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5th Battalion Durham Light Infantry 1914 - 15


geofffox
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Dear All

 

I am currently researching the army service if my great-grandfather, George William Harrison, from Shotton Colliery, County Durham. Unfortunately I have very little information to go on (no army number or unit) but I have found a medal index card on-line that could possibly be his. It states that this individual served in the Durham Light Infantry and landed in France in April 1915, presumably as part of the 50th Division. 

 

I understand that the 5th Battalion had a drill hall at Castle Eden, which is only a few miles from his village, and was wondering if anyone had access to the history of the 5th Battalion by A L Raimes.  I think it may have a roll of the men who landed on France with the battalion in 1915.  

 

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

Many thanks.

 

Coldm

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It is also available for viewing at Durham County Records Office, but I imagine you’ll have to wait for things to return to normal!

 

http://www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk/article/10568/Book-List-First-World-War

 

Doug

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25 minutes ago, Mark1959 said:

If you give the regimental number on the MIC it may be possible to prove where that man came from.

 

Going by the information furnished thus far, I suspect that it will be 12872....which was the only George W. Harrison I could find who was entitled to the 1914-'15 Star.

 

However, this particular Harrison of the D.L.I. served with the 10th, 14th, 19th & 11th Battalions.

 

Having some date of birth, next of kin detail would be very useful....as always.

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Give some details of what you have and we can see what we can do. My stuff is mainly on 6th DLI but I do have stuff on the 5th which might help.

 

Craig

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  • 1 year later...

Little bit late, but I have Raimes book- there are a number of Harrison’s but no G W Harrison. 

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  • 2 months later...

Found a few in my records

376315              HARRISON       GEORGE          2nd

275381  7/2315  HARRISON     GEORGE          7th

36279               HARRISON       WILLIAM          13th

38631               HARRISON       G                      18th

70846               HARRISON       G                      18th

22/865              Harrison            George             22nd

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 22/04/2020 at 16:45, geofffox said:

Dear All

 

I am currently researching the army service if my great-grandfather, George William Harrison, from Shotton Colliery, County Durham. Unfortunately I have very little information to go on (no army number or unit) but I have found a medal index card on-line that could possibly be his. It states that this individual served in the Durham Light Infantry and landed in France in April 1915, presumably as part of the 50th Division. 

 

I understand that the 5th Battalion had a drill hall at Castle Eden, which is only a few miles from his village, and was wondering if anyone had access to the history of the 5th Battalion by A L Raimes.  I think it may have a roll of the men who landed on France with the battalion in 1915.  

 

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

Many thanks.

 

Coldm

I'm really late seeing this and you have probably found him by now, but is this him;

George William Harrison; 8, West St: 14699 M.G.C. as per the 1918 absent voters list.

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Hi Emam

Thank you for replying to my post.  I think you have made a valuable discovery for me as the man you mention is almost certainly my great-grand father.  I originally thought he may have served with the DLI but I've subsequently found a birth certificate of one of his children which lists him as a soldier serving with the 3rd Northumberland Fusiliers in 1916.  I can also vaguely remember seeing a photograph of him in uniform and the cap badge was almost certainly MGC.  This links in with the below MIC.

There reference for his entry in the medal rolls which should provide me with further basic information about when he embarked etc. I have access to Ancestry but can't seem to find the relevant medal roll.  Would anyone be willing to look this up for me? Also, could anyone be able to pin point which battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers he would have served with.  The 3rd battalion was the depot battalion and I'm assuming he was there in 1916 either as he had been wounded and was recovering, or he was in the process of being transferred to the MGC. 

Thank you once again for your help.  The information you have provided is invaluable.

Many thanks

Geoff

 

G W Harrison.jpg

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1 hour ago, geofffox said:

I have access to Ancestry but can't seem to find the relevant medal roll. 

The Medal Roll on Ancestry is here

He was one of a group of men transferred from the 3rd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers to the MGC on the 4th March 1916.

As he does not appear to have been awarded the 14- 15 Star he probably did not serve in  a theatre of war with the Northumberland Fusiliers.

The service record of a Thomas Harrison aged 30 also a coal miner resident at 3 Armstrong Street Heselden has survived (you'll probably find it in the pension records on Ancestry).  He enlisted in Sunderland on the 9th March 1915 and allocated the number 18317; he remained on the 3rd Battalion strength until the 11th July 1916.

18311 enlisted 3rd March 1915 (SWB) so we can be pretty sure as to Pte 18319 George Harrison's enlistment was in March 1915.

