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Remembered Today:

Captain F C Dyer, KRRC


MikeDyer
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Hi,

I am doing some research on my dear grandfather F C Dyer who was gazetted as a 2nd Lt in the King's Royal Rifle Corps.


His rather anonymous initials, F C, stand for Fritz Clibborn. Apparently he preferred to avoid his German first name, so the family only knew him as Fred.


I have very recently managed to find his medal record at the ancestry web site which lists his ranks as 2nd Lt, then Captain, and then back to Lieutenant (?). I'm not sure how that works.


I also found his entry in the "Long Numbers" index at the National Archives. The Long Numbers lists his full name, the number 60 (perhaps 60th Rifles?) and then 159419 and 2Lt. Would that long number be his military designation?


I understand this may lead me to an officer service record if it still exists. The bottom left of the medal record shows the theatre designation (1) and date of entry 2.7.1917.

Is there anyone able to help me identify which battalion he may have served with in the KRRC and where? He did survive the Great War and later served in the home guard, but passed away shortly after WWII.


Much appreciated any research experts or KRRC specialists that can help me to locate further information!

post-112891-0-36851600-1406607213_thumb.

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Morning Graeme,

Well, thank you very much for the link and responding so quickly! I was searching this same area so I'm very surprised to find there's still a record.

After some battle with the website I think I have managed to submit a request for an estimate - so will have to wait and see.

I don't suppose there is any other record of which battalion 2Lt / Captain F C Dyer was assigned?

It would be very interesting to try and to trace his active service through the relevant war diary if that is possible.

My thanks for all the help!

Mike C Dyer

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Morning Mike,

Once you get a reply and we find which battalion(s) he was in we can sort out the War Diary(s).

 

Regards,

Graeme

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Hi Mark,

Wow, thanks for those links.

Yes indeed, this gives me dates for all the changes in rank and also an end of service date.

Seems the appointment to Captain was (Acting) so explains the order of ranking seen on the medal record.

Thanks again also to Graeme, I have followed your advice and also posted to the 'Documents and Records request'.

Thanks chaps for such a quick response, will be interesting to see what else turns up.

Cheers,

Mike

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You will see that the long number you found is recorded on the catalogue entry that Graeme found for you as "Former references: in its original department:" as it was was the original file reference. If you have any other officers to look up this is worth remembering (though some records are in WO 374 which has a different reference system, you somethimes see these in WO 338 as well, where the reference takes the for of first letter of surname, first vowel in surname and reference number - the numeric part again apepars in the former reference for this series).

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Hi Mike

The number 60 in the Long Number reference refers to the pre-1881 regimental numbering system where the KRRC was known as the 60th Regiment.

Glen

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I have very recently managed to find his medal record at the ancestry web site which lists his ranks as 2nd Lt, then Captain, and then back to Lieutenant (?). I'm not sure how that works.

Any Acting rank had to be held for circa 2 months, I believe, otherwise the officer would be gazetted as having the relinquished that rank prior to the time limit having been reached and as such he would revert to his previous rank. (I am not absolutely certain of the time limit for such appointments.) I suspect that this will have been the case with your relative.

Robert

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Thanks David, Glen, Robert

I really appreciate all this assistance and explanation, thanks all for such a quick response!

In another thread Robert has managed to identify the unit as the 17th Bn KRRC and Graeme has pointed me towards the war diaries.

That's a huge record and currently in download so looking forward to a detailed reading session this afternoon.

Many Thanks Chaps!

Mike

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Thanks David, Glen, Robert

I really appreciate all this assistance and explanation, thanks all for such a quick response!

In another thread Robert has managed to identify the unit as the 17th Bn KRRC and Graeme has pointed me towards the war diaries.

That's a huge record and currently in download so looking forward to a detailed reading session this afternoon.

Many Thanks Chaps!

Mike

Please let us know if you have any joy.

Robert

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1917 KRRC Chronicle records 2/Lt F.C. Dyer as joining the 17th (Service) Battalion, KRRC (British Empire League) in the Field on 09 Aug 1917. 17/KRRC were in camp at BERTHEN at the time. This date is consistent with him arriving at the Base Depots on 02 or 03 Jul 1917.

[source: KRRC Chronicle 1917 p.204 and Dyer's MIC (see above)]

In the same volume, there is a Nominal Roll of Officers who served in the battalion 11/KRRC. 2/Lt F.C. Dyer appears on this, so he appears to have changed battalion, presumably in late 1917.

[source: KRRC Chronicle 1917 p.146]

The 17th Battalion section of the 1918 KRRC Chronicle has a similar Nominal Roll of Officers who served in the battalion in the year. Dyer is not listed. Unfortunately the 11/KRRC section has no Roll for 1918.

[source: KRRC Chronicle 1918 pp. 244-246]

Dyer is not listed as Wounded in the 1917 nor 1918 volumes of the KRRC Chronicle.

