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Remembered Today:

Private Ernest Charles Pike, Wilts Regt and MGC


MikeNewbury
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I've been following up some research of my late mother on the war service of her father ERNEST CHARLES PIKE. She had identified him as 5122 L Cpl Pike of the 18th QMO but knew he had transferred into the MGC. I have a photograph of him in the MGC which clearly shows the cap badge.

However I now know from another forum thread that 5122 Pike is not mine as he was captured in August 1914 and is on a list of POWs entitled to Queen Mary's gift. he was also born in Bolton and my grandad was a Wiltshire boy!

So I have identified a more likely target - his medal card lists him as ERNEST C PIKE and gives information for two units. The Wiltshire Regiment - 22377. The Machine Gun Corps - 13588. The roll references are MGC/101.B9, page 872.

Can anyone assist with attributing him to one of the Wilts Regt battalions or to the MGC Coy? Or provide any other information please?

My mum's mistake (made before we had the wonders of technology) was driven by the little her father said about the war. He was in the retreat from Mons and had had his horse seriously wounded and had been told off for using his field dressing in the wound. The Hussar's attribution made sense in that context but not in light of the further information. Unfortunately the service records don't seem to have survived the bombing damage.

It's a bit of a mystery and has only come to light for me this pm as i was checking out the movements of 18th QMO 100 years ago today.

Any help or thoughts greatly appreciated.

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Mike

For a man to have been in "The retreat from Mons" he'd have to be a pre-War regular, either still serving or a mobilised Reservist, the man you quote was not at Mons as he has no 1914 Star medal, also Infantry did not have horses unless they were Officers.

Sam

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Can you post the photo on here ?

Any other known relevant details ?

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BWM & VM Roll (Can't see a Star Roll)

Prime Unit Machine Gun Corps
Medal Awarded British War Medal and Victory Medal
Forename Ernest Charles
Surname Pike
Number 13588
Rank Private.
Previous Service 22377. Wilts R. 13588. M.G.C. Pte.
Remark Class Z. A R. 24-6-19

Craig

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Dear all,

Thanks for coming back on my query. Much appreciated.

I'm trying to unpick some settled family 'lore' here for which I'm bound to become unpopular!

Sam - you're right his having a horse only made sense if he was a cavalry man. My mum found 5122 Pike, saw the unit was involved in Mons and thought her job was done. I think she got it wrong - first time I've relieved that she's no longer around so I don't have to tell her!

Craig - is the 24-6-19 the date of discharge to the reserve? If so this would make some more sense as he had a little German from being - again family folklore - part of the occupation.

Ellis1918 - I'll try to post a picture. I'm new to the forums so don't hold your breath while i sort the tech out.

My grandfather had the Home Guard Bren Gun during the Second War on the strength of his MGC experiences. He taught my mum to strip it and reassemble in the dark. Quite a handy skill really.

Best wishes,

Mike

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Have changed my profile picture to the photo I have of ERNEST PIKE showing a close up of his MGC badge. I've also added the picture to an album.

Getting to grips with technology!

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Sam - you're right his having a horse only made sense if he was a cavalry man. My mum found 5122 Pike, saw the unit was involved in Mons and thought her job was done. I think she got it wrong - first time I've relieved that she's no longer around so I don't have to tell her!

Craig - is the 24-6-19 the date of discharge to the reserve? If so this would make some more sense as he had a little German from being - again family folklore - part of the occupation.

Mike

Although your late Mum said he was involved in the "Retreat from Mons", she could have been a confused with the other major British Army retreat during the 1918 German Spring offensives, this would make more sense and would match the Wiltshire/MGC man.

I had a look through the Medal cards for E and Ernest Pike and there was only one who had a 1914 Star and he was Royal Engineers only, so there's no way your Grandfather was on the retreat from Mons.

Are you only guessing he served in another unit other than the MGC? The reason I ask is there is an 31517 Pte Ernest Pike who only served in the MGC, don't get hung up on his middle name being on the MIC as they weren't always included.

