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mindful45

Harry Thompson KRRC

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mindful45

Hi

 

We are looking for my great Uncle Harry Thompson, and I found this purely by chance. Today I was looking at photos of Harry Thompson and we have that picture that you have posted here. And significantly we also have the silk with the poem on it, and more importantly the same address on Ryan Street, West Bowling, Bradford. This then must be the same Harry Thompson you are seeking to learn more about. Harry Thompson was my Granddad's older brother, I think he was 24 when he died, when my Granddad was small, as he was born in 1910, so he was much younger than Harry, and would have been 6 when he died. My Grandad Harold moved to Bradford with his parents and siblings from Harden near Goole. We were always confused as to why Harry joined the KR Rifles and not the Bradford Pals, and I assumed he may have stayed in Goole rather than come to Bradford, but I don't know. This is a missing piece of our jigsaw. Harry Thompson is remembered on the Thiepval monument, we know that much, as he died at the Somme on the 15th September 1916 at Flers with the Yeoman Rifles. What I am now wondering is did all of my Granddad's 10 siblings come to Bradford or did some stay in East Yorkshire? Indeed, was Harry married? That is another mystery - what was he doing in the Yeoman Rifles? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Liz in Eastbourne

Clarification - my posts here were made when the query was on the 21st Bn KRRC thread , and my references to 'the thread' are to that.

 

Welcome to the forum, mindful45.

 

Posts about Harry Thompson, C/12149, were way back on pp14-15 of this thread so I'm just providing the link back for anyone who might be a bit baffled!  You could try getting in touch by private message with the members involved in that discussion. Just hover over their names at the beginning of their posts and you'll see the icon for messages. I think you are now able to do it even when you've just joined (you used to have to have a certain number of posts).

 

 Men joined different regiments for all sorts of reasons, as you will find if you read some of this thread. The KRRC was a very highly-regarded regiment and their raising of a battalion in the north was an exciting event.  Harry's SDGW entry says born in Goole, residence Bradford, enlisted in Goole - either place would make him a candidate for the Yeoman Rifles, there's nothing odd about it.  I no longer think there's any chance he was the man on the Countess photo - he must have been in B or C Company.  As you have photos, and you have the same one Tommo posted, perhaps you can help with the discussion about why the uniform appears to be of a different regiment?

 

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
To clarify 'the thread'.

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mindful45

Hi Liz

 

What you write is very interesting, I had no idea that the KRRC raising a regiment in the north was an exciting event, so thanks and also thank you for the link. What I know of Harry Thompson (my Great Uncle) is that his number was C/12149, that he was in the 21st Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, that he was 24 when he died and was born in Goole. It was my Father who obtained this information by chance as he had a friend who was into military history. As far as I know my Grandad (Harold) did not know that his name was on the monument at Thiepval. Thus Harry was a great mystery to Mum and I for many years. But yesterday I googled him and found this discussion here and when I saw the photo with the silk thread attached I knew you were talking about the same man, as we have an identical (bit battered) copy of this at home, and there are not two Harry Thompsons who lived at 72 Ryan St, West Bowling, Bradford who died on the Somme on the 15th September 2016 (or the 17th as official records state).

 

To answer your question, this is a mystery, and we also have a different photo of who we thought was Harry, wearing his hat which bears the KRRC insignia on. Now like yourselves, this caused some confusion as he looks different in this particular photo to the one that you and I have that is online. Maybe, this is simply due to the angle that the photo is taken at, and because he is wearing a cap on one. Prior to discovering this thread online, we had assumed that the photo we all have (the one you have posted) was someone else, as like you say he seems to be wearing a different uniform. As yet, we have not solved this one. I shall see if I can take a photo of the photo with the hat bearing the insignia and post it here. This may take a few days but if you want to see it I am happy to post.

 

Best wishes

 

Mel

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mindful45

PS....speculating and this could be a wild fancy but could it be possible that he was on special ops, would that explain the difference in uniform? That may sound ludicrous, and excuse me if it is - my Dad claims that someone in his family once came home in a different uniform - that of the Black Watch and this was not his regiment - and suggests the above was thought to be the case. But then again, could it simply be that there was also a delay in receipt of uniform and it was a case of making do to some extent, as a stop gap? This is supposition....but are these suggestions possible?

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MBrockway

Continuing Liz's aim of simplifying the material on C/12149  Harry Thompson, here is the photo (originally in Post #356) of him NOT in KRRC uniform  ...

598ed7c9b0710_HarryThompsonC12149.JPG.0a

 

The silk alongside the photo (originally in Post #357) ....

