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Remembered Today:

Transfer to Labour Corps (again)


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According to the service papers of a soldier I am studying, he was “compulsorily and temporarily” transferred to join 199 Company of the Labour Corps on 10 August 1918. This was authorised under Army Council Instruction 916. Was this a medical downgrading, or an organisational thing?

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Chris

Am just catching up with the Forum after a few days shopping in Edinburgh!!

I have not got a copy of ACI 916 for either 1917 or 1918. So either I have missed one relating to the Labour Corps or it is a general ACI.

I have not copied each of the ACI's that laid down which unit a man should be put in on enlistment. However as he was transferred these ACI's would not apply to him - I take it he was transferred from another unit?

You have me intrigued!

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Talking of tranfers to the Labour Corps - I am part way through trawling through the latest MIC releases for the 9th King's Liverpool Regt and I am intigued by the number who transferred.

Are there any number blocks available to show me which Labour Corps units these men went to initially, based on their new service number, or can any other information be gleaned from these numbers?

I'm not able to get to the NA for some time and when I do time might not allow me to look for the papers of many of these men.

Regards,

Ken

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Info can be gleaned from numbers - what is the series?

Ian,

I have 40 men so far who served in the Labour Corps after serving in the 9th King's. The numbers vary from 118***, all 6-digit numbers but mostly starting with 5 or 6.

Regards,

Ken

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Ken,

If their Labour Corps numbers are 118*** (?), unit information will be forthcoming when I get to my paperwork this evening, as they were original members of the Corps.

Ian

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If their Labour Corps numbers are 118*** (?), unit information will be forthcoming when I get to my paperwork this evening, as they were original members of the Corps.

The 118*** number is 118523 - Pte Jonathon V A BRAID.

The next two men on my list have consecutive numbers - 224403 & 224403.

Ken

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Ken

118523 is, as Ian said, one of the original Labour Corps men and would put him in 198 Company.

224403 is slightly later (July 1917?) and puts him in 247 or 248 Company.

The 500000 and 600000 series date from 1918. Not so easy to link to a specific company, often they are men who were in PoW Companies but not always!

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The next two men on my list have consecutive numbers - 224403 & 224403.

thats what I call consecutive!

Well spotted, LB.

Since they weren't identical twins, I can only cringe and admit that I cut and paste the number rather than type it twice. If only I'd remembered to change the last digit it would have read "224403 & 224404".

Now, where's my book of plausible excuses?

Ken

:ph34r:

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118523 is, as Ian said, one of the original Labour Corps men and would put him in 198 Company.

224403 is slightly later (July 1917?) and puts him in 247 or 248 Company.

The 500000 and 600000 series date from 1918. Not so easy to link to a specific company, often they are men who were in PoW Companies but not always!

Thanks Ivor,

This information is quite useful for putting their transfers into perspective.

When were 198 and the other original companies formed?

Can a date be ascertained for the following:

325057

332010

375286

375447

390804

I also have about 10 men in the 400000 series covering the whole range.

Is there a reference work that can be consulted to learn more about these transfers and number blocks?

thanks again,

Ken

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Ken

The original units were formed about 14 May 1917. There is some question about the exact date for some units. Have a look at the thread Ian started "Happy Birthday Labour Corps".

ACI 611 of 1917 gives the regimental numbers for the original Labour Corps companies (1 to 203, 295 to 358, No 1 to 42 Group and the 7 Labour Battalions) but these only give details for regimental numbers from 1to about 186,000)

After 186,000 there are no surviving records. That is one reason why I am building up my own database.

325057 probably company around 350 but not certain

332010 probably Western Command Labour Centre

375286 cannot link to specific company

375447 cannot link to specific company

390804 cannot link to specific company

The trouble is that men were issued their number on transfer to the LC and then sent to their unit. In many cases the number was issued at the Labour Centre so a whole block of men would be issued with numbers and then sent to whichever unit needed men!

Some of the 400000 series can be attributed to specific companies. Let me have the numbers and I will check for you. You may be lucky.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ivor,

Thanks for that information.

Looking again at the 37**** series numbers, whilst you can't link them to specific companies because of the way numbers were issued beofre men were sent to individual units, is it possible to make an educated guess at the dates of transfer?

I am thinking particularly of a man who transferred into the Labour Corps and was given the number 372051.

Regards,

Ken

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Ivor,

Thanks for the reply.

I will have to add this man to my list of PRO targets when I finally make it to Kew.

Regards,

Ken

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Kevin Stillyards

Ivor,

Im researching an S Bilton (17/899) 17th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, later moved to Labour Corps with service number 493837.

Would be very interested if you could hazard a guess from his number as to when he may have made the switch to the Labour Corps. 17th Northumberland was a pioneer unit raised from railway workers around Hull. Do you know if this unit was transferred to LC or would it have been individuals?

Kev

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Kevin

I think the transfer would have been during September/October 1917. Originally I thought it was later but have recently come across two men with numbers in the 500000 series who joined the LC in September 1917.

I will be interested to see what you can find out about him. So far I cannot place him in a specific Company.

As far as I am aware it was a case of individual transfer and not a large group from his Battalion.

Regards

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