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Gaynor

Can anyone help identify the regiment

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Waddell

Possibly Shropshire Yeomanry. It is a shame the badge and shoulder titles aren't clearer.

 

A name and further details would help.

 

Scott

Edited by Waddell
Added more.

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Gaynor

Thank you 

George Edward Essem was his name 

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FROGSMILE

I think it looks like Shropshire Yeomanry too.

24478A45-AD57-4D09-BF5B-40D6EF1C839C.jpeg

3EEB2E31-8A84-4228-BB15-49AB79D0E731.jpeg

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Steven Broomfield

Can I suggest an alternative? (Happy to be shot down).

 

The lower part of the badge, below the crown, doesn't look entirely 'round', if you see what I mean. Could Yorkshire Dragoons be an option?

 

 

Dragoons.jpg

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PhilB

I second Mr B. :thumbsup:

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George Rayner

Welcome to the forum...and good luck with your research!

 

Any further details on George Edward Essem please? date of birth, residence, family, etc. Every little bit helps...

 

George

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MaxD

A George Eddie (or E) Essem gets a number of Yorkshire hits on Findmypast (example 1911 age 19 living in Balby Road Doncaster son of George and Ann Elizabeth).  Could fit Yorkshire Dragoons as the eagle eyed Steve has suggested.  (Essem appears exclusively Yorkshire)

 

Max 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

There doesn't seem to be a Medal Index Card on the National Archive site for a man of that name.

Usually we would conclude that he didn't serve overseas during 1914-1918.

 

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FROGSMILE

Yes, I think Steven's cracked it.  It looks to have much less of a crisp edge on my computer screen compared with my phone, and more floriated.  Good spot!

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Stebie9173

It was not unusual for men in 2nd Line / Reserve Yeomanry to transfer in 1916 to other units as the Military Service act took effect. I think he may be the Edward Essem (his father seems to have been called George as well) in the 23rd Welsh (Welch)  Regiment and 5/6th Royal Irish Fusiliers. I can't find a service record yet but there this Edward Essem appears to be in a batch of men transferring to the Welsh Regiment at the same time (their Welsh Regiment regiment numbers and surnames follow numerical/alphabetical order). The unique names in these transfers seem to belong to Yorkshiremen (e.g. Henry Aaron Feast, Harold Fevre, Victor Edward Dodsworth).

 

 

Harry Essem of Balby Road Doncaster has a service record - he seems likely to be the Doncaster George Essem's brother.

 

 

Steve.

Edited by Stebie9173
Spelling; clarity

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Gaynor
10 hours ago, George Rayner said:

Welcome to the forum...and good luck with your research!

 

Any further details on George Edward Essem please? date of birth, residence, family, etc. Every little bit helps...

 

George

Thank you George - 

George Essem - born and lived in Doncaster 

he did have a brother called Harry 

Thank you George 

George Essem was born and lived in Doncaster 

he did have a brother called Harry

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Gaynor
9 hours ago, Stebie9173 said:

It was not unusual for men in 2nd Line / Reserve Yeomanry to transfer in 1916 to other units as the Military Service act took effect. I think he may be the Edward Essem (his father seems to have been called George as well) in the 23rd Welsh (Welch)  Regiment and 5/6th Royal Irish Fusiliers. I can't find a service record yet but there this Edward Essem appears to be in a batch of men transferring to the Welsh Regiment at the same time (their Welsh Regiment regiment numbers and surnames follow numerical/alphabetical order). The unique names in these transfers seem to belong to Yorkshiremen (e.g. Henry Aaron Feast, Harold Fevre, Victor Edward Dodsworth).

 

 

Harry Essem of Balby Road Doncaster has a service record - he seems likely to be the Doncaster George Essem's brother.

 

 

Steve.

Thank you Steve 

so does that mean that Edward Essem was in the welch Regiment and the Irish fusiliers 

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Stebie9173

Gaynor,

 

I recommend you look at the advice on researching a soldier on the Long, Long Trail link at the top of the page it will give some good advice and allow you to get an idea of the available records, the structure of the army and tips for researching soldiers.it's a free site so use it as you need.

 

Having said that I will add a little meat to my thought above now we know we are looking for the right man.

 

Firstly, only about 30% of service records for the period still exist. Most of those that do are held by the National Archives but now are (only) accessible through sites like Ancestry and FindMyPast. Those that aren't on those sites are for those who continued their service into the 1920s and are held by the MOD. I have searched the former for George Essem and his record does not come up on the search engine. I also searched on the alternative Essam spelling. Harry Essem's record does - he served in the Army Service Corps according to his record.

 

Without a service record we have to revert to other sources.

 

We have identified him as being in the Yorkshire Dragoons - a Regiment of Territorial Yeomanry. The first thing to say is that the Yeomanry - the Yorkshire Dragoons for example - were a local force before the war. They were cavalry, but enlisted on a part time "Territorial" basis, maintaining their normal civilian jobs but attending their local Drill Hall for a night or two a week along with a two week long camp in the summer around the August bank holiday (which was at the beginning of August at that time). Much of the enlistment into these units at the start of the war maintained its local flavour. In the autumn of 1914 Territorial units were split into two units - those who had signed the Imperial Service Obligation and volunteered for overseas service, and those who for various reasons hadn't.

 

There is nothing to date the photograph to any specific part of the war, as far as I can see.

 

To try and trace him we can look in the MICs. Medal Index Cards (MICs) have formed one of the primary sources for determining a man's overseas service. If a man did not serve overseas then he did not received any campaign medals, so would not appear in the MICs. There is no George Essem in this index which is not 100% complete, but is in the very high 90s for completion.

