Jump to content
Great War Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Raynutt7@gmail.com

ARMY SERVICE CORP SENT TO SALONKA AS REINFORCEMENT 30.1.17

Recommended Posts

Raynutt7@gmail.com

Hi

First effort 100 per cent amateur !

I a trying to trace details of my maternal grandfathers war service. This is what I have found so far

Home Town : Brighton

Born : 1897

Name : Charles(Charlie) Goldsmith

Regiment Number : 372

Army No. T4/239401

Rank : Driver

Regiment : Army Service Corps

Attested 12.06.14 for 4 years into Territorial Force, Sussex part of ASC Home Counties Division. Agreed to serve overseas if necessary

(Would he have known less than 2 months later would have been mobilised?)

24.09.14 signed some form of agreement in Canterbury.

24.09.14 to 3.01.17 Some type of training or preparation?

3.01.17 Sent to Salonika as reinforcement. Returned either 30.7.17 or 30.7.19

Service History Sheet mentions 662, 81st RASC or TA/JA and number 191/7197/6, Theatre of war or command Russia,

15.08.19 Dispersal unit

12.09.19 Disembodied.

I have a photo of him with a small group of other men outside a thatched shelter. He is holding a baby bird(Owl?) and one of the other men seems to have an

adult bird on his arm. Dress and headgear indicates this was taken in a hot climate. Who took this picture, does anyone else have a this picture ?

Can anyone fill in the gaps or offer further information ?

Regards

Raynutt7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gardenerbill

Ray, Welcome to the forum.

Michael Young's 'Army Service Corps 1902 1918' p136:

'No1 Reserve HT Depot was formed initially at Deptford, moving to Park Royal in London on 28 February 1915 (in due course consisting of 661, 662, 663 and 664 HT companies),....'

Page 306 - 662 formed 29 March 1916.

These reserve units were for training recruits.

81st are listed as a Western front 3rd Cavalry Division, HQ Division ASC (HT)

No Salonika link?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48

He joined the TF aged 17 years 1 month, this was the minimum legitimate age for service in the TF (as always there are exceptions). Enlistment in the TF was for 'home service'. When war was declared the TF was 'embodied', he was embodied on the 6th August 1914.

On the 24th September he signed the Imperial Obligation see LLT http://www.1914-1918.net/tf.htm

He would have been issued with a badge, but there was some controversy over young TF soldiers being posted on active service overseas, although many were. In February 1915 there was an Army Order expressing disapproval of this practice as it was at odds with the Regular Army where the policy was aged 20 years for active service overseas.

This is probably why he was posted to various reserve units on home service, during this time he learned to drive a truck.

He was posted to Salonika as shown and joined 81st Field Ambulance (also part of the Home Counties Division). For duties of a Field Ambulance see

http://www.1914-1918.net/fieldambulances.htm

The 81st Field Ambulance was part of 27th Division which, after leaving Salonika was ordered to the Black Sea. http://www.1914-1918.net/27div.htm He was 'discharged' at Crystal Palace Dispersal Unit when the Division returned to the UK on 15 August 1919 and was disembodied on 12th September 1919.

The war diary for the 81st FA has survived but unfortunately has not been digitised yet http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7360795

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gardenerbill

What Ken posted makes sense 81st Field Ambulance would be attached to 81st Brigade in the 27th Division.

27th Division operated in the section of the front line along the Struma valley, northe east of Salonika.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48

Just a short follow up Brighton was the home of the Home Counties Divisional Transport and Supply Column (among many other units) in 1914 when he first enlisted. The HQ company was at 117 Gloucester Road if you're still local.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Raynutt7@gmail.com

Hi Everyone,

Thank you all for your responses. I all seems to fit in. I have a thousand questions to ask but will try to contain myself.

It seems clear now that my GF was attached to 81st Field Ambulance as a driver from the ASC. He was sent to Salonika as reinforcements on the 03.01.17. How would he have got there and would he have known he was going to be attached to 81st Field Ambulance.

Being a T4 would he have driven a vehicle or a horse. When he eventually left Salonika how did he get to the Balkans.

When he left the Balkans how did he get to Crystal Palace.

I know he suffered from Malaria. Would this have been treated locally ?

