Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Gnr Alexander Houston 22182 RFA (or is it Andrew Houston?)


David26

Recommended Posts

According to his service record, Alexander Houston enlisted in Paisley on 3 Sep 1914, giving his address as 18 Greenhill Road, Paisley, and his father's name as William.  His stated age was 19.  He was given service number 22182 and he served as a gunner in the RFA.  The record shows his service up until his death from wounds on 5 Jun 1918.

 

The same details are on his pension record.  Though it ends when he is discharged for misconduct on 21 Jan 1915. 

 

His MIC, his details on Soldier's Effects and the CWGC all list him as Andrew Houston (again service number 22182, RFA, DoW on 5 Jun 1918).  Curiously, CWGC give his father's name as Alexander and say Andrew Houston was 37 when he died. 

 

All records agree that he was serving in 58 Bde RFA when he died and that he qualified for the 14-15 Star by going to France on 13 Jul 1915.

 

Is it possible then that after Alexander Houston was discharged on 21 Jan 1915 he somehow managed to get himself re-instated with the same service number but under a different name?

 

David.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David,

What was the misconduct ?

 

It is unlikely that the death records, particularly the financial record Soldiers Effects, have other than the correct name. CWGC can have errors of course.

 

I was starting off with the idea that he may have lied on his initial attestation for whatever reason- hence Q over 'misconduct'. Is that misconduct detailed in his service record and is there no logical follow-on ?

 

But  if CWGC have correctly noted his age then there is surely far too big a discrepency (37 v 23) for it to be possible for him to have lied about his age on enlistment.

Incidentally I see his headstone has the following note:

               5af8165bc62db_HoustonARFAHeadstone.JPG.c7ff0e57c10ff72785d0a6587482b749.JPG

 

What next of kin does the Effects have ?

 

Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, David26 said:

According to his service record, Alexander Houston enlisted in Paisley on 3 Sep 1914, giving his address as 18 Greenhill Road, Paisley, and his father's name as William.  His stated age was 19.  He was given service number 22182 and he served as a gunner in the RFA.  The record shows his service up until his death from wounds on 5 Jun 1918.

 

The same details are on his pension record.  Though it ends when he is discharged for misconduct on 21 Jan 1915. 

 

His MIC, his details on Soldier's Effects and the CWGC all list him as Andrew Houston (again service number 22182, RFA, DoW on 5 Jun 1918).  Curiously, CWGC give his father's name as Alexander and say Andrew Houston was 37 when he died. 

 

All records agree that he was serving in 58 Bde RFA when he died and that he qualified for the 14-15 Star by going to France on 13 Jul 1915.

 

Is it possible then that after Alexander Houston was discharged on 21 Jan 1915 he somehow managed to get himself re-instated with the same service number but under a different name?

 

David.

 

 

If he had been discharged then any new enlistment should be with a new service number.

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think these are two different people joining at the same time, either cousins or brothers. Alexander, who was given 22182 was discharged for persistent absence in January 1915. Andrew, who was older was given 22183 but the records of 22182 were updated with his details accidentally (the Died of Wounds remark has been crossed out as cancelled). There is a lot of updating also in the Effects record which includes not only brothers Donald, James and William but a Mrs M C Noble, daughter of Alexander, who would be a sister.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

David,

What was the misconduct ?

 

It is unlikely that the death records, particularly the financial record Soldiers Effects, have other than the correct name. CWGC can have errors of course.

 

I was starting off with the idea that he may have lied on his initial attestation for whatever reason- hence Q over 'misconduct'. Is that misconduct detailed in his service record and is there no logical follow-on ?

 

But  if CWGC have correctly noted his age then there is surely far too big a discrepency (37 v 23) for it to be possible for him to have lied about his age on enlistment.

Incidentally I see his headstone has the following note:

               5af8165bc62db_HoustonARFAHeadstone.JPG.c7ff0e57c10ff72785d0a6587482b749.JPG

 

What next of kin does the Effects have ?

 

Charlie

Paid to his brothers- Donald, James, William. Also to a Mrs M C Noble, daughter of Alexander (can't make out surname)/

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, ss002d6252 said:

aughter of Alexander (can't make out surname)/

probably a sister, so daughter of Alexander Houston ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, David Porter said:

I think these are two different people joining at the same time, either cousins or brothers. Alexander, who was given 22182 was discharged for persistent absence in January 1915. Andrew, who was older was given 22183 but the records of 22182 were updated with his details accidentally (the Died of Wounds remark has been crossed out as cancelled). There is a lot of updating also in the Effects record which includes not only brothers Donald, James and William but a Mrs M C Noble, daughter of Alexander, who would be a sister.

I think so to.


The war gratuity of £18 net (£22 gross ) gives 46 months service at the time of death, so enlistment no later then 5 September 1914. If he had been discharged at some point there would be a break in his war gratuity entitlement. A discharge for misconduct would have forfeited the gratuity earned to to that date.
 

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

probably a sister, so daughter of Alexander Houston ?

This is what it shows,
image.png.1986979a36791edaa93fdf0b0af186f7.png

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I think David's post4 has the correct answer.

Charlie

Just now, ss002d6252 said:

This is what it shows,

Alexander, deceased

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This case adds weight to what I have long suspected. That, for the RH & RFA, the records of Non Effectives were kept separate from those that had died in service. I cannot find a record for 22183 enlisting in September 1914, which I suspect was Andrew. It is usually those that died who have fewer surviving records. The interpretation of the number pressed into the dog tag was also quite hit and miss, coupled with the casualty lists only giving an initial for Christian name, errors like like could easily occur.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Craig, Charlie, David,

 

thank you all so much.  That certainly clears up much of my confusion.  (I too couldn't work out why a next of kin could be cited by the CWGC with such obvious "errors").

 

So, Andrew Houston (son of an Alexander and Ann Houston, and brother to Donald, James and William Houston and a Mrs M C Noble) was the man who served and died.  Alexander Houston (svc nr 22182, son of a William Houston) was a different person who served and was discharged.

 

David - I can't find any records for an Andrew Houston under service number 22183, so might you be able to point me to where I might find that? 

 

Thank you all again,

 

 David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry - just re-read your last message David, so realise that 22183 is a probable number for Andrew Houston based on an absence of others who might otherwise have taken that number.

 

David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, David26 said:

Sorry - just re-read your last message David, so realise that 22183 is a probable number for Andrew Houston based on an absence of others who might otherwise have taken that number.

 

David.

There is a service record for a #22183 RFA enlisting at Paisley on 3 Sep 1914 but that is named to 19 yr old John Orr of Paisley
https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM/WO363-4/007270630/00573&parentid=GBM/WO363-4/7270630/50/573

 

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Craig, don't know why I missed that. Looks like they both got the same number - again by accident. There were thousands of men turning up at the RFA Depots at that time. Anyway, a lot more background to Andrew is here - http://www.bridgeofweirmemorial.co.uk/profile-houstonandrew.html

Edited by David Porter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, David Porter said:

Thanks Craig, don't know why I missed that. Looks like they both got the same number - again by accident. There were thousands of men turning up at the RFA Depots at that time. Anyway, a lot more background to Andrew is here - http://www.bridgeofweirmemorial.co.uk/profile-houstonandrew.html

Just seems like a lot of clerical errors along the way - not surprising with the sheer number of records to keep up with. I've seen the same with DLI men where batches of men were doubled up and had to be renumbered to sort the problem.

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you David - that's super.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...