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Remembered Today:

Photo Identification - School of Musketry


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The attached photo is taken from a 1919 photograph of Wilson's Grammar School, Camberwell. It is interesting to note that over a third of the school is in their OTC uniform, and a good deal of the staff as well - including the individuals pictured here and in the following post.

The man here is clearly in the School of Musketry and due to the absence of chevrons but presence of some kind of badge on his lower sleeves, I assume he is a Warrant Officer of some description. He wears no medal ribbons and appears - at a guess - 45-50 years old. He must also have the biggest head ever to perch on a body of that size, by that's by the by.

Two men - whether boys or staff, I don't know - served in the School of Musketry during the war; E. Lymbery (rank unknown) and S. W. St Cedd, who is recorded in the school rolls as having been a Staff Sergeant. For Lymbery, the school records only record him as having been a Musketry Instructor; that this was with the School of Musketry is an assumption on my part.

The distinguished-looking man in the second photo (who has an air of Douglas Haig about him to me) also appears to be a Warrant Officer has he lacks officers' badges of rank on either shoulder or cuff, but does appear to have badges on the lower sleeve. Given this and his shirt, tie, open-necked coat and Sam Browne, I guess he is a WO1. I think his cap badge is that of the school (similar to that on the caps of the boys in front of him), but his collar badges seem to be different. I'm not sure about his medal ribbon either.

My questions are, what to you reckon to my current assumptions, would instructors at Hythe who didn't serve overseas have qualified for any medals, and does anybody generally have any comments to shed light on these two gentlemen?


The second gentleman, referred to in #1:


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The first man is a WOII Company Sergeant Major Instructor (CSMI), as they were known at that time. Given his age I imagine that he is a retired reservist granted permission to wear uniform for his duties at the school. It is unusual but not impossible for him to have no medals and with no overseas service he would not attract any of the three WW1 war medals. Many reservists with valuable experience but too old for overseas saw service with schools, colleges and universities. A former instructor of the School of Musketry would have been seen as highly valuable.

The second man is a WOI and dressed in accordance with the regulations of 1915. His medal might be either, the Volunteer Force Service Medal or the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (less likely without additional campaign medals), but it is difficult to see clearly on a phone screen.

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Slightly off topic burrell, but thought you might appreciate these London Gazette and Annual Army List references to the Wilson's School OTC commissioned officers, some of whom are probably in your 1919 photo.

2/Lt effective 16 Apr 1910: here
Prov Capt effective 01 Oct 1910: here
Lt effective 18 Jan 1911: here
Capt effective 27 Apr 1912: here
1914 Annual Army List - Capt, Unattached List (TF) serving with Wilson's School OTC
1915 Annual Army List - Capt, Unattached List (TF) serving with Wilson's School OTC
Ceases to serve in unit effective 16 Feb 1920: here

FOLEY, Michael James Aloysius
2/Lt effective 16 Apr 1910: here
Lt effective 01 May 1911: here
1914 Annual Army List - Lt, Unattached List (TF) serving with Wilson's School OTC
1915 Annual Army List - Lt, Unattached List (TF) serving with Wilson's School OTC

KNIGHT, Thomas Harold
t/2/Lt effective 03 Nov 1914: here
2/Lt effective 03 Nov 1914: here
Relinquishes Comm effective 16 Oct 1919: here

WOOD, Ernest
2/Lt effective 03 Nov 1914: here
Resigns comm effective 20 Jun 1923: here

SMITH, G. Ernest
Lt, RGA (Special Reserve) apptd to serve effective 23 Oct 1919: here
Lt, RGA (Special Reserve) ceases to serve effective 06 Mar 1920: here

I'm sure I've missed loads!


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Many thanks as ever, FROGSMILE.

Martin - thanks for these, very kind of you.

Edmonds was the OC of the OTC; one of the school histories states that he had previously been an officer of the HAC; I haven't found anything corroborating this, but I haven't really looked into it much. Foley had previously been an officer of the Middlesex Regiment, was recalled to the colours and promptly found himself as Captain & Adjutant of 10/Middlesex. He was killed at Gallipoli. Wood was another member of staff who kept things ticking over with Capt Edmonds during the war; between the two of them (along with a Sgt Bennett, who seems to be an old soldier the OTC paid £5 a month to help out) they dealt with a massive expansion of the OTC, training a steady stream of young men who went straight on into the Army.

T.H. Knight was the headmaster, so his being commissioned strikes me as a little odd - I note that it was only during the war. Smith I'm not sure about, his dates are odd! Presumably it wasn't for him...

In the photo below, Edmonds is the officer standing to the left, Foley is standing to the right. I think the Sgt Bennett character is the adult Sgt standing near Foley. This was July, 1913, on a camp at Cannock Chase near Rugeley.


Edited by brummell
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