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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Private Thomas Henry Goodbun - 395th H.S. Emp. Company


Genegirl
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Hi

I am currently researching one of my ancestors and I have recently found his service record which states that he enlisted on 22.6.17 aged 36 yrs for the Royal Artillery regiment and he served in the 395th Home Service Employment Company Ex. Royal Fusiliers - regimental number - 646499 - and was stationed in Belfast in November 1918 when he was discharged to pension because he was no longer physically fit for war service and received the silver war badge.

What I would like to know is I noticed on his medal index card for his silver war badge that it states that he was in the Labour Corps - 395th H.S. E. Company (ex-R. Fusiliers). What was his duties have been in the Labour Corps/395th H.S. E. Company (he was a hot water fitter and general engineer according to the 1911 census) and why were they stationed in Belfast at the time?

Any information would be most helpful. Thank you.

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As a wild guess, I'd suggest that he was doing some hot water fitting and general engineering. As a further wild guess, he was doing it at Harland & Wolff.

Ivor Lee, in his book, "No Labour, No Battle" notes that there are no surviving records of the HSE Companies, so wild guesses are about as good as you're likely to get.

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I have looked at what remains of his service record. I can see nothing on the record itself which shows that he initially joined the Royal Artillery. The first page shows that he enlisted at Canterbury, Depot of 'The Buffs' East Kent Regiment. The top of the page shows Royal Fusiliers very faintly as 'Corps'. Another entry gives his unit and corps as Labour Corps att 6 Rl Fus. The 6th Bn did not serve overseas as it was a reserve battalion. It was based in Dover until late 1917 when it moved to Carrickfergus. This would explain why he was in Ireland. The final page shows that he was transferred compulsorily under ACI 1396/18. I do not know what this Army Council Instruction says but others might. The home service employment company is shown as based in Randalstown, which is in County Antrim. His station is given as Belfast. A station is an administrative command that a unit comes under and is not necessarily where a soldier is based. A google search on Randalstown will give some info on its involvement in WW1

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