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PixelDust

Hohenzollern Redoubt - Incident leading to Victoria Cross for Colonel Sir Charles Geoffrey Vickers - a family mystery

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PixelDust

I have been told a story passed down in the family, about the time my Great Grandad supposedly pulled the pins and passed grenades/bombs to a comrade who threw them into an enemy trench and subsequently was awarded a VC for this. Several other stories have been passed down through the same route and, since I got hold of my Great Grandad's war record for WW1 I have been able to verify the majority of what I have been told. His record clearly mentions specific wounds that tie into other stories, so I have very much come to trust them.

 

Great Grandad Joseph Caine 2140 / 4962312 was in the Sherwood Foresters, 2/7th, 1/7th and 7th as far as I can make out. Having done a little research (I'm very new to this!) the only VC I can locate that sounds anything like this story was that recieved by Colonel Sir Charles Geoffrey Vickers for his actions at Hohenzollern Redoubt on 14 Oct 1915. The article announcing the VC award indeed describes two men passing bombs and creating a barrier. The only problem with this is the dates I can find in his war record. He's shown as being in France until the 6th of October and Home from the 7th. So he wasn't there. Is it possible that the records are innacurate? Are they always spot on? Or does anyone have any knowledge of any other similar event which could have become confused with this incident as the story was passed down?

 

Thanks in advance

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jcpcaine1.jpg

Edited by PixelDust

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear PixelDust,

I have found that the Great War records are accurate, more often than not.

My Grandfather (AIF Capt later CMF Lt-Col W. F. Lindsay, MC, ED; 1880-1940) was wounded in a VC action at Peronne on 1 Sep 1918 (MC to 53 Bn Coy Cdr Capt Lindsay).

The VC to Pte Currey, 53 Bn AIF is well-documented, as are the other decorations awarded on that day. In Grandfather's AIF records, reference was made to GSW right leg - yet a photo showing him recuperating in England, prior to Return to Australia, clearly shows that it was the left leg!

In your Great-Great Grandfather's case, perhaps the 'second man' did not get a VC? In the case of Vickers, it seems that his 'second man' also went empty-handed (a frequent occurance: there having been only so many awards to hand around to deserving candidates: even the living ones)...

Clearly, more research is needed, although I have always thought that the subject of the VC has been raked-over more than any other aspect of the Great War.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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PixelDust

Hi Kim,

 

Thank you for your reply. I did in all honesty think they were more likely to be right than not.

 

I never thought Great Grandad Joseph had a VC, the story more came down that they were all doing a very brave thing in a horrific situation and like you say, there was only one VC between the three of them, so it went to the man who was the most obvious choice. I have his medal card also, but am still trying to get used to deciphering the handwriting!

 

Vern interesting to hear about your Grandfather. We had a similar mention on GSW to one arm and another would to the other arm. This ties in perfectly with the family history that he was shot in one arm and bayonetted in the other. When we have found corroboration like this it seems odd other things don't appear to line up.

 

You are right, more research is required. I will keep on looking. I do appreciate your input

 

All the best

 

Pixie

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stevem49

No record in the Sherwood Foresters (Nott's and Derby Regiment) Gallantry Awards (sorry)

Luckily you do have his records (most destroyed in WW2) 

2/7th were territorial force as were the 1/7th (1/7th and 7th bns are one and the same. He had a 4 digit number to start with and then from 1916 they issued Territorial Force men with 6 digit. You are likely to find both used in the ancestry search.

Click on Long Long Trail at the top and it will help you understand a bit more about Battalions, Brigade, Divisions etc.

Best Regards

Steve M

 

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PixelDust

Thank you Steve M,

 

I had heard some records hadn't survived, I hadn't realised how lucky we were to have them. It already felt special being able to corroborate some things and learn more, but now I appreciate it more than ever.

 

I hadn't realised the 1/7 and 7th were the same - I have purchased a book to read hoping I can become more familiar with how it worked, but I lent it to my Dad and haven't got it back yet. Maybe I should get two of everything ;)

 

Perusing Long Long Trail now, Much appreciated

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stevem49

Just realised on checking my files - his WW1 numbers 2140 and then 122164. Did he stay on in the army? as the 7 digit would be later.

I will have a look at his records etc but probably early next week as I have a D of E walk tomorrow.

S

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PixelDust

He was in until 1920, and then went back in for WW2. I only have the 1914-1920 records so far, but have looking for the WW2 records on my to do list. I have seen that second number in the records too. Helpful to know the difference.

 

Hope your walk is plesant and not snowy!

 

P

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stevem49

Quick look at my Medal rolls and it has 1/7th, 2/8th and 2/7th. The Medal Index Card has entry to theatre - France on 28 Feb 1915 which is consistent with the battalion landing. 

From memory (my subject is 9th bn :) ) the 2/7th were absorbed by 1/7th (7th) in February 1918. 

