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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Royal Marine Uniform


roguegrafix

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Hi All,

This photo shows my Granduncle, Fred Keen (standing) in May 1917 -- a few months before he was killed at Paschendale. Fred was in the 1st Royal Marine Battalion. He first joined the British Expeditionary Force and then later transferred to the Marines. Is this uniform that of the Marines or BEF?

Many thanks in advance.

Steve

post-108597-0-53489800-1396075425_thumb.

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Cheers Ady, many thanks.

Steve

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He first joined the British Expeditionary Force and then later transferred to the Marines.

Not strictly true . He enlisted in the RMLI (Short Service) in April 1917 and was drafted [to 1/RMLI in] the BEF in July 1917, joining his battalion in August.

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Hi Horatio,

Interesting. Can you point me to the record? The date on the photo was May 1917. And this is what I have from his niece--part of this is true: "Frederick Keen joined the British Expeditionary Force on 10 July 1917, aged 22. He then joined the 1st Royal Marines Battalion on 30 August 1917, only 2 months before his death." Yet here says he joined in 1915 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/s/res?discoveryCustomSearch=true&_fn=Frederick&_ln=Keen&_no=2018&_sdb=&_edb=&_ser=ADM+159&_col=online&_dt=RM&image1.x=25&image1.y=8

Any assistance, greatly appreciated.

Steve

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The BEF was the name for the entire deployed force on the Western Front. He enlisted on 6 November 1915 into Plymouth Division, Royal Marines at home. This was a administration/training body in the UK. The 1st RMLI were serving on the Western Front as part of the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division, which was part of the BEF. After being drafted for the front he would usually have transited through a Base Depot in France before joining his battalion in the field some time later.

You can download a basic summary from the link you have specified, but his full papers should be available at the Fleet Air Arm Museum and give you further details. Link here:

http://www.fleetairarm.com/royal-navy-royal-marines-services-records.aspx

Rgds

Tim D

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He did not enlist in the RMLI until 10 April 1917, although he may have been called up in late 1915. Kew often confuse the two dates. If he had attested for RMLI short service in November 1915 he would have a register number around Plymouth/1200(S).

As Blackblue explains, he was sent from UK with an RMLI reinforcement draft on 10 July 1917 to join 1/RMLI in the RND in the BEF but did not get to his battalion until 30 August after time spent training at the RND Base Depot.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum does have a set of attestation and other papers for him.

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Horatio 2 and Blackblue,

Excuse my ignorance. I am very new here. But the link to fleetaira brings me to a welcome page and if I type in Keen 2018 into the search engine I get no results.I've only been on this forum for about 3-4 days. Sorry to be such a pain.

Steve


Can you please just send me his record.

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The link to the FAA Museum website is to a description of the records they hold. None of them are online, so no point trying a search. Use the link and scroll down to

ROYAL MARINES SERVICE RECORDS to see what they have in their archive. This link explains how to use their services:-

http://www.fleetairarm.com/naval-aviation-research.aspx

On this link you can download a single-page ledger record of his service. The FAAM records may be more extensive.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7832348

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Thanks all. Understand now.

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