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G W Skelton 204894


peter-s
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Hello, this is my first post on this site so please bear with me!! I have been researching my Grandfather for some time now and have come to a standstill,but, I am hopefull that someone can help me put a broader picture on him. I know from my Father (now deceased) that George was in the DLI,and have found reference to him on the 1918 absent voters list (Sedgefield Co. Durham Div.) He is listed as being in the 3RD Batt DLI. 204894, although on his Queen Mary tin he has scribbled 204004 at least thats what it looks like :blush: + his name. on the photos I have of him, there are no badges or insignia but he has 2 chevrons on his left sleeve plus a wound stripe below them. I have looked in the medal index and found no reference to him. The story goes that he was blown up and buried,and wounded in his legs that were sticking out, by gunfire,at a place that sounded like (allowing for the Geordie accent) Agincourt Farm. I have looked up the name but have never been sucessful in finding a reference :unsure: So...I'm pinning my hopes on you guys (and Gals) to help me out....Thanks in Anticipation...............

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The number{s} you give are TF Numbers{The 3rd Bn would be Reserve Battalion};there doesn't appear to be a Medal Index Card for a G W Skelton with either number on National Archive or Ancestry in the DLI.If serving in 1914 I would have thought he would have had a 2,3 or 4 Figure number prior to the 1916 6 Figure renumbering to 204894/204004

All George Skeltons @ NA

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The number{s} you give are TF Numbers{The 3rd Bn would be Reserve Battalion};there doesn't appear to be a Medal Index Card for a G W Skelton with either number on National Archive or Ancestry in the DLI.If serving in 1914 I would have thought he would have had a 2,3 or 4 Figure number prior to the 1916 6 Figure renumbering to 204894/204004

All George Skeltons @ NA

Thanks Harry,for the swift reply,I have looked through both ancestry and N/A without luck.....we do not have his medals we think 1 of his brothers may have been given them when he died..(1935, age 47) Dad told me he suffered greatly from flashbacks and would dive under the table at the least noise,and command everyone in the the room to do the same!!he also did a runner during the war for a short time and was found working in Trimdon Grange colliery.....as far as we know he was never charged!!

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

This is a bit of a tricky one - obviously your grandfather was overseas (the wound stripe) and the service stripes would suggest he was pre war (2 = 6 years? Expert help please).

Would it be a combination of a misspelt surname say 'Shelton' and a transfer between regiments such as the Labour corps on wounding and then back to DLI in the UK hence no entry on the MIC for the new service number.

Hope this helps.

Why don't you post the photos? - you never know.

David

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This is an intriguing one.

The two chevrons would have been for each year of overseas service. Red for 1914 and blue for 1915, 1916 etc.

Assuming the first three digits of the six numbers are correct and the story of the French location is accurate then he would have been with the 1/5th Battalion when the TF renumbering took place in early 1917 - the 2/5th Battalion was despatched to Salonika in October 1916.

When the AVL was compiled, he could have been home based recovering from wounds or sickness hence the reference to the 3rd Battalion.

David's suggestion of a misspelling is possible and one way of checking is to do a NA search using just the Corps box and entering Durham Light Infantry and in the regimental number box enter 204***. This will provide you with 903 candidates and great fun :) but you might be able to identify a likely candidate.

The alternative is that the MIC is simply missing - in which case, you will have no other option than checking the Medal Rolls.

Good luck!

regards

Mel

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Shred

I had a look at that one and the Medal Roll reference is for the Beds which doesn't tie in with the AVL information which would have been compiled in early-mid 1918.

If there was a transfer from the Beds to the DLI then the Medal Roll reference would be DLI based although the medals inscribed with the Bed details.

Regards

Mel

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Mel,

I too saw the card earlier and could not relate it to the information given. Is it not possible that George served with the Beds was injured prior to 1918, as per your reference to the 3rd Battalion?

Forgive me if I am confused, first day back in work and all that.

Regards,

Garry

Edit: Is the "Queen Mary Tin" reference important? Was this gift only sent to men abroad or to all men serving?

