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tashhh

Pte B Falkner - 2nd and 7th Btn. Norfolk Regiment

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tashhh

Hi,

 

I previously posted a few years ago, but am back now with more information and knowledge.

 

My great-granddad, Bertie Falkner, of Wellingborough / Irchester, Northamptonshire, was born in 1899. He served in World War I, in the 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, soldier number 41110. He was awarded the victory and British War medal.

He went on to serve in India with the 2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment, number 5765029. He was awarded an India General Service Waziristan Medal with one clasp, 1919-1921. 

 

I have downloaded the 7th Btn. Norfolk war diaries to look through, but would like some more information.

 

I was hoping someone here might be able to help me with the following information:

 

-When did Bertie sign up for the War?

-How long did he stay with the 2nd Bat. Norfolks?

-Was he injured? My granddad told me that he survived a gas attack in WWI, and indeed, he did die in 1950 from lung cancer, and secondary spinal cancer. I am aware there is a link between mustard gas and lung cancer.

-Any details of his service.

 

I have attached the documents I have relating to his military career.

 

Also, he is in a hussar uniform in one of the photos I have of him. Can anybody explain why, or what regiment etc. this is related to?

 

Thanks in advance, 

Tasha.

 

20180602_105138.jpg

2 Battalion Norfolk Reg.jpg

Bertie Falkner, WW1.jpg

BertieFalknerIGS.jpg

BertieFalknerMIC.jpg

BritishArmyWWIMedalRollsIndexCards19141920_122610366.jpg

Medal info.jpg

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RussT

It looks like his 41110 7th Bn Norfolk Regiment number was allotted upon his transfer to the Norfolks at "L" IBD Calais on 13/01/1918.

 

When was he born? Records for other men with similar numbers were 18 yr olds being posted overseas from training reserve battalions.

 

The number falls within a range of numbers of men all in alphabetical order, typical for such a transfer of a batch arriving in France.

 

The number range seems to go from at least 41069 Buckman to 41199 Tillyer.

 

Regards

 

Russ

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tashhh
41 minutes ago, RussT said:

It looks like his 41110 7th Bn Norfolk Regiment number was allotted upon his transfer to the Norfolks at "L" IBD Calais on 13/01/1918.

 

When was he born? Records for other men with similar numbers were 18 yr olds being posted overseas from training reserve battalions.

 

The number falls within a range of numbers of men all in alphabetical order, typical for such a transfer of a batch arriving in France.

 

The number range seems to go from at least 41069 Buckman to 41199 Tillyer.

 

Regards

 

Russ

 

Hi,

He was born in November 1899.

 

Would he have taken part in any fighting on WWI, judging from his number?

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RussT

Ok, so that DoB fits

 

Given it seems he transferred to the 7th Bn Norfolk Regiment mid January 1918 you could now look at the war diary (which you say you have) from that date onwards to get an idea of the various activities and events the battalion was involved.

 

Russ

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Loader

In the first photo he is displaying a WOUND STRIPE on his lower left sleeve. So he was indeed wounded in action in some way & may have been the gas attack you mentioned. If he was gassed & sent back for treatment he was due a wound stripe or might have been shrapnel or bullet wound. But based on family history odds are it was for the gassing incident.

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tashhh
4 hours ago, RussT said:

Ok, so that DoB fits

 

Given it seems he transferred to the 7th Bn Norfolk Regiment mid January 1918 you could now look at the war diary (which you say you have) from that date onwards to get an idea of the various activities and events the battalion was involved.

 

Russ

 

Thank you for your help, I'm glad I have a timeline of roughly when he served now! I'm reading through the war diaries. I have to say, in surprised he survived, it sounds like it was awful!

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tashhh
2 hours ago, Loader said:

In the first photo he is displaying a WOUND STRIPE on his lower left sleeve. So he was indeed wounded in action in some way & may have been the gas attack you mentioned. If he was gassed & sent back for treatment he was due a wound stripe or might have been shrapnel or bullet wound. But based on family history odds are it was for the gassing incident.

 

I didn't even know this was a thing, thank you! I've just googled it! 

Would that mean this photo was taken before he returned to France?

 

Also, will the MOD still hold his India service records for 1918 onwards?

 

Thank you so much for your help.

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Loader

His photo with the wound stripe could have been taken any time after he recovered from his injury. He has no ribbons for  his WW1 service so possibly before the end of the war.

Can't help with your other questions re: his India records. Good luck in your search & glad I could help you with the wound stripe info. 

 

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JefR

Hi Tasha

 

I note that your GGF, 41110 Bertie Falkner b.1899, went to France at the age of 18 and was assigned to the 7th Norfolks on arrival in January 1918.  Russ tells us that he was one of a group of 130 who were transferred to the Norfolks at ”L” Infantry Base Depot in Calais on 13 January 1918.

