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Regular Army RFA 127th Battery in Bordon 1911 Census


clalou
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Hello All

Happy to be revisiting after a few months with a new query - With the release of the 1911 Census I have now confirmed my ancestor appears to have been regular army. Previous attempts at trying to find his service record have been unsuccessful and I have come to the conclusion his was one of the many destroyed. In 1911 Census however he is aged 28 years (presumably training) with 127th Battery of the RFA in Bordon Hants. His rank in 1911 is Bombadier. By the 1914 he had attained Sgt. status but was with the 126th Battery when leaving for France in 1914. Was it possible to change batteries or were there amalgamations, if so does anyone know when the 126th (XXIX brigade) came into being. I am also interested in where the 127th battery were based and their activities from possibly 1905 when my ancestor could have joined. He enlisted at New Cross.

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Hello Clalou

XXIX Brigade RFA, consisting of 125, 126 and 127 Batteries, had been in existence since before 1900. In August 1914 it was at Shorncliffe, Kent (just outside Folkestone). I am not sure where they were in 1905 but if he joined them as a recruit in that year I suspect that they would have been in the UK, though not necessarily at Bordon.

It was not that uncommon for men to be transferred between batteries within a brigade. For example, 126 Batt might have had a vacancy for a sergeant but no suitale candidate of their own, whereas your ancestor might have been one of several well-qualified men in 127 Batt for whom no internal promotion was available.

Ron

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Hi,

Here is what I have on the 126th Battery

In 1902 the 29th Brigade RFA was based at Fermoy, Cork District, Ireland.

From the Army List's.

126th Battery No 7 Depot Woolwich Jan 1903

126th Battery Bordon for Shorncliffe July 1911

126th Battery Shorncliffe April 1913

Regards Mark

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Hello All

In 1911 Census however he is aged 28 years (presumably training) with 127th Battery of the RFA in Bordon Hants.

Hi Clalou, Please could you tell me where in the 1911 census you located your man.

Regards, Tom

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Tom

There are seven pages on the census. Here is the transcript of the first page which could be used to construct a nominal roll of a unit.

Name: Age: Sex: Military:

BORTON, WILLIAM NEVILLE 28 LIEUTENANT ROYAL ENGINEERS 127TH BATTERY R F A

GALE, HENRY DAVIS 24 LIEUTENANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

WELCH, WALTER GEORGE FREDERIC 21 LIEUTENANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

PELLINER, RUPERT COLERICK TAGBOURNE 20 LIEUTENANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

HAWKINS, JOHN DENIS CURTIES 22 LIEUTENANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

LAING, FREDERIK ROBERT 25 LIEUTENANT R A M C

SMITH, ARTHUR GILLIAT 22 LIEUTENANT ROYAL ENGINEERS 127TH BATTERY R F A

SANDOM, HENRY JAMES 40 BATTERY SERGT: MAJOR 127TH BATTERY R F A

BELL, CHARLES 32 BATTERY QUARTERMASTER SERGEANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

BILLINGTON, WILLIAM DEACON 38 FARRIER QUARTERMASTER SERGEANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

MOORE, FREDERICK CHARLES 29 SERGEANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

SELLEY, WALTER HENRY 33 SERGEANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

RICHARDS, HENRY ERNEST 31 SERGEANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

BROOKES, WILLIAM HENRY 26 SERGEANT 127TH BATTERY R F A

CLEAREY, CHARLES WILLIAM 29 CORPORAL 127TH BATTERY R F A

FRANCIS, WILLIAM CHARLES 33 CORPORAL 127TH BATTERY R F A

MITCHELL, DAVID 37 CORPORAL 127TH BATTERY R F A

SCHULZE, CARL 28 CORPORAL 127TH BATTERY R F A

DONNELLEY, MICHEAL 28 SHOEING SMITH CORPORAL 127TH BATTERY R F A

MITCHELL, FREDERICK EDWARD 24 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

KEAY, JOHN THOMAS 23 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

PRATT, ERNEST VICTOR 24 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

WILLOWS, ALEXANDER 28 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

BRYAN, ARTHUR WILLIAM 27 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

CHANDLER, ALBERT VICTOR 20 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

BITTLESTON, ARCHIBALD 20 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

HOPES, GEORGE EDWARD 22 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

MILES, ALBERT 24 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

RUSSELL, WILLIAM JOSEPH 26 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

WRIGHT, GEORGE RICHARD 21 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

Regards

Mel

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Hello Clalou

XXIX Brigade RFA, consisting of 125, 126 and 127 Batteries, had been in existence since before 1900. In August 1914 it was at Shorncliffe, Kent (just outside Folkestone). I am not sure where they were in 1905 but if he joined them as a recruit in that year I suspect that they would have been in the UK, though not necessarily at Bordon.

