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Alfred Hopkins - Company Sergt-major WW1


Denise Hopkins

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That;s good about the newspaper,it was just a thought I had after finding that there was a second Mr and Mrs leonard hopkins in Derbyshire- we can rule them out. 

So your grandad was still living at home with mum and dad in 1911 when he was 18 in the 1911 census. 

Can you give us all the names and relations you have from the newspaper, wedding cert etc?

 

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On 11/09/2018 at 17:59, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi Max

Thank-you for the information. No the above Alfred Hopkins can not have been my grand dad as he returned to the Ripley area of Derbyshire after the war. From research it is likely then that my grand dad would have been with the Sherwood Foresters as he came from Ripley?  The Sherwood Foresters were a part of the 9th Service( Battalion), part of the 33rd Brigade part of the 11th Division. This was formed at Derby on 28.8.14 as part of the K1. That would fit in with what my dad told me that grand dad volunteered at the age of 22. 

The news paper report was 24 Jan 1919 and no mention of regiment was mentioned. It's main headlines reads - Marehay soldier's promotion and goes on to say that Mr and Mrs Leonard Hopkins have no fewer than 26 relatives sons and nephews  - who have or are still serving with the Colours.  One son Harry, has been promoted to Company Seargt- Major before proceeding with the 11th Division ... My grand dad was known as Harry either though is name was Alfred. It also mentions how he picked from a French garden a flower and sent it home after the whole family had been killed by the retreating Germans.

Hope this helps.

Denise

 

Denise,

Excluding family stories, what evidence have you got from primary sources that your grandfather was in the Sherwood Foresters?

 

Mark

 

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1/KRRC were in 2nd Division.  Could you be somewhere misreading Roman numerals "II" for 11th Division?

 

1/KRRC were part of the British Army of the Rhine until May when they returned to England and were reduced to cadre.  The battalion was formally re-formed in July at Cannock Chase, Rugeley, Staffs.

 

At the beginning of Nov 1919, the battalion move to Aldershot, where, on 31 Dec 1919, Lt A. Hopkins, DCM, (formerly 4692 CSM Hopkins) is listed as Messing Officer with Battalion HQ.

 

In September 1920, 1/KRRC moved to Belfast, Ireland.  After moving between various stations in Ulster, they ended the year 1920 at Ballykinler again with Alfred Hopkins as Messing Officer.

 

He eventually resigned his commission on 25 Jun 1922 with rank Lieutenant.

 

As well as his Distinguished Conduct Medal, he is also listed as Mentioned In Despatches LG 21 Dec 1917.

 

Mark

Edited by MBrockway
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Ok a check of freebmd shows no marriages etc for an Alfred H local to Gosport post war. The only one who shows up between 1880 and 1930 was b Kingsclere 1881 and died Kingsclere 1902. So the man who had his medals sent to Gosport doesn't appear to be a local.

Was your grandfather wounded do you know? He could have been in hospital in the Gosport area and the medal sent to him there? 

What is the date when the medals were sent out? My grandfather's didn;t get sent until c 1921 from memory- so if they were sent to Gosport after the war then its probably not him as he was obviously well based in Ripley post war.

 

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Lt Hopkins, DCM, 1/KRRC, was issued his 1914 Star on 03 Dec 1919 and his BWM & VM on 16 Sep 1921.

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1 minute ago, MBrockway said:

Lt Hopkins, DCM, 1/KRRC, was issued his 1914 Star on 03 Dec 1919 and his BWM & VM on 16 Sep 1921.

and Denise's gf married in belper in sep qtr 1918 and the first registration for a child is in belper 1920- nothing in Hampshire :-(

Where does the info that the medals went to Gosport come from?

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On 11/09/2018 at 17:30, MaxD said:

The final offensive was March 1918 so if he was with 11 Division at that time and subsequently then he wasn't with any of the KRRC battalions, 11 Div had none.

