Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

ARMY COUNCIL ORDERS- TRANSFERS OF DRAFTS


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Trying to do a Roll of Honour for the former Borough of Wanstead here in the east of London. Going quite well- but I am getting stuck on the same problem-  casualties who were in drafts transferred from one regiment to another. I can work out the schemes which must have existed between groups of related regiments that seemed to have been effective in 1915-1916-  eg Between the Rifle Brigade and KRRC (common depot area), the regiments of Royal Fusilers and also of the London Regiment. Quite obviously, the system of some degree of local connection and loyalties with recruits broke down under the losses on the Somme. Of particular difficulty is the conscripts of 1916+- the Army seems to have had no regard for where they were placed after training.

 

     Now, one or two of those who were transferred luckily have surviving service records, one of which has on it that the transfer was in accordance with an Army Council Order.

 

          Would any member have a clue about any extant series of Army Council Orders which might short-cut trying to guess when a man was tarnsferred. Of course, it is useful to know these things in order to know what actions a man was involved in.

    I have not seen it but I note there is the following series at The National Archives.

Reference: WO 123/191
Description:

Nos 1-250 listed at front

Date:

1916-1917

 

(There is a successor series beyond 1917 up to 1925). Would any member know offhand the nature of this series.?

 

My suspicion is that there is (or was) a central listing as the Army had to  keep a grip on the manning of the front-line battalions on a daily basis. I suspect that most transfers took place at the training bases in France-Etaples,etc. But as this is a problem that must come up with other Forum members,then I ask if anyone has the answer buried away

 

 

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have the exact ACI but there was either and Army Order (AO) or and Army Council Instruction (ACI) in Sept 1914 which enabled large surpluses of Kitchener recruits to be transferred between Regiments. The surplus recruits to K1 in high density population areas could be transferred to regiments battalions that were struggling to recruit. Typically this meant men from the Northern industrial towns and London being transferred to Irish K1 battalions. This may well be the original instruction that subsequent AOs or ACIs were derived from. Importantly it shows that men could be transferred from one regiment to another against their will, and between reigiments in different commands as early as Sep 1914.

 

Separately I believe there was an AO or ACI that allowed transfers between regiments whose depots were in the same Army Command e.g. Southern Command or Northern Command or Scottish Command etc. 

 

This is from memory. I don't exactly recall where I read the above. There are only a few books that cover the raising of the New Armies in sufficient detail.  MG

 

 

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Mike

 

Here are the file reference numbers in the National Archives:

WO 123/56 Army orders (War Office) 1914 
WO 123/57 Army orders (War Office) 1915 
WO 123/58 Army orders (War Office) 1916 
WO 123/59 Army orders (War Office) 1917 
WO 123/60 Army orders (War Office) 1918 

Subsubseries within WO 123 Army Council Orders   
WO 123/191 Nos 1-250 listed at front 1916-1917 
WO 123/192 Nos 251-522 listed at front 1917-1925 
 

WO293/1    1914    Aug-Dec    War Office Instructions
WO293/2    1915    Jan-June    War Office Instructions
WO293/3    1915    July-Dec    War Office Instructions
WO293/4    1916    Jan-June    Army Council Instructions Nos. 1 to 1307
WO293/5    1916    July-Dec    Army Council Instructions Nos. 1308 to 2449
WO293/6    1917    Jan-June    Army Council Instructions Nos. 1 to 1032
WO293/7    1917    July-Dec    Army Council Instructions Nos. 1033 to 1889
WO293/8    1918    Jan-June    Army Council Instructions Nos. 1 to 741
WO293/9    1918    July-Dec    Army Council Instructions Nos. 742 to 1422
 

You are more likely to find what you want in the War Office/Army Council Instructions (ACIs).

 

Good hunting!

 

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

It would be nice if someone, somewhere, could digitise and publish the full set of ACI's (and Army Orders, as well) as I suspect there's a wealth of information hidden in amongst them. So far no-one seems interested in doing so though.

 

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

It would be nice if someone, somewhere, could digitise and publish the full set of ACI's (and Army Orders, as well) as I suspect there's a wealth of information hidden in amongst them. So far no-one seems interested in doing so though.

 

Craig

 

I suspect there are not many full sets in existence. Some years back I started looking for them online to buy and gave up. They are as rare as hen's teeth. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin
Just now, QGE said:

 

I suspect there are not many full sets in existence. Some years back I started looking for them online to buy and gave up. They are as rare as hen's teeth. 

It would appear so Martin - I've looked in the past as well. I'd guess anyone wanting to digitise them would have to go to the N/A (or one of big university library collections) and do it themselves. It just a shame that we're sometimes just left picking at little snippets of information when there's so much out there.

