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

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Posted by: Hem
Location: Rossendale
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 4:57 PM
Hi Alan - just discovered your site as I was once again searching sites to gain any more info on my grandfather John James Cunnington who served in WW1. From previous research I do have some info on him but there are gaps in my knowledge and I have several unanswered questions.
He joined the East Lancs Regt 12th battalion on 18.3.16 and was posted on20.3.16.His no. was 32605.He was then transferred to the 75th Training Reserve on 1.9.16. and stayed there until posted to Kings Own Royal Lancaster 7th Battn on24.2.16.He was wounded and was home posted on 26.10.17.and discharged as no longer physically fit for war service somewhere between 27.2.18 and 19.3.18. He had received bullet wounds on both thighs and was operated on (I believe) by a French surgeon who fitted a metal plate inside his leg to hold the parts together as the injury was too high up to amputate his leg.He wore specially adapted boots for the rest of his life.I believe that this was pioneering surgery of the day.
My mother was always told as a child that he was injured in the Somme but after speaking to the curator at the K.O.R.L museum it seems more likely that he was injured in Belguim.
I have visited both areas and would really like to know where he served and was injured , where he was treated,where he was sent home from and how long he was in hospital recovering.I believe as part of his recovery he spent time at the 2nd Western Hospital in Manchester.
We have got his British War and Victory medals and with them is a Mons Star 1914 (unmamed) and I'm not sure if this is authentic or not because it is a family belief that he may have served prior to signing up in a medical capacity - first aider? stretcher bearer? he did belong to a first aid organisation but not sure which one.
I was told at the K.O.R.L. museum that he should also have the discharge certificate and the silver war badge . How can I trace and obtain these?
Was he supposed to have claimed these himself or should these have been sent automatically? I have evidence that he had to request both the War and Victory medals although he had been sent the ribbons.
I would be very grateful for any answers to my questions and any further info that you could provide as my mother is quite elderly now and she would love to fill in the missing pieces of the jigsaw . I am due to visit Ypres again soon and would like to visit the place where he was injured.
Many thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 6:49 PM

Dear Hem,
Unfortunately most of the questions you have asked cannot be answered. The records showed he qualified only for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. These medals were sent out automatically and soldiers requesting them were simply told the medals would be sent in due course. Most medals were sent out in 1921/1922 and John sent his letter in December 1921, so he probably thought he would check.
John was compulsorily conscripted in March 1916 under the Military Service Acts of 1916 which declared all men over 18 were deemed to be enlisted. He did not serve in the RAMC. Nor had he done so. On his attestation, question seven asked "Have you ever served in any branch of His majesty's Forces?" The answer to question seven was "no". Question 8 asked "Have you any preference for any particular branch of the service?" The answer to question 8 was "RAMC". He requested to serve in the RAMC perhaps because he had been in the St John's Ambulance Brigade. As the element of choice was removed by compulsory conscription, he became an infantryman.
As he was conscripted and on his own statement he said he had not previously served in the army, he cannot have qualified for the 1914 Star.
His last day in France was recorded as 25 October 1917. After treatment in France he would have been returned to the UK on a hospital ship and sent by hospital train to a hospital near to his home to enable his relatives to visit: 2nd Western General Hospital Manchester. It is not possible to say when he was wounded or where he was treated in France but at the time the 7th KORL were fighting at Passchendaele near Ypres.
He qualified for a Silver War Badge and a King's certificate of thanks which he received on October 23rd 1918. The receipt is included in his service record. The certificate and badge would be among the family's possessions. The faded correspondence from the hospital is not helpful: it is merely a request for documents as he was pending discharge after a medical board on 27 February 1918.
He was discharged from the Army on 18th March 1918 under Paragraph 392 xvi of King's Regulations as no longer physically fit for war service.
The war diary of the 7th KORL is held at The National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference :WO 95/2078/1. You would need to visit Kew. It is the diary that would identify the battalion in a particular place.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Hem
Date: Thursday 25th October 2012 at 11:16 AM

Dear Alan,
Many thanks for your prompt reply.I have the 7th battalion war diary on CDs from the museum of KORL and from these had deemed that he was possibly fighting at Passchendaele - thank you for the confirmation. Unfortunately we do not have the silver war badge or the certificate - would it be possible to obtain a copy of the certificate and a medal from somewhere? Would the original medal have had his name on it? Is it possible to view or obtain his service record somewhere showing the receipt of these because the record I have does n't show this?
Many thanks once again for your help, it is much appreciated.
Hem
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 25th October 2012 at 12:53 PM

