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Barny

Military Medal award WW1

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Barny

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).

I've just this minute sent an email to the Royal Green Jackets Museum asking then to specifically look for an MM award. I've attatched a couple of enlarged pictures highlighting his medal ribband, so we'll just have to wait and see. Last time they were pretty quick replying. Brian.

The Cert of Education, Gunnery results and Battalion Records sent to me were photo-copies of the originals complete with blotches and fading, not digitized printouts, so I don't think they were on a database, more like copied from stored papers. Brian again.

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Pavster1980

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.

Thomas G Mason Essex Regiment 1774, Labour Corps 585866 - BWM , VM , 15 Star , S.W.B.

T G Mason Cylce Corps, Rifles, R.E. 28791 - BWM , VM, 14 Star

T G Mason Manchester Regiment 52653 - Date of entry 14-4-15, Date of Discharge 14-2-17 No medals listed, does he qualify for 15 Star? (Can't remember dates to have served by!)

These are all I could find had a look at T Mason but none with 14 or 15 Star. Didn't try just Thomas Mason yet

Rich

Just realised bang on three like you said they probably would be!!!:w00t:

Rich

P.S. - had you had a sneaky look?

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headgardener

Thomas G Mason Essex Regiment 1774, Labour Corps 585866 - BWM , VM , 15 Star , S.W.B.

T G Mason Cylce Corps, Rifles, R.E. 28791 - BWM , VM, 14 Star

T G Mason Manchester Regiment 52653 - Date of entry 14-4-15, Date of Discharge 14-2-17 No medals listed, does he qualify for 15 Star? (Can't remember dates to have served by!)

These are all I could find had a look at T Mason but none with 14 or 15 Star. Didn't try just Thomas Mason yet

Rich

Just realised bang on three like you said they probably would be!!!:w00t:

Rich

P.S. - had you had a sneaky look?

No sneaky looks, just the power of deduction my dear Rich....!

Without having seen them, I'd say you can discount number 3 (Manchester Regt 52635). I reckon that's an Silver War Badge award, and that the 'date of entry' is probably date of enlistment.

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Pavster1980

yeah got the Silver War badge bit, 1914 Star was awarded for service between 5 August 1914 and Midnight 22-23 November 1914. The 1914-15 Star was awarded for service between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915 (other than those who had already qualified for the 1914 Star).

So the Mancester man would likely have had the 14/15 Star

Rich

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headgardener

So the Mancester man would likely have had the 14/15 Star

Yes, if that's the date he went overseas. But I'd reckon that his Manchester Regt service number is too high for someone who went to France in April '15 and with an enlistment date in late 14 or very early 15.

Just guess-work by me. I reckon the info you've posted sounds like he got an SWB and that the date in 1915 is the date of enlistment rather than the date of entry into theatre. There was a specific type of SWB MIC, often used for men who didn't qualify for campaign medals (as appears to be the case judging by what you say). Can you see the cards? The SWB one has the dates in the upper part of the card rather than at the bottom like a 'normal' MIC. There's also a bit below it for the man's address, but that's usually where the SWB roll number is written.

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Pavster1980

The SWB was for a diferent Thomas.G. Mason, not the Manchester man. will post the SWB one for you to see

Rich

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headgardener

Thanks Rich,

So it's either going to be him or the guy in the Cyclist Corps, RB's and RE. Would that be right?

I've checked the RN, no-one of that name. RFC 14 or 15 star awards would be in the MIC's, so we've narrowed it down to 2 candidates?

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Barny

The policeman Thomas Greatorex Mason as far as I know was a Nottingham man, born there, with a period spent in Long Eaton (about 8 miles west of Nottm) according to the 1911 census, which has him described as a carriage maker in the lace trade. How long he remained there I don't know, he was 26 then. The war saw a collapse of lace making so people had to find other jobs and it seems he wound up in the police. I'm not sure whether this was regarded as a reserved occupation and as a result might not be called up for military service, if not would it be likely that a Nottm man would join The Manchester Regiment rather than a more local one?

Brian.

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Blackblue

Brian,

This may have been the case at the start of the war when many men ended up in their local Territorial or Service battalions. However as the war progressed reinforcements were often just sent to whatever battalions they were needed in...so for example it was not unusual for a man from the far South to end up in a unit initially raised in the far North without having any connection to it whatsoever.

My grandfather was from Gloucestershire and joined as General Service Cavalry, being assigned to the 5th Dragoon Guards but when waiting to be deployed to his Regiment in France was drafted with a block of other men into the 9th Lancashire Fusiliers (an Infantry battalion) who were at that time at Gallipoli and had been badly cut up in the Suvla landings.