 

In principal - does the N/A copyright restrictions stop someone photographing and publishing them,for a fee ?

 

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  Looking at my notes, there are a couple of refs. to these numbers- with a sub reference-that could be, that it was done under authority of  ACI/ACO-and,of course, not recorded.

     And, curiously, such "Regimentals" asI have read through-and such war diaries as Ancestry can be bothered to actually let me find are keen on reporting arrival of drafts but not their departure.

 

      I will sample the series if I can get across to Kew this week-  See if I can get some up to date info on what TNA may be digitising next.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ss002d6252 said:

 

In principal - does the N/A copyright restrictions stop someone photographing and publishing them,for a fee ?

 

Craig

 

If you wanted to photograph and publish you would not need permission, just acknowledgement of the source as they are Crown Copyright and under the Open Govt Licence it is allowed. If NAUK had photographed/scanned the pages you would need their permission as you would be using their images, in the same way a photographer has copyright of any photo s/he takes. Some archives specifically prevent people taking their own photos. NAUK is rather forward thinking in this way. 

 

If you put them through OCR (worth doing in my opinion) then the value-added by doing this digitisation and OCR underlay would be your copyright. It is semantics really as any part can be quoted without permission as it is in the public domain. NAUK is quite keen for people to add value by transcribing original documents and making them more widely available. 

 

From the AOs and ACIs I have handled at NAUK, it would be a huge, difficult task. The volumes are exceedingly thick and bound in too many pages meaning opening some to view the middle pages to scan is nearly impossible. In reality this  would require the volumes to be unbound, scanned and rebound. I have some limited experience of this when I digitised Stacke's single volume history of the Worcesters. The original should really have been a two volume set (as the reprints are). I had to split the binding on my original copy to get the pages flat on a scanner. I think one would have the same challenge here. In fact I would say that it was impossible to scan these without breaking the bindings, which might explain why this has not yet been done. 

 

The AOs and ACIS were constantly updated. The copies I have seen are all annotated with the thousands of amendments written in by hand., making any OCR work more challenging. It would probably be worth doing an OCR on the index and simply scanning the body of material. 

 

MG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin
2 minutes ago, QGE said:

 

If you wanted to photograph and publish you would not need permission, just acknowledgement of the source as they are Crown Copyright and under the Open Govt Licence it is allowed. If NAUK had photographed/scanned the pages you would need their permission as you would be using their images, in the same way a photographer has copyright of any photo s/he takes. Some archives specifically prevent people taking their own photos. NAUK is rather forward thinking in this way. 

 

If you put them through OCR (worth doing in my opinion) then the value-added by doing this digitisation and OCR underlay would be your copyright. It is semantics really as any part can be quoted without permission as it is in the public domain. NAUK is quite keen for people to add value by transcribing original documents and making them more widely available. 

 

From the AOs and ACIs I have handled at NAUK, it would be a huge, difficult task. The volumes are exceedingly thick and bound in too many pages meaning opening some to view the middle pages to scan is nearly impossible. In reality this  would require the volumes to be unbound, scanned and rebound. I have some limited experience of this when I digitised Stacke's single volume history of the Worcesters. The original should really have been a two volume set (as the reprints are). I had to split the binding on my original copy to get the pages flat on a scanner. I think one would have the same challenge here. In fact I would say that it was impossible to scan these without breaking the bindings, which might explain why this has not yet been done. 

 

The AOs and ACIS were constantly updated. The copies I have seen are all annotated with the thousands of amendments written in by hand., making any OCR work more challenging. It would probably be worth doing an OCR on the index and simply scanning the body of material. 

 

MG

Thanks Martin.

 

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

    Thanks for the update on copying - The NA are quite enlightened on copying-if its produced, then you can copy it-ther have desks with camera mounts where people are snapping away all day. I suspect ACI/ACO are a long way down the line- I dont know how its going but the digitisation of Officers files must be nearly done- quite amazing what has turned up- a friendly colleague here put me to rights by pointing out that an officer file I could not track was actually there-but it wasnet the firtnight before when I was at Kew- A problem with the files is that often there are 2 officers of the same surname lumped together-I have taken 2 such files back and pointed out that there is another officer's records therein as well.

    But after that, I must enquire as to what else is being digitised or what the schedule is. The economics are clear- digitisation of heavily used files spreads the knowledge, bring in some funds through Ancestry, FindMYPast,et al-but more importantly, it saves the wear and tear on the originals and the staff time fetching and carrying-which adds up to a really big saving on a continuing basis.

