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kenf48
1 hour ago, toast said:

 

Yes, the only one that stands out from those is the service number 8533 J Parry. It says he was 1st Kings Liverpool. There's also one John Parry from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (My great-grandfather's parents were both from Anglesey and he could speak Welsh, so it's not impossible I guess.)

Where are the war diaries? The one's on the National Archives?

 

The War Diaries for France and Gallipoli are on Ancestry.

 

The 24th Bn RWF was originally formed from dismounted Yeomanry, they arrived in France in 1918 which is the theatre where Parry was awarded the MM.

I'll have a look later

 

Ken

 

 

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toast
28 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:


I don’t know for sure if he was with them as the photo is too indistinct, my comment was really to link the alleged Liverpool connection with what appeared to be black insignia.

  

Sorry I didn't mean to sound annoyed. You are not wrong, it definitely does look black on his helmet insignia! All I want to find is the truth, so that my kids can know about who their ancestors were, and how they came to be. I'm guessing he could have switched to another battalion after the photo, but my guess is that this photo was taken in 1914 at least, so it's probably unlikely, unless he had a skill that was required somewhere else. 

What I know for sure right now is that he was born in Toxteth Park in 1887, he lied about his age to get into the 3rd Militia in 1903 (probably because he came from a poor family). He was a coal miner normally. People used to call him "Big Jack", supposedly because he was tall. He lived through the war and in 1939 he was a master at arms on the SS Scythia. He died in 1955. My mother saw his medals when she was young, and remembers seeing one with "Bravery in the field" inscribed on it. (But all of his medals were burgled from my grandfather's home in the 80s). I just want to document as much of the history into a coherent narrative as possible :) 

Edited by toast

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FROGSMILE
6 hours ago, toast said:

  

Sorry I didn't mean to sound annoyed. You are not wrong, it definitely does look black on his helmet insignia! All I want to find is the truth, so that my kids can know about who their ancestors were, and how they came to be. I'm guessing he could have switched to another battalion after the photo, but my guess is that this photo was taken in 1914 at least, so it's probably unlikely, unless he had a skill that was required somewhere else. 

What I know for sure right now is that he was born in Toxteth Park in 1887, he lied about his age to get into the 3rd Militia in 1903 (probably because he came from a poor family). He was a coal miner normally. People used to call him "Big Jack", supposedly because he was tall. He lived through the war and in 1939 he was a master at arms on the SS Scythia. He died in 1955. My mother saw his medals when she was young, and remembers seeing one with "Bravery in the field" inscribed on it. (But all of his medals were burgled from my grandfather's home in the 80s). I just want to document as much of the history into a coherent narrative as possible :) 


This is the 6th King’s (Liverpool) Regiment T.F. enclosed.

It is quite feasible that he might have completed his engagement with the Militia, and subsequently joined the T.F.  The Militia only trained once each year for an annual 2-week training camp and they tended to comprise a large number of callow teenagers with quite elderly NCOs so that the atmosphere was rather more strict and like Boy Scouts. Conversely, the T.F. companies were dispersed throughout the regimental area and had a spirit more akin to a working mens’ club, with a good mix of ages, and job and life experience.  They also trained weekly and were paid regularly for the days they attended as well as the annual Summer Camp, which latter was carefully balanced to achieve opportunities for fun as well as military training.  There was lots of sport, and most training only lasted half a day with the men free to walk out after lunch and cleaning up.  The camps were in effect a working man’s holiday.  The cash lump sum for attendance at camp would often be taken home to benefit the family. With all these factors in mind it is easy to imagine your forebear choosing to join the T.F. although that is pure speculation with the idea brought about merely by the seemingly black insignia.  As a T.F. infantry battalion there would have been a laid down regulation for the recommended number of stretcher bearers.

 

Although very different circumstances to your forebear, there is a fascinating account at the following link of one young man who joined the King’s Liverpool Regiment, but who was subsequently transferred at an Infantry Base Depot to a different regiment: https://www.westernfrontassociation.com/world-war-i-articles/a-draft-of-100-all-boys-from-the-kings-liverpool-regt/

 

3D859BB8-2121-4025-A3D6-FC1E10B88896.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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toast
13 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:


This is the 6th King’s (Liverpool) Regiment T.F. enclosed.

It is quite feasible that he might have completed his engagement with the Militia, and subsequently joined the T.F.  The Militia only trained once each year for an annual 2-week training camp and they tended to comprise a large number of callow teenagers with quite elderly NCOs so that the atmosphere was rather more strict and like Boy Scouts. Conversely, the T.F. companies were dispersed throughout the regimental area and had a spirit more akin to a working mens’ club, with a good mix of ages, and job and life experience.  They also trained weekly and were paid regularly for the days they attended as well as the annual Summer Camp, which latter was carefully balanced to achieve opportunities for fun as well as military training.  There was lots of sport, and most training only lasted half a day with the men free to walk out after lunch and cleaning up.  The camps were in effect a working man’s holiday.  The cash lump sum for attendance at camp would often be taken home to benefit the family. With all these factors in mind it is easy to imagine your forebear choosing to join the T.F. although that is pure speculation with the idea brought about merely by the seemingly black insignia.  As a T.F. infantry battalion there would have been a laid down regulation for the recommended number of stretcher bearers.