Dear Hem,
The Silver War Badge was not actually a medal. It was a circular badge, about the size of a 10p coin, with the words: "For King and Empire. Services Rendered". The badge was issued to men and women who were invalided and who were rendered permanently unfit for further service through wounds or sickness. It was only to be worn on civilian clothes.
In May 1918, a certificate of gratitude, known as the King's Certificate was approved by King George V and designed by Bernard Partridge. Like the badge, it could only be issued to men who qualified under Army Council rules for having been invalided as a result of the war.
The badge was not named but each badge was individually numbered. John's badge was actually listed under the name of "J J Cunningham", 32605 KORL.
The badge was numbered 370045.
The badges and certificates cannot be reproduced, although similar badges are widely available from antique shops or medal dealers, although they would have belonged to someone else and would be differently numbered.
John's service records are available free at the National Archives or on the ancestry.co.uk website (subscription required). The receipt is on Army Form W3553 dated 9.10.18 "The accompanying King's Certificate". The website also has the Silver War Badge rolls and index cards. His service record is correctly listed under his full name of John James Cunnington.
His Silver War Badge entry on the medal rolls index is listed as J J "Cunningham" 32605 R Lanc R which ancestry.co.uk translated as "Royal Lancashire Regiment". This is the card index that shows he was issued with the badge. The badge records are sometimes more difficult to find. From the home page, click on the green "Search" button at the top. Scroll down to Military. Click on "Military" and then scroll down to "UK Silver War Badge Records". Enter the forename as "J J" and the surname as "Cunningham" and there are only two J J Cunninghams on the first page, click on the image for JJ Cunningham KORL.
If you do not have access to the ancestry website, your local library may provide free access to it.
The fact his name was incorrect on the records would not have affected the numbered badge, but it may have affected what was entered on the King's Certificate.
While these mementos of the Great War are significant to family historians, at the time they were issued in 1918, they were sometimes dismissed by the men as being insufficient recognition for being disabled in the war. Perhaps even more so if they hadn't got his name correct.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Hem
Date: Thursday 25th October 2012 at 3:09 PM

Dear Alan, many, many thanks for your reply. I have found the entry in the silver badge records.I am very grateful for your help because I would not have found it otherwise.I shall now try and locate the accompanying King's Certificate and will purchase a replica badge from a dealer and have his number put on it.
Thank you once again,
Hem
Posted by: Dee {Email left}
Location: Hull
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 3:32 PM
A friend has asked if I can find out any details about one of his ancestors.
He was Captain Frank Percy Wheeldon (Lodge of Agriculture No.1199)
He was initiated into Lodge on 20th Nov 1911 and at this time was listed as being an organist.He lived Wrington, Somerset.
He was killed in overnight attack on Passchendaele Ridge on 29th/30th October 1917. I cannot find any war records for him on findmypast etc.
I know where his memorial is (Tyne Cot) but can you help with pointing me in direction for any further details of his war records?
Thankyou to anyone who can help.
Dee
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 4:03 PM

Dear Dee,
Officers' records are held at the National Archives at Kew. You would need to order copies. See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/officerbritisharmyafter1913.htm

Enter the surname in the search box;click on the entry in the results and then click on ordering options.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Dee
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 6:01 PM

Hello Alan,
Gosh that was a quick reply. Thanks very much.

Regards Dee
Reply from: David John Eason
Date: Thursday 25th July 2013 at 10:24 AM

Hi all,
I am writing the Royal Leamington Spa WW1 Roll of Honour and i have Frank included i am looking for any family please.
Many thanks
David.
(husrollho at yahoo dot co dot uk)
or
Tel: 07896 201176
Reply from: Dee
Date: Thursday 25th July 2013 at 12:40 PM

Hi David,
I did a tree for a friend and Frank was one of his ancestors. Frank Percy Wheeldon was assistant organist at Wells Cathedral.
Killed in overnight raid passchendale ridge with rank of Captain. I have details of his Will, also names of parents etc. Not sure what you need to know. You can contact me direct on
(denmo at denmo dot karoo dot co dot uk)
Posted by: Jeremy Thornton {Email left}
Location: Pouzolles
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 8:47 PM
Alan,

I contacted you a few weeks ago about my grandfather Vernon Thornton who served in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry during the first world war.
I have since been the the National archives in Kew and looked at the Medals Awards record and find that he was successivly in the 12th, 2/5th, 1st & 5th battalions of the 187th Brigade of the 62nd Division. Does this indicate that as each battalion was desimated by casualties that he was assigned to another one? Also I foin in the war diary for the 2/5th that they were at Beaumont Hamel in 1918 which I belive was one of the big battles in the second battle of the Somme.
Now that I have found out his battalions, do you have any other information that may help me understand just what was happening and where he served?

