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aengland

Photo of an unknown unit - help please

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aengland

I am hoping that someone with a specialist knowledge of uniforms can help me with the attached photograph.  In my narrow knowledge of matters regarding uniforms, I think that the soldier is someone who had something to do with horses, perhaps a driver or a member of a cavalry unit? I would love to know the unit but no matter how much I look I cannot see anything that is going to point that out for me..... unless you know better!

 

 

Alred Rowland - Keith's Dad.jpg

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

It’s not possible to be 100% sure as the shoulder title is not visible, but he is dressed for mounted duty with a leather bandolier and spurs, and whitening lanyards gradually became popular in all branches of the Royal Artillery.  However, he might also be Army Service Corps, who generally dressed similarly.  
Teams of horses were used to draw guns and wagons and the men who rode bestride them were known as ‘drivers’.

 

The Royal Artillery were generally more particular with regards to the smartness of their soldiers dress and appearance, and were I a betting man that is the regiment I would place my wager on.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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aengland

Dear Frogsmile.... thank you very much. Really appreciate your help.  

 

Andrew

 

 

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aengland

So I am trying to take this further...... the Z-20 form has now been found and as you can see it confirms that Arthur James Rowland was in the RFA/RHA.... the other information to be gleaned is 

 

Gunner 207151 Alfred James Rowland

Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery

Enlisted on 11 December 1915

Born 1889

Medical Category B2

 

But having searched the medal cards / roll, we cannot find any entry that corresponds with this information.

 

Help please..... which will be very gratefully received.

 

Andrew

 

 

 

IMG_20200503_181403_resized_20200503_062312519.jpg

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TEW

Either he did not serve abroad so was not entitled. Or, he served abroad with another number. He enlisted into RH/RFA in 1915 and was still with them in 1919 so service abroad with another number & unit seems unlikely.

 

Not looking promising for him serving abroad with artillery under a different number either. So, at present - didn't serve abroad?

TEW

 

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

He was only of an average medical grading on discharge, but might have deteriorated during his service as many men did.  Men medically graded B2: "able to walk to and from work, a distance not exceeding five miles, and see and hear sufficiently well for ordinary purposes."  It seems possible that he served overseas, but his MIC lost as some were.  Is there anything on the Medal Register? 

Edited by FROGSMILE

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TEW

I had a pretty good look for an MIC and a Medal Roll and failed.

 

I wondered about a possible earlier number (which would be on the medals). Not all numbers always show on rolls so the 207151 may not show on a roll, assuming he had an earlier one.

 

Not sure that there's any evidence for other numbers though.

 

Also wondered if he returned to the UK, re-numbered and never returned to a theatre.

TEW

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aengland

Thank you everyone for your help and suggestions!

 

Unfortunately the medals have gone from the family; well at least they don't know where they are........ a pity.

 

I am struggling to know what to do next!

Andrew

 

 

 

 

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TEW

If you're convinced he did have some medals (and they were definitely his!)

 

I'd say it does look like he only served in RH/RFA, enlisted into and discharged from. Although the form does have also served in SMB?

 

I see no medals issued (MIC) to Alfred James Rowland.

 

7 to Alfred J Rowland including 2 in RGA.

 

40 to Alfred Rowland including 5 in artillery.

 

44 to A J Rowland including 4 in artillery.

 

20 to A Rowland including 1 in artillery.

 

I'd have to work my way through these, eliminating those who died and everyone who was not put into army reserve in Feb 19. Can't see he would have either Star medal entitlement.

 

Could be worth trying to establish what the SMB means, is it just a clerk's initials or is it a unit?

TEW

 

 

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FROGSMILE
48 minutes ago, TEW said:

If you're convinced he did have some medals (and they were definitely his!)

 

I'd say it does look like he only served in RH/RFA, enlisted into and discharged from. Although the form does have also served in SMB?

 

I see no medals issued (MIC) to Alfred James Rowland.

 

7 to Alfred J Rowland including 2 in RGA.

 

40 to Alfred Rowland including 5 in artillery.

 

44 to A J Rowland including 4 in artillery.

 

20 to A Rowland including 1 in artillery.

 

I'd have to work my way through these, eliminating those who died and everyone who was not put into army reserve in Feb 19. Can't see he would have either Star medal entitlement.

 

Could be worth trying to establish what the SMB means, is it just a clerk's initials or is it a unit?

