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Craigellachie

Looking for help and understanding!

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

The strange irony is that if he had gone to Sir William Arrol & Co, rather than the RE, then he probably would have earn't more pay and the nation would probably also have got more work out of him!


Yes, that’s the part that puzzles me the most.  It’s unclear why he did not go.  Perhaps by the time he arrived the intended job was already taken.  He must presumably have been called back to service with the RE from the Class W Reserve on the basis that men of his trade were needed by the IWD RE, it seems that early in 1918 they were being expanded, presumably because far greater volumes of stores could be moved on the waterways than could be transported by road and rail.

 

3 minutes ago, Craigellachie said:

 His wife need to apply for poor relief with three children! 


I must confess that I feel far more sympathy for her than for him....

 I suspect that she’d have made a better soldier than he did.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Matlock1418
Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Terry_Reeves said:

You may wish to loo at this with regards to IWT&D at Portbury:

A very interesting link

[A bit of an aside but as someone who had a GGF who elsewhere worked in engineering workshops for GWR at the time and of course many railway locomotive and rolling stock parts were forged]

Weren't Railway Operations {and I note the word 'operations' in this title} separate from Waterways and Docks?

He was clearly IW & D.  Then again, Harbours would seem to fall under Docks

Were operations of IW & D/H separated from the creation of infrastructure and maintenance of such?

And maintenance of railway engines and rolling stock - who was responsible for that more nationally?

Operations or another? [seen the local note in the link]

 - Not that that would alter his service record!

26 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

I must confess that I feel far more sympathy for her than for him....

 I suspect that she’d have made a better soldier than he did.

I suspect the OP might think so too - though makes for 'interesting' family history for investigation

Edited by Matlock1418
addit

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Craigellachie
20 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:


Yes, that’s the part that puzzles me the most.  It’s unclear why he did not go.  Perhaps by the time he arrived the intended job was already taken.  He must presumably have been called back to service with the RE from the Class W Reserve on the basis that men of his trade were needed by the IWD RE, it seems that early in 1918 they were being expanded, presumably because far greater volumes of stores could be moved on the waterways than could be transported by road and rail.

 


I must confess that I feel far more sympathy for her than for him....

 I suspect that she’d have made a better soldier than he did.

He came back from America and then they had four more children ( my father being one of them) He lived until he was 68 and my grandmother lived until she was 96. As I mentioned prior his brother died in France 1918 and was 19 years old and his first born son John died at Dunkirk 1940. 

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Terry_Reeves
1 minute ago, Matlock1418 said:

A very interesting link

[A bit of an aside but as someone who had a GGF who elsewhere worked in engineering workshops for GWR at the time and of course many railway locomotive and rolling stock parts were forged]

Weren't Railway Operations {and I note the word 'operations' in this title} separate from Waterways and Docks?

He was clearly IW & D.  Then again, Harbours would seem to fall under Docks

Were operations of IW & D/H separated from the creation of infrastructure and maintenance of such?

And maintenance of railway engines and rolling stock - who was responsible for that?

Operations or another? 

 - Not that that would alter his service record!

I suspect the OP might think so too - though makes for 'interesting' family history for investigation

The men were also involved in the construction of Portsbury Dock according to the article. A similar number of men were also involved in the construction of  Richborough Military Port in Kent.

 

TR

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Craigellachie
1 minute ago, Matlock1418 said:

I suspect the OP might think so too - though makes for 'interesting' family history for investigation


I am quite intrigued by my grandfather and have heard many an interesting story about him. I only knew him as a young child and thought he was funny. I didn’t know that he was in the army until a couple of years ago and knew nothing about his “service” records until recently. He had five cousins who served in the war and one of them had as bad a record. One of his cousins also died Thomas Brockett. Thanks for this information. 

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Matlock1418
Posted (edited)

 

16 minutes ago, Terry_Reeves said:

The men were also involved in the construction of Portsbury Dock according to the article

Your reply passed as I was adding my small edit note about having seen this and maintenance.

Certainly seems like a plausible reason for JB ending up there

 

 

 

14 minutes ago, Craigellachie said:

One of his cousins also died Thomas Brockett

If you need/want any help you know where GWF are - but using a separate thread I suggest

 

14 minutes ago, Craigellachie said:

Thanks for this information

You are welcome - keeps us lot out of other mischief, if not wholly out of trouble!

Must now go off and follow the Boss's orders and get on with a job or few - Otherwise privileges may be withheld. ;-)  :-/

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
clarification

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

You may wish to look at this with regards to IWT&D at Portbury:

 

https://bristolharbourrailway.co.uk/locomotives-and-rolling-stock/portbury/

 

Not the construction Portbury Docks.

