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Bob C

Help identify the unit of this soldier, Harry Wright, in Egypt 1916

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Bob C

I am trying to identify the regiment of Harry Wright who served in Egypt in 1916.

I believe he was a regular soldier, enlisted prior to 1914. I have attached 3 photos, hope you can help me to tack down the career of my great grandfather

IMG_20200211_092925696.jpg

IMG_20200212_085844808.jpg

IMG_20200211_092946419.jpg

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FROGSMILE

Rifle Brigade (RB) style badge, but no black buttons, so it perhaps leans towards a battalion of the London Regiment TF, with an RB style badge.  That said there were notorious shortages of black buttons and many rifles units had to ‘make do’ with the GS pattern until supplies could be sourced, which sometimes took some time.  
 

He seems quite old and was probably a reservist and very likely posted to a Garrison battalion in the Middle East, so he could still be RB.  If he had been an old regular reservist then the absence of medal ribbons on his jacket seems unusual.  The 19th (Western)  and 20th (Northern) Territorial Force battalions of the Rifle Brigade were sent to Egypt in 1916 as Garrison Battalions and he might well have been with one of them. According to the excellent, long long trail resource, the battalion’s:

 “were made up of supernumerary TF Companies, formed from National Reservists who were [initially] used for guarding vulnerable points in Great Britain.”

 

Footnote: National Reservists were made up from former regular and auxiliary soldiers who were past military retirement age, but who had specifically volunteered to serve again in any capacity that the war office felt could make good use of their experience.

 

NB.  You can see similar ‘old’ soldiers in Egypt here: https://picclick.co.uk/WW1-Soldier-Group-Rifle-Brigade-Northumberland-Fusiliers-Egypt-153061055355.html

My guess is that he was an old auxiliary soldier and either, a former rifle volunteer, or former militia man, which would explain the absence of medal ribbons on his uniform.

 

0C13115A-73EF-4F58-A3B9-103A25B9DC76.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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FROGSMILE
3 hours ago, michaeldr said:

The Order of Battle for April 1916 shows 20th, 21st & 22nd Garrison Battalions Rifle Brigade in Egypt under Lines of Communication Defence Troops (Infantry) https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Egyptian_Expeditionary_Force


That’s interesting Michael. How accurate is Wikiwand, as the LLT refers only to the 19th and 20th Battalions as actual garrison troops in Egypt, and the other two battalions that you mentioned as passing through (in transit) on their way to India (perhaps to acclimatise, but I’m unsure)?

Edited by FROGSMILE

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CorporalPunishment

The shoulder titles look more likely to be the plain RB of the Rifle Brigade than any of the much larger London Regiment ones.  Pete.

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FROGSMILE
25 minutes ago, CorporalPunishment said:

The shoulder titles look more likely to be the plain RB of the Rifle Brigade than any of the much larger London Regiment ones.  Pete.


Yes, Pete, I agree and that’s in part why I suggested that he is more likely to be 19th, or 20th RB.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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charlie962
7 hours ago, Bob C said:

I am trying to identify the regiment of Harry Wright who served in Egypt in 1916.

I believe he was a regular soldier, enlisted prior to 1914. I have attached 3 photos, hope you can help me to tack down the career of my great grandfather

If the OP would like to give us a bit of detail eg full name, date and place of birth then we can also search for records ?

 

Charlie

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stiletto_33853

Whats wrong with the 22nd?? they were in Egypt for sometime where they transhipped at Mudros and landed in Alexandria then went by train to Cairo where they were stationed in The Citadel performing garrison duties.

Alexandria to Cyprus in April 1916, Lemnos then onto Salonika on 26th November.

These Territorial battalions were supposed to wear a green "T" under the shoulder titles.

 

Andy

 

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grantowi

Whats that written, bottom right of first photo ?

 

Grant

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FROGSMILE
32 minutes ago, stiletto_33853 said:

Whats wrong with the 22nd?? they were in Egypt for sometime where they transhipped at Mudros and landed in Alexandria then went by train to Cairo where they were stationed in The Citadel performing garrison duties.

Alexandria to Cyprus in April 1916, Lemnos then onto Salonika on 26th November.

