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

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Posted by: Julie {Email left}
Location: Ohio Usa
Date: Monday 19th September 2011 at 4:26 AM
Hi Alan,
You had helped me some time ago and I thought maybe I could ask you another question. My great Uncle, Franz Schauer, fought in WWI in the Austro-Hungarian Military.
He was born in Gottschee, Austria, and he may have been in "Infanterieregiment Ritter von Milde Nr 17.

According to his obituary he "volunteered at the start of the war, was captured the third day, seriously injured and buffered about Siberia for 6 years". According to my research I believe he fought in one of The Battles of Galacia (Battle of Komarow, Battle of Krasnik, Battle of Gnila Lipa, or Battle of Rawa). Probably in Gnila Lipa or Rawa, because those were Russian victories. He ended up as a POW in Beresovka camp. My question is how do I confirm if IR Nr 17, was deployed for one of these battles?

Also, I am not sure if he was actually in IR Nr 17. He was in the Military, probably IR Nr 17 and then he may have finished his service. When the war started, he "volunteered", does that mean he had to go back to IR Nr 17 or is it possible that he may have been put into a different branch of the military?

Any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Julie
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 19th September 2011 at 5:03 PM

Dear Julie,
From the information you have, it would seem likely that Franz Schauer was captured at Gnila Lipa if he served in IR Nr 17. The Krainerisches Infanterie Regiment "Ritter von Milde" Nr. 17 served in the Imperial and Royal Army of the Austro-Hungarian and Bohemian Monarchy which was abbreviated to k.u.k. (kaiserlich und königliche Armee). IR 17 was part of No 6. Infanterie Truppendivision which served in III. Armeekorps.
III. Armeekorps fought with Army group Kövess (part of the 2nd Army) which was involved at Gnila Lipa (26th 30th August 1914). The battle of Rava Ruska was fought on 3-11 September 1914 but I can't say of IR Nr 17 took part. These were both part of the "Battles of Lemberg" when the Austro-Hungarian forces engaged the Russian Army on the borders of Russian Poland and Galacia.
As Franz's obituary stated he was captured "on the third day", the battle at Gnila Lipa is the more likely.

Without sight of regimental records, it is not possible to confirm where or when he served. The two sources of primary evidence are likely to be the State Archives of Austria for army records or the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland, for POW records. The ICRC has suspended inquiries into the POW records of the First World War while they are being preserved and prepared for digital images. The project will be concluded in early 2014.
The State Archives of Austria can be contacted through:

http://www.austria.gv.at/site/5003/default.aspx

Kind regards,
Alan




Posted by: Chelseaboy54 {Email left}
Location: Felixstowe
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 11:48 PM
I was wondering if you caould help me trace my great uncles service history please. His name was David Patterson, service number 19166 and he was a private rifle man and was killed on 1/10/1918. His name is on the Dadizeele cemetry list if that is any help to you.
regards chelseaboy34
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 19th September 2011 at 12:03 PM

No individual service record appears to have survived for Rifleman David Patterson, so it is not possible to state his war service precisely. An Army Medal Rolls Index card recorded he had the regimental number 13/19166 in the Royal Irish Rifles. This indicates he enlisted in the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles which was raised in County Down in September 1914. The CWGC Debt of Honour and "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he died on 1 October 1918 while serving with the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.
It is not possible to say at what stage he was posted from the 13th to the 12th Battalion. However, the 13th Battalion disbanded and was merged with the 11th Battalion on the 13th November 1917 to form the 11/13th Battalion, so it is feasible he was posted the 12th Battalion about that time.
The 11th; 12th and 13th Battalions served in the 108th Infantry Brigade with the 36th (Ulster) Division. David Patterson arrived in France on 6th October 1915 and the Brigade's first major engagement was the opening stage of The Battle of the Somme in the first two weeks of July, 1916 when the 36th Division captured Montauban, Mametz, Fricourt, Contalmaison and La Boisselle.
In 1917 the Division fought at the Battle of Messines (7-14 June), including the capture of Wytschaete; the Battle of Langemarck (16-18 Aug); Cambrai and the tank attack (20-21 Nov); the Capture of Bourlon Wood (23-28 Nov) and the German counter attacks (30 Nov-3 Dec).
In 1918 the Division fought on the Somme again before moving north to Flanders. Their major engagements were the Battle of St. Quentin (21-23 March); the Actions of the Somme crossings (24-25 March) the Battle of Rosieres (26-27 March); the Battle of Messines (10-11 April); the Battle of Bailleul (13-15 April) including the defence of Neuve Eglise; the First Battle of Kemmel (17-19 April).
These were followed by the Advance in Flanders (18 Aug-6 Sep) and the Battle of Ypres 1918, sometimes called the Fifth Battle of Ypres (28 Sep-2 Oct). This was the final breakout in Flanders aimed at re-taking the city of Liege. David Patterson was killed in action on October 1st 1918.
Early in the morning of 1st October 1918, the Royal Irish Rifles advanced to the attack at Dadizeele, to the east of Ypres, but their advance was observed by an enemy observation post in the church tower of Ledeghem which was able to direct effective machine-gun fire onto the attacking soldiers.
David Patterson is buried at Dadizeele New British Cemetery.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Chelseaboy54
Date: Monday 19th September 2011 at 2:37 PM

