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tom bowler

Soldiers 'leave'

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tom bowler

What sort of leave did soldiers get during WW1 if any ? How did they work this out in all the mayhem on the Western Front ?

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tullybrone

Hi,

 

Asked and answered many times previously on the forum so it’s always worth using the forum search facility.

 

Post 10 on this topic appears to answer your query.

 

Steve

 

 

 

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tom bowler
3 hours ago, tullybrone said:

Hi,

 

Asked and answered many times previously on the forum so it’s always worth using the forum search facility.

 

Post 10 on this topic appears to answer your query.

 

Steve

 

 

 

 

Thanks Steve.

 

I've been a member of the forum for about 2 years and hadn't seen any comment in that period.  As an ex-soldier myself, we volunteered for nothing......................apart from 'leave'.

 

In post 10 that you kindly indicated, I'm supposing that the 11/12 days leave is 'annual' ?  I had an Aunt who was born in 1917, but this could have been due to my grandfathers 'sick leave' after being hospitalised after being shot in the right thigh near Thiepval in late August 1916.

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tullybrone

Hi,

 

I think the term “annual” was loosely used - obviously “exigencies” of the service applied. One of my gf went back to BEF May 1916 on recovery from wounds and was granted leave in October 1917 and then again in September 1918 - a month’s leave under MSA having served past his 12 years Regular Army Enlistment (plus a year).

 

If I remember correctly my other grandfather never had a period of “annual” leave despite going overseas in May 1915 as he had periods of sickness each winter necessitating his evacuation to England each year.

 

Steve

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Phil Sutters

It doesn't answer the question, but here is my grandfather on home leave. It is not dated, but with the goatskin jerkin, I assume that he had been at the Western Front previously. I know he was with the Royal Engineers at Ypres.

993410088_SapperSadlerleaveshismothersisterforthefront.jpg.180768891b1e801237b702e20e954285.jpg

Edited by Phil Sutters
Better layout

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7Y&LP

Not sure how leave was supposed to work, my Grandad joined 7 Queens and went out to France in  early 1915. He missed the Somme due to pnuemonia being evacuated back to England,  the account he left states (this would have been Christmas 1916):

 

'...and was sent straight away to Sittingbourne in Kent where men were sent to replace those knocked out in France and Belgium. Now, in that place were four categories of men. A Company of new recruits, one of home servicemen, one of boys sent home from the front who had put on their ages on purpose to have a go and been found out, and the remainder were men, who like myself had been out and were expecting anyway to have another go. I was one who tried to get leave for   Christmas, couldn’t have it, as we were due shortly for draft leave. Could we have draft leave to enable us to get home for Christmas? No. My pal and I then took French leave and started off on the road walking and bussing it and landed in Woolwich. He lived in Tottenham and advised me the station, Vauxhall, that was most unlikely to have red caps, or military police on it. By good luck I got home without a pass and didn’t get rumbled, had a glorious four days. Never saw my pal again.I had five days and was told by men in same billet, all those who got back before pay day were never rumbled as NCOs were all on the booze. My pal had no money left to pay his fare and came back under escort. Three days after getting back there I was home again on draft leave, then the old dad knew that I had pinched the last one. I had another glorious four days. Then back and across the Channel again.'

 

Once back in France he joined 10 Queens and was wounded in a raid on the Hollendschuur Dalient in February 1917 being evacuated back to hospital in England but this time for surgery:

 

'Three months there and a fortnight as a convalescent and then I was home again on a fortnights sick leave. Back once more to Sittingbourne and met a few locals that I knew. Was there a few weeks and then three days draft leave and back over the other side again.'

 

He then joined 1 Queens and was finaly captured during the Battle of the Menin Road in September 1917. From the account he appears to have had plenty of leave, but had to be hospitalised to get it.

 

 

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andrew pugh

Hi Tom

Home leave for soldiers began in earnest on the 24th January 1916 for those who had been in France and Belgium since 1st January 1915.

Regards

Andy

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tom bowler
On 06/05/2019 at 02:18, andrew pugh said:

Hi Tom

Home leave for soldiers began in earnest on the 24th January 1916 for those who had been in France and Belgium since 1st January 1915.

Regards

Andy

 

My Grandfather landed at Boulogne on 25th September 1915, with the 9th Battn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

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