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Remembered Today:

Record of (posthumous?) Promotion


Fujdog
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Hi, I'm trying to establish the date of promotion to Captain for Tom Rees of No.11 Squadron, which  legend has it, was confirmed on the date of his death, 17 September 1916.

 

I've checked all of these and not found a definite date:

AIR 76 (there doesn't seem to be a file for him at all, perhaps it was lost in the fire that destroyed many RFC officer records)

Gazette (triple checked!)

airhistory.co.uk

 

His WO 339 file gives him the title of Captain, but only in the file name. It's incomplete and also doesn't include a note of his RFC transfer date. All other correspondence in it, including the posthumous administration of his accounts, and War Office correspondence as late as 1934,  all call him a Lieutenant.

 

As does the casualty card.

 

Can anyone suggest anywhere else I could look? Or an explanation why he should be a Captain in the WO 339 file name but nowhere else?

 

Many thanks

Jill

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Jill

 

Trevor Henshaw's book The Sky Their Battlefield shows him as a Lt on the date of his death.  Trevor is a forum member and it maybe that  if you contact him he might be able shed  some light on the matter.

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves
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5 hours ago, Terry_Reeves said:

Jill

 

Trevor Henshaw's book The Sky Their Battlefield shows him as a Lt on the date of his death.  Trevor is a forum member and it maybe that  if you contact him he might be able shed  some light on the matter.

 

TR

Hi Terry, thanks for your response. I've got Trevor's book and he's been kind enough to answer many annoying questions from me by email.

 

Jill

 

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Hi Jill,

Just to confirm a couple more things off the actual Casualty Report - he is definitely shown as "Lt" on that document.  And the mention of Lt Turk - that's 2Lt HH Turk - is that he reported seeing two FEs going down in control west of Marcoing.  That's the exact detail.  And note, that Rees was found after the war buried in a German grave in Villers Plouich Communal Cemetery, which is only a kilometer or two away from Marcoing.  The CWGC Grave Registration Report then gives his rank as Captain.  None of which answers your query!  But at least you may have a bit more to write about while you are waiting to find the date of the official promotion.  It feels like this will be in his paperwork somewhere, for sure.

Cheers now,

Trevor

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It will be recorded in the London Gazette which is a searchable database. There are a few members who know their way around the rather arcane search function.I believe there is an index as well....a plea to the Forum will flush out the announcement date.It may have been backdated which might be the source of confusion as per Kipling. 

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Thanks both -  if anyone out there can come up with the date I would be really grateful!

 

I'm now on my fourth check of the Gazette, having watched both "How to search the Gazette" videos. Latest attempt using "T" AND "Rees" AND "Supplement" and "Flying" ;).

 

If it was backdated that knocks the story about it coming through on the day of his death out of the park.

 

Jill

 

 

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The Oct 1916 Army List still has him listed under the 14th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers as a Temporary Lieutenant with promotion date of 29th Jun 1915

 

By the time the Dec 1916 Army List was printed he had disappeared from the nominal roll of the Battalion.His last sighting was as a Temp Lt.

 

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On 20/07/2017 at 22:02, QGE said:

The Oct 1916 Army List still has him listed under the 14th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers as a Temporary Lieutenant with promotion date of 29th Jun 1915

 

By the time the Dec 1916 Army List was printed he had disappeared from the nominal roll of the Battalion.His last sighting was as a Temp Lt.

 

Thank you for checking  - I was wading through the Army lists yesterday but was finding that even more laborious than the Gazette.

 

Jill

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On 20/07/2017 at 23:44, Fujdog said:

Thank you for checking  - I was wading through the Army lists yesterday but was finding that even more laborious than the Gazette.

 

Jill

He seems to be curiously absent from the RFC lists in the Sep 1916 Army List..... I looked in the index for a T Rees in the Sep, Oct, Nov and Dec editions and the only T Rees in any is the man in the 14th Bn RWF and a T Rees in the Res of Officers. 

 

There are a few experts in Gazette searching. I would suggest starting a tread with Gazette Help! as a title. Some of them have the indexed volumes (or know how to find them. If he was promoted to Captain it had to be Gazetted and he has to be in there somewhere. The search function is limited by the underlying OCR so any OCR error will make him impossible to find, which is why I would suggest looking at the Index volumes for his name. 

 

I have researched over 500 individuals in the Guards Div tracking the entries in the Army List with the London Gazette entries and there is a 99% accuracy. Errors are rare and nearly always corrected. The Army Lists were updated with London Gazette data on the last date of each month so the lag would only be,say a month or two at the very most. Given the available evidence I suspect his promotion as posthumous and backdated. 

 

Good luck with your search. MG

 

Edit. I have discovered ho to view the Index volumes (bottom of the page, click Gazette (e.g London gazette, then year then quarter (1,2,3 or 4). Searching the Indexes for 3Q 1916, 4Q 1916, 1Q 1917, and 2Q 1917 there is no T Rees. Unless he was promoted 9 months after his death I am now thinking there is something wrong with the chain of evidence. MG

 

Edit 2. If he as eported as 'Missing' and not assumed to be dead, then it is possible that his promotion might have been a long time after his death..so it might be worth searching the later Indexes.. just a thought. MG

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I had a look through FMP's LG records and couldn't see anything regarding Captain for him.

Craig

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How curious. Thank you both for your help. The backdated promotion seems the most obvious thing - although it must have been very delayed if the War Office were still calling him a Lieutenant in 1934.

 

I'll have a go at searching the later indexes when I'm back from holiday.

 

Thanks again.

 

Jill

Edited by Fujdog
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