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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Herbert Eaton 146 coy MGC seconded to Portuguese Expeditionary Force


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I'm hoping someone on here might be able to clarify something about this man.

Herbert Eaton served mainly with 146 coy MGC and his army record fortunately survives.


However, I've been fortunate to have a transcribed interview with his son who talks about his father's service in WWI.

This is part of it

Anyway in 1916 the Portuguese expeditionary force arrived mostly white troops who’d been in the colonies, Angola and Mozambique with a smattering of mulatto troops, they’re a cross between the white troops and black troops. Well they were very good infantry soldiers but they couldn’t stand heavy gunfire. He said as soon as any fresh troops arrived the Germans bombarded them and they knew what they were doing. My father had been a fortnight in and they had picked one machine gun out of each company to stop in and my father was in E company and he was the gun selected and he was seconded soldier with the Portuguese expeditionary force

I have looked at his army records and can see no obvious record of this. Is this the sort of thing which might have been recorded in the war diary? Any idea as to how long he might have spent with them? Herbert was wounded in August 1916 and I was wondering if it was likely he was still serving with the PEF or was back with the 146MGC but guess there really is no way of knowing.

I note the date of 1916 which seems early for Portuguese involvement but here I really don't know if that would be correct. I would stress that the source for this is a good one and the man was known for having an excellent memory and other facts in the interview can be confirmed as correct.

Was this sort of thing common? I would like to find out more information but I'm really not sure where to look. Did the PEF have its own war diaries??

Very grateful for any help.



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