Jump to content

Remembered Today:

Private Harold George Stafferton Norfolk Regiment 266229


WEO
 Share

Recommended Posts

Harold George Stafferton (1896-1963) was 17 when war was declared. His Campaign Medal Index card shows that he enlisted in the Norfolk Regiment, regiment number 266229 as a private. I have a photograph taken in 1917 described as a ‘Despatch Rider 1/6 B.R. ‘at Lonstead Park Norfolk in May 1917.



He was in France at the end of the war and met up with his older brother Samuel in December 1918. Samuel had attested in November 1915 but was exempted service until May 1918. His eldest brother, William Charles Stafferton, was killed in action on the 12th September 1917.



Can anyone please confirm when Harold George Stafferton would have enlisted?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

His Campaign Medal Index card shows that he enlisted in the Norfolk Regiment, regiment number 266229 as a private. I have a photograph taken in 1917 described as a ‘Despatch Rider 1/6 B.R. ‘at Lonstead Park Norfolk in May 1917.

He was in France at the end of the war

Bit intrigued by this one - I thought I knew Norfolk like the back of my hand but unless I'm having a blank moment, there isn't a Lonstead Park in Norfolk. I had to do a double-take as my initial thought had simply been that it might give a clue as to what "1/6 B.R". meant.

The 1st/6th (Cyclist) Battalion, Norfolk Regiment didn't serve in any Theatre of War, just did coastal defence in North Norfolk until 1918 then went to Ireland, so I would not normally expect to see a Medal Index card, plus my understanding was the first unit on the MIC was usually, (but not always), the one they entered a theatre of war with, which could be very different to the one they enlisted in.

I don't have a subscription to Ancestry but from what I can see there that's free to view they have the WW1 Service Medals and Award Rolls for Harold and the pop-up says ex-12th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment. Originally the 1st/1st Norfolk Yeomanry, that unit had gone out to the Middle East in 1915. A number of Yeomanry units were essentially treated as dismounted infantry and this was formally recognised by converting them to a Battalion of an Infantry Regiment - in the Norfolk Yeomanry's case that was the 12th Norfolks. Following the desperate manpower shortages following the German Spring Offensives, the Yeomanry Division was shipped to France from Palestine, arriving at Marseille on the 7th May 1918. That would probably explain meeting his brother in France. Do you happen to know if Harold served with them in Palestine or did he go straight to France as a reinforcement.?

May be a co-incidence but October 1916 was roughly when soldiers serving with Territorial Army Units like the Norfolk Yeomanry were renumbered with a 6 digit service number starting 2,

Apologies - I know none of that answers your question but I'm an insatiable curiosity child :-)

regards,

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking at similar service numbers. i'd suggest on or around 14th October 1916.

Thanks very much IPT. This date seems to tie in with the date of the photograph taken before he went to France.

Many thanks,

WEO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bit intrigued by this one - I thought I knew Norfolk like the back of my hand but unless I'm having a blank moment, there isn't a Lonstead Park in Norfolk. I had to do a double-take as my initial thought had simply been that it might give a clue as to what "1/6 B.R". meant.

The 1st/6th (Cyclist) Battalion, Norfolk Regiment didn't serve in any Theatre of War, just did coastal defence in North Norfolk until 1918 then went to Ireland, so I would not normally expect to see a Medal Index card, plus my understanding was the first unit on the MIC was usually, (but not always), the one they entered a theatre of war with, which could be very different to the one they enlisted in.

I don't have a subscription to Ancestry but from what I can see there that's free to view they have the WW1 Service Medals and Award Rolls for Harold and the pop-up says ex-12th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment. Originally the 1st/1st Norfolk Yeomanry, that unit had gone out to the Middle East in 1915. A number of Yeomanry units were essentially treated as dismounted infantry and this was formally recognised by converting them to a Battalion of an Infantry Regiment - in the Norfolk Yeomanry's case that was the 12th Norfolks. Following the desperate manpower shortages following the German Spring Offensives, the Yeomanry Division was shipped to France from Palestine, arriving at Marseille on the 7th May 1918. That would probably explain meeting his brother in France. Do you happen to know if Harold served with them in Palestine or did he go straight to France as a reinforcement.?

May be a co-incidence but October 1916 was roughly when soldiers serving with Territorial Army Units like the Norfolk Yeomanry were renumbered with a 6 digit service number starting 2,

Apologies - I know none of that answers your question but I'm an insatiable curiosity child :-)

regards,

Peter

Many thanks for your response Peter. Many of my family, descendants of my eldest brother, now live in Norfolk but I have not been able to locate Lonstead Park but I assume the label on the photograph was correct!! I think your deduction that he may have gone to Palestine first may be correct. He either went via Palestine or direct to France and was with the 12th Norfolks in France from May 1918.

I'm not sure I will be able to be more precise as unlike his brother he did not keep a diary as far as I am aware!!

Thanks again Peter.

