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Remembered Today:

Seeking info Sidney George Bedford Northants reg


MrG

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Has anyone come across/have access to any info on 15756 Pte/Sgt/Lt Sidney George Bedford of the 1st Northamptonshire Regiment. According to his medal card/medal rolls he was in France from 1st Sept 1915, was mentioned in dispatches and ended up being discharged to commission in the 3rd Btn of the regiment 10th Sept 1918. Can't find any service/pension record and would love to know more.

Merve

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The 1st September 1915 is a date usually associated with the 7th Battalion, in fact the 15756 number is typical of the men in the 7th Battalion (though not exclusive to them). He would have enlisted in early September 1914. I won't get my database back up and running until at least tomorrow, but I shall try and tell you more then.

As an officer his records, if they survive, will be physical files in WO339 or WO374 at the National Archives. Could be any of the following three, but my money is on the last one! These often have the man's OR history appended to them:

WO 339/62156 BEDFORD S [1914-1922]

WO 374/5289 BEDFORD, 2/Lieut S 1916-1921

WO 374/5290 BEDFORD, 2/Lieut S G 1914-1920

This picture is extracted from a line-up of 1st battalion officers on duty as part of the Army of Occupation on the Rhine in 1919 (Northampton Independent 22-3-1919). The back of his Medal Card shows that 1st Battalion requested his 1914-15 Star be sent to them in February 1919, which strongly suggests that he was with them at the time. The man on the left, middle row (i.e. the centre of the picture) is described as "Lt. Bedford."

post-6536-1226576516.jpg

I have to go out now, but I'll have a further look later and see what I can find.

EDIT: Medal Roll confirms first overseas battalion as the 7th Battalion. The embarkation list of the 7th Battalion in "The Raising of the Seventh Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment" shows him as a Private in "D" Company - the company raised by the England Rugby international, Edgar Mobbs.

Steve.

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A couple of references to his officers career (Official announcements of appointments in the London Gazette):

London Gazette 9-5-1919

North'n R.

Temp. 2nd Lt. S. G. Bedford to take rank and precedence in the Corps and in the Army as if his appt. as temp. 2nd Lt. bore date the 11th day of Oct. 1918.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...t=&similar=

London Gazette 6-4-1920

North'n. R.

Temp. 2nd-Lt. S. G. Bedford relinquishes his commission on completion of service, 20 Feb. 1920, and retains the rank of 2nd Lt.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...t=&similar=

His commission entry is hiding at present!

Steve.

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This is fantastic stuff Steve. Thank you so much. It's off to Kew for me next week I think!

Merve

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As I research the Northamptons, any other information you are willing to impart (plus copies of army pictures, etc.) will be gratefully accepted. I should also be able to post a copy of his medal rolls tonight.

Confirmation that the man in the line-up is in fact him would also be helpful - though I'm 95% convinced...

Oh, and I would be grateful if you could let me know what you find from his records. (I always take a digital camera and take copies, by the way. Mr Shakyhands here always tries to use the camera-stands.)

Steve.

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Sidney Bedfords Other Ranks British War Medal/Victory Medal Roll entry:

post-6536-1226702765.jpg

and his 1914-15 Star Roll entry:

post-6536-1226702796.jpg

Sidney Bedford probably first attested (enlisted) in the first few days of September 1914, and was allocated his number along with the other 250 men of "D" Company on 14th September 1914 as the new 7th Battalion was assembled at Shoreham East Camp during the morning of the 14th.

Steve.

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Great stuff Steve,

I have also now found reference to Sidney on this site http://www.northants-familytree.net/soldier%20index.htm which references a newspaper article refering to him as a POW. Will post the article as soon as I get hold of it and will of course share any service info. I also have info on two further relatives that served in the Regiment at various times (One being Sidney's father). Would be happy to shre what I have if you are interested,

Merve

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Hold fire on spending your money, Merve, as I should have a copy of the article. It MAY however be a different S G Bedford, as there were two in the 7th Northamptons!

Back in a bit. I need to power up my backup drive.

Steve.

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As you can see - there is another Sydney George Bedford:

post-6536-1226768083.jpg

Are you sure that you have the right one, by the way?

It looks like the record keepers had to check!

Steve.

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The 1915 article - Northampton Independent 27-11-1915

post-6536-1226768539.jpg

On a list of POWs in the Independent, 18-12-1915:

post-6536-1226768864.jpg

and from 1916 - Independent 29-1-1916

post-6536-1226769281.jpg

As you can see this Sydney George Bedford is from Kingston-on-Thames.

Though it is not stated, it would seem that he was taken POW at the battle of Loos in September 1915.

Steve.

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POW Sydney's BWM/VM Roll entry:

post-6536-1226769900.jpg

and 1914-15 Star Roll:

post-6536-1226770127.jpg

To add to the confusion ,both men were in "D" Company.

Just to reiterate these are TWO SEPARATE Sydney/Sidney George Bedfords in the 7th Northamptons. !

Steve.

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This could be "POW Sydney"'s father, Sgt. E. Bedford:

post-6536-1226771044.jpg

1901 Census list:

43 Compton St., Northampton.

Ellis Bedford, age 35, Head of family, Private Soldier, born at Kingston, Surrey.

