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Barter William Faithorn 9408 KSLI and Indian Army 1/89 Punjabis


CaroleF
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I am researching one of my husband's relatives: Barter William Faithorn 9408 King's Shropshire Light Infantry and Indian Army 1/89 Punjabis

I have the following documented facts about him:

  1. Served with the 1st Btn KSLI (WWI Medal Rolls)
  2. Served with the 2nd Btn KSLI (WWI Medal Rolls)
  3. Served with the Indian Army 1/89 Punjabis (WWI Medal Rolls)
  4. Aug or Sept 1920 (depending on whether the Julian or Gregorian Calendar is used) married a Russian woman at the Russian Orthodox Consular Church in Constantinople (copy of marriage certificate and translation)
  5. 21 March 1921 son born in Constantinople (various later documents, though not birth certificate)
  6. 29 July 1921 Capt B W Faithorn (no wife or child) listed on UK incoming passenger list of 'City of Cairo' landed at Liverpool. Embarked Bombay. Proposed address KSLI Kildare. Country of last permanent residence - India.
  7. 3rd Quarter 1921 went through a civil marriage in Birmingham with the same woman. (England and Wales Marriage Index +copy of certificate)
  8. 6 Jan 1923 - emigrated to Australia with wife and son. Title Mr and occupation Ex-Officer (UK outward Passenger list)

Here's what I know (at a simple/non-military historian level!)

  1. 1st Btn KSLI were on the Western Front from the beginning of the war.
  2. 2nd Btn KSLI fought on the Salonika Front/in Macedonia Dec.1915 - 1918 then Batum on the Black Sea Dec. 1918 - June 1919. Returned home after June 1919
  3. Indian Army 1/89 Punjabis Arrived in Salonika 1918 (not actively engaged), then served, as part of the BEF, in the Russian Transcaucasia 1918 -August 1920 when they returned to India.

Also known:

  1. His wife's father was a Major General in the Russian Army, born in Georgia, aristocratic background, in the Ukraine in 1920 and almost certainly in Odessa in early 1920 (from where many Russian emigrés fled)
  2. There were a great many Russian emigrés in Constantinople in 1920
  3. One of the Russian witnesses at the wedding was an aristocrat and could well have been a 'liason officer' (translation uncertain)

Questions:

  1. How and where did he meet his future bride?
    1. Could he have been in Constantinople in the early summer of 1920 - or before? (she must have been 2/3 months pregnant when they married)
    2. Could she have been in Georgia (where her father came from) when they met? 1/89 Punjabis were in Russian Transcaucasia
  2. Did he really return to India with the 1/89 Punjabis in August 1920? Did he really return to Liverpool on the 'City of Cairo' in July 1921? I ask because there were a large number of Army men listed but they are all crossed out. Does that mean that they didn't sail, or .....? and also he got married in Constantinople in August or September of that year.
  3. How might he (if he never did go to India), his wife and baby son get back to the UK before the marriage in Birmingham in the 3rd Qtr of 1921?
  4. When did he leave the Army? I'm assuming he never did go to Kildare as July 1921 Passenger list stated and by 1923 he was an 'Ex-officer'.
  5. Is there any way of finding out answers to the above questions - or shall I just have to give up?

I trust I have posted in the right part of the Forum as I am aware that all this crosses from the personal to Unit affairs, so if Admin think advisable do please move.

With thanks in advance.

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The following from the London Gazette answers question 4 - 12 August 1922

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/32737/page/5963

Some other facts which add to the timeline:-

He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30719/supplement/6508 heading on page 6507

He was gazetted 2nd Lt. into K.S.L.I. on 7.6.1918

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30802/supplement/8493

Promoted to Lt. 7.12.1919

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31677/supplement/15171

Edit to add:- Although he retired from the Army on 12.8.1922 he would have been placed on the Reserve of Officers until the age of 50. He ceased to belong to the reserve of Officers on 29.9.1941

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35294/supplement/5710

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A description of the 89th Punjabis during the First world War, includes the information they were in Constantinople.

"The battalion had the distinction of serving in more theatres of the war than any perhaps other single battalion in the Commonwealth. Having sailed from India in November 1914, by the time it returned home in September 1920, it had served in South-West Arabia, in Egypt, in Gallipoli, in France, in Mesopotamia, on the North-West Frontier, in Salonica, in the Caucasus, and finally at Constantinople with the Army of the Black Sea".[1]

  1. "The Indian Army at Gallipoli 1915" (page 2 of the pdf) condensed from a paper presented by Sqn Ldr Rana TS Chhina (Retd) at a conference organised by the Australian War Memorial in August 2010. Archived page, website of the High Commission of India in Australia

There is a Regimental History for the 89th Punjabis, which you would expect to give details of their time during WW1

History of the 1st Battalion 8th Punjab Regiment by GEOGHEGAN (Col. N.M., DSO) & CAMPBELL (Capt. M.H.A., OBE), published 1928

Perhaps you may be able to source a copy in a library, or buy this publication.

There was also an Official History which seems only to have been in draft form until published in 2010.

