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2/7th Hampshire Regiment


thegrove
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Is there a published history of the 2/7th Hampshires (for 1914-18) or a significant chapter in a more general history of the regiment?

Graham

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There is a regimental history, and also a book on the Hampshire TF Association and the units associated with it. I have a copy of the latter so happy to look in it - what did you want to know?

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My grandfather embarked from Southampton with the 7th Bn Hampshires (later 2/7th Bn) in December 1914 and remained with them until the end of the war. I was hoping to get a detailed story of the battalion in India then Mesopotamia.

Graham

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The book to which I referred, History of the Hampshire Territorial Force Association and War Records of Units, 19141919, (snappy, eh?) has very little, but if you PM me an e-mail address I'll happily send you a photo of each of the 5 pages dealing with the battalion.

As for War Diary, no joy I'm afraid and I don't have a copy of the regimental history (by C T Atkinson, I think, and definitely available as a Navl & Military Press reprint. My guess would be there won't be the devil of a lot about the 2/7th, who after all seem not actually to have taken part in any actions.

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  • 3 years later...

My father (born 1892) was also in the 2/7th.  He never talked much about the war service but he did say that his unit spent time training and being kept in reserve.  Kitchener had a concept of keeping troops back for the period after the war.  My father was from the Shetland Islands and I have no idea why he would be with the Hampshires.  He was, however a pipe major and I have photos of his pipe and drum band.  I assume that when he volunteered he explained that he was a piper.  Every regiment was entitled to a pipe band and as the 2/7th was being formed it wanted a Scots piper to lead the band.  Like all bandsmen he was deployed as a medic and therefore was part of the RAMC.  His band was also shown on the photos as an RAMC pipe band.   What information I can find about the 2/7ths is that they remained in India from January 1915 and moved to Mesopotamia, Basra then just north of Baghdad in 1917.  They were not involved in any action.  IMG_1041.JPG.b616f7c8c63c5b16f6b42c2a230d7e73.JPG

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My father, Laurence Flaws (Lawrence) was from Lerwick, Shetland and is recorded as being in the 2/7th Hants.,  Pte.205271.

 

He led a pipe and drums band and is shown in the attached photo as a corporal. I assume that as the 2/7th were a Territorial Force of the Hampshires, put together in late 1914 they enlisted a genuine Scot as a piper to lead the band.  His uniform is shown as RAMC but his record states he was attached to 2/7th Hants.   I assume that he was assigned to the RAMC like many bandsmen.  I also assume that as he led the band he was designated pipe-major regardless of actual rank.

 

Any information on pipe bands in English regiments and the relationship between RAMC and bands would be of interest.

 

The 2/7th were sent to India on 12 December 1914 where they remained until September 1917 when they were sent to Mesopotamia.  They were not involved in any action.

 

I would also be interested if anyone can recognise the barracks  behind the formal photograph and confirm the uniforms of the officers in the middle.  If it is in Bournemouth where the 2/7th was stationed then it is likely to be late November or early December 1914 prior to their departure for Bombay.  This is based on the poster in the background advertising a game of rugby.

 

 

 

 

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The photo of him as a piper shows a pre-war Territorial, wearing the Imperial Service badge (over his right breast pocket), indicating he had volunteered for overseas service. Not connected to the Hampshires: one would assume a Scottish Territorial RAMC unit.

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Medal Cards have only one Hampshire Regiment FLAWS, 205271 Lawrence FLAWS who ties in with service in 2/7 Battalion in INDIA (to Sep 1917) and MESPOT from then to Sep 1918 as Lines of Communication Troops (guarded supply lines etc). Finally joined 38 Indian Infantry Brigade of 13 Indian Division.

No mention of RAMC on the Medal Card. No papers or date of discharge seen.

Did see another FLAWS from Shetland, in the RNR, that you may know about ! Alexander from Dunrossness, Shetland,service number B5701, born 13 Aug 1892, he has a service card on record at the Narional Archives.

Edited by sotonmate
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.IMG_5215.JPG.dba2c2d372b979d928a9a0086cd30839.JPG

 

Thanks for the information.

 

The 2/7th Hampshire records a Lawrence Flaws as opposed to Laurence.  The Shetland roll of service book that was put together in 1919/1920 by the Shetland News  lists all Shetlanders who served in WW1 allocates him to this 2/7th Hants.  At the time it was published, May 1920 my father was still living in the Shetlands and would have been likely to have reviewed this entry before it was published.  It is , of course, not an official document and he may not have seen it prior to publication so the information could still be wrong.

