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Remembered Today:

105492 Pte John Henry Edwards RAMC


HolymoleyRE
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Hi,

 

Trying to find a bit more info on John for a family friend.

 

John was born in England but emigrated to Canada, served in the RAMC which is confimed on the Medal rolls and card, however I slightly puzzled how he is RAMC and not CAMC which were part of the CEF???  Thought I had found a set of service records on the Canadian public records site and Fold3, however it's different number, could be explained if transferred to the RAMC? But the discharge details are all wrong as our John Edwards ended up German East Africa after serving some time on the Western Front.

 

VMT in advance

 

Andy

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Andy

 

There seems to have been a fair few "Brits" returning home from overseas "to do their bit" in WW1. It would be quite feasible to see that your subject returned home and enlisted specifically to do just that.

If you have any other info, however insignificant, it would be good to see it here. We never underestimate the knowledge and power of all these members !

I have just encountered a thread here which I haven't seen before, about RAMC, it's in Units and Formations,and I have just brought it to the top today so if you want to see it just join in.

Looking at the Medal Index Card shows that he was not in a war zone until after 1915, and there is no discharge date on either the MIC or the Medal Roll. His age would be useful to know, and whether he returned to Canada post-war.

It is interesting to see that there may have been service in East Africa. I did a bit of reading last year about this war theatre and the large areas that Army columns covered. Units would have had small medical teams attached, larger Casualty Clearing Stations in some areas,Hospital on the coast, and Hospital Ships serving them. Soldier Edwards might have been lucky to be with one of the latter two !

Edited by sotonmate
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Cheers for the reply, I am waiting on some more of the background from my friend in regard DOB. The return to the uk to sign up crossed my mind, but as Canada were sucked into the War it just surprised me he would do that to join the RAMC.

 

We now know he discharged in 1919, the family also have some very detailed diaries from his time in East Africa in 1918, they are keen to find out some of the Western Front detail. I should ask him to scan them, so I can post...As they have plenty of names and events on them, including deaths mainly the local porters and workforce through disease.

 

The family tale also claims he was given a land gratuity on returning to Canada...?

 

Andy

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The Canadian Govt operated a Soldiers Land Settlement Scheme for those returning who, apart from possible other needs, had intentions of starting a farm. I also read of a sort of basic prefabricated one man house specially designed for those granted the land, plus a barn for a few cattle/horses. These structures seem to have been part of the deal.

Edited by sotonmate
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I may have a couple of map pics for the East African campaign from a visit to Kew some time back. Let me know by Private Message here

(click on my title on the left here and open message) if you would like them, subject to me finding them !!

 

Edit: That was quick, found them. Also some notes (Feb 2015) say that most of the Medic work in that theatre was due to sickness.

Edited by sotonmate
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  • 2 months later...
On Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at 10:29, sotonmate said:

I may have a couple of map pics for the East African campaign from a visit to Kew some time back. Let me know by Private Message here

(click on my title on the left here and open message) if you would like them, subject to me finding them !!

 

Edit: That was quick, found them. Also some notes (Feb 2015) say that most of the Medic work in that theatre was due to sickness.

Hello Sotonmate,

 

Finally got the info from my friend,

 

I have found out the Pte John Henry Edwards was living in Canada, returned to England in November 1915 on the SS Cameronian, and then enlisted into the RAMC on 6th Dec 1915.  Which dispells a family myth about he joined up in Niagra.

 

The trail goes cold from then until he pops up in German East Africa in Feb 1918 with the local rank of Cpl with the 2nd East African Field Ambulance based at Mbamba Bay supporting 3/4 Kings African Rifles (I have the notes he made, will get them scanned) a couple of RAMC Officers are mentioned too Capt Wilkie RAMC and Maj Bass RAMC.

 

It is clear they started to get a few deaths through illness no doubt influenza and malaria.

 

He was discharged in May 1915 and returned to Canada an took a service settlement loan for a farm...sadly that didn't last.  I managed to track most of this through his Imperial Gratuity records

 

It would be good to understand more about the 2 EAFA and try to get the 1916 -18 gap filled in.

 

Cheers

 

Andy

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For now (it's lunch time !) there are several War Diaries for 2 EAFA at Kew, but not yet digital:

 

WO95/5344/10 Jun to Nov 1916 (with 2 EA Division)

WO95/5338/12 Dec 1916 to Feb 1917 (with 1 EA Division), and,

WO95/5371/9  Dec 1915 to May 1916 ( with Lines of Communication Troops)

 

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Andy

 

Was this man in medical service before the war ? I wondered as It would effect how long he trained before posting.

Your notes will hopefully give clues as to where we look next !

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Past experience in my searches suggests that RAMC (and RNMS) can have anything from nil to six years training before posting ... arrghhh.

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Not sure about prior service or experience the family seem to think he was mobilised to Ireland in 1916 too, from what I can see the 59th Div were sent, which took from units from the North Midland Field Ambulance and then went to France in 1917 (but they had their service numbers changed in 1917 as they were a Territorial Reserve?) so not sure if our man would have kept his as 105492?

 

He contracted pneumonia and pleurisy so was perhaps sent to Africa after recovering, the earliest entry is Feb 18 which has him a Cpl (clearly local or acting rank) and as i/c Hospital Porters, which makes him an Orderly (which matches family legend)

 

The NMFA diaries are online so will keep looking to see if his names pops up.

 

On other soldiers service records I have found some close RAMC Service Numbers (even 105482, 10 away) and no clear pattern to postings (darn it)

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11 hours ago, HolymoleyRE said:

On other soldiers service records I have found some close RAMC Service Numbers (even 105482, 10 away) and no clear pattern to postings (darn it)

This may help a little for your man's initial service?  Service records for 105497 (Thomas Hollinshead) and 105498 (Albert Hyslop) show a pattern of service that fits with the initial posting of your man to Ireland.  Both enlisted in Manchester on 11th December 1915 (possibly as Special Reservists?) and were both immediately posted to 14th Company RAMC in Dublin.

 

Steve

Edited by SteveE
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