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Remembered Today:

Advice needed on TF RE re-numbering and transfers between RFA and RE a


greeny

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This is my first posting. I'm looking for some help, clarification or general advice about the research I'm doing on my g/father's service. I only have one photo of him in uniform. My father says he rarely spoke about his time in France. He lived in Ardwick Manchester very close to the recruiting station. He had experience of working with horses so have assumed this to be the reason he was assigned to RFA My father believes he joined-up at Ardwick and was part of the Manchester PALS. He says he definitely suffered injury from the gas attacks and (he thinks) spent time recuperating before returning to action..

I have been advised by a professional researcher his service record is one of the many destroyed. I obtained his MIC. I also have something which I believe is called "The Queen Alexandra's Field Force card" that my g.g/father had purchased in 1916.

His MIC details are: Joseph Green RFA Driver 43407, then RE 312759. Theatre / date – France 13.12.1915. His RE roll of individuals medal listed his rank as sapper not driver. It does list both his numbers with RFA showing as driver. He survived and was demobilised 1919 (unsure of month – think it was either March or May) class Z.

My g g/father has handwritten on the The Queen Alexandra card "This is to record that my son J Green 43408 RFA 78 brigade BEF" dated Nov 24th 1916.

Without his service record I have assumed it will be difficult to be precise on his actual whereabouts so my aim is to try and determine from his unit allocations where he may have been and what he was involved in.

My working assumption is he was initially part of the 17th (Northern) Division, allocated to the Divisional Artillery LXXVIII (78) RFA. Is this correct or could it be something else? At some point he was transferred to RE but when?

I have read the articles on renumbering of the TF RE. It states that RE soldiers designated as regulars were identifiable by their numbers 1 – 400000. My gf has an RE number in this range. Am I correct to assume he must have transferred from RFA to RE some point before Feb 1st 1917, i.e. in order to have a number less than 40000? Also, is there anyway of knowing if this was within the same Division (17th)? If not, is there anyway of finding out?

I have scanned the online documentation of WO95 for any diaries of the 78 brigade RFA but couldn't spot anything.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mike Green

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Greeny

My little contribution to start the ball rolling for you is that you have to play with the NA Catalogue and unit descriptions for a WO95 hit ! I found what you deduce to be his unit at

78 Brigade Royal Field Artillery (they don't use abbrev initials !). Itis WO95/1991 and runs from Jul 1915 to Mar 1919.

Sotonmate

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Greeny

My little contribution to start the ball rolling for you is that you have to play with the NA Catalogue and unit descriptions for a WO95 hit ! I found what you deduce to be his unit at

78 Brigade Royal Field Artillery (they don't use abbrev initials !). Itis WO95/1991 and runs from Jul 1915 to Mar 1919.

Sotonmate

[Thanks. Have had a quick look and found the entry for 78 brigade. I had looked previously at the NA catalogue but was obviously looking in the wrong place.......think I went through from 95/1 to about 800 and mustn't have had my search criteria set correctly. Thanks once again.

Mike

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Had he served as a Territorial in either the RFA or RE pre-1917 he would have initially have had a four figure number, then a six figure number post-1917. However both of the numbers here are none Territorial, even the six figure RE number is a regular/new army number, because as you point out their TF numbers begin at 400,001.

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Thanks Graham.......this is both really confusing and mysterious to me. Are you saying that pre-renumbering all numbers were only 4 digit, in which case, what are the possible reasons for my man to have 6 in RFA? Would it help if I attached his MIC and Alexandria card (which is an original) that both show his 6 digit number. Also, could you offer an explanation for both his RFA & RE numbers?

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If I had to guess I would say that he was a regular RFA driver who was employed as a signaler and later joined the RE in that category.

Regards, Dick Flory

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greeny,

The TF had it's own numbering system which was based on four figures and only in 1917 was their numbering changed. Once renumbering began for all TF units you had specific blocks given out to TF Associations for issue to units under their administration.

For those serving with the RFA(TF) they were renumbered from 600001 through to 975000. Anything in front of these were regular/new army numbers. The same also applies to the Royal Engineers(TF) as they were renumbered 400001 through to 574000. Again any numbers falling before this were regular/new army numbers.

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Thanks for that information - it makes sense. Next....... without having his service record, is there any other way of finding out when he actually transferred from RFA to RE (possibly through his new RE number?) and if it was in the same division (i.e. 17th Northern).

Any clues or advice would be most helpful.

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