 

He did tell me that he was in Mesopotamia so the service record of 2/7th Hants. ties in with his location.  I can remember him saying that his unit did not see any active service and was one that Kitchener was keeping in reserve for the of the war.  This ties in with comments i have read about Kitchener's strategy for the Territorial Force. Again this comment ties in with the service record of the 2/7ths.

 

Why a Shetlander would be assigned to the Hamphsire Regiment in Bournemouth is a mystery.  The attached photo of 2/7ths, presumably in Bombay seems to have him or someone looking like him in the second from top row, 2 in from the left.

 

What is confusing is that:

 

1.   most Shetlanders served in either the Gordon or Seaforth Highlanders.

2.   he was clearly in the RAMC

 

 

I was wondering about the Badge.  This suggests that the photos as a piper are pre-war whereas the photos in uniform do not carry the badge so I suspect that these were taken during or post 1914.  Also the drums carry the RAMC symbols.

 

Does a service record record the person as being in the R.A.M.C. or the battalion to which the medical unit was attached?

 

Most Flaws in the roll of Service book were from Dunrossness in the South of the Shetlands.   My grandfather was born there but moved to Lerwick.  My father moved to Scalloway when he was married.

 

I was born when my father was 58.

 

 

 

 

 

Shetalnd Roll of Service.JPG

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Stranger things have happened in terms of drafting a soldier to the other end of the nation ! After 1915 there should really be no surprises who ended up where.

You may care to pay £3.50 for this War Diary as it will give an idea of the unit's life, and you might be lucky to have a mention of your father :

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/535a52c98bd94012a3118bb810abd972

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Thanks Sotonmate.  I downloaded the diary which records from 1918 when the battalion arrived in Mesopotamia.  The diary confirms that apart form days spent training,  iand teh closest they got to the turks was guarding PoWs.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 08/08/2017 at 07:20, Jonathan Flaws said:

My father (born 1892) was also in the 2/7th.  He never talked much about the war service but he did say that his unit spent time training and being kept in reserve.  Kitchener had a concept of keeping troops back for the period after the war.  My father was from the Shetland Islands and I have no idea why he would be with the Hampshires.  He was, however a pipe major and I have photos of his pipe and drum band.  I assume that when he volunteered he explained that he was a piper.  Every regiment was entitled to a pipe band and as the 2/7th was being formed it wanted a Scots piper to lead the band.  Like all bandsmen he was deployed as a medic and therefore was part of the RAMC.  His band was also shown on the photos as an RAMC pipe band.   What information I can find about the 2/7ths is that they remained in India from January 1915 and moved to Mesopotamia, Basra then just north of Baghdad in 1917.  They were not involved in any action.  

Jonathan,

Was your father Pipe Major in both the Hampshire Regiment and the RAMC?

I am compiling a list of Pipe Majors of military Pipes & Drums worldwide and would like to add his name to my list.

If you prefer you can contact me by email: aad@blueyonder.co.uk 

Regards

Aad Boode

 

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Exactly what my father was is a mystery.  His name was Laurence (only one first name) but the name in the 2/7ths is listed as Lawrence.  The census information form the UK at the times shows there was only one Laurence (or Lawrence) Flaws who would have been his age in 1914 so I suspect that this is either a misspelling (Flaws used to be Flaus) or he was keen to differentiate from his Shetland identity.Which is strange as he had a 3 year old daughter in 1914,  I have postcards from him to his wife during the war.  He came with her to New Zealand in October 1920.

 

From his photos he was clearly in the RAMC.  He is recorded as being in 2/7th Hants. Obviously not a large pipe band. He was a corporal - I assume because photos show him with a corporal's stripe.  He is front row on the right in the band photo. He was born in 1892 and dies when I was 13 so we never talked much about his military service.  He did say that he led the pipe band so I guess this makes him a pipe major.

 

The mystery or me is why he was in Hampshire. I suspect that he was a piper in the  Shetlands and was also in the  territorials.  His pipe band photos indicate (by the imperial badge) that he was a territorial who had volunteered for  overseas service.  My guess is that when the  started he went  enlist and saw a request for a pipe band starting in Hampshire and he went there.  The photos are certainly not in the shetlands and are more likely than not in Bournemouth. His cap is not that of a Scots regiment for it is plain and without braid.

