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Barny

Military Medal award WW1

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Barny

I've just been reading through all the posts and I noticed a question I asked in Post No.1 which was.........Is it possible that the award of a Military Medal might not be mentioned in the London Gazette? I've been led to believe that all MM's were gazetted. If ALL MM's were listed with no omissions it lends credence to the possibility that Frank enlisted in the RSG's under a false name. I would think it sensible that if a person were to do that, he ought to retain his most used christian name and assume a false surname only, this would help to avoid embarrassing situations that could lead to his exposure. I say this because that's what I'd do. If Frank did do this it might be logical to see if there are any Frank somebody-or-other's enlisting in the RSG's at the time Frank did, with a similar age, as he may have lied about that too, but obviously not by much, although I don't suppose recruitment sergeants were over fussy.

Brian.

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Stebie9173

Brian,

These are all the M.M.s I have listed for Dragoons (all Regiments not just the 2nd Dragoons a.k.a. Royal Scots Greys)

Gazette issue, Date, Details

29608 03-Jun-16 8046 Pte. R. Baxter, 2nd Dns.

29780 10-Oct-16 4390 Actg Cpl. L. Davey, Dns.

29780 10-Oct-16 6063 Actg Sjt. W. Dykes, Dns.

29794 21-Oct-16 1763 Sjt. W. Fletcher, Dns.

29608 03-Jun-16 9711 1/Sjt. J. Graham, 2nd Dns.

29780 10-Oct-16 6374 Sjt. J. Jones, Dns.

29780 10-Oct-16 6312 Sjt. W. McHardy, Dns.

29780 10-Oct-16 3163 Actg Cpl. A. T. Robertson, Dns.

29608 03-Jun-16 6005 Pte. T. Watson, 2nd Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 4109 L/C. P. Aitchison, Dns.

29912 22-Jan-17 6254 L/Sjt. F. J. Allsebrook, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 9130 Cpl. J. E. Andrew, Dns.

30243 24-Aug-17 1897 Cpl. W. F. E. Bennett, Dns.

30243 24-Aug-17 4430 Cpl (A/Sjt). J. A. Black, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 5413 Cpl. W. Boag, Dns.

29912 22-Jan-17 6650 L/C. R. Buckham, Dns.

29912 22-Jan-17 2054 Cpl. T. H. Butler, Dns.

30243 24-Aug-17 136 Cpl. T. Cotton, Dns.

30095 28-May-17 175448 Cpl. W. Cranswick, Dns (frmly. 3172).

30243 24-Aug-17 5874 Pte. E. Foley, Dns.

29912 22-Jan-17 5838 Cpl. W. Freeman, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 2069 Trpr. J. G. Funnell, Dns.

29912 22-Jan-17 3405 Pte. J. H. Gallagher, Dns.

30287 17-Sep-17 9268 Pte. A. Jamieson, Dns (Berwick-on-Tweed).

30243 24-Aug-17 4454 Sjt. H. Jones, Dns.

30243 24-Aug-17 1439 Pte. J. Jones, Dns.

29912 22-Jan-17 831 L/Cpl. R. Kelman, Dns.

30243 24-Aug-17 3544 Pte. W. H. Markwick, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 6285 Pte. R. McCracken, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 6225 Pte. J. McKinlay, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 3818 Pte. J. McLaren, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 4819 Sjt. A. McLellan, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 6859 Pte. P. Miller, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 5409 Pte. H. Mooney, Dns.

30243 24-Aug-17 739 Pte. T. Orr, Dns.

30259 28-Aug-17 9275 Pte. R. S. Reid, Dns.

30259 28-Aug-17 6711 L/Sjt. J. Russell, Dns.

29912 22-Jan-17 3604 Pte. R. Shaw, Dns.

30287 17-Sep-17 4799 Cpl. J. Smith, Dns (Aberdeenshire).

30243 24-Aug-17 2250 Cpl. W. Stewart, Dns.

