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John_Hartley

Army List - copies at Kew?

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John_Hartley

A response on another thread prompts me to raise this issue.

I've a recollection of seeing shelves of the Army List volumes at the National Archives. I've never looked at them but the post on my recent thread suggests I should. I hadnt realised that the volumes listed officers by battalion. As such, I'm presuming that, within these volumes, it should be possible to identify every officer who served with a particular unit (in this case, 6th Cheshires). Would that presumption be correct? And, if so, can anyone advise how practical it might be to digi-photo sufficient information to be reasonably sure of getting a full listing? I don't know if the NA has a full set of volumes which I think were published monthly but I wonder if accessing a reasonable sample for the war years would be OK, rather than needing to do each month (trying to minimise the amount of time I need to spend at Kew). Any general advice on this welcomed.

John

(EDIT: I see there is also a List published quarterly. Does that carry the information in the same "by battalion" format?)

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rflory

John: Only the Monthly Army Lists cover the officers in "battalion order". The Quarterly Army Lists are by rank and date of rank and only include regular officers. As officers were added to battalions on a monthly basis I would think that the more issues you check the more complete your listing of officers for the 6th Cheshires would be.

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ss002d6252
As such, I'm presuming that, within these volumes, it should be possible to identify every officer who served with a particular unit (in this case, 6th Cheshires). Would that presumption be correct?

The army lists don't always show officers who were with battalions - espcially temporary attachments and those who joined and left a battalion between army lists.

Quarterly lists are available here - http://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/pageturner.cfm?id=97136046- and list officers in order of seniority.

The monthly list are sometimes available online but there's not a complete run of them that I know of online.

Craig

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CGM

...............

The monthly list are sometimes available online but there's not a complete run of them that I know of online.

Craig

e.g. The Genealogist has:

1910 Harts Army List
1912 Harts Army List
1914 (August) Army List
1914 (June) Army List
1915 (February) Army List
1916 (March) Army List
1916 (October) Army List Vol.1
1916 (October) Army List Vol.2
1917 Army List
1918 Army List Vol.1
1918 Army List Vol.2
1923 Army List
plus others before and after the above dates

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Muerrisch

It is perfectly do-able to bag the whole lot, month by month. From memory, Sept 1914 was never published [or it might be Oct]. Best to do the whole regiment, to track froms and tos, only a page or two in August 14, rising to half a dozen perhaps Nov Dec 1918. You will quickly become an expert on finding your regiment, always in 22nd place in the line infantry area.

Remember to copy the legend/ decode at the front of each volume.

I have a complete set of RWF [as you can imagine] and it was not arduous. Once you are into it, a couple of hours hard work should do the trick.

Very well worth the effort!

Go for it.

One other thing. Some major provincial libraries have runs of Lists, as do the "Copyright" Libraries such as Oxford and Cambridge.

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petwes

It's a few years since I last used them. Then they were on open shelves and you didn't need a reader card to access them (I remember I was waiting for my card while I checked an officer). I would echo the point about copying the date down for each record; I didn't and now I can't remember which picture is for which month!

Peter

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Muerrisch

Open shelves.

I seem to remember that Cardiff Public Library has a massive run of monthlies, too.

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Ron Clifton

Does the National Archives hold Monthly Army Lists? If so, could someone provide a catalogue reference.

I can find Annual Army Lists WO 65 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14273

and Quarterly Army Lists WO 66 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14274, but could not find Monthly Army Lists.

Cheers

Maureen

Beware: WO65 ends in 1879, and WO66 runs from 1879 to 1900. No help for the Great War period.

Ron

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Maureene

Thanks all for the advice

Cheers

Maureen

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John_Hartley

As I recall, the open shelves with the Lists are near the main library shelves (on the way to the first floor toilets - my reason for passing them in the first place).

Sounds like a very worthwhile couple of hours or so and I'm grateful for Grumpy's suggestion about doing the whole regiment (and the codes). Looks like I need another night at the Richmond Premier Inn to give me two full days.

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Stebie9173

I think it took me a couple of hours to do the whole lot for my lot, month by month (though I do remember flagging towards the end, so it may have been a bit longer). I think I have about a month a year "missing" - probably my fault rather than the shelves. Last I saw (six months ago?) they were round between the Library area and the seating area in the non-secure area. The usual caveats about image blurring on cameras apply as I took my photos in situ - I suspect there isn't a camera stand around.

Steve.

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John_Hartley

I've a reasonably steady camera hand although I will crank up the ISO speed as a couple of hours holding the beast could be a bit trying.

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John_Hartley

Some further advice, please, from folk who have done the exercise.

How did you subsequently organise the data for analysis?

My initial thought was spreadsheet - names down, monthly columns across indicating arrival (from where), continued presence (with rank), departure (to where). Any thoughts?

The long term project is to be able to write a mini-biography for each officer who served with battalion so the Army list is mainly one of identification of people, although the from/to data is obviously helpful.

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RammyLad1

Are these the monthly lists you are after John? If so there are shelves full of them at Manchester Central library. Hope it saves a trip to Kew.

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Guest

Some further advice, please, from folk who have done the exercise.

How did you subsequently organise the data for analysis?

My initial thought was spreadsheet - names down, monthly columns across indicating arrival (from where), continued presence (with rank), departure (to where). Any thoughts?

The long term project is to be able to write a mini-biography for each officer who served with battalion so the Army list is mainly one of identification of people, although the from/to data is obviously helpful.

