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Clarissabell

Boy Soldier Royal Garrison Artillery

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Clarissabell

James Milligan was listed as a 'Boy Soldier' when he joined the army on Spike Island in 1878; his record says was just 14 years and 1 month old. He was posted in Hong Kong, Malta and Gibralta. Records show that he joined up again in 1914 until 1920, which means he was enlisted during WWI, but I cannot find out what kind of war he had. I cannot find a medal index card for him. His regimental numbers are 30394 and 278755.

Much of what is written on his war record is illegible. Perhaps someone on the site is an RGA expert, who can help me figure out what the writing here says, or means, and what type of war James Milligan had. He is a brother of my great-grandmother, someone we never knew existed until very recently.

Thanks in advance,

Clarissa.

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HERITAGE PLUS

Clarissa

There will be no MIC for him because he had no medal entitlement as, according to the details above, he did not see any overseas service.

He served at a 1st Class Master Gunner.

Units mentioned are:

No: 4 Depot RGA - which was at Ripon is where he was posted after attesting.

49 Company RGA served on South Irish Coastal Defence duties at Queenstown (now Cobh) Harbour.

He also served at the Tower of London for a period.

In 1919 he volunteered for a further one year period.

Dave

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Clarissabell

Thanks Dave - That explains a lot. Very interesting that he was in Cork for a while, as he was born there and enlisted there at just 14. Interesting that he was in the Tower of London too - That's something to fire the kids' imaginations! 'Appreciate your help.

Regards, C.

There will be no MIC for him because he had no medal entitlement as, according to the details above, he did not see any overseas service.

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David  B

Would seem his service paralleled my grandfather who joined in 1885 and was discharged in 1910 into the reserves. He was called up again in 1914 and served until 1919 when discharged. I am guessing that because

of your mans age (50 in 1914) he stayed in UK and probably became an instructor in gunnery during the GW. My g/father was 46 in 1914 (army records says he was 48 but I know he put up his age 2 years when he

joined originally and didn't escape being sent overseas in 1915. His service numbers were 46952, 3394 and 278394. He eventually died in Australia in 1951. My avatar is a photo of my g/father taken in 1900.

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kevinrowlinson

No: 4 Depot RGA - which was at Ripon is where he was posted after attesting.

Thanks Dave - That explains a lot. Very interesting that he was in Cork for a while, as he was born there and enlisted there at just 14. Interesting that he was in the Tower of London too - That's something to fire the kids' imaginations! 'Appreciate your help.

Regards, C.

Dave

Sorry Dave but No. 4 Depot was at Gt. Yarmouth at that time, as can be seen. Most of the depots moved about a bit during the war and it is wrong that it may be shown on some sites that they were in two places without giving a time line; viz. No.4 was at Gt. Yarmouth at the start of the war, but at the end of the war it was at Ripon. On 18th Nov. 1918 it again moved to Catterick.

Clarissabell

I believe the DE refers to District Establishment, but I haven't as yet seen any record of its establishment or its affiliation, presumably RA DE for London. I do have a note for later in the war when a gunner was posted to the Tower but was attached to the HAC.

It may interest you that the uniform and badges of rank in David's avatar would be that worn by your relative around 1890 when he was a Sgt. Instructor in Gunnery.

Kevin

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HERITAGE PLUS

Kevin

You are quite right :blush:

Dave

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Clarissabell

Would seem his service paralleled my grandfather who joined in 1885 and was discharged in 1910 into the reserves. He was called up again in 1914 and served until 1919 when discharged. I am guessing that because

of your mans age (50 in 1914) he stayed in UK and probably became an instructor in gunnery during the GW. My g/father was 46 in 1914 (army records says he was 48 but I know he put up his age 2 years when he

joined originally and didn't escape being sent overseas in 1915. His service numbers were 46952, 3394 and 278394. He eventually died in Australia in 1951. My avatar is a photo of my g/father taken in 1900.

How interesting David B, and as Kevin has pointed out, your avatar is wonderful to see. Perhaps our relatives knew one another.

My avatar is a photo of James's brother David Milligan, who was in the Royal Field Artillery, and spent a lot of time in India. He tried to enlist in WWI (age 41) but was deemed unfit - poor eyesight and Bronchitis. How this photo survived is a mystery. He mentioned his brother James, master gunner as next of kin, which led me to him. Their father David was also a soldier (Gunner) and was stationed, going by the places his children were born, around ports in Ireland, so it was in the blood.

Kevin - I am more than interested to learn what you know about the gunner in the Tower of London. What could he have been doing there? Thanks for helping me to piece together James's war.

Regards, Clarissa.

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kevinrowlinson

Clarissa,

The District Establishment (London district) at the Tower of London is not an area of the RGA I have researched. I suspect that what they were doing was different during the war to that before and after. Looking at one or two other gunners I have in my records I think it was additionally being used as an administrative base for gunners attached to the War Office. I would forget the gunner attached to the HAC as I suspect there were more gunners being used in administration (clerks section) than not.

Perhaps someone may be able to suggest any books that cover this area, otherwise it may need a day or two at Kew to find out exactly what they got up to. Theres a good research project for you.

