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LUCIE

ASC 560 COY FORMED NOV 1915 - help to locate grandfather

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LUCIE

I have been trying to research my grandfather's movements and participation in WW1. I have posted in the Units forum and have received some very useful info but am now stuck! His name is John Eddleston born 1895 in Blackburn Lancs. Prior to the war, his occupation was recorded as driver grocer. He was part of the ASC 560 COY after joining up in 1915 but I understand that this unit was only in place until 1916. I am trying to find out exactly what my grandfather did in the War and also which division the 560 COY was linked to. There has been mention of 35 Siege battery and I wonder if he was involved in providing transport support for that unit? I also know that he received the Victory medal and from reading the guidance, would presume he would aslo have received the War medal? His records are difficult to decipher but he was hospitalised 7/3/19-22/4/19 and there was a disability claim. His reg no 119432. (Most of this detail has been kindly provided by other members of the forum)

Can anyone shed any more light on this for me?

Thanks

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sotonmate

WO95/5494 has,among loads of other units,lists of ASC units and their deployments in WW1. One of the sub-files has info on Companies from No.44 to 1100.There seems to be no specific War Diary for the unit. I noted on a visit to Kew several months ago that they have transcribed the original pages,plus another such file,I think it is WO95/5495,and that these do not need to be ordered from storage,but will be produced on request in the Invigilation Room.

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LUCIE

Thanks for your advice. Unfortunately I will not be able to visit Kew so may have to explore other options. I have discovered that my grandfather was also awarded a French medal - would this be normal? It has emerged today that he was a rank private and the family has a photo of him in front of an army wagon. Is it possible that he could have been involved in munitions movement and what role did motor cyclists have as he may have also been one of those?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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sotonmate

The soldier also has a pension record on Ancestry UK. You will get three pages of transfers to various ASC and Artillery units from 1916 through to war's end.

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kenf48

As noted above there is both a service record and pension record on Ancestry which you can access either through your local library or by the free trial however I assume you've seen this as you say it is difficult to decipher

He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, Victory Medal and BWM. He drove a 'heavy' ammunition lorry in France, in modern parlance he was an HGV driver ferrying shells from the ammunition store (called Parks) to the guns, initially he was carrying heavy shells for the siege artillery and later smaller shells for the RHA. His full number is M2/119432 (the M2 meaning Mechanical Transport).

The headlines from his record are :-

He enlisted into the ASC on 26th August 1915 in Blackpool

He was posted to the Motor Transport section and the following day arrived at their HQ at Grove Park where he would have been taught to drive vehicles heavier than a grocer's van the 'army way'.

On the 15 September 1915 he sailed for France on the SS Twickenham, landing in Boulogne the following day and was attached to 560 H.T. Coy, 35th Siege Coy. Ammunition Column.

Six months later he was still serving with 560 M.T. Coy when on the 1st April 1916 he was granted leave to the 9th April and on his return from leave was posted to 14th Corps Heavy Artillery on the 24th(?) April, reported on 27th April.

On the 7th August 1916 he was posted to 2nd Army Heavy Artillery he was still doing the same job for which, incidentally he would receive a generous pay allowance and enhancement of his daily rate.

On the 23 January 1917 he was posted to 403 M.T. Coy

On the 7 March 1917 he was serving in V Corps Siege Park and was disciplined and fined for having a naked light in the inside of his lorry on the 1st March.

On the 21st May he was with 403 MT Coy (87? X Siege Park) and was disciplined for being AWOL from 6pm to 8pm on the 16th May.

On 8th May 1917 he was posted to 594 M.T. Coy.

On 4 July 1917 posted to 406 M.T. Coy

On 4th September 1917 back to 594 M.T. Coy

On 15 November 1917 posted to 717 M.T. Coy

There was no change to his deployment in any of these postings and he continued to drive a heavy lorry

On 1st January 1918 disciplined and fined while serving with 717 Coy for being AWOL again on the 27th November, on this occasion 38 hours until the 29 November.