Annie Bedford, age 29, wife.

Harriett Bedford, age 7, daughter.

James Bedford, age 5, son.

Sidney G Bedford, age 4, son.

Annie E Bedford, age 3, daughter.

Charles W Bedford, age 1, son.

1891 Census:

28 Washington Road, Kingston.

Ellis Bedford, draysman, age 25, Head.

Annie Bedford, age 19, wife, seamstress.

Ellis Bedford has potentially seven (!) sets of records in the "Pension" section. It may take a while to make sense of them - and to see if they are the same man! I might wait until you let me know who is who!

Steve.

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OK, My Sidney's father was Ellis and I have most of Ellis's papers. He was a career soldier, mostly in the Northants Reg where he reenlisted at the beginning of WW1 before doing some time in the London Regiment. He moved back to Kingston around 1905.

So the Sidney Bedford in the newspaper article is definately my man.

This means that he did not rise above private and I guess his records must be amongst the lost one or is there ;ikely to be information elsewhere as he was aPOW?

I attach a photo of Ellis (as an older man) and I could mail you a summary of Ellis's career if it would be of use.

Thanks again for all of this

Merve

post-39488-1226774138.jpg

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The International Committee of the Red Cross has some records on POWs, but these are normally a summary of their camps, etc. at most. Sydney Bedfords records seem to have been lost in the Blitz, and therefore, like my own relatives records, lost.

Whilst his overseas service would have been short - To France on 1st September 1915 and probably captured some time around 26-9-1915 at the battle of Loos, I'll have a look at what I can work out about enlistment dates, etc.

Coincidentally there is an active topic about the Munster POW camps on the Forum at the moment that you might want to have a look at.

Steve.

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Merve,

Apologies - 20212 Pte. S. G. Bedford was in "B" Company, not "D" Company. I was going from memory!

In addition, "3/10675 Sgt. Bedford, E." was also in "B" Company of the 7th Northamptons per their embarkation Roll, as was "3/10695 Pte. Bedford, H.", in case he also fits into the picture somewhere.

The fact that 20212 Pte. Sydney George Bedford went to France with the main contingent of the 7th Northamptons is interesting as there were only a handful of men with numbers that high that joined the inital contingent of the battalion:

A Company

20047 Cpl. Spence, A. H. *

20048 Cpl. Afford, Wm. H. *

20049 Cpl. Adnitt, J. C. *

20050 Cpl. Chadwick, J. *

20051 Cpl. Freeman, R. *

20009 Pte. Campion, G. E.

20010 Pte. Luckett, J. T.

20011 Pte. Walker, T.

20012 Pte. Warren, A. H.

20036 Pte. Gilby, A

B Company

20212 Pte. Bedford, S. G

C Company

None

D Company

None

Of those listed, the five marked * were policemen who were drafted in late and immediately were promoted to Corporal.

Sydney's number would suggest that he joined the Northamptonshire Regiment (not necessarily the Army) around the middle of July 1915. By any measure six weeks is far to short a time to be trained up to combat readiness (without prior army experience), so I believe that Sydney served in a different Regiment before transferring to the Northamptons in time to go to France in late August 1915.

Notice that the two pictures of Sydney are significantly different, one seemingly of a much younger man (or even boy). The lower picture shows a man wearing the darkened tunic buttons of a rifle regiment/battalion. I wonder if he was serving in one of the London Regiment rifle battalion (perhaps the 21st London Regiment - Surrey Rifles) or in, say the King's Royal Rifle Corps?

I'm trying to gauge the possibilities from similarly numbered soldiers on the Ancestry service records, but since the Ancestry site has ground to a shuddering halt, I'll pause and post the above.

Steve.

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Extracts from the Surrey Enlistment Registers:

post-6536-1226778803.jpg

post-6536-1226778839.jpg

No Sidney, unfortunately.

Steve.

and:

post-6536-1226778927.jpg

Steve.

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Yes - these are two of "my" Ellis's younger sons (both of whom were actually registered in Kingston so I assume they were both born there not Northampton) There were also four other surviving sons - Charles (b1900), Harry (b 1906) Oswald (b1907) and Steven (b1913) - don't suppose they pop up anywhere?

This is quite fascinating. I got a lot of the background on the family from my wife's Nan (Harry's wife) before she died. She knew Ellis was a soldier but didn't say anything about the others.

Merve

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Missed one - another for Richard James Bedford.

post-6536-1226791318.jpg

I can't find any other brothers on the lists.

EDIT: I've just noticed that Ellis knocked a mere 7 years off of his age on enlistment for the Great War.... :)

Steve.

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I had spotted the Ellis age thing on his record - obviously keen to get back in. It make a bit more sense now I see what and army family this was. It looks like Richard wasn't above stretching the truth either since the deafness has disappeared two years later! I get the impression that for all the elegance of the photo Ellis was a bit rough and ready though. He may have ended up Provost Sargent but prior to that his rank (and pay) had gone up and down like a yo-yo - a lot of the records are charge sheets!

I really appreciate the trouble you have taken with this Steve but if I could ask one final question. Sidney's medal card is marked Cl Z which I understand means discharges to the Army Reserve - do you think he might have served past 1920 (and his record be still intact somewhere?) What is you experience with this?

Rgds

Merve

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