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The World War 1 Forum (Page 89)

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

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

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

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

Kind regards Rob

Posted by: Teresa {Email left}
Location: Morecambe Lancashire
Date: Tuesday 8th April 2014 at 11:38 AM
Hi Allan I wonder if you could help we are trying to trace my mums grandfather Arthur Hayes Army Cyclist Core no 3777 and 13942 this is all we no he was from lancaster and married and resided there I hope you can help many thanks in advance Teresa
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 8th April 2014 at 6:42 PM

Dear Teresa,
No individual service record has survived for Arthur Hayes, so it is not possible to state his military service. One possible source for identifying his unit might be any surviving pension record card. The Western Front Association holds an archive of 6.5 million pension record cards (PRCs) which are not available elsewhere. They charge for a manual search of the records. See:

With kind regards,
Reply from: Teresa
Date: Tuesday 8th April 2014 at 7:02 PM

Thank you allan
Posted by: Geoff Cooke {Email left}
Location: Nottingham
Date: Monday 7th April 2014 at 3:25 PM
Dear Mr Greveson
I am looking for my grandmothers 1st husband his name was william christmas cooke, he was
born 8th sept 1885
28 netherton road
we think he was in the 1st world war we do not know what happend to him, we have found him in the 1911 census with his wife in sheffield 209 st marys road .
This is the last record we can find of him and did wonder if he was killed in the 1st wold war.
Kind Regards
Geoff Cooke
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 7th April 2014 at 6:22 PM

Dear Geoff,
Because of the way military records were kept, often with initials or one forename, it is not possible to identify a soldier without knowing his regiment and regimental number. William Cooke was born in Middlesex and "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) did not record a William Cooke (with that exact spelling) with a place of birth in Middlesex. Under the 100-year rule of confidentiality public records after the 1911 census are few.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Geoff
Date: Monday 7th April 2014 at 7:38 PM

Dear Alan.
Thankyou for your reply.i was looking on the internet and i found the manchester roll of honour.
the electricity department 1914/1916. i put the name william christmas cooke and found a w.c.cooke.
but again it does not tell you what the w.c stands for and i do not know how to find out .it gives the company as manchester corporation. thankyou again for your reply.
kind regards
geoff cooke
Posted by: Trevor Purnell {Email left}
Location: Tillington W Sussex
Date: Monday 7th April 2014 at 8:31 AM
Dear Alan,

I am really stuck with Private George Peacock 8186, 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (1st Division). Our church Roll of Honour states that he was a regular soldier, born Petworth, Sussex, taken prisoner and died in captivity in Germany on 29th December 1914 (buried Hamburg Cemetery). The CWGC confirms this burial. His Medal Card states he was BEF 1914 with a disembarkation date of 12/8/14, yet he was only entitled to the Victory and British medals. Against his name it only states 'Death'. I have searched the TNA on line catalogue but only came up with his MIC. I just cannot find any real information on this fallen soldier.

Once again grateful thanks for any assistance.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 7th April 2014 at 3:22 PM

