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Remembered Today:

8476 Sgt Edwin Cockerell 2nd Batt Somerset Light Infantry.


Sav

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I’m reviving a series of posts from 2007 when I was originally seeking information on Sgt Cockerell. 

 

My Great Uncle Edwin served with the Somerset Light Infantry from 1907 to about 1927 when he returned on leave to England and stayed with my grandparents in London. After living in India for so long he found the London Summer so cold that they had to have a fire every day. No one in the family seems to know what became of him after this period. 

 

Details

8476 Sgt Edwin Cockerell 2nd Batt Somerset Light Infantry. He was a Colour Sgt and I believe that he became a QM Sgt at some stage.

 

Timeline

From the service number it appears that Edwin would have enlisted as a Regular about November 1907. 

On 11th November 1908, the Battalion was sent to Malta on the Hired Transport "Rohilla",

The 17th September 1911, the Regt. set sail on the Hired Transport "Somali", heading for Tientsin and Peking. They arrived on 28th October 1911, stopping at Singapore, Hong Kong and Colombo. 

The 2nd.Batt. Somerset Light Infantry arrived in India in 1913 after service in China during the time of the Chinese Revolution (1911-12) protecting British and other foreign residents and interests. 

1st March European women and children taken Singapore.

20th October 1913 Set sail on Hired Transport "Soudan" to Quetta India, arriving 23rrd Nov.

The Somersets spent most of the war at Quetta on the Northwest Frontier but they did not keep a War Diary nor are there any Muster rolls etc in existence. They remained in India until 1926.

 

Medal entitlement

Although there is a mention in the Light Bob Gazette that L. Cpl Cockerell was awarded a second Good Conduct Badge on 12th November 1912 at Teinstin China. We haven’t been able to find any reference to him qualifying for the Army LSGCM.

The Battalion also saw service in the 3rd. Afghan War (1919) for wihich the India General Service Medal (1909 version) was awarded with Afghanistan NWF 1919 clasp. Edwin is not on the medal roll so did not qualify for this medal and clasp.

His WW1 MIC and it shows an entitlement to the BWM only for his service in India.

 

This is a summary of what we know. Post 1927 he remains a complete mystery to us. Any suggestions as to where we go from here would be most welcome.

Sav

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Hi Sav,

I assume he must be the L/Cpl Edwin Cockerell, born in London approx 1888, with the Somersets at St Andrew's Barracks, Malta, in the 1911 Census.

 

James

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You may have already considered this but as he served post 1920 his service records should be available from the Ministry of Defence. Can take 6 months or more in normal circumstances, so a lot longer at the moment & costs £ 30. They usually require a dob and a death certificate, but it looks like the latter is waived for those born over 116 years ago.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/request-records-of-deceased-service-personnel#further-information-about-service-records-held-by-mod

 

On this site a while back there was a link to a spread sheet of the service personel born before a certain date who's records the mod have, and that list has dob's on it.

Edited by travers61
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Banstead100. The information that you have is correct. The BWM roll for the Som.L.I. and his MIC are below. It would appear that they have a reference a replaced BWM. He definitely had post 1920 service but I've found no reference to his number.

 

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 10.18.11 am.png

Sgt Edwin Cockerell.jpg

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Travers61 I haves birth certificate he was born 15 Jan 1888 so I will give your suggestions a try. I have no idea when he died so I have no death certificate.. He must have a seven digit service number somewhere as I have a couple of references to his passage back to London on leave in 1920 and in 1922.

regards

Sav

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Nobody with that birthdate and a plausible corruption of his name is recorded in the 1939 Register.

 

Nothing in the India Office BMD (to 1949).

 

No newspaper mentions that I can see.

 

Drawn a blank with later life, but there are some records for his childhood: as well as the censuses, Findmypast has a school admission for Edwin and a sibling and Ancestry has workhouse admissions and discharges for Frances and all of the children. Frances later married for a second time but it seems the children kept their original surname.

