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Kings Royal Rifles


MFS
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Hello all, I'm seeking further information about my grandfather Edward Potter who I believe served in the KRRC.

I have a photo of him (I think) with crossed rifles on the left sleeve and a vertical stripe below an inverted chevron,

His cap badge doesn't seem to be the cross of the KRR, perhaps it is a different soldier?

My mother has some very poor quality documents which have supplied his service numbers and basic info re enlistment.

I have managed to dig up the info below from entering his service numbers into various serch engines but I would appreciate anything else, particularly his postings.

i can't do Ancestry.com nor visit Kew for financial reasons and so I have come up against a brick wall

What I have so far is:

Joined 21st (Service) Battalion (Yeoman Rifles) 8-3-1916
He signed up at Scatelton, Horringham, Malton
The unit was formed in September 1915 from volunteers from the farming communities of Yorkshire, Northumberland and Durham by the Northern Command. Moved to Duncombe Park at Helmsley. Moved to Aldershot and came under orders of 124th Brigade in 41st Division.
4 May 1916 : landed in France.
30 March 1916 : landed at Le Havre.
The unit moved with the Division to Italy November 1917 :but returned to France in March 1918.

In November 1917 the Yeoman Rifles had gone to the Italian Front with 41ST division had by the end of the month taken over a section of the front line behind the Piave River relieving the Italian 1ST Division. Four months later the Battalion were back in France where it had been disbanded on the sixteenth of March 1918, the ‘Yeomen’ being transferred to other units of 41ST Division.
Edward joined the Labour corps, possibly in 1918, His number in the corps was 562373 and his medal card reference is WO 372/16/51227.

I would like to know where he served, where he fought,,was he a rifleman or a plain private?

Edward was discharged on 8-7-1919 on having impairment. He was wounded in the hip so I know he must have seen active service. He did receive the silver medal but no pension and suffered greatly from his war wounds. He migrated to Australia in about 1920 and married my gran in 1927. He died in 1956.

I thank you muchly in advance.

post-102621-0-36760100-1381385021_thumb.

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Hello MFS

Thanks for posting the information about your grandfather. I see you have already looked at The Long Long Trail - the information on 21/KRRC there became garbled when Chris Baker, the owner (and also founder of this forum), redesigned it. I did write telling him this years ago but he hasn't changed it. The 21st Bn did not land at Le Havre on 30 March 1916 but on 4-5 May.

I have found plenty of men who enlisted at Malton but have never heard of the other two places. However, Scackleton and Hovingham are villages not far from Malton and I believe I've come across others in the battalion from them, so I'd suggest the names you have given are misreadings of those names. If he didn't join till March 1916 he would have gone straight to Aldershot to join the battalion, having missed the Helmsley training period.

There's a thread here with a great deal on the 21st Bn KRRC and links to earlier threads on it - I've become very interested in the battalion but there are others on this forum with a far deeper knowledge of the KRRC.

21st Battalion KRRC

As you suggest, the uniform in your photograph isn't a KRRC uniform.

Have you got any other service number?

Liz

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I've now had a quick look through Edward Potter's record on Ancestry (how lucky that it survived), which confirms my guess about the place names. Have you seen this? He appears to have had his papers approved at Skipton and despite the fact that it says 21st KRRC at the top of the form, he never served with this battalion. He was a reservist and had two service numbers, R21649 and 562373. (I asked if there were any more because he clearly didn't have a Yeoman Rifles service number, but that in itself didn't rule out service with them - there were others even among the original recruits with reservists' numbers.)

He seems to have served with various KRRC battalions, especially 10 and 8, and also 7 Rifle Brigade and the Agricultural Labour Corps, and to have suffered a great deal from bronchitis and asthma, despite which he did serve in France in 1916 and 1918 and was wounded.

To get the maximum help from forum members on this query you really need to delete '21st Battalion' from your thread title and refocus your questions, I think. You could find out about the uniform separately in the uniforms subforum.

