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Labour Corp


Mark2o
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I am trying to see if anyone may have information as to who and what the "Labour Corp" was during WW-I? I have a group that includes 14-15, WM, V, Terr. Force Eff Medal and a Voluntary Medical Service Medal. All which are named to a "J Drummond".

Drummond's 14-15 Star shows in as a 18960 L/Cpl with the KOSB but then his WM and V show him with the "Labour Corp" and then it changes again with the TFEM showing him as 184 "W Sjt with the 3/L LD B RFA.

It seems that this chap not only had a long career but an interesting one at that with a service spanning between 1914 and at least 1932. My questions are as follows:

1. What was the Labour Corp and their purpose?

2. What does the "W" stand for before Sjt?

3. And lastly what unit is 3/L LD B?

I thank you all in advance for any and all reponses

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Mark2o wrote:

1. What was the Labour Corp and their purpose?

2. What does the "W" stand for before Sjt?

3. And lastly what unit is 3/L LD B?

1. The Labour Corps was supplied the labor to do tasks that required large number of laborers. It was made up primarily of men who were not fit for duty in the war zone.

2. The only thing I can think of for "W" is Wheeler.

3. I would guess that 3/L LD B, RFA stands for 3rd Lowland Brigade, RFA.

Regards. Dick Flory

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Dick,

Thanks for the information!

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Mark2o

I have a web site dedicated to the Labour Corps which will, hopefully, give you a little more information.

What is his regimental number on the V & WM? I may be about to tell you more about his Labour Corps service from the number.

Sticking my neck out again I suspect that he was injured during his 1914 - 1916 period in the KOSB and transferred to one of their Labour Companies which became part of the Labour Corps in 1917. However will be able to tell you more from his Labour Corps number.

Interestingly have you looked at his MIC?

According to the information online it shows him as:

King's Own Scottish Borderers 18960 Lance Corporal

Royal Flying Corps 145012 Lance Corporal

but no mention of Labour Corps?

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Ivor,

His regimental number for the VM and WM is 6017 and like you, I also notice on his MIC the reference to the RFC. Interseting as the group that I have appears to be an original mounting. Also, thank you for your information!

Mark Sikes

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Ivor,

Upon reviewing Drummond's MIC, like you said it does show J Drummond, Regt. 18960 as serving with the KOSB and then later with the RFC Regt #145012. There is no information as to him serving with the Labour Corp what so ever and it only shows him entitled to the 14/15 Star with theater of service being MEF/ 8-16-15. It leads me to wonder exactly who and what he did during the war??

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Are you saying that the BWM & Victory medals are inscribed to 6017 Pte J Drummond Labour Corps and the 14/15 Star to 18960 L/Cpl J Drummond KOSB?

Ian :huh:

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Ian,

Yes J Drummond's 14/15 shows him with the KOSB and the BWM and Victory are showing him with the Labour Corp. More interesting is that His MIC shows him with the KOSB and then the RFC regt# 145012 and that he was in the M.E.F. which I assume is Mesopatamia (spelling?)

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Ivor

For clarification he is listed as CPL on the BWM and Victory

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

I had hoped you were not going to say this - it looks to me as though you have the 14/15 Star to one soldier and the BWM/Victory medal pair to another. The Star and Pair should have the same regimental number & regiment stamped on them, although the rank can vary. :(

MEF = Med Expeditionary Force

Ian

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Ian,

With regards to post, would not his regiment number have changed if had been reassigned to abother unit? For the BWM and Victory shows him as being assigned to the Labour Corp. I have not found anything to prove this but maybe he became injured while in the KOSB and to such a point that he was unable to return to full service and therefore reassigned to the Labour Corp?

What do you think?

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

His number would have changed with his unit but the BWM & Victory would have has the KOSB number & unit affiliation. The thing to do is check for 2 medal index cards.

Ian

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Have been away for a couple of days so am just getting back to things.

I think it quite likely that Ian is correct and that these are medals to two different men.

Although having said that a Labour Corps number of 6017 would have placed him in a Scottish unit (3rs Infantry Labour Company, R Scots Fusiliers).

6017 and Labour Corps does not come up on the online MIC site so it looks like a personal search is needed!

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Ian and Ivor,

I thank you both for the helpful information> It has increased my desire to get the bottom of this group! I will let you both what I find out and thanks again

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Ivor - Actually I think what we have here are the medals to 3 men taking the post WW1 medals into account.

A name like J Drummond is not unique - I wonder how many James Drummonds there are in Scotland?

Its all very sad but I wonder of there is a story behind all this?

Ian

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Ian

An interesting thought and with your knowledge one I suspect is probably correct.

Perhaps the 6017 Drummond's records will appear online one day to confirm where he was prior to the Labour Corps?

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Ivor,

There is something not right about this and it is further muddied by no MIc coming up - I suspect this calls for another investigation <_<

Ian

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

OK guys - I have investigated 'J Drummond' and very interesting he is to say the least!!