598ed889851c2_HarryThompsonandsilks.JPG.

 

Detail of the top section of the silk (also originally in Post #357) ...

598ed8b0b897f_HarryThompsonssilk.JPG.fa9

 

TT's photo of Harry's pair (IIRC, TT added the KRRC cap badge to improve the display and it was not related to Harry Thompson) (originally in Post #371) ...

post-15846-0-26782400-1385135760_thumb.j

 

 

Mark

 

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mindful45

Hi Mark

 

That is brilliant and very kind of you. Thankyou. I have been reading through this thread and it has been very interesting. I have just emailed the KRRC to ask why Harry is NOT in this uniform, if they have any ideas. Looking on line there are photos claiming to be of other Riflemen and members of the KRRC during the Great War who also have brass buttons. I am quite intrigued. I shall post a different images that I have of Harry together with this message (there are others but I don't have these to hand - over at my Uncles). This one in the cap is definitely KRRC (or so I am told - I am no expert!). Whilst I am no expert I am determined to get as far to the bottom of this mystery as I can, so watch this space.

 

Ok, many thanks to all who have helped me recently. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

image.png

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mindful45

Hi, Thanks for that. Yes, the suggestion about special ops sounded ludicrous to me, but I threw it out there. Interesting what you say about the officer. I need to get back to you on this one, I am waiting for some photos to be sent to me from my relatives who have these, for comparison. Why? Because my relatives (who began this quest) seem to think that this is Harry and not the photo on this website provided by Tommo. They have a copy of Tommo's photo but as this photo is not in the KRRC uniform like you say, they dismissed it as not Harry. It is a shame that all his living relatives are dead, as this could help clear this one up. I googled the West Yorks regiment to see if there was one (on Friday) and yes there was, and as Harry's family lived in Bradford, and the West Yorks regiment had a barracks in Bradford it would make sense that Harry enlisted or joined up there....whether he did I don't know, but there is clearly a Bradford connection to this regiment. As an aside, we have a good luck badge which says 'the Leeds Rifles' on it, and has a cross in the centre which is very similar to the Maltese cross you mention (this could be a coincidence). Obviously I have no idea if this item is in any way connected to Harry, but I do wonder if the Leeds Rifles were connected to the West Yorks Regiment -  possibly they were. Whether this mystery will ever be solved is a moot point, but on the plus point, for me at least I can say what Harry looked like, even if this has now opened up a whole new puzzle. 

 

I am intrigued by the idea that the photo I posted is of an officer, a completely different chap. That is uncanny as Mum and I thought the photo we looked at before I discovered the Great War Forum last week also thought this wasn't Harry - not because of the uniform - but because we weren't sure he did resemble the Thompson line. Curious and curiouser.

 

I remember that Liz said something about a B and C company of the KRRC, so I was wondering if you would be able to help me here - is there a link or a website or somewhere I could learn more about this? What I know and understand about military matters is less than zero (as you can no doubt infer), so any help would be appreciated. It already is. So thanks again. Mel

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mindful45

Ps...reflecting on your comments about Harry being transferred from a regiment to the KRRC - could this have been because as Liz claimed the KRRC was a prestigious affair and also this was new to the north, and so the army wanted to make a success of this - so a number of men would have been moved to this initially (thus explaining Harry's low service number), would this have been some kind of PR move to attract others? I don't know....purely speculation. I would assume that one enlisted you couldn't simply move of your own volition (I may be lacking knowledge of military matters, but I am not that lacking!).

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Liz in Eastbourne

Hi mindful45

Just a rushed reply about the companies.  All this is explained on the thread, if you can bear to read such a long and varied account.

 

The companies were originally intended to reflect place of origin.  Men from the West Riding of Yorkshire (including Bradford) were in B Company. Those from the East Riding (including Goole) were in C Company.  That is why I said Harry could have been in either. He enlisted in Goole, according to SDGW.

 

PS  Just seen your PS. 

Mark - who is very much more knowledgeable than I am about the KRRC in general -  gave those two possibilities, which are the only ones.  But I don't think Harry would have been transferred from another regiment.  Officers and NCOs were posted from other regiments to get the new service battalion established, but I don't recall this happening with ordinary riflemen at this early stage when recruitment was going well.  To me, it seems more likely that the photo is not Harry Thompson.  This is really a matter for your family to sort out.

 

Happy Christmas!