Jeremy Thornton
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 11:08 PM

Dear Jeremy,
If there were dates during which he served with each battalion it would be possible to establish where he served. Soldiers could be, and often were, posted to different battalions for a variety of reasons.
The 12th Battalion KOYLI served with the 31st Division in Egypt in the first three months of 1916 and then moved to France with that Division. The 2nd/5th Battalion served in France from January 1917 in 187th Brigade. The 2nd/5th Battalion was absorbed by the 1st/5th Battalion on 2nd February 1918 and became the 5th Battalion KOYLI in 187th Brigade.
That might not be the same as the "1st and 5th Battalions", although he could have served in the 1st/5th battalion.
The 1st Battalion served in Salonika until June 1918 when it moved to France and joined 151st Infantry Brigade.
Without knowing the dates he was with each battalion it is not possible to suggest his service. It is possible he was wounded at some stage and returned to the UK before being sent back to France to join another battalion, so there may not have been continuous service.
If Vernon Thornton had qualified for a 1914-15 Star, that would have recorded the date he first entered a theatre of war and from that it may have been possible to identify a battalion. He didn't qualify so there is no immediate record of the date he went abroad. If he served in those battalions in that order, he would have served with the 12th Battalion before joining the 2/5th for whatever reason and then possibly being absorbed by the 1st/5th Battalion. The battles of the 187th Brigade are listed at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/62div.htm

The regimental history "The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Great War" by R.C. Bond is widely available via the internet and tells the story of each battalion year by year.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jeremy Thornton
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 8:22 AM

Alan,

Thanks for this information. As I am unable to find out when my grandfather signed up, it looks like that I am at the end of the road. The war diaries do not identify individual soldiers that are still alive, only officer movements. At least I am now a lot further down the road than I was a few months ago. Thank you very much for your help.
Reply from: Jeremy Thornton
Date: Wednesday 31st October 2012 at 8:57 AM

Alan,

Just a final couple of questions in order to end my enquiry.

Would the book 'History of the 62nd (West Riding) division 1914-1918 KOYLI be a worth while purchase for my understanding of what my grandfather may have been involved in?

I presume that my grandfather was conscripted in June 1916 under the Military Service Act, he was 37 years old at the time. His brother Julian Thornton who was 31 was also conscripted at the same time but went to the Liverpool Regt. Any reason for this do you think?

Would soldiers of 37 be in the trenches or assigined other duties?

Any idea where they did their training, where the embarked for to France and how they got to the front?

Jeremy Thornton
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 31st October 2012 at 9:03 PM

Dear Jeremy,
The book "History of the 62nd Division" was originally published in two volumes and records the activities of the whole Division, so only parts of it would deal with the activities of the 187th Brigade and the KOYLI. The "King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Great War" deals with each battalion progressively through the war month by month, so it may be of more value to you. They are both still in print and cost about the same. They can be ordered from internet booksellers.
The Military Service Acts of 1916 removed any element of choice from conscripts so the Army posted men to regiments that were most in need of replacements. Brothers need not have been called up together so they would not necessarily have served in local regiments or even the same regiment.
Soldiers of all ages were soldiers: it was an infantryman's job to serve in the trenches. A man's age wasn't very relevant, although some men were allotted tasks as cooks or officers' batmen, but it is impossible to say what an individual did or even if he took part in every battle. In each engagement up to one-third of the men were Left Out of Battle (LOOB) to conserve a nucleus of the unit. Batmen served alongside their officers. A few men remained with the battalion's transport and horses in the billeting area but, in general, a 37 year old would have served just like anyone else. Older men were often considered to be a steadying influence.
Training was conducted in various locations in the UK depending on which battalion he was with whilst training. The 187th Brigade trained at Bulwell, near Nottingham; Strensall near York; Beverley; Gateshead and then Salisbury Plain. Travel to France was via Southampton to Le Havre. Travel inland from the French coast was by train to a rail-head and then by route march to various billets and the front line.
Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Marty1965 {Email left}
Location: Ireland
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 5:13 PM
Hello Alan,

Would you happen to have any information on what happened to my Great Uncle, Charles W Wright. I know he was killed on 11th July 1917 and I think it was in Nieuwpoort in Belgium. His Service number is: 97016 and he is buried in RamsKappelle Road Military Cemetery. He was a member of the 219th Field Coy. Royal Engineers.

Any information you might have about him and what happened to him would be great.

Many thanks,
Martin
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 11:11 PM

Dear Martin,
No individual service record appears to have survived for Charles Wright, 97016 Royal Engineers, so it is not possible to say when he enlisted or what his wartime service was. On the day he died he was serving with the 219th (Glasgow) Field Company Royal Engineers which was part of the 32nd Division that arrived in France in November 1915.
Charles 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 after January 1st 1916. He was a pioneer in the Royal Engineers which was the designation of a private soldier who did not have trade skills. Those with trade skills were designated "sapper".
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" recorded that Charles lived and enlisted in Kent. It is therefore possible he was part of a draft of reinforcements to the 219th Field Company sent to France any time after January 1st 1916. It is not possible to state when he went to France.
When he was killed the 32nd Division was taking part in Operation Hush (which was cancelled) at Nieuport when the enemy made a pre-emptive strike on the British lines on 10th and 11th July 1917. Nieuport was hated by the soldiers because it was so easily and frequently engaged by the enemy right on the border of German occupied territory. "Any port but Nieuport" was a common remark.
The 32nd Division had fought on the Somme in 1916 and then at the Operations on the Ancre and the Pursuit of the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line in the Spring of 1917 before becoming involved in "Operation Hush".
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Martin
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 1:09 PM

Dear Alan,

Many thanks for your kind and prompt response.

