Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Muerrisch

ACTING rank/appointment NCOs : regulations.

Recommended Posts

Muerrisch
Posted (edited)

This is one for the well-informed, especially those with access to soldiers' records and Army Orders..

 

A thread on the British Badge Forum refers: https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=504732#post504732

 

I would like to ask specific questions about Acting Corporals [ACpl] in war. 

 

First a preamble.

 

If one uses SEARCH one finds any number of references to ACpls. If one searches the CWGC site for war dead ACpls there are vanishingly few: 22 British. In the scheme of things, a soldier lost his ACpl status when he died. I believe this applies to headstones and to named medals.

What was he for? Let us look at infantry as a subset. Casualties [in the broadest sense] in the chain of command had to be made good as soon as possible. This seems to have been axiomatic. Gaps had to be filled to make up the War Establishment, ten per company. The Commanding Officer had power to make up as many unpaid LCpl appointments as he wished, but was limited to a fixed number of paid LCpls. Whereas LCpls were expected to deputise effectively for absent corporals, a soldier could not be suddenly promoted to substantive corporal because there might well be one to fill the vacancy at Etaples waiting to move forward. The solution was to appoint an ACpl. We can be sure this man would wear the corporals’ rank …… essential if the appointment meant anything at all. We can be fairly sure that he would be paid corporals’ wages as stated in the House of Commons 10th September 1914 Hansard: Acting rank carries with it full pay of the rank.

What do King’s Regulations and the Pay Warrant say? Precious little, and nothing in the context of active service. Both acknowledge the possibility of acting NCO rank as in KR 285  (f) a lance-serjeant or acting lance-serjeant takes precedence of all corporals, and a lance-corporal or an acting lance-corporal takes precedence of all privates. The matter of the pay of acting appointments is not specifically addressed except, for example, soldiers thus appointed on board ship to get an extra 6d per day thus. The indices of both publications are very thin on references, and these all disappoint.

The questions:

1 Is there a specific Army Order or ACI authorising Commanding Officers [or indeed anyone] to appoint ACpls to scale, and an order regarding pay?

2. Would an ACpl receive substantive promotion after a certain number of days?

3. Does anyone have soldiers’ records that illustrate the appointment of ACpls …. and their subsequent ranking fate?

 

I would add that the matter of commissioned officers acting and temporary appointments and promotions has been exhaustively covered in the Forum, notably in the John Kipling references. It may be that non commissioned soldiers were dealt with similarly, but it would be most unwise to assume so.

Edited by Muerrisch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ss002d6252

In respect of war gratuity the acting corporal would be treated as a full corporal.

 

Craig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch
12 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

In respect of war gratuity the acting corporal would be treated as a full corporal.

 

Craig

 

Thank you: I hoped that you would help. The gratuity is certainly suggestive of full pay whilst appointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch

I should have added that KRs make clear that promotions within the unit up to and including full sergeant were made by the commanding officer. Although not specifically stated, this is taken to include Acting appointments to fill vacancies below Establishment likely to be of short duration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pat Atkins

I've been through my various and rather eclectic records looking for relevant details re NCO appointment/promotion to acting ranks, and I'm afraid I can't shed any light at all, apologies. However, this does look like an interesting Covid-19 project! Will keep an eye out.

 

 Cheers, Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
593jones
15 hours ago, Muerrisch said:

I should have added that KRs make clear that promotions within the unit up to and including full sergeant were made by the commanding officer. Although not specifically stated, this is taken to include Acting appointments to fill vacancies below Establishment likely to be of short duration.

 

Could I ask how promotions to the rank of Warrant Officer were made?  My grandfather served in the 6th York and Lancasters as a Sergeant from January 1917.  In the summer of 1918 he was, on I think, three occasions Acting Company Sergeant Major before being confirmed in the post and promoted to WO II.  Would it have been based on seniority in the rank of Sergeant?  He had previously served as Sergeant in the 14th and 15th Battalions of the same regiment, originally promoted Sergeant April 1915.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch
9 hours ago, 593jones said:

 

Could I ask how promotions to the rank of Warrant Officer were made?  My grandfather served in the 6th York and Lancasters as a Sergeant from January 1917.  In the summer of 1918 he was, on I think, three occasions Acting Company Sergeant Major before being confirmed in the post and promoted to WO II.  Would it have been based on seniority in the rank of Sergeant?  He had previously served as Sergeant in the 14th and 15th Battalions of the same regiment, originally promoted Sergeant April 1915.

Substantive promotion [ie virtually permanent unless removed by serious administrative action] to ranks above sergeant were by the Senior Officer i/c Records of the regiment on the recommendation of the CO of the battalion.