It was not that uncommon for men to be transferred between batteries within a brigade. For example, 126 Batt might have had a vacancy for a sergeant but no suitale candidate of their own, whereas your ancestor might have been one of several well-qualified men in 127 Batt for whom no internal promotion was available.

Ron

Dear Ron

Many thanks for your reply. I was interested to learn that you could exchange batteries for suitable positions which in my ancestors case would make sense. I am not exactly sure when he joined the RFA but he was still at home in 1901 aged 16. Thanls again Clalou

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Hello All

In 1911 Census however he is aged 28 years (presumably training) with 127th Battery of the RFA in Bordon Hants.

Hi Clalou, Please could you tell me where in the 1911 census you located your man.

Regards, Tom

Hi Tom

I was not 100% sure that my ancestor had joined the army by 1911 so just typed him in by name only. Thankfully there was only one hit for his name so I was certain this was him. 1911 census can be found on findmypast website where you can register and then buy credits. It can be quite expensive - smallest credit is £6.95 for 60 credits which lasts 90 days. 10 credits for a transcribed schedule or 30 credits for an original image and download (which if you are looking for individuals in private houses it is usually their own handwriting). Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Clalou

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Hi,

Here is what I have on the 126th Battery

In 1902 the 29th Brigade RFA was based at Fermoy, Cork District, Ireland.

From the Army List's.

126th Battery No 7 Depot Woolwich Jan 1903

126th Battery Bordon for Shorncliffe July 1911

126th Battery Shorncliffe April 1913

Regards Mark

Hi Mark

Many thanks for the information on the 126th. I am not sure when my ancestor received his promotion to Sjt. or when he transferred to the 126th from the 127th but I would have thought it was by the time they left for France in the August of 1914. Am I correct in thinking they sailed to France on the Armenian?

Thanks again

Clalou

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Tom

There are seven pages on the census.

WILLOWS, ALEXANDER 28 BOMBARDIER 127TH BATTERY R F A

Regards

Mel

Hi Mel & Tom

And here he is my ancestor Alexander Willows - the actual 1911 census says Alton District but when you look in detail on the transcribed schedule it does actually say Alton District - Bordon Hants. Unfortunately the original does not appear to be available so only had to pay 10 credits for the transcribed copy. Thanks for all your help guys.

Kind regards

Clalou

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Hi Mark

Many thanks for the information on the 126th. I am not sure when my ancestor received his promotion to Sjt. or when he transferred to the 126th from the 127th but I would have thought it was by the time they left for France in the August of 1914. Am I correct in thinking they sailed to France on the Armenian?

Thanks again

Clalou

Hi Clalou,

You will find more on the 126th on this link

Regards Mark

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...c=91453&hl=

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Clalou,

You will find more on the 126th on this link

Regards Mark

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...c=91453&hl=

Thanks again Mark have just looked back over the comments on this week which fills a couple of gaps for me. Does anyone remember seeing a tv programme I think ITV1 Deep Wreck Mysteries with the SS Armenian featuring in one of the episodes. I sadly missed it - anyone know if or when it will be repeated either on terrestrial tv or SKY channel? Did anyone record this programme? Thanks to all Clalou

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Clalou

I have been waiting impatiently for authorisation since I saw your post about 127th RFA yesterday so that I could answer the outstanding question you posed!

My Great Uncle: William Henry Brookes, born Murree, West Bengal, India 1885 to parents William and Elizabeth Brookes, became my gt uncle when in 1906 he married my Grans sister in Aston, Birmingham. He was already a soldier, according to the marr. cert., and turns up again, a Sergeant, in 1911 at Bordon, Hants where you found your relative!

In the period between his marriage and 1911 he became the father of two children, born 1908 and 1910 in Kirkee, Bombay, India. So thats where the Battery was before 1911. Tho I believe his parents were still in India and I haven't been able to pin down the 127th at Kirkee I haven't given up hope of doing so!

We know that on 04 Aug 1914 at Shornecliffe, Nr Folkestone in the XXIX Brigade, 4th Division, evidently awaiting a move accross the Channel. I know no more of his WW1 movements nor those of his battery...?

