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Harvey H

My Great Grandfather

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Harvey H

Hello everyone,

I'm 15 and wanting to research my relatives but ain't to tech savvy you see.

I just wanted see help with researching my Great Grandfather.

His Details:

Arthur Lewis

1/4th Battalion

Leicestershire Regiment

5342

These were his details up until just after the Battle of Hohenzollern Redoubt. Afterwards he was transferred to the Royal West Kents, I don't know his Battalion but I do know his service number which is G/18039. I just want to learn as much as possible about him so any info, I mean any info you wizards can find will help loads.

Kindest Regards,

Harvey

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Coldstreamer
IPT

The medal roll indicates he was 10th Battalion and 2nd Battalion RWK.

He appears as "G/18039, 2nd Royal West Kent" on the absent voters lists of 1918 and 1919, living at 40 Burgess Street, Leicester. Incidentally, Frank Lewis, of the same address, is listed as "R973 A B., 63rd R.N D".

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Harvey H

I'm sure he was 4th Battalion in the Leicesters!

Yes he was in Afghanistan after the war, on the northern frontier putting down a tribal rebellion .

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Adam Llewellyn

Hello Harvey,

He would have enlisted on the 18th October 1915 and more than likely gone overseas on the 19th April 1916.

Regards.

Llew.

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Harvey H

Oh, are you sure as he fought at Hohenzollern Redoubt on the 13 October 1915?

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IPT

I'm sure he was 4th Battalion in the Leicesters!

Yes he was 1/4th Leicesters, then 10th RWK, then 2nd RWK.

His medal card shows that he was entitled to Victory and British War Medal only, and not a 1914 or 1914/15 Star. This means that he couldn't have been fighting before 1916.

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Harvey H

Oh as he told my father he fought there and in his diary it also says he did as well???

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clk

Hi Harvey,

After Afghanistan, do you know if he carried on in the army? If he did, the MoD might have a service record for him. Do any of the DoBs (USA format) for the men shown below match his?

post-113776-0-63106600-1462914839_thumb.

Regards

Chris

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sotonmate

Hello Harvey,

He would have enlisted on the 18th October 1915 and more than likely gone overseas on the 19th April 1916.

Regards.

Llew.

War Dairy shows five reinforcement drafts in the first 4 months of 1916, mostly from 3/4 Battalion in Nottingham. Nearest to the date of 19 April quoted by Llew is 93 men on 23 April at Maizieres,a further 120 at the same location arrived on 1 May. Earlier drafts were 165 on 16 Mar and 145 on 23 Mar, first draft of 1916 was 111 on 20 Jan. 1/4 Battalion were with 138 Brigade of 46 Division. Your GGF does not fit the timescale for fighting at Loos in 1915.

Later when he changed to the Royal West Kents 10 Battalion were in France with 123 Brigade of 41 Division from May 1916 to Nov 1917 when they moved to Italy for a few months before returning to France in Mar 1918. 2 Battalion were in Mesopotamia for later parts of the war, attached to 15 and 17 Indian Divisions, and your man would have likely gone on to Afghanistan/NWFF from there.

Somewhere along the way he is likely to have left the Leicesters due to wounds/illness and then returned to next Regt needing draft soldiers, thus the QRWK. The change of Battalions (10 to 2) there may have come prior to 10s return from Italy,where it might have been prudent to bring 2 Battalion up to strength with a draft from 10 Battalion, which in itself could have got a new draft on arriving back in France. A read of the War Diaires may illuminate this. No papers seen which might help with the story,

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Harvey H

He was a firend by 1922 so after the fighting on the NWF he came home.

I'm sure he did, my dad went through the archives at Leicester I believe with the people there and found out he signed up in 1914.

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sotonmate

Harvey

You need to help the "wizards" here by telling them if he is one of the men listed by Chris at Post #9 and if you know how old he was in 1914. Many soldiers signed up (attested) but didn't join up until required later or much later.

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Harvey H

No after he went to the NWF he came home and was married and a fireman by 1922.

And in 1914 he would've been 21-22 as we believe he was born in 1892.

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sotonmate

Oh, are you sure as he fought at Hohenzollern Redoubt on the 13 October 1915?

Looking at Soldiers Died in the Great War for 1/4 Leicesters around 13 October 1915, there are listed 188 Other Ranks killed in action on that day and the highest service number shown is 4349.

Hello Harvey,

He would have enlisted on the 18th October 1915 and more than likely gone overseas on the 19th April 1916.

Regards.

Llew.

Harvey

Looking at service numbers near to 5342 in the Silver War Badge records, where it gives an enlistment date, there is a good sequence over several numbers for 1/4 Battalion which runs from 5048 on 5 July 1915 through to 5732 on 12 Dec 1915, which supports Llew's findings.

IN contrast it is not so easy to see a sequence on the QRWK enlistment numbers from G/18031(10 Battalion) on 23 Nov 1915,G/18097 for 12 Dec 1915. Others in this series are not in a date sequence, which might be explained by a soldier not enlisting in the Kents at the start of his service. For instance, if your GGF had an entry on a Silver War Badge List( if he had been discharged with such as wounds or sickness etc) it would show his unit at discharge (QRWK) but an enlistment date for when he first joined as a Leicester !

