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DavidOwen

Under age Officers

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DavidOwen

Whilst browsing the 102nd Company Machine Gun Corps War Diary I have come across this entry

 

"14/12/16 2nd/Lieut G Bell Transferred to 2nd Army Central School, Auty 2nd Army A/2213 d/ 10/12/16 under age" 

(He had joined the company on 19/11/16 "reported for one month instruction" from 23rd NF (Northumberland Fusiliers))

 

Two days later (16/12/16)  Pvt Highton was detached  from the Company's strength to act as Bell's orderly.

 

Were many officers returned to base for being under age?

Edited by DavidOwen
correction to original regiment

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DavidOwen

Thinking of obtaining a copy of the above officer's service record.

 

I can see two possible candidates:

 

George Bell (whose MIC records a date of entry into Theatre of October 1917 which may rule him out, but if he was removed for being under age?) https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1141298

 

Guy Bayford Bell (whose MIC doesn't record 2nd Lieutenant) https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C675627

 

Anyone got any thoughts on the most likely candidate or indeed any possible thoughts on my original question?

 

Thanks as always for reading.

 

David

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ss002d6252

I've not come across any under-age officers myself. I thought the enlistment for officers was far more stringent.

 

Craig

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corisande
14 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

I've not come across any under-age officers myself. I thought the enlistment for officers was far more stringent. 

 

Most of the officers (well I believe "Most") were commissioned via the Ranks, and did not enlist as officers

 

I have come across a number in ADRIC (which deployed 2200 ex-officers in Ireland) who were under age

 

age.jpg.bb8641a491fe844b5cd9536caa2c345f.jpg

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DavidOwen
21 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

G B Bell is noted as died, 28th April 1917, aged 42.

http://www.rememberthefallen.co.uk/casualty/bell-guy-bayford/

 

Craig

Thanks Craig, looks like I am down to one then. I knew GB Bell had been killed, should have checked CWGC myself...

 

Thank you also Corisande. I did wonder if he was found out because he may have been "claimed".

 

Still find it odd that although he was "under age" they detached an OR to go and be his Orderly!

 

I think I shall splash the cash on the first (now only) candidate and see what the outcome may be.

 

David.

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ss002d6252
Quote

Still find it odd that although he was "under age" they detached an OR to go and be his Orderly!

I suppose he was still technically an officer until his commission was removed but it makes a slight mockery of the situation. I wonder if it was more a case of "Private Highton, keep an eye on him and make sure he gets back to where he's supposed to be going".


Craig

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DavidOwen
14 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

I suppose he was still technically an officer until his commission was removed but it makes a slight mockery of the situation. I wonder if it was more a case of "Private Highton, keep an eye on him and make sure he gets back to where he's supposed to be going".


Craig

In which case he had 2 days head start!

 

Service file ordered, will report back on anything I find (could have been weeded though).

 

 

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ss002d6252
5 minutes ago, DavidOwen said:

In which case he had 2 days head start!

 

Service file ordered, will report back on anything I find (could have been weeded though). 

 

It'll be interesting to know what it says.

Craig

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DavidOwen

What is also interesting is 2/Lt George Bell's MIC has a date of entry into Theatre of 11/10/1917 so presumably his previous foray didn't count or he is not my man. Interesting the Corps top line is blank, or is it?

 

Images courtesy Ancestry free access

 

image.png

image.png

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ss002d6252

I've just looked at the army lists from July - December 1916 but I can't see him in the 23rd NFus.


Craig

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DavidOwen

Cheers Craig

Could be a doozy to unravel.

David

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squirrel

I have the papers of an Officer who volunteered in September 1914, three weeks short of his 17th birthday. He was commissioned in March 1915 and spent the rest of that year at the Depot before arriving in France to join the first regular battalion of his regiment in January 1916, by which time he was just over 18 years old.

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tullybrone

Hi,

 

If anyone has a copy of Graham Stewart & John Sheen’s Tyneside Scottish book you may find him listed in the nominal roll’s at the back of the book if he came from 4th Tyneside Scottish.

 

I’m away from home at the moment so can’t check my copy.

 

Steve

 

PS

 

If the topic title reflected Tyneside Scottish it might bring Graham Stewart to the topic to share his NF knowledge.

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IPT

The youngest commissioned officer was Reginald Battersby, aged 15.  

 

He had enlisted in the Manchester Regiment at the age of 14, (adding 5 years to his age), and was promoted to L/Cpl within a week.  However, his father found out and had him commissioned in the East Lancs instead.  He was wounded on the first day of the Somme, aged 16, leading a platoon of sixty men.

 

It may not help, but it's a cracking story nonetheless - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_St_John_Battersby

 

 

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IRC Kevin

Technically speaking, Lt Stanley Knight Bates of the 1/5th King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment was underage, though his age was no secret, his father Maj. John Henry Bates being the 2i/c. He was killed on the Salient on 9 May 1915 aged just 17 and was possibly the youngest full Lieutenant in the Army at the time.

 

 

Stanley Kinght Bates.jpg

Edited by IRC Kevin

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DavidOwen

Thanks everyone for your replies.

 

Overnight I have realised the flaw in my search for 2nd Lieutenant G Bell as he was not in the Lancashire Fusiliers merely attached from the Northumberland Fusiliers (as I posted originally - Doh!) so back to the search option at TNA.....

 

Looks like the only candidate is this one https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1103344

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michaeldr

What exactly is meant by "under age" for an army officer?

This officer died of wounds just one week after his 18th birthday

http://www.winchestercollegeatwar.com/archive/dudley-hurst-brown/

 

[Things were slightly different in the RN

Eric Wheler Bush was born on 12th August 1899 and as a Midshipman (technically an officer) he won the DSC at Gallipoli]

 

 

 

 

 

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DavidOwen
On 03/08/2019 at 08:38, DavidOwen said:

Thanks everyone for your replies.

 

Overnight I have realised the flaw in my search for 2nd Lieutenant G Bell as he was not in the Lancashire Fusiliers merely attached from the Northumberland Fusiliers (as I posted originally - Doh!) so back to the search option at TNA.....

 

Looks like the only candidate is this one https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1103344

 

I now have this service record. There is no mention of him being removed as "under age" HOWEVER, his records include a nice colour original copy of his birth certificate which shows he was born on 28th January 1898 so he was under 19 when the war diary records him being removed as under age. There is no attestation in his records  but interestingly the inside cover showing the admin trail has at the very top of it "1245 destroyed in 1982 Birth Cert enclosed". The records do show him as being in France in February 1916. So I can only conclude this was the officer referred to in the original post 1 above, took them a while to discover it.

 

He was invalided to UK in 1917 as a result of Trench Fever and the Medical Board caused much concern when they inadvertently transferred him from the Northumberland Fusiliers to the MGC. Turns out he was on a Machine Gun Course at the time of the Board and they ordered he could return to duty with the MGC meaning until the course was over.... Took some correspondence to sort that out!

 

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