Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

SRS

Pte A R Smith 60010 RAMC

Recommended Posts

SRS

I am conducting research into my Grandfather's (Arthur Smith) service with the RAMC during WW1 and am currently trying to determine how he moved from his training camp at Curragh (where he was posted on 12th June 15) to his eventual arrival in theatre at Cape Helles on the 19th Oct 15. Here he was assigned to the 17th Stationary Hospital before being taken ill, eventually being transferred to Mustapha and thence to India.

From my research so far it would appear that the 10th Irish Division was billeted and trained in Curragh and that the RAMC units were mainly comprised of Scottish and English personnel. The Division was supported by the 30th, 31st and 32nd Field Hospitals but since my Grandfather was sent to Curragh after the 10th Division had left for Gallipoli I cannot determine which unit he was assigned to. Presumably once basic training was completed he was sent to the front as a reserve.

I would like to know how I go about researching Arthur's journey to the front and in particular which troop ship he sailed on from the UK. One side note on his casualty form mentions embarking at Southampton on the 10th October 1915. Being a serving officer with the RFA I am naturally interested in the ships surrounding his story. 

If anyone can enlighten me as to how RAMC recruits were assigned to units I would be very grateful since Arthur was from Cheltenham so I would have thought he would have joined the Gloucester Regiment. I have a picture of him as a youth in a Gloucester Yeomanry uniform (no date) but when he signed up in 1915 he joined the RAMC and was sent to Ireland. Any guidance on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

Cropped Gloucester Regiment  Uniform.jpg

Cropped RAMC Uniform 2.jpg

Smith _ Arthur - 1b Casualty Form B103.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coldstreamer

I see you have his service papers, if they dont say I think you may struggle as they are the primary source of info

you could look in local papers, he might have written home and had a letter published. worth a shot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EDWARD1

The first pic is the Gloucestershire Regiment cap badge, the Yeomanry had a portcullis at its centre and a ducal crown above

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SRS

Coldstreamer - The Casualty form is providing some information, for example I know the ships he sailed on to and from India where he was posted in 1916. However, I remember seeing a post elsewhere on the website where someone manged to quickly identify which Troop ship had undertaken a particular run. I am sure that there must be records which show which ship ran between Southampton 10/10/15 and the 'Peninsula' 19/10/15. I realise that this is going to be difficult but I will keep searching various sources.

 

Edward1 - Thankyou for the clarification with respect to the regiment. I have a researcher friend who thought it was possibly a Yeomanry uniform but it would appear that that is not the case. What I find intriguing is that grandfather had a picture of himself (?) in a Gloucesters uniform but there does not appear to be any record of a service number for him. The only other picture we have of him in uniform is in a group shot, all RAMC. Prior to signing up he was a Captain in the Church Army and it is interesting to note that on his Casualty form they have added at the top that he was an Evangelist. Code No.501. (I cannot make out the word before that).

As stated in my earlier post is it unusual for someone who lived in Cheltenham to be sent to Curragh in Ireland to join (potentially) the 10th Irish Division. Could this have been to separate him from his previous life. We have no proof that he was a Conscientious Objector and he appears to have joined before being conscripted but perhaps his faith directed his service within the army. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alf mcm

The record in your original post shows that Arthur served in 90 Sanitary Section for 5 months from 23rd April 1916. The war diary for this unit is at The National Archives, but has not been digitised. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4557874

There is a previous thread on the forum entitled 'Military Police and Sanitary Sections RAMC' which should be of interest

Regards,

 

Alf McM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alf mcm
SRS
4 hours ago, alf mcm said:

AlfMCM - Thank you for the two posts. You mention the 90th Sanitary Section (Port Tewfik), which I am still looking into however, he was also posted to the 17th Stationary Hospital. I have managed to get some details of this unit from an online copy of the 'Medical Services General History - Vol IV. Medical Services during the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula' which was signposted in a different thread. I also have the complete copy of his Casualty Form which the medical members in my family are transcribing.

 

 

Coldstreamer - The Casualty form is providing some information, for example I know the ships he sailed on to and from India where he was posted in 1916. However, I remember seeing a post elsewhere on the website where someone manged to quickly identify which Troop ship had undertaken a particular run. I am sure that there must be records which show which ship ran between Southampton 10/10/15 and the 'Peninsula' 19/10/15. I realise that this is going to be difficult but I will keep searching various sources.

 

Edward1 - Thankyou for the clarification with respect to the regiment. I have a researcher friend who thought it was possibly a Yeomanry uniform but it would appear that that is not the case. What I find intriguing is that grandfather had a picture of himself (?) in a Gloucesters uniform but there does not appear to be any record of a service number for him. The only other picture we have of him in uniform is in a group shot, all RAMC. Prior to signing up he was a Captain in the Church Army and it is interesting to note that on his Casualty form they have added at the top that he was an Evangelist. Code No.501. (I cannot make out the word before that).

As stated in my earlier post is it unusual for someone who lived in Cheltenham to be sent to Curragh in Ireland to join (potentially) the 10th Irish Division. Could this have been to separate him from his previous life. We have no proof that he was a Conscientious Objector and he appears to have joined before being conscripted but perhaps his faith directed his service within the army. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alf mcm
travers61

Is it possible that his service in the Gloucester Regiment pre WW1 was as a member of the Territorial Force, or an earlier volunteer unit of the Gloucesters, this may account for no surviving record.