On 23 December posted back to 594 Coy.

On 15th January 1918 posted to 3rd Heavy Repair Shop

On 25th January posted to Deputy Assistant Director Transport, Calais.

On the 16th February posted to M.T. Park (HA) attached to 356 Coy

On 24th February he went AWOL again from 12 noon to 9.40pm (this time he took his lorry HD lorry 42331)

On the 3rd April 1918 he was posted again to M.T.R.V.P. (? MT Repair Vehicle Park) then on 6th April to 4th Army MT then shows .M.T.R.V.P. then another entry for the 4th Army 8th Division M.T. Coy

Things were pretty chaotic around this time.

On the 19th May 1918 to 16th a Brigade Royal Horse Artillery (Pk Sect) (?a =ammunition)

On 31July to 14 August 1918 leave in Blackpool

On 14th August 1918 married Thomasina Place

He returned to France and was still serving with 16th A Bde RHA (PS) when on the 19th September he was again fined (10 days pay) while in charge of lorry 41892 he 'did not pay sufficient attention to lubrication of same thereby rendering it liable to serious damage'.

On 16th October for offences of exceeding the speed limit on 15/9 and 'double banked' on 14/9 i.e. traffic offences he was awarded 7 days Field Punishment No. 2

On the 8th February 1919 he was admitted to 17 Field Ambulance suffering from bronchitis, then on to 36 CCS on 10th February, then on 27th February to 8th Stationary Hospital Wimereux with Bronchitis, pneumonia and Scabies. There is no discharge shown the previous day a report from 54 Field Ambulance suffering from influenza finally on 6th March he was evacuated from 8 Stationary Hospital to England on the Hospital Ship St Andrew suffering from pneumonia and scabies. He was admitted to Brook War Hospital Dulwich.

He was discharged from the army (and hospital - 'healed') to the Z Class Reserve on the 22nd May 1919. having served 3 years and 152 days.

In spite of the richness of his surviving record it will be quite difficult to trace his movements exactly as most of the units he worked with were Corps, Army or Divisional so he and his lorry would have ranged over a fairly wide area of the Western Front within an Army area.

Ken

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sotonmate

Well done Ken !

I guess the soldier was lucky to survive the 'flu which killed millions around that time.

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kenf48

Well done Ken !

I guess the soldier was lucky to survive the 'flu which killed millions around that time.

We have a new puppy that's getting me up at stupid o'clock! so it passed the time, bless! Yes, you're right the bare information above really needs to go into it's historical context which is the real fun part!

Incidentally, LUCIE there is a thread running on military motors so you might be able to identify the truck, http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=173218&page=22

or you could post it here if you wanted to share.

Just noticed your comment about a French medal nothing is 'normal' about WW1 but foreign decorations were frequently awarded to British soldiers and these were usually recorded in the London Gazette, I've had a quick look but can't see it - but off to walk the pup now.

Ken

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LUCIE

Sorry for the delay in replying but thank you so much for tracking down all this valuable information for me! It certainly answers some of my outstanding questions particularly regarding his hospitalisation and his movements/role within France. His leave in 1918 would coincide with the birth of my uncle. It seems that he was lucky to survive though he did die in his forties in Blackburn. I did not know him and it is thanks to this site and its members that I am able to compile a record of our family history for my own children.

Can you please explain what was 36 CCS and also Z class reserve?

I will dig out the photo of his truck and post if I can't locate it on the link you have provided. Thanks again - I am so glad that I was advised to join this site. :)

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kenf48

36 CCS = 36 Casualty Clearing Station part of the casualty evacuation chain see http://www.1914-1918.net/ccs.htm

Z Class Reserve, when soldiers were demobilised at the end of the war if they were still sound in wind and limb they were placed in Z Reserve so that they could be called up again if hostilities resumed again see LLT for fuller explanation http://www.1914-1918.net/reserve.htm (towards bottom of the page)

What intrigued me was where he was going awol with his truck, I guess it was easy to get lost, we'll never know but would probably make a good story!

