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buritonian

1/4th Hampshire after Kut

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buritonian

Hi

I am researching Reginald Holloway Private TF/201036 in the 1/4th Hampshire's with the 12th Division. He dies of Malaria in March 1917. We don't believe he went into theatre before 1916 (but aren't 100% certain).

What I am hoping to learn is if he might have been present during the siege at Kut al amara and went on to die in captivity some 12 months later or whether he was part of those 1/4th men who went on to form the 1/5th The Buffs and serve in the 14th Indian Division. I'm intrigued to know more about how some of the 1/4th men were not taken prisoner... is it that not all companies were in the town during the siege?

Regards,

Paul

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sotonmate

Paul

The original Medal Index Card and the Medal Rolls only show Hampshire Regiment service, the roll showing 1/4 Battalion. No war theatre service before 1916. He also had two numbers, firstly 3195 and then, in the 1917 re-numbering of the Territorial Force he was given 201036.

As I have no grudges against being beaten twice by your village football team in 1961 or so, ( they were champions of our (Portsmouth) league then), I will see if I can find something in the National Archives Library this week !

The unit War Diary may also help with the story.

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kenf48

The siege of Kut began on the 7th December 1915 and ended 29th April 1916. As he was not in theatre in 1915, as shown by medal entitlement noted above, he was not at the siege of Kut. He could have been in India, but as that was not a theatre of war no 14-15 Star.

See also http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=157908

Not definitive but there was a geographical distinction to the TF Bns., the 6th (Portsmouth) who were in India provided reinforcements to the 4th (Winchester) before they too went to Mesopatamia.

Ken

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Maureene

His CWGC entry is http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/628852/HOLLOWAY,%20R

The description of the cemetery says

"Amara was occupied by the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force on 3 June 1915 and it immediately became a hospital centre. The accommodation for medical units on both banks of the Tigris was greatly increased during 1916 and in April 1917, seven general hospitals and some smaller units were stationed there.

Amara War Cemetery contains 4,621 burials of the First World War, more than 3,000 of which were brought into the cemetery after the Armistice".

​However, looking at the records attached to the above entry, I cannot see anything which would indicate that his body was brought from anywhere else, so it appears he died in Amara, probably in one of the hospitals. His regiment however, may have been elsewhere, and he was transferred there to a hospital when he became ill.

Cheers

Maureen

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buritonian

Thank you everyone. So do you think, upon his death, he would have been listed as in 1/5th Hants if he had been among those in the 1/4th Hants who went on to form the composite battalion with The Buffs?

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kenf48

All surviving records, including Soldiers Effects which shows he was in the 2/4 attached to the 1/4, give the 1/4. Soldiers effects also gives his four digit number. The renumbering of the TF infantry is usually dated to March 1917, so he was just on the changeover, although it appears the Hampshire Regt renumbered deceased soldiers.

SDGW shows enlistment in Winchester so he enlisted in the 2/4, probably around September 1914. The 2/4 went to India in December 1914 so it's likely he was in a reinforcement draft from the 2/4 in India to the 1/4. My guess would be between April and September 1916 but see link below.

'Composite Battalions' were an expediency and did not usually last long though it obviously took longer for reinforcements to get to distant theatres than F&F which in any event was more a priority for High Command. Most reinforcements went from India where they were replaced by men from the UK. All we can say with certainty is that Holloway was in one of those drafts, that it was after the 31.12.1915., and he remained in that theatre until he died. As noted above suffering from malaria which he probably contracted in India he would have been evacuated from the front line.

Service records around him are few and far between but wouldn't really help as men would be sent to the front line when fit, not necessarily in number order.

The war diary should show when they became the 1/4 again.

Although slow to open this account of the 2/4 shows they were a draft finding unit for Mesopotamia and the 1/4

http://digital.slv.vic.gov.au/webclient/StreamGate?folder_id=0&dvs=1460380952913~683&usePid1=true&usePid2=true

Ken

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Marc Thompson

The composite battalion was disbanded on 19 June 1916 and 1/4th Hampshires resumed independent formation.

The associated CWGC records state the he was buried at Shaikh Saad Old Cemetery (Shayk Sa'd) on the River Tigris further upstream from Amara towards Kut.

For information and to put dates into some context Kut was recaptured on 24 February 1917 and 1/4th Hampshire entered Baghdad on 13 March 1917.

