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Billy Ide - searching for relatives


antonjdown

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Hi

As part of my great uncle's photo collection, taken from his time in the RFA in India (he died Meso in 1918), we have a photograph of a young "Billy Ide", and I'd be very keen to find any of his living relatives so that we can give them a copy. My suspicion would be that he was with the same unit, the 218th Brigade RFA, A battery, who were in India in 1916

Thanks

Anton

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Anton,

I see at least three William Ides having medal entitlement and who were in the RFA. Perhaps their MICs will give more brigade info, but not to count on it. Thereafter you would need a service record to get next of kin info and ID your man.

A quick look at CWGC seems to imply he survived WW1 - plenty of Ide casualties but no William or Billy in the RFA.

Ian

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Anton,

I've informed someone on another forum who will be able to help with regard to Billy. He just has to reactivate his account here but will be along shortly.

Best regards,

Matthew

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Hello Anton,

Matthew kindly brought your post to my attention.

I am an avid researcher of all Ides who served during the Great War. My own Great Great Uncle George Ide (62nd Battery, RFA) was killed at Frezenberg Ridge (2nd Ypres) in May 1915, and my Great Grandfather James Ide served with the Army Veterinary Corps and Army Service Corps during the war as well.

I am not a direct relative of “Billy” Ide, but through my research of Ides in the Great War I correspond with a man who is his Great Nephew. I’m sure he would be most pleased to have a picture of his Great Uncle.

As Ian has pointed out, there were three William Ides in the RFA during the war. I’m pretty certain that “Billy Ide” is 294 (later 865028) Sergeant William G. Ide, RFA. The give-away is his second service number 865028. He would have received this number in January 1917 when all soldiers in the Territorial Force received new service numbers based on their parent unit. I suspect there are threads discussing the TF renumbering elsewhere on the forum.

865028 is in the block corresponding to 4th Wessex Brigade, RFA (Devonshire Batteries). The 1/1st Devonshire Battery of the 4th Wessex Brigade became “A” Battery of 218th Brigade when the Territorial Force RFA units were redesignated (minus their geographic affiliations) in 1916. I gather from one of your other posts that your Great Uncle was from Devon and his second service number was also in the range 865001-870000.

The other two William Ides in the RFA (900780 Acting Sergeant William Ide and 205 (later 905259) Acting Bombardier William Thomas Ide) are both from Sussex. They’re both actually TF soldiers as well, the range 900001 to 905000 corresponding to 1st Sussex Brigade, RFA and 905001 to 910000 to 2nd Sussex Brigade.

Billy did survive the war and have two children who have both since passed away. Both his brothers also served in and survived the Great War. I have a family portrait of Billy (William to me) with his father, 3 sisters and 2 brothers taken shortly after the second world war. The person I know is the grandson of one of Billy’s sisters.

Best regards,

Nick

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Hello Anton,

Matthew kindly brought your post to my attention.

I am an avid researcher of all Ides who served during the Great War. My own Great Great Uncle George Ide (62nd Battery, RFA) was killed at Frezenberg Ridge (2nd Ypres) in May 1915, and my Great Grandfather James Ide served with the Army Veterinary Corps and Army Service Corps during the war as well.

I am not a direct relative of "Billy" Ide, but through my research of Ides in the Great War I correspond with a man who is his Great Nephew. I'm sure he would be most pleased to have a picture of his Great Uncle.

As Ian has pointed out, there were three William Ides in the RFA during the war. I'm pretty certain that "Billy Ide" is 294 (later 865028) Sergeant William G. Ide, RFA. The give-away is his second service number 865028. He would have received this number in January 1917 when all soldiers in the Territorial Force received new service numbers based on their parent unit. I suspect there are threads discussing the TF renumbering elsewhere on the forum.

865028 is in the block corresponding to 4th Wessex Brigade, RFA (Devonshire Batteries). The 1/1st Devonshire Battery of the 4th Wessex Brigade became "A" Battery of 218th Brigade when the Territorial Force RFA units were redesignated (minus their geographic affiliations) in 1916. I gather from one of your other posts that your Great Uncle was from Devon and his second service number was also in the range 865001-870000.

The other two William Ides in the RFA (900780 Acting Sergeant William Ide and 205 (later 905259) Acting Bombardier William Thomas Ide) are both from Sussex. They're both actually TF soldiers as well, the range 900001 to 905000 corresponding to 1st Sussex Brigade, RFA and 905001 to 910000 to 2nd Sussex Brigade.

Billy did survive the war and have two children who have both since passed away. Both his brothers also served in and survived the Great War. I have a family portrait of Billy (William to me) with his father, 3 sisters and 2 brothers taken shortly after the second world war. The person I know is the grandson of one of Billy's sisters.

