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Remembered Today:

Cap Badge


Raypalmer
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Wondering if anyone can help me identify this cap badge. I've magnified the pic as much as I can without losing resolution completely.

Thanks

Ray

post-65230-0-98195600-1415010108_thumb.j

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Might be Royal Engineers. Do you have a name?

Rgds

Tim D

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Tim

Alfred James Palmer, from Cardiff, born 1892. I know very little, and have been able to find even less! He served the full four years, and survived. In the 1950s he wrote in a letter about an unexpected and emotional meeting with his brother on the eve of battle at the Somme.


Thanks for your help and your interest.

Ray

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Don't suppose you know what he did for a job? What was his brother's name? Did he go back to Cardiff after the war?

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Could be Alfred J Palmer (T) 978 and 562199 Royal Engineers to France 25-8-1915. The only MIC that fits in with the details you have given - served full term . Ralph.

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That's the only Alfred J Palmer I like as well. A/Staff Sergeant on Medal Rolls.

Unfortunately there are also 10 or so named Alfred Palmer.

Is there more to the photo? Does he have any rank showing?

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Could be Alfred J Palmer (T) 978 and 562199 Royal Engineers to France 25-8-1915. The only MIC that fits in with the details you have given - served full term . Ralph.

That 6 digit TF number was part of the 562001-568000 block allocated to the London Electrical Engineers

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Born 1892 mate. Went through all the RE ones...no joy.

TD

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I agree that it looks like a RE cap badge, so you seem to be on the right track.

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Don't suppose you know what he did for a job? What was his brother's name? Did he go back to Cardiff after the war?

He was a builder / bricklayer. In 1913 he had been in Canada & USA with his brother, Albert John Palmer, where they both travelled gradually northwards finding building work wherever they could. His brother Albert joined the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force later in the war (I have his records). There were three other brothers who served :

Edwin Thomas Palmer (b 1889), my own Grandfather, of whom I know nothing other than that he served the 4 years and survived. Edwin (aka Ted) was the brother mentioned my original post re the Somme meeting.

Walter Palmer (b 1895). He was in the RAMC, Field Ambulance. He survived the war.

Herbert Charles Palmer (b 1897). Absolutely nothing known, other than that he served in the war and survived.

In preparing my family history I've found out more about ancestors in the 16th and 17th centuries than I have about these guys! Very frustrating!

Ray

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That's the only Alfred J Palmer I like as well. A/Staff Sergeant on Medal Rolls.

Unfortunately there are also 10 or so named Alfred Palmer.

Is there more to the photo? Does he have any rank showing?

Here's the full photo. Alfred is the one in the middle. In a brief note on the reverse, he said he was recovering in hospital when the photo was taken, and he met his two 'pals' there. So I guess the uniforms of the other two don't help me.post-65230-0-32928900-1415041582_thumb.j
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Here's the full photo. Alfred is the one in the middle. In a brief note on the reverse, he said he was recovering in hospital when the photo was taken, and he met his two 'pals' there. So I guess the uniforms of the other two don't help me.

All three of the men appear to be Royal Engineers. I don't think he was in hospital as he is in full uniform, but it might well be a convalescent establishment known as a 'Command Depot'. These places of convalescence were individually established for large corps like RA, RE, ASC, etc. and explain the men all being in the same cap badge. As men gradually recovered their re-training was increased until they were considered fit enough to return to France and Flanders.

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It looks to me as though the chap closest (left) to the camera in the most recent picture has a Winter Service Cap (aka "Gor' Blimey" with fold down ear covers) - that might help date the picture if one of the experts knows when these were introduced (1916?) and you know when he was wounded.

Chris

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Thanks again everyone.

I'm afraid I misread the back of the photo. It reads "Met my two pals at the base after I went through hospital, so we had this taken.". This makes it more likely that they were indeed from the same unit and that they were existing pals, not new ones who met in hospital. The printed part of the card is in French. Regret I have no idea when he was injured. I cannot recall any mention of a serious injury - and he looks pretty fit in this pic, so I guess he wasn't away from the action for long.

