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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Mark Duance - Royal Dublin Fusiliers; died 3 Oct 1916


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Along with 'nicktamarensis' of this manor I am looking into the life of Mark Duance.

His medal card tells us he was Private 17269 with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and also Private 24198 with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The medal card also tells us that he earned Pip, Squeak and Wilfred having entered the French theatre on 1 May 1915. He was killed in action on 3 Oct 1916 as part of the 7th Dublin bttn taking Jenikoj in Macedonia (now Greece).

I have written to the DCLI Regimental Museum thus: "Mark Duance was born in Altarnun and transferred from the DCLI to RDF. I am particularly interested to find out when and where he joined up and when he transferred to the RDF. I have attached his medal card which shows that he was in France from 1 May 1915 but not which regiment this was with; this date also seems not to match with dates I've found on some online histories for the regiments. I see from .. http://www.1914-1918.net/dcli.htm .. that the 1st Bttn DCLI trained at the Curragh. Could this be where his transfer to the RDF took place? It seems unlikely to me as he was in the 7th Bttn, according to the listing of Ireland 's War Dead."

They have replied thus: "I am afraid that there is little that I can say to help you. If he was still with the DCLI when he crossed to France on 1st May 1915, he must have been part of a reinforcement draft to either the 1st or 2nd Battalions. None of the Kitchener New Army battalions of the DCLI were overseas at that time (although 6 DCLI landed in France three weeks later on 22nd May 1915). The 2nd Battalion DCLI moved from France to Greece in November 1915, and would have served alongside the 7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the Balkans."

Can anybody help me with when he signed up to the DCLI, when & where he transferred to RDF, why he would have transferred.

Any help you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.


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A quick analysis of the Medal Index Cards on ancestry shows that over 230 soldiers from the DCLI were transferred to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers with RDF service numbers issued almost alphabetically within the range of 24001 to 24344, which implies that they may have been part of one large draft. I haven't looked closely at the original DCLI service numbers but at first glance it looks as if they may have been drawn from a number of different battalions and had enlisted a different times.

If service records survive for any of these soldiers, it might give you a likely date for Pte Duance's transfer. I will have a look later but if you would like the list of names and service numbers in the meantime, please let me know and I will post it...

What I can tell you is that three of them are mentioned in the National Roll and all three were wounded around Ypres then transferred to the RDF on recovery, going on to fight in Salonika. I appreciate that this is not a large sample size but may be useful to know.

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Thanks johnboy. I've had a look at the family tree and whilst much of it is OK there are some significant holes and the odd error, like the place of Mark Duance's death.

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You maybe able to contact the tree owners via the site to try and establish if it could be the same man.

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This may help build up the picture......

"Cornishman", 12th August 1915


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