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Remembered Today:

Private to 2/Lt in one move, early in War


Myrtle
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From Gallant Gentlemen

"Graham Seton Hutchinson has revealed that when he commanded a machine gun battalion his company commanders were the son of a Scottish miner (M.C, D.C.M and bar), a Regular sergeant promoted from the Scots Guards (M.C, D.C.M), a wool salesman (M.C and bar) and a medical student (D.S.O, M.C). His adjutant was the son of a land agent (M.C and bar). None had been to public school."

Centurion - is this an observation on class/background/education* of these Officers, or did they all serve in the ranks before being commissioned? Clearly the DCM were all ex rankers, but were the others?

* The definition of a Public School (membership of the Head Master's Conference) was more narrow in 1914 than it is now. In 1914 there were 114 Public Schools compared with 253 today and another 63 overseas. R C Sherriff (Jorney's End) who attended Kingston Grammar School was famously dismayed to hear that his school was not a recognised public school - a pre-requisite to be considered for a commission in August 1914. Kingston Grammar is now a member of the HMC but clearly not in August 1914. This distinction clearly had (in the early days) an impact on those who would in later months have walking into a commission, and may explain why there were so many 'gentlemen rankers' in Kitchener's Army who were later commissioned.

MG

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Centurion - is this an observation on class/background/education* of these Officers, or did they all serve in the ranks before being commissioned?

MG

I was wondering the same.

These posts make very interesting reading. Thank you.

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He wasn't a regular - he had however served 7 years in the T.F. and I suspect he was also a volunteer pre 1908. The majority of the senior sgts had 6-7 years T.F. service and volunteer service.

There were regular NCO's attached to the bn but promotion doesn't appear to be common for them -e.g. RSM George Perry was attached to the Bn He had been a regular since 1884 and was easily the most experienced man. He reached the level of RSM of the battalion.

Craig

Craig

Thanks for the clarification . He seems to have had plenty of military experience.

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Thanks for the clarification . He seems to have had plenty of military experience.

I think that's the one of the key points - as an advisor to the battalion he had an unrivalled experience (He had been through Sudan and The Boer War - some ex-regulars in the Bn may have Boer War veterans but I can't confirm it) - and they wouldn't have wanted to lose him to a commission but over time the T.F. Sgts were commissioned one by one but only after the initial supply of officers (mainly clerks and 'professionals' known to the C/O ) had become exhausted and there was sufficient experience in the ranks to be able to replace a man.

Craig

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Centurion - is this an observation on class/background/education* of these Officers, or did they all serve in the ranks before being commissioned? Clearly the DCM were all ex rankers, but were the others?

AIFAK both

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