Good luck,

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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The place he signed up at was Scackleton North Yorkshire,Google earth coordinates 54 08`58 33N

100 45 80W. There are 42 pages of service records on Ancestry .

Eddie

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Thankyou to all who have provided information, and so quickly as well. How easy it seems to be mislead by dodgy info. I shall take up your suggestions about the uniform. I'm still not sure it is Edward, will find out tomorrow from his daughter my mum, who lives on the other side of Australia.

I don't have access to Ancestry records, as I t have neither a credit card, nor sufficient funds to service the debt that my search would incur.

Again,thankyou muchly.

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Photo is a fusilier of some sort. Definitely not KRRC nor Rifle Brigade. Given the reported info from his service record, this suggests the photo is of a different man.

If your relative was in 21/KRRC Liz would know!

If possible try and post us a zoomed in scan of his shoulder title.

The crossed rifles is a trade or proficiency badge - one of the Pals will no doubt give chapter and verse on that soon.

The inverted chevron is a Good Conduct stripe.

The straight bar is a Wound stripe.

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He was a reservist and had two service numbers, R21649 and 562373. (I asked if there were any more because he clearly didn't have a Yeoman Rifles service number, but that in itself didn't rule out service with them - there were others even among the original recruits with reservists' numbers.)

He seems to have served with various KRRC battalions, especially 10 and 8, and also 7 Rifle Brigade and the Agricultural Labour Corps, and to have suffered a great deal from bronchitis and asthma, despite which he did serve in France in 1916 and 1918 and was wounded.

Liz - why Reservist Number? The R/xxxx prefix did not signify reservists. It was originally used for the K1 and K2 Kitchener service battalions (7/KRRC to 13/KRRC and the related 14th and 15th training battalions) but extended into the later battalions. Those battalions raised from 16/KRRC onwards (and including the Yeoman Rifles) used the C/xxxx prefix but recruits with R/xxxxx prefixes were still regularly posted into these later battalions even as part of the original establishment.

Too busy just now, but I will dive into the service record of this man over the next 48 hours to see what we can decode.

Cheers,

Mark

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I'll go on a limb and suggest Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The badge is the right shape, and the shoulder title seems to be straight and too long for Northumberland Fusiliers "NF" - "RWF" looks a better bet.

Very possibly wrong, though; it's not uncommon.

Could I suggest you re-post the picture in another thread with the word "Fusilier" in the title? That was you might attract the people who recognise Fusiliers but don't like Riflemen!

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Hi Mark

Well, I wouldn't necessarily know if he was in the 21/KRRC (since he survived) as I haven't checked the full medal rolls for the battalion at Kew, but luckily the service record is there and while the enrolment form says '21 KRRC' it's clear from the rest of the record that he never joined them.

The number issue - sorry, not my strong point as you know but again the record states that he was a reservist, so I wrongly connected the two. As I said, I'm aware there were recruits even in the early days of the Yeomen Rifles who had the R prefix from having started off elsewhere, but it was clear to me from his record that Edward Potter wasn't one of them. The type of form on the record was unfamiliar to me, it's not like the usual attestation form, but you'll be able to tell what's going on there.

I'm sure MFS would be pleased if you did look at the service record, in view of what he's said. I'm happy to join in if I can but where the other battalions are concerned I am very aware that others - you for instance! - are better placed to interpret them so I have so far only looked through quickly.

Liz

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I'll go on a limb and suggest Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Could I suggest you re-post the picture in another thread with the word "Fusilier" in the title? That way you might attract the people who recognise Fusiliers but don't like Riflemen!

I'd go with RWF too, but was keeping my powder dry in the hopes of an enlargement of the shoulder title!

"Don't like Riflemen!" Shurely shome mishtake? Do such people exist?