 

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne

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MBrockway
2 hours ago, mindful45 said:

Hi, Thanks for that. Yes, the suggestion about special ops sounded ludicrous to me, but I threw it out there. Interesting what you say about the officer. I need to get back to you on this one, I am waiting for some photos to be sent to me from my relatives who have these, for comparison. Why? Because my relatives (who began this quest) seem to think that this is Harry and not the photo on this website provided by Tommo. They have a copy of Tommo's photo but as this photo is not in the KRRC uniform like you say, they dismissed it as not Harry. It is a shame that all his living relatives are dead, as this could help clear this one up. I googled the West Yorks regiment to see if there was one (on Friday) and yes there was, and as Harry's family lived in Bradford, and the West Yorks regiment had a barracks in Bradford it would make sense that Harry enlisted or joined up there....whether he did I don't know, but there is clearly a Bradford connection to this regiment. As an aside, we have a good luck badge which says 'the Leeds Rifles' on it, and has a cross in the centre which is very similar to the Maltese cross you mention (this could be a coincidence). Obviously I have no idea if this item is in any way connected to Harry, but I do wonder if the Leeds Rifles were connected to the West Yorks Regiment -  possibly they were. Whether this mystery will ever be solved is a moot point, but on the plus point, for me at least I can say what Harry looked like, even if this has now opened up a whole new puzzle. 

 

 

As I said above - I am very confused!

 

Is Tommo not a relative of yours?  IIRC Tommo is definitely a relative of Harry Thompson?

 

Well done for googling the West Yorkshire Regiment and confirming it existed.  On the whole though I don't make suggestions about men being in phantom regiments!  The East Yorkshire Regiment also definitely existed and as Liz has said above, Harry is recorded as enlisting in Goole in the East Riding.

 

Some further googling should get you examples of the shoulder titles of each of these regiments.  In the Great War these where 'E YORK' and 'W YORK' respectively, both in the curved form.  Unfortunately Tommo's photo purporting to be of Harry is not clear enough to differentiate between the two regiments.

 

Re the Leeds Rifles : this was the title used by two of the Territorial Force battalions of the West Yorkshire Regiment - 7th and 8th battalions. 

 

These two battalions had their origins in the rifle volunteer movement of the 1850s and followed the traditions of the elite Regular rifle regiments - the KRRC and the Rifle Brigade - i.e. rifle green full dress uniforms, black rifle buttons, Maltese Cross cap badges, no flags, faster marching pace, simplified rifle regiment drills etc. etc.

 

The cap badge of the Leeds Rifles does have a prominent Maltese Cross, but it is surrounded by a simplified laurel wreath.  This is actually based on the Rifle Brigade cap badge, not the KRRC's.

 

Tommo's photo with the [W or E] YORK STs does not have rifle buttons, which we would expect for a soldier of the Leeds Rifles (7/ or 8/W Yorks Regt).  HOWEVER ... the rule with black rifle buttons is when present they're good evidence of man being in a battalion that follows rifle regiment traditions, but if NOT present that does not prove the man is NOT in such a battalion.  Even in the senior rifle regiments (KRRC and RB) there are plenty of photos showing genuine KRRC and RB riflemen wearing brass General Service buttons.

 

A very remote scenario exists for Harry Thompson being the man in Tommo's photo as follows

[WARNING: Speculation now begins].

  • Harry was in the pre-War Territorial Force (part-time volunteers) with the Leeds Rifles, 7th or 8th West Yorkshire Regiment.
  • At the start of the War, Harry declined to offer to serve Overseas (the TF were set up primarily to defend Blighty from invasion, not to serve on any Expeditionary Force, and did not have an automatic obligation to serve Overseas).  The majority of the TF enthusiastically agreed to serve overseas, so not to do so would be unusual, but not unlikely.  Such men usually did so due to family or business commitments.
  • Harry therefore served at Home in Blighty with the second or third line units of his Leeds Rifles battalion.  1st/7th and 1st/8th West Yorks Regt (the two first line Leeds Rifles battalions) had gone out to the Front in April 1915.  If you are unfamiliar with the concept of first/second/third line battalions in the TF, then read the pages on the Mother Site (see link to the Long Long Trail, top left)
  • With compulsory conscription looming in autumn 1915, Harry may have decided the time had come to revise his decision and voluntarily agree to serve Overseas while he still had some choice over his destiny.  Since this coincided with the news of the raising a 'Northern' battalion of the KRRC, he might have asked to be discharged from the Leeds Rifles on the understanding he would then immediately enlist into the new Yeoman Rifles 21/KRRC - a very attractive option for anyone with rifles in the blood!  Since 21/KRRC was NOT a TF battalion, I *think* he may have had to resign formally from the TF
  • Under this scenario, he could just as easily have signed the Imperial Service Obligation and gone out to join the first line unit of his Leeds Rifles battalion (1st/7th or 1st/8th West Yorks Regt), who had both been out in France since April 1915. Perhaps as an experienced pre-War terrier extremely useful for his trainer skills, he'd been told he'd be kept back with the Home units and he wanted to get out sooner.  2nd/7th and 2nd/8th W Yorks did not go Overseas until Jan 1917.  Perhaps he enlisted into 21/KRRC with some friends.

