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2/8th london regt. post office rifles


ypres tommy
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My great grandfather served with the 2/8th londons between 1915 and the end of the war and i was wondering if any of the forum pals may have pictures or scans of the regiment that could be either posted here or emailed to me, sadly i have no pictures of my great grandfather but hope to someday find one however any pictures would be most welcome.

Any other info would be greatly appreciated as all i know is he won the mm possibly at wurst farm in september 1917.

His details are : 372548 Bernard A.F. Mitchley

Many thanks

Carl

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Carl

Your great grandfather's number was issued in February 1916. You say he served from 1915 so he possibly attested under the Derby Scheme in 1915 and then actually joined the PORs in Feb 1916. He would also have had a four digit number originally - probably around the 5190 mark - but obviously did not proceeed overseas until after the TF re-numbering exercise had taken place in early 1917, hence the reason why only his six digit POR number appears on his MIC.

His service record does not appear to exist in the WO 364 or WO 363 series.

Paul

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Many thanks Britman and Paul the info you have supplied is most interesting! Also thanks to Martin(Connaughtranger) for the photo's you sent !

Regards

Carl

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Hello Ypres tommy and welcome to the 58th Division club.

Although i need to delve deep into my memory,i believe that your relation may have been part of the 174th Brigade of this division.

174th Brigade saw action during Bullecourt in early 1917,and the latter half of 3rd Ypres,including the battle of Menin Road Ridge on the 20th of September 1917,where i believe the only V.C that i have so far found in the 58th Division was earned by Sergeant Alfred Knight,a member of 2/8th Londons(post office rifles).

They served through at Ypres until the later part of 1917,including the last battles in November around Passchedaele,and spent a very cold Christmas in the salient.

They later moved down to the bottom part of the line on the Somme,around Le Fere being involved in the March offensive by the German army in 1918.

However,looking at the medal card posted,it seems that at some point in 1918 he was transfered to the Labour Corps,for whatever reason,be it age or maybe some injury that he may have received.

What is interesting to me is that his Labour corps number is only 13,000 numbers less than my Great Grandad,John Allum,who is mentioned in my caption below.

A large number is 13,000,but not when you consider the amount of men that were moved between regular units and the labour corps in the last 6 months of the war.

Do you have an idea of what age he may have been at the time Ypres?.

John was 36 at the time he was moved,and Oscar,my other Great-Grandad was 30 ish when he signed up as a Derby man.

Hope this is of help,Ypres,and if i can remember any more i will pass it on.

All the best.

Simon Furnell.

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Carl

The Labour Corps number suggests a transfer to the Corps around September 1918.

Also almost certainly one of the German PoW Companies - possibly 274 0r 275 but I cammot be sure about which

Ivor

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Good evening Ivor,and i hope you are well.

Long time no chat old pal,and i am interested by your comments on this soldier being a part of the German POW Companies.

Were there specific Labour corps companies that dealt with German POW's?.

Good to see you.

All the best.

Simon.

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Hello Ypres tommy and welcome to the 58th Division club.

Although i need to delve deep into my memory,i believe that your relation may have been part of the 174th Brigade of this division.

174th Brigade saw action during Bullecourt in early 1917,and the latter half of 3rd Ypres,including the battle of Menin Road Ridge on the 20th of September 1917,where i believe the only V.C that i have so far found in the 58th Division was earned by Sergeant Alfred Knight,a member of 2/8th Londons(post office rifles).

They served through at Ypres until the later part of 1917,including the last battles in November around Passchedaele,and spent a very cold Christmas in the salient.

They later moved down to the bottom part of the line on the Somme,around Le Fere being involved in the March offensive by the German army in 1918.

However,looking at the medal card posted,it seems that at some point in 1918 he was transfered to the Labour Corps,for whatever reason,be it age or maybe some injury that he may have received.

What is interesting to me is that his Labour corps number is only 13,000 numbers less than my Great Grandad,John Allum,who is mentioned in my caption below.

A large number is 13,000,but not when you consider the amount of men that were moved between regular units and the labour corps in the last 6 months of the war.

Do you have an idea of what age he may have been at the time Ypres?.

John was 36 at the time he was moved,and Oscar,my other Great-Grandad was 30 ish when he signed up as a Derby man.

Hope this is of help,Ypres,and if i can remember any more i will pass it on.

All the best.

Simon Furnell.

That VC is on display at the moment at the Churchill War Rooms London, I am going to see it this Friday. My Grandfather was at the battle of Wurst ridge 20.09.17 with the Post Office Rifles and I walked and photographed the same battle field last year 20.09.08. Later this year I intend to follow the battalion thurther as they moved south of Ypres in 1918.

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Simon

Sorry by German I meant eneny - although they did tend to separate nationalities.

Originally the Labour Corps only provided men to supervise the work of the Pows.

All PoW Companies became part of the Labour Corps in 1918 with existing Officers and Escorts transferred to the Corps.

Ivor

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To everyone who has helped me so far...many thanks!!! below is a rough outline of the info i have been able to piece together so far!

Bernard Athelstan Frederick Mitchley was born in 1896 in wandsworth, south london and volounteered in november 1915, joining the POR around jan, feb 1916 joining them for training in Ipswich and in july they moved to Sutton Veny.

They landed in France on the 27th jan 1917 as part of 174th brigade, 58th (london) division.

The regiment fought at Bullecourt, Messines, Mennin road and Passchendaele to name a few.

In the London Gazette dated 12th dec 1917 he was mentioned as recieving the MM and i believe this would of been awarded around the time of Sgt Knight's VC as 28 MM's were awarded for action on the same day to the regiment, however this is only a hunch and sadly will probably never be known.

Unusually he is mentioned twice on the National Roll Of The Great War and in one account mentioned as wounded three times and in the other wounded twice and once gassed. Probably why he ended up in the Labour Corps with one of the P.O.W companys around sept 1918, many thanks to Ivor Lee for that fantastic information.

So in a nutshell that's what i have so far!

Again many thanks to everyone who has helped me so far and please i am still after any more info that you may have and any photo's of the post office rifles that may be out there!

Regards

Carl Mitchley

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