Back on topic, the RWF were one of the earliest adopters of the Baker Rifle (in their light companies) alongside the 5th/60th (KRRC) and the 95th (Rifle Brigade) so there is some shared common ground.

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"Don't like Riflemen!" ... Do such people exist?

:whistle:

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Liz - why Reservist Number? The R/xxxx prefix did not signify reservists. It was originally used for the K1 and K2 Kitchener service battalions (7/KRRC to 13/KRRC and the related 14th and 15th training battalions) but extended into the later battalions. Those battalions raised from 16/KRRC onwards (and including the Yeoman Rifles) used the C/xxxx prefix but recruits with R/xxxxx prefixes were still regularly posted into these later battalions even as part of the original establishment.

Too busy just now, but I will dive into the service record of this man over the next 48 hours to see what we can decode.

Cheers,

Mark

Thanks folks. There may be some confusion over service numbers. I have a document that records him for medal purposes as a Pvte in the KRRC 21642 and Lab Cor 562373.

post-102621-0-88748200-1381446819_thumb.

I have another, almost undeadable document, which shows he was in the 21st KRRC with the number R21649. It shows various postings, mostly unreadable except for one to BBR and mostly lists his rank as Rifleman. post-102621-0-35953100-1381446695_thumb.

Perhaps the fog of war also descended on those who recorded this info with nibbed pen dipped in ink, leading to our present state of confusion.

i have attached copies of the docs. I hope you can make more sense of them that I.

Thanks, Micheal.

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Hello Micheal

It was this part of his record, the Statement of the Services, on Ancestry that convinced me Edward Potter didn't serve in the 21st Bn despite the fact that this was written at the top of the initial enrolment form. A slight correction: this too has 21st at the top as you say (second column, Battn or Depot), which I missed yesterday, but it also shows he was then posted to the 24th (Reserve) Bn, which was formed from the Depot Companies of the 21st Bn (Long Long Trail) a month before they went to France. (EDIT previously I said on the day they went to France, 4.5.1916, but it was actually 5.4.1916.) So for the first few weeks he was with them, but not after that. He was from the Yeoman Rifles home area and probably had friends in it but his enrolment wasn't approved till April at Skipton, by which time the battalion was almost ready to leave Aldershot for France. So perhaps that's why he was posted to the reserve battalion and then to 9/KRRC, going to France on 25 July 1916 and then being posted home on 11 November 1916. I have seen quite a few other records of men who were initially posted to the 21st Bn but didn't go to France with them, even some who were there from late 1915. It could also be because of ill-health.

I'll have another look at the record on Ancestry later and I know Mark will, with much deeper background knowledge, but it seems to me to show 24, 9, 5, 6 and 10 Bns KRRC at various times (some are home-based), 7/ Rifle Brigade and Labour Corps, but I can't see any further 21/KRRC. Again, from my quick look yesterday, I recall there was a letter from the vicar of Kirkby Lonsdale to the authorities asking after him when he had been wounded and expressing surprise he'd ever been sent to France given his asthma and frequent bronchitis.

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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It is very common with KRRC and RB men for the letter prefixes to be missed off the service numbers on MICs.

Another of the pitfalls with researching riflemen :-)

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The type of form on the record was unfamiliar to me, it's not like the usual attestation form, but you'll be able to tell what's going on there.

He has been called up by conscription under the 1916 Military Service Act - slightly different paperwork.

This also explains why he appears to be a Reservist. Under the MSA, all legally eligible men not otherwise exempted, were deemed to have passed into the Army Reserve. It was therefore not necessary to attest these men, but their basic details had to be entered on the Enrolment Paper, form B.2513.

Such conscripts were not Reservists in the pre-war sense of the term.

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Service record is quite convoluted - even includes a trip to the Command Depot in Tipperary!

I won't have time to write it up properly for a few days I'm afraid.

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Perhaps the fog of war also descended on the shiny arses who recorded this info with nibbed pen dipped in ink, leading to our present state of confusion.