Regards

Raynutt7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48

Malaria was endemic in Salonika, in fact the logo of the Salonika Campaign Society is a mosquito http://www.salonikacampaignsociety.org.uk The men also suffered from dysentery and the campaign followed the pattern of earlier wars where there were more losses to sickness and disease than to enemy action, unlike the Western Front. The worst affected area was the Struma Valley. It was treated locally although severe cases were evacuated to Malta. There is a famous picture in the IWM collection of men being paraded for their dose of quinine. http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/salonika

The prefix T4 indicates horsed transport (and the 4 Kitchener's Fourth Army) there is a note on his protection certificate at the top of the page that I originally read as MT Driver (hence my comment about driving a truck) but on closer inspection it's more likely 'HT' or Horse Transport.

He would certainly have known he was going to Salonika as he would have been issued with tropical kit, as to his final posting it's difficult to say but if you look at the link I gave you all the Brigade Field Ambulances were previously Home Counties TF units (the 1st was based at Maidstone and other towns in Kent). He was probably part of a larger draft of men sent to the theatre and would have travelled on a troopship. I don't know if port movements survive.

The war diary often gives the name of the ship the main body went out on but are unlikely to mention reinforcements.

Hostilities in Salonika ceased at noon on 30th September when Bulgaria surrendered.

The Division was sent to Batum, and the first elements arrived there on the 22nd December, with the last ship arriving on 31st January 1919, moving a Division with all its transport and horses etc was not a quick job. The Divisional HQ was at Tiflis but units were sent out across the Trans Caucasus to protect oil supplies from Baku along the pipeline to Batum.

The Division began withdrawal in August and the 81st Brigade was disbanded on the 14th September, however Pte Goldsmith was at the dispersal centre on the 15th August so it's probably difficult to be accurate as to how and when he returned home but again the war diary might help.

This article from History Today gives an overview of why they were deployed to the Black Sea http://www.historytoday.com/donald-ewalt/fight-oil-britain-persia-1919

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gardenerbill

'He would certainly have known he was going to Salonika'

I am not sure that you can make this assumption, at that time the Army was notorious for not telling the ranks anything and tropical kit could mean, Africa, Mesopotamia or even India.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48

'He would certainly have known he was going to Salonika'

I am not sure that you can make this assumption, at that time the Army was notorious for not telling the ranks anything and tropical kit could mean, Africa, Mesopotamia or even India.

OK not 'certainly', but he certainly knew he wasn't going to France when he was issued with his pith helmet and shorts so he'd have a clue and he'd certainly know when he got on the boat.

Wouldn't you ask where you were going to be posted? Afaik men posted to India could find themselves in Mesop, but Salonika? Wrong sea.

One supposes the fact he was taken off strength of the unit he was leaving would appear in their daily/weekly orders.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gardenerbill

Once aboard a troop ship even if they were not told directly word would have got around I suspect and once in the Mediterranean there were only a few possibilities, Egypt , Italy or Salonika.

I have only stiudied 2 war diaries and both recorded the comings and goings of men joining or leaving the units. The officers are named the ranks were not. So in the case of my Grandfather I know from his service record when he arrived in Salonika and the unit he joined records the arrival of a draft of men shortly afterwards so I can be 99% sure that he was one of that draft.

I am fairly sure that the reserve units kept diaries as well so it is possible that when Ray's Grandfather was transferred to the 81st FA the 662nd diary would record the number of men transferred and the date. Also the 81st FA diary may well record the arrival of drafts.

Apologies for being a pedant!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48

Home Service (and therefore Reserve) units were not required to keep a war diary. The war diary had a clearly defined purpose i.e. 'to provide an accurate record of operations..and to collect information for future reference...'.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gardenerbill

Ken if home reserve units didn't have diaries, what documentation did they keep and do you know if it survived?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48

Mark,

This earlier thread tells you just about everything you would need to know about war diaries including an extract from the relevant Field Service Regulation

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=148220&hl=%2Bfield+%2Bservice+%2Bregulations+%2B140#entry1422375

Most importantly the requirement was for the diary to be kept 'on active service' as pointed out in post 7 of the above thread 'only one of fourteen Yeomanry units that landed at Suvla Bay kept a diary from the beginning of the war'.

As reserve units were not on active service they did not maintain a diary. They would of course have a system of daily/weekly orders (a forum member recently posted one for the MGC Training School but this was an interesting fragment rather than a record, I can't find the link at the moment). They would also maintain a system of returns for the War Office and were subject to inspections and maintaining a vast amount of administrative paperwork.