Best regards,

Nick

Excellent!! This has helped enormously. As I cannot load up photos, here is our family link to the photos

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/paulnsheila

If you go into Francis Down and India photos. We've actually got a couple more from Francis' time there, which should be uploaded this weekend - one showing the A Battery at camp. Yes, my great uncle Francis was Gunner 866089, having been 3115 beforehand. Seems at some stage he joined the 337th Brigade and went to Meso, where he died in June 1918. Would be interesting to see if Billy Ide went with him. There is also a Jack Snell photo, and I have yet to trace him. I am so glad we've made this contact!!

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Hello Anton,

Matthew kindly brought your post to my attention.

I am an avid researcher of all Ides who served during the Great War. My own Great Great Uncle George Ide (62nd Battery, RFA) was killed at Frezenberg Ridge (2nd Ypres) in May 1915, and my Great Grandfather James Ide served with the Army Veterinary Corps and Army Service Corps during the war as well.

I am not a direct relative of "Billy" Ide, but through my research of Ides in the Great War I correspond with a man who is his Great Nephew. I'm sure he would be most pleased to have a picture of his Great Uncle.

As Ian has pointed out, there were three William Ides in the RFA during the war. I'm pretty certain that "Billy Ide" is 294 (later 865028) Sergeant William G. Ide, RFA. The give-away is his second service number 865028. He would have received this number in January 1917 when all soldiers in the Territorial Force received new service numbers based on their parent unit. I suspect there are threads discussing the TF renumbering elsewhere on the forum.

865028 is in the block corresponding to 4th Wessex Brigade, RFA (Devonshire Batteries). The 1/1st Devonshire Battery of the 4th Wessex Brigade became "A" Battery of 218th Brigade when the Territorial Force RFA units were redesignated (minus their geographic affiliations) in 1916. I gather from one of your other posts that your Great Uncle was from Devon and his second service number was also in the range 865001-870000.

The other two William Ides in the RFA (900780 Acting Sergeant William Ide and 205 (later 905259) Acting Bombardier William Thomas Ide) are both from Sussex. They're both actually TF soldiers as well, the range 900001 to 905000 corresponding to 1st Sussex Brigade, RFA and 905001 to 910000 to 2nd Sussex Brigade.

Billy did survive the war and have two children who have both since passed away. Both his brothers also served in and survived the Great War. I have a family portrait of Billy (William to me) with his father, 3 sisters and 2 brothers taken shortly after the second world war. The person I know is the grandson of one of Billy's sisters.

Best regards,

Nick

Nick, would it be possible to have the email address of Ian? It would be fantastic to find out if he knew more about Billy Ide's movements etc, so I can pin some confirm some more movements of Francis Down. At the moment I make it that Francis went with the 337th RFA from India to Meso in Nov 1917 (not sure which battery) as part of the 18th India Division. Francis sadly died "at sea" whilst, we think, being evacuated as sick from Basra in mid June 1918, dying 14th June. He's mentioned on the Basra memorial as part of the 337th, and also back on one of the Exeter memorials. Any further info Ian has would be excellent.

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Thanks for the link Anton, I've downloaded the photos and will pass them on.

My great uncle Francis was Gunner 866089, having been 3115 beforehand. Seems at some stage he joined the 337th Brigade and went to Meso, where he died in June 1918. Would be interesting to see if Billy Ide went with him.

Billy Ide's service record has not survived at the National Archives, but some information about his service can be derived from his Medal Index Card (pictured below). Here's a synopsis of some info. I previously shared with Billy's Great Nephew. Some of it may help fill in a bit more of the picture.

1. William was entitled to four medals: British War Medal (BWM), Victory Medal (VM), Territorial Force War Medal (TFWM), and Territorial Efficiency Medal (TEM).

2. Although the rules were slightly more complex, basically the TFWM was issued to soldiers who were members of the Territorial Force when war broke out, who had further agreed to serve overseas (the original purpose of the Territorials being domestic service), but were for whatever reason ineligible for the 1914 or 1914-15 Stars. More on that later. The little annotations on the card would indicate that William held the rank of Bombardier (the junior-most Non-commissioned Officer in the Artillery) when the war broke out, so his TFWM would be named to 294 BMBR. W.G. IDE, R.F.A. Francis would not be eligible for this medal since he enlisted in 1915.

3. William must have remained in the Territorial Force after the war (renamed the Territorial Army in 1921), his TEM being authorized in Army Order 59 of 1924. The TEM was issued for 12 years faithful service, so he would have joined the Territorials around 1911 or 1912. From the 1901 Census and FreeBMD, we know that William turned 18 around 1911. That would make him 23 in the photo you have, although he looks younger.