Kevin

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Clarissabell

Perhaps someone may be able to suggest any books that cover this area, otherwise it may need a day or two at Kew to find out exactly what they got up to. Theres a good research project for you.

Thanks Kevin - As I live in Dublin - it will be a while before I can get to Kew... but it is a puzzle indeed. At least James's war is a lot clearer now. Cheers, C.

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John Mulcahy

Can anyone help guide me on where I might find the service record of 34087 Gunner Frank (Francis) Sigerson. R.G.A?

Frank was discharged in Dec 1918.

I have a partial record of his 1911 Census record that shows him on Spike Island although I do not now what Company he was attached to. I have his medal roll entry, medal card and his register of effects.

In the medal roll entry his previous unit is listed as "Base Dtls. R.G.A." Can anyone guide me here is this "Base Details"? What does it infer?

Family History / Service Record research is not something I have done much of heretofore.

thanks in advance.

John

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ss002d6252

Can anyone help guide me on where I might find the service record of 34087 Gunner Frank (Francis) Sigerson. R.G.A?

Frank was discharged in Dec 1918.

I have a partial record of his 1911 Census record that shows him on Spike Island although I do not now what Company he was attached to. I have his medal roll entry, medal card and his register of effects.

In the medal roll entry his previous unit is listed as "Base Dtls. R.G.A." Can anyone guide me here is this "Base Details"? What does it infer?

Family History / Service Record research is not something I have done much of heretofore.

thanks in advance.

John

I can't see a surviving service record for him.

Craig

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rflory

Milligan retired as a 1st Class Master Gunner on 13 February 1906

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John Mulcahy

I can't see a surviving service record for him.

Craig

Thanks Craig,

I could not see one either (I did get the service records for his 3 brothers who all served in the RN) but put my lack of success with Frank down to inexperience on my part.

Does anyone know if War Diaries or histories exist for the Queenstown Harbour RGA companies which I believe were numbers 10, 43 & 49 or indeed know of the distribution of the companies between Forts Westmoreland (Spike), Carlisle, Camden and Templebreedy.

apologies if I am taking the thread off-course.

John

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kildaremark

The Coastal batteries undergo many changes in the late and post war years.

In 1918,

49 Co at Berehaven becomes 31 Fire Command.

10 & 43 Co at Cork Harbour become 32 Fire Command with 10 Co (now referred to as "A" administrative battery) at Fort Templebreedy and 43 Co (referred to as "B" Administrative battery) at Fort Carlisle.

They were renamed again in 1921 as Q, R, U, V, W and X Coast batteries but this is probably beyond the period you are interested in.

The War Diaries are found under the relevant Fire Command in the National Archives and are of absolutely no use to the poor genealogist with only a few officers referred to. They are not war diaries in the sense of what we are used to seeing for overseas units as they primarily deal with the number of gunners arriving for training and being dispatched to batteries in England or overseas.

In respect of the Base Details query, this means that the gunner was not a member of any particular battery/unit on arrival in the combat zone and was therefore either a reinforcement to an existing unit or a new unit being formed in France (or other front). Base details will not necessarily be his previous unit as he could have served with any number of batteries overseas.

Mark

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John Mulcahy

Thank you for your help Mark.

John

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tony paley

Thanks Craig,

I could not see one either (I did get the service records for his 3 brothers who all served in the RN) but put my lack of success with Frank down to inexperience on my part.

Does anyone know if War Diaries or histories exist for the Queenstown Harbour RGA companies which I believe were numbers 10, 43 & 49 or indeed know of the distribution of the companies between Forts Westmoreland (Spike), Carlisle, Camden and Templebreedy.

apologies if I am taking the thread off-course.

John

H, My Grandfather was CSM of 43 Coy. RGA at Fort Carlisle, and Spike Island 1914-1916. Prior to this he had served around the Empire with Coastal Artillery units including Malta and Bermuda. (He is also my Avatar)I visited Kew many years ago and obtained the diary for 43 Coy. RGA. as Mark said there is very little information regarding personnel. It does illustrate the numbers of recruits from a variety of sources coming in, whilst many Officers and men are outward bound to Siege Batteries.The diary mentions personnel from No.4 Depot coming in from Yarmouth. Unlike 'War Diaries' from operational areas these appear very similar to Routine Orders.

Tony P

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John Mulcahy

Thank you Tony,

I happen to be on a rare visit to the NA next week and whereas I have a full agenda with the list of changes to research I must make the time to have a look at the diary. I appreciate all of your input on the type of data to be found in them for a unit such as this.

On a side note though I no longer live in the British Isles, I know Fort Carlisle very well. I grew up in the area and the Irish Army Reserve Unit I served in had the fort in its operational area. We spent many training days and camps there

John

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kevinrowlinson

If you subscribe to FMP then you can see a later attestation when he tried to enlist again, post war, as no. 1405993. This entry has been crossed out and one may surmise that he was not approved, possibly because of physical fitness if he was discharged in 1918.

He first enlisted on 12th Dec. 1910 and, although serving at one of the Cork companies in 1911, there is no way of knowing whether he may have been posted to a overseas company shortly after. It may be one reason why he didn't go to France until 1916 if he was. What battery he joined would be anybodies guess.

Kevin

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John Mulcahy

Thank you Kevin, I appreciate very much your contribution.

John

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