I have a few further questions that you may be able to answer (if you get a chance);

1. I am a bit confused as to why Charles would have been in the 219th Glasgow Field Company Royal Engineers since he was from Kent. Any idea why this might be?

2. I have been reading about Operation Hush and the German preemptive counter-offensive called Operation Strandfest on July 10th 1917. Would you have any idea where Charles might have been on the day he died (11th July 1917) which was the day after Strandfest? I read somewhere that the 32nd division were attacked but have very sketchy information. Any pointers online would be very welcome.

3. You mention that he would have been awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Would these medals have been awarded retrospectively to his next of kin?

4. Do you know where I might find some more information on the activities of the 32nd Division at the Somme, Ancre, Hindenburg Line, etc...?

5. Would there be any chance that Charles was involved in the battle of Messines in June 1917...?

Once again, many thanks for your kind help.

Regards from Ireland,
Martin
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 4:32 PM

Dear Martin,
Following the Military Service Acts of 1916, soldiers no longer had a choice of regiment. In the early days of volunteering men often joined a local regiment, but once conscription was introduced the element of choice was removed. Once a soldier was called-up, he went where he was told. It was co-incidence that the 219th Field Company had originated in Glasgow.
His medals would have been sent automatically to the address of his next of kin.
To establish precise details about the 11th July, you would need to travel to London and physically study the war diary of 219 Field Company at the National Archives, at Kew, Richmond, Surrey. It is Catalogue reference WO 95/2384/1.
The 32nd Division was not involved in the Battle of Messines 1917.
The battles of the 32nd Division are listed at:
http://www.1914-1918.net/32div.htm

However, it is not possible to state in which battles Charles was involved as there is no evidence to show when he went to France. The only evidence is that he was at Nieuport in July 1917. It is not known when he joined 219 Field Company, other than he served abroad after January 1st 1916. The 32nd Division, between January 1916 and July 1917, was involved at The Battle of Albert (1 13 July 1916); Bazentin Ridge (14 17 July) Ancre Heights (1 Oct 11 Nov); Ancre 17 No 1916 15 February 1917) and Nieuport (10 11 July 1917).

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Martin
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 5:05 PM

Thanks Alan,

I did manage to find a Medal Record for him today online at the National Archives which says that he entered the 'Theatre of War' in France on 29th of August 1915.

Regards and thanks for your help.

Martin
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 6:38 PM

Dear Martin,
There were eight men named Charles W Wright who served in the Royal Engineers. Only one had the regimental number 97016. The medal card for a man who arrived on 29 August 1915 was for Charles W Wright Royal Engineers, Labour Corps 116219, 292367.
The National Archives website usually provides six different medal cards to a page, often with the same name. Unless you are sure you have the right man, there is only one record for the Charles W Wright you originally quoted as being 97016. The original individual medal card on the ancestry.co.uk website shows he qualified for the British War and Victory Medals and not the 1914-15 Star.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Martin
Date: Thursday 25th October 2012 at 9:32 AM

Hello Alan,

Once again, many thanks. This explains my confusion. Yes, I was obviously looking at another Charles W Wright on the same page.

Many thanks for your help.

Regards,
Martin Wright
Posted by: Paul {Email left}
Location: Belfast
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 11:45 AM
Hi Alan, it's been a while since I last tortured you for information. I hope you are keeping well.
Can you turn up any additional information on the following soldier, who may be a relative?
J. Largey
Private, Service Number 23826
Royal Inniskillen Fusiliers, died 1/7/1916. His place of enlistment is recorded as Newcastle on Tyne.

Thanks,
Paul.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 4:25 PM

Dear Paul,
J. Largey was John Largey. He may have been Irish as there is no identifiable John Largey in the England, Wales or Scotland censuses for 1911. The 1911 census of Ireland showed three potential John Largeys. One was at Smithfield ward, Antrim, aged 10 which might have made him too young. The others were a 30 year old carpenter of Armagh and a 17 year old who and appeared to have a brother called Michael, of Smithfield Ward, Antrim. There was also a Michael Largey who served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (26429) but I can find no biographical evidence to identify them positively. The enlistment in Newcastle upon Tyne has no immediate explanation.
John Largey was killed in action while serving with the 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. His regimental number 23826 was typical of the five-digit numbers issued for general wartime service which suggests he was a wartime volunteer who was posted to the 1st Battalion. John 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 no go abroad until after January 1st 1916.
The 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers had been evacuated from Gallipoli on January 9th 1916 and returned to France on 18th March 1916 with the 87th Infantry Brigade of the 29th Division.
The Division fought in The Battle of Albert on July 1st 1916 on the Somme.
The Division's attack started with the explosion of the Hawthorn Ridge mine followed by an advance at 7. 30 a.m. but immediately the 1st Battalion appeared on the parapets the enemy brought heavy machine-gun cross-fire to bear. None of the Inniskilling Fusiliers was able to get further than the enemy's forward wire. The Battalion suffered 568 casualties. John Largey is buried at Y Ravine Cemetery.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Paul
Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 11:01 PM

