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Remembered Today:

Commission 'cancelled'


Sue Light

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I'm trying to find out more about a medical officer who was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the RAMC on 18 August 1914, and attached to a battalion of the Scottish Horse. However, an entry in the London Gazette dated 1 January 1915 says:

The announcement of the appointment as Lieutenant which appeared in the London Gazette of the 18th

August, 1914, is cancelled.

What does 'cancelled' signify, and what could be the reason? Would it be a decision taken by the doctor, or perhaps he had become surplus to requirements at that time? Any suggestions?

Thanks

Sue

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I know of one other instance, http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/28926/pages/7920, Cyril Frederick Johnston.

His service record reveals a little more (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/11226331@N05/sets/72157624778145411/ for the full record). His application for a commission reveals he wanted to be appointed to the Motor Transport section of the ASC, but instead was appointed to Horsed Transport ( WO 339/72079 41). As the rest of the file shows, he subsequently managed to wangle a commission in one of the Public Schools Battalions, was discharged due to problems with a hernia (which he blamed on ringing a heavy bell in a peal, he was a member of the bellfounding firm Gillet and Johnston), but after that, and despite the fact he was then overage, he manged to wangle another commission in the Grenadier Guards!

Perhaps your man took a combatant commission instead or something?

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I know of one other instance, http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/28926/pages/7920, Cyril Frederick Johnston.

His service record reveals a little more (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/11226331@N05/sets/72157624778145411/ for the full record). His application for a commission reveals he wanted to be appointed to the Motor Transport section of the ASC, but instead was appointed to Horsed Transport ( WO 339/72079 41). As the rest of the file shows, he subsequently managed to wangle a commission in one of the Public Schools Battalions, was discharged due to problems with a hernia (which he blamed on ringing a heavy bell in a peal, he was a member of the bellfounding firm Gillet and Johnston), but after that, and despite the fact he was then overage, he manged to wangle another commission in the Grenadier Guards!

Perhaps your man took a combatant commission instead or something?

Unfortunately couldn't read your insert - too quick a flicker. However the way in which the Gazette uses 'appointment' is not always synonymous with commission and there are lots of entries where an appointment to a post, position or unit is postponed, redated etc without the man's commission as an officer being cancelled. A lot in early 1915 refer to the 18th of August 1914 with the date of appointment being retrospectively redated. Possibly there was a lot of confusion and error at the outbreak of war and the original notice of the appointment was incorrect and its the entry that's being cancelled.

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IN the case to which I refer it seems his ASC commission was entirely cancelled, http://www.flickr.com/photos/11226331@N05/4965005718/in/set-72157624778145411/. He then continued with rank service in the Royal Fusiliers until 27 October http://www.flickr.com/photos/11226331@N05/4965012486/in/set-72157624778145411/ (rather than 25 September as the original ASC commission was dated) when he was recommissioned in the Public Schools' Battalion

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However the way in which the Gazette uses 'appointment' is not always synonymous with commission

Thank you both - yes, I have wondered over the 'appointment v 'commission' wording. This man, as a temporary RAMC officer, does not have a service record unfortunately, and there are big gaps to fill. The next mention of him in the LG after the 'cancelled' was in May 1916 when he was:

to be temp. Hon. Capt. whilst employed with No. 3 British Red Cross Hosp. 4th May 1916.

It's known that he then served in this capacity until August 1916, then there is another mysterious gap, but believed to be sick leave, until he was appointed to the RAMC as a Lieutenant [No.9 Field Ambulance] in March 1917, and thence as RMO with the Grenadier Guards. He 'relinquished his commission' in November 1918.

But it does leave the question as to what he was doing between January 1915 and May 1916. If he had been with the RAMC throughout that period he should have been promoted Captain after one year, and not granted a 'temp. Hon. Capt.' reverting to Lieutenant when he finally went to an RAMC unit. It would be useful to confirm whether the 'cancelled' meant that he returned to being a civilian doctor until he went to France in May 1916.

Sue

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But it does leave the question as to what he was doing between January 1915 and May 1916.

If the entry in 1915 is correcting an incorrect entry on 18 Aug 1914 (and as I said there seems to have been a lot of this sort of thing) he might never have actually been appointed or commissioned at all in 1914 and therefore wasn't in 1915. As you have his name have you checked the Gazette for 18th Aug 1914 to see what actually appears there?

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He was definitely commissioned, 18 August 1914 - I have the LG entry, and he appears in the Army List of Jan 1915 as attached Scottish Horse, though of course the LG is reflecting the situation a little before its date of issue, so by that time the appointment was cancelled.

His own account of the period written during the 1920s is sketchy, and suggests that he was hoping to go overseas early in the war, and when that didn't happen he was rather disappointed. He doesn't elaborate himself on what he did next, unfortunately!

Sue

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He was definitely commissioned, 18 August 1914 - I have the LG entry, and he appears in the Army List of Jan 1915 as attached Scottish Horse, though of course the LG is reflecting the situation a little before its date of issue, so by that time the appointment was cancelled.

His own account of the period written during the 1920s is sketchy, and suggests that he was hoping to go overseas early in the war, and when that didn't happen he was rather disappointed. He doesn't elaborate himself on what he did next, unfortunately!

Sue

The 1st and 2nd regiments of Scottish horse were already embodied as Yeomanry when the war broke out (with their medical staff presumably already in place) and a 3rd regiment plus additional battalions started to be formed, however there appear to have been delays so much of this additional force was not in place until 1915. Possibly he was appointed to one of these additional units in Aug 1914 but until the men had been enlisted etc etc there was nothing much for an MO to do and he was diverted to other duties and the original appointment cancelled?

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