I can't thankyou enough Alan,
this something i have thought of since my childhood and it is so moving to know that one of my ancestors did so much to defend our country.
I do not know if any one else in the family know any of this. I must print this off and send to my aunt in Kilkeel, she is Davids niece, i think she will be so pleased with this small bit of history.
Once again thankyou from the bottom of my heart.
Kind regards
Paul alias chelseaboy54


Posted by: George
Location: Newtownards
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 7:53 PM
I have just found out that my Grandfather DAVID McKEE born 1908 in Ballyobegan, County Down, Ireland served in the RAF during WW2 , at time of enlistment he may have lived in Ballywalter, his father was also David McKee and mother Edith McKee, is there any way of finding out more about his service.

George
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 8:31 PM

Dear George,
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

If the person whose record you seek died fewer than 25 years ago a restriction is placed on the information that will be provided. If you are not the Next of Kin and do not have the consent of the Next of Kin, then for a period of 25 years following the date of death the only information that will be disclosed is: Surname, Forename, Rank, Service, Service Number, Regiment/Corps, Place of Birth, Age, Date of Death, the date an individual joined the service and the date of leaving.

After this 25 year period then, depending on what information is held, an individual's record of service can be disclosed.

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 RAF" found under "Related Pages". Otherwise use a general enquirer's form. A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to " HMG Sub Account 3627" and sent to: DPA Team, 3rd Party RAF Disclosures, Room 15, Trenchard Hall, RAF Cranwell, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 8HB.

Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: Cheyrules {Email left}
Location: Enfield
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 12:41 PM
Can you help. I have a old sepia photo of what I thought was my grandad. He is wearing a Royal Scots Greys uniform. Which is Grey with Eagle badge on collar. I also have a plaque which is black glass with what looks like silver tin foil with the eagle and royal scots greys and also Waterloo above. My mum didn't think grandad was in the army. I have found a J G England served in 5th Dragoon Guards from 1899 and was demobed 0n 13.8.1902. are they the Royal Scots Greys. His regiment no is either 5983 or 3934 as two numbers are listed. Any information on him would be gratefully received. Could he be the one in the photo. Thank you in advance
Reply from: Cheyrules
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 4:44 PM

Sorry forgot to say I think JG England could be my Great grandfather
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 4:45 PM

Dear Cheyrules,
The Royal Scots Greys were the 2nd Dragoons. This was a different regiment to the 5th Dragoon Guards. The man in the photograph would appear to have served in the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys).
You would need to compare the photograph with any others you may have to be certain it is in fact a photo of your grandfather.
The J G England who served in the 5th Dragoon Guards (recorded as no 3924 as well as 3934) also served in South Africa with the 7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal's) with the number 5983. He departed for England on 13th August 1902 and joined the Army Reserve in February 1903. His name was John George England, whose father was Montague England of Edmonton London, and who later lived in Devon.
It is not possible to successfully search for and identify a soldier's records without knowing his name, age and place of birth. It would appear you are looking for someone with the surname England who served in the 2nd Dragoons.
If you have your grandfather's birth details, it may be possible to estimate when he served in the Army. If he served before the First World War, you can then search for his discharge records, if they have survived, and if he received a pension, on the findmypast.co.uk website. If he served during the First World War you can search for his records on the ancestry.co.uk website. Should you be able to go the National Archives at Kew, you can search without paying online charges for the records.

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Cheyrules
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 4:59 PM

OK thanks very much, my Grandfather was born in 1903 his name was Montague John Leslie Albert England (but always went by the name of Bert) my mum thinks that maybe he was in army after WW1 and before WW2 and served in India. He married and lived in Edmonton.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 6:16 PM

As Bert served after the First World War (he was born 13th November 1903, so would have been 15 when the Armistice was signed in 1918) his service record would be 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.

The death of Montague John L. A. England was registered in the July, Aug, September quarter of 1975 (GRO Deaths, Enfield Middlesex, vol. 12 page 0551).
Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: Ray Denham {Email left}
Location: Blackwood
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 12:40 PM
Lt. Frederick Charles Gleeson 111073 (WWII) RASC

Hi Alan

Have found some information about my wifes relative Frederick Gleeson (born 1892) which showed he was made a temporary Lieutenant on16 August 1914 (London Gazette) and was awarded the War Medal, Victory Medal & Star (medal lists).