Hi Alan, sorry for the delay in replying. Thanks, as always, for the additional information. It's sad, is it not, that so little information survives on a young man who(like so many others) made the ultimate sacrifice for King and country.

Regards,
Paul.
Posted by: Steve Young {Email left}
Location: Braintree Essex
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 6:59 AM
Dear Alan, you have been so good at finding info for me. I wonder if you know anything about my 2nd cousin Alfred Shuttlewood who died on 30th August 1918 aged 23yrs. He was killed in action in France while serving with the 10th Royal West Kent Regiment. That is all I know, so anything other info would be greatly received. Thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 4:26 PM

Dear Steve,
Alfred Shuttlewood was a conscript aged 20 who was called up on 22nd January 1917 and trained with the 2nd/4th Battalion The East Kent Regiment (The Buffs) in the Ashford area. On 23rd September 1917 he was posted to France and arrived at the 38th infantry Base Depot where he was transferred to the 10th Battalion the Royal West Kent Regiment on 26th September 1917. The 10th Battalion was serving with the 123rd Infantry Brigade in the 41st Division. The Division was sent to Italy on 14th November 1917. The Division took over a sector of front line behind the River Piave, North-west of Treviso, between 30 November and 2 December. On 28 February 1918 the Division moved into Campo San Piero, in order to return to France. By 9th March 1918 it had completed concentration near Doullens and Mondicourt in France. Alfred Shuttlewood was taken ill with enteritis and was returned to the UK on the Hospital Ship "Princess Elizabeth" on March 22nd 1918. He had escaped the fighting of the Spring Offensive in March 1918 on the Somme. He was treated in the UK and returned to France on 2nd July 1918 where he arrived at "J" Infantry Base Depot. From there he was posted to the 6th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment on 8th July 1918. The 6th Battalion served in the 37th Infantry Brigade with the 12th Division in France and Flanders.
The 12th Division was advancing in front of Amiens and by August 10th 1918 had moved forward two miles to the former Amiens defence lines. The Division attacked again on 22nd August, pushing across the old Somme battlefield, capturing Meaulte; Mametz; Carnoy; Hardecourt and Faviere Wood, which was reached after a week-long continuous fight. Alfred was wounded by the explosion of a shell on 29th August 1918 at Faviere Wood. He was treated at 41 Casualty Clearing Station where he died on 30th August 1918 from a shell wound to the head.
He earned the British War Medal and the Victory Medal which were later sent to his sister, Mrs Beatrice Clapton.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Steve Young
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 4:51 PM

Dear Alan. I cannot thank you enough for this information about Alfred Shuttlewood. It has brought his war exploits into vivid life. Thanks again. Steve
Posted by: Paul Crook {Email left}
Location: Headley Down
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 10:40 PM
Hello again Alan

You kindly answered a previous query regarding my grandfather George Crook. I have since found some more information on him but need one more thing clarifying.

To update you, George Crook served originally in the 1/4th Yorkshire Battalion from 1917 to the end of 1918 when he transferred to the 2nd Norfolks and went to Waziristan.

My new query is regarding his original posting. As far as I can see he enlisted in Leicester in October 1917 and as mentioned joined the Yorkshire Regiment. He lived in Norfolk and I can't work out a) why he enlisted in Leicester and b) why he joined the Yorkshires. Is there an easy explanation for any of this or could he have just been in Leicester at the time and the Yorkshires happened to be enrolling there at that time too.

Any help would again be much appreciated.

Thanks

Paul
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 11:24 PM

Dear Paul,
The 1/4th Yorkshire Battalion is not a formal title of a regiment, although the 1st/4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment served in France and Flanders from April 1915. It had support battalions numbered 2nd/4th and 3rd/4th which recruited in the UK but I cannot see any reference to those battalions being connected to Leicester or Norfolk. If he entered the army in 1917 he would have been compulsorily conscripted which meant that he could be posted to any regiment, as opposed to joining a local regiment. If he lived in Norfolk in 1917 he would have received an order and, if necessary, a rail warrant, to travel to an enlistment location by 8 a.m. on a given date. But the 1/4th Yorkshire Regiment was overseas in 1917, so he cannot have directly enlisted with them at Leicester in 1917. Something is not quite right with the detail if there is evidence he enlisted in 1917 at Leicester. Do you have a source for that information that could be referred to?
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Paul
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 11:35 PM

Hi Alan

Many thanks again.

