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Remembered Today:

Denise Hopkins

Alfred Hopkins - Company Sergt-major WW1

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MBrockway
7 minutes ago, Stebie9173 said:

I assume you have probably seen it, but James Winchcomb's obituary was in the "Ripley and Heanor News and Ilkeston Division Free Press" of Friday 24 July 1908.

 

Steve. 

Nope - I've not seen that!  Chester Library lost its British Newspaper Archive access as part of the austerity cuts, so I can now only reach The Times Digital

 

That would be of great interest to myself and a certain Rifle Brigade expert :ph34r:

 

The above was from WO 117/21/2, from our RB expert :ph34r: and some additional info direct from the family.

Mark

 

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Denise Hopkins

Hi

I think you could be right as the youngest child Annie Elizabeth born 1903 may have had her middle name - it would be a bit morbid to give her the same first name.

Denise 

 

 

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wandererpaul

you have mail Mark. :)

 

 

3 minutes ago, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi

I think you could be right as the youngest child Annie Elizabeth born 1903 may have had her middle name - it would be a bit morbid to give her the same first name.

Denise 

 

 

 

It was a done practice, around the 1800's and early 1900's, though. Parents did name another child after one they had lost. I've found a few names used again when researching the footballers of Brentford FC from 1889 to 1920. :)

Edited by wandererpaul

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MBrockway
2 minutes ago, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi

I think you could be right as the youngest child Annie Elizabeth born 1903 may have had her middle name - it would be a bit morbid to give her the same first name.

Denise 

 

 

 

Possibly, but Elizabeth is also their mother's name and sister Edith's middle name was Eliza.

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MBrockway
1 hour ago, wandererpaul said:

you have mail Mark. :)

 

You're a star Paul.  Relieved to see my researches corroborated, though I hadn't been able to confirm if he was in India during the Indian Mutiny campaign.

 

I'll put something up about the old 9th Bn, KRRC shortly - not to be confused with the 9th (Service) Bn., KRRC with which we're more familiar here.  I'm busy drafting something about 18/KRRC and Derby just now though.

 

Edited by MBrockway

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MBrockway

Reunited with my books once more, I can now confirm that 18th Battalion (Arts & Crafts), King's Royal Rifle Corps were formed on 07 Jun 1915 by Sir Herbert Raphael, MP and that 18/KRRC opened a Recruiting Centre in Derby in June 1915.

 

Raphael was MP for South Derbyshire, which included Derby.  Ripley at the time was in the nearly adjacent Ilkeston constituency.

 

They'd enrolled approx 130 men by 05 Jul 1915 expanding at about 60 men per day.  They'd reached 900 ORs on 04 Sep 1915 when the battalion was formally adopted by the War Office.

 

The battalion's SN prefix range began at C/6001, so based on these rates (and ignoring the fact that some of the establishment would have been transferees from existing battalions to act as NCOs etc.) C/6235 would point to an enlistment in early July 1915 for Hubert Hopkins serving as 'Hopkins, A.H.'.

 

The battalion was originally based at Raphael's estate and part-built garden city project at GIDEA PARK in Essex.  On 10 Oct 1915, they moved to join their Brigade in the 41st divisional concentration area at WITLEY, Oxfordshire.  The battalion's depot companies remained behind at Gidea Park to act as the reserve (as per the posts re C/6235's transfer higher up).

 

This was the period when Hubert (serving as C/6235 Hopkins A.H) was transferred back to the depot from the main 18/KRRC battalion on 22 Oct 1915 as discussed higher up.

 

 

On 25 Nov 1915, these depot companies moved from Gidea Park to ANDOVER to become part of 19th (Reserve) Bn, KRRC.  Some 900 strong, they were already close to battalion strength on their own and on 26 Dec 1915 they were again separated out to become 23rd (Reserve) Bn., KRRC but remaining in the same billets in Andover.

 

On 28 Jan 1916 23/KRRC moved to billets in BANBURY and then on 14 Apr 1916 moved to the hutted camp on WIMBLEDON COMMON.  It was there on 01 Sep 1916 that the battalion was redesignated to the newly formed Training Reserve and became the 111th Training Reserve Battalion and lost its official KRRC identity.