As indicated by Ken in the absence of any other evidence all we can say with certainty is that Holloway was in one of the drafts from India, that it was after the 31 Dec1915., and he most likely remained in Mesopotamia from this point onwards until he died. Suffering from malaria he would have been evacuated from the front line.

Marc

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charlie962

Forgive me jumping in on this thread but I have a 1914-15 Star to 5-1973 LCpl C Lowman, with date of entry (5a) 18.3.15 and the BWM/VM roll says 1/5 Hants attached 1/4th. His disembark date agrees with 1/4th original landing in Mespot.

He is also on the SWB roll enlisted 10.8.14 and discharged sick 22.3.19 aged 44.

Might he have been at the siege of Kut ? How would I find out please? Any thoughts ?

thanks

Charlie

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Marc Thompson

Charlie,

I can confirm that 1973 / 240522 Pte Charles Lowman was taken prisoner when Kut fell so he was a member of "A" Company or Battalion HQ.

On 23 November 1917 I have him listed in captivity at Ismidt

He came from Netley Marsh, Totton

Prior to his discharge in March 1919 he was at Hemingford Street Auxiliary Hospital, Birkenhead

Worth noting that of the 157 NCOs and other ranks of 1/4th Hants taken prisoner less than 50 survived.

If you don't have it already I would recommend buying "Kut 1916 Courage and Failure in Iraq" by Patrick Crowley. There is a brief quotation from Charles Lowman in the book.

Marc

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seaJane

Have a copy of Kut 1916 if you would like to borrow it.

sJ

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Maureene

The FIBIS Fibiwiki page Prisoners of the Turks (First World War) contains information and links to online books and documents

http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Prisoners_of_the_Turks_(First_World_War)

Additionally, for many accounts of members of the allied forces taken prisoner in Mesopotamia, especially after the fall of Kut, see the Fibiwik page Mesopotamia Campaign-External links and Historical books online

Cheers

Maureen

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trajan

The FIBIS Fibiwiki page Prisoners of the Turks (First World War) contains information and links to online books and documents

http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Prisoners_of_the_Turks_(First_World_War)

What an excellent link! Thanks!

Julian

PS: Still haven't got to the Ankara cemetery yet but will try now that the weather is better - and when the work load lessens!

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charlie962

Marc, very interesting detailed info, thanks so much. Why did I fail to find this out with my searches? Admittedly there are a lot of Charles Lowmans. Would he also have been a pre-war territorial?

SJ, Thanks for the offer. I shall take some time to start reading into this particular history. Investigating my box of single medals is sending me all over the place and I must slow down and work slowly through. Fascinating

Maureene, thanks for some good links. As I said to SJ I must wait till I have more free time to go deeply into a new campaign area rather than just skim through; I am still not yet properly into the Northwest Frontier!

Charlie

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charlie962

Marc, I've just looked at my notes on Charles Lowman and I had previously deduced that as 5th Hants prewar were Southampton based he might come from that area. The only man with the right birthdate was a Charles Edward Lowman of Netley Marsh. I found his birth, death, marriage and 1911 census info but nowhere did I find a proven link between the two CL and CEL. So I was left with a big question mark. You have now stated Netley Marsh. Did you find this on a military record? Is it CEL ?

Charlie

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Marc Thompson

Charlie,

It is the next of kin address listed for him in the Comforts Fund documentation for 1-4th Hampshire Regiment Prisoners of War. Pulled together from a combination of TNA FO references such as FO383/341 and the Bowker Comfort Fund Papers.

Marc

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charlie962

Marc, thanks. Sorry to pester you but I am still unclear. Is the address Calmore Road, Totton or Netley Marsh Woodlands (Voters Roll has a Chas Lowman under both addresses)? Was the name in the POW records Charles or Charles Edward ? I have a feeling that both addresses are the same family, just father and son.

Thanks again, Charlie

Edit. I see that Patrick Crowley's book quote of Lowman (about flies) was taken from Lady Neave's book "Remembering Kut" published 1937. I think there might be several other references in her book to Lowman. Hathitrust lets me search for keywords eg Lowman which gives me several hits showing page number but cannot show me the page itself. Since it seems quite rare and thus expensive (50+) can anyone help by looking at their own copy please ? Charlie

Edit Edit. and I am not sure if it is the same Lowman in her book!

Edit Edit Edit I have started looking at Lowman MICs. There are about 140 per FMP or Ancestry. 13 "C" Lowman.