Have checked his war record again and there is reference to what could be the 87th T.Res Bn Yorks Regt in October 1917..

This reference is followed by T.B.D in April 1918 then
3H (?) (Corps column) 13 (Battalion Depot) on April 2nd 1918 and
the first reference to the 1/4th Battalion is in 19/4/1918

Does any of this help

Thanks

Paul
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 1:05 PM

Dear Paul,
The course of events for George Cook should have been conscription; recruit training in a reserve battalion in England for a few months; posting to France through an infantry base depot on the coast of France for a few days of further training; deployment from the base depot to a battalion in the line; and then wartime service in a battalion.

The 87th Training Reserve Battalion was part of the Durham Light Infantry. It was in the 20th Reserve Brigade at Hornsea on the East Coast. Training Reserve Battalions handled the soldiers aged from18 who were conscripted. The 81st Training Reserve Battalion was formed from a reserve battalion of The Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment). It trained at Newcastle upon Tyne in the 19th Reserve Brigade.

"TBD" may be IBD which stood for Infantry Base Depot and would have been in France, possibly at Etaples. The 13th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment was in France at that time at St Momelin where it was reduced to cadre strength on May 6th 1918. It subsequently returned to England. Cadre strength meant the battalion was dispersed and only a few officers and experienced men remained in order to administer the Battalion or rebuild it with new recruits. The 1st/4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment was the battalion most in need of reinforcements.
The 1/4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment was in France with the 150th Infantry Brigade in the 50th Division. They were involved in the German Spring Offensive and had fought at the Battle of Hazebrouck on April 12th and 13th 1918 with heavy losses. From the 16th April 1918 the remainder of the battalion marched to a camp at La Lacque where they stayed training until the 25th April. This was an ideal time for recruits to join. The battalion had suffered severe losses and required 23 Officers and 802 other ranks as reinforcements.
With so many reinforcements, the battalion remained in training at Courville and on the 4th May they moved to Maizy until May 8th when they went to Beaurieux, training until May 15th. They then went into a quiet section of the line at Craonne.
On 27th May to 6th June 1918 they fought at the Battle of the Aisne where 566 men went missing and the CO was missing believed killed. The battalion once again had been all but destroyed.
The 50th Division was now depleted and was removed from the order of battle to be re-built.
The remainder of the 1st/4th Battalion moved to Vert La Gravelle, commanded by Capt T R K Ginger M.C.. There it was decided to form one composite Battalion of two platoons of 1st/4th Yorks and two of the 5th Yorks to be called the "150th". The composite battalion moved to La Neuville on June 5th. From the 7th to the 13th of June the composite battalion was in the line for the final time at Bois de Coutron near Pourcy.
The 1st/4th Bn Yorkshire Regiment was reduced to cadre strength on 16th July 1918 and was employed on lines of communication at Dieppe. In August 1918 it moved to Cucq near Etaples on the coast and was involved in training the newly arrived American 77th Division. The 1/4th Battalion was dismobilized on 6th November 1918 and the remaining men dispersed.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 1:06 PM

Sorry Paul, I missed the "r" out of George's surname.
Alan
Posted by: Frank Rogers {Email left}
Location: Haslingden Rossendale
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 10:25 PM
I am attempting to assist a friend in obtaining details of one of his relatives, namely Sergeant Peter Francis Carr DCM, DSC of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was gazetted in the London Gazette on the 27th August 1940 (and on the 11th/14th May 1948).
Do you have any details of the action(s) which would have given rise to these decorations? We think it is associated with the defence of a perimeter protecting the troops as they were evacuated from Dunkirk. Also we understand that he suffered some form of injury in 1945, and died in service on the 29th August 1948, and we believe he is buried in Hamburg (Ohlsdorf?) Cemetery (we think section 12, row A, Grave number 9 - but cannot find any confirmation details of this (nor a map showing the location of this grave within the cemetery. Are you able to throw any light on these matters? Any help you can give would be gratefully received.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 11:00 PM

Dear Frank,
I am sorry by I am not able to research soldiers who served after 1921 as their records are not in the public domain. Peter Carr, 3128552, Royal Scots Fusiliers was awarded the DCM in 1940 and the American Silver Star in 1948 (London Gazette Friday 14th May 1948). He rose to the rank of Warrant Officer Class II. See:
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search

Records of servicemen in the Second World War are held by the Ministry of Defence. The MoD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next of kin or not. You can apply using the forms for next of kin, or with permission of next of kin, or as a general enquirer. See:

http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html

You will need proof of death; date of birth or service number; next of kin's permission (unless you are the direct next of kin); a cheque and completed forms Part 1 and 2. The next of kin form (Part 1) is for completion by the next of kin of deceased service personnel (or enquirers with the consent of next of kin). Look for "Service records publications" under "Related pages" and follow the instructions. The Part 2 form is entitled: "Request forms for service personnel Army" found under "Related Pages". Otherwise use a general enquirer's form. A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to "The mod Accounting Officer" and sent to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland with all the paperwork.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Frank Rogers
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 11:33 AM

Alan,

Thank you for your immediate response (do you ever sleep?/), and the detailed guidance to assist in our quest.

