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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

12th (Service) Battalion Yorkshire (Teesside Pioneers)

Guest Alison Palmer

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Guest Alison Palmer

When I was 12 I inherited some postcards which were sent by my great-grandfather John George Jackson (1887-1963) from "somewhere in France" and this sparked off a life-long interest in family history. I have recently found his service records (luckily they survived WW2) and he joined the Teesside Pioneers aged 37 in June 1915 in Gosforth. (I like to think that he delayed joining up because of the arrival of his last child in January 1915) He was with them until June 1918 when he was transferred, still a Private, to 2/4th Battalion York & Lancs. I have managed to find a few references to the Teesside Pioneers on the forums and in The Long Long Trail but I would be grateful for any guidance on where I can find out more about the day to day life, where he would have been & what he would have been doing. I note the war diary has not yet been digitised, so I suspect a trip to Kew eventually, but it won't be for a while yet.

He was a flour miller by trade. I understand that the pioneer battalions were drawn from highly skilled men like masons, carpenters & fitters, so what useful skill would a miller add to this?

His records and medal card show he had 2 service numbers (22632 & 58385), the second being given to him on change of battalion. Forgive me if this is a beginners question, but was that usual, to be given a different service number?

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Welcome to the Forum !

12 Yorkshires first landed in France in June 1916 as Pioneers to 40 Division:


Their War Diary reference is WO95/2601/3 (Jun 1916 to Jun 1918).

In May 1918 the Battalion was reduced to cadre strength and ceased to be in Jun 1918,when your subject moved to the 2/4 York and Lancaster Regt,with 187 Brigade of 62 Division,where they fought to war's end.


War Diary reference WO95/3090/1 (Sep 1914 to May 1919).

It was normal for a new number when you changed Regiments.

By extension a flour miller might be good at mixing cement in a Pioneer Battalion (possible Army logic) !

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Guest Alison Palmer

Thank you for this information, and what a fantastic resource the forum is. It does lead to a couple more questions of course!

On his Casualty Form - a lot of which is too faint to read fully - it shows him going to F depot on 27 June 2018, and he was transferred to 2/4th Yorks & Lancs on 5 September. What would he have been doing in the intervening weeks? He had been unwell with bronchitis prior to this so would he have been recovering before resuming active service? Or would "they" simply be trying to work out where to put him?

Having joined his new battalion on 5th Sept, he was then wounded on 28th Sept, which I see from the link above was when the 62nd were engaged in the Battle of the Canal du Nord. On his miltary history report are the following abbreviations: SW.Hep.L. 28.9.1918 HA29665 (Some of the scanned image is a little muzzy but I am pretty sure that is what it says) How do I find out what that might mean?

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