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London Regiment / Trench Mortar Battery info ...


Guest JulianHicks
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Guest JulianHicks

As a newcomer to WWI research, following a 'lucky' online search recently, I finally found my paternal grandfather's online WW1 records, having previously known nothing about his service in WW1.

The scanned details weren't too clear but I now know that he was 'called up' into the 2/17th London Regiment in Jan 1917 and as part of the 180th Brigade sailed first to Salonika in Feb 1917 and then onto Egypt in Jun 1917, where he stayed until returning home in Oct 1919.

I'm trying to work out how to find out where he went exactly during his service but it's a bit confusing to me as he transferred to and from a TMB and onto a different regiment.

His name was William Hicks and his 'War Medal Book' records are as follows:

2/17 London : Feb 1917 - Oct 1917

180 TMB : Oct 1917 - Jul 1918

2/19 London : Jul 1918 - Oct 1918

180 TMB : Oct 1918 - Nov 1918

I'd be grateful if someone could explain:

1) why he might have 'moved around' in and out of the TMB [which I assume is Trench Mortar Battery]? and

2) which war diaries(?) would cover his geographical movements in both regiments and the TMB?

Thanks - Julian

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Julian

The 180th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery war diary for this period are at this reference but need to be visited at Kew as they aren't digital.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7359711

The same box has 2/19th Londons and 2/17th Londons are here - http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7359702

Often men were seconded to the Trench Mortar Battery in the brigade but it was more usual for them to later to return to the same battalion. In this case 2/17th Londons had left the brigade by this time and gone to France (July 1918) so he was presumably sent back to another infantry battalion in the brigade (2/19th Londons) as he could not easily join his own.

That's probably the reason for this less usual posting.

Kind regards

Colin

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Guest JulianHicks

Colin, thanks for your comments.

Just had a look at his somewhat unclear scan of his records and it looks like he might have been hospitalised during June 1918! Maybe he 'missed the boat' figuratively and literally and that's why he became part of 2/19th?

Can anyone confirm that the TMB 'followed' the original regiment so that the diaries I need to check are the 2/17th and the 2/19th for the appropriate dates?

Thanks - Julian

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Julian,

Welcome to the forum. From the records I have the 180th Trench Mortar Battery joined on 4 July 1916 and stayed with the Brigade, and Division until disbandment in 1919.

If you want to get a picture of where he went and what he did, have a look at both battalion war diaries. There is a unit history of the 2/19th available at Naval and Military Press. They also have the Division History, the 60th Division.

In short, a division who fought the Bulgarians in the mountains of Greece, took part in the fall of Beersheba, saw the surrender of Jerusalem and opened the gates for the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Be very proud of what your grandfather did. Your grandfather and my grand pa stomped the same dirt and he is a hero to me.

Cheers Andy.

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