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Remembered Today:

2 H.L.I. soldiers


andrew pugh
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Good Afternoon All.

A cry for help to all the Highland Light Infantry buffs, Is there any way that I can find out if any of these 2 men were Signallers in their unit

Their names are Thomas Houston 10892 killed on the 24/03/1918 and Alexander Clark 23563 killed on the 25/03/1918, both men belonged to the 2nd

Battalion Highland Light Infantry. If I can prove that Thomas Houston was a signaller, and Alexander wasn't a signaller it will help my research

greatly. I look forward to your comments and advice.

Kind Regards Andy

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Andy

Training as a signaller would likely be recorded in service records on ancestry if they survive. Otherwise their platoon or regimental employment is often mentioned if they have been recorded as missing in the Red Cross enquiry lists - these have been republished by Naval and Military Press so can be ordered through local libraries.

Kind regards

Colin

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Hi Colin

My problem is this I am also trying to find out if Alexander Clark Private 23563 of the 2nd Battalion H.L.I won the Military Medal. Because the C.W.G.C have him as killed on the 25/03/1918 and having the M.M where as his Medal index card shows him as Alexander Clarke (with an E) Private 23563 and no award of the M.M. I'm Getting confused which one is right

How do I find out if he was awarded the M.M. Another thing I find frustrating is I have a M.I.C for a Alexander Clark Private 10292 also of the H.L.I.I don't Know what battalion, and on that card it says died, but

I can not find him on any of the sites as a casualty or being killed. Very odd. I will keep looking.

Kind Regards Andy

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23563 Alexander Clark 2nd Btn HLI is on SNWM with no mention of the military medal.

http://www.snwm.org/content/roll-search/?id=354881&searchid=3bb8c06774e770962f85dcb8363f86e2&page=1

He does have two MIC's though, one under WO 372/23/ where he has no "E" , so he does seem to have been awarded the M.M.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/s/res?_col=online&_q=clark+23563

He is listed in the London Gazette being awarded the Military Medal on the 17th of July 1917 - https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30188/supplement/7277

Your second man, 10292 Alexander Clark was in the 1st Btn HLI.

It appears the CWGC have a misscan of his service number 10295 instead of 10292.

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/626755/CLARK,%20A

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Hi Andy. Can't help say if your man was a signaller, but here's some info have gleaned from HLI Chronicles, apologies if you already have this, but hope it's of use?

10292 Pte, A, Clark, to Army Reserve, 21st October, 1913
RECRUITS ENLISTED AND JOINED FORT GEORGE DIRECT. (approx) October 1907 10892 Private T. Houston. (amongst others)
AWARDED 3rd CLASS SCHOOL CERTIFICATES 10892 Pte. T. Houston (approx) May 1909
Wounded T. Houston September 1914 (probably battle of the Aisne?)
London Gazette, 9th September, 1916. MILITARY MEDAL 10892 L.-Corpl. T. Houston.
The undermentioned have been awarded a Bar to
their Military Medal : 11464
Pte. A. Farquhar.
10892 CorpI. T. Houston (January 1917?)
Mike
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23563 Private Alexander CLARK, 2nd HLI is listed in:

Appendix B

THE MILITARY MEDAL

2nd Bn Highland Light Infantry in the Great War

by Major A.D. Telfer-Smollett

So it would appear he was awarded the MM.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Gentlemen I cannot thank you enough for you help with this man ,there is a good reason why I am asking these questions. Could I push my luck just one more time by asking was Alexander Clark Private 23563 of the 2nd Battalion H.L.I awarded the 1914 Star (Mons Star) ? This will clinch it for me if he did not receive the 1914 Star.

Kind Regards Andy p/s Thanks again for your help

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It doesn't look as if 23563 was awarded the 1914 star, unless there is another MIC. Might be worth trying to find out when his number was issued. No DOE on MIC that I saw

Mike

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I seriously doubt that 23563 A Clark earned a Mons Star. To the best of my knowledge the serial numbers of 1914 Star 2nd battalion men got not much higher than 12,500 or so. It's possible that Clark earned a 15 Star, but more likely a BWM/Vic pair only. On a private list of MM's for the HLI , 23563 A Clark is noted as being a bugler. I can't tell you where that piece of info came from, the compiler of the list has passed away.

A spin through some pre-war HLI Chronicles found that 10892 T Houston is listed in the Jan. 1908 issue as a new recruit. Which probably means that he enlisted in late '07 or very early '08.

Hope this helps some.

Brian

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Hi Brian,

My Great Grandfather was 2nd HLI - 7547 Private William John English (we believe a bugler). He had previously served with the 1st HLI in about 1904 and was a reservist when called up for WW1. I don't know a great deal about his service during either period other than the general HLI whereabouts and activity. Do you have any information that might include him and give me a bit more to go on.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Ancestry has the MIC - Pte William English (7547) 2/HLI.

Qualifying date: 12.09.14

Awarded Victory, British and 1914 Star (with clasp and roses).

Can't see his service records. Any more details - family and address?

Mike

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Tim,

I've looked through my HLI Chronicles from 1900 -1905 and found a big fat nothing on #7547 English. I'm sorry to report that. I think I can report with some certainty that your great grandfather enlisted in late 1901. I base that on a list of recent recruits sent to South Africa in early 1902. Those new men had serial numbers surrounding your GG's number. It is possible that he made it to the last flickers of the Boer War, but I can only guess at that. It is just as likely that he did not. Perhaps even more so that he did not.