 

The Gazette entry is for Sergeant Major Alfred Hopkins KRRC receiving a commission as Second Lieutenant. in Dec 1915.

 

That suggests that the KRRC Alfred Hopkins must have been promoted to Sergeant Major before Dec 1915 and thus long before 1918.

 

I wonder if the dates have got messed up over the years.  The one commissioned lived in Gosport after the war?

 

What date was the newspaper report and did it not mention his regiment (11 Div had over 10000 men!)

 

Let's keep plugging away!

 

Max

 

Alfred Hopkins of 1/KRRC went out on 13 Aug 1914 as a Serjeant.

 

The KRRC medal rolls date his commission as 2/Lt to 17 Jun 1915.

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Alfred Hopkins, 1/KRRC, has a correspondence address of 10, Burnett Road, Anns Hill, Gosport, Hants on his campaign medal index card.

 

The same also lists 1st Bn. KRRC, Ballykinlar.

 

His original Service Number of 4692 points to an enlistment in 1902-1903 as Max has already pointed out.

 

The Rifle Depot shared between the KRRC and the Rifle Brigade was at Gosport at that time.

Edited by MBrockway
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10 Burnett Road is a terrace house, nothing flash- not obviously a boarding house and definitely not a hotel (assuming house numbering hasn't changed).  

 

Addition- 1911 census- possible occupants of number 10 burnett Road (NB I don't have access to the images just doing some detective work with the free indexes) 

1) Alfred Turner Atkinson and wife Annie , have a lodger Reginald Hodson.

2) Albert Coombes and wife Louisa have a lodger Jane Patton.

 

Several of the residents along this street have military connections. So despite the apparent small size of the houses it could be where Alfred H was lodging- but why Denise's man would have medals sent there makes no sense- so I suspect this guy is a washout as well- the joining dates are wrong- Denise's Alfred was definitely with his family in 1911- not joining up as a very young underager at ten :-). 

 

UNLESS- could the army have got him mixed up with Henry Alfred H who WAS from Hampshire? and sent the medals to wrong place? Still wouldn;t get around whe he joined up though.

 

Birth of first child would fit with the posting to NI though- sep qtr 1920- some leave post war and before the new posting? And second child was not born until 1924 which would also fit his resignation date.

 

I've looked at the index card on A2a but it's just a list of numbers- not seeing the address- obviously IO'm looking in the wrong place- still learning the WW1 stuff.

Edited by Madmeg
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On 12/09/2018 at 16:54, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi I have spoken with my cousin. Alfred was born on the 6.11.1893 not 1892. His gravestone is incorrect and states that he died at 75 when in fact he died at age 74. Therefore, he must have been born 1893 not 1892. This would have made him under age to sign up ? I remember my dad telling me that grandad signed up underage but didn't make the connection when researching WW1. His wedding certificate does not have his regiment on it.

Thanks again for your support and hope this helps.

Denise

 

Obviously that makes it highly improbable that your grandfather is the same man as 4692 CSM, later Lieutenant, Alfred Hopkins, DCM, 1/KRRC, who originally enlisted in 1902-3 when your GF was approx 9-10 years old.

 

Ruling out 4692 CSM, later Lieutenant, Alfred Hopkins, DCM, 1/KRRC presumably also kills off the Gosport angle?

 

I shall bow out now pending the emergence of any higher confidence info pointing to a KRRC connection.

 

Mark

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
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On 11/09/2018 at 16:49, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi I am at a loss with my grand dad's war record. A news paper report - Ripley and Heanor News states that he was promoted to Company Sergt- Major before proceeding with the 11th Division as part of the army of occupation to the Rhine.He was with the Third Army which did so much to counter the final German Offensive and holds a certificate to that affect. It goes on to say that although wounded in the German  retreat the gallant soldier continued on duty until ordered to fall out by his superiors, The only mention I can find is in the London Gazette 8.2.1916 page 1487 - supplement 29467. This is for an Alfred Hopkins - Kings Royal Rifle Corps with the award for the 27.12.1915. I'm noy sure if this is my gran dad as the KRRC appear to be in France at the time but the 11th Division in Suvla Bay.