I am not sure if the stringent educational requirements as war began were adhered to. Probably not, out of necessity. Selection was most certainly not by seniority, but by ability to function in the higher rank in war.

King's Regs are absolutely clear: when a man is moved into a higher appointment/ job he must be given the rank for the job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kevinrowlinson

I think you would need all War Office and Army Council Instructions, for the duration of the war, regarding these questions, let alone the Army Orders.

 

One or two that I have that give some insight are,

 

WO Instruction 71 of 6th March 1915, which points to earlier ones of 1914 (67 & 194)

566670509_WOInstruction71of6thMarch1915.jpg.00011e8d62f040c131fba274b46c69d2.jpg

 

 

Part of WO Instruction 72 of 8th April 1915 ( I don't have the next page unfortunately )

1075752150_WOInstruction72of8thApril1915.jpg.b8d8ea2fc79194563f0d8cbaff90db0c.jpg

 

 

Just for interest an amendment to KRs with AO 99 of March 1916 ( again I don't have the next page )

1906849114_AO99ofMarch1916.jpg.95e855c804b8376a475ef1010ee11f55.jpg

 

For further reading perhaps a previous post may shed some light on the appointments of lance and acting ranks, although I originally only posted them for their RA content from post #55 onwards 

 

 

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
593jones
16 hours ago, Muerrisch said:

Substantive promotion [ie virtually permanent unless removed by serious administrative action] to ranks above sergeant were by the Senior Officer i/c Records of the regiment on the recommendation of the CO of the battalion.

I am not sure if the stringent educational requirements as war began were adhered to. Probably not, out of necessity. Selection was most certainly not by seniority, but by ability to function in the higher rank in war.

King's Regs are absolutely clear: when a man is moved into a higher appointment/ job he must be given the rank for the job.

 

Thank you, that makes it quite clear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch
On 03/04/2020 at 10:03, ss002d6252 said:

I know this mentions Sgts but it also makes reference to lower ranks. It might be worth checking the relevant appendix for clues re. pay and substantive promotion.
image.png

https://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl/0000687/19170117/080&stringtohighlight=acting rank


Craig

Thank you. That is strange, I wonder what date, it almost smells post-war. Pay warrant app IV deals only with The Pay Corps! The cohorts for pension are in Classes, not Divisions!

Food for thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ss002d6252
1 minute ago, Muerrisch said:

Thank you. That is strange, I wonder what date, it almost smells post-war. Pay warrant app IV deals only with The Pay Corps! The cohorts for pension are in Classes, not Divisions!

Food for thought.

Article was 17 Jan 1917 so the AO was 16 Jan 1917.

Craig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch

Kevin: GOLD DUST! Very many thanks.

I will trawl all my AOs and Instructions but I was selective at Cambridge Uni Library and followed only my interests at the time.

 

Woe woe, thrice woe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch

Kevin's thread is invaluable in the context ot acting and lance ..... the thread is primarily regarding artillerymen but much is of general applicability. A marvellous browse if the subject is of interest.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch
Meantime:

acting appointments were paid the full rate.

acting appointments wore the rank badge.

acting appointments received full war gratuity for the rank.

acting appointments to corporal were usually made from privates [this may be a book exercise because all LCpls ranked as private soldiers].

acting appointments in the Great War on active service were made to bring units to Establishment, and relinquished when a substantive rank became available.

I have as yet no evidence [and do not expect to find it] that active appointments would be routinely made substantive after a given period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
themonsstar

Hi all

 

I have full copies of ACI, AO covering the war if you need a look up just post. 

AO are hardback.

The ACI are a digital copy from Kew.

I also have a digital copy of general routine orders (GRO from kew) covering most theatres:

France 1914-20.

Italy 1917-20.

Egypt 1915.

Mediterranean (Gallipoli) 1915.

Mesopotamia  1916-18.

North Russia 1919.

Salonika 1915-20.

Turkey 1919-20.

Germany 1919-20.

If you are looking for a certain bit try and give me as much as as a pointer as possible as there's thousands of pages.

I also have to download on to my phone from my cloud account.

I'm also volunteering in my local community with the food & Medication runs so don't be in a rush.

Cheers Roy

Stay Safe & Stay In.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch

I have been wanting to meet someone like you for 60 years!

 

Very many thanks. I will organise a focused shopping list. Meantime I would be most grateful if followers of this thread did not make their own queries, rather PM me and I will collate them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muerrisch
Posted (edited)

image.png.18b68ee3831427615894de3f39c38b21.pngimage.png.e2f7ae3554138d2e2049507cda37dd74.pngWar Office Instruction 194, 22 august 1914

 

image.png

Edited by Muerrisch

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...