Rgds

Tim D

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headgardener
This may have been the case at the start of the war when many men ended up in their local Territorial or Service battalions. However as the war progressed reinforcements were often just sent to whatever battalions they were needed in...so for example it was not unusual for a man from the far South to end up in a unit initially raised in the far North without having any connection to it whatsoever.

Broadly speaking, Yes, but actually this process was already happening (though to a much lesser extent) in the early days of the war; many local recruits would end up getting channelled into the ranks of regiments who were stationed in the local area. For example, the Highland Brigade was stationed in Bedford in the autumn of 1914, so a lot of local recruits at that time ended up in Highland regiments.

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Pavster1980

As did Jack Kitson on my Signature below. Although he didn't move quite as far as the Highlands to Bedford :whistle:

Rich

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headgardener

Brian,

3 further thoughts;

Having re-read the RGJ's letter from the 1970's and the e-mail that you recently got from them, the documents listed as 1 and 2 on their e-mail to you are almost certainly the docs sent to them by Kenneth. The shooting results that are mentioned in the 1973 letter matches document No.2. There is no reason for a regimental museum to hold things like Certificates of Education, it was almost certainly donated to them.

Interesting to see that they sent you details of 3/KRRC. I'm guessing that Frank probably served with that particular battalion based on the fact that he was serving with them in India in 1920. He could have served with other KRRC battalions as well, of course. Something that hasn't been mentioned is that you should check his medal roll entry. Try posting a request for a look-up in the relevant section of this site. Just list the medal roll reference off his MIC.

I've tried, and failed, to find the Daily Telegraph archives. Frank appears to have been quoted in the Telegraph in the 1930's, so I wonder if there's something to be found there, or in Hearst's newspaper archives. Another line of enquiry for you, if you're interested.

I tried searching the Times online archive for all sorts of combination (or mis-spelling) of his name and initials, but nothing came up. I also tried coaxing what I could out of the LG search engine (both for WW1 and subsequently). Nothing came up apart from the details of his (and his father's?) business problems in 1924.

P.S. I hope that we didn't hijack Frank's thread with our search for Thomas Mason's MIC.

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Barny

Hi there all, I've not given up. I've been waiting for a reply from the Royal Greenjackets Museum which I've now received. Below is their reply....................

Thank you for your email of the 17 June 2011, regarding your half-Brother, Frank Easton Woodhead.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find any additional information, aside from what you were previously sent by the museum and what you stated in your email. The only reference to a Woodhead in the regiment receiving an MM is a Rifleman H Woodhead (5736), of the 1st Battalion. I was also unable to find a citation for Frank Easton Woodhead on the London Gazette website. Due to the quality of the picture it is very difficult to ascertain what medals are present on the medal bar displayed on his uniform.

The certificates of education that we have here at the museum also only provide name, rank and number, and sadly, no additional information.

I am unsure however if the medal is a Croix de Guerre. The reason I believe this is because the Croix de Guerre (a French or Belgian gallantry award), was awarded for service in France or Belgium. The 3rd Battalion KRRC were however serving in Salonika between 1915-1918. The battalion was on the Western Front from 1914-1915, but we know Woodhead did not serve abroad until at least 1916, because his Medal Card states that he did not receive the 1914 or the 1914-15 Star.

My best suggestion would be to locate Woodheads service records, either from the National Archives, or, through www.ancestry.co.uk who have digitised many of the First World War service records. This is often more convenient than a trip to London, although there is a small fee involved.

I am sorry that we cannot be of further help with your enquiries. If you are able to find any additional information regarding Woodheads service with the KRRC, you are welcome to contact us for further assistance.

If you are ever in the area please feel free to visit the museum, as our KRRC First World War section may help to provide you with a greater understanding of Woodheads experiences during the First World War.

Brian.

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Stebie9173

Since we know his service records aren't on the ANcestry WO363 set of records, and are probably held by the MOD a service record review will need to wait until you can get a copy from that source.

In the meanwhile, our "Man on the spot" at the NA has looked at the medal rolls for A/205428 Frank Woodhead, and these tell us that during the period up to the armistice he served with the 8th Battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps (no other battalions ore Regiments are shown). His later service would not be reflected on these rolls.

Steve.

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Blackblue

Thats good news Steve,

Means that he is very likely to have a service history very similar to the other men we have mentioned. I would guess this suggests very unlikely that there was RSG service pre him joining the KRRC.

Rgds

Tim D

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Stebie9173

There seem to have been two "sets" of numbers around that point.

