Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Transfers in the London Regiment


jones31
 Share

Recommended Posts

First post so please bear with me. My great uncle Edwin Jones served with the Post Office Rifles (8th Londons)but according to the CWGC he was killed September 6th 1916 and buried in Combles as a Rifleman in the London Rifle Brigade (5th Londons). How can I find out where and when Edwin served in France and how he came to be transferred from one battalion to another before his death on the Somme? His service number was 304009 if that's a clue. All help welcome as I begin to trace my family's service in WW1. Thanks for taking the trouble to read this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

post-30902-1230844014.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi jones31, Welcome to the forum

From the Medal Index Card (MIC) posted by Devonmaid Your great Uncle wasn't entitled to 1915 star so would not have moved to the Western Front until 1st January '16 at the earliest. His move to the LRB is most likely to have come about because men were required to bring that battalion back up to strength because of casualties it had suffered; by this stage of the war replacements were being taken from other units even if battalions did have men from its own available. Your Gt Uncle's original number with the LRB (10536) is within 500 of that issued to my Grandfather (10943) when he transferred to the the LRB from the Middlesex Regiment on 3rd July 1916 and it's possible that he, like my grandfather, may also have been part of drafts of men received by the LRB after heavy casualties it had received during the Gommecourt diversionary attack on July 1st. The History of the London Rifle Brigade 1859-1919, gives:

On 16th July a move was made to rest billets at Bienvillers. The battalion by then had filled up more or less, and included 2/7th Middlesex, 494 other ranks; 6th Londons, 8; 7th Londons, 26; 8th Londons, 86; 20th Londons 1; 2/2nd Londons, 1; all wearing their own regimental badges.

Also from "The History" the LRB's Itinerary for 1916:

January: 4th, Dickebusch; 11th, St. Eloi; 17th, Dickebusch; 18th Reninghelst; 25th, St. Eloi

February: 1st, Dickebusch; 10th, Huppy; 27th Ergnies

March: 12th, Gezaincourt; 16th Sibiville; 22nd, Magnicourt

May: 7th, Halloy; 20th St. Amand; 21st, Hebuterne; 28th, Bayencourt

June: 3rd, Halloy; 13th, Bayencourt; 16th, Hebuterne; 21st, St. Amand; 22nd, Halloy; 27th, Souastre; 30th, Hebuterne

July: 1st, Battle of Gommecourt; 2nd, Bayencourt; 3rd, St Amand; 6th, Fonquevillers; 8th, Hannescamps; 16th, Bienvillers; 19th, Hannescamps; 23rd, Bienvillers; 30th, Hannescamps

August: 7th, St. Amand; 15th, Hannescamps; 20th, St. Amand; 21st, Sus St. Leger; 22nd, Wavans; 23rd, Cauchy

September: 3rd, Corbie; 4th, Happy Valley; 6th, Chimpanzee valley; 7th, Falfemont Farm Line; 8th, Leuze Wood attack; 11th, Citadel Hutments; 12th, Billon Farm; 13th, German Trenches; 15th, Angle Wood; 16th, Loop Trench; 18th, Angle Wood; 24th, Trench in front of Combles; 26th, Combles; 27th, Meaulte; 29th, Talus Bois; 30th, Guillemont

Of the 6th September '16:

On 6th September the battalion "stood to" at 5 a.m., but did not get orders to move until 2 p.m., when it set of for the support trenches known as chimpanzee Valley. The slow and trying march across country, which was in terrible condition, and through Carnoy, where the mud on the road was 12 inches deep, only finished at 8 p.m. and, as the S.O.S. went up from the front lines just as the battalion came in, the LRB was treated to some terrific salvos from the British and French Artillery, which were massed in the valley

If you can get a view of a copy of "The History" it gives a good idea of what the LRB was up to on a day to day basis without having to wade through the battalion War diaries at Kew.