      But I mgiht throw it up as another topic(probably been done lots of times anyway)-what would the Old Sweats like digitised next??????

 

       For Craig-  Wanstead only had one casualty in the DLI- Major Harry Reynolds Chapman, 10th DLI killed by shell blast in JUne 1915. If you want the little I have on him, you are welcome to it-though as your listed field is 6,7,8, and 9 DLI,then what did 10 DLI do to incur your disfavour???

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

 

       For Craig-  Wanstead only had one casualty in the DLI- Major Harry Reynolds Chapman, 10th DLI killed by shell blast in JUne 1915. If you want the little I have on him, you are welcome to it-though as your listed field is 6,7,8, and 9 DLI,then what did 10 DLI do to incur your disfavour???

I stuck to the T.F. battalions - started with the 6th (as it was my local bn)  and then the others were information I collected along the way when trying to track down men of the 6th Battalion (I didn't need to deal with the 5th DLI either).

 

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the RB/KRRC transfers I have seen were under AO 204 of 1916.

 

Here's an example (ASC to KRRC in this case) ...

Compulsory Transfer stamp on Form B103 p2 - 02.jpg

 

Here's the beginning of it (courtesy of Pal themonsstar), but I seem to have lost the following sections

 

Army Order AO 204 1916 publ 09 Jun 1916 [Pal themonsstar].jpg

 

HTH

Mark

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MBrockway- Gosh!! How the years roll by-It seems like only yesterday I went to an election meeting locally here in East London to hear dear old Fenner Brockway- Now I realise that it was 38 years ago!!!

 

        Thanks for pointing me at this thread-I knew my plea must have come round before.

         The discussion of the Cambridge set is illuminating. Luclily,as a bookseller, I can have a fair go at the library system- 3 institutions appear to have runs from 1916 onwards-   University of Liverpool, in 3 bound volumes,  RUSI which has 1916-1924 and,of course, the Australian War Memorial-though Im not quite sure that my TfL 60+ Oystercard will get any of them. But it will get to Kew. Topic gets more interesting by the hour.

 

         I know these items are not subject to copyright deposit-they were "issued" (ie circulated internally) rather than "published"-the latter being subject to the legal deposit rules of the Copyright Acts (now covered by the eposit Libraries Act of 2003). 

      I will now go to inspect a vol. or 2- If the War Office runs true to other forms of internal government printing there should be a warrant code somehwere on the publications- ednabling actual date of printing, by whom and the print-run to be established.

    Right-Im off to polish my Oystercard, pack my sandwiches and Thermos(prices in the caff at Kew are ludicrous) and prepare for Kew- the District Line-Over-The-Horizon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

I'm looking for the AO/ACI that would have authorised the transfer of men from one Corps to another (specifically I think from the RFA to infantry) under WO letter code 115/arty/3682 A G 2 B (S) dated 10th June 1916.

 

I understand these WO letter codes appear in the margin of the AOs/ACIs - an example can be seen in the snippet posted by Mark in post #14 above for AO 204 1916 which has the code 9/Gen No/6103 in the margin. I note from above snippet that AO 204 was published on 9th June 1916, so it is possible that the one I'm looking for appears on the next page or two.

 

Any chance of you having a look to see if you can find a match?

 

Regards

 

Russ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, themonsstar said:

If you can give any AO/ACI numbers I'm happy to look and post the pages.

 

Roy,

It would really help me with with something else I'm looking at to see AO 258 of 1916.

 

It's referenced in AO 250 1916 in a footnote relating to the re-affiliations of the London Regiment to the KRRC and RB.  It seems to relate to 19/LR (St Pancras Rifles).

 

AO 250 is dated 12 July 1916, but is in the August 1916 section (pp.3-11).  The footnote is on p.9.

 

Much appreciated as always!

Mark

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As elite national regiments, the KRRC and RB both recruited nationwide.  They both recruited directly from London extensively, so coming from Wanstead does not imply these men had been transferred from a London Regiment unit.

 

18/KRRC was raised at Gidea Park, not that far from Wanstead.  17/ and 20/KRRC were raised in Central London.  Both regiments had a strong recruiting tradition in the East End and even ran Boy's Clubs there.

 

The KRRC's 1st Cadet Battalion was based at Finsbury Square, EC1

 

The KRRC's 6th Reserve battalion had originally been the Edmonton Royal Rifles, a militia unit based at Barnet, also not that far from Wanstead.

 

All the R/ prefix soldiers are likely to have enlisted directly into the 60th and never been near the LR.  The higher numbers are almost always Derby men or MSA conscripts.