Please can anyone help?

Thank-you

Denise

 

Denise - do you have this certificate or are you quoting from the newspaper?

 

Where does the info from the newspaper end and your input begin.  Very confusing!

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How was it decided where the medals went?

It can't have been just from the NoK notified on the enlistment form.

My grandfather gave his estranged wife (in Australia) as NoK, care of his brother who was at that time living in Manchester- but the medals were to go to various hotels not the address on the enlistment form.

If the man was dead did the medals go to NoK? and how did someone go about informing the army of an address to send them to?

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How about THIS bloke....

A2A- medal card of Hopkins Albert H, KRRC Regt no A204858, rank private. It shows Victory medal only. Could this be a mistaken first name for him? Also if he transferred could this have got lost with the wrong name-.

There is also a medal card for Lt A Hopkins of KRRC- can;t make the text out on this one- could be the chap we've all been discussing? service shows as 1908 to 1924.

Also - Alfred , serjeant Gloucestershire Rgt no 4175 and 241353, Alfred serjeant Royal defence Corps (is this a home unit? )26463,

There are some others I have ignored.

 

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Hi I have just been catching up with the above posts. I think we can definitely rule out Alfred KRRC 4692. The information I personally have is all from the Ripley and Heanor News paper. My cousin has family history. Madmeg's research on family interest fits what my cousin has researched and the news paper infomation as follows :-

a) Great grandad's occupation - Ford's colliery, Marehay (Ripley)- this is mentioned in the news report dated 13.10.39

b) Grandad at Guilford, Surrey 1st June 1917 - date of paper,  when wounded in chest and shoulder. It states that twice in the field he was recommended by his commanding officer for a commission but he prefers to be in the sergent's mess. It states that he had worked at Ford's colliery prior to the war - same as his father. It gives his regiment as Kings Royal Rifles

c)Grandad's wedding - Ripley Parish church 14th Sept 1918 lists him as Sergt Alfred Henry Hopkins. Edward was is oldest brother was his best man, other Hopkins who were there who are mentioned are, Hubert Hopkins, Lilly Hopkins - miss, Lissie Hopkins, MR / Mrs Hopkins from Staffs,

d) Grandad's promotion reported in the paper 24 Jan 1919 - Company Sergt Major before proceeding with the 11th Division as part of the army of occupation to the Rhine. Then mentions the third Army and his certificate as I mentioned in a previous blog. 

So when i researched the 11th division of the third army the Sherwood Foresters where listed as the 9th service batallion so i assumed he was with them. The KRRC were not a part of the 11th division which started in the war at Gollipoli.

Hope this helps.

Denise

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2 hours ago, Denise Hopkins said:

No the Gloucester regiment was not in the 11th Division. Looks like Grandad's service history was destroyed in the fire during ww2.

But we should be able to find his medal card between us and we're not hving much luck :-(

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Can I suggest you take kenf's advice (post#19) and find the Absent Voters List , seeing as we now know that some Derby lists have survived.

If he is on it (and he should be), and you can confirm his address in 1918-19, then from the lists I have seen, there's a 95% chance of it naming his regiment, and about a 90% chance of it giving his service number.

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3 hours ago, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi I have just been catching up with the above posts. I think we can definitely rule out Alfred KRRC 4692. The information I personally have is all from the Ripley and Heanor News paper. My cousin has family history. Madmeg's research on family interest fits what my cousin has researched and the news paper infomation as follows :-

a) Great grandad's occupation - Ford's colliery, Marehay (Ripley)- this is mentioned in the news report dated 13.10.39

b) Grandad at Guilford, Surrey 1st June 1917 - date of paper,  when wounded in chest and shoulder. It states that twice in the field he was recommended by his commanding officer for a commission but he prefers to be in the sergent's mess. It states that he had worked at Ford's colliery prior to the war - same as his father. It gives his regiment as Kings Royal Rifles

