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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Gunner A Bridges, RFA, number 16


johnnie

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Dear All,

I am at a bit of a loss and was wondering if anybody could help me. I have been trying to fin out more about Gunner A. Bridges who served with the RFA and landed in France on the 24th April 1915. He had the number 16, so I am guessing he was with a Territorial unit, but wasn't sure. I guess this theory might fit in with the date he landed in France, but again cannot be sure.

Any help at all would be great.

Johnnie

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Hi Johnnie

Here's his medal card.

Best

Tim

post-28615-0-78795600-1397129567_thumb.j

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Johnnie,

He is not a Territorial, the medal roll references seen above don't have TF after them. It is the earliest number I've seen from when the Regular sequence was restarted in late August 1914. The first people to get these new numbers arrived at No. 6 Depot, Glasgow. You will probably find that the first 2000 numbers were given to men going there throughout September 1914. Territorials with a number 16 would have joined their unit soon after formation, so most would be 1908.

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as said above an interesting early RFA enlistment.. not TF... I see a number 12 issued in Douglas Isle of Man on 11th August .. but that may be anomalous -- a number 10 went France 12/7/1915.. but no records survive.. but searches for other low RFA numbers in 1914 may throw some further light . but with no obvious connection to a new unit going to France that day I can see [but worth checking], he may well have gone as a well-trained replacement to Base Le Havre.. and then been posted on to any RFA unit ..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Many thanks for the help with this, and sorry for the delay in replying.

I'll check the medal rolls when in next at Kew (whenever that is) too see if that adds anything to the story.

His low number interested me, so hopefully I'll be able to pull more out on him.

Thanks again,

Johnnie.

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  • 11 months later...

Just thought I'd update on this one.

I now have the medal rolls and the roll for the 14/15 star includes a number of men with the T and W prefix either side of him suggesting he might be a Territorial. The roll for the VM and BWM does not seem to help. However, the RA enlistment papers are handy!!

It seems Alexander Bridges re-enlisted into the RA on the 1st February 1921 and was given the number 735771. The documents state he was 27 years old and his occupation looks like a Railway Detective. It seems he was discharged into the Military Foot Police on the 10th June 1921, but most interestingly he notes he was a Territorial with the number 16 confirming we have the same man.

It just goes to show it's always good to go back and research people again with so many new documents appearing online.

Anyway, he was born in Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, and enlisted at Greenock. Could any members suggest which Territorial unit he would have been with?

Johnnie

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I now have the medal rolls and the roll for the 14/15 star includes a number of men with the T and W prefix either side of him suggesting he might be a Territorial. The roll for the VM and BWM does not seem to help. However, the RA enlistment papers are handy!!

<snip>

Could any members suggest which Territorial unit he would have been with?

When he served as No.16 it was under a regular attestation. There are a couple of errors in the documentation you have seen.

The TF man (No.12) in the medal roll has his name crossed out as it does not belong there. The others with a W prefix denote Welsh regulars in the 38th Divisional Artillery. The later service in the Territorial Army wrongly attributes his previous service to the RFA (T). They also don't seem to know how long he served. If he was a TF man he would have been renumbered with six figures in early 1917 and he clearly wasn't. Also, there is no indication of a discharge prior to this happening.

As I said above, to get the number 16 in the RFA TF would mean joining in 1908 (when he was just 14). It also means continuous service right up to the start of the war and by 1917 entitlement to Territorial Force Efficiency Medal, which he does not have.

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Many thanks for the update.

So, to recap, he wasn't a territorial and any mention of service with the Territorials is an error? I did wonder why he hadn't been re numbered so that makes sense.

Regarding your mention of the Welsh link. Are you suggesting that he may have served with a Welsh unit? Would this seem odd considering he was born in Scotland, and was still in Scotland when he re-enlisted?

I am still sure the man covered by the RA enlistment document is the same Alexander Bridges, but seem a little less sure of his movements through the RA now.

Johnnie

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Only those with a W prefix were enlisted to serve in the 38th Welsh Divisional Artillery during 1915. As I said in post #3, his number was issued on joining at Glasgow in August 1914. The RA enlistment book does show the same person but with an error regarding his previous service. However, being a regular did not preclude him from serving with a Territorial unit. He might have from 1917 and so kept his original number. There is no way of knowing without further evidence.

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  • 1 year later...

Further to your enquiry about Alexander Bridges. He was discharged from the MFP on 10th June 1923. He then re-enlisted into the Royal Corps of Signals Section D Army Reserve on 27th January 1925.

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