Ken

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generalist

One detail here that's really struck me:

He enlisted into the ASC on 26th August 1915 in Blackpool

He was posted to the Motor Transport section and the following day arrived at their HQ at Grove Park where he would have been taught to drive vehicles heavier than a grocer's van the 'army way'.

On the 15 September 1915 he sailed for France on the SS Twickenham, landing in Boulogne the following day and was attached to 560 H.T. Coy, 35th Siege Coy. Ammunition Column.

- he was sent overseas to his unit after less than three weeks training? I understand that he wasn't being sent to a combat unit, and he more or less knew his key skill already, but that still seems very fast.

Was this speed from enlistment to service normal for "trades" soldiers, or unusual?

Andrew.

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Phil Evans

Andrew,

Three weeks at Grove Park and then overseas is not unusual for drivers around this time.

Phil

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LUCIE

Thanks Ken for explaining the CCS and Z class reserve. I suppose that he and many others would have been dreading being called up again...

Re his AWOL episodes...maybe he was going to see my grandmother. I do not have the exact date of her departure to England though she was heavily pregnant. I do know that my grandfather had no idea where she was and may have thought she had been caught up in the bombings of her village Meteren. She actually arrived in Blackburn and found his parents even though she could speak no English! I also know that on his discharge, he opened up some grocers' shops in Blackburn. My grandmother opened a florists there. Unfortunately, their marriage (they married in France) did not survive.

This is so interesting!

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LUCIE

I have once again picked up my research into John Eddleston’s (my grandfather) movements in Northern France. I wonder if anyone can please shed any further light on the following gleaned from the information already provided:

 

1. Whilst it is clear that his role was primarily to transport ammunition and he was moved around various divisions, he was posted on 15 Jan 1918 to 3rd Heavy Repair Shop - would this be to have repairs to his lorry?

 

2. On 25 Jan 1918, he was posted to Deputy Assistant Director Transport, Calais. Why?

 

3. I have discovered a photo of an officer and the writing on the reverse( presumably my grandfather’s), states “ this is the officer who I was a Batman to”. What does that mean and would he have received a higher rate of pay for serving an officer?

 

Thanks in advance for any help. The plot thickens...

 

 

 

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
Posted (edited)

Hi Lucie,

By chasing the war diaries of each of MT companies he was in, you will be able to identify the location of all those companies at a particular time. Of course the Company HQ, and the lorry park, or the artillery park that he was part of wouldn't be quite the same places, but fairly near.

The numbers of the companies he was in, ring several bells for me, as my grandfather was in 403 MT Coy (=II ANZAC / XXII Corps Siege Park), 406 Coy (II Corps SP),717 Coy (IX Corps SP),  594 (X Corps SP).

I have copies of those diaries, but haven't checked to see if the dates your GF was  there is included.

I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment, but I will try and post links to downloading each diary (£3.50 each) from the NA, failing that, I will look at his dates and seek out where the company was at the time.

It is unusual for ordinary soldiers to be mentioned in the diaries, unless they were very good and won medals, or if they were very naughty.....

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
Posted (edited)

Just to add that the diaries of the Senior MT Officer (SMTO) of the company is often far better for movements of people, batteries in and out, and locations, than the HQ diary.

for example WO95/665/1 is for the SMTO II Corps for 1917.

On or around 4/7/1917, the following locations are mentioned: "Near Poperinghe" (HQ Diary),  Hoograaf, and the Ouderdom- Vlamertinghe Road (SMTO Diary).

 

I will check more later.

 

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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Ron Clifton
2 hours ago, LUCIE said:

1. Whilst it is clear that his role was primarily to transport ammunition and he was moved around various divisions, he was posted on 15 Jan 1918 to 3rd Heavy Repair Shop - would this be to have repairs to his lorry?