 

The photo of tehband sitting with officers is clearly an RAMC band from the drum and the main officer has a collar badge that could be from the Hampshires.  I am guessing this was taken before they left for India in December 1914.  Hence the  rugby poster in the background.

 

I would be  interested to know if Hampshire had a pipe band and if this was attached to the RAMC corp.  I understand that bandsmen were traditionally assigned roles as medics.  WOuld be very interested in any information you have about pipes and drums in the Hampshires.Also interested to know if there is any significance in the three sruds at the top of his sporran.  Most have a single stud and all sporrans in the band seem identical in style - apart from the top studs.

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On ‎21‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 06:56, Jonathan Flaws said:

The mystery or me is why he was in Hampshire.

 

On ‎21‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 06:56, Jonathan Flaws said:

I would be  interested to know if Hampshire had a pipe band and if this was attached to the RAMC corp.

 

Jonathan

 

I think I can get pretty close to answers on these questions. I'll give you my reasoning step by step, which makes it rather long and involved I'm afraid !

 

The service number 205271 comes from one of the blocks of numbers issued to Territorial Force battalions of the Hampshire Regiment when it was decided to replace the old numbering system in January 1917. A full explanation of this is here:

 

http://www.1914-1918.net/TF_renumbering_infantry.htm

 

The most relevant blocks are these:

 

200001 to 240000: 4th Battalion Hampshire Regt 
(240001 to 280000: 5th Battalion Hampshire Regt)
(280001 to 305000: 6th Battalion Hampshire Regt)
305001 to 330000: 7th Battalion Hampshire Regt 

 

So we can see that 205271 actually falls within the allocation to 4th Battalion, rather than 7th Battalion. We can also deduce that Pte. Flaws was a relative latecomer to the Hampshires, as his number is very high within the block relative to the numbers that would actually have been used (you'll see that 40,000 men are allowed for, but the highest number I can find actually being used is 205680).

 

Although I can't see any surviving service papers for Pte. Flaws himself, the next best thing we can do is look for papers relating to the nearest numbers that do survive, and see what their records offer.

 

Findmypast.com has digital copies of the papers for 205266 Pte. W.G. Miles and 205269 Pte. H.E. Campbell, both of the Hampshire Regiment. Medals rolls show the former earning his campaign medals with 1/6th Battalion and the other with 2/7th.

 

The reason that the numbers held don't match up with the battalions with which the men actually served is that in the second half of 1916 there was a reorganisation of the Hampshire Regiment's UK-based Territorial third line battalions (or more accurately, those that were feeding replacements to the battalions serving overseas). So rather than there being a 3/4th, 3/5th, 3/7th, 3/8th and 3/9th Hampshires, they amalgamated all these into two generic 'Reserve' battalions - 4th (Reserve) and 5th (Reserve) - that would serve all the Regiment's Territorial battalions. This is why the new 1917 number blocks allow for 40,000 men each under the umbrella of the 4th and 5th, but only 25,000 in the others. You can see a list of all the various battalions of the Hampshire Regiment and track the various amalgamations and changes of title here:

 

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/hampshire-regiment/ 

 

So there will be men who are allocated a service number by 4th Battalion, but who are then posted to any of the battalions serving overseas, and do not receive a new number if the overseas battalion in question is different, i.e. 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th. Once conscription came in there were no new wartime recruits to the Territorial Force, but there was still the possibility of men transferring into the Hampshires whose first enlistment had been on a Territorial Force engagement in any other unit of the Army. They still had to be marked out as Territorials for administrative purposes (so that the terms of service to which they had agreed could be respected), and so received a number from a Territorial Force block, rather than a continuation of the Regular Army numbers which completely new recruits would get.

 

Looking at the papers themselves, 205266 Pte. Miles originally enlisted in a Territorial RAMC unit in November 1913 (South East Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance), service number 213. He was posted for service with the Regular RAMC (from 3rd Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance) at the end of March 1917; then to RAMC Sheffield Training Centre (from 2nd Training Battalion RAMC) on 12th September 1917; then placed on the books of RAMC Training Centre Details (from 5th Training Battalion RAMC) on September 23rd. On 28th September 1917 he was transferred to 4th (Reserve) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. There is then a gap in the records, during which time he is posted to one of the Hampshire battalions in India, because he travels from Bombay to Mesopotamia in April 1918, where he joins 1/6th Hampshires.

