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Greenland

Worthy Thomas Payne, b. 1893 Winterbourne Bassett, Wiltshire

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Greenland

I am researching soldiers on a war memorial one of whom is the above man.   There is one other soldier of this name, 5066, 12 bn/5 bn Royal Fusiliers and was a POW born in Glos in 1890 - established from MIC and POW Red Cross records.  This is not the subject man who was born in Wilts in 1893,

 

I am trying to establish the subject soldier's regiment and where he served. His records appear to be part of the burnt documents.  His grandson has tried to help but the soldier did not talk of his experiences.  I am told that he suffered from shell shock and that he worked with horses and possibly big guns.  His grandson recalls a mortar shell reshaped as a coal scuttle with a tunic button imbedded in the handle.  This came loose and the grandson played with it as a child.  The thing he recalls about the button is that the emblem on it was the same as Arsenal Football club's emblem - a type of cannon  or so he thought as a child..  It may have been silver rather than brass in colour.  The scuttle was apparently made by a German POW and brought back from the war.  All very vague but could it be that that this soldier was with a branch of the Royal Artillery.?  Is this all I am ever likely to know about this soldier?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Greenland

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charlie962

Greenland,

What a coincidence for an unusual christian name!

 

just a few thoughts:

 

Button with a cannon- yes this was worn WW1 by Royal Horse, Field, and Garrison Artillery.

 

Worked with horses and possibly big guns- big would suggest Royal Garrison Artillery-RGA, who used horses for hauling guns and ammunition.

 

On 1901 census, done by an enumerator he is down as Worthy. But in 1911 Census done by the family he is down as Thomas. I suggest that he may well have enrolled as Thomas or Thomas W rather than Worthy T.

 

So I think it worth starting looking through any RGA records for Thomas or Thomas W Payne. (or TW Payne)

 

Charlie

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charlie962

...and by following this route you will find the Medal Roll for Thomas Worthey Payne, 60134 of 120 Heavy Battery, here on Ancestry

 

Charlie

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

120th Heavy Battery RGA went to France 27/3/16 so he may perhaps have gone over with them. His medal entitlement of BWM and VM means he didn't go to France before 1/1/16. The 120Hvy Bty noted on the Roll in the previous post is the unit from which he was discharge. Not neccesarily the unit he served with throughout.

 

I will look for their War Diary.

 

Charlie

 

Edit- Allocation of Units (WO95-5494) shows that 120 Hvy Bty served under a number of different groups so I suspect the Diary is in a number of places ?

Edited by charlie962

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charlie962

Note that on the Roll on Ancestry the names either side of him have consecutive numbers and were also 120HB. Worth checking to see if they have surviving records to give more clues.

 

Mapson AG, 60133 is shown on CWGC as dying with 160 (??) Hvy Bty. He came from Swindon. Soldiers effects will tell us when he enlisted.

 

I think we're looking at October 1915 enlisment.

 

Charlie

 

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Greenland

Charlie, I am amazed - I think TWO brick walls have come tumbling down! 

 

Worthy was always called Tom although his birth certificate and baptism state Worthy Thomas.  On following the link in your earlier response I found not only Thomas Worthey Payne #60134 but the next soldier #60135 is another of our soldiers and my earlier research had already led me to this exact entry but because of the switch from Worthy Thomas to Thomas Worthey Payne, I dismissed it. 

 

Is this sheer coincidence or could these men from one tiny village have served in the same unit?  If it helps, they were both pre-war employees of the Great Western Railway when, I believe, they were conscripted.  Worthy was born in January 1893 and Ernest in May 1893. I have read elsewhere that many men from the GWR were employed in the RFA or RGA.  Worthey joined the National Union of Railwaymen in February 1915 so was still employed then making me think that he was conscripted when the Military Services Act was introduced in January 1916 perhaps.  This might fit with the 120 Heavey Battery RGA going to France in March 1916.

 

Thank you for your help - any further ideas most welcome!  Now I shall crack on and see if I can find anything else using the name switch.

 

Greenland

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ss002d6252

We're looking at the last week or so of Oct 1915 for #60134 RGA.
 

#60127 enlisted 28 Oct 1915
#60138 enlisted 25 Oct 1915

 

Craig

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Greenland

Thank you so much for this information.  Wish I was half as skilled at determining such matters!  Steep learning curve for me.