I also looked through the almost endless lists of HLI'ers WIA, Missing, and POW's from the first issue of the Great War time period through the last issue of 1919. Your GG was not in any of those long, long lists. I'm sure he was grateful for a lack of mention. I did not look in the KIA and Died for I assumed that he made it through, otherwise you would have mentioned it. It is amazing that thousands of men were listed as everything from KIA through POW. And that was just from ONE regiment! (Which did include Territorials and later Kitchener units). The hectic pressure of the Great War was on full force, so there must have been lists of men who did not appear in the Chronicles. I have found gaps over the years of viewing. The same can be said of officers. For the first several months, there was no reporting to the Chronicle from the Territorial battalions. In fact, at one point, the HLIC editor at the time requested in one issue that the Territorials send in info to be published.

I read somewhere that more 30,000 men went through the HLI during the war years. So it is not surprising that there was not the slightest note of your GG, unless I overlooked him in the mass of names. Could he have gotten sick and sent home? That would not have been in the regimental magazine except a few mentions in the very first issue or two covering the first two or so months of the war. Could it have been possible that he got sick or disabled other than wounds and sent home as the war went on? Or better yet, he survived the whole damn thing unhurt and healthy?

Sorry that I found no mention.

Brian

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The only thing I can find is this


WAR OFFICE. August 28 1918? (I think 1918)


THE name, of the following have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuableservices rendered in connection with the war and when applicable. an entry will be made in the records of service of Officers and other ranks.


7547 Cp1. (A./Sgt.) W. English, 3rd Bn


Mike

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Hi Brian,

Thanks for all the looking you've done. You are correct, we have also concluded that William was one of the lucky ones and made it through the entire war without serious wound or major illness. Sadly his service file appears to have been destroyed so we can't confirm this. Family legend has it that at the conclusion of the war, he wanted to go to Russia and fight the Bolsheviks but my G-Grandmother put her foot down. In an attempt to blackmail her, he threatened to take the entire family and emigrate to Australia if she wouldn't let him go. She stuck to her guns and so did he. That's how my mother's family came to be Australian!!

I also believe you are probably correct about the 1901-2 enlistment with 1st HLI. We believe he served overseas but just missed out on the Boer War as there is no record of any medals and family legend never mentions it. I've just been told that somewhere in the family there exists his discharge papers for this period so I'll be hunting them out.

Thanks Mike,

But are we sure this is my G-Grandfather? The only existing record we know about (the MIC) shows him as a Private with 2nd HLI. Although it's highly unlikely there's another W.English with the same service number! I gather Cp1 refers to the rank of Corporal (upgraded to Acting Sgt) and that 3rd Bn is still HLI? Perhaps this is a part of his service that we knew nothing about - transferred to 3rd Bn HLI on promotion perhaps?? Can you tell me where you found this notation.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Hi Tim. I found the reference in the HLI Chronicles. They are online (somewhere) when I find them will post.

From the LLT

3rd (Reserve) Battalion

August 1914 : at Hamilton. A depot/training unit, it moved on mobilisation to Portsmouth. Moved in May 1915 to Malleny and in July 1918 to Haddington where it then remained as part of the Forth Garrison.

Mike

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Tim it's from The HLI Chronicles Page 130 Volume XI., No, 3 July 1919. I have a copy of this, and I think they are online, but can't find the 1919 edition?

7547 Cp1. (A./Sgt.) W. English, 3rd Bn.
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The HLI Chronicles are available at the RHF Museum: http://www.rhf.org.uk/Books/

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Tim,

Mike is right. Your GG was mentioned on page 130 of the OCTOBER 1919 issue of the HLI Chronicle for the reason noted earlier. He and others serving in the "Scottish Command" were listed in an official(?) publication or a newspaper in August of 1918. There was always a lag time between notification and then publication in the HLIC.

That makes perfect sense. If your GG was transferred to the reserve after active duty in the 1st Bn., he would, I assume, go into the 3rd (Reserve) battalion until his obligation time was up. Along came the war and he was called back into regular service with the 2nd Bn which was stationed at the time in the UK. The 1st was in India. He went to France with the 2nd to later receive the Mons trio as previously mentioned. I looked through the WIA's, Missing, and POW's, not any awards or mentions lists, my goof. It is possible then that he was injured or sick enough to be sent back to England. Not injured or sick enough to be totally discharged, but enough to be kept from going back overseas when better. He would likely have then been posted to his "original" battalion, the 3rd, for further duty. He was promoted and perhaps served in a training capacity for which he was noted at the end of the war. That seems likely. That was only a mention on his service papers, not a medal or insignia to attach to a ribbon.

And then as your family history states he did not go to Russia with the 2nd, he went to Australia with Grandmom. It wound have warmer there anyway.

Brian

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  • 8 months later...

I can't believe I've missed your post for so long Brian!!!!! Your thoughts pretty much match what I also suspected must have been the sequence of events for my G-Grandfather.

Belated thanks for all your efforts.

And yes, it is much warmer :thumbsup:

Cheers,

Tim L.

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