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Remembered Today:

Ivor Anderson

Corporal (later Sergeant) Charles Ashton MM, no. 99915, 31st Battery, Royal Field Artillery

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charlie962
21 minutes ago, David Porter said:

The one problem here is that I have seen older soldiers get to retain their previous number if they had been discharged for less than a year.

Thanks for responding David. Interesting. But one man Davidson I looked at yesterday was discharged early 1914 then signed up to the SR Sep1914 and was given that new number. So not an absolute rule. I will look at some of those other long servers but is was the 99900 series of 1914 that seemed a different group and mostly old regulars time served.

 

The question is, if there was a break in service causing him to be issued with a new number, where would the Hospital Admissions Registrar have obtained the '21 years' from ? Would the soldier have stated this ? Would it be noted in his paybook ?

 

Charlie

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Ivor Anderson
Posted (edited)

Of all the 999?? numbers listed along with Charles Ashton on the BWM & VM award roll:

99916 Dvr. Charles William Guilford arrived in France on 6-11-14 with 45 Bde. RFA

99917 Far.Sgt. Alfred Dennis has a surviving WW1 service record. He arrived in France 22-07-15 having enlisted 5-9-14 and made immediate Shoe-Smith Corporal. He was made Farrier Sgt. on 13-12-15 and served with numerous RFA Brigades & DACs. He was almost 40 on reenlistment in Sept. 1914, and had previously been discharged from the RFA on 17-10-1910.

99918 Gnr. David Moorhead (b.1879) arrived in France 29-08-15. He was from Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Ivor Anderson
Posted (edited)

Surviving entries in the 31 (Heavy) Battery War Diary for September 1917 (when it moved to X Corps) gives the following positioning information:

11 to 12 September 1917 'guns brought into position' at VOORMEZEELE

13 September Guns calibrated on OOSTAVERNE WOOD 

14 to 19 September - preparatory barrages and occasionally shelled by enemy

20 September operations resulted in capture of GLENCORSE WOOD and INVERNESS COPSE - enemy counter-attack repulsed

21 September - reconnoitred new position in VERBRANDENMOLEN - still there at 30th Sept.

22 September - work on new positions was so heavily shelled they had to stop work. Position changed & 2 gun-pits dug in afternoon.

                          Heavily shelled that evening resulting in 3 killed & 9 wounded. Killed night of 22-09-1917 (recorded as killed 23-09-1917 by CWGC):

                          1) Wheeler Corporal George Robertson 36186 aged 24 - buried Voormezeele Enclosures (4 km SW of Ypres), West-Vlaanderen (West Flanders).

                              He has surviving service & pension records on Ancestry. Joined at Woolwich 8-12-1908. With 31 (H) Battery from 15-08-1914 as a wheeler.

                          2) Gunner George Lamb  150462 aged 32 - buried Perth Cemetery (China Wall), West-Vlaanderen (S of Hell-fire Corner)

                          3) Gunner William Milburn 44758 aged 26 - buried Perth Cemetery (China Wall), West-Vlaanderen

23 September - guns placed in position by daylight - heavy shelling by enemy on evening of 23rd

24 September - practice barrage - occasional enemy shelling

26 September - POLYGON WOOD captured in Corps operation

27 September - 2 guns condemned for wear

28 September - battery shelled - Gnr J. Roberts 125273 killed & many wounded. Roberts buried Huts Military Cemetery, DICKEBUSCH (SW of Ypres).

29 September - enemy shelling in evening & during night - one gun hit.

30 September - under enemy shell-fire all day. One gun damaged. Sgt. P Donohue wounded. Front & back areas also shelled. Main ammunition dumps set on fire.

                         

VERBRANDEN MOLEN is right of centre at the bottom of this map crop from June 1917: https://maps.nls.uk/view/101464903

 

1.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Ivor Anderson

The 35 Brigade RFA WD confirms that 31st & 35th batteries moved into position in front of Chateau Wood on the evening of 1st October 1917.

Sergeant R. C. Ruth (19627) of 7th DAC was mentioned in their WD for an MM for October 1917, and is listed in same LG as Charles Ashton.

Sergeant Edward Alfred Foster (71439), 31st Battery, 35th Bde. is named on the Tyne Cot Memorial as missing in action on 16th October 1917.

The 10th Corps Heavy Artillery war diary (WO-95-867-3 in NA) confirms "heavy gas shelling of the battery areas" by the enemy on the 16th & 17th October (X) 1917:

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 20.29.44.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson

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charlie962
37 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

in same LG as Charles Ashton.

schedule numbers seem all important, as noted on MM card. Do they have same sch no ?

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Ivor Anderson

Unfortunately not! Ashton's is 135696 and Ruth's is 137768. Ruth's is stated as being awarded 2/10/1917 in the 7th DAC diary on 8/11/1917:

(Two others MM awards mentioned in the 7th DAC WD on 24/10/1917 appear in the LG of 17 December 1917).

However, you have given me an idea! I could target RFA MM awards in Ashton's gazette (28-01-1918) and see if any schedule numbers are consecutive to his! :)

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 21.25.53.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson

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