From the LG links above, he is promoted from t/Lt to Acting Captain effective 14 Nov 1918 (after the Armistice, note)

Capt. F.C. Dyer is listed as one of the three officers of 11/KRRC on 29 May 1919 when the battalion, by now reduced to a cadre, returned to England.

[source: KRRC Chronicle 1919 p.75]

From the LG links above, he relinquished his commission effective 07 Jun 1919. At this stage he is temp. Lieutenant and Acting Captain and is granted the title of Captain.

Still hunting.

Mark

Edited by MBrockway
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Mike,

The London Gazette is a quick place to start. Look at:

<snip>

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31237/supplement/3606

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31194/supplement/2583

There may be many more.

Mark

These two links appear to refer to a different man - J.F.C. Dyer in the Manchester Regiment. Understandable how he has barged his way into a search for F.C. Dyer of course :thumbsup:

Here's his LG entry for promotion from Cadet to temp. 2/Lt in the KRRC effective 26 Apr 1917 (the same date he is gazetted as transferred to a Service battalion) ...

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30087/supplement/5037

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Two of these links appear to refer to a different man - J.F.C. Dyer in the Manchester Regiment. Understandable how he has barged his way into a search for F.C. Dyer of course :thumbsup:

Oops and I was trying to be so careful. :(

Ignore these two:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31237/supplement/3606

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31194/supplement/2583

Mark

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1917 KRRC Chronicle records 2/Lt F.C. Dyer as joining the 17th (Service) Battalion, KRRC (British Empire League) in the Field on 09 Aug 1917. 17/KRRC were in camp at BERTHEN at the time. This date is consistent with him arriving at the Base Depots on 02 or 03 Jul 1917.

[source: KRRC Chronicle 1917 p.204 and Dyer's MIC (see above)]

In the same volume, there is a Nominal Roll of Officers who served in the battalion 11/KRRC. 2/Lt F.C. Dyer appears on this, so he appears to have changed battalion, presumably in late 1917.

[source: KRRC Chronicle 1917 p.146]

The 17th Battalion section of the 1918 KRRC Chronicle has a similar Nominal Roll of Officers who served in the battalion in the year. Dyer is not listed. Unfortunately the 11/KRRC section has no Roll for 1918.

[source: KRRC Chronicle 1918 pp. 244-246]

Dyer is not listed as Wounded in the 1917 nor 1918 volumes of the KRRC Chronicle.

From the LG links above, he is promoted from t/Lt to Acting Captain effective 14 Nov 1918 (after the Armistice, note)

Capt. F.C. Dyer is listed as one of the three officers of 11/KRRC on 29 May 1919 when the battalion, by now reduced to a cadre, returned to England.

[source: KRRC Chronicle 1919 p.75]

From the LG links above, he relinquished his commission effective 07 Jun 1919. At this stage he is temp. Lieutenant and Acting Captain and is granted the title of Captain.

17/KRRC War Diary entry showing 2/Lt F.C. Dyer arriving for duty on 09 Aug 1917 ...

post-20192-0-84565700-1406737931_thumb.j

... and he left on 27 Dec 1917 as part of a group of other officers who were sent to join 11/KRRC the preceding day ...

post-20192-0-95414700-1406737939_thumb.j

At this time, 11/KRRC were at FRESSIN (near HESDIN) out of the Line, training and re-organising after 3rd Ypres.& Cambrai where they had sustained proportionately large losses of officers.

There are no other mentions of him in the 17/KRRC War Diary as far as I can see.

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Thanks chaps,

Wow I've been scouring the war diaries all day and ignoring this thread... my apologies and many thanks for all the replies and searching!!!

My findings so far....

War Diary of the 17th shows his arrival for duty on 9th August.

There's grim reading through 3rd Ypres - which has had me digging around for trench maps half the day.

Then on 27th Dec the war diary reports his transfer to 11th Battalion

So... I managed to link the NA sites and downloaded the war diary for the 11th... now getting to grips with that website (thanks Mark!)

The 11th KRRC war diary is a bit of a disordered mess but I've finally picked up the thread again:

28th December 1917 - F C Dyer reported for duty, and assigned to C company

after that it's difficult piecing together...

Many of the pages are out of order so I'm having to skip around, and deciphering the content is proving hard on the eyes but I can't make out his name anywhere.

There's the German Spring Offensive in March and the CO, Lt. Col Priaulx, is killed in a direct hit, together with most of the HQ staff, so lots going on, almost right up until armistice.

Then there's a nice entry on Christmas Day of December 1918 that has F C Dyer listed under Honours and Awards as "Mentioned in Despatches" ... and I did find a record of that in the London Gazette under Dyer 2/Lt F.C

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31085/supplement/15157

I skipped to the 1919 entries to see if I could find a record of his demob and made an exciting find - that he had signed the "war diary" for April.

The London Gazette lists end of service as 7 June 1919, so it appears that the last two officers in the Bn were CO Lt. Col E.B. Denison and Capt/Adjt. F C Dyer. That is something!

