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Tracing Great Greafather's military career


beth76
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I have been trying to trace my Great Grandfather's military career for many years but I keep either going round in circles or hitting brick walls. I am hoping someone may be able to put me back on track.

My Grandfather, Hedley Sampson, was born in Cornwood Devon in 1888, on the 1911 census he is listed at home working on a farm. I have always been told that he was a farrier in the Army and had served in India. I have 2 photos of him in uniform and I have found 2 possible medal cards.

One lists Hedley Sampson RFA Gnr 183674 receiving Victory and British medals

The other H Sampson RGA s/sth (shoe smith?) 149822 receiving 15 Star

Could these both be him? The uniform is definitely artillery but I can not make out the RGA or RFA on the shoulder.

However he married my Great Grandmother in Buckfast in 1916 and this is where they lived, so I am assuming his career was short, I have always been told that he was an insulin dependent diabetic so perhaps that became evident during this period.

I did find a pension record for a Hedley Sampson but this is not the same man.

Is there anywhere else that I can go with my investigations? Contacting other family members re medals etc has proved fruitless. Unfortunately the photos are too large to upload, I have put them into a word file, hope that works

Many thanks Beth

Hedley Uniform.docx

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Hi Beth,

You can probably rule out 149822. He has another medal card for his victory and British War medals which show his name as Harry. - http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/s/res?_q=149822+sampson+artillery

I can't find any Silver War Badge for him. If he is 183674, and he therefore went abroad in 1916 or later, is it more likely that his service abroad came after the marriage?

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Thank you very much for that. At least I can rule that one out. The Hedley that I found the pension record for had a different number and was in the Devonshire reg so I assume that the medal card for Hedley Sampson is mine.

I'd never considered that he may have gone after the wedding, he is dressed in civvies on the wedding photo and I assumed this would mean he left (although I know that not all military men would marry in their uniform). Their first child however was not born until the end of 1919.

Beth

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Hi Beth

His your man Hedley Sampson, born April 1890, South Molton Devon.

Married Violet Mary Beard at Totnes, June 1916, Died 4th December, Buckfastleigh Devon, age 73 years.

Or, Hedley Sampson, born 1891, Queen's Street, Dawlish Devon, enlisted 5th January 1915 Totnes, residence, Manor Cottage, Dawlish.

1st Hedley, Rank Gunner.

2nd Hedley, Dispatch Rider.

Regards

Tony

Edited by anthony P
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Hello Tony

He was born in 1888 in Cornwood Devon (his birth got recorded as Edley in error). He marrier Violet Mary Beard in Jine 1916, and died in Bristol (I can't remember the date off of top of my head)

.

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It appears then that my Hedley Sampson was in RFA rank gunner no 183674. And that he entered service post 1916. Would this fit with him having served in India (the uniform my second post would certainly fit with that region)? Were there any RFA battalions in India during the war?

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It appears then that my Hedley Sampson was in RFA rank gunner no 183674. And that he entered service post 1916. Would this fit with him having served in India (the uniform my second post would certainly fit with that region)? Were there any RFA battalions in India during the war?

Beth,

The royal field Artillery units were batteries, usually within a field brigade RFA. there were numerous Royal Artillery units in India. some part of British Infantry divisions also they provided artillery for the 'Indian Army'. From the above information I am sure someone will assist you with more information.

Tony P

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