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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Transferred from 2/6 ash to 1/6 ash: would it have happened and where


wjheys

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MY granddad joined 2/6 ash in November 1914 at Paisley, I have his military records and some medical documents state he was in France between May 1915 and November 1915, but there is no other documentation to support this. My question is in two parts : could he have transferred to 1/6 ash and gone over? Would there be another avenue for me to check? I am going to be in Scotland in August but will have limited time for research, and have know idea where I could find this info.

I appreciate any help you could provide. Thanks!

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Welcome.

His name would be a good start!

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Hi

2/6th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders were the Home service Battalion of the 6th Argylls (territorials) , on mobilisation those members who had signed the Imperial service obligation would have transferred to the 1st battalion in exchange for those of the 1st Battalion who did not elect to serve overseas. the 1st Battalion then trained for war in Bedford while the 2nd Battalion gave basic training to new recruits like your Grandfather in Paisley and held a pool of trained men to supply replacement drafts to the 1st Battalion. The war establishment of the 1st Battalion was about 1100 other ranks, but the 2nd Battalion could have been way over establishment, or under. If the 1st battalion was not up to establishment when ordered to the western front it would have received a replacement draft either in Bedford or in the divisional concentration area in France and Flanders. There after the 2nd Battalion would have provided replacement drafts via the Infantry base depots at Ettaples. If the date of entry into theatre on your Grandfathers Medal Index Card matches closely the date the 1st Battalion Landed in France he was in that 1st replacement Draft. For further info while in Scotland try the Regimental museum and the regimental association.

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He would have been transferred by the Army when they felt he was sufficiently well trained to be an asset in the trenches, not a liability.

The 1/6th A&SH did go to France in May 1915, which may tie in with your grandfather arriving that month, although he could have been a reinforcement to another Battalion, unless you know for sure.

Name and Service Number will help us flesh out what else he might have been involved in.

You mention "medical documents" which infers he may have been wounded... what else do you know about him?

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Thank you so much for answering my post. My grandfather, Hugh Mclay ,enlisted at Paisley ,20th November ,1914. There appear to be two

Service numbers , 4586 ,which on his attestation papers has a line through it with the number 251935 above it. In 1917 he became an officer and was posted to the HLI and went to France with the 18th btn. in 1918. As to the medical documents, one describes his Lewis gun position being hit by artillery fire, killing and wounding some of the crew and him being knocked unconscious and evacuated by 107 field ambulance to 45 cvs.This incident took place on 24 May 1918. Again, I want to thank you very much for your interest in my Grampy, Hugh Mclay.

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A little help on the Service Numbers. Obviously before WW1 the British Army never envisaged having so many men serving and the "old" system" was to give each man a Battalion number, which was fine when only one or two Battalions involved, easy to keep track of. But during the Great War, some Regiments went to 30 or more Battalions and it was often difficult to identify the correct J Smith 1234 as to which of possibly several they were referring to, so the 6 figure unique "Service" Number came in. So grampy Hugh started as 4586 2nd/6th A&SH and after 1917 became 251935.

Officers did NOT have a Service Number in WW1 (they did in WW2) so you'll need to look through the War Diary or perhaps online searching the London or Edinburgh Gazette for his Officer promotions.

Ancestry and other Family History sites often have snippets such as Medal Index Cards, even if lucky copies of Service or Pension records, but on becoming an officer, his papers may have all been bundled into his officer file. You'll need to try all three avenues to ensure you have all that it is possible to find, no doubt helped by the many more expert Pals on here.

It would seem your father and you are very lucky to have been born as the men with Service Numbers BOTH sides of his were killed, and both from Paisley, too, so in all probability they were 3 Pals themselves, no doubt joining the same day. At least their resting places give a clue as to where he likely was at those dates.

One other lad had a close number yet was in the 1st/7th, rather that grampy's unit, but I include for completeness, as with the chap with a 6 figure number close to grampy in 1917/18, again a chap he probably knew well.

REID, J G. Rank: Private. Service No: 4585. Date of Death: 08/06/1915. Age: 20.
Regiment/Service:Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 1st/6th Bn.
Grave Reference: V. C. 14. Cemetery: GUARDS CEMETERY, WINDY CORNER, CUINCHY.
Additional Information:Additional Information:Son of John and Elizabeth Reid, of 5, Ferguslie Buildings, Paisley.
STEVENSON, WILLIAM. Rank: Private. Service No: 4587.Date of Death:16/06/1915. Age: 23.
Regiment/Service:Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 1st/6th Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 43. Memorial: LE TOURET MEMORIAL.
Additional Information:Additional Information:Husband of Rosetta B. Stevenson, of 166, George St., Paisley.
THORLEY, A. Rank: Private. Service No: 251939. Date of Death: 25/08/1918.
Regiment/Service:Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 1st/6th Bn.
Grave Reference: II. B. 8. Cemetery: QUEENS CEMETERY, BUCQUOY
JOHNSTONE, JAMES. Rank: Private. Service No: 4588. Date of Death:15/11/1916. Age: 20.
Regiment/Service:Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders "D" Coy. 1st/7th Bn.
Panel Reference: Pier and Face 15 A and 16 C. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL.
Additional Information:Additional Information:Son of Mrs. Isabella Johnstone, of 73, Queen St., Alva, Clackmannanshire.
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Thank you Kevin for all your help and for all the effort you put into researching this for me. The mystery continues but I now have more leads to go with. All the best to you!!

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I have 2 photos which I will try again to post tomorrow ,thanks again everyone ,this forum has an amazing amount of information,

Cheers, Bill

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sorry picture is sideways, kinda new to this. The other photo is too big, when I can figure out how to shrink it further I will post it.

Cheers, Bill

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The chap front row extreme right is an officer.

You say he was commissioned in 1917 in the HLI, so that gives you an approximate date as I'm guessing this was taken while he was in the UK prior to going to France in 1918.

I did think that officers lace cuffs had gone by 1918 as they made it easy for snipers to pick off the officers, but no doubt some more expert Pal can give better info.

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Thank you, Kevin, I appreciate your help. I downloaded the 18 hli war diary and found an entry as to the artillery strike that killed 7 men and where my granddad was injured. Not much, but I managed to find the names of the seven men killed ,and they are all buried in Martinsart British Cemetery. Also found a photo of where they buried the 7 in the field, under a large cross with all their

names.I will keep digging and see what else I can find. Thank you all, Bill

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