 

205269 Pte. Campbell's first enlistment was in 3/1st East Anglian Field Ambulance in October 1915. He was posted for service with the Regular RAMC in April 1917, then "compulsorily transferred" to 4th Hampshire Regiment on 28th September 1917. He is posted to the strength of 2/7th Hampshires on 26th November 1917, and noted as 'O.B.S.' [on board ship] between 26th November 1917 and 12th January 1918, when he arrives in India. He remains in India until December 1918, when he embarks on another sea journey, and spends three months in Greece before finally making it home in April 1919.

 

So far as your father's service is concerned, I think these two examples allow us to make the following educated guesses:

 

1. At some point before the war he enlisted in a Scottish Territorial Force unit of the RAMC, which had its own pipe band. He achieved promotion to the rank of Corporal.

2. He was mobilised with his unit at the outbreak of war, but remained in the UK.

3. In 1917, Territorial Force recruiting having been suspended, and his then TF unit not having been required for overseas service to that point, in common with other RAMC Territorials he is posted for service with a Regular RAMC unit, perhaps a training establishment (as in the case of Pte. Miles).

4. As 1917 continues and manpower is a continuing issue, the Army is combing through its units looking for men who can be transferred to the infantry.

5. On September 28th 1917 he is included in a draft of RAMC Territorials sent to 4th (Reserve) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment for retraining as an infantryman. This unit is then at Sutton Veny in Wiltshire, moving down the road to Larkhill shortly afterwards. 

6. After a few weeks of training he is most likely earmarked for posting to 2/7th Hampshire Regiment, serving in India, and goes out on the same troopship as Pte. Campbell.

7. At some point after his arrival in India he sails with another draft to join 2/7th Hampshires in Mesopotamia.

 

The medal rolls only give us a snapshot of where a soldier was serving when he first qualified for medals, and where he last served - any prior service which did not qualify for campaign medals, and any additional changes in unit / number etc in between is hidden to us and needs service papers to be brought to light.

 

I have checked all the editions of the Hampshire Regiment Journal between 1914 and 1919 and can find no reference to any of its units forming a pipe band. This would be a highly unusual feature of any English regiment anyway; I've certainly never heard of it with the Hampshires at any period in their history, and would feel confident in saying that it is a confusion here with your father's earlier RAMC service.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Bart

 

Edited by Bartimeus
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Personally, I would find it incomprehensible that a Hampshire battalion (whether Regular, service or Territorial) would have a pipe band.

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15 minutes ago, Steven Broomfield said:

Personally, I would find it incomprehensible that a Hampshire battalion (whether Regular, service or Territorial) would have a pipe band.

Steven,

I am not yet convinced that the Hampshire Regiment had a pipe band, but the Middlesex Regiment definitely had a pipe band during WW1, the men being recruited for the purpose from Glasgow! This was the first (and probably only) English regiment to have a pipe band during WW1.

Aad

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Best candidates for the Scottish photos I think must be one of the Highland Field Ambulances, RAMC. There were three (1st, 2nd, 3rd) that I can find, plus the Highland Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance based at Inverness.

 

I can't find any mention of a Territorial RAMC detachment based on Shetland, but if they had one it must have been attached to one of the Field Ambulances.

 

There's some information on the Highland Division Territorials when they were based at Bedford, early in the war, at this site:

 

http://bedfordhighlanders.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/

 

Two thirds of the way down the page there are illustrations confirming that at least 1st and 3rd Highland Field Ambulances had their own pipe bands.

 

Bart

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Thank you all for your comments.

 

I had looked at the service number and was confused because it seemed to link with the 4th Battalion.  The analysis as to why he was shifted to the 2.7th makes sense.

 

I also agree that it seems far fetched for the Hampshire's to have a pipe band.  It seems more likely that the photos I have relate to an earlier period and given the Territorial medal most are wearing related to prior to the start of the war.

 

The one photograph that may give an answer is that of the band in khaki with some officers.  The resolution in my  digital copy does not clearly distinguish the officers badges.  I assume that one officer is the bandmaster for the regiment given the sleeve badge.  The collar badge of the officer in the middle is indistinct and may help determine the regiment.

 

Thanks again for your comments - I will keep searching.

 

Jonathan

 

 

 

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Jonathan,

I asked their Regimental Museum if they had any knowledge of there having been a Pipe Band in the Hampshire Regiment during WW1 (attaching the link to the posts in this topic) and their reply was as follows:

"We never ever heard of a Pipe Band for the Hampshire Regiment in WW1 and have a number of pictures of the band - 1/7th and 2/7th. I am prepared to be surprised and amazed but do seriously wonder if anything that you have is when he was with a different unit."

