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Old Contemptibles Association - List of badge numbers


Andy Wade

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Thank you for these details.  It is understandable that it wouldn't be possible to obtain the clasp and roses, or the badge given the criteria and passed time.  So now on to research the #2 company of the 4th Division Train.  Any suggestions on where to find our more information on this company and where they were at different times during the war?  Thanks again.  I know more now than I did, which is always a plus with this kind of research.  I'm still looking for enlistment papers, demobing papers, medical info (I know he was injured twice - gassed in 1915, and shrapnel injury in 1918) but can't find any other details / info from non-existent medical records!!  Both Ancestry and the National Archives have provided the least amount of information so far!!

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Hi,

 

The war diary is available to download (free once you've registered an account) from the National Archives - link. I suspect, but am not 100% certain, that no. 2 company was renumbered to no. 25 company.

 

11 minutes ago, Raxawa said:

shrapnel injury in 1918

 

Findmypast has this fragment of a record...

image.png.85d743a68210f020ae31e85f21b1c8a8.png

Image sourced from Findmypast

 

Regards

Chris

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Oh wow - thank you!!  Do you have the date of this record fragment??

I did get an account but I didn't find that!!  I wasn't able to find much in the war diary.

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The unit was 4th Divisional Train which consisted of a number of ASC companies.  The war diary at the national Archivers lists 18, 25, 32 and 38 Companies:

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352147

 

I haven't checked it out but I have found that a divisional train starts out life with 1,2,3 and 4 companies, (his was 2 Company) and later on they are renumbered so 2 Coy becomes whatever.  My suggestion is you download the war diary (free at the moment) and read it to see if that is what happens.  I have skimmed the start only, be aware that on Ancestry the months are filed in reverse order so Aug 1914 is the last month.  So you read the month's entries in numerical,order, then back track to the next month and read that one the same way - hours of endless fun.

 

You will have to make the assumption that he stayed with that unit as his service record has not survived.  There is an undated scrap of a casualty list on Findmypast which lists him (somewhere, no date/place) with a wound to his left thigh

 

Max

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Hi Raxawa,

 

1 hour ago, Raxawa said:

Do you have the date of this record fragment??

 

Max has found the same thing, Whilst no date is given, you might be able to date it though. What I'd tend to try is to look for surviving papers for other men on the list. If you find two, or more, you might see a commonality, and make a reasonable inference. 

 

It looks like he may have originally joined up in mid-ish August 1910. There are a couple of Silver War Badge records for 'near number' ASC men which show:

 

T/29100 Maskell - enlisted 5.8.1910

T/29151 Polley - enlisted 15.8.1910

T/29155

T/29343  Nisbet - enlisted 28.9.1910

T/29395 Warner - enlisted 7.11.1910

 

Might this be him in the 1911 census? - Ancestry link

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk
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Hi Raxawa,

 

Going through the list in post #52, the first two men I saw with surviving service papers are 6480 Bowers (Suffolks) and 3321 Spinks (RFA), both being discharged in 1916. What their papers show is:

 

Bowers

image.png.eaff4e723e66024952eae896e79c3b7c.png

Image sourced from Findmypast

 

Spinks

image.png.57710b89cfb8a8c6423ae1344fd06e27.png

Image sourced from Findmypast

 

So I think what the list may represent is his admission to St Bartholomew's hospital on 11.12.1914. Having recovered from his thigh wound it is possible that Thomas wasn't 'recycled' back to his original unit.

 

20 hours ago, Raxawa said:

Yes, that is he in the 1911 census, but we always thought he enlisted in 1914.  Maybe he joined earlier??

 

From the 14 Star Roll (Ancestry Link) there are some records for a couple of other men from his unit that appear on the same page.

 

S/22360 Kemp - mobilised (at Aldershot) 7.8.1914 from Army Reserve

AHT/436 Lester - mobilised (at Aldershot) 6.8.1914 from Army Reserve

T/25375 McCombie - mobilised (at Woolwich) 5.8.1914 from Army Reserve

 

So it seems likely that Thomas signed up in 1910, did his time as a 'regular', before being sent to the Reserve, and returning to civilian life. The terms of his engagement may have been, for example:

image.png.0854b4ecd286635ca3a1fbb1171ad98b.png

Image sourced from Findmypast

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk
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Wow.  How did you find that in Findmy past?  I put their information into Ancestry and got nothing, and the same for my grandfather in both Ancestry and Findmypast!!  Seems like I'm not doing it correctly!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't found any more records, or parts thereof, since my last group of posts (#41 to #59) but I have done a lot of reading.  I'm still trying to figure out what unit(s) my grandfather might have been attached to.  I have been reading the War Diary of the 4th Division, and have been going cross-eyed trying to discern the faded print, and cursive short forms looking for 2nd Coy movements.  Names are not given, making the job tougher, but I was hoping for some dispatches, etc. of wounded men and where they were treated.  Without his service record, and working from the bits and pieces I already have been provided, is there any more information on the 2nd Coy, 4th Divisional train?  I'm just looking for anything!!! Thx.

 

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10 hours ago, Raxawa said:

I'm still trying to figure out what unit(s) my grandfather might have been attached to.

 

From the MIC we have already established that he was in No 2 Company in 4th Divisional Train.  If you have been reading the diary flagged up earlier then you will have seen innumerable mentions of No 2 Company (the companies retained their numbers as far as the diary is concerned right through the war.).  You should, in the absence of other evidence, have to assume Grandfather was wherever they are mentioned.