 

2. On 25 Jan 1918, he was posted to Deputy Assistant Director Transport, Calais. Why?

 

3. I have discovered a photo of an officer and the writing on the reverse( presumably my grandfather’s), states “ this is the officer who I was a Batman to”. What does that mean and would he have received a higher rate of pay for serving an officer?

1. If he was actually posted to 3 Heavy Repair Shop (358 Company ASC) then it is likely that he joined them on a permanent basis, rather than temporarily while his lorry was repaired. These Heavy Repair Shops - one to each Army - dealt with major repairs to all kinds of mechanical transport, and probably to artillery pieces as well.

 

2. This may well have been related to point 3, or he could have been transferred to a clerical post.

 

3. Batmen (officers' servants) did not receive any additional pay from Army funds but I believe that their officers did give them extra pay for their batman duties.

 

Ron

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

717 Coy HQ was in the Locre region in November 1917.

HQ was at Mont Rouge.

Lorries standing at  Mont Rouge, Locre (28.M.22.a), Sand Quarry & New Park. Quarry at Mont Noir (28.m.26.a) for rock.

SMTO was also at Mont Noir.

There are 10 diaries for this company for the Great War period , these are listed here:

WO95/846

Have a look at which time period is relevant to you, then you can download them.

Alternatively, if you were to attend Kew yourself, they can be downloaded there free of charge.

 

The diaries for 403 are listed here:

WO95/978 & 1041

 

406:

WO95/665/1 (II Corps SMTO) &

WO95/665/6

 

594:

WO95/877/1 ( SMTO)

WO95/877/2

WO95/877/3

 

 

 

 

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kenf48
On 07/03/2019 at 17:34, LUCIE said:

I have once again picked up my research into John Eddleston’s (my grandfather) movements in Northern France. I wonder if anyone can please shed any further light on the following gleaned from the information already provided:

 

3. I have discovered a photo of an officer and the writing on the reverse( presumably my grandfather’s), states “ this is the officer who I was a Batman to”. What does that mean and would he have received a higher rate of pay for serving an officer?

 

Thanks in advance for any help. The plot thickens...

 

 

If we can identify the officer he may ell be mentioned in the diaries.  Difficult but who knows? Since you last posted the ‘new puppy’ (post7) was at Crufts yesterday.

 

Ken

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LUCIE

Goodness, thanks again for providing some very useful information. I will check the photo of the officer to see whether a name is recorded. 

Thanks Dai for the links - I wonder whether our grandfathers knew each other?! This trail becomes more intriguing by the minute...

 

Ken, hope the puppy won at Crufts.

 

One more question, am I allowed to post the photo of the officer on this site?

 

Lucie.

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
1 hour ago, LUCIE said:

I wonder whether our grandfathers knew each other?

Sadly, I think not, my GF wasn't present at these locations at the same time as yours.

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Tomo.T

Lucie please go ahead and post your pictures. I wonder if your GF was assigned as batman to the Senior Mechanical Transport Officer ? I'm sure between us we could identify the lorry he drove if we could see a picture of it.

The Heavy Repair Shops were large organisations dedicated to the repair and refurbishment of severely damaged Mechanical Transport. They were run by the Army Service Corps and were not responsible for the repair of weapons or ordnance which were tackled by the Ordnance Corps in separate depots.

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LUCIE

I am posting 2 photos. The very faded one is of the officer who my grandfather was batman to, as he has noted on the reverse.

The second one is of an unknown officer? Any ideas?

I will try to post the truck photo once I find out where it is!

Lucie

IMG_20190218_152031641.jpg

IMG-20190314-WA0003.jpg

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

John George Inness Bolam, 2nd Lt., then Lt./Acting Capt. Army Service Corps, seems to be the only J. Bolam officer in the ASC.

MIC

Link to Officer file at Kew (Not online)

 

The other officer is not British. I'm guessing French.

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LUCIE

Thanks so much! I am still trying to find the photo of the truck...

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