 

If we're correct about Hubert being discharged Under Age, it would have been somewhere between the unit's time at Gidea Park, Andover, Banbury and Wimbledon Common with probably the earlier locations the more likely.

 

Mark

 

 

 

 

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MBrockway
1 hour ago, MBrockway said:

 

You're a star Paul.  Relieved to see my researches corroborated, though I hadn't been able to confirm if he was in India during the Indian Mutiny campaign.

 

I'll put something up about the old 9th Bn, KRRC shortly - not to be confused with the 9th (Service) Bn., KRRC with which we're more familiar here.  I'm busy drafting something about 18/KRRC and Derby just now though.

 

 

The newspaper obit confirms he spent 15 years service with the North Cork Militia at Mallow, where some of his children were born.  He was definitely already attached to the North Cork Militia at his discharge in 1873, but fifteen years back from then would have him posted to them in 1858.  While there were volunteers from the North Cork Militia out in India during the Indian Mutiny campaign in 1859, this is incompatible with him spending 10+ years in India, so it seems clear that he stayed out in Cork on the permanent staff of the North Cork Militia for some years after he was discharged from the Regular Army.  This was very common for retired senior NCOs of course.

 

My really embarrassing howler though is that the North Cork Militia were of course the 9th (Militia) Bn. of the King's Royal Rifle Corps, not The Rifle Brigade!

 

I can see some serious ribbing heading my way from a certain RB expert :ph34r:

 

Since the affiliation came about as part of the 1881 Childers Reforms the North Cork Militia were only known under the designation 9th (Militia) Bn, KRRC from that year.  That suggests Sjt-Major Winchcomb was still with the battalion in 1881 and puts his earliest join date fifteen years previous at 1866.  More probably he was attached to them in Jan 1873 on his promotion to Sjt-Major and served his last six months with the Colours as their RSM, before continuing with them for another 14yrs 6 months till ~1888.  Certainly his son, Albert Edward Winchcomb, was born in Mallow circa 1885 whereas a younger son John Frederick Winchcomb born in ~1891 was not.

 

Nice to see this splendid and very brave Old Soldier encompassed time in both the Rifle Brigade and the King's Royal Rifle Corps and got the best of both worlds!

 

:poppy:

Edited by MBrockway

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Madmeg
10 hours ago, wandererpaul said:

 

 

 

 

It was a done practice, around the 1800's and early 1900's, though. Parents did name another child after one they had lost. I've found a few names used again when researching the footballers of Brentford FC from 1889 to 1920. :)

My ggg etc parents had two sons named William who both died and named the third William James, their younger son Edward John had two sons named Edward John - who both died as infants after which they then went with William James for the next son. This was earlier 1800's. They were obviously keen to keep a William (james) in the family. 

Quite possible for them to reuse the name Elizabeth- She is born right in between the two surviving children which makes her quite likely. As to the death registration- I would expect to find it by the late 1800's you could be fined for not registering, especially as the birth was registered.

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Denise Hopkins

Hi Mark

So do you think that Hubert signed up before Grandad and that is why his service number agreed with 18TH btn and grandad's agreed with 20th Btn as a previous posts assumed grandad had  signed up probably between Sept - Nov 1915 or they has signed up at the same time?

All very interesting!

Denise

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MBrockway
1 hour ago, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi Mark

So do you think that Hubert signed up before Grandad and that is why his service number agreed with 18TH btn and grandad's agreed with 20th Btn as a previous posts assumed grandad had  signed up probably between Sept - Nov 1915 or they has signed up at the same time?

All very interesting!

Denise

 

I did originally think they'd enlisted together, but Steve's points changed my mind, reinforced by the recruiting rate data for the two battalions I posted in #140 and #181.

 

The service number C/6235 assigned to "A.H. Hopkins" (i.e. Hubert using Alfred's name) is in the 18/KRRC SN range and would have been issued in July 1915.

