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Colin M-S

Arthur Smith - Rifles Brigade

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Colin M-S

Hi I'm trying to trace my Great Grandfather  Arthur Smith, some of his records refer to him as Arthur Meadows Smith, with several variations on the spelling of Meadows. Year of birth 1886,Kingston Upon Thames. His marriage certificate (married a Annie Morgan , Belfast 1907) indicates that he was a bugler in the 1st Rifle Brigade in 1907 and based at the Palace barracks Holywood , Belfast. I've been told the 1st Rifle Brigade was stationed here between 1905 and 1909. By the time his second son was born in 1912 he had left the army and was working as a postman somewhere in Northern Ireland, probably Warrenpoint the birthplace of both of his sons. James Smith & William Joseph Smith

 

I have found newspaper articles stating that a private Smith rejoined the army in WW1 but no details of which regiment. Making an educated guess ! I'm going to presume that he rejoined the Rifle Brigade. 

 

Records indicate that the family moved from Warrenpoint Ireland to the Isle of Sheppey, Kent and more children were born in 1920.

 

I've found out the following, which may explain why the family ended up on the Isle of Sheppey

 

5th (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : at Winchester. A depot/training unit, it moved on mobilisation to Minster (Sheppey) where it remained as part of Thames & Medway Garrison.

 

6th (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : at Winchester. A depot/training unit, it moved on mobilisation to Sheerness, going on in March 1916 to Eastchurch where it remained as part of Thames & Medway Garrison.

 

Are there any records remaining for these battalions that I can search to find Arthur Smith.

 

Thanks

 

Colin

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ss002d6252

Unless he had originally enlisted in 1902 or earlier then he was still in his reserve commitment in 1914. He would have been intially recalled to the same regiment but possibly not the same battalion.

 

Craig

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ss002d6252

The usual age for enlistment was 18 so an assumption can be made it was 1904.
 

In late Dec 1903 / early 1904 the battalion had re-started their numbering sequence from #1 again so he should have a very low number. Prior to the sequence being restarted the numbers had reached #9,999.

http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/rifle-brigade-regular-battalions.html

 

Craig

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stiletto_33853

Hi Colin

 

Yes the 1st RB were in Ireland, arriving from Malta in October 1905, stationed at Palace Barracks, Holywood in Belfast until later in their tour where they were based in Dublin then Colchester in the UK. There are very little in the way of records for them being home based unit, just numbers of people with them at various times. Sometimes you can find the odd snippet like x amount of recruits arrived on such and such a date.

I do have some group photographs whilst at Sheppey, but these are all mainly officers with the occasional W.O. or NCO, none of these contain your relation.

 

Andy

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Colin M-S

Thanks for the feedback fella's , I'm going to contact the Rifles museum and see if they can help me trace his movements as I'm still drawing a blank

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stiletto_33853

A number would certainly help, I have gone through the Arthur Smith's I have on record with a number that might be close to the enlistment date. However, even the names that come up as plain Arthur Smith most have a middle name to them although none with Meadows.

 

Andy

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Colin M-S

Hi , I think I have made some progress, I have a copy of the medal card, but it doesn't tell me which battalion. Do you think it will be possible to find further details about the A Smith listed below.  thanks Colin

First Name: A
Surname: Smith
Information: Particulars furnished: Winchester 09/12/1916. Badge and Certificate issued: Winchester 05/01/1917.
Rank: Corporal
Service Number: B1780
Service From Date: 31/08/1914
Service To Date: 28/12/1915
Silver War Badge Number: 97134
War Office Ref. Number: M/242
Reason for Discharge:

Paragraph 392 King's Regulations (xvi) No longer physically fit for war service.

 

Archive Reference: WO329/3127

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stiletto_33853

Colin,

 

9th Battalion

Page B.1176 copy.JPG

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stiletto_33853

and his Silver War Badge Roll

List M.242 copy.JPG

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stiletto_33853

The B Prefix number makes sense as they were supposed to denote Army Reservists (Original number re-allocated) or Army Reservists (Discharged and Re-enlisted) although this does not quite stand up to scrutiny as a lot of new army men were given the B Prefix number. Most went to the 14th Division, not all but a good percentage.

Does not appear in the 16/12/15 Nominal Roll hardly surprisingly, just another 12 Smith's though on that roll.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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Colin M-S

Thanks Andy, great research. Sadly the A.Smith I thought was my grandfather is Albert Smith. The search continues. Do you have a list of A.Smith's in the third Battalion during WW1 with a rank of  private / corporal.

 

Arthur Smith married Annie Morgan in 1907 when he was in the 1st Rifle Brigade (Bugler)

A Private Henry Lester Foot married Maria Morgan the sister of Annie in September 1911, based at Richmond Barracks. Henry Foot served in the 3rd battalion and died in1914.

 

There is a chance that Arthur Smith might have joined the 3rd Battalion.

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Colin M-S

Forgot to say that Henry Foot was a bugler also  and was 2 years younger than Arthur.  Are there any census returns for Richmond barracks in 1911 ? might show Arthur as being present.

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Colin M-S

Keep forgetting things !  When Henry was married he was a Bugler in the Rifle Brigade 1st Battalion ( same as Arthur) and transferred to the 3rd Battalion in WW1, which is why I think Arthur Smith might be there also.

