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empirestate89

Lance Bombardier? Naming The Unkown

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empirestate89

Hi everyone,

 

I was wondering if there was any way to search, on any particular site, of soldiers from WW1 deaths by rank?

 

I ask as I have a photograph from my family history, of a gentleman whom from my going over the photo and reading and comparing, appears to have been in either the RFA or RGA, the two chevrons on his tunic would suggest a Lance Bombardier if Im correct? Perhaps these photos span some time as one has one chevron and another two. He also appears to have some kind of "stripe" or strip on his label between his R** insignia and the button, of which I cant tell the significance. And also some kind of adornment on his lower left sleeve, possible a wombed mark?

 

My hope/presumption would be that there wernt a huge amount of RFA/RGA Lance Bombardier from my neck of the woods, Wiltshire, who died during the war, as I know this gentleman did. Despite the ring, the story has always been that he was the fiance of one of my relatives, and that he had died in the war, I have photos of them together, both wearing rings, but no wedding record as hard as Ive looked for it.

 

Any help much appreciated. He is an unknown name, but I think of my lost soldier every time we come around to 11/11.I would love to know his story.

 

soldier together.png

Edited by empirestate89
added photo

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Neale1961

Post a good quality scan of the photo and all the information you have.

Someone will be sure to help.

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David26

In the lefthand photo the two stripes mean he was a corporal.  And in the righthand photo - when he had one stripe so was a bombardier - the crossed flags on his left sleeve show that he was also a qualified signaller.  

 

Are you able to tell from the originals what the shoulder tags say?  

 

As for narrowing down who he might be, have you tried a search of the CWGC site?  You can download results in .csv format into an Excel spreadsheet and start manipulating the results. 

 

David.

 

 

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battiscombe

He is also wearing  'ball buttons', which is unusual..as links him to  Royal Horse Artillery - RHA, of which there were relatively few batteries. Photo with one stripe as a Bdr suggests maybe prewar regular with a single good conduct stripe on lower left sleeve below signallers patch. The cloth shoulder patch I also associate with prewar but i have only seen RFA examples [but there is a thread on Forum dealing with cloth badges]

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empirestate89

Its definately an R & A, RFA looks the most likely to me. From the sounds of it, it seems that the right photo is the first, possibly prewar, and the left photo is the second, hes gone up a rank, and could be taken during or beginning WW1. From my end I know the left photo is certainly after 1911.

 

So I suppose that leads me to a question I hadnt consdered, If this gentlemen prewar was a Corporal in the RFA, would he have then served in WW1 as that? or just have been placed wherever needed? could he be a RFA Coroporal but have died as a Infantry Private for example?  .....I mean if hes an RFA Corporal Signaller killed during or just prior to ww1 then that could be a narrow list.

 

soliderlogo.png

Edited by empirestate89

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The Inspector

Hi

You state the photo is "from my family historry", if you can give us a few names from your family then we can commence a search. It's surprising how many times it is possible to ID someone from a few names of possible relatives. Other individuals may well have similar photos of the same man.

Regards Barry 

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empirestate89
35 minutes ago, The Inspector said:

Hi

You state the photo is "from my family historry", if you can give us a few names from your family then we can commence a search. It's surprising how many times it is possible to ID someone from a few names of possible relatives. Other individuals may well have similar photos of the same man.

Regards Barry 

 

The solider is unknown, hes not a blood relative, as I mentioned the story passed down was that he and my relative were engaged to be married, but that he died in the war. I have photos of them together, however there is no marriage record anywhere, and she goes on to marry as a spinster in the 1920s. Ive searched newspapers etc for any engagement but also no luck. My relative was from the small village of "South Wraxall" in wiltshire. They have one gunner from the RGA on their war memorial, a WJ Reynolds, but I found no record of him, and this man appears to be higher rank too. This is the SW war memorial. Obviously its possible this man could be from anywhere in the country,

WM234549 Suth Wraxall cMike Guttridge 28.05.2016 WW1 names.JPG

Edited by empirestate89

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Ron Clifton

Hello empirestate89

 

You have to be a bit careful with lance ranks, as they were technically appointments, and the man's actual rank would still be gunner, driver or private. Sometimes the lance appointment is shown in the Medal Index Cards, the CWGC records and on the headstone, but not always.

 

The shoulder badge in your post looks more like RFA than RGA but he still might be Gunner Reynolds.

 

Ron

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Neale1961

The soldier looks to be wearing a wedding ring in both photos.

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The Inspector

Hi empirestate89

? Does he have a wedding ring on the photos you have of your relative and him together?

Regards Barry

 

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empirestate89

Yes this is the weird thing, the left is here, of them together, the lady is my Great Grandmother, both wearing rings. But there is no record of a marriage, as mentioned she went on to remarry in the 20s as a spinster......Perhaps rings as a parting engagement gift before going to war?

 

This being the apparently later picture (the two chevrons)....He doesnt appear to have the flags etc on his arm here, for a signalman, so perhaps he isnt any longer, theres also not the piece on his lapel here.

 

pics.jpg

Edited by empirestate89

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johnboy

Possibly a driver RFA Wearing spurs

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jay dubaya

As highlighted by battiscombe above he's sporting ball buttons on his tunic which strongly suggests Royal Horse Artillery, I believe the cloth shoulder tab to be RHA with no county affiliance so a regular and not a TF soldier and the coloured slip on will denote which battery he served with. 