As adjutant to the CO, is it a possibility that he may have written some of the later war diaries? I'll have to find some better samples of his handwriting.

Cheers,

Mike

(Signature of Fritz C Dyer, Capt and Adjutant)

post-112891-0-02454700-1406738901_thumb.

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Hi Mark,

Thanks for all your posts. Really appreciated!

You've been making reference to a book called the KRRC Chronicle. Is that something that can be found online?

I've managed to find some references and text online but it all seems to pre-date the Great War.

And another question. Is there a good online source for trench maps such that one can read along with the war diaries?

Cheers,

Mike

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KRRC Chronicle is the regiment's annual yearbook. Not available online and these days Great War numbers are hard to come by for less than £50 a shot.

The battalion war records sections are closely based on the war diaries with important actions often lifted verbatim.

17/KRRC's war diary is unusual in that it has nearly all the battalion operational orders included. Fascinating to see the details of reliefs, movements, attacks etc.

Pal Croonaert ran an absolutely excellent trench map website but he has to close it due to inappropriate use by a minority - shame that bad apples spoil things for the rest of us :-(

The best trench map websites still available are
McMasters University, Canada: http://library.mcmaster.ca/maps/ww1/home.htm (which also has aerial reconnaissance photos)
National Library of Scotland: http://maps.nls.uk/ww1/trenches/index.html

and this is a very useful trench map reference converter: Muninn Project's Great War British Trench Map Coordinates Converter (NB may be problematic under Microsoft Internet Explorer)

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<snip>

I skipped to the 1919 entries to see if I could find a record of his demob and made an exciting find - that he had signed the "war diary" for April.

The London Gazette lists end of service as 7 June 1919, so it appears that the last two officers in the Bn were CO Lt. Col E.B. Denison and Capt/Adjt. F C Dyer. That is something!

As adjutant to the CO, is it a possibility that he may have written some of the later war diaries? I'll have to find some better samples of his handwriting.

Cheers,

Mike

(Signature of Fritz C Dyer, Capt and Adjutant)

attachicon.gifFC Dyer April.jpg

Mike,

I think it was actually 2 officer PLUS the Officer Commanding ... the 1919 KRRC Chronicle has the Embarkation Strength on 29 May 1919 as 3 officers and 31 OR's.

Officers being Lt.-Col. E.B. Denison DSO MC, Capt. Dyer and Lt. C Macgregor.

That's most likely the same Macgregor who moved from 17/KRRC with your grandfather in November 1917.

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Hi Mark,

Thanks for all those links, it's been so interesting and absorbing following along with the trench maps, once I figured out how to read the coordinates.

I found some nice copies of map 28 for Ypres but not really the right dates to show positions for the attack on 20th September. Very interesting reading those orders in the 17th's war diary.

I'm tempted to order some DVD's from another link I'd found at www.westernfrontassociation.com since they have a lot of maps for very reasonable pricing.

Thanks also for the clarification on the remaining numbers at demob. Yes, I'd noticed C. Macgregor name come up several times. He was also gazetted to 2/Lt on the same date as my grandfather.

Macgregor seems to have been a veteran NCO from the Royal Fusiliers and arrived 17th KRRC a little earlier, just in time for Pilckem Ridge.

Having shared practically the same service history from August 1917 it's nice to think they may have been close friends through those last years.

In the 11th Battalion war diary I found a note scrap from late 1917 that listed battle strength at something around 350 men.

Were there battalions really that low in numbers by 1917? They must have been really desperate for experienced recruits.

Cheers,

Mike

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In the 11th Battalion war diary I found a note scrap from late 1917 that listed battle strength at something around 350 men.

Were there battalions really that low in numbers by 1917? They must have been really desperate for experienced recruits.

Cheers,

Mike

Inglefield in the Divisional History reports that on 30 Nov 1917 following the Battle of Cambrai, none of the 20th (Light) Division battalions had a fighting strength of over 400 and several were well under 300. However this is at odds with the 10/KRRC Battalion War Record in the 1917 KRRC Chronicle which states the battalion "was fairly up to strength" on 29 Nov 1917.

The Germans launched a major counter-attack on 30 Nov 1917 when 10/KRRC and 11/KRRC were in the front line alongside each other. Both battalions had their flanks penetrated and ended up fight on three sides. The fighting companies were cut off and fought to a standstill. Large numbers were captured when the ammunition ran out, but they had broken the force of the assault and the division was eventually able to re-establish a defensible line further back thus stemming the counter-attack.

Survivors from the four 10/KRRC companies were 4 officers and 16 OR's. Only the HQ and rear details survived relatively intact. 11/KRRC losses were: Killed - 3 officers, 7 ORs; Wounded - 2 officers, 67 OR's; Missing - 10 officers (including the MO), 296 ORs. The KRRC's Prisoner of War Fund Branch reports that an estimated 500-600 POWs were taken in this German counter-attack. :poppy:

One can perhaps see now why officers were transferred to 11/KRRC from 17/KRRC!

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