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Royal Field Artillery - L/3817 William Fiddis


Noor
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Hi all,

I would like to know how I should research or where to look if I would like to research Royal Field Artillery soldier L/3817 Driver William Fiddis' service?

I was able to get his MIC from ancestry but I can't find any trace about him.

I know he was entitled 15 Star trio, he landed in (3) Egypt on the 29 December 1915 and that's it.

Can someone tell me please what the prefix "L" means front of his number?

Any other information would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Noor


From 1920 prefix "L" means for RFA a local enlistment..... can it be the case on MIC?

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The prefix also had the same meaning during 1914 too, if you know where William lived it may narrow the field down as to which brigade he joined, effectively these were 'pals' units

Jon

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Given the address you've provided on the forum a likely candidate may be the William Fiddis that appears on the 1911 England Census. Born 1886 in Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Ireland he is listed as a boarder at 32 Berkley Street, Liverpool, his occupation given as Grocers Assistant.

The 148th (1st County Palatine) Bde RFA, 165th (2nd County Palatine) Bde RFA, 169th (2nd County Palatine) Bde RFA, 170th (2nd County Palatine) Bde RFA, 171st (2nd County Palatine) Howitzer Bde RFA and the 31st (2nd County Palatine) DAC RFA were all raised in Liverpool by the Earl of Derby during the early months of 1915.

The only way to be sure is to check the actual Medal Rolls held at Kew - it may be worth putting out a request on the forum as members who visit may have spare time to have a look for you.

Jon

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I have some of 170th Bde arriving Egypt 8 Dec 1915; some men probably in 31st DAC arriving 22/12/1915 - so this may well be the right group of units in 31st Division

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  • 4 months later...

I have researched the Bolton Artillery in Bolton Library Local Studies. They were 1/3 East Lancs Brigade and they went to Egypt in September 1914 with the East Lancs Div. (TF). In 1915 there were two major recruiting campaigns for the Bolton Artillery Reserve Brigades.

The Bolton newspapers also show that In March 1915 Lord Derby began recruiting in Manchester and surrounding towns for RA and RE Units for his Pals Division (which became 30 Div). They were known as the County Palatine RA (the RE were known as the County Palatine RE, or Manchester Engineers). The Bolton Evening News of 01/03/1915 identified the CPRA Unit as 148 (County Palatine of Lancaster) Brigade RFA, commanded by Lt Col G M Ormrod. The article called for 300 men to form a Bolton Battery of this Brigade, to be known as a Comrade's Battery. The BEN of 25/03/1915 reported that the Comrade's Battery was full and identified it as "D" Bty, 148 Brigade. In October 1915 the Bolton papers reported that Lord Derby had called for more recruits to the CPRA, which would serve in 30 and 32 Divs. CPRA men mentioned in the papers later in the war sometimes had their service numbers printed and all began with L/.

Brian

Edited by brianmorris547
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  • 2 weeks later...

The Bolton Evening News ran a column called "Rally to the Flag" which ran from 25/11/1914 to 25/11/1915 (repeated in the weekly Bolton Journal). On 08/03/1915 the BEN reported on "The New Battery", or the Bolton Battery of 148 County Palatine of Lancaster Brigade. The report named 54 new recruits to this Battery including:

Fiddis, William 121 Weston St, Bolton.

As noted, men in the CPRA had service numbers starting L/****.

Hope this helps

Brian

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  • 2 months later...

Press cutting attached

Bpost-105981-0-68974800-1399466594_thumb.rian

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  • 5 years later...

Elizabeth

Welcome.

Does your William have any connections with Bolton. I will check and see if there is anything more about the above William Fiddis RFA in the Bolton papers. 

Brian

EDIT: Checked at the library today and confirmed that he is shown as William FIDDIS of 121 Weston St, Bolton in Rally to the Flag. The local historian is on leave but there is some indication that there was a William FIDDIES son of John and Laura Jane Fiddies of 121 Weston St, Bolton. The family are shown on the 1911 census at 10 Mooney St, Bolton. William was 14 and worked as a cotton weaver. I will find out the connection when the historian is back.

The MRIC for William Fiddis shows service number L/3817 which is consistent with joining 148 Brigade RFA (The Comrade's Battery raised in Bolton was D/148). It also shows Egypt 29/12/1915 which means that he may have been transferred from the 1st County Palatine RFA to the 2nd County Palatine RFA. The Artillery of 32 Div went to Egypt in late 1915 with 31 Div. All very confusing - see The Long Long Trail.

Brian

Edited by brianmorris547
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  • 9 months later...
On 07/05/2014 at 13:44, brianmorris547 said:

Press cutting attached

Bpost-105981-0-68974800-1399466594_thumb.rian

 

Hi Brian,

 

Would you happen to have any other press cuttings from the BEN to hand, showing details of other recruits into this unit?

