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ltough80

Royal Field Artillery in Salonika

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ltough80

I am researching Victor Elliot Davey (known often as Fred), who, according to newspapers served as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery in Salonika. I am struggling however to locate him in the records or to get more of an idea of which brigades/battalions were in Salonika to have a starting point. All I know is that he enlisted in 1914 as a Gunner and was UK based until 1915, as he was training in Wiltshire at this time. The newspaper article is a print of his letter home, which states he was in Salonika in Sept 1917 and in 1918 a further article states he won the Croix De Guerre for gallant conduct while serving in WWI. He had been invalided home with Malarial fever in 1918. Any help would be appreciated, as it would be great to track down what the medal was for and to get more of an idea of his service record.

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keithmroberts

My impression is that the Croix was awarded to a few men in a unit or ship by the French, in respect of their service alongside French forces, rather than for individual acts of courage which might have earned a British gallantry award.

 

According to the official history (Vol 2 Appendix  3),  the following Royal Artillery units were present in September 1918.

22Div VIII, XCIX,C, AND CI brigades  RFA..

26 Div  LVII, CXIV,CXV, AND CXVI Brigades  RFA,

27 Div   I, XIX, XX, and CXXIX Brigades RFA

28 Div   III, LIV, XXXI, and CXXX Brigades RFA

 

Headquarters Troops     - RGA batteries/brigades only.

Edited by keithmroberts

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David Porter

Welcome to the Forum,

 

3 hours ago, ltough80 said:

The newspaper article is a print of his letter home

 

Which newspaper article is this - there is no image with your post. There may be clues in there.

I have found no obvious Medal Index Card for him. Perhaps he altered his name, with reference to the Frederick given in 1939?

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ltough80

Thanks for all of your responses.

 

A family member had shown me the Gazette reference but unfortunately when I researched him, it doesn't seem to be our Frederick Davey (think he was from the Midlands and our Victor/Fred was from Sunderland). 

 

I have attached the two newspaper pages to this response, one is entitled the Croix De Guerre and is a small article on about the 3rd row from the right. The second is A Gunner's Experience and is on the 1st left column. I have also attached a picture of the medal that is still in the family. 

 

Yesterday I got additional information that states the dates on the back of the medal are 1914 - 1917, so am assuming he received the medal in 1917. 

 

All help much appreciated 

The Croix de Guerre.png

download (1).png

croix  medal (1).jpg

Edited by ltough80

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keithmroberts

Your post opens the possibility that the chap served say on the Western Front initially before being transferred to an RFA Brigade in Salonika and that the award related to service in a unit prior to his posting to the BSF.  Have you anything at all with a service number - other medals or whatever, as there is just not enough to trace him in what you have so far.

 

The basic Victory and British War medals for example would have a regimental number stamped around the edge of the medals.

 

Keith

Edited by keithmroberts

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ltough80

Thanks Keith, I will ask to see if the Victory and British War Medal are still in the family, although I am not sure that they are. 

 

 

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David Porter

Thanks for the addition information. My attention has been drawn to the Medal Index Card of 45066 Driver Frederick Davey.

His number indicates joining No. 1 Depot RFA, Newcastle, around December 5, 1914 (which fits in with living in the Sunderland area).

His overseas date to France in September 1915 seems linked to 26th Divisional Artillery, more specifically 116th Brigade RFA or 26th DAC.

These units were in Wiltshire from May 1915 and went on to Salonika in December 1915.

 

Findmypast has a Prison Record for Victor Elliott Davey of 22 Vale Street, Sunderland, showing he was jailed for 4 months for housebreaking on September 29, 1927.

The Medal Index Card shows a Civil Conviction dated September 30, 1927 reported by RA Records with a view to forfeit of medals.

The decision seems to have been that he could keep them. I would say that this is most probably the person you are seeking.

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ltough80

David, thanks so much! This is really helpful and I will follow this up now. 

 

I agree this all seems to fit, thanks again for looking into it for me.

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ltough80

Just to update, it is definitely him, as using the number above I have found another military pension record now that links him to the 22 Vale Street address. 

 

Thanks so much for your help with this! 

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David Porter

That's brilliant. I wasn't quite 100% sure despite the date of Civil Conviction. Finding that second piece of evidence has cliched it.

So there is a lot to follow up, including the Royal Humane Society medal for saving a boy from drowning.

The War Diaries you may wish to look at are:

 

France (available to download from NA or view on Ancestry.co.uk)

WO 95/2252/12 - Divisional Troops: 116 Brigade Royal Field Artillery (1915 Sept. - Oct.)
WO 95/2252/14 - Divisional Troops: Divisional Ammunition Column (1915 Sept. - Oct.)

 

Salonika (not available online, only at Kew - which is currently closed)

WO 95/4865 -  Divisional Troops: 116 Brigade Royal Field Artillery (1915 Dec - 1919 Mar)
            Divisional Ammunition Column (1915 Nov - 1917 Jan).

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ltough80

I have tried, with no success, to track down the Royal Humane Society information and have up until today had no success in tracing his military record, so this has been fantastic and when the National Archives opens again, I will definitely go to view the war diaries suggested. I have downloaded the ones available online today and will read through. 

 

Thanks so much for the help! 

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keithmroberts

At Kew, take a camera, as long as you can turn off flash.

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