c)Grandad's wedding - Ripley Parish church 14th Sept 1918 lists him as Sergt Alfred Henry Hopkins. Edward was is oldest brother was his best man, other Hopkins who were there who are mentioned are, Hubert Hopkins, Lilly Hopkins - miss, Lissie Hopkins, MR / Mrs Hopkins from Staffs,

d) Grandad's promotion reported in the paper 24 Jan 1919 - Company Sergt Major before proceeding with the 11th Division as part of the army of occupation to the Rhine. Then mentions the third Army and his certificate as I mentioned in a previous blog. 

So when i researched the 11th division of the third army the Sherwood Foresters where listed as the 9th service batallion so i assumed he was with them. The KRRC were not a part of the 11th division which started in the war at Gollipoli.

Hope this helps.

Denise

 

4692 Hopkins, Alfred, DCM, 1/KRRC, can definitely be eliminated from you researches.

 

He was DEFINITELY commissioned in the field on 27 Dec 1915 so could not have been a CSM in 1919.  Here's his LG entry covering this ...

1338818716_Commissiongobbet27-12-15.jpg.b5e4ab379de6c18cf3c15a240af039c8.jpg

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
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3 hours ago, Madmeg said:

How about THIS bloke....

A2A- medal card of Hopkins Albert H, KRRC Regt no A204858, rank private. It shows Victory medal only. Could this be a mistaken first name for him? Also if he transferred could this have got lost with the wrong name-.

There is also a medal card for Lt A Hopkins of KRRC- can;t make the text out on this one- could be the chap we've all been discussing? service shows as 1908 to 1924.

Also - Alfred , serjeant Gloucestershire Rgt no 4175 and 241353, Alfred serjeant Royal defence Corps (is this a home unit? )26463,

There are some others I have ignored.

 

 

Few errors here with your KRRC finds I'm afraid :(

 

1. A/204858 is Rfn George HOWE, not Albert Hopkins

2. Rfn Albert H HOPKINS is A/204856, not A/204858

3. A/204856 Rfn Albert H HOPKINS was awarded the British War Medal AND the Victory Medal, not the VM only.  He was out with 11/KRRC.

4. A/204856's medal index card clearly shows award of the pair.

5. Is this the MIC you have found for "Lt. A. Hopkins of KRRC"?

232929663_HOPKINSLtAlfredDCM46921-KRRC-MIC(MID)-Copy.jpg.4b6eae0c89d9f4d2cbd85a74d47b7ac3.jpg

If so, I can confirm this is 4692 Alfred Hopkins after he was commissioned.  It's for his MID.

6. Where are you seeing "service shows as 1908 to 1924".  For info 4692 Alfred Hopkins enlisted c.1902-1903 and resigned on 25 Jun 1922

 

Also what is "A2A"?

 

Well done on turning up the Albert Hopkins' MIC on Ancestry though - I eventually tracked it down misfiled under "KA Rif C" - ah, the joys of indexing typed by monkeys :P

 

Mark

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

 

Few errors here with your KRRC finds I'm afraid :(

 

1. A/204858 is Rfn George HOWE, not Albert Hopkins

2. Rfn Albert H HOPKINS is A/204856, not A/204858

3. A/204856 Rfn Albert H HOPKINS was awarded the British War Medal AND the Victory Medal, not the VM only.  He was out with 11/KRRC.

4. A/204856's medal index card clearly shows award of the pair.

5. Is this the MIC you have found for "Lt. A. Hopkins of KRRC"?

232929663_HOPKINSLtAlfredDCM46921-KRRC-MIC(MID)-Copy.jpg.4b6eae0c89d9f4d2cbd85a74d47b7ac3.jpg

If so, I can confirm this is 4692 Alfred Hopkins after he was commissioned.  It's for his MID.