What we have is a set of 5 medals to one man, not 3 as I had previously thought but we will come back to that later as there is an interesting issue!!

James Drummond was born in 1882 in Lanark, Glasgow.

He was 5' 7.5'' and had brown hair and brown eyes & had a tattoo on his right forearm of a 'woman's figurine'.

He was a Fitter by trade.

Prior to WW1 he served with the '3rd Lowland Battery TF'

His WW1 service was as follows:

. 08 Sep 14 - Enlisted Pte 8920 Highland Light Infantry

. 25 May 15 to 01 Oct 15 Served MEF as Pte 18960 KOSB

. HS as Pte 36142 Royal Scots

. HS as Spr 46186 ROD Royal Engineers

. 08 Mar 17 - 22 Apr 17 Served BEF France as Spr 46186 ROD Royal Engineers

. 23 Apr 17 Transferred to the Labour Corps as Pte 6017 (11th Labour Company)

. 12 Nov 17 Transferred to the RFC as 2/AM 145012. Served with 2AD Base MT Depot as an MT Fitter

. 01 Apr 18 Mustered in to the RAF as AM3

. 01 Sep 18 Promoted to AM2

. 13 Mar 19 Transferred to RAF Reserve (Medical Category B2)

. 30 Apr 20 Discharged

. 25 Jan 21 14/15 Star sent

. 03 Feb 21 14/15 Star acknowledged

. 08 Jun 22 BWM/Victory medals sent

. 14 Jun 22 BWM/Victory medals acknowledged

Now back to the medals, according to his record the 14/15 Star was issued by the army with his KOSB details and his BWM/Victory medal were issued by the Air Ministry with his RAF details on.

So why the Pair with his Labour Corps details came from or why who knows - with 6 million pairs being issued I suspect there were one or two errors or issues by 2 branches of the services. Interesting there is no MIC for James Drummond with his LC details on.

Ian B)

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Ian,

What a fascinating service record.

Even the part leading up to his transfer to the Labour Corps does not make 100% sense or does it?.

His Labour Corps number confirms he was one of the original members of 11 Company which was formed from the 3rd Infantry Labour Company, RSF.

So back to his record.

HS as Pte 36142 Royal Scots

. HS as Spr 46186 ROD Royal Engineers

. 08 Mar 17 - 22 Apr 17 Served BEF France as Spr 46186 ROD Royal Engineers

. 23 Apr 17 Transferred to the Labour Corps as Pte 6017 (11th Labour Company)

11th Company, Labour Corps appear to have come into existence during the early part of May 1917. On 5 May 1917 VII Corps Diary is still calling them 3rd Infantry Labour Company, Royal Scots Fusiliers.

But let us go back a bit.

8 March 1917 3 ILC Royal Scots Fusiliers arrive in France

10 March 1917 they are at Mondicourt in VII Corps area.

26 April 1917 a detachment of the Company (50 Other Ranks) move to Mercatel to support 235 AT Company, Royal Engineers.

Am I reading too much into his record but how is it that he served in France as a sapper in RE from 8 March 1917 when this is the same day as the 3 ILC, RSF arrived?

The other fascinating thing is that neither the RE or Labour Corps are shown on his MIC.

I do not suppose we will ever know the full story but I for one would love to know it!

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Ian and Ivor,

I can not thank you both enough for the information that you have uncovered on Mr. Drummond! Ian I did have a question as to your post. What does the HS mean during your listing of his career and what is his rank during his time with the RFC and RAF?

Also, as I'm sure your know, this only touches his WWI career. I wonder what stories there are during his time with the Territorial Forces and British Red Cross? I guess that is another chapter all to it's own!

Thanks

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Ian,

My last posting was trying to highlight the odd co-incidence with the dates. The man arrives in France on the same day as the 3 ILC, RSF and then is transferred to that unit.

I am fascinated that neither his Labour Corps nor RE details are shown on his MIC particularly with the Labour Corps being shown on some of his medals!

If you had not found an RE regimental number in his file I would have been suggesting he was merely attached but this clearly was not the case. But why are they missing from the MIC?

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Ivor,

I agree with you on the co-incidence of dates - perhaps he was in the RE attached to the 3rd ILC RSF and went with them to France. He was a Fitter by trade and was in the Railways part of the RE, were the 3rd ILC RSF invovled in Railway work?

The only documentation avaialble on this man is the MIC with his KOSB & RFC association, 14/15 star medal roll & and what I have here, his RAF service record. Not finding a medal card with his RE or LC associations on it was surprising, the only thing I can think of is that it was lost. But if there was a second card its existance would be indicated on the other card.

It seems to be another mystery to which we will not get the answer from the official records that exist. :(

Ian

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  • 5 years later...

hi im trying to trace my great grandfathers war history from the medal card we was oringanly a pvt. in the south wales borders number 21216 then a sgt with the labour corps number 648049 any help to trace my great grandfather will be greatly recived.

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