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Help please with Machine Gun Corp service number 127459


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Dear All

I have been given a single page discharge record for Lance Corporal Norman Harry Shutt to investigate.

The record includes information that cannot be found in his medical card or SWB record such as his previous service in the 4th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (no dates are given and no previous service number for his time in the LNLR). He also had a wound stripe and two blue chevrons (2 years) of overseas service. Norman Shutt enlisted at Preston.

His Army service began on 30th August 1915 and at some point he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. His service no in the Machine Gun Corps was 127459 and despite using the usual methods of looking for surviving service records for numbers close to his to determine likely entry into the MGC I am unable to find any surviving records anywhere close to this number (partly through having trouble in getting the Ancestry wildcard search to work).

I would be very grateful if forum pals could help out.

Best wishes


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Just looking at James Murgatroyd's service papers. He transferred to the Machine Gun Corp from the Loyal North Lancashires in the UK on the 10th November 1917 under ABS[?] 596/1917 (will post separately to ask what this is in relation to the Machine Gun Corp if a forum pal doesn't answer on this thread) and went to France on 14th January 1918, so had less service abroad than Norman Shutt (which leads to another question, did the service chevrons count time for an individual soldier up until Versailles in June 1919?).

Elsewhere on Murgatroyd's records it says for a medical board that he transferred in October 1917 (which is a mistake/approximation). It also doesn't say what Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire's Murgatroyd did his service with, unlike Norman Shutt where we know it was the 4th (although whether Shutt was with the 1/4th or 3/4th is unclear, two years of active service would indicate that he at least spent some time at the front fighting with the BEF before transferring to the MGC).

Presumably Norman Shutt and James Murgatroyd were part of the same draft from the Loyal North Lancashires into the MGC.

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I can't see the document, but I expect it's "A.O." (Army Orders) *** of 1917 relating to his transfer, compulsory or otherwise.

Thanks again IPT, you are right, still would like to see the Army Order itself which might not be anything special but would be interesting if it just applied to transfers to the Machine Gun Corps. Also interested to see if the draft of Loyal North Lancashires to the MGC was mentioned in any of the war diaries (for the relevant 4th battalion units - all territorial units).

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Also just looked in

The war history of the 1st/4th Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, now the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), 1914-1918 (1921)


at the appendix of casualties, Norman Shutt not mentioned, which shows that if he received his wound before joining the MGC that it wasn't with the 1/4th LNL (although still possible in the 1/4 if wound afterwards when in the MGC).

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Unsurprisingly nothing about transfer of men in October/November 1917 to the Machine Gun Corp in Colonel H. C. Wylly's Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1914-1919. Does give the number of the machine gun section of the 2nd Battalion LNLR who transferred to the MGC in January 1917, becoming 259 company Machine Gun Corps (interesting although not relevant to either Shutt or Murgatroyd).

Edited by justin
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  • Admin

According to their medal index cards neither A/Cpl Norman Shutt nor Pte Murgatroyd served overseas with any unit other than the MGC.

Murgatroyd was in the '4th Loyal North Lancs' and as his LNL number(s) appear to be 7212/127462, on mobilisation on 30/10/1916 he was posted to a TF Home service Battalion of the LNL until his transfer to the MGC on the 10th November 1917, going overseas immediately after further training on the 14th January 1918.

This means he was with the 3/4th which, as a Home Service Unit was not obliged to keep a war diary.

Murgatroyd was enlisted into the Army Reserve on the 14th May 1916 but not mobilised until October, in his case I believe it was due to his age, he was only 17years 6 months on enlistment and mobilised on his 18th birthday month.

Acting Corporal Shutt must have followed a similar, if not identical path from the LNL as Pte Murgatroyd to the MGC so it's difficult to see how he qualified for two years overseas service because the SWB Rolls show he was discharged on the 29th August 1918, incidentally as a result of 'S', or sickness rather than wounds.

I read the transfer authority in Murgatroyd's record as ACI (Army Council Instruction) 596/1917. No idea what it says (wild guess,probably about combing out Home Service units) but all the ACIs are available at the TNA in W0293 this one will be in http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C1823206

and I guess someone on the forum has a copy.


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Hi Ken

Just checked Norman Shutt's discharge papers and SWB roll entry, he definitely was discharged on the 29 August 1919, having served according to his discharge record 3 years and 314 days (writing faded here).

I agree about the sickness on the SWB record but on the discharge record it notes 'being surplus to military requirements having suffered impairment since entry into service'.

Without the cause of his wound (I dearly wish I had access to the casualty lists on the Genealogist) this leaves open the case that his wound contributed to his sickness.

Shutt was born in 1898 and so as you say would not have been 18 until sometime in 1916 (I do not have his precise date of birth, but Findmypast has the birth in the last quarter of 1916) which would certainly fit in with home service well into 1916 (3/4 as you say) but does not rule out his serving with either the 1/4 LNLR or 2/4 LNLR in 1917.

Thank you for your advice, it has really helped take me further with Norman Shutt and shows again the excellence of this forum.

From now on contributions should go to the other thread (which I set up with a better title to attract MGC and LNLR experts).




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