These Territorial battalions were supposed to wear a green "T" under the shoulder titles.

 

Andy

 


It was merely that the LLT made clear the 21st and 22nd were in transit, Andy.  Only the 19th and 20th were permanent garrison it seems:

 

“The Bns were posted for Garrison duty overseas in 1916. The 18th, 23rd and 24th went to India; 19th and 20th to Egypt. The 21st went to India via Egypt, and the 22nd Salonika via Egypt. The latter was attached to the 228th Brigade in 28th Division.”

 

NB.  The OP made clear that the gentleman concerned was “in” Egypt, which to me implied a lengthy stay.  There was no mention of Salonika, or India, so I commented on that basis.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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stiletto_33853

Valid point, apologies. We don't know anything about the man, one off picture in Egypt?? Some details might help us tie him down.

 

Andy

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FROGSMILE
37 minutes ago, stiletto_33853 said:

Valid point, apologies. We don't know anything about the man, one off picture in Egypt?? Some details might help us tie him down.

 

Andy


Yes, Andy I agree.  Hopefully the OP will return and add something more whilst acknowledging the responses made so far.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Pat Atkins
7 hours ago, grantowi said:

Whats that written, bottom right of first photo ?

 

Grant

Looks like it ends in " - SSAN" or perhaps " - SSAR"? Final letter N, R or K possibly.

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FROGSMILE
4 hours ago, Pat Atkins said:

Looks like it ends in " - SSAN" or perhaps " - SSAR"? Final letter N, R or K possibly.


I think it’s HASSAN, Pat.  Apparently, in Arabic it means 'handsome' or 'good', or 'benefactor' and is a family surname.

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Pat Atkins

Photographer's studio, perhaps? I couldn't see any obvious candidates for e.g. locations.

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Steven Broomfield
21 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:


That’s interesting Michael. How accurate is Wikiwand, as the LLT refers only to the 19th and 20th Battalions as actual garrison troops in Egypt, and the other two battalions that you mentioned as passing through (in transit) on their way to India (perhaps to acclimatise, but I’m unsure)?

 

EA James' book Historical Records of British Infantry Regiments in the Great War states that the 21st RB didn't go on to India until September 1918.

16 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:


Yes, Andy I agree.  Hopefully the OP will return and add something more whilst acknowledging the responses made so far.

 

The OP was on line about 10 minutes before I wrote this so hopefully he'll come back and tell us.

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FROGSMILE
5 hours ago, Pat Atkins said:

Photographer's studio, perhaps? I couldn't see any obvious candidates for e.g. locations.


Yes, I think it’s the studio too, Pat.

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FROGSMILE
23 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

 

EA James' book Historical Records of British Infantry Regiments in the Great War states that the 21st RB didn't go on to India until September 1918.

 

The OP was on line about 10 minutes before I wrote this so hopefully he'll come back and tell us.


Thank you for the additional information regarding the 21st Battalion, Steven.  I guess it’s possible that he was other than 19th/20th Battalion, but on balance I would have expected a family history recollection of more than just Egypt. 

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Steven Broomfield
15 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:


Thank you for the additional information regarding the 21st Battalion, Steven.  I guess it’s possible that he was other than 19th/20th Battalion, but on balance I would have expect a family history recollection of more than just Egypt. 

 

OP only says he was in Egypt in 1916, nothing more. Until he expands on anything, we won't know.

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FROGSMILE
2 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

 

OP only says he was in Egypt in 1916, nothing more. Until he expands on anything, we won't know.


Precisely!

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Bob C

Thank you all for your interest.

I have very little information about Harry Wright, he was born in Ecclesall, Sheffield in early January 1869.

Ge died in January 1931. I can not find any record of  an early services record.

Bob

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Steven Broomfield

His age would certainly explain his presence in a Garrison Battalion

 

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FROGSMILE

As a National Reservist he had to have previous service, either as a regular or auxiliary.  The volunteer force muster  rolls seem a good start point.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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George Rayner

There is a tree on Ancestry for a man called Harry Vincent Wright, wife Cora dates and place of birth match. Bobc is this your man?

 

George

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