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Effects of 185 Serjt G R Snowden 1/5th Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regt


mark holden
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Another very lucky buy the soldiers trunk containing the uniforms and effects of 185 Sergt George Russell Snowden on 1/5th Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. George was born in 1884 enlisted in 2nd VB Kings Own in 1902. By 1914 he was a Serjt. Mobilised in August 1914 his battalion spent the early months of the war guarding rail bridges in Berkshire before moving to Kent. He embarked for France on 13th Feb 1915 and served there until wounded in May 1915. After several months recuperating from wounds he was transferred to the Labour Corps and as far as I can ascertain he never served overseas again.


The trunk


the top draw

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1902 Jacket and 1905 Cap


cap


cap marking

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14 pattern belt with his number inscribed


close up

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Jacket. I think this is the 1915 version of the 02 Jacket


more detail


internal

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wd stamp

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His first field dressings-both post date his wounding in My 1915. Also His silver War Badge


His razor, spoon, knife fork combination and wallet

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Soap and two unidentified woollen tubes-any thoughts on there purpose?


A lanyard made from a pull through the large carbine clip inscribed 'Ypres 1915'

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His diary Feb-April 1915

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Soap and two unidentified woollen tubes-any thoughts on there purpose?

A lanyard made from a pull through the large carbine clip inscribed 'Ypres 1915'

The woollen tubes look as if they might be a single 'hose top' cut in half, probably as rudimentary wrist warmers, and worn rather liked fingerless gloves.

Hose tops were footless stockings that began to be issued during WW1. They were designed for wear with shorts and worn over the grey issue socks but under puttees and then turned over at the top and secured with a garter.

Early hose tops were usually khaki or dark green (for Rifle units), but soon after WW1 began to be made in various, regimental colours to add some colour to the drab uniforms.

I have no idea where he might have got one from, especially if he did not serve overseas, but an experienced soldier could/can scrounge anything.

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What a superb buy, Mark. That is up there with the very finest groups I've seen in over 30 years, and I have seen some pretty good kit in that time! It is very unusual indeed to find such a comprehensive "been there" group from so early in the war.

The glazed linen jacket lining is an early feature. If the jacket has tilted squares for inner top pocket reinforcements, it is 1914 or earlier.

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What a fantastic find and so unusual to rank and file. I have only seen two similar boxes - one to a Victorian Volunteer Lieutenant and another containing the uniform and affects belonging to an Officer who had been killed during the Indian Mutiny.
I find it quite interesting to note that he had sewn on his cap badge and where are his rank stripes on the uniform???? Also is Captain Charles V M Simpson mentioned in his diary??? (he was wounded with the 1/5th Battalion on 23rd April, 1915).

Cheers

Sepoy

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Thanks for the thoughts on the wool items Frogsmile, you could well be correct.

regards

Mark

The woollen tubes look as if they might be a single 'hose top' cut in half, probably as rudimentary wrist warmers, and worn rather liked fingerless gloves.

Hose tops were footless stockings that began to be issued during WW1. They were designed for wear with shorts and worn over the grey issue socks but under puttees and then turned over at the top and secured with a garter.

Early hose tops were usually khaki or dark green (for Rifle units), but soon after WW1 began to be made in various, regimental colours to add some colour to the drab uniforms.

I have no idea where he might have got one from, especially if he did not serve overseas, but an experienced soldier could/can scrounge anything.

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Sepoy,

the stripes have been removed for an unknown reason and unfortunately there was not a pair in the box! His Wound stripe was also taken off but I did find it amongst his bits.

I'll check the diary for Captain Simpsons name.

regards

Mark

What a fantastic find and so unusual to rank and file. I have only seen two similar boxes - one to a Victorian Volunteer Lieutenant and another containing the uniform and affects belonging to an Officer who had been killed during the Indian Mutiny.
I find it quite interesting to note that he had sewn on his cap badge and where are his rank stripes on the uniform???? Also is Captain Charles V M Simpson mentioned in his diary??? (he was wounded with the 1/5th Battalion on 23rd April, 1915).

Cheers

Sepoy

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  • 1 year later...

Wow- what a find! I've only just seen this post, Mark, but you may be interested in some information about the two men named on the diary page. (Watkin Rundle and Teddy Hannam) I've photos of both, but Teddy Hannam is part of a group photo and I can't seem to lay my hands on it at the moment.

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They were both wounded whilst in Trench 8 during the afternoon of 22 March 1915. The excerpt below from the forthcoming Lion and the Rose 2 explains how they were hit.

Twenty-year-old Pte Watkin Rundle from Lancaster volunteered to carry rations to men in the next section of trench and was shot through the shoulder and lung by a sniper as he crossed the exposed traverse. His pals braved a similar fate to crawl over and drag him back behind cover, patching his wound as best as they could. Watkin’s pal, Pte Edmund (Teddy) Hannam, the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of Lancaster Cricket Club before enlistment, heard the shot and went to the end of the trench to see what had happened to his friend. He too was hit, the round striking him in the abdomen. Teddy’s pals pulled him back into cover and patched the entry and exit wounds. Both men lay in the trench until it was dark enough to evacuate them safely. Teddy wrote from hospital in Manchester to Procter, a friend in Lancaster.
‘After I was hit I lay in the trench until about 8 p.m. I was pretty comfortable, excepting for cold feet. The other fellows looked after me first rate. I had about a mile to go on the stretcher to headquarters. Dr George didn’t do anything as I was well bandaged. I went from there in a motor ambulance to D___, [Dranoutre] where the RAMC doctor attended to us. Shaking up on those rotten roads was pretty bad. From there we went to Bailleul and lay up till 9 a.m., when we were taken to the train and lay on the seats of a first class corridor. We left and got to Le Treport, via Boulogne in the early hours of the morning. We expected to leave any day, but actually stayed till Easter Sunday. I was quite alright there. Leaving at 9 a.m., we got to Havre about 10.30 p.m. The French trains are fearfully slow, and stop at thousands of places. I came across on the ‘Oxfordshire’ and it was very comfortable. It was all fitted up with beds and I couldn’t feel any motion at all. We got to Southampton about 9 a.m. and left at 1.15 p.m. The trains were fitted up with beds, top and bottom, running lengthways, and we could sit up and look out of the window. I enjoyed the journey first rate. Whenever we stopped people gave us fruit, cigarettes, etc. We got to Manchester at 8 p.m.'
Teddy Hannam was transferred to the RE after leaving hospital and was later commissioned. Watkin Rundle was posted to the 2/5th King's Own and went out to France with them as a Sgt in February 1917. He was awarded the MM for his courage near Memling Farm during the attack against Schaap-Bailie on 26 October 1917. (The details of this are featured in the Lion and the Rose 3, out early next year) Both men survived the war.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Fantastic to see actual examples of what this unit wore by way of insignia, etc. I have a medal group to a 1/5th Bn member who ended up in the Railway Operating Div, RE and was posted to an AIF Railway Operating Coy in 1918. Thank you for the splendid post!

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Fantastic to see actual examples of what this unit wore by way of insignia, etc. I have a medal group to a 1/5th Bn member who ended up in the Railway Operating Div, RE and was posted to an AIF Railway Operating Coy in 1918. Thank you for the splendid post!

It's not Christopher Cooper is it? If so, I've a lot about him (additional to what's in his Service Record). PM me if you'd like the relevant extracts.

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Could this be George Snowden too before he was promoted?

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Kevin,

Very possibly George Snowden and many thanks for the info on the two soldiers mentioned in George's diary.

regards

Mark

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