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Home Leave


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Hi

I was just wondering how often a soldier would have been given home leave and how many days he would have been entitled to each time?

Many thanks

Ann

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Ann,

From an anectodal point my grandfather enlisted 12/1914 and went to Salonika 12/1915. He had no recorded leave whilst he was there, leaving 3/1917. After promotion via Cadet School in UK he was posted to France and had two leave periods of 2-weeks each between 12/1917 and 11/1918.

Not sure if this was indicative nor do I know if overseas posting meant less leave.

Andrew

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Hi Ann,

looking at my grandfathers records he was posted to active service in France in october 1916, he was given 10 days leave to the UK in october 1917, he came back to the uk in november 1918 after being wounded.

cheers,

John.

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Ann,

From a Battalion War Diary.

18th January 1915-Leave for Officers began.

23rd May 1915-A limited amount of leave was granted during the next fortnight to Officers,N.C.O's and men of the Battalion.

24th January 1916-Before the New Year all N.C.O's. and men who had been in this country(France) since 1st January 1915 had been granted leave.

29th February 1916-During February leave was further reduced,2 Officers and 22 Other Ranks obtaining leave per week.On the 24th it was stopped altogether.

20th March 1916-On the 20th Leave was re-started but the allotment given to the Battalion was greatly reduced,the number allowed away every week being 2 Officers and 8 other ranks.Leave parties now travel by Boulogne instead of by Havre.

17th April 1916-Leave was suspended on the 12th April but recommenced on the 26th.The Battalion allotment was still very poor-only 2 Officers and 8 other ranks obtaining leave each week.After consultation with Company Commanders,it was decided that men who had proceeded on leave once should go again before men who had arrived in France the first time after those who had been on leave returned.Therefore the following rule was made: That men should proceed on leave in order in which they reached France,either from leave or for the first time.

31st May 1916-Leave was increased to 2 officers and 8 other ranks on the 6th May,to 2 officers and 10 other ranks on the 9th,but it was reduced to 1 officer and 6 other ranks on the 25th.

June 1916.Leave during month was first of all reduced and then stopped altogether.

George

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If it's any use I'm just typing out for a friend an RAMC soldier's service record from the Western Front.

He enlisted in October 1915, and went to France in March 1916. On 30 Nov. 1916 he is given a "Leave allowance" of 11 days, probably in the UK. This is repeated on 16 December 1917, 14 days. Likewise on 2 January 1919, 14 days.

Demobilized July 1919.

Those in the further-flung theatres of war (Gallipoli, Palestine, East Africa, etc) didn't get Home leave so were away for years in some cases. In France/Flanders allocation was very patchy, some men I hear of didn't get a Home leave for 20 months.

LST_164

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Officers were given more home leave than the other ranks. I have done a far bit of research into Great War Soldiers and I have seen home leave often after an injury or if the soldier had been sent on a course, only came across a few who were granted R and R. Bearing in mind how stretched the British Army was and most Battalions were under strength.

Phil

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My grt uncle had 7 days compassionate leave in June 1916 for the burial of his 3-year-old daughter, then in June 1917 was given 10 days leave to which was added a 4-day extension. He was killed one month later.

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Hi

Many thanks for all the replies. The information has been really interesting. I know from a newspaper article that my Granda had been home on leave during October 1917 and I had wondered if this had been the only time.

Thanks again.

Ann

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Hi

I was just thinking about how difficult the journey home must have been for the soldiers in those days. For instance my Granda had to travel from France back to Ballymena in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. I wonder how long the journey actually took him and how difficult it was.

Many thanks

Ann

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My grandfather was sent to France in January 1915 and given leave in November 1916 and was KIA April 1916. My uncle also had a week's leave in October 1916 before KIA January 1917 so at least one leave for 7 days in 2 years seemed apt. Both privates,one infantry and one ASC.

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Ann,

I'm open to correction here, but I don't think any allowance was made for the distance the men had to travel to and from their homes during a Leave.

This meant that those from London & the Home Counties had more time at home than those from, say, Scotland/Ireland.

LST_164

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There is an entry in the 8th Royal Scots War Diary,from memory 1916,stating leave for men, travelling to Scotland,had been increased to 9 days.

George

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Ann,

I'm open to correction here, but I don't think any allowance was made for the distance the men had to travel to and from their homes during a Leave.

This meant that those from London & the Home Counties had more time at home than those from, say, Scotland/Ireland.

LST_164

Actually there was, for those in the more far flung parts of the UK. I am not sure when it started, but up to two days could be added on to a usual seven day leave.

There was also local leave. My grandfather, an NCO in 7/Leicesters, for example, spent a few days in Paris.

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Ann,

From an anectodal point my grandfather enlisted 12/1914 and went to Salonika 12/1915. He had no recorded leave whilst he was there, leaving 3/1917. After promotion via Cadet School in UK he was posted to France and had two leave periods of 2-weeks each between 12/1917 and 11/1918.

Not sure if this was indicative nor do I know if overseas posting meant less leave.

Andrew

My great grandfather got into trouble for overstaying his leave by 21 hours and 10 minutes! He was lucky to get away with one days pay being stopped!

Regards

SPN

Maldon

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Agree with Nigel Cave - additional 'travel days' were allocated for soldiers in the 'far flung' parts of GB and Ireland.

Des

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I've been reading the letters of Captain Hugh Wallace 7th and 5th Battalions The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.

In July 1917, when OC Coy, he wrote that he'd been in France for over 6 months and was three months overdue for leave and hadn't the faintest chance of leave until his Company Officer was back out of hospital. It seems he finally was given leave in late August or early September.

The narrative notes that usual leave entitlement was for one week, which for Scottish soldiers with long distances to travel was far too short. It appears that Hugh's request for an extension was granted.

:) CGM

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I have been researching the story of Corporal Edward George Tindale (113168H) of the RE (Special Company) and it was said he had been "serving abroad for 2 years" before he got any leave. (And was killed the day he was due to travel home!).

SPN

Maldon

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Hi

Once again thanks for all the replies. It makes me realise just how brave the men were to be able to cope with being away from home for such long periods without much home contact. Imagine how young people nowadays would cope without their mobile phones etc.

Regards

Ann

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