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philipthespur

Identifying an RFA driver via His Regimental number?

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philipthespur

Hi All,

I was just wondering whether anyone has any info on how to find info on a soldier via his regimental number? I have my grandads Medal card that only give his number and regiment, 83217, RFA. He was a driver and the record states he went to France on 27/12/15.

Thanks in advance

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Fattyowls

My grandad was also a driver in the RFA and I found his number via this brilliant post by KONDOA.

Hope it helps,

Pete.

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philipthespur

Cheers Pete - I'll take a look!

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ralphjd

No name on the card ? strange. What is your g/dads name ? Ralph.

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ralphjd

John GALE born 1890. RFA. 83217. Ralph.

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ralphjd

Afraid my previous post is not your g/dads record, this one was discharged from the forces in January 1915 as not being fit to be a soldier. Ralph.

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philipthespur

Thanks for your help and interest Ralph. My Grand dad was a Arthur F Evans, RFA. I will be posting another post as I may have found another A Evans who may also be my Grand dad!!! We'll see but with direct links to woolwich where I know he was based at some time!

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philipthespur

I have just perused the British Service Medal and Award roll records on Ancestry and found my Grandad listed along with other comrades with service numbers in sequence - My Grandad's number was RFA Driver 83217 and the records show men 83216 downwards and 83218 upwards. Would these men have been together within the same battalion?

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David Porter

Would these men have been together within the same battalion?

Unlikely, but some of them would have been sent to the same Depot after enlisting. Most of the time the battery (not battalion) they were sent to after training was quite random. The B & V medal rolls were certainly compiled in numerical order and included any prefix. You will also find 2 or 3 men with the same number, partly due to that and, partly due to the regular sequence being restarted from 1 at the end of August 1914 (having reached 99999).

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philipthespur

Many thanks for your reply David - The depot would have been No 4 Woolwich in South London as I know he was sent there upon enlistment. I seem to be at a dead end and thought I may have had a flicker of hope in finding his battalion but I will keep on searching.

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anthony P

Hi Philips

Arthur Frederick Evans, 83217, Driver R.F.A.

Enlisted 26th January 1915, landed France 27th December 1915, 1915 Star, Victory, British, medals.

6th B, Reserve Brigade R.F.A.

Born 26th June 1898, Southwark London.

Father, Lewis Nathaniel, Mother, Ann Elizabeth Franklin. Address, 1911 Census, 12, Toulmin Street, Southwark S.E.

Married, Margaret Louisa Charretie, 29th September 1919, All Saints, Walworth.

Is this the right man?

Regards

Tony

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philipthespur

Hi Tony,

Yes indeed you have my Grandad! Where did you get his enlistment date from? I've never been able to source that data and also ditto his brigade details? There are so many Arthur Evans and even Arthur F Evans in the RFA. You have my Nan's details as well as his address via the 1911 census I presume?

Many thanks for posting a response and any other help or advice would be much, much welcome!

Kind regards,

Philip

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anthony P

Hi Philip

I believe Arthur was discharged, Silver War Badge 487119, due to sickness 392 (xvia) 19th April 1919. this gives an enlistment date 26th January 1915.

A little more information, on the date of their marriage, Arthur's address was listed 49 Flint Street, and Margaret's address was listed 49a Flint

Street.

Their address, on the Electoral Register 1933, was 139, Walworth Road, Southwark S.E.

If your require Occupation information on their Fathers etc or other family members, please let me know.

Glad to help.

Tony

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philipthespur

Hi Tony,

This really is a breakthrough for me if this chap is my Grandad and I'm cautiously optimistic. I thought I had exhausted all possible avenues including visiting Ancestrys silver war badge database where I found a chap but he had a 6 digit regimental number which was identified as Midlands enlistment so apparently not my man! I have just had a quick look on ancestry for war badge number 487119 and could not find it? I will have a more in depth look I promise but I have to say I am excited of a positive prospect ay last! I can't thank you enough for your help!

Kindest regards,

Philip

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philipthespur

Hi Tony,

After some research today I think the Arthur Evans you connected to 6B Res BDE is Regt number 831037 which is a South Midlands Territorial recruit number, infact there is a thread on here where I have identified 831037 prior (I forgot it was this chap!) and the conclusion was that this is probably not my Grandad as 6B res brigade trained in Edinburgh and there is no family recollection that he went up to Scotland. Thanks again for your help, it looks like Arthur F Evans, RFA Dvr, 83217 is my best bet for future research. I trust I have not confused at all!? Any comments or queries very much welcome!

Regards,

Philip

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anthony P

Hi Philip

The 6B Res BDE and Sliver War Badge 487119, enlistment date and discharge date I obtained of a Family Tree on Ancestry. The information on your Arthur

Evans was correct, B.M.D. Addresses etc. They must have cross referenced the wrong Arthur.