 

By uncanny coincidence my father, 49085 Thomas Robinson b 1899, went to France at the age of 18 and was assigned to the 7th Norfolks on arrival in April 1918. He was one of a group of 100 who were transferred to the Norfolks at “G” Infantry Based Depot in Etaples on 7 April 1918.

 

Last week (7th June) I posted my dad’s story on the forum under the title “Most WW1 army service records were lost in the 1940 Blitz - but if the record you want is missing, it might now be possible to reconstruct it”.  It currently appears on page 13 of the forum’s “Topics” list.  To find it you could either start on page 13 and continue to page 14, 15 et cetera until you reach it, or alternatively enter a unique phrase from the title like “1940 Blitz - but“ (including the quotes) into the search box, (top right of the forum screen).  When the item comes up, click on the attachment - % A Draft of 100 v02 excl Web.pdf - and it should throw up my dad’s story as a 39-page document.

 

Then, if you work through the process on pages 6 - 13 I think you stand a good chance of finding service records of men who enlisted with your grandfather and if you get four or five that tell the same story you can assume that your great grandfather’s record would follow the same course.  Russ has already identified the first and last of his draft, 41069 Buckman to 41199 Tillyer,  so it’s just a question of slogging through the remaining 128 to get the names and numbers in between and then interrogating Ancestry or FindMyPast  for service records. A long job I know, but the end-point is worth it!  I’d really like to know how it works out.

 

One thing I think you should do straightaway is get in touch with the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum - I can’t put my finger on the telephone number right now but you can Google it -  they have a Casualty Book listing 15,000 men who served with the regiment and were reported killed, wounded or sick during the war -  up to around 9 September 1918.  It’s not yet online but if your GGF was gassed before that date there’s a good chance that details will be recorded and the museum staff will be delighted to help.

 

If you have any problems just get in touch with me, either here on the open forum or via the email contact address in the 39 page document.

 

Best regards

 

Jef

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JefR

Tasha

With my ancestry subscription about to run out I thought I would give it a final fling and have a quick look for service records relevant to your great-grandfather, 41110 FALKNER B, 7th Norfolks.

 

Service number analysis

First, I identified the men with adjacent service numbers around him from the TNA medal index card database, and found that their Norfolk numbers, just as in my father’s case, had been assigned in alphabetical order.   There are 125 names in this alpha/numeric sequence from 41086 CLAYSON Wm. H.T., to 41210 WYKES Colin F.  I haven’t checked through this list for service records, but that could (should?) be done, it depends how thorough you wish to be.

 

Service records.

Instead, I tried a shortcut I discovered when researching my dad’s story. 

The only surviving service records I found in my dad’s draft of 100 belonged to men who were killed in action, so I looked in the CWGC records to find soldiers with numbers around that of your GGF.

 

You’re in luck, it worked here as well (though there may be more service records of men who survived).  There were 10 service records between 41094 CUTLER, E and 41199 TILLYER Wm Charles. (I didn’t check the pension records).  They are:-

 

41098  DAY, Ernest William 7th Bn

41116  FULLER  Percy Edward   7th Bn

41161  MOORING  Leslie George  9th Bn

41179  RICHARDSON  Raymond Henry  9th Bn

41180  RIGDEN  George James   9th Bn

41183  ROGERS  Harold Douglas  9th Bn

41190  SMITH  Ernest Edward   9th Bn

41195  SWAINSBURY  George  9th Bn

41196  SWIFT  Horace Arthur  9th Bn

41197  TAYLOR  Walter Richard   9th Bn

 

I’ve had a quick skim through these service records, but again I haven’t studied them, that would need to be done to provide more detail of dates etc.   Very broadly speaking, the men seem to have enlisted in January/February 1917, assembled in the 25th Training Reserve Battalion (though 21 and 27 TRBs are also mentioned). Thereafter, there are references to 249th Inf Bn and 51st (Grad) Bedfordshire Rgt.  The following quote from the Long Long Trail website throws more light –

 

51st (Graduated) Battalion  Bedfordshire Regiment
Up to 26 October 1917, this was known as 249th Graduated Battalion and had no regimental affiliation. Before that it had been 25th Battalion of the Training Reserve…..

The whole contingent of 125 seems to have disembarked in France on 10th January 1918 and to have been split up as replacements into the 7th, 8th. and 9th Norfolks on 13th January at the Infantry Base Depot in Calais (as reported by Ross above).

 

Medal Rolls

Consulting the Medal Rolls show how the contingent was divided.  41086 - c41146 to the 7th Bn, c41147 - c41185 to the 8th Bn (see below) and c41186 – 41199 to the 9th Bn of the Norfolk Regiment.

