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13 hours ago, Charles Fair said:

:lol: Didn't the War Office send Niven to the Highland Light Infantry?

Yes, it is a long time since I read his autob, but from the reception he got it was clear his CO knew. 

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I collected a number of these in connection with my history of a battalion of the East Surrey Regiment. Here-from WO374/35203-are some docs. relating to my greatuncle, Reg Howship, bank clerk, Rifleman London Regt. and 13th Royal Irish Rifles, later Lt. E.Surrey Regt. The application leading to a commission was his second attempt-the first could well have failed because of his appalling shortsightedness-6/60 vision! He went on to win the M.C. with 12th E. Surrey in October 1918 & then serve on the Rhine with 9th East Surrey. He died of t.b. in 1927, apparently related to his war service. 

Michael

Howship's report.jpg

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Regapppone.jpg

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WO374/60536,North Irish Horse, Comm. 3/18 to 3rd RB

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Michael - thank you much for this.  If I may, I would like to include your great uncle in the database.

 

Andy - many thanks too for these additional ones.

Charles

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Royal Engineer cadets at the RE OCB at Kelkham Hall near Newark also appear to have had an SD622 for their confidential reports.  This is from a tiny sample of 11 RE cadets that I have found.

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The Royal Artillery used a double-sided form SD 633 RA.  This cadet went to No. 1 RGA cadet school, Trowbridge. (O/Cdt Allen WO 339/137481).

 

The first column gives the report for their preliminary training at No. 2B Brigade RFA which was a preliminary course to assess potential cadets' suitability for the RA cadet schools.

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Some interesting comments. I take "fairly good" to be a positive comment, but "very fair"??? Does that indicate "Could be better"? "Just about average"? "Good enough"?

 

Moonraker

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13 hours ago, Charles Fair said:

Michael - thank you much for this.  If I may, I would like to include your great uncle in the database.

 

Andy - many thanks too for these additional ones.

Charles

That's fine, Charles. If you want some more-essentially for officers who served with 9th East Surrey- I can give you the WO339 and 374 references.

Michael

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15 hours ago, Moonraker said:

Some interesting comments. I take "fairly good" to be a positive comment, but "very fair"??? Does that indicate "Could be better"? "Just about average"? "Good enough"?

 

Moonraker

 

This is one thing I am trying to establish.  Was there a prescribed way in which the reports were to be written?  Was this set by the War Office?  I have no evidence one way ore the other at the moment.  I would say the most commonly used terms fall on a scale: Poor - Fair - Good - Very Good.    Does 'Very Fair' therefore fall between Fair and Good?

 

I should be able to do a frequency count and see if there were differences by OCB.

2 hours ago, EastSurrey said:

That's fine, Charles. If you want some more-essentially for officers who served with 9th East Surrey- I can give you the WO339 and 374 references.

Michael

Thank you, yes please, I will definitely dig them out if they have an SD 622.

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2 hours ago, Charles Fair said:

 

This is one thing I am trying to establish.  Was there a prescribed way in which the reports were to be written?  Was this set by the War Office?  I have no evidence one way ore the other at the moment.  I would say the most commonly used terms fall on a scale: Poor - Fair - Good - Very Good.    Does 'Very Fair' therefore fall between Fair and Good?

 

I should be able to do a frequency count and see if there were differences by OCB.

Thank you, yes please, I will definitely dig them out if they have an SD 622.

Here are  a dozen:

G.R.Garraway E.Surrey WO374/26562

G.Simkins, E.Surrey WO374/62386

A.Stephens E.Surrey WO374/65125

A.H.White E.Surrey (ex-gardener) WO374/73587

J.H.L.Dacey, Ox & Bucks WO374/17537

E.W.Creegan E.Surrey WO374/16508 & WO339/113387

H.W. Gregory E.Surrey WO374/29212

R.Jacobs E.Surrey  WO374/36884 (+ Later CO's report)

G.Paterson E.Surrey WO374/52663 (+ later critical report from C.O.)

T.Mc.C.Weir Argylls WO374/72948

H.Lancaster Loyals WO374/40579

W.G.T. Summers E.Surrey WO374/66374 (see my article in 'Stand To!' no.104-9/2015.)

I examined the changing backgrounds of officers in 9th E.Surrey 1914-18 in my book 'Journey's End Battalion', after reading Mark Connolly's study of the Buffs.

Michael

 

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Edward James ACKROYD WO374/148 is a good tale. OCB report on file lauds him as 'lion hearted' - not surprising, previous 22 months in the Foreign Legion and a CdG. Damages knee in training, sent to garrison bn, hates it, uses good offices of French Embassy to help him wangle transfer to Int Corps and goes to BEF with them.

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On 16/12/2019 at 17:41, QUEX said:

Edward James ACKROYD WO374/148 is a good tale. OCB report on file lauds him as 'lion hearted' - not surprising, previous 22 months in the Foreign Legion and a CdG. Damages knee in training, sent to garrison bn, hates it, uses good offices of French Embassy to help him wangle transfer to Int Corps and goes to BEF with them.