4. The 4th Wessex Brigade, RFA was part of the 43rd (Wessex) Division, a Territorial Force Division already in existence at the outbreak of the war. Details are on this webpage which you may have already come across. At the top it states that the division was sent to India in October 1914, and remained there for the remainder of the war, although sending many replacement drafts to fighting units in the Middle East. Further down are the details on the Division's Artillery units. This is probably how Francis would have been assigned to 337th Brigade from the 218th. Note the transfer isn't what caused Francis' service number change. That change was because of the earlier renumbering of the whole TF.

5. Had William remained in India, he would only have received the BWM for his WW1 service. The fact that he also received the VM would indicate that like Francis, he too was sent to an active theater of war (most likely somewhere in the Middle East fighting the Turks), but it would have been after 1915 since he has the TFWM rather than the 1914-15 Star. Billy may have gone with Francis or not. I don't think we can tell without his service record which unfortunately has not survived.

Nick

post-35709-1214504433.jpg

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Nick, would it be possible to have the email address of Ian? It would be fantastic to find out if he knew more about Billy Ide's movements etc, so I can pin some confirm some more movements of Francis Down. At the moment I make it that Francis went with the 337th RFA from India to Meso in Nov 1917 (not sure which battery) as part of the 18th India Division. Francis sadly died "at sea" whilst, we think, being evacuated as sick from Basra in mid June 1918, dying 14th June.

Ian is not Billy’s relative, he is the other forum member who responded to your initial query above. I will check with Billy’s relative about giving you his email.

That said, I’ve come up with a little bit on Jack Snell and Haydon. I think Jack is 865110 Driver John J. Snell, RFA, and Haydon could be 865324 Gunner Sydney J. Haydon, RFA. I’m basing this on their service numbers all being in that 865001-870000 block associated with the 4th Wessex Artillery Brigade (later the 218th).

Neither of their service records appears to have survived (based on what’s available on Ancestry.com to date), but I’ve attached copies of their MICs. Neither of them are on the CWGC site, so it appears they both survived the war. Like William Ide, both Snell and Haydon earned the TFWM, indicating they were with the TF before the war broke out, had volunteered for overseas service, but were ineligible for the 1914 or 14-15 Stars. They also both had the VM, so like Francis they did eventually enter an active theater of war, albeit after 1915. Snell subsequently transferred to the Royal Engineers and also received a Silver War Badge, so he must have been discharged at some stage as medically unfit due to either wounds or illness.

I’ll see if I can come up with anything else,

Nick

post-35709-1214505512.jpg

post-35709-1214505520.jpg

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Ian is not Billy's relative, he is the other forum member who responded to your initial query above. I will check with Billy's relative about giving you his email.

That said, I've come up with a little bit on Jack Snell and Haydon. I think Jack is 865110 Driver John J. Snell, RFA, and Haydon could be 865324 Gunner Sydney J. Haydon, RFA. I'm basing this on their service numbers all being in that 865001-870000 block associated with the 4th Wessex Artillery Brigade (later the 218th).

Neither of their service records appears to have survived (based on what's available on Ancestry.com to date), but I've attached copies of their MICs. Neither of them are on the CWGC site, so it appears they both survived the war. Like William Ide, both Snell and Haydon earned the TFWM, indicating they were with the TF before the war broke out, had volunteered for overseas service, but were ineligible for the 1914 or 14-15 Stars. They also both had the VM, so like Francis they did eventually enter an active theater of war, albeit after 1915. Snell subsequently transferred to the Royal Engineers and also received a Silver War Badge, so he must have been discharged at some stage as medically unfit due to either wounds or illness.

I'll see if I can come up with anything else,

Nick

Wow, I'm truly gobsmacked. This is a huge amount of information. Again as with Billy Ide, it would be wonderful to be able to track down relatives of Snell and Haydon so that they could see the photos, albeit they are not as good as the one of Billy. This has helped clear up a few more details, and also put some colour into the photos, if you know what I mean. Now these other 3 guys have come to life, from being simply a name on a photo. Incredible.

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Ian is not Billy's relative, he is the other forum member who responded to your initial query above. I will check with Billy's relative about giving you his email.

Nick

Yes, I am just a forum 'pal' sticking in his tuppence worth! Meantime good work, Nick.

Ian

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  • 3 weeks later...
I will check with Billy's relative about giving you his email.

Hi Anton,

I've sent you a PM with contact details for Billy Ide's relative.

Best regards,

Nick

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