As for George Harrison's MGC service there are a couple of fragments on Find My Past, in the medical records and an extract from Grantham Daily Orders.  The latter shows he was struck of the home strength on the 26 April 1917 and posted to 234 Company.  The medical records show he was admitted to 18 General Hospital on the 18 August 1917 while serving with 167 Company MGC suffering from bronchitis. 

Whether or not he went to France with the MGC before this date is uncertain; 14692 was in the same group and posted to 93 Company on the 3 May 1916 which is shortly before the Company joined 93 Brigade in 31st Division, which ironically included a Battalion of the DLI

So lots of coincidences, I leave you to pick the bones out of them!  The war diaries of the various MGC Companies mentioned are all on Ancestry.

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Hi Ray and Kenf48

Thank you for replying to my post so quickly; the information and links you've provided are very interesting.  Kenf48 could you please tell me how you learned that he was part of a group of men who were transferred from 3rd Northumberland to the MGC on the 4th March 1916?

I will have a good look at the war diaries you mentioned to see if there is any mention of him.  From the war diaries I've read it was normally officers who were named in person, but I have also seen other ranks mentioned for various reasons.

Once again, thank you for your help.

Regards

Geoff

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4 hours ago, geofffox said:

  Kenf48 could you please tell me how you learned that he was part of a group of men who were transferred from 3rd Northumberland to the MGC on the 4th March 1916?

I will have a good look at the war diaries you mentioned to see if there is any mention of him. 

You will see from the link provided to the Medal Roll he was in a group of transfers from the Northumberland Fusiliers who were renumbered sequentially to the MGC from 14692 Shippen ( surviving Record) to 14718 Shaw.  Surviving records, previously cited, show the date of transfer to the Corps.

At this stage of the war the MGC was still being formed and built up as separate entity.  Two officers from the Corps visited the Home Depots to find suitable recruits.

“Transfer of Infantry Recruits to the Machine Gun Corps. 

  1. A.C.I. 1545 of 1916 is cancelled, and the returns therein called for will no longer be rendered. 

  2. Two officers of the M.G.C. will be detailed to inspect Reserve Infantry Battalions in Commands with a view to selecting sufficient men of the necessary standard required to complete the establishment of the M.G.C. (Infantry). 

  3. One officer will inspect the men in Reserve Infantry Battalions in the Scottish, Northern and Western Commands, and the other officer will inspect those of the Eastern and Southern Commands and London District. 

  4. The inspecting officers will inform the O.C. the Reserve Infantry Battalion of the number of men selected by him, and the O.C. the unit will then immediately grant the men their 4 days' Expeditionary Force leave. 

  5. The O.C. the Reserve Infantry Battalion will inform the G.O.C.-in-C. in whose Command the battalion is stationed by telegram of the number of men selected by the inspecting officer. 

  6. The G.O.C.-in-C. the Command will inform "Forcedly (A.G. 9) London" by telegram at 5 p.m. every Saturday night of the number of men selected by the inspecting officer during the previous week when further instructions will be issued regarding the number of men to be sent to the M.G.C. 

  7. The men ordered to be sent to Grantham will be dealt with under the conditions laid down in A.C.I. 2098 of 1916, except that para. 1 will not apply, as the men will have already received their 4 days' leave.' “

It therefore appears these 26 men were selected and posted as above on the date shown.

As you say unlikely to be mentioned by name in the Diaries and quick scan returned a negative in the casualty lists for 1916 ( which is why he may have at Grantham in 1917).

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Geoff,

I forgot to move the tab to follow this so have just seen the replies. Here is the link for the medal card, if it doesn't work let me know and I will download it. For some reason Ancestry keep adding a gap at the end of the numbers so it makes it  harder to find the record.

 

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/5119/images/41629_625537_9772-00059?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=afd0451586b90e704cacbfa585d266a2&usePUB=true&_phsrc=zLR322&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=6198453

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3 hours ago, emam said:

Here is the link for the medal card,

To be pedantic the link posted is to the Medal Roll which requires a subscription to access.  The index cards which are free to access was previously posted.

For copyright reasons downloading and posting pages from Ancestry and other genealogy sites to the GWF without attribution is discouraged.

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23 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

To be pedantic the link posted is to the Medal Roll which requires a subscription to access.  The index cards which are free to access was previously posted.

For copyright reasons downloading and posting pages from Ancestry and other genealogy sites to the GWF without attribution is discouraged.

Ok to posting pages from other sites, I now know for future reference.  With regards to the link the op did say that he has access to Ancestry, but can't find the card.

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