30243 24-Aug-17 20397 Sjt. A. W. C. Strudwick, Dns.

29912 22-Jan-17 5500 Cpl. J. Talbot, Dns.

30095 28-May-17 175025 Sjt. G. C. Tinker, Dns (frmly. 2361).

30243 24-Aug-17 2512 A/Sjt. H. Townend, Dns.

30243 24-Aug-17 5392 A/Cpl. F. J. S. Vince, Dns.

30209 28-Jul-17 5041 Pte (Cpl). J. Walker, Dns.

30243 24-Aug-17 4820 L/C. F. Wiltshire, Dns.

Any names ring any bells?

Steve.

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Blackblue

Brian,

I am sure his service papers (if at MoD) will shed some light on his KRRC service and therefore enable you to narrow down timing of possible awards. Given his number and age I would be surprised if his service was not very similar to that of the other men around his number. Give his age I think he would have had limited time to enlist, train, deploy and then win an MM and CdG with the RSG prior to joining the KRRC.

Please keep us posted.

Rgds

Tim D

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Barny

Thankyou for the list of all the Dragoons MM's Steve, you certainly are a mine of military information. Non of the surnames ring any bells unfortunately. There are no family members of that time with any of these names that he could have "borrowed". But due to the effect of watching too many detective plays on TV I noticed W.F.E.Bennett Cpl, who's first 3 initials could stand for (in true military style) Woodhead,Frank Easton.(Corporal as well).

Tim D, I've uncovered a problem with obtaining a soldiers records from the MOD, They will not release any information until they've had sight of the deceased persons death certificate, the only time this rule will be waived is if the subject person was born 116 or more years ago, Frank was born 111 years ago. I'm going to ring their helpline to see if there's any way around this. Don't forget that he vanished and therefore there is no Death Cert. If he disappeared whilst abroad on one of his business trips to Russia as a result of some "mishap" I rest my case.

Brian.

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Blackblue

Thats not good news Brian,

Obviously very unlikely he is still alive and being his brother you would think that would be a reasonable request.

I wonder if there was anything reported in the papers? Can you outline who the remainder of the family was? Father and mother's name, did he marry at all? Then we may be able to do some further digging.

Rgds

Tim

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Foxkarej

I have only just come across this absolutely facinating post, as a relative novice with my knowledge on the Great War I do want to add something resulting from a professional qualification. I am a retired Police officer and as such iI did attend a course connected with bodily recognition. This was mainly connected with comparing CCTV images with positively identified images of suspects to confirm identifications.

As regards the queries regarding the photos shown being of the same man. I am certain, from my experience, that they are. The size of the hands are one thing, but then we go onto ear shape, nose shape, distance between eyes and bridge of nose, the list is endless.

We used a minimum of 12 points to confirm a likeness and I can find those relatively easily. Just thought I'd throw my view into the pot.

John.

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Barny

Tim.

Will let you have the details you asked for but would prefer to use email if that's OK with you.

Brian.

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Blackblue

No worries Brian,

tim.dawe@live.com

Tim

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Barny

John(Foxkarej

Delighted to hear from you, Your skills could be extremely useful and most welcome, as indeed you are. I suppose you've read all the posts and got yourself up to speed with the story. I would appreciate any input you could provide. I found it most reassuring that you agree it's the same person on all the photos. I never dreamed that my half brother would stir up so much interest. A year or so ago I didn't even know his name, and now all this. I think it's great that so many people are prepared to spend their time and expertise researching this project.

Thankyou all, Brian.

Got the email Tim, will be in touch soon.

Brian.

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Andrew Upton

These are all the M.M.s I have listed for Dragoons (all Regiments not just the 2nd Dragoons a.k.a. Royal Scots Greys)

Gazette issue, Date, Details

...

30243 24-Aug-17 1897 Cpl. W. F. E. Bennett, Dns.

...

Any names ring any bells?