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clk

Hi Harvey,

Looking at a couple of surviving service records for Royal West Kent men with near-ish numbers - G/18013 Durley, and G/18089 Cutting were allocated their respective (re)numbers when they were transferred from other regiments on 7th September 1916. A pre 1917 transfer from the (Territorial) 1/4th Leicestershire Regiment to the (Regular) 2nd RWK would explain why his medal index card/medal roll doesn't show a six figure renumber - see the LLT for details on the renumbering of the Territorial Force in 1917.

On his medal roll entry his full name is given as Arthur Eli Lewis.

... we believe he was born in 1892.

There is a death registered in Leicester in 1987 for a 94 year old Arthur Eli Lewis, which records his date of birth as being the 23rd May 1892.

I think that in the 1911 census Arthur appears to be living in Leicester at 50 Mostyn Street, with his parents (Arthur Henry and Rosetta) and 5 siblings, including a 12 year old Frank.

...He appears as "G/18039, 2nd Royal West Kent" on the absent voters lists of 1918 and 1919, living at 40 Burgess Street, Leicester. Incidentally, Frank Lewis, of the same address, is listed as "R973 A B., 63rd R.N D".

There is a surviving service record for Frank which shows his date of birth as 26th February 1899. NB the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division were land troops - see the LLT

Can you post any images of the diary - particularly where it says that he fought at Hohenzollern Redoubt on the 13 October 1915, and if there is anything dated around the start of September 1916?

Regards

Chris

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Harvey H

I'll try after this weekend as my dad has it and everything we know on him, cheers for the info clk

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Adam Llewellyn

Harvey,

Just a thought, do the family still have his medals?

Regards.

Llew.

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Harvey H

Yes mate, I can guess the next question haha :D

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Harvey H

Hi fellas, sorry for my ignorance when you were tryna help, just a bit 'shocked' as we thought he fought at Loos, but hey ho. Thanks for the huge amount of info!!

Edited by Harvey H

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Harvey H
On 12 May 2016 at 14:49, clk said:

Hi Harvey,

Looking at a couple of surviving service records for Royal West Kent men with near-ish numbers - G/18013 Durley, and G/18089 Cutting were allocated their respective (re)numbers when they were transferred from other regiments on 7th September 1916. A pre 1917 transfer from the (Territorial) 1/4th Leicestershire Regiment to the (Regular) 2nd RWK would explain why his medal index card/medal roll doesn't show a six figure renumber - see the LLT for details on the renumbering of the Territorial Force in 1917.

On his medal roll entry his full name is given as Arthur Eli Lewis.

There is a death registered in Leicester in 1987 for a 94 year old Arthur Eli Lewis, which records his date of birth as being the 23rd May 1892.

I think that in the 1911 census Arthur appears to be living in Leicester at 50 Mostyn Street, with his parents (Arthur Henry and Rosetta) and 5 siblings, including a 12 year old Frank.

There is a surviving service record for Frank which shows his date of birth as 26th February 1899. NB the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division were land troops - see the LLT

Can you post any images of the diary - particularly where it says that he fought at Hohenzollern Redoubt on the 13 October 1915, and if there is anything dated around the start of September 1916?

Regards

Chris

 

Just read back on this thread, was his brother part of the Royal Navy troops who became infantry,en?

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clk

Hi Harvey,

 

On ‎05‎/‎07‎/‎2016 at 20:35, Harvey H said:

...was his brother part of the Royal Navy troops who became infantry,en?

 

Kind of... In broad terms the Royal Naval Division was formed as an infantry division drawing on an excess of men that had previously served on ships before the war started, but weren't required by the navy to work on-board ships when it did. Frank was not one of those men though. His service record (now also on FMP) shows that he was a reinforcement who was mobilised on 27th March 1917. So whilst he served in a unit that had "naval" in its name, and his rank was "ordinary/able seaman" he was always an infantryman, and never an actual sailor.

 

His service record indicates that he was drafted from the 2nd Reserve Battalion to Drake Battalion on 1st April 1918, arrived in France on 5th April 1918, and joined the Battalion on 8th April 1918. The record shows that he was wounded in his face (his cheek) and left leg on 26th May 1918, and after initial treatment he was evacuated back to the UK. Following his recovery he seems to have arrived back in France on 16th October 1918.

 

The war diary for Drake Battalion is available from the National Archives here, or on Ancestry here. It shows that on 25th May 1918 they relieved Hood Battalion in the front line at Mesnil, and that on the 26th at 4pm "Enemy heavily bombarded  our front line with trench mortars - artillery on the main line of resistance...S.O.S sent up by Right Brigade, but no infantry action followed".

 

Casualties noted for the month: Officers - 1 killed, and 3 wounded. OR's - 15 killed, and 54 wounded.

 

Regards

Chris

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Harvey H

Wow wow wow, now I know where and probably how, thanks you elk, you're a top bloke who's apart of the GWF Corps full of top blokes!

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KevinBattle

It might be gnu's to him to find himself referred to as an elk, moose of us refer to him as Clk.....

He's not apart, he's part of us - and why aren't you in bed at 11 o'clock?

You may be 15, but bedtime is 10:30 or you'll be too tired to concentrate on your schoolwork.

Family history can/should wait till the weekend or until homework has been done....

Flog 'im Sarn't Major!

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Harvey H

No please! aghhhhhhhhhh

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Harvey H

@Adam Llewellyn hi mate, would you have any idea where my Great Grandfather would have fought and been wounded? As due to the guys here including yourself, we know he enlisted in 18th October 1915, and arrived 19th April, and been wounded before 7th Spetember 1916. I mean, his injury was a ricocheted bullet to the back, so that 2 months out surely, so maybe the Somme? 

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