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mindful45

Seeking info on a KOYLI Pioneer soldier

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mindful45

Hi all

 

For good or otherwise I have returned with a new thread.  We have a photo that I shall attach of what we think is a soldier in a KOYLI Pioneer uniform - spot the shovel and rifle insignia on his collar. We think this is William Thompson (younger brother of Arthur and Harry in other threads). Unfortunately I don't have a service number so I have no idea how easy or hard this search will be. William was born in Goole in 1900, his parents were William Abraham and Christiana Thompson. I do know he married in 1918 to an Eliza Graham in Bradford. So, if there is an attestation form out there it will probably mention either his father's name or his wife's (I assume).

 

When you see the photo you will probably spot that he looks young. About 15? Maybe he enlisted as part of Kitchener's Army then in 1915, along with his brothers and brothers-in-law. (I have found 5 so far). I think therefore that William went out and had another birthday before enlisting.

 

So, if anyone would like to look into this with me then please feel free to do so, it would be great to get some assistance. (And just think this is just my Maternal line - how many more forgotten soldiers could be in my Paternal line?)!?!?.

 

Btw this photo was labelled 'unknown soldier 4' back in January by my Uncle. However, after my research where I discovered all 10 Thompson siblings, and found William I think it is a reasonable assumption this is William. The only other brothers were Tom and Harold, born in 1908 and 1910 respectively, so I can definitely assure you that it is NOT them. ;)

 

 

Unknown soldier 4.jpg

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Mark1959

William was married 3/6/18. His rank or profession is labourer rather than soldier. This rather suggests he was not in military service then. Given his age unlikely to have served before. He claims to be 21 on marriage if it is the correct marriage.

Edited by Mark1959

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FROGSMILE

Definitely a pioneer and almost certainly a member of the 12th Service Battalion KOYLI (Pioneers), which was formed from ex-miners, a fact in which they took great pride:

 

1.  http://www.pals.org.uk/koyli/

 

2.  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Miners-Battalion-Pioneers-Yorkshire-Infantry/dp/1473868084/ref=nodl_

 

3.  https://ossett.net/WW1/John_Smith.html

 

4.  http://bookshop.nationalarchives.gov.uk/9781783461790/Pioneer-Battalions-In-The-Great-War/

 

P.S.  he appears to have something unusual looking on his left cuff.  Difficult to be sure but they look as if they might be good conduct badges (inverted stripes) in light infantry green cloth.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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mindful45

Well spotted! Yes, there is something on his left cuff. Good conduct eh? What would that refer to in terms of military service? I am intrigued....

 

Btw I think William told a lie about his age, he did on his marriage certificate like you say, he claimed to be 21 when he was actually 18. Maybe he did this to enlist as well, his brothers went and so did his brother in laws, so maybe he wanted to be part of the action too? That is an assumption on my part, but yes it seems he stretched the truth about his age on occasion. However like you say there is no indication of military service on his wedding certificate which seems to contradict this.

 

Thanks for the links I will definitely check those out.

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Bob Davies

Without looking to hard on MICs, I found a pte William Thompson KOYLI 205379 / Labour Corps 614674. There are a number of William Thompsons KOYLI but this is the only one so far listed in the Labour Corps as well.

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mindful45

Thanks Bob, yes, there may be a clue in him stating his employment as 'Labourer' on the wedding certificate...possibly. I was thinking about this yesterday, and perhaps he lied about his birth date being 1897 and not 1900 on his wedding certificate to maintain an already existing lie? That is supposition, but if you are pretending to be older than you are, it may be difficult to back track on this in other situations in life.

 

I will explore this suggestion and see what I can find.

 

Good work.

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jay dubaya

205379 falls into the number block issued to the 4th KOYLI.

 

J

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mindful45

Interesting. The 4th? Ok, I shall explore that further.... thanks.

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