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Remembered Today:

Robert Carnegie Frazer, Northern Cyclists


FrancesH

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An acquaintance has sent me the attached document relating to his father. He thinks his father Robert was "enrolled in 23/24 Northern Cyclist Battalion raised by G. Cunliffe-Owen". (I have been unable to identify this Cunliffe-Owen, although he is presumably linked to the one who had an aircraft factory.) Robert was born in Seaton Sluice, Northumberland and his service number was 93090. His son is very anxious to know anything at all about his father's wartime service and so far I have been unable to help him. I am sure there is someone or several someones who could help his gentleman know a little bit more.

post-102216-0-17206000-1431883882_thumb.

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There is an SWB card for Robert Fraser which shows that he enlisted 5/10/1914 and was discharged 20/12/1919. It shows him as 205984 1st London Regiment, previously 1073 25th Northumberland Fusiliers and 37710 Royal Fusiliers. Ancestry - http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/1262/30850_A000567-02052/5504816?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fgss%3dangs-c%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26msT%3d1%26gsfn_x%3d1%26gsln_x%3d1%26MSAV%3d1%26gskw%3d%2522205984%2522%26gskw_x%3d1%26cpxt%3d1%26cp%3d11%26catbucket%3drstp%26uidh%3didw%26pcat%3d39%26h%3d5504816%26db%3dMedalRolls%26indiv%3d1%26ml_rpos%3d11&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnRecord

Hopefully, someone brainier than me can explain his service.

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Thank you! I looked on Ancestry for his medal card but couldn't find it. Incompetent me. Please someone come forward to help! The gentleman concerned is not in good health and I would really like to give him as much information as I can.

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Hi,

I am afraid I must correct IPT, who has been misled by a very poor SWB Card,

Robert Fraser was numbered 1073 in the Northern Cyclists, a whole batch of Northern Cyclists joined the 34 Division in August/September 1916 and were distributed between the depleted battalions of the Tyneside Irish and Scottish Brigades. These Northern Cyclists were re-numbered in the NF sequence 37*** and Robert served as a Sgt in the 2nd Tyneside Irish with the number 37710. When the Tyneside Irish Brigade was broken up in 1918 the men were sent to many different units a fair few wound up in the London Regiment.

Sorry IPT on the face value of the card you were absolutely correct but with specialist knowledge of both Northern Cyclists and the Tyneside Irish I can see exactly the mistakes made by whoever wrote the card.

D Company of the 1/1st Northern Cyclist was split between the four battalions of the Tyneside Irish Brigade.

These two lads joined the 3rd Tyneside Irish, the lad on the left was Killed at Arras on the 9/4/17.

regards

John

PS see "Tyneside Irish" pub by Pen & Sword.

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post-27843-0-14423900-1431891949_thumb.j

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OK so back to square one! John, as you have specialist knowledge of the Northern Cyclists can you tell me any more about them? And do you know who Cunliffe-Owen was?

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Mrs Cunliffe -Owen was nothing top do with the Northern Cyclists or the Tyneside Irish.

She raised the Sportsman's Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers.

I think your family historian has distorted facts a little.

regards

John

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This is not a 'family historian', this is my neighbour himself! The information about G. Cunliffe-Owen as given above was one of the few facts he had gleaned from his father. The document shown above shows he did serve in the Northern Cyclists, If G. Cunliffe-Owen is the lady you mention, there clearly is some confusion, and probably not something I can sort out for him.

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Looking again at the document I submitted above, there is one bit I can't read. Can anyone tell me what it says? I can see the word 'Three'.

post-102216-0-89046800-1432293333_thumb.

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This is not a 'family historian', this is my neighbour himself! The information about G. Cunliffe-Owen as given above was one of the few facts he had gleaned from his father. The document shown above shows he did serve in the Northern Cyclists, If G. Cunliffe-Owen is the lady you mention, there clearly is some confusion, and probably not something I can sort out for him.

There's some information on Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen in The Sportsman's Gazette blog. Her first name was Emma but she signed the "E" like a "G", hence the confusion. She raised the 1st and 2nd Sportsman's Battalions, later renamed the 23rd and 24th Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers. I have not come across any link between her and any Cyclist battalions. Is it possible that Fraser served for a while in the 23rd of 24th Fusiliers?

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Hello.

It does say on the discharge paper posted above "previously served 24 Bn Royal Fusiliers".

Mick.

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An acquaintance has sent me the attached document relating to his father. He thinks his father Robert was "enrolled in 23/24 Northern Cyclist Battalion raised by G. Cunliffe-Owen". (I have been unable to identify this Cunliffe-Owen, although he is presumably linked to the one who had an aircraft factory.) Robert was born in Seaton Sluice, Northumberland and his service number was 93090. His son is very anxious to know anything at all about his father's wartime service and so far I have been unable to help him. I am sure there is someone or several someones who could help his gentleman know a little bit more.

