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I am researching a gun crew photo from B Battery 251 Bgd RFA. One of the men is labelled as "S Todd" but the most likely match for him is a Canadian artilleryman (1st Bgd) who died Dec 1917. Is it likely he was "on loan" or re-assigned to a British unit? I believe the pic was taken Spring 1917.

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Why do you say 'the most likely match'...?

A quick scan of the MIC's reveals about 6 'S. Todd's in the RFA, plus another couple with 'S' as their second initial.

I'm assuming that the photo is taken in France.

My thoughts are;

It'll be very difficult to pick your particular 'S. Todd' out of the 8 or so in the MIC's UNLESS there is a definite sequence of regimental numbers that identify men from that particular battery (or unless your man was a casualty, or if his records survive).

If his tunic looks the same as the other men in the battery, and has the same sort of collar, then he's pretty definitely British and not Canadian.

Check that you've got the correct initial; sometimes the letter 'G', 'J' and 'T' can be written like an 'S'.

Have you been searching the MIC's for 'S. Todd'? They don't tend to work like that (most are recorded by their first name, some are recorded by their initials), and don't always assume that all the man's initials are recorded on the photo. That may also apply to those that you've already researched.

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Thanks for the replies. Uniform seems same as the others so will investigate the regimental numbers question. Chances are of course that even if I find an MIC, statistically that may be the only piece of evidence available to identify him, which is a shame. You're right about the initials though, some of the other men listed on the photo are almost certainly not those suggested by the written letters. Seems to have eben a convention of the time that only initials were used and not full first names - have seen this in other non-military documents of the time.

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The 251st Brigade RFA originated from the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade which had it's headquarters in Wenlock Barracks, Hull. The second Battery, 2nd East Riding, was based in Part Street, Hull.

You may be looking for a lad local to you, though it is appreciated by 1917 many units had drafts from all parts of the country.

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Indeed yes. So far have found many Hull men involved but also others. I may at some point start putting together a list of "B" Battery men as a resource.

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If you think it is the Canadian; Gunner Samuel Todd (1st Bty, CGA) died 9 August 1917.

If that's the man, he was Garrison Artillery, so unlikely to be serving with a Royal Field Artillery Brigade, except perhaps on temporary attachment in some liaison capacity - unlikely for a simple Gunner, although he could have been an officer's batman.

Neither the Canadian site nor the CWGC is clear as to his actual unit: they had a 1st Heavy Battery and a 1st Siege Battery. Perhaps both sites are wrong, and he was in 1st Battery CFA?


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks. I suspect however that as the uniform is the same as the other men, this Todd is a British soldier.

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  • 1 year later...

I think that there may have been two Todds if it was the Canadians of UK origins as Samuel and his brother Crawford had consecutive Reg Numbers same unit, died the same day and are buried III. E. 6 & 14. BULLY-GRENAY COMMUNAL CEMETERY, BRITISH EXTENSION 8 graves apart, it appears they were inseperable, only in death were they parted.and then only by yards

Their parents headstone which also commemorates them is in Stoneykirk Cemetery Wigtownshire Scotland

http://www.cwgc.org/...y/30426/TODD, C

http://www.cwgc.org/...y/30427/TODD, S


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