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Remembered Today:

2nd Batt Royal Welch Fusilliers before WW1.


Violet
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My paternal grandfather joined up in 1907. His name was Richard Withall. I have photos of him in Cork, Ireland, and Quetta. His papers say he was also in Burma. At the outbreak of war he came back to Europe and lost both legs at Mons. How can I find out about his service before WW1? I have RWFs albums from India and a postcard album of India. What were they doing there? He lived in Farnham, Surrey, so how did he join this regiment? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have found records for his Silver Badge award, which I also have. Probably too many questions, sorry!

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If North Wales or a Birmingham lad the main recruitment areas for RWF. Don't think you had choice on 1st or 2nd Battalion on enlistment.

Member Grumpy may be along shortly. THE expert on the 2nd Battalion, has also written a few books on them.

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Hi Violet and welcome to the Forum.

Frank Richards DCM MM was in 2 RWF and wrote one of the classic memoirs of the war in Old Soldiers Never Die. He was also a pre-war regular enlisting in 1901. He slso wrote a book about his time in India before the war (when he might have known your grandfather) called Old Soldier Sahib which sounds like it would be worth you getting hold of.

Hopefully, GRUMPY will be along soon as he knows a lot more than I do.

Glen

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Yes, he is on my data base, 9572 R Withall A or B company 2nd RWF to France among earliest troops 11 August 1914 and discharged 1916.

Clasp to 1914 star, British War Medal, and Victory medal.

After initial training in UK in 1907 he would have been sent as part of the annual winter trooping draft to the 2nd battalion serving in India, and went with them on their short stay in Burma, would have returned to India as part of the large imperial garrison, and then came home with the unit on final posting to England via Malta in march 1914 ....... just in time for the war!

Depending on exactly when he enlisted in 1907, and which terms he elected for, he might just have gone into the reserve in spring 1914 and then been called out again.

I will PM to offer more help.

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Thankyou both so much. I think he was in F company, but I am prepared to be corrected by the experts! In the RWF album I have there is a photo of him in F Company.his number was indeed 9572. He enlisted at Brighton on 14th August 1907 at the age of 18, for 7 years in the regular army & 5 years in the reserve. I have his Certificate of Education-3rd class- dated 29-04-1910, in India. He went to Burma on 7th nov.1909. In the back of his Small Book is a list of his Musketry Classifications:- 1907- Recruits course

1908-Marksman

1909-Second

1910-First

He was,as I said before, wounded at Mons "gunshot wounds" to both legs.He served for 8 years & 245 days! Were his legs amputated at Mons, or back in England? I don't know. How could I find out? I know he was at Queen Mary convalescent hospital. He married and had two daughters, one of which was my mother. He died in 1971 in a British Legion Home, Halsey House, at Cromer, Norfolk . So the surgeons did a good job! As a child, I remember his legs, complete with boots, trousers and braces beside his bed and a spare pair of legs in a box on top of the wardrobe.

Thankyou so much for all your help. If there is anything anyone else can add I would be very grateful. Why would he have been in Cork?

Hi Violet and welcome to the Forum.

Frank Richards DCM MM was in 2 RWF and wrote one of the classic memoirs of the war in Old Soldiers Never Die. He was also a pre-war regular enlisting in 1901. He slso wrote a book about his time in India before the war (when he might have known your grandfather) called Old Soldier Sahib which sounds like it would be worth you getting hold of.

Hopefully, GRUMPY will be along soon as he knows a lot more than I do.

Glen

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The company issue is easily dealt with.

Until the end of 1913 [ish!] the regular infantry were still organised into eight companies, A B C D E F G and H.

At HOME [in UK] the changes to the four-company organisation were carried out around the turn of the year, with pairs of companies amalgamated, and called [usually] A B C D.

In India the changes were later, so I believe 2nd RWF would have undergone the change in spring 1914 at HOME.

I know that all the men who went with grandpa to France 11th August were A and B companies ...... C D and the remainder were two days later.

Grandpa nearly went to the reserve for a few days! He was due for this on 13th August 1914.

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Re the wounded bit.

He appears on a Times casualty list as a 2nd Bn RWF man. This list is dated 12 7 1915. They usually appear some 4 to 6 weeks after the event.

I'm not entirely sure if this was 'Mons' or not and Grumpy may wish to offer a view on that.

Hywyn

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Violet

If you are resident in God's Country you can access them via the National Library of Wales (you'll have to Register)

Otherwise I believe thay are online possibly via a The Times website ( paysite) or the British Library. Your local library may have free access.

It is just a huge list of casualties grouped in Regiments etc. It doesn't give anything more than Rank,Number, Name, Regiment and Battalion. The received wisdom is that the list appear some 4 to 6 weeks after the event in most cases. The point I was trying to make was, if we go with the received wisdom, whether May/June 1915 could be construed as 'Mons'. If you have his service records (they do not seem to be on Ancetsry) do they indicate the date of wounding?

Hywyn

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I thought I had lost all this information but am pleased I have found it! Can you get census records for India? I don't have his service record, only Small Book & a maroon book with a reference and discharge from service details. Have looked up Kings Regulations regarding grounds for discharge. I only know that he used to go to Roehampton for repairs etc. he was discharged from Queen Mary's convalescent Auxiliary Hospital on 23rd March 1916.

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Can anyone tell me how I can get hold of my grandfather's records? I believe a lot were lost in WW2. Where are the records stored? Is there a fee for obtaining them? Thankyou.

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  • 7 years later...

2nd Battalion were stationed at Shwebo in Upper Burma from around January 1908, not sure when they left but by 1912 the 2nd East Surrey had taken over.

 

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On 08/01/2014 at 19:13, Violet said:

Can anyone tell me how I can get hold of my grandfather's records? I believe a lot were lost in WW2. Where are the records stored? Is there a fee for obtaining them? Thankyou.

 

His service record has not survived. If it had, it would be available via FindMyPast. The information in the Small Book would be worth a read. Others have made an attempt to document him via the following link:
https://livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk/lifestory/5453214

 

John Rowland Sewell enlisted in London on 28 June 1906. His service record has not survived, but his Small Book has. Some images from this can be seen via the following link.
https://livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk/lifestory/3964568


 

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