FrancesH, do you have any other pages of the document image you posted? It seems that Robert Frazer served in at least three units: the Northern Cyclists; the Northumberland Fusiliers; and the 24th Royal Fusiliers (aka the Second Sportsman's Battalion, raised by Mrs. E. Cunliffe-Owen), but the sequence is not clear.

If he enlisted on October 5th, 1914, as recorded on the document you provided, then it would not have been with the 24th Royal Fusiliers as that unit was not formed until November 1914.

Hello.

It does say on the discharge paper posted above "previously served 24 Bn Royal Fusiliers".

Mick.

Thanks, Mick, I missed that!

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The Medal Rolls and discharge certificate attached give a clear indication of his service.

Enlisted Northern Cyclists Battalion (a TF unit based at Sandyford Road Newcastle, with other Companies based in other towns in the North East) on the 5th October 1914. The TF was formed for Home Service and this Battalion's war station as shown on the LLT was Morpeth, later moving to Alnwick.

He either volunteered or was compulsorily transferred to the Northumberland Fusiliers (no doubt John can help with that) and was posted to France on the 27th July 1916. He would have gone first to the Infantry Base Depot and was then posted to the 25th Bn (Tyneside Irish) Northumberland Fusiliers with the number 37710 (in fairness to the clerk making up the SWB card this number is shown against the Royal Fusiliers on the Roll with a corrective '^' symbol!).

He remained with them until the 28th August 1918. The war diary for this Battalion for 1918 is on Ancestry but I can't see any earlier dates.

On the 29th August 1918 he was posted to the 24th Bn Royal Fusiliers and was on their strength until the 19th September 1918.

The war diary is on Ancestry and shows some fierce fighting at the beginning of September.

On the 19th they were out of the line when it appears he was transferred to the 1st Bn London Regiment and renumbered 205894 and from where he was discharged as shown above, however the LLT suggests they disembodied earlier in May so there's a bit of a mystery there. The 1st Londons were originally a TF unit associated with the Royal Fusiliers so a bit of a sideways move.

The man listed two above him on the Roll was KiA on 30 September 1918. I wonder if this is when Pte Frazer was wounded in the head and arm.

I can't find him on casualty lists but the local newspaper may have recorded it.

I think critical to the bit you can't read (I think I can make out Active and Three) is the form entry 'Has served...', and then your scan degrades.

It would be useful to pin down when he was wounded but I have to take the dog out!

Ken

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The Medal Rolls and discharge certificate attached give a clear indication of his service.

Enlisted Northern Cyclists Battalion (a TF unit based at Sandyford Road Newcastle, with other Companies based in other towns in the North East) on the 5th October 1914. The TF was formed for Home Service and this Battalion's war station as shown on the LLT was Morpeth, later moving to Alnwick.

He either volunteered or was compulsorily transferred to the Northumberland Fusiliers (no doubt John can help with that) and was posted to France on the 27th July 1916. He would have gone first to the Infantry Base Depot and was then posted to the 25th Bn (Tyneside Irish) Northumberland Fusiliers with the number 37710 (in fairness to the clerk making up the SWB card this number is shown against the Royal Fusiliers on the Roll with a corrective '^' symbol!).

He remained with them until the 28th August 1918. The war diary for this Battalion for 1918 is on Ancestry but I can't see any earlier dates.

On the 29th August 1918 he was posted to the 24th Bn Royal Fusiliers and was on their strength until the 19th September 1918.

The war diary is on Ancestry and shows some fierce fighting at the beginning of September.

On the 19th they were out of the line when it appears he was transferred to the 1st Bn London Regiment and renumbered 205894 and from where he was discharged as shown above, however the LLT suggests they disembodied earlier in May so there's a bit of a mystery there. The 1st Londons were originally a TF unit associated with the Royal Fusiliers so a bit of a sideways move.

The man listed two above him on the Roll was KiA on 30 September 1918. I wonder if this is when Pte Frazer was wounded in the head and arm.

I can't find him on casualty lists but the local newspaper may have recorded it.

I think critical to the bit you can't read (I think I can make out Active and Three) is the form entry 'Has served...', and then your scan degrades.

It would be useful to pin down when he was wounded but I have to take the dog out!

Ken

Thanks for that, Ken. Excellent work, very helpful.

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Thank you! Elderly acquaintance very thrilled about these discoveries!

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Hello Frances

The words you are unable to decipher are Chevrons : then underneath Three Blue. This indicates three years service in a theatre of war.

Hope this helps.

Regards

Ron

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Thank you -- I would never have thought of 'Chevrons'!

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What a fabulous photo! Thank you so much -- will email on to my cousin, who can give a copy to the elderly gentleman concerned. I'm sure he will be thrilled.

F

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