anglo-Boer War (11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902) so he would have joined a few years before that, perhaps three to six years earlier. The 4th Bn KOYLI provided a service company of 8 officers and 243 other ranks, with principle actions at Lindley, Lieukop and Klip River supporting the regular army 2nd Battalion KOYLI. He qualified for the Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps 1901 and 1902.

He was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order on 14th January 1916 and received the
d'Officier of the Legion of Honour on 24th February 1916. These were announced in the London Gazette. See:
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search
Citations would have been kept with the medals.
You may be able to discover more about his service and medals from The Regimental Secretary, Light Infantry Office (Yorkshire), Minden House, Wakefield Road, Pontefract, WF8 4ES. Tel: 01977 703181. See:
http://www.armymuseums.org.uk/museums/0000000055-King-s-Own-Yorkshire-Light-Infantry-Museum-Collection.htm

The regimental history records he was shot while "leaving his headquarters". It is possible that was a veiled reference to his being away on an errand of his own.

His medal card states he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He received "emblems" which indicated he had been mentioned in despatches. He entered France on 12.4.15 and was killed in Action 9.10.17. He was a Lieutenant-colonel. The other writing on the card is simply the order details for getting the medals minted in his name.
Gallantry medal cards are available from the National Archives website.
The battalion's war diary is held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 95/2806. You would have to visit Kew for that.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Rebecca
Date: Monday 14th November 2011 at 8:56 AM

Dear Alan,
Thank you so much for your speedy reply. You have given me lots to go on and I am very grateful.
Best wishes
Rebecca


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