Thank you, I will definitely dig out his file.

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On 16/12/2019 at 15:59, EastSurrey said:

Here are  a dozen:

....

I examined the changing backgrounds of officers in 9th E.Surrey 1914-18 in my book 'Journey's End Battalion', after reading Mark Connolly's study of the Buffs.

Michael

Michael - thank you so much for these, I will view next time I get to TNA, prob sometime in Jan.  Your book is actually one of a number of unit histories that I have been looking at in order to find small samples of OCB officers.

Charles

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  • 2 weeks later...

In general, what determined which OCB an officer candidate was sent to? (Was it decided by his current battalion?).

In particular I'm trying to discover details relating to Sgt. William Frederick Allison, 1/14th London Regt. (London Scottish) commissioned into 7th Bn. Gordon Highlanders.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Michael

Edited by KizmeRD
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Hello Michael

From what I can tell, it was almost entirely random as to which OCB a man would go to.  For the regiments that I have looked at, their officers went to a wide variety of OCBs and that was decided by the Staff Duties department of the War Office once the candidate had arrived back in London.

 

However, there may have been some biases.  I suspect that men from Irish regiments were slightly more likely to have gone to No. 7 OCB at Fermoy and that men from Scottish Regiments were more likely to have been sent to Nos. 9 and 10 OCB at Gailes in Ayrshire.  I have looked at some rolls for No. 14 (Inns of Court) OCB and this took a higher proportion of men fro the Inns of Court which was co-located in Berkhamsted (until 14 OCB was moved to Catterick in Jan 1918).  However, Inns of Court men were sent to all other OCBs too.

 

Do you have Allison's commission date?  Have you seen his papers if they are in WO 339 or WO 374?  There should be some indication in his papers of which OCB he went to.

Charles

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stiletto_33853

Michael,

Backing up Charles comments, this is a list from Kimmel Park, near Rhyl. You quite often come across these lists in officers files. There are a few Irish & Scots regiments in attendance though.

 

Andy

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Edited by stiletto_33853
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Thanks Andy, I've found a few of these lists too, whether from Part 2 orders, or other paperwork.  This is the first one I have seen for No. 17 OCB.

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Charles,

 

This is an interesting read, and I have a couple of questions.

The grades of most candidates seem to average at “Good”, and some candidates are actually described as “Average Cadet”.

 

1) Does this mean “holds his own in the class” or is this an example of damning with faint praise? 

(Perhaps I should be less cynical!)

2) Will the scope of your thesis allow you to assess the relative subsequent success, or lack thereof, of the high-fliers identified at the OCB level?

 

Regards,

JMB

 

 

 

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Charles/Andy - thanks for the replies to my question. Even if OSB was centrally allocated, I would hope that attempts were made to post officer candidates to locations within reach of home, so as to permit a brief spell of leave, if possible.

Will obtain WF Allison's papers and see what more I learn from that (my wife's GF, killed at Roeux 23.4.1917).

Michael

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On 31/12/2019 at 20:15, Charles Fair said:

Do you have Allison's commission date?  Have you seen his papers if they are in WO 339 or WO 374?  There should be some indication in his papers of which OCB he went to.

Charles

 

Looks like William Frederick ALLISON was commissioned 2/Lt, Gordon Highlanders on 29 Nov 1915.

See LG Issue 29393, 07 Dec 1915, p.12206

 

Be aware though, that William Fleming ALLISON was commissioned 2/Lt, Manchester Regt on 21 Dec 1915.  A trap for the unwary there!

See LG Issue 29408, 20 Dec 1915, p.12677

 

Mark

Edited by MBrockway
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On 08/12/2019 at 09:29, stiletto_33853 said:

Charles,

This one might be of interest, an early type of the form issued by the War Office M.O.5(a) Room 226.

This from WO339/46960

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Later printed versions are 'Form Number 10'.  Used by MO5(a) and its later incarnation MI6(c) for potential Int Corps officers (also interpreters and censors to an extent).  Interview in WO, formal assessment of languages, and character references - the latter obtained by sending forms to the names supplied.  Commissions via this route did not require attendance at OCB - these chaps are not being recruited as leaders of men.

Edited by QUEX
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12 hours ago, MBrockway said:

 

Looks like William Frederick ALLISON was commissioned 2/Lt, Gordon Highlanders on 29 Nov 1915.

See LG Issue 29393, 07 Dec 1915, p.12206

 

Micheal - if this is him then he cannot have attended an OCB as they were not set up until Feb/March 1916.

 

However, it is possible he may have attended a 1 month post-commissioning course at a School of Instruction.  I reckon no more than about 15,000 officers could have passed through such a course, or a max of 1 in 5 who received temp commissions prior to the OCBs.  There is more about them on this thread: 

 

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