In the years that followed WW1 he and his family lived in Moseley, Birmingham. His son William Frederick Pentland Brookes went on to be a Captain RA and some how ended up marrying in Tobruk in 1948. I am trying to trace his son, Nigel W Brookes b. 1953, as I type. Again sadly Bill junior died a year later in 1954.

Bill went on to become Lt Col. MC Bar, Croix de Guerre with palme but sadly died in 1942 in Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham and was interred at St Peters Church, Harborne.

At the time of his death though retired he was apparently the Chief Recruiting Officer, Midland Division for the Army in what we now call the West Midlands.

I have copy of The London Gazette award of his MC of 3 April 1918 at which time he was Lt./ Acting Major.

I would love to know where - ideally on line - I can get any more info about the war diary of the 127th?

I hope this may help you answer the one part of your original question that seemingly remain un-addressed in others' generous replies.

Colin

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Hi,

This looks like his Medal Card

Regards Mark

There are also these two cards.

post-14045-1242583896.jpg

post-14045-1242583906.jpg

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Army List Jan 1915

Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery

2nd Lt Brookes W,H, 1 Oct 14

Army List Nov 1916

Lt Brookes W,H, MC, (Temp Capt 5 Mar 16) 9 June 15

Army List Dec 1917

Lt Brooke W,H, MC, (Acting Maj (T.F.), 19 Apr 17) 9 June 15

Army List Dec 1918

Lt Brooke W,H, MC, (Acting Maj (T.F.), 19 Apr 17) 9 June 15

Regards Mark

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Hi Clalou

"I have been waiting impatiently for authorisation since I saw your post about 127th RFA yesterday so that I could answer the outstanding question you posed!"

Dear Colin - Thank you very much for your information on your Great Uncle William Harry Brookes. I was very interested to learn that the 127th had a spell in India and this will certainly add more "flesh" to the steady accumulating info I have on my soldier Alexander Willows. He later appears to transfer from 127th to 126th when promoted to Sjt - sadly he was killed by the following May and is buried at Bailleul.

According to a copy of the war diary I have it states both the 126th and 127th embarked from Southampton on the SS Armenian on the 22nd August 1914 arriving at Le Havre the following day at 6am. Hope this helps

Kindest regards

Clalou

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Hi Clalou

... all information helps , I find. The 126th War Diary shown here in part mentions 127th too so thats even more help.

I was hoping William Henry Brookes 1916 and 1918 MC and bar earning conduct would be mentiond!

Thanks for your help.

Colin

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Army List Jan 1915

Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery

2nd Lt Brookes W,H, 1 Oct 14

Army List Nov 1916

Lt Brookes W,H, MC, (Temp Capt 5 Mar 16) 9 June 15

Army List Dec 1917

Lt Brooke W,H, MC, (Acting Maj (T.F.), 19 Apr 17) 9 June 15

Army List Dec 1918

Lt Brooke W,H, MC, (Acting Maj (T.F.), 19 Apr 17) 9 June 15

Regards Mark

Thanks Mark, thats even more grist to the mill!

Oddly his name doesnt seem to appear in the War Diarys amongst the officers?

WHB went on to be Lt Col and Chief recruiting officer of the Midland Division in WW2, sadly passing on in 1942 at only 58!

Colin

Colin

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Hi,

This looks like his Medal Card

Regards Mark

Mark

Thats superb, thanks again.

Translating it all is of course a nighmare for one not versed in these things but I will print it off and try!

The only missing item now is details of his original enrolment/attestation etc. Do you have any idea where I would be able to find this? We think his Dad who was also a William was also a soldier and in India where he... and his son... were born. He was already a soldire in 1906 when he married.

Colin

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Hi,

Looking at the back of his Medal Card it looks like he served with the 286th Brigade RFA, 57th Division at some point.

Regards Mark

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Mark

I see it... and in early 1917... what are the impliations, I wonder. I supoose it can explain why I dont see him in 125/6/7 war Diary.

Colin

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From 'The Long Long Trail'

CCLXXXVI Brigade

Territorial Force 2nd Line

57th Division from formation in February 1915 to November 1918.

Originally designated 2/2ndWest Lancashire Brigade.

I think the 1917 date refers to the application for the 1914 Star.

Regards Mark

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Thanks again Mark.

I have seen some of these and you had me going with the DSO! In fact that was his second bar to the MiC. he DSOs seems to finish in the column above!

He seems to have been a seriously brave guy!

I have been scurrying around about looking for stuff on his 57th 286 time.

Cant find any war diaries but there is some stuff there.

Again all this is much appreciated. Thanks

Colin

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