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Remembered Today:

Alfred Hopkins - Company Sergt-major WW1


Denise Hopkins

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Max - I know exactly what you mean.  The nuggets of solid fact are very hard to see in all the noise.  My apologies for missing your gen on 11th Division in #16.

 

Looks like the 11th Division reference in the newspaper is definitely an error.

 

Mark

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On 14/09/2018 at 12:03, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi Max

I have just found another news report that states that his parents received an official report that he was amongst the wounded and although he had a commission preferred to be in the sergents' mess. It states he had been in France about a year with The Kings Royal Rifle Corps! The paper was dated June 1st 1917 and his parents received the news a week before. It also states he enlisted nearly 2 years previously. My cousin thinks she's read somewhere that he started with the Sherwood Foresters but they transferred to the KRRC. The plot thickens. I'll subscribe and see what is in the British News Paper archives. So close but so far away!!!

Denise

 

Denise,

Any chance we could trouble you to transcribe this newspaper article exactly please?  Also could you give us the details of the name of the newspaper etc.

 

Sorry, but always best to see the primary source.

 

Does it actually say Hopkins was an officer?

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Hi I've just got back from my cousins. All the reports are in the Ripley and Heanor News

Friday 1st June 1917 - Marehay soldier amongst the wounded. Includes picture of GD in his uniform

20.9.18 - Military Wedding at Ripley - Picture of GD

24.1.1919 - Marehay soldier's promotion 

Just waiting for my sister to send some photos of GD on his wedding day and with some from his unit. He has 3 V's on his forearm and some emblem above it that looks like a circle but the original picture is a bit damaged. Another picture shows him with a cane and the stripes, socks or what ever they are called on lower part of leg, shirt fastened up to the neck and looks like collar is 'buttoned down' at the corners. No cap on single photo but looks like all have been taken professionally. The group photo looks like the hats are of a hard material and rounded at the top.

Denise

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25 minutes ago, Denise Hopkins said:

Hi I've just got back from my cousins. All the reports are in the Ripley and Heanor News

Friday 1st June 1917 - Marehay soldier amongst the wounded. Includes picture of GD in his uniform

20.9.18 - Military Wedding at Ripley - Picture of GD

24.1.1919 - Marehay soldier's promotion 

Just waiting for my sister to send some photos of GD on his wedding day and with some from his unit. He has 3 V's on his forearm and some emblem above it that looks like a circle but the original picture is a bit damaged. Another picture shows him with a cane and the stripes, socks or what ever they are called on lower part of leg, shirt fastened up to the neck and looks like collar is 'buttoned down' at the corners. No cap on single photo but looks like all have been taken professionally. The group photo looks like the hats are of a hard material and rounded at the top.

Denise

 

Thanks for the details of the paper.

 

Are his uniform buttons bright or dark?

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Just phoned sister as i'm waiting for her to send me pics. She says on photos the buttons look the same as the fabric. She says when she zoomed in the emblem looks like a circle with a crown in it on the sleeve.

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7 hours ago, MBrockway said:

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

I am well aware of the transcription errors in TNA, and ancestry and FMP and Familysearch- which is why i check all of them when I am able to. I don;t have subscriptions to any fee paying service and find your assertion that "you are wrong" comes across as rather rude, given that I have faithfully copied what is there on the TNA page- it is hardy my fault that TNA has made a mistake. I have also said that I have NOT been able to make out all the numbers on the cards due to the watermarking issues. 

As far as the dating us concerned thank you for pointing out this covers the series. As I have stated several times- I am not familiar with WW1 records- for earlier records the dates given on the title page generally (not always, but generally) do refer to a soldier's period of service, which is exactly what I have pointed out in my comment.

Thanks for pointing out the free access to the medal cards on Ancestry- that is completely new to me- I find that many of the ancestry records which claim to be freely available still have the pay bar to non subscribers so never bother to check images unless I am at a public library. Good to know and is going to be a great help.

 

As far as Alfred H goes. It is odd- there are so many facts about 4692 which DO fit Denise's grandfather's record, but then the bits which don;t fit. Unfortunately we just can;t cut off the bits we don't like and throw them away :-) . I'm going to see if I can track down the mysterious 4692 a bit further. He doesn't appear to be living in Gosport either before or after the War (the Alfred H who is living there is a furniture maker in both 1901 and 1911 to save anyone else the effort)

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Hi I'm glad you have managed to get the photos of GD. I didn't know he had been wounded twice and hadn't got the newspaper cutting stating that. Does anyone recognise the uniform? It looks like the paper dated 1919 also relates to the 2nd wounding. The first picture refers to KRRC AND last report the 11th division, 3rd army. Any ideas about his regiment at the time as KRRC weren't in that area? I've heard that often they ended up in different regiments after hospitalisation. Is anyone able to work out his service record from this?

