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Remembered Today:

L/Cpl 120 1st Bn Black Watch


Skipman

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L/Cpl # 120 John McInnes 1st Bn Black Watch. Would it be possible to say when he joined the Army, with such a low number.

He was born in 1884. His service record doesn't appear to have survived.

Thanks Mike.

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Hi Mike,

Probably very late 1904 or early 1905:

9840 - 04.04.04

182 - 20.03.05

Stuart

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Thanks very much Stuart, that's a great help.

Where do you get these numbers? Is it just down to experience?

I knew it must have been pretty early but not sure when.

He was John McInnes 1st Black watch.

Cheers Mike.

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Numbers and dates are usually from service records (Ancestry is now the easy source) and sometimes from Silver War Badge rolls but you have to be a bit more careful with these because a few odd 'uns have crept in to the rolls.

Yes, I looked the number up; the poor man didn't have a very long war, did he?

You may have some Black Watch books or info, so can I ask do you have any official date of disembarkation for the 1st Black Watch in August 1914, i.e. do you have the August war diary saying, for example, '13th Aug 1914: disembarked at Le Havre'? It's just that I've noted that the OR MICs usually state 13th, but the officers' record 14th.

Cheers,

Stuart

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Thanks Stuart.

I only have Wauchope's history of Black Watch to go by, it says

" On August the 13th the Battalion marched out of Oudenarde Barracks with a strength of 28 officers and 1031 other ranks.At Farnborough it entrained in two trains and, on arrival at Southampton, embarked on the Italian Prince, and landed at Havre about midday, Aug 14th."

John McInnes's MIC says below Theatre of war first served ( which is empty )

Date of entry therein 13.8.1914

So am not sure which date is correct, Wauchope or MIC?

Cheers Mike

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Thanks Stuart.

So am not sure which date is correct, Wauchope or MIC?

Cheers Mike

The records that say the 14th. It sounds as if they set off on the 13th and crossed the Channel but probably for logistical reasons waited until noon on the 14th to land the men. Therefore any Service Records should give the date of embarkation as the 13th - and this is the date for eligibility of award of medals (the date they left the UK).

Best wishes.

Andy.

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The records that say the 14th. It sounds as if they set off on the 13th and crossed the Channel but probably for logistical reasons waited until noon on the 14th to land the men. Therefore any Service Records should give the date of embarkation as the 13th - and this is the date for eligibility of award of medals (the date they left the UK).

Best wishes.

Andy.

I have a problem accepting this: I believe rolls and MiC etc usually show date entered theatre. That is, disembarkation.

Do you have chapter and verse, please?

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I have a problem accepting this: I believe rolls and MiC etc usually show date entered theatre. That is, disembarkation.

Do you have chapter and verse, please?

No - but I'll stand corrected.

It's an observation that originates more from a pattern I have spotted when I have been looking at Service Records, especially those involving travelling longer distances than to the Continent. Overseas service always commences when they get on the transport ship - not when they get off. I suspect it also explains the issue of the BWM on its own to men who were lost in transit through sinking, illness etc., befoe they actually entered a land theatre.

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Mike and Andy,

A belated thank you for the info. That clears that one up.

Andy, re overseas service dates - I have seen service files of men disembarking in Egypt on 2nd January 1916 (so obviously set sail Dec 1915) who were only entitled to the pair. I don't have the references but always remember since I thought it really unlucky - if they had been sent to France, they would have got the trio.

Saying that, it isn't always easy to be sure of the date given on an MIC. The battalion I research landed at Gallipoli on 6th June 1915, so the majority of men have that date on their MICs. However, a good number have 24th May i.e. embarkation date, which is even more wrong (yes, can't be I know, but you know what I mean) because it wasn't the battalion's actual embarkation date, rather it was that of the Divisional HQ. Keeps us all on our toes!

Cheers,

Stuart

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Hi

Both MIC and Wauchope are correct -

They sailed on the 13th and landed on the 14th. So they leftfor war on the 13th and landed in theatre on the 14th.

See 1st Bn Diary entry below.

Regards

Fred

13.8.14

THURSDAY

Entrained at Farnborough (G.W.R) in two trains from Southampton.

Considerable delay there while Regtl. transport of 2 Bns. 9th. Brigade was being placed on board our transport "Italian Prince". Bn. embarked complete ­ a great advantage.

Sailed about 9.p.m., Fine & calm.

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Hi Joe

I don't have a lot on him yet.SDGW says residence Dundee?, he was born 13/4/1884 Chapel St Aberfeldy.Father John ( a shoemaker )

Mother Maggie Kerr Scott Domestic Servant. No marriage cert for John and Maggie.

I still have a lot of work to do on him. I will be searching Boer War and other pre-war records.

cheers mike.

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Hi Joe and Mike.

Tom Smythe, should be able to get his date of enlistment. You can't rely go on regimental numbers for date of enlistement by Regulars. It can be done on the TF Battalions up to the the time when each battalion was given blocks of numbers. Because he was a pre war Regular, in all probability his record is at Kew, unfortunatly its a long way from the first muster of The Black Watch

Tom

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You can't rely go on regimental numbers for date of enlistement by Regulars.

Hi Tom,

That's an interesting observation. Is there something unusual about the numbering of the Black Watch? Just asking because, in most cases, numbering of regular battalions can usually be followed fairly easily over time, and I haven't noticed anything very different with the Black Watch.

Cheers,

Stuart

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