 

There are however some major flaws in this scenario ...

  1. If a pre-War terrier with Leeds Rifles, he would already have Service Dress uniform with black rifle buttons and would not have been impacted by rifle button shortages.
  2. I *think* the Leeds Rifles 'W YORK' STs were in the three decker 'T | 7 | W YORK' OR 'T | 8 | W YORK' format.  The single deck curved W YORK in Tommo's photo would suggest a non-TF battalion of the W Yorks Regt.  There are better experts on STs here who may be able to confirm.
  3. I *think* the Leeds Rifles 'W YORK' STs were blackened.
  4. If acting as an indispensable trainer with 2nd/7th or 2nd/8th W Yorks, then we would expect him to be an NCO, not a rifleman.  Tommo's photo has the elbow area faded out, but I don't *think* he has a stripe up
  5. Such a man would generally be likely to get promoted once in 21/KRRC and Harry stayed a Rifleman throughout.
  6. I am definitely not confident a TF man changing his choice on the imperial Service Obligation would be permitted to transfer outside his unit rather than being sent compulsorily to the first line battalion.
  7. This scenario hinges on a lot of stretching of the norms - it has had to be very artfully constructed!  In my experience, generally the 'truth' is much simpler.

[Speculation now ends].

 

If you have any family intell. about Harry's whereabouts in 1915, then I may be able to match him with the movements of the Leeds Rifles second and third line units.

 

Otherwise, the scenario above is very difficult to prove/disprove without any Service Record for Harry.  The more likely explanation is that the man in Tommo's photo is not Harry Thompson.

 

Mark

 

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mindful45

Hi Mark

 

Thank you for this, it is really interesting, like a really BIG learning curve. I can honestly say that the photo of Harry is my great uncle, and I do have Tommo to thank for this, as without the silk remembrance thread attached to this photo that he uploaded I would not have realised this was Harry. Our Harry's family also resided at 72 Ryan St, West Bowling, Bradford.  I also have a copy of this item and I should photograph it and post to here, along with the mystery enamel badge (which could just be a random item collected by a member of the family sometime during the Great War). As a family we knew little about Harry other than what was written on the silk remembrance item, and that is how we knew he was in the KRRC. His family were poor, or so I assume from what my Grandfather told me. They came to Bradford looking for work in the mills. There were 10 children and so life was tough. This may explain the simplicity of this remembrance item, I don't know, as it seems so small and modest. Maybe it isn't - were these a common item around at the time? There is much that we don't know really as a society, as people from that period didn't really talk about this, and without cars, phones or the internet family members lost touch when they moved for work. So his family, parents, siblings etc never had any idea that Harry was remembered on the monument in Thiepval, they had no idea whether he had a grave or not etc. All they had was this little piece of material and copies of this photograph. We found  out as by chance about the monument as my Dad just happened to worked with someone who had a friend with an interest in military history, and thus I learned that Harry's serial number was C/12149 and then eventually found out through research that he was killed during the battle of the Somme at Flers, and was in the Yeoman Rifles. The latter caused confusion as the family moved from Goole to Bradford, so what was he doing over there in East Yorkshire? He was a lot older though than some of his siblings, and so we thought he could have simply stayed behind as maybe he had work or something there. So yes, this really IS Harry. So I am grateful to Tommo and you for running this forum, as otherwise I would not have known or recognised him as Harry. Ironically there is a copy of this same photo held by my uncle but as you know, Harry is not in the KRRC uniform in this photo and so my uncle dismissed this as Harry, figured he was someone else. Amusingly he has a different photo ( very similar to the officer chap) as and this is the KRRC uniform he assumed that this person was Harry. Ah, the mystery of the wrong uniform, it has confused us all hasn't it?

 

I recall what Liz said about Harry enlisting in Goole, so yes it is plausible he enlisted initially with the East Yorkshire regiment. My long, windy tale hypothesising about the West Yorks regiment may have muddied the waters. I apologise if it has. What I think I need to do is to explore other sources, maybe Census records, and other ways of researching 'family history' to try to ascertain the likelihood of being either in the East Yorks or West Yorks regiment then - to clear up this longstanding mystery. I see that Tommo has been investigating this for many a year (ironically just like ourselves). 

