Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Kathryn Steeman

John Smith RHA Gnr 39257

Recommended Posts

Kathryn Steeman

Thanks Max, looked on old 1888 map of London trying to see which suburbs were next to what, but wasn't able to read everything as some was faint. Will down load. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn Steeman

David, where did you get the one with the family names on it, have been looking through FMP under military but can't find the one with the names on it you have. May not be entering dates correctly, what info did you put in fields to bring up that one?? Max I saw and have down loaded the two Shadwell ones. So even though the 1911 one was applied for he didn't make it, what would have prevented him from getting in??

 

Many thanks for great help received!

 

Kathryn in NZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Porter

Kathryn,

 

The information is on the 1911 one - service No. 4218. You have to view/download every page.

It just states that there was a medical reason for him not likely to become an efficient soldier.

Also, please realise that the Rifle Brigade is completely different to the RHA.

Your John Smith WAS NOT Gunner John Smith RHA 39257 as I've just discovered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaxD

https://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/results?sourcecategory=armed+forces+%26+conflict&firstname=george+walter+&firstname_variants=true&lastname=smith&yearofbirth=1893&yearofbirth_offset=2&keywordsplace=shadwell&sourcecountry=great+britain

 

This link brings up only the two Shadwell records. The top one is the one David has copied family information from.  

 

You said earlier that you had the attestation form for George walter - is this the one you have got?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaxD

You said you had a 1911 census record in Calcutta for an John Smith age 23 from London Middlesex in the Rifle Brigade.   I don't think you have looked at the original - apart from transcribing Calcutta as Calentta, FMP have transcribed his age incorrectly, he is 20. Click on "View image" or the image logo and look closely.

 

Just to make a point, I have looked through the whole of the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade in 1911.  There are (at least) two more John Smiths - one age 24 giving place of birth Stepney* Middlesex and the other age 27 London Middlesex.  

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/2352/rg14_34988_0695_35?pid=39400161&backurl=https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D2352%26h%3D39400161%26tid%3D%26pid%3D%26usePUB%3Dtrue%26_phsrc%3DJdV5137%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=JdV5137&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true#?imageId=rg14_34988_0691_35

 

*Stepney is also in the same east end area of London as Mile End so if you had found the age 24 one first you may have been tempted to take him as your man??

 

This doesn't take us any further but does illustrate the necessity of looking closely and fully at original images and proves the difficulty of being certain without service numbers or a service record.

 

I didn't ask before, has the family got any medals?

 

I don't know what you expect to achieve with the war diaries but there are three that cover 1914-1919, first three on this page

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_aq=2 rifle brigade&_ep=diaries&_dss=range&_ro=any&_p=1900&_st=adv

They are on Ancestry.  Go to war diaries France/Belgium/Germany, enter 1731 in the keyword are and nothing else, this will bring up all three.

 

 

Good luck

 

Max

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn Steeman

Thanks for all the info Max and David, will look closer at images in future. Just wanted to read through the war diaries as you get a sense of where they were and where they went. Read through all 111 and 107 pages of 5th Brigade 8th Division RHA. There was a Sargent Smith whom was one of 4 that got certain medal presented in Nov or Dec 1916 they listed the NCO and the 3 others on the page but didn't give any service numbers. probably the John Smith 39257.

I am familiar with Stepney as this is where my Mother was born, plus the names Bethnal Green and Mile End but wasn't sure what was next suburbs beside them. I actually didn't see the John Smith's aged 24 and 27 as only put date up to 23 thought he may have only added a couple of years on when entering as probably the recruiter would have been more suspicious if he had tried to say even older. 

They say you learn something new every day! Did not realise that the arrow on the right hand side meant there was more than one document! You must think I am really thick, sorry never thought about what that arrow indicated.

I have attached the George Smith attestation I thought was him but obviously is not as that 1911 thing is 100% his family's names. So Rifle Brigade is that part of the infantry?? Will be interesting to see where John Smith's brigade was in India and whether they were with RHA lot at some stage during WW1. This will prove if Grand-dad was trying to sound important by association, as I know it was a privilege to serve in RHA ,only the best got in or whether he was lying again as he didn't marry until 1918 so no one would question him.