A group numbered from A/205265 Herber Aldrich to A/205419 Oliver F S Wright are all listed alphabetically by surname. Half these went to the 7th K.R.R.C. (A/205265 Aldrich to A/205337 Hootton) and half to 8th K.R.R.C. (A/205339 Hindle to A/205419 Wright). Then follows the group with Frank Woodhead in:

A/205421 Stephen E Burgess to A/205428 Frank Woodhead is the next "group" of nine men, all posted to the 8th Battalion K.R.R.C.

I have attached the filled in part of his medal roll. The rest of the columes to the right are blank.

Note that his rank is shown as "T/Cpl." which I would interpret as Transport Corporal.

post-6536-0-91040700-1308911197.jpg

Incidentally the service records of A/205425 Frederick Everitt Keer also survive showing the same movements as the others in the group (18th Training Reserve Battalion from March 1917, 16th T.R.B. from June 1917, 22nd Training Reserve Battalion from August 1917 (which converted to 285th Infantry Battalion in September 1917 and later became 52nd (Graduated) Battalion of the K.R.R.C. from 1-12-1917; to France 4-2-1918 and joined 8th K.R.R.C. on 13-2-1918). He was also a POW from 21 March 1918. After release he took leave and then was posted to the K.R.R.C. Depot in March 1919, to 6th K.R.R.C. in June 1919, and was then posted to 1st K.R.R.C. in July 1919. He was transferred to Class Z Reserve in October 1919.

Steve.

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Blackblue

Very good. Is there any way to check if Woodhead was also a POW?

My guess is T/Cpl is Temporary Corporal.

Rgds

Tim D

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headgardener

'T/Cpl' is indeed Temporary Cpl.

I would guess this suggests very unlikely that there was RSG service pre him joining the KRRC.

I feel that we've already knocked this one on the head (see extract from my previous post on the subject;

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.

.......and we have very good reason to believe that he wasn't serving in the RSG at the time he was photographed wearing that particular uniform (spring 1919? see my previous post on the subject).

Regarding the MM, it looks like the RGJ museum only searched the same sources as us. There are possible explanations for a name not showing up on the LG search engine. I'll have a look at a hard-copy LG index to see if his name is there. But I believe that it won't be.

I reckon that the fact that he was in 8/KRRC during the war and 3/KRRC in 1920 might indicate that he'd been wounded sometime in 1918. It could tie in with one or more of his wound-stripes.

Not easy to check if he was a POW. There are sources, but I don't think that there are any complete lists. Possibly the Red Cross archives in Geneva, but that's a fairly pricey option, and I'm not even certain that it's complete.

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Stebie9173

Incidentally, every last one of the group of nine has a Service Record (WO363) online on Ancestry - except Frank Woodhead! Not only that all eight of them with service records were taken POW on 21-3-1918....

A/205420 Stephen William Burgess - Yes, POW

A/205421 Elisha Fox - Yes, POW

A/205422 Cecil John George Gates - Yes, POW

A/205423 Albert Edward Giles - Yes, POW

A/205424 Henry George Harvey - Yes, POW

A/205425 Frederick Everitt Keer - Yes, POW

A/205426 Ronald McEwen - Yes, POW

A/205427 Robert George Turner - Yes, POW

A/202428 Frank Woodhead - Not in public domain ?

Looking at the records it seems like the A/20542X numbers were allocated upon posting to the 8th K.R.R.C. on 4th February 1918.

The names of the Missing would probably show up on Official Casualty Lists (Copies at the British Library Newspaper section at Colindale) about 6 weeks after the event. They are unindexed and a massive trawl!

Steve.

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headgardener

Stop press! More details, just arrived;

I reckon we've all searched the LG online archive for 'Woodhead' plus various other search terms ('military medal', 'frank', 'frank easton', 'f.e.', etc, etc, etc). I know I have. Any combination of 'woodhead' and 'military medal' turns up nothing (search restricted to Jan 1918 - March 1919). 'woodhead' plus 'medal' turns up 1 non-military result.

I just checked the hard copy index to the LG for Jan -Dec 1918, and Jan-Mar 1919, and guess what? 5 Woodhead's were awarded the M.M. during this period....! Perhaps only someone with a very narrow perspective on life would find this fact interesting. But that's enough about me.

Imagine my thrill at finding that one of them is a 'Pte. F.Woodhead'....!!!!!!

I ordered the relevant volume, feverishly flicked through the pages until I reached p.845 to find....... '265322 Pte. F. Woodhead, Cheshire Regt'...... :doh:

I also checked the French and Belgian Croix de Guerre. There's a Woodhead....!!! Oh....., it's 'H.O. Woodhead'.

Next time, I'll have a quick look at Jul-Dec 1917, and Apr-Dec 1919, just in case...... But, at this point it is very much as I suspected.

I never realized how inaccurate the LG search engine is, though. I knew it was a bit 'off', but not quite how 'off' it really is......

