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Remembered Today:

Finding unit from the Medal Index card


TimCatherall

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If I have a soldiers Medal Index card how can I use that to find the unit? He was Royal Engineers.

Its a long story but basically someone I know via a strategy gaming site (geeky I know :blush: ) turned out to have a great grandfather in the Royal Engineers as I did. They were both from Yorkshire and the Medal Index indicates both in the TA first. It would be amazing if they served in the same unit. My Great Grandfather was in 457th Field Coy 62nd West Riding Division. Having this other soldiers number and MIC how do I find his unit?

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Next to the medal entitlement you should find a code which will tell you the Roll and Page reference for the actual medal roll for which the card is the index. At the National Archives - where those rolls are held - you can then use that reference information to access the correct roll and that roll should contain information on the unit in which the man served. These records are not online. However there are several knowledgeable and kind persons on this forum who may be able to help if you post the reference information.

It also might be the case that your man's service record has survived, if so it should be available either at the National Archives or via Ancestry. Again a fuller more detailed posting might help.

A look at the Long Long Trail here - http://www.1914-1918.net/records.html - might also help

Dave Swarbrick

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Thanks for the reply. I had a look at the page you linked to before - very helpful but I couldn't see where I could indentify the unit other than visiting the National Archives as you say. I suppose I should have asked if there was another way of finding the unit :blush: It would be some time before I could get there and my friend lives in the US.

The reference information if anybody is able to help is:-

Sapper George Briggs no. 488644, T/2663. roll RE/101 B181. Page 43337

Sapper William Catherall (my great grandfather) no 48014(?2 I think), T3329. roll RE/101 B222. Page 54861

My friend has some photos of his Great grandfather and his unit - would be amazing if they were in the same unit. I only have one photo of my relative and that was taken in the 1930s. He's scanning them for me this week in the slim chance my GG is in any of them.

Very grateful for any help or information.

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Medal card of Catherall, William

Corps/Regiment No Rank

Royal Engineers 480142 Sapper

Royal Engineers T3329 Sapper

Just to confirm the "2"

Grant

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Tim,

Territorial Royal Engineers are easier to allocate to units than Regular Engineers. George Briggs' number of 488644 belongs to the batch allocated to the 2nd North Midland Field Company (later 466th Company) who were alloacted numbers 488001 to 490000)

http://www.1914-1918.net/46div.htm

It was possibly however for men to be moved and the R.E. number not change, so he is not guaranteed to have served in 2nd North Midland Field Company for the whole war.

See:

http://www.1914-1918.net/TF_renumbering_re.htm

Incidentally, the 3rd West Riding Field Company (517th Company) was issued numbers 480001 to 482000.

Steve.

(Sorry, I appear to type slower than Grant!) :D

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(Sorry, I appear to type slower than Grant!) :D

Ahh, but you wrote a lot more :thumbsup:

Grant

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Thanks for all that information - very helpful. My mate is sending scanned photos in the week but its looks unlikely they were in the same unit. I had my GG down as the 457th field company (same division) for some reason - I must go back and check my research. it was done about 10 years ago...

My friend Great Grandfathers medals include the two campaign medals but he also has an Iron Cross and a medal from his home town of Brighouse West Riding, Yorkshire - never seen one of those before.

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Sorry Tim,

My mistake. i've just double check and it is 457th Company not 517th !!

My apologies.

Steve.

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Steve - no problem - its very kind of you to look and help. I see you have a relative in your signature in the RE. My Great Grandfather joined up at the age of 38 (my grandfather was 10 at the time). Family legend has it he joined up as he could earn more than his job as a bricklayer in Leeds.

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He would potentially have still worked as a bricky once a Sapper. I've seen a couple of sets of papers for civvy brickies who went into the RE and there are descriptions of the tests they were given to prove their skills in order to qualify for various levels of proficiency (and associated pay increments)

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My father who knew him said he told of building a lot of brick ovens so he must have used his skill - doesn't usual army myth state that the least qualified normally gets the job? I suppose the amry paid their brickies better than building firms.

Whatever he did it didn't do his health any good as he didn't really work on his return according to Dad and certainly had bad lungs (dose of gas perhaps). He died in 1941 at the age of 60 ish.

Looks very northern in this picture taken in the 1930s!

post-1720-0-90378800-1311111779.gif

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If he was building ovens, he might have also come into contact with asbestoes - used for insulation.

That really screws up the lungs

Grant

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If he was building ovens, he might have also come into contact with asbestoes - used for insulation.

That really screws up the lungs

Grant

If that is the case, then his death certificate should state that, worth looking at!

It should state mesothelioma- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesothelioma

regards

Robert

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My father who knew him said he told of building a lot of brick ovens so he must have used his skill - doesn't usual army myth state that the least qualified normally gets the job?

In the normal course of things perhaps so, but RE is a bit different and they worked out it would make sense to use skills already developed on civvy street, rather than start from scratch

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