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Hi guys..thanks for the swift replys...........my dad said that he was in the terratorials but not sure if that was correct...anyway i have provided a link to the photos of him.......http://s197.photobucket.com/albums/aa90/azzkikker/WW1/

One more thing dad was born in june 1917 so George must have been home at least 9 months earlier.....that is unless the milkman was :o:D

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Just to point out that George is wearing 2 good conduct chevrons and not overseas chevrons which were worn on the lower right sleeve.

Is there any chance of a closer look at the shoulder titles that appear in the damaged photo? It may give shed some further light on George's service.Have you thought of having the photo restored? There are some nimble fingered folks on this forum who may be able to help you out.

Jon

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Just to point out that George is wearing 2 good conduct chevrons and not overseas chevrons which were worn on the lower right sleeve.

Is there any chance of a closer look at the shoulder titles that appear in the damaged photo? It may give shed some further light on George's service.Have you thought of having the photo restored? There are some nimble fingered folks on this forum who may be able to help you out.

Jon

Thanks for the advice guys.......the group photo is actually A4 size...I resized it a few days ago to try and see the shoulder badge on the middle chaps left shoulder ..but it just gets more blurry!! :huh: .............I have a question to Mel...have you got the area or trench map to Agincourt Farm? was it a trench or an actual building and where in France was it? Thanks once again, you people are brilliant.

Peter.

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Friends

Apologies if a sent out a dummy re the stripes - meant long service/good conduct on the left forearm.

Q to experts - Were TF entitled to wear them? - assuming a yes..

David

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Peter

Just a few comments.

Jon is right about the good conduct chevrons which during the war period were issued for two years and five years of good conduct.

I have never come across an 'Agincourt Farm' and, as you indicate, it could well be a corruption of anything.

If we assume that the AVL number of 204894 is correct then this would be a very late transfer to the 5th TF Battalion. By July 1918 the Battalion had been reduced to cadre strength and was no longer utilised as a fighting unit. It was disbanded completely a couple of days before the end of the war.

I have had a trawl through Ancestry and the highest six figure enlistment number that I can find in the 5th Battalion range is 204700 for Alexander Christie who joined in July 1917.

The highest figure fatality for the 200,001 - 205,000 range is Michael Loftus 204780 killed 21 Jan 1918 with the 7th Battalion.

The two good conduct chevrons indicate that your grandfather could not have been a late 1917 enlistment - he has to be a late transfer into the DLI TF. I say transfer because had he already been a member of the DLI TF then his six figure service number should have been much lower judging by the chevrons.

My conclusion is that the only way that he could have ended up with the chevrons and the high six figure number was because he served with another regiment's TF Battalion before he transferred.

Have a look here on the LLT for the six figure renumbering:

http://www.1914-1918.net/TF_renumbering_infantry.htm

and, in particular:

[b]If a TF infantryman subsequently transferred to a different corps (infantry or otherwise), he received a new number. He was initially posted to a TF unit of his new corps, renumbered with a TF number[/b], and then could be posted to a regular unit - which means he may never have actually served in the TF unit associated with his new number.

(Regular soldiers retained their existing numbers as long as they served in that corps of infantry. If a regular subsequently transferred to a different infantry corps, he received a regular number in the new corps, irrespective of whether he joined a regular or TF unit in that corps).

More headaches!

regards

Mel

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Peter

If my analysis is correct (there is a lot of supposition) he could have been transferred straight to the 3rd Battalion DLI whilst in the UK recovering from wounds without him ever touching the 1/5th Battalion (although having been allocated one of its numbers).

If this is the case and the family history and wound stripe confirm that he saw active service then there are two potential candidates that fit the bill:

George Skelton West Riding 238213 and another West Yorks 235890.

Regards

Mel

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David

I am reluctant to answer your question about the chevrons because you asked for an expert (Grumpy is the meister on the subject) but my understanding is that the same system applied to the TF.

Regards

Mel

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi again!! further to my last post I have a 99.9% certainty from another site(MILITARY BADGES) that the shoulder title is the DUKE OF WELLINGTONS aka the West Riding Regiment.

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