 

I will photograph and post the image of the silken thread and also the enamel badge out of interest. 

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mindful45

Hi again Mark

 

Many thanks for all this information. Ok then, my suppositions are either 1) Harry Thompson was in the E Yorks Regiment initially (how we came to be in the KRRC is still unknown to date) or 2) Harry Thompson somehow was in the W Yorks Regiment initially. If he enlisted in Goole then 1) may be more likely. Like you say the simplest answer is usually the right one!

As promised here is an image of our silk (the same as Tommo's) and the mystery enamel badge which says 'Good luck' and 'Leeds Rifles'. This may have nothing to do with Harry, but you may find it interesting anyway. Thus I post it, I don't know how easy it is to make the detail out, but you can see the Maltese Cross. Question: out of interest, what is the significance of this particular cross? Why was this chosen? Do you know? Still waiting for photos from my uncle!

 

If anyone does know anything about either the East Yorks Regiment and movement from this to the KRRC or is a bit of an expert on the W Yorks then please feel free to get in touch.

 

Christmas wishes to you all. 

 

Mel

Silkimage1.jpg

silkimage2.jpg

silknbadge.jpg

silk3.jpg

badge2.jpg

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Liz in Eastbourne

Mel

Thanks for all this, but we already have images of the silk and your queries about other regiments, Leeds Rifles etc would be better posted on a different thread, perhaps in the  soldiers subforum, where you'll find  plenty of helpers. All this speculation about one individual does rather bog this thread down so that people who come to find out about the Yeoman Rifles can't find their way through -  it is very long.  I realise you're new here but perhaps read this thread, have a look round and also at the Long Long Trail website before posting more.

 

We know Harry enlisted at Goole because of the Soldiers Died in the Great War record, which you will find on Ancestry, but unfortunately his record appears not to have survived. There is nothing exceptionally mysterious about how he came to be in the KRRC. Most Yorkshiremen in the YRs could have been in one of the Yorkshire regiments but for one reason or another chose or landed up in this new battalion of the KRRC.  Read Gerald Dennis's 'A Kitchener Man's Bit' for an account of how a Hull man came to be in the YRs. You seem to have decided that photo is Harry on the basis of Tommo's identification, which wasn't entirely certain.

 

The question of interest to me, I confess, was whether he was the Harry Thompson in the Countess photograph, as was discussed on this thread before - but as they were all men of Helmsley or nearby - many actually estate workers on Duncombe Park  - and he enlisted at Goole, I ruled that out. 

Local newspapers might help.

 

Yes, I think it's Christmas...time to adjourn! 

Best wishes

Liz

 

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MBrockway

Further to this, his enlistment at Goole as per SDGW may be his enlistment into the KRRC, particularly if he had to resign from the TF in, say, the Leeds Rifles (7/ or 8/West Yorks Regt) meaning his joining the KRRC would be a full enlistment, not a transfer.

 

Mark

 

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mindful45

Hi Both

 

Yes, sorry for the confusion - from the Countess photograph I don't think that this is him, no. I hope that helps. Since I posted this before lunch I have been to Forces War Records to seek clarity, and so I searched the West Yorkshire Regiment and the East Yorkshire Regiment. This though may have raised a further question, as there are two records for H Thompson C/12149. The first states that he was a private in the KRRC in 1914 - which is interesting as wasn't this raised in 1915? Then the second record for H Thompson C/12149 records his death on the 17th September 1916. And here he is recorded as a Rifleman in the KRRC. Moving on, to be thorough in trying to solve this uniform riddle -  there was a general hospital record for a H Thompson aged 24 (same age), a Rifleman from the 17th (did they mean the 1/7th?) Leeds Rifles Battalion who was discharged from hospital on the 25/6/1916. As for the East Yorkshire Regiment there was a Harry Thompson Private - but there appears to be no record of his death. So to sum up, the more I try to resolve 'the mystery of the wrong uniform' the plot like in all good Christmas mysteries thickens. Could Harry have been a private in either regiment before transferring to the KRRC? - why does he have a record stating he was a private in the KRRC in 1914? And is it conceivable that the hospital record could have been for him even at this late stage - I think the Yeoman rifles were in France then, but this record could be another H Thompson - it is not an unusual name.

 

Humble apologies to anyone who is looking for other Yeoman riflemen or other ranks. I never intended for this to mushroom like it has. Oh if only Harry was wearing the KRRC uniform, all would be resolved. 

