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Hi Charles,

Unusual one as it's part of a 4 page service record. I have a few RB men going to either RGA or RFA, this one is the only record with an SD622 in it though.

 

Andy

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've posted a thread here about some of the assessment  during the coursewhich went into a Form SD622, at least in No, 12 OCB,

 

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Interesting new thread Charles

 

Frewer, E.A., Z/1348, 4th, 9th & 12th RB

Comm. 30/4/18 in 5th RB

WO374/25819

DSC02418.JPG

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Charles,

Re. your post 74. Another one of these No. 1 School of Instruction for Infantry Officers at Brocton has popped up. As they are of interest to you, this is R.F.A. L/47668, transferred to 16th Rifle Brigade early 1916, commissioned 27/6/17 to 5th RB, att'd 4th Middlesex, back to RB after wounding.

WO339/93367.

 

Andy

DSC02430 copy.JPG

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Fowler, W.

S/4074 13th Rifle Brigade, commissioned M.G.C. 8/10/18

WO374/25319

DSC02519.JPG

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On 20/03/2020 at 11:21, stiletto_33853 said:

Re. your post 74. Another one of these No. 1 School of Instruction for Infantry Officers at Brocton has popped up. As they are of interest to you, this is R.F.A. L/47668, transferred to 16th Rifle Brigade early 1916, commissioned 27/6/17 to 5th RB, att'd 4th Middlesex, back to RB after wounding.

WO339/93367.

Andy, many thanks for these three.

Gates is very interesting.  The form says he attended an OCB, and it appears he attended No. 1 School only 6 months after passing out from there.

 

i'm finding some snippets on the No. 2 School of Instruction in the London District Orders so may give an idea of how many men passed through.  I may be able to find some strength data for these two schools and an estimate of when the started in WO114 Weekly strength returns.

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Fretter, H.

S/2763, 10th RB

Comm. 10/9/18 into 5th KRRC

WO374/25801

DSC02698.JPG

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  • 10 months later...

Just stumbled across this interesting thread. What I find especially fascinating from the samples provided is the relatively large number of cadets with previous service overseas, quite a few of whom had already suffered some form of wounding, that not only stipulated a future preference for the same arm of service as previous but often in the same regiment. Esprit de corps? A desire to return to some vague kind of familiarity when sent overseas again? A determination not to let former comrades down? Or, perhaps, some form of unofficial pressure from above directing cadets back to the fold of the infantry, the main fighting force?

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18 hours ago, Petroc said:

Just stumbled across this interesting thread. What I find especially fascinating from the samples provided is the relatively large number of cadets with previous service overseas, quite a few of whom had already suffered some form of wounding, that not only stipulated a future preference for the same arm of service as previous but often in the same regiment. Esprit de corps? A desire to return to some vague kind of familiarity when sent overseas again? A determination not to let former comrades down? Or, perhaps, some form of unofficial pressure from above directing cadets back to the fold of the infantry, the main fighting force?

By later in the War, previous experience at the Front was generally expected. Essentially, the demand, with the high turnover, was for infantry officers. Moreover candidates for the artillery would be expected to have specialist experience or ability to offer. So, if you wanted a commission, you generally needed to express willingness to serve in the infantry.

 Some regiments seem to have been happy to see ex O.Rs. back as officers in their former battalions, others not.

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 I would disagree slightly that  officer cadets needed to have frontline experience. Yes, this was true for most of the war- Of course, a good few got commissions in 1914-1915 without any active service experience or without having served overseas.  The wastage of junior officers  meant, broadly, a policy of needs must when the devil drives- a large number of the socially elite junior officers of the Regular Army were dead by the middle of 1915.  The twin ends of slowly having careers for career soldiers-the colonels and generals of tomorrow came up against the brutality that junior officers were always needed as they were wasted more than any other ranks. Captain was the most dangerous rank to hold in the British Army in the Great War, if casualties are measured against rank as a percentage- and that comes on top of being in the front line before that as 2 LT and LT.

   Thus, in 1916-1917, it clearly made sense to have experienced NCOs- many of whom came from educated and middle class backgrounds anyway. But in early 1918 there seems to be a change- I have several casualties of the last months of the war who were officer cadets straight from entry- all of them on conscription. 

   

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Thanks for comments and observations.  At the moment my research is indicating that up to 20% (and probably no more than 10%) of those being commissioned in late 1918 were going straight to OCB from an OTC. I have described a very small sample in this thread: 

I am doing bigger studies on sample companies from Nos. 2 and 4 OCBs which should help me to develop a better estimate.

 

Men who wanted to avoid the stigma of conscription could still volunteer for a commission. There were essentially three routes:

1) schools with a Junior Division OTC (whether or not a public school) were favoured by the War Office. Their boys could stay at school until 18 1/2 years before being summoned to an OCB.  They would have had several years of OTC training for 10+ hours a week by that point and had a syllabus which prepared them for an OCB. Schools did value their reputations with the War Office, and did not recommend boys they did not think were up to the job. There is a chapter on this in Tim Halstead's forthcoming book coming out from Helion later this year.

2) whilst still under age they could join a Senior Division OTC if going up to University.  The senior OTCs also took extra-mural cadets.

