Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

36672 George Smitten 1Bn Gloucestershire Regiment


smitten

Recommended Posts

One of my grandfathers has his Medal Index Card annotated with the award of this badge with a date along side it but he does not appear on the WO329 list held at Kew, and also on line at Ancestry, which is the complete list of all recipients.

Kew have suggested he may not have been entitled to the award and that the date on his MIC is the date he applied for it, but I've always thought the MIC was the Army's own record of those awards that they decided a soldier was entitled to, so this doesn't make a great deal of sense to me.

My only thought is that the badge was not automatically awarded and that similar to the Mons Clasp a soldier had to apply to receive it, but can anybody clarify for me please as I'm now at a dead end?

What I do know from my late mother is that her father was invalided out due to the effects of a gas attack, so this would have made him elligible for the award (I think) and that the date on his MIC broadly aligns to when he returned to civilian life.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he was invalided out he should have been eligible however if he had left the army before the badge was instituted he would have had to apply for it retrospectively. The rules as to which elements of the services were entitled kept changing - even post war so a lot of men would have applied years later. By the end of the war for most men entitled to it the claim seems to have been incorporated in the various papers he would sign on discharge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would caution that the list on Ancestry is likely not 100% complete as I have found cards with reference to swb roll pages that were not in the scanned images.

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As the award was instituted in September 1916 and he has the date of 13/11/1917 on his MIC then presumably he should have been awarded the badge automatically, unless the proces was that soldiers still had to apply eventhough they were clearly eligible, which would seem odd?

There is always the possibility that this was an oversight by the Army at the time as I'm sure some errors must have been made due to the sheer volume of soldiers being injured and dis-charged.

I guess the only way to be more sure is to visit Kew and check the WO329 files myself but given that there are 350+ of them I'm not sure where I would start, so any suggestions please?

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His name is George Smitten and he was with the 1st Btn Gloucesters/36672 when discharged.

I've also just noticed that the style/type of MIC used for him is that used for soldiers who were discharged (I've only just found out about the different types as I'd assumed they were all the same) and that his Victory/War Medal entitlements are included in a rubber stamped box, so this would seem to confirm that he was indeed discharged in November 1917.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was there a possibility that he was discharged whilst in hospital? Hospital admin often managed to cock up the paperwork - just like today!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His MIC is as you say a SWB type card. There is a date 13/11/17 where it says Badge but no Roll number, no cause of discharge, no enlistment date or discharge date. The annotations are for his Victory & BWM. No Pension or Service record found for him. No indication that he was discharged other than the odd placing of a date next to 'Badge'.

Not seen one like that before, slight chance he was discharged from his other unit Royal Warwicks and the name spelled wrong.

TEW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a possibility but I've no way of knowing as all my relatives on this side of the family are no longer with us, however this may well be the reason.

What's interesting is that his 'discharged' variant of the MIC has an obvious rubber stamp box to also confirm his War and Victory medal entitlements/roll details as well, and I believe both of these were on the same medal roll and would have the same reference (confirmed by a 'ditto' mark under the first one).

Therefore logically the other reference on the MIC, which is obviously in different hand writing and written at a different time, must relate in some way, shape or form to his SWB award but I've no idea how.

I think I now need to go back to Kew and confirm the new information I have and see what they say as I'm even more convinced than before that my grandfather did indeed receive the SWB.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if it's simply the case of the wrong card being used - I can't recall seeing another SWB card without the cause and date of discharge being filled in at the top - is the 13/11/1917 actually the date he went overseas ? (the medal roll should provide the actual date he went overseas),

Many of the codes written on the cards are administrative codes for various reasons lost to time and may not be a medal roll reference.

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do know that he suffered from a gas attack and was invalided out before the end of the war so the use of the SWB card would seem to fit, even though it is lacking the usual details as you say.

I think I need to visit Kew to check the actual medal roll for the War and Victory medals, assuming they still exist, as I don't have a date for when he joined the Warwicks and this would help to clarify matters.

I'd always assumed he joined them at some point in 1916 so presumed the date on his MIC of November 1917 would be his discharge date from the Gloucesters, and that the code/reference next to it was that for his SWB as it seems to be a form of medal roll code but written by a different hand to the code for his other 2 medals.

Does anyone know if the medal rolls still exist and if so how best to go about searching through them at Kew please?

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

It certainly does have the look of an SWB card used for standard medals.

The code/reference would be for his BWM and VM medals. It translates into the Glosters roll in TNA under ref WO 95/1149 on page 4418.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Is discharge due to the effects of gassing classed as wounds or sickness??

It was generally classed as sickness (but as always it depends on the person entering the data).