Regards,

Frank
Posted by: Steve Young {Email left}
Location: Braintree
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 9:01 PM
Hi Alan. You very kindly answered my question about my great uncle Ernest Shuttlewood a few days ago. I have aphot of him which seems to depict him with the cap badge of the of the Essex Regiment his Army No.32657 & he has two stripes which I believe shows that he was a corporal. he then moved to the 11th Border Regiment, Army No.28225 & was killed in action but was then a private. COuld you shed any light as to why he was moved to another regiment & could he have been demoted down to private when he was moved?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 9:40 PM

Dear Steve,
Without a service record it is not possible to suggest when Ernest was transferred from one regiment to another. There were two common occasions when men were transferred. The first was on arrival in France, or another theatre of war, when reinforcements always spent some time at a base depot on the coast of France, or in the country in which they served. The base depots could transfer men "in the interests of the service" to regiments that immediately required battle casualty replacements. The second occasion was in early 1918 when the army was re-organised and many battalions were disbanded. But it is not possible to identify when Ernest changed regiments. The loss of his rank as corporal could be explained by a transfer, although a soldier could have his rank taken away after a disciplinary charge. Again, it is not possible to provide a definite answer. His medal card did not record a rank in the Essex Regiment (it was left blank) but did record he was a private in the Border Regiment, which might indicate he had to transfer and became a private on joining the Border Regiment as they might have been already up-to-strength with corporals.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Steve Young
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 6:34 AM

Thank for that info. Much appreciated.
Posted by: Paul
Location: Worthing
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 9:59 AM
Dear Alan i wonder if you can help me with information about my Great Grandfather He was John Courtney Villiers,of the East Surreys,,the only Army number i have is 37858..any information would be of great help...He is a bit of a mystery as i cant even find a birth cert for Him although I have post office records putting His birth date at 5th Dec 1868..it seems that He was also in the 1st Volunteer Batt the Queens prior to WW1,,,any help would be fantastic...kind regards P M Villiers
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 8:01 PM

Dear Paul,
John Courtney Villiers is something of an enigma. When he volunteered to join the Army on 25th September 1914 he was actually over the upper age limit of 35. He stated his age was 43 years and nine months which would have given him a birth year of 1870. He said he was born in Surbiton, Surrey. He may have stated his age as being younger than he was. In 1918, he maintained the same age. In the April 1911 census he stated he was 42 which would have been accurate as he would have been 43 in December 1911.
He stated he had previously served in the 1st Volunteer Battalion The Queen's. This was an archaic title as the 1st Volunteer Battalion (formerly the Surrey Rifles) became the 4th Battalion The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) in 1908. His volunteer service was therefore before 1908. Some members of the 1st Volunteer Battalion offered to fight in South Africa during the Second Anglo Boer War in what were known as Service Companies attached to the regular army 2nd Battalion The Queen's and also some members joined the City Imperial Volunteers which formed a complete battalion known as the CIV.
I have been unable to find any record of his service in The Queen's, or in South Africa. Within two months of his enlistment in 1914, he was promoted to Corporal and it seems likely that previous military service might have mitigated his being over age: the Army was in need of NCOs and experienced men to train recruits.
John enlisted at Croydon and was attested at the depot of the East Surrey Regiment at Kingston upon Thames, with the regimental number 1021. He was posted to the 10th (Reserve) Battalion East Surrey Regiment at Dover on 31 October 1914. The 10th Battalion was a training battalion that remained in the UK and John remained at Dover throughout the war, with a short period of time at Shoreham. He rose through the ranks to become orderly room sergeant by 28th April 1915. He was promoted to Colour Sergeant and then to Warrant Officer Class II as a Company Quarter Master Sergeant on 11th August 1915.
On the 9th June 1916, John would have had the experience of welcoming his son, Guy, into the barracks. Guy served as a lance-corporal alongside his father.
On September 1st 1916, the 10th Battalion changed its title to become the 30th Training Reserve Battalion. John Villiers was allotted a new number TR/10/20743. He remained the CQMS of 30th Training Reserve Battalion until 15th December 1917 when he was posted to the 3rd Battalion East Surrey Regiment at Dover and was allotted the number 37858. Like many soldiers, John had few teeth. The Army medical officers routinely extracted affected teeth without providing dentures. John stated that since 1915 he had been unable to digest ordinary Army food. In 1917 he was suffering from artereo sclerosis. He was medically examined on 22nd January 1918 and was medically discharged as unfit for further service on February 12th 1918. He was granted a lump-sum gratuity of 35 pounds. His conduct was "very good" and he was "honest, sober and industrious". John was 5ft 6ins; had light brown hair and blue eyes with a fresh complexion.
He was awarded a Silver War Badge for being discharged through sickness.
John Courtney Villiers married Marie Eglington (or Eglinton) at St Michael and All Saints' Church, Croydon on 27th January 1897. Their son, Guy Courtney Villiers was born at Perth, Western Australia on 29th August 1897. The birth record (2751/1897) recorded the mother as Marie Eglinton. Three daughters were born in England, Helen Mabel, 20 May 1899, Forest Hill, Sydenham; Nancy, 11 February 1902, New Cross, Deptford; Ethel 21 March 1907, Croydon.
In 1901, John was recorded in the census as being a railway timekeeper. In 1911 he was a contracts agent for the National Telephone Company Ltd. which was taken over and became the General Post Office telephone service on January 1st 1912. He was appointed a contract officer for the GPO in 1912, hence a class 2 civil servant.