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stiletto_33853

Phew,

Smith, could it have been easier:rolleyes:

 

There are 2 X A. Smith's in the 3rd out of 14 Smiths. First one is Albert Arthur, the second one is Arthur Frederick.

 

Henry Lester Foot, number 107, went overseas with the 3rd RB on 10/9/14 and was killed in action on 24/4/15, buried in Chapelle - D'Armentieres Old Military Cemetery.

 

 

Foot, H.L., 107, 4th RB 24-4-15.JPG

Edited by stiletto_33853

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stiletto_33853

Many Smith's in the 1st battalion, only one with the initial A. is number 6726, and his forename was Arthur.

 

Andy

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Colin M-S

Hi Andrew,

 

Thanks for the photo and the reference to Arthur Smith. I had seen that service number previously but had discounted it because I thought Arthur was a Corporal. However the newspaper source I am working from does have some other errors in it ( Henry Foot's unit being one) so it's possible that they listed Arthur's rank incorrectly.

 

I've attached some files regarding Henry Lester  Foot, Arthur Smith and his 4 brothers in law, Frank,John,Patrick and William Morgan( my great great uncles) Both Frank and John Morgan died in WW1 and their brother Patrick was injured and also became a POW (see photo) and survived the war, William was in the navy and also survived.

Good man Frank.pdf

War grave Frank Morgan photo.jpg

MORGAN_JOHN.pdf

POWs.jpg

41803_626640_11989-00114.jpg

Morgan brothers news article.pdf

£5 gift to Henry Foot widow.pdf

Edited by Colin M-S

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stiletto_33853

Colin, POW 26/8/14

34 copy.jpg

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Colin M-S

Hi,

 

I've managed to obtain the wedding certificates of Arthur Smith's children, on one of the certificates, Arthur Smith is listed as a Sergeant, Rifle Brigade and on another he is listed as being a Staff Sergeant, Rifle Brigade.

 

A slim chance but would anyone have any possible matches, Arthur's wife and children where living in Sheerness in 1918 ( moved from Ireland), so I'm going to assume that at some point in the war he was posted to the Isle of Sheppey.

 

Colin

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MBrockway
On 07/09/2017 at 15:17, Colin M-S said:

Keep forgetting things !  When Henry was married he was a Bugler in the Rifle Brigade 1st Battalion ( same as Arthur) and transferred to the 3rd Battalion in WW1, which is why I think Arthur Smith might be there also.

 

What makes you think the Army posted Arthur Smith to 3/RB just because they'd done the same to his wife's brother-in-law?

 

Mark

 

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stiletto_33853
Posted (edited)

I have just gone through all the RB POW's for 1914 from the Rifle Brigade Prisoners of War Help Fund which lists the address and numbers of all taken POW in 1914, the Smiths listed are not Arthur M and all the address listed are UK. Is there any proof he actually served overseas during the war or kept on Sheppey as a drill instructor or some other role??

1.jpg

Edited by stiletto_33853

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MBrockway
On 07/09/2017 at 16:45, stiletto_33853 said:

Many Smith's in the 1st battalion, only one with the initial A. is number 6726, and his forename was Arthur.

 

Andy

 

Service Number 6726 would point to an enlistment in approx mid 1899.

 

Colin's Arthur Meadows SMITH was born in 1886, so would only have been ~13 years old in 1899.

 

Could be an enlistment as a Boy?  Otherwise we may be able to exclude 6726 Smith, Arthur.

 

Mark

 

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ss002d6252
6 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

 

Service Number 6726 would point to an enlistment in approx mid 1899.

 

Colin's Arthur Meadows SMITH was born in 1886, so would only have been ~13 years old in 1899.

 

Could be an enlistment as a Boy?  Otherwise we may be able to exclude 6726 Smith, Arthur.

 

Mark

 

A boy soldier could join from 14 - that's not to say that some slightly younger boys didn't get in though.

Craig

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MBrockway
Posted (edited)

Just chasing down a lead for another RB rifleman with SN 6726 but different surname, died of fever in 1900.

 

Edit:

 

6726 Rfn Albert COTTIS, 2/RB, Died of enteric fever at Ladysmith, 18 Mar 1900.

 

It is possible that 6726 Cottis might have been issued his SN from the first series in early 1884, so we cannot yet rule out the possibility of 6726 Smith coming from the second series in mid 1899, and of course the RB was not far off 6726 in the third series at the outbreak of the war in 1914.

 

It was certainly possible in the KRRC and RB to have two Regulars, possibly even three, sharing the same SN - I posted an example a few weeks back.

 

I am going through the QSA and KSA rolls at the moment, but because of the way the two regiments were jumbled up into Mounted Infantry and composite units etc., the Boer War rolls require careful reading lest one misses something.

 

Mark

 

Edited by MBrockway

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MBrockway
Posted (edited)

Update:

 

QSA roll also has ...

6726 Rfn A. SMITH, 2/RB, Transvaal clasp, invalided to England on board SS Simla on 21 Apr 1902.

 

If this is 'our' Arthur Meadows Smith, then he would have been approx 16yrs old in 1902.

 

 

Edited by MBrockway

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