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Colin M-S

Arthur Smith - Rifles Brigade

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stiletto_33853
Posted (edited)

Colin,

Given that the family moved to Sheppey, I would think that maybe he was on the permanent staff in with the 5th or 6th. A lot of old regulars being mobilised in August 1914 were discharged as unfit, also there was a chronic shortage of NCO's with experience. Also while soldiers were in either battalion they were being moved around to various Command Depots (Sutton Coldfield, Shoreham, Tipperary) or various Garrison Home Service battalions (Northants, Bedfords, Devons etc), Convalescent homes and so on.

On 1/1/16 the 5th had 1,552 Rank and File, 28 Buglers, 122 sergeants, 20 W.O.'s & 67 officers.

On 1/1/16 the 6th had 1,410 Rank and file, 24 Buglers, 106 Sergeants, 3 W.O.'s, 88 officers. To add to this they had various numbers in Sutton Coldfield, Shoreham & Winchester.

On 1/1/17 the 5th had 2,388 Rank and file, 13 Buglers, 142 Sergeants, 22 W.O.'s and 98 officers.

On 1/1/17 the 6th had 2,194 Rank and file, 10 Buglers, 110 Sergeants, 27 W.O.'s and 81 officers. To add to this troops at the 47th Base Depot, Depot at Winchester, and with the onset of the Training Reserve Battalions troops with the 108th, 109th, 110th, 111th & 112th TRB's.

On 1/1/18 the 5th had 1,301 Rank and File, 11 Buglers, 82 Sergeants, 24 W.O.'s and 237 officers

On 1/1/18 the 6th had 1,346 Rank and file, 12 Buglers, 113 Sergeants, 23 W.O.'s and 151 officers. To add to this troops at the Base Depot, depot at Winchester, 51st Graduated, 52nd & 53rd Young Soldier battalions.

The lack of a Medal Index Card or records, and with the family moving to the Isle of Sheppey seems to indicate he never served overseas (I stand to be corrected if one can be found) but I have run through the Smiths in all the Regular battalions with all the Smiths having different middle names. The British War Medal/Victory medal roll usually gives the middle name if there is none on the MIC.

Then we come to the B Prefix, a lot of these were old soldiers and discharged as being unfit. The S Prefix also has a lot of old soldiers, a lot discharged due to fitness also. The P Prefix has a lot of North London men and an awful lot of soldiers being discharged as being underage. Etc., Etc.

Would he have re-enlisted under an alias.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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stiletto_33853

As an example please see attached page from 5th RB for October 1917.

 

Andy

DSC07000 copy.jpg

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MBrockway

Also if we admit the possibility that Arthur Meadows Smith may have been known as plain "A. Smith" with no middle initial, then any of the many "A. Smith"'s in the four Regular battalions who were discharged with Silver War Badges would almost certainly have preceded their discharge with a spell at 5th or 6th battalions in the Sheerness area or the Rifle Depot at Winchester.

 

... and of course a returning Regular reservist could have been posted into the Service battalions as an NCO to 'leaven' the Kitchener volunteers.

 

 

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Colin M-S

Thank you Andy & Mark,  your feedback has been excellent and very much appreciated. 

 

One last question, did the Rifle Brigade have any connection to Cambridge during the war years, the reason I ask is my grandfather mentioned that he lived for a short while in Cambridge as a child, I have struggled to find out if this is fact or fiction. 

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stiletto_33853
Posted (edited)

No Official ties to Cambridge. The 3rd RB spent a small amount of time there with the 6th Division whilst it concentrated in the area and conducted some training.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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Colin M-S
Posted (edited)

3rd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Cork as part of the 17th Brigade of the 6th Division then moved to Cambridge and afterwards on to Newmarket.

12.09.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at St. Nazaire and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

 

6th (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Winchester at the outbreak of war and then moved to Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey and remained there until the end of the war.

 

Andy,any idea how long the 6th Reserve remained in Cambridge and what the policy was with wives and children,  this could be a missing piece of the jigsaw...

Edited by Colin M-S

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stiletto_33853
Posted (edited)

6th Rifle Brigade were never at Cambridge, they spent the whole war on Sheppey as a reserve Battalion and part of the South Thames Garrison. The 3rd Rifle Brigade were part of the 6th Infantry Division. The whole Division concentrated around Cambridge and conducted some training there. The 3rd RB were at Cambridge less than a month.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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stiletto_33853

img069.jpg

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Colin M-S

My grandfather has done a good job in confusing me with his tales, Harrow or Cambridge, stick or twist! 1st or 3rd Bn or  5th/6th, guess we will never know. Although I have managed to trace some of Arthur's grandchildren and will be writing to them soon. 

 

I've attached a photo my Aunt found in my grandparent's collection, 90% certain it is Arthur Smith. 

 

Thank you once again for all your feedback. 

who is this?.jpeg

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stiletto_33853

Colin,

Let us know if Arthur's grandchildren come up with something.

 

Andy

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Colin M-S

The photo is confirmed as being Arthur Smith, it was taken by well known photographer based in Sheppey, L. G Mason. 

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