 

The service number C/9048 assigned to "Victor Hopkins" (i.e. Alfred) is in the 20/KRRC SN range and would have been issued in October 1915, but we know from the medal roll that C/9048 went out to France with 18/KRRC, so Alfred must have change battalions in Blighty. 

 

Men moving battalions within the KRRC would keep their service number even when going to the K3 battalions (16/KRRC onwards) that each had their own allocated SN range.  It is extremely unlikely that C/9048 is a replacement number given to a man transferring into 20/KRRC from 18/KRRC.  I am 99% certain Alfred/Victor enlisted in Oct 1915, or in the last few days of September, NOT July 1915 alongside Hubert, and into 20/KRRC not 18/KRRC.

 

As a miner, especially one who'd spent time as a hewer or loader, Alfred would have been highly prized by any Pioneer battalion ... plus they got 2d a day extra on their pay! ...

1117359453_BELPioneers(20KRRC)RecruitingPoster(johnboy).JPG.dc3347f66dd5fc35fc36fa2f9699d46a.JPG

Image courtesy of Pal johnboy

 

 ... and this report from The Times of Friday 17 Sep 1915 ...

1240175472_20-KRRCrecruitingTheTimes17Sep1915.jpg.82a5a889031d4fffc1c548a47ead9689.jpg

© Times Newspapers Limited The Times, Friday, 17 Sep 1915, p.7, Issue 40962

 

[These snippets supplied as they should be of use with your school's project :thumbsup:]

 

20/KRRC went out to France on 30 Mar 1916, so Alfred/Victor must have been transferred to 18/KRRC some time between early Oct 1915 and 30 Mar 1916.  Alfred was already a Serjeant with 18/KRRC when he went out, so his leadership potential seems to have trumped his physical skills from his mining background.  18/KRRC did not go out until May 1916 and it's most probable Alfred went then rather than joined them in the field later on.

 

Alfred later got switched back to 20/KRRC.  In your photos, all the men wearing the crossed rifle and pick-axe collar badge are from 20/KRRC.

 

We know Hubert serving as C/6235 A.H. Hopkins was still in the regiment on 22 Oct 1915 when he was transferred to the 18/KRRC depot companies, so Hubert and Alfred would definitely have overlapped for at least three weeks.  Probably more.  The Army could cater for soldiers having exactly the same name, but Hubert probably used all the rest of Alfred's personal details for his own Attestation Form, so Alfred probably took the simpler route of enlisting under the name Victor.  But for the Luftwaffe, we could answer this in a trice had we the two brothers' paperwork!

 

Mark

 

 

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MBrockway

I'm sure the chronological context is highly relevant to Hubert and Alfred volunteering.

 

John Frederick Winchcomb, the brother of the spouses of their siblings Edward and Edith, had been Killed in Action on 31 Jul 1915.

 

William Thomas Winchcomb, ditto, was Killed in Action at Gallipoli on 09 Aug 1915.

 

 

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Denise Hopkins

Yes Mark - you would have been able to suss it out! Us Hopkins would still be in the starting blocks scratching our heads thinking A H Hopkins 9642 - almost a Victoria Cross was grandad. Fantastic research from all. Any ideas for tracking down grandad's medals. I've looked on some medal sites but need to look again for Victor not Alfred?

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MBrockway
46 minutes ago, Denise Hopkins said:

Yes Mark - you would have been able to suss it out! Us Hopkins would still be in the starting blocks scratching our heads thinking A H Hopkins 9642 - almost a Victoria Cross was grandad. Fantastic research from all. Any ideas for tracking down grandad's medals. I've looked on some medal sites but need to look again for Victor not Alfred?

 

Alfred's Great War medals will be inscribed C-9048 SJT. V. HOPKINS, K. R. RIF. C.

 

Occasionally the inscription uses K.R.R.C. for the regiment and SGT. for Serjeant, but the above is the more typical.

 

He should have the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

 

If Alfred served in WW2, he's likely to have used his real name.

 

I did have a look for his medals earlier in the process, but drew a blank.  However this is not a core area for me - Pals who focus specifically on medals may well have more luck and certainly will give better advice on how to successfully navigate the Medals Sought minefields!

 

 

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