Then on the 11th Dec 1939 (from the London Gazette supplement) it says that (along with others) he was to be a Lieutenant, at which time he was in fact a Captain. He is shown on the UK Army Roll of Honour 1939 - 1945 with his death recorded 6 March 1940.

He is buried in Acton Cemetary and I have just requested a photo of his grave.

Are you able to advise if his army record is available and I would especially like to know if he stayed in the Service or re-enlisted at the start of WWII, and how he died.

Thank you

Ray
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 3:28 PM

Dear Ray,

The service records of officers who served in both world wars have, in general, survived. Those for the First World War are at the National Archives at Kew. However, if Frederick Charles Gleeson continued to serve after 1922 his file should have been retained by the Ministry of Defence. His appointment as a Lieutenant on the General List in 1939 indicated he was "late of the RASC" which implies he served after 1922 and was a retired Captain. There appears to have been a family tradition as what appears to be his father and a brother had served in the ASC as regulars (1911 census).
His death certificate should record the cause of death. It can be ordered online (cost GBP 9-25) from the General Register Office who have a website. The details are:

GLEESON, Frederick C.; Surrey South Western; 1940, Jan-Feb-Mar; age 48; Volume: 2A Page: 1258

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

If the person whose record you seek died less than 25 years ago a restriction is placed on the information that will be provided. If you are not the Next of Kin and do not have the consent of the Next of Kin, then for a period of 25 years following the date of death the only information that will be disclosed is: Surname, Forename, Rank, Service, Service Number, Regiment/Corps, Place of Birth, Age, Date of Death, the date an individual joined the service and the date of leaving.

After this 25 year period then, depending on what information is held, an individual's record of service can be disclosed.

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: Ray Denham
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 3:45 PM

Thank you Allan, the leads will certainly make things easier. The family tradition goes further than just brother & father (father being a Lt.Col & OBE) but the grandfather & greatgrandfather also served as regular soldiers as did an uncle and 3 cousins. The uncle was a Lieutenant in ASC,died in Boer War 1900, one cousin KIA 1917 France and other 2 cousins being Lieutenants. Also a nephew of Fredericks was a flying officer in WWII.

Thanks again

Ray


Posted by: Katy131 {Email left}
Location: Southampton
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 10:03 AM
James MITCHELL, Private in 8th Regiment of Foot.

My great-great-great grandfather, James MITCHELL is my current Brick Wall. Other Rootschatters have suggested I contact you, even though I understand your specialty is WW1, to see if you can help. We have little information about him but he is listed in the "Non Effective Records" as having joined the 8th Regiment of Foot on 3 January 1825 at the age of 20. He was born in Ballyroney, Co Down and died 23 April 1849 - we believe on his way back wounded from India. I am unable to find any Army papers, birth, marriage or death records apart from this and research is complicated because there was at least one other James MITCHELL in the same regiment at the same time. We know his wife was Sarah Davis from their son's birth certificate and I have found her birth in Nova Scotia on the LDS site. I am particularly keen to find more details of James's birth and/or marriage so I can try to trace the line a little further back as family stories indicate he is connected to James MITCHELL, the Covenanter, who was martyred in Edinburgh in 1678. I would be also interested to learn more about his army life and where he would have been posted, etc. Any information at all that you can give would be both interesting and helpful. Thank you in advance.
Reply from: Katy131
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 10:11 AM

PS: On the "Non Effective Records" listing, his "Reg No" is 285. Not sure if this is his army number or not, but it may be of use.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 3:29 PM

Dear Katy,
The information you are seeking would require some extensive searching at The National Archives.
Military records in general show a soldier's enlistment; his time in the service; his discharge and any pension. The enlistment record went into his file and would be found with his discharge papers. The surviving discharge papers are those for soldiers who received a pension. As James Mitchell died in 1849, he may not have received a pension and therefore his documents may not have been kept by the Army. He may have been made "non effective" by sickness, injury or death. There does not appear to be a discharge record for James Mitchell of the 8th Foot, so his enlistment and discharge details may be lost. You can search them online at www.findmypast.co.uk

Muster rolls and pay lists recorded the enlistment date, movements and discharge of soldiers. Musters were taken at regular intervals (monthly or quarterly) and recorded a lot of detail about locations, names, ranks, pay and discharge. The surviving muster records are at the National Archives in Catalogue series WO 12, filed by regiment.

Description books survive for the period 1795 to 1900. These provide a description of the soldier (height, eyes, hair tattoos) as a form of identity. They also provide information on age, place of birth, trade and service. They are held in Catalogue series WO 25/266 688.WO 25 also contains casualty lists arranged by regiment. These note name, rank, birthplace and next of kin.