 

However, in the medal index cards there is a man called Edward Essem. He was in the Welsh Regiment with a regimental number of 48485 and the Royal Irish Fusiliers with a regimental number of 27430. George Edward Essem was the son of George Essem and is listed in the 1911 Census as George Eddie Essem, so it may be that he was known as Edward or Eddie and enlisted as Edward Essem.

 

There is no indication on the medal cards or ledger (known as a medal roll) as to address or age to identify him. These cards were meant for a medal inscriber's clerk and not as a personal record so have only the information needed for the medals. One unintended benefit we can glean from the medal rolls is that the army tended to list men transferred at the same time in a logical order. This tended to be grouped by first letter of surname. So they would give the A's the first numbers, then the B's, etc. So if we see a group of numbers being located and the surnames fall in line we can group that batch together with some confidence.

 

What we see with Edward Essem is that he is in a group of men who joined (or transferred to) the Welsh Regiment (appearing on the medal rolls as the post-war Welch Regiment spelling and the received numbers 27420 (John William Briggs) to 27437 (John Thomas Fry).

 

Direct link to pages on Ancestry if you have access:

 

Medal Roll page

 

Each of these men were posted to infantry battalions in order - the 23rd Battalion of the Welsh Regiment and then the 5/6th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers (the later being a composite battalion formed out of a merger of the 5th and 6th Battalions of the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

 

The Royal Irish Fusiliers rregimental numbers given to these men line up as mentioned above. The group consists of:

 

27420 Briggs, John William, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48448

27421 Cowley, Richmond, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48469

27422 Crawford, Charles, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48468

27423 Dawson, Frank, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48481

27424 Dickinson, Mark, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48480

27425 Dickinson, Fred, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48483

27426 Dickinson, Robert Cyril, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48477

27427 Dodsworth, Victor Edward - Of Mexborough in 1911, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48484

27428 Duncan, Tom, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48482

27429 Dyson, Ernest, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48479

27430 Essem, Edward, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48485

27431 Fairburn, Eric, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48488

27432 Fawcett, David, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48492

27433 Feast, Henry Aaron - Of Rotherham in 1911, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48493

27434 Fevre, Harold - Of Doncaster in 1911, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48491

27435 ?

27436 Fletcher, Arthur, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48489

27437 Fry, John Thomas, formerly Welsh Regiment No. 48487

 

Those with unique names are all Yorkshiremen. This suggests that they may have started their army service with Yorkshire regiments and transferred to the Welsh Regiment at a later time. Just needs some proof.

 

As you can see the Welsh Regiment numbers are also in a loosely numerical spread. Whilst I cannot find a service record for one of the above named group there is a record for a man whose number falls within the Welsh Regiment's numbers:

 

Charles Ernest Cawkwell, No. 48467 in the Welsh Regiment.

 

Cawkwell enlisted in Doncaster on 2-9-1914 and was posted to the 2/1st Yorkshire Dragoons

Cawkwell was issued with number 3679 in the Yorkshire Dragoons

He served with the Yorkshire Dragoons until 1916 when he was transferred to other regiments for overseas service

On 6-9-1916 Cawkwell was posted to 3rd battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment

On 9-9-1916 Cawkwell and his group then embarked at Devonport bound for Salonika 

On 20-9-1916 they arrived at Salonika where they were posted to the Base Depot at Salonika

On 14-10-1916 Cawkwell was posted to the 23rd Battalion of the Welsh Regiment, allocated a new number - 43467 - and joined that battalion.

43467 Charles Ernest Cawkwell remained with the 23rd Battalion of the Welsh Regiment for the remainder of the war.

 

 

The above suggests that at least some of the group of men numbered 48*** in the Welsh Regiment came from the Yorkshire Dragoons, if not all. The above suggests that the group with Edward Essem followed the same route until at least posting to the 23rd Battalion of the Welsh Regiment in October 1916. Beyond that, the divergent group could have transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers at any point between October 1916 and the end of the war.

 

Circumstantially, I would say that there is a good chance that your George Essem is the Edward Essem above and served in Salonika. Hopefully, others can add some thoughts?

 

 

Regards,

Steve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gaynor

Hi Steve thank you - that

will help me so much - George Edward Essem never used his first name of George always using the name Edward and referring to himself and Eddie 

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FROGSMILE

Just wanted to say kudos to Steven, Max and Stebie (especially) for brilliant teamwork in bringing alive this man’s service from a grainy photo and a few personal details.  It’s an excellent example in case of how after 1916, when the realities of attrition rates had sunk in, men were moved between regiments to where they were needed, regardless of their geographical origins, and that many cavalry (particularly Yeomanry) were transferred to feed the voracious needs of the infantry.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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MaxD

Frogsmile - very gentlemanly of you and thank you but I'd be the firrst to say that my contribution to this thread pales into insignificance against those of the two S's!

 

Max

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Stebie9173

Some link to the Long, Long Trail for Gaynor to look at:

 

2/1st Yorkshire Dragoons

 

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-yeomanry-regiments-of-1914-1918/yorkshire-dragoons-queens-own/

 

Welsh Regiment - for 23rd Battalion

 

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/welsh-regiment/

 

Royal Irish Fusiliers - for 5/6th Battalion (refer to 5th Battalion)

 

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/princess-victorias-royal-irish-fusiliers/

 

Note that they left Salonika in September 1917 and went to the Palestine front for a few months and then to the Western Front in May 1918.

 

 

 

Steve.

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Gaynor

Thank you so much to everyone, it’s has given us a massive platform to work from to help trace our grandads history 

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