 

TR

 

 


That is fascinating Terry, thank you for posting it.  Our subject was clearly a part (albeit ineffective) of the Royal Engineer IWD activity referred to.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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FROGSMILE
51 minutes ago, Craigellachie said:

He came back from America and then they had four more children ( my father being one of them) He lived until he was 68 and my grandmother lived until she was 96. As I mentioned prior his brother died in France 1918 and was 19 years old and his first born son John died at Dunkirk 1940. 


It’s an interesting story and shows another side of WW1 that I was unfamiliar with.  He led an eventful life in his 68 years, but it’s your grandmother that I would have preferred to meet and chat with.  She must have been a formidable woman.

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Terry_Reeves said:

The men were also involved in the construction of Portsbury Dock according to the article. A similar number of men were also involved in the construction of  Richborough Military Port in Kent.

 

TR


I had searched for more information about the activities at Bristol and Portbury, but been unsuccessful so it was good to read the details at the link.  None of this is mentioned under the LLT section on Royal Engineers IWD and I think that it should be added.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Terry_Reeves
1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:

had searched for more information about the activities at Bristol and Portbury, but been unsuccessful so it was good to read the details at the link.  None of this is mentioned under the LLT section on Royal Engineers IWD and I think that it should be added.

You know my views on that. I have a lot of information on IWT as do a couple of other members as it happens.

 

TR

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FROGSMILE
5 minutes ago, Terry_Reeves said:

You know my views on that. I have a lot of information on IWT as do a couple of other members as it happens.

 

TR

 

I confess I had forgotten that it was you that had those particular views, but yes I do recall what you said.

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Craigellachie
3 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:


It’s an interesting story and shows another side of WW1 that I was unfamiliar with.  He led an eventful life in his 68 years, but it’s your grandmother that I would have preferred to meet and chat with.  She must have been a formidable woman.

She certainly was formidable. 

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Matlock1418
4 hours ago, Craigellachie said:

She certainly was formidable

And of course you probably mean the french interpretation/translation = great!

AIthough I perhaps suspect, as Frogsmile did, also the scottish one too!!

Good family history to uncover.

:-) M

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TullochArd

……….. any ideas why he was awarded the BWM/BVM on an RE Medal Roll?  This suggests to me he was serving in France/Belgium, and in the RE, when he qualified for these medals? 

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Craigellachie
8 minutes ago, TullochArd said:

……….. any ideas why he was awarded the BWM/BVM on an RE Medal Roll?  This suggests to me he was serving in France/Belgium, and in the RE, when he qualified for these medals? 

This is what I am trying to do by getting a timeline for his service. He also managed to have two children during his time in the army. He wasn’t officially discharged until January 1919. Thanks for your message. 

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Craigellachie
Posted (edited)

This is his record for his first enlistment (4th August 1914). He apparently left his job in Sir William Arrol's a month before joining up. Files have been uploaded from Ancestry. 

He only lasted 3 months and as you can see he was always in trouble.

 

miuk1914a_083483-03085.jpg.8a55bd756e6a81322ca68ab8d9204e6e.jpgmiuk1914a_083483-03085.jpg.42a959a647f42340361957420a085e60.jpg

miuk1914f_127425-00123.jpg

miuk1914f_127425-00120.jpg

Edited by Craigellachie
duplicate image

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Matlock1418
On 30/05/2020 at 11:34, Craigellachie said:

This is what I am trying to do by getting a timeline for his service. He also managed to have two children during his time in the army.

This is a bit basic and tongue in cheek - hope you don't mind too much

Unless his wife was a 'camp follower' to F&F, which I doubt, then biology would suggest he was in the UK c.9 months before each birth.

If a date matches his overseas service this might suggest he was on leave from F&F - though heaven knows if he would get leave with his disciplinary record.

Difficult to say with 'burnt records' and not knowing birth dates.

:-) M

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FROGSMILE

Theft of a comrades possessions and then breaking out of camp on two subsequent occasions.  These latter two charges along with his periods of AWOL are typical of a man who cannot come to terms with military discipline.  He seems to have found it unbearable that as with all soldiers he could not leave barracks without permission.

 

I’m not sure what more you want to know?  You have the sequence of his service (if you can call it that) quite accurately now.  

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Craigellachie
8 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Theft of a comrades possessions and then breaking out of camp on two subsequent occasions.  These latter two charges along with his periods of AWOL are typical of a man who cannot come to terms with military discipline.  He seems to have found it unbearable that as with all soldiers he could not leave barracks without permission.

 

I’m not sure what more you want to know?  You have the sequence of his service (if you can call it that) quite accurately now.  