 

You will likely find similar groups of Wanstead men joining the Rifle Brigade but with S/ prefix equivalents.

 

On the other hand the A/200xxx .range was definitely used for men who were transferred into the regiment either from the Training Reserve or from other regiments.

 

Transfers between the KRRC, RB and the LR battalions with rifles traditions was common, but other regiments are seen.

 

Our working hypothesis is that this was mostly done when newly trained recruits disembarking at the IBD destined for other units were re-allocated to the KRRC to meet urgent shortfalls.

 

The RB has a similar B/200xxx range.

 

We also theorise that the two rifle regiments continued to use their former Reserve battalions to feed in recruits even after those battalions were absorbed into the Training Reserve.  This would make sound sense as rifles drill and marching speeds have marked differences from line infantry and new trainees arriving from run-of-the-mill TR battalions unaware of rifles drill would be in for a shock if they ended up in the 60th or the RB!  This is still just a hypothesis however - needs much research before we can accept it.

 

Kevin Rowlinson has discovered the A/203xxx range was specifically used for transfers of men from the Rifle Brigade into the KRRC.  This was done under ACI 1499 of 1916.  See below.  Unfortunately the lower A/200xxx block for non-RB transfers burst, so another range was begun for these non-RB transfers starting at A/203700.  Never simple in the rifles!

 

first A:203000 numbers KRRC 2.jpg

[Picture courtesy of Pal kevinrowlinson]

 

Cheers,

Mark

 

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 01/11/2016 at 16:45, themonsstar said:

If you can give any AO/ACI numbers I'm happy to look and post the pages.

 

On 01/11/2016 at 20:17, MBrockway said:

 

Roy,

It would really help me with with something else I'm looking at to see AO 258 of 1916.

 

It's referenced in AO 250 1916 in a footnote relating to the re-affiliations of the London Regiment to the KRRC and RB.  It seems to relate to 19/LR (St Pancras Rifles).

 

AO 250 is dated 12 July 1916, but is in the August 1916 section (pp.3-11).  The footnote is on p.9.

 

Much appreciated as always!

Mark

 

 

Roy,

Posting about the A/200xxx transfers has reminded me I don't think I've ever seen the actual text of ACI 1499 of 1916.

[Edit: WRONG!  Graham Stewart has posted ACI 1499 of 1916 here]

 

I'd be very grateful if you could look that up as well as AO 250/1916. [Edit: that should read AO 258 of 1916]

[Edit: I'd still like to see this though!]

 

Much appreciated!

Mark

 

Edited by MBrockway
More diligent checking completed!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

     Mark Brockway- Thank you very much for an early Christmas present with the extensive information on KRRC . It all makes great sense to me. One or 2 early casualties I suspect may have had Boys Brigade links with KRRC (eg David Rivolta, kia Somme,1st July 1916, 1Hants- but kicked out of KRRC in 1914).  My ignorance is such that I was unaware that KRRC had raised battalions more local to me than down Winchester way-  Gidea Park is near but a big surprise-only knew of Artists Rifles at Hare Hall and the NewZealanders. Edmonton-completely unknown Hope it stays that way-horrible place).  It helps in working out, in particular, the 2 Walkers-below- who were related and lived next door to each other- The proximity of service numbers suggests strongly some Sergeant-Major's list-"You,you and you-over there,etc".  It raises a small point that has lurked for some time with regard to other casualties,who were not spring chickens when they enlisted. I have thought that the old Regular battalions of some regiments may have tried to maintain some sort of edge in quality when conscription came in by having a"first pick" of steady,fit and-I suspect- older unmarried men. Its just a suspicion but it seems to me that older men-with no known military background and enlisting,by force or design, after all the "K" rushes often seem to end up in an old Regular battalion- I have in mind  a 38 year old accountant killed serving with 1Grenadiers in 1916 aged 38-he had returned from the US to enlist.

    Might I ask one further question, which your work on KRRC might have an answer to-  Could men go and enlist in these KRRC battalions directly,if nearby in London? (I have a previous thread about Highland regiment recruiting in 1914,kindly answered by Patrick Watt) . I accept your view that transfers usually took place at IBD in France-that is the experience of some casualties I have worked on from 1917-1918-but before that?  A local, ad hoc arrangement????  Just a speculation-eg Gidea Park is clearly in Essex and thus Eastern Command- Would Eastern Command have had a hand in diverting recruits to non- Command battalions raising up in its territorial area.??????? Just a speculation .