To know where he served, it is necessary to know in which battalion of the 8th Foot he served. The two regular battalions generally alternated their service at home and abroad in peacetime. The 8th Foot became the "King's Regiment" which became the King's Liverpool Regiment. Their museum may be able to help with locations. Museums do not hold service records, but they may hold muster rolls or other records of genealogical value. Knowing where he served would enable searches to be made for his marriage.

There is some useful advice on researching the King's Regiment at:

http://yourarchives.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php?title=Biographical_Research:_The_King%27s_Regiment

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Katy131
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 3:50 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you for taking the time to give this information. I have already searched some of the records you recommend, but other leads are gratefully received.

Thanks again!

Katy


Posted by: Arranroots {Email left}
Location: Cheltenham
Date: Saturday 17th September 2011 at 1:58 PM
Alexander Kelso FLECK MM, Service Number 14677, 16th Battalion Highland Light Infantry.

This man was my Grandpa's cousin and I have his Military Medal. It seems he died on 1st July 1916 in France and Rootschatters have suggested I ask here about his service record (if it survives). I'd also love to know how he earned his medal - apparently it was awarded prior to the incident that caused his death.
Do HLI Diaries survive that might help?
He is wrongly named as Andrew K FLECK on the CWGC site. I have seen his medal card online which shows this is the same man and family records attest to his (unusual) name.
Any help please?

Kind regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 17th September 2011 at 4:41 PM

Dear Arranroots,
No individual service record has survived for Alexander Fleck. His service would reflect that of the
16th (Service) Battalion (2nd Glasgow) Highland Light Infantry which was a Pals battalion formed mainly from the members of the Glasgow Boys' Brigade. Alexander enlisted at Glasgow. ("Soldiers Died in the Great War") The 16th Battalion was raised "in one go" on September 2nd 1914 and was financed by the Lord Provost and city of Glasgow before it was taken over by the War Office on July 1st 1915. The Battalion went to France, via Boulogne on 23rd November 1915 and served as the Pioneer Battalion under the command of the 32nd Division. Since the days of the Militia in the 1750s, the army has always required a proportion of men to be "pioneers" carrying tools as well as weapons, to prepare defences; roads and bridges. The Pioneer battalion was deployed by the Divisional commander to assist the Royal Engineers, so placing them in a given location requires their war diary. The 16th HLI war diary for 1916 is held at the National Archives at Kew in London, in Catalogue reference WO 95/2403 "16 Battalion Highland Light Infantry. 32 Division Date: 1915 1918"

On the opening day of the Battle of the Somme 1916 the 16th HLI was in the front line, assigned to take part in the first assault, near Mouquet Farm ("Mucky Farm"). The Battalion suffered very heavy losses in the first ten minutes.

Alexander Fleck was a Lance-serjeant (as it was spelled at the time). He was 28 years old when he died. His death record indicated he was 29 years old (GRO Scotland Service Returns/120/AF 0385) however he had been born on 21st August 1887, the son of William Fleck and his wife Margaret (maiden surname Kelso). (GRO Scotland births Renfrew 564/03 0723).

His Military Medal was awarded posthumously "His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Non-commissioned Officers and Men, since deceased, who have been -killed in action or died of wounds or disease subsequent to the date of the award of the Military Medal to them by the Commander-in-Chief in the Field." (London Gazette and Edinburgh Gazette 19 February 1917 page 1759).
The citation for the award was presented with the medal and was generally the only copy.
There is a published history of the Battalion which might mention his award. For details See:

http://books.national-army-museum.ac.uk/history-of-the-16th-battalion-the-highland-light-infantry-city-pr-26148.html

There is a website for the battalion. see:
http://www.glesga.ukpals.com/folk/forces5a.htm

The most fruitful source of information might be the local newspapers of the time, as they would have followed the exploits of a Pals battalion from Glasgow. His local paper at Gourock might have recorded him. See:
http://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/education-and-learning/libraries/local-and-family-history/
and
http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/Residents/Library_Services/Family_Local_History/

You might consider researching the Boys' Brigade connection.