 

May I ask again (apologies for being repetitive) but how likely is it that two lads who were farm workers in my village and started work at the Great Western Railway a few years before the war, would land up in the same heavy battery of the RGA?  I ask this because I had understood that with conscription, the soldier did not have much choice of the unit in which he served.  Also, one can assume that the soldier's first and middle names have been switched around but this could also make hiim the wrong soldier altogether!

 

So many questions!  Would enlistment in Oct 15 mean volunteering and not conscription? I think that came into force Jan 1916.  Perhaps the lads just got on with it once they knew that conscription was coming.

 

Greenland

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ss002d6252
14 minutes ago, Greenland said:

Thank you so much for this information.  Wish I was half as skilled at determining such matters!  Steep learning curve for me.

 

May I ask again (apologies for being repetitive) but how likely is it that two lads who were farm workers in my village and started work at the Great Western Railway a few years before the war, would land up in the same heavy battery of the RGA?  I ask this because I had understood that with conscription, the soldier did not have much choice of the unit in which he served.  Also, one can assume that the soldier's first and middle names have been switched around but this could also make hiim the wrong soldier altogether!

 

So many questions!  Would enlistment in Oct 15 mean volunteering and not conscription? I think that came into force Jan 1916.  Perhaps the lads just got on with it once they knew that conscription was coming. 

 

Greenland

Oct 15 would be voluntary service - just double checked on #60127's record and it was an immediate enlistment rather than deferred.

If a couple of men enlisted together or around the same time to the RGA then it's not impossible that they could be sent to the same battery if a clerk had just worked his way down a list of names and sent off batches to wherever they were required.


Craig

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Greenland

Thanks Craig, I understand re enlistment.  I just hope these are my two lads from our war memorial.  I understand the Public Library in Swindon has a book by W D Bavin which includes a long list of the men from the town who enlisted including men from the Great Western Railway  but it is only a list of names without clues to the regiments.  Given the limited resources available for further research I am not sure of the way forward to confirm that my W T Payne is the man on our memorial.  I expect there are hundreds of people undertaking similar research who are experiencing similar difficulties!

 

I am grateful to have  a date of October 1915 for enlistment but the rest is guess work it would seem.  Thank you for all the help given.


Greenland  

 

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charlie962
14 hours ago, Greenland said:

I am not sure of the way forward to confirm that my W T Payne is the man on our memorial

I am not sure what your doubts are ? I thought you started with a man on the memorial and have spoken with his descendents . From that there is a clear trail to the soldier identified above.

 

Charlie

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Greenland

It is good to kn ow, Charlie, that you consider the evidence presented so far as being sufficient to accept that the Thomas Worthey Payne (rather than Worthy Thomas Payne)  is my soldier and I can therefore accept his regiment as being the RGA.  I was not sure how much more research I could do, and more specifically, where to look to be absolutely certain we had found the soldier.  Put it down to my lack of experience but I am glad that you seem to think 'we are there'.

 

I very much appreciate your help and perseverance!  Thank you.

Greenland

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Greenland

One more question please:  When there is no Silver War Badge listing, can I assume that a soldier served until the end of the war (i.e. if he was not a POW or KIA)?

Greenland

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charlie962

Re assuming serving until end of war..

Almost true but:

 

There were Regulars serving before the war who completed their original term during the war and were allowed to leave during the war. They wouldn't have SWBs.

 

Very often the medal rolls or MIC actualy note a demob date. Do check to be sure. It is very easy to miss a SWB or prisoner listing so best to try your utmost to get a demob date! But not always possible, I appreciate.

 

Charlie

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Greenland

Thank you Charlie, that is most helpful.

Greenland

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chaz

5 of my great uncles came from a farming background so their numbers are a slight distance apart and spread over 3 regiments.

with your area of Swindon heavy industry could have block enrolled similar to a pals regiment. as railway operatives (we were also just down the road at Westinghouse Chippenham) it may have been a possibility that heavy guns could have been transferred to rail mounted guns

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Greenland

Hi Chaz,

Thank you for your input to this striing.  You are absolutely right about the heavy guns and transporter rail wagons.  I was at the Swindon Libraru looking at their material on WW1 for men at the GWR and found books containing photographs of heavy guns lined up for transporting and also, they became involved in munitions work and the building of ambulance wagons.  I think I am now convinced that I have found two soldiers from my village who served together in the RGA, and worked together prior to the start of WW1.  I now need to work on the movements of 120 Heavy Battery.

