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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Stumped with pictures - need help

Mark Crame

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Tricky one this one. It's my best mate's great grandfather. He knew nothing last week but thanks to a Pal on here (in Skindles) his pension records were retrieved from Ancestry - 31 pages of it!!! India, Burmah, Boer War, First World War. Finished as A/Sgt William James Campling with QSA (Paardeberg, Johannesburg, Cape Coloy), KSA (South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902), BWM, VM. His three service numbers were: 2984, 2360, 200306. He saw service with 1st, 2nd and 1/4th Norfolk Regiment from the 1890's (6th October 1891) until 1919 with a break in between - Regular, Reserve, Territorial. Court Martialled once in South Africa too. He was 40 when he rejoined on 17th August 1914...28th June 1917 he was appointed paid L/Sgt. 17th Aug 1914 - 27th August 1915 he is recorded as being in the UK. February 1915 he was promoted to L/Cpl.

Now, these are the two pictures that have surfaced supposedly with him in. I need help, I am floundering here.

This is captioned 'with the boys in France'.


A lot of these are gunners, what other regiments do you see? If he is in it, he's either front left or rear left me and my mate reckon - what do you guys think? The thing is, he shouldn't have been in France and so I have my doubts that he is in this photo...pre Feb 1915 he would have had a stripe up.. 1/4th are recorded as:

1/4th Battalion

August 1914 : in Norwich. Part of Norfolk and Suffolk Brigade, East Anglian Division.

May 1915 : the formation was retitled as 163rd Brigade, 54th (East Anglian) Division.

29 July 1915 : embarked at Liverpool and moved to Gallipoli via Mudros. Landed at Suvla Bay on 10 August 1915.

19 December 1915 : evacuated from Gallipoli and arrived at Alexandria. Served in Egypt and Palestine thereafter.

This points to the second photo being in Egypt or Palestine post June 1917 (three stripes)


Any idea what the formation symbol on the arm is? And would a Norfolk NCO be wearing spurs or mounted? And could that badge be a Norfolk Regiment badge or is this a non-starter too? (Personally, I think it is).

I don't have the originals so can't scan better or use a glass to see closer...but I reckon the bottom one is him, and he has ribbons on his chest...


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Hi there Mark,

I'm no expert but I can see Royal Artillary, what looks like the York and Lancaster but thats about all, the sergeant as a wound stripe and also either a waterprood cap cover or the red cover of the Military police.

Middle row far right the one holding his pipe is battledress is different from the other's so maybe the economy version which might help to date it a bit.

Strange the man next to the sergeant is the only one wearing a overcoat and no puttee's, I think he is one of the Y&L men.

Cheers Roger.

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He he, I bet he was the man at the bottom of the trench trying to bucket it out.

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There are no Norfolks in the first photo so I think that's a non-starter, he isn't on it.

The second one, IMHO, is more likely to be him. The badge looks huge but I wonder what sort of glare is being given off? If I look closely enough I'm sure I can make out Brittania in the centre of the badge surrounded by a wreath. I'd go with photo #2 as being William.



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There are only a few right arms on show too, but not a single overseas service chevron that I can see........ So Tom's helmet to Overseas Service Chevrons..... late 1915 - Jan 1918?

That narrows it down slightly. When did waders first appear on issue?



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That's it then, he embarked for 'Mediterannean' on 30th July 1915, returning 20th May 1919...or did he? I have two sheets, one gives those dates, one gives 17th August 1914 - 6th February 1916 as Home, then off to Egypt. I suspect - will need now to dig to verify - that the latter has missed off the med bit (ie Suvla Bay) and the former has just recorded the whole lot as a Med posting.

I also think I can see a faint image of Brittania in the cap badge, the old style badge with surrounding wreath...am certain that is him in that one. Just wish i knew who the group one had in it but I am inclined to agree that it isn't William.

Thanks chaps... but do please carry on, i'm fascinated!!

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