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terrysutton
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I am researching my Grandfather's and Great Uncle's war time experiences to fill in a gap in our family history.

Walter Padfield was in the 1/8th Isle of Wight Rifles and was born on 14 Oct 1897.

A 1918 Victory Medal and Medal record includes : Roll - C/1/103/B21. Catalogue Ref WO/372/15.

Can someone please tell me what the Roll number represents.

Does it provide a clue to Walter's activities during the 1914-1918 war? Where he was sent? What his role was?

....

Also I'd like to find out about his brother Herbert (Gideon?), according to the 1911 census, he was one year older so must have been born about 1896.

The memorials at Chichester and Thiepval show Herbert George Padfield, Pte G 481, 7th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment KIA nr Ovillers Somme 4th August 1916. (I've seen an 'S' 481 in one of the records too and wonder why it has changed from 'G' , is it just a typo or does it have some significance?)

We believe this was Herbert G (Gideon) Padfield, Walter's brother.

Where would Gideon's battalion have taken him during his military career up until his death? And what was his role?

...

Were they volunteers or conscripts?

I would be very grateful to know more about the likely experiences of these two men and would appreciate any advice anyone may have to offer about obtaining it.

Regards

Terry

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For initial research LLT has loads of useful information - on regiments/battalions but also about the formations and structures of the Army.

Here are links to the two regiments you mention:

http://www.1914-1918.net/hants.htm

http://www.1914-1918.net/sussex.htm

When you know where the battalions were (and which division/brigade) you may like to download the available War Diaries at the National Archives for context and day-to-day detail (tho' generally only officers are mentioned by name) - for instance:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7352681

MIke

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Hello Terry

Herbert would have been a volunteer, probably volunteering in late August/early September 1914. Conscription did not start till 1916. He has a low number for the 7th Batt RSR and also very close to my Great uncle Harry Francis Hall G/452 who joined up on 30th August 1914 (his service record survives on ancestry).

Herbert's medal card shows he entered France on 31st May 1915, this is the date the 7th Batt RSR landed in France. The references on the medal card are for medal roll ledgers at the National Archives.

This is Herbert's entry from the medal rolls, giving his middle name as Gideon. National Archive ref WO329/1246

P1020886_zps88a26de4.jpg

The War Diary for the 7th Batt is available free here

http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/idoc.ashx?docid=740b5720-bbc0-4acc-911a-ea32a1fe95ac&version=-1

This will tell you where they went and what they were doing. Herbert was in a A Company.

He is also showing as an entry in the local paper the Chichester Observer for 20th August 1916. Don't know how local you are to Sussex? I will be in West Sussex Records Office this week so can have a look at the paper for you. It might be a one line entry or a couple of paragraphs, you never know?

I have photos of Chichester War Memorial on my laptop, will post up tomorrow.

Mandy

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Thank you so much for the information about Great Uncle Gideon Mandy.

So he volunteered quite early on, was in A Company and there is an item in the Chichester Observer just two weeks after he was killed.

It is so helpful to also know the date he joined the Sussex Regiment and I really appreciate the links you have given me to the Battalion.

I now have a much better idea where to look and am very grateful to you for your help.

Chichester is my home town and I return there every so often, but I'm not exactly local as I moved to Australia many years ago and raised a family here.

However my sisters still live locally so may be able to pick up any hard copies of documents if need be.

Once again thank you so much.

Warm Regards

Terry

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Hi Mike,

Thank you for the links to LLT and the advice about locating information about the battalion/regiment. I now have a better idea where to focus.

I'm also very keen to read the war diaries...thank you for the link. I've been fascinated to read the history surrounding the great war and look forward to understanding the roles of my grandfather and great uncle.

Thank you so much for your help. It's much appreciated.

Regards

Terry

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Thank you so much for the information about Great Uncle Gideon Mandy.

So he volunteered quite early on, was in A Company and there is an item in the Chichester Observer just two weeks after he was killed

Yes Terry, but I should have said B Company. My excuse it was late here.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Seventh-Service-Battalion-Regiment/dp/1843426560/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1405234541&sr=8-2&keywords=The+history+of+the+seventh+service+battalion

The above link is for a book, The History of the Seventh Service Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment 1914-1919. This is the War Diary in book form. At the back it lists all the dead of the regiment with their company.