To me this means that we can safely rule out the possibility of a Pipe Band in the Hampshire Regiment.

But there were several pipe bands in the RAMC at that time, so your father may well have been a member or indeed Pipe Major in one of those pipe bands. Please let me know if you find out more.

Thanks

Aad

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Thanks Aboode.  I appreciate your efforts to contact the Museum and I agree,  a Pipe band in the  Hampshires is not feasible.

 

Taking all of the various comments into account it seems that by deduction my father was first in the 2nd (Highland) field ambulance which was raised in Aberdeen and comprised territorials.   Aberdeen is the city where you would  expect  a  Shetlander to be first mobilised.  Which means that he would have been based for a time in Bedford and part of the Bedford Highlanders.

 

There is a photo of the 3rd (Highlanders) RAMC pipe band on the Bedford Highlanders page  http://bedfordhighlanders.blogspot.co.nz/2009/10/.  The band is virtually the same size as the band in my father's photo and the officer in the picture looks very similar to the officer in the picture of my father's band in Khaki.   There is another photograph which references a poem relating to the 1st Highland Field Ambulance RAMC  also at Bedford.  

www.google.co.nz/search?q=Photos+1st+Highland+Field+ambulance&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi30K-HtO7VAhVIqFQKHVh8AIQQ7AkINA&biw=1074&bih=711#imgrc=3XDOnaoko3YbvM:

 

My father doesn't appear in either of these so I suspect that it only leaves the 2nd (Highlanders) RAMC.  So for the time being,  I believe the photos I have are of the pipe band of this unit.  Until I can get better confirmation of this you can probably pencil him in as a possible pipe major in the 2nd and use these photos as possible photos of this RAMC pipe band.

 

Identifying the officers and the bandmaster in the picture of his band seated is probably the only way of confirming this.  I will get a better scan from the original and see if I can get closer to identifying them.  

 

I also assume from his Glengarry cap that this RAMC unit was with the Cameron Highlanders.  It is plain whereas other Highland regiments have a braid around the base of the cap.

 

From all of the comments above it seems that he was in the RAMC unit and pipe band until 1917 when he was reallocated to te infantry, first to the 2/4th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment until he was moved to the 2/7th to be sent out to India (briefly) and then Mesopotamia. He started as a piper and part of the RAMC and finished as a private in the infantry.

 

Thanks again

Jonathan

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Jonathan,

The photograph of your father shows him wearing a waist belt with what looks like a RAMC badge. I am no expert on uniforms, but I doubt that the soldiers in the RAMC would wear a non-RAMC cap badge! I have no photographs of other RAMC pipe bands to compare the glengarries but they could well have worn plain ones.

If you are interested I am happy to email you a copy of my succession list of Pipe Majors of the RAMC, although this is not complete.

Aad

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  • 2 years later...

The unit war diary Headquarters and Troops: Amarah: 2/7 Battalion Hampshire Regiment covers the period from September 1917. Is there a diary for the prior period when the unit was based in India (Dec 1914-Sep 1917)? Is it included with another unit as I cannot easily locate it? I ask because I have in the back of a small diary of my grandfather's, no entries as such, just a list of places in sequence that he was based in.

 

Thanks.

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41 minutes ago, thegrove said:

Is there a diary for the prior period when the unit was based in India (Dec 1914-Sep 1917)? Is it included with another unit as I cannot easily locate it?

India was not a war zone as such therefore no War Diary was maintained for that period. Only when they were notified for Mespot 1917 would they start the Diary perhaps in India ? But you already have that Diary.

Your best bet is presumably a Regimental History or Regimental magazine ?

It would, I think, be of interest to others researching 2/7th to see the list (and dates ?), of the different stations in India.

 

Charlie

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Yes, I don't know why I didn't do that the first time!

 

 Here is his list. I am pretty certain they are not in chronological order. He was with 2/7 Hampshires from (Dec 1914)  in India Jan 1915-Sep 1917 in the following places:


Trimulgherry
Secunderabad
Jubbulpore
Mhow
Nowehra
Deolali 2 times
Bombay
Amballa

 

As we know they transferred to Mesopotamia, where he records:

 

Mesopotamia
Persia

 

I know that he assigned to the Machine Gun Corp in Mesopotamia.
 

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