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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

186th Special company RE


Jean Pound

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My Grandfather was a Chemist Corporal in 186th special company.  He was gassed at the Battle of Loos and sent back to his unit after 5 days.     He was promoted to Sergeant at some point after this - what would be the likely scenario for his promotion?

From an unknown date in 1916 he served as a shift chemist at HM Gretna until he was discharged in  Dec 1918.

I would be grateful for any information about where I can find out more about my grandfather's service.

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Jean

 

I have a data base of Special Brigade men, if you post his name and number I may be able to help.

 

PS Was his name Adam Tait?

 

TR

33 minutes ago, Jean Pound said:

My Grandfather was a Chemist Corporal in 186th special company.  He was gassed at the Battle of Loos and sent back to his unit after 5 days.     He was promoted to Sergeant at some point after this - what would be the likely scenario for his promotion?

From an unknown date in 1916 he served as a shift chemist at HM Gretna until he was discharged in  Dec 1918.

I would be grateful for any information about where I can find out more about my grandfather's service.

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves
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Jean 

 

He landed in France on 13.7.15. His promotion would have come about because he would have shown he had leadership skills and by that stage in the proceedings clearly relevant experience. At the beginning of 1916 the special companies were expanded into a brigade sized organisation of five battalions and one independent company - Z Special Company.  This large expansion required  experienced men to guide the newcomers who had transferred from infantry and other regiments across the army and who had no experience of this type of warfare.  On expansion 186 Company formed the core of the new 1st Battalion and it is likely that he served in one of the new companies A,B,C or D before his transfer to Gretna under the Ministry of Muntions.

 

Incidentally, I asked about Adam Tait, another original,  because he too was transferred to Gretna in 1916 and there. is a possibility that the would have known each other.  

 

Was your grandfather born in 1893 and did he work in dye industry before and after the war?

 

TR

 

 

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Thank you so much for you reply and info.  Yes my grandfather was born in 1893 and he did work in Dye industry before and after the war - if you would like more info about my grandfather I would be happy to supply it.  I wondered if  the 'DYE' business had any bearing on why he was chosen for the Special Company and  HM Factory Gretna - albeit as far as I know he worked in the office. . He may well have known Adam Tait but I don't know that.  Another soldier who was in !86th and moved to Gretna was Geoffery Higson - I know quite a bit about him as I have managed to get a copy of his diary but again I don't know if they knew each other.

I am very grateful to you and if you have any other information I would love to know about it.

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Jean

 

His posting to the Special Brigade was definitely to do with his employment in the dye industry. I believe he may have started as a clerk and then trained as a works chemist. There were quite a  number of men from exactly that background in the brigade.

 

With regard to Geoffrey Higson, his brother Percy was also in the Special Brigade and was later commissioned.

 

I would love to know more about your grandfather and indeed more about Geoffrey Higson.  I will send you a message with my email address if that is alright.

 

TR

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves
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