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Remembered Today:

Unusual ASC rank


PhilB
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Description Medal card of Locking, Walter East

Corps Regiment No Rank

Army Service Corps TS/1307 Sarwal

Army Service Corps TS/1307 Acting Corporal

Date 1914-1920

Catalogue reference WO 372/12

Anyone familiar with it?

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Hello Phil

It's a new one on me, but assuming that it isn't a transcription error it might be a term borrowed from the Indian Army for someone like a camel-driver or a handler of certain types of supplies. Any evidence that he served in one of the Middle East theatres?

Ron

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Never come accross 'Sarwal', but 'Sarwan' was a rank in the Indian Army. Driver or Trooper.

I have seen a number of Camel Corps medals with this rank. Spelled this way 'SARWAN'.

DW

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I tried Googling 'Sarwal' and it came up with nothing.

Though, 'Sarwan' is given as a rank.

DW

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I would think that Sarwal is a rank in the Indian Army - There are quite a few British names with this rank in the NA MIC rolls.

It looks like most, if not all, of the British names with this rank on NA are transcription errors, Locking for example appears to have been a Farrier. Others are mistranscriptions of Serjeant, Sapper etc.

The Indian names with the rank of Sarwal are also mistranscribed, they read Sarwan on the cards.

Regards

Steve

post-1432-1250890251.jpg

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The Indian names with the rank of Sarwal are also mistranscribed, they read Sarwan on the cards.

Regards

Steve

................Sarwan is on the medals, is the stamping wrong I wonder?

I think I have seen Sarwan listed on medal sales lists, but not Sarwal. The chap who knows his stuff on this line is Jim Strawbridge.

Cheers Steve.

DW

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I think that SteveE has hit it on the head. It is almost certainly a transcription error. A Sarwan was normally a camel driver in the Indian Army. I have only seen this rank to those with an Indian name. In the link provided by auchonvillerssomme to the National Archives all of the British names but one shows Sarwal... (with dots) as if there is a transcription problem. Williamson shows Sarwal and Sarwan as seemingly the same interchangeable rank. The name of Sarwar and Sarwan are fairly common Indian family names - both forenames or surnames.

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Thank you, gents. Would a British camel driver in the ASC have been termed a Sarwan when serving in India or with an Indian unit? I suspect that (at that time) they wouldn`t relish being called Indian names?

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In the link provided by auchonvillerssomme to the National Archives all of the British names but one shows Sarwal... (with dots) as if there is a transcription problem.

Hello Jim

I don;t think the three dots indicate a transcription problem, if you are referring to the search results list you get with DocumentsOnline. They normally mean that the card refers to service in other units or at a higher rank, e.g.

"Private ..." in the Hampshire Regiment, when you click of "See results" might also show him as a Serjeant in the Hampshires, or as a Sapper in the RE.

Ron

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