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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Which Battallion?


Drumcree
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Trying to trace my father's battallion,RGA. His service number was 76902. Was he Regular Army or Kitchener's army? Is it possible to find out more onfo.? He survived the war and died in 1974.

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Hello Richard.

I am no expert on the RGA(Royal Garrison Artillery?)but seems like a 1916 number,or slightly before.

My great grandads number in the MGC was 73313,and i believe he was given this number in the middle of 1916.

Do you know his year of birth?

This may give you an idea of when he enlisted or was conscipted.

Good hunting Richard.

All the best.

Simon.

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Simon

The MGC was not formed until October 1915 so you are not comparing like with like.

The RGA number was issued around mid May 1916 which indicates either a Derby man or a conscript - but, more likely the former.

Probably would have trained at Fort Brockhurst, Gosport.

regards

Mel

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Hello Mel.

A very interesting comment you have made,with reference to the RGA numbering system.

On the 14th of October 1915,if my memory serves me right, the MGC was formed and,much like your thoughts on George,Oscar was a Derby man(attested 10.12.15 at Pangbourne,Berks)who was originally 6514 Pvt O.Furnell,3/5th Royal Berks,before being transfered to the MGC sometime in 1916,i believe sometime in July 1916 or though it may have been before this.

Do you think there is the possibilty that there were a few 73313's within the armed forces at this time,or maybe there was a different numbering system used for Derby men?.

See what i mean by an interesting coment.

All the best.

Simon.

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Do you think there is the possibilty that there were a few 73313's within the armed forces at this time,or maybe there was a different numbering system used for Derby men?.

Simon

Before 1920 each regiment and corps had a separate numbering system, so the number 73313 would have been issued at different times by, say, the RFA, the RGA, the RE, the ASC and the MGC. There is no way to link a particular number with a particular date without knowing the corps.

TF units normally used a different set of numbers, and were re-numbered in a new set of sequences starting at 200000 in early 1917. New Army units often had their own separate systems again.

Ron

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In case Richard ever reads this thread, I would say your father was mobilised at the end of April 1916.

Simon, Do you have his records? Oscar Furnell was mobilised on the 22 September 1916, and was transferred 5 February 1917. Have I misread something here?

200000 plus in the RGA were still regular numbers. I haven't seen anything below 300000 for the RGA TF renumbering, and 290000 for new army units.

Kevin

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Hello Kevrow.

Well now this thread gets even more interesting.

I don't have Oscars records,or though i do know that they exsist thanks to a friend who used to be part of this forum,and who helped me piece together quite a bit i know about him.

I have his company war diary here(214th Company MGC,173RD Brigade,58th 2/1st London Division,later 58th Battalion MGC).

The plot thickens.

I don't think you have misread anything,and it sounds as if you know quiet a bit more than i do.

Family history has it,that he was defered from joining the forces because his youngest daughter,Phoebe Maude(born January 1916 and still with us at 93)was still a baby and his employers were determined to keep hold of his services,and put a good word in with the local board to keep him out of the war.

It was all in vain,and he ended up going over and as far as i am aware,landed in F&F in early January 1917.

I have some pictures here of him in his MGC uniform which i believe were taken in January 1918 by his employer,approximately a year after he landed.

Your date of September 22 1916,and a landing date of February 1917 is very interesting.

I have been meaning to place a post about finding a reference on Ancestry.org about an Oscar Apovini Lieuw Furnell,whose record shows up on a search on the site.

I have wondered if this man,and my Oscar are the same person.

He wasn't a pre-war Terrier,as far as i am aware,having been born in Buckinghamshire and spending his life working with horses(1901 census has him working in a pub in Reigate,which i have been to,as a groom/stable lad)and running the stables of Lord and Lady Grey when he finally joined up.

My brain is now doing overtime,following your comments,and i would be interested to know more.

One of the best threads i have seen for a long time,if only from a personal point of view.

All the best.

Simon.

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