John

I have done this exercise for over 250 battalions. I would strongly recommend using a spreadsheet and creating separate columns for every piece of data i.e separate initails/forenames from surnames etc, disembarkation dates etc. At the risk of stating the obvious, it is also useful to glean data from the following:

1. 1914 Star (sometimes contain info not recorded on MICs)

2. 1914-15 Star - ditto

3. British War Medal - ditto

4. SWB

5. Bond of Sacrifice Vol I

6. Bond of Sacrifice Vol II

7. MICs (often provide additional info to the medal rolls)

8. ODGW - often dates differ from other sources.

9. CWGC

10. Published Histories

11. Regimental Journals

12. War Diaries

13. Local Newspapers

One of the biggest challenges is how to present info from different sources (I use colour codes) and also how to record conflicting data from separate sources. I found that the ODGW/CWGC data and dates in the diares often conflicted, some by an appreciable margin. Similarly dates of arrival and disembarkation dates often differed considerably, with dates of disembarkation sometimes given days after the Officers are recorded in the war diaries as having arrived at their battalions.

As be aware that some 1/6th Bn Officers may have been posted to other regiments or battalions, and non-Cheshire Regt men may well have been posted in. As you doubtless know the war diaries captured 99% of the movements of Officers.

Edit. Also be aware that some officers were commissioned and were killed before they were entered into the lists.

Also the men posted into the 1/6th may well have come from other Cheshire Regt TF battalions so just photographing the 1/6th will not capture them all. I have been working through a similar exercise for the 12 battalions of the 13th DIV and some battalions had officers from as many as five different battalions of the same regiment. Needles and haystack. The 'Active List and Reserve of Officers' at the back of the Army List is most useful for tracking known nmaes who don't appear under the relevant battalion.

One approach I have found useful is to start with the pre war 1914 Army List (available Free online) and then use the Nov 1914 Army List (ditto) and then use Army Lists every 6 months' 'brackets' thereafter. There were considerable lags between Officers being killed and being removed from lists, so the 'bracketing' approach is speeds things up a bit.

Here are trhe 1/6th Cheshires from the 1914 Star medal roll - disembarkation dates etc.

2 Lt S A Alexander 10/11/1914

Lt H R Bently 22/11/1914

2 Lt C B Brockbank 10/11/1914

2 Lt H B Burgess 10/11/1914

Capt H Cooke 10/11/1914

2 Lt R R Cooke 10/11/1914

Capt J M Diggles 10/11/1914

Capt W D Dodge 10/11/1914

Capt T Gibbons 10/11/1914

Lt G F Haworth 10/11/1914

Maj H Hesse 10/11/1914

Lt Col G B Heywood 10/11/1914

Lt J C Hoyle 10/11/1914

Lt W R Innes 10/11/1914

Lt J E Johnston 10/11/1914

Capt R Kirk 10/11/1914 KIA no date given

Capt F A Leah 10/11/1914

Capt H W Nicholson 13/11/1914 KIA 17/11/14

KIA Lt C Norman 10/11/1914

Lt R Norman 10/11/1914

Maj QM J Rawlinson 10/11/1914

2 Lt W L Read 10/11/1914

Maj R Rostron 10/11/1914

Capt A W Smith 10/11/1914

Lt E E Spence 10/11/1914

Capt H S Walker 04/09/1914

Capt C F White 10/11/1914

Lt F White 10/11/1914 KIA no date given

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John_Hartley

Thanks for the local tip, Rammy.

I'm down at Kew this week accessing a second batch of officer files. I'd thought it would probably run into part of a second day, so it's no hassle to spend the full second day and stop another night. Mrs H quite likes it when I'm away!

Handy to know there's stuff at Central if I miss anything.

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themonsstar

Hi John

I been copying the Army Lists for the Manchester Regt and its predecessors (63rd & 96th ) from 1758-1958 most of them are on the Manchesters forum its taken a long time but well worth the time it as taken to get them all in one place.

Good luck with your research

Roy

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Gardenerbill

Quick question, do the army lists include ASC?

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CROONAERT

Quick question, do the army lists include ASC?

Quick answer for a quick question .... Yes.

Dave

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Gardenerbill

Thanks Dave,

I work in Manchester City centre, think I will pop down to the Central Library and have a look.

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Staffsyeoman

The Army Lists are on the open shelves at Kew near the computer terminals and the Family History Research Centre. I had a minor heart palpitation as I couldn't find them last week - they have shuffled the shelves around but they are still there. Many of them are now getting fragile.

Yes, it should be able to track all the officers in an infantry battalion - but it is very labour intensive for many of the reasons above, and others such as its complilation in arrears (officers now dead can hang over in a list until another issue depending on the cutoff date) and, of course, it was compiled by human beings and occasional errors creep in. (It's a compliment to the staff - and the checkers - that more did not).

One (regular) officer who I know left his home regiment for the MGC did indeed have m.g. appended to his entry under the regiment to indicate "attached Machine Gun Corps" - yet for three months in 1917 this changes to t.c. - attached Tank Corps - but there is no other track or trace of him being with them. His service record survives, but badly and heavily weeded...

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Gardenerbill

Just been down to Manchester Central Library, the ASC entries are not very helpful, just a list by rank with a date, no units.

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John_Hartley

Job done !

As indicated, it took a couple of hours. And I found it quite hard on my back so I packed in after an hour yesterday and then went back to finish off this morning before setting off for home.

I'm hoping all pages will be legible but it was quite tricky getting a flattish page due to the size of the volumes. At a quick glance (so I may be wrong) it doesnt look as though there's any annotation to indicate if a man was overseas with the 1/6th Cheshires or serving with one of the two reserve battalions. As such, it may not be quite as helpful as I'd hoped.

John

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