TEW

 

 

 

 

MB might be Motor Battery, TEW (having heard of that term before) but I'm not sure what the 'S' might be referring to and looking in lists of contemporary abbreviations I cannot find a reference to SMB.

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TEW

Not 100% convinced it's an S or a unit for that matter. I mentioned it because one of the artillery possibilities was attached X/TMB 29th DIV. Although it looks less like a T than an S!

TEW

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TEW said:

Not 100% convinced it's an S or a unit for that matter. I mentioned it because one of the artillery possibilities was attached X/TMB 29th DIV. Although it looks less like a T than an S!

TEW


I think it probably is TMB as you first surmised. A 'T' in cursive script can look like an S.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Steven Broomfield

I must say that 'TMB' was my first thought on seeing that entry.

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TEW

Sadly the A J Rowland with X/29 TMB on a MM card is an Albert. Ignominy! on his MIC.

 

Attachments to TMBs of course won't be marked as such on medal cards/rolls. Well, some might but I don't think it was required.

TEW

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TEW

Was able to identify which BWM & Vict. Medal Roll he should have been on. WO329/163.

Extract below courtesy of Ancestry. The rolls are in Regt. Number order.

TEW

1103156332_Screenshot_20200511-150011_SamsungInternet.jpg.0bbb08b2db04b40a3e62186d3be75175.jpg

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Grovetown
3 hours ago, TEW said:

Could be worth trying to establish what the SMB means, is it just a clerk's initials or is it a unit?

 

I have seen South Midland Brigade rendered as SMB, which would make sense in the RFA context.

 

Cheers,

 

GT.

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aengland

Hello all

 

Had to be away from my computer for a couple of days, but then come back to find all your helpful comments based on your research and insights.  Fantastic, thank you very much for all your help.  I am perplexed as to where that leaves us mind!  it is odd that he apparently doesn't seem to have a MIC.

 

I have been in touch with my friend whose grandfather this is, and he assures me that the photo and the completed Z 21 is all that they have.  The fact that they do not have any medals might mean of course that they never had any!  Not that they had them and they have been misplaced.   My friend now tells me that 'family legend' has it that our man Alfred James Rowland injured himself, and didn't serve!   May explain why no medals, but would he then appear in any court martial listings?  But would there not be a reference to that on the Z 21?

 

The plot thickens! Any further pointers very gratefully received.

 

Andrew

 

 

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TEW
Posted (edited)

According to the Z21 he was in the artillery for 3 years and 2 months so he certainly 'served'.

 

The facts given on the Z21 are quite sparse but he was definitely transferred to the army reserve Feb 1919.

 

His enlistment date 11/12/1915 means he joined up voluntarily although the cut off date for volunteering was only a few days later. He would have been conscripted later had he not volunteered.

 

Next part, the suggestion that he injured himself to avoid serving in action or to get out of the army. Not sure how this would have worked out for him. Self-inflicted wounds were a serious matter which required an enquiry which could easily lead to a court martial. Normally a man was guilty until proved innocent. However, I've never seen a case of a UK based soldier doing so so I'm not sure how it would have been dealt with.

 

If he did do so and found not guilty that would be the end of it and his service continues as normal, no need to bring this up on Z21. If guilty perhaps a spell in military prison and discharged (but not transferred to army reserve).

 

Possible I suppose he injured himself on purpose, got away with it but was kept for home service only hence no medals.

 

There were 1000s of court martial during the war, not sure how many in UK. I believe there are registers at TNA in WO213. Ancestry have some of these, I don't have a full subscription but the index does bring up 2 x A J Rowland attending court martials 1916 & 17. One in Lancashire and one in France.

TEW

Edited by TEW

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

I think it would have been unusual for a man to volunteer or be called up to join the Royal Artillery and then spend three+ years in wartime Britain.  It was more usual for such men as were unfit or unsuited for overseas service, but capable of being useful to be compulsorily transferred to a more limited role in the home-based companies of support units such as the Labour Corps.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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TEW

Agree that it's odd but there is his enlistment date, date of discharge both Artillery. No evidence so far of overseas service. Medical category? The potential self injury? Something going on for sure. Interesting if the court martial proved to be him.

TEW

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aengland

It is the most unusual case I have ever come across!

 

A friend who has access to Ancestry and is used to finding his way through it dug around a bit for me.... here are his thoughts

 

          
 
All of the following are in the court martial records, the first two being the ones you have listed, so not looking good there.
 