 

Thanks both! Mel

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ss002d6252

The war gratuity shows C12149 Harry Thompson had 12 months or less service at the time of his death in 1916.
 

On the basis of the most likely options - if he had served in 1914 then he either had a break in his service, with the aggregate parts totalling 12 months or less, or he had earlier service under a different name and the periods weren't linked.

 

Craig

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Stebie9173

The Silver War Badge roll for C/12145 John G S Wardell records a date of enlistment of 29-10-1915. The Records of C/12137 Samuel Beecher Horsman (Breecher per Ancestry Index) record an enlistment of 4-11-1915 (and an overseas date of 5-5-1916).

 

A "less than one year" of total service per the War Gratuity leaves very little scope for earlier service with another Regiment.

 

 

Steve.

Edited by Stebie9173

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mindful45

Hi all

 

Yes Mark, sorry, I mean't that the KRRC in the north was raised in 1915, as a prestigious affair, sorry, my language use was a bit woolly there. Ah, don't you wish this was simple? If only this photograph had Harry in the KRRC uniform, then this would be solved. There are two forces war records. I don't know if I can post them to here or not. You can share them, but to facebook and other sites from the look of the icons. I can assure you there are two records for this Harry Thompson. So I was puzzled with the Yeoman Rifles being raised in 1915, but the first record showing him registered as a private apparently with the KRRC in 1914. But maybe this is a mistake of record keeping, ie referring to the KRRC in 1914, or simply an alteration to his records. 

 

Re: the uniform mystery, this may be a helpful link to anyone interested in the Yeoman rifles generally, and this site claims that "Much like all the ‘New Army’ Battalions forming at the time, life in the battalion to begin with had probably been Spartan. There had probably been a shortage in the supplies of uniforms, the recruits having to wear the clothes and boots that they had arrived at the Park in for all the inevitable marching and manoeuvring that all recruits to any Army have to endure. There had also most importantly been a shortage of weapons, broom handles, spades, and perhaps a few antique shotguns were not an uncommon sight in the hands of the newly fledged soldiers of the New Armies." This may be a possibility then, as the simplest answer is often the best. 

 

Below is the link 

 

http://www.scarboroughsmaritimeheritage.org.uk/article.php?article=553

 

This page could be of interest to anyone searching for a member of this Regiment - there are some names of soldiers on this site too.

 

Thanks to all of you who have puzzled over this one with me.  

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Liz in Eastbourne
On 24/12/2018 at 23:10, Stebie9173 said:

The Silver War Badge roll for C/12145 John G S Wardell records a date of enlistment of 29-10-1915. The Records of C/12137 Samuel Beecher Horsman (Breecher per Ancestry Index) record an enlistment of 4-11-1915 (and an overseas date of 5-5-1916).

 

A "less than one year" of total service per the War Gratuity leaves very little scope for earlier service with another Regiment.

 

 

Steve.

 

Thank you, Steve - precisely.  My original motive for starting this thread (as declared in a subtitle discarded by one of the forum updates) was to find out about the war service of my great-aunt's fiance, JT Hardcastle, whose service number was C/12190, and his attestation was at Ripon on 11 November. The numbers were not absolutely consecutive in date because they were given by  a number of different recruitment centres but they are a rough guide. Together with the 'less than one year's service' statement this makes it clear this particular Harry Thompson did not enlist in another battalion in 1914.  There were many - I have a note on my old file from 2010 that I searched on the name for a military record up to record 1060 on Ancestry before giving up.

 

This whole confused series of speculations depends on assertions of Mel's for which no evidence has yet been given - that there exists an earlier record for the same man (which we couldn't find when researching him on Ancestry years ago so it or a transcription of it would be interesting to see) and that the photograph is definitely of the Harry Thompson who attested at Goole and was in the 21/KRRC.  Without this evidence I don't think the discussion is useful or interesting.

 

 

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne

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Liz in Eastbourne
16 hours ago, mindful45 said:

....

 

I have tried to be thorough. Sincerely hope that this is helpful and not muddying the waters further or deterring you or anyone for looking for other soldiers of the Yeoman Rifles.

 

Imagine these links as Christmas gifts, as well as the Scarborough link in earlier post. Ok, off now, before I am put on a charge! ;)

 

You are muddying the waters, and I think you know that.

Your FWR links are not Christmas gifts, they are teases, when you don't include the information, since most people don't have subscriptions to Forces War Records.