As to the medals, yes Mum said she remembers seeing them once as he didn't bring them out very often. Where they went I would not know. Definitely not to the oldest son, as he went into Air force in WW2 and Mum said Grand Dad more or less disowned him for it. Army or Navy yes but not "a bloody brill cream boy!" . Mum's oldest brother , George, copped a lot of abuse from his Dad as well as Mum's eldest sister as they were 11 and 12 years older than Mum. Gertrude or Sis as she was known went into Womens Army. Signed up in 1939 at the beginning and went to Warley barracks I think it was called. Ended up a Sargent, Mum said Grand-dad was" right proud of me oldest gel!" I take my hat off to Uncle George for standing up and doing what he wanted to do and not what someone else said he should do! I was hoping to clarify exactly what medals John Smith got as thought I might get some replicas as a surprise Xmas present for Mum. At 86 it is hard to know what to get them that they don't already have.

 

Will look into John Smith under that number given. Thanks so much for solving the mystery! Great to have so much help as I think I would have been chasing my tail for ages otherwise.

How hard is it to get info on Mum's siblings that were in WW2 if you don't know service numbers?? and those that did National service in late 40's or during 50's??

 

It's after midnight here so going to get some Zzzzzz

 

Kathryn in NZ

GBM_WO363-4_007273552_01435.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaxD

At least you can now eliminate the attestation you had which is for a man in the Royal Garrison Artillery, from Walthamstow (some miles away from Mile End), born 1892,joined in 1914, had a brother Thomas, discharged in 1915 for deserting!  

 

The Rifle Brigade is part of the infantry.  2nd battalion was one of the units in the 8th Division which, up till January 1917, did have an RHA brigade (by coincidence 5 Brigade) among its 14 different artillery units.  Potted history here:

http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/battalion.php?pid=6863

 

If you are going to "adopt" 2798 Rifleman John Smith (the one David found) as yours then his medal entitlement was to the 1914 Star, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and a Silver War Badge (this is not a medal).  Details here:

http://www.greatwar.co.uk/medals/ww1-campaign-medals.htm

 

WW2 and later records - none on line, have to be applied and paid for.  Details here:

https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records  Can use date of birth instead of numbers, but read the conditions carefully re death certificates etc.

 

Max

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaxD

More for you to read if you have woken refreshed!

 

Here are 2nd Rifle Brigade's stations in India in the relevant time frame.

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/The_Rifle_Brigade

It really is not possible to run through all the RHA batteries in India and where they were in the same time frame, I posted the 1911 locations earlier although they should be taken with a pinch of salt, batteries moved around!

 

Max

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

From 8th Division Standing Orders and Directory, printed 1914

img070.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn Steeman

Many thanks for the links Max, will look into them tonight as have to go to work today,luckily it was a holiday yesterday for us! Don't laugh but it was Queen's birthday long weekend! nowhere near her real birthday only because the April date clashes with ANZAC day holiday. Will look forward to reading all the new details in links. So the war diary I have for 5th Brigade 8th Division does have some relevance! I am sure I saw mention of rifle brigade just have to go back through and check name of brigade and also places mentioned. This also explains why the diary I have finished at end of 1916. Thought I would have to find a further diary as thought it strange it ended half way through the war! Thanks for info on what medals John Smith had will look into what the costing is to get replicas. Mum has only got 1 photo copy of a photograph of her father and nothing else. Looking at it , it looks like he is wearing the SWB . Will try and scan it and depending how it comes out will post for everyone to have a look at and tell me if it is possibly that.

 

Kathryn in NZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

If you need the battalions letters describing stations and events on a year by year basis I will scan them for you.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn Steeman

Wow! Thank you so much Andy, will you put them on this site or PM them?  Looking at what you posted some of those names do ring a bell! sure some appear in war diary I have. This is so wonderful all the help I have been given! Thank you So So much!!