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Barny

Regarding a photo that I've been using as "Time Bite" of no later than 1919 because the lady in the picture died December that year aged 77. On close scrutiny of her face I've a degree of doubt about her I/D because she doesn't look that old, in fact to me she could be in her mid 40's.( perhaps our ex policeman face recognition expert could have a guess). I've been comparing the suspect lady with other photo's in the same batch and there is another possible contender, but this person would have been 40 years old in 1919. I've posted this because if the lady is not his grandmother, thereby imposing an upper limit of 1919 on the photo, it might give you detectives a bit more time to play with. I continue to be amazed at what lengths you chaps are going to trying to resolve this saga.

Not being a military person can you tell me if a soldier could be promoted to corporal, then change regiments and still retain his rank, even if he finished his time in one regiment and re-enlisted in another?

Brian.

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headgardener

In answer to your question, Yes, a man could change regiments and retain his rank.

Sorry to be a bit obsessive about this, but I've just realized that there is another very good reason why these photos don't add up.

2 GC chevrons indicates a minimum of 6 years service. They are only visible on the RSG uniform, not on the KRRC. Frank enlisted in 1917 and left the army in about 1923. Any photo in which he's wearing those chevrons would have to date from 1923 at the earliest. But the GC chevrons, wound stripes and O/S service chevrons were discontinued in 1922.

The images of him with his brother also date the image to much earlier than 1923.

Frank was certainly in business with his dad in 1924, so there couldn't be RSG service post-1923. And then there's the issue with those pre-1923 badges.

These images date from about 1919 up to 1922 at the latest. But probably 1919, I reckon. The RSG uniform just doesn't add up. The unusual display of ribbons and badges are almost identical between his KRRC and RSG uniforms, so it's not a case of him trying on next-door's jacket and cap. I don't think any other dating evidence is relevant.

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Barny

I'm getting really puzzled now,Good Conduct Stripes were awarded to privates and lance corporals, once promoted to corporal they had to be removed, so I thought.

I've just checked on GC stripes and it seems that the second one was awarded "after" 5 years undetected crime, ie, during the 6th year.

The RSG photo's show him as a private with 2 GC's, but then we come to one RSG photo of him seated wearing cartridge belt having been promoted to corporal, hence no GC's. Then we see him now as a corporal in the KRRC, still with 2 overseas stripes and still with the 3 wound stripes.

OS stripes were awarded in 1918 to denote overseas service undertaken since 4th Aug 1914. Qualifying ceased 1st May 1920 and their wearing was discontinued in 1922.

Since being a Private comes before being a Corporal it suggests he was in the RSG's before the KRRC to my baffled mind.

I'm off to bed now to TRY and get some kip. Brian.

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Stebie9173

The first good conduct chevron/stripe/pay was awarded on the 2nd anniversary of enlistment, e.g. enlisted on 22-4-1905, stripe awarded 22-4-1907. The second stripe after 5 total years (6 years applied at some period, but not the Great War, so I am told), so in the above example on 22-4-1910. In cases where there was a breach that caused the stopping of good conduct there could be a delay to getting the stripe, but in general unless there were constant breaches the five year anniversary of enlistment usually gave the second stripe.

As far as I can order the pictures I would go with:

1. (Only 2 wound stripes - could Corporal rank be acting?) - Dated after 1916 (wound stripes)

Post #8 (sitting): No badges, non-Rifle buttons, MM and extra ribbon (CdG?), marksman, two wound stripes, corporal, farrier badge, bandolier

2. (3 wound stripes, Private) - Dated after 1916 (wound stripes)

Post #50: RSG badges, MM and CdG ribbons, two GC stripes, 3 wound stripes, marksman's badge

3 & 4. Incomplete medal ribbon (both taken at the same time) - dated after early 1918 (overseas stripes)

Post #7 (with lady): RSG cap and collar badges, marksman, two good conduct stripes (five years), 2 overseas stripes, MM and extra ribbon (CdG?), 3 wound stripes

Post #95: (Policeman) : RSG cap and collar badges, marksman, two good conduct stripes (five years), 2 overseas stripes, MM and extra ribbon (CdG?), 3 wound stripes

5 & 6. Full medal ribbon (possibly both taken at the same time) - dated after May 1920 (date of issue of BWM/VM medals)

Post #44 (with stick): KRRC cap badge, rifle buttons, corporal stripes, full medal ribbon (MM, BWM, VM) and CdG, marksman's badge, 3 wound stripes

Post #48: KRRC cap badge, rifle buttons, corporal, full medal ribbon, machine gunner badge, 2 overseas stripes (GC stripesm if any, and wound stripes not visible)

Steve.

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