Alexander Fleck MM is commemorated on the town's war memorial at Gourock. See;
http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=914

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 17th September 2011 at 9:17 PM

Dear Arranroots,
I am sorry but I've realised the "Pioneer" connection does not apply to Alexander's service as the Battalion did not become a Pioneer Battalion until after he had been killed. Therefore a better reply is as follows:

No individual service record has survived for Alexander Fleck. His wartime service would reflect that of the 16th (Service) Battalion (2nd Glasgow) Highland Light Infantry which was a Pals battalion formed mainly from the members of the Glasgow Boys' Brigade. The B.B. was founded in Glasgow. Alexander enlisted at Glasgow ("Soldiers Died in the Great War"). The 16th Battalion was raised "in one go" on September 2nd 1914 and was financed by the Lord Provost and city of Glasgow before it was taken over by the War Office on July 1st 1915. The Battalion went to France, via Boulogne on 23rd November 1915 and served in the 97th Infantry Brigade in the 32nd Division.
The 16th HLI war diary for 1916 is held at the National Archives at Kew in London, in Catalogue reference WO 95/2403 "16 Battalion Highland Light Infantry. 32 Division Date: 1915 1918"

On the opening day of The Battle of the Somme 1916 the 16th HLI was in the front line assigned to take part in the first assault, near Mouquet Farm ("Mucky Farm"). The Battalion suffered very heavy losses in the first ten minutes. This was their first major engagement.

Alexander Fleck was a Lance-serjeant (as it was spelled at the time). He was 28 years old when he died. His death record indicated he was 29 years old (GRO Scotland Service Returns/120/AF 0385) however he had been born Alexander Fleck on 21st August 1887, the son of William Fleck and his wife Margaret (maiden surname Kelso). His father was a river pilot (GRO Scotland births Renfrew 564/03 0723).

His Military Medal was awarded posthumously: "His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Non-commissioned Officers and Men, since deceased, who have been -killed in action or died of wounds or disease- subsequent to the date of the award of the Military Medal to them by the Commander-in-Chief in the Field." (London Gazette 19 February 1917 page 1759 and Edinburgh Gazette). The act of bravery could have been on the day he died the medal was instigated on March 25th 1916 for individual or collective bravery, so it can only have been earned in that three month period. The confirmation was made by the King, after Alexander's death.
The citation for the award would have been presented with the medal and was generally the only copy.
There is a published history of the Battalion which might mention his award. For details see:

http://books.national-army-museum.ac.uk/history-of-the-16th-battalion-the-highland-light-infantry-city-pr-26148.html

There is a website for the Glasgow battalions. See:
http://www.glesga.ukpals.com/folk/forces5a.htm

The most fruitful source of information might be the local newspapers of the time, as they would have followed the exploits of a Pals battalion from Glasgow. His local paper at Gourock might have recorded him. See:
http://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/education-and-learning/libraries/local-and-family-history/
and
http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/Residents/Library_Services/Family_Local_History/

You might consider researching the Boys' Brigade connection in case he was a member.

L/Sjt Alexander Fleck MM is commemorated on the town's war memorial at Gourock. See;
http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=914

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Arranroots
Date: Saturday 17th September 2011 at 9:34 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you so much for your comprehensive and informative reply. There's enough there to keep me going for months and although I am experienced in family history I would have struggled with military records. I am indebted to you for sharing your knowledge.

Kind regards, Arranroots


Posted by: Michael M O Donald {Email left}
Location: New Hyde Park Nys Usa
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 9:41 PM
Hello, I am looking for information on my great aunt Henrietta Donald/Clark's son, George Clark.George was born 1898 and died Nov. 13,1916. emlisted in the Walworht Surrey, rank 6/coporal, regiment Queens Royal w. Surrey,regiment 1sr battalion. #S947. He was killed at Aldershot. Is there information on what happened to him,where he was buried? His father was Georg Clark.Can you tell me about Aldershot? Do you have any information on his other brothers?Robert C. I was told that three sons where killed in the First WW..
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 17th September 2011 at 12:08 AM

No individual service record for George Clark has survived. An Army Medal rolls index card for George Clark, S/947 The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) recorded that 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 serve abroad until after January 1st 1916.
The CWGC Debt of Honour and "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he died on 3rd November 1916 in France while serving with the 1st Battalion The Queen's. This provides evidence only that he was with that battalion on the date he died. The 1st Battalion The Queen's had been in France since 13th August 1914, so George Clark was apparently part of a draft of reinforcements that arrived after January 1st 1916. His death is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, in France, for soldiers who fought on the Somme and have no marked grave.
The 1st Battalion The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) served with the 100th Infantry Brigade in the 33rd Division. On 3rd November 1916 they were at Guillemont on the Somme in France where they took part in a attack on a position known as Baritska Trench.

You can download the battalion's war diary for the period from the UK National Archives website for a charge of GBP 3-50. See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?queryType=1&resultcount=1&Edoc_Id=8199414

Aldershot was, and still is, an extensive military garrison and administrative centre for the British Army in England.

Kind regards,
Alan


Posted by: Jemima
Location: Derby
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 9:02 PM
Hello Alan,
Am really sorry but posted a previous message and forgot to say that my grandads name was Alexander Beaumont.
Thanks Jemima!