Incidentally the asterisk referenced on the card to the added details and then back to the Rolls usually means that although he appears on a Regiment's Roll, the medals are named to the starred details, i.e. the unit he was first serving with when he qualified for the medal, again it all depends on who is entering the data, but it obviously meant something. The Medal Roll entry should interpret it's meaning as you know they have to be viewed at Kew and you will need the Roll reference on the card.

Assuming we're talking about the mic on your other post you will see there is a reference 2682/2/B this is the page reference to the SWB Rolls unfortunately you need to find which record office dealt with the Gloucesters I've looked at York indexed 0/2682/2 which refers to YLI and Shrewsbury J/2682/1 (the latter is interesting as a number of entries are struck out) but neither refers to the Gloucester I haven't time to look at more.

It is rather time consuming but assuming you have access to Ancestry (post 1) you need to go to the Silver War Badge Page then on the left hand panel go to 'browse individual records' a drop down list of the record offices will appear and you need to click on each one in turn to find the page numbers. When you find 2682 click on the one in the range you want and navigate to the individual page - you have to guess there will be over 400 pages so as you know the start number enter say 300 and click Go. Of course as noted above even if you do that it may not take you any further forward but worth a shot. If you wait no doubt someone will come along with the record office for the Gloucesters!

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a SWB card gives reason for discharge as simply (B) 1, what does this refer to please?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course as noted above even if you do that it may not take you any further forward but worth a shot. If you wait no doubt someone will come along with the record office for the Gloucesters!

They were administered by the Infantry office at Warwick - SWB rolls prefixed with an 'L', 'LA' or 'TL'.

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SWB were not automatic the applicant had to apply and be seen by a Medical and Military Panel to be granted the Badge, not all those discharged for what ever reason applied for or recieved the Badge by any means, The MiC only record the Issue list page Number [both types of MiC being used for "Just Medals" as well as SWB]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

They were administered by the Infantry office at Warwick - SWB rolls prefixed with an 'L', 'LA' or 'TL'.

Craig

Thanks Craig, unfortunately the highest number in the Warwick series is LA1701 - 2179; no page 2782

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George Smitten RWR 19262 & Gloucs 36672 Medal Roll L101/B25. Plus the odd '2682/2/B 13/11/17'

There are others with similar unit grouping, all have late type MICs.

Harold Dawson RWR 19265 & Gloucs 36665 Medal Roll L101/B7

Thomas Wakelin RWR 19436 & Gloucs 36670. Medal Roll L101/B28. SWB Roll L/A/1932

Walter T Cleaver RWR 19161 & Gloucs 36674 Medal Roll L101/B5

Ernest Letts RWR 19283 & Gloucs 36676 Medal Roll L101/B17

Walter Pallet RWR 19130 & Gloucs 36678 Medal Roll L101/B20

Charles Hill RWR 19263 & Gloucs 36679 Medal Roll L101/B13

Then
Harold Hunt RWR 19264 Medal Roll L104/B18

Alick Austin RWR 19266 Medal Roll L104/B

Alick Austin RWR 19266 SWB L/A/523 Enlisted 6/11/15

Albert V Jennings RWR 19267 Medal Roll L104/B19

Your 2682/2/B 13/11/17 remains a mystery, it is written in the same hand that wrote the G Smitten, Regiment, Number, Rank and address as opposed to the hand that wrote the RWR info and added ‘eorge’ to the G and filled out the L101/B25 part.

Neither the RWR or the Gloucs had a Bn. that went overseas in Nov 1917 so unless he turned 19 in Nov 1917 a Date of Entry can be excluded.

Last remaining possibility I can think up is that a dischargeable event was almost completed, to the point a SWB card was initiated with the info transferred from his campaign MIC. The campaign MIC destroyed and then his discharge did not take place. I note you say he was invalided out after being gassed but playing Devil’s Advocate perhaps the events were something different??

Based on the card info and the lack of understanding of ‘2682/2/B 13/11/17’, at present I’d have to conclude there is no evidence for him being discharged. The 2682 part may be some admin jargon whose meaning is lost.

Looks as though he joined up around Nov 1915 and was transferred in bulk with the above RWR/Gloucs men.

TEW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

George Smitten RWR 19262 & Gloucs 36672 Medal Roll L101/B25. Plus the odd '2682/2/B 13/11/17'

Based on the card info and the lack of understanding of ‘2682/2/B 13/11/17’, at present I’d have to conclude there is no evidence for him being discharged. The 2682 part may be some admin jargon whose meaning is lost.

