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Remembered Today:

2nd Lt. Reginald Thurston


Scarson909

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Hello,

My Grandfather Reginald Thurston ( born 1896 Cambridge UK) served in WW1 ( and survived to serve in WW2) and although I have a lot of information and original documents from his service, I am curious to know exactly where in France he served.

My husband and I are taking a 4 day trip to the Somme and Flanders at the start of May 2011 and I would love to know exactly where my Grandfather served so that we may honour him when we visit.

Below is the information I have:

Original Officers Record of Services Army Book 439 states:

Cambridgeshire Regt 24.1.13 --14.2.15 (Abroad) 14.2.15--4.12.17 (wounded) 26.9.17 (G.S.W to finger - mild)

Essex Regt 23.12.17--8.2.18

17th OC Bn 8.2.18--30.7.18

4th ® Bn Norfolk Regt 13.8.18--11.11.18

9th Bn Norfolk Regt (Abroad) 11.11.18--17.3.19

52nd Bedford Regt (Abroad) 18.3.19--19.5.19

189 P.O.W Coy (Abroad) 19.5.19--27.10 19

What is P.O.W Coy??

Within this book there are also a few other handwritten notations:

Passed through gas 27.5.18

Threw Live Bombs 11.6.18

Also

T.A.B 18.4.17 28.4.17

T.A.B 26.9.17

I don't know quite what this stands for...maybe someone could translate for me!

I have located his medal certificate on Ancestry.com. They give his regimental numbers as 1470, 325196 and I believe he was awarded a star for the 2nd Battle of Ypres.

He was made a 2nd Lt on 31.7.18 and a Lieut. on 31.1.20

A letter from Captain and Adjt Holland (4th Norfolk Regt) confirms the above dates and also mentions:

School of Instruction - 39th Divisional Course ..P.T and B.F (translation again please!)

Campaigns. In ranks B.E.F 14-2-15 to 3-12-17

B.E.F., France 11-11-18 to 27-10-19

I am interested to note that he returned to France on Armistice day 11.11.18 and served in France for almost a year.

What would he have been doing and where?

I am most grateful for all your help and welcome and information any of the members can supply for me.

Thanks in advance

Sarah Carson

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Hi Sarah,

To find out exactly where your grandfather was at any particular time you will need to check the War Diaries for the units with which he served, hopefully some kind person on the forum may be able to help you with this otherwise it may entail a trip to the N/A at Kew.

POW stands for Prisoner of War; PT stands for Physical Training? and BF stands for Bomb Frowing(only joking!!) I am not totally certain on the last one.

Hope this helps, Good luck,

Robert

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Robert,

Thank you very much for your reply.

Hopefully someone on this forum maybe able to help out with the war diaries as I live in New York and a trip to Kew is a bit far!!!

I too have wondered if the POW he mentions means Prisoner of War, however the dates are after the end of the war and he has the letters "Coy" after it (which I take to mean "Company") Could it have been "Prince of Wales" Company?

Thanks again for your help and advice

Warmly

Sarah

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Sarah,

"POW Coy" is an abbreviation for "Prisoner of War Company," which were companies of German prisoners organized into labour units to complete work

for the Labour Corps, Service Corps, Royal Engineers, and so on. Lt. Thurston probably had the responsibility of supervising and guarding such a company.

Since only one battalion of the Camridgeshire Regiment served abroad (1/1st), his service would have been as follows (subject to confirmation by any

available War Diaries, of course:

in 1915: the Battles of St. Eloi & Second Ypres (as part of the 27th Division (82nd Brigade of the 27th Division, BEF)

in 1916: the Battles of the Somme, encompassing the fighting on the Ancre, & the Battles of Thiepval Ridge, the Ancre Heights, and (again) the Ancre;

prior to the Somme, the battalion fought at Richebourg l'Avoue (as part of the 39th Division--118th Brigade)

in 1917: the Battles of 3rd Ypres, including the Battles of Pilkem Ridge, Langemarck, Menin Road Bridge, Polygon Wood, and

the 2nd Battle of Passchendaele (again, with the 118th Brigade of the 39th Division).

Your grandfather took part in the BEF's major battles of 1916 and 1917 as well as two of the important battles of 1915. The venues you selected for

your Western Front journey are, indeed, where your grandfather fought almost a century ago--best wishes for an edifying tour!

Regards,

Trelawney

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Trelawney,

Thank you so very much for your reply.

It certainly makes sense for him to have been involved with the German POW's after the war ended.