...There are no family members of that time with any of these names that he could have "borrowed". But due to the effect of watching too many detective plays on TV I noticed W.F.E.Bennett Cpl, who's first 3 initials could stand for (in true military style) Woodhead,Frank Easton.(Corporal as well).

A search of the MIC's shows the chap listed has two, one of which gives his first name as William, so rather unlikely unless the deception was extraordinarily elaborate...

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headgardener

I agree that it's the same man in all the photos.

The 'double enlistment' theory really doesn't add up.

He's photographed with his brother who appears to be about 8 or 9, dating it to about 1918 or 1919, during which time he was serving in the KRRC. But he's wearing an RSG uniform in the photo.

For him to have 6 years service (evidenced by the 2 GC chevrons), and for the photo to be taken in about 1919, his service with the RSG's would have had to start in 1913 or 14. But why the RSG uniform when he's been serving in the KRRC since 1917, and continues to do so well into 1920? If his brother was a very young-looking 12 and the photo was taken in 1921, his service would still have had to start in 1915 at the latest. Assuming that he was wearing his 'old' uniform, for him to have earned those stripes in the RSG before transferring to the KRRC places his date of enlistment at about 1910.

For him to have service under another name that was not known to the authorities, we wouldn't expect that to be carried over to his KRRC service in the form of GC chevrons. If an earlier period of service was known to the authorities (i.e. he transferred from RSG to KRRC) then we'd expect it to appear on his MIC, or for there to be 2 linked MIC's. And, in any case, we wouldn't expect him to be wearing his RSG uniform at that point in time.

RSG service AFTER the KRRC would be a possibility, therefore between about 1921 and 1922 (couldn't be later due to the wound stripes and O/S chevrons). But then the brother would have to be about 13. And it doesn't explain the MM, unless it was a post-war award. No-one's looked into that yet. He's got his MM ribbon up while he's in his KRRC uniform, but then there's nothing in the KRRC records about it despite them recording things like a Hotchkiss course and his Cert of Ed.

Or it's not his brother. But we've already cleared that one up.

I don't reckon that he served in the RSG, and there's certainly plenty of scope for us to speculate about the reasons why he might be wearing this uniform. It couldn't be someone else's tunic because his RSG and KRRC uniforms are badged almost identically. And why does the riding-master trade badge only appear in one photo?

It's a fascinating case! Best thread I've read in ages! Seriously....!

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Barny

His 80 yr old daughter told me that she was unaware that he'd ever had anything to do with horses. She did proudly tell me that he was in the (quote) KRRC, just like that, as if everybody knew what KRRC stood for. So if she didn't know about his RSG service she probably wouldn't know about his involvment with horses. In other words it would seem to point to the fact that he was first of all in the RSG and later on in the KRRC. Personally, I think he looks younger in the RSG uniform, also look at the way he stands in the two uniforms, ie. RSG feet apart more relaxed stance, KRRC feet together more upright body, as if he'd benefitted from more time spent doing drills etc. as his military service progressed. Presumably, he wouldn't wear a RSG riding instructors badge on a KRRC uniform even if he did have that qualification.

Brian

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headgardener
His 80 yr old daughter told me that she was unaware that he'd ever had anything to do with horses. She did proudly tell me that he was in the (quote) KRRC, just like that, as if everybody knew what KRRC stood for. So if she didn't know about his RSG service she probably wouldn't know about his involvment with horses. In other words it would seem to point to the fact that he was first of all in the RSG and later on in the KRRC. Personally, I think he looks younger in the RSG uniform, also look at the way he stands in the two uniforms, ie. RSG feet apart more relaxed stance, KRRC feet together more upright body, as if he'd benefitted from more time spent doing drills etc. as his military service progressed. Presumably, he wouldn't wear a RSG riding instructors badge on a KRRC uniform even if he did have that qualification.

Just to clarify my main point about the uniform; O/S service chevrons were only introduced in early 1918, and they only started appearing on uniforms in early-mid 1918.