Chichester is also my home town, and I am still just down the road from Chichester.

Mandy

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The War Diary for the 7th Batt is available free here

http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/idoc.ashx?docid=740b5720-bbc0-4acc-911a-ea32a1fe95ac&version=-1

This will tell you where they went and what they were doing. Herbert was in a A Company.

I'd forgotten about the sterling work done by the West Sussex Record Office...

I wonder if this is happening elsewhere.

Mike

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Thanks for the update Mandy...

Have been reading the diary and couldn't find any listings of dead for 4 Aug 1916 at first...must study the structure of the diary a bit more...

Now... looking for 'B' and happened to find straight away that they were out in no man's land and sounds like, slightly off-course.

18 'Other Rank's listed as dead over the 3rd and 4th August ...

Uncle Gideon must have been among this group.

I can look at the literature more closely now to follow the preceding events and build a picture of his military life.

So good to have your support in this.

Warm regards

Terry

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Terry

Hope you don't mind couldn't resist looking for the newspaper report.

Here's the report from the paper. The date is a month different from that quoted above. Not my fault this time, but brand new index that has just gone online.

img006_zps74b03050.jpg

Walking back to my car from the West Sussex Records Office, I passed the house mentioned in the above newspaper report, assuming the numbering has not been changed in the last 100 years. 185 is the house in the middle with the green foliage.

45ff4357fe5fcbfb286348a52e5526df_zps6d93

6df7ac256edca94852422fcf353ddee8_zps1d91

I also checked out the 1918 absent voters list for the Chichester District, Walter was recorded in Eartham.

Mandy

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Walter (number 330412) would have been in a reinforcement draft at some time for 1/8 Hampshires (IOW Rifles) which served in Egypt and Palestine after it was withdrawn from Gallipoli at the end of 1915. He has no entitlement to a 1914-15 Star campaign medal so wouldn't have landed in a war zone until after 31.12.1915. His number was in the series 330000-355000 allocate to the 8th Battalion in the 1917 re-numbering of the Territorial Force,and as his medal card shows no other prior number it may be assumed that he didn't enlist until these numbers were used,maybe the end of 1916 or early 1917.The 1/8 stayed in this war theatre for the rest of the war,returning home in 1919.

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as his medal card shows no other prior number it may be assumed that he didn't enlist until these numbers were used,maybe the end of 1916 or early 1917.

Just a small correction to this - it could in fact indicate that he didn't go overseas until after the new series of numbers were introduced, late in January 1917. However, we know from the newspaper cutting kindly provided above that the 8th Hampshire Regiment Padfield was already serving in Egypt in 1916 (having very likely gone out as a reinforcement that year, as noted). So I think the lack of his original four figure Territorial Force number on the medal card was simply an oversight by the clerks.

By comparison with other known enlistment dates for 8th Hampshires, Walter Padfield's enlistment would have been recorded on 2nd September 1914, so another early volunteer, like his brother. If the age (18) given in the 1916 cutting is accurate that would have made him only 16 years of age at the time, so underage for the Army. I have come across numerous cases of underage enlistments in 8th Battalion - the blind eye seems to have been turned very often.

His original number would have been 1749.

Bart

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One other small point: looking at the other men whose enlistment is recorded on that day, there are a few others from Sussex (all from the Chichester area), so I wonder if perhaps they were known to each other, and chose to sign up together? The 8th Battalion were still based on the Isle of Wight at that stage, and they would have had to travel there to enlist (unless by chance they all happened to be working there), so it must have been a conscious decision.

In case a connection can be found, the other men were Sydney Herrington (from Crockerhill, near Chichester, aged about 17 on enlistment, later killed at Gaza); George Houghton, from Boxgrove, near Chichester; and brothers Ernest and Leonard Symes, from Langford Lavant, near Chichester (Ernest was a gardener at Goodwood House, and was killed at Gallipoli in August 1915).