Some of the 8th Bn records also include references to 7th and 9th Bns and once again the Long Long Trail website provides an explanation –

8th (Service) Battalion.
12 February 1918 : disbanded in France, officers and men going to 7th and 9th Battalions.

I hope this is helpful.

 

Jef

 

PS:  previously I’d recommended contacting the Norfolk Regiment Museum, and I still do, but the archives have restricted availability times. It might be best to email to ask if your GGF is in the Casualty Book.  Details are-

Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum
Shirehall
Market Ave
Norwich NR1 3JQ Tel 01603 493650
e-mail regimental.museum@norfolk.gov.uk

 

 

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tashhh

Wow, that's amazing, thank you so much for such a helpful, in-depth, and informative post. I will take a look at the service records of the men listed, as you recommended, and contact the museum to see if they hold any further information. It would be great if they did have a record of him in the casualty book!

 

Thank you again for your help, I will keep you updated!

 

 

On 18/06/2018 at 18:00, JefR said:

Tasha

With my ancestry subscription about to run out I thought I would give it a final fling and have a quick look for service records relevant to your great-grandfather, 41110 FALKNER B, 7th Norfolks.

 

 

 

Service number analysis

 

First, I identified the men with adjacent service numbers around him from the TNA medal index card database, and found that their Norfolk numbers, just as in my father’s case, had been assigned in alphabetical order.   There are 125 names in this alpha/numeric sequence from 41086 CLAYSON Wm. H.T., to 41210 WYKES Colin F.  I haven’t checked through this list for service records, but that could (should?) be done, it depends how thorough you wish to be.

 

 

 

Service records.

 

Instead, I tried a shortcut I discovered when researching my dad’s story. 

 

The only surviving service records I found in my dad’s draft of 100 belonged to men who were killed in action, so I looked in the CWGC records to find soldiers with numbers around that of your GGF.

 

 

 

You’re in luck, it worked here as well (though there may be more service records of men who survived).  There were 10 service records between 41094 CUTLER, E and 41199 TILLYER Wm Charles. (I didn’t check the pension records).  They are:-

 

 

 

41098  DAY, Ernest William 7th Bn

 

41116  FULLER  Percy Edward   7th Bn

 

41161  MOORING  Leslie George  9th Bn

 

41179  RICHARDSON  Raymond Henry  9th Bn

 

41180  RIGDEN  George James   9th Bn

 

41183  ROGERS  Harold Douglas  9th Bn

 

41190  SMITH  Ernest Edward   9th Bn

 

41195  SWAINSBURY  George  9th Bn

 

41196  SWIFT  Horace Arthur  9th Bn

 

41197  TAYLOR  Walter Richard   9th Bn

 

 

 

I’ve had a quick skim through these service records, but again I haven’t studied them, that would need to be done to provide more detail of dates etc.   Very broadly speaking, the men seem to have enlisted in January/February 1917, assembled in the 25th Training Reserve Battalion (though 21 and 27 TRBs are also mentioned). Thereafter, there are references to 249th Inf Bn and 51st (Grad) Bedfordshire Rgt.  The following quote from the Long Long Trail website throws more light –

 

 

 

 

51st (Graduated) Battalion  Bedfordshire Regiment
Up to 26 October 1917, this was known as 249th Graduated Battalion and had no regimental affiliation. Before that it had been 25th Battalion of the Training Reserve…..

 

 

 

The whole contingent of 125 seems to have disembarked in France on 10th January 1918 and to have been split up as replacements into the 7th, 8th. and 9th Norfolks on 13th January at the Infantry Base Depot in Calais (as reported by Ross above).

 

 

 

Medal Rolls

 

Consulting the Medal Rolls show how the contingent was divided.  41086 - c41146 to the 7th Bn, c41147 - c41185 to the 8th Bn (see below) and c41186 – 41199 to the 9th Bn of the Norfolk Regiment.

 

Some of the 8th Bn records also include references to 7th and 9th Bns and once again the Long Long Trail website provides an explanation –

 

8th (Service) Battalion.
12 February 1918 : disbanded in France, officers and men going to 7th and 9th Battalions.

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

 

 

Jef

 

 

 

PS:  previously I’d recommended contacting the Norfolk Regiment Museum, and I still do, but the archives have restricted availability times. It might be best to email to ask if your GGF is in the Casualty Book.  Details are-

 

Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum
Shirehall
Market Ave
Norwich NR1 3JQ Tel 01603 493650
e-mail regimental.museum@norfolk.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow, that's amazing, thank you so much for such a helpful, in-depth, and informative post. I will take a look at the service records of the men listed, as you recommended, and contact the museum to see if they hold any further information. It would be great if they did have a record of him in the casualty book!

 

Thank you again for your help, I will keep you updated!

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