The Scarborough link is useful, though - we did of course find this website eight years ago and it's linked on the very first page of this long thread, but the website address has changed and it may have been updated. 

 

Mark has clearly spent ages trying to help you from his immense knowledge of this regiment in WW1 and I've tried to help from my knowledge of this battalion but you are quite dismissive of the points that are made. Why don't you read the thread, or GV Dennis, or the Long Long Trail on the KRRC?

 

Liz

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mindful45

Ok Mark, thanks.

 

I wasn't intending to muddy the waters, I was actually trying to resolve this issue here. I wasn't sure if the links to the Forces War Records that I found would work without paid up membership to this site, but as it seemed these records were important and that people wanted to see them well I thought that posting these links might work, so it was worth a shot. There has been a great deal of confusion it seems caused by the initial photo posted of Harry Thompson, seeing as he is wearing a different uniform. But there could be a really simple answer to this, and the fact that he is wearing a different uniform doesn't mean that he isn't the Harry Thompson that Tommo was looking for - just that why Harry is in this uniform is not clear to us. As far as I know, the family moved to Bradford in 1913, and the record of him being killed in action shows that his address was Bradford at the time. I have the badge showing the Leeds Rifles - so maybe he was enlisted in the W Yorks initially - if the Forces War Record is misleading like you say, perhaps this line of thought is reasonable. Part of the problem is that a century has passed, records are uncertain, some seem incorrect, and the fragments that remain of this history are subject to interpretation etc. 

 

I am grateful to you Mark for alllllll your efforts here. I just wish that this one had not been a series of discoveries leading to yet more questions. As for the other family photo - I have asked for it, but I have to say that as yet I have not received a copy. I will chase it up - not all family members are as efficient as I. I will do my best. Maybe forget the officer photo for now?......that could simply be a false lead. Stick to the one we definitely know is Harry - even in a different uniform. 

 

And yes, I have other links on this forum to read, I acknowledge that. I shall now follow the link which Mark has so kindly posted here, and I will get back to you about what this conveys.

 

Mel

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Liz in Eastbourne

There are two medal cards (I found these on Ancestry when I first researched Harry Thompson there some years ago and they are still there - I'm not going to pay to look at them on the National Archives website).  One is for Harry Thompson 3133 who enlisted in the KRRC in 1914 and qualified for the 1914 Star, one is for Harry Thompson C/12149, who since he did not enter a theatre of war till 1916 qualified only for the other two medals.  Craig and Steve have provided the other evidence that his service was less than 12 months.

 

They are not the same man.  I have found a number of examples of men with the same name serving in the same regiment. 

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne

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MBrockway
On 27/12/2018 at 12:42, MBrockway said:

Mel,

If you genuinely want to move this forward, please go to the Thompson 1914 record on Forces War Records here:

https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/records/17717157/private-harry-thompson-kings-royal-rifle-corps/

 

Go to the row labelled "Archive Reference" and transcribe exactly what is written there.  No need for any other supporting comment/interpretation from you - just give us the citation.

 

This is the section as seen by those without a FWR subscription ...

277443072_NewPicture.jpg.23f34273f6b3f2fd104868ad99b7db61.jpg

 

We need what you can see and that we cannot.

 

Mark

 

 

 

 

2 hours ago, mindful45 said:

Ok, following your request Mark - here is the information you seek:

 

Archive Reference: WO 372/19/233196 (Can be found at The National Archives in Kew, and contains First World War, War Office: Service Medal and Awards Roll Index).

 

If you need the reference from the second record, ie the one recording his death in 1916 then let me know and I will be happy to forward this here.

 

I hope that is helpful. From this page it looks as if this is a record describing his campaign medals, what is curious is the idea that he was a private in 1914 in the KRRC - but like you say this could be as you say misleading, I would agree with this, looking at the photo of him in uniform. Regarding the confusion that surrounded this with Tommo and then last week with my posts - supposition and conjecture time - this may have been taken in 1914 prior to his enlisting with the KRRC the following year, that may make sense. The issue then is finding a photo of him in KRRC uniform in 1915....

 

 

Mel,

I stressed in my instructions that it was very important to transcribe the FWR Archive Reference accurately.

 

Can you please confirm that the reference is definitely WO 372/19/233196?

 

 

Having wasted some considerable time hunting down the non-existent reference WO 372/19/233196 in the National Archive catalogue, I rather suspect the correct reference is WO 372/19/223196, which is the Medal Index Card for C/12149 Rfn Harry Thompson, KRRC.

 

Viz.