Posted by: Alex Beaumont
Location: Fife Scotland
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 8:48 PM
Hello Alan,
I am researching my family tree and have come unstuck with my grandad. I have no elder relatives to corroborate this info , so thought you may be able to help.
The only info i have is that he was in the Coal miners Battalion, (Northumberland Fusiliers) where he was based in south shields.
I have been told he was in the battle of the Somme and suffered mental health problems when he returned.
I think he was born in Bowhills ,Scotland, not sure of date. But he did marry Margaret pearce in 1919 at Auchterderran, Scotland.
Margaret was born 1896 so i would imagine he may have been born around that time.
I hope there is enough info for you to help!
Thankyou
Jemima Parker
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 11:09 PM

Dear Jemima,

There is no obvious military record for Alex Beaumont. The Alexander Beaumont who married Margaret Pearce in 1919 at Auchterderran was a bachelor aged 32 who was a coal miner living at Cardenden (GRO Scotland Statutory Marriages 405/01 0015). He was the son of William Alex Beaumont and Agnes Ronaldson who had married at Kirkcaldy in 1873. An Alexander Beaumont, son of William and Agnes (Ronaldson), was born at 41, Bridge Street, Kirkcaldy on November 18th 1886 (GRO Scotland Statutory Births 442/00 0532). In the1911 Scotland census he was recorded as a 24 year old, single, coal miner living at home in Auchterderran with his parents. (GRO Scotland Census 1911 405/01 004/00 015).

The Glasgow Herald of September 2nd 1914 carried a report that Earl Grey was supporting the raising of a "miners' battalion" for the "Fighting Fifth", which was a nickname of the Northumberland Fusiliers. Men from Blyth, Ashington and Bedlington had put their names forward.
However, there is no battalion designated as the "miners' battalion" in the Northumberland Fusiliers although there were numerous battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers that took the name of Tyneside Scottish and some became "pioneer" battalions which may have included miners. Pioneer battalions were those battalions that supported the Royal Engineers within an infantry division and so mining skills may have been considered an advantage.

The Army Medal Rolls Index, which is considered complete, does not include any Alex, Alec or Alexander Beaumont who served in the Northumberland Fusiliers. Individual service records were substantially destroyed in the bombing of the War Office records repository in London in 1940 and there is no individual record for this Alexander Beaumont. There was an Alexander Beaumont who served in both the Royal Scots and the Scottish Rifles; and another in the Durham Light Infantry. (One in the Royal Engineers was killed, so he can't be the man you are seeking). As the medal index cards do not identify a man beyond his name, rank and number in a regiment, it is not possible to say if either of the remaining two cards relates to your grandfather, particularly as South Shields was then in Durham.

You may be able to identify his regiment by searching local newspapers of the time if his return from the war was reported; if he was listed as wounded, or even a report on his wedding may have mentioned his war service. He may also have been identified as a military voter in the 1918 General Election. "Absent Voters' Lists" for 1918 may have survived at the local studies centre for Auchterderran, if that was where he was registered to vote before active service. For locally held newspaper archives, see:

http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/publications/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication.pop&pubid=D396FA5E-B5AD-5EE2-A8D44A50F1FEB74F

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Jemima
Date: Saturday 17th September 2011 at 10:33 AM

Thankyou Alan for taking the time to look at my post ,it is much appreciated and i will take your advice and try to do more research into my grandfathers past during the war.

Regards
Jemima.


Posted by: Cheyrules {Email left}
Location: Enfield
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 5:57 PM
Can you help am trying to find any information on my great uncle.
His name was Herbert Billington and he was with the 1/7 Middlesex regiment, No. 2095 and died in 7 october 1916 and is buried at Bancourt British Cemetary. He was 19 years old
Also looking for my gt gt uncle name John underwood regiment 6 btn Queens Own Royal West Kent Reg, No. G/5477 died 15 March 1916 age about 29. Named on Loos memorial
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 7:53 PM

