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Trevor Ewing

My Grandfathers Journey

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Trevor Ewing

Hi, I am a new member having joined today and am researching my grandfathers WW1 history. My grandfather survived the great war but was one of those who never spoke about his war exploits. He passed away at the grand age of 92 without giving so much as hint of his service life. Recently I have come across his two campaign medals and now have his service number. With the following details would is it possible to find out any more information such as joining date, where he served etc. 

 

Frederick George Roberts

Service No: 154027

Rank; Gunner

Unit: Royal Field Artillery

Brigade: Unknown

Listed as Wounded in 1917 (according to my mother)

Medals: Victory Medal and British War Medal

 

Many thanks

 

Trevor

 

 

Edited by Trevor Ewing

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DavidOwen

Hello Trevor and welcome to the forum

If you take a look at the Long Long Trail link above you will find a wealth of information on how to research a soldier.

I can tell you that Frederick did not serve overseas until after 01/01/1916 as no date of entry appears on his medal index card (image below courtesy of Ancestry free access).

Other members will be along soon, but to speed things along you may wish to click on "report post" on your post and select the "it's fine but..." option and ask a Mod to move it into the Soldiers section as that will attract more attention.

In the meantime good luck with your research.

Regards

David

 

image.png.c37110bcfff07c56bfd35210cd34d5f6.png

 

PS - Any more information you can give on the man himself: dob, address etc. will also help.

 

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MaxD

To supplement David's post and to anticipate a possible query.  The "RFA/265B..." etc entries at lower left show the medal roll on which his two medals are recorded.  They unfortunately show no unit detail.

 

You may not be aware that some 60% or so of soldiers' Great War service records were lost to bombing in the Second War and it seems as if Grandfather's were among them.  As David says, other detail may help.

 

Max

Edited by MaxD
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Trevor Ewing

Thanks for the replies which are of great value which will help me continue this journey. Further details of my Grandfather are:

DOB: 22 January 1896

BORN: Woolwich, St Mary Magdelene, Kent

SPOUSE: Ruth Gorden

ADDRESS: 31, Beridge Road, Halstead, Essex

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Trevor Ewing

To further my search on my grandfathers WW1 activity, I have now come across his wedding certificate  dated 23 September 1916 and has his rank or profession as "Gunner, 5th Reserves Battery, R.F.A". I remember my mother stating that he was allowed home on leave from either Belgium or France to get married in the UK. I have tried looking up 5th Reserves Battery on line but only get details of 5th Reserves Brigade. Are they the same ?  I have also attached two photographs of interest. The one of my grandfather on his own has what I believe to be a wound stripe on his left sleeve (I think that's correct) but on the wedding photo he has crossed flags (not sure on that one) reminds me of signals of some sort, not sure why if he was a gunner in the 5th battery. Can anyone shine some light, I would appreciate any knowledge there might be.

Many thanks

Trevor

 

PS: Happy New Year to all.

B&W Photos 1_0029.jpg

B&W Photos_0034.jpg

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clk

Hi Trevor,

 

He was probably wounded in October 1917.

 

image.png.0f429d826aa1af48fb020a4b049046b2.png

 

image.png.b0a6eaa20dd03d687c4ef4022d8d695d.png

 

image.png.9adf9603ff5293e2ff4f5c4767b2e61b.png

 

image.png.54c4e36bc4230f8068dac92482146ba9.png

Images sourced from Findmypast

 

If you looked for service files for other RFA men on the list, you may be able to establish when, within a few days, Frederick was wounded. The list is available on FMP (link). It will also be on some other websites.

 

Regards

Chris

 

Edit 1:

5 Reserve Battery = 1B Reserve Brigade? Link

 

Edit 2:

154010 Craigie - mobilised and posted Depot 11.7.1916

154027

154028 Hornby - attested and posted 4 Depot (Woolwich) 18.7.1916

154034 Keeley - called up and posted 4 Depot 18.7.1916

154035 Case - mobilised and posted 4 Depot 18.7.1916

 

Edited by clk

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MaxD

The crossed flags are the badge of a man who has qualified on a signalling course.  A number of men in a battery would have this qualification and be usually employed communicating between the forward observers and the battery or from the battery rearwards to his brigade.  Nothing unusual there.

 

The unit referred to could have been 5 Reserve Battery which Chris correctly IDs as in 1B Reserve Brigade or 5 Reserve Brigade Territorial Force at Catterick. My money would be on the latter. Worth noting that when he was wounded he would not have been in the reserve unit, they were UK based so, as Chris suggests, trawling records of RFA men on the same list may come up with clues.

 

The "near numbers" that Chris suggested draw a series of blanks.  Craigie went from RFA reserve to the MGC, Hornby from reserve to discharge, Keeley served for a month in 1916 in France with 34 Brigade and returned to UK and Case was discharged immediately on call up.  Does illustrate the difficulty when the service record has not survived.  In October 1917 1994 men of the RFA were killed in action so the number wounded would have been (say) 3 times that at least.

 

Max

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MaxD

To further illustrate the difficulty, working on the basis that RFA men killed in October might give clues to men wounded at the same time, I looked at the first 10 men killed  on the same casualty list.  All ten were in different brigades, the deaths occurred between 4 and 19 October and only two (different brigades) were killed on the same day.

 

Sorry to be gloomy but you can see for yourself the size of the list of RFA men wounded reported on just one week.

 

Max

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Trevor Ewing

Thank you all so much for the replies which gives a further insight into my grandfathers past. One other thing which has come to light is on the birth certificate of my grandfathers first child (25 Dec 1917) my grandfathers profession is then stated as "Gunner 154027 RFA (Engineer Mechanical)". Once again many thanks and I will research all the links provided and heed all the advice given.

 

Trevor

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