 

Although very different circumstances to your forebear, there is a fascinating account at the following link of one young man who joined the King’s Liverpool Regiment, but who was subsequently transferred at an Infantry Base Depot to a different regiment: https://www.westernfrontassociation.com/world-war-i-articles/a-draft-of-100-all-boys-from-the-kings-liverpool-regt/

 

3D859BB8-2121-4025-A3D6-FC1E10B88896.jpeg

This is amazing, thanks! I've been peering at the insignia, and looking at the others for Liverpool regiments, and I agree, I think you're correct! I actually started trying to find the other recruits from when he was in 3rd as did the person in your link; I found about 40 recruits, but I didn't find any patterns. It was interesting to see some of the names of people he may have been friends with though. I started looking into the 6th, but didn't find any records of a J Parry. I purchased the war diaries for the 1/6th in hope that I may find his name crop up, but that's going to take some time to go through, as there's over 90 pages! I think I need to get some more information, I'll see if my mum can remember anything else. 

 

edit: Also, sorry if my responses come at weird times, I live abroad

Edited by toast

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FROGSMILE

Bear in mind that he might have served with different battalions of the same regiment, or a different regiment entirely over the course of the war.  Few men who survived the war served in the same unit throughout it.  It was an exception to do so.  Ergo there doesn’t seem to be any reason yet why he might not be the man who earned an MM with 1st Battalion King’s.

Secondly, the photo you have shows a man wearing a simplified, emergency pattern jacket (deep, unpleated chest pockets) that was generally, issued from late in 1914 through to high Summer of 1915, although they are sometimes seen later.  He also wears a soft trench cap rather than the stiff, 1905 pattern more common at the beginning of the war.  Broadly speaking there were two main types of soft cap, one with ear flaps that folded down, circa 1915, and one without flaps but with rows of stitching around the soft peak, issued from 1916 on.  I can’t quite see which of these your GF is wearing, but it is one of them.  It is very rare for soldiers names to be recorded in war diaries, they were intended to be written with brevity and a focus on tactical facts.

EB3BFE52-9065-445B-867F-35564D8776A7.jpeg

91D2CA52-1B14-46CA-B73B-C002701C7807.jpeg

F19C9D44-8705-46DB-9E51-764539F65EE0.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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toast
13 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

Bear in mind that he might have served with different battalions of the same regiment, or a different regiment entirely over the course of the war.  Few men who survived the war served in the same unit throughout it.  It was an exception to do so.  Ergo there doesn’t seem to be any reason yet why he might not be the man who earned an MM with 1st Battalion King’s.

Secondly, the photo you have shows a man wearing a ‘simplified pattern’ jacket (deep, unpleated chest pockets) that was generally, issued from late in 1914 through high Summer of 1915, although they are sometimes seen later.  He also wears a soft trench cap rather than the stiff, 1905 pattern more common at the beginning of the war.  Broadly speaking there were two main types of soft cap, one with ear flaps that folded down, circa 1915, and one without flaps but with rows of stitching around the soft peak, issued from 1916 on.  I can’t quite see which of these your GF is wearing, but it is one of them.

EB3BFE52-9065-445B-867F-35564D8776A7.jpeg

91D2CA52-1B14-46CA-B73B-C002701C7807.jpeg

 

Ah, I was thinking about the chest pockets! Most of the photo's I've looked at, they all had pleats in the pockets and wondered if it meant he was from a different reg or something. I think the hat looks more like the second photo, thought maybe it's only because of the leather strap (was it normally so thin on the first photo?).

 

I realise he could be any of the John Parry's that have been listed for medals, but I don't want to make any big assumptions. 

 

I'm wondering if anything is written on the back of this photo, because my auntie currently has it, and I don't think she thought anyone would be looking at the family history. I'm wondering if perhaps she may have some kind of clue in my grandfathers old belongings that would help.

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FROGSMILE
12 minutes ago, toast said:

 

Ah, I was thinking about the chest pockets! Most of the photo's I've looked at, they all had pleats in the pockets and wondered if it meant he was from a different reg or something. I think the hat looks more like the second photo, thought maybe it's only because of the leather strap (was it normally so thin on the first photo?).

 

I realise he could be any of the John Parry's that have been listed for medals, but I don't want to make any big assumptions. 

 

I'm wondering if anything is written on the back of this photo, because my auntie currently has it, and I don't think she thought anyone would be looking at the family history. I'm wondering if perhaps she may have some kind of clue in my grandfathers old belongings that would help.


The soldiers chin straps were narrower than the officers, but not usually thinner than the one on the first image, and more commonly like that on the second image.  You are right to be cautious and not make assumptions, but don’t let that discourage you from looking at all sensible options.  It’s possible that something might be written on the back of the photo, they are invariably configured as post cards, which seems to have naturally led to jottings on the back.