None of this has survived in any easily searchable form but like the MGC copy referred to above would have been invaluable to identify postings.

This link to the LLT lists the documents known to have been destroyed in the Arnside Fire http://www.1914-1918.net/arnside.html As Chris notes in the article perhaps the most significant loss to researchers were the Part II Orders for all branches which listed the movement of men.

Unfortunately this means the answer to your question is the records of most interest from the Reserve units did not survive, though as will all things to do with the war there will be exceptions.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gardenerbill

Thanks Ken,

I have seen the documents destroyed list on the LLT but not the thread on war diaries, I will check it out when I have some time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Raynutt7@gmail.com

Hi All,

Thanks for the info. It is a great help.

Now I have 3 photos of my GF I would like you to study please. Any feedback would be great. Two were taken in the UK and one in Salonika I thInk.

Also I have the name of another ASC Driver who was sent to Salonika on the same day as my GF 3.1.17. Driver George Deacon T4/234693 Is this significant.

Regards

Ray

post-118068-0-38163000-1416681522_thumb.

post-118068-0-29490300-1416681523_thumb.

post-118068-0-00299900-1416681524_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Raynutt7@gmail.com

additional picture attached. Sorry they are the wrong way round any suggestions to put it right.

post-118068-0-16484100-1416681631_thumb.

post-118068-0-10202300-1416681632_thumb.

post-118068-0-78719400-1416681632_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48

You need a photo editor in Mac Preview will do it or there is one bundled with Windows.

The limit for photos is 250kb at the moment apart from being skewed these are too small to see any detail. Suggest you sort them out on your PC first then post them singly. Have a look at using this website or do a forum search on loading photos and you will find lots of hints and tips and links to free software.

The group photo may be more interesting the others seem to confirm what is known i.e. that he was ASC Horse Transport.

As regards the second soldier it may be significant if his records survive; the number may help as well as men were usually posted into theatre in drafts rather than singly.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gardenerbill

Ray,

There is a section on the forum homepage called 'Website and Technical' with a forum 'Using the Technology' select this then in the search box type 'photo editing'.

A number of useful threads will appear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Raynutt7@gmail.com

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the info. will have a look. Bit a technophobe I m afraid.

Making good progress with my research. Another member has sent me a casualty form active service.

Some it is typed - deep joy. Confirms my GF sailed for Salonika on the 3.1.17 from Southampton on HT Londonderry.

switched to HMT Minnotonka in Le Havre and arrived in Salonika 14.01.17

Maybe coincidence but 2017 was his 20th year. Also confirms he came from 662 coy. Served as follows :

N.3 base HT depot

84 inf bde HQRS

857 AT Coy. What does AT stand for ?

2nd echelon 28th division

81st was not a complete red herring. He did serve with them but this was one of his his last posting. Thinking about it 81 was only mentioned on his later docs. so makes sense. Starting to get a good idea of his service.

I get the impression ACS drivers HT were military equivalent of grooms and were attached to various units/brigades to look after and sometime ride horses.

This is how I see the story so far. Joined TFJune 2014. Embodied 05.08.14. Trained for 6 months possibly at Canterbury Station. Sent to 662 coy after training .Sent to Salonika. 03.1.17. Do you think he would have known when he joined the TF that less than 2 months later he would be called up ?

Last question when were regimental numbers replaced by Army numbers and are there any dairies published b ASC HT drivers

that could give me an insight as to their training and day to day routine ?

Regards

Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gardenerbill

Ray,

Micheal young's ASC book has 857 HT attached to 28th Division in Salonika and described as an Auxiliary Pack Company. The roads in Macedonia at the time were very poor and mostly unsuitable for motor transport. Most of the supply was carried out by pack animals, primarily mules. It looks like your man was in one of these pack animal companies. He would have ridden/walked with them on supply duty and probably been responsible for looking after the animals.

Going back to your photos if you have a windows machine, click on the photo file and it will open in the windows picture viewer. If you click the rotate button, a semicircular arrow below the picture, it will rotate. If you repeat this until the photo is the right way around then close it, it will be saved the right way up.