Dear Trevor,
George Peacock did qualify for the 1914 Star with Mons clasp (5 Aug 22 Nov 1914), which was referred to at the time as the "mark of distinction to the 1914 Bronze Star".
In the 1911 Census, a George Peacock, aged 26, single, born Petworth, Sussex, was recorded as a private soldier serving with the 2nd Battalion The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at Ghorpuri Barracks, Poona, India.
In the 1901 Census, a George Peacock, born at Tillington, was recorded at Tillington as a bricklayer, aged 16. In the 1891 Census a George Peacock, aged 6, was recorded living at Tillington with his parents, William, a bricklayer, and Fanny Peacock. He was probably born in 1884 (a birth was registered Oct-Dec 1884).
No individual service record has survived for George Peacock. An Army medal rolls index card was created for the qualification of the 1914 Star which was instigated in April 1917. The medal card stated: Campaign: "BEF 1914" which indicated the campaign medal, which was the 1914 Bronze Star. The award of the Mons clasp was then recorded as "clasp". The qualification was contained on the medal roll numbered H/2/2 page 119 which is held at the National Archives as "First World War. 1914 Star: other ranks. Loyal North Lancashire Regiment other ranks: medal rolls H/2-66. Pages 3-185. 1914 Star. C 454."
On the medal card in the column "B" "present situation" was recorded "death", which was more usually recorded as "dead". In 1919 when the post-war medals were instigated the original card was rubber stamped with the additional British War and Victory medals.
The CWGC Debt of Honour recorded his burial at Hamburg on December 29th 1914. The CWGC states: "During the First World War, Hamburg Cemetery was used for the burial of more than 300 Allied servicemen who died as prisoners of war. In 1923, it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries. Hamburg was one of those chosen, and burials were brought into the cemetery from 120 burial grounds in Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, Hanover, Saxony, Brunswick and Westphalia. The majority died as prisoners, but a few were sailors whose bodies were washed ashore on the Frisian Islands".
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) stated he was from Petworth and "died" on 29th December 1914 with the 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. (As his death occurred in Germany it would not have been known how he died).
It is probable that George died of wounds, after being taken prisoner. It is not possible to state when he was taken prisoner. Details of prisoners of war were recorded by the German Red Cross and are held in the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The records are presently inaccessible but they will be put online in August 2014.
The 1st Loyal North Lancashire Regiment served in the 2nd Infantry Brigade in the 1st Division. They entrained at Farnborough on August 11th 1914 and embarked at Southampton. Their ship collided with another vessel in the Solent and the battalion made a night crossing during the evening of the 12th/13th August, landing on the 13th August. The date complies with George's medal card, indicating George was with the 1st Battalion at the beginning of the war. Either he had been posted from the 2nd Battalion, which was still in India, or he had been mobilized from the reserves. (A common enlistment was at a man's 18th birthday for 12 years to be served as seven years with the colours (eight if the seventh year was overseas) and five with the reserve. Had George enlisted at 18, in 1903, his eighth year would have been in India and he could have been transferred to the reserve after eight years in 1911).
George could have been taken prisoner any time after engaging with the enemy. On August 21st 1914 the 1st Battalion started its march towards Belgium. On 2nd September 1914 they were the last battalion to cross the bridge over the Marne before it was destroyed by the Royal Engineers. Between September 13th and 15th the battalion suffered 400 men killed, wounded or missing during The Battle of the Aisne with they advanced on the enemy. Their next major fight was at Bixchoote near Ypres on October 13th. On October 31st they attacked Gueluveldt (Geluveld) but had to withdraw and were forced to leave behind their wounded.
After fighting at Veldpoek on 7th November 1914, the 1st Battalion was reduced to two officers and 100 rifles. On 18th November the Battalion's first phase of the war ended and they moved to Hazebrouck for refitting and remained out of the line until 19th December 1914 when they were called forward to attack the enemy trenches in front of an orchard at La Quinque Rue. The Battalion moved through Le Touret and attacked from Rue de L'Epinette on the night of December 21st/ 22nd. By the end of the day on December 22nd 1914 they had lost 408 men killed, wounded, or missing.
The Battalion withdrew and on December 29th 1914 were in billets at Cambrin.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Trevor Purnell
Date: Monday 7th April 2014 at 3:44 PM


Thank you so much for your reply, full of detail as usual. I can only extend my sincere thanks to you once again.


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 6th August 2014 at 1:13 PM

Dear Trevor,
The International Red Cross record cards are now online. See:

Search by surname and then scroll down the results on the left to locate the regiment. Scroll through the results and hover over the image to click on "more information about this person".
George Peacock was captured at Ypres and a prisoner at Gustrow where he died (verstorben) 29.12.14 and was initially buried in a single grave (Einzel Grab) No 47.
There is a list of abbreviations at

There are many photographs of the camp at the German website:

With kind regards,
Posted by: Rb3 {No contact email}
Location: Craigavon
Date: Sunday 6th April 2014 at 8:48 PM
Hello Alan,

I discovered my ancestor Arthur B J McArdle ( Irish) enlisted in 1917 with the USA military (Bronx NYC) . I discovered his registration card in Ancestory.co.uk. I would like more detail of where he served and how long for. It appears to be more difficult than the British WW1 records. Can you please advise ?


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 6th April 2014 at 9:52 PM

Dear RB,
An Arthur B J McArdle travelled to New York on RMS Lusitania from Liverpool to New York on 17th April 1915.
The existence of a draft registration card does not necessarily mean a man served in the war. The United States of America declared war on Germany on 6th April 1917 and on 18th May 1917, the Selective Service Act required every man in the United States between the ages of eighteen and forty-five to register for the draft. There were three drafts depending on the man's year of birth.
Many documents from the First World War (known as "World War One" by the Americans) were destroyed in an accidental fire. Those that have survived are held by the National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63138, USA. The starting point for applications is shown at:

American soldiers who were killed during the war are commemorated by the American Battle Monuments Commission at:

With kind regards,

Did you know? America was not an ally of the British in the First World War but an "associated power" because they could not bring themselves to be again under the control of an English monarch after the War of Independence (1775 1783) in which 13 colonies shook off British rule to become the United States. The Americans have always fought under their own commanders which is why there have been American supreme commanders over British forces from D-Day through United Nations forces to the Gulf War (2 August 1990 28 February 1991) and the invasion of Iraq (19 March 2003 to 1 May 2003).

