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C Boorman

East Kent regiment

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C Boorman

Hello,

Can anyone help with identifying the movements of the the 1st /2nd battalion of "the buffs" particularly 27/12/14 onwards. My son has a school project on any unit for the date January 1915. On the date I entered, I know my G Grandfather entered the war with either of those units. His name William Henry Keep, later MGC.

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Waddell

You can follow the movements roughly of those battalions throughout the war here-

 

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/buffs-east-kent-regiment/

 

Just follow the division links the battalions were part of at the bottom of the page.

 

If you are looking at a particular battalion for the month of January 1915 you would be best off obtaining the war diary for that month and consulting regimental/battalion history if he is putting together a project for what they did in that month.. 

 

Scott

 

Edited by Waddell
Added more.

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Mark1959

I assume he is William Keep born c 1882. 6579 The Buffs, 3742 MGC. If so:

He is in the 1914/15 Star Medal Roll for the 1st Battalion Buffs. So he went to France with that unit 27/12/1914. That roll also show he went to the Class Z Reserve on 7/6/1919

He appears on the War Office Casualty List 1/7/1915 as suffering from "gas poisoning" - unit shows as 1st Buffs

He appears on the War Office Casualty List on 21/8/1915 - unit shows as 1st Buffs

Not clear if the above are one or two separate incidents,

The award of his Military Medal gallantry award appears in the London Gazette for 10/10/1916. By the time of the actions that led to the award he was with the MGC. So by sometime around mid-1916. The index card for this says 51 MG Company(late 1st Battalion Buffs). The card gives his previous service number as 6379 - incorrectly it seems. 

There is a hospital admission for WH Keep 3742 when he is admitted to 51 Field Ambulance on 9/3/1917 for Synovitis of the left knee - this man is at this point serving with the 51st MG Company in the 17th (Northern) Division.

This last record gives his age as 21!. This appears to be wrong as 6579 of the Buffs originally enlisted in 1901. Indeed there are existing service papers for 1901-13 service. This included service at the very tail end of the Boer War (6579 appears on the Queens SA Medal Roll) of 2 Buffs. Note in roll says sent to 1st Buffs in India. Service papers show this service in S Africa, India, Hong Kong and Singapore before finishing his service in 1913.

For the school project he therefore needs to see if there is a 1st Buffs War Diary for Jan 1915 if the above is the right man. I will look for a diary pending your confirmation 

 

edit

The 1st Buff WD is on ancestry but is chronologically all over the place. It is for 1914-1919, It start in 1916, Then shows 1915 months in reverse order.Eventually found Jan 1915. 2 pages and very little detail. The is an interesting sketch of the changes they made to the trenches due to the wet and frosty weather, These are on pages 196 and 197 of the diary on Ancestry. Not sure if this mess is reflected in the same war diary from the National Archive. The whole diary can be downloaded for £3.50 from the NA from http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4554759

 

Edited by Mark1959

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C Boorman
9 hours ago, Mark1959 said:

I assume he is William Keep born c 1882. 6579 The Buffs, 3742 MGC. If so:

He is in the 1914/15 Star Medal Roll for the 1st Battalion Buffs. So he went to France with that unit 27/12/1914. That roll also show he went to the Class Z Reserve on 7/6/1919

He appears on the War Office Casualty List 1/7/1915 as suffering from "gas poisoning" - unit shows as 1st Buffs

He appears on the War Office Casualty List on 21/8/1915 - unit shows as 1st Buffs

Not clear if the above are one or two separate incidents,

The award of his Military Medal gallantry award appears in the London Gazette for 10/10/1916. By the time of the actions that led to the award he was with the MGC. So by sometime around mid-1916. The index card for this says 51 MG Company(late 1st Battalion Buffs). The card gives his previous service number as 6379 - incorrectly it seems. 

There is a hospital admission for WH Keep 3742 when he is admitted to 51 Field Ambulance on 9/3/1917 for Synovitis of the left knee - this man is at this point serving with the 51st MG Company in the 17th (Northern) Division.

This last record gives his age as 21!. This appears to be wrong as 6579 of the Buffs originally enlisted in 1901. Indeed there are existing service papers for 1901-13 service. This included service at the very tail end of the Boer War (6579 appears on the Queens SA Medal Roll) of 2 Buffs. Note in roll says sent to 1st Buffs in India. Service papers show this service in S Africa, India, Hong Kong and Singapore before finishing his service in 1913.

For the school project he therefore needs to see if there is a 1st Buffs War Diary for Jan 1915 if the above is the right man. I will look for a diary pending your confirmation 

 

edit

The 1st Buff WD is on ancestry but is chronologically all over the place. It is for 1914-1919, It start in 1916, Then shows 1915 months in reverse order.Eventually found Jan 1915. 2 pages and very little detail. The is an interesting sketch of the changes they made to the trenches due to the wet and frosty weather, These are on pages 196 and 197 of the diary on Ancestry. Not sure if this mess is reflected in the same war diary from the National Archive. The whole diary can be downloaded for £3.50 from the NA from http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4554759

 

Thanks Mark, yes that is indeed the fellow. Thanks for that information. This is a great help, I didn't know about the Queens SA medal roll. We have just the military medal, no others.

 

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C Boorman
13 hours ago, Waddell said:

You can follow the movements roughly of those battalions throughout the war here-

 

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/buffs-east-kent-regiment/

 

Just follow the division links the battalions were part of at the bottom of the page.

 

If you are looking at a particular battalion for the month of January 1915 you would be best off obtaining the war diary for that month and consulting regimental/battalion history if he is putting together a project for what they did in that month.. 

 

Scott

 

Thanks for your help

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Mark1959

The Boer War Queens South Africa Medal was issued to soldiers who served in that war. He seemed to get in theatre just literally for the last few weeks of the war. He got the medal with the following clasps

Cape Colony

Orange Free State

Transvaal

South Africa 1902

He was not entitled to the Kings South Africa Medal

Not bad for just a few weeks! He just need to be in certain areas before the war finished. So whether he actually saw much action seems unlikely but I could be wrong. 

So you are missing that medal and his other WW1 medals apart from the MM. Great Pity.

We can only go on what is available. We have no evidence he was with anyone overseas in WW1 other than 1st Buff and 51 MG Company. It many be possible to determine the date of transfer from his MGC number. If you then wished to investigate further we can look for a War Diary for the 51 MG Company. Do you wish me to look further?

 

Edited by Mark1959

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C Boorman

That would be great, thank you. I have tried to research and hit dead ends.  I would be grateful for even an idea of the battle, location where he may have been at the time he was awarded the MM. Diaries too would be fascinating.WP_20170814_003_kindlephoto-28660636.jpg.d293019ed266b857b0c0d36fadab9540.jpg

WP_20170814_003.jpg

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Mark1959

Reading between the lines some of the men around him in the medal rolls, that is organised by MGC number, seem to have joined the MGC in early 1916. The 51 MG Company went to France on 17/2/1916 - so he could not have been with them overseas prior to that date. So I suspect he was with them from Feb 1916 

Have found the War Diary - which is very brief with its entries. Looking at that I have my suspicions as to the likely location and rough date of the actions he got his MM for - around Fricourt in the first few days of the Battle of the Somme seems the most likely - but it is pure supposition. However, there is no specific mention of him as far as I have been able to see. The diary can be dowloaded, for £3.50 from

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352940

Will try to search again in next few days

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