The Occupation of Constantinople 1919-1923 by Brig-Gen Sir JE Edmonds.

http://www.naval-military-press.com/occupation-of-constantinople.html

If he met his wife in Constantinople, and his wife's family was the living there, his wife may have remained in Constantinople with her young baby, perhaps until mother and child ultimately went to the UK, while he returned to India at some point. Keep in mind that he may not have returned to India at the same time as the 89th Punjabis - he may have had leave, recreational or sick leave, or may have been deployed to another position in Constantinople.

Regarding the passenger list to the UK: From reading a description of the database on Ancestry, and comments made by others, I doubt that Barter William Faithorn would have actually been on the list unless he was on the ship.

It was possible to travel to England from Constantinople by train on the Orient Express, and perhaps his wife and child did this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orient_Express Wikipedia

Entry to the UK by this means would not be recorded in any records which survive.

Cheers

Maureen

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The following from the London Gazette answers question 4 - 12 August 1922

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/32737/page/5963

........

Edit to add:- Although he retired from the Army on 12.8.1922 he would have been placed on the Reserve of Officers until the age of 50. He ceased to belong to the reserve of Officers on 29.9.1941

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35294/supplement/5710

Thank you very much for your reply. I apologise for a slow response, but - unexpectedly - had to be away from internet access for several days immediately after I posted. I was aware of several of these Gazette entries, but had not found the first and last ones myself. They are both helpful and interesting. He actually served in the Australian Army from 1942 - 1945, as a Major. I don't see mention of promotion to Capt. in these entries. Would the listing (as Capt.) on the 1921 UK Passenger List have been an error then?

Carole

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Thank you very much for your very helpful reply. I apologise for my slow response, but - unexpectedly - I have been unable to access the internet for several days. This is the first time I have seen mention of the 89th Punjabis being in Constantinople, so that might well explain how 'my man' met his wife. The article you referenced is really interesting and is the first account in any detail of the role of Indian troops I have seen - a telling comment in itself!

I will have to see if I can find a copy of the Regimental History via an Inter-Library Loan Service. I've found a copy for sale online - at £95! However, the 'Occupation of Constantinople' sounds to be potentially useful/helpful too - and I've found that at a much more affordable £11.50

I am almost certain the wife's father was not in Constantinople himself as I have found out quite a lot about him online, but as yet have no idea who her mother was. From later, very brief, evidence it seems more probable that his wife was alone in Constantinople when they married.

Thank you too for your helpful insights. My lack of knowledge of the way the military world 'works' in practice, together with completely forgetting about the Orient Express meant that what you suggest had escaped me!

If, as you suggest, 'my man' was on board the ship from India are you able to suggest why all the Army personnel names are crossed out? Might that just be a way of counting them off the ship/recording how many Army personnel were travelling on it eg. in order to 'bill' the Army? Also, is there any way of finding out if he did actually go to Kildare with the KSLI (after the marriage in Birmingham and before emigrating to Australia)?

I am wondering ... did your suggestions come from pre-existing knowledge, or do you have much more sophisticated search techniques than me? (other than the Orient Express idea which I had, stupidly, quite forgotten about)

Again, many thanks, Maureene,

Carole

PS. I sha'n't have internet access again for the next few days.

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HarryBrook advised your man left the Army 12 August 1922

It would be worth checking whether there is a Ministry of Defence service record, and as it seems likely he was born before 1901, there is an easy way of doing this though a finding aid issued by the MOD

The details are explained in the FIBIS Fibiwiki page British Army, section Army personnel serving after January 1921(although the relevant date for officers is after April 1922).

I don't know anything more about the passenger lists. You could try a genealogy Forum such as Who Do You Think You Are?. or read a book about the National Archives Records (where the passenger list data comes from). A book published some years ago (7th edition 2006) was Tracing your Ancestors in The National Archives by Amanda Bevan which perhaps may explain what the passenger records actually are.

I am not aware of any records which would show whether he went with the KSLI to Kildare. You could perhaps try online newspapers - there are some Irish newspapers on findmypast, and there is another online archive called Irish Newspaper Archives http://irishnewspaperarchives.com/faq.aspx, both pay sites.

Cheers

Maureen

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  • 5 months later...

I came across an article in Blackwood's Magazine, Volume 209, 1921 and 

page 207  (click) has a  paragraphs or so about "a young British officer, who, when with our forces in the Caucasus, had married a Russian lady from the Crimea", whose father was a distinguished old general. 

 

I wonder whether it could refer to the family mentioned by the original poster?

 

Cheers

Maureen

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  • 5 months later...
On 11/4/2016 at 08:37, Maureene said:

I wonder whether it could refer to the family mentioned by the original poster?

 

Cheers

Maureen

I'm the original poster, but haven't visited this Forum for a very long time and have only just seen this message.  What a fascinating find that Blackwood's Magazine article is (in its entirety).  This might well be the family I am researching - there are definite similarities.  However there is also some information which doesn't quite match what I (think I) know. Nonetheless, the article gives really interesting contextual information about conditions for the Russian émigres in Constantinople at the time when 'my' family were there.

 

Thank you so much.

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