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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Confusion over ranks


ROD WEALE

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In researching one of those honoured on our war memorial I have noted that the soldier in question served first as a Private, was awarded the MM as Cpl (L/Sgt) (Corporal (Lance Sergeant)) in 1916 and then is recorded as a Lance Corporal when he was killed in 1918.

My initial thought was perhaps that the Corporal rank was not a substantive rank but would welcome comments. The soldier in question served with the Queens.

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It was far from unusual for men who had reached the rank of Sgt to voluntarily relinquish their rank. The records never say why, just note that this was 'at own request'.

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David John BOTTING MM

KIA 2/4/1918

Lance Corporal S/15 2/8th Queens

Be nice to have some info' on his MM too

Regards

Rod

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A lance sergeant, like a lance corporal could be reduced a rank without any disciplinary action, effectively at the fiat of the Lt Col. Sometimes a man might be advanced to lance sergeant to fill a gap when a sergeant was away recovering from wounds, when he returned the L Sergeant would revert to corporal. This implied no fault on his part and left no unfortunate disciplinary record. Sometimes it appears that a man was advanced to lance sergeant to see how he did, if he found the position too taxing he could revert again without leaving any record.

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