He's wearing 2 O/S chevrons on his RSG uniform, so the RSG uniform photos can be positively dated to sometime between about mid-1918 and 1922. It's impossible for them to be any earlier. We know that he was in the KRRC in about 1917 until at least 1920.

Also, 2 GC chevrons equate to 6 years service, so if the photos were taken in about 1919 or 1920 (as we suspect on the basis of his brother's appearance) that would mean a date of enlistment of 1913 or 1914. Even if the photos were taken in 1922 that would mean his service started in 1916 at the latest. Either way, on the evidence of these photos it means that any RSG service had to come after he joined the KRRC.

Edit; my point about the riding instructor's badge is that it only appears on one of the RSG photos.

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Pavster1980

Not meaning to put a downer on this fine thread, but has anyone considered the possibility that he was just posing in the photo's? and that these were not all his uniforms?

Rich

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headgardener

I don't reckon that he served in the RSG, and there's certainly plenty of scope for us to speculate about the reasons why he might be wearing this uniform.

Not meaning to put a downer on this fine thread, but has anyone considered the possibility that he was just posing in the photo's? and that these were not all his uniforms?

Well, that's sort of my point (see above).

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Pavster1980

Sorry missed that one :whistle:

Rich

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Barny

I think I'd better totally disregard his daughter's reflections on his army years. I don't know her and I've only spoken once to her by telephone. I remember the coversation quite well because the main objective of the phone call was to find out as much as I could about her father. She is 80 after all and it's likely that memories fade and become distorted with the passage of time. At the time when I rang her she was the only source of information I knew of so naturally I gave it a high rating, but as you point out, it doesn't stand up to informed scrutiny.

Brian

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Barny

The man in the photo's is definately F.E.W. and at least the KRRC uniform must be his, substanciated by the MIC pictured in an earlier post and his KRRC cert of education.

Brian

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headgardener

I think I'd better totally disregard his daughter's reflections on his army years. I don't know her and I've only spoken once to her by telephone. I remember the coversation quite well because the main objective of the phone call was to find out as much as I could about her father. She is 80 after all and it's likely that memories fade and become distorted with the passage of time. At the time when I rang her she was the only source of information I knew of so naturally I gave it a high rating, but as you point out, it doesn't stand up to informed scrutiny.

In fairness, she told you that he served in the KRRC, and that he'd never been on a horse in his life, so I suspect that she probably was pretty accurate overall.

I have to say that I'd love to know more about the Russian angle. It's so difficult to know whether he was engaged in 'black propaganda' or whether he was telling an eager reporter exactly what a Randolph Hearst-owned newspaper wanted to hear.

And what exactly happened to him? Was he 'disappeared'? Did he have an accident? Did he have 2 separate lives and decided to live more fully in one of them? I suspect we'll never know, but what a fascinating story....!

I suspect that you will have difficulty with the MOD. They'd want a DC, but there isn't a DC, so you'd need a copy of whatever legal tool was used to declare him dead. Presumably he had enough property to require a Grant of Probate, and the only way that can be done is with a DC or a legal 'declaration' of death.

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Barny

Well, that's sort of my point (see above).

Here's a rather interesting photo of Frank in his RSG uniform. If it's not his uniform to wear he's being very careless or very brave, wouldn't you agree? And his KRRC credentials are backed up by the MIC pictured on an earlier post as well as his KRRC Cert of Education. Frank does seem to have all the angles covered.[ Frank Easton Woodhead age 19? in 1919? Unless the officer has just called round to feel his(uniform)collar. The dates were guessed at based on physical appearances when I processed the negatives,

Brian

post-73081-0-82158300-1308250095.jpg

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Barny

Just thought I'd throw this one in as well. Ive no idea what the papers referred to were but the man the letter is addressed to is Frank's son Kenneth, now dead.