Bart

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Hi Terry

Hope you don't mind couldn't resist looking for the newspaper report.

Here's the report from the paper. The date is a month different from that quoted above. Not my fault this time, but brand new index that has just gone online.

img006_zps74b03050.jpg

Walking back to my car from the West Sussex Records Office, I passed the house mentioned in the above newspaper report, assuming the numbering has not been changed in the last 100 years. 185 is the house in the middle with the green foliage.

45ff4357fe5fcbfb286348a52e5526df_zps6d93

6df7ac256edca94852422fcf353ddee8_zps1d91

I also checked out the 1918 absent voters list for the Chichester District, Walter was recorded in Eartham.

Mandy

How interesting that we can learn his address from this source Mandy.

Thank you so much for all your thoughtful work.

In my haste to thank you just now I seem to have inadvertantly replied to Lance-Corporal instead of yourself. My apologies...

Terry

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Hi Terry

Hope you don't mind couldn't resist looking for the newspaper report.

Here's the report from the paper. The date is a month different from that quoted above. Not my fault this time, but brand new index that has just gone online.

img006_zps74b03050.jpg

Walking back to my car from the West Sussex Records Office, I passed the house mentioned in the above newspaper report, assuming the numbering has not been changed in the last 100 years. 185 is the house in the middle with the green foliage.

45ff4357fe5fcbfb286348a52e5526df_zps6d93

6df7ac256edca94852422fcf353ddee8_zps1d91

I also checked out the 1918 absent voters list for the Chichester District, Walter was recorded in Eartham.

Mandy

Hello Mandy,

Can't tell you how thrilled I was to see the newspaper report mentioning my Great Uncle and my Grandfather. How astonishing...so much more information than I expected.

I was looking online for photos of Orchard St in Chichester (mentioned on the Memorial record) and wondering which number in Orchard St they had been living. So fantastic that you not only found the article and street number but took a photo.

So kind of you. I will be able to share this amazing news with my mother and sisters.

Thank you so much.

Warm wishes,

Terry

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  • 2 months later...

Hello Mandy,

Since you supplied the information on my Great Uncle Herbert Gideon Padfield and the Sussex Regiment, I have visited the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme Battlefields and been able to see his name one of the many panels. I found the Guided Battlefields Tours run by Susan and Stephen Cocks a very worthwhile experience and highly recommend them.

Also, thanks to the links to the war diaries of the Sussex Regiment I was able to trace his footsteps through France. Staying in Arras the tour took us in and around Ovillers and Poziers where he was reported to have been killed on 4 August 1916.

I am sincerely grateful to the Records Office in Chichester, not far from where I'm staying with family, to be very helpful in tracking information about Gideon's brother Walter, a task which is ongoing.

I travelled to Serles House in Winchester where the Hampshire Regiment Museum is. They were able to show us the badge of the 1st/8th Battallion Isle of Wight Rifles of the Hampshire Regiment as well as a bottle green coloured battledress jacket worn by the regiment he served with. Our next trip will be to Carisbrook Castle on the Isle of Wight, the home of the regiment where we're told we'll find more details about 1st/8th Battallion. We're still not certain of Walter's enlistment date.

So I'd like to thank you personally for all your help but perhaps email is the easiest way since you must have so many enquiries to deal with.

I return to Australia next week with a clearer picture of my Great Uncle's role in WW1. My mother has just celebrated her 85th birthday and is gratified to have discovered more about her uncle's and her father's roles in the Great War.

It's all thanks to you and the other hardworking volunteers on this forum. So a big thank you to you all.

Warm wishes

Terry Sutton

PS Today we stumbled across the grave stone of another of the Padfield brothers in the Boxgrove Priory Church Yard...a lovely surprise!

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That is the nicest thank you, I have ever received Terry. I am happy to help if someone asks for information that is local to me. I am not a professional researcher. I was working just down the road from you yesterday, when you were at Boxgrove in Sainsburys.