Herbert Billington joined the part-time Territorial Army on March 5th 1914 before the outbreak of war at the age of 17. He enlisted in the 7th Battalion The Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). He was a grocer's assistant for Lupton's grocers at 96, High Road, Wood Green, London. At the outbreak of war in August 1914, the 7th Battalion was mobilised for war ("embodied" into the regular army conditions of service). The 7th Battalion raised a sister battalion, numbered the 2nd/7th Battalion which Herbert to which Herbert was posted in September 1914 at Hornsey. The Battalion trained at Barnet and Egham and was sent to Gibraltar on 2nd February 1915. Gibraltar was not a theatre of war. In August 1915 the battalion sailed to Egypt where it served with the Western Frontier Force (Egypt) from November 1915 until May 1916. In May 1916 the battalion sailed for France, arriving at Marseilles on June 15th 1916. They remained for a while in a quarantine camp for typhus.
On 10th June 1916 they arrived at Rouen where the battalion was disbanded on June 1th. Herbert was temporarily transferred to the 5th Battalion London Regiment, but on 22 July 1916 he was transferred to the 1st/7th Battalion Middlesex regiment, which he had originally joined two years earlier. The 1st/7th battalion Middlesex Regiment served with the 167th Infantry Brigade in the 56th Division.
Between the 8th and 10th of September 1916 Herbert was wounded when he was shot in the right thigh. He was treated in hospital for a week and was sent to a base depot to get fit again, returning to the 7th Battalion on September 27th 1916. Eleven days later he was killed in action.
When he was wounded the Middlesex Regiment was in the area of Ginchy, with fighting occurring in two objectives along to Leuze Wood Guillemeont road and at the south-eastern edge of Bouleaux Wood.
When Herbert was killed, the Battalion was in the same area and was involved in the Battle of the Transloy Ridges, near Les Boeufs.
Herbert was buried in a battlefield grave and in March 1920 his grave, along with other graves in small scattered sites, was moved to the Bancourt British Cemetery near Bapaume.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

His service record is available from the ancestry.co.uk website (subscription required). Many libraries offer free access to the ancestry website.

John Underwood enlisted on January 18th 1915 at Canterbury and went to France on 1st June 1916 with his battalion. The 6th Battalionn Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) served in the 37th Infantry Brigade in the 12th (Eastern) Division. The Division fought at the Battle of Loos (25 Sep-8 Oct 1915) and the Actions of the Hohenzollern Redoubt (13-19 Oct 1915).
The war diary of the Battalion can be downloaded from the National archives Documents Online website for a fee of BP 3-50. See:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?queryType=1&resultcount=1&Edoc_Id=8199353

Kind regards
Alan
Reply from: Cheyrules
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 8:29 PM

Thank you very much for your help. Our family never spoke of Herbert, now he can be remembered. My mum offends mentioned John as her nan spoke of him often, can now shed a little bit of light on what happened to him, such a shame there is no grave, but I guess that the nature of a bloody war and so many other families were left in the same position.
Thank you again


Posted by: Martin Lee {Email left}
Location: Chatham
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 1:27 PM
Hello Alan,
I hope you can help me.
I'm looking for information regarding my uncle Thomas Lee, who was killed in action on 21st March 1918 in France during the German offensive of that day. Thomas was a Private in the Royal Irish Regiment, 2nd Batt, number 7495, and was born in Waterford, Ireland (date unknown).
Any information regarding his service record, regiment war diary etc would be most welcome.

Thanking you in advance.

Martin
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 4:57 PM

Dear Martin,
There is no obvious surviving individual service record for Thomas Lee. An Army Medal Rolls Index card showed he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He served in the Royal Irish Regiment. 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. The 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment was a regular army battalion which had served in France since 14th August 1914. Therefore, Private Thomas Lee, of the Royal Irish Regiment would have joined the Battalion in 1916 or later as part of a draft of reinforcements.
The Army was reorganised in February 1918 and some units were disbanded. For example, the 6th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment was disbanded on February 9th 1918 and seven officers and 296 other ranks were posted to the 2nd Battalion at Hamel, northwest of Cambrai, at 1.30 p.m. that day.
"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) and the CWGC Debt of Honour both recorded Thomas Lee died on 21 March 1918. However, those records provide evidence only for the battalion he was with on the day he died, so it is not clear if he spent all his wartime service with the 2nd Battalion. The 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, therefore, had been substantially altered in its composition as late as 9th February 1918 and before March 21st had a strength of 18 officers and 514 men.
In March 1918, the 2nd Battalion served with the 49th Infantry Brigade in the 16th Division.
The Division was responsible for defending the northern side of the Cologne Valley north of St. Quentin and was deployed along a ridge centred on Ronssoy. The 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment was in the forward sector of defence, based on the neighbouring village of Lempire. To their front was a network of machine gun emplacements. On the morning of March 21st 1918, when the German offensive began, there was a thick mist and the machine guns were ineffective. A heavy artillery bombardment caused severe losses on the right flank of 49 Brigade, exposing that flank when the enemy infantry advanced at about 9 a.m.. Within an hour and a half, the 49th Brigade had been virtually destroyed. The 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment recorded 78 men killed outright and by March 30th 1918, the Battalion had been reduced to 1 officer and 31 other ranks.
On the morning of the 21st March, as the right flank collapsed, the 2nd Battalion was exposed with the enemy surrounding them on three sides. Led by a Major Harrison, they refused to give up and fought from defensive position to defensive position until their ammunition ran out. They fought their way out to safety in the evening when the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers counter-attacked.

