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NorthStaffsPOW

Sapper Rank on West Riding Regiment Medal

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NorthStaffsPOW

Hi all. I picked up a Victory Medal to 408454 Spr. W. Walters, West Riding Regiment. I think I am correct in saying that the rank of Sapper was exclusively used for the Royal Engineers, indeed his MIC shows that Walters did serve in the RE at one point. Would this have just been an error that was never corrected? Any comments would be welcome. Many thanks.

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Ron Clifton

It certainly looks like a mistake. Possibly his service number is prefixed WR for the Waterways and Railways section of the RE, and some transcriber has misinterpreted it as West Riding Regiment. My grandfather went into the RE W&R Section but his medals show him correctly as a Private in the York and Lancaster Regiment.

 

Ron

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MaxD

Presumably this is 480545 Walters, West Riding and RE?  Just a straightforward rather than a clever screw up.  He hasn't a prefix to his RE number.  His medal roll also has Spr against his West Riding number.

 

Max

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kenf48

As he is on the Royal Engineers Roll that was his last unit, and he was, as noted above, shown as serving in the RE as Sapper 614898 when demobilised.

 

Medals were named to the first unit he was serving in when he entered a theatre of war.  The 480454 number is compatible with the 3rd West Riding Divisional Royal Engineers Field Company (a TF unit) 480001 - 482000.  https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-royal-engineers-in-1917/  The renumbering dates from March 1917 so we can assume as that is the number on the medal he did not go on active service until after that date. 

The Headquarters of this unit was in Sheffield.

 

As his entitlement was a pair I suspect he was serving in one of the 2nd line Field Companies attached to 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division, i.e. the 1/3rd or 2/3rd.

He could have been a Sapper in this unit as they were TF Royal Engineers. (See LLT https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/62nd-2nd-west-riding-division/)

 

You will need to dig a little deeper to confirm this but I think the error is with the "Rgt" as shown on the Rolls rather than his appointment, though he may have joined the WR Regiment initially but transferred to the Divisional RE Field Company when he went on active service.  Are you sure WR 'Regt' is engraved on the medal? 

 

 

Ken

 

 

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