WEO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in the Library this afternoon so took a chance to look at the Medal Roll on Ancestry and the only unit shown for this soldier is the 12th Battalion and the only number a six digit one. Given that they'd been overseas since spring 1915 it would seem unlikely that this was the battalion he enlisted in.

The Long, Long Trail has some very good information on how the Territorial Force renumbering was done. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Line Battalion of the 6th Norfolks were allocated the number block 260000 to 290000.

http://www.1914-1918.net/TF_renumbering_infantry.htm

Other rules were changed at about the same time, so that Territorial Force men could be transferred to other units rather than asked to volunteer.

So from March 1917 onwards men with service numbers in that range crop up in the casualty lists for many of the fighting Battalions of the Regiment - 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, 9th and as we know, 12th. Presumably these were drafts sent off to backfill casualties.

I think you'd probably need some other confirming evidence rather than just going on service number alone, and sadly unless there any personal papers then this evidence probably doesn't exist,

regards,

Peter

regards,

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are a few of the men in that number sequence. Many of the surviving papers belonged to men who were unfit and stayed at home. The ones who went abroad seem to have gone through 8th battalion initially. (Enlisted should probably read "called up")

266213 enlisted 14/10/1916 2/6th Cyclist Bn, home

266214 enlisted 14/10/1916 2/6th Cyclist Bn, home, transferred RAOC

266239 enlisted 16/10/1916 2/6th Cyclist Bn, home, 4th Bn Norfolk, transferred Northants

266257 enlisted 18/10/1916 1/6th Cyclist Bn, home

266266 enlisted 17/10/1916 2/6th Cyclist Bn, home

266273 enlisted 18/10/1916 1/6th Cyclist Bn, embarked 22/7/1917, posted to 8th Bn

266275 enlisted 19/10/1916 1/6th Cyclist Bn, embarked 22/7/1917 posted to 8th Bn, 24/8/1917 to 7th Bn

266284 enlisted 19/10/1916 1/6th Cyclist Bn, home

266292 enlisted 20/10/1916 1/6th Cyclist Bn, transferred to reserve (W?)

266296 enlisted 20/10/1916 1/6th Cyclist Bn, embarked 7/8/1917, posted to 8th Bn 27/8/1917

266299 enlisted 18/10/1916 2/6th Cyclist Bn,

266200 died of wounds 1917 1st Battalion

266243 died 1917 8th Battalion

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Took a look at the War Diary for the 12th Battalion from their arrival in France. Seems like they arrived with a full complement and I can't see any reinforcements posted to them in the first couple of months, so possibly he was already with them in Palestine. Out of interest I took a look at the 8th Battalion War Diary for July and August 1917 - numerous drafts received at various dates. Those received in July and the start of August are down as coming from the 18th Divisional Depot Battalion, (8th Norfolks were part of 18th Division), while the remainder of those in August were from 17 Infantry Base Depot. There were no arrivals on the dates shown, so presumably that was date they were "marched out" of their holding unit rather than the date of arrival with the Battalion.

So now all we have to do is work out where "Lonstead Park" is :-)

WEO - any chance you can scan the picture and post it here as someone may recognise the background.

regards,

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

So now all we have to do is work out where "Lonstead Park" is

Possibly Linstead Parva, Suffolk Coastal District nr. Halesworth

There is some suggestion there was a WW1 camp around Halesworth, perhaps on the site that became the airfield in WW2 (?)

I know it's Suffolk but I lived in Bungay which was also in Suffolk but the post office said Norfolk!

Just a suggestion

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should mention that I kept a beady eye out for "Lonstead Park" in the above eleven sets of service papers, without spotting anything similar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Possibly Linstead Parva, Suffolk Coastal District nr. Halesworth

There is some suggestion there was a WW1 camp around Halesworth, perhaps on the site that became the airfield in WW2 (?)

I know it's Suffolk but I lived in Bungay which was also in Suffolk but the post office said Norfolk!

Just a suggestion

Ken

I once had the "misfortune" in the early 1990's to try and co-ordinate a number of government departments, local councils and voluntary bodies in an attempt to come up with a master list of who covered which Norfolk village and by default villages up to 5 miles over the border into Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire to cover any historic associations, (we were all just starting to get desktop computerised !). My one abiding memory is that everyone wanted Bungay :-)

Very much aware of Linstead Parva.

My understanding was that the 1st/6th spent nearly all the war on the North Norfolk Coast until going to Ireland. They were headquartered at North Walsham, (there is a memorial in St Nicholas Church) with another admin centre at Sheringham (and possibly a n other). Linstead Parva seems a bit of a stretch - places like Irstead, Worstead or Sustead would seem more likely given the units normal area of operation. I've seem a vague reference to a cycle unit being based at Hunstanton, which if its the Norfolks would open up the possibility of Ringstead.

The 2/6 were raised in Bridlington in 1914, moved to Filey in early 1917 and then Hunmanby before returning to Bridlington - all East Riding of Yorkshire.

The 3/6 we can rule out as they were raised in Norwich in 1915 and disbanded March 1916,

regards,

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...