My Grandfather died when I was only 5 years old and although I do remember him, I often wish I had been able to ask him more questions! According to the rest of the family, my Grandfather spoke very little about his WW1 experiences...and now reading about Passchendaele and some of the other horrors of war, I can understand why.

The knowledge you have shared with me today will certainly add to our trip to France and I will now visit some of these places and hold him even more dearly in my heart.

Thank you so very much for your help

Warmly

Sarah

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Details for Thurston family....

Story in Cambridge Independent Press 26-11-5 (with pix)...

Arthur Thurston (D coy in 1909) No 978. Son of Cpl F Thurston, 102

Argyle St, Cambridge. Imperial Service. To front 14-2-15, B coy, 7 platoon, 11 section, bomber. Discharged 8-12-15. Pic: CIP 26-11-15. Brother of Leslie, Percy and Reg.

F A Thurston, 102 Argyle St, Cambridge, Porter at Trinity College. L/cpl, (D coy), Volunteer Long Service Medal 31-1-09. National Reserve Guards, Feb 1915, (No 2 Supernumerary Coy). Cpl. Father of Arthur, Reg,Leslie and Percy. Pic: CIP 26-11-15.

Leslie Thurston, son of Cpl F Thurston, 102 Argyle St, Cambridge. Enl 10-14. 2/1st btn in 1915. Pic: CIP 26-11-15. Brother of Arthur, Percy & Reg.

Percy Thurston, 2/1st btn Nov 1915, son of Cpl F Thurston, 102 Argyle St ,Cambridge. Pic: CIP 26-11-15. Brother of Arthur, Leslie & Reg.

Reginald Thurston (B, enl 1912) 1470 & 325196. Son of Cpl F Thurston, 102 Argyle St, Cambridge. Imperial Service. To front 14-2-15, A? coy, L/Cpl. Cpl, w 26-9-17. Discharged, commission 30-7-18, 4th Norfolk Rgt. Pic: CIP 26-11-15. Brother of Arthur, Leslie and Percy.

Would you have any photos of him please??? HB{Roger}

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Roger,

Thanks for your detailed reply.

I do have a photo of my grandfather and have attached it here.

I have heard of an article entitled "The Fighting Thurstons" .As far as I am aware it details the Thurston brothers and how they all volunteered much to the delight and honour of their father . I would love to have a copy or a link if at all possible.

Thank you again for this information

Warmly

Sarah

Sue,

thanks for this...most interesting!

Sarah

T.A.B. was the inoculation against typhoid fever (enteric fever).

Sue

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Attached is a photograph of my Grandfather in WW!.

I note that he is wearing a black armband...possibly in memory of his brother Arthur who was lost at sea in 1917?

post-66909-0-70973600-1302417276.jpg

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Many thanks Sarah .... A very Handsome dashing young man!!!! :thumbsup:

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Thanks for this. Do you have a copy or know where/how I can get a copy of this newspaper article. It would be quite a treasure for my family to have it!

thanks again Sarah

Details for Thurston family....

Story in Cambridge Independent Press 26-11-5 (with pix)...

Arthur Thurston (D coy in 1909) No 978. Son of Cpl F Thurston, 102

Argyle St, Cambridge. Imperial Service. To front 14-2-15, B coy, 7 platoon, 11 section, bomber. Discharged 8-12-15. Pic: CIP 26-11-15. Brother of Leslie, Percy and Reg.

F A Thurston, 102 Argyle St, Cambridge, Porter at Trinity College. L/cpl, (D coy), Volunteer Long Service Medal 31-1-09. National Reserve Guards, Feb 1915, (No 2 Supernumerary Coy). Cpl. Father of Arthur, Reg,Leslie and Percy. Pic: CIP 26-11-15.

Leslie Thurston, son of Cpl F Thurston, 102 Argyle St, Cambridge. Enl 10-14. 2/1st btn in 1915. Pic: CIP 26-11-15. Brother of Arthur, Percy & Reg.

Percy Thurston, 2/1st btn Nov 1915, son of Cpl F Thurston, 102 Argyle St ,Cambridge. Pic: CIP 26-11-15. Brother of Arthur, Leslie & Reg.

Reginald Thurston (B, enl 1912) 1470 & 325196. Son of Cpl F Thurston, 102 Argyle St, Cambridge. Imperial Service. To front 14-2-15, A? coy, L/Cpl. Cpl, w 26-9-17. Discharged, commission 30-7-18, 4th Norfolk Rgt. Pic: CIP 26-11-15. Brother of Arthur, Leslie and Percy.

Would you have any photos of him please??? HB{Roger}

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  • 8 months later...

I would imagine that it would be in one of the Cambridge City newspaper Archives would have this Column... :thumbsup:

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