Some of these men may have been battalion orderlies and officers at or near to the front line and probably under enemy shell fire - more 'brown trousers' than 'shiny arses' I'd say.

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Thankyou folks, it's getting exciting here in Tasssy, I'm finally getting some conrete gen on my grandpop's war record.

The family knew little more than that he was wounded because like most war veterans, he never spoke of his service to his children before he died in 1956.

We have at last found a photo of him in his uniform, in an envelope at the bottom of a box in "the spare room" of my mother's house in Perth, Western Australia.

As soon as I get the image I can put a face to the number for everyone who has helped. My mother will be pleased to finally learn of her father's experiences during the great war.

As for faces, the smiling lad you see in the small box to your left is the writer, aged 17, then a Leading Apprentice in the RAAF, sporting his first attempt at a moustache.

I look forward to learning more about my Pop,

Thanks again.

Micheal

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Michael - the photo at the top of the Topic is wearing a fusilier uniform - probably the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

There's nothing in the service record of Edward Potter (KRRC and Labour Corps) about service with the RWF, so there's a strong possibility the photo is NOT Edward Potter.

I can be more confident once I've checked through the service record in detail after the weekend.


Michael - do you have his actual medals? If so, could you let us know the exact inscriptions?

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Micheal, it will be very interesting to see your grandfather's picture. By the way I notice on the form about his discharge that he enrolled (as opposed to joined, I suppose) at Richmond. That'll be Yorkshire, not Surrey, of course.

Mark, thanks for explanation about the enrolment/joining form. As most of the records I have seen were for volunteers in late 1915 I have mainly seen ordinary attestation forms.

I did note down the home and overseas details on the military history section of Edward Potter's Descriptive report on joining, which should tally with the complex information on his Statement of the Services as R21649:

Ancestry sheet 8586

Descriptive report on enrolment joining

BEF 1916, 1917

G Wnd upper and lower extremities 22.3.18

GW Thigh

Military History section

Home 7.3.16 to 24.7.16 140 days

BEF 25.7.16 – 10.11.16 109 days

Home 11.11.16 – 3.2.17 85 days

BEF 4.2.17 – 16.7.17 163 days

Home 17.7.17 – 4.1.18 172 days

BEF 5.1.18 – 30.3.18 85 days

Home 31. 3.18 11.7.19 1yr 103 days

Total 3yrs 127 days

Liz

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I'll go on a limb and suggest Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The badge is the right shape, and the shoulder title seems to be straight and too long for Northumberland Fusiliers "NF" - "RWF" looks a better bet.

Very possibly wrong, though; it's not uncommon.

Could I suggest you re-post the picture in another thread with the word "Fusilier" in the title? That was you might attract the people who recognise Fusiliers but don't like Riflemen!

Michael's followed Broomers' advice about starting a new thread and included this zoom-in of the ST:

post-20192-0-56937600-1381669161_thumb.j

Definitely RWF!

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The Pals have also thrown up an Edward Potter in the RWF service number 10812. No further details yet.

Michael: can you clarify how you've confirmed that the Edward Potter in the KRRC and Labour Corps is the same chap as your grandfather Edward Potter? Any news on the whereabouts of your grandfather's medals and Silver War Badge?

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The Pals have also thrown up an Edward Potter in the RWF service number 10812. No further details yet.

Relevant further details are in my post 7.

viz

" The Edward Potter that Clive refers to (10812) was a 4th Battalion man transferred in from Bedfordshires and Killed in Action 15 9 1916."

Hywyn

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Relevant further details are in my post 7.

viz

" The Edward Potter that Clive refers to (10812) was a 4th Battalion man transferred in from Bedfordshires and Killed in Action 15 9 1916."

Hywyn

Ooops! Apologies :closedeyes:

It's still important for Michael to just explain how he has connected the two Edward Potters though. I assume it's biographical details - place of birth etc??

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