Brian.

post-73081-0-66518600-1308251722.jpg

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Stebie9173

The policeman is wearing the ribbon of the 1914 or 1914-15 Star, which definitely dates this to late 1917 or after and probably after the war when the policeman had been demobbed. His overseas stripes are also more visible on here. Any ideas who the policeman is? He seems to have a warrant number on his collar.

And taken at the same time as the picture with the lady - even the foliage and chair are in the same places, so probably only minutes apart.

Steve.

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Barny

The policeman is wearing the ribbon of the 1914 or 1914-15 Star, which definitely dates this to late 1917 or after and probably after the war when the policeman had been demobbed. His overseas stripes are also more visible on here. Any ideas who the policeman is? He seems to have a warrant number on his collar.

And taken at the same time as the picture with the lady - even the foliage and chair are in the same places, so probably only minutes apart.

Steve.

The policeman is Thomas Greatorex Mason, Frank's uncle, aged about 33 in this shot and the lady is Mary Ann Mason(nee Greatorex)his mother, aged about 75/77. She died in December 1919,aged 77, which puts a limit on the age of the picture.

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headgardener

The way I'm reading that letter from the RGJ museum, I'd say that Frank's son has donated some of his dad's papers to them, and that this letter is their acknowledgement. I suspect that the info that they gave you regarding Frank's service came from this same source. The reason I say it is that the details of Cert of Eductaion, Hotchkiss gunners course etc, would only plausibly come from his paybook or discharge papers. Some things might be recorded in a regimental magazine or in routine orders, but I simply can't imagine that a regimental museum has extracted this sort of information from those sources and placed it on a database - that would be a monumental task, it's usually left to people like us to dig around in those sources.

I suspect that they've produced a database of servicemen created from information contained withing their archives, and that lurking somewhere in there is Frank's paybook. If it is, and if it hasn't been disposed of, it will tell you a lot about his period of service, honours and awards, battalions that he served with, etc. The fact that the letter refers to 'papers' might also indicate the presence of other material. Who knows what?

Do they actually have a catalogue of their holdings? It's a long-shot, but you simply won't know unless you look. I strongly suggest that you approach them and ask, on the basis of their letter to Kenneth, whether some personal papers were donated to them. If so, could you take a look at them. Can they tell you what source(s) the info that they provided came from?

It's possible that some papers were donated, but that they are either sitting in a drawer somehwre, unindexed, or that the details were recorded and the originals were disposed of.

I'd add to Steve's comments, and say that we can tighten the time frame in which the latest photo was taken. Had to be mid-'18 at the earliest due to his O/S chevrons.

What foliage we can see, and looking at the condition of the lawn, suggests to me that it's either Spring or early autumn. The fact that his mum died in late '19 probably places this image in spring 1919, probably taken when he arrived home as a lot of men were being stood down. He seems to have continued serving, of course, but most men seem to have either been demobbed or granted leave around January to April 1919. It also matches the idea of his photo being taken in his most impressive uniform together with other family members.

It also knocks out any idea of the MM being a post-war award (as suggested by me as a possibility). Personally I wouldn't give up looking for an MM. It's still possible, though from what we know there have to be some doubts as to whether it was actually awarded. The fact that the ribbon appears on his post-war KRRC battledress can be explained in a couple of different ways, but it could be that his name isn't coming up on the LG search engine, or that his name is mis-spelt in the LG (it does happen).

He's clearly not just trying on his neighbours (or uncle's?) uniform, evidenced by both RSG and KRRC jackets being badged almost identically (MM, C de G, 3 wound stripes, 2 O/S chevrons, 2 GC chevrons).

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headgardener

The policeman is Thomas Greatorex Mason, Frank's uncle, aged about 33 in this shot

There are 6 'Thomas G. Mason' in the MIC's, and 2 'T.G. Mason'. Probably only about 3 of those will have 1914 or 1915 stars. Maybe someone here will be able to look.

Some may have been casualties, so you might be able to narrow it down further.

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