 

Dozens of new Bronze D of E kids makes the walk 'interesting' :) 

 

S

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PixelDust

Oh brilliant, thank you so much. I hadn't made the 2/8th connection yet, Something else to pop in my ever-growing  folder :)

 

I remember a Scout Leader friend astonished that a teenager on a walk had no idea what a cow was. At least they're getting out side :D

 

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stevem49

Ours will know everything about the countryside, when we are finished with them :) 8km for map reading, taking bearings, leading a group etc tomorrow. March is the kick date for overnight in tents, heavy rucksacks and long hikes. Also have silver and gold to sort- only a helper but a busy year. We also take the pre- bronze year on the Sandstone trail - 30 miles in 4 days. 

 

Anyway :) - I will have to take a bit of time perusing his records as they are for various periods - 17/2/1909 to 16/2/1913 in 7th Robin Hood Battalion TF. Then he rejoins them on 14 May 1914. After leaving the army on 28 Feb 1919, he decided to join up again in May 1919 with the 4962312 number!  Looks like he gets to Lance Sgt and then is a naughty boy - 1 absence and also drunk, losing a stripe.  Looks like he went overseas for 139 days in 1919 - Flensburg and was then discharged on 8/10/1920 as unfit.  Also received Gun shot wound to Left Upper arm and right elbow 27/9/1917 and then returned home to recover in October.

I remember one of the BBC weathermen last year saying that until he was sent 'up north' on a job, he thought sheep and lambs were different species! 

 

S

 

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PixelDust

Sounds like great fun. Part of me thinks D of E should be mandatory at all schools!

 

Oh wow that's amazing. If you have any pointers on how I can get copies of the bits I don't have I'd appreciate it. I downloaded what I have from the Kew records website.

 

The being drunk and missing the parade I knew about, but I couldn't figure out where this happened. The family history hints at a bit more going on behind the scenes.

 

The gunshot wounds formed the backbone of an amusing anecdote in the family. Although I'm certain the reality was far from funny. It was powerful to see the corroboration.

 

It's always been said he was in Ireland too, but I couldn't see where that fit in.

 

As and when is absolutely fine, I really appreciate the assistance and am more than happy to get any info at all, so being patient is not a problem. I already feel like I should owe you a pint :)

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stevem49

I need to check but some of the Sherwood TF battalions served in Ireland during the uprising.  His records are also on the Ancestry site. 

Flensburg for the drunk and missing parade on 24/5/1920.  Flensburg is on the German/Danish border.

 

 

Will be in touch. 

 

Steve

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stevem49

Heavy rain, so prep for tomorrow postponed! 

 

The 2nd line Territorial Force battalions 2/5th, 2/6th, 2/7th and 2/8th all went to Ireland which at the time was not classed as overseas.

The wounding date does not quite match with battalion diaries for 1/7th and the records suggest he was with 2/7th at time! The 2/7th attacked on 24/25th which would tie in with him being wounded.  They had a number of men wounded from machine gun fire.

I will attempt to send you a personal message with the war diary entry. whoops - does not seem to want me to sent a PM yet. Not sure how many posts you have make before it is live. For legal reasons I cannot just put it on this page :) 

 

Also after going through his records, it will probably be better for you, if you ask any questions first and I can check and reply.

 

Steve 

Edited by stevem49
change of info

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tullybrone
5 hours ago, PixelDust said:

He was in until 1920, and then went back in for WW2. I only have the 1914-1920 records so far, but have looking for the WW2 records on my to do list. I have seen that second number in the records too. Helpful to know the difference.

 

Hope your walk is plesant and not snowy!

 

P

 

 

Hi,

 

Here is the link to the MOD information page to use when applying for his post WW1 papers.

 

https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-someone-elses-records

 

Good Luck

 

Steve

 

 

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PixelDust

Thank you very much. I have found the page, but I believe he will have a different service number for the WW2 records, and I'm not sure how to go about finding that.

Edited by PixelDust

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PixelDust

I only joined up very recently, I understand why things can't be posted. More than happy to go through the proper channels to get hold of copies, I actually have part of the war diary,  I just really struggle with the handwriting. But the more I learn, the more smudge squiggles resemble words I find in my research. It's a properly satisfying puzzle.

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stevem49
On 26/01/2019 at 17:57, PixelDust said:

 

Hopefully you will have had a personable Message with Sept 1917 war diary for 2/7th battalion.  It is the report from battalion to HQ, so typed.

Easier than the written war diary notes and with just the same info, as far as I can see.

Any problems with his records or anything else, juts PM me or add to this page.

 

You did get the PM :) 

 

Steve

 

Edited by stevem49

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PixelDust

Much appreciated. I look forward to reading through when I get the chance. Thank you.

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tullybrone
On 26/01/2019 at 17:57, PixelDust said:

Thank you very much. I have found the page, but I believe he will have a different service number for the WW2 records, and I'm not sure how to go about finding that.

 

Hi,

 

You don’t need an Army Service Number to apply to MOD for a Soldiers service papers.  MOD will search on full name and DOB only is service number not known.

 

Steve

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BRONNO

Some information I have, he enlisted again into the Sherwood Foresters with number 122164 on a regular engagement on the 5th May 1919 when aged 28 yrs 3 mths, given a new post war number 4962312 and was a Lithographer by Trade.

He married Gladys (nee Johnson) at Radford Church (Nottingham) on the 23rd February 1911, lived 54, Dame Agnes Street, Nottingham, discharged 8.10.1920.

 

BRONNO.

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