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Remembered Today:

2/6th London Field Ambulance


petet

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Does anyone have any information on 2/6th London Field Ambulance and its movements during the war.

Was it part of 47th Division before it formed part of 60th (London) Division or was it formed specifically for 60th Division's move to Salonika?

I have tried looking for war diaries for both 2/6th LFA and 60th Division, but not had much luck as they don't seem to have been digitised.

I really am scratching around for information, so any help would be much appreciated.

Regards

Pete

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Pete,

WO 95/3029/4 is available for download, but WO 95/4665 and WO 95/4927 aren't as yet. They are the three diaries specifically for 2/6 London Field Ambulance, that I can see on the National Archives Catalogue.

Phil

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Thanks Phil; your feedback is much appreciated.

I need to establish when the 2/6th was formed to ensure that I have all the relevant TNA documents listed for a family who plain to visit the archives when they come to the UK next month

Regards

Pete

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Becke's Order of Battle has 2/6th London Field Ambulance in England with 60th Division in February 1915 and serving with the same division constantly in France, Macedonia and Palestine until late June/early July 1918, when the field ambulances were broken up and replaced by Canadian ones. Service in those three theatres correspond to the diary references Phil gave above.

Becke never has this field ambulance as part of 47th Division. Although 47th was called "2nd London" it was actually a first line division - London had two divisions before the war and both were duplicated by second line divisions during the war.

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I need to establish when the 2/6th was formed to ensure that I have all the relevant TNA documents listed

Regards

Pete

On the 27 August 1914 Lord Esher President of the Territorial Force Association for the County of London announced he had been asked by Lord Kitchener to raise a second unit in reserve for every one that has come forward. So in common with the other second line units the creation of the 2/6th formation dates to the end of August 1914. Second line units usually took the over and under age men, those who had declined overseas service and the unfit initially, also new recruits who were trained up as replacements for the first line.

The war diary begins August 1915 with a summary showing they were detailed to 181 Infantry Brigade 60th Division and stationed in Hertfordshire which was their war station. The summary shows they were still receiving recruits and weeding out Home Service men.

The diary for France is on Ancestry.

Ken

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Thanks for the responses to date.

In the absence of a service record (one of the many that were destroyed) I am trying to get a rough idea of when a person joined the unit (based on a service number of 2075) so all this information helps me build up a picture of how early it may have been. I know he mobilised pre 1917 as he was given a new six digit TF number.

Related thread: HA Thomas element of http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=228962

Regards

Pete

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Hi Pete,

Assuming that the numbers were issued consecutively from the same number block, and that neither man received his number from another RAMC unit, and was subsequently transferred in to the 2/6th retaining his original number, then:

2063 Bennett died with the 2/6th on 3rd May 1916. His Soldiers' Effects record http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60506/42511_6117462_0051-00227/?pid=33218. shows that a War Gratuity payment of £6/- was paid following his death. As payments were based on rates according to the length of active service, "Craig's estimator" estimates a maximum length of 14 months service - i.e. an earliest date of March 1915 for active service. As the numbers of the men are quite close together it is possible that your man joined at that time. or shortly after.

In terms of war diaries, (for more context) it might well be worth getting copies of the Assistant Director Medical Services, 60th Division. There appear to be 4 of them http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r/?_q=assistant+director+medical+services+60+division, two of which are currently available for download. They are likely to contain information that is relevant to the 2/6th FA, but isn't contained in its' diary.

Regards

Chris

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2051/538345 Arthur Cecil Marshall enlisted 9th December 1914

2090/538448 Thomas Alvan Beacon enlisted 22nd January 1915

Guess your man toddled down to Duke of Yorks after Christmas 1914!

Ken

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Hi Ken,

Do you think that he attested/enlisted around Christmas 1914, and it was couple of months before he was "called up", or am I just plain wrong in trying to use the War Gratuity method to try to establish (by comparison) an active service start date. Always keen to learn, and wouldn't want to mislead anyone.

I guess what Pete can be assured of is. that by either method, his man was with the unit when they first ventured abroad.

Regards

Chris

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Thanks for all the feedback; it is very much appreciated.

As you have probably gathered from my signature, my primary area of research is RFC / RAF so I am like a fish out of water on this one. However, the family involved in the research are relatives of the navigator who was killed in action with my partner's grandfather in a Lancaster in February 1945 so I offered to try to help them gather information on their other relatives before they travelled to the UK next month.