3) join the Inns of Court OTC or Artists Rifles OTC

 

Routes 2 and 3 were clearly an option for boys from schools that did not have an OTC.

 

I have a chapter on the OCBs in '1917 - The Darkest Hour' ed Spencer Jones which will be published by Helion in Q4 2021.

 

Analysis of the form SD622s will be in my thesis and its likely to be a couple of years before I have built a big enough sample and crunched the numbers.

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1 hour ago, Wexflyer said:

Given English tendencies to invert things, should one take "very fair" to be better or worse than 'fair"?

 

       Our Royal Navy colleagues should be able to describe the various grades of wording used on ratings records.  "Satisfactory" was,I think,the lowest comment-tantamount to a career-stopper.

     The classic comment on this is the apocryphal school reports across 3 terms of the school year- Term 1 "Trying"   Term 2 "Still trying"  Term 3 "Still very trying"

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In the Canadian Corps, battalions absolutely expected their cadets would return to them. As a result, they would take care in selecting good candidates. I have seen several sharp letters from battalion commanders angered that their cadets were not returning to them.

 

Regards

Bill Stewart

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22 hours ago, Wexflyer said:

Given English tendencies to invert things, should one take "very fair" to be better or worse than 'fair"?

 

That's possible.  I haven't looked at enough of these/done the analysis to see how these 'grades' align with the comments in the bottom box. I'll do some sentiment analysis on the text when I have enough data.  I also haven't seen any form of guide used by instructors - if one existed. I suspect there was some form of guidance on assessment emanating from SD3 in the War Office to help ensure some degree of consistency across OCBs, and calibration between companies and platoons within an OCB.

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  • 2 months later...
On 09/12/2019 at 22:10, Charles Fair said:

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

He learned early doors that the humour of a cadet/officer is inversely proportional to their substantive rank...

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  • 1 year later...

Probably a bit late to contribute to this topic now! but I've only just chanced across it.

Here is the SD622 of my Grandfather Albert Edward Wilson, who joined No 4 Officer Cadet Battalion Oxford on 22/11/18, then on 8/1/19 transferred to no 18 OCB Bath

sd622.jpg.5e74150a3d86eec32797f1a8e3482ef6.jpg

He was born in the Workhouse in 1897, and his father was not known. He was bought up in a small village in Rutland by his stepmother and stepfather, the latter a farm worker. His occupation is listed on his application form as 'Pro Golf Asst'. He joined up in 1915, and originally served with the 16th Northumberland Fusiliers Service No 36799, and towards the end of 1917 was promoted in the field to Sergeant, and was awarded the Military Medal. He applied for a commission in June 1918 (the 16th NF had by then become part of the 1/7th NF) , and in March 1919 was appointed to a temporary commission as 2nd lieutenant in the Leicester Regiment. He relinquished his commission on completion of service, and retained the rank of 2nd Lt. His came as quite a surprise to us when we recently discovered all this, and it would be great to find out any more information if anyone has anything

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 02/06/2022 at 21:22, John Churchill said:

Probably a bit late to contribute to this topic now! but I've only just chanced across it.

Here is the SD622 of my Grandfather Albert Edward Wilson, who joined No 4 Officer Cadet Battalion Oxford on 22/11/18, then on 8/1/19 transferred to no 18 OCB Bath

....

He was born in the Workhouse in 1897, and his father was not known. He was bought up in a small village in Rutland by his stepmother and stepfather, the latter a farm worker. His occupation is listed on his application form as 'Pro Golf Asst'. He joined up in 1915, and originally served with the 16th Northumberland Fusiliers Service No 36799, and towards the end of 1917 was promoted in the field to Sergeant, and was awarded the Military Medal. He applied for a commission in June 1918 (the 16th NF had by then become part of the 1/7th NF) , and in March 1919 was appointed to a temporary commission as 2nd lieutenant in the Leicester Regiment. He relinquished his commission on completion of service, and retained the rank of 2nd Lt. His came as quite a surprise to us when we recently discovered all this, and it would be great to find out any more information if anyone has anything

John, thank very much for this, I will add him and this form to my database if I may.  I should eventually find him in the records of No 4 OCB when I get there.  He is not listed in the roll of No 18 OCB as that only lists cadets in training there on 11/11/1918.

I think he would have been discharged to a commission and immediately been demobilised, so never served as officer.  The alternative was to return to the ranks with an uncertain demob date.

Edited by Charles Fair
updated after I checked the No 18 OCB roll.
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@John Churchill I had a dig around in the material had had collected on No 4 OCB and he was in C Coy whose records are held in the Bodleian Library. This is his registration form which he would have completed on 22/11/1918.image.jpeg.8bc34135e82f257f622fe68194fa4394.jpeg

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Hello Charles

Thank you very much for looking that up. 

It's also very useful to see when he was made Sergeant - 22nd Dec 1917. Our mother always told us he was promoted in the field, and I can now cross reference that with the battalion war diary which is in the national archives. 

I listened to your podcast the other day which was very interesting and informative. I am in awe of your knowledge and I look forward to your future publications 

 

 

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