Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Services No longer Required


mickgall
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all

I've been trying for years to solve a family mystery regarding my grandfathers war service. He was a pre-war regular and served until 1925, except he served under an alias. His real name was Albert Edward Gall but he served as Herbert Cook. A few years ago I managed to tracked down his service record. This shows him joining 4 Kings Liverpool regt on 17 Dec 1913. On this he gives the alias Herbert Cook and lies about his age, he states he was born in Liverpool in 1893 when it was really Trunch, in Norfolk 1897.Then the at the time of the 1911 census his family were living in Liverpool and he is shown as serving at sea as a bell boy. So from this I assumed he had absconded from the ship he was serving on, which although not one hundred percent proof seemed a fair guess so problem solved. Then last week on ancestry I found another service record of his, this time for the Royal Marine Artillery in 1912. Hmmmm. On this he gives his real name but again lies about his D.o.B giving 1894 and Dewsbury as the place (which is where his mother came from) . His service is from 12 Dec 1912 – Mar 1913 with Services No Longer Required in the discharge remarks and then what looks like R.M.O. No 1521/13. Does anyone know what this could be? Could it be a Kings reg code for some sort of misdemeanor and a reason for an alias later?

( as an aside In May 1914 he transfers to 120 btty, 27 bgd RFA and serves in them with his brother)

post-4112-0-62538300-1418230024_thumb.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave

When first we commence to deceive"

is what immediately comes to mind in reading this account. Grandfather seems to have been an inveterate "under-ager", and it is possible that he did not tell the whole truth when joining what I assume to be a merchant ship as a "bell boy"; so he might have been discharged rather than himself absconding.

As to the ending of his Royal Marine service, my estimation would be that his being under-age was discovered, possibly after a medical examination, which was one way of investigating suspicions that someone was under age. "Services no longer required" has long been, and still is, a polite way of unilaterally discharging someone without giving them a bad character. The RMO intials after the signature may mean something like Regimental Medical Officer.

When joining the King's Liverpool Regt nine months after his discharge from the RM, he would have faced a question which is still standard in the enlistment process for all the armed forces, asking whether there has been previous service in any of the armed forces. If he owned up, and told the facts, his record of previous lying about age would have caused close questioning about his present age, and his new lying would come to light. So, rather than that risk, he lied again, but this time, apparently, got away with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that Magnumbellum. I hadn't thought about something as simple as lying about his age. On his enlistment papers for the Kings he does state he has no previous service. He does seem pretty determined to join up but then his Father, Uncles and Cousins were serving/served.

Mick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RMO = Royal Marine Order. He was discharged on 7 Feb 1913 to court martial (CM). The period 8 Feb to 14 Mar 1913 is noted as time forfeited (TF), possibly in military detention or prison. His discharge SNLR is certainly not a "polite" discharge without character implications. It is often used for men convicted of serious crimes and, as in this case was applied on his release from custody. Basically the service was saying that this man with only "Fair" character was not wanted (e.g. for theft from his mess-mates). He was not discharged for being under-age.

More detail on the reason for discharge may be found in the RMA discharge and attestation papers in ADM 157 at Kew. His Discharge Book (DB) Number is at the bottom of his record - 15088. His record will be found in this batch of discharge numbers:- http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4119616. There may be other RMA papers here:-

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4119344

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that horatio2. Will look those up next time I'm at Kew.

Mick

Link to comment
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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...