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Remembered Today:

9th Battalion Middlesex Regiment


Bush
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I want to find this Unit's War Diaries for 1917 and 1918, but it does not seem to exist.

I have looked at The Long, Long Trail site from which I have discovered that it was probably a reserve battalion created on 8 April 1915 from the 3/9 battalion. The 9th Reserve Battalion then became part of the 7th Reserve Battalion on 1 September 1916, so this is probably the Unit I am looking for. BUT, if that is true, why does the M.I.C. of my wife's grandfather, Ernest Bertram Marks, say that he was made a 2nd lieutenant in the 9th on 26 September 1917 and the London Gazette dated 26 March 1919 say that he was promoted to lieutenant in the 9th on 26 March 1918?

Incidentally, WO374/46025 contains the service record of a lieutenant EB Marks, but I know there are at least two such individuals.

I should be grateful if anyone could clarify the matter for me.

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1/9 Middlesex (aka 9/Middlesex in 1914) served in India from December 1914 to November 1917. It then transferred to Mesopotamia (Iraq), landing with 53rd Infantry Brigade at Basra on 24 November. A month later it, and the brigade, joined the 18th (Indian) Division on its formation in Mesopotamia.

The war diary forms part of the holding for 18th (Indian) and the diary for November 1917 to March 1919 may be found in WO 95/5225 along with the brigade and division diaries.

Cheers,

Simon

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He actually went to France sometime in 1917 as a private (No 11156, later renumbered to 270938) with 1st Bn Hertfordshire Regiment. He was then commissioned into 9th Middlesex as a 2nd Lt later that year and then a full Lt in 1918.

The war diary Simon J referred to has not been digitised and is unlikely to be for some time so a visit to Kew will be needed.

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Thanks Simon and SPOF for your replies.

Rightly or wrongly, I had decided that the 1/9 could not have been what I was after because it was not in France in 1917. My apologies for not making this clear.

I was aware that he had originally enlisted as a private in the 1st Hertfordshire, but my only source is his M.I.C. and that does not give the date of enlistment or the actual date he went to France. It seemed to me (based on no experience whatsoever) to be unlikely that he went straight from private to 2nd lieutenant in the field, so I assumed that his entry coincided with his commission.

George

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I assumed that his entry coincided with his commission.

FYI, logically, there are 2 reasons why he wasn't a 2/Lt when he entered France for the first time. (Assumptions - that logic has anything to do with it and my understandings are correct!)

  • A MIC is supposed to list only details applicable to a Theatre of War. Therefore he was in the Theatre (France) as a private in 1/Herts (11156, later 270938), so he was promoted after entry;
  • The 2nd number is a 6-digit Territorial number and those were applied (according to the Long Long Trail web-site) from 1 March 1917 on. Conversely, he had number 11156 in France (see above) and that must have been before 1 March 1917, meaning he entered France before March 1917.

I had one of my relatives promoted from a Private in the Black Watch to 2/Lieut and this was after service in France as a private. So, like him, your guy was promoted after entry to France. Which doesn't mean he stayed there.

As to where he was, well... 3/9th aka 9th Reserve can't be right because that was absorbed into 7th Reserve in Sept 1916 - the year before his promotion (which you seemed to pick up on as a problem for your initial idea). 2/9th existed for a couple of months more after his promotion but then disappeared - could that have been right? Then where was he on his 2nd promotion? Which leaves 1/9th.... Presumably the monthly Army Lists would help to resolve which unit he was with????

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Adrian

You've just reminded me of another point..... 2/9 and 3/9 Middlesex were home service only and so SHOULD not have been on his MIC

Bush

Commissioning Privates wasn't all that uncommon especielly in the latter half ofthe war. He obviously showed potential and had a clean record. I'd start a new thread with "Hertfordshire" in the title so people who know aboutthat Regiment can see it.

Glen

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If I am understanding this properly, because my man had a 5 digit number for the 1st Herts.before he was given his 6 digit territorial number, then if he entered France in 1917, it must have been in January or February. And because the Middlesex Regiment appears on his M.I.C., it must have been in France too. But the 1/9 and 2/9 were never in France and the 3/9 had become part of the 7th Reserve Battalion. So if he was in the 1/9 or 2/9 then the Middlesexes should not have been on his card and if it was the 3/9, then why was his promotion to lieutenant shown as the 9th and not the 7th?

I feel a trip to Kew coming on.

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"because my man had a 5 digit number for the 1st Herts.before he was given his 6 digit territorial number, then if he entered France in 1917, it must have been in January or February."

Probablyy. As I said ask about the Hertfordshire Regiment separately.

"because the Middlesex Regiment appears on his M.I.C., it must have been in France too."

Not necessarily. The World War covered more than France and Belgium. The Army in 1914 wasn't designed to have 'backup' Battalions i.e. 2/9. 3/9 so most of their paperwork would deal with 9th Middlesex aka 1/9. The 1/9th never went to France but they did go to war unlike 2/9 and 3/9 and qualify for most of the same honours and medals. .

Let us know when you go to Kew and we should be able to give you item reference numbers to make life easier.

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"because the Middlesex Regiment appears on his M.I.C., it must have been in France too."

"Not necessarily. The World War covered more than France and Belgium."

Ah, so if a regiment appears on a M.I.C. it was in any theatre and not just the first. I think I have got it now.

Thanks to everyone for bearing with me and for the item reference numbers offer.

George

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