TEW

On the contrary with the same facts (and the family story) I'd suggest the evidence is that he was discharged in 1917. Why is his card different to that of his comrades? Why has the clerk entered 17/11/1917? There are so many inconsistencies, most of which are outlined in your post that it is impossible to draw a definite conclusion in the absence of a service record. Like you (post 8) I've not seen a card that is so poorly referenced but it could just be a clerical error.

The fact he does not appear on the SWB Rolls does not mean he was not discharged, the puzzle which has not been resolved is why is he not on the Roll, any suggestion without evidence is speculation.

I agree we don't know what 2682/B means, it does not appear to be a reference to the SWB Rolls (the soldiers named in your post are on the Roll pages referenced in the Warwick records) and as you say may be a simple administrative reference in the Medals Office.

A number of soldiers discharged from the Gloucestershire Regiment from the 9/11/1917 to 16/11/17 (as always with a couple of exceptions) are on page L/116/1 to L/118/1 of the Warwick (Record Office) Rolls [book L/0001/2-L/0313/2].

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a look for service/pension records for the men named in my post 19 in the hope that maybe all the RWR men moved to the Gloucs on 17/11/17 and it is a transfer date. Alas, no such luck, didn't find one. Tried a few other MICs for RWR/Gloucs men but no sign of another 2682/2/B. A mystery

TEW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my enquiry which has shed more light on my grandfather's service, and apologies for not responding sooner but I've been without internet access for over 2 weeks!

I believe I now have the validation I was seeking regarding my late mother's comments about her father being discharged before the end of the war as a result of a German gas attack even though, not unusually I suspect in such cases, there are still some gaps which will remain unfilled and always be subject to some element of guess work.

I understand that the MICs were created from around mid-1918 onwards so the Army presumably had information at the time that led them to use the Discharge/SWB version of the MIC for my grandfather as I feel this is more likely that the wrong type being used in error. Quite what the information/file was remains a mystery although presumably it is the source of the date and unusual reference on his MIC (his medical report reference possibly?)

It's quite possible that he never applied for the badge eventhough he would have been entitled to it, as this would explain his omission from the SWB roll and the lack of such a standard reference on his MIC. He came from a very small rural community where everyone in the village would have known he'd served, plus he lost his younger brother at Jutland on HMS Black Prince and his 2 cousins at Ypres and the Somme in 1915 and 1916 respectively, so perhaps a badge to confirm he'd been injured didn't seem too important to him?

I plan to visit Kew to view his Medal Roll entry for the War and Victory medals but not sure if this will shed any more light on his service as presumably the entry will only contain very brief details of his Army service.

A sincere thank you again to everone who has taken the time to help me with this.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Colin

I'm not sure if this adds anything to what you already know but my grandfather, 17528 Pte Alfred Scarff, also received a SWB after being invalided out of the ASC in July 1916 because of a detached retina. His record states that it wasn't caused or aggravated by war service.

In his record is a letter he wrote to the army on 17th September 1916 which read, 'Seeing in the papers that a silver badge is to be given to discharged men I now make application for one. I enlisted in London on 4th October 1915, served in Salonika was discharged July 26th 1916 as being no longer fit for war service.'

So the date of his letter ties up with the date the award was instituted, a couple of months after his discharge. There must have been some publicity about the SWB at the time, which maybe said that it had to be applied for by soldiers already discharged. It would be interesting to trace newspaper reports to see exactly what they said.

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil,

Thank you, I think you are right about there being some publicity around the SWB when it was first instituted but as my grandfather was discharged after this date, some time in November 1917, he may not even have been aware of it so never applied.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Dear All,

I hoping that someone will be able to shed some more light on my maternal grandfather's war record as all my efforts to date, including searching the National Archive and also visiting Kew, have uncovered very little.

I know from my late mother that he was discharged at some point in 1917 as a result of a German gas attack and his MIC (attached) seems to support this as it appears to be the type used for those soldiers who were medically discharged. However he doesn't appear on the Silver War Badge lists under either of the two regiments he served with. Of course it's possible he never bothered to apply for one given he came from a very small rural village so everyone there would have known he'd served. Plus he'd previously lost one of his brothers at Jutland on HMS Black Prince and two cousins as well, at Ypre in 1915 and the other at the Somme on 1st July 1916.

His MIC frustratingly does include some notations that have defied all my efforts to decrypt but may relate to his discharge, and it also does not show the date he joined or went to France with the Warwicks and when/why he was then transferred to the Gloucesters.

Unfortunately neither the Warwicks or Gloucetsers regimental museums have been able to shed any light on these two questions so I'm now at a dead end about my grandfather and hoping that someone with far more expert in these matters than me can possibly give me some clues please.

Kind Regards

Colin.

post-105666-0-36011800-1439222172_thumb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...