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Staffordshire men in the Lincolnshire Regiment?


M_O'Neill
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Hey all,

Some of you may have seen a thread of mine in the Soldiers section looking for information on my great-grandfather, John Thomas Monckton. I believe he may have been a private in the Lincolnshire Regiment, starting off in the 2/5th battalion (regimental number 203416), but I've yet to confirm this is indeed the same man.

The thing is, my great-grandfather was born and lived in Pattingham, South Staffordshire (near the Shropshire border). I was wondering, assuming this is the same man, why he would have ended up in the Lincolnshires rather than, say, the South Staffordshires. Did the Lincolns regularly take in recruits from Staffordshire as part of the 59th 2nd North Midlands division? Were reservists and second line troops more likely to be sent to regiments other than their 'local' ones? He would have been in his thirties during the war, so I assume that's why he was in a second line battalion in 1916.

Does anyone know of other Staffordshire men serving in the Lincolnshire regiment? If I know that this did happen I can get a step closer to confirming that Pte J T Monckton is indeed the same man as my great-grandfather.

Thank you in advance. :)

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Hi

I've researched many of the memorial in and around Walsall and there are many men who were transferred from the SSR to the Lincs (and the Suffolks for that matter). Not unusual, needs must and all that,

Also, the men joined all sorts of units, not necessarily the local one.

My grand-father (my Avatar) was from Widnes and did join the local regiment, the South Lancs, but was killed serving in the Worcestershire Regiment.

Regards,

Graeme

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Do you know if the Absent Voter List survives for his address? This may list his unit which will confirm it is the same man.

He was serving in the 4th Bn when renumbered with a six digit number in March 1917.

Direct enlistment into the TF ceased in February 1916 and the introduction of the Military Service Act, so the local issue is not especially relevant. As an older, married man he was probably posted to a second line unit for training but it so happens they were sent to Dublin which was, at the time considered 'Home'.

You may be in the ball park with your other post but in the absence of a service record your guess is as good as anyone.

Ken

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Hi,

If this is your great grandfather he would have actually served with the 10th [service] battalion Lincolnshire Regt, the Grimsby Chums.

I may be able to piece together his movements. Bear with me it's quite complex!

Firstly, from the Lincs Regt Medal Rolls:

203416 John Thomas Monckton [in order same number] 2/5th Lincolns, 1/4th Lincolns, 10th Lincolns.

I have found 3 service records on ancestry for three men who served with service numbers close to JTM. The records are [almost] identical. It is likely that men with SR's close together usually had similar records.

203406 Rolla Griffin

203407 Amos Hammersley

203412 John Joseph Keay

Griffin and Hammersley were both from Leicestershire, Keay from Walsall.

The North Midland Division Territorials were raised in North and South Staffs, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Notts and Derbys. I suspect that these men were originally meant for the NMD as replacements, but as Graeme has said, sometimes 'needs must'.

All three were it would seem 'Derby Scheme' men [see long long trail for explanation]

Griffin attested 10/12/15 and mobilised 22/5/16 Hammersley, att, 21/2/16 mob. 4/4/16 Keay att: 17/2/16 mob: 16/4/16

All three were posted on mobilisation to the Durham Light Infantry, I think, Infantry Works battalion.

On 19/12/1916 they were transferred to the 4th [Reserve] battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. The 4th Reserve [based at Saltfleetby, Lincs] was by this time the training reserve for both the 1/4th, 2/4th, 1/5th and 2/5th Lincolns TF [prior to this both battalions had a 3/4th and 3/5th which supplied replacement, they had been amalagamated].

The '20' numbers were originally destined to be used by the 4th Battalion - 5th battalion started '24'

All three men were, i assume after training at Saltfleetby, they were all posted during the second half of March 1917 to various Lincs TF battalions, Griffin and Hammersley the 1/5th, Keay 1/4th and GF Monckton the 2/5th.

Griffin and Hammersley Departed Folkestone and arrived Bologne 28/3/1917 Keay, slightly earlier.

They would all have been destined for their respective TF battalions, but while being held at probably Etaples were again posted this time to the 10th Lincolns, the Grimsby Chums ['needs must'] Griffin and Hammersley were posted on 18/4/17 joining the Chums 'in the field' on 21/4/17, Keay on the 7/4/17. I am pretty sure that this would applied to GG-F Monckton, but exact date unknown. Men numbered from 203338 - 203449 almost to a man underwent the same process, according to the Lincs medal rolls.

Griffin and Hammersley were both posted Missing on 5/5/1917 having become prisoners of war on 28/4/1917, seven days after joing the Chums. Keay was wounded on the same day.

I think this was the Chums attack upon the Chemical Works at Rouex [will need to check that].

I strongley suspect that your Great Grandfather's service record mirrored these three mens records up to that date and that he was involved with the Chums at the Chemical Works on 28/4/17. After that I am afraid I cannot help as his SR appears not to have survived.

If memory serves the Chums suffered greatly at Roeux sustaining more casualties than suffered at La Boiselle on the first day of the Somme...a real baptism of fire for your GGF indeed.