Sorry should have checked the Service Number.

I will look for the right Service Number.

Strange that his Number is a five digit one, R.F.A. Number's were changed to six digits in 1916, maybe that was for those men already serving, and

Arthur enlisted after the change. Not to hot on Service Numbers.

I will let you know if I find anything else.

Regards

Tony

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philipthespur

Hi Tony,

No problems at all, I am grateful for your interest and time!

Regarding service numbers I believe the 5 figure numbers were regular army so pre-1916 I would have thought and like so many other young men/Boys he lied about his age upon enlistment and in late 14 early 15 he would have been 16 or 17.

Tthe Royal Artillery Library thought 83217 was late 1914 which would fit nicely.

Cheers and kind regards,

Philip

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David Porter

As I said in post #9, the regular series (1 - 99999) was restarted at the end of August 1914.

83217 in 1914 refers to someone joining No. 2 Depot RFA, Preston on August 17, 1914. That honour goes to John Henry Gale. See post #5

83217 in 1915 refers to someone joining No. 6 Depot RFA, Glasgow around January 20, 1915. Assumed to belong to Arthur F Evans.

Only Territorial soldiers were renumbered with six figures towards the end of 1916 and into 1917 - the regulars were left alone unless they joined TF units before the final cut off date.

The Silver War Badge entry that was found does not refer to Arthur F Evans 83217 despite enlistment dates being close.

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philipthespur

Thanks David - As previously stated my Grandad was at Number 4 Depot in Woolwich where I Assume he could have been posted to any battery/BDE?

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David Porter

The evidence does not involve No. 4 Depot, RFA, at Woolwich at enlistment. What evidence do you have that this was the case?

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philipthespur

Well the only evidence I have is through word of mouth down through the family that he was based at Woolwich as he used to climb the fence to get out to see my Nan according to my late Mother anyway. Also Woolwich was Close to Southwark where he grew up.

In fact I don't really have any concrete evidence that 83217 as on Medal Card is my Grandad although the dates seem to fit and there are no other Arthur Frederick Evans within the RFA?

Thanks

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B Sharp

I too am trying to identify the service records for my Grandfather. His medals are all engraved Dvr D Foster 43020. He is likely to have enrolled in the Kirkcaldy area of Fife in Scotland. He survived the war and told my mother (his daughter) that he worked with horses and "Guns".

I have done quite a bit of hunting but drawn a blank with "Forces Records" and "Ancestry". I had a look at the lists on post by KONDOA but was not able to find any reference to this 43020 number.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

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munce

His medal index card is available on Ancestry. He was a Driver in the Royal Field Artillery and first entered France on 20th August 1914. There doesn't seem to be much else available on his military service.

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philipthespur

Hi All,

 

I have not given up in attempting to find my Grandfathers RFA unit as outlined in previous threads hence my return!. I have been trying to find out more about the movements of men on or just before 27/12/15 which his MIC states he arrived in France. I was wondering whether anyone has any previous experience in finding men transported over from England to France. I have no idea if he went from Woolwich on his own or with a unit of men? Surely a steamer or ASC presonnel would keep a record of who is coming and going?

 

Many thanks in advance,

 

Philip

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David26

Philip,

 

sadly not - there are relatively few records, and almost none of individual Other Ranks. 

 

Part of the difficulty is that there is therefore no way of being certain if he travelled out to France as part of a new unit going there for the first time, or whether he went as a replacement. 

 

It is possible to come up with candidate units if you work on the assumption that he went with a new unit alongside a lot of other new soldiers.  The Long Long Trail (linked from this Forum) contains details of every artillery brigade - you could look through those and see if any first went to France on 27 Dec 1915.  (But here's another challenge - the date on your grandfather's MIC may be a day or so out - sometimes, they record the date of departure, usually they record the date of arrival, occasionally they appear to have been recorded some time later from imprecise memory.)

 

Another option is to look at soldiers with service numbers close to your grandfather's and see if - for those whose service records survived the Blitz - there is a big cluster of men who served in the same unit in 1915 and who arrived in France on the same date as your grandfather.  That might suggest your grandfather was in the same unit.  If you wanted to do that, quite a good way is to look at the rolls of those RFA men who were awarded the 1914-15 Star.  If you have a subscription to Ancestry, the relevant volume is here.  However, I've just taken a look at all the RFA soldiers whose service numbers fall in the range 83100 - 83500 to see if there are a cluster of men who arrived in France on 27 Dec 1915 and sadly, your grandfather is the only one in that range so that doesn't look promising I'm afraid.

 

David.   

 

 

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