Posted by: Catherine Phythian {Email left}
Location: Loddiswell
Date: Sunday 6th April 2014 at 9:03 AM
Hi Alan,

I hope that you will be able to help my 85 year old uncle. He has a lot of items and documents relating to his father's service in World War 1 (enlistment papers, pay book, cap badge etc) but what he would really like to know is in which theatre of war his father actually served & when. This is what we do know:

Joseph Bardens, DOB 12/8/1898, enlisted Bude 15/5/1916 in Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, trained at the Curragh and at some point transferred to be a Gunner in the Field Artillery, service number 652072

Any information or pointers on where to look would be much appreciated.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 6th April 2014 at 7:03 PM

Dear Catherine,
No individual service record has survived for Joseph Bardens so it is not possible to state his military record. He was born in 1898 and would have been compulsorily conscripted on or after his 18th birthday. An Army medal rolls index card showed he had the regimental numbers 652072 and 184127 in the Royal Field Artillery. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The regimental number 652072 was a Territorial Force number allotted to the two Edinburgh-based Lowland Brigades of the Royal Field, Artillery early in 1917. The 2nd/1st Lowland Brigade was also referred to as 325 Brigade RFA and served in the 65th Division and was in Ireland from February 1917. It did not serve overseas, but men from the Brigade were sent overseas.
His medal index card indicates he went abroad as 652072 of the 2nd/1st Lowland Brigade RFA but was transferred to another Brigade that was not in the Territorials and was given another regimental number, 184127. It is not possible to state where he served or with which unit he served overseas.

With kind regards,
Reply from: Catherine Phythian
Date: Monday 7th April 2014 at 4:47 PM


Many thanks for your assistance. Its a pity that we will not know the individual service details but we will follow up on the generic information about 325 Brigade RFA and the role of Drivers and Gunners generally.

Posted by: Jim Regan {Email left}
Location: Garden City Ny Usa
Date: Saturday 5th April 2014 at 8:14 PM
I am trying to find World War l information regarding a relative Private William O'Donnell 393 . He was in the 9th Bn. Royal Munster Fusiliers Reg#7441. He died in action on Jan 8 1916 and buried at the Ninth Avenue Cemetery Pas de Calais France. plot 4. he was born in Ardpatrick, Co Limerick. he may have also been in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Reg. 32674. any information would be greatly appreciated Jim Regan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 5th April 2014 at 9:25 PM

Dear Jim,
These regimental numbers refer to two individuals. William O'Donnell, 393, Royal Munster Fusiliers served with the 9th Battalion in France from 19 December 1915. He was killed in action on 8th January 1916. There is no surviving individual record for him as most records were destroyed in the London Blitz of 1940. The 9th Battalion served with 48th Infantry Brigade in the 16th Division before being disbanded on 30th May 1916.
William O'Donnell, 7441, Royal Munster Fusiliers served with the 1st Battalion at Gallipoli from 25th April 1915. He survived the war and lived in Manchester.
The Nineth Avenue Cemetery was named after a trench near the village of Haisnes which was in German hands. It contains 40 graves all of which are for men of the Cameron highlanders and date from 1915 apart from two: William O'Donnell and Lance Corporal M. Punch of the 9th Royal Munster Fusiliers, buried side by side.
The 9th Battalion was raised after the outbreak of war in 1914 and trained at Kilworth until January 1915 when it moved to Ballyvonare near Buttevant. In June 1915 it moved to Ballyhooly near Fermoy and in September 1915 it moved to England to train at Blackdown, near Aldershot. It crossed to France on 20th December 1915. The 9th Battalion moved into billets at Noeux-les-Mines at midnight on 21st/22nd December 1915 and remained there until December 27th when they moved to back billets at Nedonchell. They remained there until 4th January 1916 when they started a six-day stint of learning trench routine with the 1st Black Watch and the London Scottish in trenches at Philosophe, a small mining village straddling the road from Loos to Bethune, just outside Loos, before Mazingarbe. William and Corporal Punch were killed on their second day in the trench.
Once the 16th Division started fighting in earnest in the Loos sector they took over the Philosophe Cemetery, but William's death was an early event and he was buried in the Cameron's cemetery.
William qualified for the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Jim Regan
Date: Saturday 5th April 2014 at 11:04 PM

I greatly appreciate your quick response to my inquiry and the information you were able to provide regarding my ancestor William O'Donnell. all best wishes Jim Regan
Posted by: Allan {Email left}
Location: Dundee
Date: Friday 4th April 2014 at 7:13 PM
Looking for information about a James Lyall who was a private in the Cameron Highlanders in 1917.
many thanks
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 4th April 2014 at 10:31 PM