Before you go home make sure you visit St George's Chapel in Chichester Cathedral, The Memorial Chapel of the Royal Sussex Regiment, if you haven't already? Herbert's name will be recorded on the wooden panels, behind the doors.

http://www.royalsussex.org.uk/RSLHG_St%20George's%20Chapel.htm

I have sent you a personal message.

Mandy

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Hi. A very comprehensive History of the Isle of Wight Rifles 1906-1920 by G Sprak has just been published (well recomended). Alternativly there is a small booklet by D Quigley published a few years ago that is quite detailed. Any further details just let me know. Regards Paul.

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  • 1 month later...

I'd like to know when and where Walter Padfield would have received the

'original number 1749''

mentioned by Bartimeus above.

Would this number indicate his actual enlistment date with 1/8th IOW Rifles?

Also, will this number provide information about where he was stationed and what his role was?

Terry

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I can't give you an enlistment date, but the local press states that the next man in the sequence 1750 joined in August 14.

Between August 14 and 25 April 15 the Battalion were guarding local fortifications, they were then sent to Bury-St-Edmund's to be Brigaded in the East Anglian Brigade (163 Bde.) and from there they moved to Watford on May 20th 1915. They entrained for active service on July 29th 1915 shipping out of Liverpool on the Aquitania, to arrive at Mudros 6th August. After transhipping and moving of stores the bulk of the Battalion landed at Suvla on the 10th, with a cadre of 250 all ranks left behind to continue unloading.

Gareth

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As noted in my post of August 3rd above, Walter Padfield's enlistment would have been recorded on September 2nd 1914, almost certainly on the Isle of Wight. 72 men were enlisted into the Isle of Wight Rifles on that day, including a handful of others from the Chichester area (named above).

This can be demonstrated by reference to the surviving service papers of 1746 Rifleman George Lockhart, and the Silver War Badge record of 1752 Rifleman Sydney Pink, the nearest either side to Padfield for whom definitive sources have been found, both of whom are stated to have enlisted on September 2nd 1914.

Walter Padfield's four figure number can be deduced from the following service numbers, recorded on medal rolls:

1748 Rfm. C.E. Phillips was issued with new number 330411 (and was killed at Gaza, 19th April 1917).

Walter Padfield had number 330412.

1750 Rfm. A.E. Masser transferred to 163 Company, Machine Gun Corps, when it was formed on 1st May 1916. He was then given number 50261; he would not have had a '330' number.

1751 Rfm. A. Price was issued with new number 330413.

The details given by T8Hants would be correct for 1/8th Battalion, but Walter Padfield's service during this period would have been with their 'second line' battalion, 2/8th Hampshires. This battalion was based with 1/8th at Sandown barracks until 1/8th left for Bury St. Edmunds in April 1915. Shortly afterwards the Royal Warwickshires vacated their camp at Nunwell Park, near Brading I.W., and this became the home of 2/8th Battalion (and 3/8th during its brief period of existence) until it was broken up in August 1916.

At some point during 1916 Walter Padfield would have joined one of the reinforcement drafts 2/8th sent to the 1st Battalion, by then in Egypt. All the drafts I have seen evidence for embarked in Southampton.

Walter Padfield did not receive a 1914-15 Star, which would rule him out of overseas service with 1/8th Battalion.

Bart

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone.

I have recently started doing research into my great uncles. William Arthur Russell G/11893 7th bn of Royal Sussex reg and his brother Robert Russell 22889 8th bn Norfolk Regiment. I have found out that Williams name is on a plaque in Chichester cathedral but i have not actually seen a photo, however i have seen a name Rousell W. Can anyone confirm that a W. Russell is on the plaque and is spelt correctly. I would greatly appreciate confirmation. Also if anyone can give me any information or advice on web sites or forums etc etc or point me in the right direction for researching my uncles this would be of great help to me. Many thanks. Andy Manning. Downham Market, Norfolk.

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I am the author of the new history "At the Trail" if you live locally on the I.O.W it is in various local shops. The Royal Hampshire Museum, Winchester, has copies, or PM me and we can sort something out. Haven't sorted out how to do private sales on that big river site yet!

Gareth Sprack aka T8Hants

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