6. Where are you seeing "service shows as 1908 to 1924".  For info 4692 Alfred Hopkins enlisted c.1902-1903 and resigned on 25 Jun 1922

 

Also what is "A2A"?

 

Well done on turning up the Albert Hopkins' MIC on Ancestry though - I eventually tracked it down misfiled under "KA Rif C" - ah, the joys of indexing typed by monkeys :P

 

Mark

 

 

 

A2a - access to archives- the UK National archives site. The number is definitely given as a/204858. The actual images are heavily watermarked so are difficult to make out much on. http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D3559049, his is top right hand quarter, as far as Albert Hopkins is concerned the A2a image only shows a victory medal on the card.

 

A Hopkins Lt (no regt number ) the printed text shows dates as 1908 to 1924- for the pre WW1 entries these dates are for service years, I'm guessing that this is the same Alfred Hopkins CSM promoted to Lt under another card, http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_ps=60&_p=1900&_q=a+hopkins+riflehttp://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D6312249

 

I didn;t go anywhere near ancestry to find him- just the original National Archives aka A2A source - a few less monkeys in between the original record - not sure which monkeys got Albert H's regt number wrong though- a/204856 - you can have Charles Hallet west kent rgt or Alexander Linton RASC according to Nat archives- and George Howe of KRRC also has a/204858 yay love those transcription monkeys.

Edited by Madmeg
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So according to the national Archives both Albert Hopkins AND George Howe of the KRRC have the regt no a/204858. (Transcription).

I'm afraid I'm not going back in to squint at the watermarked image to see which is correct. 

Alfred H might yet be hiding out there in mistranscription land....

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4 hours ago, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi I have just been catching up with the above posts. I think we can definitely rule out Alfred KRRC 4692. The information I personally have is all from the Ripley and Heanor News paper. My cousin has family history. Madmeg's research on family interest fits what my cousin has researched and the news paper infomation as follows :-

a) Great grandad's occupation - Ford's colliery, Marehay (Ripley)- this is mentioned in the news report dated 13.10.39

b) Grandad at Guilford, Surrey 1st June 1917 - date of paper,  when wounded in chest and shoulder. It states that twice in the field he was recommended by his commanding officer for a commission but he prefers to be in the sergent's mess. It states that he had worked at Ford's colliery prior to the war - same as his father. It gives his regiment as Kings Royal Rifles

c)Grandad's wedding - Ripley Parish church 14th Sept 1918 lists him as Sergt Alfred Henry Hopkins. Edward was is oldest brother was his best man, other Hopkins who were there who are mentioned are, Hubert Hopkins, Lilly Hopkins - miss, Lissie Hopkins, MR / Mrs Hopkins from Staffs,

d) Grandad's promotion reported in the paper 24 Jan 1919 - Company Sergt Major before proceeding with the 11th Division as part of the army of occupation to the Rhine. Then mentions the third Army and his certificate as I mentioned in a previous blog. 

So when i researched the 11th division of the third army the Sherwood Foresters where listed as the 9th service batallion so i assumed he was with them. The KRRC were not a part of the 11th division which started in the war at Gollipoli.

Hope this helps.

Denise

 

 

I can confirm (as Max has already) there were zero KRRC battalions in 11th Division, consequently it's not a division about which I know much.

 

That said I can find no information that 11th Division entered Germany as part of the Army of Occupation.  In Nov 1918, they seem to have been pulled back west of the River Scheldt on the France/Belgium border.  Perhaps a Pal with better knowledge of 11th Div can clarify?

 

11th Division are certainly not on the BAOR ORBAT from March 1919, which contained 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 29th, 32nd, 34th, 41st, 62nd and 1st Cavalry divisions.