 

As he joined as volunteer in 1915 he would be able to choose the Regiment or corps he initialy wished to serve with. His ending up in the RAMC may as you say be a result of his strong religious principles, or for other reasons (other units full, his medical condition etc).  I assume once in the RAMC they posted you where you were needed.

 

I can see how any confusion happens with the Yeomanry, as the bandolier he wears across his shoulder is often associated with mounted troops, or those that drive wagons, guns etc, perhaps that was his roll in the Gloucesters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SRS
On 02/02/2020 at 16:54, alf mcm said:

Alf McM,

I have some leave due soon and intend to start reading the account of the 17th SH. The Neuralia piece would be interesting if I can get around to it but the extract at the National Archives covers 1917 to mid 1918 which is just after the period I am interested in.

 

Thanks for the tips anyhow.

 

Regards

 

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SRS
4 hours ago, travers61 said:

Is it possible that his service in the Gloucester Regiment pre WW1 was as a member of the Territorial Force, or an earlier volunteer unit of the Gloucesters, this may account for no surviving record.

 

As he joined as volunteer in 1915 he would be able to choose the Regiment or corps he initialy wished to serve with. His ending up in the RAMC may as you say be a result of his strong religious principles, or for other reasons (other units full, his medical condition etc).  I assume once in the RAMC they posted you where you were needed.

 

I can see how any confusion happens with the Yeomanry, as the bandolier he wears across his shoulder is often associated with mounted troops, or those that drive wagons, guns etc, perhaps that was his roll in the Gloucesters.

Travers61,

Interesting points you raise. Were Territorial soldiers not given a service number or are you saying that for the Gloucesters none remain? I'm still hunting for information on the Regiment and may have to visit Gloucester.

 

Cheers

 

Stephen 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
travers61
21 hours ago, SRS said:

Travers61,

Interesting points you raise. Were Territorial soldiers not given a service number or are you saying that for the Gloucesters none remain? I'm still hunting for information on the Regiment and may have to visit Gloucester.

 

Cheers

 

Stephen 

 

TF soldiers did have an army number, possibly from a sequence that applied to each battalion.  Although anyone joining the army TF or regular had an attestation form & record, if he joined the TF/Volunteers pre war, but left before WW1 started, that record will probably not show with the ones we are used to seeing on ancestry etc, which all seem to be for regular soldiers, war time enlistment, or current TF soldiers mobilised in August 1914.  Retention of records was mainly for pension & admin purposes & I think that any TF service did not count towards a pension., so it may be hard to locate the record of Service for a short time in the TF pre WW1.

 

I have no specific information on the Gloucesters TF records, but it is worth trying the regimental museum & Gloucestershire archives.

 

Others on the forum are better qualified as to wether a bandolier was usual equipment in pre WW1 TF units, even for a non-mounted role.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SRS

Hi Travers61,

All roads lead to Gloucester then!

I will look into the regimental Museum and see what other records are available.

 

Cheers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clk

Hi Stephen,

 

On 02/02/2020 at 10:29, SRS said:

I remember seeing a post elsewhere on the website where someone manged to quickly identify which Troop ship had undertaken a particular run. I am sure that there must be records which show which ship ran between Southampton 10/10/15 and the 'Peninsula' 19/10/15.

 

Might that be worth posting the specific query in the 'Sailors, navies and the war at sea' sub forum? If you did, please make it clear that you are only after likely ship details, and not personal details relating to Arthur. To avoid duplication of effort a link this topic might be appropriate though. Grasping at straws, I did also wonder if any of the other RAMC men on the 14/15 Star Roll with the same dis-embarkment date and theatre might have surviving papers that note a ship name. I suspect not though, and probably quite time consuming - but at least you could then rule that avenue out.

 

Regards

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
travers61

In post 4 the OP mentions:

 

Prior to signing up he was a Captain in the Church Army and it is interesting to note that on his Casualty form they have added at the top that he was an Evangelist. Code No.501. (I cannot make out the word before that).

 

I read the words before evangelist as "Groupe 41" which is changed to "groupe 42".  Does this relate to one of the 46 occupation groups men were divided into by the National registration Act passed 15th July 1915.  I realise this was after he enlisted in June 1915, but wonder if forms being processed were amended with this info.  It would make sense that in a numerical list of occupations used to determine a man's place in the wartime economy, evangelist could be 41 or 42 out of 46.

https://derbyscheme.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/national-registration-act-1915/

 

Re his enlistment into the RAMC rather than the Gloucesters, is it possible that due to his religious convictions he may not have mentioned his previous service at enlistment, if he specifically wished to enter the RAMC, rather than be renlisted in his old regiment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SRS

Travers61,

Some useful information in your post. I also wondered about the Code 501 but as of yet am at a loss to its meaning. I had missed the 'Groupe 42' piece though and will look into the occupation group lead.

As for the Gloucesters, I have written to the regimental Museum and hopefully will hear if they have records from the pre WW1 era. I will let you know what I find out.

 

Regards

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mike papa

For your info.

10th Division medical units and 16th irish divisions didnt train in the curragh

 

They trained in Limerick in the newly formed RAMC Training Centre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...