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Banstead100

I haven't found a marriage record for my great grandmother's second marriage as yet I just assume that she adopted her partners name as Hill.What was the plausible corruption in the 39 register? I'm wondering if he returned to India and vanished.

Regards

Ken

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Hi Ken,

Poor phrasing on my part, I was saying that there was nobody who had both that birthdate and also a name that could plausbily be a corruption of his name, i.e. I can see no potential matches in the 1939 Register.

 

Nothing in the travel and immigration records on findmypast, Ancestry or familysearch.

 

Your best bet, as travers61 suggests, is to apply for his army records.

 

James

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This is the link to the MOD's eight spead sheets of those born before 1901, but with service after 1920, all are 8mb files, and I think you have to look at each one to be sure.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/foi-responses-released-by-mod-week-commencing-1-december-2014

 

In theory the index on ancestry should reflect the content of these, but its only as indexed.  As with any service record, the dob/name may not be the one you know from from your family research, for many reasons inc transcription error, or soldiers joining underage. 

 

Travers

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Thanks Travers61, I went through each of the 8 pages, a great resource, but to no avail. I tried his birthdate and 4 variations in spelling his name.

Regards

Sav

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Edwin was still a regular after 1920 and still in India. Below is taken from his passage from Bombay to London in 1922 0n leave. The address he was going to in London was my grandparents. His age is correct at 34 as is the spelling of his name. The G. is interesting as only Edwin appears on his birth certificate. He was travelling third class with a number of other soldiers.

Regards

Sav

Sgt Edwin Cockerell 1922 leave.png

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  • 1 year later...
On 16/04/2020 at 21:52, Sav said:

I’m reviving a series of posts from 2007 when I was originally seeking information on Sgt Cockerell. 

 

My Great Uncle Edwin served with the Somerset Light Infantry from 1907 to about 1927 when he returned on leave to England and stayed with my grandparents in London. After living in India for so long he found the London Summer so cold that they had to have a fire every day. No one in the family seems to know what became of him after this period. 

 

Details

8476 Sgt Edwin Cockerell 2nd Batt Somerset Light Infantry. He was a Colour Sgt and I believe that he became a QM Sgt at some stage.

 

Timeline

From the service number it appears that Edwin would have enlisted as a Regular about November 1907. 

On 11th November 1908, the Battalion was sent to Malta on the Hired Transport "Rohilla",

The 17th September 1911, the Regt. set sail on the Hired Transport "Somali", heading for Tientsin and Peking. They arrived on 28th October 1911, stopping at Singapore, Hong Kong and Colombo. 

The 2nd.Batt. Somerset Light Infantry arrived in India in 1913 after service in China during the time of the Chinese Revolution (1911-12) protecting British and other foreign residents and interests. 

1st March European women and children taken Singapore.

20th October 1913 Set sail on Hired Transport "Soudan" to Quetta India, arriving 23rrd Nov.

The Somersets spent most of the war at Quetta on the Northwest Frontier but they did not keep a War Diary nor are there any Muster rolls etc in existence. They remained in India until 1926.

 

Medal entitlement

Although there is a mention in the Light Bob Gazette that L. Cpl Cockerell was awarded a second Good Conduct Badge on 12th November 1912 at Teinstin China. We haven’t been able to find any reference to him qualifying for the Army LSGCM.

The Battalion also saw service in the 3rd. Afghan War (1919) for wihich the India General Service Medal (1909 version) was awarded with Afghanistan NWF 1919 clasp. Edwin is not on the medal roll so did not qualify for this medal and clasp.

His WW1 MIC and it shows an entitlement to the BWM only for his service in India.

 

This is a summary of what we know. Post 1927 he remains a complete mystery to us. Any suggestions as to where we go from here would be most welcome.

Sav

Assuming that Edwin qualified for an Army LSGCM after 18 years service, it would have been awarded in late 1925 or 1926. Does anyone know when these records will become available to the public?I  believe that they are only currently available up to 1919.

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