It's likely that the Medal Roll referred to on the MIC (TP5/101 B3343) will give further information on the date of your Gt Uncle's transfer to the LRB; possibly member erniecrisp (sorry Ernie :D) may be able to shed further light on this as he has quite a lot of info on the LRB.

Hope this helps with your quest.

NigelS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting to note that Edwin had been issued with a 6 digit TF number since he was KiA in September 1916,

Jon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably still "Missing" as of the number change.

The London Regiment Medal Rolls - the books at the National Archives to which this card is an index key - are very good in that they show the dates with which a man served overseas. Most other Regimental Rolls do not give this detail.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your great uncle's original number with the POR suggests he joined the Bn between the 18th and 27th April 1915. The five digit 5th London numbers appear to have been issued in blocks to the transferees that Nigel mentions.

I haven't gone into these numbers in great details but it looks as though those men who were formerly in the 8th Londons were numbered within the range 10534 - 10619. The couple of men that I have found within this range, were both posted to the 5th Bn on the 9th July 1916.

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Have checked my 5th london database which in part is based on their BWM Roll. Edwin landed in france with POR on 23.6.16 and was posted to 5th on 11.7.16 along with 90 odd men from POR and a few from 7th londons. They, along with 7 Middlesex men and 7 essex men brought the 5th up to strength after 1 July. he was listed as presumed dead on 10.9.16 which was a particularly nasty action in Leuze Wood near Combles on the Somme. 5th lost two companies that day. One of the officers, Gilbert Nobbs, was blinded and captured but still managed to write a book about his ordeal published in 1917. Republished in UK as 'Englishman kamerad' Paul is right POR sequence runs from 10532 to 10620. Edwin was renumbered in Feb 17 since his fate had not then been identified; most of the men missing frim 1 july were also renumbered for the same reason.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Have checked my 5th london database which in part is based on their BWM Roll. Edwin landed in france with POR on 23.6.16 and was posted to 5th on 11.7.16 along with 90 odd men from POR and a few from 7th londons. They, along with 7 Middlesex men and 7 essex men brought the 5th up to strength after 1 July. he was listed as presumed dead on 10.9.16 which was a particularly nasty action in Leuze Wood near Combles on the Somme. 5th lost two companies that day. One of the officers, Gilbert Nobbs, was blinded and captured but still managed to write a book about his ordeal published in 1917. Republished in UK as 'Englishman kamerad' Paul is right POR sequence runs from 10532 to 10620. Edwin was renumbered in Feb 17 since his fate had not then been identified; most of the men missing frim 1 july were also renumbered for the same reason.

Chris

Amazing!!! Thank you very much. This ties in with my Grandmother's belief that her brother was lost in the mud of the Somme and had no known grave. I now know that he is in Combles Extn. cemetery. Would it be possible to discover how and when he arrived there? Once again may I say thank you for helping a total stranger. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
First post so please bear with me. My great uncle Edwin Jones served with the Post Office Rifles (8th Londons)but according to the CWGC he was killed September 6th 1916 and buried in Combles as a Rifleman in the London Rifle Brigade (5th Londons). How can I find out where and when Edwin served in France and how he came to be transferred from one battalion to another before his death on the Somme? His service number was 304009 if that's a clue. All help welcome as I begin to trace my family's service in WW1. Thanks for taking the trouble to read this.

Hi

I happen to visit the cemetery extn in Combles in may this year to visit the grave of my girlfriends great uncle who died on the 25th of september near Bouleaux Wood, Combles.

I can make a picture of your great uncles grave and sent it to you?

ciao

Alex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I happen to visit the cemetery extn in Combles in may this year to visit the grave of my girlfriends great uncle who died on the 25th of september near Bouleaux Wood, Combles.

I can make a picture of your great uncles grave and sent it to you?

Alex, you are a gentleman! I'd be pleased to receive such a photo. I am trying to trace my great uncle's "journey" through France with a view to following in his footsteps - not literally, I'm too soft for that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...