Pte Charles H, 9330 Dorsets was Kia Kut 11.12.15 but his service record only shows him as a Pte.

I note in Lady Neave's book a reference to a Cpl L Lowman also. I wonder whether this is correct. Only 2 L Lowman MICs. I will continue to check these but it would be very helpfull to know the source used by Neave.

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Marc Thompson

Charlie,

The only address given for the next of kin that I have is Mr Lowman, Netley Marsh, Totton.

I'll consult my other sources over the next few days to see if this may provide some further evidence. I may also have a copy of Remembering Kut that I can lay my hands on.

Marc

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charlie962

Marc, That would be great. I see you have previously referred in a 2003(!) post to a reunion of the survivors of 1/4th Hants in 1919 and noted the menu! Charlie

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charlie962

Marc, these are the pages that have the word Lowman: 15,55,66,93,124,125,223,227,255,259,260,321

So if any of these are 'my' Lowman I shall be very interested to see; here is one of the quotes:

post-119876-0-83969900-1460806077_thumb.

Whether he was a radio expert I don't know. Is this more likely to be an RE or RFC man ?

Charlie

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Marc Thompson

Marc, That would be great. I see you have previously referred in a 2003(!) post to a reunion of the survivors of 1/4th Hants in 1919 and noted the menu! Charlie

As Patrick Crowley states the menu was supposed to be amusing. We cannot know if it was to the guests of honour.

Mule Tail Soup

Roast (4th) Hampshire Hog

Steak and Kidney Pie (Basra Flavour)

Kut Grass, Roots, etc

Plum Pudding and Tigris Water Sauce

Mespot Jelly

Yesac Blancmange

"Yallah" Cheese

Marc

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charlie962

Compare this to a menu enjoyed in early 1916 by 3 veterans of the siege of Ladysmith who found themselves under siege again in Kut

post-119876-0-78452500-1460809613_thumb.

Charlie

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sotonmate

buritonian

Fall of Kut 29 April 1916. Looked at 2 War Diaries at Kew this week.

WO95/5175. 1/4 Hants. 35 Infantry Brigade of 14 Indian Division. May to August 1916. One reinforcement draft received in that period:

29 May: 141 men received from Quetta.

WO95/5177. 1/4 Hants. 36 Infantry Brigade of 14 Indian Division. Sep 1916 to Aug 1918. Several reinforcement drafts received:

10 Nov:1 Officer and 26 OR received from 1/4 Bn India, plus 1O and 97 OR from 2/7 Bn India.

11 Nov: 5 O and 332 OR from 1/6 Bn,1/7 Bn,1/4 Bn received from India.

13 Nov: 1 O and 142 OR joined from 2/4.

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charlie962

The same Cpl C Lowman quoted by Lady Neave is also described as 'an old soldier who had been through four campaigns'. I wonder which campaigns? Frustratingly the Hampshire newspapers for Southampton and Winchester don't seem to be available to search online -I've tried FMP.

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charlie962

buritonian

Forgive me for having cluttered your thread with my search for Lowman. I didn't realise I would find so much and got carried away. Perhaps I should start a new thread.

Your man Holloway had a war gratuity 11pounds 10shillings which put through Craig's calculator gives a probable enlistment date Sept 1914 which is what Ken supposed in his post 6! Perhaps he did this calc but he didn't say.

I also notice that Holloway is in a sequential group of 14 soldiers of the '1/4th' in the Soldiers effects register, all of whom died Mespot Jan -March 1917. most recieved gratuities not so disimilar to his; Perhaps one or two joined about the same time? Might be worth looking to see if any of them have a surviving service record and if so whether this throws any more light on the subject? Clutching at straws ,

Charlie

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charlie962

For those in 1/4th Hants that were not inside Kut during the siege things don't seem to have been any easier. With the various Relief attempts the Battalion suffered heavily (an understatement). This from the Moberly's Official HIstory:

post-119876-0-09325000-1461350712_thumb.

Look at those casualty percentages! He hasn't bothered to express them when they are a mere 25%

I note that 1/4th was still separate, part of 9th Bde with strength of 4 officers, 75 ORs at 27.1.16

Then shown on the OB as part of Composite Territorial Bn with 1/5th Buffs within 35 Bde at 27.2.16

There were a number of composite Bns by this time, presumably due to the appalling losses in action on top of those caused by Enteric, Malaria, Cholera etc. The Medical facilities in those early days were woefully insufficient for these sort of levels.

Charlie

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