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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

2nd Dragoon Guards (Queens Bays)


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Sorry to bother everyone again but I think i may be coming to the end of my research Into My Great Uncle Private Frederick William Clarke( 4685 Queens Bays ) died 31st October 1914 Ypres .

I am beginning to suspect that He may have sometime have been a Corporal at some point but lost his stripes, is there anyway I could find this out. 

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If he served in France as a full corporal, this fact should be recorded on his medal index card, and on the 1914 Star itself. He may have been only a lance-corporal, which was an appointment and not a rank, and such men are almost always shown as privates on the medal cards.


A lance corporal could lose his stripe at the discretion of his commanding officer, but for a full corporal to lose his stripes required the decision of a court martial, or for administrative purposes by an officer not below the rank of brigadier-general.


It is also possible that he was a recalled reservist, having served as a corporal before, but that there was no longer a corporal's vacancy for him after he was recalled.



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this picture is supposed to be of my Great uncle and I can see corporal stripes but he was never a corporal, the post mark on the back says it was  sent  from Aldershot in dec1913 and the message he wrote was definitely from him to his mate Sid cheeseman.  he wasnt court marshalled, I can only think that he sent a picture of somebody else. 

His mons star  says private .


Why didnt we question our parents and grandparents more 

Frederick william Clarke.jpg

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He may simply have asked to be reverted to the ranks - the responsibility of being an N.C.O. is not for everyone and the additional pay may not compensate if he missed the comradeship.


One alternative explanation - I've come across a couple of soldiers over the years who have committed an offence and have been brought up before the Commanding Officer. At that point the individuals concerned have asked "coincidentally" to be reduced to the ranks and that seems to have been deemed sufficient to avoid any need for punishment - sorting of leaping before you are pushed and also keeping a black mark off your service record.




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