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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Batman


mackem21

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I have just discovered a soldier I am researching was a batman,I know very little about this.What rank did you have to be to get a batman?or did every officer have one?did you have to be a private to be a Batman?when my guy became l/cpl would he lose this role?would being a batman have kept my guy out of the fighting or made no difference?

Thanks

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FWIW, "batman" is a generally later term. You'll find most references are to "servants".

They were usually (if not always) privates. Junior officers would share a servant but more senior officers would have exclusive use of one.

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To quote from the official publication War Establishments 1914:

"Batmen are fully armed and trained soldiers, and are available for service in the ranks."

Officers with two or more horses were entitled to two, other officers to one, although later in the war junior officers sometimes shared a batman, as an earlier post indicates.

Warrant officers may have had a batman under regimental arrangements, but there was no official establishment for them, so they would have had to do the job in addition to normal duties.

Ron

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Thanks,my guy was batman to quite a famous officer,2nd lieut Frank Buckley,later the "Major" of the 17th Middlesex(first footballers) battalion,it has taken me 6 months to find that info

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Would you expect to see the fact he was batman/officers servant on his army records?I have copies of most of them and there is no mention

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No, it would't normally be shown on a man's service records, as it wasn't a specific rank or trade.

If his full service record has survived, there might just possibly be a reference in the "character" section of his discharge papers.

Ron

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  • 1 month later...

Yes,he only gets a mention in one of the team line ups.I bought the "Majors " book,Frank Buckley.He mentions his batman when he was Major,not Bell.But it wouldn't be, Bell was in the labour corps by then,if he was his batman it was at the start of 1915 when Buckley was 2nd lieut

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