    A further small speculation that comes to mind is that men taken by batch for KRRC (I am speaking with the experience of other regiments-or regimental groups) is that once taken and out of the line through wound or illness would likely be  transferred to another battalion when fit-as, a perjorative term that is not intended to reflect on the memory of these men- "depot sweepings" as the manpower situation got more critical late in the war

     

 

    

WALKER HENRY H 32   03/05/1917   Rifleman

King's Royal Rifle Corps

 

 

1st Bn. France 'R/27466'

 

WALKER WILLIAM FREDERICK W F 36 M M 10/03/1918   Rifleman King's Royal Rifle Corps 13th Bn. Belgium 'R/27473'
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The KRRC and Rifle Brigade were elite national regiments, similar to the Guards.  Totally different from County line infantry regiments.  They did not have an allocated recruitment "territory".  They recruited nationwide.  During the war they raised new battalions as far apart as Yorkshire and Bucks.  These came under regimental control from RHQ in Winchester and were nothing to do with the local Commands.

 

The KRRC and RB shared the Rifles Depot at Winchester, but they were not the county regiment of Hampshire, which was of course the Hampshire Regt, also based in Winchester.
 

At this time they were well known as elite regiments, with VC's and battle honours the envy of many line regiments.

 

Prior to conscription, recruits enlisting could choose their regiment.  Any recruit at any recruiting office anywhere in the country could opt to enlist into the KRRC or the Rifle Brigade and given the fame and popularity of the two regiments, many did.  Consequently names of the Great War Fallen from KRRC and RB are on war memorials all over the British Isles.

 

Several of the war-raised KRRC battalions were similar to Pals battalions, unified by either local connections as in 21/KRRC (Yeoman Rifles) or a shared organisation as in 16/KRRC (Church Lads' Brigade).  Men wishing to enlist into those specific battalions could request to be posted there.  In general though, men enlisted into the regiment and the regimental authorities determined which battalion the man would join.

 

I do not understand your last question and what you mean by depot sweepings.  You'll have to elaborate more simply I'm afraid.

 

I hope all the above is clear and now makes sense.

Cheers,

Mark


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Max,

This might help you understand this a bit better...

Regimental Recruiting Areas map - Defend It [Library of Congress - 3g11295u] - working copy 80.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  Mark Brockway-I am intrigued by your last post re AO 250-   I have a bunch of casualties for KRRC for Wanstead-numbers below:

'R/26787'
'A/200705'
'R/25310'
'R/16002'
'R/34910'
'R/27466'
'R/24463'
'R/27473'

 

      Various battalions but all casualties, bar one,of 1917-  and it seems a bit elderly-30 plus- Suggests they are conscripts of 1916 feeding through- Would this number range accord with your eperience of incoming KRRC drafts from perhaps not only 19th Londons-but possibly from the training battalions of the London Regiment -all battalions- situated around London.???

Do you have these two ...

 

SN Name Rk Forenames Death Date Btn. Notes
'R/25315' GERRARD  Rifleman ARTHUR EGBERT 01/07/1917 13/KRRC      SON OF PHILIP YEATMAN GERRARD, AND KATE GERRARD, OF 109, WOODLAND AVENUE, WANSTEAD, LONDON; HUSBAND OF AGNES GERRARD.
'A/204183' SHAIL Rifleman WILLIAM HAROLD 30/05/1918 13/KRRC SON OF THOMAS HENRY SHAIL, OF 35, MANSFIELD RD., WANSTEAD.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One or 2 early casualties I suspect may have had Boys Brigade links with KRRC (eg David Rivolta, kia Somme,1st July 1916, 1Hants- but kicked out of KRRC in 1914).  

I don't think the Boys Brigade had links to the KRRC.  The Governor & Commandant of the Church Lads' Brigade was Field Marshal Grenfell, who was a KRRC rifleman and who raised the KRRC's 16th Battalion specifically for past and present members of the CLB who wished to enlist into the army.  Are you thinking of the CLB?

 

The only BB connection I have ever managed to find was a Boy Brigade Band used the KRRC 1st Cadet Battalion drill hall in Sun Street, Finsbury Square for performances.

 

This has been a long-term research project of mine, so if you have any evidence of BB-KRRC links, I would be very interested in seeing it!

 

The 16/HLI were a BB 'Pals' battalion raised in Glasgow, but I very much doubt if Londoners would enlist.  The BB's heartland was in Scotland of course.

 

 

 

 

On 03/11/2016 at 01:46, johnboy said:

What was the date of the above and was it amended? 

It was published by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in 1915.

 

What do you mean by amended?  The RMP Duration of War part?  I've only ever seen this 1915 version, I'm afraid.

Mark

 

(Sorry - separate replies got merged!)

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...