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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pte Archibald Milford


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Hi guys,

New to the forum so first thing I should say is Hi to everyone ^_^

I'm currently just starting research into my grandfather Private Archibald Milford, so here is what we know so far.

My grandfather lied about his age and joined up at 15, he was initially in the Hampshire Regiment, but was later transferred into the Royal Berkshire Regiment as is confirmed by his medal index card which I have attached.

He was still on overseas service in 1920 in Noperforce as evidenced on both his medal index card and the GSM with NW Persia clasp we have along with his war medal and victory medal (we also have a very nice RBR regimental boss along with his medals both in nice cases handcrafted by my grandfather).

We have a small medallion inscribed 201st Infantry Brigade 1918 which we would like to work out which regiment this pertains to if anyone can shed light on this I would be very grateful.

What I would like to know is if anyone can shed light on what sort of dates his service numbers relate to so maybe we can track down where he may have been in action, to my knowledge he was wounded at least once which may have been the reason for the transfer of regiment.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide in advance


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For service beyond 1921 - more likely than not with a new 1920 7-digit number - a man' service records were retained by the War Office (now the Ministry of Defence of course) and thus avoided the fate of those held in the warehouse that was destroyed in the Blitz. You could try to apply for a copy of his records.

His medal roll shows 1st Hampshire Regiment and 2/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment.

It's pretty late here, but I suspect that the combination of numbers will be repeated in other men's service. You may be able to find service records with similar movements, if his own record is not available.


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Medals issued are shown on Royal Berkshire Medal Roll.

1 Hamps. were 11th Brigade 4th Division and were in France. 2/4 Royal Berks. were in France from 27/5/16

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Information here on 67th Division, which contained the 201st Brigade. As you will see by 1918 the Bde was made up of Graduated Bns, with two of them Hants Regt affiliated.


This explains more about the Training Reserve system:


It's likely he did his training with the 201st Brigade before being sent out to join the 1st Bn Hants as a reinforcement.

I would not be surprised if he was posted to the 1st Bn Hants from an Infantry Base Depot in France, but did not actually see physical service with them before being transferred to 2/4th RBerks. This was fairly commonplace as in 1918 men were drafted in blocks to units that needed them often regardless of their existing Regt.

More on 61st Division here:


As Stebie has outlined, have a look for Service Papers for men with numbers around his in Hants and RBerks, but his Service Papers may well be available from MoD.

I understand the 1st Bn RBerks went to Persia, so it likely he agreed to stay in Post War and was transferred from 2/4th Bn to 1st Bn around the end of the Great War.


Tim D

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The records of 44256 Jesse Owen Hewins suggest the following route:

  1. 13-07-1917: Mobilised and posted to 8th Training Reserve Brigade
  2. 16-07-1917: Posted to 34th Training Reserve Battalion at Sutton Veny
  3. 04-08-1917: Posted to 33rd Training Reserve Battalion at Fovant, 4-8-1917
  4. 19-09-1917: 33rd Training Reserve Battalion becomes 280th Infantry Battalion
  5. 01-11-1917: 280th Infantry Battalion becomes 51st (Graduated) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment at Canterbury
  6. 27-10-1917: Men from 280th Training Reserve Battalion officially transferred to the 51st (Graduated) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment at Ramsgate
  7. 31-03-1918: Training complete
  8. 01-04-1918: Embarked overseas via Southampton and Rouen
  9. 02-04-1918: Arrived at "D" Infantry Base Depot at Rouen in France, allocated to go to 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment
  10. 06-04-1918: Transferred to the 2/4th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment
  11. 06-04-1918: Joined 2/4th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment "in the Field"

Archibald Milford could have joined this set of movements at any stage up to "stage 7" (for example he could have been with 281st Infantry Battalion and 52nd Graduated Battalion) but it was usual for young recruits to go through training as a group by this time of the war, so he may well have been mobilised at the same time as Jesse Hewins. In any case the 2 April 1918 embarkation date is VERY likely to be when he embarked overseas.

44209 William Victor Buxton, 44271 Oscar Edward Lale and 44294 Percy Theodore Pyne shared the same movements from 34th T.R.B. via the Hampshire Regiment through to 2/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment, though only the records of Pyne are as detailed as Hewins, sharing the same dates from "stage 2" onwards. This would suggest that most (all?) of this group stayed together through training.


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And thanks to a quick search of the forum and finding this link in another thread:


I can add step 12 to your timeline Steve from the war diaries:

1918-04-07 Regiment. 2/4th Royal Berkshire Location France, Mericourt Entry Divine Service at 10.30am. Draft of 3 Officers and 547 OR arrived. Draft was inspected by CO at 2.30pm and posted to Companies.

A draft of 550 men is somewhat large so I can only deduce without looking further that the battalion took some heavy casualties in the previous battle they were involved in. I intend on having a good read of the diary so I can work out what happened from there on in.

Once again many thanks for all your help chaps I've learnt a lot more than I though possible in such a short period, wish I'd come to the forum some time ago

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It was the German Spring Offensive (Operation Michael) that began on 21 March 1918. The British lines were pushed back for miles along a large front. There were many fighting withdrawals with battles going on as they withdrew, some units being either nearly or actually cut off. After their exhausting battle units were moved to the area of the La Bassee Canal - at which point Operation Georgette was launched, by bad luck, against many of the units that had been pulled out of the line to rest and rebuild. Some really unlucky Divisions were moved south to the Chemin des Dames and got the Blucher-Yorck offensive thrown in their laps at the end of May 1918, though 61st Division avoided that stroke of fate.

Step 12 - is probably the correct date for step 11. Records did often vary a day either way.


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Yeah I realised that after I wrote my last post, not really a great time to be joining a unit that wasn't.

Looking through the diary it appears that they were in the line on about 12/04 5 days after joining the unit, talk about a baptism of fire!!

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Quick question please guys.

I've not yet subscribed to ancestry although I intend to, does it provide copies of death certificates as I will need one to apply to the MOD for the service records.

Thanks in advance

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Thanks for confirming that, I thought that was the case.

I've got the forms ready to go, just got to get a copy of the death certificate before I can send them off.

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Well I've taken the 14 day free trial on ancestry, it appears my grandfather had 5 brothers who all would have been of a serviceable age.....I can see this getting addictive

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on the 26th April 1919 all the under 20s in the 2/4th were transferred to the 2/7th R Warwicks to form part of the army of occupation - the rest of the 2/4th went to Egypt to guard Turkish prisoners along with the over 20s from the 2/7th Warwicks they were disbanded 24/8/19

You don't have to lie about your age to join at 15 as a boy soldier but you don't get overseas until 18. If he had done so he would have been treated as a regular rather than a conscript as indicated by him getting an Army number so joining the 1st R Berks would be a natural - He was discharged in 1922

The 1st Bn did a spell as occupying troops near Cologne until 2nd April 1919 and returned to |England but Millford was not amongst the Cadre then They reformed 29th April at Chisledon and then left for India 18th September - I suspect Millford joined them in this period and then went on with them to Persia - they returned to England after the Persia/Russia treaty was signed 26th Feb 1921


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