I will work on the assumption that he trained with the unit in the UK before mobilising to France (and then to Salonika) and see what information I can gather from the various downloadable diaries. The family plan to visit TNA so I can provide them with the file references for the non digitised records so that they can look through them whilst they are there.

Any other thoughts on other potential data sources would be welcome.

Regards (and thanks again)

Pete

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A couple of follow up questions relating to the unit and HA Thomas:

1. Can I assume that the unit was in Hertfordshire at the time of his mobilisation in late December / early January 1915?

2. Would HA Thomas have been required to sign the "Imperial Service Obligation" before serving overseas?. I note that in a very feint photograph of him there appears to be a badge over his right hand breast pocket; would this have been the imperial brooch or were there other badges worn in this position?

Regards

Pete

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The LLT has a detailed description of the 60th Division's movements in the UK prior to embarking for France.

http://www.1914-1918.net/60div.htm

As he probably enlisted January 1915 they were at tha time in Surrey.

There was an expectation probably from late August/September 1914 that men enlisting in the TF would serve overseas, but Home Service remained an option until the Military Service Act in March 1916. I would think that by choosing to enlist in the FA he almost certainly signed the Imperial Service Obligation on enlistment.

Chris,

Enlistment in the TF in 1914/5 did not work like the 'Group scheme', in that it could not be 'deferred'. Given the geographical nature of the TF men may have remained at the HQ Depot/drill hall until the Unit was up to strength and posted to a war station, but in this case I think it's almost certain he joined straight away and was given a rail warrant to the camp in Surrey. I don't think you are 'wrong' in using the war gratuity method but I think it can only be approximate as there are so many variables within the pay structure. It was after all pretty close. I just prefer to look through the service records, there are twenty five for the 2/6 FA on FMP and they contain so much more insight and information, for example embarkation, boats used and other movements.

I think most of the surviving records on Ancestry will be in the 'Pension collection' , a distinction not made on FMP, as most men in Salonika succumbed to malaria, and in the Middle East dysentery and similar complaint.

Ken

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Thanks again for your help; I am gradually managing to piece together some form of timeline for the likely movements.of HA Thomas with 2/6th LFA

On the subject of the "Imperial Service Brooch", I have uploaded a photograph of HA Thomas in the "HA Thomas" gallery in the Members Gallery Section to see if anyone can confirm whether or not the badge on his right breast is the Brooch.

Regards

Pete

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Although not 100% clear the badge was worn on the right breast and I'd agree it is the Imperial Service Brooch.

Ken

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Ken - many thanks for coming back to me. Your comments are much appreciated.

Pete - I think that it's just a trick of light that seems to separate the crown from the main part of the Imperial Service Brooch/Tablet. No expert, but I wouldn't at all be surprised if the photo may be earlier than the 1917 you've estimated, as he appears to be wearing a simplified pattern service jacket. I can't really make out the shoulder title. It looks quite straight, and possibly only one line?? I was expecting to see something like (from a 1916 datable photo of a known soldier in a London unit that I've not been able to determine):

post-113776-0-78260600-1435524120_thumb.

T

RAMC (straight)

LONDON (curved)

Is there anything else on the photo - name of photographer/studio?

Another source of background/contextual information for his service would be the A&Q diaries, 60th Division http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?search=r&_q=adjutant+and+quarter-master+general+60+division albeit arguably less relevant than the specific RAMC ones.

Regards

Chris

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Chris

Thanks again for the feedback.

I have uploaded the complete photograph to the HA Thomas Gallery (Members Gallery) just in case there are any further clues to the dates / insignia..

Regards

Pete

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RAMC/801/20/5 - 6th London Field Ambulance (47th London Division) - History, notes and autobiographical accounts re activities during the First World War.

A digitised version of this is held at the Wellcome Library, London; the original is at the Army Medical Services Museum http://www.ams-museum.org.uk/museum/.

sJU

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RAMC/801/20/5 - 6th London Field Ambulance (47th London Division) - History, notes and autobiographical accounts re activities during the First World War.

A digitised version of this is held at the Wellcome Library, London; the original is at the Army Medical Services Museum http://www.ams-museum.org.uk/museum/.

sJU

Unfortunately Pte Thomas was in the 2/6th 60th Division ( post 4).

Ken

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Oops - I beg your pardon!

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No need to apologise for trying to help; I am on a huge learning curve here so the more input I get, the better. I had thought the same as you (having done an internet trawl) but with the help of all respondees to this thread I am gradually beginning to understand the differences between the various units.

Regards

Pete

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