Thanks for everyone's input.

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Now I've had a few pictures sent to me by email the buttons on the uniform generally look like the cloth but the sergt's look 'brighter'. Is this significant? Also some have vey fancy cuffs up the outside of the arm.

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Now I know it's available on Ancestry - thank you MBrockway-

medal card for Edward A Hopkins ( could this be the brother?) rgt no R32394- KRRC (!) 8/11/15 to 19/8/18 (there are two other Edward A's- Ramc and APC)

 

Find my past-  Burnt soldiers records

 

AH Hopkins c/6235 KRRC- medal card???? Cannot find a medal card for this man

 

A Hopkins r/9061- Medal card- appears to be Alexander hopkins

A Hopkins 26379- medal card appears to be Arthur P Machine gun corps

 

ALBERT Henry  who I found as a possible before a/204856 is shown as from Surrey in this index.

 

AH HOPKINS C/6235 - could this be your man? I don't know what info is on the burnt records image. 

Search criteria used on FMP- A Hopkins with King in the keyword section of advanced search. Not found on Ancestry or TNA.

 

 

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14th Jan 1916

4692 Company Serjeant-Major A. Hopkins, 1st Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps

Edinburgh Gazette

17th Jan 1916

4692 Company Serjeant-Major A. Hopkins, 1st Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps

London Gazette 10 mar 1916 

4692 Company Serjeant-Major A. Hopkins, 1st Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps. For conspicuous* good work. He has shown a fine example of coolness and gallantry under fire throughout the war.

 

But surely 4692 was gazetted 2nd Lt 1915 according to the cards?

 

Gazette 9 oct 1917

31st Aug. 1917. Temp. 2nd Lt. J. H. Maingot, B.W. Indies R., with seniority from 2nd July 1917. 2nd Lt. A. C. Roxburg, Yeo., T.F., with seniority from 13th July 1917, and to be seed. Temp. 2nd Lt. A. Hopkins, B.W. Indies R. 31st July 1917, with seniority from 17th July 1917. (Yet ANOTHER 2nd Lt A Hopkins?!)

 

Gazette 13 nov 1917

2nd Lt. A. Hopkins, K.R. Rif. C., to be seed., and to be temp. Lt. whilst empld. as Qr.-Mr., 17th Mar. 1917, and to be actg.. Oapt. (with pay and allowances as Lt.) whilst empld. as Adjt. of a School of Instn. 25th Aug. 1917. (NB copied and pasted from gazette errors are as the character reader has made them)

 

29th January 1918

E,B. Bif. C. (KR Rif C)—The undementioned 2nd Lts. to be Lts.:— 1st July 1917. P. B. Caffrey. A. E. Austin. A. Hopkins, and to remain seed.

25th Nov 1918

KR Rif C.  Lt. A. Hopkins to be actg. Capt. (with pay and allowances as Lt.) whilst empld. as Adjt. and Qr.-Mr. of the Sch. in Tank Tactics. 2nd Oct. 1918

14th Feb 1919

K. R. Rif. G.—Lt. A. Hopkins relinquishes the actg. rank of Capt. on ceasing to hold the appt. of Adjt. and Qr.Mr. Tank Sch. of Tactics 8th Jan. 1919, and is apptd. for duty 3rd Army Inf. Sch. 9th Jan. 1919.

18th Feb 1919

Lt. A. Hopkins, K.R. Rif. Cor.ps, relinquishes the actg. rank of Capt. on ceasing to be empld. .as Adjt. and Qr.-Mr. at a School of Instn. 8th Jan. 1919.

18th apr 1919

Lt. A. Hopkins, M.C. 5th Mar. 1919.

16th May 1919

K.B. Bif. (KR Rif)(7.—Lt. H. D'Argenton, 5th Bn.,. Spec. Res., relinquishes the actg., rank 'of. Capt. 3rd Apr. 1919. . . Lt. A. Hopkins to be actg. Capt. whilst- ©mpld. with 3rd Army Inf. Sch. 9th Jan. ,1919.

20th jan 1920

K.R. Rip. a (KR Rif)—Lt. (temp. Capt.) P. B. Caffrey retires receiving a gratuity, 22nd Jan. 1920, and is granted the rank of Capt. Lt. A. Hopkins is restd. to the estabt. 22nd Jan..1920.

30th jan 1920

K.R. Rif. C.—Maj. and Bt. Lt.-Col. A. D. Legardj C.B.E., retires on ret. pay. 1st Feb. 1920. / Lt. A. Hopkins relinquishes the actg. rank of Capt. 1st Dec. 1919.