 

Kathryn in NZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

Kathyrn,

Let me know what years you need, this is 1911, every battalion of the Regiment wrote to the editor of The Rifle Brigade Chronicles describing events and the life of the battalion in where ever they were stationed. I have gone through the sports pages and results to see if there was a Smith there, none listed in the sports.

 

Andy

img071.jpg

img072.jpg

Edited by stiletto_33853

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

2nd RB, India 1911

img027 2.jpg

img029.jpg

img025.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn Steeman

Thanks for the article and the photos, do you have anything about the brigade just before they get sent back to England to be sent into battle in WW1 ?

 

Please find attached the one and only Photo of my Grandfather and then this was already a scan of the original photo, whom has that is anyone's guess!John Smith Photo.pdfJohn Smith Photo.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaxD

Kathryn

 

Andy has provided a gold mine for you to enjoy and he is the man when it come to the Rifle Brigade so take advantage of his offer to look at other years in  India from 1908 and at the war years.

You said - I am sure I saw mention of rifle brigade just have to go back through and check name of brigade  - when mentioning reading the 5 Brigade RHA diary.  Be careful, the word brigade means different things all at the same time:

The Rifle Brigade was a regiment of infantry that had 6 battalions at the start of the war and many more by the end.  2nd Battalion was one of these.

2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade was one of four infantry battalions that were the major part of 25th Infantry Brigade, one of the four brigades of 8th Division.

8th Division were supported by 5 Brigade RHA, 3 Royal Field Artillery (RFA) brigades and others.

So when you see "brigade" or "Bde" in a diary it is more than likely the infantry brigade or the artillery brigade that is being referred to.  2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade would be referred to as 2 RB or 2 RRB or by its full title.

I am sorry if that is a bit schoolmasterish but I sense a bit of getting carried away with new found knowledge!  My suggestion would be to back pedal on the RHA now and concentrate on 2 RB.

 

Just seen the photo.  His button looks to me as if it has the Rifle Brigade bugle on it which is another piece of evidence that the RHA story has been a bit garbled over the intervening 100 years and that John really was a rifleman and not a horse gunner!

 

Good luck with your on going research!

 

Max

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn Steeman

Thanks so much Max, is there anywhere I can see a copy of such button?? Was a bit unsure it was the SWB as I read that you were suppose to only wear it on civilian clothing( to stop people from hounding an ex-soldier if there wound or sickness was not obvious) and the photo looked to me like a uniform!  Just being a bit cheeky at work as couldn't wait until I got home later. 

 

Actually Andy, what ever you have on the brigade lock stock and barrel before and during WW1 I would really appreciate. If too much to put on line am willing to pay for postage to NZ. It's not everyday you are able to get your hands on so much interesting information.

 

Will be back later

 

Kathryn in NZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaxD

Picture attached, Andy will correct me if I have chosen a wrong example!

 

The distinctive black buttons still worn by descendant regiments of the RB led in much later years to the slightly tongue in cheek term "black button mafia" when it appeared that their officers seemed to have all the best positions in the army.  Not true of course.

 

Max

buttons.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn Steeman

Brilliant Photo thanks Max

 

Must go though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

Another Smith:blink: just spent forever trying to help someone with their family history (Smith) in the 1st RB, oh well. The 2nd RB had a fairly torrid 1915-16 being nearly wiped out in March 1915 at Neuve Chapelle, rebuilt, demolished on 9th May 1915 at Aubers Ridge (Fromelles), heavy casualties on 25/9/15 at Bois Grenier and on 1st July 1916.

I will pm the war diary to you but given John Smith was discharged on 12th July 1916 due to wounds I would think the wounds were for one of the 1915 actions. Have you gone through the Times Casualty Lists??

Agree with Max re. the picture and button.

 

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

Kathryn,

I have sent by pm the war diary, here is the 1914 letter.

img075.jpg

img076.jpg

img077.jpg

img080.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stiletto_33853

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...