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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Seeking Help on 10 RE soldiers


Sapper Will

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Hello, I'm wondering if anyone has service information (beyond the MIC and medal rolls) on these Royal Engineers men who all landed in France on 20 January 1915, or can point me to possible sources. None of them seems to have a surviving service or pension record, but it's possible I've overlooked them.

 

29937   DVR Thomas H Steer

29965   DVR Norman Johnson                      

29967   DVR Sidney Bowler

29968   DVR Luke Sutton

29980   SCS, later DVR Frank James Burt                       

29981   SCS, later DVR John R Smith                             

29991   SCS, later DVR George Dungey                         

29994   SCS, later DVR Ernest Ayles                               

29995   SCS, later CPL John Hodges                              

29996   SCS Albert J Richards

 

 

Edited by Sapper Will
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None are on my RE index so they do not appear on any of the RE casualty lists that I have been posting, nor have I seen them in any of the 1916 RE WDs that I am currently trawling through looking for named o/rs. Although not on your list 29998 William James Miles has a Pension Record that shows he was a 37 year old Shoeing Smith from Shrewbury when he enlisted in December 1914. He served in France from 20/01/1915 to 04/02 1915. His Unit is not shown and he does not appear on the SWB Rolls. 

Brian

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Thank you, Brian. I remember seeing Miles and it would have made sense to include him in the list; I think I had the impression he landed the next day. If memory serves, he embarked from Aldershot (probably the RE mounted school) and was stationed at the RE base at Rouen before returning to Britain.

 

In looking at the available service records for men with numbers near this sequence, it appears that these specially-enlisted men with certain trades had a high turnover rate, being often discharged as "not likely to become an efficient soldier."

Edited by Sapper Will
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#29960 Driver WE Bell arrived in France in April 1915. Joined 15th Signal.Coy from signal depot in June 1917. Doing the near number trawl may be a loss leader due to the REs duplication of numbers.....just a thought are they all prewar regulars...hence the high turnover..As they are large number of prewar service records for 299## men?

 

Andy

Edited by HolymoleyRE
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21 hours ago, Sapper Will said:

29968   DVR Luke Sutton

Name:L

Surname:Sutton

Age:24

Index Number of Admission:58055

Rank:Shoeing Smith

Service Number:29968

Years Service:4 Years

Months With Field Force:4 Years 1 Month

Ailment:Gonorrhoea

Date Transferred to Sick Convoy:18/12/1918

Date of Transfer From Sick Convoy:15/12/1918

Number of Days Under Treatment:135th Field Ambulance

Notes written in the Observations Column:No. 21 Ambulance Train

Religion:Church of England

Regiment:Royal Engineers

Battalion:2nd Pontoon Park

Other unit info:Army Troops

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21 hours ago, Sapper Will said:

29965   DVR Norman Johnson  

First Name:N

Surname:Johnson

Index Number of Admission:33010

Rank:Sapper

Service Number:29965

Ailment:Gunshot wound thigh(left)

Date of Admission for Original Ailment:18/07/1917

Date Discharged Back to Duty:18/07/1917

Date Transferred to Other Hospitals:Remy

Date of Transfer From Other Hospitals:Boulogne

Number/Designation of Ward:Ward M

Column:Trip 102

Regiment:Royal Engineers

Battalion:106th Field Company 

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45 minutes ago, HolymoleyRE said:

#29960 Driver WE Bell arrived in France in April 1915. Joined 15th Signal.Coy from signal depot in June 1917. Doing the near number trawl may be a loss leader due to the REs duplication of numbers.....just a thought are they all prewar regulars...hence the high turnover..As they are large number of prewar service records for 299## men?

 

Andy

 

Andy:

It's been some time since I looked at service records for men with close numbers, but as i recall there are not many that have survived. But of those that did, proportionally quite a few (over half) were discharged for inefficiency. I don't recall any being prior service. I believe there were calls made early in the war for men of various trades that the army needed, including farriers, shoeing and carriage smiths. These men may have been "specially embodied," receiving a crash course in military skills similar to that for the miners who were desperately needed for tunneling work in France. Based on surviving service records for men around these numbers, they all enlisted in November or December 1914; the 10 listed above landed in France about 5 or 6 weeks later.

5 minutes ago, HolymoleyRE said:

Name:L

Surname:Sutton

Age:24

Index Number of Admission:58055

Rank:Shoeing Smith

Service Number:29968

Years Service:4 Years

Months With Field Force:4 Years 1 Month

Ailment:Gonorrhoea

Date Transferred to Sick Convoy:18/12/1918

Date of Transfer From Sick Convoy:15/12/1918

Number of Days Under Treatment:135th Field Ambulance

Notes written in the Observations Column:No. 21 Ambulance Train

Religion:Church of England

Regiment:Royal Engineers

Battalion:2nd Pontoon Park

Other unit info:Army Troops

 

These are just what i was looking for. Thank you!

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10 minutes ago, Sapper Will said:

These are just what i was looking for. Thank you!

No worries that's all I can find for now.

Edited by HolymoleyRE
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The details you've provided support the assumption I've long had that these men were sent to France not to serve in a unit together but to fill spots in various RE units.

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Just now, Sapper Will said:

The details you've provided support the assumption I've long had that these men were sent to France not to serve in a unit together but to fill spots in various RE units.

I am inclined to concur.

 

Andy

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32 minutes ago, HolymoleyRE said:

I am inclined to concur.

 

Andy

 

And of course over the years of the war there is a definite chance of being transferred from unit to unit.

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