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PeterV

Deciphering damaged Records

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PeterV

I have my wife's Gfathers WW1 British Army records which I obtained on-line - the quality is very poor in places, with sections both missing and indecipherable. However, from his Short Service Attestation Form  he signed up in  Sept 1902 at age 19 in Cork. At Q.10 on the form, where asked "Do you now belong to the Army, the Marines etc ? " he answered "Yes. 3rd RM Fusil.." .then the section of the page is missing. Anyone got any idea which Unit this could be.? He signed on for 12 yrs in total from Sept 1902 - 3 yrs full term ( I think) and 9 yrs in the Reserve. Would this be correct? If so, this would mean that his 12 yrs would have terminated in Sept 1914, but it appears he was called up as a reservist when war was declared the previous month in Aug 1914.

Further on in the documentation, it looks like he went to France in Aug 1914 as a sapper with "G" Company Royal Engineers, but was discharged in July 1915 as being "not physically fit for war service". Additional documentation on file shows the transfer of various records from Chatham to a Military Hospital in Cork and also the District Asylum in Cork. The document refers to him "as a danger .... "  as well as using the unfortunate term "Insane" and "discharged Unfit". WE do not know much else about the poor man, other than on return to Cork to his wife and family, he spent many subsequent years in and out of a mental institution where he eventually died in 1940. Very tragic for his family.

As regards what events/horrors  of the war rendered him mentally ill, we can only speculate. I'd love to find out which engagements/battles his unit/Company were involved in in France. With the reference to "G" Company RE and also mention of 5th Field Cpy RE, together with an on-file typed receipt for documents, signed with an indecipherable signature as  Captain RE ( T.C), O.C "G" Company, could anyone enlighten me further ? By the way, are the letters T.C. an abbreviation for Tank Corps ?   

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charlie2

RM Fusil = Royal Munster Fusiliers. His Number, name and regiment would help people to help you further.

Charlie

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PeterV

Thanks Charlie

His name was Daniel Hourihan, 11470, sapper with G company Royal Engineers, with also a mention of 5th Field Cpy, RE in the documentation. Went to France on 14/08/1914, and came "home" on 04/04/1915. Subsequently discharged and deemed unfit for war service on 04/07/1915. Family lore has it that he was shell-shocked, but no Medical History Sheet survives on his records other than descriptions of his mental state as in my first post above.

Peter

 

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Airshipped

The damaged records are hard to read but it'd appear that he enlisted with the Royal Munster Fusiliers on 6 December 1899 and served until July 1900. This doesn't correspond to any particular battles of the South African wars? He was only 17 1/2 when enlisting, so is unlikely to have seen overseas service?

 

He then served in the militia until 8 September 1902. (Service Number 3893? Royal Garrison Artillery, Cork). 

 

There'd appear to have been a dispute as to what pension entitlements he'd earned from that previous service, as there are hand-written notes on the back of the letter informing him of what the War Office had estimated his reckonable service to be, but the text is impossible to read.

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Terry_Reeves

Peter

 

 "G" Coy refers to G Depot Company at Chatham from which he was discharged (sickness) on 4. 7.15. His silver war badge record refers. 

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clk

Hi Peter,

 

On ‎13‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 14:25, PeterV said:

it looks like he went to France in Aug 1914 as a sapper with "G" Company Royal Engineers

 

Daniel is on the 14 Star roll record of the 5th Field Company RE (albeit under the initial of 'W' instead of 'D'). His Silver War Badge record indicates that he was discharged due to 'sickness' rather than 'wounds' from G Coy. His service file indicates that he was in France/Flanders until 3rd April 1915, and then returned to the UK. My guess would be that his entire overseas service was with 5/FC, and that he was a subsequent transferred to G Coy in reality, or just on paper, to allow him time to recover from his sickness, pending a medical assessment of whether he could be returned to full or reduced duties, or whether he should be discharged. If that were to be the case, the 5/FC war diary does appear to mention some men by name (though quickly looking I didn't see Daniel), and might give you a pointer (looking backwards from 3rd April 1915) towards what happened. It is available to download from the National archives (here), or from Ancestry (here).

 

Regards

Chris

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corisande

 

These certificattes appear to be for his birth and death in Cork

 

Oddly I cannot find him in 1901 nor 1911 census

 

 

cork.JPG.1587db2d78380e4d99741b9a7eae9951.JPG

 

cork-death.JPG.fbf1264cbf0b49025d88328f6f9645d8.JPG

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Ron Clifton

G Company RE was one of the Depot Companies at Chatham (as Terry has pointed out), to which men of the RE were posted for training, or whilst recovering from wounds, or awaiting discharge in 1919.

 

I suspect Captain RE (TC) means Captain RE (temporary commission) rather than Tank Corps.

 

Ron

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