I also strongly suspect that GGF was quickly transferred to the 1/4th Lincolns [from the 2/5th] and actually went out with Keay.

I hope that i'm right and that you are able to understand this. If you need any clarification please ask.

Best wishes,

Steve.

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Hello all,

Thank you all for your responses! Graeme, thank you for confirming that people sometimes served in non-local regiments. It's what I suspected, but I wasn't sure what the arrangements were during WW1.

Ken & Steve, thank you for the information, that all makes a lot of sense to me. Ken, that's quite some work in piecing together all those movements! If that is the route my G-Grandfather took then he'd really been kicked pillar to post during the war! One question, Steve, if my G-Grandfather did follow the same path as these men, does that mean he would or wouldn't have been in Dublin for the Easter Rising?

It's interesting you mentioned the Derby Scheme, I took a look at the dates involved. My G-Grandfather was born c1884, and would have been single if and when he attested. I looked at the list of Group Scheme numbers and that would have put him in group 14 - call up date 18th March 1916. As it happens my G-Grandfather married my G-Grandmother in that month. So I guess he could have either been in the Derby Scheme and got his call up. Perhaps they were married on the expectation of his imminent posting abroad.

As to whether or not it's the same man, I have no confirmation, but it seems more and more likely to me that it is the same person. The gap between his marriage and his first child suggests he was definitely away for the war, and I can't find any other John Thomas Moncktons listed in the rolls. I shall try to find out if there's an absent voters list for Pattingham.

Thank you all for your help, it's very much appreciated! :)

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Hi Again,

I think that this man is your GGF.

He would not have been involved in the Easter Rising. The 2/5th were at about half strength when they went to Ireland and they were all late 14/1915 volunteers and all Lincolnshire men. I also think that GGF was in the 2/5th in name only, soon being earmarked for the 1/4th. In early 1917 the 46th Division were in a 'quiet' sector and although he was meant to join the 1/4th he was again posted but to the Chums who were in greater need of men as they were about to be involved in action. [The 2/5th went out in February 1917. I have yet to find any '20****' men who went out in feb 17 who were not 2/4th men, all the 2/5th men who went out then that i am aware of were '24****' men].

Your theory regarding the link between the date he got married and being called up makes a lot of sense and for me confirms that this is the man.

I think that you would be on the right track if you researched the 10th Lincolns action at Roeux. I am almost positive that GGF was involved in this action. He obviously survived it but many inexperienced lads like him didn't. What happened to him after that is much harder to research. The best thing for him was to perhaps receive a 'blighty' at Rouex and get out of the war altogether! Roeux was enough of an experience for anyone.

If he got through 'unscathed' he would have remained with the Chums, his medal roll confirms this. They were involved in several more actions until disbanded in mid 18. Local newspaper casualty lists for 3-4 weeks after Roeux might confirm whether he was wounded in April 17.

Good hunting,

Steve.

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Once again, thanks Steve for the great info!

It sounds like my great-grandfather's first battle was a real nightmare for everyone involved. I had assumed he made it through the whole war as his first child was born late 1919/ early 1920.Though I guess there's a number of other things he could have been doing for the military during that time as a wounded man. If anyone has links to any good sources for tracking wounded men that'd be a great help.

I shall have to keep searching. Thanks everyone for all your help! I've learnt a lot of very interesting things through this thread. :)

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Some of you may be interested in this photo that I've uncovered. It's not a military photo, but it shows a 'Jack' Monckton (as my great-grandfather apparently preferred to be known) pouring himself a drink during a break from hay-making c1890-1900, Pattingham, Staffordshire

It's not a military photo, but I thought you'd like to see the face of the man you've been helping me research, as a thank you. :)

Strange to think that none of these men and boys knew what was approaching in the years ahead.

14268_0.jpg

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Just spotted this item

Full name: Frank Parton

•Parents: Son of Francis Thomas and Elizabeth Parton, of Bishops Offley, Eccleshall.

•Regiment: 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment (part of 21st Division).

•Rank: Private

•Service number: 51876

•Date of death: 21st August 1918

The first day of the Battle of St Albert (part of the 2nd Battle of the Somme) in which the 21st Division took part.

•Age: 19

http://www.eccleshallguide.com/egwp/parton_frank.htm

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That's an interesting find, Martin! I was reading about the Derby Scheme and it seems men mobilised under it had no say what regiments they joined, they were just sent where they were needed. I guess that might explain why my great-grandfather ended up in Lincolnshire. Interestingly, assuming he was indeed called up as part of the scheme, he'd have been in one of the last call-ups made before the scheme was abandoned and conscription brought in.

I've not found any record of his wounding, but I'm beginning to think he must have been either wounded or captured at some point between spring 1917 and mid 1918. If he was still in fighting shape when the 10th Lincolnshires were disbanded mid 1918 I assume he'd have been transferred to another battalion, which his MIC indicates wasn't the case. The fact he wasn't makes me think he was out of the war by that point. The question then is when and why.

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