 

The BAOR was formed into Corps.  II Corps contained 2nd Div (renamed as the Light Division) and 29th Div (renamed as Southern Division).  By March 1919 2nd Div included 13/KRRC, 18/KRRC and 20/KRRC.  There was much shuffling of KRRC personnel between these units as well as mergers with the former Young Soldier and Graduated training battalions sent out from England.  As these all happened after the Armistice, it is difficult to trace individual soldiers' battalion histories through the usual sources like the medal rolls.

 

Also 1/KRRC were still with 2nd Div until March 1919 when these BAOR reorganisations were implemented.  1/KRRC remained unattached in Germany and was run down to cadre strength before returning to Blighty in 17 May 1919.

 

Could your newspaper report about him "proceeding with 11th Division as part of the army of occupation" be a mistake for "proceeding with II Corps as part of ... etc."?

 

That certainly opens the possibility of your GF Hopkins being in the BAOR and in a KRRC unit.

 

Mark

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1 hour ago, Madmeg said:

A2a - access to archives- the UK National archives site. The number is definitely given as a/204858. The actual images are heavily watermarked so are difficult to make out much on. http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D3559049, his is top right hand quarter, as far as Albert Hopkins is concerned the A2a image only shows a victory medal on the card.

 

A Hopkins Lt (no regt number ) the printed text shows dates as 1908 to 1924- for the pre WW1 entries these dates are for service years, I'm guessing that this is the same Alfred Hopkins CSM promoted to Lt under another card, http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_ps=60&_p=1900&_q=a+hopkins+riflehttp://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D6312249

 

I didn;t go anywhere near ancestry to find him- just the original National Archives aka A2A source - a few less monkeys in between the original record - not sure which monkeys got Albert H's regt number wrong though- a/204856 - you can have Charles Hallet west kent rgt or Alexander Linton RASC according to Nat archives- and George Howe of KRRC also has a/204858 yay love those transcription monkeys.

 

You're very brave to be so confident in the index transcription process being 100% error free when the image is obscured in critical areas.  Unfortunately you are wrong.

 

The A2A image you refer to ...

2087599778_HOPKINSRfnAlbertHA-204856-MIC(TNA).jpg.67e45a22071acfc4451be9d882404acb.jpg

 

The actual MIC ...

976431474_HOPKINSRfnAlbertHA-204856-MIC-zoomed.jpg.c2429c19b598fc62a3350b711d6a9b54.jpg

Note the pair is shown here... as also on A2A image.

 

A close-up of the BW&VM roll page for Hopkins ...

530929236_HOPKINSRfnAlbertHA-204856-BWVMrollcropped.jpg.3945b77aaf70458f3277d8533e2cacb8.jpg

 

 

Re Lt A Hopkins: You again very confidently state "the printed text shows dates as 1908 to 1924- for the pre WW1 entries these dates are for service years" and again you are wrong.

 

The 1908-1924 date does not refer to Lt Hopkins at all, but is part of the catalogue entry for the entire volume WO 372/24, which contains index cards relating to Mentions in  Despatches, Meritorious Service Medals and Territorial Force Efficiency Medals from c.1908 to c.1924.  The MIC for his 1917 MID happens to fall in this volume.

 

I fully agree with you that the index transcriptions are far better on TNA than on Ancestry.  I generally identify the MICs using the TNA's index and then go to Ancestry to view the actual card (which are now free to access there).  TNA's indexing is still not 100% error free though, as you will now have learnt.  Always best to go to the primary source for corroboration.

 

Also I was not aware of this new style image masking on "A2A" - when I last used that, the mask was a chequerboard grid of smaller white squares - one could occasionally glean something useful, but it was far harder than this new style.  Thanks for highlighting this.

 

Mark

 

 

 

 

 

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Mark

 

11 Div gradually ran down in France and didn't go to Germany (my post #16).

 

I am bowing out, thrashing around in the dark is getting us nowhere at all I submit.  Bottom line, there is no record for an identifiable Alfred/Albert/A/AH etc Hopkins that fits any of the rumour, changing facts and mis-reads.  Disappointing to Denise I know but hardly unusual.

 

Max

 

 

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