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Remembered Today:

Linking a Labour company to a regiment


Gardenerbill

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I tried to help a forum pal asking about the whereabouts of some labour companies, so I looked in 'No Labour, No Battle - Military Labour During the First World War' John Starling and Ivor Lee, but I couldn't link the information there back to the original Labour Battalion, for example 36th Labour Company is listed as formed from 5th ILC DLI. I assume this is Durham Light Infantry but when I looked on the Long Long Trail at the DLI, I coudn't find any reference to 5th ILC, so the trail goes cold. I was thinking that perhaps if you knew which Brigade/Division/Corps they were attached to in April 1917 the Bde/Div/Corps war diaries might refer to the company. 

 

 

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I haven't added the short-lived Infantry Labour Companies to the infantry regiment's pages on the Long, Long Trail. Never got round to it. Not a bad idea, though. I'll add it to the list of future projects.

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I know something about 12 (Labour) Black Watch. Their war diary exists, but as far as I know has not been digitised. I read it a few years ago.

According to Wauchope (History of the BW) the CO, adjutant and QM became HQ 44 Labour Group and the rest of the battalion became 5 and 6 Labour Companies in May 1917.

 

RM

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Hello Gardenerbill

 

36 Labour Company first appears in the order of battle for France in July 1917, in Fifth Army Troops. By the following month it had moved to Third Army Troops, where it remained for the rest of the war.

 

Corps had Area Employment Companies and each Division had a Divisional Employment Company, from later in 1917, but these had three-figure numbers in the Labour Corps. I suspect that 36 Lab Co remained in England until July.

 

Labour Corps war diaries are few and far between, most of their activities being recorded in the diary of the Labour Group HQ under which they were serving. Your best chance for finding information is to look for the diaries of the Lab Group HQs serving under Third Army, which can be downloaded from TNA's website but are not available on Ancestry. Here are the references:

 

WO 95/429 39 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 May - Oct.  
WO 95/429 40 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 July - Oct.  
WO 95/429 44 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 July - Oct.  
WO 95/429 45 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 Aug. - Sept.  
WO 95/429 46 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 June - Oct.  
WO 95/429 47 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 May - Oct.  
WO 95/429 48 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 May - Oct.  
WO 95/429 49 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 May - Oct.  
WO 95/429 50 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 May - Oct.  
WO 95/429 51 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 Apr. - Oct.  
WO 95/429 52 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 May - Nov.  
WO 95/429 54 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 July - Oct.  
WO 95/429 55 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 July - Nov.  
WO 95/429 56 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 May - Oct.  
WO 95/429 58 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 July - Oct.  
WO 95/429 62 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 June - Oct.  
WO 95/429 69 Headquarters Labour Group 1917 Aug. - Oct.  

 

Be aware that you may be looking for a needle in a haystack. If Ivor Lee sees this thread he may be able to suggest quicker ways to find out what you want to know.

 

Good luck!

 

Ron

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Hi Ron,

Thanks I was trying to help a new forum pal see this topic:

 

I will add a link back to this topic. 

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