1291651363_THOMPSONRfnHarryC-1214921-RRC-MIC-Copy.jpg.7f51443eb5537b00d03ef69f426442ff.jpg

 

There is nothing on this primary source that evidences Harry Thompson being in the KRRC in 1914.

 

You are unwise to regard Forces War Records as a primary source.  It is merely a portal onto the primary sources and its cataloguing is a trap for the novice researcher.

 

In this case the FWR catalogue has assigned the 1914 date not to Harry's record, but to the complete National Archive medal index card dataset, which covers 1914-1920.

 

 

 

With this 1914 date proved spurious, all other primary sources, viz.

  • MIC
  • BWVM medal roll
  • absence from 1914-15 Star medal roll
  • no Embarkation Date
  • War Gratuity calculations
  • enlistment dates of men with nearby C/121xx Service Numbers
  • C/12149 being a very early enlistment into 21/KRRC (Yeoman Rifles)

 ... strongly point to C/12149 Rfn Harry Thompson enlisting in Oct/Nov 1915 into 21/KRRC (Yeoman Rifles) with no previous service in any other regiment.

 

That leaves us with just the second explanation as to why the soldier in tommo's photo is wearing 'x YORK' shoulder titles: the man in the photo is NOT C/12149 Rfn Harry Thompson.

 

I'm sorry to disappoint you with this news, but at least it is now resolved.

 

Re the Leeds Rifles sweetheart brooch : these would have been commonly available in the Leeds/Bradford area.  Not strong evidence to connect Harry Thompson to the Leeds Rifles.  There's a fair chance that the man in tommo's photo might be Leeds Rifles (7/ or 8/W Yorks Regt) despite his not having black buttons, but as he is definitely NOT Harry Thompson, nor 21/KRRC (Yeoman Rifles), you'll need to start a new topic elsewhere to explore that.

 

Re the photo of the KRRC officer : you seem very reluctant to admit it, but I do not think you (or your family) possess this physical photograph. The picture is actually of 2/Lt Wallace George LANGFORD, 18/KRRC (Arts & Crafts) who was wounded near Ploegsteert and died on 27 June 1916.  It is definitely NOT C/12149 Rfn Harry Thompson, who was never promoted past Private, let alone commissioned.

 

Cheers,

Mark

 

 

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
TNA MIC dataset dated 1914-1920, not 1914-1922

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Liz in Eastbourne
11 hours ago, mindful45 said:

...

 

.As far as I know, the family moved to Bradford in 1913, and the record of him being killed in action shows that his address was Bradford at the time. I have the badge showing the Leeds Rifles - so maybe he was enlisted in the W Yorks initially - if the Forces War Record is misleading like you say, perhaps this line of thought is reasonable.

....

 

 

 

When this was last discussed five years ago on pages 14-16 of this thread, David Underdown reminded us that the address given on SDGW did not necessarily indicate the man's own residence, but rather that of his next of kin.

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mindful45

Sorry Mark, it seems I made a mistake copying out the number, I should have copied and pasted it instead of writing it out by eye. It was WO 372/19/223196 , did I put 233196? Apologies for that. Clearly I would make a dreadful historical researcher, or I need my eyes testing. Anyway, the photo that Tommo had has to be the Harry Thompson I am writing about- why? Because his sister (one of my great Aunts, who are no longer with us) passed this to Tommo, as he was the son of Harry's brother Tom, and I imagine she would recognise her own Brother. It is very mysterious. I can say that in our family line there is also a  copy of this same photo, however, as we never met Harry in life or knew what he looked like, we thought (like everyone else here) that this was not him, due to the uniform. My Uncle has other photos, one which looks like the KRRC uniform, but the image is in his possession, I asked for it, but as yet had no luck obtaining it. Thus I as yet am unable to post it here. As for the officer - that was a mistake, it resembled this photograph in my Uncle's possession. I apologise for that too. The photograph posted by Tommo has the same silk thread that we have a copy of - same words of remembrance, home address etc, which is why I posted it here as evidence that this really cannot be anyone else, as that wouldn't make sense. This silk thread mentions the KRRC rifles. It has to be him then in this photo surely, but why he is in another uniform and what he was doing before 1915 is a very good question, and will probably remain unanswered, due to the passage of time. Thanks Liz for the update. You have done your best, I really appreciate all the effort that you have put in, especially since it has been the Christmas period. Thank you. And sorry once again for making a hash of the record number. 

 

Thanks too for your information re: the badge, yes, I did wonder that, but as there was uncertainty over the 'Yorks' on his shoulder title I wondered if this could help somehow. 

 

Mel

 

 

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