Dear Allan,
It is not possible to positively identify records of a soldier by name only. There were at least two James Lyalls of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. The first was aged 43 in 1914 and was named James Alexander Lyall, of 17 Cheyne Street, Edinburgh. He was not considered fit enough for war service and was discharged on October 16th 1914.
The second was James Lyall, regimental number 9240, who was probably his son, who appears to have been serving in India with the 2nd Battalion when war broke out. He had enlisted as a boy bandsman at the age of 14, on 6th February 1912. He served at Aldershot until going to India on 13th December 1912, returning to the UK on 14th October 1914. The 2nd Battalion then went to France where James was wounded on 12th January 1915. (He would have been below active service age at 17 when that happened). One record says he was wounded in the hand the other in the head, which was probably confusion over hand-written records. James returned to the UK on 13th January 1915 on the hospital ship "St David". He remained in England until January 2nd 1917 when he was sent to France via the 19th Infantry Base Depot from where he was posted to the 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders, joining them on 21 January 1917. The 1st Battalion served in the 1st Infantry Brigade in the 1st Division. See:

James remained with the Battalion as part of the British Army of Occupation in Germany until 15th April 1919 and then remained with the Battalion in the UK where he was appointed a lance-corporal until seeking his discharge on 10th July 1920 when he passed onto the Reserve. He gave his address as 17 Cheyne Street, Edinburgh, where he returned to become a Constable. In 1922 he elected to serve for 4 years in the "D" Army Reserve which was for former soldiers who volunteered to extend their part-time reserve commitment.
James Lyall, 9240 Cameron Highlanders, qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

There was a third candidate recorded as J. Lyall 5721 Cameron highlanders, but he appears to have been named George Lyall in other records.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Allan
Date: Saturday 5th April 2014 at 2:02 PM

Hi Alan,
the third candidate could possibly be the one I am looking for because his sons middle name was George and he possibly belonged the Inverness area, he married a Catherine Jane Mac Donald on the 1st of April 1918 at Rosskeen in Ross & Cromarty when he was still a private in the Cameron Highlanders hope this may help. many thanks Allan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 5th April 2014 at 9:19 PM

Dear Allan,
The third candidate was named George Lyall, born 1883 the son of William Lyall of Cathcart Place Edinburgh. He married a Catherine Patterson in December 1918 and later lived at Caledonian Place, Edinburgh.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Becca {Email left}
Location: East Yorks
Date: Wednesday 2nd April 2014 at 11:07 PM
Hello again Alan,
I have found yet again another military man for our records. I wonder if you can help me with Herbert John Hearse
born 1876 in Radstock. Somerset. I believe he first served with the Middlesex Regt, then with the Devonshire Regt where he became a Second Lieutenant and later Major H J Hearse.
He married Dora E Terry in Farnham in 1905 and emigrated in 1920 to America with their two sons.
I should be most grateful for any information you may find on his military career.

With thanks

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 3rd April 2014 at 5:25 PM

Dear Becca,
Officers' service records from the First World War are held at The National Archives at Kew. Copies can be ordered online (charges apply). See:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Becca
Date: Thursday 3rd April 2014 at 5:33 PM

Thank you once again Alan. I now know where to go for them.

Kind regards
Posted by: Becca {Email left}
Location: East Yorks
Date: Tuesday 1st April 2014 at 7:56 PM
Dear Alan,
I wonder if you could solve this mystery for me. I am researching Rev.Thomas Dorsey Dodsworth born 1867 in Kirkella, Yorkshire, the son of Gregory Dodsworth and Sarah Dorsey. During the WW1 he appears to have been going back and forth to America, and though I cannot find any military connection, there is a referral in his obituary to his being in France, and involvement with the YMCA.
Would he have been enlisted into a military unit or not, and if so are there any records about him?
Otherwise, have you any suggestion as to where I can go next, to find out more as to why he made so many journeys.

He died in Devon in 1934

With many thanks and kind regards

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 1st April 2014 at 8:52 PM

Dear Becca,
A civilian medal index card showed the Reverend Thomas D. Dodsworth qualified for the British War Medal for service in Salonica after 18th November 1916 with the Young Men's Christian Association, an organisation that provided comforts and canteens for soldiers, known famously as the "YMCA Huts" displaying the inverted red triangle symbol.
Thomas Dodsworth had been a Primitive Methodist lay evangelist preacher from about 1891 training at Aston, Birmingham, under Joseph Odell.
It is possible he was fund raising in America.
The Archive of the YMCA (1838-1996) is held at The University of Birmingham Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections. See:

With kind regards,
Reply from: Becca
Date: Tuesday 1st April 2014 at 9:05 PM

Hello Alan,
As ever you turn up trumps and are able to give help where needed. Thank you so much again, and I shall go from here and look up more from the site you suggest.



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