 

The war diary is the record of a unit's operational service and, as you have seen, only rarely mention individual soldiers by name.  There is, at that level, nothing else you can read that will give you what you want unfortunately unless by some miracle someone comes up with a personal diary of someone in the train.

 

The fragment that mentions his wound must have been in the winter of 1914.  Frost bite is mentioned in some and one man, Coney, was discharged in April 1915 which rather points to the previous winter.

 

Your experience is typical if that helps.  

 

Max

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Thank you Max.  Yes I understand that he was in 2 Coy, 4th Div. Train from the MIC but was hoping to find other information about possible other units he may have been in following his release from his thigh injury.  Family memory knows (or strongly thinks) that he was also injured from gas in April 1915, and also had a shrapnel injury to his face (nose) in 1918, and then discharged from service in 1918.  Given the lack of his service record, no doubt due to the damage caused during the Blitz, I guess we will never know many details about his service.  I will continue to peruse the 4 Div. diary, eyesight permitting!!  Although there are many gaps, I have learned a lot from my research and the WarForum's help.  And it all started out from wondering if he was an Old Contemptible, which we now know that he was!!!  Cheers

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  • 2 months later...
34 minutes ago, S.Driscoll said:

My granddad, staff sergeant farrier, RHA, Albert Driscoll, badge no. 937

 

Is there a query about him?   Realised you are adding his name to the listings.

 

Max

Edited by MaxD
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I am also, permanently, on the look out for photos, letters or other ephemera about him.

He went over in early August '14 through to Oct '19. So there must be something out there!

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  • 2 months later...

My grandfather, Sgt James Arthur Saul

10100 2/Essex Regiment.

Old Contemptibles Badge No 5966A

Lived post war in Hackney/Walthamstow area but not sure which branch he belonged to. Photo taken at a reunion I think.

I know he was twice wounded, first in 1914 and then I think in 1917. He moved from the Essex Regiment to the Northamptonshire Regiment and also served for a time in the Labour Corps. Don’t know why, can anyone shed light on why this happened? I know he went with his Regiment to France in August 1914 plus served in Palestine/Syria later in the war. I’d love to know more! His 1914 Star has him as a L/Cpl his other two medals as a Sgt.

BB423875-3AC1-4747-8B7A-1953A97D86FF.png

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Medal roll has the sequence of regiments that you quote.  No sign of his service record which would track him from one to another.  His Silver War Badge record says enlistment 13 Nov 1912 and discharge from Essex Regiment 20 Dec 1919.  His Labour Corps number was allocated in Egypt in May/September 1918 (source No Labour No Battle).   The source notes that there is precious little information on Labour Corps units in Egypt .  It does refer to three companies formed in the August/September 1918 period which moved into Palestine and Syria with XX Corps, XXI Corps and the Desert Mounted Corps which may have been when he transferred from a battalion of the Northamptons who were in that theatre.  Perhaps voluntarily as a Sergeant??  The earlier transfer from 2 Essex may well have coincided with one of his woundings (guesswork here!)..

 

Max

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Hello John.

 

I currently have the original records for the Walthamstow Branch in my care (I have been lent them for my research) and Chum Saul is not recorded in the Branch Nominal Roll. However, he may well have been a Chum of the Founder (Hackney) Branch, and perhaps if you posted the whole Branch photograph that you have I might be able to confirm this if I can recognise some of the other Chums in the group. I can tell you however that his Badge Number indicates that he joined the Association in late 1932.

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2 hours ago, MaxD said:

Medal roll has the sequence of regiments that you quote.  No sign of his service record which would track him from one to another.  His Silver War Badge record says enlistment 13 Nov 1912 and discharge from Essex Regiment 20 Dec 1919.  His Labour Corps number was allocated in Egypt in May/September 1918 (source No Labour No Battle).   The source notes that there is precious little information on Labour Corps units in Egypt .  It does refer to three companies formed in the August/September 1918 period which moved into Palestine and Syria with XX Corps, XXI Corps and the Desert Mounted Corps which may have been when he transferred from a battalion of the Northamptons who were in that theatre.  Perhaps voluntarily as a Sergeant??  The earlier transfer from 2 Essex may well have coincided with one of his woundings (guesswork here!)..

 

Max

Hi Max

That’s been very helpful and such a quick response. Thank you very much. I’ve been very frustrated trying to track grandad’s army career. I’ve got his medals, wound badge, cap badge etc but nothing else. I assume the image was taken in Palestine - he is front left. Can’t make out the cap badge. My other grandad was in the Welsh Guards and his records have survived. Thank again, the help is much appreciated.

John

1565CBF8-86F7-4285-A3EA-0B8224AC0397.jpeg

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Hi Andrew,

Thanks very much for your helpful reply. I’ve attached the whole photograph and would be interested if you recognise the location and any of the other people. I wonder why he left it to 1932 to join. The photo shows him as he was in the 1930s (from the evidence of other I’ve got) so that makes sense. Sorry about the quality of the photo - copy of a copy I’m afraid.

Thanks again,

John

067CD1C0-01AF-4DD3-B0C4-91B108E07EAE.jpeg

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Cap badge resembles the Northamptons, certainly not Essex or Labour Corps.  If I've counted correctly, 2 battalions of the Northamptons were in the Egypt theatre  in 1918, 1/4th after Gallipoli and 1st Garrison Battalion from Oct 1915.  The other seated man has the look of a garrison battalion man (totally unscientific thought!).  Doesn't get us far though in terms of time frames for each.

 

Max

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  • 1 month later...

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