The war diary of the 2nd Battalion for this period is held at the UK National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO 95/1979 "2 Battalion Royal Irish Regiment. 16 Division Date: 1916 1918".

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Martin
Date: Saturday 17th September 2011 at 4:43 PM

Many, many thanks for the information supplied.
So good of you to reply so promptly.
Looks like a trip to Kew to view the War Diary is on the cards for me - can't wait!

Kind regards,
Martin


Posted by: Glen {Email left}
Location: Chester
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 10:45 AM
I am very much hoping that somebody can help me. I have been researching my family history and was fortunate to find my grandfather's naval war diary. I spent many months transcribing and annotating his experiences in the Dardanelles - I ended up creating quite a large dairy edited with photos and descriptions a copy of which I donated to the Imperial War Museum. However, in my research I found that another relative of mine - a Fred Nicholls - had apparently joined up or been called up and had within 6 weeks had been sent for training in Ireland, had been shipped over to France and had been killed. The family was based in London at the time and I have been searching to find which potential regiment would have trained in Ireland before shipping out. So far I have drawn a major blank on both Fred Nicholls and the regiment he may have served in. Does anyone have any idea of how I could narrow down at least the regiment he may have served in? If I can find the regiment I may be able to find my relative...
Any help would be very much appreciated


Posted by: Stephen Crowther {Email left}
Location: Burnham On Crouch
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 6:09 AM
My great uncle BERTIE CROWTHER 201175 2/4 Battalion KOYLI was killed in action on 29/09/1917 and is buried at FAVREUIL in the PAS DE CALAIS. I am trying to find out where and how he died and in what action. Can anyone help? thank you.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 16th September 2011 at 1:28 PM

Dear Stephen,
The 2nd/4th Battalion King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry) was not engaged in a set-piece battle on September 29th 1917. The Battalion served in the 187th Infantry Brigade with the 62nd (West Riding) Division which had fought in the Actions of the Hindenburg Line in May and June 1917. After a few weeks out of the line for rest and further training, the Division took over the trenches on a line between Bullecourt, Noreuil and Lagnicourt , near Arras, where they remained until being relieved by the 3rd Division on 9th October 1917. The 2nd/4th Battalion was near Vraucourt in August and along the road leading from Bullecourt to Hendecourt in September.

This period of "routine" in the trenches was always hazardous because of the frequent bombardment of the front line trenches by minenwerfer ("Minnies") a trench mortar. The enemy artillery would shell areas further back, but they couldn't afford to use artillery against the front line because their own trenches were only about 200 yards from the British front.
As an artillery officer described, on a walk from the communication trench to the front line: "As the Boche has exact photographs of the course of this trench, he frequently bombards it; and though the chances are greatly against a shell falling on any one bit of the trench just at the moment when one is passing, still at the time the possibility seems far from remote, and the situation is thrilling enough. About a mile of trench as the crow flies (but treble that distance to walk, owing to the zig-zag formation of the trench, so designed to prevent a shell from sweeping right down it) brings one to the support line. Stage three, and the most dangerous one, now begins; one follows the support trench for a good long way; it is generally pretty deep, but in places it has almost been destroyed by recent shelling, and then one has to crawl and duck until a safer depth is reached; then up other zig-zags to the very front line. Here one is in comparative safety, for the enemy is only one or two hundred yards off, and his artillery dare not shoot at you for fear of hitting their own front line ; so you are safe except for snipers (if you are foolish enough to show yourself), or for that most terrible of all terrors, the minenwerfer." (Colonel A T Anderson. See:
http://www.archive.org/stream/warservicesof62n00ande/warservicesof62n00ande_djvu.txt)

"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) records only one death on September 29th 1917 in the 2nd/4th Battalion KOYLI, and that was Bertie Crowther. Favreuil Cemetery was a 62nd Division cemetery. Bertie Crowther appears to have been born on November 24th 1897, and baptised at Normanton parish church on 19 December 1897, the son of Robert and Bertha Crowther of Lodge Terrace, Queen Street, Normanton. He would have been 19 when he died. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The Battalion had been raised in September 1914 at Wakefield and trained in the UK until it landed in France on 15th January 1917.

While the official histories describe this period as "routine", the Battalion's war diary may be more specific and might indicate whether they had sent out patrols or a raiding party on the 29th September.
The Battalion's war diary is held at the National Archives at Kew in Catalogue reference WO95/3091 "2/4 Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. 62 Division. Date: 1914 1919".

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Stephen Crowther
Date: Wednesday 5th October 2011 at 2:54 AM

Dear Alan, my sincere thanks for your effort and information. Regards,Steve.


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