Guy Courtney Villiers volunteered to join the Army under the Derby Scheme in December 1915 when he was 18. This was a last call for volunteers before compulsory conscription and men who volunteered returned to their civilian jobs until called up. Guy was called up in June 1916 and joined the 10th Battalion East Surrey Regiment on June 9th. He was promoted to lance-corporal on August 16th 1915 and moved to the 10th Training Reserve Battalion when that was created in September 1916. He was discharged as medically unfit through sickness on 12th December 1916 after serving six months with the colours. He had had an operation on his nose in 1902 which had left him with no vision in his right eye and in 1916 his left eye was failing.
Guy was employed by the Forest Hill Brewery and lived with his mother at 12 Westbury Road, Croydon. He was described as a "clerk now learning engineering".

It has not proved possible to further identify John Courtney Villiers' birth records. He may have been brought up in Surbiton and assumed he was born there. Some records are poorly transcribed with the name Villiers appearing as Nilliers or Villian.

A Mr and Mrs Villiers with "infant child" sailed from Albany as steerage passengers on SS "Austral" which left Sydney for London in May 1898.

There is a further mystery. A John Albert Villiers was born at Coolgardie in Western Australia in 1896 and died aged six weeks. Both his birth registry (162/1896) and death registry entry (239/1896) stated his mother was Muriel Miles and his father was John Courtney Villiers.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Paul
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 8:40 PM

Thankyou so much for your time ,,it has made very interesting reading ..i had heard that John had married a Muriel Miles in Perth and had issue..he remarried in 1997 marrying an English girl (Marie Eglington) and going straight back out to Perth the same year,,(fast mover) John married 3 times,,,the third time he stated that his fathers name was Dudley Villiers,,,the only Dudley i can find is Dudley Villiers-Stuart of Bakers Cross Kent,,,i think He was in the 51st Reg could you please cast a quick eye over this man please,,,once again thankyou so much for your time and energy...kind regards ,,Paul
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 10:06 PM

Dear Paul,
Captain Dudley Villiers-Stuart married Letitia Hutchins of Lydd, at Hythe in June 1869. He had retired from the 51st Foot in May 1869. He was born in 1840 and was the son of Captain William Villiers-Stuart who was born on 21st August 1804, the son of Lord Henry Stuart and Lady Gertrude Amelia Mason-Villiers. William's baptism name was William Stuart. Captain William Villiers-Stuart married Catherine Cox on 1st June 1833. Captain William Villiers-Stuart died on 7th November 1873 aged 69.
It would appear that Dudley has the surname Villiers-Stuart.
The only other Dudley Villiers I have found is in a work of fiction called St Olave's Chase published in 1867 by Daniel A McKinley and serialised in the "Sheffield Independent" (the fictional character was shot by a band of ruffians and left in the hands of a local doctor).
John's marriage certificates should state the name of his father. In February 2000 a researcher posted a message on the internet stating John's father was also called John and was a civil servant. See:
http://genforum.genealogy.com/villiers/messages/3.html
That evidence may have come from his and Marie's marriage certificate. The name of a father on a marriage certificate does not imply the father was alive at the time of marriage. In the 1891 census the most likely reference to Marie Eglington showed she was was born at Battersea and was an 18 year old school governess living with her widowed mother at Christ Church, Croydon, who was "living on her own means" which implied a private income.
I hope that helps,
Kind regards
Alan
Reply from: Paul
Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at 8:38 AM

Thankyou so much for your help,,,,i fear John will have to remain a man of mystery a little while longer...i have found a child on free BDM who was born last quarter of 1868 instead of a christian name ,,they are simply called MALE Villiers,,ill have to try and get the birth cert for that child,,,,once again thank you very much,,,a donation is flying its way to the Legion

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