 

J

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charlie962
7 hours ago, jay dubaya said:

coloured slip on will denote which battery he served with.

I agree with RHA. But the coulored slip-on is the Signaller blue band.

 

Charlie

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The Inspector

Hi

Is there an embossed photographer's name at the bottom of the pic.? Can you post your great grandmother's details? We have identified quite a few soldiers on the forum by tracing other relatives.

Regards Barry

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The Inspector

Hi All

The Gunner on the South Wraxall memorial is John William Reynolds (William John Reynolds) born 17.3.1894, baptised 29.4.1894 Warleigh, Somerset, D of W 8.11.18, aged 24 yrs, No. 48102 RGA 116th Heavy Battery. prev. 83687 John William.. disch. 1914 unlikely etc.... Son of Samuel and Emily Reynolds of South Wraxall,husband of Iris Stella Reynolds (nee  Morley m.1909 to Robert George Winsor, d.22.10.1914, Pte 5880 Dorset. Regt then. m.1917 to Reynolds, b.20.2.1888, m. 1st qtr 1917 Fareham ,Hants 2b, 1022) of 31 Gordon Rd., Fareham, Hants (CWGC). On the same memorial :-

He is the brother of Arthur George Reynolds,  Pte. PO/16799 R M L I  523 Siege battery RGA. Enlisted 25.3.1913. b.4.8.1896 Warleigh, Somerset. Died 22.11.1918 Bronchial Pneumonia. Father Samuel Reynolds, mother  nee Emily Elizabeth, Shergold , Add. The Channels, South Wroxall. Were married on 26.10.1885@ St. Aldhelm, Bishopstrow.

1901 census at High St., Bathford, Somerset, William 7 yrs, Arthur George 4 yrs.. 1911  Arthur George 14 yrs @ Chalfield Poor House, Atworth.....looking... They had another brother Samuel James Reynolds  9899 Border Regt. who survived the war. 

Regards Barry

Edited by The Inspector

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jay dubaya
17 hours ago, charlie962 said:

But the coulored slip-on is the Signaller blue band.

 

Thanks for that Charlie, my mistake

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MaxD

There are 1589 men identified as RHA on the Commonwealth War Graves site and many others (I have come across a number) where the unit was clearly RHA but they are identified as RFA (same record office).

 

Totally tentatively, South Wraxall is some 7 miles north of Trowbridge,  H Battery RHA was stationed there in Aug 1914 (LLT).  They went to France in September 1914 but they may have met pre-war and he later had leave??  There were though other RHA batteries stationed at the Artillery Barracks prior to that.  That may at least explain the connection with the lady?

 

Max

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TTracer44

I’m no expert but looking at the right photo isn’t the tunic the modified version making it the later photo, means he lost rank but explains why he’s now passed his signallers award and amassed a good conduct stripe, could be completely wrong, just slinging in my two pennyworth.

den

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The Inspector

Hi empirestate89

Family details will help a great deal !....waiting 

Regards Barry

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travers61

I wonder what soldiers effects say for the Wraxall man.  

 

For one man I have researched, his effects listed a lady with different surname as sole legatee, and this as expected matched the soldiers will. There is no known family connextion, so she seemed to be his fiancee.

 

Likewise, but less likely, your relative could be named on the Pensions Cards now on ancestry & WFA.

Edited by travers61
pension card added

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empirestate89
2 hours ago, The Inspector said:

Hi empirestate89

Family details will help a great deal !....waiting 

Regards Barry

 

Hi Barry, My great grandmother was Margaret Pinchin, Born 1893 South Wraxall. She is still there on 1911 census, then she married my Great Grandfather Albert Biggs in 1922 & lived in nearby Bradford On Avon.

 

Both photos are not like CDV with studio names on, they are postcards, on the back is the line to write and fix stamp. The only clue there, is on the photo of the two of them with says (Margaret & her "Boy")

 

My mum seems to think that Margaret has an engagement ring, but that the unknown man has a signet ring, in the photo of him sitting it certainly doesnt appear straight like a wedding ring when zoomed in, so perhaps.

 

I dont know much about all this as you can tell, but does the collar have any significance? Alot of soldiers from WW1 I see have big collars that are often pointed out, his seems very neat, fully done up and not stuck out at all. Are the RHA the only people wearing these Ball Buttons then? Because it definately looks like RFA on his lapel.

 

Thank you guys for all your help, It would be great if it could be solved.

 

 

ring.png

Edited by empirestate89

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Neale1961

I would not assume anything about the ring, as fashions change over time. My grandfather’s wedding ring was not a straight band, but something more like the style of a signet ring. (He was born in 1894.)

 

Edited by Neale1961

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jay dubaya

In my eyes almost certainly they are related if not a brother and sister, the similarities are many.

 

J

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David26

I can see what you mean jay dubya about the resemblance. I had originally thought they looked a very handsome couple, but taking the possibility they were related I see that the CWGC records the deaths of 14 Pinchins. None in the artillery though.  But at least 3 were from Wiltshire: 

 

Pvt Douglas R Pinchin, 2 Bn Wilts Regt, son of FG and L Pinchin of Lynwood House, Hilperton;

Sgt John Herbert Pinchin, 1 Bn Wilts Regt, son of Jane Smith of Earlston, Devizes; and

Pvt W Pinchin, MGC, son of Selina Pinchin of 18 Eastbourne Rd, Trowbridge. 

 

David.

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