 

Thanks again

Greenland

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Greenland

Thanks for your response Chaz.  I had come across the LLT list of heavy batteries (what a brilliant website) but the siege battery diary was new to me.  Very interesting reading.  I have subscribed to Ancestry, FMP for past several years and more recently to Forces War Records in an endeavour to find out more with regard to the men on our village WWI memorial plaque. No joy really beyond initial findings.  I cannot trace a 120 Heavy Battery RGA diary.  Somewhere I have read that I need to know the Brigade no. under which the 120 Heavy Batt served and follow the Brigade's diary but I cannot find that out.  Any ideas?

 

Grateful for any ideas.

Greenland 

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chaz

may give you a pointer, trouble is cant see until you pen them.

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=120+battery&_p=1900&Refine+dates=Refine

the heavy mob,

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/538ee4f1c3354231aa86d9bbf5946d28

 

may pay to ask if anyone going to the NA who could look using the references WO 95/479/2 but there may be more

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charlie962

Greenland,

I have drawn this thread to the attention of one of the RGA experts (ororkep) but he is away at present and will hopefully respond when he returns.

Charlie

 

3 hours ago, Greenland said:

I cannot trace a 120 Heavy Battery RGA diary.  Somewhere I have read that I need to know the Brigade no. under which the 120 Heavy Batt served and follow the Brigade's diary but I cannot find that out.  Any ideas?

I gave you the link in post 4 WO95-5494. This is a free download from National Archives and comes in four parts, including ASC, RFA, RGA-Siege and RGA-Heavy. You will find in it a list of the Artillery Brigades (or Groups) and dates to which 120 Hvy Bty belonged (part 2 I think). You then need to search Discovery National Archives for the War Diaries for those Brigades/Groups. Downloading those is the paying bit !

 

Charlie

PS- pm sent

 

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

Here are the WO95 references for HAGs referred to in WO 95-5494. I've provided the link for the last one just to show you what the NA site page looks like. If you get stuck** with the others I can give you the links.You have to download the whole diary although you may only be interested in a short piece and even then the Diaries are often minimalist.

 

re 120 Hvy Bty

WO 95/479/2  120 Heavy battery  1/5/16-30/9/16 (ie for this period has its own diary)
WO 95/542/1  44th Heavy Artillery Group (shown as 44 South African Brigade RGA just to confuse you)
WO 95/471/1  27 H A G (shown as 27 Bde RGA)
WO 95/397/3  92 H A G  (shown as 92 Bde RGA)
WO 95/479/1  85 HAG ;(shown as 85 Bde RGA)

 

Charlie

 

**edit- to get to the other HAG diaries just change the 85 in the search box to 92 or 27 or 44.

 

 

Edited by charlie962

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Greenland

Chaz, thank you for recommending 95/479/2.  I see Charlie has included this in his list too -thank you!. 

 

I have now downloaded the five items from TNA but not the WO 95/5494 one as this was not a free download and I think you have extracted from that the items you believe I need Charlie.  I have loads to look through and am not sure how far I shall get but in the 120 Heavy Battery diary it is intereting to note that the pressure, temp and wind are given each day and of course, most of it is very technical with target points given etc.  It will be enough for me to have a place name and it will be interesting to look out for gunners names should these be mentioned.

 

Charlie thank you for forwarding my query to ororkep.  Let us wait and see but I shouldn't be surprised if he feels you have answered all of my queries brilliantly.  Now to that reading.............

 

A million thanks,

Greenland

 

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charlie962
22 hours ago, charlie962 said:

4 WO95-5494. This is a free download from National Archives

I am so sorry Greenland, I misled you. It is indeed not free but  3.50 GBP to download. I now recall that even at that  price I found it so useful for all the RA research that I do that it 'seemed' as if it was free!

Charlie

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Greenland

No problem Charlie. I have had a look at the diaries, briefly it must be said, and I can see that I may need to download WO 95/5494 almost as a reference point. There is so much I do not understand because I am non-military but I must say, even then, techonology played a role - all the targets, the positioning, the complex coordination of activity, is something that I marvel at.  I have such a high regard for all those men......................I suppose that is why I have persevered these past five years!

 

Greenland

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