 

 

These are all the notices mentioning Lt A Hopkins between 1914 and 1924. No mention of becoming a Serjeant in 1919- are we really sure that this is NOT Denise's extremely modest GF? If not then where is he? I focussed on the KRRC entries but checked out any for A Hopkins (but not those with irrelevant initials). Or is it possible that there were two Sgt A Hopkins in the KRRC and that the records for the older one (4692) have become attached to the later records of Denise's GF by the army by mistake so that we end up with records for both over a longer period of time?

 

 

 

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Hi thank-you for your very thorough research. It's going to take me some time to read and understand it all. Never thought it was going to be so difficult. 

Kind Regards

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10 hours ago, Denise Hopkins said:
9 hours ago, Denise Hopkins said:

Now I've had a few pictures sent to me by email the buttons on the uniform generally look like the cloth but the sergt's look 'brighter'. Is this significant? Also some have vey fancy cuffs up the outside of the arm.

Does anyone recognise the uniform? 

Impossible to tell the uniform from a grainy bad newspaper photo. Please can you post the photo that you have had emailed to you so that instead of trying to guess from your description, we can have a proper look.

thank you, Michelle 

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To add photos you need to click to choose files and you will get the photo library option. Click on that then choose the photo then tick it. You can then upload as mer my screen shot

IMG_1515.PNG

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11 hours ago, Denise Hopkins said:

Now I've had a few pictures sent to me by email the buttons on the uniform generally look like the cloth but the sergt's look 'brighter'. Is this significant? Also some have vey fancy cuffs up the outside of the arm.

 

As one of the elite rifle regiments, the KRRC wore blackened buttons made of horn.  However one does occasionally find images that are definitely of KRRC men wearing the standard brass General Service buttons, hence the rule that while blackened buttons indicate a rife regiment, absence of blackened buttons does not prove the wearer is NOT from a rifle regiment!

 

In Hopkins case, dark buttons would be good corroboration of the article stating he was in the KRRs.

 

I have to point out though that the Robin Hoods Rifles (7th (Robin Hood) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) - one of its territorial battalions) also wore blackened rifles buttons.

 

 

I suspect the fancy cuffs you mention are Overseas Service chevrons - small blue chevrons worn points up on the right lower sleeve.  The first chevron was awarded on lading overseas with subsequent ones added on each anniversary (that's the simplified version - there were some additional rules I've skipped for brevity).  A red chevron was awarded for those who first landed in 1914, but 'our' Alfred Hopkins seems to have landed in summer 1915, so all of his will be blue.

 

Overseas chevrons were only worn from Jan 1918 onwards, so they're also a good dating aid for photographs.

 

Good Conduct stripes - larger points up chevrons - were worn on the left lower sleeve together with vertical Wound Stripes and 'our' Hopkins should have a least two visible given the newspaper reports.

 

Various ranks, skill-at-arms, prize and proficiency badges could also be worn on the lower sleeve, but that's a huge topic.  Best to discuss these if relevant once we get to see your photo!

 

Mark

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
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Hi,

 

If he held a regular commission, I would have expected to see him here

image.png.da636855fe6aa8dc63d2e04ad8a767d7.png

Image source: The National Archives - file series WO 338. Officer long number index.

 

 

The (60th Regiment of Foot) KRRC Alfred appears to have been born on 21 January 1884

image.png.4e71b049cafa1615bde9c225785cedf0.png

 

Alfred Clement Hopkins appears to have been born on 5th August 1883

image.png.1b35a67307452c89a13686120e665907.png

 

I don't think that commissions to the TF are shown in the index.

 

Regards

Chris

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204856 A H Hopkins appears in the Official Casualty Lists on 24-12-1918 - his residence is listed as Bermondsey, S.E. London. This would appear to rule this man out as well.

 

Steve.

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5 minutes ago, Stebie9173 said:

204856 A H Hopkins appears in the Official Casualty Lists on 24-12-1918 - his residence is listed as Bermondsey, S.E. London. This would appear to rule this man out as well.

 

Steve.

 

I'd already ruled him out on basis of his A/204856 SN - inconsistent with a summer 1915 enlistment - but I'm still writing a long post that TOTALLY knocks 4692 into touch as some Pals seem still to need some convincing on that matter :P  Luckily he's worth following through anyway due to the DCM and interesting Musketry & Tank School angle - could be of interest to the tankies.

 

The C prefix chap looks much more promising, but not started on him yet.

Edited by MBrockway
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Hi I'm ICT illiterate. My sister is going to get her husband to post the photos later today. I have them sent to me by email on my phone. Not sure if we are supposed to give personal email addresses. if it is ok I don't mind.

Denise

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Never a good idea to put personal email addresses on a public forum, unless of course you want spam bots to gather it, and then you will be bombarded with spam.

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