Can I ask, what year was Ernest born, did he marry or have kids prior to mid June 1919?

Finally you are correct, 24/06/19 was the date that Ernest Pike was transferred to the Class Z reserve, Class Z essentially meant you could be called up again at short notice in case the Treaty of Versailles which was signed by Germany 4 days later failed.

Sam

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Sam,

Thanks for this. I think you're right and there's a conflation of things in the family folklore. I suspect the retreat is the 1918 one and the horse he used his dressing on wasn't his. He had worked on the farm with horses prior to the war and probably carried all that empathy on to the battlefield.

My Ernest was born in 1896 in Wiltshire so 31517 isn't mine as his service history survives and he's born in Bedfordshire in 1885. The two unit thinking stems again from folklore but seems to suggest that 22377 Pike is likeliest given he then ges into the MGC (service there is one of the few facts!).

There is another ERNEST PIKE with a MIC showing service in the Wilts Regt with the 1914/15 Star, War and Victory medals. His service number is 9138 which feels like a regular regimental number from before the war. Would that be correct thinking? Sadly he died in Mesopotamia with the 5th Battalion Wiltshire Regt on 4 February 1917. So not mine.

My Ernest married in June 1920 (my mum was born in September 1920 - best gloss over that).

Thank you so much for your help.

Best wishes,

Mike

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His service number is 9138 which feels like a regular regimental number from before the war. Would that be correct thinking?

Possibly a war time number but it's right on the cusp.

9088 joined on 9th January 1914

9282 joined on 13th August 1914

http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/wiltshire-regiment-1st-2nd-battalions.html

Craig

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Dear Stoppage Drill,

Not that I know of. The family were living in Hinton Parva near Swindon but had branches in the Wiltshire/Berkshire border.

Best wishes,

Mike


Possibly a war time number but it's right on the cusp.

9088 joined on 9th January 1914
9282 joined on 13th August 1914

http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/wiltshire-regiment-1st-2nd-battalions.html

Craig

Right on the cusp poor chap.

Thanks for the info and link.

Best wishes,

Mike

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With 31517 out of the picture that only leaves one E or Ernest Pike or Pyke who served in the MGC and that's 22377 Wilts/13588 MGC, as you are 100% certain he was MGC then he is almost certainly your Grandad.

Had a look on CWGC and found 22372, 22374, 22385 and 22386 all Wilt Regt and all 2nd Bn.

22373 Pte John Miles was also 13585 MGC.

22375 Pte Albert Dagger was also 13587 MGC

Have a scout round the MGC and Wilts numbers and you'll see a pattern of transfer.

Sam

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Sam,

Great stuff - thank you!

Will prowl around using your excellent suggestions.

Thanks

Mike

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  • 1 month later...

With 31517 out of the picture that only leaves one E or Ernest Pike or Pyke who served in the MGC and that's 22377 Wilts/13588 MGC, as you are 100% certain he was MGC then he is almost certainly your Grandad.

Had a look on CWGC and found 22372, 22374, 22385 and 22386 all Wilt Regt and all 2nd Bn.

22373 Pte John Miles was also 13585 MGC.

22375 Pte Albert Dagger was also 13587 MGC

Have a scout round the MGC and Wilts numbers and you'll see a pattern of transfer.

Sam

Hi.

22375 Pte Albert Dagger was my great uncle - a bed maker from Bradford-Upon-Avon. Were in MGC in the habit of transferring units en-mass ?

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  • 2 months later...

Dear all,

I've had an update from the excellent folks at the Wardrobe - the regimental museum of theWiltshire Regiment. They've sent me a copy of the Enlistment Register of the regiment which shows Ernest Charles PIKE enlisting on 9th November 1915 and joining the 3rd Battalion along with Albert DAGGER. The archivist suggests that he and his Wilts Regt colleagues either never served operationally with the Regiment or were transfered very soon after their arrival in France. They've also suggested he may have served with 101 Company MGC - the unit of Albert DAGGER.

Best wishes

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  • 3 months later...

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