Once you have your pictures the right way around it might be worth posting them in the Paraphernalia forum under uniforms. there are some forum members who are brilliant at working out units etc from uniform pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48

Do you think he would have known when he joined the TF that less than 2 months later he would be called up ?

Last question when were regimental numbers replaced by Army numbers and are there any dairies published b ASC HT drivers

that could give me an insight as to their training and day to day routine ?

The Army numbering system was changed in 1920 but I don't think that's what you mean.

The TF was renumbered March 1917 see LLT http://www.1914-1918.net/renumbering.htm

As previously posted the Salonika Campaign Society is a good place to look for accounts/diaries

e.g. linked from the society page http://www.maybole.org/community/citizens/pastandpresent/mcdonald/index.htm

As for your rhetorical question I'd suggest that as he joined the TF at the earliest opportunity he wasn't really bothered about going to war but happy to escape the humdrum.

He was not 'called up' but 'embodied' for active service - the proclamation is on the LLT http://www.1914-1918.net/reserves_tf_mobilised.html - he knew when he joined the TF he would be required to serve full time in the event of war though at the time he was probably more interested in two weeks summer camp - but who knows?

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Raynutt7@gmail.com

Hi

Do you think anyone would be interested in this.

It is a souvenir programme for Christmas Day 1918 at the No.3 Convalescent Depot Orendzik Salonka.

Can anyone tell me what or where Orendzik is.

Regards

Raynutt7

post-118068-0-42235100-1417988356_thumb.

post-118068-0-62948500-1417988365_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apwright

Raynutt,

Orendzik (on old maps also Dzeki, Eurendjik, Örendžik, Uredžik, Urendgik, Redžik, Ceki) is now the suburb of Pefka (though still known unofficially as Retziki). I'm pretty sure No.3 Convalescent Depot was around the junction of Mikras Asias and Kimiseos Theotokou streets, Google Earth 40.658 22.989.

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sian leitch

Hello I wonder if you could help me as I research my great grandfather John Henry perkins who was a shoesmith/farrier in the 573 RASC HT. It appears that he was sent to Salonika in 1916  to the 3rd?? base camp. Any information would be appreciated. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48
14 hours ago, sian leitch said:

Hello I wonder if you could help me as I research my great grandfather John Henry perkins who was a shoesmith/farrier in the 573 RASC HT. It appears that he was sent to Salonika in 1916  to the 3rd?? base camp. Any information would be appreciated. 

 

I helps if you start with what you know.

 

He was a 'Special Enlistment' as a shoeing smith.  This means he was recruited to follow his peacetime occupation while serving in the Army.  Typically men who were enlisted in this way were paid more than the infantryman (his record shows 5 shillings a day as opposed to the infantryman's basic of a shilling a day).  They received the minimum of training as a soldier, more an orientation to understand the 'Army way' but would be required to take trade or proficiency tests.  They were not expected to fight, nor to be deployed on the front line however in times of crisis especially on the Western Front they would be expected to know how to use a rifle.

 

As his record shows he enlisted on the 8th March 1915 and was allocated the number TS/6431.  He made and fitted horse shoes He  remained in the UK until 25th January 1916 when he was posted to Salonica where he remained until 7th May 1919.  He embarked for home on the 8th May 1919 and arrived on the 24th May.  He was discharged  to the Class Z Reserve on the 2Ist  June 1919 at Woolwich.  He was finally demobilised on 31 March 1920 (Kings Regulation para 392 xxviii, i.e. reason for discharge - on demobilisation).  He joined the TA in July and if you go backwards on Ancestry from the image you land on from the search page there are extensive details of his post war service.  He was eventually promoted to Farrier Sergeant in the TA.

 

His discharge papers show 573 Coy 3 BHTD (suggest  3rd Base Horse Transport Depot, or as you say 3rd Base Depot).  The Base Depot was around the port of Salonika and this is confirmed by a minor disciplinary report in his record which notes he was disciplined at Salonika.  The same sheet, which unfortunately has been chopped off gives a clue to his UK posting as Hampshire, one entry is .....ry Hill (? Strawberry Hill Newbury?).  He would have been around Aldershot.

 

On discharge he received a pension as, in common with most soldiers who served in Salonika, he was suffering from malaria.  There is no indication in the surviving records that he served elsewhere than at the Base Depot at Salonika where he would have carried on his army and peacetime trade shoeing and looking after horses.

 

Ken

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×