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kenf48

Looking at the Liverpool database John H Parry 2615/240822 served in the 6th Battalion, cannot find any record of MM for him though.  He was in France on the 5th April when he was admitted to 3 CCS with influenza.

 

Ken

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toast
4 hours ago, kenf48 said:

Looking at the Liverpool database John H Parry 2615/240822 served in the 6th Battalion, cannot find any record of MM for him though.  He was in France on the 5th April when he was admitted to 3 CCS with influenza.

 

Ken

I saw this record before, but was not sure if it was 6th, but having checked other numbers with "2408??" I can see others who were in 6th. I'm wondering if he would have been allowed to change his name to his full name, after having only used John Parry when he was in the militia? Also, are there any rules as to how the medal cards were written out in relation to previous regiment numbers? It seems that nobody retained any information of their militia numbers from the 1903 3rd, they simply adopted their new number either when the change was made to the 3rd in 1908, or when the war started.  Does it just depend on the person writing out the medal card?

 

edit: I looked through the records for the 6th, and I only found a few surviving service records. One of them was part of the WO 363  burnt documents, and has what look like visible scorch marks, so I think the records must have been lost. 

 

Second edit: There is one John H Parry 471695 / T 2298 serving the Royal Engineers who received the MM. I was not sure the role Royal Engineers had during WWI and so it hadn't crossed my mind, but having checked, I suppose it would have fit his past experience of working in the coal mines. Perhaps they moved him from 6th to the Royal Engineers? Would he have retained any of his old numbers if he moved to the Royal Engineers? I'm guessing that the war diaries will mention if someone joins them from another battalion? I just read that in 1915 they brought experienced coal miners to form tunnelling companies in the Royal Engineers. Just shooting in the dark here :)

Edited by toast

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kenf48

The Medal Index Cards are just that, an index to the Medal Rolls which are the document of record, the index cards were compiled from the Rolls and reference which Roll an individual soldier appears on and the medal entitlement.  The militia numbers were not carried over, he may have joined the regulars or the Special Reserve, or as noted above the TF.

 

The only relevance of the number to the Rolls is the number and regiment a soldier was serving with when he entered a theatre of war an became entitled to the medal.  This is what is engraved on the medal, in the case of the soldier above this would 2615.  This was a four digit TF number, in 1917 the TF was renumbered and the men allocated a six digit number, 240822 is in the series allocated to the 6th Bn King's Liverpool.  See https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/renumbering-the-tf-infantry-in-1917/

 

For the purpose of the administration of the Rolls and the issue of the 'campaign' medals the last unit is shown, the medals were sent by registered post to the address given on demobilisation.  The Medal Roll shows John Henry Parry 2615 only served in the 1/6 King's (Liverpool) Regiment.  

We really need to find an address but unfortunately it appears there is no Absent Voter List for 1918 for Liverpool.  I wonder if any children were born during the war, sometimes under 'father's occupation' his military details are given.

 

Given the badge has been identified as the 1/6 I think you can discount the RE soldier for now.

 

Ken

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toast
5 hours ago, kenf48 said:

The Medal Index Cards are just that, an index to the Medal Rolls which are the document of record, the index cards were compiled from the Rolls and reference which Roll an individual soldier appears on and the medal entitlement.  The militia numbers were not carried over, he may have joined the regulars or the Special Reserve, or as noted above the TF.

 

The only relevance of the number to the Rolls is the number and regiment a soldier was serving with when he entered a theatre of war an became entitled to the medal.  This is what is engraved on the medal, in the case of the soldier above this would 2615.  This was a four digit TF number, in 1917 the TF was renumbered and the men allocated a six digit number, 240822 is in the series allocated to the 6th Bn King's Liverpool.  See https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/renumbering-the-tf-infantry-in-1917/

 

For the purpose of the administration of the Rolls and the issue of the 'campaign' medals the last unit is shown, the medals were sent by registered post to the address given on demobilisation.  The Medal Roll shows John Henry Parry 2615 only served in the 1/6 King's (Liverpool) Regiment.  

We really need to find an address but unfortunately it appears there is no Absent Voter List for 1918 for Liverpool.  I wonder if any children were born during the war, sometimes under 'father's occupation' his military details are given.

 

Given the badge has been identified as the 1/6 I think you can discount the RE soldier for now.

 

Ken

Thanks, that clears it up. I'm wondering why my mum remembers seeing a "Bravery in the field" medal. It can't have been her other grandfather, because we have his complete record. I'm wondering if perhaps it was one of his John Henry's brothers who may have been given the medal, and John inherited it. I know that his brother Hugh passed away in 1929 at an address that John eventually lived at and also passed away at. I will investigate further.

 

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toast
1 hour ago, toast said:

We really need to find an address

By address, do you mean his home address at the time? I think it was 16 Southey Street, Bootle.

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