Ray

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In the 1950s he wrote in a letter about an unexpected and emotional meeting with his brother on the eve of battle at the Somme.

Ray, do you have or have access to this letter, what detail does it contain?

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Jay Dubaya

Yes, here is the relevant page. I was sent to me in the '50s. Its an emotional piece, though I can't see any useful details in it myself. Ted was Alfred's brother, and my grandfather. I think the reference to "the deep south" was because Alfred was in the USA shortly before the war.

Ray

post-65230-0-50416700-1415059370_thumb.j

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Quite a poingnet reminder, especially the point of brothers meeting. Do any other items survive that may hold clues? It's also worth pursuing the other brothers and see where that takes us. There's also local archives and absent voters lists should they still exist for the area he was living at the time.

Jon

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It looks to me as though the chap closest (left) to the camera in the most recent picture has a Winter Service Cap (aka "Gor' Blimey" with fold down ear covers) - that might help date the picture if one of the experts knows when these were introduced (1916?) and you know when he was wounded.

Introduced December 1914 for the winter of 1914/15, and largely a pre-1916 thing (as by the same time next year the Brodie steel helmet was just beginning to come into frontline use, and from March 1916 the "trench cap" became the new issue soft cap when not in the frontline).

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Hi Ray,

I am afraid there are just too many to choose from to nail down which RE man is Alfred. Have you tried local newspapers? With four brother serving you might get lucky.

Do you have anything else on Edwin? Was he also born in Cardiff? Do you have any photos?

There are only a few men named Edwin T Palmer listed. Unfortunately I think we can rule these out...but there are also a lot without a middle initial!

Tim

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and ideas.

Last night I unearthed one possible lead about Alfred. Two of his nephews were being taken into a children's home, and the application form had to give details of all the family and why they couldn't look after the kids. The form is dated December 1916. The entries for the brothers show:

Alfred - address Caernarvon, on active service. Does this help to identify anything?

Walter - address Aldershot, on active service (we know he was in RAMC)

Albert - "bricklayer moving about in search of work" (we know he was in USA, & joined Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in 1917, and seemingly only saw Scotland and Sussex)

Edwin - address Cardiff, grocer's assistant

Herbert - address Cardiff, gardener

My aunt (Edwin's daughter) - whose recollection of facts in other respects proved very reliable - wrote to me that although she never knew much about the men's WW1 service, she was sure that (1) Alfred and Edwin were "in for the full four years", (2) Albert joined up in Canada, and (3) "Walter and Herbert followed later". So I guess Water and Herbert (both single men) might have been conscripted on 1 Jan 1916 (though in Herbert's case there's no "active service" reference on the Dec 1916 care application form)

But why, if he served the full four years, might Edwin have been shown on the form as being a grocer's assistant in Cardiff in December 1916, when we have relatively reliable evidence that he was on the Somme a few months earlier ...?!

I was told by my aunt that the 'South Wales Echo' published a photo of the five brothers, but my search through microfiches didn't reveal anything. That was in the early days of my research, so I might not have been thorough! However, I found a list online of photographs of soldiers from Cardiff published in the S W Echo during the war. Unfortunately my chaps weren't listed, although there was apparently a photo of four Palmer brothers from Cardiff - unrelated to me - who, I think, all died.

I haven't really got anything else that helps, and (although I find it surprising) I haven't found any members of the family with anything other than unmarked photos. The aunt to whom I've referred passed away in September, and she was the last of the generation, so my chances of getting any more 'second-hand' info, or of unearthing a gem, are limited.

I have photos of all but one of the others, and I'll dig them out and post them later. I know the above snippets of info about most of them, but I get the distinct feeling that when Herr Hitler bombed the archived records he scored a direct hit on the cupboard labelled "P" ...!

Thanks again for your interest

Ray

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