I think you’re right about his timeline of his time in the army. What I cannot fathom out is why he would sign up again in November 15! Was it peer pressure? I know he had four cousins who where in the army, one of them had served for seven years 1904 to 1911 and he sign up for WW1 when he was 33 years old. Thanks again for your help. 
 

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Craigellachie
13 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

This is a bit basic and tongue in cheek - hope you don't mind too much

Unless his wife was a 'camp follower' to F&F, which I doubt, then biology would suggest he was in the UK c.9 months before each birth.

If a date matches his overseas service this might suggest he was on leave from F&F - though heaven knows if he would get leave with his disciplinary record.

Difficult to say with 'burnt records' and not knowing birth dates.

:-) M

One was January 1916 so he only signed up again in November 1915 and the other one was September 1918 so he was back in the UK and with all his AWOL’s it would be easy to see how he managed it. Thanks again for your help and messages. 

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Matlock1418
8 minutes ago, Craigellachie said:

What I cannot fathom out is why he would sign up again in November 15! Was it peer pressure?

 

2 minutes ago, Craigellachie said:

One was January 1916 so he only signed up again in November 1915

Perhaps.

Would seem he was not at all suited for military life and a job back with Sir William Arroll & Co might have been a better option - for both him and the Army.

Perhaps SWA&C didn't want him back after his initial Army spell [blemished as it was].

Did he have a job after his first spell in the Army?

Could it have been the financial pressure of a family? [and growing one it would seem]

Regular income, etc.?

Not that stoppages would help with that - I think there would potentially be a compulsory allocation of his wages back home, perhaps regardless ??? - however others more knowledgeable in pay matters might be able to help with that [certainly at least one pal's name comes to mind but I won't be a 'grass' ]

Intriguing, but hard to do more than speculate at the moment on his motives.

:-) M

 

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Craigellachie said:

I think you’re right about his timeline of his time in the army. What I cannot fathom out is why he would sign up again in November 15! Was it peer pressure? I know he had four cousins who where in the army, one of them had served for seven years 1904 to 1911 and he sign up for WW1 when he was 33 years old. Thanks again for your help. 
 


We can only speculate really. A big part of being in the military is suborning many of your own desires in favour of service and the benefit of the greater good. You also lose the opportunities of personal freedom and every hour of your day and your movements are governed.  He was a mature man, unused to that, and frankly going by his disciplinary record I don’t think he cared about anyone, but himself, so I doubt it was peer pressure that made him enlist.  On balance I imagine that it might have been a combination of escaping from personal responsibility (wife and child, and her parents perhaps) and the opportunity of getting a regular wage most of the time (i.e. when he was not fined, or in detention, when pay was ceased), as well as three good meals a day.  The food in the Army during WW1 developed to become very calorific and of far better quality than most working men could obtain in civilian life. It’s impossible to tell without seeing his pay-book, but he might also have set up an allotment book (as it was termed) that allotted a portion of his pay to his wife that she could collect via a book of vouchers/stamps at a post office.  It’s impossible to tell from this distance in time what other motivations he might have had.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Craigellachie
4 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

  It’s impossible to tell from this distance in time what other motivations he might have had.

 

Agreed, speculation is all we can really do!

What I do know is that his grandparents moved from Penicuik (grandparents worked in local paper mill) The grandfather was an only child but went on to have twelve children!!!! They moved to Glasgow in the 1860s and lived in one of the poorest parts of the city (East end). His grandfather who was named after died in 1911, his uncle died in 1912. His father died in January 1913 of cancer. His mother remarried in 1915 and she was married four times in fact her fourth marriage was a double header with her granddaughter and this granddaughter was John's daughter.  

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Craigellachie said:

 

Agreed, speculation is all we can really do!

What I do know is that his grandparents moved from Penicuik (grandparents worked in local paper mill) The grandfather was an only child but went on to have twelve children!!!! They moved to Glasgow in the 1860s and lived in one of the poorest parts of the city (East end). His grandfather who was named after died in 1911, his uncle died in 1912. His father died in January 1913 of cancer. His mother remarried in 1915 and she was married four times in fact her fourth marriage was a double header with her granddaughter and this granddaughter was John's daughter.  

 

They were tough times that bred tough and uncompromising men, especially in the Glasgow Tenements.  Just looking at how women had to remarry quickly if they were to survive is a testament to just how hand-to-mouth it was.  If he had joined as a teenager he might have turned out well, but I think he was too old and set in his ways to be able to cope with the requirements of the British Army.

 

crop-slums-B20090-09.jpg

 

 

 

Irish-family-in-Glasgow-slum.jpg

 

 

poverty.JPG

Edited by FROGSMILE

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