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Remembered Today:

596th M.T. Army Service Corps


chrispy49
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I am helping with a project for a small village in Northamptonshire that is recording men connected with the village that died in the Great War. I'm trying to find details of Pte Arthur Coomber M2/104964 596th Motor Transport Company. Army Service Corps.

I know he was killed aboard SS Woodfield on 3 Nov 1915 and commemorated both at Gibraltar and Cranford St John, Northamptonshire.

I've searched the Long Long Trail regarding the various MT companies but it seems to have every number but 596th.

Can any of you more learned colleagues provide me with information regarding the 596th M.T. Coy.

A long shot I know but if anyone has info on Arthur, other than the sinking of the Woodfield, I would be very grateful if you would share it.

Chris.

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Source: Book - Army Service Corps 1902-1918 (by Michael Young, 2000), page 302:

596th Company, ASC

Formed 11 Oct 1915

Disbanded 31 Oct 1921

Theatre / Order of Battle:

Egypt GHQ

Mesopotamia, Army Troops

Bushire Force

Role in First World War:

GHQ Ammunition Company (MT) - took part in relief of Kut al Amara

Division Supply Column (MT)

Detachment with Bushire Force in the Persian Gulf

War Diaries - WO95/5276; WO95/5005; WO95/5010

Mark

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Hi Mark,

Thank you very much for the information and I wonder if you could help me a little more?

Arthur embarked at Avonmouth on SS Woodfield which was transporting petrol to the Dardanells. The first port of call was Gibraltar. Bearing in mind you said the Company was formed in October 1915 should I assume that this might well be their first 'convoy'. Would Arthur, had he not been killed, have been likely to go back and forth between the UK and the theatre of war (driving a petrol tanker)?

I'm fairly new to searching records but I note from his Medal Record Index Card that he was awarded the British War Medal but not the Victory Medal. Also on his card there is no record of his death but has Retd (M43 K.R. 1912) 8163/Adt. Any idea why he didn't get the Victory Medal or the meaning of what is written in the Remarks section. Any help would be appreciated.

Regards,

Chris.

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Hej Chris

At this site [ http://www.remembering.org.uk/lost_at_sea.htm ] I came across Pte Reginald Francis Ruck, ASC, who was also killed on SS Woodfield.

His service records are available on Ancestry.

He too was only awarded the British War Medal, as he had not seen any previous service.

To qualify for the Victory Medal (please correct me if I'm wrong) you had to enter a theatre of war, and since he was killed at sea, he had not 'entered' the theatre of war.

Therefore he was not qualified for the Victory Medal.

Steen

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Chris,

It would seem likely that he was with his unit (596th Coy ASC) en route to a posting in Egypt and/or Mesopotamia when he was killed by shellfire on 3/11/15 (source: Medal Roll).

He did not land, so he was entitled to a BWM only - but this medal was returned to the issuers.

The war diary of this company in WO95/5276 covers the period Nov 1915 - May 1916, so may have something on the incident.

The Army Register of Effects (Ancestry) states that his effects and war gratuity were sent to his widow Sarah.

This Arthur Coomber was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and lived / enlisted in Sheffield, Yorkshire (source: Soldiers Died in the Great War).

Mark

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WOODFIELD sunk by U12 (Austrian) 40miles ESE of Ceuta (western Med off Morocco). 6 Killed 14 wounded. Survivors 45 British and 9 Arab firemen.Reports state the vessel was in ballast.

The ASC soldiers were likely en route to join a unit in Salonika. There may be more details on a manifest of troops carried in the series WO25 at Kew.

595, 597 and 598 all saw service in Salonika under various titles.

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Thank you all very much for the information you have supplied. The explanation regarding the Victory Medal makes sense but to me seems a bit unfair as I had assumed the Med' was a war zone. After all the ship was sunk and the men killed by enemy action. Still 'rules is rules'. I remember in my Naval career not getting a Borneo Medal because the ship sail out of the zone one day before the end of the qualifying period. Still after 27 months away it was good to get home three days early!

Has anyone got any idea regarding the remarks on the MIC "Retd (M43 K.R. 1912) 8163/Adt".

Mark where did you find that his medal was returned to the issuers?

Regards,

Chris.

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Mark

Adt=the medal wasn't marked correctly so was returned for amendment. I don't know if they skimmed it and re-engraved or did another one.

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Thank you both very much; you've given me everything I need to know. Also thank you for the link on the LLT.

That's the last of the 12 men from the village that died fully recorded. Now to start on the 66 that survived the war...and no doubt more questions.

Best wishes,

Chris.

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