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Remembered Today:

Three Carruthers Brothers, High Bridge, Cumberland.


Pimpernell

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I am researching three brothers, James Carruthers b. 1889, John Carruthers b. 1893 and William Carruthers b. 1890. They were born in High Bridge, Cumberland. They joined up in WW1.

James is thought to have been in the 11 Battalion (Lonsdale) Border Regiment and was killed 1 Jul 1916 at the Battle of the Somme. The only trace of him is the 1911 Census that shows he was a Lance Corporal in the 2nd Battalion Border Regiment billeted at Aldershot. It does not show his regimental number so I am struggling to find any more information.

John  is shown as 17362 Border Regiment and later 60589 Northumberland Fusiliers. He was wounded in France and later taken prisoner.

William was in the Army Service Corps TS/ 4594. He served in Salonica and Egypt.

Can anyone help with more information.

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Hello Alf McM. Thanks for your input. I have read through the records and don't think that is the right soldier. James's father was John Carruthers b. 1861 and his step-mother was Mary Agnes Reagh b. 1874. The Next of Kin on your suggested records are completely different. That part of the tree were living at Bellas Close Smithy, Low Row, Denton. I know the chances of there being two James Carruthers in the Lonsdale Battalion are slim. Do you know if there is a list of men in that unit.

Pimpernell

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See also:

 

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For the avoidance of doubt, the ICRC record above is 3899 Pte (or Cpl) John Carruthers of 9 Royal Scots.

 

Max

Edited by MaxD
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Re James Carruthers.

 

There is only one 17454 James Carruthers in 11 Battalion Border Regiment killed on 1 July 1916 (or indeed in the battalion) identified by Alf McM above.  Widow given on the Effects Register identified as Mary A  Hodgson (added later which usually indicates a re-marriage).  His attestation gives wife (married 1914) a Mary Ann Beattie.  Mary A Carruthers married Thomas J Hodgson in July 1919 in the Blackpool area.  (Accords with the service record).  Son William mentioned on the pension record could well be William born to Mary Beattie Wigton area Dec 1914.

 

If that fairly comprehensive set of records isn't your man, then you are not looking for the 11 Battalion man who died on 1 July 1916.

 

You said he was "thought to be....."  There are other Carruthers who served in the Border Regiment including a J W Carruthers who died in 1918.. A man in 2nd Battalion in 1911 would have a four digit number which, if he continued to the war , he would have retained.  9478 James Carruthers for example joined in 1910.  17455 and 17442 joined  the Lonsdale Battalion in Dec 1914/Jan 1915 as did 17365 (near to brother John)- the Lonsdale Battalion was first formed in Dec 1914.  

 

 You might like to re-visit your basic data - how firm was the information that he was in 11 Battalion Border Regiment?  The fact that he came from High Bridge cannot be relied upon as a 100% indicator of regiment - look at brother William.

 

Max

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Hello Max. Pull up a sandbag. 

John Carruthers b. 1893 at High Bridge, Cumberland.The picture shows a very small group of houses. Father was John Carruthers, a blacksmith. Mother was Sarah Lowther. He had two brothers James and William. All three joined the Army when they were living at Bellas Close Smithy, Low Row, Cumberland.

John joined the Lonsdale Btn of the Border Regiment and had the number 17362. He was involved in the Battle of the Somme 1 Jul 1916. The records below show he was listed on 24 Jul 1916 as wounded. He had been one of the lucky ones who survived the battle. He was moved to 213 Employment Coy and 3rd Entrenching Btn. He was transferred to 23rd Northumberland Fusilliers and given the number 60589. At some time later he was captured. I don't know when or where he was captured and made a POW. The next trace of him is the list dated 30 Nov 1918 of him being repatriated and arriving at Dover. 

I have searched high and low but can't find his attestation and service records. They may have been in with those burnt.

He is a distant relative. I am still trying to squeeze more out of the family. Like most of those that made it through hell, he was not keen on talking much about his war years.

I have a tree (Carruthers at Bracken Hill) on Ancestry UK. Kevin Carruthers

Thanks for your interest and help.

Pimpernell

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John Carruthers Medal lists 1.jpg

John Carruthers Medal lists 2.jpg

John Carruthers repatriation.jpg

John Carruthers.jpg

Military Docs 3 John Carruthers.jpg

IMG_20200423_0001.jpg

IMG_20200504_0002.pdf IMG_20200504_0003.pdf IMG_20200504_0004.pdf

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Pimpernell

 

You have, and I follow the frustration, all there is to find on John Carruthers.  I also find no service record and agree their fate.

 

For whatever reason, any POW record there may have been on his capture and subsequent times up to the repatriation just do not exist.  However:

 

I would put a small bet on his capture being on 21 March 1918 on the opening day of the German offensive when the battalion lost 375 men missing as a result of which it essentially ceased to exist as a battalion until reorganised in April.. 

 

There are an awful of 23 NF on the repatriation list so  I took a random sample of five other 23 NF on the repatriation list and looked at their POW records - they all had only repatriation records.  That suggests to me that perhaps the German system got a bit overwhelmed with the massive haul of prisoners on 21 March - we'll never know but I am confident that there are no other records for your John.

 

Max

 

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Further perusal of the war diary gives more confidence that it was 21 March 1918.  There is no further indication of prisoners being taken from 23 NF after that date.

 

Max

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Max. Yes I agree with your conclusion.

I have been thinking of the other brother James. The only trace of him is the 1911 Census in Aldershot. There is one other soldier on the sheet, Lance Sgt Charles Housegood also from the Border Regiment. The rest are small groups of two and three from different infantry units all aged in their early twenties. I get the feeling they were at Aldershot for some specialist training. The rest of the 2nd Battalion Border Regiment were billeted at Martinique's Barracks at Borden, Hampshire. Any thoughts on this?

Pimpernel.

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2 hours ago, Pimpernell said:

The only trace of him is the 1911 Census in Aldershot.

 

 

On 01/05/2020 at 14:20, Pimpernell said:

only trace of him is the 1911 Census that shows he was a Lance Corporal in the 2nd Battalion Border Regiment billeted at Aldershot.

 

I don't believe this is your James as I have said before.  The James Carruthers in Aldershot in 1911 would have had,  (discussed before) a four digit number and would have taken this to war in  1914.  17454 James Carruthers who died in action joined the army in the month from 2 Dec 1914 (courtesy Craig's calculator from Soldiers' Effects) and "near numbers" also highlighted earlier.  This i(1911) is most likely 9478 (later Colour Sergeant) James Carruthers who joined in 1910. and who served in the war in 1/5th Border Regiment.  Again I believe you have everything there is to be found on 17454 James.

 

Max

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