 

I'm trying to track down an Edward Stones (L/3683) from Bolton who I believe might have joined 148 brigade.

 

Appreciate any help you can provide,

 

Pete

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Welcome to the Forum Pete,

 

From looking at his number, Edward Stones did indeed join 148th Brigade RFA around the middle of March 1915.

However, his Medal Index Card (MIC) indicates arrival in Egypt on December 29, 1915, which would most likely be with 165th Brigade RFA.

There is an Admission Record for 149th Field Ambulance on Findmypast dated July 25, 1917 giving him serving with B Battery, 165th Brigade RFA.

In an amazing coincidence, L/3817 William Fiddies was admitted the same day, both men suffering from Scabies.

 

The sequence of events, given the evidence, looks like both men were posted to D Battery, 165th Brigade RFA.

D Battery, 165th Brigade RFA became A Battery, 171st Brigade RFA on May 22, 1916 (in France, after return from Egypt).

A Battery, 171st Brigade RFA was split up between A and B Batteries, 165th Brigade RFA on August 27, 1916.

From then both men remained with B Battery, 165th Brigade RFA until at least July 25, 1917.

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David, thank you for this wealth of interesting information. I haven't been able to find any pension/service record for this Edward Stones but I believe he may be my relative Edward Stones (from Bolton) who was previously discharged from the RFA in February 1915. I haven't been able to verify this but some of the information you have provided tallies with the anecdotal information that has been passed down to me. I'd been keen on checking copies of the BEN to see if there is any record of his name and address on enlistment, although a trip to the archives in Bolton isn't possible in the current climate!

 

Thanks again

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Pete,

 

If it is any help, his age in July 1917 is given as 20.

It is perfectly possible that having been discharged from the regular RFA in February 1915 (90748), that he would try again locally.

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David,

 

Thanks for this additional information, my relative Edward was born in Spring 1897 so there's a very high chance that this is him (he mustn't have lied about his age on rejoining, as he did the first time). I appreciate your help!

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Pete

It's on my list of things to do when the History Centre in Bolton Library re opens. I note that it is Fiddies and not Fiddis in the hospital admissions (see post 12). I only have the cuttings showing the names of the men who enlisted into the Reserve Brigades of the Bolton Artillery in 1915 but I will check through them to see if they show other regiments.

Brian

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  • 11 months later...

 

Corporal William James Fiddis  Royal Field Artillery 57980  18th Bn Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)

Born Straniff, Derrygonnelly, Co Fermanagh, N Ireland.  Went to Liverpool with his mother where she worked for a Jewish family.  He worked as a grocers boy (Aged 14) for a George Dane originally from Co Fermanagh.  His name is listed in the Ulster Covenant in Liverpool - Place of signing 2 Sir Thomas Street.  His name also appears in the 1911 Census, Lancashire.

 

We have a number of photos of him and others at Clipstone Camp and a Xmas 1916 Greeting card (No 2 Battalion MGC).  He also appears in the picture that was taken for the Christmas Truce 1914 between France and Germany and was used on TV for M & S Christmas advert a few years ago.  That picture is also on show in the Imperial War Museum.

 

I have original letters from the Assist Chief Nurse BEF France addressed to his mother (38 Errol Street, Liverpool) that he was in hospital dangerously ill with a gunshot wound to the head and neck and then from the  Sister in Charge of Hut 3 to say that he died from severe wounds to the head.

 

Died 11 September 1918 - Buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen.  A War Memorial Service was held in St Michael-In-The-Hamlet, Liverpool on 1 November 1918 where it says he was aged 34.  (I have original Order of Service).

 

According to the Medals Record he was in Egypt in December 1915 and his medals were returned (undisposed of).  We also have his Death Penny.

 

Can anyone add any more information? 

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Hello George Elliott and welcome to the Forum.

 

As you may have started to suspect, it appears that we may be talking about two different men called William Fiddis in this thread.  

 

The original poster @Noor posted about Driver William Fiddis who served in the Royal Field Artillery with service number L/3817.  According to his Medal Index Card he first went overseas to a theatre of war when he arrived in Egypt on about 29 December 1915 and so was elligible for the 1914-15 Star.

image.png.995771af6e05e67d34ce188cbffcb62c.png

 

The man you posted about was Corporal William James Fiddis of the Machine Gun Corps (service number 57980) who died of wounds on 11 September 1918.  He does not appear to have been elligible for either the 1914 Star (the so-called Mons Star) nor for the 1914-15 Star.  That means that he did not enter a theatre of war until after 1 January 1916.

image.png.b0bb0191d0ec3d506359f36d2ac3fa15.png

 

(Both photos courtesy of Ancestry.com).

 

The puzzle therefore is how either William Fiddis could have been in a photo of the 1914 Christmas Truce, since neither, seemingly, went overseas until at least a year after then.  

 

Are you able to share where the information you have about his appearance in that photo comes from?

 

Many thanks,

 

David.

 

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