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Mr Monkey News

Tracing my great grandfather Heidelberg 1920's

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Mr Monkey News

Hi

 

My great grandfather George Hughes Kirby was once stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. He was posted back to Guildford around 1924/25. I have very limited information on him and would like to know what regiment he was in and what rank he was.

 

I recently did the DNA ancestry and a German ancestor has come forward. When George was based in Heidelberg he was engaged and due to be married but was posted back to the UK, little did he know that his former partner was pregnant. He went his whole life not knowing. He met somebody from Guildford, got married and moved back up to Lincolnshire.

 

George Hughes Kirby

27.10.1901

Barton upon Humber, North Lincolnshire

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

George H Kirby.jpg

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PRC
6 hours ago, Mr Monkey News said:

George Hughes Kirby

27.10.1901

Barton upon Humber, North Lincolnshire

 

Given that date of birth he is unlikely to show up on Great War records, and as he was in the Army after 1920 any papers from the period are very likely to be in his service file held by the Ministry of Defence. The file itself will probably have been heavilly weeded.

 

Information on how to apply for his records is here:- https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records

 

I've got no personal experience of that process but from what I've read on the forum it seem that the next of kin side of things is less stringent when the soldier concerned is over 100 years old.

 

From 1920 onwards if he was serving in the Army during the Great War period he would have been entitled to the vote, so if you know where he might have a home address, (parents?), then could be worth checking for the Absent Voters list for that area as that will quite often show service number and unit. (Non-armed forces men had to wait until they were 21 to get the vote).

 

6 hours ago, Mr Monkey News said:

He met somebody from Guildford, got married

 

If he was still in the Army at that time the marriage certificate should show rank and regiment \ corps as a minimum, and sometimes much more. Similarly for fathers' occupation on the birth certificate if the couple had children while he was still in the Army.

 

Hope that gives you something to get started with.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

Edited by PRC
Typo

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RedCoat

Hi there,

 

Your Great Grandfather served in the Royal Artillery - there is an enlistment record for him that I can email you if you PM me your email address. He enlisted on the 19/01/1920 and was discharged on the 18/01/1932 from the reserves. He looks to have reenlisted into the 8th Home Defence Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment on the 19/03/1940 for service during the Second World War.

 

Cheers

J

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Mr Monkey News

Thank you PRC for taking the time to reply to me, much appreciated.

 

RedCoat, I will PM you, thank you very much.

 

 

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FROGSMILE
4 hours ago, Mr Monkey News said:

Thank you PRC for taking the time to reply to me, much appreciated.

 

RedCoat, I will PM you, thank you very much. 

 

 

It's interesting that your GG must have been in a unit that was part of the original British Army on the Rhine that existed for a decade from 1919 until 1929.  You can read about the basics of that early BAOR at the following link, but the information available online about precise locations and units between 1920 and 1929 (just two brigades with 'supporting arms' (including artillery) after 1922) is otherwise quite sparse: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Army_of_the_Rhine

 

As well as some early photos of the BAOR, there is some interesting movement documentation showing the units withdrawing in 1929 if you scroll to the bottom of the page at this link: http://www.shiny7.uk/1920-1938.html

 

3rd Brigade RFA was in Germany 1920-1923. 8th Brigade RFA came to Germany in 1921 and remained to 1927 (redesignated May 1924 as 8th Field Brigade RA).  8 Brigade was formed in Norwich on 12 January 1917, comprising 372, 373, 374 and 375 Batteries. 
The last artillery unit was 19thField Brigade RA from 1927-1929. 
 

NB.  Although very faded the features of the uniform in the photo that you posted fit with the Royal Artillery.  In it he has a single good conduct badge (actually a stripe) on his left lower cuff, which indicates that at the time he had completed 2-years of blemish free service.  These badges attracted a small increment to the daily rate of pay.

RFA ww1 ii.jpg

RA WW1.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Maureene

Official History of the Great War: The Occupation of the Rhineland 1918-1929 by Brig-Gen Sir JE Edmonds, first published 1944, is available in a reprint edition, which in turn is available on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3, located in International/Military Books/Germany.

 

The reprint edition is The Occupation of the Rhineland 1918-1929 Naval & Military Press

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

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FROGSMILE
8 hours ago, Maureene said:

Official History of the Great War: The Occupation of the Rhineland 1918-1929 by Brig-Gen Sir JE Edmonds, first published 1944, is available in a reprint edition, which in turn is available on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3, located in International/Military Books/Germany.

 

The reprint edition is The Occupation of the Rhineland 1918-1929 Naval & Military Press

 

Cheers

Maureen

 


Thanks Maureen, I’d like to read that, especially the part between 1920-29. It would be interesting to compare the stations then with those after WW2.  Heidelberg wasn’t in the British Zone after 1945 but presumably was in the mid 1920s, but I can’t find any more information online. 
 

6 hours ago, charlie2 said:

The Orbat of the 1st BAOR and how it changed over the years http://www.orbat.info/history/volume5/518/Original BAOR.pdf

 

Charlie


Yes that’s a great link isn’t it Charlie and very informative.  I didn’t post it separately because it’s at the  bottom of the Wikipedia entry linked above.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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charlie2
17 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:


Yes that’s a great link isn’t it Charlie and very informative.  I didn’t post it separately because it’s at the  bottom of the Wikipedia entry linked above.


So it is :) I‘d forgotten where I found it, I’d just bookmarked it for future reference.   As you say very informative. 

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FROGSMILE
1 minute ago, charlie2 said:


So it is :) I‘d forgotten where I found it, I’d just bookmarked it for future reference.   As you say very informative. 


I just wish there were more sources online like the excellent one regarding the RE ‘shiny 7th’ unit.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Mr Monkey News

Here is a better copy of the original picture above. The owner of the picture wanted to send it to me as he thought it belonged on my side of the family. A gesture I happily accepted.

Kirby.jpg

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