  A J Rowland 1916 Acheaux 29 DAC  
  A J Rowland 1917 Crosby L N Lancs 
 
The next one looked promising, but cross referencing other records points to this being Albert E Rowlands  [our man is Alfred James Rowland]
 
A Rowlands 1916 In field 123 Bde RFA
 
The rest don't fit.
 
A Rowland  1916 Witley E Surrey
A Rowland  1916 Aldershot E Surrey
A Rowland 1917 in field ASC
A Rowland 1918 ASG
A Rowland 1918 Res Hussans [sic]
A Rowland 1919 Ans Pnr Bn [sic]
A J Rowlands 1915 R Anglian Bde
 
So yet another blank!  I have asked the grandson if it might be the case that for some of the war he served under another name..... grasping at straws I think though!
 
Yet, I live in hope
 
Andrew
 
 
 

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TEW

Have these 10 Rowlands been eliminated by have seen the actual record or by cross-referencing by the index search? I've not seen beyond the index search.

 

Post #2 places the photo as a man from Royal Artillery or ASC. Either unit could find themselves posted to a DAC and for 29 DAC (who were at Acheux June-Aug 1916) they took in lots of temporary transfers for 1/7/16. Artillery men could also be posted to EG a TMB for a month then transfer to the DAC before going off to another artillery unit.

 

Then there's the ASC Rowland? ASG? Probably another ASC man?

Apologies if these have been checked and details obtained.

TEW

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TEW

Fold3 free this weekend so had to have a further look at Court Martial records for A J Rowland.

 

Didn't seem to find all those on your list;

 

A J Rowland 1916 Acheaux 29 DAC

A J Rowland 1917 Crosby L N Lancs

A Rowlands 1916 In field 123 Bde RFA

A Rowland 1916 Witley E Surrey

A Rowland 1916 Aldershot E Surrey

A Rowland 1917 in field ASC

A Rowland 1918 ASG

A Rowland 1918 Res Hussans [sic]

A Rowland 1919 Ans Pnr Bn [sic]

A J Rowlands 1915 R Anglian Bde.

 

But further details on the ones I found are;

 

19/7/1916. Driver AJ Rowland. Acheux. 29 DAC. Absence & Insubordination. 56 days. 3 others from 29 DAC on same day.

20/7/1917. Pte. AJ Rowland. Crosby. 1/LNL. Desertion. 112 days reduced to 28 days. G of A.

21/1/1916. Pte. A Rowland. Witley. 12/E.Surrey. AWOL. 49 Days.

27/6/1918. Driver A Rowland. Park Royal. ASC. Desertion. 6 Months reduced to 2 Months. G of A.

20/3/1918. Cpl A Rowland. In the field. ASC. AWOL. reduction in rank. 22/9/1917. Dvr. A Rowland. Erquinghem, in the field. ASC. AWOL. 49 days.

10/4/1915. Driver AJ Rowland. Ingham. 1/1 E Anglain BDE RGA TF. Insubordintion etc, (bomb)? 10days.

Unfortunatley no numbers given for these men. Not sure what 'G of A' stands for or the (bomb) for the Ingham CM. Bomb is used for other entries where reduction in rank is the punishment, Driver Rowland can't be reduced in rank to Bombardier ( I guess) plus it was in the wrong column.

Your photo of A J Rowland shows a man in either ASC or Royal Artillery, his Feb 1919 Z21 form says he enlisted Dec 1915 into RH & RFA. That pretty much elimnates the Ingham, East Surrey & LNL court martials. Quite feasible for an Artillery man to be in 29 DAC for July 1917.

Given that his 1919 number fails to show any overseas service he may not be any of the above. I tried looking for MICs for the above men but ended up with 21 A/AJ Rowlands in ASC, some prove to be Alberts and obviously none with his number.

Not entirely sure about this but some of the above may have forfeited their medal entitlement to the date of the CM, or perhaps for the whole war period?

I also wondered on the possibility that he served abroad with another number and has a MIC with that number. Then returned to the UK at some point and was renumbered to 207151, never returned to a theatre of war and therefore the 207151 does not show on medal records. Clutching at straws perhaps.

TEW

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RussT

You need to remember that the date 11/12/1915 was the date he attested under the Derby Scheme.

 

He was mobilised much later to the RFA/RHA - his number was allotted to him upon joining the RFA in mid January 1917.

 

Regards

 

Russ

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

I think SMB refers to a Medical Board (you will often find these initials on Service Records/ Pension Claims)

TMB = Travelling Medical Board

SMB =  Special Medical Board

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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