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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

4966146 PTE W PIKE


Kincaid

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Good morning,

 

I am trying to find any information on the subject soldier - I first must apologise because I am unsure if he served in the Great War - what I do know is that in 1926 he was with the 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters in Rawalpindi and that in the February of that year he transferred into the Army Dental Corps, which had only been established in 1921, so its is not without the bounds of possibility that he did have some Great War service.

 

I have searched all the usual sources, thinking that as I had his number it would be an easy task, butI can find no trace of him.   I am trying this source in case he did serve some time in 1914-18 and his records may be amongst those destroyed by German bombing in the 2nd WW.

 

I am hoping that some Great War Forum member, with an avid interest in the Sherwood Foresters, might at least be able to give an indication of when his regimental number was issued.

 

I will of course approach regimental museums when the present viral plague is at an end, though I don't hold out much hope there as from past experience they are very good with artefacts but not so good with paper records.

 

I should add that during my research I have been subject to all the expected jokes along the lines of . . "Don't tell him your name, Pike"

 

Thank you and keep safe - Kincaid

Edited by Kincaid
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Good morning Edward,   I am a bit vague on numbers, but I am certain this was Pte Pikes . . . My source was the 1926 regimental annual of the Sherwood Foresters and every soldier has a seven digit number . .  I have managed to find a 1925 regimental annual on the internet and it providentially arrived this morning.  I will trawl through it for further clues . . . 

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26 minutes ago, EDWARD1 said:

Were 7 digit numbers issued in 1920 ?

 

3 minutes ago, Kincaid said:

Good morning Edward,   I am a bit vague on numbers, but I am certain this was Pte Pikes . . . My source was the 1926 regimental annual of the Sherwood Foresters and every soldier has a seven digit number . .  I have managed to find a 1925 regimental annual on the internet and it providentially arrived this morning.  I will trawl through it for further clues . . . 

 

Yes, issued from 1920 onwards
https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/new-british-army-numbers-issued-in-1920/

Craig

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Looking at the number I doubt he had WW1 service with the Sherwood's, unless he had left the regiment and came back - the 1920 range for them was 4960001 to 5038000. So, as XXX6146, he was over 6,000 men in to the new range.

 

To try and trace him any further you'd really need a first name at the least and preferably DoB etc.

 

Any photos that might show a medal entitlement ?
 

Craig

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As he served post 1920 his records would still be with the Ministry of Defence, (although probably havilly weeded).

 

They can be applied for here https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records

I've no direct experience of using the process, but I see from other members comments that if the individual concerned would be over 100 years old the rules on who can apply for a copy isn't as strict as the webpage would make out.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

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Firstly - to Craig, thank you so much for that . . .  I now know he could not have served before 1920 - I am looking through the 1925 annual this very minute, very carefully.   There was also another Pike in the 2nd Bn, on the boxing team, so they may have been brothers.   There is actually a photo of him in his boxing kit.

 

Peter - I looked at the military records webpage, and they do seem to have strict criteria such as the requirement for a death certificate, but I will take your advice that they are not as strict as the web page suggests, though there quote a waiting time of several months.

 

Incidentally, I must tell you of one thing I read a few minutes ago in the 1925 annual, nothing to do with private Pike, but it illustrates why I love the British Army so much - on the 21st Feb 1925, DerbyXIII died and was struck off strength (Derby being the regimental masco)t - his Highness Lt Col Maharoa Sir Umed Singh Bahadur  presented the Bn with a new ram, who was taken on strength on the 21st Feb and given the regimental number Derby XIV . . . . I wonder, are we the only army that loves their regimental mascots?

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Kincaid said:

 I now know he could not have served before 1920

Well, not under that number but possibly under another.


He's not on the list of those men with post 1920 service who were born before 1901 - that's suggestive of him not having WW1 service but it's not conclusive.
 

Craig

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Thank you Craig . . . you are quite correct of  course . . . . with so few clues I am going to go with the suggestive -  I shall imagine he was a first timer joining as a young man and try and find him in the local census returns . . . . clutching at straws, I know, but I will also try the military records office suggested by  Peter.

 

Thank you both for your help - 

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What do you know about him from the civil record - birth, marriage, 1939 National Register, death, probate calendar et al, as those might provide some clue as to when he would have been old enough to have enlisted (post war) or called up under the Military Services Act, (from 1916 onwards).

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Good afternoon Peter,

 

That's the rub, Peter, apart from his number and regiment and the fact he transferred to the Army Dental Corps in 1926, I know nothing.

 

I am going assume was 25 in 1925 and will look for 19oo births in Notts and Derbyshire with a span of five years either side, targeting households were vthere is an R Pike as well as a W Poke on the assumption the other Pike in the Bn was his brother.

 

I have probably more chance of winning the lottery . . 

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1 hour ago, Kincaid said:

That's the rub, Peter, apart from his number and regiment and the fact he transferred to the Army Dental Corps in 1926, I know nothing.

 

I am going assume was 25 in 1925 and will look for 19oo births in Notts and Derbyshire with a span of five years either side, targeting households were vthere is an R Pike as well as a W Poke on the assumption the other Pike in the Bn was his brother.

 

I have probably more chance of winning the lottery . . 

 

In that case I'd suggest concentrate on the Army Record route, Even if it doesn't give you specifics like date of birth it will give you enough - age on elistment \ age on discharge as well as next of kin to be able to cut the leg work out

 

It's a biggish assumption to believe he was born in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire ara - not only could he have moved there post birth, but many Regiments had traditional recruitment areas that went beyond their "name" county, often harking back to an older link than that forced on the Regiments of Foot by the 1881 Haldane Army Reform. It also assumes Pike was the name he was born with. So a lot of time could be spent on a wild goose chase.

 

Similarly as to age. For now the working assumption is that he was too young to have served in the Great War - and so your subject would fall outside the scope of this forum. But there were a small number who found it difficult to adjust back to civilian life or who were tempted by some of the bounties on offer to join up again. As this was a new period of enlistment, they had a new service number. And while most went back to their old regiment to sign up, some units, like the Machine Gun Corps, no longer existed in the peacetime Army.

 

Good luck with your search and would be great to hear how you get on - hopefully the admin's won't lock this threat until there is a definative answer as to whether he served in the Great War at all.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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53 minutes ago, PRC said:

Good luck with your search and would be great to hear how you get on - hopefully the admin's won't lock this threat until there is a definative answer as to whether he served in the Great War at all.

 

Cheers,

Peter

I'm happy to let it run for now Peter.


Craig

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Good morning Peter and Graig . . . I will go down the army records route as you suggest Peter, it is the only black and white one so to speak, not based on conjecture and imagination . . . . It will be some time before I can report back, so thank you too Craig . . .

 

I enlisted in 1961, into the Royal Engineers, and after three years transferred to the Royal Army dental Corps, retiring in 1984 . .  I was kept on a bit over the standard 22 years as there was no one ready to replace me, so the small note in the 1926 Sherwood Forester's journal about Pte Pike's transfer caught my imagination . . . in spite of being a small Corps, we have a strong following of old and bold, many of whom are following with great interest my attempts to find Pte Pike . . .

 

Thanks again, and stay safe during this uncertain time

]

Kincaid

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